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2021-2022 NTC Professors, Principals, and Mentors

Newcomb-Tulane College has appointed several esteemed faculty and staff members to important positions within the college for the 2021-2022 academic year. These roles span four departmental programs: the William L. Duren Jr. ’26 Professorship Program, the newly formed College Scholars Program, and the Center for Academic Equity's POSSE Mentor and College Track Programs. Each of these initiatives serves a different student population but are rooted in the common goal of enhancing the university's academic culture and providing meaningful connections and opportunities for collaboration with faculty and staff. 

"These professors and Tulane community mentors take on a critical leadership role in support of the College’s efforts to strengthen the academic experience for undergraduate students," says NTC Dean Lee Skinner. "These programs facilitate intellectually rewarding interactions, both in and out of the classroom."

2021-2022 Duren Professors

2021-2022 Duren Professors

2021-2022 College Scholars Faculty Principals

2021-2022 College Scholars Faculty Principals

Newly Appointed Center for Academic Equity Mentors

2021-2022 Center for Academic Equity Mentors

View complete program descriptions and cohort bios below.  

Duren Professors

The Duren Program was established and endowed with a generous gift from the late William L. Duren, A&S ’26, M.A. ’28, Ph.D., LL.D. honoris causa ’59, professor emeritus of mathematics and former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia. Each year, NTC welcomes full-time faculty from Tulane's five undergraduate schools to apply. Duren Professors are selected on the basis of their creative proposals. While the Duren Program allows professors the freedom and resources to explore their personal research interests in greater depth, it is primarily concerned with providing the maximum educational benefit for the students. In addition to their teaching, Duren Professors also serve on the Newcomb-Tulane College Grant Committee and participate in NTC student engagement activities. 

Michelle Foa, Associate Professor, Newcomb Art Department

Foa HeadshotMichelle Foa is Associate Professor of European Art of the eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries, with a particular focus on nineteenth-century French art, visual and material culture, and criticism. She and Dr. Michael Kuczynski are producing a Duren course for the Department of Art History and English titled "Paper: Culture, History, and the Digital Age."


Michael Kuczynski, Professor, Department of English

Kuczynski HeadshotMichael Kuczynski specializes in Middle English literature (especially Chaucer), intersections between religion and literature in medieval and early modern England, and the relationship between poetry and the visual arts.  He has published widely on medieval manuscripts, early modern books, and nineteenth-century antiquarianism He and Dr. Michelle Foa are producing a Duren course for the Department of Art History and English titled "Paper: Culture, History, and the Digital Age."


Jordan Karubian,  Associate Professor, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Karubian HeadshotJordan Karubian's fields of research include Animal Behavior, Tropical Ecology and Conservation. His Duren course for the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology is titled "Sustainable Solutions."



John “Ray” Proctor, Assistant Professor, Department of Theatre and Dance

Proctor HeadshotJohn (Ray) Proctor holds a BA in English from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, an MFA in Acting from West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia, and a Ph.D. in Theatre Research from University of Wisconsin at Madison. He has performed the title role in Othello in New York, West Virginia, St Louis, Tucson, and Chicago. Ray co-authored (with Ms. Olivia Dawson) Out Loud, which opened at eta Creative Arts Foundation on Chicago's south side. The play ran for nine weeks and received seven 2014 Black Theatre Alliance nominations for Best Play, Best New Script, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Ensemble. His Duren course for the Department of Theatre and Dance is titled "African American Theatre History."


Read the 2021-2022 Duren Course Descriptions

College Scholars Faculty Principals

The College Scholars Program is a new academic enrichment opportunity for rising sophomores which aims to foster student-faculty relationships via academically driven small groups and provide students with research opportunities. College Scholars faculty principals are responsible for coordinating the College Scholars' educational programs. These cohorts are designed to foster common intellectual experiences and encourage students to think about big questions collaboratively, often through the lens of different disciplines. Each cohort is organized around combined broad themes (-e.g. or inequality & empowerment, climate change, global health, technology & society, art & activism).

Michael A. Fitts, President, Tulane University

President Fitts HeadshotMichael A. Fitts has served as the 15th president of Tulane University since 2014. Fitts is recognized as one of the country’s foremost legal scholars on administrative and constitutional law, particularly matters relating to separation of powers. He, along with Anna Mahoney, Director of Research and Administrative Assistant Professor of Women's Political Leadership at the Newcomb Institute, will lead a College Scholars cohort themed "Living and Learning Leadership at Tulane."


Anna Mahoney, Director of Research and Administrative Assistant Professor of Women's Political Leadership, Newcomb Institute

Anna Mahoney HeadshotAnna Mahoney has taught a range of courses at the university level including Introduction to Women’s Studies, American Government, Congressional Politics, American Race Relations, and Women and American Politics. Anna’s research is centered on women’s representation and gendered institutions which is explored in her manuscript on the origins of women’s caucuses in state legislatures. She, along with Tulane President Mike Fitts, will lead a College Scholars cohort themed "Living and Learning Leadership at Tulane."


Nicole Gasparini, Associate Professor, Department of Earth & Environmental Science

Gasparini HeadshotNicole Gasparini's research interests include Fluvial geomorphology; Tectonic geomorphology; Evolution of alluvial and bedrock river networks; Landscape evolution modeling and numerical model development; Interactions among climate, tectonics, and erosion; Effects of climate change on landscape evolution; Sediment production and transport of sediment from hillslopes to rivers to depositional systems; Human influences on landscape evolution. She will lead a College Scholars cohort themed "Leave Your Bias at the Lab Door: An Equitable Future in STEM."


Brittany Kennedy, Senior Professor of Practice, Department of Spanish & Portuguese

Brittany Kennedy HeadshotBrittany Kennedy came to Tulane in 2007 and was named Senior Professor of Practice in 2016. She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of South Carolina, and her research in Modernist Spanish and European culture focuses most specifically on fascism, particularly in a transatlantic context. She will lead a College Scholars cohort theme "Imagined Communities."


Leslie Scott, Assistant Professor, Department of Theatre & Dance

Leslie Scott HeadshotLeslie Scott is a researcher of movement in the studio, classroom, screen, and sidewalk. She is the founder and Artistic Director of BODYART a Los Angeles based multi-media contemporary dance theatre company. Working in both traditional and non-traditional spaces her work has been performed in notable venues and sites from LA, NYC, Dallas, St. Louis, Edinburgh, and New Zealand. She will lead a College Scholars cohort themed "Community Engaged Scholarship in New Orleans: Philanthropy and Social Change."


Read the 2021-2022 College Scholars Cohort Descriptions

Center for Academic Equity Mentors

The Center for Academic Equity has appointed the following faculty and staff members as new mentors for the POSSE and College Track programs. Tulane is fortunate to host two POSSEs –one from Los Angeles and another from New Orleans. The POSSE Foundation selects students who show extraordinary academic and leadership potential to attend Tulane as multicultural teams (“posses”) of 10 students. The College Track organization selects students from underserved communities in New Orleans and California to attend Tulane. Mentors are a critical component guiding these scholars to a successful college experience.

Kourtney Gray, Director, New Student and Leadership Programs

Kourtney Grey PhotoKourtney Gray began serving as a mentor in the middle of the fall 2020, stepping in immediately to assist the students in Posse-NOLA 9. He joined the Tulane community and Student Affairs team in September 2019 as Director in New Student and Leadership Programs. Prior to arriving to Tulane he was most recently at Northwestern University. He brings with him 15+ years of experience in student affairs; and strongly supports the student voice, shared governance, leadership development, and the total student engagement experience.


Katherine Kleinpeter Raymond, Professor of Practice, Department of Biomedical Engineering

Katherine Kleinpeter Raymond HeadshotKatherine Kleinpeter Raymond will serve as the mentor to students entering Posse-LA 13. She is a professor of practice and co-director of undergraduate studies in the Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department, teaching such courses as Statics, Mechanics of Materials, service learnings for Product and Experimental Design and Team Design, and the senior capstone Team Design course. She holds a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Tulane University’s former School of Engineering, researching high-performance concrete bridge girders. Her interest is in blending mechanics with medical innovation and service opportunities to allow students a unique approach to learning. She co-directs Biomedical Innovation for Global Impact (BIG Impact), which involves undergraduates in global experiences designing to improve healthcare in low-resource communities.


Rosie Yates, Program Manager, Newcomb-Tulane College First-Year Experience Team

Rosie Yates HeadshotBeginning in Fall 2021, Rosie Yates will serve as the mentor to the incoming Posse-NOLA 10 students. Rosie Yates is the Program Manager in the First-Year Experience and has been at Tulane since 2017. She has worked on TIDES, TIDES Peer Mentors, NTC Reading Project, Residential Faculty Mentors, NTC Intern program, and other collaborative initiatives. Rosie has aB.A. in Anthropology and Religious Studies from Elon University, a M.A. in Higher Education Administration from Louisiana State University, and a M.A. in Liberal Arts from Tulane University.


Alessandra Bazzano, Associate Professor, Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences

Alessandra Bazzano HeadshotBeginning in Fall 2021, Alessandra Bazzano will serve as the mentor to the College Track Class of 2025 students. She studies behavior and health over the life course, focusing on maternal, newborn, and child health & nutrition in low income populations, with an emphasis on context, culture, equity, and human connection. Through a concurrent appointment at the Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking, their scholarship explores human centered design approaches to health research. Dr. Bazzano's expertise, gained through two decades of work in international and domestic public health, includes developing and evaluating complex health interventions, design thinking, applied anthropology, qualitative methods, and formative research.