11/15/18 ASHLAND, Ohio - AU student and Springfield resident Marissa Johnson has been selected as the 2018 National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Ohio Chapter, Region 8 Undergraduate Social Work Student of the Year. Johnson is a senior at Ashland University majoring in social work and minoring in sociology and child-family studies in AU's College of Arts and Sciences.
As a 2015 graduate of Springfield High School, Johnson has been interested in the field of social work since her sophomore year of high school. Prior to that, she said she always knew that whatever she did in life would be centered around helping others.
The National Association of Social Workers Ohio Chapter is the largest and most recognized membership of professional social workers in the world. Their mission is to strengthen, support and unify the social work profession, while promoting good standards and practices and advancing social justice and diversity.
Every year, the NASW chooses one student out of the 35 accredited schools who has displayed or supported their core values of service, social justice, dignity and worth of others, integrity, and importance of human relationships.
Johnson not only displays these values in her everyday life, but also is heavily involved in campus activities. She has been an active member of the social work program since her freshman year and is the first-ever sophomore to be President of the Social Work Club. Outside of social work, Johnson is the Leadership Chair for Alpha Delta Pi Sorority and a resident assistant for the past two years.
She currently interns at the Ashland Center for Nonviolence and with this internship, she is the program director for Student-2-Student mentoring at Taft Elementary in Ashland, Ohio. After graduation, Johnson plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) at Ohio State University or Ohio University. She also hopes to secure a position at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, as a clinical social worker.
Johnson explains, “Growing up, I experienced numerous hardships and adversities. Transitioning from middle school, to high school, and to college, I have met individuals who have experienced similar situations like my own. However, their abilities to cope and find resilience within themselves differs dramatically with each person. These are the individuals I am drawn to - I want to help them and learn more about them. Having the support and guidance of just one person can truly make a difference in their life. This mindset and desire has helped to shape my career path.”