Volume 78
Number 1

Playing by the Book

The Magic of Science

Vaccine Research Center

A Gringa Goes to São Paulo

Emory University

Association of Emory Alumni

Current News and Events

Emory Report



Sports Updates




Light-rail route
to Emory examined

The Atlanta Regional Commission has approved $2.5 million in its draft 2003-05 Transportation Improvement Program to study the feasibility of a light-rail route along the South DeKalb-Atlanta-Emory University corridor.

Inspiring contributions

The law school presented the 2002 Emory Public Interest Committee Inspiration Awards to Frank Alexander, professor of law at Emory and director of the Project on Affordable Housing and Community Development; Donald Hollowell, a civil rights leader and retired partner with Arrington and Hollowell; Jack Martin, a criminal defense attorney; and Jim Martin, commissioner of the state Department of Human Resources.

Cycling All-American

Rob Giannini, a sophomore member of the Emory Cycling and Triathlon Club, was named a USA Cycling Collegiate All-American. Giannini is the only All-American from a college in the southeastern United States and Emory's first USA Cycling All-American.

Mammography leader joins Winship

Carl J. D'Orsi, a national leader in mammography, has been named program director for oncologic imaging at Winship Cancer Institute and director of the Division of Breast Imaging. He will be a professor of Hematology/Oncology and Radiology.

Emory’s wild side

Emory has been recognized by the National Wildlife Federation for its achievements in developing an environmentally sustainable campus. In a national survey of nearly nine-hundred college campuses, Emory was acknowledged specifically as a leader in water conservation.

E-cars come
to campus

In partnership with Georgia Power, Emory is a pilot site for a fleet of Ford Think electric cars, funded by a U.S. Department of Energy grant through the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority. Employees who participate in the University’s alternative transportation program can check out the cars during the work day to attend meetings or run errands.

World leaders gather at Carter Center

Leaders including World Bank President James Wolfensohn, United States Agency for International Development Administrator Andrew Natsios, and former Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin came together with Jimmy Carter and the presidents of Albania, Guyana, Mali, and Mozambique at the Carter Center in February to discuss challenges to overcoming global poverty.

Librarian selected as Leverhulme fellow

Stephen Enniss, curator of literary collections at Emory, has been awarded a Leverhulme Trust Visiting Fellowship to conduct research in the School of Advanced Study at the University of London during the 2002-2003 academic year. Enniss will be working on a critical study of the contemporary Irish poet Derek Mahon.

Candler receives
Lilly grant

The Candler School of Theology has received a $172,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment to conduct studies on improving and expanding graduate education in religious practices.

School of Law home
of Southern Juvenile Defender Center

The School of Law is the new home of the Southern Juvenile Defender Center, part of a network of centers associated with the American Bar Association that provide grassroots assistance and advocacy for juvenile justice issues.

Division of Religion receives teaching mentor grant

The Graduate Division of Religion received a $50,000 grant from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning that will allow it to expand its Teaching Mentor Program, which helps train doctoral students in religion to become better teachers.

Turner Foundation gives $1 million for lupus study

Researchers in the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology and Immunology will use a one-million dollar grant from the Turner Foundation to uncover new knowledge about lupus, a poorly understood auto-immune disorder, and investigate how it affects children and teens.

Emory Eye Center
in top ten ranking

The Emory Eye Center has again landed in Ophthalmology Times’ top ten rankings for national ophthalmic programs. The Eye Center was ranked under the category “Best Overall Program” as eighth, in “Best Clinical (patient care) Programs” as seventh, and as sixth in the category “Best Residency Programs”.

















































Emory College senior Elizabeth M. Barchas lately has been practicing a role she knows well: holding her breath and waiting for a panel of judges to call her name.

More often than not, they do. A contender for the prestigious Rhodes scholarship this year, Barchas advanced to the national finals of this famously rigorous competition. She’s a candidate for a coveted Fulbright scholarship as well.

Calling on another set of talents, Barchas also entered and won the 2001 Miss Idaho pageant, which provided the opportunity to travel around her home state making public appearances. No stranger to the spotlight, Barchas reveals one of the secrets of her success: “I like to be on stage.”

Some of those who know her are surprised by her Miss Idaho crown, but no one found it strange that she applied for a Rhodes, Barchas says. She was one of eight Emory students (ten were nominated by the University) who made it to the state finals, the highest number from the University ever to achieve that level. Barchas was the only Emory representative to advance to the national round. The other seven semi-finalists were seniors Anna Manasco, Elizabeth Esposito, and Kyle Marinello; theology graduate student Emily Parker; and alumni Isaac Halpern ’01C, Hetal Doshi ’01C, and Michael Friedman ’01C.

Each year, several outstanding Emory students apply for one of the thirty-two Rhodes scholarships awarded, according to Joann Brzinski, Emory College assistant dean and head of the office of scholarships and fellowships. Sixteen students from the University have become Rhodes scholars, earning the opportunity to devote a year to scholarly endeavor abroad.

Brzinski guides the applicants through the lengthy scholarship process, which includes assembling eight letters of recommendation, submitting a written statement and proposal for study, and preparing for the committees’ exacting interviews. Brzinski enlists Emory faculty and staff to help coach the students. Some seventy-five Emory students apply for a variety of national scholarships and fellowships each year, and about fifteen are usually successful.

Having eight Rhodes semi-finalists “is a sign of the quality of students we are attracting to Emory,” Brzinski says. “Our goal is not to win a Rhodes every year–there are just thirty-two given each year, so to do that you’d have to be not only good, but lucky. Our goal is to produce students who are competitive every year, and we accomplished that.”

Barchas, a Woodruff scholar and an English and Russian major, had hoped to use the Rhodes scholarship to travel to Russia to study the country’s language and specifically its fledgling media, only recently liberated from government censorship. She has long been drawn to Russian literature.

“I have always loved to read, and I became interested in reading Russian in the original language–I didn’t realize it takes years and years to get to a point where you’re able to do that,” she says, laughing. “Now I can read poetry in the original, which is wonderful because in poetry especially so much is lost in translation. Once I started studying the language I just fell in love with it–and with Russian culture and history.”

Barchas’ growing proficiency in the language served her well during her final Rhodes interview, when one of the eight committee members unexpectedly switched to speaking Russian, firing off questions about how best to advance free speech. Taken off-guard, Barchas nonetheless managed to provide an answer. “There was enough brain power in that room to really intimidate anyone,” she says.

Despite the disappointment of being passed over at the final hurdle, Barchas says, rubbing shoulders with the other Rhodes contenders was an experience worth remembering. In addition to the traditional high-stakes cocktail hour the evening before the interviews, where she had a chance to socialize with peers and judges alike, Barchas spent four tense hours waiting in a small room with the other twelve candidates while the committee deliberated. Four of the thirteen were finally chosen.

“For all of us, there was a lot at stake and a lot on our minds,” she says. “When they finally came back and called out the names, it felt like the rest of our lives were on the line or something. But I had kind of reconciled myself to the fact that any of us could be Rhodes scholars. They were all really brilliant and I had a feeling of real admiration for their intelligence. At the same time, the group was fun and we had a great time–we were not just a bunch of bookworms stuck in our own little world.”

However personable the Rhodes scholars may have been, it’s a safe bet they weren’t as gregarious as Barchas’ fellow contestants in the Miss Idaho competition, where a winning smile can mean just that. “That’s why I liked it, because the pageant subculture was really fun to explore and different from anything else I’ve done,” Barchas says.

Winning the pageant gave Barchas the chance to polish her public speaking skills before an audience that was noticeably easier to please than the Rhodes scholarship committee: schoolchildren.

“As I long as I brought the crown with me, it was easy to get them to listen,” she says. “Then afterward, they would all want to try it on–even the boys.”–P.P.P.

Kenneth Cole ’76C, fashion designer and philanthropist, has always done things in an irreverent, daring manner, from selling shoes to promoting safe sex.

“Our shoes aren’t the only thing we encourage you to wear,” said one Cole advertisement from the ’80s that featured a prophylactic.

Long an outspoken proponent of AIDS research, gun control, freedom of reproductive choice, and help for the homeless, Cole delivers his social messages with pun-riddled humor. “What you stand for,” he often says, “is more important than what you stand in.”

His latest contribution to a cause, unveiled with the tagline, “We may not heel the world, but we hope to be an accessory,” is the Kenneth Cole Fellowship Program in Community Building and Social Change at Emory, which was launched with a two-day forum in late February.

Cole, who has a degree in political science from Emory, grew up helping out in his family’s Long Island shoe business, which marketed the enormously popular Candies–wooden-heeled stilettos and chunky platform shoes–during the disco era. Twenty years ago in a trailer in midtown Manhattan, Cole started his own business, Kenneth Cole Productions. His hip urban footwear, accessories, and clothing lines now bring in about $500 million a year, and he operates seventy-five retail stores worldwide.

The Cole Foundation gave the University $600,000 to establish the fellowship program, designed to assist and inspire students in finding ways to strengthen inner-city neighborhoods.

“This gift will allow Emory to train sixty students to become agents for social change,” said interim Provost Howard O. Hunter. Through coursework, paid summer field experience, site visits, and an annual leadership conference, students will address issues such as affordable housing, quality of public schooling, access to health care, and crime.

The inaugural group of twenty-one fellows is currently taking a spring primer course, “Introduction to the City,” taught by Michael Owens, visiting assistant professor of political science.

“My number one goal is to see things change around me for the better, and I think the program will serve as a path to help me achieve this,’’ says Cole Fellow Amanda Edwards, a junior in political science, who plans to pursue law and public policy.

Cole returned to his alma mater February 20 and 21 for the Kenneth Cole Leadership Forum, the theme of which was “The Impact of Terrorism on Community Building and Social Change.” The keynote speaker was former New York Governor Mario Cuomo. Cole, who is married to Maria Cuomo and has three daughters, introduced him as “my father-in-law and role model.”

Cuomo, now a partner in the New York firm of Willkie, Farr, and Gallagher, said Americans were both shaken and united by the September 11 terrorist attacks, but that our country has “another range of problems that can’t be solved with a military budget and an office of homeland security.

“It would be a mistake to let our rightful pride tempt us into shortsightedness,” Cuomo said, pointing to growing disparities between the 5 percent of the population that makes more than $100,000 a year and the disadvantaged.

“There are 31 million poor living in the richest nation in world history. One in five children is raised in poverty,” he said. “In my old neighborhood in South Jamaica, Queens, where my father had his grocery store, all the young men are getting locked up. The children are familiar with the sounds of gunfire before they hear an orchestra play. At fourteen and fifteen, [teens] are having babies not because they don’t know about birth control, they know about birth control, but because they want to affirm themselves. . . . It all goes back to the neighborhood.”

As a child of Italian immigrants who became a three-time governor, Cuomo says, “I know how great our country is. That’s not the question. The question is, can we be better than we are? How do we reconcile our instinct for individualism with a commitment to community?”

At the next day’s workshops, national and local leaders in public health, politics, law enforcement, and charity efforts spoke about how the terrorist attacks had affected their jobs, funding, and community needs.

James Curran, dean of the Rollins School of Public Health, said students used to have “a hard time explaining to friends and family what public health is. After September 11, everyone knows.”

Communities across the nation were impacted by the economic aftershocks of the terrorist attacks, said Mark O’Connell, president of the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta.

“There is a tremendous part of our community that lives paycheck to paycheck. After 9/11, there was a decline in travel that resulted in less beds made, meals served, and cars parked. Minimum wage workers in the hospitality sector were the second-wave victims of the attacks,” O’Connell said. “When the rent comes due and you have no money, you have a genuine crisis.”

Julie Gerberding, acting deputy director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the CDC had to “come to grips with our competencies” during the anthrax investigation.

“The CDC is very evidence-based institution, and we had to develop the ability to make decisions without a full set of data, to develop adaptive reasoning, to make a preliminary decision, see if it works, and modify it later,” she says.

Community building–forging alliances between agencies and between neighbors–is “the essence of public health,” said Scott Wetterhall, director of health assessment and promotion at the DeKalb County Board of Health.

Former President Jimmy Carter delivered the Cole Forum’s concluding remarks and emphasized that now more than ever, Americans need to think globally as well as locally. Speaking with concern of the increasing chasm between rich and poor within the United States, Carter added a reminder that “even the poor people in this country are rich compared to others around the world.”–M.J.L.




© 2002 Emory University