Brittany McAuley (’12C) was one of two victims who died in a plane crash in northwest Atlanta on Tuesday, Dec. 17.
The 23-year-old from Long Island, N.Y., was a passenger in a business jet when it went down at 7:25 p.m. near Bolton Road and I-285, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The Associated Press and other media outlets identified McAuley as a victim of the crash on Thursday, Dec. 19.
Peter Mallen, 67, was flying the plane when it struck a tree and veered to the right, then hit the ground and burst into flames, according to a preliminary report released last week by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Mallen initially requested to return to Fulton County Airport in Atlanta soon after he took off en route to New Orleans, but he did not request assistance, the report says.
The cause of the crash has not yet been determined, according to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) report. Media outlets have reported that the incident is currently under investigation.
McAuley graduated Emory with a bachelors degree in History, according to her LinkedIn page. She attended Islip High School.
In addition, McAuley worked as one of 67 interns at Chartis, a now-defunct subsidiary of American International Group, in summer 2011, where she won the Intern Social Innovation Challenge. As a result, she was granted an opportunity to work with a Chartis social media team.
Mallen, the pilot, was the CEO of Mallen Industries, an Atlanta-based textile company.
The plane destroyed in last week’s crash was registered under Mallen’s company and was manufactured by the Raytheon Aircraft Company, according to FAA records.
This was Mallen’s second plane crash. In October 1998, he crash-landed a twin-engine plane in New Mexico on his way to Atlanta from Las Vegas, according to the AJC. He and the passenger both escaped injury.
The AJC also reported that his brother Steven Mallen also died in a plane crash in 1972.
— By Jordan Friedman
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Green Bean Coffee Cart to Move to Cox Hall
The Green Bean, Emory’s fair-trade student-run coffee cart, will relocate to the Cox Hall food court this fall. The cart has operated outside Cannon Chapel since fall 2009.
Students manage the day-to-day operations of the Green Bean, though Emory’s food-service provider Sodexo maintains ownership. It opened in January 2008 and was initially located under the Dobbs University Center.
The Green Bean will replace the Emory Bakery and offer a greater variety of pastries as well as espresso drinks such as lattes and cappuccinos, according to David Furhman, the senior director of Emory’s Food Service Administration. This change is also part of a larger facelift that Cox Hall is undergoing this fall, which includes the removal of Chick-fil-A and Pizza Hut.
Making the decision to move the Green Bean cart was not easy, Furhman said. Green Bean student employees collaborated with Furhman in the spring to come up with a resolution.
“The cart is several years old and in disrepair, and we found ourselves at a juncture of either having to replace it or simply moving the Green Bean operation,” Furhman said.
He added that the Green Bean will “benefit from a comfortable, indoor operating environment, longer operating hours and an expanded menu.”
The ultimate fate of the physical cart, however, is still up for debate, though only Sodexo can make the final decision, according to College junior Sonam Vashi, the Green Bean’s general manager and the Wheel copy chief.
“We feel that moving the cart will offer more opportunities to grow our business,” Vashi said. “We are not just selling coffee but educating consumers about fair trade.”
Emory Hospital Patient Steals DeKalb Ambulance
A patient from Emory University Hospital stole an ambulance with two DeKalb County Fire Department paramedics inside the back unit on June 1.
The suspect, whom the AJC has identified as Frank Ponquinette, 36, was still wearing a gown and rubber gloves when he climbed behind the wheel of the ambulance parked on an emergency ramp at the hospital. The paramedics were completing paperwork in the back of the ambulance when it was stolen, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on June 1.
Ponquinette zoomed away just before 2 p.m. for several miles, and the ambulance tore down a utility pole and then crashed into the Sandy Chiropractic office on Church Street. No one was inside the building, according to the AJC.
DeKalb Fire Battalion Chief Christopher Morrison Jr. told the AJC that the suspect then escaped on foot. He was taken into custody at a shopping center several hours after wrecking the ambulance.
Ponquinette has been charged with two counts of kidnapping as well as interference with government property, the AJC reported on June 3. The two paramedics — a male and female firefighter — were hurt but in stable condition at Atlanta Medical Center after the incident.
“He knew they were in the unit because he actually looked through the window in the back and he saw them and pretty much told them to just be quiet and hold on,” Morrison told the AJC.
One of the paramedics in the ambulance was able to radio in their location through a tactical channel, so that 911 dispatch received a play-by-play account of the incident.
“[When] you’ve been in this business long enough, nothing surprises you,” Morrison told the AJC. “When you think you’ve seen it all, something else happens.”
Trethewey Appointed to Second Term as Poet Laureate
Natasha Trethewey, Emory’s Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing, was appointed last week to her second term as the 19th U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, known as the nation’s official poet.
Trethewey, who also serves as the director of the Creative Writing Program, will begin her next term in September.
The Poet Laureate Consulant in Poetry “serves as the nation’s official lightning rod for the poetic impulse of Americans,” according to the Library of Congress website. The Poet Laureate aims to raise awareness and appreciation of the reading and writing of poetry and receives a $35,000 annual stipend funded by a gift from an Archer M. Huntington endowment.
“The Library and the country are fortunate Natasha Trethewey will continue her work as Poet Laureate,” Librarian of Congress James Billington, who selected Trethewey for the position, said in a June 10 Library of Congress press release. “Natasha’s first term was a resounding success, and we could not be more thrilled with her plans for the coming year.”
In her second term, according to the press release, Trethewey will explore societal issues through a poetic lens in a regular feature on the PBS NewsHour Poetry Series, joining NewsHour Senior Correspondent Jeffrey Brown for on-air reports in different cities across the country.
Among her accomplishments during her first term were her “Office Hours,” a tradition that former Poet Laureates upheld between 1937 and 1986. “Office Hours” allowed Trethewey to interact with the general public in the Library’s Poetry Room.
“All of us on the Emory campus, along with members of the broader Emory community, are proud and enthusiastically supportive of the work [Trethewey] has done to share the creative power of poetry with the entire nation,” College Dean Robin Forman said in a June 10 University press release, adding that Trethewey took the time during this past year to continuing engaging with Emory students and the Creative Writing Program.
Trethewey received the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the Lillian Smith Award for her poetry collection “Native Guard.” She released a sequel to that work, titled “Thrall,” last year. Additionally, Trethewey has published the collections “Bellocq’s Ophelia” and “Domestic Work,” as well as a nonfiction book Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 2010.
As Poet Laureate, Trethewey joins the ranks of several others who have filled the position, including Billy Collins, Robert Pinsky and Rita Dove.
This past spring, Trethewey was also named a 2013 member of the American Academy of the Arts, one of the United States’ oldest honorary societies.
She is additionally serving a four-year term as the Poet Laureate of Mississippi and will continue in both positions.
— By Jordan Friedman, Karishma Mehrotra and Dustin Slade
Laney Graduate School students voted through an electronic ballot Tuesday that they do not have confidence in James W. Wagner as University president. The Graduate Student Council (GSC) passed a bill earlier this month that allowed the vote to take place.
Twenty-two percent, or 433 students, of the approximately 2,000 total Laney students voted. On the question — “Do you have confidence in James Wagner as President of Emory University?” — 68 percent of voters, or 295 students, voted no, while 27 percent, or 117 students, voted yes, and five percent abstained. The results were announced on the GSC website this afternoon.
GSC President and fifth-year Laney student Rob Rankin wrote in an email to the Wheel that the voting process went well overall. He said about one percent of voters experienced problems.
He added that the voter participation rate was “not surprisingly low,” noting that he wishes Laney students “would be more involved in the University.”
A vote of “no confidence” does not affect Wagner’s employment position as president but indicates that the Laney student body feels Wagner is no longer fit to lead. In a separate electronic ballot held last week, College faculty rejected a motion of “no confidence” in Wagner after five days of voting.
“Of course I respect the actions of any of our governance bodies to adopt resolutions and make decisions in what they consider to be in the better interests of Emory,” Wagner wrote in an email to the Wheel last week, in regard to the passage of the GSC bill that enabled the vote to be held.
Voting for Laney students was held online at emory.edu/vote.
“The vote was important to get the students’ perspective of the perception of President Wagner and how we think the University has been run this year,” Rankin wrote. “Personally, I think the results indicate a large number of [Laney] students are unhappy with how the University has been run [and] President Wagner’s actions.”
At an April 4 GSC meeting, fourth-year student in the Laney Graduate School Andy Ratto presented the bill calling for the vote, which passed after it was amended from its original version to add a space on the ballot where voters could type an additional response.
Rankin wrote that he is currently unsure of when and in what format comments will be available online.
Ratto had presented another bill at a Student Government Association meeting last month, which would have added a question on the student leadership elections ballot about whether students have confidence in Wagner. While the bill was amended to focus on the direction of the University as a whole rather than Wagner himself, the legislature ultimately failed the bill by a vote of 6-14-3.
Some members of the Emory community have questioned Wagner’s leadership this semester after the publication of his controversial column about the Three-Fifths Compromise in the winter edition of Emory Magazine. The column sparked local and national criticism, and Wagner issued an apology, most of which was later taken off the magazine’s website.
The Laney bill did not specifically cite the column or Wagner’s role in the department changes announced last semester — a topic that College faculty members have discussed at their monthly meetings — as reasons for the vote. Instead, it was meant to serve as a “method of evaluating performance,” according to the bill.
Following the College faculty vote, Wagner sent out a University-wide email Monday morning, in which he wrote, “I pledge to do my best to lead that change and to grow along with you, in order to help Emory change and grow, while making best use of our resources to serve and lead in our challenging times.”
Wagner’s employment at the University ultimately lies in the hands of the Board of Trustees. In a statement released shortly after the results of the faculty vote were announced, the Board’s Chair Ben F. Johnson III said on the behalf of the Board that Wagner “remains extraordinarily well-suited to maintain Emory University’s forward momentum.”
— By Jordan Friedman
College faculty have rejected the motion of “no confidence” in University President James W. Wagner.
The result was sent via email to College faculty Friday night by Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Governance Committee Chair Stefan Lutz.
The ballot asked, “Should the faculty of Emory College of Arts and Sciences adopt the motion of no-confidence in President James Wagner?” The final tally showed that 39.8 percent of voters, or 133 faculty members, voted in support, while 60.2 percent, or 201 faculty members, were opposed.
Of the College’s 530 faculty members, 63 percent — or 334 members — participated in the voting. Polls opened Monday and closed at 8 p.m. today.
If the majority of the faculty had voted “no confidence,” the result would have had no direct effect on Wagner’s employment as University president but would have expressed the faculty’s belief that Wagner is no longer fit to lead.
“This is an important vote for the president,” Lutz told the Wheel. “I think it shows that there are a number of faculty that are happy or satisfied with the current system, and I hope that we all as a community can come together now and try to work out our differences and move forward together.”
In a University statement released Friday night, Wagner said he respects the faculty’s “right to express concern” about his leadership and the direction of the University.
“I take to heart the significance of this vote,” he said in the statement. “Faculty governance and faculty responsibility for the future of Emory University are essential. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the administration and with the faculty to carry out the mission of this great institution.”
College faculty voted last month to hold the “no confidence” vote via electronic ballot. While faculty governance bylaws prohibit electronic votes for such motions, those in attendance voted to suspend the rules due to the limited representation of the entire faculty present.
At that meeting — which was held after Wagner addressed College faculty at a meeting the week before — some who were in favor of a “no confidence” vote cited Wagner’s Emory Magazine column regarding the Three-Fifths Compromise as well as his role in the department changes announced last semester. Other faculty members defended Wagner by stating that he had made a mistake or that many issues were out of his control.
Some faculty members believed holding this vote would place the University in a negative light and would send the wrong message to students.
In February, the College faculty voted to censure Wagner over his controversial column. A censure, one faculty member at the meeting said, is stronger than a reprimand but not as strong as a vote of “no confidence.”
Laney Graduate School students will participate in a similar vote this Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on emory.edu/vote. The Graduate Student Council passed the bill allowing the vote earlier this month. Laney students will have a choice of “yes,” “no” or “abstain,” and the vote will also include a text box on the ballot, enabling them to explain the reasoning behind their votes.
The Student Government Association (SGA) failed to pass a bill last month that would have added a “no confidence” vote to the student government elections electronic ballot. At the SGA meeting, the bill was amended to focus on the direction of the University in general rather than Wagner specifically.
Students, faculty and alumni have also created an online petition at KeepWagner.com that went live on Wednesday night and now has more than 750 signatures. Meanwhile, the Student Re-Visioning Committee (SRC) gathered on the Quadrangle Wednesday to urge faculty to vote “no confidence.” The SRC is a group of students that formed in opposition to the department changes and that has protested since the fall.
An in-depth version of this story will be available in Tuesday’s issue.
— By Karishma Mehrotra
Updated at 9:38 p.m. on April 12, 2013.