Layann Bashir and Erin Broas named Student Employees of the Year

Whether researching no-show rates among medical patients or supporting a conference in Tanzania, this year's winners have gone above and beyond while employed by JHU

Four people smile for the camera. Two are holding awards.

Image caption: Left to right: Rama Imad, Layann Bashir, Erica Nybro, and Erin Broas.

Credit: Johns Hopkins University

In honor of their outstanding work, students Layann Bashir and Erin Broas have been named the university's Undergraduate and Graduate Student Employees of the Year. These awards are given out annually by the Department of University Experiential Learning, with this year's ceremony held on April 9.

Each year, approximately 8,000 JHU students fill positions within the institution, working hard to support the university's research, services, and initiatives.

"It is an honor to recognize the outstanding achievements of our student employees and paid interns," said Director of University Experiential Learning Nick Lantz. "Their dedication and hard work not only enhance their own educational experience but also contribute significantly to the success of our university community. Congratulations to our nominees and winners for their exemplary performance and commitment."

Layann Bashir

Undergraduate Employee of the Year

Senior Layann Bashir has spent the past year working as a patient advocate for Hopkins Community Connection (HCC), an organization that helps connect patients with community resources during routine medical appointments. Bashir served on the organization's triage team, introducing patients to the program and assisting with their needs.

According to HCC program coordinator Rama Imad, who served as Bashir's supervisor, Bashir demonstrated an immense passion for helping others, treating every patient with dignity and respect.

"Ms. Bashir's advocacy, leadership, compassion, and focus on patient-centered care know no bounds," wrote Imad in a nomination letter for the award. "Her passion and commitment to causes that mean a lot to her have driven her to achieve at the highest levels. My supervisor, Kristin Topel, and I often joke that we need a 'Layann' for each of the resource desks because she is such an incredible powerhouse."

Bashir also helped study the causes behind HCC's no-show rates. This research is now being published in a report and was co-presented by Bashir at the Academic Pediatric Association Region IV Conference. She was the only undergraduate student to be featured as a presenter at the event.

"The implications of the work that Layann has participated in are widespread," wrote Imad. "She helped us identify a significant improvement in no-show rates amongst the target population... as a direct result of the CHW outreach and transportation set-up."

Bashir is graduating this month with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Health.

Erin Broas

Graduate Employee of the Year

For over a year, graduate student Erin Broas has worked for the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs's Knowledge SUCCESS project, most recently as a student program specialist. As part of this role, she traveled to Tanzania to support a three-day regional knowledge exchange event on integrating COVID-19 into primary health care. The conference drew in 75 participants from 11 countries in southern and eastern Africa, including high-level country delegates and representatives from USAID and UNICEF. During the event, Broas provided crucial live support that kept things running smoothly.

"During the workshop, we knew we could count on Erin for anything," wrote Anne Ballard Sara in a nomination letter on behalf of the Knowledge SUCCESS team. "It is Erin's work ethic, professionalism, and 'can-do' personality that set her apart as an outstanding student employee."

Broas also played a key role in publishing Knowledge SUCCESS's "KM Road Map for Public Health Emergencies" training module and facilitated a virtual family planning and reproductive health workshop among youth-led organizations in Asia.

"No matter the task, we know Erin will produce timely, high-quality deliverables," wrote Ballard Sara. "We cannot think of a more deserving student to receive this award."

Broas is graduating this month with a Master of Science in Public Health in Health Education and Communication.