GEM Awardee – Johanna Alm

Spring 2019, Immunology & Rheumatology

Johanna Alm, fellowship coordinator for immunology and rheumatology, is, as one colleague describes her “like the oil in our engine; she keeps everything running smoothly.”

A Finnish native, Johanna first came to Stanford in 2007, accompanying her husband to California when he came to do post-doctoral work at Stanford.  She landed a job in the immunology and rheumatology division and worked there for two years before moving back to Finland, where she worked in HR for one of the biggest universities in Helsinki.  In 2016 they moved back to California and she ended up back at her old division in 2017.

Another colleague describes Johanna as “resourceful and is always thinking of ways to improve how things are done.”  Her day-to-day work as fellowship coordinator is “rewarding” and “interesting” to her—she works closely with Neha Shah, MD, the fellowship program director and clinical assistant professor of immunology and rheumatology on “all fellowship related tasks” and also works with and helps support the fellows in her program.  She also describes herself as “lucky to be a part of our division manager, Julie Park’s, central office team.”  She loves “the atmosphere on campus and the great diversity of people” and also loves her work with “great people.”

Johanna was “very surprised” by her GEM award and wondered, “Why did they pick just me?” but clearly her colleagues saw the award as necessary and almost inevitable. As one of them states, “She has truly transformed and uplifted the morale of the fellowship program. She is a true gem and we are so lucky to have her.”

In her free time, Johanna is the mother of two very active boys; “I love running and biking and I try to keep myself in shape in order to keep up with my constantly moving boys,” she says.  She also bakes, trail runs, read, and, of course, skis.  “As a Finn I really like skiing so in the winter we try to go skiing as much as we can,” she says.