Johns Hopkins Magazine -- November 1999
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Ich bin ein Berliner
Floyd leaves his mark
A new front door on Mt. Vernon
Hopkins student charged with rape
Major league prospects
De Angelis named editor of JAMA
Biomedical engineering breaks ground
And the survey says...
A European tour for women's soccer

Next stop: Berlin
Ich bin ein Berliner

The Hopkins world tour will soon have another stop: Berlin.

Hopkins, which has a presence throughout much of the planet via the university's public health projects, academic collaborations, and educational centers, will open an office in Berlin in 2000.

"Berlin looks very different than it did even five years ago," says Paula Burger, vice provost of academic affairs and international programs. "We want to establish a greater presence there."

With the fall of the Soviet Union and the subsequent meeting of East and West--as well as the creation of the European Union with its financial base in Germany--Berlin is a prime location for new educational endeavors, administrators say. The Johns Hopkins University European Office in Berlin is to be located in the center of the city, near Humboldt University and several blocks from the Brandenburg Gate.

"We are not anticipating, in the short term, having a branch of the university there," Burger says of the office approved this year by President William R. Brody. "We are looking at initiating specific partnerships and collaborations. Depending on the success of the experiment," Burger adds, "we might well replicate that model in other parts of the world."

Steve McClain (MA '74, PhD '79), vice provost for academic planning and budget, will fly to Germany in January to head up the office for three years; he will serve as the university's liaison and hire one assistant. During the fall, McClain spoke to faculty and administrators across the university's campuses to gather ideas. Among the office's goals: to make contact with European-based alumni. Says McClain: "We want to involve more of our European alumni, and bring them into the academic community."

The office will be the first of its kind for Hopkins. All departments of the university could take part in exploring the new connections. For example, Berlin could become a launch pad for European long-distance learning programs via computers and video links from Baltimore or elsewhere--conceivably in medicine, engineering, business, and other areas.

"Peabody [Institute] also is very interested in developing partnerships with excellent music academies in Western Europe," Burger says. "Or taking the music example further, one might also imagine doing master's classes through video technology."

Hopkins's Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), which already operates the Bologna Center in Italy and the Hopkins-Nanjing Center in China, is also looking at ways to expand its study of European politics. And Hopkins's German Department, a central player in the creation of the office, hopes to explore collaborative research projects for faculty, and German studies opportunities for its students, as well as recruit international students and postdoctoral fellows.

"I see this as part of a general process of internationalization taking place at the university," says David Wellbery, chairman of the German Department. Wellbery points out that Hopkins has Germanic roots. Hopkins was founded nearly 125 years ago on a German research model. "And President [Daniel Coit] Gilman studied at Humboldt University," Wellbery says. --Joanne Cavanaugh Simpson

Peabody's Sirota is aiming to give the conservatory a presence beyond its traditional block.
Photo by
Louis Rosenstock
A new front door on Mt. Vernon

Peabody Institute has embarked on an ambitious project to reconfigure its campus. Director Robert Sirota wants to counteract what he has called the "penitentiary effect" of the current closed block, and open Peabody to the burgeoning Mt. Vernon neighborhood. The area surrounding Peabody is slated for $300 million in capital improvements of its own.

The master plan governing the changes calls for a new public entrance at what is now the entrance to the George Peabody Library, which currently opens into a small lobby. Construction crews will break through the back wall of the lobby to create a glassed-in, multistory atrium that will extend to the plaza inside the Peabody complex, creating a spacious commons area.

Concertgoers will no longer have to find their way along the labyrinthine path from the Peabody Garage, to the subterranean box office, and into Friedberg Concert Hall. Instead, new elevators will ferry them from the garage into the new atrium, which will house the Rouse Visitor's Center, equipped with a box office and information booth.

And there's more: the plan includes renovations to East Hall, possibly turning it into a public performance space, and extensive work on Schapiro House. Restoration of the latter's facade was completed this past summer. "These changes will greatly enhance our facilities for performance and rehearsal, while improving public access to concerts and events," says Sirota. Toward that end, a new, more user-friendly box office is in the works.

Peabody also has extended its complex across Centre Street to the south, acquiring three buildings for offices, space for spin-off technology companies arising out of Peabody Ventures, a piano showroom, and a recently opened book and music store.

"This gives us a presence beyond Peabody's traditional block, and creates a new center of activity on Centre Street," says Sirota. "The major work ahead, of creating a new front door on Mt. Vernon, will greatly enhance the sense that all of Mt. Vernon is a cultural campus."

Peabody has received significant funding from the Rouse Foundation and other donors. Sirota projects the cost of the complete project at $10 million, and says that $2 million has been raised already; for work to proceed on schedule, the institute must raise an additional $2 million in the next 18 months. If the renovation work and additional fundraising proceed as planned, construction could begin during the 2002-03 school year. --Dale Keiger

Floyd leaves his mark

Picture at right:
Photo by Patrick Deem
Johns Hopkins News-Letter
Hurricane Floyd swept up the East Coast and hit Hopkins on September 17, uprooting about 20 trees on the Homewood campus. One of these trees crushed three unoccupied cars in a parking lot by Garland Hall, and another fell into the freshman dormitory, AMR I. Fortunately, no one was hurt--the tree crashed through a bathroom window around 5:30 p.m., when most students were at dinner.

A third tree narrowly missed hitting a car driven by President William R. Brody, with his wife Wendy. The couple was driving behind Gilman Hall when they found the roadway ahead blocked off by orange cones. Just as Brody put the car in reverse to turn around, the tree started its descent in front of them, as if in "slow motion," the president reported afterward. --Barbara J. Kiviat '01

Hopkins student charged with rape

Hopkins all-America lacrosse goalie Brian Carcaterra was arrested September 20, charged with second-degree rape and second-degree assault. The alleged assault was on a female Hopkins student at her apartment near the Homewood campus. At press time, Carcaterra had been released on $25,000 bond and was to appear at a preliminary hearing on October 21.

According to the police report of the incident, Carcaterra socialized with the alleged victim and her roommate in a local bar at around 1:45 a.m. The three later bought a bottle of wine and returned to the women's apartment. The next morning, says the report, the alleged victim woke up unclothed and realized she could not remember events of the previous night, including Carcaterra staying over in her room. She and her roommate became concerned that they may have ingested contaminated wine and that an assault may have taken place. They went to the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, where tests revealed recent sexual activity on the part of the alleged victim. Police officers interviewed the women and concluded that the evidence was consistent with rape.

Police took wine glasses, described in the report as containing a sediment of some kind, from the women's apartment for a toxicological examination. No report had been issued at press time.

Hopkins President William J. Brody issued a university-wide statement after the incident. Said Brody, "The university takes very seriously the issue of assaults on students. Alcohol in particular is a serious problem on all college campuses, including Hopkins, and we have spoken both with our words and our actions about the importance of controlling alcohol abuse. We have done so not only because of its deleterious health effects, but equally because alcohol abuse can so easily lead to the abuse of others."

Brody's statement continued, "The university does not hesitate to pursue disciplinary action for violations of the student conduct code. We have punished students who commit acts of violence, and we try to identify high-risk students for proactive counseling to prevent such odious acts from occurring." Carcaterra could face Hopkins disciplinary action should his alleged victim pursue a complaint with the university. --DK

John Christ
Major league prospects

If the major leagues don't pan out for John Christ '99, there's always grad school.

Christ was the 38th-round pick of the Cleveland Indians in the 1999 major league draft, and is now playing for the Burlington Indians, Cleveland's rookie league in North Carolina. This past summer, he also won an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, becoming the first baseball player in Hopkins history to earn the $5,000 award for graduating students who are top scholars and athletes.

One of the most prolific hitters in Blue Jay history, Christ closed out his baseball career at Hopkins setting school records in several statistical categories: career batting average (.422), runs scored (163), hits (232), doubles (50), RBIs (181), and home runs (35). As pitcher, he made 184 strikeouts. The mechanical engineering major was also a two-time First Team GTE Academic All-American. His GPA: 3.5.

Christ can defer the graduate scholarship for up to five years, which he intends to do. "Right now, it's baseball," he says. "It all depends on how long it takes to reach my goal of making it to the major leagues, where I hope I'll have a long career." --JCS

De Angelis named editor of JAMA

Catherine De Angelis, vice dean at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, has been named editor of the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association. She is the first woman to hold that post in the journal's 116-year history.

De Angelis, a professor of pediatrics and editor since 1993 of the AMA's Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, will begin work at the Chicago-based journal on January 1, but says she will return to Hopkins once a month to teach and do research.

In an interview with the Baltimore Sun, De Angelis said she agreed to take the position only after receiving assurances that the AMA would not meddle in editorial decisions. "Editorial freedom is essential. I have no doubt that editorial freedom will be the byword," she said, at an October 8 press conference announcing her appointment.

The controversy surrounding editorial independence arose at JAMA last January when longtime editor George Lundberg was fired after the journal published an article about the sexual attitudes of college students; it coincided with President Clinton's impeachment trial. The AMA's executive vice president, E. Ratcliffe Anderson, said he felt Lundberg inappropriately injected the journal into a political debate.

De Angelis will report on editorial matters to an oversight committee of seven experts from outside the AMA and one from within--a safeguard put in place after Lundberg's firing.

Published 48 times a year, JAMA has a circulation of 360,000 in 148 countries, making it the largest of any English-language medical journal. It also has 17 international editions in 12 languages distributed in 43 countries to more than 390,000 recipients. --Sue De Pasquale

Biomedical engineering breaks ground

Hopkins administrators removed a first ceremonial shovelful of dirt from a sports field next to Garland Hall in October to commence construction of Clark Hall. The state-of-the-art research and teaching center for biomedical engineering will provide 55,000 gross square feet of laboratory and classroom space at an expected cost of $18.5 million.

While biomedical engineering is the largest undergraduate program, until now most of the department's facilities have been in East Baltimore. The new Georgian-style building will be named after university trustee A. James Clark, head of the Clark Construction Group, who donated $10 million toward development of the center. Construction is expected to be completed by summer 200. (For more on the Homewood campus's changing face, this issue's Editor's Note.)

And the survey says...

Johns Hopkins vaulted into the top 10, climbing from 14th to 7th, in U.S. News and World Report's annual ranking of the best undergraduate universities. Caltech earned the top spot in the survey of 228 national universities, followed by Harvard and MIT.

U.S. News based its ranking on indicators of academic quality such as graduation rate, financial resources, and class size. Hopkins's rank improved, in part, because the magazine adjusted its statistical method for calculating financial resources, or the per-student spending on teaching, research, and other education-related services. Hopkins ranked third in the financial resources category.

Administrators were pleased that Hopkins made the top 10, but also noted the limitations of any college rating system. Says director of admissions Paul White, "Students need to visit the school, take a tour, interview, spend a night, attend a class. To determine where a student should go to school based on these data is rather superficial." -- Melisssa Hendricks

A European tour for women's soccer

The Hopkins women's soccer team made its first-ever preseason jaunt to Europe in August, playing six town-sponsored club teams in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The Jays split the games, winning three and losing three.

"They were a lot better than we'd thought," says senior cocaptain Kathleen Hanlon. "Because the U.S. had just won the women's World Cup, we thought the U.S. had better soccer. It was surprising that they were so strong and fast."

Says Blue Jays coach Leo Weil: "I was pleased overall with the way we played. We were really impressed with the speed of some of their players, but we held our own."

The team had hoped that the European competition would ensure a fast start to its regular season. Alas, the Jays got off to a rocky beginning, dropping their first two matches to College of New Jersey and Rochester. But at press time they had rebounded and rolled to 10 victories and a draw in the next 11 matches. --BJK