Terri Johnson is bringing her welcoming smile and passion for diversity and social justice to Southwestern as the new assistant dean for student multicultural affairs.
Johnson moved to Georgetown in July from her home in Tennessee, where she was the director of the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students at Middle Tennessee State University. Her career has been devoted to helping underrepresented populations feel welcome and purposeful, which is a key part of what she hopes to achieve at Southwestern.
“I want to listen to everybody, network and bring the community together,” Johnson said.
“Southwestern is a great community and I want everyone to know that it is a welcoming environment.”
Johnson obtained her bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University. She originally was planning to work in the communications field, but found that her passion for social justice and students was a good fit for jobs available at colleges and universities.
Before working at Middle Tennessee State University, Johnson worked as the director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, for six years. For the next step in her career, she wanted something similar to her experience at Saint Mary’s.
“I love working at smaller colleges and universities and working with the students more one-on-one,” Johnson said. “I looked at Southwestern’s website and saw that the community fits my needs and goals. When I came to visit, it just really fit what I was looking for.”
Johnson hopes to offer support and encouragement to all students at Southwestern. She said the support she received from her own family and friends has encouraged her to pursue her dreams.
“Both of my parents worked very hard and always told me to go for my dreams. It doesn’t matter if you grow up in a small town or big town. I think it’s that foundation,” she said.
As she settles into her position and the students return for the new school year at Southwestern, Johnson wants the students to know they are all welcome to use her as a resource. The Cross Cultural Center helps the underrepresented populations, but all are welcome to use the center.
“I want to find out what the students want and hear their voices,” Johnson said.