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Alumni Spotlight: Tommy Johnson

Panhandle State Communications on 06/04/2020

Tommy Johnson, born and raised in Elk City, Oklahoma, has established a presence at NASA for Oklahoma Panhandle State University.


Johnson began his journey at Panhandle State University in 2000 after Diane Murphey offered him a scholarship to OPSU. He graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Computer Information Systems in May of 2004.


After graduating from Panhandle State, Tommy went on to work at NASA Protective Services Division. For the past 16 years, he has been a contractor for the department managing and maintaining the security system for Johnson Space Center. Johnson recently moved into a new position to begin his next chapter with NASA as a civil servant in a Security Specialist position.


Johnson’s responsibilities have made it difficult to return to campus but kept in contact with his mentor and OPSU Alumni President, Diane Murphey, throughout the years. He looked back on his favorite memory at Panhandle; that they would turn the computer graphics lab into a gaming lab on the weekends. He said, “Students and teachers would all play games like Ghost Recon or Day of Defeat.”


Tommy is a real example of how the relationship developed between instructors and students sets Oklahoma Panhandle State University apart from other colleges. He stated, “I loved the smaller classrooms and getting a lot of one on one time with the instructors if needed. They always seemed available if you needed them.”


When Johnson isn’t at NASA, he can be found restoring his 1970 Chevy truck. He has developed an affection for old things over the years and has also restored a 1960 coke. With the start of his new position opening up more spare time, he hopes to go hunting and fishing more.