Dean’s Message – Spring 2021

Since we last published a newsletter, so much has happened. Tulane has over and over demonstrated our motto, translated as “not for one’s self, but for one’s own” as we came back together as a community this fall.

Thanks to a heroic effort from so many, Tulane was able to stand up its own testing facilities and contact tracing, using science to allow us to safely teach in-person instruction in the fall.

Tulane was one of only 6% of institutions of higher education that utilized surveillance testing to assess the continual health of the campus community and prevent mini outbreaks from becoming devastating ones.

SSE faculty, staff and students all went above and beyond to not only teach high quality courses that were able to accommodate remote learners, as well as quarantined/isolated students, but also to maintain momentum in research under challenging conditions.

We also dealt with a record number of named storms in the Gulf and survived a direct hit from Hurricane Zeta. The saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, comes to mind.

In light of these challenges, the School is continuing its upward trends. We piloted the Tulane Research and Innovation Awards (TRIA), a new program for freshman to be matched into research labs, and our first cohort of 15 students are extremely impressive.

As of January 15, SSE has already received nearly $12M in external research support for fiscal year 2021, an increase of over $2M over the 2020 mid-year total.

We were excited to see the construction fences go up in December, as abatement began for the construction of the new Steven & Jann Paul Hall, to be located between Flower Hall and Stanley Thomas Hall. The arrival of Paul Hall will enable the necessary moves and adjustments to existing buildings, ultimately creating more efficient and effective research and teaching space, and allowing us to recruit and retain the highest quality faculty and graduate students.

My spirits are continually brightened by the creativity and ingenuity of the SSE community, especially during these challenging times. In light of all this, I think our entire community deserves a big thank you, for going above and beyond over the past year.

In this newsletter you will be able to read details about selected SSE highlights. There are too many others to mention, but many of them are highlighted on our website and on Tulane Today.