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Tulanian T H E M AG A Z I N E O F

SPRING 2009

Crazy Kids in Love

The “Katrina Class” stays strong and loyal, come hell and high water.

Be true to your school. Tulane gear takes on special meaning for the class of 2009. Wearing a Tulane T-shirt at home proclaims, “No, the city’s not still under water.” While in school, students cheer on Green Wave teams and cavort with Riptide. Ask any member of the class, they’ll likely tell you that green is his or her favorite color.

T H E M AG A Z I N E O F T U L A N E U N I V E R S I T Y

hiddenTulane

TULANE UNIVERSITY

COMMENCEMENT 2009 The celebration that almost wasn’t.

ON THE ROAD TO WELLNESS Mobile medical unit brings health care to neighborhoods.

AGENTS OF CHANGE School of Science and Engineering mixes best of both worlds.

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Never Too Far FONTAINE MARTIN never let distance or work disrupt his support of Tulane University. He served as president of the Tulane Alumni Club of New York, president of the Tulane Alumni Association, and later as a member of Tulane’s Planned Gifts Advisory Committee. “He had a special feel for Tulane,” recalls his son Ted. “My mother and he both did.” After Fontaine’s wife, Lillian (NC ’38, G ’40), passed away in 1993, he honored his family’s relationship to Fontaine Martin (A&S ’34, L ’36) the university through the establishment of several gift annuities, which created the Lillian Galt Martin and Fontaine Martin Endowed Fund in support of Newcomb-Tulane College and Tulane Law School. When Fontaine died in 2007, part of his estate passed to a charitable remainder trust that will provide unrestricted support to Tulane after making lifetime payments to one of his children. The Martins’ gifts will support the faculty and students of the university they loved well into the future.

 LIFE INCOME PLANS such as gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts allow you to make a substantial gift to Tulane while still providing for your personal financial needs or the support of others. Please contact us to learn more.

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what’s Inside

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20 The Celebration That Almost Wasn’t by Nick Marinello Commencement 2009 celebrates the class that didn’t have to return to Tulane and New Orleans, but did anyway.

22 Crazy Kids in Love by Catherine Freshley A 2009 graduate reports on the unassailable bond between her Katrina classmates and the university.

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30 On the Road to Health by Fran Simon A lot of people talk about universal health care, but this mobile medical unit is where the rubber meets the road.

36 Agents of Change by Mary Ann Travis The increasingly collaborative fields of science and engineering are finding space to interact on campus.

4 President’s Perspective We offer an excerpt of Scott Cowen’s commencement address.

5 Inside Track News notes Teachers who demand more ... • ... And those who make it perfectly clear• McAlister Drive transformation• An extra year of finance • East studies West • Graduates bent on making a difference. Scholarship Buying and selling in tough times • Katrina takes toll on hearts • Holy mavericks • Poet gives bebop solo • Adult material. Green wave Golfers have an amazing year. Freret jet So how does Stephen Frapart do it?

15 Ask the Expert Law professor Martin Davies charts a course through the murky waters of piracy law.

16 Mixed Media Gutted houses, daube glacée, Fifth Circuit rulings, historical brothels and a family’s home are some of the ingredients in a decidedly local perusal.

18 Photo Riff A buggy driver goes for a spin.

42 Giving Back Wave ’09 is just around the bend—don’t miss your reunion!

43 The Classes Read about what your classmates and other Tulane alumni are doing.

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Roll over, John Philip Sousa.

Tania Tetlow, a law school professor, wins the President’s Award for Excellence in Professional School Teaching. On the front and inside front covers: Members of the class of 2009 share personal photographs in amazing numbers.

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Editor Mary Ann Travis mtravis@tulane.edu Features Editor Nick Marinello mr4@tulane.edu “The Classes” Editor Fran Simon fsimon@tulane.edu Contributers Alicia Duplessis Jasmin aduples@tulane.edu Ryan Rivet rrivet@tulane.edu Keith Brannon kbrannon@tulane.edu Jane DiIorio jdiiorio@tulane.edu Catherine Freshley cfreshle@tulane.edu Kathryn Hobgood khobgood@tulane.edu Maureen King mking@tulane.edu Art Director Melinda Viles mviles@tulane.edu University Photographer Paula Burch-Celentano pburch@tulane.edu Production Coordinator and Graphic Designer Sharon Freeman sfree@tulane.edu Graphic Designer Tracey O’Donnell tbodonn@tulane.edu President of the University Scott S. Cowen Vice President of University Communications Deborah L. Grant (PHTM ’86) Executive Director of Publications Carol Schlueter (B ’99) cjs@tulane.edu Tulanian (USPS 017-145) is a quarterly magazine published by the Tulane Office of University Publications. Periodical postage at New Orleans, LA 70113 and additional mailing offices. Send editorial correspondence to: Tulanian, 31 McAlister Drive, Drawer 1, New Orleans, LA 70118-5624, or e-mail tulanian@tulane.edu. Opinions expressed in Tulanian 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 addr ess changes to Tulanian, 31 McAlister Drive, Drawer 1, New Orleans, LA 70118-5624. Spring 2009/ Vol. 80, No. 4

FRIEND OF ‘FRIENDS’ Thanks so much for the cover story and pictures of the women who are assisting in rebuilding parts of New Orleans. I am in awe of their spirit! I not only was a Newcomb student during the years most of them were there, but Cheryl Josephs Zacarro was my little sister in our sorority. Ruth Sang, NC ’67 Highland Park, Ill. HAWKING DOSTOYEVSKY Your article on WTUL (just an infant when I was there) brought back some painful memories of my wretched attempts to write “continuity” for our radio sponsors. One DJ stopped mid-ad (a sale on Dostoyevsky at the bookstore; no, I’m not kidding) and groused, “Who WRITES this [stuff]??” Otherwise I have many wonderful memories of TU. Ron Pyke, A&S ’62 Valparaiso, Ind.

a member of our families. She was very bright, naturally funny, tremendously grounded and a practical thinker. But most importantly, Vanessa had a conscience that kept her at the patient’s bedside if that was where she needed to be, regardless of the many other things going on in her life. It was nice to be able to look at Vanessa’s face and to smile and remember her for the sheer joy she brought to all of us as her classmates. Dr. James M. Goff Jr., E ’85, M ’89 Washington, D.C.

TALKIN’ POLITICS I enjoyed Nick Marinello’s piece on the Obama campaign message and agree with Professor Mackin’s assessment of the message that the President put out during his campaign. I have to wonder, however, if the President’s call for participative government is what led to the demonstrations by Americans who are fed up with a Congress that increases their tax burden and interferes with the nation’s economics. … It has certainly worked for me, as I had never written a note to a politician before this year, but now have six under my belt. Dr. Brent Klein, A&S ’82, PHTM, ’92 Bonaire, Ga.

JUST DO IT I am concerned with the coverage given to someone like Tim Wise as I interpret much of it to be politically biased rather than based upon a sincere desire to shed light on a problem. I agree that we cannot deny the presence of racism in all cultures [including] the racism against African Americans. However, this article cites many quotes that do not fairly honor our great country and degrade it. Our country is generous and provides more humanitarian aid and protection to others than any other country on the face of this earth. To see this clearly, just interview a refugee such as the Lost Boys from Sudan, or a Cuban refugee that came here in the early ’60s, or Jewish people that fled Adolf Hitler, or a Colombian who is seeking a safe place to raise his or her family. … The slogan “Just do it” is popular as it promotes action. What is Wise doing to help? If it is awareness, then stop there. There are many antiAmerican undertones in his quotes that go so much further than helping race relations. Craig Huseby, TC ’96 Nashville, Tenn.

FOND REMEMBRANCE I was most struck by a recent picture—a reprint of the front cover of the spring/summer edition from the 1988 edition of Tulane Medicine. The cover depicts two members of my medical school class, Wes Ely and the late Vanessa Tatum. Vanessa died well before her time and her picture reminded me of all of reasons why she was so deserving to be on the front of a publication from the medical school. Vanessa was … the doctor we wish we could all be and the doctor we wish we had caring for us or

THAT ‘RACE THANG’ As an African American, I have an admittedly strong interest in topics that deal with race, and this particular angle on race is rarely, if ever, addressed directly. … I applaud you for taking on Wise and this topic and will tell you quite frankly, if we could ever get over the fear of being honest and direct with race issues, the sooner we can grow collectively on race issues. I think we are stuck in a place that emerged in the past 20 years where we are just painfully silent or dishonest with expressing our discomfort


back Talk with racial interplay among us as a nation. However, I’m a firm believer in the idea that the truth “shall make you free.” We can’t “get over it” until we “admit it. …” I do think the root of this from the majority perspective is based in so-called “white guilt.” And I think for many minorities, particularly African Americans, the unwillingness to raise the issue by whites is perceived as a lack of genuine interest among whites. And in all honesty, while race affects every day of our lives as racial minorities, can I really afford to be the black guy who is “always trying to bring up that ‘race thang’?” So, the topic goes unaddressed and under-studied at the everyday level where we all live, recreate, work and exist together. Eric Hartwell, TC ’94 Tallahassee, Fla. ALL DIFFERENT TYPES I enjoyed your profile on Tim Wise in the Winter 2009 issue. I think it’s fascinating to read profiles of all different types of alum. It challenges the stereotype of the “typical Tulane” student. I remember when Tim was in New Orleans and beginning to grapple with and speak and write about issues regarding race. Reading a follow-up to how the university and his time in New Orleans ultimately impacted his life’s course was interesting. I think you did an admirable job of presenting a complex discussion in an accessible way. Cheryl Wagner, NC ’91 New Orleans OPPRESSION APLENTY From Rwanda to Serbia to Tibet and across the world we find racism and oppression aplenty. Historically the Ottomans repressed the Arabs, the Zulus evicted the Xhosas, the Persians did the Greeks and vice versa. That Mr. Wise finds racism ‘…hardwired into America’s circuitry…’ is not surprising, since it is hardwired into humanity. Mr. Wise is in error (and rather pompous) to see it as a phenomenon particular to white America. Capt. Rick Jacobs, A&S ’68, B ’75 New Orleans

HOW BAD IS IT? America the Beautiful, with all its warts and imperfections, recently elected a black president who is an intellectual, an author, an athlete, a good husband and a doting father. … Barack Obama’s presidency should dispel more black anger and white guilt than will any feel-good government program. Besides, in what other countries have such maligned and disparaged ethnic groups achieved such levels of success? How bad is that, Tim? John Burke, A&S ’80 Towson, Md.

INCONGRUITY The problem I have with Misters Wise’s and Marinello’s conclusions [regarding “white privilege”] is that their projections onto the entirety of the white population ignores the everyday efforts of Americans who strive to support the founding principles of this country. … In fact, the very edition of the Tulanian also has a lengthy article … that highlights the efforts of at least 12 white women volunteering in the reconstruction efforts of at least one New Orleans residence, post Katrina, where the beneficiary happened to be black. It is this incongruity in conclusions … that I find most interesting. On one hand I am supposed to conclude that all white people are racist, on the other I can only conclude that because of their status as “privileged” whites, that the women featured in the article “Friends in Deed” are somehow not entitled to claim the unselfishness of their deeds because of some underlying cultural condition that they were most likely unaware of.

The women who helped rebuild that house in New Orleans are the real soldiers in that campaign, not a professional campus lecturer who finds a guilt-ridden audience too afraid to get engaged in the real business of mending fences. Maj. Michael E. McBride, A&S ’78 Fontana, Calif. RECIPE FOR SUCCESS I enjoy getting the Tulanian, but this last issue had me yawning. When I was in college, I was very advocacy-oriented and felt sorry for the perceived underdog, too. Then I grew up. Please, remember that your audience now is not all young idealists, but also includes people who have lived a bit, traveled a bit, and appreciate that things are not always as they seem when we are young. Can we stop seeing things as “us vs. them”? Can we please realize that the rules are there, the recipe for success is there, for everyone? Kelly Rodriguez, G ’93 Tampa, Fla. A LOVELY SURPRISE As a 1993 Newcomb graduate who finds herself with the enormous professional privilege of telling the Habitat for Humanity story every day in the pages of the international organization’s flagship publication Habitat World, I was in for such a lovely surprise when I pulled the June issue of the Tulanian from my overflowing mailbox. What a great story and what fun photos of Newcomb alumnae building with Habitat in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina! Shala Carlson, NC ’93 Atlanta

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president’s Perspective What do you say? The following is excerpted from President Scott Cowen’s address during the May 16 commencement ceremony. For more about commencement, see pages 20–21. I have been asked numerous times by colleagues, friends and members of my own family what I wanted to say today to the Class of 2009, you who began your college careers facing doubt and devastation as well as those of you who came in the immediate aftermath of Katrina. What do you say to the fall 2005 entering undergraduate and medical school students who made the decision to return to a city and university that they had known only for a short time before they were so grievously wounded? What do you say to the parents who loved and trusted their children enough to honor that decision? What do you say to all those who enrolled at Tulane after Katrina who dedicated their hearts and minds to working toward their degrees and to reenergizing and rebuilding a great American city at its time of greatest need? What do you say to the most dedicated group of senior administrators a president could wish for—colleagues who worked 24/7 for months on end to make today possible? Finally, what do you say to board members, faculty and staff, alumni and your family—all of whom stood by you during the darkest hours in the way only true friends, colleagues and loved ones can? Words like “remarkable,” “extraordinary,” “awesome,” “courageous,” and “selfless,” apply to all of you. Yet, they do not adequately describe who you are and what you have done for Tulane and New Orleans. The first time I spoke to many of today’s graduates was Aug. 27, 2005, two days before Katrina made landfall. In a memorable gathering, I welcomed you to campus and then told you to leave for what I thought would be five days but in actuality turned out to be five months. In the hours and days after the storm I often wondered whether I would ever see

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you again. Thankfully, I heard from you through your e-mail, and I heard about you from my colleagues at the hundreds of colleges and universities you attended in fall 2005. Your spirit, passion and unrelenting determination sustained and motivated me during the most challenging time in my life, and for this I will be forever grateful. Finally, I saw you on the Tulane campus, Jan. 16, 2006, when you came back in numbers far exceeding our expectations. Do you realize, graduates, what you have accomplished? You helped save a university and a city while also positively impacting the lives of many through your civic engagement and volunteerism. You often hear about the “power of one.” What I have seen since Katrina is a mass demonstration of that power touching and transforming more lives than you will ever personally know. No other graduating class in America can lay claim to that distinction. Four years ago, the Superdome was a symbol of every social, political and human failure exposed by Hurricane Katrina. Now, I look across this sea of blue and green and I see instead a living symbol of how belief and determination can turn darkness to light. I see the strength and beauty of the human spirit. You have developed the habits of the mind and heart to be advanced citizens of the world and extraordinary leaders. And I have no doubt that under your leadership the world will be a much better place. I end by freely and sincerely admitting how much I love and admire all of you for what you have accomplished and for your basic goodness. Each of you will always have a special place in my heart and in the history of Tulane University.


insideTrack Special connection Those graduating in the class of 2009, whose arrival at Tulane only barely preceded that of Hurricane Katrina, will perhaps forever have a special connection to the university as well as the city of New Orleans. Here, one member of the “Katrina Class” expresses that affinity with a decorated mortarboard. For more on this year’s commencement, see page 20.


newsNotes insideTrack

Justin Wolfe and Judith Maxwell share a love of make their own discoveries.

No easy answers Judith Maxwell and Justin Wolfe share a teaching philosophy: They don’t look for the “right answer” from their students. The recipients of Weiss Presidential Fellowships—Tulane University’s highest award for undergraduate teaching—Maxwell and Wolfe say that they demand much more than easy, conventional academic work from their students. Maxwell, a professor of anthropology, teaches linguistics courses in which she gives homework every night. “Learn by doing” is her motto in teaching a subject that is mathematical and highly structured yet full of infinite variety and nuance. “We have been accused at times of killing the muse of language,” says Maxwell, “but I think the muse wants us to understand the structure so we can see the beauty and the symmetry of language.” Linguistics is a wonderful field, says Maxwell. “You’re constantly hearing people speak.” Language—the data of linguistics—is all around us. She wants her students to become “aware of the way people create themselves every time they speak.” She encourages her students to listen to

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is. Everything has a history.” Although there are patterns in history “that doesn’t mean everything fits neatly into boxes,” he says. Wolfe is the author of The Everyday Nation-State: Community and Ethnicity in Nineteenth-Century Nicaragua (University of Nebraska Press, 2007). And he’s in the process of writing another book on people of African descent in Nicaragua. He is fascinated with individual people in the past in different places at different times over time. People run into walls of class, race, gender, politics, economics and geography—and always have. Despite the constraints, people “weave immensely imaginative and creative ways of engaging with those walls or trying to ignore those walls or taking other paths,” says Wolfe. learning and a zest for challenging students to He teaches his students that history is complex because human beings are complex. “Humans language and express their understanding of are messy. The world is messy,” he says. what they hear to each other. Students in Wolfe’s classes must read the “It’s an interesting kind of interaction,” literature, study the evidence and weigh contraMaxwell says, “because you would think dictory arguments about the past. because it [linguistics] is so rule-governed and “Since we can’t say that there is one true so formal that there past that happened, would be little room even if there is an for flexibility but it actual past that hapseems that there are pened, we capture many different ways what we know. We that the human mind have to decide what gets its understanding we think did happen —Justin Wolfe, of how the system and why,” he says. Weiss Presidential Fellow works. Different words Even though Wolfe and different ways of isn’t looking for one expressing it can be that ‘aha!’ moment.” certain “right” answer from his students, he Maxwell is an expert in the Kaqchikel lanexpects students to struggle with the evidence guage, a Mayan language spoken by indigeand work hard to convince him of the validity nous people in Guatemala. She’s written of their arguments. dictionaries and books on the Kaqchikel lanMaxwell and Wolfe were awarded Weiss guage, and for more than two decades has Presidential Fellows medals at the Tulane comtaught in Guatemala a summer course on the mencement ceremony in May. They also Kaqchikel language. received cash prizes of $5,000. The fellowship is a permanent designation. Honorees are nomWolfe, associate professor of history, is inated by students and then selected by a cominterested, too, in how human beings create mittee led by Tulane President Scott Cowen. their world. —Mary Ann Travis People in all cultures, times and places have made choices about their lives, says Mary Ann Travis is editor of Tulanian. Wolfe. He’s a firm believer that “nothing just

Nothing just is. Everything has a history.


insideTrack newsNotes With understanding and clarity “Amazing,” “inspiring” and “passionate” are words used by students to describe Tania Tetlow, while John Perdew is recognized for communicating with simplicity, clarity and elegance. For their achievements in teaching, Tetlow, an associate professor of law, and Perdew, professor of physics, received the Tulane University President’s Award for Excellence in Professional and Graduate Teaching. Tetlow, who has directed the Tulane Domestic Violence Legal Clinic since 2005, operates from an interdisciplinary perspective, often coordinating student projects and training with the Tulane Medical School, the School of Social Work, the Department of Sociology, the Payson Center for International Development, and the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. “Law students need to learn that good lawyers don’t just do their work in the courtroom; they work to try to change broken legal systems with more than litigation,” Tetlow says. Although the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic has worked with dozens of clients with complicated cases against batterers, Tetlow says that she has never seen a client’s abuser spend a day in jail. “That’s a real eye-opener for law students who need to understand the limitations of the legal system,” she says. Through the clinic, law students offer free legal aid to clients escaping violent relationships and seeking protective orders, divorces and custody of their children. In the classroom, Tetlow provides students with a variety of experiences, from witnessing mock depositions and crossexaminations of batterers, to listening to the stories of New Orleans police officers, prosecutors in the district attorney’s office and domestic-violence survivors. A student of Tetlow says that the law professor “achieves the rare feat of making the subject matter stay with the students well beyond the final examination.”

Perdew has been a Tulane faculty member since 1977. He is renowned as a leading authority in solid-state physics, is among the 100 most cited physicists in the world, and has taught a generation of scientists densityfunctional theory. While this year’s award for graduate teaching is the first “pure teaching” honor that he has received, Perdew has long been committed to engaging students in his passion for physics. “I hope my graduate students learn to love physics and to think about it with intuitive understanding and clarity,” he says. “They remind me that there is no bad question—only bad answers. Their questions help me keep my lectures fresh and interesting.” He says that he begins his classes with simple physics principles, explaining the unfamiliar in terms of the familiar. He focuses on the simplest answers and the simplest limits. As a teacher, Perdew says his greatest thrill is being asked a question “so good that it makes me see the subject in a new light.” As recipients of the President’s

Award for Excellence, Tetlow and Perdew each received a medal designed by professor emeritus Franklin Adams and a stipend of $5,000. —Fran Simon Fran Simon is“Classes”editor of Tulanian.

In their teaching, Tania Tetlow and John Perdew find ways to distill the complexities of law and science, respectively, into material that stays with their students beyond the final examination.

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newsNotes insideTrack

Green moves Car traffic ceased on McAlister Drive from Freret Street to McAlister Auditorium on May 18. The move signals the start of the creation of the McAlister Place pedestrian mall. Motor vehicles will rarely roll— or park—again on that stretch of McAlister Drive. Only emergency vehicles, vehicles used for move-in day and occasional special-events traffic will be allowed. In the new green space, the existing live oak trees will be retained and new plantings of native plants such as palmettos, canary palms and Louisiana irises will be added. New lighting, seating areas and water elements are also part of the campus beautification project, which is scheduled to be completed by December.

Finance for better times After graduating in May with bachelor of science degrees in finance from the A. B. Freeman School of Business, roommates Dennis Cristallo and Robert Myers decided not to venture into the job market. Instead, they opted to pursue master of finance degrees in the school’s graduate program, which has experienced a 35 percent increase in applications this year.

A plaza on Freret Street providing a threshold to McAlister Place is one of two planned gathering spaces for pedestrians.

Is their decision a reflection of the current economic downturn? “Absolutely,” they say in unison. Cristallo had originally planned to find a bank position in private wealth management with his bachelor’s degree. And even though he says he had “a couple of dozen interviews,” he failed to find employment. After completing the one-year master’s program he expects he’ll be a more attractive candidate, and with luck the economy will have turned around.

Roommates Dennis Cristallo, left, and Robert Myers jumped immediately into graduate school after graduating in May with finance degrees.

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Cristallo and Myers are among 80 students entering the master of finance program this summer. In March, the Princeton Review listed the Freeman School among 15 institutions offering superlative preparation in finance. Venkat Subramaniam, associate professor and Exxon Professor of Finance at Tulane, says that having a master of finance degree gives a significant competitive edge to job applicants who have acquired advanced skills and knowledge. Subramaniam predicts that when the economy warms up, a variety of finance positions will begin reappearing in the market, including jobs for equity analysts and portfolio managers, in-house credit evaluators in lending institutions, and trading and risk managers who monitor global currency markets. Myers likes the odds. “If we can’t get a job now, hopefully by May 2010 things will have turned around,” he says. “In the meantime, we’ll have done something to better ourselves and to improve our chances of getting good jobs.” —Fran Simon

ARCHITECTURAL RENDERING COURTESY OF THE OFFICE OF THE UNIVERSITY ARCHITECT


insideTrack newsNotes The Chinese connection As China’s economy expands by leaps and bounds, there’s a new openness toward philosophical inquiry taking place in the Asian giant. The Chinese are eager to learn about the classics of Western philosophy. Two members of the Tulane philosophy department—Richard Velkley and Ronna Burger—are contributing to the exchange of ideas by participating in academic conferences, having their books translated into Chinese and mentoring students from China. It’s a heady time in China with scholars undertaking intense study of the Western philosophical tradition, says Velkley, Weatherhead Professor of Philosophy at Tulane. Velkley has made three trips to China since 2004, attending academic conferences at the University of Beijing and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he delivered talks on the German philosophers Immanuel Kant and Martin Heidegger, as well as on the Western Enlightenment. Chinese scholars are quite interested in Western Enlightenment ideas of rights, law, justice, freedom, reason and self, says Velkley. But they still revere the Chinese philosophical

tradition, including the thought of Confucius, the 5th-century B.C. Chinese philosopher. What impresses Ronna Burger, professor and chair of the Tulane philosophy department, about the current Chinese interest in Western philosophy is that the Chinese seekers show

something like a Confucian respect for teachers even while they are searching out Western ideas of freedom and self. “They have this idea about how much you learn from a teacher,” says Burger. “They seem to understand that the transmission of a tradition requires more than just reading a

book on your own.” Reading, of course, is a start, and Burger has learned that a Chinese translation of her own book on Aristotle’s Ethics is currently under way. Two books she edited, Encounters and Reflections: Conversations with Seth Benardete and The Argument of the Action: Essays on Greek Poetry and Philosophy by Seth Benardete, already are available in Chinese translation. These books are part of a larger project to make available in China the classical works of Western philosophy and studies of them by modern scholars. Tulane’s philosophy department has had Chinese graduate students in recent years studying philosophy of mind and contemporary political philosophy. In fall 2009, two individuals will be coming to Tulane as visiting scholars, supported by Chinese government grants. One, a lecturer from Lanzhou University, plans to work with Velkley on Kant and Heidegger. The other, a graduate student from Sun Yatsen University, will be working, under Burger’s supervision, on a translation and interpretation of Plato’s Meno, a dialogue in which the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates leads a discussion of the question, what is virtue? —Mary Ann Travis

For the greater good Ninety-four members of the class of 2009 applied for Teach for America. That’s nearly 10 percent of the graduating class, up from last year’s 6 percent. Of those who will be accepted into the program, in which they agree to teach for two years in underserved public schools, half will teach in Greater New Orleans. Other recent Tulane graduates have applied to AmeriCorps VISTA at Tulane. In this VISTA program, coordinated by the Tulane Center for Public Service, VISTA members spend a year assisting New Orleans community agencies involved in the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort. The VISTA members receive a small living allowance and develop professional abilities for work in the nonprofit sector of the economy. While the funds haven’t trickled down yet, AmeriCorps received a major boost this spring when President Barack Obama signed a $5.7 billion national service bill, which triples the size of AmeriCorps over the next eight years and expands ways for students to earn money for college.

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY MELINDA VILES

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scholarship insideTrack

Soft sells in a tough economy A tough economy changes the way both retailers and consumers behave, says Mita Sujan, professor of marketing. During the current economic slump, for instance, advertisers are using a tactic called “uncertainty reduction,” which gives customers added guarantees when they make purchases. As an example, Sujan points to the Hyundai automobile company’s offer to take back cars sold this year if car buyers lose their jobs after they make their purchase. Hyundai is selling comfort and peace of mind to consumers during the recession, says Sujan, who is holder of the Malcolm S. Woldenberg Chair at the Tulane A. B. Freeman School of Business. Companies want to convey the message: “We understand what you’re going through.” During an economic recession, consumer behavior tends to follow a specific pattern in which moderate- to low-income consumers trade down and pinch their pennies while high-end spenders actually spend more extravagantly, says Sujan. Because middle-income consumers are more budget-conscious, stores such as Wal-Mart are doing well during the recession. “People who shop at Whole Foods may start going to Sam’s Club,” says Sujan. Wealthier consumers, on the other hand, who feel that their money isn’t worth much in the bank, might prefer to splurge on luxury items such as yachts and luxury cars. “Because they are investment savvy, they realize that a Rolls Royce might hold its value better than their stock that could go down every day and cause them to lose money,” Sujan says. —Alicia Duplessis Jasmin Alicia Duplessis Jasmin is a staff writer in the Office of University Publications.

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A study led by Dr. Anand Irimpen shows a three-fold increase in heart attacks in post-Katrina New Orleans.

Post-K stress linked to heart problems Chronic stress following Hurricane Katrina contributed to a three-fold increase in heart attacks in New Orleans more than two years after levee breaches flooded most of the city, according to data complied by researchers at Tulane University School of Medicine. The analysis is one of the first to look at the long-term impact on public health resulting from major disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. Previous studies have found shortterm increases in heart attacks and other cardiac events occurring in the immediate hours to weeks after major disasters such as earthquakes or volcano eruptions. “Our data show that the effects of an acute major disaster are not limited to its immediate aftermath, but can linger on for a prolonged duration,” says lead researcher Dr. Anand Irimpen, associate professor of clinical medicine in the Heart and Vascular Institute at Tulane University School of Medicine. The study analyzed the number of heart attack patients admitted to Tulane Medical Center in downtown New Orleans two years

before the storm and two years after the hospital reopened in February 2006. PostKatrina, there were 246 admissions for heart attacks, out of a total census of 11,282 patients, compared with 150 admissions for heart attacks out of a total 21,229 patients in the two years before the storm. There were no significant differences in the racial, gender or age distribution of the two groups. Based on the data they collected, researchers believe reduced access to preventive health services and chronic stress due to prolonged loss of employment, insurance coverage and housing played an important role in the development of heart attacks. “After a major disaster, people generally tend to neglect their health because they have other priorities,” says Irimpen. Irimpen says that further study is needed into the long-term affects of chronic stress and his team will track the rates of heart attacks for another two years. They also will include other area hospitals in the study. —Keith Brannon Keith Brannon is assistant director of public relations at Tulane.


insideTrack scholarship The spiritual marketplace Supply and demand, that delicate relationship between producers and consumers, is perhaps the central dynamic of a market economy. This spring, Tulane sociologist Shayne Lee published a book that applies the economic model of supply and demand to a different kind of commerce. Holy Mavericks: Evangelical Innovators and the Spiritual Marketplace examines the success of five pastors who are among the most influential contemporary leaders in American Protestantism. “Our goal was not to provide an objective analysis of these five religious celebrities. Our goal was to explain their appeal,” says Lee, assistant professor of sociology, who co-wrote the book with historian Phillip Luke Sinitiere. “We used the theory of religious economy to show why some religious suppliers are able to attract large followings while others are not,” says Lee, who in 2005 published T.D. Jakes: America’s New Preacher, a critical examination of the influential African American preacher. Jakes’ ministry is among those analyzed in Holy Mavericks, as are the ministries of Rick Warren, the best-selling author of The Purpose Driven Life; Joel Osteen, who preaches to weekly congregations of 40,000

in an arena formerly used by the Houston Rockets; Paula White, who Lee calls the “Oprah Winfrey of the evangelical world;” and Brian McLaren, a leader in the new emergent church movement who is popular with Generation X followers.

the misguided “strict-church thesis” employed by sociologists in the past. That thesis essentially explains the success of conservative denominations in the 20th century by suggesting that the constituencies of these faiths, which have more restrictive practices, tend to

In a new book, sociologist Shayne Lee examines the appeal of the country’s leading evangelists.

The five preachers exhibit an entrepreneurial spirit that Lee and Sinitiere argue is at the heart of their success. Each possesses, says Lee, “the ability to understand American culture, to be on the cutting edge of using psychotherapy and aspects in the language and taste of contemporary Americans in order to draw people to their congregations.” Through this approach to understanding religion as a competitive spiritual marketplace, Lee hopes to put to rest what he says is

comprise more dedicated, zealous followers and thus produce more vibrant churches. “It has nothing to do with strictness,” Lee contends. “None of these five ministries promote strict religion. It has more to do with the evangelical’s ability to address existential needs and the cultural taste of a broad range of contemporary people.” —Nick Marinello Nick Marinello is features editor of Tulanian.

overHeard

We are all so foolish, my long bebop solo begins by saying, so damn foolish, we have become beautiful without even knowing it. —Billy Collins

Billy Collins, a former poet laureate of the United States, recited the lines above, which are from his poem “Nightclub,” during a poetry reading presented on March 16 in McAlister Auditorium. Collins’ appearance was part of the Poet Laureate Series sponsored by the Creative Writing Fund of the Tulane Department of English. A thousand people laughed and clapped as Collins read dozens of poems from his best-selling books.

PHOTO BY NICK MARINELLO

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health Hope

There is still disagreement about which are the best cells to use, stem cells from adults or from embryos.There are certainly very marked differences between them. — Dr. Brian Butcher, associate director of the Tulane Center for Gene Therapy

Adult stem cells still fill the bill With the Obama administration’s lifting of an eight-year-old ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, the moral and ethical debate over the use of fertilized human eggs in genetic research has grown sharply louder. It’s a fray that Dr. Brian Butcher, associate director of the Tulane Center for Gene Therapy, is not inclined to enter. While Butcher says that he welcomes the administration’s position scientifically and supports the funding of embryonic stem cell research, Tulane’s gene therapy center will continue to use adult stem cells as it has done since its inception in 2000. Tulane researchers, he says, are “quite happy” working with adult stem cells for reasons that are purely scientific. “There is still disagreement about which are the best cells to use, stem cells from adults or from embryos,” Butcher says. “There are certainly very marked differences between them

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and certainly we have some concerns about embryonic stem cells that led us to use adult stem cells.” Butcher says that those concerns include cell rejection, possible virus transmission from the growth medium and the development of tumors. “Perhaps the most serious concern is that it seems embryonic cells are immortal—can grow on forever—and there’s a concern that they can grow into cancer cells,” says Butcher. “There have been reports that as many as 25 percent of the cells can go on to form cancer cells. In adult stem cells there is no indication that can happen, perhaps because adult stem cells have a finite lifetime.” Stem cells hold the potential to lead to new treatments for disease because they have the ability to differentiate into any kind of cell. Embryonic stem cells are controversial because they are derived, as their name suggests, from human embryos. Adult stem cells are derived from tissues and organs in the human body.

“Embryonic stem cells are a lot harder to grow than adult stem cells,” says Butcher, “so while we can make half a million adult stem cells in a couple of weeks, for embryonic stem cells it is much more time consuming.” Preferring not to wade into the politics of the issue, Butcher says he believes the National Institutes of Health will resume checks and balances to ensure that only embryos slated to be destroyed— from fertility clinics and then only with approval of both donors—will be used for research purposes. Regardless of the politics, Butcher says the lifting of the ban is good news for science and for medicine. “Obviously, the more research done, the better understanding we will have. I think this is going to speed up our understanding of stem cells in general.” —Ryan Rivet Ryan Rivet is a staff writer in the Office of University Publications.


insideTrack green wave team. For Holmqvist, the choice to come to Tulane was easy. “I fell in love with Tulane. I really did. Everything just felt right.” Holmqvist has been playing golf since she was “2 or 3 years old” and had been set on playing college golf for several years. She only looked at schools in the United States. Tulane appealed to her for several reasons: the golf courses, the coach and the academics. Samantha Troyanovich, from Grosse Pointe Shores, Coach of the year John Horton stands with the young women who all contributed to an amazing season: (from Mich., also is a rising sopholeft) Sydnie Horton, Horton, Linn Gustafsson, Ashley McKenney, Daniela Holmqvist, Samantha Troyanovich and more. She signed with Tulane Janine Fellows. before her first visit was even “It was honestly starting from scratch. I over and before visiting all the other schools knew it was going to be a lot of work. We she was considering attending. Troyanovich didn’t have clothing, practice materials or credits Horton as a big draw. “I instantly equipment.” It would have been hard for the Tulane woknew when I got there that he would be a He also didn’t have players. Although men’s golf team to design a better season. It great coach for me,” she says. Tulane women’s golf teams have had impreswon the Conference USA championship, Being part of a first-year team was also a sive records—they won conference titles in placed fifth at regionals, and at the national decision-making factor for Troyanovich. 2004 and 2005—those were different teams, tournament in mid May, proved it is among “I was really attracted by the opportunity. a different program. the best 20 teams in the country. Starting a new program is really a challenge Daniela Holmqvist, from Stockholm, On top of that success, coach John Horton and I’m always trying to push myself.” Sweden, is one of four freshmen on the was named Louisiana Women’s Golf Coach Troyanovich isn’t the only one trying of the Year by the Louisiana Sports Writers to push herself; on the tails of a successful Association. season, Horton is already looking ahead to Horton jested that a second-line parade in the fall. the team’s honor might be an appropriate “It’s been such a good year. Next year we’ll celebration of its success. be riding on momentum and continuing to “If we did this any year at Tulane I think improve: continuing to improve our ranking everyone would be happy, but to do it this and continuing to develop.” year. …” he says. Horton is right, this is a Additionally, two new players will join all special year. six players returning from this year. Women’s golf was one of eight teams susHorton calls going to nationals “the chance pended following Hurricane Katrina. It wasn’t of a lifetime.” And he adds that he hopes his until this past September that six women players “are able to do this every year they’re golfers in Tulane colors picked up clubs and at Tulane.” returned to Audubon Park and other local golf —Catherine Freshley ’09 courses for practice. Horton, in his first year as a head coach, Catherine Freshley is a contributing writer. knew the task of building a program She wrote the “Crazy Kids in Love” story on Daniela Holmqvist, from Stockholm, Sweden, wouldn’t be easy. page 22. is one of four freshmen on the golf team.

Resurrection for women’s golf

PHOTOS BY WALT BEAZLEY, UNIVERSITY OF TULSA

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Stephen Frapart looks for inspiration from leaders who have a vision of how they want the world to convinced high-profile speakers to waive their usual speaking fees and come to campus.

The company he keeps When students from Tulane’s A. B. Freeman School of Business traveled to Omaha, Neb., in October to meet with billionaire entrepreneur Warren Buffett, they found that, in addition to being enormously intelligent and engaging, Buffett was genuinely warm, goodhumored and extremely humble. Those who know him often describe the student who organized the trip, Texas native Stephen Frapart, the same way. Like Buffett, Frapart is capable of quietly achieving personal success while simultaneously putting those around him at ease. In fact, when exposed to Frapart’s polite mannerisms, friendly demeanor and welcoming smile, there is a tendency to immediately forget his undergraduate achievements and simply enjoy his company. Appointed the chair of Tulane’s Lyceum Committee as a sophomore, Frapart helped use the committee’s $20,000 budget to bring to campus Avraham Burg, former speaker of Israel’s Knesset, as well as environmental activist and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. In addition to his Lyceum duties, Frapart felt the urge, especially in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, to bring other accomplished leaders to visit campus. Determined to attract speakers whose journeys and accomplishments had personally inspired him, Frapart founded “Perspectives: A Leadership Speaking Series.”

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As president of the series, Frapart singlehandedly, over three years, produced campus lectures by former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell; management expert and renowned author Steven Covey; Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp; and civil rights pioneer and former United Nations ambassador Andrew Young.

For every one ‘Yes’ I got, there were 10 ‘No’s.’

—Stephen Frapart, Freeman Business School finance graduate

Frapart not only retained the speakers, he also facilitated the planning, promotion and smooth functioning of each speaking event. He managed to take on these responsibilities on top of pursuing a typically rigorous Tulane course load and maintaining a social life. Perseverance, he says, is the main factor in his success. “For every one ‘Yes’ I got, there were 10 ‘No’s,’” Frapart says of the process of recruiting speakers. With the sincerity of his formal letters and the persistency of his follow-up e-mails and phone calls, Frapart managed to convince these heads-of-state and entrepreneurs that their words would have a permanent and

life-changing impact on Tulane students, and that their presence on campus would help inspire the rebuilding efforts of post-Katrina New Orleans. All of Frapart’s distinguished recruits—amazingly enough— agreed to waive their normal speaking fees, gestures revealing the generosity and humility of the inspiring leaders. “[The speakers] all have a vision of what they want the world to be,” says Frapart, “or how they can change the world.” be. He Frapart’s own vision of how to change the world, it seems, is evolving with every new set of challenges he gives himself. After graduating in December 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in finance, Frapart spent the spring volunteering in Ethiopia for a company that installs solar panels onto the roofs of rural Ethiopian homes. In addition to totally immersing himself in a foreign environment, he learned about the businesswise promotion of renewable energy sources in developing countries. The solar panels Frapart helped install were not just environmentally conscious and financially rational: they immediately changed the day-to-day lives of their recipients. For the first time, these families had indoor electrical light, allowing them to study, read and work after the sun went down. Back from his African venture, Frapart’s journey continues this fall at the Bank of America in New York City where he plans to start work as an investment banker. He’s already proven that he can use his talents in a selfless and extraordinary way, and he wants to continue his career with this mindset. Guided by his determination, sharp intellect and big heart, Frapart seems well along the way down a path not unlike those of each great leader he gathered to the pulpits of his university. —Jane DiIorio ’09 Jane DiIorio graduated from Tulane in May with a bachelor of arts. Her hometown is Bethlehem, Pa.


ask the Exper t How are laws against piracy on the high seas different than other laws?

Q: A:

Piracy takes place on the high seas, beyond the territorial jurisdiction of any country. Indeed, if an attack occurs in some country’s territorial waters it is no longer technically piracy. So what law governs piracy on those literally lawless high seas? The answer is, in effect, every country’s laws. Piracy is the paradigm example of what is known in international law as universal jurisdiction. Every country is entitled to take legal action against pirates, whether or not there is any connection between the pirate attack and the country’s interests. In order to take legal action, though, a country must obviously have an anti-piracy law. Not all countries have such laws, but the United States does. The first U.S. piracy legislation was passed in 1790. The present Piracy Statute has been virtually unchanged since 1819. It provides: “Whoever, on the high seas, commits the crime of piracy as defined by the law of nations, and is afterwards brought into or found in the United States, shall be imprisoned for life.” Until 1897, the penalty was death. Not every act of violence committed on the

high seas is piracy. The hijacking of the Achille Lauro by the Palestine Liberation Front in 1985 highlighted a gap in international maritime law. The hijackers were not pirates because their goal was political (the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails) not personal gain. As a result, it was not clear whether their actions were subject to universal jurisdiction. The hijackers were tried and convicted in Italy, because the Achille Lauro flew the Italian flag and so Italian law applied aboard the ship. In response to the Achille Lauro incident, the International Maritime Organization, which is an agency of the United Nations, made a new international treaty called the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Convention. Generally known as the SUA Convention, the treaty applies to all acts of violence against shipping, whatever their motive and whether or not they occur on the high seas. Any country that is party to the convention can take legal action in response to an attack that falls within the convention’s definitions. The United States is party to the SUA Convention and has enacted legislation that criminalizes violence against maritime navigation generally. Like the Piracy Statute, it confers jurisdiction in relation to any person “later found” in the United States after a prohibited act has been committed. In 2008, this legislation was

used to convict a Chinese cook who killed the captain and first mate of a Taiwanese fishing ship registered in the Seychelles and briefly seized the ship. The attack took place on the high seas and there was no connection with the United States other than the fact that the ship was intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard and the cook was taken into custody and brought to Hawaii, where he was charged and convicted. Like the Achille Lauro hijackers, he was not a pirate as his motivation was not personal gain. Because of the SUA Convention, the United States clearly had the right under international law to prosecute and convict him. The recent attack on the Maersk Alabama occurred on the high seas far from the coast of Somalia. Abduwali Muse, the Somali pirate who was captured after the attack, has been brought to the United States. He has been charged under both the Piracy Statute and the SUA Convention statute. The United States would have been entitled to take legal action against him simply by virtue of his presence in this country even if the Maersk Alabama had not been a U.S.-flagged ship. —Martin Davies Martin Davies is Admiralty Law Institute Professor of Maritime Law and director of the Maritime Law Center at Tulane Law School.

Every country is entitled to take legal action against pirates, whether or not there is any connection between the pirate attack and the country’s interests.

Law professor Martin Davies navigates the tricky waters of the “literally lawless high seas” to explain when and how a country can take action against pirates.

—Martin Davies, director of the Maritime Law Center at Tulane Law School

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NEW ORLEANS CUISINE: FOURTEEN SIGNATURE DISHES AND THEIR HISTORIES Edited by Susan Tucker, curator of books and records at the Newcomb College Center for Research on Women University Press of Mississippi PLENTY ENOUGH SUCK TO GO AROUND: A MEMOIR OF FLOODS, FIRES, PARADES AND PLYWOOD Cheryl Wagner (NC ’91) Citadel Press

Cheryl Wagner boarded up her house and fled from Hurricane Katrina, watched from far away as television flashed disturbing images of the undoing of her city and then returned to reclaim what was left. Every New Orleanian has a Katrina story, Wagner’s just happens to be as screamingly funny as it is heartbreaking. Her journey from ground zero during the days and weeks after the storm to what now passes for normalcy serves as a kind of walking tour through the city’s recovery with Wagner’s local and sometimes quirky perspective ringing true with every step.

origins and identity of 14 of the city’s iconic dishes, New Orleans Cuisine comprises an informative mix of food, culture and history. On the table for discussion are more popularly known items such as red beans and rice, shrimp remoulade and gumbo, but readers also will find chapters devoted to daube glacée, mirliton and shrimp, and that most local of cocktails, the Sazerac. The book includes recipes for each dish, biographies of famous cooks, profiles of renowned restaurants and cooking schools of the past and present—all while contemplating the influence of the city’s ethnic diversity on the distinctive flavors of the local cuisine.

QUOTABLE QUOTE: “When we left New Orleans everything was

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “Overall, New Orleanians

green and bursting; now everything was brown and dead. I had never been in New Orleans or any other city alone. The city looked like make-believe. Like a movie about zombies and a nuclear war. … Every street the great sewer had flowed in and out of was now a dirt road. We were dumb and had entered the city in a bad way. Now we were taking side roads around downed power lines, floated cars and pancaked houses. Occasionally we cruised past a marooned boat.”

persist in cherishing [daube glacée’s] place as one of the premier dishes of private elegance and celebration. And some even take a bit of pleasure in the fact that outsiders find it so unappetizing. This most iconic of the meat dishes remains more private than public in its serving and consumption, more at home on the brunch, luncheon and cocktail table than elsewhere.”

OVERVIEW: Along with thousands of New Orleanians, author

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CHAMPION OF CIVIL RIGHTS: JUDGE JOHN MINOR WISDOM

DESTREHAN: THE MAN, THE HOUSE, THE LEGACY

by Joel William Friedman, professor of law Louisiana State University Press

by Gene Cizek, professor of architecture, John Lawrence and Richard Sexton River Road Historical Society

OVERVIEW: In 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court

tasked federal district and appellate courts with overseeing the implementation of the constitutional mandate of its landmark ruling in Brown v. the Board of Education. At that moment, New Orleanian Judge John Minor Wisdom and his colleagues on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals were “thrust onto the front lines of the civil rights battlefield of the 1960s,” writes author Joel William Friedman. Rulings from the 5th Circuit were key to desegregating state colleges and universities and securing voting rights for African Americans—and no member of the court played a more pivotal role than Wisdom. While this role is central to Friedman’s book, the author surveys the judge’s entire professional career as well aspects of Wisdom’s personal life—his affluent family, privileged upbringing and lifelong affiliation with the city’s elite Carnival organizations—which would seem to make him an unlikely hero of the civil right’s movement. QUOTABLE QUOTES: “Throughout his adult

life, [Wisdom] sought to live up to his mother’s example even when it put him at loggerheads with many of his friends and colleagues on one of the most controversial issues of the day. Thus, while most other men of his background and social position were unsympathetic to the civic claims of minority group members, Wisdom was compelled by virtue of his unshakeable devotion to fairness to pursue a different course.”

BROTHELS, DEPRAVITY, AND ABANDONED WOMEN: ILLEGAL SEX IN ANTEBELLUM NEW ORLEANS by Judith Kelleher Schafer (NC ’63), visiting professor of history Louisiana State University Press

OVERVIEW: A handsome coffee-table book

that takes a historical look at one of the oldest plantations in the Mississippi River Valley, Destrehan: The Man, the House, the Legacy reflects the 30 years of involvement that architecture professor Eugene Cizek has put into the restoration of the stately home located 20 miles upriver from downtown New Orleans. The book is structured around two essays. Cizek contributed a piece the traces the history of the house, while John Lawrence, director of museum programs at the Historic New Orleans Collection, writes on the Destrehan family as well as others who occupied the house during its 220-year history. Photographer Richard Sexton contributed images of the house and grounds.

OVERVIEW: Relying on court records and

newspaper articles, author Judith Kelleher Schafer has put together a fascinating account of the bawdy and sometimes brutal world of prostitution in antebellum New Orleans. In examining how those plying the “oldest profession” functioned in the early-19th-century Crescent City, Schafer tours the legal, social and moral inclinations of the citizenry and its leaders as she discusses the sexual exploitation of children, sex across the color line, violence among and against public women and the city’s feeble attempts to suppress the trade. Along the way, she acquaints readers with several infamous sex workers whose names each would seem to tell their own story: Gallows Liz, Bridget Fury, Shell Road Mary.

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “Although the house was

remodeled [in the mid-19th century] to conform to the more fashionable Greek Revival style, the Creole forms and proportions were still apparent, causing the entire composition to be extremely unusual. It is the coexistence of these very different styles that makes the house of great architectural significance.”

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “Some women dressed as

men to avoid the law placed on them as women. In an article entitled ‘Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing,’ the Picayune reported that police found a woman dressed as a man in a hotel ‘under suspicious circumstances.’ The woman, probably a public woman going to a customer’s room, wore ‘coat and breeches’ to avoid detection.”

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by Nick Marinello photography by Paula Burch-Celentano

The Celebration That Almost Wasn’t With big-name celebrities, highly distin-

Top: Confetti flickers above the class of 2009 during the festive final moments of commencement. Above: Student speaker Helen Jaksch waxes poetic as she talks to her classmates about floods, both real and metaphorical.

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guished recipients of honorary degrees, stateof-the-art video production, herald trumpets and a pyrotechnic finale, the Tulane University 2009 Commencement held on May 16 was an academic pageant to behold—yet it will likely be best remembered as the ceremony that almost wasn’t. “In the hours and days after the storm, I often wondered whether I would ever see you again,” Tulane President Scott Cowen confided to the more than 2,000 members of the “Katrina Class” who were seated before him on the floor of the Louisiana Superdome. After Hurricane Katrina closed Tulane for the entirety of the fall 2005 semester, Tulane administrators had no guarantee that the university’s students-in-exile would return to the still-ailing city. This year’s commenement proceedings were largely a celebration that they did return. “Within 48 hours of the university’s reopening and your return,” said Cowen, “the population of the parish increased by approximately 20 percent and the future of Tulane and New Orleans truly began to shine.” The degree candidates let out an audible “aw” at the conclusion of Cowen’s speech when the president told them, “I end by freely and sincerely admitting how much I love you.”

A video projected onto two large screens extended to students and their families words of gratitude from a number of voices. In it, thirdgraders from Benjamin Banneker Elementary School, a community-service partner of Tulane, excitedly cheered, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” That appreciation was echoed in statements by a local cab driver, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Louisiana senators Mary Landrieu and David Vitter, NBC anchor Brian Williams, Vice President Joe Biden and former President Bill Clinton. In her commencement address, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres praised the graduating class for being “tenacious and courageous.” Then, commenting on their academic gowns, she said, “Usually when you are wearing a robe at 10 in the morning it means you’ve given up.” DeGeneres, whose appearance was an encore to a brief surprise showing she made during Tulane’s 2006 commencement, admitted that she never attended college. “I’m not saying you wasted your time and money,” DeGeneres quipped, “but look at me, I’m a huge celebrity.” Turning serious, DeGeneres discussed in a frank and personal narrative how she kept her sexuality a secret from the public during the early part of her career, as well as how her career came to an abrupt halt when she publically announced she is gay.


Clockwise, from top left: Ellen DeGeneres delivers a commencement address that is funny, personal and inspirational • As a camera crew records every backstage moment, DeGeneres pauses to study the notes for her address … • … which she would deliver to an appreciative audience. • Harry Connick Jr. follows DeGeneres in a second-line at the close of the ceremony. • In a more serious moment, Connick receives an honorary doctorate for his work in the New Orleans recovery. • President Scott Cowen pauses during his emotional address to the “Katrina Class.”

“The phone didn’t ring for three years. I had no offers. Yet I was getting letters from kids who had almost committed suicide but didn’t because of what I did. I realized I had a purpose and it wasn’t just about me and celebrity.” She urged those in the audience to live lives of integrity, to follow their passion and not tread along anyone else’s path. “Unless you are in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path—then by all means you should follow that.” In the morning’s most poetic moments, class speaker Helen Jaksch talked to her classmates about floods, both real and metaphorical. There are only two ways to deal with them, she said: by sinking or swimming. “You choose to find power in the water or

you drown,” said Jaksch. “We are called the ‘Katrina Class.’ People questioned why we came back. Tulane students are swimmers.” Tulane’s unified commencement ceremony, which represents all of its schools and colleges, also featured musical performances by Dr. Michael White’s Original Liberty Jazz Band, the Pipes and Drums of New Orleans and a performance of “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans” by singer Wanda Rouzan. Honorary degrees were awarded to Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, a scientist who codiscovered the virus responsible for AIDS; Harry Connick Jr., a New Orleans native and internationally known musician and actor who has been actively involved in the city’s post-storm recovery; William McDonough, a

leading figure in sustainable architectural design and a partner in the Make it Right Foundation that is building safe and healthy homes in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward; and Jessie Gruman, president and executive director of the Center for the Advancement of Health. The Tulane University 2009 Commencement ceremony opened with sweet and serene notes of the traditional gospel standard “Just a Closer Walk With Thee” and closed in a blaze of pyrotechnics and a blizzard of confetti. They were appropriate bookends to a program marked by a wide range of emotional moments. Nick Marinello is a senior editor in the Office of University Publications T U L A N I A N

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The bond between members of the ‘Katrina Class’ with their school and the city of New Orleans is no whirlwind affair. by Catherine Freshley photography by Paula Burch-Celentano

Crazy Kids in Love

Immediately after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in August 2005, the American Council on Education sent out a notice encouraging higher education institutions nationwide to temporarily admit students from Tulane and other damaged colleges and universities that were in the process of cleaning up, drying out and rebuilding their campuses. Nearly 6,000 Tulane students attended 596 schools across the country during fall 2005.

that there are no fireflies in New Orleans. The nights, however, are just as hot and the storms just as loud as I had hoped. I guess one could call me—and us— irrational, love-struck teenagers, and I might even be talked into agreeing; but I think our journeys, from evacuation on Aug. 27, 2005, to commencement on May 16, 2009, tell a different story.

Trail mix and water

W

hen I packed up my dorm room at the University of Oregon in December 2005, it seemed rational to me to come back to Tulane and New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina wiped out my first semester there. However, looking back almost four years later, I see that little was rational about the desire to return to a university and a city decimated by the worst natural disaster in the nation’s history. Like me, few of the some 1,300 freshmen who returned to Tulane after a semester in exile had had more than a 24-hour acquaintance with either the school or the city. Maybe it is something like that fantastical concept of love at first sight—that weak-inthe-knees, head-over-heels type of thing— which kept us deliriously in love with and faithful to Tulane and drew us back in droves from all reaches of the country and the globe for the first day of the semester in January 2006. Maybe that is the best way to explain it: We were a bunch of crazy kids in love. Those of us not from New Orleans were perhaps the least rational, captivated and committed to the idea of something we knew practically nothing about. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, I romanticized the South and its fireflies, thunderstorms viewed from front porch swings and hot, sultry nights. I have learned, of course,

New Orleans, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2005: I had planned to run cross-country at Tulane, but at the team meeting the morning of freshman move-in, the coaches said we would have to evacuate; the school would be closing. My parents and I didn’t wait to attend President Scott Cowen’s town hall meeting. We immediately booked flights for the next morning, but we had heard about this thing called “contraflow” and the traffic nightmare that evacuations created. My mother, who had spent all summer checking hurricanes on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s website, was cursing her decision to let me go to school in New Orleans—as if earthquakes, the only natural disaster we could be victims of at home, can be predicted and hurricanes sneak up on you. We arrived at the ticket counter later that day and the agent told us our flights had been cancelled and that she would put us on standby for a flight later that night. My father dealt with the situation by not talking. My mother was talking a mile a minute. She bought an inordinate amount of trail mix and water from the vending machines, predicting survival of the fittest in Louis Armstrong International Airport. T U L A N I A N

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New Orleans native Courtney Coffey’s family home is in New Orleans East, not far from the ghostly grounds of the Six Flags amusement park, which has not reopened since the storm.

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Tuscaloosa, Ala., Aug. 30, 2005: Courtney Coffey and her parents evacuated to Tuscaloosa where they holed up in her brother’s apartment at the University of Alabama, waiting for Katrina to hit. It wasn’t the first time a hurricane had forced them to evacuate from their home in New Orleans East. They had not been particularly concerned when Katrina had entered the Gulf four days earlier as a Category 1 storm. But by early Sunday morning, they decided they had better get out. As Katrina strengthened, Coffey kept telling herself it would be fine, that their house would be fine. Like many New Orleanians, they had dodged a bullet—until the levees broke. Footage of Six Flags Theme Park located not far from the Coffeys’ house flashed across the TV, and they saw how high the water was there. They knew that this time was different. Using Google, they found an aerial view of their house, showing only the roof of their P A G E

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van, parked in the driveway, protruding above the muddy water. “That was an emotional blow. It still gets me sometimes,” Coffey says more than three years later, pausing for a minute and blinking to clear her eyes of tears. She would attend Louisiana State University for the semester, with her parents relocating to Mobile, Ala.

Potomac, Md., early September 2005: Traveling by himself from his home in Enschede, Holland, Victor Brummer arrived for the first time in the United States on the Thursday night before freshman move-in. On the long flight from Amsterdam to Philadelphia, he chatted with a woman who upon their arrival handed him her business card with the instruction to let her know when he made it safely to New Orleans, his final destination. Upon reaching the New Orleans, however, he had just enough time to catch his breath before having to leave the city, evacuating with the family of

a fellow freshman who invited him to stay at their home in Maryland. Brummer, who has attended Tulane through the Fulbright Campus Scholarship program, said he called about 40 schools trying to figure out what to do for the semester, but he didn’t consider going back to Holland. “I just got here,” he thought. “I’m not going home. I’ll figure something out.” When he learned that he could attend Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., he remembered the woman from the plane and that she was from Syracuse. Even though he was still shy about speaking English, he decided to call her and ask for help. She agreed to pick him up at the airport in Syracuse and drive him to Ithaca. She also let him stay at her house for two nights and gave him clothes.

Nashville, Tenn., September 2005: The weekend Margaret Walker was supposed to move into Tulane housing, her parents were moving


Boulder, Colo., fall 2005: Kirsten Brill, from Los Angeles, would walk on the crunchy red and yellow leaves covering the University of Colorado campus as she went to and from her psychology and English classes. Like many Tulane students, Brill arrived at her host school after classes had already been in session for two weeks. “It was an enormous campus flooded with thousands of people,” she says. After her morning classes, she had breakfast nearly every day with friends from high school who had come to Boulder for college. Though she had a lot of friends at Colorado, Brill was “out of her element,” she says. At times she felt “bitter and upset.” In fact, she focused so much on her studies that she didn’t even realize until much later how upset she was for those few months.

Midnight in St. Louis, fall 2005: Seth Cunningham didn’t seriously consider attending a different school during the “Katrina Semester.” “Why would I waste a semester at a school I didn’t want to be at?” Cunningham

says. He decided to stay at home and start college a semester late so that he could spend four full years at Tulane, the only school he wanted to attend. Late in the fall, the temperature often hovered around 20 degrees at night, but Cunningham would have both windows rolled down, trying to stay awake while driving from his hometown of St. Peters, Mo., which is outside St. Louis, to his graveyard shift in the stockroom at a nearby Target. He drank at least two Red Bull energy drinks every night to keep himself going while unloading, unpacking and moving boxes. On most days, after his shift ended, he worked another three to four hours at another Target.

seth cunningham

“When I think about my time at Target,” Cunningham says, “I can taste Red Bull in my mouth.”

Missing New Orleans It is impossible to disentangle Tulane from New Orleans—picked up and plopped down in another part of the country, Tulane would not be Tulane. As majestic as Gibson, Tilton, Newcomb and Richardson halls are, they are like the shells that Emerson brings home from the beach in his poem “Each and All.” When removed from the sand he finds the shells are no longer beautiful. The whole is more than a sum of its parts. Seth Cunningham spent the “Katrina Semester” working the graveyard shift at a Target in his hometown. He can can still taste the Red Bull that kept him going.

from their home in Nashville to Wichita, Kan., for her dad’s new job. Walker, who wound up attending Vanderbilt University in her hometown for the semester, remembers returning to her empty childhood house every evening after a long day at school. “I would turn on the stereo system downstairs just to hear noise,” she says. Twice a day for 30 minutes, Walker sat in traffic, commuting to and from her early morning calculus and psychology classes at Vanderbilt. Each day as she got off the freeway on her way to class, Walker saw the same homeless man. “He would just smile and not look at anything,” she says. Occasionally, she would roll down her window and toss out a loaf of bread to him. “He was alone, and I guess, deep down inside I knew that I was alone, too.”


Tulane is New Orleans—the old and imposing live oaks, the evening light fading on the lagoon in Audubon Park when the egrets return to roost in the trees, the sticky syrup of a sno-ball crawling down through the creases of your hand, the notes of a jazz melody floating out the door of a music club located in an ancient building downtown. Tulane is the

wanted. And so were many of us. Brill always knew she would return. “I was so excited to come back here, which was weird because I didn’t know anyone. I had lots of friends at Boulder, and it was my second-choice school originally. If you have

We are all home Although it is difficult to articulate the ways Katrina affected us, I think most of us were aware soon after returning to Tulane, that whether or not we liked it, Katrina was part of us. The New Orleans we found was without

Behind the colorfully decorated walls of Benjamin Bennaker Elementary School, Victor Brummer experienced both the rewards and frustrations of teaching.

victor brummer

professors and administrators who know this special relationship with the city and celebrate it with us. I once heard a man say, “New Orleans is the only city I ever missed like a woman.” It doesn’t take long, it seems, for her to get to you. So for all of September, October, November and December, while we lived in small farming towns and large metropolises, back home with our parents or in a place we had never imagined ever visiting, we missed New Orleans, too. And we couldn’t wait to see her again. Convincing my parents that I should come back was a struggle that lasted until the middle of December, but I was certain that’s what I P A G E

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something good—,” she says, trailing off, acknowledging that, yes, it would have made sense not to come back. Cunningham couldn’t wait to get out of St. Louis, where he was constantly answering questions about the condition of New Orleans and defending his decision to come back. For Coffey, who has lived in New Orleans since she was 5, the desire to come back was much more rational. “I had this renewed sense of pride in my city,” she says. “The city shaped who I am as a person. It’s given me so much enrichment that I wanted to do something to bring it back.”

the streetcars, and we soon learned the storm lingo of “Pre-K” and “Post-K.” We waited patiently and then celebrated the reopening of neighborhood eateries; we caught the “Katrina Cough” from mold lingering in the residence halls. Some of us received federal money for possessions lost during the storm. Most of us would spend at least a few hours volunteering in the community and all of us would be witness to the monumental task of rebuilding a city. Before we came back, we had existed for almost five months in a long-distance relationship: hoping for something other than grim news from our beloved and counting


The halls of the Lavin-Bernick student center were something of a second home to Margaret Walker, who became active in student government, serving as University Student Government president in her senior year.

“That was the beginning of seeing New Orleans for me,” Brummer says. “The way he was speaking made you feel way more involved—like you were close to New Orleans.” A couple of months later, during Jazz Fest and at the end of Brummer’s freshman year, he stood in a crowd of thousands of teary fans and listened to Bruce Springsteen play “We Shall Overcome.” Several months later he stood with 80,000 others participating in the emotional return of the Saints football team to the Louisiana Superdome. Moments like these helped Brummer understand why everyone was so passionate about New Orleans. Brill says Katrina inspired in her the passion to “go out and do everything there is” to do in New Orleans. She loves the intimate jazz bars of the French Quarter, especially Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub, an “off the radar” bar on Bourbon Street. Another favorite for Brill and her friends is the Camellia Grill. They go a few times a month, says Brill, who always orders the Manhattan Omelet, which she eats with ketchup and Tabasco sauce. “I try to branch out so much,” she says, “but I always go back to that omelet.”

margaret walker the days until we could see her again. We knew we were lucky to be able to return and when we did, we set out to build our relationships with the city. Some of us immersed ourselves in New Orleans, others devoted all extra energy to service efforts. Brummer, from Holland, said he wouldn’t still be in America if it weren’t for Katrina. The hurricane stole one of the two semesters he had planned to spend at Tulane. And then after observing the emotions people expressed about the city and their subsequent efforts to rebuild it, Brummer wanted to stay longer and get to know the city as it might have been. On the night of Jan. 16, 2006—Martin

Luther King Jr. Day—when we first arrived back at Tulane for the spring semester, musician Wynton Marsalis, who is a native of the city, delivered a speech and played his trumpet to a full McAlister Auditorium. “It’s good to be home,” Marsalis told the hushed audience. “It’s especially good to be home in a time of crisis because tough times force us to return to fundamentals. And there is nothing more fundamental than home. Many of you are visitors to New Orleans, but it won’t take four years for the Crescent City to be forever in your blood. So I feel in a way, that we are all home tonight.” And he was right.

An inexplicable connection Although some of us were significantly more affected by Katrina than others, by the end of one semester here, a lot of us, I think, felt like survivors. If nothing else, we had a lot of pride in our school. I remember wearing a Tulane shirt when I went back to my high school to watch the district track meet just after finishing my first semester at Tulane. One of my old coaches said, “Hi,” and then, looking at my shirt said, “I bet you didn’t go back there.” “Actually,” I said, “I did.” For Brill, as for many others, attending T U L A N I A N

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Upon returning to New Orleans for the spring ’06 semester, Kirsten Brill made it a point to embrace the city’s many amenities, including the orange freezes at Camellia Grill. She wants the rest of the nation to know that life “is really great here.”

kirsten brill school in New Orleans has been a constant act of teaching. “People aren’t paying enough attention,” she says. “I want people to know that it’s really great here. I try to convey that, at least, I think New Orleans has come a long way.” I have heard many students complain of people in their hometowns asking, months and years after Katrina, if the city is still flooded. When we came back as sophomores at the end of August 2006, we welcomed the smallest freshman class in recent history and the only people on campus, aside from new faculty and staff, who hadn’t gone through Katrina. For everyone who did experience Katrina— from the people who lost family members and their homes, to the crazy teenagers in love who merely had to evacuate (which felt like enough of an ordeal)—an inexplicable connection had been formed. In many students, Katrina ignited a strong desire to help the community: both the campus community and communities across the city. For Walker, it was the reason she became involved in student government. P A G E

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“It was a time of opportunity for Tulane. I wanted to improve Tulane,” she says. As a sophomore, Walker became an Undergraduate Student Government senator at large. During her second semester in this position, she had grown to understand how “smart, passionate and involved” the students in USG were. “I had this realization that I really liked USG,” she says. The outgoing executive vice president at the time encouraged Walker to run for her position. Pleased by the compliment, Walker ran for the position and won, eventually becoming president of USG during her senior year. Katrina sent five feet of water into Coffey’s house, but it was the suffering of the people at the Superdome that led her to change the way she plans to practice medicine. Instead of opening a private health clinic, she now wants to have an inner-city holistic health clinic. In addition to being a senior resident adviser and president of her sorority, Coffey worked for two years as a lab technician at the Tulane School of Medicine, where she assisted in researching therapies for children with polycystic kidneys.

As a senior, Coffey was “absolutely surprised” to find out she had been nominated for homecoming court. “I was so proud. It felt so good to have my work recognized,” she says. “I never really thought I would get recognized—you know you do it because you love it.” Coffey was voted onto the court by the student body. Katrina also changed Cunningham’s perspective on volunteering. “Giving back to the community should really be part of everyday life, not just a sometimes thing,” he says. “Katrina fundamentally changed who I am and what I am going to do with my life in a lot of ways.” The summer before his junior year, as part of a Tulane School of Social Work program, Cunningham traveled with 13 other Tulane students to McLoed-Ganj, India, to teach English for six weeks. Every day he arrived at a small shed scarcely large enough to accommodate the bed inside it. For four to five hours a day, Cunningham worked with a 28-year-old Tibetan refugee. “His reading comprehension level was so low that we just ended up talking most of the time,” Cunningham says.


Bookends When we arrived at Tulane in fall 2008 for our senior year, Hurricane Gustav was brewing somewhere in the Atlantic. “Bookends,” I heard someone describe our affair with hurricanes. At risk of sounding cliché, the anxiety on campus during that first week back was palpable, especially amongst the seniors. The halves of cell phone conversations that you could hear while walking around campus were all about Gustav. Responses to “How’s it going?” ranged from sighs to cynical remarks. Few people said they were “good” while we checked the several updates coming from Gibson Hall every day, in anticipation of a forced evacuation. Stranger to me than the fact that the years had gone by so quickly, was the fact

that we were the only class left on campus who had done this before. The idea of arriving at freshman orientation and actually staying is incomprehensible to me. I’ve had dinner at Bruff Commons when there was still barely enough staff to prepare more than a couple of dinner options. After asking for someone’s name and where they are from, I grew accustomed to asking them what they did the “Katrina Semester.” Though it is doubtful that every member of the senior class can articulate how Katrina changed his or her life, there’s no doubt it defined our experience at Tulane.

Maybe our infatuation with Tulane and New Orleans began as love at first sight, but four years later, I think most of us would say our instincts were pretty good—and that the love wasn’t fleeting. “I lived in my hometown for 18 years,” says Brummer. “But the way I feel about New Orleans is much stronger. To go through something like that—there is more of a bond.” That sounds like the forever kind of love to me. Catherine Freshley graduated in May with a bachelor of arts in economics and English.

catherine freshley Catherine Freshley, along with her very nervous parents, evacuated from New Orleans on a last-minute flight out of Louis Armstrong airport. She admits that making the case to return to Tulane was a tough sell.

As a senior, Cunningham spent countless hours serving as co-chair for CACTUS, the Community Action Coalition of Tulane University Students, the school’s oldest service group that celebrated 40 years this year. On Monday nights, he heads down to the garden level of Lavin-Bernick Center to meet with CACTUS adviser Avery Brewton. “It’s a great time,” Cunningham says. “We never meet for only an hour. We usually end up meeting for four hours.” Community service also was an important part of Brummer’s and Brill’s time at Tulane. At the beginning of his junior year, Brummer started working as a reading buddy at nearby Benjamin Banneker Elementary School for 10 hours a week. “I work with this one kid, he’s 12 and basically can’t read,” Brummer says. “His dad’s in prison, his mom’s not around—he calls a lot of people mom. He tries so hard, but it’s frustrating because it moves so slow. It is rewarding when he makes progress, but it’s little by little.” This year, Brill had an internship through Tulane’s Center for Public Service at the Chartwell Center where she worked with autistic children. She assisted with projects and activities such as horseback riding and swimming lessons. In April, she led a project designed to help the children develop their fine motor skills by making a decorative sign for their classroom.


A doctor’s office on wheels provides a “medical home” for those in need of health care.

Shone Webb navigates the expressway through downtown New Orleans as the mobile medical unit sets out for the parking lot of a Winn Dixie grocery store in the Gentilly neighborhood.

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When George McClain woke up one morning in March, he didn’t feel that anything was particularly out of the ordinary. In fact, he felt fine. As it happened, he had an appointment for a routine medical checkup, so he dressed himself and ambled the two blocks to the parking lot of the Winn Dixie, where a few weeks earlier he had noticed a large, green bus. It was a medical clinic on wheels, and when he inquired about it, a staff person told him that he could make an appointment to see the doctor at no charge.

That sounded good to McClain, 55, who was without employment and healthcare insurance. He liked the convenience of a clinic he could walk to. Besides, he had some concerns about hypertension. The last time he received medical attention—and this was before Hurricane Katrina—he had been diagnosed with high blood pressure, and it had been years since he’d taken medication to lower it. As McClain clambered up the three steps to board the mobile medical unit, he was greeted by clinic staffer Shone Webb, who began T U L A N I A N

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While waiting to see the doctor, George McClain, talks about the tough times he’s had since Hurricane Katrina. Before discovering the medical unit that rolled into his neighborood, McClain did not consider it a priority to take care of his health.

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asking him routine questions about how he was feeling. McClain wanted to respond that he was feeling fine but somehow he couldn’t. His words were jumbled, and Webb couldn’t understand what he was saying. When Dr. Michele Simoneaux walked over to see what was going on, she instantly recognized that McClain was having a stroke. An ambulance rushed McClain to Tulane Medical Center, where he was assessed by the stroke team and admitted for four days. Upon discharge from the hospital, McClain made an appointment for follow-up care at the mobile medical unit back in his neighborhood. “It was the luck of the draw. Just when he started addressing his high blood pressure, he had the stroke,” Simoneaux says. McClain, who lives alone, is lucky to be alive. But what would have happened to him if routine medical care had not been made so available?

The custom-built mobile medical unit and the methodology of distributing health care at street-level are very much products of The Storm. In the weeks following Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Karen DeSalvo, now vice dean for the Office of Community Affairs and Health Policy at the Tulane School of Medicine, worked with a team of trainees and faculty from the medical school to provide urgent primary care to those who had remained in the city as well as the first responders working to help them. Operating out of makeshift clinics with no running water, the team provided first aid and vaccinations, as well as addressed other basic healthcare needs. Conditions improved when mobile medical units arrived from out of state to help in the effort. DeSalvo, a general internist and chief of general internal medicine and geriatrics at Tulane, knew that bringing health care to where people live made sense not only in disasters but as a standard working procedure. Meanwhile, 8,000 miles away, the Amir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani joined a worldwide audience in watching televised accounts of the storm’s devastating impact along the Gulf Coast. A month after the storm made landfall, the Amir pledged $100 million for housing,


scholarships and healthcare assistance in the hardest-hit areas. A year later, Tulane’s Community Health Center received a $5 million gift from what became known as the Qatar Katrina Fund, a portion of which went toward purchasing and operating the mobile medical unit. DeSalvo estimates that monthly more than 1,200 people in the New Orleans area who would otherwise be without access to health care receive services on the mobile medical unit as well as two neighborhood clinics. “Our mission is to ensure that everyone in New Orleans has access to a high-quality, neighborhood-based primary health care medical home,” says DeSalvo. “‘Everyone’ is the significant word, meaning especially low-income and other vulnerable populations.”

DeSalvo sees the mobile medical unit as a stopgap measure until there are sufficient permanent neighborhood clinics throughout New Orleans. The two neighborhood clinics currently functioning in the city include the one that opened just after the storm at Covenant House in downtown New Orleans and another that opened in August 2008 in New Orleans East. Whether they are on wheels or not, these clinics represent what DeSalvo calls a “medical home” model of health care that is based on the ongoing, collaborative relationship between physician and patient.

Aptly named Tulane Community Health On the Road, the mobile unit travels four days a week to the parking lots of not only grocery stores, but churches and apartment complexes as well. Equipped with a nurse’s station and an examination room, the vehicle allows the fourperson onboard team to offer physical examinations and pelvic exams, monitor and treat chronic illnesses, and provide urgent care. The unit also offers social work services such as counseling and assistance with Medicare or Medicaid. The focus is largely on managing obesity, diabetes and hypertension—chronic conditions that can lead to serious illness or even death if not controlled. The unit serves as a medical home, and for some it is the only kind of home they have.

(Clockwise from bottom left) Social worker Ashley Wright (SW ’08), nurse Cronwell Lewis, and driver/outreach specialist Stephen Robinson are members of the onboard team of the medical unit, which (below) regularly participates in health fairs around the city.

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Stanley Matthews says he likes the care he has received at the mobile clinic, where he’s been given encouragement and instruction on how to take charge of his health as well as help in accessing the social services system.

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Stanley Matthews, 54, has not had a permanent residence since Hurricane Katrina. Formerly an aide at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, he currently is unemployed and is staying in a house that is being renovated in downtown New Orleans. He says he misses his books and tapes that were lost in the floodwaters. Upon seeing the mobile medical unit parked at the Israelite Baptist Church in Central City, he considered whether he should take advantage of its services. “Sure, why not?” he decided. As with many of the people Simoneaux sees, Matthews had dangerously high blood pressure. Simoneaux encouraged Matthews to quit smoking and take better care of himself. It’s a message that is reinforced by the clinic’s other team members: onboard nurse Cronwell “Connie” Lewis, social worker Ashley Wright and Steve Robinson, the unit’s other driver. Wright, who earned her master of social work degree from Tulane in 2008, has helped Matthews navigate the social services system to receive food stamps and subsidized medication. “They’re open-minded, caring and understanding,” Matthews says. “A good doctor shows concern. They called me to make sure

I was coming in. It’s my first experience with a doctor like that.” Matthews appreciates that the team compliments him when he dresses nicely. He says he’s trying to get his life back in order and it feels good when people notice. At least 80 percent of the patients who arrive at the mobile medical unit have a mental health component to their illnesses, estimates Simoneaux, who is one of three physicians rotating on the unit. All three are trained as internists and pediatricians. Lewis, the nurse, screens each new patient for depression and those who seem likely candidates are given a questionnaire that will help the doctors identify mental health issues. Both drivers serve as outreach workers and have experience working with patients. Webb is a former HIV/AIDS case manager with a master’s degree in education and Robinson is a mental health crisis technician with the New Orleans Police Department. He is studying homeland security with an emphasis on mental health in the Tulane School of Continuing Studies. “I think it’s an effect of post-Katrina,” Simoneaux says of the mental health issues her patients contend with, “and I think we’re also starting to see some increase in issues related to the economy and job loss. A lot of them right now are teetering on the edge.” Many can’t find work. Some are close to losing their housing. One week a patient may drive himself to the clinic and by the next week he has lost his vehicle. Issues such as these can be barriers to wellness.


Growing up in a small town where health care was limited predisposed Dr. Michele Simoneaux (NC ’97, M ’01) to the need for accessible, locally available health care.

For Simoneaux, who graduated from Newcomb College in 1997 and received her medical degree from Tulane in 2001, working in community health care is a passion. A native of the small town of Franklin, La., she saw members of her own community lacking access to health care because of insufficient financial resources as well as lack of proximity to facilities. The closest hospital with full medical services was at least 40 minutes away by car. After her first year of medical school, Simoneaux joined five friends in borrowing an 18-seat van from Tulane and setting off for a 30day road trip to explore healthcare delivery in various communities. They visited Indian Health Service units in Colorado, Montana, New Mexico and Arizona. In Denver, the group came across a mobile medical unit that served a population of mostly migrant workers and immigrants who were typically resistant to visiting traditional health centers. Simoneaux was impressed by how the unit attracted those who would otherwise avoid seeking care. “Maybe they were legal, maybe they weren’t. The people were scared of recognized clinics, but they’d come onto a mobile medical unit.” One thing that has surprised Simoneaux

about practicing medicine on the mobile medical unit is how much she enjoys working health fairs. She frequently volunteers her time on Saturdays to staff the unit at neighborhood- or church-sponsored events, where folks can get free blood pressure readings or screenings for diabetes. Patients receive immediate results and the doctor can counsel them on things they can do to improve their health. The physician also is available to provide urgent care if needed. “There have been a couple of instances where we have somebody come through the fair whose sugar is really high … and if we

can’t do something soon, chances are they’ll wind up in the emergency room,” Simoneaux says. “We’ll see them that day for a full patient visit on the unit, get them started on medicine, and get them set up with everything. Then we follow up.” Through the use electronic medical records, the staff is able to make an appointment for the patient at either the mobile medical unit or at one of Tulane’s community health clinics. “The people we see at health fairs … easily 95 percent of them don’t have care,” Simoneaux says. Fran Simon is the Classes editor for Tulanian.

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By Mary Ann Travis

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portrait photography by jackson hill

n a g e Ch The new School of Science and Engineering brings together discoverers and builders, thinkers and doers, to speed up the pace of innovation.

IMAGES COURTESY OF THE TULANE CENTER FOR COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE AND OTHER SOURCES.

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Arden Bement, director of the National

Science Foundation, gave a talk on the Tulane campus in March. During it, he quoted his boss, President Barack Obama, who has said that “science holds the key to our survival as a planet and our security and prosperity as a nation. … In labs, classrooms and companies across America, our leading minds are hard at work chasing the next big idea, on the cusp of breakthroughs that could revolutionize our lives.” But science operating alone cannot save the world. Jeffrey Grossman of the University of California–Berkeley in an opinion piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education in May, says that for it to save the world, “science must save itself from the status quo.” That status quo at most universities keeps science and engineering in separate silos of discovery and application. “Science and engineering need to come closer together,” writes Grossman. “Only the combination of the two will allow us to accelerate the pace of innovation.” At Tulane, the status quo was upended in a big way after Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. With the university’s survival in jeopardy, new

schools were formed, colleges dissolved and programs suspended. Several engineering departments were disbanded. Nicholas Altiero, who had been dean of the old School of Engineering at the time of the storm, was named the dean of the new School of Science and Engineering. He was asked by Tulane President Scott Cowen and members of the Tulane Board to develop a strategic vision for the new school consistent with the university’s poststorm “Plan for Renewal.” “We looked at the right balance based on our strengths and what we could expect to accomplish with prudent investments,” says Altiero. These investments will include new engineering and computer science offerings but there are no plans to restore the suspended departments. “We just don’t have the resources to build competitive civil, electrical and mechanical engineering departments,” says Altiero. “It’s simply not possible.” What has been possible at Tulane is to bring together science and engineering into one school where collaborations are fostered and interactions are encouraged.

“We’re trying to cut down the lag time between discovery and innovation,” says Altiero. “The way to drive innovation is to bring cuttingedge science and the people who are doing design closer together.” The new school comprises all nine of Tulane’s uptown science and engineering departments and focuses on six thematic areas— behavioral, biological, chemical, earth and ecological, mathematical and physical. “The programs we’ve decided to focus on are not huge but they’re a good fit for us,” Altiero says. “We are putting together the right critical mass of people to excel in a number of targeted areas.” Since the science and engineering school’s first year in 2006–07, Altiero has launched an ambitious effort to hire more research-active faculty members. By the fall, there will be 33 new hires out of 119 full-time faculty members. And, says Altiero, engineering continues strong at Tulane in the ABET-accredited biomedical and chemical engineering programs. (ABET is the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.) A new program in engineering physics is offered and has been

Change agents: (from left) Don Gaver, professor and chair of the biomedical engineering department; Jeff Tasker, department; Nick Altiero, dean of the School of Science and Engineering; Janet Ruscher, professor and chair of P A G E

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SCULPTURE ON THE SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING QUAD IS STAIRWAY TO THE STARS BY MARK DI SUVERO.


designed to meet ABET criteria. Tulane also has entered into partnerships with Johns Hopkins and Vanderbilt universities. Through these partnerships, students can spend three years at Tulane and then two years at the partner institutions, earning a degree in physics from Tulane and a degree in civil, mechanical, electrical or environmental engineering from the partner institutions. Altiero points out that women in engineering at Tulane are flourishing. In 2007–08, the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) ranked the university No. 1 in the nation for percentage of bachelor’s degrees in engineering awarded to women. That year, women received 38.3 percent of the bachelor of science in engineering degrees awarded by Tulane. (Of the 60 such degrees granted by Tulane that year, 23 were awarded to women, and 37 to men.) Nationally, only 18 percent of bachelor’s degrees in engineering were awarded to women.

Sprinters and marathoners “Nobody wants to go through a storm,” says Don Gaver, the Alden J. Doc Laborde Professor and chair of the biomedical

engineering department. But the changes at Tulane after Katrina have resulted in an exhilarating interdisciplinary research environment, Gaver says. “I can’t imagine a better place for trying to develop integration.” Biomedical engineering sits at the nexus of basic and applied science. In fact, Gaver sees no difference between a scientist and an engineer. As biomedical engineers, Gaver and his colleagues tackle problems that not only require fundamental scientific inquiry but typically also have applications with clinical significance. The biomedical engineering faculty includes six new full-time professors on the current roster of 10 faculty members. The new hires have arrived with invigorating energy and enthusiasm, says Gaver. “They’re all fresh. They come in at the starting gate, as they should, doing everything they need to.” Longtime faculty members, on the other hand, continue to be productive in their projects. “Our department’s recovery has at times seemed like a marathon, with new faculty sprinting to develop their laboratories as they become part of the team,” says Gaver. “But it’s

School of Science and Engineering Academic Departments and Thematic Areas

Behavioral • Department of Psychology Biological • Department of Biomedical Engineering • Department of Cell and Molecular Biology Chemical • Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering • Department of Chemistry Earth and Ecological • Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences • Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Mathematical • Department of Mathematics Physical • Department of Physics and Engineering Physics

professor of cell and molecular biology; Vijay John, professor and chair of the chemical and biomolecular engineering the psychology department; and Ricardo Cortez, professor of mathematics and director the computational science center. T U L A N I A N

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OK. We are all working on common goals of creating an excellent collaborative research environment for our students.” Microvascular research, microfluidic applications, stem cells, optic nerve regeneration, and point-of-care diagnostics are some of the avenues of exploration that the new faculty members are pursuing. Ongoing research in the department includes biomedical electronics, computer controls, and design of devices for people with disabilities. Work on aging issues and new methodologies for training doctors also hold medical promise. Gaver’s own research is on the pulmonary system. Specifically, he focuses on what happens in acute respiratory syndrome, in which people on ventilators suffer damage in the tissues of their lungs.

Basic science payoff Jeff Tasker is a dyed-in-the-wool basic scientist. He’s on the cutting edge of research, exploring new ideas, searching for discoveries. And the work takes time. “It’s a slow process,” says Tasker. “The lag time in science is fairly long for changes to occur in terms of scientific development and evolution of scientific programs.” Tasker, professor of cell and molecular biology in the Tulane School of Science and Engineering, holder of the Catherine and Hunter Pierson Chair in Neuroscience, and director of the neuroscience program at Tulane, has already spent two decades studying the cells of the brain. And he’s made some grand discoveries, including the connection between stress and the production of endogenous cannabinoids, a naturally occurring neurotransmitter in the brain that is similar to the active ingredient of marijuana. His research may one day result in clinical applications relating to eating habits, sexual drive and cognitive functions. But as sexy as his research sounds, the tedious, slow part is doing the legwork, says Tasker, figuring out how all these mechanisms work at the cellular and molecular level. Tasker leads a 12-member lab on the first floor of Percival Stern Hall, including graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, a faculty research professor and technician. Undergraduate P A G E

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students also participate in the research. Altiero says the chance to conduct research as an undergraduate is a big draw for students at Tulane. When he meets prospective freshmen, they invariably ask him, “Will I get an opportunity to do research?” And the answer is yes. More than 200 School of Science and Engineering undergraduates work on funded research projects annually.

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We ,re trying to cut down the lag time between discovery and innovation. The way to drive innovation is to bring cutting-edge science and the people who are doing design closer together.

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Nicholas Altiero, dean of the School of Science and Engineering

While basic science takes a long time, the payoff is great for investment in fundamental research like Tasker’s. Such investment is essential to future innovations in technology, medicine, energy, environmental cleanup, psychological understanding and all kinds of endeavors. Support for Tasker’s research as well as for much of the research conducted in the rest of the School of Science and Engineering largely comes from external federal funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Last year, the school had $20 million in funded research. “We intend to more than double that,” says Altiero, “and with the investments we have made in faculty and infrastructure,

that should be achievable.” Currently, the school ranks third in funded research at Tulane behind the School of Medicine and School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. During his talk at Tulane, Bement noted that scientists like Tasker toil behind the scenes for years before their breakthroughs result in innovations that can hit the marketplace. But that is all the more reason that they need support. It is important to “listen to the hopes, dreams, plans and experiences of individuals,” said Bement, who underscored the importance of creating a seamless flow between discovery and application. “The development of marketable products is the direct result of continuous investments over many years in transformative, risk-taking research,” said Bement. “In turn, these innovations strengthen the economy.”

The language of science A thread that sews together science and engineering is mathematics. It is their common language. Gaver, along with mathematics professors Lisa Fauci and Ricardo Cortez, started the Center for Computational Science at Tulane in 2001. They set out to have a place where experimentalists and computational investigators could talk to each other and begin collaborations. Computational modeling of experiments provides scientists and engineers with analytical tools to test hypotheses—and can offer shortcuts to discovery, accelerating the science, says Cortez, the center’s director. Computational investigators benefit from having interaction with experimentalists because it gives the mathematicians the opportunity to test their computations against reality. Data from experiments adds to the complexity and challenges of computer modeling, while the computational science provides the experimentalists with an extra dimension to their work. It may show them features that they hadn’t seen before, Cortez says. “But they don’t have to take my word for it,” Cortez adds. “They can design an experiment to determine if those features are really there. It may point to new experiments.” Cortez has collaborated on neuroscience experiments, as well as projects to develop


environmental biosensors and track the West Nile virus. While the Center for Computational Science was displaced for a couple of years after the storm, it is now located on the fourth floor of Stanley Thomas Hall in a sleek, renovated facility that has offices and computers for postdoctoral researchers and graduate students. Undergraduates also gather there to participate in projects. Since Katrina, the Louisiana Board of Regents has provided partial funding for Tulane to hire biological computational scientists in biomedical engineering and ecology and evolutionary biology. Interdisciplinary fields such as mathematical biology are the new frontier, says Cortez. “Training students in a collaborative environment is the way to go because chances are when they go out and get a job, if they’re doing research of some sort, they are going to be in an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary group. They need to be able to speak the language of other scientists.”

Matter of survival Finding collaborators has always been easy at Tulane, says Vijay John, professor and chair of the chemical and biomolecular engineering department. People have long recognized that a single investigator cannot solve an entire problem, John says. “The difference I see now after Katrina is that because it’s a combined school of science and engineering—and it’s new—there is a greater desire to make it work. What we are seeing is a real willingness to find problems of mutual interest,” John says. He has collaborated with faculty members in chemistry, physics, and the schools of medicine and public health, as well as in his own department. His research projects are based on nanotechnology and the development of nanostructured materials that are made up of small clusters of atoms. In collaboration with the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, John is investigating new ways to deliver vaccines, which usually are made up of large protein molecules.

If vaccines can be incorporated into a nanocarrier, the theory is that they can be delivered through the skin to the body, without the use of needles. Simply by rubbing such a vaccine on skin, it could penetrate under the first layer of skin and be transported to the lymph nodes, where it will turn into antibodies. Healthcare providers around the world could receive supplies of vaccines in something like a tube of toothpaste. John also is investigating the use of carbon nanoparticles to clean up chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminants in groundwater. Chlorinated hydrocarbons were once used in everything from dry cleaning solutions to paint strippers and have now been identified as carcinogens. With all the promise of nanotechnology, John is aware that there might be a downside. The extremely small scale of nanomaterials makes them readily available to enter the human body. As large quantities of nanomaterials are produced, people may come into contact with them in unintended and perhaps harmful ways. John is collaborating with public health researchers in environmental toxicology to address potential health risks.

Lasso the moon “If you’re interested in stress and trauma—what a great place to be,” says Janet Ruscher, professor and chair of the psychology department. And she’s not being flippant. She’s quite serious as she talks about the success she’s had since the storm hiring faculty members. For researchers interested in school-based interventions, prejudice, stereotyping and other minority issues and challenges, the Tulane psychology department is an attractive place to work. “People recognize the connection between where we’ve been and what we’ve built and what we can study,” says Ruscher. After Katrina, with the resignations of some faculty members in other research areas, Ruscher and others made the decision to build on the psychology department’s ongoing investigations into issues related to ethnic minority group challenges and stress, as well as problems in biopsychology. Stress issues related to aging, learning,

memory and trauma are among the targeted areas. Researchers also are studying the impact of stress on children living in post-Katrina New Orleans and in high-violence neighborhoods. The department has 20 faculty members and the largest number of undergraduate majors at Tulane. Psychology faculty members collaborate with researchers in cell and molecular biology, biomedical engineering, the medical and public health schools and the Center for Computational Science. Under Altiero’s forward-thinking leadership, Ruscher says that the psychology department’s efforts and successes in securing research funding have increased “exponentially.” Altiero, she says, has encouraged faculty members to go after funding and pursue their research goals. But they have to produce results. “Nick is the kind of person who will give you a piece of rope,” says Ruscher. “And you can either lasso the moon or hang yourself. He gives you that choice.” Ruscher uses a psychological term to describe Altiero: He has an “approach focus.” “In the social psychology area of our field,” says Ruscher, “we talk about people having approach focus and avoidance focus. Some people are just trying to protect what they’ve got and not lose anything. They’re worried about being punished. Not a lot gets done. “And then you have other people who are approach focused. They do take risks. But they try to build and they move forward. They’re focused on rewards,” says Ruscher. The bold—and fast—move to create a new school is undoubtedly the act of approachfocused leadership. Still, inertia is hard to overcome and the new school probably would not have come into being so quickly without a destructive hurricane to speed up the process. It hasn’t been easy, but Altiero has a hunch he’s lassoed the moon. “I think there are a lot of places out there that would like to do something like this,” he says, adding that he gets tons of interest from colleagues around the country. “I think a lot of people are looking at us to see how this goes.” Mary Ann Travis is the editor of Tulanian. T U L A N I A N

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giving Back

This year marks Tulane’s 175th anniversary. To celebrate the milestone, reunion classes and all alumni are invited to the WAVE ’09 All-Alumni Reunion Party on Friday, Oct.9.

Come back, give back This year marks Tulane’s 175th anniversary. To celebrate the milestone, reunion classes and all alumni are invited to the WAVE ’09 All-Alumni Reunion Party on Friday, Oct. 9, from 6 to 9 p.m. In the Qatar Ballroom of the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life, alumni can enjoy great food and live music as they reconnect with friends. Fireworks, a pep rally and a concert on the Quad are part of the celebration that salutes the classes of 1959, 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004 and, last but not least, the class of 2009. For registration and details, visit reunions.tulane.edu. It has become a tradition for classes celebrating reunions to make reunion class gifts. Historically, the bar was set high in 2007 when members of the Class of 1967 raised more than $1.3 million in honor of their 40th reunion. This year, graduates of years ending in “4” and “9” are in a heated competition, and class gift chairs are working hard to inspire participation from everyone in their classes. David G. Perlis, A&S ’64, L ’67, and James R. Nieset, A&S ’64, L ’67, are co-chairs for the 45th reunion class gift. They encourage their

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classmates to give back to Tulane. The university is “the place that provided the freedom and guidance to move us into adulthood,” they say, recalling a “groovy” Tulane experience marked by the British invasion, Dave Brubeck’s experimental Time Out and snow on New Year’s Eve. Dr. Gary C. Morchower, A&S ’59, M ’62, who is gift chair for the 50th reunion class, remembers Greenie Beanies, Frogman Henry, Fats Domino, Joe Cohen’s freshman English class, Ducky Riess’s fabled physics course, and Mr. Crumpler’s impossible CHEM 205, where the questions stayed the same, only the answers changed. Morchower takes particular pride these days in the active role that the university has taken in bringing the city back. He encourages others to join him in contributing generously to the Tulane Fund, noting “participation is everything when it comes to keeping our university in top form.” Albert H. “Sonny” Small Jr., A&S ’79, a member of the 30th reunion class, has made a generous offer to match reunion class gifts made from now until the Wave ’09 reunion, up to a total of $500,000. Gifts to the Tulane Fund can be designated to any school, while the matching gift will go to the Tulane City Center, the School of Architecture’s applied

urban research and outreach program, to continue its groundbreaking work in rebuilding New Orleans. Additionally, any first-time gift to the Tulane Fund made by a “Graduate of the Last Decade” (G.O.L.D. alum) is eligible for a matching gift. Tulane President Scott Cowen will be on hand to greet reunion celebrants and volunteers at the Wave ’09 reunion party.

Bid high, bid often To raise funds for Green Wave sports, the Hullabaloo Homecoming athletics auction will be held as part of reunion activities on Friday, Oct. 9, in the Lavin-Bernick Center. Coaches and student-athletes will be in attendance along with friends and kindred spirits to share memories of triumph and heartbreak in games past. This year, in addition to the traditional raffle and silent auction, an online auction has been added. Among the exciting items up for bid are a pair of Super Bowl tickets and a deep-sea fishing expedition in Belize. For tickets and additional auction details, visit http://tulane.edu/homecoming/hullabaloo. —Maureen King Maureen King is a writer in Tulane’s Office of Development.


theClasses

‘The Sands of Time’ The late Frank Monachino, center, founder and director of Summer Lyric Theatre and chair of the music department, anchors the men’s chorus in a 1972 performance of Kismet. Summer Lyric Theatre celebrates its 42nd season this summer. (Photo by Matt Anderson)


classNotes theClasses

Alumni awards 1 Celebrating at the Tulane Alumni Association awards gala on May 3, 2009, at the Audubon Tea Room in New Orleans are, left to right, Cathy Pierson (G ’78, SW ’89), former chair of the Board of Tulane; Olive Moss Sartor (NC ’57); Ryan Sartor (A&S ’52, L ’55); Larry Ponoroff, dean of the Tulane Law School; Ellen McGlinchey; Deirdre McGlinchey Moffett (L ’95); and Hunter Pierson, who received the Dermot McGlinchey Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated service and volunteer involvement and commitment to Tulane and the hometown community. Chair of the President’s Council, Hunter Pierson co-chaired “Promise and Distinction: The Campaign for Tulane.”

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2 St. Paul Bourgeois IV (A&S ’69, L ’72), left, president of the Tulane Alumni Association board, congratulates John McGaha Jr. (E ’70), who received the School of Science and Engineering Outstanding Service Award.

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Vijay John, center, professor and chair of the Tulane Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, greets Blake Simmons (E ’01, G ’02), left, who received the School of Science and Engineering Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, and Joe Boston (G ’70), who received the School of Science and Engineering Outstanding Alumnus award.

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Blake Simmons (E ’01, G ’02), right, recipient of the School of Science and Engineering Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, chats with Shivonne Laird (PHTM ’01), who received the Young Volunteer Award from the Tulane Alumni Association.

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Bobby Boudreau (B ’51, L ’53), who received the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Tulane Alumni Association, shares the moment with his wife, Margaret Boudreau (NC ’51).

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Attending the annual awards event are, left to right, Berdon Lawrence (B ’64, ’65), who received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Tulane Alumni Association; Tulane President Scott Cowen; and Betty Field (NC ’60, G ’69, ’73). The awards committee defines the recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award as "one singularly successful individual who, through exemplary accomplishments and recognition, epitomizes the potential of a Tulane education and thereby brings credit and honor to the university."

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PHOTOS 1–6 BY GUILLERMO CABRERA


theClasses classNotes

Wine tasting 7 At a wine-tasting event held by the Tulane Alumni Club– Baton Rouge on Feb. 12, 2009, are, left to right, Claire Cook McVadon (NC ’60), Wayne McVadon (A&S ’60), Omar Davis (E ’74, B ’75) and Marybeth Davis.

8 Lauren DeFrank (NC ’06), Michael DePaul (B ’84) and Brooke Barbera (NC ’03) enjoy the wine tasting at the Grape on Perkins Rowe in Baton Rouge, La.

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Politics with class 9 Newt Gingrich (G ’68, ’71), former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, speaks to students in a class of political pundit James Carville, a professor of practice in the Tulane Department of Political Science, during the spring 2009 semester.

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Under the oaks 10 The H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College Institute honors Jane Pharr Gage (NC ’32, G ’34) as a 75th reunion alumna at the Under the Oaks Ceremony on the uptown campus May 15, 2009, where she received a commemorative 75th reunion diploma.

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11 Jo-Ann Ciolino Adams (NC ’59), center, celebrates her 50th reunion at the Under the Oaks Ceremony in the Dixon Hall Auditorium. She received a 50-year diploma to mark the event.

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At the awards event honoring women graduates in the class of 2009 are, left to right, Shannon Williams (class of 2012), Dorothy Tsai Soong (NC ’59) and Barbara Blaine Smith (NC ’59).

BrouHaHa 13 At an impromptu gathering of former staff members of

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the BrouHaHa (an independent newspaper at Tulane from 1993 until 1997) are, left to right, Robert Lane Greene (TC ’97), now working at The Economist; Frank Tanner Colby III (TC ’97), writer of two New York Times best-sellers; Julie Baron (NC ’98), an opera singer and founder of YAP Tracker, an online opera management service; Chris Suellentrop (TC ’97), an editor with the New York Times; Noam Schreiber, (TC ’98) of the New Republic; Sean Trask (E ’96), a data-base administrator; and Rudy Lehrer (TC ’98, L ’02), an attorney. The group gathered in New York during the second weekend of May 2009.

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PHOTOS 7–8 BY MEGHAN GREELEY, 9 BY SALLY ASHER, 10–12 BY CHERYL GERBER, 13 BY EVA HOIER GREENE

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classNotes theClasses

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JOYCE PEREZ EUSTIS O’CONNOR (NC ’39) lives in Baton Rouge, La., with her husband, Hugh B. O’Connor, enjoying family and a large backyard full of satsuma trees. Opaque, blue-glazed, low-fired stoneware pots grace her bookshelves and are a tangible link to her Newcomb Art School days and Newcomb Pottery, she says. She was 20 years old when she received a four-year bachelor’s degree in studio art and design with a secondary degree in art history. After graduation, she continued to work in the pottery shop, throwing stoneware bowls and vases, which she later had wired into lamps. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal appointed JOHN P. “JACK” McNULTY (M ’51) to the Advisory Committee on Hospice Care. President of the Palliative Care Institute of Southeast Louisiana, McNulty teaches palliative care.

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JACK KUSHNER (A&S ’60) plans to lecture on international medicine at the World Forum in Washington, D.C., in July. He is currently working on a book, A Neurosurgeon’s Compass.

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RON PYKE (A&S ’62) was elected president of Moraine House in Valparaiso, Ind., a halfway house for recovering alcohol and drug abusers.

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R. KING MILLING SR. (L ’65) received the 2008 Loving Cup from The TimesPicayune. The newspaper presented its coveted community award to Milling in honor of his work in coastal restoration. He is chair of three Louisiana environmental organizations— the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Coastal Restoration and Conservation, America’s Wetland Foundation and the Committee of the Future of Coastal Louisiana. Milling also is a board member of five other coast-related organizations. His wife, ANNE McDONALD MILLING (NC ’62), an activist who founded

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Women of the Storm, received the Loving Cup 13 years ago. Anne Milling received a 2009 Hall of Fame Award from the Louisiana Center for Women and Government on March 28, 2009. EDWARD GINGOLD (A&S ’66), a staff attorney for more than 30 years at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, received the Star of the Year award for civilians by the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area. He was recognized for organizing the commission’s participation in the annual federal employee workplace charity fund-raising drive. Gingold, campaign manager for the past five years, was cited for his work in expanding participation in the campaign and for his community work.

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STEPHEN COONEY (A&S ’67) retired after 30 years as a lobbyist and researcher in Washington, D.C. Since 2001, he has been an industry analyst and specialist for the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress. He coordinated and co-authored a Congressional report, U.S. Motor Vehicle Industry: Federal Financial Restructuring and Assistance, and other reports on the American steel industry and employment in U.S. motor vehicle manufacturing. From 1994 to 2000, Cooney was a lobbyist on international issues, energy policy and other business issues for Siemens Corp.

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DONALD R. ABAUNZA (L ’69), a partner with Liskow and Lewis in New Orleans, received the 2008 New Orleans Bar Association Distinguished Maritime Lawyer Award from the New Orleans Bar Association on Feb. 5, 2009. The award honors attorneys who are highly respected among peers and who contribute significantly to the local admiralty bar. Abaunza has 40 years experience in admiralty, energy and commercial law. He serves on the planning committee for the Tulane Admiralty Law Institute and is a proctor for the Maritime Law Association of

the United States. He served as managing partner and president of Liskow and Lewis from 1996 until 2003. PIERCE KELLEY (A&S ’69), a lawyer in private practice in Cedar Key, Fla., announces the publication of his sixth novel, entitled Asleep at the Wheel. A book by PAUL CRAVATH (G ’70), Earth in Flower: The Divine Mystery of the Cambodian Dance Drama, has received two literary awards. In addition, the U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia selected the book, about the Cambodian royal ballet dancers who died in the Khmer Rouge genocide, as an official gift from America to King Sihamoni of Cambodia. For more information about the book go to www.earthinflower.com.

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MARGARET MAXWELL ZAGEL (NC ’70) received a 2009 Aiming High Award from Legal Momentum, the nation’s oldest legal advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the rights of women and girls. The award recognizes women whose personal leadership has broken new ground for women in business. Zagel is managing principal for risk, regulatory and legal affairs and general counsel at Grant Thornton, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International, an accounting and consulting firm. BRYAN DUCK (A&S ’71) retired in fall 2007 from his urology practice in Richmond, Va., and moved to the Ford Plantation in Richmond Hills, Ga. Duck is traveling with his brother, JERRY DUCK (L ’70), to Anchorage, Alaska, where he will work for the Veterans Administration Hospital beginning in July.

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KENNETH V. FINNEY (G ’73) retired from North Carolina Wesleyan College after 35 years teaching Latin American and technology history. He continues compiling his Narrative Chronicles of Honduras.

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theClasses classNotes

JOE B. NORMAN (A&S ’73, L ’78), a partner of Liskow and Lewis law firm, became a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a professional organization of preeminent trial lawyers in the United States and Canada. The induction ceremony took place March 2, 2009, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. Fellowship in the college is limited to the top 1 percent of the total lawyer population in any state or province. The A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane honored RICK S. REES (B ’74, ’75) as the 2009 Tulane Most Distinguished Entrepreneur at an awards ceremony on April 17, 2009. Rees was recognized for exemplifying true entrepreneurial spirit and philanthropic generosity. He is co-founder of LongueVue Capital and the former chief financial officer of Halter Marine Group, a $1 billion revenue company at the time of its merger with Friede Goldman. Following the merger, Rees joined Friede Goldman as chief financial officer. Rees’ professional career includes serving as past president of Texas Drydock, a rig repair and conversion business. He also served as principal of Maritime Capital, a company formed in 1989 to purchase and service a portfolio of distressed marine loans.

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PATRICIA SHEARER (G ’75) directs the Cancer Survivor Program at the University of Florida Shands Cancer Center. The program offers care, education and research for survivors of all ages, with protocols that focus on health literacy and quality of life.

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ROBERT C. HINCKLEY (L ’76) anticipates the publication of his first book, William Woodward: An American Impressionist, this fall. William Woodward and his brother, Ellsworth, helped organize the art department at Newcomb College in 1887. William Woodward also played a role in founding the Tulane School of Architecture in 1907. Hinckley’s book includes images of more than 150 of William Woodward’s paintings.

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PHOTO BY KITTINUN RODSUPAN

MARYVELMA O’NEIL (G ’78) Culture shock She is an American expatriate by design. “I love culture shock,” says MARYVELMA SMITH O’NEIL (G ’78). The art historian, professor, travel guide and author has crafted for herself a life in which she spends much of her time traveling and exploring cultures. O’Neil currently lives in Geneva, Switzerland, but she is nearly as likely to be found in Bangkok, Thailand, or Manhattan, N.Y., as she shuttles between the three offices of Franciscans International, a non-governmental organization for which she and her husband work. A former New Orleanian, Michael D. O’Neil is advising the organization on strategic planning, while Maryvelma O’Neil is contributing her writing and editing skills. Her work for the Franciscans is a part-time gig, which affords her the opportunity to teach as an adjunct professor in art history at Webster University in Geneva. A recognized expert in 17th-century Italian art and culture, O’Neil published her first book, Giovanni Baglione: Artistic Reputation in Baroque Rome, in 2002. This summer, she is traveling to Istanbul, Turkey, to teach a course on Islamic art. A few years ago, O’Neil moved to Bangkok for an extended period of time to work on a book, Bangkok: A Cultural and Literary History, which was published in March 2008. Her next book will showcase remarkable Thai women, including Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the crown princess who is third in line to the Thai throne. “Every time I’ve seen Her Royal Highness, she exudes joy, despite many onerous obligations,” says O’Neil, who dedicated the second printing of her Bangkok book to the princess and is donating a portion of its royalties to the preservation of temple murals in remote provinces of Thailand. Where will her next project lead her? Most likely to a good many places. O’Neil is planning a book on women artists and writers from different cultures and religions who have imagined heaven in their work. —Fran Simon

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THOMAS KARL HOFER (UC ’76) retired after a 30-year career in social service. He now lives in Morgan City, La. JOE TRAHAN (A&S ’76) chaired the Public Relations Society of America Educators Academy from 2007 to 2009. Trahan is faculty adviser for the Georgia State University chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. An accredited public relations practitioner and fellow of the Public Relations Society of America, Trahan is CEO of Trahan and Associates. A retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, he resides in Atlanta and conducts media training. New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin appointed EDWARD C. BUSH (A&S ’77), vice president of Dorsey and Co. Investments, to

’77

the Economic Advisory Committee of the City of New Orleans. The Texas Bar Foundation elected FRANKLIN J. HARBERG JR. (A&S ’77) a fellow of the foundation. He is an attorney practicing in real estate matters with Mills, Higbie, Harberg and Huvard in Houston.

’79

BENSON T. MASSEY (E ’79) spoke to Tulane students about “Engineering and Swallowing” in conjunction with the Dysphagia Research Society meeting in New Orleans in March 2009. Massey, president of the society, also participated in a media event at the Audubon Insectarium, where he and other experts tried a selection of insect appetizers and commented on how flavor and texture of foods affect swallowing.

CELEBRATE TULANE’S 175th ANNIVERSARY! Alumni Weekend, Parent & Family Weekend and Homecoming 2009 Oct. 8–11, 2009 Wave ’09 All-Alumni Reunion Party Friday, Oct. 9, 6–9 p.m., Lavin-Bernick Center Mix, mingle and enjoy great food, music and a roaring good time. Enjoy the fireworks and pep rally with a live music concert on the Quad. We will recognize alumni celebrating reunions of the classes of ’59, ’64, ’69, ’74, ’79, ’84, ’89, ’94, ’99, ’04 and ’09

Hullabaloo Homecoming Friday, Oct. 9, Lavin-Bernick Center Tulane Athletics’ premier fund-raiser benefitting Tulane student-athletes. Featuring an auction with many exciting items!

Homecoming game (Marshall vs. Tulane) Saturday, Oct. 10, Louisiana Superdome Kickoff at 2:30 p.m. Homecoming Village tailgating activities begin at 11 a.m. For full and updated information visit: http://tulane.edu/homecoming

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MOREY RAISKIN (A&S ’79, L ’82) is listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2009 in the area of labor and employment law. He is an attorney with Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor and Reed in central Florida. Newsweek featured CHIP KAHN (PHTM ’80) in a story, “No Harry and Louise: Why Healthcare Reform Might Be Different Now,” in the magazine’s March 23, 2009, issue. Kahn is president of the Federation of American Hospitals and attended a White House Forum on Health Reform.

’80

CHRIS HAYDEN FODERICK (NC ’80) is teaching elementary education after 18 years as a district/regional manager in women’s retail and five years as a Realtor with EWM. She and her husband, Paul, reside in Coral Gables, Fla. CASANDRA COOPER GATES (L ’80) is senior vice president for administration at the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, where she has worked in senior management for 28 years. She manages and directs the financial, accounting, tax, treasury, risk management, human resources, environmental, safety, security, emergency response preparedness, management information systems and purchasing areas. Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, owned by Marathon Oil, Shell Oil and Murphy Oil, is the nation’s only deepwater oil port capable of directly receiving supertankers offloading crude oil cargoes, bringing more than 1.5 million barrels of imported and domestic crude oil daily into the United States for Gulf Coast and Midwest petroleum refineries. STEVE WEIL (A&S ’80) has published a book about his grandfather, Ask Papa Jack: Wisdom of the World’s Oldest CEO. Weil is president of Rockmount Ranch Wear Manufacturing in Denver.

’81

RAMÓN A. ABADIN (A&S ’81), founding partner of Abadin Cook, received the Cuban American Bar Association’s Passing on the Leadership mentorship award. The award is


theClasses classNotes

presented annually to a member of the association who demonstrates excellent leadership qualities and serves as a mentor to his or her peers in the legal community. A litigator who has been named to Florida Trend’s “Florida Legal Elite” and Florida Super Lawyers for the past three years, Abadin received the Haitian Lawyers Association Significant Contribution Award in 2006 and the Florida Bar’s G. Kirk Hass Award in 2005. Abadin specializes in complex commercial, corporate, civil and insurance litigation. His practice areas also include medical malpractice, premises liability and automobile negligence. He is a past president of both the Cuban American Bar Association and the Cuban American Bar Foundation, and a lifetime fellow of the Florida Bar Foundation. Abadin serves on the Florida International School of Law dean’s advisory council and the Florida Lawyers Mutual Insurance Co. board of directors. YVETTE BRIGHT (E ’82) is senior vice president of human resources and administration of Independence Blue Cross, a leading health insurer in Pennsylvania. Bright received the 2007 Candace Award for Women of Achievement from the South Jersey chapter of the National Coalition of Black Women. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two children.

’82

ELLYN W. OGDEN (NC ’82, PHTM ’84) received the 2008 Award for Heroism from the U.S. Agency for International Development for her efforts to secure Days of Tranquility for Polio Eradication in January 2009. She has directed USAID’s polio eradication effort for the past 12 years. Ogden has negotiated with armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Afghanistan and many other regions, convincing them to cease fighting for a few days so teams could vaccinate millions of children. Her husband, NEIL OGDEN (E ’80, G ’85), works at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in Washington, D.C., in the premarket regulation of medical devices. The couple resides in Silver Spring, Md., with their two sons, Pierce, 17, and Ross, 14.

DONNA-LEE ANDERSON (PHTM ’83) is a project architect with RLF, an architecture, engineering and interior design firm based in Winter Park, Fla. Anderson has a master’s degree in hospital administration and more than 15 years of experience in hospital management.

’83

DAVID KERN (A&S ’83) was named the Best Lawyers 2009 Akron Corporate Lawyer of the Year. Kern practices in the areas of business, taxation, health care, trusts and estates, employee benefits and nonprofit law at Buckingham, Doolittle and Burroughs in Akron, Ohio.

’84

JOHN FENZEL (A&S ’84) announces the release of an international suspense thriller, The Lazarus Covenant, in fall 2009. The book, published by Breathe Press, is available for pre-order at www.johnfenzel.com. BRIAN F. GEIGER (A&S ’84) received the 2009 Odessa Woolfolk Community Service Award from the University of Alabama–Birmingham, where he is a professor of health education in the School of Education’s Department of Human Studies. Geiger has worked with many state and local governments and agencies to address health issues in Alabama, including the State Obesity Task Force. An assistant director of the UAB Center for Educational Accountability, he is a senior scientist in the UAB Center for the Study of Community Health and a scientist at the UAB Center for Aging and the UAB Clinical Nutrition Research Center. Geiger is the lead principal investigator for a study examining the healthcare needs of people with developmental disabilities in Alabama. DARRELL CARTWRIGHT (L ’85) was one of 11 attorneys chosen in the field of tax law, and the only attorney in the group in a solo practice on Birmingham Magazine’s “Best Lawyers List” in March 2009. More than 750 attorneys responded to the magazine’s

’85

request to nominate peer lawyers that represent the top tier of their profession. His practice in Birmingham, Ala., focuses on different areas of tax, estate and business law. R. KEITH JARRETT (L ’85) is managing partner of Liskow and Lewis. He joined the law firm in 1985 and has built his practice in the areas of energy and maritime litigation. DION RAMOS (L ’86) was elected judge of the 55th Civil District Court of Harris County in Houston on Nov. 4, 2008.

’86 ’87

ELYCE WARZESKI PICCIOTTI (B ’87) returned to New Orleans in April 2008 and is working as a financial adviser with Wachovia Securities.

SCOTT SULLIVAN (E ’87) opened St. Charles Surgical Hospital with partner Frank Dellacroce in February 2009. Sullivan says the hospital is the only one in the world dedicated to breast reconstruction for breast cancer patients. The $35 million investment in New Orleans is at 1717 St. Charles Ave. Their practice, the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery, draws patients from out of state and internationally (from Africa, Israel, Germany, Austria, Australia and Canada) for state-of-the-art breast reconstructive techniques, including nipple-sparing mastectomies, single-stage implant reconstruction and complex microsurgical tissue-transfer techniques. Sullivan is married to Michele Cooper, a physician specializing in aesthetic surgery. They have two daughters, Alexis, 9, and Elle, 5. T. MICHAEL TWOMEY (A&S ’87) is vice president of utility strategy for Entergy, developing and overseeing short-term and long-term utility regulatory strategy for Entergy’s six utility companies. WAYNE J. RILEY (PHTM ’88) is serving a three-year term on the board of regents of the American College of Physicians,

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classNotes theClasses the national organization of internists. Riley is president and CEO of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn, where he also is a professor of medicine. Meharry Medical College is the nation’s largest private, independent, historically black academic health center dedicated to educating health professionals. Previously, Riley was vice president and vice dean for health affairs and governmental relations at Baylor College of Medicine and assistant chief of medicine at Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston. STEPHANIE JACOBSON SCHANDLER (NC ’88) is president of Lettuce in Love, a wheatand gluten-free salad dressing company, which is being reformulated to better meet the needs of consumers. Schandler is seeking a strong manufacturing partner to help grow the company. She lives in Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., where she consults and strategizes for product lines of retail and wholesale foods. She writes a blog at http://www.examiner .com/x-6522-Long-Island-Grocery-Examiner. KATHRYN SEMOLIC (NC ’88) is among 20 artists chosen for the Arts in the Air Professional Art Exhibit and Sale at the Rockefeller Institute in Petit Jean Mountain, Ark. Semolic says she that creates contemporary still-life paintings as “meditations on gratitude for small moments and the abundance of beauty in everyday objects.” Her current work is featured in the 2009 Arkansas Artists Engagement Calendar and the exhibition, “A Celebration of Arkansas Artists,” in the offices of U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor. For more information go to kathrynsemolic.com.

’89

MICHAEL ARATA (A&S ’89, L ’92) produced four films slated for release this year: Autopsy (February 2009), Pool Boy (September 2009), Night of the Demons (October 2009) and New Orleans Mon Amour (October 2009). A fifth film, The Chameleon, finished filming this spring. Arata co-owns and operates Voodoo Production Services in New Orleans. He and his wife, Emily, announce the birth of Gabriel Peter on April 24, 2009.

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HEIDI WEISS BARATH (NC ’89) and Jacob Barath announce the bar mitzvah of their son, Ethan, on Jan. 17, 2009, and his induction into the National Junior Honor Society. MICHAEL A. DIETRICH (A&S ’90) is assistant dean of professional programs for the Midwestern University College of Pharmacy in Glendale, Ariz. He has been on the faculty there since 1999.

’90

HEIDI YEAGER SINGH (NC ’90) and NITEN SINGH (A&S ’92) live in Gig Harbor, Wash., with their two children, Eden, 9, and Jack, 7. Niten Singh is a vascular surgeon stationed at Fort Lewis, Wash., and Heidi Singh is working toward a career in the nonprofit sector. GLENN E. BORKOWSKI (A&S ’91) joined the Little Rock, Ark., office of Kutak Rock as counsel where he specializes in real estate and corporate law matters. He lives in Little Rock with his wife, Misty Wilson Borkowski, who is an immigration attorney and abogada consultora to the Mexican consulate in Little Rock. They have three children.

’91

JIM JOINSON (B ’91) and his wife, Sharon, announce the birth of Emily Mercedes on April 15, 2008. Joinson is director of taxation at Seacor Holdings in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The family lives in Boca Raton, Fla. RUSTY PICKERING (E ’91) has been an adjunct professor at Emory Law School, teaching a seminar course called “Doing Deals: Venture Capital” for the past two semesters. JAY WEINBERG (A&S ’91) is chief of pediatrics at Christus Santa Rosa Hospital in New Braunfels, Texas. He assumed the post in 2008.

’92

MICHAEL CLARK (A&S ’92) and Alison Taylor-Clark welcomed their first child, Russell, in August 2008.

HEATHER KRISTL DAVISON (NC ’92) and her husband announce the birth of their first child, Nathaniel Bing, in August 2008. STACIE GOEDDEL (NC ’92) is a partner in Holland and Knight’s San Francisco office where she practices in the areas of hospitality and real estate development and finance, representing clients in the development of domestic and international mixed-use resort projects and in the acquisition and financing of commercial real estate. Goeddel and her husband, MIKE ETHERIDGE (B ’91), live in San Mateo, Calif., with their two children, Madeline, 5, and Griffin, 2. DEREK ROHDE (E ’92) and KIM MITCHELL (B ’92) were married on July 26, 2008, in Irvine, Calif. Attending the wedding were MARK ARONAUER (B ’92), HEATHER THOMPSON BASS (B ’92), JULIE ELMORE JONES (NC ’92), SANDRA ROHDE McNAMEE (NC ’88) and MICHAEL JONES (B ’91). President Barack Obama selected JANET L. WOODKA (L ’92) as federal coordinator of rebuilding in the Gulf Coast region. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced the appointment on March 31, 2009. Woodka previously worked as the recovery office’s director of legislative affairs. CHARLES S. BLATTEIS (L ’93), a partner in the law firm of Burch, Porter and Johnson in Memphis, Tenn., was appointed chair of the board of directors of the Memphis branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Blatteis is also a member of the board of directors of the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce, for which he serves as chair of the International Business Council.

’93

KRISTIN DEMERS-CROWELL (NC ’93) supports the legal practice of Merlin Law Group in Florida and Texas, providing assistance on property-related issues for hurricane survivors and other clients. Demers-Crowell received a law degree from Stetson University College of Law in 1997.


theClasses classNotes DARIAN C. JONES (A&S ’93), principal of Carver School of Health Sciences and Research in Atlanta, took 44 inner-city high school students on a 10-day excursion to Egypt this spring. ELIZABETH J. MEYER (NC ’93) announces the release of her new book, Gender, Bullying and Harassment: Strategies to End Sexism and Homophobia in Schools. For more information go to http://lizjmeyer.googlepages.com. NICK PANAYOTOPOULOS (L ’93) and KATIE BATES (NC ’99) welcomed their child, Sofia, in October 2008. LISANNE BROWNE McDEARMAN (B ’94) and her husband, Scott, along with their daughter Caroline, announce the birth of Catherine Marie on March 23, 2009.

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NIMROD “ROD” CHAPEL JR. (L ’95) is president of the Jefferson City, Mo., chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Texas Monthly magazine named WILL ELLERMAN (TC ’95), a “rising star.” Ellerman represents clients in civil litigation matters as an attorney in the Dallas office of Jackson Walker. EDUARDO S. ESPINOSA (B ’95, L ’95) is a partner in K&L Gates. Espinosa, a member of K&L Gates’ corporate section, is based in the firm’s Dallas office. REBECCA HELENE HELLER (NC ’96) married Thomas Benton Gallagher on Aug. 17, 2008, in Baja, Mexico. The couple resides in Los Angeles.

’96

PAUL FRIEDMAN (L ’96, B ’96) is senior vice president of music business affairs for Sony Pictures Entertainment. He is responsible for global operations and handles the acquisition of music rights for content including theatrical, television, home entertainment, online,

PHOTO BY JUSTIN BISHOP

MIKE SACKS (A&S ’90) The last laugh In 1988, MIKE SACKS (A&S ’90) went to see his undergraduate adviser to tell him that he had decided to major in English and was interested in becoming a writer. The adviser, an old, jowly Chaucer expert, looked at Sacks’ transcript and then slowly shook his head. “With these grades, you’ll never make it as an English major,” he said. “Is there a family business you could go into? You know, there’s nothing wrong with working for your father.” Sacks, whose father is a dentist, appears to be having the last laugh. In July, Writer’s Digest Books is publishing Sacks’ And Here’s the Kicker: Conversations With 21 Top Humor Writers on Their Craft. The book is a collection of in-depth interviews with a who’s who of leading contemporary humorists, including David Sedaris, Dave Barry, Robert Smigel (“Saturday Night Live”), Stephen Merchant (“The Office”), Mitch Hurwitz (“Arrested Development”), George Meyer (“The Simpsons”), Harold Ramis (Groundhog Day) and Todd Hanson (The Onion). “There are a lot of books that deal with the writers from ‘Your Show of Shows,’ but nothing really contemporary,” notes Sacks, a reporter with Vanity Fair magazine and a humorist in his own right (his pieces have appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire and Time). “Rather than doing an academic-type treatment of comedy, I thought it would be interesting just to have them speak in their own words about their style of comedy.” The result is a book that’s likely to appeal to both aspiring humor writers and more casual comedy fans interested in the backstage history of favorite shows and movies. You don’t have to be a comedy geek to enjoy Buck Henry’s recollections about The Graduate, David Sedaris’ thoughts on writing about family members or Dan Mazer’s hilarious revelations about filming of Borat. For more information and to read excerpts, visit MikeSacks.com. —Mark Miester Mark Miester is a senior editor in the A.B.Freeman School of Business.

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class Notes the Classes mobile and video game productions as well as marketing and merchandise. He joined Sony Pictures in 2001.

agency, and Aaron Allardyce is an associate at Sidley Austin, both in New York. The family resides in Stamford, Conn.

of Florida–Gainesville in spring 2009. She is now a postdoctoral fellow at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

ELIT CAMRON KIRSCHENBAUM (NC ’96) and her husband, Jeff, welcomed Devin Zoe on Jan. 28, 2008. Devin joins her older siblings, Jared and Eden. The Kirschenbaums reside in Short Hills, N.J.

ALISON JORDAN BRULEY (NC ’99) and her husband, Kenn, announce the birth of a son, Coleman Charles, on Feb. 5, 2009. The family resides in Atlanta.

RACHEL CULLEN GANZ WALTERS (NC ’00) and GREGORY ALAN WALTERS (E ’00) announce the birth of Eleanor Kate on Jan. 5, 2009. The family lives in south Florida, where Greg Walters works as an engineer for Motorola, and Rachel Walters is an attorney.

CAMELLIA JAVADI JACOBS (NC ’97), STEVEN JACOBS (B ’98), and their son, Kiyan, welcomed Ramin on Jan. 12, 2009. The family lives in Silver Spring, Md.

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MARK KLEEHAMMER (B ’97, L ’98) is vice president of regulatory affairs for Entergy’s Louisiana utility companies. Kleehammer began his career with Entergy in 1998 as a risk analyst.

’98

JAY ENG (L ’98) is a partner at Schwed, McGinley and Kahle in Palm Beach

Gardens, Fla. ROSE-ANNE B. FRANO (NC ’98) was elected a shareholder with Williams Parker in Sarasota, Fla. TIMOTHY J. SMITH (TC ’98) is celebrating the publication of his first book, Mayas in Postwar Guatemala, by University of Alabama Press. It is an edited volume discussing continued violence against indigenous communities in the country. TOBIAS SMITH (TC ’98) is a partner of Strasburger and Price. Based in the firm’s Dallas office, his practice focuses on commercial litigation with an emphasis on environmental and real estate matters. AARON L. ALLARDYCE (TC ’99) and JEANNE WILDHAGEN ALLARDYCE (NC ’00) announce the birth of twins Graham Christian and Lachlan James on Dec. 7, 2008. Jeanne Allardyce works at Ogilvy, an advertising

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ETHAN SHAPIRO (UC ’99) and AMY HELLER SHAPIRO (NC ’00) announce the birth of Sarah on June 23, 2008, in Miami. RUTH ANN E. CASTRO (L ’00) is special counsel with Farella Braun + Martel, where she represents and counsels public and private clients in environmental, products and litigation matters.

’00

LIZ KRITZA (B ’00) is volleyball head coach at the University of Colorado. From 2005 to 2008, she was head coach of the Tulane volleyball program, achieving a 76-39 overall record and a 42-21 mark in Conference USA. In 2008, she was named the C-USA Co-coach of the Year and the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Coach of the Year, both for the second straight season. She was an assistant coach at Tulane for six years before becoming head coach. JILL McINTYRE (NC ’00) lives in San Diego, where she is manager of corporate relations for La Jolla Playhouse, a Tony Award-winning professional nonprofit theater. BRAD POWELL (UC ’00) and KELLY DONALD POWELL (NC ’00) announce the birth of Nathan Charles on Jan. 30, 2009. Nathan joins his sister, Emily. The family resides in Pittsburgh. TERRENCE ROCHE (B ’00) and DOROTHY LAMBSHEAD ROCHE (NC ’01) are living in Chicago with their son, Liam Daniel, born in May 2008. Terrence Roche works as a strategic manager for the YMCA, while Dot Roche is a full-time mother. LISA SONTAG (NC ’00) earned a PhD in developmental psychology from the University

The Louisiana Association of Student Assistance Systems named DEREK D. BARDELL (G ’01, ’02) a TRIO Achiever. The federal TRIO programs are educational opportunity outreach programs designed to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

’01

WENDY WAREN (UC ’01) was promoted to vice president of communications and research at the Louisiana Restaurant Association. JANA WILCOX (NC ’01) is development director of St. Catherine Labouré Medical Clinic, a healthcare clinic for the uninsured in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. Wilcox manages an outreach and development strategy to create sustainability for the clinic, which provides quality, comprehensive medical care. Wilcox earned a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from Emerson College. Her background in philanthropic efforts includes serving as a fundraising and special events consultant for the Washington Animal Rescue League in Washington, D.C. She was accepted by the Humane Society of the United States’ Rural Veterinary Program to travel to Standing Rock, N.D., to help in the operation of a mobile veterinary clinic for companion animals that live on the reservation. LATASHA A. ALLEN (PHTM ’02) is a lieutenant in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Allen is on duty with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Services in Atlanta. She is

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theClasses classNotes a public health and epidemiology liaison working on food-borne illness and diseaseoutbreak epidemiology. JESSICA LIGATOR (A ’02) and TYLER CURL (A ’05) were married in Costa Rica in August 2008. In attendance were JENNIFER LIGATOR (B ’99) and JILL LIGATOR (B ’05). LAUREN ROBINSON RIVET (NC ’02) and RYAN W. RIVET (UC ’02) announce the birth of Ella Grace on March 10, 2009, in New Orleans. CHRISTINE TURENIUS-BELL (NC ’02, G ’03) and Lucas Bell announce the arrival of their first child, Nikkolaus Maximillian. The baby was born on March 25, 2009, at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Wash. TANIA K. CARDOSO (NC ’03) launched her own law firm, Hollenbeck and Cardoso, on May 4, 2009. She is practicing landlord/tenant law, representing the landlord side in Long Beach, Calif. The firm practices throughout southern California handling residential and commercial property issues.

’03

ELISABETH GLECKLER (PHTM ’03) earned an executive MBA at the University of New Orleans in December 2008. She continues as a regional evaluator for a federally funded HIV clinical training project. NINA E. MOFFA (NC ’03), market research analyst at the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans, received the 2008 Five-Star of the Year Award from the hotel. ROSE SYMOTIUK (NC ’03) married Paul Goetz in Sandomierz, Poland, on April 18, 2009.

’04

BRANDON KAPLAN (B ’04) launched MADorLOVE.com, a social media online news site.

The Constitution Party of Wisconsin officially announced that ROB TAYLOR (UC ’04) is endorsed as the candidate for the U.S. Senate representing the state of Wisconsin in

the 2010 elections. Taylor is serving as an alderman for the City of Cumberland in Barron County and as a state committee representative. For more information go to www.robtaylorforsenate.com.

’05

J. ROBERT COLEMAN (TC ’05) received a PhD in molecular microbiology from Stony Brook University. His work on the development of a new method for constructing vaccines resulted in a publication in Science magazine and a review of his work in the New England Journal of Medicine. He married Lisa M. Runco in September 2008. MIKE FRANCOIS (SW ’05) published a novel, He Disguised His Double-D, in January 2009. Francois says it “has received rave reviews from friends and peers in my field of work.” ERIN LAWLOR (NC ’05) and STEPHEN NELSON (TC ’05) were married in Naraganset, R.I., on April 18, 2009. The couple resides in East Greenwich, R.I. Erin Nelson is a claims specialist with Progressive Insurance and Stephen Nelson plans to attend Roger Williams Law School in the fall. JACK “TRIP” SMALLEY III (TC ’05) is working with the law firm of Hand Arendall in Mobile, Ala.

TANYA S. WATKINS (UC ’05) received a bachelor of business studies degree in management information systems from Dallas Baptist University on May 15, 2009. ALYSSA WEBER WILLIAMS (NC ’05) and GRANT WILLIAMS (TC ’05) announce the birth of Lillian Perah on Feb. 26, 2009. Grant Williams is starting an internal medicine residency at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. LEO ROHLINGER (B ’06) and fellow executives completed a managed buyout of inCode Telecom from VeriSign on Nov. 1, 2008. inCode is a global professional services organization that provides enterprise solutions, business

’06

strategy and telecom technology consulting for progressive companies. DANIELLE THAL (’07) is teaching Spanish, prekindergarten through 8th grade, at Mary D. Coghill Elementary School in New Orleans through the TeachNOLA program. TeachNOLA is an organization that recruits dedicated educators to teach in New Orleans public schools through its alternative-route teaching fellows program and master teacher corps designed for credentialed teachers.

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’08

RICHARD PHILLIP NERE (’08) enlisted in the Army and his unit deployed to Afghanistan in March 2009. The University of Florida’s International Review Journal published a paper by Nere, “China’s Rise: Coercion, the Liberal Bargain and U.S. Space Primacy.” JAKOB ROSENZWEIG (A ’08) is creative director at Thalweg Studio in New Orleans. He was on the team of designers who designed an innovative “Birds-Eye View” map of New Orleans for the Prospect.1 exhibit. The map is available for purchase as a poster. For more information go to http://www.prospectneworleans.org/which.html.

JONNY SALUD (’08) is living in New York and working on a master of public health at Columbia University. He is involved in the planning stages to implement a vertical farm in a premier aviation community in central Florida. Salud also is working on a full-length studio album with 10 original songs. He anticipates a fall release. For more information go to www.myspace.com/jonnysalud. SAMANTHA SANACORE (’08) is project assistant for the 9th Ward Field of Dreams, raising funds for a state-of-the-art athletics facility with a football stadium and track at George Washington Carver High School in New Orleans. The project was featured on “CBS Evening News With Katie Couric” on March 10, 2009. For more information go to www.9thwardfieldofdreams.com.

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deaths theClasses P. Alfred Becnel Jr. (E ’38) of New

GENE USDIN (A&S ’43, M ’46) of New Orleans on May 9, 2009 A nationally known psychiatrist and pioneer in forensic psychiatry, Usdin served as a president of the American College of Psychiatrists. He was on the faculty of the Tulane Department of Psychiatry and Neurology from 1951 to 1967. Usdin evaluated hundreds of criminal defendants, including Jack Ruby, murderer of Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy. Active in the civil rights movement, he started the first community mental health center in New Orleans. He also was a psychiatrist at Ochsner Clinic in New Orleans and on the faculty at Louisiana State University. Among his philanthropic endeavors, he established professorships in women’s health and community health at Tulane and the Usdin-Weil Lecture Fund. Usdin received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tulane Medical Alumni Association in 1996.

John Walter Rock , professor emeritus of architecture, of New Orleans on Feb. 6, 2009. Sarah Arny Holmes (G ’30) of Asheville, N.C., on Jan. 20, 2009. Victor L. Roy Jr. (B ’30) of Baton Rouge, La., on Feb. 14, 2009.

Alice Mae Ellington de Montluzin (NC ’31) of New Orleans on April 22, 2009. Katherine Woods White (NC ’33, SW ’41) of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, on May 23, 2008. Marjorie Frantz Bauer (NC ’36) of

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Monterey, Calif., on May 28, 2008. Ruth Walter Benedict (NC ’36) of Belmont, Calif., on June 10, 2008.

Marian Kohlman Warsowe (NC ’36) of New Orleans on March 29, 2009. Robert C. Carter (A&S ’37) of Austin, Texas, on March 10, 2009. Marie Cherbonnier Pascal (NC ’37) of Baton Rouge, La., on Jan. 1, 2009.

Lucerne McCullough Robert (NC ’37) of Hilton Head, S.C., on May 10, 2008.

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Orleans on Feb. 8, 2009. Doris Dillon Rose (NC ’38) of Sarasota, Fla., on May 29, 2008. Rosario J. Augeri (NC ’39) of McLean, Va., on July 26, 2008. Earl B. Claiborne Sr. (A&S ’39, G ’41) of Baton Rouge, La., on Jan. 30, 2009. Buford J. Autin (A&S ’40, M ’43) of Houma, La., on Jan. 1, 2009. Archie R. Boggs (A&S ’40, L ’42) of New Orleans on Jan. 31, 2009. George R. Foerster (B ’40) of Lacombe, La., on Feb. 26, 2009. Walter C. Friday Jr. (A&S ’40, M ’43) of Burlington, Iowa, on Nov. 19, 2008. Anne Kilpatrick Harvard (NC ’40) of Hanover, N.H., on Sept. 22, 2008. Robert H. Lister (E ’40) of Baton Rouge, La., on March 22, 2009.

Henryetta Eldridge Simmons (NC ’40) of Memphis, Tenn., on March 7, 2009. H. Guy Riche Jr. (M ’41) of Memphis, Tenn., on Feb. 19, 2009.

Elizabeth Meyers Robinson (A&S ’41) of Peachtree City, Ga., on March 27, 2009. Henrietta Colley Yoder (NC ’41, G ’45) of Baton Rouge, La., on April 14, 2009. Kathryn E. Blish (NC ’42) of Shreveport, La., on Feb. 2, 2009. Hilda Voss Boudreaux (NC ’42) of New Orleans on April 5, 2009. Gwendolyn Buhler Talbot (NC ’42) of Shreveport, La., on Oct. 25, 2008. Eva Douglas Bready (NC ’43) of San Antonio on Feb. 8, 2009. Henry T. Cook (A&S ’43, M ’45) of Covington, La., on Jan. 31, 2009.

Dorothy Schreiber Corales (B ’43) of Covington, La., on April 1, 2009. Frank M. Pennebaker Sr. (E ’43) of New Orleans on Feb. 27, 2009. Louis L. Robein Jr. (E ’43) of

LaPlace, La., on April 12, 2009. Albert L. Diano Jr. (B ’44) of Fort Worth, Texas, on March 23, 2009. Joseph J. Kyame (A&S ’44, G ’45) of New Orleans on Feb. 27, 2009. Joy Mayer Sangree (NC ’44) of Gulfport, Miss., on July 15, 2008. Dorothy Hyatt Scott (NC ’44) of Dallas on Jan. 8, 2009. Ruth Bannister Tracy (NC ’44) of Houston on March 9, 2009. Selma Schonbrun Zander (NC ’44) of New Orleans on March 8, 2009. Marcel Livaudais Jr. (A&S ’45, L ’49) of New Orleans on Feb. 9, 2009. Nanine Byrne Simmons (NC ’45) of Jeanerette, La., on April 3, 2009. Louis C. Blanda Sr. (A&S ’46) of Lafayette, La., on March 4, 2009. Martha S. Stokes (B ’46) of Melbourne, Fla., on Jan. 11, 2009. Joe A. Knight (B ’47) of Dayton, Texas, on Feb. 17, 2009. I. Jay Krieger (L ’47) of Covington, La., on Feb. 16, 2009. Robert C. Smith (B ’47, L ’48) of New Orleans on March 26, 2009. James H. Bass (B ’48) of Hoover, Ala., on March 16, 2009. Anne Anderson Bounds (NC ’48) of Tucson, Ariz., on April 8, 2009. George T. Plunkett (B ’48, B ’49) of Columbus, Ga., on May 7, 2008. Frederick W. Weissborn Jr. (E ’48) of Cincinnati on Nov. 10, 2008. William R. Kennedy (SW ’49) of Cotati, Calif., on Sept. 1, 2008. David J. Songe Jr. (E ’49) of Slidell, La., on April 26, 2009. Lucille M. Thomson (G ’49) of Sierra Madre, Calif., on March 23, 2008. Letitia Carter Barrow (NC ’50) of Pittsburgh on Jan. 21, 2009. B. Holly Grimm (M ’50) of New Orleans on April 25, 2009. Irving E. Martin (E ’50) of Bridgewater, N.J., on March 23, 2009. William E. McWhirter Jr. (E ’50) of


theClasses deaths Dickinson, Texas, on April 11, 2009. Wilfred F. Roux Jr. (A&S ’50) of Evergreen, Colo., on July 18, 2008. Edgar M. Ashworth (A&S ’51) of Fredericksburg, Texas, on Sept. 12, 2008. Lawrence Golodner (A&S ’51, M ’54) of York, Maine, on Feb. 9, 2009. Francis D. Haggerty (A&S ’51) of Southport, Conn., on Feb. 28, 2009. Gaylord S. Knox (M ’51) of Silver Spring, Md., on Jan. 10, 2009. Ben K. Lohman Sr. (A ’51) of Carlsbad, N.M., on March 3, 2009.

Marilyn Woodward Wilkins (NC ’51, G ’56) of Metairie, La., on Feb. 3, 2009. Albert Baril Jr. (G ’52) of New Orleans on April 10, 2009. C. Kenneth Deshotel (L ’52) of Washington, La., on March 21, 2009. Donald E. Killelea (M ’52) of Natchez, Miss., on March 13, 2009. Al Joseph Moore (A&S ’52, L ’53) of Kingwood, Texas, on April 11, 2009. Plez Z. Reid Jr. (E ’52) of Shelton, Conn., on Feb. 4, 2009. F. Lawrence Rowley (A&S ’52, M ’55) of Carrollton, Ga., on Feb. 28, 2009. Sterling C. Scott (G ’52) of North Little Rock, Ark., on Feb. 8, 2009. Herbert T. Thurber (E ’52) of New Orleans on April 3, 2009. Howard H. Galloway (B ’53) of Mobile, Ala., on April 13, 2009. Roy J. Guderian (A ’53) of Jackson, Miss., on Feb. 27, 2009. Abner K. Northrop Jr. (B ’53) of New Orleans on March 10, 2009. Martha G. Worthington (G ’53) of Pittsburgh on March 14, 2009. S. Dale Coker (A&S ’54, M ’57) of Little Rock, Ark., on Nov. 26, 2008. Roger P. Sharp Jr. (A&S ’54) of New Orleans on Feb. 28, 2009. Winfield G. Flathers (UC ’55) of Belle Chasse, La., on Feb. 20, 2009.

Pete T. Hinojosa (SW ’55) of Fort Worth, Texas, on Feb. 2, 2009. Stephen Priskie (B ’55) of Boca Raton, Fla., on Feb. 4, 2009. Raymond C. Bergeron Sr. (UC ’56) of New Orleans on Feb. 14, 2009. Donald H. Caldwell Jr. (A ’57) of New Orleans on Feb. 22, 2009. Eugene J. Devine (B ’57, B ’58) of Arlington, Va., on Jan. 29, 2009. Sarah Colquitt Stang (NC ’57) of Washington, D.C., on April 4, 2009. Glorain Curry Browne (NC ’58) of Lyndhurst, Ohio, on April 3, 2009. James J. Gleason III (A&S ’58, L ’59) of New Orleans on Feb. 12, 2009. Anita MacKay Wilder (NC ’58, SW ’60) of Mendocino, Calif., on April 6, 2009. Roy G. Batson Jr. (B ’59) of Jackson, Miss., on Feb. 11, 2009. Lonnie L. Bewley (L ’59) of Lafayette, La., on Feb. 25, 2009. Carol Prats Hemstreet (UC ’59) of Metairie, La., on Feb. 25, 2009. Karen Veillon McGlasson (NC ’59) of Lafayette, La., on April 26, 2009. James R. Bienvenu (G ’61) of Opelousas, La., on Feb. 24, 2009. Howard F. Hampton Jr. (UC ’61) of Harvey, La., on March 6, 2009. Bertram J. Newman (M ’61) of New York on Feb. 13, 2009. Thomas F. Gilchrist (M ’62) of Chapel Hill, N.C., on March 22, 2009. Ronald J. Hart (UC ’62) of Mobile, Ala., on March 9, 2009. Joseph M. Kochansky (A&S ’62) of Baton Rouge, La., on April 1, 2009. Bryan Bell (G ’63) of New Orleans on March 4, 2009. Peter E. Hagan III (UC ’64, G ’94) of Metairie, La., on April 15, 2009. David S. Phelps (G ’64) of Fort Pierce, Fla., on Feb. 21, 2009. Dianne H. Potin (NC ’64) of New

Orleans on Feb. 20, 2009. John Cole Wilson (G ’64) of Gainesville, Fla., on Feb. 21, 2009. E. Wayne Harper (A&S ’65, B ’67) of Bunkie, La., on April 7, 2009. Thomas H. Johnson Jr. (E ’65, ’66) of Gonzales, La., on March 27, 2009. Veronica A. Miller (G ’65, G ’70) of Seattle on March 6, 2009. Kenneth C. Anderson (A&S ’66, M ’70) of Humble, Texas, on March 14, 2009.

Salvador Contreras-Balderas (G ’66, G ’76) of Monterrey, Mexico, on Jan. 1, 2009. Johnsie Jo Posey (G ’66) of Mexia, Texas, on April 10, 2009. Kenny P. Schwartzberg (A&S ’66) of Houston on April 4, 2009. Irma Ruth Acosta-Gomez (UC ’67) of Metairie, La., on Feb. 16, 2009. Charles I. Kenney Jr. (UC ’68) of Slidell, La., on March 3, 2009. Henry R. Breitkreutz (G ’70) of Theodore, Ala., on April 9, 2009. David P. Harper (L ’70) of Fort Pierce, Fla., on March 17, 2009. Sandra F. Starr (NC ’70) of Washington, D.C., on Feb. 15, 2009. J. Scott Swaim (L ’70) of Bourbonnais, Ill., on Feb. 22, 2009. Ronald S. Wirth (UC ’70) of Metairie, La., on Feb. 21, 2009. Robert S. Howard (A&S ’71) of Knoxville, Tenn., on March 29, 2009. Luther C. Lusk Jr. (SW ’71) of Saint Benedict, La., on Feb. 13, 2009. Sylvia F. Minor (SW ’71) of New Orleans on April 13, 2009. John J. Murphy Jr. (A&S ’71) of Harvey, La., on March 18, 2009. Charles W. Weston (G ’71) of Baton Rouge, La., on Feb. 2, 2009. Fredrick C. Boese (L ’72) of Byram, Miss., on Nov. 17, 2008. Gerald A. Wilson (UC ’72) of Metairie, La., on Feb. 10, 2009. Mary Adams Bartlett (SW ’73) of

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Fairfield, Calif., on Feb. 5, 2009. Keith W. Hooks (A ’73) of San Francisco on Feb. 11, 2009. Thomas J. Cooper (L ’74) of Cambridge, Mass., on Feb. 27, 2009. David McTate (SW ’74) of Omaha, Neb., on Jan. 2, 2009. Mary M. Traxler (NC ’74) of Charlotte, N.C., on March 25, 2009. Gene M. Bates (A ’75) of New Orleans on March 2, 2009. William V. Moore (G ’75) of Charleston, S.C., on March 26, 2009. Philip J. Lewis Sr. (UC ’76) of Metairie, La., on Feb. 24, 2009. Beverly Robinson Downs (NC ’77) of Baton Rouge, La., on March 9, 2009. Diane Pafford Bell (PHTM ’78, ’83) of Boston on March 3, 2009. Patricia Gail Cox (NC ’78, A ’83) of New Orleans on Feb. 9, 2009. Alton C. Schultz III (A&S ’78) of Katy, Texas, on March 29, 2009. David J. Carmichael (A&S ’81) of Minneapolis on Sept. 24, 2008. Margaret Liebenow Weber (B ’83) of Lakewood, Ill., on April 12, 2009. Angela Collins Hardage (NC ’84) of Atlanta on April 14, 2009. Julie Brackenridge Hayes (E ’84) of Highlands Ranch, Colo., on Nov. 17, 2008. Sinclair H. Crenshaw (B ’88) of Larose, La., on April 2, 2009. Amy S. Forward (B ’91) of Montgomery, Ala., on March 9, 2009. Angela Carville Fluker (PHTM ’92) of Port Allen, La., on Feb. 13, 2009. Karen Rothman Fried (NC ’93) of Brooklyn, N.Y., on Nov. 16, 2008. Kevin D. Gonzalez (B ’94) of Watkinsville, Ga., on Feb. 5, 2009. Eric D. Moore (TC ’98, M ’02, PHTM ’02) of Allen, Texas, on Feb. 24, 2009. Jon D. Dubois (M ’04) of Stillwater, Okla., on April 3, 2008.

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n meiw xe Orleans d Media

Low-frequency blues By Nick Marinello It’s not nice, but someone needs to say it: In the social hierarchy of musical instruments, those producing notes of lower pitch are second-class citizens. Don’t believe it? Ask yourself this, would your rather that your child play violin or cello, trumpet or trombone? What if she chose the sousaphone, an instrument that not only operates out of the most humble of registers but whose sketchy past is mired in controversy? To begin with, there are disagreements about the very origin of the sousaphone: Up for debate is the company that first manufactured it, the year in which it was manufactured and whether or not John Philip Sousa had a

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hand in the instrument’s design or merely popularized its use. What’s more, to the aggravated consternation of aficionados, the instrument, which is primarily used in marching bands and other walking groups, insists on passing itself off as a tuba, which is a term reserved for its more noble orchestral cousins. If this wasn’t enough, the sousaphone—this loud, blue collar, misfitted troublemaker—has the cheek to demand that you carry it on your back. All of which, if you think about it, makes the sousaphone a fitting ambassador for the music of New Orleans, and none of which probably matters to the kid down the street who some months ago took up playing the instrument. Learning to play the sousaphone is an avocation that one cannot help but share with others, and it wasn’t long before neighbors from blocks away were noticing the boy’s progress from initially blurting out short staccato notes to, over time, playing cohesive musical phrases. You go outside to retrieve the mail and a familiar riff comes bounding around the corner, echoing off a neighbor’s house, and before you know it you are engaging in a little front-yard name-that-tune: Hey that’s, uh, don’t tell me, uh, “Feel Like Funkin’ It Up?” And just like that you’re off to the bonus round. But really, there are no losers in the sousaphone sound-off. If you’re feeling sorry for the families living next door, don’t. The kid marches through the neighborhood as he practices, bringing one house after another into the instrument’s immediate blast zone. In most towns, young musicians who are lugging around sousaphones are often doing so because no one else wanted to. This is not the case in New Orleans, where sousaphones are cool. At a second-line parade, it is the sousaphone player who signals the next song by

playing an introductory bar of the bass line. In New Orleans, you don’t choose to play the sousaphone; it chooses you. And maybe you have what it takes and maybe you don’t. The absence of a sound is far trickier to discern than its presence, so there’s no telling how long it’s been since he stopped playing— maybe two days, maybe a week. You’re sitting in the living room with a laptop, cursing the fickleness of the wireless connection, when suddenly upon you descends the uneasy tranquility that plagues neighborhoods that become too quiet. It takes a little while before you figure it out. Hey, where did the tuba go? You run outside to make sure of what you’re not hearing, and standing out there, you begin to wonder who else is not hearing it. Are the folks next door riveted by the quiet? How about those across the street and down the block? The fact that a note blown out of a sousaphone can be heard at a great distance is a matter of physics. Low-frequency sounds are not easily reflected or absorbed by obstacles. With its lowest notes leisurely vibrating at frequencies of around 50 cycles per second, the sousaphone produces intonations that wrap around corners and ooze through houses, fences and automobiles. So have the notes been heard in Black Pearl, Hollygrove, Broadmoor, Gert Town, Lakeview, Bywater, New Orleans East? Who knows how far they have traveled, bouncing off the hodgepodge of empty slabs, gutted ruins and newly built McMansions of the patchwork recovery? What if there were thousands and thousands of people united in this single moment of not hearing the same thing? Someone once calculated that the vibrations produced by 10 million people speaking at the same time would generate enough energy to power a single flashlight. Wow. It’s not nice to say, but as a form of energy, sound is pretty much third-rate. But thousands of people listening for the next note? That would be awesome. Nick Marinello is a senior editor in the Office of University Publications

ILLUSTRATION: MARK ANDRESEN


Never Too Far FONTAINE MARTIN never let distance or work disrupt his support of Tulane University. He served as president of the Tulane Alumni Club of New York, president of the Tulane Alumni Association, and later as a member of Tulane’s Planned Gifts Advisory Committee. “He had a special feel for Tulane,” recalls his son Ted. “My mother and he both did.” After Fontaine’s wife, Lillian (NC ’38, G ’40), passed away in 1993, he honored his family’s relationship to Fontaine Martin (A&S ’34, L ’36) the university through the establishment of several gift annuities, which created the Lillian Galt Martin and Fontaine Martin Endowed Fund in support of Newcomb-Tulane College and Tulane Law School. When Fontaine died in 2007, part of his estate passed to a charitable remainder trust that will provide unrestricted support to Tulane after making lifetime payments to one of his children. The Martins’ gifts will support the faculty and students of the university they loved well into the future.

 LIFE INCOME PLANS such as gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts allow you to make a substantial gift to Tulane while still providing for your personal financial needs or the support of others. Please contact us to learn more.

Your Gift. Your Way. Office of Planned Gifts

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Be true to your school. Tulane gear takes on special meaning for the class of 2009. Wearing a Tulane T-shirt at home proclaims, “No, the city’s not still under water.” While in school, students cheer on Green Wave teams and cavort with Riptide. Ask any member of the class, they’ll likely tell you that green is his or her favorite color.

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