Barbara Mikulski speaks at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory after the New Horizons Pluto flyby in July 2015. Image credit: NASA
Please visit https://archive.stsci.edu/ to see Senator Mikulski’s contribution to space science.
This is a view of the many computers that are part of the Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST), located at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md. The archive is named in honor of the United States Senator from Maryland for her career-long achievements and for becoming the longest-serving woman in U.S. Congressional history. Senator Mikulski is at picture center, STScI Director Matt Mountain at her right, and STScI Deputy Director Kathryn Flanagan at her left. The plaque is a photo of Supernova Milkuski, an exploding star that the Hubble Space Telescope spotted on Jan. 25, 2012, named in honor of the Senator by Nobel Laureate Adam Riess and the supernova search team with which he is currently working. NASA.
Barbara A. Mikulski, the longest-serving woman in the history of Congress and Maryland’s longest-tenured U.S. senator, will join the Johns Hopkins University next week as a professor of public policy and adviser to the university’s president.
Mikulski, who retired from the Senate earlier this month after completing her fifth six-year term, will participate in lectures, seminars, and symposia across the university. She will organize gatherings featuring nationally known policymakers and other leaders.
Though she will work with students and faculty members throughout Johns Hopkins, Mikulski will be based in the Department of Political Science and serve as a Homewood Professor, a title reserved for individuals of international distinction and major accomplishment in their fields. As presidential adviser, she will consult with leaders of the university and Johns Hopkins Medicine on public policy and other issues.
“We are delighted to bring Sen. Mikulski into the Johns Hopkins family, as she has been a trailblazer for women and one of the most distinguished public servants in Maryland’s—and indeed, our nation’s—history,” said Ronald J. Daniels, president of the university. “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.”
The former senator has also agreed to donate her congressional papers and records to the Sheridan Libraries at Johns Hopkins, where they will be catalogued and made available to scholars.
“I’m proud to join the Johns Hopkins faculty and to share my expertise and experience in public policy,” Mikulski said. “I am excited to teach and encourage the next generation and to assist the leadership of this internationally recognized university.
“Being at Johns Hopkins,” she added, “enables me to continue to play a role locally in shaping Baltimore’s future while promoting a national agenda of innovation, leadership, and service.”
Mikulski, 80, was elected to the Senate in 1986 after five terms in the House of Representatives and service on the Baltimore City Council. The lifelong Baltimorean and former social worker, who first gained prominence in a successful fight to block a highway project from cleaving long-established Baltimore neighborhoods, rose to serve as chair and then as ranking member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.
Mikulski, a Democrat, focused on issues including civil rights, national security, space exploration, education, jobs, research and innovation, women’s health, cybersecurity, seniors, and veterans. She was primary sponsor of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, addressing salary discrimination against women; it was the first bill signed into law in 2009 by President Obama, just days after his first inauguration. Obama later awarded Mikulski the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Tenacious in pursuit of her policy goals and on Maryland-related issues such as the Chesapeake Bay, research and innovation, and funding for the National Institutes of Health and NASA, Mikulski was also acknowledged as a champion for and mentor of women in the Senate from both major parties.
“With the arrival of Sen. Mikulski to Hopkins, our students will have a remarkable opportunity to learn from a public policy maven who also possesses expertise in areas such as research, civil rights, and political leadership, to name a few,” said Beverly Wendland, dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, which includes the Department of Political Science. “I am delighted that Sen. Mikulski will have a strong affinity with the Krieger School and its faculty and students, and I look forward to being inspired by her intellect and enthusiasm.”
Mikulski’s gift of her papers to Johns Hopkins will make them available to researchers alongside documents from the careers of two other prominent Marylanders who also served in the House and as Senate committee chairs, Democrat Paul Sarbanes and Republican Charles “Mac” Mathias.
The records comprise 1,317 boxes of paper and other physical material and 3.7 terabytes of digital material.
“Sen. Mikulski’s archives document more than 50 years of extraordinary public service, encompassing everything from legislative memos to social media accounts,” said Winston Tabb, the Sheridan Dean of University Libraries.
“This rich and varied collection will offer future scholars an invaluable insider’s view of history—of Baltimore, of Maryland, of the USA—and we are pleased to be stewards of these materials.”
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The Johns Hopkins University opened in 1876, with the inauguration of its first president, Daniel Coit Gilman. “What are we aiming at?” Gilman asked in his installation address. “The encouragement of research … and the advancement of individual scholars, who by their excellence will advance the sciences they pursue, and the society where they dwell.”
The mission laid out by Gilman remains the university’s mission today, summed up in a simple but powerful restatement of Gilman’s own words: “Knowledge for the world.”
What Gilman created was a research university, dedicated to advancing both students’ knowledge and the state of human knowledge through research and scholarship. Gilman believed that teaching and research are interdependent, that success in one depends on success in the other. A modern university, he believed, must do both well. The realization of Gilman’s philosophy at Johns Hopkins, and at other institutions that later attracted Johns Hopkins-trained scholars, revolutionized higher education in America, leading to the research university system as it exists today.