Three Johns Hopkins students--two recent graduates of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and one degree candidate at the School of Nursing--have been selected as Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholars.
Foundation scholars, who must have ties to Virginia, Maryland or the District of Columbia, receive up to $50,000 per year to complete their graduate or professional degrees as part of the foundation's Graduate Scholarship Program. Forty-three scholars, who excel in both academic endeavors and extracurricular activities, were selected this year.
Allison C. Bienkowski, who received her bachelor's degree in the history of art, plans to pursue a doctorate in art history at Duke.
"Art is something that makes many people uncomfortable, particularly in stately museums, because they think they are not capable of understanding it," Bienkowski said. "I want to work to ensure that this feeling is lessened."
Motivated by past work as an apprentice, intern and teaching assistant in the education department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Bienkowski intends to pursue a career in museum education. At the museum, she often met students from disadvantaged schools and would like to continue working with inner city high school and middle school students.
Bienkowski was diagnosed with anorexia when she was 15 and spent five years in recovery. Feeling that she was given a "second chance to make things right for a reason," Bienkowski devoted much of her time in college to community service projects. She founded Heads Up!, an after-school tutorial with the goal of increasing English literacy in refugee youth. She also has worked with the Red Cross and Summerbridge International, where she taught reading and writing to eighth-grade students.
Vivian Kim received her bachelor's degree in political science and plans to attend law school next year.
"I've always wanted to go into law because of my international background," Kim said. "But my ultimate goal is to help with the reunification process between North Korea and South Korea."
Kim would like to be an international trade lawyer to represent the United States in Korea and to work for reunification. She sees trade relations as an important way to pave a smooth transition and foster communications.
Born in Los Angeles, Kim moved with her parents to Korea when she was 13. She attended international schools to be exposed to different people, and in college, she worked in Seoul for Lehman Brothers, where she wrote a report on the future market possibilities of North Korea and the economic ramifications of reunification.
"I have always been an active member of my community and environment," Kim said. She was vice president of the Gold Key International Honor Society and created the Hampden Tutorial Project, which fosters relationships between Johns Hopkins students and disadvantaged children. She was also a member of the Korean Students Association and the political science honor society Pi Sigma Alpha.
Annika Hawkins will receive her baccalaureate degree in nursing in July and plans to earn two graduate degrees, a master of science in the family nurse practitioner program at the School of Nursing and a master of public health degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
After graduating from Wesleyan University in 2000 with a degree in Spanish language and literature, Hawkins worked at Planned Parenthood in Boston as a clinical assistant and counselor. "It was there, counseling Spanish-speaking patients and working with nurse midwives and nurse practitioners, that I realized the nursing profession was a good fit for me," she said.
Hawkins then traveled to Peru to work with Robert Gilman, a professor in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, on a project studying shigella, a bacteria that causes diarrhea.
"The original intent was for me to assist with language-based tasks, but shortly after our arrival, the doctor leading the project left," Hawkins said. "Suddenly there was a project, up and running, with four field workers, a pediatrician and a biologist but no one to keep it running." Hawkins jumped in and provided guidance to the group. "Being able to speak Spanish gave me a distinct advantage," she said.
When the project ended in February 2002, Hawkins began the task of analyzing the data, another new and challenging experience for her. She returned from Peru just a few weeks before entering the accelerated baccalaureate program at the School of Nursing.
After she receives her master's degrees, Hawkins would like to practice in a community or public health setting. She is interested in working with Hispanic populations, both locally and internationally.
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private, independent foundation established by its namesake to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential. Cooke was a businessman, sportsman and philanthropist who owned the Toronto Maple Leaf baseball club, the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team and the Washington Redskins football team. He also owned the Chrysler Building in New York City, newspapers, magazines, radio stations and cable television stations. When Cooke died in 1997, he left most of his fortune to the foundation, which has more than $500 million in assets.