Spring semester brings new initiatives, events across Emory – Emory News Center

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Jan. 9, 2023
The nine schools that make up Emory University head into spring semester with new programs, inspiring events and more planned for the campus community and beyond.
— Kay Hinton/Emory Photo Video

The nine schools that make up Emory University head into the new semester with innovative initiatives, achievements to celebrate and a full slate of engaging speakers and events. 
Here’s a roundup of what’s new and noteworthy, as listed by each school.
 
Faculty promotions: Candler will open the new semester with Spring Convocation on Jan. 10, where faculty members Antonio Alonso, Susan Hylen and Joel LeMon will be installed in named professorships. Ted A. Smith, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Divinity and associate dean of faculty, will give the convocation address. 
Heritage Month: Throughout February, Candler’s Black Student Caucus and Advancement and Alumni Engagement office will host events for Heritage Month, which this year carries the theme “Blackness Unfiltered.” The month will culminate with the 13th annual Heritage Ball. Proceeds from the ball support the Erskine-Smith-Moseley Scholarship Endowment at Candler, which honors three of the school’s first Black faculty and provides students from Candler’s Black Church Studies program with scholarships and stipends to support their theological education. This year’s Heritage Ball will also honor one of the scholarship’s namesakes, Professor of Theology and Ethics Noel L. Erskine, who will retire at the end of the academic year after 46 years on Candler’s faculty. 
Upcoming events: On March 22, Jonathan Tran, associate professor of philosophical theology and George W. Baines Chair of Religion at Baylor University, will present a lecture offering theological reflections on racial capitalism from a transpacific perspective. And from March 2830, the school will host the 2023 Bandy Preaching Conference with the theme “Read the Room: Context Matters,” featuring special guests Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor Emeritus of Preaching at Candler; Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, MacArthur Professor Emerita of African American Studies and Sociology, Colby College; and Howard-John Wesley, pastor of Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia.
Learn more at the Candler School of Theology website.
 
New minors: Starting this semester, Emory College students now have the option to minor in business as part of an academic collaboration between the College and Goizueta Business School. A new minor in public policy and analysis, housed in the Department of Political Science, also launches this spring. 
Innovative faculty: Chandra L. Ford, a leading scholar in the fields of racism, social justice and public health, joins the Emory University faculty this month as a professor holding joint appointments in Emory College’s Department of African American Studies and in the Department of Behavioral, Social and Health Education Sciences at the Rollins School of Public Health. Ford is the first faculty member to receive a joint appointment between Emory College and the Rollins School of Public Health. She joins an outstanding cohort of more than 50 new faculty appointed in the College this year. 
Sophomore Summit: The Pathways Center will host its inaugural Sophomore Summit Feb. 17-18 at Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge, Georgia. This free, overnight career retreat provides all Emory sophomore students from the Atlanta and Oxford campuses a safe space to connect with peers, hear from professors and alumni, and discover concrete next steps for their future. Registration is now open.
Additional Pathways Center initiatives beginning this spring include a NYC Career Trek focused on business, visual arts and performing arts; the Media and Entertainment Pathways Scholars Program in Los Angeles; and the Summer Internship Fund, awarding undergraduate students up to $4,000 for summer internships. More information can be found on the Pathways Center website.
Learn more at the Emory College of Arts and Sciences website.
 
Online Evening MBA: This fall, Goizueta Business School announced a new, fully online format of its Evening MBA program. Ranked 11th in the nation and 1st in Georgia by U.S. News & World Report, Goizueta is the highest-ranked part-time MBA program to offer a fully online option.
MS in business analytics: Starting in fall 2023, the MS in Business Analytics (MSBA) will expand its options to the current full-time MSBA by offering a new AI in Business track. Goizueta will also launch the MS in Business Analytics for Working Professionals (xMSBA), a degree exclusively designed for professionals currently working in the data, IT and analytics fields. 
BBA new curriculum and minor: After a five-year process of extensive review, a newly imagined Goizueta undergraduate curriculum will roll out in January 2023. Goizueta will also offer a business minor to Emory College students, comprised of the foundations core and introductory knowledge in each of the five functional fields of business.
Innovations in teachingGoizueta’s teaching innovations have transformed the traditional classroom with virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence (AI) and holographic capabilities. The new “Difficult Conversations” experience allows students to learn effective interpersonal conflict resolution strategies using virtual reality headsets. 
New faculty focused on AI: This January, Emma Zhang joins Goizueta’s faculty team, continuing her research on the development of statistical methods and theory for high-dimensional networks, graphs, tensors and point processes. Her work in the AI space has direct applications in business, social sciences, biology and medicine. 
Learn more at the Goizueta Business School website.
 
Student honors: Sandra Mendiola, a doctoral scholar in the Population Biology, Ecology and Evolution (PBEE) program, was awarded the prestigious Kharen Fulton Award for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement for 2022-2023. 
English Language Support Program (ELSP): ELSP provides language support to graduate and professional students, postdoctoral fellows and scholars with diverse linguistic backgrounds. Learn about ELSP programs.
Learning About Laney: In September, LGS-EDGE hosted its fourth annual Learning About Laney visit. The fully-funded visit offered prospective doctoral students from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to learn about LGS graduate programs, faculty, staff and current scholars. 
LGS-SOARLGS-SOAR hosts potential non-Emory undergraduate scholars with an interest in graduate research. Scholars will be matched with LGS faculty to explore, experience and conduct full-time independent and mentored research for the summer. 
LGS Three-Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®): The 3MT contest challenges LGS students to present a concise, intriguing lecture on their theses to a non-specialist judging panel. LGS will host the 3MT contest in April 2023, as part of Graduate Student Appreciation Week. 
Graduate Student Appreciation Week: LGS will celebrate Graduate Student Appreciation Week April 3 – 7, 2023. Students can expect a wide range of events throughout the week.
Student wellness events: The LGS student affairs team will host a variety of wellness events throughout the semester, starting with a panel discussion on imposter syndrome and building resilience in January. 
Learn more at the Laney Graduate School website.
 
New, state-of-the-art building: During fall semester, the School of Nursing celebrated the opening of the Emory Nursing Learning Center, a $20.6 million, 70,000-square-foot hub for state-of-the-art simulation and professional development in downtown Decatur. 
Top ranking: U.S. News & World Report ranked the school’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program No. 2 in the nation. The school now has three top-10 programs.
Milestones: The Emory Nursing Learning Center became home to the world’s first commercial installation of HAL S5301, an advanced interdisciplinary patient simulator with AI capabilities.
Grant announcement: The Health Resources and Services Administration awarded the school four grants totaling more than $11.8 million for work in health delivery and training programs serving areas of Atlanta, the state of Georgia and the Southeast. 
National honors: The Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research awarded School of Nursing faculty four of their five national awards, an unprecedented achievement. The National League for Nursing recognized the school as a Center of Excellence. The school welcomed two more faculty to the American Academy of Nursing, increasing the number of AAN Fellows in the school to 44. 
Center milestones: The school launched a new Center for Healthcare History and Policy and celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Lillian Carter Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility.
New faculty: The Lillian Carter Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility named Jacob Kariuki assistant director for global health research. He will drive innovation in global initiatives, particularly in Africa, and serve as an associate professor. 
Learn more at the School of Nursing website.
 
Incoming class: This January, Oxford welcomes its second-ever Spring Start cohort, a diverse group of approximately 50 students. Many of them spent the fall pursuing real-world experiences such as traveling or working in a field relevant to their studies, and they bring a fresh perspective to Oxford’s already dynamic student body.
Oxford principles and student flourishing: As part of an emphasis on student flourishing, Interim Dean Ken Carter has sought to reignite in-person community by focusing on one of Oxford’s six core principles each month. These principles — belonging, care, accountability, presence, learning and identity — encourage the entire community to create a space where students can learn, grow and excel. With a new principle highlighted every month, students have been reflecting on how they express these values and how they encourage each other to succeed. See these firsthand student accounts and read more about #OxPrinciples on the Oxford website.
Women’s tennis wins national title: For the seventh consecutive year, the Oxford women’s tennis team took home the trophy for the NJCAA DIII Women’s Tennis National Championship. Congratulations to the 2022 team and the program as a whole for its incredible run of sustained success. To read about the exciting moments from this year’s championship, check out the stories on the Oxford Athletics webpage and the Oxford home page. 
Learn more at the Oxford College website.
 
Building opening: The much-anticipated R. Randall Rollins Building is now officially open. The 85,000-square-foot, 10-floor building brings 10 new classrooms to the school — located on the lower level and floors one, two and three — which range in capacity from 24 to 120, as well as multiple areas for studying, training and congregating. Dancing Goats Coffee, which resides on the first floor of the R. Randall Rollins Building, officially opened Jan. 9, and is serving coffee and espresso drinks to the Emory community. The café’s hours are MondayFriday, 7 a.m.4 p.m. 
A change in format: To meet the changing needs of the public health workforce, the Executive MPH program is shifting its delivery from a hybrid format to 100% online in fall 2023. Students will continue to learn from faculty who are experts in their fields through an asynchronous online program and have the opportunity to come to campus for optional residency sessions where they can meet faculty and other students in the program. 
New faculty: Eminent scholars joining Rollins’ ranks this spring include Chandra L. Ford, a leading scholar in the fields of racism, social justice and public health. Ford joins the Emory University faculty this month as a professor holding joint appointments in Emory College’s Department of African American Studies and in the Department of Behavioral, Social and Health Education Sciences at the Rollins School of Public Health. Ford is the first faculty member to receive a joint appointment between the two schools. Another newcomer to the Rollins faculty is Hui Shao, an associate professor in the Hubert Department of Global Health, and part of the AI.Humanity Initiative. Shao’s research areas of focus include predictive modeling, using advanced machine learning, microsimulation and econometrics method to build valid predictive models to resolve real-world issues.
Achievements of noteCarmen Marsit has been appointed to the Standing Committee on Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions; both Sophia Hussen and Pia Valeriano were featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s special Everyday Heroes section; Audrey Gaskins received the Ira and Esther Rosenwaks New Investigator Award from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine; and Kathryn Yount was recently appointed to a committee on Women’s Empowerment, Population Dynamics and Socioeconomic Change under the Committee on Population, Division of Behavioral and Social Science and Education of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. 
Learn more at the Rollins School of Public Health website.
 
New facultyWhittney Barth has been named executive director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion. Matthew Sag joins the faculty as professor of law in artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science as part of Emory’s AI.Humanity initiativeTonja Jacobi was welcomed to the faculty as the Sam Nunn Chair in Ethics and Professionalism and Mark Nevitt joined the faculty as associate professor of law.
Faculty accomplishments: Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law Martha Albertson Fineman was appointed the new leader of the Center for International and Comparative Law. Nicole Morris is the inaugural director of the Innovation and Legal Tech Initiative. Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law Margo Bagley has been actively involved in negotiations for two proposed treaties that the World Intellectual Property Organization General Assemblies agreed to send to diplomatic conferences.
Curriculum: Emory Law has added three new curricular concentrations to the JD program — civil litigation and dispute resolution, criminal litigation, and law and religion — on top of the existing health law concentration, trans-actional law certificate, and the innovative TI:GER certificate.  
Emory Law’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program has established a new diversity, equity and inclusion scholarship and stipend program to promote broader diversity in the practice of environmental law. 
Upcoming events: President and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund Janai Nelson will deliver Emory Law’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. lecture on Thursday, Jan. 19, at 6 p.m. in Tull Auditorium (register here).The annual Randolph Thrower Symposium, this year titled “The Future of America’s Efforts to Promote the Rule of Law Abroad,” will be held Thursday, Feb. 2, from 9 a.m. 3 p.m. (register here). The Emory Public Interest Committee (EPIC) will host its 26th annual Inspiration Awards honoring students, donors and alumni Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 6:30 p.m. in Tull Auditorium. Registration will be available soon.
Learn more at the Emory Law News Center.
 
Transforming education: Work continues to reimagine and transform the education curricula for all School of Medicine programs this spring. The school is widely known for producing superior clinical providers and outstanding scientists, yet the school’s programs must keep up with increasing demands on clinicians and scientists to solve the health challenges of today and in the future. A broad-based steering committee is guiding the process and plans to release recommendations in spring/summer 2023.  
Leadership transitionsDean Vikas Sukhatme will step down from his roles as dean of the school and chief academic officer of Emory Healthcare in March 2023, remaining on faculty. Next steps for School of Medicine leadership will be announced in the coming weeks in consultation with incoming Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Ravi Thadhani.
Christen Hairston joins the school in early January as associate dean for student success. In this new role, Hairston will oversee academic support, registration/student data support, financial aid assistance, and career and counseling support services to the MD and the five Health Professions programs.
Reimagining medicine from the ground up: Two new buildings are set to open in 2023: the Health Sciences Research Building II (HSRB II), a trailblazing space designed to incite better collaborations and bigger impacts in biomedical research; and the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory Midtown facility, which is designed to change the way cancer care is delivered to patients.  
Supporting new resident physicians: In recognition of the critical role medical residents play in the health care system and the need for wellness support, the School of Medicine will continue offering an innovative program of “well-being check-ins” for first-year Emory residents this spring. 
Learn more at the School of Medicine website.
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