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Bonnie Johnson has returned to Rocky Top to serve as coordinator of the UT Pride Center.

Johnson earned a bachelor of arts in anthropology from UT in 2013 before enrolling at the University of Southern California. She got a master’s in social work with a concentration in community, organization, and business innovation last spring.

She was a UT student leader, serving as a member and on the executive board of Lambda Student Union, now called volOUT. She was also an inaugural member of the Pride Ambassadors.

While completing her master’s degree, Johnson was a graduate assistant in USC’s LGBT Resource Center. She also interned with the university’s Office of Advancement.

In her new role, Johnson will oversee the direction and daily operations of the center while also managing various programs, services, and initiatives that support and advocate for the LGBTQQIA community.

“It is such an honor to be back at my alma mater. I truly discovered myself during my undergraduate time here at UT, and it is inspiring to be surrounded by that spirit of self-discovery and to support our students during their journeys,” she said.

“The Torchbearer’s Creed states that ‘One that beareth a torch shadoweth oneself to give light to others,’ and I carry that with me in everything I do. The students have worked incredibly hard over the last year carrying the torch at the Pride Center, sacrificing their time to keep the center open for the good of our campus community. As the new coordinator, it is now my turn to bear that torch, and I take it on with pride.”

For the past year, associate dean of students Danny Glassmann has served as the administrative liaison to the center. Johnson will report to the Office of the Dean of Students.

The Pride Center serves as a community space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and asexual students and their allies as well as anyone else seeking more information about LGBTQQIA topics and issues.

The Pride Center is located in Melrose Hall and is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays.

Interested in getting involved with the Pride Ambassadors? Learn more about the registered student organization whose members are committed to carrying out the mission of the Pride Center and assisting with programs, events, and initiatives.