Volume 04 | December 2018
December 2018 Student Newsletter
We wish you all a happy holiday season and hope you enjoy your well-deserved break!
Holiday Office Hours

AAP will be closed December 24th and 25th and December 31 and January 1st.

Aside from those days, we will be open during the break so feel free to stop in with questions for Registration, Admissions or Students Services Monday-Thursday 9-6 and Friday 9-5.
Students Celebrate the End of the Semester with Happy Hour
On December 6th, the Office of Student Affairs joined with students in the DC-Maryland-Virginia area to celebrate the end of the semester in style. Sporting ugly holiday sweaters, students enjoyed holiday cheer at The Big Hunt in Dupont Circle. Students from Applied Economics, the Center for Advanced Government Studies, Science Writing, and Energy Policy and Climate attended. Student Affairs hosted a contest where the student with the "Ugliest Holiday Sweater" won JHU AAP-exclusive swag. Zach Zoller won an AAP-exclusive pad-folio for his alien holiday sweater. Thank you everyone for joining!
De-Stress for Success: Mindfulness Techniques and Study Strategies
AAP Office of Student Affairs sat down with interested DC students to teach them mindfulness techniques and proven study strategies to help them prepare for finals. Career Services Outreach Coordinator, Romy Schueller taught mindfulness techniques to help students reduce their stress by being curious about their bodies and checking in with themselves. Romy led some breathing and movement exercises to help focus on breathing and analyze your body. Senior Student Services Coordinator Manal White taught about the Quadrant Method for time management and emphasized that taking breaks every hour and using muscle memory (ex. rewriting your notes/drawing graphs and diagrams) are the most effective study strategies.
Career Services Corner
Recruitment Bootcamp: On December 4 th, Career Services held a Recruitment Bootcamp on the DC Campus to help students prepare for their professional job search. Students were able to ask questions regarding the hiring process that loom in their minds to hiring professionals. Our panel provided insight and strategy. During the boot camp, attendees were able to experience rapid reviews of hiring materials from experienced human resources professionals and receive immediate feedback as well as suggestions and strategy. There was great conversation unfolding between the attendees and human resources professionals.

Women in the Workplace Workshop on Talking to Decision Makers: A How to Guide for Women, was a productive installment to the Women in the Workplace series. On December 11th, students at the DC Campus were provided ready-to-use strategies and insight on how to negotiate and speak with decision makers in the work environment. The participants were able to practice the learned strategies and receive immediate feedback and tips. Participants appreciated the knowledge shared regarding how current practices and perceptions promote continued inequity for women in the workplace. 

HSI Gap Year Panel offered an opportunity for our students in the Health Science Intensive program to learn from hiring managers, principal investigators, and human resources professionals about opportunities to pursue while applying to medical school. The student cohort also gained strategies and tips to effectively present themselves throughout the hiring process. The wonderful alumni, Meloria Hoskins, Robert Trenschel, Kendra Brown, and Joseph Jessee provided additional insight to ways to locate opportunities, shred their gap year preparation and experiences, as well as ways to get the most out of the intensive one-year master’s program. Thank you to the aforementioned alumni for giving your time and sharing your knowledge and experience.
Going the Distance: Nicole Forneris's Weekly Commute for her Biotechnology Education
AAP students study with us all over the world in online classes. Some of these distance learners supplement their virtual studies with an on-ground experience either through a field study or on campus class. We interviewed Biotech student Nicole Forneris, who gave us some insight into her weekly commute from Minnesota to Homewood Campus and why she does this.

On Monday mornings, I get up at 5:00 AM CST and make the twenty-minute commute to MSP airport where I catch the first flight out of MSP to BWI. During the flight, I try and either catch up on sleep or work. Upon arrival to BWI airport I take the free shuttle to the MARC train station where I hop on the 12:45PM MARC train to Baltimore-Penn Station. Once I arrive, I quickly grab the JHMI shuttle to the Homewood campus for my Monday class. I usually get on campus with enough time to head to Levering kitchens for some lunch before it closes, but I almost always end up at either a Starbucks or the Brody Learning Commons. Having access to caffeine has become a must while I work in the lounge. Of course, this fact doesn’t change no matter what city I’m in. I can usually fit about 6 hours of study time prior to my Bioassay Development lecture on Monday night. Following class, I hop back on the JHMI shuttle and the MARC train again, headed to Washington D.C. Union Station. Upon arrival I take the red-line from Union Station out to Foggy Bottom to stay with my in-laws who have an apartment there. On Tuesday night, I take the red-line back out of D.C. all the way to Shady Grove metro station where I can pick up the Maryland Rideon bush to JHU for my Molecular Targets and Cancer lecture. After class I go back to D.C. the same way I came, arriving back at the apartment late in the evening. The next morning, I grab the earliest outgoing BWI-MSP flight back home.  
 
When I was accepted to Johns Hopkins University for the Biotech M.S. with MTDD [Molecular Targets and Drug Discovery] concentration, I was already working on my medical school applications and getting some positive results in my research project at the Schulze Diabetes Institute at the University of Minnesota. I knew that the MTDD concentration required on-site coursework and so my husband and I made plans to accommodate. I knew this concentration would also directly translate into my career as a pediatric oncologist, even going beyond being an asset for entrance into medical school or help to strengthen my candidacy for a pediatric oncology fellowship. Making the long commute from Minnesota to Baltimore every week has allowed me to study under some of the most passionate and inspiring faculty and professors in the field, while allowing me to continue my work at the Schulze Diabetes Institute and as a medical scribe in the Frauenshuh Cancer Center. Ayn Rand once said, “The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.” I do not plan to let opportunity pass me by.
Focusing on Mental Health Care
Working a Sweat to Improve Mental Health
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We all know exercise is good for managing stress, but did you know it can improve memory? It has been scientifically proven that exercising four hours or a day after learning something new helps with memory retention. As you prepare your study schedule for the Spring semester, consider working in some exercise. Not only will this enhance your mood, but it can also help you retain what you are learning!

Want to learn more? Check out Current Biology, van Dongen et al.: "Physical Exercise Performed Four Hours after Learning Improves Memory Retention and Increases Hippocampal Pattern Similarity during Retrieval" http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(16)30465-1, OI:10.1016/j.cub.2016.04.071 
The Semester Ended, Should My Stress Melt Away?
Often times, graduate students carry and endure greats amounts of stress during graduate school. These stressors can emerge from coursework, finances, debt, poor work-life balance, family issues, family pressure, isolation, health issues, grief/loss, interpersonal issues, microaggressions, discrimination, inequities, traumatic events, school issues, legal issues/matters, alcohol and substance abuse, and many more sources. One person can have one or any combination of the aforementioned list including sources not on the list. When the semester ends, all emotions, stressors, and life remain. 
 
The end of the fall semester is also the beginning of an intense holiday season. During a jammed packed holiday season, there are stressors that can surface from seeing family, being in new situations, demands of friends, and wanting to relax.

 Some students and alumni will not be able to join family for the holiday season and this can bring about stress and sadness. Be kind to others and know if you can bring some comfort. Think of ways you can enjoy your time this season if you cannot be around the family you wish to enjoy. Sometimes the family stress comes from the dreaded question, “What are you going to do with your degree?” 

There are counterparts among us who have endured a loss over the year and may be facing the holidays for the first time without a loved one. If you are experiencing this, be open about where you are in your grief process and know that there are supports for you including JHSAP. Grief is something we learn to carry with us not something we “get over”. Think about your needs and articulate them to someone you trust. 

Our friends may be an additional stress as they may demand more of our time now that classes are over, or friends may express hurt or upset feelings that we were unable to spend time with them, or missed some occasions. Write cards to our significant friends expressing your appreciation of your friendship and acknowledge the changes that are current in your friendship.  

Many students who complete a program in December are ready to go to work or advance in their field by January. For students who have just completed their program with the Fall 2018 semester, I offer some strategies to assist in managing, reducing, and addressing the stress you may be carrying.  


  • Reward yourself: CONGRATULATIONS!, you completed you master’s program. Do something nice for yourself that promotes relaxation and health (No regrets!). You worked hard and long appreciate the journey and congratulate yourself for accomplishing a feat.  

  • Reflect: Journal (in your way, art, prose, poetry, song, mapping, etc.) on your experience during the graduate program (i.e. what stands out to you?; what were the highlights?; what were the downturns?; how did you handle these times?; what are you most looking forward to?; what surprised you about you?; how are you different now?; in what ways are you the same?; what moments during the program (class, lecture, event, conversation, etc.) did you get inspired?; what are you going to do with that inspiration?; etc.), your strengths (what are your strengths?; what are the things people consistently come to you for or rely on on you about?), and your interests. Review your journal entry or entries and take note of themes, messages, insights, and/or further questions/areas of exploration. If you want more guidance log onto Handshake and make a career counseling appointment (bring the journaling with you).  

  • Make reasonable goals with wise time-frames: Many companies are winding down the year and may not interview over the holiday season. Use this time to review opportunities, research companies and make a plan for applying, reaching out, and networking.

  • Evaluate your Network: determine who in your network may be able to make a significant introduction. Prepare to engage with this key network connection by having an updated networking resume on hand, professional media profiles polished, knowledge of your available time, and clear messaging of your ask.


Other students are about to experience a winter break and prepare for the spring semester. In this break, many students want to take advantage of all the services outside the classroom the school has to offer. AS your professors and lectures have a break to prepare so does the professionals in other services. We all work extremely hard to bring you valuable information, events, and opportunity. Here are some tips for students to activate over this break:

  • Treat yourself: You completed a semester, give yourself a treat. Make sure the treat promotes health and relaxation and tell yourself, “One down; or Another one down; or congratulations”.  

  • Reflect on the past semester: What behaviors and practices would you keep with you into the next semester and what changes will you like to make? What were the “aha moments” your experienced? What would you like to know more about? Was there a reading suggested that you could now read? Are your expectations being met? (If yes, do you have any other expectations; if no, are your expectations reflective of what the program or JHU has to offer?, what part do you play in these expectations being met?, Are there key people to speak with further in positive conversation about your expectations? Who were some key people you met that you would like to ensure you build a connection? What have you had to sacrifice and can now pay attention to or enjoy?

  • Evaluate your Goals: Determine and write out your goals for yourself at this moment. What needs do you have to continue to work towards these goals? Identify the resources available to you in regards to these goals. Plan-out ways to engage with these resources in a manner that does not increase stress. Plan wise and mindfully so you can absorb and benefit from the experience, interact, and knowledge.


Yes, our stress does not melt away due to the fall semester ending. The holidays can often bring another layer or layers of stress and emotions. Finding ways to relax, breathe, and take a moment for yourself can be beneficial to reducing your stress level.  JHSAP is available for students who may want to talk about this more or learn new techniques in reducing and managing stress. Prepare to prepare for your next steps and moves by beginning with reflection.

-Associate Director of Career Services Roni K. White, NCC, LGPC
Have a Holly Jolly, Not Stressy-Depressy Holiday
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Make sure to keep your mind healthy and at ease during the stressful holiday season. JHSAP is a confidential, free resource to help students manage work, life and school challenges and support their emotional well-being. All AAP students, online and onsite, have access to this resource. Talk to someone today !
AAP students, faculty and staff have access to download the Calm App for free. The Calm App provides access to meditation instruction, sleep assistance, and videos and music to help members of our JHU community improve their relaxation, stress management, and restorative sleep. Increase your self-care by downloading the app today!
Make 2019 About YOU and Win Free Swag!
We want to hear your stories! Send AAP Student Services (aapstudentservices@jhu.edu) an email with the subject line Me: 2018. Tell us about your personal experiences during the events of 2018 and they may get featured in the upcoming New Years' issue. You will also be entered into a drawing to win free AAP-exclusive swag. The deadline is December 28th at 5:00 PM.