August 17, 2009

Cheers: August 2009

Cheers is a monthly listing of honors and awards received by faculty, staff and students plus recent appointments and promotions. Contributions must be submitted in writing and be accompanied by a phone number.


Johns Hopkins University Press was named Best Publisher in Baltimore magazine’s annual Best of Baltimore issue. The entry reads, “Far from being a stuffy academic imprint, Johns Hopkins University Press publishes a stunning array of titles, some of them endearingly eccentric. Sure, the back catalog includes the occasional Principles and Practices of Unbiased Stereology, but you’ll also find Froth! The Science of Beer, The Orioles Encyclopedia, a volume of Max Apple’s short stories (The Jew of Home Depot) and Bang! A Complete History of the Universe, co-authored by Queen guitarist/astrophysicist Brian May. Factor in the Biographies of Disease series and a multivolume set of hand-drawn railroad maps (A Railroad Atlas of the United States in 1946), and you have a publisher capable of not only educating and entertaining but also surprising an audience. The publishing industry could certainly use more of that.


Thomas Reifsnyder, assistant professor and chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery, has received the 2009 Keith D. Lillemoe Faculty Teaching Award. The award is bestowed annually by the Halsted surgical residents to recognize outstanding teaching skills. Reifsnyder also received the award in 2007 and 2008.

Charles Reuland has been appointed executive vice president and chief operating officer. Most recently vice president for clinical operations, Reuland is a 19-year Johns Hopkins Medicine veteran who previously had served as chief administrative officer for the Department of Medicine, director of managed care contracting, assistant administrator for the Department of Surgery and manager of the Department of Social Work.

The Gregory F. Schaffer Dietetic Internship Scholarship has been created in honor of the medical center’s former president, who retired in June after 10 years at the helm. Schaffer had been an enthusiastic supporter of the Dietetic Internship Program since its founding in 2001. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a student who has shown leadership and academic excellence in dietetics.


Austin Young has been named head coach of the women’s fencing team. He will continue as coach of the men’s fencing team, a position he has held for six years.


Jeremy Pope, a doctoral candidate in Egyptology and the Jacob K. Javits Fellow in Archaeology in the Department of Near Eastern Studies, received the Best Student Paper Award at the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt, or ARCE. Pope received the award for “The Demotic Proskynema of Meroite Envoy to Roman Egypt (Philae 416).” In addition to the first-place prize, Pope received a check for $500 from the ARCE Chapter Council.


Two works by composition faculty member Kevin Puts are featured on The Composer’s Voice, an album by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. One work, a violin concerto, was commissioned by the orchestra in 2007 for concertmaster Michael Shih. The second, Symphony No. 3, Vespertine, was inspired by an album by the Icelandic pop singer Bjork.

Markand Thakar of the Orchestral Conducting faculty leads the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra on two recently released recordings: one of Sinfonies Concertantes by Ignaz Pleyel, featuring Peabody faculty artist Victoria Chiang, viola, and the other of works by Composition alumnus Jonathan Leshnoff.

Faculty artist John Walker of the Organ Department is leading two weeks of hymn festivals in Taiwan this month to celebrate and introduce the newly published hymnal of the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan.


Steven Cunningham, a clinical instructor and fellow in Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Surgery, is the author of the bilingual Dinosaur Name Poems (Three Conditions Press). The new English/Spanish book, designed for children 4 to 12, includes an extensive illustrated glossary of technical terms and prehistoric creatures and has been approved by the Paleontological Research Institute.

Jennifer Dodson, assistant professor of urology, has received the 2009 Surgeon-Scientist Award from the American Urological Association, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and the National Cancer Institute. The first female urologist to receive the award in its four-year history, Dodson was honored for her innovative research project called “Health-Related Quality of Life in Children with Urological Diseases.”

Julie Freischlag, professor and chief of the Department of Surgery, has been elected to her second one-year term as treasurer of the 3,000-member Society for Vascular Surgery. The organization advances excellence and innovation in vascular health through education, advocacy, research and public awareness. Freischlag is editor of the Archives of Surgery and associate editor of the American Journal of Surgery and serves on the editorial boards of the Annals of Vascular Surgery and the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. She is the principal investigator on several major grants and also is involved with numerous professional organizations.

William Merritt, associate professor of anesthesiology and head of the liver transplant anesthesia team since 1987, has received the 2009 distinguished service award from the International Liver Transplantation Society, of which he was one of the five founders. He served as president of the 19-year-old 800-member ILTS from 1999 to 2001. The ILTS is an interdisciplinary organization comprising transplant surgeons, hepatologists, anesthesiologists and critical care medicine specialists, and other transplant professionals.

Edward Schaeffer, assistant professor of urology, oncology and pathology, has received a 2009 Astellas Rising Star in Urology Award from the American Urological Association Foundation. He was cited for his research project “Histotripsy for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia,” which was praised by the AUA Foundation as an “outstanding” example of “research with a purpose.” The AUA Foundation and Astellas Pharma US sponsor the award to promote careers in urologic research by young faculty.

Donald Small, a nationally recognized, award-winning leader in the research and treatment of childhood blood cancers and a 32-year Johns Hopkins veteran, has been named head of the Pediatric Oncology Division of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. A 1985 graduate of the School of Medicine, Small has been acting director of the division since September 2006. He says he will focus on expanding both the clinical trials and research components of the childhood cancer program. This year he received the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology’s Frank A. Oski Award, named for a former head of Johns Hopkins Pediatrics, for his outstanding research in the field.

Levi Watkins, professor of surgery and associate dean for postdoctoral programs, will receive the Boy Scouts of America’s Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award for unselfish service to the youth of America. The award recognizes Watkins’ involvement in developing scouting opportunities for youngsters from rural or low-income urban backgrounds. He also is being honored, on Oct. 22, by the Baltimore Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Medical degree candidates Maria Garcia and Philip Song have been selected for the 2009–2010 cohort in the Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars program. They are among 88 top graduate students and postdoctoral trainees from 20 countries who have been selected to train in global health research in low- and middle-income countries. Garcia will work in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, at Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences. Song will train in Beijing, China, at the Cancer Institute and Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.

Four Johns Hopkins psychiatrists have been named among Top Therapists in the region by Washingtonian magazine, citing the results of a survey of 1,500 local psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, therapists and counselors. Recognized for their skills were Todd Cox, assistant professor of psychiatry; Angela Guarda, associate professor and director of the Eating Disorders Program; Elizabeth Kastelic, assistant professor and director of the Young Adult and Adolescent Mood Disorders Inpatient Service and of the Outpatient Consultation Clinic; and Peter Rabins, professor and co-director of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry. Rabins also is co-author of The 36-Hour Day, an internationally recognized guidebook for families caring for persons with dementia.


Cheryl Dennison, associate professor in Nursing Systems and Outcomes, has been named chair of the Doctoral Admissions and Progressions Committee.

Fannie Gaston-Johansson, professor and Elsie M. Lawler Chair of the Department of Acute and Chronic Care, and Phyllis Sharps, professor and chair of the Department of Community Public Health Nursing, have been inducted into the National Black Nurses Association Institute of Excellence. Gaston-Johansson and Sharps were officially inducted on Aug. 4 in Toronto.

Susan Immelt, assistant professor in Acute and Chronic Care, has been named chair of the Baccalaureate Curriculum Revision Committee.

Daniel Sheridan, associate professor in Community Public Health Nursing, has been named chair of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

Julie Stanik-Hutt, associate professor in Acute and Chronic Care, has been named director of the new Master’s in Nursing Science program.

Sarah Szanton, an assistant professor in Health Systems and Outcomes, is the recipient of a 2009–2011 John A. Hartford Foundation Claire M. Fagin Fellowship in geriatric nursing research. Szanton’s research will focus on how chronic stress affects the health of older adults.