Elaine S. Brooks, Ph.D.

Academic Director |

Professor of Spanish and Seraphia D. Leyda University Teaching Fellow and has taught at UNO for twenty years. Dr. Brooks came to New Orleans in 1989 from the University of California, Davis, after earning a master’s degree in Spanish and a Ph.D. in Spanish Medieval literature. Dr. Brooks is a fifth-generation Californian having grown up in both Northern and Southern California. “When I accepted the position to teach at the University of New Orleans, I had never been to the Southern states of the United States. But, my home is now New Orleans and as an avid Saints fan, I have no desire to move back to California.” Dr. Brooks has lived in three Spanish-speaking countries: Mexico, Spain and Costa Rica. As a member of Latin American Outreach at UNO, she has visited every country in Central America, except Nicaragua, and she has made many trips to Peru, Bolivia, and Paraguay. During her career at UNO Dr. Brooks has published articles on 15th-century Spanish poetry and has published two books on Spanish literature and language. In July 2007 Dr. Brooks became the Academic Director of Interdisciplinary Studies, a position she enjoys because she and her colleagues are dedicated to advancing the importance of integrative learning at UNO, and to fulfilling the academic goals of the more than 600 IDS majors.


Dan Harper

Associate Director |

Dan has been employed with UNO for 19 years. He started with BGS as a Counselor in 1996 and now holds the position of Associate Director for Interdisciplinary Studies. In addition to his duties with IDS he also serves as the Coordinator for the National Student Exchange Program at UNO. Prior to arriving at UNO he worked for LSU in Eunice for 5 years where he held positions as Director of Student Activities and Orientation, Tutorial Coordinator, and Counselor. Dan graduated from Southwest Missouri State (now Missouri State) University with a M.S. in Counseling in 1990 and is currently a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). He was a late higher education bloomer as he did not enroll in college until he was 34. After holding several jobs between the ages of 14 and 34 he decided to give college a try as means to move forward in a career. Like many students, regardless of age, he was not sure what he wanted to be when he grew up! He tried out several majors before settling in to the best personal and academic fit. In short, entering college turned out to be the right decision as it has led him to where he is today. Like many other transplants, Dan visited New Orleans for the first time as a tourist and fell in love with the city. At that point (25+years ago) he declared that one day he would live and work in NOLA. And here he is today with no regrets!

Jennifer Archibald

Jennifer Archibald

Academic Counselor |

Jennifer is relatively new to the Crescent City. She moved from Memphis to New Orleans in 2013 to attend graduate school at the University of New Orleans. She was accepted into the Hospitality and Tourism Management program at UNO, which she felt would be a great complement to her undergraduate degree in sport management from The University of Memphis. However, the graduate assistantship that she accepted in Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) would change everything. Jennifer quickly realized that she loved being part of a college campus and working for an academic department that prided itself on its dedication to students. As a graduate assistant, Jennifer was fortunate to spend a year and a half observing and learning how to be a successful academic counselor. She was surrounded by academic faculty and staff that had a sincere passion for students and higher education. The passion and commitment that they displayed on a daily basis only fueled the desire to become more involved in a college environment. Upon completion of her master’s degree at the University of New Orleans, she was blessed to be offered a full time, academic counselor position within the Interdisciplinary Studies program. Her love of New Orleans coupled with her passion for the University of New Orleans, makes it difficult for Jennifer to imagine living and working anywhere else.

Edie Tally

Edie Tally

Graduate Assistant |

Edie received her Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree in Leadership Styles and Studies at the University of New Orleans in May 2014. She is currently a first year graduate student studying Creative Nonfiction Writing. An award-winning journalist, Edie has served as the editor-in-chief of Driftwood, UNO’s campus newspaper, and is the current managing editor of UNO’s literary magazine, Ellipsis. She is also a Strengths Quest Peer Educator and the president of Omicron Delta Kappa National Honor Society. Though she’d planned to attend UNO immediately after graduating from high school in 1976, life had other plans for her. Over the years, she worked as an administrative assistant, a firefighter, a security officer, and a fireworks display technician. She attended Elaine P. Nunez Community College in Chalmette, where she studied Emergency Medical Services and became a nationally registered paramedic. In the 1990s, she trained EMTs and paramedics at the Hessmer campus of Avoyelles Technical College in Cottonport, Louisiana. From 1998 until Hurricane Katrina upended the New Orleans region, Edie shot professional fireworks displays from venues as varied as barges on the Mississippi River, to Lafreniere Park in Metairie, to the east campus of UNO. Learning and integrating exciting new knowledge and experiences have always been her passion, which makes Interdisciplinary Studies the perfect fit for this wife, mother, Renaissance woman, and proud UNO alumna.