N O V E M B E R 2 0 0 6
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When Andrew Savitz was at Johns Hopkins, he wanted to save the world. Now he's trying to help companies make more money — and also save the world.
Savitz's first book, The Triple Bottom Line, hit
in August. Titled for a phrase coined by sustainability
guru John Elkington, it explains how companies can find the
"sweet spot" where business interests and social and
environmental needs intersect. It's an especially important
concept, he says, in a new age of accountability, when
companies are being held responsible for everything from
their local environmental records to the child labor
policies of their Asian suppliers.
Andy Savitz looks for the "sweet spot" where business,
social, and environmental interests intersect.
Photo by Amelia S. Levitan
Business, Savitz and collaborator Karl Weber argue, isn't a
choice between making money and doing good. Holding up
examples such as Toyota, whose Prius hybrid car is good for
shareholders as well as the environment, they demonstrate
that profitability not only can but does come with social
responsibility. Then, they tell executives how to make it
all happen. The book has been praised by everyone from
Steve Reinemund, chairman and chief executive of PepsiCo,
"I thought I was going to write a book like Silent Spring," Savitz says, referring to the seminal environmental work by Rachel Carson, who did a master's degree at Hopkins. "The book wound up more like In Search of Excellence."
By now, however, Savitz should be used to plot twists. This is a man who entered Hopkins an academic underperformer and left a Rhodes Scholar.
A native of Newton, Massachusetts, Savitz was a poor student with mediocre grades. The eldest son of a father with no college education, Savitz applied to Hopkins simply because the boy who lived next door was studying there and liked it. He was narrowly admitted. Though he arrived as a freshman never having seen the place, within six weeks he was elected class president. By the end of the year, he had risen to his first of three terms as student council president. He was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa as a junior and, in his senior year, was awarded the coveted Rhodes Scholarship and won the Hopkins Barton Cup for "strong character, high ideals, and effective moral leadership." Along the way, he successfully pushed for a student union and more off-campus housing and helped create Spring Fair. A Johns Hopkins Magazine profile, written the year Savitz graduated, quoted one observer calling him "the youngest pol I've ever met."
"Hopkins was the first place where I felt I could apply myself and succeed," Savitz says. "Somehow, on my first day at Homewood, I realized that I had been given an incredible opportunity, almost a second chance, and that I needed to make the most of it. I didn't get less than an A until my senior year. I'm still not sure how it all worked out so well."
After Hopkins and Oxford, Savitz spent many years in politics. He worked with Rep. Benjamin Rosenthal (D-NY), Ralph Nader's closest ally in Congress, and with Mark Green, who is now running for attorney general of New York. Among their projects: a corporate governance bill that presaged Sarbanes-Oxley. At night, he attended law school at Georgetown and edited the Georgetown University Law Review.
Savitz then spent several years working for Governor Michael Dukakis. He was a senior staffer in the failed 1988 presidential campaign, and afterwards was appointed the top environmental lawyer for Massachusetts.
In 1992, he joined Coopers & Lybrand, creating the environmental advisory services practice, a one-man band for helping companies achieve their environmental goals. The practice attracted large companies, and by the late 1990s had not only grown, but evolved as companies realized they needed help integrating all three of the "triple bottom lines" — economic, social, and environmental.
In 2002 came a personal turning point, when Savitz represented the firm at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa. "I became very inspired by what I saw," he says. "I became totally convinced that this was what I was meant to do, and where I could make a personal and professional contribution."
Savitz conceived his book a year later. It took him a few years to complete, in part because he wrote from 5 to 7 a.m. each day until last September, when he left PricewaterhouseCoopers and started his own consultancy, Sustainable Business Strategies. He is based in Brookline, Massachusetts, where he lives with his wife and two children.
"I think people maybe were a little disappointed — I'm a little disappointed, perhaps — that I didn't become governor of Massachusetts," Savitz says. "I've been trying to make a contribution in my own way, and hopefully the book is part of that. I haven't lost that public spirit or public mindedness. It's just come out in a slightly unexpected way." — Sara Clemence, A&S '96, '98 (MA)
In April 2005, Emmanuel Zunz had an idea he knew was a winner — create a "socially responsible" record label. He was right. In July, Zunz won the Social Entrepreneurship Award — and $50,000 — in New York University's 2006 Stern Business Plan Competition. Within months, he used the seed money to launch Verge Records (www.vergerecords.org), an independent record label that focuses on hip hop artists from distressed communities around the globe.
"Our social mission is integral to Verge's DNA and brand,"
writes Zunz, a classically trained musician, on the label's
Web site. "We are doing much more than selling records.
Through their support of Verge, our listeners have the
opportunity to join with our musicians in confronting
poverty and other important social issues."
|Emmaneul Zunz hopes to recruit talent from the neighborhoods he's helping.||
In Toronto, Canada, Verge has partnered with the nonprofit
Schools without Borders to support "Turning the Tables," a
program that builds recording studios to teach production
skills to at-risk youth. The label donates up to 10 percent
of profits from CD sales back to artists' communities to
help support local educational organizations. This is where
Zunz's vision comes full circle — by promoting a
creative atmosphere in which artists can thrive, Zunz hopes
eventually to identify and recruit new young talent.
Zunz named his company Verge because of its meaning — "an extreme edge or margin."
"Verge stands for both groundbreaking music and the neighborhoods that produce it," he says. "We want to help out kids in these neighborhoods in a way that is meaningful to them. Empowerment with an edge." — Raili Haimila, Peab '97, '00 (GPD)
Sex and the Eighteenth Century Man, by Thomas A.
Foster, A&S '99 (MA), '02 (PhD), Beacon (2006).
Consider the titles of Rosemary Dew's two books, both of which are personal accounts of her professional life: No Backup: My Life as a Female FBI Special Agent and In Mother Theresa's House: A Hospice Nurse in the Slums of Calcutta.
At first glance, Dew's careers don't line up. But to this special agent-turned-hospice nurse, the connection is clear.
"Like many baby boomers, I was inspired by John F. Kennedy and hoped to make a difference in the world," Dew wrote in No Backup, published in 2003.
Indeed she has. As an FBI special agent, Dew worked
undercover against criminals, spies, and terrorists, making
arrests and supervising high-profile cases, such as the
1985 hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro.
"When I joined the FBI, I believed in the mission and
wanted to be a part of it, and I think I contributed in big
and small ways," Dew says. "I'm proud of my
counterintelligence and counterterrorism work, and as one
of the first 100 women sworn in as FBI special agents, I
opened the way for those who followed."
|"Like many baby boomers, I was inspired by John F. Kennedy and hoped to make a difference in the world."||
But for Dew, fighting terrorism and breaking down gender
barriers wasn't enough. For years, she had countered the
high-pressure aspects of her job by working as a hospice
volunteer. After two decades of defense and law enforcement
work and nearing her 50th birthday, Dew decided to follow
that passion. She earned an accelerated degree from the
Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in 2000 and began her new
career in the Johns Hopkins Hospital's Weinberg oncology
surgical intensive care unit. Dew later worked in two
hospices and in infectious disease at the National
Institutes of Health.
"Hospice nursing is low-tech, old-time nursing," says Dew, who also earned a master's degree in writing from the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. "Hospice nurses help patients live their final days to the fullest and die with dignity when the time comes. It is a privilege to be involved in this most intimate process."
In nursing, Dew found the opportunity to make a difference
"one life at a time," she says. Although she returned to
full-time defense work in 2002 after the 9/11 attacks, Dew
decided to keep nursing in her life through volunteer work.
In April 2004, she traveled to Calcutta, India, for a
monthlong volunteer nursing stint at Mother Teresa's House
for Sick and Dying Destitutes, where, she says, she finally
felt she was living with purpose.
When not working for the FBI, Rosemary Dew puts her nursing
degree to use, volunteering in foreign countries.
Photo by Kimberly Phillips-Simonetti
Because Indian hospitals often refuse to admit seriously
ill and dying people, Mother Teresa's House provided care
for the most desperate patients. Most suffered from
tuberculosis, as well as other afflictions such as AIDS,
elephantiasis, or other parasites. Doctors and nurses from
all over the world volunteered there, each with his or her
own cultural and practical beliefs about how to practice
medicine. Together, they overcame language barriers and
challenges of insufficient supplies and equipment to
comfort the sick and dying. Though many patients died,
some, who looked hopeless when they were brought in from
the streets, got better. Dew says that her time at Mother
Teresa's House brought her a new perspective on how she
could help other people.
"My time with the Missionaries of Charity taught me that true miracles occur when we let others see that we care. In the presence of love, the spirit can find the power to heal the body without the latest medical advances," Dew says.
Inspired by her experience in India, Dew, who now works for the Department of Defense, took another nursing sabbatical in April 2006, this time to Cambodia. She had planned to volunteer at another Mother Teresa hospice in Phnom Penh, but upon arrival was turned away because they had too many volunteers. Determined to make her trip worthwhile, Dew joined forces with a group of Buddhist nuns who cared for dying patients in and around the city. She also held clinics in isolated mountain villages where there had been no medical care in decades, and taught English at an orphanage for children who had been abandoned at Phnom Penh's trash dump.
For Dew, whose own children have continued her passionate legacy — her son is an Army Ranger and her daughter has been accepted to nursing school — the desire to serve others is stronger than ever. Now 56, she plans to continue international volunteer work. "My goals are set," she wrote in the conclusion of Mother Teresa's House. "I will serve the poor in my own country, and when I can, I will travel to foreign lands and be a nurse to people no one wants. My rewards have already been more than I imagined: new friends across the world, memories that bring smiles, and peace that passes understanding." — Nora Koch
|Reality TV's Una Coales: "Health education is the best way to go."||
Most physicians go to great lengths to protect patient
privacy. Then there's Una Coales, whose patients' health
problems — their complaints, their MRI scans, their
lab results, even their drooping bellies and dropping sperm
counts — are shared in explicit, mortifying detail
with about 2 million people. Coales, a general practitioner
in South London, rips away the cloak — OK, gown
— of patient privacy in her role as the on-air doctor
for "Turn Back Your Body Clock," a reality-television
series on the United Kingdom's Channel 4. Coales' role is
to convince the show's unhealthy participants — most
of them heavy smokers, heavy drinkers, and heavy people
— that they're headed for an early death if they
don't change their ways.
"There are 24 million obese people in the UK," says Coales, "and 60 million in the U.S. The medical costs incurred by all those obese people are incredibly high, and heart disease, which is linked with obesity, is the number-one killer in both the U.S. and the UK. Health education is the best way to go."
In tandem with the TV series, Coales has helped produce a companion book that vaulted into Amazon.uk's top 10. In addition, the energetic doctor has created a series of courses and authored a set of study guides to help young doctors prepare for their licensing exams. Meanwhile, the TV show will begin airing in the States in January, on BBC America.
She sees patients off-screen, but Coales, who received her MD from Oregon Health Sciences University, considers herself mainly a teacher. "Hopkins was great preparation for that," she says. "In the UK, most doctors don't know anything but medicine, because that's all they study. At Hopkins, I took 50 percent science and 50 percent liberal arts."
Although she attended Johns Hopkins on a full scholarship and graduated with honors, Coales did hit a few road bumps along the way. "I flunked organic chemistry lab," she confesses with a laugh. "I can't cook — I'm terrible in the kitchen and in the lab, which is cooking." She took the lab over and pulled her grade up — but only to a C. "The dean sent my mother a letter saying, 'She better not apply to medical school.' Fortunately, she never showed me that letter." — Jon Jefferson
The crowd that gathered to break ground for the S. Anne and C. Michael Armstrong Medical Education Building was witness to more than the start of an ambitious construction project — what they saw was the beginning of a ground-breaking new approach to medical education.
"In architecture at its best, form follows function," said
Tom Koenig, associate dean for student affairs at the
School of Medicine, at the September 12 event. "Over the
past year, some 30 faculty, students, staff, architectural
consultants, and trustees have spent countless hours
envisioning, discussing, and sometimes debating
passionately the essence of a Johns Hopkins medical
education, and what kind of facility would best support our
efforts to provide that experience."
|More than 300 people gathered in September to break ground on the S. Anne and C. Michael Armstrong Medical Education Building, set to open by 2009.||
Scheduled to open by 2009, the building will house a host of high-tech teaching tools — from plasma screens linked to clinical facilities to virtual-reality surgical simulators — designed to create a home for a bold new method of educating physicians. Plans will be engineered to meet the needs of a new curriculum called "Genes to Society" that is built on the insights of the Human Genome Project, molecular biology, and genetic biology.
"After learning about 'Genes to Society,' Anne and I wanted this new education building to be designed specifically to support this visionary curriculum," said C. Michael Armstrong, whose $20 million commitment will help fund construction. "This education facility — the ways it will harness medical imaging, virtual-reality simulation, new approaches to mentoring, small study groups, and collaborative learning — will play an essential role in turning that vision into reality." Armstrong is chairman of the boards of trustees of Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins Health System, and the Johns Hopkins Hospital; vice chairman of the Johns Hopkins University Board of Trustees; and a member and former chairman of the Johns Hopkins Medicine Board of Advisors.
"We have come to expect that a Johns Hopkins medical education should be state of the art, but it requires real vision to understand how a building can make all the difference in creating a new educational paradigm," said university President William R. Brody. "That is why we are so grateful to Anne and Mike Armstrong for their outstanding generosity in support of this project."
The project is part of a 10-year, $1.2 billion master plan to transform the East Baltimore campus that includes two clinical towers and new research buildings.
Erecting a new building in tandem with developing a new curriculum gives the school the opportunity to combine knowledge, technology, and teaching approaches, said Mark Teaford, professor of functional anatomy and evolution. In his specialty, Teaford touted a vision to take whole-body CT scans of every cadaver, before the first scalpel cut, so students can call up three-dimensional images of any structure in that specific body even after they have dissected an organ.
"Right now, once they've dissected an organ, they can't un-dissect it. Not in the real world," Teaford said. "But in the virtual world, made possible by the new technologies we're building into this facility, they can."
The new four-story building will also include one floor devoted to the advisory colleges system, a recent organization that divides the entire student body into four colleges, named after Hopkins legends Daniel Nathans, Florence Sabin, Helen Taussig, and Vivien Thomas. The system is an effort to build collegiality among students in all years of medical school, fostering student-to-student mentoring and informal learning. In addition, the system provides dedicated faculty mentors and advisers for each college.
"This new facility and this new curriculum mesh like muscles and bones," Teaford said. "We already have the best students, and best faculty, in the world at Hopkins. "Along with innovative technologies and teaching techniques, we have the chance to lead a revolution from the forefront of medical education."— NK
Every year, Popular Science magazine asks hundreds of scientists to pick the 10 "most brilliant" new researchers. "By 'brilliant,'" the magazine editors explain, "we don't mean smart .It's the foolishness needed to set out for the edge of understanding and sail right past it."
Melody Swartz, Engr '91, whose research is beginning to explain how organs grow, certainly deserves her spot on the 2006 list, published in the magazine's September issue. However, Swartz, 37, says she's "really quite embarrassed about the whole thing." And her family's reaction? "They were surprised," she says, "because I am such a flaky space cadet."
Flaky? Swartz graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1991 with a BS in chemical engineering; for the next year, was an environmental engineer in Micronesia; by 1998, had earned a doctorate in chemical engineering at MIT; and is now an assistant professor at Switzerland's École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne — and the mother of a 2-year-old.
|Melody Swartz, named a "brilliant" new researcher by Popular Science for her work, which may allow scientists to grown organs in the lab.||
Her lab studies the fluid that moves slowly between cells, generating tiny electrical currents that turn out to play a pivotal role in the rise of organ tissues.
Today, only a few tissue types have been grown in a lab, like skin cells and heart muscle. That's because more complicated (and more vital) organs need a constant blood supply — an organized capillary system — to develop and function. So far, no researcher has been able to grow a capillary system in the lab.
Swartz's studies may change that. A year ago, she proved that the slow-moving intercellular fluid has a crucial role in the organ development process: It rearranges proteins that trigger the formation of capillary networks. Now she's manipulating the currents to figure out how to drive the growth of these capillary networks, and eventually full- fledged organs. Swartz's work might also help cancer research, since tumor cells use the same fluid to spread throughout the body.
"I've always been interested in applying engineering to biological problems, and I worked in a biomedical engineering lab as an undergraduate." Swartz says. But her favorite Hopkins memory comes not from the lab, but from Adams House in AMR II, where she and her friends spent late nights painting ceiling tiles in her freshman dorm. They flipped the tiles before moving out, and when they returned for their 10-year reunion, "turned a ceiling tile around, just for the heck of it, and the paintings were still on the other side!" — Virginia Hughes, A&S '06 (MA)
World-renowned musician Manuel Barrueco, Peab '75, has been nominated for a Latin Music Grammy Award in the Best Classical Album category for his recording Concierto Barroco. The guitarist has been a full-time faculty member at the Peabody Conservatory since 1990. His recent solo performances include concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, and the Auckland Philharmonia in New Zealand. The Latin Grammy Award ceremonies will be held in New York on November 2.
Forensic psychiatrist, writer, and television personality Keith R. Ablow, Med '87, has a new TV show. "The Dr. Keith Ablow Show" debuted in September and airs in national syndication. Ablow made the New York Times Bestseller List last summer with In the Mind of Scott Peterson (St. Martin's Press, 2005) and has been a resident expert on Court TV.
Chen-Yuan Tung, SAIS '98, '02 (PhD), is the new vice chairman of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC). The MAC is a cabinet-level administrative agency under the Executive Yuan, or executive branch, of the Republic of China (Taiwan). The council is responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of policies between Taiwan and mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau.
Marta Brito Perez, SPSBE '01 (MS), has been named the Department of Homeland Security's chief human capital officer. Perez most recently served in the federal Office of Personnel Management, where she led the Human Capital Leadership and Merit System Division since 2002.
The Alumni Council is the governing body of the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association. Its mission is to provide feedback to the university and strengthen the quality and quantity of alumni connections to Johns Hopkins. The Alumni Council serves to unify all Johns Hopkins alumni and foster a university-wide perspective among them. The council also strives to provide professional and personal networking opportunities for alumni and students and prepare current students for their roles as Johns Hopkins alumni.
James A. Miller Jr., A&S '64, President
Ron Abrams*, SAIS '91, Networking & Communications
*Executive Committee Member
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