Grounded in 4-H and Graduating with Honors: Kristen Johnson (SEBS 2017)
May 11, 2017
When Kristen Johnson (SEBS 2017) entered Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences as a freshman, she already had a collection of endeavors and accomplishments under her belt as a lifelong participant in 4-H. One could surmise that if she came into her academic career running, after an outstanding record of achievement at Rutgers, she leaves soaring. While consistently maintaining a high GPA, Johnson maximized her involvement on many fronts: she continued her involvement in 4-H by participating in Rutgers Collegiate 4-H, and served as various officers, including president. She engaged in a study abroad opportunity through SEBS International Programs, travelling to Holland for a Leadership in Agriculture program. She’s been awarded a number of scholarships and has received several top honors from the University and the School, including the Matthew Leydt Honors Society, awarded to the top two percent of Rutgers students; chosen the SEBS Class of 2017 Student of the Year; Rutgers Academic Excellence Award earned by the top ten percent of each respective school; and is receiving honors from the Department of Human Ecology for graduating students with high level of involvement and high GPAs.
Johnson majored in Environmental Policy, Institutions, and Behavior, with a minor in Public Health, and one of her major interests is in agriculture. In her home town of Skillman, NJ, Johnson grew up on a small Christmas tree farm and raised market lambs with 4-H. Her family members have been involved in various agricultural pursuits including showing Western horses, general farming, and raising market lambs. While agriculture was not her major, her interest in ag steered her involvement in activities and independent ventures, including her study abroad and internships.
Dan VanAbs, her academic advisor, commented on Kristen’s undertakings,
Kristen Johnson took to heart our message about the importance of internships in addition to classroom learning. She interned with the Somerset County Agriculture Development Board through my Raritan Scholars course, assisting with their monitoring program for preserved farms. Through that work, she connected with the State Agriculture Development Council, where she has now completed two internships. Throughout, she has earned high praise for the quality of her work, her drive, and her enthusiasm for everything she touched. Kristen is a model of what we hope for in our students, and often get.
As Kristen’s supervisor at the State Agriculture Development Committee, Jeffrey Everett, chief of agricultural resources at New Jersey Department of Agriculture, was impressed with Johnson’s professionalism. He commented,
I can’t say enough about Kristen’s work ethic, advanced technical skills, positive attitude, pleasant demeanor, and willingness to learn. Kristen has been engaged in advanced policy research using both quantitative and qualitative methods and she always rises to the task given to her. Specifically, she has been invaluable in helping create and implement a farm viability initiative at SADC, which endeavors to incorporate young/beginning/military veteran beginning farmers into our programs while simultaneously working to enhance the viability of established farming operations. Because she is so advanced in her knowledge of agriculture and has a great feel for public policy implications even at her age, we have been able to hit the ground running this past semester and make substantial progress.
In addition to her school work, internships, and extra-curricular activities, Johnson works for the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Department of 4-H Youth Development, where she collaborates on group projects to administer state 4-H events and foster communication among county 4-H programs throughout New Jersey.
Photo--Kristen (second from right) at Rutgers Community Day 2016, with (l-r) Amanda Bialek RAH Program Coordinator, Julia Ferris (SAS), the Rutgers Scarlet Knight, and Brittany Saffold (SEBS)
News and Features by Date
- Emily Hunziker (SEBS '17) participated in the University of Sao Paulo's International Science and Technology Symposium last week.
- Victoria looks at improving emergency communications
- How Hurricane Sandy became steroids for Jersey Shore development
- Congratulations to Dr. Ethan Schoolman for winning The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Campus Sustainability Research Award.
- Is the Food in Meal Kit Delivery Services Actually Safe to Eat?
- What to tell people to get them to evacuate before a hurricane hits?
- Opinion: The Time is Now for Drinking Water Utilities to Improve Their Systems
- Opinion: Thinking Smaller for more Effective Flood Protection
- GMOs: finding middle ground on genetically modified organisms
- Racial Discrimination Linked with Worse Mental Health
- Opinion: Is Water Supply a Commodity, a Service, or a Right? by Dr. Daniel Van Abs
- Dr. Tom Rudel Honored for Teaching, Research, Service and Diversity Initiatives
- Lecture and Book Signing by George Marshall, "Are Our Brains Wired to Ignore Climate Change?"
- Cymie Payne
- Congratulations Dr. Bonnie McCay for receiving the American Fisheries Society's 2013 Award of Excellence.
- Dr. Peter Guarnaccia was invited by former Rutgers anthropology graduate student Nia Parson to deliver the George and Mary Foster Distinguished Lecture in Cultural Anthropology at Southern Methodist University.
- Check out our latest edition of the EPIB Trail.
- Dr. Cymie Payne was interviewed by the New York Times regarding the campaign against whale hunting.
- Naa Oyo Kwate Wins Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Young Leader Award
- Just published Dr. Pamela McElwee and Dr. Maria Luz Cruz-Torres' new book, "Gender and Sustainability: Lessons from Asia and Latin America."
- See our EcoPodcasts
- Professors in the News: Dr. Shwom is recognized for her recent research and publications
- Just Published: The EPIB Trail, Volume 4 Issue 7
- President Obama's Deputy Assistant for Energy and Climate Change- A Former EPIB Student
- Professors in the News: Naa Oyo A. Kwate profiled in Rutgers Today