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Guest Blog: All About Transfers

Jeff's Blog Feed - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 15:38

When I was making the decision to transfer, I remember being met with all the same feelings of uncertainty that I felt when making my college choice as a senior in high school. I was an indecisive 18 year old who had not totally found their passion or purpose quite yet—and as it turns out—that’s a totally normal feeling to have at that stage in life. When I decided to transfer from a university close to home to a university halfway across the country in New Orleans, Louisiana, everyone thought I must be crazy. I had already started school, gotten somewhat settled, even made great friendships at my other school, but something there did not feel right. I craved an environment that challenged me academically and personally, an environment where I felt like I could contribute to my community and also learn from the community, an environment that made me a better person. When I got to Tulane, all the professors, staff members, locals, and students made me feel at home right away.

As a transfer student, you already have a leg up when integrating into the Tulane community. You have a story that everyone wants to hear. I remember being shocked at how friendly, inclusive, and even inquisitive people were to me as a transfer student. People went above and beyond to invite me to eat with them, to join study groups in class, and even to connect me with organizations across campus. Even though I transferred, I was able to pursue a major and two minors (in three different colleges at the university), I had internships for which I received academic credit, I studied abroad for a semester, and I even took classes like “Fundamentals of Acting” just for fun. I was so involved across campus that by the end of my senior year in everything from Undergraduate Admissions, to the Center for Public Service, to Greek Life, that I often heard, “I always forget you were a transfer.” After all this, I graduated in four years and I was even able to complete a Masters degree through one of our 4+1 programs.

Me getting emotional at graduationThat being said, being a transfer student still has its adjustments, similar to what happens freshman year. It is not like transferring schools will magically make everything fall into place. For example, I didn’t have the ideal housing situation and some of my classes did not transfer, but I was determined to make the best out of the decision I had made. Luckily for me, Tulane and New Orleans make it really easy to see the good in all things. There is a reason we are consistently rated by the Princeton Review as #1 Best College City, #1 Most Engaged in Community Service, and #4 Happiest Students. I can tell you, as a former transfer student, these rankings were absolutely true in my experience. Truly, by the time I graduated, I knew that transferring was the best decision I had ever made.
What I love most about working with transfer students is that each and every one of them have different experiences and unique perspectives that add so much value to the Tulane community. That’s not to say that deciding to transfer can’t still seem exciting, scary, or even confusing all at the same time. I am here to tell you that I understand you and your feelings are valid, whatever they are. I am here to help in any way that I can and I really hope you decide to join the Tulane family.While you are making your decision, I encourage you to reach out to current transfer students to hear how their experiences compared to mine and why they love Tulane. Additionally, if a little music helps you in your decision making process, have a listen to this transfer playlist I made all around embracing change. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll judge me a little bit for my blatant song choices, but most of all I hope you enjoy!

The Ten Best Restaurants in NOLA: 2018

Jeff's Blog Feed - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 15:28
mmmmm Saba (photo from just like that, another Commencement is upon us! Thousands of Tulane friends and family members will descend on NOLA later this week to well-wish and celebrate the class of 2018. Oftentimes, the memorable graduation ceremony is enhanced by the graduation dinner celebration.

As such, what better time to present my Top Ten Best Restaurants in NOLA? We've got some brand new spots as well as some of New Orleans' most classic establishments.

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

The Ten Best Restaurants in NOLA 2018 
Chef Nina Compton (photo: hospitality21.comBywater American Bistro: Just last week, Chef Nina Compton was adorned with the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the South and- boy, oh boy- is it well deserved. Chef Nina opened her brand new spot, Bywater American Bistro, last month. I went on a Thursday and it was so good that, I kid you not, I made another reservation for two days later. Quite frankly, they were the two best meals I have had in NOLA in many years. If you can, grab a spot at the bar and watch your entire meal be prepared in the fully open kitchen. My personal favorite is the fried gulf oysters, the blue crab dip and, for your entree, the duck. Prepare to be amazed!

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.

Bayona: This restaurant is an absolute institution in NOLA. With world famous chef Susan Spicer in the kitchen, it's one of the best in town. The atmosphere is formal, but comfortable, the service is outstanding, and they make you feel incredibly special. The food is excellent, innovative, and always delicious. If you're heading to the French Quarter for dinner, put this spot at the top of your list of restaurants.

Cochon: Donald Link is associated with a number of amazing restaurants in New Orleans and two of those are on our list, and for good reason. Arguably one of the best chefs in the South, (and awarded many a' James Beard awards) Chef Link brings a new approach to traditional Cajun and Southern food. Come for the wood-fired oysters appetizer and stay for the short ribs for your main course. Not in the mood for a full sit-down dinner? Head around the corner to Butcher, the sandwich shop offshoot of Cochon.

How cute is 1000 Figs? ( 1000 Figs: Tucked into a tiny room in Mid-City, 1000 Figs has quickly become one of the best spots in New Orleans for healthy, delicious food. You can’t go wrong with the menu – from their incredible falafel platter and burrata plate with fresh herbs to their innovative salads and veggie options, you’ll walk out of the restaurant with a big smile on your face. Their pita is also to die for. The menu stays fresh with seasonal herbs and vegetables from local Louisiana gardens. It’s a great way to support local business and local farmers! Thanks to Nora for adding this incredible place to the list.

Magasin: This one comes from Neill, our Associate Director of Operations, "A lot of people don’t realize how strong a Vietnamese influence there is in New Orleans. Magasin is my favorite restaurant because all the plates are small enough and cheap enough that you can order a few different things, and anything you get is fresh and light. Vietnamese-style pork is one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten, and Magasin does it the best, in my opinion. So of course I recommend ordering lots of grilled pork: Com (rice plate), the spring rolls, and a steamed pork bun. Then finish it off with a Café Sua Da Vietnamese iced coffee." Bonus: a second location is now open in the CBD!

Auction House Market.... she's a beaut!

Auction House Market
: If your family can’t seem to decide on a restaurant, Auction House Market is the place for you. Essentially a high-end food court, the market is located conveniently in the Warehouse District and has over 10 different local vendors and is great for a meal any time of day.  My colleague Rachel says her favorites so far are Alpha, a Mediterranean vendor and Aloha Lei, which has great sushi. My personal favorite is the redfish po'boy from Elysian Seafood. The Market has everything from to seafood to empanadas, so there is really something for everyone, and it’s great for groups because everyone can get what they want. The space is also gorgeous!

Peche: The second of Donald Link's restaurant in our top 10 list will not dissapoint. Peche won best the James Beard award for "Best New Restaurant" in the country when it opened. Peche is home to some of the best seafood in town. Try anything from the raw bar and then, after dinner, spend some time exploring the CBD and some of the art galleries on Julia Street. I also recommend getting affogado from Drip down the street when you are ready for dessert.

Domenica cauliflower in all her glory (

Domenica: Everyone who knows me knows that, hands down, this is my top pick for the best restaurant in New Orleans. Domenica, located in the historic and gorgeous Roosevelt Hotel, serves up some of the best Italian-meets-NOLA (shall we say Italianola?) food in town. Order the cauliflower appetizer and prepare to have your entire existence on earth altered. After, complete the meal with their prosciutto pizza.

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

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

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

Class of 2022 Facts and Figures

Jeff's Blog Feed - Sat, 05/05/2018 - 12:00
May 1st is in the rearview mirror and what a year it has been at Tulane. In all my time working in the Office of Undergraduate Admission, I can honestly say I've never experience a year like we've had. Both my boss, Satyajit Dattagupta, and I have a few thoughts to share on the class. He'll kick it off.

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The Class of 2022 is a tremendously talented and cosmopolitan group of students who come from homes all over the United States and the globe. In short, it is incredibly academically accomplished, truly diverse, and globally-oriented. It is one of the most extraordinary classes Tulane has ever welcomed to campus.

Overall, we were up 9% in applications over last year and received just shy of 39,000 applicants. This year was the most selective class in history. This is also the most academically strong class Tulane has enrolled. This promising group of well-rounded students will accomplish great things in the coming years, both during their time at Tulane and their lives beyond our campus. The converted SAT score went up 7 points to a 1456 and the ACT rose from 31 to 32.
The Class of 2022 is also the most diverse group of students Tulane has ever enrolled. The incoming class has 22% students of color and 5% international students. This marks a change that Tulane University welcomes, as it is more representative of both our nation and the world. I am very confident the campus experience of students with such a wide range of backgrounds, ethnicities, and life experiences will be extraordinarily positive. The breadth and depth of the Class of 2022 is reflected not only in their academic successes but in the various ways they see and understand the world. Learning, working, sharing, and living with people unlike yourself is one of the ways we grow as human beings. This enriches our understanding of our differences and our strengths, builds strong bonds, and greatly benefits our community.

This class is also the most global in Tulane’s history. Bringing more international students to Tulane provides a unique dimension to the classroom and campus experience that is incredibly important. The world is getting smaller, and we are more connected to the people of all nations than ever before. An informed global outlook is so crucial to personal and professional success for international and domestic students alike.

We're also excited to welcome our second class of Spring Scholars in January of 2018. Over 180 students will be a part of this group.

I look forward to welcoming the class of 2022 in just a few short months. Roll Wave!

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Here are a few things I think are worth noting as well:

Our yield rate improved 4% in one year. For those of you not in the enrollment management world, that number may not seem significant. The yield rate is the percent of students who are admitted that end up enrolling. In general, a half-percentage point increase in yield, within a single year, is a big accomplishment. To jump 4% in one year is almost unprecedented. To put that into context, it took us roughly seven years to achieve a 4% increase in yield following Katrina. So what took us seven years, we were able to do in just this year alone. What this tells us, is more so than ever, a significant number of admitted students are taking us up on our offer of admission. 
Our admit rate was 17.5%. I am not the kind of Director of Admission that takes pride in how many applicants we deny. Further, "more selective" does not mean "better institution," it just means more selective. What our admit rate simply means is that we had our most selective year for admission ever. Only three years ago in 2015, we admitted 30% of our applicants. When a young Jeff Schiffman applied to Tulane back in 2001, we had a 71% admit rate. So while I am not necessarily "proud" of how low our admit rate is, it is a strong indicator of how competitive admission to Tulane has become.
The class is also very international! We will welcome just shy of 100 total international students who come from 31 different countries: China, India, Vietnam, South Korea, Mexico, Turkey, Canada, Ecuador, Panama, Egypt, Colombia, Taiwan, France, Japan, the United Kingdom, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Argentina, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Spain, Thailand, Bolivia, Italy, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, and Austria. 
The class comes from all over the country! The top five states in order of representation are: New York, California, Louisiana, Illinois and Texas. Both the Empire State and the Golden State are sending us over 220 students each. Four students will join us from Hawaii and one from Wyoming.

There you have it. See you soon, 2022! 

Gap Year

Jeff's Blog Feed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 14:00
Andrew on his Gap Year cookin' up a stormMay 1st is just two weeks away and our class of 2022 has started to take its final shape! Later on this summer, I'll be blogging all about the incoming freshman class. We're really excited about 2022.

24 members of the class of 2022 will be coming to NOLA fresh off a Gap Year. We've seen a growing number of students opting to take a Gap Year before they start at Tulane. We are very supportive of a Gap Year if that is something that interests you. All you need to do is read this info, send us an additional deposit, and then you're on your way. Members of the class of 2022 are coming back from gap years studying cuisine in Paris, learning Spanish in Honduras while researching in the Mayan Highlands, while some will have spent time interning to save money for college or participating in public service projects.

I reached out to four former Gap Year students to get their take on it. Let's meet some of our former gappers here. Take it away, guys!

Andrew Noorani, Class of 2021

The plan for my gap year was to gain experience working in restaurants and to travel a little. I knew taking a gap year would be good for me for two reasons in particular. I felt I needed to mature more before I could really do well in college and to be sure that a career in the restaurant industry was something I wanted to pursue.

My gap year began when I started working at New York City’s Gotham Bar and Grill. I was thrown in the deep end immediately, working 13 hour days, 6 days a week. It was certainly a wakeup call from the second semester attitude I had while in high school. I was learning so much and loving every second of work. Of course, there were hard days too, it can be lonely working in a large city while your high school friends are enjoying their first months of college. However, it was during those times in which I really matured. I saw how hard one must work in the real world and how necessary grit was.

Eventually, it was time for a little travelling. So I decided to go half way around the world to Australia and New Zealand. Travelling is such an important part of a gap year, because when else are you going to have enough time to go to the places you have always wanted?

When move in day came around, I knew I was ready. I had lived on my own for a year, worked harder than ever and seen the world. I was even able to save up a bit of money so I could enjoy the amazing food New Orleans has to offer. I have gone into my classes with the same work ethic that I needed while working in fast paced kitchens and this has really helped me. My gap year taught me how to get the most out of my time, a skill I never take for granted. Best of all, my experience over the gap year has given me an impressive resume, which has helped to secure a summer job and a part time internship during the school year. If I hadn’t taken a gap year, my first year wouldn’t have been nearly amazing as it has been!

Tamar Arenson, Class of 2020

My name is Tamar Arenson and I am a freshman, majoring in Political Science and International Relations. When I was a senior in high school, I applied to colleges just like the rest of my friends, but I knew my path would look a little different. I had decided to take a gap year. I had grown up in the Young Judaea community; attending their summer camps, year round programing and travel programs. Young Judaea also offers a gap year in Israel called Year Course. Since I was 10 years old, I knew that before I went to college, I too would go on Year Course.

During my year, I spent the first half working at an elementary school in an inner city as an english teacher. I developed incredible bonds with my students and was able to watch them grow and learn a new language. For the second half of my year, I took classes through my program which ranged from history to art and culture. We also traveled the entire country, exploring different landscapes, communities and religions. Finally, I traveled to Rwanda for 5 weeks where I lived and worked at youth village for orphans in Rwanda that was founded by a Year Course alumna.

Throughout all of these experiences I was also living in an apartment with roommates, ostensibly on my own for the first time. I had to learn to budget my spending, navigate new areas, make new friends and be far away from my parents. I came to college feeling so much more prepared than I would have right out of high school. I had already experienced a transition before, and was excited to do it again! Both my academics and social life soared because I felt so comfortable and excited by my new experience. My gap year not only opened my eyes culturally, through my travels and experiences, but also taught me how to live alone, be in a new place and make the most of every opportunity. I have tried to carry this same mentality through my freshman year of college and can honestly say the two best decisions I ever made in my life were going on Year Course and coming to Tulane.

Kira Farley, class of 2020

Taking a gap year was the best decision I could have made! Get ready for me to sound like I am writing in clichés and coming straight out of a Disney movie, because my experience was a dream. I cannot imagine how my life might have turned out differently had I not spent time outside of the academic world. I spent my gap year living in Paris, France on a CIEE program. My year was chocked full of taking cool classes to learn about the culture of my new home (art history taught INSIDE Le Louvre, anyone??), volunteering in a café where the majority of customers were immigrants (Learning how to make un café crème while simultaneously hearing about someone’s life story was pretty amazing!) and traveling to as many towns, cities and countries as I could! I was only 18 years-old and here I was, traveling to Italy, Spain, London and Germany in one month and the flights cost a total of 50 euros.

I enjoyed high school and was excited for college…who wouldn’t be when you’re going to Tulane! However, I wanted to step outside of the academic setting to learn about myself and the world around me. Did I have apprehensions about being a year behind? Of course, but Tulane made my transition as smooth as butter both academically and socially. I never once felt like an outsider or like I couldn’t handle whatever situation I found myself in. In fact, everyone that I meet tells me that they WISH they had taken a gap year. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my incredible host family, food, friends and experiences in France. I know that taking a gap year helped shape who I want to represent in my years at Tulane and my life beyond. If you find yourself wondering whether or not a gap year is for you, say YES!

Kelsey Williams, class of 2019

Taking a gap year was the best decision I have ever made, and I could not recommend the experience more highly to anyone finishing high school. It allowed me to grow into an independent young adult beyond my refined ability to study for AP exams and write personal statements. Don’t get me wrong – these skills were extremely valuable to me, and are the reason I am able to be studying on a scholarship at a Tulane. However I honestly believe I am a happier, more well-rounded person because I took some time off from school.

I first began thinking about taking a gap year in November of my senior year of high school but finished the college application process. When May rolled around, I accepted my spot at Tulane but requested a deferral of both my admission and scholarship until the following year. I left for 9 months of traveling in late August.

First I went to South Africa and Botswana, for a month each, and completed a course called EcoTraining, which certified me to be a Safari guide. In practice, this was a long, educational camping trip among the lions and elephants.  It was a wonderful way to start the year abroad, because it was a fairly structured environment with a small group of people that became close friends. It was also a completely foreign experience with many new challenges, but everyone spoke my language, so it was navigable. I had limited access to technology and connection to home, which helped me build my confidence. I also developed a new passion for the environment, which I will carry for the rest of my life.

In late October, I flew from Johannesburg to Arusha, Tanzania. For three months I lived with a host family, shadowed doctors in a community hospital, and volunteered at a local orphanage. This was the most challenging segment of my year. There were very few other westerners, so I frequently felt culturally and linguistically isolated. It took concerted effort to step outside my comfort zone and make connections with local people. However, these experiences allowed me to grow significantly as a person, helping me check my privilege and develop a broader worldview. Additionally, this experience solidified for me that I want to pursue medicine and public health. I returned to Arusha last summer on a State Department Critical Language Scholarship to learn Swahili, and I hope to continue working in East Africa throughout my career.

The final stop of my gap year was New Zealand, where I arrived in early February. I stayed the first few nights in hostels while I explored the city and found an apartment and job, and then settled into life in Wellington. I worked as a waitress and barista in a small restaurant downtown, and part-time as a caterer for a larger company. Through my jobs and housemates, I made great friends and thoroughly enjoyed spending three months as an independent adult in the city. By the beginning of May, I had saved enough money to quit my jobs, rent a car, and road trip the entirety of the country for 5 weeks. This was the happiest time of my life. Now, as I write this reflection amidst cramming for organic chemistry and physics finals, it keeps me grounded to have learned that fullness of my life depends on more than higher education and my grades.

Kira and crew 

Sarah on her Gap Year
Kelsey on her gap year
Tamar on her gap year.

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

Jeff's Blog Feed - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 07:30
Ahhhh French Quarter Fest! Here in Louisiana, we like to say that we have more festivals than days of the school year. And we do! Mardi Gras technically kicks off festival season, but things really get going in March and continue into the summer. In honor of French Quarter Fest this weekend and Crawfest this month, I thought my annual run-down of the best fests in town would be a big help.

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

No matter who you are, I hope you get to experience some of the many festivals in New Orleans. If you happen to live here in NOLA, you have probably attended many of these. If you are planning a visit to town or a trip to Tulane, it's always a great idea if you can coordinate your visit with one of these great events. I know I am leaving a ton off of this list, so buyer beware, this is just my own personal top ten!

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

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

FQF Banners just went up! (photo from DavidNOLA)
7) French Quarter Festival- Over 750,000 locals and out-of-towners visit the French Quarter to celebrate everything NOLA during this mega-fest. Every year FQF gets bigger and now claims the top spot as the country's largest free music festival. Over 800 musicians take the stage over this four-day festival that spans virtually the entire French Quarter. While 65 of New Orleans' best restaurants set up shop at the fest for you to get a taste of all the different foods this city has been made famous for. The festival has a distinctly local flavor; from the food to the musicians, FQF really does show New Orleans in all of her glory.

6) Voodoo Fest- Now in its 20th year, this is one of the most popular festivals of the year for Tulane students. I attended all four years that I was a student at Tulane, and got to see some amazing acts at this Halloween-weekend music festival. It all goes down in City Park, not far from Tulane's campus. Tulane even offers shuttle buses to get our students out to the fest. Last year's lineup included Kendrick Lamar, Foo Fighters and the Killers, among others. Last month in the semi-same genre as Voodoo is Buku which features Migos, Bassnectar, Sza, and a number of other EDM heavy hitters.

The best. 
5) Po-Boy Fest- Also a Tulane student favorite, Po-Boy Fest is probably the only festival in America that celebrates the preservation of the humble sandwich. Of course, for anyone who has ever been to NOLA before, you know that we don't call them sandwiches. Or hoagies. Or subs. We call 'em poor (po) boys. Po-Boy Fest occurs on the entirety of Oak Street, just a few streetcar stops up from Tulane's campus. Last year over 30 vendors offered up their own unique interpretations on the New Orleans classic.

4) Jazz Fest- The mother of all New Orleans festivals. Officially named the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Jazz Fest enters its 49th year in 2018. The festival occurs over two weeks in the spring and is home to 12 stages and over 460,000 attendees per year. While music may be the centerpiece of this festival, food and art are close behind. You'll try some of the best food in the world here at Jazz Fest—whether your preference is alligator-on-a-stick or the famous Crawfish Monica, there is something for everyone. And don't be fooled by the name, Jazz Fest is way more than just jazz. This year's headliners include Aerosmith, Aretha Franklin, Sting, Jimmy Buffett, Beck, Jack White, David Byrne, Lionel Richie, Anita Baker, and Bonnie Raitt, plus Dr. John and the soon-to-be-world-famous Tulane University Jazz Orchestra! (I kid you not, Tulane's jazz band gets to annually play at Jazz Fest!). Best part? Tulane offers free shuttles and discounted tickets for our students.

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

2) Crawfest- Did you know that the largest student-run music festival in America is held right here at Tulane? Every April, Tulane students take to the LBC Quad to revel in a day's worth of free food and music. Last year was our biggest yet—with two stages, 8 different bands, and 20,000 pounds of Louisiana crawfish. It's all totally planned and executed by our students and is one of our best and most famous traditions on campus each year. This year's headliner are Papadosio, Baha Men and Brasstracks and previous years have seen Moon Taxi, The Funky Meters, Galactic, Lettuce, and Givers. And lest you vegetarians fret, there are plenty of food options if you don't indulge in eating mudbugs. Every year the Green Club and Veggie Club co-sponsor a large-scale veggie boil during Crawfest. Crawfest is big and has been featured everywhere from the Huffington Post to LiveforLive.

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

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

Those bulls look pretty. Pretty scary. The opening ceremonies of San Fermin in Nueva OrleansHere's me running from the bulls last summer
Steer clear of the bulls! 
So there you have it, folks! My favorite festivals of the year.

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

Graduation Bucket List

Jeff's Blog Feed - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 09:00
Alright, Class of 2018, spring break is in the rear-view mirror. That means you're in the home stretch. Many of you will be sticking around for a little while longer to complete one of Tulane's graduate or master's programs. A large group will also join the local work force here in town or get involved with volunteer and service organizations. But for most of you, your days in NOLA are numbered, and it's time to start saying your goodbyes to what has most likely become your favorite city in the world.

So in consideration of the last couple month you have here, I give you my list of bucket items to check off before you split town. I tried to pick some feasible, affordable, and realistic things to do—so go out and enjoy this town—one last time! Oh, and be sure to say hi to me in the coming years when you decide you miss NOLA too much and you must make a visit. Which you will want to do, all the time.

1) Go see Soul Rebels at Le Bon Temps on Thursday night. If you have yet to see this band at some of the various festivals around town, then you will surely be blown away. It's a killer show and incredible experience that will leave you sweatin' and dancin' for hours. If you want the quintessential NOLA music experience, Soul Rebels at Bon Temps is it. Schedule here.

2) Sunday evening at Bacchanal in the Bywater. I just happen to have done this last week. Grab a group of friends and get a table sometime early-ish (around 7:00). They sell wine by the bottle, there is always a great little band, and you can order food from their amazing menu, just be sure to get the chocolate bark dessert. You'll wonder why you didn't come here every Sunday.

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

4) Hotel Pool Hop. Grab a small crew and pick a hotel pool and crash it for the afternoon. The Westin (on the 30th floor!), The Roosevelt, and the Bourbon Orleans all have great pools, but if you want my top recommendation, go hit up the Ace Hotel in the CBD. This is rooftop pooling at it's finest. Also, take the streetcar there. It's easy to forget how awesome the streetcar is if you haven't ridden it for awhile. Once you have had your fill of sun, go to Wednesdays at the Square, a free weekly concert series in Lafayette Square. Great food, free music, and a great all around vibe.

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

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

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

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

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

Crescent Park
10) Oak Alley Plantation- It's just majestic. You may have been at some point, but this is the most gorgeous plantation home in Louisiana, and will create some amazing Instragram-able moments. It is an hour or so away as you drive up beautiful River Road (which you should do with all the windows down). Take the full tour, stepping back in time, and remembering just how long this city has been around and how much history we truly have. Our history isn't all good either. The Laura Plantation down the street does a fine job contextualizing plantation life and the history of slavery in our state. Feeling adventurous? Check out these other road trips I recommend.

11) Power Lunch at a Big Four: You may have to save up a little cash for this one, but treat yourself to lunch at one of the the "Big Four:" Commander's Palace, Arnaud's, Antoine's, or Galatoirer's. Some have great lunch specials, jazz bands, and CP has 25 cent martinis! And if you reaaaally want a true NOLA experience, try Friday lunch at Galatroire's, Just make sure you are ready for a line!

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

13) Write a few thank you notes. If you really connected with a faculty or staff member on campus, let them know how much you appreciated the time they gave you over the last few years. If you interacted every day with someone who works at Bruff, leave them a note to let them know how much you loved getting to know them. A note of gratitude can go a long way. Let someone who impacted your life at Tulane know how much they mean to you.

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

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

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

Ace Rooftop = heaven on earth 

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

NOLA from the Algiers Ferry (photo courtesy of

It's Going to be Okay

Jeff's Blog Feed - Tue, 03/20/2018 - 09:00

Now that final admission decisions across America have started to go out, I wanted to post this very important message to every single high school senior around the world right now who did not get good news from their top choice school:

It's going to be okay.

I promise.

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

Phase one: Do not let this process define you.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Last year, I was named the Director of Admission at Tulane University. So I guess what I am saying is: even Directors of Admission get rejected. No matter how you feel today, how you felt this week, and how you think you'll feel next year... you are all going to be okay.

Trust me.

Waitlist... Now what?

Jeff's Blog Feed - Mon, 03/19/2018 - 14:30
Well it is official; our decisions for the Class of 2022 will go out this week. If you have not heard from us yet, you will before April 1st. For those of you who were placed on the waitlist, here's a blog to answer all of the questions you may have.

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

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

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

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

What has happened in previous years? Some years, we admit a group of students off the waitlist, some years it is zero. As you might know, Tulane had larger classes in the last two years and as such there was no movement from the waitlist. This year we admitted a substantially smaller group of students so as to not over-enroll the class. I am hopeful that this will mean more movement from the waitlist this year, but time will tell. We'll let you know as soon as we can!

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

What can I do to strengthen my case? For the most part, the ball is in our court. It will come down to numbers with waitlist admits; this is why we need to wait a few weeks to see how many students have replied that they will indeed enroll. There is no need to send in additional documentation at this point. Also be sure to reply to every one of those emails we send out asking if you would like to remain on the list. If we don't hear from you, we will assume you are not interested. My personal tip? Only request to stay on the waitlist if you are pretty sure you'll enroll here if you are offered a spot.

Should I come down for a visit to campus? Only if it makes sense for your family to do so. It will not have any bearing on your admission decision. There is no need to meet with your rep on campus or come down for an interview. A simple email letting them know you'll be visiting will do.

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

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

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

13 Tips for Parents in the Process

Jeff's Blog Feed - Mon, 03/12/2018 - 09:00

Before I begin this blog, I have a shameless plug! I'll be taking all this information on a roadshow this month. If you live in Baton Rouge or Atlanta, you can hear me present my entire catalog of tips for applying to selective schools. I'll be in Baton Rouge on March 14th and Atlanta on March 26th.

Now on to today's blog which is dedicated to all the moms and dads out there. Let me start off by saying one of the best parts about my current role as Director of Admission is that I am exactly halfway between the age of the students I recruit and their parents. I can easily recall what my application process was like and the challenges that went along with it, and I am also close enough in age to the parents out there to understand all the questions and concerns that stem from the parental side. That said, I present this blog to you with one major caveat: I am not a parent myself. As such, I cannot possibly understand what it's like to guide a kid through this (sometimes tumultuous) process of applying to college and, on a larger scale, becoming an adult. What I can say is I have interacted with approximately one million parents over the last 13 years in this profession. And from that, I have developed a pretty comprehensive list of ways that you as a parent can be a great partner to your kid during the college search process.

This blog is motivated by one of the icons of my profession, Deb Shaver Dean of Admission at Smith and a mother, who I recently heard speak on this very topic. Some of my tips borrow directly from Deb's talk because she is such a legend. 
Alright, here we go.... thirteen tips for all the moms and dads out there!

You do not want to be more memorable than your student. This one says it all. At the end of the day, it is your son or daughter enrolling in college, not you. We want to know what they will be like when they get to our campus. We want to know how they'll react to setbacks, how they'll interact with adults, and how they'll carry themselves into adulthood. If you end up taking over the admission process (and that includes interactions with your school counselor) it becomes difficult for us to judge the student on their own merits. I'm pretty upfront on this blog, so I'll be honest- occasionally some parents go so far that an admission officer might stop and think "man, if this is what mom is like in the admission process, what will she be like if her son actually enrolls here?" That's the kind of thought you don't want your child's admission counselor to ever have. 
Let your student do the legwork. This is their first foray into life outside of your roof. Let them call admission offices with questions, interact with tour guides, etc. Yes, we know you'll have to pick up the slack sometimes and we fully expect the complexities of financial aid to fall on parents, but let them give this one a shot. It's likely going to be one of the first major life tasks that they take on. They might make some mistakes along the way. That's OK. All the guidance and support you’ve provided your child up until this point has prepared them to take the reins. They’re ready to take charge of their college search because you’ve done everything you can to prepare them. Allow them to navigate process and be an individual be and memorable applicant on their own.
It's OK to contact us, just don't fake being your son or daughter. I was walking by the main admission desk last week and happened to pick up the phone that was ringing. A (very obvious) mom-voice on the other line said "Hi, I am calling to check on my application status." Now, I know what the voice of a 50 year old lady sounds like. I responded with, "Sure... what is your daughter's full name?" "Actually, it's for my son" she replied. I have to think the parent would eventually realize that I knew she was not a teenage boy, but I digress. The same goes for emails. It's OK to email us from your account with questions, but don't sign it with your kid's name. The tone of a parent email is drastically different from a student email. So is your handwriting, so that thank you note I got from 17 year old Ralph written in old-school cursive was not convincing. We love hearing from parents in this process, and it's okay to contact us. But, don't try to pretend to be your kid. 
Avoid using the word "we": When chatting with admission representatives, "we" are not taking AP Calculus. "We" are not applying to six schools. Tulane doesn't offer formal interviews with admission staff here, so we meet with students and parents together. Again, allow them to take the reins in this process and be an individual and memorable applicant on their own. 

Everyone's kid is the best. Usually this one starts with "I know you hear this all the time, but..." Yes, yes I do. All the time. This goes back to my caveat that I am not a parent myself so I cannot understand the love that you feel for your kid. I get that. But, I have never sat with the admission committee and said, "You know, I was on the fence about this kid but then his mom called and told me how kind he is and how great/sweet/thoughtful of a kid he is." I know there is such a strong parental desire to do what's best for your student and I know you want to advocate for them for admission or for scholarships. But again, I've never in all my years had a parent tell me their kid is average. Resist the urge to share with admission officers how wonderful you think your own kid is. Their application, recommendations, and academics will speak for themselves.
Recognize this process has changed from when you applied to college. When I applied to Tulane, the admission rate was triple what it is now. I probably wouldn't be admitted if I applied to Tulane today. The process of applying to college was a lot different in the 80s and 90s. There was less of a mania, the concept of "enrollment management" hadn't really entered the vernacular yet, and students weren't applying to 15 schools. Literally everything has changed, so the "back in my day" approach won't work. Set your expectations accordingly.

Expand your college horizons: There are over 5,000 universities and colleges in America. I have blogged many times about how there are no bad schools out there, only bad fits. Just because the school is not a top 50 in USNews rankings, or maybe you've not even heard of the school before, does not mean your son or daughter won't have transformative and incredible experience there. I've blogged about the concept of everything being okay in the end before and I think it's worth a read. We're so lucky to be in a country with so many amazing options from community colleges to Ivy Leagues to big public schools. Along those lines...

More selective doesn't mean better. It just means more selective. This one's a great Deb Shaver quote. Rates of admission are not related to how "good" of a school it is or the experience your son or daughter will have there. Avoid looking at admit rates as a gauge of the school's strength.

Don't add to their stress. Chances are good that your son or daughter isn't dying to talk with you about the college application process. Trust that they are doing what needs to get done. Pick one night a week that can be designated as college night. Maybe Sunday dinners are the right time to have a college check up. This will help decrease their anxiety in the process. If they're looking for other ways to de-stress throughout the process, I've got them covered.

Be kind to your school counselors. Your student's school counselor will be their best advocate. Be great partners with them (also going back to tip #1) and foster a relationship that is professional but friendly. Many school counselors have a lot on their plate, especially those at large public schools.

Talk to your kids about sexual assault: Sexual assault is a major problem on college campuses across America. Any school that tells you that there campus does not have sexual assault issues is not being truthful with you. Colleges should be prepared to tell you about their resources and you should prepare your student to be knowledgeable about them. Talk to your sons and daughters about Title IX and what to do in the case that they need to report a concern. Talk to your sons about the concept of consent and how to be an ally. Tell them that, at Tulane for example, 74% of sexual perpetrators are friends, acquaintances, or romantic partners of the victim. Make sure they are fully cognizant of the concept of consent. And definitely communicate how the use of alcohol can result in someone not being able to give proper consent.

Plan the college visits: I have talked a lot about how mom and dad should take a back seat in the college process, but here's one spot where your kid will truly appreciate you taking the reins: planning the college tours and visits. Southwest Airlines flies direct to NOLA from 24 different cities and is usually pretty affordable. We've got some great hotel discounts, too. Plan a great trip for you and your kid to visit campus. Pick a few great restaurants, find a few fun things to do, and if the budget is there, make a little vacation out of it. I've got you covered for your two day trip to NOLA. If money is tight, plan a great day visiting colleges near your hometown with a few fun activities mixed in.

The sticker on the car is not your grade as a parent. Aside from tip #1, I think this last one, another wise nugget of wisdom from Deb, is the most important one you'll get. Someone whose kid is going to Harvard is no better of a parent than the one whose kid is going to Santa Monica City College.  Everyone finds their own path to college. This is your kid's first chance to fly. You've done a great job getting them this far and don't think that "how good of a school" they go to is any indication of your skills as a parent. If you are still concerned about this, Amazon is having a great Prime deal for Harvard stickers, only $8.99.

There you have it! I hope this helps some of parents out there get a sense of how you can best partner with your son or daughter in this process.

Meet the Admission Interns - 2018

Jeff's Blog Feed - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 16:48

Every time you call the Office of Admission it's routed directly to my cell phone! Just kidding. As it turns out, the biggest MVPs of the office are our incredible team of 22 student interns. They are a pretty epic group and they run the show; from answering your e-mails and calls to greeting you right as you step foot on campus, this team really does it all. They are really accessible to you to answer any questions you may have. 

Let's take some time to get to know the team that really runs the Office of Admission at Tulane.

Name - Ben GerberHometown - Brookline, MA
Grade - Junior
Majors/Minors - Finance Major, Mathematics Minor
Favorite thing about Tulane - One of my favorite parts about Tulane is how involved everyone is on and off campus. Students love to take advantage of every minute of the day and I can truly say being bored at Tulane is close to impossible.  From exploring the city of New Orleans, joining organizations on campus, and doing community service within the local communities, Tulane students are getting the full undergraduate experience.  I truly believe there is no better city to experience your undergraduate college years. 
One thing you have to do when you visit New Orleans - One of my favorite places in New Orleans is the Fly. It is a large field alongside the Mississippi River and walking distance from campus.  Tulane students love to go there after classes on Friday afternoons to kick back, kick around a soccer ball, and watch the sunset over the river.  
Involvement on campus - I have been in a Greek fraternity since my freshmen year, and joined a business fraternity, too. I am also very active in the Greenbull Investment Club, have played club and intramural soccer, and love giving tours. 
Tulane email -

Name - Tyler Margaretten
Hometown - Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
Grade - Senior
Majors/Minors - Finance and Entrepreneurial Management
Favorite thing about Tulane - The size of the university and the people just make for one large extended family. It's a warm climate with even warmer people.
One thing you have to do when you visit New Orleans - When you come to New Orleans, make sure to eat a lot and listen to live music. The best place to do both is in the French Quarter. Try rabbit or crawfish or gator for the first time and find out what you've been missing out on.
Involvement on campus - At Tulane I'm on the Executive Boards for both the Undergraduate Student Government and Crawfest (Tulane's very own music festival!), work in the Admissions office and as a tour guide, and am in AKPsi professional business fraternity, the Model UN team, and Tower and Crescent.
Tulane email -

Name - Angel Carter 
Hometown - Atlanta, GA
Grade - Junior 
Majors/Minors - Double Majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology and Anthropology/Pre-Med 
Favorite thing about Tulane - The city and community service! With Tulane being located in uptown New Orleans, its perfect for getting around and going different places with your friends and family. Community Service plays an important part in how Tulanians help out and being in New Orleans connects you with organizations and other people that share the same passion that you do. Since, the city of New Orleans always has something going on, its awesome to be a part of it all and share different experiences among friends. 
One thing you have to do when you visit New Orleans - Go have brunch at The Ruby Slipper Cafe, get a beignet (or three) from Cafe Du Monde, go see one of the many museums/art galleries in the French Quarter, and go on a cemetery or ghost tour...and not necessarily in that order! Oops, was that more than one?
Involvement on campus - Green Wave Ambassadors Exec, Tulane University Marching Band, After-School Newcomb Tutoring (ANT), Band Tutor, Resident Advisor (RA), the Honors Program, Tower and Crescent, and I conduct research in one of the Cell and Molecular Biology labs on campus! 

Name - Justin Baris
Hometown - St. Louis, MO
Grade - 5th Year
Majors/Minors - Masters of Biomedical Engineering, BSE Biomedical Engineering
Favorite thing about Tulane - My favorite thing about Tulane is how they make you a well-rounded person. Although the emphasis is getting a great education, you are put in the position to experience everything a “traditional college student” may experience and way more. You have the opportunity to get a world-class education while still developing your people skills.
One thing you have to do when you visit New Orleans - Go to a festival! With more than one-per-day there truly is something for everyone. Be sure to check out Poboy Fest in the Fall, Jazz Fest in the Spring, and White Linen Night in the Summer.
Involvement on campus - In addition to being a Green Wave Ambassador (Tour Guide) and Undergrad Admissions Intern, I am a teacher’s assistant, tutor for calculus and statistics, play intramural sports, and do research in Tulane’s Center for Anatomical and Movement Sciences. As an undergrad, I also helped start a community service organization and was involved in Greek Life.
Tulane email -

Name - Emily MacLaren
Hometown - New Orleans, LA
Grade - Senior
Majors/Minors - Public Health and International Development
Favorite thing about Tulane - My favorite thing about Tulane is having the opportunity to connect and work with amazing staff members through organizations and leadership positions over the past three years. From the counselors in the admission office to staff in alumni office, I am so grateful to have worked with members of the Tulane family that are so passionate about this university and city.
One thing you have to do when you visit New Orleans - Explore the Bywater! My suggestion is to grab a New York style pizza from Pizza Delicious and head over to Crescent Park to watch the sunset with a view of the New Orleans skyline. You also cannot go wrong with brunch at Elizabeth's.
Involvement on campus - Greek Life, Greenie Camp Orientation Coordinator, One Wave Bystander, Tidal Wave (Homecoming) Volunteers Co-Chair, Green Wave Ambassador tour guide, Semester Abroad in Amsterdam, Tower and Crescent
Tulane email -

Name - Paige PearsonHometown - Santa Cruz, CAGrade - JuniorMajors/Minors - Public Health and International Development, Minor: SpanishFavorite thing about Tulane - My favorite things about Tulane are its size and commitment to giving back through service. There is always someone new to meet, but I’m constantly seeing my friends around campus. I also love that Tulane’s culture and curriculum encourage students to participate in community service. Almost every student gets to know and gives back to the New Orleans community during their time at Tulane through service learning, student-led clubs and organizations, Outreach Tulane (one of our annual service days), and independent volunteer projects.One thing you have to do when you visit New Orleans - When I have visitors, I love to take them to Dat Dog, Preservation Hall, and a festival or event like Blues and Barbecue or the St. Patrick’s Day parade if one is happening during their stay! New Orleans is such a captivating city, and I think these events are an incredible way to get a taste of that.Involvement on campus - I’m involved with Swim for Success (teaching lower-income kids how to swim), Green Wave Ambassadors, the Asian American Student Union, and the Peace Corps Prep Program. I also studied abroad in Botswana this past semester.Tulane email -

Name - Lucas (Lu) ClarkHometown - Columbia, SCGrade - JuniorMajors/Minors - Legal Studies and Entrepreneurial ManagementFavorite thing about Tulane - I love being in an environment where everyone is so involved. Almost everyone I have met here has three or four activities that they are really passionate about, which is such an awesome culture to be a part of.One thing you have to do when you visit New Orleans - Ride down the St. Charles Street Car and look at all of the beautiful houses!Involvement on campus - Green Wave Ambassadors, Orientation Team Leader, Young Life, Religious Life, and TUSTEP service-dog trainingTulane email -

Name - Mark Schaupp
Hometown - Los Angeles, CA
Grade - Sophomore
Majors/Minors - B. Architecture and International Development
Favorite thing about Tulane - Oh wow, how do I pick??? Personally, I think that our campus and student population are the perfect size. I love being able to walk across Tulane and randomly run into a bunch of friends on the way to class, but also feel a part of a larger community where I meet new people in the class room, on the soccer field, and even in airports on the way home!
One thing you have to do when you visit New Orleans - You must visit City Park, specifically the sculpture garden! The park is beautiful and the garden is free to visit!
Involvement on campus - On campus, I work as an Admissions Intern as well as a Community Engagement Advocate (for the Center for Public Service). I am also involved with the Bridge, a Christian organization here, and I serve as a part of our Undergraduate Student Government as a Justice on the Judicial Council. In my free time, I play on three different intramural soccer teams.
Tulane email -

Name - Pritika Sharma
Hometown - New Delhi, India
Grade - Sophomore
Majors/Minors - Anthropology and Gender & Sexuality Studies
Favorite thing about Tulane - My favorite thing about Tulane is definitely the community and the support people provide to each other. Being an international student, I was worried about not fitting in with the community here. Not only has the Tulane community accepted me for who I am, but has also been there for me whenever I needed them. I absolutely admire that and see Tulane as my second home (maybe even first, sorry mom & dad!).
One thing you have to do when you visit New Orleans - If you visit New Orleans during the holiday season, I highly recommend going to the Roosevelt Hotel and see their main lobby. They decorate it every season and it is literally the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. It has a festive and warm spirit. It is one of my NOLA traditions!
Involvement on campus - Honors Program, Resident Advisor, Newcomb Tulane Honor Board, Green Wave Ambassadors, Global Ambassadors, Alpha Lambda Delta and Tower and Crescent.
Tulane email -

Name - Jordan Margolin Hometown  - East Brunswick, NJ Grade - Senior Majors/Minors - Finance & International Development, Master of Accounting Favorite thing about Tulane - The ability to meet people from across the country while studying in a city filled with incredible food, music, and history. One thing you have to do when you visit New Orleans - Check out the Fly! It’s a beautiful grassy area right on the Mississippi River that students love to hang out at. Involvement on campus - Greek Life, Intramural Sports 
Tulane email -

Name - Eric Bianco
Hometown - Pittsburgh, PA
Grade - Sophomore
Majors/Minors - Marketing and Management 
Favorite thing about Tulane - My favorite thing about Tulane is how many opportunities the school gives you to experience and connect with New Orleans. My freshman year I was able to walk in a Mardi Gras parade and go on a float through the Latin American Department and Jazbaa Dance Club.
One thing you have to do when you visit New Orleans - Take a walk through Audubon Park and explore the surrounding neighborhoods. This is perfect for a nice afternoon filled with wonderful scenery and some beautiful New Orleans homes. 
Involvement on campus - On campus I'm a Trip Leader with Tulane Outdoor Adventures, a Consultant with Saint Charles Solutions, the Marketing Director for the Crawfest Street Team, and an Alumni Ambassador. I am also an intern with the Admissions Office and a tour guide!
Tulane email -

Name - Will DicksonHometown - Memphis, TN
Grade - Senior
Majors/Minors - Classics with a minor in Chemistry
Favorite thing about Tulane - My favorite thing about Tulane is the emphasis it puts on interdisciplinary studies. Tulane offers many pre-professional programs that are centered around integrating the undergraduate and graduate experience, which prepares students well for whatever they wish to achieve after graduation. What makes this even better is the amazing city that Tulane is surrounded by - where else in the country can you apply early to medical or law school one day, and then see Elton John at Jazz Fest the next?
One thing you have to do when you visit New Orleans - Spend an evening at the Fly Park on the Mississippi River, and then end the day at New Orlean's many live music venues. Maison, Tipitina's, and Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop are some of my favorites!
Involvement on campus - In addition to working in the Admissions Office as an Intern and Tour Guide, I am on Tulane's Honor Board, a member of the Classics Honors Society Eta Sigma Phi, and am a member of Tulane's Creative Pre-Medical Scholars Program. I was also one of the 2016 Orientation Team Leaders!
Tulane email -

Name - Alex KornfeldHometown - Basking Ridge, NJ
Grade - Senior
Majors/Minors - Political Science and Philosophy with Minors in Economics and Business
Favorite thing about Tulane - The incredible balance that Tulane offers. When I was looking at colleges in high school, I hoped for a few things. First, I always wanted a school that had both a campus and an actual, exciting city. Tulane's beautiful campus allows for me to see friends while walking to class, experience football tailgates, and fosters a homey feel. Additionally, New Orleans always has something going on. Whether it is a Po Boy Festival or Mardi Gras, the city is never boring. Second, I wanted a medium-sized school. At Tulane, my largest classes are usually around 30 students so I get to know my professors extremely well and the classes are not dauntingly large. At the same time, I constantly meet new and interesting people, making Tulane even more fresh and exciting. Finally, I wanted a school that balanced academic life with student life. My ideal college has academics as the priority, but also happy students. At Tulane, we are the 39th best national university according to US News and at the same time, we have the 4th happiest student body according to the Princeton Review. It does not get much better than that.
One thing you have to do when you visit New Orleans - Visit the World War II Museum
Involvement on campus - Intern and Tour Guide for Admission, I tutor for 2nd graders, and I am involved in Greek Life (Phi Gamma Delta)
Tulane email -

Name - Shelby StrattanHometown - Omaha, NE
Grade - Senior
Majors/Minors - Finance with Computer Science Specialization
Favorite thing about Tulane - Endless opportunities to immerse yourself into New Orleans' unique and diverse culture. Tulane always promotes ways to get involved in the community through classes or outside service work in efforts to really understand the amazing city we live in.
One thing you have to do when you visit New Orleans - Go to ANY live outdoor music show - Jazz Fest, Blues and BBQ, Voodoo Fest
Involvement on campus - Green Wave Ambassadors Exec, Admission Intern, Greenie Camp Orientation Leader, Greek life, Green Bull Investment Club, and a semester abroad in Vienna
Tulane email -

Name - Mallory Mejías Hometown - Alexandria, LA Grade - SeniorMajors/Minors - Psychology and Spanish Favorite thing about Tulane - It’s incredibly hard to choose, but I love the people here! I am constantly impressed by the passion and drive of those around me. Being surrounded by such successful people pushes me to be the best version of myself. Tulane students are all unique in their own way, but they are passionate about something, and I find that refreshing and inspiring. One thing you have to do when you visit New Orleans - You have to take a stroll down Magazine Street and enjoy the cute shops and the massive variety of restaurants! That’s what my mom and I do almost every time she visits New Orleans. Involvement on campus - Green Wave Ambassadors, Admissions Intern, Greek Life, College Writing Buddies, ESL tutoring, Residence Hall Association, Semester abroad in MadridTulane email -

Name - Caroline Campbell
Hometown - Baton Rouge, LA and London, England
Grade - Senior 
Majors/Minors - Public Health and International Development. Minor: Psychology 
Favorite thing about Tulane - The year-round events on campus! Some great examples: Crawfest, Homecoming movie screening, the petting zoo during finals, hamster ball games at Fridays at the Quad (FAQ).
One thing you have to do when you visit New Orleans - Walk down Royal street in the Quarter to hear a plethora of funky street musicians! 
Involvement on campus - Green Envy A Cappella, Green Wave Ambassadors, TEDxTU
Tulane email -

Name - Roch Leavitt
Hometown - Daphne, AL
Grade - Senior 
Majors/Minors - Economics with a Minor in Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship and Management
Favorite thing about Tulane - I've always thought Tulane was the perfect sized school. I am always meeting new people, but still see plenty of familiar faces around campus! Also, Tulane has given me the chance to meet people from all over the country. Last year I lived with six guys, and we were all from different states!
One thing you have to do when you visit New Orleans - If it is your first time visiting New Orleans, be sure to hangout in Jackson Square! There will be plenty of live music and street performers, and you can't beat Cafe du Monde for a quick snack. 
Involvement on campus - Green Wave Ambassadors, Greek Life, Orientation Leader, Tulane Best Buddies, Special Olympics. 
Tulane email -  

Name - Tori Quiroz-Haden
Hometown - Olney, MD
Grade - Senior
Majors/Minors - Majoring in History and International Development, minoring in Spanish.
Favorite thing about Tulane - It's the perfect size! Tulane is big enough to offer any major I could think of, while small enough that I always pass a friend on the way to class.
One thing you have to do when you visit New Orleans - Beignets at Cafe Du Monde! I promise you can't eat just one.
Involvement on campus - Green Wave Ambassadors, Greek Life, English as A Second Language class instructor, and Community Service Fellowship.
Tulane email -

Name - Kendall Knuth
Hometown - Inverness, IL 
Grade - Senior
Majors/Minors - Public Health with a Minor in Economics; 4+1 MPH in Epidemiology
Favorite thing about Tulane - From peers to professors, Tulane is a supportive community of people who want to see you succeed and will push you appropriately. Everyone is so passionate, engaged, and connected, both in and out of the classroom, and from adding a minor to applying for leadership opportunities to interning abroad, I've had the best support system.
One thing you have to do when you visit New Orleans - Explore City Park! It's a bit further from campus, but it is absolutely beautiful and NOMA (New Orleans Museum of Art!) has great exhibits.
Involvement on campus - Tulane Cheerleading, Greek life and Panhellenic Council, Economics research, Admissions Intern, Summer abroad in Switzerland
Tulane email - 

Name - Lea DavisHometown - Portland, ORGrade - SophomoreMajors/Minors - Business Management and International DevelopmentFavorite thing about Tulane - Tulane and New Orleans have an energy you can’t find anywhere else. Students and faculty are so passionate about what they’re involved in and it makes for such a collaborative and motivating environment - everyone shares successes. One thing you have to do when you visit New Orleans - Walk everywhere. I’ve learned the most about this city just from walking around or going for a run in the areas surrounding campus. Everyone that lives here is so friendly and it’s great to be a part of the local community.Involvement on campus - I’m a senator for the Undergraduate Student Government, on the Executive Board for my sorority, and the Volunteers Manager for Crawfest, our music festival in the spring.Tulane email -

Name - Amanda Skellington
Hometown - Flemington, NJGrade - SeniorMajors/Minors - Mathematics and EconomicsFavorite thing about Tulane - All of the professors do really amazing things outside of school. My Italian professor is in a Mardi Gras Krewe!One thing you have to do when you visit New Orleans - Listen to live music at the Blue Nile on Frenchman Street!Involvement on campus - Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity, TUSTEP service-dog training, intern in the business school, calculus tutor in the Wilson CenterTulane email -

Name - Antonio Xavier MiltonHometown - Carencro, LA
Grade - Sophomore
Majors/Minors - Political Science
Favorite thing about Tulane - Variety of things to get involved with! Over 250 Student Organizations in every interest imaginable, and plenty opportunities for internships, service, and employment not only through Tulane but within the New Orleans community as well!
One thing you have to do when you visit New Orleans - I would have to say try to go see a show at Preservation Hall, it's a jazz staple and like a living monument to music. So definitely check it out if you have time!
Involvement on campus - Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity, Tulane New Student Orientation, Political Science Club, Black Student Union, and Tulane Students for Justice in Palestine
Tulane email - 


Jeff's Blog Feed - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 11:19
Our students are doing some pretty epic stuff when it comes to fundraising for amazing causes. Today, I am turning the blog over to Tyler who'll introduce you to three worthwhile Wavestarter campaigns. 

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Hi guys! My name is Tyler Margaretten and I am a current senior majoring in Finance and Management an am originally from the Florida panhandle.  You may remember me from Jeff’s Twolane  and Meet The Interns blogs. Jeff has kindly let me take over the blog for the day to let you know about a way cool new Tulane platform.

Tulane has just launched Wavestarter, and the easiest way to describe that is Kickstarter/GoFundMe specifically tailored to Tulane. It’s for Tulane – by Tulane. Cool, right? Anyways, this allows both students and departments to seek funding from the Tulane community for a wide variety of new initiatives. I would love to tell you about just a few of those initiatives!

The plans for Tulane's very first recording studio 
1. Tulane’s first Recording Studio

This is exciting. However perfect Tulane is, we can always improve. One thing we’re lacking is an acoustically-isolated Recording Studio for our music students, student organizations, faculty researchers, and more. Students, however, are changing that. My friend Dani and I have been working for over a year to finalize plans, logistics, and funding for a new Recording Studio. We’ve raised over $400,000 from various departments and donors and we are turning to Wavestarter to close the gap. The best part? One donor pledged to match every donation to Wavestarter for this project dollar for dollar. Give $10 and you actually give $20. Give $250 and you actually give $500. Check us out at this New Wave article, Hullaballoo article and donate directly here via Wavestarter!

I've gotten the honor of working with two of our DACA students here at Tulane.
Here they are in awe of Times Square during their very first trip to NYC-
a trip totally sponsored by an incredible alumni donor.  
2. Fund for DACA Recipients and International Students

Tulane University is home to over 1,300 international students representing over 90 different countries. We're also home to some incredible DACA students who make an huge impact on our campus and community. These students face unique obstacles and barriers, one of which is financial difficulties which may arise for various reasons during their time at Tulane. For international and DACA students, issues like accidents, illness, death of a family member, natural disasters, visa issues, unexpected academic costs., etc. can have an impact their academic career and put their education at risk. Funds raised on this Wavestarter campaign are important to ensure that these students who have contributed so much to the TU community have the financial support they need during times of crisis or emergency to continue their studies. Visit their Wavestarter campaign here!

The amazing women of Jazbaa 
3. Jazbaa Bollywood Dance Competition

Jazbaa is one of our 200+ amazing student organizations. Founded in 2015, it is Louisiana’s first Bollywood fusion dance group. How amazing is that? My friend Dinika Singh is the Captain and Choreographer and is majoring in Biomedical Engineering and Dance. Jazbaa is headed to their first competition in Birmingham, Alabama for Taste of India and is raising additional funds to get them there. Check them out on the news here  and donate directly here via Wavestarter!

There you have it. Go forth and donate to some of these amazing causes!

Ten Women Making Waves

Jeff's Blog Feed - Tue, 02/27/2018 - 17:15
Like so many in America, I have been inspired by the momentum and energy I feel in this country right now. CNN named 2018 the Year of Women and the stories behind the #MeToo movement are no longer being ignored. Since March is Women's History month AND it's the Year of Women, it seems like there is no better time than now to feature some incredible female Tulane graduates and the indelible impact they are making each and every day on the world. I know we have a long way to go until gender equality is achieved. However, we can all feel the growing sentiment that women in this county (and at places like Tulane) are the true changemakers our world needs now, and into the future.

This Saturday happens to be Tulane's annual Women Making Waves conference that focuses on women's leadership. The theme this year is “Building Success Through Resilience” and will examine the struggles women face and the ways in which women can support each other. The keynote speaker for this year will be Lisa Jackson, vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives at Apple and Tulane alumnae. Before working for Apple, Lisa headed the EPA during Obama's first term in office.

In this spirit of extraordinary women, today I'm going to introduce you to ten incredible women who also happen to be Tulane alumnae. From James Beard and Emmy nominees, to pop music songwriters and social justice advocates, these women are truly what is right in the world today.

I asked these remarkable Tulane alumnae two simple questions: What do you do? And did Tulane play a role in the person you are today? Here is what they had to say.

Julia Sullivan '05: Chef and Co-Owner of Henrietta Red

Tulane Class of 2005 had some pretty fantastic graduates (in my non-biased opinion as an '05-er myself) and now we can include a James Beard nominee in that group! Julia Sullivan is the chef and co-owner of Henrietta Red in Nashville, an oyster bar, seasonal restaurant and one of the nominees for the 2018 James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant! Julia told me "I opened Henrietta Red on February 24th of last year and it’s been a challenging but rewarding journey. We have 100 seats and a staff of close to 50. I don’t think I would be in the restaurant business if it weren’t for the four years I spent in New Orleans attending Tulane. When I left Nashville for college, there was very little happening here. The convivial nature and food culture of New Orleans sucked me right in! I chose a double major in Finance and Management at the AB Freeman School of Business because I thought it was the most applicable degree for an aspiring entrepreneur. It was hugely helpful during the fundraising process and pre-opening stages of the business."

I'll brag on Julia for a second, too. In addition to being a James Beard nominee, Henrietta Red was also named one of Bon Appetite’s 50 Best New Restaurants in the Country, was reviewed in the New York Times, and Julia was featured in Vogue as one of America's rising female chefs. In an industry so heavily dominated by men, it is incredible seeing such a strong and successful female head chef and owner.

Katie on stage with Gryffin 
Katie Pearlman '15: Songwriter + Artist with Warner/Chappell Music

Katie sent me a CD of a few samples of her music when she applied to Tulane. All these years later, I still remember the moment I first listened to them. When she graduated from Tulane in 2015, we did a feature on her after she performed at a local venue during Jazz Fest, only a few weeks before her graduation. And two years later.... well let's just say, things are going pretty well. You know that song Kelly Clarkson performed on the Today Show this week? Yeah. Katie wrote it. You know that song that Gryffin released last month? Yeah. Katie sang it.

Katie is currently a staff writer at Warner/Chappell music, writing with and for artists such as Kelly Clarkson, Gallant, Rozzi, Gryffin, and many more. She recently wrote and featured on Gryffin's new single, Nobody Compares to You, and got to tour around the country with him, playing some of her favorite venues like Terminal 5 in NYC and The Wiltern in LA.

Katie told me that "living in New Orleans and attending Tulane definitely impacted my overall taste in music, as I became much more attracted to jazz and soul. I feel like my voice and sense of artistry really developed when I was living in NOLA, and being able to carry that emotion throughout my career is something that is truly remarkable and special in my opinion." Katie also co-wrote another song off of Kelly Clarkson's new album, called A Minute (Intro). Go give it a listen!

Claire on left (from NYT)

Claire Humphreys '13:  Co-founder of Wethos

You have probably read the article in the New York Times last year about women in tech speaking out about harassment in the workplace. It prominently featured Claire Humphreys and the platform she co-founded, Wethos. "A year ago, I left my advertising job hoping to create a world where nonprofits can easily find the resources they deserve, and freelancers can find a way to do good AND make money," Claire told me. "I, along with two other female co-founders, built Wethos, the first freelance resourcing platform built specifically for nonprofits and the social good community. I currently have a 10-person team working in NYC with thousands of nonprofits and freelancers teaming up on work they're passionate about, and am excited to continue growing the company and social good community personally and through Wethos!"

To date, Wethos has raised $1M in venture capital funding, was featured in Forbes, and later in the NYT helping to spark the conversation on sexual harassment in Silicon Valley as they turned down $500k from an investor while fundraising this past year.

Mara on her set (literally... the set she designed) 
Mara LePere-Schloop '05: Production Designer, The Alientist 

The #1 new drama on cable is the TNT series The Alienist and a Tulane alumna was behind the scenes (literally) of every episode. Meet Mara LePere-Schloop, the production designer for the show. Mara has been working in film for the past 13 years and was nominated for an Emmy for Art Direction for Season 1 of True Detective. She also won an Art Director’s Guild award for the same show. Mara rounds out her honors with a nomination for an ADG award for her work on Django Unchained (filmed in New Orleans). Mara told me: "My architectural education definitely was an integral part to bringing me where I am today. Being able to think critically about design and being challenged to stand up for my design perspective were both skills that came out of my time at Tulane."

You can check out Mara on IMBD here. And the photo above? The Alienist set that Mara designed. She and her team built the entire set on a back lot in Budapest, Hungary. Her set has been so critically acclaimed that Forbes just did a story on it this month.

Amani Jambhekar '10: Surgeon, Breast Oncology at Columbia University

Only 19% of surgeons in the USA are female. Enter: Amani Jambhekar. Amani triple (!!!) majored in Biology, Psychology, and English at Tulane. I asked her about her experiences on the road to becoming a surgeon: "It wasn’t an easy road to get here, but learning to multi-task as well as the research opportunities I had at Tulane helped set the stage for the rest of my career. I was able to continue research in medical school and in residency and when I had to do my own biostatistics, I was able to call upon what I had learned in college as part of my Psychology degree."

While at Tulane, Amani was the first president of Wall Residential College which "taught me to set my sights high and that women can do anything." As for Amani's future, "This year I will be starting my Breast Oncology fellowship at Columbia and finishing the final step of a journey that began 12 years ago. Thank you, Tulane!"

Anna (far left) with our new mayor 
Anna Nguyen '14: Campaign Manager 

2018 is definitely the Year of Women here in New Orleans as we will soon swear in our first female mayor in our 300-year history. How did LaToya Cantrell win this historic victory? Ask Anna Nguyen. She was her deputy field and data director during the campaign.

Anna is now in Portland, OR working as a campaign manager for Jo Ann Hardesty's campaign for City Council. Anna ended up in LaToya Cantrell's City Council Office after graduating from Tulane and served as Communications Director before transitioning over to the campaign in May. "Tulane helped me in several ways," Anna told me. "I made my connection to LaToya from a former Center for Public Service internship supervisor, who at the time, was her legislative director. My experience in Undergraduate Student Government shaped my love for campaigning and for understanding the process, which translated over to my desire to learn government processes. And finally, being a New Orleans native, I don't think I truly loved my city as much as I do now until I took music and history courses about New Orleans. It really broadened my perspective about the city's highs and lows, but overall, it really helped me to connect with natives from parts of town that I probably would've never thought to engage with or could understand."

Lauren Blair Aronson '11: Press Secretary, House Committee on Ways and Means

Let's keep it rolling with women making waves in the political sphere. I'll never forget meeting Lauren when she visited Tulane as a high school senior. Her mom had a lot of great questions (hi Nancy!) and I have a feeling she is super proud of her daughter today. For the last two years, Lauren has served as the press secretary for the House Committee on Ways and Means – the oldest Committee in Congress and the chief tax-writing Committee.

"Day to day, my job is to help the media and stakeholders understand how our policies help hardworking families across the country," Lauren told me. "Last year, the Ways and Means Committee led the first comprehensive re-write of the tax code in more than 30 years. I helped develop and execute the communication strategy and messaging around the legislation – which was signed into law in December 2017."

"There is no question my experiences at Tulane University have helped me develop a career in Washington, D.C. First and foremost, I had great professors who truly took an interest in my learning and growth. I became a stronger writer and a more critical thinker – and I developed a passion for politics. Beyond the classroom, Tulane gave me countless opportunities to thrive – from representing Tulane to prospective students as a tour guide and admission blogger, to improving students’ undergraduate experiences as the Undergraduate Student Government president. It’s Tulane’s unbeatable combination of experiences inside and outside the classroom that led me to where I am today."

And where is she today? Being named a Forbes' 30 Under 30.

Ghiya Ali '14: Financial Manager and Intervention Specialist 

Ghiya is an educator residing in the Greater Los Angeles area. As a Posse Foundation Alumna, Ghiya works with Positive Results Corporation—a nonprofit dedicated to educating the community in Domestic Violence Prevention—as the Financial Manager and Grant Administrator. She also facilitates workshops for community members and local youth. Aside from this work, Ghiya is a full-time Intervention Specialist with Wilder's Prep Academy Charter School targeting students who need support advancing to the next level academically.

Even more impressive is the organization she founded in LA: "I am the co-founder and co-facilitator of the Young Women of Color Collective in Los Angeles. Our mission is to connect, support, and influence Women of Color in the Los Angeles Area to pursue their dreams while maintaining their authenticity and integrity. Seeing a need in the youth I work with, I developed a leadership development program at Wilder's, to give youth the tools to be in tune with their emotions, their professional and academic goals, and ultimately their selves in a group setting. With a background in education, community organizing and public health, I hope to make a difference by empowering, educating, and uplifting my community."

Laura Garcia '15: Investigator, Orleans Public Defenders

Laura's another powerful female in a traditionally male-dominated profession. She a staff investigator at the Orleans Public Defenders office (OPD). "OPD exists to provide the citizens of New Orleans with the highest quality client-centered legal representation in Louisiana’s criminal and juvenile justice system," Laura told me. "Our vision is to create a community-oriented defender office built upon the zealous defense of the poor and indigent while acknowledging the strengths of clients, families and communities."

"I absolutely love the work I do and am so thankful for my four years at Tulane. Those four years gave me the opportunity to familiarize myself with New Orleans, begin working in the community that I now serve, and embed my life into this city in a way that makes my current job that much more rewarding."

Amanda Tun '17: Environmental & Business Development Associate at the EPA

Tulane has plenty of alumna ties to the EPA, most notably Lisa Jackson, the former EPA head, who is speaking at Women Making Waves this weekend. Some recent grads, like Amanda Tun, also have found their calling at the EPA. Amanda graduated in May 2017 with a B.S. in Environmental Science and double minor in Public Health and Social Innovation & Social Entrepreneurship (SISE).  She is currently working at the EPA in Washington, D.C. as an Environmental and Business Development Associate: "I help track and provide coordination of the EPA’s National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) scientific assessment and scientific support activities. Tulane gave me the opportunity to gain professional experiences through many internships (shout out to Grow Dat Youth Farm, The Well for Health Promotion, and Tulane-Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research), form relationships with amazing people, stay resilient during tough times, and, most importantly, learn how to always have fun."

Carolyn Brown '07: Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian

If you've ever turned on the news and seen an on-air personality chatting about healthy eating, there's a chance you've met Carolyn. She's a Nutritionist with a private practice in NYC called Foodtrainers. "I work one-on-one with clients on wellness, weight, and health goals, and am a regular contributor to many news and media outlets including CBS, Fox, TODAY show, Dr OZ, Men’s Health, Shape, Women’s Health, and WebMD. I also consult with food brands on new product development and as a spokesperson, and with new restaurants on menu design and nutrition. Foodtrainers’ founder, Lauren Kaplan Slayton, is a fellow Tulane alumnae (class of 1995), so needless to say, Tulane has been unbelievably influential for getting me here. We always joke that our less-than-healthy years in New Orleans lead us both to an obsessively healthy occupation, and to each other!"

Sydney Morris '07: Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Educators for ExcellenceSydney was born and raised in New York, but developed her passion for education while a student at Tulane. Following Hurricane Katrina, she worked in the New Orleans public school system leading after-school dance programs for low-income students with the nonprofit New Orleans Outreach. After a stint with Teach for America, she went on to co-found Educators for Excellence (E4E) in 2010 to ensure that teachers have a leading voice in education policymaking in order to provide all students the opportunity to succeed and elevate the teaching profession. 
"Since its launch, E4E has grown into a national nonprofit with nearly 30,000 educator members in six chapters across the country," she told me. "E4E teachers have issued nationally significant policy papers; shaped new legislation, district policies, and union resolutions; and elevated their voices through thousands of media hits and advocacy actions on issues such as teacher evaluation, school funding, and school climate. For far too long, teachers have been treated as subjects of change rather than agents of change, and I'm so proud of the work that E4E teachers are doing across the country to flip that dynamic on its head!"

Sydney's incredible work has generated lots of interest over the last few years, landing her on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Education. She was also a finalist for the Peter Jennings Award for Civic Leadership.

There you have it. This just barely scratches the surface of the incredible impact women from Tulane make. Stay tuned for part two of this blog coming soon! 

Here and Ready

Jeff's Blog Feed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 12:56

The students I work with are remarkable. I am constantly impressed by their academics, talents, passions, activities, and service. And, while I always appreciate their accomplishments, I sometimes forget that these achievements are paired with another magnificent personal aspect: their age. Each year, around May, I am reminded of the beauty of youth. The world of education shifts its focus to graduations and young adults everywhere start their journeys. They are bright-eyed and determined. Their spirit and energy strengthen their dreams.

They are here and they are ready.

Unfortunately, I was recently reminded of this extraordinary time in a person’s life through a very different, unbelievably tragic event. As we have watched the development and aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting, my co-director Leila (who helped me pen this blog) and I  have been awestruck by the response of the young people involved. The passion, focus, and vigor the students have used to take a stand is exceptional. Right now, in this moment, the nation is being held accountable by the youth.

They are, without a doubt, here and ready.

Watching the actions of these young adults from a college administrator's perspective has reinforced the value of education during one's formidable years. The basic fundamentals of a college education build upon freedom of speech. Education should celebrate exposure to new ideas and different perspective, it should develop passions and create innovators and change-makers.

Here at Tulane, we understand that diversity of thought, and the ability to express it, is one of the most powerful tools a young mind can have. We believe that students should never lose their voice or passion. We will not penalize students for standing up for what they believe in or for making opinions known through peaceful protests. We will continue to support the voice and speech of young adults as this is, ultimately, why we are here.

NOLA Lingo

Jeff's Blog Feed - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:00
I always tell prospective students that attending Tulane is the closest you can get to studying abroad while staying in the United States. There are five main reasons I always give to attest to that; New Orleans has its own culture, music, food, architecture and language. This blog is going to focus on that last one: our language.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Myths of the Gras

Jeff's Blog Feed - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 09:30
Happy Mardi Gras from team Tulane Admission! Happy Mardi Gras, world! Another carnival season is upon us and the city is bursting with excitement for the coming few days. I sometimes forget that the rest of the world doesn't have Mardi Gras like we do. In terms of importance for us, it's like Christmas, New Years and 4th of July all wrapped up into one. Not in town for the big day? Listen to our Spotify playlist with all the best tunes of carnival while you read this blog.

If you have never been to Mardi Gras here in New Orleans, there are a few myths that I think would be useful to dispel, because there are a lot of common misconceptions out there. This year, we've even made a great video so you can learn the truth about the Greatest Free Show on Earth!

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

Hail Bacchus! The Baccagator float parades through the Warehouse District.The Mardi Gras Tree on campus in full bloom post-Gras. It is a big tradition on campus to throw your beads in this tree in the Academic Quad after you have walked back from the parades. The Tulane Marching Band marches in many Mardi Gras parades every year.

Endymion! Here is the inside of the ball. (from Pinterest
TBH, the Friday before Mardi Gras is usually the longest work day of my life. Get me to those parades!