2011 Senior Spotlight


So many promising seniors, so little time.

So we’ve started compiling a list of those seniors who have made a mark during their stay at Emory. We’ll also be keeping an eye on them for successful endeavors in the future.

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Kyle Albers 11C, Environmental Studies (see previous QuadTalk post)

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Ari Blinder 11C, Matt Ryckman 11B & Matt Fennel 11C, Award-winning student filmmakers (See Quadrangle article)

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Dorian Capers 11C, Psychology; NooRee Lee 11C; Brandon Schupp 11B, Business; Megan Swenson 11C; Shin-he Yu 11C, Political Science; with the help of other students from Emory and Coan Middle School; Community Service Project (see Emory’s Coan Garden Art Project Blog)

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Kristen Clayton 11C, Sociology  (see previous QuadTalk post)

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Liz Horvat 11C, Psychology; and Amy Minowitz 11C, Biology; Recipients of NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships (see news release)

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Ovais Inamullah 11C and Stephen Weil 11C
, Award-winning debaters (see news release)

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Shivani Jain 11C, Sociology, Marshall Scholarship recipient (see previous QuadTalk post)

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David Samuel Micley 11C, Interdisciplinary Studies in Culture and Society,  Phi Betta Kappa Society (see Emory Wheel article)

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Noor Najafi 11C, Religion, Recipient of the 2011 Lucius Lamar McMullan Award

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Michaela Salvo 11C
, Interdisciplinary Studies in Culture and Society (see YouTube video)

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Garrett Turner 11C, Music and Creative Writing, Bobby Jones Scholar (see previous QuadTalk post)

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Daniel Weiss 11C, Physics (and theater lighting)

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100 Senior Honorary for 2011, sponsored by the Emory Alumni Association

Pres. Jimmy Carter on Aging

President Jimmy Carter recently visited an Emory sociology class (Social Gerontology) to talk about the virtues of aging (April 7, 2011). President Carter was appointed University Distinguished Professor at Emory in 1982 and is a frequent guest lecturer in undergraduate classes. [See clip above or entire talk on YouTube.]

For more information about the course, contact Prof. Ellen Idler.





Techung adds spark to Tibetan language and music

Techung, a Tibetan folk and freedom singer/songwriter living in exile in the San Francisco Bay Area, talks about his six-week artist-in-residency program at Emory involving the classroom and stage. He will be one of the featured artists at the Emory World Music Ensembles’ Echoes of Asia concert on Sunday, April 17 (7 pm, Performing Arts Studio). His final on-campus performance will be a family-themed concert on Sunday, April 24 (4pm, Carlos Museum), where he will perform songs from his new CD, “Shemshae” (“heart songs”). Techung plays the dramyen (lute) and lingbu (flute), both traditional instruments, and will be performing Tibetan music for children. This concert is free and open to the public.

His residency is funded by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, a major supporter of the Emory-Tibet Partnership.


Emory Report article (April 15, 2011)

Techung homepage

Emory-Tibet Partnership


If a tree falls in the forest…

In this new YouTube video (recorded the day after Sunday night’s major storm that took down over 40 trees on the Emory campus), Carl Brown in Environmental Studies talks about the fallen trees in the ravine next to Mizell Bridge and the implications for forest succession there and in Baker Woods.

p.s. We’ve received a couple of notes (see below) about that hawk at the end. Can anyone give it a positive id?

Looks like an immature bird for sure, pretty certainly a Broad-winged Hawk, based on its coloration, which is similar to an immature Red-shouldered Hawk’s, but, and more so, because of the relatively chunky build and shorter squared-off tail. [JL]

From what i usually see in the woods around here is coopers and sharp-shinned, both of which have relatively long tails and short wings for better maneuvering among the trees, sort of like fighter jets, and they tend to attack out of ambush as a squirrel hops by. a couple of years ago i ran into some very experienced birders walking in lullwater near one of the coves where that rare starvine plant grows. The birders were not only visually identifying but also by sound (they had a Cornell bird call system with them). they were listening to a hawk calling in a nearby cove and were excited to identify it as….i think….a broad-wing hawk. if i remember correctly they said it wasn’t around here as much as some of the other hawks, and they tended to see more of them in north georgia mountains. Broad-wing hangs around water sometimes, looking for frogs, etc, which might explain the attraction to baker woods/nettie creek. [CB]


Connecting the environment and martial arts

What do martial arts and the natural environment have in common?

Kyle Albers 11C has combined his passion for both fields to research the connections between the two. On his blog, he offers a comparative analysis to view both the evolution of Martial Arts and natural adaptations of the broader ecosystems that house them.

An Environmental Studies major, Kyle has participated in several on-location environmental research projects including those focused on the weathering and aging of rock monuments in Scotland (for Dr. Stephen Henderson, Emory University) and feral animal tracking (for Dr. Anthony Martin, Emory University) through the Gerace Research Center, San Salvador, Bahamas. He also teaches martial arts, holds a second-degree black belt in Taekwondo, studies To Shin do (Ninjutsu), and is a regular student of Japanese swordsmanship.

See the Correspondences between Martial Arts and the Environment blog

Anthropologist Rilling sheds light on primate behavior

Chimpanzees and bonobos are closely related to each other, and are humans’ closest living primate relatives, yet no one has been able to show why the former are usually more aggressive than the latter.

Thanks to research by Emory anthropologist James Rilling, we now have a better understanding of the underlying differences. A comparative analysis of their brains shows neuroanatomical differences that may be responsible for these behaviors, from the aggression more typical of chimpanzees to the social tolerance of bonobos.

“What’s remarkable is that the data appears to match what we know about the human brain and behavior,” says Rilling, who led the analysis that is being published in the Journal of Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. “The neural circuitry that mediates anxiety, empathy and the inhibition of aggression in humans is better developed in bonobos than in chimpanzees.”

It’s the most comprehensive comparative analysis to date of the neural systems of chimpanzees and bonobos.

“By contributing to our basic understanding of how brain anatomy relates to social behavior, this study may provide clues to the brain dysfunction underlying human social behavioral disorders like psychopathy and autism,” Rilling says.

Read full article in eScienceCommons


Emory Students Receive Truman, Goldwater Scholarships

Three Emory University students have recently received the highly competitive Truman and Goldwater national scholarships.

Emory University junior Stephanie Spangler (see photo), who has been selected as a 2011 Truman Scholar, one of only 60 students in the nation to receive the competitive fellowship meant to foster careers in government and public service. Students are selected on the basis of leadership potential, intellectual ability and likelihood of “making a difference.”

As a Truman Scholar, Spangler will receive $30,000 for graduate study. She is the 12th Truman Scholar from Emory, and the first since 2006.

An Emory Woodruff Scholar, Spangler was described by her nominator as “one of the most celebrated and outstanding leaders to attend the Emory College of Arts and Sciences in many years.” She maintains a 4.0 GPA in sociology and history, and is an active volunteer with the AmeriCorps program JumpStart, through which she tutors and mentors low-income, pre-kindergarten students. Spangler plans to dedicate her career to advocating for children, especially for high quality early education for all.

In her role as vice president of the Emory College Council, Spangle’s signature effort has been the establishment of a volunteer council to better coordinate volunteer efforts, outreach and cooperation across all of Emory’s schools and units. She was recently selected for Emory’s yearlong Community Building and Social Change Fellowship.

Emory juniors Moiez Ali and Jonathan Lin are recipients of the Goldwater Scholarship, named for the late Sen. Barry Goldwater. The award provides up to $7,500 annually for tuition or other education-related expenses in their remaining years at Emory.

Ali is a biology major and plans to complete dual M.D./Ph.D. degrees in neuroscience and eventually conduct research on neurodegenerative disease.

Lin is a neuroscience and behavioral biology major. He plans to complete dual M.D./Ph.D. degrees in neurology and conduct research in biomedical science, with a particular interest in vision and ocular disease.

Sophomores and juniors in the hard sciences, math and engineering may apply for Goldwater Scholarships and must have an excellent academic record, substantive research experience and plans to pursue advanced degrees after graduation in preparation for a career in research. They were among the 278 recipients chosen from a pool of students across the country.

See full news release