Emory Joins American Talent Initiative

Emory has joined the American Talent Initiative (ATI), a program composed of institutions committed to increasing enrollment of high-achieving, low- and moderate-income students by improving recruitment strategies and affordability, according to an April 18 University press release. Emory joins 99 other universities, including all Ivy League colleges, that agree to ATI’s goal of collectively enrolling 50,000 low- and moderate-income students at colleges and universities with graduation rates of at least 70 percent by 2025. Some of the strategies the member institutions plan to implement include increasing the number of applications from students eligible for Pell Grants and first-generation college students, prioritizing need-based aid and retaining and graduating lower-income students at rates comparable to their higher-income peers.

Search Committee Launched for New Vice President of Campus Life

A search advisory committee consisting of students, staff and faculty has been formed to find the new Vice President of Campus Life and Dean of Students, according to an April 24 University-wide email from University President Claire E. Sterk. Dean of the Emory College of Arts and Sciences Michael A. Elliott and Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and African Studies and incoming Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Pamela Scully will serve as the committee co-chairs. The committee plans to have “listening sessions” with the Emory community and develop the expected qualifications for the vice president, according to the email. Town hall meetings to gather community feedback are scheduled for April 30 and May 2. Ajay Nair served as the previous senior vice president and dean of Campus Life but left the position on March 1 to become the President of Arcadia University (Pa.).

Emory Law Professor Retires

Sam Nunn Professor of Law and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion Frank Alexander concluded his 37-year teaching career at Emory School of Law on April 20, according to an Emory Law Facebook post. Alexander was recently voted “Most Outstanding Professor” by students for the fifth time at Emory. He served as the interim dean of Emory Law from 2005-2006 and received the Thomas Jefferson Award in 2006, which honors faculty and staff for their significant service to the University, according to his faculty profile. He taught courses such as Property Law, Federal Housing Policies and Real Estate Finance. Law students, faculty and staff stood on the edges of Gambrell Hall and clapped as Alexander left the classroom for the final time with his wife.

Shooting at Waffle House

Travis Reinking, 29, opened fire with an AR-15 rifle in a Waffle House in Nashville, Tenn., on Sunday, killing four people, according to The New York Times. Authorities arrested Reinking on Monday, who surrendered without incident despite having a loaded handgun in his backpack. Reinking exited his car around 3:23 a.m. on Sunday and shot two people outside of the restaurant before going inside and continuing to shoot at people. When Reinking was trying to reload his rifle, a Waffle House customer, James Shaw Jr., came from behind a swinging door where he was hiding and disarmed Reinking. Reinking fled the scene. Investigators have not yet determined a motive for his shootings. Reinking was previously arrested in July 2017 for crossing an exterior security barrier at the White House.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation Brings in Extra Agents for Fort Valley State Investigation

Earlier this week, Fort Valley State University (Ga.) notified the University System of Georgia about a case of employee misconduct and said an employee had been placed on administrative leave, according to the AJC. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) started investigating the case on April 12, and agents from across the state are being called to the area to assist in the investigation due to the complexity of the case. Several media outlets have reported that the case involves employee misconduct and hazing within the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and there have been allegations on social media that it may involve a sex ring, according to the AJC. Alpha Kappa Alpha issued a statement on April 18 stating that it has launched a separate investigation and condemned the allegations.

Emory Alum Part of Pulitzer-winning team

Emory alumna Ellen Gabler (03B) and a team of reporters at The New York Times won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for stories detailing longtime sexual harassment and abuse of women by men in the entertainment industry, media and politics on April 16, according to the Leader-Telegram. The New York Times shared the award with The New Yorker. Gabler was the lead author of a story detailing producer Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexually assaulting women and a story about NBC News “Today” host Matt Lauer’s sexual misconduct against women in the workplace.

Ponce de Leon Avenue Closed Temporarily

Ponce de Leon Avenue was closed temporarily on April 22 as firefighters put out a house fire at Highland Avenue, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Firefighters told the AJC that it appeared no one was inside the building. The building had been vacant for years, and the cause of the fire has not been determined, according to the AJC.