Marsiglia Institute graduates 26 Distinguished Fellows

December 21, 2021

NEW ORLEANS – The Nancy M. Marsiglia Institute of Justice, a 12-week course on the U.S. Constitution presented by United Way of Southeast Louisiana and Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, inducted 26 new Distinguished Fellows during a commencement ceremony held at the law school on Dec. 15. 

The Marsiglia Institute brings together a diverse group of community members committed to reclaiming civil discourse around the founding principles of our democracy. For their final project, Fellows participated in mock hearings on Constitutional topics presided over by distinguished state and federal judges. 

“…We are not training you to understand or solve yesterday’s problems; we are training you to understand and solve tomorrow’s problems,” said Madeleine Landrieu, College of Law Dean and Judge Adrian G. Duplantier Distinguished Professor of Law, as she addressed attendees. “We all have to be doing that collectively, with one another, in community. If we can’t get around the table because we are unwilling to even discuss the challenges before us, we will never solve them.” 

Distinguished Fellows of the Institute’s fall 2021 class include: 

  • Austin Aubert, Elements Imaging
  • Tatiana Sofia Begault, Goodwill Industries SELA
  • Jennifer Bernard, Corcoran & Bernard CPAs LLC
  • Rebecca Bourg, Chalmette Refining
  • Chriss Cazayoux, ACT, Inc.
  • Erin Cowser, Louisiana Board of Regents
  • Shannon Cvitanovic, Self-Employed  
  • Emma Dixon, Retired-AARP
  • Lorin Gaudin, Self-Employed Writer & Service Provider for Orleans Re-Entry Court Program
  • Vaughan Hart, Vivace Corporation
  • Kristine Haskett, Tulane University
  • Vonnie Hawkins, SocialWorx Institute, Inc.
  • Dana Johnson, Coca-Cola United
  • Terrica London, State of Louisiana
  • Bethanie Mangigian, Broadmoor Improvement Association
  • Demetric M. Mercadel    , U.S. House of Representatives - LA02
  • Amy Mercieca, Operation Restoration
  • Shiloh Moates, MSH Architects
  • Chenier Montz, Access Health Louisiana
  • Ronnie Slone, The Slone Group
  • Craig Stewart, Creative Motivational Services, Inc.
  • Stacci J. Tobin, Fair Fight Initiative
  • Elizabeth Townsend, Finance New Orleans
  • Matthew Tritico, The Washington Post
  • Todd Wackerman, STEM Library Lab
  • Shelby Wynne, West Jefferson Medical Center

The newest graduates join over 145 alumni who have completed the course since its 2018 founding in honor of the late Nancy M. Marsiglia.

“We are so proud of this cohort for their commitment through the challenges of COVID-19 and Hurricane Ida,” said Charmaine Caccioppi, Executive Vice President & COO of United Way of Southeast Louisiana. “They are now prepared to facilitate the productive and civil conversations that are necessary for our democracy’s success at every level.”

Applications for the spring 2022 session of the Institute are open at Learn more about the Institute by visiting the website or contacting Pamela Allison at