Johns Hopkins Gazette: May 13, 1996

The Student Council
Faculty Awards

Krieger School of
Arts and Sciences

Commitment to Undergraduate Research

Patricia Fernandez-Kelly, research scientist
Institute for Policy Studies
Patricia Fernandez-Kelly knows she has a strong personality.

"I'm the kind of person that you either like me a lot or you hate me," she said recently. "I don't elicit tepid emotions."

Some of her students, it seems, agree.

"It means a lot to me," she said. "I've received other citations; I have others for teaching. But this one they did very nicely, from the Student Council."

Fernandez-Kelly said she sponsors between 10 and 15 research projects and independent studies each year. She encourages students to get involved in community projects, she said.

"One of the things I've always loved about Johns Hopkins, it is an institution of advanced studies, one of few truly committed to scholarly pursuits," she said. "This graduate institution extends its hospitality to undergrads. It appreciates and tries to develop undergraduate talents.

"I'm convinced that beyond the valuable knowledge of books is that which is obtained from firsthand experience, from talking to people," she added.

A few years ago, Fernandez-Kelly said, she had some students who were very judgmental about teen pregnancies. She suggested they "interview the experts," that is, teenage mothers.

"It did not change their values, but their judgments of the teenage women involved did change," she said. "Some kids who get pregnant tend to be like themselves, with dreams, goals and values. They hadn't realized that before."

Senior political science major Daniyal Zuberi, who nominated Fernandez-Kelly for the award, said knowing her has changed his life.

"I know it sounds like a cliche, but she's been a great influence on me," Zuberi said. "She's had an impact on my life.

"During my four years at Hopkins, I personally have not come across a professor with a greater commitment to undergraduate education both in and out of the classroom," Zuberi wrote in his nomination of Fernandez-Kelly. "All the other undergraduates I know who either have or are working with Dr. Fernandez-Kelly on various research projects have highly praised her support."

Zuberi also said Fernandez-Kelly's availability to students impressed him.

"She actually has office hours all day Friday," he said. "But she's really flexible. People just mob her after class."

Fernandez-Kelly has been a Charles Village resident for the past 10 years; she is a neighbor to many of her students.

"Undergraduate students have a tendency to behave exactly how we think subsidized housing dwellers live," she said. "The wording is very important here. People think they create pollution, noise, litter and drinking. The reality is that these are very successful people, but they think of their residency as temporary.

"I would like to see some series of initiatives that students become more invested in this neighborhood," she said. "When they realize what a wealth of history we have in this neighborhood, the more they will appreciate it."

Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

Guy McKhann, professor
Department of Neurology
Director, Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute

Guy McKhann was named director of the Mind/Brain Institute when it opened in 1987. Interim president Daniel Nathans was then a faculty member in the School of Medicine and headed the search committee for the institute's first director. Nathans praised McKhann as "somebody with a great deal of breadth and openness to new ideas."

After getting the interdisciplinary program on its feet, hiring research faculty and developing the graduate program, he recently turned his attention to undergraduate education. He was a major force behind organizing the first undergraduate course entitled Introduction to the Human Brain, which--along with his teaching--has been very well received.

Excellence in Faculty Advising

Beverly J. Silver, assistant professor
Department of Sociology

Beverly Silver's award came as a bit of a surprise to her. She was at UCLA as a visiting scholar during last week's awards ceremony.

Silver is, however, happy to receive recognition from the students she has worked with for the past four years at Hopkins.

"I really appreciate that they saw the efforts I was making as being valuable to them," she said.

As chair of undergraduate studies in Sociology, Silver said she has attempted to involve undergraduate students more fully in the "intellectual and social life of the department." She also has been able to arrange research projects and internships for students after spending time with them, she said.

"I try and listen to what it is that they're interested in, and encourage them to make the best use of their time at Hopkins," she said.

Whiting School
of Engineering

Commitment to Undergraduate Research

Cila Herman, assistant professor
Cila Herman guides engineering students in lab research involving heat transfer.

Her award for commitment to undergraduate research "came as a complete surprise," said Herman, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering. "That's very important to me, that it came from a student organization. I have many students who work with me in the lab. Several of them have gotten awards, and I guess they nominated me."

Helping students to conduct outstanding research is a high priority to Herman, and some of her undergraduates have had their work published in scientific journals. "I'm totally proud of my students," she said. "They are very important to me. I'm very happy that message gets through."

About two years ago, Herman demonstrated her dedication to the students by obtaining $10,000 to set up a heat transfer education and research lab specifically for undergraduates. The Latrobe Hall lab is now operational.

"This setup was designed and built by undergraduates," she said proudly.

Herman also works with undergraduates in her own research lab, where she is developing new ways to move heat away from electronic equipment, including computers.

She is also working on an innovative refrigerator that uses sound waves to keep things cool, a method that promises to be more friendly to the environment than using conventional refrigerants.

In addition, she recently received a grant from NASA to experiment with electric fields as a way to cause bubbles to move during boiling in the weightless conditions of outer space.

In her research, Herman sometimes produces a visual record of temperature distribution through holographic interferometry, a process that involves lasers, cameras and high-speed film.

Herman grew up in Yugoslavia, where she earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering in 1982 and a master of science degree in control engineering in 1988, both from the University of Novi Sad. In 1992, she received her doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Hannover in Germany. She joined the Hopkins faculty in December of that year.

Herman, whose first name is pronounced "Chilla," is fluent in Hungarian, Serbocroat and German, as well as English. She also speaks some French and Spanish.

She was honored primarily for work with undergraduates who conducted research at Hopkins during the fall semester. Much of the credit should go to the high caliber of engineering students with whom she worked, Herman said. "I was lucky," she said. "They were very good."

Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

Roger Ghanem, assistant professor
Department of Civil Engineering

Although he only joined the faculty last September, Ghanem was quickly recognized for his teaching skills in a course called Theory of Structures. "I was elated," he says of the teaching award. "It's a testament from the students, saying they thought they learned something from the course."

Ghanem was educated at the American University of Beirut and Rice University.

Excellence in Faculty Advising

Lawrence Schramm, professor
Department of Biomedical Engineering

As a faculty adviser, Lawrence P. Schramm tries to help students work their way through a very complicated curriculum in biomedical engineering. "The program has a lot of options," he said. "Making those decisions and choosing among those options is a major learning experience for students."

Schramm, who advises about 25 undergraduates annually, is a professor of biomedical engineering, a professor of neuroscience and director of the biomedical engineering doctoral program. He was educated at Haverford College and the University of Rochester. He joined the Hopkins faculty in 1970.

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