Thaddeus Johnson began his academic career at UTC with an interest in sports medicine. When he dropped out in 2002, he decided to go into law enforcement where he stayed for nearly a decade, working his way up from a patrolman to a Police Commander for the University of Tennessee in nine years.
But he knew his career path would not improve without a college education, so he decided to return to UTC. His GPA was low and he knew it would be difficult to be readmitted. When he was, he realized how important his education was to him. He pursued a degree in criminal justice.
“UTC gave me a second chance, and for that, I am very grateful,” Johnson said.
Johnson earned his bachelor’s degree online while he lived for two years with his wife in her homeland of Jamaica. He continues his education at UTC, pursuing the M.S. in criminal justice.
“I am invested in my education and future this time around,” Johnson said. “Not to mention my wife provides awesome support,” Johnson said.
He wants to go on to pursue the Ph.D. in urban education and social justice. Thaddeus and Natasha want to work together to work on policy and laws outside the United States, merging their education and criminal justice backgrounds to combat juvenile delinquency. He gives props to the Criminal Justice professors, particularly, Drs. Vic Bumphus, Tammy Garland, Seong min Park, and Gale Iles, for assisting the couple in achieving their vision.
“For instance, in Jamaica, there are dirt roads, no services, no money for school and crime is difficult to prevent,” Johnson explained. We want to work together to bring change in the world for marginalized people.”