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New semester brings new initiatives and events across Emory

The nine schools that make up Emory University head into the new semester with innovative initiatives, achievements to celebrate and a full slate of engaging virtual speakers and events. 

Here is a roundup of what's new and noteworthy, as listed by each school.

Candler School of Theology

Faculty: This year, Candler installed Marla Frederick as the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Religion and Culture and welcomed to the faculty Joel B. Kemp as assistant professor of Hebrew Bible, Roger Nam as professor of Hebrew Bible, Sarah Bogue as assistant professor in the practice of the history of Christianity and director of digital learning, and Kyle Lambelet as assistant professor in the practice of theology and ethics and director of formation communities. M. Shawn Copeland returns this spring for her final semester as the Alonzo L. McDonald Family Chair on the Life and Teachings of Jesus and Their Impact on Culture, and will deliver a public lecture in April.

Events: The Candler Foundry, Candler’s new initiative in public theological education, is sponsoring several courses open to all, including explorations of prayer and spiritual practices involving art, confronting hurtful legacies in the rebuilding of conflicted societies, and antiracism with youth. The Foundry will also present the next installment of its popular “TheoEd Talks” series on Feb. 21 at 5 p.m. Speakers include Olu Brown, Chanequa Walker-Barnes, Doug Shipman and Neichelle Guidry.

Candler’s Black Church Studies program continues a yearlong commemoration of its 30th anniversary with a series of special events featuring guest lecturers and panelists engaging topics ranging from sacred music and the Black church to the Black church, religion, politics and social justice.

On April 22 at 7 p.m., Candler’s Aquinas Center of Theology will welcome internationally acclaimed Catholic scholar Phyllis Zagano for the annual Catherine of Siena Lecture. All events will be held online.

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Emory College

New mentorship programs: Emory College of Arts and Sciences has officially launched several mentorship programs this year to support and foster faculty success at all career stages, especially for the 140+ new faculty who have joined the College in the last four years. The programs seek to build relationships among peers and senior colleagues, improve inclusion and equity for the College’s diversifying faculty, as well as provide mechanisms for regular guidance and feedback.

Under the leadership of Executive Associate Dean Carla Freeman, and the generous engagement of many of Emory College’s most senior faculty leaders “who recognize that hiring a diverse faculty is only one step in the process of building a vibrant, inclusive campus culture,” Freeman says, the mentorship programs include:

  • For tenure-track faculty, mentorship clusters of pre-tenure faculty from across disciplines are matched with an experienced full professor from outside of their home department. These small groups of assistant professors learn from and support one another while benefiting from the guidance of a senior faculty member who offers professional guidance and support related to teaching and service. 
  • For BIPOC (Black, indigenous, people of color) assistant professors, a mentorship cluster intended to foster support and meaningful connection among faculty has been created.
  • For lecture-track faculty (LTF), mentorship clusters of faculty who recently joined Emory are matched with two professors of pedagogy from different divisions and disciplines. A specific emphasis of this program includes navigating the LTF reappointment and promotion processes and sharing best pedagogical practices.

“In this period of remote pandemic life, fostering connections among faculty across departments and sharing tips on research, teaching and professional development under COVID and beyond has been rewarding for the mentees as well as the mentors,” says Freeman. Mentorship clusters for associate professors interested in professional development, academic leadership and the path to promotion to full professor will be launched later this semester. 

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Goizueta Business School

Fighting racial inequality: Goizueta held a first-of-its-kind case competition on Jan. 21 that focused on the intersection of business and racial inequality. The student-led John R. Lewis Racial Justice Case Competition attracted more than 100 applications from 50+ universities in the U.S. Semi-finalist teams created innovative and actionable racial justice initiatives for an assigned corporate partner (HP, Johnson & Johnson, Salesforce, Southern Company, Truist, Walmart). $70,000 in prizes were awarded (1st: USC Marshall, 2nd: Emory Goizueta Business School, Audience choice: Harvard Business School). 

Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center: The Roberto C. Goizueta Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation will hold an official launch event on Feb. 11 at 4:30 p.m. The center will foster both entrepreneurship and innovation for the Goizueta community born of critical inquiry, developed to serve fundamental societal needs, executed according to sound business principles, and conceptualized in ways that open possibilities and spark imagination. Learn more about the center’s programs and resources and hear from alumnus Bill Carr 94MBA, an entrepreneur and former Amazon VP for 15 years.

Business & Society Institute: The Roberto C. Goizueta Business & Society Institute will hold an official launch event on March 4 at 7 p.m. The institute aims to transform business to build a more equitable and climate-smart world through cutting-edge research, innovative programming and principled leadership. Learn more about the institute and hear from Goizueta professor Wes Longhofer and Harvard professor Rebecca Henderson as they discuss the need to reimagine capitalism.

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Laney Graduate School

English Language Support Program: ELSP has developed a 14-week research article writing course covering the process of planning, drafting and creating a final paper for publication. The interdisciplinary course is designed to support the creation of a research article for publication. 

Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society inductees: LGS welcomes its spring 2021 Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society scholars. This group of preeminent scholars is committed to contributing to the development of their field(s) of study and the advancement of diversity, equity, access and inclusion in higher education and their communities at large.

“Putting the Humanities PhD to Work: A Conversation with Katina Rogers, PhD”: The Jones Program in Ethics will host Katina Rogers, author of “Putting the Humanities PhD to Work,” featuring a conversation on March 19 at 10 a.m. facilitated by advanced graduate students about careers for humanists in and beyond the classroom. 

NIH Becoming a Resilient Scientist Program: The Laney Graduate School and the Office of Postdoctoral Education have partnered to offer a virtual pilot program through the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education on Becoming a Resilient Scientist.

LGS Three-Minute Thesis Competition (3MT): The 3MT contest challenges Laney graduate students to present a concise, intriguing lecture on their theses to a non-specialist judging panel in three minutes. The competition is judged by a panel comprised of a diverse group of professionals (academic and non-academic) with a wide range of professional expertise.  

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Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing 

New study and learning space: Emory University’s School of Nursing will add 70,000 square feet of teaching space in downtown Decatur, Georgia. This building, the Emory Nursing Learning Center, will provide the school with a new Simulation and Skills Lab with mock hospital settings and state-of-the-art equipment. This center is anticipated to open in May of this year.

The Nurses Station: Since the first episode’s release in August 2020, the bi-weekly podcast and web series has seen great success. Each episode, the four hosts, Carolyn Clevenger, Alexis Dunn, Tim Cunningham and Roxana Chicas discuss life as a nurse, common misconceptions about the career and current events relating to nursing.

Faculty honors: American Academy of Nursing inducts nine nurse leaders from Emory School of Nursing into the 2020 Class of New Fellows: Brenda Baker, PhD, RNC, CNS; Susan Brasher, PhD, RN, CPNP-PC, FAAN; Carolyn Clevenger, DNP, RN, GNP-BC, AGPCNP-BC, FAANP, FGSA; Erin Ferranti, PhD, MPH, RN, CDCES, FAHA, FPCNA; Linda Grabbe, PhD, FNP-BC, PMHNP-BC; Ursula Kelly, PhD, APRN, ANP-BC, PMHNP-BC, FAANP; Victoria Pak, PhD, RN, MTR, MS; Samuel Shartar, MSN, RN, CEN, GA-PCEM; and Weihua Zhang, PhD. 

New diversity initiatives: Over the summer, the School of Nursing created the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Heading this office is Dean Lisa Muirhead, the school's first-ever assistant dean for diversity, equity and inclusion. Benjamin Harris serves as the chief diversity officer alongside Muirhead. The two have been working to create an even stronger campus culture embracing and promoting diversity and inclusion. 

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Oxford College

Enrollment and admission: Oxford welcomes approximately 450 residential students, primarily first-years, to campus for spring semester. In terms of admission to enter in the fall of 2021, Oxford received more than 20,000 applications, topping last year’s total by more than 3,000 and the previous record set in 2019 by 2,000. Since 2005, the number of applications to Oxford has increased ten-fold.

Hygge comes to campus: COVID precautions may restrict activities in close proximity, but Oxford’s Campus Life staff has found ways to encourage community within safe practices by using the principles of hygge — the Scandinavian way of creating a cozy, convivial and comfortable environment that evokes feelings of wellness and contentment. Around Oxford’s campus there are outdoor spaces that feature comfortable chairs surrounding fire pits; picnic spaces with pillows, cushions and blankets; and lighting to extend participation into the evening. These spaces allow the community to come safely together outdoors and enjoy Oxford’s beautiful campus.

Humanities Hall restoration: A restoration of Humanities Hall, built in 1875, is underway. Completion of the project is expected in May, and the building will be open and ready for the start of fall semester 2021. The finished building will offer classrooms with latest academic technology, including a film-production classroom; an auditorium classroom designed for film viewing; and faculty offices.

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Rollins School of Public Health

Research: Supported by over $100M in funding, Rollins researchers led efforts to understand maternal and infant mortality, climate change, cardiometabolic disease, cancer and the social determinants of health amongst other topics. Rollins ranked No. 4 in NIH funding for schools of public health in 2020. Rollins faculty, students and alumni have been actively involved with the COVID-19 response. Read a summary of COVID-19 projects currently underway.

COVID-19 pandemic response: In partnership with the Georgia Department of Public Health, Rollins researchers launched the Emory COVID-19 Response Collaborative. Through ECRC, Rollins faculty and students support the state’s efforts in key areas of its response. 

Rollins researchers were awarded a $6.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to launch COVIDVu, a national study that will use home tests to develop estimates of the current number of COVID-19 infections and persons with antibody response.

Honors and achievements: A record number of Rollins students were accepted into the 2021 Presidential Management Fellows Program, the federal government’s flagship leadership development program.

Michael Kramer, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology, and Melissa (Moose) Alperin, research assistant professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, are the recipients of the prestigious 2021 ASPPH Excellence Awards, which recognize public health leaders for their service and achievements. 

The groundbreaking of Rollins’ third building, the R. Randall Rollins building, happened in March and has a slated opening in summer of 2022.

Engagement and service: Rollins students launched the Rollins Election Day Initiative, promoting civic engagement, voter registration, Election Day volunteerism and more. The Rollins Takes Action webinar series launched, hosting panel discussions with researchers, faculty and students addressing racism, health disparities, COVID-19 and more.

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School of Law

Kristin Johnson joins Emory Law faculty, expanding corporate law program: Emory University School of Law welcomed Kristin Johnson to the faculty beginning in January 2021. Johnson comes to Emory Law from Tulane University Law School where she was the McGlinchey Stafford Professor of Law, associate dean for faculty research, an affiliate of the Murphy Institute for Political Economy, and the Gordon Gamm Faculty Scholar. Johnson is nationally recognized as a leading scholar of financial markets regulation with research and teaching expertise in the areas of securities regulation, corporate governance, risk management, compliance and innovative financial technology, including digital financial products and markets.

2021 Randolph W. Thrower Symposium: Since 1995, Emory University School of Law and the Emory Law Journal have hosted the Randolph W. Thrower Symposium, part of an endowed lecture series sponsored by Thrower's family. This year’s lecture is “Privacy in the Technology Age: Big Tech, Government and Civil Liberties” and will be held via Zoom webinar Feb. 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. The keynote speaker is Danielle Citron, Jefferson Scholars Foundation Schenck Distinguished Professor in Law, University of Virginia School of Law. The panels will cover “Fourth Amendment and Tech,” “Data Privacy” and “Big Tech Antitrust.” Register here

2021 TI:GER Innovation Conference: Advancing Equity in Innovation: The conference, held via Zoom on Jan. 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., will explore issues concerning gender and racial gaps in the innovation system such as access to resources for entrepreneurs who are women and people of color and the underrepresentation of diverse inventors in the patent system. Organizers are motivated by the recent demands for social justice to discuss the inequalities in the tech and innovation ecosystem, as well as the need to examine the impact of these inequalities on the delivery of legal services. Featured speakers include: Joyce Ward – USPTOHolly Fechner – Covington & BurlingGwilym Roberts – chairman, Kilburn StrodeNakia Melecio – Atlanta Technology Development CenterKristen Sonday – founder, Paladin, and Meera Deo – director LSSSE. Register here

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School of Medicine 

Re-imagining medical education: Planning is underway in the School of Medicine for a five-year comprehensive medical education strategic plan focused on transformative and innovative educational models for our MD program. In the meantime, we are already incorporating new technologies into our curriculum: Robert McKeon, associate professor in the Department of Cell Biology, is beginning to use virtual reality technology to teach anatomy, manipulating holographic images to lead students through dissections.

We also maintain a focus on interprofessional education to ensure our students understand how to care for patients in a team, embracing a culture of mutual respect and knowledge of each other’s roles. Supported by the WHSC Synergy Grant, the Interprofessional Team Training (ITT) Working Group created the Remote Interprofessional Platform for Learning and Education (RIPPLE). This five-part remote learning course includes small group work, a panel discussion, role plays, case discussions and reflection pieces.

New research building: Construction continues on Emory’s largest research building, the Health Sciences Research Building (HSRB) II, set to open in spring 2022. HSRB-II will include core functions such as advanced imaging, flow cytometry, a biorepository and genomics, as well as an innovation zone including accelerator space for start-ups and entrepreneurial research.

Serving our community: More than 100 School of Medicine students have volunteered to help administer vaccines through the Fulton County Health Department.

Honors:  Marilane Bond, EdD, MEd, MBA, was named vice chair of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education in 2021. Denise Jamieson, MD, MPH (gynecology and obstetrics) and Susan Margulies, PhD (biomedical engineering) were elected to the National Academy of Medicine. 

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