About The Gazette Search Back Issues Contact Us    
The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University February 7, 2005 | Vol. 34 No. 21
'Voyage and Discovery': Lineup of Speakers Set for Annual Series

Co-chairs of the 2005 'Voyage and Discovery' lecture series are Matthew Schreckinger, a computer science major, and Angela Yin, a neuroscience major.

By Glenn Small

Now in its seventh year, the annual Voyage and Discovery lecture series kicks off Tuesday, Feb. 8, with a talk by Rafael J. Tamargo, the Walter E. Dandy Professor of Neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Titled "Life as a Neurosurgeon," his talk begins at 7:30 p.m. in 111 Mergenthaler on the Homewood campus.

Originally created by a Johns Hopkins undergraduate who felt his fellow students could benefit from hearing the personal and professional journeys of world-renowned physicians and researchers, the series will continue for three more Tuesday nights, all at 7:30 p.m. in 111 Mergenthaler.

But the story of how this series has thrived has a lot to do with its remaining true to its original purpose: to inspire those who want to pursue careers in science and medicine.

This year's co-chairs are Matthew Schreckinger, a senior computer science major in his third year with the series, and Angela Yin, a senior neuroscience major in her second year. There are also two vice chairs, Christopher Weier, a junior majoring in biomedical engineering, and Katrina Escuro, a sophomore biology major.

Both Schreckinger and Yin were inspired to become part of the series after hearing the stories of previous speakers, including orthopedic surgeon Michael Ain and pediatric neurosurgeon Benjamin Carson. About that Carson lecture she attended, Yin said, "It really summed up the whole purpose of the series, which is to be motivated."

The Voyage and Discovery series annually provides fuel for the journey into medicine, they said.

Schreckinger, who has been interested in neurosurgery since high school, said that the messages delivered by the speakers have "definitely added to my desire to become a surgeon."

Schreckinger got to know Tamargo, the first speaker, by shadowing the Cuban-born physician last summer. "He really has an interesting story to tell," Schreckinger said. "He's one of the best neurosurgeons in the world."

Rafael Tamargo, this week's speaker

Next up is Myron L. Weisfeldt, chairman of the Department of Medicine at the School of Medicine. His talk is titled "Progress in CPR: Biomedical Engineering, American Government, American Heart Association, American Business Working Together." He will speak on Feb. 15.

Yin said that hearing the stories of these world-renowned physicians and researchers "gives you inspiration to do other things [and shows you] that you're not limited to one particular path or one particular career."

Yin said that the committee looks for researchers who are both at a high level in their field and are outstanding speakers. It also looks for a mix of men and women, medical doctors and Ph.D. researchers.

Other speakers this year will be Valina L. Dawson, director of the Nerve Regeneration and Repair Program in the Johns Hopkins Institute of Cell Engineering, who is scheduled to speak Feb. 22 on the topic "Inspiration and Innovation: Lessons About the Survival and Death of Neurons," and Leslie S. Matthews, chief of Orthopedic Surgery at Union Memorial Hospital and assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Johns Hopkins, as well as a 1973 graduate of JHU.

Matthews, whose talk is titled "Path to a Career in Orthopedic Surgery," was a two-time All-American lacrosse player for the Blue Jays and was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1994. He currently serves as team physician for Johns Hopkins. He is scheduled to speak on March 1.

For more information about the series, go to


The Gazette | The Johns Hopkins University | Suite 540 | 901 S. Bond St. | Baltimore, MD 21231 | 443-287-9900 |