Martorell scholarship will aid Hispanic students


Carlos del Rio, chair of the Hubert Department of Global Health, is leading an effort to establish a scholarship honoring former chair Reynaldo Martorell. When fully funded, the Martorell scholarship fund will support Hispanic students who want to study public health at Rollins.

Martorell, who joined the school as Robert W. Woodruff Professor of International Nutrition in 1993, served 12 years as department chair until 2009. Under his leadership, the department evolved from a Center for International Health to become an endowed department of global health named for the Hubert family. Still a full-time faculty member in global health, Martorell is a key collaborator on a landmark longitudinal study in Guatemala to assess how childhood nutrition affects health and quality of life in adulthood. He also leads studies to examine the effects of the 1959 to 1961 famine in China on adult health and to analyze maternal nutrition intervention programs in Ethiopia, Nigeria, and India.

When del Rio joined the Emory medical faculty in 1996, he also held a joint appointment in Martorell’s department in the RSPH. Both share professional and personal ties with Latin America—Martorell was born in Honduras, while del Rio was born in Mexico. After Martorell stepped down as chair, del Rio was appointed Hubert Professor and department chair last year.

 “I’ve known Rey for many years as a friend, colleague, and mentor. I truly have a lot of respect and admiration for him,” says del Rio. “And there is a great need for scholarships at Rollins, especially for students of Hispanic origin.”

Del Rio and his wife, Jeannette Guarner, associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, are jump-starting the scholarship fund by making a gift to MyEmory, the faculty, staff, and retiree component of Campaign Emory.

“We’re just getting the scholarship going,” del Rio says. “We see it as an opportunity to support MyEmory and encourage others to honor Rey in this special way.”—Pam Auchmutey

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