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Admissions Blog

Dear readers,

I’m writing to share the news that our former dean and Public Health hero, Donald Ainslie (D.A.) Henderson, passed away Friday evening. He was not just beloved by the Bloomberg School, but by the world for his demeanor and work. Truly, D.A. Henderson has saved millions of lives. He led the effort with the World Health Organization to eradicate smallpox and continued to play a role in our nation’s preparedness and response efforts for bioterrorism.

I only had the pleasure of hearing Dean Emeritus Henderson speak once at a Bioethics Symposium, but his knowledge and authority were apparent from that one lecture. In that lecture he chose to share his experience not with the obvious work against smallpox, but in developing the polio vaccine.

Henderson served as Dean of the Bloomberg School of Public Health from 1977 to 1990. In that time, the school’s first female chair and first female academic dean were appointed. In addition, Bloomberg gained their first African-American associate dean. Under his leadership, enrollment increased by 40 percent and 13 new centers and institutes were established.

The Bloomberg School, and the world, will greatly miss D.A. Henderson’s influence, but his work will live on through the lives he saved and the students he inspired and influenced. I only hope he knows how very much we all appreciate him and his efforts.

For more information on D.A. Henderson’s life and contributions, I recommend articles from The New York Times, The Washington Post and STAT.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget the day I was on the second floor at the Daily Grind, going about the daily grind, for a pick me up when I actually read the biohazard label on a lab down the hall. “ZIKA” was on the list of active biohazards. (It’s moments like this that remind me I don’t work at a typical school.)

To be honest, I shouldn’t have had such a reaction, especially with all the malaria and dengue research, not to mention the mosquito lab, but I was taken aback. This is even after the Zika Symposium we hosted in ­­­February. When news spread last week of the USAID awarding a total of $30 million in grants for Zika and future threat research, I wasn’t surprised that the Bloomberg School was on the list. However, we weren’t just on the list, we were on the list three times, and Johns Hopkins University received a forth grant.

The three Bloomberg School projects are covering all aspects of combating the virus. The grants will help fund research to create human scented traps, creating a pesticide using a newly identified bacterium that can kill larvae and adult mosquitos that transmit malaria, dengue, Zika, yellow fever and West Nile virus, and for better communicating changes in behaviors to prevent the spread of mosquito breeding.

According to the Bloomberg press release, USAID received over 900 grant proposals from all over the world and the Bloomberg School was the only institution to receive 3 grants. Read more specifics about the research happening on campus in the press release or from the Baltimore Sun’s article. For a list of all the Grand Challenge award nominees, see USAID’s website.

Last month, most of us experienced the phenomenon of Pokemon Go!Pokemon Go! Shortly after, the news started reporting on players taking Pokemon Go! beyond the recommended competitiveness and not being aware of their safety. From muggings to hitting a cop car while playing and driving, the US had a wide range of stories. And then the popularity started to die down.

I really shouldn’t be surprised that the Bloomberg School of Public Health jumped on the popular phenomenon. After all, I did blog last week about the Global Obesity Prevention Center (GOPC). Featured in Global Health Now (a public health news forum), the head of GOPC, Bruce Lee, along with Alain Labrique from the Department of International Health and director of JHU Global mHealth Initiative, Yorghos Carabas also from the JHU Global mHealth Initiative, and Michelle Colder Carras from the Department of Mental Health, shared their initial research of Pokemon Go!’s positives and negatives towards Public Health. Read their and decide if they are right to call the new game a prescription or a pandemic.

When I came to Bloomberg I couldn’t believe how wide reaching the departments were in topics. From genetic research to policy, social behaviors to mental health, I understood Public Health to be all encompassing and it was the approach that made it different from that of typical care. And then I started learning about all the different research centers and institutes. Suddenly, the way I view everything is different. I never considered gun policy a public health issue, and yet, after attending some lectures, I don’t see how anyone could not consider it a major public health issue.

A center I recently discovered thanks to their new video, is the Global Obesity Prevention Center (GOPC). Having lived on a variety of tight budgets, I know how difficult it is to eat a healthy diet, if only because I couldn’t afford to buy the fresh veggies and quinoa to make dinner and resorted to ramen noodles instead. There are many other reasons affecting different populations that lead to obesity, but the GOPC’s approach is not to propose policies for individual behavior, but to look at the system and create system approaches that can trickle down. Dr. Bruce Lee, the director of the GOPC, explains their approach very well in a letter to website visitors.

To learn more about the GOPC projects, check out their website, follow them on Twitter, visit them on Facebook, and read all of Dr. Lee’s posts on Forbes and Huffington Post.



I’ve now been a Maryland resident for 9 months, but it didn’t take me that long to discover there are three things Maryland takes very seriously: Crabs, Old Bay and Crab Cakes. Yes, crabs are separate from crab cakes.

I personally never understood the whole crab cake thing until a few years ago when visiting a friend and I had one in Annapolis. It was by far the best crab cake I’d ever had, and it wasn’t 75% bread, 25% imitation crab. It was more like 75% real crab and 25% filler. So I became a fan. And then I moved to Baltimore.Crab Cake Platter

As with any city, there are about ten places that claim to have the best of the state’s specialty. Since arriving, I’ve been trying each out (all for you of course,) and I have to say, yes they were good. But nothing that really screamed at me as the best. Most of them have very little filler and depending on how spicy you like your food would depend which one you like best—I prefer less spice. But then, I went to Pappas. I quickly realized why these crab cakes made Oprah’s Favorite Things.

This crab cake was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. There was absolutely no breaded filler! It was lump crab meat with some spices, all held together by their special mayonnaise mix. 100% large lumps of crab, cooked to perfection. And it actually tasted like crab! This delectable crab cake is by far the best crab cake I’ve ever had. Never mind Baltimore, I’m going to say it’s the best in the USA! And making it even better, you can ship crab cakes across the county for a delectable treat.

So when you come to Baltimore to visit the Bloomberg School, be a classic Marylander and stop by Pappas for their Crab Cake Platter. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did!