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Dean's Colloquium
John J. Witmeyer III Dean's Colloquium: Gwen Thompkins
Robert C. Cudd Hall, Aron Common Room
Thursday, February 12, 2009, 4:00 p.m., Reception to follow

Gwen ThompkinsAs the guest of the John J. Witmeyer III Dean’s Colloquium, Gwen Thompkins, Newcomb College ’87, will reflect on the path that has taken her from the classrooms of Tulane to her current position as a journalist in Africa. She will share her unique perspective on the political and social realities of modern-day Africa, as well as her observations on what it takes to have a successful career in journalism.  

Gwen Thompkins is the East Africa correspondent for NPR. She is based in Nairobi, Kenya, but covers a variety of nations from the Horn to the heart of Africa. From 1996 to 2006, Gwen was the senior editor of Weekend Edition Saturday, with Scott Simon, where she learned — among other things — that when a horse walks into a bar, the only logical question to ask is, "So, why the long face?"

Gwen was born and raised in New Orleans and counts Louis Armstrong among her closest friends. She is a graduate of Newcomb College at Tulane University and double majored in History and Soviet Studies. Gwen was a Thomas J. Watson Fellow in Eastern Europe when the Berlin wall fell. Luckily, she was not hurt.

For many years, she worked as a reporter and editor at The Times-Picayune newspaper. In 2005 and early 2006, she and NPR producer Sarah Beyer Kelly filed a series of radio stories from New Orleans on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Her house there took nine feet of water, but she is rebuilding. In her travels, the things Gwen says she misses most are oyster po-boys, huckabucks and buttermilk drops. And if you were from New Orleans, she says, you probably would too.

Free and open to the public. This event is sponsored by the Newcomb-Tulane College Office of Cocurricular Programs. 865-5728.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu