UNO, Delgado agree on sign language studies

Leaders of the University of New Orleans and Delgado Community College have signed an agreement paving the way for Delgado graduates who have completed an associate degree in American Sign Language studies to easily transfer their credits to UNO in order to pursue a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies. Students who are interested in obtaining national certification in American Sign Language must have a four-year degree.

“As the only academic interpreter training program in Louisiana, the American Sign Language program at Delgado is well-respected in the deaf and interpreting communities,” Delgado Chancellor Joan Davis said. “We are proud to partner with the University of New Orleans to provide a pathway for students wishing to build upon their Delgado training to pursue an advanced degree at UNO.”

Delgado has provided American Sign Language training since 1976.

After earning their associate degree at Delgado, students can transfer up to 60 semester hours with a grade of C or better, which they can apply toward the 120 hours necessary for a bachelor’s degree from UNO.

Loyola offering minors in communications

Responding to employer and student demand, the Loyola University School of Mass Communication has launched two new minors — social media and environmental communication.

The minors are geared toward students not majoring in mass communication. All graduates increasingly are expected to adapt to careers that heavily rely on digital storytelling and consumer engagement — skills that, until now, have been available only to mass communication majors.

Courses in the social media minor include social media strategies, communications writing, digital communications, photography and videography.

The environmental communication minor includes a course on covering the environmental beat and an introduction to mass communication and communication writing. Each minor consists of 18 credit hours with electives.

Sonya Duhé, director of the School of Mass Communication, said she has made a concerted effort to increase the number of minors offered by the school.

“Social media, right now, is part of every communications mode, so we believe this minor is really critical for folks who want to survive in a highly competitive job market,” she said.

Bob Thomas, director of the Center for Environmental Communication, said there is an increasing demand for scientists and other professionals who can communicate often complex issues to the lay public as well as other stakeholders.

For information on the minors, contact the School of Mass Communication at masscomm@loyno.edu.

Tulane gets grant for polymers research

The National Science Foundation has awarded a group of 14 Louisiana and Mississippi researchers, including four from Tulane University, up to $6 million to develop tools that will help strengthen the regional workforce and broaden opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The Tulane scientists — Hank Ashbaugh, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering; Wayne Reed, physics professor; Scott Grayson, associate professor of chemistry; and Bruce Gibb, chemistry professor — are part of the Louisiana-Mississippi Consortium, which will develop new experimental and computational tools for accelerating development of smart polymers used to create materials for targeted drug delivery, self-healing materials that recover from damage and nano-composites that resist bacterial growth.

The Tulane team’s share of the grant is $2 million, adding to the nearly $1 million the group received earlier from the NSF for related work. The grant is part of an $18 million award being divided among three regional consortia over the next three years through the NSF’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.

The Tulane research team — called the Smart MATerial Design, Analysis and Processing Consortium — will apply advanced monitoring, synthesis, modeling and control strategies across the life cycle of polymer development from the laboratory to the factory floor. The consortium will tailor the design of smart polymers to meet pressing needs in drug delivery, environmental remediation and nanomaterials.

Tulane is among eight universities participating in the Louisiana-Mississippi Consortium.