Students Serve in Katrina Recovery Project

Hurricane Katrina is the deadliest natural disaster to hit New Orleans. It affected the entire Gulf Coast, but the city took the brunt of the storm that reached Category 5 status in August 2005; many neighborhoods are still going through the recovery process.

Four years ago, Chase Tushaus was a high school senior and football player in Arizona. He couldn’t begin to comprehend what had happened. “That Friday we had a big football game against a cross-town rival,” he recalls. “I don’t think I could have even told you it was hurricane season, let alone know that massive destruction and flooding was occurring in New Orleans. I was just too wrapped up in my own world.”

Tushaus is no longer that person. He chose industrial and systems engineering over playing football when he came to USD, and will graduate this year with a dual BA/BS degree. He’s spending his spring break doing anything but relaxing. He and 11 other undergraduate students and two advisors are in New Orleans — Tushaus’ second trip there in just over a year — with the goal of making a difference. (Full story on Inside USD)