Wrapping Up Our Blog and Rapping Up Candler

At Emory, it seems like most students are on the typical pre-business or pre-med routes, limiting their appreciation of other esteemed graduate schools. (If you would like to learn more about the Goizueta Business School experience, please check out our previous blog post). When we signed up for our final post, we chose Candler simply because it was the last remaining graduate school yet to be covered. However, upon further research, we realized that this often overlooked school is actually a notable institution of its kind.

Candler is a rather small school that goes unnoticed alongside the Psychology and Chemistry buildings. Though it does not look like much from the outside, Candler is actually a place full of history, resources, and opportunities.

To our surprise, Candler was Emory’s first graduate school program. Its esteemed alumni include James Armstrong, America’s youngest Methodist bishop, and Martin Luther King Junior’s daughter, Bernice King, who received her ministry from Candler. Reading this alone made us rethink our initial assumptions of the school. Our appreciation continued to grow as we learned of Candler’s impressive progressiveness. In 1935, Emory’s School of Theology expanded its admits to include non-Methodist students, and in 1997, Emory opened its chapels to same-sex commitment ceremonies. Intrigued, we continued to delve into how Candler provides for its students today.  

Candler grants its students an exceptional education. It is not uncommon for its inspiring classes and award-winning teachers to receive standing ovations from engaged students. Furthermore, because of its home at Emory, Candler students have the freedom to explore other departments, even majoring in Bioethics, Business, Development Practice, Law, Public Health, Social Work, along with theology. With easy access to Pitts Library, home of over 620,000 volumes and approachable librarians, students can conveniently obtain support in their studies. Clearly, Candler accommodates for its students’ love and passion for learning. This initiative pays off, with 70% of alumni serving as church pastors.

In addition to its academic resources, Candler provides outlets for students who want to engage in opportunities outside of the classroom. There are 15 official student organizations, including the Office of Student Programming, a team of united staff and students who plan Candler events. Additionally, all members of the Candler community are welcome to services, held weekly at the Cannon Chapel on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is more than an educational community, it is a spiritual one.

Despite our initial lack of knowledge about Candler, over the course of our research and firsthand exploration, we quickly learned that the school is one to be reckoned with. To bring this deserving energy to Candler, we decided to rap up our blog posts in the only way we deemed appropriate – to parody your favorite song and mine, “In My White Tee” by Dem Franchize Boyz. Prepare yourselves.



I go to Emory, here at Theology

Trying to earn one of the 16 degrees

Pray with community, home of Pitts Library

A seven to one student to faculty  

First grad school at Emory, OG in Tennessee

Moved to ATL ‘cause Cola Company

Now OG’s named Vandy, but Candler sticks with me

In ‘35, non-Methodists included in theology

[Verse 1]

Step on the scene opportunities are obscene

Student programming ‘bout to convene

We all have integrity, we all work

Amount of diversity is berserk

ATL is right by me, no place I’d rather be

Special interest programs – there is one for you and me

Scholarships lower the fee, 88% near free

Rhyming is so hard, hope we are staying on the key

Cannon Chapel nearby hosts events so lively

I go here for Mass and worship so mightily

Jan Love is queen bee, she’s Dean with high authority

Baptist, Episcopal, Methodist choice of study

Take any class at the university  

To apply you need transcript but no GRE

Academic ability, textual literacy

Required for admission at Candler Theology


I go to Emory, here at Theology

Trying to earn one of the 16 degrees

Pray with community, home of Pitts Library

A seven to one student to faculty

[Verse 2]

Well I hit class on a learning spree, fifty-two to teach me

Esteemed professors ‘cause they shine so brightly

Classroom learning, critical reflection, hands-on ministry

The most influential religious leader in the country  

James Armstrong went to Candler, now acclaimed critically

MLK’s daughter also in student body

Offers many programs for international study

Class so good, don’t be absentee

Not uncommon to get standing O’s – they’re a hit

Unlike Sandro’s mad fits

Everyone at Candler, ‘cause they simply love it

Has some grad school festivities

Thanksgiving dinner and awesome end of year party

Candler chronicle highlights this glee

Candler prepares real people like you and me

To make a real difference, you see

In the real world, motto of theology


We go to Emory, here at Theology

Trying to earn one of the 16 degrees

Pray with community, home of Pitts Library

A seven to one student to faculty


In our white tees, we out!

“Emory University | Atlanta, GA.” Candler School of Theology, 3 Nov. 2017, candler.emory.edu/index.html.

Dem Franchize Boyz. In My White Tee, 2003.

Emory’s Got EDGE

Sometimes I think graduate school seems like just another opportunity to accumulate more debt and to lose more sleep, except this time it is more like having a lonely, soul-crushing, full-time job. Although it may not be this intense in actuality, it is a taxing experience that can get lonely at times. Due to this, it is imperative that prospective students find and attend an institution that has an environment they are comfortable in and one where they can find a sense of community. This is especially true for students from underrepresented groups. Attending a school that lacks diversity could make it harder to find a community that underrepresented students can identify with. Fortunately, some graduate schools start initiatives to promote diversity within their programs. Among those schools is Emory University’s Laney Graduate School.

The logo for Emory EDGE

Emory has EDGE, which stands for Emory Diversifying Graduate Education. On their page about diversity, the school claims that “Diversity and community are of highest priority to Emory University and the Laney Graduate School” (Laney Graduate School). How exactly do they do this? According to Emory, there are five ways they try to promote diversity: programming, community, fellowships, outreach and recruitment, and partner organizations.

An old brochure for the STEM Research and Career Symposium

Some examples of programs they have include the STEM Research and Career Symposium, the IMSD: Initiative to Maximize Student Development, the NIH (National Health Institute) Pathfinder Series, and the ELSP: English Language Support Program. In addition to these programs, they have many different student organizations, campus offices and research opportunities and parties that underrepresented students can get involved with to find a welcoming community they connect with. Students can also be part of the Emory Graduate Diversity Fellowship or the Initiative to Maximize Student Development Fellowships (IMSD) which help cover costs of tuition and stipend and travel expenses respectively. Finally, Laney tries to reach out to possible applicants through different mediums that they know underrepresented groups respond to, including partnering with diversity-oriented organizations to connect with these prospective students.

Although the website explains what they claim to be doing, talking to students who have been directly impacted by these things gives us a better understanding of how effective EDGE actually is. Luckily I got the opportunity to interview an African American Ph.D. candidate in English Literature, Justin Shaw.

Justin P. Shaw

Mr. Shaw is an Emory Graduate Diversity Fellow, a Kharen Fulton Graduate Diversity Award Recipient, and a teacher. He also attended Morehouse for his bachelor’s degree and the University of Houston for his masters giving him experience in a variety of social environments that vary in terms of diversity. Our conversation lasted about thirty-six minutes, so below I took a few points he made.

1. What is Emory EDGE and what does it mean to you?

“EDGE is an acronym. It stands for Emory Graduate Diversifying Education. And it started about three years ago. Three or four years ago about, under the leadership of our former director… of recruitment in diversity and community in the Laney graduate school…started by him to Address some of the issues and lack and lacks of diversity and inclusion in graduate school...graduate students tend to already be isolated by research…and then you don’t really have community… [it] has a burden on your work-life balance, time management, and your ability to generate relationships, and even just general friendships and connections with people. And, you know, when you add race and ethnicity on top of that, it adds dimension to it because research suggests that students of color on the undergraduate level already have some things to deal with at a predominately white institution, but on a graduate level its intensified because you often don’t have people working, or who you are working with who look like you. And people working with you and your cohorts are coming from a similar background and understand you and the world in which you came from. The burden for graduate students are at large in terms of acclimating to the atmosphere at graduate school so disproportionately that students of color drop out due to depression, due to feeling emotionally withdrawn from their research and their program. From feeling like they’re not supported in their graduates’ programs because of things not necessarily racism but microaggressions are blatant themes that happen in departments for different reasons.”

2. How effective do you think Emory’s efforts have been in promoting diversity in graduate education? Are they living up to their mission statement?

“I think since the EDGE program was developed like I said four years ago four years ago, it’s definitely been something that the dean all the way down, people have been serious about and engaged with. I think the grad school is intentional about reaching out to graduate students of color to help with recruitment, to help with building community and to help with addressing issues within the community…I can’t speak for the whole university. I don’t know the impact directly that it’s had on the university yet. It’s still a very new program. I mean four years is not a very long time for, to see the effects. I’ve only been here for four years, and this program started when I got here. And I think you have to see a whole cycle of students go through it in order to really start to see the dividends.”

3. You went to the University of Houston to get your master’s degree. How does the environment at UofH compare to Emory’s? How do their efforts to promote diversity compare to Emory’s?

“I’ve seen three different types and I think a program like EDGE works at an institution like Emory and it can work a place like its sister schools… but a place like big public institutions it takes a different model…different kind of institution requires different needs, different students, more students. EDGE is great because Emory’s graduate school is just big enough to do programming that encompasses groups of people, where you can kind of know people face to face. You kind of know who people are. And you can address the need to the student body in a different way, as opposed to the vagueness that could become at UofH.”

4. You are an Emory Diversity Graduate Fellow, and you recently won the Kharen Fulton Diversity Graduate Award. How have these impacted your experience at Emory?

“I think it shows that the school cares and notices…you know one reason why a lot of students drop out of grad school is because they don’t feel supported. They don’t feel like they’ve got community. No one cares. Not even about their research, but about them as a human being. And these things showed me and continue to show me that the graduate school and the university as a whole notices, and they care. And not in a superficial way as the token black kid, but as a person with good ideas, with experience, who can offer something, bring something to the table.”

5. Is there anything that you think Emory could improve in terms of recruiting and retaining a diverse population and promoting diverse environments?

“So one thing I criticize EDGE for, and I don’t blame them, I just criticize it in a positive way, is that is very focused on the STEM disciplines, science, technology, and math. And that’s no fault of their own…the problem in that there’s not a lot of money in that for that as there is in the sciences. There’s not these big grants from the National Science Foundation and institute to health to promote graduate student education in anything else.”

Listen to the whole interview to hear his complete answers and get advice about grad school.

Due to its age, it is unclear to see the long-term effects of EDGE, but presently, I believe that EDGE is doing just fine. So far their efforts to recruit and retain students from underrepresented groups and support them seems to be doing well. While Shaw is not representative of the whole underrepresented student population, this case shows that EDGE is taking strides in the right direction. It is important for graduate schools to adopt the measure so that we can have more people from underrepresented groups with higher degrees. I recently learned that artificial intelligence is now replacing even highly skilled workers (Inglehart and Norris). That means that we need more people to get advanced degrees to keep up with our changing economy. Since, “the white, non-Hispanic proportion of the total population decreased from 73.6% in 1995 to a projected 52.8% in 2050” and they make up the majority of the population of people with postgraduate degrees, there will be a shortage of skilled workers (Bryan). In fact, “by 2028, it is expected that there will be a shortage of 19 million skilled workers to fill jobs in the U.S.” (Bryan). As Shaw stated, if people do not feel supported or a sense of community, they are not likely to finish grad school, so I commend EDGE for doing so. I watched my mother struggle to get her associate’s and bachelor’s degrees during my childhood. I noticed that in her earlier stages of school, she had no community or support, which made school extremely difficult for her. Once she finally found those two things I watched her thrive in school. I can only imagine how much more difficult it will be for her when she goes back to get her master’s without that community going through it with her. EDGE provides this for its students. I think it is safe to say that EDGE is a good fit for Emory… for now.



Bryan, Julia A. “Minority Student Recruitment, Retention and Career Transition Practices: A Review of the Literature”. American Speech-Language-Hearing-Association. N.d., https://www.asha.org/practice/multicultural/recruit/litreview.htm. Accessed 29 Oct. 2017.

[EDGE Logo] [image]. (n.d.). [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://www.graduateschool.emory.edu/diversity/index.html

Inglehart, Ronald, and Pippa Norris. “Trump and the Populist Authoritarian Parties: The Silent Revolution in Reverse.” Perspectives on Politics, vol. 15, no. 2, 2017, pp. 443–454., doi:10.1017/S1537592717000111.

[Justin P. Shaw] [image]. (n.d.). [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://justinpshaw.com/

[Symposium Brochure] [image]. (n.d.). [Photograph]. Retrieved from https://rampages.us/bioadvising/wp-content/uploads/sites/2342/2016/04/2016-STEM-Brochure_Page_1.jpg 


What’s Actually Going On With ILA?

What’s actually going on with the ILA?

In 2012, the Dean of Emory College, Robin Forman, said “Finally, we will suspend graduate admissions to the ILA (Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts) and reorganize the ILA into an institute without permanent faculty. In this reimagined institute, we will strive to create a more fluid structure for promoting interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching, perhaps through rotating faculty appointments.”

The Institute for the Liberal Arts, which is in fact still intact at the undergraduate level and still offers the IDS program, sponsors a seminar series that features interdisciplinary faculty new to Emory.

Link to articles explaining the dissolution of Emory’s Graduate level of ILA: http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/emory-u-will-close-3-departments-as-part-of-broad-academic-restructuring/48872


Who can attend these seminars?

These special seminars are open to students and faculty from across the university.

What’s the typical format of these seminars?

3:30PM-4:00PM: Refreshments are served to all in attendance. This gives attendees time to meet the professor and allows for a more informal environment.

4:00PM-4:20PM: The speaker presents a provocative problem or issue from their research, aimed toward a general audience.

4:20PM-5:00PM: A discussion among all those present is catalyzed by the speaker’s research.

What was the topic of this seminar?

Abigail Sewell: “Hypermarginalization in Policing: The Illness Burden of Racial and Gender Disparities in Use of Force by Police”






I took the silent cue from other students in the room and put away my computer and pulled out the old-fashioned notebook and pen to take notes. Professor Sewell analyzes illness risks associated with systems of inequalities. She has reached a conclusion that excessive negative police experiences or interaction creates a weathering effect on the bodies of people of color by inciting the fight or flight response over and over again. I went from writing a million pen strokes a minute when she introduced her research topic to completely putting the pen down when she went in depth about her usage of equations and the statistical analysis tests that she used for each intersection. This information was dense and extremely developed. I was the only undergraduate student in a room filled with grad students and established professors.

Why is Professor Sewell a credible source?

Abigail Sewell, an Assistant Professor at Emory University in the Department of Sociology, focuses on the political economy of racial health disparities, the social construction of racial health care disparities, and quantitative approaches for studying racial inequality and structural racism. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology from Indiana University and her B.A. in Sociology (Minor in Women’s Studies) from the University of Florida.

Why should this still qualify as a “Grad Life” post?

The majority of students in attendance were graduate students who took a specific interest in maintaining ILA sponsored events after the ILA was dissolved. These students had either participated in the undergraduate level of ILA or they would like an opportunity for more interdisciplinary studies on the graduate level.

The ILA program is a program that would instill a liberal arts and evidence based education in Emory graduate students, which is something that Emory claims to be very passionate about. The way it is structured now, with no permanent faculty, is a disadvantage to Emory graduate students and it should be reverted to its previous structure. Emory has one of the highest endowments in the nation, so despite their given reasoning that the program was not financially sustainable, I do not understand why they would not keep this program alive on the graduate level.

When are the next seminars and what will they be about?

The Sounds Heard by a Deaf Woman

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life. And see if I could not learn what it had to teach and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”  – Henry David Thoreau

Caption: Closed captions are correct for those with hearing disabilities.

Walden Pond Concord, Massachusetts

(Perspective of Michael) I leaped off the bus and instantly could smell the fresh pines and soft needles. With each step I gently crushed the leaves and fallen branches below me. The sound of the soil cracking under my shoes urged me to venture out into the trees, but I made sure to remain close. I was only eight years old at the time, but Walden Pond was much more than just a landmark.  Just two towns over from my home, it was an escape from reality. The sounds, smells, and sights of nature engulfed my thoughts. I never wanted to leave. Whether it was a deer sipping water with her fawn, or the sounds of the turkeys trotting through the bushes, Walden pond brought wonders beyond imagination for a young boy like me.

Walden. By, Henry David Thoreau

Six years later, Michael, Kate, Zion, and Josh found themselves listening to Rachel Kolb, an Emory graduate student, analyzing Thoreau’s work. Kolb, who is partially deaf, explained Thoreau’s opinions on the two different “spheres” of sound that he experienced while living in the wild – natural sound and industrial sound. Thoreau described natural sounds as the things that we hear from the animals and natural parts of life. This connects to all of the sounds that Michael heard at Walden Pond when he was younger. However, industrial sounds come from the new technologies of the time, such as “the noises of the train cars passing by.” Kolb concluded this idea by stating that Thoreau related the noise that he heard to interruptions, which seem to be inevitable aspects of modern day life.

Rachel Kolb introducing her paper.

The focus of Kolb’s analysis was on sound, specifically the new technologies of the mid-19th century, which affected people’s ability to enjoy the natural things in life. Kolb described these technologies which, “distract our attention from serious things” as “inventions that collapse the time and distance between two places.” Some of these technologies include railway systems and the telegraph. Kolb argued that these technologies changed the way people perceived space and time, as it was possible to communicate and therefore “listen” to each other while not being in the same location. This phenomenon leads to face-to-face interactions between people having less value. The new technologies of the mid-19th century can be compared to our very own age of social media. The access to information and communication we have from our electronic devices is taking away from our need to talk with each other in person. Both the railways of Thoreau’s period and our modern day digital platforms interrupt our thought and change the way that we interact with each other.

Rachel identifying the main themes of her paper.

While Rachel was presenting her paper, Michael and Kate noticed the sign language translators that sat on both sides of the table. They connected this to the lecture by Jennifer Sarrett titled “Autism in the Classroom”, which stressed the importance of accommodations for students with learning disabilities. They noticed that Rachel utilized many of the teaching techniques that Sarrett described in her presentation–techniques that help students with learning disabilities better absorb information and that help generalize the presentation to everyone. For instance, Rachel’s whole powerpoint was a black screen with white font. This is a common visual

“Autism in the Classroom”

aid. She also passed out packets of her transcript to the class for those who wanted to read along. It was interesting to witness how a writer with a disability interprets effective teaching. By presenting multiple versions of her presentation, Rachel was really demonstrating the effectiveness of the multimodal communication that she was talking about. Getting to see this perspective really opened our eyes to see how the world spreads ideas in different ways. By utilizing the mode of sound in her presentation despite her deafness being a hindrance, Rachel was emphasizing the strength of sound in formulating thoughts and avoiding distraction.

Whether it was the sound of leaves crunching below Thoreau’s feet or the sight of Rachel’s translators, it is clear that sound plays a variety of roles in our world. Though we never fully realize it, we are constantly adapting to newer ways of communicating through sounds and expressions. Listening to Rachel describe the use of sound in Thoreau’s work was like witnessing the combination of different products. Much like how Walden was forced to adapt to the growing technological influence of his world, Rachel was forced to adapt to her disability and find new ways to analyze everyday senses.

-Josh, Kate, Michael, Zion







What do you know about ILA?

Jenna: Have you ever wondered what it’d be like to intersect medicine, architecture, and law all into one? The affects that Women have on music and the media? Have you ever desired to intertwine social sciences, biology, and history all into one? At its inception, Emory’s Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts was considered a bold academic endeavor, and had been among the nation’s first graduate programs within humanities devoted to the new trend of interdisciplinary studies. The year was 1952, and the program’s chief architect was Emory’s new Vice President and Dean of the Faculties Ernest C. Colwell, an Emory graduate and former president of the University of Chicago, who had emerged as an early leader in the field of interdisciplinary education. This program was recognized as “a major step in the program to extend and enrich the graduate study at Emory,” according to the Emory Wheel. Sixty years later, the drive to pursue research that transcends conventional academic boundaries is still going strong, says Kim Loudermilk, a senior lecturer in the ILA and director of the program in American Studies, who is working on the history of the program. That unique intellectual environment, nourished by faculty representing a wide array of disciplines, is what first drew Loudermilk to the program, in a quest to examine the relationship between social movements, such as feminism, and the media. Today, we are going to teach our friend Sandro about all the unique opportunities this program has to offer. 
Hunter: Hey Sandro, what’s wrong?

Sandro: Nothing. I don’t want to talk.

Jenna: Sandro, please, I hate to see you so upset. What is wrong?!

Sandro: Well, you see, I can’t seem to find an area of study at Emory that satisfies my specific interests. I don’t want to be constrained to one specific major or minor!

Hunter: Well, have you ever considered Emory’s ILA Program?

Sandro: No, what’s that?

Jenna: ILA is Emory’s Institute for Liberal Arts.

Sandro: Well, I don’t know if I’m liberal, and I definitely don’t like arts.

Jenna: Haha. The ILA Program, or Institute for Liberal Arts, maintains two unique majors that you can only find here at Emory: IDS and AMST. These are the only two majors which allow students to structure their own program of study around a field of interest that they define through more of a humanities perspective. Students are in close consultation with faculty experts from different disciplines who have specific training in interdisciplinary study. As part of these Majors, students are permitted to take courses in a number of departments, provided they meet appropriate departmental prerequisites.

Sandro: So how to the IDS and AMST majors work?

Hunter: Well, You get to choose a set of courses from across Emory College that will constitute part of your major requirements (24 of 44 total required credits); This is called a “student designed concentration,” and the courses you propose are your Concentration Requirements. Senior projects tend to draw upon two or more disciplines you’ve studied with involvement of scholarly research – 50 pages is typical. Essentially, your senior project is a thesis that culminates all of your research, in order to demonstrate your ability in organizing complex ideas. However, your thesis can be composed of other forms of scholarship as well, anywhere from artistic expression to other forms of broader public engagement. Examples of this have included films, art exhibitions, or teaching in local public schools.

Sandro: Would students be given advice on types of courses to major in?

Jenna: Yes, the courses you choose for this major are definitely not random or made without the aid of expert advice. An ILA advisor will discuss with you your intellectual interests, helping you to focus on an interdisciplinary research question (or range of questions) that will be answered across your years at Emory College. It’s really an opportunity to engage in multiple particular disciplinary interests, in order to shape your own educational experience which is unique and distinctive to you.

Sandro: Okay, that actually sounds pretty cool. What are some examples of interdisciplinary questions studied by students?

Hunter: Some proposals focused on by students include: how social assumptions about artists relate to the visual art produced by the artist, how Native American leaders and writers understand and portray science -especially biology- and even how FDR’s experience with polio changed public support for medical research within the United States.

Sandro: So you’re telling me my range of possible questions can be as broad as my imagination? That’s just not safe.

Jenna: Yes, Sandro – Because interdisciplinarity involves applying two or more disciplinary methodologies, your ILA adviser will also put you in touch with other Emory faculty experts to assist in articulating your interests and selecting relevant courses that might be part of your major. Early on, you’ll identify a faculty “co-adviser,” in addition to your ILA adviser, just to ensure that you can be well supported through your academic decisions.

Hunter: Let me tell you about my buddy Kevin..

Sandro: (cuts him off) What’s his last name? I might know him.

Hunter: McPherson.

Sandro: No, I don’t think I know him.

Hunter: Anyways, Kevin is very academically minded and loves to study various subject matters. He is double majoring in ILA and Biology. He became interested in Native American alcoholism from various readings he did outside of class. ILA permitted him to study Native American alcoholism through a humanistic approach, while Biology allowed him to expand and comprehend on the scientific aspect as well. Kevin was not only able to study a blend of philosophy, history and literature in order to find how that all pertains to alcoholism, but also what he gleaned from his studies of scientific literature as well. His intertwined writing of Native American alcoholism helped him receive prestigious awards, one of which entails extensive research at Stanford University.

Sandro: Oh, yeah. His name rings a bell. But dude, I want to make money. What can I even do with an IDS or AMST major?

Hunter: You see, since students study a field they are intrinsically passionate about, businesses are more inclined to seek out their style of learning and knowledgeable experience. Students of the IDS and AMST majors, like our buddy Kevin, have worked for Google, Amazon and many other awesome firms within the Atlanta area. Many alumni are still doing fascinating things, such as serving as museum directors, becoming involved in politics in Hollywood, working in academia as professors and administrators, and one alum is even president of the United Negro College Fund. Also, students commonly continue onto the Law School or other graduate programs thereafter. A key advantage that former students of ILA have gained over students from other majors is held within the strength of their letters of recommendation, especially from teachers with whom they have collaborated with extensively.

Sandro: Wow! The ILA program seems just right for me! I wonder why Emory doesn’t promote this graduate program in the way that it promotes the Med School and other graduate schools. This program is very unique to Emory, and seems like it can provide the type of academic diversity that would help Emory take itself one step ahead of its competition. What draws students is the ability to examine or explore an idea or question or problem that cannot be addressed through one discipline alone. I believe they should discuss this program in tour groups and stress it elsewhere, perhaps even while meeting with your Pre-Major Advisors. Doing this may assist Emory in receiving more creative and passionate students who maintain a drive to do something different, but are limited by many other institutions’ academic limitations. Prospective students may find it important that one building home to a diverse professors, all with a passion to study vastly differing subjects held at ILA students’ fingertips. Other students may be impressed that at such a large institution, there is a major with a significantly finite community. However, some may be excited to have the ability to create their own curriculum, in order to further study their own curated academic passion. If these prospective students are never informed of the ILA program, they may never apply to Emory, simply because they deem it to not have what they’re looking for. The ILA is a perfect demonstration of the multitude of academic opportunities at Emory, and how there is simply a learning style for everyone.

Jenna:  If education is really an intrinsically risky enterprise, because of its focus on the need for transformation, then we need to be open to the discourses of constantly changing times and the unexpected conversations that threaten to turn everything we thought upside down. We should not give up music, insight, conversation, or public scholarship. We should leave room for growth upon the free state of education and the liberal arts. As time goes on, it seems that the problems we face as a society are becoming more and more complex, and the questions we need to ask become more difficult to answer from merely one perspective. The interdisciplinary work and training that the ILA provides teaches us how to do just that: approaching the problems of the world from multiple perspectives. The ILA seems to partially mirror Emory as a university, but also a specific reflection of its deep and broad history.

In fact, the ILA was instituted as a graduate doctoral program 60 years ago, when not many doctoral programs existed at Emory. It was founded primarily on the basis of a felt need for living conversation among literature, philosophy, religion, theology, and history. A little later this conversation expanded to include public scholarship and the social sciences, especially in response to the movement for civil rights in higher education, linking Emory with historically black institutions in Atlanta and beyond. Gradually, the ILA became the unique interdisciplinary institute it is today: a hybrid departmental home for many interrelated programs, faculty, and students. It now comprises a graduate interdisciplinary program with a broad range of focused interests, including American studies, science and society, history of medicine/science, race and difference, visual studies, interdisciplinary humanities and critical studies, and some outstanding certificates and other programmatic concentrations. Above all, the ILA is an institute, rather than a department, that fosters existing and new initiatives that cross traditional disciplinary for new possibilities within our university – a laboratory for a deeper sense of intellectual community.

ILA Program

If you would like a more detailed analysis of the history of ILA you can look at all of it on the following website:  http://ila.emory.edu/about/history/index.html

Contact Information: 404.727.7601 / lyterry [at] emory [dot] edu


By: Jenna Gursky, Hunter Goldberg, and Sandro

An In-Depth Analysis of the Ins and Outs of Emory School of Law


In 1916, Emory University established a law school with a faculty of great teachers with degrees from the most highly regarded institutions of the era, a library of over 5,000 volumes, and a class of just twenty-seven students. Today, ranked number 22nd in the nation, the Emory University School of Law now has an annual enrollment of over 130 faculty members, 800 students and up to 301,490 volumes, a collection of written or printed sheets bound together as a book, at the library. Averaging a 90.7% bar pass rate, 97.6% graduate employment and an average score of 165 on the LSAT, the Emory University School of Law is regarded as one of the most prestigious law schools in the nation.

Outside the School of Law, on Clifton Road

The Emory University School of Law has many programs for students to choose from such as: LLM, JD, JM, SJD and other joint degrees. One of the most prominent degrees is the Juris Master Dual degree program with Georgia Tech. With an annual tuition of $53,350, it is one of the best deals you get considering the ranking of the institution.

The Emory University School of Law offers a practical and disciplined approach to the study of law that engages students in the varied and integral roles the law plays in our community, society, and world. The student-centered focus, innovative programs, and commitment to scholarships prepare graduates to make an immediate and lasting impact. The Emory School of Law provides students a wide variety of opportunities through its many partnerships and programs as well, just to list a few:

The Law School’s Partnership with the Carter Center is an initiative promoting world peace founded by former President Jimmy Carter. The Carter Center provides Emory with exceptional opportunities to understand and engage global challenges such as strengthening rule of law in Liberia, establishing foundations for long-term peace in the Sudans, and fighting diseases like Malaria and Guinea Worm Disease. Emory faculty and graduate students, with the help of the Carter Center programs, have the opportunity to help understand and solve complex problems such as the persistence of gender-based violence in post-conflict societies, the role of elections in transitional contexts, and the gap between theory and practice in disease elimination and eradication. The partnership opportunities are accessible to any and all graduate students of the Law school.

Additionally, graduate students can take part in the the Law School’s own Center for Transactional Law and Practice program. According to Emory University school of Law’s website “Through the Center’s Transactional Law Program, students have the opportunity to acquire a strong foundation in business law doctrine, become financially literate, and practice contract drafting and other critical deal skills”. The program provides a roadmap for every student interested in studying transactional law. Whether through in-class simulations of deals or transactional law externships with actual clients, students in the Transactional Law Program get the chance to experience what being a deal lawyer is really like. This program is accessible to virtually all Emory law school students.

The court room on the first floor

Within this listing, it would be a shame not to mention Emory Law school’s Moot Court Society. The Moot Court Society is a competitive, student-run organization that, according to Emory University school of Law, provides “experiential opportunities to develop oral advocacy and brief-writing skills.” Emory Law students organize and host the annual Civil Rights and LibertiesMoot Court Competition, held at Emory Law in the Fall semester. This year’s competition will be held on October 20-22, 2017. Five professors and professionals will be reviewing the briefs. This program is accessible to all JM degree seekers.

Last but not least, is Emory Law school run Emory Law Mock Court. Graduate students undergo a selective process where they get involved with presenting and debating prosecution and defensive sides for real world cases in a Law school run Mock court. Emory College undergraduate students also have the opportunity to aid graduate students involved in the program as assistant or “secondary lawyers.”

I interviewed Cale, a prospective student, to hopefully hear a different perspective on how he views the School of Law. I thought it would be interesting to see what makes a student want to apply to the Emory School of Law, how an outsider who wants to be an insider views the institution, and what advice he can give that he has learned his process. Ultimately, I wanted to collect evidence to help guide students at Emory on whether they should attend the Emory School of Law.

In preparation for our interview, I emailed Cale questions that I was going to ask him previous to our meeting so that he would be prepared and well versed. We talked about the Law School in a study lounge in the Woodruff Library. Below is the transcript from our dialogue.

Hunter: Hi Cale. You are considering applying to Emory School of Law, correct?

Cale: Yes, I am thinking of applying.

Hunter: What would you hope to get out of the Law School?

Cale: I wish to get an education on how to practice law. Hopefully a strong foundation in law will help me enact my own moral compass. Not to sound like I am a personal savior, but I hope that law school will provide me an apparatus to right the wrong. Also, I think being a lawyer would be a practical and tangible job for me.

Hunter: What makes you want to apply to Emory School of Law, and what makes you not want to apply?

Cale: Emory School of Law is a highly revered institution. It is ranked by U.S. News as the 22nd best law school in the nation, but it only matters if you give heed to their rankings, like if they actually mean anything. What they do mean, no one can really articulate. I would go for the connections. Emory School of Law has an incredibly noteworthy alumni base.

Emory’s ranking on U.S. News

Honestly, I would have a tough time committing to Emory School of Law as an undergraduate student. After the undergraduate experience, I don’t think I can do Emory again. From what I have heard, there is little difference between the undergraduate experience at Emory and the graduate experience. I want something different. I think that’s how most kids would put it. It’s not social enough, Emory School of Law is a very solitary experience. Students compete with grades; it is very cutthroat.

Hunter: What could Emory’s law school do to give its students a better experience and consequently make it more attractive to prospective students?

Cale: I think they should do more to reach out to the undergraduate students who are not pre-law. I am a philosophy major, a major in which students often continue to law school. I am yet to receive contact from Emory School of Law. As an Emory student who is considering the Law School here, I think they need to do better marketing. Maybe a business degree would have benefited the Law School professors and Law School management.

Hunter: What advice do you have for other students applying to the law school?

Cale: My biggest piece of advice is study the LSAT for at least 200 hours. Take your time. The LSAT score is clearly the most important part of the application to do well. Effective articulation in arguments and correct comprehension of readings is crucial. It is a very technical test. Internships also help. An attractive résumé is always beneficial.

Hunter: Thank you! I wish you the best of luck in the application process.

Cale: Thank you for your wishes. Best of luck to you too. It was a pleasure meeting you.

Here are my conclusions and my advice:

Cale and likely the majority of other prospective students at Emory see Emory School of Law as a potential graduate school of their liking predominately because of its high ranking and how highly revered it is. Students may be shied away from the school’s perceived solitary experience where the environment is highly competitive. Perhaps if Emory did a better job of its, for lack of a better phrase, public relations, they may find a way to change how the school is perceived.

Furthermore, I concluded something about the undergraduate experience in relation to the graduate experience here at Emory and likely at other schools. If you are an undergraduate student at school X, you probably don’t want to be a graduate student at School X. Expand your world. The two experiences are likely too similar.

My advice to Emory students on the pre-law track, if you can get into Emory School of Law, you will likely get into many other law schools of which many will be better suited for you. You should be willing to expand your horizons and be open to applying to different law schools. Moreover, you should not simply attend a school because of its ranking. Apply for more compelling reasons. Also, regardless of your major, be open to considering law because of the many doors it may open in the future. Study the LSAT tirelessly; it is arguably the most important aspect of your application.


By Sandro, Josh, and Hunter

Ranchod-Nilsson, Sita. “The Carter Center.” Emory University main site, www.emory.edu/ACAD_EXCHANGE/issues/2013/autumn%20/stories/ranchod-nilsson/index.html. Accessed 24 Sept. 2017.


“Emory Law | Emory University School of Law | Atlanta, GA.” Emory University School of Law, law.emory.edu/. Accessed 24 Sept. 2017.


“How Does Emory University School of Law Rank Among America’s Best Law Schools?” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/emory-university-03039. Accessed 24 Sept. 2017.


Emory Graduate Students Fight to Unionize

Emory University is located in Atlanta, GA and has a created a reputation for itself of being a top tier progressive institution. Sometimes referred to as the ivy league of the South, it often draws a comparison to the Ivy Leagues or other top universities such as Duke or Georgetown. Current students of The Laney Graduate School at Emory, however, have taken it upon themselves to draw those comparisons themselves in the past year. According to an article by The Nation, graduate students across the country are experiencing “plummeting wages, meager health care benefits and overwhelming workloads,” and as a result have launched campaigns to unionize.

Laney Graduate School

I recently sat in on a meeting for the Emory Graduate Union Organizing Committee. I was both shocked and puzzled listening in on their interactions.


As I walked into the meeting, I was drenched in sweat from my track practice just minutes beforehand, and met with eight graduate students staring at me; the situation was intimidating, to say the least. The meeting began to unfold and I slowly was introduced to their strategies for unionizing and their (many) grievances with the University. They explained that their ultimate goal was to improve the situation for all graduate students and felt as though creating a union was the only logical course of action, pointing to Yale and Duke as examples of success. One graduate student even said that it was only fair that they are allowed to unionize since all the other employees at Emory have one. This is not true, however, as only the shuttle service drivers have successfully unionized at Emory. As the conversation moved more toward the logistics of unionization, they began to discuss how Emory hired a multi million legal unions busting law firm, which one student described as “cynical” and “hypocritical” since the University rather pays for that than giving the graduate students better healthcare. When speaking about their social media presence it was honestly tragic to listen to, because it was virtually nonexistent. The group of students in their mid-twenties and early thirties only had a Facebook page to promote their movement and none of them knew how to use Twitter, revealing to me their understanding of social media was Rudimental at best.

Emory Shuttle Services



The grievances expressed by this group of eight are entirely valid; if they feel as though Emory has mistreated them in any way, then they have the right to voice those grievances and work towards a solution. The fact is though, this is a group of eight who wish to speak on behalf of all graduate students. Towards the end of the meeting they held a vote to decide the name of the unionization movement, but by that time three people had already left, leaving only five people to vote. According to the Laney Graduate School site, there were 1,758 degree-seeking students during the 2016 fall semester, which means that 0.004% of the graduate student population was speaking for the entirety of it. In my humble opinion that is insane. After the end of the meeting I inquired whether these meetings were open to all graduate students, and they told me the meetings were. Could this mean that creating a union is not a top priority to a large number of students? Unionizing is a tricky process of back and forth negotiations, and some students may not wish to bite to start waves with the University.

The Black Studies Collective Experience/My Message to Emory University

The Black Studies Collective meets on select Fridays in Candler Library Room 120. More information can be found on their OrgSync Page

After getting off work late, I rushed over Candler Library expecting to be that one person who awkwardly walks in ten minutes late. To my surprise, I walked into a warm environment discussing SZA and Bryson Tiller. I’m greeted by the 2017-2018 President of the Black Studies Collective (BSC), Taryn Jordan, and encouraged to grab a plate. Settling down while we watched music videos for Rake it Up and Bodak Yellow, I knew that this wouldn’t be a traditional general body meeting. The official meeting started with introductions, a brief history of the BSCand an overview of the BSC.

The Black Studies Collective originally was formed as the African-American

The logo of the Black Studies Collective

Studies Collective (AASC). The AASC was defunded a few years ago, but later revived and transformed into the BSC. Now, the BSC serves a place for many graduate students interested meet, discuss blackness and current events regarding blackness, read works of black theory, and even go out and watch films/tv about blackness. Despite the informality of meetings, the BSC thinks critically about blackness and questions the parameters around blackness. An example of this comes from one of their inside jokes “I don’t know, Paris Jackson.” This arose from their conversation on Paris Jackson considering herself black despite her skin color and other physical features. This brings up the idea that there’s more to blackness that skin tone, but also experiences and other factors.  The informality of the meetings allows for members to share their experience and create a dynamic dialogue. It also allows members to discuss their own work and provide assistance to each other. Many members of the Black Studies Collective are graduate students with work surrounding black issues and African diaspora despite Emory not having a graduate African-American Studies program. The BSC allows grad students to have a space to continue their interest in black studies. Currently, the BSC is also looking to expand their outreach by getting undergraduate involvement through Saturday Readings/Teachings.

This brings me to my message to Emory University: create a graduate degree program for African-American Studies. Students from all across different programs are doing research on black issues ranging from Comparative Language to Philosophy and Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, to English. Furthermore, Emory has amazing resources for African-American history in the Rose Library that would be instrumental to much research in the field of African-American studies. Also, Emory already has a great undergraduate program in African-American Studies. Emory was the first school in the Southeast to offer an undergraduate degree in black studies. Emory also has award winning research and publications from faculty in the Department of

Benjamin Mays who is is one of the namesakes of the Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellowship

African-American Studies, as well as representation in many public news and media forums. Lastly, Emory is a Mellon-Mays Fellow school which helps fund Ph.D. research in fields like African-American Studies. With all this history and excellence, why is it that graduate students seem to be limited to a space like the Black Studies Collective to really immerse themselves in African-American Studies?



If you want to learn more about the Black Studies collective or are an undergrad interested in Saturday Teachings, you can visit their OrgSync website or you can email the president, Taryn Jordan at t [dot] d [dot] jordan [at] emory [dot] edu. You can also find more about the undergraduate Department of African-American Studies here.

By Daquon Wilson

Rollins School of Public Health: For the Prospective Student

rsphweb. (2014, December 23). The Rollins Experience [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpvX-iymomw


Rollins School of Public Health: By the Numbers. Created using canva.com

If you’re a student in search of a school that will launch you towards your dreams of working in public health, look no further. Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health, ranked seventh in the nation, consists of six departments, all of which study and work towards improving the world’s most prevailing public health issues: behavioral sciences and health education, biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, health policy and management, and global health. All departments are taught by doctoral level faculty who are also involved in research. Rollins collaborates with some of the world’s biggest health organizations and agencies such as the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With Atlanta known as the “Public Health Capital of the World”, Emory’s Rollins school attracts students from all over the world.  

Rollins encourages a tight-knit and inclusive community between the students, staff, and faculty. The school’s education is enforced through an engaging cultural aspect with respect to all types of diversity, and it doesn’t stop in the classroom. Rollins’s dedication to inclusion sticks as the school reaches out into all communities in effort to eliminate health discrepancies. As a core part of the curriculum, partnership with diverse communities in public health work remains an integral part of a Rollins education. Diversity is evident in the student body itself. Students come from 46 states and 40 countries, with an international student percentage of 15%. Over 70 languages are spoken at Rollins, and the school understands the importance of communication–building university resources with a diverse faculty and staff.

Kate and Michael interviewed Chris Moye, a first year student at Emory who is thinking about studying public health.

Coming from the Atlanta area describe the health disparities regarding different communities. What do you think the underlying issue is?

I think that the underlying issue in the disparities that are experienced by different communities in Atlanta is strictly a result of economics. People who have a lower socioeconomic status are not able to access to the same health care options as middle-class families, and this can be the difference between life and death.  


The Robin’s school of Public health emphasizes an environment of inclusion. The school is extremely diverse. How has this impacted your decision when thinking to apply?

The diverse background of students at the Robin’s school is one of the most important things to me as a minority. Being educated with other minorities is important to me because it will help to approach the field of medicine from different perspectives. This will help me to become a better physician in the future, while also helping me to figure out how to solve complex healthcare problems in my own community and beyond.


Coming from Atlanta, Chris has seen poverty-stricken neighborhoods that simply cannot afford the same health care options as wealthier communities. Based on the mission of the Rollin’s School, it is clear that these students are striving to not only learn more about public health, but also give back to the community in different ways. The diversity of the school, as Chris mentioned, provides the healthcare community with multiple perspectives and backgrounds. Giving back to the community is an important aspect of life that often goes unnoticed. Much like the free-riding theory of economics, people often wait for others to give back instead of putting themselves out there and making an actual difference. Emory’s Rollins School seems to be that catalyst for action as its students are eager to create solutions to the multitude of problems in the healthcare industry.

If interested in the Rollins school of Public Health, one should start to explore the many steps to apply. Whether its collaboration with experienced CDC researchers, or having tight-knit relations with the Winship Cancer Institute, Rollins is the perfect fit for incoming students in the public health community.

Fall 2018 application:

  • Due August 2, 2018.
  • Average GPA for MPH/MSPH applicants is 3.5 or higher.
  • Transcripts.
  • Two evaluations from academic advisors or faculty.
  • Written piece regarding experience in research.
  • GRE test scores.

Four types of degrees may be earned at Rollins:

  1. Master of science in public health (MSPH)
  2. Dual and doctoral degrees
  3. Master of Public Health (MPH)
  4. and Executive MPH Program.


Apply to Rollins for endless opportunities to experience and learn about the world of public health!

Rollins even holds two-hour information sessions on campus from 10:30am – 12:30 pm.



rsphweb. (2014, December 23). The Rollins Experience [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpvX-iymomw