Faculty Spotlight!

Sean Johnson, Lecturer
Public Health

Sean Johnson

Sean Johnson is a Lecturer in the Public Health Department, College of Health and Human Services where he teaches the First Responder and Emergency Medical Technician courses since 2010. Sean has a Master’s Degree in Education and was the Graduate Deans Medalist for the Kremen School of Education and Human Development in 2010. Sean also holds certifications as a Paramedic and Certified Emergency Manager from the International Association of Emergency Managers.


Sean is originally from Detroit, Michigan where he joined the US Navy and was stationed at Naval Air Station, Lemoore as a Petty Officer Second Class/AT2. Sean completed two deployments on the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) supporting F/A-18 squadrons operations in the first Gulf War as a radar technician. Upon leaving the military Sean chose to continue a life of service working for American Ambulance as an EMT and finally as a Paramedic before coming to work for Fresno City Fire Department in 2004.

Sean discovered his love for teaching as a SCUBA diving instructor. Sean started teaching in 1994 as an instructor for Aqua Sports in Fresno, leading classes and trips in California and abroad. It was in this environment that Sean learned patience, compassion and mentorship for his students. Sean loved seeing the results of creating safe divers. Around this same time Sean discovered the Kings River and whitewater rafting. Sean fell in love with the sport and became a seasonal guide for the Outdoor Adventure Center on the navy base. Part of the guide requirements was attending swiftwater rescue technician courses. While attending the basic class Sean met his mentor Jim Segerstrom and went on to become an instructor trainer for Rescue3 International. Jim challenged Sean to become involved in curriculum committees and write articles for Technical Rescue Magazine and the Rescue3 International newsletter. Eventually his writing became noticed and was formally invited as a guest speaker for ICESAR, an international technical search and rescue conference in Reykjavik, Iceland. Sean continues to teach for Rescue3 to this day.

Sean strives to bring his 20 years of experience in emergency management to the classroom. Sean is currently serving as a Captain with Fresno City Fire Department and most recently was deployed as a rescue technician to the Montecito mudslides with California Rescue Task Force 5. Every concept in Sean's curriculum is backed up with relevance and case studies of actual emergencies that Sean has been involved with. For over 14 semesters, feedback from students that take Sean's course consistently, give him high ratings with emphasis on his experience, content and passion for teaching.

Sean is married to his wife of 20 years, Jennifer, and has two teenage sons, Jacob and Ryan. In his spare time Sean enjoys outdoor adventure sports and traveling abroad with his family. One of his most unique trips was a visit to the Dr. Who museum in Wales before it closed down. One of his most ambitious trips was a 2 month cross country trip to New York and back down the east coast, back to California hauling a 5th wheel trailer. Sean hopes to continue to travel abroad every summer with his family to unique destinations and further adventures.

One teaching tip Sean would like to share with his colleagues is to continue to develop passion in what you are teaching and for your students. Sean is proud that he has students reach out to him years later to report they went on to medical school, joined the military, changed their majors to nursing and other service careers because they were inspired by his class. Sean states "that is my fuel, it is what drives me, I love being a mentor for the next generation and we have some awesome students at Fresno State". Sean is grateful to be part of the team at Fresno State that continues to challenge its faculty and provide professional development opportunities. "Fresno State really invests in its faculty!"

The Center for Faculty Excellence is simply amazing and full of talented, professional and forward thinking educators. I take advantage of every Cohort and Academy they offer. CFE has transformed my teaching to the modern era. When I started teaching I was using the traditional model of long lectures, reading and tests. The DISCOVERe and eScholar programs are phenomenal. My classroom is unrecognizable from when I started. My classes are all now either hybrid or completely online using apps and video tools taught in the CFE courses and my results are seen in student achievement. I would recommend every educator at Fresno State enroll in these programs and challenge your own curriculum.