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Published 2/24/2005

Owens Academic All-American Balances Life, School, Work and Basketball

Sarah Johnson Owens Community College student-athlete Sarah Johnson is proving that time doesn't necessarily mean the amount of minutes on a clock, whether it is a game clock or classroom clock. Rather, the Sylvania native is proving that time is whatever you make of it, and she manages to make the best of the time that she is spending at Owens.

A sophomore Registered Nursing Program major, Johnson not only spends countless hours on the basketball court, she also spends a good portion of the week in the classroom taking 14 credit hours of classes, at The Toledo Hospital conducting her clinical experience and at Flower Hospital as a part-time nursing assistant.

"Balancing everything in my life is not too difficult," said Johnson, a 2002 Sylvania Northview High School graduate. "I just learned to deal with it. I have to prioritize and make the most of my time."

Basketball is something that Johnson has had a passion for since she was in fifth grade. In her first year at Owens, Johnson averaged 3.5 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. She was named to the NJCAA Division II Academic All-American Team and earned Ohio Community College Athletic Conference Academic All-Conference honors. She also was the recipient of Owens' Coaches Award.

"Sarah is a superb student-athlete with a great work ethic, and she understands what it takes to succeed at every level," said Owens Women's Basketball Head Coach Mike Llanas, whose team currently holds a 17-11 overall record. "Sarah is a model of the type of individual Owens wants both in the classroom and on the court."

In the classroom, Johnson holds a 3.5 grade point average. On the court, Johnson is averaging 18 points and 11 rebounds per game and helping to lead Owens back to the NJCAA Division II National Championship. Last season, the Express finished ninth in the tournament and once again have their sights set on a national championship appearance.

"Sarah is a perfectionist and wants to excel at everything she does," said Llanas. "She wants to perform at an extremely high level in a competitive setting. The busy schedule she has now will only help her succeed in future endeavors."

According to Johnson, who serves as the team's captain, basketball is just like having a job. However, it is also a great avenue to escape from the pressures and responsibilities of school. "It has given me another circle of friends to have fun with outside of the classroom," she said.

When not in the classroom or on the court, Johnson can be found at The Toledo Hospital every Tuesday assisting patients during of her clinical experience. Owens' clinical experience is designed to enhance a student's knowledge and skills about nursing through observation and hands on instruction, which is required as part of the College's Registered Nursing Program curriculum.

While at The Toledo Hospital, Johnson works with mental health patients, learning about and how to properly care for their diseases. Additionally, she is responsible for taking vital signs, assisting with the administering of IVs and helping patients with daily activities such bathing and medication usage.

"Being able to apply everything I've learned in textbooks to real life situations is great," said Johnson. "I've gained a lot of confidence working with patients, as well as their families."

Following The Toledo Hospital experience, Johnson will continue her clinical education by working at Bay Park Community Hospital, assisting adult patients who are suffering from various health-related problems. While at the same time, she will continue working as a nursing assistant with Flower Hospital.

"Sarah is very organized in the clinical area and treats all of her patients as individuals," said Joyce Rhegness, Owens Professor for the School of Health Sciences. "She has a wonderful work ethic and very good communication skills."

Following graduation from Owens' Registered Nursing Program in December of 2005, Johnson plans on attending either The University of Michigan or Lourdes College to obtain her bachelor's degree in Registered Nursing.

"I really admire Sarah," said Rhegness. "She has the unique ability to combine nursing with basketball and succeed in both, something that is nearly impossible to accomplish."

Owens Community College is one of the fastest-growing higher educational institutions in Ohio. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 45,000 credit and non-credit students, making it the number one choice for new college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, and Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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