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IU Northwest News

Celebrating the Class of 2016: Samantha Johnson


Transfer student appreciates benefits of regional campus; plans career in legal psychology

Monday May 09, 2016


Samantha Johnson, 24, of Merrillville, graduates this May with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Her degree includes two minors, in Spanish and African American Studies.

Johnson transferred to IU Northwest from a larger school in Arizona. As a result, she wasn’t quite sure what a regional, commuter campus would mean for her education. She was pleasantly surprised to find not only an “overwhelming level of scholarship, expertise and excellence,” but she learned about another dimension of her regional education that a larger university can’t provide.

“One aspect that sets IU Northwest apart is its wealth of diversity and close proximity to community,” Johnson explained. “With being so close to the community, it enables students to remain connected to the world around them.”

Johnson, who graduates with high distinction and a cumulative GPA of 3.8, had the opportunity to travel abroad to Spain, and she received grants from IU Bloomington to conduct research in social psychology. She is a recipient of the Marissa and Kendra Taylor Scholarship and served as an undergraduate teaching assistant and tutor for a statistics course. She served as the president of the Psychology Club and was active in the National Society for Leadership and Success, Psi Chi Honors Society and Black Student Union.

Johnson appreciated the many great mentors, advisors and professors who contributed to her overall academic success.

“I have received an exceptional level of instruction and quality of education at IU Northwest and I am most grateful,” she said. “My professors and colleagues challenged me to critically analyze and effectively communicate. They helped me find my passions. I feel very fortunate for my experiences at the university.”

Johnson is ultimately pursuing a career in legal psychology and has applied to doctoral programs around the country. She hopes to obtain a dual psychology and law degree and work in the criminal justice system giving expert testimony and conducting evaluations in court proceedings.

About the Class of 2016: Indiana University Northwest will confer 748 degrees at the 50th Annual Commencement ceremonies on May 12, 2016. The Class of 2016 will collectively receive 73 associate’s degrees, 591 bachelor’s degrees and 84 master’s degrees. Seventy-three percent of this year’s graduating class are female and 34 percent are over the age of 30. The most numerous degree to be granted is the B.A. in psychology. The second most frequent degree to be granted in the B.S. in Nursing. Over 40 percent of the graduating class is made up of first-generation college students.

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