"Good advising may be the single most underestimated characteristic of a successful college experience."
Thomas W. Johnson - Advisor of the Year - 1990
Department of Anthropology
"Tom has been concerned with more than just academic successes, he is concerned with the whole person. He has been the ideal 'teacher's role model', boosting self-esteem, enhancing and helping to build a lifestyle of personal insight and fairness.
One of Tom's most important qualities is the ability to be human! To demonstrate this - last semester I had a heavy load, 21 units. Tom came into one of the campus eateries to get his morning tea and came to where I was sitting, studying for midterms. He sat to talk for a few minutes time that he could have spent anywhere - and I didn't hail him. He somehow knew I was depressed - something my own family had missed. Just like a good friend/great teacher, he gave me a hug - that human kindness that can mean more than any other!
Of all the advisors that I have had during my academic career, Tom has had the greatest positive input, Through his guidance and counseling, he has helped me find those tools, strengths, and virtues within my life and the world that will help me be a good teacher. I hope that I can be such a model for others."
-- Marion Canada
"Tom understands that while one can be fed amounts of information, it remains useless unless incorporated into some kind of world view. Only then can it be utilized in decision making and to provide the joy that comes with a new insight or idea. Unless applied to an already existing framework, information escapes absorption into the individual's personality. But students cannot begin to build a view of the world most appropriate to their needs, interest, and goals until they know who they are. Tom feels that an important part of an advisor's job is to help students make that discovery. He feels that encouraging students to trust themselves is part and parcel of the advising process, because by the time many of the students have finished their formal education, they have no idea who they are or what they really want to do. Some attempt to begin the painful process but often it is way to late. He believes that an advisor can help students know themselves by promoting participation in the decision making process and by inspiring self-confidence. In so doing he stresses the learning process rather than accumulating isolated facts out of any kind of context."
-- Richard Wilson
Professor of Theater Arts and Liberal Studies advisor
"I remember the first time that I was introduced to Dr. Johnson. It was the first time that I was to visit the third floor offices of the Anthropology Department. I was told then that Dr. Johnson was a "good and kind man" and I am now in position to fully agree with that apt description.
I feel it is time for the quiet, understanding and caring people of our society to be honored for their unselfish efforts and contributions. There is no doubt in my mind that Dr. Thomas Johnson is deserving of such recognition."
-- Martha Roche Whitaker