BHC Spotlight: Ebonie Johnson, '20

Major/Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Richmond, VA

Ebonie Johnson, '20

Why did you choose BHC (beyond the scholarship benefit)?
I chose the BHC because I loved the idea of getting to know people in a smaller classroom. With the small class sizes at VWU, all of my professors knew me by name and helped me accomplish my goals. At my competition, all of the people I met were super friendly and were willing to help me through my journey.

What benefits have you gained from the BHC program?
I've gained so much from the BHC program! I never would've been able to experience going to Israel without the program's scholarship for study abroad. I met so many new people and learned so much about religion, policy, and culture. Also, I was able to network and gain my first internship at a clinical psychologist's office. The BHC let me have a close-up look at what I want to be when I get older. Lastly (but not least), I was accepted into the Batten School for Leadership and Public Policy at UVA with a scholarship. I'm taking what I learned in Israel and carrying it with me through my continuing college career.

Highlight a specific research, internship, or study abroad experience(s).
I can honestly say that the trip my HON 200: Art of Waging Peace class took to Israel changed my life and perspective. At the time, I'd never been out of the country before aside from a day trip to the Bahamas (if that counts). The 13-hour flight was almost too much for me, but it was worth it. Our class focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how it affects all levels of their society. As our class name suggests, we took a mediating perspective and talked with people from both sides of the conflict. I learned that the issue, just like issues in the U.S., is not black and white. Although the cultural and religious aspects of the trip were great, I left Israel with an open-mind. There is so much more to people and their perspectives than what meets the eye. Every perspective has value and a story behind it.

How did the BHC curriculum or program prepare you for this experience?
The interdisciplinary courses in BHC prepared me for my trip to Israel by always giving different perspectives. The first BHC course I took, Complex Global Challenges, challenged me to view challenges from a political, environmental, and ethical perspective. Even within those three perspectives, there were deeper layers to view problems.

What do you hope to achieve/gain from this experience?
My hope is to incorporate the lessons I learned in Israel into my daily life. I want to be more open to listening to what others have to say regardless of if I agree with them or not. Every perspective has value and meaning. The world would be boring if everyone was the same! By listening and learning from others, I hope to grow more as a person.

List of things involved with on campus (sports teams, clubs, academic competitions/teams, positions held and description of duties)

  • National Alliance for Mental Illnesses (NAMI) Club Secretary - I took attendance at meetings and helped organize events.
  • Psychology Club Treasurer - I kept count of the money we made in fundraisers.
  • National Society of Leadership and Success Member
  • Jazz Ensemble First Violinist
  • VWU Orchestra Member
  • VWU Camerata Choir Member
  • Gospel Choir Member in The Christians play
  • Marlins Read Volunteer
  • TCA Mentor

List any awards, recognitions, and/or conference presentations

  • President's List (Fall 2018)
  • Dean's List (Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020)
  • 2019 Emerging Student Organization - (NAMI)
  • Bronze Status with the Presidential Volunteer Service Awards (NAMI)
  • 2019 Best Collaborative Program - Black Mental Health Matters (NAMI and BSU)
  • 2019 Best Innovative Program - Poetry Slam (NAMI)

Anything else you would like to share about your experiences with BHC
Nope! It was fun and I'm a bit sad to be leaving, but I look forward to where my BHC education takes me in the future.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me using the info below:

Ebonie Johnson