Cheshire resident named female exec of the year

CHESHIRE — Elizabeth Johnson, a town resident and provost for Post University in Waterbury, was recently recognized by the 18th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business as a “Female Executive of the Year.” She received the bronze award.

“This is such a humbling award. I cannot even begin to express how honored I am to receive something like this,” Johnson told The Herald. “Post University explained that they decided to nominate me for this award due to how well I was able to facilitate our in-person and online services during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

As provost, Johnson explained that she is responsible for “all the teaching and learning” that goes on during the day, on and offline. 

“We have five different academic schools, a library, and academic support services, all of which I am responsible for and was able to swiftly transition to online learning when it was necessary,” Johnson said. “We were able to stay virtual for the entire year last year because of that.”

Post University has a large contingent of students who utilize its online services, and Johnson credits to that the University’s success during the pandemic. Johnson spearheaded over 30 different programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, while leading 60 faculty members, 800 associate faculty members, and 15,000 students through this difficult time. 

“We already have many of our students attend online classes or use online resources, so we were in a really good position to bring that more mainstream when the pandemic made it so we couldn’t leave our homes,” she said. “It definitely was an easier transition for us than some other schools in the area.”

Surprisingly enough, Johnson was not even aware that she had been nominated for the award until she received the news that she had won bronze. 

“I really was not expecting this at all. I hadn’t even really been paying much attention until I got word that I had won,” she laughed. “It’s an incredible honor though, and I am so thankful for it.”

Traditionally, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business are given out each year to executives, employees, entrepreneurs, and the companies that they run. Gold, silver, and bronze awards are determined by the average scores awarded by over 160 business professionals around the world, working on eight separate juries. 

“In a time when so many educators across the country have risen to the occasion amid COVID-19 challenges, Beth’s exemplary leadership has been nothing short of heroic,” said Post University CEO and President John L. Hopkins. “We are in complete admiration of her stellar leadership, composure and expertise during this transformative time.” 

When Johnson isn’t working at Post University, she is spending time with her family on one of Cheshire’s many nature trails.

“I love hiking, I have lived in Cheshire since 2005 and my family and I really enjoy Cheshire’s trails and all it has to offer,” she said. “Without (my family), I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

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