Rollins Alumni Association Awards

Lisa M. Carlson and Fatima Cody Stanford posing with their Distinguished Achievement Awards.
Lisa M. Carlson and Fatima Cody Stanford won Distinguished Achievement Awards.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rollins postponed its annual Alumni Association Awards last year. This year we present both our 2019–2020 and 2020–2021 winners of the Distinguished Achievement Award and the Matthew Lee Girvin Award.

Distinguished Achievement Award

Considered one of the country’s premier experts in obesity medicine, Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford 00C 01MPH has successfully bridged the intersection of medicine, public health, and policy in her pioneering work caring for patients struggling with obesity as well as her advocacy efforts to advance obesity as a public policy issue. From her leadership roles with the American Medical Association, National Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, to her numerous awards, to her countless hours of volunteer service, Stanford’s achievements have earned her the 2019–2020 Distinguished Achievement Award.

In addition to her Emory degrees, Stanford holds degrees from the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine, the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and the Quantic School of Business and Technology. Following her residency at the University of South Carolina, Stanford completed her obesity medicine and nutrition fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School. She is one of the first fellowship-trained obesity medicine physician scientists and educators, specializing in the care of adults, adolescents, and children who are overweight and obese. Stanford joined the faculty at MGH and Harvard Medical School in 2015 where she continues to provide clinical care, supervise trainees, and conduct research on obesity, health policy, and health disparities. A sought-after authority for her work in obesity, public health, and public policy, Stanford has been featured in the New York Times and invited to speak throughout the United States.

Imagine, Innovate, and Impact. Not only is this the name of the funding initiative that Lisa M. Carlson 93MPH launched and manages as executive administrator for research programs and operations
in the Emory School of Medicine, but it is also an apropos moniker.

Throughout her 27 years of experience and leadership in public health and medicine at the university, state, national, and international levels, including 18 years at Emory, Carlson has only ever held positions that no one has held before—each position newly created for her. 

A Woodruff Scholar, the recipient of the 2020–2021 Distinguished Achievement Award earned an MPH in behavioral, social, and health education sciences and received a BA in ethics, politics, and economics (specialization in medicine) from Yale University. She has spent her career working and teaching at the intersection of health sciences, research administration, and practice, serving as the catalyst to some of the largest and most ambitious programs at Emory, and perhaps most influentially, educating, mentoring, and fostering the next generation of public health professionals. In addition to her role in the school of medicine, Carlson is also an affiliated instructor in the Executive MPH program, where she teaches courses in public health ethics and qualitative methods. 

Carlson is immediate past president of the American Public Health Association (APHA). A longtime member of both APHA and the Georgia Public Health Association, Carlson has been instrumental in advancing APHA’s agenda, including bringing focus to issues such as fostering cross-sector collaborations, which she sees as a critical component to successfully tackling mental illness and public health disparities.

Matthew Lee Girvin Award

One day, when looking back on her career, Shantrice L. Jones 09MPH wants to be able to say, “Now the healthy choice is the easy choice for everyone, everywhere.” If her early career accomplishments are any indication, Jones will certainly continue to play a role in moving the field of public health closer to this ideal.

The recipient of the 2019–2020 Matthew Lee Girvin Award, Jones is commited to advancing local communities, building sustainable relationships, and enhancing the public health workforce. Her passion is evident not only in her current job as project manager of community engagement for the Emory Centers for Public Health Training and Technical Assistance, but also in the numerous volunteer and leadership positions she holds.

Shantrice L. Jones and Takeia Horton pose with The Matthew Lee Girvin Award.

The Matthew Lee Girvin Awards went to Shantrice L. Jones and Takeia Horton.

In her work with Emory Centers, Jones contributes to advancing the public health workforce through community development, coalition building, and strategic partnerships for various states and nonprofits across the US. Her current project management activities span from fostering state and local public health networking and best practices sharing for rural communities to supporting a collaborative statewide effort to reduce chronic diseases and increase quality-of-life indicators. 

Jones graduated from Mercer University with a BA in psychology and earned an MPH in behavioral, social, and health education sciences. In addition to her full-time jobs, she has worked tirelessly on several nonprofit boards in volunteer and leadership positions.

As a new mom who found the transition to motherhood difficult, Jones realized there was much work to be done to move the public health community forward as it relates to maternal mental health. She accepted the charge to join a new board, Postpartum Support International (PSI)–Georgia Chapter to promote awareness, prevention, and treatment of maternal mental health issues associated with childbearing. She was recently elected president of the organization, a role in which she uses her public health background and expertise to assist PSI-GA with conducting statewide strategic planning sessions, developing partnerships to increase people’s awareness of the PSI, helping families struggling with postpartum depression or anxiety, and training health care professionals to recognize the symptoms, screen, and diagnose mothers early so that they can get the help they need.  

Combining her passion for medicine with her studies in behavioral, social, and health education sciences to address health disparities that plague underserved communities, Takeia Horton 07C 09PH 14PA is on a mission to increase the number of minority physician assistants (PA) in practice today. She believes that “many of the health disparities could be mitigated by having more clinicians who resemble the population they are trying to serve.”

After receiving an MPH, Horton served as a research project coordinator at the Hope Clinic of the Emory Vaccine Center for several HIV prevention and HIV vaccine trials, including a faith-based educational intervention to reduce health disparities and to increase minority participation in clinical trials. She went on to earn an MMSc degree in physician assistant studies at Emory. She then spent five years with the National Health Service Corps, providing health care to underserved communities. While working at these free/sliding-fee community health clinics, she used her public health skills to teach patients ways to prevent chronic diseases.

Currently, Horton works as a PA with Emory Family Practice, providing routine primary care to pediatric and adult patients. Recognizing the lack of diversity among PAs, Horton founded Diversity PA, an organization with the mission to increase the number of minority PAs in practice today. In addition, she serves as a mentor to pre-PA students, as well as college and high school students who are interested in the PA profession.

Still early in her career, Horton has already made significant contributions toward improving the lives and health of others,
earning her the 2020–2021 Matthew Lee Girvin Award.