Matthew Johnson

Matthew Johnson

What I found was that applying those tools was universal and served me as my responsibilities grew.

Matthew JohnsonEmployer: The Imaginarium Group
Job Title: Executive Director

Matthew Johnson graduated with a B.A. in History in 2001 and he remembers his time at FGCU fondly. In the early 2000s, the school was still very small – only a 3 or 4 thousand students. The campus was simple with just a handful of buildings and a small cafeteria. The area surrounding the campus was undeveloped as well, no Gulf Coast Town Center and Miramar was just under construction. What resulted was a very intimate experience. Small classes and engaged faculty were a stark contrast to his time at FSU. Additionally, the interdisciplinary approach allowed for a deeper exploration of post education opportunities.

The opportunities that came out of his time at FGCU are most important to him today. Unlike the rhetoric that implies Liberal Arts do not prepare students for the job market, his experience has shown how they develop students to excel. His first opportunity came when he was offered a position at the Fort Myers Historical Museum as Education Coordinator and Historian. That opportunity, along with the interdisciplinary and critical thinking skills learned through FGCU’s academic model, gave him the tools to quickly advance. "What I found was that applying those tools was universal and served me as my responsibilities grew."

Matthew spent 15 years with the City of Fort Myers managing cultural facilities, directing various departments, and finally advancing to Assistant City Manager. In 2017, a new opportunity arose to privatize the City operated cultural facilities and develop a new model for history and science museum operations. He has taken this opportunity to return to FGCU and continue his education through the pursuit of an MPA degree. "I cannot imagine I would be where I am today without my time at FGCU and look forward to continuing my educational path there."