A P R I L 2 0 0 6
Editor: Philip Tang, A&S '95
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From a certain angle, Helene Gayle may seem like a
glamorous jet-setter, a woman who travels the world,
rendezvousing with international leaders and spending vast
sums of cash.
|Helen Gayle envisions a world where there are "far, far fewer people who are poor."||
But Gayle is no pampered resort-hopper. Her trips have
landed her — quite intentionally — in the
middle of public health crises from Nigeria to New Delhi
and have brought her to testify before Congress about the
need for an HIV vaccine. The $1.5 billion portfolio she
controls is comprised of grants aimed at eliminating modern
Since 2001, Gayle has been director of the HIV, TB and Reproductive Health Program for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, tasked with using the formidable financial resources of the richest charitable organization in the world to fight disease in poor countries.
This month, she leaves her position to tackle human suffering from another direction, as head of CARE USA, an international organization aimed at eliminating poverty around the globe. In her opinion, it is a natural continuation of more than two decades of health work.
"The longer I stay in public health, the more I understand why development is so important," she says. "I think poor health is both a cause and a consequence of poverty and economic underdevelopment. People who have poor health are less able to contribute to the economic health of their society, and poverty is a huge contributor to poor health."
Gayle was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1955, the middle of five children. Her father, Jacob, had a shop that sold beauty and barber supplies in their African-American neighborhood. Her mother, Marietta, was a social worker who, Gayle recently revealed, suffered from mental illness.
When Gayle was in the eighth grade, her parents separated and later divorced. Despite the upheaval, which involved being moved to four different cities, Gayle excelled academically, completing high school in three years. Today, she credits her upbringing for her lasting commitment to improving the lives of others.
"Our parents taught us that we were put on earth to give back," she says. "I grew up in times when I think that was more a normal value. It was a time of civil rights, liberation in Africa. We weren't the Me Generation. We thought about, how do people make things better?"
She attended Barnard College of Columbia University, and while in medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, Gayle realized that her social-activist leanings were pointing her toward public health. She enrolled in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and, since she had finished her medical coursework early, received her MD and MPH at the same time.
"I think attending Hopkins was one of the crossroads of my life in many ways, a key to what I ended up doing," Gayle says. "I often say it was the most enjoyable educational experience I had. Without it I don't think I would be the same person I am today."
Though she is able to name several professors who left lasting impressions, Gayle opines that at Hopkins, she learned at least as much from her fellow students as from the instructors.
"It's an incredibly international school," she says. "You had people who would eventually be ministers of health in their countries, or high up in international organizations."
Gayle joined the Epidemic Intelligence Service at Centers for Disease Control in 1984, first working on malnutrition in children in the United States and developing countries. She stayed on to complete a preventive medicine residency, and in 1987 became a staff epidemiologist with CDC's AIDS program. Over her 20-year career at CDC, Gayle reached the rank of rear admiral and assistant surgeon general; before joining the Gates Foundation, she was the director of HIV, STD and TB prevention, overseeing more than 1,000 staffers and a budget over $1 billion.
Not much of a bureaucrat, Gayle instead has a reputation as a deal-maker and as a listener. A recent profile in The Seattle Times recounted a scene from 2002. Gayle, who was talking with HIV-infected mothers in India, was embraced by a woman who was weeping with gratitude because no doctor had ever treated her like a human being before.
Whether she will still have time for such connections is questionable — at least for a while. CARE works in 70 countries, with an annual budget of $625 million and a staff of more than 12,000. Though she is reluctant to create plans for the organization before she gets there, she is dead set on its mission.
"There will always be some who have more and some who have
less," she says. "But I think that there is the potential
for us to live in a world where we have far, far fewer
people who are poor. I don't think it's something that's
going to happen in the next decade or the next 20 years.
But if you don't take it seriously and believe that at some
point you can make an impact, you'll never get there."
|Dave Cooley heads for a big finish.||
Dave Cooley, the godfather of Baltimore/Washington area
road races, has "unofficially" crossed the finish line on a
20-plus year career, but not before directing some 600
competitions that have raised roughly $5 million for area
Cooley professionally directed his first race in 1984, a 5-kilometer run for St. Paul's School in Brooklandville, Maryland. In 1988, the former IRS agent founded a race management company, The Finished Product, which three years ago merged with the Charm City Run retail store.
As a race director, Cooley does just about everything but stick a number on and run (though he's done that, too). He will design and map out the course, market the race, handle traffic concerns, position water stops, and manage the all-important finish line. If you've ever run in the annual Baltimore Marathon, the Port to Fort 4-miler, or the St. Patrick's Day Shamrock 5K, Cooley has charted your path.
Longtime partner and Charm City Run founder Josh Levinson says that Cooley is the consummate pro who has meant "everything" to the local running scene.
"It's impossible to think of what it will be like without him," Levinson says. "There will still be events, but the quality and professionalism will not be there."
While he has handed over his full-time race directing
duties at Charm City Run, Cooley says he plans to continue
to do consulting work. Sounds like the official time of his
retirement has yet to be posted.
Petrodollar Warfare: Oil, Iraq and the Future of the Dollar, by William R. Clark, SPSBE '02 (MBA), '04 (MS), New Society (2005).
This relentless argument is that the true reason for the invasion of Iraq was Saddam Hussein's challenge to the dollar as dominant in merchandizing of OPEC's now finite oil. He wanted payment in euros, and soon his palaces came tumbling down. So too will a petroeuro soon take down the dollar in world trade, says Clark. His careful rejection of the Bush administration's oil policy is diluted by too much protesting — he finds invidious plots at every turn by "the neoconservatives," who come out on a par with fascists.
In five years of reviewing books by Hopkins alumni I offer
a sole generalization: Their titles tend to breed
subtitles, even if merely "X: a Novel." Martone shatters
that mold. Indeed, he is his title, a byline writ twice.
The 190 pages include 42 Contributor's Notes, an About the
Author, a Vita, and an Acknowledgment. In these venues of
literary truths, albeit in books of fiction, Martone deals
occasionally hilarious retribution upon editors who have
stood in the way of his short stories. The two facts of
which we are certain after 40-odd introductions are that he
was "born in Fort Wayne, Indiana" and studied under
Hopkins' John Barth.
When Fred Kahn recalls his childhood, growing up in a Jewish household in Germany at the dawn of the Second World War, clear images spring to mind: neighborhood children riding on sleighs, trumpets blaring from nearby Wehen Castle. But no memory is more vivid than the eve of October 1, 1938, when he left the town of Wehen and the home of his aunt and uncle — the only parents he had ever known.
Kahn grew up hiding in Belgium, and moved to America after
the war. He graduated from Johns Hopkins'
Nitze School of
Advanced International Studies in 1963. After 30 years
of civil service, Kahn says his childhood memories finally
motivated him to educate others about the Holocaust. Last
September, Maryland Governor Robert L. Ehrlich appointed
him to the new Task Force to Implement Holocaust, Genocide,
Human Rights, and Tolerance Education.
|A young Fred Kahn with his Aunt Rosa and Uncle Siegfried, before his middle-of-the-night escape to Belgium.||
Kahn attributes all of his success to his dramatic escape,
at age 6, from Nazi Germany. He had lived there with his
aunt and uncle for four years, ever since his biological
parents fled to Belgium. His parents planned to send for
him once they had settled, but the situation became urgent
by the night of October 1, when Kahn's Uncle Siegfried woke
him and told him to put on his best suit. The night before,
when the Munich Agreement was signed, Germany gained the
political momentum that would eventually lead to world war.
When Kahn's parents heard the news, they called Siegfried
with one urgent message: Get the boy out of Germany. Kahn
still remembers what was said that night, on the porch of
the house, under the full moon: "My uncle told me I was
about to go on a big trip." Siegfried took him to a
Christian German, Maria, who would accompany him to the
German-Belgian border. But first, Siegfried took Maria
aside and gave her his most valued possession — a
gold pocket watch. "He gave it to her on the condition that
if he didn't survive," Kahn says, "she would make sure I
would get it."
|"My father was yelling 'C'est mon fils!' But of course, I didn't know who he was."||
Maria took the boy by tram to the border — to
no-man's land. "They assumed that nobody would pay
attention to me," Kahn explains, "but when I arrived there
they wouldn't let me in because I had no papers —
While the officers made phone calls, Kahn could see his family calling to him from the other side. "My father was yelling, 'C'est mon fils!' — That's my son!" he recalls. "But of course I didn't know who he was." Eventually, the 6-year-old was admitted as a political refugee.
Four years later, Siegfried and his wife, Rosa, were deported to concentration camps. Rosa wrote the boy a farewell postcard the night before she left, and was never heard from again. Kahn and his parents, using the old identity papers of a Catholic family, survived the rest of the war in Belgium, storing their valuables in friends' basements and moving every six months to avoid being listed on the registry of Jewish families. When the Germans left Belgium in 1944, the Kahns were finally able to go back to their home. "I ran into my old friends, kids on the street," he recalls, "and they couldn't believe I was still alive."
Maria sent Siegfried's pocket watch to Kahn shortly after the war, and he still treasures it today.
Kahn moved to the United States at 19, and was quickly drafted to the U.S. Army. After his military service, he attended the University of Maryland, and in 1960 he received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to study at SAIS.
Kahn sat with fellow classmate Madeleine Albright in the popular Wide Wide World course, and took part in off-the-record lounge sessions with government VIPs like Director of the CIA Allen Dulles and Secretary of State Dean Acheson.
After graduating in 1963, Kahn was recruited by the federal Office of Economic Opportunity to launch Job Corps. He worked as a political economist for the Department of Labor until his retirement in 1992.
Kahn's lifetime commitment to civil service — and his defining childhood experience — made him an ideal member of Governor Ehrlich's new task force.
Kahn says the group's mission is to advise Maryland's state university system on the creation of workshops to promote tolerance and sensitivity when teaching Holocaust history. The 13-member group first convened last December, and it plans to submit a report to the governor in 2007. He believes his story teaches life lessons that apply to everybody, regardless of religion or race. Tolerance education is crucial, he says, "so that you learn not to pick up a gun just because someone is different from you."
Kahn shares his story by moderating a Yahoo! discussion
group, called "Remember the Holocaust," for 100 members
from around the world. "It is my major hobby now," he says,
"and an education in itself."
As a Blue Jay, Andy Enfield took the art of the free throw to a record level. A lethal shooter, Enfield still holds the record NCAA career free-throw percentage (.925) and was a Third Team All-America selection as a senior. Since then, he's become one of the most sought-after shooting instructors in the country.
An economics major at Johns Hopkins, Enfield went on to receive an MBA from the University of Maryland, a time when he started his shooting consulting business, All Net Basketball. He was soon instructing NBA players on a part-time basis, and would later serve as an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics.
All Net Basketball, which he founded in 1994, works with all levels, from high school players to NBA stars. His long line of success stories includes pros such as Grant Hill, Paul Pierce, Jason Kidd, and Dwyane Wade, all of whom significantly improved their shooting percentage and achieved career highs in accuracy.
In February, Enfield unveiled Andy Enfield's All Net
Instructional Shooting Video, his second instructional
program, which comes packaged with a shooting device a
friend invented — a restraining device for the
non-shooting arm and hand that quells bad habits and forces
a person to shoot with correct form.
|Enfield coaches the Boston Celtics' Paul Pierce.||
Enfield learned his shooting technique from his father, a
high school basketball coach for nearly 30 years. The keys
to accuracy, Enfield says, are learning the correct
technique (which encompasses balance, follow through, feet
position, and other elements) and "lots" of practice.
"The most important thing I try to instill in a player is that to become a better shooter you can't repeat your shot the wrong way," he says.
He advises players of all ages to check out the form of Duke's J.J. Redick, who is currently challenging Enfield's collegiate free-throw record.
Redick "is one of the greatest shooters I've ever seen in
college basketball," Enfield says. "I'm really happy that
he is getting attention as his form is exactly how I teach
When 1,163 students began their freshman year at Johns Hopkins last fall, among them was an even more exclusive group: 22 Baltimore City public school graduates comprising the inaugural class of the Baltimore Scholars program.
Top performers in the city's public high schools, these diverse students receive full-tuition scholarships and, now well into their first year, are already poised to become leaders not only at Johns Hopkins, but also in their hometown.
"My hope is that two decades from now, we would see former Baltimore Scholars exer-cising leadership in the city and state governments, in business and industry, and in the nonprofit sector," says Paula Burger, A&S '84 (PhD), vice provost and dean of undergraduate education. "This program is a wonderful initiative that helps us recruit local talent to Hopkins that otherwise might have looked elsewhere for education, and affirms our commitment to Baltimore and its public schools."
As the university prepares to wel-come the next crop of Baltimore Scholars — five have already been admitted by early decision for the Class of 2010 — the first students to benefit from the initiative are already proving its success.
In the program's first semester, the scholars have thrived
academically, says Matthew A. Crenson, A&S '63, a
science professor and the program's academic director.
They've also helped mold the Baltimore Scholars program
— originally conceived as a leadership development
program — into a vessel to introduce fellow
undergrads to the charm of Charm City, and to benefit
Baltimore City schools.
Jessica Turral aims to mentor city high school students
— a "win-win."
Photo by Will Kirk
Jessica Turral, a behavioral biology and psychology major
who grew up six miles from the Homewood campus, is one
scholar who came to Hopkins in part because of the lure of
a world-class education and the promise of a scholarship.
But she also sees an opportunity to challenge stereotypes
about her hometown and its schools.
"The Baltimore Scholars gives Baltimore City students the chance to prove that we're not statistics," says Turral, who wants to be an attorney. "We will go to college. We will be successful — because someone believed in us."
Turral and her fellow scholars are building a program that
would allow Johns Hopkins undergrads to mentor city high
school students for four years. Turral sees this as a
win-win: Hopkins students engage themselves in the
Baltimore community while motivating city high school
students to pursue a college education.
Demetreus Gregg: "Baltimore has given us so
Photo by Will Kirk
"Baltimore has given us so much," says Demetreus Gregg, a
political science major from Baltimore's Waverly
neighborhood, who attended one of the city's top-tier
magnet schools and served as the student representative to
the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners. "It's
only fair to help someone else realize their potential so
they too can be beneficial to society and continue to
Gregg, who aspires to a career in law or education —
and "definitely" involvement in Baltimore City politics
— is also well aware of the Baltimore Scholars
program's value to Johns Hopkins. In February he traveled
to Annapolis to lobby Maryland state legislators for more
funding for the university, which is now paying for the
program's scholarships with existing financial aid funding
"The Baltimore Scholars gives Baltimore City students
the chance to prove that we're not statistics... We will go
to college. We will be successful — because someone
believed in us."
— Jessica Turral
Crenson hopes that as Baltimore Scholars — and the
program's cost — multiply, local corporations and
alumni will take a philanthropic interest in the program
and its long-term success.
"This is a chance for these scholars to do something not only for Hopkins, but also for their hometown," says Crenson, who himself is a product of the Baltimore City school system and who attended Johns Hopkins. For Turral, Gregg, and the rest of the Baltimore Scholars, that's a given.
"I hope that we all would, in time, come back to Baltimore,
take all we've learned, and give back to the city," Gregg
says. "Everyone who is here, they really love this city.
When they identify with Johns Hopkins, they also identify
|Phillip Nelson Assis||
Phillip Nelson Assis has been tuned into music for as long
as he can remember. But Assis's education and a
globe-circling career in international relations relegated
his passion for music — particularly his dream of
recording an album by age 40 — to the back burner.
And there it stayed, until he was diagnosed with testicular
cancer seven years ago.
For Assis, the worst part of his ordeal was finding out he had choriocarcinoma, a germ cell cancer that grows quickly and spreads widely. "I was 31 years old and had never considered that a life-threatening illness could affect me," he says. "The cancer instantly brushed aside all my career worries. From the point of cancer on, the most important things in my life were my health and connections to the people in my life."
Assis had grown up singing in church and school choirs and played the flute from elementary through high school. As a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa, he would venture into the capital city to sing at a popular jazz club. Eventually, however, as cancer spread through Assis' body, even his voice would be threatened. "There was a real possibility I could have lost my vocal chords," he recalls.
After two years of treatment, including chemotherapy and multiple operations, Assis' cancer was eradicated. Now cancer-free for nearly six years, Assis works for the Energy Partnership Program at the U.S. Energy Association as a senior program coordinator.
When he's not working, Assis — under his stage name of Phillip Nelson — sings at night clubs and for social and corporate events. And this spring, he will finally fulfill his dream to release a jazz CD with Since I Fell for You, which includes five original arrangements and a tribute in Portuguese to Assis' Brazilian father. The CD was recorded in Pittsburgh, a process that introduced Assis to several other Johns Hopkins alumni, including Jacob Yoffee, Peab '04 (MM), who became the musical director of the project and played lead saxophone on the recording; Tony DePaolis, A&S '04, who played bass; Stefanie Gogerty, Peab '00, a sound engineer; and Monica Garaitonandia, SAIS '96, who is helping with the CD release party.
"It's an amazing fantasy come true," Assis says. "I thought
I had time to use my gift of music. But the cancer reminded
me that time is not guaranteed in anyone's life."
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