Rebekah Johnson


Majors: Mechanical Engineering, and Environmental Science and Policy

At the beginning of my junior year at Duke, I had the typical college student soul-searching experience of “I’m not sure how my passions integrate with my major.” I was confident my double major in Mechanical Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy suited me, but I was unsure about how this tied to my commitments outside of academics. I wanted to confirm that I was making a difference in a field I cared about. A quick look at my resume showed me that almost every activity I am involved in at Duke incorporates education. Without consciously choosing it, education had become my passion.

My summers were spent teaching campers in rural South Carolina environmental stewardship and developing climate change education curriculum for middle school aged students in Ghana. During the school year, I worked my way through the ranks to become president of Duke Splash, a group that is part of a national organization that plans events where college students are able to share and teach their passions to middle and high school students. Additionally, I am actively involved in a student group, Project WILD, and organized a free trip for nineteen high school students and twenty college facilitators. The trip incorporated lessons on hard skills such as knots, cooking, and backpacking as well as soft skills, including group dynamics, leadership and environmental consciousness. Adding Boeing Fellows to my extracurricular activities gave me an avenue where I could combine both my passion for education and by academic interests of engineering and environmental science. I grew up in North Carolina and had the opportunity to take part in Project Lead the Way. The exposure to engineering in high school helped to prepare me for what I would be taking on in college. In maintaining relationships with teachers from high school, I understand the importance of education. All of my interests and passions are rooted in sharing educational opportunities with others, from taking a group of students hiking to learning about different cultures across the world.