Twenty-two years ago, I needed a job.
In the job listings of the Baltimore Sun classified ads—seems quaint now, doesn't it?—there was notice of an opening for a writer at Johns Hopkins Magazine. A recent émigré from Ohio, I had never seen a copy of the magazine, never set foot on a Johns Hopkins campus. But the job sounded like a good one.
It was. I got to write smart, serious stories for smart, serious editors who polished them for smart, serious readers. I have been one happy boy for 22 years.
Now I find myself addressing you as the new editor of the magazine, the eighth in its 64-year history. I'm proud and humbled, a little scared and a lot excited. Johns Hopkins University could not be a better setting for a magazine. We have taken to calling what we do around here "knowledge journalism"—true stories about big ideas, well told. We love what we do and we hope that comes across, too.
I have worked for three intelligent, talented women who preceded me as the magazine's editor: Elise Hancock, Sue De Pasquale, and Catherine Pierre. Each made me a smarter, better writer, and I owe them a great deal—especially Catherine, who is now interim director of communications for Johns Hopkins and who taught me most of what I know about being an editor. I hope I've soaked up everything I need to do the job right. If not, she's just three doors down.
This is going to be fun.
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