HFC welcomes STEM Program Advising Specialist Brandi Walthall-Johnson

Release Date
A headshot of Brandi Walthall-Johnson; her hair is up in a bun, she is wearing hoops and a pink and grey poncho.

Brandi Walthall-Johnson has always had a passion for helping people achieve their personal goals.

For seven years, she was a family self-sufficiency specialist at Lucas Metropolitan Housing in Toledo, OH.

“I assisted clients to become self-sufficient, so they could go from welfare to work. I worked with them to overcome obstacles or barriers to finding employment. Their biggest hurdle was a lack of education or skill,” explained Walthall-Johnson.

This inspired her to return to school. At first, Walthall-Johnson wanted to be a guidance counselor at the K-12 level, but she realized that higher education was a better fit for her.

“Education is the great equalizer,” she said. “I don’t want students to fall between the cracks, especially those who are struggling financially and feel they have no other recourse but to drop out.”

Two-time University of Toledo alumna

The youngest of two and the only daughter, Walthall-Johnson was born in Toledo, OH. She lives in Romulus with Anthony, her husband of seven years, and their 4-year-old daughter.

Walthall-Johnson is a graduate of Robert S. Rogers High School in Toledo, OH. A two-time alumna of the University of Toledo, she earned her bachelor’s degree in individualized studies with a concentration in health and social awareness and her master’s degree in higher education.

Since 2015, Walthall-Johnson has worked in higher education. She began her career in higher education as an enrollment coordinator at Brown Mackie College in Arkron, OH. From there, she went to Lorain County Community College in Elyria, OH. At LCCC, she was an academic advisor in health careers and also worked closely with students in the College Credits Plus dual enrollment program.

After LCCC, Walthall-Johnson worked as an enrollment advisor at Stark State College’s satellite campus in Akron, OH. During the pandemic, she and her family moved to Michigan, where she became an academic advisor at the Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business. She also taught Student Success and Career Development courses for business students.

A wealth of knowledge to support STEM students

Walthall-Johnson missed the atmosphere and structure of a community college, which led to her new position at HFC.

“Wayne State was my first university advising experience,” she said. “Although I learned a lot and gained invaluable experience, I missed having that one-on-one relationship with students through a caseload model as it is here at HFC.”

Walthall-Johnson was hired in March as the STEM Program Advising Specialist. She has been splitting her time between the Welcome Center and the Health Sciences Education Center (Building G) on the main campus. She will work with students who are preparing to graduate from HFC or transfer to a 4-year educational institution. Walthall-Johnson reports to HFC Director of Advising Jennifer Markin.

“Brandi has been a welcome addition to the Advising Office,” said Markin. “She’s already displayed a wealth of knowledge related to academic advising and transfer success in supporting HFC students!”

HFC Pre-Engineering Program Director Dr. Hassan Mohseni Nameghi agreed with Markin.

“In the complex contemporary world with a variety of educational pathways and programs, economic challenges for youth, and sharp advancements in technology, our students need mentoring and supervision more than ever," said Nameghi. "Here at HFC with hundreds of engineering students who are exploring to find their path, having a skilled, experienced advisor like Brandi is a gift. She brings years of experience working with first-generation students from multiple educational institutions to our campus. She is a great asset in providing proactive advising to our students, and we are looking forward to working with her.”

In her short time at HFC, Walthall-Johnson has found HFC employees to be very helpful and friendly.

“I’m really happy to be here,” she said. “Everyone has been very welcoming. I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with the students and help contribute to the overall success of HFC.”