Sade Johnson, a student in Kremen’s Higher Education Administration and Leadership (HEAL) program, was recently recognized as an “Outstanding Graduate Student” by the California College Personnel Association (CCPA) as well as earning the “Graduate Student Honoree” award for recognition at the Division of Research and Graduate Studies (DRGS). Sade is expected to receive her M.A. in Spring 2023 with a 4.0 GPA.
During the course of the 30-semester unit program, HEAL students delve into curricula that examines policies, practices, theories, and current issues related to the postsecondary education pipeline. HEAL prepares emerging leaders for professional roles in academic affairs, making Sade a perfect representation of the program’s mission. Sade is a first-generation, system-impacted, low-income student-parent, who is also a wife and mother to two young children. She previously earned her B.A. in African American Studies with an emphasis on African American/Black Culture, Histories, and Society with a Minor in Mathematics from the University of California, Davis.
Sade’s passion for higher education stemmed from her transition to parenthood while still being enrolled in college. She experienced many of the injustices the system perpetuates toward parenting students, an experience which caused her to courageously advocate for policies and practices rooted in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, leading to her current work as a graduate assistant for Project HOPE, a case management service that addresses the basic needs of Fresno State’s student population. Sade has also collaborated with the Michelson 20MM Foundation, serving on their Spark Basic Needs Grant Committee. The foundation is dedicated to supporting and investing in higher learning initiatives that seek to transform the lives of underrepresented students.
Sade is also a Graduate Equity Fellow, her fellowship experience includes serving on the planning committee for the inaugural Higher Education Student Affairs in the Central Valley (HESA-CV) Conference, an annual meeting that aims to establish local networking opportunities for graduate students. She also serves as Vice-chair for the Student Advisory Council (SAC) at a dual-immersion charter school.
Sade aspires to continue working in higher education, advocating for students who are underrepresented or who have been impacted by the system. She is especially passionate about helping student-parents, students of color, first-generation students, and those classified as low-income. Sade has a strong belief that everyone is entitled to an education, no matter what their circumstances.
(Written by Audra Burwell, a Creative Writing student employed by the Kremen School of Education and Human Development )