The Dean’s New Blog

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Check out Dean Forman’s new blog, Thinking Out Loud, which explores his thoughts on Emory College and higher education, along “with ample room to explore other ideas as they pop up in conversations, meetings, readings and elsewhere.”

As he writes on the About page:

When I arrived at Emory College, I promised to speak openly and candidly about my thoughts. The idea was certainly not that I would always be right. In fact, quite the contrary. There is an enormous wealth of collective knowledge, insight and experience in the Emory College community, and there is always more for me to learn. Now that I’m midway into my fourth year here, the time seems right to create another forum for communication that builds on and extends the hundreds of meetings and conversations I have each year with faculty, staff, students, families and alumni. I look forward to receiving your feedback on issues raised here.

The first blog post was about liberal education (with a reminder that it’s not about jobs but about “finding joy in the complexities around us”), and the second post is about discovering interesting “pseudo-anachronisms” in classic works such as War and Peace and The Wealth of Nations.

Stay tuned for more. You’ll also find links to the latest blog posts on the College’s Facebook page.

Thinking Out Loud


Valérie Loichot Awarded Top MLA Prize

Loichot-ValerieThe Modern Language Association of America is awarding its 22nd annual Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for French and Francophone Literary Studies to Valérie Loichot, Professor of French and English, for her book The Tropics Bite Back: Culinary Coups in Caribbean Literature, published by the University of Minnesota Press. The prize is awarded annually for an outstanding scholarly work in its field—a literary or linguistic study, a critical edition of an important work, or a critical biography—written by a member of the association.

The Scaglione Prize for French and Francophone Literary Studies is one of 16 awards that will be presented on January 10, 2015, during the association’s annual convention, to be held in Vancouver. The committee’s citation for Loichot’s book reads:

In The Tropics Bite Back: Culinary Coups in Caribbean Literature, Valérie Loichot offers an ambitious, at times audacious, and ultimately compelling analysis of the cultural construction of a Caribbean self, both individual and collective. Judiciously combining archival research, literary analysis, and cultural critique, The Tropics Bite Back presents an insightful reflection on creolization in its culinary, linguistic, literary, cultural, and psychic dimension. Thanks to a series of deftly conducted readings of major Caribbean theorists and authors, Loichot sheds new light on Caribbean writing, providing a fresh and critical understanding of the place the Caribbean occupies in the contemporary cultural imaginary.

The Modern Language Association of America and its 30,000 members in 100 countries work to strengthen the study and teaching of languages and literature. Founded in 1883, the MLA provides opportunities for its members to share their scholarly findings and teaching experiences with colleagues and to discuss trends in the academy. The MLA sustains one of the finest publication programs in the humanities, producing a variety of publications for language and literature professionals and for the general public. The association publishes the MLA International Bibliography, the only comprehensive bibliography in language and literature, available online. The MLA Annual Convention features meetings on a wide variety of subjects; this year’s convention in Vancouver is expected to draw 8,000 attendees. More information on MLA programs is available at

Merging “Big Data” with the Liberal Arts

A recent news article highlights how Emory’s new quantitative sciences major represents a new direction for big data education by focusing on disciplines related to the liberal arts, including anthropology, political science, history, economics, women’s studies and psychology (and soon biology).

Quantitative sciences majors pick one of these disciplines to anchor their major (which functions much like a double major) and then supplement their knowledge of the discipline with in-depth courses about quantitative theory and methods that teach them to analyze and use data related to that discipline.

QTM 100, the introductory course for quantitative sciences, but not part of the major, has grown faster than any other course in the College of Arts and Sciences. It is now among the courses that draw the most students every semester, says Joanne Brzinski, senior associate dean for undergraduate education.

Read more at Emory’s News Center

Profs. Blumenthal, Hofmann, Lesser and Goldstein Receive Recognition

David Blumenthal, Jay & Leslie Cohen Professor of Judaic Studies in the Department of Religion, is the subject of a recently published book, David R. Blumenthal: Living with God and Humanity. Edited by Hava Tirosh-Samuelson and Aaron W. Hughes, the book is the seventh in the series Library of Contemporary Jewish Philosophers.

Richie Hofmann, a Creative Writing Fellow in Emory College, has won the Beatrice Hawley Award for Poetry, given annually by Alice James Books. The award includes publication of a book-length poetry manuscript and a cash prize of $2,000. Hofmann’s first book of poetry, Second Empire, will be published in November 2015 by Alice James Books.

Jeffrey Lesser, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of History and chair of the Department of History, and Eric Goldstein, associate professor of history, are among contributing authors to the winner of the National Jewish Book Award. Both have chapters in the anthology 1929: Mapping the Jewish World, edited by Hasia R. Diner and Gennady Estraikh and published by New York University Press.

Source: Emory Report’s “Acclaim” Feature

Freshmen Power — Helping to Detect Ebola


It started as an extra-credit assignment in Prof. Rachelle Spell‘s Introduction to Biology course: Learn how doctors currently test for the Ebola virus and come up with a faster, more affordable idea.

Now it’s turned into a crowdfunding campaign to make a prototype for freshmen Rostam Zafari (left in above photo) and Brian Goldstone. They hope to develop REDS, Rapid Ebola Detection Strips, a portable, fast, less expensive, user-friendly approach to detecting the virus in the field.

Read more at Emory News Center

Photo by Emory Photo/Video


University-wide Video Resources

To help College faculty, staff and students locate resources for video services, from recording talks to producing short promotional or informational pieces, we’ve compiled a list of university-wide services below. You can find information on recording instructional or Coursera classes here.

Be sure to check out these helpful guidelines from Emory Communications and Marketing as you begin your planning process.

Obtain speaker release forms (for all Emory uses including YouTube and iTunesU) here.

Video Production Resources on Campus

Production Services

Emory College has limited resources to produce videos related to faculty and student projects, departments and centers. Services include full production and uploading to the Emory YouTube channel or iTunesU. For more information, please contact Hal Jacobs in the Dean’s Office with a short synopsis of the project. <see College YouTube playlist>

Students from the Film Studies Department may be available for filming talks and visits (a small honorarium is requested), in addition to more advanced productions. Contact Hal Jacobs or Prof. Eddy Von Mueller for more information.

The College also has five “flagship” rooms (Rich 104, 108, and 211; Anthropology 303; Emerson 363) with video capabilities where faculty can do two-way video conferencing as well as classroom capturing using Echo360. In addition, the College has priority scheduling in Woodruff 214 and 217 (formerly ECIT).

Emory Photo/Video (Office of Communications & Marketing) specializes in producing feature profiles, overview and promotional videos on a fee basis. Services include pre-production consultation, graphics, script-writing guidance, editing, and uploading material to Emory’s YouTube channel, exporting for other web platforms, and/or DVD finals. <more info>

LITS: ClassTech and Videography (Woodruff Library, 4th floor) provides assistance with streaming video and audio, lecture capture in select classrooms (via Echo 360), and videoconferencing. The office also has videographers on a fee basis. <more info>

Center for Faculty Development and Excellence (CFDE) offers a webpage of resources and information on proposing, planning, and producing an Emory Coursera course. <more info>

ETV is primarily a resource for students to create narrative short films and TV series, but the student organization occasionally works with other student groups and faculty (a fee may be payable to the club). For more information, contact 2014/15 ETV President Shalina Grover. <more info>

FOR STUDENTS: Student Digital Life offers a variety of services and integrated technologies across campus to support students. Service offerings are located in the Learning Commons at Woodruff Library and the Computing Center at Cox Hall, with satellite spaces at the DUC, the SAAC and Building H, as well as graduate labs in Bowden and Tarbutton Halls (see website for more info). For student video and audio conferencing (student interviews, dissertation defenses, and collaborative engagement with peers and scholars from across the globe), see video-conferencing and presentation practice.

Other schools such as the Goizueta Business School and Health Sciences Communications also produce videos for external media promotion. The Business School broadcast studio is available on a case by case basis (equipment or equipment operators are not available).

Do It Yourself

Emory College provides a full video kit (Canon Vixia hfg20 camcorder, wireless and shotgun mics, fluid-head tripod) for recording classroom talks or interviews to faculty, staff and students who have received training on the equipment. Editing and post-production support, including uploading to web platforms, is also available. Contact Hal Jacobs ( in the Dean’s Office for more information on training (individual and group sessions) and equipment check-out.

The Music and Media Library (Woodruff Library, 4th floor) allows faculty, staff and students to check out offers camcorders, DSLR cameras, mics and audio equipment, tripods, etc. <more info>

The Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS) “works with faculty and students from across the University to provide expertise, consultation, and technical assistance in the creation of digital projects.” In terms of video, this includes help with editing and voice-overs. ECDS has several workstations with iMovie, Final Cut Pro, and Premiere loaded for Emory use. The center also has an AV suite with professional microphones, audio recording and editing software. To reserve the AV suite or ask for guidance with a video project, email <more info>

What to do after the video is made?

College staff and faculty should contact Hal Jacobs ( about options for exporting and uploading video/audio to the Emory YouTube channel or iTunesU. Please note guidelines below.

Emory Video Guidelines

Emory Social Media Guidelines

Emory Communications Outlets

Emory College Social Media

Hal Jacobs, Communications, Emory College of Arts and Sciences

Emory’s main www site
Shannan Palma, Senior Online Producer, University Marketing

Emory Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
Julie Winch, Director, Social Media, University Marketing
Twitter: @JulieMWinch @EmoryUniversity
Instagram: @juliagulia287 @emoryuniversity

Emory Magazine
Paige Parvin, Editor, University Communications

Emory Report
Laura Douglas-Brown, Editor, University Communications

Carol Clark, Editor / Writer / Producer

University Media Relations & Emory News Center

Emory College Alumni and Development. Communications to alumni and donors (story, news or event of interest to alumni).
Kate Lawlor 01C 10B, Senior Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving

Funding Source

CCA Project Grants are awarded twice annually for projects that have the potential to engage a wide audience. CCA welcomes proposals requesting grants to support Emory artists and arts-related projects. Grants are intended to support activities outside of the regular academic responsibility of individuals, departments, or units. For more information, contact Candy Tate, Assistant Director, <more info>

For more information or updates, contact:

Emory College of Arts and Sciences
Hal Jacobs

Related Links

Emory Box (for file sharing)

Emory College YouTube Playlist

Emory University iTunesU

Emory University YouTube Channel

Studying Religion at Emory — What Students and Alumni Say

Check out what students and alumni are saying about Emory’s Religion Department in this new video. They talk about being interested in “big human experiences” and describe a department that helps them question the boundaries set up between disciplines. It’s also a department where “you can tailor your classes and bring them back to other fields,” Leslie Munoz 11C says.

“You can be given such amazing gifts as a religion major,” says Mary Claire Magruder 11C. “The compassion that religion majors have is truly unique.”

Related Media

Following an induction of new students into Theta Alpha Kappa, the national honor society for religion, the Department of Religion sponsored a talk by Samuel Freedman about reporting on religion (March 25, 2014). Freedman is an award-winning author, columnist, and professor. A columnist for The New York Times and a professor at Columbia University, he is the author of the seven acclaimed books, most recently “Breaking The Line: The Season in Black College Football That Transformed the Game and Changed the Course of Civil Rights” (2013).

Emory Tibetan Studies Program Celebrates 10th Anniversary. Video about the 10th anniversary of the Emory Tibetan Studies Program and the University’s close relationship with the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics (IBD) in Dharamsala, India. Students and faculty talk about the experience of working and living with monastics in the Dharamsala community, and how the initial partnership has developed over the last 10 years.

College Seniors and Alumni Receive Fulbright Awards


Eight Emory students have received national Fulbright scholarships to travel internationally to teach English or conduct research for one year.

The Emory awardees were Michal Schatz (‘13C), Kari Leibowitz (‘12C), College seniors Alizeh Ahmad (photo above), Celeste Banks, Bryan Cronan, Christopher Linnan, Ben Sollenberger and Abigail Weisberger. College seniors received English Teaching Assistantships (ETA), with Banks headed to Taiwan, Ahmad and Cronan to Malaysia, Linnan to Indonesia, Sollenberger to Turkey and Weisberger to Germany. Schatz and Leibowitz were awarded research grants in France and Norway, respectively.

Ahmad (see link below to YouTube video) said she was interested in Malaysia because she has family ties to the country. Her uncle emigrated from Pakistan to Malaysia, and his experiences have taught her the parallels between her own Pakistani heritage and Malaysian culture. Specifically, as an International Studies and Religion major, Ahmad said she is excited to learn about the diverse Muslim communities in Malaysia.

See full article in Emory Wheel

See YouTube video of Alizeh Ahmad talking about her passion for the study of religion at Emory.


Emory’s Math Circle Making Bubbles This Summer

Graduate students from Emory’s Math Circle, a free weekly math enrichment program for middle school and high school students in the Atlanta area, are sponsoring a show at the Atlanta Children’s Museum (June 14, 21, 28) at noon called “Boxes and Bubbles.”

Check out this news clip from CBS Better Mornings Atlanta that features Amanda Clemm and Sarah Trebat-Leder.

See eScienceCommons article