Jordyn Johnson (senior, marketing) has achieved success in academics, the Army and athletics during her four years as a student attending IUP.

Unlike most traditional college students, Johnson, 23, did not attend college immediately after her high school graduation. In fact, after graduating from Warrior Run High School, she enlisted in the US Army in the Military Intelligence Corps and attended basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., in October 2013. 

She later traveled to Goodfellow Airforce Base in San Angelo, Texas, in January 2014 for her Advanced Individual Training (AIT) for a Signals Intelligence Analyst job in the Army. Johnson’s AIT was six months long, and she started her first semester at IUP after graduating in July 2014.  

During her freshman year, Johnson joined the IUP Women’s Club Soccer team, as well as the ROTC program. Within her first year at IUP, she received an ROTC scholarship and contracted as a cadet in the program. 

 “ROTC is a time commitment, almost like a second major,” Johnson said. 

“It’s definitely challenging balancing ROTC, an NCAA sport and my major, but when you love something so much it’s worth the sacrifice.”

As if one sport wasn’t enough, during her junior year, Johnson joined IUP’s track and field team, and this past fall, she made the switch from club soccer to IUP women’s cross country team. 

 Being an athlete has helped Jordyn’s performance in ROTC, and ROTC benefited her leadership on the IUP track and field team and professionalism in the classroom. 

“There are some nights during which I only get a few hours of sleep, mornings where I run 12 miles carrying 35 or more pounds on my back, all while having massive class assignments due, but I persevere and push through it,” she said. 

At one point in Johnson’s college career, she balanced taking 20 credits as a double major, playing on the club soccer team and participating in ROTC simultaneously. 

“Once you find something that excites you so deeply in your heart, it isn’t hard to balance, and it’s certainly not work anymore,” Johnson said.

Next weekend at commencement, she will graduate with a bachelor of science in marketing as well as commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Corps. 

Along with earning her bachelor’s in marketing at an AACSB accredited business college in the Eberly Business Honors Program, she made the Dean’s List every semester all four years and earned several awards including the Army Achievement Medal, Superior Cadet Decoration Award, Cadet Scholar Award, Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference’s Scholar Athlete Award, Platinum Medal Athlete Award, the American Legion Military Excellence Medal and earned the title of Distinguished Military Graduate in IUP’s ROTC program.

Johnson offered one piece of advice to underclassmen.

“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire,” Johnson said.

Johnson plans to attend her Basic Officer Leadership Course at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., in August, and will then be stationed at Fort Irwin, Calif., beginning in January 2019.

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