Meet a few of our alumni!

Michael Arenson

Michael is the very first graduate of Emory’s MA in Bioethics. He joined the MA in Bioethics immediately after finishing his undergraduate degree and the MA has shaped his career ever since.  Prior to joining the MA in Bioethics, Michael was interested in pediatric infectious diseases.  However, while completing the MA, he developed an ongoing passion in the social determinants of health and health disparities.  Michael cultivated these and other interests in ethics by working at Emory’s Institutional Review Board and the Urban Health Initiative before joining Emory’s MD program in 2014.  Speaking of his MA and MD studies at Emory, Michael writes: “Getting my MA at the Center for Ethics was life-changing and changed the way I view medicine and the world.” Currently, Michael is moving to Seattle, Washington to start a pediatrics residency at Seattle Children's Hospital. 

Bryan Medilien

Bryan is a Summer 2022 graduate of the Emory 4+1/MA in Bioethics program. Recently, he served on the Fall 2022 MAB New Student Orientation Alumni Panel. Now he works for CORE (CORE Response: Community Organized Relief Effort) as the Community Mobilizer, providing vaccines to underserved areas. And he is a first-year medical student at Emory, planning on doing research in trauma-informed care.

Diana Cagliero

Diana is a native of Lexington, Massachusetts. She completed both her BS in Anthropology and Human Biology and her MA in Bioethics at Emory in four years. After completing these degrees, Diana worked at Massachusetts General Hospital as a clinical research coordinator researching cardiovascular disease risk among individuals with HIV. In the past, Diana has interned with the World Health Organization in Venice, Italy, where she worked on issues related to the health problems of migrants and refugees.  She also worked with the Emory Global Health Institute on a research project in Haiti studying mental health stressors in women. In Fall 2019, she began medical school at the University of Toronto.

Emma Cooke

Emma completed her MD and her MA in Bioethics in 2020. Her MA thesis examined the impact of HIPAA on older adults’ experiences in assisted living communities. During her time in the MA program, she also had the opportunity to do research at the Task Force for Global Health’s Focus Area for Compassion and Ethics, focusing on the ethical challenges faced by healthcare workers in developing countries. She was one of the producers and writers for All the Hospital’s a Stage, a night of one-act plays about ethical issues in medicine. Emma is currently a combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics resident at Baylor College of Medicine.

Sarah Coolidge

Sarah Coolidge is a summer 2020 graduate of the Emory MAB program. With an interest in exploring health disparities in healthcare treatment and practical application of bioethics ideas, she explored human dignity and the impact of dehumanizing attitudes and behaviors on people experiencing homelessness in her practicum and thesis work. Since completing the MAB, she has also discovered an interest in end-of-life care and considerations, especially in relation to the needs of individuals receiving psychiatric care. Sarah is currently a first-year medical student at the Emory School of Medicine and is passionate about serving and advocating for individuals who feel unseen or unheard in medicine as a physician/bioethicist. Outside of academics, Sarah enjoys walking in Lullwater Park, swimming at the Emory SAAC, playing with her dog Buddy, and spending quality time with friends and family.

Maria Davila

Maria is a foreign medical doctor, currently working in Research Compliance and Education with the Emory Institutional Review Board Office. Before joining the Institutional Review Board, she worked as a research coordinator and microsurgery instructor for almost 9 years. She has been working with the Institutional Review Board for the last 6 years. She has always being interested in research ethics and compliance, but decided to pursue this degree to learn more about bioethics and how this knowledge could help her improve research conditions for vulnerable populations.  She is also interested in social justice issues and human rights. She hopes this degree will help her in her current line of work, and that may open opportunities to collaborate in projects helping subjects in research.

Keenan Davis

Keenan Wills Davis is currently a doctoral candidate in Emory’s University’s Graduate Division of Religion, with a concentration in Religious Practices and Practical Theology. His dissertation is an ethnographic investigation of the first-person experiences of patients undergoing Deep Brain Stimulation in the treatment of psychiatric conditions, bringing into conversation the fields of neuroethics, disability studies, anthropology of ethics, and cognitive science. He completed the MA in Bioethics at Emory University’s Center for Ethics in 2015, with a thesis exploring the relationship between biotechnology and human dignity, and he is also pursuing an MD at Emory University’s School of Medicine.

Cynthia Drake

Cynthia is a graduate of the class of 2013, went on to a career in research after graduation. While completing her PhD at the Colorado School of Public Health, Dr. Drake worked in health policy and geriatrics research within the University of Colorado’s School of Medicine. Her work focused on older adults living with chronic illness in skilled nursing and long-term care. Throughout a multi-year, community-engaged effort, she helped build infrastructure to improve the quality of post-acute care research in the Denver metro area. Professional highlights include guest lecturing on clinical ethics, public health ethics, and community engagement in research, and developing and facilitating an ethics seminar for allied health trainees. Dr. Drake is now a health services researcher in private industry.

Kelsey Drewry

Dr. Drewry currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine. She received her PhD in Health Services Research and Health Policy and MA-Bioethics at Emory University. Broadly, Dr. Drewry's research assesses the impact of healthcare financing and organization on equity in access to high-value healthcare, especially for patients with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.

Andrew Ertzberger

Andrew is a native of Greenville, SC. Prior to the MAB program, he received a Bachelors of Science in Experimental Psychology (with a minor in philosophy) from the University of South Carolina Upstate and a Masters degree in Theological Studies from Candler School Of Theology. Andrew’s interest in bioethics and public health began during his prior experience in residential drug rehabilitation and his activities as a Team Leader for AmeriCorps. Currently, he is working on his PhD in Philosophy at the University of Tennessee, with a focus on ethical theory, biomedical ethics, and the ethics of disability.

Celeste Fong

Celeste graduated from Emory’s MA in Bioethics program in 2019. She was introduced to bioethics while pursuing her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at the University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB). After taking several philosophy courses at UAB, she became involved in the deeper questions surrounding the field of neuroscience and neuroscience research, leading her neuroethics as her primary research interest at Emory. Since graduating, Celeste has continued her work in neuroethics. She works as a research coordinator at the University of California San Francisco, conducting research on the ethics of implantable neurotechnology devices for brain conditions like epilepsy and depression.

Shaunesse' Jacobs

Shaunesse' is a native of Shreveport, LA and currently in the third year of her PhD program at Boston University. After completing undergraduate in religious studies at Emory in 2014, she continued into the dual master’s program in Bioethics and Theological Studies and completed her work in 2016. Questions of racial equity, death and dying, and international ethics took root during the MA program and have continued in her doctoral work as she seeks to understand ways communities use religious practices to cope with the injustices of the U.S. healthcare system, specifically among black birthing people facing the public health crisis of black maternal morbidity and Asian American communities facing anti-Asian sentiment during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Scotty Jenkins

Scotty became interested in bioethics after his work at Emory University’s Institutional Review Board exposed him to the ethical issues that arise in research. While working through the program, his interests broadened beyond research ethics to include both bioethics and ethical theory more generally. He graduated from the MA in Bioethics program in 2015 with a thesis examining the moral significance of non-autonomous patients’ refusals of medical treatment. Scotty currently works as a compliance manager in Emory University’s Office of Compliance, where he primarily focuses on administrative compliance and ethics issues. Though he is not professionally involved in a bioethics-specific field, the grasp of ethical theory and the analytical precision cultivated in the program significantly influences how he approaches his work.

Annie Lai

Since 2001, Annie has worked in the areas of healthcare, research, and ethics.  Her current focus in clinical bioethics is on the practical ethics of medicine and technology. Her area of concentration is on how advanced technologies challenge the limits of morality and how empirical bioethics can be used as a tool to guide, inform, and/or improve clinical practices. Since 2014, Ms. Lai has been working with startups and is examining the role innovation has in paving the path towards an ethical future.  She currently plays a vital role on the operations team at a startup accelerator based on the campus of GA Tech (Flashpoint @ GA Tech) and is exploring how the tools of innovation can advance the fields of bioethics, practical philosophy, and human health and medicine.

Ashley Foster Lanzel

After completing both a MA in Bioethics degree at pediatric hematology-oncology fellowship in 2018, Ashley began a hospice and palliative medicine fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. Prior to that she completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Georgia with a degree in Cellular biology and minor in dance. She completed her medical doctorate at the Medical College of Georgia and her pediatrics residency at Johns Hopkins University. She is now a hospitalist with a focus on palliative care at Children's National Hospital in Washington DC.  She is interested in end of life care in pediatric oncology patients, with a focus on bioethical concerns.

Naomi Marshall

Naomi pursued the MA in Bioethics as a Bobby Jones scholar from the University of St Andrews in Scotland. Her MA thesis discussed the moral permissibility of the CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology. After graduating in 2018, she returned to the UK. Naomi is currently a doctoral student in medical anthropology at the University of Oxford. Her research explores the everyday lives of people with the genetic condition Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1). This project attends to research questions first formulated during her studies in bioethics at Emory.

Grace Mattimore

Grace is a nurse ethicist at the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta  hospital system and a bedside Registered Nurse at Northside Hospital in the adult medical/surgical Intensive Care Unit. Over the past few years, Grace noticed more and more situations where a healthcare provider's moral standards may be questioned or tested due to the circumstances surrounding a patient's case, family dynamics, or both. Her interest in these ethically ambiguous situations that arise in an acute setting and their subsequent effects on staff, patients, and family led her to  study bioethics.  During her MA studies she pursued her bioethics practicum at the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and this led to her current role as nurse ethicist there.  

Emily Michels

Emily developed an early interest in ethics, science, and policy, leading her to design a Bioethics and Public Policy major at Colorado College and to attend the MA in Bioethics program at Emory University. Her placement with the CDC HIV Incidence and Case Surveillance Branch team led to thesis research on HIV intervention ethics, community engagement, and data privacy. She also carried out research with Dr. Paul Root Wolpe on artificial intelligence ethics and technology’s effect on industry, specifically health care. Emily has worked as a health policy analyst at a nonprofit organization in Denver and as the Ethics & Communications Officer for a small consumer technology company in New York; she is now the Public Policy Coordinator for Southern California Grantmakers in Los Angeles, helping to guide the philanthropic sector toward meaningful grantmaking and advocacy.

Donald Miller

Donald's interest in bioethics started early in his career in healthcare, as a chaplain. He was introduced to the complexities of bioethical conversation almost from the day one.  Now, twenty-three years later, he is still asking the same questions and still has very few answers, but he also has one solid guiding principle from his studies in bioethics. Just because we can… does not mean we must. For Donald, that is the heart of bioethics in healthcare. To be willing to ask the questions and push the conversation forward in pursuit of a solution that eases suffering and allows healing to be discovered in new ways.

Mikayla Paolini

Mikayla is a native of State College, Pennsylvania and completed her undergraduate studies in philosophy at Centre College in Kentucky. She was drawn to Emory for the opportunity to study law and bioethics simultaneously, graduating with her MA and JD in December 2019. She is interested in fraud and abuse as well as health care antitrust. Mikayla currently works at Jones Day's New York office and plans to join the Health Care and Life Sciences group in the coming year. 

Benjamin Stoff

Dr. Stoff is an Associate Professor at Emory University's School of Medicine and a board-certified dermatologist and dermapathologist. He specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer and is a member of the multidisciplinary melanoma team at Winship Cancer Institute.  Dr. Stoff graduated from the MA in Bioethics Program in 2016. He is chair of the Professionalism and Ethics committee of the American Academy of Dermatology and former chair of the Ethics Committee of the American Society of Dermatopathology.  He is also co-director of the ethics track for residents and fellows through the Emory Office of Graduate Medical Education and co-editor of the textbook Dermatoethics, 2nd Edition.

Farhan Tejani

Farhan Tejani graduated from Emory's 4+1 MA in Bioethics program in the Spring of 2022. Farhan's primary interests in Bioethics include decision-making capacity, psychiatric ethics, and health disparities, which he largely developed during his time in Emergency Medical Services. After graduating, Farhan spent a year working in an inpatient psychiatric hospital at the Texas Medical Center, and he is currently pursuing his MD degree at the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine.

Rebeccah Wood

Rebeccah is a Fall 2022 graduate of the MA in Bioethics program. During her time as an MA student, she had interest in international views of animal ethics as well as the importance of transparency for public support of animal research, and her capstone project summarized potential ethical concerns surrounding the longevity of the community member of Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs). She hopes to utilize her training in bioethics to make positive changes in public perception of animal biomedical research. Rebeccah is currently a Senior Training Coordinator with Emory University’s Division of Animal Resources where she specializes in rodent surgery and is responsible for training animal researchers in the humane care and use of laboratory animals.

Victoria Vorholt

Victoria is a Louisville, Kentucky native and 2016 graduate of Emory University with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and behavioral biology. During her studies as a MA in Bioethics student, she focused on the topics of neuroethics, diagnostic clinical reasoning and error, and the ethics of informed consent in clinical research in emergency medicine. Victoria is now a medical student at the University of Kentucky where she plans to continue pursuing bioethics with a focus on ethics education in medical training.

Anna Zimmer

Anna is a Wisconsin native who attended Carleton College in Minnesota for her undergraduate degree. She came to Emory for her dual MD/MA in bioethics degree. Her MA thesis investigated the ethical implications of pain management protocols for people with sickle cell disease. She was introduced to neuroethics as part of her MA degree, and she was thrilled to be able to work with the Global Neuroethics Working Group and the NIH BRAIN Initiative while in this program. She is currently a neurology resident at the University of Washington in Seattle and is planning to pursue a career in neuropalliative care.

Joel B. Zivot

Dr. Zivot is a member of the faculty of the Emory University School of Medicine and an adjunct professor at the Emory University School of Law. His clinical expertise and research are broad and include care of critically ill patients in the Operating Room and Intensive Care Unit, education and scholarly work in bioethics, the anthropology of conflict resolution, pharmaco-economics, and a variety of topics related to anesthesiology/critical care monitoring and practice. Dr. Zivot has also examined inmates on death row and considers the dilemma of health care delivery for inmates facing execution.