2022 Honorary Degree Recipients


2022 Honorary Degree Recipients

On Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14, we congratulated the 2022 graduating class on the completion of their degrees in the College of Liberal Arts, the Theological School and the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies. Our 154th Drew University Commencement ceremony featured, as named by Drew’s Board of Trustees, the conferral of honorary degrees to Dr. Luis Jódar, Rev. Dr. Janet L. Wolf, and Dr. Kimani Paul-Emile.

2022 Honorary Degree Recipients

Dr. Luis Jódar: Doctor of Sciences

Dr. Luis Jódar is Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Pfizer Vaccines. In this capacity, he heads Pfizer’s vaccines medical development, clinical and scientific affairs worldwide comprising around 200 MD, PhD vaccinologists.  

Dr. Jódar joined Pfizer from Wyeth in 2009. Before joining industry, Dr. Jodar was Deputy Director General at the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) in Seoul, Korea, an organization established by the United Nations, as well as an adjunct professor at Seoul National University. At the IVI, he was responsible for directing the Translational Research Division, which conducts programs of interdisciplinary research, including clinical trials, epidemiological research, studies of the economics of vaccine introduction, and sociobehavioral and policy research on vaccines. 

Previously, Dr. Jódar worked at the World Health Organization (WHO) leading the global vaccine research and introduction of meningococcal vaccines, activities related to adverse events allegations and quality, safety and correlates of protection of vaccines. 

Dr. Jódar is a neuroimmunologist with doctoral and post-doctoral training in Madrid, Osaka and Nagasaki Universities. He has worked in vaccine-related programs in more than 50 countries, published in the most accredited peer-review journals, and served on a number of advisory groups on vaccines to WHO, the EU, vaccine manufacturers and governments. He teaches at the Institut Pasteur and ADVAC and has a long track-record in launching and coordinating public-private partnerships to accelerate the development and introduction of vaccines of public health importance for developing and middle-income countries. He has also been awarded several honors including the “cross of officer of the order of civil merit” from the King of Spain for his work in developing countries.

Rev. Dr. Janet L. Wolf: Doctor of Humane Letters

The Rev. Janet L. Wolf. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Janet L. Wolf is the author of Practicing Resurrection: The Gospel of Mark and Radical Discipleship and “To See and To Be Seen,” a chapter in I Was in Prison: United Methodist Perspectives in Prison Ministry, and an active member and executive with a number of prison and nonviolence groups.

Dr. Wolf is a member of the Executive/National Steering Committee of the Inside Out Prison Exchange Program; a facilitator/coordinator of SALT: Schools for Alternative Learning and Transformation, a think tank within the Riverbend Maximum Security Prison in Nashville, TN; a facilitator/coordinator of the Community Building and Conflict Resolution Circle; a member of the National Council of Elders coordinating committee; a member of Vanderbilt University’s James Lawson Institute on Nonviolence advisory board; and a volunteer mediator of the victim Offender Reconciliation Project.

She is a former member of The Living Room, a meeting of people living on the streets; a chair of the Tennessee Conference Task Force on Ministry with the poor and Marginalized; and co-chair of the Nashville Coalition for the Homeless.

From 2012-2021, Dr. Wolf served as a consultant in public theology and nonviolent organizing, and as the director of Alex Haley Farm and nonviolent organizing for the Children’s Defense Fund.

Prior to her work with the Children’s Defense Fund, Dr. Wolf was a professor of church and society/community leadership at American Baptist College in Nashville from 2005-2012. Dr. Wolf served as the director of public policy and community outreach at the Religious Leaders for a More Just and Compassionate Drug Policy from 2001-2005.

Dr. Wolf was the pastor at Hobson United Methodist Church from 1993-2000; associate pastor at Gordon Memorial United Methodist Church from 1990-1993; and pastor at the Greenwood, My. Lebanon and Pleasant Grove United Methodist Churches from 1988-1990. She was a self-employed organizer, laborer and minister from 1983-1988 after serving as the executive director of the Tennessee Hunger Coalition and Manna, both in Nashville.

Dr. Wolf has been a frequent guest preacher, workshop speaker, adjunct faculty member, presenter, and course lecturer across the country.

Dr. Wolf holds a DMin in Prisons, Public Policy, and Transformative Justice from New Brunswick Theological Seminary and a Masters in Divinity and BA degree in English from Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Kimani Paul-Emile: Doctor of Humane Letters

Dr. Kimani Paul-Emile is a Professor of Law, Associate Director and Head of Domestic Programs and Initiatives at Fordham Law School’s Center on Race, Law & Justice, and faculty co-director of the Fordham Law School Stein Center for Law & Ethics. Dr. Paul-Emile specializes in the areas of law & biomedical ethics, health law, anti-discrimination law, and race and the law.

Dr. Paul-Emile’s award-winning scholarship has been published widely in such journals as the Virginia Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, UCLA Law Review, George Washington Law Review, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, and Annals of Internal Medicine, among others. Her co-authored article, “Patient and Trainee Experiences with Patient Bias,” won the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation’s 2019 John Benson Professionalism Article Prize. For her article, “Blackness as Disability?,” Dr. Paul-Emile received the Law and Society Association’s 2019 John Hope Franklin Prize, awarded for “exceptional scholarship in the field of Race, Racism and the Law.” Her co-authored article, “Dealing with Racist Patients,” has been viewed over 153,000 times, placing it in the 99th percentile of articles published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and 99th percentile of all medical journals. Dr. Paul-Emile’s scholarship has appeared in or been covered by national and international news organizations and other outlets, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, National Public Radio, CBS News, MSNBC, CNN, Newsweek, and The Guardian.

In 2020, Dr. Paul-Emile was selected to serve as a Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) Fellow at Princeton University for the 2020-2021 academic year. She is also currently a member of the Committee on Science, Technology, and Law of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. In 2017, Dr. Paul-Emile was awarded a Making a Difference in Real World Bioethics Dilemmas Grant by the Greenwall Foundation for 2017-2019; and in 2013, the foundation chose her to receive a Faculty Scholars Award in Bioethics: an award intended to enable outstanding junior faculty members to conduct original research to help resolve important policy and clinical dilemmas at the intersection of ethics and the life sciences. In 2012, she was awarded a Public Health Law Research Grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s leading philanthropy on health and health care.

Prior to pursuing her doctoral degree, Dr. Paul-Emile served as associate counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, and practiced civil rights law at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where she was a National Association for Public Interest Law (now Equal Justice Works) Fellow and later the William Moses Kunstler Fellow for Racial Justice.

She also served as senior faculty development consultant at the New York University Center for Teaching Excellence. Dr. Paul-Emile holds an A.B. degree in Political Science and in American Civilization, with honors, from Brown University; a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center; and a Ph.D. in American Studies from New York University.