Original article posted by Show Me Mizzou Here
Justina Serwaa Yevu Johnson
Doctor of philosophy, nursing science
Hometown: Bompata, Ashante Region, Ghana
In 2017, Justina Serwaa Yevu Johnson traveled nearly 7,000 miles from her home country, Ghana, to study at Mizzou. The Fulbright Scholar had served as a nurse and nursing instructor for nearly 20 years but wanted to devote herself to palliative care research.
“My experience as a medical-surgical nurse over the years and seeing the sufferings and pains of patients at the end of life in Ghana was overwhelming,” she said. “And I made a promise to myself and to these patients to advocate for the provision of palliative and end-of-life care services.”
Although it was her first time in the United States, Yevu Johnson adjusted to life on a new continent and quickly integrated herself into the Mizzou community. “I fell in love with Mizzou,” she said. “The School of Nursing has been home to me, and I like the fact that the faculty treat students as colleagues. They are concerned about you and want to see you do well and succeed. I’m going to take that with me and share it with my future students.”
On campus, Yevu Johnson got involved in multiple programs including the MU Graduate Professional Council and the Griffiths Leadership Society for Women. She also became a Deaton Scholar.
Yevu Johnson said her favorite place on campus is the MU Student Center. She even has a specific table that she returns to each day. “It served as my office for the past three years,” she said. “It’s where I did all my class assignments and wrote my dissertation. I was surprised when I got all emotional on my last day there — a day before my dissertation defense. I will always hold the memories of my time there close to my heart.”
After graduation, Yevu Johnson will complete post-degree academic training at the Sinclair School of Nursing — teaching and working with a research team. She is also waiting to hear back whether she was accepted into a postdoctoral program.