Tulane tightens its COVID guidelines ahead of the fall term

By Daniel Schwalm and Domonique Tolliver, Uptown Messenger
This fall, Tulane University will require all students to receive the coronavirus vaccine, wear masks while indoors on campus and get tested regularly for COVID-19. Before the Delta variant surge, the university had been planning to relax its COVID guidelines as most of its students, faculty and staff were vaccinated. Vaccinated individuals would have been allowed go unmasked on campus. The school also had been planning to scale down its regular testing regimen, only requiring regular tests for those who were unvaccinated. However, on July 30, the city reinstated the indoor citywide mask mandate, for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, and colleges in the city are following suit.

Tulane Baseball Camp is open for middle and high school students (sponsored)

Tulane Summer Baseball Camp is gearing up for more fun! Registration for the Tulane Summer Baseball Academy middle school camp and the high school showcase are open for all. The July portion of the exciting and informative youth camps will be open to all boys and girls from middle school to high school — providing first-class instruction and the tools that they can take with them moving forward in their playing careers. Tulane Baseball Academy is offering a variety of summer programs for players of all levels, from beginner to advanced; there is a place for everyone. The goal for the younger players attending the middle school skills camp is to provide them with a fun and competitive atmosphere, while instructing the fundamentals of the game.

Tulane Summer Baseball Youth Camp is open for registration (sponsored)

Tulane University athletics is excited to announce the return of the premier baseball camp of New Orleans. Backed by a deep history of the game, love of the sport, and the spirit and community of sportsmanship, Tulane Baseball Academy has opened registration for summer 2021. Batter up! The dynamic and engaging youth camps will be open to boys and girls of all ages, grades K-12. Providing first-class instruction and giving the tools that they can take with them moving forward in their playing careers.

Tulane researcher studying hate crimes against Asian Americans

From Tulane University

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a dramatic increase in hate crimes and other hateful incidents against Asian Americans, and a Tulane University researcher wants to gain a better understanding of these experiences. Irang Kim, an assistant professor in the Tulane School of Social Work, is teaming up with Xiaochuan Wang, an assistant professor of social work at the University of Central Florida, to gauge the extent of hate and hate crimes targeted at individuals of Asian descent and who self-identify as Asian American. They also want to study how these experiences affected their well-being in terms of resilience and coping strategies. As part of the study, Kim and Wang are conducting the “Asian American COVID-19 Experience Survey,” which is open to Asian Americans and Asian immigrants 18 years of age and older. The survey, available in English, Korean and Chinese Mandarin, takes around 15 minutes to complete and will be open through July 31.

Loyola plans to welcome a record number of freshmen, as students and local residents brace for a potential housing shortage

On-campus housing has become a concern for Loyola University students as an influx of freshmen await the fall semester. 

The university is gaining a larger-than-normal freshman class for the fall 2021 semester, which may cause a problem for upperclassmen at Loyola New Orleans and for residents in the surrounding neighborhoods. 

“We don’t yet know the exact size of the class because it ebbs and flows during the summer, but it will be a large class, at least 900 instead of the usual 800 or so,” said Loyola New Orleans President Tania Tetlow. Tetlow said the university plans to build another residence hall to expand the campus housing capacity, but the process of funding, designing and building that project will take several years. 

“We are adding faculty and courses to help cover key first-year classes and staffing in the Student Success Center and Student Affairs,” Tetlow said. “In housing, we’ll continue to prioritize first-year students and use our usual processes to handle overflow.” 

Some students, however, are not happy with the way housing was handled for the fall 2020 semester. “The housing process this year sucked,” said Electra Pelias, a sophomore majoring in psychology. “Housing closed off the Biever and Budding dorms to anyone besides freshmen.” 

Budding Hall typically is majority-sophomore with a few freshmen, Pelias said, while sophomores and upperclassmen would live in Carrollton Hall.

Students revitalize community gardens around Broadmoor

Broadmoor is coming into full bloom this spring as the Broadmoor Improvement Association and Tulane students lead efforts to revitalize three local community gardens. Two of the gardens – the Food Forest on Toledano Street near Dorgenois Street and another produce patch at the Broadmoor Community Church – will produce fresh herbs and vegetables for the Broadmoor Food Pantry. A rain garden at South Miro and Gen. Taylor streets will help mitigate flooding and beautify the area with native plants like cattails, cypress trees and irises. 

The goal of the gardens is simple: “We grow food and we nurture plants to bring people together,” said Dorothy Jelagat Cheruiyot, a professor of ecology and biology at Tulane University. Cheruiyot’s students are working as busily as bees in the Broadmoor gardens each week as part of internships and classes related to urban agroecology, as well as an additional garden at the New Zion Baptist Church in Central City. But the ultimate goal is to recruit neighborhood volunteers so that the lots will truly be sustainable community gardens, with an emphasis on the community.

Viewpoint: Displaced hospitality workers can learn medical-industry skills through Goodwill

Like many New Orleanians, Tiffany Turner has been having a tough time during the pandemic.  She was eager to train for a different career when she saw a Facebook post about Goodwill Technical College’s new Hospitality to Healthcare program for displaced tourism industry workers. “As a driver for Uber and Lyft, I am used to making a good living taking passengers to and from the airport, but it got much harder to make a profit,” she said. Armed with a love of accounting, Turner quickly realized that Goodwill could help her achieve her goal of transitioning to a well-paying job in medical billing without expensive college loans. “I am so thankful for this opportunity,” Turner said. 

According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, 56,000 individuals in the state have been displaced during the pandemic. More specifically, about 25,000 workers in New Orleans are faced with a difficult decision to pivot current skills into other sectors and career pathways, according to Goodwill.

Tulane study to examine role of racial injustice in design of memorials and monuments

By Barri Bronston, Tulane University

Researchers from the Tulane University School of Architecture and the School of Science and Engineering are embarking on a project that they hope answers questions about racial injustice and its impact on the design of urban spaces, monuments and memorials. The project, “Public Space and Scrutiny: Examining Urban Monuments Through Social Psychology,” won a 2020 SOM Foundation Research Prize, created by the architectural firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill to advance the design profession’s ability to address the world’s most critical issues. “With fewer than one in five new architects identifying as racial or ethnic minorities, our profession has some catching up to do if we intend to reflect the public for whom urban spaces are designed,” said Tiffany Lin, an associate professor of architecture. “This project proposes a study of existing public spaces, monuments, and memorials through the lens of social psychology in order to establish a broader frame of reference for future design.”

Lin will be conducting the study with Emilie Taylor Welty, professor of practice at the School of Architecture, and social psychologist Lisa Molix, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the School of Science and Engineering. The team will use an interdisciplinary approach to study how members of the community react to public spaces and monuments that memorialize contentious historical figures and events.

Tulane researchers studying compassion fatigue among COVID-19 workers

 

From Tulane University

Researchers with the Tulane University School of Social Work are conducting a survey to determine the extent of compassion fatigue among of doctors, nurses and other front-line workers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey is the work of disaster mental health experts Leia Saltzman, Tonya Hansel and Charles Figley, the latter of whom was among the scholars who coined the term “compassion fatigue.” Figley is also director of the Tulane Traumatology Institute. “Compassion fatigue is related to the concept of burnout,” said Saltzman, an assistant professor. “It is something we see sometimes in caregivers and emergency responders, particularly in disaster scenarios. “Most often compassion fatigue can be thought of as an emotional exhaustion that manifests as the reduced ability of a caregiver or responder to engage in empathy and/or compassion for the survivor they are working with.”

The study seeks input from medical professionals, mental health professionals, such as social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists and other first responders.

Xavier students showcase work in timely exhibit at Ogden Museum of Southern Art

For the seventh year, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art has partnered with the New Orleans Chapter of The Links, a women’s volunteer service organization, to present a showcase featuring art from students at a historically Black college or university. This year, 12 students from Xavier University have work featured in the exhibit: Kennedi Andrus, Allana Barefield, KaLya Ellis, Barriane Franks, Lauren Gray, Ashley A. Miller, Reid Hobson-Powell, La’Shance Perry, Michael Riley, Makeda Wells, Bryce Williams and Maliya Vaughan. For many students, it’s the first time their work is featured in a gallery. La’Shance Perry, a senior at Xavier from Cincinnati, Ohio, majoring in mass communications and minoring in art, said the experience has made her feel validated as an artist, something that she has struggled with lately. “I guess I’ll say I can be self-conscious about my work, which is why I haven’t shared a lot,” she said.