Before she started at Tulane, Mwende Katwiwadedicated a year of service in New Orleans with AmeriCorps’ City Year. Once at Tulane, this commitment grew. Within the Center for Public Service, Mwende served as a Public Service Fellow, the inaugural Bruce J. Heim Service Fellow and a member of the Student Advisory Board. She ran an afterschool empowerment program with girls from local high schools through the Tulane’s Upward Bound program. Mwende has held leadership positions with Mortar Board, the Black Student Union, and Tulane’s production of the Vagina Monologues. Within the New Orleans community, she taught Poetry and Social Justice at Akili Academy afterschool program and remains active in New Orleans’s arts & activism community as a nationally ranked spoken word artist.
Juan Carlos Monterrey Gomez has worked to support Tulane’s public service program and social innovation/social entrepreneurship initiatives. He served on advisory boards for both programs. He combined these interests first as a Center for Public Service Public Service Fellow and then as a Service-learning Assistant with social innovation/social entrepreneurship courses. He designed and supervised the service learning opportunities for the Social Innovation & Social Entrepreneurship program at Tulane. He assisted with the creation of Fund 17, a student-run microfinance institution, and served as its first Associate Director. During his senior year, Juan Carlos raised money for relief efforts in the Philippines through the NOLA Loves Philippines project.
As a Neuroscience major, Melissa Herman combined her public service interest with her academic pursuits. As President of the Tulane University Neuroscience Association, she worked to incorporate community service into the organization’s mission by developing Neuroscience focused event for public school children. Melissa has also worked with Tulane University’s Stroke Program to conduct public service research on stroke hotspots in New Orleans. This research will lead to increased public awareness and improve stroke prevention efforts.
Michelle Liu has been an active member and leader within the Community Action Council of Tulane University Students, volunteering with Swim4Success, Hope House Community Center and Roots of Music. During her Tulane career, she has also focused her community involvement efforts on the medical field working with Unity Nursing & and Rehabilitation Center, New Orleans Dream Center HealthREACH Clinic, and Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center with a special interest in senior care.
Lea Bogner has become the face of Tulane Community Service and has worked to change the service culture on campus. During her four years at Tulane, she has co-founded a tutoring program for at risk youth and chaired the Community Action Council of Tulane University Students, Outreach Tulane, and the USG Community Service Council. During her semester abroad, Lea volunteered with Epifania, a community support agency in Valparaiso, Chile. During her senior year, Lea endeavored to change the way community service organizations are supported by USG and was awarded the UGL Services Community Service Scholarship to support her work. She has characterized her role on campus as a bridge, connecting students to educational and service opportunities. Dean James MacLaren nominated her for this award because of her commitment to service and her ability to empower others to lead through service. Lea has been selected for the Teach For America program and hopes to remain in New Orleans, teaching in the public schools.
Laura White arrived at Tulane with a wealth of service experience having founded a non-profit organization while in high school. While at Tulane, Laura has challenged students, faculty, and staff to look at public service in a new light. In her nomination letter, Dr. Carol Whelan refers to Laura as a "catalyst for public service and social innovation in education." While on-campus, she has been active member with the TUchangemakers, the CPS Public Service Fellows program, and the Benjamin Banneker Elementary School charter board. She was the founder of Swim 4 Success, Inc. and co-founder of Citizen Circles. In collaboration with Dr. Tony Wagner of Harvard University, the New Foundry Ventures and Tulane University, she has conducted research projects on social innovation. She has advocated for young social innovators and has championed social innovation as a means to improve public education. Laura has accepted a position with the Ashoka Institute, allowing her to continue her vision of helping other young social innovators transform their ideas into actions.
To his nominator, Ben Zucker embodies the best of practices of community engagement, learning about community issues, researching and developing innovative solutions, and putting those solutions into action. From his public health work in Senegal to his social justice work in New Orleans, Ben has been a tireless advocate for at-risk and exploited communities. After graduation, he plans to remain in New Orleans and continue his work as a community organizer.
When Matthew Peters arrived at Tulane, he had not planned on getting involved in public service. But the city's need was too great to ignore. Over the past four years, Matt has committed himself to education reform by mentoring students at after school programs, teaching science, organizing large scale days of service, and working with faculty on service learning courses. After graduation, Matt will continue this commitment by teaching in New Orleans through the Teach for America program.
Frances Nguyen commitment to service goes beyond completing a requirement. During her Tulane career, she has worked with Brothers/Big Sisters, the Cowen Institute, Upward Bound, the Community Service Scholars program and the MLK Week for Peace Dream Team. Inspired by her work with the community, she created a comprehensive sex education program for William J. Fischer Accelerated Academy. Using her public health education, Frances addressed a community need and positively impacted children's lives.
When Teddy Nathan arrived in New Orleans, he felt an immediate sense of responsibility for and pride in the New Orleans community. During his time at Tulane, Teddy served that community through projects in education, rebuilding, employment equity, health, and youth development and wellness. He provided direct service to community agencies, conducted research on advocacy issues, and enabled other students to engage with the New Orleans community through service learning and community service activities.
Lauren Anderson has done service through all of the avenues available at Tulane. She works with the Community Service Federal Work Study program at Benjamin Banneker, she has done service through student organizations, she has complete one service-learning course (LAST 101) and a public service internship, as well as completed additional service on her own. Lauren has worked in the public schools (Lusher and Banneker) doing literacy tutoring. The past three years she has been the student supervisor at Benjamin Banneker. Lauren volunteers each week at Animal Rescue New Orleans in Harahan. She was the Service Chair for her Honors fraternity and has organized breast cancer walks, Relay for life events, animal adoption drives, fundraising events, and “College Days’ for local high schools. Last year she got involved with e 20/20 Vision Committee which promotes rape education and prevention programming. She has also done international service in Uganda teaching in an orphanage.
Kelly Holmes returned to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina because of her love of the city. Kelly parlayed that love into a commitment to better the community around her. As a volunteer at Touro Hospital’s M6 Head and Trauma unit, Kelly gained practical experience while assisting with physical therapy sessions and attending to patients. Kelly used this experience to support other Tulane students working in hospital settings as a Public Service Fellow for Dr. Beth Wee’s service learning course. Kelly has also assisted Dr. Stacy Overstreet with a Community Based Research project studying the effects of Post-traumatic stress disorder on children’s attentional abilities. These findings will have implications for teachers, school psychologists, and other school-based constituents serving communities affected by disasters.
Anne Marie Norman brought her dedication to public service to Tulane. This commitment was evident in her progressive leadership of the Community Action Council of Tulane University Students (CACTUS) and development of service opportunities for other Tulane students. During Anne Marie’s undergraduate career, she directly served the Desire Street Academy, St. George’s Dragon Café, and the Gert Town community. She held several offices in CACTUS, including president, as well as acted as the co-chair of Outreach Tulane, a campus wide service day. Through the biomedical engineering senior design competition, Anne Marie and her team constructed a mobility walker for a four-year boy with epilepsy. Anne Marie plans to continue her dedication to service after graduation by teaching biology in Washington D.C. through the Teach for America program.
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