Lauren Johnson Will Take Her Master's Degree Out Into the World
Lauren Johnson Will Take Her Master’s Degree Out Into the World
By her own account, Lauren Johnson grew up in a “very suburban, kind of closed neighborhood, where people were all very alike,” in Scottsdale, Arizona. She was eager to experience something different when she entered the University of Arizona in Tucson. There she met Dr. Judith Becker, professor of clinical psychology and a former faculty member at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Becker encouraged Johnson’s undergraduate research on domestic violence during two summers in Chennai, India. (That research was published in 2009, after she had come to TC, in the Journal for Domestic Violence, and it earned for Johnson the Morton Deutsch Award for Social Justice at Teachers College.)
Becker also urged her to come to New York and to Teachers College. “Dr. Becker strongly recommended not only the school but the city, because of all the cultural experiences here,” Johnson said.
Johnson earned a Master’s degree in Clinical and Counseling Psychology, doing a Master’s thesis on work she did on child welfare in the Bronx, while working full-time as a secretary in the Special Education program in the Department of Health and Behavioral Studies.
That environment fostered an interest in health and health education, and she intends to pursue Ph.D work in health psychology—but not before taking some time with her husband to serve in the Peace Corps. The couple recently passed a Spanish test and, pending physical exams, will be deployed in February to Central America.
Johnson says Teachers College was the perfect place for her academic pursuit. “The faculty and staff are really great with networking opportunities and provide great contacts for publication, writing and research. They really fostered a very good environment for academic success.”
And New York City was the perfect place for her to fulfill her wanderlust and desire to experience different cultures. “The school offers so much in itself, but the city offers so much more,” she says. “If you’re open to learning and trying new things, it’s a tremendous opportunity.”previous page