Having returned from the Forum retreat this past Sunday, we caught up with Carlton Mackey, the assistant director of the EASL program, about this year's Forum. The Forum is a competitive program offering fifteen Emory students "a year-long collaborative learning experience that includes retreats, skill-building sessions, outside speakers, and student-developed projects." Carlton noted the diversity of the students in that they "represent a spectrum of academic interests."
The opening retreat was at the Nantahala Outdoor Center and included down time as well as trust building activities (high and low ropes courses) and white water rafting. "The point of the retreat is for students to bond and get to know each other," says Mackey. "The goal is that the students will have a relationship foundation to fall back on as the year progresses". This kind of trust will be necessary as the Forum's students tackle challenging and controversial ethical questions during their Monday evening discussion periods. An unprecedented offering this year will be professional mentors for each student with the goal of helping them further develop their unique academic and professional interests.