Jane Ball, center, receives the Alumni Association Heritage Award from Dean Sarah Szanton, left, at An Evening with the Stars 2021. Deborah Baker of Johns Hopkins Hospital is at the podium.
By Jane W. Ball, DrPH, MPH, RN
Alumni Weekend 2021 was recently completed, once again in a virtual format. We were fortunate to have some excellent programs available to alumni, a unique social experience, and the annual meeting of the Johns Hopkins Nurses’ Alumni Association. Of course, it would have been even better had we been able to welcome alumni to Baltimore and the newly opened School of Nursing building.
We had two special programs during Alumni Weekend. The first, a Virtual Grand Nursing Rounds, focused on housing insecurity in the age of COVID-19. Dr. Craig Pollack, the Katey Ayers Endowed Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the School of Nursing, made the presentation and welcomed questions and discussion afterward. The second program was the fourth in the series of special JHNAA Alumni Conversations: Nurses as Change Agents for Health Equity with a focus on maternal and child health. This event drew on the expertise of Dr. Nicole Warren and Dr. Cecilia Tomori as they discussed the role of nursing in addressing health equity.
A special event, following the annual JHNAA meeting, was the introduction of new Dean Sarah Szanton to alumni. As you may recall, Dr. Szanton is a two-time JHSON alumnus, from the bachelor’s and PhD programs. Dean Szanton responded to some prepared questions, as well as questions asked by participants. It was delightful to hear about her interests and experiences, her vision for nursing education at JHSON, and what she hopes to accomplish as dean.
We know alumni, especially those celebrating their 50th anniversary of graduation, were disappointed to have their in-person reunion postponed. We look forward to an in-person celebration for reunion-year alumni next spring that will honor the classes of 1970, 1971, and 1972. Please save the dates for this reunion weekend, Thursday, March 31 through Saturday, April 2, 2022. I look forward to seeing you there.
Looking ahead to future years, the Johns Hopkins Nurses’ Alumni Association plans to host milestone reunion celebrations in the spring. We plan to continue holding Alumni Weekend and our Annual Business Meeting in the fall, as required in our bylaws. Our hope is that Alumni Weekend becomes the event that brings together the entire alumni population and School of Nursing community. We also hope that Reunion Weekend will become the annual opportunity for our milestone reunion classes to reconnect. As always, we welcome your ideas and feedback as we continue to work on strengthening alumni engagement.