Iowa Board of Regents

Q&A With Regent Rachael Johnson

You recently participated in the Truman Scholarship orientation program. What was that like?
It was phenomenal. So many incredible people from across the United States were there. They are very motivated people who are going to do great things and it was really an honor to meet them all. There were so many diverse interests throughout the group; it was a really wide variety of people, but they were all so accepting and kind. 

There were many sub groups based on what your interests were. There was a foreign policy group, an education policy group, and plenty of others. I was part of a higher education-focused group and the experience was unforgettable. 

How do you balance your time being a Regent and a student?
I just don’t sleep...

In reality, my Google calendar is a life saver. I put in all of my appointments and my phone tells me where to be and when. Also, surrounding myself with the right people has been beneficial. People who understand that I have to be out of town this week for a meeting, so I’m going to miss their birthday or something. Having great friends and family that are accepting of this schedule is really helpful.
Finally, self-discipline is really important. I have to make myself sit down and get things done and work ahead. Without that, I’d get behind.

What do you do to unwind – if you have time, that is?
Shop. For clothes or shoes. I don’t even have to buy anything. Just walking through a store is enough. I watch Netflix. I call my mom. I take a nap whenever I can. I actually like driving too. I have to drive across the state for meetings all the time. Just driving can be relaxing.

What’s the best thing about UNI?
The people. That’s a cliché’. Everybody says that, but it’s true. The experience that it offers, be it extra-curricular or in the classroom, or preparing you for beyond college. I think they do a great job. They prepare you to be a productive citizen and a good person who cares and is involved in society.

What is your favorite spot on campus?
I like the benches by the campanile. The roof of the union is a nice place to relax; not many people go there. 

What’s the best class you’ve ever taken?
Classroom Assessment. Basically, learning how to give a good test and how to grade students. Dr. Nicole Skaar taught it. It was a class that made me think in a way I’ve never thought before, which is what higher education is supposed to do, right? It also made me analyze every other class I took from then on, and how those professors taught. How to give tests and how to assess students are controversial topics, so we had a lot of great dialog in the class. Dr. Skaar had very high expectations for us, so that motivated me to do my best.

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