Successful Fundraiser for the Penny Jessop Travel Fund


Returned Peace Corps Volunteers gather at the
Penny Jessop travel Fund fundraiser at Handsome
Willy's, Friday, April, 27, 2012.

Friday, April 27th, students and faculty from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine gathered at neighborhood bar Handsome Willy’s to celebrate Penny Jessop, beloved professor and international travel mentor.

Jessop has been mentoring and guiding students at Tulane SPHTM for 33 years, after a stint in the Peace Corps in Niger and earning an MPH at the school in 1978.  She began work at Tulane as a project coordinator, later becoming a clinical assistant professor in the Department of International Health and Development (now known as the Global Health Systems and Development) . For the past 30 years she has also served as the faculty head of the Humphrey Fellows Program, which has drawn 264 mid-career professionals from more than 93 different countries to Tulane for leadership development and professional enrichment in public health


Penny announcing the winners of the door prizes.

Jessop’s international experience has made her passionate about getting students out of the classroom and into the world, because, as she says, “learning is what happens when your feet are in the field.”  Her passion for helping students gain academic experience abroad inspired the Penny Jessop Travel Fund.

The fund will assist graduate-level students with international travel expenses for academic purposes. Expenses may include, but are not limited to, travel for practica, research, and summer programs. Student financial need will be considered and, at Penny’s request, preference will be given to students who associate with or participate in the school’s Peace Corps Programs, including Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and Master’s Internationalists, as well as participants in any future Peace Corps-related programs.

The excited crowd of students and faculty at Handsome Willy’s supported the Penny Jessop Travel Fund by participating in a door prize drawing for prizes donated by Mother’s Restaurant, Rock ‘n’ Bowl, the Bulldog, Haunted History Tours, Inc., and the SPHTM Dean’s Office.  Jessop even donated some items from her trips around the world, including books and a hand-painted vase from Thailand. The door-prize drawing and several private donations yielded a total of $751.00 for the fund, a significant contribution toward the $25,000 needed to fully endow the Penny Jessop Travel Fund.

With bellies full of crawfish, students and faculty bid the first of what will likely be a series of farewells to a faculty member who has touched so many lives.  Penny Jessop’s presence, however, will live on thanks to the travel fund bearing her name.  

For more information about the Penny Jessop Travel Fund, please visit or make a gift to the fund online at

Also check out the Spring/Summer 2012 edition of The Internationalist, the magazine of the Peace Corps Programs Office, which has a feature on Penny Jessop and the Penny Jessop Travel Fund. The Internationalist is available in the Office of Admissions, Student Affairs, and Career Services, Suite 2460.


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