FACULTY KUDOS: Bev Johnson to make history as Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame inductee
Southwest adjunct faculty, veteran radio personality and WDIA host Bev Johnson is poised to join such prestigious broadcasting luminaries as Rufus Thomas, Nat D. Williams, Dewey Phillips, and George Klein this August when she is inducted into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame. She will be the first African-American woman so honored.
“We are so proud to have Ms. Johnson as a longstanding member of our faculty,” President Tracy D. Hall said. “She truly exemplifies our commitment to provide our students with the best professionals our community has to offer as instructors.”
Johnson joined the historic WDIA radio station 35 years ago after returning home to Memphis from a career that began at WJSU Radio in Jackson, Mississippi in 1976. She has hosted “The Bev Johnson Show” for 31 years.
Johnson’s career as an adjunct faculty member at Southwest began 28 years ago after having president of the former Shelby State Community College Dr. Lawrence Cox as a guest on her show. The interview went so well that before the show was over, the two were talking about teaching positions. About a week later, Johnson received a call from the head of the department of speech offering her a job to teach public speaking and oral communications.
“I taught speech for a number of years, which I absolutely loved, and then I moved to languages and literature, teaching English Support,” Johnson said. “I simply love teaching at Southwest and one of the main reasons is the students. I enjoy interacting with the students -- not only are they learning from me, I learn from them as well. I have become instructor, counselor, confidant, and sometimes mother to them.”
Johnson is exhilarated by what the world has to offer and hopes that her students choose to do things in life that makes them come alive. “Every day I go to work at Southwest I come alive knowing that I am making a difference is someone’s life.”
Congratulations, Bev Johnson!