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Paxten Johnson

Gregory, SD
PhysicsComputer Science and Mathematics triple major

Growing up in a small town in South Dakota, I was required to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), which is a military aptitude test. I never thought about being involved in the military. I also didn’t come to Drake thinking I’d join a sorority. But I researched ROTC, and was encouraged to rush by my aunt. I fell in love with both.    

Being in Greek Life has allowed me to make connections with a wide variety of people, including people outside my major and within the Des Moines community. I have gotten to participate in intramurals and philanthropic events with people from every chapter. The people I have met in my sorority push me to uphold high standards, mirroring the values that ROTC holds me to. Both organizations have taught me invaluable lessons and made me a better student and friend.

Triple Threat
I’m a Physics, Computer Science, and Math triple major. My advisors for all of the majors have been accommodating with my busy ROTC and course schedules. One advisor is even going to personally help me with a lab that was originally scheduled during a class. 

I came to Drake looking to get involved, and I found that because of its size it’s easy to get involved and make lots of friends. If you want that family that you can go to for anything, then Drake University has the opportunities to find that connection. 

I’ve visited other schools for conferences, and they are huge. You’d think because it’s a bigger campus that there are more opportunities, but there aren’t. You can be involved in so many different things at Drake—and the people get to know you so well because of that community feel. Professor Urness has taken us to a conference in Chicago to present research. You wouldn’t get that opportunity at bigger schools. 

Drake envelopes you as a family. It was the perfect transition from small town to college.

Looking Ahead
I have been commissioned into the Air Force upon my graduation in May. Then, I will head to training to become a Special Agent for the Office of Special Investigations. After I serve my time in the Air Force, I hope to go to graduate school and eventually work with children. I currently work at the Science Center of Iowa and love watching kids’ minds move. I would love for the opportunity to open a curiosity center for kids.