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2020-2021 Eberly Scholars: Jordyn Johnson

In association with the ongoing generosity of the Eberly family, the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board established the Eberly Scholars program in 1988. Each year, up to 25 students majoring in the arts and sciences are designated as Eberly Scholars. They are provided with scholarship support in recognition of their outstanding academic achievement. This award is the Eberly College’s most prestigious scholarship honor for undergraduate students.  Meet all of this year's Eberly Scholars.

Jordyn Johnson
Hometown: South Charleston, West Virginia
Majors: Multidisciplinary Studies (Communication Studies, Law and Legal Studies, Philosophy) and Journalism
Minor: Leadership Studies  

How did you choose your major?

When I was applying for college in the fall 2016, I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do. Originally, I thought about majoring in something business-related and even considered chemistry at one point. I always knew I wanted to go to law school after getting my undergraduate degree, so I started to research what majors were best for getting me to that point. I did not want to go the "typical" route and study political science, so I decided on journalism. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I had a problem, though. Since I came in with so many credit hours due to taking Advanced Placement and dual-credit courses in high school, I was going to graduate over a year early. I knew that path wasn't for me, so I looked into a second major and discovered multidisciplinary studies. Combining three minors in these areas was perfect for me, and the courses I have taken in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences have been some of my favorite to date.

Jordyn Johnson and classmates

How would you explain your major to a new WVU student? What advice would you give them?

Multidisciplinary studies is like combining multiple interests into one field of study that can be crafted for each and every student. I think that is what makes MDS so special. Not all majors are so student-focused, so for anyone who is torn between multiple areas of study, this can be the perfect path. Regarding their majors, I would advise incoming students to trust their guts when it comes to picking a specific path to go down. This journey is about you, no one else, so choose what feels right to you. This journey is yours and yours only, so craft your future how you want it to be.  

How has your major prepared you for your future career?

These majors have been a great choice for me as an aspiring attorney. My majors have prepared me for my future career by challenging me to think critically. I think that is one of the most important skills a person can have, and both of my majors have given me a variety of outlets to work on this skill. I also think that my majors have helped me gain confidence in myself, and this is something that everyone needs, no matter their career path.

Jordyn Johnson and friends

How have you changed since your first year at WVU?

I have changed a lot since my first year at WVU. When I came into college, I was at a really weird place in my life. I didn't have a lot of friends, and I felt like I didn't really have a place where I truly belonged. Since then, I feel like I have blossomed into the student and person I want to be. I have an amazing group of friends, wonderful roommates and a support system that is there to back me whenever I need. My time at WVU has helped me become much more confident, and I feel like I am in a much better place than I was three years ago.

What was your most memorable moment at WVU?

When I first came to campus, I thought about joining a sorority, but I decided it wasn't right for me my first year, so I decided to wait until my second year to go through formal recruitment. I can easily say it was one of the best decisions I have made during my collegiate career. Alpha Xi Delta has given me amazing opportunities, a strong support system and some of my very best friends. I had no idea that I would find a place that felt so at home to me, but the Iota Chapter did just that.

What was the hardest (Eberly College) class that you loved? Why?

The hardest Eberly College class I have taken but also loved was American Constitutional Law with Professor John Kilwein. I had never had to study so much for a course, but it was worth it! I really enjoyed the course and was so proud of myself at the end when I received an A. Professor Kilwein made the subject really interesting to learn about, and he was so helpful when I regularly visited his office to help prepare for exams. After getting through this course unscathed, I knew I could take anything and be prepared for it.

Jordyn Johnson volunteering

Why would you recommend WVU to a sibling or friend?

I would recommend WVU because I truly don't think there's another college campus that has the sense of home that WVU does. You can ask any student on Morgantown's campus what they love about WVU, and I'm sure most of them will say, "It feels like home." There's just such a great camaraderie among everyone on campus, and it creates such a wonderful atmosphere. Also, WVU is an excellent university for just about any field of study someone could want to pursue. There's a place for everyone here, and I think that's really special.

Do you have a favorite professor or instructor here? What makes them special?

Dr. David Hoinski from the Department of Philosophy has been my absolute favorite teacher or professor I have ever had. I first took one of his courses in my second semester on campus, and because of his teaching methods and deep appreciation he has for his study and students, I fell in love with philosophy. Taking Dr. Hoinski's course inspired me to obtain a dual degree in multidisciplinary studies. Since then, every philosophy course I have taken has been with Dr. Hoinski because I find his classes to be the most enriching and entertaining. He truly cares about his students, and that is obvious in how he goes out of his way to be helpful, accommodating and kind. I cannot thank him enough for making my experience with philosophy so amazing!

What makes you feel connected to WVU?

I like to say that I am a born-and-bred Mountaineer. I have been decked out in gold and blue since I was an infant and sat in the stands at Milan Puskar Stadium for my entire life. I feel like my history with WVU has really connected me with it. However, the campus atmosphere has really played a huge part in my love for WVU, too. I just feel like I have found my home here, and I could not imagine being a student anywhere else. It just wouldn't feel right!  

What have been your keys to success in college so far?

My keys to success at WVU have been pretty simple – work hard, apply yourself, take chances and have fun. I always put my education first, and by doing so, I have been very successful on campus. However, college is also a time to make friends and have fun, so I always make it a priority to balance schoolwork with other things I enjoy.

Describe the best thing that’s happened to you at WVU so far.

Through the Presidential Student Ambassadors program, nine other students and I met with President Gee to talk about what we felt were great things that the University was doing and what could be improved. It was amazing to be able to engage with President Gee in this manner, and it felt like I was being seen and heard as a student. I was so proud to be able to represent other students on campus with my ideas and felt like I was actually doing something that could create real change.

What was your reaction when you heard you were selected as an Eberly Scholar? How has this opportunity made a difference in your life?

My palms immediately got clammy, and I had to brace myself to open the email. I had worked so hard on the application, and I really wanted everything to pay off. I was, and still am, so excited to be recognized for my hard work throughout my time here at WVU, and I am so honored to be able to represent the Eberly College in this way.