Engaging Community: Senior Colton Johnson Got the Fresh Start He Wanted at NKU

“Whatever you put into NKU, it will give back to you. The more of an effort you put into being involved in here and meeting the right people, the more rewarding NKU is…”

By Tom Ramstetter
NKU Marketing + Communications

Sometimes the Road to NKU offers a chance at a new start and that is exactly what senior Colton Johnson was looking for.

“Out of a graduating class of around 550, many people wanted to stay home,” the senior organizational leadership major from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington says.

“I knew that I wanted something different and a change of pace. With NKU being in the northern Kentucky area, I felt like I could still get the same feel of Lexington with the perks of a big city like Cincinnati being only a 10-minute drive away.”

So away he went, north to the fresh start he wanted.

But he got so much more — an engaging community with professors interested in his success and organizations that offer unforgettable experiences and lasting friendships.

“The best experience of NKU has to be the community here,” Colton says. “Once you get involved here on campus, you are engaged in so many different ways. You meet fellow students that turn into lifelong friends, as well as faculty that are there for you to mentor you throughout all of your time here.”

Colton has been involved with service organizations on campus from the start of his career at NKU and has been an active member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity.

He has also been a student specialist for the Office of Student Engagement. 

“All the organizations I am a part of have helped me become the person I am today,” Colton says. “I would have never have imagined achieving all I have when I came here freshman year. The community around me not only supported me with all my decisions, but also drove me to want more and do more for not only myself but NKU as well.”

Colton Johnson
Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko, NKU

Colton Johnson Profile

AGE: 21
HOMETOWN: Lexington
HIGH SCHOOL: Paul Laurence Dunbar High School
MAJOR: Organizational Leadership
YEAR: Senior

There is always something to do for Colton at NKU. Whether it be an event, meetings, or even just hanging out with people, he says Northern has so much here to offer if you put yourself in the right situation that you will never have a dull moment.

“Whatever you put into NKU, it will give back to you,” Colton says. “The more of an effort you put into being involved in here and meeting the right people, the more rewarding NKU is.”

Get to Know Colton

In the Classroom

I am an organizational leadership major with a minor in criminal justice and an area of concentration in communication studies. With this I am looking to move on to graduate school to get my master’s in administration in higher education to hopefully work for a college or university one day so I can help mentor students like the ones at NKU have helped me. 

Outside the Classroom

I have been involved in many organizations here on campus and held a number of leadership positions as well. My freshman year, I was vice president of the Freshman Service Leadership Committee and joined the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. Sophomore year, I was co-adviser to the Freshman Service Leadership Committee, a part of ATO's judicial board, as well as scholarship chair, executive member of Team AOII/Theta Chi, and in the Norse Leadership Society. Junior year, I was a member of the Norse Leadership Society, a student specialist for the Office of Student Engagement, and social chair of ATO. I currently  serve as President of the Norse Leadership Society, member of ATO, IFC Justice, and am a co-retreat chair of the 2014 NLS Fall Retreat. 

Advice for NKU Students

Attend a retreat offered here on campus! NKLI offers an annual retreat every year called the NLS Fall Retreat. It is a four-day trip down to Pigeon Forge, TN, where you travel with more than 100 other NKU students and some of the best faculty and staff NKU has. There you will participate in breakout sessions lead by our faculty and staff about leadership. Not only do you get to network with these awesome people but also you get to meet all different students from NKU as well in your small groups. It is one of the most rewarding experiences you will have if you attend any of the time you are here at NKU!

The Best Part of Being an NKU Student

The best part of being an NKU student is how I feel that your work is noticed here. Even though there are more than 15,000 students here, I still feel like I am making an impact here on campus. You would not get that from any other large university so it is really rewarding to see all the hard work you put in be noticed.