Newcomb Institute Awards 2021

Newcomb Institute Awards Ceremony

Involvement Awards

Cynthia B. Taffaro Memorial Award

This award is given to the student organization that has demonstrated involvement and leadership in the community, created meaningful and impactful programming, and has furthered the mission of Newcomb Institute.

Society of Women Engineers

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, the Society of Women Engineers found new ways to educate and support its members while engaging with the wider community. They organized panels on studying engineering in college for local high school students, worked with partner SWE sections from other universities to program educational workshops, and made sure their members felt connected with virtual events when it was impossible to meet in person. SWE was a model for other organizations for programming that served its community during a difficult time.

Doris K. Joffrion Award

Doris K. Joffrion graduated from Newcomb College in 1917. The award established in her memory honors the best female athlete of the year who has majored in one of the liberal arts or sciences.

Katherine Cartiglia

Majors: Physics, Political Economy

  • Honors Thesis: “The Military-Industrial Complex and its Effect on Politics”
  • Captain of the Tulane Varsity Sailing Team
  • Outreach Tulane Board of Directors

Newcomb Institute Resident Advisor Award

This award recognizes a Resident Advisor who supports Newcomb programming and develops a community that fosters gender equity.

Emma Schreier

Major: Public Health

  • Wall Residential College Resident Advisor
  • Newcomb Scholar
  • Tulane University Peer Health Educator (TUPHE)
  • Student Editor of Newcomb Institute’s Women Leading Change Journal

Shelley Coverman Memorial Award

The Shelley Coverman Memorial Award honors an undergraduate or graduate student who distinguishes themselves in empirical social science research in women’s studies. This award requires a nomination from a faculty member.

Jessica Liddell

Graduate Award Winner; Ph.D., City, Culture, & Community Program

  • Accepted a position as an Assistant Professor at the University of Montana School of Social Work.
  • Has over 29 articles published in peer-reviewed journals and has a new son, Leo.

Claire Wynne

Undergraduate Award Winner; Majors: Political Economy, International Development

  • Senior Honors Thesis: “Reproductive Health Impacts of State-Led Movements to De-Fund Abortion”
  • Education & Outreach Coordinator (and previous Events Coordinator) for Sexual Aggression Peer Hotline and Education (SAPHE)
  • Co-host and co-creator of the Sex Unspoken podcast as a Title IX intern

First-Year Award

Shirley Gauff Award

The Shirley Gauff Award is bestowed upon a first-year student from an under-represented group at Tulane University. The student will have distinguished themselves through an outstanding academic record during their high school career and will exemplify the ideals of the Newcomb Institute through service to Tulane University and the Greater New Orleans community. Examples of under-represented groups include, but are not limited to, members of ethnic minority groups, LGBTQ students, differently-abled students, and members of religious minority groups.

Mickey Mickle

Majors: Political Science, Africana Studies, French

  • Tulane Democrats Communications Director
  • Research Assistant with Dr. Anna Mahoney
  • Josephine Louise Hall Community Government Vice-President of Marketing

Sophomore Award

Class of 2005 Jennie C. Nixon Award

The Jennie C. Nixon Award was originally established by the Newcomb Alumnae Association in 1912 as the Jennie C. Nixon Prize for Debate. The Class of 2005 raised additional money to continue the award. Today, it is given to a sophomore who has contributed to the Tulane community through a leadership role, has demonstrated academic excellence, and has demonstrated a spirit of service to the university.

Sophie Sanchez

Majors: Public Health, Gender & Sexuality Studies

  • Public Affairs Intern, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (2020 - present)
  • Member, Sexual Aggression Peer Hotline and Education (SAPHE) (2020 - present)
  • Moderator, The Stone Center for Latin American Studies Presents: Multi-Award-Winning Author Elizabeth Acevedo (2021)

Junior Awards

Dorothy Young Memorial Award

This award honors a junior student who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, scholarship, and service during their time at Tulane.

Alexa Authorlee

Major: Finance

  • Founder of Alliance of Black Business Students and Black Queer Collective
  • Liaison of the Office of Undergraduate Admission and the Center for Intercultural Life
  • Advocate for marginalized students’ experience and success

Maryam Tanveer

Majors: Public Health, Cell and Molecular Biology

  • President of SAPHE (Sexual Aggression Peer Hotline & Education)
  • Co-host of Sex Unspoken
  • Researching the attitudes and beliefs regarding consent among members of Tulane Greek life

Senior Awards

1914-2004 Award for Exceptional Character

This award honors a liberal arts or science major who has displayed exceptional character through firm ideals, a clear sense of integrity, and a strong commitment to service and justice on campus and/or in the New Orleans community.

Renée Trepagnier

Majors: Classical Studies, Anthropology

  • Honors Thesis: “Death is only the Beginning: Gender Identity and Personhood in Pre- and Protopalatial (3000-1700 BCE) Minoan Mortuary Landscapes”
  • Women’s Resources Chair for the Tulane University Right to Life Club
  • Presented research at the Classical Association for the Middle West and South’s 2021 Conference (virtually) in a talk titled “Rest in Pieces (RIP): Mutability of Gender Identity and Personhood in Pre- and Protopalatial (3000-1700 BCE) Minoan Tholos Tombs”

Class of 1909 Prize to the Outstanding Senior

This award is given to graduating seniors who, throughout their time at Tulane, have combined scholarship with effective and unselfish service in student activities.

Kate Kushner

Major: Political Science

  • Sex Week Founder and Senior Coordinator
  • Member of SAPHE (Sexual Aggression Peer Hotline & Education)
  • Vice-Chair of Response and student-at-large on USG’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Committee

Kyla Denwood

Majors: Political Science/International Development, Economics

  • Drum Major for the Tulane University Marching Band
  • Intern at the Office of Undergraduate Admission
  • Research Coordinator at the Tulane Department of Economics

Sydney Sheffield

Major: Public Health

  • Designed and conducted a qualitative research study for honors thesis titled “An Investigation of Families’ and Providers’ Experiences and Support Needs Following Perinatal Loss”
  • Investigated the potential for a semester-long course to change campus climate surrounding sexual violence in research assistant position under Dr. Alyssa Lederer and Dr. Katherine Johnson
  • Developed content and visuals for the Sexual Pleasure is Sexual Health component of Safer Sex Kits distributed by Campus Health

Gifford Darling Riess Award

Gifford Darling Riess pursued a career in criminal justice, with a specific interest in issues impacting women. The award given in her honor recognizes a graduating senior who has demonstrated outstanding dedication to community service during their time at Tulane.

Maggie Conrad

Majors: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Classics

  • Community Partners Coordinator for Outreach Tulane 2019 and Outreach Tulane Chair in 2020
  • President of Tulane Green Medicine initiative
  • Accepted into LSU New Orleans Medical School

Caroline Slagle

Majors: English, Political Science/International Development

  • Helped to expand the community involvement efforts of Women and Youth Supporting Each Other (WYSE) while serving as Executive Director during the 2020-2021 school year.
  • Organized a campus-wide food collection effort for the New Orleans Community Fridges at the end of the Fall 2020 semester.
  • Co-facilitated an open workshop on Restorative and Transformative Justice as a Community Engagement Advocate.

Layla Babahaji

Majors: Public Health, Spanish

  • Helped manage French service-learning courses as a Service-Learning Assistant
  • Helped provide English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and translation services to the New Orleans immigrant community as a Center for Public Service (CPS) Public Service Fellow
  • Research project: “The Current State of Migrant Health in Morocco: Pre- and Peri-COVID-19 Pandemic.”

Sylvia Dreyfus Memorial Award

Sylvia Dreyfus was a former student body president of Newcomb College. This award is given to a member of the senior class who has supported women’s concerns on campus through outstanding leadership, active committee membership, and creative innovation of programs or elective office.

LaKia Williams

Major: Neuroscience; Minor: Africana Studies

  • Started a podcast, “Black Feminist Rants,” that centers and uplifts Black and POC Reproductive Justice scholars and activists, with listeners in over 90 countries across all continents except for Antarctica.
  • Founded Big Easy EC, a mutual aid program that provides free sexual health supplies including: Plan B, condoms, and pregnancy tests to Tulane and Loyola students. Big Easy EC also gained institutional support from the Assistant Vice-President of Student Health and is now supported by the Campus Health Pharmacy.

Under the Oaks Award

This award honors a graduating senior who embodies the values of Newcomb Institute and has spent a significant portion of their collegiate career working for the advancement of women.

Emma Brick-Hezeau

Majors: Economics, Linguistics

  • Completed an interdisciplinary research project in Economics and Linguistics titled “Employing Natural Language Processing Methods to Detect Differences in Email Responses in an Audit Study”, which was presented at the Newcomb Scholars Symposium, Honors Thesis Forum, and the Collegiate Association for Inequality Research Conference.
  • Organized and moderated expert panels at the fall and spring 2020 Louisiana Student Voter Summits
  • Assisted with the outreach and application process for the first-ever NEW Leadership Louisiana, a political leadership program

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