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Acclaim: Recent honors for Emory faculty and staff

Emory faculty and staff are frequently recognized for their work locally, nationally and internationally. The following is a sampling of recent accolades, including awards for professional contributions and leadership appointments.

Honors highlighted in this column:


Bell to serve as coalition co-president

The Georgia Coalition for Higher Education in Prison (GACHEP) announced that Stacy Bell, professor of pedagogy in English at Oxford College, will serve as co-president of the nonprofit organization's first board of directors. 

GACHEP is a coalition of higher education institutions providing college-level programs in Georgia prisons. The organization serves to build high-quality educational pathways, from pre-college coursework to accredited degree completion, for people who are in prison and people who have left prison in Georgia.


Brown to join Georgia Writers Hall of Fame

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Jericho Brown will be celebrated as one of the newest members of the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame in November. The four 2021 inductees join a group of 69 acclaimed wordsmiths, including recipients of prestigious creative awards such as the Pulitzer Prize, the Academy Awards and even the Nobel Peace Prize.

Brown’s third collection of poetry, “The Tradition,” won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award. He is Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Creative Writing and director of Emory’s acclaimed creative writing program.


Distinguished Researcher Award goes to Bruner

Deborah Watkins Bruner, senior vice president for research, was selected for the Claire M. Fagin Distinguished Researcher Award, which honors distinguished Penn Nursing faculty and alumni.

The biennial award is given to a Penn Nursing faculty member or a graduate from the school’s doctoral program who has made a distinguished contribution to nursing scholarship. Bruner delivered the lecture “Inspiration, Innovation and Impact” during the virtual award presentation.

Bruner is also professor and Robert W. Woodruff Chair in Nursing, professor of radiation oncology and part of Winship Cancer Institute. She is an internationally-renowned researcher and clinical trialist.


Dowe’s article wins publication prize

Pearl K. Dowe, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Political Science and African American Studies at Oxford College and Emory College of Arts and Sciences, received the 2021 Association for the Study of Black Women in Politics (ASBWP) Anna Julia Cooper Best Publication Prize. Her article "Resisting Marginalization: Black Women's Political Ambition and Agency" was nominated, considered and received unanimous votes. 

ASBWP serves as a vehicle for promoting research on Black women in politics in the U.S. and across the globe. The Anna Julia Cooper Best Publication Prize goes to a political scientist for the most outstanding article in a peer-reviewed journal or book, on Black women in politics.


Summer stipend supports Kamath’s research  

Harshita Mruthinti Kamath has received a summer fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities: the NEH Summer Stipend, which is part of $24 million that NEH has awarded to 225 humanities projects nationwide. The program aims to stimulate new research in the humanities and its publication. Awards can support projects at any stage of development, but especially early-stage research and late-stage writing in which small awards are most effective. The summer stipend supports full-time work by a scholar on a humanities project for two months.

Kamath is Visweswara Rao and Sita Koppaka Assistant Professor in Telugu Culture, Literature and History in the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies. The summer stipend will support her research for a book on the South Asian poet Annamayya (1424–1503) and his role in the history of the Hindu temple at Tirumala in south India.


Kragel named an APS Rising Star

Assistant professor of psychology Philip Kragel has been named a Rising Star by the American Association for Psychological Science.

The Rising Star designation is presented to outstanding APS members in the earliest stages of their research career post-PhD. This designation recognizes researchers whose innovative work has already advanced the field and signals great potential for their continued contributions.

Individuals being considered for Rising Star designation are evaluated for their promise of excellence in research based on their publications; recognitions; discoveries, innovations or theoretical or empirical contributions; work with potentially broad impact; and demonstrated independence from mentors.


Statistical contributions award recognizes Kutner

Michael Kutner received the 2021 American Statistical Association Karl E. Peace Award for Outstanding Statistical Contributions for the Betterment of Society. The award recognizes statisticians who have made substantial contributions to the statistical profession and to society in general. Their contributions have led in direct ways to improving the human condition and recipients have demonstrated through their accomplishments their commitment to service for the greater good.

Kutner is Endowed Rollins Professor of Biostatistics in the biostatistics and bioinformatics department of Rollins School of Public Health. He has received numerous professional awards over the years and served as department chair from 2004 – 2009.


O'Banion recognized as rising star at Emory 

Jacquelyn A. O'Banion, director of Global Ophthalmology-Emory, was recognized by The Emory Alliance for Women in Medicine and Science (EAWiMS) as an exceptional rising star female faculty member.

O’Banion joined the Emory Eye Center in 2016 and serves as an assistant professor of ophthalmology. Her clinical work includes routine eye exams, cataract surgery and other comprehensive eye care services. Her research interests include pediatric vision screening and addressing health care disparities for underserved populations, both locally and abroad.

She has participated in several studies in underserved populations such as in Peru and Swaziland. O’Banion also works with local hospitals, clinics and ministries of health to establish national eye care plans.


Patel included in The Ophthalmologist’s 2021 Power List

Purnima Patel, associate professor of ophthalmology at Emory Eye Center, was named to The Ophthalmologist’s Power List 2021. The power list celebrates the 100 most influential women in ophthalmology. 

Patel joined the ophthalmology section of the Atlanta VA Medical Center in 2010. She is board certified in ophthalmology and specializes in medical retina and comprehensive ophthalmology. Her areas of clinical interest are diabetic retinopathy, inherited retinal diseases, macular degeneration, cataract surgery, and uveitis.

Patel also served as chair of the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s (AAO) Young Ophthalmologist Committee in 2014 and received the Secretariat Award from AAO. Read more about her recognition.


Primo named to NEI eye health planning group

Susan Primo, director of optometry services and low vision services at Emory Eye Center, was named to the National Eye Institute’s (NEI) National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) Planning Group.

NEI created NEHEP to educate professionals and the public about the importance of eye health. The NEHEP Planning Group is made up of experts in eye health, health education, health communications and community outreach.

Primo is a well-known expert in low vision research and visual health disparities. She was named Optometrist of the Year by the National Optometric Association in 2005 and has received numerous awards and recognition for community service. Primo is a fellow in the American Academy of Optometry and has lectured extensively at various local and national meetings.


“Your Fantastic Mind” accepted for nationwide distribution

“Your Fantastic Mind,” the Georgia Public Broadcasting television series produced in partnership with the Emory Brain Health Center, has been accepted for nationwide distribution by the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA). Season 2 of “Your Fantastic Mind” will be made available to more than 200 PBS stations across the nation for possible inclusion in their programming schedules.

NETA is one of the nation's leading service organizations strengthening and amplifying public media's education mission. Watch past episodes of “Your Fantastic Mind.”


Three Emory faculty awarded 2021 Guggenheim Fellowships

Three Emory professors — Tayari Jones, Laura Otis and Katherine Young — have been awarded 2021 Guggenheim Fellowships. They are three of 184 American and Canadian scientists, scholars in the social sciences and humanities, and writers and artists of all kinds, who were awarded fellowships this year by the Guggenheim Foundation. Fellowship amounts vary, but are designed to help fund writers, scholars and scientists in their work.

Jones, Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Creative Writing, Department of English, won a fellowship in the fiction category; Otis, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of English, Department of English, won in the field of English literature; and Young, assistant professor of composition in the Department of Music, won in the field of music composition.

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