The Good Life: Versiti leader integrates ‘Harry Potter’ fandom into speaking circuit

Last updated on March 17th, 2020 at 01:33 pm

Sue Johnson, director of clinical education for Milwaukee-based Versiti, got hooked on Harry Potter when the novels first hit bookshelves.

Like many people in the late 1990s, Johnson started reading the series with her son, who was learning to read at the time of their release.

“He would read a chapter out loud, then I would read a chapter, and we’d talk about it,” Johnson said. “That’s how I got hooked on it … I just love it. It’s such a great series.”

More than 20 years later, she remains a loyal fan, having read and listened to the books and watched the movies several times over.

She’s even incorporated her love of the franchise into her professional life. It’s not uncommon for Johnson to wear her Gryffindor robe while leading educational sessions as part of her international presentation circuit. She regularly integrates Harry Potter themes into her presentations, which she’s named the “Wizardly School of Antigens and Antibodies.“

“In the sciences and medicine, people can be afraid of going beyond the PowerPoint,” she said. “We’re just trying to have fun with learning. There are so many things you have to be serious about. We definitely are serious in what we present, but to add a little twist, I think it’s been really valuable.”

Johnson said her presentations particularly resonate with students and physicians-in-training today, many of whom grew up with the series, just like her son.

“They love it,” she said.

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