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Matters of note from around Johns Hopkins


Public Health: Michael Klag named dean of the Bloomberg School

Sports: Undefeated Jays head to NCAA

Students: Lights, cameras, action make Homewood safer

Public Health: Now virtually everywhere

Science: A precision attack on cancer

Research: Rethinking technology transfer

Astronomy: Surprising violence at the edge of black holes

Technology: Classroom clickers and other education innovations

Research: Spring brings a bevy of Guggenheims

Humanities: Lucky break leads to fake

Medicine: $2M for Clancy professorship

International: Bologna Center turns 50

Students: Making wildest dreams come true in South Africa

APL: On Never Doing the Same Thing Twice

Wholly Hopkins Departments: Bottom Line | JHUniverse Syllabus | Vital Signs | Academese | Forever Altered | Up & Comer | Vignette | Here & Abroad | Findings | Investigations |

Public Health: Michael Klag named dean of the Bloomberg School

Michael J. Klag, MPH '87, internationally known for his work on the epidemiology and prevention of heart and kidney disease and a Johns Hopkins faculty member, has been named dean of the university's Bloomberg School of Public Health. He will succeed Alfred Sommer, who had been dean since 1990.

Michael Klag brings a "vision for global leadership" to the Bloomberg School.
Photo by Will Kirk
"I feel enormously privileged to lead an institution so critically important to the world's health. If you're interested in public health, there's no better institution than the Bloomberg School," says Klag. "It is humbling to follow in the footsteps of the people who have been deans of this school."

Klag, 52, is the David M. Levine Professor of Medicine in the School of Medicine, with joint appointments in the Bloomberg School's Department of Epidemiology and Department of Health Policy and Management. He also is vice dean for clinical investigation in the School of Medicine. In that position, created in 2001, he is responsible for oversight of research that involves human volunteers. He has undertaken a widely praised restructuring of the School of Medicine's policies and procedures governing human subjects research.

"Mike Klag is a rare individual," says Edward D. Miller, CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine and dean of the School of Medicine. "I have been privileged as dean to have available to me his talents, his dedication, his insights, his integrity, and his intellect. I have counted on Mike for wisdom and straightforward advice, always delivered with deft good humor."

Klag, who begins as dean on September 1, earned his MPH in 1987 from what was then the School of Hygiene and Public Health. That same year, he joined the Hopkins faculty as an instructor of medicine and director of the clinical track of Public Health's preventive medicine residency program.

He was one of the first epidemiologists to start to unravel the risk factors for kidney disease, as well as its prevalence and effective intervention strategies for it. He also has focused on the role of ethnicity in disease, searching, for instance, for explanations of the different risks among different groups for developing high blood pressure.

Klag's "command of national and global issues of public health, his passionate commitment to public health education, and his collaborative spirit make him ideally suited to build on the extraordinary work of his predecessors, Al Sommer and D.A. Henderson," says university president William R. Brody, who recommended to the executive committee of the Hopkins board of trustees that Klag be appointed. "He will outline a vision for global leadership in public health and ensure that the school's faculty and students have the resources needed to execute that vision."
— Catherine Pierre

Sports: Undefeated Jays head to NCAA

And now for a perfect post-season.

Senior Kyle Harrison
Photo by Jay Van Rensselaer
The Hopkins Blue Jays completed a perfect 12-0 regular season in early May when they defeated Loyola, 12-6. The Jays were the only team in Division I men's lacrosse to finish their regular schedule undefeated. At press time, Hopkins was the top seed in the NCAA championship tour-nament, having just won a first-round game against Marist College, 22-6.

The Jays' seniors headed into the tournament with a remarkable cumulative record of 51-6, and the distinction of having never lost a home game in four years. Senior Kyle Harrison led the scoring this season with 18 goals and 17 assists. The defense was anchored by stalwarts Tom Garvey, Chris Watson, and Matt Pinto. In goal, sophomore Jesse Schwartzman had a breakout season, with a spectacular 21-save game against Towson University. A stat that bodes well for the Jays' future: Among the top five scorers, one, Jake Byrne, was a sophomore, and two, Paul Rabil and Kevin Huntley, were freshmen.

For the fourth straight year, Hopkins entered the NCAA tournament as the top seed. The Jays were looking to cap their perfect season with the university's first national lacrosse championship since 1987.
— Dale Keiger

Students: Lights, cameras, action make Homewood safer

A person drops off a package outside a Homewood campus building at 9 a.m. No big deal — it's probably FedEx. But what if someone drops the package off at 4 a.m.? Then it's a security concern. And a new high-tech network of security cameras will be watching.

Installed along the Homewood campus's north-south corridor from 30th Street to University Parkway, the "smart closed-circuit TV" system uses 36 computer-driven cameras that can be programmed to detect suspicious actions (like a fallen student or someone trying to break into a building). They assign it priority score (based on such factors as time of day or where that action occurred) and then notify the system operators for follow-up.

"The camera never sleeps, it never moves, it doesn't change shifts," says Hopkins Homewood security director Ron Mullen. "It's like having 32 additional officers on duty at a particular point on campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

The $500,000 network is part of a $2 million, 15-point security action plan announced by President William R. Brody in January, shortly after senior Linda Trinh was found dead in her Charles Street apartment. Trinh was the second Hopkins undergraduate killed in the last year. In March, Baltimore Police charged Donta Maurice Allen, an ex-boyfriend of Trinh's roommate, in the killing.

Because Trinh's fatal assault took place in an off-campus apartment, the new cameras would not have been able to prevent her death. However, the cameras, and the signs that accompany them, send a message to would-be criminals. "If people know the campus is monitored, then the bad guys will go somewhere else," says Lawrence D. Consalvos, senior vice president at iXp Corp., the public safety consulting firm that designed and is currently operating the camera system.

The Hopkins security action plan includes a variety of efforts, such as:

Installing a fence and guardhouses around the AMRs to ensure that everyone who enters has properly identified themselves. Similar ID procedures are planned for Wolman and McCoy halls, with construction inside the main doors.

Hiring off-duty Baltimore City police officers to patrol Charles Village overnight.

Improving the reliability of Hopkins' on- and off-campus "blue light" emergency telephones and linking them with the new security camera network.

Hiring a lighting consultant to assess frequently used pedestrian routes on and around the Homewood campus.

Speeding up the planning process for additional university housing, including an expanded freshman quadrangle.
— Maria Blackburn

Public Health: Now virtually everywhere

When the Bloomberg School of Public Health launched OpenCourseWare — a project to offer free and open access to course material to anyone in the world — they knew it was the right thing to do. And they hoped it would be popular.

They had no idea.

"This thing has legs of its own," says Thea Glidden, SPH's director of communications. The day after a press release announcing the project went out, the OCW Web site ( had 93,905 hits, and they came from places like India, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, and Tanzania (among others). They even got a mention on, a popular blog dedicated to "wonderful things."

OpenCourseWare, which was developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) four years ago, launched at the Bloomberg School in February. To date, there are eight courses available as part of a pilot project funded by a $200,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The school is applying for another grant that would support 75 to 100 classes over the next several years.

Why are they doing this? According to the site, that's what the School of Public Health is about: "As part of its mission to protect health and prevent disease and disability, the school feels a moral imperative to provide equal and open access to information and knowledge about the obstacles to the public's health and their potential solutions."

Unlike distance learning, OCW does not require fees or registration. It does not grant degrees or offer access to faculty. The intended audience is pretty much anyone anywhere who wants to use it — educators developing curriculum, students trying to supplement their studies, and self-learners who may not have the money to pay for tuition or books.

Online courses include syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, and readings (with copyrighted materials removed). The course that is getting the most "buzz," says Glidden, is Understanding Cost Effectiveness Analysis in Health Care, with Statistical Reasoning in Public Health coming in second.

Glidden says that people from around the world began sending e-mails as soon as OCW went live. From Wang Long in China: "What you have done will benefit the world and the future." And from Sartaj Alam in Pakistan: "A great effort yields its fruit worldwide."

The public health effort isn't the only payoff. According to MIT, students use their OCW site when choosing courses, and 16 percent of MIT freshmen said the site helped them make their decision to attend.

"This is the most exciting thing in academia today, because it's completely open access," says Glidden. "For an institution that charges a lot of money, I think this is a wonderful movement."
— CP

Science: A precision attack on cancer

Control experiments are supposed to be the norm against which experimental results are compared. They are not supposed to produce the findings themselves. But that's what happened in the lab of Hopkins chemistry professor Marc Greenberg, and the serendipitous result may lead to more precise application of radiation therapy in cancer treatments.

Greenberg has been working to better understand how exposing DNA to gamma radiation produces damage via radicals — individual reactive units in the DNA chain that create enough havoc to render the DNA incapable of proper function. Any cell with this altered DNA cannot reproduce itself and dies. In his lab, Greenberg and a postdoctoral fellow, In Seok Hong, were using organic chemistry to create a strand of DNA that had, among its chain of nucleotides, a single synthetic molecule. This precisely positioned unit would allow scientists to better study what happens when a radical is generated in DNA.

Hong meant to produce a molecule that would act as a control in other experiments. But when, as part of the control experiment, Hong exposed the DNA with the molecule to ultraviolet light, he got an unexpected result.

"One day In Seok came in and said, 'When I do this stuff I see crosslinks,'" Greenberg recalls. "I said, 'What? Really?'" In DNA, a crosslink is a bond between the two strands that cannot be broken easily. DNA replicates by first "unzipping" its strands. A crosslink prevents that. Any cell with that unzippable DNA will die if the crosslink is not repaired.

"We just took off chasing this," says Greenberg.

What they've been chasing has the potential to be a sort of cell-bomb that shrinks malignancies. In chemotherapy, certain cytotoxins damage DNA so that cells can't replicate. But these toxins are insufficiently specific and kill cells throughout the body, including healthy ones that the body needs.

The synthetic DNA created in Greenberg's lab, however, doesn't form the damaging crosslinks until it's been exposed to radiation. If it could be triggered by the gamma radiation used in cancer therapy, physicians could be much more precise about where they induce its damaging effects.

"It's a long shot," Greenberg says, "but it could be useful therapeutically. We're going down the road, seeing how far we can push this."

Greenberg and Hong now are working on experiments using gamma radiation and looking for other molecules that would be more efficient at producing the right sort of cellular damage. They're also looking for scientific collaborators to do further research in cells. Greenberg and Hong presented their findings in March at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society and published a preliminary communication in the society's journal.
— DK

Research: Rethinking technology transfer

Johns Hopkins is recognized internationally for its groundbreaking discoveries in fields that range from cancer research to robotics. But how do you get all that research out to the public, where it can do the most good? That's a question Jill Tarzian Sorensen asks herself every day.

Sorensen came to Hopkins this spring as associate provost and director of the Office of Licensing and Technology Development. It is her job to help faculty in the university's eight schools commercialize their discoveries.

But it is her mission to bring what she calls "knowledge stewardship" to the technology transfer business. "Our real job here — very consistent with Hopkins' foundation — [is to benefit] society by making knowledge accessible to the world," she says.

Historically, tech transfer has focused on the possible monetary value of an invention or discovery. "We counted those things we were confident could be counted," says Sorensen, "like the number of inventions disclosed, the number of patents issued, the number of license agreements executed, and the dollars we raised from that activity."

However, sometimes a discovery's greatest value is in its public good. Vaccines, for instance, may not be profitable to a pharmaceutical company, but they can save a lot of lives. The problem is, how do you measure those non-monetary benefits?

Or suppose a Hopkins researcher develops a new AIDS drug and a company wants to license that drug. Should humanitarian-use exceptions be part of that agreement? "Is there some other way,"

Sorensen asks, that "we can motivate our licensees to adjust their commercialization strategies to align with our imperative, which is to maximize access to knowledge?"

Sorensen hasn't found perfect answers to these questions, but she's working on it. "Sometimes I think that just driving a good question is the best that you can do," she says.

Another of her goals is to get more researchers to become involved in technology transfer, she says, "as a vehicle for transferring knowledge to goods and services that consumers can use." In the past, Hopkins has not been a leader in tech transfer. It's not entirely surprising, Sorensen says, because with the old model, researchers often felt that commercializing meant selling out. She emphasizes that tech transfer plays a supporting role to research.

"We are not retooling scientists to be CEOs," she says. "But we're positioning scientists to engage meaningfully with industry, so that we have a quality partner who assures that the researcher continues to thrive and that knowledge is transferred to those people with business acumen."
— CP

Astronomy: Surprising violence at the edge of black holes

About five or six years ago, Johns Hopkins astronomy professor Julian H. Krolik joined a collaborative effort to write and employ software that powers computer simulations of how matter behaves when it's near black holes. These mysterious objects in the universe exhibit concentrations of mass so great that nothing, not even light, can escape their gravitational fields. Working with Shigenobu Hirose at Hopkins and John Hawley and Jean-Pierre De Villiers of the University of Virginia, Krolik studied simulations run by their new code. They have recently concluded that what occurs near the edge of a black hole is much different from what scientists have believed.

Computer simulations suggest that violent actions are driven by magnetic processes. Krolik and his colleagues have been studying what happens as spinning black holes accrete matter. Scientists had believed that the holes were like massive drains in space-time, passively capturing matter through their intense gravitation. But in 2003, Krolik and his collaborators began running their new code, and what they found surprised them.

For example, many and perhaps all black holes rotate as a result of angular momentum imparted at their formation or brought in with captured matter. According to the theory of general relativity, their gravitational effects force nearby space-time to rotate, as well. The speed of this rotation varies with distance; right at the edge of the hole, all space-time rotates at the same rate as the hole. But the computer simulations also show synergy with magnetic fields attached to more distant rotating matter. When one end of a magnetic field is close to a black hole, the hole can transfer some of its angular momentum and rotational energy to the more distant rotating matter, making it spin more quickly. Furthermore, when matter near the black hole receives additional angular momentum, its progress inward toward the hole is retarded and piles up just outside the hole. Accretion continues, but at a much slower rate than expected. And what had been presumed to be a smooth, steady process of accretion is anything but. Says Krolik, "The forces tug and kick in lots of directions at varying rates, and the material kind of flops around and flies in and out." Some matter ends up violently ejected along the hole's rotational axis as massive gas jets.

"The principal new result," says Krolik, "is the contrast between the picture of this region as being a rather quiet place where matter simply plunges into the black hole, and one in which various violent actions are driven by magnetic processes. The violence can alter the long-term evolution of the black hole and the amount of energy available to create visible light. These processes are much strengthened when the hole rotates rapidly."

Krolik and his colleagues are publishing their findings in a series of four papers appearing in The Astrophysical Journal.
— DK

Technology: Classroom clickers and other education innovations

Richard Shingles has seen firsthand the boredom and feeling of disconnect that can creep into 300 undergraduates as they sit in a cavernous lecture hall for his General Biology class. Some students fiddle with their cell phones or read the newspaper. Others use the opportunity to take a nap. Some don't even bother to attend class at all.

But for the last year, the Hopkins biology lecturer has armed himself against student ennui with technology that allows him to survey his class electronically — a sort of high-tech pop quiz. Using an in-class voting system that relies on handheld clickers, students answer questions Shingles inserts into his PowerPoint presentation. The results are immediate and anonymous, and Shingles can use them to adapt his lecture accordingly.

"If I ask a question and 95 percent of students get it wrong, then I know they don't have the knowledge to sit there and spend the next 45 minutes listening to a lecture on something they know nothing about," says Shingles. "I can change the lecture based on their feedback."

The in-house voting system, which also can track participation by students, has had another benefit in General Biology and General Physics classes, where it's been used since 2004: "Our attendance doubled from 30 percent to over 80 percent," Shingles says.

The clickers are just one of the ways that Johns Hopkins' Center for Educational Resources (CER) is working with faculty to develop innovative teaching strategies based on digital technology. Launched in 2001, the center identifies best practices in teaching and technology-enhanced higher education and helps faculty put those practices to use. "We try very hard not to use technology just for the sake of bells and whistles," says Candice Dalrymple, associate dean and CER director. "We ask faculty what is preventing them from getting the outcomes they want from their classes, and come up with ideas to help them achieve their goals."

The General Biology class, for example, lacked more than intimacy. It didn't have a required lab. So Shingles and CER developed a Web-driven tool that allows students to apply what they learned in class to the world where they live. Supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute — funded Science Education Enhancement Initiative, the "Biomes of Homewood" tool assigns student teams to specific areas of campus, where they are directed to gather and record field data. "It's a way to provide a lablike experience for everyone," says Shingles, who is a science curriculum design consultant for CER.

CER, of course, is not just about biology class. Other projects of the center range from a Teaching Assistant Training Institute for TAs and faculty to a mobile computer classroom that brings laptops, a portable projector, and a screen to any Homewood classroom.

Most of the center's projects are based at the Homewood campus. But the Technology Fellowship Mini-Grant program invites full-time faculty members from any Hopkins division to develop proposals for using digital technology to solve specific problems in their undergraduate courses. To date, these fellowships have supported more than 50 projects in disciplines as diverse as German, history, and computer music.
— MB

Research: Spring brings a bevy of Guggenheims

Six Johns Hopkins professors are among the 186 artists, scholars, and scientists who have been named 2005 Guggenheim Fellows. They were chosen from among 3,000 applicants on the basis of distinguished achievement in the past and "exceptional promise for future accomplishment." A brief rundown on what the talented six will be undertaking with their Guggenheim dollars:

M. Gregg Bloche, an adjunct professor at Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health, will research his book-length project, "Hippocrates' Myth: Medicine in the Public Sphere." He will address the tension between medicine's caring and therapeutic role and its increasingly prominent public functions (such as health care resource allocation and the protection of public health and national security).

Sociology professor Andrew Cherlin, lead investigator of Welfare, Children and Families: A Three-City Study, will pursue a project titled "Marriage and Family in Early 21st-Century America." The Krieger School faculty member will be writing a book about how and why American families are different from those in other developed countries.

Philosophy professor Eckart Föat;rster, who has published widely on Kant and German idealism, will complete a book on the transition from Kant to Hegel. The Krieger School faculty member is also a member of the Kant Kommission of the Berlin-Brandenburian Academy of Science and the Schelling and Jacobi Kommissionen of the Bavarian Academy of Science.

Piero Gleijeses, a professor of American foreign policy at Hopkins' Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, will use his fellowship to focus on Cuban and U.S. policy toward Southern Africa in the Carter and Reagan presidencies.

Guohua Li will focus on developing a "paradigm of safe aging" by furthering the scientific understanding of injury risk facing the elderly population. Li is a professor of emergency medicine at the School of Medicine and a professor of health policy and management at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Christopher Sogge, chairman of the Department of Mathematics in the Krieger School, was awarded the fellowship for his research into wave equations on Riemannian manifolds. Sogge is interested in how waves form and develop in a bounded or curved region. He investigates how the geometry of various shapes and forms allows or does not allow waves to focus and become very large.

The Guggenheim Foundation considered applications from 79 different fields. This year's awards totaled $7.1 million, with the average award being $38,236.
— Amy Cowles

Humanities: Lucky break leads to fake

Lyndie Vantine used to associate art history classes with sitting in the dark, taking notes on an endless array of slides. A semester in Gary Vikan's Art of the Middle Ages class gave Vantine a decidedly more hands-on approach.

"It became a whole different type of class than I ever expected it to be," says Vantine, a student in Johns Hopkins' Master of Liberal Arts Program who works in human resources at the Welch Medical Library.

Of course, a hands-on approach can be a nerve-racking prospect, especially when you're gingerly inspecting a 12th-century wooden crucifix from the Walters Art Museum's collection and you accidentally break off one of Jesus' feet.

Conservation scientist Jennifer Giaccai carbon-dated the crucifix in question.
Photo by John Dean
"We about had a stroke," remembers Vantine's classmate, Nancy Murray Cook.

It turned out to be a lucky break-literally.

With it, Vantine, Cook, and fellow classmate Jessika Wrabel got a rare glimpse inside a work of art, which helped them study the piece's age. Ultimately, the three-part-time master's degree students with day jobs at Hopkins and very little background in art history — helped determine that the crucifix was a fake.

"It's a classic [example] of art history," says Vikan, director of the Walters and a longtime teacher in the MLA Program. "They got it. They found the pieces to the puzzle."

Vikan had been suspicious about the crucifix since he first saw it, soon after he arrived at the Walters in 1985. "It just didn't look right," he remembers. "It had Romanesque and Gothic characteristics in the same piece. I sort of suspected it didn't have a home in the Middle Ages."

Still, a museum medievalist had purchased the 15-inch-tall carving of Christ, believing it to be authentic, originating from France between 1150 and 1170. The smooth, worn-looking figure — head and body, its arms missing — is quite detailed, with decorative crown and loincloth.

"It's not a stupid fake," says Vikan. "It's a very beguiling figure."

Vikan took the crucifix off display but kept it in the collection. Last spring, he offered the piece as an object worthy of study in his MLA class.

(After the accident in class with the crucifix, Vikan inspected it and said it looked as if the foot had been broken and repaired before. It was then the students dubbed it "One Foot Jesus.")

Analyzing its appearance, size, composition, style, and use, the group found discrepancies that fueled doubt about the piece's authenticity. The broken foot showed worm holes (actually insect-bored holes that look like worm tunnels), which, along with the wearing of the oak, indicated significant age. But the design of the loincloth — with a flap in the front instead of a knot — wasn't consistent with other 12th-century crucifixes.

Walters director of conservation Terry Drayman-Weisser (second from left) shows One Foot Jesus to MLA students Nancy Murray Cook, Lyndie Vantine, and Jessika Wrabel.

The piece's diminutive size was the biggest tip-off for the students. "Crucifixes at that time that were wood were eight or nine feet tall so they could be hung up in churches, where everybody could see them," says Cook, a research administrator in the School of Medicine's Department of Neurology. Smaller crucifixes from that time were usually made of metal.

"Always in the back of our minds was something Gary had told us," remembers Vantine. "'If it's 1 percent wrong, it's 100 percent wrong.'"

Correspondence with the Louvre Museum in Paris, which had a similar-looking crucifix that turned out to be much larger than One Foot Jesus, helped convince Vikan and the Walters' conservation staff to carbon-date the piece.

Finally, nearly a year after the student group handed in its final paper, Vikan delivered to them the good news: "Jesus is a fake!" Vikan told Vantine, who took another class with him this spring. Carbon-dating showed the crucifix dated no earlier than 1680, and could be as recent as 1934.

Wrabel, a former academic program coordinator in Hopkins' Mathematics Department who now works at the University of Maryland, calls the experience "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Cook was so inspired by the project that she's taking another medieval art class this summer, even though she will have already finished her degree. One of the highlights of the experience came this spring, after the carbon-dating results, when Vikan invited the students to participate in a lecture with museum members. In introducing them, Cook remembers, "He called us art historians."
— -Angela Paik Schaeffer

Medicine: $2M for Clancy professorship

Before he became a bestselling author of adventure and spy novels, Tom Clancy was a Baltimore insurance agent whose poor eyesight made him ineligible for military service. So instead, he researched the military for his books — which went on to sell millions of copies.

Clancy's vision became newsworthy this spring when the author donated $2 million to the Johns Hopkins University Wilmer Eye Institute to fund the Tom Clancy Professorship in Ophthalmology.

Clancy and Wilmer are hardly strangers. One of his most famous characters, CIA officer Jack Ryan, is married to a woman who is portrayed as an ophthalmologist at the Wilmer Eye Institute. And back in 2001, Clancy was diagnosed with pathological myopia, a rare type of near-sightedness in which the eyeball continues to elongate; the condition can lead to profound vision loss. Terrence P. O'Brien, the first doctor to hold the chair funded by Clancy's donation, treated Clancy for the disorder.

"Now I can see my feet when I take a shower," Clancy was quoted as saying in The Wall Street Journal.
— MB

International: Bologna Center turns 50

It was the height of the Vietnam War. Karin Lissakers, BC '68, and a handful of friends — all students at the School of Advanced International Studies' Bologna Center — were protesting by camping out on the school's lawn and going on a hunger strike. "For the Bolognese, the idea of someone going on a hunger strike was really quite dramatic," says Lissakers, now chief adviser to George Soros on globalization issues. "We had all these wonderful Italians showing up, offering us food and drink. We didn't take the food, but we drank the fresh-squeezed orange juice . . . I can still taste it."

The protesters risked expulsion and even violence. "The neo-fascists came with cars and clubs and were going to beat us up — it was very scary," says Lissakers. "But the prostitutes chased them away! It was quite a scene!"

Perhaps not every student's experience was so dramatic, but for the last half century, passion, politics, and, well, good food have been essential to the Bologna Center experience. This May, the center marked its 50th anniversary with a weekend celebration attended by alumni from all over the world, local dignitaries, the JHU Board of Trustees, the Bologna Center Advisory Council, and faculty and staff both past and present.

Passion, politics, and good food Since the center's founding in 1955, more than 5,500 students from 100 countries have studied there. The alumni roster is something of a Who's Who in international relations, including a former deputy head of the Central Intelligence Agency, a vice president of the World Bank, more than 60 ambassadors, and at least 300 high-ranking foreign ministry officials around the world.

Each year, about 180 students attend the Bologna program to learn European and other area studies, international economics, politics, history, and foreign languages from professors who come from all over Europe and from the United States. Most Americans earn a master's degree after one year in Italy and a second year at SAIS in Washington. Though historically most non-American students received a BC certificate after their year at the center, most now are heading to D.C. to finish their master's.

Many of the students consider their experience there foundational. "There's hardly a day that goes by where I don't draw upon something I learned at Johns Hopkins, even if it's just my own musing about something I read in the newspaper," says Richard Greco, BC '95, assistant secretary of the Navy.

It's not just the academics. For many, it's being away from home, living with students from as many as 30 countries, and exchanging ideas with people from vastly different backgrounds.

David Manning, BC '72, the British ambassador to the United States, recalls being in class with Vietnam veterans. "I remember thinking how extraordinarily they had been marked by this," he says, "how much more mature they were as a result of it, what a different world they had come from, rather than the heady mix of Oxford academic life."

"The Bologna Center was an experiment in 1955 that proved to be a grand success," says center director Marisa Lino. "For the next 50 years, I hope to consolidate the center's legacy for future generations." Lino says that the center will broaden its programming, host international conferences, and support faculty research. "It is an important contribution that the Bologna Center can make to the fields of international affairs and international economics," she says.
— CP

Students: Making wildest dreams come true in South Africa

In March of last year, Saul Garlick stood in a grade school in the Mpumulanga region of South Africa. His parents are South African and he still has family there, but his interest on this day was the classroom before him. It was gray: gray cement walls, gray cement floor, gray cement cinderblocks for seats. Garlick recalls asking a teacher what her wildest dream would be for her classroom. "She looked at me and said, 'Anything? I can have anything I want?' I said, 'Yeah. Anything.' She said, 'Furniture.' And I said, 'We'll get that for you.'"

Junior Saul Garlick won a prestigious Truman Scholarship for his work in public service. He is founder of the Student Movement for Real Change and The Hopkins Donkey.
Photo by Christopher Myers

Garlick, who has just completed the third year of a five-year BA/MA program in international relations at Johns Hopkins, was not making an idle promise. An organization that he founded with friends, the Student Movement for International Relief (SMIR), has raised $15,000 for assistance to South African schools.

"The first time I visited," says Garlick, "I saw three classrooms for hundreds of students. They were forced to learn outside. In South Africa, it's either blisteringly hot or rainy much of the time, which means a lot of the time they can't learn at all. That's when I decided that more classrooms needed to be built."

A recent winner of a prestigious Truman Scholarship (awarded to extraordinary juniors committed to careers in public service), Garlick began creating service organizations in high school. "I was sitting with a bunch of friends toward the end of my junior year, having one of those clichéd Starbucks kind of conversations," he says. "We were talking about how nothing was energizing our generation. We decided we wanted to work on education." They founded the Student Movement for Real Change (SMRC), which remains SMIR's parent organization. SMRC seeks to provide nonpartisan aid to the developing world and persuade students to take more active roles in improving social conditions.

As president of SMIR, Garlick has overseen its expansion at four institutions, including Hopkins. He hopes to establish chapters on three more campuses. "Success is there, but it's limited," he says. "We should be raising much more than $15,000. That only builds half a school in South Africa."

Organizing disparate people fascinates Garlick, and makes him more interested in politics than hands-on foreign development work. "I developed an interest in government after a high school class that most people slept through-I think even I slept through it a few times," he says. "But something about it struck a chord with me." In 2002, Garlick founded The Hopkins Donkey, a monthly liberal political newspaper published by student Democrats.

Garlick will apply his scholarship to graduate study at Hopkins' Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, concentrating on U.S. foreign policy toward Africa.
— DK

APL: On Never Doing the Same Thing Twice

"In change there's opportunity. It is a challenging time. If everything were going along and we were doing for the next three decades the stuff we've been doing for the last three decades, frankly, I don't believe I would want the job. . . . To say that it would be without trouble is naive in the extreme, but as I've often said, most of my own personal career has been built on doing one new thing after another and in solving problems. I've never done the same thing twice. . . . But I do enjoy the challenge of a new problem, and that's why I am looking forward to this. And if there weren't problems, they wouldn't need me."
— Michael Griffin, A&S '71, Engr '83 (MS), speaking at an April 18 press conference about why this is a promising time to be taking the lead role at NASA. Griffin stepped down from his position as the head of the Space Department at Johns Hopkins'
Applied Physics Laboratory to become NASA administrator.

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