Teaching Zumba classes two days a week, providing peer mentorship to three fellow students, and serving as peer advisor for Mary Baldwin’s Latino Culture Gateway are a few of the activities that keep junior Alexandra “Alex” Johnson ’14 busy, not to mention the fact she is a double major in English and Spanish and was recently accepted into the Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts in Teaching graduate program. During the 2011–12 academic year Johnson’s dedication earned her the Fannie B. Strauss Scholarship, established by Margaret “Peggy” Pollard Joyner ’46. Criteria for scholarship recipients stipulate that students must study English and/or a foreign language as well as demonstrate financial need.
For this active student, teaching is a passion that fills many hours of every day, whether it’s preparing for her future career or helping probationary students improve their study skills. Johnson will continue her own quest for knowledge during a study abroad trip to Spain this May. She was recognized with the Dorothy Mulberry Award at the 2012–13 Honors Convocation, a monetary award that will help finance her trip to Salamanca.
After graduation, she plans to teach Spanish to high school students with the desire of instilling in them a respect and thirst for education. “I want my students to understand that if they want to be taken seriously in life, they have to work hard,” she said.
When Johnson learned she had received the Fannie B. Strauss Scholarship, named in tribute to Joyner’s esteemed teacher and faculty advisor, she was overwhelmed with gratitude. Seeing herself as a positive role model for other students and as a representative of Mary Baldwin University’s reputation of academic excellence, Johnson was pleased to receive the honor. “Donors really help students obtain an education, a journey which can be difficult in times like these,” she said, “I want to thank the people who donated to my scholarship for supporting my education.”