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Classroom Snapshots

2014 April 22


A couple of new YouTube videos offer a look at several undergraduate classes and programs.

“The Art of Eating” is about a freshman seminar course designed to allow students to explore how food and eating bring us together as families, communities and cultures, and how they also separate and define us and can make others “different.” Anna Leo, associate professor of dance, and Leslie Taylor, professor of theater, bring together their two disciplines as well as link up with the Emory Center for Community Partnerships so that students collaborate with high school dance students from Maynard Jackson High School in Atlanta. Students and faculty also have the opportunity to eat something tasty during each class.

In “Students Taking the Lead in the Classroom,” Brooke Healey 15C (Journalism and Human Health) talks about her experience teaching first-year students in a Health 100 class as a Peer Health Partner (PHP). The PHP program allows students to develop health knowledge and leadership skills as they work with first-year students under the direction of faculty in the Center for the Study of Human Health.




Emory Professors on the Good Life

2014 April 22

What exactly is the good life?

Emory professors are addressing this issue in the Good Life Speaker Series, which seeks to facilitate a meaningful exchange of ideas on how to lead the “good life,” based on Socrates’ concept of Eudaemonia. The aim of the series is to attract speakers whose experiences and knowledge provide distinctive and challenging understandings on how to lead such a life.

In the first talk, Corey Keyes, Professor of Sociology, addresses “Positive Psychology and Flourishing” (Feb. 25, 2014). Prof. Keyes is a senior fellow at Emory University’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion and its multidisciplinary five-year project—Pursuit of Happiness—funded in part by the Templeton Foundation.

In the second talkShomu Banerjee, senior lecturer and applied microeconomic theorist in the Department of Economics, talks about “Money and Happiness,” and the pursuit of life well lived (April 15, 2014).


Changing the Way Science Is Taught

2014 April 22
by Hal Jacobs


A new YouTube video highlights Emory’s ORDER program (“On Recent Discoveries by Emory Researchers”), which bridges the gap between graduate and undergraduate education by having graduate students and postdoctoral fellows teach about their research to undergraduate freshmen and seniors.

The semester-long ORDER courses are co-taught by teams of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows called teacher-scholars. Each teacher-scholar teaches a course module that focuses on some aspect of his or her research. They explain the origins of their discoveries and the different elements that build the research process within their respective disciplines. The freshman course is taught during the fall semester, and the senior course is taught during the spring semester.

An important objective of ORDER is to change the way science is taught to undergraduates, moving it away from the traditional lecture-based curriculum to a more research-oriented curriculum that actively involves students in posing questions and seeking solutions.


The Art of Chemical Synthesis

2014 April 22

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Watch a new YouTube video highlighting the work of Emory’s Center for Selective C-H Functionalization, which is leading a paradigm shift in the art of organic synthesis by bringing together experts from across a broad range of chemical disciplines. This collaborative network has an equally broad geographical distribution, with institutes from across the United States.

In 2012, the National Science Foundation awarded $20 million to the center. According to Huw Davies, professor of chemistry at Emory and the center director, ”We believe that C-H functionalization will have a huge impact on the development of new drugs and other fine-chemical products, by breaking new ground for organic synthesis, and making it faster, simpler and greener.”

See 2012 eScienceCommons blogpost

2014 Woodruff Library Undergraduate Research Award Winners Announced

2014 April 22
by Hal Jacobs


Fiona O’Carroll — “‘The Instinct of Every Real Woman’: The Ideas of the Anti-Suffrage Movement in the U.S., 1868-1920.” Faculty sponsor: Patrick Allitt.

Laurabeth Goldsmith — “Theresienstadt: Concentration Camp Camouflaged as the ‘Model Jewish Settlement’.” Faculty sponsor: Carol Anderson.

Ryan Sutherland — “Exoticism and Musical Appropriation: The Javanese Gamelan in Debussy’s ‘Pagodes’ (1903) and Russian Folk Music in Stravinsky’s ‘Le Sacre du Printemps’ (1913).” Faculty sponsor: Elizabeth Clendinning.

Honorable Mention

Chloe Burrell—”Cruelty: The Shifting Historical Definition of Marriage.” Faculty sponsor: Judith Miller.

read more

Photo by Brian Methot.

What Makes Atlanta a Great College Town

2014 March 4
by Hal Jacobs

Take a city tour from Kristen Ellingboe 14C (Journalism and Political Science), who co-authored a piece in Atlanta Magazine about why the term ‘college town’ should be among Atlanta’s synonyms.

When you think of metro Atlanta, many things may come to mind. Capital of the New South, for example. Or worst place to be a Pepsi fan. “College town” probably isn’t on your list. But the area’s 6 million residents include more than 250,000 college students, according to the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education. Each year this quarter-million-strong cohort studies at one of the metro area’s fifty-seven colleges and universities.

And while Atlanta is hardly a typical college town, its borders contain a wealth of student experiences. From the refurbished dot-com building that houses SCAD Atlanta to the picturesque quad of Agnes Scott, you can find any college vibe imaginable.

We’re both students at Atlanta-area schools, and drew on our experiences here—as well as input from dozens of fellow scholars—to take you on a tour of the city’s neighborhoods.

Read full article

Ralph Savarese Looks at Autistic Writers

2014 March 4
by Hal Jacobs

savareseIn his recent talk at Emory (see YouTube video), Ralph Savarese of Grinnell College advances the notion of a much less human-centered empathy by exploring the propensity in autism to attend to objects more than people (February 19, 2014). Focusing on the work of two autistic writers, Dawn Prince and Tito Mukhopadhyay, he investigates the trope of personification, appealing to neuroscientific investigations of the phenomenon in order to distinguish between a categorical and a precategorical engagement with experience. Lyric writing, especially poetry, plays a controlled game with categories, dwelling in the sensory and blurring distinctions through a range of literary devices such as personification and metaphor. For Prince and for Mukhopadhyay, the space of lyric writing appears to welcome autistic difference.

Ralph James Savarese is the author of “Reasonable People: A Memoir of Autism and Adoption,” which Newsweek called “a real life love story and an urgent manifesto for the rights of people with neurological disabilities,” and the co-editor of three collections, including “Autism and the Concept of Neurodiversity,” a special issue of Disability Studies Quarterly. The winner of the Herman Melville Society’s Hennig Cohen Prize and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mellon Foundation, he spent the academic year 2012/2013 as a neurohumanities fellow at Duke University’s Institute for Brain Sciences. He teaches at Grinnell College in Iowa.

The Disability Studies Initiative at Emory is a new working group (beginning Fall 2013) generated across departments and schools that is dedicated to interdisciplinary research and teaching by faculty and students. The Initiative is led by a group of faculty and students who are interested in the social, cultural, historical, political, and legal dimensions of disability in our world.

See YouTube Playlist

Bobby Jones Scholars Selected for 2014-15

2014 March 4
by Hal Jacobs

Four Emory University seniors—Lauren Ball, Rachel Cawkwell, Blake Mayes and Fiona O’Carroll—are the 2014-2015 recipients of the prestigious Robert T. Jones Scholarship Award for a year of study at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

They will represent Emory as ambassadors to St. Andrews and were selected based on their established records of leadership, academic excellence and interests that can be pursued through the offerings at the venerable Scottish institution.

Widely known as the Bobby Jones Scholarship, the award was established in 1976 and recognizes individuals who will be excellent representatives of Emory at St. Andrews. The late Bobby Jones, an internationally renowned golfer, was an Emory School of Law alumnus remembered by those who knew him as an extraordinary man of rare loyalty, compassion and integrity.

The scholars for the competitive award receive full tuition, room, board and a travel stipend for their year of study. In addition, four St. Andrews students are chosen to spend a year at Emory.

The 2014-15 Bobby Jones Scholars represent a wide range of academic interests:

ball_lauren Ball, a double major in mathematics and physics and astronomy from Grayson, Ga., plans to complete a conversion to psychology degree at St. Andrews. She entered Emory as a Questbridge Scholar, and has played for Emory’s varsity basketball team for three years. Ball has led both the Society for Physics Students and the Emory Astronomy Club, and has served as an athletic and academic coach in the local and international communities. During the summers, she assisted with the Appalachia Service Project and traveled to Dharamsala, India, as part of Emory’s Tibetan Mind/Body Sciences program.



, an English major from Bedford, N.Y., is a Woodruff Scholar, a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, and was named to the 100 Senior Honorary Society. She represented Emory on a four-person slam poetry team in 2011, and received the Academy of American Poets Award in 2012. Cawkwell is completing an undergraduate honors thesis on the representation of charitable works in Victorian novels, and plans to pursue a degree on Victorian Studies at St. Andrews. She has been a leader with the Emory College Tour Guide program, a fellow in the Community Building and Social Change program, and is in her second year as co-director of Volunteer Emory. Cawkwell also is president of the women’s ultimate frisbee club team.



mayes_blakeMayes, a religion major with a minor in Community Building and Social Change from Knoxville, Tenn., plans to study systematic and historic theology in St. Mary’s College at St. Andrews. A Woodruff Scholar, Mayes helped develop a mentoring program for new Emory Scholars and is a fellow at the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, completing his honors thesis on contemporary monastic communities. As a fellow in the Community Building and Social Change program, he worked on strategic planning in south DeKalb County. He co-chaired the Student Visioning Process for University Center Renovations, and advocated for civic engagement programs for Emory students.



ocarroll_fionaO’Carroll, a double major in history and French studies from Seattle, Wash., plans to seek a master’s in intellectual history at St. Andrews. She has studied abroad in Paris and at the T.S. Eliot International Summer School in London, leading to her involvement as a CIPA peer advisor helping other students study abroad. A Woodruff Scholar, she has been active with Emory Student Ambassadors and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. The recipient of a SIRE research grant, O’Carroll is completing an undergraduate honors thesis in history on women’s suffrage in the U.S. Progressive era, and is a fellow at the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry.



See full news release



Comedian Josh Blue on Disabled Athletes and Paralympics (among other things)

2014 February 20
by Hal Jacobs

Disability0131Comedian Josh Blue and Jon McCullough of Blaze Sports talk about their experiences as Paralympic athletes and more in this engaging, often humorous conversation (see YouTube video) held January 31, 2014, at Emory University. They are also joined by Benjamin Reiss, Professor of English and co-chair of the Disability Studies Initiative at Emory. Blue was a winner of the Last Comic Standing competition and a disability advocate. Blaze Sports is a Decatur nonprofit adaptive sports organization.

Emory’s Disability Studies Initiative is a new working group (beginning Fall 2013) generated across departments and schools that is dedicated to interdisciplinary research and teaching by faculty and students. The Initiative is led by a group of faculty and students who are interested in the social, cultural, historical, political, and legal dimensions of disability in our world.


Dennis Liotta Named to National Academy of Inventors

2014 February 18
by Hal Jacobs

LiottaDennis Liotta, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Chemistry and executive director of the Emory Institute for Drug Development, has been named to the 2013 class of National Academy of Inventors Fellows along with 143 innovators from 94 prestigious research universities, governmental agencies, and non-profit research institutions. Election to NAI Fellow status is an honor given to academic inventors who have created or helped to create or facilitate inventions that have had a positive impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.

Liotta, who has been at Emory since 1976, developed an HIV antiviral drug for the treatment of HIV called Emtriva, now used by more than 90 percent of HIV/AIDS patients in the United States. His collaborators in the project were postdoctoral researcher Woo-Baeg Choi and Emory virologist Raymond Schinazi (who was named a charter NAI Fellow in 2012). Liotta has also had a hand in developing therapies for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and hepatitis B in his lab at Emory. In addition to serving as the executive director of the Emory Institute for Drug Development, Liotta also serves as the co-director of the Republic of South Africa Drug Discovery Training Program and acts as editor-in-chief of ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters. He was also recently inducted into the Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame. While at Emory, Liotta has received the Emory Williams Distinguished Teaching Award, the Emory University Distinguished Faculty Lecturer Award, and the Thomas Jefferson Award, among many others.

See full story at Emory News Center

Related Media

The Drug Discovery Process: Dennis Liotta on Emtriva (YouTube)