Helping people live in good health has been the constant focus of Dr. K. Emma Emanuel’s life. However, she says that her understanding of health has changed from being “without disease,” to being “in balance.”
“Health is a balance of body, mind, and spirit and requires wisdom to grow in each area,” Dr. Emanuel says. “My desire, while accurately teaching about the human body, is to enable others, and remind myself, to make wise choices that will promote health in the future.”
Dr. Emanuel has been sharing her background and knowledge from her career as a medical practitioner and educator with students at St. Thomas Aquinas College since 2018 when she joined the faculty as an adjunct professor. Now a visiting professor, she currently teaches a two-semester and a one-semester course in anatomy and physiology and serves as a student advisor.
Born near Liverpool, England, Dr. Emanuel studied Medical Sciences at Cambridge University, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She passed her membership exam for the United Kingdom’s Royal College of General Practitioners and practiced in several disciplines, including psychiatry, gynecology, pediatrics, and general medicine. She moved to the United States in 2010 and, three years later, she began teaching as an adjunct professor at Nyack College.
As a member of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS), she is part of a group of teachers and professors who are dedicated to staying on the cutting edge of anatomy and physiology education. Currently, Dr. Emanuel’s interest is in aging and dying—to optimize the quality of life and mitigate the effects of aging or the pain of living with serious or complex illnesses.
One of the many things Dr. Emanuel admires about the students at STAC is their curiosity and ability to ask questions. She looks back on when her former student Zach Kronenberg, BS ’21, sent her interesting videos and articles, and although they ventured outside of the curriculum, she was happy to take the time to host a discussion.
To this day, she stays in touch with Zach, who is pursuing his master’s degree at STAC. As he prepares to become a science teacher, Zach admires Dr. Emanuel’s tenacity and the excitement she always brought to the classroom.
“Professor Emanuel’s clear and infectious passion for the topic she teaches is truly essential,” he says. “I have fond memories of my time in anatomy and physiology despite it being one of the more rigorous courses I’ve taken. That’s just the effect a truly passionate educator can have on a subject.”
As her students progress, Dr. Emanuel encourages them to apply their knowledge and adapt to different situations, even if it means making mistakes along the way. “I think that some students can be nervous about using their knowledge to make deductions or educated guesses, especially in the sciences,” she says, “I view an incomplete answer as the stepping stone to learning more.”
Her own curiosity and passion for learning were behind her life-changing decision to move to Jerusalem, Israel in 1997. There, Dr. Emanuel spent 11 years raising her five children and studying the Jewish roots of Christianity at King of Kings College.
Today, she is active in her church, delivering meals to individuals in need and helping to coordinate prayer. “I have traveled, grown, used my skills in different ways, and I hope I influence others for good,” Dr. Emanuel says. “The people I know, the cultures I’ve lived in, and my experiences are the most valuable part of my journey.”