New Orleans area higher education briefs

Tulane names its Weiss Fellows

T.R. Johnson, associate professor of English and director of the writing program, and Dr. Latha Rajan, associate professor of clinical tropical medicine, are receiving the Weiss Presidential Fellowships, the highest award for undergraduate teaching at Tulane University.

The Board of Tulane, with support from Suzanne and Stephen Weiss, established the Suzanne and Stephen Weiss Presidential Fellowships to recognize the importance of undergraduate teaching.

Each fellowship honors a faculty member who has a sustained record of effective, inspiring and distinguished teaching. Recipients receive a special medal, $5,000 a year for four years and permanent designation as a Weiss Fellow.

Media group taps Dillard for 6 awards

The Center for HBCU Media Advocacy has nominated Dillard University in six categories for the third annual HBCU Awards.

Nominations are based on achievement as well as local and national media coverage. Winners will be announced during a ceremony at Jackson State University on June 28.

Dillard’s nominations include: Best Choir; Best Fine Arts Program; Best Nursing Program; Female Faculty Member of the Year, Kemberley Washington; Female Athlete of the Year, Jazzmin Smith; and Male President of the Year, Walter Kimbrough.

Loyola students help create signs for fest

Art and design students at Loyola University New Orleans helped create recycled signage for the annual Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo.

The free music and art festival, which takes place along the banks of historic and beautiful Bayou St. John, is known for its ongoing sustainability efforts. This year, Boogaloo founders asked Loyola’s graphic design students to use recycled materials for signage for the event and at future festivals.

Students in the advanced typography class created a series of 12 screen-printed posters inspired by the Dalai Lama, who was in New Orleans during the festival.

Dillard University official earns honor

The director of Dillard University’s Office of Community Relations, Nick Harris, has received the New Orleans Neighborhood Development Foundation’s 2013 Leadership Award.

The award honors an individual or organization who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the development and growth of local neighborhoods.

The Neighborhood Development Foundation cited Harris’ commitment to the New Orleans-Gentilly community in organizing programs and events aimed at rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina.

Harris and Dillard provided space for community meetings, and the use of the campus site for conducting housing fairs, health fairs and other community events, the group said.

Tulane grad wins service award

Tulane University graduate Melissa Herman, who as a sophomore launched an after-school neuroscience program for students at the New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics High School, received the Jim Runsdorf Excellence in Public Service Award this year.

Herman served a public service internship with New Orleans Emergency Medical Service. She also works on a research team with Dr. Sheryl Martin-Schild, director of the Stroke Program at Tulane University Hospital and Clinic, studying disparity of health care across New Orleans.

The combined experiences led to development of a “stroke hot spots” map of the city, showing areas of high risk for strokes, which can be used for health education and further research.

Delgado sets Tuesday commencement

Delgado Community College will honor its graduating students Tuesday at 10 a.m. during spring commencement exercises in the Sen. Nat G. Kiefer UNO Lakefront Arena.

Alex Johnson, president of the Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh, Pa., will be the principal speaker. Dr. Johnson was chancellor of Delgado Community College during Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.

Commencement exercises include the Delgado City Park and West Bank campuses; East and West Jefferson locations; Covington and Slidell locations; and Charity School of Nursing.

Anti-bullying effort earns national title

Loyola University students who led an anti-bullying campaign took home the university’s eighth national title in a public relations competition for college students—the Public Relations Student Society of America 2013 Bateman Case Study Competition.

The Loyola Bateman team’s “Step Up, Reach Out!” campaign to stop bullying was chosen as the winner among 68 entries from colleges and universities nationwide.

In addition to winning eight national titles, Loyola’s Bateman team has advanced to the national finals 12 of the last 13 years. This year, the Loyola team beat finalists from Kent State University and North Dakota State University for the final competition held via video conference.

Loyola Bateman team members include Dwayne Fontenette, Haley Humiston, Charlie LaRock, Leah Whitlock and Vannia Zelaya. Loyola public relations professor Cathy Rogers — named by the Public Relations Association of Louisiana as the 2012 State Educator of the Year in public relations — spearheads the students’ participation in the competition.

Loyola’s “Step Up, Reach Out!” anti-bullying effort partnered with New Orleans schools and other local organizations to host 22 workshops and programs in six schools and an anti-bullying summit in February.

Whitaker program offers post-grad grant

Graduating Tulane University senior biomedical engineering major Gisele Calderon is the first Tulane student to be offered a grant for post-graduate research by the Whitaker International Fellowship Program.

The Whitaker Program identifies future leaders in the field of biomedical engineering and supports one year of work in collaboration with scholars and institutions overseas.

Calderon will spend the next academic year in Lausanne, Switzerland at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

Compiled by
the New Orleans bureau