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Dillard Delegation Attending United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris PDF Print E-mail
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(NEW ORLEANS, LA) – Six delegates from Dillard University are among the 40,000 conferees and 140 global leaders attending the United Nations Framework Climate Change Conference of the Parties 21st convening (COP21) in Paris, France from November 30 – December 13, 2015. Dillard conference participants include students Alexis Walker, public health senior from St. Louis, Missouri; Sophomores Faith Flugence, a political science major from Lafayette, Louisiana and Tiara Gray, a biology major from Dallas, Texas. Leading the delegation is Dr. Beverly Wright with staff participants Dr. Ebony Turner, Mary Williams, and Celeste Cooper. 

Participation in the COP21 is made possible through a project developed by the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Climate Change Initiative in an effort to bring diversity to the environmental justice arena. The trip has been five years in the making as a project of the Dillard University Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ) in partnership with the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University in Houston.

Students, many of whom are from disadvantaged communities, are encouraged to be theoretically and experientially versed in the impact that climate change could have on the communities where they live, work, and study. “It is imperative that our students are educated in the field of climate science as well as the politics of climate,” said Dr. Beverly Wright, director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ) in New Orleans.  “The HBCU Climate Change Initiative is committed to growing the voices of HBCUs on climate justice so that our communities’ best interests are included within the development of global climate policy,” she added.


About the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Climate Change Initiative

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Climate Change Initiative was founded in 2011 by Drs. Beverly Wright and Robert Bullard, dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University in Houston. The initiative was conceived to help raise awareness about the disproportionate impact of climate change on vulnerable and marginalized communities and to develop HBCU students as leaders and advocates on issues related to environmental and climate justice policies, community resilience, adaptation and other major climate change topics (i.e. transportation fuels, energy sources, carbon emissions, green jobs/green economy, just transition, and community economic development). The Initiative sponsors activities that provide opportunities for HBCU students to learn about climate change science, policy and advocacy and to present their research projects on topics relative to climate change issues.

Paulette Brown, Head of ABA Gives Talk at Dillard PDF Print E-mail
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22480282397 6ff7b6ce6d zPhoto by L. Kasimu Harris 

Staff reports 

In November, Paulette Brown, the first woman of color to serve as president of the American Bar Association (ABA), took the stage inside of Cook Theater on Dillard University’s campus. She then quickly walked down to the audience. Brown was addressing a crowd of students, members of the legal community and friends of the University and wanted to get closer to them. Her talk had something for everyone, but most of it was directed to the high school students attending from St. Augustine and St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory schools and Dillard students. Brown shared her own personal journey into the legal profession and also encouraged the young scholars to consider and pursue a career in law.  

She has been recognized by the National Law Journal as one of "The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America,” and by the New Jersey Law Journals one of the “prominent women and minority attorneys in the State of New Jersey." Throughout her career of more than 35 years, she has held a number of positions, including president of the National Bar Association, in-house counsel to a number of Fortune 500 companies and as a Municipal Court Judge.

The ABA is the largest professional association of attorneys in the country, with nearly 400,000 members. Since being at the helm of the organization, Brown has launched four initiatives that include the Commission on Diversity and Inclusion 360, which aims to give lawyers from all backgrounds a “seat at the table,” and developing sustainable action plans for advancement of diversity over the next 10 years. Other initiatives include Main Street ABA and ABA Everyday. Brown received a Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall University School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts from Howard University.

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DU Physics Student is Fulfilling his Career Aspirations PDF Print E-mail
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Aziz Muhammad, center, conducting air test after an oil spill earlier this year in California with Dr. Robert Collins and another student.  They were exposing nano-composte thin films to the air, to determine if they would absorb any chemicals or toxins in the air. 

Staff Reports 

Earlier this month during a symposium at Tulane University, Aziz Muhammad presented on the double beam Pulsed laser deposition. It was during a meeting for the Applied Polymer Technology Extension Consortium, APTEC. Muhammad, ‘18, had the symposium attendees, all graduate school students or professors, captivated and he’s only a sophomore.

During an interview, Muhammad, 19, a precocious undergraduate explained that a double beam Pulsed laser deposition is when two laser beams hit two targets and ablate the material that causes a plume. He is excited to be a part of a research group led by Dr. Abdalla Darwish, Presidential professor and a physics professor at Dillard. He said that Darwish’s inventions have changed the way Pulsed laser depositions are done around the world.

Since Muhammad was eight, he’s wanted to pursue a career in physics. As a high school senior in Los Angeles, he had a choice between Southern University and Dillard. He hadn’t traveled to the south and was curious about the region and extremely intrigued by New Orleans.

“Dillard came to my hometown at a college expo and it was the friendly vibe they gave off and the helpfulness in addition to being accepted on the spot,” he recalled. His GPA and ACT score immediately qualified him.

Muhammad plans to pursue a master’s degree after graduation and said he has been fortunate to work on major projects so early in his academic career.  For him, Dr. Darwish’s tutelage has provided a pathway to his personal goals and a means to obtain the career he’s always wanted.

“It’s within my grasp,” he said, “all you have to do grab the opportunity. I think at Dillard, those opportunities are much easier to grasp especially with someone like Dr. Darwish.”

Junior Film Student Gains Hands-on Experience PDF Print E-mail
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Staff reports

Nicholaus Living, ‘17, was raised in New Orleans and has been familiar with Dillard since childhood, three members of his family are graduates. But it was meeting Dr. Walter Kimbrough, in 2012, at church, then a follow-up with him on campus and a tour of the film department that solidified his decision to attend.

Once here, he was immersed in film projects. The summer after his freshman year, 2013, he worked on Meka Jean, where he began in the art department and had about seven different jobs by the time the film wrapped.

 “It was overwhelming at times, working full-days on the set,” he said. “But, I really enjoyed it and I knew that it was going to be hard work.” Living has been afforded the opportunity to make films with a lot of his classmates of varying budgets; ranging from indie films with a $25,000 budget and other productions with $300,000 to spend.  

Living said he always liked films and eventually became more interested in creative writing in the 9th grade and sought to become a screenwriter. Since matriculating to Dillard, he has learned more of the technical aspects of filmmaking. Now, he could work in the production office or the art department or be an assistant director, a or a camera assistant and has even done  sound.   

“I’m much better equipped to making those goals of becoming a screenwriter and director  a reality because I’ve learn so much about the process as a whole,” he said.  After graduation, Living said he’ll work on his own short films and continue working on other productions and plans to start a production company.

He said that he thinks as a  film major, Dillard was the best place he could’ve attended because of the ability to get the experience earlier in his academic career. He added that film is a very hands on process and you won’t get by with just theory. He said: “It’s a normal opportunity at Dillard, but it’s not a normal opportunity at a lot of other film schools.”

Media Advisory Dillard Choir to Host 79th Annual Holiday Concert on Sunday, December 6 PDF Print E-mail
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Holiday concert 2014

Media Advisory

WHO:             Dillard University Concert Choir

WHAT:            Dillard University Choir will perform its 79th annual Holiday Concert

WHEN:           Sunday, December 6 at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE:         Lawless Memorial Chapel

                        Dillard University

                        2601 Gentilly Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70122

Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to secure seating, as this is a standing-room-only event. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.  For more information call 504.816.4800 or go to

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