Johanna Bishop

Wilmington University Director of Behavioral Science Programs

What inspires you?

I am inspired by my students and the people I meet every day. I am inspired by people who are able to give so much of themselves and yet never ask for any credit. This world is full of unsung heroes who go to work each day to do their jobs and through their smiles and their kindness and actions toward others just make this world a better place. I am inspired by the small acts of everyday people living ordinary (but somehow ‘extra-ordinary’) lives.

What makes a great leader?

Great leaders are ordinary human beings who are not afraid to be authentic- to show their weaknesses and ask for help, to hug those who need it and to be compassionate to those who need compassion. Great leaders share their vision and show others the path to success; and at the same time know when to let others lead and be followers among the leaders they helped develop.

Tell us about a time you felt truly proud of your work. What did you accomplish?

Whenever anyone who has attended the human trafficking symposium tells me that they learned something new, or when a student joins us for the Polar Bear Plunge and tells me that this is the first time they’ve seen the ocean, or when a student emails me much later to thank me for teaching them how to write a cover letter for their job search, I am gratified to have had the opportunity to help. It always makes me thankful for the help I had along the way as a much younger person. As an immigrant to this country, my parents were focused on putting food on the table. I had to figure out this education thing for myself, even after my high school counselor told me I was not college material.

Tell us about your most difficult challenge and how you overcame it.

My most difficult challenge is very personal and much too difficult to talk about. Suffice it to say that throughout life we are all tested, and we have a choice- I choose to celebrate the gift of life and to do what little bit I can to make a difference.


Johanna Bishop, Ed.D., CPT, is Director of Behavioral Science Programs at Wilmington University. Prior to coming to Wilmington University, she was a nuclear power industry instructional technologist. Her responsibilities included conducting train the trainer programs, first post 9/11 force-on-force graded NRC plant security exercises, and mid-level management leadership training, to name a few duties. She also conducted comprehensive training self assessments, instructor development/training, and/or human performance improvement planning/training at (Salem/HC, Ginna, Pilgrim, Susquehanna, Peach Bottom, Fitzpatrick, Nine Mile, Millstone, Limerick, Three Mile Island, Vermont Yankee, Calvert Cliffs) 13 nuclear power plants in the Northeastern US.

Johanna has conducted foreign language and intercultural communications training to corporate ex-pat employees from Greece, Mexico, China, Korea, Japan, and Germany as well as readying US employees for overseas assignments, and taught a range of courses from the American Management Association. She holds a State of Michigan teaching certification for grades 8-12.


· Served two terms on the New Castle County Ethics Commission, one term as Chair.

· Led a student team of Wilmu Polar Bears to plunge into the frigid Atlantic Ocean in February for 9 years in the annual Lewes Polar Bear Plunge to support the Delaware Special Olympics. To date they have raised over $32,000 for DE Special Olympics.

· Served as VP and Board member of her local civic association.

· Served as Vice-Chair on the International Academic Affairs Committee of the Governor’s International Trade Council under the Carper Administration and pushed for foreign language education in the public schools.

· Served as La Leche League Leader and lactation consultant in OH, VA, MI and DE helping new mothers, and providing crisis counseling with breastfeeding their babies.

· During her high school teaching years in Michigan, created a traveling participatory children’s theatre company to perform plays at local elementary schools.

· Johanna has a goal of legitimizing academic study of human trafficking. She believes that in educating others about this criminal, social, and human problem, society can marshal forces to combat human trafficking and restore human dignity. Johanna has worked with students to gather data about the level of human trafficking awareness among the public, and was proud to have her students present their findings at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Sociological Society in both 2017 and 2018.

· For the last 4 years, she has partnered with community members to present the Annual Human Trafficking Symposium at Wilmington University, and sought out survivors of human trafficking as keynote speakers and trainers.

· Johanna was a member of the now-defunct Human Trafficking Coordinating Council, and is an active member of several sub-committees and co-chair of the Public Awareness sub-committee of the Human Trafficking Inter-Agency Coordinating Council established by legislative mandate in 2018.

· In 2018, New Castle County Council passed a Resolution honoring Wilmington University for its efforts in raising awareness of human trafficking through the 3rd Annual Human Trafficking Symposium.

· Johanna is a member of the Delaware Coalition Against Trafficking.

· She has provided human trafficking awareness training at various local church and public groups as well as libraries.

· Johanna has presented about the problems of human trafficking at various regional and national professional conferences such as the American Sociological Association, Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology, International Organization for Social Sciences, and the Eastern Sociological Society. She recently presented at the ACCEL Community Research Exchange Conference held at the University of Delaware for which she organized a team of presenters to discuss the interdisciplinary interagency collaborative efforts in raising awareness of human trafficking as a social determinant of community health.

· In Spring 2019, she provided human trafficking awareness training in Sussex, Kent, and New Castle County for members of the Delaware Medical Reserve Corps.

· Johanna’s efforts to educate others about human trafficking continue through the newly developed Certificate in Human Trafficking Awareness at Wilmington University.


· Doctorate in Human & Organizational Learning from The George Washington University