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School Accolades

James Williams and the Center for Communication Programs' first Emmy. (Photo Howard Korn)

HIV Positive Voices
James Williams came across some frightening statistics while working with Baltimore City agencies to encourage HIV testing. Every eight hours, a Baltimore resident becomes HIV-positive. And the 21217 ZIP code has a higher HIV prevalence rate (5.3 percent) than can be found in 30 African countries.

Williams, associate director of the Bloomberg School’s Center for Communication Programs, thought a documentary might call attention to the situation.

Enter Charles Stuart. The Boston-based producer approached CCP for help in creating a documentary about AIDS in Africa, but when Williams told him of the problems in Charm City, Stuart decided to showcase Baltimore. With funding from the Mary Wohlford Foundation and the Baltimore City Health Department, they were set to go.

Through casting calls and networking, Williams and Stuart identified four people with AIDS to share their stories: Rickeena Free, a 15-year-old girl who contracted HIV from her mother perinatally; David Waller, a man who contracted HIV/AIDS through injection drug use; Kimberly Smolen, a woman infected by a college boyfriend; and Keith Barmer, who was raped when he was a teenager. Four months of filming ensued.

Their production, a 29-minute film called HIV Positive Voices, aired on Baltimore’s CBS affiliate, WJZ-TV. In June, it was awarded an Emmy for Best Documentary aired in 2003 by a local television station within the National Capital/Chesapeake Bay Region. The Emmys are the highest honor bestowed by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

HIV Positive Voices, which portrays these individuals’ struggles against the disease and its ramifications, has been distributed to 56 countries, and was shown at the New York AIDS Film Festival and this year’s International AIDS Conference in Bangkok. It also has been used as a training aid by the Baltimore City Health Department and the Maryland AIDS Administration. The film will re-air on Maryland Public Television in September, and David Waller’s segment will be featured in an exhibit by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency in New York’s Times Square in October.

Says CCP director Jane Bertrand, “The whole idea of people being able to speak about their experiences may be how we can break the back on the stigma surrounding this condition. It’s a great example of health education at its best.” —Karen Blum

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David N. Awasum, MD, a senior program officer with the School’s Center for Communication Programs, was awarded the African Community Organization’s Kwame Nkrumah Continental Leadership Award for his role in linking public health programs with sporting venues in Africa to promote healthy behaviors.

Karen Bandeen-Roche, PhD, professor, Biostatistics, has been elected chair of the Biometrics Section of the American Statistical Association.

Patrick Breysse, PhD ’85, MHS ’80, professor, Environmental Health Sciences, in photo, and Aleksandr Stefaniak, PhD ’04, along with co-authors, were recently awarded the American Industrial Hygiene Association’s 2003 David L. Swift Memorial Award.

Donald Burke, MD, professor, International Health, associate department chair for Disease Prevention and Control, and director, Center for Immunization Research, has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science “for distinguished contributions to research on the prevention and control of epidemic virus diseases, including HIV/AIDS, flaviviruses and other diseases of global importance.”

Thomas Burke, PhD, MPH, professor, Health Policy and Management, was named a lifetime national associate of the National Academy of Sciences “in recognition of extraordinary service to the National Academies.”

George Dimopoulos, PhD, assistant professor, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, has received the Ellison Medical Foundation’s 2004 New Scholars Award on Global Infectious Disease.

Ruth Faden, PhD, MPH, the Philip Franklin Wagley Professor of Biomedical Ethics and executive director, The Phoebe R. Berman Bioethics Institute, was named one of 10 Women to Watch for 2003 by Jewish Woman magazine.

Christopher Forrest, MD, PhD ’95, associate professor, Health Policy and Management, has received the Child Health Services Research Award.

Miryam Granthon, MPH student, was selected to receive the Outstanding Student Award from the American Public Health Association’s Latin Caucus.

Diane Griffin, MD, PhD, chair, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Microbiology.


Leslyn A. Hanakahi, PhD, assistant professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, was named a Rita Allen Foundation Scholar.

Rafael Irizarry, PhD, associate professor, Biostatistics, has received the American Statistical Association’s 2004 Outstanding Applications Award. Irizarry and his Bioconductor Group colleagues won the 2003 Insightful Innovation Award, for innovation in information sciences, from the Insightful Corp.

Clara Kielkopf, PhD, assistant professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, was awarded a Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award by the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation. Kielkopf also was awarded a Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research Scholars Award.

Ani Manichaikul, PhD candidate, Biostatistics, has been awarded a 2004 Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation.

Kerri Maxwell, an MPH student at the Bloomberg School, is one of 39 recent college graduates from around the world to receive a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholarship. As an undergraduate, Maxwell helped to secure enactment of a law to earmark $1.6 billion for health needs in her home state of Arkansas.

Cecile M. Pickart, PhD, professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science “for major contributions to the understanding of the mechanisms and functions of the ubiquitin-proteasome system.”

Neil R. Powe, MD, MPH, MBA, professor, Epidemiology and Health Policy and Management, and director, Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Powe also received the Mary Betty Stevens Award for Excellence in Clinical Research from the American College of Physicians Maryland Chapter.

Noel Rose, MD, PhD, professor, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, and director, Center for Autoimmune Disease Research, has been appointed chair of the Autoimmune Diseases Coordinating Committee of the National Institutes of Health.

Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH ’63, professor, Health Policy and Management, was recently given the Baxter International Foundation Prize, which recognizes individual health-services researchers.

Amy Tsui, PhD, professor, Population and Family Health Sciences, and director, the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, has  recently been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Peter Winch, MD, MPH ’88, associate professor, International Health, has been awarded the 2003 Thomas and Carol McCann Innovative Research Fund for Asthma and Respiratory Disease.