2023 Outstanding Recent Graduate Award

Houssam al-Nahhas, SPH ‘20
Houssam al-Nahhas, MD, MPH '20 is a physician and researcher with extensive personal and professional experience researching and responding to human rights violations and attacks on health systems during times of conflict. When the uprising started in Syria in 2011, Dr. al-Nahhas joined an underground medical team in Aleppo city where he treated injured demonstrators and victims of violence, coordinated a team of healthcare providers, conducted field assessments, established a referral network for injured patients, and developed a national protocol to respond to mass casualties from chemical threats. While treating the injured and preparing for unthinkable atrocities, he also had constant concern for his safety from the government as four members of his team were identified and tortured to death. Dr al-Nahhas was later detained and tortured for providing health care. When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Baltimore, Dr. al-Nahhas again joined a direct response team. He volunteered as a deputy area commander at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where he supported emergency department leadership by helping coordinate operations in the surge tent. He currently works with Physicians for Human Rights, focusing on research activities related to attacks on health care, detention, human rights violations, and COVID-19 implications in Syria collaborating with Ukrainian partners to develop educational materials for chemical threats mitigation, develops strategies to create safer and healthier environments for communities affected by conflict. Whether acting as an emergency physician or researcher, Dr. al-Nahhas has impacted the health and safety of communities all around the globe.

Kevin Gianaris, A&S ‘20
While at Johns Hopkins, Kevin developed a distinct interest in global health equity and climate change and dedicated his time and intellect to addressing these issues in the most creative and innovative ways possible. Since 2018, Kevin has worked in the field on search and rescue in the Greek Refugee Crisis, in cardiac surgery development in Senegal, and as head operations manager and cluster representative to the UN, WHO, and Ministry of Health for an African-run NGO in South Sudan. Alongside his field work, Kevin has elegantly applied his clinical research skills that he developed at Johns Hopkins working under the Surgeon in Chief, Dr. Andrew Cameron, and at Cedars-Sinai where he worked under the two founders of the busiest heart transplant center in the world. He has addressed the intensely challenging issue of climate change by using the unique SPARC2 tool to assess surgical programs around the world for their impact on climate change, and he has presented this work at both international and national medical meetings. He currently also runs projects aimed at improving surgical development for noncommunicable diseases in conflict zones and in cardiac surgical development in sub-Saharan Africa, among many others. Yet, what Kevin is most proud of is that he simply likes taking care of sick people. He speaks of his treasured experiences spent with patients holding their hands in their most difficult times.

Scott Newton, Nurs ‘14
Dr. Scott Newton has 35 years of experience in healthcare as a nurse clinician, leader, educator, and trusted advisor. Over the past three decades Scott has directed patient access, capacity management and patient throughput programs for several academic health systems including The Johns Hopkins Hospital. During his tenure at Johns Hopkins, he was the clinical nurse leader for the design, activation, and operation of the Capacity Command Center. He has worked as an educator and advisor to many health networks in North America, Europe, Africa, and Australia. Dr. Newton collaborates with teams to address complex challenges using evidence-based principles of high reliability, strengths-based leadership, change management, & patient focus that enables high-quality clinical, financial, and operational outcomes. He continues to practice in prehospital, emergency, disaster, and humanitarian care. Scott is a former Nursing Advisory Board member, and continues to demonstrate deep engagement with the School through a variety of alumni and annual giving initiatives. Most recently, he was featured in the School of Nursing’s United States of Nursing campaign, as one of the school’s nurse leaders across the nation.

Shambhavi Ray, Bus ‘16
As an award-winning pharmaceutical executive Shambhavi strongly believes in equitable patient access and has critical national and global launches to her name. She helped launch a novel women’s health antibiotic in the US for an infection that affects 23 million women in the US. At the same company, she was promoted to being the access lead where she was responsible for establishing access to the antibiotic for Medicaid patients. She also coordinated the drug's USD150 million acquisition/integration. She was invited to present her perspective around commercial launches at an industry conference. Shambhavi is now a part of the global launch of Novavax's Covid vaccine. As Associate Director Global Market Access Strategy, she is responsible for establishing equitable patient access globally. Access to the vaccine and subsequently protection against Covid is influenced by patient choice, so it is important that patients have the option to choose the option they are most comfortable with. Shambhavi is instrumental in the first global protein based Covid vaccine launch. She is a part of the virtual mock interview initiative at Carey and has routinely helped students with mock interviews and career guidance. She has managed internship hiring for Carey students at Lupin, and was invited by Carey for an employment panel. She supports and mentors Carey graduates, serves on the Pride Alumni Network Leadership Committee and is passionate about helping Carey Business School establish itself as a premiere institution.

Michael Ryan, Ed ‘15
Michael S. Ryan, MD, Med s transforming how doctors are trained by coupling the health profession with formal principles of adult education. Throughout his thirteen-year career at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Dr. Ryan served in a variety of educational leadership positions including clerkship director, associate program director, vice chair of education, and assistant dean for clinical medical education. Translating what he learned at Johns Hopkins, he led major curriculum reforms at VCU-SOM and beyond. He was a steering committee member for the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Core EPA pilot for its duration, served as chair of the competency-based medical education (CBME) workgroup for the American Medical Association’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium, and is a member of the International CBME collaborative. The purpose of his work involves progress in the realization of CBME across the continuum of training. The results of this endeavor have identified ongoing challenges associated with CBME and early lessons in terms of validity and reliability of assessment. Future work includes building upon early lessons through future collaboration with leaders across the country and major organizational stakeholders. He is a reviewer for nine journals and volunteers for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the American Pediatric Association (APA), and the Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics (COMSEP). He also serves as an adjunct faculty member for the MEHP program at Johns Hopkins where he teaches Educational Scholarship and is faculty for the APA/PHM APEX program. This past summer, Dr. Ryan joined the faculty at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. At UVA, he is a tenured professor of pediatrics, associate dean for assessment, evaluation, research, and scholarly innovation and the inaugural director of the Center for Excellence in Education. Dr. Ryan received the APA junior faculty teaching award in 2016. He has published more than 60 peer‐reviewed publications on medical education topics including competency‐based medical education, entrustable professional activities, and faculty/learner development. He has received educational grant funding from the AMA, COMSEP, and Southern Group on Educational Affairs (SGEA).

Rebecca Selzer, Engr ‘15
Rebecca “Becky” Selzer is the senior principal architect for IT at United Airlines. In her role, she supports the infrastructure, operations, and engineering team in Digital Technology by designing and building systems securely in the cloud, aircraft systems, and more. Prior, she served as the Chief of Staff for the Executive Vice President of Digital Technology & Chief Digital Officer at United. Leading her team, she built connections and relationships to ensure alignment and engagement within the Digital Technology organization at all levels. The rate in which Becky continues to be promoted at United is extremely impressive. She is eager to take on new responsibilities and devise solutions to emerging problems. Becky is an advocate for Women in STEM and is passionate about mentoring the next generation of STEM leaders. She has spoken at several conferences and keynoted the 2022 Connected Aviation Intelligence Summit. She is a board member for the annual Blue Team Con Cybersecurity Conference. Becky graduated from Johns Hopkins with a master’s degree in Computer Science in 2015. She is an IT leader at a major airline company and an inspiration to women in STEM.

Michael St. Germain, SAIS ’14, ‘15
Michael St. Germain previously served on the SAIS Board of Advisors as one of the recent graduate members. He also recently serves as a fundraising chair of the Strategic Studies Alumni group at SAIS, which raises tens of thousands of dollars for the SAIS Merrill Center every year. Michael also sits on the 555 Pennsylvania Ave Advisory Group. Michael is currently in product business development for Android Automotive at Google. Previously he was a Programs Marketing Manager for Grow with Google focusing on veterans and military families. He is also a UH60 medical evacuation pilot in the US Army Reserve, and recently started a new position as Deputy Bilateral Affairs Officer for the EUCOM Office of Defense Cooperation for the US Army. At Google, Michael focused on increasing economic opportunity for veterans and their families by working with product teams to build new products and programs for the military community. He is also an active member of the veteran’s employee resource group at Google, more commonly known as VetNet. Michael continues to find opportunities for SAIS and JHU to partner with Google, particularly on how Google can support training and education for veterans and military families.