Skip to navigation Skip to main content

Distinguished Alumnus Award 2011

2011 Recipients

Robert M. Campbell, Jr., A&S ’73
Dr. Robert Campbell is director and founder of The Center for Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He started the program in 2009 after a distinguished tenure at the University of Texas Health Science Center and Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital in San Antonio Texas. Dr. Campbell has a distinguished resume, but is best known for inventing and developing a pediatric surgical device known as the VEPTR (Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib) which was approved as a Humanitarian Device Exemption (HDE) in 2004 after 14 years of FDA trials. Dr. Campbell has treated more than 300 children with severe chest wall deformities and scoliosis and has trained doctors around the world to perform this life-saving surgery. One of those children, granddaughter of the nominator, most likely would have succumbed to pulmonary issues if it were not for Dr. Campbell’s intervention. Dr. Campbell’s testimony before the U.S. Congress helped to reform the FDA approval process for drugs and devices that treat neglected “orphan diseases” and rare conditions. Top

Lisa M. Dunkle, Med ’72
Dr. Dunkle received her B.A. from Wellesley College and her M.D. from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She completed a residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in infectious diseases at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Dunkle is currently the executive director of Global Clinical Research and Executive Director of Infectious Diseases Clinical Research at Merck Research Laboratories. After completing her education, Dr. Dunkle spent 15 years as an infectious disease specialist and professor. She was professor of pediatrics and chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the St. Louis University School of Medicine before joining Bristol-Myers Squibb as executive director of antiviral clinical research. There, Dr. Dunkle led several important initiatives, most notably the release of Bristol-Myers’ initial two HIV drugs: didanosine and stavudine. Didanosine is an antiviral drug that prohibits HIV cells from reproducing in the body. Stavudine is now one of the most commonly prescribed antiretroviral medications in the world. Additionally, Dr. Dunkle directed a study on the drug acyclovir and showed that it has benefits for children suffering from chicken pox, including reducing sores and relieving itching. After her time at Bristol-Myers, she moved on to co-found Achillion Pharmaceuticals and consulted extensively before joining Schering-Plough (now Merck Research Laboratories) in 2004 to head development of HIV drug therapy. Dr. Dunkle remains active in the Johns Hopkins community and has been the Class of 1972 Class Representative since 2003. Top

Earle S. Freedman, Engr ’50
Earle S. “Jock” Freedman, has served the transportation profession with distinction during a career in public service that spans 60 years. Mr. Freedman currently is the longest serving state employee in Maryland. He is known for his extensive contributions in the areas of bridge safety and economy and for his ground breaking involvement in bridge aesthetics. He has also been a strong advocate and mentor for generations of young engineers who began working for him in the bridge department and have gone on to productive careers. Jock has spent his entire career working for the Office of Structures of the Maryland State Highway Administration. He graduated from the Johns Hopkins School of Engineering in 1950 and started working for the state as a bridge designer that same year. Since 1975, Jock has been the director of the Office of Structures, with complete responsibility for all bridge design, bridge remedial engineering, and inspection of all structures on the State Highway System. Throughout his career, Mr. Freedman has emphasized the importance of bridge safety and structural integrity. Jock Freedman has made many outstanding contributions, not only to the traveling public and his department but to bridge engineering as a whole. Top

Susan R. Guarnieri, SPH ’69
Dr. Guarnieri is well known for her public health work in Baltimore and the state, especially her work to support mental health facilities and AIDS clinics in Maryland. She has received numerous awards from the legislature and governors for her work as health commissioner for Baltimore City, president of the Baltimore City Medical Society, delegate to the Maryland State MedChi Society, chair of the Governor’s Commission on Woman’s Health, vice chair of the State’s Health Services Cost Review Commission, member of the Board of Visitors University of Maryland School of Medicine, and her work with the Association of the Maryland Hospitals and Health Systems. From 1977 to 1979, she was the Medical News Commentator for WMAR-TV show “Prognosis”, a weekly television program. At the time, “Prognosis” was the longest running medical television show in Baltimore. In 1984, she became the first woman to head the Baltimore City Health Department and in 1987, Dr. Guarnieri became the medical director of the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company and Constellation Energy. In 2006, she became the acting commissioner of a health department in Phoenix, Arizona. Within a year, she developed the policies and procedures that Phoenix needed to bring on a permanent commissioner. Currently, she serves on several local hospital boards including Maryland General and GBMC. Her most recent assignment is serving on the Medical Alumni Board of Ohio State University. Top

Roger J. Hajjar, Engr ’86
Dr. Roger Hajjar received his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 1986. A cardiologist and translational scientist, he is a leader in gene therapy techniques and model testing for cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Hajjar is professor of medicine and cardiology, and professor of gene and cell medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, as well as research director of Mount Sinai's Wiener Family Cardiovascular Research Laboratories. Dr. Hajjar was recruited to Mt. Sinai from Harvard Medical School where he was assistant professor of medicine and staff cardiologist in the Heart Failure & Cardiac Transplantation Center. He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and trained in internal medicine and cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Dr. Hajjar has concentrated his research efforts on understanding the basic mechanisms of heart failure. He has developed gene transfer methods and techniques in the heart to improve contractility. Dr. Hajjar’s laboratory focuses on targeting signaling pathways in cardiac myocytes to improve contractile function in heart failure and to block signaling pathways in hypertrophy and apoptosis. Dr. Hajjar has significant expertise in gene therapy. In 1996, he won the Young Investigator Award of the American Heart Association (Council on Circulation). In 1999, Dr. Hajjar was awarded the prestigious Doris Duke Clinical Scientist award and won first prize at the Astra Zeneca Young Investigator Forum. Dr. Hajjar holds a number of NIH grants. Top

Lee S. Kempler, SAIS ’91
Lee Kempler joined BlackRock Investment Institute as Managing Director and Executive Diector in April 2011 and was previously a partner in McKinsey & Company's New York office since 1997. He spent most of his career working with financial institutions on a range of strategy, operations, and organization issues. In 2004, Kempler was appointed McKinsey's director of knowledge, with global responsibility for the people, processes, and technology associated with building and maintaining the firm's proprietary knowledge base. He has also been active in serving nonprofit institutions in New York. Mr. Kempler holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, economics and French, as well as an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in international relations from SAIS. A dedicated alumnus and strategic thinker, in 2004 Lee undertook a thorough survey of SAIS’s Career Services, benchmarking the office against peer offices and suggesting strategies for improvement. Many of their suggestions were incorporated into the SAIS Dean’s “Roll Back the Future” plan to maximize SAIS efficiency and operations. In addition, Lee has hosted students at his New York office for Career Trek visits, sharing information about strategy consulting and offering personal advice. Lee has continually served as an advocate for SAIS within McKinsey recruiting for “non-traditional” hires, aiding Career Services in bringing visibility for SAIS within the McKinsey recruiting process. On the Alumni Relations front, Mr. Kempler has offered McKinsey & Company’s New York office to hold gatherings for the SAIS NY Alumni Club’s faculty discussion series and several SAIS professors have spoken at these events over the years. Lee indeed typifies our university’s tradition of excellence and brings credit to our institution through his service to SAIS and the Johns Hopkins University. Top

Doris Keefe Lidtke, Ed ’74 (MEd)
Doris Keefe Lidtke is an internationally recognized educational leader in ethics and the social impact of computing. She is professor emerita of computer and information sciences at Towson University having served on the faculty from 1968 to 2002. In addition to her Johns Hopkins masters in education, Dr. Lidtke earned a bachelor of science and doctor of philosophy degree at the University of Oregon. Dr. Lidtke is an active leader and volunteer, having served such organizations as the Association for Computing, Computing Sciences Accreditation Board, National Educational Computer Conference, IEEE Computer Society, Maryland Academy of Science, and International Federation of Information Processing Societies. In 2000, Dr. Lidtke was named Outstanding Faculty Member in the College of Science and Mathematics at Towson University. The Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computers and Society honored her in 2004 with its Outstanding Service Award. In 2006, she was named a fellow by ABET, recognizing her for “serving as a pioneer and strong proponent of accreditation for programs in computing … and for selfless contributions to the computing disciplines and American higher education.” She currently serves on the advisory board at the Johns Hopkins School of Education. Dr. Lidtke also occupies a unique position in the history of the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY). As reported in the Sept. 21, 2009, edition of the JHU Gazette: “The origins of CTY can be traced back to 1968 and two people: Julian Stanley, a professor at Johns Hopkins, and Doris Lidtke, a computer professor at Towson University who taught a summer computer science program at Johns Hopkins. Through the JHU program, Lidtke met a talented rising eighth-grader, Joseph Bates, whom she brought to Stanley’s attention. Bates had run out of math classes to take in the Baltimore County schools and needed a new challenge.” That action sparked the eventual creation of CTY, which has served more than 100,000 students through its programs. Top

Donna Mildvan, Med ’67
Dr. Mildvan is currently chief of the Infectious Diseases Division, director of AIDS Research at Beth Israel Medical Center and professor of Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. A respected clinical investigator, Dr. Mildvan’s work has focused on the treatment and prevention of HIV and AIDS using new therapies and drugs. She was one of the first researchers involved with HIV and AIDS, and has been profiled in both Randy Shilts’ And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic and Bayer and Oppenheimer’s AIDS Doctors, Voices from the Epidemic. Dr. Mildvan has been influential in the development of antiretroviral drugs, in the improvement in biomarker research, and in finding ways to decrease disparities in clinical trials for AIDS research. Most recently, she has been awarded an NIH contract targeting pathogen-driven treatment of community acquired pneumonia, and has co-authored “The effect of peer-driven intervention on rates of screening for AIDS clinical trials among African Americans and Hispanics” in the American Journal of Public Health. In addition to her work as a clinical scientist, Dr. Mildvan is active on many committees and panels. She is currently a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and Infectious Diseases Society of America and serves on the National Pneumonia Technical Expert Panel. A loyal alumna, Dr. Mildvan and her family created the Mildvan Alumni Endowed Scholarship Fund in 2003 to honor their devotion to medicine and their lifetime affiliation with the School of Medicine. Top

Karen B. Peetz, Bus ’81 (MS)
Karen Peetz is vice chairman and senior executive vice president responsible for the Financial Markets and Treasury Services Group within BNY Mellon. Her group provides treasury services, corporate trust, depositary receipts, shareowner services, broker-dealer clearing, collateral management and alternative investment services representing over a third of the company’s revenue. Ms. Peetz is a member of BNY Mellon’s Executive Committee, the senior management body overseeing day-to-day operations. She is chairperson for the Women’s Initiatives Network (WIN) and serves on the company’s Diversity Council. Prior to her career at BNY Mellon, Ms. Peetz held several executive positions at J.P. Morgan Chase. She is one of the newest members of the Carey Business School’s Corporate Advisory Board (CAB), serving as host to the CAB when meeting in New York City and supporting the growth of the division on many levels, including the creation of internship opportunities for the Carey students. Ms. Peetz is the Chairperson of United Way of New York City’s Board and an executive committee and board member for the Brooklyn Academy of Music. She also serves on Penn State’s Presidential Leadership Academy Advisory Board, is a member of the Financial Services Roundtable and is on the Board of Directors for the Council of the Americas. Ms. Peetz is an example to others, especially young women, of a successful woman in finance who has made a commitment to helping young people succeed. Top

Donna J. Petersen, SPH ’84, ’89 (ScD)
Dr. Donna Petersen is dean of the college of public health at the University of South Florida (USF), the director of the Patel Center for Global Solutions and the interim executive director of USF World, an umbrella initiative that captures USF’s strategic efforts to provide opportunities for USF students to study abroad. Prior to joining USF, she was a professor in the departments of Maternal and Child Health, and Health Care Organization and Policy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), School of Public Health. From 1996-2003, Dr. Petersen was the senior associate dean for academic affairs at the UAB School of Public Health. From 1990-1995, Dr. Petersen served as director of the Division of Family Health at the Minnesota Department of Health. She has been honored for her work by the American Public Health Association, the Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health, the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition and the Delta Omega National Public Health Honor Society. She was the 1996 recipient of the UAB President's Excellence in Teaching Award and the 2003 recipient of the UAB School of Public Health Outstanding Public Health Service Award. In 2002, the UAB School of Public Health created the Donna J. Petersen Award given annually to an outstanding student in the integrated core curriculum, to honor her leadership in developing a unique, award-winning approach to public health education for future professionals. Top

Richard A. Swirnow, Engr ’55
Richard Swirnow is founder and chairman of Harborview Properties Development Company and was the key developer that transformed the 42 acre former Bethlehem Steel Shipyard into the Harborview Marina & Yacht Club. Harborview is a world-class residential development that includes townhomes and penthouse style condominiums, a pedestrian promenade extending 1,000 feet into the harbor, and a 280-slip marina. Since 1964 Mr. Swirnow’s companies developed, managed, leased, sold and partnered in extensive residential and commercial real estate projects and subdivisions in Maryland, South Carolina, Florida and other states across the nation. Considered a visionary by peers and industry experts, Mr. Swirnow saw something special in Baltimore's waterfront more than two decades ago. That foresight along with his intense determination led to the stunning one-of-a-kind community now known as Harborview. Although Harborview is Mr. Swirnow’s flagship community, he has worked to develop neighborhoods all over the mid-Atlantic region. He has taken great pride in creating thousands of jobs as well as ensuring the availability of reasonably priced homes in many areas. Richard was an instrumental member of his 50th Reunion Committee and is also very active in events at the Whiting School of Engineering and the university. Top

Donald L. Trump, A&S ’67, Med ’70, ’74 (PGF), HS ’75
Dr. Trump, an internationally recognized medical oncologist, spent many years at Johns Hopkins, first as a student and then as a member of the medical faculty. After receiving his B.A. and M.D. degrees here, Dr. Trump completed an internship, residency, and fellowship in the Departments of Medicine and Oncology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. During his final year of residency, he earned the position of chief resident. Dr. Trump’s career led him to the Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine, the University of Wisconsin, Duke University Medical Center, and the University of Pittsburgh. In 2002, he joined the Roswell Park Cancer Institute where he currently serves as president, chief executive officer, and professor of oncology. He is also professor of medicine and biomedical sciences at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Dr. Trump’s clinical and research program has focused on the development of new approaches in the treatment of genitourinary cancer, with a concentration on prostate cancer. For the past 15 years, Dr. Trump has pioneered research efforts on the evaluation of the biologic and clinical role of vitamin D and vitamin D analogues in cancer prevention and treatment. Dr. Trump and his collaborators have demonstrated the antitumor mechanisms and therapeutic effects of high-dose vitamin D and have also demonstrated the safety of this therapy. Dr. Trump has held National Cancer Institute peer-reviewed funding continuously since 1986 and also has been funded by the American Chemical Society and the Department of Defense. He has held national leadership positions in the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, the Cancer and Leukemia Group B, the American Society of Clinical Oncology; and the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. Top

David Vlahov, SPH ’88
David Vlahov is director of the Center for Urban Epidemiologic Studies at The New York Academy of Medicine. He is also professor of clinical epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, and adjunct professor in epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He brings his expertise across a range of disciplines—epidemiology, infectious diseases, substance abuse and mental health—to the study of urban health and is recognized as a pioneer in the field, both nationally and internationally. Dr. Vlahov has conducted studies of urban populations in Baltimore for over 20 years, including several longitudinal cohort studies for which he received the NIH MERIT Award. In the mid-1980s, he launched the ALIVE study in Baltimore, which has provided seminal insights about the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS, as well as the effectiveness of antiretroviral treatment and HIV prevention. More recently, Dr. Vlahov has led epidemiologic studies in Harlem and the Bronx, which have served as a platform for subsequent individual- and community-level intervention studies and community-based participatory research to address social determinants of health. This work has contributed information on racial/ethnic disparities in health and approaches to address such disparities. Dr. Vlahov led population-based studies after September 11, 2001 on mental health and substance abuse problems in New York City residents. He founded the International Society for Urban Health, serving as its first (and current) president. The Society brings together an interdisciplinary and international group of scientists to examine the health effects of urbanicity. Top

Shirley S. L. Yang, Med ’78 (PGF), Bus ’99 (Cert), ’01 (MBA)
Dr. Yang typifies the Johns Hopkins tradition of excellence and has brought credit to the university and the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School through her personal and professional accomplishments and service to the university. Born in Taiwan, Dr. Yang attended and graduated with distinction from the National Taiwan University School of Medicine, came to the United States and joined Hopkins as a resident in the department of radiology. While a resident she became very concerned about the lack of adequate housing for foreign residents, along with her brother Andrew Yang, a former radiology fellow at Hopkins. They renovated the home that they shared during their training at Hopkins and then donated this property to the School of Medicine to use as housing for future residents. While a senior partner in a private radiology practice, she raised two children who are both graduates of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. When her children began college, Dr. Yang herself began Carey Business School’s Graduate Certificate Business of Health Program and continued her educational pursuits earning her MBA. The author of numerous studies published in a wide range of peer-reviewed journals and other publications, Dr. Yang has also presented frequently at professional and society meetings, seminars and conventions. Dr. Yang has continued to support the school and the university as a Carey Business School Charter Class Investor and she has also developed post-graduate educational opportunities for students. She currently serves as a member of the Johns Hopkins University Board of Trustees. Top