Johnny P. Tooson has been hired as the new executive director of student engagement and leadership, part of the Student Affairs and Campus Life leadership team. He begins his new duties Aug. 7.
Tooson will oversee the student engagement cluster that includes student activities and involvement, student governance, the Student Engagement Business Center, the Center for Education Policy & Advocacy, the Office of Fraternities and Sororities, the Student Union Art Gallery, the Student Union craft center, UVC-TV 19, the Center for Student Businesses and WMUA, the student-run radio station. He will report directly to Enku Gelaye, vice chancellor for student affairs and campus life and will maintain a close relationship with the dean of students.
“We are thrilled to welcome Johnny Tooson to campus,” Gelaye says. “Having spent his entire professional career in a higher education environment advancing co-curricular development, he brings a level of expertise and enthusiasm consistent with our efforts to make the university a national model for student success.”
Tooson comes to UMass Amherst from Georgia State University (GSU) in Atlanta, where he has been associate director for student life since January 2016. He was previously director of student life at Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) in Decatur, Georgia, from 2008-16. In 2016 that school became part of GSU. From 2006-07, Tooson was coordinator of student activities/Greek affairs at GPC and coordinator of student leadership/Greek affairs from 2001-06. He also served as group housing director at Southeast Missouri State University in 2001.
Tooson earned his bachelor’s degree in human development with a double concentration in family studies and adult development from the University of Alabama in 1998. He earned a master’s degree in higher education administration in 2000, also at Alabama.