More than Medicine | Jean Smith

December 14, 2019

[MUSIC]>>We are a part of research
that can cure dreaded diseases such as cancer, HIV,
heart diseases. We provide research
expertise and services for the study of cellular mechanisms
and the human genome. Yeah, I’ve been here for
27 years. [MUSIC] My mother, she never graduated, and I think
she had a 4th grade education. For me,
to graduate was a big deal. I realized that I
had more potential, I had more confidence in myself. And I was able to pursue
a career that could, you know, I could practice
I’m in grow more.>>I met Jean Smith in 1992. Jean Smith came to my lab,
applying for a job as a technician.>>What is a research
technician? I did not know. All I knew was that it was
a better paying job, and I was going to be using my
mind instead of just my hands. So, I applied. And fortunately, Dr.
Penno called me.>>She was just so energetic,
so motivated in applying for this job that I went ahead and
hired her.>>Once I entered the lab
with Dr Sue Penno, it was a whole
different ball game. I said, okay,
now is not the time to stop. It’s the time to keep
moving on and progressing.>>She overlapped with
the BS level person and learned cell culture,
immuno assays, the cancer research
that we were doing. Jean had a high school degree,
and was doing the work of someone
with a college degree.>>One day, she walked up to me,
and she said, Jane, do you think that there are
other people out there like you, who don’t have a degree but want to pursue a career,
be certified in something? And I said, sure, I’m sure.>>The only thing standing
between the people who needed these good jobs and
the good jobs was the education. And so, we went ahead and started the Biotechnical
Institute of Maryland, and this was all
because of Jean. Jean showed how very,
very possible it was, and what kind of talent
there is out there. It’s so
rewarding to see the effects of what I consider
to be Jean’s vision. [LAUGH] Jean’s example in so
many other people.>>I am so grateful to Dr. Sue
Penno, saw the potential in me. So, that’s why I try to see the
potential in other people, and motivate them and encourage
them to pursue their dreams. I always taught young
people that their environment is not
a reflection on them, they have to build up
their own foundation.>>It’s just so rewarding to me. To see these successful
technologist technicians around Hopkins.>>And now, I am a research
technologist/customer service coordinator with a BS
in business and management. So, voila, you can [LAUGH] you
can accomplish a lot here at Johns Hopkins. I promise to bring my euthisasm,
my committment, my positive attitude, and
my smile to my lab everyday because what we do
will save lives. [MUSIC]

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