Dave Johnson: Educator, EMT, E-sports Enthusiast

by Jeremy Arnold
November 20, 2020

If you’re in any science program or even taking a general science course, you probably have heard of him and in most cases probably have been taught by him. He’s Dave Johnson, Assistant Professor of Biology. He teaches classes such as General Biology or Microbiology & Human Disease.  However, he wasn’t always attracted to science. When he was younger, he wanted to pursue a career in history but said “I kind of always had a knack for science.” During these unfortunate times, instead of lecturing and posting the videos on Blackboard like most professors are doing, he decided to create a channel where he posts all his videos. If you want to get a better idea of his teachings you can subscribe to his youtube channel, BioDoc, where he discusses the concepts that accompany the courses he teaches.
When I asked him what led him to teach at GCC, he explained that early on in his college years he had thought about becoming a professor. He knew that receiving a doctorate would be most beneficial to his career. He discovered his knack for teaching through assisting others in his field. When others needed help understanding what was being taught Dave explained the material well, in a way where anyone could understand the concepts being taught. He found that a majority of the people in his programs saw teaching as a later in life career whereas Professor Johnson wanted to make teaching his career from the start. He thought about teaching high school students but that would have required another couple of years of college to acquire a teaching certification. After already being in college for over eight years that wasn’t really what he wanted. For teaching at the college level, subject area expertise is required and no extra certification is needed so that was perfect. He already had accumulated several years of research experience.

As for how Professor Johnson came to GCC, he explained that he had a friend named Eric who was connected to GCC who mentioned that there was an opening for a biology professor. Dave applied, had an interview, and was hired. While there are some limitations to working at a community college, Professor Johnson doesn’t mind. Even though biology is the discipline he teaches, he finds himself exploring concepts outside of general biology since the subject is always changing.

During college, Professor Johnson was not just striving to get his doctorate but also was a catcher on his college’s baseball team. While baseball is not one of his current priorities, he still incorporates athletics into his life by assisting his kids’ travel soccer team. Additionally, Professor Johnson is an advisor for GCC’s E-sports club where they are always looking for more members. (See details on the flyer under the Clubs tab.) With that, gaming is one of Professor Johnson’s hobbies where he plays FIFA from time to time and dominates in Call of Duty. In his time outside of teaching and gaming, Dave volunteers as a first responder for the Chili Fire Department and is a caring husband and father of two. His advice for students approaching a science program is that even though you might not like all the courses, there will be a certain area that you have a passion for. Being open minded is also needed. You might find you don’t like 90% of material taught, but there’s 10% that you do. Take that 10% and make it into a career.