Alumni: Tell us about the closest friendship you developed while at Hopkins

I didn't know that my single year at the Bloomberg School of Public Health would lead me to the most important friendship of my life. Katie Koval, BSPH '11 (MPH), and I bonded early on over our Catholic upbringings, English literature, global health, and travel. We lived our Baltimore life fully and companionably, buckling down to study at Mount Vernon coffee shops, doing hot yoga in Harbor East, spending our weekends writing in the reading room at Central Library, treating ourselves to crab cakes at Faidley's, and basking in the glory of Marie Diener-West's courses. In the decade since our year in Baltimore together, Katie has inspired me with her work on the front lines of the pandemic, her global initiatives to improve emergency medical care in far-flung places, her conscientious construction of family and community, and the shining example that she is on a daily basis to her colleagues, her fellow alumni, her fellows, her residents, and her beautiful daughters. —Lily DiGiacomo, BSPH '11 (MPH)

Roy Nicholson, Engr '21 (MS); Veronica Vigil, Engr '21 (MS); Jackson Kyner, Engr '20 (MS); Greg Maxwell, Engr '21 (MS); and I got to spend several hours together working on group projects in the space systems engineering master's program at the Whiting School of Engineering. We developed great working relationships as well as wonderful friendships. I'm thankful for their dedication and engineering expertise as we navigate some of space's most complex problems. —Michaelyn Thomas, Engr '21 (MS)

Kristan Rosenthal, A&S '12, and I were paired as freshman roommates in Adams 205, based on an anonymous survey of our sleep schedules and cleaning habits. Little did I imagine we would still be in constant contact after 14 years of friendship! We went on to live together junior and senior year and then again when we moved to New York City for work following graduation. She has been a huge personal and professional inspiration: I served in AmeriCorps while she served in the Peace Corps, and as Kristan did before me, I will soon be graduating from an MPH/MSW dual degree program. I am not surprised that our lives have run in parallel based on our shared values, but I am eternally grateful. —Molly O'Shea, A&S '12

During orientation, in my first week on Homewood campus, I met this really great guy, also a freshman, at the campus bookstore. He was intelligent, funny, musical, athletic, sensitive, and a great conversationalist. We were both hunting for our first-semester textbooks. The next day, I met him again at the welcome barbecue sponsored by the Jewish Students Association. Five years and 11 months later, we were married; and 35 years later, we have six kids—OK, three of them are married to our three kids—and one grandchild. It's still a great adventure with Michael Goldrich, A&S '84. —Judy Goldrich, A&S '84

Manjunath Shankar, BSPH '10 (PhD), and I are from different states of India. We met at the Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2005, when he asked me if I could spare the desktop I was using so he could submit his assignment from the computer lab on the ground floor of Reed Hall. We have been through many assignments, exams, and road trips of U.S. national parks together since. We also got married and returned to India. Now we are working in some of the top public health institutions and have a beautiful 5-year-old. —Purvi Patel, BSPH '06 (MPH)

I met three amazing women—Ramona Bock; Ed '04 (MS); Mary Jordan, Ed '04 (MS), '08 (Cert); and Amy Morel L'Horset, Ed '04 (MS)—in the first semester of our master's program. We encouraged and pushed each other to strive for excellence. We have stayed close through the various phases of our lives, and even though we have moved to separate parts of the country and sometimes the world, I've managed to keep track of each of them, even if it's only via social media. —Trina Bell-Adams, Ed '04 (MS), '06 (Cert)

Next up: What is the best book you've read this year? Send responses to with "Icebreaker" in the subject line. If we print your response, we'll send you a JHU pocket notebook.