Rochat supports students through MyEmory

Global health professor Roger Rochat is the RSPH volunteer leader for MyEmory.

Global health professor Roger Rochat is the RSPH volunteer leader for MyEmory.

Roger Rochat can trace his history with Rollins to before the school was formed. Now the global health professor is doing his part to secure the school’s future.

Rochat is the RSPH volunteer leader for MyEmory, the employee and retiree component of Campaign Emory. Since the $1.6 billion fund-raising effort began in 2005, employees and retirees have contributed more than $41 million to the campaign. Launched in February, MyEmory seeks to raise $50 million by the end of 2012. 

In the RSPH, MyEmory participants can contribute to anything they choose: their own department fund, student scholarships, faculty development, the Global Field Experience fund for students, or laboratory equipment.

“Every gift, no matter the amount, makes a difference,” says Rochat. “Many faculty and staff already contribute to Rollins, and MyEmory is an opportunity to invite greater participation from our colleagues.”

Rochat’s history at Emory began in 1985 when he helped develop the master of public health curriculum through the CDC as coordinator for the international health track. 

After retiring from the CDC, Rochat joined the Department of Epidemiology at Rollins in 2000 as a visiting professor and, in 2003, joined the faculty full time in what is now the Hubert Department of Global Health. In addition to teaching and conducting research, the reproductive health expert has mentored many students through the master’s thesis process as director of graduate studies in global health.

His joy in teaching and watching students grow in knowledge and determination inspires Rochat from day to day. His desire to strengthen Rollins and its students led Rochat and his wife Susan to establish the Global Elimination of Maternal Mortality Due to Abortion (GEMMA) Fund. The GEMMA Fund provides support for summer field experiences in developing countries.

“This area of public health is neglected by many, and it gives students the opportunity to do research to achieve global elimination of maternal mortality from unsafe abortion,” Rochat says.  

He also believes it is important for faculty and staff members to support the programs at Rollins that they value. He co-teaches courses in fertility control and reproductive health program management, and at the request of students, he developed the GEMMA seminar to focus on the public health impact of unsafe abortion.

Student response to the course and the GEMMA fund has been positive. One student group designed and sold T-shirts to raise more than $2,000 for the fund.

“Observing the passion that our students put into their studies, their student associations, and their work in the Atlanta public health community is incredibly rewarding,” Rochat says. “I have received more satisfaction from student response to our gift to Rollins than anything else I have done in the past decade.”—Maria Lameiras

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