Tompkins Cortland Community College

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Julianna Johnson

A life-changing educationJulianna Johnson


Julianna Johnson was a Service Tradition scholarship winner who was a non-traditional student living in Los Angeles (and, briefly, Wisconsin) before moving to the area to study at Tompkins Cortland Community College. While at the College, she was a graphic design student who held down a full-time job and also volunteered at the public library and Loaves and Fishes. Julianna finished Tompkins Cortland with a 4.0 GPA and transferred to the Rochester Institute of Technology to continue her studies.

A family connection brought Julianna to Tompkins Cortland.

"My sister and mother live in the area. They are huge in my life. They are my cheerleaders. I lived in Los Angeles for 15 years working in special events/lighting design, and decided I had to pursue this dream, and they have supported me every step of the way."

"I look at this as my second chance. I didn't go to college, or really have any plans to before this."

She said she was pleasantly surprised at the approachable nature of her professors while at the College.

"When I came here, I had a vision of professors as being sort of untouchable - they wouldn't talk to you or help. But here, professors take their time with you, they say 'come in any time and show me your work.' I feel like I'm not going at this alone."