Outstanding Recent Graduate Award 2016

Shereef Elnahal, A&S '07
hereef is currently serving as a White House Fellow working with the Department of Veterans Affairs; the Fellowship is one of America’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service.  During the Fellowship (2015-20160, he is on leave from residency in Radiation Oncology at Johns Hopkins Hospital.  He has authored over a dozen publications on health care quality, operations management, and patient safety.  He co-developed a published methodology that doubled clinic efficiency in the Johns Hopkins Pancreatic Multidisciplinary Clinic, cutting patient wait times by half.  As an operations consultant for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Pittsburgh V.A. hospitals, he expanded on this work to improve care access for veterans and active duty service members.  He was a Fellow in the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, and served as Chair of the House Staff patient Safety and Quality Council at Hopkins. He served on advisory boards for two firms focused on patient education and clinical operations.  He co-founded the Baltimore chapter of The Triple Helix, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit that publishes an internationally-circulated journal on science in society.  His civic contributions earned him the 2015 National Quality Scholar Award from the American College of Medical Quality. Shereef received a dual degree M.D. and M.B.A. with Distinction from Harvard University, where he was President of the Harvard Longwood Muslim association.  He also graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in biophysics from Johns Hopkins.

Jessica Gartner, Ed '11
Jessica graduated with a Master’s in Secondary Education from the School of Education in 2011.  Through the Teach for America (TFA) program at the School of Education, Gartner witnessed how the Baltimore City schools she was teaching for were forced to create their own budgets and predict spending trends without the proper support.  In response to her school’s need for a tool, she created Allovue, an education technology company that created software to assist in accurate financial data.  The company began as an app, Balance that provided a visual, financial representation.  It had developed into an education resource-planning platform from K-12 schools and districts, which helps education administrators connect spending to student outcomes.  In 2015, she was named Forbes 30 under 30 for her innovation in education technology.  Other awards include:  SmartCEO Innovator of the Year (2014), Best New Incubator Company of the Year (2014), Baltimore Magazine 40 under 40 (2013), 50 Women to Watch by the Baltimore Sun (2013), 40 under 49 by the Baltimore Business Journal (2015) and was the finalist for the Teach for American Social Innovation award in 2014.  Gartner taught 7th grade for three years at Baltimore-area schools as a Teach for America corps member through the School of Education. She received her Bachelors in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009.

Kaci Hickox, Nurs '11
Prior to coming to Johns Hopkins, Kaci Hickox, MSN/MPH ‘11, received a Diploma in Tropical Nursing from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and worked with Doctors Without Borders for many years. After graduating, Kaci completed a two-year postgraduate fellowship in applied epidemiology with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service teams use applied epidemiology to positively impact the health and wellness of populations including disease surveillance and outbreak response. In 2014, she spent four weeks managing an Ebola case management center in West Africa.  Upon her return to the United States, she experienced first-hand a public health response that was lacking in scientific evidence and compassion.  She challenged an in-home quarantine court order by the State of Maine, which was ultimately determined unconstitutional.

Jeffrey Juger, A&S '07
Jeff is currently Director of Business Development in North America for JinkoSolar, the world’s 2nd largest solar panel manufacturer, where he develops strategic initiatives and communicates JinkoSolar’s bankable position to financial Institutions.  Previously, he served as Director of Marketing & Strategy for Hanwha Q CELLS, where he transformed the solar panel manufacturer from an unbranded OEM to a branded top 5 global player, including a 1.5 gigawatt supply agreement with NextEra, the largest deal in the history of solar.  Jeff has been a Board Director for Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), where he worked extensively on a trade case, as well as a bipartisan lobbying effort to extend the federal solar investment tax credit meeting with Senator Hatch, Congressman Blumenauer, and staffs of Senator Heller and the House Majority and Minority Leaders. He is a member of the Solar Power International Advisory Council, where he advises the nation’s largest solar show on how best to drive the industry forward.  Currently, he is engaged with SEIA to create a responsible recycling infrastructure for disposal of decommissioned solar panels.

Lilly Kan, BSPH '07
Since graduating from the Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2007, Ms. Lilly Kan, MPH, has embodied the three components of the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) mission (“To educate its students and cultivate their capacity for lifelong learning, to foster independent and original research, and to bring the benefits of discovery to the world”). Ms. Kan is the Acting Director of Infectious Diseases and Informatics at the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the non-profit membership organization for the 2,800 local health departments across the United States. At NACCHO, she has mentored countless junior staff and encouraged formal and informal learning opportunities for them. In addition to inspiring lifelong learning in those she mentors, she personifies the quote by Father James Keller that “a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” Ms. Kan is a leading expert in how antimicrobial resistance and healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) impact public health at the local level. Her original research on local health departments’ engagement in HAI prevention, surveillance, and response; barriers to primary HAI prevention; and local health departments’ needs in order to become more involved in expanding HAI prevention activities has facilitated stronger local health department partnerships with healthcare facilities. Finally, Ms. Kan has brought the benefits of discovery to a wider audience through publications in Emerging Infectious Diseases, the Journal of Health and Human Services Administration, the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, and Pediatrics.

Peter Li, Engr '11
Peter Li is the co-founder and CEO of Atlas Wearables, a technology startup based in Austin, TX that has developed a fitness tracking wristband that identifies exercises, counts reps, evaluates form, and calculates calories burned during a workout. Unlike other wearable fitness trackers, Atlas has sensors to track 3-D trajectories of each movement through the use of built-in accelerometer and an adaptive software algorithm.  With the wristbands on wrist-display, users can track every movement across their entire work out and get live feedback in order to make continuous adjustments to improve their form.  The sensors measure heart rate, power, rest and more.  Peter graduated from Hopkins in 2013 with a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Biomedical Engineering.  Mr. Li began thinking about fitness technology while still at Hopkins.  As a student, he helped to develop Sound Body Challenge, a web-based application used to manage fitness improvement competitions at universities and gyms.  In 2013, Mr. Li co-founded Atlas Wearables along with fellow JHU alum Alex Hsieh and Boston University graduate Michael Kasparian.  The startup raised over $629,000 through the crowdsourcing site, Indiegogo to bring the product to the market.

Sara O'Rourke, SAIS '13
Sara Slayton O'Rourke, SAIS ’13 is an inspirational leader and entrepreneur who engages students and fellow alumni, who forms and leads new organizational frameworks that have made a lasting impact on women's empowerment at Johns Hopkins SAIS.  Sara is the 2012 founder of SAIS Global Women in Leadership, a student-run organization whose signature event is a day-long conference, which Sara initiated and presided over as a second year SAIS graduate student, which continues today-- both the organization and the conference.  In 2013, Sara founded the SAIS Women's Alumni Network (SWAN) -- a global network with active hubs in Belgium, London, New York and Washington, DC with a membership of 500+ women and men and an executive committee deeply committed to the future of SAIS.  Both organizations mobilize the SAIS and international relations communities to leverage the power of women's leadership to solve global problems.  In December 2015, Sara O'Rourke and Sarah O'Hagan ’86 of the JHU Board of Trustees and the SAIS Board of Advisors, in conjunction with Ambassador Shirin Tahir-Kheli, Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins SAIS are launching the SAIS Women's Initiative, a two million dollar initiative leveraging women’s leadership toward global solutions and bringing together GWL, SWAN, a Women Who Inspire lecture series and the nascent Women's Initiative Academic Practicum Series of innovative courses at SAIS where teams of students consult for client organizations on projects aimed at addressing issues that affect women both within the public sector and multilateral institutions.  Sara brokered the two inaugural practicums with the World Bank and the US Department of Transportation to bring these opportunities to SAIS.  Sara O'Rourke has been the inspiration and the thought leader behind all women's initiatives since she walked into the corridors of SAIS as a student in September of 2011 and continues to be the leading force for women's empowerment and change.  Without reservation, Sara is deserving of the Outstanding Recent Graduate Award for her leadership in founding women's initiatives at SAIS and for galvanizing support among colleagues, administrators, faculty, and alumni to foster women's empowerment.

Yusheng Zhang, BSPH '09, Bus '09
Dr. Zhang completed his medical degree from Peking Union Medical College in 2008.  He matriculated in July 2008 into the dual MPH/MBA degree program offered by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Carey Business School and graduated in December 2009.   During his tenure as a student in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr. Zhang was a recipient of the prestigious Sommer Scholarship which is awarded to only 10 MPH students per year (out of approximately 250) in recognition of their academic success, prior accomplishments, and demonstrated leadership potential in public health.  In the six short years since graduation, Dr. Zhang has clearly shown his leadership abilities in founding a start-up mobile health company in China.   Since April 2011, Dr. Zhang has been the Founder and CEO of Apricot Forest, Inc., a company dedicated to providing smart phone-based medical applications to Chinese physicians and patients.  To assist in China’s health care reform, Dr. Zhang’s company has developed three apps.  The first app allows doctors to input, store and organize patient records and send information to patients. The second is an electronic pocket medical reference, and the third is an app for medical journals.  By June 2013, Apricot Forest’s Medical Journals mobile app won first place at the Fortune Global Forum's Meet the Future panel. In 2015, his company raised $10M in venture funds in 2015, reached over 50 employees and was named by the Fast Company magazine as one of the 50 most innovative companies in the world.  Dr. Zhang has been invited to conferences around the world to describe his company and progressive strategies.