By Emma Rosen, 1st year Environmental Epidemiology
There are so many things I love about Rollins and want to gush about, but I couldn’t think of a way to do it in a cohesive, coherent manner. I was talking to one of my teacher friends about her current activities with her kindergarteners, and I thought it was entirely applicable for grad school as well. So, I proudly present, my Rollins alphabet. These may not necessarily be the most significant parts of Rollins as a whole, but they are highly relevant to me and represent my Rollins/Atlanta experience.
A – Ambassadors: If you’re on this site, you probably know about the Rollins Student Ambassadors. It’s a diverse group of wonderful students who just love Rollins so darned much they wanted to share their love with prospective students! Look through this site, read our blogs, and feel free to reach out to any of us with questions. We’re here to help learn more about Rollins and see everything it has to offer!
B – Buford Highway: One of my favorite things about Atlanta is the genuine diversity it has to offer, including ethnic diversity. Buford Highway might be the epicenter for this. As the name suggests, it is in fact a highway, but there’s amazing ethnic food (check out Lee’s Bakery for Bahn Mi sandwiches) and stores where you can get really obscure international spices and ingredients. It’s also home to the closest Aldi’s to me – very relevant.
C – Convos on Tap: The CDC is too obvious for C. Plus, Convos is great! It’s held once a month and hosted by RSGA, and it’s just a chance for everyone – students, staff, and faculty – to hang out Fridays after class/work. There’s food, kegs (yes, this is real), non-alcoholic drinks, and a bike blender! If you’re at all curious what the last this is (which you very well should be), you’ll just have to come to Convos and talk to some lovely REHAC folks (see below) and find out!
D -Decatur: Decatur is a super cute town just southeast of Emory. One of my (and many other folks’) complaints about Atlanta is that there isn’t really a centralized downtown to walk in. Good thing Decatur exists! The downtown part of it is very walkable, with lots of cute little shops, restaurants, coffee houses, etc. There’s also a Book Festival there every fall. Could you ask for anything better?
E – Environmental Health/Epidemiology: I couldn’t pick just one to study, so I picked both. Similarly, I couldn’t pick just one to talk about, so I picked both. My two departments! I could write whole posts about how great they both are, but I won’t. They’re quite different in a lot of ways, but I’ve found that they complement each other very nicely. I also want to take this opportunity to give a shout-out to my EH-Epi cohort! There are only 7 of us (and only 5 in the year above us), but we’re all buddies who basically take all of our classes together. It’s nice to have such a small cohort after being somewhat split between two departments. But really, the fact that Emory has an EH/Epi program was a huge plus for me, and has proved me with incredibly valuable resources, mentoring, and skill sets.
F – Fall Fling: Basically public health prom. It’s just about as ridiculous as high school prom, but in a wonderful, wonderful way. This past year it was at a local brewery, and it’s a pretty goofy experience getting to see your TAs and all these otherwise professional folks let loose for a bit. And it’s free! Thanks SGA 🙂
G – Gracement: I’m not sure if this is a real term, but it’s what I call it. The basement of Grace Crum Rollins building —> gracement. It’s one of the main study areas on campus, but also very social. I’ve spent many hours here calculating logistic regression slopes, recounting my probcare values in SAS, looking for misclassification bias in Reproductive Epi studies, or shooting the breeze with friends while I should be doing one of the former. There’s also a bunch of fridges to store your lunch and some microwaves.
H – The High: Atlanta’s art museum that I will some day theoretically visit. It’s free the first weekend of the month if you’re a Fulton county resident or a Bank of America customer. I’ve heard it’s very nice.
I – Intramural sports: This past fall, I captained the much feared “Public Filth,” a Rollins IM soccer team. We may not have been the most skilled team on the field (we may have in fact been the least skilled), but we had a lovely time. IM sports are a nice way to meet people from other departments, and compete against Emory folks from various schools.
J- Jimmy Carter: This man is a national treasure, Nic Cage style. I was fortunate enough to see him speak at Emory’s Town Hall Meeting. He has strong ties with Emory and Rollins works closely with the Carter Center for certain projects. Even into his 90s, he’s so sharp, so genuine, and so committed to his causes. Life goals.
K – Karaoke:I have spent far too many nights gallivanting through all corners of Atlanta looking for the perfect karaoke place. Some might call this my Mount Everest. The search continues, but I must persevere. All for the greater good. And I guess the search has been fun too, or whatever.
L -Lullwater Park: Lullwater Park is where Emory’s president lives, but it’s also a nice little haven that’s so nature-y and serene that you forget you’re right off of Clifton Road! There are running trails that are pleasant to use as a midday break from all the rush and rumble of Rollins life.
M – Michigan PBB Study: This is the study I’m working on for my REAL position. Following an agricultural contamination incident in the 1970s, lots of Michiganders were exposed to a flame retardant (polybrominated biphenyls). Now, we’re looking at health outcomes (especially endocrine related ones) in that population and if there’s any association between them and the initial exposure. Cool, right?! This is my jam, but I won’t go on about it too much here. It’s been a great way to learn about exposure assessment and work with some of the foremost leaders in the field (and get paid!)
N – National Center for Civil and Human Rights: This might be my favorite museum of all-time. Seriously, it’s that good. It’s fairly new and located in the same little plaza as the Aquarium and World of Coke. Those are definitely worth visiting, but you’ll avoid the crowds and have a really meaningful experience if you check this one out.
O – Outlook: Your Emory email is hosted from Outlook. For someone used to gmail, this is a transition, but then you’ll learn to tend to your email like a needy child. Or at least I do. Always so many things going on! People to talk to, things to do, timecards to fill out, meetings to RSVP to- if you haven’t before, you’ll become very close with your email account.
P – Pipeline: The Emory Pipeline Collaborative is a multi-tiered program that involves South Atlanta high schools, undergrads from Emory, and grad students from Rollins, Laney, and the Med School. It’s sort of a complicated program to explain, but it’s an extended mentoring/teaching program that is so well thought-out and executed. I’m fortunate enough to be able to participate and teach high schoolers and undergrads about “social determinants of health” aka public health, every week. It’s a great way to leave the Rollins bubble and meet some really amazing people along the way.
Q- Q is hard: There’s a quiet room in the basement of GCR that I walk by occasionally. There’s lots of Quality people here! I am Quite glad I chose Rollins. That’s the best I’m going to do with Q. Sorry guys.
R -REHAC: This was a very competitive letter (as most acronyms start with R…) but REHAC won out! REHAC is Rollins Environmental Health Action Coalition/Committee (no one’s really sure), in which I’m an officer. We do lots of awesome stuff around campus like our educational gardens, graduation gown recycling, and generally supporting campus sustainability initiatives. And we have a bike that has a blender rigged to the back so when you pedal, you can make yourself a smoothie. Come visit us at Convos!
S- SAS: SAS isn’t just a coding language, it’s a lifestyle. It’s an ongoing inside joke for no real reason. The Rollins store sells shirts with a SAS command on it. If/when you take Epi 591U, you’ll become a believer too, and you’ll look sadly upon those dark days before you had SAS in your life. And then you’ll cry and spend 45 minutes trying to debug your code/appease the SAS gods, not realizing you just forgot a semicolon (the tool that ends any line of code).
S -Silver Comet Trail: I wish I had discovered this sooner! It’s a paved trail about a half hour north of Emory. It stretches 60 miles (all the way into Alabama!) and is great for biking – meaning it’s flat. It’s a nice way to escape Atlanta for a day.
T- Tupperware: Always carry tupperware with you…ALWAYS! There is free food abound. If you wanted to, you could probably have free lunches most days of the week, and I certainly know some people who do that. Most of the free lunches are associated with lunchtime talks/seminars that are interesting in their own right and for which the free food is just an added benefit. But still, bring your tupperware.
U- Umbrella: It rains in Atlanta more than I thought.
V – Visit Emory: Emory’s accepted students visit program and one of the main reasons I came to Emory. I was pretty torn between a number of grad schools, as they all looked the same on paper, but Visit Emory was the deciding factor for me. Come! Eat and drink and meet with lots of professors and be merry!
W – WASH: WASH is an acronym you’ll hear a lot about at Emory, especially if you’re in the EH or Global Health departments. It stands for “Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene” and is a big area of study here. You can get a graduate certificate in WASH, do research in a WASH field, take classes learning about methods, go to seminars, etc. Rollins is also home to the Center for Global Safe WASH. If you’re at all interested in water or sanitation stuff, Rollins is probably the place for you.
X -X is also hard: I was going to doing something corny like in a 4th grade acrostic where I write “eXtra great faculty” which, while true, is indeed a little 4th grade. Since I doubled up on another letters I’m fine excluding X. That’s how averages work, right?
Y – Your Dekalb Farmers Market: CHECK. THIS. OUT. “Farmers market” is a bit of a misnomer because there aren’t actually any farmers hawking their wares, but they have all sorts of inexpensive and exotic produce, as well as crazy cheap spices, amazing pastries, and lots of random odds and ends. It’s open 9 am – 9 pm, but I’ve found that weeknights are the most manageable. Otherwise, bring your battle armor.
Z- Zika Virus: I may only be writing about this because we just talked about in numerous classes, but it’s a real life public health issue unfolding in front of our eyes! The more time I spend studying public health, the more I realize how insanely intertwined it is with nearly all issues. It’s a good field to be in, and Rollins is a great place to be studying.