Nicholas Johnson, a Canadian student at Princeton University, has been named as the school’s first black valedictorian in the 274-year history of the school. Princeton university offered admission to its first black students 72 years ago.
The senior thesis of Johnson focused on creating algorithms to put in place a community-based preventative health intervention to reduce obesity in Canada. Also, Johnson worked as a software engineer in machine learning at Google’s headquarters in California. He was the co-president of Princeton chapter of Engineers Without Borders in 2018.
Johnson served as the editor of Tortoise, a writing fellow at Princeton’s Writing Center and the residential college advisor and member of Whitman College.
He will henceforth be interning as a hybrid quantitative researcher and software engineer during the summer after which he will commence his Ph.D. studies in operations research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
While reacting to the development, Johnson said it felt very empowering to be Princeton’s first black Valedictorian and that he hoped that this achievement would motivate and inspire other young black students, especially those who have interest in STEM fields.
Johnson said he appreciated the encouragement given to gim by the university to explore his interests by helping him with international internships and cultural immersion trips to Hong Kong, Peru and United Kingdom.