Tuesday, February 26, 2013

[310] Champion of diversity to receive MTSU's John Pleas Award

FOR RELEASE: Feb. 25, 2013
EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina Logue, 615-898-5081, gina.logue@mtsu.edu

MURFREESBORO — A tireless worker for education, diversity and understanding is the 2013 recipient of MTSU’s John Pleas Faculty Award.

Dr. Newtona (Tina) Johnson, professor of English and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, will receive the honor during a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at the MTSU Foundation House, 324 West Thompson Lane.

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.

“I am very delighted to have won an award that honors Dr. John Pleas,” said Johnson. “I knew Dr. Pleas when he was at MTSU, and I always admired and respected his professionalism and sincere interest in the campus welfare of minority faculty and students.”

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.

As director of Women’s and Gender Studies, 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.

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 degree in applied linguistics from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada; and her doctorate in literary and cultural studies from Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.

The John Pleas Faculty Award presentation is a Black History Month event. For more information, contact Vincent Windrow, chair of the MTSU Black History Month Committee, at 615-898-5812 or vincent.windrow@mtsu.edu.


MTSU is committed to developing a community devoted to learning, growth, and service. We hold these values dear, and there’s a simple phrase that conveys them:  “I am True Blue.” Learn more at www.mtsu.edu/trueblue. For MTSU news anytime, visit www.MTSUNews.com.

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