Farewell, but not goodbye

Claudia Adkison

Claudia Adkison "retires," and a scholarship in her name is established

Claudia Adkison, executive associate dean of the medical school, stepped down from her position this past summer. She will be on sabbatical for a year and then will retire but will continue working on special projects for the medical school as a consultant.

She served in administration for 15 years and before that as a faculty member. She began as a researcher in cell biology and also was recognized as an excellent teacher with numerous teaching awards.

One of her students, Bill Eley, is now Emory’s executive associate dean of medical education and student affairs. “When I attended medical school, Claudia was a shining example of a teacher committed to our learning,” he says.  “She put extraordinary effort into her lectures. What made her our most cherished first-year professor, however, was her willingness to spend hours with the class outside of normal hours to review our histology and cell biology material. Her dedication was emblematic of her ethos in her leadership roles to come.”

She continued her research and teaching full-time while she pursued a law degree. She then entered private practice as an intellectual property lawyer before she was convinced to return to Emory in 1995.

She has worked tirelessly on the school’s behalf. To name a few of her accomplishments: serving as course director for the medical school’s Cell Biology and Histology course for 17 years, serving as president of the University Senate for two terms and chair of the University Research Committee for many years, establishing the nine-year tenure clock, creating the faculty development policy and an office for faculty development, establishing “chair school” for new department heads, writing the first conflict of interest policies for the university and medical school, facilitating some of the medical school’s international activities such as the vaccine center in New Delhi, and most recently, leading the school in updating its policies on industry relationships.

“She’s a problem solver, never one to push things away,” says neurology chair Allan Levey. “When I called her, she would ask me, ‘What are you trying to accomplish?’ And then she always helped navigate us to a solution. She’s always been there for us.”

Dean Thomas Lawley has established the Claudia Adkison Scholarship Fund in her honor. The fund will provide scholarships for Emory medical students, and Adkison and her husband, John Shullo, have bequeathed their entire estate to the fund.

“I would like to build this fund to support as many students as possible,” Adkison says. “I had and continue to have many wonderful close friendships with my 2,500 medical students. When they entered the door, I already knew every name and tried hard to form a personal relationship with as many of them as I could, and I have followed their careers with much joy and pride.”

For more information on the Adkison fund, please call the office of gift planning at 404-727-8875 or access emory.edu/giftplanning.  

Table of Contents

Emory Medicine Winter 2011