News Roundup | 2.28.2018

Emory Acquires Obama Inaugural Poet’s Papers

The Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library acquired a new collection of papers from poet Richard Blanco, who delivered his poem “One Today” at former U.S. President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2013, according to a Feb. 21 University press release. The papers include first editions of Blanco’s books, commissioned and occasional poems, correspondence with other writers and unpublished writing. The fifth presidential inaugural poet in U.S. history, Blanco is the “youngest, first Latino, immigrant and gay person” to deliver a poem at a U.S. presidential inauguration, according to Blanco’s website.

CDC Researcher Missing for Two Weeks

Timothy Cunningham, 35, an employee at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been missing since Feb. 12, according to The New York Times. In partnership with Crime Stoppers Greater Atlanta, Cunningham’s family in partnership with Crime Stoppers Greater Atlanta has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to an indictment or arrest. Atlanta Police Department (APD) told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that there is no evidence of foul play as of Feb. 26. Cunningham’s parents reported their son missing Feb. 16. “Dr. Cunningham’s colleagues and friends at CDC hope that he is safe,” CDC spokeswoman Kathy Harben wrote in a Feb. 27 email to the Wheel. “We want him to return to his loved ones and his work — doing what he does best as a CDC disease detective — protecting people’s health.” The Harvard University-educated researcher had been serving as a commander with the U.S. Public Health Service and as a team lead for the CDC’s State Chronic Disease Epidemiology Assignee Program in the Division for Population Health when he went missing. He was deployed in the Zika virus and Ebola outbreaks and was named one of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “40 under 40 Award” winners in 2017.

Supreme Court Denies Trump Administration’s DACA Appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court turned down President Donald J. Trump’s administration’s request for the court to decide immediately whether the administration could shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which offers about 700,000 undocumented immigrants a temporary immigration benefit, according to The New York Times. “Emory University is encouraged that the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal to bring an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program,” a Feb. 27 University statement sent to the Wheel by Associate Director of University Media Relations Elaine Justice reads. No courts of appeals, the appellate level below the Supreme Court, have ruled yet on the issue, though two federal judges have ruled that the administration uphold major portions of the DACA program while legal challenges to Trump’s decision to end DACA proceed, the Times reported. The White House announced September 2017 that it would end the program, and Trump called on Congress to replace the policy by March 5. Congress has not yet made any concrete plans regarding the undocumented immigrants and the undocumented immigrants’ status in the U.S. remains uncertain.

Georgia Senate Blocks Delta Tax Break

The Georgia Senate voted Tuesday to block a $50 million jet fuel sales tax exemption bill that would have benefited Delta Air Lines after the Atlanta-based airline ended its discount fares for National Rifle Association (NRA) members in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., high school mass shooting and nationwide protests for stricter gun control legislation. “I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA,” Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle tweeted Monday. “Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back.”

Emory Slave Trade Database Receives $300K

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded $300,000 to Emory’s Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS) to expand the Emory-hosted website Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database for a new project called “People of the Atlantic Slave Trade” (PAST). PAST will provide information on historical figures who “can be linked to a slave voyage, enslaved and enslavers alike,” according to a Feb. 26 University press release. ECDS is re-coding and re-designing the new site and hopes to offer a new database that will be composed of 10,000 intra-American slave voyages by mid-2018, the press release reads. The project began in 1992 as a CD-ROM but has grown with more than $3 million in funding from various donors.

Hill’s Talk Rescheduled

ESPN reporter Jemele Hill, who was scheduled to deliver the state of race speech at Emory Feb. 22 for College Council’s (CC) annual event Culture Shock, is now set to talk March 8 at 8 p.m. in the Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC). “Jemele Hill’s management requested to reschedule after having a scheduling conflict arise for February 22,” CC adviser Sarah Beth Potter wrote in a Feb. 26 email to the Wheel. Hill made headlines last fall when she sent tweets critical of President Donald J. Trump, which led ESPN to temporarily suspend her. Hill has remained at ESPN since the controversy, but has moved from the position of an anchor for program SC6 to working as a senior correspondent and columnist for website The Undefeated.

Nair to Receive NASPA Award

NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education awarded Senior Vice President and Dean of Campus Life Ajay Nair the Doris Michiko Ching Shattering the Glass Ceiling Award. The award is given to an individual who has made an “outstanding impact on the Asian/Pacific Islander/Desi American (APIDA) community through leadership, service and scholarship,” according to the NAPSA website. Nair is set to receive the award at the annual NASPA conference in March. “Ajay has left an indelible mark on many through his leadership in both the student affairs field and within the APIDA community,” NASPA wrote in a Feb. 13 press release. “He has consistently challenged the status quo, creating ways to empower students so they can reach their goals at highly complex institutions.”

Emory Earns Fifth Consecutive “Gold” Sustainability Rating

Emory University received its fifth straight “Gold” rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), according to a Feb. 26 University press release. Emory self-reports to the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System, which measures college’s sustainability performances by evaluating the institution’s outdoor air quality, food and beverage purchasing, support for sustainable transportation and more. Emory scored 68.91, and the minimum score required for gold is 65. The highest rating, platinum, requires a minimum score of 85.

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