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February 5, 2001

Student service leaders
receive honors

By Eric Rangus

Shortly after reading excerpts from the nomination letters that introduced the 2001 Humanitarian Award winners Jan. 31 in Winship Ballroom, new Vice President and Dean of Campus Life John Ford uttered an almost inaudible comment beneath the applause that marked the end of the presentation.

“What an amazing group of Emory students,” he said.

Despite less than a month on campus, Ford had surmised the importance of one of the University’s most prestigious student honors.

The Humanitarian Awards honor the very best of the very best. Each year since 1987, the awards have been presented to undergraduate and graduate students who have shown tremendous leadership and made significant contributions not only to the Emory community, but in Atlanta, throughout the country and even the world. Students can be nominated by faculty, staff or other students.

A list of accomplishments of the 2001 award winners would fill several plaques, but some of the most notable works of Emory’s top humanitarians are listed here.

• Stephen Bailey is an award-winning debater with the Barkley Forum and a frequent volunteer for Urban Debate Leagues (UDLs) throughout the country. The college senior has taught debate to students at inner-city schools in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Kansas City and New York. (Nominated by Melissa Wade, Barkley Forum director.)

• Tianna Bailey, a college senior, founded an after-school program based in Southeast Atlanta’s Edgewood Court apartment complex called I.M.A.G.E. (I Must Achieve the Goal to Excel). The K–12 program is designed to get parents actively involved in their children’s education. (Nominated by Kerry-Ann Kelly, Delta Sigma Theta sorority.)

• David Bray’s work with Habitat for Humanity has taken him to the American Southwest (New Mexico) and around the globe (Romania, Ghana and the Philippines). While abroad in South Africa, the college senior once quit an internship at a Johannesburg newspaper because he found it racially divisive. Instead, he taught AIDS education to that city’s high school students. (Nominated by Dean Meyer, senior secretary, Goizueta Business School.)

• Carlos Franco-Paredes has worked tirelessly to improve health care for Atlanta’s Hispanic community. A master’s student in public health and a resident at Grady Hospital, one of Franco-Paredes’ most important contributions at the hospital has been one of his least complicated—translation. By communicating with Spanish-speaking patients, he has saved countless lives by simply asking the right questions in the right language. (Nominated by Jennifer Hirsch, assistant professor of international health.)

• Kelly Horvath organized a program for children living in Atlanta’s Capital Homes area, recruiting 15 members of the Black Student Alliance to volunteer twice a week in implementing a resident self-help program focused on education, arts and fitness at Capital Homes’ Mosaic Community Center. The business school senior also volunteers with many campus organizations and has interned with the American Cancer Society. (Nominated by Andrea Hershatter, assistant dean and director of the undergraduate program in the business school.)

Friends and family of the humanitarians dominated the crowd of about 150. Flashbulbs popped constantly as the award winners stood at in front and Ford read their bios. When they received their awards, the honorees met the people who nominated them—a fact kept secret until the last moment.

Karen Salisbury, assistant dean of Campus Life, moderated the event, which included remarks from President Bill Chace and a keynote address by Emory trustee Laura Jones Hardman, ’67C.

“In you, we see the fulfillment of Emory’s purpose,” Jones Hardman said. “You have defined what service is all about.”

Her remarks also brought the honorees’ works into the context of reconciliation. “Each of you has reached out as friends to those in need to establish reconciliation to those you have served,” she said. “And relationships are necessary for reconciliation.”

Chace stressed the importance of the evening, and how unique Emory’s humanitarians were. “This is a very special moment in the life of any institution,” he said. “One night every year, we focus on a very small group [of students] who have done something extraordinary.”


Back to Emory Report Feb. 5, 2001