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Students share perspectives on a year of flourishing
Media Contact
Ashlee Gardner

Neha Murthy 24C, Edgar Sanchez 23Ox, Kevin Ge 24C, and Koluchi Odiegwu 24C share what flourishing means to them.

In 2021, a bold new initiative called Student Flourishing launched at Emory University. With a vision for reimagining the student experience to help students thrive academically, personally and professionally, cross-campus teams convened by the Office of the Provost were tasked with proposing impactful improvements across four interconnected aspects of the student journey: Academic Experience, Professional Pathways, Purpose and Meaning and Community and Well-Being.  

As a result of this work, and with support from the 2O36 campaign, many new pilot programs, operational improvements, courses, and resources were born in the fall of 2022. With a full school year of Student Flourishing programming now complete, several undergraduate students took a moment recently to reflect on what Student Flourishing means to them and how it has impacted their time at Emory. 

“As a campus community, we have done an exceptional job of creating unique, meaningful opportunities for students inside and outside the classroom,” says Ravi V. Bellamkonda, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “Large-scale initiatives like the Emory Purpose Project, the Pathways Center and AI.Humanity will continue to evolve and shape the student experience, but we are equally interested in those individual moments of reflection and growth. How has Student Flourishing given each student the chance to explore and define who they are and how they want to live, now and after they leave Emory? I am grateful for leaders in Emory College, Oxford College, Goizueta and Campus Life and our incredible students and student leaders for our continued quest for a distinctively Emory experience.”

Undergraduate Council: Collaboration and action

Started in spring 2022 and led by the Office of the Provost, the Emory Undergraduate Council brings together school and university administrative leaders to identify opportunities for improving academic and organizational elements of the undergraduate experience. Recognizing a need to make student organizations more accessible, Neha Murthy, a senior in Emory College majoring in quantitative sciences and French, was one of several classmates who brought the Student Inclusivity Project to the council.

“We want all students to be able to get involved and find that community to thrive in,” says Murthy. “The Undergraduate Council has been pivotal in making changes on campus occur. It’s important to have all these voices together in one place. The council is hearing our concerns and helping us move our project forward.”

Career exploration through the Pathways Center

Oxford College student Edgar Sanchez has fully embraced the multitude of opportunities provided by the Pathways Center. Over spring break, the sophomore joined 24 other students in New York City for the Pathways Center’s inaugural Career Trek. Students met with alumni, spoke with potential employers, and toured various sites including Goldman Sachs, the Museum of Modern Art, The Wall Street Journal and Google.

“My favorite place we visited was Google. The presenter said that we need to find our own narrative and decide on a personal brand,” says Sanchez. “That got me thinking, and now I can firmly say that my brand is that I’m a filmmaker who has a liking for business. Luckily for me, Goizueta has a film concentration, so I can pursue a double major in film studies and business.”  

This summer, Sanchez will have the opportunity to explore his personal and professional brand in the real world with an internship offered through the Pathways Center with multinational commercial TV producer, ITV Studios in Los Angeles. Also, during his time in LA, Edgar and a group of Emory students will learn from local alumni working in the film industry through an 8-week speaker series.

Realizing goals with expanded curriculum

Mathematics and statistics major Kevin Ge was excited to learn of the new business minor program. As part of the focus on academic experience under Student Flourishing, Emory College of Arts and Sciences students can now combine their liberal arts major with core business knowledge through the Goizueta Business School.

“I chose to do the BA minor because a lot of my skills were mostly technical. I felt the minor would help me apply those skills,” says the Emory College senior. “I’m planning to be an actuary when I graduate. The field requires both technical and business acumen, so having the opportunity to combine both really provided a solid path to my future career.”

Building community one conversation at a time

Koluchi Odiegwu, a third-year student in Emory College pursuing a double major in comparative literature and human health, knew she wanted to be a Flourishing Fellow as soon as she heard about the joint venture between the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life and the Office of the Provost. Led by Rabbi Jordan Braunig, the program brings together a group of student leaders trained in the act of community-building. Their charge is to go out onto the Emory campus and engage one-on-one with students, encouraging a safe space for reflection and sharing.

“I applied to Flourishing Fellows because all the organizations I joined previously were aimed at influencing culture and making sure every student felt accepted and supported. Flourishing Fellows pushed this even further, engaging students in a completely different way,” says Odiegwu.

To learn more about Student Flourishing initiatives, visit the Student Flourishing website. To ask questions or share ideas for new programs contact the Office of the Provost.

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