College of Public Health Awards First DrPh Degree

Diabetes awareness advocate Nicole Johnson first to receive doctor of public health degree from USF.

By Natalie Preston

USF Health

TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 9, 2013) – While earning the inaugural DrPH degree at the USF College of Public Health, Nicole Johnson, executive director of the Bringing Science Home program at USF Health, continued to work full time as a highly visible role model and advocate for people living with Type 1 diabetes. Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 19, Johnson earned her undergraduate degree in English and religion and won Miss America 1999.

“I was incredibly pressed for time and concentration, but it was possible. If I could do this, anyone can,” Johnson said of when asked about the challenges of earning a doctorate degree.

“The rich knowledge I gained from the advanced public health education at USF will further empower my work helping families and communities cope better, live better and learn more about life with chronic illness.”

Johnson says she plans to continue leading Bringing Science Home, managing the multi-million dollar research portfolio of a unique program that helps educate and empower those with chronic disease, such as diabetes. She will also serve on the Executive Committee of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International Board of Directors. In 2014, she will collaborate with the American Association of Diabetes Educators to create a national transition program and book intended to help educators form positive relationships with young adults with Type 1 diabetes.