Justin Jimenez

Johnston Center for Integrative Studies

“From a very young age, the importance of education was imparted to me,” said Justin Jimenez ’12, a graduating senior in the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies where students are encouraged to create their own major.

For Justin, it was a matter of finding something authentic. He forged an emphasis called Communication Sciences and Educational Studies: A Hermeneutic Approach.

“I basically had to really understand the inner workings of education and try to find ways to make it meaningful for me.

Justin is the first member of his family to attend college in the United States. His enrollment in Redlands is a new understanding of education for his parents who emigrated from the Philippines before he was born.

“Redlands boasts a dynamic culture.”

Justin spent the night at the Johnston Center following a tour of the campus. “It allowed me to see many different facets of the University. I was attracted by creating your own major.”

His original plan was to pursue a degree in Communicative Disorders and become a speech pathologist, but ultimately chose a different path.

“I decided that I had a bigger contribution to make. I crafted my emphasis as a way to explore inter-cultural communication and international educational development.”

Justin’s interest in the concept of education led him to student government and to serve as the executive director of convocations and lectures. “Drawing in speakers, making students aware and cultivating culture helped me define educational justice.”

Through the Johnston Center, Justin completed teaching the May Term course “Educational Justice for All: An Exploration of Practice, Policy and Research.” The course focused on educational issues across the globe and attempted to discover unconventional ways to address issues of access and inequality in education.

“We’re using an interdisciplinary framework and pulling in perspective from sociology, anthropology, social and moral philosophy. It’s given me an opportunity to tie my emphasis together.”

Justin will attend graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, where he plans to study the inner workings of comparative education in the hopes of managing a non-profit organization, and eventually becoming a professor.

“I want to find ways for educators and students to work in tandem. Especially today, there’s an issue that creativity and innovation is being stifled and that there is passive learning taking place. I want to ensure that all students have the opportunity to be critically conscious of their surroundings and have voices that they never considered.”

Quiet the Mind
meditation room

The University’s Meditation Room opened in 2007 and is one of the first “contemplative classroom” spaces in the country.

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