Newcomb Institute Celebrates the 2023 NAA and TAA Award Winners

Lauren Gaines
Photos of the three NAA Award Winners for 2023
(Photos of Alexandra “Ally” Coll, J.D., Susan Friedlander Keith, and Brittney Sheena)

Each spring, the Newcomb Alumnae Association (NAA) honors Newcomb and Tulane graduates that have made exceptional achievements in their industries, contributions to their communities, and shown overwhelming dedication to their alma mater.

In 2023, the NAA Awards Committee has selected the following alumnae to be recognized at this year’s Under the Oaks luncheon:

Newcomb Alumnae Association Outstanding Alumna
Alexandra “Ally” Coll, J.D. (NC ’07)

Since earning her B.A. in History and Political Science from Newcomb College in 2007, Ally Coll has dedicated herself to advancing civil rights and equality under the law. After working in electoral politics for several years, Coll earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she served on the Board of the Harvard Women's Law Association and as the Executive Policy Editor of the Harvard Law and Policy Review. A native of Washington D.C., she also spent time working on Capitol Hill in both chambers of Congress as the Press Secretary for the U.S. Senate Budget Committee and Elections Counsel for the U.S. House Committee on Administration. 
In 2017, Coll joined the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner, LLP as a litigation associate. Six months into her time at the firm, Tarana Burke’s longstanding #MeToo movement went viral, and the news broke that Coll’s firm had been representing Harvey Weinstein and the Weinstein Company. She ultimately left the firm to launch the Purple Campaign, a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing workplace harassment. In the five years since its founding, the organization has formed partnerships with corporations representing millions of workers around the world, successfully advocated for the enactment of state and federal laws to address workplace harassment, and provided tools and resources to empower employees to create change in their own workplaces. 

Coll is now an Assistant Professor of Legal Studies at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government, where she teaches Constitutional and Civil Rights Law.

Newcomb Alumnae Association Community Service Award
Susan Friedlander Keith (NC ’68)

Susan Friedlander Keith’s community involvement has been long-term and impactful. Keith graduated from Newcomb College in 1968 with a B.A. in French. After completing her education, she lived in Washington D.C. with her family for twenty years, where she established her business, Culture to Culture. Through Culture to Culture, Keith provided training and marketing services that emphasized cultural variables and the value of international expansion to businesses.

After relocating with her family to Albuquerque, Keith was able to provide similar services for several companies in New Mexico. In 1997, she was asked to help a group of farmers create a marketing plan for their business. Keith secured funding from the Mid Region Council of Governments (MRCOG) to conduct market research for local agricultural products. When said research indicated that there was a viable market opportunity, Keith created the Agriculture Collaborative, which brought together a wide range of stakeholders, including agriculture extension agents, restaurants, water specialists, pueblos, schools, academics, and political representatives, for monthly meetings related to local agriculture. 

Keith managed the Agriculture Collaborative from 2003 to 2008. In 2007, MRCOG decided to fund the initiative as a permanent program. Today, almost twenty years after it began, the program is still in operation, providing an opportunity for producers to gain critical information about factors influencing their work and raising awareness in the general Albuquerque community about the importance of local agriculture. 

In 2019, Keith began volunteering with Project ECHO, a research organization in Albuquerque, to help the organization reach its goal of expanding access to healthcare knowledge to one billion people by 2025.  

Newcomb Alumnae Association Young Alumna Award
Brittney Sheena (SSE ’18)

Brittney Sheena is building momentum in the fields of medicine, public health, and health equity. After graduating from Tulane in 2018, Sheena accepted a global health research fellowship at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, while pursuing her Master of Public Health at the University of Washington. She researched the global burden of hepatitis and cirrhosis, and collaborated with the Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination and World Health Organization to track progress toward elimination goals. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sheena used seasonal trends of pneumonia to develop a novel seasonality covariate that expanded temporal and geographic projections. Her work contributed to accurately predicting rising cases and deaths in colder months, and helped guide policy for the Pan American Health Organization.
In 2021, Sheena worked as a Program Director with the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Houston-Galveston. She mentored medical students on community-based projects that addressed unmet health needs in underserved populations in Houston. Sheena began her own medical education in 2022 at the Tulane University School of Medicine. She serves as a Student Clinic Leader at Ozanam Inn, providing free medical care to community members at one of the largest homeless shelters in New Orleans. Sheena is also a Civic Health Alliance Ambassador, and works to increase civic participation among healthcare workers, students, and patients, and break down the systems that often bring patients to them in the first place. Sheena is passionate about advancing health through patient-centered care, public health, and advocacy.

Newcomb Institute also salutes the Newcomb and Tulane alumnae that were honored by the Tulane Alumni Association (TAA) earlier this spring:

Dermot Mcglinchey Lifetime Achievement Award
Celia Scott Weatherhead (NC ’65)

Distinguished Alumni Award
Anne Segrest McCulloch (NC ’79, L *84)

Lisa Jackson Professional Achievement Award
Tania C. Tetlow (NC ’92)

Equity, Diversity, And Inclusion Leadership Award
Jazmia E. Henry (SLA ’16)

Scott Cowen Service Award
Cheryl A. Verlander (NC ’70, SW *75)

Robert V. Tessaro Young Alumni Volunteer Award
Chelsea Balch Cipriano (SLA ’10, PHTM *11)