May 29, 2001
Kellermann fights war against violence
By Michael Terrazas email@example.com
When Art Kellermann was summoned to the Administration Building for
a meeting with President Bill Chace and Provost Rebecca Chopp recently,
he was not elated.
I thought I was being called into the principals office for
one reason or another, Kellermann said. Instead, the University
president began to discuss the significance of the Scholar/
Suddenly, the light bulb came on for Kellermann. I brightened up
and said, Oh, you want names? I can give you some! he
recalled. [Chace] smiled and said, Perhaps next year. This
year its taken.
Taken, of course, by Kellermann, who officially received the honor at
Commencement on May 14. I was deeply touched, he admitted.
Given the caliber of the scholars and the teachers we have at this
institution, I feel somewhat bemused and out of my league.
He is not. Known best for his research into gun violencethe oft-mangled
statistics that household handguns are such-and-such times more likely
to kill a family member than an intruder have their roots in one of his
studiesKellermann also chairs the Department of Emergency Medicine
and directs the Center for Injury Control (CIC), having originated both
A typical week for Keller-mann is split among patient care at Grady Hospital,
whose emergency department and trauma center treat the victims of Atlantas
most violent crime every day; performing research, the particulars of
which, in Kellermanns case, often blur the lines between scholarship
and public service; administrative duties for his center and his department;
and teaching, either at the bedside at Grady or in classrooms, either
his own or a colleagues.
It really covers the waterfront pretty widely, Kellermann
Currently the CIC is working with the federal justice department on the
Strategic Approaches to Community Safety Initiative (SACSI). The multidisciplinary
effort pulls together the efforts of prosecutors, community groups, businesses,
academia and other sectors to try to characterize the problem of gun violence
and implement solutions before the guns are used to kill.
The new administration in the White House has had no effect on this program
yet, Kellermann said, and added the program is one even the most staunch
National Rifle Association supporter could love.
This particular effort should warm any conservatives heart
because its focused on a mantra thats been shouted for years:
We need to enforce the nations existing gun laws, Kellermann
said. Its matching law enforcement strategies with community-building,
after-school opportunities and prevention efforts that typically, if dropped
into a violent neighborhood, will fail like throwing seed on a rock.
On the other hand, if you break up the rock and spread soilbut
have no seeds to plant behind itnothings going to change.
While Kellermanns name regularly appears in local and national
media whenever some issue related to gun violence captures the countrys
attention, his teaching often goes relatively unnoticed. But he understands
this is simply the nature of the pedagogical beast.
In defense of all the teachers at Emory, teaching doesnt
typically carry the kind of visibility that community service or research
does, he said. So when I give a talk to the violence studies
program or in the nursing school, or in the public health or medical schools,
much less to a group like Rotary or Kiwanis, thats generally received
and appreciated only by the people in the room.
But, he added, we all know its what this place is all about.