The Diversity Recognition Awards program began in 2003 in order to recognize outstanding work being done in the Johns Hopkins community to advance diversity and inclusion.
In the past 17 years, the DLC has recognized more than 200 individual and group awardees for their efforts to make their workplace more inclusive, contributions to scholarship that investigates diversity in their area of study, and creating partnerships with the community. Awardees are recognized at the annual Awards Recognition Ceremony, where we come together to celebrate their achievements. Please see below for the 2020 awardees.
Senior Electrical Engineer
Applied Physics Laboratory
Aaron is an integral part of the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), and a leader in the Allies in the Workplace ERG. As part of Aaron’s work with Allies in the Workplace, he led a lab-wide effort to better understand the needs of non-binary and transgender staff. Through administering an anonymous survey and analyzing the results, Aaron to developed a new training program for line managers with the goal of expanding situational awareness for issues impacting transgender and nonbinary staff members. Line supervisors are encouraged to ask questions and work through case studies during the training, providing a space to practice applying their training before applying their new skills in the workplace. The training has been implemented in the majority of APL’s departments, with plans to extend it to section supervisors soon.
PhD Candidate, Human Genetics
School of Medicine
Anna’s efforts to advocate for disability awareness are far reaching, bringing together stakeholders from across Johns Hopkins. In the past year Anna mapped out plans to apply for both 10×20 funding and a Diversity Innovation Grant (DIG). Anna worked in partnership on both effort; with a faculty member and Student Disability Services staff on the 10×20 award and with fellow graduate student and graduate and undergraduate student organizations on the DIG award. The efforts Anna spearheaded through the 10×20 and DIG awards are far reaching and include: organizing a series of events to raise awareness of the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act, serving as lead organizer of the initial event in the 2020 Equal Access in Science and Medicine lecture series, and producing awareness materials with positive messages about disability. Anna’s collaborative nature and foundation building ensure her efforts will have a lasting impact on the culture around disability at Hopkins.
M.P.H., PhDAssociate Professor, Opthalmology and Epidemiology
Wilmer Eye Institute and Bloomberg School of Public Health
Dr. Bonnie Swenor prioritizes inclusion consistently in her approach to her work, considering strategies increase accessible proactively. Dr. Swenor is in collaboration with Student Disability Services, and a number of student organizations, including Student Disability Justice and Advocates for Disability Awareness to create a university wide Disability Health Coalition with the aim of building a network of people with disabilities and allies to focus on common efforts. As part of this process, Dr. Swenor applied for and received a 10×20 Grant to support the Disability Health Coalition and programming to highlight the 30th anniversary of the ADA. Dr. Swenor is currently in the process of establishing a Disability Health Research Center to examine health related experiences and outcome disparities for people with disabilities. Dr. Swenor’s ability to engage multiple stakeholders and channel their energies into effective outcomes it a testament to her leadership and commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Licensed Clinical Supervisor – Bilingual
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Gillian is a consistent advocate for our students and families within the School Based Mental Health Program at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center (JHBMC). In the past 10 years Gillian has shown unwavering dedication to providing high quality clinical services to those who do not speak English as first language. Gillian’s work with Patterson High School and their students from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is a concrete example of her commitment to support diversity and inclusion in the schools. Through her work, Gillian recognized a gap between the need for bilingual mental health services and the availability of those services. In order to increase bilingual therapist capacity within the school program, Gillian developed the Paso A Paso learning program for staff. Since the development of the Paso A Paso program, several staff members have passed examinations to become recognized as bilingual therapists, and Gillian herself is now recognized as a bilingual Clinical Supervisor.
Business Solution Analyst
Jeff’s role in IT@JH has afforded him the opportunity to make an impact on diversity and inclusion at Johns Hopkins, and he has embraced it. Jeff previously led the Chosen Name project, a project that allowed JH community members to go by a name that may not be their legal name, usually as a nickname, as an Americanized/Westernized name, or to reflect their gender. Jeff’s involvement brought clarity and focus to a project beleaguered with technical and legal issues. Jeff managed a large volume of information while improving project systems and bringing stakeholders together. Jeff has brought this talent to his current work on an effort to better recognize pronouns and gender identity in JH systems. Jeff’s allyship is not only expressed behind the scenes. Jeff has sought out opportunities to be an ally through Safe Zone training and other ways to contribute to the JH community.
Jessica Marie Johnson
PhD Assistant Professor
Department of History
Dr. Jessica Marie Johnson has spent her scholarly career creating inclusive and interdisciplinary spaces that allow for exploration of history from multiple vantage points. Dr. Johnson has been instrumental in developing programming and curriculum related to race, blackness, and gender; leading to the creation of a Black Code Studies course in collaboration with Duke University, the first of its kind at Johns Hopkins. In addition to developing the Black Code Studies course, Dr. Johnson collaborated with scholars at Michigan State University to develop and co-host Black World, another first of its kind seminar series for graduate students across history, philosophy, public health, history of medicine, English, and other disciplines. In all of her work Dr. Johnson creates inclusive and collaborative environments, encouraging students to engage cutting edge scholarship and exposing them to opportunities for advancement.
Kamna Balhara, MD and Nathan Irvin, MD
Assistant Professors, Emergency Medicine
School of Medicine
Drs. Balhara and Irvin developed the Health Humanities (HH) program as a component of medical education and patient care with the aim of “improving the delivery of patient-centered care based on cultural humility.” The HH program is a year-long interdisciplinary curriculum that combines art, literature, and community engagement to inspire reflection on the social determinates of health. Participation in a speaker series, field trips, and small group work, provides residents the opportunity to broaden the healthcare narrative, incorporating voices and perspectives that may typically be omitted from conversations around healthcare. Dr. Balhara and Dr. Irvin built the HH program, in conjunction with Emergency Medicine leadership, to improve the delivery of medical services to the surrounding community. Their work highlights the importance of employing a multimodal strategy in order to incorporate viewpoints that might have otherwise been inaccessible.
Senior Research Program Coordinator
Bloomberg School of Public Health
As a Senior Research Program Coordinator in the Department of Epidemiology, Mannat has made an impact on diversity and inclusion through coordinating research focused on the health of LGBTQ populations throughout the United States and by impacting the composition of the Department of Epidemiology. Mannat has advocated hiring folks from the LGBTQ community as part of her work. By fostering community connections, Mannat has built program capacity and enhanced the diversity of the Department of Epidemiology through these hires. Recognizing that people of color, especially trans and queer people of color, can face discrimination and disparity in the workplace Mannat has shown allyship time and time again. One example of this allyship occurred when one of her trans colleagues was harassed by a stranger on the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute (JHMI) campus. Mannat displayed bystander awareness by attending to her colleague, helping them to safely walk to the shuttle stop and waiting with them until they were picked up. Mannat also worked with the head of security to ensure and appropriate response was developed to be implemented by security if this type of situation occurred in the future.
Suhas Eswarappa Prameela
Material Science and Engineering
As a PhD candidate in the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI), Suhas has made the most out of every opportunity to advance diversity and inclusion. Suhas is a member of the Homewood Council on Inclusive Excellence (HCIE), where he co-chairs the Climate, Culture, and Campus Experience (C3E) subcommittee. Through his work on the C3E subcommittee, Suhas leads to partner with Center for Educational Resources to develop for resources/practices that enhance inclusive teaching through the Technology fellowships. Suhas contributes to diversity beyond his formal involvement with the HCIE, he brings his passion for social justice to all facets of his role at JHU; during Alternative Spring Break Suhas developed a lecture of Center for Social Concern (CSC) students on the importance of minorities in STEM fields, he mentors LGBTQ+ undergraduate in his department, and invites diverse speakers to his class- recently facilitating a discussion about gender diverse experiences. By encouraging students to challenge their own biases and grow their perspectives Suhas not only contributes to immediate discussion around diversity, but ensures that these conversations will continue beyond the classroom.
Within the Counseling Center, Susana was an active member of the Counseling Center Diversity Committee and spearheaded several brown bag trainings for staff. Most notable is her leadership in creating and co-facilitating the Multicultural Seminar for our Doctoral Psychology interns. Dr. Ferradas revitalized this existing seminar and it is to her credit that the Seminar is being offered in its current iteration. Not only does the Multicultural Seminar prepare interns to engage in Since Dr. Ferradas took over the Multicultural Seminar, interns over the last few years have been unanimous in considering the Seminar to be a highlight of their training. Her contributions in the areas of social justice and diversity are not limited to just the University but is a gift to the larger community as well.
The Center for Educational Resources (CER)
The Center for Educational Resources (CER) is the instructional innovation team on the Homewood campus. The CER offers a number of workshops, developed by a diverse staff, for faculty, post-docs, and graduate students across Johns Hopkins, with inclusivity as a priority. Most recently the CER’s Teaching Academy hosted a Culturally Responsive Teaching Series, facilitated by colleagues from the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC). The CER developed its first Inclusive Pedagogy workshop with Prof. Karen Fleming, the 2019 winner of the Provost’s Prize for Faculty Excellence in Diversity. In addition to offering workshops, the CER hosts valuable conversations on relevant topics like Accommodating Students with Disabilities and Teaching Tips for International Students. The efforts of the CER contribute directly to creating an inclusive and accessible environment at Johns Hopkins.
Generation Tomorrow: Summer Health Disparities Scholars
School of Medicine
The program is a 10-week summer program for undergraduate students interested in HIV and/or hepatitis C virus (HCV) health disparities and their intersection with substance use (addiction and overdose), violence, mental health, and the social determinants of health. The program offers mentorship and training in HIV/HCV education, testing, and counseling; health disparities, cultural competence, and harm reduction. Through a lecture series, the program explores the intersection of HIV and/or HCV health disparities with the areas defined above. This program has a special focus on undergraduate students that are underrepresented in nursing, public health, and medicine with an emphasis on FLI students.
Applied Physics Laboratory Veterans Club- Founding Executive Board
The Applied Physic Laboratory (APL) Veterans Club seeks to represent and further the interests and concerns of APL’s Veteran population and provide a forum to enhance and facilitate benefit both to the Veteran and APL. Founded in 2016, the club supports and represent APL’s veterans by fostering a sense of community and has gone on to develop a number of initiatives to support veterans working at APL, including the Military Information Training Series (MITS), a series of presentations that explained basic terms and information to non-veterans at the lab. MITS was designed to create understanding and inclusion between APL non-veterans and veterans, and to increase APL staff members understanding of their sponsors.
The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine House Staff Diversity Council
School of Medicine
The House Staff Diversity Council at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (SOM) participates in a number of high impact activities around diversity and inclusion at SOM. The House Staff Diversity Council creates opportunities for social engagement of URM residents, building a sense of community, trust and friendship. In addition to facilitating Under Represented in Medicine (URM) monthly meetings, the House Staff Diversity Council takes part in community service projects, including the “One Day Medical School” an event for 50 area high school students that included a panel discussion and simulation events immediately applicable to the students’ lives. This year the House Staff Diversity Council also participated in the inaugural institution-wise Second Look Weekend, inviting 49 URM 4th year medical students to come back to campus. The event included social events, resident and faculty panels, and a historical bus tour of Baltimore