Ambassador gained support network on path to degree

TWU student, Lauryn Johnson, holds up the university hand sign in the basketball gym

May 4, 2023  —  DENTON — If a prospective student or family has toured the Texas Woman’s Denton campus in the last three years, there is a decent chance they have met senior Lauryn Johnson. As a Pioneer Ambassador, Johnson gives campus tours and is one of the first people that guests encounter.

Johnson is hard to forget. She has an infectious smile, high energy and is enthusiastic about her time at Texas Woman’s.

“I treat everyone on my tours as if they are already a part of the TWU family,” Johnson said. “I crack jokes, give key tips, share stories and get personal with them.”

Pioneer Ambassadors, a division of the admissions office, is one of the many university organizations that Johnson has joined. She served on the College of Business Dean's Student Advisory Board, was a member of the American Marketing Association student chapter and worked as a marketing assistant for the athletics department. She received the 2023 Campus Leader with a Heart Award and is graduating in May with a bachelor’s degree in marketing.

“I’ll cherish the love and community that I have here at TWU,” Johnson said. “One lesson that I will take from TWU is that no matter where you go, you always need to make sure you build that community.”

Those communities have opened doors for Johnson and supported her during tumultuous times. They have led her to amazing opportunities. She interned with the Mark Cuban Heroes Center and traveled to New Orleans as an AMA team finalist for a national case competition in April.

Lauryn Johnson with her parents

She has come far since arriving on campus as a shy 17-year-old, who was too nervous to leave her residence hall room. 

“I was scared,” Johnson said. “I was that kid that showed up 30 minutes early for class.” 

But it only took her a few weeks to break out of her shell. Johnson met her core group of friends and started exploring campus. The first event that she attended was Greek Night and she remembers thinking, “I kinda like this place.”

During her sophomore year, she served as a resident assistant for the Department of University Housing, thinking it would challenge her leadership skills. But the entire 2021 year posed a challenge for Johnson, starting with the ice storm that swept across Texas. While she was running around dealing with falling ceiling tiles and water leaks in the residence hall, she learned her parents had lost their home.  

“It was overwhelming, and my dad was really sick,” Johnson said. “It alarmed me a lot. We lost all of our possessions in the flood, there was mold everywhere.” 

Difficult times continued for Johnson when her father passed away a few months later. Friends and members of all her communities embraced her with support. Johnson remembers a staff member telling her, “You are not alone.”

Lauryn Johnson with her parents

When Johnson returned to school, she channeled her energy into applying for her dream internship with the NFL. For the next few months, she was caught up with the application process, making it through two rounds, but was crushed when she didn’t move on. 

“I was working at the admissions office, just crying,” Johnson said. “The admissions staff consoled me again. They said, ‘Lauryn, there are other places for you.’ “

And, Johnson found that place. An appointment at the internship office ultimately led her to the Mark Cuban Heroes Center. During her senior year, Johnson assisted with the day-to-day operations at the center. She called her experience authentic and raw. 

“"I've gained experience in project planning, event operations, marketing, social media and photography” Johnson said. “I am confident wherever I land after graduation I'll be equipped to handle anything." 

Johnson has her sights on a marketing career in sports, her love for sports bolstered by her experiences with the heroes center and the athletics department.

“I’ve been through a lot in these four years,” Johnson said. “It’s very emotional looking back at all I’ve been through. TWU changed me tremendously for the better. It taught me to keep pushing forward. Thank you to admissions, housing and dining, TRiO, CARE and the internship office who have supported me throughout the years.”

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Page last updated 10:40 AM, May 31, 2024