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Meet Hope Johnson: Our May Leading Woman

Name: Hope Johnson

Major: Art - Graphic Design and Journalism - Strategic Communication

Hometown: Taylorville, Illinois

What are your career/life goals?

This is a hard question because if I’m being honest, I don’t have a clue, and that’s okay. Right now, it feels like the possibilities are endless. I think that would’ve caused a younger Hope some anxiety, but right now, as I prepare to graduate in December, I love this feeling. I have no clue what city I’ll be in, and I really don’t have a strong preference at the moment. I don’t know what I’ll be doing or where I’ll be, but I’m excited about it. For now, I'm thinking I'd love to get a job as a graphic designer at a magazine and potentially one day serve as the creative director of a publication, but who knows - that might change!

What is your favorite part about Graphic Design / Strategic Communication?

My favorite part about graphic design is that it really is a science. I think it’s funny when people think they could never be good at graphic design, because that’s so not true! There’s sometimes a misconception that you either have an eye for it or you don’t. Anyone can develop an eye for it because it’s actually quite objective. You may have a preference for certain colors, but the principles of design are pretty universal and once you understand and practice those, you can make anything look wonderful!

Why did you decide to get involved in Magazine Club?

Partway through my freshman year, I sat down and thought a lot about what organizations I wanted to devote my time and energy to. I definitely ran through the freshman welcome fairs signing up for every single email list and organization that had a table (as I’m sure many of us did), but I realized quickly that time and energy are limited resources, especially in college when balance is so important, and my initial plan to do it all wasn’t feasible. One organization that really stood out to me was Magazine Club. I loved the organization and what it was already doing, but I also saw so much potential. I thought about my skills and what I could bring to an organization, and I knew that both my passion and my vision for Magazine Club were strong. I applied and was given the position of Social Media/Outreach coordinator my sophomore year, and then junior year I began serving as the organization’s president.

What are is your favorite part about this org?

My favorite part about magazine club is how member-driven it is. At the beginning of each year, we send out a survey to learn what members are interested in doing. Some members like to read magazines in their free time and others dream of working at a specific title. I love, as an executive board, getting to plan for that wide range of interest and varying needs. We have fun presentations, resume workshops, networking opportunities, ice cream dates. And I love how much we all learn from one another!

How have your experiences in Theta changed you?

The women I have met through Theta inspire me every day. They are all so well-rounded, hilarious, intelligent, goofy and loving. To echo what many people have said before me, I really don’t think I would be the person I am today without Theta. Theta has given me the courage to be myself, and I know I am a better person because of the women I’ve met in this organization. I can’t mention everyone, but I am so thankful for LJ’s lessons of unconditional love; Swing’s joy and laugh that always makes me smile; Kylie’s spontaneity that has thankfully rubbed off on me (a bit); Erica and Claire, my lovely roommates, who are there for me day in and day out and also support my recent obsession with Love Island; Hannah M, who has helped me to be vulnerable; my family (Channing, Madison, Alicia and Breanna), who I can always count on; the women in my member class who inspire me every day (Mackenzie Elliott, Siobhan, Caroline Been, Mackenzie Nelson, Luci Francka, Alissa Hurst,

ALL OF YOU); the women in other member classes who are always making Theta a better place (Gabrielle, Cameron, Lindsay Huck, Bailey, Celia, Lily, Jordan - the list could go on forever); and lastly, the Theta women I haven’t even met yet who will impact me down the road. You’ve all changed me (and will continue to change me) for the better!

Tell us about why you chose your major?

I was a high school yearbook gal, so that’s how I discovered Adobe Creative Suite. My favorite part of yearbook was designing it, so when I received a packet in the mail from Mizzou and saw a specific emphasis area for Magazine Design, something just clicked. I ended up switching up my plans a bit after sophomore year, when I added an art major and a strategic communication emphasis to also learn about fine art and design for advertising. I wanted to come out of college as the most well-rounded designer I could be, so I can only hope it pays off!

What are you passionate about?

How long can I make this list? I’m passionate about my relationship with my family (I talk to my 8-year-old sister on FaceTime approximately three times a day) and my friends, both from Mizzou and from back home. Being creative - in any form, but especially painting and designing. Going to hot yoga, which I discovered in the fall (still a newbie) and everyone should try. I’m passionate about meeting other women and being inspired by them. I also love any chance I get to invest in younger women. And to wrap it up, I have to mention how much I love cats, pasta and reading thriller novels.

What does Theta mean to you?

Since I’ve already rambled forever up above, I’ll keep this one short: lots of love and Theta (trail) mix.

Do you have any advice to the underclassmen?

I know I mentioned this during Theta senior sendoff, but it’s important so I’ll say it again: give imposter syndrome the boot! It is unfortunately too easy to feel inadequate in so many areas of our lives, but especially in this fantastic PHA community full of so many wonderful and accomplished women. However, any doubts you have are so false. You are so worthy and deserving of every good thing that comes your way. Never doubt your ability to make your organizations and Mizzou as a whole a better place. Also, invest in younger women. You will learn more from them than you could ever imagine!

Do you have a specific favorite Theta memory?

My favorite Theta memory happened when I was undercover as a Panhellenic Counselor during recruitment in August. As a fun activity, the counselors go to each sorority house to practice recruitment chants during work week. Because of the disaffiliation process, I hadn’t associated with Theta all summer or seen so many of my friends for months. When it was time to go to Theta, I felt so giddy and nervous. I didn’t know if anyone would be out on the lawn to see us. I remember sprinting next to Mikala Cessac to Theta, where so many people were outside waiting for us. I got to hug so many of my friends for the first time in months, and I can’t explain how loved we all felt.

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