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Shelter from the Storm: Part II

Jeff's Blog Feed - Thu, 09/20/2018 - 21:16

This week marks the one year anniversary of Hurricane Maria which devastated parts of the Caribbean and left the island of Puerto Rico with a long road to recovery which continues a year later. Shortly after the storm passed, Tulane made a commitment to welcome students from Puerto Rico and Saint Martin for a guest semester. It was our way of paying it forward for all of the kindness we received following Hurricane Katrina, something we're still continuing today. We were lucky enough to host 17 incredible students from Puerto Rico and Saint Martin during our spring semester this year. Truly, they were some of the most resilient, compassionate, thoughtful and endearing students that we have ever had at Tulane. Their impact on our campus will be felt for years to come.

With a year having passed since Maria, I thought now might be a good time to share some of the experiences that our guest students had here at Tulane. They squeezed every drop out of New Orleans and found many similarities between NOLA and PR. They joined our marching band, attended Jazz Fest and contributed to intense political discussions in their classrooms. They've all returned to Puerto Rico and Saint Martin this fall to assist in their region's recovery and apply everything they learned here in NOLA, a city that knows a thing or two about recovery and resilience, to their own recovery. I leave you with a bunch of photos of their time here in NOLA and two great quotes they wrote to us as they left to head back home.

"I will never forget my time at Tulane and the amazing people that worked so hard to make us feel welcome. Everyone truly helped our group turn a time of difficulty into a time of opportunity. My time there allowed me to recover and feel ready to keep working to build my home, Puerto Rico, back up."  - Veronica Ortiz

"One last time, I thank Tulane immensely for the opportunity that you gave me to attend and and interact the city of New Orleans. I would love, soon, to give back to someone else what Tulane did for me. As one of my favorite proverbs says: 'there is always a little fragrance in the hands of the ones who offers flowers.'" - Pura Arroyo Morales

Quick- Which one is San Juan and which one is the French Quarter? 
Puerto Rico does Mardi Gras Puerto Rico does late night at Howie T

Some of our incredible alumni donated a great dinner on the town for the who group! 

Puerto Rico does the Fly 
Orientation at Tulane with the help of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Office of International Students and Scholars, Newcomb-Tulane College and the Center for Academic Equity 
Puerto Rico does the Tulane Marching Band! 




Cooking Puerto Rican food in the dorms.Lunch at the President's House 
I am so lucky to have gotten to know this crew! 


Puerto Rico does... no comment. 

10 Tips to Make the Most of a College Visit at Your School

Jeff's Blog Feed - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 12:56
Me in NYC, Nora in Panama, Jorge in Texas Happy fall, all! I hope you high school seniors are getting into the 12th-grade groove nicely. You’ve probably noticed by now that admission representatives from around the world have started to visit your high school or Community Based Organizations to spread the word about their institutions. Personally, I was in New York City all last week meeting with some incredible students who are interested in Tulane. I’ve been to CBOs in lower Manhattan (shout out to SEO and Breakthrough NYC) and both public and private high schools across all boroughs and been so impressed with the students I've met.

Reps from Tulane will visit nearly 1,400 schools and CBOs this fall and we can't wait to meet you. If we’re not coming to your school, be sure to check out our Tulane Comes to You events near you and the MET tour which is in 12 cities this fall.

Now’s a great time for me to share a few tips for students as this cavalcade of admission reps arrive during 3rd period or lunch or after school over the course of the next few months. Here we go!

Come! We love meeting students on the road. People always ask me if I ever get sick of the travel, but I genuinely don’t. It’s my fifteenth year on this beat and for some reason it doesn’t get old to me. We love meeting students and sharing how our institutions might be a great fit for you. We also like to know who is interested in Tulane and has taken the time to attend our visits. Coming to the visit also gives you great content for your “Why This College?” essay and lets you authentically see which of these schools you can see yourself at. Plus, it’s free!

Ask great questions. Caveat: I got asked about study abroad and internships at 28 out of 28 visits this week. There is nothing wrong with this, so if you happened to have asked me about one of these two topics this week, don’t fret! That said, I’ve got some blog posts you can check out about great questions you can ask admission reps when they visit to get a sense of if a school can be a good fit for you. Again, nothing wrong with the abroad/internship questions, we just get it all day every day again and again and again and again.

Chat with us at the lunch table. I have a confession: admission reps really aren’t fond of a lunch visit. But, we understand that some schools have this as their policy and some schools don’t have the resources to have a college or career office capable of welcoming admission reps. So, if you happen to see us lookin' all lonely at a cafeteria table set up with a banner next to the class ring guy, come chat and ask a few questions. Even if it’s not a school you’ve heard of. You might learn something new or get some great tips about the college admission process. Trust us, if we have to do a lunch visit, we’d love to at least be able to have a few meaningful conversations.

Remember you’re a brand ambassador for your school. Admission officers take great notes. We  write notes about each school we visit, down to the best place to park when we arrive or the best spot to grab lunch afterwards. So... remember that the way you behave at these visits doesn’t just represent you, but it represents your school and community for years to come. I love observing schools and communities and seeing what the vibe is in the school. I also like to see what kind of people the students are when they think no one’s watching. Last week at one of my high school visits, I rode the elevator up with a bunch of girls from the school (it's NYC! That’s how they get to class!). None of them knew I was an admission rep but I listened as they engaged with the elevator operator, called her by her first name, asked how her day was going. I loved that. It went right in my notes because that gave me a sense of what type of community the school has.

Ask the rep when their next visit is before one-on-one questions. We pack a lot into our days on the road, so you’ll want to be cognizant of the admission rep’s time. I usually am darting off to my next visit and it can be tough when I wrap up the session and there is a line of students with more questions. If you love us, set us free.

Let the rep know if you plan on taking notes on your cell phone. I totally know that many students take notes on their phone, but some of my colleagues do not. If you plan on taking notes on your phone, just let the rep know because otherwise they’ll assume you’re texting and then they’ll write in their aforementioned notes that “students texted during my visit here.”

Fill out the inquiry card, even if you’re on the mailing list. We like to remember who we meet so we can reach out to send a quick thank you.

If you can’t make it the whole time, no problem. I know AP Bio is hard to miss. Instead, swing by right before class or right after to catch the rep to let them know you can’t attend. They might have you fill out a card just so they can reach out with more info. If you can only stay the first ten minutes, let the rep know you gotta jet early. We totally get it.

Attend a few visits with a school you might not have heard of before. Tulane is lucky to get great turnouts on our visits. Smaller schools might sometimes have a few visits where no one attends, which makes our trips feel less fruitful.  If you have a class you can miss and there is a school attending that you only know a little about, give it as shot! You will be surprised with what you might learn.

There you have it. Happy visits, all!

NOLA's Top Ten Hollywood South Cameos

Jeff's Blog Feed - Fri, 09/07/2018 - 14:56


From the Drake “In My Feelings” music video to The Simpsons episode released earlier this year, New Orleans continues to get a lot of love from Hollywood, and we completely understand why! There are so many things to love about this city, and fortunately, popular musicians, movies, and TV series have been showing us off for years; so much so that our city has been nicknamed Hollywood South. In 2013, New Orleans was home to more major movie locations than any other location in the world.

In honor of these two recent releases, our admission team wanted to share a few of our favorite New Orleans cameos with you!


Sierra Cason-The Princess and the Frog
The Princess and the Frog not only introduced the first Black Disney princess, Tiana, but the fairy tale was based on Leah Chase. Chase is the queen of the kitchen at my favorite New Orleans restaurant, Dooky Chase!


Owen Knight-22 Jump Street
My favorite NOLA production has to be 22 Jump Street! They filmed the movie during my senior year, so campus was buzzing for quite a while. Many students also had the chance to be extras- including me! It was so cool getting to see how a major Hollywood movie is made and I even got to fake party with Channing Tatum. I was bummed when that scene got turned into a montage, but the movie was still hilarious and it was a treat to see Tulane’s campus on the big screen.


Rachel Rosenberg- Beyonce's Lemonade

From the Edna Karr Marching Band cameo in Algiers, to Destrehan Plantation, Beyonce’s visual album is full of Louisiana imagery.  She ends the album with "All Night", where you can see Beyonce, Jay-Z and Blue Ivy playing around in the Superdome, interspersed with scenes of Bourbon Street and various other recognizable spots in the city.  Beyonce and Jay-Z own a house in the Garden District, and her sister Solange lives here as well, so it’s no surprise that she used this beautiful place as the backdrop for this visual album.  You can check out all of the locations used in Lemonade here.



Jeff Schiffman-The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Last week, I was on an international flight from China to Los Angeles and I was happy to see that one of my favorite movies of all time was available in-flight. By the time the two-hour-46-minute epic was over, I was literally sobbing in seat 44C, much to the shock of my Chinese seat mate. But how can you not shed a tear at this incredibly moving story of the human spirit, lasting love, and most importantly, New Orleans? NOLA plays a leading role in the decades-spanning narrative and we see iconic sites like the Bandstand in Audubon Park and the world-famous Clover Grill on Bourbon Street. If you ask me, nothing beats this movie when it comes to the all-time greatest NOLA-shot films. 

Leila Labens-Beasts of the Southern Wild
Beasts of the Southern Wild beautifully captured the sense of community, spirit, and resilience that is South Louisiana. While the film had a dystopian feel, some of the scenes (like the seafood boil) and the setting in the bayou felt all too familiar and comfortable. I left the theater with tear-stained cheeks and a stronger appreciation of how the people, the land, the food, and the culture of New Orleans are forever intertwined.


Julie Slusky-Scream Queens
New Orleans has been said to be a uniquely haunted, mystical place, especially around Halloween. I’m not really one for scary movies, but when I found out that Scream Queens, a campy comedy “horror” TV show, was being produced right on our steps with Emma Roberts, Billie Lourd, Lea Michele, Ariana Grande, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Nick Jonas, I knew I had to watch it. The hilarity and overall ridiculous situations the Chanels of Kappa Tau get into while escaping the Red Devil on the show was made only more enjoyable to watch since I recognized a backdrop or actor extra (including our own Admission Counselor, Owen Knight) at every turn. 

Jalin Carter-Ugly Delicious, Season 1: Episode 4 ("Shrimp and Crawfish")

This is a food show where they explore the meaning of authenticity and challenge what is and should be seen as fine dining. The host goes to Galatoire’s in the French Quarter, and also spends some time in Gretna exploring the Vietnamese influence on New Orleans cuisine and vice versa.


Adam Griego-Treme

Growing up right outside of New Orleans, my family and I experienced Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath firsthand, and HBO’s Treme did a fantastic job portraying the storm from multiple perspectives to show what the storm meant to so many. Between its depictions of the city’s vibrant culture to the process in which that culture remained intact throughout the rebuilding of our community, the show always hit close to home while still managing to put a smile on my face. Watching Treme bring these characters' varied experiences to life made me even prouder to be a New Orleanian than I already was. All of that plus one of my favorite characters was a professor at Tulane!

Nora Colman-12 Years a Slave
One of my favorite movies that was filmed in New Orleans is 12 Years a Slave. In my sophomore year at Tulane, I read the book in a history course on the slave trade in Louisiana, and we actually got to go visit the filming locations throughout New Orleans and southern Louisiana before the movie was released. It was an amazing experience getting to read and analyze the book in an educational setting in the context of this city that was my new home, and then see it come to life on the big screen where I could recognize the locations, plantations, hotels, and streets. It helped remind me of the complicated, rich history of enslaved people in New Orleans and Louisiana and connect it to the city’s present day culture. 

Keith Stanford-Interview with the Vampire
I enjoyed Interview with the Vampire with Tom Cruise & Brad Pitt (though, I’m not too big a fan of either actor). I do, however, love Anne Rice and read most of the Vampire Chronicles and was excited to see the books come to life on the big screen. The city of New Orleans is as much a character in the books as the interesting vampires.  
Anne Rice seems to capture the city of New Orleans the way only a native can – with love and appreciation of the culture that runs deep. Her “hero,” the rambunctious Vampire Lestat, runs rampant in the city and sinks his teeth not only in his chosen victims, but the lovely French-themed homes and adorned streets of a central character of the novel – New Orleans. 


There you have it! Now get watchin'! 

8 Tips for the Activities Section

Jeff's Blog Feed - Tue, 09/04/2018 - 11:00
Tulane offers students the opportunity to apply using our own application or using the Common Application. We've got no preference between the two, so it's totally up to you. We also believe in no barriers to apply; we're still one of only two schools in the top 50 with no application fee.

One part of the application that we take a good long look at is your activities section. Today's blog is going to address what makes a great (and not-so-great) extracurricular list. Here's the best advice I can give you: you don't need to be well rounded. Yes, I said it. As Director of Admission, it's not my job to only find well-rounded students. It's my job to build a well-rounded class of students. That means I need artists, musicians, soccer goalies, feminists, researchers, people passionate about community service, runningbacks and baristas. You don't have to be the Renaissance Man or Woman; you just have to have a few things that you love to do and are good at doing. We're looking for much more depth on your extracurriculars than we are breadth. In fact, we're kinda turned off when the resume is ten pages long (or every single box on the activities section is filled out) and we struggle to really get a sense of where your passions are and what you'll be involved in when you arrive on our campus in the fall. Take a look at my previous blog about what your overall resume and experiences in high school should generally look like.

Now, let's delve into my...

8 Tips for the Activities Section

Less is more. This applies directly to what I said above. You don't need to list every single time you walked around the park for a charity or the club you went to three times sophomore year. What we are looking for is the main points of passion. We don't need a laundry list. Nearly every student we admit to Tulane is in their school's National Honor Society, for example. It's just not needed to list each of these things out. We want the big picture stuff.

Avoid repetition of the same activity. From an admission perspective, we don't need to see soccer or trumpet written multiple times. While I know that club soccer outside of school is totally different from the varsity team at your school, my suggestion is to consolidate this into one activity on the list. Use the description to share all of the various ways you've been involved in soccer rather than spreading each one out, especially if you are also talking about this in your short answer.
Yes, we get it. You are a soccer player.
Put things in the proper order. The first activity should be your biggest, most passionate one that you committed the most time to. Then, "de-escalate" from there. Don't hide the most important ones at the bottom and remember that when we're flipping through tens of thousands of resumes and activities lists, you want to grab our attention from the start. You know how we want you want to hook us in with that first sentence of your essay? Same thing here.


Don't wait until the end to tell me the stuff you are awesome at! No one gets admitted to college based on those first three.
Don't overdo the service trips and travel. We know there are some amazing service trips and programs all around the world. For a school ranked #2 for students most involved in community service, we absolutely value the time you've spent involved in service. But if we get a resume packed with trips to Fiji, it can come across as privileged. Again, I think there is value in these trips, but I also think there is value in a service project or job in your own backyard.

Get a job and tell us about it. Speaking of the above, we love a job here at Tulane. In an era when fewer and fewer teenagers are holding summer jobs, we're now at the point were an old fashioned summer job is something that can truly make you stand out in this process. Last month at a smoothie shop in Los Angeles, I told my high school-aged smoothie maker how proud of her I was for spending her summer working part-time. She looked at me like I was crazy, but hey, maybe she'll apply to Tulane this fall. We think jobs teach time management, responsibility and great communication skills. It might even be at the top of your activities list if you've committed that much to it.

Be specific. This is a tip that you'll get when you create an actual resume as you apply to jobs in the real world. Use data, numbers, and anything that I can cling on to and share with the admission committee when I go up to bat for you. It's much easier for me to say "this student increased membership in his school's Queer Student Alliance by 100 students" over "this student made the QSA more popular."

Don't overlook what you think might be mundane. There are things you might not consider as traditional extracurricular activities that we on the admission committee might find quite interesting. I had a kid collect coins from around the world by scouring various antique shops with his grandfather. You might not think your quirky hobbies are activity-list-worthy, but sometimes it's those things that make you stand out the most in this section.

Avoid abbreviations. This one's a quick one, but spell it out for us and assume that we know nothing about what goes on in high school clubs these days.

Let's see some examples of this:


WHAT NOT TO DO: What is ACAM? What did you do at Meals on Wheels? And why downplay that awesome job?
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO: Ah, good. No abbreviations. Specifics on the Meals on Wheels. And you didn't sell yourself short on how important being a busboy is! 
There you have it! Now get to work on crafting that dynamite activities section. Happy applying!

20 Tips (Part 3) For Making the Most out of Tulane

Jeff's Blog Feed - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 13:49
You can read part 1 and part 2 and then check out my final list of tips for maximizing your time here.


Save money and go eat. If there is one thing NOLA does well, it is food. We are rated time and time again as one of the best food cities in the world. So, if there's one thing worth spending your hard-earned money on, it's food. Go out with a small group of friends and try an amazing restaurant. Research Eater.com and find cheap eats and specials (like Coolinary New Orleans) and eat your way through this town. You'll be glad you did. Want to know my top choices? I got you covered. I also have a solid list of great eats near Tulane. My top cheap eats in town are Marjie's Grill, Filipe's and Dat Dog.


Stay fit and find fit places. This one goes hand-in-hand with my tip above. You can gain a lot of weight in New Orleans if you aren't careful. In high school, you're in the routine of sports practice and eating home-cooked meals. That healthy routine is not automatic in college. So, if you're going to be exploring the food in NOLA, be sure to explore all of the amazing outdoor parks and places to stay fit in town. Trust me on this one; you will want to make health and fitness a top priority when you arrive at Tulane. As a local spin instructor, I blog about staying fit all the time. You can read about my top outdoor spots in NOLA here and my tips for avoiding the freshman fifteen here. I also have to plug meditation, as I always do. Mental health is so important in college and a daily meditation session has the potential to be life-changing. It was my #1 tip for when you applied to college, so consider making it a part of your life now that you're here.


Stalk your professors. A little. Here's the biggest secret about doing well at Tulane: meet your professors in their office hours. Engage with them. Talk with them out of class a bit. Show up, do your work, but take a little extra time to get to know them and their fields of study. Meeting your professor in their officer hours is, quite literally, the difference in an 89.4 being a B or an 89.4 being an A. Professors like you to be responsible and engaged and if they know you, they're more likely to lean towards that A. Going to miss a class? E-mail and let them know. Found a cool article about women and the Olympics? Send it to your women's studies professor. We even have a program where you can take your professor to lunch in the 1834 Club.



Do Mardi Gras a little differently. If you are a member of the class of 2022, man, I don't even know where to begin to describe to you the joys that Mardi Gras brings. As you get a bit older, I suggest you branch out your Mardi Gras activities. We all know St. Charles Ave and The Boot are fun, but try something different. Get your friends together and see if you can score tickets to one of the big balls (a life-changing experience). Head to local thrift stores to start to build your costume box and save everything year after year, and then go down to the French Quarter on Tuesday during the day and take in the sights and sounds of Fat Tuesday. Don't miss the Bourbon Street Awards, the best costume contest around. As a student, I never did anything on actual Mardi Gras day. There is so much to see! Also: get a fanny pack. Various student orgs hand them out for free. Get one!


Take advantage of our grad schools. We have some incredible programs here at Tulane, some of which you can dabble in while you are an undergrad. Also, our 4+1 Programs are fantastic; the opportunity to graduate in 5 years with a master's degree is really unique. Work with your adviser to see classes and programs that are interesting to you. We've got everything from a master's in Sustainable Real Estate Development to a master's in Management of Energy. Check some of this stuff out, it's very cool and nearly every undergraduate school has programs you can check out before your first four years are over. Bonus: looks great on your transcript as you apply to grad school. Consider a double major (30% of our students do) or a major + a minor (over 70%!) And if you have no clue about what to major in, you're in luck. We're super flexible here at Tulane and over 70% of students will change their major at least once. We want you to do that. Lastly, sign up for CRDV!


Pick your passions and take leadership roles. For you incoming freshmen, you'll be inundated with opportunities to get involved once you arrive, especially after the Activities Expo. While it’s great to get involved in many things at first, it’s okay to trim down your involvement as you get older. Find the clubs and organizations that you really care about and put more energy into them. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Run for leadership positions and by the time you are a senior, bam, you have one or two things you love, and do really well. Employers will be impressed.

You can read part 1 and part 2 of this blog, ICYMI. Also, be sure to read up on my 5 Tips for your first 5 weeks here.

There you have it. 20 ways to make your Tulane experience unforgettable, magical, impactful and all around excellent. Go get it! 

20 Tips (Part 2) for Making the Most of Tulane

Jeff's Blog Feed - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 10:10
We're back! Missed part one? Read it here. Let's get right back into it!



Volunteer at festivals to go for free. You probably already know that here in the New Orleans area, we have more festivals than we do days of the school year. And one of the biggest secrets of them all? You can go for free if you volunteer at them. Many Tulane students will volunteer at the Crawfish Monica tent at Jazz Fest and after a few hours of work, you get the rest of the day to enjoy the shows. Same goes for Voodoo Fest, Hogs for the Cause, New Orleans Food and Wine experience, Zoo to Do, etc. In college, I volunteered to sell raffle tickets for a few hours at Zoo to Do, the big fundraiser/festival across the street at the Audubon Zoo, and then spent the rest of the night eating free food from 100 of the best restaurateurs around the city. For a poor college kid, this was a dream come true. Plus, resume booster!


Explore new neighborhoods. Uptown is awesome and home to so many great shops, restaurants and things to do. But, as you grow up at Tulane, pop that Uptown bubble and get out and explore. One of the best things about New Orleans is that it truly is a city of neighborhoods, each with their own unique and distinct characteristics. I blog about NOLA neighborhoods all the time; there is so much to see and do in this town! Go check out the Bywater and head to Crescent Park, Pizza Delicious and the St. Roch Market. Head down to the CBD and go to Capdeville, Wednesdays at the Square, Willa Jean, The Ace Hotel and the WWII Museum. Get to the heart of it all in Mid City and check out Bayou Boogaloo, New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), the Fair Grounds Race Course, and Parkway Bakery. You get the idea.


Get interested in local current events. There are few things more exciting than Louisiana politics. If you need an example of this, just read about NOLA's Confederate Monument removal. Louisiana is your home now, at least temporarily. So take a bit of time to find out what is going on in your city and state. The neat thing about New Orleans is that it's big enough that a lot goes on, but small enough that you can easily have your voice heard. I was able to speak to the City Council a few years ago in support of bringing Uber to NOLA. Your Tulane education and voice carry a good deal of weight in this town, so find out what the issues are and educate yourself on local issues you are passionate about. The best place to start is by simply liking pages on Facebook for following them on Instagram: NOLA.com, WWLTV, the Advocate, and even stuff like EaterNOLA and CurbedNOLA. Stay in-the-know about the happenings in your new home. Basically, just care. A little. You'll be glad you did.



Grow Up. Kind of. Okay, bear with me on this one. The growth and development you'll see in yourself between freshman and senior year will be remarkable. Embrace this and take note of the things that now interest you but didn't used to, and vice versa. That said, don't grow up too much to where you are too cool for school. It's okay to eat at Bruff from time to time when you are a senior, and in fact, it's pretty fun to stroll down that memory lane. It's also cool to do things like Outreach Tulane every year; it's not just for freshmen and CACTUS leaders. Help be a rallier in your class. Donate to your class challenge. Visit the alumni house. You're technically considered a Tulane alum after attending Tulane for one semester, so take advantage! There are so many neat things that this school will offer you as you grow up here. I was glad I did and it led to me being reunion chairman for my ten-year reunion, which just went down last weekend at Tulane. And if I may brag a little, we had the largest reunion party that Tulane has ever seen. Needless to say, I was glad I grew up at Tulane... just not too fast.


Be engaged on campus. This one kind of goes with the tip above, but on a more micro scale. When I say engaged on campus, I don't mean join a bunch of clubs (but that would be great, too). What I mean here is literally engage with campus. When you are walking from one class to another, don't wear headphones. You'd be amazed at how much you miss when you plug in and disengage: friends calling your name, someone protesting something, someone yelling about free food, etc. When you are on campus, smile. Look people in the eye as you pass. It's amazing how much this can affect your mood, and the mood of those around you. When you see that prospective student on campus (they are pretty obvious, aren't they?) ask them if they need directions anywhere or have questions about Tulane. These little things; they go a long way, both for you and for those around you. Also... notice how kind the people are who perform services for you at Tulane. Bruff Workers. Sodexo Staff. The people who clean your bathroom. Engage with them, be kind to them, befriend them. We have this tradition of leaning under the dish washing wall to thank the dishwashers at Bruff. Be the person who does that. Get out of your internal zone and get engaged!

Part 3 of this blog can be found here. 

20 Tips for Making the Most out of Tulane

Jeff's Blog Feed - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 09:00

What a great move in day that was! This week, we welcomed over 1,900 new first-year students to Tulane. I got to run a session during Orientation all about making the most of Tulane and NOLA. As promised, everything I presented is available here in blog format. Enjoy!

This blog will focus on your future and what to make of your next four/three/two/one year(s). It's not just for freshmen either- these are 16 tips that will allow you to absolutely crush your experience here at Tulane, no matter what year you are here. After four years as a student here and thirteen as somewhat unofficial mentor to my current students, I truly hope you take even just a few of these tips and run with them. I guarantee they'll take your Tulane experiences to the next level. Let's do it!

Spend at least one summer here in New Orleans. There is something different about New Orleans in the summer. Sure, its exceptionally hot, but you'll gain a completely different understanding for life outside of the standard Tulane world when you live here for a summer. Find a great summer job or internship locally and make it a summer to remember. There are absolutely epic festivals (see Running of the Bulls, White Linen Night, Red Dress Run) awesome summertime activities to participate in (everyone must go tubing at some point, not to mention summer is the best time for a swamp tour) and there are great ways to make new connections and friends around town. Another great aspect of spending a summer in New Orleans is you'll forge friendships with new people outside of your traditional social circles. It will open you up to new and amazing people you would not usually cross paths with. 

Take road trips. Because the average student comes to NOLA and Tulane from 900+ miles, you've got a totally new region of America right here at your fingertips to explore. This might go hand in hand with the tip above; there is so much to see just a road trip away! A few of my biggest suggestions would go to: Austin, TX (be sure to hit up Barton Springs!), Fairhope, AL, Pensacola, FL, Natchez, MS, Lafayette, LA, The Northshore (Manchac, Madisonville, etc), and Oak Alley Plantation. All of these spots are less than a half day drive away. You can read all my tips on great NOLA road trips here

Pick a service project you are passionate about and stick with it. Tulane is, in many regards, Community Service University. There are quite literally hundreds of ways to get active and engaged in the community around you. CACTUS alone has dozens of organizations you can link up with. My suggestion for you is to find one that you are passionate about, and stick with it for all four years. Match the service up with something that interests you so it keeps your attention. Love music? Roots of Music is calling your name. Do puppies capture your heart? TUSTEP will be your jam. Stay active in the service organization at least once a month. It can be linked to Tulane and your service here, or totally separate. Stick it it, make an impact, see it through till gradation; you will be so glad you did. The photo above is me with one of my youth runners in Youth Run NOLA. It's been something I have stuck with since Outreach Tulane years and years ago, and I am so glad I did. 

Learn New Orleans history. You're officially living in one of the oldest cities in America. In fact, you are starting your first year here at the same time that NOLA is celebrating her 300th birthday. This is a city worth knowing something about and you owe it to yourself to educate yourself a bit about this town, even just a little. Did you know we have more buildings on the National Historic Registry list than any other city in America? So get to know NOLA in all her glory. Read books and watch moves about New Orleans, and then go visit the paces they were filmed and written about. Read A Streetcar Named Desire, A Confederacy of Dunces, and A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge. Next time you binge watch a show, check out Treme on HBO. Watch Interview with the Vampire, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Big Easy, The Pelican Brief, and sure, even 22 Jump Street. Learn our history, where we have been and where we will go. The best way to get to know NOLA? Follow Tulane professor Richard Campanella on Twitter

Go off the beaten path. At Tulane, is easy to get in the same social circuit every single week. Once you are old enough to drink, of course, there's noting wrong with hitting up the standard places with the rest of Tulane. But... be a leader in your group of friends and suggest things off the beaten path. There are amazing music venues and tiny craft cocktail bars and all kinds of neat things in NOLA that you need to see. Here: I'll plan a week for you: Sunday go to Bacchanal (in above photo), Monday go see a Charmaine Neville at Snug Harbor, Tuesday tear yourself away from the Boot and go check out Rebirth Brass Band at the Maple Leaf. Wednesday in the spring, head down to Wednesdays at the Square. Thursday, Soul Rebels kill it at Le Bon Temps. Friday, pick a totally new neighborhood and explore. You get the idea. 
Part 2 of this blog is here.
Part 3 is here. 

Stay Like a Local

Jeff's Blog Feed - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 11:56
If you are on our mailing list, you've likely gotten an invitation to our Campus Preview Days this fall. We're hosting four of them and they are a great time to get a sense for all things Tulane and NOLA. Shameless plug: if you make it down for the events in October or November, you'll get to hear me give my session on Insider Tips for Applying to College.

If you are coming down for CPD, (or any other time to visit Tulane!) I just got the opportunity to check out what has quickly become my favorite hotel in NOLA: The Old 77. I first discovered this place because it's home to James Beard Award winner Nina Compton's restaurant, Compere Lapin. I put her second restaurant, Bywater American Bistro, at the top of my list for the Ten Best Restaurants in NOLA blog. Compere Lapin is incredible, and just one small part of what makes the Old 77 a perfect place to stay when you visit. Here's a few other reasons:

They have a great Tulane rate! Simply book though this link and you'll get 20% off weekends and 30% off on weekdays.

They are in my favorite neighborhood in NOLA. I think experiencing downtown New Orleans is an important part of any visit. That said, I don't usually recommend staying right in the middle of the French Quarter. The Warehouse District, where the Old 77 is located, is walking distance from the Quarter and a slew of other great things to do (like the World War II Museum).

They are super local. When in NOLA, if you are looking for a break from the Big Box hotels, this place should be your spot. So much of the art, decor, merchandise, etc. is all local. Right now, for example, the hotel has partnered with Where Y’Art, an organization that makes NOLA art accessible to people all over the world. Curated by Richard Campanella, a local historian and geographer here at the Tulane School of Architecture, Urbanism & Eccentricities explores the urban and cultural fabric of New Orleans as the city marks its Tricentennial Year. Also, the lobby art gallery does double duty as a chandlery. They stock it with items from their favorite local and regional makers of t-shirts, art, jewelry, fragrances, candles, soaps, including work produced by their Co-Conspirators. If you are wondering, it's where I got my beignet socks.

Lastly, they've been getting some pretty epic accolades as of late: 
#1 – Condé Nast Top Hotels in New Orleans: Readers' Choice Awards 2017Architectural Digest - Most Beautiful Hotel In Every State#7 - Travel + Leisure Best City Hotels in the U.S.Nina Compton of Compère Lapin Wins James Beard Best Chef South
Check them out when you visit for CPD or any other time!

5 Tips for Your First 5 Weeks of College

Jeff's Blog Feed - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 12:03
Hard to believe it, but move in day is just over a week away! All that hard work is about to pay off. And if you’re starting your freshman year here at Tulane, you’re arriving at the perfect time to be a college student here. You’re joining an amazing community. And we’re not just saying it – everyone’s saying it! Check out some of the most recent Princeton Review rankings:

#1: Best College City
#2: Most Engaged in Community Service
#4: Happiest Students
#4: Their students love these colleges
#5: Best Quality of Life
#8: Best Run Colleges
#10: Most active Student Government
#10: Most popular study abroad program

Good stuff right? That said, this blog is going to be a very candid one as I’ll be touching on some of those rankings that Tulane was on that I just happened to not list above. More on that later.

For me, move-in day is the best day of the year.  In the Office of Admission, we’ve established great relationships with both you and your family as you navigated the college admission process and selected Tulane. I love my role because I got to play some small part in that selection. So, with that said, I’d like to impart my closing advice to you as you officially begin your career here at Tulane.
Again, much of what I am sharing with you is candid and straightforward; I’ve been through the experience you’re about to have and seen thousands of students make this rite of passage as well. I’m also halfway in between the age of our students who are starting classes next week and your parents. So I write this blog with equal parts student and parent mindset.

Here goes nothin’:

You’re not going to meet your best friends in the first five weeks. In fact, you might not even meet them in the first five months. If you ask Tulane graduates this question, many will share the same advice. Most will tell you they didn’t fall into their “crew” into well into sophomore year. Tulane is big enough that you’ll still be meeting new friends well into your four years here. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your friends or roommate to be super tight as soon as you arrive in college. And don’t feel dismayed if you aren’t able to replicate your high school crew in college. You’ll get there eventually. Trust me.

Stop comparing yourself to others on social media. All at once, your friends from home are going to head to colleges around the world. And all at once, it will become a contest to see who can show how incredibly epic their first few weeks are. It can be so easy to fall down the rabbit hole of looking at everyone else’s experiences and comparing them to your own. The reality is that everyone has ups and downs in the first five weeks. There will be times of loneliness, homesickness and anxiety: even at school ranked #4 for happiest students. When you look at Instagram, you are comparing your worst moments to everyone else’s best moments. So, next time you experience the natural low points that everyone experiences when they arrive in college: put down the phone. Go for a run. Head to Riley. Meditate. Just don’t compare yourself to others. 

Find out what sexual consent really means. This is a big one. By now, you’re likely familiar with Tulane’s Climate Survey that was released this spring that showed a disturbing level of sexual violence being experienced in our community. The response on campus has been compassionate and driven to make a real change, both at Tulane and on college campuses across the country. For us to be successful, that commitment to change starts with you. You will really want to spend some time learning what it means to give sexual consent. Here’s a big one: if someone is drunk, or incapacitated in any way, they are not able to give sexual consent. That means if you engage someone in sexual activity when they are intoxicated, they are unable to provide consent and you can very realistically be charged with sexual misconduct. This is something that Tulane takes very very seriously. Read up on it and get to know your resources, and you’ll be in good shape.  At Tulane, we are committed to ending all sexual and gender-based harassment in our community.

Don’t mess up your Tulane career in the first five weeks. Here’s where I am going to touch on those other rankings that the Princeton Review handed us. This year we dropped to #3 from #1 on the list that no school wants to be on. You know the one: the ranking that shall not be mentioned by name. Being ranked so high on this list left many in the Tulane community shook (as you kids say.) That is not a list that Tulane wants to be on and as a campus, we want to create a community that is fun but also safe and also might land us lower on that list down the road. Tulane and NOLA will always be fun and will always be incredible places to have a great social experiences, rest assured. But here’s my tip: Take it easy in your first five weeks. This year, freshman orientation is a dry week and Tulane means it. If you are caught consuming alcohol during orientation, Tulane will prohibit you from joining a fraternity or sorority in the spring. Just don’t make a mistake as soon as you arrive here that will have negative implications for the rest of your career. I know college can be a big adjustment, especially here at Tulane where our average class of 2022’er will arrive from over 900 miles away. Pace yourself, don’t overdo it, and ease you way into your social life.

Call your Mom: Ugh I can’t believe I am sharing the same advice I rolled my eyes at my freshman year. But seriously. Your parents love you and are going to miss you like hell. They’re also likely going to be big financial supporters of you as you spend these four years here in NOLA. Text them photos, keep them posted with how your classes are going and if your so inclined, even tell them you love them from time to time.

There you have it, future first-years. I’m hoping you view this blog as genuine and honest advice that I am offering you with the true intention to make your first five weeks the best they can be. See you at orientation!

Ten Application Tips from the "Experts"

Jeff's Blog Feed - Wed, 08/01/2018 - 14:00
The entire Enrollment Management team is seaux excited to have you apply! Our application is live! Starting today, you can begin applying to Tulane for the Class of 2023. Remember, we accept both the Common Application as well as our own application and don't have a preference between the two. There's also never an application fee here at Tulane. 

In this light, the blog today features my top ten tips for making yourself the strongest applicant you can be! And remember... it all starts with a click:





Now on to making yourself the strongest applicant you can be!

Jeff's Ten Application Tips 

1) Do the optional statement: If the application asks "Why are you applying to [insert school here]?," take the time to write a thoughtful, insightful answer. Show you have done a little research, and really make your case as to why you think said school would be a good fit for you. If there isn't a question like this on the application, then send in a short paragraph as if this question was asked. Tulane does have an optional statement that asks why you are applying—fill it out! You can read all about this in detail on my blog entry here
2) Explain everything! If you had a real tough semester in your personal life in your sophomore year and your grades suffered, let us know. If AP Calc wasn't your thing, but you got two tutors and worked every night for two months studying but still got a C, let us know. The more insight you can give into your grades the better. The best spot to do this is in the "additional information" section. 
3) Pick an essay topic you love to write about, no matter what it is. We're more likely to love reading something you loved writing. We read thousands and thousands of these things, so make sure you get us going right off the bat. And remember, sometimes the best essays are the simplest ones. No need to dig for a tragedy, over embellish anything or try to change the world. Just be yourself. You can read all about my tips on the best college essays here
4) Less is More. I have a sneaking suspicion that Tulane will see over 40,000 applications this year. Schools like UCLA and NYU get six-digit application figures. We go through applications somewhat quickly, so sending in a lot of extra stuff won't benefit you. So, how can you best share your story without overselling yourself? Resist the urge to send in multiple essays, 4-page resumes and multiple additional letters of recommendation. I even boldly suggest that you shouldn't feel pressured to fill out every blank on the activities section. Some of the best applicants we see are concise, precise and get to the point. You can read more about what I mean by this here
5) Avoid application redundancy. Take a 30,000 foot view of your application. If your activities section is all about tennis and your counselor letter of recommendation talks about tennis and your short answer is about tennis, what do you think your essay should be about? Anything but tennis! Decide where each "piece" of your application should fall and where your stories, passions and strengths will be shared. This might mean connecting with your school counselor (and it's a good time to get to know them better!) We read 38,000 applications a year, and as soon as we see something in your file that is repeated throughout, there's a chance we'll skip over the repeated parts. 
6) Get Engaged with Tulane. I don't mean ask us to marry you. I mean take some time to purposefully research Tulane to find out if we are a good fit for you. We want to see applicants who are authentically and genuinely interested in Tulane. You can easily engage with us by attending a Tulane Comes to You event, a MET tour (with our friends from NYU, GWU, SMU, Northeastern and Miami!), or checking if we'll be at your high school or Community Based Organization this fall. The most important thing to keep in mind is be purposeful in your interactions with colleges. Got questions? Let us know, but only if you really can't find the information elsewhere. Don't overdo it; simply research your top schools and meet with admission reps during their travels to your hometown. Want to know the best (and worst) questions to ask your admission counselor? Read all about it here

Also, don't forget that our ED and EA applicants this year can qualify for an alumni interview. My advice here is that if you want to set up an interview, consider submitting your application before the deadline. Apply in early October, for example, and that gives us way more time to take care of the interview process. The process of getting the interview set up, completed, and into your application takes some time, so applying early will help ensure your interview is included as we review your file. Side note, you don't need your rec letters or transcripts submitted to set up the interview, so don't stress your school counselor out trying to get those in early. 

7) Visit a college or university nearby. This will give you a sense for what college campuses are like. I know it's hard to visit every school on your list, especially with a tight budget. Check out a school in your hometown or somewhere in driving distance to get a sense for what a college campus feels like. It will make you better prepared as you start filling out applications. You can read my top tips for visiting colleges here
8) Be professional. Get a college email address. Something professional. While the email I received a few years back from cupcakez or LaxStud6969 may sound cool to your friends, it looks silly to me. And I'm actually pretty cool, too. Just put your best foot forward. Speaking of connecting with admission reps, here are five emails you should never send us. Same goes for Facebook, Snapchat, Insta, Twitter—we don't generally check your social media platforms here at Tulane, but keep make sure your picture is something you'd be okay with your grandma seeing. What usually happens each year is we'll get screenshots of dumb things students put on Snapchat or Twitter. Just be smart, nice, and treat your peers with some compassion. Sometimes, it can get your admission decision rescinded.  This summer, I rescinded admission to multiple students because of their commentary in a social media space. 
9) We like jobs. So if you have one, tell us about it. Working 15 hours a week at your local Subway as a Sandwich Artist carries just a much weight as playing a varsity sport. Whatever takes up your time, we want to know about it. I have some additional resume tips that you can read about here
10) Begin to identify your passion. We don't care what you do, as long as you do it well and you love to do it. What makes you tick after the bell rings? Where do your strengths lie? What makes you... you? You're welcome to send us a nice, clean, one-page resume with the above listed. Keep this resume simple. Just give me a quick description of those three or four big things. Do not send me a six page resume listing out every time you donated blood. I won't read it, and few colleges will. We don't need a list of everything, just the most important things to you. I've got a blog that goes into more detail about the best ways to fill out the activities section here
Hope this helps guys! Feel free to email us if you ever have any questions. Happy applying! 

Look at all these students cheering for these application tips. 

Look how happy these Tulane students are that they listened to my application advice.

Twelve Cool Classes

Jeff's Blog Feed - Wed, 07/25/2018 - 09:14
Your subject matter in TIDE-1016 (source)Hard to believe it, but the first day of classes at Tulane is just five weeks away! I thought it might be neat to take a look at some of the coolest classes we're offering for freshmen this year. Some are new courses, some are golden oldies. These courses do not have any prerequisites at all and are are open to all Newcomb-Tulane College undergraduates. Thanks to my girl Dayna Gessler from academic advising for getting this great list together!

TIDE-1016-01 Tolkien as Translator
While many have enjoyed J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings as an epic novel, few readers are aware of the fundamentally linguistic and anthropological nature of Tolkien’s writing. As Oxford Professor of Anglo-Saxon, Tolkien was intimately familiar with the Germanic languages, their history, and their epic literatures. In this course, we study the role of language in The Lord of the Rings, applying concepts and perspectives from linguistic anthropology to shed light on Tolkien’s methods and purpose as the ‘translator’ of Middle-earth. Students are introduced to Tolkien's invented languages (and their real-world inspirations) and two of his invented alphabets. An appreciation of the linguistic foundations of Middle-earth greatly increases one's understanding of Tolkien’s achievement, and provides insights into one linguist’s view of the intricate and interdependent relationships of language, culture, and society.

TIDE 1700 Cocktails, Cayenne & Creoles: The Myths & Realities of New Orleans Food & Drink
As the concept of local foodways becomes entrenched in the growing “foodie” culture of the United States, local food and local dishes become an ever more important marker of place. Whether justified or not, Creole and Cajun food and, of course, the ubiquitous Cocktail, are perceived by many as synonymous with New Orleans. In this course, we will explore the myths and realities of these three key concepts as they apply to food and drink in New Orleans.


ASTR-1000-01 Descriptive Astronomy
A one-semester survey of astronomy for the liberal arts student. The solar system, properties and evolution of stars and galaxies, and cosmology. Recent discoveries in astronomy are emphasized.

This could be you! Tulane has the largest collegiate glass blowing studio in the South
ARST-1170-01 Foundations of Art: Glass (Glass Blowing)
This course focuses on the history and theory of glass art, and also introduces basic techniques with attention given to issues of composition, perception, communication, and expression. Emphasis also will be placed on the relationships between glass art, other art mediums, and the history of art. See my previous blog about the time I sneaked back into the glass studio! As a first year student at Tulane, glassblowing was the first class on my schedule. I loved it and still have the scars to prove it. Literally.


HISU-2690-01 Intro Afro-American History
A survey of the history of people of African descent in the United States from the 17th century to the end of the Civil War. The course will explore the development of a distinct African-American experience within the context of colonial North America and the early United States. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the origins and nature of slavery not simply as a system of forced labor, but as a system of unique cultural relationships.

LING 1010 Elementary American Sign Language I
The purpose of this course is to enable students to acquire introductory knowledge of American Sign Language. A linguistic, communicative, and cultural approach will allow students to explore this visual-spatial language used by up to two million people in the United States. Instruction will focus on the development of receptive and expressive signing skills and on the acquisition of the fundamentals of applied grammar.


MUSC 2420 World Musics
An overview of the field of ethnomusicology and the types of issues and concerns that have guided the research of world music within that field. A number of selected musical case studies from Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas that illuminate the differences and similarities between Western musics and their counterparts in other parts of the world. Particular interest will be given to the way in which cultural, social, and religious beliefs have informed stylistic, performance practice, and aesthetic development in other parts of the world as a means of reflecting about the same types of connections in Western music.

SOWK-2000-01 Intro to Social Policy & Practice
This course examines the processes that influence the development of social policy and social services. Included are legislative and political processes, models of policy analysis, service delivery and policy implementation. Effects of these on people are considered from global, political, economic and social policy perspectives. This course is developed around the general proposition that social workers utilize knowledge and skills to carry out roles and functions critical for practice. Such knowledge and skills include the application of social policy analysis, the legislative process, the role and impact of politics and political choice on the quality of life of people, and the effect of economic-social policy decision and judicial actions on social services. In addition, the course examines the variability of the common and uncommon attributes of service delivery systems.

THEA-3810-01 Fashion Design Fundamentals
This course explores the student's creativity and imaginative thinking by carrying out small fashion design projects and developing a personal style. No special skills are required and all class materials will be provided.

EBIO-1040-01 Global Environment Change
An introduction to the physical and biological processes that regulate the function of the Earth system. The composition, formation, and stabilization of the Earth's atmosphere and ecosystem will be examined, emphasizing biological processes and ecosystem ecology. With an understanding of the historical rates and mechanisms of natural global change, the means by which human activities alter Earth system function at local to global scales will be explored, along with the consequences of and solutions to human-induced global change.


COLQ 1020-12 Social Commentary in Popular Music from 1965-1985
Access to music and information through vehicles such as Spotify and Wikipedia has revolutionized how one goes about listening to and learning about music. In this class, we examine songs that deal with anti-war sentiment, drugs, the environment, teen angst, racism, gender issues, school shootings, and religion.
This course is taught primarily from a chronological perspective.  Four five-year time periods are covered: late 1960’s, early 70’s, late 1970’s, and early 1980’s.  After opening with Bob Dylan “going electric” in 1965, approximately two-thirds of the course is spent covering the first two periods.  The bracket of 1985 coincides with the end of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.”tour.

ANTH 2340 Introduction to Archaeology
Introduction to basic principles of archaeological method and theory. Consideration of the history of archaeology, major paradigms in archaeological thought, basic techniques of fieldwork, basic techniques in analyzing archaeological finds, and intellectual frameworks for interpreting patterns in archaeological datasets. Consideration of selected case studies. Of interest to majors and prospective majors in anthropology, and potentially to majors in classical archaeology and related fields.

COMM 3150 Film Analysis
Introduction to film analysis designed to help students develop a visual literacy with regard to film and a critical understanding of how films produce meanings. Focus is on formal analysis of film including elements such as narrative, mise-en-scène, editing, camera movement, sound and on key critical and theoretical approaches such as neoformalism and psychoanalysis. Classical Hollywood cinema and avant-garde and independent film making traditions are studied in order to focus on the politics of form." A required film journal helps students develop analytical and critical skills.

The World Visits Tulane!

Jeff's Blog Feed - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 13:38
Dean of Admission, Satyajit Dattagupta, welcoming our visitors to Tulane and New Orleans.
Wow what a week that was! Last week, Tulane welcomed nearly 1,500 visitors from around the world as a part of the International Association for College Admission's annual conference. Hosting this annual conference is kind of like hosting the World Cup or the Olympics: multiple universities and colleges put in bids to host the conference which we did a few years ago. After two years of planning and coordinating, the conference finally arrived at Tulane and NOLA last week. From all accounts, team Tulane put on a great show. The conference welcomed school counselors from international high schools around the world plus hundreds of university admission reps and community based organizations that serve international students around the world. It's a week of idea sharing, networking, and professional development. There's also a bit of social time built into the schedule as well (it is New Orleans, after all.)

The conference is a part of Tulane's larger commitment to creating a campus that is inclusive and represents the world we live in. It also comes at a crucial time for international students considering college in the USA. For the first time in decades, the number of international students enrolling in American colleges and universities has declined: from 2016 to 2017, the US saw a 4% decrease in international students. The conversations for international students has shifted from "how do I attend college in the USA" to "should I attend college in the USA?" We wanted this conference to be inclusive, supportive, and compassionate to all students. We wanted to show that Tulane, New Orleans, and America have always been great places for international students and will continue to be for years to come. Plus, there is no more perfect place to have an international conference than New Orleans as we've always been a cultural melting pot and a city of immigrants. Our office is led by Satyajit Dattagupta, who arrived in the USA as an international student himself. It's our hope that Tulane sent a powerful message that international students are welcome here, and that New Orleans is a progressive and funky lil town where there students will find an incredible new home for four years.

Enjoy these photos from the conference!



What better way to welcome our attendees to Tulane than the Cafe du Monde beignet truck?Other ways we welcome people to NOLA: in a second line! There are a lot of components to the conference including a 5K,
which brings me to my personal conference highlight (far left) when I got to sound the air horn at the starting line! My colleague Sierra welcoming our visitors to campus (it's July in NOLA... its humid... so we got Tulane fans!)Here are Becky and Colette. Becky was the mastermind behind the whole conference! 
Check out the size of this college fair! Admission reps from around the world attended the conference.
I might have to explain this one... When Tulane decided it would incorporate a Drag Queen Bingo into the conference, I don't think we anticipated the impact it would have for many of the attendees. We heard everything from "this has totally changed my impression of the South," to "I never get to experience stuff like this in the country where I am from" even "Thank you for having a queer space at this conference." For NOLA, Drag Queen Bingo is a regular Thursday night, but for I-ACAC, it was so much more!

Paul and Nora! Without these two, there would have been no conference whatsoever. 
Speaking of people who made this conference possible, meet our incredible team of Student Admission Fellows (and Jakob Cohen)! They spent their entire summer prepping for this conference and it wouldn't have been such a success without them. Thanks y'all!  
We had to end the conference with a BANG, so we showed the world exactly where Mardi Gras was made... Mardi Gras World! 
The conference ended in a way only NOLA could end it: with incredible music! 
We hope everyone enjoyed Tulane + NOLA, see you next time! 

Ten Tips for an Epic College Essay

Jeff's Blog Feed - Thu, 07/05/2018 - 16:22
I'll start this blog by mentioning a quote that my colleague Lindsey likes to use about the college essay: "it can heal the sick but it can't raise the dead." By this, we mean that while your essay is an important part of your application, it's very rarely going to be the make-or-break factor in your admission decision. As a school that practices holistic review, the essay is just one factor among many as we review your application. So... take some time this summer to hammer out a solid essay, but don't let this thing become a massive time-suck that increases your anxiety every time you sit down to write it.

That said, I also wanted to put in a plug for the Tulane Office of Undergraduate Admission which offers several access and inclusion programs to increase college admission and success for diverse and underrepresented populations. These programs include our college preparation workshop on August 4th as well as PreviewTU, our fall multicultural fly-in, which also has a built in application workshop. The application for our fly-in has just opened.

If you can't attend either of these, here's one last offer. If you are the first in your family to attend college and would benefit from a pair of seasoned eyes on your college essay, we're here to help. We're launching a new essay assistance project. Between now and August 15th, if you send us a copy of your college essay, a member from the Office of Admission team will review it and offer you candid feedback before you formally submit it to colleges in the application process. Simply follow this link to submit  your essay to us and shortly thereafter you'll get some helpful feedback from us.

Now, on to some tips for crafting a killer college essay:

Pick a topic that you enjoy writing about. Seems like a very obvious tip, right? Here is the easiest way I can frame this one for you: If you are writing your essay and it's coming together pretty naturally, you're kinda vibing with it as you write it and it makes you happy as you're wrapping it up... that is probably how we are going to feel as we are reading it. If writing this feels off, if expanding on your selected topic feels forced or it leaves you not-so-happy with the outcome.... well, that is how we are going to feel when we read it.

Sometimes, the simplest topics are the best ones. You don't have to dig for tragedy. You don't have to have some life-changing experience or express your impassioned worldviews. Some of the best essays I've read have been on the most simple of topics. What is it like to eat dinner with your family on Sunday night? What was your first concert like? Most memorable road trip? We love these simple yet personal topics.

Tell a good story. Most people prefer reading a good story over anything else. So... tell a great story in your essay. Worry less about providing as many details about yourself as possible and more about captivating the reader's attention inside of a great narrative. I read a great essay this year where an applicant walked me thorough the steps of mediation and how your body responds to it. Loved it. (yes I'll admit I'm a predisposed mediation fan)

Be aware of the light-switch essay. They usually read something like this: "I went to do this service project in my community thinking I was going to change the kids lives ... and they ended up changing mine!!" Nothing is particularity wrong, per se, but the light switch essay (where things start one way and then totally change in a different way) can sometimes trap you and come across and inauthentic.

It doesn't have to all work out at 17. We want your essay to come full circle, but we don't expect you to have life figured out by the time senior year kicks off. Life will always have it's ups and downs and that is totally okay. We don't want you necessarily ending your essay leaving us with concerns for your well-being, but ending with an optimistic tone while still knowing the best is yet to come is great too.

Don't brag... too much. We've got a great list of your extracurricular activities and some glowing letters of recommendation on your behalf. So, no need to self-promote too much in the essay. Some of my favorite essays have been humble, authentic, and honest.  We don't need a list of your accomplishments here; we'd rather read a story behind a time when maybe getting to one of those accomplishments wasn't as easy for you.

Avoid application redundancy. If you've chose to use the "expand on one extracurricular activity" section to talk about tennis, and your tennis coach has written us a great letter of recommendation, and your counselor mentions how much of a star you are on the tennis team... what do you think your essay should be about? Anything but tennis! We want to see consistency and fluidity in your application, but your essay should introduce us to a new side of you and a different dimension not seen in another part of the application.

Use your authentic voice. We know what the voice of a 17 year old sounds like. It sounds a lot different from the voice of a 45 year old. Write in your own voice and avoid using grandiloquent words like adumbrate or laconic (see what I did there?) If you're ever wondering what your authentic voice sounds like, take a few days to free-form write in a journal about your day and what's on your mind. That is your voice. Bring it into your essay.

Have a theme, somewhere in there. A great format of your essay: Part one; hint at whatever theme or message your essay will conclude. Part two: tell a great story that illustrates that theme. Part three: circle back to the theme in a clear and powerful way that ties the story into it. Done. See? Simple as that.

Don't write about camp. That's all. Just don't.

Go forth and prosper, essay writers!


Ten Things to do as a Junior

Jeff's Blog Feed - Tue, 06/26/2018 - 10:42
It's hard to believe it, high school classes of 2021, but you're getting close to college! With summer kicking off, the second half of high school is just a few months away. You're probably new to this whole "college application" thing, so in the spirit of first time experiences, this blog is for you. Have a look at these helpful hints to get your college search off the ground in the best way possible.

Here are my ten tips for you future (college) class of 2025-ers!

Tour a college in your hometown! 
1) Your coursework and grades matter the most in this process. Stellar ACT and SAT scores can give you a nice boost, but at the end of the day, the grades you earn in your high school classes are king. We look for a balance in your schoolwork: taking the most challenging courses that you can that still allow you to maintain a strong GPA. And yes, your freshman and sophomore year grades matter. Big time. Take challenging courses but don't overdo it, leaving you with a sub-par GPA. Again, it is all about finding that balance. Easier said than done, I know. We love to see that Spanish or French or Mandarin or whatever class continue into senior year. Office aide? Not so much.

2) Think about taking both the ACT and the SAT. Tulane will look at both and have a conversion chart that shows us that XXXX on the SAT is worth roughly XX on the ACT. But we only look at the higher of the two. Some students do better at one test over the other. Taking both may end up helping you out. The ACT was the more popular of the two for the first time last year.

3) Build your brand at your high school. First step, get to know your guidance/college counselor. Even if you are at a big public school, get to know them. They know what they are doing and can be your best advocate in this process. Next, really get to know your teachers. Invest your time in the classroom. Wow them. Make yourself missed when you leave. Become indispensable to your school.

4) Be open to a wide range of schools. Big, small, public, private, local, community, international, research universities and small liberal arts colleges. Explore them all, this is your time to do so. Keep an open mind! Just because you haven't heard of it or if it's not a "bumper sticker" college, don't rule it out. Seriously. There are over 3,000 colleges and universities out there; take the time to give some of them a shot. Found a few that strike your fancy? Here are some great questions to ask your admission rep to get to know the school better.

5) Use your summers wisely. We think that the programs to foreign countries or exotic service trips are great. But we also think working at Subway as a sandwich artist all summer is great. So is coaching a local youth sports team. Summers might mean taking a class at a community college. Don't worry if you can't take an amazing trip or do service work abroad. Trust me when I say some of the best summers are spent in some of the most humble ways. We love that.

6) Read books. Read the news online. Watch documentaries. Read more books. Listen to podcasts. Know current events. Know what is going on in the world. Be a conversationalist.

7) Participate in a few extra-curricular things you love. We don't need the seven page resume laundry lists here at Tulane. We like the one page of passion—the two or three most important things to you. Find your passion and stick with it. You can read all my resume tips here.

8) Stay out of trouble. I was in high school once, too. Be smart and make good decisions. I don't know when I turned into my dad, but just please don't make bad choices that will wreck your future. This mostly applies to how you act on Snapchat and other social media channels. Trust me, it matters. Just ask these people.

9) Start visiting colleges soon! Take spring break or a few days off to do so. Summer is fine, but not it's not the best time to see a college when most of the student body is away from campus. Take a road trip to a school close by to you to get a feel for college campuses. Even better, come visit Tulane! Shoot us an email and we'll enlighten you to all kinds of great hotels with Tulane discounts, great places to eat, great festivals to check out, and oh, yeah maybe take a tour of Tulane, too. You can read all my tips for a great campus visit here. Also, visit a college near your hometown, even if you don't think you'll apply there. Just start to get a feel for what college tours (and college in general) is like. I've got tips for visiting colleges here.

10) Meditate. Trust me on this one. It's a superpower that will pay you back in dividends over the next two (somewhat stressful) years. I help you get started here.

Good luck, 2021!

30 Reasons to Wish NOLA a Happy 300th Birthday

Jeff's Blog Feed - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 18:05

Happy 300th birthday, New Orleans! What an incredible time to be living in or visiting the city of New Orleans. Special shout out to the nearly 1,500 visitors who will descend on NOLA and Tulane next month as a part of the International Association for College Admission Counseling's annual conference. We're so excited to welcome y'all soon!

There's a lot to love about this town. In honor of her 300th birthday, the team here in the Office of Admission came up with 30 reasons to love New Orleans. From great dining to incredible architecture to our wacky vernacular, this list is perfect for those new to NOLA and want to learn why we've been such a special spot for 300 years.

Here goes nothin'!

Royal Street in all her glory. Some of the best architecture in the city can be spotted here. (source)
Royal Street: One of the crown jewel streets of NOLA, nothing beats an afternoon stroll on Royal. From musicians to street performers to some of the world’s best antique shops and galleries, Royal Street is old New Orleans at its best. It's frequently shut down to traffic too. It's a part of my Two Days in NOLA blog.

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival  (source)
Jazz: In a city that, quite literally, is the birthplace of jazz music, the opportunities to immerse yourself in the jazz culture of New Orleans are endless. From the Hogan Jazz archives at Tulane to the clubs of Frenchman to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, jazz fills the air of this city from lake to river, Uptown to Downtown. (Now might be a good time to mention that we don’t use North, East, South or West here in New Orleans)

Sunset at the Fly in Audubon Park (source)
Audubon Park, Zoo and the Fly: Tulane’s “front yard” offers something for everyone. Audubon Park is home to one of America’s best zoos, as well as jogging trails, a golf course, a number of lagoons and The Fly, a very popular hangout spot along the Mississippi River. It’s one of the best spots to catch a classic New Orleans sunset.

The Marigny is all about color (source)The Bywater and Marigny Neighborhoods: New Orleans is a city of unique and distinctive neighborhoods and perhaps two of our most unique are the Bywater and Marigny. Colorful shotgun houses and tropical plants line the streets of these two quirky and offbeat neighborhoods. Be sure to grab a bike a get a little lost. You’re sure to stumble upon a great coffee shop or cocktail bar mixed in these two great parts of town.

Bayou St. John at Sunset (flickr)
Bayou St John: Home to the yearly Bayou Boogaloo fest, Bayou St. John is a tranquil oasis in the middle of Mid-City. I highly recommend grabbing a stand up paddle board or a kayak and cruising around the bayou for a relaxed summer afternoon that will make you feel worlds away from the hustle and bustle of NOLA. If you're hungry, head over to Parkway Bakery for a po'boy or for a healthier option, 1000 Figs.

The Lafitte Greenway as it stretches from downtown NOLA out towards Lake Ponchartrain (source)
Lafitte Greenway: Brand new to NOLA is this incredible 2.6 mile network of trails and parks that run from the French Quarter all the way to City Park. The Greenway is dotted with community gardens, playing fields, Fitlots, as well as some excellent places to stop and grab food. It’s the perfect way to see many of NOLA's coolest neighborhoods, all by foot or bike.

Crescent Park is so cool! We call this the rusty rainbow. It's a great way to access the park. (source)
Crescent Park: Another somewhat new addition to the city, Crescent Park gives visitors a chance to meander the 3 mile linear park that connects the French Quarter all the way to the Bywater, all along the bank of the Mississippi River. Grab a bike for a sunset ride and be sure to stop for dinner at Pizza Delicious.

City Park was founded in 1854 making it one of the oldest urban parks in the USA (source)
City Park: The sixth largest urban park in America is right here in NOLA. Nearly twice the size of Central Park, it will take you days to discover all that the 1,300 acres of City Park have to offer. Be sure to visit the Great Lawn, the New Orleans Museum of Art and Sculpture Garden as post up underneath one of the park’s famous mature live oaks. City Park has the largest collection of them anywhere in the world.

The Train Garden is so cute (flickr)
Botanical Gardens: Nestled in the middle of City Park’s vast live oak forest is the Botanical Gardens, an intricate maze of succulent gardens, Zen and rose gardens and one of the best kept secrets in NOLA: the train garden. Coming with kids? Be sure to check out Storyville next door.

There is so much amazing Vietnamese food here in NOLA, like this incredible bun from Magasin (my personal favorite Vietnamese restaurant in town)
Vietnamese Culture: Did you know one of the largest Vietnamese populations in the USA is right here in NOLA? Vietnamese culture can be seen all over NOLA. From our incredible Vietnamese restaurants to the Tet festival which takes place each year in Ile de l’Est. You can read all about the Vietnamese cultural influence on NOLA, as well as check out a list of the best restaurants around town, here.

Very few things are more uniquely New Orleans than our famed Mardi Gras Indians (source)
Mardi Gras Indians: When slaves in Louisiana escaped captivity, many found refuge in the Native American populations in the south. Their cultures and traditions merged and soon Mardi Gras Indians were born. Many Mardi Gras Indians spend an entire year sewing their ornate and colorful suits. Be sure to check them out at Super Sunday to pay respect to the intricate suits they have painstakingly and proudly worked on all year.

A second line parade in the French Quarter (source)
Second Line Parades: In a city famed for parades, second line parades are the ones that everyone gets to be a part of. Second line parades trace their origins back to the parades that directly followed a funeral. The somber musical procession that would follow the funeral service would quickly break out into a second line parade filled with lively music and dancing. You can catch second line parades all over town from weddings, parties and, really, any celebration.

Here I am getting gored by a NOLA bull at my favorite festival of the year
Festivals: If there is one thing NOLA does right, it’s our festivals. Here in town, we have more festivals that we do days of the school year. Check out a few of the festival calendars or read my review of my top 10. My number one, San Fermin Nueva Orleans, happens to be coming up next month. For those coming to I-ACAC, you'll be arriving right as Essence Festival wraps up (it's one of the largest black arts and music festivals in the world) and right as San Fremin kicks off!

The food. All of the foods. (source)
The Food: Just last week, Trip Advisor ranked us the #5 best food city in the world and #1 in the US. The food in NOLA is really worth the visit alone. From jambalaya, crawfish, incredible seafood, Cajun and Creole cooking, NOLA truly is known around the world as one of the best places to forget about any diet you may be on. Check out my previous blog about my top 10 restaurants in town and Owen’s guest blog about the best places to grab a bite near Tulane’s campus.

Frenchman Street is alive with music every night of the week. Some of the best bands can be seen right on the sidewalk! (source)
Frenchman Street: You’ll hear people refer to Frenchman as the local’s answer to Bourbon Street. That’s partly true, but visitors and locals alike flock to the five blocks of Frenchman that provide some of the best live music venues in the city. Whether you’re looking for blues, reggae, jazz, funk, or rock, there is something for everyone on Frenchman. Here's a pretty good run-down of the best spots on Frenchman. I recommend DBA, Three Muses and Snug Harbor.

Not a normal cemetery. But normal for us! (source)
Cemeteries: We call them cities of the dead, and if you’ve ever visited a New Orleans cemetery, you know why. Beautiful and ornate tombs and mausoleums rise like monuments from the grass. You’ll need a guide to visit them these days, but don’t miss Lafayette Cemetery and St. Louis Cemetery #1, the oldest in the city.

The splendor of the cypress swamps of Jean Lafitte (source
Jean Lafitte Nature Preserve: For a quick escape around 30 minutes from the city (and a free option instead of a swamp tour) head to the Jean Lafitte nature preserve for a boardwalked hike through our gorgeous cypress swamps. Spot gators and other Louisiana wildlife while taking note of why Louisiana is referred to as the “sportsman’s paradise.”

The National WWII Museum. Prepare to spend a lot of time here, history buffs! (source)
Museums: Some might be surprised to know that the number one most popular attraction in New Orleans is actually a museum. And if you’ve ever visited the National World War II museum, you know why. Built in NOLA as we’re home to the Higgins Boat shipyard (which Eisenhower credited with winning the Battle of Normandy,) expect to spend at least a half day at this museum if you visit. Not far from the WWII Museum are the Contemporary Arts Center and galleries of Julia Street. In City Park, you'll find the always-special New Orleans Museum of Art .

Live Oaks and incredible mansions: two staples of the Garden District (source
The Garden District: Just a bit further downtown from Tulane is one of New Orleans’ most famous neighborhoods: the Garden District. Gorgeous homes flank massive live oaks in this very walkable part of town. I recommend Coliseium Street between 1st and 8th streets; best seen on foot. You'll see everything from the Benjamin Button house, celeb homes (like John Goodman, Sandra Bullock, Beyonce and Anne Rice) to the world-famous Commander's Palace restaurant.


$1.25 will get you (leisurely!) all around town. (source
Streetcars: The only moving national historic landmark, our network of streetcars will lazily clank and clatter you through some of New Orleans’ most iconic neighborhoods. Don’t expect a bullet train (or A/C) but do expect to feel the magic of a truly distinctive New Orleans experience. Here's a solid  list of great stops to get off at and explore.

The many varieties of NOLA snoballs (source
Sno Balls: A classic New Orleans summertime treat. Snowball stands can be found in every single neighborhood in NOLA. Everyone here’s got their favorite flavor. Mine happens to be coconut cream.

Big Freedia, the Queen of New Orleans bounce (source)
Bounce: Jazz isn’t the only musical art form invented in NOLA. Bounce music calls NOLA home and with iconic stars like Big Freedia as the Queen of Bounce herself, it’s not hard to see why this art form will quickly get you shaking your booty.

Shopping on Magazine Street really can't be beat, especially with how local everything is! (source
Magazine Street: The best shopping street in NOLA, hands down. Magazine Street is almost eight miles of restaurants and shopping, most of which is local. You can walk the entire thing in a long morning, popping into shops along the way. My favorite stretch is close to downtown between Louisiana down to Coliseum Square (stop in Vegas for great men's shopping and grab a doughnut at District!) You can read my previous blog about Uptown Magazine Street here.

Best way to get around town these days! (source
Blue Bikes: In the last few years, an expansive network of bike lanes and shared lanes have crisscrossed the city of New Orleans. Couple that with a very flat city and you’ve got a great opportunity to see this entire town via bike. Just beware the potholes which we are famous for here. Grab a blue bike at one of the 70 stations around town and cruise this city in the best mode of transportation for taking in all NOLA has to offer.

We're not normal here and we are OK with that. (source
The People: Sure sure I am biased here. But you’ll get what I am saying once you visit. People here ask you how your day is going and actually want to know the answer. People make eye contact on the streets and smile. Everyone is your baby or you momma or your honey. Wherever you’re from (even if this friendliness may be jarring for you) join right in with the conversation here in NOLA. Smile, ask people how they are (and how their momma and dem are doing). Oh, and if you are looking for something to talk about, just talk about NOLA. NOLA was number 1 on Travel and Leisure’s list of “people most proud of their city,” so if you’re looking for a conversation starter, go with that. Or with the Saints. Or food. Or… well, you get the idea. We have this famous saying here in town that "the longer you live in NOLA, the more unfit you become to live anywhere else."

Getting married under the Tree of Life (source
Live Oak Trees: I remember my first visit to NOLA many years ago and wondering if there had just been a parade the day before I arrived based on how many colorful beads I saw dangling from the live oak trees. Turns out, it’s like that year round. New Orleans is home to thousands of massive (and massively old) live oaks trees that seem to be immune to famine, flood, disease and a constant onslaught of plastic beads. If trees are your thing, be sure to check out the Tree of Life in Audubon The Singing Oak in City Park which is adorned with wind chimes.

Oak Alley. She's a beaut. (source
Plantations: Some of the most beautiful places in Louisiana also happen to be home to some of the greatest atrocities in our country’s history. Visit places like Oak Alley, Laura Plantation, and Whitney Plantation for their beauty, but stay for the incredibly moving exhibits on American slavery and its impact on those who lived it.

When you are in New Orleans, you know you're in New Orleans. (source
The Architecture: Tennessee Williams once said “In America, there is New York, San Francisco and New Orleans. Everything else is just Cleveland.” A large part of why NOLA is one of America’s most iconic and distinctive cities is because of our architecture. From Creole cottages to Garden District mansions to the wrought iron balconies that make the French Quarter magical, there is an endless feast for the architectural eye here in New Orleans. And it’s new and old, too. You’ll notice a tremendous amount of new construction going up in bustling neighborhoods like the Warehouse District and the Central Business District. But, we ain’t 300 years old for nothing: New Orleans has more buildings on the National Register of Historic Places than any city in the US.
Get used to it! (source
The Language: Get ready to start saying y’all, y’all. It’s just going to become a part of your vernacular. Along with lagniappe, neutral ground, y’at… tell you what, just read my previous blog post all about NOLA Lingo.

Just be prepared to see music. Everywhere. (source
The Music: It's everywhere and every kind. From incredible local acts to big name shows, NOLA has it all. Some of our favorite music venues in the city are Maple Leaf (Rebirth Brass Band on Tuesdays),  Le Bon Temps (Big Sam on Thursdays), and the iconic Tipitinas. If the big-name stuff is more your genre, here's who is coming to NOLA in the next six months alone: Beyonce/Jay Z, Sam Smith, Maroon 5, Taylor Swift, Foster the People, Ed Sheerin, The Eagles, Imagine Dragons, J. Cole, Journey, Drake/Migos, Fall Out Boy, Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban and Elton John.

Tulane + NOLA
The Universities: We saved the best for last. New Orleans is home to a broad range of incredible schools and colleges. From two of the country’s best HBCUs at Xavier and Dillard, to large public schools like the University of New Orleans, to Uptown mainstays Loyola and Tulane, the network of schools in town is impressive. This year, the Princeton Review named New Orleans the best college city in America. Tulane’s been a part of New Orleans for a large part of the city’s 300 history. Founded in 1834 as the Medical College of Louisiana, we’ve been through thick and thin with our hometown and we’ll continue to share an incredible bond for another 300 years to come.

Our Favorite Restaurants Close to Tulane

Jeff's Blog Feed - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 16:18
Welcome to New Orleans! Owen Knight here, taking over Jeff's blog to talk about one of my favorite things: food. We are so excited to host the International ACAC Conference here at Tulane and Loyola. It is going to be an amazing few days, especially for those of you who have never visited our city before. 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. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite restaurants close to our Uptown campuses that we hope you get to try during your trip. Bon appetit!

Our Favorite Restaurants Close to Tulane and Loyola

Saba: Just a few blocks from Tulane, Alon Shaya has just opened his brand-new restaurant and it does not disappoint. Similar to his previous restaurants, Saba offers incredible modern Israeli food which would make sense as Saba means grandfather in Hebrew. The pita and lamb hummus will probably change your life forever.

Clancy’s: Located Uptown just on Annunciation Street, Clancy’s is tucked in a residential neighborhood but is home to amazing Creole cooking. Drawing influences from French cuisine, Clancy’s serves up delicious plates of everything from veal to tuna to lemon icebox pie. They also have an extensive drink menu.

The Camellia Grill: Right on the streetcar line where St. Charles meets Carrollton, The Camellia Grill is a classic. Opened in 1946, it is famous for its diner fare, friendly staff, and countertop dining experience.



St. James Cheese Company: Located on Prytania Street just a few minutes from campus, this cheese shop also serves up some of the best sandwiches and salads in town. Our office faces a constant debate over which sandwich reigns supreme. You also can’t go wrong with a cheese board. Prytania Street is also home to Creole Creamery, just a few steps away so you can get your dairy fix all in one fell swoop!


Dat Dog on Freret: It was hard to pick just one place on Freret to highlight. However, Dat Dog is just such a fun and unique place we had to talk about it first. Dat Dog is home to amazing hot dogs, sausages and fries and a renovated gas station. You can get anything from a fried fish dog to alligator sausage to the Guinness dog. Dat Dog is a huge hit with students and they have multiple locations around town.

Freret Street has seen huge growth in recent years. There are tons of great places to eat. Some of our other favorites include Liberty Cheesesteaks (owned by a Tulane Alum), The Company Burger, Good Bird, High Hat Café, and many more. Freret is also home to Cure, a classy bar with food that recently won a James Beard Award. Basically, you can’t go wrong with a jaunt down Freret!


Domilise’s: Almost 100 years old, Domilise’s serves up amazing po boys in a no-nonsense setting. Some could describe it as a hole in the wall, but you simply can’t deny the combination of a shrimp po boy and a cold beer.



Ba Chi Canteen: A lot of people don’t realize how strong a Vietnamese influence there is in New Orleans. Ba Chi on Maple is a favorite of students and staff alike. They offer a wide spread of Vietnamese dishes from vermicelli bowls to pho to bahn mi sandwiches. They also are known for their steamed bun “bacos” that are simply to die for. Come hungry!




Pizza Domenica: An offshoot of one of our favorite restaurants, Domenica, Pizza Domenica offers many of the same great dishes at their Uptown location. Their prosciutto pizza is a favorite, but the star of the show might just be the roasted cauliflower. Tulane’s Director of Admission Jeff Schiffman says that it will change your life.

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.

The True Meaning of Friendship, Part III

Jeff's Blog Feed - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 18:39

Brian in his element If you happen to be an avid reader of this blog, you've likely read my previous posts about two of my best friends from Tulane, Brian and Jackson, who for me, embody the true meaning of friendship. You can read my original post here and then my follow up post about our incredible experience on the Ellen Show.

Brian was truly a larger-than-life kinda guy who impacted so many people in his time on Earth. I say "was" because, sadly, Brian passed away last month from complications from an injury. Ellen did a pretty incredible tribute to him on her show. I'm not really able to watch that Ellen clip without being overcome with emotion, but I have watched it a thousand times nonetheless.
This story about Brian might invoke sadness, but hopefully, what you'll be left with is hope, happiness, and the power of positivity. I'd like to share this story of Brian and his positive inspiration in the context of three incredible people whom he impacted during his life. Interestingly, the story of this three people are all interconnected by Tulane, New Orleans, and of course, Brian.

The first of the three people needs no introduction:

The Brees' with Brian's brother and sister-in-law, Matt and Caroline, at dinner last week. 
Drew Brees. The man who made this story possible. Drew truly is a legend, not only because of his accomplishments on the field. I think my favorite article ever written about Drew Brees is the Onion article titled "Drew Brees Casually Wonders Aloud If He Really Could Get Away With Murder In This Town." This is no over exaggeration, people really love Drew in New Orleans. Drew never had to do what he did for Brian and Jackson. But he did. And what he did ended up being life-changing for so many people. The three challenging years that Brian faced as a quadriplegic were filled with hope, happiness and positivity thanks to Drew.  Last week, when Brian's whole family was in town for the memorial service, it was no surprise in the least that Drew and his wife Brittany joined Brian's entire family for dinner. Drew Brees has a heart of gold and every thing you see and read about him being a kind, compassionate and incredible person... could not be truer. I think Jackson put it best:
"I don’t think he knows the magnitude of what he has done for me or for my best friend. I wouldn’t expect him to, as he has affected so many thousands of people in the same way. His impact on the city of New Orleans has been discussed in many forums, but it cannot be exaggerated. He has embraced his role as a symbol of hope, and he carries that burden every day with the grace and selflessness that have made him my city’s favorite son."
Courtney Garcia. Courtney has always known an inspiring story when she sees one. That's why a few years ago, when the original story that Jackson penned for the Washington Post was published, she knew this was something incredible. As the senior Associate Producer at the Ellen Degeneres show, she pitched the idea and this whole story completely took off. She's the reason this story has had such a positive impact on everyone who has watched it. But the biggest impact was the one Brian had on her. In her own words: 
"Sometimes it takes another person or spirit to help you find your place of courage, and Brian did that for me. For awhile, I had been wanting to strike out on a new path, but fearful of where it may lead; I felt I was one of those people following all the mundane motions of life but too concerned about the unknown to break free. Meeting Brian, sharing his story, and becoming his friend inspired me to take a risk, move, and explore the world in a way I’d only imagined because I knew - thanks to Brian - I would always be okay. We are as strong as our will, as brave as our outlook, and as successful as our ambitions. That’s what I learned from Brian, why I came to New Orleans, and what I will always carry with me as I go on my way."
And, get this, this fall, Courtney will start as a brand new faculty member here at Tulane teaching a class on (what else?) video production. 
Brian sailing with Dr. Campbell Carolyn Campbell. I'd met Carolyn once or twice during her time as a medical school student at Tulane, but it was a conversation I had with her at Brian's memorial service that really made me realize how much of a bond we Tulanians share. Quick backstory on Carolyn: Carolyn attended both Tulane undergrad and medical school. Upon finding out that she was matched in a residency program in Spinal Cord Injury Medicine in Salt Lake City, she connected with the only Tulane acquaintance she knew there: Brian. Brian's exact quote to her (via email) was "I promise you'll never want to leave this place once you see what Utah has to offer." And he was right. Brian and Carolyn immediately struck up an incredible friendship, skiing the mountains of Alta and Snowbird in the winters, and hiking the epic peaks of Utah in the summers. That's when a strange twist of Tulane fate came in. It was a year into Carolyn's residency program when Brian was tragically injured. Brian wound up on the spinal rehabilitation unit... where else... at the University of Utah, under Carolyn's care. She was there as he set the bar for what was possible for a quadriplegic as Brian returned to the slopes skiing (yes, skiing) and hit the lake sailing (yes, sailing) as a part of the University of Utah's TRAILs program. Brian quite literally defined what was possible for someone with his injury. With the strength and inspiration that Brian gave her, this fall Carolyn's heading to Seattle for a fellowship program at the best spinal cord injury rehabilitation program in the country.

I guess you really never know how much of a positive force one person can have until you see the people they've impacted first-hand.  Much of life is not how we respond when things are easy, but rather how we learn to respond when we are faced with life's biggest challenges. Brian's impact on Tulane, New Orleans, Utah and on so many people's lives will be felt forever.

While his life might have been cut short, I'm a firm believer in the old Mae West quote that says "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is all you need."

Brian, my friend, you did it so very right.

I had to share this last one. Here we all are at The Boot last week celebrating Brian's life.
That's Brian's amazing parents, front and center, toasting to an incredible life lived.