LOYNO Summer 2016

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Wild About Harry

HONORING Harry Connick Jr.

Rose Hanley


makes the world a

‘Little Bit’

better Creativity in

FOCUS New programs prepare students for emerging job markets

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Degrees of Success There’s an evolution under way in film, music, and design.

COVER STORY In response to this evolution,

Loyola set out to innovate. Now, backed by three new degree programs, the university is cultivating a new breed of creative professionals.


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Dr. Patricia L. Dorn and Chagas Disease Research


2 President’s Message 3 Know & Tell 4 News Roundup 6 Creative Class 7 The Loyola Effect 8 Local Flavor 9 On the Scene 20 The Changing of the Bard 30 Southern Hospitality: Robért LeBlanc ’00

24 Harry Connick Jr. 16

Rose-Colored World Rose Hanley ’83 and the Little Bit Foundation

and the Weiner Dog that was Frozen in Time 34 Institutional Advancement 36 Alumni Events 40 Class Notes 41 Alumni Profile: Flor Serna ’15 47 Alumni Profile: Shaawn Ali ’08 50 Alumni Profile: Nia Porter ’15 51 Bon Temps 52 Out in the Streets 53 Do This 54 Community Engagement 55 Then & Now 56 How Loyola Shaped Me

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SUMMER 2016 Vol. 26, No. 1 Editor Eve C. Peyton Designers Allee Parker Hollie Garrison Photography Kyle Encar Zack Smith Marianna Massey Ashley Brooke Writers Angelique Dyer ’11 Fritz Esker ’00 Autumn Cafiero Giusti ’00 Will Glass Lauren LaBorde ’09 Sarah Ravits Director of Creative Services Allee Parker Dear readers, THREE TIMES A YEAR WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY to bring a little bit of our wonderful Loyola University New Orleans community into your home through LOYNO magazine. A few months ago we sent a survey to our readers to better understand the kind of editorial content that would be most interesting to you. We were delighted with the responses and received more than 500 in all, which served to help inform the new format for LOYNO. And we listened. I am thrilled to share with you the new design of LOYNO. Within these pages, you will find inspiring new features, photos, and stories that represent the exciting diversity and innovative spirit now permeating our campus. This new look and feel is one that truly reflects the creative, inventive, and entrepreneurial spirit that exists here at Loyola and among our talented alumni. With more content, the publication is also thicker and contains more stories and photographs. And it will be printed twice a year now, with the third edition being a special digital issue. We have so much to celebrate and so much to be proud of. In 2016, the U.S. Department of State and the Chronicle of Higher Education named Loyola New Orleans a Top U.S. Fulbright Producer. Honors senior Michael Pashkevich received a national Goldwater Scholarship, the top prize awarded to students studying science, technology, and mathematics. Our strategic communication students continued a winning Loyola tradition, coming in second in the national Bateman championship. Our students and alumni are putting their social justice education into practice all across the world. Our faculty are a constant source of wisdom and ingenuity. And we welcomed the Class of 2016 to the Alumni Association, following a commencement address by legendary entertainer Harry Connick Jr., who called upon our graduates to: “Be kind. Be humble. Be great.” As you peruse these pages, we hope that you remember this: As we continue to adapt and change at Loyola, our core traditions always remain. Our commitment to excellence endures, and we continue to “find God in all things.”

The Rev. Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D. University President


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Director of Marketing Francie Davenport ’92 Director of Alumni Engagement Laurie Eichelberger Leiva ’03 Director of Advancement Records Martha Bodker Associate Vice President for Development Chris Wiseman ’88 Vice President for Institutional Advancement Bill Bishop Vice President for Marketing + Communications Laura F. Kurzu University President The Rev. Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D.

LOYNO Magazine is published twice per year. View online at loyno.edu/magazine Send address changes to: Loyola University New Orleans Office of Marketing + Communications 6363 St. Charles Avenue, Box 212 New Orleans, LA 70118 Correspondence may be sent to: Editor, LOYNO Magazine 6363 St. Charles Avenue, Box 212 New Orleans, LA 70118 phone (504) 861-5859 fax (504) 861-5784 email magazine@loyno.edu Submissions of stories and photographs are welcome. Loyola University New Orleans has fully supported and fostered in its educational programs, admissions, employment practices, and in the activities it operates the policy of not discriminating on the basis of age, color, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex/gender, or sexual orientation. This policy is in compliance with all applicable federal regulations and guidelines.

know&tell Loyno news worth howling about.

Strategic communication students from the School of Mass of Communication won second place in the nation’s premier case study competition for public relations students. This year marked the 15th time Loyola students have been named among the nation’s top three finalists in the elite national competition.

Loyola has won more Bateman competitions than any other school in the country — having brought home nine national titles to the SMC trophy case and always placed among the top three.

Loyola had four Fulbright scholars in the 2015–2016 academic year

Faith in the Future The

campaign has surpassed


$60 million

and was named among the Top U.S. Fulbright Producers for the year by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. In the 2014–2015 academic year, nearly one-third of the 15 undergraduate students at Loyola who applied for a Fulbright grant received one, earning the opportunity to travel and study abroad during the 2015–2016 year. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential.

For the second year in a row, College Raptor has named us the

“Hidden Gem” university in our state! The “Hidden Gem” list profiles one university from each state that offers an intimate higher education experience.

Students from the School of Mass Communication received 15 coveted awards this past April from the Society of Professional Journalists, a professional organization devoted to producing high-quality, ethical journalism. Top marks from the professional organization went to Loyola’s multiple-prize-winning student newspaper and the Loyola Student News Service, as well as individual students. This year, The Maroon won SPJ’s Mark of Excellence for Best All-Around Non Daily Student Newspaper. Loyola Student News Service, a news wire service in which student journalists write articles for professional news organizations including The TimesPicayune/NOLA.com and local NPR-affiliate, WWNO 89.9 FM, won a Mark of Excellence for General News Reporting.

In January 2016, Head Coach

Kellie Kennedy earned her 156th win at Loyola, giving her the most victories in Loyola women’s basketball history. Under Kennedy’s direction, the Wolf Pack has advanced to the NAIA National Tournament three times and tallied 20-plus wins in five seasons.

Telemundo/NBC anchor and mass communication alumna María Celeste Arrarás ’82 broadcast her nationally acclaimed talk show Al Rojo Vivo! live from Loyola on May 20, 2016.

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news roundup Spider Scholar

A Woman for Others

Goldwater Scholarship goes to Loyola student

Dr. Cissy Petty awarded JASPA’s highest honor

Loyola’s Michael Pashkevich, below, far right, of Mandeville, La., has won a 2016 Goldwater Scholarship. Pashkevich is one of two students from Louisiana to receive the elite award, which recognizes top students who wish to pursue scholarly research in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering and brings recipients one- to two-year scholarships valued up to $7,500. The national scholarship will support Pashkevich’s ongoing and future research on arachnids, conducted at Loyola under Assistant Professor of Biology Aimee Thomas. “What makes Loyola unique is that our STEM students have the opportunity to engage in scholarly research at the undergraduate level,” Thomas said. “Our students are actively pursuing research on topics ranging from developmental biology to ecosystem ecology.” Pashkevich, a biology major, medieval studies minor, Ignatian Scholar and member of Loyola’s elite University Honors Program, was selected from a highly competitive pool of 1,150 mathematics, science, and engineering students for the scholarship.


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His ongoing honors thesis research entails assessing the effects of white-tailed deer herbivory on the diversity and species richness of spider communities in a southeast Louisiana bottomland hardwood forest. Currently, Loyola researchers are identifying more than 1,000 preserved spiders, which they will use to approximate the overall diversity and species richness of the regional spider communities. “As I intend to research tropical spiders for my postgraduate degrees and professional career, this project has enabled me to practice the field and laboratory skills needed to succeed as a population ecologist,” Pashkevich said. “The Goldwater Scholarship is arguably the most prestigious award given to undergraduate science students and is seen as a pathway into elite graduate programs and other top awards,” said Loyola’s National Fellowships Adviser Carol Ann MacGregor. “The goal of the Goldwater program is to encourage the development of highly qualified scientists.”

Vice President of Student Affairs and Associate Provost Dr. M.L. “Cissy” Petty, above, received the Reverend Victor R. Yanitelli, S.J. Award from the Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators, its most prestigious honor. The honor recognizes her outstanding leadership, character, and commitment to Jesuit higher education and the importance of centering Ignatian spirituality in student affairs work. “Cissy is so deserving of the Victor Yanitelli, S.J. Award,” said Jeanne Rosenberger, vice provost for student life and dean of students at Santa Clara University. “She is a servant-leader, mentor, and advocate for Jesuit student affairs. She dreams big and helps others imagine a better future.” Founded in 1954, JASPA includes student affairs leaders from the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S. To celebrate its 25th anniversary in 1979, the association initiated an annual award for outstanding service in the area of student life in Jesuit higher education. The award was named in honor of its first recipient, Rev. Victor R. Yanitelli, S.J., beloved for his service to others.

Petty joined Loyola in July 2006 and has “embraced Jesuit higher education as a spokesperson and a leader, in ways that serve as a model to others,” Fordham University Senior Vice President of Student Affairs Jeffrey Gray said. “Her care for the New Orleans community, as well as the students, faculty, and staff across the 28 Jesuit American universities whom she encounters, embody the very essence of the Jesuit ideals of ‘cura personalis’ and ‘women and men for others.’ Her work on and off campus showcases her dedication to students and commitment to her community.” She has served as a regional vice president, vice president/presidentelect, president, and past-president of JASPA. During her presidency, she involved all 28 institutions in a strategic planning process that resulted in a reimagining of JASPA’s leadership model and annual conference. The new leadership model invites participation from all institutions at all levels, and the conference program is deeply rooted in social justice. These changes have resulted in JASPA establishing itself as the premier Catholic student affairs association in the nation. “This work was entirely inspired by Cissy’s dedication and vision, her boundless energy and enthusiasm, and her commitment to excellence and would not have been accomplished without her,” Gray said. “Cissy is indeed an example of all that is right with higher education and student affairs leadership.”

Love and War James Carville and Mary Matalin talk politics at the Renwick Lecture Series America’s best-loved political couple faced off at Loyola with a discussion about the 2016 presidential election. Renowned strategists and political commentators James Carville and Mary Matalin shared their views at the seventh annual Ed Renwick Lecture Series, and Gambit publisher, awardwinning political commentator, and law alumnus Clancy DuBos, J.D. ’93, moderated the discussion, fielding a few questions from the audience. “The 2016 presidential election is one of the most widely watched elections in history, as well as one of the most polarizing and dramatic,” said Loyola President the Rev. Kevin

Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D. “We [were] pleased to have two of the nation’s top political strategists visit Loyola to shed light on the issues and bring us perspectives from both sides of the aisle.” Carville is America’s best-known Democratic political consultant, who helped Bill Clinton win the presidency in 1992. He has authored or co-authored eight New York Times best-sellers and is a frequent political commentator and contributor on This Week with George Stephanopoulos. He also serves as a professor of practice at Tulane University in New Orleans.

A member of Loyola’s Board of Trustees, Matalin is one of the most celebrated and popular conservative voices in America. She served under President Ronald Reagan, made her mark as President George H.W. Bush’s campaign director, and served as both assistant to President George W. Bush and assistant and counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney. Today, she is an author; television and radio host; and widely sought-after political contributor, pundit, and public speaker. Her radio program, Both Sides Now, is broadcast on more than 100 radio stations across the country.

Together with Carville, Matalin has co-authored the best-selling political campaign book All’s Fair: Love, War, and Running for President, named one of the top five best books on public relations by the Wall Street Journal, and Love and War: 20 Years, 3 Presidents, 2 Daughters, One Louisiana Home. Matalin also penned Letters to My Daughters, a series of short missives for her own daughters. The couple shares a deep love for the city of New Orleans and is involved in the upcoming tricentennial celebration of the city of New Orleans in 2018.

Loyola trustee Mary Matalin discusses the upcoming election with her husband, James Carville, right, and law alumnus Clancy DuBos, J.D. ’93.

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GOOD CHEMISTRY Edouard and Kathleen Crago’s popular Chemistry and Art class combines two distinct fields with an end result that students cherish. BY FRITZ ESKER ’00 PHOTOGRAPHY BY KYLE ENCAR

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When you took common curriculum classes, did you ever make something tangible that you could use in everyday life? A pair of earrings or a necklace to wear? A trusty key chain? Probably not. If you did, it was likely because you took Edouard and Kathleen Crago’s Chemistry and Art class at Loyola. The first seeds of the class were sown when Edouard was an undergrad at Tulane pursuing a bachelor’s degree in visual arts. He’d ask his mother, Kathleen, an organic chemistry professor at Loyola, about the scientific aspects of his projects (e.g., if combining two ingredients would be toxic or result in a color change).

Edouard went on to earn a master’s of fine arts degree in sculpture from Notre Dame, and after he graduated, the motherand-son duo were reunited as professors at Loyola. Both of them were inspired by a National Science Foundation workshop they attended on interdisciplinary learning and wanted to bring that concept to Loyola. In 2010, they co-taught the first section of Chemistry and Art. The class has grown into one of the university’s most popular courses, with typically two or three sections offered a semester. Unlike many classes (in science and elsewhere) where students learn more about theory than practice, the Cragos’ students actually see chemistry in action. Edouard says the key to the class’ enduring popularity is allowing students to “apply chemistry visually as opposed to doing a diagram or an equation.” In one popular activity, the students embed copper between two sheets of glass and then heat it up in a kiln. The glass melts around the copper. On an academic level, the process teaches the students that copper and glass share a coefficient of expansion, meaning they expand and contract at the same rate. But on a more fun, artistic level, after the two ingredients fuse together, the students put the finished product in a pendant and keep it. On course evaluations, class members frequently say the ability to create something that they can keep or wear is their favorite part of the course. “They often say ‘Thank you for letting me make stuff in a science class,’” Edouard says. “Often, the only stuff in a science course you get to take away is a lab report.” “Art” and “creativity” usually aren’t the first words that leap to mind when people think of science and chemistry. But the Cragos hope to keep challenging that preconception with Chemistry and Art. “The two fields of art and science aren’t as disparate as people think,” Edouard says. “They share the way they think about, look at, study, and apply materials.”

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Biology students Bethany Richards and Nick de la Rua ’10 co-authored a publication on the biology of Chagas disease. Published in the Memoirs of Institute Oswaldo Cruz, the paper describes new methods to

quickly determine the genetic identity of bugs carrying the Chagas disease parasite. Dorn was a co-author.

Dr. Patricia Dorn, far left, conducts research with her students.

Dr. Dorn’s research is focused on understanding the epidemiology and transmission control of Chagas disease, a leading cause of heart disease in Latin America caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. She has published extensively on the topic and secured top national grants to fund her research. Dorn has inspired countless students in her more than 20 years at Loyola. She earned the 2012 Dux Academicus Award, the university’s highest faculty honor. Justine Sundrud ’14 teamed up with Dorn, New Orleans-based filmmaker Benjamin Reece of Deltree, and Guatemala-based researcher Dr. Carlota Monroy to capture footage of villagers in El Guayabo, Guatemala, using an innovative ecohealth approach proven to help people in the most impoverished regions stop the threat of Chagas disease. The video is now shown to thousands around the world to teach them how to make their own homes safer.


Biology alumna Rachel Nuwer ’07 published

“Bugs That Transmit ‘Silent Killer’ Are Biting More in U.S.” online in Scientific American in April 2012. She quoted Dorn in her article.



1 Slide of human blood seen at 1,000 times magnification. The red circles are red blood cells. A trypanosome parasite (Trypanosoma cruzi) is visible in the bottom-right of the image (purple-stained organism that looks like a small worm). These parasites cause Chagas disease, trypanosomiasis. Photo by Marc Perkins, used under Creative Commons license. Colors altered.

2 Triatominae (aka kissing bugs) are carriers of Chagas disease. SUMMER 2016 | loyno





This late-morning meal fits perfectly into the lifestyle and mindset of the Crescent City. BY ANGELIQUE DYER ’11

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IT’S NO SECRET that in New Orleans, we live to eat. Whether po’ boys on a Saturday afternoon or red beans on a hot Monday evening, our meals are important. And brunch is no exception. Just as we live to eat, we also live to party — without any care as to when the party stops. The second-line band might march in, indicating the end of the party, but sometimes even then, the dancing and revelry won’t end until the wee hours of the morning. That’s when brunch comes in, healing ailing heads and soothing empty tummies with a perfect culinary combination of chicken and waffles or eggs Benedict drizzled with hollandaise sauce — and of course a spicy Bloody Mary. New Orleans has been onto the brunch trend for decades, and with every passing year, the

mid-morning-to-early-afternoon culinary experience gets better and better. Whether you’re dining at Commander’s Palace during its famed jazz brunch or catching a breeze at some obscure restaurant nestled near Bayou St. John, brunch is its own tradition in New Orleans. There’s also nothing better than brunch at home with your favorite people — it provides the perfect backdrop for a post-brunch nap. Brunch pairs so well with New Orleans, a city that will have a party for anything at any time. It’s a delightful tradition we use to celebrate love, babies, graduations, a new year of life, or just a new outlook on life. Brunch, coupled with a beautiful sunny day, is the way we continue the party we thought ended last night. With brunch in New Orleans, the party can never end.


festival season! Christmas may be your thing, but down here, when the flowers begin to bloom and the pollen runs amuck Uptown, spring ushers in a season of magical food, sundresses and floppy hats, lots of dancing, and singing almost every weekend. It seems as though the city shines a little brighter when the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival rolls around at the end of April. This 46-year-old tradition combines local and international food, music, and culture with an overall funky good time. Jazz Fest started in 1970 with a simple passing of a microphone to legendary gospel singer Mahalia Jackson; from there, she joined in with Duke Ellington and the Eureka Brass Band as they second-lined through Congo Square. It was where jazz and heritage met and thus is the birthplace of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Today, the jazz and the heritage mix and mingle in creative ways, through the different stages showcasing a wide variety of music from traditional jazz, zydeco, and rock ‘n’ roll to R&B, hip-hop, folk, and gospel. And weaved through those stages are crafts from artists all over the world: intricate woodworks from the motherland in Congo Square and elaborate blown-glass sculptures in the Contemporary Crafts area. Not only do we have the chance to see performers we adore; we also get to meet and learn about new artists

and experience their slices of culture. Flags wave from backpacks to keep up with friends, and if you’re lucky, you might be a guest at someone’s wedding happening in the Gospel Tent. It is the time when we come together as humans to experience the magic that is art — in all different forms. Jazz Fest, for some, is more than a two-weekend event. It’s a feeling. It’s the time to truly let loose and be carefree; dance around in mud when it rains; and eat all your favorites that really only taste right at the Fair Grounds: mango freeze, Crawfish Monica, and fried plantains, just to name a few. It is the time to join in a second-line passing next to you after your first bite of crawfish bread. It’s the occasion to stomp and shout in the Gospel Tent and sway to the sweet zydeco tunes at the Fais Do Do Tent. And at Congo Square, it is the amazing moment when Maze and Frankie Beverly sing “Golden Time of Day” while the sun is preparing for its departure to close out Jazz Fest on the last day. Let’s not forget the unique opportunity to experience the magic that is Stevie Wonder as he serenades the city with “Isn’t She Lovely.” But one of the most gratifying feelings comes from seeing our Loyola students, faculty, and alumni grace the same stage as these legends, creating a space for them to become legends in their own right. Just as with Mardi Gras, we walk around grocery stores and doctors’ offices exclaiming, “Happy Jazz Fest!” because it’s a holiday, another special moment in New Orleans where we can come together and just be ourselves. It’s that moment when we get to take in the soul of the city all at the same time.

Festin’ it Up The magic i of Jazz Fest has come and gone for 2016, but we’re already ready for next year. BY ANGELIQUE DYER ’11




It’s a time when the next Oscar-winning movie could be shot on an iPhone. When designers are influencing everything from industrial systems to smartphone apps. When the next G-Eazy is waiting to be discovered on campus.

Degrees of



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n response to the evolution of technology, Loyola set out to innovate. Now, backed by three new degree programs, the university is cultivating a new breed of creative professionals who will be empowered to succeed in this quickly changing world and who are starting their journeys right here on our campus, surrounded by the rich culture and endless inspiration of New Orleans. The university just wrapped up its first full year of offering these new degrees — design, digital filmmaking,

and popular and commercial music — and these new options seem to have aligned with a youthful zeitgeist, a creative culture of young innovators ready to change the world one medium at a time. Loyola’s mission is clear in times of unprecedented advancement like this: to give students the opportunities to stay on the cutting edge, to create meaningful work, and to challenge the scope of their chosen fields. And so far, these degrees have been wildly successful, exceeding expectations and coming out ahead of the competition.

After graduation, JUSTIN SHIELS ’07 (graphic design) started the lifestyle magazine goINVADE.com; launched his own design studio, This Creative Lab; and co-founded New Orleans’ creative entrepreneur conference VenturePOP. He also taught branding at Loyola.

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e know for a fact that we’re competing for student enrollments with some of the premier programs in the country — NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Berklee College of Music, Savannah College of Art and Design — and we’re competing

successfully with those programs,” says Vice President of Enrollment Management Roberta Kaskel. This year, each program surpassed projected enrollment numbers, with double the expected enrollment in some cases. As of September 2015, there were 35 students enrolled in digital filmmaking, 34 in design, and 33 in popular and commercial music, according to Loyola’s Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness. University officials share the excitement of our students and say these are impressive figures for firstyear programs. “Incoming enrollment has already exceeded our expectations in our first year of the programs, and we fully expect them to continue to exceed our expectations,” Kaskel says. Some students have even transferred to these programs from higher grade levels, meaning Loyola could send the first graduates from its new degree programs out into the world as early as next summer. Tracci Lee is one of those students who is on track to graduate next May. She is a year into the popular and commercial music program and has her sights set on creating her first album after that. “This was exactly what I wanted to do with my music,” she says. “It fits what I’ll be doing in my career to a T.” Lee says she was just one of many students who wanted more from Loyola’s music offerings beyond the old standards of jazz and opera. “It’s time for that next move, and I think Loyola was very smart in taking that step,” she says.


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Rooted in local culture Of course New Orleans, the cultural epicenter that surrounds our campus, also goes a long way toward setting these programs apart. The city is known as the birthplace and most bona fide producer of jazz; a living, breathing art gallery; and most recently “Hollywood South”: All of these factors provide not only a staggering amount of authenticity to these programs but also a unique sandbox in which our future game-changers can hone and share their visions. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Marc Manganaro says each of the new degrees also aligns with the core values of the university’s strategic plan, Transforming Loyola 2020, which expressly seeks to involve students in high-quality, experiential, and values-based learning that is influenced by the cultures and traditions of New Orleans and rooted in Loyola’s Jesuit mission while also helping students discover their careers and lives of service. “These degrees fulfill all of these goals by bringing together a solid foundation in the liberal arts with hands-on, experiential learning in cutting-edge creative professions,” Manganaro says. “As such, they are models of the kinds of degrees shaping 21st-century higher education — degrees that give students the critical thinking skills to flourish and adapt in a fast-evolving workplace and the professional skills to launch their careers right out of college.” One of the things that makes all three programs unique is their focus on the business side of creating art, music, and film. “If you can run it as a business, you can continue to do these things,” says John Snyder, chairman of the Department of Film and Music Industry Studies. “It’s all good and economically powerful.”

Digital Filmmaking: A practical degree Sophomore NICK RAMEY is already an award-winning filmmaker with impressive statistics: He’s made 10 films that have been shown at more than 30 festivals across nine countries – and he’s just getting started!

Loyola’s bachelor of fine arts degree in digital filmmaking had been in the works for six years before it was finally put in place this past fall. The digital filmmaking curriculum had been available for a few years, but it was the recent high level of student interest that helped propel the program into a full-blown degree. “We started out small, offering just a few courses,” says Grammy-nominated director Jim Gabour, who leads the program. “We started having our students coming to us and saying, ‘more.’” The demand for more filmmaking classes dovetailed with the university’s plans to promote its mission by developing new academic opportunities. Response to the program has been striking. The original goal was to have 20 people in the program by the fall; the program ended up with a total of 35 and then picked up several transfer students between semesters. As a result, the program is on track to graduate its first round of seniors by spring 2017. The digital filmmaking degree program emphasizes both the creative and the business sides of the film industry. It’s the only film program in the country to require 18 hours of business courses as part of the curriculum, Gabour says. In addition, students need to complete 100 internship hours with a professional production company in order to graduate. “We want them to get a real practical and professional degree that will let them enter the career marketplace as soon as they leave,” Gabour says. Also noteworthy is that all of the program’s faculty members are working professionals, leading to connections allowing digital filmmaking students the chance to work at places such as DreamWorks and appear as extras in highprofile work such as HBO’s Treme. “Everybody here stays active in their profession, and we try to involve our students as often as we can in real-life work,” Gabour says. Before starting her sophomore year, Ella Jacobs decided to switch her major to digital filmmaking to take part in the program’s inaugural semester. She was previously majoring in English with a concentration in film and media arts. “What drew me in is that it’s so new and fresh, and there’s so much you can add and change to it,” Jacobs says. “A lot of the classes are hands-on.”

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Now that Jacobs is preparing to begin her junior year, she has discovered her passion and talents are in editing and writing, and she has used her time here to develop those skills. She sees herself eventually working on the business side of film and doing postproduction work and editing. “There are a lot of different paths you can take,” she says. Here, she gets the chance to practice taking them all.

Bachelor of Design: Design for good In the past few years, Loyola’s design program has undergone an evolution of sorts, transitioning from a bachelor of arts degree in design to the more professionally focused bachelor of design program. Previously, the degree consisted of 60 hours of liberal arts classes, which included 30 hours of design and 30 hours of electives. The new degree, which has actually been available for two years, requires 120 hours of study and involves more design-specific coursework. The program trains students to use typography and images to effectively communicate with a target audience and is the only four-year program of its kind in the city. The intent of the program is to prepare students for a range of careers, including interactive designers, game interface designers, motion graphics designers, and print and marketing designers. Program graduates will be able to work at advertising agencies; design studios; or as in-house designers at local, national, and international companies. Daniela Marx, chair of the Department of Design, believes retention and recruitment will be higher as a result of these changes. “This is a true professional degree program where you’re taking many more design classes that are focused,” Marx says. “This degree is opening up new doors and avenues for our students in the design community.” True to this generation’s politically motivated ideals — and Loyola’s mission statement — these new courses are embracing and focusing on the concept of “design for good,” making the world a better place through design. That includes field trips into the community and service-learning projects that embrace design and social justice — and how the two concepts work in harmony. (See story, p. 52.) “I think students really want to make a mark in the world and make the world a better place,” Marx says. “They’re looking across the board to see at which school they can actually fulfill that.”


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And they are finding that Loyola is the answer to that search. Next semester, the program will offer a business class on how students can write their own contracts as freelance designers. “We ensure students graduate with a relevant skillset by balancing design thinking and form-making with different tools including technology in our curriculum,” Marx says. “Our aim is to produce a cohort of creative, critical thinkers who can apply their design skills and conceptual thinking in any chosen design forum while making the world a better place.” That is, after all, what a Jesuit education is all about: practical skills, innovative thinking, and care for the world around you.

Popular and Commercial Music: Practice through performance When music professor Sanford Hinderlie started working at Loyola in the 1980s, the associate dean at the time swore that as long as he was at Loyola, there would not be rock ‘n’ roll in the College of Music. A lot has changed since then, and today rock is not only celebrated in the college — it leads to a degree. “It’s taken 35 years to get here, but we finally got there,” says Hinderlie, who has been involved with rock and jazz throughout his career and now serves as a point person for the program. When creating Loyola’s so-called “School of Rock,” the Department of Film and Music Industry Studies laid out a five-year plan for what it hoped to achieve with the program. With 33 students enrolled for the program’s inaugural year, Hinderlie says that the major has done so well that it’s already two to three years ahead of schedule, and he expects those numbers to double in the next year. “It’s so successful right now that we’re running out of space, which is a good thing,” he says. Students receive private voice or instrument lessons on a weekly basis, and they also perform in ensembles in which they learn how to play in a group. “Just the improvement of the students

from fall to spring has been great,” Hinderlie says. “They’re getting it, and we’re getting it.” The program prepares students not only through performances but also through technology. Students are learning how to make music digitally and how to add it to video. Students also take business classes in marketing and management and learn the ins and outs of contracts and copyrights. These skills encourage and enable them, as they’re honing their crafts and finding their voices, to take advantage of opportunities to share that work with the world — for instance, recording and producing their own work, which they know how to protect by copyrighting it. They also promote and play gigs at Satchmo’s in the basement of the Danna Student Center, as well as in other clubs and venues off campus, including the House of Blues and the legendary Howlin’ Wolf. They engage with a city rich with musical history, and they strive to contribute to its lexicon, to become a lasting part of its cultural legacy. “We’re using New Orleans as a recruiting tool because it has so many clubs and so much music,” Hinderlie says. “We want our kids to get totally engrossed in it.”

Continued growth projected When Loyola set out to introduce three new degree programs, the goal was to increase enrollment while meeting student demands for new academic opportunities. University officials are touting the impressive response to the programs’ inaugural year as evidence that those goals are being met and exceeded. Snyder says he was impressed with the response to the new music and film degree programs and predicts getting another 30 to 35 students in each degree program. “The creative power of our students is phenomenal and underserved,” he says. Marx says she would eventually like to expand the design program into a School of Design, where students could learn industrial, graphic, interactive, game, and textile design. “New Orleans deserves to have this kind of program, and we could make a difference in the world since our program is in line with the Jesuit mission,” she says. As always, the most important thing is to teach our students to focus their passions and give them tools to follow them. These three programs have not only lived up to that ideal but also have paved the way for future programs to do the same. Officials say expansion and growth will continue to be the goal of these programs in the coming year and beyond. “We expect these degrees to grow over the long term and to position Loyola even more firmly as a leader in educating students in the Jesuit tradition to take their places among the creative professionals proliferating in New Orleans and nationwide,” Manganaro says.

Senior TREVARRI HUFF-BOONE is a saxophonist, composer, and bandleader who has already had the chance to collaborate with Chico Hamilton, Tom Browne, Bobbi Humphrey, and many others. His goal is to travel the world playing music.


here are job fields that are in-demand, and there are those that are ahead of the curve. The generation entering Loyola right now will create new job markets and skills that professionals and businesses don’t even know they need yet. Two of our new programs in particular are designed to harness that entrepreneurial spirit and put students on the cutting edge of the professional world.

Computer Information Systems Whether the students in this program intend to become software engineers, systems engineers, web designers, or developers, every business sector in the world will need people like them. The computer information systems degree gives students the tools to speak the language — to be architects and innovators — so that they can plan, create, deploy, analyze, and improve the systems on which the world runs. Courses include Information Systems Theory and Practice, Programming, Rational Databases, and Computer Organization.

Business Analytics Lots of factors go into making business decisions, and students in this program will be the ones who know all of them. They will learn the technological skills to manage databases, the analytical skills to interpret data and create business models, and the management skills to use analytical results to build and implement strategies out of that analysis. These students will excel in any job that requires data-driven business decisions — and that essentially means anywhere. Courses include Business Statistics, Econometrics, Contemporary Managerial Decision Making, and Consumer Analysis and Research. SUMMER 2016 | loyno




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How Rose Hanley ’83 is improving the lives of children, a ‘Little Bit’ at a time

IN THE THICK HEAT OF A NEW ORLEANS summer, it can be hard to imagine how an experience here could spark a charitable foundation that got its start providing warm coats for underprivileged kids. And yet the Jesuit education that Rose Hanley ’83 (general studies) received at Loyola inspired her to do what she could to help her community and instilled in her the importance of social justice and service. Although she now lives and works in St. Louis, she still has a special place in her heart for the Crescent City. She is absolutely thrilled when I call her. “How’s New Orleans?” she practically oozes, as if we’re talking about a beloved mutual friend. I tell her, truthfully, that it’s pouring raining, but it’s Jazz Fest time, and she’s still jealous she’s not there. “I had the most wonderful, wonderful experience,” she says of her time at Loyola. “I just believe there’s such a great opportunity there for young adults. The city brings so much to the culture and what you learn.” She loves St. Louis, where she keeps busy running the Little Bit Foundation, which she cofounded, but she says Loyola and New Orleans just always felt like home to her.

ROSE HANLEY ’83 credits her Jesuit education, with its emphasis on social justice, with fueling her passion for helping improve the lives of St. Louis children. Her Little Bit Foundation, based on the notion that everyone can do just a “little bit” to make the world around them better, just celebrated its 15th anniversary.

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anley was born in New York and later moved to Dallas. The first time she found herself at Loyola, it was because her older sister was looking at the school. Her sister wasn’t interested — she wanted a big state school — but Hanley was sold. To her, it was the ideal school. “I walked through that campus and it just — it felt like home,” she says. “That was it. I wanted to go there. I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else. I loved Catholic education. It made me feel at home. I loved the size. I also love urban; I’m very much a city girl. So being in the city was amazing to me. Coming from New York and moving to Dallas, I missed that historical feeling of the city. I missed the foliage. I missed some of that beautiful culture that comes along with New Orleans. It was a perfect fit for me.” What she wasn’t so sure of, though, was what she wanted to do when she got there. “I tried psychology, and I tried a few business courses,” she recalls. “I was able to dabble in a few different areas, and it kept ringing true that I wanted to do something with kids. I started in an education program, elementary education, and I just fell in love with it. I fell in love with the work study. I just knew that working with kids was going to be key. “I guess I had lots of experiences,” she continues. “I tried a few different things. I was given the opportunity to see what fit.” Besides the variety a liberal arts education offers, Hanley also appreciated the Jesuit tradition of the school. “I felt very at home there, and the Catholic education was a huge part of me feeling like I could be who I was and feel accepted for that. I went to Mass on Sunday nights. I really loved that I could always go into the chapel or in the large church at any time and sit and pray. I felt like the Catholic community helped support me in who I was.” After graduation, she worked as a teacher for a while before moving to a sales position at a display company, where she started to feel the pull of her Jesuit education. “I knew something was missing,” she says. “Part of the Catholic teaching is, ‘What are we doing to serve others?’ And that’s something I learned at Loyola: ‘What are


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we doing to help the community?’ I kept praying about it.” Then she had the experience she needed: “I was helping a woman with a coat drive through my son’s soccer team, and she was asked to bring coats down to a city school here in St. Louis. We went down to a very, very impoverished area here, and I had no idea there was so much devastation here. I was waiting outside — it was about 26 degrees — and we had bags of coats to bring inside. I’m ringing the doorbell, and no one’s answering it, and this little boy walks up in his dad’s coat with a broken zipper. He looked at me and smiled and said, ‘My dad let me wear his coat today.’ He was so happy. We go inside, and this little boy walks in next to me, and the coat’s arms are hitting the stairs as he’s walking up. He was so bright and beautiful. I thought, ‘Sweetheart, we’re gonna get you a coat.’ That day we gave out 170 coats to a school of 250 kids, and who comes through but this little boy. I give him a navy blue down jacket; I zip it up; I tell him, ‘You look so good. You’re going to be so warm’; and he says, ‘My dad’s going to be happy I have my own coat.’ And I thought, ‘This is crazy. This is in my city.’” She befriended the woman she helped with the coat drive and assisted her with other efforts. Eventually, the women started increasing the number of schools they served, enough that Hanley quit her job to start the Little Bit Foundation — based on the notion that we can’t singlehandedly change the world for the better, but we can all do a little bit. That was 15 years ago; now, the foundation serves 22 schools and 6,500 kids. The foundation has evolved far beyond coats. Little Bit makes sure that every need of the children it serves is met, whether it’s socks, clothing, general wellness, food, behavioral health, or literacy. The thing that sets the foundation apart from others, Hanley says, is that it works one-on-one with children. “We don’t just drop something off or give a voucher,” she says. “There is a kind, loving interaction between the child and Little Bit that is all about the child’s dignity and respect for the child. It’s all about building the child up.” The mother of three kids and a grandmother with another grandson on the way, Hanley keeps pretty busy these days. But her time at Loyola and in New Orleans hasn’t left her: Besides being the inspiration behind the work she does today, it’s the

place where she met and fell in love with her husband, Mike ’81 (marketing) — he was a Phi Kappa Theta; she was a PKT Ruby — and that changed her life in many other ways. “I felt the city was such a part of my learning experience,” she says. “I remember living off-campus and taking the streetcar to school every day — that was my form of transportation. I remember seeking out great music, and that’s when I started to really love jazz. The food changed my life also, and now it’s part of who I am — I can’t wait to eat. Here I was in this amazing city, falling in love, getting this beautiful Catholic education, in that urban setting that I loved. I was just beyond happy.”

For the first semester of 2015–2016, the Little Bit Foundation provided:

15,918 books 26,625 meals

1,894 eye exams 122 pairs of eyeglasses



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ENGLISH DEPARTMENT CHAIR JOHN BIGUENET, himself a critically acclaimed author, is celebrating the work of English faculty members, who published 16 books from 2014 to 2016.


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The Changing of the BY WILL GLASS

The enduring conversation with Loyola’s English Department MANY STUDENTS enter English departments all over the country with a simple dream: to publish. There’s a romance that assigns itself to the idea. The writers they look up to, living or dead, are immortalized in print, forever conversing with the changing guard. And students hope to be part of it — to observe the theatre of it all and, ultimately, to be the next to join the conversation. Imagine now that these students could have real, non-figurative, face-to-face conversations with those who inspire them. Sure, they say you should never meet your heroes, but “they” may not realize what a raw deal they’re committing themselves to with that sentiment — because here at Loyola, our English professors surpass any expectation that may be left unfulfilled by such a meeting. English Department faculty members published 16 books from 2014 to 2016. Sixteen different works, each one a unique contribution to a decades-long conversation — poetry, theatre, literature, academic research. And that’s excluding the articles the faculty produce monthly at a prolific pace. “English faculty members continue to publish at quite a clip,” John Biguenet, chair of the Department of English, says. “It’s difficult to keep up with what our colleagues are doing.” Of course, Biguenet has garnered his own critical acclaim. For his plays, which critics have called “provocative,” “intelligent,” “fascinating,” and “fun.” For his fiction, which critics have called “brilliant,” “uneasy,” “harrowing,” “tender,” and “masterfully written.” And always for his prose, called “elegant” and “unencumbered” and which invariably draws comparison to Faulkner’s

and Chekhov’s. The opening paragraph of his novel Oyster illustrates, for instance, his aptitude for the same vivid, physical, and undeniably weirdly Southern linguistic style of the former but with a touch of the latter’s brevity and impressionism: “The muffled slap of the paddle against the black water betrayed Horse’s impatience as the pirogue nosed into Petitjean’s bayou, clinging to the darkness of the overhanging trees along the bank. But half-submerged cypress knees rasping down the hull of the narrow boat and low-slung branches, perhaps sagging under the weight of fat cottonmouths, slowed the pirogue’s progress. Thinking of the snakes, Horse unsheathed his knife and drove it into the seat beside him.” The Los Angeles Review of Books interviewed him in November 2015 about the August release of his works the Rising Water Trilogy and Silence. The former, which collects Biguenet’s plays Rising Water, Shotgun, and Mold, was issued by Louisiana State University Press on the 10-year anniversary of the flooding of New Orleans. The latter was released in September as part of Bloomsbury’s Object Lessons series. Of the trilogy, Biguenet says, “Theatre is always, in some sense, local. The actors who perform a play are often from the town where the theater itself is located, so audiences hear something of their own English in local productions, something of themselves. It’s useful to remember that even Euripides and Shakespeare wrote for their neighbors in Athens and London. So one of the functions of theatre, as opposed to other forms of narrative, is to pose questions a particular community needs to address.”

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when paired with another he makes about the work of nonfiction, Silence: “As I discuss in a chapter on ‘Silent Reading,’ many New Orleanians complained about the loss of the ability to read with sustained attention in the aftermath of the flooding. Reading requires yielding consciousness to the writer. If one is overwhelmed by the problems of serious illness or disaster, one does not yield easily. In my case, I don’t think I ever fully recovered my ability to read with the intensity of which I was capable before. But I have brought my experience of life among the ruins of New Orleans to bear on my reading, experience that has illuminated aspects of literature I hadn’t fully grasped.” His most recent theatre production, an 88-minute monologue titled Broomstick — in which an Appalachian witch relays her life story “from first love, to heartache, to the hair-raising vengeance she wreaks upon those who’ve crossed her” — was met with widespread acclaim and drew another comparison from critics that’s not too bad — this time to Shakespeare. Portland’s Edge said: “Using a cadence reminiscent of Shakespeare’s rhymed couplets, Biguenet’s words sing stories and poetry. Broomstick provides an intriguing conversation about the nature of myth and the evolution of stories. … Biguenet’s text flows like words from a spellbook, dark and brooding, hypnotic and expressive.” The play was written entirely in rhymed couplets in iambic pentameter, which Los Angeles’ Stage and Cinema said was “used so subtly and deftly that one only gradually realizes they are rhyming — and how the rhymes serve to bolster the sense of a fairy tale.” Too, the Los Angeles Times said: “An arresting blend of evocative humor and


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eerie gravitas permeates Broomstick, New Orleans playwright John Biguenet’s ripely poetic tale of an Appalachian crone who may or may not be a witch. … The merger of pathos, insight and horror is hair-raising. … Biguenet’s text [has] an undulating rhythm that ebbs and flows like a rain-swelled river — [but] there’s always another hairpin turn to Biguenet’s narrative. Tightly woven, richly detailed and fully enjoyable.” Though Biguenet himself leads this charge, he insists on emphasizing his faculty’s accomplishments as just as great as his — which is no stretch, as one can see not just from the lists of publications but also their recent awards. The English faculty is acclaimed. “[Associate Professor of English] Hillary Eklund has won a William A. Ringler, Jr., Fellowship to support one month of research at the Huntington Library and another one-month

But that said and all accomplishments aside, the faculty entered Loyola’s English Department with a simple dream of their own: to teach. And that’s what makes them heroes to our students. One student said, “Because of the English Department, not only was I convinced to stay at Loyola when I considered leaving my freshman year, but I’ve been given the opportunity to gain experience in publishing, to participate in various readings on and off campus, and to work outside of class time with professors individually.” This story — a student feeling unsteady in his or her first year of a rigorous English program — is not uncommon. An impatience brews in creative minds, one that can make a student feel anxiety over not having created a masterpiece or contributed to the conversation yet.

fellowship at the Folger Shakespeare Library, supported by the Mary and Eric Weinmann Fellowship Fund,” Biguenet says. “She was also selected as an alternate for a short-term fellowship at the Newberry Library.” This is just one example of his faculty’s success. Dr. Trimiko Melancon, associate professor of English, for instance, won the College Language Association’s 2016 Creative Scholarship Award. She also won the 2014 College of Humanities and Natural Sciences Faculty Excellence in Research Award, given for “superiority in scholarship and in the publication of books, articles, and creative endeavors.” In 2015, Dr. Christopher Schaberg, assistant professor of English, won that award. And Biguenet is 2016’s recipient. In other words, for the third year in a row, an English professor was named the college’s top researcher.

The brilliance of our faculty lies in the fact that they can take their own masterpieces and contributions and use them to instill patience in a student rather than envy — that they can take a student’s simple drive to publish and turn it toward the more important ambition: to learn. “I was encouraged to explore both what speaks to me on an interior level as well as to push the limits of my creative expression, all this done with an attention to and awareness of more formalized styles of writing,” the student said. At Loyola’s English Department, the faculty’s prolific research and publishing is not accomplished for personal gain or recognition — it is done in an effort to improve the teaching experience for both students and professors. “The main thing I want to comment on is the level of care I’ve received from each professor and the quality of the staff,” the student

English Faculty Book Publications (2014–2016) stressed. “I’ve had the chance to work with writers in many different fields: from poetry and critical theory to experimental nonfiction and playwriting. In each of these classes, the professors were not only abundantly available but interested in me on an individual level.” And finally, it is done to teach the students that the true value of publishing is not in the act itself but in the pursuit of all the things it requires: discipline, skill, open-mindedness, confidence, humility, and ambition. The same student said: “I cannot begin to express what a wonderful experience I’ve had with the Loyola English Department. I am so grateful to have been a part of it, and I’m leaving with so much more confidence in myself as both a person and a writer.” Biguenet explains, too, that professors work to get students involved in research projects so that they can feel the joy of the research itself. “Over the summer, students in the Modern Slavery Research Project Lab will be working to transcribe, code, and analyze interviews conducted by [Assistant Professor of English] Dr. Laura Murphy on a project funded by Covenant House International to study the intersection of homelessness and labor exploitation,” Biguenet says. “Majors Margaret O’Connell, Marley Duet, Lauren Stroh, Olivia Malone, Andres Neidl ’16, Sarah Neal, and Nicole Margavio have all worked in the lab this year. Lauren Stroh, one of the English majors on Laura’s research team, will be working as an editorial intern for Columbia University Press this summer. “Of course,” he continues, “we couldn’t involve students in our research unless we had an extremely active group of scholars and writers who are heavily engaged in research projects.” That certainly seems to be the English Department’s main draw. We couldn’t be prouder of their output and accomplishments — especially of late — and we couldn’t be more grateful that they’ve chosen to guide our students toward greater goals than publishing for publishing’s sake. And, of course, the students couldn’t be happier to get to meet their heroes.

Katherine H. Adams (co-authored with Michael L. Keene). Winifred Black/Annie Laurie and the Making of Modern Nonfiction. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland Press, 2015.

Recent Faculty Articles Laura Murphy. Survivors of Slavery: Modern-Day Slave Narratives. New York: Columbia University Press, 2014.

John Biguenet, “Silent Reading Doesn’t Exist,” The New Republic.

Katherine H. Adams (co-authored with Michael L. Keene). Women, Art, and the New Deal. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland Press, 2016.

C. W. Cannon, “The Man on the Back Steps,” Situate.

John Biguenet. Silence. New York: Bloomsbury, 2015.

Barbara Ewell, “Eyes on The Fly: How structural racism subtly undercuts plans for a ‘public good,’” The Lens.

John Biguenet. The Rising Water Trilogy: Plays. Baton Rouge, La.: LSU Press, 2015.

Anya Groner, “Is There a Doctor in the Marriage?” The New York Times.

Peyton Burgess. The Fry Pans Aren’t Sufficing. New Orleans: Lavender Ink, 2016. Hillary Eklund. Literature and Moral Economy in the Early Modern Atlantic: Elegant Sufficiencies. Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate Press, 2015.

Sarah Allison co-authored “Canon/Archive. Large-Scale Dynamics in the Literary Field” with members of the Stanford Literary Lab.

Chris Schaberg & Robert Bennett, eds. Deconstructing Brad Pitt. New York: Bloomsbury, 2014.

Barbara Ewell, Jorge Aguilar Mora, Josefa Salmon, eds. The Anthology of Spanish American Thought and Culture. Gainesville, Fla.: University Press of Florida, 2016.

Trimiko Melancon, “What Melissa Harris-Perry Has Taught Us about Black Women and Silence,” Ms. Magazine. Michael Miley, “How Capitalism Took Over Sports Movies,” The Atlantic.

Trimiko Melancon. Unbought and Unbossed: Transgressive Black Women, Sexuality, and Representation. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2014.

Chris Schaberg. The End of Airports. New York: Bloomsbury, 2015. Chris Schaberg & Mark Yakich, eds. Airplane Reading. Alresford, U.K.: Zero Books, 2016. Timothy Welsh. Mixed Realism: Videogames and the Violence of Fiction. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016.

Trimiko Melancon & Joanne M. Braxton, eds. Black Female Sexualities. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2015.

John Mosier, “Why Verdun?” Over the Top: A Magazine of the World War I Centennial. Chris Schaberg, “Publish or Perish? Yes. Embrace It,” The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Mark Yakich. Poetry: A Survivor’s Guide. New York: Bloomsbury, 2015.

Timothy Welsh, “Do Cyborgs Dream of the Perfect Pump?: Warframe and Gender,” Well Played: A Journal on Video Games, Value and Meaning.

Mark Yakich. Poetry for Planes. London: Eyewear, 2016.

Mark Yakich, “What Is a Poem?” The Atlantic. SUMMER 2016 | loyno


Har r y

. r J k c i n n & o C the

wienerdog t hat was

frozen in time Three simple things a Jesuit boy admires about Harry Connick Jr.’s success BY WILL GLASS


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LEGENDARY PERFORMER and New Orleans native son Harry Connick Jr. spoke at Loyola’s commencement and received an honorary degree: doctor of music, honoris causa. Photo by Palma Kolansky. SUMMER 2016 | loyno



ot once growing up did I ever think I’d be sweating behind a desk waiting on a phone call from Harry Connick Jr.

As I waited, my co-workers tried to calm my nerves by reminding me how friendly and personable he seems — how genuinely nice and easygoing the man is. And, of course, that he’s just a man. But worldwide, he’s not just a man. He’s a legendary and prolific performer. In New Orleans especially, everyone has their Harry Connick Jr. story. For 20-plus years, my mother told me that she knew him — that she and her friends lived in an apartment beneath his on St. Charles Avenue. That they’d hit the ceiling with a broomstick a certain number of times to get him to play the theme song from Peanuts. That he once serenaded her in a grocery store. Hearing these stories your whole life, he becomes a mythic figure in your mind, the quintessential New Orleanian, the connection every local keeps as a point of pride and uses to tout their genuine residency. And you wonder if he can be real. So when my trembling finger presses the button to take his call, of course I call him “Mr. Connick.”


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And because he is real, he says, “Call me Harry.” Everything he says afterward confirms the impression one gets from his records and TV appearances: He is a genuine human being, and he’s gotten to where he is through hard work and true care for others. And — he’s cool. Really cool.

Processing this is a unique experience. Talking to a person who has become wildly successful not through competition or cutthroat business but through kindness, humility, discernment, and selfreflection … it compels you to take notes.

So here are three simple things I want to share about Harry and his success that made an impression on me.


He’s humble.

This one is a given. It’s the most easily noticeable thing about Harry. I keep saying “real,” but that’s what he is, and it’s a huge part of his success. He is a human being. If you watch interviews with him, he’s honest and open with people about almost any part of his life. In his interview with Jimmy Kimmel, he didn’t shy away from admitting that he wasn’t the best student in his time at Loyola. And when he talks with me, he says over and over again how great an honor it is for us to be recognizing him. “I went to take piano classes at Loyola when I was a kid,” he says. “My mom used to take me there once a week, and I would study there. So I got a taste of what Loyola was from a really early age, and that was really cool.” All of this comes from a real respect for the world, its people, and its experiences. He appreciates the things that make people who they are. He’d rather be honest about his time here and use it to inspire students to take advantage of the opportunities afforded to them than cover up the fact that he got some bad grades. There is a staggering humility in not just being honest about your own experiences but also using them to encourage others. “When I was 18, I went [to Loyola] for a semester, and I was never able to fully take advantage of what it had to offer because I was only there for a short amount of time,” he says. “But I just remember it being a highly respected place that had amazing opportunities, and it was a really big deal for me to be able to go there.” This authenticity is not just endearing on its face; it happens also to be what many of us are searching for — a connection to something real. It is refreshing to talk with someone who is so self-aware, someone who has so successfully reflected on and discerned his path that he can allow himself genuine, honest, human expression. Which brings me to the next observation . . .

WATCH CONNICK’S MOVING SPEECH — in which he urged graduates, “Keep your eye on the prize but your heart in the game” — and see all commencement coverage online at loyno.edu/commencement


He is also proud.

Harry is humble. Always. But, man, he gets excited about the work he does in a really great way. When I ask him if — after we award him his honorary doctorate — he will insist on being called “doctor,” he responds with an enthusiastic: “Damn right! Starting with my family.” He’s joking (maybe), but when he gets serious and talks about proud moments SUMMER 2016 | loyno


off of his latest album, That Would Be Me, throughout his career, it’s with the kind of which came out in October 2015. pride that’s admirable — the kind that makes “I loved the song,” Harry continues. “He’s you want to be more passionate about your a super-talented guy, and I was just — I sing own work. that song every night; I love that song.” “I was asked to play at the papal Masses, And, finally, when I ask him about the and that was a great honor,” he says. “To be work he did to establish Musicians’ Village called upon to represent your country at after Katrina, he thanks musician Branford such a highly heralded event is a great honor. Marsalis for helping him to realize that goal. And so I’ll never forget either of them . . . I’m But that belongs in the next observation, Catholic, so it meant a lot for the church to which is that … call. That was huge.” He gets perhaps most excited — like a kid on Christmas, even — when CONNICK ATTENDED he talks about his new show, Harry. one semester at Loyola “It’s coming out on Sept. 12, and to honor the wishes of that was a big accomplishment his father, Harry Connick because it’s sort of the culmination Sr. ’58, before leaving to pursue his musical of all the things I’ve worked for career in New York. throughout my life,” he says. “And to be able to do it on a nationally syndicated show was a pretty great accomplishment. I’m going to be in a studio in New York every day with a studio audience and do everything from live music to comedy to man-on-the-street stuff to human interest stories. It’s going to be a big party every day that’s sort of based around the things that I do. It’s totally unscripted and spontaneous and different than other things you see on TV.” But the most striking thing about his pride is that it’s inclusive. He brags about his friends. “My whole band’s going to be there,” he says. “So we’re going to be playing all the time, and there’ll be some structured stuff, but a lot of it’s just going to be playing what we feel at the time.” Harry seems only to compete with himself. Rather than begrudge people their particular opportunities and talents, he encourages everyone toward their own experiential learning. This comes, again, from confidence as a result of true self-knowledge. When Kimmel asked him about his honorary degree, Harry bragged about how smart his sister is — that she’s a doctor, an officer in the military, a polyglot. When I ask him about working with Loyola music industries studies instructor Jim McCormick, he brags about how talented Jim is: “My friend Tracey Freeman, who’s produced many of my records, sent me a song that he thought I would like, and it happened to be written by this guy who went to Jesuit [High School in New Orleans]; I think he graduated a year or so behind me,” Harry says, referring to McCormick. The song he’s referencing is called “(I Do) Like We Do” and was the first single released


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Harry is, above all, a good person.

The common thread is this: To be as good an artist as he wanted to be, Harry believed he had to work on his whole person. When he speaks about his accomplishments, a genuine care is apparent — for the world and all its communities. I ask him about Musicians’ Village and where the idea came from, and he explains: “After Hurricane Katrina, immediately after, I was trying to think of something I could do to help my town out because it was in such a bad state, you know? And I got together with my friend Branford Marsalis, and we have the same manager, and we were thinking we could do something for the musicians. So that turned into Musicians’ Village and the Ellis Marsalis

Center for Music; and it was just a bunch of people who were really dedicated to making sure the musicians were taken care of; and now we have this incredible, state-of-the-art, multifunctional facility; and it’s been a dream come true.” This is the true greatness about the way he gives back: the care he puts into creating meaningful experiences for people and the fact that doing so is a dream come true for him. He opens his heart to people and helps them not just out of hardship but also into cherished growth opportunities. In that respect, it’s unsurprisingly easy to hear how excited he is about speaking at commencement, but what is striking is how genuinely he hopes to make an impact on the students — because he himself has used his talents to help change the world. “I was really honored that I got the call to do it, and it’s something that I take seriously, and I spent a lot of time thinking about it,” he says. “It’s a big deal to be able to have a chance to speak to all of those kids in that environment. It’s such a happy day for them, and to have a guy that they don’t know come in and speak is something that — you know, I would like to say some words that might ultimately mean something to them. So I’ve thought about it quite a bit, and I’m really excited to have the chance to speak to them.” Given our shared experiences with Jesuit education (I heard countless stories about him when I attended Jesuit High School, his alma mater), it should be unsurprising to me that the ideals that Harry has chosen to strive for are ideals I admire in him. His success is not just founded on musical abilities but also on real discipline; the desire to get better; and the desire to be whole that is so ingrained in the Jesuit teaching of magis, the humble pursuit of “more,” the higher level. His excitement to speak to our students, though, comes from a place that seems a little more personal. Harry had his own meaningful experiences here at Loyola: growing up on campus; honing his craft as a child in piano classes; and, yes, in his time here as a student. “I spent so much time in and around Loyola,” he says, “as a student, as a kid. It’s a lot of memories. A lot of the first things I learned about music were at Loyola.” On memories, I can’t help but take the opportunity to try to answer my own question, the one I’ve been dying to answer

CONNICK, SEEN HERE with Loyola President the Rev. Kevin Wildes, S.J., Ph.D., is ranked among the top 60 best-selling artists in the U.S. by the Recording Industry Association of America and has earned three Grammy awards, two Emmy awards, and two Tony nominations. This fall, his entertainment show, Harry, will premiere.

for over 20 years: Were the legends passed down by my mother true? I take a chance and prod, calling her “one of the girls who lived in the apartment below you on St. Charles, the one with the wiener dog.” “Whoa,” he says. “That’s crazy. It’s crazy how time flies.” When he remembers her, it strikes me as a genuine bit of New Orleans magic. Only in this city could the story go: Yeah, that girl with the wiener dog who lived in the St. Charles apartment underneath mine who used to make me play the Peanuts theme? Her son is interviewing me right now for LOYNO Magazine because I’m a famous performer. “That’s funny, man,” he continues. “When you have a memory, for some reason, as you move on in your life, those memories kind of seem to stay put. You sort of don’t follow through on who those people were; they sort of freeze in time. And so . . . now I’m talking to Mary’s son, and it’s a strange phenomenon.” But this is truly New Orleans — it’s not just the you-know-my-mama moment we all have with strangers on a daily basis; it’s a bit of voodoo quantum physics; an unconscious acknowledgment of something unique to our city; a history of memories, food, music, and performances frozen in time that ever acts as a catalyst for the world’s best creative spirits.

“Your dreams of becoming a performer are always pitted against the reality of mastering your craft,” he explains. “New Orleans was a constant reminder that what should come first is craftsmanship and trying to be the best musician you can be as opposed to, you know, trying to be the most popular.” These are all things he hopes to leave with our graduating seniors at commencement: to cherish your unique experiences, to let them inform yourself and your abilities, to work hard to find and share your voice, and to use your environment to your advantage. When asked what song he’d like to sing to our graduating seniors, he says: “I’d probably sing something deeply personal. Like one of those obscure New Orleans tunes just to send the message that, ultimately, it’s about individuality, you know? If you start from a place of individuality and being in touch with who you are as best as you can, then everything kind of falls into place.” My department’s vice president, Laura Kurzu, tells him what an honor it’s been, that what he’s done for the city is incredible, that he’s as authentic and genuine as he seems, and that that’s exactly what people are looking for now — something real, a human being who’s honest and willing to make connections — all

of the things I wish I could bring myself to tell him without tripping over my words. “That means the world to me,” he says. “It’s very humbling to hear that, and I’m just trying to do what you guys are teaching those kids to do, which, like you say, is to try to be a better whole person. And it’s a lifelong quest, so those words really, really mean a lot. And I’m telling you, it’s an incredible honor for me and something I take very, very seriously, so I hope the group likes what I have to say.” And this is a moment for me. One of those in which you become hyper-aware of what you’ve just done. As I reach to end the call with a living legend, I close my notes and take a moment to catch myself up: “Yes, you just talked to Harry Connick Jr. Yes, you called him ‘Harry.’ No, you didn’t embarrass yourself and tell him how much you enjoyed his performance in Independence Day.” But before the call is over, he says, with a humanity that should be impossible of a performer this accomplished — “Hey, Will . . . say ‘hi’ to your mom for me.”

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Robért LeBlanc ’00 has long been successful in the service industry, but as a member of Loyola’s Board of Trustees, he is now serving his alma mater, as well.

NEW ORLEANS. A city that thrives on tourism, lives to eat, and loves to party. Here, the standard for hospitality, entertainment, and culinary arts demands a little bit of lagniappe — an extra spark — if you’re really going to make it. A business that’s going to resonate with locals and tourists alike takes more than a leader with a natural business savvy. It takes one with an extra helping of creativity and ambition. Enter Robért LeBlanc ’00 (economics and finance). Known for having founded LeBlanc+Smith — a boutique hospitality portfolio that includes New Orleans hotspots Sylvain, Barrel Proof, Meauxbar, and Cavan — he exudes passion and enthusiasm for his work. Of his restaurants, he says like a proud parent that each has its own flair and that what they all have in common is not just world-class food and beverage programs but stylish design that creates dramatic places — and always an overwhelming sense of Southern hospitality. But LeBlanc did not start as a restaurateur. He actually began his post-college career in the music industry, first starting Renaissance Records, a record label that produced local indie rock and hip-hop records, and eventually owning a nightclub/concert venue. “We were not very good at promoting records,” he admits. “But we became very good at promoting concerts and events, and that company eventually became Republic New Orleans,” the popular Warehouse District concert venue, which he has since sold.

ROBÉRT LEBLANC ’00 a member of Loyola’s Board of Trustees, says that one of the most important things he learned at Loyola was “to be bold and to take chances.”

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expanded his portfolio, which focuses on the aforementioned boutique restaurants and bars and eventually, he hopes, hotels. That his career would end up in some of the hottest restaurants and bars in New Orleans and that he’d be so involved in the hospitality industry would have surprised the younger LeBlanc, but here that twist is precisely what it takes — open-minded entrepreneurship that seizes opportunity and runs, runs, runs. And now LeBlanc says that he’s “having a ball and could not imagine doing anything else.” A native of Houma, LeBlanc earned a scholarship to Loyola and fell in love with New Orleans during his time here. Though he worked briefly in New York City upon graduating, he couldn’t stay away, and he returned to the Big Easy to make a home. Here, he’s built a life with Danielle, his wife of nine years, with whom he’s enjoying raising his sons, Bear, 5, and William, 2. “While geographically small, the city has many layers,” he says. As a student here, he suspected that “there was so much more of New Orleans that I had yet to experience, so I decided to make my life here, and I was right. To this day, I discover something new on an almost weekly basis.” His curiosity and his passion for the city have driven his ambitious business ventures, and over the years these ventures have helped the entertainment and hospitality industries to flourish. The city felt the effect of his work after Katrina especially, as he fostered growth, created new jobs, and helped to redefine New Orleans as a city where young professionals can realize their dreams — and have a good time while doing so. His advice to aspiring business owners is simple but profound: “Start with doing something that makes you happy. Then trust your instincts and make bold choices. And when you fall, just get up and keep growing.


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If you are doing that which makes you happy, you will be able to keep doing it until you find success, which usually happens sooner as opposed to later. … As long as you keep moving forward with passion and hard work, you will learn a tremendous amount through those tough experiences, and that learning will be essential to your achieving your dreams.” He currently serves on Loyola’s Board of Trustees and has also served as an Executive Mentor and sat on the Visiting Committee of the College of Business. As a member of the Board of Trustees, his core responsibility is in Institutional Advancement, where he helps with university branding and works specifically on how the university engages students and alumni. This, of course, is because he never wants to stop giving back. He stays active as a Loyola alumnus because he believes that his experiences at the university positively shaped who he is today. On his undergrad days, he reflects: “I enjoyed incredibly diverse experiences and people who really helped me to become clearer on who I was and who I wanted to be. Most importantly, as it relates to my personal and professional happiness, though, Loyola University New Orleans taught me to be bold and to take chances both in expressing myself personally and professionally — that it was OK to take chances and fall down as long as you got back up and kept growing. Loyola taught me to see things that others may view as a ‘failure’ or a ‘mistake’ for what they really were: learning experiences that would help me to grow personally, most importantly, but also professionally. That gave me great courage in both my personal and professional life that I still find really rare today.” Loyola was more than just a four-year college experience for him; he is a lifelong and loyal member of the Wolf Pack. “I owe everything I have — my family, my profession, and my sense of self — to Loyola,” he says. “There is literally no amount of time or money that I could give back to the university to repay all that it has given me.”

Robért by the Numbers

21 4 16 9 2 2

age he was when he started his first company

venues he currently owns

years since he graduated from Loyola

years Robért and Danielle have been married

number of children they have

The total number of dishes his wife actually trusts him to cook for the family at home (grilled cheese and Pop Tarts)

LeBlanc, pictured here at his newest venture, Cavan, located on a thriving stretch of Magazine Street, is also a co-owner of local hotspots Sylvain, Barrel Proof, and Meauxbar.

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A man of quiet virtue receives one of Loyola’s highest honors TIDEWATER PRESIDENT and chief executive John P. Laborde is the kind of man movies are made about — a successful, internationally known business executive and country gentleman who stands impossibly straight and tall; speaks like Gen. MacArthur; and, well, actually did serve on MacArthur’s adjutant staff during World War II. He and his late brother Alden transformed the Louisiana oil industry with their innovations. Their pioneering discoveries and strong entrepreneurial abilities forever altered the maritime and oil and gas industries and built empires. But beneath all of that, there is a spirituality and selflessness in Laborde that belies his success. Yes, his accolades include having been named among New Orleans’ 10 Outstanding Citizens in 1974 and the Propeller Club of New Orleans’ Maritime Man of the Year in 1984. Yes, the South Central Industrial Association awarded him the President’s Medal and Junior Achievement awarded him the Lifetime Achievement Award. And of course, Public Broadcasting System named him a Legend of Louisiana in 2000. But quietly, he has always devoted his time to preserving our city’s community, economy, and culture. He has made countless contributions on a voluntary basis, including support for the American Red Cross, the Downtown Development District, WYES-TV, the Port of New Orleans, and the New Orleans Museum of Art. The Catholic Foundation of the Archdiocese of New Orleans even awarded him the Pope John Paul II Award in December 2013, given annually to a layperson or permanent deacon who exhibits inspirational examples of Christian stewardship. Of course, many of his contributions have been to Loyola University, where he served on Loyola’s Board of Trustees from 1981 to 1992 and as vice chair from 1989 to 1991 and with which he already holds a special bond.


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John P. Laborde was honored with the 2015 Integritas Vitae Award.

In 1996, he and his brother were awarded honorary doctorates of humane letters at the university’s annual commencement ceremony — the first time a university honored two brothers simultaneously with honorary doctorates of humane letters. To generations of students, perhaps the dearest of his contributions is the statue of St. Ignatius in the Peace Quad, lovingly dubbed “Iggy.” Continuing this special bond and in recognition of a lifetime of selfless devotion to service, Loyola has honored him with the Integritas Vitae Award, presented annually to an individual who exemplifies the qualities Loyola seeks to instill in its students, such as high moral character and a commitment

to selfless service done without expecting rewards or public recognition. “John Laborde has been a role model for all ages, giving of his time, talent, and resources to improve the quality of life for the people of our city,” Anne Milling, 2004 Pope John Paul II Award recipient and a former Loyola Board of Trustees member, said. “He has been a joy to work with, especially with the many social services of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.” Most of all, he exemplifies our Jesuit values — the ones engraved on the path Iggy looks over— not least of which is to be a man for others.



Loyola thanks and honors scholarship donors at its annual dinner LOYOLA HONORED THE GENEROSITY of those who provided scholarship support for the 2015–2016 academic year during its annual Scholarship Donor Dinner on April 7 at the Audubon Tea Room. The event also provides scholarship recipients the opportunity to meet their benefactors, thank them personally for their support, and let them know how their scholarships have impacted their lives. “When I speak to high school seniors about where they would like to go to college, they often say they would like to stay public and in-state because of the high

tuition prices at private universities and out-of-state tuition,” said graduating senior Linda Hexter ’16 in a speech at the event. “I tell them about Loyola and about how 98 percent of incoming freshmen receive financial aid. College doesn’t have to be expensive, thanks to donors like you. But I don’t just try to persuade them to come to Loyola because it’s affordable. Loyola provides a college experience like none other, as you all know. … Loyola fosters a spirit of personal growth in the most balanced way. … An education at Loyola teaches you not how to focus on yourself but how to work

HIS EXCELLENCY MOHAMMED JAHAM AL-KUWARI, ambassador of Qatar to the United States, far left, visiting from Washington, D.C., was recognized for the $1.4 million dollars in scholarship gifts that Qatar has provided to Loyola students following Hurricane Katrina. Ambassador Al-Kuwari’s remarks at the dinner highlighted the importance of higher education in the global economy and in the quest for peace and understanding among nations. Also pictured are, from left, Linda Hexter ’16, senior Autumn Cormier, and Loyola President the Rev. Kevin Wm. Wildes, SJ., Ph.D.

well with and for others. Loyola donors have supported untraditional undergraduate learning outside of the classroom, as well. As a recipient of the Kent Mulhahy Grant for Undergraduate Research, I have been able to pursue mathematics further than coursework through a one-on-one research project with Dr. Michael Kelly. I presented my research at LSU Shreveport in February and published the paper in a journal. This research partnership has been an incredibly difficult but rewarding experience to offset my coursework, and it is certainly an opportunity that would not have happened without the support of my donors.” His Excellency Mohammed Jaham AlKuwari, ambassador of the state of Qatar to the United States, also attended the Scholarship Donor Dinner as a special guest. After Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, then-amir of the state of Qatar, established the Qatar Katrina Fund, pledging $100 million to the recovery of the devastated areas. In the months that followed, 18 projects across Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama focused on housing, health care, and education received funding. “With a $1.4 million grant from Qatar in 2007, Loyola established the Qatar Loyola Scholarship Fund, which provided scholarships to dozens of Loyola students affected by the hurricane,” said Chris Wiseman, associate vice president for institutional advancement at Loyola. “We were honored to have Ambassador AlKuwari join us for our annual Scholarship Dinner, where we celebrated the generous philanthropy of more than 100 funds and families who have helped our students to pursue and fulfill their college dreams.” SUMMER 2016 | loyno






Wolves on the Prowl In the Jesuit tradition, Loyola strives to develop individuals who dedicate their lives to service for others. Each year, hundreds of alumni and students participate in Loyola’s National Day of Community Service, Wolves on the Prowl. This year’s event took place on Nov. 14, 2015, in cities all over the country.



5 1 San Francisco alumni worked on a trail restoration project in coordination with Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy at Rancho Corral de Tierra. 2 The Dallas Chapter served the North Texas Food Bank. 3 Los Angeles alumni partnered with the American Red Cross for Holiday Mail for Heroes on Nov. 15, 2015. 4, 5 The Loyola community in New Orleans served Bricolage Academy, a local public school. Loyola students and alumni worked together on a variety of projects, from scraping peeling paint from the ceilings and repainting areas of the building to washing windows and organizing classrooms.


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LUCAP 40th Anniversary Reunion


Former LUCAPers Keith ’81 and Maria Horcasitas, Samuel Bradley ’10, Bethany Washington ’16, and Mary Baudouin ’78 came together to celebrate LUCAP’s 40th birthday.

2 Miami Saints Watch Party Alumni gather together for a Saints game viewing party at the home of Carlos Castro, J.D. ’13.

Lafayette Law Alumni Event Loyola College of Law alumni Philip DeBaillon, J.D. ’13; Justin Cantu, J.D. ’14; Wesley Galjour, J.D. ’08; Jason Matt, J.D. ’10; and Jill Rivers, J.D. ’15, celebrated the season at the annual holiday wine and cheese reception in Lafayette on Dec. 1, 2015.

Mardi Gras Happy Hours

1 Houston-area alumni gathered at Julep to celebrate Mardi Gras on Feb. 2, 2016, at a Happy Hour event planned by Roy Cerrillo ’09. 2 Members of the Chicago Alumni Chapter celebrated Mardi Gras at the annual Mardi Gras Happy Hour on Feb. 6, 2016. Donations from the event will support the Chicago Alumni Chapter Scholarship. 3 The New York City Alumni Chapter celebrated on Lundi Gras, Feb. 8, 2016, with a Mardi Gras Happy Hour at Bar None.

YAP Christmas Cocktail Reception

1912 Society

Young alumni gathered together during the Christmas holidays for the annual Young Alumni Christmas Cocktail Reception. Stephanie Hilferty ’07, shown here with her family, was honored as the 2015 Young Alumna of the Year on Dec. 3, 2015, at Trèo in New Orleans.

At the annual 1912 Society Dinner, held at the Roosevelt Hotel on Dec. 10, 2015, John P. Laborde H ’96 was honored with the Integritas Vitae Award. From left, the Rev. Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D., university president; John and Sylvia Laborde; and John Finan, M.B.A. ’70, chairman of the Board of Trustees.


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Hall of Fame Wolf Pack Athletics

On behalf of Loyola Wolf Pack Athletics and the Alumni Association, five new members were inducted into the Loyola Hall of Fame on Jan. 23, 2016. From left, inductee Richard Bouckaert ’07, J.D. ’13; inductee Don Kalinowski ’66; inductee Mary Seal ’08; Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Brett Simpson ’96, M.B.A. ’03; the Rev. Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D., university president; inductee Trenese Smith ’10; and Seamus Tuohy, son of Ed “Skeets” Tuohy Jr. ’55, who was inducted posthumously.

Law Luncheon The College of Law Alumni Association celebrated the 2016 Law Alumni Luncheon on Jan. 29, 2016, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. The 2016 St. Ives Award was presented to the Hon. Ivan L.R. Lemelle, J.D. ’74. Luncheon sponsors included Adams and Reese; Alvendia, Kelly & Demarest LLC; Baker Donelson; Baldwin Haspel Burke & Mayer LLC; Bobby J. Delise; Law Office of Bruce Betzer; Cummings Cummings & Dudenhefer; Davis, Saunders, Miller & Oden PLC; Dugan Law Firm; Entergy; Hammel Law Firm; Herman Herman & Katz LLC; Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore LLC; Jones Walker LLP; Kean Miller LLP; Latter & Blum Property Management Inc; The Hon. Ivan L.R. Lemelle; Liskow & Lewis; Morris Bart LLC; Paul Pastorek; Seth M. Nehrbass, Patent Attorney; Sher Garner Cahill Richter Klein & Hilbert LLC; Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn LLP; Smith Stag LLC; St. Martin & Bourque APLC; Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann LLC; Whitney Bank; and Womac Law Firm.


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Lenten Lecture Series

Denver Happy Hour

The theme for the 2016 Lenten Lecture Series was the Year of Mercy, and each lecture in the five-part series focused on the spirituality of Pope Francis. The March 16, 2016, lecture by University Chaplain the Rev. Ted Dziak, “Pope Francis and Ignatius,” was the final lecture in the series.

Denver Loyola alumni gathered at Lowry Beer Garden on March 3, 2016, for after-hours drinks and networking.

Baseball Kick Off Party & Rags Fundraiser Patrick Morris ’92; George Simno ’69, J.D. ’72; Howard Maestri ’68, M.B.A. ’70; Ray ’68, M.Ed. ’73, and Nathalie Culotta ’68; and Mark Comarda ’70, M.B.A. ’73, celebrated the beginning of the Wolf Pack Baseball Season at the annual Kick Off Party and Scholarship Fundraiser. Proceeds from the event went to support Wolf Pack Baseball and the Coach Louis “Rags” Scheuermann Baseball Scholarship.

Starlight Racing Loyola alumni celebrate at the Fair Grounds Race Course winner’s circle to present the award to the winning jockey and horse for the ninth race, named after Loyola, at Starlight Racing on March 11, 2016.

Loyola Society Event The March 30, 2016, Renwick Lecture Series featured James Carville and Mary Matalin. Loyola Society members Fleta and Marcel Garsaud ’54, J.D. ’59, H ’04, and Walter and Henrietta Harris enjoyed the Loyola Society reception prior to the lecture.

Scholarship Donor Dinner Catherine “Kitty” and Thomas Kloor ’52 visited with Loyola students at the annual Scholarship Donor Dinner at the Audubon Tea Room on April 7, 2016.

YAP Cooking Event EMPLOY the PACK Young alumni Katie Marie Peters ’12; Missy Gilmore ’06; and Ashley Shabankareh ’10, M.M. ’12, shared their perspectives and job search strategies with graduating students at the annual EMPLOY the PACK event on April 2, 2016.

The Young Alumni Pack met at the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine for an interactive cooking class on April 12, 2016.

Wolf Pack Athletics Event in Baton Rouge Friends and former athletes gathered at the home of Loyola parents Randy and Darrelyn Roussel in Baton Rouge to learn about upcoming plans for Wolf Pack Athletics on April 14, 2016. Shown here from left are Derby Gisclair ’73; Vice President for Student Affairs and Associate Provost Dr. M.L. “Cissy” Petty; Randy and Darrelyn Roussel; Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Brett Simpson ’96, M.B.A. ’03; and Paula Rangel.

Loyola Loyal Day Loyola Loyal Day was a 24-hour online campaign held on Loyola’s Founders’ Day. The campaign started on April 14, 2016, at 5 p.m. and concluded on April 15, 2016, at 5 p.m. The goal for Loyola’s first-ever Day of Giving was to get 200 gifts. Nationwide, alumni supported the university by contributing 212 gifts in 24 hours totaling almost $20,000. We are so thankful to the Loyola community for helping us to surpass our goal.

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Class Notes 1950s Carroll P. Trosclair ’51 (philosophy and communication) recently published Warren Easton High School’s 172 Amazing Years, a 273-page history of New Orleans’ oldest public high school. Trosclair, who served as Maroon editor in 1950, previously wrote America’s Last Real Home Front, recalling the nation’s efforts during World War II when he was a teenager. He has served as New Orleans bureau manager for United Press International, as press secretary to U.S. Sen. Allen J. Ellender, and later as president and chairman of The Public Relations Group Inc. He also served as president of the New Orleans Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and Kenner North Kiwanis. His books are available on Amazon.com

Gary G. Hymel ’54 (journalism) has been inducted into the LSU Journalism Hall of Fame. Also, he has been named to the board of the People Program of the Sisters of St. Joseph.


Bob Bardy ’74 (criminal justice) is retiring from his position as deputy superintendent with the New Orleans Police Department after a four-decade career. He started as a recruit in 1974 and was ultimately promoted to deputy chief in 2014. He led the city’s Sixth District, which includes the Garden District, Irish Channel, Lower Garden District, and Central City, from shortly after Hurricane Katrina until he took over as deputy chief in 2014. He is succeeded by Paul Noel ’05, M.C.J. ’09.


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Lawrence “Larry” Lehmann ’74 (English) was honored with the first-ever Aaron F. Marcus Outstanding Service Award by the New Orleans Chapter of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning. Mike Skehan ’76 (communication) was inducted into the School of Mass Communication’s Den of Distinction on May 20, 2016. An internationally known television production executive, Skehan got his start at WWL-TV in New Orleans and currently owns and operates Washington, D.C.-based multimedia and video production firm Skehan Communications LLC. Karen Barbalich Smith ’79 (piano pedagogy), director of the Loyola Preparatory Arts Program, was awarded a scholarship by the National Piano Foundation and the NAMM Foundation to attend Music Teachers National Association’s Pedagogy Saturday Recreational Music Making (RMM) Teaching Track at the national convention held in San Antonio, Texas. RMM is a new teaching strategy that “enables people who never before considered themselves musical to discover the joy and wellness benefits of playing a musical instrument.”


Maria Celeste Arrarás ’82 (mass communication) was inducted into the School of Mass Communication’s Den of Distinction on May 20, 2016. She is the host of the Spanish-language news program Al Rojo Vivo con Maria Celeste, produced by Telemundo/NBC. She also co-anchors Telemundo’s Noticiero Telemundo, has written three

best-selling books, and has been featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine as one of the female leaders of her generation. The Hon. Jules D. Edwards III ’81 (sociology), J.D. ’84, was named chair of the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana. Edwards, 15th District Court judge, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve in 1977 and served in the Louisiana National Guard until 2007. He served in the infantry, artillery, and in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He also served as the 256th Infantry Brigade’s inspector general and as the state judge advocate. In 2007 he retired as colonel of the Louisiana National Guard and was recognized as the best staff judge advocate in the United States. In addition to his regular judge duties, Edwards served as chief judge of the 15th Judicial District Court from 2001 to 2003 and has been a pioneer of drug courts and re-entry courts. Prior to serving on the court, he served as an indigent defense attorney, assistant district attorney, counsel to the Louisiana Senate’s Select Committee on Crime and Drugs, and a partner of the Edwards and Edwards Law Offices. He was inducted into the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame in 2013. Edwards was selected by the Louisiana Supreme Court to serve as a judge-member of the Judiciary Commission. Roger Emrich ’85 (communication) was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame. Magdalen “Mag” Blessey Bickford ’83 (general studies), J.D. ’86, has joined McGlinchey Stafford’s New Orleans office and Labor & Employment practice as of counsel. Bickford represents management in labor and employment litigation. She also consults employers on best practices in the workplace, provides guidance on policy and procedure drafting and implementation, conducts

management training and education, and provides other general legal counsel. Bickford has litigated, lectured, and counseled extensively in all areas of labor and employment law. Bickford previously served as vice president of human resources and corporate counsel for The SunShine Pages, a regional independent telephone directory company headquartered in Louisiana, and worked as an attorney with the Jackson Lewis law firm in New Orleans. She is actively involved in a number of professional and civic organizations, including local, state, and national bar associations; the Women’s Professional Council of New Orleans; the Society of Human Resources Management; and Lambeth House, among others. Bickford has been recognized in Chambers USA, Louisiana Super Lawyers, and The Best Lawyers in America and has received an AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating in Martindale-Hubbell. She was also recognized as one of New Orleans CityBusiness’ Women of the Year in 2009. Michael Brothers ’87 (music performance and percussion) released his first album as a bandleader on Jan. 4, 2016, on the Girod Record label. Reunion features fellow College of Music and Fine Arts alumni Matt Lemmler ’90 (jazz piano) and Tim Aucoin ’84 (music education and bass), M.M. ’87, and has received critical acclaim and airplay on more than 270 stations throughout the U.S., Canada, and Australia, including the syndicated radio programs Jazz After Hours on Public Radio International and Jazz with Greg Bridges on Jazz Network/WFMT Radio Network. Reunion reached No. 26 on the CMJ New Music Report Jazz Top 40 and No. 49 on the JazzWeek Top 50. Lori Lyons ’87 (English) has been hired as the sports editor at L’Observateur newspaper in LaPlace, La. She spent 26 years as a sports and general



WHEN FLOR SERNA ’15 (MUSIC INDUSTRIES TECHNOLOGY) WAS AN HONORS STUDENT AT LOYOLA working as an audio engineer at the school’s recording studios, she noticed something: She was usually the only woman working there — for almost three years. “It was always at least 10 or 12 guys and just me,” she says. “It got to a point where I realized there are so many false perceptions about women in that role and how [the men] were amazed that a woman could do a good job at it.” That eventually led her to start the group Electric Girls, a program that teaches girls ages 9 to 14 skills in electronics and programing — sort of like a STEM-focused Girl Scouts. The New Mexico native, who has been recording music in her room since age 15, chose Loyola because of its sound engineering program. She started as a music industry studies major but was hoping to take classes that were more tech-based. After expressing this desire to her adviser, the adviser introduced the option of a contract degree program that would better suit Serna’s interests. Together they built a customized audio technology major, consisting of classes spanning multiple degree programs. For Serna’s honors thesis, she wanted to explore why women who might be interested in tech-based fields often stray away from them. But soon she realized instead of writing about why women aren’t represented in or taken seriously in tech, she wanted to do something about it. “The more I researched, the more I realized I was not satisfied just researching it and having all these theories about what the problem was,” she says. “I wanted to create this program that would make an attempt of solving the problem while I was researching.” Her adviser let her design a pilot of Electric Girls as her thesis. She took a prototype program to schools and afterschool programs and then eventually

created a summer camp. Electric Girls, run by Serna and Loyola senior Maya Ramos, has now existed for almost 18 months and is about to hold its first summer camp outside Louisiana, in Mississippi. In Electric Girls programs, girls learn skills in electronics and computer programing and then are given free rein to use those skills to build what they want. The girls build things that light up, things that move, things that can be remote-controlled. Although Serna says what she’s doing now is “totally different” than what she did in college, she took a lot from her time at Loyola.

“My interest in electronics came from working in a recording studio. … Things would break, and I would have to spend class time fixing it, and that was really transformative to have control over the equipment I was working with,” she says. “In general, Loyola has a really strong focus on entrepreneurship that I took with me. They really facilitated the growth of my program with having a thesis adviser who was totally supportive of me developing the Electric Girls curriculum instead of just writing hundreds of pages of research. That sort of flexibility allowed this to even exist in the first place.” SUMMER 2016 | loyno


Class Notes

assignment reporter at the New Orleans Times-Picayune, covering the River Parishes. For the past three years, she has worked as a freelance writer for Lyons Din Media LLC. David Messina ’84 (piano performance), J.D./M.B.A. ’87, of Gordon Arata was named a 2016 Super Lawyer in the area of Bankruptcy: Business. Andreas Preuss ’87 (communication) celebrated 20 years at CNN. His current role is executive producer. David Pryor ’89 (music education) has been named director of music at St. Michael Catholic High School, which will open in August of this year in Daphne, Ala. He also was awarded the prestigious Leadership Service Award from the Alabama Music Education Association. Pryor volunteered with the Loyola Alumni Association last year to help plan Joe “Doc” Hebert’s retirement ceremony. Father M. Ross Romero, S.J., ’89 (philosophy) has a new book coming out, Without the Least Tremor: The Sacrifice of Socrates in Plato’s Phaedo. Romero joined the Jesuits in 1995 and was ordained a priest in June 2005. He is currently an assistant professor of philosophy at Creighton University.


Matt Lemmler ’90 (jazz piano), a New Orleans Steinway Artist and current instructor in the Department of Jazz Studies, headlined a cultural exchange in Israel. The annual cultural exchange of musicians and chefs between New Orleans and Rosh HaAyin, part of the Partnership2Gether program, has been active since 2006. Lemmler was joined by fellow musicians Jason Marsalis and Martin Masakowski in


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multiple concerts, including the kickoff of the special 20-year gala celebrating the collective tapestry of communities. Additionally, Lemmler led master classes and clinics with young musicians and created opportunities for large ensembles of chorus, band, and orchestra students to join together playing arrangements he wrote for large group collaboration. On his way to Israel, Lemmler toured in Paris, joining fellow Loyola music alumni Jeff Boudreaux ’81 (jazz studies) on drums, Chris Thomas on bass, and Rick Margitza ’87 (jazz saxophone) on saxophone. Ava Dejoie ’91 (political science) was appointed executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission by Gov. John Bel Edwards. She is a work force development executive with 15 years of leadership experience in public administration and work force development. Before serving as the statewide rapid response coordinator for the Louisiana Workforce Commission since 2012, she worked as the business liaison for the Louisiana Department of Education, the manager of the Avondale Employee Transition Center, and the vice president of Welfare to Work Partnership. Laura Shattuck ’91 (political science) was promoted to partner at Nusbaum & Parrino P.C. in Wesport, Conn. She is the first partner to be added to the firm, which specializes in family law, since 1992. Shattuck joined the firm in 2006 and devotes her practice to representing clients in all manners of family law. She is actively engaged in litigation and has substantial experience working on large, sophisticated cases. She practices in all areas of family law matters, including divorce, alimony, child support, property division, child custody, post-judgment modification, and post-judgment contempt. Shattuck is a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent-rated attor-

ney and a graduate of ABA-NITA Family Law Trial Advocacy Institute. She was named one of ALM’s 2015 Women Leaders in the Law and 2015 10 Best Family Law Attorneys for Client Satisfaction in Connecticut by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys. Kevin Caparotta ’92 (theory and composition and piano) was recently elected president of the Louisiana American Choral Directors Association. At the 2015 National In-Service Conference of the National Association for Music Education, or NAfME, his work with the Brother Martin High School Chorus was recognized in a poster demonstrating how NAfME members empower creativity in their classrooms. Caparotta frequently serves as keyboardist for national touring musicals, including shows such as Wicked, The Book of Mormon, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, The Addams Family, Shrek, West Side Story, Beauty and the Beast, Grease, Peter Pan, Evita, The Wiz, and many others. He is currently an on-call keyboard sub for the national tour of Jersey Boys, traveling to theaters across the country to perform on stage as keyboardist and vocalist in the Four Seasons band. John ’92 (communication) and Elizabeth ’92 (communication) Davis moved to New Orleans from Atlanta in 2014. Elizabeth is an adjunct faculty member teaching communications law in Loyola’s School of Mass Communication. John is a digital media planner for Lucid LLC, a market research technology company in New Orleans. Greg Ferrara ’92 (political science) was named senior vice president of government relations and public affairs for the National Grocers Association. Ferrara will continue in his role overseeing the government relations, communications, and marketing departments as

well as serving as NGA’s chief lobbyist. He first joined NGA in November 2005, bringing a wealth of experience in the grocery industry, having managed the operations for his family’s century-old supermarket in New Orleans before the store was ultimately destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. He has also worked as a corporate project manager for Associated Grocers in Baton Rouge, La. Ferrara was recognized in 2015 as one of Association TRENDS’ Leading Lobbyists. He also is a fellow of the Institute of Politics here at Loyola. Kelly McNeil Legier ’89 (communication), J.D. ’93, was named the new Judiciary Commission of Louisiana counsel. Prior to her position as Judiciary Commission counsel, she served as an administrative law judge for the Louisiana Division of Administrative Law in Baton Rouge and as the first director of Member Outreach & Diversity for the Louisiana State Bar Association in New Orleans. Before the LSBA, Legier worked in the Staff Attorney’s Office of the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. She clerked for Judge Carl E. Stewart, J.D. ’74, on the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle, J.D. ’74, on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. In addition to clerking, Legier spent several years in private practice in the area of employment law and commercial litigation in large local and international firms. She practiced with Stone, Pigman, Walther, Wittmann & Hutchinson LLC; Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP, a Kansas Citybased firm; and New York-based Proskauer Rose LLP. Legier serves on the LSBA Diversity Committee and is a past member of the LSBA Board of Governors. She has served on the Board of Directors of the New Orleans Chapter of the Federal Bar Association from 2002 to 2014. She was president

Weddings 1




1 Kaitlin Christopherson ’12 (English literature) married First Lt. John H. Kerr IV ’09 (history) on Dec. 12, 2015, at Holy Name of Jesus Church. Father Ted Dziak, university chaplain and a former professor of Kaitlin’s, presided over the marriage ceremony. Kaitlin and John met at Loyola through Kaitlin’s Buddig roommate, who was also a bridesmaid in the wedding, in May 2009. They live in Lexington, Ky., where John is a Blackhawk pilot for the

Kentucky National Guard and Kaitlin is an equine insurance and marketing professional. 2 Chauntis T. Jenkins ’95 (political science) married Dr. Gregory B. Floyd on Dec. 20, 2015, in New Orleans. The couple will reside in Georgia. 3 Kylie Tregre ’12 (communication) married Beau Brister on Jan. 16, 2015, at the Elms Mansion in New Orleans after eight years together.



4 Gicel Estrada ’11 (Latin American studies) married Andres Suárez ’10 (political science and Latin American studies) on March 21, 2015, in New Orleans. 5 Nicole Padilla Dalmau ’07 (accounting and international business) married her college sweetheart, Matthew D. Fox ’07 (communication), on April 2, 2016, at El San Juan Resort & Casino in San Juan, Puerto Rico. They were honored to have so

many of their Loyola friends come to celebrate their marriage. 6 Edie Burns ’11 (marketing) married Benjamin Freedman, M.C.J. ’10, on Oct. 24, 2015, at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. They met at Loyola in 2010.

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Class Notes

of the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society Inc. from 2004 to 2006 and was on the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law Board of Directors from 2004 to 2010. Legier is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, most notably the National Diversity Council’s 2013 Louisiana Multicultural Leadership Award; the LSBA 2004 President’s Award; CityBusiness 2004 Success Guide “Person To Know”; and, in 2012, the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society Inc.’s Vanguard Award from the Baton Rouge Chapter and the Legacy Award from the New Orleans Chapter. Warren Zanes ’93 (English), a former member of the band Del Fuegos, has written a biography of Tom Petty based on his experiences touring with the musician and his band, The Heartbreakers. Petty: The Biography was published in November 2015 by Henry Holt and Co. and has been widely acclaimed, with Rolling Stone magazine calling it “one of the best rock biographies in recent memory.” Dr. Peter L. Cho ’93 (jazz and piano), M.M. ’94, has been named the interim executive dean for the West Bank Campus of Delgado Community College in New Orleans. Cho has also served as the lead department chair of the Arts and Humanities Division since 2011 and was the head of the Delgado Music Department from 1996 until 2004. He currently serves as an executive board member of the American Federation of Musicians, Local 174-496; a faculty member of the Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp; and a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Grammy Awards), and he is an ordained elder in the Presbyterian USA Church. Cho is also a professional musician in the New Orleans area, performing for James Rivers, the National World War II Museum, and many other venues in New Orleans.


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Frances Rios ’94 (communication), an international speaker, author, and “womanpreneur,” has launched her third book, Reshaping the Model: Lessons Learned from the Boys’ Club in Puerto Rico and Florida. She is a self-described pioneer of female inclusion in the Caribbean, and her firm, Frances Rios Communications, is the only firm in Latin America dedicated to promoting women’s development and inclusion while leading companies to become women’s advocates. Rhonda Sharkawy ’95 (sociology and communication), senior retail leasing and development executive at Stirling Properties, was honored by the New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors Commercial Investment Division. Sharkawy was inducted into the Commercial Investment Division Hall of Fame after receiving the F. Poche Waguespack Award for having the highest volume of sales and leases in the Greater New Orleans area for the past five consecutive years. She is one of only a handful of women to receive this award since its inception in 1964. Laura Gibbs ’97 (history) and Calvin Heinle have partnered to form Gibbs & Heinle LLP, a family law practice in Wellesley, Mass. The firm specializes in litigation, settlement negotiation, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, and appellate services in domestic relations. Father John G. McDonald ’97 (history), a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama, has been called to serve as the Carl J. Peter Chair of Homiletics (Preaching) at the Pontifical North American Seminary in Rome. He will be a full-time member of the seminary faculty and will be responsible for teaching American seminarians in Rome elements of the art of preaching and proclamation of the word of God. He begins his new appointment in August 2016.

Lisa Tabor ’97 (nursing) recently relocated to Las Vegas to take a position with United Health Group/ Optum Clinicial Services. Tabor pioneered the first full-time medical house calls practice in her hometown of Lafayette, La., in October 2007. Her primary care practice to homebound elderly was tremendously successful, and she remained without corporate competition until the summer of 2014. UHG / Optum started a new house call program in Nevada, and Tabor was recruited for not only her clinical expertise but also for her business acumen. Juana Marine-Lombard ’89 (marketing and management), M.B.A. ’91, J.D. ’98, was appointed commissioner of the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control by Gov. John Bel Edwards. Marine-Lombard is an attorney currently serving as criminal magistrate commissioner for Orleans Parish. She formerly served four years on the City of New Orleans Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and served as both vice chair and chair of the board. Vanessa Rouzier ’98 (biology), a past winner of the Adjutor Hominum Award, was the co-author of a study regarding a new treatment regimen to combat the cholera epidemic in Haiti. “Effectiveness of Oral Cholera Vaccine in Haiti: 37-Month Follow-Up” was published in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Amy Sins ’98 (communication), past president of the Loyola Alumni Association, was named to the “40 Under 40” list by Gambit Weekly. Sins is the chef and proprietor at Langlois, a “dinner party-meets-restaurant,” where guests socialize and learn to cook alongside staff in the kitchen. She is also the managing partner at New Orleans Jazz Quarters bed-andbreakfast and hosts WRBH’s

New Orleans By Mouth, a weekly radio show about food in New Orleans. In the past year, she also started an urban farm in the Ninth Ward. (See p. 56.) Christine Albert ’99 (French and communication) was named to Gambit Weekly’s “40 Under 40” list. The associate vice president of marketing at Touro Infirmary, Albert led the post-Katrina efforts to rebuild, rebrand, and reposition Touro. She doubled Touro’s outreach efforts by hosting twice as many health fairs and other events, and attendance doubled, as well. She also improved Touro’s social media presence and expanded the audience for its website. John D. Dale ’99 (finance) was recently named by Thompson Reuters to the 2015 Oklahoma Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists. Dale, who practices with the law firm of GableGotwals, was honored for his work in business/corporate law. Joe Danborn ’99 (communication), a veteran editor for the Associated Press, has been named Rockies news editor for the AP. In his new job, he will oversee news coverage for Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado. Danborn is currently enterprise editor for AP’s Southern states and was one of six editors chosen in 2008 to build and launch the first U.S. regional editing desk, part of an overhaul of the company’s editing and filing procedures. In addition to his enterprise role in Atlanta, Danborn served as interim news editor for Tennessee and Kentucky in 2013 and 2014 and as the South’s interim deputy regional editor from 2011 to 2013.







1 Tiffany M. Fleming ’04 (economics and finance), J.D. ’08, and her husband, Bryan Rogers, welcomed their first child, Emily Celeste Rogers, on Nov. 25, 2015. 2 Gianna Griffith Cooley ’02 (biology) and her husband, Stuart, welcomed their son, Everitt Samuel Cooley, on Jan. 7, 2016, at 2:07 a.m. in Houston. He was 7 pounds, 10 ounces, and 19 inches long.

3 Kylie Tregre Brister ’12 (communication) and her husband, Beau, welcomed their son, Brady Paul Brister, on Sept. 25, 2015. He was 8 pounds, 12 ounces, and 20.75 inches long. 4 Lee Daugherty Williams ’07 (psychology pre-health) and her husband, Colby, welcomed their daughter, Ashton Kay Williams, on March 21, 2016.



5 Kelly Milliken Pettigrew ’03 (political science) and her husband, Zachry, welcomed their second child, George Vincent Pettigrew, on Aug. 16, 2015. He was 6 pounds, 13 ounces, and 20.75 inches long and joins big sister, Fionna Violet Pettigrew. He was baptized by Father Frank Reale, S.J., at Immaculate Conception in October 2015.

6 Crystal Guidry Vaccaro ’05 (finance), M.B.A. ’09, and her husband, John, welcomed their daughter, Veronica Ann Vaccaro, on Oct. 22, 2015. 7 Russell ’10 (political science) and Heather Geddie Mistich ’10 (political science) welcomed their daughter, Parker Anne Mistich, on June 24, 2015. They live in Abita Springs, La.

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Class Notes


Erin Seidemann ’01 (English) has published a book, Postcards From the Sky: Adventures of an Aviatrix, a memoir about her flying life as a rare female pilot (only 5 to 6 percent of licensed pilots worldwide are women). Brigid Collins ’00 (counseling and criminal justice), J.D. ’03, was named to an Orleans Parish magistrate commissioner’s post by a vote of the dozen judges at Criminal District Court. Collins is a private defense attorney and a former prosecutor and can continue to practice private law while serving as commissioner. In her role as commissioner, she will set bail amounts, preside over probable cause hearings and other early court proceedings in felony cases, and sign arrest and search warrants. She is one of four commissioners under Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell. Jeff Guhin ’03 (sociology and English) graduated from Yale University with a Ph.D. in sociology in 2013. After a three-year position as the Abd El Kader Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, he will start a new job at the University of California Los Angeles, joining the sociology department as an assistant professor. His first book, The Problem of America: Gender, Science, and Religion in Muslim and Christian Schools, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. He married Mary Katherine Sheena in 2010. Brandon DuMontier, M.B.A. ’04, completed the Ironman Chattanooga race on Sept. 27, 2015. The race consisted of a 2.4-mile swim, a 116-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile marathon. This was DuMontier’s first full-distance Ironman, and he finished with a time of 12 hours, 56 minutes, and 44 seconds.


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Kiran Chawla ’06 (communication), lead investigative reporter at WAFB-TV in Baton Rouge, won a prestigious Edward R. Murrow award for investigative reporting as part of the WAFB-TV team. The award was based in part on Chawla’s report exposing potential safety violations at an area apartment complex that might have contributed to the electrocution of a toddler.

Dominic’s Parish in Brookfield, Wis. She coordinates 23 human concerns committees and oversees adult formation and evangelization. She also coordinates vocation initiatives for the parish, which is a teaching parish. She has started a diocesan singles’ group to address the growing need of parishes to be more inclusive of the singles in parish life.

Christilisa “Missy” Gilmore ’06 (music industry studies) has just started her own business, Travel’s Tune, a boutique music travel agency specializing in one-of-a-kind New Orleans music vacation experiences.

Chris Walsh ’07 (political science) has joined Gibbs & Heinle LLP, a family law practice in Wellesley, Mass., as an attorney. The firm specializes in litigation, settlement negotiation, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, and appellate services in domestic relations.

Catherine Lacey ’07 (English) received the Whiting Award, given annually to 10 emerging writers in fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry, for her first novel, Nobody Is Ever Missing, published in 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The award, which comes with a $50,000 gift to recipients, honors superior early accomplishment and the promise of great work to come. Previous winners include David Foster Wallace, Jeffrey Eugenides, Tobias Wolff, Suzan-Lori Parks, Alice McDermott, and Jonathan Franzen. Past Whiting winners have gone on to win numerous prestigious awards and fellowships, including the Pulitzer Prize; the National Book Award; the National Book Critics Circle Award; the Obie Award; and MacArthur, Guggenheim, and Lannan fellowships, according to the Whiting Foundation. Lacey was the recipient of a 2012 NYFA Artists’ Fellowship in Fiction Writing and was named a Granta New Voice in 2014. Her writing has appeared in The Believer, The Atlantic, The Paris Review Daily, and elsewhere. Her upcoming novel, The End of Uncertainty, and a currently untitled short story collection will be published by FSG. She is based in Brooklyn. Mary Lestina, M.P.S. ’07, is the pastoral associate and director of adult faith formation at St.

Tiffany M. Fleming ’04 (economics and finance), J.D. ’08, is a civil litigation and transactional attorney at Butler Law Firm. Amanda Howard Lowe ’03 (political science), J.D. ’09, has been named a partner at Kean Miller LLP. She joined the firm in 2009 and practices in the admiralty and maritime, energy, and corporate litigation groups. Paul Michael Noel ’05 (criminal justice), M.C.J. ’09, was named to Gambit Weekly’s “40 Under 40” list and has taken over as deputy superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department, succeeding Bob Bardy ’74. Noel is an 18-year veteran of the NOPD and had been a commander of the homicide unit before he was appointed to lead the Second District in 2012. In 2014, after a scathing report about mismanagement in the NOPD sex-crimes unit, Noel was given the special assignment of reopening the unit’s old cases and reforming the entire department. He also is credited with clearing a year-old backlog of untested rape kits. As deputy superintendent for field operations, Noel will oversee the deployment of uniformed officers throughout the city.


Aaron W. Munn ’05 (finance), J.D./M.B.A. ’10, has joined Baker Donelson’s Corporate Finance and Securities Group as an associate in the firm’s Memphis office. Christine Alexis ’12 (marketing), the CEO and designer of Culture Shock Jewelry, was profiled in Gambit Weekly for her latest jewelry line, Wanderlust. Inspired by her travels, Alexis wants to give back and has launched the Women Who Wander scholarship, which will give a local female college student the chance to study abroad. Dr. Irene Woods Bean, D.N.P. ’12, is the founder of the Tennessee Nurse Practitioner Association and serves as its executive director. She was named the 2016 Nurse Practitioner State Advocate for Tennessee and is the owner of Serenity Health Care and Weight Loss Clinic in Madison, Tenn. She has been the keynote speaker for multiple nurse practitioner graduate programs. She also was selected as a fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, which recognizes nurse practitioner leaders who have made outstanding contributions to health care through clinical practice, research, education, or policy. Jimmy Elcock ’12 (music industry studies) was named one of Nashville Lifestyles’ 2016 Most Eligible Singles. Ashley Frugé ’12 (mass communication) has accepted a full-time position as morning show traffic anchor and reporter for WBRZ-TV Channel 2 in Baton Rouge. Lauren Perry ’12 (theatre) was recently featured on WDSU-TV Channel 6 in New Orleans for her work as the executive director


A Global Perspective BY FRITZ ESKER ’00

WHEN COMPLETING THEIR RESIDENCIES, doctors have the opportunity to travel to other cities or countries to learn more about their fields and see how medicine works elsewhere. Dr. Shaawn Ali ’08 (psychology pre-med) recently spent a month in Pakistan while a resident in family medicine at Westchester General Hospital in Miami. Ali chose Lahore, Pakistan, because both of his parents are Pakistan natives (Ali was born and raised in New Orleans). His uncle, a high-ranking government official, encouraged him to visit. Ali seized the opportunity to visit his relatives and learn more about both medicine and his parents’ homeland. During his month abroad, Ali worked at two hospitals: the Punjab Institute of Cardiology and Shaukat Khanum, a famous nonprofit hospital. He was immediately impressed by how intelligent and knowledgeable the doctors were. “These people are so smart — they know every definition, every classification to a T,” Ali says. “They are some of the most intelligent, skilled, and crafty people I’ve ever worked with.” But while the Pakistani doctors’ knowledge of medicine was comprehensive, he felt American hospitals place more of an emphasis on bedside manner and the doctor-patient relationship. Although he was impressed with the dedication of the physicians, other realities were more sobering. Pakistan, home to approximately 200 million people, does not have enough doctors for all of its residents. As a result, many people have to wait several months to see a doctor. “The people here have it much worse than we do,” Ali says. “The doctors have lines and lines of people, and they can’t see everyone.” Many Pakistanis also suffer from ailments that are treated with relative ease in America. Ali saw patients who were blind from common problems such as diabetes or glaucoma. Others suffered from skin diseases and poor hygiene. But the trip was not all work for Ali. He saw family members and even had lunch with Nawaz Sharif, prime minister of Pakistan. According to Ali, Lahore is the “food and cultural hub of Pakistan.” He particularly enjoyed Food Street, which,

as its name would imply, is a street where restaurants and food carts stretch for blocks. “You can smell the food in the air — kebabs, sweets, fruits, you name it,” Ali says. Upon his return, he became chief resident at Westchester General Hospital, and he is

more appreciative of the American system and the general comforts American citizens have. “I’m more grateful for the resources here,” he says. “You can’t just Google an urgent care and find one in your neighborhood there.”

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Class Notes

of The Beautiful Foundation, which provides a safe environment for the leadership development of underserved young women by focusing on self-esteem and promoting entrepreneurial thinking while providing support for their emotional, physical, and mental well-being. David G. Zelaya ’12 (psychology) is currently a student in the counseling psychology doctoral program at Georgia State University. He also was recently awarded a Minority Fellowship from the American Psychological Association and the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services program. The APA Minority Fellowship is a national fellowship that funds approximately 5 to 7 percent of all applicants. Joshua Washington ’13 (philosophy/pre-law) was a Fall 2015 White House intern in the Office of Presidential Correspondence’s Greetings Department. Druscilla Dyer ’14 (social sciences) was randomly selected to sit behind President Barack Obama during his speech at McKinley High School in Baton Rouge on Jan. 14, 2016. James Lambert ’14 (communication) founded Concierge Solutions, an application development startup focused on the service and hospitality industry, and works with Jordan Hillman ’15 (economics); Logan Griswold, philosophy senior; and Collins Merkel, finance junior. Their first platform is in development with a July 2016 launch planned. Since forming the company, they have worked with Microsoft and its BizSpark program, and they were featured at Collision Conference, one of the world’s largest tech conferences, which was held in New Orleans in April 2016. Lambert credits their shared Loyola background


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with their success: “We believe that having gone to Loyola gives us a unique advantage compared to other startups. Not only did we all know and meet each other through Sigma Alpha Kappa fraternity, but the Jesuit education instilled in us at Loyola of how to make the world a better place drives us every day.”

is also conducting research in orthopedics at UGA and is a co-author of four submitted papers already. Hiba Elaasar ’15 (biological sciences and chemistry with a focus on biology/pre-medicine) started her first year of medical school at LSU Health Sciences Center, her firstchoice school.

Scott Maher ’14 (music industry studies) was recently accepted into the Peace Corps. He discovered his passion for nonprofit work during his senior-year internship with Sweet Home New Orleans, a local nonprofit serving New Orleans musicians. After graduation, he joined the AmeriCorps-sponsored Project Homecoming New Orleans and also worked as a volunteer organizer of the Full Circle: New Orleans to Nepal fundraiser with the Louisiana Himalaya Association. Joe Picone ’14 (criminal justice) was named head of the Division of Investigations for the Louisiana Department of Justice. He has nearly three decades of law enforcement experience, specializing in the field of criminal investigations, serving as an investigator, a supervisor, and a manager. A veteran of the Louisiana National Guard, Picone is currently working toward his master’s degree at Loyola. Sean Tate, M.S. ’14, who completed a master’s degree in counseling at Loyola, has announced the opening of his own nonprofit, DiscoveryFEST. DiscoveryFEST aims to provide quality after-school tutoring, mentoring, and playtime for young students through a network of professional child care providers. Kate Birdwhistell ’15 (chemistry) is doing well in her first year of veterinary school at the University of Georgia. She

Send us your milestones. New job? New baby? Got married? We want to share in your joy! Send us your wedding, birth, or job announcements, along with photos, at magazine@loyno.edu

In Memoriam Pearl H. Levata Strehle ’37 Sister Mary W. Vinet ’38 Linus A. Koenenn Jr. ’40 Rose Mary Harvey Charbonnet ’41 Sister Madeline S. Hebert ’43 Marion Screen Munro ’43 Jean M. Trebucq Leon ’44 Gertrude Gentilich Pavur ’44 Sister Angeline M. Poirier ’44 Dr. Francis X. Wegmann ’42, D.D.S. ’45 Dr. Robert D. Wood, D.D.S. ’46 John M. Battle, D.D.S. ’47 Harry G. Caire ’48 Cecil A. Haskins ’48 Lloyd J. Waguespack ’48 Harry J. Damare ’49 Richard P. Erichson ’49 Sister Mary Clarea Hotze ’49 Otis V. Thomas ’49 Louis W. Cazentre Jr. ’50 Joan D.A. Boudousquie Garvey ’50 Dr. Stephen J. Herbert ’50 Edgar J. Kehlor Jr. ’50 Dr. Harry L. Pappas ’50 Blanchard E. Sanchez Sr. ’50 Charles W. Sartori ’50 William Thomas Jr. ’50 Clement E. Toca ’50 Fred J. Balser ’51 A.L. Johnson Jr. ’51 Raymond L. Stein Sr. ’51 The Hon. Richard J. Garvey ’50, J.D. ’52 Inez Conzelmann Hull ’52 Frank W. Roccaforte, J.D. ’52 Alvin E. Bertaut Sr. ’53 John M. Jewell ’53 Maria Parrino Roberts ’53 Henry J. Trochesset ’53 Elizabeth Prados Melancon ’54 Anthony Cutrera Jr. ’55 Barbara C. Jas Lanasa ’55 Dr. John B. Atkinson Sr., D.D.S. ’56 Anthony C. Occhipinti, J.D. ’56 Judith Abadie Conrad ’57 Leon H. Ferrier III ’57 Albert J. Huddleston, J.D. ’57 Philip D. Lorio Jr. ’57 Richard P. Lesneski, D.D.S. ’58 Donald J. Perrere, D.D.S. ’58 Josie Cardarella Ritter ’58 Raymond F. Crellin ’59 Floyd A. Gegenheimer ’59 Erin B. Lambert Harty ’59 Lawrence V. Hattier Sr. ’59 James M. Linn Jr., D.D.S. ’59 Louis T. Maumus ’59, M.D. Mary K. Toye Tumminello ’59 Richard A. Webre ’59 Francis P. Bostick Jr. ’60

Dr. Harry L. Colcolough ’60 Dr. Russell R. Dimarco, D.D.S. ’60 Anna May Bonner O’Flynn ’53, ’60 Dr. Arthur F. Hickham, D.D.S. ’61 James D. Planchard Sr. ’61 Sister Mary Hilary Simpson ’61 Emmett A. Smith Jr. ’61 Carol A. Radosti Estorge ’62 Richard C. Gravois ’62 Norman Mopsik, J.D. ’62 Sister Theresa St. Pierre ’62 James D. Thompson, J.D. ’62 Edward S. Bopp Jr., J.D. ’63 Dr. Elbert H. Goodier III ’63 Margaret R. Cummings Gravois ’63 George E. Mouledoux, J.D. ’63 Thomas V. Flair ’64, M.E. ’64 Dr. John K. Baldwin, D.D.S. ’65 Alma F. Lott Flick ’65 Ralph E. Smith, J.D. ’65 Karyl M. Kuebel Babst ’66 Charles I. “Dene” Denechaud III ’63, J.D. ’66 William F. Fawcett ’66 William J.F. Gearheard Sr., J.D. ’66 Peter J. Stafford Jr. ’66 Clement Story III, J.D. ’66 John M. Famularo ’68 Katherine P. Gage, M.Ed. ’68 Kathleen Ward Stuckey ’68 Vivian E. Werling ’68 Georgiana Dickey Wiles ’68 Leonard Wilmer ’68 Dr. Gregory R. Choppin ’49, H ’69 Al J. Mendoza, J.D. ’69 Rudolph T. O’Dwyer III ’69 Thomas F. Schexnayder, J.D. ’70 Dr. Kenneth W. Smith, D.D.S. ’70 John M. Ballero ’71 Maurice T. Hattier, J.D. ’71 Billie Neapollioun Jr. ’71 Adelaide Caneza Sprague ’71 Gayle M. Ebeyer ’72 Patricia A. Erickson ’72 Harry T. Hardin III, J.D. ’72 Cheryl F. Gordon Klein ’72 Iri L. Ramsey Skinner ’72 Mary L. Bertrand Thames ’72 Michael G. Crow ’68, M.B.A. ’70, J.D. ’73 Carlos A. Campos ’74 Kenny M. Charbonnet ’70, J.D. ’74 Willis A. Lea Jr. ’74 Marvin E. Wright Jr., J.D. ’74 Jack T. Dial ’75 Myron J. Yochim ’75 Michael P. Hantel, J.D. ’76 Timothy M. Kelly ’77 John J. Mello, M.B.A. ’77 Albert L. Green ’78 Carlos J. Savona ’78

Suzanne Toppino Colligan ’74, M.S. ’79 Scott A. Schneider ’79 Albert M. Ledoux ’81 Nancy K. Durant, J.D. ’82 Bettie M. Goldstein Redler, J.D. ’82 Denise J. Simmons Clarke ’83, M.R.E. ’87 Patrice A. Cazaux Lawson ’89 Walter G. Amstutz, J.D. ’90 Gertrude J. Kluchin ’41, ’65, ’94 Linda C. Byrnes ’96 Barbara N. Johnson Hucker, M.P.S. ’97 Marilyn R. Girnatis Pepper, J.D. ’97 William C. Stoutz, J.D. ’97 Mary Christina Willis Connaly ’98 Gerald N. Gaston, M.B.A. ’65, H ’01 Elizabeth Brooks Hamilton ’01 Emily E. Overbey ’08 Theresa M. Cabras, M.S.N. ’13

Grant that our brothers and sisters may sleep in peace until you awaken them to glory, for you are the resurrection and the life. Then they will see you face to face and in your light will see light and know the splendor of God, for you live and reign forever and ever.

from the “Final Commendation” of the Funeral Mass

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Dream Job in the Big Apple BY LAUREN LABORDE ’09

AT HER CURRENT JOB, Nia Porter ’15 (communication) isn’t reporting on the kind of hard news she learned how to cover in her time at Loyola. But Porter says the school — specifically her experience on The Maroon — provided her with the thing she credits as the reason she’s working at a rising fashion publication in New York: the confidence to step up. She started at The Maroon low on the totem pole but rose through the ranks at the student newspaper until she snagged the editor-inchief position her senior year. The ascent didn’t always feel natural for her, though. “For me the climb was really nudges,” Porter says. “I was always afraid to take the next step and actually accept those editor positions because I didn’t think I was good enough. But my adviser [Michael Giusti ’00 (communication), M.B.A. ’12] really pushed me to accept those roles, and that’s the reason I’m up here. I wouldn’t have learned to accept higher positions and think I’m good enough if it weren’t for The Maroon.” This newfound confidence came in handy when she happened across a job posting for a fashion assistant position at Racked, the New York-based online style and shopping publication under the Vox Media empire. Although she was still in New Orleans, focusing on saving enough money for a New York move, she decided to go for it. She got a phone interview, and they asked if she could come up to New York. Not sure if she would ultimately get the job, she still decided to go ahead and move. “I moved without having a job, off of a gut decision,” she says. “I came up here and ended up getting the job. Going after what I wanted really hard impressed them, I guess.” That was August 2015, and since then she has been promoted to fashion reporter. “I love working at Racked,” she says. “I feel like it’s kind of like my dream job at the moment.”


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Porter first fell in love with magazine journalism when she read a profile of Miley Cyrus in high school (“It’s embarrassing now … but I really liked the writing style”), and then eventually, she fell in love with the fashion industry. She was specifically interested in the logistics of the industry and the people who work behind the scenes, or “in the shadows,” as she says. Instead of heading to New York for college, the New Orleans native opted for Loyola to stay close to home and to get a solid background in journalism. She says learning the basics of reporting helps her in her current position, where she interviews designers, reviews Fashion Week shows, writes street-style features, and reports on

the positive and negative practices of big fashion brands. To recent graduates starting their careers, Porter’s advice is to trust your instincts but have some kind of plan to guide your next steps — and seek out the kind of people who will give you that “nudge” she got during her time at Loyola. “Taking the initiative and winging it sometimes works, but you have to have some sort of plan. It doesn’t have to be a long-term plan … just have a set plan for what you want to do and what it will take to get there before you take that leap,” she says. “And surround yourself with people who believe in you and who want to see you get to where you want to be.”



RACHEL DUFOUR, senior honors student and pre-med chemistry and psychology major, finds time for both art and whimsy among her scientific research – in her spare time, she’s also a flamenco dancer and a mermaid-for-hire, who dons a tail and performs underwater tricks at birthday parties.

SUMMER 2016 | loyno



Makin’ Groceries BY SARAH RAVITS

Loyola design students — with a big assist from Ellen DeGeneres — help out a local business and Lower Ninth Ward residents. AS REBUILDING EFFORTS IN NEW ORLEANS CONTINUE more than a decade after Hurricane Katrina, Loyola design students teamed up this past spring with a local custom design and fabrication firm, GoodWood NOLA, to give the only grocery store in the Lower Ninth Ward some fresh updates and help increase community awareness of its presence. The students used their skills in hand-lettering, textile design, design build, and app design, which they learned in Loyola’s new bachelor of design degree program — the only one of its kind in the city. (See story, p. 12.) They participated through the university’s new Social Political Design + Narrative class, taught by Tippy Tippens, which focuses on experiential learning and designing for the social good. In line with Loyola’s strong commitment to social justice, the class brings students out of the classroom and into the city to identify social needs and partner with others in the community. Under Tippens’ guidance and leadership, her students; GoodWood NOLA; and the owners of the Lower 9th Ward Market, Burnell and Keasha Cotlon, partnered for three weeks to

Find Out More


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Watch the video and learn how to help gofundme.com/Lower9thWard Follow the store’s progress — and get some great recipes — on its Facebook page facebook.com/Lower9thWardMarket/ Check out photos, videos, and lunch specials by following Burnell Cotlon on Twitter @BCotlon

help establish the Lower 9th Ward Market as a cornerstone of the community. The Cotlons opened the market in 2014, the first one in the area since Katrina, giving residents access to fresh, healthy food.

Before the Cotlons took matters into their own hands, the Lower Ninth Ward was considered to be a “food desert” — defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a place devoid of stores selling healthy foods.

DO THIS Make your annual gift

Food deserts are exceptionally prevalent in low-income areas where many residents don’t have access to a vehicle. Prior to opening the store, Keasha “picked up the elderly in the area and drove them back and forth” to get groceries, Burnell told New Orleans Biz magazine last summer. The Cotlons used their life savings to buy the market space, which had flooded and suffered roof damage. To cut back on costs, Burnell performed much of the manual labor on his own. They also crowd-sourced through a GoFundMe account, and Ellen DeGeneres made a generous donation. But even after the grocery store opened, many residents were still taking the long trek to Walmart (if they weren’t just buying food at the gas station) — three bus stops away in St. Bernard Parish — simply because they weren’t aware of the new space. “Posting signage around the neighborhood will aid in awareness of the Lower 9th Ward Market and, hopefully, decrease the amount of people taking that trip,” Loyola design student Sierra Lyman says. Now their project is complete, and the humble but very important grocery store features eye-catching signage, letting residents know they don’t have to go too far to “make groceries.”

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SUMMER 2016 | loyno



Beyond Borders The Syria and Beyond Refugee Benefit raised awareness of the refugee crisis, along with much-needed funds for charity. Global awareness and service to others are hallmarks of a Jesuit education, but to rising senior Summer AbuKorma, who is majoring in history and minoring in Middle East peace studies, the current refugee crisis in Syria was a bit more personal. “My father was a refugee from Iraq,” AbuKorma says. “I believe the refugee crisis has been an ongoing issue for many, many years, and it has only recently gained attention because of the very high number of displaced people leaving Syria. It has been a personal mission of mine that I hoped to pursue at some point in my life.” That point came sooner than she expected, with inspiration striking as she sat in Dr. Behrooz Moazami’s Israel and Palestine class. After a discussion about refugee emigration from Palestine, AbuKorma asked Moazami to help her organize a fundraiser. “I was thinking something small, like a bake sale, to raise money for notable charities that are working in refugee camps around the world,” she says. “With the help of Dr. Moazami and Professor Andy Young at Tulane University, we were able to organize a huge event, complete with music, dance and poetry performances, food, henna tattoos, and silent auction and raffle items. We made sure that every penny we raised that evening would go directly to Doctors Without Borders, the American Refugee Committee, Catholic Relief Services, and the New Orleans branch of Catholic Charities.” The Syria and Beyond Refugee Benefit, which was held in conjunction with the Eighth Annual Student Peace Conference, was open to the public and featured belly dancers from New Orleans’ Crescent Lotus Belly Dance Studio, poetry in both Persian and English, classical Arabic music, and light Middle Eastern fare from Mona’s Café and Deli. AbuKorma says about 200 people showed up to the event, which raised awareness of the refugee crisis along with about $2,500.


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“Unfortunately, media coverage only discusses this situation in political terms, with more of a focus on where these displaced people will go, rather than focusing on the issues of trauma and lack of food, medical care, and other necessities we take for granted,” AbuKorma says. With this event, she hopes to change the narrative and the perception of Syrian refugees. “We received a lot of positive feedback from many members of the community,” she says. “People enjoyed the evening and were happy that it was all for a good cause.” Ultimately, AbuKorma says the event restored her faith in humanity: “It truly made my heart happy to see that there are so many loving people out in the world, and that those who allow their ignorance to take over are actually the minority. It may seem that

way, especially when we tune into the media and see people promote intolerance. This is definitely not the case — there are many, many loving people in this world; we just don’t make the news all that often. So don’t let that stop you from doing the right thing.”

THE SYRIA AND BEYOND REFUGEE BENEFIT, held in conjunction with the Eighth Annual Student Peace Conference, featured Middle Eastern food, henna tattoos, music and poetry performances, and a silent auction.


THEN Carl H. Brans ’57 (physics) won a National Science Foundation scholarship and earned a Ph.D. at Princeton. He then returned to Loyola in 1960 to become a professor of physics. In 1961, he and co-author Robert Dicke published a paper in the Physical Review titled “Mach’s Principle and a Relativistic Theory of Gravitation.” It established what has come to be known as Brans-Dicke theory.

NOW Dr. Brans, center, recently

celebrated his 80th birthday along with a huge honor: the American Physical Society named the paper he and Dicke co-authored as one of the 32 most influential papers on general relativity in the past 100 years — putting him in the company of such greats as Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Robert Oppenheimer, and Roger Penrose. He is also still mentoring students at Loyola; he recently collaborated with Thirthabir Biswas, left, associate professor of physics, and recent graduate Richard Bustos ’16 (physics and mathematics), right, on research that was presented at an American Physical Society Conference. “Brans is like an open book for me,” Bustos says. “Anything I need, he’ll teach it and introduce it to me.”

Down to a

Science SUMMER 2016 | loyno



A Life Full of Adventures Amy Cyrex Sins ’98 (communication) When I was in college, I expected to go to work every day, wear a suit, get married, have kids, go to their soccer and baseball games, have dinner parties, live in New Orleans, and be regular — you know, settle down and just be normal, no drama, minimal adventure but filled with happiness and love and family. Let’s just say we all have had reality hit us in the face. Two years, five years, 15 years after college, we are all different people. My days are filled with my husband, George [’99 (marketing)], work, family, adventure, philanthropy, prayer and quiet time, and the occasional procrastination just so I can get a good night’s sleep. All are important in my daily life. I don’t want to leave this world without having experienced everything I possibly can and without sharing those experiences with the people I love. I loved my time at Loyola, every single minute of it, every semester, every professor, every learning experience. It created my love of lifelong learning and has made friends and professors from Loyola my guides throughout my life. I took way too many hours; I was on the soccer team (which I wish they’d bring back, but that is a whole different article); and worked two jobs up to 40 hours a week along with my work study jobs. Looking back, it was a lot, probably too much, but at the time, it was just another adventure in my life. My Jesuit education helped form the business leader I’ve become. Themes of helping others, advocating for important causes, and dedicating time to service have been intertwined in how I try to live, lead, and manage.


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Loyola has shaped me into the woman I am today. Volunteering, being on the Alumni Board, and attending events on the campus keep me connected. I had the opportunity to interact with some students over the years while working on the Alumni Board. It is fun to see the naiveté, wonder, and excitement in their eyes; the idealism; the desire to change the world and make it a better place; and the fresh way of thinking. Sometimes we need to see that and be reminded that we once felt the same way and we need to be a part of cultivating that wonder and excitement in the next generation. I had the opportunity to meet many different people, make new friends, find the love of my life, and become a well-rounded global citizen. Loyola opened my eyes to the importance of faith and justice and that social outreach should just be a part of our lives. There have been experiences where my husband and I have jumped in to help people and never thought twice about if we should; we just did. I believe that the Jesuit education instilled that love of our fellow man into our hearts and minds.

SINS SERVED AS PRESIDENT OF THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION from 2012–2014 and is now chef/owner of Langlois, host of New Orleans by Mouth on WRBH-FM 88.3, and the awardwinning author of Ruby Slippers Cookbook: Life, Culture, Family, and Food After Katrina

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Congratulations graduates! class of 2016