Written by
Olivia Williams

Mar 18, 2019

Mar 18, 2019 • by Olivia Williams

Dr. Carmen Marsit recently spoke about being part of an inclusive and visible queer community at Emory University, and especially within the Rollins School of Public Health.  Dr. Marsit explained that prior to accepting his position at Emory he had lived in New England.  He was married in 2011 in Massachusetts after same sex marriage was legalized there and “it wasn’t until after the Supreme Court Ruling [legalizing same sex marriage] that we even considered moving down south.”  Having made the decision to start expanding his potential job search into the south, he was impressed and surprised by Emory.

“Every other interview would involve questions about my wife.  Emory asked about my partner.  When I referred to my husband, they didn’t miss a beat.”  Taking this as his cue that Emory was an inclusive campus he accepted his position and has been gratified and impressed by campus initiatives to increase visibility and inclusivity of LGBTQ staff, faculty, and students.  He describes the School of Public Health as an especially LGBTQ friendly space because “schools of public health are generally more inclusive because they have different ways of thinking about things than medical schools.”  Their holistic approach to the treatment of disease recognizes the impact of environment and social surroundings, and focuses on preventive efforts like behavioral modifications and vaccinations rather than the pharmacologic treatment focus of medical schools.

Dr. Marsit believes this ability to evaluate social issues from a holistic standpoint has made Public Health a more flexible and inclusive space.  He notes that Emory decorates a large space on campus during Atlanta Pride and highlights LGBTQ public health initiatives and research happening at Emory as well as identifying queer faculty and staff.  The same space is decorated for Black Pride Month with a focus on public health issues impacting minority communities.

As a senior faculty member, it is important to Dr. Marsit to be visible to students.  He prominently displays a pride flag in his office and is listed in a directory of faculty, students, and staff who are Out@Emory.  The Out@Emory initiative seeks to give these LGBTQ campus members greater visibility in an effort to support others and to maintain safe spaces.  These are the kinds of important initiatives that increase diversity, visibility, and inclusion.

Dr. Marsit also notes that the School of Public Health and its Departments of Epidemiology and Environmental Health are growing and have current faculty openings.  Visit https://faculty-emory.icims.com/jobs for your chance to be Out@Emory.

Dr. Carmen Marsit is joint professor of Environmental Health and Epidemiology at Emory University.  His research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms responsible for mediating the impact of the environment in human disease, especially the biological processes that impact environmental carcinogenesis and human development.  The goal of his work is to provide biologic and mechanistic evidence to support policies related to the control of environmental contaminants, and to provide insights into novel prevention and intervention strategies.  You can follow him on Twitter @CMarsit.