Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 10, 2021

Virtual Alumni Awards recognizes notable University affiliates

By MIN-SEO KIM | February 4, 2021

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COURTESY OF CHRIS H. PARK

Due to the pandemic, this year's annual Alumni Awards Celebration was held online for the first time.

The Hopkins Alumni Association hosted its annual awards celebration on Jan. 28. These awards recognized the contributions of the University’s alumni, faculty and friends and included six categories: The Heritage Award, the Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award, the Global Achievement Award, the Community Champion Award, the Distinguished Government Service Award and the Outstanding Recent Graduate Award.

Susan deMuth, assistant vice president for alumni relations and executive director of the Hopkins Alumni Association, delivered opening remarks.

“Even though 2020 has been such a challenging year, a highlight is this opportunity to recognize outstanding Johns Hopkins alumni. We are thrilled to celebrate our shining stars and capture them here in this program,” she said.

The Heritage Award was awarded to alumni and partners of the University who have significantly advanced Hopkins or the Alumni Association’s activities for an extended period of time. One of the recipients was Dr. Robert Gilman, a faculty member at Bloomberg School of Public Health (SPH).

In an interview with The News-Letter, Gilman explained why he chose to work at the School of Medicine and SPH, where he has been for 45 years.

“Hopkins was one of the few universities where I could live away from Hopkins. My whole base was in Peru, and I could stay and be promoted as a faculty member while down there,” he said. “I don’t think I could have done that anywhere else. I am teaching, but it gave me the freedom to do what I want in global health.”

The Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award was given to alumni who have advanced the University’s image through their achievements, whether it be through personal, professional or humanitarian means.

Isabel Studer Noguez (SAIS ‘92, ‘99) received this award for her work as the board president of the Mexican Climate Initiative and was labeled by Forbes as one of the “100 Most Powerful Women in Mexico.” In her remarks, she thanked the University for its role in her success.

“I became the first Mexican admitted to the Canadian Studies program two years before the North American Free Trade Agreement was proposed,” Noguez said. “Johns Hopkins University taught me to be at the leading edge of the strategic topics on the international agenda.”

The Global Achievement Award was bestowed upon alumni who have enhanced both the University’s reputation and their profession on the world stage through professional or humanitarian successes. 

Recipients included Americo Nobre Amorim, who graduated from the School of Education in 2018).

Amorim worked as a DJ in Brazil, where he fused his loves for teaching kids music and reducing illiteracy by developing games. He thanked Hopkins for helping him achieve his goals.

“When I started my doctorate studies at Johns Hopkins, I was hoping my research would be able to help a few hundred kids to learn. Now our innovative games are helping over 100,000 kids in three continents. They are learning three times more in writing and 11 times more in reading,” he said.

The Community Champion Award honored alumni and groups whose influence has resulted in major social, economic or environmental improvements. Phyllis Sharps, a faculty member at the School of Nursing and head of the Center for Community Innovations and Scholarships, works to connect the School to Baltimore community organizations. Sharps expressed her appreciation for the local community during her remarks.

“Working in a community is very rewarding because you meet a lot of people from different racial and racial backgrounds, working, living and housing conditions. Each person is different, and every day is different. It’s such a unique experience,” she said.

The Distinguished Government Service Award recognized notable alumni with current or recently finished careers in public service. The 2020 recipients include Alfred Abramson III, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Class of 2001, served in the U.S. Army for 30 years and worked as the joint executive officer for armaments and ammunition to research, engineer and supply resources to the armed forces. During his remarks, he detailed his passion for working in government.

“Serving something bigger than myself, in terms of the protection of the Constitution and the freedoms we enjoy today, is passing on what I’ve learned in 30 years of service to those who are coming behind me,” he said.

The Outstanding Recent Graduate Award rewards alumni who, within 10 years of graduation, performed an exceptional achievement or service as a professional or volunteer. 

For a decade, Dr. Carl Streed, who graduated from the School of Medicine in 2013 has worked to advance health in the LGBTQ community. Upon receiving the Outstanding Recent Graduate Award, he explained that his time at Hopkins set the foundation for his career.

“Beyond the world-class education I got from Johns Hopkins, it’s the great network of mentors and friends that have really contributed most significantly to my success both as a clinician in primary care as well as a researcher focused on LGBTQ health,” he said.

Handley, the previous director of the Alumni Association, delivered congratulatory closing remarks.

“Hopkins has so many icons in medicine and public health,” she said. “They have prevailed during the pandemic, not to mention the local community leaders who have helped uplift their communities when they needed them the most.”

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