Tulane board gets three new members

The board of administrators of Tulane University has three new members, officials announced.

They are Dr. Jeff Balser, vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine at Vanderbilt University; Irwin Simon, founder, chief executive officer and chairman of the Hain Celestial Group Inc., an organic and natural products company; and Jenny Kottler, founder of the consulting and conference planning company Kottler Works.

“These new members have diverse backgrounds and experiences but share a common commitment and passion for Tulane University,” said Mike Fitts, the school’s president. “Their wide-ranging expertise reflects the university’s new emphasis on teaching and research that seeks to solve societal problems through collaboration across disciplines.”

Balser, a national leader in cardiac care and health care management, received his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Tulane. He has served on both the Biomedical Engineering Board and the Parents Council at Tulane.

Simon founded the company that became Hain Celestial in 1993, turning it into a Fortune 1,000 company with operations in North America, Europe and India. Prior to that, he was an executive at the Häagen-Dazs Co. after graduating from St. Mary’s University. He has been active at Tulane as a member of the Parents Council and the Business School Council.

Kottler, a graduate of both Newcomb College and the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane, is a former chairman of the Tulane Fund Advisory Board and former president of the Tulane Alumni Association.

Professor certified as court interpreter

Loyola University professor Lisbeth Philip has become one of the first five certified court interpreters for the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Philip, who is academic director of Loyola’s Translation and Interpreting Program, was sworn in June 25.

Philip has for many years championed the importance of interpreting in the legal system and its lack of recognition. Two years ago, she helped launch Loyola’s Spanish/English Translation and Interpreting Certificate Program, the first in the Gulf Coast region.

She said her goal is “making sure that people receive fair and equal treatment in the state courts despite their limited linguistic levels of proficiency in English.”

Dillard finalist for HBCU A wards program

Dillard University ranked among the finalists in six “Best Of” categories sponsored by the HBCU Digest annual awards program.

The HBCU Digest is a daily blog/news resource providing news synopsis, links and commentary on stories about America’s 105 historically black colleges and universities.

Each year, it sponsors the HBCU Awards event to celebrate achievements at those colleges and universities. The winners represent fields of leadership, arts, athletics, research and community engagement.

The awards ceremony took place during the HBCU National Media Summit at Hampton University in Virginia.

From a pool of 430 nominations, Dillard University was selected as a finalist in the following areas: Best Choir; Best Fine Arts Program (Film and Theater); Best Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Program (Physics); Female Faculty of the Year — Kemberley Washington; Male Alumnus of the Year — Michael Jones, ’82; and Male President of the Year — Walter Kimbrough.

Proceeds from the awards ceremony benefit the Center for HBCU Media Advocacy, a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote America’s historically black colleges and universities through new media exposure, training and education.