ON CAMPUS: Tulane community pledges 750,000 hours of service and other higher education news

Tulane University students, faculty members and alumni have pledged to perform 750,000 hours of community service as a parting gift to outgoing President Scott Cowen.

“Tulane students already log 430,000 hours of community service each year. With the help of faculty, staff, alumni and friends of Tulane, we want to measurably increase that,” said Vincent Ilustre, executive director of the Tulane Center for Public Service.

Tulane has been tracking its students’ community service hours since Hurricane Katrina, when it became the first major research university in the country to make public service a curriculum requirement for all undergraduates.

The new initiative, the Cowen Service Challenge, will extend that effort by recording the number of service hours donated by faculty, staff, alumni and friends of Tulane as well. The hours can include volunteering at any nonprofit, community, school, faith-based or civic organization and can be done anywhere.

Service hours will be counted from August 2013 to April 2014. Faculty, staff, alumni and friends can register their service hours at http://tulane.edu/service-challenge/.

While Ilustre’s office will track student hours contributed through the public service curriculum, students can also use the website to register hours they volunteer on their own.

“We think our goal of 750,000 hours is very reachable,” Ilustre said. “In fact, we think we can make it to 1 million hours of service.”

Loyola law student wins essay content

Lynsey R. Johnson, a third-year law student at Loyola University, won the 22nd Annual Louisiana State Bar Association Environmental Law Essay Contest.

Johnson was awarded $2,000 in the contest, which was sponsored by the Louisiana State Bar Association Section on Environmental Law.

Students were asked to address specific problems arising under Louisiana or federal environmental law.

Johnson’s entry, “Arkansas Game and Fish Commission v. United States: Dam If You Do, Dam If You Don’t,” discussed the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the case and concluded that the court developed an appropriate rule but misapplied that rule to the facts.

According to Johnson, the court’s decision has far-reaching ramifications for floodplain management, disaster response and recovery as well as climate change and the government’s decision-making processes.

Before law school, Johnson worked for the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs as the state’s disaster response and recovery planner.

She is also a certified floodplain manager as designated by the Association of State Floodplain Managers.

Following graduation, Johnson hopes to work in Washington, D.C., on environmental law issues, specifically those issues dealing with disaster law and floodplain problems.

UNO to hold financial economics seminar

The University of New Orleans will hold a financial economics seminar from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 20 in room 131 of Kirschman Hall on campus.

The focus of the seminar is managing volatility in financial markets after recessions.

The seminar is free and open to the public.

Topics will be of particular interest to financial professionals and college faculty members in the region.

The intent of the seminar is to provide a forum for academic scholars and practitioners to discuss how to manage risk associated with market volatility in situations similar to the financial panic of 2008 and the recession that followed.

Dillard president’s lecture series to begin

Dillard University President Walter Kimbrough announced that his 2013-14 lecture series, “Brain Food,” will begin with a lecture from Clarence B. Jones, adviser and speechwriter for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The lecture will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 24, in the Georges Auditorium on campus. It is free and open to the public.

“As you know, this August marked the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington and the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. It just seemed like the perfect way to begin the Brain Food Lecture Series,” Kimbrough said.

Jones is a visiting professor at the University of San Francisco and a writer in residence at the Martin Luther King Jr. Research & Education Institute at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.

In addition to helping draft the “I Have A Dream” speech, Jones has made significant contributions to the civil rights movement, including brokering the settlement agreement that helped end demonstrations and desegregation in Birmingham department stores. He also helped negotiate the end to the rebellion at Attica Prison in 1971.

Compiled from staff reports and news releases.