2016 President’s Outstanding Graduate

Cal State San Marcos helped mold their lives, and now they’re set to help change the world.

Six standout graduates from the Class of 2016 were honored at a special awards dinner for their academic achievements and service to the community while overcoming sometimes seemingly overwhelming challenges.

Honorees were nominated by faculty or staff and endorsed by their college’s dean. Here is Jamaela Johnson’s story.


Jamaela Johnson B.A. Human Development.

President’s Outstanding Graduate

Dean’s Award, College of Education, Health and Human Services

Jamaela Johnson would be the first to tell you that when she arrived at Cal State San Marcos from Vista Murrieta High School in Murrieta, she was a little bit of an introvert. No more. The standout scholar has transformed herself into an engaged community advocate involved in myriad causes on campus and in the larger community.

And our university is a lot better place because it.

Jamaela, who is vice president of Student and University Affairs, helped charter the CSUSM’s first African-American Greek organizations, contributed as a peer educator at the Gender Equity Center, served as vice president of the Black Student Union and as a student representative for Diversity and Inclusion, and helped coordinate the annual Race for the Cure through the Colleges Against Cancer organization.

She also helped coordinate community events as a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Youth Council; volunteers with the Black Coal & Rose’s Society, a K-12 girl’s mentoring program that focuses on interpersonal skills, professional etiquette, career guidance and self awareness; and advocates for sexual assault survivors and other social justice movements as a member of Feminists Unite while working with the group in pushing for CSUSM’s first Sexual Violence Advocate and Educator program.

Jamaela also is a proud member of Kappa Omicron Nu, a national honor society for human sciences. Her name is a regular presence on the annual Dean’s List.

“Jamaela Johnson exemplifies the values of the Human Development Department: civic engagement, social responsibility, and a commitment to helping communities in need,” said Rodney Beaulieu, assistant professor of human development. “In addition, she excels in the areas of academic achievement and campus wide leadership and activism. Her passion for addressing sociopolitical disparities, social justice and improving her own effectiveness as a leader has provided guidance throughout her educational career.”

Jamaela’s professional goal is to take the skills she has honed here and make a difference in world.

“My experience with the various student organizations helped me discover methods for mediating social problems, responding tot the needs of underrepresented groups, promoting social justice and equity, and enacting social change,” said Jamaela.

To review other Class of 2016 graduate stories, please visit http://news.csusm.edu/top-2016-graduates-honored-with-awards/


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