Creating Emory – 2017 Awardee

Best of “Student Affairs”


At Emory University, Creating Emory is a collaborative program initiated through Campus Life that introduces all new, undergraduate students to issues of integrity, diversity, inclusion, dialogue, and interpersonal violence prevention on campus through new student orientation.

Creating Emory is a collaborative model where representatives from Orientation, Residence Life, College of Arts and Sciences, Leadership and Integrity, Debate, Multicultural Programs, and Health Promotion come together to co-create a new student experience that touches each incoming first-year and transfer student on campus. This is a devoted group that meets all year and recognizes the collaborative program is greater than any singular owner or leader.

The curriculum of Creating Emory focuses on skill development for incoming students around value congruence and leading with integrity, learning how to dialogue across differences, and intervening as a bystander to disrupt and prevent interpersonal violence. Creating Emory also includes a powerful student performance about experiences of hate, bias, and discrimination around their identities. During this performance, the Senior Vice President of Campus Life addresses the first-year class and charges them with creating a more inclusive Emory each year.

The curriculum is taught in a peer-leadership model, where 300 student leaders from Residence Life and Orientation facilitate the Creating Emory curriculum to the 1500 new students participating in the program each year. Student leaders who are responsible for facilitating the curriculum receive 12 hours of diversity baseline and curriculum training. The training is conducted by 30 staff members in Campus Life, who themselves receive 10 hours of baseline and curriculum training. The tiered model is an innovative design to reach such a large scale of the population on campus.

Program Design

How long did it take to launch the first iteration of this program?
• Less than 3 months

How much annual funding do you receive for the program?
• Less than $5,000 per year

The key players, strategists and supporters involved in creation and implementation include:
• Staff
• Students
• Administrators

The program is designed to impact:
• Staff
• Students


Since the inception of the program, Emory has assessed the Creating Emory program and produced reports detailing its results. All incoming first-year students complete a pre-test before they arrive on campus and complete a post-test after experiencing the Creating Emory program. Each year, the data has indicated increases in awareness of identity diversity, policies on discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct, and resources to support themselves or others experiencing harassment, discrimination or sexual violence. The data also demonstrates increases in students believing Emory cares about their well-being.

Emory also assesses new students on learning knowledge of terms, definitions, and action steps surrounding integrity, cycle of oppression, bystander intervention, and consent. The qualitative data shows that most students appreciate engaging in such rich dialogue at the beginning of their college experience.

In addition to assessing new students, Emory assesses the student facilitators and staff trainers of the program. Each year, they use quantitative and qualitative feedback to improve the Creating Emory curriculum and training, and have received an increase in positive feedback.

For more information, please contact:
Ambra Yarbrough
Associate Director of New Student & Transition Programs, Emory University

Cordes Innovation Awards

In partnership with Cordes Foundation, Ashoka U seeks to recognize globally relevant teaching, learning, and partnership practices that may be adapted and replicated across the field.