It is with great sadness that I am writing today. Dr. Marietta Del Favero died suddenly yesterday. “Dr. D.” as she was affectionately known to her students, was more than just my professor. She cared deeply about her students and developing the future of the higher education scholarly community. She worked to make the University of New Orleans a better community of scholars, and perhaps most importantly she made me and countless other graduate students feel at home in New Orleans and in the world of academe.
It is not an overstatement to say that I loved Dr. D. I loved her courses, I loved spending time with her. She made me a better student. She made me a better thinker. I worked harder for her than any other faculty member, because she made me want to work hard for her.
I want to honor Dr. D.’s legacy by continuing on my own path to earning a doctorate, and also by encouraging others to pursue advanced degrees. Although Dr. D has left a void, she would want us to continue. I am concerned that with this void, the momentum for our higher ed. programs will be lost.
The city of New Orleans needs graduate programs in higher education. And UNO, as the city’s only urban public research university, needs to be the institution to offer them.
There are no other doctoral programs in higher education offered at any of the other colleges and universities in New Orleans. There is also no Ph.D. program in higher education within the University of Louisiana system. UL Lafayette offers an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, but this is not the same degree.
A doctoral program in higher education is essential in New Orleans. Many professionals currently working at UNO, Tulane, Xavier, Nunez, Delgado, North Shore, and other institutions rely on this program for professional development and career advancement. Without such a program at UNO, the city and the university will lose the ability to attract and retain talented young professionals and mid-career professionals.
Dr. Del Favero had also worked to bring back the Master’s in higher education program, which is supposed to start in Fall 2012. There is no such Master’s program at any institution in New Orleans.
I and many others plan to continue Dr. D’s legacy and become the scholars she wanted us to be; the scholars she pushed us to be.
“Because I knew you, I have been changed for good” – from the musical Wicked.
Good bye Dr. D., there are many of us who have been changed for good because you were in our lives. You will forever be dearly missed.
Contact me at lindsey dot jakiel at gmail dot com.
Higher Education, Etc.
I will be taking a break from the blog for at least the next week. I need some time, and I want to keep this message about Dr. D. at the top of the page for a while.