Johns Hopkins Gazette | February 16, 2009
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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University February 16, 2009 | Vol. 38 No. 22

For the Record: Cheers

Cheers is a monthly listing of honors and awards received by faculty, staff and students plus recent appointments and promotions. Contributions must be submitted in writing and be accompanied by a phone number.


Applied Physics Laboratory

APL, the Maryland State Police and the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate were honored by Homeland Security for developing a technology to help aerial law-enforcement personnel inspect bridges, buildings and other important structures. The Secretary's Award for Team DHS Excellence, presented by then Secretary Michael Chertoff, recognized the group's work on the Critical Infrastructure Inspection Management System.


Bayview Medical Center

Kimberly Salabsky has been appointed assistant director of development. She previously was development coordinator for the Friends of Medicine program at the Fund for Johns Hopkins Medicine and has 13 years of experience in fund raising, marketing, sales and program development.

Gwenn Smith has been appointed director of Neuroimaging for the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry. Smith brings to the position more than 20 years of experience in developing and applying positron emission tomography neuroimaging methods in order to understand the neurochemical basis of Alzheimer's and psychiatric disorders, such as depression, that occur in late life. She will work with colleagues in that division, the departments of Neurology and Radiology, and the Division of Pathology at both JHH and Bayview to develop a neuroimaging program in the neurobiology of late-life depression and biomarkers for mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease. The goal is to promote early diagnosis and develop more effective treatments for these disorders. Smith received her doctorate in neuropsychology from the City University of New York and completed postdoctoral training at the Aging and Dementia Research Center of New York University School of Medicine and at the PET Program of Brookhaven National Laboratory.


Bloomberg School of Public Health

Thomas LaVeist, director of the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions and the William C. and Nancy F. Richardson Professor in Health Policy, has been named the recipient of the 2008 Health Disparities Innovation Award. The award is given annually by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, to an individual, group or organization that demonstrates extraordinary contributions in science, practice or policy toward the improvement of minority health or the elimination of health disparities. LaVeist was recognized for his ability to examine health disparities from a broad perspective; the innovative design of his study "Exploring Health Disparities in Integrated Communities," which controls for confounding socioeconomic and environmental factors; and his work creating the Cultural Competency Organizational Assessment-360, a tool for assessing the cultural competency of health care organizations. The award was presented in December at the NIH Summit: The Science of Eliminating Health Disparities awards banquet in National Harbor, Md.


Homewood Student Affairs

Ted Bresnahan, head coach of the Johns Hopkins water polo program, was named the Division III Coach of the Year by the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches. He also earned the national honor in 2005. During Bresnahan's 18-year tenure, the Blue Jays have won 11 Division III Eastern Championships.


Johns Hopkins Health System

Steven Kravet, assistant professor of medicine, deputy director of clinical activity in the Department of Medicine, and medical director for ambulatory services and chief officer for quality and patient safety at Johns Hopkins Bayview, has been appointed president of Johns Hopkins Community Physicians. Kravet, a practicing primary care physician, is a 16-year veteran of Johns Hopkins.


Johns Hopkins Medicine

Dalal Haldeman, vice president for marketing and communications, has been elected a director of the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Marketing Development of the American Hospital Association. The SHSMD is the largest organization of its kind in the nation and services health care planners, marketers and communications and public relations professionals.


Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

Research scientist Robert Balfanz and program developer Joanna Honig Fox, both of the Everyone Graduates Center at the Center for Social Organization of Schools, are among the co-authors of Grad Nation, a first-of-its-kind research-based toolkit for communities seeking to reduce their dropout rate and better support young people through high school graduation and beyond. The guidebook is part of America's Promise Alliance's Dropout Prevention campaign. Grad Nation, which is available free online at: is also supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bank of America and Chevron. Co-authors John Bridgeland and Mary McNaught are with Civic Enterprises.



Leisha Emens, assistant professor of oncology in the School of Medicine; James Leatherman, a School of Medicine research specialist; Joel Bader, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering in the Whiting School; and Jay Baraban, a professor of neuroscience in the School of Medicine, were recently honored for their work with the Beth Tfiloh Mentorship Scholars Program, which gives self-motivated high school students the opportunity to conduct original research during their junior and senior years under the supervision of an experienced scientist.

Cynda Rushton, an associate professor in the Department of Health Systems and Outcomes in the School of Nursing, and Gail Geller, a professor in the School of Medicine, are exploring the ethical challenges health professionals face while caring for children and families affected by life-threatening neuromuscular diseases. The interdisciplinary research project was facilitated by the Berman Institute of Bioethics and is funded through a grant from the Greenwall Foundation.


Peabody Institute

Phyllis Bryn-Julson, who chairs the Voice Department, and Paul Mathews, interim associate dean for academic affairs, who teaches music theory, co-wrote Inside Pierrot lunaire: Performing the Sprechstimme in Schoenberg's Masterpiece, recently published by The Scarecrow Press. Pierrot lunaire, generally translated as Moonstruck Pierrot, was written by Arnold Schoenberg in 1912 for singer-speaker and five instruments. Inside Pierrot lunaire is both a reference work for students and listeners and a handbook for performers of the Sprechstimme or "speech-voice."

Christopher Chen, a doctoral candidate in conducting who is studying with Gustav Meier, began a new position last month as artistic director of the Suzhou Science and Culture Centre, which opened in October 2007. Suzhou is a Yangtze River city in Jiangsu Province near Shanghai, China. Chen is also a professor and conductor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and music director and chief conductor at the Jiangsu Symphony Orchestra.

The New York premiere of composition faculty member Kevin Puts' Credo occurred in January at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall. Puts also wrote a new work in "response" to Mendelssohn's first and Beethoven's last string quartets; Lento Assai had its world premiere this month by the Cypress String Quartet at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.



Riordan Roett, the Sarita and Don Johnston Professor and director of Western Hemisphere Studies, has received the Order Bernardo O'Higgins, with the rank of Gran Oficial, from the government of Chili. The award, presented by Ambassador Mariano Fernandez Feb. 2 at the ambassador's residence, is named for Chile's independence leader and founding father and is one of the government's highest distinctions awarded to foreign citizens who have made valuable contributions to the country. Fernandez said that the award recognizes Roett's important role in assisting Chilean academics to escape persecution during the Pinochet era through his role as chairman of the Emergency Committee to Aid Latin American Scholars from 1973 to 1975.


School of Medicine

Brian Gibbs has been appointed the school's first associate dean for diversity and cultural competence. Gibbs, previously director of the program to eliminate health disparities at the Harvard School of Public Health's Department of Health Policy and Management, will concentrate on implementing the Johns Hopkins Medicine Diversity and Inclusion Vision 2020 Plan. The plan focuses on recruitment and retention of a diverse staff, cultural competency in patient care and eliminating disparities in quality of care and outcomes.

Khaled Abd-El Moniem, a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of MR Research in the Department of Radiology, was awarded first prize at the annual meeting of the International Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, held in January in Orlando, Fla. He won the Best Basic Science award as a young investigator. His work was titled "Phase-Sensitive Black-Blood Coronary Vessel Wall Imaging," and it enables the noninvasive visualization of the coronary artery vessel wall, a crucial step toward the identification of the vulnerable plaque.

Lillie Shockney, University Distinguished Service Assistant Professor of Breast Cancer and administrative director of the Johns Hopkins Breast Center, has been honored by her parents with a $1 million donation to establish a breast cancer fund at Johns Hopkins. The gift from Frank and Charmayne Dierker, of Chestertown, Md., recognizes the impact the disease has had on their daughter, who was first diagnosed with breast cancer 17 years ago. The donation will fund those who follow Shockney as administrative director of the breast center.


School of Nursing

Patricia Abbott, an assistant professor in the Department of Health Systems and Outcomes, has been selected as one of five national thought leaders for an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality workshop to be held March 2627 in Nashville, Tenn. Participants in the workshop include AHRQ, Partners HealthCare, Yale University School of Medicine, National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago and the Vanderbilt Center for Better Health.

Hae-Ra Han, an associate professor in the Department of Health Systems and Outcomes and a community health researcher, has been awarded a $2.7 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to explore tactics to improve cancer screening behaviors among Korean-American women. Han's expertise lies in reducing health disparities by implementing and evaluating community outreach programs in cancer control and cardiovascular health promotion for ethnic minorities.

Jacquelyn C. Campbell, a professor in the Department of Community Public Health, has been selected to join a group of 25 experts who will advocate for greater U.S. investment in global health research. They join 50 of their peers in Research!America's Paul G. Rogers Society for Global Health Research, a united effort to build a national conversation around the value and importance of U.S. funded global health research. The school has received two awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education District II for outstanding print and online publications: a silver Accolades Award for the Web site home page and a bronze award for the New Faces of Nursing: People, Places, and Possibilities viewbook.


University Administration

Aris Melissaratos, senior adviser to the president for enterprise development, will receive the 2009 William Donald Schaefer Industrialist of the Year Award from the Baltimore Museum of Industry. Melissaratos is being recognized for his commitment to Baltimore businesses and his efforts in promoting technology throughout the region. Before joining the university, where he has responsibilities for technology transfer, corporate partnerships and enterprise development, Melissaratos served as secretary of business and economic development for the state of Maryland. The award will be presented at a luncheon on June 11.


Whiting School of Engineering

A team consisting of Daniel Q. Naiman, professor and chair of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics; Don German, professor in Applied Mathematics and Statistics; Bahman Afsari, a graduate student in Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Aik Choon Tan, a former Biomedical Engineering postdoc, has won the 2008 ICMLA (International Conference on Machine Learning and Its Applications) Competition Award for submitting the best-performing machine-learning algorithm for classification of microarray data.


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