Employee Directory


Tony Johnson

Anthony Johnson is Assistant Professor of Speech Communication at College of the Mainland. He also serves as the Director of the Fighting Duck Debate Team. Prof Johnson has been teaching at the collegiate level since 2011 and began teaching at College of the Mainland in the fall of 2020. 

Prior to COM, Prof. Johnson taught at Southwestern College and served as the Co-Director of Forensics. Under his leadership, Southwestern was named Best Community College Debate Team in the country, according to the Cross Examination Debate Association. Prof. Johnson's debate teams have appeared and won in elimination rounds at national championship tournaments across multiple debate formats. He is excited to build on a strong history for debate at COM and brings passion, experience, and patience to the table to work with students of all backgrounds and experience levels and help them become their best. 

Prof. Johnson's academic expertise is in rhetorical theory and criticism. His research interests include: Rhetoric of Sports, Kenneth Burke, Gender and Communication, and Rhetoric of Political Campaigns and Social Movements. 

Outside of teaching, Prof. Johnson is passionate about health and fitness. He and his wife own a company called Mindful and Fit Coaching, where they help individuals transform their lives using mindfulness-based stress reduction, physical fitness, and nutrition. He is also passionate about his family. They like to spend their time together building sandcastles or walking the beach, kayaking, paddle boarding, and biking. Prof. Johnson has competed in more than thirty half marathons, five marathons, and four triathlons, including one Ironman competition. 

Teaching Philosophy:

The classroom is a site for critical thinking, active listening, development, and exchange of ideas, and both personal and collective growth. An instructor's role is to facilitate student growth and success by offering practical skills and tools for exercising their voice and promoting democratic deliberation. Prof. Johnson promises to go out of his way to promote student engagement and success by modeling his sincere interest and passion for the study of human communication, offering multiple modalities for learning to accommodate all styles and types of learners, and doing whatever he can to be engaging and available for students.


M.A., Communication, San Diego State University

B.A., Communication, Idaho State University

COM Courses

SPCH 1315 Public Speaking
SPCH 1318 Interpersonal Communication
SPCH 2335 Argumentation and Debate

Professional Highlights

Coaching Competitive Debate

First place, Western J.V. Novice Nationals, San Diego State University, 2012.

Pacific Conference Champions, Novice Division, San Diego State University, 2012.

Cross Examination Debate Association All-Americans, Andrew Won and Brittni King, San Diego State University, 2012.

First place, Golden Gate Season Opener, San Diego State University, 2011.

Middle School National Debate Champions, 2011-2012.

Tournament of Champions qualifier, 2009-2011. 

Competing in Intercollegiate Debate 

Captain, James M. and Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society at Idaho State University, 2009-2011.

All American Debater, cum laude, 2011 Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) Nationals.

Placed 8th in the Nation in Collegiate policy debate, 2011 at CEDA Nationals.

Elimination Round Participant, 2010 National Debate Tournament.

1st place, 2010 Jesuit Invitational at Gonzaga University.

2011 Becky Galentine Top Speaker, District Two National Debate Tournament Qualifier.

Academic Service

San Diego State University


  • Vice President, Communication Graduate Student Association.
  • Senator; College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts Academic Senate.
  • Committee Member, Graduate Students for Sustainability.

Southwestern College


  • Part-time faculty representative, School of Arts and Communication, Southwestern College Education Association.
  • Hosted and moderated a public debate on campus: The topics included the 2012 Presidential Election and Proposition 30, a budget proposal to fund higher education. 
  • Host, 2019 Southwestern College debate tournament. I ran the tab room and handled registration for over 40 schools.


Kaiser Permanente

Intern, SCPMG Service Quality

MARCH 2012- MAY 2016. Worked in partnership with the Service Quality team to improve the patient care experience in outpatient clinics. Key areas we are targeting to improve are the patient's perception of courtesy, helpfulness, and care/concern from our staff. Coordinating customer service training programs, leading focus groups, data analysis, development of presentation materials, and assisting with facilitation of Service Councils

Mercury Lighthouse, LLC.

Research Assistant, Policy Consultation Division

MAY 2008-JULY 2009. Researched and drafted ‘Position Papers’ which outlined the arguments on both sides of controversies such as: the two-state solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, Globalization and the notion of a ‘borderless economy,’ and the War on Terrorism.

University of Wyoming

Intern and Teachers Assistant, Synergy Program

AUGUST 2007-MAY 2008.  Lead the program that assisted underperforming freshmen students enrolled in POLS 1000 (American and Wyoming Government). Held study sessions, tutored students, wrote study guides, graded papers, and helped direct discussions in class.

Idaho Women’s Network

Legislative Intern, Ada County

JANUARY-MAY 2006. Worked with peers to organize political events, educate young people about safe sex practices and contraception methods, canvassed door-to-door to promote awareness of gender inequity in the workplace.

Volunteer Positions

Just in Time for Foster Youth

Mentor, Bridges to Success for Young Men

August 2012- PRESENT Work with young men in the foster care system, offering support and guidance, host events and social outings, lead job shadow programs and group development seminars on topics from professional networking to personal narrative and self-reflection. 

Reality Changers

Public Speaking Instructor

August 2012-May 2013 Led public speaking seminars for inner-city youth from disadvantaged backgrounds as part of a program to provide academic support and leadership training in preparation for college. 

Conference Papers and Publications

Johnson, A.M. (2012). Hegemonic Masculinity in mixed martial arts and the sexualization of women. National Communication Association, Spring 2011.

Johnson, A.M. (2012). Negotiating Tensions: The Walking Dead as a Subversion of the Frontier Myth, National Communication Association, Spring 2013.

Johnson, A.M. (2012). Unmasking the football fraternity: A Burkean analysis of the Penn State sex scandal. National Communication Association, Spring 2013.*

Johnson, A.M. (2012). Embodying bearable weight: Go Kaleo and feminist resistance in an empire of slimness. National Communication Association, Spring 2014.

*This paper was awarded Top Paper in the Kenneth Burke Division at the 2013 National Communication Association Conference.