Dr. Najoua Hotard is the President and founder of the Institute of Critical Languages and cultural Exchange. She is a native of Tunisia who completed her graduate studies at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Tunis, University of New Orleans, and Louisiana State University. She conducted her doctoral research in the area of International Relations/Middle Eastern Studies and French Literature and Business. Najoua Hotard serves her community in many capacities. She served on the committees which developed high school foreign language curriculum and the LA State Foreign Language standards and Benchmarks. She served as a Diversity trainer for the EBRS system and the Office of Strategic Initiatives at LSU, as well as Teacher Advisor, Content Seminar Leader, and co-Director at Teach Baton Rouge Summer Institute. She currently servers as one of the language specialists at West Baton Rouge School System.
Dr. Hotard is the recipient of many honors including selection for the FBI Citizen Academy in New Orleans, Clara Tucker Award for Women in Behavioral Sciences, National Endowment for the Humanities, Eunice Kennedy Shriver Special Olympics Recognition, and U.S. State Department Person of the Month. Dr. Hotard is an educator at heart. She taught Arabic, ESL, and French Advanced Placement classes in public schools, the National Guard, as well as Tulane and Loyola Universities. Her professional experiences include serving as Reader for ETS/College Board Literature and Advanced language examinations, interpreter for Anti-Terrorism assistance programs.
Under Dr. Hotard’s leadership, the Institute of Critical Languages and Cultural Exchange implemented two STARTALK Arabic language programs and one Hindi teacher training program. I.C.L.C.E has collaborated with other organizations such as the National Council for International Visitors and the New Orleans Citizen Diplomacy Council. Current planning includes collaborating with public schools community non-profits, and institutions of higher learning to implement a manifold of educational and enrichment programs.
A professional artist for over 35 years, Troy Hotard describes himself as a Post-Modern Renaissance artist and professional educator. He mastered a wide variety of media and techniques. These include everything from, oil paint, watercolors, and mixed media to graphite, stained glass, and bronze casting. Troy Hotard can also work in various styles ranging from photorealistic to impressionist to total abstraction. Recently, Troy has concentrated on his main passion: Scuba Diving. Troy is a certified open water capital PADI dive instructor. His specialties include teaching the following diving skills: wreck, deep, boat, Nitrox, search and recovery, and underwater navigation. Through this new genre artwork, he hopes to raise awareness and educate the public about the beauty and fragile nature of the ocean's coral reef systems, and the sheer wonder of discovery through scuba diving. To him, the ocean represents the last frontier to be explored and protected. Troy Hotard is bringing a representation of this modern vanishing wilderness to the general public.
He is a passionate supporter of several organizations that seek to protect the world's reefs and marine ecosystems, such as the Reef Check Foundation, Dive for the Cure, and Save the Manta. It is Troy's hope that his donations of original paintings to these organizations will help raise awareness regarding the vulnerability of the world's reefs as well as stressing the urgency of safeguarding the underwater world, which is crucial to our own survival. As an educator, Troy Hotard served as an Artist in Residence for the East Baton Rouge Parish Gifted and Talented Program. Troy's innovative approach to art education has earned him the College Board Sponsored Katrina Scholarship and certification in Teaching Advanced Placement Art History at the Art College in Chicago.
His travels throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, North Africa, the Middle East, and The Far East have afforded him the possibility to acquire a unique perspective on the importance of multiculturalism and diversity. Troy Hotard is the director of programs at I.C.L.C.E. The West Baton Rouge Parish Library and the West Baton Rouge Parish Museum both house his permanent collections.
Debra Tilson is the International Technical Specialist in the Center for International Affairs and University Outreach at Southern University and A&M College. She shares the Institute’s vision in providing opportunities for historically marginalized students and preparing them with the skills needed to succeed in 21st century careers and non-traditional educational pathways.
Debra has B.S. degree in Psychology and M.S. degrees in Information Technology, Data Analytics and Justice Studies with certificate in Cybersecurity. Her experience in various fields of research, budgeting, strategic planning, needs assessment, training coordination, evaluation, and technology development are embedded in her passion for constant learning and the need for collaboration to open global and sustainable possibilities for all students, especially students of color.
As a board member of I.C.L.C.E, Debra Tilson will evaluate the development and implementation of rigorous and equitable community educational projects on the national and international levels.
Sarah is a graduate of Tulane and Louisiana State University where she obtained degrees in French and Psychology. Sarah is in charge of I.C.L.C.E advertisement and project announcement at the institute. Sarah served as student advisor for STARKTALK summer programs.
Chris is a graduate from Louisiana State University with a degree in Mathematics. His passion for technology led him to earn Information Technology certifications in the areas of IT operations, web development, and networking. He served as media and Information Technology summer learning Arabic programs.