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Awards & RecognitionExcellence in Diversity

Since 2018, JHSON has been recognized by INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education for our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, receiving the HEED (Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity) Award. The award is the only national honor that recognizes individual health institutions showing outstanding achievement in making diversity a top priority. We have also been named a Best School for Men in Nursing by the American Association for Men in Nursing (AAMN) since 2019 for our commitment to increasing the number of males entering the nursing profession.


Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, MSN/MPH, RN (JHU MSN/MPH ’10)

Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, MSN/MPH, RN In 2019, MSN/MPH alumna Lauren Underwood earned the Woodrow Wilson Award for Distinguished Government Services from the Johns Hopkins University. The award honors alumni who have brought recognition to the university by their current or recently concluded distinguished public service as elected or appointed officials.

Congresswoman Underwood currently serves as the Illinois 14th Congressional District representative and is the youngest African American woman to serve in the United States House of Representatives. Before she became a key leader in health care change for her constituents in Illinois she served as a public health nurse and a senior advisor to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services helping to implement the Affordable Care Act. During her time in the Obama administration, she also helped communities across the country to prevent, prepare for, and respond to disasters, bioterror threats, and public health emergencies.

Underwood credits her nursing background as the reason she is an evidence-based, data-driven policy maker. Learn more about Congresswoman Lauren Underwood in the 2020 video produced by the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and her undergraduate nursing program at the University of Michigan.

Awards & Recognition

We are truly honored to have people here at JHSON who are recognized for their passion to drive the cultural change that embraces a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. Many of our faculty, staff, students, and alumni have been honored for their work here in Baltimore and throughout the country.

PatPatricia Davidson, PhD, MEd, RNricia Davidson, PhD, MEd, RN  Dr. Davidson received the 2021 Distinguished Leader Award from the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH). Davidson serves on the board of CUGH and has committed her nursing career to advancing innovation, person-centered ways to deliver care, and evidence-based teaching models, locally and globally.

Athena Ford, PhD, RNAthena Ford, PhD, RN Dr. Ford was the recipient of the An Evening with the Stars 2018 School of Nursing Diversity Award. The annual award recognizes JHSON staff, faculty, and students for their contributions related to diversity. Nominees demonstrate advocacy for the development and celebration of diversity and inclusion through the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing locally and/or globally.


Sandra Panchalingham, PhD Sandra Panchalingham, PhD Sandra Panchalingham, PhD Dr. Panchalingham was recognized by Johns Hopkins Medicine as a 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award recipient. She has been a long-term volunteer with Adopt-A-Block, giving back to families in Baltimore City and across Maryland. For almost 20 years, she has helped the organization renovate vacant houses for low-income owners, host block parties, and distribute 43,000 meals to families each month.

Craig Pollack, MD, MHSCraig Pollack, MD, MHS Dr. Pollack was appointed as the inaugural chair of the Katey Ayers Endowed Professorship in 2020. Funded through a generous gift from JHSON Class of 1967 Alumna Katey Ayers – and matched by the Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative Fund – the professorship will tackle the complex intersection of housing and social services and their impact on health. The professorship is shared between JHSON and the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Gloria Ramsey, JD, RN, FNAP, FAANGloria Ramsey, JD, RN, FNAP, FAAN In 2019, Dr. Ramsey earned the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA). The honor applauds Ramsey’s varied career as a nurse and attorney who has focused on bioethics, end-of-life care, and promoting high-quality healthcare and access among minority populations.


Phyllis Sharps, PhD, RN, FAANPhyllis Sharps, PhD, RN, FAAN Dr. Sharps earned Modern Healthcare’s Diversity in Nursing Award and was a 2018 finalist of the Johns Hopkins University’s Provost Prize for Faculty Excellence in Diversity. In 2019, Dr. Sharps was also named Nurse of the Year by the Washington Black Nurses Association (BNA).


Sarah L. Szanton, PhD, ANP, FAAN Sarah L. Szanton, PhD, ANP, FAAN Dr. Szanton was honored as the inaugural endowed professor in health equity and social justice. This chair was established and funded in 2018 by Susan Matthews Epstein, JD, RN, a 1966 graduate of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and a lifelong advocate for access to health care for underserved children and adults. The professorship furthers her belief that nursing education should promote the importance of nurses as leaders in the quest for health equity and social justice for all.