Loyola University New Orleans honors Orleans Parish judge, and more metro college news | Crescent City community news

LOYOLA UNIVERSITY NEW ORLEANS: Judge Robin Pittman ‘91, J.D. ‘96,  is recipient of the 2020 Adjutor Hominum Award from the Alumni Association of Loyola University New Orleans. This award recognizes a Loyola graduate whose life exemplifies the values and philosophy of Jesuit education: moral character, service to humanity and unquestionable integrity. Pittman is a criminal court judge and former assistant district attorney in Orleans Parish. She spends much of her time out of chambers in the community, engaged in service to Loyola and visiting local schools to mentor young students. In lieu of a party to celebrate her accomplishment, Pittman has established a sociology scholarship to benefit high-achieving sociology majors with financial need. To contribute, visit giving.loyno.edu/adjutorhominum.

DELGADO COMMUNITY COLLEGE CYBERSECURITY TRAINING: A 4.5-month cybersecurity career training course begins Dec. 7 at Delgado Community College with support from the Capital One Foundation. Those who complete the program will receive credentials qualifying them for entry-level positions and can also receive up to nine credit hours in Delgado’s associate degree program in computer information technology. The cost is $500; $300 will be due Dec. 4. For an application and payment information, contact Troy L. Baldwin at [email protected]

DELGADO COMMUNITY COLLEGE WINTER REGISTRATION: Registration is open through Dec. 11 for the winter session at Delgado Community College, which begins Dec. 14 and ends four weeks later. Fast-paced courses are available in business, science and technology, arts and humanities, and other interests. Credits are transferrable to other colleges and universities. For details, visit www.dcc.edu/go/wintersession.

UNIVERSITY OF HOLY CROSS: Registration for the spring 2021 semester at University of Holy Cross is open. Housing applications for the university’s new residence hall are also available. To register or apply for housing, visit www.uhcno.edu or call (504) 394-7744.

NUNEZ COMMUNITY COLLEGE: Registration is open for the winter intersession at Nunez Community College, which will run from Dec. 14-Jan. 8. The schedule currently includes 11 fully web-based courses; additional courses will likely be added. To see the schedule of classes, visit www.nunez.edu/future-students. Registration assistance is available by calling (504) 278-6467. Registration for Nunez’s spring 2021 semester opened Oct. 26.


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$62-Million Applied Science Hub Opens for Research on Concordia University’s Loyola Campus

‘A major nexus of transdisciplinary collaboration’: University leaders and elected officials celebrate new era of research at Concordia’s new Applied Science Hub

Concordia University’s Applied Science Hub was officially opened today on the university’s Loyola Campus, in the Montreal neighbourhood of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.

The $62-million state-of-the-art facility — built thanks to $52.75 million in support from the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec — was strategically designed to enable interdisciplinary collaboration and research between faculty and students in the Faculty of Arts and Science, Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science as well as the District 3 Innovation Centre.

The virtual opening ceremony included remarks from both William Amos, Parliamentary Secretary for the Government of Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and Danielle McCann, Minister of Higher Education for the Government of Quebec.

Please click here to download a high resolution image of the Applied Science Hub.

“Not only will this facility encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and foster innovation,” says Amos. “It will also help train a generation of Canadian workers, a workforce able to tackle real-world challenges in our communities.”

McCann spoke of the Quebec government’s pride in contributing to the creation of the Applied Science Hub and added, “The credit goes entirely to your team, which has set up a structuring and stimulating project and which will become, I am sure, a model of its kind for all Quebec universities.”

  • WATCH: A 70-second, five-floor visit of the LEED Gold-certified Applied Science Hub, the fourth high-performance green building at Concordia, whose footprint also includes a public sculpture by renowned Quebec City artist Marc-Antoine Côté.

“This opening marks a big step in the evolution of our research capacity,” says Concordia President Graham Carr. “The Applied Science Hub will be a major nexus of transdisciplinary collaboration, where industry actors, startups and entrepreneurs partner with our graduate students and faculty on next-generation research. This is a decisive moment for Concordia as a research university engaged in innovative work for the benefit of society.”

Paula Wood-Adams, vice-president of Research and Graduate Studies at Concordia says partnerships were key in bringing this project from blueprint to building. “Without the assistance of the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec, this milestone for our university would not have been possible. We thank our federal and provincial partners who generously invested $52.75 million in support of our students and researchers.”

“These new facilities are the result of extraordinary collaboration between departments within Concordia and experts outside the institution,” says Michael Di Grappa, vice-president, Services and Sustainability at Concordia. “The resulting construction of a fourth LEED-certified building on campus is a fitting setting for the innovative research that will be conducted within the Hub.”

Roger Côté, outgoing vice-president, Services, concurs. “The opening of the Applied Science Hub comes as a retirement gift of sorts,” says Côté. “I want to thank the many team members who successfully transformed the vision of our researchers to create spaces that facilitate collaborative work on research

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Citing a ‘toxic atmosphere,’ a Black admissions employee resigns from Loyola University, prompting a discrimination probe and calls for racial justice on campus

At Loyola University Chicago, where fewer than 6% of undergraduates are Black, Marcus Mason-Vivit’s presence comforted minority students who rarely found someone who looked like them on campus.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Marcus Mason-Vivit, shown on Loyola University Chicago's campus, resigned from his job in the admissions office, citing a "toxic atmosphere ... particularly pertaining to people of color."

© Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Marcus Mason-Vivit, shown on Loyola University Chicago’s campus, resigned from his job in the admissions office, citing a “toxic atmosphere … particularly pertaining to people of color.”

A Black man himself, Mason-Vivit led the private Jesuit university’s efforts to increase racial diversity among first-year students in his role at the Undergraduate Admission Office. He was known to send high school seniors handwritten letters encouraging them to attend Loyola and for going out of his way to forge relationships with the Black students he met.

But last month, Mason-Vivit stepped down from his position in multicultural recruitment. In a scathing resignation letter that quickly circulated on social media, he called the admissions office a “toxic atmosphere of hostility, intimidation, fear and manipulation … especially pertaining to people of color” and described an incident where his boss, the dean of undergraduate admission, allegedly made a racially disparaging remark. His departure has prompted Loyola to initiate an investigation.

Now, students and faculty are rallying behind Mason-Vivit, raising questions about Loyola’s newly stated goal of “becoming a fully inclusive anti-racist institution.”

“We do not think that this initiative will achieve much credibility until the issues, such as those raised by Marcus Mason, and the school’s handling of such complaints have been thoroughly addressed,” leaders of a Loyola faculty organization wrote in a letter to university President Jo Ann Rooney.

In an interview with the Tribune, Mason-Vivit, 34, said he tried reporting his concerns to the human resources office in July but felt brushed aside, leading eventually to his Aug. 24 resignation.

“I will no longer work in an environment diametrically opposed to my principles and the obligation to respect my existence,” he wrote in his resignation letter.

The dean of undergraduate admission, Erin Moriarty, declined to comment, saying by email that she does “not want to jeopardize the integrity of this investigation in any way by speaking out of turn.”

Loyola spokeswoman Anna Rozenich confirmed the investigation, related to “allegations of discrimination” in the office, is ongoing but would not say who is conducting it. After Loyola’s Office for Equity and Compliance began an internal investigation, the school decided to hire outside experts to lead the probe “due to the charged nature” of the allegations, Rozenich said.

“Out of respect for the rights of all parties, we must maintain that all parties deserve to be heard, and allow the investigation to be thoroughly conducted and conclude while refraining from judgment or condemnation,” Rozenich said in an emailed statement.

She said “appropriate action” will be taken at the end of the investigation and emphasized Loyola’s policy prohibiting discrimination.

Mason-Vivit, however, said he could no longer remain silent. His last day as Loyola’s associate director for multicultural recruitment was Sept. 4, and he previously worked in the admission office from

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