Johns Hopkins Gazette | March 30, 2009
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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University March 30, 2009 | Vol. 38 No. 28
In Brief


Foreign Affairs Symposium hosts upcoming panel discussions

The 2009 Foreign Affairs Symposium is bringing economic and environmental experts to the Homewood campus for two panel discussions, this week and next.

On Tuesday, March 31, the topic of discussion will be how the global economic crisis reached its current point and whether the measures being taken to resolve the crisis are enough. The panel will feature Robert Barbera, executive vice president and chief economist of Investment Technology Group and a professor of economics at Johns Hopkins; Albert Kyle, professor of economics at the University of Maryland; and Willem Buiter, professor of European political economy at the London School of Economics and columnist for The Financial Times.

On Monday, April 6, panelists will focus on the physical and mental toll that disasters such as Hurricane Katrina have on people and what can be learned from the way such crises were handled. Panelists are Brian McAdoo, associate professor of earth science at Vassar College; Jonathan Borak, a clinical professor of epidemiology and public health and associate clinical professor of medicine at Yale, and an adjunct associate professor of occupational medicine at Johns Hopkins; and Cami McCormick of CBS News, who has covered many catastrophic environmental disasters, including Katrina.

The events take place at 8 p.m. in the Glass Pavilion.


SAIS and CSIS to host water and agriculture conference

The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and the Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold a conference called "Water and Agriculture: Implications for Development and Growth" from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today, March 30.

John Briscoe, the Gordon McKay Professor of Practice of Environmental Engineering at Harvard, will give the morning keynote address, at 9:15 a.m., on "Availability, Distribution and Control of Water for Agriculture." Briscoe was previously the World Bank's senior water adviser and country director for Brazil.

At 3:15 p.m., Ger Bergkamp, general director of the World Water Council, will give the afternoon keynote address on "The Future of Water and Agriculture." Experts from international organizations, government, business, NGOs and academia will speak throughout the day.

To see the complete agenda and participate in the conference via live webcast, go to:

Part of SAIS's Year of Water initiative, the event is made possible with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


JHU junior is NCAA Men's Division III Swimmer of Year

Johns Hopkins junior John Thomas of Montrose, Colo., was named the NCAA Men's Swimmer of the Year at the NCAA Division III Men's Swimming and Diving Championships. Thomas led the Blue Jays to an 11th place finish at the championships held on Saturday, March 21.

Thomas swept both the 100 and 200 Backstroke titles, becoming the first to do so since 2001. And he did so in record-breaking fashion. On Friday morning, he earned the top seed in the finals of the 100 Back with an NCAA record time of 48.52; that night, he won his second career individual NCAA title with a finals time of 48.65. Thomas now owns the top-10 fastest times in the 100 Back in Johns Hopkins history.

Thomas followed that on Saturday with another record-breaking swim and successfully defended his title in the 200 Back. In the morning, he broke the NCAA record with a prelim time of 1:47.07, earning the top seed for the finals by nearly a second. Thomas turned it up in the finals that night, clocking in at 1:46.71 to break his record from the morning swim. He became the first swimmer to win back-to-back titles in the 200 Back since 2005 and the first to sweep both the 100 and 200 in the same year since 2001. He now owns eight of the 10 fastest times in the 200 Back in school history.

In addition to his exploits in the Backstroke event, Thomas also swam on and earned All-America honors on all five Johns Hopkins relay teams.


Local students participate in Johns Hopkins Robo-Challenge

Local middle- and high-school students will arrive at Homewood on Saturday, April 4, armed with robots and computers. Their mission: to take top honors in the Johns Hopkins Robo-Challenge.

There are four types of challenges: Petite Slalom, the Mystery Course, Tumor Search and Destroy, and Novel Use of the BOEbot. Competition and judging take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Glass Pavilion.


Cast your vote for summer's outdoor films at Homewood

The majority rules, and everyone can vote. JHU Summer and Intersession Programs has posted on its Web site a list of movies under consideration for this summer's free outdoor film festival, which begins on Friday, June 12.

To register your opinion, go to and click on the film series tab. The 10 options include Wall-E, The Dark Knight, Hairspray and The Princess Bride. The films are preceded by live music at 7:30 p.m. and will be shown just after sunset on select Friday nights through July 24.


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