ENMU University Studies Student from Illinois Achieves Her Childhood Dream of Attending College in New Mexico

Marleigh Johnson in the ENMU Spirit Squad.
Marleigh Johnson in the ENMU Spirit Squad.

ENMU University Studies Student from Illinois Achieves Her Childhood Dream of Attending College in New Mexico

Marleigh Johnson is majoring in university studies with an emphasis in psychology and social work at Eastern New Mexico University. She plans to graduate in spring 2022 and hopes to work in a psychiatric facility for adolescents.

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Marleigh with Bugs Bunny during her Years of Service Ceremony at Six Flags Great America.

Marleigh, who is from Libertyville, Illinois, chose to attend ENMU because, at the age of 10, she decided she was going to go to a college in New Mexico. "I had traveled here with my mom, and I just felt a connection to this beautiful state," she shares. "I visited four of the state schools here in New Mexico and chose Eastern because it was just the right size for me. It has meant that I have been able to get to know a lot of the students on campus as well as having a personal connection with many of my professors."

She spent the first two years of her Eastern Experience as a cheerleader on the ENMU Spirit Squad. "I had many highlights and made many lasting friendships," she says of her time on the team. "My favorite memories are cheering in the new football stadium, attending two bowl games and running out on the field in front of the team before each home game."

Marleigh also joined the Delta Pi chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha, a women's fraternity. "Currently, I am an alum and have joined the Zeta Tau Alpha Alumni chapter to continue my connection to this great group of women," she shares.

The senior's go-to spot at ENMU is the Campus Union since "it's the place where most of the fun on campus happens."

Her favorite class at Eastern so far was a summer course focused on homicide. "It was so different from anything I studied in my concentrations of social work and psychology," she explains. "It was a fascinating study of the ins and outs of investigating and proving a criminal case."

Marleigh advises students interested in pursuing a degree in university studies to "go for it especially if you do not know what you want to do in the future—and that's alright! It allows you to choose from a variety of classes from all the schools at ENMU.

She continues, "It's a self-directed, diverse degree in that you can study what you want to become who you want to be. I am a proud Greyhound university studies degree student because it took me some time to figure out my college path, and this degree allowed me a lot of flexibility."

Outside of classes, Marleigh has worked at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, as a guest relations host for the past three summers. She shares, "My job entails helping guests have a better time at Six Flags. I also assist them with tickets, season passes or memberships. I love this job because it has been an opportunity for me to use some of what I've learned in my social work courses and my psychology courses as I have had to deal with all kinds of different people in many different situations; you never knew what each day would bring, so it was never boring."

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