Colby Posse Mentors

Joe Atkins-Mentor

Joe Atkins, Assistant Dean of Students

Dean Atkins is the Posse mentor for Posse Six and Posse Nine, co-founder and director of Campus Conversations on Race, organizer of the Multicultural Literacy Initiative (faculty group developing diversity curricula), Senior Book Recommendation, and Learning Difference Coordinator.  (Also, professor for ED197A- Metacognition and Academic Success, advisor for senior honors thesis in psychology, college representative for SOAR (Society organized Against Racism), and co-founder of the Maine Concussion Management Initiative under the Goldfarb Center.

Dean Atkins received a Bachelors from Vassar College in 1997 (double major in Computer Science and Cognitive Science), Doctorate from the University of Rochester in 2003 (Brain and Cognitive Sciences).  Dean Atkins came to Colby in the fall of 2002 as a sabbatical replacement professor in psychology right out of graduate school, and stayed on in the psychology department for three years.  In the spring of 2005 he took over as Posse mentor for Colby Posse Four and subsequently became the mentor of all Posse students through 2008.  Dean Atkins still maintains a lab in the psychology department and remains interested in exploring decision making and human and artificial intelligence.

Tashia Bradley,  Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Pugh Center

Dr. Bradley is the Posse mentor for Posse eleven.

Dr. Tashia Bradley brings a wealth of experience as an administrator and educator in higher education.  She comes to Colby from Berea College where she served as the Director of the Black Cultural Center from 2005 - 2011.  Prior to Berea, Dr. Bradley was Director of Diversity, Gender and Leadership Educational Programs at New College of Florida, Director of Multicultural Affairs/International Student Services at Millikin University, and worked in the Multicultural Resource Center at the University of Kansas.  Dr. Bradley has a B.A. from Florida A & M university, an M.S. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Kansas, and a Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Leadership from Florida State University.  In addition to her extensive experience in administration, Dr. Bradley also served as an academic advisor and taught courses in the General Studies department at Berea College. 

Dr. Bradley joined the Colby Staff on July 1, 2011. Her email address is



Russell Johnson, Professor of BiologyJohnson-mentor

Professor Russell Johnson is the Posse mentor for Posse Ten. He teaches The Cellular Basis of Life, Plant Physiology, Genetics, Plants of the Tropics, and Molecular Biology.  He has served as chair of the Biology Department and is currently chair of the Divison of Natural Sciences. He has worked on many campus committees including Academic Affairs, Admissions and Financial Aid, Cultural Events, and Off-Campus Studies. He has been active for many years in the Faculty Allies, a group of faculty members that provides support for students of color. He participates in the Colby Achievement program (CAPS) and Colby Research Scholars (CRS), programs that provide research opportunities for students that are traditionally underrepresented in the  sciences.

Professor Johnson received a bachelor's degree in Biology from the Colorado College in 1984, and a PhD in Plant Physiology from Washington State University in 1989. After doing plant research and teaching at the University of Calgary and Montana State University, he came to Colby in 1996. He maintains an active research lab where he and his students investigate how plant cells respond to the stress hormone abscisic acid. Russell lives in Waterville with his wife Michele and daughter Ursula.



Paul Johnston, Senior Associate Dean of StudentsPaul-Mentor

Dean Johnston is Posse mentor for Posse Eight, and is responsible for the Student Conduct and Discipline program at the College.  This means that he works closely with the Security office to  investigate and administer sanctions in cases where the code of behavioral expectations has been violated.  Dean Johnston also oversees the judicial process when a case is referred to the J-Board (primarily student-to-student disputes), Appeals Board (appeals from a J-Board case or allegations of academic dishonesty), or to a Dean's Hearing (generally reserved for sexual assault cases or hearings that require a more private setting).  Outside of the judicial realm, dean Johnston consults with members of the Health Center staff on cases of alcohol and/or substance abuse and mental health situations which require a student to be separated from the College.

Dean Johnston grew up in Maine and went to the University of Maine (at Orono) where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and pursued a Counseling degree with a concentration in Student Affairs and Higher Education.  Dean Johnston has been working in the Dean's office at Colby since August 1982 when he arrived to manage the Housing program.  At that time, this meant pairing the freshmen roommates and overseeing the room changes throughout the year.  In the spring, he would coordinate the Room Draw process (along with a student committee which reviewed the process each year and made recommendations for changes where needed).  He was responsible for enrollment management and working with Admissions office to determine the size of each year's entering class.  Working with PPD and the architects on residence hall  renovations projects was particularly rewarding.  Twenty years later, Dean Johnston moved from the Housing office to managing the hall staff and the residential life programs.  In this capacity, he selected, trained and supervised forty-eight undergraduate head residents.  Dean Johnston is about to begin his third year as the chief conduct officer.  Dean Johnston lives locally in Belgrade and his wife Sandra (who works in the Admissions Office) and two children Liam and Giada.





Adam Howard, Associate Professor of Education

Professor Adam Howard is the Posse mentor for Posse 12.

Adam Howard is Associate Professor of Education at Colby College. Prior to Colby he taught at Hanover College,Lesley University Graduate School of Education, Antioch College, and directed a non-profit organization designed to provide academic support to disadvantaged middle school students while encouraging high school and college students to consider a teaching career path. Howard has published numerous articles and papers on social class issues in education, privilege, and curriculum theory. He is co-editor (with Rubén Gaztambide-Fernández) of Educating Elites: Class Privilege and Educational Advantage (Rowman & Littlefield, 2010) and author of Learning Privilege:Lessons of Power and Identity in Affluent Schooling (Routledge, 2008). With twenty-three current and former Colby students, he is co-author of the forthcoming book Negotiating Privilege: Portraits of Affluent Adolescents.



Hannum photo

Lynn Hannum, Associate Professor of Biology

Professor Lynn Hannum is the Posse mentor for Posse13/ Houston 1, and is an Associate Professor of Biology. She teaches The Cellular Basis of Life, Immunology, and Advanced Immunology. Students pursuing independent research in her laboratory use zebrafish as a model system for studying the behavior of white blood cells involved in innate immunity, including the effects of acute exposure to alcohol on cellular responses to microbes.

Professor Hannum received a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Bates College in 1987. After working for a small biotech company and starting a family, she earned a Ph.D. in Immunology from Yale University in 1999. Lynn returned to her home state of Maine to work with non-traditional age students through an NSF post-doctoral fellowship in Science Education at the Lewiston-Auburn College campus of the University of Southern Maine. She came to Colby in fall 2001.