Emory Report
December 10, 2007
Volume 60, Number 14

Making a difference
in Georgia

• 88 percent of graduating seniors have volunteered in the local community.

• 22,000 Georgia schoolchildren took part in Emory-sponsored activities.

• $5.7 billion is the estimated annual economic impact on Georgia’s economy by Emory University and Emory Healthcare.

• $22 million worth of health care was provided to those without insurance or an ability to pay.

• $4 million in need-based financial assistance, including $250,546 from Emory Advantage, frees Emory undergraduates from Georgia to worry about learning, not money.

Data based on 2006 statistics.

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December 10, 2007
How Emory advances the common good

By Kim Urquhart

Emory is committed to community. It understands the importance of partnership and the potential for transformation that occurs when people and communities work together toward shared goals. Just ask the employee who donates a portion of her paycheck to Emory’s workplace giving campaign, the faculty member whose research addresses local concerns, the student whose community service activities prove that learning goes beyond the classroom.

The University has produced “Emory in the Community” to share its story with those who may not know the extent to which Emory applies engaged learning and scholarship to service in the community — from its neighbors in Druid Hills and DeKalb County to Georgia’s philanthropic, public and private sectors.

The booklet describes some of the many ways in which Emory’s students, faculty and staff are reaching out to partner with communities all over the state. Organized into themes and issues, the publication provides a snapshot of the investments of time, intellect and effort faculty, students and staff have made in Georgia’s communities. Each example of community service is prefaced by how the work is central to Emory’s mission, and the book concludes with a guide to offices across campus that devote resources in support of such projects.

Critical elements of the growing infrastructure of community resources include the Office of Community and Diversity and the Office of University-Community Partnerships, who coordinated production of the booklet.
Teaching, learning, research and service opportunities that have benefits beyond campus occur in pockets all over the University. The book will help faculty, staff and students understand the breadth of what Emory does in each school as much as it will educate Emory’s friends, neighbors and partners about its community service.

“Emory is a place where students, faculty and staff make a daily commitment to learn from and contribute to the world around them,” said Senior Vice Provost for Community and Diversity Ozzie Harris. “When you learn and work in communities, sometimes it’s hard to tell who are the students and who are the teachers.”

“What I love about this book is that it refutes the conventional wisdom that Emory is a bubble. This is a stunning example of how Emory is working everywhere,” said OUCP Senior Program Associate Sam Marie Engle.

From improving the health of Georgians to ways in which DeKalb County’s largest employer is enriching the community, the book highlights the myriad ways Emory advances the common good. As partners in educational excellence, Emory’s programs touch school children at all levels of their education by providing professional development for teachers, volunteers for afterschool programs and summer academic and sports camps. Preparing engaged scholar-leaders and strengthening neighborhoods are among the other areas highlighted.

The book also includes profiles of alumni to show that student engagement doesn’t end with graduation. “These are examples to show how alumni are living the values that they learned at Emory,” Engle explained.

Engle and Harris emphasize that the booklet is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather indicative of what is possible when faculty and students connect scholarship and learning with service to the local community. “Emory in the Community” is available in print and online at www.emory.edu/emoryinthecommunity.

In addition to offering the most recent and accurate information that can be updated at any time, the Web portal serves several functions for both internal and external audiences. “The vision is to group like efforts together in one central spot on the Web,” said staff member Alexander Christian, who developed the new site.

It will strengthen Emory’s ability to obtain funding and support for community projects, while allowing potential partners to connect and develop synergy.

“The idea is to have a portal that will allow people to deepen their understanding of what is already being done and to see examples of how others are working in the community,” said Harris. “Over time I am hopeful the Web site will become a place where anyone who asks the question of how Emory is engaged in the community will get an answer that is satisfying.”

A forthcoming survey, facilitated by Senior Vice Provost Lynn Zimmerman, will help shape the new Web site. “The survey is an opportunity to develop a comprehensive list,” said Harris.

The OUCP will use data from the survey to inform the overhaul of its Community Partnerships database, which tracks all of the University’s community-based and community-focused efforts in teaching, research and service. The Web site and OUCP database will grow as creative faculty, dedicated staff and energetic students continue to contribute to the community.

Harris hopes the project will ultimately help Emory, which sees itself “as a partner among other partners,” develop closer relationships with the business community and other colleges and universities to better coordinate partnerships in teaching and research.

“The intention when we talk about engaged scholars is to provide obvious and meaningful opportunities for people to serve,” said Harris. “The idea is to partner in learning and share knowledge.”