Dr. Tonjanita L. Johnson was recently named speaker for the Jarvis Christian College Honors Program to be held on the Jarvis campus Thursday, April 25 at 11:00 a.m. in the Smith-Howard Chapel.
Dr. Johnson, whose professional career in the field of higher education spans nearly 20 years, is Chief Deputy to the President at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She also holds a faculty appointment in the Stony Brook University (SBU) School of Professional Development, teaching Higher Education Leadership.
Prior to accepting the post at Stony Brook, Dr. Johnson served as Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn. While there, she also assisted the university president with executive communications and was a member of the faculty in the MTSU College of Mass Communication, teaching public relations. Dr. Johnson’s other professional positions have included serving as Executive Assistant to the President/Chief of Staff/Associate Vice President for University Relations at Mississippi Valley State University; communication specialist at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa; and post-secondary education reporter at The Decatur Daily in Decatur, Ala.
A native of Butler, Ala., Dr. Johnson began her college career at the University of Alabama (UA) in the summer of 1987 as a New York Times Scholar. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UA in Mass Communication in 1991 and 1996, respectively. She also earned a Ph.D. in 2006 in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss., where she served as an Ayers Fellow in the Jake Ayers Institute for Urban Research. In 2008, she completed the Institute for Education Management at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Mass.
A member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Dr. Johnson has been active in a number of civic and community organizations throughout her career, including the Boys and Girls Club; local chambers of commerce in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee; and Young Life, a non-denominational Christian ministry which reaches out to adolescents. In addition, she continues to serve as a charter member of the University of Alabama Library Leadership Board and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Child Care Council of Suffolk, Inc. Dr. Johnson has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the 2011 Suffolk County Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission Public Service Award; the Founder’s Award presented by the University of Alabama and its Multicultural Journalism program for supporting young journalists of diverse backgrounds for more than 20 years; and the 2011 Outstanding Alumna in Public Relations Award from the University of Alabama’s College of Communication and Information Sciences.
Dr. Johnson has been married for 19 years to retired NFL player and University of Alabama graduate Tony Johnson, who serves as Sr. Vice President for Strategic Marketing Affiliates, which is based in Indianapolis, Ind. They have a 12-year-old daughter, T’Anna Gabrielle, who is in the 6th grade.
Jarvis Christian College is a historically Black liberal arts, baccalaureate, degree-granting institution affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The mission of the College is to prepare students intellectually, socially, spiritually, and personally to pursue professional and graduate studies and productive careers, and to function effectively in a global and technological society.
P.O. Box 1470 US Highway 80 E. PR 7631 Hawkins, Texas 75765 ǀ www.Jarvis.edu