Connie Johnson is associate director of corporate and foundation relations in the UMass Medicine Development Office. She has worked at UMass Medical School since the summer of 2011. Previously, she was the development director for a small mission-driven non-profit.
What brought you here to UMass Medical School?I missed being in a science community and working with researchers. After getting my PhD in chemistry, I worked for the company Bruker and sold scientific instruments (NMR, MRI, MS) to researchers. I’m really glad to be back in a research environment!
What do you love most about the work that you do?Playing a role in the research process by helping bring money into the institution.
What is the practical application of your work?Finding money to fund health research
Which trait do you most admire in yourself?I’m really easy to talk to.
What’s the question you’re most often asked about your work—and the answer?Where can I find money for my research? There’s two to four billion dollars of private philanthropic support available for medical research, and most of the opportunities are solicited through an RFP process. People want to fund cures and interventions for the diseases their loved ones suffer from, and our job is to make sure that researchers at UMass Medical School have every opportunity to participate in this important funding mechanism.
Describe yourself in six words or fewer.Only six? Ok, then funny, friendly, creative, sincere, smart.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, name three things you would want.My family. That’s my husband and two children, so nothing else!
If you could have dinner with a famous person, living or dead, who would that be and why?I bet Eleanor Roosevelt would be fascinating to talk with.
What are some of your hobbies/interests outside of work?I have two young teen children, so most of my time centers on their activities and interests. I love to go out with my husband, garden, visit my friends, swim and do my art work.
What do you consider the most interesting thing about yourself that most people might not know (and you would want to tell them).I travel to the Swiss Alps each summer for a high mountain hiking vacation.