College Track

College Track BTS Celebration

Laurene Powell Jobs and Carlos Watson established the College Track Program in 1997 to recruit and mentor students in underserved communities from their freshman year of high school through college and beyond. The organization partners with twenty-one colleges and universities across the country, assigning mentors to assist College Track Scholars by beings their source of academic support and leadership to ensure college readiness.  

Tulane became a College Track partner in 2014. College Track students on Tulane’s campus hail from New Orleans and California

College Track Mentors

Alessandra Bazzano, Associate Professor, Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences

College Track Cohort 2025

Beginning in Fall 2021, Alessandra Bazzano will serve as the mentor to the College Track Class of 2025 students. She studies behavior and health over the life course, focusing on maternal, newborn, and child health & nutrition in low income populations, with an emphasis on context, culture, equity, and human connection. Through a concurrent appointment at the Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking, their scholarship explores human centered design approaches to health research.

Dr. Bazzano's expertise, gained through two decades of work in international and domestic public health, includes developing and evaluating complex health interventions, design thinking, applied anthropology, qualitative methods, and formative research.

Monique M. Hodges, Associate Director of College Finance and Operations, Newcomb-Tulane College

College Track Cohort 2026

Monique Hodges New

Monique M. Hodges is the Assistant Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, (NTC), where she provides overarching support to the college in the areas of finance, budget management and operations. She also serves as the dean’s liaison on NTC faculty committees and supports the university-wide Academic Integrity function. She earned her Bachelor's degree from Louisiana State University and a Masters in Liberal Arts from Tulane University, with a curriculum focused on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Monique is connected to faculty, staff, and students daily to provide advanced support, touching on multiple facets of the Dean’s office and to the university. She was elected to Tulane’s Staff Advisory Council (SAC), is a founding member of NTC’s Racial Equity Racial Equity and Cultural Competence Committee, a College Track mentor, TIDES Instructor and a cohort member of Tulane’s Emerging Leadership Institute.

Monique has presented at national educational conferences and has planned and hosted several local conferences and workshops. She believes that, “Leading with a lens that is focused on equity, diversity and inclusion strengthens our community for empowerment and improves our social systems and community.”

Monique is married and has two little boys, loves traveling, writing and is passionate about EDI initiatives. She has been a staff member for Tulane University since 2009.

Erica Valenzuela, Assistant Dean for Student Experience, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

College Track Cohort 2027

Erica Valenzuela headshot

Dr. Erica Valenzuela will serve as the mentor to the College Track Class of 2027 scholars. She is the Assistant Dean for Student Experience at Tulane University, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She joined Tulane University, SPHTM in September 2020. She holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration from the University of South Dakota. Her research focuses on Social Justice and Retention of Marginalized Students in Predominately White Education Systems. She has a Master of Arts Degree in Organizational Leadership from Rider University and received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology with a minor in Women's Studies from Ramapo College of New Jersey. She has been educating students, faculty, staff, and community members on these topics for over 15 years. She is profoundly passionate about ensuring access, resources, and inclusive spaces for all in Higher Education.

Rob Carter, Director of Finance & Budgets, School of Liberal Arts

College Track Cohort 2028

Rob Carter Headshot

Rob Carter will serve as the mentor to the College Track Class of 2028 Scholars. Robert Carter is the Director of Finance & Budgets for the School of Liberal Arts, where he works directly with the Chief Business Officer and senior leadership to execute the financial aspect of the school’s strategic vision. He also provides financial support and training for staff, serving as a conduit between the school and other university departments for financial concerns. Robert is a double graduate of Tulane, having earned undergraduate degrees in Finance and Psychology in 2006, and his MBA from the A.B. Freeman School of Business in 2009. Robert has over 10 years of experience leading finance and operations teams in New Orleans charter schools. Robert’s passion is ensuring students not only have the opportunity, but also the tools to achieve their goals.

Cathy Marques, Associate Director of Academic Affairs, Newcomb-Tulane College

College Track Cohort 2028

Cathy Marques Headshot

Cathy Marques serves as the Associate Director of Academic Affairs at Newcomb-Tulane College
(NTC). Born in Portugal and raised in New Jersey, Cathy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political
Science and Spanish from Davidson College and a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration
from Vanderbilt University. Cathy has worked in various roles and functional areas within higher
education with a focus on promoting student success including residence life, college access, orientation,
and diversity and inclusion initiatives. A proud first-generation college graduate, Cathy is passionate
about creating inclusive environments in higher education that support and empower all students
through college.