JHU SOURCE Alumni & Friends Newsletter
Happy New Decade from SOURCE! The arrival of 2020 marks our 15th year of proudly serving the JHU health professional schools and our Baltimore community partners! We are excited to share some of our most recent updates and shine a light on the inspiring community work currently being done by our students, faculty, staff, community partners and alumni. Remember to share your up-to-date contact information, and to keep in touch with SOURCE!
Thanks for your ongoing support and commitment to Baltimore, community engagement, service-learning, and social justice.
Founder and Director Mindi Levin looks back at the center's creation in 2005, highlighting the amazing community partnerships that have developed throughout the years as we have grown, and looks ahead to what the future holds for SOURCE.
SOURCE Service-Learning Faculty Fellow Dr. Lorraine Dean received the 2019 Delta Omega Award for Innovative Public Health Curriculum for her service-learning course, "Methods for Assessing Power, Privilege and Public Health in the US", which she co-taught with Leon Purnell and Quandra Gaines from the Men and Families Center.
SOURCE's Governing Board recently voted for Baltimore Food Policy Initiative and Reading Partners to become our newest partnering community-based organizations.
Liliya Semenyuk graduated from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in 2019, where she was active with a number of different service-based student groups and spent much of her free time volunteering. She speaks with us about her experience with community service as a nursing student.
We are seeking nominations for our annual SOURCE Community Service Awards, including the Alumni Award category. Submit your nominations by March 11, 2020!
To mark the close of our annual National Volunteer Week celebration, SOURCE will be holding our Spring Tri-School Day of Service on April 25, 2020. Alumni are welcome to join us in Baltimore!
Founder and Director, Mindi Levin, looks back at the center's creation in 2005, highlighting the amazing community partnerships that have developed throughout the years as we have grown, and looks ahead to what the future holds for SOURCE.
Hello friends! I’m always telling people that I can no longer keep track of time. I’ve been here at JHU for 17 years, and for me, the academic years seem to blend together. So, we’ve paused to reflect on this milestone of serving all three of our JHU health professional schools (Public Health, Nursing, and Medicine) and our growing list of partnering Baltimore community-based organizations for 15 years.
In the beginning, a group of us from JHU and Baltimore non-profits championed the concept of creating one, interdisciplinary center for community engagement. In January 2005, the deans of all three schools signed up to participate and fund our center. At that point in time I became the director, and was able to hire one new staff member as an administrative coordinator.
15 years later, things are much different. We’ve grown in size, scope, and impact. Now, our center is staffed by a team of 6 AMAZING full-time faculty and staff, 1 community consultant, and 7 student program assistants. We partner with over 100 INSPIRING non-profits in Baltimore City. We support several dozen TRANSFORMATIVE service-learning courses on our campus. We provide a host of ENGAGING educational workshops and programs for our JHU schools and community partners. We’ve been recognized for our efforts locally and nationally, all because we have been INTENTIONAL in using our values to form mutually beneficial partnerships that promote health and social justice in Baltimore. Together, we are training future health professionals while simultaneously responding to on-the-ground community health issues.
It is a true honor to collaborate with community partners, faculty, staff, students and alumni, particularly here in my hometown. We’ve seen the power of partnerships at work through countless projects with local non-profits. And we’re not done yet. We’re working to share our results more broadly, so others can understand the impact of our community engagement and service-learning efforts. We’re developing a conceptual framework for social justice education. We’re hoping to train more people, share our resources, and consult on a variety of community engagement, service-learning, and social justice topics.
You already know the old saying – time flies when you’re having fun. I may not remember when things happened, but we sure have accomplished a great deal together. Luckily, we keep detailed records here at SOURCE. So, we’ve been able to highlight a few key moments throughout our 15 years - take a look. We hope that you’ll continue to collaborate with us for many more years to come!
SOURCE Service-Learning Faculty Fellow, Dr. Lorraine Dean, received the 2019 Delta Omega Award for Innovative Public Health Curriculum for her service-learning course offered at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, "Methods for Assessing Power, Privilege and Public Health in the US", which she co-taught with Leon Purnell and Quandra Gaines from the Men and Families Center, one of our partnering community-based organizations.
Dr. Lorraine Dean was presented with the award at the meeting of the Delta Omega National Council during the Annual Meeting of American Public Health Association in November 2019. She received the award alongside Leon Purnell and Quandra Gaines from the Men and Families Center as well as SOURCE Assistant Director for Academic Service-Learning Keilah Jacques, who collaborated with Dr. Dean to design the course.
From the ASPPH website: "Delta Omega created the Innovative Curriculum Award more than 10 years ago to applaud the important role public health graduate education plays in the development and maintenance of a strong, active, and well-prepared public health profession...This unique award seeks submissions that are creative and bridge the gap between public health academia and practice. Award Winners stimulate the evolution of innovative graduate public health courses that responsive to the educational needs of the public health work force."
To share more about her experience with developing and teaching the course, Dr. Dean spoke with us about what the award means to her. Read our interview with Dr. Lorraine Dean here.
The mission of the Baltimore Food Policy Initiative, based in the City's Department of Planning, is to use food as a catalyst to address health, economic and environmental disparities in Healthy Food Priority Areas, areas where residents face compounded challenges in accessing healthy foods. After nine years of growth and evolution, BFPI includes three pillars: 1) Interagency Collaboration; 2) Food Policy Action Coalition; and 3) Resident Food Equity Advisors. Read a detailed overview of BFPI on the Department of Planning's website and find more details about volunteer opportunities here.
Reading Partners mobilizes communities to provide students with the proven, individualized reading support they need to read at grade level by fourth grade. A national organization active in 14 metropolitan areas across the country, Reading Partners places community volunteers in low-income schools to help children master basic reading. The organization has been working in Baltimore since 2012, and is currently supporting students in 16 schools in the city. Read more about how to get involved with Reading Partners here.
Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, 2019
When you were a student at the School of Nursing, how did you engage with the community?
The Community Health Interest Group (CHIG) is all about empowering community members to take charge of their health through screenings, education, and early detection in partnership with houses of worship and community organizations. My specific focus last year, in partnership with Medicine for the Greater Good (MGG), was on helping develop the Lung Health Ambassadors Program (LHAP) and taking it to local schools and community centers, educating children about lungs, asthma, pollution, and smoking. We chose to work with MGG because our mission closely aligns with theirs, which strives to bring the hospital to the community of Baltimore.
How did you find time for service in your busy schedule?
Nursing school is an investment of countless hours and hard work. It is a full-time job that often drove me to the point of physical and mental exhaustion...and yes, there were many moments when a wet, salty substance trickled down my face. Serving in the community served as a much-needed break from school, and allowed me the opportunity to slow down and interact with people--so, I made time for it. I think on a monthly basis I spent around 15-20 hours coordinating and scheduling volunteers, putting PowerPoints together, and being onsite working with the kids. When you find an organization that has similar values and interests and population focus, it is easy to fit them into your schedule. Let's face it: we have all the time in the world for what we choose to care about.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering, and how has service shaped your development as a health care professional?
I enjoy teaching and working with children, so CHIG and LHAP were the perfect outlets outside of the hospital setting to teach children at their appropriate grade level. This also helped me grow as a health care professional, as I developed the important skill of communicating in common laymen terms what I was learning in nursing school.
I enjoy building relationships through community service and knowing that we are helping raise the health literacy of the populations by reaching out to the children. I also enjoy encouraging my fellow nursing student volunteers to try something new, like teaching or facilitating a group discussion.
What advice do you have for prospective students who are interested in community service? What would you say to someone who is unsure of the impact his/her service would have on a community?
I recommend you find an organization you believe in and one that will be around when you are gone to continue the work. I won't go into citing all the research, but it is much more beneficial to the community that the work is sustainable, and won't abruptly end when you are gone. Make sure you choose something you're interested in, and not just something to put down on a resume, because people will quickly sniff out insincerity.
Sometimes, you may question whether what you are doing is making a difference, and whether one person can actually make that difference (I've wondered that, too). And true, I may never know where these kids will end up. However, out of the maybe 150 students we taught so far through LHAP, if even one of them decided not to smoke because he or she realized the grave consequences, or one of them was able to identify and help a friend experiencing an asthma attack--it was well worth my time.
Our annual Community Service Awards are coming up in April! Each year during our National Volunteer Week festivities (this year held between Monday, April 20 and Saturday, April 25), SOURCE honors students, faculty, community-based organizations and alumni for their outstanding service and exemplary community partnerships. Let us know if you are currently or have been serving our community in 2019-2020, or consider nominating someone else for the Alumni Award. Nominations are open and will close on March 11. Awards will be presented during our Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon on Wednesday, April 22, 2020.
To submit nominations and learn more about past winners, visit our Community Service Awards page.
To close our annual National Volunteer Week celebration, SOURCE will be holding the Spring Tri-School Day of Service on Saturday, April 25, 2020. Join dozens of other volunteers in the community at SOURCE partner community-based organizations. One morning of volunteer service can truly make a world of difference! Projects are currently being finalized with our community partners and registration will open in March 2020. Once available, full project details will be posted on our Tri-School Day of Service webpage, so check back soon for updates! If you would like to be notified once registration is open, please send an email to SOURCE@jhu.edu.