New Orleans area higher education briefs for May 5, 2013

Tulane launches mentoring award

L. Gabriel Navar was chosen by his colleagues for the inaugural Oliver Fund Award for Excellence in Faculty Mentoring at Tulane University.

A 25-year Tulane faculty member, he is professor and chair of the physiology department.

The award was established this year to honor the commitment of senior faculty members to the success of junior faculty members and Tulane as a whole through mentoring, said provost Michael Bernstein in a press release.

Navar will receive the award, including a $5,000 prize, at the School of Medicine Ivy Day on May 17 during Commencement Week. He also will be recognized during the school’s diploma ceremony on May 18.

Nominated by five members of the physiology faculty and chosen by a selection committee, Navar also received multiple letters of support for the award.

He is principal investigator of a multiyear Center of Biomedical Research Excellence grant to the Tulane Hypertension and Renal Center of Excellence. Earlier phases of the national COBRE funding have provided support for the work of 16 junior faculty members as well as postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and medical students.

UNO names VP
for business affairs

University of New Orleans President Peter J. Fos announced that Gregg Lassen has been appointed vice president for business affairs.

Lassen is currently vice president for finance and operations at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. He will succeed Linda Robison who is retiring as vice president of business affairs after 39 years at the UNO. Lassen’s appointment begins on July 1.

Prior to his position at Lamar, Lassen spent five years at The University of Texas at Tyler, first serving as vice president for business affairs and then executive vice president. He also spent three years as vice president of business and finance at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss.

Tulane to offer
skin screenings

Tulane University School of Medicine’s dermatology department will offer free skin cancer screenings from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday in the Dermatology Clinic on the fifth floor of Tulane Medical Center, 1415 Tulane Ave.

The free screenings involve full- or upper-body skin assessments or spot skin checks by a Tulane dermatologist. If suspicious lesions are found, patients will be encouraged to contact their personal physicians, or they will be referred to a Tulane dermatologist.

No treatments or biopsies will be performed, and appointments are not necessary. Walk-in patients are welcomed.

Those who have experienced severe sunburn or have a history of sun exposure, those with fair skin who burn easily and anyone experiencing a recent change in the appearance of a mole should consider being screened.

Validated parking is available in Tulane’s LaSalle Street Garage, located at Tulane and LaSalle streets.

For more information on Tulane’s free skin cancer screenings, contact the Tulane Dermatology Clinic at (504) 988-1700.

Athletes participate in shoe giveaway

More than 25 Tulane student-athletes who are members of the Tulane Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) participated in a shoe giveaway at Martin Berhman Charter School last week, working alongside the Samaritan’s Feet organization.

Tulane’s SAAC raised money to purchase nearly 250 pairs of shoes to donate to children who have been wearing hand-me-down shoes.

The Tulane SAAC group has worked with Samaritan’s Feet — a non-profit organization dedicated to providing 10 million pairs of shoes to 10 million children over the next ten years — during the last few years, This was the first time that the group actually hosted its own shoe giveaway.

Tulane’s SAAC raised funds through donations at their web site, and they were also able to garner over $500 in donations at the March 26 Tulane baseball game against LSU.

Tulane names staff member winner

Cynthia Hayes received the 2013 Yvette Milner Jones Award, the highest award that Tulane University gives to a staff member.

The award, which goes to an outstanding Tulane staff member or administrator, is named in honor of Jones, executive vice president for university relations and development.

Through her work as director of medical alumni relations and constituency programs, Hayes acts as a liaison between the medical school alumni and the university.

Hayes lost her home in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, but that didn’t stop her from coming to the aid of the institution, according to a press release. She worked with medical students who were displaced by the storm and took on additional duties to aid in other areas. Members of the Tulane Medical Alumni Association credit her with resurrecting a successful and well-executed alumni group, post-storm.

In addition to her work with alumni, Hayes is an advocate for medical students. In 2010, students honored Hayes with a “mom” award for providing support to first- and second-year medical students.

Online education pioneer to give talk

Tulane University’s NewDay Social Entrepreneurship Speaker Series will co-host an evening with online education pioneer Salman Khan, founder and executive director of Khan Academy, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. May 20 at the University of New Orleans.

“Reimagining Education: A Town Hall Meeting With Sal Khan” will take place in the Grand Ballroom on the second floor of UNO’s University Center, located at 2000 Lakeshore Drive. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. To reserve seats, visit http://salkhaninnola.eventbrite.com.

Khan’s lecture is sponsored by Tulane University, Benjamin Franklin High School, 4.0 Schools, Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation and UNO.

Described as Bill Gates’ favorite teacher, Khan is on a mission to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.

He started Khan Academy to offer free online educational materials, including instructional videos, assessment exercises, dashboard analytics and teacher tools, that support personalized, mastery-based, interactive education for users of all ages.

The Academy, which grew out of a series of online YouTube videos Khan created to tutor nieces and nephews in New Orleans, now has more than 6 million users per month. It has delivered more than 250 million lessons in the last two years, covering subjects from basic math to college-level biology and art history.

After his presentation, Khan will answer questions from the audience and sign copies of his new book, The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined.

UNO names dean of College of Education

University ofNew Orleans Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs James E. Payne announced that Darrell P. Kruger has been appointed dean of the College of Education and Human Development.

Kruger will begin his new position July 1.

Kruger is currently the interim associate vice president for research and graduate studies and manager of the Center for Emerging Entrepreneurs at Illinois State University.

Kruger received his doctoral and master’s degrees in geography from Louisiana State University and his bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa.

Compiled by
the New Orleans bureau