Heritage Award 2017

Jacqueline M. Akinpelu, Engr ’90

Jackie Akinpelu is an Assistant Branch Supervisor at the JHU Applied Physics Laboratory. She has over 30 years of experience modeling and developing computer systems for telecommunication networks and service operations in a highly competitive corporate environment. Prior to APL, she had a long career at AT&T and has experience in university teaching. Dr. Akinpelu received her PhD from Johns Hopkins 1980 and her undergraduate degree from Duke University. Dr. Akinpelu has been a long-time active member of the Johns Hopkins alumni community. She was one of the original members of the new Society of Engineering Alumni Council in 1996-1997 when she served as Treasurer. She came back on in 2006 and chaired the Career Mentoring Committee in 2008, a group that spearheaded the launch of an alumni-to-student mentoring program that still exists today. Dr. Akinpelu served as an executive committee member for her final term with the Society Engineering Alumni from 2012-2015 and was instrumental in the analysis and planning of revamping the group, which became the newly re-named Hopkins Engineering Alumni Leadership Committee.  Although her leadership in the engineering alumni relations program is unparalleled, she has also served on the Applied Mathematics Advisory Committee and the Society of Black Alumni. Dr. Akinpelu continues to support the Whiting School of Engineering through the Student Initiatives Fund, a fund that supports students in pursuing hands-on projects outside the classroom.


Deborah J. Baker, Nurs ’92, ’97, ’11

Deborah Baker has demonstrated her commitment to the University and Johns Hopkins Health System for over 20 years. Deb has served in a variety of roles at the Johns Hopkins Hospital following her graduation in 1992, including clinical care nurse, clinical instructor, acute care nurse practitioner, advanced practice manager, assistant director and director of nursing. Last year, she was appointed to the newly created position of Senior Vice President for Nursing for the Johns Hopkins Health System (overseeing nursing in six Johns Hopkins affiliated hospitals) and Vice President for Nursing and Patient Services for the Johns Hopkins Hospital. “Deb is a truly devoted visionary, a collaborative leader and distinctly qualified to help coordinate and advance our nursing practice in The Johns Hopkins Hospital and across the health system,” said Ronald R. Peterson, former president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Throughout her distinguished nursing career, she has been equally committed to the students, alumni and overall success of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. In September, she was celebrated for her service in various roles on the Johns Hopkins Nurses’ Alumni Association Board from 1999-2016, where she has taken an active role in Alumni Weekend planning.  She has been a member of the Advisory Board for the School of Nursing since 2008, and maintains a strong presence throughout the school as instructor, graduation speaker, and student mentor. She also served on the Alumni Council from 2006 – 2012.  She is eager to help cultivate an even stronger connection between Johns Hopkins Hospital and the School of Nursing.


Richard G. Bennett, Med ’82, PFG ’87

Dr. Bennett is the President of Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and a Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He graduated from Dartmouth College, received his medical degree and completed training in Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. As a Johns Hopkins faculty member for more than 30 years, he was the Lublin Professor in Geriatric Medicine. His research focused on health problems among nursing home patients, and led to seminal observations related to C. difficile infection, pressure ulcers, and nutritional support strategies. From 1996 – 2003, he served as the Fellowship Training Program Director for Geriatric Medicine, and the Principal Investigator for an NIH T-32 Training Grant. He was also the Executive Medical Director for the Johns Hopkins Geriatrics Center, and contributed to the development of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, as among the best in the United States. Finally, from 1994-2003, he helped develop a  network of health plans for Johns Hopkins, and served as the Johns Hopkins HealthCare Chief Medical Officer from 1999-2003. In 2003, Dr. Bennett was named Vice President of Medical Affairs at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, and subsequently, Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, before being appointed President in 2009. In these leadership roles at the hospital, he focused on enriching the academic environment of the campus, and continuing its modernization. He also championed building a diverse and inclusive culture on the Bayview campus which was recognized by his receipt of a 2011 Johns Hopkins Diversity Recognition Award. Besides his many research publications, Dr. Bennett is also the co-author of the book, Building Healthy Community through Medical-Religious Partnerships, which provides a framework for current efforts to improve the health of the hospital’s neighbors and neighborhoods.


Marie Diener-West, BSPH ’84

Marie Diener-West’s research interests have focused on the design, conduct, and analysis of clinical trials. For 20 years, she was the Study Statistician and Deputy Director of the Coordinating Center for the Collaborative Ocular Melanoma Study (COMS) at Hopkins. The COMS is a set of long-term multicenter clinical trials sponsored by the National Eye Institute and conducted at 43 clinical centers to investigate the effectiveness of different radiation treatments on prolonging survival of patients with choroidal melanoma. Areas of interest have included risk factors for mortality and predictors of growth of small melanoma, agreement among multiple raters, and correlation of different methods of measuring tumor dimensions. Other research interests include treatment trials for cystic fibrosis and a longitudinal assessment of the relationship between sleep disorders and heart disease in the Sleep Heart Health Study. She is a member of the faculty of the Johns Hopkins Center for Clinical Trials. Dr. Diener-West's interests also focus on the statistical education of health professionals. Since 1990, she has taught courses in introductory statistical methods and data analysis. With Dr. Sukon Kancharaksa, she developed and co-instructs in the course Fundamentals of Epidemiology, the School's first distance education course. Marie has won the Johns Hopkins Golden Apple award for Excellence in Teaching seven times. 

Robert R. Duncan, A&S ’71

A member of the Krieger School class of 1971, Robert has been a steadfast supporter of his alma mater. Robert served as an active alumni chapter leader in Denver for many years, including a tenure as its president. From 2006-2012, he served on the Alumni Council, during which time he was a member of the Executive Committee for five years. Robert has been a committee member for his 30th, 35th, 40th, and 45th reunions. In 2006, Edwin and his wife Elizabeth endowed a scholarship to support lacrosse, which they have continued to grow over the last decade. Further, Robert is a critical advocate in advancing the geothermal initiatives of the Earth and Planetary Sciences department and has worked tirelessly to coordinate efforts with the Colorado State government and local communities on research that is being conducted there.


Wesley C. Fredericks, Jr., A&S ’70

Since his graduation in 1970 from the School of Arts and Sciences, Wes has been an exceptional alumnus, serving the University selflessly with both his time and treasure. Wes is a 1974 graduate of Columbia University Law School and a retired partner of Jenner & Block, a leading national law firm. He is the former Chair of the firm's New York Corporate Practice. Clients seek his counsel in the areas of domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, finance and related transactions. Mr. Fredericks has extensive experience representing technology and life sciences companies, as well as companies in the industrial and manufacturing sectors, financial services, clean tech, transportation, and automotive. Wes has served in chief executive positions in the automotive industry, including as Chairman of Lotus Cars USA, Inc. and as its General Counsel. Wes also served on the Board of Directors of the Automobile Importers of America (now, the Association of Global Automakers), the U.S. import automobile trade association.  He served a six-year term on the Alumni Council and was a member of the Executive Committee from 2005‐2011. From 2008‐2011, he chaired the Awards and Nominations Committee. He has served the Admissions Office for several decades as a member of the National Alumni Schools Committee.


Mariale A. Hardiman, Ed ’04, Faculty

Dr. Mariale Hardiman graduated from the School of Education with a Doctorate Degree in Special Education in 2004. Dr. Hardiman joined the JHU SOE faculty in 2006 after serving in Baltimore City Public Schools for more than thirty years, and as the principal of Roland Park Elementary-Middle School, she led the school to its designation as a blue ribbon school of excellence. With the use of the Brain-Targeted Teaching® model that Hardiman developed, the school was recognized nationally for innovative arts programming. A committed member of the JHU institution, Dr. Hardiman served not only in a distinguished faculty capacity, but also willingly and enthusiastically taking on the responsibility of the interim dean role. She has held this role, not once but twice for the School of Education, while serving simultaneously as vice dean of academic affairs, professor of clinical education, and co-founder and director of the school of education’s neuro-education initiative. While in these leadership roles, she has identified, cultivated and secured both prospective donors and national advisory board members to bring visibility and advocacy to the School. Dr. Hardiman has been a highly involved alumna volunteer within the student and alumni activities at the School of Education, the University, and central alumni relations for over a decade. She has served on multiple School and University-wide committees as well as serving in co-chair positions for more than one. She has volunteered her time, knowledge, and experience at student/alumni career networking events, panel discussions and professional development workshops held several times a year. She is also a mentor and advisor to many alumni and students.  Dr. Hardiman is the co-founder and director of the JHU SOE's Neuro-Education Initiative (NEI), which brings to educators relevant research from the learning sciences through the Mind, Brain and Teaching masters and doctoral courses and professional development programs which she designed. Through the NEI and other collaborative work, she has presented nationally and internationally on the importance of arts integration, the impact of fostering a productive school climate, and providing academics and teachers with tools to produce life-long independent learners.


Karl V. Krammer, SAIS-Bol ’80

Mr. Krammer is the President and Founder of the Krammer Consultants Politics & Media (1997-present).  He is a former Member of the Board of Trustees of the ORF (Österreichischer Rundfunk) (1986-2003), a former chief   of cabinet and press spokesman for Chancellor Franz Vranitzky (1986-1997), and former spokesman for the Minister of Finence Franz Vranitzky (Social Democratic Party's) (1985-1987).  Mr. Krammer has been the  President of the JHU SAIS Austrian Alumni Chapter since 1986. During the last 30 years, the Austrian Alumni Chapter has organized monthly alumni meetings focused on the alumni network, recruitment and careers. The Chapter always involves notable alumni from various fields (Government, Banking, Media, Private sector), SAIS and JHU Professors in these meetings.  Every June, the Board of the Chapter organizes a reunion to present the activities of the year, to elect the new Board and to invite the new SAIS Europe admitted students. Karl has been reelected as President every year during these meetings. He facilitates connections with the Austrian Government and Austrian Universities. He regularly provides recruitment opportunities and he involves admitted students in the Chapter’s activities.


Donald A. Kurz, A&S ’77

Don has been a true leader and advocate, working on behalf of the President, faculty, and students of Johns Hopkins University. His service stretches across decades and the entire campus by serving in various capacities including, the Board of Trustees (term recently ended, now a Trustee Emeritus), Executive Committee on the Krieger School Advisory Board, and reunion committees. He generously gives his time and talents as an accomplished executive formerly in the finance industry, and now as CEO and Founder of Omelet, a marketing agency in LA. For the last three years, Omelet has hosted an annual event for the Film and Media Studies Program and continuously offers internships and full‐time jobs for JHU students and graduates. Previously, Mr. Kurz was co-founder and CEO of hedge fund Artemis Capital Partners. Between 1990 and 2005, Mr. Kurz was Chairman, President, and CEO of EMAK Worldwide, Inc, a global, NASDAQ-traded company providing Fortune 500 companies with strategic and marketing services internationally.  Mr. Kurz’s 25 years’ experience in senior leadership includes management positions with Willis Towers Watson, PwC, and the J.C. Penney Company.


David K. Schmalzer, Engr ’64, ’65

David K. Schmalzer is the retired Director of the Fossil Energy Program for the Argonne National Laboratory, a title he held for 18 years. He is a well-respected leader in the energy field, continuing to be called upon as a consultant as an expert in the field, and has written numerous publications including co-authoring the U.S Global Change Research Program’s textbook “Global Climate Change Impacts in the U.S..” Although “retired,” Mr. Schmalzer is still engaged in work as an independent research professional, focusing on the modeling and understanding U.S. and global energy systems. He graduated from Johns Hopkins with a BS in 1964 and MS in 1965 in Chemical Engineering.  Mr. Schmalzer has been an active volunteer for the University, the Whiting School of Engineering, and Alumni Association for many years. He serves as an active member of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChemBE) Advisory Committee, which is involved in planning and creating several programs and events including, mentoring opportunities for ChemBE students, industry expert panels, department lunches with the faculty, and ChemBE career nights. In addition to his extensive work with the department, he also engages in networking activities in the D.C. area for engineering alumni and offers himself as a resource to young professionals needing guidance. He also networks with other engineering volunteer leaders on an annual basis. Mr. Schmalzer travels to campus several times per year to meet with faculty, students, and staff, and as a diehard Blue Jay, he has served on his 45th and 50th Reunion Committees and attends Alumni Weekend and the Old Guard events every year he can. In addition to his many volunteer contributions, Mr. Schmalzer is a generous supporter of the University.  Through his dedicated efforts as a volunteer and his generous support, Mr. Schmalzer is making a profound difference at Johns Hopkins.  


Christine R. Schmitz, Peab ’75

Christine Rutt Schmitz has been one of Peabody and Johns Hopkins’ most generous donors of time, talent and treasure.   First and foremost, she has been an extraordinary volunteer for Peabody.   She is a current member of the Executive Committee of the Society of Peabody Alumni and has been on this committee for more than 25 years.    She has served in officer positions several times including serving as President from 1997-1999.    Currently she is the official liaison between this committee and the Peabody Institute Advisory Board on which he serves as the official alumni representative.  In this role, she presents reports at each committee meeting and keeps the lines of communication open between the committees which enables collaboration on projects and initiatives originating in either group.    She has also been a dedicated volunteer for the larger Johns Hopkins University by serving on the Johns Hopkins Alumni Council for two terms including serving a term as Secretary.    She has shared her talents with students by participating in multiple alumni panels to talk about her career as well as to give advice about how artists can manage their finances and tips on taxes for musicians.   Lastly, she is a leadership donor to Peabody.  Christine joined Glass Jacobson Financial Group in 2003 where she is now a Director of Wealth Advisory Services and specializes in investment planning and life, long term care and disability insurance needs.   In addition to her degree from Peabody, she has a Certificate in Accounting, and a Master’s degree in Legal and Ethical Studies from the University of Baltimore.   She is also a Certified Financial Planner and CPA.  She is a member of the Maryland Association of CPAs and the American Institute of CPAs.   She currently serves on the task force which edits the AICPA’s Personal Financial Specialist exam.     For the past eight years she was AAUW Maryland Vice President for the AAUW Funds, one of the largest grantors of scholarships to post-graduate women in the US.   She also serves on the AAUW National Investment Committee.    Christine is currently chair of the Finance Committee of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Sykesville as well as a current member of their Vestry Board.    Additionally, she is Treasurer of the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund, a charity which provides grants for women and girls in developing countries.     Christine is also a member of the Baltimore Women’s Giving Circle, a fund of the Baltimore Community Foundation.   


Gregg Semenza, Med PGF ’90, Faculty

Dr. Semenza received an A.B. in Biology, magna cum laude, from Harvard College; M.D. and Ph.D. (in Genetics) degrees from the University of Pennsylvania; pediatrics residency training at Duke University; and postdoctoral training in medical genetics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he has spent his entire faculty career. He is currently an American Cancer Society Research Professor and the C. Michael Armstrong Professor at Johns Hopkins with appointments in Genetic Medicine, Pediatrics, Medicine, Oncology, Radiation Oncology, and Biological Chemistry; since 2003, he has served as founding Director of the Vascular Program in the Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering.  Dr. Semenza has been elected to the Society for Pediatric Research, American Society for Clinical Investigation, Association of American Physicians, National Academy of Medicine, and National Academy of Sciences. He has received the Canada-Gairdner International Award, Lefoulon-Delalande Grand Prix Scientifique from the Institut de France, Wiley Prize for Biomedical Sciences, and Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award. He has published over 400 papers that have been cited over 100,000 times.  Dr. Semenza’s laboratory discovered hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1), a master regulator that directs responses to decreased oxygen availability. His lab has shown that HIF-1 plays important roles in cardiovascular disorders, cancer, COPD, diabetes, sleep apnea, transplant rejection, and hematologic disorders. His lab is currently investigating the role of HIF-1 in cancer and developing HIF-1 inhibitors for cancer therapy.


Donald M. Steinwachs, BSPH 1973

Donald Michael Steinwachs, PhD '73, throughout his career has sought to use information to improve care, by providing better measurement tools and to test innovations in delivery. He has investigated three perspectives on unmet needs: the patient's perspective including patient reported outcomes, the health care provider perspective, and the scientific evidence by which we determine effective care. He co-directed the AHRQ-NIMH funded Schizophrenia PORT study, which provided the first comprehensive evidence-based treatment recommendations for this frequently devastating illness. Over the years he has shepherded the development of the national infrastructure for training and employing health services researchers and in securing a funding base for health services research. Further, he has ensured that the health policy process has benefited from scholarly views. Don is a longstanding leader in the health services research arena, and has been recognized on a state and federal level for his contributions.  His academic leadership in health services research is reflected in his success as the Director of the Johns Hopkins Health Services Research and Development Center for three decades.  In 1987, he was awarded the first NIMH grant for a Center on the Organization and Financing of Care for Severe Mental Illness, which he led for 19 years. From  1994-2011, he led the Department of Health Policy and Management through a period of growth and innovation in both teaching and research programs.


Chen-yu Yen, Engr ’83

Dr. Chen-yu Yen has been an active volunteer at Hopkins for many years. He holds a BS in chemistry from National Taiwan University, an MS in chemistry and a PHD in environmental sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He finished his post-doctoral work at Johns Hopkins under the leadership of the late Charles O’Melia in 1985.  Dr. Yen served as a longtime member of the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering Advisory Committee. He was also started the annual Charles and Mary O’Melia lecture series, which brings a leader in the environmental engineering field to campus each year to present to students, faculty, and guests. In addition to endowing the lecture in 2014, Dr. Yen has helped the university identify great speakers for the lecture. He has provided mentorship to Hopkins students and alumni, particularly Asian students having difficulty navigating the U.S. job market. Dr. Yen has also had an illustrious career. He is a director and senior vice president of Gannett Fleming Sustainable Ventures Corporation. He is also the Chairman of the Board and the Chief Executive Officer of TerraSure Development, LLC. , a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gannett Fleming specializing in environmental risk transfer solutions.