This month’s Meet the Maryland Hokie is Kinsey Johnson, Sophomore Outfielder for the Softball team.
What part of Maryland are you from?
I am from Highland, Maryland located in Howard County
Favorite thing to do in Maryland? Favorite place to visit?
My favorite thing to do would probably be going to my old travel field or my high school field and practicing. It helps me remember my past experiences that led me to where I am today and I get to relive a lot of great moments and think about old friendships that still last today because softball brought us together.
How did you first learn about Virginia Tech?
One of my travel coaches was a Hokie graduate and he always spoke so highly of Tech, one year a couple of my teammates and I decided to come down for a summer softball camp and that was the first time I got to see the campus.
Why did you chose Virginia Tech? Did you have a connection to VT prior to deciding?
Other than my travel coach, I didn’t really have a connection with VT but after I attended a camp and got to play on the Tech softball field, I fell in love with the idea of one day getting to wear the Hokie colors and representing the university at the next level.
Who recruited you to Virginia Tech?
Coach (Scot) Thomas and former coach (Al) Brauns
What is your major and why did you choose it?
I am majoring in Business Marketing Management. Coming into college I thought I was going to end up in the sciences but after going through a few semesters I realized how much I would love working with athletics after my time as an athlete. The idea of marketing and working with future athletic establishments is something that really appeals to me.
What is your greatest on-field/sports memory?
My freshman series at NC State I had one of my best games and it was one of those moments where I remembered why I had started playing softball in the first place. It really made me think about how fortunate I was to continue my athletic career in college and how I just needed to keep having fun with the opportunity.
How has being a student athlete added to your experience at Tech?
Other than obviously giving me a chance to continue playing and giving me an immediate family of 20+ girls, it has given me opportunities I couldn’t even imagine before college athletics. Most of the memorable experiences I have had were volunteering and fan events and I love how many chances you get to give back to the community. It is weird to think about how others look up to us as athletes but I am so grateful that Tech has provided countless opportunities to show the fans our endless appreciation.
How has being a student athlete prepared you for life after graduation?
While I still have about half of my collegiate career left, I can already see the numerous impacts being a student athlete will have on my life upon graduation. Even as I apply for summer internships, I can see being a student-athlete has greatly helped my chances especially with gaining skills such as leadership, time management, and abilities to work in a team during stressful scenarios. Not only have I gained new knowledge that can help me later in life but my teammates, coaches, and support staff can provide endless insight and connections for me no matter where I may go in life.
Are there any other activities (clubs, student organizations, volunteer activities, etc.) in which you have been involved during your time at Virginia Tech? If so, tell us about them.
I am a part of an organization called SAAC, this stands for Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. This is a group of representatives from each team at Tech and we provide insight on the current experience as an athlete on campus and offer input on rules and regulations that will affect athletes especially regarding the NCAA.
Is there a faculty member, administrator, local citizen, etc. that you’ve had the good fortune to meet during your time at Virginia Tech who has really inspired or challenged you in some way? If so, who was that person and in what way have they made an impact on you?
Last year, when Coach Beamer was announcing his retirement our team got together a little gift and we went to go give it to him one morning. The whole gift giving event could not have lasted more than 10 minutes and acting like a typical fan of course I asked for a picture with him but what was so cool about the experience was how he acted throughout the entire thing. Over the years, he has had thousands of people asking for photos and wanting to chat for a few minutes just so they can say they got to meet Frank Beamer. While others may have gotten exhausted and even annoyed, he is so content and happy to do it. He made our team feel special and he was so humble it was unbelievable. I remember we were standing in his office and a few of my teammates and I were mesmerized by all the championship rings on one of his tables and he came over and just asked us about us and genuinely wanted to get to know who we were. It may have only been a few minutes for him but it is something I will always remember and I hope one day I can be as selfless, caring, and embracing of the Ut Prosim motto as he was and continues to be.
What are your plans after graduation? Do you think you will return to Maryland someday?
Upon graduation I am hoping to find a career in athletics. If I could get my dream job it would be working with the Washington Nationals or the Baltimore Orioles, back in Maryland. Another option that I have just found interest in is working with college athletics and being a part of support staff either academically or in marketing.
What do you do for fun when you have free time?
Right now, I do a lot of napping. It sounds boring but with school and season starting up, getting sleep when I can is a necessity. I also love going to any sporting event on campus when I have the time. Hokies for Hokies is what it is all about!
What’s your favorite food?
Cheese. I really, really, REALLY love cheese. Mac N’ Cheese, Ham and Cheese sandwich, Grilled Cheese, String Cheese, Cheeseburgers. My favorite food on campus is by far the Mozzarella Sticks at West End.
Do you have a nickname? If so, what is it and is there a story behind it?
I don’t really have a nickname other than Kins but that is just a shorter version of my name and it is one syllable so it is easier to cheer with during games.
What type of music do you listen to? Favorite Artist?
I generally listen to all types of music from rap to country to throwbacks but my favorite all time artist would have to be Whitney Houston.
Do you have any message for the Hokies living in Maryland?
My favorite thing is when I am walking around back home, shopping at the mall, or at the local gym and someone stops me and tells me what year they graduated from Tech. I love seeing how people from different generations can talk about and be proud over something and Virginia Tech is the perfect connection. So, I would just say to keep up all the support and love for Virginia Tech and share it whenever you can because being a Hokie is a special kind of opportunity.