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Dillard Announces $25 Million NIH Grant to Benefit Health Disparities Research PDF Print E-mail
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Dillard University has been awarded a $25 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to further expand its research infrastructure and initiatives regarding health disparities. The grant was formally announced on Oct. 24 in Dillard’s Professional Schools and Sciences Building by Dr. John Ruffin, director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) of the NIH. The grant, which will be disbursed over a five-year period, will enable Dillard University to:

•    Recruit between five and seven additional tenure-track faculty with research emphases in epidemiology, bioinformatics, clinical research and other related disciplines to participate in health disparities research.
•    Expand its CORE (Capacity-Outreach-Research Endowment) health disparities program in the community and globally.
•    Recruit and support talented, underrepresented students to engage in health disparities and environmental research.
•    Recruit an internationally recognized scholar/researcher as an endowed chair to engage in and expand cross-disciplinary research.

Dillard’s president emerita, Dr. Marvalene Hughes, and a team of faculty and administrators began working on this initiative prior to her departure in June, and she is thrilled to see the project come to fruition. “This is a giant step for Dillard because it puts the university in a position of leadership in helping to address health inequities,” said Dr. Hughes, the grant’s principal investigator. “Not only will the university be able to grow its health and research programs, but the New Orleans community at large will significantly benefit as the city continues to expand its health and biomedical research infrastructure.”

The grant will provide $5 million for each of the next five years to the university’s research endowment. Earnings on the endowment funds will go to expand Dillard’s research capacity and infrastructure.

“We are excited and honored to have been selected for one of these awards,” said Dr. Lyons, Dillard’s interim president. “This affords us the opportunity to continue to build our infrastructure and greatly advance our capacity to engage in high-end health and health disparities research. By making this an endowment grant, the NIMHD has made a very significant and long-term commitment to Dillard’s efforts to address health inequities.”

The award will have a major impact on Dillard’s Schools of Nursing and Public Health and increase cross-disciplinary research between the Departments of STEM and Social Sciences, said Dillard provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins, who is the grant’s other principal investigator. “What’s so exciting about this award is that it not only strengthens and advances current research activity, but it will also facilitate the hiring of additional stellar research faculty, including an endowed chair and a number of endowed research professors,” Dr. Dawkins said. “All of this dramatically advances undergraduate research by enabling us to recruit, support, and mentor additional students in health disparities and related research.”

In 2010 and 2011 Dillard was also awarded $6.5 million and $5.6 million grants from the NIH for university centers in health disparities research and environmental health sciences. According to the grant agreement for this new award, funds will be invested and investment earnings will be utilized to carry out the grant objectives, including research facility upgrades.

“The $25 million award for this grant represents the largest single grant award to the university in its history, and is the result of the hard work of a number of faculty and administrators,” said Theodore Callier, Dillard’s assistant vice president for research and sponsored programs. “This is an extraordinary award for the university, and it represents a multimillion-dollar investment in the area’s economy over the life of the grant.”

 
Staff Years of Service Awards PDF Print E-mail
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On Sep. 23, 2011, the President's Task Force celebrated Staff Years of Service to recognize those staff members who have dedicated themselves to Dillard University over a number of years. We thank our staff for all they do to benefit Fair Dillard and its students. None of this would be possible without them!

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DU Theatre to Open 76th Season with "Mahalia," a Gospel Musical PDF Print E-mail
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The Dillard University theatre program will open its 76th season this month with a six-performance run of “Mahalia,” a celebration of the life and work of gospel warrior Mahalia Jackson on the centennial of her birth. The show opens on Friday, Oct. 28 and runs through Sunday, Nov. 6 in Cook Theatre on the Dillard campus.

Jackson (1911-1972) rose from humble roots in New Orleans’ Black Pearl neighborhood to become the preeminent gospel singer of her day, captivating the nation and audiences worldwide with her distinctive voice and effervescent delivery. She is known for recordings such as “Elijah Rock,” “Precious Lord” and “We Shall Overcome.”

She was also a close friend of Martin Luther King Jr. and an important figure in the civil rights movement. She famously performed at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy as well as at King's funeral. “A voice like hers comes along once in a millennium,” King once said of the beloved singer.

"We are thrilled to open our 76th anniversary season with such a moving show that provides a unique historical look at the life of Mahalia Jackson,” said Cortheal Clark, director of Dillard’s theatre program. “She was the world's greatest gospel singer and the spiritual voice of the civil rights movement."

The Dillard University production of “Mahalia” is directed by Troy R. Poplous from a book by Tom Stolz. Tickets are $15, and $10 for seniors and students. The Saturday, Nov. 5 performance is a special fundraiser for Friends of the Dillard University Theatre. This show will be preceded by a full dinner in the Professional Schools Building. Tickets to the dinner and show are $50. For more ticket information, please contact the Dillard University box office at (504) 816-4857.


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Mahalia: A Gospel Musical
Dillard University’s Cook Theatre
Box Office: (504) 816-4857

Friday, Oct. 28 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 29 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 30 at 3 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 4 at 8 p.m.
*Saturday, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 6 at 3 p.m.

*The Saturday, Nov. 5 show is a special fundraiser for Friends of the Dillard University Theatre. It will be preceded by a dinner in the Professional Schools Building’s atrium.

 
Title-Clearing Workshop for Homeowners PDF Print E-mail
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CDCLogoThousands of New Orleans residents face property issues that seem insurmountable, from successions and blight judgments, to co-owner disputes, property liens and tax sales. On Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011, Dillard University’s Community Development Corporation will host a community-wide title-clearing event to assist homeowners with these legal matters. The event will be held in Dillard’s Professional Schools Building, rooms 131-135, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Lawyers will be on-hand to educate homeowners about protecting their property and to offer free legal services.

The workshop’s nonprofit partners include Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, the Pro Bono Project, Louisiana Appleseed, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. These organizations recently partnered to form a title-clearing group called Save New Orleans Homes. Over the next two years, they will collaborate to help 400 low-income homeowners in Orleans Parish clear title to their property, enabling residents to rebuild, make productive use of their land, and build wealth and assets.

Homeowners who wish to learn more about protecting their property and the importance of clear title, as well as those seeking legal assistance for property issues, are encouraged to attend the workshop at Dillard. Louisiana Appleseed volunteer attorneys will be on-hand to educate the public about the importance of clear title, as well as changes in succession laws. Lawyers from the Pro Bono Project and Southeast Louisiana Legal Services will also be there to answer property questions and perform case intake to determine whether individuals qualify for free legal services.

Since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services and the Pro Bono Project have helped homeowners obtain clear title, while Louisiana Appleseed has advocated for simplification of Louisiana laws to make it easier for people to clear title. The Lawyers’ Committee has addressed title clearing in several states. To learn more about their title-clearing collaborative, visit www.savenolahomes.org, or call (504) 529-1000 to determine eligibility for free legal assistance.

For more information about the title-clearing workshop, contact: Jessica Haynes of Louisiana Appleseed at (504) 561-7304 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; and Nick Harris of Dillard University’s Community Development Corporation at (504) 473-1141 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Dillard Named to President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll PDF Print E-mail
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Honor-Roll-2The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) recently named Dillard to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its leadership among institutions of higher education and its support of volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement. The CNCS Honor Roll recognizes universities whose students, faculty and staff engage in meaningful service that achieves measurable results in the community.

“Congratulations to Dillard University and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities,” said Patrick A. Corvington, chief executive officer of CNCS. “We salute all the Honor Roll awardees for embracing their civic mission and providing opportunities for their students to tackle tough national challenges through service.”

Dillard University students are required to complete 120 hours of community servicebefore graduation, and at least 60 of those hours must entail service-learning specific to their major field of study. Dillard University’s Center for the First-Year Experience (CFYE) integrates service into the curriculum through the first-year seminar course, a general education requirement for all students. For eight straight years, the CFYE has facilitated first-year students’ participation in national Make A Difference Day. During the spring semester, the CFYE guides students through a semester-long planning process so they can execute a service-learning project on Global Youth Service Day in April. This year, Dillard’s Class of 2014 led numerous projects, including raising awareness of domestic violence, feeding the homeless, and planning clothing and food drives to benefit the needy. Students also spoke to high school students about attending college and taught elementary and middle school students how to live healthier, more active lifestyles.

This fall the CFYE will spearhead Louisiana Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) for the Class of 2015. The CERT program provides disaster preparedness training and teaches basic disaster response skills. Participants learn how to assist others during a disaster when professional responders are not immediately available.

“When I arrived at Dillard University eight years ago, I was excited to know that the university had a community service graduation requirement,” said Dr. Henrietta Harris, director of Dillard’s Center for the First Year Experience. “I am incredibly impressed by the compassion and creativity our students possess. They are using the skills acquired in their coursework to impact the problems facing the world around them.”

A total of 851 institutions applied for the CNCS’s fifth annual Honor Roll, a nine percent increase over last year. The CNCS, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006, acknowledged a total of 641 colleges and universities for theirimpact on issues including literacy, neighborhood revitalization, and supporting at-risk youth. Dillard joined 15 other HBCUs on the list, including Morehouse, Spelman, North Carolina Central, and Claflin.

 
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