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March 2017
Vol. 12, Issue 01

Emory inaugurates Claire E. Sterk as university's 20th president

In a ceremony honoring both Emory's rich history and the bright promise of a bold future, Claire E. Sterk was inaugurated February 8 as the university's 20th president.

With commitments to build an inclusive community, promote local and global engagement, and to lead by employing “Emory’s enduring qualities of excellence, distinctiveness and relevance,” Sterk formally accepted the charge of leadership in a service featuring music and poetry, distinguished guests and time-honored rituals.

The internationally acclaimed public health researcher was unanimously elected to lead the university in June by the Emory Board of Trustees, following an intensive national and international search. A native of the Netherlands, Sterk is Emory’s first female president and also its first president who is a social scientist by training.

That historic distinction was highlighted by Sanjay Gupta, assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory School of Medicine and CNN chief medical correspondent, who delivered the keynote address.

Sterk’s appointment builds upon more than two decades of service to the campus community. She arrived at Emory in 1995 with an appointment to the faculty of the Rollins School of Public Health, where she is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Public Health.

During her tenure here, she has served the university as a professor, researcher, academic leader and administrator. In 2013, she was named provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

Sterk took office as Emory's president on Sept. 1, 2016, succeeding James W. Wagner, who retired after 13 years at the university's helm.

Introduced by Interim Provost Stuart M. Zola, DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed delivered greetings from the platform, praising Emory’s connection to the community and Sterk’s vision for strengthening those relationships.

Additional greetings followed on behalf of the United Methodist Church, delivered by Emory trustee emeritus and Bishop G. Lindsey Davis, and representatives of Emory alumni, staff, undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty.

Former Emory presidents James T. Laney, William Chace and James Wagner and members of the Board of Trustees presented Sterk with symbols of the office, including the gown of office, a sprig of Wesley holly, charter documents, keys, the Emory torch and trumpet, the medallion of office and the gleaming university mace. After Sterk received the mace, attendees rose in a standing ovation to welcome the university's new president.

Sterk then addressed the convocation, outlining her commitment to Emory's mission "to create, preserve, teach, and apply knowledge in the service of humanity" and looking ahead to a bold future for the university.
Inauguration Slideshow

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey to deliver Emory Commencement address on May 8

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey will deliver the keynote address at Emory University's 172nd commencement ceremony Monday, May 8. She also will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters degree.


One of the foremost voices in contemporary poetry, Trethewey is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing and director of the Creative Program at Emory. She served two terms as the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States (2012-2014).


In 2014, Trethewey placed her archive at Emory, joining a rich collection of literary assets at the university, including the papers of Alice Walker, Lucille Clifton, James Dickey, Seamus Heaney, W.B. Yeats, Ted Hughes and former University Distinguished Professor Salman Rushdie, among others.


Trethewey is the author of four collections of poetry: “Domestic Work” (2000), “Bellocq's Ophelia” (2002), “Native Guard” (2006), for which she was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize, and ”Thrall” (2012). A chapbook, “Congregation,” was published in 2014. She also is the author of a 2010 book of creative non-fiction, “Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”


In 2012 she was named Poet Laureate of the state of Mississippi and the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States. In 2013, she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2016, Trethewey was awarded the Academy of American Poets Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement.

Feast of Words Toasts Emory's Faculty Authors

The Emory community filled the Jones Room of Woodruff Library on Feb. 6 for "Feast of Words," celebrating the diverse scholarship of Emory faculty members who published books in 2016.

The annual gathering, hosted  by the Center for Faculty Development and Excellence (CFDE) , Emory Libraries and Information Technology and the Emory University Bookstore and sponsored by the AJC-Decatur Book Festival, honored 113 faculty members who served as authors or volume editors of 118 books last year on topics ranging from poetry to physics, pastoral care to public health.  Congratulations to those honored and a few highlights from the honorees: 

  • A total of 113 faculty authors and/or volume editors are represented.
  • Twelve faculty members are listed more than once, for multiple titles published in 2016.
  • Arts & Sciences faculty are represented on the list 57 times.
  • The School of Medicine faculty are represented 28.
  • The School of Law faculty – 16 times.
  • Candler School of Theology faculty – 12 times.
  • Oxford College and Public Health faculty – 6 times each.
  • Goizueta Business School faculty– 5 times
  • Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing – 1 time, as is Campus Life.
  • Emeriti faculty are on the list 9 times.

At least three titles on the list have received national honors:

  • Carol Anderson’s White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide has been short-listed for a National Book Award.
  • Valerie Biousse and Nancy J. Newman’s book Neuro-Ophthalmology Illustrated won the British Medical Association 1st Prize Award in the international category of Neurology.
  • Miriam Udel’s book Never Better! The Modern Jewish Picaresque won the National Jewish Book Award for Modern Jewish Thought and Experience.

Emory Playwriting Fellow incorporates student research in award-winning play

What value does a formal education hold when the members of one’s community are being systematically and violently disenfranchised? How does one weigh personal achievement against participation in a momentous struggle for equality?

These are the questions asked in “Too Heavy for Your Pocket,” the award-winning civil rights drama from Emory Playwriting Fellow Jiréh Breon Holder, which recently ran at Atlanta’s Alliance Theater.   

In “Too Heavy for Your Pocket,” two young couples living in rural Tennessee at the height of the Civil Right Movement struggle to reconcile social justice with personal responsibilities.

Holder had a landmark year in 2016. He received his MFA in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama, “Too Heavy for Your Pocket” won the Alliance Theatre’s prestigious Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition, and he was appointed Emory’s 2016-2018 Fellow in Playwriting.

 “Too Heavy for Your Pocket” will be staged Off-Broadway as part of the Roundabout Theater Company’s 2017-2018 season.

Because this year’s Kendeda winner also happens to be Emory’s Playwriting Fellow, creative writing and theater studies students at Emory have been first-hand witnesses and even participants in Holder’s transition to professional theater-maker.

DUC-ling Takes Shape

Framing recently went up in front of the Woodruff PE Center in the center of campus for Emory’s new interim dining facility, dubbed the “DUC-ling” by students because it will replace student dining services in the Dobbs University Center (DUC) while a new Campus Life Center is constructed on that site.

Construction began in October on the 17,000 square foot interim facility, which will feature an open dining room lit by suspended lights, a wall of windows overlooking McDonough Field, and a translucent ceiling panel that allows diffused light to spill inside. The DUC-ling is expected to open this summer and serve students for about two years, until the new Campus Life Center and its permanent dining facilities are completed in 2019.

Architectural renderings of the new DUC-ling reveal a modern 40-foot-tall tensioned fabric structure that resembles a large, teardrop-shaped field house.

Designed for durability and energy efficiency as well as quick assembly, the one-story facility will employ aluminum arches connected to an all-weather engineered membrane, creating 8-inch-thick insulated vinyl walls and a lofty ceiling.

The facility will be heated and cooled for comfort and will include serving spaces and restrooms, with modular kitchens for food preparation and walk-in refrigerators and freezers designed to aid in the production of some 3,600 meals per day.

See more photos here

Emory Healthcare provided $72.3 million in charity care in FY 2015-2016

In fiscal year 2015-2016, Emory Healthcare provided $72.3 million in charity care. "Charity care" includes indigent care for patients with no health insurance, not even Medicaid or Medicare, and no resources of their own. It also includes catastrophic care for patients who may have some coverage but for whom health care bills are so large relative to their financial situation that paying them would be permanently life-shattering.

In addition to charity care, Emory Healthcare provides many other services to help improve access to care, advance medical knowledge, and relieve or reduce dependence on taxpayer-funded community efforts. In fiscal year 2015-2016, this total for Emory Healthcare was $52,538,139.

The stories of patients who benefitted from such charity care, and the ways Emory Healthcare facilities benefit the Metro Atlanta community, are highlighted in the newly published Community Benefits Report 2016. 

The report covers the impact of the entire Woodruff Health Sciences Center, which includes not only Emory Healthcare, but Emory School of Medicine, Rollins School of Public Health, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Winship Cancer Institute, and a large presence at Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta VA Medical Center, and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Ebola grant expanded from $12 million to $24 million

A $12 million grant awarded in 2015 to establish the National Ebola Training and Education Center (NETEC) has been doubled to $24 million to allow for a variety of expanded services, including creation of a special pathogens research network.

The grant awarded to the co-leads of NETEC – Emory University in Atlanta, the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha (UNMC) and NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue in New York City – will run in tandem with the original five-year grant. Funding is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The supplemental $12 million funding will allow the three partner institutions to perform additional site visits, conduct more education and training courses, as well as build the special pathogens research network. This network will include the 10 regional Ebola treatment centers located throughout the U.S. that are specially trained and equipped to handle patients with highly infectious diseases.

Since December 2014, the three institutions have trained more than 840 health care workers on all aspects of infection control and patient care for individuals with Ebola virus disease.

 

 

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