Emory University welcomes first-year students with two distinct options to begin their liberal arts education: the research-infused Emory College or the smaller, experiential learning Oxford College. If you could create an academic course that is in the Emory University spirit of collaboration, creativity, entrepreneurship and inquiry, what would it be? What impact would the course have on you and your classmates’ educational experience?
The notion that Emory stands alone, discrete and disconnected from Atlanta, is a remarkably simple misconception. A swift breath of the crisp, unadulterated Georgian air clouds any association of the institution with a Metropolitan hub. But a midnight walk through Emory Point–with the Center of Disease Control hunkering on the outskirts of the campus– serves as an awakening to the reality that, no matter how secluded Emory may seem, the University and Atlanta are inextricably linked. To secure the tie between the two, the connection between the city and the students must be strengthened. Welcome to Emory Shapes Atlanta, the Department of Political Science’s newest course offering.
The Political Science Department currently offers a plethora of courses focusing on political thought, coupled with those centered on the analysis of modern day political phenomena, encouraging a multi-faceted approach to the study. The newest addition to the course lists, Emory Shapes Atlanta, enhances this education by facilitating a hands on learning experience in a classroom setting instead of an expected internship. As part of the course, a select group of students will be linked directly with the Atlanta Mayor’s Office in order to help formulate feasible policy solutions to the city’s most pressing issues. At the beginning of every month, the Mayor’s Office would send a list of imminent problems, among which the student committee would vote for a select few to address. Under the guidance of the professor, the student committee would collaborate for the remainder of the month to analyze and research the designated issues, being given full access to Emory’s world class facilities and materials–including the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, a comprehensive database used by the Political Science Graduate School. Once the students vote among themselves and finalize their proposals, they will have the opportunity to present their solutions to the office; each month, a new set of students will be chosen to work side by side with the Mayor’s staff to follow through on one of the proposed ideas.
Giving Emory’s students an opportunity to contribute to the growth of the city grants them not only an experience that will carry them through their professional careers, but also a voice that will echo in the structure of the city; being able to reform policy measures and take initiative ensures that the prosperity of the city is aligned with the students’ best interests.
After all, an Eagle does make its nest.