March 2012 Alumni EBrief

UNO to Host Economic Outlook and Real Estate Forecast Seminar


The University of New Orleans will hold its annual Economic Outlook and Real Estate Forecast Seminar on Friday, March 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the University Center ballroom. Ivan Miestchovich, director of the UNO Institute for Economic Development and Real Estate Research, will serve as the moderator for a panel discussion on the national and regional economy and the tourism and hospitality markets. The cost to attend the seminar is $35 in advance (before Friday, March 23) and $40 at the door. The event is free to UNO faculty, staff and students, but they must register.

For registration forms and a detailed agenda, visit

President Fos Announces UNO to Remain Division I

University of New Orleans President Peter J. Fos announced that UNO's athletic program will remain NCAA Division I instead of transitioning to Division II as had been planned. UNO is currently competing as a Division I independent.

“After great deliberation and the acquisition of information from various sources, I believe that this is the best course of action for UNO,” President Fos said. “We are striving for excellence at the University in all facets, and that is why I think it's important that our teams are competing at the highest level possible. This decision is not simply about winning games; it's about the future of the University. This will result in increased enrollment and community involvement.”

UNO currently competes in 10 sports under a sport-sponsorship waiver received from the NCAA in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. They are: baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's tennis, and volleyball.

UNO Hits All the Right Notes

Tuesday night, Festival Brasileiro landed two accomplished musicians on the UNO campus for an unparalleled evening of virtuosity. Trumpeter Claudio Rotidi launched the Spring 2012 Jazz at the Sandbar series for a crowd of more than 200 attendees at UNO's Cove while Grammy-winning guitarist Odair Assad dazzled in the Performing Arts Center.

Trumpeter Rotidi integrates post-bop elements and Brazilian rhythmic concepts with ease. He is also a composer and arranger with thirteen critically acclaimed albums. He leads his own band and as well as traveling as a member of Dizzy Gillespie's United Nations Orchestra. Brazilian-born Assad sets the standard for guitar innovation, ingenuity and expression. Often performing with his brother Sergio, he has been praised as “a soloist of awesome talents.” His virtuosity has inspired collaborations with renowned artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Gidon Kremer.


AlumniNews: Students4HIGHER Names Scholars

Last year's pilot partnership with local non-profit Students4HIGHER was such a success, the UNO Alumni Association recommitted its support.  Four UNO freshmen learned this spring they'd been selected as Class of 2015 Student Scholars. Like their predecessors, they'll receive grant and merit scholarships as well as mentorship and other support to encourage them to graduate within four years.

Developed by UNO alumni Barry and Teresa LeBlanc, the initiative works toward building a locally educated workforce, benefiting not only the selected first-generation college students enrolled in local public universities, but the economic viability of the region. The Alumni Association provides merit-based awards for students and helps to identify and recruit alumni mentors.

 “The Students4Higher program will help make Association scholarship funds more effective than ever at ensuring student success,” said past UNO International Alumni Association President Sid Degan.  “The selected Student Scholars will have accessible role-models who demonstrate that success is attainable.”


AlumNotes: Privateer Performances

Theatre UNO’s The Glass Menagerie has earned a nomination for a Big Easy Award in the category of Best University Production. This is an honor not only for current students who were involved in the play, part of the 2011 Tennessee Williams Literary Festival, but also for iconic New Orleans star and UNO alumna Janet Shea, who was invited to perform as a guest actress in the produc­­tion.

In addition to this recognition, the Big Easies honored Janet personally with a nomination for Best Actress in a Drama for her work in The Trip to Bountiful. In all, nominations include nearly 30 UNO students and alumni in various categories. The awards will be presented on March 26th at Harrah's showroom.

Shea already boasts an impressive six Big Easy Awards, five Storer Boone awards, four Marquee Awards, and a Jefferson Performing Arts Award for distinguished acting. With a versatility that lends itself seamlessly to comedy, drama or musical, she has starred on stage in Grey Gardens, A Streetcar Named Desire, Sweeney Todd, and Cabaret, among others.  She is one of the founding members of NOCCA Stage Company.


UNO in Space

Story courtesy of

Sure, there are buildings and stadiums and critters and even elements named for scientists, but University of New Orleans biology professor Phil DeVries has achieved something much loftier: there's a planet named for him. The minor planet, 89131Phildevries, is 3.1 miles wide. It's somewhere between Mars and Jupiter, and it needs nearly three years and nine months -- in Earth time -- to orbit the sun. Click here to read the full article.


Give an Hour, Guide a Student

Help UNO students make the best first impression in their job search by joining the UNO Alumni Resume Review Bureau. By spending a lunch hour at the UNO Cove giving soon-to-be-graduates honest feedback on their resumes, alumni can help UNO students become more confident and competitive job-seekers.  We'll provide sample resumes and a few quick editing tips and tricks to share.

Sign up by email at or call Katelyn Denning at 504-280-2586

UNO Office of Alumni Affairs
UNO International Alumni Association
Homer L. Hitt Alumni & Visitors Center

2000 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, LA 70148
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8 A.M. - 4.30 P.M.
Phone: 504.280.2586 (ALUM) | 800.488.2956
Fax: 504.280.1080 |

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