English Alumni

Ron Johnson
Bachelor of Arts, English

“My experiences at TTU prepared me to Ron Johnsonliterally and figuratively tackle the many challenges throughout my career. I transferred from the University of Tennessee to Tennessee Tech University to continue chasing a dream of playing football. TTU has always been welcoming and made me feel at home. TTU recruited me out of High School to play football, but I decided to pursue dreams with the Big Orange. However, when I looked to transfer schools, the TTU coaching staff still remembered my name and made me feel at home.

“From my time at Boys State, as the Mayor of Curtis City on the TTU campus, there has always been a culture of respect and inclusiveness, from the students, faculty, and the city of Cookeville, TN. Throughout my career in the United States Army (US Army), Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Ernst Young (EY), and as Entrepreneur with CoeusB Holdings, culture and the people have always been the top two areas I look for when pursuing career opportunities. If the proper culture didn’t exist, I purposely molded my teams and organizations to be more like the environment at TTU. I also learned resilience during my transfer from UT to TTU. I learned sometimes change is needed and there is always another way to accomplish your dreams.

“Throughout my career, I have been purposeful about creating safe and inclusive workplace cultures built on communication, collaboration, accountability, and team environment similar to my experiences at TTU. I especially learned teaming from being a member of the TTU Football Team, Army ROTC, and Treasurer of the French Club. My professional philosophy in the workplace is not to be a family because we don’t fire our family members or place them on performance improvement plans. Instead, our work colleagues are highly functioning, successful, and unified teams with a common goal which I learned as a part of TTU ROTC and Golden Eagle Football.

“Uniquely, outside of learning leadership and teaming while at TTU, I learned one of the most critical skills I use daily, effective written communication and articulating clear concise messaging. Dr. Shirley Laird was essential to my progression as an English Major while at TTU. I originally sought out English as a pathway to Law School but chose to pave my own unique path. There is not a day which goes by where I am not leveraging my understanding of sentence structure and storytelling from my courses at TTU as an English Major. These courses laid the foundation for me to draft, review, and publish intelligence to The President of The United States, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Congress, Special Operations Operators, and the American People, all with the goal to protect our Country. There are several key intelligence documents written or approved by me which drove global policy changes, saved lives, and/or ended up dissected and debated in the global media. From my time as a US Army Traditional and Special Operations Intelligence Officer, as an FBI Global Senior Intelligence Executive, and to my current EY role as a Global Executive Cybersecurity Consultant, I utilized my experiences and degree from TTU daily. As the next step in the application of my TTU English degree, I will be writing a series of leadership books based on my experiences. Wings Up!” Ron Johnson

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