Vincent Johns, Jr.
Vincent Johns, Jr. has had a love for transportation systems ever since the age of four. “I chose to enter the field of civil engineering to help the aging infrastructure systems and to improve the safety and quality of our roads within our communities and nation,” Vincent stated. The need for infrastructure restoration was especially evident to Vincent in New Orleans. While staying there almost every summer for quite some time, Vincent was fascinated with the way highways were constructed in different parts of the city. On the city’s Eastbank, many were narrow and did not account for heavy merging areas and were seen as eyesores. The Westbank, however, was bustling with beautiful elevated highways hovering over parks, bike trails, and bus stations: “The difference between these two areas of New Orleans shows that well-planned, designed and engineered highways are what make cities work.”
LSAMP has given Vincent the opportunity to complete an undergraduate thesis, and he already has a topic in mind. Vincent’s interest in the relationship between cities and highways has taken root in his undergraduate thesis, where he is working on the impact highways have in urban communities. “Too many times minority communities are ruined because of highways. I believe that if we constructed more gateway bridges like the Short North Cap on High Street, we could really start to see communities reconnect,” he said. Aware of the fact that entering a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field can present many challenges, Vincent also was given the opportunity to meet other minorities in STEM who share the same challenges and a support system that includes tutoring, mentoring, and workshops. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Bell National Resource Center has also offered support for Vincent through its many programs as he begins his freshman year at Ohio State.
Vincent is currently majoring in Civil Engineering and City and Regional Planning (Architect), and he plans to graduate in 2017. After graduation, he hopes to return to Ohio State for the dual master’s degree in Civil Engineering and City and Regional Planning.