Justin T. Lorts, Ph.D.

Justin Lorts is an historian, teacher, university administrator, and Life Design Educator with over 20 years of experience in higher education. He is currently the Director of Undergraduate Education at the Johns Hopkins University Life Design Lab. In this role, he works with educators across Hopkins to support undergraduate students in their career and life pursuits and connect them to alumni, employers, and experiential learning opportunities. 

Prior to joining Hopkins, Justin worked in several roles in academic affairs and advising at The Gallatin School of Individualized Study and the College of Arts and Science at New York University and at Princeton University, where he served as the Director of Studies at Whitman College. He has directed and designed programs and initiatives to educate and support students from pre-college through doctoral study. He has extensive experience working with first-generation and limited income (FLI) college students, including serving as program adviser to NYU’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholars Program and as a member of Princeton’s Presidential Working Group on Undergraduate Socioeconomic Diversity. 

Justin earned a BA in History from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. in History from Rutgers University, New Brunswick. His academic training was focused in the areas of African American History and 20th Century United States Political and Cultural History.  His dissertation, Black Laugher / Black Protest: civil rights, respectability, and the cultural politics of African American comedy, 1934-1968 explores the relationship between comedy and the modern civil rights movement. He has taught courses on race, popular culture, and civil rights at Rutgers, New York, and Princeton University, and was an NEH Fellow at Harvard University’s W.E.B. DuBois Research Institute in 2008.  

More recently, Justin’s teaching and research activities have focused on design thinking, career pathways in the humanities, and the relationship between Life Design and a liberal arts education. As a past participant of the Stanford Life Design Studio and a Life Design Ambassador for Johns Hopkins, he regularly leads Life Design workshops and training for students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni. He teaches career and Life Design courses at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown University and has delivered talks and workshops for institutions and organizations including Rutgers University, the American Society for Cell Biology, and the Richard Macksey National Undergraduate Humanities Research Symposium. 

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