Janis Johnson is the Director of the TRIO McNair Scholars Program at St. Olaf College and has been involved professionally in TRIO for more than 30 years. She has directed the TRIO McNair Scholars Program since 2007, the TRIO Educational Talent Search (ETS) Program for 16 years, and worked with the University of Minnesota Upward Bound program for 11 summers. Ms. Johnson has spent her entire career advocating for equal educational opportunity for students from low- income, first generation and underrepresented backgrounds, and as a social worker for court-ordered adolescents, a transition counselor for students with disabilities and a study skills teacher and counselor with college students. She is dedicated to helping students overcome financial, social and cultural barriers to education.

Ms. Johnson, who is from a first generation background graduated with a B.A. in Social Work from the University of Minnesota. Janis completed two M.A.’s at the University of Minnesota: one in Education and the other in Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology. She is also a licensed psychologist in the state of Minnesota.

Ms. Johnson participated in the MN TRIO Association as the Treasurer for 3 years, the Secretary for 3 years, a Member at Large for 2 years and has served on committees including Conference Planning, Scholarships, Nominations and Elections, and Legislation.