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Dr. Julie Morita

Dr. Julie Morita

Executive VP, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation | Commissioner, Chicago Department of Public Health (2015-19) | Class of 1986

Once upon a time, long before she worked for the CDC or was named Chicago’s public health commissioner, Julie Morita had the same freshman jitters as those aspiring UI scientists who wouldn’t go on to serve on President-Elect Joe Biden's COVID-19 advisory board.

“I can vividly remember walking into my first Chem 107 lecture in Chemistry Annex and being terrified,” the 1986 biology grad says from New Jersey, where she’s in her second year as executive vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

But “Professor Steven Zumdahl's enthusiasm for and love of chemistry was just what I needed to calm my nerves,” Morita says.

“I found the material extremely challenging but was able to enjoy learning because of Professor Zumdahl's engaging approach to teaching.”

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