First Foster lecture given

Rebecca Vander Meulen 03MPH delivered the first Stanley O. Foster Lecture: Pathways in Global Health. As community health and development director for the Anglican Diocese of Niassa Mozambique, Rebecca helps organize and support networks of rural activists who work toward the health and well-being of their own communities. She has been recognized through the Diocese of London's St. Mellitus Medal, and RSPH awarded her the Matthew Lee Girvin Award for significant contributions to public health. Established in 2013, this lecture honors the career of Stan Foster, global health professor emeritus.

Berg joins Winship Executive Committee

Carla Berg, associate professor of behavioral sciences and health education, has joined the Winship Cancer Institute executive committee as the new associate director for population sciences. In this new role, Carla will provide insight and direction to the integration of population science-based research across the Winship enterprise. She will work to ensure the strategic growth of population science-based research that is well integrated with each of Winship's four research programs.

ActivEpi Web launched

ActivEpi Web, a multimedia electronic textbook that provides an interactive resource to learn the fundamentals of epidemiology, is now available on-line at no cost. David Kleinbaum, professor of epidemiology, developed the text. ActivEpi includes 15 lessons with narrated instructional expositions that use video and animation, interactive study questions and quizzes, and homework exercises. ActivEpi Web can be accessed at David's website at provides further details about ActivEpi Web and includes free PowerPoint instructional materials.



Solveig Cunningham, assistant professor of global health, was awarded a “Top Ten Paper in 2014" by the Lifestye and Cardiometabolic Health Council. She won for her paper, “Incidence of childhood obesity in the United States.” In this inaugural year of the award, there were many nominations from some of the highest impact journals and well-recognized names in nutrition, obesity, prevention, physical activity, and cardiometabolic fitness.

John Hanfelt, professor of biostatistics, was named a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA) in recognition of his excellence in the development of estimating function theory and its applications to biomedical research, for excellence in graduate education, and for service to the American Statistical Association and the profession of statistics.

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The medical school's Dean Chris Larsen and Fadlo Khuri, president of the American University of Beirut, present the Emory 1% Award to Timothy Lash.

Two epidemiology professors— Timothy Lash, and Patrick Sullivan—won the Emory 1% Award. Introduced in 2012, the Emory 1% Award identifies the faculty PIs from any school who have received study section scores in the top one percentile on a grant proposal.


August 24: Rollins-teer Day, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

August 25: Faculty retreat, 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

August 25: Photo shoot of everyone who has been at Rollins since 1990, 2:00 p.m, lobby of Claudia Nance Rollins.

September 18: Celebration for the completion of ActivEpi Web, 4:00 p.m. - 6 p.m., Lawrence P. and Ann Estes Klamon room.

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This year marks the 40th anniversary of public health at Emory and the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Rollins School of Public Health. Various Celebrate Rollins events will mark the occasion.

September 18: Celebrate Rollins Grand Rounds and Picnic. This first in a series of special Grand Rounds to commemorate the anniversary will be given by founding Dean Raymond S. Greenberg, executive vice chancellor for health affairs, The University of Texas System. A school-wide picnic will follow. Noon. Rollins Auditorium, Claudia Nance Rollins.

September 25: Celebrate Rollins Alumni Award luncheon to honor the 2015 recipients of the Distinguished Achievement Award and the Matthew Lee Girvin Award, 11:30. Lawrence P. and Ann Estes Klamon room. Registration required.


View all Rollins events on the online calendar.

Summer 2015

Commencement kudos

Dean James W. Curran

On May 11, we graduated our 25th class since becoming a school. With more than 8,000 Rollins alumni in 102 countries and all 50 states, these graduates are sure to run into Rollins colleagues everywhere they go in their public health careers. Congratulations to this outstanding group, and as student commencement speaker Alexander Plum urged—Go do public health!

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R. Randall Rollins receives an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

R. Randall Rollins, a longtime benefactor and friend of our school, received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. As I am sure you know, we can thank the O. Wayne Rollins Foundation for the Grace Crum Rollins and Claudia Nance Rollins buildings and for the O.Wayne and Grace Crum Rollins Endowment that allows us to recruit and retain the best faculty. The Rollins' generosity extends beyond our school to include gifts to the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center, the Emory School of Medicine, the Winship Cancer Institute, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, and the Candler School of Theology.  Please join me in congratulating Randall on his honorary degree.

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Amanda Garcia-Williams

Rollins PhD graduate Amanda Garcia-Williams is the 2015 recipient of the university's highest student honor, the Marion Luther Brittain Award. This is the first time a Rollins student has won this award, which is presented each year to a graduate who has demonstrated exemplary service to both the university and the greater community. Amanda, who earned her PhD in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, has dedicated time to Emory Cares 4 U—a campus-wide suicide prevention initiative—in addition to serving on the honorary degree committee, the task force on protest, dissent, and community, the committee on class and labor, and several search committees. Amanda has been accepted into EIS at the CDC.

Each year, Emory's Division of Campus Life and the Office of Student Leadership recognizes students for outstanding humanitarian work. Four of the seven awards for this year went to Rollins students. The recipients are Chelsey Elizabeth Brack 15MPH, Elena Josephine Derkits 15MPH, Lara Suzanne Martin 15MPH, and Alexander James Plum 15MPH.

Hannah Cooper, associate professor of behavioral sciences and health education, accepted Emory's highest teaching honor, the Emory Williams Teaching Award.

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Amita Manatunga

Amita Manatunga, professor of biostatistics and bioinformatics, received the Thomas F. Sellers Award for exemplifying the ideals of public health and serving as a role model to her colleagues.

Caitlin Allen 15MPH accepted the James W. Alley Award for service to disadvantaged populations.

The Eugene J. Gangarosa Award for creative solutions in global health was presented to Gloria Sclar 15MPH and Adam Lipus 15MPH.

The Rollins Student Government Association named Hannah Cooper (behavioral sciences and health education) as its Professor of the Year and Edgar Woods (facilities management coordinator) as its Staff Person of the Year.

The Charles C. Shepard Award for best RSPH thesis was presented to Jedidiah Samuel Snyder 15MPH.

And finally, the following faculty were honored with Department Teaching Awards: Qi Long (biostatistics and bioinformatics); Eric Nehl (behavioral sciences and health education); Thomas Clasen (environmental health); Rita Noonan, (Executive MPH); Lyndsey Darrow (epidemiology); Amy Webb Girard (global health), and Edmund Becker (health policy and management).

McGowan receives Hatcher Award

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Dean James Curran (left) and Charles Hatcher (right) present the award to John E. McGowan, Jr.

John E. McGowan, Jr., was awarded the 2014-2015 Charles R. Hatcher, Jr., M.D. Award for Excellence in Public Health. John, who came to Emory in 1973, is a professor of epidemiology and global health at RSPH and a professor of medicine  and pathology in the medical school. The annual award is named for Charles Hatcher, former vice president of health affairs. Under his leadership the MPH program was elevated to school status.

Curran elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Dean James Curran was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, joining the company of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Charles Darwin, and Jonas Salk. One of the nation's most prestigious honor societies, the American Academy is also a leading center for independent policy research.

CHAMPioning child health and mortality prevention

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently announced a new global health surveillance network aimed at preventing childhood mortality in developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia. The Emory Global Health Institute, which houses the U.S. Office of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI), will be the lead partner in the new network. The Gates Foundation plans an initial commitment of up to $73 million for the initiative. The Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance network, or CHAMPS, will help gather better data, faster, about how, where and why children are getting sick and dying. CHAMPS will partner with governments and national public health institutes to better diagnose, characterize, manage, treat and prevent disease.

The network will be led by Jeffrey P. Koplan, PI and executive director, and Robert F. Breiman, co-PI and director for science. Other members of the leadership team include Lisa M. Carlson, Courtney Dusenbury, Pratima Raghunathan and Dave Ross. Roseanne Waters, EGHI administrator, contributed to the creation of CHAMPS.

Tackling chronic diseases in India

Rollins joined forces with three other leading global research institutions—the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI)—to establish the Centre for Control of Chronic Conditions headquartered at PHFI in India.  K.M. Venkat Narayan, the Ruth and O.C. Hubert Professor of Global Health and director of the Emory Global Diabetes Research Center (GDRC), will lead the U.S team.

The GDRC is a unique collaboration between Rollins and the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation in Chennai, India. It was established as an inter-disciplinary, cross-cultural hub for epidemiological research of diabetes and its complications in India and South Asia

New grants

Hannah Cooper (behavioral sciences and health education) was awarded $900,000 by NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse to study HIV/AIDS in key populations. Public health studies have historically treated HIV/AIDS epidemics in different key populations—people who inject drugs (PWID), men who have sex with men (MSM), and high-risk heterosexual) as independent entities. Individuals in these groups, however, do not live in epidemiologically neat boxes. By analyzing data from 1992-2015 in 96 large U.S. metropolitan areas, Cooper's study is designed to understand the extent to which HIV/AIDS epidemics in one key population affect HIV/AIDS epidemics in other key populations, and identify the social policies, programs, and other contextual conditions that might make such epidemic interactions more or less likely.

Juan Leon (global health)  was awareded $500,000 by USDA-Agricultural Research Service to study noroviruses in fruits and vegetables. Noroviruses are the most common cause of foodborne outbreaks worldwide and have caused many high-profile outbreaks in the past year. Leon's study will try to understand where and how fruits and vegetables get contaminated with noroviruses by testing them from farms and packing facilities. The study will also attempt to develop a mathematical model that can propose effective recommendations to the FDA and the fresh produce industry to reduce the risk of norovirus contamination on fresh produce.

Rollins faculty received many other grants for research and training from February through May. View the complete list.

Appointments and promotions

Faculty additions
  • Ghada Farhat, Associate Professor, Global Health

  • Sabriya Linton, Assistant Professor, Behavioral Sciences and Health Education

Faculty promotions

  • Kimberly Jacob Arriola, Associate Professor to Professor, Behavioral Sciences and Health Education

Staff additions

  • Adrienne Jones, Phlebotomist I, Epidemiology

  • Larisa Niles-Carnes, Postdoctoral Fellow, Global Health

  • Richard Keith Robertson, Phlebotomist I, Epidemiology

  • Leah Tompkins, Student Academic Services Administrator, Dean's Office

  • Ralph Venezuela, Jr., Office Assistant, Fulfillment Services

  • Manish Tripathi, Senior Instructional Content Developer, Behavioral Sciences and Health Services

  • Kelly Jordan, Communications Manager, Information Services

  • Elizabeth Boos, Public Health Program Associate, Epidemiology

Staff promotions

  • Allison Chamberlain Abramson, Epidemiologist, Epidemiology

  • Sarah Elizabeth Anderson-Fiore, Senior Public Helath Program Associate, Behavioral Sciences and Health Education

  • Lisa Carlson, Programs Director (NGO), Global Health Institute

  • Yi Lasanajak, Data Analyst, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics

  • Kiyana Perrion, Research Administrative Coordinator, Epidemiology

Postdoctoral fellows

  • Larisa Niles-Carnes, Global Health

  • Akshay Sharma, Epidemiology

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