With space at a premium on the medical campus, after
teaching, research and patient care needs are fulfilled,
there is typically scant room left over for anything else,
says Janice Clements, vice dean for faculty affairs at the
School of Medicine. As a colleague once told Clements, the
East Baltimore campus is an "amenity-free zone."
Well, not anymore for School of Medicine faculty. They
now have a place to call their own.
On March 19, the school officially opened the doors to
the Carol Johns-Daniel Nathans Faculty Common Room, the
first dedicated space of its kind. The event attracted
deans, department chairs, faculty and several members of
Johns' and Nathans' families.
Clements, who led the effort to create the space, says
that while modest in size, the square room fulfills a
At the dedication, Ron Peterson,
James Johns and Richard Johns.
PHOTO BY HPS/WILL KIRK
"There has always been a calling for a place like
this, where faculty could meet, congregate and relax," says
Clements, director of the
Department of Comparative
Medicine. "This campus is so constrained for space that
it has always been very difficult to find an area not
accounted for. When you plan a building, every dollar
raised is typically earmarked for something, and here,
patients and research come first."
The room resides on the second floor of the new
Broadway Research Building, a stairway trip down from the
Daily Grind cafe. Its all-glass walls provide views of
Monument Street to the east and the Kennedy Krieger
Institute, Broadway Research Building and the East
Baltimore cityscape to the west. The space features comfy
chairs and couches, floor cabinets and automatic blinds
that, when open, let light flood in.
William Baumgartner and Alex
PHOTO BY HPS/WILL KIRK
Faculty are welcome to bring in food and beverages,
and to use the adjacent hall that will contain more seating
and faculty portraits.
The entire area, both the room and spillover space,
serves as a connector between the Broadway Research
Building, which was completed last year, and the Ross
Clements, who served on the building committee for the
BRB, says that she and other senior administration,
realizing a connector space had to be built, thought a
single room that jutted out from the building could be
added to the facility's design at a reasonable price.
"Everyone agreed this room would add tremendous value
for a minimal amount of added cost to the building," she
says. "We wanted to make it a place where faculty can just
spontaneously come and sit and talk with other faculty or
fellows, and do the collegial things that we really didn't
have a place to do before."
The room is named for two faculty members who were not
only dedicated to medicine and science but celebrated for
their mentoring ability. Clements says that the School of
Medicine also wanted to represent both the clinical and
basic science fields.
Carol Johnson Johns, a leading expert in lung disease,
died in 2000 at the age of 76. A member of the faculty for
nearly 50 years, Johns served as assistant dean and
director of continuing medical education from 1981 to 1993.
She was known as a staunch advocate for women's careers in
Clements says that Johns' generosity knew no
Joanne Nathans and Patrick
PHOTO BY HPS/WILL KIRK
"Carol was renowned for her mentoring of junior
faculty and fellows, making sure they progressed in their
careers," she says. "She was also a model for colleagues
and students. Here was a woman doctor who had a family and
a very bright career. She showed women faculty, and male
faculty, too, that you could have that balance."
An award-winning scientist, Daniel Nathans was
University Professor of
Molecular Biology and
Genetics at the School of Medicine for more than three
decades. He served as interim president of the university
from June 1995 until August 1996. In addition to being
awarded the Nobel Prize in 1978, Nathans was a 1993
recipient of the National Medal of Science, the nation's
highest scientific award. He died in 1999 at the age of
Clements, who was a postdoc in Nathans' department,
says that she fondly recalls the 4 p.m. teas that her
"He was always there for the teas, and anyone could
come in and sit and talk about things that were important
to them in their learning or their scientific career," she
says. "He was very instrumental in faculty careers and
giving faculty a hand. For instance, when he had extra
money in his budget, he went around to junior faculty and
offered to buy them something for their lab."
Clements says that she hopes that faculty will use the
Johns-Nathans room all hours of the day, whenever they want
a private place to relax, socialize with colleagues or
mentor someone. The room also can be used for small
gatherings, such as talks by senior faculty or cultural
School of Medicine faculty must fill out a form to
activate their ID cards for room access. Forms can be
obtained at suite 115 in the Broadway Research Building.
For more information, contact Clements at firstname.lastname@example.org, or
phone Dawn Lundgren at 410-955-8401.