Professor Spotlights: Prof. David Johnson & Dr. Lindamichelle Baron
Pandora’s Box highlights the accomplishments of professors and faculty on campus.
Professor David Johnson
Professor David Johnson came to New York to pursue finance, but ended up
discovering economics – which led to a full time career in education.
From Massachusetts to Connecticut, from Wall Street to York College. It has been quite a journey for Professor David Johnson, a Massachusetts native who ended up moving to New York to pursue a career in finance.
Upon his arrival, he worked on Wall Street in stocks and bonds, and soon became fascinated with economics. Professor Johnson eventually began to pursue higher education and went on for his master’s in the field of economics after which he was hired by Salomon Brothers Investment Bank.
Johnson was offered a part time job at York in 1984. Within the academic year, he was asked to stay as a full-time faculty member and has been here ever since. With various degrees, including a B.A. in physics and an M.B.A. in accounting, Johnson tries to bring his varied and interrelated skill set to the classes he teaches, sharing relevant information both current and historic, connecting it to his text in meaningful ways.
To him, the best thing about teaching is the students, and he tries very hard to keep them attentive through his humor which is often times needed when dealing with a subject that can be hard to follow at times. When asked what was his greatest achievement, Johnson replied “It’s still to come.”
His advice to students: “Read the text carefully. Meaning, don’t skip over sentences you don’t understand. Those details may cost you answers on a test. Make a note about anything you are unsure about and seek clarification.” He also encourages students to minor in something they’re interested in, as it will set them apart from others.
His favorite movie: The 1982’s Ridley Scott cult classic Blade Runner.
Fun Fact: In the late 70’s to early 80’s, Solomon Brother’s Investment bank is where big names and influential figures would have their financial business taken care of. During his time with the company, Johnson worked under famous wall street economist Henry Kaufman.
Dr. Lindamichelle Baron
Dr. Lindamichelle Baron is the chair of York’s Teacher Education Department. But she is also a famous author, poet and motivational speaker who has published her creative works a number of times over the years.
Dr. Lindamichelle Baron was born and raised here in New York. She attended NYU and graduated in 1972 with a bachelor’s in child education. She then attended Columbia University and earned her master’s in reading in 1976. She was a New York City public school teacher for several years before returning to Columbia and earning her doctorate in Cross Categorical Studies in 1999.
Dr. Baron established her own educational consulting firm and publishing company, Harlin Jacque Publications. The company was started 14 years ago and she is both the founder and President.
Through her company, Dr. Baron has written and published six of her own books including The Sun is On, Rhythm and Due and Anthony Ant and Grady Grasshopper. Several of her books have been integrated into several education programs across the country including right here in New York City. Her poetry has even been featured in a music and dance production called The Groove that Got the Move of Us.
Dr. Baron worked as what she calls an “Edu-tainer.” She visited different schools consulting teachers in the classroom and working with young students doing poetry. She recalled many of the students she visited remembering her poetry and being excited to meet her.
Advice to Students: “Students need to really recognize that they need to step up to the expectation and not expect an institution to lower the standards.” She recalls that when she was attending college as an undergrad, there were students starting school at an older age with other responsibilities like working full time. “They did not expect the professor’s to give them less work, because they had other obligations.”
Favorite Writer: Langston Hughes
Dr. Baron says that Hughes’ writing influenced her style heavily. “If I look at my style of writing, it was more emulating his sensibilities in terms of so much of his work had music and rhythm and was conversational. It was embracing being of African descent and taking it as a positive.” She mentioned that his writing in that sense “came from a love of self.”
Fun Fact: During her teen years in 1967, Dr. Baron was a member of the NAACP youth council and helped petition to get a college in the Jamaica, Queens community. Little did she know, she would be helping establish the college where she would later be chair of the school’s education field.