Jade Johnson served as the Honors College graduate assistant for the past two years, acting as an academic advisor and the managing editor of LOGOS, the Missouri State University undergraduate journal while working on her Master of Arts degree in Technical and Professional Writing.
Jade was involved with many different events during her time with the Honors College, but one of her favorites was serving as the assistant coordinator of the 2012 American Society for Ethnohistory Conference.
Dr. Chuchiak organized the whole conference, but he was usually too busy to manage the day-to-day operations and make sure everything went smoothly, so I spent three or four days managing the guest registration and overseeing student volunteers. At some point, I realized that I wasn't just another body in the room. My work there was key to ensuring that the whole thing didn't fall apart. The students looked to me for help and guidance, and I was the authority figure in that room. Even though it was a whole new experience for me, I had to own the responsibility and lead. At that point, I had only been working for the Honors College for about four months, but I felt like I was an integral part of the conference’s success.
Not only did she serve as the graduate assistant for the Honors College, but Jade also was part of it as an undergraduate at Missouri State.
As a student, I loved my Honors College classes. Surrounding myself with other high-achieving, intellectually engaged students really allowed me to think about what I was learning in a whole new way. The Honors College professors always made the material interesting, and they were genuinely interested in what the students had to say, and they allowed us to express ourselves through writing, class discussion, and projects. Honors classes made me think more critically than I ever had before, which not only helped me throughout my academic career, but in my life outside of school as well.
While working at the Honors College and still attending classes, Jade took a position as a technical writer with Jack Henry in Springfield, where she will continue to work after graduation.
More than anything, I'll miss working with the incredible Honors College staff and advising honors students. When I was an undergraduate in the Honors College, I didn't fully realize what a special community I was a part of. After working with and talking to honors students as an advisor, I can clearly see how talented and ambitious they are. It's been a real privilege to talk to them about their interests, passions, and future goals, and to help them figure out how to achieve those goals. Every day that I worked for the Honors College, I felt like my input was valued by everyone in the office. Even though it was a 2-year position, I never felt like I was replaceable. I realized that people weren’t asking for my opinion just to make me feel important; they really believed my ideas and skill sets could make a difference.
We at the Honors College have greatly enjoyed working with Jade over the past two years. Thank you Jade for all your wonderful work, and congratulations on graduating!