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Acclaim: Recent honors for Emory faculty and staff
trophy and award ribbon

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:


Collegium of Scholars inducts Atshan

Sa’ed Atshan, an associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Anthropology, was recently inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. Collegium of Scholars at Morehouse College.

The collegium is part of Morehouse’s College of Ministers and Laity that is named for King, who graduated from the school in 1948. Scholars are selected at various career stages and across a wide spectrum of influence, having “demonstrated and are evolving toward great achievement in their chosen vocation, a profound commitment to their community and society, the planet and the cosmos and are living their lives according to a high standard of cosmopolitan ethical options.”

Prior to arriving at Emory in fall 2021, Atshan held positions at Brown University, Swarthmore College and the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on peace and conflict studies, anthropology of policy and critical development studies.


George receives Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award 

Maura George, associate professor of medicine in the School of Medicine, is the 2022 Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award recipient. This award honors a medical school faculty physician who exemplifies the qualities of a caring and compassionate mentor in the teaching and advising of medical students.

An internist at Grady Memorial Hospital, George helped develop the social medicine program in the School of Medicine and has served as the course director of the social medicine elective, which teaches medical students and residents about the social determinants of health, patient advocacy and cultural competency. She also is one of the directors of the health equity, advocacy and policy track, one of the focus areas that Emory residents can choose in addition to regular residency training. Additionally, George serves as a division of general medicine and geriatrics advisor in the EmoryDOCS program, to provide career advising for medical students.


Johns and Jones honored by National Academy of Medicine

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) has elected Camara Phyllis Jones to its elite 2022 class, consisting of 100 members. Election into the NAM is considered a significant professional honor and designates eminence in the fields of health and medicine. 

Jones is a family physician, epidemiologist and past president of the American Public Health Association whose work focuses on naming, measuring and addressing the impacts of racism on the health and well-being of our nation and the world. She is an adjunct professor in the Department of Behavioral, Social and Health Education Sciences and the Department of Epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University. She also is a senior fellow and adjunct associate professor at the Morehouse School of Medicine. 

In addition, NAM honored Michael M.E. Johns with its prestigious Walsh McDermott Medal, which is awarded to a member for distinguished service to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine over an extended period. Johns is an internationally recognized leader in academic medicine, health policy and as a head and neck cancer surgeon. He currently serves as professor in the School of Medicine and Rollins School of Public Health. He is emeritus executive vice president for health affairs at Emory University and emeritus president, CEO and chairman of the board of Emory Healthcare. 


Li and Penna named to Rare Disease Advisory Council

Georgia governor Brian Kemp’s office has named Hong Li, associate professor of human genetics at Emory’s School of Medicine, as one of the governor’s appointments to the state’s Rare Disease Advisory Council. The 16-member council, created this year by state legislation. advises the General Assembly and other state agencies and departments on the needs of individuals with rare diseases living in Georgia. Sarah Penna, social worker at Emory ALS Center, was named to the advisory council by Lieutenant Governor Duncan in July.

Li oversees the Emory Metabolic Clinic, which cares for nearly 900 patients with rare genetic metabolic conditions. Li is co-chair of the Georgia Newborn Screening Advisory Committee as well as vice chief of the genetics service at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She is an advisor to the National Organization of Rare Disorders and principal investigator for several clinical trials.


Ransom appointed artistic director of Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival  

The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival has named pianist William Ransom its artistic director.  Ransom is the Mary L. Emerson Professor of Piano at Emory and the founder and artistic director of the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta. He also serves as artistic director of The Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival.

Founded in 2001, the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival has developed into one of the most prestigious events of its kind in the nation. 


Radiology faculty honored by multiple organizations

Numerous members of the Department of Radiology have been elected to professional societies or have received other honors.

Patricia Balthazar assistant professor, has received the Association of University Radiologists’ 2022 GE Radiology Research Academic Fellowship Award, one of the most sought-after awards in academic radiology.

Professor Carlo N. De Cecco has been appointed as a member of the Clinical Imaging and Translational Imaging Science Study Section of the National Institutes of Health.

Jamlik-Omari Johnson, professor and vice chair for diversity, equity and inclusion, was elected co-chair of the Association of University Radiologists Leaders in Advocating Diversity and Inclusion in Radiology Special Interest Group. The charge of this new group is to consider best practices, metrics and guidelines for DEI leadership roles and to provide a national forum for exchanging ideas, sharing resources and establishing consensus.

Nadja Kadom professor and interim medical director of quality for Emory Healthcare, has been selected as a 2022 National Academy of Medicine Scholar in Diagnostic Excellence. The program is for exceptional individuals to advance their diagnostic skills, make significant contributions to improving clinical diagnosis at the national level and accelerate developments as national leaders in the field. Her project as a scholar focuses on developing a patient decision aid for use with children with headaches.

Assistant professors Neil U. Lall and Chris McAdams have been elected to the American College of Radiology College Nominating Committee.

Nabile Safdar, professor and vice chair for imaging informatics, has been elected to the Society of Imaging Informatics in Medicine College of Fellows. SIIM fellows are elected by the College in recognition of their achievements and accomplishments in medical imaging, and for their demonstrated commitment to improving patient care. Fellows are the leading thinkers and innovators within the imaging informatics community. In addition, Safdar was honored as one of 100 influential Muslims by the Atlanta chapter of the Islamic Speakers Bureau. Family, hard work, education, perseverance, compassion, achievement and service to others drive the Influential Georgia Muslims. They are mentors and role models, passing on what they have learned from their own mentors and role models. Each member pairs his or her professional accomplishments with a deep commitment to serving others.


Emory leaders recognized by Infectious Diseases Society of America

Several Emory faculty members have been selected for top positions within the Infectious Diseases Society of America and named recipients of prestigious awards.

Carlos del Rio was selected as IDSA’s new president and will provide leadership across the organization to advocate for policy and regulatory solutions to address antimicrobial resistance, increase recognition of the value of ID specialists and foster the next generation of physicians and scientists in the field.

In addition, Nadine Rouphael received the Oswald Avery Award for Early Achievement, which recognizes outstanding achievement in infectious diseases by a member of IDSA who is 45 years or younger. Rouphael is a professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and senior physician at Emory Healthcare.

Robin Dretler, an infectious diseases specialist and chair of the Professional Practice Evaluation Committee at Emory Decatur Hospital, received the Watanakunakorn Clinician Award for his outstanding achievement in the clinical practice of infectious diseases.

Colleen Kelley was elected to serve as the vice chair of IDSA’s HIV Medicine Association. Kelley is an associate professor of medicine and also serves as co-principal investigator and co-director for prevention sciences of the Emory Center for AIDS Research and program director at the Emory University Training Program in HIV Translational Research to End the Epidemic.

IDSA is made up of more than 12,000 practicing physicians, academic scientists and researchers, infectious disease specialists and hospital epidemiologists. Read more about IDSA and the Emory leaders who were recognized.


Emory College faculty publish new books

Several faculty from Emory College of Arts and Sciences have published new books in recent months.

The University of Chicago Press recently published “Renegade Rhymes: Rap Music, Narrative, and Knowledge in Taiwan,” Emory ethnomusicologist Meredith Schweig’s examination of Taiwanese musicians’ use of rap in the post-authoritarian period. Schweig, an assistant professor in Emory College’s Department of Music, conducted extensive fieldwork at concert venues, protest scenes, music video sets and more for the book, showing how rap became a powerful took for exploring national and ethnic identity in the multicultural, multilingual society after four decades of martial law.

Bin Xu, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology whose research focuses on civil society and civic engagement, has published his third book, "The Culture of Democracy” (John Wiley & Sons). The book offers the first survey of the cultural sociology of civil society and offers a committed global perspective. It shows that, as everyone is eager to have their voice heard, cultural sociology can serve as an “art of listening,” a thoroughly empirical approach that takes ideas, meanings and opinions seriously. Xu was the inaugural recipient of Emory College’s Chronos Faculty Fellowship in 2020.

Xochitl Marsilli-Vargas, an anthropologist by training and now an assistant professor in the College’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese, has a newly published book. “Genres of Listening: An Ethnography of Psychoanalysis in Buenos Aires” explains how psychoanalytic listening practices have expanded beyond the clinical setting to influence everyday social interactions in the Argentinian city, which has the world’s largest number of practicing psychologists and psychoanalysts. Marsilli-Vargas is on leave this year as a 2022 recipient of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s prestigious New Directions Fellowship. She is conducting extensive fieldwork for her New Directions project, which focuses on the immigration challenges faced by unaccompanied minors and other children.

Dianne M. Stewart, the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Religion and African American Studies, has published her volume of a joint project that offers a historical, comparative account of African religions in Trinidad. In “Obeah, Orisa, and Religious Identity in Trinidad, Vol. II, Orisa: Africana Nations and the Power of Black Sacred Imagination,” Stewart focuses on the West African heritage and religious imagination of Yoruba-Orisa devotees in Trinidad in the wake of slavery and colonialism, from the mid-19th century to the present. The book covers the pivotal periods of 19th-century liberated African resettlement, the 20th-century Black Power movement and subsequent campaigns for the civil right to religious freedom in Trinidad. A scholar of African-heritage religious cultures in the Caribbean and the Americas, Stewart was the named the Emory College Chronos Faculty Fellow for 2021.

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