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Alumna Profile: Tricia Johnston '14

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Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2018

Tricia Johnston ’14 did not originally know what she wanted to do after graduation, but the experiences and skills she gained through her time at Westminster completely altered her trajectory.

At Westminster, she gained a passion for research, schooling and service to the community, which led her to pursue higher education. After graduating from Westminster, she went on to earn a master’s degree in criminal justice and criminology from Georgia State University. Today Johnston can be found pursing a Doctorate of Philosophy in criminal justice and criminology also from Georgia State, and volunteering in the Georgia Department of Corrections.

“Westminster’s academic model prepared me for graduate school by providing me the opportunity to learn about a wide range of subjects, fostering my ability to write and speak in public and by requiring several of my classes to have a service component,” Johnston said.

One professor who helped Johnston on her academic path was Dr. Shannon Smithey, professor of political science, who continues to inspire her today. Johnston credits Smithey with pushing her to do better in the classroom and encouraging her to overcome obstacles. Smithey aided Johnston in finding and internship, which is where she realized her passion for corrections.

In addition to Smithey, Johnston reflects that Westminster as a whole greatly prepared her for post-college life. She found herself not only gaining knowledge in the classroom, but also getting valuable leadership experience.

“Upon entering graduate school, it became clear that Westminster went above and beyond to prepare me for what was to come. I immediately stood out among my fellow classmates, and I attribute that success to my time at Westminster,” said Johnston.

~ Kendall Graham '19