Dr. Cassandra L. Quave to speak at 2024 Oxford Commencement

Daniel Christian •

Oxford Commencement

Quave—Emory School of Medicine assistant dean of research cores, curator of the Emory Herbarium, and associate professor in the Department of Dermatology and at the Center for the Study of Human Health—will deliver this year’s keynote address.

Oxford College has announced Emory School of Medicine Assistant Dean of Research Cores Cassandra L. Quave 00C P26 as the keynote speaker for its 179th Commencement on Saturday, May 11, 2024. 

Cassandra Quave
Through her many meaningful roles across the university, Quave has learned valuable lessons to share with the Oxford community. She has been impressed with how Oxford students excel in Atlanta and is appreciative of the opportunity to help shepherd that transition with her Commencement remarks.

“It’s a great honor to have been selected as the Commencement speaker, and I’m excited for the opportunity to connect with Oxford graduates as well as their friends and families,” she said. “As a professor on the Atlanta campus, I’ve noticed that Oxford students are mature and unafraid to engage in the classroom and express their opinions. I think that comes from the ways that they're taught at Oxford and are encouraged to really be a part of the conversation. I’m looking forward to sharing some of the resources and opportunities that await them in Atlanta.”

One of those resources is the Emory Herbarium, which throughout 2024 is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee 75th anniversary. The Herbarium—where Quave is curator and director since 2012—has a deep connection to Oxford: William Murdy, Oxford’s dean from 1987-1999, served as its director from 1966-1982. This relationship between campuses—an exchange of knowledge and resources—will be at the heart of Quave’s speech as she prepares students for the next chapter.

“Dr. Cassandra Quave is not only an exceptional scholar and teacher, but she has been an incredible resource for Oxford students as they’ve transitioned to the Atlanta campus,” said Badia Ahad, Dean of Oxford College. “She has made it a point to be involved across a number of disciplines and departments in Atlanta, and her work at the Emory Herbarium is just one of the many examples of her invaluable contributions to our university. I know the Oxford community will enjoy hearing about her many insights and experiences.”

Quave is the Thomas J. Lawley, MD Professor of Dermatology and holds a joint appointment as associate professor of dermatology in the School of Medicine and the Center for the Study of Human Health. At the Center, she leads drug discovery research initiatives and teaches courses on medicinal plants, food, and health. Quave is associated faculty with the departments of biology, environmental sciences, and anthropology.

She is also a member of the Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics research program at Winship Cancer Institute; the Emory Antibiotic Resistance Center; and the training faculty for the Antibiotic Resistance and Therapeutic Discovery Training Program, the Molecular and Systems Pharmacology Graduate Program, and Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Graduate Program.

After graduating with a bachelor of science from Emory in 2000, she earned a PhD from Florida International University's Center for Ethnobiology and Natural Products. She later completed post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and in the Center for the Study of Human Health at Emory before joining the faculty in 2013.

As Quave looks ahead to May 11, she is excited to share in the commemoration of the hard work and accomplishments of Oxford students. 

“Commencement is a time to celebrate,” Quave said. “It’s a time to reflect and a time for students to really take what they've learned and continue in their journey.”