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Paula Booke

Paula Nicole Booke is the Director of the Center for Academic Equity and the Director of the Newcomb-Tulane Summer Experience at Tulane University. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago in 2009. Dr. Booke’s research traverses the politics of racial and religious identity in American life, pedagogy, and the impact of equity and inclusion practices on the undergraduate student experience.

Dr. Booke’s current research explores the role of institutional identity affirmation in undergraduate student academic outlook and achievement. Her forthcoming paper “People, Place, and Pedagogy: The Impact of Colleges on Student Identity and Success” addresses the role of institutional infrastructure, personnel, and curriculum in affirming multiple on singular identities within a campus community.


Tomika Smith

Tomika D. Smith is the Associate Director of the Center for Academic Equity and the Director of the Newcomb-Tulane Summer Experience. All the way from the Bluegrass state, Tomika is a proud Cardinal and Hilltopper. Receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Corporate & Organizational Communications & Non-Profit Administration  certification from Western Kentucky University in 2010 and her Master of Education from the University of Louisville in 2017. Tomika is a dedicated higher education professional who specializes in event design and coordination, leadership development and training, risk management, assessment, program management, & strategic marketing.

Tomika is a huge social butterfly who enjoys hosting the occasional mixer at her home. Some of her favorite pastimes are traveling and binging new television shows. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Tomika claims to be a “diva in the outdoors.” She enjoys participating in 5Ks, hiking, fishing or taking long walks with her miniature poodle, Jaxson. She is overly competitive in sports. She participates in several competitive flag football leagues in her spare time and is loyal and devoted Dallas Cowboy and Boston Celtics fan!


 Gabriel Ruben Rodriguez is a Kenner native and  the Program Coordinator at the Center for Academic Equity. He is a Tulane University graduate and a Posse alumnus with a B.S. in Psychology and Italian, as well as a recipient of the 2017-2018 Fulbright  Italy English Teaching Assistantship Grant.




Paula Allen

Paula Allen received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Southern Illinois University in 1990. With seventeen years of program administration experience, she developed nationally prominent cultural and educational programs. Her experience includes teaching at the university and middle school levels. Ms. Allen served, for twelve-years, as local site director for the Breakthrough Collaborative (formerly based in San Francisco, California). The organization's success in the field of education was cited in a longitudinal study by Stanford University and the American Institutes for Research.

Most recently, Paula Allen served as (part time) Visual Arts Curator at the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University. Her recent publications include articles on John T. Scott for Harvard University and Oxford University Press' African American National Biography project (2014) and Derrick Beard (2019) for the International Review of African American Art.