Alumnus Profile: Daniel “Shoeless” Johnston

Daniel Johnston (or ‘Shoeless’, as he is better known on the intramural fields) is a recent OKWU Global Studies graduate. Shoeless’ recently stopped by the Eagle to share about his life at OKWU.


Eagle: What brought you to OKWU?

Daniel: At first I thought it was just a random letter. I got a bunch of letters in the mail from different universities during my junior/senior year of high school. But for some reason, when I picked up the letter from OKWU my dad happened to glance at it and thought that he knew somebody that worked there…sure enough, my dad had met Dr. Piper about a year before at a leadership conference…so we came…and Dr. Piper showed us around the campus and I really loved…how beautiful the campus was and the principles that Dr. Piper shared, meaning the 4 P’s (that was the first of many times I heard Dr. Piper talk about the 4 P’s).

Eagle: How has your experience [at OKWU] influenced you?

Daniel: I think the people here have influenced me the most. The friends that I have established from this school, the teachers, Dr. Mike [and] Dr. Jarmola…have really been a huge influence on my life…

“I think the people here have influenced me the most.”

…When I first came to college I was really shy and didn’t like to talk to people, and just this environment has really helped me get involved with people.

Eagle: What piece of advice would you share with OKWU students?

Daniel: Get involved with everything. Don’t be shy to express your faith. That is one of my favorite things here is that it is a huge faith based community. I would urge any of the students who are shy about expressing their faith to really just open up and talk to people and build their faith here.

Eagle: How did you come to know Christ and how has it changed you?

Daniel: I have grown up in the church. But I didn’t really get to know more about Christ until my sophomore year of high school when I went on a missions trip to Colorado Springs. It was during that mission trip where we all had that time to share stories, and that was the very first time I felt the Holy Spirit touch my life. From that moment on I have wanted to grow more and more in Christ. My relationship with God just really grew once I came to OKWU because I was surrounded by a lot of godly people who took me in and just helped guide me in my relationship with Christ.

Eagle: What is your favorite memory at OKWU?

Daniel: Winning national the crochet championship. And being called “Shoeless”


Eagle: How did you get the name?

Daniel: My sophomore year of college I was playing all [intramurals] without shoes, I just don’t like playing with shoes. One of the OKWU baseball players didn’t like to wear shoes either, and they called him “shoeless Jackson”. So from there it just become “shoeless Jackson” and “shoeless Johnston”.

Eagle: What are you planning to do with your degree?

Daniel: I love to travel, which is one of the reasons I chose this degree…I love just being able to help people, especially kids. So I don’t know where God is going to send me. One thing I am really bad at is learning a language. Meeting new people and learning new cultures is something I’m passionate about so I want to use this gift to help spread the gospel.

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