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
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.
Amy George, Senior Professor of Practice, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Amy George is a first-generation college student and a double graduate of Tulane University, having earned her undergraduate degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies in 1995 and her PhD in Latin American Studies in 2004. She has been teaching in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese since 2006, returning to Tulane with the first group of Professors of Practice hired at the university immediately post-Katrina because of her passion and commitment to the redevelopment of the city of New Orleans and the university..
Professor George enjoys preparing undergraduate students to study abroad, helping students find their passion and guiding students on a path toward intellectual growth and development, including working with students on honors theses.
Monique M. Hodges, Associate Director of College Finance and Operations, Newcomb-Tulane College
Monique is the Assistant Director of the Teacher Preparation and Certification Program. She earned her Bachelor’s in Science from Louisiana State. Her background includes grant writing, program management, and serving as the TPCP school liaison. She has presented at national educational conferences and has planned and hosted several local conferences and workshops.
Monique works with several university departments and local schools in order to improve student learning and teacher achievement. She has successfully piloted a summer study abroad program and continues to work with Global Studies for future educational ventures.
Erica Valenzuela, Assistant Dean for Student Experience, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
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.