Joanna Grayson’s most rewarding roles in life are that of student and teacher. Having grown up in a sleepy Southern town, Joanna learned from an early age to entertain herself, which often included taking in as much information as possible via books and magazines, music, and her prized maps of the world.
As a high school student, Joanna attended Phillips Exeter Academy for a summer program and enjoyed boarding school life so much that she then attended The Hotchkiss School, which fueled her need for independence, autonomy, and self-exploration. Later, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Emory University, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Baylor University, and a certificate in Legal Nurse Consulting from Kaplan University. She also completed graduate-level courses in nursing education from Duke University, as well as technical writing, business leadership, and communications courses.
Joanna started her career in public relations and the entertainment industry in Los Angeles during the early 1990s. The economic recession at the time prompted her to evaluate her future and was the catalyst for Joanna attending nursing school and thus pursuing a career in healthcare, with hospice nursing being the most rewarding specialty. The student eventually evolved into teacher, and Joanna taught in nursing programs, which is where she was approached by international publishers to utilize her English degree and writing skills to develop textbooks and other educational resources for healthcare students. This prompted Joanna to start a communications company, Auctorial Pursuits, where she led several large-scale editorial projects that required recruiting, training, and managing one hundred healthcare subject matter experts at a time, in addition to editing their writings. She also authored several books, wrote journal articles, and created patient education materials.
Another economic crisis, this time the one that affected the world in 2008, prompted Joanna to start Global Academic Consultants (GAC), an international educational consulting firm that assists domestic and international students with the admissions process to private day and boarding schools, colleges and universities, and graduate and professional programs around the world. Having a soft spot for adolescents who struggle with learning and behavioral challenges, Joanna uses her clinical background as a registered nurse to place these students in therapeutic programs that offer the social-emotional support they need. Joanna adores working with teenagers and uses empathy and humor to connect with them.
At various points during her career, Joanna has served as an expert witness, board member, certified salary negotiator, and community volunteer.
To balance work with play, Joanna has competed in several elite athletic competitions including the Hawaii Ironman World Championships, English Channel Solo Swim, Maui Channel Solo Swim, and the Lake Travis Solo Swim.