Class: 1968Inducted: 2010
Dr. Gertrude V. Harris Johnson, affectionately called Trudi, was born January 20, 1949 in Washington, GA to Evangelist Curtis R. Burnett and the late Austin Harris. Gertrude moved to New Jersey at six months old. She attended Neptune and Asbury Park schools. Her 1968 graduation from Asbury Park High School was historical: She and her mother graduated together. She received a BS degree in Education from Bowie State University, M.E.D. from Trenton State University, and she completed her ED.D. from Nova Southeastern University.
Trudi came to the Bangs Avenue School as a Reading Specialist. She moved on to teach in Berkeley Township. Trudi is active in church and community organizations. She was a member of Mt. Pisgah Baptist Temple; serving as an usher, choir member and youth leader. Trudi transferred her membership to Mt. Olive Holy Temple. She continued to facilitate youth groups in education and leadership. In 1975 she became a member of the Christ Temple, Church of Loving God. She sits on the National Church's Advisory Board of Education and is also a secretary for the Midatlantic Diocese.
A grad school internship introduced her to a counseling career. She has enjoyed counseling college students in NJ schools like Ramapo College, Teaneck, and Hillside High Schools.
After receiving her Master's Degree, she moved to Bergen County, where she worked for the Urban League of Englewood. As a liaison between the organization and the Englewood Board of Education, she represented the organization at various community and civic functions.
Trudi came to Middlesex Community College 27 years ago. She's involved with campus wide committees that impact policies for diverse students. These efforts include, chairing student services, recognition ceremony for Black and Latino faculty and staff, academic achievement task force, college assembly representative, Black History Month facilitator, Project SITT and facilitator for Humanistic workshops at Middlesex, Upsala and Caldwell.
Trudi is proud of the young people she counsels. Listen closely, as she asks a student "Why settle for half a pie when you can have a whole one?" She's mentored students that have achieved professional positions as teachers, nurses, doctors, attorneys, financiers, dental hygienists, radiologists and social workers.
Her civic activities include the Monmouth County Cotillion Committee and a past-board membership with Euphrates, a Monmouth County-based prison re-entry program, founded by her sister, Elder Sandra L. Manuel. Trudi is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
In 2006, Trudi became a developer. She is building 44-48 luxury homes in Fayetville, NC "Morning Glory Estates" Trudi states a vision from God.
In 1997, Trudi married Amos Johnson. She is the proud mother of Lynzi A. Richardson, a 2007 graduate of Hampton University; MBA, University of Phoenix, 2009.
Trudi's greatest challenge came in 1994 when she scheduled elective surgery and discovered she had breast cancer. "The most important thing was that nothing should change in her daughter's life. With the help of God, family, friends, church family and an incredible medical team, nothing did."
Quotation: "You" can achieve any and everything if you believe "You" can!