Carnegie Mellon University

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Angelica Perez-Johnston Joins CFA as Associate Dean for DEI

written by
Pamela Wigley

The College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University welcomed Dr. Angelica Perez-Johnston as the new Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) July 1.

Perez-Johnston comes to CMU from Community College of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, where she has served as Chief DEI Officer since July 2021. Prior to that, she was the director of IDEAS (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access & Social Justice) at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa. Additionally, she served as director of First Year Experience and Transition Programs at Thiel College in Greenville, Pa., and held roles in student-facing services at Thiel and Clarion University, Clarion, Pa., among several other higher education roles. She is a native of Clarion County.

She earned her associate’s degree in paralegal studies at Bradford School of Business, Pittsburgh, and graduated with her bachelor’s degree from Edinboro University in Edinboro, Pa., in psychology with a developmental concentration. Perez-Johnston earned her master’s degree in counseling from Edinboro before going on to receive her doctorate in public administration from West Chester University in West Chester, Pa.

“The work of ensuring equitable access to our artistic community, of understanding the often unjust history of our art forms, of reaffirming every day our determination to address those inequities and injustices — that work is foundational and ongoing in the College of Fine Arts. We can’t take our eyes off it for a minute. I am so pleased that Angelica will bring her skills and experience to CFA as both a partner and a leader in this never-ending project.”

Mary Ellen Poole
Dean, College of Fine Arts

Perez-Johnston said that at CMU, she will prioritize increasing the capacity for the work of diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as working with those who serve in like roles on the entire campus to become a “hub for students, faculty and staff in a real, intentional way.”

“My experiences in a variety of higher education environments, as well as being a former mental health professional, have afforded me the opportunity to view the work of diversity, equity and inclusion from a more intentional lens. I have focused data experience to my role within CFA.”

Angelica Perez-Johnston
Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, College of Fine Arts

Dean Poole thanked the search committee members for their tireless work in finding Perez-Johnston.

“I'm deeply grateful to the diligent and thoughtful search committee, led by Kim Beck and Robert Ramirez, and to those who took time to meet with the candidates and get feedback at, perhaps, the busiest time of our year,” she said. “We are thrilled to welcome Angelica to the College of Fine Arts.”