New Orleans area higher education briefs for April 22, 2013

Chaz Bono to speak at Tulane University

Author and activist Chaz Bono will speak from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday at McAlister Auditorium on the Tulane campus.

The event will include a question-and-answer session with Bono, child of entertainers Sonny and Cher and author of “Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man.”

The event is free and open to the public.

Loyola to screen film on oil leak

Loyola University is marking the third anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster with a free public screening of the film “Dirty Energy” at 7 p.m. Monday in Miller Hall, room 114 on Loyola’s main campus.

Presented by Loyola’s Environment Program and the Loyola Film Buffs Institute, the film highlights the personal stories of Louisiana fishermen and locals impacted by the oil leak.

Director Bryan Hopkins, as well as film participants Aaron Viles, deputy director of the Gulf Restoration Network, and George Barisich of the St. Bernard Fisherman’s Association, will be on hand for a question-and-answer session following the film.

The Center for the Study of New Orleans co-sponsors the event.

UNO professor gets chemistry grant

University of New Orleans chemistry professor Steven Rick has been awarded a three-year $450,000 National Science Foundation grant to study the behavior of charged molecules in water and other solutions.

The research is important to a wide range of medical and technological areas including drug development for treatment of life-threatening degenerative diseases and the creation of more energy-efficient storage materials such as those used in electric vehicles, according to a news release.

The results of this research could provide a better understanding of how ions interact in a variety of materials including those in the human body, water purification membranes and battery materials.

The work could improve the understanding of muscle and nerve functions in the body as well as green chemistry involving water purification.

Rick, a professor of chemistry, has been at UNO since 2000.

Tulane honors faculty member

The A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University honored longtime faculty member and entrepreneur John B. Elstrott Jr. as the Tulane Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the Tulane Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

The awards were given at the Tulane Council of Entrepreneurs Awards Gala last week. This is the first time Tulane has given both awards to one person.

Elstrott is a professor of practice and emeritus executive director of the Freeman School’s Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship.

He joined Tulane in 1982 and has taught entrepreneurship at the Freeman School since 1986. In 1991, Elstrott became the founding director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship, which was established to coordinate entrepreneurship initiatives at the school and in the community.

In addition to his career as an educator and administrator, Elstrott has also had a long career as an entrepreneur and investor. In the early 1970s, Elstrott was part of the management team that helped build Celestial Seasonings into the world’s largest specialty tea company.

Today, Elstrott continues to be an active investor and board member in the venture capital, wetlands mitigation banking, pharmaceutical, financial services, medical and functional food, and herbal remedy industries. He serves as chairman of the board of Whole Foods Market, where he has been a director since 1994.

Exhibit highlights emancipation

The Amistad Research Center on the Tulane University uptown campus is honoring the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation with an exhibit that features documents related to the international slave trade, abolitionist movement and emancipation.

The exhibit, titled “Am I Not a Brother, Am I Not a Sister?: An Exhibition to Commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation,” will continue through June 28.

Exhibit highlights include photographs, correspondence and printed works about abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Tubman and Thomas Clarkson; papers of a family of free persons of color in Virginia and Boston; documents concerning the founding of the Freedmen’s Bureau; and documents chronicling slavery and the continued struggles African-Americans faced following emancipation.

Admission to the research center is free and open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Compiled by the
New Orleans bureau