Emory Report
April 27, 2009
Volume 61, Number 29


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April 27, 2009

U.S. Attorney touts public service
“The best thing about being a federal prosecutor is that you get paid to do good for a living,” said U.S. Attorney David Nahmias on April 15 as part of a lecture series hosted by the Emory Black Law Students Association and Smith, Gambrell & Russell.

Nahmias shared advice and anecdotes from his legal career, which has included serving on the Harvard Law Review editorial board with President Barack Obama, clerking for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and working on the Centennial Olympic Park bombing case.

He challenged students to pursue public service work during their careers. “You all have been given very much in the way of talent and opportunity, and you owe it to your community to give some of that back.”
—Liz Chilla

Alavi: Leadership can be learned
“Are leaders born or made? The answer is yes,” said Maryam Alavi at her April 22 Life of the Mind lecture, “Learning to Lead.”

“Although some people may have inherent traits that help them to lead, leadership by and large is a developmental process that’s very much impacted by lessons of experience,” said the vice dean of Goizueta Business School. “I’m a believer that everyone’s leadership capability and competence can be developed further.”

Alavi explored four dimensions for leadership development: cognitive; emotional; social/relational; and behavioral.

The emotional and relational competencies, Alavi said, are the ones that distinguish between leaders who are great and those who are good. —Leslie King

Debunking myths of mental health
At “Mental Illness: Myths and Realities,” a Conversations at The Carter Center event April 16, a panel of experts addressed the stigma of mental health.

“We work continuously to overcome stigma,” said Rosalynn Carter, founder of The Carter Center’s Mental Health Program. “It isolates people, it keeps them from getting services, and so many people don’t know they can be helped.”

“Did you know about a quarter of the population could benefit from treatment? And less than half the people who could benefit don’t go, trying to avoid the label,” said Patrick Corrigan, professor of psychology at Illinois Institute of Technology.

“It’s really about just seeing people as people. Ultimately, that’s the way around stigma,” concluded Ben Druss, Rosalynn Carter Endowed Chair in Mental Health at Rollins School of Public Health. —Kim Urquhart