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This issue of our newsletter is sent to members and friends of the Emory University Emeritus College (EUEC). I hope the newsletter will help keep you informed about our activities and help you feel connected with our members throughout the U.S. On the left are links to our website and links to contact either me or the EUEC office.
With best wishes,
Gray F. Crouse
Message from the Director
We had a wonderful celebration of award recipients, new members, and EUEC donors last Thursday. For those of you who were not able to attend, there are a brief description of the ceremony, some pictures, and a copy of the program insert with information about the new members and a list of the many donors to EUEC this year.
It seems like every one of our Lunch Colloquiums is a special event. Certainly the next one is, featuring our own Nanette Wenger speaking on matters of the heart (appropriate for a day very close to Valentine's Day!). We also have an article about our previous Lunch Colloquium, a second part of the report from the University in Crisis Seminar, and information about accessing online journals through the Emory Libraries.
I am very grateful to Herb Benario, Gretchen Schulz, and John Bugge for help with proofing and editing.
February 16 Lunch Colloquium
For this Colloquium, we have one of our own--Founding Member Nanette Wenger, Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) Emerita. It is a special treat to have her at our Colloquium. The reason you never see her at one is that she is still working more than full time!
The Luce Center, Room 130, 11:30-1:00
For more information, click here
EUEC Awards, New Members, and Donors Reception
We had a great time celebrating our award winners and all of our members!
Accessing e-journals and other library resources
The Emory Libraries allow access for faculty to an enormous number of journals and other databases. Emeritus faculty are included in faculty access to these resources. Recently, the methods for accessing these resources have changed.
January 26 LUNCH COLLOQUIUM
Accompanying Beckett: Memories of a Great Writer from His Chosen Editor
Martha Fehsenfeld spoke about her association with Samuel Beckett and how she came to be editor of his letters. Viola (Tiny) Westbrook reports on this rare opportunity to hear from a person who knew one of the major literary figures of the 20th century.
Click here to read about the Colloquium
The University in Crisis
The EUEC members who participated in last fall's Interdisciplinary Seminar on the topic of The University in Crisis
have compiled a report of their discussions. In this issue, we feature a second part of their report. For the first part, please see Issue 12.
Marianne Scharbo-DeHaan reports:
Thirteen EUEC workers packed 578 boxes for medical facilities in third world countries and we had fun doing this worthwhile activity. We have some new faces in our group and would welcome others to join us the 4th Thursday of the month from 1-4 PM.
Accessing e-journals and other library resources
It is extremely expensive for the libraries to purchase licenses to online journals (the journal Science alone can cost over $20,000/year). Because of increasing price pressures and demands from publishers, the libraries have changed the methods used to access journals and other databases online. For users on campus, these methods make access much less convenient. The change may not affect users off campus as much. The Health Sciences Library has produced a tip sheet on how to access these journals most conveniently. You can read that tip sheet by clicking here.
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Our celebration on February 5 was to honor the Heilbrun Fellowship, EUEC Distinguished Faculty, and EUEC Distinguished Service recipients, our new members, and the many EUEC members who have financially supported EUEC during the current year.
|The reception in Governors Hall of the Miller Ward Alumni House was well attended and enjoyed by all.|
Rudi Makkreel, Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, was one of the recipients of the Heilbrun Distinguished Fellowship. The award was for his book project on Kant's Critical System. He is shown here with Dean Robin Forman, who made the presentation.
The other Heilbrun Distinguished Fellowship recipient was Cory Kratz, Professor of Anthropology Emerita. Her award was for her book project on ethnography and the production of knowledge. Cory was not able to attend the reception in person, and so appeared virtually, thanks to Skype, from Santa Fe, New Mexico.
One impressive part of the presentation of the awards by Dean Forman is that he had spent time learning about the specific work that Rudi and Cory were doing, and described in detail not only their work, but the importance of their work in a broader context.
As announced in the last newsletter, Gretchen Schulz was the recipient of the EUEC Distinguished Faculty Award. Both Herb Benario and John Bugge nominated her for the award. Herb presented the award, and he is shown in this picture presenting the award to Gretchen. A number of Oxford faculty, both active and retired, came to the reception to honor Gretchen.
Jim Keller was the recipient of the EUEC Distinguished Service Award. Pat Douglass (who was last year's recipient) nominated Jim and is shown here presenting him the award. Most members of the audience had personally benefited from part of Jim's service in the last year!
It was a great pleasure to welcome 27 new members to EUEC. New members are the lifeblood of EUEC and we look forward to their contributions in the future. New members were asked to submit short biographical information for the program and many did. Even with that brief information, it is clear that we are welcoming a distinguished group of new faculty into our midst. It is certainly difficult to summarize a multi-decade career into fewer than 150 words. The "winner" was new member Stuart Zola, former Director of Yerkes National Primate Research Center, who summarized his distinguished career as follows: "Memory, Monkeys, Magic"!
It was a pleasure and great honor to be able to thank the 133 (!) members who have donated to EUEC since our annual campaign began in August of last year. That support is so important for our operation and I am profoundly grateful to each of our supporters.
A list of our new members, the brief biographical information they supplied, and our donors is available by clicking here.
Finally, I would like to thank Pat Douglass for her help with this reception, and especially Kimberly Hawkins in the EUEC office who made everything happen and took care of a myriad of details with great efficiency and calm. She was simply superb!
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The University in Crisis, Part II
Emory University Emeritus College
The University in Crisis
January 8, 2015
THE UNIVERSITY'S INSTRUCTIONAL ROLE UNDER THREAT FROM THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION
Marilynne McKay, Professor Emerita of Dermatology in the School of Medicine, led a seminar on the relatively recent trend in post-secondary education toward redefining the nature of academic credentials. She notes: "Digital technology has significantly changed the ways that students and teachers interact. What hasn't changed is our approach to grading and credentialing. Students presently have little input on how they will be evaluated or how their skills will be assessed."
"Are there other ways to define learning besides an 'ABCDF' transcript? Let's encourage Emory to explore ways to give learners more autonomy over their own experiences. Let's start recognizing students who excel at peer teaching and have special skills that contribute to the learning environment. Let's encourage faculty to work with students to develop simple credentials that provide a uniform way to describe what occurred within the teacher/student learning process."
McKay then turns to "digital badges, which have been proposed as one way to certify validated educational accomplishments obtained inside or outside school. Each badge represents an integrated learning experience with performance requirements that will later become part of an e-portfolio. A badge is earned; it is not a prize for each student enrolled in a class. Learners are encouraged to shape the content of a course badging system: they can propose or add new badges, or alter the missions required to earn them. Expectations are clearly defined and teachers benefit from increased student involvement and commitment to course goals."
One of the readings Dr. McKay assigned was an essay by Jeffrey Young in The Chronicle of Higher Education (January 8, 2012) entitled "Badges Earned Online Pose Challenge to Traditional College Diplomas." The title says a lot, but only suggests the degree to which this new form of credentialing poses a threat to traditional residential college education. Young writes that, not surprisingly, "the biggest push for badges is coming from industry and education reformers, rather than from traditional educational institutions."
Nevertheless, some institutions have been experimenting with digital badging. With a grant from the MacArthur Foundation, the University of California at Davis has integrated it into their academic program in sustainable agriculture, giving badges instead of grades for mastery of "core competencies." As Kevin Carey writes in "A Future Full of Badges," The Chronicle (April 8, 2012), "Badging, once accepted, will create hardship for traditional institutions that now use the revenue generated from their undergraduate-credential franchise to subsidize the cost of graduate education, administration, scholarship, and other activities."
McKay recommended that Emory might well need to engage in a serious rethinking of the whole matter of credentialing in order to stay ahead of and perhaps capitalize on the trend toward digital badging. Some members of the seminar were emphatic in suggesting that a task force on this should be formed immediately and charged with coming up with recommendations that would place Emory in the forefront of this movement among its peer institutions.
Academic Libraries as Digital Gateways
A closely related topic, centering on the role of libraries in the ongoing information revolution, was developed by Selden Deemer, Libraries Systems Administrator Emeritus, whose specialty is information technology. The readings proposed for the session, along with the discussion that ensued, were eye-opening in the extreme, as analysts of the cybernetic revolution made a number of predictions about its future impact not just upon the traditional role that university libraries play on their campus, but upon higher education in general.
First, university libraries will (and must) be transformed. From time immemorial the library was a place to store information when it was scarce and precious; the Internet has made information abundant and essentially free. Thus the library is ceasing to be a place to do research. As Thomas Frey writes in "The Future of Libraries - Beginning the Great Transformation," libraries will be profoundly affected by "Ten Key Trends in Information Science":
- Communication systems will continue to alter how we access information.
- All technologies extant today will be replaced.
- The ultimate small storage particle is on the horizon; once attained, it will allow standardization of all search procedures.
- Search technology will become more complicated, and will require librarians as guides.
- Time compression will affect how people use libraries. (E.g. people won't use keyboards, but voice.)
- We will transition to an oral society. Literacy will be dead by 2050.
- Information will be globalized, and we'll need to understand other cultures.
- We are about to get global systems - tax codes, investment and banking regulations, etc.
- We are moving from a product-based to an experience-based economy, which will affect how one interacts with one's library.
- Libraries will become centers of culture, no longer just centers for information.
In another reading, Jane Hutton, in "Academic Libraries as Digital Gateways," writes that the university library will become an information portal, supplying the means - electronic search software, for example - for patrons to access sources across the world; this will be vastly more important than owning actual buildings to house book collections. Unfortunately, however, at present academic libraries are failing miserably to provide access to electronic books and texts. Between 20 and 100 billion documents are still unavailable through web search, and not even "visible" to search engines. Hutton writes that in 2006 there were at least 3.5 million online college-level students, but very few of them were able to locate e-books on their libraries' web sites.
When and if such online searches can be conducted, advances in information technology (IT) will have begun nothing less than a revolution in higher education - the biggest, some say, since the Renaissance. Deemer sees IT increasingly infiltrating the enterprise of undergraduate education; he maintains that either it will undermine the raison d'être of the undergraduate residential college, or perhaps more likely, it will cause the "re-elitization" of higher education - with most higher education conducted online, and with only wealthy and privileged elite having access to a traditional "college education."
In another of our readings, Alex Halavais, an associate professor of social and behavioral sciences at Arizona State University, predicted, "I suspect we will start to see some really extraordinary changes in the way people learn over the next decade. . . . Especially in higher education, the current institutional structures are at a breaking point. The Internet is both a large part of the problem and a part of the solution. Already, it is possible to learn in new ways using network resources, and this will continue. The larger change will be in the ways in which this learning is measured and communicated. As the diploma (high school and college) is joined by other forms of accepted credentials, traditional institutions of education will be joined by a range of alternatives. [As with] other institutions, the degree to which they can support and interact with these new alternatives, rather than compete with them, will determine their success."
Thus, Internet learning will combine with the changes in "credentialing" that a previous seminar considered under the direction of Marilynne McKay.
Finally, Deemer recommended that, like every other major American university, Emory will need to find ways to integrate itself into a global university network. As Tapio Varis, chair in global e-learning for UNESCO, writes, "The future will bring a creation of global knowledge centres for the benefit of global development and regional and local services in education, healthcare and business. There will be an implementation of a global university system, utilizing broadband Internet and creating global knowledge centres for multiple services."
To be continued...
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Matters of the Heart: Why can't a woman be more like a man?
Lunch Colloquium, February 16
NANETTE WENGER, Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) Emerita
Join us in a belated celebration of Valentine's Day as we hear from a specialist in matters of the heart, renowned cardiologist Nanette Wenger. She'll be addressing cardiovascular risk in women, exploring "Why a woman can't be more like a man." She'll explain how a number of novel cardiovascular risk factors unique to or predominant in women increase cardiovascular risk and how conventional risk factors impart differential risk for women and for men. This is information important for women, of course, but also for men, relative to their mothers, their spouses, their female siblings, and their female children (all of whom they've probably just gifted with V-Day cards). Transformation of the approach to cardiovascular risk assessment in women has the potential to improve cardiovascular care and cardiovascular outcomes for women.
From the Emory website:
In a legendary career that spans more than 50 years, Dr. Wenger's steadfast dedication to reducing women's disability and death from cardiovascular disease has made her one of the country's most-respected experts on coronary heart disease in women.
In 2009, the women's health pioneer and renowned cardiologist received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American College of Cardiology.
Dr. Wenger's association with the American College of Cardiology spans over half a century. A native of New York City and a graduate of Hunter College and the Harvard Medical School, Dr. Wenger received her medical and cardiology training at Mount Sinai Hospital before coming to Emory University School of Medicine and Grady Memorial Hospital in 1958. Since then she has been a trailblazer and icon in the field of cardiology as author and co-author of more than 1,300 scientific and review articles and book chapters.
Although Dr. Wenger has earned dozens of awards in her celebrated career, perhaps her greatest professional achievement, and the one that has brought her international recognition, was changing a major paradigm in cardiology: the assumption that heart disease affects only men. A half a century ago heart disease was thought of as a "man's disease." Today, thanks to the pioneering clinical and research efforts of Dr. Wenger, it is known that cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women in the United States accounting for 38 percent of all female deaths, more mortality than all forms of cancers combined.
One of the main reasons for the disparity is heart disease symptoms can present differently in women than those in men. Dr. Wenger helped write the 2007 Guidelines for Preventing Cardiovascular Disease in Women.
January 26 LUNCH COLLOQUIUM
"How I came to publish the letters of Samuel Beckett"
"Are you sitting down?" asked Samuel Beckett's agent and publisher calling Martha Dow Fehsenfeld. The year was 1984. No, she said, afraid that something had happened to Sam, her friend of many years. Barney Rosset continued: "Sam has decided he is going to have his letters published!" Marty could not believe what she had just heard, remembering that Beckett had told her once he didn't keep letters. "Are you still sitting down?" Rosset went on. "Sam wants you to edit them!" "I have never been so delighted and so terrified," she finally replied, wondering why Beckett had chosen her. "Other people would like to be here, would like me to be somewhere else," she would tell Beckett later. "Rubbish! I chose you because I trust you."
That is how the Correspondence of Samuel Beckett project began, Ms. Fehsenfeld informed the listeners at the 26 January EUEC Lunch Colloquium. Laura Upadhyay's introduction and a video conversation between Emory's Director of MARBL Rosemary Magee and Marty told a great deal more about Marty's association with Beckett and her work with his correspondence.
Beckett wanted his letters to reflect his work, "to be an organized journey of his writings as reflected in his letters." Upon the project's official authorization in 1985, Marty wondered: "What in God's name will I do?" Lois Overbeck was the serendipitous answer. She became the co-editor and has "provided what made it all go" ever since. Until his death in 1989, Beckett helped the editors with their research, but it has been a long and often challenging process. In 1990 the project became affiliated with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Emory University and added French translator George Craig and Dan Gunn, Professor of Comparative Literature at The American University of Paris, to the international editorial team. Together they selected, out of over 16,000 letters, some 2,500 to be published in four volumes, three of which are already out.
Our conversation ended with Marty's final remarks: "The opportunity to see it come alive is what has kept me going--and still does." But she admitted that "knowing the man" had made the project more difficult because of the enormous responsibility she felt: "He wanted to get it right--and I want to get it right!"
Emory University Emeritus College
The Luce Center
825 Houston Mill Road NE #206
Atlanta, GA 30329