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Cynthia Polk-Johnson

Associate Dean of Students


Cynthia Polk-Johnson serves as one of the associate dean of students focused on case management, crisis response, and student care and support. Polk-Johnson's responsibilities include coordinating the Vol-on-Call rotation, bias incident reporting, academic notifications and appeals, risk management, and serving on the Division of Student Life and dean of students leadership teams, accessibility implementation team, and health and wellness coordination teams.

Polk-Johnson comes to the university from Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) where she served as associate dean in the College of Undergraduate Studies (2014–2016). Her responsibilities included spearheading and coordinating the Sophomore Year Experience (SYE), facilitating the Wildcat Peer Mentoring Program, teaching Freshman Seminar and Sophomore Seminar courses, and assisting in the supervision and management of the Student Success Center, New Student and Transition Programs, and the Summer Scholars Bridge Program.  As the associate vice president and dean of students at B-CU (2010–2014), she supervised staff in the Office of Student Conduct, Student Health Services, Student Counseling Services, and Student Involvement. She also chaired the Disciplinary Review Board, administered the Student Code of Conduct, and served on many university-wide committees to enhance the student experience.

Her career experience in student affairs prior to Bethune-Cookman University consists of the following roles: director of Multicultural Services and Programs at the University of Georgia,  assistant dean of students for Multicultural Affairs at Rhodes College, director of Orientation and Student Activities at Rhodes College, and residence hall director at Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University at San Marcos). She is a student-centered educator who integrates student development theory and best practices in higher education to obtain optimal student success.

Polk-Johnson is an active member of the Southern Association for College Student Affairs (SACSA) and NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. Her involvement includes participation in the 2016 Alice Manicur Symposium, faculty for the 2015 Mid-Manager’s Institute, member of the SACSA Nominating Committee, and NUFP mentor.

She is in the dissertation stage of the PhD program in leadership for higher education at Capella University. She enjoys spending quality time with her husband and two daughters and is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.


BS in Psychology, Mississippi State University (1996)

MS in Student Affairs in Higher Education, Mississippi State University (2001)

Contact Information

  • 413 Student Services Building
  • Phone: 865-974-3179
  • E-mail:

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