Tulane University Spreads the Word to End the Word

My tiny chef

My tiny chef

Sarah Mae with her three degrees

(she’s laughing because her father and his brother were all blowing air horns)

Saturday marked an auspicious occasion for my daughter Sarah. She graduated from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux Louisiana with three degrees: Culinary Arts, Culinary Science and Dietetics. I have watched as my 18 year old daughter grew into a strong, smart, self confident, beautiful 23 year old young woman. She survived heartbreak, several bouts of digestive problems and frustration with teachers/courses. Yet she succeeded. I am proud to present my Tiny Chef Sarah.

Daisy Pignetti: Blogging the Unfinished Story in Post-Katrina New Orleans

Daisy Pignetti* is participating on a panel at the Oxford Internet Institute symposium at Oxford University in England and is presenting her paper “Blogging the Unfinished Story in post-Katrina New Orleans” on Friday. Her paper features my writing from my personal blog, TravelingMermaid,  in the months after the storm and up to 2009. I am honored that Daisy felt my frustrated scribbles was worthy to include in her paper so I wanted to share this news with y’all.

Daisy contacted the “NOLA Bloggers”, a group of people who blogged and networked after the storm, through Think NOLA in 2006 asking for volunteers to talk about their blogging experiences for a research project. I think it’s important to note that Think NOLA, the New Orleans Wiki (both now defunct) and Alan Gutierrez were instrumental in organizing the Nola blogosphere into a cohesive group and deserves a lot of credit for doing so.

The abstract from Daisy’s paper reads as follows:

“With the growing familiarity of the blog genre, much has been published about the use of information and communication technologies for grassroots and community endeavors, but there is still research to be done, particularly of placeblogs that coincide with sites of natural and/or national disaster. Unlike other scholarly Internet inquiries where issues of identity might influence the structures and processes of the research, the population discussed here stands out in its transparent use of blogs and other Web 2.0 technologies.

The New Orleans blogger community proves to be one built upon the shared experience of Hurricane Katrina and is thereby focused on reporting the facts surrounding and actions needed for recovery to take place. While their individual blog audiences may be small, their disclosing details about their lives ‘after the levees broke’ allows these ‘NOLA Bloggers’ to be in control of their storm stories and potentially receive feedback within minutes of sharing, which is fundamental during times of crisis.

After a brief overview of my autoethnographic research methods, I present a profile of a blogger whose writing presents readers with a truer understanding of what life is like in post-Katrina New Orleans. Since the hurricane hit in 2005, Charlotte’s writing has progressed from emotional outpourings of survivor’s guilt to reflective posts illustrating the way web 2.0 technologies have empowered her local identity since the storm. “

Several bloggers and/or blogs from the NOLA blogosphere who were posting immediately after the storm are mentioned in the paper, including:

Humid City
NOLA Slate (Sam recently guest posted for NOLAFemmes – you may read her post here.)
Wetbank Guide
Maitri’s Vatulblog
Think NOLA

Also mentioned is the list of New Orleans Bloggers and the Rising Tide Conference.

After the success of last year’s 5th anniversary project on this blog, I had hoped to publish a series for the 6th anniversary featuring some of the NOLA bloggers that I personally read after the storm, people who came to mean so much to me, but personal issues prevented me from seeing that project through. Maybe next year.

There’s really nothing more I can add except, read this paper. Scroll down the programme to Friday and click on Daisy Pignetti’s name after which you can download the paper. It’s fascinating reading and gratifying to realize that all our ranting and kvetching about life post-Katrina was heard and really is a little piece of history.


*Daisy Pignetti is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. A proud New Orleans native, her research into the rebuilding of New Orleans through new media endeavors can be read in scholarly journals such as Computers and Composition Online and Reflections: A Journal of Writing, Service-Learning, and Community Literacy as well as on prominent blog sites such as the Open Society Institute’s Katrina: An UnNatural Disaster and the Harvard University hosted Publius Project. She credits these publications and opportunities to the wonderful group of Internet researchers, faculty, and staff she met during the 2007 Oxford Internet Institute Summer Doctoral Programme.

Applications available for NOLA health program

Make Your Life Your Argument!


The New Orleans Schweitzer Fellows Program, a program of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship™ with partnership from the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) provides service opportunities and support for aspiring health professionals who seek to help the underserved in New Orleans.  With the generous help of contributors, the New Orleans Schweitzer Fellows Program proudly announces its third year of uniting a diverse range of students, faculty, and community-based providers who share a commitment to public service.


In the spring of 2010, approximately 15 New Orleans Schweitzer Fellows will be selected from applications submitted by students in a diversity of fields, including but not limited to medicine, nursing, dentistry, public health, social work, psychology, pharmacy, education, physical therapy, law, nutrition, art therapy, dance/movement therapy, music, and acupuncture.  We seek Fellows from an array of disciplines to contribute to the health of our communities.


Fellowship projects include the following:

  • a minimum of 200 hours of direct service through an existing community based organization in the New Orleans area;
  • a supervisor, or Site Mentor, at the host organization and a Faculty Mentor at the student’s school;
  • monthly progress reports on the Fellow’s project;
  • a written report at the conclusion of the project, including recommendations for ways in which the most valuable aspects of the Fellow’s project and experiences can be replicated or sustained;
  • professional development in skills related to working with underserved communities;
  • an opportunity to be part of an interdisciplinary group of students committed to working in underserved communities.


In addition to the service project, Fellows work in groups to organize public symposia on pertinent public health topics or community service outreach activities.  Fellows are required to attend monthly meetings, all symposia and service days, an introductory meeting on April 16th, 2010, a weekend orientation May 22-23rd, 2010, a mid-year retreat, and the annual Schweitzer Fellows Celebration Event in May 2011.


Students are welcome to submit proposals for an original project that reflects Dr. Schweitzer’s ethic of Reverence for Life or for the continuation of a project initiated by a previous Schweitzer Fellow.


Fellows receive a stipend of $2,500 (paid in three installments) both to underscore the seriousness of their work and to ensure that students who are already struggling financially are not discouraged from participating. Any student enrolled at least part-time for the 2010-2011 academic year in a graduate-level-degree-granting program in the New Orleans area is welcome to apply.   Applications are due via online submission by 5pm February 5th, 2010.




Prior to Applying: Interested students should investigate and reflect on the unmet health-related needs that exist in New Orleans and its communities and on the ways in which their own energies and talents might contribute, even in small ways, to ameliorating one or more of these problems. In proposing a project, keep in mind how your idea addresses those unmet health needs and might be of enduring value to the community. For guidance on national and local health priorities as established by Healthy People 2010, please visit: http://www.healthypeople.gov


Prospective applicants are encouraged to attend information sessions about the Schweitzer Fellowship at their Universities and visit the program website at: www.schweitzerfellowship.org


For more information, or to set up an information session at your school, please email SchweitzerNOLA@gmail.com or contact Holly Scheib, the New Orleans Schweitzer Program Director at 504-208-7368.

Advancing Women in Academia

From Tulane’s New Wave

Advancing Women in Academia

November 10, 2009

New Wave staff

The impacts of prejudice and bias on leadership advancement in academic institutions will be the focus of Dr. Molly Carnes’ talk at the 2009 Women’s Health Research Day on Friday (Nov. 13) co-sponsored by the Tulane-Xavier National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health.

Dr. Molly Carnes, director of the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Women’s Health Research, will lead a faculty workshop and give a public talk examining bias in academic leadership.

The keynote speech, “Forewarned is Forearmed: An Evidence-Based Approach to Advancing Women in Academia,” will be delivered by Carnes, professor of medicine, psychiatry and industrial and systems engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is director of the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Women’s Health Research.

Carnes’ presentation, from 9:30–10:30 a.m., which is open to the public, will be held in the J. Bennett Johnston Health and Environmental Research Building, 1324 Tulane Ave.

She also will present a workshop for faculty on “Breaking the Prejudice Habit through Bias Literacy” from 11:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., also in the J. Bennett Johnston Building. Preregistration is required.

“Carnes is committed to transforming the academic culture to be more welcoming of minorities and women and supportive of their career advancement, and increasing the development of a diverse cadre of future leaders in academic medicine, science and engineering,” says Dr. Jeanette H. Magnus, Cecile Usdin Professor in Women’s Health and chair of the Department of Community Health Sciences.

From 8:30–9:30 a.m. there will be a poster presentation by Tulane faculty working in the fields of sex, gender and women’s health.

The research day is sponsored by the Tulane-Xavier National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health and the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health program, funded by the National Institutes of Health. Additional support comes from the Maternal and Child Public Health Leadership Training Program, the Tulane Department of Community Health Sciences and the Mary Amelia Douglas-Whited Community Women’s Health Education Center.

For more information contact Gail Rome or call 504-988-9835.

(Thanks to Jen Sachs of Katrina Warriors for the info!)