As I look out my office window and see spring overtaking the campus, it’s hard for me to believe that it’s been almost a year and a half since President Ron Daniels appointed me dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. It has been a fruitful and busy time—much of it spent getting to know better all of the programs and people of the Krieger School. I have had the honor of meeting many accomplished alumni from all over the country. I have gotten to know amazing faculty members from departments and centers across campus. I have had opportunities to work with and form strong partnerships with the two other Homewood-based deans, Ed Schlesinger, Benjamin T. Rome Dean of the Whiting School of Engineering; and Winston Tabb, Sheridan Dean of University Libraries and Museums. But I have to tell you that more than anything, I’ve enjoyed spending time with our phenomenal students—undergraduates and graduate students alike. They regularly inspire me and motivate me to do whatever I can to help the Krieger School achieve great things.
From casual conversation with students who have joined me when I walk my dogs around campus to the opportunity to break bread with students at our annual High Table banquet and at the monthly Dinners with the Dean, where faculty members are invited to talk with students and me about their areas of expertise, I continue to be impressed with the focus, drive, and the intellectual curiosity of our students.
Our undergraduates routinely take on the challenge of double (and sometimes, triple) majors and minors with an irrepressible enthusiasm and work ethic. That they also carve out time to plan and conduct original research is a testament to their dedication to make the most out of their time here at Hopkins and to be active contributors to the body of knowledge created by our academic community. Add to that the incredible volunteer work our students contribute to the community, it’s a wonder they have time to eat or do laundry!
In this issue, I invite you to read about some examples of student research. Our students’ projects span the breadth of arts and sciences, from senior (and Marshall Scholar) Quenton Bubb’s work on outer membrane proteins with biophysics Professor Karen Fleming to an original living history presentation about the troubled life and marriage of Charles Carroll, Jr., and his wife, Harriet Chew, written and directed by four Krieger School students and presented at the Homewood Museum, the Carrolls’ former home. We also spotlight junior Elisabeth Fassas’ exploration of the attitudes of young Greeks and Cypriots toward the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and senior Connor Steele-McCutchen’s work as a research assistant with Baltimore CONNECT, a research partnership between the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and nearly a dozen different community organizations that provide outreach to underserved communities.
Our spring issue of Arts and Sciences magazine also introduces you to the work of one of our newest research centers on campus. The Center for Government Excellence is poised to transform the way mid-sized cities across the country tackle their most challenging problems through the use of data. Elsewhere in the issue, we celebrate the legacy of Writing Seminars Professor John Irwin as he passes the editorial torch of The Hopkins Review to Associate Professor David Yezzi, and we take a close look at the way ethics is taught across the disciplines in the Krieger School.
The one thing you will find in every article is the quest for discovery. That curiosity, that drive lives in everything we do at Hopkins. I look forward to what discoveries will take place here in the coming months. Stay tuned!
James B. Knapp Dean