2019 Community Hero Award Recipients
Diane Becker, Nurs ’64, ’78, BSPH ’79, ‘84
Diane earned her B.S. in Nursing from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and her M.P.H. and Sc.D. from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has remained committed to Johns Hopkins as a faculty member with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and is currently Professor Emerita. Diane is a member of the Heart, Body, and Soul team with a mission of health outreach in the East Baltimore community. Heart, Body, and Soul, Inc. makes sure that the community has a voice for all community health initiatives whether the focus is on research, education or service. The motto is, "We care, we get the job done, and together we create with heart." Diane lives this mission. Heart, Body, and Soul, Inc. was established out of a partnership between CURE (Clergy United for Renewal in East Baltimore) and Johns Hopkins. Reverend Melvin B. Tuggle, II was the driving force in this partnership and became a national leader in designing faith-based community health partnerships. Diane played an instrumental role in establishing the Tuggle Award and is dedicated to fully fund the Reverend Melvin Tuggle Endowment, which embodies Hopkins commitment to make a difference in the East Baltimore community. The Endowment supports Hopkins students who embody Reverend Tuggle and his work on public health in East Baltimore and other communities nationwide.
Lance Chilton, A&S ’66, Med ‘69
Lance A. Chilton, M.D., spent more than 40 years as a practicing pediatrician in New Mexico, including two years with the Indian Health Service (IHS) early in his career. His experience with the IHS led to a lifelong interest in improving the care for Native American children in New Mexico. He joined the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) Committee on Native American Child Health and chaired the committee for eight years, where he and his colleagues established a program for education and case management of urban Indian children in the greater Albuquerque area. The program enlisted the help of representatives from the All Indian Pueblo Council, Indian Health Service, Education for Parents of Indian Children with Special Needs, and the state health department, and its success paved the path for further collaborative efforts. In 2002, he received the AAP’s Native American Child Health Advocacy Award. Chilton has also been a resource for the larger community of Albuquerque, where he wrote a bi-weekly column - “Your Child’s Health” - for the Albuquerque Journal. The column covered topics around children’s physical and mental well-being and answered questions from the readership. Chilton is an advocate for the immunization of children and served four years on the Centers for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Throughout, Chilton remained an active educator as a clinical professor for over 30 years at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine until his retirement in 2015. Currently, he serves as chair of the AAP’s executive committee for the Council on Community Pediatrics. He and his wife are involved in multiple early literacy efforts in their long-time home town of
Nitish K. Dogra, BSPH ‘05
Dr. Nitish Dogra is a public health physician, currently serving as faculty at IIHMR, a JHSPH collaborating health management institute in India. In addition to his MPH from JHSPH, Dr. Dogra received an MBBS and an MD from the University of Delhi. He has been a Visiting Faculty at the Dept. of Earth & Planetary Sciences, JHU while on a Fulbright Fellowship. It was in Delhi that he gained community experience at the start of his career, working with urban poor children on air pollution and health. This led him to JHSPH. Armed with his degree he returned to India. Here he has catalyzed the field of Climate and Health with achievements such as being editor for Climate Change and Disease Dynamics in India, convening the NIH supported Understanding Climate and Health Associations in India (UCHAI) training workshop and delivering an invited commentary at the 1st Conference on Health & Climate at WHO Headquarters, Geneva. In the last three years, as the Delhi air pollution crisis has spiraled, Dr. Dogra has worked with JHU alumni, Fulbrighters, the US Embassy in India, physicians, citizen groups and his own neighborhood to spread awareness for minimizing air pollution personal exposure. He was preceptor to Carolyn Hricko, an MPH alumna who got a best practicum award for work related to air pollution advocacy in Delhi. Dr. Dogra’s innovation linking a community-based air quality monitoring system with social media has been featured on BBC. He believes that science that doesn’t reach society, isn’t science at all!
Khashayer Khatiri, SAIS ’20
Shay first learned of the shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania after his friend woke him up to tell him about the devastating news. Shay wanted to do something to benefit the victims and survivors, and aimed for an impact beyond the small amount he himself could donate. Recognizing the generosity of Americans, he quickly launched a GoFundMe campaign to support the synagogue with a goal to reach $50,000 in donations. Within hours, the campaign was on track to far exceed its target – surpassing $500,000 the first day with over 4,800 contributors – prompting Shay to update the goal to $1 million, which was ultimately achieved. The money raised will go directly to the congregation and he hopes that the funds will be used to help the families and the congregation recover. While studying at Johns Hopkins SAIS, Shay has learned a great deal about inter-state conflicts through his Strategic Studies courses. Examining those conflicts, particularly World War II, has given him greater insight on how distrust in public and civil society institutions and their weakening directly relate to the rise of ideological extremism and global conflicts. It has been eye opening for Shay to see that extremists often rise when the public loses faith in establishment politics – whether for good reasons or not. Shay believes that in order to minimize the spread of ideological violence and extremism, we need to make civil society institutions stronger and more efficient to restore the public trust in them. Originally, from Iran, Shay says he is an American at heart and he hopes to serve the U.S. after graduation. While he is still exploring careers, he would like to work on defense policy issues in either the government or private sector. He has always believed that a strong America – militarily, economically, politically, and institutionally – leads to a freer, more prosperous, and more peaceful world. Shay wants to leave America better than he found it and he believes that, as illustrated by a viral GoFundMe campaign, our contributions mean more together than each of us acting independently does. The campaign was amplified on social media, where it has been shared more than 47,000 times. A timely tweet from CNN host Jake Tapper and other Twitter personalities helped the campaign on its way to viral status. More than 16,000 people have contributed to the campaign. The highest donation was $25,000, but the majority of the contributions have been small dollar amounts. “The great thing about social media is that for people who don't have the means to donate themselves, they nevertheless have shared the campaign and made their own contribution to the cause in that way," says Khatiri.
Charles Kramer, Ed ’97, (MS), EdD ‘05
For the past 13 years, Chad Kramer has been the principal of Patterson Park Public Charter School in Baltimore, which has an 81 percent free or reduced-price lunch (FRPL) student population. An enthusiastic advocate for his students, both in and out of the classroom, Chad was named the 2016 recipient of the Playworks Most Valuable Principal Award for his commitment to going above and beyond in his work. He defines the success of his school by four standards: hands-on, interdisciplinary thematic instruction; character building; incorporation of arts and creativity in every classroom; and the ability to challenge students while still giving them the support they need to succeed. Chad believes in building strong school communities through improving teacher retention, lifting student achievement, and addressing factors contributing to poor school performance. He can often be found outside the school every morning and afternoon for entry and dismissal. An expert in special education who managed public school partnerships for the Kennedy Krieger Institute, Kramer was looking for an opportunity for impact in public education when he joined Patterson Park in its second year. He is also noted for being an outstanding mentor and advocate for SOE students and graduates by dedicating time throughout his career to living by example, seeing professional development of his fellow alumni as part of his duty to shape future educators of Baltimore City.
Charles Langmead, Bus ’90
Chuck is a Baltimore native who began his career at McCormick in production. He worked his way up the company in numerous roles of increasing responsibility, eventually being named President of Global Industrial Business. He served on McCormick’s Management Committee, its highest leadership team, and pioneered McCormick's diversity initiative as chairman of the company's first Diversity Council and is an Emeritus member of the Multiple Management Board, McCormick's acclaimed professional development system. Beyond his professional accomplishments at one of Baltimore’s most visible companies, Chuck has never lost sight of the greater community and the people of Baltimore. He devoted several years on the Board of the United Way of Central Maryland, and was Chairman of the Board for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Baltimore, recently co-chairing their campaign. He was also a member of the Board of Sponsors for Loyola University Maryland's Sellinger School of Business and Management. Chuck has since moved to Ellicott City and is currently on the Foundation Board at Howard County General Hospital, serving as Development Chair and helping the local community through his work there. Chuck is the epitome of alumni leadership, both professional and personal, engaging with Carey Business School and working with students through an Executive in Residence, speaking engagements specific to student community engagement and philanthropy, and consistent financial support. Students have commented that he embodies what they aspire to be when they can achieve that level of professional success and community-mindedness.
Mindi B. Levin, BSPH Faculty
Mindi B. Levin, MS, CHES ® is the Founder/Director of SOURCE, the community engagement and service-learning center for the JHU Schools of Public Health, Nursing, and Medicine. SOURCE’s mission is to engage the health professional schools and Baltimore communities in mutually beneficial partnerships that promote health and social justice. Opportunities coordinated through SOURCE provide professional development opportunities for students, while simultaneously responding to community-identified needs. Together with her team, Mindi has worked to integrate public health practice and community engagement activities into the academic curriculum, and to provide programs and services that embrace the values of service, justice, diversity, and reciprocity. She teaches and supports a variety of service-learning courses, and trains faculty and community leaders in service-learning pedagogy. She created and serves as faculty co-sponsor for the Community-Based Public Health certificate. Other initiatives that Mindi has helped develop include: The Connection Community Consultants, SOURCE HIV Counseling and Testing, SOURCE Service-Learning Faculty and Community Fellows, SOURCE Service Scholars, The Identity Clinic, and Baltimore Action Projects. Mindi’s work has been recognized with a multitude of honors, including the Institutional Leadership Award from Campus Compact of the MidAtlantic, Excellence in Practice from ACPA College Student Educators International, Michael Jenkins Humanitarian Award from Operation PULSE, and Very Important Professionals by the Daily Record. Over 13,000 JHU students have logged more than 400,000 hours of service in Baltimore through SOURCE since 2005.
Jason Terrell and Mario Shaw, Ed ’15 (MS) (both)
Jason Terrell and Mario Javon Shaw, roommates during their time as members of the Teach For America 2012 Charlotte, North Carolina cohort, are co-founders of Profound Gentlemen, an organization dedicated to building community for male educators of color. While teaching, Mario created The Brotherhood, a program to address the needs of his young black male students, and Jason served as a mentor, athletic coach, and tutor. The two came away from their experience with a goal: they want to see more African-American male teachers. They believe that to eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline for boys of color, more African-American male teachers are needed in schools. Since starting the nonprofit, they have expanded to several states and currently have a membership of 250 educators. Participants are placed in a small cohort with a leader who supports them in character and content development, as well as in setting goals to increase community impact. As a result, Profound Gentlemen members have been able to step into leadership roles, make a greater impact in their schools and communities, and receive the support they need to return to their classrooms and impact boys of color. Their goal is to see 90 percent of Profound Gentlemen educators return to the education sector better prepared to affect all students and 90 percent of boys of color engaged through their Code Orange curriculum matriculate through their K-12 experience prepared for college and career opportunities. Jason and Mario were named as part of the 2018 Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30” list for their work.
Danna Thomas, Ed ’13 (MS)
Danna Thomas is the founder and CEO of Happy Teacher Revolution. She was a member of the Teach For America 2010 Baltimore cohort and was placed in the Baltimore City Public Schools. As a new teacher, Danna frequently found herself becoming a source of stability, structure, and support for students. The responsibility was a point of pride for her—to help children through teaching. She found herself plagued by funding shortages, degraded and dangerous buildings, and rampant personnel mismanagement. She was affected by the traumas her students brought with them, too—parental suicides, exposure to gun violence, extreme poverty. Despite her drive to make a difference, she felt herself burning out from the stress and the secondhand trauma she experienced on the job. These experiences drove her to seek out guidance through the Johns Hopkins Social Innovation Lab to jump-start her vision of improving wellness resources for teachers in the creation of Happy Teacher Revolution (HTR). HTR is a network of teachers that serves as a support system for teachers who are struggling with the shame, blame, guilt and difficulties of balancing an incredibly demanding profession with their own sense of self and happiness. HTR strives to empower teachers to push back on these expectations in hopes of them striking a balance between excellent teaching and personal sustainability. Modeled on 12‐step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Happy Teacher Revolution promotes social‐emotional sharing, professional development, and self‐care for teachers through support groups and an online curriculum. Danna’s work was featured in the Johns Hopkins Hub in November 2018 and the spring issue of the Johns Hopkins Magazine.