Heart of the Pack
Welcome to the Heart of the Pack, our online home-away-from-home where we hope every member of the Loyola community can find a connection to each other and to the campus that we love, no matter where they are.
2020 Magis Student Leadership Awards
This Tuesday, President Tetlow honored the 2020 Magis Student Leadership Award winners with a virtual ceremony. The Magis Award recognizes students who have made a meaningful impact at Loyola and who serve as an inspiration to their peers.
From more than 80 nominations, the following students were chosen as this year's winners:
Outstanding Sophomore Student Leader
Carrie Elizabeth Smith
Outstanding Junior Student Leader
Outstanding Student Program, Event, or Initiative
Wolf Pack for Life
Student Organization Officer of the Year
Student Organization of the Year
Student Employee of the Year
Fraternity Man of the Year
Sorority Woman of the Year
Fraternity or Sorority of the Year
Delta Gamma Fraternity
Mary Ann Reising Flynn Scholarship
St. Francis Xavier, S.J. Award for International and Global Perspective
Rev. Matteo Ricci, S.J. Diversity Award
Rev. Pedro Arrupe, S.J. Award for Social Justice
Alexander Christian Lucas
Outstanding Achievement in Service Learning
Dr. Alton F. Doody Spirit of Leadership Award
Rev. James Carter, S.J. Award for Outstanding Leadership
Jon Batiste performs his original composition “Loyola Class of 2020 Shake”
Bandleader and Musical Director for "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert", Jon Baptiste, gave the class of 2020 a special musical gift.
A Loyola student got a special hello on the Today Show
Yesterday morning, country music superstar Blake Shelton serenaded Loyola nursing student Sylvia Johnson and her mother Bridgette Robinson on the Today Show! Bridgette, a nurses' assistant, was recently released from the hospital after a month in her own fight against COVID-19.
Wanna sign my yearbook?
Resident Assistant Olaia O'Malley Gorbea '21 helped the residents of Carrollton's 5th floor put together this quarantine yearbook from their rooms away from res life!
A Drive-Through Party with Mary Audiffred, J.D.
Even in these weird and confusing times, we’re still reaching milestones in our lives. For some, it may be a birthday, and for others like Loyola Law student Mary Audiffred, it is finally getting the chance to put J.D. at the end of her name. Mary went back to school at the age of 40, and even though her family won’t be able to see her cross the stage at commencement (yet!), that didn’t stop them from celebrating her new milestone. Check out this heartwarming story from WDSU about Mary, her journey through law school, and the special surprise her parents orchestrated to celebrate her graduation!
One of Mary's professors wanted to add a personal note about her accomplishment:
Mary Audiffred is a breath of fresh air. From the time I met Mary in an evening class, it was evident that she was driven, focused, and downright delightful. Mary worked full-time at the Saenger Theater throughout her law school career, and the commitment she made to reach her goal is impressive. In the face of the pandemic, the Hard Rock collapse, and her rigorous case load, Mary still managed to serve the Advocacy Center as the Chair of the ADR Society. She received her family law mediation certificate, supported our competition teams, and was always available to lend a hand. Mary’s desire to help others and her problem solving skills place her on a path of success. Congratulations Mary!
Monica Hof Wallace
Dean Marcel Garsaud Jr. Distinguished Professor
Executive Director, Law Advocacy Center
Wolf Pack Athletics' 2020 Scholar Athletes
This week, Wolf Pack Athletics used its social media channels to honor the 2020 Scholar Athletes: 11 Gold Scholar Athletes who earned a GPA of 4.0, 85 Silver Scholar Athletes with a GPA from 3.5 to 3.9, and 70 Bronze Scholar Athletes with a GPA from 3.0 to 3.4. You can see the full roster of individual and team Scholar Athletes on Wolf Pack Athletics' Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Blue Angels over New Orleans
University photographer Kyle Encar caught these photos yesterday from the seventh floor of West Road garage as the Navy Blue Angels flew over Loyola's campus en route from Dallas to downtown New Orleans. The flyover was part of the U.S. military's "Operation America Strong" and a salute to frontline healthcare workers.
COVID Can't Beat Bateman (or the Leal Family)
PRSSA Headquarters received 57 entries for the PRSSA 2020 Bateman Case Study Competition. Of these submissions, 14 entries received honorable mention and three were chosen as finalists to present their campaigns to a panel of judges on May 15.
The 2020 Loyola Bateman Team
Left to right: Anderson Leal, Anneliese González, Fiorella Velez, and Morgan Badurak
The Bateman team created the Count Where Y'at campaign to work in conjunction with official Census Bureau communications with the goal of educating members of the Loyola campus community and other hard-to-count groups on why being counted in the 2020 Census is important, and on how to participate in the official Census tally.
Not only did the team score honorable mention among some of the toughest Bateman teams in the country, but PRSSA faculty adviser Cathy Rogers wanted to give special recognition to Anderson's contributions despite having the COVID crisis hit his family in the midst of final preparations for the competition:
Shout out to junior Anderson Leal, public relations major, for his teamwork to complete the 2020 PRSSA Bateman entry for the U.S. Census. He and his team members, Morgan Badurak, Anneliese González and Fiorella Velez, had to complete their campaign after campus closed and then work virtually for several weeks to create the 58-page entry.
Anderson showed especially awesome devotion to the project because he was responsible for caring for his parents who both were sick and for the frightening circumstances of admitting his father to the hospital after he tested positive with COVID-19. His virtual teamwork continued from hospital halls, grounds, the emergency room, and while going back and forth from hospital to home to make sure his mom and brother had everything they needed and stayed healthy.
Attached (below) is a pic he texted to me on the glorious day his dad was discharged from the hospital.
Cathy Rogers, Ph.D., APR
Shawn M. Donnelley Professor for Nonprofit Communications
Faculty Adviser, PRSSA, Loyola University New Orleans Chapter
And a follow up to the story: Anderson says that since his dad's release, his parents have been retested for COVID and have both tested negative!
Congratulations, Bateman Team! And all the best to the Leal family for continued good health!
The Maroon Makes its Mark
Last week, The Maroon took home several first place awards from the Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press Broadcasters and Media Editors competition and a few Mark of Excellence Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists!
Wolf Pack jams for a Jazz Fest Friday!
Not only is today Friday, but it would have been this year's first Jazz Fest Friday. Since we can't boogie at the Fair Grounds tonight, let's jam along to some tunes created by members of the Wolf Pack instead!
Meanwhile, the folks in the School of Music Industry are having a Cover Off! It's down to three students — Elena Izquierdo, Sean Hobbes, and Noa Jamir. This week's challenge song was Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely."
Music senior Jenna Hunts recorded this piece just for fun, and to remind everyone to hang in there for just a few more weeks. You can hear more from Jenna — including a Joe Exotic cover performed while dressed as Joe Exotic — on her facebook page.
Watch them work!
Brown widow spiders. Turtles. Water Management. Local mudcrab Rhithropanopeus. Our Environment Program seniors have been studying these and other topics related to the environment for their four years at Loyola. Today, you can watch their research presentations online during their Senior Capstone Celebration!
Reflections on Creation with Thomas Berry
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the Loyola Institute for Ministry has developed a creation-centered reflection on the origins and existence of our universe based on the teachings of the late Thomas Berry, a Catholic priest of the Passionist order, cultural historian, “eco-theologian," and friend of Loyola.
Students, this one goes out to you! We’re showcasing just a few of the ways the Wolf Pack has kept on rolling through the last month and into the end of the semester. We couldn't be more proud of everything you've done and all that you continue to do.
We begin today with a shoutout to sophomore Madyson Ferez! Madyson's professor, Jamileh Beik Mohammadi, was so moved by Madyson's upbeat spirit that she felt like she had to share the love:
"While the transition to online teaching has been challenging, I am amazed by the great progress that some of my students made since we started online teaching. Madyson has done exceptionally well adapting to the new situation and keeping spirits up. Last week we had an exam in class and her wonderful performance brought a wide smile to my face and I believe she should be recognized for staying awesome!"
– Jamileh Beik Mohammadi
In Madyson's own words:
"I wouldn’t have ever thought I would be in the middle of something like this. No doubt, it has been hard to be motivated to study or do work, but I feel blessed to have a family that reassures me and friends to call and do study sessions with. And on the bright side, I get to snuggle with my dog while I do my work!"
– Madyson Ferez, Class of 2022
Stay awesome, Madyson! Keep on doing what you do!
Do you have a student or classmate who really shines? Tell the rest of the Wolf Pack how great they are!
Messages from Faculty
Check out this five-minute message from the College of Law faculty to their students, created to encourage them through the online transition and to express how proud they are of their hard work and how much they miss having them in their classrooms.
And the College of Nursing and Health recorded a video for their students and alumni about these times, about taking care of themselves and those dear to them, and about how these experiences relate to the CNH motto of serving the whole person: mind, body, and spirit.
Loyola Gives 19 Thanks
Yesterday evening was a cloudy and windy one in New Orleans, but at 7 p.m. (1900 hours), the bells of Holy Name rang out through the gloom for nine minutes in a show of gratitude for our healthcare workers. The display was part of Louisiana's 19Thanks program, an appreciation for those working on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19.
Wolf Pack Gratitude
Did you know that giving thanks is actually good for your health? Multiple studies have shown a link between practicing gratitude and increased happiness, stronger relationships, and a greater ability to manage stressful or challenging times. We couldn’t think of a better time to say thanks to you, Wolf Pack! You’ve been busy spreading gratitude in creative and powerful ways. Take a look!
This week, the Loyola Women's Basketball team took to the team Facebook account to express their appreciation.
"The Loyola New Orleans women's basketball team wants to thank those essential workers closest to us, who are making a difference in so many lives each day!! Thank you!!! #WolfPackNation"
When Loyola alumna Kelsey Brehm '17 heard there weren't enough masks for healthcare workers in area hospitals, she put her sewing skills to work. She has already made more than 300 cloth masks for medical professionals and other essential workers in the community, and she's making more as fast as the donations are coming in!
Just before Easter break, Loyola senior Baasel Syed coordinated with Loyola, UNO, Xavier, and Tulane to donate unused protective lab equipment to local medical providers in need of supplies. Above, Dr. C.J. Stephenson and Dr. Elin Grissom collect equipment from campus. In all, Loyola contributed 30,000 lab-quality latex gloves, 300 disposable gowns, 500 face masks, 300 sets of shoe covers, and three face shields to the fight against COVID-19.
And Madeline Janney, President of the Young Alumni Pack, sent us a note from her job at West Jefferson Medical Center:
"Someone made me a Loyola mask and I’m excited to rep the Wolf Pack in these crazy times working at the hospital. Thought y’all would appreciate it! I’ve already bonded over it with some of my patients who are also Loyola alums!"
Welcome back, Wolf Pack!
We hope you had a restful spring break! To help you get into the Loyola swing of things again, here's the Loyola SGA cabinet members' take on the #DontRushChallenge on TikTok, part of the SGA's weekly entertainment! (Scroll down for the full schedule.)
Wolf Pack, we made it to Easter Break! We hope that you’re closing the laptops, logging out of emails, and taking some well-deserved time to relax, as best as you can. And we wish you and your family a healthy and happy Easter.
As we head into the Easter Triduum — a time meant for quiet prayer, reflection, and moments to pause — we would like to share these beautiful reflections, written by Loyola students, on the 14 Stations of the Cross, and invite you to participate in your own stations at home.
A Holy Week Message from Fr. Daffron
Tonight at sundown our Jewish brothers and sisters initiate the sacred time of Passover, and our Christian community continues to journey through Holy Week. During the traditional Jewish Seder dinner, which retells the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt, the question is posed: Why is this night different from all other nights?
These nights of Passover and Holy Week will clearly be different from other holy days when we have freely gathered with family and friends to share in the sacred rituals which ground our faith lives. This year we are being invited to let go and enter into deeper creativity, simplicity, generosity, and solidarity as a global community in crisis. Hopefully, our letting go and adapting traditional rituals will open space for the possibility of finding new pathways to encounter God’s presence in our midst.
As we journey through these holy days, please know you and your loved ones are most welcome to join one of the many virtual services being offered by Loyola (see the schedule below) or our neighboring synagogues, Temple Sinai
and Touro Synagogue.
Friends, my prayer this Holy Week is that you and your family enjoy good health and are strengthened through faith, hope, and love. And, if you have any special prayer intentions at this time, please send them to me and they will be included in the prayers at our Easter Vigil.
Peace and Blessings,
Justin Daffron, SJ
It's Holy Week, Wolf Pack!
What has always been a time of community, prayer, and reflection is now a time of self-isolation, staying home, and live-streams of the Holy Triduum Masses (schedule below). But what doesn’t change is our unwavering faith and the goodness we show to each other as members of the Wolf Pack. And speaking of goodness, here’s a message from SGA president Jessamyn Reichmann Young!
"Happy Monday Wolf Pack! I hope everyone's hanging in there and taking care of themselves as we get through these last four weeks. I know this isn't how we imagined ending the academic year, but we've persevered and we're almost there. I've been spending time between Zoom sessions calling family and friends, wrapping up initiatives in the Student Government Association, and reading a new book 'The Water Dancer' by Ta-Nehisi Coates, but I can't wait until I get to walk through Loyola's campus one final time. Keep on doing what you do, Wolf Pack. We've got this."
Jaisa Jessamyn Reichmann Young
Loyola University New Orleans '20
President, Student Government Association
Friday Brain Break with CMM
We made it to Friday, Wolf Pack!
Today, we’re having some fun with two videos from folks from the College of Music and Media. (And if you'd like to see more, check out some of the student work featured on the School of Music Industry's YouTube channel.)
First, here's a quick mix by Antoine Barriere, a 2018 Music Industry - Business grad, who devoted his Mix it Monday series this week to creating a soundtrack encouraging us to keep the social distancing efforts alive.
And here’s professor Billy O’Connell with a riveting theatrical reading of “Alone” from the classic children’s book series, “Frog and Toad.”
What have you been creating in quarantine? Share your story with Heart of the Pack!
Notes from Home
St. Joseph’s Day is a treasured Catholic tradition, especially in New Orleans. Every year since the 1800s, families and churches around the city have gathered on March 19 to build beautiful and intentional altars to honor St. Joseph, who helped Sicilians during a famine in the Middle Ages. These altars are filled with treats, cookies, fruits, and flowers, and the public is welcome to come and enjoy the feast!
Since churches were not able to host altars this year, some in the community honored the tradition by creating their own at home. Tori Luwisch-deLaureal, Director of Law Records in the College of Law, built an at-home St. Joseph’s altar to enjoy with her family while practicing social distancing.
“I took a break from working to create a St. Joseph altar at my house. Though you'd never know it from the last name, my family is Sicilian-American. Observing St. Joseph's Day is integral to our identity as a community, so I couldn't let anything stop this special day of remembrance and gratitude. My sister and sister-in-law also assembled altars, and we all shared our work over FaceTime. This activity brought us such comfort in an unstable time. I was avoiding a trip to the grocery store, so I made the breads from canned pizza dough. :)”
Director of Law Records
How are you and your family getting creative in observing spring holiday traditions? Share your celebrations with Heart of the Pack!
Wolf Pack Reflections
"I'm a senior at Loyola this year and it has definitely been difficult for me to come to the realization that March 11 was my last day ever coming to campus as a student. I transferred to Loyola in the fall of 2017 and it was the best decision I ever made for myself. I instantly felt that this was the place I was meant to go to school. I want to thank my professors for making me feel welcome and for preparing me to feel confident in the art that I make. They really helped me to realize I was pursuing the degree that was right for me. Thank you, Loyola!"
Gillian Zweifler '20