Letters

I really enjoyed (“Buried Truths,” spring 2015) and will share it with my fourteen-year-old daughter. I’m a native of Atlanta, and my parents and grandparents grew up in Lexington, Georgia. I appreciate you shedding light on Georgia’s past.

Tina Stovall-Goolsby, Conyers, Georgia

The “Big Picture” in the winter Emory Magazine (“We Are United” student demonstration) is great. It shows that Emory students are concerned with what is happening in the world. One of the letter writers said the students did not see the “big picture.” Well, to see the big picture, one must know history and how it relates to relations today. You also have to factor in poverty, the lack of job opportunity, and poor education. The big picture is the huge gap between the “have nots” and the “haves.” Emory did a lot for me. Teachers like Bill Mallard and Theodore Runyon opened my mind and imagination and prepared me for thirty years as a college chaplain and teacher in two good schools.

Talmage Boyd Skinner 60T 67T, Raleigh, North Carolina

The recent piece (“iNV isible: illuminating Disability, Inside the Classroom and Out,” spring 2015) piqued my interest and my hopes. I entered the article expecting to read of scholarly work on access for disabilities and the work at Emory to broaden understanding of the experiences individuals with disabilities face. In many regards I was very happy with the coverage and the honesty in the article. However, I was concerned and frustrated that the truly “invisible” impairments; for example, autism spectrum disorders and mental health issues such as anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, were [only briefly] mentioned. Emory was the place where my love of learning and seeking to better the world was awakened. I hope and expect that the Disability Studies Initiative will include these groups in their work, since the experiences and unique perspectives of all individuals create an inclusive environment for all.

Kathryn Shultz Ransom 91OX 03C 66C, Nashua, New Hampshire

I read with interest your article, “Invisible,” in the recent Emory Magazine. I was impressed with the accomplishments of those who were profiled. I want to offer a perspective from someone from a different era. I graduated from Emory in 1972. I have had a lifelong hearing loss. It is profound in my left ear; severe in my right ear. The time I was in school was vastly different. There was no ADA. The culture and environment were different. There were no resources and no others like me. I say this with the caveat that there may have been, but I was unaware of any. I was going to have to survive using my own wits and figuring out a way to adapt. It was a tough, bittersweet time for me, a struggle. I accept responsibility for not being more assertive and not handling it as well as I would have liked. Somehow, I managed to deal with it and enjoy my career as a lawyer, be active in my community, and have a fruitful life. I am pleased that the world has changed for the better. I am glad Emory has been in the midst of that.

Gilbert Laden 72C, Mobile, Alabama

I read with eagerness and pride About the great strides that have been made at leveling the playing field for students with mental disabilities. Unfortunately, it is a shame that the article missed the fact that very little has been accomplished on the professional side of academia. University disabilities offices that routinely handle requests from students have no idea what to do when a request for accommodations is made from postdocs or professors. Academia is, as stated in the article, an environment that allows for “selfaccommodation” for many types of mental and learning disabilities by allowing individuals to work toward their interests with flexible schedules. But with the rising expectations for teaching, research, and service, only those who are at peak mental functioning could possibly compete for the fewer and fewer tenure- line positions. Expecting such high levels of performance, executive functioning, and social skills shuts out those who struggle compared to neurotypical peers, leaving behind a generation of academics who have much to contribute to human knowledge and learning. The shame is that in many cases current and aspiring faculty members have undiagnosed and undisclosed mental health disabilities, both going untreated and unprotected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Recognizing and providing support for faculty and staff with hidden disabilities would be a first step toward making progress.

Judd R. 98C

As the father of a third-year dermatology resident, I am always interested in reading about Match Day (“The Envelope, Please,” spring 2015). As one who has attended a Match Day, I believe that every student who matched is going to an “esteemed institution.” For Emory Magazine to state that some “are going to a variety of esteemed institutions” and naming just a few of the residency programs shows an educational bias and diminishes the accomplishments of those students who did not match with a program that is, in Emory’s view, an “esteemed institution.” It would have been more appropriate to list each student and the program they matched with. Emory should be proud of each student’s match.

Charles E. Gordon 72L, Winter Park, Florida

There seems to be an error in the article on Fahamu Pecou (“More Than Just a Pretty Picture,” spring 2015). A former mayor of Atlanta is identified as Shirley Jackson, but I think you meant Shirley Franklin. We Shirleys look out for each other. Thanks for the interesting article.

Shirley May Banks 05PH 15T, Decatur, Georgia

Editor’s note: Many thanks to Ms. Banks for bringing this to our attention; we regret the error.

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