Tulane Magazine December 2016

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ON THE MIGHTY MISSISSIPPI ByWater Institute and new River & Coastal Center

LIVING WITH WATER Raised houses and rain gardens

LOUISIANA BIRD CALLS Migratory birds on the river flyway



Water World


FLY YOUR FLAG A U.S. Coast Guard fireboat puts on a water display during the dedication of the Tulane River and Coastal Center on Sept. 14, 2016. Also as part of the festivities, Tulane and Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium flags fly at the Robin Street Wharf, site of the center.

Life on the Mississippi Front cover: The crescent of the Mississippi River that gave New Orleans its nickname winds into the sunset. (Photo by Jackson Hill) Back cover: The Pelican,a federal research vessel, is docked near the River and Coastal Center, in preparation for researchers boarding. The Crescent City Connection Bridge is in the background. (Photo by Ryan Rivet)

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Water, Water (and Hope) Everywhere


P R E S I D E N T ’ S

by Mike Fitts Peril and promise, hope and hazard. Like so many issues facing our world, water is a contradiction. It is both a foundational force of life and a threat to it. As this issue of Tulane magazine attests, faculty and researchers in areas as diverse as our 169-year-old law school and our newly launched ByWater Institute are discovering new ways to protect this precious resource and the land, wildlife and culture it continually shapes and sustains. Tulane students and alumni are also devoted to this work, including Sarah Mack (PHTM ’04, ’09), who came to Tulane specifically to work on water issues and today is president and CEO of Tierra Resources, a social enterprise that allows companies to invest in wetland restoration projects to offset their greenhouse gas emissions. The work of Mack, our researchers and our students becomes ever more urgent as sea levels rise and deltas sink, not only here in New Orleans but also in New York, London and Tokyo. Like water, other societal issues—poverty, environmental degradation, lack of affordable health care, inadequate education—contain a similar dualism of peril and promise. Just as a river brings both the threat of flooding and the sediment that is the building block of new land, so too do societal problems contain both an effluence of despair and the seeds of new life. For instance, are the nearly 14 percent of young people nationwide who are neither in school nor working part of the country’s biggest problem or its greatest potential? Tulane thinks the latter. That is why we are partners in EMPLOY Collaborative and a host of other efforts designed to provide career pathways for young people and turn these so-called “problem youth” into “Opportunity Youth.” Are the children of the poor destined for the troubled lives of their parents or for the greatness of a new generation? Because Tulane believes in these children and their dreams, we are continually engaged in improving K-12 public education while also embarked on a concerted and sustained effort to increase the racial and economic diversity of our own students, faculty and staff. The United States is the world’s wealthiest nation with the most advanced medical care available anywhere. And yet so much of the quality, cutting-edge health care that we take for granted is inaccessible



to many of our citizens primarily due to costs. Will this ever change? We believe it can, and that is why we offer interdisciplinary majors such as the MD/MBA program that, among numerous other skills, give medical students the expertise to run practices more efficiently, to work to fix a broken healthcare system and to advocate on behalf of their patients. While water, with all its complexities and contradictions, more than suffices as the singular theme for this edition of Tulane magazine, the list of problems and the search for solutions in which Tulane is fully engaged are manifold. These problems offer an ever-present reminder of and witness to our mission. Like the mighty Mississippi, the “father of waters,” they silently sweep past our campuses, freighted with the memories of past disasters and also millions of grains of hope.

RIVER OF HOPE Locally and globally, Tulane addresses society’s complexities and contradictions.

TUlane C O N T E N T S

Drained Dry A. Baldwin Wood (center), an 1899 Tulane engineering graduate, invented the Wood Screw Pump in the early 1900s. The technology continues to be used around the world and in New Orleans to pump rainwater from streets.


2 PRESIDENT’S LETTER Peril and promise


On the Mighty Mississippi At the new Tulane ByWater Institute and its River and Coastal Center, researchers address issues of coastal protection and restoration as temperatures warm, sea levels rise and time

6 NEWS River and Coastal Center • U.S. News ranks Tulane No. 39 • In That Number • Who Dat? Neal Jones • 3-D printing innovation • Jesmyn Ward’s The Fire This Time • Tulane history in pictures • Study of New Orleans women • Phytoplankton by Pippin FrisbieCalder • In Your Own Words: Lena Rollenhagen

grows short for action. By Leslie Cardé


13 SPORTS First-year football coach Willie Fritz • Return of Angry Wave

Living With Water Law, architecture and public health experts give practical tips for existing in harmony with water—essential advice for the survival and well-being of our region and, ultimately, the world in this era of climate change. By Mary Ann Travis


Louisiana Bird Calls Sustained by a habitat flowing with water, diverse species of birds thrive in the state, where biology professors Tom Sherry and Donata Henry (G ’05) observe and conserve them. By Danny Heitman

30 TULANIANS Andrew Ward • Faculty talks • Bobbie Malone • Jennifer Grotz • Reuben Friedman 31 WHERE Y'AT! Class notes 37 FAREWELL Tribute: Betty Field 38 WAVEMAKERS Ginny Wise • Law gift and faculty grants 40 NEW ORLEANS Ben Weiner’s tales

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PUSH AND PULL Female studentathletes strive for excellence

WOMEN AT THE TOP OF THEIR GAME Graduates make their mark

HOMEGIRL GREEN Designer Becky APPLE Vizard creates Environmentalist pillows from Lisa Jackson moves fancy textiles to technology giant antique




GAME CHANGERS Judy Dye, NC ’58, of Ottawa Hills, Ohio, was among the G readers who said they liked the “all about women” September 2016 Tulane. Dye said that she “enjoyed reading it.” Game Changers

Y E A H,


W R I T E 8/11/16 12:03 PM

COVER TO COVER I thought the Tulane magazine September 2016 was an especially outstanding issue. I read it from cover to cover and have shared it with a couple friends who also believe it so important to celebrate the accomplishments of women who have and will change the world. Betty Rowland, SW ’57 Fort Worth, Texas WOMEN AT THE TOP As always, I enjoyed the last issue of the magazine from Tulane. The articles are interesting and varied with up-to-date information. I especially enjoyed “Women at the Top of Their Game” since I know some family members of Becky Watson Vizard, [“Homegirl”] who lives nearby in Tensas Parish. … Thank you for all your efforts in making the magazine a success. Mary B. Eidt, G ’61 Natchez, Mississippi SHOUT-OUT TO EMILY CARD I want to tell you how much I relished reading the recent publication of “The Tulanian” [Tulane, September 2016]. I was greatly impressed to read about all the successful women who passed through the doors of Newcomb and Tulane. I was especially glad to find out all the activities of Emily Card. We encountered one another when she served on the Board of the Newcomb Alumnae Association. Polly Durham, NC ’52 Hammond, Louisiana SEXISM’S HISTORY I find it ironic that Tulane magazine portrays Tulane as an institution with a history of respecting and educating women. It would be much more accurate to explore the history of sexism and what



Tulane has done to address it. Brenda Leigh McFarlane, G ’88 Hurley, New Mexico KEEPING UP I enjoy reading the magazine, find it entertaining and informative, and have a keen desire to keep up with activities and personalities connected with Tulane. Chris Evans, A&S ’71, L ’81 Las Vegas POSITIVE NEWS I am among the few today who still enjoy reading the “hard copy.” I’m a graduate of Newcomb, with several family members who also attended TU. My husband, Judge Sol Gothard, (Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court and Louisiana State 5th Circuit Court of Appeal) was on the faculty (part-time) of the Tulane School of Social Work. Keep that news coming, updated and positive! Jacqueline Pressner Gothard, NC ’55 Metairie, Louisiana TRASH DAY I remember the Garbage Men’s strike in 1946 as mentioned in the Tribute to Mr. Weinmann (Tulane, September 2016). Many of the WWII vets in my class with truck driving experience volunteered to pick up the garbage in the French Quarter. They said they had a ball. l. They would trade a garbage pickup from a bar orr restaurant in exchange for or beers or cocktails for the crew. After a few stops the he drivers were somewhat tipsy ipsy dand there were some fenders bent on parked vehicles. les. The drivers told the vehicle cle

owners the City would pick up the tab to repair any damages. Good luck! William Neff, UC ’52 Diamondhead, Mississippi NOTABLE UPSET Angus Lind’s article [“Football Rivalry,” September 2016] brought back memories of the ’58 game. Tulane’s win that year was probably the most notable upset in the series’ [Tulane vs. Navy] history. It was midseason and undefeated Navy was No. 5 in most polls. They had finished the previous season with a January ’58 win in the Cotton Bowl. Tulane, on the other hand, was winless in four starts. However, they were “quality” losses: hard fought and close for the most part against Texas, Florida, Georgia Tech and Ole Miss. Nationally broadcast by Bill Stern from Norfolk, Virginia, Tulane upset Navy 14-6. Richie Petitbon, Tulane QB, was named AP back of the week.

Green Wave sophomore Tommy Mason preserved the win with an interception, halting a late fourth quarter drive by Navy. A few weeks later Tulane beat Bear Bryant’s Alabama 13-7. However, a huge loss to their rivals, and ’58 national champions, from upriver in the final game put a real damper on the season. Tom McClellan, A&S ’60, L ’63 Dallas OUTSTANDING SERVICE It’s been great to have the Tulanian [Tulane magazine] available to alumni as such a fine publication. The Weiss family has also benefited with three generations attending the university—my mother, Amelia Levy Weiss [NC 1918]; my wife, Elaine Bresler Weiss [NC ’49]; myself and two sons (Harlan S. Weiss and Gary N. Weiss [A&S ’74, M ’79]). Having been a signatory to the 1974 Louisiana State Constitution, it was my privilege to see that Tulane University was included in that document. … inc B Best wishes for your continued successful publication. tin May our university continue to Ma train and provide individuals tra for outstanding services, as wa was the Medical School Class of 1945, to the state, country and internationally. an Gerald N. Weiss, Ge A& A&S ’43, M ’45 Wi Windsor, Colorado ________________________ ____ DR DROP US A LINE! Em Email us at: tul tulanemag@tulane.edu or U.S. mail: Tulane, Office of Editorial & Of C Creative Services, 200 Broadway, Suite 219, 2 New Orleans, LA 70118 N

Letter From The Editor

TUlane M








EDITOR Mary Ann Travis



CONTRIBUTORS Keith Brannon Barri Bronston Will Burdette Mary Cross, SLA ’10 Roger Dunaway Alicia Duplessis Jasmin Angus Lind, A&S ’66 Ryan Rivet, UC ’02 Mike Strecker, G ’03

The lights of the Tulane River and Coastal Center shine on the banks of the Mississippi River during the center’s dedication on Sept. 14, 2016.

NEXUS OF ACTIVITY “It’s a very interesting time,” said Mike Blum, Eugenie Schwartz Professor of River and Coastal Studies and director of the new Tulane ByWater Institute. It’s an especially compelling time to be a coastal scientist. Issues of sea-level rise and climate change are coming into sharp focus. And the time for action on the protection and restoration of the Louisiana coast is now. Blum leads the ByWater Institute (see “On the Mighty Mississippi,” on page 14) and its new facility, the Tulane River and Coastal Center (see “By the Water,” on page 6) in downtown New Orleans between the Port of New Orleans and Mardi Gras World. “From a science perspective, a scholarship perspective, this is an extraordinary place to be,” said Blum. It’s in Louisiana that one can get a clear sense of the magnitude of sinking land and rising seas. And the lessons learned here can be applied globally.

The institute is a multidisciplinary enterprise. It encompasses the university’s activities regarding coastal restoration and protection and energy innovation. It brings together faculty and students from many academic fields as well as community members, artists, business people and government officials. The loss of land along the coast of Louisiana is astonishing. According to the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, since the 1930s, Louisiana has lost nearly 1,900 square miles of land. And “a scientific analysis confirmed that without action, we could lose another 1,750 square miles.” But Tulane is not standing idly by. Far from it. At the ByWater Institute and the new riverfront campus, Tulane is taking a stand for the study and preservation of Louisiana’s waterways and coast. “The university and the faculty are committed to tackling one of the defining challenges of the 21st century,” said Blum.—MARY ANN TRAVIS




Tulane (ISSN 21619255) is a quarterly magazine published by the Tulane Office of Editorial and Creative Services, 31 McAlister Drive, Drawer 1, New Orleans, LA 70118-5624. Periodical postage at New Orleans, LA 70113 and additional mailing offices. Send editorial correspondence to the above address or email tulanemag@tulane.edu. Opinions expressed in Tulane are not necessarily those of Tulane representatives and do not necessarily reflect university policies. Material may be reprinted only with permission. Tulane University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity institution. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Tulane, Tulane Office of Editorial and Creative Services, 31 McAlister Drive, Drawer 1, New Orleans, LA 70118-5624. DECEMBER 2016/VOL. 88, NO. 2

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welcomed its largest ever first-year class—1,849 students. The class is the most academically qualified and most selective in the university’s history.



U.S. News’ No. 39

By the Water



Coastal Concerns The Mississippi River and Louisiana coast are the focus at the dedication of the new Tulane River and Coastal Center on Sept. 14, 2016.

RISE IN COLLEGE RANKINGS Class speaker Carlos Wilson (B ’16) addresses the audience at Tulane Commencement on May 14, 2016.


Scientists, artists, community leaders, government officials, business people and university administrators gathered to celebrate the dedication of the new Tulane River and Coastal Center on Sept. 14, 2016. The $5.5 million, 5,500-square-foot facility on Tulane’s new riverfront campus in downtown New Orleans is part of the new Bywater Institute, bringing together scholars from across disciplines to study ways to manage threats of rising water from coastal erosion, natural disasters and a changing environment. (See the story on page 14.) Tulane President Mike Fitts presided at the late-afternoon ceremony held outdoors near the adjacent Robin Street Wharf, between the Port of New Orleans and Mardi Gras World, with the river as a backdrop. “We are located next to the Mississippi River, which is silent, powerful and constantly changing. For us at Tulane, we have existed in the shadow of the river for 182 years, and now we finally have a facility on the riverbanks,” Fitts said. “There isn’t a more appropriate location for the ByWater Institute, and there isn’t a more appropriate university to take on this research than Tulane. The survival of our region depends on negotiating our relationship with water.” The new center will support applied research and outreach to raise public awareness about coastal science, restoration and water management. It will host conferences, university courses, lectures and seminars for professional accreditation. In serving as a public forum for community engagement, the center will help promote economic development by spurring academic-industry and public-private collaborations. “The purpose of this building is to increase capacity for coastal restoration and protection, and to increase awareness of local community needs,” said Mike Blum, ByWater Institute director.—Roger Dunaway

Tulane rose to No. 39 in the 2017 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings released in September. The university was No. 41 in 2016 and in 2015 was ranked No. 54. The 39th ranking, the highest Tulane has received in more than 16 years, was announced just two weeks after Tulane began the 2016–17 academic year. “We are pleased by this national recognition and the spotlight it shines on the innovative and inspired teaching, learning and discovery happening at Tulane University,” said President Mike Fitts. In addition to its overall ranking among the best universities in the nation, Tulane’s undergraduate program at the A.B. Freeman School of Business was ranked No. 48. “Tulane students have the opportunity to study across fields of knowledge and in disciplines seemingly unrelated to their majors, but essential to understanding the world and becoming a leader in it,” said Richard Matasar, Tulane senior vice president for strategic initiatives and institutional effectiveness. “This has helped us build on Tulane’s tradition of academic excellence, expand our research and capitalize on our location in one of the world’s most interesting cities. As a result we are increasingly becoming the choice of the nation’s top students.”—Mike Strecker

In That Number Bodies of Water in New Orleans

The city of New Orleans is sandwiched between two bodies of water—Lake Pontchartrain to the north and the Mississippi River to the south. The city’s landscape is unique in that it sits below sea level. It is protected by a sophisticated levee system designed to keep the water at bay. Take a closer look at the bodies of water that give the city its remarkable, yet vulnerable, topography.



Predator bull sharks as long as 6 feet have been captured from Lake Pontchartrain.


40 miles

Fast fact: Lake Pontchartrain isn’t a true lake because it is only partially enclosed and brackish. It is therefore an estuary. It feeds to the Gulf of Mexico via the Rigolets and also connects to Lake Borgne via the Chef Menteur Pass.

The lake is 40 miles long and 25 miles wide at its widest point, with an area of 630 square miles and a mean depth of 10 to 16 feet.






In 1708, Native Americans first guided explorer Jean Baptiste Bienville LeMoyne to the waterway used for fishing and trading. Originally called “Choupithatcha”—named for fish that inhabited the water—this “bayou” became the earliest French settlement in New Orleans because of its proximity to Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River. It later became known as Bayou St. John and today remains a thriving source of recreation to locals and tourists. Source: http://medianola.org/discover/place/1109


2,340 miles The Mississippi River is 2,340 miles long.


200 feet The deepest place in the Mississippi River is near Algiers Point in New Orleans, where the river’s depth is 200 feet.

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Who Dat? Murphy Neal Jones

COL. MURPHY NEAL JONES (A&S ’60) wanted to be a fighter pilot since he was in the first grade. He joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps while at Tulane and was commissioned a second lieutenant when he graduated in 1960, earning his pilot’s wings the next year. On june 29, 1966, Jones participated in the first bombing raid on the North Vietnam capital of Hanoi. He was in his third tour of duty when he piloted his F-150 Thunderchief laden with 700-pound bombs over the heavily defended city. Before he could drop the payload, Jones took fire from rockets and anti-aircraft cannons. His plane was hit and on fire when he ejected over the outskirts of Hanoi at more than 600 mph at an altitude of only 300 feet. Jones remembers hitting the ground and bouncing 10 to 15 feet in the air. The impact dislocated his shoulder, completely broke his left arm, fractured six vertebrae and tore both ACLs.



Jones was captured and paraded through Hanoi, where he says people lined the streets to throw “everything they had” at him. This was just the beginning of Jones’ ordeal. He would spend the next 2,420 days as a prisoner of war. He was among the first American POWs released in 1973 as a part of the Paris peace agreements. Jones remembers the moment when he and 100 or so other men were waiting near the airfield, and he first saw the C-141 that he would board. “The plane had an American flag on the tail, and they were flying an American flag out the window,” Jones says. “I remember when I got onboard and took a seat and they cranked up the engines; once we broke ground there was a big cheer. About 15 minutes later the pilot came over the public address and said, ‘Gentlemen, welcome aboard. We have just crossed the coast of North Vietnam. Welcome to freedom.’”

While on the flight from Hanoi to Clark Air Base in the Philippines, Jones and the other POWs read special editions of Newsweek and Time printed especially for them, covering all the news that had happened during their time spent as captives. During the flight, they talked to the crew on the transport plane. In the photo above, Jones is seen talking to a crew member. Jones says that while he can’t remember the Air Force sergeant’s name, he remembers that he was from Denham Springs, the neighboring town to Baton Rouge, where Jones grew up. Jones retired from the Air Force as a colonel in 1982 and returned to Tulane in 1990 to become the director of development for Tulane Athletics. On Sept. 17, 2016, the Colonel Murphy Neal Jones Football All American Wall was dedicated in the Wilson Athletics Center on the Tulane campus in honor of Jones’ “unparalleled service and sacrifice.”—RYAN RIVET

BRAIN WORK The new Tulane Brain Institute officially launched this fall. The universitywide initiative coordinates and supports brain-related research and neuroscience endeavors at Tulane, involving faculty, postdocs and students— from undergraduates to PhDs.



Race in America

3-D Printing Less Wasted Motion An algorithm designed by a Tulane computer science professor and his student has the potential to speed up the fabrication process in 3-D printers.

CONVERSATIONS The Fire This Time (2016) is a collection of essays and poems by Jesmyn Ward, author of Salvage the Bones (2011), which won the National Book Award for Fiction, and Men We Reaped, named one of the best books of 2013 by The New York Times Book Review.


In traditional 3-D printing, a 3-D digital model is produced by what is essentially an inkjet printer. The printer “extrudes” filament in 2-D slices, building the model bottom up until it is complete. But there is a problem with this approach, said Ramgopal Mettu, Tulane associate professor of computer science. “In each layer, there may be a significant amount of wasted motion because the printer head must create complicated geometric shapes.” Mettu and his student Samuel Lensgraf, a 2015 School of Science and Engineering graduate, came up a solution. “We designed an efficient algorithm to plan the motion of the printer head that significantly reduces the amount of wasted motion,” said Mettu. Their paper—“Beyond Layers: A 3-D–Aware Toolpath Algorithm for Fused Filament Fabrication” was recognized as the Best Automation Paper at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Stockholm, Sweden, in May 2016. “This is the premier conference on robotics and automation,” said Mettu. “It’s special that one of our undergraduates not only got a paper into the conference, but also got a best paper award.” Mettu and Lensgraf, who is now a software developer for a Tennessee startup, believe that their solution can be used to significantly speed up fabrication. They have obtained a provisional patent through the Tulane Office of Technology Transfer and are also exploring commercialization opportunities. Lensgraf, who did most of the work on the paper as an undergraduate, said he has been overwhelmed by the recognition. “I am excited for the day that I get to see this theory out in the real world, making manufacturing more efficient,” he said. —Barri Bronston

Jesmyn Ward, an associate professor of English at Tulane and award-winning author, has published a new book—The Fire This Time: A Generation Speaks About Race. The Fire This Time is a collection of essays and poems about race from Ward along with observations from 17 other writers gathered from social media. The book essentially picks up from James Baldwin’s essay-driven examination of race in America in the landmark 1963 book, The Fire Next Time. Ward was reminded of Baldwin’s focus on racial tensions in America during the turbulent 1960s some 50 years later with several deaths, including those of Trayvon Martin in 2012 and Tamir Rice in 2014. “What inspired me to pursue this project were the interesting and insightful observations by many different writers on Twitter about Martin, Rice and others,” she said. “But those messages often disappear quickly in the feed. When I felt like I didn’t have constant access to this sense of community that I saw on Twitter, I immediately turned to James Baldwin. He came right into my head because I admire him so much as a writer. It was at that point that I thought it would be a great idea to collect these works and put them in a book.” —Roger Dunaway

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IGNATIUS ONLINE The personal and literary papers of John Kennedy Toole,

author of the beloved A Confederacy of Dunces, are available on the website of the Louisiana Research Collection of the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library at Tulane, www.larc.tulane.edu.


Photo History They are the faces of Tulane University across the generations. Students in classrooms, studios, laboratories, libraries and fields of play. Professors holding forth. Formal portraits of founding benefactors, faculty members and leaders. By creating the first pictorial history that covers Tulane from its inception to its current incarnation, university archivist Ann E. Smith Case hopes to connect Tulanians with their ancestors and inspire future Tulanians to join a grand tradition. Tulane University, part of the Campus History Series by Arcadia Publishing, was published this year. Case, who received a Master of Arts from Tulane in 1992, spent the fall semester of 2015 scouring university collections and writing chapter introductions and captions. Even as someone who has worked in University Archives for 23 years, she found new gems on the heritage of Tulane. There were contributions to major breakthroughs, such as one of the first radio transmissions in the South, sent from what is now F. Edward Hebert Hall in 1898. A student on the project, A. Baldwin Wood, later invented his patented Screw Pump, drying out swampland to develop much of modern New Orleans. One photograph shows Wood sitting in a laboratory holding a speaker to his ear. There were glimpses of societal progress, such as a photo of one of the first African-American undergraduates at Tulane, Reynold T. Décou, alongside classmates in a geology class in 1966. Décou arrived at Tulane in 1963, the year of campus integration. Case discovered traditions, such as the barring of freshmen from the center stairs at Gibson Hall in the early years of the building’s existence. “Every other day,” Case said, “I learned something new.” —Mark Waller



Hullabaloo Frank Chalaron (A&S ’33), Clinton Arnold, Bruno Stolley (E ’30), Gladys Matthews (NC ’29) and C.A. Allenburger (A&S ’33) are on the Tulane University cover. This 1929 image “shows that Newcomb and Tulane have stood sideby-side throughout the history of the university.”

HEALTHIER BUT NOT RICHER A study sponsored by the Newcomb College Institute shows that women in New Orleans during the post-Katrina recovery are healthier but losing financial ground.

More women hold local elective offices, have college degrees and own their own businesses in post-Katrina New Orleans, but many of the city’s economic gains have left women behind, according to a new Tulane report, funded by the Newcomb College Institute, on the status of women in the area since the storm. “What stood out to me is that the status of women in New Orleans today is both better and worse than prior to Katrina,” said study author Mirya Holman, assistant professor of political science. “Health outcomes are better, educational attainment is up, more women are running for and winning seats in local politics. But, at the same time, women’s income has not improved at the rate of men’s income.” The key findings: • Among full-time workers, women’s median income ($36,367) is 79 percent of men’s median income ($45,934). • Women are healthier today than pre-Katrina. Mortality rates have declined and access to health services has increased, except those providing reproductive health care. • 49 percent of locally elected offices are now held by women compared to 24 percent in the decade before the storm. • The rate of college education among women had increased significantly since Katrina, from 23 percent of women with a college education or above in 2005 to 32 percent in 2014. —Keith Brannon



Status Change


Gallery ‘Phytoplankton: A Studio in the Woods’

WATER ART In Phytoplankton: A Studio in the Woods (pictured), PIPPIN FRISBIE-CALDER, a graduate student in printmaking in the Newcomb Art Department at Tulane, accomplishes the goal of intertwining the worlds of science and art. Completed through a combined process of pen-and-ink, screenprinting and watercolor, Frisbie-Calder succeeds at uncovering the realm in which microscopic marine plants from the wetlands of Louisiana dwell. Phytoplankton is a spherical presentation, allowing viewers to observe what a scientist would see under the circular lens of a microscope. Frisbie-Calder said the process to obtain the microorganisms was quite challenging. Samples were collected from nearby lakes, bayous and ponds and taken to a lab for a magnified view. “I didn’t know much about these organisms prior to this project,” she said. “I’ll be honest, I still need help identifying many that I chose to draw. This is partially my artistic take on what I was seeing as well as a distinct lack of resources available around Louisiana’s freshwater microbes. I used my artistic license to condense many of these organisms collected from different images.” The microorganisms pictured came from the same body of water, giving a regional specificity to the artwork.

“Each organism has amazingly different life forms,” she wrote in a blog post at the height of the 2015 project. “It’s like watching a sci-fi movie unfold before you with whirling flagella and undulating cilia.” With help from Tim McLean, a professor of practice in the Tulane Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, FrisbieCalder retrieved water samples containing the microorganisms using a phytoplankton net specifically designed to capture tiny organisms in its fine mesh. McLean and Frisbie-Calder’s pairing was not accidental. Phytoplankton is one of several works by Frisbie-Calder to come from a six-week-long “Flint and Steel” residency at A Studio in the Woods, an artists’ retreat and learning center. A Studio in the Woods is a component of the new ByWater Institute (see stories on page 6 and 14). A Studio in the Woods is located on the Mississippi River bank in a bottomland hardwood forest within New Orleans city limits. The goal of the residency is to pair artists and Tulane faculty members so that they may inspire each other, excite the public and ignite social change. “Flint and Steel” refers to sparking cross-disciplinary combustion through these collaborations. —ALICIA DUPLESSIS JASMIN

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In Your Own Words Lena Rollenhagen

IN YOUR OWN WORDS is a space in Tulane magazine for recent graduates to express how their Tulane education opened up the world to them. Lena Rollenhagen graduated cum laude from the School of Liberal Arts with a major in English in 2016. A former student of creative writing professor Thomas Beller, Rollenhagen now lives in Bear Lake, Michigan. When I first heard about Tulane, I had been in college for one semester, and I hated it. It took me approximately two weeks to realize I made a huge mistake in my choice of school, but in my defense, the great majority of American universities have excellent marketing teams. Online, every college looks fantastic. Study abroad programs with photos of impossibly happy students in front of the Eiffel Tower or the Parthenon, shots of stately libraries, a perfectly lit photo



of a sculpture on campus. Everywhere, smiling students. Who wouldn’t want to be there? Having been deceived once by exaggerated marketing, I was leery when I discovered Tulane. On paper, it seemed to make up for what my current college was lacking. Everything I read about the school emphasized its commitment to the New Orleans community, the sincerity of its students and the talented faculty. The school looked perfect, but I was convinced it would fall short of its advertising. Well, they weren’t lying. In fact, I have to give them considerable credit for how accurate their statements were. It’s difficult to convey what exactly makes Tulane so unique—it’s so much more than the New Orleans location and beautiful campus. It’s the professors, who simultaneously challenged and supported me, pushed me to think deeper, yet treated me with a great deal of respect. It’s the

symbiotic relationship between Tulane and the city of New Orleans, which taught me what a rewarding experience helping your community can be. Previously, I thought of “community service” as just something to put on a college application. Yet, my tenure as a debate coach at Ben Franklin Middle School was one of the most gratifying parts of my time at Tulane. I learned that when you are involved in a community, you become part of that community, and there is no better place to be a part of than New Orleans. Although I have graduated, I haven’t really left Tulane. The ambition, compassion and invaluable relationships with friends and professors I have gained through Tulane will stay with me. So, thank you, Tulane marketing team, for convincing me to take one more chance. You may have slightly oversold the Bruff food, but over the years, even that grew on me. —LENA ROLLENHAGEN

WOMEN’S HOOPS Head coach Lisa Stockton is in her 23rd season at the helm of the Tulane women’s basketball program for the 2016-17 campaign. At the beginning of the season, her record at Tulane was 461-227 for a .670 winning percentage. Expect more wins this year.



Tulane University fans are seeing a familiar face this year as the “Angry Wave” returned to the Green Wave’s list of official marks in 2016-17. The “Angry Wave” is a secondary mark for the Green Wave, with the “T-Wave” remaining as the primary mark of Tulane Athletics. More than half a century ago, the “Angry Wave” was born and became one of the most visible marks of Tulane Athletics. Together for the first time with the “T-Wave,” the Green Wave now boasts one of the most unique sets of logos in collegiate athletics. The “Angry Wave” is displayed in prominent places such as uniforms, the official mark of the new Green Wave Club, on Tulane’s official website and social media accounts, and the mark will be visible in Tulane’s home venues. A two-story tall Angry Wave is currently under construction at Kern Studios in New Orleans. Once complete, it will sit atop the scoreboard at Yulman Stadium and provide an interactive experience for fans attending football games. The angry-looking wave or “Angry Wave” was adopted in 1964 and became the mainstay logo of the athletic department for 34 years. During that time various mascots depicting a Green Wave were used, primarily Gumby and eventually the present mascot, Riptide. —Roger Dunaway


Mad Wave

Making Progress Motivating Force Football head coach Willie Fritz, right, sends center Keyshawn McLeod (No. 53) onto the field against Wake Forest on Sept. 1, 2016.

WHAT’S OLD IS NEW The Angry Wave is back as a Green Wave symbol this year.

Tulane head football coach Willie Fritz has had some tough sledding in his first season with the Green Wave. At press time, the team was 3-6 and on a four-game losing streak. But a closer look at the outcomes of the games paints a different picture. Of those six losses, Tulane lost three by a touchdown or less and was competitive in those games all the way until the end. “There are no moral victories,” Fritz said after the loss to Southern Methodist University. “We’ve been in these games and had an opportunity to win, particularly in the fourth quarter. We just have to find a way to finish games. Where we are right now in our program, we don’t have a lot of room for error.” Fritz knows that success is measured in wins and losses, but in spite of what the records say, he knows the team is making progress toward the goal of a winning program that is bowl-bound once more. “We’re going to get this program turned around. We are,” Fritz said. Fritz says he is getting acclimated to New Orleans and excited about being a part of Tulane, adding both are the key to recruiting the players he needs to get the football program to where he wants it to be. “People have great pride in being from New Orleans—I’ve never met anyone from New Orleans who doesn’t love it,” Fritz said. “And Tulane is an unbelievable academic Institution. We’re trying to sell those two things: It’s a great city and an opportunity to acquire a world-class education.”—Ryan Rivet

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On the


By Leslie Cardé

Waterfront View The River and Coastal Center (with white roof) is located at a Mississippi River wharf with a view of the Crescent City Connection Bridge and river traffic.

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“There was a poignant silver lining to the catastrophe, not in an environmental sense, but in that it accelerated our efforts to move this project forward.” —Mike Blum, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, Eugenie Schwartz Professor of River and Coastal Studies and director of the ByWater Institute, on the Deepwater Horizon disaster

Amble just a stone’s throw downriver of Mardi Gras World, upriver of the Crescent City Connection Bridge, on the East Bank of the mighty Mississippi River in New Orleans, and you’ll note a sleek, modernistic grey building with water-retention gardens in front. Within the interestingly patterned walls of the new Tulane River and Coastal Center, remarkable things are happening: The crème de la crème of scientists are putting their heads together to solve the enormous problems of coastal restoration, in the wake of eroding wetlands and rising seas, in Louisiana. The River and Coastal Center is a new $5.5 million, 5,500-square-foot facility on the riverfront campus. The center is a component of the newly established ByWater Institute, bringing together researchers from across the university to address how to negotiate water’s peril and promise. “The idea [for a riverfront campus initiative] was hatched in the early 2000s,” said Mike Blum, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, Eugenie Schwartz Professor of River and Coastal Studies and director of the ByWater Institute, “when it was referred to as the RiverSphere Initiative, which envisioned a campus dedicated to merging the arts with science and engineering. But Katrina waylaid the project for many years.” As the city recovered from the 2005 Katrina flooding, momentum for the riverfront initiative slowly picked up steam. Efforts shifted to address promising opportunities for economic development in the region, with an initial focus on establishing a test facility for river turbine technology for hydroelectric energy production. But the initiative pivoted to focus on coastal protection and restoration to support implementation of the Louisiana State Master Plan in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the nation’s worst offshore oil spill, in 2010. “This one disaster—the largest marine oil spill in history—reshaped everyone’s priorities,” said Blum. “It emphasized and brought to light the need for coastal protection. There was a poignant silver lining to the catastrophe, not in an environmental sense, but in that it accelerated our efforts to move this project forward.” On Sept. 14, 2016, the Tulane River and Coastal Center was dedicated. [See News, page 6.] The complex includes state-of-the-art laboratories, large-scale conference rooms, office space and an enormous warehouse next door. Much of Blum’s own scientific work focuses on health risks that can arise following disasters. He is currently leading a team studying how responses to Katrina-related flooding have influenced rodent-borne disease risk in New Orleans. From intensive rodent trapping throughout the city, Blum and his colleagues are finding that rat populations track abandonment, as opposed to human population density, and that abandonment tracks recovery (or the lack thereof) since the storm. For many, rats are an unwelcome feature of city living, but Blum’s team is more concerned about the pathogens carried by rats, like leptospira, which can result in a bacterial infection that causes organ failure and death if left untreated. As a signature program of the ByWater Institute, this work is highlighting how storms like Katrina don’t just destroy coastlines. The attendant trauma can invite a host of unexpected consequences years to decades afterward. DIVERSION TECHNIQUES On another front, ameliorating coastal erosion is the prime concern of Mead Allison, professor of earth and environmental sciences. “The proximity [of the center] to the river is all-important,” said Allison, who has a joint appointment with The Water Institute of the Gulf in Baton Rouge. “It’s a staging area with boats and a launching facility, and we can get right out onto the river and adjacent delta to examine how to best redeposit sediment though diversion or sand-mining and long-distance pipeline techniques. The sediment so vital to keeping wetlands intact was straitjacketed beginning in the late 1920s, when the federal flood protection levees were built along the river.”



Research Friendly The Tulane River and Coastal Center features a water-retention garden, conference rooms, labs and office space for researchers to move easily from fieldwork to the lab to



OIL DISPERSANTS Another vital element in protecting the coast involves tackling the eventuality of another petroleum industry disaster. Kyriakos Papadopoulos, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, believes that methods of cleanup must be more environmentally friendly to the very fragile ecosystem, already in crisis. “The primary goal is to disperse the oil as quickly as possible,” said Papadopoulos. “Dispersants are a mixture of various surfactants, which come in all shapes and sizes. Some are harmless, like the ones contained in the food we eat, or the ones we brush our teeth or wash our hair with. But those harmless surfactants, like lecithin, are less effective in oil cleanups. The current state-of-the-art surfactant is a compound called Corexit, used by BP to clean up the gulf oil spill. But according to many, it contains molecules that are definitely toxic.” Corexit has not been fully tested for human and environmental safety, said Papadopoulos. And BP poured 1.8 million gallons of Corexit onto the gulf’s surface. Papadopoulos’ particular study is designed to quantify how crude oil that is trapped in sands and sediments mobilizes in the presence of key surfactants. He’s working in conjunction with Eni, Italy’s oil company, to test surfactants that have been modified to specifications based on what works under strict laboratory conditions. “Optimally,” he said, “we’d like to find a surfactant with the efficacy of a Corexit, minus the nasty side effects.” Papadopoulos added, “It’s important to build bridges with oil companies to solve problems, rather than have adversarial relationships.”


The river diversions that Allison and his colleagues are assessing will involve creating holes in levees downstream of New Orleans. The holes would allow silt through a series of stringently managed gates. They are also currently examining sandbars that line the shallows of the river’s channel that can serve as an additional source for marsh creation and barrier island restoration through dredging and pipeline placement. But redepositing sediment is only one part of the equation to restore the shrinking coastline, which buffers New Orleans and coastal communities from the devastating effects of storms.

Engaged Scholarship Mike Blum is the focus of attention as he talks to local media about the center’s priorities—the environment, energy and resilience.

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COASTAL GRASSES HOLDING ON Much funding for research projects is coming from damage settlements imposed by the courts on BP, relative to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. And most everyone who followed the aftermath of the 2010 oil spill is aware of the toll it took on birds and fishes, including crabs, pelicans and other living creatures. But oil spills do more than compromise sea life. The very plants and coastal grasses that are the framework holding the marshy deltaic land together are severely compromised by manmade gluts of petroleum. Sunshine Van Bael, assistant professor of ecology and environmental biology, said that oil exacerbates erosion, a problem already of primary concern to the region. “Spartina, the grass species we study, was negatively impacted by the spill,” she said. “We found that the fungi that interact with the plants were severely reduced in oiled areas, and the root bacteria had changed drastically in terms of composition. The area was already vulnerable from subsidence exacerbated by oil exploration. And then the wetland plants holding the soil together were damaged by the oil spill.” In her research, Van Bael and her colleagues are trying to make wetland plants more resilient by inoculating them with bacteria and fungi that promote growth. “Along with grasses, we’re in the beginning stages of inoculating our bald cypress seed and seedling population,” said Van Bael, “since many trees are suffering from saltwater intrusion. With sea-level rise and a lack of oxygen to the roots of these trees, we’re trying to understand what sea-level rise will mean for the long-term prognosis for all of these soil-holding arboreal entities.”



ICE AGES NO MORE To understand how we came to the scientific conundrum we face today requires venturing back in time, and looking at just how the delta was formed, beginning around 7,000 years ago. It was the early part of the Holocene Age, the geological epoch subsequent to the Pleistocene Age, when glaciers retreated, signaling the end of the last ice age. Torbjörn Törnqvist, Vokes Geology Professor and chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, is an expert in the Quaternary Era (the last 2 million years), comprising the Pleistocene and Holocene epochs, and thus including the present. He studies the ramifications of melting ice sheets on rising sea levels, figuring out what’s happening now and in the future, based on what happened in the past. “The melting of the Laurentide Ice Sheet that covered much of North America caused sea levels to rise very quickly,” said Törnqvist. “When it had disappeared, sea-level rise slowed down, and the delta started forming. “The interval between ice ages is about 100,000 years, and climate change is tied into all of this. Ice ages are driven by changes in the Earth’s orbit around the sun, which happen very slowly over enormous amounts of time. Therefore, climate change ebbs and flows with the cyclical nature of the progression and receding of the ice ages. But this is key: We’ve seen sea-level rise increase very rapidly in the last 100 years.” What’s important here is that until some 100 years ago, the delta was still growing. Then levees were built to armor the Mississippi River to prevent flooding. These levees stopped sedimentation across the wide delta plain and, consequently, sediments that once sustained delta wetlands instead flowed offshore. And it is this sedimentation that is

Grass Barriers Booms of absorbent fabric are used, along with dispersant, to soak up and contain oil in a marsh near Venice, Louisiana, after a spill.

Land Building Sand is dredged and pumped onto the beach to try and expand Isle Grande Terre, a barrier island east of Grand Isle, Louisiana.



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necessary to offset land subsidence that continues unabated. The digging of canals for navigation and energy exploration, like the much-maligned (and now closed) Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, aggravated land loss by contributing to erosion, subsidence and saltwater intrusion. But land loss is not a one-sided problem. There is also sea-level rise. What then has been leading to sea-level rise? The rapid increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, in particular carbon dioxide, is a major factor in present-day sea-level rise, said Törnqvist. “We’ve created this issue by the combustion of carbonbased fuels, principally coal, oil and natural gas. “You cannot put 400 parts per million of CO2 into the atmosphere, and then expect to have another ice age. So, the temperature will keep rising, Antarctica will keep melting, and sea-level rise will continue to accelerate, resulting in coastlines drowning.” Törnqvist’s research involves studying core samples extracted by drilling down up to 80 feet underneath the Mississippi Delta. His work is determining the rate of sea-level rise during the rapid retreat of the Laurentide Ice Sheet some 8,000 to 10,000 years ago, to help better understand and predict melting of ice in Antarctica in the next centuries. TAKING ACTION The new Tulane ByWater Institute is also turning to historians to understand issues of coastal living in this era of climate change. Andy Horowitz, assistant professor of history, is the author of How to Sink New Orleans: Katrina’s History, America’s Tragedy, 1915–2015 (forthcoming, Harvard University Press). He said that the number of naysayers regarding climate change seems to be shrinking. “Whether you have a sophisticated understanding of the science behind climate change as the cause of rising sea levels, no one is denying that the water is here, or that it’s getting warmer. We have become realists in terms of climate change,” said Horowitz. “The harsh reality is that with rising sea levels, coastal erosion and climate change, no one should be without flood insurance.” New flood maps issued this year by FEMA, the administrator of the National Flood Insurance Program, may result in lower flood insurance premiums for some people in New Orleans. That’s because of a $15 billion hurricane protection system installed around New Orleans since Katrina. “But it’s a thorny issue,” said Horowitz. The lower flood insurance rates may “encourage people to rebuild in areas that are not safe.” Instead, “we should be making smart decisions about where we live,” said Horowitz. “The citizens of Louisiana are tired of being resilient. ... They want action that will protect them from harm in the first place.” Action is where the ByWater Institute can step in, said Mike Blum, the institute’s director. The confluent factors challenging Louisiana mandate that the best minds come together to solve problems. “This is about the translation of research into application,” said Blum. “Of equal interest is telling the story of the river to our neighbors and accentuating the immediacy of the problem. When you’re losing a football field of land an hour [which Louisiana has been doing for decades], the coast is indeed disappearing.” Blum added, “We’ve had a 150-year run behind us, but we won’t have 150 years ahead of us to debate scientific certainties. Fishermen can see the loss on a day-to-day basis. We’re talking Plaquemines, St. Bernard, LaFourche, Terrebonne, Jefferson and Orleans parishes, all being threatened.” It’s the age-old question of jobs and the economy in the shortterm versus the long-term survival of an ecology that supports those very economies. “Look,” said Mead Allison, the sediment diversion expert, “you might be catching a redfish here today, but if we create river diversions necessary to rebuild the coastline, your redfish [later] may be someplace else. And you don’t want to move to catch them. But out in



the not-too-distant future, if we don’t do anything, and we destroy the wetlands, the redfish are going to be gone, altogether. The [statistical] models tell us what’s going to happen if we don’t do anything, and the future scenarios are pretty bleak, if indeed we do nothing.” A GLOBAL ISSUE The dynamics of deltaic regions are similar around the world, said Allison, who has studied the Amazon, Ganges and Mekong deltas as well as the Mississippi. “The Mekong [in Southeast Asia] is the Mississippi 50 years ago,” he said. “Dams are being built everywhere, primarily by China, reducing sediment and affecting shrimp and rice farmers. When you alter the basin, someone suffers. And while we’re in the hurricane zone, they’re in the typhoon belt, in the southern part of Vietnam on the Mekong delta. So, the similarities are staggering. In developing nations, they have real needs to feed their people, but if you build dams and change the dynamics of water supply, will the salinity then ruin the rice fields?” The ByWater Institute and its River and Coastal Center will serve as a hub to bring global experts together to address these questions. “Scientists can say a lot,” said Van Bael, “but if no one is listening, and no one is changing their behavior, then the future is not promising.” Törnqvist echoes Van Bael’s comments and emphasizes the necessity of taking immediate action. “It’s not going to be pretty,” said Törnqvist. “We won’t be around to


see it, but our kids and certainly our kids’ kids will. We’re not talking about five to 10 generations down the line. I think by the end of the century New Orleans will still exist, but not in the form that we know it. And by the end of the next century, New Orleans, if it remains at all, will not be where it is today.” As far as greenhouse gas emissions that cause the warming of the atmosphere, Törnqvist said, “It’s certainly conceivable that we’ve already crossed thresholds that make the problem irreversible. But it doesn’t mean we can’t slow it down, nor should we stop working on the problem. Sadly, no one’s been listening for the last few decades, when most of the damage was done.” For Papadopoulos, it’s too painful to imagine a world without New Orleans. “I’m from Greece, yet I have put all of my stock in this city. It has generated culture and exported food and art. So much flows economically from this region by way of the Mississippi River. If we make no immediate effort to fix things, I don’t want to imagine it. Losing this area would be a great loss to the world.” “You have to pick your battles,” added Van Bael, “and this is a battle worth fighting.” Perhaps Blum said it best: “Scientists have long believed that business as usual will not be enough to sustain our future, nor will simply doing more research. Prudent and well-supported actions need to be taken with growing urgency.”

Straight Cuts Saltwater intrudes and land disappears along the Louisiana coast. The linear canals were dug for access for oil and gas extraction.

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Living With




The rhythms and resources of water define Louisiana and New Orleans. Even our sense of direction comes from the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain. Who knows where north and south, east and west are? It’s the lake or river side of streets by which we pinpoint our way. But water is also often hidden in New Orleans, pumped out as fast as possible after a storm. It’s visible only at the lakefront or on the riverbank and in the ribbon of Bayou St. John. The threat of a flood of water often scares New Orleanians. But to survive and prosper we need to embrace the promise of water while recognizing and managing the perils it presents. “The entire coast, including everything that New Orleans sits on, was built by the Mississippi River,” said Mark Davis, senior research fellow at Tulane Law School and director of the Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law & Policy. “And the land was largely built during times of high water when the river would leave its channel, spread out over the shallow waters and the lowlands. And it would start dropping out sediment, sand and silt.” For a hundred years now, we’ve walled the river away behind levees—and we’ve enshrined this protection in law and policy, said Davis. But now maybe it’s time to rebalance our use of water. DUTCH DIALOGUES After Hurricane Katrina, John Klingman, Favrot Professor of Architecture, became part of a group that connected with consultants from the Netherlands who offered their expertise on how to live with water. The Dutch, after all, have been living harmoniously with lots of water for thousands of years. Ironically, in the early 1900s Dutch engineers had come to New Orleans to learn about the Wood Screw Pump designed by A. Baldwin Wood, who graduated from Tulane with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in 1899. The Dutch took this technology back to the Netherlands, and New Orleans continues to use Wood’s invention to pump rainwater out of city streets. In 2006, a series of workshops called the Dutch Dialogues began, spearheaded by New Orleans architect David Waggonner. Dutch consultants—hydrologists, civil engineers, landscape architects and urban designers—brought new ideas to New Orleans, including proposing the installation of “wet” canals throughout the city. Wet canals are continuously flowing urban amenities, like Amsterdam’s, as opposed to New Orleans’ system of “dry” canals that hold water only after rainstorms and are considered eyesores and dangerous by the public. Klingman has presented the concepts initiated in the Dutch Dialogue charrettes as a challenge to his architecture students. Since 2009, in an ongoing series of upper-level

Raised Up Irises surround a house built on stilts in Pilot Town, Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. Buildings high above the ground are common sights in low-lying coastal areas.

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Imagined and Real Left: Duncan Plaza and City Hall Annex in downtown New Orleans are reimagined in a Water Studio project by architecture student Buie Fox. Right, top: At the corner of Forshey and Monroe streets, a rain garden has the capacity to store 47,470 gallons of water. Right, bottom: The Hollygrove Greenline com-

architecture Water Studios, Tulane students have designed projects that expand upon these ideas, treating water flowing through the city as a positive rather than a negative. The long-term goal of the architecture Water Studios is to “change people’s perception of what’s possible,” said Klingman. This involves making water visible on sites, storing rainwater and utilizing water in dramatic and environmentally sustainable ways in and on buildings. He tells his students that while these water infrastructure concerns seem specific to New Orleans, “they’re actually issues that you may well address wherever you end up.” Cities around the country—Miami, New York, Boston and others—and throughout the world are dealing with sinking land, increasingly intense rain events and sea-level rise.

munity gathering spot, adjacent to the rain garden, entices a dogwalker and pedestrian soon after the pavilion’s colorful sails were installed in November 2016.


RAIN GARDENS Among his outreach activities, Klingman contributed to the 2013 Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan. Public officials have embraced the plan, and it includes projects to demonstrate how to handle torrential downpours.


For example, five rain gardens have been built in the city on public land in the past few years. They catch rainwater and allow it to stay around for a day or two after a storm and then slowly, naturally drain. The gardens relieve the city’s pumping system and collect water that might flood streets. The aim is to slow land subsidence through recharging groundwater. “What happens in New Orleans is that our soil under the city is mostly clay and organic matter, which when it dries out, compresses. Then oxygen gets into the organic matter, and microorganisms literally eat it,” said Klingman. Parts of the city have subsided by as much as 5 feet in the last century since the drainage system was put in place. The Dutch advised that New Orleans should do what they do— keep the water table as high as possible. And that’s where rain gardens come in. MOSQUITO CONTROL Of course, standing water on an open lot provokes another fear for New Orleanians—that this is a place for mosquitoes to breed. While the last outbreak of yellow fever in the United States occurred in 1905 in New Orleans, the species of mosquito that transmits yellow fever (as well as dengue, chikungunya and Zika fever viruses)—Aedes aegypti—is still around. Aedes aegypti has even been making a comeback in population in New Orleans because of hotter, drier weather, which can be associated with climate change.

But, “the danger associated with mosquitoes is not high if you don’t have a pathogen that they’re transmitting in your environment,” said Dawn Wesson, associate professor of tropical medicine in the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She’s on the board of the Louisiana Mosquito Control Association, which closely monitors mosquitoes infected with the yellow fever family of viruses as well as West Nile virus, which is usually transmitted by another species of mosquito—the southern house mosquito. In her research, Wesson is investigating ways to suppress mosquitoes through control traps to capture female mosquitoes near the end of their life cycle after they’ve ingested a few “blood meals” and when they are most likely to transmit disease, if they are infected themselves. (The Aedes aegypti mosquito needs meals of human blood to thrive. Hence, they bite us.) As a practical matter, though, the primary action that an individual person can take to protect against mosquitoes breeding is to empty out standing water in containers, like coolers and saucers for potted plants, in yards. And wear mosquito repellent. “Mosquitoes don’t exist in running water or in water that’s choppy,” said Wesson. Adding a bubbler or a few mosquito fish to fountains and frequently cleaning birdbaths also prevents mosquitoes from surviving. Sarah Michaels, who graduated from the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in 1999 with a master’s degree, is an entomologist for the New Orleans Mosquito Control Board. She’s also a doctoral student working under Wesson’s mentorship. It’s Michaels’ job to spread the word to New Orleanians about the importance of emptying and removing containers of standing water. She also supervises a surveillance program that detects changes in mosquito populations and tests pools of mosquitoes for viruses. Mosquito larvae can hatch in as little as a teaspoon of water, if left undisturbed for about a week. Items such as old tires discarded and left outside are fertile grounds for mosquito breeding, said Michaels. Michaels has long been interested in the historical aspects of yellow fever in New Orleans and how it’s shaped the city’s history.” It’s a fantastic place to study that,” she said. “You’ll still find Aedes aegypti mosquitoes breeding in urns in front of yellow fever victims’ graves in Lafayette Cemetery No. 1.” Through an Environmental Protection Agency Urban Waters Grant, Michaels and her staff have been inspecting the city’s new rain gardens to find out if there has been an increase in mosquito abundance associated with their construction. For two and a half years, they’ve collected data. “We haven’t seen an increase in mosquitoes relative to the rain gardens,” said Michaels. “They’re pretty similar to the neighborhood around them.” THE PLEASURE OF WATER One of the new rain gardens is at the Hollygrove Greenline, a small community gathering spot at the site of a former railroad corridor at the corner of Forshey and Monroe streets, designed by architecture professor Judith Kinnard, who holds the Harvey-Wadsworth Chair of Landscape Urbanism, and professor of practice Irene Keil. “One of the things you discover about low-income neighborhoods in this city is that they have little tree canopy,” said Kinnard. “This is because the lots are smaller and the houses closer together, but also because the city hasn’t invested in the public amenity of tree-lined streets. Providing a shaded neighborhood path was a primary goal.” With a grant from the Sewerage and Water Board, Keil and Kinnard proposed a water-collecting shade structure on the site that also would provide educational content on water issues. “We wanted to give the neighborhood a center, a place to sit and enjoy the garden,” said Keil. Inspired by baroque European gardens, the architects imagined the pavilion as a machine that allows and facilitates engagement with

water. They wanted the water to be playful, useful and educational and designed a series of concrete elements to catch and display rainwater: A long bench coupled with a trough distributes water cascading from a low table receptacle and disperses it through scuppers to the water garden behind. An L-shaped concrete wall acts as a gate but also catches water and channels it to a storage tank behind. Cuts in the slab allow water to drain and be channeled to two rain gardens at the low-lying areas of the site. Fabric sails overhead provide shade and add color and movement to the structure. “This little pavilion is not only useful for the community but also adds value and beauty to the neighborhood,” said Keil. CHANGING LOUISIANA Life is certainly going on in Louisiana—but maybe not the way it’s been before. Land loss in Louisiana is accelerating. The state of Louisiana is in the process of rewriting its Master Plan for Coastal Protection and Hurricane Protection for 2017. The last plan was in 2012. With this new plan, Louisiana is adopting the view “of most climate scientists that global warming is moving at a much faster pace than officials assumed when writing the 2012 plan,” wrote Mark Schleifstein in the Times-Piayune/Nola.com on Oct. 23, 2016. “As a result, state officials now predict a higher rate of ‘relative sea-level rise’—the combination of rising Gulf water and subsiding coastal lands—over the next 50 years.” The leaders of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority have proposed projects to reduce predicted land loss, including wetlands and land restoration projects, building and raising levees, surge walls and floodgates, and raising—in some cases 18 feet or higher—or relocating homes and businesses threatened by surges and sea-level rise. The fact is, said Davis of the Institute on Water, “Louisiana is not sustainable exactly as we know it today. There are parts that are not going to be with us in the future, just as there were parts where nobody lived a hundred years ago.” Whatever your doubts about climate change, Davis said, “if your insurance company thinks it’s an issue, you should think it’s an issue.” Financial and property insurance companies are calculating risks. And before writing policies, they are going to start asking if insured people are managing for climate change. “You do that by doing things that are otherwise smart to do,” said Davis. “You build higher. You build out of places that you know have historically taken water. You use building materials that are resilient such as Sheetrock that is mold-resistant.” The city of New Orleans proper is now protected from hurricane storm surge and river flooding by an impressive array of levees and pumps. These fortifications include new floodgates and pumping stations built at the cost of $14.5 billion by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers since Katrina. RAIN EVERYWHERE But there is still a good chance of rain. The Great Louisiana Flood of 2016 was a reminder that a more everyday threat than a hurricane or the river overflowing is a summer thunderstorm. The rainstorm that began Aug. 12 inundated a swath of the southern third of Louisiana with as much as 2 feet of rain within 48 hours, impacting more than 100,000 homes. “Rain produces more floods and broader floods than anything else,” said Davis. And such severe, intense rain can happen anywhere—from Las Vegas to Long Island, the Carolinas to California. Everyone should have federal flood insurance, said Davis. A single rain event cannot be tied to global warming. But many models of climate change predict that extreme weather events—storms, rain events and droughts—will become more severe, said Davis. “And you should probably prepare for that.”

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In the autumn of 1820, John James Audubon left Cincinnati and headed toward Louisiana, following the great southern migration of birds down the Mississippi River flyway. His journey, part of his effort to create a mammoth pictorial survey called The Birds of America, acknowledged a central reality. Like any skilled observer of the natural world, Audubon knew that the life of birds is inextricably linked to the presence of water. That idea has informed the careers of Tulane faculty members Tom Sherry and Donata Henry, who were recently recognized for their efforts in conservation by the Louisiana Ornithological Society. During its April meeting in Cameron, Louisiana, the society presented Sherry with its highest honor, the George H. Lowery Award, for his work studying the ecology and conservation of various migrating birds, including the Swainson’s warbler, the American swallow-tailed kite and the American redstart. Henry was one of three recipients of the LOS President’s Award for her conservation research, which includes the creation of the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survival (MAPS) station at the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area. The station recruits local residents and students to help with research activities such as bird banding. YARD BIRD LIST OF 155 SPECIES For Sherry, acting chair of Tulane’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, the connection between Louisiana’s varied bird life and its abundant water features is clear. “Besides Louisiana with all its wetlands supporting some of the biggest and most diverse populations of water birds—wading Caretakers birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, etc.—the Biology professors Mississippi River is also a major flyway for Tom Sherry and birds in the fall and spring, probably because it Donata Henry marvel provides such an obvious, conspicuous northat the diversity of birds south landscape feature,” Sherry said. “We see in Audubon Park in fantastic migratory bird populations in the fall uptown New Orleans. and spring, anywhere near the river. That’s Formerly a student of one reason why my yard bird list has so many Sherry’s, Henry is now different species on it.” his colleague.

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“Water, in all its forms, shapes and provides habitat for a rich diversity of birds, from ruby-throated hummingbirds to bald eagles.” —Donata Henry, G ’05, senior professor of practice in ecology and evolutionary biology

Mississippi Flyway Migratory birds like the swallow-tailed kite, red-breasted nuthatch, cedar waxwing and downy woodpecker flock to Louisiana in the fall and spring, lured by river waters.



Sherry has spotted 155 species of birds at the Algiers, Louisiana, home he shares with his wife and fellow scientist, Tracey Werner Sherry, who has taught classes on hummingbirds to high schoolers as part of the Tulane Scholars Program. “My backyard is full of bird feeders, which I keep filled all season except summer,” Sherry said. “I have several sunflower seed feeders, which are heavily attended by Carolina chickadees, tufted titmice, downy woodpeckers, cardinals, blue jays, pine warblers and, during winter, by goldfinches, house finches, redbreasted nuthatches, and occasionally pine siskins. However, the big attractions in my yard are the hummingbird plants and hummingbird feeders. My wife—I help—keeps five to 15 feeders going all winter in our yard, and as a result we have lots of hummingbirds all winter, including last winter at least eight buff-bellied hummingbirds, a record for one yard in the winter in Louisiana.” Sherry’s interest in birds started early. “My dad had a pair of binoculars—World War II vintage binocs, not ideal for birding, but they worked—and I spent summers in the Adirondack Mountains of northern New York, so I developed an interest in all kinds of natural history, in part to entertain myself,” Sherry recalled. “I was interested in snakes, frogs, plants, fishing, all kinds of things as a kid, and I loved the thrill of discovering new critters. I started paying more attention to birds with the binoculars somewhere around my late junior high or early high school years, and tracked them down to learn their songs and learn how to ID the common ones. A retired high school teacher in White Plains, New York, where I spent most of the year, found out about my interest in birds and nurtured this interest, inviting me to help her catch birds using mist nets in her yard.” Sherry was hooked, eventually completing two degrees and a postdoc in biology at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and a doctorate in ecology from the University of California–Los Angeles, studying tropical birds, before joining Tulane’s faculty in 1989. He’s published just shy of 100 scholarly journal articles and book chapters on the ecology and conservation of birds. And the young man who embraced ornithology after connecting with a teacher has, in turn, nudged many others to take up studying birds, too.


STUDY FOR A LIFETIME One student of Sherry’s was Henry, who earned a PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology from Tulane in 2005 and now works in Sherry’s department as a senior professor of practice. Henry’s Natural History of Louisiana class, which she developed for science and nonscience majors alike, has become a popular course on campus. In fact, she wasn’t able to accept her LOS award in person because she was leading her students that day on a field trip. Henry said she developed the course so students “could deepen their appreciation of nature and develop skills in observing, describing, identifying, asking questions about, and studying native flora and fauna.” Henry said she’s consistently impressed by how much her students change over the course of a semester. “A student once told me, ‘This class has made me realize that I need to stop walking around with my headphones on!’ It’s like a whole new world opens up all around them—one that was there all along,” she added. “People are definitely becoming more removed from nature, for obvious reasons, but they can easily be brought back—and I’d say most of them really value the opportunity.” Henry’s familiarity with the landscape of Louisiana began in childhood. “I grew up in uptown New Orleans as a nature-loving kid, in a family that had an appreciation for, but no background in, biology,” she recalled. “So I climbed trees, and encountered a lot of birds there— mostly inquisitive blue jays. I did not develop any expertise until I was in college, went on a guided bird walk in a local forest, and was stunned by the beauty and diversity of warblers. Who knew there were all these jewels in the trees?” Inspired, Henry studied birds in the Brazilian rain forest, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Ohio and the Yukon, among other places. “I finally realized that I knew very little about the birds back home, and so returned to Louisiana and joined Dr. Sherry’s lab so I could pursue questions about Louisiana birds,” she said. From her home in Abita Springs, Louisiana, Henry sees plenty of birds. But even in the city—even in the middle of Tulane’s campus —an observant birder can find lots of treasures, too, according to Henry. “On campus we are surrounded by a shifting community of




beautiful birds that we rarely even notice,” she said. “Very common species on campus include birds that are here year-round, like downy woodpecker, Carolina chickadee, blue jay, northern mockingbird, and red-shouldered hawk; species that are only here in the winter, like orange-crowned warbler, yellow-rumped warbler, blueheaded vireo, eastern phoebe, ruby-crowned kinglet, cedar waxwing, and peregrine falcon; species that arrive for the summer, like chimney swifts and Mississippi kites, and invasive species like house sparrows, European starlings, and house finches. During migration season an incredible diversity of birds can be encountered on campus—the list is extensive and includes real gems, like brightly colored tanagers and warblers. “Our proximity to Audubon Park also means we can encounter various wading and water birds, although their populations have declined in recent years while black-bellied whistling ducks have absolutely taken over the park in the wintertime,” Henry said. “Bald eagles that nest across the river are also not an uncommon sighting soaring over campus. Tulane would be an even better place for birds if we could limit the feral cat population and window strikes—birds stunned or killed when they fly into large glass windows.” Not surprisingly, in and around Tulane, a city rich in birds is also rich in water. “Water is everything in Louisiana,” Henry said. “It built us up and it wears us away. … Water, in all its forms, shapes and provides habitat for a rich diversity of birds, from ruby-throated hummingbirds to bald eagles.” As pollution and development imperil some of the water that sustains Louisiana birds, Sherry and Henry have worries about the creatures they study, but they are never bored. Birds, being “largely diurnal, fairly easy to observe and monitor, fascinating in their behavior, and responsive to environmental change,” said Henry, “make them ideal study subjects for a lifetime.” Danny Heitman, a columnist for The Advocate newspaper and a frequent contributor to national publications, is the author of A Summer of Birds: John James Audubon at Oakley House.

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L LIVING HISTORY In her new book City of Remembering: A History of Genealogy in New Orleans, Susan Tucker (NC ’71) explores a community of family historians. N TTucker has over 30 years of experience working as an archivist and incorporates oral history interviews, ethnographic fieldwork and archival research in her newest work. h



Road Trips

Note Worthy



Musical Mission Stephen Brackett, left, of the Flobots and Andrew Ward rehearse before the 2015 HAMPEntusi music festival in Uganda.

SCHOLAR SPEAKERS Tania Tetlow, chief of staff and vice president, is taking part in the Tulane Alumni Academy lecture program.


When Andrew Ward (G ’06, L ’16) talks about the “New Orleans model,” he isn’t talking about hurricanes. He means the enthusiasm with which New Orleanians gather for music. Ward used that model to put together a free music festival in Uganda that also helps hundreds of people get tested for HIV. More than 100 musicians promoted HIV prevention and awareness at the third annual HIV Awareness Music Project-Entusi in Lira and Kabale, Uganda, in September. About 7 percent of Ugandans are HIV positive, and social stigma often prevents them from getting treatment. Ward, who graduated from Tulane University with a doctorate in international development, wondered whether a public health outreach might work within a musical agenda. “It was a natural fit,” Ward said, citing Ugandans’ musical traditions and their use of music to share information and to motivate. “We said, ‘Let’s use the New Orleans model of international development,’ but you might as well just call it the ‘Uganda model of international development,’ because they already use music in this way.” The festival’s message was clear: Know your HIV status. Of the 26,000 attendees, more than 5,000 were tested. Those who received a positive HIV test were connected to counseling and medical services. Ward, who is also the media and public policy manager for Odyssey House Louisiana, hopes to apply some of the lessons learned in Uganda to public health outreaches in New Orleans. As festival chairman, he oversees logistics, research, music programming and the medical setup in partnership with Denver’s Global Livingston Institute. His reputation is wider than that. “On the ground, they gave me a wonderful name in the dialect of Ruchiga,” he said, “ ‘Mutamba Irungu.’ It means ‘breaker of boredom.’”—Faith Dawson

Geographer/author Richard Campanella, business professor Peter Ricchiuti, President Emeritus Scott Cowen, and director of the Newcomb Art Museum Mónica RamírezMontagut are just a few of the Tulane faculty and staff who will be traveling the country again this year to speak to alumni under a scholars series program developed by the Tulane Alumni Association. Last year’s speaker series proved so popular that the association decided to rebrand it as the Tulane Alumni Academy—coined by current TAA president Larry Connelley (TC ’97)—and TAA hopes to schedule 20 to 25 events for the coming year. “The response from our alumni was overwhelmingly positive, so this year we are putting a ton of effort into making this one of the TAA’s signature offerings,” said James Stofan, vice president for alumni relations. “We can’t thank our faculty, our deans, President Fitts and the entire Tulane community enough for their enthusiasm and support.” New participants for this year include chief of staff and vice president Tania Tetlow, dean of libraries David Banush, political science professor Brian Brox and law professor Sally Richardson. “I’ve been involved with the TAA as a club leader and board member for almost seven years now, and alumni I meet are always talking about how they wish they could return to campus and hear a faculty lecture or presentation,” said Connelley. “With the alumni academy program we’re going to bring that experience to them.” To find an upcoming event near you, please visit the alumni event calendar at alumni.tulane.edu/events.—Will Burdette

Dispatch Bobbie Malone W H E R E

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1940s In 2015, the Rudolph Matas Library of the Health Sciences acquired documents from GERALD N. WEISS (A&S ’43, M ’45) commemorating the 70th anniversary of his graduation from the Tulane University School of Medicine, which coincided with the end of World War II, on Aug. 14, 1945. 1960s GARY J. MANNINA (A&S ’63, G ’72) is an officer of the Emeritus Club at Tulane and a board member of the Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle-Orléans.

Breazeale, Sachse and Wilson, L.L.P. announced that 26 of their lawyers were named in the 2017 edition of Best Lawyers in America, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. PAUL M. HEBERT JR. (A&S ’67), CLAUDE F. REYNAUD JR. (L ’77) and SCOTT N. HENSGENS (L ’97) were honored from the firm’s Baton Rouge location. ALAN H. GOODMAN (A&S ’67), THOMAS M. BENJAMIN (L ’87), RICHARD G. PASSLER (L ’91) and JOSEPH R. HUGG (L ’07) were named from the New Orleans office. ARTHUR WRIGHT (A&S ’68) and ANDY FLINT (L ’89) were among 122 attorneys at the law firm of Thompson & Knight LLP who were recognized in the 2017 edition of Best Lawyers in America. Wright specializes in energy law, natural resources law, and oil and gas law, while Flint focuses on banking and finance law. Miss Ella of Commander’s Palace, a new memoir based on the life of the restaurant’s visionary matriarch Ella Brennan, was co-authored by her daughter TI ADELAIDE MARTIN (B ’84). The book delves into Brennan’s mark on the food industry and her place in New Orleans history. The chapters are complemented by line drawings provided by illustrator TIM TRAPOLIN (A&S ’69), who is also known for his work gracing the menus and walls of Brennan family restaurants. He also previously illustrated Martin’s book In The Land of Cocktails.

1970s LAURA KRAUSS MELMED (G ’70) published her 20th picture book for children. Illustrated by Jing Jing Tsong and published by Beach Lane Books, Before We Met tells the story of a mother’s hopes and dreams while waiting for her baby to be born. RANDOLPH HOWES (G ’71, M ’71) has published the innovative new book Cancer Killing, Suppression & Protection: The Howes Answer to Cancer. He has published 26 academic books and nine science fiction novels since 2010.


BRENDA SEABROOKE (NC ’63) will have her children’s book Scones and Bones on Baker Street: Sherlock’s (Maybe) Dog and the Dirt Dilemma published by Belanger Books. Described as a fun mystery for young readers, the book tells the story of Digby, a dog with a nose for clues who teams up with the world’s greatest detective.

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES Long before budding wizards matriculated at the Hogwarts School or fourth-grade pranksters created their own superhero named Captain Underpants, Lois Lenski drew fiction from everyday lives. Lenski, who lived from 1893–1974, wrote dozens of novels, picture books and memoirs that captured details of growing up in rural areas around the United States. Inspired by an enduring childhood love of Lenski’s books, author and historian Bobbie Malone (NC ’75, G ’79, ’90, ’94) has published Lois Lenski: Storycatcher (University of Oklahoma Press), a biography. In it, Malone brings together vivid scenes from Lenski’s books, the author’s own letters, lectures and other materials, and memories from those who knew her. Lenski, whose titles include Bayou Suzette, Blue Ridge Billy and the Newbery Award– winning Strawberry Girl, was able to capture small but significant moments of childhoods spent on the fringe, Malone said. The author sought to find and tell stories of subsistence living, rural lifestyles, immigrant experiences, pain and poverty. “Part of why I wrote it was just to find out why, of all the things I read as a child, those stuck with me the most,” Malone said. “More impressive than anything, when I first opened Strawberry Girl, which was the first one I read, is that everybody didn’t look happy. They looked like they were struggling. It was very real to me.” Lenski often conducted original research that included corresponding with children and visiting and working at the locations she wrote about, including Louisiana. “She describes herself as being very shy and a fantastic observer in her own memoirs,” Malone said. As an example, “she spent more time observing her little sister playing dolls with her best friend than she spent playing dolls herself.” It resulted in the books’ “strong sense of documentary expression,” according to Storycatcher. Malone started working on the book after she retired from the Wisconsin Historical Society. Lenski and her family were very private, she said, and Lenski’s papers were archived at 18 institutions around the country, but Malone found many people, including family members, eager to share warm remembrances of the author and her place in children’s literature. Even today, Lenski’s work resonates because of its humanity. “Realizing that these kids led such profoundly different lives than kids in Connecticut”—where the author lived in an 18th-century farmhouse—“just made a tremendous impression on her,” Malone said. “She wanted to understand their experiences and validate their lives.” —FAITH DAWSON

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Dispatch Jennifer Grotz

Howes also invented the triple lumen catheter, which is credited with helping to save the lives of over 20 million critically ill patients worldwide. JAMES R. BRUCE (G ’74) received the 2016 Bicycling Advocate of the Year Award in recognition of his outstanding leadership and support for bicycling in Conway, Arkansas. Bruce retired in 2004 from Hendrix College, where he served as chair of the Department of Sociology/Anthropology and as head of the social science area. Bruce serves on the city of Conway Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board and on the board of directors for the Conway Advocates for Bicycling. A longtime advocate for infant mental health, CAROL MOLLOHAN (PHTM ’73) contributed to the formation of the West Virginia Infant/Toddler Mental Health Association. Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC announced that PHILIP I. FRANKEL (A&S ’74) and GREGORY J. MCDONALD (A&S ’91) were recognized in the 2016 Upstate New York Super Lawyers list. Super Lawyers magazine lists New York’s top lawyers who have been chosen by their peers and through the independent research of Law & Politics magazine.


BOB WARREN (A&S ’76) has been appointed as assistant professor in the business studies department at Delgado Community College in New Orleans.

POETRY IN MOTION Honored as this year’s Florie Gale Arons Poet, Jennifer Grotz (NC ’93) got the chance to revisit her roots at Tulane University in September. “I feel like I became a poet here,” said Grotz. A professor of English at the University of Rochester, Grotz has written three books of poetry and has been published in The New Yorker, Poetry and The New Republic. She is also known for her French and Polish translation work. “I translated a book of contemporary psalms by Patrice de La Tour du Pin from French, and I also recently published a novel that I translated from French by Tunisian-born writer Hubert Haddad,” said Grotz. Grotz also received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to collaborate on a translation of a collection of poems by Polish writer Jerzy Ficowski. “I always find inspiration from reading in French and Polish traditions, but my new book of poetry was largely influenced by spending time at this former Franciscan monastery in the Alps,” said Grotz. Grotz’s work flourished at an annual writer’s retreat there in the Alpes-Maritimes region of France. She spent a month there every summer over a six-year period. “I was deeply inspired there, and the landscape became a kind of vocabulary for my poetry. It’s like the Garden of Eden in a way,” said Grotz. At an event organized by Newcomb College Institute, Grotz read selections from Window Left Open, the collection influenced by her summer sojourns. Grotz described the event as a full-circle experience, as she reminisced about attending many poetry readings as a Tulane student. During her visit, Grotz also attended a community-writing workshop and discussed poetry with professor of English Peter Cooley and his students. "Poetry is a wonderfully human expression," she added. "It’s this fusion of thinking and feeling that is so powerful. The world needs poetry; there’s never been a society or culture or language without it.” —MARY CROSS



C. TED ORIHEL (A&S ’78, B ’80) retired as a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. During his 36-year career there, Orihel worked in the New Orleans and Houston offices. He and his wife, Liz, currently reside in Cypress, Texas.

1980s STACI ROSENBERG (NC ’80, L ’83, B ’84), a commercial real estate attorney and founder of the Krewe of Muses, will receive Tulane Hillel’s third annual Big Pastrami Award, which recognizes leaders in the city of New Orleans who have made an impact on the community. Rosenberg also serves on the boards of the Contemporary Arts Center and Prospect New Orleans. After 34 years of service, MARILYN RICHARDSON (B ’81) retired as a finance operations manager from the city of New Orleans Bureau of Revenue. Her future involves traveling, writing books and enjoying the good life. ANGELA O’BYRNE (A ’83) is president of Perez, APC, a 75-year-old international architecture firm headquartered in New Orleans. O’Byrne has acquired 30 years of experience in design and management with a background in multiunit housing, hospitality, recreation, master planning, historic renovations, education, government buildings, LEED-certified projects, military construction and more. JOSE R. COT (A&S ’85, L ’88) co-edited the book Cuba: A Legal Guide to Business, published by

SOLAR SETUP Robert Hodes (A&S ’77) and his wife, Anna Elizabeth, launched a tour business, New TourLeans, in October. Tour guests travel via their unique, solar-paneled vehicle, which can fit up to four passengers and two guides for sightseeing trips to New Orleans museums and historic sites.


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Thomson Reuters. Cot also wrote a chapter on maritime law in Cuba. He continues to practice law with Hurley & Cot, APLC in New Orleans, specializing in maritime and insurance defense litigation.

GREGORY HERMAN-GIDDENS (L ’88) celebrated the 20th anniversary of his trust, estate and tax law firm TrustCounsel with an expansion into a new office located in Miami. Herman-Giddens has practiced law in Florida since 1992.

valuation assignments and mergers and acquisitions. He also volunteers at the Tennessee chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth and at Manna House and is a member of the Ronald McDonald House Red Shoe Society.

MARGARET SAER BEER (B ’86) is the director of community relations for IberiaBank’s New Orleans market. Beer previously worked as the marketing director for the LaPorte Sehrt Romig Hand accounting firm. She serves on the executive board for Idea Village and is a task force member of The Edible Schoolyard. Beer is also a development committee member for Tulane Catholic Center.

JOHN BLAIR (G ’89) won the 2015 Iowa Poetry Prize for his book Playful Song Called Beautiful. Blair’s work has appeared in literary journals like Poetry, the New York Quarterly, the Sewanee Review, the Antioch Review and New Letters. He is a professor of American literature and directs the undergraduate creative writing program at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.

FRANK DICRISTINA (E ’93) works as the site manager of Allnex USA, a leading global resins company. Celebrating 75 years of operation in October 2016, the Wallingford, Connecticut, plant is committed to creating resins that can be used in sustainable products.

THOMAS M. FLANAGAN (L ’89) has been chosen as a “Benchmark Litigation Star” in Louisiana for 2017. Benchmark Litigation focuses on leading litigation attorneys and firms in the United States, Canada and Mexico. ARTHUR LLOYD HENSLEY (A&S ’88) retired on Aug. 1, 2016, as a captain in the U.S. Navy after 28 years of service. Hensley currently serves as senior vice president of Gulf-inland operations for Marquette Transportation in New Orleans. He has been married to LAUREN HEISLER HENSLEY (NC ’88) since 1989 and has three daughters and a granddaughter.

1990s JODI JACOBS AAMODT (L ’92) is a partner with the law firm of Jacobs Manuel Kain and Aamodt and a former law clerk to Hon. Robin M. Giarrusso. Aamodt currently serves on the board of the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) New Orleans Charter School and is a previous board chair. She has also served on numerous boards throughout Greater New Orleans including Temple Sinai, Dress for Success and others. WESLEY GRACE (B ’92) has joined SEACAP Financial as a managing partner. Grace has nearly 25 years of experience serving businesses and financial institutions in capital raising,



In September, representatives from the School of Science and Engineering, Tulane Alumni Association, and the Society of Tulane Engineers (STE) signed a memorandum of understanding that designated STE as a special interest group to be affiliated with the alumni association. As a special interest group, STE receives benefits and services from the Office of Alumni Relations. Founded in 1951, STE is the official alumni group that serves as a connection between Tulane graduates and the School of Science and Engineering. It hosts events such as the annual Tulane Engineering Forum. Left: STE president David Gereighty and Tulane vice president for alumni relations James Stofan (seated) sign the memorandum as Nicholas Altiero, dean of the School of Science and Engineering, and STE vice president Nicholas Musmeci look on.

In November 2015, MOLLY FRANZ EVANS (E ’93) was elected to a four-year term as director for the Monterey seat on the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District. She and her husband of 20 years, WILLIAM EVANS (E ’96), reside in Monterey, California. JOHN MACAULAY OLIVER (TC ’94) published a book of poems entitled The Mercury Road with Leaky Boot Press in the United Kingdom. ISABEL GONZALEZ WHITAKER (NC ’94) is deputy editor of Billboard Magazine, where she oversees features and cover stories on music stars and notables like Lady Gaga and Marc Jacobs. For the publication, she has secured exclusive contributions from Hillary Clinton and interviewed Vice President Joe Biden. This year, she was inducted into the inaugural class of New York City’s 92Y Women in Power Fellowship. RYAN E. DAVIS (TC ’96) was honored for a third time as a 2016 Legal Elite attorney by Florida Trend magazine. The “Legal Elite” designation represents the top 2 percent of the Florida Bar’s 67,000 members who practice in the

ALUMNI: TELL US YOUR NEWS! Share your professional achievements, awards and honors, and other milestones with Tulane magazine for the Tulanians / Where Y’At section of an upcoming issue. It’s easy! Submit the form at http://alumni.tulane.edu/yournews

T U L A N E MAGA Z I N E D E C E M B E R 20 1 6


Bobby Boudreau Award Reuben Friedman

spring 2016, Feike launched the Little Cultural Explorers Program, an after-school enrichment program at Louise S. McGehee School. She recently participated in a panel sponsored by the U.S. Department of State on rebuilding communities post-disaster. As chief executive officer of Kingsley House, KEITH LIEDERMAN (G ’03) oversees nationally accredited and state-certified programs focused on early intervention and prevention, like Early Head Start and child welfare resources. Liederman serves on the Child Welfare League of America’s board of directors and is also board chair of the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations. MATT COLEMAN (UC ’04) and his wife, Noelle, welcomed their daughter, Sloane Campbell Coleman, on July 9, 2016. The newborn weighed 9 pounds, 8 ounces, and was 19 inches long. Both baby and Mom are home and doing great. The Coleman family resides in New York.


A doctoral student at the University of Georgia School of Social Work, TENESHA LITTLETON (NC ’04) has received the 2016-17 Doctoral Scholars Program Award, a highly competitive fellowship from the Southern Regional Education Board.

A native New Orleanian, Reuben Friedman’s (A&S ’68, L ’71) dedication and devotion to Tulane University earned him the Bobby Boudreau Spirit Award for 2016. A longtime supporter of Tulane athletics, Friedman is well known for his annual essay on the state of the Green Wave football team. Friedman has cheered on Tulane football since the 1950s and has held season tickets since 1970. An outstanding student while at Tulane, Friedman went onto pursue a legal career in San Francisco and New Orleans. Today, he and his wife, Marlene Glazer Friedman, live in New Orleans with their basset hound. The Tulane Alumni Association bestows the Bobby Boudreau Spirit Award annually to the person or organization that best represents the “Roll Wave” spirit.

state. Davis practices in creditors’ rights and bankruptcy law, including Chapter 11 reorganizations and Chapter 7 liquidations.

director of finance for Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots, and their two children, Eva and Henry.

A realtor with Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers, ALISON VULGAMORE WISNOM (NC ’96) is a featured agent on the HGTV show Hawaii Life. Wisnom appeared on the show in seasons 3, 4 and 6 and in additional episodes in fall 2016.

SCOTT M. POWERS (G ’98, ’02) is an associate professor of French at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. In April, Purdue University Press published his book Confronting Evil: The Psychology of Secularization in Modern French Literature.

EVAN DARNELL (B ’98) opened Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen with celebrity chef Carla Hall in Brooklyn, New York, in June 2016. The restaurant was named one of the “top 12 most exciting concepts to open in the world in 2016” by Bloomberg Business.

2000s Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder appointed ALEXIS G. KROT (B ’00) as judge of the 31st Judicial District Court in Hamtramck, Michigan. Krot started her term in August 2016.

ALYSIA KRAVITZ LOSHBAUGH (NC ’00, PHTM ’01, B ’11) has been named assistant provost for finance and operations at Tulane University. She resides in New Orleans with her husband, CAREY LOSHBAUGH (B ’98), who is the senior

MEREDITH FEIKE (NC ’01), a clinical associate professor at Tulane’s Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy and a Newcomb Fellow, accepted the office of president-elect for the Tulane University Women’s Association. In



The fall 2016 issue of New Orleans Home and Lifestyles magazine recently honored JULIE BABIN (A ’06) as a master of architecture. Babin lives in New Orleans. On July 30, 2016, KATHARINE MODISETT LANDER (NC ’06) and KEVIN LANDER (LA ’07) wecomed their daughter Evelyn Helene Lyons Lander, who weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces, and was 21 1/2 inches long. Evelyn is also the niece of DENALI LANDER (NC ’09). The family lives in Washington, D.C., where Katharine is a critical care physician and Kevin works for JP Morgan Chase.

KEY TO SCHOOLS SLA (School of Liberal Arts) SSE (School of Science and Engineering) A (School of Architecture) B (A. B. Freeman School of Business) L (Law School) M (School of Medicine) SW (School of Social Work) PHTM (School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine) SCS (School of Continuing Studies) A&S (College of Arts & Sciences, the men’s liberal arts and sciences college that existed until 1994) TC (The College of Arts & Sciences changed its name to Tulane College in 1994 and existed until 2006) NC (Newcomb College. Women liberal arts and sciences students graduated from Newcomb College until 2006) E (School of Engineering) G (Graduate School) UC (University College, the school for part-time adult learners. The college’s name was changed to the School of Continuing Studies in 2006.)


Drusilla Tudury (NC ’35) of New Orleans on July 12, 2016.

Duncan M. Gray Jr. (E ’48) of Jackson, Mississippi, on July 15, 2016.

Glenn B. Ruffin (M ’52) of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on July 17, 2016.

Elaine Levy Herold (NC ’37) of Bethesda, Maryland, on Aug. 4, 2016.

Marion C. Grillot (E ’48, ’49) of New Orleans on July 2, 2016.

Laura Cadien Young (NC ’52, G ’83) of Metairie, Louisiana, on Feb. 25, 2016.

Nadene Denison Hunter (G ’40, M ’44) of Dansville, New York, on Sept. 12, 2016.

Emily Hunter Perkins (NC ’48) of Bowling Green, Kentucky, on Sept. 12, 2016.

Betty Patton Burke (SW ’53) of San Antonio on July 29, 2016.

Malroy E. Mayley (B ’40) of New Orleans on July 18, 2016.

Jack L. Turner (M ’48) of Fort Worth, Texas, on July 31, 2016.

Joyce Gilthorpe Perez (NC ’53) of Metairie, Louisiana, on July 17, 2016.

Joseph A. Polack (E ’41) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Aug. 17, 2016.

Frank A. Bell Jr. (E ’49) of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, on May 23, 2016.

Harry V. Hobbs (A&S ’54) of Lady Lake, Florida, on July 19, 2016.

Lloyd J. Fremaux (B ’42) of Spanish Fort, Alabama, on July 14, 2016.

Ronald B. Cowart (E ’49) of Pensacola, Florida, on March 17, 2016.

Harold J. Shea Jr. (A&S ’54) of Mandeville, Louisiana, on July 7, 2016.

Ruth Goldman Asher (NC ’43) of Metairie, Louisiana, on Aug. 12, 2016.

Savare J. DeFelice Sr. (A&S ’49) of Belle Chasse, Louisiana, on July 29, 2016.

Franklin Sogandares (A&S ’54) of Dallas on July 27, 2016.

Julian P. Brignac (B ’43, L ’48) of Mandeville, Louisiana, on Sept. 7, 2016.

Rubie Crosby Bell (SW ’50) of San Antonio on Sept. 22, 2016.

Jacque Segall Caplan (B ’55) of Boyce, Louisiana, on July 30, 2016.

Arthur D. Hertzberg (A&S ’43, M ’45) of Destin, Florida, on June 9, 2016.

Gene T. Blakely (A&S ’50, M ’54) of Hendersonville, North Carolina, on July 20, 2016.

Jack G. Carinhas Jr. (A&S ’55, L ’57) of Port Isabel, Texas, on July 10, 2016.

Louis J. LeCarpentier (E ’43) of Kenner, Louisiana, on Aug. 11, 2016.

Val F. Borum (M ’50) of Fort Worth, Texas, on Sept. 17, 2016.

William R. Fagan (B ’55) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Aug. 17, 2016.

Rose Rabenovitz Yuspeh (B ’43) of Germantown, Tennessee, on July 26, 2016.

Arcelio Ducreux (B ’50) of Panama City, Panama, on Sept. 28, 2015.

Charles R. Pittman (E ’55) of New Orleans on June 22, 2016.

Herbert M. Perr (M ’44) of South Setauket, New York, on Nov. 7, 2015.

Ann Sartain Emmett (NC ’50) of New Orleans on Sept. 8, 2016.

John M. Vaughan (E ’55) of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, on June 24, 2016.

A.L. Sarpy (B ’44, L ’45) of New Orleans on June 22, 2016.

Donald J. Bowen (E ’51) of Springfield, Virginia, on Aug. 1, 2016.

James W. Bledsoe (M ’56) of Alachua, Florida, on July 29, 2016.

William R. Smolkin (A&S ’44) of Asheville, North Carolina, on July 27, 2016.

Joseph L. Hannah (A&S ’51) of Sacramento, California, on July 17, 2016.

Joseph J. Buvel (A&S ’56) of Collingswood, New Jersey, on Aug. 2, 2016.

Ethelyn Koch Gebrowsky (NC ’45, G ’58) of Frederick, Maryland, on Aug. 7, 2016.

James F. Pinner Sr. (B ’51, L ’54) of Metairie, Louisiana, on Sept. 9, 2016.

Harriet Smither Nicholson (NC ’56) of Vero Beach, Florida, on Sept. 8, 2016.

Harriet Williams (NC ’45) of New Orleans on Aug. 7, 2016.

Frederick W. Frey Jr. (G ’52, ’54) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on July 17, 2016.

C.M. Smart Jr. (A ’56) of Fayetteville, Arkansas, on Aug. 9, 2016.

Marilyn Wagner Middleton (NC ’46, M ’50) of New Orleans on Aug. 13, 2016.

Erwin R. Johnson (E ’52) of Wynantskill, New York, on Aug. 17, 2016.

B.J. Chauvin Jr. (B ’57) of New Orleans on Aug. 22, 2016.

Nancy Wilkins Dolph (NC ’47) of Dallas on July 11, 2016.

William B. Luciano Jr. (B ’52) of Ballwin, Missouri, on Aug. 13, 2016.

William A. Lighter III (B ’57) of Clearwater, Florida, on July 29, 2016.

J.F. Muller Jr. (A&S ’47) of Diamondhead, Mississippi, on Aug. 30, 2016.

Josephine Ramos Nicaud (NC ’52) of Montrose, Alabama, on July 7, 2016.

Rachael Lafranz Plaisance (NC ’57) of Metairie, Louisiana, on Aug. 23, 2016.

Richard G. Davis (A&S ’48, G ’49) of San Jose, California, on Sept. 12, 2016.

Henry W. Post (M ’52) of Lexington, Kentucky, on Sept. 10, 2016.

Betty White Adams (NC ’58) of Greenville, Mississippi, on Aug. 31, 2016.

T U L A N E MAGA Z I N E D E C E M B E R 20 1 6


WORDS AND MUSIC Joseph Larry Simmons, professor emeritus of English, died in West Monroe, Louisiana, on Sept. 7, 2016. A celebrated scholar of English literature and author of Shakespeare’s Pagan World: The Roman Tragedies, Simmons was also an accomplished pianist and organist.


Donald L. Chalmers (A&S ’58) of Austin, Texas, on July 24, 2016.

Shelton E. Hendricks II (A&S ’63, G ’66, ’67) of Omaha, Nebraska, on Aug. 22, 2016.

Laura Kaufman Myrick (NC ’70, G ’71) of Dallas on July 7, 2016.

William J. Cone (A&S ’58) of Johnson City, Tennessee, on July 24, 2016.

Marilyn Cohen Krachmer (NC ’63) of Iowa City, Iowa, on Sept. 10, 2016.

Glen M. Robinson III (G ’70) of Stillwater, Minnesota, on Sept. 18, 2016.

James W. Finley (E ’58) of Lafayette, Louisiana, on Sept. 19, 2016.

Barbara Male McGovern (G ’63) of North Haven, Connecticut, on Aug. 13, 2016.

William L. Wells (A&S ’70, G ’71, M ’77) of New Orleans on Sept. 2, 2016.

Edward J. Foss (E ’58) of New Orleans on July 15, 2016.

Diana Dymond Earhart (NC ’64) of New Orleans on June 27, 2016.

Harvey R. Brooks (G ’71) of New Orleans on June 26, 2016.

Clarence E. McManus (B ’58, L ’61) of Metairie, Louisiana, on Sept. 22, 2016.

Ira D. Richards (G ’64) of Benton, Arkansas, on July 10, 2016.

Charles L. Campbell (G ’71) of Lafayette, Louisiana, on Sept. 13, 2016.

Trelles Tidmore (A&S ’58) of Slidell, Louisiana, on Sept. 18, 2016.

Walter W. Rowe (SW ’64) of Waco, Texas, on Aug. 11, 2016.

Rebecca Porterfield Gober (G ’71) of Tallahassee, Florida, on Aug. 17, 2016.

James W. Blount (UC ’59) of Magnolia, Texas, on Sept. 16, 2016.

Thomas M. Willard (G ’64) of Lakeland, Florida, on Aug. 24, 2016.

James G. Kambur (L ’71) of New Orleans on July 2, 2016.

Charles H. Fohn (M ’59) of Houston on Dec. 31, 2015.

Neill W. Connah (G ’65) of Atlanta on Aug. 28, 2016.

John C. Anderson (PHTM ’72) of Columbus, Georgia, on Sept. 8, 2016.

Lind Minard Schrader (NC ’59) of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, on Aug. 21, 2016.

Lloyd L. Keller (UC ’65) of Madison, Mississippi, on June 27, 2016.

Harry E. Rollings III (G ’72) of Grafton, Wisconsin, on Sept. 4, 2016.

Zenji Tanaka (M ’59) of Portsmouth, Virginia, on Aug. 1, 2016.

R.O. Plater (G ’65, ’69) of New Orleans on Aug. 6, 2016.

Cornelis Williams (SW ’73, L ’81) of Long Beach, California, on Aug. 23, 2016.

John S. Huff (G ’60) of Prescott, Arizona, on July 7, 2016.

Matthew A. Stephenson (G ’65) of Spartanburg, South Carolina, on Aug. 9, 2016.

Louis J. Charles (G ’74) of New Orleans on July 17, 2016.

Ulrich Knolle (L ’60) of Offenbach am Main, Germany, on July 16, 2016.

William R. Alford Jr. (L ’66) of Covington, Louisiana, on Aug. 5, 2016.

Manfredo E. Giaccio (G ’74) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on June 27, 2016.

Tatiana Marinovich Taylor (NC ’60) of Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Sept. 5, 2016.

Brian M. Kutash (B ’66) of Normal, Illinois, on July 3, 2016.

John P. Hess III (M ’74) of St. Louis on Sept. 14, 2016.

Louis H. Watson (A&S ’60) of Jackson, Mississippi, on Aug. 8, 2016.

Howard J. Smith Jr. (A&S ’66, L ’68) of New Orleans on July 20, 2016.

Bryan S. McGinnis (A&S ’74) of San Antonio on July 4, 2016.

Duncan de Puech Parham (A&S ’61) of Highlands, North Carolina, on July 29, 2016.

Nancy Stewart Walters (NC ’67) of McQueeney, Texas, on Sept. 17, 2016.

Linda Heller Webb (SW ’74) of Fairfield, Ohio, on Sept. 13, 2016.

James E. Toups Jr. (A&S ’61) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Aug. 10, 2016.

Victoria Milliken Buccino (NC ’68, UC ’80) of Kenner, Louisiana, on Aug. 6, 2016.

Sarah Ducey Brown (SW ’75) of New Orleans on Aug. 30, 2016.

Judy Reeves Hubbell (NC ’62) of Houston on June 22, 2016.

Mina Coleman McKee (NC ’68) of Thibodaux, Louisiana, on July 17, 2016.

John L. Dupre (A&S ’75, M ’79) of San Francisco on Sept. 15, 2016.

Guy E. Knolle Jr. (M ’62) of Lakeway, Texas, on Aug. 30, 2016.

Lawrence W. Gilbert (E ’69, ’80) of New Orleans on Aug. 13, 2016.

Sal J. Giardina Jr. (L ’75) of LaPlace, Louisiana, on Aug. 19, 2016.

William Norris III (L ’62) of West Monroe, Louisiana, on July 13, 2016.

Karen Seligman Katz (NC ’69) of Monroe, Louisiana, on July 28, 2016.

Miriam Labbok (M ’75, PHTM ’75) of Pittsboro, North Carolina, on Aug. 13, 2016.

Leonard R. Harrington (SW ’63) of New Orleans on Jan. 19, 2016.

Rafael Martinez-O’Ferral (B ’70) of Cheverly, Maryland, on July 14, 2016.

Daniel J. Blackman (L ’76) of West Palm Beach, Florida, on Oct. 17, 2014.



Elizabeth Jan Trimble Jablonski (NC ’76) of Bethesda, Maryland, on July 18, 2016. George D. England (M ’77) of Grand Rapids, Michigan, on July 25, 2016. Nolan R. Fine (A&S ’77) of Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Sept. 3, 2016. Wade R. Edwards (A&S ’78) of Concord, Massachusetts, on July 4, 2016. Mardelle Stutheit Schwenke (G ’78) of Santa Maria, California, on Aug. 20, 2016. Judy Spellman Brisco (G ’79) of New Orleans on July 24, 2016. G.H. Han (A ’79) of Los Angeles on Aug. 13, 2016. Walter L. Peck (UC ’80) of New Orleans on Aug. 22, 2016. Suzanne Benton Perret (SW ’81) of Loranger, Louisiana, on July 19, 2016. Matthew C. Patteson (A&S ’82) of Houston on July 22, 2016. Mary Brazier (G ’85, ’86) of New Orleans on July 16, 2016. Richmond F. Brown (G ’86, ’93) of Gainesville, Florida, on Sept. 20, 2016. Rickey R. Hudson (L ’86) of Spring, Texas, on Sept. 4, 2014. Ronald D. Morris (B ’88) of Muskogee, Oklahoma, on July 21, 2016. Beth Schmidt (PHTM ’92) of New Orleans on June 16, 2016. Jamie Bulken-Hoover (E ’97) of Gig Harbor, Washington, on July 13, 2016. Jaime Declement (NC ’99) of Meriden, Connecticut, on July 8, 2016. Richard V. Massengale (UC ’99) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on July 22, 2016. Brad L. Lawson (E ’03) of Minneapolis on Dec. 21, 2015.

HER HEART’S DEVOTION Betty Field (NC ’60, G ’69, ’73) died in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on June 15, 2016. It is hard to imagine anyone who took the words from the Tulane Alma Mater more seriously than she did. “Take from us our heart’s devotion. Thine we are and thine shall be.” She loved everything about Tulane to such an extent that her friends often joked that her veins must flow with olive and blue. It was no surprise that at her funeral services, she was clothed in green and blue with flowers of the same color on her casket. It was only natural that the services ended with a resounding Hullabaloo and second-line. Love of Tulane was a family tradition. For many years, Betty’s aunt, Bea Field (NC ’28, G ’42), was a much beloved director of alumni. When Betty returned to New Orleans to begin her graduate studies, she lived with Bea in a house just steps away from campus. Betty’s devotion to Tulane athletics was legendary. She supported both the men’s and women’s teams, tutored players in academic difficulty and often traveled to out-of-town games with her sister and brother-in-law, Margaret (NC ’51) and the late Bobby Boudreau (B ’51, L ’53). Growing up in Lake Charles, Betty was a champion tennis player and taught tennis during summers at Camp Gulf Park in Long Beach, Mississippi. Through the years, her many Newcomb classmates who were campmates regaled all with tales of Betty at Camp Gulf Park. While a Newcomb College student, Betty spent her junior year in Hull, England. After graduation, Betty worked for Shell Oil Co. and the Louisiana Welfare Department and taught history at Lake Charles High School, her alma mater. Upon returning to Tulane, she earned both a MA and a PhD in history, and wrote her dissertation on Huey P. Long. Betty thrived on Louisiana politics. She was asked to assist with the research and writing of the “new” Louisiana Constitution and attended the Louisiana Constitutional Convention in 1973. Betty briefly taught at Tulane and spent the remainder of her career at the University of New Orleans. One of Louisiana’s leading Huey P. Long scholars, Betty turned her dissertation into a book, The Politics of the New Deal in Louisiana 1933–1939. A memorial has been established in Betty’s name in support of the Tulane women’s basketball team.


Tribute Betty Field

Tribute was written by Colleen Sullivan Ingraffia (NC ’60); Virginia Niehaus Roddy (NC ’60, L ’79), emeritus Board of Tulane member; and Martha Hatten Sullivan (NC ’60, G ’70), Tulane vice president for student affairs between 1979–2003.

T U L A N E MAGA Z I N E D E C E M B E R 20 1 6


MODEL INSTITUTION Tulane Hillel received a two-year grant to teach its model to other Hillel institutions. The center engages students in entrepreneurial programming that focuses on community issues. Participants design and implement their own programming. Tulane Hillel is based at the Goldie and Morris Mintz Center for Jewish Life.


Virginia “Ginny” Wise takes on the role of senior vice president of advancement. In this position, Wise will oversee all alumni relations and development. Wise was previously vice president of development, leadership giving. She was instrumental in developing fundraising strategies and new organizational designs of reunion giving, regional giving and principal gifts. “I am excited to assume this leadership position for a university that I am truly passionate about,” she said. Wise comes from a family with strong Tulane ties. In fact, her parents, Carol B. (NC ’51) and the late Richard M. Wise (A&S ’50), both then students at the university, met at a fraternity party. Given that fortuitous meeting, “I owe Tulane my life,” Wise joked. Her grandmother, sister and niece all have Tulane degrees. She added, “The momentum is palpable now with tremendous growth in engagement and giving over the past five years. Tulanians love this university, and it’s a joy to be in a role to help them maintain their connection to this special place.” A fifth-generation New Orleanian, Wise received a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College and a Master of Education from Harvard University Graduate School of Education. She previously served in several development leadership roles at Harvard, concluding her career there as executive director of university development and associate dean of the Harvard Divinity School. With Wise’s promotion, the university has renamed the Office of Advancement, formerly University Relations and Development.





Leader Named

Tulane Fans Support Law The eclectic décor at James “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.’s (L ’68) home on Audubon Place near the Tulane University campus reflects a broad appreciation of the world, from the photos of British royalty who’ve visited to the risqué Medusa sculpture from Venice. James Coleman Sr. (A&S ’35 L ’37), a lawyer-turned-businessman, celebrated successes by taking his four children abroad so they shared his enthusiasm for “understanding people with other ways of life,” said his son Jimmy. For years, Coleman Sr. hosted international students at his home. After he died in 2007, his family established the James J. Coleman Sr. Visiting Professorship in Law, which enables the law school to invite distinguished legal scholars from around the world to teach advanced short courses. Brothers Jimmy, Peter (L ’70) and Thomas Coleman recently doubled their gift for the professorship to $1 million. And to renew the tradition of student visits, Jimmy Coleman opened his home to the 2016 class of LLM and international students in August. At the event, Tulane President Michael Fitts called the university “unbelievably indebted” to the Coleman family. Coleman Sr. built International-Matex Tank Terminals into one of the world’s largest independent companies handling, storing and shipping bulk liquids such as petroleum, vegetable oils and chemicals. He also was involved in signature real estate developments and started the Coleman, Johnson, Artigues & Jurisich law firm. “We were raised to be Tulane fans from the beginning,” Peter Coleman said. “My dad was probably the truest of all Tulane fans.” —Linda P. Campbell

Worldly Appeal Tulane Law School dean David Meyer, left, speaks with alumni Jimmy Coleman, center, and Peter Coleman, right, at an event they hosted for international law students.


Ginny Wise, whose parents met at Tulane in the 1950s, is the university’s new senior vice president of advancement.

GULF SOUTH FOODWAYS PROGRAM A gift from Ashli Rosenthal Blumenfeld (NC ’03) and Todd Blumenfeld G (B ’03) established the Rosenthal Blumenfeld Research Endowed Fund at the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South S to support the exploration, documentation and study of the diverse food cultures of the Gulf South. This gift will empower Center for the Gulf South to cultivate a program that deepens understanding of the role of food in our lives, economy and environment and celebrates our region’s rich culinary traditions.


Grants Enhance Faculty Initiatives Faculty Funding


Walter Lee Murfee, left, and Bruce Bunnell of the Tulane School of Medicine were among the first faculty members to receive Carol Lavin Bernick Faculty Grants for research support.

Ninety-one members of the Tulane faculty received the inaugural Carol Lavin Bernick (NC ’74) Faculty Grants in the fall semester for their proposals in research, teaching or academic travel activities. In February, the Carol Lavin Bernick Family Foundation pledged $5 million to support Tulane’s faculty. The gift provides $1 million annually over the next five years for department and faculty needs in research, recruitment, development, continuing education and student engagement with grants to individual full-time faculty members up to $15,000. The 91 awarded grants totaled $685,858. The majority of awards were for research support, including bridge funding for scientists awaiting grants, money for research conference travel, funding for interdisciplinary faculty work groups and course/teaching support.

“The submissions ran the gamut of very diverse areas including basic laboratory research to creative expressions within the local community,” said Michael Cunningham, associate provost for graduate studies and research, who helped coordinate the selection process. “Overall, the faculty grants are assisting Tulane faculty to remain worldclass scholars.” Among the projects the grants will support are an interdisciplinary faculty work group for confronting the challenges of inequality and poverty, tissue engineering technology for use in breast reconstruction, and a new 360-degree course to be taught by a team of faculty from different disciplines and/or schools. The proposed course will address a high-level challenge from a cross-disciplinary perspective. —Roger Dunaway

“Overall the faculty grants are assisting Tulane faculty to remain world-class scholars.” —Michael Cunningham, associate provost for graduate studies and research T UL A N E MAGA Z I N E D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6


ANGUS LIND A 1966 graduate of Tulane, Angus Lind spent more than three decades as a columnist for The Times-Picayune.



War Stories by Angus Lind It snakes some four-tenths of a mile from the large avenue named for the first elected governor after Louisiana gained statehood in 1812, William Charles Cole Claiborne, to Willow Street, so named—hard to believe—for what was once a remote swampy area surrounded by weeping willows. Like other roadways and edifices on campus, Ben Weiner Drive is named for one of Tulane’s great benefactors. Weiner is a name well known by the older Green Wave community for his generous support and love for the athletic department and his alma mater. So it’s the perfect designation for a street where Greer Field at Turchin Stadium (baseball), Wilson Athletic Center (athletic offices), Yulman Stadium (football) and Hertz Center (basketball and volleyball practice facility) are located. Mr. Ben, or Ben, or Benny, as he was referred to, made his fortune in the furniture rental business, served as president of the Green Wave Club from 1974 to 1988, established the Ben Weiner Foundation and never missed a single Tulane home football game from 1924 through 1995, except for his years of military service. There’s no reason younger Tulanians, such as this year’s freshman class, could or should know all this, as they weren’t born when Weiner died in 1997. But his military service is where they might be able to relate to this fine gentleman, sportsman and raconteur. Like many people of his era, Weiner served two years in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He was part of the 466th Bomber Group. Stationed in Norwich, England, the group flew 232 missions and was involved with the first raid on Berlin. I met Ben Weiner in the 1960s, not surprisingly for those who know me, at the Fair Grounds Race Course. Weiner owned and raced thoroughbreds, some of them champions, such as stakes winners Bull Story and Orleans Doge. Our paths crossed through the years—again, no upset—and much, much later he invited me up to his suite at the Roosevelt/then Fairmont/ then Roosevelt again hotel, where he lived for more than half a century. We talked Tulane football, thoroughbred bloodlines and gambling. The outgoing Weiner had become the hotel’s glad-hand man and greeter because hotel owner Seymour Weiss was not fond of nightlife. Weiner reveled in it, claiming he went to the Blue Room “every night for 35 or 40 years.” Stars who performed there such as Jimmy Durante and bandleader Xavier Cugat were pals and regulars at Weiner’s gin rummy games in his room. Tulane’s younger students may have seen reruns or heard about the award-winning TV series “M*A*S*H” from their parents. Well, one of the stars was the scrounger Cpl. “Radar” O’Reilly, as played by Gary Burghoff. And that’s what Weiner was. He ran the officers’ club, and his chief duty was to scrounge booze, no easy task. The bombing strikes were traumatic, planes sometimes shot down, so





GOOD TIMES Ben Weiner Drive on the Tulane uptown campus is named after raconteur, bon vivant and faithful Green Wave fan, the late Ben Weiner (B ’30).

the commanding officer had instructed Sgt. Weiner to have all the liquor the troops wanted to drink when they returned from a raid. Weiner, calling this his favorite war story, said that one day he got a call from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s son, Elliott Roosevelt, who was the commanding officer of a unit stationed about 40 miles away from Weiner’s. “I understand you got some Irish whiskey,” Weiner recalled the commander saying. “I got some brandy and I know you don’t have any. So I’ll swap you as many cases as you can stuff in your car.” Weiner called that normal wartime horse-trading, even if it was the president’s son. Sgt. Weiner made the trip late in the day, so Roosevelt invited him in to have dinner. For dessert, bananas were served. This may sound dull, but Weiner explained that bananas were unheard of in wartime England. They couldn’t use the shipping space to get them in because of the war. Roosevelt wouldn’t divulge how he came by the bananas, but he offered Weiner as many as he could stuff into his trench coat, which is what Weiner did. When he got back to the officers’ club, he threw the bananas on the bar, where they were sliced up, fought over and devoured. A major asked for a whole one because he said he “missed bananas more than his wife.” Weiner recognized a great line and gave him one. A day later, the major asked for more because there was an appeal for bananas to fulfill a dying wish from a young British girl. The major still had his but was embarrassed to go with only one. Weiner went to the kitchen, made a fruit basket and crowned it with the lone banana. When the major pulled up to the girl’s house, there were a lot of high-ranking brass who had brought imitation bananas. When the major presented his basket to the girl, a picture was taken. That picture was eventually reproduced and used to symbolize the friendship between the U.S. and British forces. Weiner found the whole episode ironic. Why? It all happened because of him swapping whiskey, proving once again that life has more strange stories than you could ever make up.

THE CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITY Ensuring Tulane’s Excellence for Tomorrow :KLOH (QMR\LQJ %HQH¿WV 7RGD\ Setting up a gift annuity is easy. You transfer assets to Tulane, and in return, you or someone else you choose will ÀiVi Ûi wÝi` «>Þ i ÌÃ v À vi > Õ> Þ (or more frequently, if desired). Any amount remaining when the annuity ends then goes to Tulane. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HOW A TULANE UNIVERSITY GIFT ANNUITY COULD BENEFIT YOU GO TO GIFTPLANNING.TULANE.EDU P H O N E 8 0 0 .9 9 9. 0 18 1


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