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Guest Blog: Career Development Classes (CRDV)

Jeff's Blog Feed - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 21:31
“Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.” -Katherine Whitehorn
One of the best gifts that Tulane will give you as a student is an alumni network broader than you'll see at almost any other school in the country. We have alumni clubs in 50+ cities around the country and over 130,000 living alumni. Because students travel so far to attend Tulane, so many also travel far when they gradate. Whether you are in SF, LA, DC, Chi Town or NOLA, you are connected to a phenomenal Tulane alumni network.

Our network is just one piece of the greater employment puzzle here at Tulane. Through amazing opportunities like Career Wave and, we make sure that you, as a student, can hit the ground running with some epic career-prep opportunities. This week alone we have two big events coming up for Tulane students looking to practice their filmmaking skills and get advice about breaking into the entertainment industry from top entertainment executives.  Jack Sussman (CBS) Nina Rosenstein (HBO) Doug Ellin (Entourage) Mathew Rosengart (Greenberg Traurig), Rick Roskin (CAA), and Julie Yorn (LBI Entertainment) headline our TULANE TO HOLLYWOOD panel on Friday as well as Thursday's CAMPUS MOVIEFEST red carpet premier of over 120 students' 5 minute films that they've made in less than a week.

We're always up to something, so why not check out one of our best career prep areas: the CRDV Class at Tulane. I am going to have my girl Geneva Torrence, one of our Career Advisers and Educators, tell you all about CRDV.

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"The Best Class at Tulane…in My Opinion"

When you are a senior in high school the biggest decision to make is where to attend college.  Maybe that was a simple decision or maybe it took some soul searching. Ultimately you found Tulane to be the best fit.  So now you are here and you can finally breathe… well, not really.   See, something magically happens when you start college.   Everyone around you expects you to know exactly what you want to do with the rest of your life.  You stop counting after the one thousandth time you are asked, “so what are you going to major in?”   How are you supposed to decide what to study and what you want to do after Tulane? It’s hard enough to choose where you want to eat dinner, or what to watch on Netflix.  I know the struggle and we at the Career Center are here to help.  Did you know that you can get help deciding on your academic and career path, while earning an hour of college credit?  Well you can!

Tulane offers a unique course called CRDV 1090, taught by Career Educators, which helps students with the entire career development process.  Career development is an on-going process that begins with self-exploration.  This is the most important step and it is unfortunately the step that too many people skip over.   If you don’t fully understand yourself, how can you know what classes you want to take, the type of internship that would best suit you, or even a career path?   In CRDV students get the opportunity to explore their personality traits, interests, strengths, and values, and they learn how to connect that to a major and career.

CRDV helps students create and develop the tools necessary to be successful in the internship and job market.   Students create professional documents such as resumes and cover letters. CRDV also prepares students to market themselves when networking or interviewing.  Not only do students gain tools inside the classroom, but they have their own personal career advisor for the semester.  Each Career Educator is available for 1-on-1 meetings.

CRDV offers students the opportunity to put the skills gained in class into real live practice.  Students in CRDV participate in a Mock Interview Day. The Career Educators bring in 40+ professionals representing 20 different industries to conduct mock interviews with CRDV students. Included in that group are Executive Directors, COOs, CEOs, company Founders and Vice Presidents. After each student is interviewed, they receive feedback from their interviewer.  This event is considered by students to be extremely helpful in calming nerves and improving overall interviewing skills.
Mock Interviews 
If you would like help or just need that push to get started choosing a major, finding an internship and exploring career paths, CRDV is right for you. Contact your academic advisor or the Tulane Career Center for more information.
If you are still not convinced on how great CRDV is, look what past students have to say about the class:

“The main reason I initially enrolled in this course is because I wanted help deciding what to major in.  I surprised myself by figuring out my major just weeks into the semester.”
-Tulane Sophomore

“I originally took this class with the intent of it helping me find an internship for the summer as well as improve my resume.  This class, however, went even beyond my expectations in that I found an internship, made a great resume, and also learned many other useful skills that I would not have known otherwise.  When I first joined the class, there was a huge gap between where I was and where I intended to be.  I started without a resume, no experience in interviewing or job searching, but now that gap has been filled in such a short period of time.”
- Tulane Junior

“I am officially employed!  Thank you for all of your help throughout the process!  I couldn’t have done it without this class!”
- Tulane Senior

More mock Interviews as a part of CRDV 
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” -Confucius

The Fifteen Best Restaurants in New Orleans

Jeff's Blog Feed - Fri, 04/07/2017 - 20:13
With Destination Tulane in full swing (and juniors on spring break!), Tulane is seeing thousands of prospective students and their families on campus and in NOLA nearly every day. We get lots of questions like: how is your communications department, how easy is it to get into the classes you want, where should I live this fall, etc. But the most frequent question we get is, "where should we eat?!"

New Orleans is ranked time and time again as one of the best food cities in the world, so picking one spot is always tough. So forget Zagat and Michelin, without further ado, the Office of Admission presents to you...

The 15 Best Restaurants in New Orleans 
This. Will. Change. Your. Life.
Photo Cred; bonappetite.comDomenica: Everyone that knows me, knows that, hands down, this is my top pick for the best restaurant in New Orleans. Chef Alon Shaya has built quite the reputation for himself here in NOLA. Domenica, located in the historic and gorgeous Roosevelt Hotel, serves up some of the best Italian-meets-NOLA (shall we say Italianola?) food in town. Order the cauliflower appetizer and prepare to have your entire existence on earth altered. Then, top it off with their prosciutto pizza. Talk about nom.

Shaya: All I will say about Shaya, (yes, same chef as above) is that there is a reason that it has been named the "Best New Restaurant in America" by Esquire in 2016, and dozens of other publications. I ate there last week, I literally have no clue how food can possibly taste this good—it's modern Israeli food at it's finest. You will not be disappointed. James Beard distinctions abound at this spot, including a recent nomination for "Rising Star Chef" for one of our graduates Zachary Engel!

Bayona: This restaurant is an absolute institution in NOLA. With world-famous chef Susan Spicer in the kitchen, it's one of the best in town. The atmosphere is formal, but very comfortable, the service is outstanding and they make you feel very special. The food is excellent, always innovative, and always delicious.

Cochon: Two of Donald Link's three main NOLA restaurants are on our list, and for good reason. Arguably one of the best chefs in the South, (and adorned with many a James Beard award) Link brings a new approach to traditional Cajun and Southern food. Come for the wood-fired oysters appetizer and stay for the short ribs for your main course. Not in the mood for a full sit-down dinner? Head around the corner to Butcher, the sandwich shop offshoot of Cochon.
Wood-fired oysters at Cochon.
Photo Cred:
Atchafalaya: Our Assistant Director of Transfer Admission, Erin, recommended this one as her top restaurant. She says, "It has an awesome atmosphere, and I have never had a bad dish!"

Erin recommends:
Appetizer: Free-Form Crab Ravioli
Entrée: Any of their fish dishes

It's in an unassuming part of town and in a cute little house. There’s often a live jazz band, and you see ALL types of folks passing through: people dolled up for a big event, people dusty from a day of antiquing, big families, and more.

Cute lil' Cafe Atchafalaya
Photo Cred: La Petite Grocery: Owen, one of our Admission Counselors says this spot, "is my favorite because of the great ambiance (romantic, cozy yet open, a nod to its old existence as a grocery store). The menu is diverse (cheeseburger or lamb) yet everything is amazing from appetizer to dessert." LPG is on Magazine Street not far from Tulane. The head chef Justin Devillier, who you may know from Top Chef, is one of the best in the South.

Owen recommends:
Appetizer: Blue Crab Beignets
Entree: Turtle Bolognese
Dessert: Butterscotch Pudding

Magasin: This one comes from Neill, our Associate Director of Operations,"A lot of people don’t realize how strong a Vietnamese influence there is in New Orleans. Magasin is my favorite restaurant because all the plates are small enough and cheap enough that you can order a few different things, and anything you get is fresh and light. Vietnamese-style pork is one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten, and Magasin does it the best, in my opinion. So of course I recommend ordering lots of grilled pork: Com (rice plate), the spring rolls, and a steamed pork bun. Then finish it off with a Café Sua Da Vietnamese iced coffee." Bonus: a second location is now open in the CBD!
All around deliciousness from Magasin
Photo cred:
Patois: Nestled in a cute uptown neighborhood not far from Tulane, Patois serves up some of the best French food in town. Perfect for a cozy or romantic dinner off the traditional tourist path.

Peche: The second of Donald Link's restaurant in our top 15 list. Peche won best the James Beard award for "Best New Restaurant" in the country in 2014Peche is home to some of the best seafood in town. Try anything from the raw bar and then spend some time exploring the CBD, New Orleans' hottest neighborhood right now. I also recommend getting affogado from Drip when you are ready for dessert.

Peche Seafood Grill
Photo Cred:
Luke: Luke is arguably the best of the John Besh spots in town. Rachael, one of our Admission Counselors covering the Long Island territory, recommends you get the Chappapeela Pork Schnitzel and Raw Oysters. She loves Luke because "it's great for people who want to eat downtown, but not necessarily in the Quarter. It’s walkable to tons of attractions, and the place is always packed. So many times, I've met friends for 50 cent oyster happy hour here and ended up staying through dinner and dessert! The brasserie-style restaurant is just the right amount of relaxed."

Great food and great views at Luke
Photo Cred: nola.eater.comRoot: Root is something totally different, and Lindsey, our Assistant Director of Admission, calls it her favorite restaurant in town. "Root is for adventurous eaters with global tastebuds. Start with the housemade charcuterie, like the juniper cured duck prosciutto and “face” bacon, move onto the cohiba smoked scallops (served in a cigar box!), and end with a satsuma olive oil cake topped with buttermilk ice cream.  Parents, the cocktail menu will have you singing New Orleans’ and Root’s praises in no time."
Scallops served in a smoking cigar box? Sounds like Root to me!
Photo Cred: Root
Compère Lapin: A delectable Caribbean and Creole inspired restaurant on the bottom floor of the ultra-hip Old No. 77 hotel in the Warehouse District. This restaurant is currently one of the most praised in the city. It was named "Best Restaurant of 2016" by The Times-Picayune and Chef Nina Compton is one of Food & Wine magazines “Best New Chefs” and is currently a finalist for a James Beard Award for "Best Chef". Rebecca, one of our Admission Counselors, says “I have absolutely loved everything I have eaten at Compère Lapin. It has quickly become one of my favorite spots in the city!”. If you’re looking for a high dining experience with a casual atmosphere and delicious food—this restaurant can’t be missed!

Nina Compton from Compere Lapin. You might recognize her from Top Chef! (photo: Old 77 Hotel)

Dante's Kitchen: We love this spot by the Riverbend. The entire menu is incredible, and each seating area has a bit of a different ambiance. I highly recommend their chicken under a brick, and they also bring delicious spoonbread to every table before the meal. They do a great brunch as well.

Pizza Delicious: There is no better pizza here in New Orleans than at Pizza Delicious. Founded by two Tulane graduates from New York who wanted to bring Big Apple style pizza to the Big Easy, this great spot is located in the Bywater, one of NOLA's coolest neighborhoods. I recommend getting your pizza to-go and climbing the rusty rainbow bridge over to Crescent Park to eat overlooking the city skyline and the Mississippi River.

Satsuma: I had to make sure I got a student opinion our list, so I asked Shelby Strattan (B '18) for her best restaurant choice! I happen to agree, Satsuma is exceptional. Shelby says; "If you're looking for some zesty, healthy flavors near campus, try out Satsuma Cafe! This breakfast and lunch place is located on Maple Street in an area populated with coffees shops and boutique stores. They offer options ranging from fresh pressed juices to the most savory homemade pancakes. They also offer constantly changing daily specials. Personally, my favorite order is the three egg scramble with the most delectable and fluffy biscuit known to New Orleans. Check out this student hot spot—you'll want to be here every morning for breakfast!" There is also a location down in the Bywater if you are up to explore the city.

There you have it, folks! Your definitive list. Can't pick just one? You just might have to enroll here at Tulane to spend the next four years trying all fifteen.

Satsuma on Maple

It's Going to be Okay

Jeff's Blog Feed - Tue, 03/28/2017 - 14:00

I wanted to wait a few days for the dust to settle before I posted this very important message to every single high school senior across America right now who did not get good news from their top choice school:

It's going to be okay.

I promise.

I know, what you must be thinking, "that's easy for you to say Jeff." But hear me out. Over the past week, I have gotten emails from students who have been denied or waitlisted from Tulane asking, "what did I do wrong?"And, "what is wrong with me?" The answer to both of those questions is: nothing. Tulane was very excited to send out thousands of letters of admission over the past few months, but we also had to send out three times as many letters to students who were not admitted. Around the world right now, there are students just like you who did not get into the school they really wanted. Students who got denied from their top choice school. Students who are thinking that this is it... it is never, ever going to be okay. I'm here to give you a two-phased approach to how you can re-ground yourself, get back on your feet, and seriously, be okay.

Phase one: Do not let this process define you.

What the college admission committee thinks about your application for admission is not what they think about you as a person. It's not a reflection of your character or potential. Admission Offices around the country have internal goals and requirements that they are looking for, and just because you don't meet them, doesn't mean you aren't going to be a great college student somewhere. In some senses, parts of the admission process are beyond your control. Tulane could have filled up five freshman classes with students who are academically qualified to attend, but we simply cannot admit all those students. You might be applying to a school that is looking for more female engineers and you happen to be a male liberal arts student. Maybe the school has a finite number of spaces in its film studies program and as much as they'd like, they can't take every amazing, aspiring screenwriter who applied. Maybe a school has a board of directors telling the admission office "we need higher ACT scores" and you happen to not be a great test taker. What I am saying is, as tempting as it might be to find faults in yourself, try not to. Instead, take a step back, regroup, and keep going.

As my colleague and good friend Jennifer Simpson from Campbell Hall School in Los Angeles wrote to her students, "When life takes a detour, it is only human to feel the wave of difficult emotions that unexpected outcomes often unearth. One of the greatest gifts this process can give you is the ability to come back to that center and that sense of self that this process forces you to look at in the first place. What do you know, deeply and sincerely, to be true and authentic about yourself, your gifts, and your potential? This is sign of an incredibly healthy young mind and strength of character that no college admissions decision can or should ever be able to take away." Amen Jennifer!

Phase two: Know that in all likelihood, you're going to go somewhere, and you're going to get a lot out of it.

Take a look at this interesting article in The Atlantic. According to the article, "there are more than 4 million 18-year-olds in the United States, 3.5 million of them will go to college. And just 100,000 to 150,000 of those (somewhere around 3 percent of the entire age group) will go to selective schools that admit fewer than half of their applicants. College-admissions mania is a crisis for the 3 percent." Three percent! That means 97% of college-bound students are heading to schools that are not considered "selective." The article continues:

"The college-admissions process, which millions of 18-year-olds consider the singular gateway of their young adulthood, is actually just one of thousands of gateways, the sum of which are far more important than any single one. While hundreds of thousands of 17- and 18-year-olds sit around worrying that a decision by a room of strangers is about to change their lives forever, the truer thing is that their lives have already been shaped decisively by the sum of their own past decisions—the habits developed, the friends made, and the challenges overcome. Where you go to college does matter, because it's often an accurate measure of the person you're becoming."


In the end, it's less about where you go, and more about the steps you've taken to get there and what you do once there. This has been said time and time again. Parents, this goes for you too, as was noted in this Huffington Post article. My favorite line from the article: "I am going to teach my children that they can be successful doing whatever they want if they follow their dreams and work hard. Going to the best college won't make that happen for them. Giving them the freedom to flourish in their own way in their own time will."

I want you to close your eyes for a moment. I know, it might be hard to read this with your eyes closed, but maybe metaphorically close them. Picture yourself nine months from now. You are packing your suitcase to head home from your first semester of college. It probably had its ups and downs, you've made some new friends, and learned a lot about yourself. But, for most of you, and for the most part, you'll be feeling okay. Maybe even a lot better than okay. You've likely gotten over what went down last year and are settling into you first year of college, and the rest of your life. And you know what? You're doing pretty darn good!

I want to tell you one last story. This is a story about a young Jeff Schiffman from Bethesda, MD. At 17 years old, he applied to the flagship university in North Carolina, his dream school. His sister was a junior there at the time and having the time of her life. It was THE school for Jeff. The only school that he could possibly attend. The only place he could be successful and happy. On December 15th 2000 (gosh I'm old) he got a letter in the mail. Said flagship North Carolina school did not want him nearly as badly as he wanted them.

That was it. Life was over. If I wasn't going there, I wasn't going anywhere, I told my dad. Life as I knew it... was over.

A few months later, the kind folks at Tulane University sent me a letter of admission in the mail. In my mind, it was no flagship NC School, but maybe, just maybe, I could be happy there. And just maybe, it would be okay.

This summer, I was named the Director of Admission at Tulane University. So I guess what I am saying is, no matter how you feel today, how you felt this week, and how you think you'll feel next year... you are all going to be okay.

Trust me.

PS: After you've had some time, check out this great piece by Frank Bruni about which schools the CEOs of Fortune 500 Companies attended. You might be surprised by the list.

Waitlist... Now what?

Jeff's Blog Feed - Sun, 03/26/2017 - 19:30
Well it is official; all of our decisions for the class of 2021 will go out this week. If you have not heard from us yet, you will before April 1st. For those of you who were placed on the waitlist, here's a blog to answer all of the questions you may have.

What is the waitlist, anyway? Every year we have a group of students who are qualified to gain admission to Tulane and we feel are also interested in enrolling here. Due to an increase in the number of students who have already committed, we have decided to put a group of students on the waitlist.

So, who is on the waitlist? While Tulane does not release the exact number of students who have been waitlisted, I will tell you that the group is not huge, but there are a sizable number of students who make up this group. The number will get smaller as we ask students if they would like to remain on the waitlist over the course of the coming month or two. It is more of a moving target, so there never really is a finalized number as to the total number of students on the list.

Is the waitlist ranked? No, it is not. All students on the list are in the same boat, none are necessarily stronger than others.

So, will you go to the waitlist this year? That all depends on one main factor- space availability in the freshman class. We have a finite number of spaces in the class, and thus cannot admit every single student who is both qualified and interested in Tulane. As we get closer to May 1st, we can compare our numbers to previous years and predict how large the class is going to end up. If we are seeing that our numbers are a bit lower than we would like, at that point we can admit a few students off the waitlist. If the numbers are up, it is less likely that we will be able to admit anyone from that list.

What has happened in previous years? Some years, we admit a group off the waitlist, some years it is zero. Last year, we were able to take only a handful. The year before, nearly 300 were offered spots in the class. The class of 2020 was overenrolled last year, so we had to be more conservative with who we admitted this year. That could mean more movement from the waitlist, but time will tell. We'll let you know as soon as we can!

If I am admitted from the waitlist, will there be financial aid available? Yes, there will be, for students who qualify based on your application. You can also apply for need based aid through the Office of Financial Aid.

What can I do to strengthen my case? For the most part, the ball is in our court. It will come down to numbers with waitlist admits; this is why we need to wait a few weeks to see how many students have replied that they will indeed enroll. If Tulane is your top choice, e-mail your admission representative and let them know. There is no need to send in additional documentation, but just let him or her know you remain highly interested. Also be sure to reply to every one of those e-mails we sent out asking if you would like to remain on the list. If we don't hear from you, we will assume you are not interested. My personal tip? Only request to stay on our waitlist if you are pretty sure you'll enroll here if you are offered a spot.

Should I come down for a visit to campus? Only if it makes sense for your family to do so. It will not have any bearing on your admission decision. There is no need to meet with your rep on campus or come down for an interview. A simple e-mail will do.

When will I know? We will give you a final update by June 1st at the very latest, but hope to do so sooner.

So... doesn't that mean I need to have a backup plan, in case I am not admitted from the waitlist? Yes.

I hope this helps answer some of your questions. Feel free to e-mail your admission counselor with any questions at all you may have. Best of luck!

Graduation Bucket List

Jeff's Blog Feed - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 19:28
Alright, class of 2017, spring break is just around the corner. That means it's time for the home stretch. For some of you, this means your days in NOLA are numbered. Many of you are sticking around to complete one of Tulane's graduate programs, and a large group will also join the local work force here in town. But for lots of you, it's time to start saying your goodbyes to what has most likely grown to be your favorite city in the world. So in consideration of this last month or two that you have here, I give you my list of ten bucket items to do before you split town. I tried to pick some feasible, affordable and realistic things to do. Go out and enjoy this town, one last time! Oh and see you in a few months and years when you come back to visit, which you will do. All the time.

1) Go see Soul Rebels at Le Bon Temps on Thursday night. If you have not seen this band at some of the various festivals around town, then you will be blown away. It's a killer show, an incredible experience and will leave you sweatin' and dancin' for hours. If you want the quintessential NOLA music experience, this is it. Schedule here.

2) Sunday evening at Bacchanal in the Bywater. I just happen to have done this last week. Grab a group of friends and get a table sometime early-ish (around 7:00). They sell wine by the bottle, there is always a great little band and you can order food from the counter- be sure to get the chocolate bark dessert. You'll wonder why you don't come here every Sunday. It's a great, laid-back vibe to chill out and reminisce with your friends surrounded by a little tropical courtyard oasis.

Here is what my friends look like when we go to the Great Lawn in City Park3) Fly Day Afternoon- Head to the Riverbend Daq Shack and bring lots of blankets. I know this seems like a no-brainer to spend an evening at the fly, but stick around for the sunset with your crew. It will make you never want to leave as you watch the tug boats and barges mosey their way upriver, and mingle with the hipsters balancing on their slacks and the frat boys playing bags or the locals just taking in the perfect NOLA spring evening. Bonus- bring some boiled crawfish.

4) Hotel Pool Hop. Grab a small crew and pick a hotel pool and crash it for the afternoon. The Westin, (on the 30th floor!) The Roosevelt and the Bourbon Orleans all have great pools, but if you want my top recommendation, go hit up the new Ace Hotel in the CBD. This is rooftop pooling at it's finest. Also, take the streetcar there. Riding the streetcar is something you forget how awesome it is until you get back on it.

Bourbon Orleans Pool (photo from Hit up City Park for a day. This has got to be one of the most underrated parks in America. Do the sculpture garden at NOMA, then grab a picnic lunch and eat it on the Great Lawn. Also check out the mini golf course, City Putt. End your day by hiking the little trail in the Couturie Forest to the only hill in NOLA and come out overlooking the lake. Then, head out to catch the sunset over Bayou St. John with some po-boys to go from Parkway. A beautiful day in a perfect park. For other great outdoor spots in NOLA, check out this blog I wrote.

6) Hike the Jean Lafitte nature trail in the Barataria Preserve. This is around 30 minutes away from NOLA on the West Bank, and is a great little hike over boardwalks through the cypress swamp. You're guaranteed to see a bunch of gators and other wildlife and you'll end the hike on a raised platform overlooking the vast wetlands that surround our city. Easier than a swamp tour, and free, too. The perfect Louisiana hike.

The end of the trail in Jean Lafitte looks out over this. Gorgeous! 7) Walk Magazine from downtown to Uptown on a Saturday afternoon. It will take you a full morning but you'll be glad you did. So many great shops, restaurants and little things you probably never noticed before. Start down by Felicity and Mag, and walk all the way up to State Street. Stop in the places you've always seen but never been to. Buy some t-shirts that you can only buy here in NOLA. Storyville, Parish Ink, and Dirty Coast are great spots to do this, but also buy shirts from your favorite places. You'll look pretty fly wearing that Bulldog t-shirt in NYC this fall. I am not sure if Ms. Mae's sells shirts, but if so, buy me one.

8) Rebirth Brass Band at the Maple Leaf on Tuesday. I know, I know, it will be hard to tear yourself away from the Boot on Tuesday, but you will be so glad you did. This will be one of the most crowded, sweatiest, best experiences you'll have on a Tuesday in town. Jam out, lose yourself to the music and have a night that no college kid will get in any other town in America.

9) Ride the Algiers Ferry. This will give you the best view of town from the other side of the river. The ride is free and only takes a few minutes, and then you'll have time to meander the West Bank levee. The best time to go is at sunset. Then you can head back to the city and start a night out in the Quarter. Another option here is to check out the new Crescent Park, which opened last year. You can access it at the entrance at the end of the French Market. Some of the best views of the city can be seen from here- grab some Pizza Delicious with your friends and walk over to this fine park.

Crescent Park
10) Oak Alley Plantation- She's just majestic  You may have been at some point, but this is the most gorgeous plantation home in the state, and will create some amazing photographable moments. It is an hour or so away, a beautiful drive up River Road (which you should do with all your windows down). Take the full tour and step back in time and remember just how long this city has been around and how much history we truly have. Feeling adventurous? Check out these other road trips I recommend.

11) Power Lunch at a Big Four: You may have to save up a little cash for this one, but treat yourself to lunch at one of the the "Big Four," Commanders Palace, Arnaud's, Antoine's or Galatoirer's. Some have great lunch specials, jazz bands and CP's got 25 cent martinis!

12) Find a organization you can support, even after you leave NOLA. This suggestion came in from my friend Sam Klein. If there is an organization or group you got involved with here through public service, stay involved after you leave town. It will keep you connected to NOLA in a great way and you can check back in and volunteer on your future trips back to town.

Wander. Get lost. Explore. Visit a new neighborhood. Instagram. Take photos. Make the worlds best "last week in NOLA" album ever. Just take advantage of every last bit of quirkiness, beauty and mystery this city has. We sometimes get trapped in the Tulane bubble as many college kids in cities do, and for those fortunate enough to get to stay here after college, you'll begin to discover the countless things that we locals get to experience in a post-college world. Take some time to experience as much of this as you can in these last few months if you have the unfortunate task of moving outta town.

Best of luck, seniors. Go forth and explore. See you at graduation!

Me chillin' at the new section of Crescent Park. It's a very neat, very industrial-style park. 

Ace Rooftop = heaven on earth 

Explore! More of the trail in Jean LafitteBacchanal. Pretty much a perfect night. (photo courtesy of Oak Alley in all her glory.

NOLA from the Algiers Ferry (photo courtesy of


Jeff's Blog Feed - Mon, 03/13/2017 - 14:08
 If you've ever checked out my ZeeMee page or read my previous posts, you know I am active in an amazing organization here in NOLA called Youth Run NOLA. Youth Run NOLA is an organization that empowers young people in New Orleans to get motivated and active by training and participating in local running races around town. It's an awesome experience for these kids because they are able to get motivation and encouragement to train for a big race, and along the way learn commitment and perseverance which they apply to their life inside and outside the classroom. It also keeps them in great shape!

As you likely know by now, Tulane is the #1 school in America for students most involved in community service. It's no surprise then that Youth Run NOLA is headed up by my good friend and Tulane alumnae Denali Lander. She's featured in a great article in today's New Wave. Read it here! In the article, Denali states "Running relies on support and is accessible and affordable for everyone. I grew up believing that sports had the power to build communities. The goal here is to create a community of healthy young leaders through running." I'm telling you guys, for all parties involved, Youth Run NOLA has got to be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling service organizations in the city.

So lastly is my shameless plug. This Saturday the big race is here! I spend most of the winter on a planning committee that puts on the 504K, an amazing race filled with Youth Runners, Tulane students, staff and alumni and all kinds of amazing people from our community. You can register for Saturday's race here. The race doubles as a big fundraiser for Youth Run NOLA. And bonus? It's an amazing route through Crescent Park (featured on my previous "best outdoor spots" blog) and the post-race entertainment is none other than NOLA icon Big Freedia. (side note, last year's post race entertainment was Tank and the Bangas who last week were named the (unanimous) winners in NPR's Tiny Desk contest!)

So, lace up, make an impact and see you on the race course on Saturday!

A Festivus for the Rest of Us! Or, The Impossible Task of Picking NOLA's Best Festival

Jeff's Blog Feed - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 13:30
Thanks to Gardner Realtors for this comprehensive 2017 festival list! Here in Louisiana, we like to say that we have more festivals than we do days of the school year. And we do! Mardi Gras technically kicks off festival season, but things really get going in March and continue into the summer. In honor of the end of Mardi Gras and the true beginning of festival season, I thought my annual run-down of the best fests in town would be a big help. And just in time too- the St. Patrick's' Day parade is tomorrow!

New Orleans is the self proclaimed Festival Capital of America. We do in fact have more festivals per capita here in NOLA than in any other region in America, and this time of the year, the problem we usually have is picking which festival to attend each weekend. For a comprehensive guide, has a really good one here. I mean, how many cities can you live in that actually require an iPhone application to keep track of all of the festivals?

Ahhhh French Quarter Fest! 
I hope you get to experience just a few of them. If you happen to be here in NOLA, you have probably attended many of these. If you are planning a visit to town or to see Tulane, see if you can coordinate your visit with one of these great events. I know I am leaving a ton off of this list, so buyer beware, this is just my own personal top ten!

10) Tennessee Williams Literary Festival- This one's a hoot. The climax of this festival, honoring the bond between New Orleans and famed author Tennessee Williams, is the Stella Yellin' competition. Participants take to the streets to shout their best and most vociferous STELLAAA, a la A Streetcar Named Desire. The winner usually is not only quite loud, but very theatrical as well. The festival celebrates art, music, literature, and food.
STELLLAAAA!!! (courtesy of Where Traveler)
9) Louisiana Seafood Festival- This one is pretty self-explanatory, but mmmm it sure is good! Whether it's oysters, crawfish, blue crabs, red fish, or really any kid of Gulf Coast seafood, you'll find it here. Celebrity guest chefs put on great demonstrations, and the food is killer. This fest is always part of the Vieux to Do, a weekend of festivals that includes the Cajun-Zydeco Music Festival and the French Market Creole Tomato Festival. It's always an awesome weekend down in the Quarter when these three festivals all take to the stage(s).

8) Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival- Where else can you get a decadent deep-fried strawberry but at the Louisiana Strawberry Fest? This festival has become increasingly popular in recent years, and is located around an hour's drive outside of NOLA in a small, quaint town called Ponchatoula. They have some of the best strawberries in America and dedicate a whole festival to them. Don't miss the crowning of Miss Strawberry Festival!

7) French Quarter Festival- FQF this past spring was the biggest one yet! This festival has really taken off in the last few years, and now claims the top spot as the South's largest free music festival. Over 800 musicians take the stage over this four-day festival that spans virtually the whole French Quarter. The festival has a distinctly local flavor; from the food to the musicians, FQF really does show New Orleans in all of her glory. 65 of New Orleans' best restaurants set up shop at the fest for you to get a taste of all the different foods this city has been made famous for.
Voodoo Fest! 
6) Voodoo Fest- This is one of the most popular festivals of the year for Tulane students. I attended all four years that I was a student at Tulane, and got to see some amazing acts at this Halloween-weekend music festival. It all goes down in City Park, not far from Tulane's campus. Tulane even offers shuttle buses to get our students out to the fest. Last year's lineup included The Weekend, G-Easy, Tool, Cage the Elephant, Arcade Fire, The Chainsmokers, Band of Horses, among others. And coming up this month in the semi-same genre as Voodoo is Buku which features Deadmau5, Travis Scott, Grizmatik, and a number of other EDM heavy hitters.

5) Po-Boy Fest-  Also a Tulane student favorite, Po-Boy Fest is probably the only festival in America that celebrates the preservation of the sandwich. Of course, for anyone who has ever been to NOLA before, you know that we don't call them sandwiches. Or hoagies. Or subs. We call 'em poor (po) boys. Po-Boy Fest occurs on the entirety of Oak Street, just a few streetcar stops up from Tulane's campus.
Brad from Admission and his two kiddos noshing on some of the best po'boys at the fest! 
4) Jazz Fest- The mother of all New Orleans festivals. Officially named the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Jazz Fest enters its 48th year in 2017. The festival occurs over two weeks in the spring and is home to 12 stages and over 460,000 attendees this year. While music may be the centerpiece of this festival, food and art are close behind. You'll try some of the best food in the world here at Jazz Fest—whether your preference is alligator-on-a-stick or the famous Crawfish Monica, there is something for everyone. And don't be fooled by the name, Jazz Fest is way more than just jazz. This year's headliners include Stevie Wonder, Tom Petty, Maroon 5, Dave Matthews, Kings of Leon, usher & The Roots, Meghan Trainor, Lorde, Snoop Dogg, Alabama Shakes  plus Dr. John and the soon-to-be-world-famous Tulane University Jazz Orchestra! (I kid you not, Tulane's jazz band gets to annually play at Jazz Fest!). Best part? Tulane offers free shuttles and discounted tickets for our students.
Jazz Fest from above! (

3) The New Orleans Red Dress Run- This one takes a little bit of explaining, and is one of those festivals you kind of need to see to understand. The RDR also may admittedly be for you students to attend after attaining 21 years of age. Many cities have Hash House Harriers, running clubs that also enjoy imbibing as a part of their run. The Red Dress Run is one of the largest of these events in America. New Orleanians take to the streets and meander through the the French Quarter and the Marigny. The one caveat is that everyone must wear a red dress. That's really it. It's a great fundraiser for a number of local charities, and there really is no point to it at all, except to have fun. And it is fun. Really really fun.
That sure is a lot of people in red dresses!

2) Crawfest- Did you know that the largest student-run music festival in America is held right here at Tulane? Every April, Tulane students take to the LBC Quad to revel in a day's worth of free food and music. This year was our biggest yet—with two stages, 8 different bands and 20,000 pounds of Louisiana crawfish. It's all totally planned and executed by our students and is one of our best and most famous traditions on campus each year. This past year's headliner was The Wailers and previous years have seen The Funky Meters, Galactic, Lettuce, and Givers. And lest you vegetarians fret, do not worry. Last year for the first time, the Tulane Green Club and the Tulane Veggie Club co-sponsored a large-scale veggie boil at the fest!

Crawfest at Tulane!

And now for my number one festival in NOLA.......

1) New Orleans San Fermin- Okay, this one also takes some explaining. So every year, in the city of  Pamplona, Spain, revelers take to the streets to run and avoid being gored by bulls. Well, not wanting to be outdone, a number of years ago, New Orleans created their own version of this event: the San Fermin in Nueva Orleans! We take to the streets of the French Quarter early on a Saturday morning in July, wearing the traditional white and red seen in Spain. And then... the bulls arrive. Since we are weird here, our bulls are actually girls. With bats. On roller skates. Over 20 different teams of Roller Derby Girls from around the country, including the Big Easy Roller Girls, are actually the "bulls" that you are trying to avoid. This one is really a sight to see. I don't even really know how to describe it... it's just all kinds of fun.
Those bulls look pretty. Pretty scary. The opening ceremonies of San Fermin in Nueva OrleansHere's me running from the bulls last summer
Steer clear of the bulls! 
So there you have it, folks! My favorite festivals of the year.

New Orleans is the best town in America for celebrating that joie de vivre that is so pervasive here. I hope you'll be able to come in town to enjoy even a little part of that!

Doublin' it Up!

Jeff's Blog Feed - Fri, 03/03/2017 - 15:00
One of the best gifts that Tulane will give you is the gift of flexibility. While there are some majors here that you might want to get going on right as you arrive, for the most part, Tulane is set up in a way that allows you to change seamlessly between schools and majors. I changed my major three times when I was a student here and still had no problem double majoring in four years. We let you do that here; in fact, we encourage it. Once you know what you want to study, whether that be when you apply to Tulane or not until the end of your sophomore year, you simply let your adviser know, and you're automatically enrolled in that school and major. The best part about this is it leads to over 70% of our students taking both a major and a minor and nearly a third of our students double majoring.

Double majoring is quite popular here at Tulane. I've seen everything from music and biomedical engineering double majors to finance and glass blowing double majors. It's truly up to you. Today, I am going to introduce you to three perfect examples of my students who've not only double majored, but selected two very different (but not totally unrelated) fields. Take it away, guys!

Mae and one of her dancers. Mae did all the choreography for this piece for her Dance Composition III class. 
Mae Lobrano, senior:  Double majoring in Neuroscience and Dance.
I jumped at the opportunity to be able to pursue dance in a university setting. I still can't believe that I am able to study two things that I truly love. I really enjoy my science classes. They challenge me on a different level. When I get to my dance classes, I get to release and use my creative side more. I feel like I am working a completely different part of my brain. I love being challenged on these two different levels. As a senior, I have made a home in both departments. I feel like I have two families of professors who truly care about me and my future.

Daniel in our performance of Sweeney Todd. He's probably also thinking about Poli Econ in this photo.  Daniel Shevlin, freshman, Double Majoring in Political Economy and Musical Theater.
I have always aimed to remain very balanced in my life, and I think my double major is a big help. Pursuing degrees in two opposite fields is very time consuming because there is actually zero overlap as far as courses go, but Tulane's flexible core curriculum makes it entirely possible. Every time people ask me what I am studying, I always get an encouraging response. They applaud me for pursuing my passions in college and it is a very gratifying feeling. By far, the most fulfilling aspect of double majoring in opposite fields is the mental balance I gain from taking courses in the social sciences as well as the arts. I am almost always happy in class, and if I become stressed while studying for one of my courses, I can easily switch gears to study something unrelated to ease my mind. I have found that the major advisors at Tulane support students pursuing opposite fields and work very hard to present as many options for internships. Sometimes I have even found the options are able to overlap two seemingly different majors. It is hectic at times, but I know all the work will pay off in the end.

Phoebe presenting her independent study while abroad in South Africa. Phoebe Coughlin, junior: Double major in Studio Art and Public Health
I absolutely love having two majors, in two very different subject areas, studio art and public health! It is super interesting to go from a public health class and learn about zoonotic infections to a silk screen printing class after! I know that I would get bored if all of my classes were just in one subject area. I am hoping to pursue my masters of public health in health education and communication through the combined degree program. While studying abroad through a field-based public health program last semester in Durban, South Africa, I learned a great deal about health communication, specifically about poster and billboard design to get health messages out to large groups of people. Through doing a health communication poster design project I was able to combine my love of art with my public health education. I have loved art my whole life but didn't know public health even existed until I came to Tulane. I would encourage everyone to take classes in all different subject areas, because who knows—you might discover a second major!

Myths of the Gras

Jeff's Blog Feed - Fri, 02/24/2017 - 17:33
We snapped this photo this morning of team Tulane geared up for Gras.
TBH, the Friday before Mardi Gras is usually the longest work day of my life. Get me to those parades! Happy Mardi Gras, world! Another carnival season is upon us and the city is bursting with excitement for the coming few days. I sometimes forget that the rest of the world doesn't have Mardi Gras like we do. In terms of importance for us, it's like Christmas, New Years and 4th of July all wrapped up into one. Not in town for the big day? Listen to our Spotify playlist with all the best tunes of carnival while you read this blog.

If you have never been to Mardi Gras here in New Orleans, there are a few myths that I think would be useful to dispel, because there are a lot of common misconceptions out there....

1) Mardi Gras takes place on Bourbon Street: FALSE. Mardi Gras takes place everywhere. I sometimes laugh to myself when people ask me if I "went to Mardi Gras." We also have a little joke when you ask "can you give me directions to the Mardi Gras?" Mardi Gras is everywhere. It is a state of mind, a place here, there and everywhere. In the most literal terms, Mardi Gras can be located along the parade route. There are over 80 different parades, or krewes, as we call them, during Mardi Gras. The main parade route runs from Napoleon Avenue (just a mile from Tulane) and goes all the way down St. Charles Avenue into the Central Business District, down Canal Street on the edge of the French Quarter and then to the final stop wherever the krewe's ball may be. Some parades take different routes (Mid City for Endymion, Treme for Zulu, not to mention all the parades in the suburbs). One parade, Thoth, even takes its route all the way Uptown to Children's Hospital so the young patients can experience Mardi Gras even though they are hospitalized.My Fat Tuesday homemade glitter shoes. Don't be jealous.
Also doubles as Saints shoes.
2) Mardi Gras is raunchy: again, FALSE. Admittedly, there are certainly parts of the Gras that get wild. But that is not the case for a lot of it. In fact, the culmination of many of the Mardi Gras parades is their famous balls. Nearly every parade will have a ball at the end of the parade route. Men dress in tuxedos, ladies in formal gowns and the party will start a few hours before the parade literally rolls into the ball. Balls are held all over town, many at the convention center and some at the Super Dome. You've never seen a party like this before either- some are attended by over 10,000 people and are headlined by big-name acts like Carrie Underwood and Maroon Five, both of whom have played at balls recently. Mardi Gras is about costumes, parades, balls, floats, food, music and culture. It is so much more than just a party. 
3) Mardi Gras costumes are rare: FALSE. Just ask any Tulane kid what they wore during Mardi Gras. Wild haircuts, fun jerseys, colorful leggings and outlandish costumes are commonplace among our student population. Mardi Gras day (Tuesday) sees the Quarter filled to the brim with costumes galore. People spend all year working on their costumes for the day. Every year at noon on Fat Tuesday are the Bourbon Street Awards, which name the best costumes of the day. Two years ago the winner of the best group costume... um... well you may recognize him. That's right, the Bulls and Matadors won best overall group costume! This year my same group will return with Russian spies... stay tuned! 
4) Mardi Gras is not for families: this is the most common misconception of all, and certainly the most FALSE.  Mardi Gras is, above anything else, a family holiday. The streets of Uptown are lined with children of all ages, and it is a huge part of coming of age in the city of New Orleans. You'll see kids on floats, on ladders, catching beads, and running through the streets donned in all green, gold and purple. Mardi Gras is more of a family holiday than people outside of New Orleans realize. 
Mardi Gras is my most favorite time of the year. The food, the parades, the music, the people and the culture that make this city so unique really come out to shine in this month-long celebration  It's always a favorite of our students, too. If you have never been, add it to your lifetime bucket list. Every American should see the REAL New Orleans Mardi Gras at least once! Hail Bacchus! The Baccagator float parades through the Warehouse District.The Mardi Gras Tree on campus in full bloom post-Gras. It is a big tradition on campus to throw your beads in this tree in the Academic Quad after you have walked back from the parades. The Tulane Marching Band marches in many Mardi Gras parades every year.

Endymion! Here is the inside of the ball. (from PinterestHappy first Mardi Gras to our VP of Enrollment, Satyajit Dattagupta! I had to convince him of myth 4.
As it turns out, Mardi Gras is most popular with kids! Here is he with his wife and his son, Linden. 

All About Housing

Jeff's Blog Feed - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 19:50

With deposits starting to flow in, we thought it would be a good idea to update our master post with all the information you need about housing. Passing it on to our guest blogger Owen Knight (who I admitted 7 years ago!).

*                    *                    *One of the best things about going to Tulane is the strong sense of community you feel on campus. All of our freshmen and sophomores live on campus, so it ends up being a very bustling and social place. Unsurprisingly, we get tons of questions from incoming students about housing between December and August. There are a lot of changes this year! Read on for descriptions of each building and community, and insight into the timeline of the coming months for enrolling seniors.

There are eight housing options for freshmen. All of them are in the middle section of our campus with short walks to the LBC, Bruff and each other. The building names are Butler, Greenbaum, Josephine Louise (JL), Monroe, Paterson, Sharp, Wall and Warren.
You probably know a friend, classmate, neighbor or sibling that lived in one of these buildings who has told you all about it and you've formed opinions on some of the buildings. I'm going to stop you there, because the changes on campus have changed the housing landscape. Gone are the days of Paterson being the “wellness dorm” and other things you may have heard. A big catalyst of these changes is the introduction of the even more Residential Learning Communities (RLCs)
Residential Learning CommunitiesRLC's were first introduced for the 2016-2017 academic year. RLCs are designed to promote a group dynamic in a shared living environment among students that share interests. These interests can be academic, social, or even lifestyle oriented. They combine an enriching academic environment with a strong social network. These communities are attached to a TIDES course that supplements the program, and a faculty member will live in the residence hall to help lead programming. Plenty more info here
This past year, we had just 4 RLCs-  Changemaker, Get Engaged, Health Wave and Honors. This year, there will be a total of 8 RLCs with the addition of Kaleidoscope, Shapers and Creators, Spark, and Third Coast. Some RLCs will only house first year students, while others will have a combination of first years and upperclassmen. Approximately 400-450 students will live in a RLC.
Now, for a little bit about each one.
First year students only:
Health Wave, housed in Butler, is focused on self-care, wellness, and public health. Students will have access to initiatives including workshops, dinners with guest faculty speakers, access to exclusive fitness and wellness programs, mindfulness instruction, and nutritional support. Health Wave will be partnered with Campus Health and will be geared toward mindful choices. There will be 3 TIDES courses associated with Health Wave, which you can see on the RLC website.

Honors, housed in Wall, is an option for the students invited to the Honors Program when they were admitted. Only Honors students will be able to list Wall as a preferred building on their housing application. This RLC will provide opportunities for leadership, research, and faculty engagement. Faculty members will advise residents about scholarships, career preparation, and other post-grad opportunities. Dr. Carrie Wyland, a Psychology professor, lives in the building with her family and will host brunches and other events for the students in this community. There will be TIDES courses associated with Honors, which you can see on the RLC website.

Spark, housed in Josephine Louise (JL), is focused on women's leadership. Residents will work with the Newcomb College Institute to explore women's leadership through community service and social justice projects. There will be montlhy dinners with faculty, and options for alternative spring and winter break trips. More info, including the Spark-specific TIDES course, can be found on the RLC website.

Third Coast, housed in Butler, aims to bring students off campus and into the cultural landscape of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Students will engage in a variety of cultural and intellectual experiences, such as urban and coastal field trips. Third Coast will explore house academic and professional goals can connect with the needs and interests of the surrounding community and the university. More info, including Third Coast-specific TIDES courses, can be found on the RLC website.

First year and upperclassmen students:

Changemaker, housed in Paterson, is perfect for those passionate about creating positive social change. Changemaker partners with staff from the Taylor Center (who run our Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship minor). Students will work to align their academic interests, personal passions, and career aspirations to find their path to make a difference in New Orleans and the world. Changemakers will volunteer in the city, attend community events such as PitchNOLA presentations, and create an open atmosphere in the hall. More info, including Changemaker-specific TIDES coures, can be found here.

Get Engaged, housed in Greenbaum, is focused on civic engagement and giving back to the community through volunteerism, organizational involvement, and workshops. Programming will include lectures, community planning forums, and service projects. Residents will plan and execute an engagement project over the course of the year. If you plan on taking full advantage of New Orleans in all facets from festivals to service, this could be the RLC for you. More info, including the Get Engaged TIDES course, can be found online here.

Kaleidoscope, housed in Warren, will provide a safe space for people of color and/or LGBTQIA. Residents will attend events and programs geared toward helping them navigate Tulane and become catalysts for change across Tulane's campus. Kaleidoscope aims to foster a sense of well-being and respect for each other across many different identities. More info, including the Kaleidoscope-specific TIDES, can be found on the RLC website.

Shapers and Creators, housed in Warren, will provide a community for creative thinkers at Tulane. Residents will be united as visual thinkers and problem solvers who are engaged with creative learning. Programming will include sessions with artists, architects, engineers, and the Newcomb Art Museum. More info, including the TIDES options, can be found on the RLC website.

More details about each RLC can be found here: that we’re caught up on RLCs, here is the breakdown of the buildings:Butler: a traditional building with double rooms in a square layout. There is a communal bathroom and common room in the center of each floor. The building is coed, but each floor will be single sex. Butler houses about 250 students. This used to be the Honors option, but now it is just another traditional option like Monroe and Sharp. Butler will house Health Wave and Third Coast.

Greenbaum is our newest residence hall. Greenbaum offers suite-style living, with two double rooms attached to one bathroom. Freshmen and upperclassmen will live here. Greenbaum also has a test kitchen, where students can participate in cooking demos, watch chefs compete, and learn how to cook healthy meals. Greenbaum will house Get Engaged.

Josephine Louise: Tulane’s only single-sex building. "JL"offers double rooms with communal bathrooms. About 200 women live in JL. Since it is an older building, JL does not have uniformly sized rooms, which adds to the character of the building. Students often note the large closets and high ceilings as great perks of the building. Students also have a sink in their room. There is also a very large ballroom on the first floor. JL will house Spark.

Monroe: a traditional building like Butler and Sharp with double rooms and large communal bathrooms. It is 12 stories tall and is sometimes known as the "most popular" dorm on campus. This is because it houses the most students of any residence hall. Monroe is coed by wing and houses about 600 students.

Paterson: formerly the “Wellness Community," Paterson now houses the Changemaker RLC. Paterson houses both freshmen and sophomores, with the freshmen in a traditional layout with communal bathrooms and the sophomores in suites. Paterson houses about 120 students. As a smaller residence hall, Paterson typically has a very tight-knit community.

Sharp: another traditional building like Butler and Monroe. Sharp is coed by wing and houses about 450 students. Sharp is L shaped with about 90 students each on floors 1-4 and about 45 students on floors 5-7. Along with Monroe, Sharp is known as one of the more popular dorms, but that is mostly because it houses so many students. Between the two of them, Monroe and Sharp house over half of the freshmen class.

Wall: Houses the Honors RLC. Wall is the second newest residence hall and offers suite-style living. Honors students will have the opportunity to list Wall on their housing application. Wall has a cool mix of interior and exterior space, and houses about 250 students.

Warren has a mix of sophomores and freshmen and will house Kaleidoscope and Shapers and Creators. Warren is located right off of the LBC quad and is known for its extremely large rooms. Warren is also known for its very high ceilings.

Finally, here is the timeline for submitting housing preferences:3/1: Housing Application and RLC Application launchThis online system will allow students to apply for an RLC, select their top 5 housing choices, and create their roommate profile. Students who fill it out on March 2nd will be just as likely to get their top choice as students who fill it out on April 30th. There is no need to rush your decision to enroll! The Housing office will not begin reviewing applications until after May 1st.Roommate profiles will include info about cleanliness, sleep times, and if you smoke or not. You can also include a written bio and links to your social media accounts. Students can then search for each other by keyword, name, or other criteria and request a specific roommate if they want to. We definitely recommend waiting on searching for a roommate until a little later in the process. The matching system will also use this data when “randomly” making roommate matches. Students will also be able to edit their choices or roommate preferences through June, to allow students to meet in person at Orientation!
First week of May: Housing Application Due
You may go back and edit your application if you end up meeting a potential roommate at Destination Tulane or at a local reception.
Mid/Late May- RLC Placement

You will hear back about your RLC applications in late May! You cannot room with someone who is not in your RLC, so if you are applying for one, it is smart to wait to find a roommate.

6/30: Roommate selection closes

Again, this will give you ample time to meet people online, arrange meetups, meet at orientation, grab lunch, and do some research before you decide to live with someone.
7/15 Housing Assignments Posted
8/25 Move In Day!

Our current students will be ready to help move you into your room in August!
My final tip about your roommate search: don't rush! Waiting until Orientation to select a roommate is beneficial for two large reasons. First, it will allow you to actually meet someone in person before deciding to live together. Just because you both like Game of Thrones and Stranger Things does not necessarily mean you will be great roommates. Second, RLC assignments won't come out until May and it'd be a shame to have to split up because you got into different RLCs.

I know that was a ton of information, but I hope you found it beneficial as you begin to make your plans for next year. Move in day will be here before you know it!

NOLA Lingo

Jeff's Blog Feed - Wed, 02/15/2017 - 17:00
I always tell prospective students that attending Tulane is the closest you can get to studying abroad while staying in the United States. There are five main reasons I always give to attest to that; New Orleans has its own culture, music, food, architecture and language. This blog is going to focus on that last one: our language.

French spread in Louisiana. Parishes marked in yellow are 
those where 4–10% of the population speak 
French or Cajun French at home, orange 10–15%, red 
15–20%, brown 20–30%. (courtesy of Wikipedia)Throughout Southeast Louisiana, we speak all different kinds of languages. French, Spanish, Haitian French, Cajun French, Cajun English, and Louisiana Creole, to name a few. In fact, there are places near Lafayette, LA (around 3 hours from NOLA) where over 30% of the population speaks a dialect of French. See the map on the right.

Here in New Orleans, we have our own kind of language that, in all honesty, really only makes sense to us. We have a bunch of words that no one use in the country uses, that just become a natural part of your vocabulary when you live here. So for you new freshmen, or any prospective students, here is a quick rundown of a few words we use around town. Add them to your vocab, and you're that much closer to being a local!

Lagniappe: (pronounced lan-yapp) It means "a little something extra." Usually, it's just a free or added bonus or benefit. When Katrina closed Tulane for a semester, we had a free "make-up" semester over the summer, and it was aptly named Lagniappe Semester.

Here is a neutral ground on Carrollton AvenueNeutral Ground: Many streets in NOLA have a green space running down the middle (see: St. Charles Ave.) Most cities will call this area a median strip, but not us; we call it a "neutral ground." It got its name because of the Canal Street neutral ground where the American part of town (Garden District, Uptown, etc.) met up with the French or Spanish part of town. They'd meet on the "neutral ground" which was an area of trade/peace/neutrality. Also, we call sidewalks "banquettes" here too.

Making Groceries: In New Orleans, we don't "buy" groceries, we "make" groceries. That's just the way it is.

Y'at: This is basically a greeting that we use. So, "where y'at?" means "What's up/What are you up to/Where are you?" A "Yat" is also used to describe a true-blooded New Orleanian.

Y'all: This one will slowly creep its way into your daily usage, whether you like it or not! The Washington-DC native in me resisted for a a few years, but it's just such an easy, great word. It sounds much better than "you guys" or "you all." Get used to hearing us say it!

Parish: A.k.a."county." In Louisiana, we don't have counties, we have parishes. So we live in Orleans Parish. Side note, it's pronounced "New Orluns" or "New Or-le-ans" but NEVER "New Orleeens." When locals hear "New Orleeens," it's like nails on a chalkboard! However, it is pronounced "Orleeens Parish." Go figure.
Traditional shogun home ( Describes the style of houses here in NOLA that you will see all over town. They are the long, narrow houses you see in the Lower Garden District, Uptown, and other neighborhoods all over town. Shotguns are aptly named because you could fire a shotgun from the front door and the bullet would travel down the whole house and out the back door.

Krewe: A krewe is a Mardi Gras Parade. We have over 80 of them that roll during Mardi Gras season. Krewes (such as Endymion, Bacchus, Rex, Zulu, Muses, etc.) all have a membership of riders and their own specific floats, routes and traditions.

Throw: Anything thrown off a float by a member of a krewe.

Beaucoup: It means "a lot." We use it in our everyday vocabular. You French-takers will recognize this one. You may even have seen it in some of our admission publications.

Faubourg: Translated into "neighborhood." We have Faubourg Treme, Faubourg Marigny, etc. In French it literally means suburb.
This po boy sure is dressed! 
Dressed: You're going to get asked this on day one: "You want that po boy dressed?" It means: do you want lettuce, tomato, mayo and pickles on that. The answer is yes.

King Cake: MMmMMmmmmm boy. Basically an every day occurrence, this time of the year. King cake is a large, donut shaped pastry with colorful sugar on top and various fillings inside. Each cake has a small plastic baby inside of it, and if you get the baby in your piece, you buy the next king cake!
Who got dat baby? (photo from Taste of Home)
Laissez Le Bons Temps Roule: Let the good times roll! You'll hear this a lot this time of the year.

So now you know! Hope this helps you expand your NOLA-cabulary. Here is a list of even more terms you may come across in town.

All About TU Food... or my Ode to Panera

Jeff's Blog Feed - Thu, 02/09/2017 - 20:54

The Waffle Food Truck is my fave. Bet you never had a caesar salad waffle wrap? Cuz I have. I have this lunch schedule that pretty much alternates between Panera (in the LBC) and Subway (in the Dana Center, next door at Loyola) every other day. Both are on our meal plan and I am a creature of habit.

It occurred to me while planning for Destination Tulane, our admitted student days on campus, that I have never written a blog about all the dining options on campus. I have blogged about our main dining hall, Bruff Commons, and many of the dining options around campus and in New Orleans. Although I have eaten my weight in Panera on campus, I have never written down a full account of where all the deliciousness can be found. So now I am here to rectify my oversight. Here’s the (semi) authoritative guide to campus dining at Tulane.

Let’s start at square one: Bruff Commons. This is the dining hall on campus and the primary spot for campus eating. Check out my blog about Bruff Commons I wrote a few years back as an introduction to Bruff. Since that blog post, Bruff has undergone a major remodel and added many new food stations. There is now a pho bar, an additional healthy food/dietary restriction station, and sweet potato bar. If you don’t have time for a full meal at Bruff, you can always visit Bruff To Go to pick up a meal and take it wherever you’re headed.

Next stop on our tour of campus dining is the LBC food court. Last summer, the LBC got a major remodel as well and now boosts some ridiculous food options. Before I bite into the options, I should explain how the LBC food court works. Students on meal plans can use their Wavebucks to purchase meals, snacks, and drinks from the food court. If you’re not on a meal plan (oh the glory days), you can also use cash or a credit/debit card at the food court.

The LBC food court offers Mexican food including homemade tortillas at Al Fuego, all your soup, salad, and sandwich needs at Panera (have I mentioned there is a Panera), delicatessen style options at Pickles, Asian-fusion cuisine at Star Ginger, New Orleans specials like red beans and rice and po’boys at Zatarain’s Cafe, and healthy smoothies at Freshëns (don’t ask me about the umlaut on the e), among many other tasty dining options in the food court.

Hillel's salads! 
After the LBC food court, you can take a short walk (less than 3 minutes) off campus to Hillel. Besides being an incredible study space and hosting Tulane classes in their two classrooms, Hillel also has an out-of-this-world restaurant appropriately called Hillel’s Kitchen or HK NOLA for short. HK NOLA specializes in healthy cuisine that is sourced from local, organic farms in the South. Besides the fantastic ingredients, the best part of HK NOLA is you can use your Wavebucks there to purchase healthy meals and luscious coffee drinks served up from the barista station.

Bruff, the LBC food court, and Hillel’s Kitchen are the primary dining options at Tulane, but if you look a little deeper around campus, you’ll also find some hidden gems that few others know about.

Tucked away in the Richardson Memorial building, aka the Architecture building, is the Drawing Board Cafe. The Drawing Board is something that few people at Tulane know about, but really should because it’s one of the best dining spots on campus. The Drawing Board is open for breakfast and lunch and is a great option if you are trying to grab a bite on your way to class. The Drawing Board serves great breakfast sandwiches (topped with some of the best bacon I’ve ever had) and a daily lunch special that is always filling and delicious.

If you are looking for a gourmet salad, sandwich, or wrap then Le Gourmet is the place for you. This dining location has a make-your-own sandwich and wrap station as well as an awesome salad bar where you pay per pound. You can also shop around for organic fruit and other healthy snacks you can munch on during those all-night study sessions.

Giant pancake from City Diner (photo from Trip Advisor) 
Speaking of late night study sessions, The Original City Diner in the basement of the LBC is open from 5pm to 7am every Monday-Sunday. You can keep your brain active with giant pancakes, hand-scooped shakes, and other diner favorites from City Diner. The giant pancake comes in a pizza box. I am not exaggerating.

While not technically a dining location, McAlister Market (or Mac Mart as students call it), is an on-campus grocery store stocked with everything you’ll ever need to fill up your dorm room mini fridge.
Food Trucks on campus

Shout out to my #PreviewTU students visiting today! Here they are in front of the food trucks.For all you food truck lovers, Tulane also has two food trucks that you can find throughout campus during lunch and dinner time. There is Ironside Waffles which serves up crazy waffle tacos including a savory duck that you have to try and some of the crunchiest waffle fries in the game. There is also the Roulez food truck which is the first food truck in the entire country to accept student meal plans instead of cash or card. Both food trucks are awesome if you want to enjoy a nice lunch outside with friends while you bask in the 70 degree weather that is New Orleans in the winter.

Tulane farmers' market 
Tulane dining facilities also hosts twice monthly farmers’ markets on campus. You pick up some local, in-season veggies and fruit and know that you are doing an awesome thing supporting local farmers. It’s really a win-win for everyone involved.

PJ's; a staple of the NOLA coffee scene. Finally, if you’re a coffee fanatic like me, you’ll be happy to hear that we have three PJ’s Coffee shops (the New Orleans equivalent of Starbucks) on campus. There are two PJ’s on either side of campus and one location in the Howard Tilton Library so you can inject some caffeine into your study sessions. Each PJ’s also has sandwiches and other food options that you can take on the go. You can also head right next door to Loyola if you need a Starbucks fix. I did that this morning.

If you were getting worried that all these dining options are going to cut into your wallet, there is no need to fret. Every dining location on Tulane’s campus accepts either meal swipes or Wavebucks!

So there you have it! And I didn't even cover all of the options next door at Loyola, which are all included as part of your Tulane meal plan. FYI, that is where the Subway is.

Time to head over and get a "you pick two" from my jam, Panera.

Did I mention I love Panera.

"May we all live the life that we desire."

Jeff's Blog Feed - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 03:09

On Friday, January 27th, President Donald Trump signed an executive order temporarily banning more than 218 million people from entering the United States. 

Many of them had dreams of attending college in the United States. 

Some of them even had dreams of coming to Tulane. 

This is an e-mail from one of them, an admitted merit scholarship student now likely unable to join the Tulane class of 2021. Our Director of International Admission reached out to him after the ban. This is his response. 

With his permission, we have printed it here. 

Dear Paul,

I’m writing this email to personally thank you for the time you put into writing your email and considering talking to me among the countless students in the admission pool. I would also like to thank you for accepting me as a potential member of your community and offering me a generous scholarship. Tulane is definitely one of my top choices and given the chance to study there, I would be more than happy to join; however, with the new visa ban, I don’t remain optimistic.

I was fortunate enough to know that character is forged through hardship. Without endings there will be no new beginnings; without pain there will be no joy; and without despair there will be no hope. To be sure, this incident will not bring an end to me or my aspirations, but will set a new chapter in the story of my life, the story of a teenage Iranian boy dreaming of changing both his life and the life of his fellow man by getting an education abroad, the story of a dedicated student who stayed up until 3 am studying for his national college entrance exam and then lived alone in Cyprus for three months to take the SATs because they were not held in his country, and the story of a crazy man who went against the flow, who did not listen to his friends or relatives telling him what he should or shouldn’t do – not because he was arrogant or wanted to avoid others – but because he had a goal. He knew that the point of his existence was to help others and wanted to use his profession as a vehicle to achieve that goal. He wanted to spend the money he earned as a doctor to buy homes for the homeless and restore the dignity of prostitutes. He wanted to cure the people who weren’t fortunate enough to have the money to pay for their medical treatments. He wanted to adopt a child. But instead, he had to watch all his goals and dreams crumble because his presence was considered detrimental to the stability of the United States.

Yes Paul, this is the story of soldier wounded in the frontiers of life, but this soldier will not surrender – not because he’s fighting for himself – but because he’s fighting for the lives of those innocent men, women, and children which he has the capability of changing in a positive way. I will continue to fight although it’s difficult and because the challenge of the journey is the part of the real-life experience that will enrich both me and my character.

I would like to conclude this email with a quote from Josh Turner: "Life is a series of punches. It presents a lot of challenges. It presents a lot of hardship, but the people that are able to take those punches and able to move forward are the ones that really do have a lot of success and have a lot of joy in their life and have a lot of stories to tell, too."

May we all live the life that we desire.


[name redacted]

Top 5 Advantages of the Tulane Honors Program

Jeff's Blog Feed - Mon, 01/23/2017 - 17:21
Tulane's Honors Program is innovative and flexible. Today, I am turning the blog over to Charlotte Maheu Vail, PhD, the Associate Director of the Tulane Honors Program to tell you about the top 5 advantages of the Honors program! While you're at it, check out the brand new Honors Program video below.

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How do you define an intellectual life? It’s a question we think about in the Honors Program all the time. We think about it in the work we do with students, faculty, and other colleagues at Tulane. It’s a question that you can answer now, next year, after your graduate, and one that you should continue to ask of yourself and others in your studies, in your work, and for the rest of your life. Through our program, we provide opportunities to help you answer that question in a variety of ways, and we expect that through the Tulane Honors experience, your answer will continuouslyevolve.

It is my pleasure to tell you about the top five advantages of the Tulane Honors Program (with some help from current Honors students as well!).

1. Residential Learning Communities. 
Students who want the most out of their Honors experience, live in Wall Residential Learning Community (first year) and Weatherhead Residential Learning Community (second year). Residential Learning Communities are distinguished from other residential halls at Tulane by having faculty members-in-residence that also live in the building and are responsible for fostering an intellectual community among the residents of the Residential Learning Community.

Wall has “Societies” students join such as “Running with Science,” “Gray Matter,” “US Politics,” and “World Cultures” just to name a few. Wall Societies build community among Honors students while creating the opportunity for informal interactions between faculty members and students with the support a resident advisors (RA). Weatherhead continues that intellectual community established in Wall with faculty-led “roundtables” and student-led panels. Jake, a junior in Political Economy and an RA in Weatherhead, says, “There is special academic programming that is different from programming in other residence halls because it is focused on academics and learning. Weatherhead combines the social aspect of other residence halls, with the intellectual aspects of a high-achieving academic environment, which is really rewarding.”

2. Multidisciplinary Courses.
The Honors Program offers a range of multidisciplinary courses exclusively for Honors students, called “colloquium." These course enable Honors students to explore many areas of interest through classroom discussions that carry on in Residential Learning Communities. Elizabeth, a first-year Honors student who lives in Wall, describes that connection: “I really like how I see the members of my colloquium, ‘Globalization and Urbanization Challenges’, and how we carry on our classroom conversations throughout the week in Wall.” Other seminars such as “How Should One Live?”, “The Future of Health Care: Hope or Hype?”, and “Aesthetics and Style” challenge students in new ways and enhance a scholarly community of students in a small classroom setting.

3. Research Opportunities. 
From the Honors Summer Research Program to the senior Honors Thesis, Honors students engage in scholarship with faculty. Parker, a junior in mathematics and computer science, explains what he learned while working on his project in the Honors Research Program: “One cool part about my work is that to alter an algorithm, one must have new mathematical insights. There is a beautiful balance between finding new ideas and applying them cleverly to optimize their utility.” Of course, Parker’s comment could be applied to any discipline.

As the culminating achievement of an Honors student’s undergraduate career, the Honors thesis involves substantial independent research under the direction of a professor. The thesis demonstrates the student’s capacity for quality research and provides concrete evidence of mastery of the material and insights in a field. Maeve, a senior in Creative Writing and Gender & Sexuality Studies, explains, “The thesis process is important because of its concentrated focus. Not only did I gain invaluable knowledge in my disciplines, but writing my thesis forced me to consider the intricacies of my academic pursuit. It compelled me to closely examine what interested me, what I wanted to learn from my inquiries, and what components are integral to my studies now and in the future.”

4. Faculty Mentoring.
Through all of these experiences—colloquium courses, Wall Societies, Weatherhead Roundtables, research opportunities, and advising for nationally competitive scholarships—we rely on the expertise and insights of faculty members who provide mentoring to Honors students at various points during their academic careers. Derek, a graduate of the Biomedical Engineering Program, describes his mentor as someone who “shared his research experiences, helped him search for graduate programs, and gave him advice on all aspects of life.” The Honors Program creates situations where students work with faculty both in and outside of the classroom, that benefit and help refine Honors student's career goals and aspirations

5. Nationally Competitive Scholarships.
The Honors Program provides many opportunities for intellectual engagement at Tulane University, but advising for nationally competitive scholarships is one of the main areas where we challenge students to strive for their full potential. One of the ways in which the Honors Program encourages intellectual autonomy and individual passion is through advising for nationally competitive scholarships, such as the Fulbright Program, Goldwater Program, Marshall Scholarship, Truman Scholarship, and the Rhodes Scholarship, to name a few. Honors students receive special advising from the Honors program about prestigious scholarships, professional preparation, and other post-graduate opportunities. We encourage students to explore these opportunities and consider new experiences (with funding) for graduate study, research, studying abroad, and language acquisition that help foster an intellectual life.

Learn more at our website and we hope to see you during a visit in the spring!

Charlotte Maheu Vail, PhD, Associate Director of the Tulane Honors Program

Where Are They Now?

Jeff's Blog Feed - Tue, 01/17/2017 - 22:37
Over the past few years, I have been running a blog series about some of our young alumni and what they are up to. I thought it might be neat to revisit some of these alumni to see where they are now. I grabbed one from each of my five previous posts. Let's re-meet them!

Ali on the campaign trail We met Ali Vitai in the Newsies blog back when she was the multimedia editor at MSNBC. Today, well, things have kind of taken off. In 2015, Ali was selected to cover a long-shot Republican presidential candidate by the name of Donald J. Trump. And we all know how that turned out. Ali covered the entirety of the Trump campaign, spending a year and a half on the road as an embedded reporter for NBC News. Throughout her time on the trail she reported for NBC's and MSNBC's digital platforms and frequently appeared on TV giving the latest updates from the ground. After Trump's historic victory, Ali has continued covering his transition into office. Here's a great interview with her about what it has been like covering Trump over the past year and a half.

Dan and Lewis Del Mar on Conan last week Daniel Miller was in The Industry blog, and things have blown up for him since we last talked. I caught up with Dan last week to see how his music career has developed. He told me, "About three years ago my best friend and I moved to New York and formed a new group called Lewis Del Mar. A year and a half ago we signed to Columbia Records via Startime International. This last year I traveled all over the U.S. and Europe, and performed over 100 concerts in 7 different countries. We were billed on ten major festivals including Lollapalooza in Chicago and Outsidelands in San Francisco. I performed on television twice: Conan and James Corden. We released our self-recorded/produced debut album this past October, and went on our first headline tour in which most of the dates sold out. I was interviewed for NPR regarding an in-depth look at one of the songs on the record and its relation to my family's Nicaraguan heritage. And our album went to No. 1 in Bulgaria lol." 
So yeah, you could say things are going pretty well. Dan even told me he'll have some shows here in NOLA soon. I'll be checking them out at Hangout Fest this summer and you should too!

Ashley out front of the new store (photo Tim Black)Ashley Porter was on our Fashionistas blog and, one brand new store in the French Quarter later, and her jewelry line has become a mainstay of many celebrities. Her store opened just a few months ago on Toulouse Street in the Quarter. "Since the story was covered the brand has really taken off." Ashley recently told me,  "We've had tons of celebrities become fans of the line, everyone from Taylor Swift, Gigi Hadid, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Lawrence, Sean White...We also have been published in Southern Living, W Mag. Elle Japan. Aside from the new store, most recent and exciting is the debut of my first collection in Fine Jewelry. The collection is inspired by the Crescent City and our place in the universe. My goal in the next three years is to bring more jewelry infrastructure to the city by building a casting house and becoming vertically integrated." 
Joe and Brendan at the Chapter Spot HQ We first met Joe McMenemon and Brendan Finke in the start up blog. In case you forgot, they are the founders of ChapterSpot. Since we last talked, ChapterSpot has become much more than a start up. Joe and Brendan founded their company with the goal of making it easier for large membership organizations to manage and to scale their complex business processes. Now, ChapterSpot has grown to support some of the world's largest non-profit organizations. Joe and Brendan have been recognized as the top 100 most influential and active people in tech and entrepreneurship in Louisiana. With an eye on the future, ChapterSpot is building new technology in the quickly advancing fields of data science and artificial intelligence. The company is growing quickly and hiring many Tulane grads as they expand. They currently have over 8,000 organizations as clients! 
Brennan at his storeBrennan Foxman was just getting the idea of his restaurant going when we featured him on the Foodies blog a few years back. His restaurant, Wokworks, has been open for almost four years now, amassing a cult like following, several local awards, and a sizable new investment. Brennan says, "We are excited to grow our brand into several more stores in the coming year, hopefully adding to our family in Philadelphia before expanding to other cities. Who knows where we may end up! #bringwoktotulane"  Anyone in Philly should be sure to check out his shop on Chestnut Street!

Who would have known I could have launched the careers of these five (well, six) young Tulane alumni! I am sure they credit much of their success to this blog. ;-)

T Swift sportin' a Porter Lyons ring
Lewis Del Mar (photo: Billboard)
Another celebrity wearing a Porter Lyons necklace. A.k.a. my mom. 
Wokworks in Philly. (photo: Yelp)

Inside of Porter Lyons in the Quarter