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Joshua R. Treem, A&S '69: In the Media's Glare, a Vigorous Defense
Alan Young, SAIS '95: Less Foreign, More Fun
Shelf Life
James M. Wood, A&S '72: On Deck for Olympians and Kids
Mellasenah Morris, Peab '68, '71 (MM), '80 (DMA): A Dean with 88 Keys to Peabody's Success
In the News...
Rome Deanship at the Whiting School: An Investment in Innovation
A World Outlook
Crack Open!
Alumni and Students Pair Up for Hopkins Helps
Signposts of Two Decades
Alumni Welcome Students in Two Ways
Bill Nye's Hopkins Ties

Joshua R. Treem, A&S '69: In the Media's Glare, a Vigorous Defense

Criminal defense attorney Joshua R. Treem is no stranger to making headlines. His cases include defending high-profile clients such as Lee Boyd Malvo, now 23, who is serving six consecutive life terms for his part in the Washington, D.C.-area sniper attacks in 2002. Treem represented Maryland lobbyist Bruce Bereano (convicted of mail fraud in 1994) in responding to subpoenas. Treem also didn't win any popularity contests in Baltimore when he successfully defended the Indianapolis Colts in eminent domain litigation filed by Baltimore City to try to prevent the football team's moving from Baltimore in 1984.

It's up to the criminal defense lawyer to make sure "everyone gets the process that he or she is due," notes Baltimore attorney Joshua Treem. Treem's current client is also garnering national media attention. Nicholas Browning, a 16-year-old Eagle Scout from Cockeysville, Maryland, is accused of murdering his parents and two brothers. "On a lot of different levels, this is the most difficult case I've had," says Treem.

At Johns Hopkins, though, Treem was more interested in writing the headlines. A history major and member of the men's swimming team, he wanted to be a sports journalist. He covered swimming for The News-Letter until his junior year, when he sat out half the season. "The coach and I had a parting of the ways," Treem recalls with a chuckle. "I wrote some not terribly nice things about the direction of the swim program."

With the hiring of head coach Frank Comfort, Treem was back in the water his senior year. But his interest in journalism had ebbed. Instead, he enrolled in Duke Law School to become a trial lawyer. "Sitting in an office isn't my temperament or interest," he says. "I like the notion of pushing the envelope with a case. How do we make our case different? How do you sell it to a jury? What I've wound up doing is what I do best."

At the height of the Vietnam war, Treem's low draft number was called during his first year of law school, but he failed his physical. Three years later, with his law degree and a new bride — in 1971, he married Ellen Ornoff — Treem took his first job, as an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division. For a year, he traveled through the Deep South, reviewing desegregation and voting rights plans. "Interesting and fun work," he admits, but it wasn't putting him where he wanted to be: in court.

By 1973, he was back in Baltimore at the U.S. Attorney's Office for Maryland, and back on the Homewood campus as assistant coach for men's and women's swimming, a part-time position he held until the early 1980s. (He now runs marathons, including the New York City Marathon last fall.)

In 1980, Treem and Robert Schulman founded a law firm in Baltimore. Today, half the practice of Schulman, Treem, Kaminkow and Gilden, P.A. is in criminal defense work. "The job of a criminal defense attorney is to make sure that the constitutional process works properly and that everyone gets the process that he or she is due," reflects Treem. "That's not to glamorize what we do — it's hardly glamorous — but viewed in that context, everyone gets treated the same: the person who is accused of first-degree murder and the person who trespasses."

Treem credits John Adams with setting the standard as the country's first public defender by representing British soldiers in 1770. "What Adams was talking about during the Boston Massacre trial was all about the process. You try to get past the issue of whether these people are good people or bad people, terrible or not. We have a system, and for it to work properly, these people need to be defended effectively and vigorously."

But for all his high-profile cases, the former college journalist doesn't talk to the media. "I'm not going to win my case in the press," states Treem, who is a firm believer that truth is stranger than fiction. "If you were to read about my cases in a Scott Turow or Robert Parker novel, you'd say, 'What a great story.' The real-life stories in court are far more compelling than whatever is fictionalized and are often stranger than whatever can be created."
— Sarah Achenbach

Alan Young, SAIS '95: Less Foreign, More Fun

When Alan Young walked into a Spanish language immersion class several years ago at David D. Jones Elementary School in Greensboro, North Carolina, he found something special. "I saw how totally engaged the children were," says Young, "how good their accents were, how well they spoke." At the time, he was "struggling to learn Spanish," he recalls. "I stumbled on a word like refrijeradora, while the children said it with apparent ease."

Alan Young's own love of "all things international" is nourished by helping schools set up foreign language immersion programs. Young was visiting the school as part of his role as CEO of the Visiting International Faculty Program (VIF), a company he founded with his family in 1987. VIF is now the country's largest teacher exchange program.

Inspired by what he had seen, in late 2007 Young left VIF to establish another company, this one aiming to help schools set up foreign language immersion programs. Called Splash! Language Immersion, the Chapel Hill — based company currently operates in six nearby schools. Demographic changes, plus increasing interest in foreign language education, are keeping his firm busy. "There's so much demand in North Carolina that our focus is here for now," Young says. He wants to expand into other languages, including Mandarin Chinese, and will consider growing the company beyond the Tar Heel State's borders in the future.

His goals don't stop there. In immersion education, children are taught all their normal subjects — like history, math, and art — but in a foreign language. An immersion program usually is at a "magnet" school, but Young would like to see it become as standard as band class or P.E., "rather than having it at a single school in a district." He adds, "If students want to become proficient in an instrument or a sport, they don't have to go to a special school for that."

The motto of Splash! is "Fluency Made Fun." Its results are hard to ignore. According to Splash!, on standardized tests given in English, children who learn other subjects while in language immersion classes score just as high, or higher, than do their peers in traditional classes.

Raised in North Carolina (his father, J. Fred Young, was president of Elon University), Young and his family developed an interest in "all things international" that inspired them to venture forth. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he studied abroad and backpacked through Europe, Russia, and Morocco. To broaden his perspectives, Young earned an MBA from Duke University and an MA in international affairs from the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

"I loved SAIS," Young says. "I went to gain a better understanding of how the world works, and it gave me that. It's given me a bigger vision, and a good framework for the work I've done since. I miss it — I had a great time there."
— Geoff Brown

Shelf Life

DNA: Promise and Peril, by Linda L. McCabe and Edward R. B. McCabe, A&S '67 (University of California Press, 2008)
The promise of genetic medicine, as described by these high practitioners at UCLA, is almost limitless. The peril is that the crucial "almost" might be overlooked in all the enthusiasm. Johns Hopkins figures large in the book, starting with the foreword by the late Victor A. McKusick, longtime University Professor of Medical Genetics in the School of Medicine, who stated, "The McCabes thoroughly trounce genetic determinism." In doing so, they declare, "We are more than our genomic sequence." The language here is at least as demanding as a college biology course, but the reward is an understanding of the genomics that confused many of us along the way to where the field has now advanced.

The Painter from Shanghai, a Novel, by Jennifer Cody Epstein, Bol '92, SAIS '94 (W.W. Norton, 2008)
Aptly for a book about an artist, the author in her debut novel scribes a fine line indeed between what is known of Pan Yuliang through her turbulent 20th century and conjecture about how she endured it all. Yuliang was sold into prostitution at age 14 by an opium-addled uncle. She reached the top of the skin trade, attracted a bureaucrat who rescued her from it, and took to posing before a mirror to come up with the flesh tones compared to C&eacuate;zanne's. She studied in Europe, defied revanchists in China, made an intercontinental case for women's liberation, and died an exile in Paris.
— Lew Diuguid, SAIS '63

James M. Wood, A&S '72: On Deck for Olympians and Kids

Nearly every day of the past 35 years, Jim Wood has been deeply involved in competitive swimming. But, he says proudly, "I've been extremely blessed with never having to work a day in my life."

In 2006, Wood was elected president of USA Swimming (USA-S), the national governing body for the sport. He has spent the last two years helping to prepare American swimmers for the Summer Olympics in Beijing. That included everything from assisting with high-altitude training at the Colorado Springs U.S. Olympic Training Center, where USA-S is based, to helping develop the organization's strategic planning. It's a natural role for Wood, who has been involved with USA-S leadership for more than two decades, including at three previous Olympics.

This summer was an exciting time for U.S. swimmers who were bound for Beijing's "water cube." Commenting about one phenom in the pool, Wood says, "The great thing about Michael Phelps is that he sets a very positive example. He makes our job more enjoyable, and a lot easier. His popularity, and commitments to the media, can be a challenge."

A native of New Providence, New Jersey, Wood returned to the Garden State in 1977. "The house I now live in is the house I grew up in," he says. He had been working toward his PhD in education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (he completed all but his dissertation) while head coach of men's and women's swimming at UNC. In 1977, he founded the Berkeley Aquatic Club in Berkeley Heights, just southeast of New Providence. Today, the swim club has some 330 competitive swimmers who train under Wood's guidance, and more than 6,000 school kids who come for swim lessons.

"I'm out on the pool deck six or seven days a week, 50 weeks a year," Wood says. "Coaching and teaching are my avocations. My favorite part of being a coach is the relationship I develop with the athletes. Every Thanksgiving Day morning, we have practice, and from 75 to 100 alumni drop in — ones from 30 years ago, and some from last year."

For Wood, it's not about winning at all costs. "One of the things I teach is that failing isn't necessarily bad," he says. It's a lesson he learned in 1969 as a freshman at Johns Hopkins. He wasn't a swimmer then. "I ran track, but I badly injured my ankle my senior year of high school," he explains. "I came to JHU looking for a sport to get involved in that didn't require a lot of running, and [head coach] Frank Comfort was just starting to turn the swimming and diving programs around. That injury ended up allowing me to do some things. Swimming is a sport I truly fell in love with." Wood is proud to note that he also played goalie in fall lacrosse for a couple of years. As a club sport, the fall version was "pretty informal," as he puts it.

Running a national organization like USA Swimming requires a different set of skills from coaching young swimmers — but the two jobs aren't all that different, Wood believes. "In both, in my role as a leader, I'm trying to help a person and an organization reach their goals. It's important to give people the resources they need to help them succeed.

"Starting early in life, I learned the importance of hard work, and that it can give you opportunities not available to everyone," Wood says. "Hopkins reinforced those lessons."

Mellasenah Morris, Peab '68, '71 (MM), '80 (DMA): A Dean with 88 Keys to Peabody's Success

The new face in the dean's office at the Peabody Conservatory turns out to be not so new at all. While several chapters of Mellasenah Morris' musical biography have already taken place at Mount Vernon Square, she began a new one in July as dean of the Conservatory and deputy director of the Peabody Institute.

Dean Mellasenah Morris "I am excited about what's happening in the city of Baltimore and its cultural life," says Morris, a performer, teacher, and administrator. She returns to her alma mater after directing the School of Music at Ohio State University, where she also was a professor of piano. Previously, she held the same positions at James Madison University and served as dean of the School of Music and professor of piano at Alabama State University.

Her vision for Peabody's future is enthusiastic and pragmatic; young musicians need to be trained to build new audiences and become advocates for the arts. Music students, Morris says, "need to get out of our practice rooms long enough to tell the rest of the world, 'This matters!'"

Morris knows intimately the daily six-hour commitment to the practice rooms in Peabody's Leakin Hall. Recalling her arrival at the Conservatory as a 16-year-old piano student from Norfolk, Virginia, she says she was grateful for the "opportunity to walk out of a regular high school into a serious top-10-in-the-world musical environment," where she could focus on her musical development.

After completing her bachelor's degree at age 20, Morris remained at Peabody for a master's degree in piano pedagogy and a DMA in piano performance. Inspired by her principal teachers, Julio Esteban and Ann Schein, she began her career as a teacher. She joined the faculty of the Peabody Preparatory and later the Conservatory, where she taught piano, keyboard studies, and music history.

Morris has given frequent recitals with her daughter, Mellasenah Edwards, Peab '99 (DMA), who earned her doctorate in violin performance.

While Morris was teaching and completing her doctorate, Peabody's then-associate dean, Tinka Knopf, approached her to help with academic advising for undergraduates. Morris discovered a new passion, one that made use of what she calls a "natural ability with people and an instinct to nurture." She was appointed Peabody's assistant dean for academic affairs, a role in which she identified and honed the skills that prepared her for leadership.

Having spent 25 years at Peabody as a student, faculty member, and administrator, Morris relates "how honored I am to serve in this new capacity at my alma mater. I realized how proud I am of the education I received at Peabody," she says, "and I just couldn't resist the opportunity to go back at this moment in its history."

Following a hiatus from performing necessitated by the demands of her position at Ohio State, the new dean looks forward to getting back to the instrument that first drew her to Mount Vernon Square.
— Sarah Hoover, Peab '08 (DMA)

In the News...

The first novel of Jessica Anya Blau, A&S '95 (MA), The Summer of Naked Swim Parties (Harper Collins, 2008), was featured as a can't-miss summer beach read on NBC's Today show and in The New York Post and New York magazine. The novel takes place in 1976 in Southern California. Blau lectures in the Writing Seminars at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.

Andrew P. Feinberg, A&S '73, Med '76, SPH '81, director of the Epigenetics Center at the School of Medicine, was a lead researcher on a study that found that the chemical marks on an individual's DNA sequence may change during a person's lifetime, and that the change in epigenetics is similar among families. The study was published in the June 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

C. Griffith Mann, A&S '96 (MA), '02 (PhD), has been appointed the chief curator of the Cleveland Museum of Art. He will oversee the museum's massive renovation and reinstallation of its permanent collection, scheduled to be completed in 2012. Mann had directed the curatorial division of Baltimore's Walters Art Museum since 2007.

Kurt Rohde, Peab '87, has won the 2008 Elliot Carter Rome Prize in Composition. Rohde is an assistant professor of composition and music theory at the University of California, Davis, and co-director of the Empyrean Ensemble. During his 11 months at the American Academy in Rome, he plans to finish a violin concertino and an opera for large-scale puppets.

Rome Deanship at the Whiting School: An Investment in Innovation

Dean Nicholas P. Jones Last spring, A. James Clark made a lasting tribute to his mentor and business colleague, the late Benjamin T. Rome, Eng '25, by endowing the Benjamin T. Rome Deanship in the Whiting School of Engineering. Clark's $10 million commitment represents the third endowed deanship in the Johns Hopkins University's nine schools. The gift also exemplifies the dedication that Clark, a leading commercial builder and a university trustee emeritus, has to the Whiting School's mission, direction, and leadership.

We recently sat down with Nicholas P. Jones, the inaugural Benjamin T. Rome Dean who has served at the helm of the Whiting School since 2004, to talk about his new title and what it means for the future of the Whiting School.
—Nora Koch

How did you feel when you realized the Whiting School would be receiving the gift?

I was thrilled. It is a great honor for me to be the inaugural holder of this deanship. It is also wonderful that Mr. Clark named the deanship for his mentor, who is one of our esteemed alumni.

Why is the Rome Deanship so important to the Whiting School?

Naming a deanship is an endowed gift that creates a permanent stream of funding and discretionary resources for the dean. This funding is independent of the operating budget, and enables us to invest in exciting opportunities for students and faculty, such as providing seed money for research projects, recruiting and retaining top faculty, and enhancing the student educational experience.

How will you use the funds?

Two years ago, the Whiting School developed a strategic plan that laid out important areas of opportunity, namely, fostering a collaborative atmosphere that encourages innovation, furthering the school's position as a pre-eminent bioengineering research and education center, providing a distinctive education that creates future leaders and innovators, and building strategic international and corporate partnerships. Mr. Clark is making a significant investment that will help navigate the school forward and position it for future growth. We are grateful that the Rome Deanship provides us the opportunity to further these initiatives. For example, this funding source could help create new staff and faculty positions in a growing program of study, helping to mentor students through all aspects of their educational experience.

What can today's students take from the story of Benjamin Rome?

Mr. Clark found a valuable mentor in Mr. Rome. As our graduating engineers begin to navigate complex workplace environments, it is important that they identify those around them who can offer advice, wisdom, and guidance. And while our students and alumni should seek mentors throughout their careers, they should also become mentors themselves. There is much to learn from a good mentor, just as there is much to learn by teaching others.

A World Outlook

Benjamin T. Rome, Eng. '25 In 1925, Benjamin T. Rome graduated from Johns Hopkins with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. He went on to work for his uncle, George Hyman, at the George Hyman Construction Company, where he would spend his entire career. Together, they expanded the business until it was one of the mid-Atlantic region's largest construction firms. After A. James Clark came aboard in 1950, Rome and Clark transformed it into a leading national construction firm.

During his lifetime, Rome generously supported Johns Hopkins, as well as other institutions and organizations. Dedicated to furthering education and tolerance among world religions, he was an advocate for Hopkins' Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, playing a pivotal role in the creation of its China Studies Program. SAIS named a building on its Washington, D.C., campus for Rome.

Among the great honors in his life was investiture by Pope Paul VI with the rank of Knight Commander in the Order of Saint Sylvester, one of the highest church honors granted to a layperson. Johns Hopkins awarded Rome an honorary degree in 1982. He died in 1994 at the age of 88.

Crack Open!

It's crab season in Maryland, and nearly 1,000 alumni coast-to-coast also are enjoying a little bit of the Bay at crab feasts. Last year, the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association team shipped more than 30 bushels of the Chesapeake crustaceans from Crisfield to chapters west of the Mississippi.

Don't miss out on this year's round of crab-claw whacking. Through Linton's Seafood, alumni can get a 10 to 30 percent discount on shipments of fresh Maryland seafood. Check out the alumni Web site for details:

Alumni and Students Pair Up for Hopkins Helps

From landscaping community gardens to sorting books at the Baltimore Reads Books Bank, Hopkins Helps volunteers lent a hand.
Photo by Will Kirk
Led by the Baltimore Chapter of the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association, a new effort called Hopkins Helps offers alumni one-time service opportunities linked with student-led volunteer projects. Julie Mallinger, A&S '01, a chapter committee member and community service chair, believes Hopkins Helps will "make meaningful use of alums' skills and training and have a real impact on the communities we serve."

Hopkins Helps launched in late April by pairing up with the Student Outreach Resource Center. Alumni and students from the schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health fanned out across the city to contribute more than 350 volunteer hours. Next, Hopkins Helps teamed up with Project HEALTH, a national nonprofit dedicated to breaking the link between poverty and poor health. Alumni and students organized the May 3 Baltimore HealthFest '08, partially funded by an Alumni Association Community Services Grant.

For more information, visit
— Lisa Bisers Kushner, A&S '05

Signposts of Two Decades

With the Alumni Council celebrating its 20th anniversary in October, we took a quick stroll down memory lane to see how alumni and student life has changed in the past two decades. In 1988, the governing body of the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association was transformed from a 30-member Baltimore-based executive committee to a 150-member national (now international) alumni council, representing all divisions of the university.

1988: Paying 91 cents for a gallon of gas

2008: Coasting with the "E" light on, since filling up this summer topped $4 per gallon

1988: Microwaving fast food in the Terrace Room on the Homewood campus

2008: Feasting on fresh sushi in Levering Food Court and a healthy "Meal to Go"

1988: Paying $3.50 to see "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" at the movies

2008: Ordering "No Country for Old Men" from Netflix

1988: Mailing in your r&eacuate;sumé for that next big job-with a 24-cent stamp

2008: Logging on to JHU inCircle, finding an open position, updating your profile, and adding a potential employer to your online network

1988: Listening to Whitney Houston's "The Greatest Love of All" on your Walkman

2008: Downloading JHU podcasts to your iPod

1988: Enjoying crab cakes with alumni, coast to coast

2008: Enjoying steamed crabs with alumni, coast to coast

1988: Being one of Johns Hopkins' 66,040 living alumni

2008: Connecting to the human network of 152,094 alumni


Alumni Welcome Students in Two Ways

September often rings with a bittersweet note for parents of college freshmen. After unpacking the mini-vans full of dorm-room essentials, they leave their sons and daughters to make their way in a new world full of new faces.

The Johns Hopkins Alumni Association has two programs that make this transition a little easier. Each summer, it relies on the generosity of alumni across the country to invite Hopkins-bound students to parties in their homes, and each fall it sponsors the Host-a-Student program.

At the casual "send-off" gatherings (there were more than 20 this summer), incoming students and their parents can talk with other Hopkins students and alumni from their area.

"My favorite part of hosting is the opportunity to meet all these incredibly bright kids who are headed off to Hopkins," says Paul Neitzel, A&S '74 (MA), Engr '79 ( PhD). The parties that he and his wife, Kathleen, host let "students and their parents know that there is an alumni support system back home willing to help them, if needed." And, the contacts made at these get-togethers sometimes continue for years. As Neitzel recalls, "One recent graduate whom I met through a send-off ended up spending a summer in my lab at Georgia Tech as an undergraduate research assistant doing work of relevance to his interests at Hopkins in biomedical engineering. It was a beneficial relationship for us both."

When Hopkins students arrive on campus in the fall, the Baltimore Chapter helps to welcome them through the Host-a-Student program. In the program's 18-year history, many students have developed long-lasting relationships with local alumni and have enjoyed their home-style hospitality, from informal meals to O's games, from shopping trips to holiday dinners. This year, more than 100 host families have been matched with more than 100 new students from diverse backgrounds and all nine academic divisions of the university.

After a decade of hosting students from the Homewood campus, Peabody, and the School of Medicine, Allan Jensen, A&S '65, Med '68, and his wife, Claire, reflect that "it has been a delightful experience — some students we met with frequently, some we saw only early in their stay here. We now have friends who have graduated and moved throughout the country." The Jensens became involved because "we realized many Hopkins students from out-of-town (and their parents) would appreciate having someone here to greet them, show them around town, attend an occasional dinner or party, and be available for advice," says Allan Jensen. "We would not hesitate to recommend that other alumni get involved."

For more information, connect at
— Kirsten Lavin

Bill Nye's Hopkins Ties

Showing off his Johns Hopkins pedigree, William S. Nye, aka Bill Nye the Science Guy, donned a family heirloom to speak at the undergraduate diploma ceremony in May, where he was awarded an honorary degree. He sported the bow tie of his grandfather, who taught organic chemistry at the Homewood campus. Nye's father is Edwin "Ned" Nye, A&S '39.

In urging the more than 1,000 graduating seniors to solve the world's "enormous, serious, and grim" problems, the scientist/engineer/comedian imparted some sage advice, possibly passed down through the generations: "Vote. You have to. ... You saw the United States attacked on her own soil. ... You have become voters, while the U.S. retaliated to limited effect, against an elusive, nearly invisible enemy. There are probably a few things you would have done differently had you been in charge. Well, now is your chance. You live in the most powerful country on Earth. Voting is your power."
— Nora Koch

Return to September 2008 Table of Contents

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