Emir Jose Macari has been named dean of the College of Engineering at the University of New Orleans, effective Jan. 15. He succeeds Norm Whitley, the interim dean since June 2012.

Macari has been a professor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science and director of the California Smart Grid Center at California State University, Sacramento.

“Dr. Macari has a unique combination of skills and experience that led the search committee to recommend him for the position,” said Kenneth Sewell, UNO’s vice president for research and economic development. “Beyond his proven abilities as a dean, he has extensive skills and infectious enthusiasm for helping the college to simultaneously grow its enrollment, its R&D portfolio and its partnerships with industry.”

Macari previously served as dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at California State University, Sacramento, and dean of the College of Science and Technology at the University of Texas at Brownsville. He was the chairman of the department of civil and environmental engineering at LSU from 1999-2001.

“I have always loved New Orleans,” Macari said. “It is the city where my mother grew up and my parents met. I look forward to accomplishing great things in the College of Engineering while working closely with the faculty, students, alumni, administration and the broader community.”

Macari is a geotechnical engineer who researches disaster mitigation. A native of Mexico, he was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering of Mexico in 2004 and the Mexican Academy of Science in 2006.

Dillard opens medical physics concentration

Dillard University has announced the creation of a medical physics concentration under its physics and pre-engineering program.

The new curriculum will prepare students for graduate school and work in several areas of medical physics, said Dr. Abdalla Darwish, professor of physics at Dillard, who cited a dire need in New Orleans and Louisiana for qualified medical physicists.

“To my knowledge, Dillard is the only private four-year college in the state to offer a concentration in medical physics,” Darwish said. “The skills learned in the concentration will provide students with the training to safely and properly operate and maintain diagnostic imaging devices, such as magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear magnetic resonance, ultrasound and X-rays, as well as the ability to analyze the resulting images.”

He said the courses will give students a basic hands-on introduction to imaging equipment in a new ionization radiation laboratory.

According to the American Institute of Physics, Dillard was ranked as a top producer of African Americans with bachelor’s degrees in physics in 2012 and, according to the National Science Foundation, was among the top 50 colleges whose graduates earn doctorates in the sciences in 2013.

For information on the concentration in medical physics, contact Darwish at (504) 816-4877.

Porche first man to lead nursing council

Dr. Demetrius Porche, dean of the LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing, is the first male to be elected president of the Southern Regional Education Board’s Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing.

The council helps expand and strengthen schools of nursing at colleges and universities to reduce the critical shortage of nurse educators needed to train the nation’s registered nurses. It works to strengthen college-based nursing programs at all levels — associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral — that prepare registered nurses for entry-level and advanced practice positions.

Building on more than five decades of collaboration with nursing leaders to promote cooperative regional planning, the council is the only regional organization for nurse educators in the nation affiliated with an interstate compact for education (the SREB).

Porche also holds an appointment in the LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health. He earned his undergraduate nursing degree from Nicholls State University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the LSU Medical Center. He completed family nurse practitioner post-graduate course work at Concordia University in Wisconsin and earned a doctorate from Capella University in organization and management with a specialization in leadership.

He is certified as a clinical specialist in community health nursing and a family nurse practitioner. He is chief editor of the American Journal of Men’s Health and was the associate editor of the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS for 10 years. He has served as president for two terms of the American Assembly for Men in Nursing.