After 27 years on the job, a fixture of the MTSU community has been honored for his service.
Officials with Intercultural and Diversity Affairs and the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance presented Dwight Johnson, proprietor of Dwight’s Mini Mart inside Keathley University Center, with a commemorative plaque at an Oct. 25 ceremony concurrent with National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
“I want to thank everyone for making every day a great one,” an emotional Johnson said. “I always appreciated the opportunity. I just like serving the students.”
Johnson, who has been blind since a car accident at the age of 12, has experienced numerous technological changes that have helped him perform his job, including a talking cash register and a bill identifier.
Lance Alexis, MTSU’s director of Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, said that employing the disabled helps counter the false narrative that they receive benefits from the government without contributing to their fellow citizens’ welfare.
“When anyone has a job, it is a marker of success,” Alexis said. “It is a marker of not only personal success, but societal success. You are giving back to the community when you are employed.”
Mariahn Watkins, coordinator of testing for MTSU’s Disability and Access Center, said she came to work at the university because her daughter, an MTSU student and now an alumna, is blind.
“What’s so fascinating and wonderful is to see people having the ability to go through this process called college and graduate and get jobs and to have that access to employment, to go up that economic ladder,” Watkins said.
— Gina K. Logue (email@example.com)