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A P U B L I C AT I O N F O R A L U M N I , S T U D E N T S A N D F R I E N D S O F T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F N E W O R L E A N S

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The Student Internship Everyone Wants

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DEAR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS: Since becoming President on April 1, I have spent a significant amount of time meeting with alumni, business leaders, legislators and various professional organizations. Throughout all of these interactions, I am continually awed by the vast influence and contributions of our graduates. These are not superficial sentiments intended to flatter the University’s alumni. The truth that is repeatedly reinforced to me is that New Orleans doesn’t really work without the University of New Orleans. Consider a couple of facts: There are more than 42,000 University of New Orleans alumni living in greater New Orleans. Earlier this year, we released a study revealing that in 2014-15, UNO generated an economic impact of $470 million for an eight-parish region. Those figures speak directly to the breadth and scope of the institution’s impact. How then, in the face of rapidly diminishing state support for higher education, has the University been able to continue to wield such clout? The answer, in my view, is found in our value and academic quality. This year, the University made U.S. News & World Report’s least debt list for the sixth straight year. That list highlights the universities whose students graduate with the lowest average levels of student debt. Several weeks later, a report from revealed that University of New Orleans alumni have the highest early-career salaries among graduates of all colleges in Louisiana. According to its 2016-17 College Salary Report, UNO graduates with a bachelor’s degree and 0-5 years of work experience reported median annual earnings higher than any other institution in the state, public or private. Think about that for a moment. Our graduates leave school with some of the lowest levels of debt in the nation and they also make excellent salaries early in their careers. That is a very persuasive argument for attending and supporting the only public research university in New Orleans. The fact that we are a research institution, classified as one of only two Carnegie R2 institutions in the state, is also noteworthy. Faculty members who perform research and scholarly activity are better-equipped teachers. And students who engage in research, at both the undergraduate and graduate level, gain unique insight into their coursework and earn a competitive advantage in the job market. Research isn’t just part of our university’s heritage—it continues to be at the forefront of producing graduates who are analytical and well-prepared. As you can tell, nearly 60 years after our founding, the University of New Orleans continues to fulfill its mission by offering an education of incomparable value and rigor to its students and serving as a vital economic engine for the region in the process. My first months as President have been thrilling and inspiring. With your support and collaboration, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish together! Sincerely,

John Nicklow PRESI DENT



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Rebecca Catalanello EDITOR




Bill Arthurs Frank Aymami Rebecca Catalanello Gregory Juan Meara McNitt Tracie Morris Schaefer Matthew Tarr

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. 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 t GBY 1080 email: Š 2016 The University of New Orleans 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.

UNO’s Magazine Gets a New Name Notice anything new? The University of New Orleans’ favorite publication for alumni, students and friends has a new name and look. We asked readers for name suggestions and got nearly 100 responses. The winner was from former student LaToya Murray of Lake Charles: Silver & Blue. It’s a moniker that captures UNO’s spirit—one of tradition and work ethic, elegance and grit. Enjoy.


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SENDING THE ELEVATOR DOWN How ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ and UNO created a sought-after film internship.


Move-In Day, Back to School, New Student Convocation, Swampball


UNO’s $470 Million Impact on Metro Area; Nicklow Issues State of University Address; Uddo Screenwriting Awards Announced; Mars Rover Curiosity Exhibit Draws 1,500; UNO Partners with Delgado, NTCC; New Dean Brings Experience to Oversee Merger of Liberal Arts and Education


Computer Science Faculty Awarded $500K; Walsh Wins Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize; Health Science Lab Gets $75K; Tolford Leverages Grant to Improve Bicyclist Access Statewide





Japan, Ireland and Innsbruck Draw UNO Students Abroad

Distinguished Alumni Mark Romig’s New Orleans roots run deep.


Lorio to Lead Men’s Golf; Student-Athletes Offer Flood Relief


Anthony & Annette Centanni







UNO’s David Lambour quietly crisscrosses the skies on a sacred mission.

Behind ‘Enrique’s Journey,’ UNO’s Pulitzer-winning Common Read book


News from UNO’s accomplished graduates.


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THE BIG, DAMP MOVE They came with mini-fridges, microwaves and suitcases—and also, umbrellas, rain boots and ponchos. Relentless rainfall definitely dampened Move-In Day at the University of New Orleans on Aug. 12. But it didn’t stop scores of new and transfer students from taking up residence in Pontchartrain Halls, the 740-person student housing facility on Milneburg Road. More than 180 faculty, staff, alumni and student volunteers helped students over the course of the day. Many greeted the students curbside, helping them lift heavy loads and ease the otherwise unwieldy task of moving from a rainy parking lot into a fourstory residence hall bustling with hundreds of other people, boxes, directions and questions.


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HELLO, AGAIN! The University of New Orleans officially launched the 2016-17 school year Aug. 17, with students reuniting all across campus. The number of new students was up, with an especially notable 7 percent increase in transfer students.

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A FESTIVE WELCOME Hundreds of people filled the University of New Orleans Performing Arts Center Aug. 16 to mark the beginning of the fall 2016 semester with New Student Convocation. It was standing room only as faculty, staff and alumni surrounded new students with words of welcome and encouragement before celebrating the start of a new school year with a cookout and tons of conversation. Faculty donned their academic regalia for the occasion and students availed themselves of games and fun afterward. “You should be proud that you’ve taken a leap,” UNO President John Nicklow told the students gathered. “A leap toward enrichment, toward serious intellectual growth, and toward being an educated contributor to the future of our nation and our fragile world.”


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A BUSINESSLIKE CHEER Members of the College of Business Administration do the wave to show their support for Liane Carboni, assistant to the dean, during the President John Nicklow’s State of the University address Sept. 22. Carboni was presented with the Presidential Staff Medallion for her service the University. Pictured are, from left, Aundrea Kloor, director of external relations and corporate development; Kim Williams, director of the Lester E. Kabacoff School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration, John Williams, dean of the College of Business Administration and Olof Lundberg, senior associate dean.

MUDDY MESS OF FUN University of New Orleans students got dirty Oct. 1 for a good cause. Students participated in the annual Swampball mud volleyball tournament on campus. Teams of six to eight played in waterfilled mud pits, with proceeds going to student scholarships.

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University of New Orleans Generated a $470 Million Economic Impact for Metro Area in 2014-15 THE UNIVERSIT Y OF NEW

Orleans generated a total economic impact of $470.5 million for metropolitan New Orleans in the 2014-15 fiscal year, according to an analysis conducted by the University’s Division of Business and Economic Research. The impact is comprised of $285.3 million in direct expenditures and $185.2 million in secondary expenditures. The total figure encompasses total spending, total income, total employment, and total state and local tax revenues. “The University of New Orleans received approximately $28 million in state support during the current fiscal year,� says UNO President John Nicklow. “Based on the results of this economic analysis, for every one dollar that the State of Louisiana spends on UNO, the University generates about another $17. Quite simply, that is a staggering rate of return. This report helps quantify what many already know to be true: UNO is a significant economic driver for New Orleans and


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greatly enhances the prosperity of the region.� The study seeks to measure the economic impact on the eight-parish New Orleans Metropolitan Statistical Area if the University did not exist. That area is comprised of Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist and St. Tammany parishes. From a purely economic view, UNO is a major business in metro New Orleans. With 1,115 employees, if the University were a private employer, it would be one of the top 10 largest employers in the area, according to the report. Here are some of the highlights of the analysis: t ćF 6OJWFSTJUZ T UPUBM economic impact is comprised of $97.2 million from UNO’s daily operations, $25.1 million from non-resident students, $4.9 million from visitors and $343.3 million originated from alumni expenditures. t %JSFDU TQFOEJOH CZ 6/0 and its community also resulted in the creation or support of

about 6,500 full- and part-time secondary jobs. These jobs were projected to create a total of $127.9 million in additional secondary earnings for residents of the New Orleans area. t ćF 6OJWFSTJUZ HFOFSBUFE a total of $12.7 million in tax revenue for state and local governments. Of that, roughly $9 million went to the State of Louisiana and $3.7 million was claimed by local governments in the New Orleans area. t %VSJOH UIF TBNF ĕTDBM year, the University educated more than 9,200 students and awarded a total of 1,910 degrees. Of those students, more than 7,100 were New Orleans area residents. Total enrollment in UNO accounted for nearly 26 percent of all four-year colleges in the area, representing the largest public institution in New Orleans. t #Z UIF FOE PG UIF fiscal year, UNO had awarded a total of 85,270 degrees since it opened in 1958. “The economic study used an extremely conservative approach in its methodology,�

says John Williams, dean of the College of Business Administration. “One example is that only non-resident students were included in the study. Being a true economic impact study, the results only show spending that would not occur if the University did not exist. The results should be viewed as the very minimum economic impact of the University of New Orleans on the New Orleans metro area.� The study does not contain the spending impact of the UNO Foundation, the UNO Research and Technology Park, the UNO Kiefer Lakefront Arena or the UNO Federal Credit Union. The addition of those components would only increase the already significant value of the University to the New Orleans area economy, according to the report. The report was prepared by project manager Maria J. Ortiz and research analyst Heidi Charters with the Division of Business and Economic Research, which is a research unit of the UNO College of Business Administration.

UNO is ‘Building Foundation for Success,’ President Nicklow Tells Faculty, Staff During State of the University Address THE UNIVERSIT Y OF NEW

Orleans is making measurable strides toward improving enrollment, increasing research and strengthening partnerships thanks to the efforts and dedication of hardworking employees. That’s the message President John Nicklow shared with faculty and staff Sept. 22, during his biannual State of the University Address. “We exist and are making great strides because of the work of each and every one of you,” Nicklow said. “You make me proud to be your teammate.” The University is key to the city and region, he said. An economic impact study released in June showed that UNO generated $470 million for an eight-parish region. That’s about $17 for every dollar UNO gets from the state. Increasing enrollment is Nicklow’s top priority and recent numbers indicate there is cause for optimism. New students and transfers are up slightly, with a 7 percent increase in transferring students. The percentage of African-American freshmen enrolling is up 22 percent yearover-year. The 2016 freshmen class’ average ACT and high school GPA are unchanged over the previous year. “I’m happy to say that we’ve increased new students without sacrificing quality,” Nicklow said. Growing enrollment is a three to four year project, he said, and the indicators show UNO is moving the needle in

that direction. UNO sustained a $1 million budget cut under a new funding formula from the Louisiana Board of Regents that heavily impacted four-year institutions, leaving UNO with $100.2 million, 28 percent of which is provided by the state. Under a challenge issued by the Louisiana Legislature, Nicklow said he also expects the Board of Regents to ask the University to re-examine programs with few graduates getting their degrees annually. “The Board of Regents will likely continue its shift to a more outcomes-based distribution formula,” he said. “And we, as a campus, must emphasize similar outcomes going forward.” Total extramural funding for research in 2015-16 was $48 million—more than double the funding from the previous year. But much of that was from a single contract administered off-campus. “We know we can do better,” Nicklow said. “And we will do better.” Giving to the University is up. The UNO Foundation endowment now stands at $68.4 million. In one year, the donations to the annual fund were up 21 percent, unrestricted giving was up 20 percent and gifts generated through the student-staffed Calling Center are up from $18,000 to $43,000. Additionally, UNO has raised more than $250,000 for Making History, a weeklong

University of New Orleans President John Nicklow addresses faculty and staff on Sept. 22 during his State of the University address, which he plans to deliver twice a year.

celebration in November that features the Distinguished Alumni gala at the National World War II Museum and the Presidential Investiture on campus. Proceeds from these events will go to support scholarships and student success efforts by the UNO International Alumni Association. Twenty-three recruitment and retention action teams made up of faculty and staff volunteers are focused on a host of initiatives aimed at supporting and engaging students for long-term success. Using dollars from the new student success fee, UNO is in the process of hiring professional advisors to work with students through the colleges, serving as career mentors. UNO has joined a national consortium of universities using predictive analytics to help send up red flags whenever a student needs support. The University is also using private dollars to work with a higher education marketing firm to ensure its message is resonating with prospective students, he said. Nicklow said he’s also focused on boosting research through a number of initiatives that include expanding travel grants to faculty researchers this year, giving faculty a greater share of grant money previously earmarked for indirect adminis-

trative expenses and tripling the amount of start-up money for new faculty compared with last year. The University is currently searching for a new vice president for research who can help elevate research campuswide. As president, Nicklow has delivered more than 60 talks on- and off-campus to spread the word about UNO. And what promise to be fruitful partnerships are emerging. UNO this fall has already signed agreements with Delgado Community College and Northshore Technical Community College designed to help students transfer seamlessly to UNO. “I realize that there is much more work that needs to be done for this university to reach its full potential,” Nicklow said. “However, I can say with confidence that we are building the foundation for success … The progress that we are making is real, and it is all because of your efforts and your dedication. “I can honestly say there may not be an institution in America with more opportunity ahead of it than the University of New Orleans,” he said. “But the only way for us to capitalize on that opportunity is through a collective spirit of purpose and resolve.”

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UNO Awards Uddo Screenwriting Scholarship for 2016-17 THE UNIVERSIT Y OF NEW

Orleans awarded the 2016-17 Joseph Patrick Uddo Scholarship in Screenwriting to Brian Alexander. The son of Cuban exiles, Alexander grew up in Miami, Fla., until moving to the Gulf Coast as a member of Americorps to aid the Hurricane Katrina recovery. He later completed his undergraduate degree in film at the University

Three UNO Employees Honored During State of University Address

of Southern Mississippi and moved to New Orleans to continue his pursuit of film, focusing on screenwriting in UNO’s Creative Writing Workshop. Given annually to an entering UNO student who is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in screenwriting, the scholarship provides $1,500 in tuition and fees for a full academic year in memory of


New Orleans employees have been awarded medallions by UNO President John Nicklow in recognition for their outstanding service to the University. Kevin Graves, senior associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts, Education and Human Development, was awarded the Cooper Mackin Medallion. The award honors the third chancellor of UNO and is presented to the faculty or staff member who has made outstanding contributions in support of UNO’s mission.

University of New Orleans President John Nicklow, third from left, is pictured with Gordon “Nick” Mueller, far left, Robert “Bobby” Dupont, Liane Carboni and Kevin Graves.


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UNO screenwriting artist-in-residence Erik Hansen, far left, with Paul Uddo, Brian Alexander, Anne Uddo, Basile J. Uddo and UNO screenwriting artist-in-residence Henry Griffin.

Uddo, a filmmaker and New Orleans native who died in 2008. Alexander and members of the Uddo family gathered with others from UNO on Sept. 7 to celebrate Uddo’s memory and the opportunity the scholarship creates. Joseph Patrick Uddo was 33 when he died. A graduate of

Jesuit High School, he attended the New York Film Academy, where he later taught. He was screenwriter and camera operator who worked on several featurelength films including “Monster’s Ball” and “Stranger Than Fiction.” His family established the nonprofit Joseph Patrick Uddo Foundation in his memory.

Graves joined UNO in 1981. In addition to being a professor of film and theatre, he served as chair of the department of film and theatre for 14 years. Recently, Graves assumed the role of interim dean for the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Education and Human Development, ultimately spearheading the merger of the two. He undertook the task with “grace and dedication,” wrote Pat Austin, professor of education, in her nomination. “I cannot think of a more deserving individual who exemplifies sustained service to the university,” she wrote. Liane Carboni, assistant to the dean in the College of Business Administration, was presented with the Presidential Staff Medallion, an annual award given for outstanding service the University. Carboni has worked in the College of Business Administration for 40 years—for every dean that has been at the college—and is known for her kind, helpful and knowledgeable manner with visitors and students. “All faculty and staff are dependent on Liane,” wrote Aundrea Kloor,

director of external relations and corporate development. “We all would be lost without her. She is an integral part of the college.” Robert “Bobby” Dupont, associate professor and chair of history, won the Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller International Leadership Medallion. The award is given in recognition of contributions made to the University by Mueller and is awarded to someone who has provided significant leadership toward the internationalization of UNO. Mueller was on hand to present the honor to Dupont. Dupont was recognized by his colleagues as a longtime “champion of international student mobility” through his work launching and supporting Center Austria, hosting visiting faculty and students and serving as faculty and administrator for UNO-Innsbruck Summer School. He is former associate dean and dean of Metropolitan College. Wrote nominator Günter Bischof, Marshall Plan Professor of History at UNO, “I cannot think of anyone living up to Nick Mueller’s spirit of international leadership more than Dr. Dupont.”

Contractors’ Educational Trust Fund Donates $100K to UNO College of Engineering THE LOUISIANA

Contractors’ Educational Trust Fund has donated $100,000 to support the University of New Orleans College of Engineering. The funds will be used for teaching lab equipment and student scholarships. The mission of the fund, set up by the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors, is to promote programs used for

contractor educational purposes at Louisiana universities. Fines and penalties levied against violators of the state’s contractor licensing law are sent directly to the fund. “We are confident that our support will help continue UNO’s legacy of economic and social development in the greater New Orleans region,” says Pat Gootee, chairman of the

Louisiana Contractors’ Educational Trust Fund, encouraging other organizations to support the UNO college or department that impacts their industry or profession. UNO is the only university in metro New Orleans that offers degree programs in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and civil and environmental engineering.

Pat Gootee, left, chairman of the Louisiana Contractors’ Educational Trust Fund, and University of New Orleans President John Nicklow.

It also has the only naval architecture and marine engineering program in the region, and one of the few in the nation.

UNO Hosts Mars Rover Curiosity Model in its First Public Exhibit in Louisiana About 800 middle and high school students from 21 area schools visited the University of New Orleans to view the Mars Rover Curiosity replica exhibit, Sept. 22-24.


Orleans brought more than 1,500 people closer to Mars when it hosted a three-day exhibit featuring a half-scale replica of the Mars Rover Curiosity. The $75,000 model of Curiosity, a car-sized robot that has been collecting information from the surface of the red planet since 2012, proved a popular draw for area school groups, educators and families Sept. 22-24, in its first-ever public display in Louisiana. The six-wheeled, one-ton Curiosity is the centerpiece of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory. It employs technology designed to assess whether Mars is or ever has been capable of supporting life. For the UNO exhibit, visitors were able to see its replica up-close and hear from experts who included UNO astrophysicist Greg Seab, physics chair, and Dave Lavery, a program executive for Solar Systems Exploration at NASA. About 800 students from 21 schools, two homeschool

groups and the New Orleans Youth Empowerment Project visited the campus to see the exhibit. Another 520 members of the general public streamed through the University Center during its public availability held Sept. 24. That’s on top of those from the UNO community who attended. Visitors were also treated to other exhibits and STEM-related demonstrations provided by the UNO College of Sciences and College of Engineering as well as UNO student organiza-

tions, industry partners and local organizations focused on STEM outreach. Members of the Pontchartrain Astronomy Society also partnered, setting up their telescopes on UNO’s campus to provide public viewing of the red planet itself. The exhibit was made possible through a collaboration with Hazen and Sawyer—an employee-owned firm that plans, designs and oversees construction of environmental infrastructure for safe water treatment and delivery—and

the UNO College of Sciences, UNO College of Engineering, the UNO Office of the President and Boeing. “The response to this event was fantastic,” says Karen Thomas, associate dean of STEM outreach, recruitment and retention in the UNO College of Sciences. “It was wonderful to see so many people, from children to parents and grandparents, learning about Mars and enjoying the interactive exhibits. I am sure we inspired some future STEM students!”

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Science and History Collide in Teacher Training Program Crafted by National WWII Museum and UNO LORI GORDY PLOPPED

one penny after another into a Styrofoam cup dangling from the end of a ruler. “Sixty-five, sixty-six,” she counted as each coin dropped. Next to her, Kamellia Keo monitored the other end of the ruler, where another dangling Styrofoam cup was stuck with a blob of peanut butter to a Styrofoam plate. Keo held the plate down on the table top as the pennies plinked. “Ninety-six, ninety-seven,” Gordy continued. Already, the pair of middle school teachers had done the same experiment using jelly, honey, dish soap and molasses. So far, the highest number of pennies needed to unstick the plate had been 19: molasses. But just as the 98th coin fell, the peanut-butter cup flew up, the penny-filled cup dropped and spilled. Both women started laughing. “My sixth-graders would love this!” said Gordy,


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who teaches math and science in Trenton, Ga. Keo, of Washington D.C., and Gordy were among 28 middle school teachers visiting the University of New Orleans as part of a six-day training program called “Real World Science: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” held in July. The program is a collaboration between UNO and the National WWII Museum that aims to give fifth- through eighth-grade teachers a stockpile of ideas for how to effectively teach science using history as a guide. “Students who learn through experience and in the context of issues that they understand are more likely to retain the information and use it in the future,” says Matthew Tarr, professor of chemistry and faculty fellow in the Advanced Materials Research Institute at UNO. Tarr and World War II Museum STEM education coordinator Rob Wallace are in their third year developing

and leading the program, thanks to $350,000 in grants from the Northrop Grumman Foundation—funding that covered a year of planning and two years of implementation. Over the course of the week, the teachers explored concepts with both history and science connections. A discussion of Higgins boats used in World War II led to an exploration of buoyancy, density and force. A history lesson on the challenges physicians face when trying to save wounded soldiers led to a discussion of infection and class activities that can connect concepts of design, microbiology, physiology and organ systems. And an exploration of the Manhattan Project boosted discussion on how and why atoms behave the way they do. But the week was also about teaching science effectively, in ways that really engage learners. “As a teacher,” Wallace says, “you’re not a deliverer of information, you’re a facilitator

of experiences.” Program participants were selected from among 100 applicants nationally based on their applications, essays and professional recommendations. In addition to the teachers, an evaluator from the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul, Minn., was on-site and is following the program, including following up with teachers for two years after they leave to see how they implement what they learned. Wallace and Tarr say they expect the feedback to help them improve and, hopefully, secure additional funding to expand the program beyond New Orleans. LEFT: Holly Daines, a sixth-grade teacher from Roy, Utah, measures how many calories it takes to burn various foods. RIGHT: Kamellia Keo, a seventh- and eighth-grade teacher from Washington, D.C., marvels over the transformation of matter as she makes gold nanoparticles.

Teaching the River: UNO Immerses South Louisiana Teachers in Wetlands Study After measuring the salinity of marsh water, Dinah Maygarden, left, science education program director for the University of New Orleans’ Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences, asks teachers to classify the species of plant life they’ve collected from the marsh during a threeday educator training held in partnership with the Center for Global Environmental Education and the Meraux Foundation.


eighth-grade students in Robin Rixner’s classroom at ReNEW Schaumburg Elementary in New Orleans seem to have an awareness that Louisiana’s coastline is washing away. The hard part, Rixner says, is trying to help them understand why that matters—and how their actions might help preserve a healthy Mississippi River watershed for the future: “Just to get them to think about how they can be a part of the process of helping.” That’s how Rixner found herself sitting in the back of a canoe in June, dipping a net in and out of a shallow marsh pond near Lake Saint Catherine, looking for invertebrates. She was one of 20 south Louisiana K-12 teachers taking advantage of a $90,800 grant awarded to the University of New Orleans to help train educators to become experts on the Mississippi River watershed—an experience that involved getting muddy, mosquito-bitten and hot. Dinah Maygarden, science education program director for UNO’s Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences, says that even though the river is a vital part of the nation’s economic, ecological, recreational and cultural heritage, most residents of the New Orleans area have a poor understanding of their connection to the river. “Human beings are disconnected from their environment,” she says, “and getting people to learn about the world via their environment is a way to get them more connected.” By partnering with the Center for Global Environ-

mental Education and the Meraux Foundation, this river-focused teacher training program called the Mississippi River Delta Institute aims to bridge that gap, giving educators a richer understanding of the ecosystems that make up the Mississippi River delta, the systems at work that create land loss, and the challenges that lie in restoring the coast. “We want teachers to understand how they can teach good stewardship,” she says. Over three days, the group traveled by boat down the Mississippi River, spent time at the Arlene Meraux River Observation Center on the river banks in St. Bernard Parish, paddled along Chef Menteur Pass outside UNO’s Coastal Education Research Facility, stood in muddy marshes and visited urban water management facility at the Maumus Center in Arabi. Tammy Ozuna, a fifth-grade

teacher from Arabi Elementary, participated in the program in 2015. That was before the Environmental Protection Agency awarded Maygarden the latest grant to help amplify the lessons from the field by awarding eligible participating teachers mini-grants they can use in their classrooms for riverrelated projects or educational field trips. Ozuna came back this summer, she says, hoping to cement many of the things she learned the first time around. “It’s a really great experience,” Ozuna says, “being able to interact with the environment and do it in an academic way.” Ozuna is one of the three south Louisiana teachers in program who took what they’ve learned and headed to Minnesota in July for additional training from the Center for Global Environmental Education—the partner

organization at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn., that provided the model for the south Louisiana curriculum. In Minnesota, Ozuna and others learned about the upper Mississippi River. Maygarden says the hope is that the program will enable teachers like Ozuna to view the waterway as a larger, continual system—and to be able to translate that understanding to their students. The EPA grant enables Maygarden to follow-up with teachers over the course of the school year, acting as a resource. In addition, teachers who complete the activities and follow-up requirements of the training course are eligible for $800 grants for their classrooms. Participating teachers were also able to take back to their schools many of the educational materials and equipment used during the program.

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UNO Student Composer and Drummer Jack Vogt Named 2016-17 ASCAP Scholar


Orleans senior music student Jack Vogt has been named the 2016-17 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 jazz studies student who demonstrates excellence in scholarship and in creating original works of music. The scholarship is supported by the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, Inc., also based in New York City. Vogt was raised in a musical household in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and started playing the violin when he was five. Three years later he began singing in the Alabama Touring Boys Choir, traveling to New York City

and Europe and performing at numerous prestige venues, including the White House. He took up the drum kit at age 11, and began lessons with noted percussionist Mark Lanter. Vogt entered the Alabama School of Fine Arts as a freshman and graduated in 2013. He began composing electronic music in his mid-teens, and soon began writing for jazz ensembles. He now studies jazz performance and composition at UNO, and is busy playing with several ensembles. He’s also performed with such notables as Henry Butler, Peter Bernstein, Todd Duke, Ricky Sebastian and Rick Margitza. He is a prolific writer, and is the 2016 winner of the Ernest O. and Shirley N. Svenson Jazz Composition Competition.

Jack Vogt

In December, Vogt will be honored at the ASCAP Foundation’s annual award ceremony at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York.

Summer Program Welcomes Future Environmental Engineers from Brazil MORE THAN 100 STUDENTS

from 75 higher education institutions in Brazil converged on the University of New Orleans this summer for the Air Quality Monitoring, Modeling and Management (AQM3) program. In its second year, the program was created and led by civil and environmental engineering professor Bhaskar Kura with the goal of introducing future environmental engineers to the concepts involved in addressing air pollution problems worldwide. Student participation tripled. The students and 15 volunteers spent May 30 to July 29 at UNO thanks to the sponsorship


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of the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program. Participants visited industrial facilities, networked with engineering professionals and conducted field experiments. The World Health Organization found that in 2012, roughly 7 million people died as a result of air pollution exposure. “Air quality management is one of the fastest growing professional fields around the world,” Kura says. “As the air pollution problems continue to grow globally, there is a great demand for well-trained professionals that understand various aspects of air pollution problems and managing them.”

Ashok Patel of Trinity Consultants, Inc., front row, left, with UNO environmental engineering professor Bhaskar Kura and student participants. Patel served as a guest speaker in the AQM3 summer program.

UNO Continues to Lead in Quality, Affordability and Payoff, National Rankings Find FOR THE SIXTH STRAIGHT

year, the University of New Orleans ranks among the universities whose students graduate with the lightest debt loads, according to U.S. News & World Report. The University was also named one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review. And found UNO alumni have the highest average early-career salaries among graduates of all four-year public and private colleges in Louisiana. U.S. News & World Report examined the debt load of the class of 2015, including 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 2015, that amount was $19,861, putting it among the top 25 national universities with the lowest average debt load. UNO is the only Louisiana institution to make the list in the category of national universities.

TOP 20 UNIVERSITIES WHERE STUDENTS GRADUATE WITH LEAST AMOUNT OF DEBT Princeton (NJ) Texas-Arlington Yale (CT) BYU (UT) Harvard (MA) North Carolina St. Univ. of California-Berkeley Cal State-Fresno Florida International Univ. of Miami Univ. of Utah Duke (NC) Dartmouth (NH) Utah St. Univ. of California-Davis Univ. of New Orleans San Diego St. UNC- Chapel Hill Florida Atlantic Univ. of California-Irvine



16% 84% 17% 27% 24% 56% 38% 50% 48% 40% 39% 35% 43% 47% 56% 55% 48% 41% 53% 59%

$8,577 $14,743 $15,521 $15,720 $16,723 $17,461 $17,869 $18,385 $18,918 $19,000 $19,056 $19,104 $19,135 $19,172 $19,588 $19,861 $20,100 $20,127 $20,458 $20,628

Source: U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 edition of “Best Colleges.”

Fifty-five percent of UNO’s class of 2015 graduated with debt.

“This is an important designation for us because it helps

illustrate the value of a degree from the University of New Orleans,” UNO President John Nicklow says. “We offer high quality programs at a cost that does not burden the average student with excessive levels of debt.” The Princeton Review, meanwhile, features UNO in the new 2017 edition of its flagship college guide, “The Best 381 Colleges.” UNO is one of only three public institutions in Louisiana to make the list. Only about 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges are profiled in the book. All of this appears to pay off for the student, according to a new report from In its 2016-2017 College Salary Report, bachelor’s degree earners from UNO with 0-5 years of work experience reported median annual earnings of $47,700. That’s the highest average early-career salary among graduates of all four-year public and private colleges in Louisiana. The survey sample used for the report counted 1.4 million degree holding college graduates who are full-time, civilian employees in the U.S.

UNO Doctoral Student Awarded $900,000 to Help Hearing Impaired Preschoolers UNIVERSIT Y OF NEW

Orleans doctoral student Michael Norman has been awarded a three-year, $900,000 grant from the Louisiana Department of Education to develop resources that will help educators better serve hearing impaired preschoolers and other students with disabilities who struggle to communicate. Norman is on track to receive

his Ph.D. in special education from UNO’s Department of Special Education and Habilitative Services within the College of Liberal Arts, Education and Human Development this December. As part of the grant, he will lead an interdisciplinary group of health and education professionals from across Louisiana as they develop a training

with autism spectrum curriculum designed disorders, who often to provide direct lack a formal means of technical assistance to communicating in school. local school districts A Louisiana native and support individual and long-time service students across the provider in the greater state. The work is New Orleans area, designed to specifically Michael Norman Norman currently target preschoolers coordinates the with cochlear implants Louisiana Deafblind Project for and other students with multiple Children and Youth. disabilities, including students

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University of New Orleans Partners with Delgado, Northshore Technical Community College THE UNIVERSIT Y OF NEW

Orleans has entered into agreements with Northshore Technical Community College and Delgado Community College in an effort to increase educational opportunities for Louisiana students. Students at NTCC can become eligible for admission in UNO’s College of Engineering under a new transferable pathway agreement. The plan gives NTCC students a transparent and systematic outline for successfully completing an undergraduate degree from UNO in civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, or naval architecture and marine engineering. The students will also receive an associate degree and certificate from NTCC.

NTCC students who have completed the engineering pathway will be admitted as sophomores to UNO’s College of Engineering. Students can transfer up to 51 credit hours from NTCC to UNO to be applied toward the credit hours needed to complete a bachelor’s degree in engineering. At Delgado, a new partnership bridge program with UNO means students can begin pursuing their educational goals at the community college and then transfer to UNO when eligible. Applicants who are not immediately eligible for admission at UNO will be automatically admitted to Delgado without needing to complete any additional forms or pay additional fees. If those students complete all developmental coursework,

From left, St. Tammany Parish Public Schools Superintendent Trey Folse with State Sen. Sharon Hewitt, UNO President John Nicklow, NTCC Chancellor William Wainwright and St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister, at a Sept. 13 signing ceremony for a new engineering pathway agreement between UNO and NTCC. The ceremony took place on NTCC’s Lacombe STEM campus, which is under construction.

at least 12 hours of non-developmental college credit, earn a GPA of at least 2.25 and are in good academic standing at Delgado, they will be admitted to UNO. Once students have completed the appropriate coursework at UNO, they will also be eligible to receive an associate degree from Delgado.

The new arrangement is in addition to a longstanding cross-enrollment agreement that began in 1991 that enables full-time students at both schools to take one course at the host institution for each course taken at the home institution, with a maximum of two courses taken at the host institution.

UNO Education Student One of Four in Louisiana to Receive Tom and Kyle Clausen Scholarship UNIVERSIT Y OF NEW

Orleans senior education major Raquel Boudreaux has been awarded the Tom and Kyle Clausen Scholarship. The $625 award is given annually to four University of Louisiana System undergraduate students who are admitted to a teacher education program and maintain a 3.0 or higher grade point average. Preference also is given to those who intend to teach in a shortage area such as math, science, special education or in


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middle school, those who are native to Louisiana, and those who demonstrated a financial need. Boudreaux, 24, of Metairie, is a senior studying special education and elementary education. She is a graduate of Archbishop Chapelle High School on track to receive her UNO degree in December. She says she always knew she wanted to be a teacher, but as she advanced in her studies at UNO, she discovered what a need there is for great teachers

and his son in the field of special Kyle. Those education. who receive the Janice Janz, associate scholarship agree professor of practice in to maintain special education and contact with habilitative services, the University says Boudreaux is a class of Louisiana standout who offers System office thoughtful contributions for three years to class discussion. Raquel Boudreux after graduation The scholarship is to report on awarded annually in their teaching careers. Winners memory of Thomas Clausen, a also have access to periodic former teacher who served as professional development Louisiana Superintendent of seminars. Education from 1984 to 1988,

Dean Long Brings Experience Uniquely Matched to Oversee Merger of Liberal Arts and Education KIM MARTIN LONG’S

Herman Melville collection is stacked carefully on the bookshelf behind her desk. A New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival poster hangs on the opposite wall. It’s the perfect blend of old and new for this new dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Education and Human Development—a former K-12 English teacher-turned-academic who joins the University of New Orleans by way of Pennsylvania. At UNO, Long strides headlong into the challenge before her: Overseeing the new merger of the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Education and Human Devel-

opment. “How,” she asks, “can we make the most of this new college?” It’s hard to imagine anyone more qualified to find the answer. Long holds a doctorate in American literature, but taught at middle school and high school for 14 years before getting her Ph.D. She is in the midst of completing two books—one an eco-feminist study of five seminal American novels and, the other, a textbook with the working title, “English Education, The Next Generation: A Comprehensive Guide to Becoming a Teacher of English/Language Arts.” In her last position at Delaware Valley University,

takeover of either side,” a 2,000-student Long says. “There are private institution in so many things we can Doylestown, Penn., do together.” Long served as founding A native of dean of the College of Denton, Texas, Long Business and Humanreceived her underities—a merger of two graduate degree at disciplines, she points out, that seem far Kim Martin Long North Texas State University, now more unlikely than the called University blending of education of North Texas, in 1978. She and liberal arts. also obtained her master’s in When the University of English in 1986 and her Ph.D. Louisiana System approved there in 1993. In 1995, she UNO’s merger in January, UNO joined Shippensburg University President John Nicklow said of Pennsylvania, rising from it would lead to cost savings, associate professor to full administrative efficiency and professor to associate dean of new opportunities for academic arts and sciences before being collaboration. named dean at Delaware Valley. “This was not a hostile

Game On! UNO Course Teaches How to Design a Video Game Like a Pro THE SPRING 2016

semester produced the first group of students to have completed the capstone course in University of New Orleans’ newly launched academic concentration in video game development. Nine students took computer science professor Stephen Ware’s advanced game development class, which simulates working in a professional game development studio. In the first week of class, each student pitched an idea for a video game and the class voted on which concept to pursue. Once the project was selected, students worked in a team, designing the game from concept to prototype to final product. Their project, “Honest Abe,” is a side-scrolling action game in which the player takes on the role of Abraham

Lincoln on a quest to avenge the kidnapping of Mary Todd in the post-Civil War South. For a final exam, students presented the final version of the game to gaming development experts who have worked at companies such as Electronic Arts, Nickelodeon, Turbosquid, Gameloft and inXile. The visitors played the game, listened to the students recount their experience and offered feedback on how to improve the game and market their experience. “With the rapid influx of game developers to the New Orleans area in the last three years, I’m really glad to see how successful our first group of students has been,” says Ware, an assistant professor of computer science. “They really stepped up and took ownership of this project, and I think it was an

invaluable learning experience.” With the exception of two sound effects and three images, every single part of the Honest Abe game was created from scratch by students. They made hundreds of 2-D and 3-D images, sound effects, songs and animations. Much of the development activity took place in the Earl K. Long Library’s new digital media lab, which includes 10 high-performance computers, a motion capture studio and a 3-D printer.

Standing, from left, are Christian Simmers, Stephen Ware and Chris Toups. Others, from lrft, are Edward Garcia, Parker Sprouse, Maurice Robert, David DiMaggio, Breena Crump and Ted Mader.

Ware says being part of a game development team requires passionate people to collaborate cooperatively for a shared mission. “That’s what our students did, and the result is impressive,” he says.

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Louisiana Flooding Takes Toll on Some UNO Students, Spurs Others to Act THE FIRST PICTURE CAME

in a text message from Sarah Breland’s little sister. It showed the house at the end of the block from Breland’s family home in Denham Springs, La., flooded. Then came a second picture. Breland’s police officer father, Cline Breland, was sloshing through the water on her street, trying to get back home after driving out to get gas. While most of Sarah Breland’s friends at the University of New Orleans spent the weekend of Aug. 13 preparing for the first week of class with social gatherings and meet-ups, the junior English major found herself suddenly unable to think about anything but home. Overnight on that Saturday and early Sunday, two-feet of water crept into her childhood home—the one raised on stilts 3-feet off the ground—and forced her parents and sister to spend the night on second floor. That was the last thing Breland knew before she lost phone contact with them on Saturday night. “I felt just helpless,” says Breland, who was working two weekend shifts at Lakeside Mall in Metairie while her family tried to cobble together a plan for escape. The same weekend in New Orleans, junior earth and environmental sciences major Ashli Prosperie was monitoring the flooding reports over social media. As rain fell over parts of Southeastern Louisiana, water rose and homes were lost. And though Prosperie’s own home was dry, it didn’t take long for her to start feeling helpless, too.


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“I just didn’t want to sit around and be like, ‘poor them’,” she remembers. “But I don’t have a boat. I couldn’t go to Baton Rouge. I don’t have much to donate.” The flooding that wreaked havoc on a nine-parish area has caused more than $8 billion in damage, according to Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards. More than 3,000 people sought help in shelters and more than 55,000 homes were destroyed. The American Red Cross has called it the worst natural disaster in the U.S. since Hurricane Sandy. But New Orleans was spared, a fact that has left some in the UNO community grasping for ways to connect, to help and— especially for those with family in the affected areas—to cope. Breland finally heard from her father on Aug. 14, the Sunday after the floodwaters rose. She learned her uncle had rescued her family by boat. They were on their way to take shelter in Breland’s grandmother’s home in Baton Rouge—a typical 30-minute journey that took six hours. When the roads opened up, Breland drove home to inspect. Silt covered the walls up to about 3-feet high. Carpet was soaked. Hardwood floors were unrecognizable. Bugs were everywhere. Breland, an artist, discovered many of her irreplaceable belongings ruined: paintings, ink drawings, sorority mementos and more. Back in New Orleans, Prosperie and others were formulating plans to try to start a collection for flood victims at UNO. With rain expected to continue throughout the week,

TOP: Cline Breland wades through water toward his flooded home on Aug. 13. BOTTOM: Sarah Breland, a junior English major at UNO, spent weekends traveling to Denham Springs, La., to help her family clean and rebuild her childhood home.

the situation was only projected to get worse. Secretary of the Society for Earth and Environmental Sciences, Prosperie reached out to her fellow officers and the UNO Service Coalition, which was also already spearheading a drive for items needed by displaced flood victims: nonperishable food, clothing, blankets, pillows, sheets and hygiene products. “As students we’re not able to donate much,” Prosperie says, “but what we do have is better than nothing.” Members of the Service Coalition Executive Board, including Courtney Davies, Andrea Mackie, Jasmine Cooley, and Jeanne Bankston, made boxes and collected donations across campus. Prosperie set up a station at the Geology and Psychology Building lobby. Other organizations around campus started reaching out wanting to help:

the Pre-dental Society, Latin American Student Association, the Progressive Black Student Union, Students for Justice in Palestine and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, to name a few. Nina Stewart, counselor and coordinator of outreach for Counseling Services at UNO, says efforts like these can go a long way toward helping those on campus who are affected by the disaster feel more supported by their community. But the University also has mental health resources to provide support to any who feel they need help. Breland, who would normally spend the first part of the school year engaged in social activities, says she’s found herself instead reaching out to friends whose families were also affected. Weekends, she says, are being spent trekking back home and helping her parents clean out and rebuild.

STEM Scholars Camp Gives Incoming Freshmen a Jump-Start on University Work and Life KELCY BENNETT SAID

she had a realization this summer: “Chemistry is not a cakewalk.” The incoming University of New Orleans freshman has known for some time that she would be majoring in chemistry. In high school, she admits, she loved labs where she got to mix chemicals that created violent reactions. She wants to be involved in pharmaceutical research one day. So when Bennett learned about UNO’s five-day STEM Scholars program, she decided it would be well worth it to enroll. With national research showing that fewer than 40 percent of students who enter college with the intention of getting a degree in a STEM field actually complete the degree, Bennett seems to have made a wise choice. In its second year, the STEM Scholars program at UNO seeks to reduce those odds, giving incoming freshmen majoring in STEM fields a jump-start on college-level math and science courses, while arming them with insights for how to best study, take notes and more. Wendy Schluchter, professor of biological sciences, said the University last spring saw 12.5 percent higher retention among students who went through the summer program in 2015 when compared to all UNO freshmen. Organizers plan to collect data over five years, measuring what impact this immersive college preview experience can have on scores of students who have identified the STEM fields as their careers of choice.

Over the course of the program, Bennett and 51 other students attended nine content lectures, took three exams and participated in discussions about time management, learning strategies and the wide array of resources available to students to help them succeed. They also met UNO sciences and engineering alumni and toured the University’s sciences and engineering facilities. “You’re going to have to learn in a different way than you’ve been learning,” Jerry Howard, professor of biological sciences, told the students during their first discussion of learning strategies. Howard shared concepts from Bloom’s taxonomy, emphasizing that university students are expected to move beyond simple recall of facts to be able to use what they’ve learned to analyze, evaluate and create. STEM Scholars is modeled after other intensive transition camps for incoming freshmen that been shown to improve students’ scores in their fall courses and increase four-year graduation rates. Thirty-five percent of the UNO participants this year were underrepresented minorities and 27.5 percent were first-generation college students. The camp is financed with part of a five-year $1.5 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Organizers also depend on a crowd-funding project to help offset a portion of the fee that students pay to participate. Students pay $250 for the course. In exchange they get five days of on-campus room, board and training, and

leave with the introductory textbooks that will be used in their upcoming courses, as well as their own iClickers, remote devices that students use in their biology classes to answer questions during lectures. Bennett, who says she became accustomed to studying to earn As during high school, said the experience opened her eyes to how much of her success over the next four years will depend upon her ability to really learn and understand the material without focusing solely on grades. “It’s important to manage your time—and know that sometimes you may not have the highest grade,” she said. Rachel Matthews, a sophomore computer science major who went through the program last year, returned for STEM Camp to serve as a mentor to other students. The Mandeville High School graduate said it was rewarding to watch the incoming freshmen and to consider how far she has come in a year. STEM Scholars, she said, was an important ingredient in helping her feel prepared. “It helped me feel a lot less nervous about my classes,” Matthews said, “especially since I was going straight into calculus.” Math instructor Lori Hodges was one of several instructors who reviewed basic calculus concepts with students during math camp lectures. In between

Kelcy Bennett, right, an incoming freshman planning to major in chemistry, talks after a lecture with Jerry Howard, professor of biological sciences, during University of New Orleans’ STEM Camp in August. In its second year, the STEM Scholars program seeks to give incoming freshmen majoring in STEM fields a jumpstart on college-level math and science courses.

turning to a chalk board to discuss rational expressions and how to simplify, multiply and divide them, she threw in advice and advisories about what students would see when they get to class this fall. You may get lecture notes in some classes, she said. And in other classes you may not. One student last summer, she told the class, scored 10 percent on the camp’s pre-test and a 90 percent by the end. With study, review and discussion with others, it’s easy to make great strides in understanding mathematical concepts, she said. “Never feel like you’re down and out and you don’t have any hope,” she said. At the completion of the camp, held Aug. 4-9, Bennett said she was already on the lookout for like-minded study partners. She said she liked starting the year with established relationships with faculty, staff and upperclassmen who may be able to help guide her should things get tough.

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‘NCIS: New Orleans’ Empowers UNO Film Students in Sought-After Internship By Rebecca Catalanello


film degree on a Friday in May. Within 10 days, he’d packed his car, moved to Los Angeles and started a new job—in the writers’ room of a major network television series. By any measure, the job was a pretty big get. But for the 22-year-old aspiring screenwriter, it was more than that. It was evidence that his childhood dream of one day telling stories on screen were not unattainable. That empowering reality was made possible thanks to an ongoing internship program offered by the University of New Orleans and the locally-filmed hit TV show, “NCIS: New Orleans” on CBS. “The way I look at it is that internship gave me my career,” says Dupuy in a phone call from Los Angeles. But let’s back up. Because before there was a Cameron Dupuy, before there was an “NCIS: New Orleans,” there was a 20-something-yearold guy named Joseph Zolfo who also wanted 20

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Photos by Tracie Morris Schaefer & Sam Lothridge

“NCIS: New Orleans� producer Joseph Zolfo, center, poses with the fall 2016 class of University of New Orleans interns on set at the UNO Nims Center. Zolfo says he created the internship program to try to give promising film students a hand up in an otherwise cut-throat industry. FALL 2016

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RIGHT: Cameron Dupuy, 22, sits in the “NCIS: New Orleans” writers’ room outside of Los Angeles. Dupuy was hired for the job following a successful internship on the show while an undergraduate at the University of New Orleans.

BELOW LEFT: Mei Ellis, 20, says she has enjoyed helping with research for episodes of “NCIS: New Orleans,” where she interns in the art department. An aspiring screenwriter, she’s been writing since she was in elementary school. BELOW MIDDLE: Langston Williams, 27, showed initiative when he didn’t get the internship he first sought at “NCIS: New Orleans.” But he was offered the internship when it next came open. The follow-up postcard he sent following his interview made an impression. BELOW RIGHT: Kolby Heid, 23, propelled his internship at “NCIS: New Orleans” into a full-time job in the show’s camera department. “Kolby always does his job,” producer Joseph Zolfo says.

to be a filmmaker. Like Dupuy, Zolfo knew from an early age what he wanted to do. But after Zolfo graduated from State University of New York Purchase College, his foot was not only not “in” the door, it was, it appears, nowhere near the door. Zolfo waited tables at TGI Fridays, stocked shelves at Toys “R” Us and sprayed insecticide as a pest control technician in dwellings around New York City, all while trying to find work in the industry he desired. In 1991, a break finally came. Zolfo was hired to work on Woody Allen’s “Husbands and Wives.” Raised in New York, Zolfo had memorized Allen’s work. He marveled over the big name actors who arrived each day to perform before the legend’s cameras. But the reality was that Zolfo’s own job had little to do with any of that. His job was to block off parking with orange cones and deal with angry New Yorkers who found themselves without a place to park. Zolfo says he worked hard to do that job right. But he also made a vow: “I promised myself back then that if I ever got into a position where I could help young people break into the industry, learn about it and give them a head start, I would.” Ok. Now move forward again, 22 years. Zolfo walked into the University of New Orleans Nims Center Studios in 2013 as an established producer with a long list of film credits to his name and determined this was just the place to extend the hand. The Nims Center, a 100,000-square foot film production facility located in Jefferson Parish’s Elmwood area, features four large stages, 35 production offices, a host of post-production suites and high definition screening rooms. It is a division of the University of New 22

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Orleans Foundation and is operated in cooperation with UNO. Zolfo says that when he learned about the studio’s relationship with the UNO film program while working on a separate production, he reached out to the University about the prospect of making the for-credit, paid internship program became a reality. The two entities officially launched the program in 2014, when Nims became home base for “NCIS: New Orleans.” “This was a perfect opportunity to take something that was very important to me and combine it with the resources that were right in front of me,” Zolfo says. Five to six UNO students have been working on the internship program every semester since, clocking roughly 20 hours a week and earning $10 per hour. The internship is competitive, requiring students to apply and interview. Those who are chosen are assigned to various departments, according to their interests, personalities and strengths. In the fall 2016 semester, senior Mei Ellis, 20, of Atlanta, is working in the art department. Senior Sarah Monosso, 25, of Ann Arbor, Mich., is in her second semester working in locations. Langston Williams, 27, an MFA student from Gulfport, Miss., is interning in the productions department. Senior Christian Breaux, 21, of Hahnville, La., is learning his way around the facilities department. And senior Sydney Viard, 23, of Houston, said she was thrilled to be invited back to the camera department for her second semester. Viard says that after years of deliberating about her future career path, the NCIS experience has cemented her aspirations as a filmmaker. While her work on the set involves a lot of fetching—

LEFT: Christian Breaux, 21, is a facilities intern on the set of “NCIS: New Orleans.” He hopes to eventually work in post-production film editing. BELOW LEFT: Sydney Viard, 23, on the set of “NCIS: New Orleans.” Viard says she worried about her career path until her internship at the University of New Orleans Nims Center Studios helped her tap into her passion for filmmaking and see her own potential. BELOW RIGHT: Sarah Monosso, 25, interns in the locations department. Zolfo says she’s made an impression for being polished, hard-working and a good public-facing communicator—key attributes for someone in that department.

fetching markers, pens, tape, Velcro, labels, and such—she has learned from watching the experts and, she says, has been a willing recipient of more than a little career advice. “It’s just so nice to learn things it took them years to learn,” she says, “and they’re telling me straight out of the gate.” Jared Lynch, production coordinator for the show who started his own career through an internship on “As the World Turns,” says students who have the most successful internships are those who show initiative and are able to balance that drive with hard work. Williams, who works most closely with Lynch, didn’t get the internship the first time he applied. But he sent a neatly penned hand-written postcard thanking the Lynch and others on the show for the opportunity to apply. Zolfo’s assistant stuck the post card in the top drawer and when the internship opened up again, Williams got a call and an offer. “It was a yes, almost immediately,” says Williams, who wants to write and direct. Kolby Heid, 23, a 2015 UNO graduate from Maryland, showed he had what it takes. He was hired in the show’s camera department following his successful internship. Zolfo says it take a special temperament to gel in the tightly run camera department and Heid quickly proved himself. “Kolby always does his job,” Zolfo says. “Picture’s always up when it needs to be. He understands the gear as well.” When Dupuy landed the full-time job in Los Angeles, he held the spot Williams now fills in production. The duties of the production intern are about as far away from writing as you can imagine.

They involve copying and distributing scripts, filing purchase orders, making coffee, prepping the cooler with cold drinks, packing baskets of snacks and fruit for locations scouting trips and basically anything else that comes up that needs to happen to keep the production moving smoothly. And while Dupuy eagerly filled the role required for him, he worked up the confidence to share his long-term goals with co-producer Robert Ortiz, presenting him with a treatment he’d written for the show. Ortiz recommended Dupuy talk to Zolfo and seek a position in the writer’s room. Zolfo, who isn’t afraid to mince words when it comes to explaining how grueling this industry is, nevertheless arranged for him to meet with the Los Angeles-based writers when they were in New Orleans. When one of the executive producers, Christopher Silber, casually suggested Dupuy drop by the writer’s room next time he visited in Los Angeles, Dupuy bought an airline ticket using $400 he didn’t have and flew to California. By the time the show was working on its finale, Silber offered him a job as the writers’ production assistant and Dupuy did not hesitate. Now, he spends his days getting the writers their lunch, dinner, breakfast. He hands out scripts, deals with vendors and, in his spare time, writes. “It’s the only way in this industry to become a writer,” Zolfo says. “Cameron Dupuy is on the path to achieving his dream.” The opportunity isn’t lost on Dupuy. He says he feels gratitude toward UNO and Zolfo for opening this door. And if he ever finds himself in a position where he can send down an elevator for others, he says, he knows he’ll be on the lookout to do the same. FALL 2016

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In With the Shrimp, Out with the Turtles: UNO Earns Grant to Improve Nets THE UNIVERSIT Y OF NEW

Orleans has been awarded a $232,559 grant to design a device that effectively protects sea turtles from being captured in small shrimping nets. Though federal law has long required shrimpers to use such instruments—called turtle excluder devices or TEDS— in their nets, the technology has been limited to use by shrimpers using vessels longer than 25 feet with nets designed for fishing deeper waters. Shrimpers using smaller nets in shallower waters inshore have no effective options to keep the shrimp in and the turtles out, says Martin O’Connell, associate

professor of earth and environmental sciences and director of the Nekton Research Laboratory at UNO’s Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences. It’s easier to design an escape for the largest turtles when your net spans more than 16 feet. But when the net measures 12 feet or smaller, shrimpers risk sacrificing their catch through the turtle escape hole. “It’s just basic physics,” O’Connell says. “Larger animals need to get out, so you need to have a large enough hole, but you’re working with a smaller net.” Most sea turtle species that occur in U.S. waters have

A loggerhead turtle escapes a net equipped with a turtle excluder device, also called a TED, in this photo from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Martin O’Connell

been classified as threatened or endangered since 1978. Data from the National Research Council suggests the primary cause of sea turtle death is incidental capture in U.S. shrimp trawls. This grant from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration is the latest in O’Connell’s ongoing work to improve turtle excluder devices. O’Connell works closely with the grant’s co-principal investigator, Meg Uzee-

O’Connell, research associate with the Pontchartrain Institute of Environmental Sciences, and Jeff Gearhart, a Mississippibased fisheries biologist with NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service. Meghan Gahm, a Ph.D. candidate in UNO’s engineering and applied science program, will be collecting data for the project over two years, measuring the effectiveness of various turtle excluder device designs in the field.

Roussev Wins $300,000 NSF Grant to Enhance Cybersecurity Education UNIVERSIT Y OF NEW assignments. Orleans computer science “Realistic hands-on experiences in the lab are key to professor Vassil Roussev will use a two-year building strong cyberse$300,000 grant curity skills for the real from the National world,” says Roussev, Science Foundation the grant’s principal investigator. “It takes a to improve the delivery of cybersubstantial effort on the security education. part of the instructor The development to create, monitor and grade dozens of of an automated Vassil Roussev student lab assignplatform will allow instructors to spend ments throughout the more time teaching and less course.” time managing and grading The Automated Platform


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for Cyber Security Learning and Experimentation (AutoCUE) project seeks to dramatically improve the efficiency of instruction by providing a language to specify lessons and exercises, and by automating most of the mundane, time-consuming management tasks behind the scenes, Roussev says. The platform also gives the instructor the ability to embed hints and sub-tasks within the lessons to create more personalized experiences.

“Ultimately the successful implementation of the project will allow cybersecurity educators to spend more time working with students and developing class materials, which they will also be able to easily share with colleagues,” Roussev says. The UNO Department of Computer Science is a designated National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations and Information Assurance Research by the National Security Agency.

UNO Computer Science Faculty Awarded More Than $500k for Vital Research TURNING ALGAE INTO

biofuel. Helping NASA do a better job sharing information about its patented work. And strengthening cybersecurity education using cutting-edge techniques. These are just three of the latest projects University of New Orleans’ Department of Computer Science researchers are working on thanks to new grant funding totaling more than $500,000. ALGAE AS FUEL

Md Tamjidul Hoque, assistant professor of computer science, has been awarded $141,453 by the Louisiana Board of Regents Industrial Ties Research Subprogram to develop the software tools and theoretical underpinning needed to help convert algae into biofuel. The grant also has a three-year institutional match of $36,720. “Algae are found to have good potential for providing

biofuel at a higher rate compared to any other plants,” Hoque says. “Algae can be developed as an excellent microbial cell factory that can harvest solar energy and convert atmospheric carbondioxide to useful products and thus can establish the missing link in the fuel-cycle.” Hoque’s project is a collaboration among UNO, BHO Technology and the Louisiana Emerging Technology Center in Baton Rouge. His lab will develop advanced algorithms for analyzing and optimizing gene regulatory network-based biofuel production modeling in algae. MANAGING NASA’S PATENTS

Hoque is also principal investigator with co-principle investigator Shengru Tu, professor of computer science, on a $60,073 grant from the NASA Stennis Space Center to develop an automated

Md Tamjidul Hoque

tool to help NASA improve management and marketing of its intellectual properties portfolio. A team of experts manually identified roughly 1,500 patents held by NASA, currently categorized into 15 categories. Using this grant, Hoque and Tu will create more precise and user-friendly search tools that will enable users to more easily discover relevant intellectual property belonging to NASA. STRONGER CYBERSECURITY EDUCATION

Irfan Ahmed, assistant professor of computer science, has secured a $300,000 National Science Foundation grant in collaboration with University of Texas at Dallas. With the award, researchers plan to leverage a cutting edge cybersecurity technique called “virtual machine introspection” for use in the classroom. The

Irfan Ahmed

Shengru Tu

resulting technology will deepen hands-on learning, giving students a more complete understanding of how cyberattacks occur and what it takes to prevent them. “The outcome of this project will contribute to the health, safety and economic well-being of our society by helping to improve the state-of-the-art in cybersecurity education, especially for performing hands-on technical cybersecurity exercises,” Ahmed says. Using a separate $96,000 grant from the U.S. Army Research Office, Ahmed also recently installed a model test bed of control systems—often called Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems— designed to supervise industrial processes at work. The test bed also gives students hands-on training in understanding and protecting industrial control systems.

Ware Wins $157,000 NSF Grant to Study Narrative Intelligence UNIVERSIT Y OF NEW

Orleans computer science professor Stephen Ware has been awarded a one-year $157,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to teach computers how to tell and adapt stories automatically for training simulations and video games. Ware, an assistant professor of computer science, and his students in his Narrative Intelligence Lab will try to address a specific computer storytelling problem. They will research how a computer uses reason about what characters know

and do not know, and how their knowledge changes over time. “People tell stories all the time, but computers have a hard time with this task,” Ware says. “This model of character beliefs will eventually be used in an intelligent training simulation that uses interactive stories to teach best practices to people like police officers.” According to Ware, current state-of-the-art technologies assume that every character knows everything accurately all the time, but this is rarely the case in real stories.

When characters don’t know something, or when they believe the wrong things, it can lead to interesting narratives where characters communicate, teach, learn and deceive one another, Ware says. If successful, the research sets the stage for improved interaction between computers and humans in areas such as smartphone assistants, online games and educational software. The funding for this project is provided through the National Science Foundation’s Early-concept Grants for

Exploratory Research (EAGER) program, which is designed Stephen Ware to support experimental new research that could lead to exceptional advances in science and technology. The Narrative Intelligence Lab in the computer science department at UNO is a highly interdisciplinary research group that investigates how computers can use narrative to interact more naturally with people.

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M. O. Walsh Wins 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize and consuming adolescent M. O. WALSH, DIRECTOR love,” contest organizers wrote. of The Creative Writing “Acutely wise and deeply Workshop at the honest, it is an astonUniversity of New ishing and page-turning Orleans, has been debut about the meaning honored with a 2016 of family, the power of Pat Conroy Southern memory, and our ability Book Prize for his to forgive.” debut novel, “My “My Sunshine Away” Sunshine Away.” won the Great Santini Published in 2015 Fiction Prize from by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, M.O. Walsh among 36 nominated the book is set in 1989 titles. Finalists included “Go Baton Rouge, and follows the Set A Watchman” by Harper story of a teenager who finds Lee, “Soil” by Jamie Kornegay himself a suspect in the rape of a and “The Secret Wisdom of the 15-year-old girl from his idyllic, Earth” by Christopher Scotton. suburban neighborhood. Formerly known as the SIBA “M. O. Walsh brilliantly Book Award, the Pat Conroy juxtaposes the enchantment Southern Book Prize recogof a charmed childhood with nizes books that independent the gripping story of a violent booksellers and their customers crime, unraveling families,

believe to be the best of Southern literature. Books are nominated by booksellers and their customers, vetted by bookstores and selected by a jury of Southern booksellers. It is the latest recognition in a string of honors that have been bestowed on Walsh for “My Sunshine Away.” In addition to being a New York Times best seller, the book was an Amazon Featured Debut, an Entertainment Weekly “Must” for 2015 and one of NPR’s 2015’s Great Reads. Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Walsh holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Mississippi. His stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Southern Review,

American Short Fiction, Epoch, and Greensboro Review. His short stories have also been anthologized in “Best New American Voices,” “Bar Stories,” “Best of the Net” and “Louisiana in Words.”

UNO Secures $75k Grant to Upgrade Health Science Lab for those studying osteoporosis A NEW $75,495 GRANT from and obesity. the Louisiana Board of Regents The University had such a promises to breathe new life into tool prior to Katrina, the University of New but it was damaged by Orleans’ popular and moisture and disuse growing human perforfollowing the floods, mance and health Bonis says. Students and promotion program— faculty relied on the tool one that suffered for research and practice setbacks following for future careers in Hurricane Katrina. high-demand fields Marc Bonis, Marc Bonis such as physical assistant professor of therapy and athletic human performance training. and health promotion, says UNO deactivated the the award will enable UNO to human performance and health purchase a dual-energy X-ray promotion degree program absorptiometry—commonly called a “DXA” machine by those in the wake of Katrina due to financial constraints. When it in the practice—to enhance and reactivated it in 2012, Bonis says, complete UNO’s health science he set about trying to secure the learning lab. The instrument is funding needed to get a working used to measure bone density DXA machine. and is an effective source of data


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The Board of Regents grant, he said, goes largely toward covering the cost of the DXA. But Bonis is thrilled that not only will UNO be the only public education institution in town with such a machine, its use will enable university faculty and students to secure additional grants for research that this instrument makes possible. “We were so elated,” he says. “This will give students a leg up.” Since it was reinstated as a major, students have flocked to UNO’s human performance and health promotion program at higher-than-projected rates. Today, there are more than 120 students enrolled in the undergraduate program compared with the 2012 projection of 60 to 80 majors, Bonis said. Bonis said he’s encouraged

that those figures will grow with this addition. Students entering the program can choose between two tracks: health promotion, for those interested in community or school-based health education; and exercise physiology, which appeals to those interested in working in the area of individual health and fitness, including cardiac and other chronic disease rehabilitation. Students looking to enter health fields, such as physical therapy, often choose this as an undergraduate major. Employment opportunities for physical therapists, exercise physiologists and athletic trainers are all projected to grow at a faster-than-average pace through 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics.

Tolford’s Research to Improve Louisiana’s Bicyclist and Pedestrian Access IT ’S ONE THING TO MAKE

a city more transportationfriendly for bicyclists and pedestrians. But how does a state effectively implement strategies to accommodate its increasingly multi-modal population? First, says the University of New Orleans’ Tara Tolford, it needs to have a good way to measure just how many bicycles and pedestrians there are on the roads and where. Tolford, a research associate at the UNO Transportation Institute, has been awarded a $142,463 grant from the Louisiana Transportation Research Center to study the most effective and costefficient ways to collect data on bicyclists and pedestrians statewide. “Understanding how many people are traveling on foot or by bicycle on Louisiana’s roadways is essential to evaluating safety outcomes relative to rates of exposure, identifying appropriate, context-sensitive complete streets infrastructure interventions and understanding overall statewide and location-specific transportation trends which will impact long-range planning and investment,” Tolford wrote in her research proposal. Since 2010, Tolford has been involved in an effort to calculate bicycle usage in metropolitan New Orleans, one that relies largely on college students going out and counting the numbers of bicycles that pass at various locations. Data collected through that effort—called the Pedestrian and Bicycle Resource Initiative—has shown an 88

Tara Tolford, a research associate at the UNO Transportation Institute, has been awarded a $142,463 grant from the Louisiana Transportation Research Center to study the most effective and cost-efficient ways to collect data on bicyclists and pedestrians statewide.

percent increase in the number of bicyclists and 67 percent increase in pedestrians at 12 locations between 2010 and 2015. “You can’t really do that on a statewide basis,” she says. “We are interested in figuring out how we can scale it so that we can collect data across Louisiana.” Over 18 months, she and her research team will research emerging methodologies for counting bikes and pedestrians, including how best to utilize existing technology such as the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s network of traffic cameras on state routes. In a report she plans to present to the DOTD, she will also

identify potential funding sources to pay for a multimodal count program. In 2009, the Louisiana legislature passed a resolution that called for the creation of the Complete Streets Work Group to develop a comprehensive statewide transportation policy for Louisiana that balances the needs of motorists, transit users, bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities. Among other things, the Work Group recommended collecting pedestrian and bicycle data and analysis. And the resulting policy was recognized in 2011 as the second-best in the nation by the National Complete Streets Coalition. Tolford, who received a master’s degree in urban and

regional planning from UNO in 2011, has been involved with the UNO Transportation Institute since 2009. She leads all bicycle and pedestrian-related programs and research at the University, including managing the Pedestrian and Bicycle Resource Initiative, a project of the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, serves on the Louisiana DOTD Complete Streets Advisory Council and chairs the New Orleans Sustainable Transportation Action Committee. She’s been using her bicycle for daily transportation since 2004.

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UNO Distinguished Alumnus Mark Romig BY REBECCA CATALANELLO

M A R K R O M I G G R E W U P I N L A K E V I E W, T H E S E C O N D

of seven children born to devoted Catholic parents who loved their babies, loved the Saints and loved their city. He was a product of St. Dominic School, Brother Martin High School and, eventually, the University of New Orleans, where he learned he didn’t want to be a dentist but he did want to be a leader. The plan worked out. For the past 40-plus years, Romig has found himself telling the story of New Orleans in ways that make New Orleanians proud. From welcoming VIP visitors to the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition just six years out of college to now overseeing one of the most successful New Orleans marketing campaigns the city has ever seen, Romig has proven he’s a home-grown treasure whose heart for the city has inspired him to lay out the welcome mat without trampling on natives’ good will. That’s why the University of New Orleans International Alumni Association has named Romig (B.S., ’78) its 2016 Homer L. Hitt Distinguished Alumnus. It was at UNO that Romig, now 60, discovered the Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration program. It was then a new degree offered through the College of Business Administration—and it would become the perfect career door for Romig, a man who loved to talk, loved to visit and loved to work. Since taking the reins as president and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation in 2011, Romig has been part of a 28

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leadership team that has helped the city through a resurgence that brought a record-breaking $7.05 billion in tourism spending last year. With a “Follow Your Nola” campaign that encourages visitors to step outside the well-trodden footprint of the French Quarter to also discover the city’s other beloved neighborhoods, dining experiences and attractions, Romig and his team have sought to draw the kind of tourists who look for authentic experiences, regardless of whether they seek vibrant nightlife or kid-friendly adventure. Scott Hutcheson, cultural economy advisor to Mayor Mitch

Landrieu, says Romig was the brains behind that campaign—and it totally makes sense: “Who wouldn’t want someone who loves the city and knows the city as much as Mark does to carry that message to the world?”

Mark Romig, president and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Commission, was honored as the University of New Orleans International Alumni Association’s 2016 Homer L. Hitt Distinguished Alumnus.

WITNESSING GRACIOUSNESS AT HOME Nearly every fall Sunday from the time he was a child, Mark Romig would listen to his dad call out his trademark, “First down! Saaaaaaints!” to fiery cheers that would erupt inside the Superdome.

Having Jerry Romig, the Saints’ stadium announcer, as your father also meant you knew where you were from, win or lose, up or down. Through 44 years of home games—many of them heartbreakers— Jerry Romig earned and kept the trust of legions of faithful fans, FALL 2016

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while also building his reputation as a communication pro, from newspaper sports reporter to television station executive to development director for the Archdiocese of New Orleans to spokesperson for Charity Hospital. Mark saw that. As a child, he and his siblings paid witness to their parents’ determined generosity in both private and public ways, even in the face of tragedy. In the span of two years when Mark was 5- and 6-years-old, mother Janice Romig gave birth to two infant girls, each of whom died due to Rh factor, a blood condition that was hard to treat in pregnant mothers in the 1960s. Mark Romig says he

remembers the sadness in the house as the family mourned babies Ruth Ellen and Jan Marie, both of whom passed away at the hospital before coming home. But he also watched as his parents, already parents to four other children, then proceeded to foster 21 babies, his mother lovingly chronicling the infants’ days in their care so that adoptive parents would eventually have a written account of their new babies’ lives prior to being adopted. When Mark Romig was 20 years old, his parents gave birth to a fifth child, Ellen. And even with their home, hearts and lives full, they continued to foster three more babies. By then, Mark was a pro at diapering and caring for kiddos—so much so that when he and screenwriter husband David Briggs, Romig’s partner for 27 years, considered adopting, Mark’s years of helping raise babies factored into their decision. But the overall message Romig received from his parents’ example was clear. “It gave us a great appreciation for always reaching out and helping people and also nurturing kids,” Romig says. FROM DENTISTRY AND THE PRIESTHOOD TO SOMETHING ELSE Speak to folks who know and have worked with Mark Romig, and the descriptions usually include words like, “fun-loving,” “sincere,” “genuine,” “knowledgeable” and “hardworking.” Ask them how he got that way and, to a person, they all point to Jerry and Janice Romig. “There’s an inner goodness that can best be described as ‘his heart,’ that I think comes from his parents,” says Clancy DuBos (B.A., ‘76), columnist and publisher of Gambit Weekly. “Mark has a great sense of civic duty and moral duty and, again, I think that comes from both of his parents.” DuBos recruited Romig into the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity while they were both at UNO. Even back then, he said, Mark Romig was a standout, as much for his leadership ability as for his good nature. “Everybody liked Mark. Every fraternity wanted Mark to be a member,” Dubos says. Not only did TKE win him over as a pledge, it went on to elect him chapter president and, eventually, national president. “Mark is just one of those guys who, whenever you needed a job

ABOVE LEFT: Mark Romig receives his degree from Homer L. Hitt, founder and chancellor of the University of New Orleans, in 1978. LEFT: Romig became heavily involved in student leadership while at UNO, including becoming president of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. Here he is pictured with the Student Congress in the University’s 1978 yearbook.


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to get done, you put Mark on it and you can turn around and walk away and know that it was going to get done and get done right and get done on time,” DuBos says. “And he’s that way in his professional life—somebody who is universally liked and respected and trusted.” Yet, Romig didn’t always know what he wanted to do with his life. By the time he enrolled in college, he’d already seriously considered two possible careers: dentistry and the priesthood. A difficult chemistry class at UNO talked him out of the former. And a priest at St. Dominic Church counseled him away from the latter. When he took an interest survey in college, it concluded he would be great in three career paths: a funeral director, a missionary or a YMCA manager. That’s when his father stepped in and encouraged him to check out the University’s new Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration program. “He obviously knew me better than I know myself,” Romig says with a smile.

as a staff assistant to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elizabeth Dole. For a quick moment after Bob Dole lost the GOP nomination in 1988, Romig (who says he’s an independent) considered moving to California. But New Orleans drew him home again. He landed a job overseeing marketing and public affairs for Hibernia Bank. It was clear by now that, like his father, Romig had the communication chops necessary to make it in the world of marketing and public affairs. Today, his resume includes 16 years in leadership at Peter A. Mayer Advertising and three years as vice president of marketing and public relations at HCA Inc., Delta Division. He has served as chairman of The Idea Village, the Allstate Sugar Bowl Committee as well as co-chairman of the media and public relations committee for the 2013 XLVII Host Committee.

Despite the many hats he’s worn and the kudos he’s accumulated along the way, Romig seems to stand apart most because of his reputation as, simply, a nice guy who possesses what seems to be an innate ability to see the upside.

UNFURLING NEW ORLEANS’ WELCOME MAT Within the next couple years, Romig found himself taking course loads of 15 to 18 hours while working 30 to 40 hours interning at the Royal Orleans Hotel, where he quickly took a shine to the world of hotel management. In between checking guests in at the front desk, whisking salad dressing in the kitchen, delivering food for room service, and helping out in the accounting and sales departments, Romig kept his eye on Ronald Pincus, the hotel’s sharp-dressing, boutonniere-sporting general manager. “People loved him,” Romig recalls. “Everything had to be in shipshape. He just had a knack.” This was an industry that would allow you to work alongside people from all walks of life—from service personnel to Pavarotti— and Mark Romig dug it. If Pincus stood out to Romig, Romig stood out to Pincus, now chief operating officer of the Hotel Monteleone. “He’s one of those people who in our business you’re thrilled to be able to attract to a job in the hotel industry,” Pincus says. After college, one job seemed to open the opportunity for another, each one giving Romig a close-up look at another side of the hospitality industry. He worked with a tour operator, learning eventplanning. That job connected him with famed local architect and Krewe of Bacchus-founder Augie Perez who was working on the Intercontinental Hotel, the opening of which would be timed with the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition. Romig worked for Perez when the development company asked him to open its sales office, becoming the hotel’s first employee. Soon after, the opportunity arose to work directly for the World’s Fair for two years leading up to its opening. For a guy in his mid-20s who loved to talk to people, this chance to be the liaison for VIPs visiting his city for the World’s Fair felt like a dream job. He welcomed U.S. Supreme Court justices, Nancy Reagan, Jesse Jackson, Julio Iglesias, Dion Warwick and then-Vice President George H. W. Bush. “It gave so much joy to every day go onto that fair site,” Romig says. When the fair ended, Romig worked for a year as executive director of the LaFete summer festival before making his first and only move outside of New Orleans. He headed to Washington, D.C., where, for three years, he used his logistics-planning skills

Additionally, Mayor Mitch Landrieu tapped Romig to oversee the privately funded 2018 NOLA Foundation, charged by the mayor with organizing events to commemorate New Orleans’ Tricentennial in 2018. John Williams, dean of the UNO College of Business Administration, which provides a visitor profile report for city marketing purposes each year, says Romig’s ability to get people to rally together has been instrumental in helping New Orleans stand out nationally. In June, Travel + Leisure even ranked New Orleans the No. 2 city in the U.S. and No. 7 in the world, a particularly remarkable feat given the photos and stories of devastation that dominated national and international news coverage of New Orleans for years following Hurricane Katrina. “He’s really been doing a great job of conveying the message out and it’s translating over in spending here plus the tourism numbers themselves,” Williams says. “He’s a wonderful, engaging, warm, articulate and very involved individual. Just a genuine person that you immediately like and love to work with. And you can just be assured that he’s always there working and thinking and bringing people together. He’s a rare commodity.”

‘HE IS NOT OFF’ Despite the many hats he’s worn and the kudos he’s accumulated along the way, Romig seems to stand apart most because of his reputation as, simply, a nice guy who possesses what seems to be an innate ability to see the upside. And that’s not a bad characteristic for someone charged with selling a city that after Hurricane Katrina 11 years ago nearly lost its pulse. “It’s very hard for people not to become jaded,” says Hutcheson. “And I think as you live through your professional life and your personal life, different experiences mark you in a certain way. It’s so easy to get bogged down and dwell on the struggle … Mark doesn’t buy into any of that. He recognizes what’s happened but also what FALL 2016

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he spotlights is where we are now, what we’re doing now. And by acknowledging what’s happening now, you set a path for the future.” Romig makes a point of helping promote others’ in their careers and, given his own experiences, doesn’t consider it a deficiency when someone is unsure about what profession is right for them. He says he has a policy of never turning away someone who wants to talk about their career. And, as his LinkedIn profile portrays, he makes a point of helping to promote the careers of former colleagues and interns. Hutcheson, who has traveled extensively with Romig for work, said Romig’s natural optimism boggles his mind. Romig is not a huckster, he says. He’s not satisfied with a shallow tagline mentality, common in public relations circles. “I look at him sometimes and I’m like, ‘I don’t know how you do this,’” Hutcheson continues. “He goes to everything. He participates gladly. I have traveled with Mark. I have spent more hours with Mark than I have my family, practically. And he is not off.” When New Orleans lost its bid to host the 2018 Super Bowl, an event the city pursued to coincide with its Tricentennial, a reporter with | The Times-Picayune was standing near Romig when he received the news at the Lakewood Golf Club alongside his colleagues. “Romig,” wrote reporter Katherine Terrell, “swallowed his disappointment and immediately congratulated Minnesota, which he said ‘put together a wonderful bid.’” “New stadiums are what they are,” Romig said, according to the story. “But we have proven ourselves over and over again, that we can put on a great Super Bowl, and we’ll have another shot at it again. We’ll keep competing because we consider ourselves the best sports venue. But hats off to Minneapolis, congratulations to them.” Before he finished talking to Terrell, Romig added one last 32

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Romig keeps photos of thought that ended the story: “Our him and his siblings tricentennial year,” he said, “will be surrounding their father spectacular.” and mother, Jerry and This fall, Romig took up the microJanice Romig, on top of phone at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome his desk at his St. Charles to announce the Saints’ 49th season. Avenue office. Jerry Romig It’s the job his father had for 446 home was the Saints’ game games until he announced his retirement announcer for 44 years in August 2013, sliding the microphone before retiring in 2013 and over to his second-born son to take over. passing the responsibility on to his second-born Two years and four months later, on son. He died in December Dec. 23, 2015, Jerry Romig died. 2015. “Dad was the Asked before the opener about how living legend of football he feels manning the control booth announcing and set the without his father watching, Mark Romig standard,” Mark says, thinks for a second and once again “and it was and remains reflects on the up side. a daunting challenge to “It’ll be good because we can get be even a tenth of the mom back into a game,” Romig says. announcer that Dad was.” “Last season, that was his twilight, so she was home with him.” He looks across his small St. Charles Avenue office—the walls of which are covered with art and plaques and photos and a big painted alligator—and pulls out a framed photograph showing the LED ribbon board lit up with his father’s name. “Jerry Romig Forever a Saint,” it reads—a Saints tribute to the man who was their voice, a man who his son remembers as someone who was always welcoming, always optimistic, always had the ability to look beyond motive to seek opportunities to make things better. Mark Romig picks up the photo and looks at it again. “I might bring that with me to the booth,” he says.

UNO’s David Lambour quietly crisscrosses the skies each year on a sacred mission BY REBECCA CATALANELLO PHOTOS BY TRACIE MORRIS SCHAEFER


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Lambour packs two carry-on bags. One has his clothes in it. The other holds what he calls his “space age cooler.” He selects his most understated attire. Dark clothes. A polo or button-down. No white tennis shoes. No loud T-shirts. He heads to the airport, boards a plane and tries to keep to himself, careful not to engage in conversation that would lead anyone to ask what’s in the cooler. Because what’s in the cooler holds the promise of saving someone’s life. It is the cure to someone’s leukemia, lymphoma or other blood disease. It is more time with a child, a chance to climb a mountain, an opportunity to walk a daughter down the aisle. Lambour is one of several hundred volunteer couriers for the National Marrow Donor Program, also known as Be The Match, the world’s leader in providing marrow and umbilical cord transplants to sick and dying patients. Theirs is an invisible army that crisscrosses domestic and international skies each year, carrying potentially life-saving bone marrow and cord blood needed in roughly 460 transplants a month. “If it’s a chance to help,” Lambour says, “why not?” At 54, the story of how Lambour, director of academic services in the University of New Orleans’ Department of Planning and Urban Studies and coordinator of the undergraduate degree program in urban studies and planning, found himself in this role is somewhat unremarkable. He was in the midst of seeking his second bachelor’s degree as well as a master’s degree in urban and regional planning at the University of New Orleans in 2001 when a neighbor who worked for the National Marrow Donor Program asked him if it might be something he would try. Lambour thought it sounded like something he could pull off with his class schedule and other commitments. His professors were more than will-

ing to accommodate. For the first year, he traveled within the United States. And in 2002, he started taking international trips: Germany, France, England, The Netherlands and more. At first, Lambour viewed the trips as opportunities to travel abroad without incurring a ton of personal expense. Though the journeys are brief, allowing couriers to extend their stay in the destination location at their own cost, Lambour enjoyed using that extra time to take in international architecture and, his weakness, chocolatiers. But there came a point when the gravity of his mission began to hit home. He recalls one trip full of travel headaches, delays and inconveniences. He was seated in a waiting room, finally having reached the drop-off location, his mind filled with complaints, when a man in a wheelchair nearby seemed to be getting excited and slightly agitated. “I’m happy today,” the man finally burst out to someone with him. “Why?” the other person asked. “Marrow today,” the man responded. “I wanted to break down right then and there,” Lambour recalls. The older he’s gotten, he says, the more meaningful these trips have become. “It is not a hobby anymore,” he says. “This is business. This is serious. I call this more of a calling.” The donors, he says, are the true heros. Now, as he moves through airports and deals with zealous security agents, he does so with his aim in mind. Someone on the other end of his flight is waiting for what he is carrying. And though Lambour will never meet this person, for the last 15 years he has set aside nearly all of his annual vacation time at UNO to make sure this mother, father, child—someone whose life has been upended by illness they cannot control—has a chance to live. For more information about how to donate or be a volunteer for Be The Match, visit or call 1-800-MARROW-2.


The National Marrow Donor Program provides couriers with what Lambour calls a “space age cooler.” LEFT: Lambour’s passport is evidence of his quiet travel.

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Lorvelis A. Madueño Age: 20 Hometown: Maracaibo, Venezuela Major/degree program: B.A in Anthropology Languages you speak: Spanish, English, French,

Japanese Where did you go? Kyoto, Japan How long were you there? Six weeks Why did you decide to go? It was my biggest

dream since I was a young girl. UNO Summer Study Abroad made it possible. What did you study while you were there? Intermediate Japanese and Cultural History of Japan. Most memorable experience? Visiting Fushimi Inari Shrine also known as The Temple of the Thousand Gates. I saw this temple in a magazine when I was 4 years old, that’s when I first became interested in the country. Where do you want to go next? Probably India. I’m doing my honors thesis on Hinduism.


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TOP LEFT: University of New Orleans undergraduate Lorvelis Madueño, left, and her mother, Loraine Madueño, at Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, Japan. BOTTOM LEFT: Madueño at Todaiji Temple in Nara, Japan, with young students who were excited to meet someone born in Venezuela.

Interning Among Castles Grad Student Heads to Coastal Ireland for Degree Requirement BY MALLORY MOORE CARLY ZIMMERMAN KNEW

she’d need to do an internship to complete her graduate degree. But she also wanted to travel. So with a little inspiration from her professor, she took flight. Literally. In May, Zimmerman boarded a plane and traveled 4,229 miles across the globe to work with the Galway International Arts Festival on Ireland’s west coast. The Dallas native is a year away from completing her master’s degree program in arts administration at the University of New Orleans. She says the experience she gained abroad offered unmatched real-world experience in a breathtaking setting. “On my walk to work every day, I passed a castle from the 14th century. It was just there on the side of the road. No big deal,” she said.

The internship came about after Zimmerman told arts administration program interim director Tony Micocci that she wanted to travel internationally. Micocci introduced Zimmerman to the Galway festival’s artistic director and, within a few months, she learned she’d been selected. She started out shadowing festival administrators and eventually was assigned to build a database of names and contact information for 300 committed festival volunteers. She understood that volunteers filled a critical role in carrying out the festival, serving as ushers, tickettakers and hands-on problem solvers throughout the event. “I kept hearing that it would be ‘apocalyptic’ if the volunteer operation didn’t run smoothly,” she says. Zimmerman’s venture was

supported in part by Mid-City residents and Belfast natives Pauline and Stephen Patterson, proprietors of Trèo tapas bar, restaurant and art gallery in New Orleans, and former owners of Finn McCool’s Irish Pub. The couple raised one-fourth of the money she needed for her trip an offered insider knowledge about must-see places in Ireland. Zimmerman says her arts administration studies taught her that the European model for arts funding has traditionally relied more on government sources, whereas in America it is more typical for wealthy donors or benefactors to make art publicly accessible. The Galway International Arts Festival, which ran July 11-24 and involved 25 venues, is unique in

Carly Zimmerman demonstrates her Privateer pride in County Clare on Ireland’s western coast during her internship with the Galway International Arts Festival.

Europe because it has cultivated corporate sponsorships and patrons. Now home, Zimmerman says the experience has invigorated her. This semester, she is taking a course in arts policy, a visual arts overview and a class called “Art, Artists and Arts Administration.” Over the next year she will write and defend a thesis about her festival experience. She encourages other students to look for opportunities to marry travel with study: “Go abroad,” she says. “Don’t be deterred by the cost. There is so much out there.”

Going All-In in Innsbruck As part of the 41st UNO-Innsbruck International Summer School in Innsbruck, Austria, this summer, many of the 219 participating students got a firsthand look at the impact of the recent migration of refugees fleeing conflict in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and other war-torn areas. Besides attending a panel discussion on the European migration, students reached out to local refugees, holding a studentinitiated candy drive to delight children in one refugee home as they broke the fast at the end of Ramadan. Students and faculty also held a fundraiser to help the home purchase needed baby supplies. Here, young refugee children pose with, from left, Andrea Cater-Sax, a refugee counselor in the Tirol Office of Social Services, and UNO-Innsbruck Summer School students Ohoyo Taylor, Brittany George, Samantha Carlile and Kayla Demma.

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ENRIQUE Sonia Nazario, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of ‘ Enrique’s Journey’, urges UNO community to get involved BY REBECCA CATALANELLO


mother’s pant leg as she stepped off the front porch of the Honduras shack where she’d raised him. She was bound for the United States, in search of money to create a better life for her and her children. The little boy, Enrique, knew nothing of that. He only knew his mother was leaving. “Don’t forget to go to church this afternoon,” she told him as she walked away, unable to hug him. So begins the true story of “Enrique’s Journey,” a tale first chronicled in a six-part series published in the Los Angeles Times in 2002 and then expanded into a national best-selling book by Random House four years later. Journalist Sonia Nazario’s stirring account of Enrique’s perilous trip across the U.S. border at age 17 to find his mother won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing and photography. It has become the most widely read book in the United States about immigration and a favored selection for classrooms and universities, including the University of New Orleans, which chose “Enrique’s Journey” 38

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as its Common Read book for 2016-17, making it required reading in all first-year writing courses. On Sept. 20, Nazario visited UNO to speak about her work. The event was organized by the University’s first-year writing program and its first-year experience program. For her reporting, Nazario made multiple trips riding atop trains, retracing the journey Enrique and tens of thousands other youth from Central America and Mexico make in search of their mothers. She has become a national voice on immigration, her work frequently appearing in The New York Times and elsewhere. Silver & Blue talked with Nazario about her own journey. Here is a portion of that conversation, edited for brevity: Q: You wrote “Enrique’s Journey” when you were a reporter for the Los Angeles Times and your career until then centered on writing about social justice issues and immigration. But this story has really experienced the kind of longevity that isn’t often enjoyed by a lot of newspaper projects. SN: I would say that’s an understatement! We

usually say that it ends up at the bottom of the bird

cage the next day. But yeah, I think it’s because immigration is a huge issue that has been used politically by both sides. And I think that while the number of unlawful migrants overall is at a 40-year low, the number of Central Americans coming— and specifically unaccompanied immigrant children—has reached new heights. So, it’s become a bigger issue than ever and kind of symbolic of our inability to deal with the issue of immigration. It’s been kind of a perfect storm in terms of the politics and the number of these children coming, and the violence that has surged in these countries in Central America that is pushing so many of these children out now. When Enrique came, he was coming to find his mother and for economic reasons. But now many of the children are not economic migrants, they’re refugees. I’ve stuck with it because I’ve become, for better or worse, a voice for these kids. Q: When you began reporting this, did you anticipate becoming an advocate? SN: Well, I’m currently

about five, six years behind on finishing my current book. So, no, I did not anticipate this. But I think sometimes God, or the world, puts you in a place for a reason and you need to step up and take on that cause. Since I’m one of the experts in the country on these kids, I’m able to be a voice for them. I’ve seen it as a responsibility to continue

reporting about what they’re facing and how our government is dealing with them. Q: Why do you think it’s become an important point of reference in today’s classrooms? SN: I think that it’s because

in the last two decades—unlike previously, when migrants went to six states, basically—migrants have gone everywhere, to virtually every county in the United States and places that did not see migrants for 100 years. I think that that’s produced a lot of backlash, it’s produced a lot of anxiety, it’s produced a lot of fear. I think, God bless them, educators want to inject some reality to that picture of, “Why are these people leaving their countries? What are they willing to do to get here? Will a wall stop someone as determined as Enrique? And who are your new neighbors in New Orleans?” They are trying to counter the misinformation that’s often put out there politically by both sides, both Republicans and Democrats, and take you inside one migrant family’s world to see what the good and the bad is. In my mind, it’s an issue with many shades of gray.

my hope—that people understand these complex social issues better rather than just having a knee-jerk response. Q: When you wrote this, you noted that there were 48,000 children entering the U.S. illegally each year without their parents. Where do we stand now? SN: Federal officials are

quietly estimating that we’ll likely apprehend 70,000 unaccompanied immigrant children this year. And that could be higher than the 68,000 that we had in 2014. The numbers went down about 40 percent last year. I wrote a piece in The New York Times showing how the U.S. was paying Mexico tens of millions of dollars to produce this crackdown. So that now it’s almost impossible to ride on top of freight trains through Mexico, and kids are being Tasered off of moving freight trains. I saw last year children walking the length of Mexico trying to reach safety at our border. So, the numbers went down last year, but they’re expected to match or perhaps exceed the record 68,000 of 2014. Those are the ones that are caught. That doesn’t include all the ones that aren’t caught.

Q: What do you hope that students walk away with after reading about Enrique, Lourdes and their family? SN: Virtually every day I

Q: What still needs to happen? SN: I think we need to do

get an email from the students and they start out saying, “I was forced to read your book” and usually “forced” is in capital letters. And then they say, “You know, I was raised a racist, to hate all immigrants. … And by reading this book and discussing it, it’s changed some of my views. It’s brought me to a different understanding of migrants who live in my city or who live in my town.” Many of the students have then gone on to get involved to try to improve conditions in these home countries by building schools and water systems, starting micro-loan programs, to try to address the issues that are driving migrants to come to places like New Orleans. For me, I think that’s been

two things. We need to be more compassionate towards children who do arrive at our border, and the United Nations has found that for about six in 10 of those kids, the primary reason they’re leaving Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala is that they’ve been threatened one to three times by gangs or narco cartels, and they feel that their lives are in danger. We have signed a protocol saying that we will protect refugees and we urge other countries to take in millions of refugees around Syria. Yet, I think we have had a very negligent policy in recent years in terms of that. I think when these kids come here, we should consider giving them a temporary protected status, until those countries

improve in terms of the violence. I think that we should assign a government-funded lawyer to those children when they go to the immigration courts to ask for asylum. Today, you see 7-year-old, 10-year-old children, half of these kids can’t afford a lawyer. So, they stand before that judge with complete fear. … It’s really life and death circumstances, sending these kids back to countries that only have kill-rates that are second to Syria right now. I think we need to change those things once they arrive. But we also need to continue to fund foreign aid aimed at reducing violence in these places. Q: What drew you to Enrique? SN: I was looking as a

journalist for the “typical” story. At the time, the average kid caught by border patrols was 15 and three-in-four were boys. I liked Enrique. When I talked to him on the telephone, he was in a church in Nuevo Laredo. … And he had had many of the experiences of almost being killed on top of the trains that I had heard about with these kids. When I reached him in Nuevo Laredo, I changed my mind because I realized that he was a glue sniffer. I was also concerned

he was a little older than I wanted. So, I started searching for more angelic child because I figured that’s what people could relate to. … At a certain point, my boss at the Los Angeles Times said, “You know, why is he a glue sniffer?” And I said, “Well, a lot of these kids to fill that void of not having their mom there, to numb that pain, they turn to drugs.” And he said, “Go with this kid. The best characters of literature are not perfect little angels.” Q: After a student at the University of New Orleans reads this book and feels like they want to do something here in New Orleans, Louisiana, what can they do? SN: My hope is that the Uni-

versity will put together a list of the many Latino or immigrant organizations in Louisiana or New Orleans that students could go do direct work with. I’ve seen other universities put together a list and say, “You say you want to do something, here’s a list of places and here are telephone numbers where you can go and volunteer.” I have on my website a whole “How to Help” section. … There’s no excuse for not doing anything. To read the full interview with Nazario online, go to

Freshman engineering major Abner Martinez poses with Nazario on Sept. 20. Martinez told Nazario that Enrique’s story was similar to his own, as he traveled on trains from Nicaragua years ago to join his parents in the U.S. FALL 2016

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New Orleans Privateers Hire Lorio to Lead Men’s Golf Lorio joins Privateers after three seasons at Loyola, including the last two as the Wolfpack’s head coach THE UNIVERSIT Y OF NEW

Orleans added some homegrown talent to the staff as Louisiana native Jeff Lorio has been named head coach of the Privateers golf program. Originally from Luling, Lorio spent the last three years across town at Loyola University and the last two as the head coach of both the Wolfpacks’ men’s and women’s golf teams. He takes over a New Orleans program that has made tremendous strides over the last half de-


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cade and posted its best finish at the 2016 Southland Conference Championship since joining the league prior to the 2013-14 season. Lorio replaces longtime Privateers head coach Chris McCarter, who announced his retirement in June. “We are pleased to welcome Jeff Lorio to the Privateers Athletics family,” says UNO Director of Athletics Derek Morel. “I am confident Jeff will elevate our program and continue to build on the foundation


for success. His experience as a college coach and Division I golf student-athlete, combined with his relationships in south Louisiana and passion for recruiting make him uniquely qualified to lead our golf program.” After serving as Loyola’s assistant coach in 2013-14, Lorio helped guide the Wolfpack teams to one tournament victory and a combined four runner-up finishes in his two seasons as head coach. Both teams showed improvement under Lorio’s di-

Men’s golf head coach Jeff Lorio, far right, poses with the team. They are, from left, Michael Sotile, Petter Salqvist, Erik Dege, Markus Krieger, Homero de Toledo and Anton Persson.

rection as he helped the women’s team jump from 36th nationally in the standings in 2014-15 to 33rd last season while the men’s program rose from 126 to 83 during that same time. Lorio’s recruiting efforts were a major reason for the Wolfpacks’ steady increase in productivity

LEFT: Jeff Lorio, left, brings a record as a strong recruiter and competitive coach into his new job leading Privateers golf. BELOW LEFT: Erik Dege is one of five letterman from the 2015-16 team to return this season. He has the second-best scoring average of the Privateer returners after averaging 76.652 last season. BELOW RIGHT: 2016 honorable-mention All-Southland selection Markus Krieger led the team last season with a 74.692 stroke average and fired a team-leading seven rounds below par.

as Lorio landed student-athletes from 13 states and four foreign countries. Those recruits helped Loyola rank nationally among NAIA programs as the 2015-16 rookies ranked seventh by on the women’s side and eighth on the men’s. Lorio says he’s thankful for the opportunity to work with UNO and looks forward to building on past successes. “It is truly special to be able to coach the only NCAA Division I men’s golf program in the city in which I was raised,” he says. Prior to his time at Loyola, Lorio was an assistant golf professional at Metairie Country Club from 1999 to 2001. He also worked as sales manager for Lucky Coin Machine Company from 2002 to 2013. During

that time, he was busy on the links himself as Lorio boasts an extensive competitive playing record that includes junior, Division I, amateur and professional competition. After capturing the Louisiana High School Athletic Golf Championship in 1994, Lorio began his collegiate career at the University of Louisiana at Monroe before finishing his eligibility and earning a bachelor’s degree in human resource management from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In 2000 and 2008, Lorio competed in the Louisiana Cup, which pits the top amateurs in the state against the top professionals. He won the event as both an amateur and a professional. In 2010, Lorio qualified

for the United States Mid-Amateur Championship at Atlantic Golf Club in Bridgehampton, NY. Golf Week ranked Lorio in the Top 800 in the United States and Top 1,650 in the world among amateur players in 2012. Lorio inherits a squad that returns five of seven lettermen from last year’s team, including 2016 honorable-mention All-Southland selection Markus Krieger. As a junior last season, Krieger led the team with a 74.692 stroke average and fired a team-leading seven rounds below par. Also returning for New Orleans in 2016-17 are senior Erik Dege, juniors Homero de Toledo and Anton Persson, and sophomore Michael Sotile. Dege has the second-best scoring average of the Privateer

returners after averaging 76.652 last season. Joining the team in the 2016-17 season is junior transfer Petter Salqvist. During two seasons at Arkansas State, Salqvist appeared in 12 tournaments and average 76.54 strokes per 18 holes over 35 rounds. He had four rounds of par or better, including a career-low five-under-par 67 in the second round of the Bobby Nicholls Intercollegiate in March 2015, to tally a career-best 11th-place finish with a one-under 215 (73-67-75). “We have a goal and that is to compete,” Lorio says. “That’s something we’re really trying to instill in this program. We want every shot and every hole to mean something.”

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Here Come the Privateers UNO student-athletes lend a hand to Louisiana storm victims BY RICHIE WEAVER THE DEVASTATING RAINS

had barely ceased when New Orleans Privateers head coaches Mark Slessinger and Blake Dean began rounding up their players. With nine Louisiana parishes flooded, the University of New Orleans student-athletes were eager to lend a hand. Slessinger’s men’s basketball team headed to Holden, La., and Dean’s basketball players traveled to Baton Rouge. They tore out sheetrock, disassembled cabinets, removed flooring, hauled furniture, lifted appliances and stripped homes to their studs. And when they were done, some of them even hugged the necks of the people they were serving. Derek Morel, UNO’s director of athletics, says the teams’ efforts made him and the rest of


the University proud. “The men and women of our program understand the importance of serving others and using our resources to help those in less-fortunate situations,” he says. “We will continue to play for neighbors.” The baseball team’s involvement began on social media as head Dean, who has ties to Baton Rouge after starring on the diamond at LSU for three years, posted messages on Twitter and Facebook. After receiving an overwhelming response, Dean assembled his team and helped four homes in the state capital and Denham Springs. “I wanted my guys to realize that sometimes life doesn’t always play fair, but when you have each other’s backs then nothing can stand in your way,” Dean says. “It was very eyeopening for them to see what all

these people had lost. Just the smell inside the houses alone was something they’ll never forget. “Being a baseball player at UNO means many things such as getting a degree, winning, giving back, learning to face adversity, family and hard work. What I saw from these young men made me proud to be their coach and to wear ‘University of New Orleans’ across my chest. I just pray for the families who were struck by the flood and wish I had 5,000 more guys to go assist them.” The basketball team decided to head to Holden following a conversation with the father of the late Matt Derenbecker, a former LSU and UNO basketball player who died in 2014. Knowing Derenbecker lived in the Hammond area, New Orleans head coach Mark Slessinger reached out to his family

TOP: Members of the New Orleans Privateers men’s basketball team muck out the home of Elbert and Ione Norred in Holden, La., on Aug. 21. They are, from left, Christavious Gill, Bryson Robinson, Danny Ray Cohen and Travin Thibodeaux. The Norreds’ home was heavily damaged by floodwaters. INSET: Ione Norred, 77, of Holden, La., hugs University of New Orleans junior Matthew Jiles of Braithwaite, La., a member of the New Orleans Privateers men’s basketball team. The team helped gut the flooddamaged home she owns with her husband, Elbert, 80.

to see how they were doing. That’s when he learned there was a significant need for able-bodied individuals. The team loaded up the bus for a road trip. Players split into three groups and were able to assist with seven different properties in Hammond and Holden. “We are so humbled to be able to lend a hand to some folks who needed some help,” says Slessinger. “We know that it is still a long way away but we wanted to help and do our small part.”


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UNO Athletics Enters Partnership With Son Of A Saint THE UNIVERSIT Y OF NEW

Orleans Department of Athletics is partnering with Son of a Saint, an organization devoted to enhancing the lives of fatherless boys. Through the collaboration, UNO athletes have the opportunity to develop skills to serve as mentors to some of 45 boys involved in the program. They will team with Son of Saint mentees as well as the organization’s adult mentors up for activities designed to broaden the boys’ experiences while giving UNO’s student-

athletes their own opportunities to bond with community role models. Son of a Saint was founded 2011 by UNO alumnus Bivian “Sonny” Lee, III (B.S. Marketing, 2006). It seeks to provide boys whose fathers are absent with mentorship, emotional support, development of life skills, exposure to constructive experiences and formation of positive, lasting peer-to-peer relationships. Derek Morel, director of athletics for UNO, says the part-

nership fits within the program’s community service mission: “We are eager to work in close collaboration with Sonny to enhance his efforts and make a difference in our community through this joint initiative.” Lee’s father, Bivian Lee, Jr., was a defensive back for the New Orleans Saints from 1971-75. He died at age 36 after suffering a heart attack in 1984, leaving his wife and two children. As an adult, the younger Lee came to understand the struggles and challenges his

mother faced and gained an appreciation for the opportunities he was afforded as a child. They included access to psychiatrists to address anger issues associated with not having his father in his life, and chances to play in several sports leagues. The Son of a Saint program is named in honor of Lee’s late father and his single mother with a goal of “paying it forward” and replicating his own experience for a special group of fatherless young males in the community. (504) 280-6496

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Ensuring success for future generations of UNO students. The Legacy Society recognizes donors who have chosen to include the University of New Orleans in an estate gift to ensure that their gift will create a lasting legacy for future generations. The University of New Orleans is honored to recognize the following members of the Legacy Society and to thank all of you for your support and commitment to the future of the University of New Orleans. Ann Nunn Anthony E. Centanni & Annette Johnson Centanni Barbara J. Sallettes Bonita L. Dupree Debbie Mabile Settoon, P.E. Dr. Joan P. Gipe, Professor Emeritus Dr. Richard Edgar Zwez Eileen Burke Herman “Hernie� Woessner

J. Stephen Hank James D. & Rita C. Coleman James D. Jacques John S. Batson Laura Peebles & Ellen Fingerman Leo T. Surla, Jr. Marc W. Losh Margot C. LaPointe, PhD & Roger Zauel Skip Miller Henry Bernstein

Should your name be on this list of donors? If you have included the University of New Orleans in your estate plans, we would like to offer you membership into the Legacy Society. For more information, please contact Eric Balukonis in the Planned Giving office at 504.280.6159 or

UNO Alumni Turned Legacy Society Members Credit UNO for Creating a Path of Success



he’d be going to college. But when it came time to decide where, it took just one factor to make up his mind: Annette Johnson, the Mount Carmel Academy girl he’d been dating since they were both 15. Johnson, a dedicated student who wanted to become a teacher, already knew she was going to the University of New Orleans, then called Louisiana State University in New Orleans. If this Ridgewood Preparatory boy wanted to marry Johnson— and he did—he would be going to UNO, too. Fifty-five years, one marriage, three degrees, two children and one grandchild later, the couple credit UNO with giving them the lives they wanted for themselves and their families. That’s why, all these years later, UNO has a place in their estate plans. The Centannis, now 72, are members of the UNO Legacy Society, established in 2014 to recognize UNO alumni and friends who have chosen to have a significant impact on the University by leaving an estate gift. “We love UNO and we’ve always been so grateful for our education here,” says Annette. “It’s so much a part of our success.” Anthony Centanni, who graduated in 1966 with an accounting degree, says John Altazan, the founding dean of the College of Business Administration, provided a key recommendation Centanni for Centanni’s first position at a public accounting firm. The job was the springboard he needed

to go to work for Ocean Drilling and Exploration Company, a subsidiary of Murphy Oil Corp., where he remained 35 years until retirement. Johnson, who became Annette Centanni when the couple married, graduated with an education degree in 1965 and immediately began working as an elementary school teacher. She taught for 27 years in public and private schools, received a master’s degree in elementary education from UNO in 1971, and even accumulated 30-plus hours toward a doctorate. Teaching felt like her calling, she says, and UNO gave her the foundation she needed. For the Centannis, UNO is a source of rich memories. And they speak highly of UNO’s faculty. There was Marie LaGarde, a French professor who took a keen interest in her students; Altazan, who Anthony says, was “kind, understanding” and “always made his presence known, even to freshmen”; Thomas Harwood, a longtime UNO history professor who taught a memorable Louisiana history course; Stephen Ambrose, the famed historian, author and founder of the National World War II Museum; and Dorothy Bratsas, who taught Spanish at UNO for more than 40 years. When it came time for their own children to go to college,

both Anthony Centanni, Jr. (B.S. Accounting, ’93) and Loren Centanni Camp (B.A. Sociology, ’91) chose UNO, as well. The Centannis have also become acquaintances with Philip Harmelink, accounting chair in the College of Business Administration, and Juliette Ioup, professor of physics. Like Anthony, Harmelink and Ioup are organists and they know one another from years of playing organ in and around the city. The couples’ other hobbies and volunteer interests include being Friends of the Jefferson Public Library, where Annette serves on the board and has clocked over 500 volunteer hours a year for the past nine years, doing whatever she can to help raise money for library programs. Giving back is part of the fabric of their lives, it seems.

Anthony and Annette Centanni credit their experience at the University of New Orleans with setting them on the path they wanted for themselves and their children. Now both 72, the alumni have included UNO in their estate plans as a way to show their gratitude.

And UNO has long been a part of that, inspiring them to give whenever they get that phone call from UNO seeking support. “We’re not rich people,” Annette says. “But we do make a donation and we give a Murphy Oil Corporation matching gift. Why not? We love UNO … We were happy here.” For more information about the Legacy Society and how to become a Legacy donor, visit planned-giving.aspx or contact Eric Balukonis, 504-280-6159 or ebalukonis@

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Mary Hart (B.A., ’92, M.Ed., ’98)

David Moroney (B.A., ’71) David Moroney has been appointed medical director of provider network innovations for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee. Moroney joined Blue Cross Blue Shield in 1998 as medical director of the Chattanooga region. Before that, he practiced general pediatrics for 18 years, having completed his residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Stephen Romig (B.S., ’73) Stephen Romig was honored with the 2015 Public Service Award for Individuals by The American Institute of CPAs. Romig is an advisory director of the tax services department

for LaPorte CPAs & Business Advisors in Metairie, La. He has provided business and tax planning services for law firms and businesses for 35 years. He volunteers at the Harry Tompson Center in New Orleans, coordinating services for the homeless as well as the Good Shepherd School in New Orleans. Michael P. Rafferty (B.S., ’75) Michael P. Rafferty has been elected to the MoneyGram board of directors. In 2013, he retired after working for 38 years at Ernst & Young LLP, where he became a partner in 1988. He is director and chairman of the audit committee of Triumph Bancorp, Inc. He holds an

Peter Trefonas (B.S., ’80) Peter Trefonas has won the 2016 Perkin Medal from the Society of Chemical Industry. The award is the highest honor given in the U.S. for outstanding work in applied chemistry. The honor recognizes his contributions in the development of chemicals that enable microlithography for the fabrication of microelectronic circuits. A New Orleans native, he holds a bachelor’s in chemistry from the University of New Orleans and a doctorate in inorganic chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He resides in Massachusetts where he is a corporate fellow at Dow Chemical.

accounting degree from the University of New Orleans and is a certified public accountant licensed in Texas. Doris Voitier (B.S.’71, M.Ed. ’75) Doris Voitier, superintendent of St. Bernard Parish Public Schools, was appointed by Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards to serve on the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Voitier became a superintendent after 33 years working for St. Bernard Parish schools. She graduated from Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans and formerly taught at Chalmette High School. Peter Halley (M.F.A., ’78) Peter Halley this summer created an installation entitled “The Schirn Ring,” on display at the Schirn Kunsthalle Rotunda in Frankfurt, Germany. The artist’s multi-part installation was based around the architecture and special conditions of the Rotunda. Halley’s work can be seen throughout the world, including at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Gregory Brandao (M.Ed., ’79) Gregory Brandao has been named president of St. Joseph High School in Metuchen, NJ. Brandao, a 1973 graduate of Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, La., has also served as an administrator at Brother Martin High School in New Orleans as well as Catholic High School, Runnels High School and Thomas Moore Elementary, all in Baton Rouge. Keith Gillies (B.A., ’80) Keith Gillies has been inducted into the Ameritas Hall of Fame. Gillies is the managing

Mary Hart has been recognized as a 2016-17 Principal of the Year by the St. Tammany Public School District. She has 16 years of administrative experience at Mandeville Middle School and served as assistant principal at the school before being appointed principal in 2011.

partner of Wealth Solutions, LLC, in LaPlace, La. He is also past-president of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors-Greater New Orleans, where he has been honored several times for his work and leadership.

Glenn Scorsone (B.S., ’80) Glenn Scorsone, presidentelect of the University of New Orleans International Alumni Association, retired from Entergy Louisiana, LLC, as senior design engineer after 30 years with the company.

Ross Gonzales (B.S., ’80) Ross Gonzales has been named chief financial officer for St. John the Baptist Parish. Gonzales served as finance director and coordinator for St. Bernard Parish Housing and Development. He also worked in private practice. He holds an accounting degree from the University of New Orleans.

Annette Accomando

Cinda May (B.A., ’80) Cinda May was honored at Indiana State University with the President’s Medal, the university’s highest award for faculty. May is chair of special collections at Indiana State’s Cunningham Memorial Library, where she joined the faculty in 2006. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Orleans and three master’s degrees—in English from the University of Texas at Austin, in information and library science from the University of Michigan and in history from Indiana University.

(B.A., ’81, M.Ed.)

Annette Accomando has been named principal at Our Lady of Prompt Succor School in Chalmette. Her past positions include being a teacher Chalmette High School, vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at Nunez Community College, dean of instruction and effectiveness for South Louisiana Community College. Laurence Alexander (B.A.,’81) Laurence Alexander is the ninth chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Before joining UAPB in 2013, he served as the associate dean of the graduate school at the University of Florida. Mary LaCoste (A.S., ’81) Mary LaCoste is the author of a new book titled “Death Embraced: New Orleans Tombs and Burial Customs,” described by The Louisiana Weekly editor Edmund Lewis as “a must-read for anyone who is serious

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about learning the true history of New Orleans.” Rachel Allemand (M.Ed., ’82) Rachel Allemand retired from St. Charles Parish Schools as assistant superintendent of curriculum after 42 years in the system. A former special education teacher, she was known for her leadership in the district on behalf of special needs students. Richard Lee Pendelton (B.A., ’82) Richard Lee Pendelton was profiled in Biz New Orleans for his original hand-painted white silk ties. He has been painting the ties since 1986 and has developed a loyal customer base. He is a graduate of Jesuit High School who majored in fine arts and drama at the University of New Orleans. Ruben Armiñana (Ph.D., ’83) Ruben Armiñana retired from Sonoma State University after 24 years as president. He is credited with turning the campus from a commuter school to a residential campus and overseeing significant construction. He will remain involved in the school as a trustee professor. Jan Johnsen (M.U.R.P., ’84) Jan Johnsen, co-principle and owner of Johnsen Landscapes & Pools in Mount Kisco, NY, has been involved in landscape design since 1970. She origi-

nally discovered her passion for landscape architecture while in Kyoto, Japan, and went on to get her degree in landscape architecture at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Bridgette Boudreaux (B.A., ’90) Bridgette Boudreaux is program manager for Xavier University of Louisiana in the College of Pharmacy, experiential program. She coordinates and manages rotations for fourth year pharmacy students and provides student services for all pharmacy students in the professional experience program. Crosby Smith (M.B.A., ’90) Crosby Smith has been named area general manager for Frontier Communications Corp. in the southern California low desert operating area. Previously, he was vice president and general manager at Black Box Network Services and held several leadership roles at Norstan Communications. Vanessa Richelle Wilson (B.A., ’91) Vanessa Richelle Wilson has been named partner at DLA Piper, a global law firm, where she will be based in its Washington, D.C., office. Prior to joining the firm, Wilson worked with Sidley Austin LLC and Dewey & LeBouef LLC. She received a bachelor’s in English at UNO

Mike Duthu (B.S., ’87) Mike Duthu has been promoted to vice president of business development at Ingalls Shipbuilding. In 25 years at Ingalls, he has worked in engineering, business development and programs management. He has a B.S. from University of New Orleans in naval architecture and marine engineering and an MBA from the University of Southern Mississippi.

before getting her juris doctorate at Tulane University. Scott Boudreaux (B.S., ’80, M.B.A.,’92)

Scott Boudreaux has been named chief executive officer of Louisiana Heart Hospital & Medical Group. He served with Ochsner Health System as chief financial officer and as CEO of the Northshore region. He has also worked with Tenet Healthcare System, Christus Health and Universal Health Systems, holding top positions in administration, finance and operations. A. Thomas Leonhard (B.S., ’89, M.B.A., ’92)

A. Thomas “Tom” Leonhard been named CEO of HRI Properties in New Orleans. Leonhard has worked at the company since 1988, when he was still a student at the University of New Orleans. Leonhard worked his way into company leadership in development and financing and was named president in 2011. Gindi Prutzman (M.A., ’92) Gindi Prutzman has been named president of the Dothan Education Foundation Board of Directors in Dothan, Ala. She is a former middle school music teacher and has worked in nonprofit development. She also directs children’s music and children’s ministries at the First United Methodist Church in Dothan. Julie Stokes (B.S., ’92) Julie Stokes was honored with a Girl Scouts Louisiana East 2016 Women of Distinction award. Stokes represents Jefferson Parish as a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives. Roberto Diaz Del Valle (B.S., ’93) Roberto Diaz Del Valle has been named a recipient of the LSU School of Medicine Alumni Excellence Award for 2016. He is business manager at the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. He received his B.S. in marketing from the University of New Orleans. David Lundgren, Jr. (BS, ’88, MBA, ’93)

David Lundren, Jr., is the


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Regina Cassanova (B.S., ’03) Regina Cassanova has been recognized as a “Young Water Professional” by WW&D Magazine. She is a senior project manager at Trigon Associates LLC, a New Orleans engineering firm. Cassanova has more than 15 years of experience designing and constructing water and wastewater systems. She has been a part of projects in the U.S., Australia, Haiti, Jordan, Libya and Palestine.

new chief investment officer for Hancock Holding Company. He joined Hancock in 1998 as director of equities and research after starting his career at First National Bank of Commerce. He is a chartered financial analyst. Scott Peebles (B.A., ’94) Scott Peebles has joined the law firm of Simmons Hanly Conroy based in San Francisco. He is formerly an assistant district attorney for Orleans Parish. He has more than 15 years litigation experience and will be focused on asbestos-related cases. Elaine Williams (B.A., ’94) Elaine Williams has been awarded certification in exhibition management from the International Association of Exhibitions and Events. She is director of sales at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, where she has worked since 2007. Joseph Boyden (M.F.A., ’95) Joseph Boyden, an awardwinning author who splits his time between Canada and Louisiana, has been appointed to the Order of Canada, one of Canada’s highest civilian honors. His novels include “Three Day Road” and “The Orenda.” Emily W. Thompson (B.A., ’95) Emily Thompson has joined

Olin Business School Executive Programs at Washington University in St. Louis. As director of product and business development, she will work to expand the reach of Olin Business School’s executive education offerings. Eddie Gammon (B.S., ’96) Eddie Gammon has been named executive vice president and director of operations for Reliant Bank. He started his banking career at Whitney Bank in New Orleans and has more than 30 years of banking experience. He has also been in senior management at Iberia Bank, Home Bank and Avenue Bank. Charlotte Pevny (M.S., ’96) Charlotte Pevny joined SEARCH, an archaeological and engineering consulting firm, as project manager in New Orleans. She brings 25 years of experience in cultural resource management and has authored or co-authored more than 100 technical reports, book manuscripts, chapters, journal articles, conference papers and essays. Janel Marts Green (B.S., ’97) Janel Marts Green is the new vice president for business and finance at Dillard University, where she has been serving on an interim basis since June

1, 2015. Green has been on the staff at the university since 2011. She holds a degree in finance from the University of New Orleans. Larry C. Stephens, Jr. (B.S., ’98, M.B.A., ’04)

Larry C. Stephens, Jr., has been promoted to serve as Whitney Bank’s Houston commercial and industrial market manager. He first joined Whitney in 1998 as a management trainee and rose to a corporate banking vice president. He also worked as senior vice president at Frost Bank and Regions Bank before returning to Whitney in 2014. Nicole Suhre (B.A., ’99) Nicole Suhre has been named executive director of the St. Tammany Hospital Foundation. She is past-president of the Greater Northshore Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Suhre has also been honored as a YMCA Hero, a Northshore Visionary, and is a graduate of Leadership St. Tammany. Lee Connor (B.S., ’97, M.B.A.,’00) Lee Connor has been appointed interim town manager for Harrisburg, NC. He has served as the Harrisburg’s finance director since 2010. He is a certified public accountant and has more than 10 years auditing experience. Chris Palermo (B.S., ’00) Chris Palermo has been named senior vice president, commercial banker at Business First Bank in Metairie. He has more than 15 years of experience in New Orleans-area banking, lending and customer


NBC Bank in New Orleans.

Charlotte Parent (M.S., ’00) Charlotte Parent has joined LCMC Health as assistant vice president of community affairs and network navigation. The transition comes after nine years with the City of New Orleans, where she was named health director in 2014. Prior to joining the City, Parent was director of Maternal and Child Services at Touro Infirmary in New Orleans. She holds a nursing degree from Charity Hospital School of Nursing, a B.S. from Loyola University and a masters in Healthcare Management from the University of New Orleans.

Jay Trapani (B.G.S., ’02) Jay Trapani has been named executive director of Hope Haven Children’s Services, a nonprofit organization in Mississippi’s Hancock County that serves abuse and neglected children. He possesses 30 years working in the health care industry.

Bryan Pastor (B.S., ’01) Bryan Pastor has been named vice president commercial banker at Business First Bank in Metairie. He has more than 15 years of experience in New Orleans-area banking, lending and customer relations. Walter Tillman, Jr. (M.Ed., ’01) Walter Tillman, Jr., is the new dean of student service and enrollment management at River Parishes Community College in Gonzales, La. He has held administrative positions at the Southern University System, Louisiana Community and Technical College System and Meharry College in Nashville. Daniel Hereford (B.G.S., ’02) Daniel Hereford has been named chief information officer and executive vice president at Business First Bank. He has worked in the financial sector for more than 13 years, most recently serving as director of information technology for First

Jericho Brown (M.F.A., ’02) Jericho Brown was awarded a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship. The poet is associate professor of English and creative writing at Emory University.

Joseph Authement (B.A., ’01, M.B.A., ’03)

Joseph Authement was honored with a 2016 Father of the Year award from the American Diabetes Association and the Father’s Day Council of New Orleans. He is senior vice president of global sales at Xenex Disinfection Seevices and spent much of his career at Medtronic and Intuitive Surgical, Inc. Toya Barnes-Teamer (Ph.D., ’03) Toya Barnes-Teamer has joined HCM Strategists as director for education. She has more than 25 years of experience in higher education, most recently as vice president for student success at Dillard University. She has also overseen student affairs at Louisiana Community Technical College System, worked in admissions and enrollment at the University of New Orleans and was director of admissions at Loyola University. David E. Lewis (M.B.A., ’04) David E. Lewis has been named chief financial officer of FinTrust Investment Advisors in Greenville, SC. He has more than 20 years of experience to the job. Before getting his M.B.A. at the University of New Orleans, he received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the State University of New York at Oswego. Jason Richoux (M.B.A., ’04) Jason Richoux joined Appleyard Agency advertising firm in Pensacola, where he works in account services. Before that, he was a regional marketing manager with the McDonald’s Corp. for two years and an agency account supervisor for local McDonald’s owners along the Gulf Coast for six years.

Barry Stephenson (M.M., ’13) Barry Stephenson appeared with Jon Batiste’s Stay Human band on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” in August. The bassist and bandleader also is leading live performances in New Orleans for the Jazz for “Young People: The Resilient Cities Tour,” a partnership of The Rockefeller Foundation and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Mike Hilferty (M.B.A., ’05) Mike Hilferty this year celebrated 15 years with SRSA Gulf South Management. Hilferty has 31 years combined commercial real estate management and leasing experience. Before joining SRSA, he worked with Cushman & Wakefield. He is a licensed real estate agent in Louisiana. Jemel Jones (M.S., ’05) Jemel Jones has been hired as general manager at DoubleTree by Hilton in Arlington, Texas. Before that, Jones worked at Transformance, Inc. He has more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry and has held leadership positions with Hilton Hotels as well as with DoubleTree New Orleans. Karen Paisant (B.A., ‘02, M.B.A., ‘05) Karen Paisant has been named assistant vice president for human resource management at the University of New Orleans, where she has worked for nine years. In her new role, she will serve as the chief human resources officer, providing strategic vision, leadership, and management in support of the University’s mission and overall success. Bruce Snow (B.A.,’05) Bruce Snow has a new book titled “Can Everybody Swim?” Published by Et Alia Press, it de-

tails his real life tale of survival in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Snow resides in Little Rock, Ark. Lauren Parish-Williams (B.S., ’05) Lauren Parish-Williams presented her dissertation proposal at the annual conference of the Research Association for Minority Professors in February. She is a shared educational planner and adjunct professor at San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas. She is pursuing her doctoral degree in educational leadership from Prairie View A&M University. Alison Greffenius (M.A.,’06) Alison Greffenius has been named executive director of the Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation. Greffenius has 12 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising, management and marketing and is former director of fund development at St. Scholastica Academy in Covington, La. Matthew Charles Cardinale (M.P.A, ’07)

Matthew Charles Cardinale is one of three founding members of SMART ALEC, an Atlanta nonprofit organization that seeks to promote progressive public policies at state and local levels. He is also founding news editor and CEO of the Atlanta Progressive News.

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Kevin Duffy (B.S., ’07) Kevin Duffy has been named director of therapy services at PT Solutions, a physical therapy practice recently opened in Metairie, La., associated with Tulane University. He is a graduate of Brother Martin High School and received his bachelor’s in psychology at the University of New Orleans before getting his physical therapy doctorate from LSU. April Dupre (B.S., ’08) April Dupre owns Footprints to Fitness, where she is a wellness coach. A former Saintsation, she has a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology and has worked in the wellness industry for 13 years as an educator, certified exercise instructor, personal trainer and CPR instructor. William McCulloch (M.B.A., ’08) William McCulloch has been named vice president and chief financial officer at Walbridge, a construction company headquartered in Detroit, Mich. He formerly was with FSE Energy, a New Orleans contractor. Jessica Morgan (B.A., ’09) Jessica Morgan served as a volunteer exhibit curator for “Life and Time of Pullman Porters” at the Rosenberg Railroad Museum in Houston, Texas. Thairah “Cindy” Mousa (B.S., ’06, M.S., ’10)

Thairah “Cindy” Mousa has been named director of human resources at Touro Infirmary. Before joining the Uptown

New Orleans hospital, she oversaw human resources at New Orleans East Hospital and managed human resources at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. She holds a B.A. in management and a master’s in healthcare management. Marshe’ Griffin (B.S., ’12) Marshe’ Griffin is a Saintsation cheerleader for the New Orleans Saints. She holds a degree in marketing from the University of New Orleans. Amanda Hargrove (B.A., ’12) Amanda Hargrove designed the commemorative Natchez Tricentennial license plate available in Mississippi. Hargrove is a graphic designer employed with the Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau. The plate features a sunset, a river bridge, a steamboat and the tricentennial seal. John Warner Smith (M.F.A., ’12) John Warner Smith has released his second collection of poems, “Soul Be a Witness,” published by MadHat Press. His poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and for the Sundress Best of the Net Anthology. A Cave Canem Fellow, Smith earned his M.F.A. in creative writing at the University of New Orleans. He teaches literature and writing at Southern University and directs Education’s Next Horizon. Blair Bordelon (B.A., ’13) Blair Bordelon has joined SEARCH, an archaeological and

engineering consulting firm, as an archaeologist responsible for site assessment, data recovery, archeological survey and excavation. Her research interests include the practice of racial and ethnic identity as it is revealed in the archaeological record. Alie Broussard (M.S., ’13) Alie Broussard has been named convention development manager of The Woodlands Convention and Visitors Bureau in Texas. Before that, she was an executive meeting manager for the Fort Collins Marriott in Colorado. She also has worked in hotels in New Orleans, Cheyenne and Wyoming. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a master’s degree in hospitality and tourism management from the University of New Orleans. Brett Netto (B.A., ’13) Brett Netto has been named vice president of the Virginia Tech Graduate Student Assembly for 2016-17. He is a doctoral student in the university’s School of Public and International Affairs. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of New Orleans and is co-advisor for the Epsilon Eta chapter of Kappa Alpha Order fraternity. Melissa Grubbs (B.S., ’15) Melissa Grubbs has been named varsity volleyball coach at De La Salle High School in New Orleans for 2016-17.

Emily Boudreaux (B.S., ’15) Emily Boudreaux has been recognized by New Orleans CityBusiness as “One to Watch.” She is an engineer with Empire Pipeline, where she began as an intern while studying mechanical engineering at the University of New Orleans. She has since been promoted to a leadership role which involves the safe transport of millions of barrels of crude oil per year. She is a member of Young Pipeline Professionals USA, the Women’s Energy Network, the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

She was junior varsity and assistant varsity coach at Ursuline Academy for 11 years. Her teams have won three state championships and have made numerous playoffs. She is also part owner of Motiv8 Volleyball Club in Morgan City, La. Karl Hartdegen (M.S., ’15) Karl Hartdegen has been hired as a brewer at Crescent City Brewhouse. Hartdegen started interning at the brewhouse while working toward his master’s degree in hospitality and tourism management at the

University of New Orleans. He also holds a degree in biology from LSU. Kevin Brown (M.S.,’16, Ph.D.,’16) Kevin Brown is a faculty member at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He formerly worked as a therapist for families with reported cases of abuse. He is the author of several books and served as chaplain for the New Orleans Hornets from 2003 to 2010. He received his doctorate in urban studies from the University of New Orleans.

SAVE THE DATE FOR HOMECOMING 2017 Come out to the Lakefront on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, to display your Privateer pride with other alumni and students as the University of New Orleans celebrates homecoming with a tailgate and celebration. The New Orleans Privateers will play a doubleheader against Nicholls State University at the UNO Lakefront Arena. For more information about homecoming and homecoming week activities, visit and

Longtime Learning Resource Director Bill Middleton William “Bill” Carriere Center feel like a comfortable Middleton, longtime director of community where students the University of New Orleans could seek and get the help they Learning Resource needed. Center, died at “He ran the his home in New Learning Resource Orleans on Aug. 30. Center like an old coffee He was 73. shop where a diverse Middleton university community worked as a full-time congregated for coffee instructor at UNO and conversation,” for nearly 28 years. William Carriere Hadley says. “He was Colleague Charles always helping students Middleton Hadley, research with writing projects.” professor emeritus, says Middleton, who became Middleton’s welcoming manner known at UNO as the “comma made the Learning Resource coach,” was born in Yazoo

City, Miss. He graduated from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., and continued his studies toward a doctorate in English at Southern Illinois University, where he also taught. According to an obituary in The New Orleans Advocate, Middleton also did field work for the editors of the Dictionary of American Regional English. Middleton joined UNO in 1973 and retired in 2001. He enjoyed playing piano and spoke French fluently as well as some German. He frequently opened his house to exchange

students from many different countries. Hadley says that Middleton’s service to UNO students was notable. “While he never completed his own Ph.D. dissertation, he helped write a good number of them for students who eventually were awarded Ph.Ds.” Middleton is survived by his wife of 42 years, Anne Marie (Golembiewski) Middleton, son Mark Crispin and his wife Rebecca, and one grandson, Miles Everett. A funeral mass was held Sept. 9.

Former UNO Biology Professor Roberta O’Dell-Smith Roberta O’Dell-Smith, who as the first woman president taught biology at the University of the American Physiological of New Orleans for nearly 20 Society. years, died July 7 in O’Dell-Smith Metairie, La. She was joined the faculty of 86. O’Dell-Smith was Tulane University a beloved professor following graduate known for her ability school, teaching to explain complicated urology and physiology scientific concepts with at the Tulane School passion. of Medicine until Born Roberta July 1969. While in Roberta Maxine O’Dell in New Orleans, she met O’Dell Smith Bradford, Penn., in William Smith, whom 1930, she was initially she would marry in interested in studying Italian 1966. When she learned she was or English, her husband said, pregnant in 1969, O’Dell-Smith but her mother steered toward left her position to focus on the sciences. At a time when child-rearing. few women were entering the In 1976, O’Dell-Smith joined sciences, O’Dell went full steam the faculty of UNO, teaching ahead. physiology and anatomy She was accepted to Pennsyl- full-time. Earlier in her career, vania State University in 1947, her research interests were in where she received her bachelor’s the area of renal physiology in and master’s degrees in 1951 mammals. Though she enjoyed and 1955, respectively. She went research, William Smith says, on to Duke University to get a she chose to focus her later doctorate in 1959, researching career primarily on instruction under the tutelage of Bodil in order to be more available for Schmidt-Nielson, a legendary her son. According to letters on physiologist who made her mark file at UNO, students found her

classroom approach incredibly engaging. Wrote one student, Theresa Fisher, in a hand-written 1982 letter to Michael Poirrier, then-chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, “She not only possessed, but has also mastered those special skills that make her an exceptional teacher—those which include: A desire to teach, a deep concern to make her students understand, the patience and fairness that comes from within, and a true love for her students.” A year later, a nursing student at Charity Hospital named Ruth Roll described O’Dell-Smith in a letter to Poirrier as, “the best instructor I have ever had.” Clelmer Bartell, who was also on the biology faculty at UNO, first met O’Dell-Smith when they were both graduate students at Duke. The two of them sang together in choir, a hobby William Smith says his wife, a soprano, continued after moving to New Orleans and joining the Rayne United

Methodist Church choir. William Smith, who enjoyed 50 years of marriage to the woman many called “Robie,” says his wife was outgoing, an avid reader, a great hostess, a devoted fan of opera and a wonderful travel companion. O’Dell-Smith retired from UNO in 1995 as associate professor, but returned for one semester to teach part-time in the fall of 1999. She was a member of the American Physiological Society, the Society of Nuclear Medicine, the New York Academy of Science, the American Society of Nephrology and the Mount Desert Island Biological Station as well as numerous other committees and scientific and professional organizations. Looking back, Smith says he had only regret for the time they had not spent together: “I wish we had married sooner,” he says. Besides her husband, O’DellSmith is survived by son Cameron B. Smith and his wife Leah Lindberg Smith; sister Jacqueline O’Dell; and brother-in-law Raymond I. Smith.

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The Jazz Trumpeter If there’s one thing early University of New Orleans alumni notice when they visit today’s campus, it’s the trees. In this undated photograph, a trumpeter practices his horn on the rim of the amphitheater outside the Performing Arts Center. Juxtaposed with a photograph from the same setting today, we can see how much the now-mature trees have altered the look of 2000 Lakeshore Drive. Do you have information about this early photo? If so, email us at, subject “Jazz Trumpeter.”


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› › › › ‹ ‹ ‹ ‹ YOUR RESOURCE FOR REACHING THE UNO COMMUNITY WITH: • Part-Time and Full-Time Job Postings • Internships, Apprenticeships and Cooperative Education Postings • UNO Students and Alumni Résumé Bank • Career Events Registration Information Even if you aren’t looking to hire UNO talent, there are other ways to contribute to the long-term success of current UNO students. Join the UNO International Alumni Association to learn more about networking events and these signature annual events. Sign up for free at and for event dates and times. Resume Rehab Each year, the Alumni Association in coordination with Career Services hosts this resume review at which 20+ alumni and hiring professionals workshop students' resumes and provide advice and tips to help students succeed after graduation.


Dine Like a Pro Etiquette Luncheon One of our most popular events, alumni from a diverse range of professions join juniors and seniors at a special luncheon designed to give students a leg-up on business networking and dining etiquette.

CONTACT 504.280.6225


Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID New Orleans, LA Permit No. 759

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