Senior Profile: Kelsey Johnson

Kelsey Johnson. (Photo courtesy of Kelsey Johnson.)

What is your major and minor? What other academic programs were you a part of?

Environmental studies major with a focus in policy and management, writing minor.

What are some of the jobs you held while at McDaniel?

Current health, safety, and environmental intern at Knorr Brake Company.

What organizations were you a part of at McDaniel? What positions did you hold?

I was the vice president of the History Club and played a part in its revival as an organization on campus. I was also a member of a super secret mountaineering club, but that’s all I’m allowed to say.

Did you enjoy your time at McDaniel? How?

Of course! We have to make the most of our time here, and I had great friends who helped make these four years an adventure. Late nights watching horror movies, trips to get coffee, and long weekends spent hiking through the Dolly Sods Wilderness are all wonderful memories I’ll cherish for years to come. Memories I’m sure I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t kept an open mind, learned to move forward, and remembered to love myself.

Who do you think was/is your best mentor?

Dr. Jason Scullion, aka JScull, and his blonde labradoodle Sam are my two most influential mentors. Without our long meetings telling ghost stories or afternoons playing fetch, I wouldn’t have had the peace of mind enough to balance my time and make use of all the opportunities offered here.

What is your best memory at McDaniel?

There are always millions of “best memories” when you spend four years living with your closest friends, but if I were to pick one, it would be one cool spring night sophomore year when I lived in the McDaniel House on the edge of campus. Armed with big, plushy duvets, a few friends and I sat out on the house’s wrap around front porch in white lawn chairs telling stories, laughing, and watching the stars.

What are some of the challenges you encountered and how did you overcome them?

Coming to this small school in the equally small town of Westminster was a stark difference from where and how I spent most of my life leading up to college, but my friends and the environmental studies community made it possible to craft these differences into new experiences. I took my time finding little things around town and campus that were unique, and that would eventually make me come to miss this place after graduation.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I can’t say for sure where I’ll be in the next year, or even the next several months. I have a lot of decisions to make, and hopefully each of them moves me closer to saving the planet. My dream is to become a professional environmental warrior, move to Kristiansand, Norway with a cute Siberian Husky and buy a sailboat to sail across the Northern Sea Passage with my seafaring boyfriend. But that’ll just be my gap year.

What would you tell yourself as a first-year at McDaniel?

Don’t be so discouraged. When plans aren’t going the way you want them too, and you feel like walls are closing in around you, always remember that things usually turn out in your favor, either through hard work or a pleasant surprise. Also, drink more water and call your grandma.