Adam Johnson — Outstanding Undergraduate
B.S. in Organizational and Industrial Psychology in the Human Systems Engineering Program
Graduated from Liberty High School in Peoria, Arizona
One of Adam Johnson’s biggest challenges in college came from his own inclination to delve with determination into just about everything that interests him.
By his junior year he was involved in a number of student organizations and their projects, along with conducting research and tutoring to other students in writing — all while fulfilling the daunting academic demands of being a students in ASU’s Barrett, the Honors College.
“I overextended myself,” he says. “Deciding what to let go of was possibly the hardest choice I had to make.”
Still, Johnson’s activities in and out of the classroom were varied and extensive.
While earning grades that put him on the Fulton Schools of Engineering Dean’s list every semester, he did extensive lab work for two semesters through the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative (FURI), continued most of his tutoring and student club efforts, and also pursued an interest in creative writing.
His FURI project involved designing, conducting and analyzing a study on student writing behaviors and student writing deficiencies aimed at better understanding how to improve their writing skills.
His multifaceted pursuits were encouraged by the two faculty members whom Johnson says have had the most positive impact on him —Eric Oberle, an assistant professor of history in the interdisciplinary humanities and communications program, and Rod Roscoe, an assistant professor in the human systems engineering program.
Johnson says Oberle and Roscoe encouraged him to work hard on everything from his studies and lab work to his honors thesis and many extracurricular activities. Their guidance also helped him to more firmly connect his academic major to career aspirations.
“What drew me to industrial and organizational psychology was that it focuses on the relationship between human psychology and technology,” he says.
He believes there’s a lot of valuable knowledge yet to gained by more deeply exploring and understanding the interconnectedness of people and the modern world’s technology.
“It’s an area of research I feel is undervalued, and that is something I would like to change,” he says.
For the near future, however, he has committed to two years working in the Teach for America program, and will be teaching elementary school students in Phoenix.
“I decided to teach because I feel it’s the best way I can utilize my skills and help others build theirs,” he says.
Johnson doesn’t plan to narrow his interests after graduation. Away from work he plans to continue to “enjoy the thrill of competition” by playing tennis and other racquet sports, as well as honing his skills in writing and playing piano.