Named in memory and honor of Dr. Marjorie E. Kettell, Class of 1947, this award is presented annually to bestow institutional recognition on one Harriet E. Richards Cooperative House alumna who has distinguished herself in her personal or professional life, in her intellectual pursuits, or in her dedication to service of community, country or society.
Hillary Johnson ('01) was recently promoted to Senior Epidemiology Advisor to Local Health in the Division of Epidemiology at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), following two years as her Division’s Pandemic Response Team Lead. For her work on COVID-19 emergency response and aid to health agents across Massachusetts, she received the 2021 Champion of Public Health Nurses award from the MA Association of Public Health Nurses. Prior to the coronavirus global pandemic, Hillary was an infectious disease epidemiologist with a focus on case investigation for vaccine preventable diseases (like measles, mumps, whooping cough, etc.). She began her work with MDPH as the Field Operations Manager for the Division of STD Prevention, managing the contact tracing team for syphilis, gonorrhea, and HIV. She has always had an interest in infectious disease and international health, and spent her graduate school practicum working on two refugee camps in Rwanda, setting up HIV Counseling and Testing centers for Congolese refugees. She has a BA in Environmental Analysis & Policy from Boston University, and a Master of Health Sciences in International Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
As an undergraduate living in the HER House, Hillary served as House Treasurer and House President (She received the Emma Sleeper Award her Senior Year). Upon graduation, she served on the HERAA Board for several years as Board President, Vice President, and Treasurer. She has a very special love for the Harriet E. Richards Cooperative House and considers it to be her most rewarding experience at BU. Twenty years later, she is still best friends with several housemates, having traveled the world together and helped each other through life’s ups and downs. There is something universally experienced during those late nights at that kitchen table for each generation of HER ladies, and she will forever be grateful for the lessons, memories, and life-long friends.