College of Business > Faculty > A to Z listing of Faculty > Misty Johanson

Misty Johanson

Academic Degrees

  • PhD, Michigan State University, 2000
  • MS, Michigan State University, 1997
  • BA, Michigan State University, 1995

Research and Teaching Interests​

  • Current Trends Impacting the Hospitality Industry
  • Global Travel and Tourism 
  • Human Resource Management
  • Organizational Employee Behavior Management


Misty M. Johanson is a professor of hospitality leadership at the Driehaus College of Business, where she served as dean through June 2020. DePaul presented Johanson with its 2020 Spirit of DePaul Award.

Her leadership focused on strategically growing enrollment, promoting student success, enhancing faculty and staff development and expanding the college’s connections to the business community. Johanson previously served as an associate dean of the business school for six years, overseeing areas that include academic quality, accreditation and industry engagement.

She joined DePaul in 2009 to establish the college’s School of Hospitality and Sports Business and became its director shortly after. Under her leadership, the hospitality school earned accolades for both its innovative teaching and faculty research. The Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education has recognized DePaul's hospitality and leadership program as the best in Illinois. The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation awarded the school a $1.8 million grant in 2016 to create and endow a new Center for Student Development and Engagement under her leadership. 

The center, believed to be the first of its kind in the country, provides professional development and mentoring opportunities with industry leaders. Johanson further created an Executive in Residence program, funded by Hyatt and Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, which brings executives into the School of Hospitality and Sports Business to network with faculty, advise students, and connect them with Chicago's world-class hospitality industry.

In addition to receiving multiple excellence in teaching awards, Johanson has been named one of the most prolific authors in her field. She has published more than 50 top-refereed scholarly articles and two text books, and served as executive editor of the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, the hospitality field's top research journal.

Prior to her arrival at DePaul, Johanson spent several years as a faculty member with the University of Hawaii-Manoa, and on the faculty of the Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University. She earned a BA, MS and PhD in hospitality business and tourism from Michigan State University. She started her hospitality career with Marriott International after graduating from MSU, and has served as a manager, management advisor and consultant to international hospitality organizations.