Upper Iowa University cut the ribbon to officially reopen its UIU-New Orleans education center at Jackson Barracks on Friday, May 18. UIU has been offering classes to both military and civilians in New Orleans since 1999, but the center was closed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and UIU has only recently been able to move back into the renovated and expanded center at the Barracks. UIU classes have continued at a variety of temporary locations. At the center of the photo are UIU President Alan G. Walker and Brigadier General Owen W. Monconduit, Commander, 225th Engineer Brigade, Louisiana National Guard, which is headquartered at the Barracks.
FAYETTE, Iowa (May 18, 2012) – Upper Iowa University made it official on Friday, May 18, and officially cut the ribbon to re-open its New Orleans education center at Jackson Barracks. UIU was forced to close its center location at the Barracks in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.
Participating in the UIU grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremonies were Dr. Alan G. Walker, President, Upper Iowa University; Brigadier General Owen W. Monconduit, Commander, 225th Engineer Brigade, Louisiana National Guard; and Becky Maillet, Dean of Student Affairs, Nunez Community College, a key education partner with UIU. Also speaking was Sgt. Albert Miller, a 2008 graduate of UIU, who was taking classes in 2005 and continued with UIU throughout the turmoil.
The Iowa-based University has operated an education center for military personnel and civilians at Jackson Barracks since 1999. Hurricane Katrina and the flooding that followed devastated Jackson Barracks, which is located in Orleans Parish, one of the hardest hit areas of New Orleans. In the months that followed, UIU continued operations with temporary offices in residences, a FEMA trailer, and hotel lobbies. Temporary classroom space was found in a school classroom occupied by a SWAT team, a police station roll call room, the U.S. Coast Guard at Michoud, and at the Navy Reserve installation in New Orleans. To serve students who had been relocated from Jackson Barracks to Alexandria, UIU also opened an education center in Alexandria in 2006.
Walker noted that Col. Timothy Chastain, Jackson Barracks Post Commander, was especially key to keeping UIU operational at the Barracks. When the majority of the Barracks had been rebuilt and occupied in 2009, Colonel Chastain was able to find office space and borrow some classroom space for UIU until the renovated and expanded center opened.
"We are delighted to be back to full operations in New Orleans. We appreciate the loyalty of our students and faculty who have continued with us and the partnership of the Louisiana National Guard in helping us to return," Walker said. "The commitment of UIU students in New Orleans to completing their degree – despite all odds – serves as an inspiration to all of us. We applaud you."
UIU will continue to operate the Alexandria location, and UIU will open another center in Baton Rouge in summer 2012. UIU also has a Louisiana center at Fort Polk/DeRidder.
The UIU-Jackson Barracks Center is located at 6400 St. Claude Ave., New Orleans, serving members of the National Guard, active military and civilians. UIU employee Vicki Melton has returned as center director. The UIU New Orleans Center offers undergraduate degrees in criminal justice, human services, psychology, social science, business administration, emergency disaster management, management information systems, and public administration, as well as public administration with a fire science or law enforcement emphasis,. An associate degree is also available.
For more information about Upper Iowa University, go to www.uiu.edu.
About Upper Iowa University
Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs and leadership development opportunities to over 6,800 students—nationally and internationally—at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and independent study.
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