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Deborah Johnson

Interim Department Chair

  • Health, Human Performance, & Leisure Studies
  • College of Arts & Sciences


Deborah K. Johnson completed both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Physical Education at Howard University and earned 21+ hours in postgraduate studies in Special Education and Educational Psychology.Since 1971, she has maintained her enthusiasm for teaching at Howard University combined with administrative responsibilities, coaching, advising, fundraising and curriculum development and sports marketing.Leadership and administration: Athletic Director 1994-2000; Associate Chair HHPLS 2003-2005; and 2012 to present:  Associate Chair for Health, Human Performance and Leisure Studies and Academic Advisor to 322+ majors in Sport Management, Sports Medicine and Physical Education-Teacher Education. As COAS Special Event Coordinator, Ms. Johnson has also enjoyed event management and planning for various groups and working with the NBA All-Star Weekend special programs at Howard University as well as managing 4 back-to-back Commencement Activities-Awarding Ceremonies in Burr Gymnasium and Law School Hooding Ceremonies.The varied teaching experience in activity skill courses at the university have included all ages from pre-school through high school and special populations and youth programs such as NCAA-National Youth Sports Program, Basketball Event Director, Special Olympics DC (1975 to present) and instructor (10 years) Senior Stretch at the former DC Village Nursing Home. She also teaches and advises college students with physical challenges or limitations enrolled in a special physical education class so that they may also complete their university requirements.  Several of her Sports Marketing and Adapted Physical Education majors/alumni, are now gainfully employed nationally in those areas. Ms. Johnson has published a fitness manual, produced, performed and marketed and exercise video, “D & A Workout” and has presented her philosophy on health, fitness and exercises, which combines dance and yoga to numerous national, regional professional conferences and local groups.The South Bronx, New York native has a daughter and two grandsons.Ms. Johnson is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Federal City Alumnae Chapter and received in 2007 Certificate of Service from Deltas for Howard and has received several community service awards.  Inducted into Howard University Athletic Hall of Fame, 2016.  She is now a member of Pigskin Club of Washington DC, Inc.