The COVID Chronicles: Bleu Notes from April

Here are some highlights being made by Dillard faculty, students, staff and alums last month!

Class of 2020 News!

  • Makayla Johnson was accepted into post baccalaureate program at Dominican University.
  • Jalen Moore will be working for CitiBank as an Application Support Analyst.
  • Whitney Washington will be working for CitiBank as an Applications Support Analyst
  • Glenae Guidry received a job offer from Northrop Grumman (global aerospace and defense technology company) as a Software Engineer.
  • Brianna Thomas was admitted to the master of innovation and entrepreneurship program at the University of California Irvine.
  • Jakari Lister has been admitted to the master of fine arts in film at the City College of New York.
  • Darielle Lumar has been admitted to Mississippi College and will be pursuing a masters in Biology-Biomedical Sciences.


  • The College of Nursing was mentioned, and Nick Harris (community relations) pictured in the article, “Universities and colleges pitch in supplies, time and expertise to aid coronavirus battle”
  • Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy was featured in First Magazine of New Orleans:
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  • She was also quoted in the article “Jazz funerals silenced: How New Orleans grieves amid coronavirus” in the Tennessean newspaper (Nashville TN)

o Dr. Amy Lesen had several media appearances:

  • Quoted in the article, “Coronavirus disparity in Louisiana: About 70% of the victims are black, but why?”
  • Quoted in editorial, “Too many black folks are dying from coronavirus. We urgently need data.”
  • Appeared on the CBS Evening News story, “Coronavirus hits poor and minority communities hard in the South”
  • Quoted in ABC 6 (Columbus OH) story, “‘A call-to-action moment’: Data shows stark racial disparities in coronavirus deaths”
  • Quoted in the Baton Rouge Advocate story, “Coronavirus death toll continues to rise in Baton Rouge area as racial disparities pop up locally.”

o Dr. Corey Hebert also had several media appearances:

  • Quoted in article, “John Bel Edwards: An emotional thought on Easter, a call for coronavirus disparity task force”
  • Featured in the article, “Dr. Corey Hebert on coronavirus death toll: ‘Protect Louisiana’s vulnerable African Americans’”
  • Dr. Hebert, Dr. Lesen, and Dr. Peter Fos were named to the Governor’s COVID Task Force
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  • Dr. Ebony Turner wrote an editorial, “How I Transitioned My College Algebra Course to Digital Platforms”
  • Dr. Ashraf Esmail was interviewed by Fox 8 on the COVID-19 Pandemic and its impact on financial suffering for low income workers and the poor
  • On May 6th Dr. Kiki Barnes will participate in a webinar, “Overcoming Obstacles with Optimism” with Presto Sports. You can register here:
  • Then on May 7th Dr. Barnes will do another webinar, “Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ Athletics, Academics, and COVID-19” sponsored by the San Jose State University Institute for the Study of Sport, Society, and Social Change. You can register for that one here:
  • Alumna Astasia Williams ’16 is the senior social media manager for the Washington Redskins. They did a podcast with her recent where they say “in a very short time Williams has grown to prominence in the world of sports social media. She’s become a trailblazer of sorts for women, and spoke to how great of an impact various women in the league have been on her development. Williams is one of few Black women in positions like this and shares how she carries the responsibility in that.”


  • Dr. Marc Barnes was invited to become a member of the CASE Commission on Philanthropy
  • Paulina Webber ’23 was selected for an internship with the UNCF Institute for Capacity Building in Atlanta this summer.
  • Dillard physics is featured in the new publication, “Promising Practices for Addressing the Underrepresentation of Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine: Opening Doors (2020)
  • Dr. Abdalla Darwish has a new publication with PVAMU’s electrical engineering department, “Simulation and Analysis Method of Different Back Metals Contact of CH3NH3PbI3 Perovskite Solar Cell Along with Electron Transport Layer TiO2 Using MBMT-MAPLE/PLD” in American Journal of Optics and Photonics (March 2020). He has a chapter in the new book, “ZnO Thin Films: Properties, Performance and Applications.” He is also studying possible uses of lasers to combat COVID-19!
  • Dr. Wen Zhang’s book on the Peking Opera (published in 2018) has been selected to be translated in 8 languages for publishing.
  • Honour Williams ’21 was admitted to the Tarleton State University 2020 cohort of the REU site “restoring cattle ranches for sustainable land and water resources.”
  • William Pinkney was accepted as a 2020–2021 UNCF Student Ambassador.
  • Tristan Cojoe ’20 was named a 2020 South Central Region Leadership Fellow for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is one of six women who have demonstrated academic excellence and leadership on their campuses and in the communities they serve.
  • Caitlin Foster ’21 was selected as the first recipient of the newly founded Dillard Diamonds Senior Scholarship, funded by alumni members of the Diamonds.
  • Langston Carter-Price ’22 was admitted to the 4th annual Duke Doctor of Physical Therapy Summer Discovery Program
  • Halle Taylor ’21 was accepted into LSU Shreveport School of Medicine UGRAP Summer Research Program
  • Ki’Avian Johnson ’23 was accepted into LSU Shreveport School of Medicine UGRAP Summer Research Program
  • Ronisha McCardell ’21 was accepted into international health mission program in Kenya
  • Thomas Adams ’23 was accepted into Western University Summer Health Professions Enrichment Program (SHPEP)
  • Tiara Hamilton ’21 accepted into SURE Summer Program at Emory University

Written by

7th president of Dillard University

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