- Nina Johnson
Program / Year
Master of Science ’19
Professional Mental Health Counseling
What led you to enroll at Lewis & Clark's Graduate School of Education and Counseling?
I wanted to practice counseling and mental health research.
Who or what inspired you to pursue your chosen field of study?
My work with burn-injured youth at a summer camp.
What does social justice mean to you?
The social justice paradigm provides a framework for me to shape my counseling and research practices to fit the needs of people from all walks of life. An important component in social justice is taking into account power dynamics between my client and myself. I hope to use social justice to empower my clients throughout various systems in their lives.
How do you hope to apply your social justice education in your chosen career?
I intend to advocate for my clients through social justice informed counseling and advocacy. I hope to use my skills to meet the needs of a diverse range of clients.
Where have you been working/interning as a student, and what does that work entail?
In addition to practicum at the counseling center, I have a secondary practicum with the Gaming and Tech in Excess (GATE) program at Lewis & Clark, where we focus on clients who wish to improve their relationship with technology use. I also have independently pursued a thesis as part of the optional thesis track.
What is the most fun part of your program?
The most fun part of the program is getting to apply the skills we learn in class during practicum, and working with peers during group supervision.
What is the hardest part of your program?
The hardest part of the program is juggling all of the different plates - classwork, counseling, thesis work, internship searches, work, and other activities people have going on.
How would you describe your graduate school experience in one sentence?
Who has been your most influential professor, and why?
My most influential professor has been Carol Doyle, who taught us about using research through a social justice and transformative orientation to empower participants in the process of knowledge creation.
What is a unique perspective you bring to your cohort?
I lived in Japan for three years, and this has shaped my perspective on American culture.
What career will you be pursuing after graduation? Did you intend for this to be your career path when you enrolled?
I hope to split my time between counseling and research. I want to become a strong counselor, and hopefully attend a PhD program in order to pursue my research interests.
Describe an "ah-ha" or "right-turn" moment you have experienced here - a time when your perspective, opinion, outlook, or goals changed suddenly due to a specific experience.
My class in addictions was extremely eye-opening because it showed me how powerful yet common addictions can be.