Elaine Johnson

City College of New York 2017 Salutatorian

Elaine Johnson, born and raised in Harlem to Jamaican immigrant parents, is the Class of 2017 Salutatorian. She is also the second successive SEEK student after Orubba Almansouri in 2016 to earn the distinction. Johnson will also be addressing her fellow graduates in the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership as its Valedictorian. These accolades are a well deserved reward for her excellence in CCNY’s Psychology Honors Program. Johnson completed her BA degree with a 3.9 GPA. She received a Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship in 2015 from the Watson Foundation, whose mission is to expand the vision and develop the potential of promising students. The Colin Powell Program in Leadership and Service also presented her with one of its highly selective fellowships in 2015 aimed at encouraging scholarship in social change and public policy. Johnson’s other accolades included a SEEK recognition as outstanding sophomore and as the Marian & Anthony Belli Outstanding SEEK Graduate of the Year. She also received recognition from the Chi Alpha Epsilon National Honor Society, and the psychology international honor society, Psi Chi. “My academic achievements are mainly due to the knowledge my professors shared with me, my determination to apply this information in the real world, and the support I received from the SEEK, Watson, and Colin Powell programs,” she says. SEEK director E. Maudette Brownlee calls Johnson remarkable. “Elaine has a sharp intellect, possesses tremendous discipline and focus, and sincere commitment to using her knowledge and skills to the benefit of others. She is a fine exemplar of the type of student for whom City College was founded,” notes Brownlee. The Next stop for Johnson is the University of Cambridge in England for research on the development of resilience in youth. After that she plans to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology.