New Orleans area higher education briefs for July 15, 2013

UNO names head of research foundation

The University of New Orleans Research and Technology Foundation has named Eileen Kennedy Byrne its new president and chief executive officer.

Byrne, who comes to the job with more than 30 years experience, most recently served as the foundation’s vice president and chief financial officer. She has held the positions of assistant vice chancellor for business affairs and assistant vice chancellor for property and facilities development for UNO.

Byrne will oversee the foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides support for UNO’s initiatives, develops and manages research and technology facilities and fosters economic development collaborations between the public and private sector.

The foundation is engaged in university-related projects with a combined value of more than $200 million and manages about 800,000 square feet of real estate.

Dillard plays host to 24 Brazilian teachers

Dillard University’s Center for Intensive English Language in the Office of International Students and Study Abroad Programs will teach English as a second language to 24 public school teachers from Brazil.

The teachers arrived June 23 for the six-week program, a continuation of a joint agreement between the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Alliance and the Brazilian government. The initiative was created by President Barack Obama and Dilma Rousseff, president of Brazil, in a commitment to send more than 100,000 Brazilian students abroad. At least a dozen students from Brazil arrived at Dillard last spring, where they met their English language goals and are now eligible to receive academic training at Dillard University and a host of other HBCUs across the country, according to Kimya Dawson-Smith, director of CIEL and OISSAP at Dillard.

The CIEL Program expects to receive 28 new students in the fall, as well as additional students and teachers in spring 2014.

LSUHSC’S Honoré named to board

Peggy Honoré, the AmeriHealth Mercy — General Russel Honoré Endowed Professor at the LSUHSC School of Public Health’s Health Policy and System Management program, will serve on the editorial board of the international journal BMC Public Health, as an associate editor.

BMC Public Health is an open access, peer-reviewed journal that considers articles on the epidemiology of disease and the understanding of all aspects of public health. Honoré will help guide peer review on research papers on epidemiology, community health, as well as health policy and finance.

Honoré is also director of the Public Health System, Finance, and Quality Program in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Honoré is a native of New Orleans, and earned a doctorate in health administration with honors from the Medical University of South Carolina and master’s in health administration from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

‘Dr. Mary’s Monkey’ author to speak

A one-day symposium on the legal and medical implications of the 1964 murder of New Orleans physician Dr. Mary Sherman will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Loyola University, Miller Hall Building, room 114, at Calhoun and Loyola streets.

It will be hosted by Edward Haslam, author of “Dr. Mary’s Monkey” published in 2007, and is sponsored by the Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice and Trine Day Publishing.

The one-day symposium will feature two sessions, beginning with a discussion at 9 a.m. of Sherman, her significance to the JFK assassination and the cold case surrounding her death July 20, 1964, and a discussion at 10:45 a.m. of Sherman’s research conducted in New Orleans in the late 1950s and early 1960s and the possible unintended side-effects of vaccines grown on monkey kidney cells. A reception with the author will be held at 11:45 a.m.

Admission is $20, which includes a choice of Haslam’s books “Dr. Mary’s Monkey” “Me & Lee” or “A Certain Arrogance.” Register at; visit or call 1 (800) 556-2012.

Tulane researchers to develop dispersant

Two researchers from Tulane University have won a $1 million grant to design more-effective and cost-efficient dispersants than those used in the cleanup of the Deepwater Horizon oil leak in 2010.

Scott Grayson, an associate chemistry professor at Tulane, and Wayne Reed, a Tulane physics professor, are seeking to develop dispersants that have minimal side effects if ingested by human or marine life.

They are being joined in the study by Daniel Savin, an assistant polymer science professor at the University of Southern Mississippi.

The project is being funded by a $1 million, three-year grant from BP/The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. The GoMRI is a 10-year, $500 million independent research program established by agreement between BP and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance to study the effects of the Deepwater Horizon leak and its potential impact on environmental and public health.

Grayson and his team will work to develop a dispersant using substances approved by the FDA for human consumption. Although prototypes of similar dispersants have been produced, they are not as cost effective as what Grayson’s team plans to develop using materials such as silica and polythene glycol, common additives in food and medicine that can be obtained cheaply by the ton.

Professor to chair NIH review group

A University of New Orleans psychology professor has been named chairwoman of a National Institutes of Health peer review group.

Laura Scaramella will chair the Psychosocial Development, Risk and Prevention study section of the Center for Scientific Review, which is the gateway for NIH grant applications and their review for scientific merit.

Her appointment begins Sept. 1 and will last nearly two years.

Scaramella is a professor of psychology and graduate coordinator for the psychology department.

Scaramella’s research at the University of New Orleans focuses on social, genetic and biological mechanisms affecting the parenting quality and the emergence of behavior problems during early childhood.

Grants boost LSU, Loyola programs

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will award $977,160 in grants to Loyola University and Louisiana State University Health Science Center, both located in New Orleans.

The Loyola University Nurse Faculty Loan Program will receive a $933,271 grant to be used for advanced education nursing programs for graduates to serve as faculty in the School of Nursing.

The LSU Health Science Center will receive a $43,889 grant for research on molecular bases of health disparities.

Tulane’s Spitzer celebrates radio show

The “American Routes” radio show celebrated its 15th anniversary on the air this past weekend with a special live show prerecorded at Rock ‘n’ Bowl in New Orleans.

Fans turned out for the 15th anniversary celebration of the radio show “American Routes” with live musical performances from the event by the Tremé Brass Band, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, pianist Jon Cleary and saxophonist James Rivers.

Nick Spitzer, professor of anthropology and American studies at Tulane University, is host of “American Routes.”

Provost Michael Bernstein said the show brings Tulane a lot of national recognition and having the show produced on campus means students interested in radio production, folklore, ethnography, music and performing arts can get involved.

Delgado, Jefferson sign agreement

As part of its plan to create direct career pathways in high-placement, high-wage jobs for graduating students, the Jefferson Parish public school system recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Delgado Community College to formalize their partnership on a dual enrollment program for juniors and seniors attending JPPSS high schools.

The memorandum establishes standards and guidelines for dual enrollment courses that may lead to a certificate of technical studies, certificate of general studies or an associate degree from Delgado upon high school completion.

The first career program offered to JPPSS students will address the growing demands of the area’s health care industry.

Beginning in fall 2013, a cohort of up to 40 students will participate in a one-year medical registration specialist program with an emphasis in bio-medical career paths, which will award students with a certificate of technical studies in medical registration and credit toward an associate degree as they complete high school.

JPPSS juniors and seniors who are interested in the program should contact their school counselor for more information.

The dual enrollment program is designed for students who have the ability to benefit from instruction in either their chosen career path or enrollment in a transferable course at Delgado Community College in their junior and senior year of high school.

Students enrolled in a dual enrollment course will receive high school credit/Carnegie units as well as transcript credit from Delgado Community College.

Compiled by
the New Orleans bureau