CommComm posted on May 30, 2012 19:43

You know what this Site is----???---it's a mixed bag of global goodies and treats. Want to get out there? See some sights. Make a change. A difference. You know who you are. How about tackling Newark, NJ?! Nada. No. Won't happen. Not sexy. Not happening. But Mozambique? Ohhhhh yes, you know you're on that plane.

Right here is where you can find grants, projects, internships---all things global health related at Hopkins. As the Site says, climb the global health career ladder. 

Alonzo LaMont 

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Sometimes, when we glance around to see all the daily development that feels like such an ongoing component of Johns Hopkins  ("look there's another new building!") don't we put on our jaded think caps and say "well, it IS Johns Hopkins!" And that's our little way of saying they can do pretty much as they please, am I right?  

So it's refreshing to see the number of local agencies and city groups that receive grant funding and are able to continue the vital work that makes Baltimore City such a rich place. Yes, I said "rich". You see Hopkins may have the money, but when you glance at the programs and opportunities they represent---it's both the communities and the quality of living they address that make us all richer by far. 


Alonzo LaMont


Posted in: Hopkins Community  Tags:

I'm at a crossroads. In the near future I'll probably purchase a new gadget. And here's the rub. I LOVE the idea of getting my hands on one of those supa-dupa new laptops that have too many bells and whistles to count. They're light, batteries last forever and I could officially say bub-bye to my too-old-and-done-long-ago-lost-it's-mojo laptop. But. There are now tablets galore, and the latest iPad is sexy as all get-out. 

In talking to a friend, I said something that might apply to somebody out there. I want a laptop because I'm comfortable with a laptop. But, I need to know how to work a tablet or an iPad. I believe people will still buy laptops for all the obvious reasons. But I see the future coming down the pike, and it's bringing along more tablets and iPads. I've gotta learn to speak that language. I don't fall for every new trend, and apparently neither do consumers who don't care for 3D.  There are pro and con arguments to be made regarding tablets vs. laptops, and there is a considerable range of commentary.

So here's my 2 cents. The biggest argument against a tablet is that you can't do any REAL work on it. This may very well be true. But how many of you have a home computer? I do, and that's where my significant work gets done. All those other times during the day when we need access to something that's not so "desktop-intensive," do we honestly need to crank up a laptop? When we just need to "check-in," browse around, or see an update couldn't we utilize something smaller?(as I write this I see that iPads now have Windows capability ) Also, tablets seem to make all those daily connections a bit easier and who among us can discount the totally fun factor? 

I was fortunate to catch the computer wave a long while ago. It feels like ancient history to even talk about it. As a writer of plays, I was seeing first-hand the disadvantages of not having a computer for re-writes and revisions. During one particular rehearsal process, it all hit me in a hurry. I gotta get my hands on one of them there computers. With information evolving so quickly nowadays, I feel as though that past experience still reverberates. I also say no to 3-D, but who wants to be (left) behind the tablet learning curve?

Conclusion: Gotta get my hands on one of them there tablets.

Alonzo LaMont



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CommComm posted on May 22, 2012 03:01

Why Photini Sennis of course. Associate Professor in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. And how'd she get that Welch T-Shirt? She clicked on our FEEDBACK button on WelchWeb, and she gave us FEEDBACK. We picked her name at random, and the rest is history. All I do is show up with a camera and capture the bliss. "Happiness is....."


(Picture by Alonzo LaMont, Bliss by Welch Medical Library)

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CommComm posted on May 21, 2012 21:10



Yes! There they are! Bikers disguised as Concrete! You want to know who came? There was me, and then there was me. I call this a small setback. Am I disheartened? Disappointed?  Disillusioned? Did tears run down my face?  Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! BUT----Will I do it again? Yessssss!


The "2nd Welch Bike Ride" is this coming Friday, May 25th. Meeting at One World Cafe on University Parkway, across from Hopkins Stadium. Time: I'll be there at 8:00 AM, we'll leave between 8:15 and 8:30. I realize that last Friday you had options, it was Bike-To-Work day, and maybe you made other plans. Maybe you couldn't emotionally commit to the Welch Bike Ride. But I'm tenacious, and I'm bouncing back. So without further ado---


Come on out for a ride. Ditch the car, save the gas. Enjoy a scenic ride to Hopkins' east Baltimore campus. Hey, I'm talking to you on that crowded JHU shuttle. Forced to endure the same ole' morning cell yak. How much daily social minutiae must you suffer through. Break outta that vehicular catty-town and come on out to ride. This Friday, May 25th. 

Alonzo LaMont      





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CommComm posted on May 18, 2012 19:44

Amber Jones contacted the Library offered up a few observations she had based on her experience working with our Clinical Informationist, Victoria Goode.  

"I get regular requests from my boss for rare, out of print, foreign language, or very old journals and manuscripts. We are a little difficult because often times the texts are not available on campus, and we do not accept facsimiles available through Weldoc because they are poor quality when it comes to images accompanying the text. Because the images are often an integral part of the text we really require the hard copies of the texts so that we can scan them in high def color on the scanner in his office."


So how's Victoria enter the equation?


"Our librarian is Victoria Goode. She's just awesome! Usually,  I either have to submit very specific Weldoc requests or enlist the help of Victoria to guide me through the request process. Often we're requesting texts from outside JH.


Victoria always responds to my queries very quickly, typically within minutes of me contacting her, and usually she's already started working on it by the time she gets back to me. She always does everything she can to help me get the texts I need as quickly as possible. She's very friendly and professional, and such a pleasure to work with. I'm positive she's up to her eyeballs in work but she never makes me feel like my requests are no trouble at all.


I really appreciate her assistance and I know I can rely on her if I need anything that I can't figure out myself."


Folks, we can't make this stuff up! Extraordinary praise you say? We like to think this is just business as usual.



Another satisfied customer, Amber Jones on the left, with our own Victoria Goode.

Alonzo LaMont

Posted in: Hopkins Community , Informationists  Tags:
CommComm posted on May 17, 2012 22:55

May is here! And we're podcasting away!

Along with my co-host Victoria Goode, this month our guests are Dr. Patrick Breysse, Program Director Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, along Katie Lobner, Welch Clinical Informationist. Here's the breakdown: 

0-53:  - Introductions

.54 - 9:15 - Dr. Patrick Breysse, follows up on our Blog Interview about his program.

9:17 - 15: 10 - Katie Lobner, speaks about the challenges of being a relatively new Clinical Informationist at Welch.

15:18 - 18: 54 News about Welch Bike Ride which starts on May 18th. That's TOMORROW for everyone keeping count.  

Listen at your leisure.

If you have questions or would like to discuss a subject you think the Hopkins community would like to know about, by all means let us know.


Alonzo LaMont



Posted in: Hopkins Community , Informationists  Tags:

Previously, I had a conversation with Carla Reinhard, Program Administrator about this MSPH program. Now we have an audience with Dr. Breyssee, the Program Director. We're re-visiting because the value to students or healthcare professionals considering this field are well worth the consideration of a second look. 

Programs that afford the opportunites and options (such as those described in the interview) are indeed rare, and deserve a bit more of our attention. Sometimes we're overloaded with all that Hopkins, and specifically the School of Public Health, can provide. We're only a few mouse clicks away from an abundance of riches. This being said, we wouldn't want a true jewel to go unnoticed.  

For more information.....


And in case you're wondering it's Alonzo doing the "Q," and Dr. Breysse providing the "A".


Q: Dr. Breysse, what do you see as the advantage of getting a master’s degree in the field of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene?

A: it seems as though everyday we’re confronted with problems that relate to how our environment directly affects our health. Last night on the radio I was listening to a conversation about problems with mountaintop coal-mining in West Virginia; the other day I was reading an article on the web about the  big environmental concerns  associated with the process of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas production; in the local Baltimore paper I was reading about issues with excessive sedimentation in the Chesapeake Bay; and of course we are always hearing about air pollution and its effect on health. As a result of all this, there is a need to train health professionals who have the tools and skills to address these issues in a variety of capacities, and I think that is very attractive to someone considering this program.

One of the best things about the profession of occupational and environmental hygiene is that there is a scientific basis for investigating and mitigating health concerns. We attract people who are not only interested in science, but who also are interested in working with people with a wide range of backgrounds. They may not necessarily want to work in a research lab and study how chemicals affect mice, but they want to study chemicals in the environment and how they impact working and living in the real world. We are looking for students who want to study how the environment affects people where they live and work.

Q) What feedback have you received from graduates of the program?

A) First of all, our graduates get jobs in many types of workplace settings. We have graduates that work for organized labor, private industry, consulting companies, and healthcare providers. They work for government organizations at national and local levels; they work for non-profits; and they work in academia.

We maintain a great deal of contact with our graduates. We have a 100% employment record - students have no difficulty getting a job right out of our graduate program, or getting a nice promotion from their existing job. We also turn to our graduates to help mentor students currently in the program. A number of our graduates come back to lecture in our classes, and we have others who hire students for internships. Some of our greatest ambassadors for the master’s program are our graduates, our alumni.

Q) What would you say is the typical background for students coming into your program?

A)   Students move into the environmental health fields through a variety of paths. They typically graduate with a science background. For years, I’ve always told students to “get as much science as you can, you’ll never go wrong”. No one looks back and says “gee I wish I hadn’t taken that math class”. No, they say “I wish I’d taken ANOTHER math class, or ANOTHER science class or biology”. You’re never going to regret taking more basic science classes. So we look for students coming into our program who have a good science background.

 Ultimately, the kind of job that’s out there for new college undergraduates might not be their first choice, but they migrate to the kinds of fields and opportunities that are available. They get a job as an Environmental Compliance Officer, or perhaps they do Risk Assessment for a government agency----and they discover they like environmental health. We’ve found that students who move into these fields come to us because they need a little bit more training to do their jobs better, and to advance further.

Because we offer two delivery options for our master’s degree (full-time/on campus and part-time/internet-based), we get students who are right out of undergraduate programs, and students who are established professionals.

Q) What do you think are the challenges for this program?

A) Tuition is certainly a big challenge and a bit of a barrier, but on the other hand the investment in a Johns Hopkins education is something you’ll never regret. JHSPH is the biggest School of Public Health in the world, it’s the oldest School of Public Health in the world, and our department of Environmental Health Sciences alone is bigger than half the other schools of Public Health. So in terms of the breadth of experience you get, and the depth and level of interaction with the faculty and fellow students---this is  a very unique experience that I don’t think you can get anywhere else in the world.  

I think another challenge is the lack of understanding that this training exists. I think we need to do a better job of informing people that getting a degree in this type of program will really help your career.  Not everyone has the awareness that a master’s degree in environmental health is really a gateway for future advancement in terms of a higher paying job.


Alonzo LaMont


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This is the theory put forth by Daniel Sarewitz, and he zeroes in on Biomedicine as the chief culprit. However, you only have to look at any of the "latest findings," or "recent studies" to see other mounting evidence first-hand. A drug passes today, months later or several years later we're told it's actually no good. Or, it was actually bad. Or that certain involved parties received cash and there we go, off and running. We assemble the nefarious puzzle pieces almost by memory. The rush to get something to us was led by the same predictable forces: profit, herd mentaility and ---- well, some would say a certain arrogance.

As in real life, people want to promote their careers. Isn't it easier to get behind data or research that's just a little more "flimsy" in nature. We like to think that scientists operate with an entirely objective MO but in the end, human nature raises it's all-too-familiar egotistical head. 

Aye-Yi-Yi, give me the simple life, my friends.


Alonzo LaMont




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