By Erika Neldner
Jamie Johnston is more than a leader. She’s an inspiration.
Competition drives her personally, but descriptions of her paint a picture that reflects passion, beauty and truth.
In her daily work, Johnston is a comforting ear for listening, a coach ready to give a pep talk, a stern voice when needed and a solver waiting on a problem.
“Jamie has continually sought out challenges and opportunities to grow during her time here at Reinhardt. Most importantly though, she is a dedicated student advocate who wholeheartedly supports the mission of Reinhardt University,” said Dr. Walter P. May, dean of students.
Johnston is admired for her sincerity, humor, dependability and dedication, which are evidenced in everything she does. She has championed re-programming and services offered through Student Affairs, led the recruiting and onboarding of a new team of student affairs professionals and has made great strides in helping students who need a little help finding their way.
And she does it all with a great attitude and a smile.
“As a leading member of the student retention committee (Early Alert Taskforce), she has aided in knocking down barriers that have inhibited students from thriving on campus,” May said. “Her good sense of humor and knack for problem-solving help her navigate long days of serving Reinhardt students.”
Working with students is Johnston’s favorite part of her daily activities, especially when she is able to help guide students to paths on which they can thrive.
“I love many aspects of my job but what I enjoy most is helping students. It could be a student I help through our early alert system who simply needed a listening ear or campus resource or a student that made a bad decision and had to go through our conduct system. Both of these situations allow me to help students realize their own potential, helping them identify their roadblocks and navigate through or around them.”
While she has inspired others to stay positive and do their best, Johnston finds her inspiration in the strong relationship she had with her grandfather.
“I have been fortunate enough to be inspired by many people, however my biggest inspiration is my Grandpa Hornke. Growing up, my grandpa was my very best friend. He always gave the best advice and hands down was my No. 1 supporter,” she said. “He was probably one of the hardest workers I know. He worked hard to provide for his family, and he was respected by all that worked for him. Everyone respected him and saw him as an amazing leader.”
If he were still alive, Grandpa Hornke would be proud of his “sidekick.” She has made a name for herself in a new home through her selfless attitude, hard work and inspirational spirit. Students seek her out for advice, when they need a chat or just a good belly laugh. After only a year on board at Reinhardt, Johnston earned the promotion of assistant dean of students and this summer was named one of the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce’s “Top 10 in 10 Young People to Watch.”
Even though she spends a lot of time helping students and fellow staff members around campus, she finds time to enjoy with her husband and their two chocolate labs, Emma Jo and Reese.