Student-Athletes Meet New Black Faculty

The Black Faculty and Staff Association hosted its second annual reception recently at the Wilson Athletic Center, welcoming new black faculty members to the university. The event served a twofold purpose by providing a platform for new and current faculty to become acquainted with each other while giving student-athletes an opportunity to network with professors.


Student Feyi Aworunse, left, introduces Amanda "Mia" Bagneris, right, visiting assistant professor in art history. (Photos by Sally Asher)

"We want to make sure the student-athletes know that the black community supports them and wants to get to know them," says Carolyn Barber-Pierre, BFSA board member. "We are champions of the Tulane Green Wave, and what better way to let them know we're here than to come down to their home?"

Barber-Pierre says that the university's efforts to recruit black faculty is ongoing and that the BFSA sees the reception as a means of helping to transition new black faculty onto campus.

"Our organization is an advocacy group for the black community at Tulane and our goal is to provide support for the black community on campus. We are their voice," says Barber-Pierre, who is assistant vice president for intercultural life. "We bring issues and concerns to the administration and try to come up with proactive steps in getting them addressed."


New psychology professor Oscar Barbarin III, right, talks with student-athlete Kendall Timmons, left, at the Black Faculty and Staff Association event. Student-athlete David Booker is in the center.

New faculty members recognized at the Nov. 12 event were Edward Anderson, adjunct lecturer, African and African Diaspora studies; Amanda (Mia) Bagneris, visiting assistant professor, art history; Oscar A. Barbarin III, Lila L. and Douglas J. Hertz Professor of Psychology; Dr. Paul B. Gladden, associate professor, clinical orthopedics; Dr. Jacqueline Henschke, assistant professor, psychiatry and neurology; Scott L. Ruff, assistant professor, architecture; Ekundayo Shittu, visiting assistant professor, business; and Beretta Smith-Shomade, associate professor, communication.

Deans Nicholas Altiero, School of Science and Engineering; Carole Haber, School of Liberal Arts; and Kenneth Schwartz, School of Architecture, also were recognized for their contributions in creating a more diverse Tulane.

The reception was co-sponsored by the African American Congress of Tulane, a black student union organization.