Hometown: Grandview, WA

Undergraduate Degree: Double Major in Medical Anthropology & Global Health, and The Comparative History of Ideas.


Johanna is extremely passionate about her family, community, and creating opportunities to help better both circles. She loves cooking home meals, especially her favorite dish— Tinga—a delicious Mexican cuisine. She also enjoys a variety of community and entertainment oriented activities. Johanna is an avid fan of the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders and relishes the opportunity to attend those events when she can– in addition to enjoying stand-up comedy. Having grown up with an NES gaming system, she now appreciates playing nostalgic Mario videogames on her Wii and newer games on her PlayStation 4.


During her time at UW, Johanna took a graduate school prep course that excited her about the further opportunities she could pursue through continuing education. Originally, she thought about going to a PHD program at the University of Oregon, but decided staying in Seattle was important to her. While she didn’t originally want to go to a private school, MAM-SSM drew Johanna in with the mission alignment between the program and her personal values. As an individual who views people and communities as an integral and important part of her life, Johanna was attracted to the idea of businesses focusing on a triple bottom line; focusing on people, planet, and profit—and is excited about the ways MAM-SSM explores this approach. In addition to the mission alignment, the one-year aspect and study abroad trip were factors that influenced her decision.

Social Issue:

As a dual citizen of both the United States and Mexico, when Johanna was younger she and her family spent some time in a thriving and vibrant village in Mexico. Unfortunately, a foothold was established by drug cartels, and many people had to flee the village. Because of this Johanna is passionate about immigration issues within the United States. She would like to see a change in the rhetoric being used to describe immigrants, and changes in the current policies so that refugees seeking a better life would have the tools to apply. With the value she places on community and individuals, Johanna would also like to find positive ways and creative solutions to these problems, and find ways for immigrants to retain their identities despite negative rhetoric and cultural displacement.

Future goals:

Upon graduation, Johanna will be seeking a job related to project management, consultation, or research, using her strong organizational and analytical skills. Further down the road she would love to work for a foundation, but plans to go into the for-profit world in the meantime to build her personal equity and influence the corporations with her people-centric approach. As a first-generation college student, she also wants to illustrate to others what can be accomplished, and would love to be a role model and help mentor others. She may also return to the education world for her PHD after spending time in the corporate world.

Favorite Thing about Seattle: 

Having moved from a small town to Seattle, Johanna loves the Seattle vibe and community in general. The ways in which the community and city government shows care for social issues are important components in her adoration for Seattle. She appreciates the friendly nature of the city and that it’s easy to talk to people when she feels comfortable, but can also easily retain her privacy when necessary.

Favorite Quote:

“What is success? To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; that is to have succeeded.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson


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