Letters from the Chairs

Heather Murphy and Karen Gosnell, 2009-2010

Johns Hopkins Women’s Network Members,

The JHWN has gone through some changes since its inception in 1987 when it was then known as the Women’s Forum. These changes were necessary to adjust to the growth and changing climate at the various Johns Hopkins institutions. The Steering Committee Co-Chair and I have been assessing the climate and needs of the institution over the past year, which included meeting with key individuals within senior management and reviewing our charter and activities. In summary, what we concluded from this assessment is that the JHWN is indeed relevant. It is necessary to continue to improve the status of women, and thereby the human climate, in all divisions of the Johns Hopkins institution. Our mission will not change, however, workloads have increased and resources are tighter requiring new strategies for carrying out our mission. Our structure and activities require some adjustments to meet the current size of the institution and different needs across the divisions. The following is an outline of the changes forthcoming:

Changes to Our Structure
The Steering Committee will no longer be comprised of the chairpersons of committees at each chapter. Instead, a committee of approximately 5-6 members will conduct the planning of activities and communications across the institution. Full committees at each campus are no longer practical or necessary to carry out our mission. Instead, a point of contact at each campus will comprise a network of individuals for communication across the campuses. We will try to leverage technology and social networking tools to improve communications across the campuses. Visit the JHWN LinkedIn site via the JHWN website. Instead of a call for nominations, a call for volunteers will go out to the various campuses so that those who would like to participate in making the changes necessary across the Johns Hopkins institutions will be able to participate.

Changes to Activities
We have historically held an annual Spring Luncheon, with the APL, Bayview, East Baltimore and Homewood campuses taking turns sponsoring the lunch at their respective locations. One of the purposes of the luncheon is to recognize women across the institution for their accomplishments in leadership. It is important to bring the network together at least once a year to remind and reenergize our membership about our mission while recognizing those women who have made a significant impact in the Hopkins community. Though we decided to forego the Spring Luncheon in 2010 while assessing the status of JHWN, we are beginning the planning for the annual event for 2011. The Women’s Leadership Awards will be presented at that event. Previously, the Awards have been limited in the past to only one recipient per campus, making it very difficult to compete among the many nominations. The awards will now be two per campus - one for staff and one for faculty or management. The details of the annual event and awards process still need to be worked out by the Steering Committee.

We plan to reform the Steering Committee with new members in January and begin planning activities. If you are interested in serving on the committee, please contact Heather Murphy or Karen Gosnell by January 3, 2011.

Wishing you all a safe and enjoyable holiday time,
Heather Murphy and Karen Gosnell

Heather Murphy and Karen Gosnell, 2008-2009

The Hopkins Women's Network Welcomes You.

This year our hopes and dreams are that the Women’s Network creates a splendid, beneficial and supportive environment for all that work on the many campuses of Johns Hopkins. The various activities across the divisions bring together a community of interests, looking out for the welfare and professional development of women in one of the most dynamic and prestigious institutions in the world. We invite you to join the activities to help fulfill our mission to improve the status of women, and thereby the human climate, in all divisions of the University.

The Steering Committee and Chapter Members, who represent each of you from the campuses of the Applied Physics Lab (APL), Bayview Medical Center, JHMI-Broadway and Homewood are meeting quarterly to discuss a variety of personal and professional factors, and how as a group we can support the Hopkins members in resolution and/or approaches to these factors. Together, we will fulfill the purposeful missions that have been allocated to us as a group, as well as us as individuals. Again, thanks to our mentor, Dr. Pam Cranston for her resolve and steady guidance.

Our current Network membership has a total of 3,587 subscribers. In our effort to bring women from all over Johns Hopkins together we have made meaningful contributions through our Community Outreach Program. For the Fall Drive 2008 we once again collected food for the Bayview’s Emergency Food Closet. APL collected over one ton of women’s professional clothing for two local organizations, Suited for Change and Success in Style. The Community Outreach Spring Drive in the past has been the collection of toiletry items that have gone to a variety of non-profit organizations in the area. A selection for Spring 2009 has not been determined. Any ideas or suggestions can be sent to our Steering Committee Community Outreach Chair.

The Spring 2009 Luncheon is scheduled for May 2009 at the APL campus. The 2009 Women's Leadership Awards, recognizing four outstanding women leaders at Johns Hopkins, will be presented at the Spring Luncheon. We would like to congratulate the winners of last year’s awards, and look forward to discovering examples set by the nominees for this upcoming year. Thanks for all that you do, not only for the Hopkins Women’s Network, but for all the daily activities that require your devotion, loyalty, guidance and strength.

With warm wishes,
Heather Murphy
Chair, 2008-2009

Karen Gosnell
Co-Chair, 2008-2009

Maria Stockton-Porter, 2007-2008

Welcome and greetings from the steering committee of the Johns Hopkins University Women's Network. During this past year, as I've had the opportunity to work with many talented and dedicated women through this organization, I've developed a deeper appreciation of the strength of commitment of the Johns Hopkins community, and of the Women's Network. Together, we have fulfilled purposeful missions and realized goals - thanks to the resolve of our membership and the steady guidance of our mentor, Dr. Pam Cranston.

Since last year's luncheon, the steering committee has hosted membership drives on each campus, bringing our total membership - in our chapters at the Applied Physics Lab, Bayview Medical Center, Homewood campus, and at Johns Hopkins Medicine sites all over Maryland - to 3,300. In our effort to bring women from all over Johns Hopkins together to make meaningful contributions to the community, we collected nearly two tons of food for Bayview's emergency food closet and, in another project, we provided a year's worth of toiletry supplies for Project PLASE, a Baltimore non-profit organization that offers services to homeless adults. Within the Women's Network, the steering committee focused on updating the organization's bylaws, structure, and strategic goals so we can continue to take work on behalf of the women of Johns Hopkins and offer the best and most relevant services and opportunities to all.

The 2008 Women's Leadership Awards, recognized four outstanding women leaders at Johns Hopkins, each of whom has made a powerful and lasting contribution to our community. On behalf of the Women's Network, I thank our nominees for their leadership, dedication, and example. And, to everyone gathered today, thank you for supporting our shared mission and the Johns Hopkins University Women's Network today and throughout the year.

Maria Stockton-Porter
Chair, 2007-2008

(return to top of page)

Noelia Cantu and Valerie Mazza, 2005-2007

As newly-elected Co-Chairs of the Women's Network, we would like to welcome you to the 19th Annual Spring Luncheon and Women's Leadership Awards Ceremony. As you know, the previous Chair, Robin Newcomb led this organization for six years and while we have "big shoes to fill" we are confident that with your support, this powerful network will continue to grow and strengthen. We appreciate the opportunity to build on the foundation of our predecessors as we move into our twentieth year. No longer in our teens, we are looking forward to expanding our membership and addressing issues that are of concern to all members of the Hopkins community.

We would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of all of the women who laid the groundwork and promoted the growth and expansion of the Women's Network. We are also grateful for the institutional support from the Hopkins leadership and consider it a privilege to serve such worthwhile organizations.

We are proud to share, with each and every one of you, our passion in advancing this great endeavor. Most importantly, we hope that you are inspired to contribute your special talents toward enriching the lives of your fellow JHUWN members and campus community. A small commitment to support a good cause can make a big difference in someone's life. We encourage you to become involved and help us to reinvigorate our Hopkins experience.

To quote Maya Angelou on the anniversary of Dr. Levi Watkins' thirty-fifth year at Hopkins, "How important it is to celebrate our heroes and she-roes!" Help us to not only celebrate our she-roes, but to elevate them to new heights both personally and professionally.

With much excitement and enthusiasm,

Noelia Cantu and Valerie Mazza

(return to top of page)

L. Robin Newcomb, 2002-2005

This past year marks the 18th Anniversary of the Johns Hopkins University Women's Network (JHUWN), years of change and growth.

The past seven years have been among the most enriching and stirring developments in the history of our organization. From the change in our name (JHU Women's Forum, to Hopkins Women's Network, to JHU Women's Network); we refocused our mission statement; expanding our active chapters; including more remote campuses; and most significantly the explosive growth of our membership from 180 to well over 4000.

With these seminal changes come the continued opportunities to enable our membership to expand the support network around them, and bring together a community of interest looking out for the welfare and professional development of women in one of the most dynamic and prestigious institutions in the world. Helping our organization come to this stage has been monumental and among the greatest privileges of my career. As a natural part of organization, the torch of leadership needs to be shared and passed on to a new generation that will steer our community in new directions and to new heights. My hope is that you will continue to work together and take the steps needed to fulfill the organization's mission of supporting each other and ensuring our success.

For myself, I started volunteering for the JHUWN as an opportunity to expand my skill set and to meet new people who knew that chapter programs coordinator would lead to the steering committee? Moving to a less visible position in the organization will allow others to take the reigns of leadership.

So, I urge each of you, take a step within the JHUWN organization and see how you can help shape our community. As for myself, "two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." 1

Be safe in your travels,

L. Robin Newcomb
Chair, 1999-2005

1 The Road Not Taken - by Robert Frost, 1874 - 1963

(return to top of page)

L. Robin Newcomb, 1999-2001

This past year marks the 14th Anniversary of The Johns Hopkins University Women's Network. We have much to be proud of this year. We have not only expanded the size of our general membership, but also have increased the active participation of our current membership. We continue to provide numerous opportunities for networking, as well as for personal and professional enrichment, for members of The Johns Hopkins University system. In addition, we continue to reach out to the community-at-large. Our campaign for the House of Ruth remains one of our most ambiguous and well-supported initiatives.

Members of The Johns Hopkins Women's Network have made cracks in the "glass ceiling" and have learned to utilize the "old boy's network" to their advantage. Many of us are providing the rungs for which others shall climb the ladder to greater opportunities. We have made great strides to reach individual and collective goals, and although great progress has been achieved, we each recognize that there are "...promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep."1

1Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening - by Robert Frost, 1923.

(return to top of page)

Cindy Abel, 1998-1999

I joined the JHU Women's Network after being at Johns Hopkins for only one month. The membership director for the Homewood campus brought me to a meeting the first week I was on campus. After expressing interest in working on advocacy issues, I was contacted by Jude Brown-Bellamy (chair) and Debra Pearman (immediate past chair) to serve as the Senior Vice-Chair for Advocacy for the Women's Forum. Even though I was new to campus, I felt that I could bring a different perspective to the organization. One of the things that I brought to the Women's Forum was change. We decided to change the name of the organization from the Women's Forum to the Hopkins Women's Network and to update its mission to better reflect the new nature of the organization.

There have been many rewards of being chairperson of the JHU Women's Network. I learned to organize committee meetings and to speak in public for the organization. It was a wonderful experience being able to meet with women at other Hopkins campuses and to meet with the leadership of the university. It was truly rewarding to see policies that the HWN presented to the senior administration, such as the mentor program and a childcare program, be put into place at the university. I encourage more women to take a leadership role in the organization.

(return to top of page)

Jude Brown Bellamy, 1997-1998

(return to top of page)

Debra Pearman, 1996-1997

Initially, I joined the HWN because I was attracted by the idea that we could actually do something about the inequities in the University's education, treatment and compensation of female students, faculty and employees as compared to their male counterparts. I got more involved as I learned more about the issues affecting women at Hopkins, going from campus Advocacy chair to Chair of the whole organization in a few short years. I met wonderful, strong, talented women along the way. I learned quite a bit about the way the University worked and the dance that large organizations do to maintain the delicate balance of what is good for one group versus what is good for the organization.

My rewards? Well, the Women's Forum allowed me the opportunity to work on committees run by top administrators at Hopkins. I've met with the Provost, the Vice Presidents, and President Brody on a regular basis. I enjoyed getting to know these people on a more personal level, and getting to know the kinds of attributes and knowledge that got them where they are. I learned to speak in public, on stage, with cameras rolling. I learned how to run a committee and get it to take some action without taking forever. Mostly, I learned just what I could do. I learned that much more about who I am and the kind of woman I have the potential to be. That's priceless.

(return to top of page)