Alumni in the Spotlight

Alumni Spotlights!

Alumni Spotlights feature outstanding SOE alumni succeeding in their careers, our alumni go on to make a difference in their communities and the world. In the alumni spotlights below, you’ll meet alumni of all backgrounds and hear how their experiences helped shape who and where they are today.

Shayla Heavner

Sandra Mrad, MD, MEHP ’20

September, 2020.

Dr. Mrad was in Beirut, Lebanon, during the recent devastating explosion. Over 800 patients came through the ER that day, and she was working in the “Red Zone” with the most critical patients. We salute Dr. Mrad for her incredible work that day—and every day—and her dedication to sharing her skills with others. We also thank her being an ambassador for JHU’s Master of Education in the Health Professions program during its 10th anniversary year. Dr. Mrad has been practicing as an emergency physician since July 2018. She recently moved to the United Arab Emirates where she is currently practicing as an Emergency Medicine specialist at Mediclinic Parkview hospital, Dubai. In 2017, Sandra was awarded the “Outstanding Resident Award, Excellency in Teamwork” from the Emergency Department of the AUBMC and the “Said Al Mazroui” Resident of the Year Award” from the Middle East and North Africa Clinical Toxicology Association.

Luis O. Krug Portrait

Luis O. Krug, MS ’83, Promoted to Program Manager of the ProRanger Philadelphia Program

June, 2012.

Alumnus Luis Krug will serve as the Program Manager of the ProRanger Philadelphia Program a joint program administered by the National Park Service and Temple University to recruit, train and employ law enforcement park rangers for the National Park Service.  His promotion reflects his years of exemplary service as U.S. park ranger and public safety advocate, which was recognized in May 2010 with the Outstanding Federal Law Enforcement Employee in Oklahoma award. Congratulations Luis!

We invite you to read more about Luis’s recent accomplishments with the National Park Service and the ProRanger Philadelphia Program.

Jenna Stern Portrait

Jenna Stern’s, MAT ’11, School Receives Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools

June, 2012.

We are thrilled to announce that SOE alumna Jenna Stern, MAT ’11, and her colleagues at YES Prep received the Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools—one of the most prestigious awards in public education.  During the National Charter School Conference on June 21, 2012, the Broad Foundation recognized YES Prep for its outstanding overall student performance and improvement among the country’s largest urban charter management organizations.

Jenna excelled in her studies at SOE and received the 2011 AEGON USA Inc. and Michael-Weinstein Scholarships.  After graduating, Jenna joined the YES Prep, Houston, Texas team, which exclusively serves high-poverty minority students.  She now teaches 8th grade English to a group of students whose stellar achievement results contributed to her school’s success.

SOE congratulates Jenna on this recent recognition of her commitment to urban education.

Leslie F. Davidson Portrait

Leslie F. Davidson, PhD, MS ’97, Has Been Appointed to the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Editorial Panel of the American Medical Association (AMA)

June, 2012.

Dr. Davidson is the first occupational therapist to be appointed to the CPT Editorial Panel of the AMA according to a June 4, 2012 press release from The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc (AOTA).

Leslie received her MS in special education and early childhood from JHU School of Education in 1997.  She later went on to earn her MA in occupational therapy from New York University and her PhD in human development from Virginia Tech.  Davidson specializes in head injury, cognition, visual perception, and participation.  Currently, Leslie serves as the interim director and associate professor of occupational therapy at Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA.

She feels honored to be elected to the panel and considers it “a reflection of the respect health care professionals have gained for the field of occupational therapy and acknowledgement of occupational therapists’ contribution to complex health care systems”.

Congratulations Leslie!

To find out more information on the CPT Editorial Panel of the AMA and SOE alumna, Leslie Davidson.

Carol Quirk, receiving  JHU Distinguished Alumna Award

Carol Quirk, EdD ’88: JHU Distinguished Alumna Award

May, 2012.

During the May 24, 2012 School of Education Graduation Ceremony, JHU Alumni Council Vice President Jay Lenrow presented the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumnus Award to Dr. Carol Quirk.  The award honors alumni who have typified the Johns Hopkins tradition of excellence and brought credit to the university by their personal accomplishment, professional achievement, or humanitarian service.

Dr. Carol Quirk received her Doctor of Education from the School of Education in 1988 and currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of the non-profit corporation, Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education.  Previously, she was the former Executive Director of East Baltimore Resources, an adult service agency that provides employment opportunities to adults with disabilities, and was an early intervention and behavior specialist and consultant for The School District of Philadelphia.  In addition, she is the recipient of the top 100 Minority/Women Business Entrepreneurs Award for the Maryland-Virginia-District of Columbia region, and was appointed to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.

Dr. Quirk received the Distinguished Alumnus Award for her contributions to the field of intellectual disability and her exemplary commitment to promote the full participation of people with disabilities in their communities

Dr. Walter G. Amprey Receives the Distinguished Alumnus Award

Dr. Walter G. Amprey Receives the Distinguished Alumnus Award

April, 2012.

The Johns Hopkins School of Education honored Walter G. Amprey, EdD during The Walter G. Amprey Legacy Reception on April 26, 2012 at Martin’s West.  The event gathered approximately 300 dedicated school administrators, educators, public policy makers, and corporate leaders to not only celebrate Dr. Amprey’s contributions to leadership in education, but also to congratulate him on his prestigious citation from Senator Nathaniel J. McFadden of District 45 in Baltimore City, as well as the Distinguished Alumni Award from The Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association.

Dr. Walter Amprey served as Superintendent of Public Instruction for the Baltimore City Public Schools from 1991-1997.  He is credited with developing innovative programs that involved the effective use of business and private industry to improve the operations and effectiveness of schools.  Dr. Amprey is well known and highly regarded throughout the nation as an expert in the area of urban education.  He has made significant contributions to national education reform in his service as the former National Vice President for Urban Education of National School Conference Institute, President of the Large City Schools Superintendents of the U.S. and Canada, and the Director of National Center for Education Research & Technology (NCERT).  In the year 2000, he formed his own educational consulting firm, Amprey & Associates, and currently acts as the President/CEO.

Walter earned both his Bachelor of Art and Master of Science degrees from Morgan State University, where he studied Elementary and Secondary Education and History and Social Science.  In 1977, he earned his second Master’s degree—a Master of Science in Educational Administration and Supervision from The Johns Hopkins University School of Education—and then completed his Doctorate in Urban Education at Temple University.  His passion is identifying real solutions for superintendents and school systems that are genuinely interested in significantly improving instructional delivery and efficient business management of school districts.

Inga Schoenbrun, Portrait

Inga Schoenbrun, MAT ’96, Hired as The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School Assistant Principal

July, 2012.

Starting July 1, 2012, Inga Schoenbrun, MAT ’96, will serve as the Assistant Principal of K-6 and General Studies at The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD.  Inga graduated from the SOE SIMAT program in 1996 and earned her ISTE/JHU Administration and Supervision Certificate in 2011.

Jennifer Carinci  Portrait

SOE’s Jennifer Carinci voted chair of AERA Graduate Student Council

March, 2012.

School of Education graduate student Jennifer Carinci has been voted chair-elect of the American Educational Research Association’s Graduate Student Council, an honor that she will hold from 2012-2015.

Carinci is an IES Pre-doctoral fellow in Teacher Development and Leadership at the SOE and serves on the editorial board for the New Horizons for Learning program at the SOE. She earned her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in General Fine Arts and an MSEd from Johns Hopkins prior to her current studies. In 2007, she was named the New Middle School Art Teacher of the Year by the Maryland Art Education Association.

Read more about the AERA’s recent elections here.


Justin Davidson receiving the Prince George’s County Medal of Valor

Justin Davidson, MS ’08, Receives the Prince George’s County Medal of Valor

January, 2012.

Justin Davidson, MS ’08, was awarded the Prince George’s County Medal of Valor for a rescue on a house fire.  In addition, Mr. Davidson was one of the top recipients for the Medal of Valor from Firehouse Magazine.  Congratulations Justin!

Nicholas Martin Portrait

Nicholas Martin, MS ’09, Is Promoted to District of Columbia Fire Department Sergeant

January, 2012.

Congratulations to Nicholas Martin, MS ’09, who was promoted to Sergeant with the District of Columbia Fire Department and Captain with the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department.  Mr. Martin is the Vice President of Traditions Training—a very successful fire service private training company that travels around the country teaching common sense approaches to fire department operations.  In addition, he is responsible for a daily column in Fire Engineering Magazine.

Allison McCarthy Portrait

SOE Alum earns Advanced Placement Outstanding Teacher Award

January, 2012.

Allison McCarthy, who earned her M.A. in Teaching with a focus in Secondary Education from the Johns Hopkins School of Education in 2009, recently received the 2012 Advanced Placement Program’s Outstanding Teacher Award in the Middle State Region sponsored by the College Board.

The 28-year-old, who earned her undergraduate degree in English and classics from the University of Vermont, is a K-12 gifted and talented coordinator for Pittsburgh Public Schools. She has worked for that system for the past two years, having previously served as the program director for the Reading is FUNdamental branch on the North Side of Pittsburgh.

“I believe that there are many children who are innately gifted, and there are many children for whom gifts and talents need to be developed and supported,” McCarthy told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Both types of children need to have opportunities for enrichment and advancement.”

McCarthy received her award at a regional forum in Baltimore on Monday, January 23.

Jennifer Boyer Portrait

Jennifer Boyer, MS ’90, Recognized as a North Carolina “Educator of Excellence”

October, 2011.

During the 61st Exceptional Children’s Conference, held on October 31st, SOE alumna, Jennifer Boyer, was honored by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction with an “Educator of Excellence” Award.  Jennifer received her SOE Masters of Science Degree in 1990 and was a scholarship recipient.  Currently, she teaches special education at Topsail High School in North Carolina.  With 25 years of classroom experience and outstanding service to children with special needs, Jennifer serves as an inspiration to her students and educators.

On the ratemyteachers Website, one parent wrote of Boyer, “She is the greatest EC (exceptional children) teacher I have ever met.  Your child is number one.  She fights for her kids and she loves them.  She will do what ever it takes to help them and you become all you can be. “

Congratulations Jennifer!

Robert C. White Portrait

Robert C. White, MS ’96, Named Police Chief for Denver, Colorado

April, 2011.

SOE alumnus, Chief Robert C. White was recently named the next chief of Denver Police Department.  White will be leaving his current position as the chief of the Louisville, Kentucky Metro Police Department, which he has served since 2003.

This news also marks a important moment in Denver’s history as Chief White will become the first African-American police chief, and the second chief from outside the department in 50 years.  A graduate of the first Public Safety Leadership cohort, Chief White received his SOE Masters of Science Degree in Community Development in 1996.

Congratulations Robert!

Read the full article at

Dr. Shawn Joseph Portrait

Dr. Shawn Joseph, SOE MS ’99, Authors His First Book

October, 2013.

SOE alumnus, Dr. Shawn Joseph, recently wrote his first book, entitled, The Principal’s Guide to the First 100 Days of the School Year: Creating Instructional Momentum, published by Eye on Education.  One book reviewer, Gregory E. Thornton, EdD, Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools, has this to say about Dr. Joseph’s book:

“An invaluable resource for school leaders, this book blends successful, research-based practices with practical day-to-day exemplars and guidance.”

Dr. Joseph currently is the Director of School Performance at Montgomery County Public Schools and an adjunct professor for The George Washington University and McDaniel College.  He earned his Masters of Science Degree, with a focus in reading, from the School of Education in 1999 and went on to earn his Doctorate in Education from George Washington University.

To read more about Dr. Joseph and his new book, visit Eye on Education.

Congratulations Dr. Joseph!

Andrea Maruskin teaching in the classroom

Andrea Maruskin, MS ’95, Named Frederick County Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year

May, 2011.

SOE alumna and STEM teacher, Andrea Maruskin, was named Frederick County Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year in May 2011.  Hailing from Ohio, Andrea studied elementary education at Bowling Green State University, where she received her bachelors’s degree in 1989 before moving east and starting a family.  In 1995, Maruskin received her Masters in Science at Johns Hopkins University School of Education.

Andrea taught elementary school science at Montgomery County from 1989 to 1997, before transitioning in 2005 to middle school teaching at Frederick County.  Andrea currently teaches at Monocacy Middle School.  As a Frederick County Teacher of the Year, Andrea is now a candidate for Maryland’s state-wide award.

Carol Quirk Portrait

Carol Quirk, EdD ’88, Appointed to President Obama’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities

May, 2011.

Carol Quirk has been appointed to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities, as of May 2011. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of the non-profit corporation, Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education (MCIE).  Dr. Quirk is the former Executive Director of East Baltimore Resources, an adult service agency that provides employment opportunities to adults with disabilities, as well as a former early intervention and behavior specialist and consultant for The School District of Philadelphia.  She is the recipient of the top 100 Minority/Women Business Entrepreneurs Award for the Maryland-Virginia-District of Columbia region.

Dr. Quirk received her BA and an MA from the University of Connecticut, and an EdD from Johns Hopkins School of Education.

Read Full Story at

People clapping

Mr. Joel Weinstein & Mrs. Bonnie Weinstein, MSEd ’72, Recognized at Johns Hopkins Rising to the Challenge Conference in San Francisco:

April, 2011.

The Michael-Weinstein scholarship, named in honor of Bonni’s mother and brother, provided financial aid for graduate students at the School of Education, with a focus on supporting opportunities for women. The scholarship has helped more than 30 students complete their degrees — students like Erica Marie Hart, who joined the Weinsteins at the Rising to the Challenge Conference in San Francisco on April 16, 2011.

Bonni and Joel, thank you for paying forward the values your mother embodied by providing opportunities to generations of scholars.

Diana Strohecker Portrait

Diana Strohecker, EdD ’90, ’81, Awarded The Maryland Society for Educational Technology 2011 Outstanding Technology Leader in Education

February, 2011.

The Maryland Society for Educational Technology awarded SOE alumna, Diana Strohecker, with the Outstanding Technology Leader in Education award on February 8, 2011.  Since Fall 2008, Dr. Strohecker has been a principal at Nantucket Elementary, and has served the Anne Arundel County public school system as an educator for the past 34 years. According to a press release from Anne Arundel Public Schools Prior (AACPS), Dr. Strohecker has worked tirelessly to integrate technology within the classroom beginning with students at a young age.

As a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Strohecker studied human communication disorders.  She has previously been awarded The Washington Post’s Distinguished Educational Leadership Award for her 11 years of service as the principal at Millersville Elementary, where she successfully implemented an integrated autism center.  Dr. Strohecker has worked closely with the nonprofit Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education to provide resources, training and tolerance to educators to effectively integrate severely disabled children within the regular classroom structure.

Dr. Clifford L. Stanley Portrait

Dr. Clifford L. Stanley, MSEd, ’77, Appointed As Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness

February, 2010.

Dr. Clifford L. Stanley, SOE alumnus, was appointed to the U.S. Department of Defense as the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness on February 16, 2010. In his new position, Dr. Stanley will serve as the senior policy advisor to the Secretary of Defense on matters concerning recruitment, career development, pay and benefits.  He is responsible for over two million active duty military personnel, Guard and Reserve personnel, as well as 680,000 DoD civilians, and oversees the state of military preparedness.

Dr. Stanley’s previous leadership roles include the President of Scholarship America; Executive Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania; Major General, with over 33 years of service in the United States Marine Corps; Director of Public Affairs, Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington DC; Advisor to the Secretary of Defense on POW/MIA Affairs; instructor at the US Naval Academy; and White House Fellow and Special Assistant to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Dr. Stanley received his Master of Science degree from Johns Hopkins University, graduating with honors.  He earned his Doctorate Degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and holds Doctor of Laws degrees from South Carolina State University and Spalding University.  He also holds a Doctor of Science, honoris causa, from The Medical University of South Carolina.


Doris Keefe Lidtke receiving an award

Doris Keefe Lidtke, PhD, MSEd ’74, Awarded The SOE Distinguished Alumni Award

May, 2011.

Each year, Schools from throughout the University nominate alumni who have typified the Johns Hopkins tradition of excellence and brought credit to the University by their personal accomplishment, professional achievement, or humanitarian service. The School of Education is pleased to present this Award for 2011 to Dr. Doris Keefe Lidtke.

An internationally recognized educational leader in ethics and the social impact of computing, Dr. Lidtke is professor emerita of computer and information sciences at Towson University in Towson, Maryland, where she served on the faculty from 1968 to 2002. In addition to her M.Ed., which she received from Johns Hopkins University in 1974, Dr. Lidtke earned B.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Oregon. Dr. Lidtke was an active professional volunteer, serving in multiple leadership roles for such organizations as the Association for Computing, Computing Sciences Accreditation Board, National Educational Computer Conference, IEEE Computer Society, Maryland Academy of Science, and International Federation of Information Processing Societies.  Among her numerous honors, Dr. Lidtke was named Outstanding Faculty Member in the College of Science and Mathematics at Towson University in 2000. The Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computers and Society honored her in 2004 with its Outstanding Service Award.

In 2006, she was named a fellow by ABET, which recognized her for “serving as a pioneer and strong proponent of accreditation for programs in computing … and for selfless contributions to the computing disciplines and American higher education.”  Although she assumed the title of professor emerita in 2002, Dr. Lidtke continued to teach part time at Towson, finally retiring in 2009. She is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education at the Johns Hopkins School of Education.  Dr. Lidtke also occupies a unique position in the history of the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY). As reported in the Sept. 21, 2009, edition of the JHU Gazette:

“The origins of CTY can be traced back to 1968 and two people: Julian Stanley, a professor at Johns Hopkins, and Doris Lidtke, a computer professor at Towson University who taught a summer computer science program at Johns Hopkins. Through the JHU program, Lidtke met a talented rising eighth-grader, Joseph Bates, whom she brought to Stanley’s attention. Bates had run out of math classes to take in the Baltimore County schools and needed a new challenge.”

That action sparked the eventual creation of the CTY, which to date has identified over one million students and has served more than 100,000 students through its programs.