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ENGINEERING HOPE UNO students return to Nepal to serve and build.

Dear UNO Alumni and Friends:

Writing to you in this space for the ďŹ nal time is bittersweet. As some of you may know, I announced earlier this year that I will be retiring from the University of New Orleans at the end of January 2016. It has truly been the fulďŹ llment of a lifelong dream to serve as the president of my alma mater and my hometown university. I have worked in higher education for more than four decades, and to be able to retire from this university is deeply humbling and gratifying. I would like to thank all of the alumni and friends of the University who have been so passionate in their support of both me and the institution during my time in this position. The University of New Orleans remains a special place that occupies a singular role in the city and the region. That has not changed in its nearly six-decade history, and that certainly has not changed in the four years that I’ve had the privilege of leading it. Metropolitan New Orleans is on an upward trajectory and I am conďŹ dent that the University will continue to be a signiďŹ cant contributor to the economy, culture and quality of life of the region. The people who make up the University of New Orleans community—the students, faculty, staff and alumni—are, of course, our greatest asset. For supporting evidence of this, please read through this issue of the UNO Magazine. I hope you will take a few minutes to learn more about John Nicklow, our new provost, who is a dynamic and proven leader with a strong track record of recruiting students and keeping them engaged once they’re on campus. Our alumni never cease to amaze me. Look no further than Kimberly Terrell, an outstanding scientist and the new director of research and conservation at the Memphis Zoo. Many of our quality academic programs, exempliďŹ ed in the story about a unique course in arts administration, give our students opportunities that are not available anywhere else. Finally, educating students from across the globe is part of our institution’s heritage. I think all members of the UNO community will feel a sense of pride in what three of our students from Nepal did on their summer vacation in their home country. These young men are truly changing the world.

6"1 ÊΙÊUÊ 1 ,ÊÓ EXECUTIVE EDITOR Rebecca Catalanello EDITOR Adam Norris DESIGN AND LAYOUT Eric Gernhauser PHOTOGRAPHY Frank Aymami Rebecca Catalanello Tracie Morris Schaefer Shaswot Kharel

Send Correspondence to: UNO Magazine Editor University of New Orleans Administration Building 103 2000 Lakeshore Drive New Orleans, LA 70148 phone: (504) 280-6832 email:

The UNO Magazine is published by the University of New Orleans. Articles represent the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of anyone but the authors. Letters to the editor are welcome and should be submitted via email or typewritten and signed. Letters must include the writer’s name and telephone number for verification. All letters are subject to editing for brevity. To inquire about alumni events or to join the UNO International Alumni Association, contact: Office of Alumni Affairs, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70148 QIPOF  tGBY   email: Š 2015 The University of New Orleans

While my time as president may be coming to an end, I am also a member of the UNO International Alumni Association, and am committed to remaining connected to this most precious educational and community asset. I am conďŹ dent that there are many great things in store for the University of New Orleans. With Warmest Regards, Peter J. Fos, President

This public document was published at a total cost of $22,225. 35,000 copies of this public document were published in this first printing at a cost of $22,225. The total cost of all printings of this document, including reprints is $22,225. This document was published by the University of New Orleans, 2000 Lakeshore Dr., New Orleans, LA 70148, to promote the purpose of the University under authority of 17:3351(A)(12). This material was printed in accordance with the standards for printing by state agencies established pursuant to R.S. 43:31. Printing of this material was purchased in accordance with the provisions of Title 43 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes.


CONTENTS FEATURES 22 Engineering Hope UNO students return to Nepal to build and serve.

30 Bridge Builder New provost brings collaborative approach to UNO.

34 Artistic Understanding


New course to bridge divide between artists and those who manage them.

40 Hell-bent Conservationist Conservation studies lead UNO graduate from Namibia to cold U.S. streams to Memphis Zoo.



13 15 16 18 20 26

34 34

29 36 39 43 44 45 49


CAMPUS SCENE Headlines & Happenings: Citywide Day of Service; Swampball.

NEWS & EVENTS President Fos Announces Retirement Leader says farewell to his beloved alma mater. STEM Scholars Program Giving students the tools to stay the course. In Memoriam: Ivan Miestchovich University mourns loss of longtime business professor. New Informatics Center to Improve Gulf Research Oyster harvest modeling, wireless fish tagging among its projects.

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT Jazz Pianist Nationally Recognized Grad student Oscar Rossignoli gains prestigious honor. Research Grants Awarded to Undergraduates New award gives UNO undergraduates a taste of research. Job Shadowing Program Gives Students Future Advantage Underclassmen get a peek at their studies in action.

FACULTY FOCUS Ryan Gray’s Art of Digging Anthropology class excavates French Quarter property. Anne Boyd Rioux Strengthens Authors’ Fan Base $50,000 National Endowment for Humanities award to help.

ATHLETICS Called to Serve Privateer athletics get national attention for volunteerism. Young Gun Randi Brown takes Southland Conference by storm.

ALUMNI Distinguished Problem Solver Roy Glapion says UNO helped shape his vision. Alum Notes News from UNO’s accomplished graduates. City’s Largest Crawfish Boil Gets Bigger Crawfish Mambo draws record-breaking numbers. Three Chosen to Lead City’s Tricentennial Plans Romig, Daniels and Sabiston snag mayoral appointments.


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In August, hundreds of freshmen and transfer students moved into campus dorms with help from faculty, staff, administrators and returning students. Move-In Day kicks off Privateer Plunge, a six-week session that is packed with events, parties and presentations designed to engage new students in campus life.


In August, UNO welcomed 922 freshmen, the largest freshman class since 2011.

Want to learn more? Visit our university newsfeed on 2


FALL 2015


More than 200 students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni and parents spent the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 29 working on a beautification project at Einstein Charter Middle School in New Orleans East. They built a teaching garden, planted flowers, landscaped and painted, and striped the parking lot. Every Privateer team was represented—except the women’s indoor volleyball team, which was away at a game.


The New Orleans City Council on Sept. 3 presented a proclamation to University of New Orleans leaders, recognizing UNO’s College of Engineering and its 3rd Annual Engineering Forum, held Sept. 11. UNO is the only university in New Orleans to offer degree programs in civil engineering, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. It also has the only naval architecture and marine engineering program in the region. From left, Councilmembers Jared Brossett, Nadine Ramsey and James Gray, with UNO President Peter Fos, Entergy Endowed Chair for Power Systems Engineering Parviz Rastgoufard, Councilmembers Susan Guidry and LaToya Cantrell, College of Engineering Dean Emir Macari, UNO Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs John Nicklow and Councilmembers Jason Williams and Stacy Head.


In June, New Orleans Police Department recruits began receiving their training at the University of New Orleans Lindy C. Boggs International Conference Center. The arrangement enables the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation to lease training space at UNO while its own training academy on Paris Avenue is remodeled over the next two years. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu greets one of the 33 police recruits who became the first to go through the new police training center located at UNO.


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About 300 people turned out Sept. 27, to enjoy a lecture by astrophysicist Greg Seab, professor of physics, and to try to view the full lunar eclipse through telescopes provided by the Pontchartrain Astronomy Society. Cloudy skies unfortunately obstructed the view of the harvest moon, but Seab ended up delivering two lectures after the first one was standing room only. UDDO SCHOLARSHIP IN SCREENWRITING

Graduate student Elizabeth Brina, center, has been awarded the Joseph Patrick Uddo Scholarship in Screenwriting. A native of Fairport, NY, Brina is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in screenwriting. The scholarship honors the memory of Uddo, a filmmaker and New Orleans native who died in 2008 at age 33. With Brina are, from left, Kelly Uddo, UNO artist in residence Henry Griffin, Sophia Uddo, Joseph Uddo, Anne Uddo and Basile J. Uddo.


The University of New Orleans College of Education and Human Development in September inducted three alumni into the school’s Hall of Fame: Mary Brown Ballard, Martin Montgomery and Deborah Bordelon. Kevin Graves, interim dean of the College of Education and Human Development, at left, and University of New Orleans President Peter Fos, far right, with, from left, Ballard, Montgomery and Bordelon on Sept. 23 at the Sen. Ted Hickey Ballroom.



FALL 2015


Children ages four through 17 converged on UNO on Oct. 3 for a daylong event that engaged them in science, technology, engineering and math concepts, also called STEM. Free and open to boys and girls, the event was sponsored by 365 Connect, GE Capital, the UNO College of Engineering and College of Sciences, and organized by New Orleans Women in Technology.


The UNO community came together to get dirty and raise money for student scholarships during the annual campus Swampball mud volleyball tournament on Sept. 26. Teams of six to eight played in water-filled mud pits, with all proceeds going to student scholarships.


FALL 2015



PRESIDENT FOS ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT Among the many roles that a university leader must play is public advocate. There are luncheons, banquets and ceremonies to attend. Some are small, intimate affairs while others occupy grand ballrooms. President Peter J. Fos has been a frequent visitor to these myriad functions and he usually begins his remarks by asking a few questions. “How many of you graduated from UNO? How many of you took a class at UNO? How many of you have a loved one who went to UNO?” Fos smiles broadly while recounting this exercise. “By then, almost everyone in the entire room has raised their hands,” he says. “And it doesn’t matter which group I’m in front of.” The anecdote underscores the reach of the University of New Orleans, and its graduates, throughout metropolitan New Orleans and beyond. Leading such an important institution has been a dream come true for President Fos, who grew up near St. Roch Playground in New Orleans and graduated from the University in 1972 — the first member of his family to earn a college degree. It’s a job he will soon depart; in August he announced that he will retire from the University at the end of January 2016 after four years at the helm. “I know that I’ve given everything to this job that I can, and I’ve come to a point where I don’t think I can push it any further,” President Fos says. “It’s time for somebody else to become president.” When he began his tenure at UNO in January 2012, President Fos became the sixth leader in the history of the institution; he was also the first president. For the first 54 years of its existence the University had been a member of the LSU System, but when it joined the University of Louisiana System in 2011, UNO’s chief executive became known as a president, instead of a chancellor. President Fos says he is confident that he is leaving the University in much better shape than when he 6


FALL 2015

“I know that I’ve given everything to this job that I can, and I’ve come to a point where I don’t think I can push it any further. It’s time for somebody else to become president.� PRESIDENT PETER J. FOS

arrived. He says UNO is on more solid financial footing, it features a more robust campus life, it has a more academicallyprepared study body and it does a better job of serving and supporting students than it did in the past. He points to the establishment of the Privateer Enrollment Center, a one-stop shop for student services on the first floor of the Earl K. Long Library. Now students can register for classes, pay their tuition, get an ID card and pick up their parking decal, without ever leaving the building. In the past, accomplishing all of these tasks would have meant visits to multiple buildings across campus. As a former UNO student, President Fos says it was important for him to interact regularly with the student body. He ate in the cafeteria at least once a week and held monthly student meetings in which 15 to 20 students attended and discussed their problems and concerns. President Fos says, based on the feedback that he received during those conversations, he made a number of changes on campus. His responsiveness did not go unnoticed.

“I had a student stop me on the Louise Williams Arnolie Deck (in the University Center), and she hugged me and she said, ‘I’m going to miss seeing you walking up and down here.’ She said ‘When I see you walking up and down here, I know you’re working for us.’ It almost brought me to tears,� he says. A few other highlights of President Fos’ tenure include: t)FMQFEDSFBUFUIF6/0(&$BQJUBM Software Apprenticeship Program, which aims to build a stronger technology workforce, in cooperation with Louisiana Economic Development, through a worldclass paid apprenticeship program; t&TUBCMJTIFEUIF6/0*OUFSOBUJPOBM Center, a facility that serves as a campus hub for the University’s international programs and services; t*NQSPWFESFMBUJPOTXJUI%FMHBEP and Nunez community colleges through the development of several articulation agreements which enable students with an associate degree to easily transfer into UNO as upperclassmen; t$SFBUFE JODPPQFSBUJPOXJUI(SFBUFS

FACING PAGE: President Peter Fos participates in the spring 2015 commencement ceremony. THIS PAGE, LEFT: President Fos shares a laugh with Delgado Community College Chancellor Joan Davis at a signing ceremony to renew a transfer agreement in business administration. THIS PAGE RIGHT: President Fos welcomes student Kyle Orleans into Pontchartrain Hall North during New Student Move-In Day.

New Orleans, Inc., graduate certificate programs in Coastal Sciences and Coastal Engineering; t#PPTUFEUIFOVNCFSPG)PNFS- Hitt Presidential Scholars—UNO’s top academic scholarship—from 18 in fall 2012 to 133 in fall 2015; t.BEFUIFEFDJTJPOGPSUIF6OJWFSTJUZT athletic program to remain a member of NCAA Division I, and thereafter, the Privateers joined the Southland Conference. UNO MAGAZINE

FALL 2015



While other choices were more consequential than staying Division I, President Fos says none was more visible. The University has a longestablished heritage in major college athletics and he wanted to make sure that the institution continued to participate in the highest level of competition. All eight other member schools in the University of Louisiana System also have Division I athletics. In a big-time sports city like New Orleans, President Fos says anything other than Division I would have been a mistake. “I think it’s very important for our identity and our connection to the city,� he says. One of President Fos’ fondest memories was his investiture, a ceremony in November 2012 in which he was formally installed as the UniverTJUZTMFBEFS.FNCFSTPGUIF6/0 community, elected officials and other higher education leaders attended to wish the new president well and to pay homage to the institution as a whole. But according to President Fos, the best two days of every academic year are fall and spring commencement. “Those are the reason I come to work every day,� he says. He also takes great pride in the evolution of the graduation ceremony. “The event has a lot more pomp and circumstance than it did before,� he says. “Now it’s much more than just handing out degrees. I think we’ve created some excitement and traditions around commencement that are wonderful. I think it’s as grand as it deserves to be.� The University of Louisiana System has formed a search committee that will select President Fos’ successor in early 2016. Former UL System President 3BOEZ.PČFUUXJMMTFSWFBTJOUFSJN president of UNO after President Fos retires in January. President Fos says his four years in charge at his alma mater have reinforced his belief in the essential nature of the University of New Orleans. “It matters a great deal to this city and the surrounding areas,� he says. “What this university has done for this city, words can’t even describe, quite honestly.� 8


FALL 2015

PRESIDENT FOS AND WIFE ESTABLISH SCHOLARSHIP TO SUPPORT FEMALE EDUCATORS University of New Orleans President Peter J. Fos and his wife, Lori, have established an endowed scholarship to help support female students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in education at UNO. The $25,000 scholarship fund was made possible by a donation from the Foses as well as contributions from friends of the University. The Lori A. and Peter J. Fos Endowed Scholarship in Education is designed to speciďŹ cally support women in education, with priority given to student-athletes. BeneďŹ ciaries will receive a $500 scholarship award for both the fall and spring semesters to help cover any education expenses. “As ďŹ rst-generation students and UNO graduates ourselves, Lori and I are ďŹ rm believers in the power of higher education,â€? President Fos said. “If this scholarship can help a student, in some small way, achieve her goal of earning a

University of New Orleans President Peter J. Fos and his wife, Lori.

college degree, it will be well worth it.â€? “Over decades, the University of New Orleans has built a reputation for graduating students who go on to be leaders in our local schools,â€? Lori Fos said. “We hope this scholarship can help contribute to that legacy of preparing top-notch educational personnel.â€? Recipients must be full-time female students who are pursuing bachelor’s degrees in education and are in good academic standing. The ďŹ rst recipients of the scholarship, named this fall, were Courtney Roblez and Callie Willcox. Roblez is a junior at UNO majoring in secondary education in social studies. She also plays on both the UNO indoor volleyball and sand volleyball teams. Willcox is a senior majoring in health promotion who runs cross country and participates in track and ďŹ eld. She was named UNO’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year in 2014-15.

UNO RESEARCHER WINS $450,000 GRANT TO STUDY HOW SUNLIGHT TRANSFORMS OIL SPILLS University of New Orleans chemistry QSPGFTTPS.BUUIFX5BSSIBTCFFOBXBSEFE a three-year $450,000 National Science Foundation grant to study how sunlight transforms oil on the surface of water. 5BSSBOEIJTSFTFBSDI team will expose different types of oil to simulated sunlight in order to gain a better understanding of the chemical structures that are formed when petroleum is spilled in water. They will also determine how dispersants affect the make-up of the oil. i.BOZQSFWJPVTTUVEJFTVUJMJ[FEVMUSBviolet radiation that is not representative of sunlight, and few, if any, studies have recorded findings across oil types or in the QSFTFODFPGEJTQFSTBOUT w5BSSTBZTićJT

study will produce important and unique data that are needed to understand the fate and transport of oil spilled in aquatic systems.� The results of the research will allow scientists to better predict the behavior of oil spilled in water. It will also provide valuable guidance for future response strategies and technologies, BDDPSEJOHUP5BSS The project will include an educational component. Undergraduate students will gain important experience while working as part of the research team. High school students and teachers will participate in summer research experiences that will broaden their own perspectives.

ABOVE: Flares burn oil and gas on the

surface of the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in 2010. UNO chemistry professor Matthew Tarr, left, has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant to study how sunlight transforms oil on water’s surface.

5BSS XIPKPJOFEUIF6/0GBDVMUZ in 1995, is a member of the American Chemical Society. He has served as a principal investigator on more than $4 million worth of externally funded grants and worked as key personnel on more than $11 million in sponsored programs. He is the 2015 recipient of the UNO Research Excellence Prize, given to a faculty member who has achieved the rank of associate professor or professor and who has an outstanding and sustained record of creative or scholarly activities. UNO MAGAZINE

FALL 2015



THREE UNO FACULTY MEMBERS AWARDED UNO RESEARCH PRIZES The University of New Orleans awarded the 2015 UNO Research Recognition Prizes to three faculty members. .BUUIFX5BSS QSPGFTTPSPGDIFNJTUSZ  won the Research Excellence Prize; Elliott Beaton, assistant professor of psychology, won the Early Career Research Prize; and .BIEJ"CEFMHVFSÄ• QSPGFTTPSPGDPNQVUFS science, won the Competitive Funding Prize. 5BSS XIPKPJOFEUIF6/0GBDVMUZJO 1995, researches several different areas: nanostructure materials for energy conversion, environmental chemistry and photochemistry, and the use of nanomaterials for biomarker detection or sitedirected drug delivery. A member of the American Chemical Society, he has served as the principal investigator for $4 million in external funding and worked as key personnel on more than $11 million in TQPOTPSFEQSPHSBNT'SPN 5BSS ran a high school summer research program at UNO for 131 high school students and 52 high school teachers. The Research Excellence Prize is given to faculty members who have achieved the rank of associate professor or professor and who have an outstanding and sustained record of creative and scholarly activities.

5BSSXJMMSFDFJWFB  grant for winning the prize. Beaton, who joined the psychology department as an assistant professor in 2012, directs the Stress, Cognition and Affective Neuroscience (SCAN) Laboratory. He and his research team study how stress affects brain development in children at an ultra-high risk for adult mental illness, including anxiety disorders and schizophrenia. He has been awarded more than $910,000 in active grant funding from agencies including the National *OTUJUVUFPG.FOUBM)FBMUI UIF-PVJTJBOB Board of Regents and the University of .BSZMBOE#FBUPOIBTQBSUJDJQBUFEJOTFWFSBM outreach events since joining UNO, such as UIF(JSM4DPVUT45&.&YUSBWBHBO[BBOEUIF /FX0SMFBOT;FQIZST45&.&EVDBUJPO%BZ The Early Career Research Prize is awarded to faculty members who hold the rank of assistant professor and who have distinguished themselves in their creative and scholarly activities. Beaton will receive a $7,500 grant. Abdelguerfi, who serves as the chair of the computer science department, joined UNO in 1989. During the last fiscal year, he had

The 2015 UNO Research Recognition Prizes were awarded to (from left) Elliott Beaton, assistant professor of psychology; Mahdi Abdelguerfi, professor of computer science; and Matthew Tarr, professor of chemistry.

more than $840,000 in additional funding added to his portfolio of existing grants. On a grant from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Abdelguerfi is developing a geospatial information system for fish tagging, artificial fishing reefs and oyster maps. He has recently received research funding from the U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command and the Naval Research Laboratory at Stennis Space Center. The Competitive Funding Prize goes to the UNO researcher who has achieved the highest amount of external funding awards in the past fiscal year. Abdelguerfi will receive a $10,000 grant.

UNO PROFESSOR TRAINS MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS IN CYBERSECURITY .JEEMFBOEIJHITDIPPMUFBDIFSTGSPN around the country converged on the University of New Orleans this summer to spend two weeks learning from a leading cybersecurity expert. 6/0TTFDPOE(FO$ZCFSQSPHSBNESFX 20 teachers from 12 states—including seven from metropolitan New Orleans— immersing them in intensive cybersecurity training that gives them the tools to design their own curricula and train future generations of cybersecurity experts. i5FBDIFSTBUUFOEJOHUIF training significantly deepened their knowledge of cybersecurity, preparing them to effectively transition their experiences, and the materials they received, into UIFJSDMBTTSPPNT wTBZT(PMEFO Richard, professor of computer 10


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TDJFODFBOEUIFEJSFDUPSPGUIF(SFBUFS/FX Orleans Center for Information Assurance at UNO. Funded by the National Security Agency and National Science Foundation, the July 30-31 program was free to all participants, including lodging, travel and meals. Participating teachers were provided

with a laptop configured and loaded with all of the security tools necessary for the training. At the workshop’s finale, teachers were able to take the laptops back to their schools where they could duplicate portions of the training, perform demonstrations and otherwise integrate their new knowledge into their own classes. UNO was one of only six JOTUJUVUJPOTUPIPTUB(FO$ZCFS summer camp in 2014. This year, 43 camps—for both students and teachers—took place on 29 college campuses in 18 states. Program organizers expect there to be 200 camps in all 50 states by 2020. UNO computer science professor Golden Richard leads a GenCyber training session for 20 middle school and high school teachers from across the country.

GIVING STEM STUDENTS THE TOOLS TO STAY THE COURSE Students who start out majoring in science, technology, engineering and math fields traditionally change course before getting their degrees. That’s according to a 2012 national report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and 5FDIOPMPHZ XIJDIGPVOEGFXFSUIBO percent of students who enter college with UIFJOUFOUJPOPGNBKPSJOHJOB45&.ĕFME DPNQMFUFB45&.EFHSFF The University of New Orleans, however, is taking aggressive measures to change those figures. *O"VHVTU 6/0IFMEJUTĕSTUFWFS45&. Scholars program, a five-day intensive boot camp for incoming freshmen. The training program drew about 45 students seeking to jump-start their college DBSFFSTJO45&. “We want to provide our students with the skills they need to succeed,� says Wendy Schluchter, professor and chair of biological sciences. “We launched this QSPHSBNUPHJWF45&.GSFTINFOUIBUFYUSB push they need to do well academically, feel comfortable in their new college life

and establish relationships that will carry through their time at UNO.� Students participated in one of three camps: biology, algebra or calculus. They got a head start on required course content, attending lectures from faculty

who teach first-year courses and developing critical skills necessary for academic success. The courses enabled them to build peer study groups and form safe spaces to fail without being graded. The students, who were guided by peer mentors throughout the camp, also had the chance to learn about careers from profesTJPOBMTJO45&.ĕFMET Program organizers say the University NPEFMFE45&.4DIPMBSTBęFSPUIFS intensive transition camps for incoming freshmen that have proven track records of improving students’ scores in their fall courses and increasing four-year graduation rates. A five-year $1.5 million grant from UIF)PXBSE)VHIFT.FEJDBM*OTUJUVUFJT IFMQJOHUPGVOE45&.4DIPMBST6/0BMTP conducted a crowd-funding project to raise an additional $10,000 to offset a portion of the fee that students pay to participate in the camp.

TOP: Jerry Howard, associate professor of biological sciences, reviews key concepts in science, technology, engineering and math during UNO’s first STEM Scholars Program for incoming freshmen. LEFT: Students listen intently.


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UNO GETS HIGH MARKS FOR QUALITY, COST IN NATIONAL AND GLOBAL RANKINGS The University of New Orleans offers a great education at a great price. And if you had any doubt, don’t take our word for it. Read instead UNO’s rankings in The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and the Center for World University Rankings. The three organizations recently rated UNO among the best in the world and nation for quality, experience and cost. The 2016 edition of The Princeton Review’s annual college guide, “The Best 380 Colleges” named UNO as one of only three public universities in Louisiana to

make the list. UNO is described in The Princeton Review’s student surveys as a “not too big, not too small” school that is a “diverse environment that makes it a welcoming area to be,” and provides “lots of opportunities to develop our personality, leadership skills and career skills.” Only about 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges, and only four colleges outside of the United States, are profiled in the book. It includes detailed profiles of the colleges with rating scores for all schools in eight categories. It also ranks the top 20 schools in the book in

GRADUATING WITHOUT CRIPPLING DEBT U.S. News & World Report ranks UNO among the universities whose students graduate with the lightest debt loads. AVG. % OF GRADS WITH DEBT




Princeton University (NJ)




Cal Tech








Yale (CT)




Harvard (MA)




San Diego St.




University of Houston




Florida International




University of New Orleans




UNC-Chapel Hill








University of Texas - Dallas


$19,884 Source: U.S. News & World Report



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62 categories based on The Princeton Review’s surveys of 136,000 students attending the colleges. The Center for World University Rankings listed UNO as among the top 1,000 universities in the world and the top 229 in the nation. Only five Louisiana institutions made the list. UNO ranks 609 in the world and 182 in the nation, according to the 2015 edition of the rankings. Using eight indicators to rank the world’s top 1,000 universities, the list seeks to measure quality of education, training of students, prestige of faculty and quality of research without relying on surveys or university data submissions. The eight indicators are quality of education, alumni employment, quality of faculty, publications, influence, citations, broad impact and patents. For the fifth straight year, U.S. News & World Report listed UNO among the universities whose students graduate with the lightest debt loads. The list examines the debt load of the class of 2014 and includes loans taken out by students from their colleges, from private financial institutions, and federal, state and local governments. Average amount of debt refers to the cumulative amount borrowed by students who incurred debt. For UNO’s class of 2014, that amount was $18,850, putting it among the top 25 national universities with the lowest average debt load. The national university category refers to institutions that offer a full range of undergraduate programs, plus master’s and doctoral programs, and emphasize faculty research. Fifty-three percent of UNO’s class of 2014 graduated with debt. Princeton University topped the list with the smallest percentage of graduates with debt (17 percent) and the lowest average amount of debt ($6,600). “The University of New Orleans was founded on the twin pillars of academic quality and accessibility,” says UNO President Peter J. Fos. “National recognition such as this highlights the fact that these principles are still intact nearly six decades later. We continue to believe that a UNO education is an outstanding value.”


UNO GETS $56,000 PUBLIC HISTORY GRANT FROM BOARD OF REGENTS In the right hands, modern technology has the ability to make history more publicly accessible. The University of New Orleans Department of History plans to capitalize on that promise, thanks in part to a $56,000 grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents. The department will use the funds to update its technology while faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students undertake three projects that aim to shed fresh light on New Orleans’ past and the culture of slavery in the U.S.: t&YQBOEJOH‍ڀ‏, a web and mobile platform for sharing stories and scholarship about New Orleans history; t1BSUJDJQBUJOHJOBNVMUJVOJWFSTJUZ collaboration to digitize newspaper entries documenting runaway slave advertisements; and t$POUSJCVUJOHUPBOFODZDMPQFEJB of New Orleans, compiled in anticipation of the City of New Orleans’ 300th anniversary in 2018. The grant will pay for computers with digital editing software, lighting and sound equipment for oral histories, a large-scale printer for public history displays and a microfilm scanner to create digital files from microfilm. “The history profession has gone through a substantial change, if not transformation, in the last two decades,â€? says Robert Dupont, associate professor of history and the grant’s principal investigator. “There is an increased interest in public history, which is less about individual publishing and more about the dissemination of historical knowledge to the public at large. This emphasis draws on traditional history, but also utilizes digital technology to enhance storytelling and education.â€? The projects will be led by history GBDVMUZNFNCFST.BSZ/JBMM.JUDIFMM  +BNFT.PLIJCFSBOE$POOJF Atkinson.


Forecast Seminars were named in his honor

the loss of longtime business professor Ivan

in 2015. Miestchovich was also the ďŹ rst

Miestchovich, who died on Sept. 25 at the

person to hold the Max Derbes III Profes-

age of 66 after a one-year battle with ALS.

sorship of Real Estate, which was created

Miestchovich, an associate professor of

in honor of his friend and mentor Max J.

ďŹ nance, was a faculty member in the Col-

Derbes III. Miestchovich retired in May 2015

lege of Business Administration for nearly

after spending 38 years at UNO.

four decades and a

Miestchovich taught

renowned expert in the

undergraduate and

areas of real estate,

graduate courses in

economic development

real estate principles,

and ďŹ nance.

investment and de-

“Ivan was an

velopment, entrepre-

exceptional colleague

neurship, personal

and faculty member of

ďŹ nance, economic

the College of Business

development and

Administration who

ďŹ nancial management

was greatly admired at

of nonproďŹ t orga-

the University and throughout the communi-

nizations. But his contributions extended

ty,� said John Williams, dean of the College

well outside of the classroom. He was the

of Business Administration. “His research

founding director of the UNO Small Business

and entrepreneurial work in real estate and

Development Center and the International

economic development will have a lasting

Trade Center. He served on the board of the

impact throughout the region. We will miss

Capital One Community Renewal Fund, the

his phenomenal personality and dedication.�

St. Tammany Parish Economic Development

Miestchovich, a native of New Orleans

Foundation and the Bank of New Orleans.

and graduate of Jesuit High School, earned

Miestchovich’s affable personality and depth

a bachelor’s degree, an MBA and a master’s

of knowledge made him a go-to analyst

in urban studies from UNO. He was awarded

for the local and national news media; he

a doctorate in marketing communications

was a frequent guest on radio shows and

and economic development from the Uni-

newscasts and often quoted in a variety of

versity of Southern Mississippi. He served

print and online publications.

as the director of the Institute for Economic

Miestchovich is survived by his wife,

Development and Real Estate Research and

Peggy, and his daughters, Kristin and Kaitlin.

was the author of the Institute’s annual real

In honor of Miestchovich, the family re-

estate market analysis of metropolitan New

quests that donations be sent to the Gleason

Orleans and the North Shore region. The

Initiative Foundation, P.O. Box 24493, New

annual Economic Outlook and Real Estate

Orleans, La. 70184.


FALL 2015



FESTIVITIES KICK OFF 4OTH ANNIVERSARY OF UNO-INNSBRUCK PROGRAM .PSFUIBOTUVEFOUT GBDVMUZ  staff, guests and dignitaries assembled in front of the Innsbruck Congress Haus on June 28 for the opening ceremony of the University of New Orleans-Innsbruck International 4VNNFS4DIPPMJO5JSPM "VTUSJB  marking the 40th anniversary of UNO’s signature study abroad program. The international exchange has drawn more than 10,000 students since it was founded in 1976. "5JSPMFBOCSBTTCBOEBOE"VTUSJBO string quartet welcomed guests, who were greeted by dignitaries from UNO, the University of Innsbruck, and the cities of Innsbruck and New Orleans, including President Peter J. Fos and his Innsbruck counterpart, 3FLUPS5JMNBO.ÊSL U.S. Ambassador to Austria, Her Excellency Alexa Wesner, even made a special trip from Vienna to Innsbruck to welcome the students, congratulate them on their decision to study abroad and remind them of their vital role in U.S. foreign policy. 6/0BMVNOVT.BSL3PNJH  president and CEO of the New 0SMFBOT5PVSJTN.BSLFUJOH$PSQPration, delivered greetings from New 0SMFBOT.BZPS.JUDI-BOESJFVBOE congratulated the many city officials in attendance on 20 years of partnership through the sister city agreement between Innsbruck and New Orleans. (PSEPO)i/JDLw.VFMMFS XIP founded the UNO-Innsbruck program in 1976 and now serves as president and CEO of the National World War **.VTFVN BMTPBUUFOEFEUIFPQFOJOH DFSFNPOZ(VFTUTXBUDIFEBTIPSU film by UNO student Stevie Cavalier, showcasing the success story of the UNO-Innsbruck program. After the 2015 summer school was EFDMBSFEiPQFOwCZ$BSM.BMNHSFO  the program’s academic director, the celebration continued with local cuisine, dancing and music from the University of Innsbruck Big Band Combo. 14


FALL 2015

TOP: In June, a Tirolean brass band welcomes more than 400 guests at the Innsbruck Congress Haus for the opening ceremony of the UNO-Innsbruck International Summer School 2015 in Tirol, Austria. LEFT: UNO President Peter J. Fos presents a gift to Her Excellency Alexa Wesner, U.S. Ambassador to Austria. BELOW: (From left) Her Excellency Alexa Wesner, U.S. Ambassador to Austria; UNO President Peter J. Fos; and Alea Cot, assistant vice president for international education.

UNO-CHART WINS NATIONAL AWARD FOR RISK LITERACY PROJECT A disaster of any kind can send a community into a tailspin. But add limited literacy to the equation, and those without the ability to read or write are likely to struggle even more to pull themselves up from the rubble. A University of New Orleans program designed to help people survive a disaster recently received a national $2,500 prize from Solution Search for deftly incorporating disaster preparedness into literacy instruction. “Preparing for Storms in Louisiana,� a risk literacy curriculum by the UNO Center for Hazards Assessment, Response and 5FDIOPMPHZ 6/0$)"35 XBTOBNFE runner-up during Solution Search’s June 8 ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. 5BSB-BNCFUI 6/0$)"35BTTJTUBOU director, attended the ceremony and accepted the award on behalf of the project team.

Solution Search uses several openinvitation contests to identify promising new approaches to conservation activities. 6/0$)"35QMBDFEJOB competition aimed at improving responses to weather disasters called “Reducing Our Risk: Innovations for Disaster Preparation.� The curriculum, available with English and Spanish components, uses plain language to increase understanding. It includes a student manual, facilitator’s guide, take home guide and flashcards. The project was made possible by a grant GSPNUIF'FEFSBM&NFSHFODZ.BOBHFNFOU "HFODZUISPVHIUIF-PVJTJBOB(PWFSnor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. 6/0$)"35JTBOBQQMJFETPDJBM science hazards research center focused on supporting Louisiana community sustain-

ability in light of natural, ab technological and environtec mental risks to which the me state is vulnerable. The center stat seeks to understand ways in seek which Louisiana communities whic and the t coastal region respond to these risks, assist in the development of best practices for reducing risks and support implementation of these practices to achieve comprehensive community sustainability. The project team for “Preparing for Storms in Louisianaâ€? was led by Pam Jenkins, UNO research professor of TPDJPMPHZ BOEJODMVEFE.POJDB'BSSJT  6/0$)"35EJSFDUPS.BHHJF0MJWJFS  research associate; Jeff Rinehart, fine arts instructor; Hazel Spaulding Parker, education instructor; Race Hodges, HSBEVBUFBTTJTUBOU,JN.PTCZ HSBEVBUF BTTJTUBOU,ZMF(SJÄ?UI HSBEVBUFBTTJTUBOU BOE,ZMF5WFUFO TUVEFOUXPSLFS

NEW JOSEPH CANIZARO AND JAMES LIVINGSTON CENTER FOR INFORMATICS ADDS POWERFUL DATA ARM TO GULF RESEARCH UIFĕSTUJOUIF(VMG4UBUFTSFHJPO w"CEFMThe University of New Orleans has guerfi said. “The center will help attract established the Joseph Canizaro and James funding as well as highly qualified students, Livingston Center for Environmental faculty and staff to the University. It will Informatics, which will focus on the science improve our undergraduate and graduate of information applied to environmental curriculum, advance science. The center was research, and create approved by the Louisiana workforce and Board of Regents at its economic develSeptember meeting. opment.� The center will be The establishment housed within the of the center was Department of Computer made possible by a Science and will be donation from real EJSFDUFECZ.BIEJ estate developer Abdelguerfi, professor and Joseph Canizaro and chair of computer science. .BKPS(FOFSBM+BNFT Researchers in the center Livingston; the gift will will use computer science fund three endowed to develop systems to professorships in better manage environMahdi Abdelguerfi, professor UNO’s computer mental projects such as and chair of computer science. science department. wireless fish tagging and Some of the major research projects of sustainable oyster harvesting. the center include: “UNO’s new environmental informatics t8JSFMFTTĕTIUBHHJOHPGTQFDLMFEUSPVU center will be the first in Louisiana and

in Lake Pontchartrain to better understand the movement patterns and habitat use of the fish t/VNFSJDBMNPEFMJOHUPFTUJNBUF sustainable oyster harvests for public reefs in Louisiana t'JTIJOHWFTTFMNPOJUPSJOHUPCFUUFS manage commercial fisheries t&WBMVBUJPOPGUIFJNQBDUTPGGSFTIXBUFS diversions on oyster habitat suitability t*NQSPWJOHUIFRVBMJUZPGHFPTQBUJBMBOE environmental data by mining large-scale geospatial data The multidisciplinary center will draw on the expertise of faculty members and research staff from a number of academic departments, including computer science, biology, mathematics, electrical engineering, and civil and environmental engineering. Center personnel will also work with collaborators from the Naval Research Laboratory at Stennis Space Center, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. UNO MAGAZINE

FALL 2015




Oscar Rossignoli has been named the 2015-16 American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Louis Armstrong Scholar at the University of New Orleans by the New York-based ASCAP Foundation. The $3,000 award is made to a graduate student in jazz studies who demonstrates excellence in scholarship and creating original works. The scholarship is funded by the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, Inc. Rossignoli, a native of Honduras, is an accomplished pianist and composer in both jazz and classical music. He began studying classical music when he was six years old; he discovered jazz in high school and immediately began writing and performing his own compositions. 16


FALL 2015

He earned an undergraduate degree in piano performance at LSU, where he amassed a number of accolades, including winning the LSU Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition and taking second place and the “Audience Favoriteâ€? award at UIF,BUIMFFO5BOE1IJMJQ#1IJMMJQT+B[[ Piano Competition. Since enrolling at UNO, Rossignoli has become an in-demand player in New 0SMFBOT QFSGPSNJOHXJUI+BTPO.BSTBMJT  Bill Summers, Christian Scott, James Singleton, Brian Seeger, Brad Walker and others. Rossignoli will be honored at the ASCAP Foundation’s annual award ceremony at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City in December. NOÉ CUGNY PHOTOGRAPH, TOP

UNO MUSICIANS OFFER A SELECTION OF NEW CD RELEASES Looking for holiday gift ideas? The UNO music community is serving up a selection of great new CD releases to choose from. Check out these recent collections by UNO professors, students and alumni. while a student at UNO. The gospel, soul-tinged recording, released on the Concord Jazz label, also highlights Ross’s vocal and songwriting skills. +B[[5JNFTDBMMTJUiMJWFMZ  eminently listenable music with a kitchen-sink aesthetic.� Personnel include keyboardist Jonathan Batiste; Ross often performs with the CBS “Late Show� star’s Stay Human Band.

TORUS Yotam Haber Faculty

Genre: Contemporary classical Description: The internationally-acclaimed composer’s emotional, evocative works are performed by the renowned groups Contemporaneous BOEUIF.JWPT2VBSUFU*UJT described as “a snapshot of a soul in flux – moving from life to the afterlife, from Israel to New Orleans – a composer MPPLJOHGPSBTPVOE‍ڀ‏BOEÄ•OEJOH TPNFUIJOHQPXFSGVM‍ڀ‏BMPOHUIF way.â€?

Five O’Clock Charlie From Brazil to New Orleans Charlie Dennard Alumnus

Genre: Jazz Description: Hammond B3 master Charlie Dennard celebrates his world travels (he toured for years with Cirque de Soleil) and his return to New Orleans with these two recent releases.

The Unexpected Gift Brent Rose Faculty and alumnus

Personnel also include alumni 1FUFS7BSOBEPBOE4DPUU.ZFST  former students Eric Lucero BOE"MFYFZ.BSUJ BOEDVSSFOU student Oscar Rossignoli. Genre: Jazz Description: This veteran saxophonist covers the width and breadth of the jazz genre, from traditional New Orleans jazz to contemporary Latin and funk, in his long-awaited CD debut.

Jamison Jamison Ross Alumnus

Genre: Jazz Description: A soulful, melodic debut from the master drummer, who won the prestiHJPVTćFMPOJPVT.POL*OUFSOBtional Jazz Competition in 2012

Dee Dee’s Feathers Alumni and faculty: Dee

Dee Bridgewater with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra including performances and arrangements by faculty members Ed Petersen and Victor Atkins III, and by alumna Emily Fredrickson. The group also includes graduates Khari Allen Lee, Derek Douget, 3FY(SFHPSZ "TIMJO1BSLFS  and Jasen Weaver, and former TUVEFOUT%BWJE)BSSJT .JDIBFM Watson, Leon “Kid Chocolate� Brown, Eric Lucero, and band MFBEFS*SWJO.BZĕFME Genre: Jazz Description: This collection of familiar New Orleans standards showcases Bridgewater’s vocal strengths with the big band sound, and features a guest appearance from Dr. John.

Basic Truths Barry Stephenson Alumnus

Genre: Jazz Description: An energetic and straight-forward collection of original tunes, recorded at UNO’s Studio 103 in 2011 and released in 2015. Stephenson has been busy touring the world with the likes of Jon Batiste’s 4UBZ)VNBOBOEUIF(MFO David Andrews Band; this longoverdue release features his own work. Alumni Jamison Ross and Emily Fredrickson, and current student Ricardo Pascal are among the personnel. Other newer releases by UNO alumni: Rookie of the Year by jazz pianist and UNO grad Kyle Roussel. Quintet by jazz saxophonist Brad Walker, includes associate professor and alumnus Brian Seeger on guitar and current student Oscar Rossignoli on piano. Duets 2014 by percussionist Dave Capello features alumnus and former adjunct instructor trombonist Jeff Albert. Double Wide by saxophonist John Ellis includes adjunct JOTUSVDUPST.BUU1FSSJOFBOE +BTPO.BSTBMJT Oneness by jazz saxophonist 5POZ%BHSBEJ BMTPTFUGPSB January release, showcases adjunct instructor and alumnus Ricky Sebastian on percussion.


FALL 2015 17


NEW AWARD PROGRAM GIVES UNDERGRADUATES A TASTE OF RESEARCH UNO freshman Sydney Campbell might be working at Chipotle this fall if it hadn’t been for an extraordinary opportunity that came her way thanks to a supportive professor who nudged her to apply. The double major in chemistry and biological sciences was one of 20 undergraduates selected for the first-ever PURSUE (Privateer Undergraduate Research and Scholarly UNO Experience) awards, a program that enables her to receive $1,000–$10 per hour for 100 hours—for working on research in her field of study. i5PCFBCMFUPHFUJOUPSFTFBSDIUIJT early on—I think it’s fabulous,� Campbell said as she prepared for a meeting with NFOUPS.BSL5SVEFMM QSPGFTTPSBOEDIBJS of chemistry and, now, Campbell’s research mentor on a project that involves studying the effects of cannabinoids, the chemical compounds secreted by the marijuana plant, on the human body. Initial numbers indicate students were eager for the chance to be involved in SFTFBSDI.PSFUIBOTUVEFOUTBQQMJFE for the research awards and more than 65 faculty offered to be mentors. Organized by the Office of Research and awarded by the Undergraduate Research Council, the goal of the program is to introduce all UNO undergraduate students—regardless of academic discipline—to research opportunities and to provide a mechanism for students to find faculty research mentors. Campbell and nine other underclassmen received the $1,000 awards, while 10 upperclassmen received $1,500 awards for 100 hours of lab work. Research indicates that undergraduate research improves student retention, develops critical thinking and intellectual independence and promotes an innovationoriented culture. 18


FALL 2015

Ten freshmen and sophomores, left, and 10 juniors and seniors, right, were honored as the first upperclassmen to get the PURSUE award. Geared toward undergraduates, the prizes provided $1,000 to underclassmen and $1,500 to upperclassmen to enables them to work on research in their field of study alongside a mentor professor.

&NJS.BDBSJ JOUFSJNEJSFDUPSPGSFTFBSDI and dean of the College of Engineering, says that he never had such an opportunity BTBOVOEFSHSBEVBUFBU7JSHJOJB5FDI#VU by his senior year, he and five other classmates approached a professor about getting involved in research in environmental and civil engineering. i8FBMMHSBEVBUFEPOUJNF w.BDBSJTBZT “All of us went on to get master’s degrees. Four of us got Ph.D.s and the last two recently completed their Ph.D.s ‌ The numbers are overwhelming that once you get that taste for research, it will stay with you forever.â€? Campbell, 18, came to UNO from Riverdale High School. She says that between the PURSUE award and the mentor relationships she has already estabMJTIFEUIBOLTMBSHFMZUP45&.4DIPMBST  UNO’s new intensive one-week camp for incoming freshmen, she feels great about her program of study and about UNO. “I think it’s a wonderful program,â€? she says. “I think it’s really well-run.â€? Biological sciences chair Wendy Schluchter, who first emailed Campbell about the award and encouraged her to apply, gave the student a congratulatory squeeze after she accepted her prize during an awards ceremony. .BDBSJTBZTUIFBENJOJTUSBUJPOIPQFTUP expand the program in coming years.

The underclassmen awardees are: UĂŠ-Ăž`˜iÞÊ >“LiÂ?Â?]ĂŠLˆœÂ?Âœ}ÞÊ>˜`ĂŠVÂ…iÂ“ÂˆĂƒĂŒĂ€Ăž Mentor: Mark Trudell UĂŠ->LĂ€ÂˆÂ˜>ĂŠ Ă•iĂ›>Ăƒ]ĂŠVÂˆĂ›ÂˆÂ?ĂŠ>˜`ĂŠiÂ˜Ă›ÂˆĂ€ÂœÂ˜Â“iÂ˜ĂŒ>Â?ĂŠ engineering Mentor: Bhaskar Kura UĂŠ>ViÞÊ Ă•Â?Â?ˆvÂœĂ€`]ĂŠLˆœÂ?Âœ}ˆV>Â?ĂŠĂƒVˆi˜ViĂƒ Mentor: Matthew Tarr UĂŠ->Ă€ÂœÂ?ĂŠ Ă•Ăœ>Â?]ĂŠVÂœÂ“ÂŤĂ•ĂŒiĂ€ĂŠĂƒVˆi˜Vi Mentor: Shengru Tu UĂŠ*Ă€>ÞÕ}ĂŠÂœÂˆĂ€>Â?>]ʓiVÂ…>˜ˆV>Â?ĂŠi˜}ˆ˜iiĂ€ÂˆÂ˜} Mentor: Dimitrios Charalampidis UĂŠ Â…Ă€ÂˆĂƒĂŒÂˆ>Â˜ĂŠÂœÂ˜Ă€ÂœĂž]ĂŠLˆœÂ?Âœ}ˆV>Â?ĂŠĂƒVˆi˜ViĂƒ Mentor: Mary Clancy UĂŠ Â?i˜>ĂŠ,ˆVVˆ]ĂŠ>Â˜ĂŒÂ…Ă€ÂœÂŤÂœÂ?Âœ}Ăž Mentor: D. Ryan Gray UĂŠˆ“>Â?ĂŠ->ÂŤÂŽÂœĂŒ>]ʓiVÂ…>˜ˆV>Â?ĂŠi˜}ˆ˜iiĂ€ÂˆÂ˜} Mentor: Christine Ikeda UĂŠĂƒÂ…ÂˆÂ“ĂŠ-ÂˆĂŒÂœĂ•Â?>]ĂŠiÂ?iVĂŒĂ€ÂˆV>Â?ĂŠi˜}ˆ˜iiĂ€ÂˆÂ˜}ĂŠ Mentor: Stephen Ware UĂŠ-Փ>Â˜ĂŠ*ÂœÂŽÂ…Ă€iÂ?]ĂŠLˆœÂ?Âœ}ˆV>Â?ĂŠĂƒVˆi˜ViĂƒ Mentor: Wendy Schluchter The upperclassmen awardees are: UĂŠ >ĂŒ>ĂƒÂ…>ĂŠ ÂœĂ•Ă€}iÂœÂˆĂƒ]ĂŠLˆœÂ?Âœ}ˆV>Â?ĂŠĂƒVˆi˜ViĂƒĂŠ Mentor: Nicola Anthony UĂŠ i“œ˜`ĂŠ Ă€ÂœĂœÂ˜]ʓ>ÀŽiĂŒÂˆÂ˜} Mentor: Kyeong Sam Min UĂŠ Â…Ă€ÂˆĂƒĂŒÂœÂŤÂ…iÀÊi Â?>˜V]ĂŠVÂˆĂ›ÂˆÂ?ĂŠi˜}ˆ˜iiĂ€ÂˆÂ˜} Mentor: Malay Ghose-Hajra UĂŠi`iĂ€ÂˆVÂœĂŠ>VÂ…>`Âœ]ĂŠÂˆÂ˜ĂŒiĂ€Â˜>ĂŒÂˆÂœÂ˜>Â?ĂŠĂƒĂŒĂ•`ˆiĂƒ Mentor: Michael Huelshoff UĂŠÂ˜Â…ĂŠ/Â…Ă•ĂŠ>ˆ]ĂŠvˆ˜>˜Vi Mentor: Mohammad Hassan UĂŠˆVÂ…>iÂ?ĂŠi`ˆ˜>]ĂŠÂŤĂƒĂžVÂ…ÂœÂ?Âœ}Ăž Mentor: Elliott Beaton UĂŠ>˜˜>Â…ĂŠ,iĂžÂ˜ÂœĂƒÂœÂ‡ÂœÂ?Â?iĂ€]ĂŠvˆÂ?“Ê>˜`ĂŠĂŒÂ…i>ĂŒĂ€i Mentor: Laszlo Fulop UĂŠ>V¾ÕiÂ?ˆ˜iĂŠ-Â“ÂˆĂŒÂ…]ĂŠVÂ…iÂ“ÂˆĂƒĂŒĂ€Ăž Mentor: Steven Rick UĂŠ˜`Ă€iĂœĂŠ-ĂŒ>ÀŽ]ĂŠiÂ?iVĂŒĂ€ÂˆV>Â?ĂŠi˜}ˆ˜iiĂ€ÂˆÂ˜} Mentor: Kim Jovanovich UĂŠ/ˆ˜>ĂŠ/Ă€ÂœĂƒVÂ?>ÂˆĂ€]ʅՓ>Â˜ĂŠÂŤiĂ€vÂœĂ€Â“>˜ViĂŠ>˜`ĂŠ health promotion Mentor: Marc Bonis

UNO PROFESSORS DEVELOP NEW MATERIALS FOR DATA STORAGE Researchers with the University of New 0SMFBOT"EWBODFE.BUFSJBMT3FTFBSDI *OTUJUVUF ".3* XPOB /BUJPOBM Science Foundation grant to develop new materials that could lead to important advances in data storage and communications. “The mobility of current devices demands that those devices become increasingly more miniature and multifunctional where one device component can perform more than one task,� says -FPOBSE4QJOV QSPGFTTPSPGQIZTJDT ".3*

director and the grant’s principal investigator. Spinu will work on the project with DIFNJTUSZQSPGFTTPSBOEGFMMPX".3* researcher John Wiley. Spinu says standard materials rely primarily on electrical input to drive devices such as phones and computers. In this project, UNO researchers will attempt to develop new materials that can respond simultaneously to light, heat, pressure or magnetic stimuli. The advantage with these materials is

that one component will be able to carry out several different operations, possibly all at the same time. This can contribute to the ongoing goal of improvements in technology by creating smaller, faster, lighter and cheaper devices. The funding for this project is provided through the National Science FoundaUJPOT&BSMZDPODFQU(SBOUTGPS&YQMPSBUPSZ 3FTFBSDI &"(&3 QSPHSBN XIJDIJT designed to support high-risk research that could lead to exceptional advances in science and technology.

RECENT UNO MASTER’S STUDENT WINS AWARD AT GEOLOGICAL COMPETITION Randy Broussard has been thinking BCPVUUIF(SFFO,OPMM4BMU%PNFGPS more than two years. That sounds like a long time until you consider the fact that this massive salt formation has been EFWFMPQJOHJOUIFDFOUSBM(VMGPG.FYJDP for slightly longer than that: 94 million years. Nevertheless, Broussard’s work shedding new light on this very old subject has garnered significant praise. He made it the subject of his master’s thesis in earth and environmental sciences—and then won UIF#FTU1SFTFOUBUJPO"XBSEBUUIF(VMG $PBTU"TTPDJBUJPOPG(FPMPHJDBM4PDJFUJFT Convention in Houston in September. Broussard and his graduate thesis adviser, .PTUPGB4BSXBS VOSBWFMFEUIFIJTUPSZPG UIFGPSNBUJPOPGUIF(SFFO,OPMMTBMUEPNF using seismic data. ićF(VMGPG.FYJDPJTBQSPMJĕD petroleum basin, which has complex geological components with intricate salt domes mingled with sedimentary structures,� says Sarwar, a geophysicist and professor of earth and environmental sciences. “The interpretation of this seismic data can help guide petroleum exploration around and beneath this salt dome.� The seismic data was provided to UNO by geophysical services company 8FTUFSO(FDP XIJDIJTPXOFECZ4DIMVNberger, and computer hardware and software were provided by the Bureau of 0DFBO&OFSHZ.BOBHFNFOUBOE.JEMBOE Valley, an oil and gas exploration company. In addition to his graduate degree, Broussard earned two bachelor’s degrees

from UNO—one in business administration and marketing, and one in earth and environmental sciences with a concentration in geology. He is currently employed as a geologist by the Bureau of Ocean &OFSHZ.BOBHFNFOU‍ڀ‏ “I’m so proud of Randy for winning this prestigious award in such a competitive environment,â€? Sarwar says. “He worked for two and a half years on this project and the award is a testament to the quality of his SFTFBSDIBOEIJTQSFTFOUBUJPOw‍ڀ‏ ćF(VMG$PBTU"TTPDJBUJPOPG(FPMPHJDBM Societies is a national organization consisting of 13 professional societies from UIF64BOE.FYJDP XJUIBNFNCFSTIJQPG more than 10,000 geoscientists.

Charles Sternbach, left, president of the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies, presents the Best Presentation Award to Randy Broussard in Houston on Sept. 20.

To share the magazine online, visit UNO MAGAZINE

FALL 2015


NEWS &spotlight EVENTS student

SHADOWING FOR THE FUTURE UNO’s New Job Shadowing Program Gives Underclassmen a Glimpse of Their Studies in Action They filed through the glass doors of the (&$BQJUBMCVJMEJOHBUBN4MBDLTBOE skirts, suits and blouses. One by one, the University of New Orleans undergraduates quietly fingertapped their information into a computerized visitors’ database at the front-desk of the company’s offices on the 30th floor of a downtown New Orleans building. “That software program you’re using,â€? a man at the back of the room spoke up so everyone could hear, “that was designed by UNO students.â€? Students smiled and nodded and continued the process of getting registered as visitors for the day—a day most of their colleagues were off on Fall Break, enjoying a little free time before class got back in session. But for these students, a day spent job 20



TIBEPXJOHBU(&$BQJUBMXBTBEBZDMPTFSUP understanding their career goals and how their day-to-day studies might come into play in a technology-rich workplace like this. When their professors told them about the voluntary opportunity, the available spaces filled up quickly—first come, first served. “I want to take everything they give us,� said Saroj Duwal, 19, a freshman computer science major from Nepal. (&$BQJUBMJO0DUPCFSCFDBNFTUPQ/P in UNO’s new campus-wide job shadowing program organized by the Office of Career Development. Celyn Boykin, the department’s director, says it made sense to launch UIFQSPHSBNBU(&$BQJUBM IPNFPGUIF already established Software Engineering Apprenticeship Program with UNO, known BT48&"15FE)PMNCFSH 6/0TJOEVTUSZ

liason for compuer science, helped. Boykin says that the job shadowing is a formally organized opportunity for underclassmen to get a glimpse of the actual work performed by professionals employed in their field of study, laying the groundwork for relationships with potential employers. This time, students in beginning level computer science courses were offered the opportunity. But Boykin says the program will eventually extend to students in all majors. “The most ideal student,â€? Boykin says, “would be a freshman or sophomore. They’re not really sure what they want to do—the student who hasn’t gotten very far in their major. It’s really a good way for students to connect with a network base early.â€? "U(&$BQJUBM UIFTUVEFOUTIFBSEÄ•STU GSPN$IJFG*OGPSNBUJPO0Ä?DFS.JLF

DeBoer, who has led the company’s tech center since 2012. He gave them an overview of the company’s vision, work, clients and goals. “In your lifetime,� DeBoer said, “you are going to see a metamorphosis of change that the world has never seen. That’s why you have to be a computer science major.� The students laughed. Then they heard from Brittany "MMFTBOESP B(&1PXFS8BUFSTPęXBSF engineer and UNO alumna who got her start with the company in the apprentice program in January 2014. Ben Rongey, 28, a sophomore computer TDJFODFNBKPSBUUFOEJOH6/0POUIF(*#JMM  was visibly pumped to be spending his day BU(&$BQJUBM BTLJOHOVNFSPVTRVFTUJPOT i(&JTBMFBEJOHJOOPWBUPSJOUIFJOEVTUSZ w he explained during a break. Rongey was already interested in working in information TFDVSJUZTPęXBSF#VUUIFEBZTQFOUXJUI(& employees reinforced that enthusiasm. Nearby, Courtney Bienemy, 22, a sophomore transfer from Nunez

Community College, started tinkering with computers at 11, when she disassembled her mother’s broken computer and somehow managed to reassemble it in working order. For Bienemy, the job shadowing program was an exciting opportunity to see into a professional workplace in a way she hasn’t before. For the past five years, she has XPSLFEBU.D%POBMETUPIFMQQMBZIFS student bills. “I want to put my degree to good use,� she said. Boykin says it’s clear by the first overwhelming response from students that that job shadowing is needed and desired— more than 60 students applied for the 20 open spots. Boykin plans to collaborate with faculty from all colleges to identify strong opportunities for future job shadowing experiences, paving the way for future internships and employment. For more information or to share ideas about job shadowing opportunities, contact Boykin at (504) 280-6225 or ccboykin@

FACING PAGE: UNO students take a tour of the GE Capital’s offices in downtown New Orleans. THIS PAGE, TOP LEFT: Saroj Duwal, 19, a freshman computer science major from Nepal, signed up for the job shadowing program as soon as he got an email notifying him it was being offered. ABOVE, LEFT: Brittany Allesandro, a GE Capital software engineer, describes her work for a group of UNO undergraduates interested in jobs in the computer sciences. Allesandro is a UNO alumna who got her start with the company in GE’s student apprentice partnership UNO known as SWEAP, Software Engineering Apprenticeship Program, in January 2014. ABOVE, RIGHT: GE Capital Chief Information Officer Mike DeBoer addresses the visiting students.







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UNO Students Return Home to Nepal to Serve and Build


ÊÇ°n‡“>}Â˜ÂˆĂŒĂ•`iĂŠi>Ă€ĂŒÂ…ÂľĂ•>ÂŽiĂŠ damaged roughly 90 percent of the houses in the Nepalese village of Rabiopi, located 40 kilometers from the capital of Kathmandu.

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nowadays, from Facebook. The tight-knit group of Nepalese students at the University of New Orleans received word in April that there had been an earthquake back home, not an uncommon occurrence in the Himalayan nation. But it soon became obvious that this was no typical temblor. “Somebody posted a picture of Dharahara—that’s the tallest building in (the Nepalese capital of) Kathmandu,� says Shaswot Kharel, a mechanical engineering senior. “It has nine floors and it has cultural importance to it. So that fell, and that’s when we really got worried.� The 7.8-magnitude quake killed more than 9,000 people and injured more than 23,000. Entire Villages were decimated. Hundreds of thousands of people were suddenly homeMFTT.BKPSBęFSTIPDLTDPOUJOVFEGPSXFFLT*UXBTUIFXPSTU natural disaster in Nepal in more than 80 years.


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“With monsoon season approaching fast, the makeshift tarpaulin tents would not be able to withstand the rainstorms. We wanted to build a shelter that is temporary yet strong enough to withstand the weather.� SHASWOT KHAREL, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING SENIOR

The University of New Orleans has a well-established relationship with Nepal. It has educated more than 400 Nepalese students in the past decade and about 50 Nepalese students are enrolled at the University now. Immediately after the earthquake, some of those students gathered at the University’s International Center to share information and offer support to each other. They tried calling family members in Nepal but at first all of the phone lines were dead. Kharel eventually spoke with his younger brother, Shreyas, who recounted eating lunch on the fourth floor of his dormitory in Kathmandu when the building started to convulse. “They tried to open the door,� Kharel says. “They couldn’t because it was shaking too much. Finally they got it open and he told me he was running through the building. Everything was shaking. It was like an action movie. There was dust everywhere. Bricks falling down. Walls coming apart. He even saw his friends getting hit by some of those bricks. When the wall collapses, there’s a lot of pressure and those bricks just shoot out.� With search and rescue missions still ongoing in their homeland, members of the Nepalese Student Association of New Orleans decided to use the crowdfunding XFCTJUF(P'VOE.FUPSBJTFNPOFZGPSUIF relief effort. They also set up a donation booth in front of the University Center and the Earl K. Long Library. The University community responded. The group raised $8,500. Of that amount, $4,900 was immediately distributed to local and national or24


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ganizations throughout Nepal to buy food, medical and sanitary supplies, blankets and tarpaulin tents. Kharel, who was serving as the president of the Nepalese Student Association of New Orleans, says the students decided they would use the rest of the money on a rebuilding project of their own in Nepal, if they could identify one. If they could not, they would donate the rest of the money to the relief effort. After finishing final exams, Kharel and two fellow UNO mechanical engineering students, Kushal Neupane and 6OOBU(IJNJSF IFBEFEIPNFGPSUIFTVNmer as they’d already planned. After a week of visiting with family and friends, the classmates reunited and discussed ways that they could help the country recover. In their estimation, the

most immediate need in the worst-hit areas was shelter. They attended an exhibition at an engineering university in Nepal, where they saw examples of temporary housing. The shelters were out of their price range, but it provided the germ of an idea. They would try to build similar structures, but with materials that would work within their modest budget. .POTPPOTFBTPOXBTDPNJOH'SPN+VOF to September, Nepal would experience regular, sometimes, torrential rainstorms. People needed homes now. The students set their sights on rebuilding parts of the village of Rabiopi, about 40 kilometers from the capital of Kathmandu. Roughly 90 percent of the households there were completely destroyed or inhabitable, Kharel says.

Facing page, top: UNO students Kushal Neupane (far left) and Unnat Ghimire (red shirt) help unload materials to be used in the corrugated metal shelters that they designed (bottom). Below: From left, UNO mechanical engineering students Shaswot Kharel, Unnat Ghimire and Kushal Neupane.

“With monsoon season approaching fast, the makeshift tarpaulin tents would not be able to withstand the rainstorms,� Kharel says. “We wanted to build a shelter that is temporary yet strong enough to withstand the weather.� The students gathered information from various sources and, while consulting with professional engineers, came up with a design for a corrugated metal shelter that would be big enough to comfortably accommodate a family of six. The tunnelshaped structures, supported by three rods, were 12-feet by 8-feet and cost about $130 to produce. Kharel’s father is a member of the Nepalese army. He enlisted the army’s assistance in building the structures. Others helped too: Some of the students’ friends and family members from Kathmandu— even volunteers from the wrecked village—stepped in to lend a hand. Despite the group effort, it was arduous and challenging work that demanded frequent improvisation based on the materials and the landscape, the students say. “We started from scratch on UIJTQSPKFDU w(IJNJSFTBZTi*O engineering you start on paper, and then you have to take the design into the field. We went through the whole process. We had to reconsider a lot of things. We built a prototype.

We encountered problems and we solved them, and we used the local resources to get it done.� The group worked for three weeks, constructing 27 buildings before monsoon season started. The students say the reaction from the Rabiopi community was overwhelming. “They were incredibly happy,� Neupane says. “Every time we finished one, there XFSFMJLFTNBMMDFMFCSBUJPOT.PTUPGUIFN would offer special kinds of food and in Nepal, that’s a symbolic gesture of gratitude.�

The lessons for the three students were numerous and profound. The future engineers say they learned project management and problem-solving skills that they could not have acquired in an academic setting. They also say that their small act of service blossomed into something larger. “We actually felt really proud because there were actually a couple of volunteers from our team that, when we were done with our project, they got inspired and then went on to build other things, too,� /FVQBOFTBZTi.PTUPGUIFNWPMVOUFFSFE on other projects and tried to get things done in other ways. For instance, one of my friends started to help build restrooms for affected people afterward. It was really nice that we were able to inspire other projects, so we felt really proud.� Virtually all of the funds raised for the project came from University of New Orleans students, faculty, staff and alumni. That’s 27 new roofs over the heads of families who had little else. Perhaps it’s fitting that most of those corrugated metal roofs were blue—Privateer blue.


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Digging 8IFOUIFIJTUPSJD'SFODI2VBSUFSCVJMEJOHDPMMBQTFEJO0DUPber 2014, bricks spilled out onto Royal Street, a balcony dangled, and preservationists mourned the toll of neglect on New Orleans’ famous architectural gems. By summer, however, the building’s unfortunate demise became an outdoor classroom for University PG/FX0SMFBOTTUVEFOUTFOSPMMFEJO3ZBO(SBZTTVNNFSĕFME TDIPPMJOIJTUPSJDBMBSDIBFPMPHZ(SBZ BTTJTUBOUQSPGFTTPSPG anthropology, was invited by the property’s owners at 810 Royal St. to excavate the site. The class met daily and carefully dug and sorted through the dirt plot with trowels and dustpans, picking out remnants of Colonial-era life. Among the group’s finds: animal bone and large pottery pieces, including English creamware, pearlware, earthenware, Native American pottery and porcelain JNQPSUFEGSPN$IJOB(SBZTTUVEFOUTIBWFDPOUJOVFEUPSFUVSO to the site this fall for follow-up excavations. Read more about the ongoing project at FACING PAGE: Ryan Gray, assistant professor of anthropology at UNO, with Helen Bouzon, UNO urban studies graduate student. INSET, TOP: UNO undergraduates Chris Combel, left, and Sydney Viard. INSET, BOTTOM:

Students found fragments of overglaze handpainted English creamware, dating to the late 18th century.



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facultyfocus’s Thompson Brings Citizen Science Expertise to the White House University of New Orleans faculty memCFS.JDIFMMFćPNQTPOCSPVHIUIFSXPSL  ideas and enthusiasm for citizen science to the White House in September. Thompson, an associate professor of planning and urban studies, was among the scientists, innovators, community organizers, philanthropists and government officials taking part in “Open Science and Innovation: Of the People, By the People, For the People.â€? Thompson was selected, organizers say, CFDBVTFPGIFSMFBEFSTIJQJODSFBUJOH‍ڀ‏8IP-, which brings together students, volunteers and neighborhood residents to collect data on quality of life and property conditions in New Orleans neighborhoods after Hurricane Katrina. She participated in a workshop discussion on coastal and community resilience. The mission of, a project supported by UNO’s Department of Planning and Urban Studies, is to provide an online mapping tool based on a survey and data collection platform that is consistent across all of the city’s neighborhoods.

UNO faculty member Michelle Thompson, center, collaborates with White House Innovation Fellow Denice Ross, left, Americorps Volunteer Victor Carter and OpenStreetMap’s Mikel Maron during a citizen science forum at the White House in September.

Thompson was also picked for the forum because she is an ardent advocate for open data at the local level to supplement the data collected by the public.

6/0T/PSNB+FBO.BUUFJUP-FBE American Society of Civil Engineers University of New Orleans engineerJOHQSPGFTTPS/PSNB+FBO.BUUFJIBTCFFO named president-elect of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for 2016. When she becomes president in 2017, she will be the third woman in the 163-year history of the organization to hold the prestigious post. "NBKPSJUZPG"4$&NFNCFSTDIPTF.BUtei in a month-long election that concluded June 1. She was inducted at the ASCE AnOVBM#VTJOFTT.FFUJOHJO/FX:PSL$JUZJO October. “I’m very excited to lead ASCE into the fuUVSF wTBZT.BUUFJ BQSPGFTTPSPGDJWJMBOEFOvironmental engineering. “The focus of my tenure will be on leadership as the society moves forward with the strategic initiatives of modernizing our critical infrastructure so necessary for economic health, promoting 28


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engineering solutions that are sustainable and revamping civil engineering educational requirements for professional licensure in order to better protect the public that we serve.� .BUUFJIBTTFSWFE"4$&GPSNPSFUIBO years in local, regional and national leadership roles. In 2012, President Obama named her one of three civilian members of the .JTTJTTJQQJ3JWFS$PNNJTTJPO*OUIBUDBpacity, she helps oversee the drainage basin that covers 41 percent of the nation. .BUUFJJTBMJDFOTFEQSPGFTTJPOBMFOHJneer in the State of Louisiana, and was a design and project engineer in the New Orleans area from 1982 to 1989. She has been a UNO faculty member since 1995. Her technical research interests include large watershed management, material and structural testing, sustainable reuse


UNO Engineering professor Norma Jean Mattei, left, with 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers President Mark Woodson. Mattei has been elected to the post for 2017.

of spent construction/fabrication materials, and residual stress measurement. She is also interested in diversity, licensure and ethics issues. The American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 146,000 members of the civil engineering profession in 174 countries. Founded in 1852, ASCE is the nation’s oldest engineering society.

UNO English Professor’s Work Examining ‘Little Women’ Wins $50,000 National Endowment for the Humanities Award University of New Orleans English professor Anne Boyd Rioux is on a roll, spreading love for an American classic and broadening the fan base for often overlooked female writers while she’s at it. In July, Rioux won a Public Scholar award from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for her book i3FBEJOH-JUUMF8PNFO5IF)JTUPSZPG BO"NFSJDBO$MBTTJDw5IFBXBSEDBNF to $50,400, the maximum amount that can be given under the Public Scholar program—a new initiative of the NEH, designed to promote the publication of scholarly nonfiction books for a general audience. “This NEH Public Scholar Award funds Dr. Rioux’s work on a truly impressive scale,� says Peter Schock, professor and chair of English. “The award acknowledges the potential impact and cultural value of an accessible study of the composition and reception of ‘Little Women.’� Rioux is also writing a biography of the OPWFMUIBUJMMVNJOBUFTIPX-PVJTB.BZ Alcott’s classic was written and how it has been read ever since. In 2018, “Little Women� will turn 150 years old. Another of her books, “Constance Fenimore Woolson: Portrait of a Lady Novelist� will be published by W.W. Norton in February 2016. It promises to be the first

University of New Orleans English professor Anne Boyd Rioux says part of her work’s mission is to spread appreciation for great literature to a broader audience. In July, Rioux won a $50,400 Public Scholar Award from the National Endowment for the Humanities for doing just that.

full-length biography of Woolson, examining the life of an extraordinarily accomplished, yet overlooked American writer of the 19th century. Rioux, who has taught English at UNO since 1999, is a member of the women’s and gender studies faculty. She teaches courses in American literature with an emphasis on the 19th century, cultural studies and gender. She was named a NEH Fellow in 2012. She says her focus on the little-known Woolson was an intentional effort to bring wider recognition to the work of a gifted novelist, poet, and short story writer. “I was determined to establish her importance outside of the small cadre of scholars who already know her,� Rioux says. “If I spent years researching and writing her


story only to have it read by a handful of people, I would feel as if I had failed.� Rioux writes reviews and essays for wider audiences on the Internet, too. “It has been gratifying to participate in larger conversations beyond the academy,� she says. “Unfortunately, those two worlds communicate so seldom. I hope this new NEH grant will encourage more scholars to reach outside of the narrow confines of their own disciplines and fields.� Thirty-six writers earned a grant, includJOH1VMJU[FS1SJ[FXJOOFS%JBOF.D8IPSUer and National Book Award-winners Kevin Boyle and Edward Ball. The new NEH Public Scholar awards support well-researched books in the humanities conceived and written to reach a broad readership in a way that is accessible to general readers.

Helping Children’s Literature Live Pat Austin has spent her career promoting quality children’s literature and helping other educators do the same. Now the University of New Orleans education professor and graduate coordinator in curriculum and instruction has won the International Literacy Association’s Arbuthnot Award, given to members who are deeply engaged in preparing teachers and librarians. Austin has manifest her love of children’s literature in her teaching, her mentorship, and in the Children’s Literature Library in the College of Education and Human Development. With more than 20,000 volumes of children’s books, the library gives future teachers easy access to the best literature for a wide range of ages and interests. In addition to her on-campus activities,

Austin was instrumental in helping school libraries around the region set up or re-establish themselves after Hurricane Katrina, helping to arrange donations of books and offering consultations to school librarians. Austin holds a bachelor’s degree from Agnes Scott College, a master’s of art in teaching in elementary education from University of New Hampshire and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from UNO. She has authored more than 40 articles in educational journals, hundreds of book reviews and as her own picture book, titled ićF$BU8IP-PWFE.P[BSUw"VTUJOTPXO classroom experience spans two decades, during which she worked with children from second- through eighth-grades in a variety of settings.

Austin is also former editor of the Journal of Children’s Literature. She serves on the Notables Committee for Language Arts and has been a children’s book review columnist for the Louisiana Reading Association Journal for 10 years. Not surprisingly, Austin says one of her all-time favorite activities is reading to children. UNO MAGAZINE

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Orleans’ new provost began his career designing and constructing water supply and waste disposal facilities for American Indian communities in Arizona. As a commissioned officer with the U.S. Public Health Service, John Nicklow’s job was to figure out how to bring running water and sewerage systems to desert communities that had none. Although the work was potentially life-changing for the residents on the reservation, many were skeptical, if not hostile, to the idea of the government digging in and around their homes. In order to complete a project, engineers like Nicklow had to be adept at listening and finding common ground. “What did I learn most from it? Collaboration, the way to communicate with somebody who either doesn’t know you or may not agree with you,� Nicklow says. “Everything we did we had to hold a tribal meeting. I got to be good at those kinds of situations–calming people down. ‘How do you want us to do this? Where do you want this? How can we be more sensitive to your needs?’ And collaborating instead of saying ‘Hey, I’m the government and am here to help–we’re going to put a water line through your front yard.’� 5XPEFDBEFTMBUFS  Nicklow, 45, uses the same communication skills and analytical approach in his role as chief academic officer at UNO. “Engineers are trained to be problem solvers and to collaborate with a team to create an overall solution or design,� Nicklow says. “That description fits very well with my responsibilities as provost.� On July 1, Nicklow assumed his new role at UNO as provost and vice president for academic affairs. It is similar to the position he held at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill., where he spent 17 years. He previously served as assistant provost for enrollment management at the university, and

in both roles he delivered impressive results. He oversaw an initiative that resulted in the largest freshmen class in 20 years and improved first year-reUFOUJPOCZBXIPQQJOHFJHIUQFSDFOUBHFQPJOUT5PHFUIFS those gains yielded the first overall enrollment increase at the university in more than a decade. He also led the charge for new academic programming, both on-campus and online, as well as efforts to improve cultural diversity, service learning in the community and undergraduate research. “There are days when I miss doing engineering research and design, but the fact is I am using the same skills on a daily basis,� he says. “The difference is that my work is all focused around increasing student success as measured through retention and graduation rates and improving the value-added through the educational process—my real passions.� Nicklow is a Pennsylvania native who earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in civil engineering from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Penn. As an undergraduate, he was an offensive lineman on the Bison football team. i5FBNTQPSUTUFBDIZPVBMMLJOETPGUIJOHT wIFTBZT “How to get along with people, how to swallow your ego and how to be humble, how to reward people

Nicklow, along with wife, Stacy, and son, Ethan, participate in UNO’s Citywide Day of Service project at Einstein Charter Middle School in New Orleans East.


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“Higher education is an increasingly competitive endeavor within a constantly changing market, and the way today’s students learn is different than those 20 years, or even 10 years ago.” PROVOST JOHN NICKLOW around you. Nothing happens by yourself. I absolutely believe in the premise of team sports, and that’s what (higher education) is.” Nicklow received his doctorate in civil engineering at Arizona State University. He worked as an environmental engineering officer for the U.S. Public Health Service in Arizona before joining the civil and environmental engineering faculty at Southern Illinois. Like UNO, SIU is a major public research university. “I am extremely excited about being part of the University of New Orleans and the New Orleans community,” Nicklow says. “The strength of the combined teaching and research mission, and the momentum, pride and sense of a vibrant future are what drew me to UNO. Specifically, the faculty and staff are vested in the success of the campus, and they are actively engaged in activities that aim to improve our service to students and the community. “ Nicklow moved to New Orleans with his wife, Stacy, and 15-year-old son, Ethan.

Though he’s never lived in the Deep South, he says he and his family felt drawn to the Crescent City. “I believe it is a special time to be here; New Orleans is one of the most enriching, inspiring and fascinating cities in the world, and there is an optimism here that is unprecedented. And as its only public research institution, UNO is integral to it.” Nicklow’s vision for the University’s academic programs is that they are all high quality and in high demand. As provost, he says, he will provide support and serve as a catalyst for realizing that goal but he emphasizes that he will also need help from collaborators across campus. Nicklow says he is pleased that a diverse faculty group participated in a recent academic revitalization and restructuring effort by evaluating all of the University’s programs. He hopes to build on this momentum by growing niche programs that are in demand and evolving others to ensure that they are as competitive as possible. “I also will encourage our programs to

engage more fully in our student success initiatives and in understanding ever-changing best practices in the educational arena,” he says. “We certainly don’t operate in a vacuum; higher education is an increasingly competitive endeavor within a constantly changing market, and the way today’s students learn is different than those 20 years, or even 10 years ago.” Nicklow says he hopes to create a Center GPS*OOPWBUJPOJO5FBDIJOH BOEBIVCGPS expanded online, off-campus and summer offerings. These units will focus on faculty support and facilitating pedagogical innovation. In addition to his strong academic focus, Nicklow also makes it clear that he is a supporter of student life programs and TUVEFOUJOWPMWFNFOUUISPVHI(SFFLMJGF  student organizations and intercollegiate athletics. “These activities transform a campus into a strong, engaged community of learners, and the data is clear: Students who are engaged succeed at a much higher rate than their counterparts.” Nicklow does some heavy lifting during New Student Move-In Day in August.



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strings section, stage right. Bows CPCCFE.VTJDTXFMMFEćFTPVOET of Shostakovich’s Concerto in A .JOPSGPS7JPMJOBOE0SDIFTUSBĕMMFE the music hall. Then it stopped. Bows dropped. The conductor looked down. “Jim, I need more room on 65—not so MPVE wTBJE$BSMPT.JHVFM1SJFUPUPUIFUJNpani player before instructing the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra to pick it up again. Strong percussion, he urged. Strong strings. All together. Rowan, a second-year student in UNO’s arts administration master’s degree program, took it all in, listened again, then watched as 70 musicians worked in concert to perfect a piece of music by listening, not discussing. This freshly remodeled Orpheum Theater was one of several stops for a class on a mis-



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sion to experience art from the shoes of the artist—the feel of the stage, the criticism of the manager, the dedication to the art. “I thought they sounded great the first time,� Rowan marveled after the musicians took a break in their practice. “And they sounded better the second time.� “Art, Artists and Administrators,� taught CZ5POZ.JDPDDJ XBTEFTJHOFEGPSUIFĕSTU time this year to solve a problem and potential gap in a program that seeks to prepare students to be managers in the art world, to work with artists full-time in a capacity that enhances the artists’ work and connects them to the world around them. “What does it mean to be creative?� BTLT.JDPDDJ BTTJTUBOUEJSFDUPSPGUIFBSUT administration program. “Who are creative people? What are their lives about? Why are dancers so obsessed with the condition of the stage floor and the temperature of the room?�

Not long ago, students needed three undergraduate courses in the arts to graduate with an arts administration degree, but that requirement was recently changed to require graduate level courses. The course load for the arts administration degree is weighted UPXBSEUIFCVTJOFTTTJEF.JDPDDJGFMUUIBU exposure to the artist experience was still a vital part of the arts manager experience. So, he designed a course that brings students into the artist’s world in a diversity of settings. Over 17 weeks and 15 classes, the students have gone from spending three hours with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in its new majestic space to three hours in a dark cave of a performance space at The New .PWFNFOUJNQSPWUIFBUFSJO#ZXBUFSćFZ stood on stage at the Nims Theatre in UNO’s Performing Arts Center and read from scripts. They took a tour of the Voodoo .VTJD "SUT&YQFSJFODFNVTJDGFTUJWBMJO prep mode and heard from the people who

LEFT: The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra rehearses

a Shostakovich piece with violin soloist Ray Chen while students from UNO’s new Art, Artists and Administration course look on from behind. BOTTOM LEFT: The class receives a tour of Voodoo Music + Arts Experience buildings and grounds on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. Guiding the tour is Tondrae Kemp, far left, a musician and UNO alumnus who worked for the festival as an artist relations assistant. BELOW RIGHT: Chris Trew, founder of the The New Movement comedy improv theater, discusses the art and pressures involved in running a comedy school.

manage and direct the artists as they quickly move on and off stage. They’ve walked from the Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans, a nonprofit art space, down the street UPUIFQSJWBUF.BSUJOF$IBJTTPO(BMMFSZBOE observed the differences between the two.

In total, eight of the classes were held outside the classroom. The lessons from artists—and people who manage artists—have often included a respect for the art tempered by the practicality of making that art work for an audience.

At the orchestra: “The less speaking, the better,� Prieto said. “If a bar that takes about five seconds is followed by a speech that takes about five minutes, it’s probably not a good idea.� At the improv studio: “If it is absurd that there is a business based on making things up and having no game plan and people pay to watch that, then we have to be straight FWFSZXIFSFFMTF wTBJE$ISJT5SFX ćF/FX .PWFNFOUGPVOEFS EJSFDUPSBOEJOTUSVDtor. “We have to be tight and smart with our administration. Because everything can’t be as absurd as what we do on stage.� Rowan, who started with an undergraduate degree in art history, says the experience has forced her to reflect on the profound challenges artists face as they seek to do their craft. “You learn a lot about the artists,� she says, “how underpaid they are and how hard it is.� Rowan hopes to carry that understanding into a future working in fundraising for the arts. .JDPDDJTBZTUIBUJTUIFJEFBi/PNBUter where you end up, you have to be the translator between the art and the artist and the world.� UNO MAGAZINE

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For a college athlete, not all of the hard work takes place in the gym, on the field or in the classroom. That’s especially true for the New Orleans Privateers, who have received national recognition for their exemplary volunteerism. In mid-October, the athletic department achieved a top 25 ranking in UIF/$""5FBN8PSLTDPNQFUJUJPO QMBDJOHUIBNPOHBMMQBSUJDJQBUJOH Division I schools. The program, which allows institutions from Division I, II and III to compete against each other to see who can do the most good for their communities, began Sept. 1 and will conclude on Dec. 18. As of mid-October, the Privateer student-athletes had completed a combined total of 813 community service hours and worked on several projects, FACING PAGE: Basketball player Nate Frye waters including the Citywide Day of Service— flower beds at Einstein held on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Charter Middle School. Katrina—and the New Orleans Saints 5K run to help promote healthy lifestyle habits. INSET: The UNO baseball team poses for a picture “As a department, we work very hard to during a Citywide Day of emphasize the importance of community Service project at Einstein service,” says Butler Benton, director Charter Middle School in of student-athlete enrichment. “Our New Orleans East.


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ATHLETICS students understand that they have a platform as Division I athletes, and can use that to effect change in their community.” All 12 teams have been heavily involved in helping the Privateers achieve their impressive ranking. In August, every available team participated in the Citywide Day of Service, an initiative that was organized by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s office and promoted at the campus level by President Peter J. Fos. UNO’s student-athletes constituted what was arguably the largest single bloc of volunteers at the Einstein Middle Charter School project. Clad in their blue and silver practice gear, they painted the parking lot, planted gardens around the exterior of the school and played a significant role in the overall beautification of the New Orleans East campus. The athletic department has also partnered with Einstein Charter in a reading challenge. If the students can read one million words by February, they will each receive a ticket to several different UNO basketball doubleheaders. They will have the opportunity to form a tunnel to greet the players as they take the court at the Lakefront Arena. “I feel our community service is mutually beneficial in the sense that these opportunities help provide perspective for the student athlete while also providing

impactful events for our community and its residents,” Benton says. Every head coach stresses the importance of being a complete student-athlete. In fact, there is a competition among all of the teams that is known as the Privateer Cup. Teams can acquire points in five categories: career development, academic development, athletic achievement, personal development and community involvement. The initiative was started by Benton during the fall 2015 semester, and it has provided a unique way for student-athletes to compete within the same athletic department. As of mid-October, the baseball team was at the top of the standings with

IN THEIR OWN WORDS “I feel doing community service helps our team be aware of what is going on in New Orleans. We love being able to work with younger kids and give back in the community!” Keke Irby, WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL “It felt good to give back, and see that we are able to make a difference. Especially given that it is was on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.” Michael Batson, TRACK AND FIELD “It was a unique experience and a great opportunity to work together as a team, to be out there with my teammates working toward a cause for something much bigger than ourselves, and much bigger than sports—to impact an entire city.” Nicholas Kramer, TENNIS 38


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Cross country runners Rebecca Callaway, left, and Emily Martinez volunteer at the finish line of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on Oct. 24 in City Park.

women’s basketball in second and the track and field team in third. The winning team will earn a trophy. The women’s basketball and volleyball teams have been heavily involved with the Second Harvest Food Bank by helping to pack and distribute food to less fortunate families in the New Orleans area. Those two teams have logged a combined 170 hours. The women’s hoopsters and the baseball team worked the Saints 5K run, which advocated a message of community health and physical fitness to local residents. The Privateers helped with registration and served as motivators during the run. Men’s basketball and baseball also attended Zoofari, which was put on by the Boy Scouts. During the event, scouts had to go to different stations in the zoo and complete a number of tasks required by their troop leader. The Privateer athletes worked four different stations: tug of war, pushup and sit-up station, corn hole and basketball shooting competitions. The Team Works competition is tracked through the Helper Helper application, which is downloaded by student-athletes and supports the communication and tracking of community service efforts. As of mid-October, the University of New Orleans was the only Southland Conference member and the only Louisiana university to rank in the top 25 for Division I schools. To keep up with the Privateers’ community outreach initiatives, visit www.


Arena gym hours before game time or before any practice and you almost certainly will see Randi Brown working on her shot, doing ball handling drills or otherwise improving her game. That level of commitment helped Brown become the first in Privateer women’s basketball history to win conference Freshman of the Year when she earned the 2014-15 Southland BXBSEJO.BSDI Brown ended her freshman season on a scoring splurge, upping her points per game average from 7.6 at the end of January to 12.7 by the end of the season, while helping New Orleans close the year with a four-game winning streak. It was the team’s first four-game winning streak in 13 years. “It’s an amazing honor for that young lady who worked so hard in the classroom and on the court. Her hard work has paid off,� says head coach Keeshawn Davenport. “All that extra work she put in showed on the court and she couldn’t be more deserving of this award.� For her efforts, Brown was also named Southland Conference Player of the Week in backto-back weeks. Some of her highlights including a 30-point scoring spree in each of the two meetings against Southeastern. Brown also heated up from three-point range, draining 21 triples in the last six games to end the season with 46 three-pointers. “It was just getting in the gym more and being patient and listening what Coach (Davenport) had to say,� Brown says. “She never gave up on me and she put more trust in me, and I feel like that just came with us getting chemistry with each other and having that coach-player relationship.� Brown also was a big help in creating extra possessions for the Privateers. She had a career-best seven steals in a win over Abilene Christian and followed up with four steals in the home finale against South-


eastern. On the season, Brown led the team in points, threepointers made, free throws made and free throw percentage. “I tell my team all the time, you don’t get rewarded for what you’re supposed to do,� Davenport says. “You get rewarded for the extra that you do. Randi exemplifies the type of young lady I want in this program. It’s an individual honor, but a great team honor as well. She’s a very humble kid and it’s all about team with her.� All the late season success, which nearly landed the Privateers in the Southland Conference tournament, has generated considerable offseason excitement around women’s basketball. The team ended the season on a high note, and entering its third season as a member of the Southland, it wants to elevate the program to greater heights. i5PXBSEUIFFOEXIFOXFTUBSUFE winning more games, we just pushed each other to do better and be more consistent in the gym,� Brown says. “Without my teammates, I wouldn’t have won Freshman of the Year. It definitely wasn’t just me.� Since the end of the 2014-15 season, the team’s most significant changes have come through additions. The Privateers lost just one player from last year’s roster to graduation. The late-season charge injected new enthusiasm into the team, and that has

only been bolstered by the addition of two new assistant coaches, Jordan Hines and Wyketha Harrell. “It’s amazing the way we closed the season last year,� Brown says. “(Strength and conditioning) Coach Allen (Van Norden) has really been getting us into shape. Our chemistry, the way our practices have been going, we’re executing plays much better. Everything’s just coming along and our new coaches have fit in really well.�





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CONSERVATION STUDIES LEAD UNO GRADUATE FROM NAMIBIA TO COLD STREAMS TO MEMPHIS ZOO BY REBECCA CATALANELLO ,JNCFSMZ5FSSFMMIBTTQFOUUIFQBTU four years snorkeling in cold streams in (FPSHJBBOE.JTTJTTJQQJ /FX:PSLBOE Virginia in search of a two-foot creature she affectionately calls the snot otter. The hellbender salamander, as it is formally known, hides under large rocks, breathing through its skin—completely dependent upon the quality of the freshwater in which it dwells to be able to keep breathing, to be able to stay alive. In the hierarchy of biology wunderkinds, this slippery salamander is decidedly less sexy than the powerful cheetah, an animal UIBUESFX5FSSFMMBTGBSBXBZBT/BNJCJB when she was working on her doctorate in conservation biology at University of New Orleans between 2007 and 2011. #VU5FSSFMMTMPWFBČBJSXJUIUIJTXSJOLMZ North American amphibian is in some ways indicative of her circuitous path to the study of science, one that has taken her from the suburbs of Chicago, where her exposure to animal life was mostly limited to her family’s pet hamsters and housecats, to New Orleans where she majored in political science as an undergrad and, now, to UIFEJTUJOHVJTIFE.FNQIJT;PP XIFSFTIF was recently hired as director of conservation and research. “Once my interest in wildlife science started to develop, it just took off,� she says. “I think it goes to show you that even if you grow up in suburbia, you can still end up in really remote interesting places seeing really rare and fascinating wildlife.� 5FSSFMM  EFWFMPQFEBOJOUFSFTUJO conservation biology during her travels BTBOVOEFSHSBEVBUFBU5VMBOF6OJWFSTJUZ Though she was a political science major, she says her fascination with wildlife grew as she began to experience different world cultures and witness the impact of people’s lifestyles on the animals and plants that surround them. Still unclear about what direction she XBOUFEUPUBLF 5FSSFMMBQQMJFEUPHSBEVBUF school in biology and found her mentor was encouraged by her background in social science—an essential ingredient to understanding how biology is connected

to the ability of wildlife to thrive in a world dictated largely by human habits and policies. #ZUIFUJNF5FSSFMMXBTMPPLJOHGPSUIF right place to pursue her doctoral research in conservation biology, UNO had established a program known as “ZUNO.� It was a partnership program that would allow students to pursue research with one PGUISFF[PPT8IFO5FSSFMMTBXUIBUUIF National Zoo in Washington, DC, was on the list, she pounced. She had been eager to study cheetahs, a fascination she connects to her early relationships with her family felines, cats with names like Spike, Champ and Cookie. “I could finally get my cheetah fix,� she remembers thinking. “I could work with some of these big cats.� 5FSSFMMCFDBNFUIFĕSTUBOE BDDPSEJOHUP UNO biology professor and chair Wendy Schluchter, perhaps the only student in UNO history to participate in the ZUNO program. 5FSSFMMUBVHIUBU6/0GPSIFSĕSTUZFBS of her doctoral program. She worked under the guidance of biology professor Barry Bavister and, when he retired NJEXBZUISPVHI5FSSFMMTSFTFBSDI 5FSSFMM completed her work under current biology professor Nicola Anthony. In the process, 5FSSFMMTFDVSFEGVOEJOHUISPVHIB/BUJPOBM Science Foundation fellowship to pay for her relocation to Virginia, where she could work at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and study the reproductive biology of the cheetah in a research facility connected to the National Zoo. It was while she was immersed in studying the world’s fastest animal that she began thinking about a little-discussed amphibian called the hellbender. “What I slowly realized over the five years that I was working on my Ph.D. was that there are a lot of people who want to study cheetahs and want to help cheetahs,� she says. “And there are about 9 million other species on the planet that also need our help. So, I started to wonder, well, wait a minute: Why am I trying to carve out this one piece of this little pie when UNO MAGAZINE

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there’s 8 million other pies out there that nobody is paying attention to?” That’s when she learned Virginia was a hotspot for salamander diversity. And this silly little hellbender salamander that was declining in population and extremely threatened was actually a perfect bellwether indicator of the health of North American water quality and the wildlife that depend on it. “You know, when we think about wildlife,” Terrell says, “a lot of times we have these pictures of rainforests in South America or savannahs in Africa. But we have legitimate wildlife here in North America that doesn’t receive as much attention sometimes. “ Terrell finished her work on the cheetah and then made another pivot. In collaboration with others like Brian Gratwicke, a research scientist at the Smithsonian, she helped develop a salamander program designed to track and research hellbender populations. The hellbender, Terrell soon discovered, had the enthusiastic following of a lot of people who know them from fishing streams in their communities. People would speak with passion about these curious creatures that would sometimes end up on the ends of fishing hooks. For Terrell, however, her decision to study the hellbender instead of, say, the smaller Shenandoah salamander or the red-backed salamander—both also common in North America—came down to simple logistics. “Well,” she says with a laugh, “it was big enough to collect a blood sample without killing it, so it was a perfect study species!” Over the past four years, Terrell has 42


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“What I slowly realized over the five years that I was working on my PhD was that there are a lot of people who want to study cheetahs and want to help cheetahs. And there are about 9 million other species on the planet that also need our help.” KIMBERLY TERRELL Director of Conservation and Research, Memphis Zoo rounded up research volunteers and assistants across the country to help her wade into streams, lift rocks that sometimes weigh hundreds of pounds, while she wrestles these slippery creatures into her possession long enough to collect DNA and return them finally to their preferred dwelling, usually in little burrows underneath rocks. There have been close calls—times when rocks have come down on her and she has wondered whether her life was worth another data point. But the data collected has helped build a clearer picture of the health and trajectory of America’s freshwater streams.

Because they breathe through their skin, hellbenders have had to find ways to adapt to less oxygen-rich waters affected by sediment build-up caused by practices such as clear-cutting trees and land development. “They’re a very good environmental indicator,” Terrell says. “So, where you still have very healthy populations of hellbenders, you still have very healthy streams.” If the mountaintop water’s not healthy enough for salamanders to thrive, Terrell argues, that’s bad news for the humans who live near them and drink the same water. “By keeping these streams healthy and clean for these animals, we’re really benefitting ourselves,” Terrell says. In her new position at the Memphis Zoo, Terrell will be involved in a number of programs designed to rebuild and reintroduce endangered populations back into the North American wild. These include the Louisiana pine snake, which thrives in sandy underbrush of Louisiana pine forests but have become increasingly scarce as development has prohibited the use of controlled burns to renew pine forests and clear their forest floors. She said the zoo is also in discussion about expanding salamander research in Tennessee. Anthony, who oversaw Terrell’s graduate dissertation at UNO, calls Terrell “very independent and extremely hardworking.” The Memphis position, Anthony says, is the perfect merger of Terrell’s strengths as a public communicator with her expertise and interests in conservation biology. “She’s very multi-disciplinary in her thinking and that’s to her credit.” Terrell says she’s grateful to UNO and the rare opportunity it provided her to follow her passion, study at a zoo, and learn through experience what it was she wanted to do. Terrell encourages other budding scientists to be at peace with not having answers—both in the research they are pursuing and with their career choices. In her case, starting back at square one has enriched her experience, building persistence, inspiring rich professional relationships and understanding that the best study of science means not having answers. “Just having the humility to say that you don’t know something and to learn from others—and especially important mentors—was really important for me,” she says. Terrell said she also advises UNO students to seek out the rare opportunities available on campus. The ZUNO program, for example, was just waiting to be utilized when Terrell discovered it. “There is something that UNO has to offer that’s unique that you’re not going to get elsewhere,” Terrell says. “Capitalize on that.”



Businessman, engineer and University of New Orleans alumnus Roy A. Glapion doesn’t shy away from community involvement. Named the recipient of the 2015 UNO Homer L. Hitt Distinguished Alumni Award, Glapion has worn numerous business and civic hats since he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1987. Driving his work and volunteerism, he says, is a problem-solving philosophy he once honed in the engineering classrooms at his alma mater: “There is always an answer. However, sometimes it may not be the answer you are looking for.” By day, Glapion is vice president of The Beta Group, an engineering and construction firm that specializes in materials testing. Prior to that, he founded and led Citywide Testing and Inspections, Inc., beginning in 1995. He employed more than 100 people across Southeast Louisiana before the company was sold to National Testing Company in 2003. Under his

leadership, CTI provided crucial services to numerous economic development and public infrastructure projects that impacted business and government sectors across the region, including the New Orleans Sports Arena, the John A. Alario Sr. Event Center, analysis of the Superdome roof improvements and Jazzland. When he is not at the office, Glapion serves as chairman of the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission, a public-private partnership formed in 2010 to manage the city’s recreation program. He is a member of the boards of directors of the UNO Research and Technology Foundation, the Delgado Foundation, the New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce, and the UNCF New Orleans Leadership Council, among others. He is a Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame laureate and a recipient of the Young Leadership Council’s Role Model Award and the UNO Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Service Award. “Sleeping is overrated,” he says.

Glapion, 54, was born in New Orleans and graduated from St. Augustine High School. He says his experience as an undergraduate at UNO was critical to his ability to see himself as a businessman and civic leader. His professors, he says, fostered his natural sense of entrepreneurialism, encouraging him to reach for more than a career in engineering—but to know that he had what it took to build his own business. He attributes much of his forward thinking to two of his former UNO engineering professors, Alim Hannoura and Mike Folse. “A University of New Orleans degree is not an easy degree to get,” he says, “and when you graduate, you are very prepared to compete.” Glapion is the 32nd recipient of the Hitt Distinguished Alumni Award. Past recipients include Sherriff Newell Normand, Al Jazeera America senior vice president Kim Bondy, Gambit Communications chairman Clancy Dubos and former Lieutenant Governor Melinda Schwegmann. UNO MAGAZINE

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AlumNotes Paul P. Danos (B.S. ‘65) Paul Danos retired from the deanship of Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business after his fifth term and over 19 years. Danos retired as one of the longest serving deans of any top business school in the world and is credited for expansion in the size and scope of the school’s programs. Prior to Tuck, Danos served as senior associate dean and chaired professor of accounting at the University of Michigan. Danos is author of a book of Cajun stories called “The Other Side of the River. ” John T. Magill (B.A. ’69, M.A. ‘72) John Magill retired as curator after three decades with Historic New Orleans Collection. Magill is a nationally known urban historian and New Orleans expert, giving lectures and writing articles on everything from Carnival to hurricanes and yellow fever. Magill has authored articles and co-authored two books with WYESTV documentary producer Peggy Scott Laborde (B.A. ‘79). He plans to continue writing and will serve as historian for a local social club. Carol B. Burch (BA ‘69) Carol Burch was recognized by the Jefferson Parish Public School System for 19 years of service to John Ehret High School in Marrero. Christian A. Clausen (Ph.D. ‘69) After 45 years, Christian Clausen is one of the University of Central Florida’s two longest-working professors. Clausen was primarily hired to help start the Ph.D. program for industrial chemistry in 1969. During his time at UCF, he’s served as interim chair, taught most chemistry courses and co-authored a textbook. One research project that dealt with developing methods to clean polluted soil and water was funded by NASA and tested at Kennedy Space Center. It went on to win six national awards and was chosen as NASA Invention of the Year, landing him a spot in the Space Technology Hall of Fame. Gerard J. Nugent (B.A. ’69, B.A. ‘96) Gerard Nugent was honored as one of St. Charles Parish public school district’s top teachers of 2014-2015. Nugent has been teaching for 18 years and currently teaches Endof-Course U.S. History at Hahnville High. Nugent previously worked at Mt. Carmel Academy, Archbishop Rummel Hurricane Katrina Transition School and Archbishop Chapelle High School. He is a member of the Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators, International Reading


Association, Council for Economics Education, Louisiana High School Coaches Association, Louisiana Softball Coaches Association, Phi Kappa Phi Academic Honor Society and National Council for the Social Studies. John Black (B.S. ‘73) John Black has been appointed to lead Valley Preparatory School, a private pre-K through eighth grade campus in Redlands, Calif. Black has 25 years of experience in education. He began his career in the Peace Corps, where he taught mathematics to high school students in Africa. John D. Broome (M.A. ‘73) John Broome has retired after 48 years of service to the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky., where he served as director of academic advising. This is his second retirement, having retired from fulltime teaching in 1999. Michael J. Hood (B.A. ‘72, M.A. Drama and Communications ‘75) Michael Hood, dean of Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s College of Fine Arts, was inducted as an American Theatre Fellow at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., by the College of Fellows of the American Theatre. Hood has served as dean at IUP since 1998. He began his administrative career as chair of the theatre and dance department at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Hood is an associate member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and is a member and certified teacher of stage combat in the Society of American Fight Directors. He is currently vice president of the National Theatre Conference. Janice T. Sanchez (B.A. ‘75) Janice T. Sanchez reigned over New Orleans Mardi Gras as Queen of Zulu 2015 by the side of husband Zulu King Andrew Peter “Pete” Sanchez. Janice T. Sanchez serves as an instructional coach at Benjamin Franklin Elementary Math and Science School. She has been honored as an Orleans Parish Teacher of the Year and has appeared in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. Else D. Pedersen-Wasson (B.A. ‘76, M.A. ‘07,) Else Pederson Wassen was selected by CityBusiness as one of the 2015 Women of the Year. Pederson has worked at Bridge House/Grace House since 1992 and has served as chief executive officer there since 2011. She is a licensed addiction

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counselor. James E. Ruckert (M.B.A., ‘76 ) James E. Ruckert, chief financial officer at the Port of New Orleans, is the recipient of a Bureau of Good Government Excellence in Government Award 2014, which recognizes government employees for outstanding performance and creative problem-solving. Lynn Luker (B.A. ‘78) Lynn Luker has joined the firm Stanley, Reuter, Ross, Thornton & Alford, LLC. Luker previously owned her own firm. In 2014, Luker was appointed to serve as judge pro tempore at Civil District Court. CityBusiness named her one of the 2014 Women of the Year and Tulane University honored her with its 2015 Environmental Law Alumna of the Year award. Luker, a past recipient of Tulane Law School’s Distinguished Teaching Award has been an adjunct professor at Tulane Law School for 30 years and has served as co-director of the Trial Advocacy Program since 1992. Ronald H. Schroeder (B.S. ‘78) R. Harold “Hal” Schroeder was reappointed to the Financial Accounting Standards Board by the Board of Trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation. Schroeder joined the board in 2011 and his new term extends his service until 2021. He has over 30 years of experience in investing and financial reporting. Previously, he was a partner at Carlson Capital, L.P. Nancy S. Degan (B.A. ‘79) Nancy Degan, immediate past chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation was selected as a member of the 2014 class of CityBusiness’ Women of the Year. She received the Pro-Bono Award in 2015 from Baker Donaldson law firm. Degan is a commercial litigator and serves on Baker Donelson’s board of directors. She is a shareholder in the New Orleans office. Gordon R. Wadge (B.A., ’80, M.P.A. ‘96) Gordon Wadge, has been named president and CEO for YMCA of Greater New Orleans. Prior to that post, Wadge served for 33 years as president of Catholic Charities. He began his charitable work as an undergraduate at UNO, when he started teaching English to Vietnamese immigrants. Soon after receiving his degree in social work from UNO, he began to build a solid resume as an administrator in charitable, nonprofit organizations.

Scott J. Posecai (BS ‘80) Scott J. Posecai serves as chief financial officer and executive vice president of Ochsner Health System. Posecai joined the Ochsner Clinic in 1987 and was named chief financial officer eight years later until the merger of the Ochsner Clinic and the Alton Ochsner Medical Foundation in 2001. Upon merger, he was named chief financial officer of the Ochsner Clinic Foundation and in 2006 for the Ochsner Health System. In 2004, UNO College of Business named him Alumnus of the Year. Richard H. Berry (M.B.A. ‘82) Richard H. Berry has joined the Stafford School of Business at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College as associate professor of management. Berry received his Ph.D. in business from the University of Georgia and his master’s degree in accounting from James Madison University before coming to UNO for his master’s of business administration. Michael A. Finan (BA ‘82) Michael Finan has been named director of the University of South Alabama Mitchell Cancer Institute in Mobile, Ala., following a national search. Finan will oversee both clinical and research initiatives, including management of the complex clinical operations. Prior to being appointed interim director of MCI last October, Finan served as associate director for clinical affairs and chief of the division of gynecologic oncology. A native of New Orleans, Finan received his undergraduate degree from UNO and his medical degree from the LSU Medical Center School of Medicine in Shreveport. Finan joined MCI in 2007 after serving in several leadership roles at Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans. Barbara K. Johnson (M.P.A. ‘82) Barbara K. Johnson, principal at The Johnson Group, was awarded Fellow Member status the International Economic Development Council as recognition of her exceptional contributions through service to the practice of economic development. Johnson’s consulting firm, The Johnson Group, specializes in organizational performance, neighborhood revitalization and resiliency and market-driven workforce solutions. Johnson has served in executive positions at The Greater New Orleans, Inc., The Downtown Development District, UNO and the Bureau of Governmental Research. She has served in leadership roles in IEDC for the past 20 years and currently serves

BIG, BAD BOIL New Orleans’ Largest Crawfish Cook-off Draws Thousands Crawfish Mambo 2015 was the largest yet, drawing more than 3,500 people with 47 teams boiling nearly 17,000 lbs. of juicy crawfish. Musical entertainment included many of New Orleans’ best: Shamarr Allen, Honey Island Swamp Band, Bucktown AllStars, The Stooges Brass Band, Tanks and the Bangas, the UNO Jazz All-Stars and the 610 Stompers. The event raised close to $60,000 for the University of New Orleans International Alumni Association and its efforts to prepare the region’s future talent through professional development programs such as a dining and social etiquette luncheon, resume review panel discussions, scholarships and networking events. 2015’s success means UNO is on track to host New Orleans’ largest crawfish cook-off in 2016! So save the date: Mambo is coming May 7, 2016! Find out more at

TOP: First-place winning team The Crawdfather from Postlethwaite and Netterville. MIDDLE LEFT: Seafood City’s Al Scramuzza with Benny Grunch. MIDDLE RIGHT: Getting serious with the face paint. ABOVE: Tamica Lee of WWL-TV, left, and Randi Rousseau of WDSU served on the seven-member judging panel.


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AlumNotes on the board of directors of the UNO International Alumni Association. Ronald J. Fisher (B.A. ‘82) Ronald Fisher has authored and published his first novel, ”Mid-City Errands,” a comic novel set in 1950s New Orleans. Fisher was born and educated in New Orleans and worked in the oil and gas industry until being transferred to the Philadelphia area in 1985. He returned to school to study law at Rutgers University and has been a corporate transactional attorney for more than 20 years. Fisher is currently completing a historical novel set in 1849 in New Orleans and its surrounding marsh. Rosalind M. Kadasi (B.S., ‘82) Rosalind Kadasi has been hired as chief financial officer of Constellis Group, a leading provider of security, risk mitigation, and managed support services in high-threat and complex environments. Kadasi has more than 20 years of financial experience, most recently as chief financial officer and vice president of administration with ARTEL., LLC. She was a finalist in the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s “CFO of the Year” competition in 2013. She holds a certificate in executive leadership management from Yale University. Melonie Ducre-Johnson (B.S. ‘83) Melonie Ducre Johnson joined the MGM Resorts International team as the general manager of Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica, Miss. Johnson oversees the day-to-day operations of the property while providing strategic direction for all divisions. She is a Certified Public Accountant. Julie A. Cristina (M.B.A. ‘88, BS, Civil Engineering ‘83) Julie Cristina, a chemistry teacher at St. Mary’s Dominican High School, has received The Drake Award from the Louisiana Section of the American Chemical Society. Her other awards include first recipient of Dominican’s St. Albert The Great Award and state winner of the Siemens Foundation Award for Advanced Placement Teachers. This marks the second time she has received The Drake Award. Gustave A. Michel (M.S. ‘86, B.S. ‘78) Gus Michel was selected as one of two Civilians of the First Quarter 2015 at the Naval Oceanographic Office. Michel is currently the acting branch head of the Anti-Submarine Warfare Reachback Cell. He was recognized for his excellence in ensuring on-time and accurate delivery of products while serving as branch head. Michel


is also an active participant in the Slidell High School Robotics Team. Mark A. Uddo (B.S. ‘84, M.S. ‘86) Mark Uddo, chef for Metairie Park Country Day School, was honored by the Young Leadership Council as a 2015 Role Model. Uddo is co-founder of the Harrison Avenue Markeplace and serves on the board of the Lakeview Civic Improvement Association. Uddo is a distinguished alumnus of the Lester E. Kabacoff School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration. He was named one of the American Culinary Federation Best Chefs of Louisiana in 2011 and 2013. Carmen F. Sunda (B.S. ‘84) Carmen F. Sunda, director of the Small Business Development Center for the 10-parish Greater New Orleans region, was named a 2015 Woman of the Year by CityBusiness. Sudna has over 25 years experience working with small businesses. She has taught business courses at UNO and Loyola University for the past 20 years. Lynne A. Burkart (M.B.A. ‘84) Lynne Burkart has been named a 2015 Woman of the Year by CityBusiness. Burkart also received the 2015 Jefferson Chamber’s Team-Builder Award, which recognizes a member who helps the chamber be visible and engaged in the community. Burkart is a director in the Postlethwaite & Netterville Accounting and Assurance Services Group. She has been with the firm since 1999. She serves on the boards of numerous organizations, including Crimestoppers, Inc., the Southeast Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce. Andrew J. Epping (B.S. ‘84) Andy Epping was inducted into the Burlington Baseball Hall of Fame Committee as a member of the 2015 Hall of Fame class at Beaumont Field Baseball Park in Burlington, Wisc. Epping led St. Mary’s High School to the Wisconsin Independent Schools Athletics Association championship game, then led Indian Trails Academy Junior College to the Junior College World Series. He then attended UNO and led its team to the 1985 College World Series. He was a seventhround draft pick of the San Francisco Giants in 1983, but never played in the major leagues. Joseph F. Hanania (M.B.A. ‘86) Joseph Hanania has been appointed head of Xerox’s $3.5 billion Global Document Outsourcing services Business Group. Hanania is

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responsible for expanding and evolving Xerox’s managed print services portfolio and will also oversee the ongoing global strategy, deployment and direction of Xerox’s MPS business. Hanania has over 28 years of general management experience, and previously served in executive positions at Oracle since 2011. He has also worked at Microsoft, and in the Middle East, Africa and emerging Asian countries at Hewlett-Packard and Compaq Computer. As CEO of Umniah Mobile Company, Hanania led the startup mobile operator to a market leadership position over the course of five years. Michelle R. Lindblom (‘86) Michelle Lindblom has retired as professor after 24 years in the visual arts program at Bismarck State College in Bismarck, ND. Lindblom served as chair of the arts and communications department from 2004 to 2014. Her work with students earned her the regional PTK Paragon Advisor Award and Honors Scholar recognition from the PTK Honors Institute. She received the Faculty Award of Excellence in 2006 and has traveled extensively, including to Rwanda and Burundi to visit schools and do workshops with teachers for the Every Child Is My Child program. Her artwork has been in more than 23 solo and 100 group shows nationwide and 10 international exhibitions. Samuel J. Guzzo (B.S. ‘87) Samel Guzzo has been hired by Wunderlich, a leading full-service investment firm headquartered in Memphis, to co-head of the firm’s fixed income capital markets division. Guzzo will be responsible for institutional sales and client strategies. Guzzo most recently served as national sales manager of fixed income capital markets at Stifel. He has also worked at Raymond James, Morgan Keegan and Banc One Capital Markets. Juanita M. Hill-Kennedy (B.A. ‘87) Juanita Hill-Kennedy has been named human resources director at the Royal Sonesta New Orleans. She will oversee new hires, manage employee relations, help guide career development and oversee promotions and relocations at the hotel. Prior to joining Royal Sonesta New Orleans, Hill-Kennedy served as region human resources manager at Iv-AGA Engineering, a Metairie-based firm with offices in Louisiana and Texas. Suzanne M. Bordlee (B.A. ‘89, M.Ed. ’98) Suzanne Bordlee was named Prin-

cipal of the Year by Jefferson Parish Public School System. Bordlee has served as principal of Leo J. Kerner Elementary School in Jean Lafitte for four years. Kerner Elementary, which has open admission requirements, also received an A state letter grade in 2013-2014. Wendy K. Nunez (B.A. ’89, M.A., M.Ed. ‘98) Wendy Nunez has been promoted from assistant principal to principal of Rita Drabek Elementary by the Fort Bend Independent School District in Texas. Nunez has more than 25 years of experience as an educator. She began her career as an elementary teacher, and has worked as a Head Start Program coordinator. Perry M. Nicosia (B.S. ‘89) Perry Nicosia was elected earlier this year to district attorney of the 34th Judicial District, making him the first new St. Bernard Parish district attorney in more than three decades. Nicosia resigned as judge on the 34th Judicial District Court, Division C, to qualify for the race. Michael E. Scott (B.S. ‘89) Michael Scott has been hired as the Mississippi representative of Ohio-based MFM Building Products. Scott has more than 26 years of experience in the building products market and services the same segments. Susan K. Richard (M.A. ‘90) Susan Richard has earned a certified provider credentialing specialist certification. She is a medical affairs assistant with Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, NY. Julie S. Stokes (B.S. ‘92) Julie Stokes serves District 79 in the Louisiana State House of Representatives. In 2015, she received the Southwest Chamber Louisiana’s Fusion Five Award for best new upand-coming legislator, the Louisiana Industrial Development Economic Association Champion of Economic Development award, the Louisiana Family Forum’s Liberty Award and their Family Advocate Award. Stokes, a CPA, also works in her family’s business, Stokes & Associates. She is actively involved with the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, the UNO Alumni Association and several other organizations. Angie M. Gates (B.A. ‘92 , M.A. ‘01) Angie M. Gates served as inauguration director and director of operations for the transition team of Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser’s campaign. She was the traveling chief of staff. Prior to this

PRIVATEER CONNECTIONS UNO’s Jefferson Parish Professionals Alumni gathered at the Mellow Mushroom Metairie in October for a lively happy hour hosted by the UNO International Alumni Association. The event drew Privateers from several decades. Clockwise from top, Lauren Crosby (B.A. ’03), Louisiana Rep. Julie Stokes (B.S. ’92), Emily Srofe (B.S. ’14) and Alfonso Hernandez (B.S. ’16), Ambrosia Grant (B.A. ’01), Al Herrera (B.S. ’88), For information about other alumni events in your area, visit

position, Gates made history as the first African-American general manager of the Historic Warner Theatre located in the heart of Washington, D.C. She began her career as a film specialist for the New Orleans Film Commission. She has also worked for Clear Channel Entertainment and is a board member of the New Orleans Theatre Association and the Negro League Hall of Fame and a member of the D.C. chapter of the Recording Academy of Arts and Sciences. Sean K. Warner (B.G.S. ‘92, M.P.A. ‘03) Sean Warner is serving his first of four years on St. Bernard Parish Public School Board. Warner was sworn in by his daughter. He serves on the board as both the building committee co-chair and as the Head Start policy council member. Elgin G. Weaver (B.S. ‘93) Elgin Weaver has been named vice president and commercial real estate loan officer in Houston by Mercantil Commercebank. Weaver brings more than 20 years experience to the job, including having worked at First Community Credit Union in Houston and Capital One Bank, also in Texas.

Robin L. Martin (B.A. ‘94, M.Ed. ‘96) Robin Martin has been named associate provost for diversity and inclusion at the University of Cincinnati where she is responsible for developing strategic initiatives that support the recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of underrepresented populations and minority faculty. Prior to that appointment, Martin served as the executive associate director of athletics and senior woman administrator at UC where she provided oversight for 10 of the 18 teams. She was as the first AfricanAmerican female athletics director at both Holy Names University in Oakland, Calif., and Dillard University in New Orleans, La. Tracy B. Diez (B.S. ‘94) Tracy Diez has been named executive director for the Mississippi World Trade Center in Jackson, Miss. She comes to the position having served as the organization’s marketing and events coordinator since April 2012. Diez has 20 years of executive operational management experience in the nonprofit and restaurant industries.

Justin J. Fleetwood (B.A. ‘95) Justin Fleetwood has been appointed the principal of St. Joseph High School in Metuchen, NJ. He is the ninth principal of the all-boys school, which opened in 1961 and currently has approximately 700 students. Fleetwood was most recently an assistant principal for discipline and attendance at Brother Martin High School in New Orleans, where he previously taught English and served as a student council moderator and academic assistant principal. Susan L. Piggott (M.A. ‘95) Susan Piggott has been named president of the board of directors of the Talbot Hospice Foundation. She first joined the board in 2013 after serving as the volunteer coordinator for Talbot Hospice from 2009 to 2013. Piggott was a special educator and school head for more than 35 years and served as the director of the National Child Research Center in Washington, D.C. for 10. Piggott was named volunteer of the year by the State of Maryland for her work with CASA. N. Marc M. Satterthwaite (M.B.A. ‘95)

Marc Satterthwaite has been inducted into the Warren County Public Schools Hall of Distinguished Alumni in Bowling Green, Ky. In 2002, Satterthwaite became vice president at Brown-Forman, a wine and spirits corporation, where he is now director of sales operations for North America. Julie O. Townsend (B.A. ‘95) Julie Townsend is executive director of the Lakeland Downtown Development Authority in Lakeland, Fla., where she served as a member of the board since 2012. Previously, she served for five years as executive director of the Downtown Lakeland Partnership. Dwight A. Fitch (B.A. ‘96) Dwight Fitch has been named a winner of the 2015 Ernest O. & Shirley N. Svenson Jazz Composition Award for an original composition. Paul H. Mathes (B.A. ‘96) Paul Mathes has been hired as executive director of The Carpenter Foundation, a nonprofit that provides free educational, emotional and health care support for residents in the Gulf Coast communities served


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AlumNotes by St. Joseph Hospice. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and biology from UNO and is a certified occupational safety specialist. Kiki B. Barnes (B.G.S. ‘97, Ph.D. ‘14) Kiki Barnes has been named a 2015 Administrator of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators. Barnes is president of the Gulf Coast Athletics Conference, athletics director at Dillard University, and until three years ago, was head women’s basketball coach at Dillard University—all while working on her Ph.D. Carol S. Short (B.G.S. ‘97, M.Ed. ‘00) Carol Short received the 2015 Outstanding Volunteer Award from East Jefferson General Hospital. She is involved in numerous organizations, including the Louisiana Center for Women in Government and Business, the New Orleans Museum of Art and the New Orleans Ballet Association. She is associate director of the University of New Orleans Transportation Institute and administrator of the Master of Science in Transportation degree. Short also served on the board of UNO’s International Alumni Board for 11 years. Ty A. Salvant (B.A. ‘97) Ty Salvant was among those nominated for Idea Village’s 2015 Big Idea Challenge. Salvant turned home-schooling her son and four other children into a home schooling pilot program called Young Scholars, which has grown to 30 students. Participants in Young Scholars are homeschooled throughout the week and get together at least two days per week so parents can co-teach their children. Andrea L. Terry (M.F.A. ‘97) Andrea Terry, also known as Andie Beckerman, has been appointed to the position of vice president of alternative development and production at Syfy TV. Beckerman developed and oversaw programming on series such as “Talking Dead,” “COMIC BOOK MEN” and “Game of Arms.” She is based in the channel’s Los Angeles office and joins Syfy from AMC, where she has worked since 2004 and was most recently director of development for unscripted original programming. Faith M. Joseph (M.Ed. ‘98) Faith Joseph was named Jefferson Parish School System Principal of the Year for middle schools. Joseph has led Henry Ford Middle School in Avondale for the past eight years where she has also served as



Walter R. Whitehurst (B.G.S. ‘00) Wally “the Whip” Whitehurst, a star pitcher who led UNO to the first College World Series appearance for a Louisiana school, was inducted into the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2015. Whitehurst remains UNO’s career leader in wins (37) and complete games (40) while ranking second in strikeouts (310). He pitched three seasons for the Privateers from 1983 to 1985 before being drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the third round of the 1985 draft. As a Privateer pitcher, he went to three consecutive NCAA Regionals. Whitehurst was selected as the 1984 AAABA Tournament Most Valuable Player, and led the 1984 USA Bronze medal Amateur World Series team in innings pitched. He went on to pitch seven seasons in the Major Leagues. After retiring from playing in 1996, Whitehurst served as pitching coach at Delgado Community College and then at UNO. He also coached in the farm systems of the San Diego Padres and Pittsburgh Pirates. teacher, dean of students and assistant principal. Her leadership and adherence to tougher accountability standards helped the school, which received a C state letter grade in the past two testing years, to gain three points in its performance score in

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Henderson Lewis (M.Ed. ‘99) Henderson Lewis has been named superintendent for Orleans Parish Schools. Lewis came from East Feliciana School System, where he served as superintendent. He has also served on the St. Bernard Parish School Board, was director of academics for the Algiers Charter Schools Association, founding principal of Algiers Technology Academy and assistant principal of Alice Harte Elementary. He started as a math teacher. Mandi D. Mitchell (B.S. ’00, M.B.A. ‘03) Mandi Mitchell has been promoted to assistant secretary of Louisiana Economic Development. Mitchell is a former lobbyist who was one of ABiz’s 2012 Women Who Mean Business. Before her new appointment, she was LED’s director of governmental affairs and federal programs. Mitchell has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from UNO and worked previously as an independent business owner and a regional manager at AT&T Louisiana. Jaime L. Zapico (BA ’00, M.Ed. ‘04) Jaime Zapico was named middle school principal of the year a second time by the Jefferson Parish Public Schools System. The two-time UNO alumna has led Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy in Avondale for six years.

executive director of The Amistad Research Center. A New Orleans native, Olidge previously served as deputy director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City and as the director of the Hetrick-Martin Institute for LGBTQ youth in Newark, NJ. While in graduate school at UNO, she served as the director of education for the Shakespeare Festival at Tulane University and as Amistad’s visual art curator. Olidge is the first woman to serve as executive director of the center since its establishment on the campus of Fisk University in 1966. Courtney C. Miller (B.S. ‘01) Courtney C. Miller was selected by CityBusiness as a 2015 Woman of the Year. Miller, a partner in the New Orleans’ office of Adams and Reese, is a member of the New Orleans Estate Planning Council and Association of Women Attorneys. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Xplore Federal Credit Union. Diane M. Combs (M.Ed. ‘00) Diane Combs assumed the role of principal of Pine View Middle School in Covington. Combs has been an assistant principal at Abney Elementary since 2008. Combs was named the St. Tammany Parish Public School System’s 2015-16 middle school principal

Amy L. Naquin-Chappel (B.S. ‘00) Amy Naquin-Chappel, general neurologist and epilepsy specialist, has joined Houston Methodist Neurological Institute at Willowbrook in Texas. Naquin-Chappel is the medical director of the Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital Stroke Program and she is a faculty member of the department of Neurology at Houston Methodist Neurological Institute. Lacey A. Bordelon (B.A. ’00, M.U.R.P. ‘02) Lacey Bordelon was named deputy director of the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission. Bordelon joined JEDCO in 2007 as an economic development specialist before being promoted to director of economic development services. In her new role, Bordelon directs JEDCO’s business retention and expansion program and is responsible for business attraction efforts. She also oversees the continued development and growth of the Churchill Technology and Business Park. Kara T. Olidge (M.A. ‘00) Kara Tucina Olidge was named

Lisa M. Babin (B.A., ’98, M.Ed.’ 03) Lisa Babin has been named principal of Metairie Academy for Advanced Studies. She began her career with Jefferson Parish Public School System in 1996 and has served as an elementary teacher, two years as an assistant principal and then as a kindergarten teacher at Metairie Academy in Old Metairie.

of the year. Melissa A. Weber (B.A. ‘00) Melissa Weber, better known as D.J. Soul Sister, was named Best DJ by the 2015 Best of the Beat Awards. Weber is nicknamed the “Queen of Rare Groove” on WWOZ, where she hosts the Soul Power show on Saturday nights and, later on Saturday nights, DJs a dance party at Hi-Ho Lounge. Danielle T. Yunusah (B.A. ’00, M.Ed. ‘06) Danielle Yunusah has been named principal of Riverdale High School. Previously, she worked six years as the assistant principal of John Q. Adams Middle School. While there, she helped Adams raise their school letter grade from a C to a B and earned 10 bonus points for significant growth with the lowest performing students. John G. Dumas (M.P.A. ‘00) John Dumas has been appointed director of the Personnel Department of Jefferson Parish. Dumas previously served an assistant director in the parish Human Resources department, Dumas holds a master’s degree in public administration from the UNO and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Economics from Southern University at New Orleans, according to a news release from the board. Kelly E. Theard (B.A. ‘00) Kelly E. Theard was named by CityBusiness as a 2015 Woman of the Year. Theard, a partner at Deutsch Kerrigan & Stiles, was named to “The Best Lawyers in America” list in 201516. She is a member of the advisory board for Hogs for the Cause and volunteers as a girls’ soccer coach. Deborah D. Keller (M.S. ‘01) Deborah D. Keller and Brian S. Keller (B.S. ‘79 and ‘84) have formed a new engineering consulting firm, Deborah D. Keller and Partners, LLC. Deborah Keller, who has 36 years of civil engineering experience, is chief executive officer. She comes from the Port of New Orleans, where she worked for 27 years, rising from manager of the engineering department in 1988 to chief engineer/director of port development in 1997. She received the UNO College of Engineering’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2006. Vera B. Triplett (M.Ed ‘01, Ph.D. ‘04) Vera Triplett was named a 2015 Role Model by the Young Leadership Council. The class is composed of 25 New Orleans business, community, and civic leaders who distinguish themselves as role models by ac-

Flozell Daniels

Mark Romig

Norma Jane Sabiston

UNO ALUMNI HELP LEAD MAYOR’S PLANS TO CELEBRATE CITY’S 300TH ANNIVERSARY Three University of New Orleans alumni will help to lead the city’s 300th anniversary celebration, according to a statement issued by the mayor. Heading up the effort is Mark Romig, a 1978 alumnus who is president of the city’s tourism and marketing corporation. Mayor Mitch Landrieu introduced the leadership charged with developing New Orleans’ 300th anniversary celebration activities in 2018. The 2018 commission will organize international, national and local partners for the planning of celebrations in honor of the city’s history and future, he said. Romig will serve as the commission’s director, while UNO alumni Flozell Daniels and Norma Jane Sabiston will help to lead racial reconciliation and fundraising efforts. “As we approach 2018, we have the unique opportunity to thoughtfully set a course to a better city,” Mayor Landrieu said in statement earlier this year. “New Orleans is already on a roll — schools are improving, our economy is getting stronger, and murder is at a historic 30-year low. However, we still have work to do. I have enlisted the help of key leaders in our community to ensure that when we reach this 300-year milestone, New Orleans is the city we always wanted her to be.” The privately funded 2018 Commission aims “to implement programs and projects throughout the community that appropriately celebrate the 300th anniversary,” said the mayor, who together with the city’s First

Lady, Cheryl Landrieu, will serve as honorary co-chair. Over the next three years, the executive committee will advise the commission on the best way to celebrate the city’s journey as a people since its founding in 1718. Rounding out the commission’s leadership are city stars including: Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews; Tom and Gayle Benson; Donna Brazile; Drew Brees; Leah Chase; James Carville; Patricia Clarkson; Harry Connick, Jr.; Norman Francis; Steve Gleason; Russel Honoré; Walter Isaacson; Rita Benson LeBlanc; Wynton Marsalis; Mary Matalin and Sybil Morial. The Racial Reconciliation Committee, which Daniels will co-chair with three others, was formed “to create opportunities for citizens to come together to have open dialogues about race relations in the city of New Orleans and to build relationships that will lead to a more inclusive city in 2018 where everyone can prosper,” the mayor said. Sabiston, a leading political consultant and past president of the UNO International Alumni Association, will spearhead the commission’s Finance Committee together with Warner Williams. The 2018 commission will continue to engage the community to serve in various capacities. The commission also seeks to collaborate with organizations across the city to create a comprehensive calendar of all events, conventions or programs related to the 300th anniversary.


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AlumNotes tively contributing to the betterment of the greater New Orleans region. Kevin R. Pattiwael (B.S. ‘02) Kevin R. Pattiwael has been promoted to first vice president in retirement at American Trust and Savings Bank. He joined the bank in 2014. Richard A. Williams (M.P.A. ‘02) Lt. Richard Williams, a 23-year veteran who is currently a supervisor in the Public Integrity Bureau, was named the commander of the Education, Training and Recruitment Division, which oversees the New Orleans Police Department academy. He held the position from 2007 to 2011, and is working on a doctorate in urban studies from UNO. Danielle M. DeGeorge (B.S. ‘02) Danielle DeGeorge has been appointed vice president of sales and marketing at Expotel Hospitality Services L.L.C. in Metairie. DeGeorge, who joined Expotel two years ago, will lead the multi-state, rapidly expanding hotel owner and management company’s strategic sales and growth initiatives. DeGeorge joined Expotel in 2013 following four years with the 10-hotel, Irish-based luxury hotel group, The Doyle Collection. Previously, she held positions at the InterContinental New Orleans and the InterContinental Miami. Nelson Demery (M.F.A. ‘02) Nelson Demery, known better as Jericho Brown, recently released his second collection of poetry, “The New Testament” (Copper Canyon Press, 2014). His first collection, “Please” (New Issues, 2008), won the 2009 American Book Award. Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writer’s Award and has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Krakow Poetry Seminar in Poland, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University. He is currently an assistant professor of English and creative writing at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. Judith A. Moran (M.B.A. ‘02) Judith Moran was appointed president and chief executive officer of the South Mississippi Housing and Development Corp. She is responsible for the administration, planning and funding of projects throughout Mississippi’s lower 14 counties. Sharon R. Meggs-Hamilton (M.Ed. ‘03) Sharon Meggs-Hamilton has been appointed principal of Grace King High School. She previously served as assistant principal at West Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson and Helen


Cox high schools. Syed Hafeez (MS ‘03) Syed Hafeez was promoted to administrative director for pathology and transfusion medicine at Sierra Providence in Texas. He will manage Tenet’s strategic initiatives for hospital operations. Hafeez is also board certified in clinical laboratory, pathology and transfusion medicine. Yolande T. Wilson-Stubbs (M.B.A. ‘03) Presence Holy Family Medical Center in Des Plaines, Ill., and Presence Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago named Yolande Wilson-Stubbs regional chief operation officer of long-term acute care services. Before that, she was chief executive officer of Kindred Hospital Boston-North Shore in Peabody, Mass., where she led operation for the 50-bed transitional care facility, including a renovation of the intensive care unit and telemetry unit expansion. Greg S. Castillo (B.G.S. ‘04) Greg Castillo has been hired as the head volleyball coach at Vandebilt Catholic High School in Houma. Castillo, previously a head coach and teacher at Cabrini High School in New Orleans, is a 25-year coaching veteran who led Cabrini to a 20-19 overall record last year. His teams at Cabrini were annual state tournament participants. He won four state titles and he is a three-time LHSAA/LVCA Division II Coach of the Year. Nicole A. Daigle (M.B.A. ‘04) Nicole Daigle was hired by America’s Natural Gas Alliance as director of regional communications and special projects. Daigle spent six years at the Independent Petroleum Association of America before that, most recently as director of public and government affairs. She also worked for a range of energy clients as an executive for the former FD Dittus Communications in Washington and has worked in the communications shops of Entergy Corp. and Calpine Corp. Zheyang Wu (M.S. ‘04) Zheyang Wu was awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor of mathematical sciences by Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. Working in the area of biostatistics and bioinformatics, Wu is developing novel statistical theory and methodology that can be used to analyze genetic data for factors related to complex human diseases. His research has been supported by about $800,000 in external awards and has resulted in 23 peer-reviewed

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Bivian L. Lee (B.S. ‘06) Bivian “Sonny” Lee lll, founder and president of Son of a Saint, received the 2015 BET Shine A Light award for his work with the Son of a Saint Foundation. The nonprofit serves as a resource to young boys who are growing up fatherless – many due to violence or long prison sentences. Son of a Saint provides group mentorship, tutoring, recreational opportunities, scholarships and behavioral health services for the children they serve.

publications and one pending patent. He has been a member of the WPI faculty since 2009. Janelle M. Wald (B.G.S. ‘04) Janelle Wald has launched a new business, AthenaStirs, in her native Grand Forks, ND. Wald moved back to Grand Forks last year after eight years in Denver where she worked for Nestle and Sur La Table and formed the idea for her first product, aprons for active people. Ten percent of the proceeds from the sale of her signature aprons are given to support educational opportunities for young girls in Peru. Joseph A. Laine (B.S. ‘05) Joey Laine has joined the Chicago Bears as director of football administration. Laine was previously the New Orleans Saints salary cap analyst and spent 11 years in the Saints’ front office after joining them as an intern in 2005. Laine will work for new Bears general manager Ryan Pace, who spent 14 years in the Saints front office. Kadisha A. Onalbayeva (M.M. ‘05, MM ‘06) Kadisha Onabayeva, a pianist since

age 5, is the first pianist from Kazakhstan to be named a Steinway Artist. Onalbayeva attended the Jubanov Special School for Talented Children in Almaty, Kazakhstan, then entered the Kurmangazy National Conservatory of Music after graduation. She received a Soros Prize for her work in development of international cultural exchanges and earned two master of music degrees in composition and piano performance at UNO before earning a doctorate in piano performance at Louisiana State University. Matthew D. Leder (M.M. ‘05) Matt Leder is the new music director at Gadsden State Community College in Alabama. Leder served more than eight years as an active-duty musician in the U.S. Navy and four years in the U.S. Air Force music program. He previously was on the faculties of Brown University, the Community College of Rhode Island, the University of Colorado at Denver, Northern New Mexico College, St. George’s School and Blue Lake Fine Art Music Camp. He has a master of music degree in jazz studies from UNO and a bachelor’s degree in jazz performance from East Carolina University. He is a doctoral candidate in musical education at the University of Northern Colorado. Benjamin V. Vicidomina (B.S. ‘05) Benjamin Vicidomina has been named director of risk optimization at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana. Vicidomina has five years of experience in health insurance decision support, most recently as a manager in global analytics for Peoples Health, Inc., where he led a team analyzing and reporting on medical utilization and population health management. Alex R. Arceneaux (B.G.S. ‘05 , M.Ed. ‘09) Alex Arceneaux was selected to serve as chief of staff for Nicholls State University. Prior to taking the position, Arceneaux, was the registrar for Saint Martin’s University, a private Catholic Benedictine university in Lacey, Wash. Arceneaux previously worked for UNO, serving as interim registrar, associate registrar for operations, executive assistant to the registrar and assistant to the registrar from 2006 to 2012. He is working on a doctorate in education leadership specializing in higher education administration at UNO. Mark J. Bailey (M.Ed. ‘06) Mark Bailey has been hired to lead the Maureen Joy Charter School in Durham, NC. Bailey previ-

ously worked in the Jefferson Parish School District as the network executive director over 13 high schools in the district. Bailey relocated with his wife, a native of New Bern, NC. Prior to joining Jefferson Parish Schools, Bailey worked for six years as the assistant principal at O. Perry Walker College and Career Preparatory High School. Bailey also taught high school special education for four years at Abramson High School, where he was voted Teacher of the Year in 2005. Michelle C. Blouin-Williams (M.S. ‘08) Michelle Blouin-Williams was named chief administrative officer of the Orleans Parish School System. Blouin-Williams was previously chief academic officer of the Jefferson Parish School System and was the system’s first African-American acting superintendent. Mark B. Hocke (B.S. ‘08) Mark Hocke has been named director of strength and conditioning at the University of Georgia. Hocke has served the past six years under University of Alabama director of strength and conditioning Scott Cochran. During that time, the program won three SEC championships, three national championships and 72 games in the last six seasons. Prior to joining the Alabama staff, Hocke served five seasons as assistant football and head strength coach at his alma mater, Jesuit High School in New Orleans. Ryan C. Ray (B.A. ‘08) Ryan Ray became a senior team member of Q1Media. Ray had over seven years of media sales and production experience including from Tribune Broadcasting. Thomas C. Haysley (M.U.R.P. ‘08) Tom Haysley has been named the new director of planning for DeSoto County in Mississippi. Haysley, a Texas native and former longtime New Orleans resident, previously served as deputy director and as grants administrator for DeSoto County. Haysley also has worked for the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission. Leo B. Gorman (M.A. ‘09) Leo Gorman is the farm manager at Grow Dat Youth Farm, a two-acre market farm whose mission is nurture a diverse group of young leaders through the meaningful work of growing food. After earning his bachelor’s degree, Gorman worked for three years in Mexico and Colombia with

Witness for Peace, collaborating with rural communities to educate U.S. citizens about the impacts of free trade policy on civil society and the environment. He earned his master’s in history at UNO in 2009 and has coauthored several published articles and book chapters on indigenous rights, popular education and immigration. Andrew M. Vincent (B.A. ‘01, M.Ed. ‘10) Andrew Vincent was named principal of Thomas Jefferson High School in Jefferson Parish. For the past two years, he served as assistant principal of Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies. In that role, he assisted in several data-driven professional development initiatives, including book studies and the implementation of web-based software. Katherine K. Karcher (B.A. ‘02, M.Ed. ‘10) Katherine Karcher Lemoine was elected to represent District 1 on the St. Bernard Parish School Board. Lemoine currently serves as the education program manager at Nunez Community College and has spent her career in the classrooms of St. Bernard Parish, working with students at every grade level. Lemoine holds bachelor and master’s degrees in education from UNO, and is enrolled in its doctorate program for educational administration. Sandra C. McCullough (B.I.S, ’10, M.A.T ‘13) Sandra McCullough was named St. Charles Parish Middle School Teacher of the Year. She was also named the 2014-2015 Teacher of the Year at J.B. Martin Middle. McCullough received her master’s in teaching with a focus on significant disabilities at UNO. She became department chairwoman for special education at J.B. Martin in 2012. She serves as a member of the Louisiana Autism Spectrum and Related Disabilities Project and is a new teacher mentor and Special Education Chairperson for J.B. Martin. She previously taught at R.J. Vial Elementary and at A.A. Songy Kindergarten. McCullough was the recipient of J.B. Martin’s Riding the Wave Award, also in 2014, and Outstanding Team Member Award in 2012-13. Amy C. Hoyle (M.Ed. ‘10) Amy Hoyle was selected to lead Fredrick Douglass Elementary School in Jefferson Parish. Hoyle served as principal of Woodland West Elementary School where, in her first year, she and her team raised the school’s letter grade from a D to a B. Most

recently she served as a network executive director and created the Literacy Advancement Program. She was recently named one of 10 Distinguished Alumni at the UNO College of Education and Human Development’s 50th anniversary celebration. Kimberly A. Terrell (Ph.D. ‘11) Kimberly Terrell has been named director of research and conservation at The Memphis Zoo. She will lead research, conservation and education for wildlife and wild places. Over the past two years, she has served as a research associate for the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., and as an adjunct faculty member with Tulane University’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in New Orleans. Terrell received a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Bachelor of Science in cell and molecular biology from Tulane University before getting her Ph.D. in conservation biology from UNO. Travis L. Smith (M.S. ‘11) Travis Smith took part in the sixth

season of the TV show “Battlebots” on the ABC network. In the show, teams build armed robots that fight it out in an arena full of hazards. Smith is working on his doctoral degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering at University of California Davis. Smith has worked for Lockheed Martin. While pursuing his master’s degree at UNO, he volunteered as a mentor for high school students who took part in the FIRST Robotics Competition in the New Orleans region. Emily A. Srofe (B.S. ‘14) Emily Srofe has been hired as human resources coordinator by Smoothie King Franchises Inc. Rannie Mushatt (B.I.S. ‘11) Capt. Rannie Mushatt, a 31-year veteran of the New Orleans Police Department, was named deputy chief of the Investigations and Support Bureau. The bureau oversees the evidence and crime lab divisions as well as major criminal investigations into murders, rapes and gangs. Mushatt has a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from UNO. His previous position was commander of the homicide and sex-crimes units. Brandon J. Winins (B.S. ‘11) Brandon Winins, an IT support specialist at Kean Miller, LLP, in New Orleans, is engaged to marry Chanel Johnson in March 2016. She is currently employed as The Nursery Learning and Development Center’s lead teacher and co-director and is an active member of the NAEYC organization.

Tawni V. Auxier (M.F.A. ‘09) A new novel by Tawni Waters, also known as Tawni Auxier, won the International Literacy Association Award for Young Adult Literature. “Beauty of the Broken” (Simon Pulse, 2014) is Waters’ first novel. It was published near the same time as “Siren Song,” a collection of her poetry. Waters currently teaches creative writing in Phoenix, Ariz. Her work has been featured in “The Best Travel Writing of 2010.”

Jared E. Munster (B.S. ‘04, M.U.R.P. ’06, Ph.D. ‘12) Jared Munster received one of the Bureau of Governmental Research’s 2014 Excellence in Government Awards for outstanding performance and creative problem-solving. Munster is director of the Department of Safety and Permits for the City of New Orleans. John A. Starr (M.Ed. ‘12) John Starr has been named as principal of Marie Riviere Elementary School in Jefferson Parish. Prior to his appointment, he served as the assistant principal of Marrero Middle School. Among his accomplishments, he utilized strong teachers to provide a diverse selection of professional development sessions. Brendan Saltaformaggio (B.S. ‘12) Brendan Saltaformaggio, who is pursuing his doctorate in computer science at Purdue University, recently won the Best Paper award at the 22nd ACM Conference on Com-


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AlumNotes puter and Communications Security, a top-tier cybersecurity conference. The paper, “GUITAR: Piecing Together Android App GUIs from Memory Images,” describes the author’s new memory forensics tool, GUITAR, which allows cyber crime investigators to recover the graphical user interface (GUI) of Android apps frozen in a device’s memory snapshot.

Charleston in Charleston, SC. He will be leading the organization as president and operations manager. Katherine H. Marquette (M.A. ‘13) Katherine Marquette has been named the executive director of the Hammond Regional Arts Center. Marquette has worked at several art institutions, including the Louisiana Division of the Arts, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the McNay Art Museum, the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio, Texas. She recently raised money for the Second Harvest Food Bank as a development and donor services specialist.

Sara E. Crawford (M.F.A. ‘12) Sara Crawford is the author of an upcoming young adult urban fantasy series, “The Muse Chronicles.” A writer and musician, she runs Crawford Writing Blog as well as a YouTube channel where she talks about writing, books and music. Her play, “The Spins,” a finalist in the 2011 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award competition, will be produced at Out of Box theatre in Marietta, Ga., in January 2016. She was voted Best Local Songwriter by Creative Loafing in 2010, she has two published books of poetry, and she was previously one half of the indie band Pocket the Moon.

Jamison A. Ross (M.A. ‘13) Drummer Jamison Ross, winner of the 2012 Thelonious Monk Institute drum competition, has made his recording debut on major jazz label Concord Music Group with the release of Jamison. The album features pianist Jonathan Batiste, guitarist Rick Lollar and organist Cory Irvin, among others.

Chris Clark (M.P.A. ‘13) Christopher Clark was tapped to open the Steinway Piano Gallery of

Christian R. Koerner (M.S. ‘13) Christian Koerner has been hired as executive director of St. Joseph

Hospice at its New Orleans location and new inpatient facility. Previously, Koerner served as executive director for Hospice Compassus. Kelsey J. Matthews (B.A. Film & Theatre ‘14) Kelsey Matthews has been named the new volunteer coordinator for the United Way of St. Charles. Through a grant from the Dow Foundation, Matthews will also provide support for volunteer activities at Dow’s St. Charles Operations. During her time at UNO, she was involved in several volunteer and mentor based organizations. Mason T. Miller (B.A. ‘13) Mason Miller has accepted a position as reporter for The Chaffee County Times, in Chaffee County, Colo. Miller’s writing work includes pieces for VICE magazine, covering topics such as drag queens, crime and ebola. He previously worked for Historical Novel Inc. in New Orleans, editing and assisting with revisions for novels. Shelley T. Montamat (B.S. ‘13) Shelley Montamat was named onboarding specialist/trainer at New

Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. A native of New Orleans, Montamat previously served as a human resources clerk at the Convention Center, where she assisted management in administration, recruiting and onboarding. Duncan R. Cheney (B.S. ‘14) Duncan Cheney is operations director for Project Homecoming. He oversees a workforce development program, administers Project Homecoming’s HOME-funded, owner-occupied rehab program, and assembles development budgets for homeownership and affordable rental projects. Duncan came to Project Homecoming in 2008 through the Young Adult Volunteer Program of the Presbyterian Church and stayed through the AmeriCorps program. Brett Roberts (B.A. ‘14) Brett Roberts recently made his directorial debut with his short film “WOODLANDS.” While Roberts is pursuing his film career, his company Static Film, LLC., also produces Continuing Legal Education webisodes.

We have GREAT NEWS! The UNO Alumni Association has partnered with The Princeton Review to bring world class test preparation to all of its active members for 10% off! To take advantage of this incredible offer, use promo code UNOALUM10% when enrolling online at or by calling 800-273-8439 52 UNO MAGAZINE

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The University of New Orleans Magazine, Fall 2015  

The University of New Orleans Magazine, Fall 2015