Program’s focus helps alumna make a difference

July 31, 2013 11:00 AM

Joseph Halm

When Tulane University alumna Crysty Skevington began work as the Red Cross’ grants associate for the Sandy Hurricane Relief Long Term Recovery Program this summer, it marked not only an important milestone in her life but also for the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy housed at the Tulane School of Social Work.

Crysty Skevington

Crysty Skevington graduated with a master's from the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy and now she's helping communities recover from Hurricane Sandy. (Photo by Jamie Dierking/American Red Cross)

Skevington graduated from the master’s program in August 2012, and now she’ll use her unique disaster communications skills to help hurricane survivors.

“It’s serving communities the way that I want to,” she says. “What I really like about this position is that I get to be part of the organization’s accountability. I get to watch how the Red Cross spends their money and hold local organizations accountable for how they spend the money and interact with their communities.”

With the Red Cross, she’ll help review proposals from disaster relief organizations looking to secure grant money from the Red Cross. The position hits close to home as Skevington has family in New Jersey affected by the storm and volunteered after its landfall. Not only will her office help decide how the grant funds are distributed, but it will also keep track of those organizations to ensure they provide the services the community so desperately needs.

The Red Cross told Skevington during her interview that her “delightfully specific major” really caught their interest. She came to Tulane with a writing background in political communications, which helped guide her focus on disaster communications in the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy.

“They sent me outside of the program to find opportunities. They sent me to a conference in Atlanta focused on crisis communications. I love working with people, so now I’ll actually get to sit down with people every day and be part of the recovery process.”

Joseph Halm is marketing/communications coordinator for the Tulane School of Social Work.

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