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August 5, 2002

Two new faculty named to new environmental leadership group

By Michael Terrazas

Two Emory professors have been named to the inaugural class of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership (IGEL), a statewide group that hopes to foster learning and collaboration among the state’s environmental leaders.

Howard Frumkin, professor and chair of environmental and occupational health in the Rollins School of Public Health, and Julie Mayfield, director of the Turner Environmental Law Clinic, are two of the 33 members of IGEL’s charter class, which was announced July 15.

“Julie and I are honored to be named to the first class of IGEL, and proud that not one but two of us will represent Emory,” said Frumkin, referring to the fact that the University is the sole entity to have two individuals selected. The other 31 classmembers hail from education, private industry, the nonprofit conservation sector and various levels of government (including municipal, state and federal).

“I’m fairly new to the environmental field, relatively speaking, having only worked in it for about six years,” Mayfield said. “I just feel fortunate that they think I’m worthy of participating in this.”

IGEL was created by the Governor’s Environmental Advisory Council and will be administered through the University of Georgia’s J.W. Fanning Institute for Leader-ship. It is modeled after the one-year leadership institutes that have sprung up at colleges and universities around Georgia, Frumkin said.

Details about how IGEL will operate and the specific issues its members will discuss have yet to be finalized, but classmembers will meet six times for two-day sessions at locations around the state, from Dalton to Brunswick. Mayfield said she expects agenda items to be predetermined, but for the discussions to be free-flowing.

“My guess is these meetings will be highly facilitated, meaning someone will at least come prepared with the topic and the material,” Mayfield said.

“It’s an attempt to network people thought to be current or future leaders in environmental affairs in the state,” Frumkin said.

Indeed, the University’s distinction as the only participating institution with two members in IGEL is just the latest piece of evidence that Emory is considered an environmental leader across Georgia.

“[That fact] speaks volumes,” Frumkin said. “Although we are a private university, we’re recognized statewide as an environmental leader and as an active participant in public and private efforts to advance environmental education, research and service. For those of us who believe that the University’s mission includes contributing to our community, this is a source of great satisfaction.”

Frumkin deflected any personal significance and credited his and Mayfield’s selection to the large network of individuals across campus working on environmental issues, from the offices of parking and alternative transportation, to the green-building efforts in Facilities Management, to the work of various faculty members and academic departments, right up to the leadership and support demonstrated by the highest levels of administration.

“Emory is proud that two of our faculty members, pledged as they are to the study and preservation of our environmental resources, will become members of the first class of IGEL,” President Bill Chace said. “This speaks well of their dedication and underscores the University’s commitment to making this state and this region a model of wisdom about the natural resources that are our legacy.”

For more information about IGEL, visit the Fanning Institute’s website at www.