2012 Tate Award Recipient

Timothy Johnson

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts

Timothy JohnsonTimothy Johnson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts. Since joining the faculty in the Department of Political Science in 2000, Tim has built an impressive resume of accomplishments. He has displayed an exemplary commitment to undergraduate students through his one-to-one contacts as an adviser. He has challenged and supported students to stretch their talents in the classroom and beyond. And he has helped them open up to new possibilities for their career paths. He has served his department and its students in the roles of Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Director of Honors in the Political Science Department. He has been the adviser to the Mock Trial team, the faculty coordinator for political science for the University’s College in the Schools program, and a member and chair of the Faculty Oversight Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics.

His nominators and supporters were united in their appreciation of Tim’s commitment to students. His nominators noted,

“What is truly unique about Tim Johnson’s contribution to advising is the way he seamlessly combines his scholarship, teaching and advising. Perhaps Tim’s most impressive advising accomplishment is his ability to see the future professional in undergraduate students and help set them on a new life path. Tim just doesn’t help his students write a better paper or choose a career. He literally, to quote one of his students, ‘changed the course of their lives. …He often sees the potential in students before they see it themselves and then to challenge them to develop that potential…It is really a labor of love, done out of Tim’s personal commitment. The rewards come not from his colleagues or in his paycheck but in the results he sees and in the enthusiasm and gratitude of his students.’”

In his personal statement Tim noted:

“I believe I have an effect on students’ lives—exceptional ones as well as those who seek my advice. But I am keenly aware they also influence me. My undergraduate adviser often suggested this is how the relationship works: an advisee affects an adviser just as much as an adviser affects an advisee. I did not believe him until I became a professor myself. Indeed, in the past eleven years I have had the privilege of working alongside some of the most amazing young colleagues a professor could hope to teach and advise, and they have taught me lessons on so many levels. In this sense, I consider myself not only an adviser, but also a truly lucky advisor because of what my students give back to me.”

A student goes on to note that Tim

“…does not try to fit all of his students into the same mold. He steered Amanda Brown away from law school because her eyes didn’t light up when she talked about the law. But he helped a friend of Amanda’s to realize his dream of being a lawyer, and encouraged another to be a teacher.”

“…as an adviser, Tim has a way about him that quietly draws out a student’s best ideas, one she may not even be aware of. More importantly than all of this however, he instilled in me an intrinsic desire to think independently.”

She goes on to say: “There is no higher praise for an adviser.”