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The annual APHA conference is always a lot of fun. It’s a chance to celebrate public health with colleagues across the nation and world. Last year’s conference in Atlanta also provided a bit of fun since Olympic Park is adjacent to the Georgia World Congress Center.

Olympic Park

Photo Caption: My co-worker pretended she didn’t want to be associated with me while taking the above picture, but I think she really loved it.

Since the 2018 APHA Meeting and Expo is in San Diego next week, I know many people will be taking advantage of the beautiful, sunny weather. However, make sure to stop by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s booth (numbers 630 and 632). Alumni, department representatives and faculty visit the booth throughout the conference. Taking a half hour or even five minutes to visit the booth can result in great networking and learning more about the many opportunities at the Bloomberg School.

The Admissions Services Office will also take part in the This is Public Health Fair on Wednesday, November 14 at San Diego State University School of Public Health from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Unfortunately, I failed in my campaign to help at APHA this year and create more photoshoot opportunities. Maybe in 2020 when APHA is in San Francisco I will!

A common misconception for applicants is often when to submit the application. Submitting the application should happen once the Personal Information, Academic History, Supporting Information and Program Materials sections are complete and correct. The recommendation letters, transcripts and test scores can be accepted after you’ve submitted the application.

On the “My Application” tab, completed sections will have green infographics. If all four are green, the “Submit Application” tab will have a red circle with a number in it of the number of applications ready to be submitted. In the screenshot below I have one designation and all my materials are complete.

SOPHAS My Application Page

When you go to the “Submit Application” tab, the application that is ready to be submitted has a full green bar and has a check mark.

SOPHAS Submit Application Page

And just a reminder, submit early!

Best wishes on your application and don’t hesitate to contact Admissions Services via e-mail or phone at 410-955-3543.

The most common source of problems in an applicant’s application process involves the Academic History section of the SOPHAS application. Once the entry process is completed, applicants view this portion of the application as complete. However, how the information is entered has a large impact on processing the application.

Any college courses taken in the United States or English-Speaking Canada must be entered in SOPHAS’s Academic History and match the corresponding official transcripts. If there are discrepancies, SOPHAS will not be able to verify the application. Here are some tips to avoid any problems when entering your transcript information:

  1. Even if a transfer credit appears on another transcript, it is important to list it separately in the academic history and send a transcript from the school that issued the credit.
  2. Dual enrollment classes in high school are often forgotten in the academic history. These must also be listed and require an official transcript from the issuing credit institution.
  3. When entering the course information, be sure to pay careful attention to course codes, titles and credits, as well as transcript documentation of credits issued for AP and IB test scores . It is helpful to have a copy of your transcript in front of you while completing this section.
  4. Give yourself plenty of time to enter your transcript information to prevent mistakes.

SOPHAS offers Professional Transcript Entry to assist students in this process. However, if you wish to use this service, make sure you have enough time prior to the deadline for the service to complete. Professional Transcript Entry cannot begin until all transcripts have been received by SOPHAS, and once they do, the service can take at least 10 business days. Applicants must then verify and approve the entered courses. Only after this approval will the application enter the queue for verification, which can take six weeks.

As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Admissions Services via e-mail or phone at 410-955-3543.

Sea TurtleAs a child I visited the National Aquarium and the Inner Harbor multiple times and always felt I’d entered a magical world. I could really imagine the world of Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid. However, since moving to Baltimore three years ago, I had not returned because in my mind there were still Baltimore attractions I hadn’t yet seen. How wrong I was!

When my brother came to visit me this summer, we spent a Saturday morning exploring the aquarium and discovered many exhibits had changed in the last 20 years. A favorite of ours, and all the children there that day, was a massive tank near the aquarium entrance that features a large, rescued sea turtle with three fins named Calypso as well as many sharks and tropical fish. Instead of watching them at eye level, you lean on the railing of an open pool and watch them swim below. With so many sea animals, feeding time is often and exciting to watch as they devour heads of lettuce and other delectable sea creature delights.Clownfish

As visitors explore the exhibits winding up the four-story aquarium, many interactive exhibits created for children still enticed me as an adult, although children were not looking for the guppy Flounder (Ariel’s best friend from the Little Mermaid), but Nemo and Dory from Disney Pixar’s Finding Nemo. Once visitors reach the fourth floor, they begin the decent along a winding ramp that lets them explore the sea life at different elevations of the ocean. The ramp ends with shark alley, where visitors can come face to face with several shark species.

JellyfishPart of the National Aquarium’s work is spent conducting conservation efforts and educating their visitors on threats to marine life. The current conservation exhibit is on the role of jelly fish due to their multiplying numbers and the history of the different types of jelly fish’s movements in the ocean.

All in all, as an adult or child, the National Aquarium is a wonderful place to spend a morning or afternoon.

Last week, Good Morning America, a national morning show, highlighted the 10 finalists for Reader’s Digest’s annual Nicest Places in America contest. Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library was on the list. Like many modern libraries, the Enoch Pratt Free Library provides more than books and story time. With twenty-seven branches throughout Baltimore’s many neighborhoods, the library serves as a community center offering tutoring and family programs. However, the Enoch Pratt Free Library reaches further by serving the needs that are being missed in the community. A full-time social worker is at the library to help or assist anyone, and more recently a lawyer has been added to the staff.

Despite the large number of branches, the Enoch Pratt Free Library wants to reach those who cannot make it to the library. The Mobile Job Center brings a mobile librarian to neighborhoods with over 50% unemployment rate to help anyone create a resume, write a cover letter, apply to jobs and more. In addition, the bookmobile travels to schools and community centers to provide closer access to books.

The GMA feature below highlights the stories of how the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s services are creating change in Baltimore, one person and community at a time.