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MTSU honors university stalwart, mini-mart proprie...

MTSU honors university stalwart, mini-mart proprietor for his service to students, faculty, staff

Miranda Johnson, left, helps her father, Dwight Johnson, proprietor of Dwight's Mini Mart, celebrate 27 years of service to the MTSU community at an Oct. 25 ceremony at the Student Union. Johnson, who has been blind most of his life, runs the convenience store in Keathley University Center. October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. (MTSU photo by Gina Logue)

Miranda Johnson, left, helps her father, Dwight Johnson, proprietor of Dwight’s Mini Mart, celebrate 27 years of service to the MTSU community at an Oct. 25 ceremony at the Student Union. Johnson, who has been blind most of his life, runs the convenience store in Keathley University Center. October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. (MTSU photo by Gina Logue)

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.”

Dwight Johnson, second from left, celebrates 27 years as proprietor of Dwight's Mini Mart at Oct. 25 festivities in his honor in MTSU's Intercultural and Diversity Affairs office. Johnson, who is blind, received a plaque to mark the occasion as part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Others, from left, are Mahlet Akilile, IDA program assistant; Miranda Johnson, Dwight Johnson's daughter; and Daniel Green, IDA director. (MTSU photo by Daniel Green)

Dwight Johnson, second from left, celebrates 27 years as proprietor of Dwight’s Mini Mart at Oct. 25 festivities in his honor in MTSU’s Intercultural and Diversity Affairs office. Johnson, who is blind, received a plaque to mark the occasion as part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Others, from left, are Mahlet Akilile, IDA program assistant; Miranda Johnson, Dwight Johnson’s daughter; and Daniel Green, IDA director. (MTSU photo by Daniel Green)

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. 

Dr. Lance Alexis, MTSU director of Americans with Disabilities Act compliance

Dr. Lance Alexis

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.

For more information about the Disability and Access Center, go to https://www.mtsu.edu/dac/index.php. To learn more about Intercultural and Diversity Affairs, go to https://www.mtsu.edu/idac/.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu) 

This October 2020 file photo shows the “thank you” sign inside Dwight’s Mini Mart in the Keathley University Center. Officials with MTSU Intercultural and Diversity Affairs and the Office of Equity and Compliance presented Dwight Johnson, proprietor, with a commemorative plaque at an Oct. 25 ceremony concurrent with National Disability Employment Awareness Month. (MTSU file photo by Darby McCarthy)

This October 2020 file photo shows the “thank you” sign inside Dwight’s Mini Mart in the Keathley University Center. Officials with MTSU Intercultural and Diversity Affairs and the Office of Equity and Compliance presented Dwight Johnson, proprietor, with a commemorative plaque at an Oct. 25 ceremony concurrent with National Disability Employment Awareness Month. (MTSU file photo by Darby McCarthy)


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