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Friday, December 30, 2011

Emory Going Tobacco Free January 1, 2012

Dear Emory Community:

As a reminder, Emory will become a tobacco-free campus on January 1, 2012.
We now join over 580 other U.S. colleges and universities and more than 2,800 hospitals and healthcare institutions that have made the conscious decision to eliminate the use of tobacco campus-wide. As a result, our campus will transform into a healthier, cleaner environment that truly supports the overall wellness of our students, faculty, staff, patients and visitors.
For a quick overview of what this policy means, please take a few minutes to watch the following video:

Tobacco Free Emory


· TOBACCO-FREE ENVIRONMENT POLICY: The use or sale of tobacco is now prohibited on Emory owned or leased property and at Emory-sponsored or sanctioned events. The new policy is available on the University Policy web site: Policy 4.113 and Policy 8.10.
· TEMPORARY SMOKING ZONES; From January through August of 2012, there will be 14 temporary smoking zones located on Emory University and Emory Healthcare campuses. For a map of smoking zone locations, go to: http://www.tobaccofree.emory.edu/policy/coverage_area.html.
· CESSATION HELP: For those in the Emory community who need help quitting tobacco, please know that Emory is here to help. We offer numerous tobacco cessation resources and programs at no cost: http://www.tobaccofree.emory.edu/cessation/index.html.
· COMMUNITY ENFORCEMENT: We, as members of the Emory community, all have the responsibility to let others know about our new, tobacco-free policy. For more information on enforcement and tips for approaching smokers, go to: http://www.tobaccofree.emory.edu/enforcement/index.html
Thank you for your continued support and assistance with a successful transition to a tobacco-free Emory! And, best wishes for a healthy new year.
Tobacco-Free Emory Task Force

Plan long weekends in 2012

Everyone wants to know when a long weekend is ready-made for enjoyment with family and friends. Here is the list of when Federal holidays will be celebrated next year, just in case you want to book a trip somewhere exotic - or just play!

Monday, January 2 New Year's Day
Monday, January 16 Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Monday, February 20 Washington's Birthday
Monday, May 28 Memorial Day
Wednesday, July 4 Independence Day
Monday, September 3 Labor Day
Monday, October 8 Columbus Day
Monday, November 12 Veterans Day
Thursday, November 22 Thanksgiving Day
Tuesday, December 25 Christmas Day

Emory University will remain open as usual on Washington's Birthday, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day. Special acknowledgement ceremonies may take place on campus (check back closer to the date for more information). In addition, Emory considers November 23 and December 24 as school holidays.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

We'd love your feedback!

In 2012, your EAA blog will take on a fresh appearance. We'll focus on new content areas and offer beloved features and profiles. But let us know your thoughts, too! We really do want to hear from you!

Please share your ideas with michelle.valigursky@emory.edu. Thanks - and happy new year!

Holiday traditions continue

How do you celebrate the holidays with your family? Do you honor the same traditions year after year or do you recreate new ones as times change? Here's what a few more of our colleagues have to say:

Jule Taylor, assistant, alumni career services:

"A tradition from my past…No matter how cold or snowy, my family’s Christmas began with midnight mass in the beautiful church of my childhood, St. Francis. My family and all of our Kentucky relatives would assemble just before midnight in the elegant, old church. The year a new priest came to town, my grandmother, who volunteered tirelessly for the church for 50 years, called to remind the priest that hearing the Ava Maria was an important part of the service to her. I still think of the Ava Maria as my grandmother’s song, and I think of my grandmother doing her part to be sure a tradition she loved remained a part of the night that meant so much to all of us."

Kate Gregory, coordinator, regional volunteer programs:

"Although we no longer live in the same city, my brother and I always watch The Year Without a Santa Claus, a stop motion animated movie from the ‘70s, and text each other during it. On Christmas Day, my family watches The Godfather.
The day after Christmas, my father’s side gathers for a big Gregory Christmas dinner. With three generations of Oxford and Emory alumni and staff at the table, the conversation inevitably turns to the latest Emory news."

Michelle Valigursky, assistant director of marketing communications:

"When my boys were little, we always began the season on Thanksgiving by writing out our holiday cards after the turkey began to bake. While the Macy's parade marched down the avenue, we'd begin another time-honored tradition at home: the building of the candy mansion. Each year the house seemed to grow larger and take longer to finish, but our creations were the centerpiece of many a holiday photo and a true joy for every child who visited the house. The best moments were the unexpected ones - catching my toddler son licking the house's candy cane fence, discovering a nephew peeling off red licorice roof tiles for a quick snack, and witnessing ear-to-ear smiles of the little ones who would sit on the floor in front of these candyland dream homes making up stories about the families who lived inside. Before Christmas each year, we donate these sweet homes to children's hospitals to spread the holiday cheer."

Emory Cares for Newton County families and children

Every year, Emory alumni, students, staff, faculty, and friends participate in volunteer service projects around the globe. This November, Chris Arrendale 99Ox 01C, led efforts to share valuable supplies and other fun items for a local charity. Chris writes about the project:

Emory Cares is a project that I am involved because I feel that giving back to the community is important and the event is so much fun! My wife, Amanda Arrendale, and I co-chaired this year's Emory Cares event on Oxford's campus and I have been involved with the project for the past 3 years. It is a lot of fun to bring the community, alumni, families, and friends together to get this project completed for the kids. We even had alumni, staff, and students from Emory drive out to Oxford to participate in Emory Cares. This year we put together 135 shoeboxes full of items for the Newton County Division of Family and Children Services Center! These shoeboxes will be given to children at the Newton County DFACS holiday party and we are happy to bring holiday joy to these kids!

We received donations from many local businesses, as well as from volunteers and alumni. Every year I use social media websites and free sample websites to gather as many toiletries and toys for the kids as I can. My wife and I also collect these items from family, friends, and local businesses and keep these items for the upcoming event. We receive at least 1 item a day through the mail!

The Oxford College Emory Cares event had the largest turnout of volunteers, largest turnout of kids, and the largest amount of donations than any previous year! This year we used Facebook to post the event and some of us made calls to alums and family to generate more volunteers. We had so many donations, that we ran out of shoeboxes! Oxford College holds a special place in my heart and working on the Emory Cares project is something I look forward to every year.

Wilma Tilson Robinson 96C fights for healthy living; urges setting early career goals

As a high school grad from Queens, New York, Wilma (Tilson) Robinson 96C wanted to become a doctor and run a community wellness center. But life has a way of changing childhood goals. Today she is a senior health policy analyst in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Washington, D.C. “I did not become a pediatrician and develop the wellness center, but I did receive my doctorate in organizational leadership several years ago, and I have been instrumental in developing national programs and policies around health promotion and wellness over the last 11 years,” she says. Day to day, Robinson conducts policy research, evaluates national programs and initiatives, and assists in program planning and development around women’s health, health disparities, health promotion, and disease prevention.

So how did her career evolve? It all started with a trip to Emory’s campus. “Coming from inner city New York, it was a refreshing change,” she admits, adding that she was impressed by the University’s academics, the push for civic duty and volunteerism, and athletics. In hindsight, she reflects on her college experience, “I really value the education I received at Emory. The curriculum challenged me to become a better student and helped me to gain a breadth of knowledge across a myriad of topics.”

But Robinson sidelined her goal to become a doctor after an earned visit to view a cadaver in her junior year at Emory made her realize “I really did not like blood. I wanted to help people but without the graphic visual often displayed on the television shows like ER,” she recalls. A career fair visit introduced her to the School of Public Health and her professional future crystallized.

Three major moments stand out as she looks back on her career path. She cites these as developing the Physical Activity is Fundamental to Disease report for the Secretary and attending the 2002 White House launch of the President’s Healthier US initiative, traveling the country in 2004 with the HHS Secretary to develop the National Diabetes Action Plan, and most recently “joining Secretary Sebelius in her keynote address at the annual meeting for the Society for Public Health Educators in October to present the Healthy Living Innovations Awards.”

Since leaving Emory in 1996, Robinson has accepted many personal challenges as well. Athletic since childhood, Robinson was honored to carry the Olympic torch for the 2002 Winter Olympics Torch Relay. Four years ago, she founded a community-based physical activity program through non-profit The Garment’s Hem in honor of her dear friend and Emory graduate Karen Tanner who died at age 35 of a massive heart attack.

Robinson’s commitment to good health and public education is clear. She was awarded the HHS Office of the Secretary Employee of the Quarter in 2003 and has been selected as the HHS Challenge Ambassador “for my work on the Healthy Living Innovation Awards earlier this year,” she says.

Though Robinson wishes she has done a semester abroad while at Emory, she urges students to proactively plan. “If you have not already begun, start career planning now! Many students wait until their junior or senior year to start career planning, but this process should begin in high school, continue through college and throughout life,” she suggests.

She recommends taking on focused work study jobs that support career goals, structured internships, and experience abroad. “Enjoy your time at Emory. It will be one of the most memorable times of your life.”

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's Truly an Honor

In 1846, Emory presented its first honorary degree, a Doctor of Divinity degree, to the Rev. William H. Ellison. Since then, more than 540 men and women have received honorary degrees from the University, earning them full recognition as Emory alumni (indicated with an H following the year in which their degree was awarded).

See if you recognize these notable alumni names:

  • 2005 Tom Brokaw, journalist/author

  • 1998 His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibet, Emory University Presidential Distinguished Professor

  • 1995 Hank Aaron, Baseball Hall of Fame member

  • 1992 Mikhail Gorbachev, president, Soviet Union

  • 1991 Ted Turner, entrepreneur

  • 1988 Desmond Tutu, archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa

  • 1983 Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize winner, author

  • 1979 Jimmy Carter, president of the United States, Emory University Presidential Distinguished Professor

  • 1949 Alben Barkley 1900C, vice president under Harry Truman

  • 1902 Joel Chandler Harris, Georgia-born author of the Uncle Remus stories

Photo of His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama 98H by Ann Borden. Photo of Tom Brokaw from University Media Relations Press Release.