Dr. Jessica Johnson teaches English composition at Ohio State University’s Lima campus, specializing in cultural studies. She is a 2014 Ted Scripps Leadership Institute graduate (Society of Professional Journalists) and represented Ohio State at Lima in the 10th International Conference on Sport & Society at Ryerson University in Toronto. Johnson is a cultural critic who writes from a Christian perspective, and she serves as a special correspondent for The Columbus Dispatch, an opinion columnist for The Athens Banner-Herald and a guest columnist for The Lima News. Her columns examine faith-based, racial and social issues in popular culture, higher education, sports and politics. Some of her noted interviews include the late Bill Willis, one of the foursome that reintegrated the NFL in 1946; civil rights icon C.T. Vivian; Philadelphia Eagles safety and Players Coalition’s co-founder Malcolm Jenkins; former heavyweight champion James “Buster” Douglas; Canadian Screen Award winner Stephan James; and Marlene Owens Rankin and Gloria Owens Hemphill, the daughters of Jesse Owens.
Johnson is also the author of Salt of the Earth Georgia Boy, a memoir chronicling the life of Dr. Wilburn H. Weddington Sr., who was born a sharecropper in 1924 in Hiram, Georgia, and became the first black physician to be promoted to full professor at Ohio State University’s College of Medicine. Johnson is active in the Columbus community through her church, Vision of Breath With Life Ministries, where she serves as a musician for the praise and worship team.
“I have never forgotten an essential truth that one of my English professors stressed in class during my freshman year when he said, ‘The mark of an educated person is one who reads.’”