Erik Johnson aims to one day teach psychology at the high school level and is particularly interested in the relationships that are built during that stage of life. He still keeps in contact with many of his former teachers at Amos Alonzo Stagg High School in Palos Hills, Ill., and says they provided him with insight and influence at a time of growth and change. Johnson is hoping that in his role as IIT senior resident advisor, he is having a similarly positive impact on his fellow students.
"It has been a fantastic experience—at times grueling and difficult, but always rewarding," he says. "The job has allowed me to interact one-on-one as a mentor and guide to students who are in need. I've learned confrontation and interpersonal skills that will aid me across many possible careers. A lot of my psychology courses have helped facilitate some of those skills."
Johnson also works at IIT as a building manager with Campus and Conference Centers, which makes him the first point of contact for many Main Campus visitors. He has been involved in theater for many years and is a member of IIT's thespian troupe, 33rd Street Productions.
One of his favorite off-campus activities again immerses him in the high school scene and relationships. "I love spending time with my 16-year-old brother and his friends," Johnson says.