Legacy of Service

colleen laurence and tim puetz

Colleen Laurence used her service in the Peace Corps as a springboard for serving the international community at Rollins and in Atlanta. Army veteran Tim Puetz is committed to helping veterans and civilians overcome trauma caused by war.

New graduates cited as humanitarians through art, science, and community

Tim Puetz and Colleen Laurence, both 12MPH, received Humanitarian Awards from Emory shortly before graduating last spring. Both demonstrate service to others in different ways.

Through art and through science, Puetz transformed his experiences in the U.S. Army, including his deployment to Afghanistan, into advocacy for veterans and mental health. He established Theater of War at Emory, a production that engages audiences in conversations about the impact of war. As a volunteer with the ArtReach Foundation in Atlanta, Puetz helped people overcome the trauma of violence and war through art therapy. And through his work with the Carter Center’s Mental Health Program and Liberia’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, he helped make psychotropic medicines more readily available to people recovering from several years of civil war.

"For those of us who have seen war, we will never stop seeing it," says Puetz, who is now a Presidential Management Fellow at NIH. "Only the dead have seen the end of war and its ramifications. So until my dying breath, there is only one thing to do—I will continue to fight the good fight."

Laurence, who served with the Peace Corps in Mauritania and Rwanda, found Atlanta to be an amazing place to engage with community. After enrolling in Rollins’ Paul D. Coverdell Program for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, Laurence taught students in the Master’s International program to help prepare them for their Peace Corps service, interned with the Emory Global Health Institute, worked with the refugee community in Clarkston, Georgia, and welcomed and mentored international students to Rollins.

"These experiences taught me a lot, but the most important skill I derived was an awareness of when to facilitate and when to listen," says Laurence, who is currently enrolled in a premedical program at the University of Virginia. "I also developed a greater respect for the role of collaboration between disciplines and organizations. Challenging though it may be, successful negotiation of these different perspectives often yields more robust commitments and better projects."—Pam Auchmutey


Presidential Aspirations

Tim Puetz is one of five recent graduates selected as Presidential Management Fellows. Awarded by the federal Office of Personnel Management, the two-year fellowships are highly sought after by graduates from a variety of disciplines who aspire to become leaders in public policy and programs. In addition to Puetz at NIH, RSPH graduates and their fellowship placements include the following.

• Rebecca Minneman 07C 12MPH, National Cancer Institute

• Priyanka Pathak 12MPH, CDC/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

• Elise Richman 12MPH, FDA Center for Tobacco Products

• Robin Rinker 12MPH, National Cancer Institute


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