• DU HISTORY: Alumna Rhea B. Lucien celebrated her 99th birthday Saturday, Oct. 3. She was in the first graduating class of Dillard University’s School of Nursing in 1945.
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  • Dr. Corey Hebert discusses new CDC guidelines that will impact small indoor family gatherings on WDSU
  • Toiya Smith ’21 is profiled, “A young superstar’s quest to unlock her own potential, and inspire others.”
  • Nikky Finney in Conversation with alumnus & Pulitzer Prize winner Jericho Brown
  • David Page was interviewed for the article, “Financial aid officials share how they’re advising college students now”
  • Dr. Nazar Mustapha was quoted in the Forbes article, “Covid-19 Is Forcing Women From The Workplace In Record Numbers — And We Don’t Know When They’ll Be Back.”
  • Dr. Jeff Benjamin co-authored a piece for Kresge on “A better quality of life for New Orleans students.”
  • Professor Blair Condoll discussed Amendment 7 for WDSU (it is Part 4):
  • Mock Trial team mentioned in the Luther College newspaper:
  • Freshman Marissa Pittman (who is virtual!) writes for Forbes Magazine, “Three Types Of Misinformation In This Election And How We Can Fight It”
  • I offered comments and our Founders Day was featured in the Wall Street Journal article, “Historically Black Colleges Become Focus of Biden, Trump Outreach”


  • Victoria Hardy ’23 was selected as a PR/Marketing and Podcast intern for Angela Rye’s company IMPACT Strategies. She is one of 40 accepted out of 300 applicants.
  • Dr. Aballa Darwish is an author of 2 new publications: “Polymer solar spectrum down-converters made by open-air concurrent multi-beam multi-target pulsed laser deposition” Abdalla M. Darwish∗, , Simeon Wilson, Jamaya Wilson, Ebonie Collins Sergey S. Sarkisov, Justin Mathews ,Kyu Cho, Anit Giri, Darayas N. Patel, Lynn Koplitze Brent Koplitz, David Hui; Published in Photonic Fiber and Crystal Devices: Advances in Materials and Innovations in Device Applications XIV edited by Shizhuo Yin, Ruyan Guo, Proc. of SPIE Vol. 11498, 1149802 · © 2020 SPIIE and “Polymer nanocomposite sunlight spectrum down-converters made by open-air pulsed laser deposition” by Abdalla M. Darwish*,Simeon Wilson, Jamaya Wilson, Eboni Collins, Sergey S. Sarkisov, Darayas N. Patel, Kyu Cho, Anit Giri, Lynn Koplitz, Brent Koplitz, David Hui; Published in: Journal of Nanotechnology Reviews.
  • Dr. Abdalla Darwish and Theodore Callier were presenters for “Leveraging HBCU Consortiums to Cultivate Research and Technology Innovation to Spur Economic Development in Opportunity Zones” at the recent White House HBCU virtual conference.
  • Dr. Wen Zhang’s online course, “Vocal Literature’” has been published on MERLOT.org, OERcommons.org, and CanvasCommonns.org for OERs.
  • Yahnah Lighthall, Jywana Moore, Myesha Hagan, Carlos Pollard, Jr, Jaida Manuel, Nadiah Hadir, Damaris Shaesphere, and Emiia Charles were inducted in Alpha Phi Sigma National Honors Society in Criminal Justice.
  • Dr. Ashraf Esmail was invited and accepted a position to serve on the New Orleans FBI Coalition.
  • In honor of International Day of the Girl, Up2Us Sports hosted a 2 day symposium to celebrating trailblazing women in sports. Dr. Kiki Barnes was one of the speakers.
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  • Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy was an opening speaker at the Dance Forever! by the Tekrema Center, their annual signature dance event. She was named to an editorial reviewer for Meridians: Feminism, race, transnationalism, a peer reviewed journal, as well as the Editorial Board and Review Team for Social Sciences, a peer-reviewed academic journal.
  • Jackie Thomas was recently honored on her retirement by the United States Postal Service.
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  • The Dillard Community Development Corporation has been awarded a grant of $15,000 from the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) to support the ongoing efforts of the place making projects and branding/marketing for the commercial corridors within Gentilly.
  • Alumnus and Fifth Circuit Judge Carl Stewart gave the keynote address for Notre Dame Law’s Program on Ethics, Compliance & Inclusion
  • Traelon Rodgers ’21 participated in a forum on Black men and voting on October 20th.
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  • Dr. Ashraf Esmail, Emiia Charles ’21 and Jamya Robinson ’21 presented papers at the 46th MidSouth Sociological Association Virtual Annual Conference. Dr. Esmail’s presentation was entitled “International Human Trafficking: An Exploration of Contributing Factors Among Nations.” Emiia Charles presentation was entitled “Digital Path for Learning.” Jamya Robinson presentation was entitled “Linked Through Empathy: Examining the Opinions of School Closures Among Black People in the Chicago Metropolitan Area.” Dr. Esmail, Emiia Charles, Yahnah Lighthall ’21, Carlos Pollard ’21, and Jaylah Richie ’23 also served on a panel entitled “From Campus to Canvas: Faculty and Staff Experiences at Small Colleges in the Wake of COVID-19 Campus Closures.”
  • Dr. Ashraf Esmail was nominated and accepted a position to serve on the executive board chairing the “Small and Community College Committee” for the Mid-South Sociological Association. He also served as the keynote speaker for the New Orleans Rotary Club on October 28th discussing the Center for Racial Justice.Dr. Ashraf Esmail and Toiya Smith ’21 participated in a UNCF sponsored event entitled “Voices of the Future” on October 20th.
  • Toiya Smith represented Dillard University as a student panelist discussing and applying the Critical Race Theory to the challenges HBCU students face in relation to racial profiling, the criminal justice system, and systematic change in the next generation.
  • Toiya Smith ’21 was a panelist for the UNCF Voices of the Future Panel on October 20th.
  • Congratulations to the Dillard Mock Trial team for placing 3rd (6–2 record) in 1st tournament of season (sponsored by Loras College). Competitors included De’Andre Bell, Phinela DeBrady, Jaimonie Hanes, Isabel Mitchell-Starks, Traelon Rodgers, Amaya Ronczyk, LaJeanne Shelton, & Ki’Amber Whitley.
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  • Alicia Hoey ’21 will begin as an Accounting Intern for Ochsner Health and Wellness this November.
  • Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy was invited to provide an endorsement of the new book, “Afro-Creole Poetry in French from Louisiana’s Radical Civil War-Era Newspapers.”
  • Eddie Francis was a participant in a virtual panel discussion for the Association of College & University Housing Officers — International’s Business Operations Conference. The session is on leveraging social media during the pandemic. I’ll be joining panelists from Temple, UNC-Chapel Hill, Ohio State and TVP Communications, a higher ed PR company.
  • Dr. Roland Bullard was named to the Jefferson Parish Schools 2020–2021 Superintendent’s Parent Council.
  • Dillard alumna Shana M. Broussard ’91 has been chosen to become a member of the Federal Election Commission(FEC).
  • Dillard Alumnus James Williams ’94 was named by U.S. Venture the President to their U.S. Lubricants Division.
  • Shout out to Halle for representing Dillard on the BET Meet Me on the Yard homecoming broadcast! (check out her right shoulder)
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Written by

7th president of Dillard University

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