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Bottom Line
Vital Signs
Forever Altered
Up and Comer
Here and Abroad

Bottom Line

$31,620: The tuition rate for next year's full-time Johns Hopkins undergraduates at the schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering, marking a 4.9 percent increase ($1,480) over the academic year just ending. University administrators note that this is the fourth year in a row that the tuition increase was kept under 5 percent.

Nearly 50 percent of Homewood's 4,100 undergraduates will receive some form of need-based aid, according to Ellen Frishberg, director of student financial services, with some 40 percent receiving grant assistance from university funding. Financial assistance to undergrads from all sources — university funds, federal grants and loans, and private or other aid — is roughly $50 million.

Frishberg et al have been working hard to increase the grant portion of student financial aid packages — and reduce the loan portion — so that students don't graduate with debilitating debt. Last year's seniors left with an average $14,000 in student loan debt, a figure below the national average, Frishberg says.

Among the university's 18 peer institutions — which include the entire Ivy League and such universities as MIT, Stanford, and Chicago — Johns Hopkins ranked 12th in tuition rate in fiscal 2005.
— Sue De Pasquale

Let's say you did a cool thing-like scatter the quad with inflatable flamingoes or produce a campy commercial hawking a blender. Now you can share that cool experience with others on J-Stream, a new video-streaming Web site that uses innovative video technology to show everything from animated shorts to films of campus events. "Many schools have TV stations or something similar, but we had nothing of the sort," explains sophomore Daniel Morais, J-Stream's president. "Not only does it provide more opportunities for interested people like me to work on video production and post-production of our own J-Stream projects, but people get to see this stuff and submit their own projects, too." — MB


Course: Victorian Visual Technologies and
Text: Optical Culture, Spectacle, and the Literary Text

Instructor: Isobel Armstrong is a professor of English emerita at Birkbeck College, University of London, and one of this year's visiting John Hinkley Professors at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. Armstrong specializes in Romantic and Victorian literature, feminist criticism, and literary theory.

Course description: In the 19th century, glass-one of the oldest artificial materials in the world-became mass produced. That transformed ways of seeing and formed a new optical consciousness as the proliferation of innumerable combinations of the lens, the mirror, and the glass panel-such as the kaleidoscope, the magic lantern, and the stereoscope-changed the environment. Literal references to glass and the iconographies it created abound in fiction and poetry. This course aims to examine the immanent presence of optical culture in literary texts and the cultural meanings of the science of spectacle as explicated in popular print journalism.


Middlemarch, George Eliot (1872)

Alice Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll (1871)


"The City of Dreadful Night," James Thomson (1874)

"The Lady of Shalott," Alfred Tennyson (1832)

"Meeting at Night" and "Parting at Morning," Robert Browning (1845)

"Mirrors of Life and Death," Christina Rossetti (1881)

"The Moon Looks In," Thomas Hardy (1914)

Vital Signs

Early — and reliable — detection
A new study suggests that a blood protein associated with prostate cancer (EPCA, early prostate cancer antigen) can detect the cancer in its earliest stages, without the false positives that plague PSA testing. "This new blood test, when coupled with PSA screening, may help reduce the number of both unnecessary biopsies and undetected prostate tumors," says lead author Robert H. Getzenberg, director of research at Hopkins'
James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute. The study compared EPCA levels in 46 patients — some with prostate or other cancers, and some healthy — and found that the levels were high in 92 percent of prostate cancer patients, and low in all healthy individuals. Two bladder cancer patients and none of the others had elevated EPCA, suggesting that the test was correct 94 percent of the time. Larger clinical trials are under way to further refine the EPCA test and to verify its usefulness in a larger sample of patients. The study appeared in the May 15, 2005, issue of Cancer Research. — CP

Using math to match donors
A Hopkins surgeon has demonstrated an algorithm that promises to significantly improve paired donations of kidneys. Dorry L. Segev developed the algorithm with his wife, Sommer E. Gentry, an applied mathematician at MIT, to better match donor-recipient pairs. Many live donors want to help a friend or family member, but about one-third of patients cannot accept the kidney because of mismatched blood types or tissue incompatibility. Hopkins Hospital has been a pioneer in paired kidney donation, in which donor-recipient pairs are matched so that the donor from one pair gives a kidney to the recipient of the other pair, and vice versa. Segev and Gentry's study indicates that if only 7 percent of patients participated in a match program that used the algorithm, more patients would get transplants, and the U.S. health care system would save $750 million. The report appeared in the April 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. — DK


Some 6,131 students received their Johns Hopkins degrees, certificates, and diplomas on May 26, in a university-wide commencement ceremony that marked the close of the 129th academic year. Much of the pomp and pageantry surrounding the big event dates back to the 1300s, when universities were first being formed. . . .

University mace: The ebony staff carried by the chief marshal, this year the Bloomberg School's Robert Lawrence, who led the commencement processional. The Johns Hopkins University mace, first used in 1954 at Commemoration Day services, symbolizes academic authority and includes eight sterling silver symbols representing our cultural development from ancient times to the modern era.

Old gold and black (sable): The color of the silk lining of academic hoods worn by Johns Hopkins graduates. You'll have to look closely to differentiate Hopkins grads from Vanderbilt's (gold and black). The faculty procession is a veritable rainbow of colors, with professors sporting the colors of their own doctoral alma maters.

Apricot: The color of the velvet edging or binding on the hoods of those graduating with degrees in nursing. Not to be confused with the "salmon pink" on the hood borders of public health grads or the "gold-yellow" worn by those in science. Medicine grads wear green velvet, representing the color of herbs-another medieval tradition.

Velvet: Only those with doctoral degrees may wear caps made of this fabric.

Tassel: What would a mortarboard be without one of these? Attached to the cap's middle, they are customarily worn on the right, then shifted to the left once the degree is conferred. Bachelor's and master's grads must wear black; doctoral grads can wear gold.

Veritas vos liberabit: Johns Hopkins University's official motto: The truth shall make you free (John 8:32).

Forever Altered

Mentor, hero, inspiration: Hopkins teachers who have left their mark

"I first ran into Jack Greene when he was on vacation in Barbados, where I had been an undergrad at the University of the West Indies. At that point I was planning to go to the University of Florida to do my graduate studies in Caribbean history. But Jack talked to me about the history program at Hopkins, and his particular interest in the history of the Atlantic basin, and I realized he was the ideal person to work with.

"Jack was always very helpful and very attentive. But even though he gave all of us a lot of direction, he always left you enough room to try to find your own way, which was wonderful for those of us who required room to grow. During my first year he was doing research at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. I would take the train up to see him and talk about my work-we developed a wonderful connection.

"I never found Jack to be dogmatic. There was always room for innovative thinking, for reconceptualizing. He seemed always prepared to embrace new departures-to test them out to see whether we were on the right track.

"He is a very prolific writer, which set a good-if difficult-example for me. I used to tell him that when I look in the distance, I can see the dust he has raised as he moves forward and I try to catch up . . . but I think it's impossible.

"Jack always had many graduate students and he was so engaged with all of us that our work became his own. That kind of close identification is very important to students and it's something I try to practice with my own. It shows them how important it is for them to put forth their best effort always."

D. Barry Gaspar, A&S '74 (PhD), is professor of history at Duke University, where he has served on the faculty for 25 years. His research focuses on comparative slave systems, with a special interest in the development of slave society and the evolution of slave life in the U.S. and the Caribbean.

Up & Comer

Name: Susan G. Sherman
Age: 38

Position: Assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health

Stats: BA '89 in art history and literature from the University of Michigan; MPH '96 in health behavior and health education from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; PhD '00 in social and behavioral sciences from the Johns Hopkins University

Scouting report: "She's pretty courageous-taking on some very controversial topics, particularly surrounding HIV prevention and overdose prevention in injection drug users," says SPH epidemiology professor David Celentano. "It's a very real problem, and she's stepped up to the plate and committed herself to it."

Research: Sherman's work focuses on improving the health of marginalized populations. She conducts peer out-reach and social network-oriented behav-ioral interventions in Baltimore City, Thailand, and Pakistan. "I'm interested in social and environmental factors that influence risk behaviors, and how to change them in a meaningful way."

Combining passions: In 2003, Sherman, who loves to bead, conducted an HIV-prevention study in Baltimore that used the making and selling of jewelry to help women move away from their involvement in prostitution. "Having [their work] bought goes a long way toward helping their self-esteem," says Sherman. Now she and one of the women have started a jewelry business called Gems of Hope, aimed at getting women off the streets. The jewelry is sold at Baltimore's American Visionary Art Museum.

Mentor: Sherman names Celentano, Carl Latkin, and Chris Beyrer from Hopkins Public Health, then adds that her parents were the "ultimate original mentors" because they were always community-oriented. "They get what I do," she says. "My mother is one of the only people in Louisville, Kentucky, who can talk about harm reduction."


A cockroach scurries through the Johns Hopkins mechanical engineering building, feeling its way around the lab with its long antenna. But hold the Raid-this is a special bug, a robo-roach designed by Whiting School researchers.

Noah J. Cowan, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, began exploring the idea of building a robot that mimics a roach's navigational abilities when he was a postdoc at UC Berkeley. At Hopkins, he enlisted the help of undergrad Owen Y. Loh to refine the idea. Loh developed an advanced antenna capable of guiding the bug through dark and varied terrain.

Photo by Will Kirk

Advancing the effectiveness of the roach's antenna has been Loh's focus since 2003, when he began studying cockroach biology and creating antenna schematics. "I liked the idea of combining biology and robotics," he says. A 2004 Provost's Undergraduate Research Award enabled him to continue his work. His most recent version of the antenna uses six gages embedded within a flexible rubber material to feel its way around. When the antenna runs into a wall and bends, the gages sense the amount of resistance and transmit a corresponding voltage to a control center. The robot then determines its position and maneuvers around the obstacle.

Most robotic vehicles sent into dangerous situations-a dark, smoke-filled room, for example-depend on artificial vision or sonar to navigate their way. But robotic eyes don't do very well in low light, and polished surfaces can confuse a sonar system. Cowen believes that the cockroach robot will soon be sophisticated enough to perform in perilous situations, and that-by using a sense of touch-it will be an improvement over current robots. — Kathryn Hansen '05 (MA)

Here and Abroad

Johns Hopkins medical resident Anne Mullally spent a month this spring in Kampala, Uganda, providing direct care to hundreds of HIV/AIDS patients. The trip was part of a special Hopkins program at the Infectious Disease Institute (IDI), an AIDS treatment center affiliated with Hopkins and Kampala's Makerere University School of Medicine. Mullally treated patients and worked in the center's cancer clinic.

Also from Hopkins Medicine, Brian Krabak, a sports medicine and rehabilitation physician, was chosen as medical director for Gobi March 2005, a 150-mile race through China's Gobi Desert. In April, Krabak, Hopkins doc Brandee L. Waite, and physicians from several institutions were on hand to treat some of the world's most elite runners. "We have to be prepared to handle everything from blistered feet, sprained ankles, and torn ligaments to concussions and complex musculoskeletal injuries," Krabak said before the race.

Hopkins School of Nursing professor Fannie Gaston-Johansson has become the first nurse ever voted into the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences of Goteborg, Sweden, a scientific honor society composed of 100 Swedish scientists and 45 international scientists from different disciplines. Gaston-Johansson is director of the Center for Health Disparities Research at Nursing and also dean of the School of Health Sciences at Goteborg's Universitet.

Steven Baxter, former dean of Peabody Conservatory, has announced his retirement after a three-year stint as founding dean of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore. Established by Peabody for the National University of Singapore, the new conservatory welcomed its inaugural student class in August 2003. The Business Times of Singapore, after noting how much Baxter and his colleagues had to accomplish in a short period of time, wrote, "The results, it would seem, have been rather miraculous."


A Groovy Theory About Zinc Deposits
Near Red Dog, Alaska, is the world's largest deposit of zinc. No one knows how it got there, but Grant Garven, Hopkins professor of
Earth and Planetary Sciences, believes he may have an explanation, and it involves lava lamps. Garven, a hydrogeologist, says that millions of years ago the zinc existed below the floor of the Red Dog Basin, dissolved in hot, salty fluid. The fluid found vertical faults in the rock and roiled upward, similar to the motion of the colored globules in a lava lamp. As the fluid worked its way toward the sea floor, it saturated the black mud in the faults and mixed with sulfur-bearing fluids that precipitated zinc crystals in the mud. The mud eventually became the black shale that now contains the zinc deposits. Garven presented his studies April 29-May 1 at the annual meetings of the Cordillera Section of the Geological Society of America and the Pacific Section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

The Light Side of the Moon
Earth's moon, which doesn't even have a proper name like other planets' satellites, also lacks prime locations for resort properties. But a lunar base proposed by George W. Bush will have to be sited somewhere, and a group of scientists that includes D. Ben J. Bussey of the Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory believe they've found a good spot. Bussey and his colleagues examined 53 images produced by the Clementine lunar orbiter and produced a quantitative illumination map. After studying the map, they concluded that an area near the north rim of Peary Crater might be ideal. Close to the lunar north pole, it may bask in permanent sunlight, providing abundant solar energy and warming it to a balmy -58 degrees Fahrenheit (compared to -292 degrees in less hospitable regions), which would be much kinder to machinery. The scientists' findings were published in the April 14 issue of Nature. —DK


The Woodrow Wilson Undergraduate Research Program provides funding to Arts and Sciences undergraduates, enabling them to pursue independent research. Highlights from the research of two of the 27 fellows who graduated in May:

Brian C. Drolet '05, biophysics, "Hydrogen as a Secondary Energy Carrier in the United States Energy Infrastructure"
Can hydrogen be created from renewable energy sources like solar power and stored for later use in a fuel cell or furnace? It's expensive, but possible, Drolet concluded through his research, which included a trip to the International Hydrogen Conference in Toronto last fall. "I foresee the production of hydrogen gas from a clean, renewable energy source like solar power," he says. The stored hydrogen could, for example, be run through a fuel cell to create electricity or used in a furnace to heat a home. Drolet even designed a small-scale version of this system as a demonstration of what is possible.

Kathryn T. Gradowski '05, English and Writing Seminars, "The Worker's Council for the Arts and Radical Socialist Architecture During the Weimar Republic"
While researching the role of the Bauhaus as a political institution, Gradowski discovered information about an exhibition of architectural drawings sponsored by the Worker's Council for the Arts, a small, radical group founded after World War I that aimed to remake the world through the arts. The drawings were unlike anything Gradowski had ever seen. "These were fantasies," she says, "things you'd expect to find in a science fiction magazine." She read the group's manifestoes in the Bauhaus archive in Germany. "You're looking at the evolution of an ideology," Gradowski says. "The group took many of the ideas that failed to work in the Worker's Council for the Arts and imported them into the Bauhaus. Their rhetoric reflects a lot of the economic and social concerns of architects after the war."

Return to June 2005 Table of Contents

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