Queen Latifah invites Newcomb alumnae to show

October 16, 2013 10:00 AM

Alicia Duplessis Jasmin

A group of Newcomb College alumnae, known lovingly throughout the local community as the “Dirty Dozen,” will appear on the Queen Latifah Show airing Thursday (Oct. 17) at 11 a.m. Central Time on NBC.

Queen Latifah
Four of the 12 Newcomb alumnae, who return to New Orleans annually to help rebuild homes through Habitat for Humanity, were flown to Culver City, Calif., this week to tape the episode of the show which also will feature Julianne Hough, comedian Russell Peters and a performance by Asher Monroe.

Representing the group on the show will be Janis Dropkin Smythe (class of ’69), Cheryl Joseph Zacarro (’69), Linda Lewis-Moors (’69) and Carol Nathan McKegney (’71).

The team of women, mostly from the class of 1969 with a couple from later years, worked on their first home in February 2006. Since then, they have continued their community service in New Orleans every year.

Their appearance on the Queen Latifah Show, however, won’t be the first time they’ve been in the spotlight.

In 2009, the group appeared on the cover of Tulanian (now Tulane) magazine. They were featured in Readers Digest in 2011 and have made several appearances in the New Wave.

“The show producer contacted one of the ladies because he’d seen the article in Readers Digest,” says Smythe, who described her feelings before the show as a mixture of nervousness and excitement. “It feels great to be recognized, but the real mission is to get more people involved not just in New Orleans but also in other devastated areas.”

While Smythe makes the trip to New Orleans from her home in New York, others in the “Dirty Dozen” travel from the likes of California, Illinois, and Washington among other places.

Lauren Townsend, vice-president of media and talent relations at Sony Pictures Television, says producers selected the women because they believed their story would resonate with viewers.

“Their story is very inspirational and is a great example of the good that can be done by people who step out of their comfort zone and try something new,” says Townsend.

The episode airs in the New Orleans area on WDSU, channel 6 (NBC). Find out where to watch elsewhere on the show’s website.

Citation information:

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