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Issue: Spring 2022, Volume 19, Number 2


illustration of a building with rooms including houses, the capitol, a globe, and other things representing economists work

What Economists Really Do

More than just Wall Street types or stock market prognosticators, Johns Hopkins economics faculty and students apply their tools to address the world’s most important issues.

student writing script elements on a chalkboard

The Writers Room at Johns Hopkins

Where budding scriptwriters learn that creating your next binge-watch is a team sport.

Black Beyond Data

Historian Jessica Marie Johnson leads several teams tapping into the power of datasets to uncover new truths about Black history.

class of


This spring included a special commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020.


Stars Align for Hubble Space Telescope Discovery

PhD candidate Brian Welch discovered a new (and thus far, furthest ever observed) star with data from the Hubble Telescope.

Johns Hopkins Scientists Contribute to First Sequence of Human Genome

Johns Hopkins University scientists collaborated with more than 100 researchers around the world to assemble and analyze the first complete sequence of a human genome.

Building the SNF Agora  Institute

The SNF Agora Institute broke ground in late fall 2021, with a community celebration, and the naming of eight endowed SNF Agora Institute Professors.

Spring 2022 Faculty Awards

Krieger School faculty garnered more than 20 notable awards and honors this spring, including the Rumford Prize, an NSF Career Award, and election to the National Academy of Medicine.

Spring 2022 Sports News

Sports news from the 2022 spring season of the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays.

Musical Artifacts Inside Modern Languages Professor’s Office

See inside Professor Derek Schilling’s office, which features a 1940s Philco radio console.

Books to Read in Spring 2022

Three suggested books to read in spring 2022 from Krieger School faculty.

Investor Bill Miller Gives $50 Million to Department of Physics and Astronomy

The department is now the William H. Miller III Department of Physics and Astronomy in honor of the investor and philanthropist’s gift.

Seen and Heard: Beth Blauer

Creating standards that are easily adoptable, like measuring cases and deaths for COVID, will be really important when we’re trying to do the hard work of eradicating poverty and improving climate conditions. The big question is, are policymakers willing to do it?”  

Seen and Heard: Peter Pomerantsev

One of the most popular Christmas films in Ukraine is Home Alone, which has a narrative that resonates with Ukraine’s story: a small country abandoned by the world’s parents, always attacked by bigger powers and having to improvise self-defence with anything that comes to hand.” 

Seen and Heard: Rajiv McCoy

We’ve discovered millions of genetic variants that were previously not known across samples of thousands of individuals whose genomes have already been sequenced. We will have to wait until future work to learn more about their associations with disease, but a big focus of work now will be on trying to discover new genetic variations […]

Seen and Heard: Brenda Rapp

You can imagine how frustrating it is if you can’t find words, if you can’t organize words into sentences, if you can’t get your mouth to produce the sounds you want it to produce. You are still yourself … but you may not sound like yourself.”  

Seen and Heard: Brian Welch

This really opens up a new window into those early days of the universe.” 

Faculty We Lost, Spring 2022

In memoriam of Maurice Bessman, Ludwig Brand, Charles Dempsey, and Paul Feldman.


Studying Brain Response to Social Interaction

Assistant Professor Leyla Isik’s research focuses on how looking (or watching) social situations helps humans distill social information about others.

Examining the Haitian Revolution

Professor Daniel Desormeaux’s work on voodoo, the history of secrecy, and the Haitian Revolution helps us see the revolution and Haitian culture in a different light.


Top Faculty Books Spring 2022

Ten new books from Krieger School faculty, including books on growing up in Baltimore, the consumer revolution, the building blocks of poetry and more.

New Book: What About the Baby?

Academy Professor Alice McDermott discusses her latest collection of essays, What About the Baby.

Student Research

Saving the Bay from Dead Zones

Molecular and cellular biology major Paul Gensbigler is helping to answer unresolved questions about the kinds of bacteria removing nitrogen from the Chesapeake Bay.

Delving into Social Networks and Teen Vaping 

Student Daniel Habib studies social networks and teen vaping, or the use of e-cigarettes, after noticing it was a growing issue among his peers.

Confronting Cancer through Creative Writing

Student Joyce Ker is developing and leading creative writing workshops to help cancer patients process their journey.

The Neural Links Between Voice and Thought  

Behavioral biology major student Jessica Dure is working to better understand how our ability to communicate affects brain organization and thinking.


Creating a Link Between You and the Universe

The course “The Grandeur of You and the Universe” helps students understand how basic earth, planetary, and space sciences concepts connect to our everyday lives.

Why Students Love the Medicine, Science, and the Humanities Major

Four Medicine, Science, and the Humanities majors tell us what makes the MSH major exciting, and why they’re confident it will improve their future.


Alumnus Wes Unseld Jr., Washington Wizards

Wes Unseld Jr. ’97 got a degree in economics at Johns Hopkins before starting a long career in professional basketball, where he is head coach of the Washington Wizards.

Spring 2022 Alumni to Watch

This spring our alumni won Academy Awards, Lifetime Achievement Awards, Tickner Writing Fellowships and more.

Alumnus Leads Health Systems During the Pandemic

Selwyn Vickers ’82 led the University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System through the pandemic, and used Hopkins thinking to do it.

Traveling, Writing, and Finding a Career in Digital Media

Rachel Schnalzer ’15 is an editor at the Los Angeles Times, but has worked at Baltimore magazine, BuzzFeed, and more as a writer, producer, editor, and digital journalist.

Working to Make America a ‘Weather Ready Nation’

Richard Spinrad ’75 has forged a career at the intersection of research and public policy to help Americans get more prepared for extreme weather.

On Campus

Matthew Pavesich of the University Writing Program

Matthew Pavesich of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Program discusses the importance and writing and the program.

Gilman Hall, Then and Now

See Gilman Hall before and after its big renovation.