Presidential candidate Ronald Johnson plans to give SUNY Plattsburgh students a clear path to success with community building and dedication, which he explained through storytelling.
Johnson is the fifth candidate for the SUNY Plattsburgh president position. He was previously the president for Clark Atlanta University. Johnson told personal stories that touched upon a typical fear of a new graduate—finding a job post-college graduation. Johnson said he had a lot of trouble with the job market after graduation because of layoffs in his field of engineering at the time. Multiple employers turned him down and left johnson broke with “all this [college] debt.” Johnson said he wanted to spare future graduates of SUNY Plattsburgh by strengthening alumni networks. If students have a solidified relationship with SUNY Plattsburgh alumni, their chances of getting a job after graduation increases according to Johnson.
“It’s hard to get a job when [a student] doesn’t know anybody,” Johnson said.
Johnson said he is planning to take SUNY Plattsburgh to the next level by changing its “private university” type structure. He said doing so will raise a student’s learning capabilities and make them feel more connected within the community.
“Students shouldn’t go to school feeling like a number,” Johnson said. “ [This will increase] connections. The 21st century is all about networks.”
He told his student audience that being known in the world is important. The only difference between SUNY Plattsburgh and schools like Yale University are the netwrking channels. If appointed, he would make sure students develop solid networking skills before graduation.
These plans for SUNY Plattsburgh will be implemented through empowerment and strong community involvement on Johnson’s part.
“I’m able to motivate people and create a clear path to where SUNY Plattsburgh can go,” Johnson said. “[Faculty, students] and I will work together and get there.”