Dear friends of Sci High,
I am pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Monique G. Cola, Ph.D. as the next Head of the New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics High School (Sci High). The search and selection process, which began last winter, engaged multiple stakeholders including school administrators, staff, teachers, students, parents, the Foundation for Science and Math Education, Inc. and Sci High’s governing board, Advocates for Science & Mathematics Education Inc. (the Advocates).The selection was made by unanimous vote of Advocates board members on Thursday, April 26, 2018.
Out of a strong pool of highly qualified candidates, Dr. Cola stood out from the start. A native of New Orleans, Dr. Cola has demonstrated both a passion for science and a deep commitment to helping students succeed. As a self-described scientist-educator, she has over twenty years experience conducting scientific research and more than ten years of experience teaching; implementing and developing courses, programs, and workshops designed to increase student learning; improving student retention in post-secondary education; developing the instructional skill of teachers; and ensuring equitable access to resources for high school and college students. An early supporter of Sci High, her passion for Career Technical Education and STEM-focused educational pursuits is unmatched.
A graduate of Joseph S. Clark High School, Dr. Cola earned her B.A. in Biology and Chemistry from Pitzer College in Claremont, California, before returning home to Louisiana where she earned a M.S. degree in Pathology from Louisiana State University and Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Tulane University.
In her current position as Assistant to the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs/Executive Dean at Delgado Community College, in addition to serving as the administrative leader in the Vice Chancellor’s absence, she designed programs to improve student retention and led initiatives to increase the number of high school students participating in Dual Enrollment courses at Delgado.While Director of the Biology Resource Center at Xavier University, Dr. Cola developed and implemented programs to increase the academic success of both college and high school students studying biology. She also served as the first African American faculty member in Tulane University’s Neuroscience Program, where she taught the Neuroanatomy Laboratory for the Neuroscience Graduate Program and the “Brain and Behavior” course. As a cognitive neuroscientist, Dr.Cola has done clinical research using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to measure regions of the brain in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), stroke, and healthy controls to better understand how dysfunctions in the brain occur.
In her work with NAPE (National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity), Dr. Colaserved as an Equity Instructor promoting student self-efficacy by providing professional development for faculty and administrators related to increasing student access and creating equitable learning environments, especially in Career and Technical Education (CTE) and STEM related careers. Her demonstrated commitment to active outreach and helping students reach academic and career goals has been unwavering and is consistent with the mission and vision of Sci High to provide a comprehensive education with deep emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math that prepares students for success in college, careers and life.
In joining the Sci High team, Dr. Cola brings her commitment to young people and STEM education full circle – back to where her own journey in the sciences began! I am confident that we have selected the leader to build on our strong foundation and shepherd Sci High in its next exciting chapter.
Mary Zervigon, Board Chair
Advocates for Science & Mathematics Education Inc.