Sen. Barbara Mikulski may have retired from Congress, but the tenacious politician isn’t planning to stop imparting her knowledge to younger minds. This morning, Johns Hopkins University announced she’s joining their faculty as the newest Homewood Professor.
Starting next Tuesday, Mikulski, 80, will be teaching public policy in the school’s political science department. She’ll also be acting as a presidential advisor to JHU president Ronald J. Daniels, holding lectures, seminars and symposia and bringing national leaders to speak on campus, according to the university.
Mikulski began her career as a social worker in Baltimore and played a prominent role as an activist in helping to stop developers’ plans to build a major interstate through the harbor neighborhoods. Running off that momentum, she was elected to City Council in 1971, and after one term made the jump to Congress by winning the election for a seat vacated by Paul Sarbanes. After five terms, she was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1985.
Mikulski was Congress’ longest-serving female member when she retired last month. In her farewell speech on the Senate floor, she spoke of her upbringing in Highlandtown, her love for working and meeting directly with her constituents and her role as a mentor to female legislators from both sides of the aisle.
“I’m proud to join the Johns Hopkins faculty and to share my expertise and experience in public policy,” Mikulski said in a release. “I am excited to teach and encourage the next generation and to assist the leadership of this internationally recognized university.”
Hopkins isn’t just getting one of Baltimore’s most beloved political figures as a new professor; the school is also inheriting her congressional papers. The schools said she’s donating those documents and other records to the Sheridan Libraries. In doing so, she follows in the footsteps of her predecessors, former Sens. Paul Sarbanes and Charles Mathias.
Mikulski has worked with Hopkins throughout her career. In 1995, she spoke at commencement and received an honorary degree from the school.
The university as a whole is happy to have to have her back in a permanent capacity. In a statement, president Daniels called her “a trailblazer for women and one of the most distinguished public servants in Maryland’s – and indeed, our nation’s – history.
He added, “With longstanding ties to Johns Hopkins from her earliest days of service in Baltimore, Sen. Mikulski will share her experience and perspective with all those invested in understanding and addressing the most significant issues of our time.”
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