Short List

Storing the Sun's Power

Emory scientists are searching for a way to convert sunlight into storable and transportable fuels as part of a multi-institutional research group receiving a $40 million grant from the US Department of Energy. The highly competitive five-year grant was awarded to the lead institution, the University of North Carolina’s Center for Hybrid Approaches in Solar Energy to Liquid Fuels (CHASE). Tianquan “Tim” Lian, Emory’s William Henry Emerson Professor of Chemistry, will serve as the coordinator for the “Surface Characterization and Dynamics” portion of the project. “Advancing solar fuels science and technology is one of the most important scientific endeavors of today,” Lian says.

Activist Archives Acquired

Emory University has acquired the personal papers of Black Panther Party member, activist, and retired Emory Law faculty member Kathleen Cleaver. The papers, which will reside at Emory’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, span Cleaver's career and life as an activist, particularly as a member of the Black Panther Party, and include personal and professional correspondence, books, and photographs, as well as audiovisual and born-digital material. Carol Anderson, Charles Howard Candler Professor and chair of Emory’s Department of African American Studies, described the news about the Cleaver papers as “incredible.” She is looking forward to getting her classes back in the Rose Library archives once the pandemic restrictions are lifted. “We will learn so much from Kathleen Cleaver’s papers,” Anderson says. “Her archive will help us understand the role of women in a movement and movement-building and in international freedom struggles.”

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Found in Translation

Lisa Dillman, professor of pedagogy in Emory College’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese, has been named a finalist for the National Book Award for her literary translation of the Pilar Quintana novel The Bitch. It is the latest recognition for Dillman’s deftness in translating complex Spanish literature into English. She previously won the international Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize in 2018 for her translation of Andrés Barba’s Such Small Hands. Dillman also was honored with the 2016 Best Translated Book Award for her work on Yuri Herrera’s Signs Preceding the End of the World. Quintana’s novel tells the story of a troubled Colombian woman who brings home a puppy, only to have it disappear into the jungle. “One of the pleasures— and challenges—of translating this book was attempting to capture the unique symmetry between the cruelty of the natural, canine, and human realms,” Dillman says.

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Better, Faster COVID-19 Tests

Emory's School of Medicine, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA), and Georgia Tech have received an additional $18.2 million from the National Institutes of Health's Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) program to help make millions of accurate and easy-to-use COVID-19 tests available for at-home or other point-of-care use. In addition to the initial $31 million awarded to the team in May, CHOA, Emory, and Georgia Tech have now received a total of $54 million for RADx projects. This past spring, these three institutions were selected to lead the national effort in test validation and verification through the Atlanta Center for Microsystems Engineered Point-of-Care Technologies.

A (Virtual) Visit from Ibram X. Kendi

American historian Ibram X. Kendi, a key voice in the conversation about race in America, was featured in a special live webcast this fall. Kendi, a National Book Award winner for his New York Times bestseller How to Be an Antiracist, is the founding director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. During the webcast, Kendi discussed what is required from us— self-awareness, self-criticism, self-examination—to lead to policy change and make the vision of a just society a shared reality. The event was hosted by Emory’s Center for Ethics and sponsored by the James Fowler Ethics Fund, along with the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

A green book cover with the title NEAR EAST with a photograph of a statue's head wearing a pointed, wrinkled hat.

Slowing COVID-19 on Campus

Community-driven input on ways to prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19 inspired a new public health campaign at Emory that formally rolled out this fall. Through posters, videos, and social media strategies, the “For You. For Us. For Emory.” campaign features students and other members of the community, with the goal of keeping COVID-19 off campus so students and faculty can remain on it. The campaign builds upon the overarching Emory Forward effort, which provides vital information to students, faculty, staff, and the general public—including a real-time COVID-19 dashboard—about the fall 2020 semester and beyond at Emory.

Alumna wWins 2020 MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’

Tressie McMillan Cottom PhD 15, who earned her doctorate in sociology from Emory’s Laney Graduate School, has received a 2020 MacArthur Fellowship for her work “shaping discourse on highly topical issues at the confluence of race, gender, education, and digital technology for broad audiences.” The MacArthur Foundation announced a total of twenty-one fellows this year. Often dubbed “genius grants,” the fellowships come with a $625,000 award. "I care about how societies function," Cottom says. “And as a writer, I care deeply about reimagining how societies function so that they might function better for the least and the most marginalized among us.”

Provost Search Under Way

In a recent letter to the Emory community, President Gregory L. Fenves announced that a search committee has been formed to find a permanent provost for the university. “As the chief academic officer, the provost provides essential leadership for education and research at Emory and will partner with me as we all work together to achieve that mission,” Fenves writes. “The faculty members on the advisory committee come from Emory’s nine schools and colleges, and the committee includes two students, two deans, and one trustee. I hope to have a new provost in place at Emory no later than the start of the fall 2021 semester.”

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