Profs. Schuchard, Andrade and Grubbs Recognized

Three Emory College faculty have received recognition for their contributions to the humanities.

Ronald Schuchard, Goodrich C. White Professor of English at Emory University, has been named a 2012 Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and a center for independent policy research. A 42-year veteran professor at Emory, Schuchard is a faculty advisor to Emory’s Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library (MARBL), and has devoted much time to developing its outstanding archive of 20th century Irish and English manuscript collections.

Two faculty members in Emory University’s Department of History – Tonio Andrade and Judith Evans Grubbs – have earned highly competitive Guggenheim Fellowships for 2012. The fellowships are awarded by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation to scholars, artists and scientists for prior distinguished achievement and the promise of future accomplishment.

Tonio Andrade is a specialist in global history and the history of China. His most recent book, Lost Colony: The Untold Story of Europe’s First War with China (Princeton UP, 2011), explores the European military revolution with data from East Asia.

Judith Evans Grubbs is the Betty Gage Holland Professor of Roman History at Emory. Her research interests center on social history and law in the Roman Empire, particularly women, the family and slavery.

 

See news release on Schuchard

See video of Schuchard talking about the Ellmann Lectures, which he founded at Emory

See news release on Guggenheim Recipients

See Book Trailer of Andrade’s Lost Colony: The Untold Story of Europe’s First War with China

See profile of Grubbs in Spring 2011 Quadrangle Magazine

 

QuanTM to Build Stronger Quantitative Scholars

A new Institute for Quantitative Theory and Methods (QuanTM) has begun laying the groundwork to strengthen Emory as a community of quantitative scholars, unfolding plans to offer new statistics courses, undergraduate fellowships, workshops, a statistics help desk, a speakers series, and by next summer, a major conference.

It’s all part of a larger vision to build stronger quantitative scholars and enhance interdisciplinary studies at the University, boosting its reputation on the national stage as a center for excellence in computational modeling and statistics, says Clifford Carrubba, director of QuanTM (pronounced “quantum”).

Emory undergraduates can now register for a new “Introduction to Statistical Inference” course to be offered college-wide this fall by newly hired faculty member Shannon McClintock, a recent Emory PhD graduate in biostatistics.

Students are also being considered for undergraduate research fellowships in quantitative methods, to be paired with Emory professors doing research in an area of shared interest. Calls have gone out for visiting scholars and future plans may even include offering a new major in the field.

The developments are the result of a major initiative endorsed by Emory College Dean Robin Forman, who is Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Mathematics. Forman traces the origins of the idea to a common refrain he heard time and again when he arrived on campus some 18 months ago: Help our students develop quantitative skills.

The dean agreed, and began considering ways to transform the educational experience for undergraduates, graduate students and faculty alike, promoting the growth of quantitative studies across both the natural and social sciences.

“Over the last decade, many more disciplines have become much more quantitative, far more data intensive than they ever have been,” says Forman, who sees the institute as an investment in the future.

“It’s become an essential competency,” he adds. “I think that we need to be a home for thoughtful leaders — among our students, alumni and faculty — who are skilled at accessing and assessing data, and interpreting what they’re seeing.”

By strengthening undergraduate skills, Emory students will be better prepared for graduate studies, as well as today’s competitive job market, where competency in statistical analysis pays off, notes Carrubba, a political science professor who also directs Emory’s Center for the Study of Law, Politics and Economics.

“The business world, journalism, economics — all sorts of disciplines are increasingly flush with many forms of data,” Carrubba says. “Students emerging with these skills will be in high demand.”

Adds Forman, “Although this is not driving the project, it is reassuring to read reports that one of the largest growth areas in employment opportunities is in quantitative data analysis.”

Although quantitative research hasn’t traditionally been considered a major facet of a liberal arts education, both educators believe it’s time to rethink that. In fact, Forman says there is a growing interest in the role of computational, quantitative techniques within the humanities, “to explore ideas and understand the dynamics that are shaping the culture.”

For example, Carrubba cites advances in the digital humanities movement and computational linguistics, which allow scholars to identify literary characteristics — such as sentiment or mood — and write computer programs to study that aspect in hundreds of thousands of books.

“I can imagine having undergraduate humanities majors, social and natural scientists in the same class using the same skill set for very different purposes — an English major may be using the same skills that a biologist uses,” Carrubba observes.

“Moving forward, I think it’s integral to what a liberal arts education needs to take seriously,” he adds.

See full news release

QuanTM Homepage

 

 

Mariangela Jordan Named 2012 McMullan Award Winner

Mariangela Jordan 12C has been selected as the 2012 Lucius Lamar McMullan Award winner. An anthropology major, she came to Emory as a transfer student in fall 2009 after working in a number of jobs, including as owner of an Internet café, a project coordinator for a non-profit organization, a truck driver, and as an office manager.

She is currently completing a thesis on the role of the arts in maintaining the cultural identity of immigrant communities. She is especially drawn to visual ethnography, and hopes to continue to investigate the world through these methods.

In addition to her academic achievements, the award recognizes her on-going commitment to service, to building bridges in communities and to ethical engagement. Her work with immigrant communities is notable. She was an intern at the International Rescue Committee through the Ethics and Servant Leadership program. She continued after the summer to work with the IRC in the Resettlement department and as a tutor for high school students. Both in Atlanta and in Greenville, South Carolina, she has taught English to immigrants from Bhutan, Tibet and Spanish-speaking countries, and is involved in Project Shine. Her awareness of the needs of immigrants led her to propose and develop a donation program in Summer Conferences, collecting household goods purchased by short-stay guests at Emory for use by refugee families. This both prevented those items from being thrown out and provided a resource to refugee families to personalize their homes. She not only organized this effort but has ensured its on-going operation after she graduates. In another effort, Ms. Jordan collected musical instruments for Burmese refugees to allow children in this community to take music classes. She managed a fundraiser for this group which will included a concert and production of a CD by inter-faith musicians that will support the music and other refugee program.

A performance poet herself, Mariangela appreciates the role arts can play in communities and as a source of social change. She is the president of Ethics and the Arts Undergraduate Society. The group has organized and hosted the Ethics Art Café and the Free Speech Café, and sponsored a Student Visual Art competition each spring semester. She has performed herself in both off- and on-campus events including Emory’s Best of Show, local poetry slams and in regional and national competitions. She has an interest in film production and photography as well, and has studied both at Emory.

Growing up in Romania under an authoritarian state, Mariangela appreciates the value of a free, impartial press. To encourage this in her own country, Ms. Jordan and a Romanian journalist founded Purple Mind Production, an independent media company based in Romania but with offices in Greece, the Ukraine, Georgia, Turkey, Venezuela, Indonesia, Bangladesh and India. They produce high quality, reliable and impartial features on stories around the world using local journalists. Ms. Jordan has been responsible for the business development and promotion, and leading fund-raising efforts since the company’s founding in October 2011. The company has produced materials for CNN and other international broadcasters, and has been a successful model of journalistic ethics in countries without a tradition of independent journalism.

Mariangela has served as a leader on campus in other ways as well. She has been a member of the Emory College Honor Council, upholding academic integrity in our community. She is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society and a member of Emory’s Emory Leadership Executive Roundtable. Her awards reflect her involvement in a variety of activities. She was named the Emory Alumni Board Leadership Scholar in 2011 and selected for the Unsung Heroine Award by the Center for Women this year. She received the Phi Theta Kappa Reynolds Scholarship for Poetry in 2009 and the Outstanding Junior Award from the Anthropology department in 2011.

As the winner of the McMullan Award, she will receive $20,000 at the time of graduation to be used for any purpose of his or her choosing. The McMullan Award is presented at the College Diploma Ceremony of the May 2012 Commencement. The award is made possible by the generous gift of Mr. William Matheson ‘47G. In instituting this award, Mr. Matheson sought to reward Emory College graduates who show extraordinary promise of becoming our future leaders, and rare potential for service to their community, the nation and the world.

See also…

Profile in Winter 2012 Emory Magazine

Emory Wheel articles: April 10, 2012 | September 5, 2011