The Secret Lives of Faculty

Meet a few Emory professors who take their spare time seriously

Fred Menger

Day Job

Candler Professor of Chemistry

Secret Life: Writer

Menger credits long, uninterrupted hours waiting in airports with his development as a writer of short stories and nonfiction trip reports. Asked how much time he spends writing, he says that's a secret.

His words

In scientific writing, one must be certain that every sentence is accurate. In short story writing, I have no such constraints. I can fabricate to my heart's content, and it's a most enjoyable change from my profession.

Sharon W. Weiss

Day Job

Professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and associate dean for faculty affairs, School of Medicine

Secret Life: Pastry chef

About ten years ago, Weiss began studying baking and pastry in earnest, taking several professional classes. She has been mixing it up ever since.

Her Words

As a surgical pathologist who analyzes form and color patterns under the microscope, the art of pastry seemed to be a natural extension of these skills. Shape, color, and taste are the 'ingredients' that go into an artistic confection. I find the physical act of making a pastry very relaxing, but there are certainly other rewards. To me, the ability to create a beautiful and delicious pastry is another way of feeling accomplished. The enjoyment others derive from eating my 'transitory art' is a glorious reward, too.

Jonathan Beitler

Day Job

Professor of radiation oncology, otolaryngology and hematology/medical oncology

Secret Life: US Army Reserves and Connecticut National Guard flight surgeon; Angel Flight pilot

Beitler was a general surgery resident when he joined the US Army Reserves in 1983, eventually rising to colonel. A member of the National Guard since 2011, his duty requires one weekend a month as well as a night flight, and occasional deployments or training missions. In December, he took Tactical Combat Medical Care, the military's training course for medical experts going to a war zone. Beitler is the winner in the military service category for the 2012 Atlanta Business Chronicle Health-Care Heroes Awards. He is currently deployed in Kuwait with an Apache unit, expected to serve through April.

His words

As a flight surgeon, I get to combine my love of flying with a bit of patriotism. . . . At my age, it is a great opportunity to continue serving the country. Particularly with an army that has been at war for more than ten years, this activity satisfies that innate drive to do good. Our motto is to 'preserve the fighting strength'—and we do.

Joel M. LeMon

Day Job

Assistant professor of Old Testament, Candler School of Theology

Secret Life: Trumpet player

In high school, LeMon was the drum major, or "king of the band nerds." He attended Shenandoah Conservatory of Music in Virginia before going to seminary. Now he plays frequently around Atlanta, most often swing music with a big band for parties and events; he also plays classical music.

His Words

When I play a good jazz solo or play a classical piece with no misses or flaws, it is one of the most gratifying experiences I can have. I love participating in the process of making music. It's a different and wonderful way of communicating. I talk and write all the time, but when I make music, I sometimes feel that I can express myself much more powerfully and clearly than I can with my words.

Andrea C. White

Day Job

Assistant professor of theology and culture, Candler School of Theology

Secret Life: Violinist

White studied violin informally at Oberlin College and Conservatory and went on to play in numerous ensembles; she now plays mainly with her two daughters and at the church where her husband, Richard Landers, associate director of admission at Candler, serves as pastor.

Her Words

Playing violin is an all-consuming activity for me, so it is a perfect exercise for stretching my mind in a way that is radically different from the concentrated work of teaching and research. The intense focus required for me to play the Bruch violin concerto in G minor, for example, turns playing into something of a therapeutic diversion. But more than anything, I am driven to play so that my young girls have the experience of living with the sound of the violin.

Ann E. Rogers

Day Job

Edith F. Honeycutt Chair in Nursing, professor, and director of the Graduate Program

Secret Life: Bassoonist, flutist

Rogers is a member of the Emory Flute Choir and plays bassoon with the Atlanta Community Symphony Orchestra. Last fall, she took a music theory class and is now taking a class on the music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.

Her Words

When I practice I can hear the difference in my playing. The immediate gratification is very rewarding, since many things I do involve delayed gratification; you send in a grant proposal, and it's months before you know whether it will be funded, or it may take two or three years to gather the data needed to test a hypothesis. I also enjoy ensemble playing and participating in the creation of a sound that's greater and more interesting than the individual parts.

Nadine Kaslow

Day Job

Professor and vice chair for faculty development, School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; chief psychologist at Grady Health System

Secret Life: Ballet dancer

The official psychologist for the Atlanta Ballet Company and School, Kaslow has been dancing since she was three years old; she still takes a class every day at the Atlanta Ballet.

Her Words

It is a wonderful form of physical exercise and a type of physical activity that I am willing to commit to doing daily. Also, it is great for my mental health. It helps me get away from the demands of work and focus on an activity that combines athleticism with art. Dancing helps me to feel stronger and more in control, both emotionally and physically. Finally, being the psychologist for the Atlanta Ballet enables me to integrate my love for ballet with my love for psychology.

Carolyn Meltzer

Day Job

William P. Timmie Professor and Chair, Department of Radiology and Imaging Services; associate dean for research, School of Medicine

Secret Life: Photographer

Meltzer is a nature photographer whose work has been featured in several solo and group shows and juried exhibitions. Last year, one of her pieces, Watercolour, received an honorable mention in the Women in Photography International Competition.

Her Words

I have always been drawn to images, and my photography is the creative, parallel complement to my medical imaging career. In both roles, I focus attention on the smallest of my subject's details to extract maximal meaning. It is the ultimate stress-reducer. Photography transports me to a realm in which the day-to-day issues fall away. Since I photograph nature, shooting gives me a chance to hike and enjoy the outdoors. I have gotten great pleasure from seeing others enjoy my work. What was initially a very secret passion has become something I can share.

Martha Albertson Fineman

Day Job

Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law; director, Feminism and Legal Theory Project

Secret Life: Painter

A would-be artist since childhood, Fineman gave herself painting lessons for her fiftieth birthday, and her inner painter blossomed. She was an exhibiting member of the Woodstock Artist Association until coming to Emory in 2004 and has had a number of works selected for juried exhibitions.

Her Words

Painting makes you perceive the world differently. It slows life down a bit when you are really looking at people, objects, and places as part of a creative process. I also love the texture and physicality of oil paints.

Marcia McDonnell Holstad

Day Job

Associate professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing; assistant director of clinical and social science integration, Center for AIDS Research

Secret Life: Swimmer

Although she has always loved to swim, Holstad began to compete only a few years ago, after working with a trainer to master proper technique. Since then she has won several medals in the Georgia Senior Olympics and competed in the National Senior Olympics, swimming freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke.

Her Words

What's most rewarding is the rush you feel when you dive into the pool, surface, and take off as fast as you can. It's also great physical exercise.

Joyce King

Day Job

Assistant professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing

Secret Life: Bicyclist

A lifelong pedal pusher, King grew more ambitious a couple of years ago and joined a group for a ride from the Atlantic to the Mississippi River. She also has participated in the Bicycle Ride Across Georgia.

Her Words

My mantra is that 'I bike to coast.' There is nothing quite like coasting at forty miles per hour down a long hill on a hot summer day. It helps me stay fit and healthy, makes me feel good, and is so much fun. I have also met some fantastic people over the years.

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