Class notes


Nicholas Cunningham, Med '55 (MD), HS '69, SPH '77 (DrPH), professor emeritus of clinical pediatrics and clinical public health, taught his final class at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health at the age of 90. He plans to start a writing project about what he has learned over the years.


Jack N. Alpert, A&S '60, a neurologist, published a new edition of the textbook he authored, The Neurologic Diagnosis: A Practical Bedside Approach, in January.


Myron L. "Mike" Weisfeldt, A&S '62, Med '65 (MD), a cardiologist and professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, received the 2019 Distinguished Mentoring Award from the school in March.


Howard Marc Chesley, A&S '67, released his debut novel, titled Some Books Aren't for Reading, in April. Chesley is a producer and writer for television and film and lives in Los Angeles.


Roger E. Stevenson, HS '69, Med '72 (PGF), received the 2019 ACMG Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine David L. Rimoin Lifetime Achievement Award from the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics. A clinician, scientist, and educator, he is the cofounder of Greenwood Genetic Center, where he holds a chair in Genetic Therapeutics.


Sam Biondo, Engr '71, is the author of a new book titled How to Lose Weight and Sustain Weight Loss: An Autonomous Set Point Diet Guide, published in May.


Clydette L. Powell, Med '76 (MD), director of the Division of Health Care Quality in the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, was named designated federal officer of the National Clinical Care Commission by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The advisory commission evaluates federal programs related to diabetes.


P. Rea Katz, Nurs '77, associate vice president of faculty development at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, was promoted to associate professor in the university's College of Health Professions' physician assistant practice. She has worked in physician assistant education since 2000 and has been a practicing physician assistant for more than 45 years.


Orly Avitzur, A&S '78, a neurologist and editor-in-chief of Brain & Life, was named president-elect of the American Academy of Neurology. Her appointment makes her only the second female president in the history of the organization, which was founded in 1948.

Lawrence Najarian, A&S '78, a physician, humanitarian, and proud Armenian American, received a 2019 Ellis Island Medal of Honor from the Ellis Island Honors Society. Najarian is a board-certified ophthalmologist and founder and medical director of the Bedminster Eye & Laser Center.


Elliot L. Chaikof, A&S '79, Med '82 (MD), received the 2019 Flance-Karl Award from the American Surgical Association for his contributions in translational research that have applications to clinical surgery. He is the chair of the Department of Surgery and surgeon-in-chief at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School.

Stuart W. Davidson, A&S '79, a partner in the Philadelphia-based law firm Willig, Williams & Davidson, is pleased to announce that 14 of the firm's attorneys were named to the 2019 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars list. Managing partner Deborah R. Willig was named to the list of Top 50: 2019 Women Pennsylvania Super Lawyers.


Rajaratnam Abel, SPH '81 (MPH), has co-authored Businessmen for the Poor: Reducing Poverty by Creating Small Businessmen and Businesswomen Among the Poor (Conceptualizing from Lifetime Experience Reducing Poverty) with Daleep S. Mukarji, published in February. The book presents comprehensive strategies for vocational training, self-help groups, animal husbandry, and other sustainable solutions to the problem of poverty. Abel is a public health consultant in India.

Gale Berkowitz, A&S '81, joined Kristin Ranum Franceschi, A&S '81; Susan Hooper, A&S '81, SAIS '82 (MA); Jill Huppert, A&S '81, SPH '01 (MPH); Kimbra Kenney, A&S '80; Patricia Somerville, A&S '81; and Mary Copeland, A&S '82, in celebration of friendships formed as students at Johns Hopkins. The group braved an icy river and rapids, and took a 10-mile uphill hike at Grand Canyon National Park.


David H. Kaplan, A&S '82, a professor of geography at Kent State University, was elected president of the American Association of Geographers. He also edits Geographical Review and National Identities.

Peter J. McDonnell, Med '82 (MD), HS '83, Med '86 (PGF), an ophthalmologist, professor of ophthalmology, and director of the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute, was named to the ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame. The ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) Foundation promotes American competitiveness by supporting talented U.S. citizens working to complete degrees in science, technology, engineering, math, and the health professions at U.S. colleges and universities.


W.P. Andrew Lee, Med '83 (MD), HS '89, previously a hand transplantation specialist at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, became the new executive vice president for academic affairs, provost, and dean for the UT Southwestern Medical School.


Sean Gallagher, Peab '85, '89 (MM), was among the first affiliates of the Peabody Conservatory to be inducted into the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars. Gallagher is an internationally recognized authority on music in late medieval and Renaissance Europe.

Doris Hall-Gulati, Peab '85, is the clarinet soloist on the Grammy Award–winning recording of Lansing McLoskey's oratorio Zealot Canticles by The Crossing. Hall-Gulati is an artist-in-residence at Franklin and Marshall College, principal clarinetist in the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and Opera Philadelphia, and a member of Trio Clavino.

Robert E. Kelly Jr., Med '85 (MD), chief of the Department of Surgery and vice president for Surgical Affairs at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters, led the hospital's surgical program to verification as a Level I pediatric surgical center by the American College of Surgeons. Kelly is also a professor of clinical surgery and pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

Tzyy-Choou "T.-C." Wu, SPH '85 (MPH), '89 (PhD), HS '92, Med '97 (PGF), a professor of pathology, oncology, and obstetrics and gynecology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, received a 2019 Harrington Scholar–Innovator Award from Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals in Cleveland.


Alicia B. Harvey-Smith, Ed '89 (MEd), was appointed president of Pittsburgh Technical College after nearly three decades in academic leadership.


Kelly A. Gebo, A&S '92, Med '95 (MD), HS '98, SPH '00 (MPH), Bus '00 (Cert), Med '01 (PGF), director of Public Health Studies and professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins, was named the chief medical and scientific officer of the All of Us Research Program at the National Institutes of Health.


Nathaniel Forgotson, Engr '93, was promoted to vice president–program manager of Science Systems and Applications, a company that supplies scientific, technical, and research support services. He manages the Electrical Systems Engineering Services III contract in support of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Tom Sauer, SAIS Eur '93 (Cert), a professor of international politics at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, received the 2018–19 Rotary Alumni Global Service Award.


Alon Goldstein, Peab '95 (GPD), '96 (MM), was among the first affiliates of the Peabody Conservatory to be inducted into the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars. Goldstein is a pianist and the artistic director for the Distinguished Artists Concert and Lecture Series in Santa Cruz, California.


Ilise L. Feitshans, SPH '96 (MS), a health law scholar and the first fellow in international law of nanotechnology at the European Scientific Institute, located in Archamps, France, published the book Global Health Impacts of Nanotechnology Law: A Tool for Stakeholder Engagement in May 2018.

Joseph A. Goetz, Engr '96 (MEE), was hired by professional services firm Dewberry as a senior project manager for disaster recovery services. He works out of the Fairfax, Virginia, office.


Michael D. McEleney, A&S '97, is a senior adviser at the U.S. Department of Energy, where he handles Arctic security policy. He previously worked on the staff of the undersecretary of the Navy as an analyst on nuclear weapons policy and Arctic strategy and was honored with the Meritorious Civilian Service Award and medal.

Jinho Alex Yim, A&S '97, joined the law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath as a partner in the Corporate and Securities Group. He works out of the New York office and focuses on large cap and middle market financial transactions.


Ah Young Hong, Peab '98, '01 (MM), faculty artist at the Peabody Conservatory, presented a recital that included the song "rake forth the embers" by Michael Hersch, Peab '95, '97 (MM), at Spectrum in Brooklyn, New York, in April.


Hanzhang Lu, Engr '00 (MSE) Med '04 (PhD), a professor of radiology and radiological sciences at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, was inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering's College of Fellows. His research focuses on the development of MRI techniques to understand physiology.

Adrienne M. Penta, A&S '00, received the 2019 Boston Estate Planning Council Excellence Award. She is the managing director of private banking and the founding executive director of the Center for Women and Wealth at Brown Brothers Harriman, a financial services firm.


Maryanne C. Bombaugh, Bus '01 (Cert), an obstetrician and gynecologist who has been caring for patients for more than 25 years at the Community Health Center of Cape Cod, was elected president of the Massachusetts Medical Society.


Colleen Christmas, Med '02 (PGF), an assistant professor of medicine, director of the Primary Care Leadership Track at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and associate program director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, received the 2019 Outstanding Mid-Career Clinician Educator of the Year Award from the American Geriatrics Society.

Rachel Zephir, Peab '02, directs the Eleanor Roosevelt High School Chamber Winds in Greenbelt, Maryland. In December, the group will play at the Midwest Clinic International Band, Orchestra, and Music Conference in Chicago.


Christina Pommer, A&S '03, was elected president of the Association of Independent School Librarians. She is the library director and middle and upper school librarian at Saint Stephen's Episcopal School in Bradenton, Florida.


Rebecca F. Gottesman, HS '05, Med '07 (PGF), SPH '07 (PhD), a professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, received the 2019 Stroke Research Mentor Award from the American Stroke Association.


Joseph Bubman, SAIS, '06 (Cert), '07 (MA), founded Urban Rural Action, a national movement to strengthen relationships between urban and rural communities through collective action that addresses social, economic, environmental, and political challenges. He previously worked in a range of peacebuilding roles at Mercy Corps, including as the acting director of the peace and conflict technical team.

Nicole Fahrenfeld, Engr '06, won a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award and was promoted to associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rutgers University.


Debraj Mukherjee, SPH '08 (MPH), an assistant professor and director of Neurosurgical Oncology at Johns Hopkins, received the 2019 David C. Leach Award from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education for the work he did during his residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Nancy Li Schoenborn, Med '08 (MD), SPH '17 (MHS), an associate professor of medicine and oncology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, received the 2019 Outstanding Junior Investigator of the Year Award from the American Geriatrics Society.

David Taylor Jr., Bus '08 (MS), an associate vice president at professional services firm Dewberry, contributed to the Land Development Handbook, 4th ed., published in May 2019. The book is a reference for design professionals, students, and private and public land developers.


Dawn Fraser, Ed '09 (Cert), '15 (EdD/PGF), recently published an article in Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, titled "Using a Mixed-Reality Environment to Train Special Educators Working With Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder to Implement Discrete Trial Teaching."

Donna Rowlette, Ed '09 (MS), published her first book, Basic Training for Christians: 7 Things Every Christian Should Know. She served 25 years as a police officer and 20 years in the military. She currently is the director of the Criminal Justice Information System–Central Repository for Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. Rowlette is passionate about leading Bible study.

Joseph F. Young, Peab '09 (AD), the Peabody Conservatory artistic director of ensembles, has been named music director of the Berkeley Symphony, in California. He will start the position in the 2019–20 season in addition to his role at Peabody.


Geoffrey R. Akers, A&S '10 (MA), is a principal engineer with General Dynamics as part of the company's Missile Defense National Team in Huntsville, Alabama.


Abhilaksh Likhi, SAIS '12 (MIPP), published an article in Outlook magazine called "Towards Climate-Smart and Sustainable Agriculture in India." Likhi is a joint secretary in India's Ministry of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers Welfare.


Naomi Cheah, SPH '13 (MSPH), was promoted to senior policy analyst for the British Columbia Ministry of Health's immunization programs in Canada.

Ronnie J. Greene, A&S '13 (MA), Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and Washington enterprise editor for Reuters, has authored two books. Night Fire: Big Oil, Poison Air, and Margie Richard's Fight to Save Her Town was published in October 2009, and Shots on the Bridge: Police Violence and Cover-Up in the Wake of Katrina was published in August 2015. Greene is a science writing faculty member in the Johns Hopkins Advanced Academic Programs writing program.

Brian Kay, Peab '13, '15 (MM), a lutist, and William J. Simms, Peab '91 (MM), a guitarist, performed as members of Apollo's Fire on Songs of Orpheus, which won the Grammy Award for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album. Apollo's Fire is a baroque ensemble based in Cleveland.


Sarah Nagro, Ed '15 (EdD), published in the Journal of Disability Policy Studies an article titled "Bridging the Gap Between Research and Policy: Fostering Advocacy and Policy Engagement in Special Education Doctoral Students." She is an assistant professor at George Mason University in the Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on determining best practices for teacher education in special education.


Jacqueline R. French, SAIS '16 (Cert), A&S '18 (MA), got engaged to Taylor Bates on March 2 in Washington, D.C.

Reecha Pandya, A&S '16 (MS), received a STEP Ahead Emerging Leaders Award from the National Association of Manufacturers' Manufacturing Institute. The STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Production) Ahead Awards were created to recognize the accomplishments of outstanding female leaders in manufacturing. Pandya is a new product introduction engineer for the manufacturing engineering team at Abbott Point of Care.


Sara Donaldson, Ed '18 (EdD), became an assistant professor of education at Wheaton College in Massachusetts in July.

Min Joo Yi, Peab '18 (MM), won a bronze medal with a cash prize in the 18th Concours International Piano Campus competition, held in February in Cergy-Pontoise, France.


Jordan Prescott, Peab '19 (MM), an organist, was named one of The Diapason magazine's "20 Under 30 Class of 2019," which recognizes young people who have established themselves at the forefront of the organ, harpsichord, and church music professions.

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