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Meet a few of our alumni!

Michael Arenson Michael Arenson is the very first graduate of Emory’s MA in Bioethics.  Michael 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. 
Diana Cagliero Diana Cagliero 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. Diana is currently working 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 working on issues related to the health problems of migrants and refugees, as well as with the Emory Global Health Institute on a research project in Haiti studying mental health stressors in women. In Fall 2019, she will begin medical school at the University of Toronto.
Maria Davila Dr. Maria Davila 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.
Cynthia Drake

Cynthia Drake, MA, PhD, class of ’13, 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.


Shaunesse' Jacobs 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 Jenkins 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, Ms. Lai 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 Lanzel Ashley Foster Lanzel, MD, MA graduated from the Emory University with a MA in bioethics and with completion of a pediatric hematology oncology fellowship in 2018. 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 currently in a hospice and palliative medicine fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, which will complete in 2019. She is interested in end of life care in pediatric oncology patients, with a focus on bioethical concerns.
Grace-Mattimore.jpg Grace Mattimore is a bedside Registered Nurse at Northside Hospital in the adult medical/surgical Intensive Care Unit. Over the past couple years, Grace has 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 have lead her to the MA in Bioethics program. Grace plans to continue her education by combining her Bioethics degree with an advanced practice degree in nursing. She would like to further explore opportunities in bioethics education and research while still dedicating time to the clinical setting where she is hopeful that her bioethics training will enhance her skills as a practitioner.
Michels_profile.jpg Emily Michels originally hails from New York City and completed her BA in Bioethics and Public Policy at Colorado College. After working as a health policy analyst in Denver, she attended Emory University, completing her MA in Bioethics with focuses on HIV intervention ethics, community engagement, and artificial intelligence in health care. She is currently living in LA, providing ethics and communications consulting for tech organizations. Her continued goal is to educate policymakers and companies on the need for ethics policy within every industry.
Donald Miller Donald Miller'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.
MPaolini-headshotv2.jpg Mikayla Paolini 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. 
Ben Stoff Benjamin Stoff, MD MAB, is Assistant Professor at Emory University's School of Medicine and a board certified dermatologist and dermapathologist.  Dr. Stoff 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 serves on the ethics committees for the American Academy of Dermatology and American Society of Dermatopathology. His primary scholarly interest involves the application of bioethical theory to the unique moral challenges affecting dermatologists and other ambulatory healthcare providers.  He has related interests in global health service work, bioethics and other medical pedagogy, and process improvement in dermatology and dermatopathology. Dr. Stoff is also the Chair of the American Society of Dermatopathology Ethics Committee, Vice Chair of the American Academy of Dermatology Ethics Committee and co-editor of Dermatoethics - a textbook of ethics in dermatology. 
Victoria Vorholt Victoria Vorholt 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.
Joel Zivot, MD Dr. Joel B. 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. Dr Zivot’s 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.