About The Gazette Search Back Issues Contact Us    
The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University December 20, 2004 | Vol. 34 No. 16
MLK Jr. Community Service Awards

Monica Taylor
Patient financial coordinator,
Patient Financial Services
The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Monica Taylor, a patient financial coordinator at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, has been involved since 1989 with the Young Folks and Friends Union of the House of God Church in Baltimore, where she coordinates multicultural enrichment programs and activities that motivate and build self-esteem for the youth to become contributing members and leaders of society. In 2001, the church recognized Taylor as Youth Worker of the Year.

In addition, Taylor recently received an award for her dedication to Build the Dream, for which she raised nearly $2,000 to help construct a national memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington, D.C. She also has been recognized for her commitment to the Hopkins Bond to Bond Career Development Youth Mentoring Program.


Darryl Stephens
Special response officer,
Corporate Security
The Johns Hopkins Hospital

When a house fire claimed the lives of five of eight family members in his East Baltimore community nine years ago, Darryl Stephens, a special response officer at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, rallied around the surviving members by beginning a restoration program to provide the family with money, clothing, food and shelter. Today, Stephens continues to coordinate with local markets and stores to provide food and supplies for other community members in need.

Through his church, Stephens began a tutoring program in which he mentors people to become productive citizens. In addition, he sponsors free community cookouts to bring his neighborhood together in an effort to share fun and fellowship.


Valerie Whitaker
Protective services officer,
Corporate Security
The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Valerie Whitaker, a protective services officer at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, shares her positive outlook on life by dividing her volunteerism between two organizations in the Park Heights community where she lives.

For eight years, Whitaker has assisted her minister and the Gospel Messengers International Outreach Ministry with a soup kitchen and fund-raising activities for the homeless, addicts and senior citizens of the community. Whitaker also coordinates special events and discussions for the ministry's children, and manages secretarial responsibilities. To expand her efforts, Whitaker attended money management and counseling classes so that she could help couples with budgeting and household management. During the holiday months, Whitaker coordinates food collection, assembly and delivery of Thanksgiving and holiday baskets for housebound and needy families of the Power House Church of Praise.


Maura Walden
Director of corporate training and community relations
Johns Hopkins HealthCare

Community service has always been an important part of Maura Walden's professional and personal life. Inspired as children by their mother, Walden and her nine siblings participated in many volunteer activities. Nowadays, Walden often involves her own children.

In her professional career, Walden, who is director of corporate training and community relations for Johns Hopkins HealthCare, not only identifies opportunities of need in the local community, she volunteers in many of these efforts herself. A number of special events and educational activities have been implemented at North Glen Elementary School, thanks to Walden's dedication.

Active in Anne Arundel County initiatives, Walden is co-founder of the Anne Arundel County Mentoring Roundtable and an active member of Leadership A.A., the A.A. County Board of Education Community Collaboration Committee and the North County Business Advisory Board.


Polly Walker
Research associate, Environmental Health Sciences, and associate director, Center for a Livable Future
Bloomberg School of Public Health

Polly Walker, a research associate in the Bloomberg School of Public Health and associate director of the Center for a Livable Future, has volunteered since 1998 with the Rose Street Community Center and initiated its tutoring program, for which she matches and supervises Public Health student volunteers who tutor children from the center.

Walker has utilized her professional experience to help the center achieve national recognition and funding. Thanks to a nomination from Walker, Rose Street leaders won the Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leadership Award, which included a $120,000 prize to continue their volunteer efforts in East Baltimore.

During the holidays, Walker coordinates an annual collection of gifts and food for donation to needy families. She is currently involved with the creation of a food security coalition to try to improve neighborhood access to healthy and affordable foods.


Philip Leaf
Professor, Department of Mental Health
Bloomberg School of Public Health

As one of the world's most widely cited psychiatric researchers, Philip Leaf knows the importance of breaking the cycle of violence that plagues many families and communities.

Leaf initiated the Child Development-Community Policing Program, a partnership between the Baltimore Police Department, the Johns Hopkins Department of Psychiatry and Baltimore's neighborhoods. This unique program trains community members, mental health professionals and police officers to respond to incidents of violence as they occur, with an immediate goal of assisting children to heal.

Leaf, a professor in the School of Public Health, also is working with the Maryland State Department of Education and Sheppard Pratt Health System to train teachers and administrators from all school systems in Maryland to implement more positive and supportive learning environments in schools. In addition, he is working with a number of family groups to support families with youth involved with the juvenile justice system.


Jennette Logan
Research nurse, program supervisor
Pediatric Immunology, School of Medicine

Jennette Logan uses her professional experience as a research nurse in the School of Medicine to educate families in impoverished neighborhoods throughout Baltimore City about the seriousness of asthma and the changes family members can make in their homes to combat the deadly disease.

Each year, Logan coordinates Thanksgiving baskets as well as blanket, coat and school supply drives for the needy. Sometimes digging deep into her own pockets, she also conducts toy drives for the less fortunate and for those children whose parents are incarcerated.

Logan is the founder of Sister Talk, for youth between the ages of 12 and 16, and of Spiritual Sister Sircle, a woman's group meant to encourage prayer and fellowship for all women willing to learn how to live a godly life.


John Shearin
Support services technician,
Finance and Administration
The Johns Hopkins University

As a preacher, Sunday school teacher of teens and head of the evangelical ministry of the Mount Pleasant Church of Ministries, John Shearin engages in many volunteer efforts that serve his church. Shearin also conducts evangelical outreach by preaching and donating needed items to low-income communities throughout Maryland.

Over the years, Shearin has mentored more than 50 young men, knowing that taking the time for simple activities such as going out for pizza can create a lasting bond in a child's life. He uses those opportunities to impart knowledge and create teaching moments while developing strong ties with the boys that often last into their adulthood.


Rochelle Ingram
Associate professor and director,
Urban School Partnerships

Rochelle Ingram of SPSBE, an associate professor and director of Urban School Partnerships, works determinedly for educational equality for all children regardless of their socioeconomic or ethnic background. Championing the development of high-quality teachers and administrators in Baltimore City, the state of Maryland and throughout the nation, Ingram has done extensive work to recruit and prepare educators to become change agents in urban schools.

As chair of the Leadership Development Task Force for the Baltimore City Public School System, Ingram is responsible for guiding university and business leaders in developing programs that support the career development of BCPSS educators. She helped develop the BCPSS principal intern immersion program, which prepares underrepresented minorities to become effective principals.

Nationally, Ingram has helped craft national standards in teacher education and diversity through her work with the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.


The Gazette | The Johns Hopkins University | Suite 540 | 901 S. Bond St. | Baltimore, MD 21231 | 443-287-9900 |