It can be hard to separate myth from reality when it comes to North Korea — this week in particular, when experts around the world are trying to suss out whether the country really did detonate a hydrogen bomb yesterday like it claimed to.
Vali Nasr, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (and former adviser to Richard Holbrooke) has written a book, The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat. That’s cool and all, but what we’re really impressed by is his smart-yet-funny appearance on the Daily Show last Thursday.
Rebecca Zimmerman is a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins’ SAIS studying the evolution of the U.S. military since 2001; Parwana was an eight-year old Afghani girl who was, in Zimmerman’s words, “equal parts tomboy and little princess.” Their very different lives were linked by tragedy this month in Kabul, as Zimmerman writes in the New York Times.
Maybe they feel like they’ve got a lot more to learn. Maybe there are subjects they never got a chance to dive into as an undergrad. Or maybe they just want people to call them “Doctor.” Every year, plenty of people head back to school part-time to work toward a degree while still clocking in at their day job. It’s just that most of those people don’t have “track down al-Qaeda” as their day job.
Yep, that’s right — Michael Vickers, the Pentagon’s top intelligence chief has been taking philosophy classes while also working as assistant secretary of defense, which is maybe why it took him 17 years to graduate from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). So now Vickers can add “doctor of philosophy” to his wildly intimidating resume, alongside “CIA paramilitary operations officer,” “Green Beret,” “expert in martial arts, parachuting and weapons,” and “fluent in Czech and Spanish.”
Yeesh. No wonder he’s head of the Pentagon’s “‘take-over-the-world’ plan.”
No Oprah- or Obama-caliber superstars will descend on Baltimore this graduation season, but the speakers’ docket is still full of intriguing talent and fascinating lives. This years’ speakers include a soprano, an NFL players advocate, and a bevy of journalists and non-profit executives. A few notable speakers include:
Johns Hopkins‘ university-wide commencement on Thursday, May 26 will feature Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN’s flagship foreign affairs show, Editor-at-Large of TIME Magazine, columnist at the Washington Post, and New York Times bestselling author.
Slated to speak at Peabody (May 26 as well) is soprano Marni Nixon, “the voice of Hollywood,” who overdubbed the singing voices in movies including My Fair Lady, West Side Story, The King and I, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
For its May 26 commencement, the Johns Hopkins School of Education snagged Gary Knell, president of the Sesame Workshop, who helped bring Sesame Street to far-flung places including Egypt, South Africa, Russia, and China.
Goucher‘s got Dr. Ian G. Rawson, the managing director of Hopital Albert Schweitzer in Haiti speaking on Friday, May 20.
On Friday, May 13 Stevenson will feature journalist Kimberly Dozier, formerly of CBS News and now with the Associated Press. Dozier recently penned an account of her time as a correspondent in Iraq and Afghanistan — and her recovery after being wounded in a car bombing that killed a colleague.
Morgan State‘s speaker is Ruth Simmons, the first female president of Brown University and the first African American to serve as president of any Ivy League institution. The ceremony takes place on Saturday, May 21.
DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, lends some wisdom at the University of Maryland’s graduation ceremony in College Park on Thursday, May 19.