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Dome - They serve unselfishly

January 2011

They serve unselfishly

Date: January 5, 2011

In the true spirit of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr’s commitment to making a difference for all humanity, the MLK Award recipients for 2010.


Left to right: Ted Alban, Tong Zhang, Sammi Turner, Swanzeta Nciweni, Ann Marie Lee-Wilkins, Barry Meyer
Left to right: Ted Alban, Tong Zhang, Sammi Turner, Swanzeta Nciweni, Ann Marie Lee-Wilkins, Barry Meyer. Not pictured: Fanon Hill and Kathleen Norton

Ted Alban, assistant administrator, neurology and neurosurgery, school of medicine

Ted Alban has been a longtime volunteer for the Maryland SPCA, supporting its mission of saving, rehabilitating and placing abandoned and abused pets. As an extension of his care for animals, Ted has assisted the Meals on Wheels program, which had found that many of its recipients were giving their donated meals to their pets or were concerned that their dogs and cats did not have enough to eat. He collects kibble for cats and dogs, which is then delivered along with the meals for homebound people.

Fanon Hill, materials handler, facilities management, The Johns Hopkins University

Believing that all citizens have a right to a fair and just community, Fanon Hill has dedicated his time and energy to community organizing. He co-founded the Baltimore City Youth Resiliency Institute, which provides young people with tools to mobilize peers and neighbors in support of more opportunities for Baltimore’s youth and families through strategic civic engagement. He also is an adviser for Mothers In Charge Baltimore, committed to saving lives and stopping violence in Baltimore City.

Ann Marie Lee-Wilkins, patient care manager, terrace rehabilitation unit, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Ann Marie Lee-Wilkins is the founder and president of the Patsy Douglas Youth Empowerment Foundation, an organization that works to provide scholarships and health care in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) in the Caribbean. For the past two years, she has organized annual mission trips, which included Bayview faculty and staff, in which the teams educate patients, health care staff and the community about ways to prevent diabetic complications. She spends countless hours coordinating these trips with the SVG health ministry and the individual clinics, as well as fundraising and getting donations of supplies.

Barry Meyer, facilities director, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Since 2000, Barry Meyer has been a leader on the board of directors for the Ten Hills Community Association in Baltimore, including serving as its president. As a result of his commitment and spirit, his community has a website, took part in a pilot grant to reduce energy waste, and learned to work with members of government. As a youth leader of St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, he led a group to Talanga, Honduras, in June 2010 and worked with youth at the Episcopal Church Agricultural School and Farm.

Swanzeta Nciweni, information systems specialist, transplant surgery, Johns Hopkins Health System

On her weekends and days off, Swanzeta Nciweni can be seen at community and inner-city health fairs speaking to people about diet and exercise. She volunteers for many organizations, including the National Council for Negro Women, American Association of University Women, and the American Diabetes Association, and she raises money and awareness for diabetes research and prevention.

Kathleen Norton, field director, international health, Bloomberg School of Public Health

Over the past decade, Kathleen Norton has donated thousands of hours to improve the health and well-being of Native Americans on reservation lands and neighboring community members. For example, in response to the growing problem of obesity and diabetes, she marshaled numerous sports leagues for Native American children and adults. She also has provided transport services for the sick to get to hospitals, provided health counseling, and used tribal radio broadcasts to disseminate health messages.

Sammi  Turner, special needs coordinator, care management, Johns Hopkins HealthCare

A foster parent who has adopted two children, Sammi Turner volunteers for the Commission for Women of Baltimore County, providing education to seniors, and works with the Northwest Health Advisory Board to raise awareness about domestic violence and health issues. She is a member of the Fatality Review Board on domestic violence, serves on the Dundalk Community Advisory Board and volunteers with the DOVE, a domestic violence program. With her family, she brings hot meals to the homeless.

Tong Zhang, immunology graduate student, school of medicine

Tong Zhang’s leadership and creative energy have helped build the Incentive Mentoring Program, a nonprofit organization that empowers struggling teenagers to break the cycle of poverty, drugs and educational obstacles by surrounding at-risk youth with “families” of mentors who fill critical gaps in academic and social support. Assuming various leadership roles, Zhang designed the IMP website to engage the community and created logs where mentors can record their student interaction, drastically improving communication—all of which has transformed IMP from a local student group to a nationally recognized mentoring model.

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