Following a 50-year career of lasting contributions as a scholar, university leader, and public servant, Joseph Cooper, professor emeritus and Academy Professor, Department of Political Science, died August 20, 2022, in Westport, Connecticut. He was 88.
Cooper arrived at Johns Hopkins as provost and vice president of academic affairs in 1991, holding both positions until 1996. During his tenure, he established and led the Committee for the 21st Century, a university-wide effort to identify and address the greatest challenges facing Hopkins and other research universities. He also led numerous dean searches for the university during those years.
Cooper also served as professor of political science from 1991 until 2012, when he was appointed professor emeritus and Academy Professor. He was a pioneer in the study of the development of Congress, using organization theory to show why congressional institutions behaved as they did. He authored, edited, or co-edited seven books and numerous articles and book chapters on a variety of topics related to the organization and development of Congress.
From 1976 to 1978, Cooper served as staff director of the Commission on Administrative Review (known as the Obey Commission), which was charged with revising ethics rules, floor scheduling, and administrative operations in the House of Representatives. He was also a member of the U.S. Advisory Committee on the Records of Congress; a board member of the Dirksen Congressional Center; and a member of the academy advisory council for the Congress Center at Indiana University. He received research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Brookings Institution.
Marc Lapadula, teacher and mentor, and critically acclaimed playwright, screenwriter, and film producer, died August 9, 2022, in Springfield, Missouri. He was 62.
A senior lecturer in The Writing Seminars from 1991 to 2013, Lapadula created and ran Johns Hopkins’ screenwriting program. His passionate and devoted teaching left an indelible impression on his students, hundreds of whom have gone on to successful careers in the film industry. Many also remained in touch with the person who opened their eyes to the intricacies of telling stories, creating characters, and devising plots, helping them believe their work had value to the world.
Lapadula’s own work includes several stage plays, screenplays, and film productions, including the award-winning Angel Passing. His former students wrote, directed, or produced dozens of critically acclaimed films including La La Land and (500) Days of Summer, and have scripted for television shows including Family Guy, Scrubs, Law and Order: SVU, and Queen Sugar.
After leaving the faculty of The Writing Seminars, Lapadula continued to teach courses in the department as well as in the Program in Film and Media Studies. He was also a regular instructor in Hopkins’ Odyssey program. Outside of Hopkins, he taught screenwriting seminars in Yale University’s Film and Media Studies Program from 1992 until his death.
Steve Zelditch, a member of the Department of Mathematics from 1985 to 2010 and a leader in fields including global analysis, complex geometry, and mathematical physics, died on September 11, 2022. He was 68.
Zelditch’s research interests included the spectral and scattering theory of the Laplace operator on Riemannian manifolds and especially the asymptotic and distribution of its eigenfunctions; the inverse spectral problem; Bergman kernels; Kähler metrics; Gaussian random waves; and random metrics.
After serving as department chair from 1999 to 2002, Zelditch moved to Northwestern University in 2010, where he became the Wayne and Elizabeth Jones Professor of Mathematics. In 2013, he received the Stefan Bergman Prize for his seminal work on the Bergman kernel.