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For over 70 years, 34th street has been lit up every December to welcome in the holiday season. Fondly known to locals as The Miracle on 34th Street, the block is located in the neighborhood of Hampden and attracts visitors from all over the city and world (there is a Japanese documentary on the annual light display). It was all started by a boy who loved putting a string of lights up on a tree in the front yard when growing up on 34th street.

Hampden is a neighborhood near the Homewood campus (main campus for Johns Hopkins) and is one of the places students choose to live.

Here’s a peek at the festive display.

Hampden Lights1

Hampden Lights 2

Hampden Lights 3

Hampden Lights 4

When you think of the world’s most devastating epidemics, so often animals are involved in the spread of the disease. With the plague, it was rats. Malaria and Dengue Virus involve mosquitoes. Avian flu and swine flu are more recent worries that involved the United States population and were major concerns in other parts of the world. With the majority of new diseases affecting humans coming from pathogens in animals, it makes sense that we receive so many applications from veterinarians. But now, that relationship between JHSPH and animal pathogens can be researched even more.

Last week, the Bloomberg School announced an agreement with the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine that allows our students to travel to the Caribbean for field projects in order to further investigate the relationship between animals and the spread of viruses.

Read more about the agreement in the Baltimore Sun’s article.

It’s time to shed some light on research opportunities again! Today, I would like to introduce you to the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. Their primary goal is to provide a public health lens on gun violence prevention and covers a broad range of activities, from scholarly research to policy analysis and agenda-setting public discourse. Gun trafficking, domestic violence and guns, keeping guns from youth and legal issues make up the four main areas of research.

Formally established in 1995, the center is now run by Daniel Webster and Co-Director Jon Vernick. Both are also faculty in the Department of Health Policy and Management. In addition, the center boasts a long list of faculty and staff that teach and take part in the center’s research. If this is a topic of interest to you, I encourage you to take a look at the Center for Gun Policy and Research and get involved.

We’ve been getting a lot of e-mails on the following three topics. Hopefully this blog can help answer some of your questions!

Application Status
If you see an item as received in SOPHAS, but not reflected on your personal microsite, please be patient. There is a delay due to processing. If it has not updated after 48 hours, please contact us.

Uploading Corrected or Updated Documents
Once you submit your application, the only way to upload a document to your application is through the individual schools. We cannot remove the original document and cannot guarantee the admission committee will review the updated document. So please be careful and review the document upload prior to hitting submit, particularly your CV and Personal Statement.

Submitting Before Complete
Yes! You can submit your application before SOPHAS has received all your recommendations, transcripts and test scores. These are referred to as supporting documents and can arrive after you submit the application. We highly encourage you to go ahead and submit your application once you’ve carefully reviewed all your answers and uploaded documents. Please keep in mind that the submission process does take several minutes and is not processed until payment has been received. So don’t stress at the last minute, submit now!

Tony Klam

The two things I love most when Alumni return to the Bloomberg School is how excited they are to recruit from their alma mater and when they share something from their experience. Both of these things happened in the first five minutes of Tony Kalm, MPH ’95’s presentation on the non-profit One Acre Fund.

After Dean Emeritus Al Sommer’s introduction, Kalm took a moment to share how his time at Bloomberg shaped him and his career. He spoke fondly of Edyth Schoenrich, a mentor for him, and how she always calmed him down when he came back from overseas feeling lost about what was next in his life and career. Kalm claimed he always felt unqualified for any job and that he was not making a difference in the world. He said she’d sit with him and talk through his most recent experience and help him discover his next step.

Not wanting to be sentimental too long, Kalm immediately launched into a plea for people. As President of One Acre Fund, he’s very aware of the needs of the non-profit. They currently have 5,000 full-time staff and are hiring for 60 positions, mostly in cities and countries in Africa, and some in the US and Europe.

What I found most interesting about Kalm’s discussion of One Acre Fund is that the individual parts of the organization are not innovated. They provide loans, deliver farming technology, train the small rural farmers and help these families increase their yield. However, what is innovative, is they provide all the services. Instead of attacking one challenge these small family farmers have, they attack all of them at one time. Prior to starting a location in Rwanda, there were only two places farmers could buy seed. Now, the country is blanketed with locations that the farmers can walk to for their purchases. In 2006 with its founding, One Acre Fund helped 38 families. In 2015, they partnered with 305,400 families. Some of their original farmers are now employed by One Acre Fund as site managers, teaching farming techniques and more. Others no longer need One Acre Fund to succeed, which is the celebrating point of the non-profit. As One Acre Fund continues to grow, they empower these rural farmers to be part of the environmental conversation as they are most affected by global warming. In addition to stopping hunger, One Acre Fund has a goal of being self-sustaining and not relying on donations. Kalm pointed out no non-profit serving the rural poor has ever broke even financially. In their strongest locations, Kalm reports a 94% sustainability.

If learning about One Acre Fund wasn’t inspiring enough, a current MPH student stood up to ask a question of Kalm near the end of the lecture. He is from Rwanda and was familiar with One Acre Fund from home. He asked Kalm about their approaches towards investment education, child labor and hiring farmers for those open positions with a point of view different from most in the room. Watching the two discuss the challenges and approaches was fascinating, but a special moment that isn’t rare at Bloomberg.