Dear fellow Tulanians,
In 2014, Dr. Adaora Okoli was an attending physician for the first reported Ebola patient in a Lagos, Nigeria hospital. Less than two weeks later, she was sent to an isolation ward – a newly infected victim of the deadly disease.
There, Dr. Okoli was told her odds of survival were slim. The sole doctor overseeing the isolation unit had none of the latest experimental vaccines or therapeutic serums at his disposal. Instead, he treated his patients with water, Tylenol, and rest.
Dr. Okoli told me she lost count of the number of times she vomited; her suffering was all-consuming. Still, she never lost hope, and used her clinical knowledge in every way possible to keep herself alive. On a daily basis, she monitored her liquid output, forcing herself to drink water all night long to replenish the fluids her body had lost. After fourteen harrowing days, Dr. Okoli received the good news she wasn’t sure she’d ever hear: she had beaten Ebola, and was free to go.
and social science – all with an international focus – under a single umbrella. Most university programs are hesitant to provide such a wide net for study.
But Tulane is different. At Tulane, we shed traditional academic silos, and choose instead to cross boundaries and disciplines in search of solutions to the world’s toughest problems. The Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine is a perfect example of this mindset at work. And with its years of world-leading international infectious disease research efforts – the perfect fit for Dr. Okoli’s studies.
Today, Dr. Okoli is one semester away from earning her master’s degree in Infectious Disease Epidemiology. After graduation, she plans to return to Nigeria to help prevent and contain future infectious outbreaks.
Dr. Okoli’s story is a Tulane story. It’s one of ambition, bravery, and making the world a better place.
In December, Tulane launched the most ambitious fundraising campaign in its history. Our goal is to empower and elevate voices like Dr. Okoli’s – to be a home for anyone who dreams of shaping the future.
Surrounding this letter are a few of the many examples of ways that Tulane is doing just that. Ways that we’ve thrived, fueled by the limitless creativity, passion, and determination of Tulanians. But I know there is so much more Tulane can offer to the world.
We are doubling-down on the spirit that has long defined us; one of passionate academic ambition, overcoming adversity, and commitment to research that changes the world. This dream can become reality, but it’s up to us to make that happen. So let’s get to work. Roll Wave.