Married couple Dr. Gianina Best and Dr. William Emerson are examples of Mercer alums who are serving on the front lines during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Gianina Best and William Emerson
Gianina Best and William Emerson

They earned their undergraduate degrees from Mercer — Dr. Best in 2005 and Dr. Emerson in 2006. As a men’s basketball player at Mercer, Dr. Emerson was a two-time first-team Academic All-American, four-time Atlantic Sun Academic All-Conference honoree and the conference’s Male Student-Athlete of the Year in 2005. Dr. Best was involved in Mercer’s Student Government Association.

The couple earned medical degrees from the Medical College of Georgia in 2010 and completed their residencies at Vanderbilt University, Best in emergency medicine and Emerson in internal medicine. They currently work at the same Oregon hospital, where Dr. Best is an emergency medicine attending and Dr. Emerson is a hospitalist attending. They have two children, a 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son.

“We are so proud to be Mercerians,” Dr. Best said. “Mercer gave us so much to prepare for where we are today, not only in education, but also in sense of community. We always felt like we were a part of a family while at Mercer. That sense of community and responsibility to helping one another has translated into the work we do today. We are grateful for all that Mercer did to prepare us for this.”


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Andrea Honaker
Andrea is a digital content specialist at Mercer. She creates and maintains written and multimedia content for primary University web pages. She ensures a consistent, University “voice” throughout various forms of online communications platforms. She also plans and executes campaigns for the primary official Mercer University social media accounts.