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Wave of service

April 22, 2014 11:45 AM

New Wave staff
newwave@tulane.edu

Editor’s Note: Staff members from the publications office joined others from across the university for the annual Wave of Green Day of Service. Mary Ann Travis, senior editor, accompanied senior photographer Paula Burch-Celentano to gather information for this story, while photographer Sally Asher also took photos for New Wave and for the Tulane University Facebook page.

Tulane employees at service day

Shovels and rakes in hand, volunteers for the Wave of Green Day of Service wrap up their day’s work at lots on Saratoga Street. Three hundred and fifty Tulane employees participated in the service day on Monday (April 21). The volunteers were transported in eight chartered buses to nine sites around New Orleans. “The day went extremely well,” said Katie Houck, assistant director of outreach and leadership development for the Tulane Center for Public Service, who helped coordinate the volunteer effort.

Working at Tad Gormley Stadium

During the Tulane Wave of Green Day of Service, Matt Segraves of the Cowen Institute for Public Education wheels away leaves and debris collected along the fence at Tad Gormley Stadium. “It’s a fun day,” said Segraves, of the service day that brings together Tulane employees from all corners of the university to help out in the community. Approximately 30 volunteers spruced up the stadium entrance in City Park.

Working at City Park

Jane Johnson, director of public interest externships at Tulane Law School, and Louis Crispino, senior programmer for Technology Services, push wheelbarrows to deliver mulch to paths in the Couterie Forest in City Park. Johnson said that she liked the work because “you get to see results” right away. The volunteers spread the mulch to improve the walking and biking paths in the urban forest.

Mulching work at City Park by volunteers

Olanike Orie, associate professor of anthropology and coordinator of the interdisciplinary program in linguistics, lifts a pitchfork of mulch to fill a wheelbarrow in the Couterie Forest in City Park. Orie said, “It’s wonderful to be outside working with colleagues.” She also said that she’s happy to contribute hours to the Cowen Service Challenge as a way to say thank you to President Scott Cowen for his leadership. Public service at Tulane is “testimony to the fact that working together, we can survive — and make progress,” said Orie.

Cleaning up a vacant lot at service day

Discarded tires are among the junk cleared from an overgrown lot in the 2100 block of Jackson Avenue during the Wave of Green Day of Service. Neighbor James Watson, far left, in blue shirt, lives in a house across the street from the derelict lot. Watson, who has repeatedly asked the city to clean up the site, said that he was “very pleased” with the volunteer efforts coordinated by the community organization United Saints. By the end of the day, the lot was cleared of weeds and discarded items and the adjacent abandoned building boarded up with colored, cheerful panels.

Painting murals on service day

Rachel Hiller, associate director of NCAA compliance in Tulane Athletics; Susan Welch, assistant director of the Office of Environmental Health and Safety; and Marian Herbert-Bruno, senior graphic designer at the Newcomb College Institute, paint a clown-filled mural to be used to board up an abandoned building on Jackson Avenue. Brightly colored boards deter vagrants, according to the community organizers with United Saints, the group that coordinated the cleanup of the site.

Painting on service day

Sarah Berger, senior program coordinator for internships and international programs at the Tulane Center for Public Service, paints a ceiling at a Youth Rebuilding New Orleans house on 10th Street in New Orleans. In the corner is Liz Davey, director of the Tulane Office of Sustainability. Both Berger and Davey said that they like volunteering for the Wave of Green Dave of Service because it allows them to meet other people who work at Tulane and do good in the community.

House repairs on service day

Brandon MacNeill does finish work on Sheetrock at a Youth Rebuilding New Orleans house on South Salcedo Street in New Orleans. He is executive associate athletic director. Youth Rebuilding New Orleans is led by Tulane alumnus William Stoudt, the organization’s executive director, who was a dedicated community volunteer while a student.

Three other Tulane campuses also participated in the service day. Five staff members from the Mississippi Coast Campus in Biloxi volunteered with Back Bay Mission. One staff member worked at the mission’s Micah Center that provides laundry and shower facilities for the homeless, while four other Tulane employees assisted with an electrical wiring project for a home that the mission is renovating for an elderly resident.

Also in Mississippi, the Madison Campus held a food drive from April 1–17 in honor of the service day event. The MadCaap Center’s food pantry benefitted from food items donated by 150 of Madison’s faculty, staff and students. The nonprofit center provides assistance to those in the Madison area who struggle due to poverty.

On the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain, employees from the Tulane National Primate Research Center volunteered at a Barbecue and Fun Day for young students and adults with special needs at the STARC West Adult Facility and Noah’s ARC Child Development Center in Mandeville, La.

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