Xavier awarded NIH grant, and other New Orleans higher education news

Photo provided by Louisiana Community and Technical College System Board of Supervisors -- Joan Yvette Davis was selected Wednesday as the new chancellor of Delgado Community College. She is interim president of Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Photo provided by Louisiana Community and Technical College System Board of Supervisors -- Joan Yvette Davis was selected Wednesday as the new chancellor of Delgado Community College. She is interim president of Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Xavier University has been awarded a five-year, $11.2 million grant aimed at helping research centers at minority institutions expand their capabilities.

The grant, which comes from the National Institutes of Health, is a renewal of an award the university received in 2009.

According to Xavier, the money will help the school upgrade its biomedical research capacities, especially in the area of cancer and health disparities. The school said the funds also will assist it in enhancing the scope of both internal and external collaborations.

“This award not only portends the continued enhancement of Xavier’s research capacity for the future, but also acknowledges the great work and success of faculty who have, over the last five years, been supported by and worked on Research Centers in Minority Institutions projects,” said Gene D’Amour, senior vice president for resource development.

GE Capital hires two apprentices from UNO

GE Capital’s New Orleans Technology Center has hired two of the 14 apprentices of the Software Apprenticeship Program it launched in January with the University of New Orleans. The other 12 students are still enrolled at UNO and will continue with the program during the summer.

The company is investing $1 million annually in the program, which is a paid internship opportunity that provides students with intensive training programs.

Mike De Boer, chief information officer of GE Capital Technology Center New Orleans, said the company has hired 14 apprentices so far and has a goal of hiring 300 engineers in New Orleans.

As part of the program, students earn up to three credits for work on projects related to design, integration, quality testing, code hardening, secure development and mobile development.

According to GE, a French Quarter Festival 2015 Android application will be developed by its apprentices.

Delgado chancellor to take office July 6

Delgado Community College’s new chancellor, Joan Davis, will begin her duties July 6.

The Alabama educator was selected for the Delgado position on May 14 by the Louisiana Community and Technical College System’s board of supervisors.

Davis has been interim president of Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and chief executive officer of the Alabama Technology Network, where she provided workforce development training and assistance. She also previously served as general counsel and vice chancellor for legal and human resources at the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education.

At Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Davis served as assistant vice president for fiscal affairs, where she supervised the human resources division and provided legal counsel and advice. During more than 20 years of legal practice, she has engaged in private practice as well as governmental and higher-education law in Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

Tulane awarded five-year obesity grant

Tulane University’s Prevention Research Center has been awarded a $4.3 million, five-year grant by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to fight obesity and support healthier local communities.

The grant will fund research, advocacy and community engagement in order to identify and address challenges Louisiana residents face to being physically active and healthy.

This is the fourth five-year CDC grant the PRC has received since it was founded in 1998 to explore how physical and social environments affect obesity and public health in Louisiana.

“Overweight and obesity continue to have significant health consequences for New Orleans,” said Carolyn Johnson, the PRC’s director and Usdin family professor in community health sciences at Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.