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NEW Leadership™ Louisiana

Newcomb Institute Participating Staff Bios

Sally J. Kenney, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Newcomb Institute
Newcomb College Endowed Chair Professor
Newcomb Institute
Sally J. Kenney has served as director of the Newcomb Institute and held the Newcomb endowed chair since 2010. She is a faculty member in the Political Science Department and an affiliated faculty member in the law school. Her research interests include sexual assault on campus, women’s imprisonment, women and leadership, gender and judging, judicial selection, feminist social movements, women and electoral politics, the European Court of Justice, exclusionary employment policies, and pregnancy discrimination. Her latest book is Gender and Justice: Why Women in the Judiciary Really Matter.
She teaches a service-learning course on the politics of rape as well as one on women’s imprisonment. For the last three years, she has led a study abroad program working with AIDS orphans in Kenya, teaching leadership and sexual and reproductive health.

Julie Henriquez Aldana, Ph.D.

Administrative Assistant Professor of Women’s Leadership
Director of Student Leadership and Engagement
Newcomb Institute
Julie Henriquez Aldana serves as an Administrative Assistant Professor of Women’s Leadership and Director of Student Leadership and Engagement for the Newcomb Institute. She earned a B.S. in International Trade and Finance (2003), M.S. in Human Resource Education (2005), and a Ph.D. in Human Resource Education with a concentration in Human Resource and Leadership Development (2017) from Louisiana State University.
Julie’s dissertation research focused on the experience of Latina faculty as they navigate the tenure process, specifically on the role of engagement in successfully achieving tenure. As a Latina and emerging Human Resource Development and Leadership scholar, Julie’s research interests focus on multicultural leadership, cultural competence and organizational culture in the workplace.

Anna Mitchell Mahoney, Ph.D.

Director of Research
Administrative Assistant Professor of Women’s Political Leadership
Newcomb Institute
Anna Mitchell Mahoney earned a B.A. from Loyola University in Mass Communications, a M.A. in Women’s Studies from the University of Alabama, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Rutgers University. She joined Newcomb Institute as an Administrative Assistant Professor of Women’s Political Leadership in August 2014. In 2016, she became Director of Research for the Institute.
Anna’s research is centered on women’s representation and gendered institutions which is explored in her manuscript on the origins of women’s caucuses in state legislatures.
Anna is a member of several community organizations including the Women United of Southeast Louisiana United Way, American Association of University Women, the League of Women’s Voters, and was named in 2016 to the Louisiana Women’s Policy & Research Commission.

Aidan Smith, Ph.D.

Director of the Newcomb Scholars Program
Newcomb Institute
Aidan Smith is the Director of the Newcomb Scholars Program and teaches its first year seminar, The History and Philosophy of Higher Education: The Role of College Women. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Barnard College and holds a master’s degree in mass communication from the University of Florida. She completed her doctorate in American Studies at the University of Hawaii in 2013. She also coordinates Newcomb’s feminist film initiatives. Her first book, Gender, Heteronormativity, and the American Presidency, was published by Routledge in October 2017.
Key Responsibilities:
Directs the Newcomb Scholars program.
Teaches the Newcomb Scholars first-year seminar.
Coordinates Newcomb Institute’s feminist film initiatives.


Emma Brick-Hezeau

NEW Leadership Research Aide
Newcomb Institute
Emma Brick-Hezeau earned a B.S. from Tulane University in Economics with a minor in Political Science and a B.A. in Linguistics from Tulane University. Emma joined Newcomb Institute as an NEW Leadership and Newcomb Scholars Research Aide in 2019. At Newcomb, Emma studies gender in higher education, American political leadership, and women’s history, connecting scholars across Louisiana for events that sustain Newcomb’s mission.
Their other research interests include computational linguistics, economic history, and cognitive science. While at Tulane, Emma studied Arabic and practiced these skills abroad through the Mandel-Palagye Program for Middle East Studies as well as participated in Feminist Camp in New York through a grant from Newcomb.