30th Aug2011

Rolanda Sue Johnson – Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU)

by Staff

“Along with my great academic experiences I have met some lifelong friends at my institution. Over the years I have grown from a young lady into a woman. JCSU has made me more diverse and open minded.”

C/O 2012

Major: Biology & Chemistry

Personal Contacts:



How did you decide to become a student at Johnson C. Smith University?

I was a participant in the Upward Bound Programs on the campus of JCSU and the rest is history. There I was afforded the opportunity to interact with professors, link up with the tennis coach, and explore campus life.

Rolanda Sue of Johnson C Smith University featuring Upward Bound in her My HBCU InterviewJohnson C. Smith University’s Upward Bound Programs (Upward Bound/Upward Bound Math and Science) are committed to providing students opportunities for a successful future.” [Image Courtesy of JCSU]

Being so family oriented the commute from the campus to home was perfect. When I went to visit other campuses it just wasn’t the same. Essentially I think my HBCU chose me.

What professors at Johnson C. Smith University are leaving the most impression upon you as a student and/or person? What did they do that continues to mean so much to you to this day?

The professor that has impacted my college career the most would have to be Dr. Joseph Fail. He teaches botany, ecology, evolution, and other special topics biology classes.

Rolanda Sue of Johnson C Smith University featuring Dr. Joseph Fail in her My HBCU InterviewJCSU Students and Dr. Fail during Earth Day; Image Courtesy of JCSU

Dr. Fail would have to be the hardest biology teacher at JCSU but I appreciate him for that. He never cuts his students any slack, he is always willing to help, and his teaching style helps in retaining the information. He also wants his students to succeed so he always make sure that he exposes us to the right people and provides us with many opportunities within our major.

What is the story of your “experience” to date at Johnson C. Smith University given its heralded status as a stellar and prestigious HBCU?

Along with my great academic experiences I have met some lifelong friends at my institution. Over the years I have grown from a young lady into a woman. JCSU has made me more diverse and open minded. It has helped me get more involved into my community and it I get exposure to many people from different networks. Also being a student-athlete helps me take my pride from in the classroom to tennis courts.

Rolanda Sue of Johnson C Smith University playing Tennis in her My HBCU InterviewNubian Queen Rolanda Sue poised and ready to win her next match!! – Image Courtesy of JCSU Golden Bullsports

Overall my experience has been rewarding and unforgettable. I love my Gold and Blue.

Where are the spots to go to if you wanted to cuddle with your boy or girlfriend?

Best place to cuddle would have to be in your room but on nice days you can catch couples on the bleachers by the tennis courts.

Rolanda Sue Jcsu tennis courts My HBCU InterviewBeautiful courts with a beautiful backdrop of Downtown Charlotte, North Carolina


What are the best restaurants on and near the campus? Which dishes do you enjoy the most?

Enso: any type of sushi rolls especially the kiss me rolls

Rolanda Sue Johnson C Smith University Enso Sushi Bar and Asian Bistro My HBCU InterviewWow! This dish looks so appetizing! – Image Courtesy of Enso Sushi Bar and Asian Bistro

Chipotle: chicken and steak burrito bowl Cookout: always fast and cheap, especially if its late and you are on a budget Rock bottomCarrabbasFuelBuffalo Wild Wings, Outback Steak House.

What are the chants heard most often at the sporting events?

“This aint nothing but a smith thing that’s all that’s all that’s all, to the window (to the window), to the wall (to the wall)” “Rock the Blue and Gold” “We the BEST in the CI CI DOUBLE A”

Who is your College crush?

A poet 🙂

How did you overcome your nervousness about going to college?

I was never really nervous about going to college. I felt prepared and I had a great support system, my family.

Rolanda Sue of Johnson C Smith University featuring Upward Bound in her My HBCU InterviewFamily is all you have in this lifetime! [Image Courtesy of African American Family Conference]


What is your major? and Why did you choose it?

Biology and Chemistry. I have always been interested in the sciences since I was a child so by the time I got to college my mind was set on being a science major.

What to date has been your proudest moment at Johnson C. Smith University?

Winning the title of Miss JCSU would have to be one of my proudest moments along with my travels to Haiti to start our new JCSU-Haitian Initiative.

Rolanda Sue Ms. Johnson C Smith University 2011-12Congratulations on becoming Miss JCSU for the year 2011-2012 and we really liked this video you filmed during your campaign, very creative! – Image Courtesy of Rolanda Sue


What are you pledging? And why? And if not, why not?

I have not decided if I am going to pledge.

How are you positively active on campus? (e.g. clubs, SGA, etc.)

Miss JCSU 11-12Captain Women’s tennis teamPresident of Student Athletic Advisory CommitteeVP of the Science ClubSTEM TutorUpward Bound Tutor Counselor, Miss Kappa Alpha Psi 10-11, NSBESigma Tau Delta Honor Society.

Rolanda Sue Johnson C Smith University NSBE My HBCU InterviewNSBE Members spending time together working hard!- Image Courtesy of NSBE


Where is the “yard” located?

In the center of the campus, mostly referred to as the “block”

A Glimpse of the “Block” during a Frat performance! Looks really nice!

What and where are the historical places on campus?

Biddle Hall located on the block Campus itself is historic because it is built on the highest hill in Charlotte.

Rolanda Sue Johnson C Smith University Biddle Hall history My HBCU InterviewBiddle Hall is in the background; Image Courtesy of Black Past


Are there any ghost stories involving buildings or spots on campus?
There have been rumors that some of the dorms were hospitals and at night students claim to have heard ghost. Also says that lovers meet on the bridge at midnight and a female ghost lingers on the clock above biddle hall.

How many “firsts” have you had at college ? What are they? (e.g. first road trip, first job interview, first love, first “F or A”, etc.)

First time I pulled all nighters, got my first C, first time I went streaking 🙂

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Graduate of an HBCU and true believer in HBCUs being the best at giving a well-rounded education academically and personally.




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