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Kudos for Colleagues: Spring 2018

May 8, 2018

Kudos for Colleagues recognizes staff members for major awards, new hires, promotions, and other accomplishments by ECL staff, including regular, student, and contract employees. Please send your staff highlights suggestions to us at .

Issue 12: May 2018

Rhonda Thompson retired this month with more than 19 years of exemplary service to the Emory community. More than 40 students, staff, and family members joined her on April 27 to offer heartfelt tributes celebrating her many contributions over the years. Rhonda, most recently office manager for Civic and Community Engagement, joined Emory as an administrative assistant in Healthcare pediatrics. She served later with the university’s Center for Community Partnerships before a reorganization in 2014 brought her to Campus Life along with most of the center’s initiatives. Known by students and staff as a caring and creative problem solver, Rhonda says the best part of her job was knowing that her work helped to make a difference in the lives of Emory students, other members of the Emory community, and people throughout metro Atlanta. Most important, she added, her years with Emory presented daily opportunities to embrace her personal passion of service to others – especially young people.

Rhonda Thompson at reirement celebration with guests

Rhonda (on left) reluctantly agreed to a farewell celebration of her 19 years with Emory
but did not expect to see so many friends and colleagues, including coworkers from years past.

Kyle Griffith, complex director in Residence Life, has accepted a position as director of residential life at Illinois Wesleyan University. Since joining the Res Life team in July 2011, Kyle has facilitated improvements in many areas, including the pre-college program, first-year experience program, interdisciplinary exploration and scholarship themes, staff selection process, and more. In addition, he has also made a huge impact through his work with the Office of Sustainability and as a Title IX investigator. Kyle’s last day with us is June 8.

Margaret “Molly” Fraher and Bridget Guernsey Riordan were honored for 25 years of service when university employees joined President Sterk for an April 26 luncheon to celebrate their 45-year, 40-year, 35-year, 30-year, and 25-year anniversary milestones. Molly is a nurse practitioner in Student Health Services; Bridget is assistant vice president for Campus Life. View list of award recipients:

Chelsea Jackson 18C, is one of 32 recipients nationwide of the 2018 Rhodes Scholarship. The political science and African American studies double major is a student activist engaged with a number of Campus Life initiatives, including serving as an intern with the Commission on Social and Racial Justice. Learn more:

Sara Frank 18C has been recognized with the Leader of the Year Award from the Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) national leadership honor society, one of only five students nationwide to receive that honor this year. Sara, a former sophomore advisor with Residence Life, is president of the ODK chapter at Emory. Sara was nominated for the leadership award by ODK chapter advisor Sherry Ebrahimi, Campus Life's director of conference services, and Judi Raggi Moore, professor in Italian Studies. ODK recognizes and encourages superior leadership and exemplary character. Learn more:

Sara Frank
Sara Frank was one of only five students nationwide to receive ODK leadership award.

Lamar Greene
, a graduating senior and student intern in Campus Life’s Office of Health Promotion (OHP), is the 2018 Truman Award recipient. Since joining OHP in summer 2016, he has worked on various initiatives, including: expanding access to OHP’s PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis) clinic for HIV prevention; making the sexual health mini-course more inclusive; and assisting OHP staff and graduate students with promotion and analysis of the National College Health Assessment (NCHA). Learn more:

Sherry Ebrahimi, director of Conference Services and Housing Administration, has been elected president of the Association of Collegiate Conference and Events Directors-International (ACCED-I) for 2018-2019. Ebrahimi formally stepped into her new leadership role at the conclusion of the organization’s annual conference, March 18-21, in Minneapolis. The organization represents more than 1,300 campus professionals who design, market, coordinate and plan conferences and special events on the campuses of colleges and universities around the world. Learn more:

Tomika DePriest, senior director for ECL’s Office of Communications, delivered a lightning round presentation at the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Senior Summit in April. Social Shifts: From Reliance on a Dean’s Account to Official Emory Campus Life Channels described the strategy behind the 30 percent increase in overall audience impressions for Campus Life’s social media platform. Learn more:

Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life (OSFL) is pleased to announce the addition of three new team members, part of evolving the staffing model in sorority and fraternity housing to more closely resemble the Residence Life staffing model. The new coordinators will join the office on July 1, 2018:

Campus Life scholars earning terminal degrees in the 2017-18 academic year include:

Issue 11: April 2018

Misha Jackson is Emory Athletics new head women's basketball coach. She was named the Eagles' Interim head coach in mid-October following the resignation of Christy Thomaskutty, who served in that capacity for 14 years. Under Jackson's guidance, the 2017-18 edition of Emory women's basketball finished with an overall record of 13-12. After a three-year playing career at Emory, Jackson joined the program as an assistant coach under Thomaskutty in 2013-14. Learn more at:

April Flint was honored with the Research and Assessment Award at the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) annual conference on March 4. The award recognizes an NIRSA member who has made extraordinary contributions to advancing research and assessment initiatives on their campus and/or for NIRSA. April is director of Recreation and Wellness for Campus Life. Learn more at:

Issue 10: March 2018

Paul Marthers, Emory’s vice provost for enrollment management, has been appointed to serve as interim vice president of campus life, as Ajay Nair, senior vice president and dean of campus life, transitions to his new position as president of Arcadia University on March 31. During the month of March 2018, Dean Nair and Dr. Marthers will work together to allow for a strong transition of the campus life leadership. Read more.

Ben Perlman and Tina Chang of the University Center and Office of Communications, respectively, developed the CLC website, which won first place in the professional website category of the ACUI 2018 Steal this Idea Awards. AUCI, according to its website, is “a nonprofit educational organization that brings together college union and student activities professionals from hundreds of schools in seven countries. The organization’s mission is “to support its members in the development of community through education, advocacy, and the delivery of services.”

Gary Wilson joined Campus Life as a coordinator for special operations with the University Center team, supervising deep cleaning of Cox Hall and DUC-ling spaces overnight. He served most recently as a supervisor at Georgia State University.

Paulo Zambianchi is a new event management technician with the Campus Life University Center working in Cox Hall. Paulo worked most recently with Nestlé Brasil in the São Paulo headquarters as a gastronomy consultant and chef. He holds two professional certifications – one in gastronomy, defined by Merriam-Webster as the “art or science of good eating,” and another as a flight attendant.

Please send your suggested kudos – new hires, promotions, awards, and other recognitions for yourself or your colleagues – to us at .

Issue 9: February 2018

Marqiece Cunningham has joined ECL’s new Office of Social Justice Education as a practicum student. Most recently, he served at the University of Georgia as graduate assistant for administration and facilities in the Department of Recreational Sports and as a fellow for the Ignite Social Justice Retreat. Marqiece holds a bachelor’s in computer science from the University of Southern Mississippi and currently is studying toward an MEd in college student affairs administration at UGA.

Ajay Nair, senior vice president and dean, is being honored with the Doris M. Ching Shattering the Glass Ceiling Award by NASPA, the leading association for student affairs professionals. He will be recognized at the awards ceremony of the Asian Pacific Islander Knowledge Community (APIKC) during NASPA’s annual conference, March 3-7, in Philadelphia.

Sharon R. Rabinovitz will become interim assistant vice president and executive director of Emory University Student Health Services (SHS), succeeding Michael J. Huey. Sharon will assume this role following Mike’s retirement on July 31, 2018. Since joining Emory in 2017, she has been director of clinical services at SHS, responsible for ensuring that SHS has the resources to provide care for Emory students and support for health care providers.

James Roland was recently inducted into the prestigious Gold Key Society, one of the nation's most respected institutions in speech and debate. He is being recognized for his more than 20 years of coaching and service and ongoing commitment to the field of debate. Roland’s recognition is particularly noteworthy in that he is not a high school debate coach. Less than 25 of the 184 society members across the nation are not high school debate coaches or educators.

Please send your suggested kudos – new hires, promotions, awards, and other recognitions for yourself or your colleagues – to us at .

Issue 8: January 2018

Anthony W. Hansen, PhD, is the new post-doctoral fellow in Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), reporting to Katie Werner. Most recently, Anthony was an intern in the CAPS program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill. He holds a PhD in counseling psychology and a Graduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy, both from University of Georgia.

Xion Lester joined Campus Life as assistant director of development services. She served most recently with the Winship Cancer Institute development office. Before joining Emory, Xion was an associate in conference and event management with Independent Sector in Washington, DC. Earlier in her career, she worked in television news and communications marketing.  

Kerry Milhaven is Emory DAR’s new associate director of development for Campus Life and Athletics. Most recently, she served with Make-A-Wish Georgia as director of signature events and earlier as director of golf. In this role, she was responsible for managing all internal events while leading a team who helped drive support and facilitate the execution of each event. Kerry attended Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Derek Moore is the new administrative assistance in Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). His previous position was assistant office manager for Kayal Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists in Marietta.  

Neeraja Panchapakesan is the new coordinator of student conduct in the Office of Student Conduct. She served previously in Development and Alumni Relations at the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned an MSEd in higher education. Neeraja also holds BA in biology and music from Agnes Scott College.  

Julia Rizzo, PsyD, was welcomed aboard as a post-doctoral fellow in Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). She served previously as a pre-doctoral intern at Montana State University in Bozeman. She earned her doctor of psychology in counseling psychology with a concentration in athletic counseling from Springfield College in Massachusetts.

Elaine Turner , senior director of housing operations, has been selected to serve this summer as faculty for the Southeastern Association of Housing Officers (SEAHO) Regional Entry Level Institute (RELI). The institute is an intensive four-day developmental experience for entry-level housing and residence life professionals in university/college housing.  

Jade M. Turner is the first director of the new Office for Racial and Cultural Engagement (RACE). She served previously as the Associate Director of the Cross-Cultural Center at the University of California, Irvine, where she earned her bachelor’s in criminology, law, and society. Jade also holds a master’s in counseling from California State University, Long Beach.


Please send your suggested kudos – new hires, promotions, awards, and other recognitions for yourself or your colleagues – to us at .