Where Are They Now?
Written by Debra Roth Kane
Named “friendliest” by her Pikesville High School peers, Mindi (nee Pollak) Levin has taken her talent for making connections to a higher level in the professional world. In 2005, she founded SOURCE, the Student Outreach Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University. It connects students, faculty and staff at Hopkins’ medical, nursing and public health schools with community involvement opportunities.
Vice president of her 1993 PHS class, Mindi received her undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, and her master’s in health administration from Towson University. She is married to Brad Levin, originally from Monmouth County, N.J. They live in Federal Hill with their 10-month-old son, Max.
iNSIDER: SOURCE is very successful. Where did it come from?
Mindi: When I started at Hopkins, I ran a program out of the Bloomberg School of Public Health intended to get students involved in the community. I started getting interest from the schools of medicine and nursing, so we created one center to do the same thing for all three schools.
Is there a specific project that has been especially successful?
A program called “The Connection” stands out. It’s a community consultant program. Student teams might create a curriculum, evaluate a program, or write a grant proposal for projects submitted by community organizations. The community identifies their own issues or problems, and we work together to resolve them. The Connection won an award for Program of the Year from ACPA (American College Personnel Association)-College Student Educators International.
Where do you go from here?
There is a national trend toward increasing experiential education for health professional students. Each year I work with the Hopkins faculty to get more courses involved with service-learning. It represents a big change that this research university is recognizing service as a scholarly activity.
You and your husband have been married for five years?
Yes, and we’ve known each other for ten. He works for SYSCO Foods as a marketing associate. He sells supplies and food to restaurants, hotels, bars, schools. He works throughout Baltimore, and it is certainly a hoot when he is in the Pikesville or Owings Mills area. He plays Jewish geography with folks, and many times they know me or my parents.
What do you remember when you look back at your high school years?
Lacrosse was a highlight. I played varsity for three years with girlfriends I’d had since elementary school. And Mr. Bolenbaugh’s history class stands out most for me. He always challenged us to think critically about social justice issues and current events. He changed my thinking about the world.