This archived article was written by: Shadayah Jones
Everyone is surrounded by people who impact their lives in some way. At Utah State University Eastern Terry Johnson, the newly named director of the SUN Center, was recognized for the way he helps the students. He was named last year by the students, “Outstanding Staff Member.” Johnson stated that he was very humbled and surprised when he discover he had won the award. “I try my best every day to help students and I guess enough recognized my efforts.”
Johnson grew up in Carbonville, or what he referred to as “Carbonvillan.” After graduating from Carbon High School, he worked at Mountain Fuel for one year before he served a mission in South Africa for the Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints. On his mission he was able to see the country of Rhodesia gain their independence and become Zimbabwe. “That was one of the most fascinating experiences to be part of; a new nation being born.”
Following his mission, Johnson again started working at Mountain Fuel where he worked for about five years. He began attending USU Eastern, what was then CEU, as a non-traditional student. After three years, Johnson transferred to Southern Utah University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in about a year.
After Johnson graduated from SUU, he began working in Palm Springs, Calif. at a pharmaceutical company. Not very long after working there Johnson realized that the city was not for him. He packed up his family and returned to Price, Utah, and has been happily living here ever since. Johnson currently lives in Spring Glen. He has two daughters and will soon be welcoming his first grandbaby in May.
Johnson decided to work at USU Eastern because he loved what the school offered him and wanted to help students, which he says is the best part about working at USU Eastern. “I wanted to help other students find what I had found.”
Although Johnson loves his job, if money wasn’t an issue, he says he would invest his time in tutoring/mentoring struggling grade school students. He would also like to help out the elderly at assistant care centers, and finally he would like to take part in more community and church services.
Johnson loves helping anyone who needs it. Out of all the many tasks he does each and every day, he says the most rewarding is when he can help someone in need. To most people, Johnson is that caring person who always has a smile on his face. Although Johnson is kind and unique, he is often mistaken for his older brother, Duane Johnson.
As a child Johnson loved the outdoors. He recalls his fun, and not at all boring, childhood with one memory in particular. Johnson loved to mess with Mother Nature, but sometime Mother Nature fought back.
“I remember one time when I was climbing up a small-diameter tree next to a canal. Hopefully the tree would bend the higher I got and then for it to lower me over to the other side of the canal. My plan worked great until about halfway over the canal, the tree broke, sending me splashing down into the canal.”
Johnson has had several mentors in his life, most of them where family members while growing up. “The reason why is that I learned different, and equally, important things from each one.”
Johnson is dedicated to USU Eastern. He tries hard to help as many people as he can each and every day and enjoys doing it. He has taken on new responsibilities and has many great ideas for the SUN Center.
“Our plans for the SUN Center are to continue providing excellent opportunities for our students to do community service. We are also going to look more at integrating recruitment activities with our retention activities so as to, not only, provide the service we do, but also attract more students to USU Eastern and encourage them to become involved with the SUN Center.”