Author: Camara Johnson

My Path to SPOWER & Northeastern University

My name is Camara Johnson and I am a Masters student studying Electrical Engineering at Northeastern University. I am originally from Washington, DC.  I am the youngest of two and will be the first person in my immediate family to continue towards their graduate studies. My main motivation for engineering is that I would like to be able to help people.  My path to engineering has helped me build character. I received my undergraduate degree from Hampton University, a HBCU located in Hampton, VA. I graduated a year late and initially felt very insecure about it but if I had graduated on time I am almost certain I would not have ended up in Boston, let alone at such a good university as Northeastern.


I realized I wanted to go to graduate school during an REU I did one summer. I really enjoyed the research and class I took over those ten weeks. I loved working in the lab and working with my graduate student mentor. The graduate student that mentored me helped teach me a lot and I was able to have a better perspective for what graduate school might be like. I was really interested in the idea of being specialized in a certain topic.


What drew me to Northeastern out of the other graduate schools I was looking at was the SPOWER faculty. I met Prof. Minus and Dean Harris when they visited my school and signed up for the Northeastern visit shortly after. When myself and other students from Hampton came for a tour, our returning flight was cancelled and we ended up staying an additional two or three days. These extra days gave me a chance to see the city a little more and get a better feel for Boston. I really appreciated how helpful Claire, Brad, and Marilyn were to us and I really felt like they cared about our well being. Before coming to Northeastern I was pretty set on attending another graduate school, having already had 4 completed credits.


Graduate school has been an adjustment for me with the workload and moving to a new state. I have had great opportunities and this past summer was able to work as program assistant with the SPOWER REU program and thoroughly enjoyed working with the students. I was selected as a Forbes Under 30 Scholar and was able to attend the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Boston which was a wonderful networking opportunity. I have been helping teach Robotics at an elementary school and this is helping me to become a more well rounded engineer. I am thankful for the experiences, friendships, and work relationships I have made during my time here and look forward to continuing to grow.