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Pleas Award winner Turnage hailed as ‘perfect faculty member’ [+VIDEO]

The 21st recipient of MTSU’s highest honor for black faculty is being praised as a credit to her profession and a caring mentor to future members of her profession.

Dr. Barbara Turnage, a professor of social work, was presented with the John Pleas Faculty Award at a ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 21, in the Hazlewood Dining Room of MTSU’s James Union Building.

The award is presented annually during Black History Month to a black faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and service.

“The award is not about me,” Dr. John Pleas, the retired psychology professor for whom the honor is named, said to Turnage. “It’s about you. It’s about all these individuals who are named on the back of the program that have made contributions to the university.”

As a roomful of colleagues and admirers looked on, Turnage was hailed by her colleagues for her research, teaching and community service. Social work professor John Sanborn called her “fantastically collegial.”

A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Turnage has built a social work career that has included providing social services for those with impaired and/or aging parents, new mothers and families with physical and mental health needs.

She also has counseled methadone clients and individuals who were at risk of harming themselves or others. This practical experience has informed her teaching, mentoring and research.

“Her communication abilities are quite amazing, and her bubbly personality is nothing short of infectious,” said Justin Bucchio, an associate professor of social work.

In addition to her academic achievements, Turnage is vice chair of the Board of Directors for Journeys in Community Living, a program that supports adults with intellectual disabilities. She will assume the chair in fall 2017.

“Dr. Turnage exemplifies a passion for helping social work students become self-driven, knowledgeable practitioners,” said Laura R. James, a master’s degree candidate in social work from Murfreesboro. “She cares about our academic performance and supports field opportunities commensurate with our career interests.”

MTSU social work professor Barbara Turnage thanks her family, colleagues and supporters after receiving the 2017 John Pleas Faculty Award at a Feb. 21 ceremony in the James Union Building. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU social work professor Barbara Turnage thanks her family, colleagues and supporters after receiving the 2017 John Pleas Faculty Award at a Feb. 21 ceremony in the James Union Building. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

At MTSU, Turnage has served on MTSU’s Faculty Senate, the Forrest Hall Review Committee, the Africana Studies Program Development Committee and the International Education and Exchange Committee. She continues to serve on multiple faculty, search, admissions and qualifying exam committees.

In accepting the award, Turnage called her family and colleagues to the podium to share the moment with her.

“Everything we do is based on our foundation, based on people that support us,” said Turnage. “I just wanted you to know my support system. These are people that I know love me no matter what, no matter what I do or say. … I can’t thank them enough for loving me.”

“From the college perspective, you’re the perfect faculty member,” said Dr. Harold Whiteside, dean of the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences.

For more information about the John Pleas Faculty Award, go to www.mtsu.edu/aahm/john-pleas-award.php.

Previous winners of the Pleas Faculty Recognition Award since its inception are:

  • Dr. Bichaka Fayissa, economics professor, 1998.
  • Dr. Laura Jarmon, English professor, 1999.
  • Dr. Gloria Bonner, dean of the College of Education, 2000.
  • Dr. Sharon Shaw-McEwen, social work professor, 2001.
  • Dr. Alphonse Carter, engineering technology professor, 2002.
  • Dr. Bertha Clark, professor of communication disorders, 2003.
  • Dr. Anantha Babbili, 2004, dean of the College of Mass Communication.
  • Dr. Pat Patterson, professor of chemistry, 2005.
  • Dr. Rosemary Owens, dean of continuing studies and public service, 2006.
  • Dr. Connie Wade, chair of the Department of Elementary and Special Education, 2007.
  • Dr. Marva Lucas, chair of the Department of University Studies, 2008.
  • Dr. Adonijah Bakari, history professor, 2009.
  • Dr. Dwight Patterson, 2010, chemistry professor.
  • Dr. Raphael Bundage, 2011, music professor.
  • Dr. Cheryl Slaughter Ellis, professor of community and public health, 2012.
  • Dr. Newtona “Tina” Johnson, professor of English and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, 2013.
  • Dr. Sekou Franklin, political science professor, 2014.
  • Dr. Michaele Chappell, professor of mathematics education and coordinator for the Masters of Science in Teaching program, 2015.
  • Dr. Linda Clark, professor of mathematics in the Department of University Studies, 2016.

— Gina Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU social work professor Barbara Turnage, left, receives the 2017 John Pleas Faculty Award from Professor Emeritus John Pleas at a Feb. 21 ceremony in the James Union Building. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU social work professor Barbara Turnage, left, receives the 2017 John Pleas Faculty Award from Professor Emeritus John Pleas at a Feb. 21 ceremony in the James Union Building.

Dr. John Pleas, emeritus professor of psychology, gives remarks Tuesday, Feb. 21, before presenting the 2017 John Pleas Faculty Award to Dr. Barbara F. Turnage, professor in the Department of Social Work. The ceremony was held in the Hazlewood Dining Room of the James Union Building. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Dr. John Pleas, emeritus professor of psychology, speaks Tuesday, Feb. 21, before presenting the 2017 John Pleas Faculty Award to Dr. Barbara F. Turnage, professor in the Department of Social Work.


Social work professor to receive MTSU top minority faculty honor Feb. 21

Feb. 15, 2017

An MTSU professor whose dedication to others has been the hallmark of her career is the 2017 John Pleas Faculty Recognition Award honoree.

Dr. Barbara Turnage

Dr. Barbara Turnage

Social work professor Barbara Turnage will receive the award in a 4 p.m. ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 21, in the Hazlewood Dining Room of the James Union Building.

The ceremony is free and open to the public. A campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap. Off-campus visitors attending the ceremony should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php.

MTSU presents the John Pleas Faculty Award each year during Black History Month to a minority faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and service. The honor, established in 1997, is named for Dr. John Pleas, an MTSU professor emeritus of psychology.

Turnage, a native of Omaha, Nebraska, has built a social work career that has included providing social services for families with impaired and/or aging parents, new mothers and families with physical and mental health needs.

She also has counseled methadone clients and individuals who were at risk of harming themselves or others. This practical experience has informed her teaching, mentoring and research.

Dr John Pleas web

Dr. John Pleas

At MTSU, Turnage has served on MTSU’s Faculty Senate, the Forrest Hall Review Committee, the Africana Studies Program Development Committee and the International Education and Exchange Committee. She continues to serve on multiple faculty, search, admissions and qualifying exam committees.

Click on the poster to see a larger PDF version.

Click on the 2017 poster to see a larger PDF version.

In addition to her academic achievements, Turnage serves as vice chair of the board of directors for Murfreesboro’s Journeys in Community Living, a program formerly known as the Rutherford Adult Activity Center that supports adults with intellectual disabilities. She will assume the board’s chair in fall 2017.

Turnage, a first-generation high school graduate, earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She earned her doctorate in social work from Tulane University and earned a four-year regents’ fellowship there.

Pleas Award nominees must have completed at least five years of service at MTSU and have a record of outstanding service. Each nominee must have three letters to support his or her nomination.

For more information about the John Pleas Faculty Recognition Award at MTSU, contact Dr. Linda Clark, professor of mathematics in the Department of University Studies and the 2016 Pleas Award winner, at 615-904-8234 or linda.clark@mtsu.edu.

Along with Clark, previous winners of the Pleas Faculty Recognition Award since its inception are:

  • Dr. Bichaka Fayissa, economics professor, 1998.
  • Dr. Laura Jarmon, English professor, 1999.
  • Dr. Gloria Bonner, dean of the College of Education, 2000.
  • Dr. Sharon Shaw-McEwen, social work professor, 2001.
  • Dr. Alphonse Carter, engineering technology professor, 2002.
  • Dr. Bertha Clark, professor of communication disorders, 2003.
  • Dr. Anantha Babbili, 2004, dean of the College of Mass Communication.
  • Dr. Pat Patterson, professor of chemistry, 2005.
  • Dr. Rosemary Owens, dean of continuing studies and public service, 2006.
  • Dr. Connie Wade, chair of the Department of Elementary and Special Education, 2007.
  • Dr. Marva Lucas, chair of the Department of University Studies, 2008.
  • Dr. Adonijah Bakari, history professor, 2009.
  • Dr. Dwight Patterson, 2010, chemistry professor.
  • Dr. Raphael Bundage, 2011, music professor.
  • Dr. Cheryl Slaughter Ellis, professor of community and public health, 2012.
  • Dr. Newtona “Tina” Johnson, professor of English and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, 2013.
  • Dr. Sekou Franklin, political science professor, 2014.
  • Dr. Michaele Chappell, professor of mathematics education and coordinator for the Masters of Science in Teaching program, 2015.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Pleas Faculty Award winner says she’s ‘just doing her job’ [+VIDEO]

Generosity and accessibility are only two of the qualities that Dr. Linda M. Clark’s colleagues believe made her a worthy recipient of MTSU’s 2016 John Pleas Award.

The associate professor of mathematics in the Department of University Studies received the honor Feb. 25 in the Tom H. Jackson Building following a series of accolades from her fellow educators and former students.

“You work with your students and encourage them and provide that extra ‘whatever they need’ to be successful, not just in that class, but in MTSU as a whole,” said Dr. David Gotcher, interim dean of the University College.

The John Pleas Faculty Award was established in 1997 to honor Pleas, a professor emeritus of psychology and recipient of the 1999 Outstanding Teaching Award. It is presented each year to a minority faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and service.

Nominees must have completed at least five years of service at MTSU and have a record of outstanding service. Each nominee must have three letters to support his or her nomination.

A video of the 2016 award ceremony is available below.

Dr. Marva Lucas, chair of the Department of University Studies, noted that Clark’s assertion that she is just “doing her job” is indicative of her modesty.

“I can remember when you were hired on full-time,” Lucas told the honoree at the ceremony. “As your friend, as your colleague and as your chair, I have seen you turn challenges into opportunities.”

“You are a person who is dedicated as you are proficient,” said Dr. Gloria Bonner, assistant to the president of MTSU, said to Clark. “You are also someone who is as knowledgeable as you are effective, and you are as wise as you are practical.”

In accepting her plaque, Clark thanked God, her family, her colleagues and her students, but she insisted that she really didn’t deserve the award.

Dr. Linda M. Clark, center, smiles after receiving the 2016 John Pleas Award from Drs. Gloria Bonner, left, assistant to the president, and Michaele Chappell, a professor of mathematical sciences and the 2015 Pleas Award recipient, at a Feb. 26 ceremony in MTSU’s Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU Photo by J. Intintoli)

Dr. Linda M. Clark, center, smiles after receiving the 2016 John Pleas Award from Drs. Gloria Bonner, left, assistant to the president, and Michaele Chappell, a professor of mathematical sciences and the 2015 Pleas Award recipient, at a Feb. 26 ceremony in MTSU’s Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU Photo by J. Intintoli)

“You could walk down the hall in SAG (Stark Agricultural Building) and over in Peck Hall, as well, knock on any door, and you will find people, professors, who are concerned with retention and student success,” she said.

An 18-year veteran of the faculty, Clark is a former Faculty Senate representative for her department and a co-organizer of two ACT mathematics preparation workshops funded by a public service grant.

Among her research accomplishments is a paper on the academic success of transfer students entering MTSU. Clark presented the paper at the fourth International Conference on Research in Access and Developmental Education in 2008 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Clark is noted for using innovative multimedia tools to motivate students to do their best work, both on-campus and in distance learning.

Previous winners of the Pleas Faculty Recognition Award since its inception are:

  • Dr. Bichaka Fayissa, economics professor, 1998.
  • Dr. Laura Jarmon, English professor, 1999.
  • Dr. Gloria Bonner, dean of the College of Education, 2000.
  • Dr. Sharon Shaw-McEwen, social work professor, 2001.
  • Dr. Alphonse Carter, engineering technology professor, 2002.
  • Dr. Bertha Clark, professor of communication disorders, 2003.
  • Dr. Anantha Babbili, 2004, then-dean of the College of Mass Communication.
  • Dr. Pat Patterson, professor of chemistry, 2005.
  • Dr. Rosemary Owens, dean of continuing studies and public service, 2006.
  • Dr. Connie Wade, chair of the Department of Elementary and Special Education, 2007.
  • Dr. Marva Lucas, chair of the Department of University Studies, 2008.
  • Dr. Adonijah Bakari, history professor, 2009.
  • Dr. Dwight Patterson, 2010, chemistry professor.
  • Dr. Raphael Bundage, 2011, music professor.
  • Dr. Cheryl Slaughter Ellis, professor of community and public health, 2012.
  • Dr. Newtona “Tina” Johnson, professor of English and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, 2013.
  • Dr. Sekou Franklin, political science professor, 2014.
  • Dr. Michaele Chappell, professor of mathematics education and coordinator for the Masters of Science in Teaching program, 2015.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU’s John Pleas Faculty Award presented to Dr. Sekou Franklin (VIDEO)

The 2014 John Pleas Faculty Recognition Award was presented to Dr. Sekou Franklin during a special ceremony in the Tom Jackson Building on the MTSU campus, Thursday, Feb. 27.

Franklin, a Nashville, Tenn., resident, is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Middle Tennessee State University and is coordinator of the urban studies minor program. He received a Bachelor of Science from Santa Clara University, a Master of Arts from San Francisco State University and a doctorate from Howard University.

You can watch portions of the ceremony here.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdE9NU9YW5E?

 

The John Pleas Faculty Recognition Award, established in 1997, is presented to a minority faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, and service. You can learn more about the award and this year’s honoree at http://mtsunews.com/pleas-faculty-recognition-award-2014.

‘Renaissance man’ earns MTSU award for excellence (+VIDEO)

Lauded as a “Renaissance man” by the educator who established the honor, MTSU political science professor Sekou Franklin was hailed Thursday as the 2014 recipient of the university’s John Pleas Faculty Recognition Award for excellence in teaching, research and service.

Dr. Sekou Franklin, left, an MTSU professor of political science, accepts the university’s 2014 John Pleas Faculty Recognition Award for excellence in teaching, research and service Feb. 27 from the man who established it, Professor Emeritus John Pleas. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

“It’s all about the shoulders you’re standing on,” Pleas, an MTSU psychology professor emeritus, told Franklin, pointing to previous award winners in the audience during the afternoon ceremony in the university’s historic Tom Jackson Building.

“You have broad shoulders. I expect you to fulfill their commitment.”

Franklin, who’s been a part of MTSU’s Department of Political Science since 2003, also coordinates the Urban Studies Minor Program at the university. He’s published works on urban politics, social movements, juvenile justice, the death penalty, youth activism, Venezuelan politics and state and local politics, but his work is not limited to writing.

The Nashville resident also coordinates and participates in volunteer projects and events encouraging fairness and equity in employment, education, housing, transportation, health care, and social and criminal justice.

The John Pleas Faculty Recognition Award, now in its 18th year, is presented to minority faculty members at MTSU during Black History Month to celebrate their work in the classroom and community as well as their academic research.

You can watch a video from Thursday’s event below.

“He represents all that’s great about our faculty at MTSU,” University Provost Brad Bartel said of Franklin.

“He’s an engineer who has an incredible impact,” added Dr. Stephen Morris, chair of the political science department. “He builds a bridge between the classroom and the real world. He focuses on real issues. His passion is fueled by reason. There’s nothing so admirable as someone who devotes himself to social justice.”

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdE9NU9YW5E?rel=0&w=853&h=480]

 

Franklin, who earned degrees from Santa Clara University, San Francisco State University and Howard University, has a lengthy association with social justice causes. He was trained as an expert witness by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice’s Community Census and Redistricting Institute, cofounded the Urban EpiCenter organization for Nashville’s low-income communities and has worked with groups ranging from Tennessee Citizen Action to the Workers’ Dignity Project to the Nashville Peace and Justice Center to the Tennessee NAACP State Conference, to name only a handful.

Dr. Robert Rucker, a retired social work professor at MTSU who’s also a friend of Franklin’s and the inaugural Pleas Award honoree in 1997, asked the crowd to grade the honoree’s accomplishments, earning enthusiastic “A plus” ratings on his classroom teaching skills, research and community service.

“For Dr. Franklin, a ‘community’ has no borders. His involvement in our communities made him an activist scholar,” said Christie Williams, who worked with Franklin as a graduate student at MTSU and now teaches English and works on institutional equity issues for MTSU’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

Franklin edited a groundbreaking 2010 report, “The State of Blacks in Middle Tennessee,” published by The Urban League of Middle Tennessee, that made clear that local African-Americans still face racism as pervasive as it was in the 1960s in many areas. His latest book, “After the Rebellion: Black Youth, Social Movement Activism, and the Post-Civil Rights Generation,” will be published in July by NYU Press.

A former student of Franklin’s praised the professor as an inspiration to the people in his classrooms.

“Many lose the passion they had for shaping the minds of young people. Then there’s Dr. Franklin,” Micah McClure said.

“He provides each of us with the tools to fight for a better world. To be content with knowing more about injustice was settling for less, for him. He clearly stated, class after class, that we were capable of being the change we wished to see in the world, and he challenged us — and that means he required us — to use our knowledge outside the classroom.”

Franklin expressed his thanks to the colleagues, students, friends and associates who have supported and encouraged his work, making special note of his wife, nationally recognized health advocate Tene Hamilton Franklin, and their young daughters, Sojourner and Langston.

“I consider this award the highest honor I could receive because any accomplishments I have, I owe to those who support me,” the professor said, recalling words spoken at a training event by the late theologian and civil rights activist Samuel DeWitt Proctor: “If you give 100 percent to your work, you’ll get 100 percent back.”

The ceremony also included recognition of the 17 previous winners of the Pleas Award, several of whom were present to salute Franklin and pose for a photo with him during a reception. In addition to Rucker, previous winners of the Pleas Faculty Recognition Award since its inception are:

  • Dr. Bichaka Fayissa, economics professor, 1998.
  • Dr. Laura Jarmon, English professor, 1999.
  • Dr. Gloria Bonner, dean of the College of Education, 2000.
  • Dr. Sharon Shaw-McEwen, social work professor, 2001.
  • Dr. Alphonse Carter, engineering technology professor, 2002.
  • Dr. Bertha Clark, professor of communication disorders, 2003.
  • Dr. Anantha Babbili, 2004, then-dean of the College of Mass Communication.
  • Dr. Pat Patterson, professor of chemistry, 2005.
  • Dr. Rosemary Owens, dean of continuing studies and public service, 2006.
  • Dr. Connie Wade, chair of the Department of Elementary and Special Education, 2007.
  • Dr. Marva Lucas, chair of the Department of University Studies, 2008.
  • Dr. Adonijah Bakari, history professor, 2009.
  • Dr. Dwight Patterson, 2010, chemistry professor.
  • Dr. Raphael Bundage, 2011, music professor.
  • Dr. Cheryl Slaughter Ellis, professor of community and public health, 2012.
  • Dr. Newtona “Tina” Johnson, professor of English and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, 2013.

—  Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Some of the previous winners of the John Pleas Faculty Recognition Award at MTSU join the 2014 honoree, Dr. Sekou Franklin, at a Feb. 27 celebration inside the university’s historic Tom Jackson Building. Seated are, from left, MTSU Professor Emeritus John Pleas, who established the award in 1997; Franklin, an associate professor of political science; and University Provost Brad Bartel.
Standing are, from left, Dr. Bichaka Fayissa, economics professor and the 1998 Pleas Award recipient; 2008 Pleas recipient Dr. Marva Lucas, chair of the Department of University Studies at MTSU; Dr. Laura Jarmon, 1999 Pleas honoree and a retired English professor at MTSU; Dr. Robert Rucker, a retired professor of social work and the inaugural Pleas Award recipient in 1997; and Dr. Gloria Bonner, the 2000 Pleas honoree and a former dean of the College of Education and current assistant to the president.

John Pleas Faculty Award 2013 (video)

Dr. Newtona “Tina” Johnson, professor of English and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at MTSU, received the John Pleas Faculty Award during a Feb. 28 event held at the MTSU Foundation House. For more details on the honoree and the award, visit mtsunews.com/johnson-2013-pleas-award.

Champion of diversity receives MTSU’s Pleas Award (+VIDEO)

As the 2013 recipient of MTSU’s John Pleas Faculty Award, a humbled Dr. Newtona “Tina” Johnson soaked in the applause a moment as colleagues, friends and supporters paid tribute to her impact on the university and beyond.

“Wow. I’m flying right now,” she said after accepting the award during a Feb. 28 reception at the MTSU Foundation House on West Thompson Lane. “I am just elated.”

Dr. Newtona "Tina" Johnson, center, professor of English and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at MTSU, is congratulated by President Sidney A. McPhee, left, and Dr. John Pleas, psychology professor emeritus, before a Feb. 28 reception in her honor. Johnson is the 2013 recipient of the John Pleas Faculty Award, which honors minority faculty members demonstrating excellence in teaching, research and service. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Dr. Newtona “Tina” Johnson, center, professor of English and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at MTSU, is congratulated by President Sidney A. McPhee, left, and Dr. John Pleas, psychology professor emeritus, before a Feb. 28 reception in her honor. Johnson is the 2013 recipient of the John Pleas Faculty Award, which honors minority faculty members demonstrating excellence in teaching, research and service. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

The John Pleas Faculty Award was created in 1997 to honor retired psychology professor Dr. John Pleas. It is presented annually to a minority faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and service.

In remarks before presenting the 2013 award, Pleas described Johnson as “a powerful woman” whose selection raises the bar for subsequent award recipients.

“Tina, I’m awfully proud of you. You have been a very strong force at the university,” he said. “You are in a pivotal position. … What you are doing will have greater ramifications outside of MTSU.”

As professor of English and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, a position she has held since 2008, Johnson has overseen the creation of a graduate certificate program and is developing a new program track in sexuality studies/queer studies. She also expanded the focus of the program’s biennial conference to reflect a more international breadth and depth.

Dr. Tom Strawman, chair of the English Department, announced that Johnson has been awarded an American Council on Education fellowship for the coming academic year. He said she continues to transform the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

“She is a savvy and intelligent professional in all ways, yet she manages to impart a warmth and camaraderie that is infectious and encourages collaboration,” Strawman said. “She’s a very effective leader and is able to motivate people to volunteer and work together to achieve common goals.”

Former student Shelley Maddox paid tribute to Johnson by sharing how Johnson’s teaching and mentoring has deeply impacted her and other students.

“Dr. Johnson helped me to find my voice, helped me discover my passion. And she taught me that my passion can be put to work in the service of others,” Maddox said.

Maddox’s words touched Johnson deeply.

“Sometimes, during the daily grind, you can forget the impact you can have on students. It can be positive or negative,” Johnson said. “I’ve always tried to do my best to make sure students leave with a positive view of what it is we have to do in this world.”

Johnson, who has been at MTSU since 1998, has developed and taught literature courses that focus on racial, ethnic, gender and global cultural diversities. Her research interests are issues related to women and gender, most notably in the fields of postcolonial and African diaspora literature and critical theory.

Dr. Gloria Bonner, special assistant to President Sidney A. McPhee, praised Johnson’s accomplishments as a director and professor as McPhee and several university leaders looked on from the audience.

“Both roles require a strong knowledge base, which you always have,” Bonner told her colleague. “It requires leadership, vision, integrity, passion for what you do and for the students you work with … and a lot, a lot of energy. That’s what you are known for.”

Johnson earned her bachelor’s degree in English with honors from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone in Freetown, Sierra Leone; her master’s degrees in English from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in applied linguistics from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada; and her doctorate in literary and cultural studies from Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.

“Thank you to all of you,” Johnson said. “Each one of you here has given me threads that have woven a very rich tapestry that is my career. … What gives me pleasure is the work that I do.”

You can watch a video of the event below.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

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