Delgado, Entergy start worker training program

Delgado Community College and Entergy New Orleans have introduced the Louisiana Certified Line Worker Training Program.

Entergy officials last week presented a $50,000 check to Delgado to support the new program, which was developed through a partnership between the Louisiana Energy Workforce Consortium and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.

Recognizing the need for skilled, trained line workers in the near future, electric utility companies, utility contractors and community and technical colleges across Louisiana came together to form the consortium.

Graduates of the 26-week evening studies program at Delgado will obtain National Center for Construction Education and Research certification, be qualified for employment as a line helper and receive job-placement assistance.

Consortium members were instrumental in developing the program’s curriculum and designing the training facilities.

“This is a great example of the type of cooperation needed between industry and our educational system to develop the workforce of tomorrow,” said Charles Rice, president and CEO of Entergy New Orleans. 

Delgado and Fletcher Technical Community College in Terrebonne Parish will be the first colleges to offer the Certified Line Worker Training Program beginning in January. 

LSU Health gets grant for Ph.D. students

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences last month awarded LSU Health New Orleans a $1.4 million grant over five years to prepare individuals from backgrounds underrepresented in the biomedical sciences to earn either a Ph.D. or an M.D./Ph.D. degree.

The grant was awarded through the Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program.

LSU Health New Orleans was the only Louisiana university to successfully compete for the grant, officials said. The school was also only one of three in the Gulf Coast region to get the grant.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the education program allows participants to work as apprentice scientists in a mentor’s laboratory. It's expected to strengthen the research skills and academic competitiveness of participants so they can pursuit a Ph.D. degree in the biomedical sciences.

Grants are made to research-intensive institutions to support research experiences and courses for skills development.

LSU Health New Orleans will provide participants with hands-on exposure to medical research, advanced courses and workshops to prepare them for graduate school and careers in biomedical research.

The program will be led by Allison Augustus-Wallace and Fern Tsien, along with program coordinator Flavia Souza-Smith and program administrator Betsy Giaimo.

It also has 55 faculty research mentors, both institutional and external advisory councils, scholar recruitment contacts at nearby universities and external consultants, officials said.

Tulane recorded its best fundraising year

More than 20,000 alumni, parents and friends donated to Tulane University during the 2016-17 fiscal year, making it the best fundraising year in the school’s 183-year history, according to officials.

The surge in giving exceeded Tulane’s five-year average by $20 million.

New gifts and commitments exceeded $126 million. The amount broke the university’s all-time giving record, in keeping with a 36 percent increase in student applications, a 38 percent increase in students of color in the past five years and average SAT scores up 48 points, officials said.

The top gifts included $10 million for presidential chairs, which will be filled by faculty nationally renowned in innovative and interdisciplinary research and teaching.

The fundraising included a drive to increase scholarships enough to ultimately provide every deserving student access to a Tulane education.

"I applaud our alumni network and philanthropic community for making significant investments in our faculty, students, and all of our inventive programs campus-wide,” said board Chairman Doug Hertz. 

The record amount of funds raised will support initiatives such as the new Mussafer Hall, which will unite career programming, academic advising and student success services under one roof; a major investment in the School of Law; a major expansion of the A.B. Freeman School of Business; the Tulane Bywater Institute; and the future construction of the Tulane Brain Institute.

Tulane also received funding from the Carol Lavin Bernick Family Foundation for faculty needs in research, recruitment, development, continuing education and student engagement.

Follow Della Hasselle on Twitter, @dellahasselle.