Miss America Crowning
We are happy to introduce Nicole Johnson as a featured inspiration and a true role model for every child and adult living with Type 1 Diabetes, we have known Nicole for years and are so proud to see all the accomplishments that she has made over the years. Nicole has gone from Beauty Queen (having beauty both on the inside and out) to Dr.PH, MPH, MA, Nicole has served as an international consultant and advocate for diabetes issues since 1999. She has worked tirelessly promoting awareness, prevention and early detection of the condition she has shared since 1993.
Nicole Johnson was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1993 at the age of 19. As a new college student, her diagnosis was a quite a challenge. At diagnosis, it didn't help that Nicole was told by her health professionals that because of diabetes she would likely not be able to finish college, she would not be able to pursue a career in journalism, she should never get pregnant, and that she should avoid high stress environments. That last piece of advice related to Nicole sharing that the night before she was diagnosed, she competed in a local scholarship competition to earn the right to go to Miss America. The health professionals were stunned that in such a severe state of DKA, Nicole placed as a runner up. It was in those first few moments of life with diabetes that Nicole decided she needed to figure out how to find hope - both for her and others. Even though she did move back home to live with her parents, temporarily dropped out of college, haulted her dreams of a career in journalism and committed to playing it safe with a future family, Nicole eventually realized that life is meant to be lived to its fullest. Nicole did finish college, she did work as a journalist, she became pregnant and today has a healthy daughter - and she went on to win Miss Virginia and Miss America. Negativity has no hold on Nicole. Through diabetes she found a passion for helping others realize their purposefulness. She is committed to helping all people touched by diabetes live with optimism. She knows, anything is possible - regardless of bad advice.
Nicole is a Telly award-winning television journalist and an avid writer. Her articles on living with diabetes have appeared in Diabetic Cooking Magazine, Guideposts Magazine, Diabetes Forecast, Diabetes Health, USA Today and on various websites related to diabetes. She has also written seven books.
In 2010, Nicole was named the Executive Director for an innovative project called Bringing Science Home at the University of South Florida. This project investigates the connection between diabetes, family dynamics and optimistic living. Some of the projects that Nicole has created or spearheaded under this program include: Students With Diabetes, Diabetes Partners, a Postdoctoral Psychology Diabetes Fellowship Program (with fellows at Stanford University, Harvard University, Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, University of Florida and University of Massachusetts) and the Florida Diabetes Prevention Program.
Nicole also serves on numerous health related advisory boards including the JDRF International Board of Directors, Florida Governor’s Diabetes Advisory Council, the Diabetes Empowerment Foundation and Athletes & Causes. She is also a past national board member for the American Diabetes Association, appointee to the National Institutes of Health Council of Public Representatives, and advisory board member for the NIH Children’s Inn.
Since 1999, Nicole has helped raise over $27 million for diabetes research and programs. She is passionate about promoting public participation and understanding of research.
Nicole has been recognized for her work in diabetes around the world. She is a recipient of the Charles H. Best Medal for Distinguished Service in the Cause of Diabetes, the C. Everett Koop Medal for Health Promotion, the Hero Award from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Victory over Diabetes Medal from the Polish Diabetes Association, Community Hero Award from the Tampa Bay Lighting, as well as awards from the Japan Diabetes Association, Australian Diabetes Associations, the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, and Regent University.
Nicole holds a Doctoral degree in Public Health from the University of South Florida and Master’s degrees in Journalism and Public Health.
To learn more about Nicole’s professional work, please visit:
5 Fun Facts About Nicole: