Dean CurranDean James W. Curran
Hope for the future

A total of 428 students will receive degrees on May 9, including 25 dual degrees and 14 PhDs. This new class of graduates, representing 37 states and 24 countries, stand ready to take on a world full of daunting public health problems. As they embark on their careers, they will continue to set high standards for service and commitment to others.

It has been 30 years since the first cases of AIDS were reported. New HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths have dropped in recent years, thanks to significant breakthroughs in prevention and treatment. Researchers in the Emory Center for AIDS Research developed two of the most widely used antiretroviral therapy drugs, allowing people to live longer. This scientific progress gives us hope, but major challenges remain in halting a disease that continues to outpace available resources.

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Rollins rises in U.S. News rankings

U.S. News & World Report issued their rankings of the nation's 44 accredited schools of public health for 2012, and the RSPH was ranked No. 6 (in a tie with University of Washington). The reputational ranking by all deans and associate deans indicate an improvement in our ranking from 2007 to 2011 (No. 7) and mean raw score (from 4.0 to 4.1 out of 5). We are one of two schools of public health founded in the past 50 years ranked in the top 12.

Congratulations to our faculty, staff, and students for this recognition. Rankings for all schools of public health are available here.

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SEER program goes statewide

Kevin Ward
Kevin Ward
Georgia Center for Cancer Statistics Director

In a major advancement in cancer surveillance, the Georgia Center for Cancer Statistics (GCCS) has been awarded funding by the National Cancer Institute to expand the Atlanta Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registry to cover the entire state. Based in the Department of Epidemiology, the GCCS is directed by Kevin Ward. The additional funding will be used by researchers and clinicians throughout the state to:

• Enhance the timeliness, quality, and completeness of cancer surveillance data;

• Support active follow-up of patients for statewide survival analyses;

• Expand coverage and implementation of electronic pathology reporting;

• Link to external sources to enhance the registry’s data; and

• Provide new channels for data utilization and dissemination.

Congratulations to the entire GCCS team!

Additional Grants:

  • BIOS
    Jeanne KowalskiDesign and Analysis of Cancer Stem Cell Trials (Leukemia and Lymphoma Society)

  • EH
    Lyndsey DarrowPBDE Body Burdens, House Dust Concentrations, and Associations with Thyroid Hormone (NIH)

  • EPI
    Michael GoodmanComparative Effectiveness of Treatments for Localized Prostate Cancer
    (NIH/Vanderbilt University)

    Roberd Bostick
    Pilot Study of Automated Multiplex Quantum Dot Immunohistochemistry Nanotechnology (American Cancer Society)

    Patrick Sullivan –
    Implementation of CVCT (Couples-Based Voluntary Counseling and Testing) for Male Couples (MAC Cosmetics Foundation)

  • HGH
    Christine Moe
    Water Industry Contribution to Epidemiological and Health Effects Studies Involving Distribution System Water Quality (Water Research Foundation) and Prospective Evaluation of Membrane Filtration for Water Purification in Rwandan Health Centers (GE Foundation)

    Reynaldo Martorell –
    Family Health Initiative in Bihar, India
    (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/CARE)

    Saad Omer
    – Vaccine Safety Datalink (CDC/Kaiser Foundation Research)

    Usha RamakrishnanImpact of Pre-Pregnancy Micronutrient Supplementation on Maternal & Child Outcomes (Micronutrient Initiative)

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Kutner Hatcher Award
Michael Kutner with his family


Kutner Honored for Career Excellence
Michael Kutner, Rollins Professor of biostatistics and bioinformatics, received the 2011 Charles R. Hatcher Jr. MD Award for Public Health on April 5. The award honors a faculty member from Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center who, through a lifetime of work, exemplifies excellence in public health. Kutner is the ninth recipient of the award, named in honor of Charles Hatcher, former vice president for health affairs and a long-time advocate of public health at Emory. Hatcher received the first award in 1996.

Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award
James Curran is the 2011 recipient of the Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award, presented by the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention (RCAP). Established in 2009, the award recognizes significant national contributions to disease prevention. It is named for the rural Indiana teenager who became a national spokesperson for AIDS and helped change public perception about the disease. Curran accepted the award and gave the keynote address during RCAP's annual conference at Indiana University in April. RCAP is a joint project of Indiana University, the University of Colorado, and the University of Kentucky.

Kristin Unzicker
Kristin Unzicker with President James Wagner

Emory Award of Distinction
Kristin Unzicker, director of leadership and community engaged learning, received a 2011 Award of Distinction for excellence in initiative, innovation, and leadership to further Emory's vision as a "destination university." She was honored with 11 other members of the Emory community at an awards dinner hosted by President James Wagner in March. Unzicker was nominated by the Emory Global Health Institute, the Office of University-Community Partnerships, the Refugee Women’s Network, and the Peace Corps Fellows at Rollins.

GHI Team
Emory's Global Health Case Competition Winning Team

Emory Wins Top Global Health Prizes
Rollins hosted more than 200 participants for the third annual Emory Global Health Case Competition, the first national case competition of its kind, held in March. The Emory Global Health Institute sponsored the competition.

The 20 student teams were charged with developing a proposal to improve conditions in several East African refugee camps in the face of a severe budget cut. Emory teams won first- and second-place honors.

Members of the winning team included students from Candler School of Theology, Laney Graduate School, Goizueta Business School, and the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.
Second-place team members included RSPH students Meghan Donahue and Leah Zilversmit as well as students from Candler School of Theology, Goizueta Business School, the School of Medicine, and Oxford College.

Visit Emory
On March 24-25, nearly 250 prospective students attended Visit Emory to learn about our academic programs, student services, and the public health community. Activities gave visitors the opportunity to interact with our student body, talk with distinguished faculty members, and tour the outstanding facilities that are part of the RSPH.

In a post-evaluation survey, one prospective student wrote: "I had essentially written off Emory before I decided to visit, but right now, [Insert top 5 Ivy League Public Health School Name here] is really going to have to impress me if they want me to attend. If they can't show me that their faculty, staff, AND students are as invested as Emory's, I can't see myself anywhere else. I can see why Rollins' reputation has soared in such a short amount of time."

Faculty, students, and staff took part in National Public Health Week 2011

National Public Health Week 2011
Rollins faculty, students, and staff participated in a series of events as part of National Public Health Week, April 4-10.
The weeklong celebration included service projects, training sessions, and lectures.

National Public Health Week raises awareness about issues to help educate the public, policy-makers, and practitioners. This year’s theme,
“Safety is NO Accident: Live Injury-Free, focused on protecting Americans at work, home, and play, in the community, and wherever people are on the move.

Departing Peace Corps Volunteers
Since 1999, the RSPH has hosted a Masters International program in partnership with the U.S. Peace Corps. In fall 2009, the program was redesigned to incorporate a service learning component with local refugee organizations. As of May, several Masters International students have received their Peace Corps assignments and are preparing for the next step in their public health careers. Those students are:

Diamond Bruner, Alison Clune, and Shannon Oliver – Peru
Eric Hartsfield – Cameroon
Ellen Parkhurst – Dominican Republic
Ellen Taetzsch – Zambia
Ellen Schenk – Mozambique
Jennifer Rothkopf – Mongolia
Carolyn Kulb, Danielle Tuft, and Dylan Green – TBA

For more information on Peace Corps programs at the RSPH, visit: www.sph.emory.edu/peacecorps

adjunct faculty
Dean James Curran (second from left) with adjunct faculty honorees Cynthia Jorgensen, Muin Khoury, and Dan Rutz

Public Health in Action
The RSPH held its fifth annual Public Health in Action reception on April 21 to recognize students and faculty who have made an impact in the field of public health.

Special awards were presented to 12 current students for outstanding public health practica. The students displayed posters summarizing their research assistantships that are provided as part of their merit scholarships. Students honored include Diamond Bruner (BSHE), Zunera Mirza (BSHE), Nurilign Ahmed (HGH), Alison Clune (GEH), Linda Jiang (HPM), Tiffany Cooke (HPM), Liz Frye (HGH), Rachel Ross (HGH & EPI), Amina Khawja (HGH), Aimee Leidich (HGH), Teri Sivilli (HGH), and Danielle Smith (HGH).

Adjunct professors were also honored for excellence in teaching and mentoring. They are Cynthia Jorgensen (BSHE), a behavioral scientist and team leader in education and training at the CDC; Muin Khoury (EH and EPI), founding director of the CDC's Office of Public Health Genomics; and Dan Rutz (CMPH), who chairs the Global Health Communication Team in the CDC's National Center for Health Marketing.

Yount Joins Family Demography Panel
Associate Professor Kathryn Yount (HGH/BSHE) has been invited to serve on a newly formed international expert panel "Family Demography and Health in Developing Countries." The panel was created by the International Union of the Scientific Study of Population, the foremost association in demography and population-related issues.

Congratulations to all!

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Welcome Aboard

Please join me in welcoming Scott J. Montgomery as director of the Flour Fortification Initiative (FFI), a network of partners working to make the addition of vitamins and minerals a standard milling practice worldwide. He brings 30 years of cereal grain industry expertise to his leadership position. Housed in the Hubert Department of Global Health, the FFI encourages flour fortification as a safe, economical way to dramatically improve global health.

We are also pleased to announce that Bill Lambert will join us in mid-May as assistant dean for research administration. Lambert has enormous experience with post-award administration and direct costs. He has worked in a number of capacities at Emory, including the Controller’s Office, for the past two decades.

Rhonda Burke now leads our Reimbursement and Payable Office. Most of you already know Rhonda as an outstanding grant administrator.

Also new to Rollins are:

  • BIOS
    Xin Zhan (software engineer)

  • BSHE
    Tara Redd (senior program associate), Rochelle Rich (senior research interviewer), and Helen Robinson (senior program associate)

  • EH
    Kate Hodgins (research projects manager) and Carlos Lazo PhD (postdoctoral fellow)

  • EPI
    Lina Brou (information analyst II), Zarina Fershteyn (epidemiologist), Alan Fish (senior quality control editor), Anthony Hayes (senior research interviewer), and Brandon O'Hara (data analyst)

  • HGH
    Azadeh Zabetian MD (postdoctoral fellow)

  • Academic Administration
    Jessica Lehrich (administrative assistant)

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Upcoming Events
*View all Rollins events on our new Online Calendar

May 9, 2011
11 a.m.
Adjacent to the Grace Crum Rollins Building

Lillian Carter Awards Ceremony

May 18, 2011
The Carter Center
Event will recognize an outstanding senior returned Peace Corps Volunteer

Rollinsteer Day of Service
August 18, 2011

Rollins Alumni Reunion

September 24, 2011
4 p.m. – 9 p.m.

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Campaign Emory
Campaign Emory

In Memory of a Founding Father

Dr. David Sencer

Dr. David Sencer, former director of the CDC and one of the "founding fathers" of the RSPH, passed away on May 2. He was 86.

Sencer was the longest-serving director of the CDC, holding the post from 1966 to 1977. Known as a personable, hands-on executive, he oversaw a substantial expansion of the agency as it dealt for the first time with malaria, nutrition, anti-smoking efforts, health education, and occupational safety. Its greatest success during his tenure was a program that eradicated smallpox, beginning in central Africa and eventually extending worldwide.

While at the CDC, Sencer was instrumental in starting Emory’s program in public health in 1974; by the 1990s it had evolved into the Rollins School of Public Health. Along with his leadership during the smallpox eradication campaign, he counted the program and school among his greatest contributions to public health.

In recent years, Sencer remained an energetic and regular presence at the CDC and the RSPH. He is survived by his wife, Jane; daughters Susan and Ann; son, Stephen; and six grandchildren.

In 2008, the RSPH established the David J. Sencer MD, MPH, Scholarship Fund with generous support from the Sencer family. This endowment provides scholarship support for an MPH student who personifies the characteristics that Sencer demonstrated throughout his remarkable career. Gifts in his memory may be made online at http://www.sph.emory.edu/alumni_gift.

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To view The Dean’s Letter online, visit our web page. To submit news items for future issues, please contact Tarvis Thompson, Rollins Communications Manager, at 727-3516 or tthomp8@emory.edu, or Pam Auchmutey in Health Sciences Publications at 712-9265 or pam.auchmutey@emory.edu.



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