Newswise — The Communications and Marketing and the Alumni Relations teams in the Office of External Affairs at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health together won six CASE Circle of Excellence awards in recognition of their work across various content platforms. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) awards highlight outstanding work in categories including alumni relations, communications, fundraising, advancement services, and marketing. CASE announced the winners on June 22. 

Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health magazine won the “Writing | Column or Opinion” Grand Gold award, the highest level of recognition in a category, for an opinion essay titled “Johns Hopkins, Health Thyself.” The piece, written by Darrell Gaskin, PhD, MS, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions, examines the glaring health disparities affecting people living in the East Baltimore neighborhoods closest to the Bloomberg School and the Johns Hopkins schools of Medicine and Nursing. The judges noted that “even weeks after first reading this piece, we are still thinking about its power, courage, and unflinching honesty. This submission is in a class by itself, and deserving of the Grand Gold honor since it is a model for what opinion writing in higher education can and should be.”

The Alumni Relations team earned a gold award in the Alumni Relations Initiatives category for its collaborative approach to alumni engagement and student recruitment. Beginning in 2021, the team expanded existing connections with Bloomberg School alumni by adding a personalized email with an alumni video message through the donor video platform ThankView, strengthening relationships with the Bloomberg School’s departments and programs, and engaging hundreds of alumni. 

The Alumni Relations team also earned a silver award in the same category for its regularly occurring Spotlight Series. The series engages diverse internal and external communities by sharing valuable public health information on a variety of topics through easily digestible presentations, interviews, and panel discussions. Since May 2020, the group has hosted more than 56 Spotlight Series events. For this award, the judges said “this program … recognized the continued need for public health education beyond COVID by highlighting alumni voices, the program was able to create stronger engagement worldwide.”

The Communications and Marketing team also earned awards in the following categories: “Video | Student Audience (Long),” “Communications | Podcasts (Frequent),” and “Video | COVID-related.”

The marketing video “Three Students, One Baltimore” earned a silver award for videos for student audiences. Focusing on authentic, real student experiences instead of traditional student recruitment or branding, the video showcases three students’ experiences in Baltimore City through vlog-style video interviews and scenes of their life in the city. The judges said the video “did a good job achieving their goals and objectives through a unique challenge of having to showcase the city’s amenities,” noting the “technical elements were executed very well.”

mRNA Vaccine Explainer for Kids,” a social media explainer video for kids that describes how mRNA vaccines work to prevent COVID, won a silver award. Judges noted that the video, which was featured on the School’s Instagram and Facebook accounts, was “entertaining” with a “fun approach.” This video earned thousands of views and was also featured on NPR. 

The School’s Public Health On Call podcast earned another silver award this year, after receiving a CASE award last year. Hosts Joshua Sharfstein, MD, vice dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement, and Stephanie Desmon, director of public relations and marketing for the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, tackle complex public health topics in relatable and engaging ways. Lindsay Smith Rogers, the School’s associate director of content strategy, produces the podcasts and occasionally contributes as a host. The judges commented on the podcast’s “impressive reach with more than 12,000 listens per episode” and complimented the show’s ability to “respond to the public health issues at the height of the pandemic with timely topics, guests, and helpful partnerships that helped reach wider audiences.”

The Bloomberg School, founded in 1916, has long been a leading source for public health information and guidance. The School has been ranked the #1 school of public health in the nation by U.S. News & World Report since the rankings were introduced in 1994, including most recently in March 2022.

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