Center for Public Service Newsletter
Welcome to the semiannual newsletter from the Center for Public Service. It features profiles of innovative programs supported by CPS, including student programming, faculty initiatives, and community outreach.
Center for Public Service Initiatives
Letter from the 
Executive Director


My Fellow Tulanians,

We are witnessing a groundswell of innovative thinking taking place at Tulane. With so many faculty, students, and staff dedicating themselves to rethinking the ways they approach their connections to the community, their fields of research, and their teaching, we at CPS are helping to facilitate an ever-expanding variety of outreach opportunities and service learning courses.

We introduce this semi-annual newsletter to offer a glimpse of some of these exciting programs and to provide resources for those interested in exploring the breadth and depth of the outreach initiatives, workshops, lectures, research, and service learning courses we support. 


In addition to this general newsletter, we have four specialized newsletters aimed at serving the needs of more specialized constituencies. These include an outreach newsletter, a newsletter focussed on student programming (including service learning, internships, and international service programs), a community partners newsletter, and a faculty newsletter. Please find links to those newsletters on the right column of this newsletter and consider viewing and subscribing to any that interest you. 

In this newsletter, you will find a feature on Jordan Karubian that describes the development of his thought regarding socially engaged ecology. It notes the fantastic opportunity Tulane students have to join his award winning investigation of the complex relationships between ecology, environmental conditions, and animal behavior in northwest Ecuador.

We also have a link to President Scott Cowen's important and compelling article about engagement at Tulane published in the American Association of College and Universities' Diversity and Democracy


Additionally, you will find links to interviews, articles, and websites. 


Thank you for reading!


Vincent Ilustre




Internship Fair Brings Community Organizations 
to Campus

Sarah Edwards has plans to become a doctor. To reach her career goals, she has turned to the Center for Public Service's internship program to gain experience and put her Spanish-speaking skills to use.


As a Spanish and premedicine major at Tulane University, Edwards is helping the medical staff at the New Orleans Faith Health Alliance by translating communication between Spanish-speaking patients and the alliance's nursing staff. The alliance is a nonprofit organization that provides affordable primary care to uninsured workers and their families.

Edwards is one of many students participating in the CPS internship program, which will host an internship fair on Wednesday, April 10th from 5:30-7pm, in the LBC Qatar Ballroom (resumes and professional attire required).

"This internship was the perfect fusion of my major and career goals," says Edwards. "Although I'll have completed the 60 hours required by the internship program this semester, I'm hoping to continuing working with the alliance next semester."

Myriam Huet, CPS internship program coordinator and Edwards' internship seminar instructor, has asked students to complete projects to help community organizations and future interns, based on their experiences. Mindful of the language barrier between Hispanic patients and nursing staff, Edwards is developing a glossary of translations for commonly used phrases, such as "please fill out this form" and "your appointment costs $25." 

For more information about the internship program, send an email to Myriam Huet


Written by Alicia Duplessis Jasmin (photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

Socially Engaged Ecology
Ecuadorian Field Biology Fuels an Epiphany


Jordan Karubian, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University, had an epiphany while researching an endangered species of bird in the Chocó rainforest in northwest Ecuador:

"I came across an anteater, suffering, with several deep cuts to its body and head from a machete. The anteater is a harmless species and this individual was clearly attacked out of spite or boredom and left to die. I happened to be walking with a local boy of ten years who had shown interest in our research. I turned to him and said 'isn't that terrible?' and he looked at me like I was from outer space."

Karubian realized that pure research will do little to slow or reverse environmental degradation if it does not help local residents to become wise stewards of the endangered plants and animals among which they live. He determined that "the most effective way forward was to engage the local residents in an inclusive, comprehensive approach to conservation, with the fundamental premise that the well-being of the environment and the local residents is inextricably linked."

The program Karubian has developed in northwest Ecuador has community partners and researchers working as collaborators. Karubian describes his program as a "horizontally arrayed team with diverse backgrounds and strengths" which includes local residents, college students, and professionals, all of whom share a vision that unites environmental and social wellbeing.

Karubian lived full time for four years in Ecuador, and has continued to return there on a regular basis with support from the National Science Foundation and a Fulbright. This summer (2013), Karubian is returning to Ecuador with Tulane Students for a service learning course: "Tropical Field Biology and Conservation." Tulane students will join his team of collaborators and design and implement a tropical ecology research project that will respond directly to local needs. They will gain first-hand experience of the complexities of biology, animal behavior, conservation, and social engagement.

Karubian's service learning course will not only help the Tulane students understand biology, it will help them to understand what it is actually like to be a tropical field biologist. As Karubian puts it: "Our hope is this experience will underscore the reality that, in today's world, students can combine ecological research, sustainable development, and community engagement in a productive and synergistic manner."


Jordan Karubian is the 2012 recipient of the Ernest A. Lyndon Award for the Scholarship of Engagement for Early Career Faculty. 

Public service is central to the mission of Tulane. It is part of what defines and distinguishes us as a university community. Without public service, a Tulane education would be incomplete.
- Scott S. Cowen 

By Scott S.Cowen
"When Hurricane Isaac recently battered its way through New Orleans on the seventh anniversary of Katrina, I was vividly reminded of an event that offered the greatest challenge and most significant opportunity in Tulane University's history."
 Read the article here.




Links to Other CPS Newsletters
Tulane Student Interns with the Academy of Chinese Studies

"My work with the Academy of Chinese Studies is part of my public service requirement. I am working with the school to develop its program and expand its current student base. I also plan to work with the school to improve its financial records and future financial plans."
Read the interview here.





Trombone Shorty and Tulane to Teach Young Musicians

Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, who started playing music at age 4, is working with Tulane University to create a corps of musician-mentors who will guide the next generation of New Orleans musical artists.
Read more here. 
Public Health 
in Suriname 

 June 3rd- July 19th

This summer Tulane's School of Public Heath and Tropical Medicine is offering a field course with service learning coordinated by the Ministry of Health's Bureau of Public Health. 

For more information click 
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Tulane University Center for Public Service
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6823 St. Charles Avenue
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