Faculty Recognition – Interview with Darron Johnson
I’m Darron Johnson and I’m from Hampton, Virginia. I now reside in Washington D.C., where I work for the Federal Government. I enjoy traveling, trying new restaurants, bowling, and long distance running. I’ve been teaching at City University of Seattle for over a year, and I truly enjoy the daily interactions with my students, along with the wonderful partnerships and relationships that I’ve formed with our incredible City U faculty and staff. I’m also privileged and honored to be featured in this edition’s interview – thank you for this opportunity.
Morgan: Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for the STC Thursday Byte. Let’s start off by telling us about your career path that brought you to where you are today.
Darron: Currently, I work for the Federal Government’s Executive Branch. There I serve as the Lead IT Project Manager for the White House. Since being at the White House, I’ve served two Presidential administrations. Previously, I’ve also served as the Director of Software Systems at the National Reconnaissance Office and intelligence agency, and I am an Air Force veteran. I attended Trident University, where I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology Management. I later received my Master of Science degree in Cybersecurity from the University Charleston.
Morgan: What’s one thing you wish you had known when you began your career?
Darron: One thing I wish I knew prior to my career was to trust the timing of how things fall in place and why things happen the way they do.
Morgan: That’s an interesting comment. Could you share an example of how that played out in your life?
Darron: I had applied for a position at a job. I was qualified for the position, I felt confident enough to pursue the position, but, alas, I did not get the position. I found out later the position had a plethora of underlying toxic irregularities that led to a high turn with the position. A year later, I applied for and received a new position that suited me well and set me up for future success. Trust the timing. Things eventually fall into place for the better.
Morgan: How do you continue to learn in order to stay on top of things within your current role/area of expertise?
Darron: I do my best in taking advantage of different professional development opportunities that are offered through my research.
Morgan: What are some of the things you’re researching and/or learning right now?
Darron: Currently, I’m constantly learning about new ways to enhance my teaching style, curriculum, and delivery abilities via lecture, to make learning more attractive to my students.
Morgan: We hear about success, but I think it is more powerful for our readers to hear you talk about your biggest failure (which I prefer to call biggest lesson); can you tell us about your ‘biggest lesson’, and what you learned from it?
Darron: I think we’ve all experienced this at some point. However, my biggest lesson was learning how to master working with certain individuals that were not as cooperative as one would desire them to be but understanding that the organization’s mission was the ultimate goal. With that being said, I had to learn how to work through those difficult moments to ensure that the overall goals were met despite conflict.
Morgan: What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career like yours?
Darron : Stay true to what you truly desire and never compromise or settle for anything you want. Be consistent and see yourself through all your personal/professional goals.
Morgan: Great advice! What are the best resources that have helped you along the way?
Darron: The best resources I could reflect on would be to have a great mentor and support system. Those are the most undeniable and effective resources.
Morgan: What is the one common myth about your profession or field that you want to debunk?
Darron: Most common myth about my career field would be that IT/cyber individuals are all introverts. We are not 😊
Morgan: What have you read or listened to recently that inspired you?
Darron: The book, Phoenix Project
Morgan: Where can our students connect with you online?
Darron: LinkedIn, MS Teams, or via email