K.J. Johnson

Meet K.J. Johnson, DeVry student and 2016 U.S. Olympian

By DeVry University


Education: DeVry University Student, Business Administration with a concentration in Small Business Management & Entrepreneurship

Sport: Rugby

Hometown: Hopkins, MN

The Rio 2016 Olympic Games are K.J. Johnson’s first Olympic Games as a part of the rugby sevens team, a variant of rugby in which teams are made up of seven players playing seven-minute halves, instead of the usual 15 players playing 40-minute halves. K.J. is a former AIG Women's Junior and Collegiate All-American. She made her Women's Sevens Series debut with the Women's Eagles Sevens at the beginning of the 2013 season and won bronze with the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens, the premier stand-alone international rugby sevens competition which is organized by the sport's governing body, World Rugby (WR), and is played every four years. She also won a silver medal with the U.S. at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games and helped the U.S. team to fifth place in the 2015 World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series.

In 2012, K.J. made a difficult decision to leave a traditional university in order to pursue her rugby career, believing that it wouldn’t be possible for her to continue pursuing her degree while chasing her athletic dreams.

Soon after, she learned about DeVry’s flexibility, which allows students the opportunity to take classes online or on campus.

“After making Team USA, I was quick to get back into school. DeVry made my choice easy by working around my training schedule,” she said. “It has given me the chance to pursue a degree and have that security for my future.”

After rugby, K.J., a DeVry sponsored athlete, hopes to stay connected to the sport while using her DeVry degree.

“I hope to use my degree to start a rugby academy in Minnesota,” she said. “I think my focus on business will go a long way toward achieving my goal of sharing my passion for the sport with young rugby players in my home state.”

Photo credit: Flickr/US Olympic Team