Pryce Johnson

Pryce Johnson
Major/Job Title:
Public Health and Biology
Des Moines, IA
Class Year:
Spring 2021

Pryce Johnson

Special minors or areas of emphasis:
Environmental Health

Why did you choose to pursue this degree at UNI?
I started as a Biology major at UNI because I liked the Biology faculty that I had met when I visited. I decided to add a Public Health degree when I realized I had enough time to add another major.

What kind of path did you take to achieve your degree?
I always knew I was interested in Biology and science, but I wasn't sure which area interested me the most. For Public Health, it was something I learned about along the way.

What does completing your degree mean to you?
Completing my degree is an accomplishment that I've been working towards for a long time. It's shown me that I can do hard things.

What was it like to complete a degree in public health in the midst of a pandemic -- from the perspective of someone both living it and studying public health?
I learned a lot about public health during the pandemic. There are scary realities you have to face when working in public health, but there are also things that make you hopeful. Seeing public health in action from people all across the world showed me the hard-working and brave people I will be working amongst soon.

What challenges did you face as you worked toward this degree – and how did you overcome them?
There is a lot of stress that comes with being a student, and it was a big challenge for me to learn how to enjoy my time as a student while also working hard. What helped the most were my good friends that were also going through the same things I was going through.

How did UNI help you achieve your goals?
UNI introduced me to people that have become very important in my personal and professional life. These connections have helped me become the best version of myself.

What’s your best memory of your time at UNI?
It is hard to choose a favorite memory because there are so many that are important to me. The most meaningful memories are probably ones I made with the people I met who would become my best friends.

What advice would you give to students considering UNI?
There is something here for you if you look for it. Some people may not need to look very hard to find their place, but it's okay if you don't click right away. There are people here that are worth seeking out.

What’s next?
Over the summer, I will be working at our very own Tallgrass Prairie Center as a Botany Training Assistant. I'll be looking for a job in environmental or conservation work after that.