Kathleen Johnson

Photo by: Steve Cohn Photography
Photo by: Steve Cohn Photography

USC School of Pharmacy

In Memoriam

Kathleen Johnson was a mentor’s mentor. Her dedication to students, residents and faculty colleagues was extraordinary and is best described by those she mentored. Associate Professor Steven Chen summed it up, “In my 24 years of professional practice and 15 years as faculty at USC, I have never met a more brilliant, caring, dedicated, giving, hardworking and unselfish mentor.” Dr. Johnson was a vice dean and department chair at the School of Pharmacy, yet she always was available to the entire school community. Assistant Professor Melissa Durham, who was mentored by Dr. Johnson while a pharmacy student, resident and eventually a junior faculty member, remembers “her encouragement and example of excellence inspires me more than anyone else I have ever met.”

Dr. Johnson mentored Dr. Durham over a decade, and her mentorship also extended into her personal life with advice and encouragement on balancing a demanding academic career and motherhood. Another colleague, Dr. Jeffery Goad described how Dr. Johnson guided him through “the disorientation as you struggle to figure out what you are meant to do” as a junior faculty. Today, as an associate professor, Goad says “his goal is to strive to be the mentor that Kathy Johnson was.” The footprint that Dr. Kathleen Johnson left at the School of Pharmacy and on the profession of pharmacy nationwide is very, very large. But her mentorship imprint on literally thousands of students, residents and colleagues will continue her good work for decades to come.