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    Minority Research Center in Arkansas names Dr. Valandra German, '01 as Director PDF Print E-mail
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    PINE BLUFF, Ark. – Dr. Valandra German, former Interim Chair & Assistant Professor of the School of Public Health at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, has been named Director of The Minority Research Center on Tobacco and Addictions (211 West 3rd Avenue, Suite 215; Pine Bluff, AR).

    In 2011, the Minority Research Center on Tobacco and Addictions (MRC) was established through a partnership between the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, the Minority Initiative Sub-Recipient Grant Office, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Master of Science Degree in Addiction Studies program, and the Arkansas Department of Health. Its mission is to provide assistance to the state and nation in tobacco and other substance abuse research, prevention, education, technical assistance and evaluation, in regards to minority populations (Blacks, Hispanics, Marshall Islanders, and Asians)

    “I am honored and excited to have been selected as Director of the Minority Research Center on Tobacco and Addictions,” exclaimed Dr. German. “I have been a longtime supporter of research related to health disparities, tobacco use and other addictive substances. I look forward to capitalizing on the vision of the MRC.”

    As Director, Dr. German will provide consultation, support, and evaluation of the key components of the Center: research and dissemination; education and training; cessation and prevention; and wellness.

    “Dr. German will be a true asset to the MRC here in Pine Bluff,” commented Dr. Mary Benjamin, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. “Her breadth of experience and skill set will be invaluable to this organization as we continue to lay the groundwork for success.”

    Dr. German earned her doctorate in Public Health/Community Health Education from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, her master’s degree in Public Health/Community Health Education from the Des Moines University of Osteopathic Medicine, and her bachelor’s degree in Community Health Education from Dillard University.

    Click here to view this article on UAPB News

    Click here to read more on Pine Buff The Commerical's website

    Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy, Professor of English, featured in the International Kreol Magazine PDF Print E-mail
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    Mona Lisa SaloyAuthor, folklorist, essayist, and poet Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy is a passionate literary voice representing the African-American and the New Orleans Creole cultural experience. A writer who has seen more than her fair share of hardship, Saloy boasts a substantial body of work to her credit. In addition to her books, her articles, essays, and poems have appeared in numerous magazines, journals, anthologies, and films, including The Southern Review, Louisiana English Journal, and African American Review.

    Saloy’s also a popular lecturer and was keynote speaker at the Re-Building New Orleans Conference at Tulane University; writer-in-residence at the Arna Bontemps Museum in Alexandria, Louisiana; and guest writer at the University of Missouri in 2005. Since then, Saloy has been a featured writer at the Zora Neale Hurston Festival, Santa Barbara Community College, and the 2006 DeBose Festival.

    Educational and Teaching Background

    Mona Lisa Saloy holds a Ph.D. in English from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, as well as an MFA in Creative Writing from the same institution. 

    Dr. Saloy has also served as visiting Associate Professor of English at the University of Washington in Seattle and Director of the Creative Writing program—a program she herself developed and founded—at Dillard University, where she taught for 21 years. She has also taught at Louisiana State University, UC Berkeley, San Francisco State University, Laney College, and City College of San Francisco.

    Saloy's latest book of poetry is a collection of post-Katrina poems illustrating how people can handle disasters and hurricanes with "heart."


    Dr. Saloy's first collection of poetry, Red Beans and Ricely Yours: Poems, from Truman State University Press (2005), won the 2005 T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize and the 2006 PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award in Poetry. The Josephine Miles Award honors excellence in multi-cultural literature. This poetry collection, which chronicles the author's life in the Seventh Ward of downtown New Orleans, also tied for the 2005 Morgan Prize from Story Line Press.

    In addition, Saloy was commissioned by The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia in 2006 to write and perform a poem entitled "We" in celebration of 2006 Liberty Medal Recipients President William J. Clinton and President George H.W. Bush. Her poem encapsulated the depth of meaning in the word "we"— the most important word in the U.S. Constitution.

    Saloy's poetry also appears in the volume, Furious Flower: African American Poetry from the Black Arts Movement to the Present, University of Virginia Press (2004), Joanne V. Gabbin, editor. This second anthology born out of the Furious Flower Conference, which first convened in 1994, is a poetry collection that serves as a historical compendium of African-American poetry at the close of the 20th century.

    Saloy also published a chapter in the essay collection, Living Blue in the Red States, from University of Nebraska Press (2007), David Starkey, editor, and contributed to New Orleans: What Can't Be Lost – 88 Stories and Traditions from the Sacred City, University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press (2010), Lee Barclay, editor. The 88 stories in the latter volume, published to commemorate the resilience of the victims of Hurricane Katrina, are intended, according to Barclay, to represent "piano keys in a love song to New Orleans"—a highly appropriate venue for the New Orleans native who lost her own home to the storm.

    Other volumes in which Saloy's work appears include Dear Success Seeker: Wisdom from Outstanding Women, Atria Books (2009), and Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Poetry, University of Georgia Press (2009). Her work was also included in The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume IV: Louisiana, Texas A&M University Press (2011).

    In addition to the above anthologies, Saloy's poems appear in Immortelles, Poems of Life and Death by New Southern Writers, New Orleans: Xavier Review Press (1995). She’s also published in the seminal Louisiana Women Writers, New Essays and a Comprehensive Bibliography, from LSU Press (1992), Brown and Ewell, editors, and featured in The American Poetry Archives’ Color: A Sampling of Contemporary African American Writers(1994).

    Articles published by Dr. Saloy include "African American Oral Traditions in Louisiana," "Zora Neale Hurston on the River Road: Portrait of Algiers, New Orleans, and her Fieldwork," "Sidewalk Songs, Jump-Rope Rhymes, and Clap-Hand Games of African American Children."

    Upcoming Work

    Mona Lisa Saloy's latest book of poetry, which is currently in the works thanks to a sabbatical awarded to the author by the UNCF/Mellon Foundation, is a collection of post-Katrina poems illustrating how people can handle disasters and hurricanes with "heart." The book will document the struggles experienced after Katrina, shedding light on Dr. Saloy's Creole culture and how the disaster affected that three-centuries-old culture, while presenting an "original and fresh perspective (on the) apocalyptic event" and on hurricanes in general. The poems will highlight the faith and resilience needed to rebuild a city and a life torn apart by nature's wrath—a faith and resilience amply demonstrated by the people of New Orleans in the wake of Katrina.

    Honours and Awards

    Dr. Saloy has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the United Negro College Fund/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to help facilitate the continuation of her research on Black Beat poet Bob Kaufman, an icon of the Black Arts movement and the subject of her article, "Black Beats and Black issues." The article appears in Beat Culture and the New America 1950-1965, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1965), Lisa Phillips, editor.

    Mona Lisa Saloy’s listed in the Encyclopedia of African American Women Writers, published by Greenwood Press (2007), Yolanda W. Page, editor.

    An African-American Creole with Heart

    To Mona Lisa Saloy, cultural history’s a crucial component of literature. She reads writers who not only feed her spirit but "who respect the past and their cultural histories." And she equally respects and shares her own cultural history and identity for the edification of others. As an African-American woman who’s also Creole, she explains the way she sees the two identities combining into a unified whole reflecting who she is —and who her people are — and how these complementary characteristics come through in her writing:

    "I write to capture what I think is great about us. I wanted to hear my voice—the voices of my family and community in the Seventh Ward—and contribute to the discussions of who we are as a people. There is not one monolithic black culture, but there are a lot of givens within the African worldview: we believe in a higher power, we are close to family and then community. For me, Creole is Black even though it's a French language. It is one of the ways our African selves existed through another culture."

    Mona Lisa Saloy sees herself as "Black and Creole, innately Southern, and certainly American" and declares that "[i]n New Orleans, there lives a recognizable culture, and it's here to stay." She distinctly remembers growing up in New Orleans surrounded by the joy of life. She recalls her Creole father waking up expressing deep satisfaction about the day ahead and joyful certainty that God would be with them "from now on" — an optimistic view of life which no doubt played a key role in her own outlook.

    Her Christian faith has also helped carry her through many hardships, disasters, and other life traumas in addition to Katrina — not the least of which involved her challenges as "a female artist competing for support." Yet, she is overcoming these obstacles and declares that she's thankful because her trials have carved the character she is becoming, they will mould the writing which is to come, and they will shape the future into "tomorrows of adventure (and) promise."  

    Rebuilding with Bricks and Words in a Post-Katrina World

    Seven years after the fateful day that Katrina inundated New Orleans on August 29th 2005 — destroying Saloy's 5,000-volume library, her unpublished research materials, and all her family treasures — this Mona Lisa is calling upon her deeply-ingrained optimism and resilience and rebuilding her family home, after moving fifteen times and living in three different states. She says it's a joy and a blessing to be back home — even though she's living in an apartment while she rebuilds.

    In her newest book of poems, Mona Lisa Saloy aspires to capture the spirit and friendliness of pre-Katrina New Orleans—the joie de vivre that her father so characteristically demonstrated every morning, as did so many of their neighbours —before Katrina battered and destroyed their town, leaving them homeless. She hopes to convey the heartbreak of leaving and the stark reality that when she and others returned, they returned to a mere shadow of the grandeur of their former life — a situation in which they had to draw from somewhere deep within themselves the strength and faith and heart to carry on…to rebuild and to rejoice in their ability to restore, not merely what they had lost, but something new and different and better: a brand new hope and vision for the future.

    Click here to read this article from 

    Dillard Theater to host Pulitzer-Prize Winning Drama, “A Soldier’s Play” on June 17th PDF Print E-mail
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    Ad for Project 1 VoicesThe Performance is part of The 3rd Annual International Project 1Voice

    Admission is Free and Open to the Public
    (New Orleans) – As part of the American Theatre Project, Dillard University and The Standard New Orleans will present a staged reading of the 1982 Pulitzer-Prize Winning drama by Charles Fuller, “A Soldier’s Play.” The reading will take place simultaneously in 27 theaters in 12 states and 17 cities throughout the country and in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Georges Auditorium in the Professional Schools and Sciences Building on Dillard’s campus.
    The play is a murder mystery that takes place on an army base in Louisiana in 1944 during the time of segregation in the military.  When Sergeant Vernon Waters, a black army officer is killed, Captain Richard Davenport, who is also black, is sent to conduct the investigation. It explores not only the white racist attitudes of the time, but how blacks themselves harbored some of those same emotions and resentment towards other African Americans.
    This is third annual Project 1Voice Play Day which celebrates African American Theater.   
    “As one of the oldest African American University theaters in the country, Dillard is excited to once again host this Project1Voice production in partnership with the American Theater Project,” said Cortheal Clark, chair of Dillard’s theater department.  “We are also pleased to have such stellar individuals as Director Nicoye Banks, actor and native New Orleanian and Producer Ed Bishop, founding producing artistic director of the American Theater Project in Wash., D.C., involved in this project,” Clark added.
    Admission is free and open to the public. For more information on Project 1Voice and “A Soldier’s Play,” please see links below.

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    Dillard Part of Success of Growth of New Orleans PDF Print E-mail
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    In an article featuring the fastest growing cities in America, Dillard University is praised for its rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina.

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    Dillard Student Becomes McCord Scholar PDF Print E-mail
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    Bridget Sisney

    2013 Dillard University graduate Bridget Sisney has just been announced as a McCord Scholar, thanks to the generosity of the United Methodist Black College Fund. The Lina McCord scholars, selected from the 11 historically black United Methodist colleges and universities, are chosen by their chaplains and presidents. The student ambassadors are named for the fund’s longtime executive director, the late Lina H. McCord.

    Read more about this scholarship on the website...

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