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Leadership Out of Disaster

March 04, 2010 11:15 AM
New Wave staff newwave@tulane.edu

The Tulane University Women's Association is celebrating its 100th birthday, but it's hardly looking back on the past. One of its centennial events will spotlight the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy — a new initiative at Tulane that plans to become a premier source of information and instruction for world leaders in dealing with disasters.

"Leadership Out of Disaster" will be the subject of the free public forum at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday (March 10) in Freeman Auditorium in the Woldenberg Art Center on the uptown campus.

Leading the discussions will be Ky Luu, executive director of the academy, who will discuss the program's mission of "promoting understanding of evidenced-based best practices for disaster operations and all aspects of disaster resilience."

Other speakers from the academy will be Charles Figley, professor in the School of Social Work who holds the Paul Henry Kurzweg Distinguished Chair and is director of the Tulane Traumatology Institute; Nancy Mock, associate professor in the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine; and John McLachlan, director of the Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research.

Luu said the academy "aims to strengthen leadership in this field by providing training, education and research programs" through an interdisciplinary initiative that involves Tulane faculty members in law, social work, business, liberal arts and public health.

The academy's current initiatives involve working with other Tulane units on a long-term recovery strategy for earthquake-ravaged Haiti, as well as developing doctorate, master's and certificate programs in disaster resilience leadership. First courses in the academic program will begin in May, Luu said.

The TUWA group was founded in 1909 by wives of Tulane faculty and staff members, but its membership also is open to all women faculty, staff and Tulane volunteers. The organization links old and new members of the university community through social events, service projects and activity groups.