a seedling emerges from soil

A Tremendous Season

Our timely power to convene others in common cause.

By Brian W. Simpson, MPH ’13, Editor-in-Chief

In Jack Kerouac’s classic novel On the Road, Carlo Marx (a character based on Allen Ginsberg) says of a friend, “Dean and I are embarked on a tremendous season together.”

I always liked that line. Seasons don’t have to be determined by the calendar, the color or absence of leaves on trees—or the tilt of the earth’s rotational axis as it spins around the sun. The idea that humans can create their own seasons has always stayed with me. Each of us has that power to bring others together in common cause, sharing ideas and actions, and creating a special collection of moments carved from the immensity of time.

When we consider history, we tend to think in eras like the Mesozoic era. Nations too have eras like the “Victorian era” or “Depression era.” But “season” strikes me as more apt for individuals ... and institutions.

The Bloomberg School had distinct seasons under the leadership of its deans, including D.A. Henderson, Al Sommer and Mike Klag. And now under Dean Ellen MacKenzie, the School is embarking on its latest season. As you’ve seen in her first column for Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health and in my Q&A with her, she has deep experience in research and academic leadership. Whip-smart, analytical and kind, she has a steady, no-drama leadership style. 

And here at the magazine, we’re embarking on our own new season. Melissa Hartman has recently joined us as managing editor and associate director for Content and Editorial. Melissa led Imagine magazine for the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, producing five issues per year since 1997. Melissa eagerly leapt right into this issue and will provide day-to-day editing and planning for future issues, allowing me to spend more time with Global Health NOW and content strategy.

For the magazine, and especially the School, it feels like an early spring.