“Why Geography” Series Presents: Alicia Johnson ’21

Posted on April 27th, 2021 by

1. Why did you choose to major in Geography?

Geography was an easy major to pick because the department and all it’s courses encompass, in my opinion, the most interesting things one can study. It’s a blend of natural sciences and human sciences and what we learn and how we learn are arguably parts of all majors at Gustavus. Geography seems to be, broadly, a study of systems, and when I learn something in a geography course it helps me understand so many other things – I just keep applying what I’m learning to my own everyday life and it feels like I see the world through a more understanding, compassionate, curious, unique, and beautiful lens.

2. To what extent your geography education has already transformed how you view and act on the world?

I know geography has totally helped me immensely with how I currently view and act on the world. Whether it’s reading a landscape, identifying the biomes of Minnesota, breaking down the pros and cons of a map projection, understanding more the experiences of migrants, or questioning the role police play in our everyday spaces, I’m thankful geography gave me some serious critical thinking skills. Geography has been crucial to me in understanding not only the world around me better, but the role I play in the world as well.

3. Beyond coursework, what other experiences have enriched your geography education?

Being a transfer student and having my senior year of undergrad be in COVID times have definitely hindered some traveling opportunities, but like my favorite aspect of geography, human geography, it all comes down to the people anyways. There could not be cooler professors to take classes with or more inspiring peers to sit next to in those classes. I often find myself bragging about the geography department because the people are so worth bragging about; I’m lucky to be a Gustavus geography major thanks to everyone who has had a part in the department

4. What will make the world a better place and where do you see yourself in five years?

Big Questions. I genuinely believe that the world becomes a better place through education – I think most importantly learning, understanding, accepting, and embracing differences of all the world’s people is a huge part of this education. In five years I hope to be doing anything I feel good and passionate about! My geography major definitely opens many doors for me (because of how much it encompasses), but I know I will be making my past self proud if and when I’m employed doing something that benefits the greater good and am in a place that makes me happy, whether that’s traveling and getting to know a new place or surround by people I love.


One Comment

  1. Your Montana grandparents says:

    Alicia, you have accomplished so much and we’re so happy for you; you’ll always hold a special place in our hearts – we are so blessed that we got to know you even if it was for a short time. Blessings to you and we know your future will be awesome (just like you). Love always

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