Cowen Institute Names Jones Scholars

The Scott S. Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives at Tulane has named four Tulane graduate students to the Jones Scholars Internship Program. The program, supported by a gift from the Eugenie and Joseph Jones Family Foundation, pairs the students with public schools in New Orleans to work on high-level academic and strategic projects for an entire semester.

The program was created to provide valuable intellectual and human capital to the work of the K-12 public education community in New Orleans, building its capacity and expertise.

The Tulane students will work with public schools to help them make strides toward improving educational achievement.

Jones Scholars spend a semester working directly for a charter or traditional public school in Orleans Parish on a project that promotes student achievement, school success, and/or college readiness. The Cowen Institute provides a $6,000 stipend to each Jones Scholar for their work on the assigned project during the course of the semester.

Jones Scholars chosen for the Spring 2009 semester include:

  • Nicole Lee, a fourth-year medical and master of public health student. Lee is a native Louisianian and has lived in New Orleans for eight years. She believes a community resource center is “essential for the positive growth of the community.”
  • David Durand, a third-year law student. Durand has been very involved in public education and is eager to work with the Algiers community to enhance community school relations.
  • Edward Crawford, a joint degree candidate in business administration and Latin American studies. Crawford is a former Peace Corps volunteer who worked in the Dominican Republic with economic development projects. He is eager to help enhance the overall learning experience for students.
  • Justin Van Alstyne, a third-year law student. Van Alystne is a former Teach for America corps member who taught English in LaPlace, La. He hopes to continue to play a positive force in students' lives.

Lee and Durand will be working with the Parents Energizing Parents Community Outreach Program at O. Perry Walker Senior High and John McDonogh No. 32 Elementary schools. The project aims to create a community outreach and resource center in which the schools serve as centralized facilities in their communities where parents, students and community members receive needed services on an ongoing basis.

Crawford and Val Alstyne will be working with the Samuel Green School Library Project. They will work with teachers to develop a resource library to help raise student achievement and encourage students to develop lifelong reading habits.

Amy L. Mahfouz is communications and development manager for the Scott S. Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives.