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Page 59 text:
Dr. Melvyn Levy Dr. John Jacobus: Chairman Dr. Wilham Alworth Dr. Charles Fritchie Jr. Dr. Gary McPherson Dr. Harry Ensley Dr. Joel T. Mague Dr. Marcetta Darensbourg Dr. Larry Byers Dr. Roy Auerbach Dr. Donald J. Darensbourg Not Pictured: Dr. Jan Hamer Dr. Hans B. Jonassen Dr. Joseph M. Nugent Chemistry Dr. John Jacobus: Organic Chemist Dr. John Jacobus is the lively chairman of the Chemistry Department, and is well-hked by everyone that knows him. The secretaries of the Chemistry Depart- ment are no less than complimentary when speaking of him; his students give only excellent evaluations for his courses. How does one man who has been on campus only IVz years manage to consistently draw the largest section of organic chemistry with increasing enroll- ment each semester? Without batting an eyelid he replies, " It is required for Medical School admissions. " Despite his witty humor, he is a taxing instructor. His lectures cover a great deal of material and the tests coverall of it. He is very concise and descriptive in relating information. Dr. Jacobus received his Fi.S. degree at S.W. Memphis. He earned a Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee and did posl- doctorate work at f rinccton and then Clemson. Heforc coming to lulane he- had worked with the governmcni in v;i- rious capacities. He served as an expert witness for chemical spills, and was em- ployed by the Air Force to test the poten- tial application of polymers as filtering agents for chemical warfare. In the summer of 1978, Dr. Jacobus was offered a position at Tulane. He accepted the offer because he liked the reputation of the University and wanted the chance to work with a high-caliber student body. In discussing the students here. Dr. Jacobus points out that " the students are highly qualified but are often lazy. " He recognizes the fact that a good number of students are grade motivated — especially those in pre-professional curricula. He suggests a good method for altering this attitude; " Drop organic che- mistry as a requirement for medical school. " Seriously, he feels that it is the concept underlying organic chemistry that is important, the fact that it is logical and builds upon itself. " Organic chemis- try is not static; there is always something new. Furthermore, it tests not only the person ' s knowledge of chemistry, it tests his competence. " Dr. Jacobus loves teaching. He finds it exciting when it all falls into place for the student. This, he says, is enough stimula- tion for him to continue teaching. Con- sidering whether professional schools turn out competent students. Dr. Jacobus replies, " These people are competent in the fact that they know what they are supposed to know. Competence, howev- er, has to be measured in application — and for the most part competent people are going into the professions. " Dr. Jacobus commented on his popu- larity with Tulane students: " One can be popular and well liked for the wrong reasons, " he said. Dr. Jacobus believes in equality and likes to give the student a fair chance. However, it is up to the stu- dent whether he excels or fails to reach his potential; the instructor can only give encouragement when it is called for. In closing he remarked, " I have learned different ways of explaining the same thing. This helps more people under- stand. I like to shoot for 90%. " It seems that Dr. Jacobus may be under- estimating himself. 55
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Biology Upon entering the fourth floor Biolo- gy laboratory in Percival Stern, one en- counters a long-haired guinea pig, an empty six pack of Beck ' s beer, and nationally reknowned biologist. Dr. Robert Tompkins who is currently testing the eyesight of African clawed frogs. Dr. Tompkin ' s long term research project has finally culminated with positive results. Tompkins had been attempting to deter- mine whether a tadpole can see through an eye transplant from another tadpole. The final testing began " Sunday morning about five o ' clock a.m. We ' d been up all night getting the stuff together. " After learning about the positive results of the first frog. Dr. Tompkin ' s excitement turned into elation. " We went and had a beer. We were very, very happy. It means that a whole block of other things are now possible that have never been possible before. That is one of the great excitements of keeping after your scien- tific research. " Dr. Tompkin ' s research will allow the study of how external conditions affect growth in the brains of normal and abnor- mal animals. Dr. Tompkins has produced a strain of frogs whose cells have twice the normal number of chromosomes. Not Pictured: E. Peter Volpe David White Merle Mizell R.D. Suttkus Leonard Thein Gerald Guntiing John Barber David Fredrickson Harold Dundee Robert Tompkins Milton Fingerman: Chairman Richard Lumsden Erik EUgard Stuart Banforth Joan Bennet Arthur Walden Steven Darwin Claudia de Gniy Alfred Smalley Andrew Hamilton Dr. Robert Tompkins: Teaching Research Technique to Students These are called tetraploid frogs and their cells are used as markers in order to trace the development of cells in a growing animal. " We hope to define, much more exactly than is possible now, what the normal situation is, where the cells come from, how they participate in nor- mal development, how they are used and what can go wrong with them through a cell marker system. " Dr. Tompkins is assisted in his re- search by graduating seniors who are cur- rently working on their Honors Theses, as well as by many junior and sophomore students, who also work with various animals in the labs. According to Dr. Tompkins, assisting in research " intro- duces the students to what research is all about: how things are found out, how to decide if something is interesting and how to decide if you can do it. If the students develop an appreciation of research and get their hands into the actual research, it can be a great learning experience. This is the new emphasis of the honors and scho- lars program. " The students who have worked with Dr. Tompkins have great admiration and respect for him. In addition to spending time on his research, Tompkins takes an interest in his students. " We have a good time together. Although I ' m getting too old to party too much with the students, we ' ve managed to do a good bit. " 54
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Classics Alan Shapiro Sanford Ethridge Joe Pee: Chairman Jim Buchanan Not Pictured: Rabbi David Goldstein Rabbi Hillel Fine Dr. Joe Foe: Encouraging Ancient History Dr. Joe Poe, head of the Classics De- partment at Tulane University, has an interesting background. Upon graduation from Columbia College Men ' s School, Dr. Poe got his Masters Degree at Cornell and then returned to Columbia to receive his Ph.D. When asked what brought him to Tulane, Dr. Poe replied in the same manner as many Tulane students, " The warm weather made Tulane attractive. " Dr. Poe also likes the small college atmosphere that Tulane offers. Dr. Poe teaches Latin courses as well as several Roman History courses. Poe describes himself as a Latinist rather than a Hellenist, although he finds Greek dra- ma very interesting. While still a graduate student. Dr. Poe wrote " Translation of Livy " which deals with early Roman history. He has since written several articles, including " The Septimonium " and an article about the Roman Tragedian Seneca who had an in- fluence on Renaissance and Elizabethan tragedy. Dr. Poe is currently working on a monograph on two plays of Sophocles. In addition to writing about Greece and Rome, Dr. Poe has traveled to these his- toric places, and has taught at the Amer- ican Academy in Rome. He is primarily interested in Roman history; however, he is also fascinated by topography — the study of actual locations of ancient build- ings and monuments. Many of Tulane ' s Classics majors spend their junior years abroad at the University of London or at St. Andrews in Scotland because of their fine Classics programs. Dr. Poe would also like to see more Tulane students go to Greece and Rome. He is presently urging Tulane to become involved with The Intercollegiate Center in Rome. The Center offers a one semester program and is run by a consortium consisting mostly of Ivy League Schools. Having studied and taught Classics, Dr. Poe has discovered an interesting phenomenon which he believes is nation- wide. The ratio of males to females in his classes is an estimated 4 to 1 . He is aware that there are sex roles and stereo-types in our educational system such as the myth that girls tend to shy away from math and science and that boys stay away from languages. Poe says that he knows of no practical explanation for this and hopes to see more Newcomb students in his classes. 56
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