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Starting fresh

The new academic year is upon us, bringing us 300 new students. It's uplifting to see so many enthusiastic faces, and it's a little daunting to think we have to meet their needs and counsel them well. It is a charge all faculty take seriously. The number of students in each department is as follows: Biostatistics, 6; Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, 56; Career MPH, 35; Environmental and Occupational Health, 12; Epidemiology, 72; Environmental and Occupational Health/Epidemiology Program, 1; Health Policy and Management, 66; and International Health, 52. In addition, 11 students who are physicians began the master's of clinical research program�the largest group ever. It's not too late to extend congratulations to those who graduated this past spring, when a total of 293 degrees were awarded, including three PhDs in epidemiology and three in biostatistics. It was the largest graduating class to date.

Highly honored

I am proud to announce that our own William Foege, Presidential Distinguished Professor of International Health, was recently selected for the prestigious Mary Woodard Lasker Award for Public Service in Support of Medical Research and the Health Sciences. Often called "America's Nobels," the Lasker Award has been given to 63 scientists who went on to receive the Nobel Prize. Next month, he will receive the Wittenberg Award, bestowed by the Luther Institute, for distinguished service to church and society. Perhaps best known as the mastermind behind the global eradication of smallpox, Bill has been guided throughout his career by a humanitarian vision that all people�regardless of socioeconomic status, nationality, or age�should live long and healthy lives.

Here in the public health capital of the world

Several important national public health meetings will be held in Atlanta this fall. More than 75 faculty members will present at the American Public Health Association's annual meeting, October 21 to 25, at the Georgia World Congress Center, and the school will host an enchanted evening for alumni, faculty, and friends at the fabulous Fox Theater on Peachtree Street October 22 from 6 to 8 pm. Reply to Ann Walker at 404-727-5460 or if you plan to attend. The Association of Schools of Public Health will meet October 20 to 23, just after the annual meeting of the Society for Public Health Education, from October 19 to 21. On November 11 to 15, the 50th annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene will be held in Atlanta as well. See these web sites for more information:,,,

New faculty

Please welcome the following new members of our faculty:
  • Kimberly Arriola, PhD, MPH, assistant professor in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, is the principal investigator of a study on the relationships between systems of oppression, resiliency factors, and high-risk sexual behaviors among black women.
  • Ruth berkelman, MD, research professor in Epidemiology, was previously at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where she was assistant surgeon general and senior adviser to the director. She is board certified in pediatrics and internal medicine and studies emerging infections, AIDS, and disease surveillance.
  • Jay Bernhardt, PhD, MPH, assistant professor in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, founded the Public Health Information Technology Laboratory at the University of Georgia. His specialty is using new technology to promote health and evaluating technologically enhanced community interventions. He is now investigating the Internet's influence on teen sexual activity.
  • Richard Crosby, PhD, assistant professor in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, was named the RSPH Student Government Professor of the Year this past May while an adjunct professor and employee of CDC.
  • Ann DiGirolamo, PhD, MPH, research assistant professor in International Health, most recently served as an epidemic intelligence officer for CDC. She recently received a highly competitive International Research Scientist Development Award from the Fogarty Center of NIH to support her own program of research and will direct NIH-funded research in Guatemala and Mexico.
  • Rafael Flores, DrPH, research associate professor in International Health, is trained in nutrition and biostatistics. He worked for many years at the Instituto de Nutricion de Centro America y Panama and is now the acting director of food consumption and nutrition at the International Food Policy and Research Institute.
  • John Ford, PhD, MSW, MPH, professor and Emory University Vice President for Campus Life, comes to Emory from Cornell University, where he was dean of students and a professor of policy analysis and management. He was previously a Robert Wood Johnson faculty fellow in health care finance at Johns Hopkins. He is interested in the study of alcohol use on college campuses and hopes to establish a statewide alcohol abuse prevention education project.
  • Howard Kushner, PhD, professor in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, holds his primary appointment as the Robertson Distinguished Visiting Professor of Science and Society in Emory's History Department. A prolific writer, he has published on issues of psychiatry, addictive disorders, neurology, and infectious diseases.
  • Eric Ottesen, MD, research professor in International Health, will direct the RSPH Lymphatic Filariasis Support Center funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. A board-certified pediatrician specializing in immunology, he was most recently the project leader for the Filariasis Elimination Programme at the World Health Organization.

Ahead of the curve

Students in the Emory chapter of the Georgia Public Health Association are looking for ways to reach out to HIV-positive minorities during the coming academic year. The group recently completed a community assessment of DeKalb County HIV Services, and the president of the student APHA chapter, Bianca Chung, is organizing training sessions for students who would like to become Red Cross certified HIV counselors. Keep up the good work!

The job connection

Last semester, the Public Health Employment Connection hosted its 1 millionth user in less than three years of operation. Run by John Youngblood in Student Services, it is a great web resource for students and alumni, posting job opportunities in Atlanta, across the country, and around the world. The site has grown from only a few postings per day to 19 or 20 new positions. Universities, health departments, HMOs, and nongovernmental organizations all regularly post jobs on the site.

New and improved

An expanded snack bar on the plaza level will offer faculty and students tables and chairs and a more extensive menu. It should be open for business by October 1. Also much improved is the teaching lab. It has been redecorated, and new equipment has been installed.

Faculty accolades

Congratulations to the following faculty members who are distinguishing themselves on campus, nationwide, and internationally:
  • Kathy Miner, associate dean for applied public health, has been selected for the 2001 Distinguished Career Award by the Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section of the American Public Health Association. The award, which recognizes the outstanding contributions of a health educator with 20 or more years of professional practice, will be presented at the annual APHA meeting.
  • Carol Hogue, Jules and Deen Terry Professor of Maternal and Child Health and professor in Epidemiology, has been elected president of the American College of Epidemiology. She also represents the RSPH on the Emory University Advisory Council on Teaching.
  • A research proposal by Robert Lyles, professor of Biostatistics, was selected for an Early Career Award in Epidemiologic Methods by the American College of Epidemiology and the American Chemistry Council. His study, which focuses on issues of measurement error in epidemiologic studies, received a $100,000 grant over two years, beginning last July.
  • Howard Frumkin, professor and chair of Environmental and Occupational Health, has been appointed to the Emory University Task Force for Environmental Mission Statement Implementation. This group, appointed by Emory President Bill Chace, is charged with developing a workable plan to guide the university's commitment to the environment.
  • Adele Cohen, an adjunct faculty member in Health Policy and Management, was recently appointed executive director of CHARGe, the Coalition for a Healthy and Responsible Georgia. The group, a partnership of the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and the American Lung Association, aims to reduce tobacco use in Georgia. Visit its web site at It's great to have state health leaders here working with our students.
  • Claire Sterk, professor and chair of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, was recently named chair of the Emory University Research Commission.

Distinguished alumna

E. Anne Peterson, MD, 94MPH, was recently appointed assistant administrator for global health at USAID. Formerly state health commissioner for the state of Virginia, she also spent several years in sub-Saharan Africa doing AIDS prevention and community development work.

Deepest condolences

We have all been deeply touched and dismayed by our recent national tragedy, and I extend my deepest condolences to all faculty, staff, and students who may have lost anyone dear to them in New York City or Washington. Let us reach out to each other and those in need during these difficult and uncertain times.

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

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