Behind the Scenes

We sought out some amazing people on campus who shared firsthand stories of how the generosity of people like you has impacted their lives.

By Elizabeth Cobb Durel
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If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you get emails from Emory on a regular basis. As an interested alumnus, an involved parent, or a thoughtful friend of the university, you want to be informed about the groundbreaking work that goes on every day on campus and around the world. You want to hear about the achievements of your fellow alumni. And you want to know what’s happening on campus with the students.

Because you believe in Emory, you may even support the causes close to your heart.

If you haven’t seen them already, soon you’ll be reading some new stories in your mailbox, in your email, and on social. So, here’s a bit of insight into how it all comes together and an introduction to the real-life stars of this new project.

We sought out some amazing people on campus who shared firsthand stories of how the generosity of people like you has impacted their lives. We found an undergraduate in the college whose scholarships allowed him to travel the world. You’ll meet a professor whose grants allow her to conduct her research on a global scale. You’ll hear the story of an Oxford alumna who returned to campus to work as an administrator and who sees the good that gifts do every day on her campus. You’ll also learn about a graduate student who gives back by both serving and representing his fellow students at the university.

We lined them up for a photoshoot and interview, and then we were ready. While you will be seeing them in your mailboxes, this is your behind-the-scenes invitation to get to know them first.

Margo A. Bagley 96L

Margo Bradley

Professor Margo Bagley 96L's journey to Emory began in a jar of peanut butter. She began her professional career as a research & development engineer at the Procter & Gamble Company, working on Jif peanut butter. “It’s the brand choosy moms choose,” says Bagley, laughing. “I am a co-inventor on a patent on a reduced-fat peanut butter, which was great, but I was becoming an expert on peanut butter and I was not sure how marketable that would be long-term.” Going through that patent process fueled her interest in patent law. A short time later, she arrived at Emory Law to become a patent lawyer. Now a professor in US and International and comparative patent law, trademark law, and intellectual property, Bagley focuses on comparative issues relating to patents and biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and access to medicines, and technology transfer. In addition to lecturing in Germany, China, Cuba, Israel, and Singapore, Bagley advises the government of Mozambique on matters of intellectual property, resources, traditional knowledge, and folklore. “Emory feeds my curiosity and inspires connections that allow me to conduct research and facilitate just outcomes on a global stage—without having to worry about financial support for my work,” says Bagley. “So much of the support for my work comes from philanthropic sources, so if I can assist in a giving campaign, I'm happy to do so.”

Samraat Saxena 20PH

Sam Saxena

If you need a little cheering up, Sam Saxena 20PH is your guy. During his undergrad years, this Rollins graduate student was a “hype man” for his old school’s men’s basketball team. “Our team was truly terrible and there just wasn’t that much fan support,” says Saxena. “So they hired me to go to the games and get the crowd hyped up and start cheers. You just have to be loud and put yourself out there.” That experience served him well. Now, along with his studies, he often serves as a public speaker for Rollins and in his role in the Office of Admission and Student Services, as he helps to promote health and well-being. He’s also a member of student government and prides himself on doing his best to “get a pulse of the things that [his fellow graduate students] want and need and would like.” Participating in this project has changed the way he looks at giving campaigns. “Being a student and not having a lot of disposable income, I do what I can,” says Saxena. “The whole point of me being here is to get to a point where I have the income where I can give back.”

Rhiannon Hubert 05Ox 07C

Rhiannon Hubert

When she agreed to be a part of the campaign, Rhiannon Hubert 05Ox 07C went shopping at the bookstore to find an Oxford college shirt in the bluest Emory blue. “I didn’t want to miss a chance to represent,” says Hubert, “So I wanted the blue to be very Oxford specific.”  She added that she never misses a chance to talk about Oxford, “Whether it’s about me, the work my staff is doing, or what the college is doing.” Almost fifteen years ago, her classmates foretold the future and voted her most likely to be working at Oxford in 10 years.  “I came here when I was 18 and cannot seem to stay away,” says Hubert. And other than a stint in graduate school, she hasn’t. Now the director of student involvement and leadership, not only did Hubert benefit from donors’ generosity when she was in school, she sees how fundraising efforts affect the campus every day. “From allowing us to provide financial aid for students to participate in leadership opportunities, to the building of our new student center, I see all of the ways that alumni and others can help make the student experience better,” says Hubert. A Harry Potter fan, Hubert is a proud Ravenclaw. And the rumor is true: she is named after the Fleetwood Mac Song. “My mom was a Stevie Nicks fan,” says Hubert who is also, by default. “I have probably heard that song about a million times in my life.”

David Kulp 20C

David Kulp

Without receiving scholarships from Emory, David Kulp 20C, might not have had the opportunity to work in the company of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. As part of the Emory-Tibet Mind/Body Sciences Summer Abroad program, David taught science and studied philosophy in Buddhist monasteries in India alongside His Holiness. Kulp has served as an emergency medical technician and first responder in Tel Aviv. And this summer, he’s working as a clinical research intern at Boston Children's Hospital with the Harvard Program in Neonatology. "Ultimately, the support of donors, professors, and administrators has changed my Emory experience for the better and altered my life in ways I can’t explain in words, and for that I am immensely thankful,” says Kulp. “Scholarships enable Emory students like me to become involved in ways we could have hardly even dreamed about.”

Editor's Note: Would you like to support the research of Emory professors and help make educational opportunities possible for Emory students? Please visit our online giving form.