Monday, February 24, 2014

30 for 30 Member Spotlight: Barbara Johnson

Hometown:
Dallas, TX

College(s) attended:
I earned my B.A. In English Literature at Whittier College, a small liberal arts school in Southern California. During my four years there, I served as an orientation week leader, an academic management coach, a writing tutor, and a peer mentor. I'll probably get some flack for this, but I was also the college's homecoming queen my senior year. Yes, we had a homecoming court…like I said, we were a very small school :) 
I really loved helping out my fellow class mates in the various leadership roles I held, so I suppose it's a natural fit that I enjoy advising college students so much! 
After working abroad for nearly two years, I returned to the states to earn my M.A. at NYU. I recently finished my thesis in spring 2013. 

Job title(s) and department(s) past and present:
I'm an Associate Academic Advisor for Journalism majors at the Moody College of Communication. Some of my pals here nicknamed me Bubbles (Thanks Dina and Theresa!); that should probably be part of my job title.
During my time in New York, I worked in education departments of several cultural institutions, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where I assisted with the implementation of public programs and adult education programs. 

How did you end up at UT in the first place?
My fiancĂ©, Thomas,  and I were ready to make the move from Manhattan after I finished my M.A., and we knew Austin was for us. I found the open  advising position, and it was love at first sight. We have family here in Austin and our moms both live in Dallas, so we are happy to be closer to them as a result of the move, too.
I remember when my hiring supervisor called to inform me of his employment decision, we were in the middle of our move, riding along in our giant Uhaul in the middle of nowhere between New York and Austin. I made Thomas pull off the freeway, as I squealed with anticipation, so the call wouldn't disconnect. That's how excited I was to hear back from UT. It's been about eight months since I first started, and I'm still as pumped to be here as when I answered that phone call. 

What is your favorite part or being a part of ACA?  
I love feeling like I'm a part of a community that is working hard to accomplish something larger than the sum of our parts; I definitely feel this with ACA. Being new to the Longhorn family, I value that members of ACA take the time to educate one another so that we advisors may better assist our students. I've already learned so much about campus resources and procedures which has directly assisted me in my day-to-day advising. 

Anything else you want to tell us?  

I am a huge animal lover and adoption advocate. We have three dogs. Two of them were recently adopted from Austin Humane Society, where I was volunteering when they found me. I just love the adoption culture here in Austin and am so grateful that we are a no-kill city.

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