Johns Hopkins Fa l l
MA GA Z I N E
Didact Thyself! A deeper, smarter you in just 22 self-taught courses!
Johns Hopkins Fa l l 2009
v o l. 61 n o. 4
The Autodidact Course Catalog By Dale Keiger September means back-to-school time, even for the autodidact. Johns Hopkins faculty contribute 22 courses that will make you smarter.
Survival Mode By Greg Hanscom As the national economic downturn takes its toll on nonprofits, Johns Hopkins’ Lester Salamon believes the “resilient sector” will adapt and survive.
The Forever Enemy By Michael Anft Transmitted by mosquitoes, malaria kills more than a million people each year. Johns Hopkins researchers are using the insect’s own genes to fight the disease.
To Understand Ourselves By Michael Dirda An essay on what Basil Gildersleeve—soldier, citizen, scholar, and the first faculty member hired at Johns Hopkins—can still teach us.
Cover illustration by Stephanie Dalton Cowan
Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009 1
Contributors: Across Time and Space
The Big Question: How Did Injury Change Your Teaching?
The Big Picture: As Japanese as Apple Pie
Editor’s Note: New for Fall
Letters: Who’s Behind the Research?
Essay: Just Testing
Golomb’s Gambits: Keyboard Crossword
Ruminations: Finding Her Grandfathers, Through Books
Wholly Hopkins: Matters of note from around Johns Hopkins
16 Nursing: The here, then gone nursing shortage
17 History of science: Plotting longitude
19 Business: Medical tourism
21 Public health: Swine flu “dress rehearsal”
23 Education: Bringing science to the teaching of arts
25 Consumer protection: Bad information about science
26 In memoriam: Philip Curtin, 1922–2009
Alumni News & Notes
How To: Wake Up a Sleeping Spacecraft
2 Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
C o n t r i b u to r s Vol. 61 No. 4 Fall 2009
Editor: Catherine Pierre Associate Editor: Dale Keiger Senior Writer: Michael Anft Art Director: Shaul Tsemach Design Assistance: Pamela Li Alumni Notes & News: Julie Blanker, Nora Koch, Kirsten Lavin Business Manager: Dianne MacLeod
Johns Hopkins Magazine (ISSN 0021-7255) is published five times a year (February, April, June, September, and December) by The Johns Hopkins University, 901 S. Bond Street, Suite 540, Baltimore, MD 21231. Produced in cooperation with the Alumni Magazine Consortium. Periodicals postage paid at Baltimore, Maryland, and additional entry offices. Address correspondence to Johns Hopkins Magazine, Johns Hopkins University, 901 S. Bond Street, Suite 540, Baltimore, MD 21231. Via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Electronic edition: www.jhu.edu/~jhumag/ Telephone: 443-287-9900. Subscriptions: $20 yearly, $25 overseas.
Across Time and Space Getting Gildersleeve An elderly professor Michael Dirda first encountered while an undergraduate at Oberlin College gave him a collection of his books later in life. Among them was Basil Gildersleeve’s 1890 masterpiece, Essays and Studies. “Over the years, I would occasionally run across Gildersleeve’s name and grew more interested in him,” says Dirda, who wrote this issue’s “To Understand Ourselves,” an essay about the Johns Hopkins classics scholar. Winner of a 1993 Pulitzer Prize for criticism, Dirda has been writing book reviews for The Washington Post for the past 31 years, has written several books on books, and publishes in The Chronicle Review, Lapham’s Quarterly, and The New York Review of Books. Stretch-A-Sketch Illustrator Wesley Bedrosian’s work tends toward the single-frame cartoon side of things—humorous panels that illuminate human foibles and pratfalls, and serious editorial ones that often echo storybook drawings from the 19th century. For the debut of Johns Hopkins Magazine’s “How To” feature, Bedrosian drew a whimsical set of pictures about “waking up” the New Horizons satellite, set to pass by Pluto in 2015. As he sketched the pieces in his Montclair, New Jersey, studio, he got the chance to stretch out. “Multiple panels allow more storytelling, like working in a series, which I enjoy,” says Bedrosian, whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Time, Vanity Fair, and The Wall Street Journal. —MA
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The Big Question
Christopher Mye rs
How did your injured hand change your teaching?
“I had to think very much more in language. I had to become far more precise and specific, and take feelings, which are by their very nature ephemeral and transitory, and try to nail them down with vocabulary. I find that using words, and asking the students to use words, is to become far more specific. The more specific you can become, the clearer and more accessible become your goals. “I also became rather adept at demonstrating with my left hand, which seems to be a source of a certain wonder in some of my students because stuff that’s written for the right hand is arranged differently anatomically from stuff written for the left hand. But it just goes to prove that everything’s in the head. “I adore teaching. There is something about opening up this ‘Aha!’ moment for a student that is so satisfying and gratifying. I think the responsibility of teaching is far greater than the responsibility of a performer to the public because if the chemistry between performer and public fizzles or degenerates somehow, the public just doesn’t come, you know? A teacher passes on information to the next generation. If it’s bad information, that’s what I consider a sin. You don’t do that.”
Leon Fleisher, one of the world’s most renowned pianists, has taught at Peabody Conservatory for 50 years. In 1965, he had to abandon the standard repertoire after a movement disorder, focal dystonia, disabled his right hand. Treatment has enabled him to perform and record with both hands again—and demonstrate to his students what a master knows. —Interview by Dale Keiger Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009 5
T h e B i g P i c t u re
As Japanese as Apple Pie
Homewood’s baseball diamond turned field of dreams for a 15-and-under All-Star squad from Baltimore and a talented youth baseball team from Kawasaki, Japan. The July exhibition game (which Kawasaki won 17-1) celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Sister Cities program between Charm City and its Japanese counterpart. “The players first met at Fort Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
McHenry, and despite the fact that none of our kids spoke Japanese and none of their players spoke English, they quickly became friends,” says Team Baltimore manager Steve Duncan, who is also assistant coach for the Blue Jays baseball team. “They just all acted like buddies: arm wrestling and kidding around. As for the games, they were really classy. Great sportsmanship. It was a special experience for everyone involved.” —Greg Rienzi Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009 7
E d i to r ’s N o te
New for Fall
ou may have noticed a slight adjustment on the cover of this issue of Johns Hopkins Magazine. It says “Fall” instead of “September”—the first indication of our change from a five-times-a-year magazine to a quarterly one. As I mentioned in my June editor’s note, that reduction is the result of our challenging economic times; it’s a decline of frequency but not, the staff and I are determined, of quality. In fact, we took this opportunity to make a few upgrades. The biggest change you’ll see is the design of our two news sections, Wholly Hopkins in the front of the book and Alumni News and Notes in the back—both of which, I think, were overdue for a tuneup. Art director Shaul Tsemach, with help from designer Pam Li, did a beautiful job of freshening up those sections, giving them a cleaner, more contemporary look and creating a more pleasant reader experience. More importantly, the new design reflects the interaction of the two sections. We think of them as bookends—the former reporting campus news, the latter news about alumni and other friends of the university. The integration of their design better reflects that connection, while still maintaining each section’s identity. You’ll see another change on the magazine’s back page—the introduction of a new regular feature called
“How To.” With it, we plan to tap Johns Hopkins expertise, whether for practical, step-by-step advice, or for something more along the lines of “don’t try this at home”—like our debut installation, “How To: Wake Up a Sleeping Spacecraft,” about New Horizons’ annual checkup during its journey to Pluto. (I love illustrator Wesley Bedrosian’s whimsical interpretation of this not-so-whimsical subject.) One thing about the magazine that hasn’t changed is the excellence of the writing—as demonstrated by a couple of awards the staff brought home this spring. Associate editor Dale Keiger won a silver medal in the CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) Circle of Excellence Awards for “Drugs vs. Bugs,” his February 2008 story about drug-resistant pathogens and Johns Hopkins’ work to fight them. And senior writer Michael Anft won a Michael E. DeBakey Journalism Award for his September 2008 article “Of Mice and Medicine,” a comprehensive study of the research mouse. The DeBakey award recognizes journalism that adds to the public’s understanding of how humane and responsible animal research contributes to scientific discovery. Mike’s win put him in the company of journalists from CBS’s 60 Minutes, National Public Radio, and LA Weekly. Congratulations, guys!
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Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
L e t te r s Who’s Behind the Research? Couldn’t do it without them We are honored to be recognized in the comprehensive article by Dale Keiger on industrial food animal production and infectious disease [“Farmacology,” June]. In light of the H1N1 swine influenza pandemic, this topic is extraordinarily timely. I am writing to correct an omission concerning the support for much of the Hopkins research discussed in the article, which exemplifies the inestimable value of the independent private university and foundation funding for a topic that has not been welcomed by industry nor (at least until now) by government agencies. Without the strong support at the highest levels of the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins University, we might well have found our research discouraged or even terminated, as has been the experience of some of our colleagues at state universities. Without funding from the Center for a Livable Future (along with the
Winslow Foundation and the Clayton Baker Trust), none of our studies could have been conducted. If there is anyone who still wonders about the value of supporting Johns Hopkins, our experience confirms the essentiality of our university’s tradition of unhindered inquiry in the pursuit of knowledge for all. The history of public health has been repeatedly marked by accusations of being “an enemy of the people” (to cite Ibsen), and it takes individual and institutional integrity to withstand such calumnies. Ellen Silbergeld Professor, Environmental Health Sciences Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Self-validation You do a disservice by not mentioning Robert Slavin’s relationship with the Center for Social Organization of Schools and its researchers, who developed the Success for All program
[Wholly Hopkins, “Phonics Alone Not Enough,” June]. He is validating his own organization’s research (the results of which I agree with, not being a researcher but a parent). Benjamin J. Reynolds Sr. Program Manager, CTYonline Center for Talented Youth Not lashing out Yash Gupta takes former Vice President Cheney to task on two counts: first for not being able to admit mistakes, second for “lashing out” at his successor [Wholly Hopkins: “Real Leaders Know They’re Fallible,” June]. Presumably, the mistake he is talking about is Iraq, which presumes that it was a mistake. Not all of us would agree. Furthermore, the thing that the former vice president was talking about was keeping the homeland safe and being concerned that the current president might be doing things that would
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Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
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endanger us. He was talking about policy; he was not “lashing out.” Henry Quigley, A&S ’69 Corpus Christi, Texas Science, faith, and blastocysts To compare a morula with the human beings who died in Auschwitz, one has to accept, as an article of faith, that a blastocyst is a human [Letters: “Human Experience Was Wrong, Is Wrong,” June]. It requires no long reflection to understand that the victims of the Holocaust were sentient human beings. The opponents of stem cell experimentation are asking the rest of us to accept their minority religious beliefs. R. Owen Sear, A&S ’57, Med ’62 Winter Haven, Florida Brothers and sisters in arms Geoff Brown’s “Gamer Theory” [April] made me smile, as I have much in common with Coleman, MacLean, and Train. I am also a veteran of the Richard F. Oles boot camp, having fenced epee and foil at JHU from 1968 to 1972. Coincidentally, I bought a Timex Sinclair to play PONG “back in the day” and in 1985 purchased my first IBM PC 256K RAM (ack!), complete with amber monochrome monitor. I’ve followed the rise and fall of MicroProse since its inception, and I’ve owned and played all the MicroProse games. So here’s a salute (how we start a fencing bout) and a handshake (how we end a fencing bout, win or lose) to my talented brothers and sisters “in arms,” who learned not only a great sport but life lessons from an actual master, Dick Oles. Ingram Roberts, A&S ’72, Med ’76 Co-Captain, JHU Varsity Fencing ’72 Southport, Connecticut You missed two I was surprised to read about the first time “Hopkins produced two conference champs in the same year” [Wholly Hopkins: “Fishel Caps Great Career,” April 2008]. Bill Swartz and I were Mason-
10 Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
Dixon Champions at 167 and heavyweight in 1966. I was undefeated the next year and won, and Bill placed second for the next two years. I would not be surprised if there were other dual champions, for the Blue Jay spirit is awesome. William D. L. Hunt, A&S â€™68 Lancaster, Pennsylvania Indecent praise There is something indecent about singing the praises of Trita Parsiâ€™s pseudoscholarly apologetics for the Iranian regime in an issue that features both the heart-rending tale of the Hollander family, nearly wiped out by the Nazis and their accomplices, and the uplifting story of a brilliant physicist whose research stretches beyond the confines of the known universe [Wholly Hopkins: â€œA Problem of Perception,â€? â€œFatherland,â€? and â€œChasing the Great Beyond,â€? February 2008]. The Hollander story reminds us that threats to exterminate the Jews should always be taken at face value; the account of Adam Riessâ€™ scientific adventure underlines the virtues of the scientific method by which verifiable data trumps wishful thinking. One does not have to read Parsiâ€™s book to take issue with the notion that Western nations, mistakenly perceiving the Iran-Israel conflict as ideological and the Iranians as an irrational force not amenable to deterrence or negotiation, could opt for a military strike that would sacrifice American interests to Israelâ€™s goals. Parsi, according to the reviewer, would replace our faulty policies with a reasonable trade-off. Israel would forgo its military hegemony and Iran would change its attitude. How about vice versa? The lack of military hegemony led to the extermination of one half of the Jewish population of Europe. If Ahmadinejadâ€™s repeated promise to exterminate the rest of world Jewry is not ideological but pragmatic it must be that he thinks Western nations can be lured, once again, into hanging themselves with the genocidal noose. Nidra Poller, A&S â€™69 (MA) Paris, France
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Johns Hopkins Magazine â€˘ Fall 2009 11
he Educational Testing Service (ETS) recently announced “the first large-scale evaluation of personal attributes for use in graduate admissions.” This new test, the Personal Potential Index (PPI), will provide graduate programs with “reliable information about six key personal attributes critical for success in graduate school.” Some attributes are hard to dispute (“Knowledge and Creativity,” “Communication Skills”), although most applicants would lie through their teeth about “Ethics and Integrity.” Two others are questionable. “Teamwork?” For some disciplines “Misanthropy” would be more appropriate. “Planning and Organization?” You want to make the faculty look bad? Beyond those quibbles, I have a problem that goes back to a 1956 classic, William H. Whyte’s The Organization Man. The book includes an appendix titled “How to Cheat on Personality Tests,” advising would-be successes in the business world to strive for “a score somewhere between the 40th and 60th percentiles” by trying to “answer as if you were like everyone else is supposed to be.” The “personal attributes” tests Whyte wanted to rig assumed a norm as the ideal. I hope ETS isn’t positing anything the least bit normal about going to graduate school. Look at what it involves. To pick a discipline at random: Future historians spend long hours in musty archives, drudging their way through incomplete documents in illegible handwriting. That’s the fun part. Whatever the field may be, engaging in research is not a natural act. Normal has nothing to do with it and may be an impediment. Moreover, the particular forms of derangement that lead to grad school success vary by discipline, although some elements of the graduate experience are typical across the board (poverty, most notably). With that in mind, I will serve as an unpaid consultant for ETS (could change if the price is right). Here are questions that should be on the test to capture the right stuff for grad school success, with the appropriate disciplines in parentheses. The correct answer is always “yes” on the GDPT (Guido Defective Personality Test). • Do you like to be around dead people? (archaeology, history, pathology) 12 Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
• Do you hate the English language so much that you want to write in ways few can understand? (every discipline except mine) • Do you think of human beings as: a) Things to be counted? (economics, some branches of sociology) b) Screwed up? (psychology) c) Problematic? (sociology, literary theory) d) Carriers of terrible diseases? (epidemiology) • Do stable, well-functioning societies bore you? (political science) • Are you fascinated by tiny organisms that kill people? (medical and biological research) • Do natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes make you: a) Want to be there? (Earth and planetary sciences, public health) b) Want not to be there? (rational people) • Do you enjoy spending time with recalcitrant human beings who speak difficult languages and have hard-to-fathom customs and cultures? (anthropology, academic administration) • Are you able to: a) Drink large amounts of coffee, beer, and cheap wine? b) Keep the same hours as Count Dracula? c) Hang out with highly stressed people who love to talk about their work and not yours? d) All of the above? (applicants in all disciplines and junior faculty) • Can you feign enthusiasm when a peer receives a job offer you deserve? (applicants in all disciplines, some faculty) • Do you like imagining the universe beginning in a gigantic explosion? (astrophysics) • Do you like thinking about how the universe will end and when? (astrophysics and most of us on a bad day) If the ETS’ new test isolates the right forms of abnormality necessary to succeed in graduate programs, admissions offices might add a third box to check, in addition to “reject” and “accept.” It would be “therapy indicated.” Maybe that’s implied in “accept.” Guido Veloce is a Johns Hopkins University professor.
B y “ G u i d o Ve l o c e ”
Golomb’s Gambits TM
Keyboard Crossword By Solomon Golomb ’51
The symbols to be entered in the fourby-four grid can all be produced from a standard typewriter keyboard: letters, numbers, and a few others. Examples of the kinds of entries allowed are: a) 10SC for Tennessee, b) B9 for benign, c) ¢R for centaur, and d) X# for expound. ACROSS CLUES 1. Diminish the amplitude 3. Ballet costume 4. Raid 5. Rot 6. Simple 8. Watchman DOWN CLUES 1. Aleutian island 2. On cloud nine 5. Well-behaved 7. Type of pasta (Solutions on page 67)
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Finding Her Grandfathers, Through Books By Sarah Richardson
oth of my grandfathers were Army veterans of the Pacific theater in World War II. Unfortunately, that is all I know about their war experiences. My father’s father, William Richardson, would have been a black man drafted into a segregated army. He may have been a stevedore for the duration of the war; he may have joined one of the infantry units formed from the old Buffalo soldier regiments and been sent to Saipan to pacify the last Japanese soldiers there. He died before I was born; I have a single picture of him in uniform. My mother’s father, Charles Johnson, was a young white man who became a medic and served in Japan. My mother knows this because he came back to study medicine and become a doctor with the GI bill. He appreciated Japanese culture for the rest of his life. He died when I was quite young. By the time I was interested in their likely disparate experiences, it was too late. But even had it not been, they might not have chosen to share those experiences with me. William Richardson wanted his only son, my father,
in high school, but my parents could not supply any details. Apologetic, my father gave me The Good War, by Studs Terkel. It became the first book in my collection, a small paperback I read so often that I had to replace it twice. It was my first oral history, and I was completely engrossed by the personal touches in each story—by the slang, the humor, and the frank realities of the interview. Although I would responsibly supplement my readings with the measured discourse of historians like William Shirer and Rick Atkinson, I always preferred the sentimentality and varying temperament of primary sources. I think I was lucky to start with such an excellent book; Studs Terkel was an oral historian of superlative grace. It struck me that, although my grandfathers had not passed their stories on, I could find men with similar experiences in these oral histories. If I could not hear the story from my grandfathers, I would come as close as I could to them through the words of their comrades. I began my collection of first person narratives of American
My grandfathers went to war separately, and probably not equally, and it changed everything for them. to go to Vietnam because he believed a military experience was good for young men. My father was vehemently opposed to the war and resisted going, opening a wide and silent rift between them that was mirrored in many other American families. Whatever my grandfather did and felt in the Pacific, the division prevented him from sharing any details with his son. Charles Johnson wanted his five sons to go into the service before college, but he didn’t feel that his five daughters needed to concern themselves with either the military or higher education. Although my mother defied him and went to college, he never did share his army experiences with her. My grandfathers may never have shared their experiences with anyone—many veterans don’t. I became interested in their stories 14 Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
wars. I especially sought compilations containing an interview with a black GI or a young medic stationed in Okinawa—soldiers whose experiences could possibly reflect my grandfathers’. I was truly lucky to discover The Invisible Soldier, an incredible compilation of interviews with black veterans of WWII, supplemented with extensive historical footnotes. I believe it to be the closest I will come to hearing or reading about my paternal grandfather’s experience at war. To bookend this apropos volume with a similar one for my maternal grandfather, I am looking for a copy of Patricia Sewell’s Healers in World War II, a volume of oral histories from medical corpsmen. I also hope to obtain Bruce Petty’s Saipan, a set of oral histories that concerns the Pacific theater. I was interested in studying the
African-American soldier in the armed forces in the 1940s because of the stark and often undiscussed difference between their experiences and the experiences of white soldiers. I was glad to find a third perspective of the World War II years in two excellent oral histories by John Tateishi and Stephen Fox (And Justice for All and The Unknown Internment) about the internment of Japanese and Italian Americans during World War II. The Fox book is of particular interest because few people are aware that there was any internment of non-Japanese Americans at all. Both books find Italian and Japanese veterans of the war who, like many black veterans, were finally able to express their deep ambivalence about fighting for a country that had wronged them, as well as their need to prove to the same country that they were patriotic and brave human beings. My nascent collection needed books about Vietnam, and the first was Bloods, by Wallace Terry, an oral history of black veterans of that conflict. My father recommended it to me as a supplement to films like Hamburger Hill, Platoon, Apocalypse Now, and The Deer Hunter. As a young man, my father was quite convinced that he did not want to go to war, and he was frightened he would be sent anyway. He was not convinced that the military had become a friendlier place for black people in the 20 years since President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order Number 9981 to integrate the armed forces, and he was certain that a war like Vietnam was not a good way to find out. The civil rights movement was coming about, and many black men my father’s age did not feel they had to fight a war to prove that they were worthy, as their fathers had done and were urging them to do again. Bloods tells the story of black men who did go to war against North Vietnam and who often found themselves in a simultaneous cold war with their American comrades. Reading it, I understood my father’s hesitation. My collection would therefore grow in two directions—the much feted and well-regarded “good” war of my grandfathers, and the controversial and painful
“bloody” war of my parents’ generation. I began to explore a major difference between my father and his father. One was desperate to resist the draft, and the other willing to go. I was lucky to find several oral histories of draft dodgers and conscientious objectors in Vietnam (Hell No We Won’t Go!, by Sherry Gershon Gottlieb, The Strength Not to Fight, by James W. Tollefson, and Days of Decision, by Gerald Gioglio). I could compare those to an excellent history of conscientious objectors during World War II (We Have Just Begun to Not Fight, edited by Heather T. Frazer and John O’Sullivan). Those objectors are often not acknowledged, though they made possible the similar efforts that would follow in the 1960s and 1970s. I began this collection seeking to understand the contributions my grandfathers made to their country, but I have stumbled on to much more. I’ve become interested in comparing the language used by interviewees from different decades. The men and women of World War II use a different speech cadence, fewer expletives, and exhibit a reserve that tends to be absent from testimonies of veterans of later wars. I see this as an advantage of studying primary sources; the speech and vocabulary of oral histories offer many extra clues about society, undiluted by another historian’s interpretation. Oral histories may also be biased by the choices of the interviewer, or distorted by time and memory on the part of the interviewee. There may be cases where the stories are fabricated entirely; for example, there are two false stories in Al Santoli’s Everything We Had. Realizing this, I began to add other primary sources—usually letters and diaries—to round out my collection (Witness to a War, by Richard J. Aldrich; Dear America, edited by Bernard Edelman; and War Letters, by Andrew Carroll). The change in language is a corollary of some of the greater changes in society that occurred between the two wars. Although my original intent was to contextualize the experiences of my grandfathers and my father, it soon became clear that I would be missing the whole story as long as I skipped
the Korean War, which followed almost seamlessly out of World War II and made some Americans eager to enter Vietnam. The Korean War was the last war the army began with segregated units; the high casualty rate forced the issue by compelling commanders to accept African-American replacements for the holes in their ranks. I was quite pleased to obtain Donald Knox’s leviathan books on the subject (The Korean War: An Oral History: Pusan to Chosin and The Korean War: An Oral History: Uncertain Victory). These volumes are especially interesting because Knox interleaves the relevant snippets of oral histories chronologically through an exhaustively annotated historical narrative, rather than relating a single person’s entire story in separate chapters, as is usually done. It certainly helped me draw the final lines from my grandfathers’ service to my father’s time, and the changes in America and America’s military that may have made empathy so difficult between the two generations. Reading through the first-person accounts of each conflict fills me with pride in all of my fathers, even though I have not heard their own personal stories. My grandfathers went to war separately, and probably not equally, and it changed everything for them. Although he may not have seen it that way, my paternal grandfather’s very presence was a salvo in the fight my father’s genera-
William Richardson and Charles Johnson (middle in the photo): “I would come as close as I could to them through the words of their comrades,” the author writes. tion would carry on for equality under the law, because how can you discriminate against true patriots? The fact that his son was able to speak freely about the Vietnam War was a sign of his own victory. My mother’s father was able to experience a foreign culture up close, to develop an appreciation for the different, to jump from a farmer’s life into a doctor’s life—and to educate his children so well that one would, upon meeting a person of a different race for the first time, be able to see clearly enough to fall in love with him. I will never be able to talk to my grandfathers, but I have used my book collection and the words of the people who lived the conflicts of the 20th century to understand how they brought my generation here to the 21st century, with all of our ghosts as well as all of our gifts. Sarah Richardson is a fifth-year graduate student in human genetics at the School of Medicine. This essay is adapted from her first place–winning entry in the Friends of the Johns Hopkins University Libraries’ 2009 Betty and Edgar Sweren Student Book Collecting Contest. Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009 15
Matters of note from around Johns Hopkins
The here, then gone, but soon-to-return nursing shortage
tephanie Madrzykowski didn’t plan on becoming a nurse. She worked in public health for a year and a half before realizing she wanted something that was more “hands-on medical.” When Madrzykowski enrolled in the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in June 2008, it seemed like a sensible move. Just a few years ago, graduates could expect to attract several competing offers without expending much effort, says Sandra Angell, the school’s associate dean for student affairs. But soon after Madrzykowski started classes, the recession hit—hard. And nursing jobs, once plentiful, became scarce. Nursing shortages have come and gone. The most recent one began in the late 1990s. Peter Buerhaus, a nursing professor at Vanderbilt University who studies changes in the nursing workforce, says the problem started on the supply side. Hospitals began running out of nurses to staff their operating rooms and intensive care units. Then the problem became one of demand. As the nation moved away from the health care cost-cutting measures adopted in the 1970s, hospitals began admitting more patients. Meanwhile, the population was aging, living longer, and developing more chronic diseases. Thus the need for nurses grew. By 2002, on average 13 percent of nursing positions at U.S. hospitals were unfilled. As a result, patient care suffered. When Buerhaus and colleagues conducted a nationwide survey in 2004, 78 percent of nurses and 61 percent of physicians reported that the nursing shortage had harmed the quality of patient care. According to Karen Haller, the hospital’s vice president
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of nursing and patient care services, Johns Hopkins had to close beds and hire extra nurses from temp agencies to maintain a safe nurse-to-patient ratio. In response, schools worked to produce more nurses. “Several years ago, when the nursing shortage was predicted to be pretty dire, we increased our enrollment,” Angell says. Other schools did the same. Buerhaus found that in 2007 and 2008, hospital employment across the country grew
by 243,000 nurses. “That’s a world record for employment increases,” he says. But the dramatic surge in employment did not mean 243,000 recent nursing school graduates found jobs. Buerhaus notes that more than half the new hires were older RNs—men and women who came out of retirement or from non-hospital nursing jobs to secure their family’s financial well-being. So paradoxically, in the midst of a nursing shortage, new graduates could not all land jobs.
The current market remains tight, but that should not be regarded as an indicator that the shortage has been averted. It’s only been postponed, experts say. “When we come out of the recession, I predict we’re going to see what we always see,” Haller says. “We’ll get more turnover and a higher vacancy rate.” Nurses who left retirement to earn extra money will slip back into retirement, and the former part-timers will go back to part time. Furthermore, the country’s nursing workforce—some 2.4 million strong—is aging. As of 2008, Buerhaus says, the average age of RNs was 43.8. And in just a couple of years, the oldest baby boomers, which make up a large chunk of the nursing workforce, will hit retirement age. Buerhaus estimates that by 2025 the country could see a deficit of 260,000 nurses. Some hospitals will feel the pinch sooner than others. Johns Hopkins will open two new clinical towers in 2011. “So we not only need every nurse we’ve got on board now,” Haller says, “we’re going to need others to run at full capacity.” Though hospitals recognize that they will need today’s graduates to staff future openings, they do not have enough resources to hire them all now. Joan Diamond, a perinatal nurse manager at Johns Hopkins Hospital, split one full-time position into two part-time positions, one of which went to Madrzykowski, the Hopkins nursing student. “That gives them benefits, some money, and their foot in the door,” Haller says. “It was a very smart idea.” Hopkins Hospital has also allowed some recent graduates who can’t find jobs to continue working as nurses’ aides even after they have become licensed RNs. Nurses’ aides make significantly less than registered nurses, but a small paycheck plus benefits is better than unemployment. If the future shortage is as large as Buerhaus predicts it will be, hospitals will need more than creative staffing tricks to fill the gap. They’ll need a vast supply of new nurses that can only come from increased enrollment. “The schools are the current bottleneck,” Haller says. “There are many qualified applicants that cannot get into nursing school right now. [Schools] don’t have enough faculty. They don’t have enough classroom space.” At Hopkins, both those issues are a concern. While many places have instituted hiring freezes, Hopkins is seeking new toplevel, doctorally prepared faculty in some areas, including global health, cardiovascular care, and healthy aging. Another hurdle is finding enough RNs to oversee student training. Nursing students must spend a certain number of hours working with
patients under the supervision of established nurses called clinical preceptors. But nurses are busy, and finding enough preceptors for all the students can be challenging. One way to address the problem, Angell says, would be to do more simulation. The School of Nursing has a new grant to test whether clinical simulation models might be able to reduce the amount of time students need to spend working with preceptors. The funding comes from a $15.5 million pool that is being divvied up among 17 Maryland nursing schools to create more openings for students throughout the state. Madrzykowski remains upbeat. “I just feel really lucky to get my foot in the door,” she says. “Most of my friends who are graduating are having a really hard time finding work.” —Cassandra Willyard, A&S ’07 (MA)
H i s to r y o f s c i e n c e
Plotting longitude with El Instrumento
aria Portuondo’s snug office just off the Homewood campus is hardly a museum. But despite all of the usual modern contrivances, you wouldn’t call it forwardScientists understood that each looking, either. Past the innards of a 1990s IBM hour in time variation is equal circuit board—a relic of to 15 degrees of the Earth’s Portuondo’s past career circumference.… With as a designer of semiinformation gleaned by observing conductors—you’ll see a horologium nocturnum, eclipses from across the Spanish an ornately inscribed disk empire, they could conceivably from the 15th century that convert the time differences into allowed its users to tell degrees of longitude. time at night by calibrating the position of the North Star. Other remnants of industry, including some weavers’ shuttles, vie for shelf space with quaint replicas of centuries-old maps. On a July day, even the wall calendar, folded open to May, hearkens back. Portuondo’s collection includes another morsel of scientific history that has commanded her scholarly attention, despite its simple design and plain facade. Made from little more than a couple of boards, a foot-long length of twine, and some drawn circles and lines, the device is an exact recreation of a tool that cosmographers used 400 years ago to solve a scientific puzzle that vexed the Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
©John Carter Brown Library, Brown University
Spanish empire and other colonial powers: how to accurately determine degrees of longitude. Disputes between the empires of Europe over remote pieces of turf drove the Spanish to seek information that would lead to better maps—maps that would, Spain’s King Philip II hoped, protect his nation’s claims against the designs of rival powers. Astrolabes, used by seafarers to measure the angle of the North Star above the horizon, were fine for figuring out latitude. But longitude posed a knottier prob-
stood that each hour in time variation is equal to 15 degrees of the Earth’s circumference. Spanish astronomers, led by Juan Lopez de Velasco, then the head of cosmography for the king’s Council of Indies, thought that a lunar eclipse, observable across half a hemisphere, might allow astronomers to more accurately gauge local time. With information gleaned by observing eclipses from across the Spanish empire, including Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico, they could conceivably convert the time differences into degrees of longitude. But travel was expensive and astronomers were few, meaning opportunities to gather such information were rare. So in 1577, in a scenario Portuondo describes in her new book, Secret Science: Spanish Cosmography and the New World (University of Chicago Press, 2009), Velasco and the Council of Indies came up with the idea of sending instructions for making El Instrumento, along with paper and directions for recording lunar events, to Spain’s far-ranging Western colonies. Velasco would rely on people who had at least a bit of formal schooling and who could follow his instructions. Observers were asked to build a level platform with a sundial to determine their latitude and the east-west meridian. That meridian served to calibrate the precise placement of To improve maps of the New World, like this one created by Juan El Instrumento. During a lunar Lopez de Velasco, the Spanish needed to determine longitude. eclipse, observers in Spain and several of its outposts used the lem because to determine it required accurate instrument to mark the shadow cast by the moon timepieces, which did not exist in the early mod- at the beginning and end of the eclipse. They ern era. “If you could find an accurate way to copied those marks to papers, had the papers measure local times, and then compare them, notarized, then sent them back to the Council then you could understand longitude,” says Por- of Indies in Madrid, where astronomers boiled tuondo, A&S ’05 (PhD), assistant professor of the down the information. “By comparing observahistory of science and technology in the Krieger tions taken in Spain with those reported from School of Arts and Sciences. the Indies, it would then be possible, although Portuondo first heard of a possible solution not easy, to calculate the longitudinal distance while taking a Hopkins graduate course in Span- between the two locations,” says Portuondo. ish history a few years ago. Following her long- She concluded that the importance of El Instrutime interest in the scientific past, she began to mento to the West’s technological past has been unearth documents about a contrivance that King obscured, in part, by Philip’s insistence on treatPhilip’s court dubbed El Instrumento de Indias, ing the information as a state secret. By teaching the Instrument of the Indies. Scientists under- non-scientists how to build and use the instru-
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ment in far-flung points of the globe, Spanish cosmographers advanced the cause of mapmaking throughout Europe. “It worked for them. They found nearly true values for longitude. Cartographers from the crown used many of these findings, at least a couple dozen of them, to draw up new maps.” Velasco and company’s computations resulted in recording some longitudinal readings that were a tad off the mark. Portuondo decided she should, as any dutiful scientist would, verify the process by attempting to replicate it. She holed up in her basement and converted an old shelf into El Instrumento. During a midnight eclipse a few years ago, she asked her neighbors just north of campus to turn off their lights. One of them came out to witness both the heavens and Portuondo’s work recording their movements. They drank sherry, waited, and watched. She made her marks. When the sherry was done, they went inside. “We used the instrument in Baltimore and factored in the longitude of Madrid and found nearly true values for longitude,” Portuondo says. She’s ready to turn the clock back again later this year. The next eclipse is December 21, and she’d like to involve more than a neighbor and a bottle of wine: “It would be wonderful if we could get people in Spain and elsewhere involved with this.” —Michael Anft
High cost of care creating “medical tourists”
avi Aron tells the following true story, with the central figure’s identity made vague to protect his privacy. A business consultant retired early, then found he needed heart surgery, a triple bypass. The bill for the procedure plus treatment for some co-morbidities was projected to be six figures. The man was too young for Medicare and his private insurance was going to leave him with a huge co-pay. Then a physician he had known for a long time told him of an alternative, a hospital in Thailand, Bumrungrad International, that is Joint Commission International accredited, just like top American hospitals, and staffed by many surgeons and physicians trained at U.S. medical schools. The retired consultant could get the procedure done there for about a quarter of what he would pay in the United States, travel included.
ater this month, when Johns Hopkins University installs Ronald J. Daniels as its 14th president, he will not have to look far for a reminder of his presidential lineage—it will be around his neck. Along with a home in Nichols House and an office in Garland Hall, the new president will receive the official chain of office, a ceremonial necklace, of sorts, fashioned from the engraved sterling silver portraits of every university president, starting with Daniel Coit Gilman. The chain, which the university president wears at events such as Freshman Convocation and Commencement, signifies the authority vested in the president by the board of trustees. Each presidential portrait includes his dates of service, and the university seal completes the chain. First worn by Milton S. Eisenhower (president no. 8), the chain was fashioned in 1966 by a local silversmith, Henry Powell Hopkins Jr. (the family believes there’s a distant relation to the university’s founder). The university called on Henry to create the likenesses of Eisenhower’s successors as each one assumed the office. He’s now 92, so his son and daughter, Henry III (“Hoppy”) and Martha, run the family business, still located on Lovegrove Street in downtown Baltimore. Keeping with tradition, the university turned to them to create the newest link, and they commissioned artist Laurie Brown to do the engraving, based on one of Daniels’ more serious photographs to match the tone of the others. “He looks so youthful and energetic,” Hoppy says. “All the other guys are so stodgy.” The updated chain will debut on the afternoon of Sunday, September 13, when Daniels is officially installed. The installation is part of a weekend-long celebration that includes a Saturday night dinner, two Sunday morning brunches, and a Sunday afternoon reception. In addition, the university’s academic divisions are planning events throughout September and October to welcome Daniels, including dinners, concerts, lectures, and a 2.5K run. Yes, the president will be one of the race participants. The installation ceremony is more than just academic pomp and circumstance. Typically the new president shares his vision for the university with the Johns Hopkins community. At press time, Daniels had not wanted to upstage himself by talking about it with Johns Hopkins Magazine, but look for our in-depth interview with him in the Winter issue. After the ceremony, the chain of office will go back into storage, its work done until the next ceremonial occasion. —Catherine Pierre
Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
Aron, an assistant professor in the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, studies, among other things, how information technology and measures of operational quality affect delivery of medical services. By examining Bumrungrad (according to its Web site pronounced “Bahmroong-RAHT”), he has gained a greater understanding of what he has come to call “the global supply chain of health care.” Americans, Europeans, and patients from the Middle East who need eye surgery, hip replacements, “Bumrungrad is probably or cardiac procedures are the gold standard in flying to India or Mauritius offshore health care,” Aron or Singapore or Abu Dhabi and receiving what he says. Hospitals like it are describes as excellent care technologically advanced for a fraction of the cost. and thoroughly wired, and “Bumrungrad is prob they carefully monitor ably the gold standard in outcomes with sophisticated offshore health care,” Aron says. Hospitals like it are quality metrics. technologically advanced and carefully monitor outcomes with sophisticated quality metrics, says Aron, who has visited Bumrungrad several times as he completes a book about IT and operational excellence in health care. The hospital has such a sophisticated electronic information system, it spun off its IT division and sold it to Micro-
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soft. What Bumrungrad and other hospitals have found, Aron says, is a market in clients from Asia or the Middle East who cannot find commensurate quality of care in their own countries, clients from Europe who do not want to spend months on a waiting list for a procedure that in Thailand they can obtain in a few days, and Americans who cannot afford procedures in U.S. hospitals. “There are a lot of highly qualified Thai doctors who come to the United States to be educated at the best schools,” says Aron. “They are board certified both in the United States and in Thailand, and the vast majority prefer going back to Thailand. Indians, Koreans, Chinese, when they come here for higher education, tend to stay here—half the companies in Silicon Valley were started by immigrants. Thais prefer going back, especially Thai doctors, who are very highly regarded in Thai society and like the quality of life.” Aron maintains that offshore medicine is not costing hospitals like Johns Hopkins because patients heading to Bangkok or Chennai were not coming to Hopkins anyway. “The kind of person who goes there is a greatly underfunded patient. If you have the opportunity to go to Hopkins or Massachusetts General and your insurance covers it, you are not going to go somewhere in Asia. American physicians do not lose a customer because the customer wouldn’t be able to pay for their services in any case.” Aron argues that
What hyperinflation looks like Your eyes do not deceive—the currency pictured at left is a note for 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollars. Steve H. Hanke, Johns Hopkins professor of applied economics in the Whiting School of Engineering, recently studied the hyperinflation that produced the note. Zimbabwe ceased reporting most economic data in 2008, but Hanke used an economic principle called purchasing power parity—the first time that’s ever been done, he says—to calculate that in November 2008 the country’s monthly inflation rate reached an astounding 79.6 billion percent.
What was learned in swine flu “dress rehearsal”?
t had been clear to Dianne Whyne that something bad was happening in Mexico for several weeks. But on a Friday—April 24, to be exact—Whyne, who is director of operations for the Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR), learned just how severe and potentially devastating the spread of influenza A strain H1N1 (the “swine flu”) really was. Throughout most of the month, Mexico had
issued health alerts about flu cases that were suspected to be H1N1. From its offices in Mount Washington, the staff of CEPAR—created by Johns Hopkins following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, to serve as a central guiding office for Hopkins during massive emergencies—closely monitored the spread of the virus. On April 23, Mexico reported its first confirmed cases of H1N1 to the World Health Organization (WHO). The next day, Whyne and others learned from CEPAR director Gabor Kelen and executive Matthew Lester
offshore medicine actually expands a market for American practitioners. “People go abroad to get their surgery and they come back, and they need high-quality ongoing care, which their doctors in rural Pennsylvania or Spokane, Washington, will provide. Because they could get an affordable procedure, what is left of their insurance is able to cover the ongoing care that they need.” He notes that a large Indian hospital chain, Apollo Hospitals, has an agreement with groups of physicians in the United States to provide follow-up care for patients after they’ve had procedures done in India. Pursuing less expensive care abroad does entail risks. If something goes wrong in an American hospital, the patient has legal recourse to seek compensation; frequently that option does not exist in other countries, Aron says. He cautions that many facilities and practitioners around the world are nowhere near as sophisticated and competent as Bumrungrad and its doctors. “There is an abundance of quacks and concrete buildings that basically just hold people in white uniforms and pass for medical centers,” Aron says. “You’ve got to be really careful.” Furthermore, a new business has sprung up—the medical broker. In too many cases, Aron says, these are former travel agents who saw their businesses tank when the Internet claimed their clients. Now they broker patients for hospitals abroad. They have little medical knowledge and simply match the budgets of their clients with places that claim to perform the procedure for that amount. His succinct characterization of this trade is “uninformed brokers leading uninformed patients into misery.” —Dale Keiger
Virologists like Johns Hopkins’ Andy Pekosz continue to work on a flu vaccine. director James Scheulen that the scattered cases of H1N1 reported across North America might signal a much more serious and widespread outbreak. Eight cases had been reported in the United States, and a phone call to Scheulen from a Hopkins emergency medicine physician convinced CEPAR’s experts that H1N1 had been spreading through many areas of Mexico and crossing into the United States without notice, treatment, or containment for an unknown period of time. (WHO would later report that it had been several weeks.) This was unsettling news for two reasons. “It wasn’t avian flu,” says Whyne, referring to the strain for which CEPAR had been diligently preparing. “It was new virus. It [appeared to have] a high infectivity rate and a high mortality rate. And it was here in North America. Everyone— Johns Hopkins, the World Health Organization, you name it—had all assumed a new influenza would make its [first] appearance in Southeast Asia. Everyone assumed we’d have a couple of weeks to prepare. And here it was, on our front door.” Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
Scientists, roughly, at Johns Hopkins and the Hopkins-affiliated Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) who use the Hubble Space Telescope as a primary research tool. They had special reason to rejoice when a $1 billion project to repair essential equipment on the space camera was completed in May; space shuttle astronauts linked up with the Hubble 350 miles above the Earth to fix a camera that is key to thousands of astronomical studies worldwide.They also installed a new “wide-field” camera that catches more of the universe within its gaze, replaced aged gyroscopes, hooked up a spectrograph designed to find clues as to the origins of the cosmos, and corrected a flawed mirror by outfitting it with new lenses. A dozen astrophysicists at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences rely on Hubble in their attempts to measure the age of the cosmos, quantify dark energy, and scan the far skies for quasars and supernovae. At STScI—an international consortium of 40 university laboratories located just off of Hopkins’ Homewood campus—almost all of its 94 scientists rely at least partly on the Hubble for the images that fuel their work. In the current grant cycle, Hopkins and STScI researchers received nearly $4 million in grants to use in Hubble-centric investigations, about half of it for contributions to the repair project. —MA
CEPAR’s team collated official statements with information from knowledgeable public health sources. The resulting picture was grimmer than previously acknowledged at the time. “There was concern in the reports coming from Mexico that the infection numbers seemed to be in the hundreds, if not the thousands,” Kelen recalls. The news was bad enough that Kelen and Scheulen instituted Hopkins’ Pandemic Influenza Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Plan, which put CEPAR in charge of making decisions and gathering information across the entire spectrum of Johns Hopkins institutions in the United States, from Homewood and Howard County General Hospital to Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Applied Physics Laboratory. What happened in the next 10 days turned out to be a useful dress rehearsal for what most experts predict will be a more severe resurgence of the virus this fall. As it went into action, CEPAR’s first question was to determine the true severity of the threat. Kelen notes that Hopkins has triggers, such as infection levels, mortality rates, proximity to hot spots, and other metrics, 22 Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
for instituting various stages of response across the Hopkins system. H1N1’s potentially rapid spread (especially up the Interstate 95 corridor) and apparent virulence were among those triggers. But Kelen, Scheulen, and other Hopkins emergency medicine experts monitored developments and noticed indications that the problem might not be as alarming as it first appeared. For example, while the mortality rate in Mexico was high, it wasn’t as high as original reports had indicated. But “the real reason we became less worried,” says Kelen, “was that infections in the United States and other parts of the world did not appear any worse than seasonal flu and appeared to be even less virulent, with very few resultant deaths.” The feared influx of seriously ill and dying patients never materialized at Hopkins. “All of a sudden, within two days, it seemed manageable,” Kelen says. Hopkins began to ease off of its emergency footing. On May 3, CEPAR staff began examining what had been learned during the response, an analysis sometimes known as a “hotwash.” There was a lot of good news, they say, particularly involving communication, a traditional Achilles’ heel in crises. But there were issues, too. Emergency personnel soon discovered they couldn’t quickly find basic information, such as who had reported to work on a given day. There was no centralized list of who, across all Hopkins institutions, had been fitted for the N-95 face masks that would be mandatory if the hospital experienced a surge of H1N1 cases, and the masks did not fit properly. There wasn’t a central list noting which personnel had received influenza A vaccines. And Kelen says that confirmation of suspected cases among Johns Hopkins university students was delayed due to backlogs of specimen processing at both state and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) labs, which made critical decisions more difficult. Trish Perl, assistant professor in the Johns Hopkins Hospital Division of Infectious Diseases who works with CEPAR during major events, says, “I’m glad that we had a test run because I think we’ll do a lot better when it happens next time.” That’s “when,” not “if.” On June 11, the WHO raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 6—the most severe—and noted that more than 70 countries had H1N1 infections. By mid-July, the United States had more than 40,000 confirmed cases of H1N1, 23 deaths, and the highest concentration of new cases in the world. Assuming H1N1 follows the pattern of the past four global pandemics, it will spread and mutate over the summer and return in the autumn as a
much more dangerous virus. (Experts hope that an H1N1 vaccine in trials as of early August will be ready and plentiful by fall.) Since mid-May, CEPAR has been working to create new protocols and procedures that it hopes will strengthen Hopkins’ response plans and provide a sound defense against what might be a very nasty second wave of H1N1. “The question is, ‘Will it be good enough?’” asks Perl. “My hope is that it will.” —Geoff Brown, A&S ’91
Bringing science to the teaching of arts in schools
or years, educators have intuited that teaching the arts helps children learn. They’ve pointed to evidence, much of it anecdotal, that hands-on arts learning helps students’ overall performance by giving them an additional chance to demonstrate a talent—important in building the confidence of kids who are behind their classmates in reading or math. They’ve maintained that children who also play in orchestras and school bands, or perform on stage, more readily learn about teamwork, while drawing and painting can acquaint them with ideals of beauty and truth that regular classes can’t. Now, science fueled by a growing movement in so-called neuro-education—a movement with a root or two at Johns Hopkins—is showing they might be right. New research indicates that engaging children in the arts stimulates regions of the brain that involve all types of learning. “There’s emerging evidence that shows that studying the arts improves children’s attention levels, which may lead them to perform better in school overall,” says Mariale Hardiman, assistant dean at the School of Education and co-director of the Neuro-Education Initiative, a program formed last year to pull in researchers from across Johns Hopkins to study how the brain works during learning. “How that happens, we don’t know exactly. But that’s what makes this exciting. There’s a lot of research to do.” The Neuro-Education Initiative was founded by Hardiman, as well as John
Griffin and Richard Huganir, both professors of neuroscience in the School of Medicine. It includes Hopkins researchers from six divisions plus the Brain Science Institute and the Hopkinsaffiliated Kennedy Krieger Institute. With support from the initiative and outside sources, scientists are ramping up new investigations to peer into the brain, using the arts as a stimulus. For example, Barry Gordon, a professor of neurology and cognitive science at the School of Medicine, is designing a study that will investigate how the brain creates aspects of insight. Another study in the pipeline will, if financed, look into how study of the arts affects the brain. Charles Limb, associate professor of otology at the School of Medicine—who conducted well-publicized research on the brain and jazz improvisation—is putting together a study on how musicians develop the improvisational skills of rap. Besides organizing monthly meetings of researchers who want to investigate how the learning brain works, the Neuro-Education Initiative has brought together thinkers nationwide. In May, the initiative played a pivotal role in organizing a conference in Baltimore attended by more than 300 federal and state education bureaucrats, representatives from children’s museums, teachKim Rosen
Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
Wholly Hopkins ers, and university researchers. Speakers unveiled research showing that children who study the arts improve their ability to learn a variety of subjects. In recent years, scientists have found that young people who “There’s emerging evidence study music, for examthat shows that studying ple, are more likely to the arts improves children’s understand geometry, attention levels, which may while training in acting lead them to perform better translates into betterfunctioning memory. in school overall.” Hardiman says — Mariale Hardiman now is the time for creating more science to push the nascent but burgeoning field forward. Arts education in public schools has slowly been whittled away since the 1980s due to local and state budget crunches. The process accelerated during the past few years, as the federal government began implementing No Child Left Behind programs in 2003. Those programs focused on more testing of core subjects—the three Rs—at
the expense of other courses. “There’s been an overall narrowing of the curriculum that goes back quite a few years and has gotten worse recently,” says Hardiman, who says other types of courses, including social studies, have been slashed to accommodate federal dictates. “What we’re seeing now is a push back against No Child Left Behind, which has led to very modest gains in achievement, if any.” With so many kids becoming disenchanted with school, educators worry that schools may be missing an opportunity to use the arts to improve students’ ability to learn and perhaps keep them in the classroom. “The challenge now is to show that these improvements in school performance are more than correlative,” says Hardiman. “We know that the arts keep kids’ attention. But it’s possible that other subjects or activities might do that, too.” Another area for research, she says, is whether using the arts to teach core academic subjects, such as math, would be beneficial to students. Politics, which always has a major impact on education policies, may be turning in
Now we know …A study of 227 heart bypass surgery patients has found that their long-term memory loss and cognitive problems result from underlying coronary artery disease, not the heart-lung machines that kept them alive during surgery. The study appeared in the August 2009 issue of Annals of Thoracic Surgery. Lead investigator was Ola A. Selnes, professor of cognitive neuroscience in the School of Medicine. …One in six public health workers said they would not report to work during an influenza pandemic, according to a survey led by Daniel Barnett, assistant professor of environmental health sciences in the Bloomberg School. The finding marks an improvement from 2005, when a similar survey by the same team found that 40 percent of workers would stay home during a pandemic emergency. The survey was published July 24 by PLoS ONE. …Ten undergraduate engineering students in the Whiting School created a method for embedding a patient’s adult stem cells in the sutures used to close a surgical wound. The stem cells may enhance healing
24 Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
of orthopedic injuries such as torn tendons. The project won the Whiting School’s 2009 Design Day engineering competition. Leader of the team was senior Matt Lubashkin. …From 1988 to 1994, 21 percent of the U.S. population was exposed to hepatitis E virus (HEV), according to research published in the July 1 edition of Journal of Infectious Diseases. Lead authors Mark H. Kuniholm, SPH ’07 (PhD), and Kenrad E. Nelson, professor of epidemiology in the Bloomberg School, were surprised by the prevalence of HEV but noted that reports of the actual disease in the United States were uncommon. …Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center found that weekly cognitive behavioral therapy helped reduce incidence of anxiety disorders among the children of adults who themselves have been diagnosed as suffering from anxiety. A team led by Golda Ginsburg, child psychologist at the center, studied 40 children aged 7 to 12. The research appeared in the June issue of Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. —DK
favor of such investigations. “The Obama administration is very interested in arts education,” Hardiman says. “It looks like we’re gaining a good bit of traction.” —MA
C o n s u m e r p ro te c t i o n
Too much (bad) information about science
ity the poor medical consumer. An endless stream of “information”—a world’s worth of ostensible cures and regimens—spews out of televisions and computer screens at him, much of it dubious, some flat-out wrong. If Oprah Winfrey isn’t touting a TV actress’s post-menopausal hormone treatment—one that doctors strongly recommend against using—she’s allowing another starlet to spout unproven claims that childhood vaccinations cause autism. Meanwhile, a health blogger at The Huffington Post who isn’t a physician promotes the use of enemas to ward off swine flu. Off the air, even doctors and researchers can be guilty. Some rake in as much as seven figures a year by chatting up investors about questionable depression remedies, or a particular company’s drugs, or video games as brain-stimulating devices for the elderly, even though the latter’s therapeutic value hasn’t been scientifically verified. “Some of these things are obviously not illegal,” says Guy McKhann, founder of the neurology department at the School of Medicine, where he still serves as a professor, and of the Mind/Brain Institute, a free-standing research organization within Hopkins that investigates the links among neural activity, thoughts, and perception. “But do they pass the smell test? I don’t think so.” Angered by an explosion of inaccurate assertions about medicine, McKhann has sounded an alarm of sorts, giving a seminar on the issue at the Homewood campus and making a 45-minute presentation called “The Selling of Research” to a neuro-ethics group at the University of Pennsylvania. He says other scientists are reaching the same conclusions he has. “There’s a lot of thought now that we aren’t getting accurate, scientifically verifiable medical information out to people,” he says. “It’s been bothering me for a long time.” Three groups run afoul of the truth, according to McKhann. First, television celebrities,
public relations specialists, and marketers frequently oversell research findings or push ineffective products, often through members of the news media who report bad information without investigating it. A second group is companies that put their own spin on medical developments to maximize profits. A third batch involves “really well-qualified people who make claims that often don’t hold up,” or who accept payments from companies for ethically questionable reasons, says McKhann. “Those are the people that really bother me. These are researchers who become pitchmen or pitchwomen for a fee. They’re selling off their expertise.” Although hundreds of doctors and researchers, including several at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, maintain aboveboard relationships with corporations, some doctors become embroiled in conflicts of interest. For example, a Harvard psychiatrist reaped $1.6 million in fees from companies that make drugs he uses to treat children with bipolar disorders. Several practitioners and researchers who have cut deals with drug companies have drawn the scrutiny of the federal government. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking minority member on the Senate Finance Committee, is investigating whether these relationships might taint science and harm consumers by misrepresenting research, or offering something resembling kickbacks to high-profile doctors who prescribe certain treatments. “Grassley’s right to put the screws to them,” McKhann says. “Because he has shined a light on these issues, many institutions have tightened up their regulations on these relationships.” McKhann doesn’t spare research universities in his critique, arguing that they often tout “breakthroughs” that don’t rate as such, or otherwise exaggerate the findings of their scientists. Especially troubling to him is the inclusion of the term “marketing” in the titles of many university information offices—including the Office of Marketing and Communications at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Although he says Hopkins doesn’t overhype researchers’ findings, he argues the name change is indicative of an overall trend toward selling information, rather than accurately delivering it. “It’s more than just a change in language, it’s a change in emphasis,” he says. “And I think it’s a dangerous one. Marketing implies that you’re selling something.” If marketing becomes the main driving force, he warns, “how biased are Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
Quote, unquote On the ruins of the ancien régime, the Iranian revolutionaries, it has to be conceded, have built a formidable state. The men who emerged out of a cruel and bloody struggle over their country’s identity and spoils are a tenacious, merciless breed.Their capacity for repression is fearsome. —Fouad Ajami, professor, Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), writing in The Wall Street Journal, 06.22.09 People do not change when you tell them they should; they change when they tell themselves they must. —Michael Mandelbaum, professor, SAIS, commenting on applying pressure to the leadership of Iran; quoted by Thomas Friedman in The New York Times, 06.23.09 It’s great that they’re exploring private and public options on Capitol Hill. And it’s even better yet that the medical industry has pledged to play nice. But reform of any kind will fail unless we find a rational and ethical way to eliminate the endemic of ineffective care. —Jonathan Weiner, professor, Bloomberg School of Public Health, commenting on ineffective treatments and health care reform on NPR’s Marketplace, 06.23.09 Dad, you need to come here. Right now. —Lydia Alcock, Johns Hopkins sophomore, upon finding a $23 quadrillion charge on her Visa card (plus a $20 negative balance fee imposed by the bank); Visa blamed a “temporary programming error” and let Alcock off the hook; quoted in The New York Times, 09.22.09 you going to be when someone says they’ve made a finding or an observation? We have to be careful about that.” Dalal Haldeman, vice president for marketing and communications at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, replies that McKhann mischaracterizes marketing. “Unlike traditional public relations and sales, marketing is a science of understanding and decision making,” she says. “It is not ads and sales.” McKhann believes the time is ripe to stand up for good information, despite some blowback he’s gotten from researchers. Alternative remedy companies, sellers of $34 billion worth of herbs and vitamins each year that aren’t subject to federal regulation, should receive the same level of scrutiny as researchers who sell their expertise to drug companies, he adds. A recent $2.5 billion study by the federal government found that the bulk of alternative remedies don’t work. Despite that, consumers aren’t given that information. Manufacturers of alternative products can’t make any medical claims. “But they can say just about anything else, like, ‘This 26 Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
pill will make you think more clearly.’ It’s something that has to stop,” McKhann says. As for the future of his sideline, McKhann says he needs to put more work into it and perhaps specialize in skepticism about just one medical area: so-called cognitive enhancement, in which alternative products firms and drug companies try to sell people on exercises and remedies for failing memories and poor test scores. A recent study found that the $80-millionper-year cognitive enhancement industry has done little to improve the brain health of people who have used its products, despite the industry’s hyperbolic claims to the contrary. Consumers would do well to independently verify the claims they hear in the media and elsewhere with a doctor, McKhann adds. They should beware of medical hype, which in itself could be a red flag, warning of a harmful or ineffective treatment. “This is going to sound oldfashioned,” he says, “but good research speaks for itself.” —MA
Philip Curtin, 1922–2009
he mind of historian Philip DeArmond Curtin ranged widely and thrived on interaction—the interaction of cultures and the interaction of academic disciplines. His study of tropical history involved tropical climatology. His study of the African slave trade included quantitative analysis. An article by him might encompass not just archival research but epidemiology, cliometrics, or biology. He wrote about African governments creating their first national archives in the 1960s, the centuries-old chimera of gold to be mined in the Bambuhu region of West Africa, the effects of British sugar duties on prosperity in the West Indies, tropical Africa as “the white man’s grave,” and the role of nutrition in African history. He was best known for studying the number of people abducted from Africa by the slave trade
Go deep When the robotic submersible Nereus explored the bottom of the Mariana Trench on May 31, it was guided by a navigation-and-control system devised by Johns Hopkins engineering professor Louis Whitcomb. How deep did it go? Almost seven miles. Deep indeed.
and his startling conclusion that the accepted and oft-repeated tabulation was way off. Curtin died in June at age 87, from pneumonia. He taught history at Johns Hopkins from 1975 to his retirement in 1998. He was a star—winner of a MacArthur fellowship in 1983, president of the American Historical Association in the same year, author of 19 books and uncounted articles—but colleagues and students who wrote about him after his passing recalled that he did not comport himself like a star. They remembered him as modest, amiable, creative, incisive, and insistent on rigor from his students and himself. Those who know only a little about him typically know about his 1969 book, The Atlantic Slave Trade: A Census, which detailed his research into the number of Africans exported to the New World by slavers of all nationalities. The numbers most often cited as fact before Curtin’s research ranged from 15 million to 20 million. He scrutinized shipping contracts and port data, applied modern quantitative analysis, which no one had done before, and arrived at an estimate of only 9 million to 10 million. The previous higher estimates, he wrote, had endured because of “a vast inertia, as historians have copied over and over again the flimsy results of insubstantial guesswork.” You would be hard-pressed to find a more cogent damning of bad scholarship than those last six words. Curtin grew up in West Virginia, sailed with the Merchant Marine during the Second World War, was educated at Swarthmore and Harvard, and first made his mark as a scholar at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he teamed with Jan Vansina to create the nation’s first department of African languages and literature. Up to that time, Western historians had regarded Africa mostly from the perspective of how it figured in the history of Europe and the New World. Curtin thought the continent deserved its own context. His longtime colleague, Johns Hopkins history professor William T. Rowe, says, “He envisioned world history as a complex, deeply interrelated process in which every culture, or society, no matter how seemingly peripheral, should be treated by the historian with equal dignity and gravity. He was enthralled with cross-cultural and cross-temporal comparisons, and analyses of mutual influences.” Curtin’s was a capacious intellect, and his legacy is the discipline of history made richer by it. —DK
Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
The Autodidact Course Catalog Your summer of beach reading is over. It’s back to school, even for the self-taught. Reader, didact thyself!
B y D ale K eiger
ne would be hard-pressed to disapprove of autodidacticism. Consider a list of notable alumni from the academy of the self-taught: René Descartes, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, William Blake. Michael Faraday apprenticed himself to a bookseller and read everything he could before going on to figure out electromagnetism. August Wilson schooled himself at the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh after dropping out of the ninth grade. Arnold Schoenberg claimed to be an autodidact, and who are we to dispute it? Frank Zappa advised, “Forget about the senior prom and go to the library and educate yourself, if you’ve got any guts.” Hear, hear. (Though if the prom band is playing Frank Zappa songs, we’re donning a powder-blue brocade tux and we’re going.) The systematic didacting of oneself—it’s not a verb, but it ought to be—requires printed text bound between boards. Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, or an iSquint will not suffice. And because we subscribe to the advice of Isaac Watts in his 1741 volume Improvement of the Mind—“It is of vast advantage to have the most proper books for reading recommended by a judicious friend”—we consulted a roster of judicious friends to compile some required reading for an autodidact’s course catalog. (The course titles and descriptions are our invention.) We grade on the curve and will allow you to set your own pace, but do proceed with one last piece of advice from the good Mr. Watts: “Have a care of indulging the more sensual passions and appetites of animal nature; they are great enemies to attention.”
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Readings From the History of Scholarship, Including Some Less-than-Honest Practitioners Walter Stephens, professor of German and Romance languages and literatures, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences A scholarly survey of scholars looking at scholarship, including the role played by forgers, con artists, and other miscreants and blackguards. Course will encompass how Gilgamesh was lost and found (and first translated by autodidact George Smith), the fascination with ancient Egypt by Renaissance Italians, and making a case for forgery as the “criminal sibling” of criticism. Instructor notes that his doctoral dissertation was on the forger Annius of Viterbo, who appears in the first three books. Forgers and Critics: Creativity and Duplicity in Western Scholarship, by Anthony Grafton. Forgery has furthered scholarship in previously unappreciated ways. The Scarith of Scornello: A Tale of Renaissance Forgery, by Ingrid D. Rowland. The true story of a bored, wickedly bright 17th-century teenager who pranked Tuscans with forged Latin and Etruscan documents. The Egyptian Renaissance: The Afterlife of Ancient Egypt in Early Modern Italy, by Brian A. Curran. Of course, the scholars and artists of the Italian Renaissance studied ancient Greece and Rome. But they also took an intense interest in Egypt. The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh, by David Damrosch. Title explains it all. Says instructor, “Makes Indiana Jones look dull.” That Really Bytes: Issues of Computer Security Avi Rubin, professor of computer science, Whiting School of Engineering An introduction to issues of cybersecurity, cryptography, cryptanalysis, and electronic voting by one of the nation’s experts on digital security. Students will walk away from the course not only conversant in transposition ciphers and the Enigma machine, but with gnawing unease about data security and a yearning for paper ballots. The Codebreakers: The Comprehensive History of Secret Communication from Ancient Times to the Internet, by David Kahn. The ur-text on codes, secret writing, and cryptanalysis. Safety note: Students are advised not to drop 1,200-page book on foot. The Cuckoo’s Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage, by Clifford Stoll. Tiny discrepancy in computer bill sets astrophysicist on trail of German hacker who turns out to be a spy. No, really. Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World, by 30 Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
Bruce Schneier. No matter how sophisticated the security, someone will find a way to get past it. It’s human nature. Brave New Ballot: The Battle to Safeguard Democracy in the Age of Electronic Voting, by Avi Rubin. Author knows whereof he speaks: He is an expert on cybersecurity and director of A Center for Correct, Usable, Reliable, Auditable, and Transparent Elections (ACCURATE). Short Course on American Constitutional Law and the Supreme Court Joel B. Grossman, professor of political science, Krieger School From an expert on constitutional law, a historical perspective on the creation of the U.S. Constitution and the men and women in black robes who interpret it. Students may emerge from the course harboring higher regard for the former than the latter. Plain Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution, by Richard Beeman. A nuanced narrative history of the constitutional convention of 1787. What Kind of Nation: Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and the Epic Struggle to Create a United States, by James F. Simon. Jefferson versus Marshall, states’ rights versus federalism, executive power versus Supreme Court. Some stories go on and on and on. America’s Constitution: A Biography, by Akhil Reed Amar. The back story, article by article, amendment by amendment. The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, Jeffrey Toobin. Fifteen years of Supreme Court inside history, beginning with the Reagan administration. Becoming Justice Blackmun: Harry Blackmun’s Supreme Court Journey, by Linda Greenhouse. Author was the first journalist to gain access to the papers of the man who authored Roe v. Wade. The Least Dangerous Branch: The Supreme Court at the Bar of Politics, by Alexander M. Bickel. First sentence: “The least dangerous branch of the American government is the most extraordinarily powerful court of law the world has ever known.” The Warren Court and American Politics, by Lucas A. Powe Jr. History and analysis of the court under Chief Justice Earl Warren. School Zone: Educating America’s Children Amy Wilson, instructor, School of Education University education in the United States long has been a model for the world. But the American public system for schooling the 12 grades below college is a wreck, espe-
cially for minority and disadvantaged kids. This course will sample the ever-growing literature on what is wrong and what ought to be done. Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America, by Paul Tough. Portrait of a man who says if you really want to educate the nation’s poor children, don’t just change schools—change everything in their lives, including how they’re raised. The Challenge to Care in Schools: An Alternative Approach to Education, by Nel Noddings. How schools might address the issues facing students today through an ethic of caring. Our Schools Suck: Students Talk Back to a Segregated Nation on the Failures of Urban Education, by Gaston Alonso et al. As the impolite title indicates: student voices speaking out about the problems of urban schools.
Can superstring theory reconcile general relativity and quantum mechanics? Greene believes it can. The Mystery of the Missing Antimatter, by Helen R. Quinn and Yossi Nir. Right after the Big Bang, there was slightly more matter than antimatter. According to the standard model of particle physics, this should not have been true, but we owe our existence to it. Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions, by Lisa Randall. The universe may have something like 11 dimensions. Go ahead, sketch that out on a piece of graph paper. How These Things Work: Business Management Writ Large Phillip Phan, professor and vice dean of faculty and research, Carey Business School
Musicians on Music Michael Hersch, composer and faculty member, Peabody Conservatory
Nearly 80 years of collective wisdom on the nature of corporations, management, capitalism, and entrepreneurial creativity. In the present economy, wisdom can seem like a scarce commodity.
Collected prose by artists more accustomed to wordless expression. Class readings will demonstrate that more great musicians are able writers than great writers are able musicians.
The Modern Corporation and Private Property, by Adolph A. Berle and Gardiner C. Means. In 1932, Berle and Means laid out their argument that in most U.S. corporations, the owners play little role in managing the company and the managers have little ownership at stake. Maybe not the best idea.
Composers on Music: Eight Centuries of Writings, edited by Josiah Fisk and Jeff Nichols. Expanded version of the notable 1956 anthology. More than 100 composers, from Hildegard von Bingen to Oliver Knussen, writing on their art. Sviatoslav Richter: Notebooks and Conversations, edited by Bruno Monsaingeon and Stewart Spencer. Interviews with and excerpts from the notebooks of the great 20th-century pianist who once said of Vladimir Horowitz, “Such talent! And such a trivial mind.”
The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress, by Joel Mokyr. “What is required for technological creativity is the right blend of accumulated knowledge of past generations and the ability to shed the stifling burden of past institutions.” Where does technological creativity come from, and why do some nations have it in abundance while others do not?
Orientations: Collected Writings, by Pierre Boulez. Essays by the contemporary composer, some with great titles. For example: “Aesthetics and the Fetishists” and “Putting the Phantoms to Flight.”
The Road to Serfdom, by F. A. Hayek. Hayek’s thesis was summarized pungently by George Orwell: “Collectivism is not inherently democratic, but, on the contrary, gives to a tyrannical minority such powers as the Spanish Inquisitors never dreamt of.”
Einstein Just Shakes His Head: Readings in Quantum Physics Adam Falk, physicist and dean of the Krieger School
Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of the American Industrial Enterprise, by Alfred D. Chandler. How large corporations manage burgeoning business. The secret, says Chandler, is that structure follows strategy.
Antiquarks, blackbody spectra, Higgs bosons, leptons, gravitational lensing, fermionic dimensions, zinos, winos—if you’re a quantum physicist, the universe is one weird place. Pretty weird for the rest of us, too. This course will make students conversant with some of the best far-out thinking on how everything fits together.
Nursing As It’s Been Done, As It’s Done Now Sarah J. Shaefer, assistant professor of community public health nursing, and Sharon Olsen, assistant professor of acute and chronic care, School of Nursing
QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter, by Richard P. Feynman. One of the great all-time explainers takes on quantum electrodynamics, the QED of the title.
Nursing as a discipline has been anything but static, as this course will make clear. The historical scope of the readings is vast—back to ancient Egypt—and they cover many aspects of contemporary practice.
The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory, by Brian Greene.
Pivotal Moments in Nursing: Leaders Who Changed the Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009 31
Path of a Profession, by Beth Houser and Kathy Player. Essays on a dozen men and women who followed varied paths to becoming leaders in the profession, including Loretta Ford, Gretta Styles, and Luther Christman.
Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower, by Zbigniew Brzezinski. The author grades the last three U.S. presidents. He is not all that impressed.
Nursing, the Finest Art: An Illustrated History, by Patricia Donahue. It’s all here, nursing from ancient Assyria and Babylonia to the modern day, profusely illustrated with more than 500 historical images.
Uneasy in America: Readings on Race Ben Vinson III, professor of history and director of the Center for Africana Studies, Krieger School
Contemporary Nursing: Issues, Trends & Management, by Barbara Cherry and Susan R. Jacob. Comprehensive overview of how the profession is practiced today.
From day one, there has been nothing easy about the racial diversity of America. This course will explore the history, complexities, and consequences of the African diaspora and its impact on the United States, with an emphasis on the last 50 years and from multiple perspectives.
Advanced Practice Nursing: Essentials of Role Development, by Lucille A. Joel. The core concepts of advanced practice by nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and others. Keeping Patients Safe: Transforming the Work Environment of Nurses, edited by Ann Page. One way to improve outcomes for patients is to change the working conditions of and demands on nurses. Our Shared Legacy: Nursing Education at Johns Hopkins, 1889–2006, by Mame Warren. The history of nursing instruction at Johns Hopkins; another well-illustrated volume. Affairs of an International Nature: Global Finances, Economic Development, and Leadership Jessica Einhorn, dean of the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies Readings about players on the biggest stage—mistaken bankers, failed states, a shaky dragon, and mediocre presidents. The instructor, who is not only a dean but chair of SAIS’ Foreign Policy Institute and an expert on the international political economy, has hit four areas of international affairs: finance, global poverty, China, and U.S. foreign policy. Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World, by Liaquat Ahamed. After the First World War, the world’s most powerful quartet of bankers pushed the political leaders of the wealthiest nations into decisions that nearly ruined the global economy. A book that may not make you feel better about the current state of affairs. The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It, by Paul Collier. Collier argues that the best way to help the poor would be to concentrate on the billion people (70 percent of them in Africa) with the bad luck to live in nations that are going nowhere but down. China Shakes the World: A Titan’s Rise and Troubled Future— and the Challenge for America, by James Kynge. When Kynge, a former Financial Times Beijing bureau chief, looks at China, he sees a juggernaut with a voracious appetite for resources, labor, energy, and markets, and systemic problems so large that everything could come crashing down. 32 Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
Reversing Sail: A History of the African Diaspora, by Michael A. Gomez. A history, wide ranging but concise, of the global dispersion of Africans from antiquity to the modern day. Neither Enemies Nor Friends: Latinos, Blacks, Afro-Latinos, edited by Anani Dzidzienyo and Suzanne Oboler. Fourteen scholars on being black, Latino, or both in the Western Hemisphere. Waiting ’Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America, by Peniel E. Joseph. For 20 years (1955– 1975), a mesmerizing cast of leaders occupied the political stage, struggling to advance African Americans, and they are all here: Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Stokely Carmichael, Huey P. Newton, Angela Davis. Racial Paranoia: The Unintended Consequences of Political Correctness, by John L. Jackson Jr. Racism has not gone away, says Jackson, it’s gone underground, cloaked by political correctness, expressed in racial paranoia among both blacks and whites, and subtler in its manifestations. The Art of Teaching Francis Masci, associate professor of teacher preparation, School of Education Just because one is an autodidact does not rule out the possibility of teaching others. This course offers a combination of practical guidance and ideas to ponder. Becoming a Teacher, by Forrest W. Parkay and Beverly Hardcastle Stanford. The eighth edition of a basic guide that opens with a pertinent question: “Why do you want to teach?” Understanding by Design, by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. The authors’ argument for bringing more coherence to teaching through designing a curriculum by working backward from the desired end results. Preparing Teachers for a Changing World: What Teachers Should Learn and Be Able to Do, edited by Linda DarlingHammond et al. Let’s get meta: A book that teaches how to teach teachers to work in a world of constant flux. Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom, by Lisa Delpit. A 1990 MacArthur fellow, Delpit, who has ranged from New Guinea to Alaska studying education, asks why
schools don’t do a better job of teaching poor children and children of color, then puts forth a provocative answer. The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher, by Harry K. Wong and Rosemary T. Wong. Concise, practical advice on how to manage a classroom. Biochemistry and Human Evolution (With Rather a Lot about Mitochondria) Blake Hill, associate professor of biology, Krieger School Identification of your ancestry, how you age, what diseases you suffer, what your cells do and why—all much determined by enzymes and mitochondria. A deep journey into what has made you into you. While you’re here, shake hands with your inner African. And your clan mother is calling. For the Love of Enzymes: The Odyssey of a Biochemist, by Arthur Kornberg. Simultaneously a history of biochemistry and a memoir by a Nobel laureate who does, indeed, love enzymes. Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life, by Nick Lane. Maybe the best book title on the autodidact’s list. We suspect you have not given mitochondria a lot of thought, but some scientists believe they’re responsible for evolution, sex, aging, degenerative diseases, and death. The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry, by Bryan Sykes. Yes, more mitochondria, this time as mitochondrial DNA, which Sykes believes reveals that nearly all modern Europeans descend from one of seven clan mothers. The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey, by Spencer Wells. One more odyssey, and in a sense the male counterpart to Seven Daughters of Eve: more DNA and more mitochondria, this time to trace the ancestry of man through the male Y chromosome. Ground-Level French History David Bell, professor of history, Krieger School The Great Man approach to history is not without merit or its own worthy reading list. But this course will sample historiography written at an earthier level. Four centuries of France as experienced by common people who become uncommon on closer examination. The Return of Martin Guerre, by Natalie Zemon Davis. A legendary case of 16th-century impostorship from a time, before photographs and DNA testing and Social Security cards, when the question of what established one’s identity was a knotty question indeed.
The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History, by Robert Darnton. What people thought in 18th-century France, and how they thought it. And yes, there is a massacre of cats—by the workers of a print shop. The Foul and the Fragrant: Odor and the French Social Imagination, by Alain Corbin. France in the 18th and 19th centuries was a place of many odors, not all of them appetizing. Corbin’s study demonstrates what smells and public reaction to them say about a culture. Peasants into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France, 1870–1914, by Eugen Weber. How the French “savage” countryside became incorporated into a modern French unity, told from the viewpoint of the peasants. Here’s the Deal: Coping With and Surviving Breast Cancer Lillie D, Shockney, administrative director of the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer mortality in women (lung cancer tops the list), and incidence rates keep rising in Western countries. A practicum on what women need to know about the illness and its treatment. Navigating Breast Cancer: A Guide to the Newly Diagnosed, by Lillie D. Shockney. Practical advice from the instructor, who has experienced what she discusses from both sides, medical professional and cancer survivor. Johns Hopkins Patients’ Guide to Breast Cancer, by Lillie D. Shockney. Concise advice on how to navigate—and actively participate in—a treatment program. Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book, by Susan M. Love and Karen Lindsey. The fourth edition of the classic handbook on breast health. Back in the Day: A Joint Seminar on Classical Times Matthew Roller, professor of classics, and Richard Bett, professor of philosophy, Krieger School An introductory survey covering the Roman republic and classical Roman and Greek philosophy. Old politics, old philosophy, old intrigue, old guys in togas, and things to ponder that stay ever current. Plutarch’s Lives X: Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus, by Plutarch. Roman reformers who met bad ends, back when politics could be a rough—make that murderous—business. Social Conflicts in the Roman Republic, by P. A. Brunt. Short overview of social and political conflicts in the Early (458 BC to 274 BC) and Late (147 BC to 30 BC) Republics. Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009 33
Rome at War: Farms, Families, and Death in the Middle Republic, by Nathan Rosenstein. The appendices and notes take almost as many pages as the primary text, but the book presents a provocative argument: High mortality in Rome’s wars prompted an increase in the birth rate that in turn produced overpopulation, landlessness, and social unrest. Ancient Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction, by Julia Annas. Exactly what the title promises. Classical Thought, by Terence Irwin. A brisk survey of classical philosophy that covers Homer, the Naturalist movement, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Epicureans and Stoics, Plotinus, and the early Christians through Augustine. The Cambridge Companion to Greek and Roman Philosophy, edited by David Sedley. The Thinking Self Thinks Itself David Linden, professor of neuroscience, School of Medicine Neuroscientists have begun delving into the neurobiology of the brain’s creation of the self. Perception as fantasy that coincides with reality, a woman who died laughing, pain in limbs that are no longer there, personality created by synapses—sometimes it gets strange in there. Making Up the Mind: How the Brain Creates Our Mental World, by Chris Frith. The biology of mental processes, by a noted neuroscientist. Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind, by V.S. Ramachandran and Sandra Blakeslee. What’s happening in the brain when amputees feel phantom limbs, and other oddities of brain function. Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Are, by Joseph LeDoux. Who are we? LeDoux says to understand our sense of self, look in the synapses. The Accidental Mind: How Brain Evolution Has Given Us Love, Memory, Dreams, and God, by David J. Linden. The instructor’s latest, in which he asserts that the human brain is “a cobbledtogether mess.”
One-third of all African Americans live segregated in a mere 16 urban areas. How segregation is “the missing link” in historical and contemporary processes of racial inequality. Black Picket Fences: Privilege and Peril Among the Black Middle Class, by Mary Pattillo-McCoy. An ethnographic analysis of the black middle class, and how that status rarely yields the same results for blacks as for whites. The Source of the River: The Social Origins of Freshmen at America’s Selective Colleges and Universities, by Douglas S. Massey et al. Pre-college experiences and what they explain about academic performance gaps among different ethnic groups. Making Multiracials: State, Family, and Market in the Redrawing of the Color Line, by Kimberly McClain DaCosta. The social activities and politics that led to a notable change in the U.S. census in 2000—the ability to describe yourself as being of more than one race. Somebody Designed That,You Know John Gersh, engineer, and Victor McCrary, business area executive, Applied Physics Laboratory There’s no getting around it: We all encounter design every day of life. Good design, bad design, design that pleases, and design that makes something we need to do harder. Students will enter the minds of systems engineers and designers and gain new insight into what Isaac Asimov called “the natural perversity of inanimate objects.” The Design of Everyday Things, by Donald Norman. Every physical object that you encounter each day of your life was designed by someone, for better or worse. If the designer does not understand how something actually will be used, the encounter will not be a good one. Systems Engineering: Principles and Practice, by Alexander Kossiakoff and William N. Sweet. How to think like a systems engineer, based on material developed for graduate-level engineering course work at Johns Hopkins.
Social Stratification and Race Pamela R. Bennett, professor of sociology, Krieger School
Joint Cognitive Systems: Patterns in Cognitive Systems Engineering, by David D. Woods and Erik Hollnagel. How new technology and methods of automation change how we work.
The cliché du jour after Barack Obama’s election was that we now live in a “post-racial” America. Uh-huh. This course is an introduction to the sociological and ethnographic analyses that shed light on the many aspects of social stratification by race that still characterize important components of American society.
Higher Mathematics in Nouns and Verbs William Minicozzi, professor of mathematics, Krieger School
American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass, by Douglas S. Massey and Nancy A. Denton. 34 Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
Mathematics explains itself best in numerals and symbols, but for those who must rely on written English, there are books that vividly convey some of how mathematicians
think and work. The instructor notes the absence of a good layperson’s guide to his specialty, minimal surfaces. Extra credit for any student who writes one. Sync: How Order Emerges from Chaos in the Universe, Nature, and Daily Life, by Steven H. Strogatz. The study of synchrony melds biology, mathematics, and physics to explain the fascinating tendency of things in the world, both animate and inanimate, to spontaneously move from randomness to order. Fermat’s Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World’s Greatest Mathematical Problem, by Simon Singh. A fascinating narrative account of how Andrew Wiles, a mathematician at Princeton, solved a 350-year-old problem, one of the most famous in all of mathematics. Society Can Be Dangerous to Your Health Thomas LaVeist, professor of health policy and management, Bloomberg School of Public Health Public concern for your health, and your chances of having a favorable encounter with the American medical system, depends to a significant degree on your answers to the following questions: Are you an immigrant? Are you black? Are you poor? Class readings will demonstrate that your odds get worse with each affirmative answer. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, by Anne Fadiman. The tragic account of what befell a Hmong family after their daughter was diagnosed with severe epilepsy.
Nature, Nurture, and Cognition Barbara Landau, professor of cognitive science, Krieger School Based on the instructor’s Johns Hopkins freshman seminar in cognitive science. The nature of human knowledge: where it comes from, how it’s learned, the effects of damage and genetic deficit. The readings explore four key topics: language, perception and visual organization, number, and the understanding of other human minds. The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language, by Steven Pinker. Pinker believes the human brain contains innate grammatical machinery developed by evolution, as wired into us as sonar is wired into bats. Phantoms in the Brain, by V.S. Ramachandran and Sandra Blakeslee. (See above course listing for The Thinking Self Thinks Itself.) The Number Sense: How the Mind Creates Mathematics, by Stanislas Dehaene. Pinker ponders language, Dehaene ponders math. His story begins with a counting horse named Hans. Mindblindness: An Essay on Autism and Theory of Mind, by Simon Baron-Cohen. People “mindread” all the time, gauging what someone thinks, wants, intends. Autistic children, Baron-Cohen believes, cannot do this—they suffer from mindblindness. And Now for the Really Big Picture: Modern Cosmology Charles Bennett, professor of physics and astronomy, Krieger School
Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago, by Eric Klinenberg. A weeklong heat wave in 1995 killed more than 700 people in Chicago, most of them socially isolated elderly people who died silently behind closed doors. Klinenberg pulls apart how this disaster came about.
There have been no bangs as big as the original whammo 14 billion years ago, at least so far as we know. An introduction to modern cosmology and its explanation of how everything we know came into being in a cosmic flash.
Mama Might Be Better Off Dead: The Failure of Health Care in Urban America, by Laurie Kaye Abraham. The author limns how the health system fails the urban poor through the story of four generations of an unhealthy and uninsured African American family in Chicago.
Your Cosmic Context: An Introduction to Modern Cosmology, by Todd Duncan and Craig Tyler. Your cosmological starting point, which begins with the simplest of first steps: looking up.
Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor, by Paul Farmer. How despotic governments and global financial organizations like the International Monetary Fund wreak havoc on the health of billions of people in the Third World. Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present, by Harriet A. Washington. The Tuskegee experiments on unwitting African American syphilitics were not isolated incidents—the history of medical experiments on blacks goes back to Thomas Jefferson.
Echo of the Big Bang, by Michael D. Lemonick. A narrative account of the creation and launch of the WMAP satellite that found the universe to be 13.7 billion years old, 23 percent dark matter, and flat, at least in cosmological terms. The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality, by Brian Greene. Professor Greene’s second appearance in our catalog. He goes where most fear to tread— attempting to explain string theory, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, inflationary cosmology, and other ideas that are not what you’d call intuitive. Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution, by Neil Degrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith. Companion volume to a NOVA television series that attempts a history of the whole shebang with concision and wit. Dale Keiger is Johns Hopkins Magazine’s associate editor. Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009 35
Survival Mode As the nation’s nonprofits feel the pinch of the current economy, a Johns Hopkins researcher says the “resilient sector” will adapt and survive. In fact, it may even thrive.
By Greg Hanscom Illustration by Joe Ciardiello
36 Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
t’s tough to log on to the Internet or pick up a newspaper (if you can still find one) these days without being deluged with tales of businesses fallen on hard times. But while the private sector has made headlines, less is heard about another branch of American society— the approximately 1.3 million 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations and religious groups that work for a purpose, not a profit. A lot rides on the survival of nonprofit organizations. According to the most recent figures, U.S. nonprofits employ 11.1 million paid workers, or 8.3 percent of the nation’s workforce, says Lester Salamon, founding director of the Center for Civil Society Studies at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies. The nonprofit sector includes church and labor groups, professional institutions and social clubs, most of the country’s premier hospitals and universities, operas and theaters, advocacy groups, and countless family and children’s service, neighborhood devel-
opment, antipoverty, and community health organizations. These organizations become all the more vital during hard times, but unfortunately, the economic meltdown has thrown this “third sector” into crisis. Nationwide, nonprofits are under considerable financial stress, according to a report the center released in June. Foundations, their endowments devastated by the tumbling markets, are laying off employees and cutting back giving. The American public is giving less. Corporate philanthropy and government contracts are down, too. Dozens of organizations have closed their doors, including institutions as large as International Aid, a Michigan-based nonprofit that once raised $45 million annually to improve health care in developing countries. Scores more have been hit hard. Many watched donations plummet following the revelation of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. “Demand for nonprofit services is skyrocketing,” says Tim Delaney, presi-
Johns Hopkins Magazine â€˘ April 2009 37
dent and CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits. “This is the sector that has learned to do so much more for so much less for so many more for so long. But it’s like a rubber band: You can stretch and tug, but at a certain point it is going to snap.”
alamon got his first lesson on the significance of nonprofits in the 1960s, studying the nascent civil rights movement in rural Mississippi. In 1981, he authored a seminal study of the sector in response to then President Ronald Reagan’s proposals to drastically cut government spending. Reagan argued that nonprofits could pick up the slack for downsized government agencies. Salamon revealed that in many cases, it was nonprofit organizations, not government agencies, that already did the hard work of administering government programs ranging from health care to low-income housing. Of the proposed cuts to government spending, $40 billion would have been taken from the very nongovernmental groups Reagan expected to keep the country going. The study dealt a blow to Reagan’s plans and set Salamon on a decades-long quest to put the nonprofit sector on the map both in the United States and abroad. Salamon summed up two decades of research in his 2003 volume, The Resilient Sector. In order to survive a long string of political attacks, Salamon wrote, nonprofits had devised innovative new fundraising techniques, stolen pages from the private sector (some have even set up for-profit subsidiaries to bankroll their activities), built partnerships with businesses and government, and joined forces on the local, state, and national levels to become an industrial and political force. “Although largely unheralded, nonprofit America has undergone a quiet revolution, a massive process of reinvention and re-engineering that is still very much under way,” Salamon wrote. While some fields had progressed more than others, he argued that “there is no denying the dominant picture of resilience, adaptation, and change.” Not five years after Salamon wrote
38 Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
those words, the economy would slump into a recession, and his thesis would be put to the test. In January, with evidence of the meltdown building and a new president in the White House, Salamon gathered a dozen national nonprofit leaders at the Pocantico Conference Center north of New York City. Distressed at the economic news and concerned that the nonprofit sector would once again be sidelined during the economic and policy debates, the group volunteered Salamon to create a statement making a case for the sector’s needs—and potential contributions— during difficult times. After a late night of writing and a series of revisions by the group, a manifesto emerged. Called “Forward Together,” it serves as a call to action to nonprofit, business, and political leaders to “renew and reinforce America’s compact with this crucial set of institutions.” The document garnered the signatures of leaders representing more than 100,000 nonprofit organizations. Salamon took the agenda directly to President Barack Obama’s White House Office of Social Innovation. Salamon and his allies flew the flag for the “citizen sector” again as Congress and the president were considering the $787 billion stimulus package. When word came down that priority would go to “shovel-ready” projects such as roads and bridges, the Center for Civil Society Studies used its numerous contacts to compile a list of stalled projects from nonprofits nationwide. The list, which included a workforce training and child development center in a poor part of San Antonio, Texas, and a mental health center in Virginia’s Roanoke Valley, represented an estimated $10.6 billion in infrastructure needs. The ultimate decisions about where to spend the stimulus money rests with the states. “I can’t say that [our report] shook money loose,” Salamon says, “but this never would have been on the agenda without it.”
he study released by the center in June confirmed what many in the sector already knew: Nonprofits nationwide were under significant financial stress. Orchestras and
theaters had been particularly hard-hit, along with organizations that provide care for children and the elderly. A third of the 363 organizations surveyed for the study had eliminated staff positions. Many had postponed new hires, reduced or eliminated travel budgets, and frozen salaries. Still, Salamon says, the nonprofit sector as a whole has weathered the recession fairly well. Two-thirds of the groups surveyed reported that they had handled the stress successfully—only 5 percent reported that they were in imminent danger of going out of business— and three-quarters reported that they were able to maintain or even increase the number of people they served. How have they done it? Some organizations have insulated themselves from the vagaries of the markets by tapping into a wide variety of funding pools. One such group, profiled recently in a Center for Civil Society Studies publication, is the Presbyterian Villages of Michigan, which spends roughly $50 million annually to provide affordable senior housing in a state that has been hit even harder than most. President and CEO Roger Myers says his business has softened as more seniors have chosen to stay in their homes, waiting for real estate values to rebound before selling and moving into a senior housing “village.” Some have even moved in with their children, both as a way to save money and to contribute Social Security checks to their offspring’s household income. Still, by using a combination of state funds, low-income-housing tax credits, and stimulus money, the organization has been able to move ahead with several new housing projects. “We are doing reasonably well,” Myers says. Other nonprofits are making more use of volunteers—and not just to stuff envelopes and answer phones. Kelly Hodge-Williams, who took a nonprofit management course at Johns Hopkins, is executive director of Business Volunteers Unlimited Maryland, which pairs service-minded businesses with nonprofits that need help. Early in the year, her organization began getting calls from out-of-work professionals. “Peo-
ple were losing their jobs and not finding work immediately,” Hodge-Williams says. “They said, ‘I love serving soup, but I would love to use my accounting skills, or my marketing skills. I’d like to keep my skills fresh and maybe network a bit.’” Since then, Business Volunteers Unlimited has put new energy into partnering “high-skill” volunteers with nonprofits that don’t have the money to hire specialists or contract jobs to consultants. An accountant volunteered to help a community develop-
properties will be redeveloped into affordable housing with help from the new $15 million Denver Transit-Oriented Development Fund, created by the conservancy, the city of Denver, and a national nonprofit called Enterprise Community Partners. Miripol says the Urban Land Conservancy’s financial portfolio—a pool that started with a donation of $15 million from a civic-minded oil and gas company—declined about 20 percent in 2008, limiting the amount of work he was able to do last year. But 2009 is
Salamon believes that nonprofits could be better run and collaborate more effectively with business and government. “This was all created in an ad hoc way,” he says. “It needs to be fixed.” ment organization with its annual audit. A computer specialist helped a YMCA develop a database to track its volunteers. A third volunteer is working on a marketing plan for the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks. Hodge-Williams says her group referred hundreds of highly skilled volunteers to needy nonprofits in the first half of the year, and that at least 40 were working on projects like these. Still other organizations have managed to spin straw into gold. Aaron Miripol, A&S ’94 (MA), who earned his master’s degree in public policy, is now president and CEO of the Urban Land Conservancy, a Denver nonprofit that buys up properties in gentrifying neighborhoods with a mission to make life better for the people who live there. Much of the conservancy’s recent work has centered around a massive expansion of Denver’s rail and bus system. “There has been a lot of speculation around some of these transit corridors. Now, investors who bought in can’t refinance,” Miripol says. “Those are our opportunities now.” The group bought a former Budget Motel near a planned light rail station and acquired two parking lots totaling 25,000 square feet one block from another transit stop. Both
looking significantly better. The organization draws 90 percent of its revenue from leasing the properties it owns to other nonprofits. “Right now, everyone is jumping at the stimulus dollars. It’s a mad frenzy,” he says. “But we’re not dependent on federal money. If [government agencies] are at the table, that’s great, all the better. But to be able to say, ‘We’re going to do this with or without you,’ that’s powerful.” Even in a down economy, groups like these offer proof that, as Lester Salamon has long argued, nonprofit organizations have outgrown their reputation as admirable but amateurish volunteer associations. They have become more business and media savvy. They’ve borrowed tools from and offered formidable competition to the for-profit sector. But the worst may be yet to come. “If you think it’s horrible this year, wait until next year,” says Delaney with the National Council of Nonprofits, a member of the Pocantico group. “Next year, we’re not going to have the stimulus,” he says, and the pressure on state governments to slash spending will be even more acute. He adds that foundations have been able to cushion the blow to some extent this year. The full
force of their diminished reserves will not be felt until later this year and early next. He urges nonprofits to take drastic measures, if necessary. “Not one of the nonprofits in this country has written into their mission statement that ‘we’re here to hold on for another day.’ I’m urging board members to reconnect with the organization’s core purpose, to ask, ‘How can we best advance this mission?’” That mission, Salamon says, is what makes nonprofits particularly vital to society. He points to the home health care industry, which was pioneered by the nonprofit sector at a time when forprofits were hesitant to enter the field. The private sector only rushed in after home health care became eligible for Medicare reimbursement. Today, he says, many for-profits are abandoning the nursing home business as Medicare payments have declined. Nonprofits, meanwhile, are holding strong. Still, Salamon is not a champion of the status quo, and while he is confident that the nonprofit sector will survive to see a better day, he predicts—hopes, in fact—that it will be changed along the way. He has been pushing for years for foundations to behave more like “philanthropic banks,” leveraging their money by offering loans and loan-guarantee programs rather than simply giving it away as grants (which he calls “18thcentury technology”). He also believes that nonprofits could be better run and collaborate more effectively with business and government. “This was all created in an ad hoc way,” he says of the current system. “It needs to be fixed.” Salamon envisions a day when the nonprofit sector is embraced as a full partner in society: “In the future, it is not government that is going to solve problems, but networks.” Perhaps this is the silver lining to the current economic cloud: the prospect of emerging on the other side—where and whenever that might be—transformed. Greg Hanscom is a writer and editor in Baltimore. He has worked for numerous nonprofit organizations, including the award-winning Western news magazine High Country News. Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009 39
he comes out at night, flying out of woods and swamps in search of a suitable landing spot. When she finds one, she plants all six legs on uncovered flesh and bends her body forward. She hunkers down and maneuvers her spike of a snout into position. She bores that spike, a complex package of micro-machines—serrated tools for cutting, pumps for moving liquids—through the epidermis, then punches it through a thin layer of fat. In short order, she drills the tip down into tiny capillaries, then taps them, sucking blood in the name of future generations. If she’s not interrupted, the female of the mosquito genus Anopheles will draw in the lifeblood that will nourish her eggs for up to 10 minutes, taking in more than twice her body weight. While she engorges herself, the Anopheles will dribble some saliva into the hole she’s made to keep the flow of blood from clotting. In the case of millions of African mosquitoes called Anopheles gambiae, the blob of spit isn’t the only thing left under the skin. A. gambiae serves as a “vector”—an organism that transmits dangerous germs and diseases—for Plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly of the handful of parasites that cause malaria. What means life for mosquitoes and parasites too often adds up to death and debilitation for the humans who take part in the three-way transmission cycle—a devil’s trinity that leads to up to half a billion malaria infections annually and between 1 million and 2 million deaths worldwide. As the expectant mosquito feeds on human blood, Plasmodium cells living in her salivary glands leak into the human bloodstream. It takes tens of thousands of these cells to cover the head of a pin, but only five or so to infect a human. Once inside the body, the parasites spend 10 days or more encamped in the liver, then begin infecting red blood cells, their 40 Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
Darlyne A. Murawski/National Geographic Stock
By Michael Anft
Malaria kills more than one million people worldwide each year, most of them young children. Backed by new money and renewed interest in stopping this eternal killer, researchers at Johns Hopkins are working on several fronts to stop it. Their main experimental subject: the bloodthirsty mosquito. Johns Hopkins Magazine â€˘ Fall 2009 41
population exploding before the human immune system gets wind of them. They cause chills, high fevers, draining fatigue. In the worst case—in a disease commonly called cerebral malaria—parasites destroy so many red blood cells that there aren’t enough left to run the body’s functions, and they attack the brain. Neurological damage, coma, and death often follow. During the past century, medical researchers have approached malaria with the same combination of exigency and diligence as they did when they took on the specters of polio, smallpox, and tuberculosis—but with decidedly less in the way of results. It continues to vex, even during an age marked by the relentless march of medical discoveries. As major infectious diseases go, malaria has been the trickiest for the longest. Some scientific historians theorize that animals that predate humans, including dinosaurs, may have suffered from the disease. Others contend that half of all humans who have ever lived died from malaria—and that it may always be part of the disease landscape. Efforts to wipe it out by spraying pesticides, including DDT, or by developing better and cheaper drugs and vaccines have been thwarted by the wiliness of mosquitoes and the parasite’s rapid reproductive cycle, which allows Plasmodium to mutate beyond the ability of the drugs that would fight it. An infusion of fresh money has bolstered science’s arsenal for fighting the disease—and yet many observers still consider malaria hopeless. Others are merely amazed by its many, ever-changing faces. “The disease is one thousand times more complicated than I had thought,” says Peter Agre, Med ’74, director of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute and a Nobel laureate in chemistry. “I’m humbled by my ignorance of it.” Deep-pocketed businesspeople, including Bill Gates, have lavished more than a billion dollars on the cause in the past few years, hoping to put an end to that ignorance and stop malaria at ground zero: sub-Saharan Africa. Gates’ foundation has given more than $200 million to Johns Hopkins strictly for malaria research. And a $100 million gift made eight years ago by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Engr ’64, to the School of Public Health that bears his name led to the creation of the Malaria Research Institute. A new cadre of scientists there has fanned out across disciplines to unlock the timeless secrets of a hardy affliction. They have worked to develop less dangerous and less expensive diagnostic tests for malaria, built a field station in rural Zambia where they can study the disease close up, and laid the groundwork for a deeper, yet more basic scientific approach to “malariology.” By painstakingly assembling pieces of the puzzle surrounding the basic biology of
mosquitoes and parasites, Johns Hopkins scientists hope to find new ways to battle the disease, including genetically engineering a cure into the mosquito itself.
he term “malaria” comes from Italy, where four popes, several dozen cardinals, the painter Caravaggio, and millions of others had died from it by the 17th century. Around that time, Jesuit priests returning from missions in South America first brought word of a potential cure: the bark of the Andes Mountains cinchona tree, which relieved the disease’s telltale chills, sweats, and high fevers. Mal’aria is Italian for “bad airs”—a reflection of the medieval belief that wafts from fetid swamps brought the disease with them. The mosquitoes that bred there and in brackish waters elsewhere wouldn’t become suspects for another couple of centuries. And “Jesuit bark,” as it became known later in England, wouldn’t remain effective for much longer than that—a foreshadowing of malaria’s ability to outpace any remedies humankind has devised to combat it. By the time quinine— the name of the crystalline alkaloid in cinchona bark— was sold on the Italian street for a premium, humanity was well acquainted with malaria’s ceaseless march around the world. Rome had been ravaged. Egyptian royalty had suffered from it (or so their mummified remains tell us). Alexander the Great had succumbed to the disease, and the armies of Genghis Khan had been stopped by it on their westward march. Malaria forced Christopher Columbus to cancel one of his New World explorations. While tropical areas harbored malaria, so did temperate zones and sub-Arctic realms—anyplace where mosquitoes could follow sizable populations of humans as they felled forest trees and turned to organized, labor-intensive agriculture, or opened up new mining colonies. The insects proved especially fond of reproducing and lurking on the edges of irrigation channels and in standing pools of water that pockmarked primitive farms. But for all of the mosquito’s climatic adaptability, scientists peg malaria’s origins to the tropics, specifically to sub-Saharan Africa. As people built farming settlements in tropical forests sometime between 4,000 and 10,000 years ago, Plasmodium falciparum emerged full bore. Higher concentrations of humans and A. gambiae were a boon to the evolution of the parasite, which needs large populations of both to continue its reproduction cycle. The parasite has developed a relatively complex genome due to its talent for rapid reproduction—it replicates itself into thousands of new parasites every 14 days. While the virus that causes polio features 11 genes, Plasmodium has nearly 5,000, the consequence of being a hardy survivor.
If, as Dickens once posited, the poor will always be with us, then so will malaria.
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In the insectary, caged mosquitoes feed on Plasmodiumladen blood. In subsequent millennia, as malaria mosquitoes spread across the globe, the world’s great civilizations and tiniest island outposts suffered. Eventually, European settlers and slave ships brought malaria to the New World. Over the centuries, a handful of U.S. presidents—George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy— would become infected. During the 1800s, Washington, D.C., was so stricken with malaria that a physician proposed ringing the area near the Potomac River with a screen of wire mesh. The disease would afflict onequarter of all soldiers during the Civil War. By 1897, when Sir Ronald Ross had proved that the disease was misnamed and that mosquitoes provided malaria with its delivery system, improvements in agricultural practices and mechanization in the northern United States had largely wiped out the disease. The South, home to human-intensive labor on unimproved tracts of land, would have to wait years for DDT to arrive and continued to battle malaria through the 1940s. As would Americans abroad. When soldiers were infected en masse during the war, stateside scientists led an effort to increase the potency of anti-malarial drugs worldwide—and Johns Hopkins played a major role. A team of malaria researchers formed at the university in 1938 had blossomed four years later into the lead office of the national Survey of Anti-Malarial Drugs. Financed by the National Academy of Sciences, Hopkins scientists tested new compounds and cataloged thousands of potential remedies sent in by researchers from around the country. Survey researchers recorded 13,000 compounds before reaching the conclusion that a drug concocted by a German scientist in 1934 worked on Plasmodium-infected ducklings. The remedy, called chloroquine, had been obscured by the confusion and secrecy of wartime but was uncovered soon enough to aid in post-war reconstruction efforts and beyond. Drug improvements, the spraying of DDT, innovations in swamp drainage, better overall health, and better community and farm planning led to the eradication of malaria throughout the United States and Europe shortly following the war’s end. But history teaches us that ridding the world of malaria isn’t as easy as all that. If, as Dickens once posited, the poor will always be with us, then so will malaria. Subsistence farming practices, poor and often unscreened housing, and a lack of health care and money with which to buy the best available drugs benefit Plasmodium falciparum at the expense of its hosts. People with poor nutrition or anemia suffer disproportionately, as do pregnant women and their babies. Money from the rich West to fight it has always been hard to come by. Pharmaceutical companies, driven more by profit than altruism, traditionally haven’t exactly made curing malaria a priority. Foreign aid too often has been inconsistent or paltry. One of the worst things that ever happened with
the disease, some researchers complain, is that industrialized countries had beaten it back on their own turf. In the 1960s and 1970s, however, international aid groups and health organizations had garnered enough Western support to send chloroquine treatments by the millions to Africa. Then, Plasmodium falciparum and a second form, Plasmodium vivax, predictably and inexorably mutated yet again. Drug-resistant strains of the parasites spread from village to village, country by country, reinfecting swaths of land not only in Africa but Asia as well. As soldiers fighting the war in Vietnam fell prey, governments on all sides began programs to discover new ways to stop malaria’s spread. The U.S Army enlisted a group from Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C, to develop new, synthetic anti-malarial drugs. On the other side of the ideological spectrum, Ho Chi Minh, the Communist leader of North Vietnam—and a malaria sufferer—appealed to Mao Tse-Tung for help. In what would become known as Project 523, the Chinese government enlisted scientists to focus their research on an age-old herb called Qing Hao (sweet wormwood) that Taoist philosopher Ge Hong had first recommended in A.D. 300 as a cure for malarial fevers. Artemisinin, the active ingredient in Qing Hao, proved effective against even the most virulent strains of malaria. Unlike chloroquine, which often caused severe stomach cramps and bone pain, and quinine, whose users frequently suffered irreparable hearing loss, the drug is gentle and longlasting. It came to the attention of doctors from the World Health Organization (WHO) in the 1980s, when Khmer Rouge soldiers in Cambodia who had taken it remained malaria-free despite long jungle stints. The rest of the world caught on. But because of Plasmodium falciparum’s chameleon-like ability to change itself, scientists at WHO and elsewhere decided it would be best to Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009 43
use the drug in combination with other anti-malarial medications. These so-called “partner drugs” proved effective—until recently. The hardiness of the malaria parasite has struck again—this time at the Cambodian/Thai border, the place where ACTs (artemisinin-combination treatments) were first used, and where resistance is beginning to show itself again. ACT resistance could cause a worsening of an already untenable situation in Africa, where the disease continues to rage. Johns Hopkins scientists believe they’ve made a breakthrough in making a future generation of those drugs as strong as possible (see “Bringing More Firepower to the Fight,” page 46). Other researchers are targeting the parasite’s reproductive cycle with a vaccine that, in early trials, has stopped the disease from spreading in Kenyan baboons (see “Taking a Shot at a Cure,” page 45). And a third group is mounting an attack from a sharply different angle: If the parasite’s ever-mutating genes present a compelling scientific problem, could changing the genes of one of its hosts keep it from reproducing? Could the answer to the misery wrought by malaria be found in the genes of the mosquito?
here, too: Behind a series of tightly secured doors, Kizito and crew grow them in square, glassed-in boxes. Candles keep oxygen levels low enough that the parasites reproduce. Once they’re hatched, they are grown in flasks filled with human serum. Racks with trays of water and mosquito larvae—dots with tails that look like tiny tadpoles—line the walls. Small bits of brown dissolve slowly in the water. “Friskies,” explains Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena, a professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at the School of Public Health. “Other insectaries use tropical fish food, which they’ll grind down and toss in. But we’ve found that cat food works just as well. We don’t even have to grind it—just throw it in there.” Once larvae develop into pupae—basically, bug babies that begin to sprout wings—they are transferred to one-foot-square, mesh-topped enclosures where they will soon begin to breed. Jacobs-Lorena uses the lab to test his ideas for stopping the parasite’s reproduction. He and his team dissect adult mosquitoes, scooping out salivary glands and viscera for microscopic inspection. Like higher animals, mosquitoes harbor bacteria in their digestive systems. The numbers of bacteria increase after a “blood meal”—the macabre term scientists use to describe a prenatal feast. Finding a way to use that bacteria, or engineer a new type, to block Plasmodium falciparum’s reproductive capabilities would bring the malaria transmission cycle to a halt. Or, preventing newly hatched parasites from leaving the gut and migrating to a mosquito’s salivary glands would scotch it as well. By tapping the secrets of mosquito bacteria and proteins, Jacobs-Lorena is trying to devise ways to make genetically modified mosquitoes that, when let loose in Africa, would breed with malaria carriers and weaken their diseaseenabling genes. Theoretically, at least, they would breed malaria out of the vector over time. Jacobs-Lorena’s work over the past 18 years—he came to Johns Hopkins in 2003—has centered on the testing of “phages,” the viruses that infect and destroy bacteria. He and his lab team injected mosquitoes with a complex mix of phages, each covered with a different peptide—a unique sequence of amino acid residues—hoping to find one that would stop Plasmodium reproduction. After injection, they dissected the salivary glands to see which phages took root there. The scientists were especially interested in the phages that contain a particular peptide that keeps the parasite out of the mosquito’s salivary glands. Of the billions of peptides in the phage mixture, the lab team found one that matched their specs. It was find-a-needle-in-the-haystack science, but it worked. “We actually discovered one that would also work
Behind a series of tightly secured doors, Kizito grows Plasmodium falciparum in square, glassed-in boxes.
idden in small, climate-controlled rooms behind double doors set deep within the fourth floor of the Bloomberg School of Public Health wait tens of thousands of larvae, pupae, and flying bugs. Though hardly the most visited place in the building, the seven rooms here are alive with the kind of activity that makes skin crawl. Christopher Kizito, along with a handful of postgrad students from various labs, “make” 10,000 A. gambiae and its malarial Asian cousin, A. stephensi, each week. If human and animal blood are the keys to the development of successive generations of mosquitoes, then the operation run by Kizito—not quite a rhyme with “mosquito”—is the lifeblood of Johns Hopkins malariologists. Among Kizito’s duties are growing larvae and making sure the mosquito’s talents as a disease vector play out. “We’re here to make sure that researchers can re-create the disease and examine it safely,” says Kizito, a research specialist and a native of malaria-racked Uganda. The 3,000-square-foot insectary is one of the largest operations of its kind in the world. It provides researchers with the space to develop cultures, breed certain strains of genetically modified insects, and dissect malaria carriers to investigate how parasites live and breed in what researchers call the “midgut” of the mosquito. One of those parasites, the dreaded Plasmodium falciparum, has a home 44 Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
Taking a Shot at a Cure
s a young PhD candidate in biochemistry in India, Nirbhay Kumar was felled by chills, sweats, and fever—the calling cards of malaria. He had been infected with Plasmodium vivax, a mild yet debilitating form of the disease. “I was very sick, but vivax doesn’t lead to cerebral malaria,” he says. “Maybe that’s why I’m still around.” For the past 27 years, Kumar, a professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and a scientist at the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, has focused his research on making a vaccine that would use human antibodies to fight Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria. His work has centered on gametocytes, Plasmodium in its sexual stage. The parasites breed in the mosquito’s gut, and then break into the insect’s bloodstream, where they grow into infectious cells called sporozoites. These cells eventually settle in the mosquito’s salivary glands and are transmitted to humans when the mosquito feeds on their blood. In an infected human, the immune system kicks in after about 10 days, but its response is not strong enough to be effective, especially in someone who hasn’t developed immunity from previous bouts with the disease. Once infected, humans become a vector for the disease. Previously uninfected mosquitoes that take blood from infected humans become malaria carriers themselves, and the transmission process starts all over again. Kumar has worked to create a vaccine that uses the human immune system to stop the parasite’s breeding in the mosquito’s gut, and to interrupt the gametocyte-to-sporozoite transformation. “We’re looking at, one, what chemical or molecular processes help create the gametocytes, and two, how to block their sexual con-
Nirbhay Kumar uses bacteria from the mosquito’s gut to create a potential vaccine for humans. gress in the mosquito’s gut, so we can stop the cycle,” Kumar says. His lab has re-created the methods by which bacteria in the mosquito’s gut affect the development of gametocytes. He reordered the sequence of the parasite’s DNA to get the bacteria to make large amounts of a protein that starts up the parasite’s sexual function. That bacteria, used in a vaccine, would cause an inoculated person to create an antibody that would block the parasite’s reproduction. In other words, the human immune system—usually of little use against the worst forms of malaria—would get the kick it needs to beat the disease. If it works, the approach could outperform drug therapies. “Unlike drugs, the transmission-blocking immune system effect won’t encourage the parasite to mutate,” Kumar says. Tests on other mammals, including baboons in Kenya, show a malaria transmission reduction rate of 98 percent. PATH, an international agency that encourages the development of anti-malaria vaccines, sup-
in the midgut to keep the parasite from breaking out of it,” Jacobs-Lorena says. “We got lucky.” The lab’s next step is to engineer bacteria that make the reproduction-halting peptide and then introduce bacteria into mosquitoes in the field. The question is how. “Lab mosquitoes aren’t well-suited to the wild. It will take us another decade or so to learn how to drive genes into a mosquito so that some of these approaches can work,” Jacobs-Lorena says. “The big challenge for us is, How do you spread bacteria amid a wild mosquito population?”
ports Kumar’s serum, lending it some legitimacy that would likely encourage its use once it passes clinical trials, Kumar says. “We should be able to submit an investigational new drug application to the Food and Drug Administration for early-phase clinical trials in three or four years, I’m hoping,” he says. Kumar could hardly have taken on a more challenging project. An existing vaccine designed to block the infection has made a dent in the disease in Africa—but only that. Others who are trying to find a way to vaccinate people in sub-Saharan Africa have run up against logistical walls. How do you make it in the industrialized West, get it to Africa, and maintain its chemical viability? How do you make it cheaply enough to affect the health of millions of poor people? How do you reach those most vulnerable to the disease, many of whom live in the distant bush? Kumar concedes that any vaccine will have to jump through several hoops before reaching its target. He remains hopeful that the concentration on the basic mechanisms behind malaria and its transmission will yield long-term results. He says his vaccine, if proven effective in humans, would have several additional advantages. It could be used in tandem with other vaccines to increase the effectiveness of both. It would slow down drug resistance by stalling the parasite’s reproductive cycle. And, no less importantly, it would lower the numbers of infected people, potentially wiping out malaria from affected villages and cities. “I’ve always felt very hopeful we could control the disease,” he says. “Will we eradicate malaria in 20 years? I’m still conservative about that. But at least now we’ve developed the tools to understand it so that we can move the field in a more positive direction.” —MA
Jacobs-Lorena’s desire to instigate gene warfare between mosquito types is shared by George Dimopoulos, an associate professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at the School of Public Health. But Dimopoulos’ tack is different. He hopes that by tweaking genes that direct a mosquito’s immune system, his research group can prevent the development of recurring generations of the ever-mutating Plasmodium. Theoretically, a new malaria-resistant mosquito could breed with one carrying the disease and spread its resistance to a new generation. Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009 45
Dimopoulos investigates a mosquito’s immune pathway—the track through which it secretes proteins that fight invasive pathogens. That pathway is controlled by another protein that keeps it locked. It opens only when the system feels the mosquito is threatened. Mosquitoes infected with Plasmodium activate their immune systems to do battle but don’t finish the war—not all of the parasites are killed. The mosquito will always carry a small level of infection, though not enough to make it sick. Dimopoulos’ lab isolated 10 genes that create immune system proteins (out of a total of 16,000 genes) and used new technologies to turn them on or off. “We thought we could manipulate the mosquito’s immune system so that it develops resistance to the parasite,” Dimopoulos says. “We wanted to see if we could ramp it up before infection.” In the insectary, Dimopoulos and his lab mates use mosquitoes that start off as healthy, non-infected ones. They jumpstart their immune genes by using a technique called RNA interference, which depletes the protein that locks the pathway to the immune system, allowing disease-killing proteins to flow. Then they feed the insects Plasmodiumladen blood, the caged mosquitoes poking their proboscises through a stretchable Saran Wrap–like plastic to reach a
pouch of it. After seven days of observing a mosquito, lab workers open up its insides and search for signs of parasites, comparing it to a control group. Mosquitoes that have had their immune systems boosted show little, if any, signs of the parasite. “We don’t know the exact mechanism yet, but we know it works to kill the Plasmodium,” Dimopoulos says. “The infection doesn’t affect the health or longevity of the mosquito, which is helpful if you want to spread genetically modified mosquitoes throughout Africa.” Within the next five years, he plans to field-test the immune system–enhanced mosquitoes under very controlled conditions and in huge cages that mimic the African environment. If all goes well, the mosquitoes might be let loose on some small, inhabited islands off the African coast, finally leading to possible trials on the continent in a decade or so. But introducing mosquitoes with engineered functions into environments already teeming with insects is a huge— and perhaps dangerous—step. Having them breed with malaria-vector mosquitoes might create new generations of bugs that are malaria-resistant, but might also lead them to carry other types of harmful pathogens. Those future generations might not be as hardy in the bush, which would
Bringing More Firepower to the Fight
cientists battling the malaria parasite and its protean ability to mutate face a centuries-old dilemma: As surely as new drugs are introduced as “cures” for malaria, the genome of the parasite changes just enough to make those new drugs ineffective, or marginally viable tools with which to fight the disease. The irony is that, lacking a proven vaccine and mosquito-control measures, people will continue to need drugs to fight cases of malaria. In other words, to overcome drug resistance, researchers need to create stronger drugs. Since the early 1990s, Gary Posner, a professor of chemistry at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, has sought to use peroxides—molecules made of a particular arrangement of two carbon and two oxygen atoms—to fight malaria. It’s what chemists and malariologists call “molecular architecture”—the building, often from the atom up, of medicinal substances that are stronger, more reliable, and less expensive than current anti-malarial drugs. Chinese scientists isolated peroxide molecules called artemisinins, a substance effective in fighting malaria, in the early 1970s. Posner’s task has been to design and synthesize similar
46 Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
Gary Posner is trying to create a stronger, cheaper malaria drug. molecules that are not found in nature but make for stronger malaria fighters. Over the last 20 years, Posner and Theresa Shapiro, a professor of clinical pharmacology at the School of Medicine, have synthesized and evaluated 1,500 compounds as possible malaria remedies, says Posner. “We’ve spent the last five years making semi-synthetic compounds from artemisinin molecules. We use them as a scaffold on which to build out other molecules that might make the drugs more effective.”
Posner, with support from the NIH and the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, has had some success with using synthetic compounds in experiments in test tubes and mice. Because malaria afflicts the poor, creating a drug that can be effective in very few doses is critical. “We have what we call a proof of principle that we can cure malaria with a single oral dose of our peroxide drug in mice,” Posner says. He awaits help from drug companies in taking research to the next step: expensive clinical trials in primates and, eventually, in humans. Although anti-malaria drugs have not traditionally held much interest for profit-driven pharmaceutical companies, some of the compounds in Posner’s lab have shown early promise in the battle against leukemia, lymphoma, and melanoma. Perhaps this time around, an anti-malarial drug will receive a big private push into the marketplace. “Hopkins has worked on finding drugs that fight malaria for the past 70 years,” says Posner. “I believe that the molecules we’ve created are among the most powerful antimalarial compounds in the world.” —MA
mean they would fail in their mission to breed malaria out of the mosquito. And, Dimopoulos adds, with 20 different malaria-transmitting mosquito species in Africa and 40 worldwide, “it may not be possible to manipulate the genes of all of them.” Even with those risks, Dimopoulos says, genetically modified insects should be used if they demonstrate a malaria-fighting effect. “It’s not like we’re creating a new mosquito—some monster of some kind. We’re using its own biology to ramp up its immune systems,” he says. “Besides, the skeptics should take note of what we’re up against. More than 400 million people contract malaria each year. What could we do that’s worse than that?”
aking some new tacks—with risks attached—is what science is all about, says Peter Agre. “It’s been 100 years since we learned that mosquitoes spread malaria, and we still have a lot of work to do to understand it all,” he says. “Scientists try a lot of different things and see what works. We fail most of the time. But there’s a thought that if we can develop an Anopheles mosquito that is malaria resistant, we could breed malaria out of Africa. That’s a very practical place from which to do basic science.” Agre won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 2003 for research he led at Johns Hopkins (before leaving to serve for three years as a vice chancellor at Duke University) that identified aquaporins, the protein channels that ferry water through cells. His visibility—he is also president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the largest science group in the United States—made him attractive to Bloomberg School leaders last year when they were searching for someone to direct the institute and raise its profile. He had reasons of his own for taking them up on their offer. “I was always a malaria wannabe, but I’d never really worked on it,” Agre says. “When I was growing up in the Norwegian Lutheran community in Minnesota, they had a medical missionary program made up of doctors and nurses who would travel off to Africa or Asia and open clinics. That’s what drew me to medicine. The idea of going to Africa or joining the World Health Organization—that’s why I came to Hopkins.” But a choice he made nearly 30 years ago between joining the Peace Corps in Uganda, where he would teach chemistry, or attending the School of Medicine derailed the international career he had envisioned. Now, he says, he spends parts of each year at the Johns Hopkins field station in Zambia. Stateside, he has continued his research into aquaporins in animal and human cells and applied it to malaria, finding “some interesting information but hardly a cure for malaria,” he says. “But running my lab isn’t the main role I play here. My job is mainly to make sure we can accomplish good, basic science and get the funds needed for it.” Early on in what he hopes will be a long tenure as chief, Agre points to several achievements, including encouraging
the National Institutes of Health to make sizable long-term grants through 2013 so that Johns Hopkins researchers can investigate the biological mechanisms that turn malaria’s transmission cycle. “We’re in the same stage as scientists were with the polio epidemic, before that virus was isolated and Jonas Salk could make a vaccine. We’re dealing with very basic issues of science—and those aren’t very trendy with the public that funds them. My challenge as head of the American Association for the Advancement of Science is to educate people as to why they should be concerned about Africa. These are countries that have lost many of their youngest people, their future. Their economies have been wrecked, or remain underdeveloped. We’ve been given the opportunity to help these other countries. Maybe if we can do that, they’ll end up being happier countries,” he says. The field office in Zambia should help apply salve to a festering malarial region, he adds. One in five infants in Zambia never makes it to age 5, largely due to the disease. Although there have been signs in the last two years that the disease may be retreating in Africa, the malaria death rate during the early part of this decade was twice that of a generation ago. And drug resistance continues to follow people there as ardently as the most ravenous mosquito. There’s still a long, long way to go. Agre also points to the wide-spectrum approach the institute takes to research as a sign of progress. The institute has given $100,000 pilot grants to researchers from across the campus, a practice it continues in hopes of drawing in more researchers from disparate disciplines. Grantees include researchers from the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Medicine, and the Bloomberg School of Public Health. “It’s a trans-university program,” Agre says. It might also be the largest university-based malaria research program in the country. That community has grown along with the institute’s financial support. When the institute was formed, the Bloomberg School had two malaria researchers; it now has 20. “We fulfill a role, maybe, in that we can encourage young researchers to investigate diseases in the developing world,” says Agre. “There has been a decreasing number of young Americans going into these research areas. They immediately see the trendy areas—neuroscience and the like—and say, ‘Why work on a disease far off in the developing world?’” Although the institute would love to find a way to end the suffering wrought from the disease, Agre says scientists need to continue to better understand malaria and the many factors—bacteria, parasites, processes, proteins—that contribute to it. Its Anopheles-centered work may offer the best hope, if history is any guide. “Our mosquito work looks the most exciting right now,” Agre says. “In the past, controlling mosquitoes has yielded some results, though obviously not enough to end malaria.” Michael Anft is Johns Hopkins Magazine’s senior writer. Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009 47
Photos courtesy of Special Collections and Archives, The Milton S. Einsenhower Library
Understand Ourselves What we can still learn from Basil Gildersleeve—soldier, citizen, scholar, and the first teacher hired at Johns Hopkins University.
B y M ichael D irda
t the age when most of us were still parsing our Little Golden Books edition of The Poky Little Puppy, or hesitantly pronouncing the three syllables of “Run, Spot, Run,” Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve—all of 5 years old— was reading the Bible from cover to cover and practicing his Latin and Greek. Like the famously precocious John Stuart Mill, young Gildersleeve was home-schooled by his busy father, the publisher of a religious newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina. By the time he was 13, Gildersleeve was turning Anacreon into English verse, had “got through” Caesar, Sallust, Cicero, Virgil, and Horace, and knew Greek well enough “to make out the New Testament.” In his spare time he read the plays of Corneille, Racine, and Molière—in French, of course—and devoured Walter Scott’s Waverley novels. It’s little wonder that such an extraordinary little boy grew up to become an even more extraordinary man. Ask any teacher of Latin or Greek to name America’s greatest classical scholars and at the head of the list will be Basil Gildersleeve (1831–1924). When Johns Hopkins University was still little more than an excellent idea, its founding president, Daniel Coit Gilman, poached the middleaged Gildersleeve from the University of Virginia, making him his first hire. While teaching in Baltimore from 1876 until his retirement in 1915, this distinguished teacher trained dozens of classicists, established the American Journal of Philology, and exemplified the kind of deep, deep humanistic learning that is so rare today. Yet this Johns Hopkins eminence wasn’t just some dry-as-dust pedant. In the course of his long life, Gildersleeve never shirked his duties as a soldier, a citizen, and a public intellectual. As a young man, he Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009 49
fought on horseback during the Civil War, defended the South in scores of fiery political editorials in the Richmond Examiner, and throughout his career contributed articles to popular magazines about education, history, and culture. In everything he wrote, Gildersleeve brought to bear an engaging style as well as undisputed scholarly authority and his own lived experience. When this veteran lectured, he could knowledgeably compare ancient accounts of men in battle with the contemporary reality of Civil War firefights. When he wrote for a general audience, he could just as readily produce delightful and genial essays, including one speculating about the stressful home life of Socrates and his wife, Xanthippe. Gildersleeve began his academic career at the age of 14 when he trundled off to what is now Washington and Jefferson College, where he spent a year before transferring to Princeton. He was, to say the least, underimpressed by both schools, judging the classes dull and his teachers shallow and pedestrian. At Princeton, he put forth the minimum amount of effort: “I gave a couple of hours to my classes each day, and then ho! for the wide field of literature—English, French, German, Italian, Spanish.” Despite all this “multifarious, jubilant reading” for pleasure, he still managed to graduate fourth in a class of 79. He was 19. For a while, Gildersleeve considered becoming a journalist or littérateur (to use his own word). He certainly never forgot that time in Richmond when he actually glimpsed Edgar Allan Poe, dressed in black, “closely buttoned up, erect, forward looking, something separate in his whole bearing.” He even heard him recite “The Raven” in a local hotel: Poe’s “voice was pleasant. There was nothing dramatic about his recitation. . . . He was sensitive to the music of his own verses; and that was the element he emphasized in his delivery.” Though he would dabble in poetry and essay writing throughout his life, Gildersleeve initially took a job in Charleston teaching Latin and Greek at a private school run by—such a wonderful name—Socrates Maupin. But he soon decided to save up his money and travel to Germany, the home of his hero Goethe. Originally he seems to have intended something of a grand European tour, like that of the protagonist in his (no doubt wisely) unfinished novel, “Schlaufhausen: or, One Year of Mr. Alfred Thistledown’s Life.” While study would naturally be part of Gildersleeve’s continental jaunt, he never quite expected it to lead to his becoming a trained classical philologist, an expert on the grammar and syntax of Greek and Latin. During the 19th century Germany was the undisputed intellectual capital of the Western world, especially for classics and philosophy. If British scholarship displayed what Gildersleeve called an “airy donnishness” and French learning charmed with its “elegance,” the Germans stood for “thoroughness.” In Berlin, Gildersleeve paid reverent homage to August Boeckh, whom he regarded as “the greatest living Hellenist.” This renowned savant proved to be socially 50 Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
inept and even rude, but the visiting American nonetheless decided to remain in Berlin to study with him and his colleagues. Despite his own prodigious learning, Gildersleeve felt himself “wretchedly equipped.” In his pedagogy, Boeckh stressed that solid scholarship was founded on mastering minutiae—such as a poet’s distinctive grammar and syntax—and then using that particularized knowledge as a springboard to the overall understanding of an entire subject. For example, one should first study intently a single period of history and from there “gradually broaden out in all directions.” In the case of philology, explained Boeckh, “by sinking deep into the particular, one most easily avoids the danger of becoming narrow, for, in consequence of the interrelation of disciplines, investigation in any particular field forces the student into many others.” Gildersleeve adopted this inductive approach to learning. “Scrap knowledge is the bane of many scholars,” he once wrote. “Not to see a thing in its connections is not to see it all.” As late as 1896 he would note that “the teacher who does not rise from the particular to the universal . . . does not live up to the measure of his prophetic office.” Indeed, Gildersleeve’s profound understanding of syntax— the way sentences are put together—would present him with a miniature model for the interconnected structure of knowledge. Still, he always emphasized that the end of philological study is ultimately aesthetic: to better understand the Greek soul and to better appreciate the beauty of its literature. During his three years in Germany, Gildersleeve studied first in Berlin and then in Göttingen—a city, according to the poet Heinrich Heine in his amusing travel book The Harz Journey, “celebrated for its sausages and University. . . . The inhabitants of Göttingen are generally and socially divided into Students, Professors, Philistines, and Cattle, the points of difference between these castes being by no means strictly defined. The cattle class is the most important.” Here, and then again later in Bonn, Gildersleeve worked 12-hour days, kept detailed notes of the lectures he attended, and only allowed himself Sundays for diversion, which might include flirting with the local beauties. By now, though, the young American was enflamed by the great purpose of philology, of truly “finding out what the text was and what the text meant.” Gildersleeve composed his dissertation—in Latin—on the Homeric commentary of the Neoplatonist Porphyry, later wryly observing that “the ordinary doctor-dissertation is a thing to be written, not necessarily a thing to read.” Among his six formidable examiners was none other than the great mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss. For the rest of his life Gildersleeve would keep a bust of his mentor Friedrich Ritschl on his desk. He would always remember Ritschl’s watchword, too: “Enthusiasm dwells only in specialization.” After these three intensely studious years, Gildersleeve returned to the United States and, like all too many young
PhDs, couldn’t find a decent job. He ended up working as a private tutor to a family in South Carolina, while also contributing the occasional article to the Southern Quarterly Review. His first, announcing a theme that would occupy him his whole life, was titled “The Necessity of the Classics.” Finally, after three years of somewhat desultory employment, in 1857 Gildersleeve was elected—through the influence of Socrates Maupin—professor of Greek at the University of Virginia. This was no sinecure. According to Ward W. Briggs Jr., editor of Gildersleeve’s letters, the new teacher “was forced to prepare 70 lectures a semester with scant library facilities; he was forced to do his own primary reading, to do his own work without secondary literature or scholarly support; he was forced to cover all of Greek literature, language (at three levels), and Greek history each term, and for six years he had to do the same with Latin.” There was hardly time even to daydream about ambitious projects, such as a history of Greek life and culture in the second century A.D. And after April 12, 1861, there would be even less time. On that day, Confederate troops fired on Fort Sumter, located in the harbor of Gildersleeve’s hometown of Charleston. The War Between the States had begun. In those days, Gildersleeve strongly regarded himself as “a man of the old South.” More precisely, he “was a
Virginia heavens . . . to see in Manassas and Chancellorsville and Gettysburg and Appomattox an undying heroism akin to that of the Greeks.” Throughout his life, Gildersleeve would quietly remind his pupils that when he explicated Homer or Thucydides, he knew the true face of battle: “To those who have seen the midday sun darkened by burning homesteads, and wheat fields illuminated by stark forms in blue and gray, war is sufficiently concrete.” Gildersleeve served the Confederacy in multiple ways: “The cause was one for which I wrote, prayed, fought, suffered.” During the academic year, he continued to teach at the University of Virginia, but in the summers he joined the local infantry or cavalry. He also contributed scores of rhetorically flamboyant editorials to the Richmond Examiner, some of which must now strike readers as shrill, embarrassing, and regrettable: He derided Lincoln’s “Yahoo coarseness” and referred to the Gettysburg Address as “a little joke,” complained about Jewish war profiteers, and hyperventilated about miscegenation. Most of these articles display what Gildersleeve called his “kaleidoscopic” style, mixing classical allusions and contemporary references, elevated diction and plain speaking. Insofar as the editorials reflect a patriotic loyalty to the South, one may forgive their intemperance, but I suspect that Gildersleeve wouldn’t have cared to see such journalism republished in his lifetime. (These Examiner articles, his later apologia pro vita sua, “The Creed of a Southerner,” and some related autobiographical pieces are now available in Soldier and Scholar, edited by Briggs.) Such was Gildersleeve’s “desultory” wartime activity—until September 25, 1864. On that day, while he was serving under General John B. Gordon, a skirmish broke out at Weyer’s Cave, Virginia, and Gildersleeve was shot in the thigh by a bullet from a Spencer rifle. He nearly lost his leg. It took him five months to recover and he walked with a limp for the rest of his life. Years later, in Gordon’s wartime reminiscences, Gildersleeve was pleased to read that “he was a most efficient officer, and exhibited in extreme peril a high order of courage and composure. While bearing an order in battle he was desperately wounded and maimed for life.” The scholar claimed to be prouder of Gordon’s praise “than of any academic honors I had ever received.” There was, moreover, one unexpected benefit from his grievous wound: While recuperating, he met Elizabeth Fisher Colston, whom he married in 1866. After the war, Gildersleeve continued to teach at Virginia, influencing students both in the classroom and through a series of Latin textbooks: He brought out Latin Grammar (1867), followed by Latin Exercise Book (1871),
“Scrap knowledge is the bane of many scholars,” Gildersleeve once wrote. “Not to see a thing in its connections is not to see it at all.” Charlestonian first, a Carolinian next, and then a Southerner.” So when the war broke out, this Greek pedagogue had no doubt where he stood. As he was later to write in an essay on Pindar: “The man whose love for his country knows no local root, is a man whose love for his country is a poor abstraction.” Indeed, “take away this local patriotism and you take out all the color . . . in American life.” Gildersleeve firmly believed that the Confederacy was fighting for civil liberty, for the rights of the states against federal authoritarianism. Downplaying the issue of slavery, he maintained that the causes of the war could be reduced to a point of grammar: Was it “the United States is” or “the United States are”? In a late essay “A Southerner in the Peloponnesian War,” Gildersleeve likens his own war to that of the ancient conflict between an imperialistic Athens and a confederacy made up of Sparta and allied city states. One Charlottesville student remembered that Gildersleeve regularly taught his pupils “to see the skies of Hellas in the azure of our own
Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009 51
Latin Reader (1875), and Latin Primer (1875). During these years he also contributed articles to various magazines, publishing a biographical account of the Emperor Julian (known as the Apostate because he rejected Christianity and tried to restore paganism), an appreciation of the satirist Lucian, an overview of “The Legend of Venus,” and, not least, that humorous jeu d’esprit about Xanthippe and Socrates. Ugly, slovenly in his dress, shirking work to party with noisy and dissipated friends, generally shiftless and occasionally prey to weird philosophic trances—such is the famous philosopher from the viewpoint of his long-suffering wife. For Xanthippe, Socrates was little more than “an idler and lounger, a busybody in other men’s matters and strenuously negligent of his own.” In 1875, after 20 years of teaching in Charlottesville, Gildersleeve accepted Daniel Coit Gilman’s offer to join the inaugural faculty of Johns Hopkins, a university designed to be a true graduate school for advanced research and study. At last, the now middle-aged Gildersleeve would have the chance to truly prove his worth. And so he did. In his first year at Hopkins, Gildersleeve prepared lectures on Greek lyric poetry, led a seminar on Thucydides, and quietly complained to friends “that it requires good man-
about these last that “while their heroes are taking a cup of tea an old-fashioned novelist would have his man commit all the seven deadly sins.” Throughout his academic career, whether at Virginia or Johns Hopkins, Gildersleeve seldom interacted with his students outside the seminar room. Rigorous and demanding, formal in manner, he could sometimes even seem haughty (especially when young). Nonetheless, through his example and his profound knowledge of his subject, he could set minds ablaze with a passion for learning. In 1902, a festschrift of essays from 44 former students, published for their mentor’s 70th birthday, included contributors from, among other institutions, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, Cornell, Union Theological Seminary, and Berkeley. By then, as the eminent Platonist Paul Shorey later observed, Gildersleeve had taken his place as the cisatlantic equal of Germany’s famously caustic Ulrich Wilamowitz-Moellendorff and England’s Sir Richard Jebb. ( Jebb, said Gildersleeve, was so nervous when he lectured that he “made a double spiral twist out of his legs” and would cast “from side to side an agonized stare at his auditors.”) Yet Gildersleeve was never as highly productive as Jebb and Wilamowitz, and his most important publication remains a study of Pindar’s syntax. No, where he really shone was as the editor of the quarterly American Journal of Philology, which he founded in 1880 and edited for nearly 40 years. Though focused largely—and often minutely—on antiquity, its compass included articles on such topics as “The Evolution of the Lord’s Prayer in English,” the beginnings of the 18th-century heroic couplet, and the linguistic intricacies of Icelandic and Middle Scots. The contributors—an academic Who’s Who—ranged from Harvard’s great Shakespeare scholar George Lyman Kittredge to the wistful poet and sharp-tongued critic A.E. Housman. For the most part, Gildersleeve reserved for himself a special column called “Brief Mention.” His pungent miniessays, seldom more than a page long, touched on new books and discoveries, ongoing controversies, the passing of famous scholars. He might discuss anything from an edition of “The Gathas of Zoroaster” to the indecipherability of his own handwriting. But more and more the editor allowed himself to grow positively “lawless” in using the column to comment on whatever attracted his wide-ranging mind. Above all, to the Schadenfreudlich delight of his readers, Gildersleeve regularly skewered shoddy scholarship: “The best thing about Mr. Marshall’s Anabasis, Book I . . . seems to be the pleasantly written introduction. There is not a spark of novelty in the grammatical notes, and one is at a loss
He frequently complained of melancholia and laziness, and even when showered with honors, would say that he “ought to have stuck to the newspaper vocation.” agement to meet the demands of city life with my income.” He also began to put on weight, which he said “the ungodly will doubtless attribute to terrapin and oysters.” As his Hopkins graduate program grew ever more renowned and competitive for the best students, he complained that it had “roused Harvard to great activity and I must confess that I am somewhat concerned at this new evidence of her aggressiveness,” adding that “I am not Christian enough to rejoice at being thwarted.” As a Latinist, he regularly prepared what he called the “state papers” of Johns Hopkins—“resolutions on great occasions, tributes to deceased worthies, letters to other universities.” In his spare time, Gildersleeve worked for years on a never-completed edition of Aristophanes’ Frogs “that was to have been illustrated by parallels from the annals of literary persiflage.” He also frequently complained of melancholia and laziness, and even when showered with honors would regularly say that he really “ought to have stuck to the newspaper vocation.” For pleasure he might read Joel Chandler Harris’ Uncle Remus stories or the “analytical novels” of William Dean Howells and Henry James. He did complain 52 Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
to understand what pleasure scholars can find in re- have taught on the Yet what relevance does this pioneering editing such a well-worn book as the Anabasis is.” scholar of Latin and Greek hold for the 21st cenoriginal arts and “Dr. Jowett’s translations [of Plato and Thucy- sciences campus, tury? In a volume of essays titled Basil Lanneau dides], by reason of his peculiar conception of his located in downGildersleeve: An American Classicist (edited by task, withdraw themselves from philological criti- town Baltimore. Briggs and Herbert W. Benario), Stephen Newmyer cism, and belong rather to the domain of English lit- Here, Hopkins points out that Gildersleeve was arguing long ago erature, which they undoubtedly adorn. He recasts Hall, ca. 1885. that “a classical education exerted a humanizing his author rather than renders him, and there is no influence, developed a force of continuity in hiseffort to reproduce the stylistic effect in English.” torical perspective, made our own literature live through Of an edition of the Isthmian Odes of Pindar, edited by allusion, and inculcated syntactic exactness in its students.” J.B. Bury: “The most simple matters are stated with the air of Alas, as the great scholar himself ruefully noted, “The truly one who sees a new planet swim into his ken, and the notes deplorable tendency of today is to break with the past altoare loaded with statistics that are absolutely lacking point.” gether.” And yet, as Gildersleeve reminds us in his Essays and As the years went by, Gildersleeve received deep perStudies, “we build on Greek lines of architecture; we march sonal gratification in seeing Americans—many of them his on Roman highways of law; we follow Greek and Roman students—assume an ever more prominent place in classical patterns of political and social life. Not to understand these scholarship and research. He himself periodically visited forces, these norms, is not to understand ourselves.” his counterparts in England and Germany, sometimes also Above all, Gildersleeve recognizes that the heritage of stopping in Paris or taking a tour of Greece or the Italian Greece and Rome is “inwrought in the structure of our hislakes. (As he said in a letter, “All Europe is to an American tory and our literature” and that “to disentwine the warp of of culture and reading a fairy land.”) In 1905 Gildersleeve the classics from the woof of our life is simply impossible.” was awarded honorary degrees from both Oxford and CamIn just the past hundred years, for instance, writers as varibridge, and in 1908 he was elected to the newly formed ous as James Joyce, Kenneth Grahame, Nikos Kazantzakis, American Academy of Arts and Letters. Wallace Stevens, Derek Walcott, and the Coen brothers have Gildersleeve remained healthy and productive into his boldly reworked the timeless story of Odysseus. mid-80s, when his hearing began to fail and cataracts increasIn his own way, Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve chose a ingly clouded his vision. In his final years the “Mark Twain hero’s path. He set for himself the highest possible stanof Greek syntax,” as one German critic called him, regularly dards, lived up to those standards in his life and work, and amused himself by composing sonnets in his head. Worn then inspired others to go and do likewise. What better out by his debilities, Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve finally died legacy can any teacher leave? at 93 from pneumonia, caused by a bronchial infection, and was buried in Charlottesville. In the annals of Johns Hopkins Michael Dirda, a Pulitzer Prize–winning book columnist for his peers include only scholars and teachers of the greatest The Washington Post, is the author of the memoir An Open eminence, such as the distinguished physician William Osler Book and of four collections of essays: Readings, Bound to and the renowned Dante authority Charles S. Singleton. Please, Book by Book, and Classics for Pleasure. Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009 53
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News & Notes from our graduates and friends
“Hi, my name is…” Members of the incoming Class of 2013 had extra practice with that line when they gathered at a Student Send-Off Party on July 22 in the Manhattan home of Felice Ekelman, A&S ’82. The event—
one of many sponsored by the Alumni Association and hosted by alumni across the United States—offered new students and parents a chance to meet before they headed to Johns Hopkins.
Wisdom Through the Ages
Hooray for Bollywood
Peabody Alumna on the Board
His 15th Patent
Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009 55
News & Notes
from our graduates and friends
Catherine Whitehouse, A&S ’77 (MA), ’78 (PhD), and Peter Whitehouse, Med ’76, A&S ’77 (PhD)
Aren’t Being Told About Today’s Most Dreaded Diagnosis (St. Martin’s Press, 2008). Over the years, the couple, who met as doctoral students in the Psychology Department and have been married since 1978, would discuss the many topics s the day begins at the Intergenerational School stemming from child development and aging. Their in Cleveland, a classroom of youngsters prepares conversations eventually ignited an idea, Catherine for a field trip to the zoo, while down the hall recalls: “What if you had a school that embodied a a dozen senior citizens stretch gently before a workout. learning environment that welcomed people of all ages A few pre-teens wrap up breakfast in the cafeteria, disto come and learn together, working from a perspective cussing plans for the after-school computer skills class of the life span?” they will teach for seniors, and a retired office manager In 2000, they opened TIS with two teachers and 30 arrives for a reading session with the 8-year-old student students in the Fairhill Center, an inner-city campus for she’s mentored for two years. organizations providing services for older adults and their caretakers. Seniors—more than 350 over the past nine years—volunteer as reading mentors and class assistants, joining students for field trips and helping with writing projects. This past June, TIS (which has grown to 15 teachers and 176 students, 97 percent of whom are minority and 65 percent of whom live at or below the poverty rate) graduated its first class of three into high school. Challenging traditional concepts of classroom age segregation, the school’s curriculum advances students, typically ages 5–14, through a continuum of learning stages, rather than grades, and is aligned with state benchmarks and evaluations. A teacher’s classroom is capped at 16 students, with a 3- to 4-year age range, based on where the student is on the learning continuum. The idea, says Catherine, who is the school’s principal and chief educator (Peter is director of adult learning), is to tailor an education to individual students while teaching them that learning is a lifelong process and a personal Such interaction between responsibility. young and old—and the relaIn 2008, TIS was ranked sevtionships and experiences enth of Cleveland’s 136 district that grow from it—is central and charter schools, based on to the ethos of this pioneerthe state Performance Index, and ing K–8 public charter school, was one of seven K–8 charter launched in 2000 by Catherine schools featured in a report by the and Peter Whitehouse. U.S. Department of Education, The Intergenerational Catherine and Peter Whitehouse highlighted for its innovative School (TIS) is a confluence combined their expertise to establish The approach to serving an at-risk of the couple’s shared pas- Intergenerational School, a public charter population and for “bringing new sion and their individual school in Cleveland that brings senior citizens meaning to lifelong learning.” expertise. Catherine trained into elementary classrooms to work with On the Ohio Achievement Test, in child psychology and edu- young students for mutual benefit. the school’s average test scores cation at the Krieger School beat the state’s average in nearly of Arts and Sciences and worked at the Kennedy Krieger every measured category. Institute. Peter, who came to Johns Hopkins (where his Beyond academic performance, Catherine says, father had been a pediatrician) for an MD/PhD prothe intergenerational experience is important for stugram and later joined the faculty, is a geriatric neudents, who learn about healthy aging and the value rologist at University Hospital’s Case Medical Center of senior citizens in the community. It’s also good for and professor at Case Western Reserve University. He seniors. A recent study found that seniors living in a is also co-author of The Myth of Alzheimer’s: What You local retirement community who volunteered at the
Learning Across the Ages
56 Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
school were less likely to be depressed or indicate stress and demonstrated increased cognitive function over residents who did not volunteer or otherwise stay socially active. In the end stages of life, says Peter, the feeling that one’s work is making a difference in the world, in any way, can be the factor that helps to deal successfully with dementia and the stress of aging. “We all need a sense of purpose as we age,” he says. “For Catherine and me, this school is our purpose and, we hope, our legacy.” —Nora Koch
Sapna Rohra, A&S ’07
Bollywood or Bust
ome of us might sing a little when we’re happy. But how about throwing in a heavy drum beat and a hundred or so backup dancers? For a few days last year, such was happiness for Sapna Rohra after she won an online dance contest that swept her away to India to perform in an upcoming Bollywood film. Often running three hours or longer, Bollywood films are filled with star-crossed lovers and melodramatic plots. The musical scenes are marked by dramatic locations, bright costumes, and, of course, a lot of dancing. Imagine Shakespeare edited by Busby Berkeley. Rohra was born in Lubbock, Texas, but her parents are natives of India, so she grew up with traditional dance. However, it wasn’t until she came to Johns Hopkins—where she danced with JHU JOSH (Indian, jazz, hip-hop, and ballet) and JHU RAGE (Western Indian folk dance)—that she studied the Bollywood style in depth. “Growing up in a somewhat small town, I wasn’t nearly immersed in Indian culture as much as when I got to college and joined the dance teams,” she says. After earning a degree in electrical engineering, Rohra moved to Los Angeles, where she trained to be a professional hip-hop dancer. Then she found out about the contest, sponsored by Verizon and Bollypop, an online newsletter about the Hindi film industry. Dancers were tasked to choreograph and perform a dance, then upload a video to the Web site. Rohra and her dance partner, Shivani Thakkar, pulled together their winning entry in just 24 hours, filming it at sunrise on the roof of Thakkar’s apartment building. (See the video
Shelf Life Why I Am Not a Scientist: Anthropology and Modern Knowledge, by Jonathan Marks, A&S ’75 (University of California Press) Marks admits in the preface that the title is hyperbole, then lays out a history of science showing it to be ever culturally influenced even as its propagators claim absolute truth—in short, each generation’s super scientists tend to debunk predecessors. The University of North Carolina professor of anthropology lays out an evolution through the Enlightenment, creationism, colonialism, eugenics, and pseudo-Darwinism, often commingled with racism and fraud. His ultimate targets are fellow scientists who, as authorities in their fields, make scientifically unsustainable assertions in matters beyond their ken. The consequences that most concern him come when the topic is race, which is never laid to rest. “Race is not a fact of human biology but of nature/culture,” he writes, “and no amount of genetic data and statistical analysis is going to resolve it.” Small Wonder:The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory, by Jonathan Zimmerman, A&S ’91 (MA), ’94 (PhD) (Yale University Press) A paean to Americans’ primordial lust to educate their offspring, the image in the title has been a cliché for politicians since the first frontier, and still thrives in electronic words and pictures. In 233 pages, Zimmerman traces the ups and downs of that all-enduring one roomer with a bell cupola— or is it a pubescent steeple?—in the grasp of its defenders and exploiters. They are not only rural but urban, liberal and conservative, renowned and anon. Among the ironies: They rarely ever were red. But read? Oh, yes. “We all tailor the past to serve the present,” says the author. The book is part of an Icons of America series edited by New York University professor of media studies (and former Johns Hopkins faculty member) Mark Crispin Miller, A&S ’73 (MA), ’77 (PhD). —Lew Diuguid, SAIS ’63
at www.saavn.com/bollypop.) A few weeks later, the pair was off to Mumbai, where they spent several days in rehearsals before filming two dance sequences. It was an inspirational experience. “I’ve always visited [India], but I never realized I would love it until I went as a professional dancer,” says Rohra, who has since started a Los Angeles–based dance company, Karmagraphy, that teaches and performs Bollywood, traditional Indian, hip-hop, and contemporary. “I was around my culture, around my family. And I was dancing hip-hop in a Bollywood film, both of which I love.” —Robert White Sapna Rohra Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009 57
News & Notes
from our graduates and friends
Taylor Hanex, Peab ’75, ’78 (MM)
Playing the Piano— and the Market
oon after Taylor Hanex started playing the family’s Baldwin piano, it became clear that she had the talent, fortitude, and mind to become a professional musician. Those gifts (and her parents’ dedication) carried the pre-teen to the Peabody Preparatory, and later, to receive her bachelor’s from the Peabody Conservatory in 1975 and her master’s in piano performance in 1978. But how that artistic career took a detour and led Hanex to her current professional setting is a good example of adaptation and flexibility—skills also familiar to musicians. “At Peabody, I always enjoyed playing Beethoven, Chopin, and Liszt,” says Hanex, who was recently elected to the Johns Hopkins University Board of Trustees. “Beethoven for the structure, discipline, and passion; Chopin and Liszt for the improvisational spontaneity, endurance, and the sheer fun and freedom of those knuckle-busting octaves!” (Hanex is the first Peabody alumna to be elected to the board as a full trustee. Christopher Kovalchick, Engr and Peab ’06, was elected during his senior year to serve a four-year term as a young trustee on the board.) The mix of structure and spontaneity Hanex brought to her music serves her well today as vice president in global wealth management at Merrill Lynch’s Fifth Avenue offices in Manhattan. “My goal was to become a college professor,” she explains of her transition from music to finance. “I Taylor Hanex, a new member love to teach. It’s one of the Board of Trustees of the most noble professions. But when I graduated, music jobs were so hard to find and so hard to get. I decided I had to switch gears.” Fortunately, Hanex had a second talent—picking stocks. “I’d always been fascinated by the stock market,” she says. “I’d always been interested in financial security and planning ahead, and I was always talking to friends and relatives about financial strategies.” When she realized that working with clients could be a lot like teaching, she headed to Fordham University, where she received her MBA in 1981, and has been with Merrill Lynch since 1987. 58 Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
Hanex has been a big supporter of Peabody and Johns Hopkins throughout her career, and her election to the Board of Trustees is a responsibility she sees as an opportunity. “Music is a collaboration between the performers and the audience,” she says. “I believe my musical background has given me the ability to communicate and listen in a spontaneous yet collaborative way. I hope these skills will enable me to work with people and situations creatively to help Peabody and the entire university.” Hanex has never put aside her love of music, and she credits her parents, John and Eileen, with making that ongoing relationship possible. “My mother had heard of Peabody, so she wrote them a letter,” Hanex recalls. “I was accepted to Peabody Prep, and for the next five years, my father drove me to Baltimore every Saturday and waited in the city all day for me while I attended class. “My father died when I was 19 and a junior at Peabody,” she continues. “The director of Peabody at the time, Richard Franko Goldman, and the dean, Tinka Knopf, made sure I got some financial aid to carry me through to graduation.” To return that act of kindness, in 1991 she established the John J. Hanex Memorial Scholarship at Peabody, which supports conservatory students with a deceased parent. Her mother lives in Connecticut, and “when she heard I had been elected a trustee of JHU, her first words were, ‘Your father would be so proud. I am sure he is smiling.’” —Geoff Brown, A&S ’91
Zalman Shapiro, A&S ’42, ’45 (MA), ’48 (PhD)
he procession up the stone stairs of the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s headquarters building in Alexandria, Virginia, was steady and sure, owing as much to accomplishment as to age. At the front was Zalman Shapiro, age 89, who had come for a ceremony to formally award him his 15th U.S. patent (No. 7,547,358: “System and method for diamond deposition using a liquid-solvent carbontransfer mechanism”). As Shapiro, his wife, Evelyn, two of their three children, and other family and friends gathered in the soaring atrium of the Patent Office’s Madison Building, the event marked the latest milestone in a life focused on research, science, and discovery. Though Shapiro spent his career working with nuclear power, his latest patent—which involves a new method of synthesizing gem-quality diamonds—provides a bookend to his early days as an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins. At Homewood, Shapiro worked on a research project to determine the chemical causes of gun barrel erosion. His professor, who attempted to synthesize diamonds repeatedly and failed, introduced Shapiro to the possibility of creating new materials. After more than 67
Zalman Shapiro—“21st-century pioneer”—at the U.S. Patent and Trade Office for the official ceremony awarding him Patent No. 7,547,358. years of keeping the problem in the back of his mind, Shapiro finally hit upon a solution. Born in Canton, Ohio, in 1920, Shapiro relocated to New Jersey as a child and was valedictorian of Passaic High School’s class of 1938. When college application time approached, he set his sights on one target. “I had a cousin at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and he raved about the place,” he says. “Hopkins was the only school to which I applied.” After graduating Phi Beta Kappa and earning a PhD in chemistry, he turned down an offer to teach at Yale University for a more lucrative position at Westinghouse. In early 1949, Shapiro and five other scientists began secret work on early nuclear power plants for the U.S. Navy, overseen by Admiral Hyman Rickover. The project moved to an old airfield, at what is now the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory. The six men worked in empty aircraft hangars, keeping their coats and gloves on in the winter to stay warm as they designed the first prototype submarine nuclear power plant. Shapiro’s contribution was in the development of the process and equipment for the large-scale production of nuclear fuels. His work at Bettis drew praise from Rickover, who credited Shapiro as being one of four men most responsible for the success of the first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus. In 1957, Shapiro left Westinghouse and created his own company, called NUMEC (Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation), outside Pittsburgh. That company’s work would lead to the only hiccup in his illustrious career: In the late 1970s, there was a federal investigation into what appeared to be excessive pro-
cessing losses of nuclear material at NUMEC’s Apollo, Pennsylvania, plant and questions arose of possible diversion of material to Israel. But after members of Congress and three government agencies—the Atomic Energy Commission, the CIA, and the FBI—investigated, Shapiro was cleared of all wrongdoing, and he continued his research. (The material was later found in the ventilation ducts and in other areas when the plant was decommissioned and dismantled.) In his sixth and seventh decades, he sponsored and funded a variety of philanthropic endeavors, both around Pittsburgh and nationally. In 2002, he was given the Johns Hopkins Distinguished Alumnus Award. Those
Though Shapiro spent his career working with nuclear power, his latest patent—which involves a new method of synthesizing gem-quality diamonds—provides a bookend to his early days as an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins. career milestones led him, however circuitously, to the Virginia headquarters of the Patent Office. After a meeting with acting Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property John Doll, a small ceremony attended by more than 20 people was held in the Patent Office’s Museum. Surrounded by images of inventors like Philo Farnsworth (television), Jack Kilby (microchip), and Elisha Otis (elevator brakes), Doll read aloud the description of Shapiro’s patent, saying, “It’s guys like you who are the pioneers of the 21st century.” “Not bad for age 89,” a smiling Shapiro said later. —GB Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009 59
News & Notes
from our graduates and friends
Matters of Intent
Student to Student
ike most college seniors, Nirosha Mahendraratnam, A&S ’09, spent her last year at Homewood thinking about the future. But she wasn’t pondering her next step. Grad school at Penn State was already in the bag. Instead, as co-chair of the Senior Class Gift, she focused on what her class could do for the next generation of Blue Jays. She wanted to rally her classmates to say thanks for all they’d received during their undergrad years—scholarships and grants; opportunities with sports teams, dance troupes, and other student programs; and campus activities. “There are a lot of us who wouldn’t be able to come to Johns Hopkins without scholarships,” says Mahendraratnam, who, as a public health major in the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, was supported by the Miller Scholarship Fund and the LeRoy and Helen Sheats Fund. She also conducted research at Johns Hopkins Hospital as a senior with a grant from the American Gastroenterological Association. Almost half of the Class of 2009 made a gift—many writing checks for the symbolic $20.09—to support the Hopkins Fund, Blue Jays Unlimited, and other departments, programs, or student groups. They raised nearly $20,000, including a matching challenge gift from Paula P. Burger, dean of undergraduate education at Homewood. Mahendraratnam opted for her own gift to support the Hopkins Fund, which last year provided more than $1 million in scholarships to Homewood undergraduates while supporting the Sheridan Libraries and undergraduate teaching and research. “I gave to the Hopkins Fund because, for four years, I received scholarships from the Hopkins Fund. It helped make my education possible,” she says. “Johns Hopkins is going to be with me, and every graduate, for the rest of our lives,” adds Mahendraratnam, who is now pursuing graduate work in health policy. “We need to ensure that Johns Hopkins continues to be the best.” 60 Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
n the early 1990s, while Johns Hopkins continued to thrive at the forefront of American medicine, leaders in East Baltimore were increasingly aware that the institution’s primary medical missions—research, teaching, and patient care—were at a crossroads. With different leadership, different priorities, and increasingly different cultures, the School of Medicine and the hospital were headed toward a rift. Medicine at Johns Hopkins needed a better organizational structure. Frances and Lenox Baker, both A&S ’63, Med ’66, were acutely aware of this situa tion. They felt compelled to take a stand that at Johns Hopkins, the pursuit of research and academics—in collaboration with patient care—would remain a driving force of the institution. In 1996, the couple, who met as Johns Hopkins undergraduates and married as medical students, made a gift of $10 million to endow the deanship at the School of Medicine. The Frances Watt Baker, M.D., and Lenox D. Baker Jr., M.D., Dean of the Medical Faculty was the first endowed deanship in Johns Hopkins’ history, leading the way for other endowed deanships at the Krieger School and the G.W.C. Whiting School of Engineering. A deanship’s endowment provides a permanent income stream the dean uses to advance the work of the school, allowing flexibility to invest in programs that might be risky but hold great promise—for instance, teaching and clinical initiatives that support the work of younger, unproven but talented investigators. Making the gift in part as a tribute to former deans Thomas B. Turner (who initially attracted Lenox Baker to Johns Hopkins and was dean from 1957 to 1968) and Michael M.E. Johns (who was dean from 1990 to 1996 and became a personal friend), the Bakers wanted to support the new structure and the idea that the School of Medicine’s dean would sit at the head of a single academic and clinical enterprise, Johns Hopkins Medicine. For the couple’s part, says Lenox Baker, a cardiac surgeon who serves on the boards of Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medicine, they have felt great pride watching their alma mater thrive as the new structure succeeded. “If you look at Johns Hopkins over the past 13 years, we’ve created some of the research
The Roman philosopher Seneca said that the true gift in giving is not found in a gift but in the giver’s intention. At Johns Hopkins, there are nearly as many reasons for giving as there are donors (83,396 of them last year, to be exact, including 20,040 alumni).This month, we delve into some of those donors’ intentions—a young alum saying “thanks” on behalf of her entire class; a couple with deep roots at the School of Medicine taking a stand to ensure that the school and hospital work in tandem to advance research, teaching, and patient care; and a retired businessman wanting to share with today’s students the same tools that brought him success.
William and Katherine Ginder have contributed $1 million to the Carey Business School. day, I could match the theory with the practice, which gave me a great foundation for a career.” A few years into the eight he would spend completing his degree and taking extra accounting classes, Ginder left the can company for Crown Central Petroleum Corporation, a Baltimore-based producer of petrochemicals and petroleum products. There, he worked his way up from property accounting clerk to president and vice chairman, retiring in 1986. “Johns Hopkins gave me the skills I needed, and luckily, I was able to apply what I learned in my career and, consequently, to afford to give a few dollars every year,” says Ginder, who, along with his wife, Katherine, has Lenox and Fran Baker, made consistent annual whose philanthropy gifts to the university and created Johns Hopkins’ hospital since 1979. first endowed deanship, After contributing to were honored at the the annual fund for many dedication of the Johns Hopkins Founders Wall years, Ginder thought in May. back to his days of classroom learning from working professionals and created a program that would do the same for today’s business students. Established in 1989, the annual William M. and Katherine B. Ginder Lecture Fund has featured speakers including Paul S. Sarbanes, former U.S. senator; Kevin A. Plank, founder and president of Under Armour; and, most recently, Jean-Paul Agon, president and chief executive officer of L’Oréal. The couple recently bolstered their support to total $1 million, also establishing a visiting professorship program that brings faculty from prestigious institutions around the world to the Carey Business School to teach and work with faculty. “Mentors helped me over my career, starting at Johns Hopkins, and I have always, since childhood, read about people, particularly people in business and finance, for inspiration,” Ginder says. “I thought it would be useful for students to hear from role models so they can see the kinds of opportunities available to them.” —NK
that is the most cited in the world, all the while successfully rebuilding the East Baltimore campus and implementing a new, innovative curriculum at the medical school. All of this is heading in the right direction,” says Baker. “We made an investment—not a charitable gift. We bought stock in Johns Hopkins Medicine and have been very happy in our rate of return.”
As co-chair of the Senior Class Gift, Nirosha Mahendraratnam helped the Class of 2009 raise almost $20,000 to support the Hopkins Fund, Blue Jays Unlimited, and other departments, programs, and student groups.
ack from the war in 1946, Bill Ginder, Bus ’54, spent his days lifting tinplate for the American Can Company and his nights studying for a bachelor’s degree in business at Johns Hopkins. The schedule was challenging, but those night school classes led to success during the day—and a stellar 40-year career. “Because we were in school at night, we were taught by people who also actually worked in the field,” Ginder says. “So while I was working during the
Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009 61
News & Notes
from our graduates and friends
Biennial Weekend 2009 The 34th Biennial Meeting of the Johns Hopkins Medical and Surgical Association ( JHM&SA) and Reunion Weekend was celebrated this past June. More than 1,000 JHM&SA members and guests came to the East Baltimore campus to participate in presentations, lectures and seminars, social events, reunion dinners, and more. Among the many exceptional presenters, highlights included former Senator Tom Daschle; Patrick Walsh, University Distinguished Service Professor of Urology; and Peter Agre, Med ’74, Nobel Prize winner and director of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute. Throughout the weekend, seven portraits were dedicated, 19 departments held academic programs, 26 reunions were celebrated, 31 outstanding alumni received awards, and more than $8.8 million was raised for the School of Medicine for student scholarships, the Armstrong Medical Education Building, faculty support, and research programs. The alumni organization of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, JHM&SA was established in 1941 and comprises alumni of the School of Medicine and current and former faculty, fellows, and house staff.
Recent Grads Pop the Cork They were searching for a full nose, good legs, and a sweet bouquet. Recent grads in D.C. may have found true love in a bottle during their June 17 wine tasting at Carafe Wine Makers in Old Town, Alexandria. After a guided tasting of both white and red varietals, the group made their own “barrel”—preparing, labeling, and bottling wine. Perhaps none of the 30 or so alumni in attendance became true sommeliers that evening, but they did all leave with a bottle to call their own.
Anna Burkart, A&S ’99, examines the “barrels” of wine for their ripeness (right). 62 Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
Theodore M. Miller, Engr ’35, is a founder and director of the Wildegeest Foundation, which supports the United Nations principles for the elderly: independence, participation, care, self-fulfillment, and dignity—“to add life to the years that have been added to life.”
Myra E. Moss-Rolle, A&S ’65 (PhD), is now professor emerita of philosophy and government at Claremont McKenna College in California and will be fully retired in June. She is the recipient of the Plato Award for iconic educators.
Daniel J. Stone, A&S ’39, who retired in 1993 as professor emeritus of medicine at New York Medical College, has been married to his wife, Ruth, for 59 years. They have traveled for both professional reasons and for vacation. He writes: “At the present time, health problems force us to spend some time in Florida as well as in the Hudson Valley in New York. We have three children and five grandchildren.”
Toby L. Simon, A&S ’66, writes: “I am serving as a corporate medical director at CSL Plasma. I recently completed a job as senior editor of the fourth edition of Principles of Transfusion Medicine.” Judah C. “Jud” Sommer, A&S ’66, of Bethesda, Maryland, is senior vice president of government affairs for UnitedHealth Group. He has been named to the Hebron Academy’s board of trustees.
John S. Thomsen, Engr ’43, A&S ’52 (PhD), is revising a manuscript on the history of Baltimore streetcars. His wife writes: “He welcomes visitors and phone calls when he is feeling strong enough.”
Henry B. Bobrow, A&S ’47, moved to Florida one year ago. He is still settling in and looking forward to meeting other Johns Hopkins alumni there. George E. Mendenhall, A&S ’47 (PhD), writes: “Another book published—Our Misunderstood Bible. It is available from Amazon.”
A. Nathan Abramowitz, A&S ’50, is a professor in the Theology Department of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Wendell A. Smith, A&S ’54, senior partner of Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP, has been elected chairperson of the board of trustees of Bayshore Community Hospital Foundation in Holmdel, New Jersey.
Estela C. Feliciano, Ed ’55 (MEd), writes “I am now a widow, 88 years old, and still involved in the Misamis University. My husband, Dr. Jaime Feliciano, whose family founded the Misamis University, died in 1990. I have two sons, Wilfrido, a plastic surgeon from St. Louis, and Roberto, a physician in Clifton, New Jersey.”
James M. McDowell, A&S ’57 (MA), was recognized by the Ohio State Bar Association in 2008 for 50 years of service to the legal profession. He continues to practice probate and trust law in Cleveland.
June C. Persson, Nurs ’59, writes that she will attend the School of Nursing Reunion in September.
John C. Moore, A&S ’60 (PhD), has published Pope Innocent III (1160/61–1216): To Root Up and to Plant (University of Notre Dame Press, 2009). He is professor of history emeritus at Hofstra University and the author of several books, including Love in Twelfth-Century France.
Roland S. Summers, A&S ’61, was appointed by Governor Sonny Perdue to the Georgia Composite Board of Medical Examiners.
Ralph V. Turner, A&S ’62 (PhD), recently completed a biography, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of France, Queen of England (Yale University Press, 2009). Since finishing his PhD in history, he has had a teaching career at Florida State University, where he was named Distinguished Research Professor in 1994. He retired in 2000 but continues to do research and write.
William S. Greenberg, A&S ’64, has been honored with the New Jersey State Bar Foundation’s highest award, the Medal of Honor. He is a partner at McCarter & English LLP, and was recognized for his longstanding commitment to New Jersey’s legal legacy.
Linda E. Sabin, Nurs ’67, writes: “We have settled in Mississippi. I teach online for the University of Louisiana at Monroe. I am still creating art and writing history.”
Susan P. Baker, SPH ’68, was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle and in two Hawaiian newspapers about her recent study of tourist helicopter crashes in Hawaii. The study concludes that the minimum altitude recommendations from the Federal Aviation Administration have led to an increase in fatal crashes. The FAA is disputing the study findings. James M. McPartland, A&S ’68 (PhD), director of the Center for Social Organization of Schools and a research professor of sociology at Johns Hopkins, has been named an American Educational Research Association Fellow.
James A. Leach, SAIS ’66, was sworn in as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities in August. A former Republican congressman from Iowa, Leach founded and was co-chairman of the Congressional Humanities Caucus during his 30-year congressional career. The Caucus serves as advocate for the NEH in the House and brings attention to the role of the humanities worldwide. María Otero, SAIS ’77 (MA), in August became undersecretary of state for democracy and global affairs at the U.S. Department of State. She has also served for many years as an adjunct professor at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in the International Development Program.
Dennis Estis, A&S ’69, a partner at Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP and chair of the construction law practice group at the firm, was awarded the 2009 David Pavlovsky “Service to the Bar” award by the Middlesex County Bar Association in May. He is a past president of the MCBA and former member of the Middlesex County Bar Foundation board of trustees. Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, A&S ’69 (MA), a novelist, short story writer, and journalist, has received the Horace Mann Medal from Brown University. She is a vice president and former international secretary of International PEN as well as former chair of International PEN’s Writers in Prison Committee. She is also a member of the board of trustees of Johns Hopkins University and a trustee emerita of Brown.
Glenn Marcus, A&S ’70, has produced a film on the World War II Memorial, which was broadcast on PBS in May. His additional PBS coproduction and scripting credits include The March of the Bonus Army, Washington, DC: Symbol and City, and Hallowed Ground. Bennie I. Osburn, Med ’70 (PGF), who is the dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California–Davis, has been named to the board of directors for Medical Management International, in Portland, Oregon.
Frank L. Calkins, Bus ’71, has published his third genealogical article in the March 2009 issue of The Connecticut Nutmegger, the Connecticut Society of Genealogists’ quarterly journal. Herb Smith, A&S ’71 (MA), ’77 (PhD), professor of political science at McDaniel College, recently received the Ira G. Zepp Distinguished Teaching Award. The award recognizes inspired classroom work and dedication to students.
Marvin L. Egolf, A&S ’73, moved last October from the Office of the
Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009 63
News & Notes
from our graduates and friends
Secretary of Defense CIO at the Pentagon to Aberdeen Proving Ground. A U.S. Army civilian, he works as an IT specialist performing project management supporting BRAC transitions. He continues to fulfill his passion for music and is involved with numerous groups and organizations.
A. Roger Ekirch, A&S ’74 (MA),’78 (PhD), professor of history, has received Virginia Tech’s 2009 Alumni Award for Excellence in Research. Ekirch has achieved international acclaim for his groundbreaking scholarship in American and European history. Joyce L. Epstein, A&S ’74 (PhD), director of the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships and the National Network of Partnership Schools and a research professor of sociology at Johns Hopkins, has been named an American Educational Research Association Fellow. Gary R. Schatz, A&S ’74, recently joined Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia as director of research.
Gary D. Stark, A&S ’75 (PhD), has published Banned in Berlin: Literary Censorship in Imperial Germany (Berghahn Books, 2009).
Carlos T. Mock, A&S ’76, Med ’80, the Floricanto Press editor for its GLBT series, has published his fourth book: Cuba Libre, “Mentirita,” a Cuban history book filled with firsthand accounts and anecdotes. Newsmakers He was inducted into the Chicago Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame in October of 2007. Robert O. Blake, SAIS ’84 (MA), a career
foreign service officer, has been confirmed as assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian Affairs, Department of State. Tara O’Toole, SPH ’88, was nominated on May 6 by President Barack Obama to serve as undersecretary of science and technology in the Department of Homeland Security. O’Toole has most recently served as the CEO and director of the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and was the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies.
Robert F. Buchanan, A&S ’77, has joined the full-time Finance Department faculty at the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri. Linda Deloach Gillespie, Ed ’77 (MEd), is a Title I director at the Richland Country School District One in Columbia, South Carolina. Frank White, Bus ’77 (MAS), served as a Pan American World Airways Boeing 747 captain during the first Gulf War. He writes: “I volunteered and flew multiple flights in and out of the Arab countries. After the war ended, I flew the U.S. soldiers home. The U.S. Airforce awarded me an Air Medal on December 4, 1991.”
Esther L. Bush, Ed ’78 (MS), delivered the commencement address at Allegheny College. She is president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh. Hazel Harper, SPH ’78 (MPH), a dentist, has been named by Oral Health America as the first recipient of the Marvin Goldstein Outstanding Volunteer Award for her leadership as co-founder and project director of the Deamonte Driver Dental Project in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Sharon Hecht Kanter, Ed ’78 (MS), has been named superintendent of schools for the Milford School District in Milford, Delaware.
Kevin D. Cleary, A&S ’79, has just completed his second year of working on the staff of Baltimore City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Aaron A. Rosenblatt, A&S ’79, has teamed with Dr. Gilbert Gordon, Volwiler Distinguished Research Professor at Miami University (Ohio), to form Gordon & Rosenblatt LLC, an independent consulting firm specializing in the science, technology, and application of chlorine dioxide.
Steven Chicurel, Peab ’80, has published Music Theory for Musical Theatre, which he co-authored with John Bell. He continues to serve as professor of musical theater and chair of the Department of Theatre at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. 64 Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
Jeffrey L. Schwimmer, SPH ’81, is currently the medical director for Aetna Behavioral Health, Western Region. Christopher E. Taylor, SPH ’81, writes: “I recently visited my home country of Sierra Leone as an Embassy Science Fellow. I was invited to address the country’s problems of infectious diseases, malnutrition, and lack of trained health care personnel and focused my efforts during my brief three-month stay on building local research capacity.”
Peter Starr, A&S ’82 (MA), ’85 (PhD), has been named American University’s new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Dilip Barman, Engr ’83, and Sangeeta Godbole joyfully announce the birth of their first child, a girl, Anuragini Sapna Barman. Anu was born on November 21, 2008, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Carin Y. Cooper, SPH ’84 (MPH), has launched her business, Full Blossom: Writing for Wellness, fusing her healing and writing backgrounds. Marco Zarbin, Med ’84 (MD), has recently been inducted into the 2009 Gold Fellows by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. Fellows serve as role models and mentors for individuals who are pursuing careers in vision and ophthalmology research.
Gail Stuart, SPH ’85 (PhD), dean of the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing, as well as a professor in the College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, is a new member of the National Advisory Council for Nursing Research. She is a distinguished practitioner in the National Academies of Practice and currently serves as chair of the board of the Annapolis Coalition on the Behavioral Health Workforce.
Scott Nyberg, Med ’86, a transplant surgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and a professor of surgery in the medical school there, has received the Ridgewater College Foundation’s Distinguished Service and Distinguished Alumni awards. Stephen L. Pignatiello, SAIS ’86 (MA), a certified sommelier and founder and president of P. Comms, Int’l, has been elected chairman of the Weststar Financial Services Corporation and Bank of Asheville. James B. Sitrick Jr., SAIS ’86, SPH ’88, writes: “I began work as the emergency preparedness coordinator for the New Mexico Primary Care Association in November 2008.”
Una Coales, A&S ’87, has run for president of the Royal College of General Practitioners (UK term for family physicians). She writes that she “intends to bring a democratic process to the college, encourage member-centric evidence-based policies, and oppose politics-based regulations.”
Anne M. Lipton, A&S ’88, published The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Alzheimer Disease and Other Dementias in March 2009.
Michael Fenzel, A&S ’89, who returned from a 16-month tour in Afghanistan, announces the birth of his third child in September 2009. He is now attending the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, where he is pursuing a PhD in national security in Monterey, California, and he has been promoted to full colonel.
Ellington Graves, A&S ’90, assistant professor of sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, received the university’s 2009 Edward S. Diggs Teaching Scholars Award.
Genevieve M. Eichman, Peab ’91(MM), and husband Philip Alman completed their family with the birth of a third boy, Karl David, in June 2008. Kevin Fitzpatrick, A&S ’91, and wife Cherry welcomed their son, Owen Pierce, in 2008. Owen joins sister Evelyn.
Christopher James Gadbois, Engr ’91, married Yekta Victoria Moghaddas on December 20, 2008. The Bahai wedding ceremony and reception took place in Santa Monica, California. The couple honeymooned in Malibu and will reside in New Jersey. He is currently employed as an IT consultant.
Vanessa M. Dunlap, A&S ’92, Nurs ’96, writes: “I was a school nurse for six years. I am now an advice nurse for Kaiser who monitors patients with congestive heart failure via data from a monitor in their home, i.e. telemonitoring.”
Anne-Emanuelle Birn, SPH ’93 (ScD), Canada Research Chair in International Health and associate professor at the University of Toronto; Yogan Pillay, SPH ’95 (PhD), deputy director-general for Strategic Health Programmes at the National Department of Health, South Africa; and Timothy H. Holtz, SPH ’89 (MPH), assistant professor of global health and assistant clinical professor of family and preventive medicine at Emory University, have just published the Textbook of International Health: Global Health in a Dynamic World, 3rd edition (Oxford University Press, 2009). J. Drayton Hastie III, A&S ’93, and Tamela Hastie welcomed Griffin Norwood Hastie into the world this past year. Drayton has also transitioned his law practice to the firm of Rogers, Townsend & Thomas, PC, in Columbia, South Carolina.
Colin C. Chellman, A&S ’94, is now the director of policy analysis at the City University of New York (CUNY). Francis Park, A&S ’94, writes: “After graduation from the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies in 2007, I’m returning from a 14-month tour in Afghanistan as the strategic policy planner for the 101st Airborne Division and Combined/Joint Task Force 101. I’m now an instructor in the Department of Joint, Interagency, and Multinational Operations at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.”
Gabriella Burman, A&S ’95, and her husband, Adam Kaplan, are mourning the sudden death of their 5 1/2 -year-old daughter, Michaela Noam. She leaves behind two younger sisters, Ayelet and Maayan. B. Adrienne Corkran-Plantinga, Bus ’95 (MS), is a division controller with Republic Services, managing an East Texas hauling operation. Her husband, Willem, is taking care of their two boys, Nathan and Walter, and his son, Josh.
Lisa B. Uncles, Nurs ’97, is the clinical director at the Family Health and Birth Center in Washington, D.C.
Carmella Braniger, A&S ’98 (MA), has been promoted to associate professor of English and awarded tenure at Millikin University. Taranjit Kaur, SPH ’98 (MPH), assistant professor of biomedical sciences and pathology in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, has received the university’s 2009 XCaliber Award for excellence as a part of a team on a large-scale project. Christopher James Rold, A&S ’98, has completed his doctorate in microbiology and immunology at Vanderbilt University. The title of his dissertation is “The Role of the Cellular Poreaome and Ubiquitin in Post-entry Restriction of Retroviruses by Trim5α.�������������������������� ” He will be starting his fellowship in May at Northwestern Medical Center in Chicago.
Thomas C. Timmes, Engr ’00 (MS), earned a PhD in environmental engineering from Penn State University and has joined the faculty in the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. He will primarily teach the courses Physical & Chemical Processes and Biochemical Treatment and support undergraduate research efforts.
Paul Christo, Med ’01 (PGF), Bus ’04 (Cert), ’06 (MBA), was interviewed on NPR’s Talk of the Nation in a July 2 segment about pain management, in light of the celebrity death of Michael Jackson. Christo is the director of the Multidisciplinary Pain Fellowship Program, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Division of Pain Medicine, Newsmakers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Jeremy Gorelick, A&S ’01, SAIS Bol ’01 (Dipl), SAIS ’02, proposed to Chantelle Schofield, A&S ’01, in April Rola Dashti, SPH ’93 (PhD), a leading 2009 after a very long courtship. The economist in Kuwait, was one of four female couple currently maintains residences in New York, New Jersey, and Florida. candidates elected in the parliamentary Gabriel Hammond, A&S ’01, elections of Kuwait. She is among the first founder and managing partner of Alewomen elected to the legislative body in the rian Capital Management in Dallas, has donated $1 million to Mercersburg country’s history. Academy to establish and endow the Arce Scholars in memory of his mother, Dr. Elda Y. Arce. Daniel B. Ginsberg, SAIS ’98 (MA), has Christina Veal, Bus ’01 (MS), is been confirmed as assistant secretary of the living in Seattle with husband Chris and daughter Lily. She writes: “I’m a corpoAir Force for manpower and reserve affairs, rate event planner—always looking for Department of Defense. new opportunities.”
Herta B. Feely, A&S ’02 (MA), writes: “Because of my Master’s of Writing, I received the James Jones First Novel Fellowship and an Artist Fellowship from the D.C. Commission on Arts and Humanities.” Amy Fries, A&S ’02 (MA), has written Daydreams at Work: Wake Up Your Creative Powers, published by the independent trade publisher Capital Books.
Linda Chambliss, SPH ’04, is director of maternal-fetal medicine at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix. Tina M. Kaufman, Ed ’04 (MA), is currently a middle school science teacher at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Mobile, Alabama.
Tamra K. Hackett, Bus ’05 (MBA), writes: “I recently joined the U.S. Department of State as a foreign service diplomat. I will serve as an economics officer at the Kuwait Embassy from 2009 to 2011.”
Rebekah Gundry, Med ’06 (PhD), has been awarded a Pathway to Independence Award from the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The grant provides $952,000 for her stem cell research, which she hopes will eventually help change the way heart disease is treated in the United States.
Steven M. Tulp, Bus ’99, is a senior buyer at BGE Home. He serves on the board of directors at Eden Mill Nature Center and is happily married with two wonderful daughters.
Alena Balasanova, A&S ’07, is currently pursuing her MD at Harvard Medical School and is set to graduate in 2012. Paul G. Dykewicz, Bus ’07 (MBA), is currently the president of the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School Finance Club. Michelle June Roux, Ed ’07 (MA), a biology teacher at Spotswood High School, announces her engagement to Garret Richards Golden. Katherine Szarama, A&S ’07, announces her upcoming wedding to Andrew Isaac, A&S ’07, on November 14, at the Peabody Library.
Peter Davos, A&S ’00, recently graduated from Harvard University with Master of Design Studies (MDesS) degree in real estate and project management; he received the Ferdinand Colloredo-Mansfeld Prize for Superior Achievement in Real Estate Studies. Karen Land, A&S ’00 (MFA), has served as an assistant professor of theater at Gettysburg College since 2001.
Christi M. Hill, Ed ’08, was married on September 13, 2008, to Richard Ray. Jackie Jennings, A&S ’08, is an editorial assistant with the Daily Beast, the new online magazine and news aggregator founded by Tina Brown.
Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009 65
News & Notes
from our graduates and friends
Obituaries 1931: George B. Wilson, A&S ’31, died at the age of 100 on March 26. 1937: Jennis Roy Galloway, Engr ’37, died of cancer May 1. 1937: Clarence Philip “Birdie” Manger, Engr ’37, died August 19, 2008. 1940: Sylvan A. Dogoloff, A&S ’40, who lived in Upper Park Heights, Baltimore, and was formerly a public school administrator and teacher, died on March 31. 1942: Esta Maril, Bus ’42, a retired Park School social work consultant, died April 17 at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
a very active member of Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering’s National Advisory Council and the Society of Engineering Alumni. 1962: Theodore David Jump, Ed ’62 (MEd), who taught in the Carroll County public schools, died on May 8. He used his struggle with bipolar disorder and alcoholism to counsel students and young adults. 1962: Donald F. Koenig, A&S ’62 (PhD), a biophysicist, has died. 1963: Paul D. Imre, SPH ’63, who fought in World War II and was director of the Southwestern Community Mental Health Center, died on May 23. He also had a private practice as a licensed psychologist. 1963: Ola de Ribert Kajanus, Peab ’63, died March 16.
1943: William R. Evitt, A&S ’43, A&S ’50 (PhD), died in Saratoga, California, on March 22. He was professor of geology at Stanford University for 25 years.
1963: Siegfried Julio Schwantes, A&S ’63 (PhD), a Seventh-Day Adventist educator, ordained minister, and author of several books, died on June 1, 2008.
1943: J. Ben Rosen, Engr ’43, a pioneer in the area of mathematical programming who helped establish computer science departments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota, died on April 28.
1969: Harry Allen Franks, Bus ’69, of Salem, Virginia, who worked for the County of Roanoke for more than 25 years, passed away on May 1, 2009.
1945: Alma Catherine Huber Olofson, Nurs ’45, of Columbus, Ohio, died on April 16. She worked as a nurse/teacher and finished her career Wiseman, Engr ’06 (MS), at the Worthington Public Library.
1970: Lawrence J. Viernstein, Engr ’70 (PhD), died at his home in New York City on March 10. He spent most of his career working for the Applied Physics Laboratory.
Gregory Reid was chosen by NASA in June as one of nine candidates to begin astronaut training. The Navy lieutenant commander most recently served as a test pilot aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Chez Angeloni, A&S ’09, was signed to a free agent contract by the Boston Red Sox organization in July. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2008 NCAA Division III College World Series and is the 12th player under the direction of Johns Hopkins baseball head coach Bob Babb to sign a professional contract.
1947: Howard P. Thomas Jr., SAIS ’47 (MA), a pediatrician, died on May 4.
1971: David G. Kogut, A&S ’71, died at home on April 30. He retired from a successful medical practice in 2006.
1947: Philip L. Walker Jr., Engr ’47, ’48 (MS), a materials scientist, died on March 22. He published more than 300 scholarly articles and held numerous patents.
1974: Joseph I. Pines, A&S ’74 (MLA), a retired Baltimore Circuit Court judge and volunteer, died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease on April 16.
1948: Worth B. Daniels, Med ’48, a retired prominent internist and Baltimore philanthropist, died on July 9 at his Roland Park home.
1979: Patricia “Tricia” Kummerow, Ed ’79 (MA), a retired teacher who helped raise funds for local charities and educational institutions, died on May 12. 1991: Terry Allen Kauffman, Ed ’91 (MS), a longtime resident of Lititz, Pennsylvania, died on May 10. He retired as athletic director for the Warwick School District in 2005.
1949: Christopher “Chric” Lamb, Engr ’49, who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, died March 25. He retired in 1988 from the Baltimore-Warner Paper Co., where he established the envelope division.
1991: Joan H. Williams, Bus ’91, who was vice president of human resources at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Health System until her retirement in the late 1990s, died on April 30.
1949: Marjorie E. Lerner, Peab ’49, died on February 27.
1994: Mark Desautels, SAIS ’94 (MA), vice president of wireless Internet development at CTIA, died on March 30. Previously, he was the Washington-based business and economics reporter for a chain of business news weeklies owned by Scripps-Howard.
1951: Robert “Page” Gary, A&S ’51, a military officer of 32 years, died on May 6. Having retired to Sarasota in 1976, he enjoyed sailing, racquetball, and a second career in real estate. 1951: Alford Justin Rarick, A&S ’51 (MS), died on April 21. After working as a geophysicist, he retired from the Department of Natural Resources of the State of Michigan in 1993. 1952: H. Richard Dick Gruninger, A&S ’52, who worked for Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co., died on April 22. 1952: Richard B. Sener, A&S ’52, passed away on April 28. 1952: Robert R. Williams, A&S ’52, passed away in September 2008. 1953: Jo Ann Franklin Sharrer, Nurs ’53, died on May 17. 1955: Edward Townsend Habermann, A&S ’55, died at his home in Chappaqua on April 19. He was a full-time staff member in orthopedic surgery at Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. 1956: Ann Hennessey, Ed ’56 (MEd), died in September 2008. A former teacher in Baltimore County, she opened a private practice in counseling and psychotherapy and was a published author and poet. 1956: Thomas G. McWilliams Jr., Engr ’56, passed away on April 23. He served in leadership positions in the engineering departments of West Virginia Institute of Technology and Widener University. 1957: Elizabeth Jean Wallace Hill, Nurs ’57, died on March 23. 1957: Thomas Wilton Owens, Engr ’57, a former electrical engineer who restored and operated Howard County’s historic Cider Mill Farm, died on April 28. 1959: Paul Cox, Engr ’59, of Glen Allen, Virginia, died on April 13. He was 66 Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
1970: Leo Clifton Rigsby, A&S ’70 (PhD), died on February 6.
1992: David Scott Miller, Engr ’92 (MS), ’95 (PhD), died on May 7. He was a scientist and engineer working for Fluor Hanford.
1998: Diane Elizabeth Campbell, SPH ’98 (PhD), passed away in Thetford, Vermont, on May 23. She was an active volunteer and advocate for others throughout her life.
Alumni News & Notes Alumni Association President: Gerry Peterson, Nurs ’64 Executive Director of Alumni Relations: Sandra Gray, A&S ’76 (firstname.lastname@example.org) Editors: Nora Koch (email@example.com), Kirsten Lavin (firstname.lastname@example.org) Class Notes Editor: Julie Blanker (email@example.com) Contributing Writer: Lew Diuguid, SAIS ’63 The Alumni Association has a new address! Contact us at: The JHU Office of Alumni Relations San Martin Center, Second Floor 3400 N. Charles Street Baltimore, MD 21218-2696 Our phone, e-mail, and Web site address have not changed: 410-516-0363/1-800-JHU-JHU1 (5481) firstname.lastname@example.org alumni.jhu.edu We look forward to hearing from you soon. Please send class notes to email@example.com. By submitting a class note, you give Johns Hopkins University permission to publish your information in Johns Hopkins Magazine and in online publications. The Alumni News & Notes section of Johns Hopkins Magazine is made possible by your annual Alumni Association Membership dues. Annual dues are $40, $20 for classes 2004–2008. Lifetime membership dues are $1,000 or four annual installments of $250 each. For more information, visit alumni.jhu.edu/dues.
“Keyboard Crossword” Solutions Puzzle on page 13. ACROSS 1. attenuate (@ 10 U 8) 3. tutu (2 2) 4. foray (4 A) 5. decay (D K)
6. easy (E Z)
8. sentinel (¢ N L)
Grades Kindergarten to Five
Sunday, October 18, 2009 2 p.m.
middle & upper school
1. Attu (@ 2)
Grades Six to Twelve
Sunday, October 25, 2009 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
2. euphoreal (U 4 E L) 5. decent ( D ¢)
7. ziti (Z T) Note that 1. Across could also be the statement “At 10 you ate.”
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Do real-world research through the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program, a partnership between Garrison Forest School and Johns Hopkins University. WISE offers lab mentorships by JHU faculty for girls in grades 11 and 12.
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Celebrating a Catholic Tradition of Excellence for more than 60 years. Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009 67
H o w To :
Wake Up a Sleeping Spacecraft
he New Horizons spacecraft, built and operated by the Applied Physics Laboratory, is now midway between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus on its way to Pluto. For much of the 10-year voyage, as a means of saving wear on the spacecraft and also saving money, New Horizons will hibernate, with most of its instruments powered down. Approximately once a year, though, APL
engineers wake it up and have it run self-diagnostic tests to make sure all of its scientific instruments will operate when it encounters Pluto in 2015. New Horizons was 1.19 billion miles from Earth when, on July 7, APL ground controllers initiated the process of “ACO-3,” the craft’s third annual checkout. Here are simple instructions for making sure your spacecraft is fit and functional:
Power up spacecraft and restart all of its hibernating systems and instruments using instructions pre-loaded during last annual checkout. Order craft to switch to high-gain antenna for maximum data transmission.
Instruct spacecraft’s computers to do memory dump and transmit checksums to Earth. Checksums, the sums of digits in the craft’s computer memory, allow engineers to check for unexpected numbers that might warn of an anomaly.
Power up all seven scientific instruments and run through health checks. Update software for different onboard systems. Spacecraft has heaters to warm instruments—turn on and off to test.
68 Johns Hopkins Magazine • Fall 2009
Load instructions for next checkout, ACO-4, in May 2010. Pre-align antenna so that nine months from now, it will be aimed precisely at Earth. Say good night.
IF IT’S POSSIBLE FOR A WEBSITE TO GRADUATE, YOURS JUST DID. WITH HONORS.
THE ALL-NEW ALUMNI SITE. LEARN, CONNECT, AND COMMUNICATE LIKE YOU NEVER HAVE BEFORE. As JHU alumni, you have always striven for excellence. You should expect no less from us. That’s why we’re proud to announce the launch of the new alumni website. Check it out. Visit often and feel free to let us know what you think. Because, like you, our desire to be better never stops.
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