Annika Hawkins, a Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing student from Strafford, Vermont, has been selected as a 2003 Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholar, the foundation announced today.
The 43 scholars, chosen from 842 applicants, will receive up to $50,000 a year for up to six years to pursue a graduate or professional degree from any accredited school. Hawkins will receive her baccalaureate degree in nursing in July and plans to earn two masters degrees – a master of science in nursing in the family nurse practitioner program at the School of Nursing and a master of public health degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Hawkins graduated from Wesleyan University in 2000 with a degree in Spanish Language and Literature. She worked for one year in Boston at Planned Parenthood as a clinical assistant and counselor. “It was there, counseling Spanish-speaking patients and working with nurse midwives and nurse practitioners, that I realized the nursing profession was a good fit for me,” she says.
Hawkins then traveled to Peru to work with Robert Gilman, MD, a professor in the department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, on a project studying shigella, a bacteria that causes diarrhea.
“The original intent was for me to assist with language-based tasks, but shortly after our arrival, the doctor leading the project left,” Hawkins explains. “Suddenly there was a project, up and running, with four field workers, a pediatrician, and a biologist, but no one to keep it running.” Hawkins jumped in and provided guidance to the group. “Being able to speak Spanish gave me a distinct advantage,” she says.
“Annika was one of the best students I have had the pleasure of supervising,” Gilman says. “She is innovative, very bright, mature, and highly personable.”
When the project ended in February 2002, Hawkins began the task of analyzing the data, another new and challenging experience for her. She returned from Peru just a few weeks before entering the accelerated baccalaureate program at the School of Nursing.
After she receives her masters’ degrees, Hawkins would like to practice in a community or public health setting. She is interested in working with Hispanic populations, both locally and internationally.
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation identifies young people nationwide who excel in both academic endeavors and extracurricular activities. The foundation supports young men and women for unusual intelligence, application, deportment, and character. The first Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholars were named last year.
When Hawkins was considering applying for this year’s scholarship program, it was a fellow student and one of the first Jack Kent Cooke Scholars, Rachel Breman, who encouraged her to complete the application. Hawkins is one of three students from the Johns Hopkins University chosen for the award this year.
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private, independent foundation established by its namesake to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential. Cooke was a businessman, sportsman, and philanthropist who left most of his fortune to the foundation when he died in 1997. To learn more about the foundation and the other 2003 scholars, visit www.jackkentcookefoundation.org.
For media inquiries contact Ming Tai at [email protected] or 410-614-5317.