Skip Navigation
Kalamazoo College
(c)CMcGuireKSpr2011_0030 (2)

Zoe Johannsen


Hometown: Evanston, IL
Majors: History and Studio Art
Minor: Religion
Study Abroad: Rome, Italy
Best Adjective to Describe You: Passionate

In 20 words or less, what is the best thing about being part of this department?
It's really easy to connect with professors and fellow majors and minors, and it’s fun to be surrounded by people who are just as into history as I am.

What is your advice to first years and sophomores about getting connected to this department?
Do not be afraid of the professors, they don’t bite. Approach them after class, during office hours, even if it's just to say hello or talk about something cool you found out. It makes it so much easier to go to them when you have actual questions or problems, and developing a relationship with professors is the best part of a small school.

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
I think the best thing I’ve ever learned at K was really more a skill to be gained. I’ve gained a lot of confidence since coming to K. Being in small classes and knowing so many people around campus made it easier for me to speak up and ask questions and that has been a skill I’ve continued developing over the years.

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
That’s a hard question, because I don’t think I’ve ever taken a class I didn’t like. I think it's a battle between Alternative Processes, which is the coolest photography class, or Women in Europe, which was the history class that made me become a major.

How have you taken advantage of the open curriculum or experienced breadth in your education?
I’m a double major and a Religion minor because of the open curriculum. I took a chance, signed up for a religion class sophomore year and found myself really interested. I think the open curriculum really gives students a chance to explore.

What experiential education opportunities have you participated in?
I had an externship my sophomore year with an alumni who ran a community art center in Fridley, MN. It was a great opportunity and opened my eyes to the world of art administration and what I might want to do in the future. I’ve also been a tutor for the CIS program at Maple Street Middle school, which was a lot of fun. I love working with kids and I got to plan art club activities for them! On campus I am also a leader for Kaleidoscope, one of the LGBTQ+ organizations on campus. We plan Pride Ball, a dance party every spring!

What is your SIP?
I’m doing a Hybrid SIP, with one unit in History and one in Art. My History unit is on early photographic processes and on the creation of photography and photographic culture in 19th century England and France. I’m interested in the way photography emerged in the social sphere, became commercialized, and became a part of the cultural framework of modern Europe. My Art unit will be based on using some of the historical process and techniques I’ve researched.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I’m currently working on applying for the Fulbright program and a few TEFL programs. I’ve really enjoyed working with and teaching students in the past so I want to gain some experience to decide if I want to continue teaching and I also really want to travel after graduation.

DSA Spotlights