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Students in Prime Time Spot

September 02, 2009 12:00 PM
Carol J. Schlueter cjs@tulane.edu

Talk about prime time — when Tulane football debuts on national television this Friday (Sept. 4), Charles Gaspard's New Orleans family will have double the excitement. Not only will the junior wide receiver be on the field for the Green Wave, he also will be in a television commercial about Tulane that airs on ESPN during the game.

He and several other students — seniors Joanna Kauffman, Tim Clinton and Rebecca George, along with Tulane Marching Band horn player Harvey Hunt, a freshman — appear in the 30-second spot that was written and produced by Mary Mouton of Mouton Media, who is a graduate of both Newcomb College and Tulane Law School. It was shot in the French Quarter and on the uptown campus but also shows Gaspard tutoring two youngsters.

Developed by Mouton Media, this 30-second institutional spot will air during five televised Green Wave football games this fall.

The spot, airing during five televised games this season in cooperation with Conference USA, focuses on the university's connection with New Orleans. The message that viewers will hear is that "students are learning in classrooms and labs, in competition and in the community."

The voiceover continues, "How do you get to Tulane? You'll know you're at Tulane when you start making a difference in your life and someone else's."

A finance major, Gaspard juggled part-time jobs and classes last year so he could walk on as a Tulane football player. This season he earned a football scholarship that allows him to concentrate on his schoolwork as well as the volunteer work that he loves.

A native New Orleanian who "grew up with Tulane," Gaspard says working with youngsters comes naturally for him.

"Coming from New Orleans, I know what kids are dealing with on daily basis," he says. "I feel like I owe it to them to give back. Kids think they can't go to college. When they hear I came from same place they did, it gives them a lot of hope, shows them I'm just a regular kid, not a genius or anything.

"It's all about work you put into it and people you choose to be around."