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Acclaim: Recent honors for Emory faculty and staff

Emory faculty and staff are frequently recognized for their work locally, nationally and internationally. The following is a sampling of recent accolades, including awards for professional contributions and leadership appointments.

Honors highlighted in this column:


Abbington recognized with honorary SEM membership

James Abbington, associate professor of church music and worship at Candler School of Theology, has been granted an honorary membership in the Society of Ethnomusicology (SEM). The membership recognizes his decades of path-breaking scholarship on music and worship, underscoring his devotion to education and his tireless support of the African American community. Abbington will be honored at the SEM 2021 Annual Meeting, to be held Oct. 28-31 in Atlanta.


Atlanta Business Chronicle’s ‘40 Under Forty’ list includes Behshad 

Ophthalmologist Soroosh Behshad of the Emory Eye Center was named to the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2021 “40 Under Forty” list. The award recognizes 40 rising stars in the Metro Atlanta area who are making a mark in their industries and making a difference in their communities. Behshad is a specialist in cornea, cataract and external diseases of the eye. He is an assistant professor of ophthalmology in the School of Medicine and chief of the Emory Eye Center clinic at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital.


Alzheimer’s Care Award given to Epps

Fayron Epps, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, was awarded the 2021 Maude’s Award for Innovation in Alzheimer’s Care from University of Washington’s Memory and Brain Wellness Center.

As a motivated nurse leader, Epps has shown immense effort and dedication through her work toward enriching the quality of life for persons living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and their care partners. Her innovative nurse research and practices continue to make a life-changing impact on fellow nurse scholars and the dementia care community. Epps was presented with her award during a celebration Sept. 15. 


Atlanta United MLS recognizes Higinbotham’s community work

Sarah Higinbotham, assistant professor of English at Oxford College, was recognized by Atlanta United MLS and American Family Insurance during a recent Atlanta United soccer game. Higinbotham is the co-founder of the nonprofit organization Common Good Atlanta and the organization was selected and honored as one of five “Atlanta Uniters” — organizations that are driving social impact in communities and helping to build unity throughout Atlanta.

In recognition of their efforts, Common Good Atlanta was given $30,000 for college programing in prisons. American Family Insurance produced this four-minute video, filmed on the Oxford campus, about Common Good Atlanta. The company's sponsorship of the 2021 Unity Kit for Atlanta United included $105,000 to the five Atlanta Uniter organizations.


Kratz receives anthropology lifetime achievement award

Emory Distinguished Professor Emerita Corinne Kratz (anthropology and African Studies) is the 2021 recipient of the Council for Museum Anthropology Lifetime Achievement Award/Distinguished Service Award

The Council for Museum Anthropology (CMA) is a section of the American Anthropological Association. This award recognizes CMA members whose careers demonstrate extraordinary achievements that have advanced museum anthropology through collections work, community collaborations, exhibitions, publications, public programming and outreach, teaching, policy development and more. While many anthropologists distinguish themselves through their works, the Lifetime Achievement/Distinguished Service Award recognizes those who, over the course of their careers, have truly helped to define and or reshape the field of anthropology in and of museums. 

Kratz was noted for redefining both museum anthropology and critical museology during her near 50-year career, especially at the intersections between these fields and African Studies. She will receive the award in November.


Team Bennett Award goes to Marsteller

Emory College Professor of Practice Emerita Pat Marsteller received the team William E. Bennett Award for Extraordinary Contributions to Citizen Science for her outstanding collaborative work in advancing social justice in STEM learning. 

Marsteller directed the Emory College Center for Science Education from 1997-2016. While at Emory, she developed programs that focus on attracting and retaining underrepresented students, women and minorities in careers in science and was the chair of the Emory President’s Commission on the Status of Minorities. She also was one of the cofounders of the neuroscience and behavioral biology major and one of the leads on the NSF Center for Behavioral Neuroscience.

The award was established in 2009 by the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement. Each year, an individual and a team receive the award for their exemplary and extraordinary contributions to citizen science and whose work embodies the ideals and aims of Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER).


Infectious diseases travel award given to Miarinjara

Adelaide Miarinjara, a post-doctoral fellow in Thomas Gillespie’s lab in Environmental Sciences, won the $25,000 Centennial Travel Award for researching infectious diseases. She is focused on studying the plague and fleas in her native Madagascar.

The award, from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, was established in 2003 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of its parent society. Today, the award facilitates international collaboration in basic science aspects of tropical infectious diseases and provides interested physicians or scientists the opportunity to obtain hands-on field experience in combination with laboratory studies of parasitic, bacterial or viral infectious diseases in endemic developing countries.


Orenstein honored with Utz Leadership Award

The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) has named Walter Orenstein, associate director of Emory Vaccine Center and professor of infectious diseases at the School of Medicine, the recipient of its 2021 John P. Utz Leadership Award. The award honors individuals who exemplify and support NFID leadership goals, through service to NFID and/or the field of infectious diseases.

Orenstein has held multiple NFID leadership roles, including past president, and has contributed greatly to the growth and visibility of the organization during more than 15 years of service. As director of the National Immunization Program for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), he oversaw efforts that led to record high immunization coverage associated with record low vaccine-preventable disease incidence, including the elimination of indigenous measles.


Research collection with Reid’s work wins award

The 2019 collection “Science Communication Online: Connecting Traditional and New Genres” was recently awarded the 8th Edition of the Enrique Alcaraz Research Award for best research study on languages for specific purposes by the European Association of Languages for Specific Purposes (AELFE). The collection includes a research study by Gwendolynne Reid, assistant professor of English at Oxford College, and coauthor Chris Anson entitled "Public- and expert-facing communication: A case study of polycontextuality and context collapse in Internet-mediated citizen science."


‘Dr. Dale Strasser Day’ honors professor upon retirement

Recently retired professor of rehabilitation medicine Dale C. Strasser has been honored with a proclamation for “Dr. Dale Strasser Day” from U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, a letter of appreciation from U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock and many words of appreciation from patients and members of the Atlanta Post Polio Association. Strasser’s appointment in rehabilitation medicine spanned from 1990–2021, including serving as department chair from 1999–2005.

During his years of service, Strasser was the inaugural chair of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation’s Medical Rehab Council from 2008-10. He received recognition as one of Atlanta Magazine’s Atlanta’s Top Doctors and received the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine’s Edward W. Lowman Award, Emory Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency program’s The Light Bulb Award and American Academia of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Outstanding Council Service Award. Throughout his time with the department he authored or co-authored 31 peer review research articles, four review articles and 13 book chapters.


University recognized for supplier diversity efforts

The Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council (GMSDC) has recognized Emory University for its efforts related to supplier diversity. During the GMSDC’s 39th Spirit of Alliance Awards event, Emory received the George Lottier Rising Star Award.

GMSDC holds the Spirit of Alliance Awards to honor individuals, small businesses, corporate and government entities for their contributions to supplier diversity and minority business development in Georgia.

The Rising Star Award recognizes the GMSDC corporate member whose supplier diversity program has been active for less than three years, yet has significantly impacted the growth of supplier diversity within their organization. A Rising Star corporation has effectively taken proactive measures to advance and expand the presence and capacity of Minority Business Enterprise within their organization. 

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