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University’s Employee Council updates name to reflect staff focus
Emory University Staff Council logo

Emory University established an Employee Council in 1970 to represent the perspectives of staff and make recommendations when appropriate to the university president, administration and University Senate.

That mission remains the same, but the group has a new name for people to learn as the 2023-24 academic year begins: Emory University Staff Council.

Katrina Shafer, president of the council for 2022-23, approached the council’s executive board about considering a name change in fall 2022. The board supported the change, so the idea was shared with the council’s sponsor (the Human Resources Division) and President Gregory L. Fenves and his team.

The proposal was taken to the full Employee Council in early 2023. Members had several weeks to ask questions and consider the option before voting in March 2023. The resolution passed with a resounding “yes.”

“Our thinking going into this was that the word ‘employee’ is somewhat generic, while the word ‘staff’ is more specific to who we are and our role, especially in a university,” Shafer says. 

“It is important to me and the Staff Council officers that Emory staff feel acknowledged, heard and recognized,” says Shervon Lewis, who will serve as the council’s president for 2023-24. “Changing the name to ‘Staff Council’ further endorses our mission and formally aligns with the staff focus of President Fenves’ strategic plan.”

Because the council had already begun the process of updating its website, the new design launched with the new Staff Council name in place. Working groups connected with Emory branding, the Office of Information Technology and University Communications and Marketing helped make it happen.

Staff representatives of all divisions and schools within Emory University make up the council. Members of the 2023-24 executive committee include:

  • President: Shervon Lewis, Campus Services
  • President elect: April Cooper Edwards, School of Medicine
  • Past president: Dawn Francis-Chewning, Emory Libraries
  • Secretary: Beth Bradshaw Ghavidel, School of Medicine
  • Secretary elect: Liz Carlino, Campus Life
  • DEI coordinator: Kelly Garner Shannon, Candler School of Theology
  • Communications chair: Salome Bowes, School of Medicine
  • Treasurer: Lot Bercasio, School of Medicine
  • Historian: Kelly Garner Shannon, Candler School of Theology
  • Hardship fund chair: Nina Acosta, Campus Life
  • Membership coordinator: April Cooper Edwards, School of Medicine

Visit the Staff Council website or watch a short Staff Council video for more information about projects and how members support university staff.

What is the Staff Council?

The Emory University Staff Council facilitates communication through all levels of the organization regarding university policies, practices and programs, fostering positive and closer working relationships in all directions. Staff Council also supports community-building programs and activities on campus, including Staff Fest, Employee Resource Groups, Healthy Emory and more. 

To learn more, visit the Staff Council website. You can also contact Staff Council by sending an email or submitting an anonymous comment or question.

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