How did you first learn of Glenn? Which of our worship services is home to you and why?
I actually began attending Glenn in 2000, during my junior year of college right here at Emory. I was born and raised as a Methodist so it has become my habit to seek out a Methodist church home wherever I live. I attend the 11:00am service because there is a sense of security for me that comes from the traditional service...and the hymns! I just love them :)
You are one of many Glenn congregants with Emory ties. Do you think the relationship Glenn shares with the university is an asset to our community of faith?
Absolutely! Many students come to Emory for the Methodist affiliation....I came all the way from Jamaica! So I understand the need for comfort or something from home. I also think our fundamental philosophies in the Christian faith casts a wide net that many students find accepting...quite a few continue at Glenn long after graduation. I think that's a testament to the impact Glenn has on the wider Emory community...and vice versa. The constant flow of Emory throughout the years has established a bond and a familiarity with Glenn that facilitates acts of service and comfort in times of need.
Emory recently awarded you one of the spots in their inaugural Top 40 Under 40 list of outstanding alumni. Congratulations! Tell us about your degrees and vocational accomplishments. In the work you’ve done, what are you most proud of?
Thank you for the kind sentiments! I'm actually an Emory triple eagle. I graduated from Oxford College with an associates degree, Emory College with my bachelors of science in human biology & anthropology with a minor in dance and movement studies, and from Rollins School of Public Health with a Masters in Global Epidemiology. From there I went to University of Miami's (Go 'Canes) Miller School of Medicine for a research doctorate in clinical epidemiology. After finishing my studies (read 8 years and few student loans later), I entered into CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) for a two year post-doctoral fellowship. Thereafter I served as a county director in Guyana (South America) for one of CDC's overseas offices and returned at the end of my two year tour to assume my current position as the Associate Director for our West Africa region's programs. For my current post, I had to learn French - a language I've neither studied nor practiced. Needless to say I am now quite familiar with the intricacies of adult learning (yikes)!
I try to stay away from pride lest it precede my fall, but if I have to choose, I'm most proud of being a service member. It is an honor to serve as a Commissioned Corps Officer in the US Public Health Service (USPHS). The Corps has a strong history of service from its founding in 1798 with a mission of quarantine and disease control. Now we serve in all agencies within the Department of Health and Human services as well as Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Defense. We respond to natural disasters and public health threats all over the world - think Ebola! I'm humbled to count myself among these tireless, fearless souls who aren't afraid to jump into the unknown.
Career-wise, or in your personal life, what are you looking forward to? What’s next?
Well, I would say in the long term future I would love to serve overseas again. I deeply enjoy travel, cultural immersion and exchange. But for now, I'd like to focus on my family - being present with them, building memories and hopefully adding a member or two (God-willing; Winston and I are accepting prayers in that department!). And hopefully, we'll get to continue growing and serving our Glenn family.
Thank you, Yoran, for sharing your story!