Alumni careers focus of new Tulane SoPA portrait series

A fire chief, a college basketball coach and a graphic designer are all featured in the new “At Work” portrait series curated by the Tulane School of Professional Advancement (Tulane SoPA).

A digital exhibit through Howard-Tilton Memorial Library accompanies the permanent installation, which includes 11 portraits printed on 24’’x 36’’ HD metal. The photos hang in suites 203 and 204 in Richardson Building #5 on the Uptown campus.

“We are proud of the work that our alumni do outside of the classroom, and this is a great way to showcase their accomplishments.”

— Dean Suri Duitch


Tulane SoPA Dean Suri Duitch conceived the idea as part of an ongoing effort to make SoPA’s offices and student communal spaces a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. The digital and onsite exhibits opened to the public on April 22, with a reception honoring participating alumni and their families.

“We are proud of the work that our alumni do outside of the classroom, and this is a great way to showcase their accomplishments,” said Duitch. “I hope that current and prospective students will look at these images and feel a sense of motivation and encouragement while other alumni will look at the images and feel honored to be part of such an outstanding group of alumni.”

Alumnus Vegas Curry paused and uttered a quiet “wow” upon seeing his portrait displayed just beyond the glass doors of SoPA’s administrative suite. Curry and his parents stood in silence as they took in their first looks of the image, which features Curry, an IT Support Specialist, seated beside an American flag in a dimly lit room of the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.

“This is really something,” said Curry, who earned a Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security Studies in 2015 and serves on SoPA’s alumni advisory board. “I am so thankful for all that I learned at SoPA, and this is yet another thing I get to add to my experiences.”

Jane Wolfe, owner of Melba’s Poboys in New Orleans, attended the event with an entourage in tow. Her parents, children and grandchildren were all present to help celebrate the occasion.

“Seeing myself in this portrait, sitting in Melba’s with books in front of me reminds me of how far I’ve come as a woman in business,” said Wolfe, who began her education at Tulane SoPA and finished her degree in the Tulane School of Liberal Arts.  “I hope that it says to other women, ‘never give up, keep moving, be patient’ — success will come.”

Alumni in the “At Work” series were photographed by Jacob Cochran of Jacob Claude Photography and Video.