Emory Report
April 4, 2005
Volume 58, Number 25


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April 4, 2005
Katabarwa, Karp take home international awards

BY Michael Terrazas

As Emory celebrated two of its own March 30 for their contributions to internationalization, President Jim Wagner summed up the course the University has charted in one short sentence: “I would hope,” Wagner said, “that the standard for this award is rising.”

Standing at the podium in the Emory Conference Center’s Silverbell Pavilion, Wagner presented the Sheth Distinguished International Alumni Award to Moses Katabarwa, ’97MPH, epidemiologist for several public health programs at The Carter Center. A few moments later, Provost Earl Lewis presented Ivan Karp, National Endowment for the Humanities Professor in the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts (ILA) and co-director of the Center for the Study of Public Scholarship (CSPS), with the Marion V. Creekmore Award for Internationalization.

Together the two awards represent Emory’s highest honors for individuals who contribute globally through the humanities, science, art or human welfare. Both are sponsored by the Office of International Affairs and the Halle Institute for Global Learning, and Halle Institute Director and Vice Provost Holli Semetko welcomed the crowd of more than 200 to the event.

Katabarwa, originally from Uganda, served as its country director for The Carter Center’s office from 1997–2003 before joining the Atlanta office as medical epidemiologist for the Global 2000 river blindness, lymphatic filariasis and schistosomiasis programs. Besides his master’s from the Rollins School of Public Health, he also holds an master’s and a Ph.D. in anthropology. He helped direct the World Bank/World Health Organization-sponsored program to control river blindness in Uganda, eventually achieving treatment coverage for more than 90 percent of the country.

“If you don’t believe in miracles, this is your chance,” Katabarwa said upon accepting the Sheth Award from Wagner. He said, when he began his public health work in Africa, colleagues gave him the impression that failure and apathy were to be expected. “For me, this was unacceptable. There were ways of getting it right in Africa.”

As he accepted his award from Lewis, Karp advised the audience, “We need to remember that community is not located in a single place, nor is it simply bricks and mortar. Bricks and mortar hold people; a community is composed of people who share lives together.”

Since coming to Emory, Karp has directed the ILA, the Institute of African Studies, the Center for International Studies, and co-directed (along with his wife, Corinne Kratz) the CSPS. He led Emory’s effort to develop partnerships with institutions of higher education, arts and culture in South Africa, through which all the entities have exchanged scholars and held joint conferences. He is the author of Fields of Change Among the Iteso of Kenya and is the editor of four books on African philosophy and belief systems and three books on museums.

“I don’t want to leave you with the impression that internationalization at Emory is a done deal—there are miles to go before we sleep,” Karp said. “We need to take our involvement in internationalization and put it together with other aspects of the strategic plan; only when we do the work of integration will we be able to engage in the task of collaboration, which is at the heart of internationalization.”