As Thanksgiving draws near and campus grows quiet, Goizueta takes a moment to pause and reflect on this holiday and what it means to our community.
Across the country, people experience Thanksgiving differently. The same person may even experience it differently from one year to the next. The pandemic remains a fresh reminder of how our situations and social dynamics can quickly evolve. It reminds us how important it is to be still, acknowledge the past, and give thanks for all that we have in the present moment.
Thanksgiving: A Thorny History
For many Native American people, this day may evoke the grief of remembering both past and continued assaults on the rich cultures of tribes across the United States and beyond. Others in the Indigenous community may elect to celebrate the central themes of the holiday. They may regard Thanksgiving as an opportunity to gather and express gratitude for the earth’s abundance, which resonates with harvest traditions held in many tribes long before colonists arrived.
If you don’t observe it already, consider taking a moment to celebrate Native American Heritage Day, which falls on the day after Thanksgiving each year. It’s a chance to learn more about the native tribes from wherever you call home You may choose to start with Emory’s main campus: the university currently sits on Muscogee [Creek] land, who were forcibly displaced from the area in 1821.
At Goizueta, we aim to make room for everyone’s individual experience of this holiday season. We embrace it as an opportunity for remembrance, healing, connecting with community and—of course—delicious carbs. Below are highlights of what Thanksgiving looks like for some of our faculty, staff, and students.
Aizhan Anarkulova: Assistant Professor of Finance
How do you typically observe Thanksgiving and how will you be observing it this year? I am originally from Kazakhstan, so while I knew of the holiday’s existence thanks to my English classes, I did not celebrate it until I came to the US. Since I have been in the US, I have celebrated every Thanksgiving with my friends since my family is in Kazakhstan. I plan to do the same this year and go visit them and share a traditional Thanksgiving meal. My favorite among those is turkey stuffing.
Pick your Thanksgiving chore: cooking or washing dishes. Washing dishes. I am always happy to wash dishes if someone else cooks a meal.
What are you feeling especially grateful for this year? I am grateful for finishing my doctorate program, which was a long journey. I am grateful for the opportunity to join Goizueta and start a new, exciting chapter in my life.
Which is the best Thanksgiving pie? Apple pie with a lot of ice cream!
Emily Lawrence: Senior Event Manager
How do you typically observe Thanksgiving? We stay here in Atlanta and spend the day with my husband’s family.
Do you have any unique traditions or serve any unique foods for your Thanksgiving meal? My father-in-law does a lovely spread with things like ham, turkey, mac and cheese, coleslaw, greens, etc. All of the best comfort foods!
Pick your Thanksgiving chore: cooking or washing dishes? I enjoy baking, so that’s my job for the day.
What are you feeling especially grateful for this year? This will be our first Thanksgiving as a family of three. We have a 9-month-old son and I can’t wait for him to experience this holiday season with us.
Which is the best Thanksgiving pie? Apple crisp is my absolute favorite. Although I have a food allergy, I have mastered the gluten free crumble topping and it tastes just as delicious as a “normal” apple pie.
Diana Yang Li: First-year Full-time MBA Student and Goizueta Marketing Fellow
How do you observe Thanksgiving? I love that you have a festival to express gratitude for loved ones, people in society, and people who contributed to our lives in the past. I think it is great that people can learn about being grateful with spending quality time with their loved ones.
Do you have any unique Thanksgiving traditions? In my country (China), we do not have unique Thanksgiving traditions. But I do see it is becoming a theme sometimes commercially or at schools. People are aware of this concept and the origin of this festival. Some take this opportunity to express gratitude to important people in their lives, with gifts or yummy foods. We just don’t eat turkeys!
Pick your Thanksgiving chore: cooking or washing dishes. Cooking!
What are you feeling especially grateful for this year? I am grateful for all the support and challenges that I received during my MBA time. I get to work with great team members from diverse backgrounds and explore different career opportunities. I grew as a better person through the process.
Which is the best Thanksgiving pie? Pick one and make your case. I love pumpkin! 1) It’s golden! And that’s the fall color. 2) Pumpkins are good for you. 3) It’s a nice, sweet comfort food to make you feel warm.
Gina Askew: Senior Administrative Assistant in the Dean’s office
How do you typically observe Thanksgiving and how will you be observing this year? I typically observe Thanksgiving with lots of family, friends and good food. This year will be a little different, we will observe the holiday as normal, but we won’t have as many family members in attendance.
Do you have any unique traditions or serve any unique foods for your Thanksgiving meal? We typically serve what most people would call a traditional Thanksgiving meal, i.e. turkey, ham, dressing/stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, mac and cheese, green beans or some type of green vegetable, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls etc. In the past we have had family friends bring dishes from their culture which was different from what we would normally serve on Thanksgiving.
Pick your Thanksgiving chore: cooking or washing dishes. My Thanksgiving chore is cooking while I wash dishes along the way!
What are you feeling especially grateful for this year? This year I am especially grateful for LIFE. There have been so many people who have lost their lives and so many who have lost loved ones. So I am incredibly grateful and thankful for the gift I am granted each morning when I open my eyes.
Which is the best Thanksgiving pie? Pick one and make your case. I’m not really a pie person, but if I had to select a pie, I would say pecan. I love the gooey center and the crunchiness from the pecans on top.
Richard Berlin: Associate Professor in the Practice of Organization & Management
How do you typically observe Thanksgiving and how will you be observing this year? I typically have a Thanksgiving meal with my extended family. This year, my wife, and daughter will be eating at my sister’s house. We will be joined by my other sister, my parents, an aunt, and a cousin. My other daughter is out of town and couldn’t join us this year.
Pick your Thanksgiving chore: cooking or washing dishes. Has to be washing dishes! I don’t think my family would let me do the cooking. Too many people would go hungry!
What are you feeling especially grateful for this year? Great question, especially this year. While it is a cliché, I’m grateful for so many things–good health for everyone I care about, my family, my friends, my colleagues, my students, my Goizueta community, and an opportunity to do what I love: teaching.
Which is the best Thanksgiving pie? Pick one and make your case. Of course, it has to be apple pie, a selection no doubt shared by so many others. Tasty and good for you!
Grace Chi: Second-year Full-time MBA student and Goizueta Marketing Fellow
How do you observe Thanksgiving? I’m always interested in learning about people’s Thanksgiving traditions and how they, as well as myself, engage in reflection during this time of the year.
Do you have any unique traditions? On Thanksgiving, I send messages to the people I care about, expressing gratitude for their presence and the role they play in my life.
Pick your Thanksgiving chore: cooking or washing dishes. Cooking for sure. Cooking has always been a rewarding experience for me. It’s about creating something new and fostering new experiences.
What are you feeling especially grateful for this year? I’m grateful that things are gradually returning to a new “normal” after the severe impacts of Covid-19. I appreciate the opportunity to travel to new places, make new friends, and delve into something I’m truly passionate about.
Which is the best Thanksgiving pie? Pick one and make your case. Apple pie! The special Thanksgiving moment for me is the warm aroma filling the kitchen as it bakes—sweet and comforting.
Laura Lucas: Communications Manager
How do you typically observe Thanksgiving and how will you be observing this year? I host a Friendsgiving meal with a group of friends who’ve become my chosen family, since my husband’s and my families aren’t close. We try to adopt folks for the holidays who either aren’t able to travel to see their family or who come from families that don’t celebrate. That way, we know everyone in our circle has somewhere to be and someone to be with on Thanksgiving, which is what the holiday is all about, after all. This year we have friends joining us who are from India, South Africa, and the UK. It’s always a great time and an incredible spread of food from all over the place.
Do you have any unique traditions/serve any unique foods for your Thanksgiving meal? I run the Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon here in Atlanta every year. I run with a group of friends that all train together, and we do a big tailgate party right near the finish line. So, as you finish the race, you can walk up to your friends cheering for you and grab a glass of champagne and something delicious to eat. We stay until everyone has finished the race. Then we head home to shower and prepare for our main Thanksgiving meal!
Pick your Thanksgiving chore: cooking or washing dishes? Oh, good question. On a normal day, I’m the dish washer and my husband’s the chef. But on Thanksgiving, I have a couple of special dishes that I like to make. The past few years it’s been a potato fennel gratin. It’s so delicious and not even a little bit healthy.
What are you feeling especially grateful for this year? My health. I love to run. It’s become such a passion of mine in my adulthood. I love to train for races of various distances with a group of people that I run with regularly—my running family. I’m so grateful I’ve been healthy and well enough this year to level up to running my first full marathon, and I’ve shared some really fun memories and great times with the running family along the way.
Which is the best Thanksgiving pie? Pick one and make your case. Pecan pie (pronounced puh-KAHN), made with brown sugar rather than plain white granulated sugar, and topped with a scoop of (in my case, dairy-free) vanilla ice cream. The molasses in the brown sugar goes so well with the pecans. My mother-in-law disapproves, but neither of us will back down on our pie preference, so we end up with two different pecan pies on years when we’re able to celebrate Thanksgiving together. Mine is better, but don’t tell her I said that!
Bill Schmidt: Associate Professor of Information Systems & Operations Management
How do you typically observe Thanksgiving and how will you be observing this year? We just moved from New York where the Schmidt family typically had a traditional meal at our house and hosted the international PhD students who couldn’t make it home. This year, however, we are taking advantage of our close proximity to Florida and visiting family there.
Do you have any unique traditions/serve any unique foods for your Thanksgiving meal? We have a free-for-all game of tag after supper. Running around on a full stomach…what could go wrong?
Pick your Thanksgiving chore: cooking or washing dishes? My Thanksgiving chore is washing dishes. No one wants me cooking.
What are you feeling especially grateful for this year? I am grateful for a very smooth move to Atlanta. My family has settled in really well (this was a big move for the kids), and the Emory students, faculty and staff have been so welcoming.
Which is the best Thanksgiving pie? Pick one and make your case. The best Thanksgiving pie is pecan pie, hands down. Pecan pie is light on nutrition and heavy on calories, as a good pie should be. Apple pie isn’t a pie, it’s part of the food pyramid.
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