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Dome - Legacy of Service

Dome January/February 2015

Legacy of Service

Date: January 7, 2015

Eight recipients of the 2014 Martin Luther King Community Service Awards earn honors at Johns Hopkins’ 33rd annual commemoration of the civil rights leader.


The 2014 MLK award recipients: Front row, Margaret Strong, Theresa Barberi, Janine Coy, Adi Noiman and Rochelle Mariano; back row, Albert Chi, Harlisha Martin and Nelson Moody.
The 2014 MLK award recipients: Front row, Margaret Strong, Theresa Barberi, Janine Coy, Adi Noiman and Rochelle Mariano; back row, Albert Chi, Harlisha Martin and Nelson Moody.

Theresa Barberi, Postdoctoral Fellow, Pediatric Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

When Theresa Barberi first volunteered with Safe House of Hope, a nonprofit organization that conducts outreach and provides recovery services to victims of sex trafficking, she was struck by the prevalence of human trafficking in Baltimore.

Over the years, she’s expanded her commitment from assisting with fundraising and awareness events to interacting directly with victims through street and Internet outreach.

The 33-year-old also publishes a monthly newsletter, writes grants, recruits volunteers, helps conduct outreach training and supports clients during the recovery process by helping them build healthy relationships.

Albert Chi, Assistant Professor of Surgery , The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Lying in a hospital bed at age 21 after a devastating motorcycle accident, Albert Chi decided that his purpose in life was to heal patients with traumatic injuries. Since then, the trauma surgeon has been paying it forward.

Because his clinical research is dedicated to advanced prosthetics, in 2013, Chi began working with an international volunteer group, e-NABLE, to create 3-D prosthetic arms and hands for children in need. Through a collaboration between the nonprofit and Johns Hopkins, Chi has provided two to three arms and hands a week to individuals in Maryland and internationally.

As a member of the Navy Reserve, Chi also volunteers his time taking care of wounded warriors.

Janine Coy, Physician Assistant, Emergency Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University

Living and working in southeast Baltimore, Janine Coy is a witness to the struggles that many residents face. Growing up poor and underprivileged herself, she has helped the people of this area, most notably creating the Friends of Joseph Lee Park nonprofit group.

She uses her connection with Johns Hopkins to link underprivileged people with resources and information on health care and employment. She also works to find grants for other initiatives, such as educating area residents on energy efficiency and home rehabilitation.

Rochelle Mariano, Registered Nurse, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Inspired by a friend who went from homelessness to acquiring an M.B.A. and by the good works of her church, Rochelle Mariano devoted herself to community service.

A registered nurse at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center for 34 years, Mariano uses her leisure time to help others. She travels regularly from her Baltimore County home to volunteer at a food pantry in Hagerstown. She regularly serves hot meals from the soup kitchen at her church, Bring Them Out Kingdom Ministries in Randallstown.

The Woodlawn resident also provides elementary school students with book bags and school supplies, assists needy families with groceries and holiday meals, and distributes blankets and warm clothing to the homeless.

Harlisha Martin, Home Care Coordinator, Johns Hopkins Home Care Group

Harlisha Martin recalls her dad inviting their neighbors to stay with them when their home was destroyed by a fire. This was just one example of her father’s generosity, which inspired her to pursue a life of service.

A mother of two, Martin would hear about needy children at her daughters’ school who couldn’t participate in school activities. Through donations from her co-workers at Johns Hopkins Home Care Group, the home care coordinator began collecting clothing and school supplies to distribute to families in need. Now, she provides resources to approximately 30 families a year who live in her Columbia community. Additionally, Martin works with the elderly at Cherry Lane Nursing Center in Laurel and volunteers at the Blossom House of Restoration in Glen Burnie, which supports abused and battered women.

Nelson Moody, Protective Services Officer, The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Nelson Moody was caught off guard recently when a colleague gave him a hug in the hospital’s cafeteria. There was good news to share: The fellow security officer had won custody of his son, thanks to the motivation he found in one of Moody’s four books about fatherhood and the advice in the videos on his International Fathers YouTube channel.

Creating positive paternal relationships has been a driving force for Moody, who never knew his own father but spent years searching for him. At age 29, Moody located a relative who told him that his father had died just two days before he and the relative were to meet. The wrenching experience left him yearning to create positive bonds and relationships between fathers and their children.

“I get joy out of helping dads become involved in their children’s lives,” says the father of five. When he’s not working as a protective services officer in Weinberg, the eight-year Johns Hopkins employee volunteers at his children’s elementary and middle schools.

Adi Noiman, Ph.D. Student Global Epidemiology and Control Program, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

When she arrived at the Bloomberg School of Public Health for graduate school, Adi Noiman wanted to learn about Baltimore and help make a difference in the community.

Her journey began with Thread, a program that links students from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and the Academy for College and Career Exploration with a student mentoring group that includes members from The Johns Hopkins University and the Baltimore community. The volunteers work with teenagers who struggle academically and face challenges outside of the classroom. Noiman tutors students in SAT prep, assists with their college and job applications, and offers support during difficult situations at home.

In 2011, she became the first director of the group’s summer programs, which included the Diversity and Academic Advancement Summer Institute, a paid summer internship program for Thread high school students.

Margaret Strong, Senior Research Technician, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

There’s no bigger thrill for Margaret Strong than seeing how inner-city students light up when they learn about science.

As a senior research technician, the Cockeysville resident understands how interesting science can be. And she hopes the right kind of exposure may lead some disadvantaged students to pursue careers in the field.

Since 2003, Strong has worked on the Johns Hopkins Community Science Education Program’s Science Day, which rotates eastern Baltimore elementary school students through school of medicine labs for hands-on science lessons. After running the program for seven years, she now conducts demonstrations, such as how to extract DNA from strawberries and bananas.

During this time, she helped create the annual Community Science Fair and, along with biophysicist Jie Xiao, the weeklong Fun with Science Summer Camp.

—Will Cox, Stephanie Price, Janet Anderson

Learn more at insidehopkinsmedicine.org/mlk.