Jim Cosgrove
We just returned from a trip to New Orleans with students from three classes: a criminal justice class named Citizens, Courts and Cops; another business class named Innovations in Business; and my class named Ethical Leadership.  The blogs that are listed here are from students in the Ethical Leadership class.  I think they will let you know the great mix of study things and fun things we did while in New Orleans.  The key words in New Orleans seem to be Katrina recovery and Entrepreneurship.  I think we had a great trip with a mix of educational and fun activities.  Happy reading.      Jim Cosgrove
Spencer McKeown
Day One: April 24
On Tuesday we left at 5 am and took a long bus ride to New Orleans. After multiple stops for bathroom breaks, food stops, and gas we finally made it. Once we got there the bus dropped us off at Mother’s, an original New Orleans sub and food shop. I wasn’t all that impressed with the restaurant personally. After we left Mother’s, we took a walk to our hotel the Drury Inn and Suites. Our hotel was located in the downtown business district of New Orleans. The rooms were extremely nice featuring a fridge, microwave, flat screen, and two double beds. Located on the rooftop was a hot tub and pool, an amazing view could be seen from the two.
Day Two: April 25
Day two we woke up early in the morning and some of us were still pretty tired from the day before. However, some coffee and a good hot breakfast was what we needed. We then loaded up a bus and picked up an amazing tour guide named Wolf. Wolf took us on a Katrina tour of New Orleans. This tour covered all areas from the Lower Ninth Ward, the French Quarter, and then took us to some amazing cemeteries. Many of the houses in the Lower Ninth were still boarded up, but only feet away were some of the most interesting looking houses built by Brad Pitt’s organization Make It Right. Also on the tour, we drove across a famous bridge where a bridge shooting took place. The port of New Orleans was visible from a bridge, the tallest of its kind in the world. After leaving the Lower Ninth and finishing our tour we found ourselves in an extremely nice district of New Orleans.
My second part of the trip was the Cajun Swamp Tour. I had a buffet of some of the best New Orleans jambalaya and gumbo they had prepared for us. We loaded up on a boat and began our tour of the swamps and started looking for alligators. Our tour guide was amazing and knew a lot about the swamp and was able to talk to the alligators like they were his pets. He fed them chicken out of his hand, which was a site that I will never forget.
After leaving the swamp tour we headed back to downtown New Orleans and got to spend some time on the Riverwalk, a shopping center with a variety of interesting shops. Once we left the Riverwalk we headed to PinkBerry, a yogurt shop, to meet with a man from the Make it Right foundation. This gentleman talked with us about why they built the houses the way they did. He also told us that a lot of the complaints about the houses were inaccurate because the shotgun houses were mainly in the French quarter not the lower ninth.
We then left and grabbed a quick dinner at the hotel. Later on that night, we walked up to a Jazz Festival a few blocks away. The music was definitely interesting and the park was absolutely swamped with people, who gave off a chill vibe. After that we went back to the hotel and enjoyed some hot tub and pool action then retired for the night.
Day Three: April 26
We woke up early again the next morning then our classes broke up and headed different directions. Our class and Dr. Deege’s class left and first went to talk with Idea Village and Launch Pad. After visiting with these two companies we hopped onto the St. Charles trolley cars and headed to Tulane University, to talk about their entrepreneurship school. This school was absolutely beautiful and the people we spoke with were very happy to talk with us and tell us about their experiences. Then we were able to eat some Panda Express which was amazing. After leaving Tulane we went to the University of New Orleans and spoke with Hero Farm. Hero Farm consisted of two men who left a larger marketing agency and decided to start their own. We then left and went to Southern University of New Orleans and talked with some of the entrepreneurship professors. We talked about their program as well as the aftermath of Katrina. SUNO was devastated by Katrina. The campus now consists of a few brand new dorm rooms, one new school building, and 48 double wide trailers that are used as offices and class rooms. Just by driving onto the campus you can see the impact Katrina had on this school.
Later that night was by far my favorite part of the trip. We came back and went to Rock N’ Bowl. The Rock N’ Bowl is a bowling alley that features New Orleans style music and bowling lanes. While there we enjoyed everything from dancing, bowling, and mainly the time of interacting with fellow students. After leaving the Rock N’ Bowl we went back to the hotel spent a little time in the hot tub and pool once again then went to bed.
Day Four: April 27
We all woke up early in the morning again to unfortunately load up the bus and leave New Orleans. After loading up the bus we took off in groups. My group briefly toured Bourbon Street, one of the biggest tourist attractions in New Orleans, and then made our way to the Jackson Square shopping centers. We detoured back to Bourbon to eat at Cajun Pride and some of the best food I have ever eaten in my life. We tasted gator and had one of the best pastas ever. We met up and then loaded the bus to head back to Canton, Missouri.
Nick Still

            While visiting Idea Village and Launchpad, you could just feel the energy the employees put into their work. Idea Village has become an entrepreneur incubator for New Orleans and has played an integral role in the rebuilding of the city. By helping young innovators learn how to crawl before walking with consultants, business strategies, and other helpful advice, Idea Village has really come through for the city.
            Idea Village really stood out to me since I have never really heard of any organization like it. It really is the definition of innovation. With the entrepreneur challenges they host, it gives a lot of people an opportunity to achieve their dream of becoming an entrepreneur or small business owner. The founders of Idea Village (entrepreneurs themselves), saw a problem with the depleting commercialism in the city, especially with the younger generations. After seeing the problem, the five of them collaborated and fixed it. I think that shows just how much the citizens of New Orleans care about their city.
            Collaborating with Idea Village was Launchpad. At Launchpad, they rented out office space to aspiring entrepreneurs. As you walked in, much like Idea Village, you could sense the hard working atmosphere. I really liked the idea of Launchpad, since it allowed entrepreneurs to gather in a central location and help each other with different situations as they tried to grow on their business. Even if one entrepreneur’s idea was completely different than another’s, they could still come together and bounce ideas off of each other.
            After visiting Idea Village and Launchpad, it further confirmed to me that New Orleans is once again, a growing city. Even though it hasn’t been a decade since Katrina demoralized the city, New Orleans is almost back to their previous stature. In the upcoming decade, look for New Orleans to continue to be a hotspot for new businesses and entrepreneurs.
Laney Henry
LaunchPad, Idea Village and HeroFarm  are all grass roots movements that organically grew in the New Orlean's area.
 LaunchPad, I think, is one of the best places we encountered in New Orleans. The authentic bond that people have in the building is really interesting because in a way each business is competeing for a customer base. But no matter the idea that is becoming a full fledge business, each person is willing to bounce ideas off of each other. I personally think that is one of the great things that is happening in these places.
 Idea Village, has an interesting philosophy of Pay It Forward, where they will pay the expenses of the businesses they are trying to nurture then give them an invoice stating now much those services were worth like the consulting and mentoring. Then after the business becomes larger and more self sustaining, the idea is that the business will pay Idea Village back for the services. This business is a nonprofit organization.  
        HeroFarm, has a new way of thinking in the marketing field. The marketing field is so stale, that this company blew some fresh air into it. They do an approach called gorilla marketing, which seems to me like a market stun. But this kind of marketing may be painting toliet paper on the ground and something saying that you are walking on air, it seems very sensory which I feel like my generation is interested in.
Jacob Fuller
Katrina tour
The Katrina tour was very interesting.  I never really knew a lot about Katrina until I watched Spike Lee's "When The Levies Broke." I felt like the documentary was very one sided and having the tour guide as a second perspective was very informative.  Actually seeing water marks on buildings had a bigger impact than just hearing people talk about the water levels.  Also seeing 80% of New Orleans as flooded seems a lot bigger in person.  It was also very interesting to see the difference in flooding from area to area.  Seeing the houses from the Make It Right Foundation was pretty cool.  I really liked the designs because they are really interesting and intriguing.  The final thing I really enjoyed about the tour was getting to hear what Wolf went through during Katrina.  It was awesome to hear how he helped people get through the disaster. 
Swamp Tour
The swamp tour was by far the highlight of the trip.  However, I feel it would not have been as great as it was if we did not have Captain Al as our guide.  Hearing stories like the Black Storm of 1915 and Julia Brown were very interesting.  Also, getting close to the gators was a big thrill.  And as usual the gumbo was amazing.
Make It Right
I really enjoyed our guest speaker from Make It Right.  He was very laid back and outgoing.  The one thing I did not know about Make It Right was that people they built houses for had to pay for half of it out of their own pocket. It was also interesting to hear that they were actually sticking to the traditional style of houses.  Wolf told us that people were upset that they were not sticking to the traditional shotgun style homes. 
Launch Pad

I really enjoyed Launch Pad because of their diversity.  They had everything from lawyers to programmers.  It was also really cool how all the people within Launch Pad collaborated and helped each other with their product or business.  Also hearing about the new product that one gentleman was working on was pretty spectacular.

Hero Farm
The guys from Hero Farm were definitely my favorite guest speakers.  Hearing their perspective of alternative marketing compared to traditional marketing was cool to hear.  Also hearing their background and where they came from to where they are now showed me no matter where you start you never know where you will end up. 
Southern University of New Orleans
I could tell they were really excited to host us during our visit.  The thing I liked the most about SUNO was their emphasis on their business program.  They go in depth into business plans until they are perfect.   They also do a lot of training out in the field in different businesses.  It's awesome to see that they are recovering from the damages they took from Katrina. 
Eunice Macharia
Finally my favorite part of the 3 week session.....A trip to NEW ORLEANS!!!
My first bus ride in the U.S. Very excited. 5:20 a.m. and the long trip commenced. 14 hours later, I am eating a PoBoy sandwich in New Orleans at the famous Mothers Kitchen restaurant. A few blocks later, I am in my hotel room with my friends. All I can think about is the Swamp tour taking place the following morning.
9:00 a.m., in the bus listening to a fun tour guide as he tells us about the events of the fateful Katrina hurricane that destroyed most of New Orleans city. Roch cementry was an interesting site to see in a good way. The grave yard looked similar to my home country grave yard even though the history behind the design is different from mine. We had a chance to see the Make it Right Foundation of Brad Pitt consisting of beautiful houses built to endure any future flooding. It was interesting to learn new names of house models "Shot Gun" and "Camel Back". To top it up, my long awaited moment of touring Cajun Swamp that is filled with alligators, turtles and snakes finally came to pass. We had a delicious buffet that was prepared for us, Gumbo and Jambalaya.....Yummy!!! I later had so much fun and enthusiasm, as I watched our tour guide feed the alligators with chicken meat, not to mention, I had a chance to hold a two year old gator in my hands. That was an experience to remember! At around 4:00 p.m., we had the privilege to meet with Mr. Cesar Rodriguez of Make it Right Foundation and got more detailed information about the project. Delicious Yogurt from Pink Berry shop crowned my day!!
This was a busy day starting at 8:00am. We visited Idea Village, an organization that helps new enterprenuers during the incubation period of starting a company. Later we visited Launch Pad, a company that offers office space or a desk to the new entrepreneurs. We then rode on a trolley to Tulane University. Here we met with the participants of the Social Entrepreneurship Initiative the purpose of which is to educate and promote business students to expand their thinking by turning class work into hands on work and assisting the community. Our next stop was Southern University of New Orleans. Here we met with the dean of the school and other business course staff members. We learned of the effects of Katrina hurricane on the school and also the projects initiated to help the students develop their business skills to revive New Orleans economy. To climax this day, we went to Rock and Bowl and did as the name suggests :) Real fun!!!
Last day in New Orleans. I visited the French Quarters, had a fun ride with Mrs. Abbott, Dr. Deege and two of my school mates on a horse carriage. The tour guide showed us famous houses of the French people dated in the 18 century. We also rode to areas where the floods divided the city. We later had some great chicory coffee with snacks that I call "mandazi" back in my country. Laney and I shopped at the beautiful French Quarter boutiques then headed to where our bus awaited to take us back to school :(
4:15am, back at Culver Stockton College!
Elise Obert
Day One: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
After the long fifteen hour charter bus ride, bathroom breaks, and food stops, our classes finally arrived in New Orleans. We ate at a classic New Orleans restaurant that night for dinner called "Mother's". Many of us tried the Po' boys sandwiches, a food that New Orleans is known for. We later went back to our hotel, the Drury Inn and Suites, located in downtown New Orleans. It was gorgeous inside, and there was a rooftop hot tub and pool. Of course, many students decided to take advantage of such a unique opportunity, and we went swimming that night. The views of the city from the roof were amazing. The lights of New Orleans showed the beauty of the city. We then went to bed to get some rest for an exciting day ahead of us.
Day Two: Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Waking up in New Orleans this morning was refreshing. The city is so calm and beautiful in the A.M. We had a delicious breakfast at the hotel, and loaded the bus to take a long tour of the entire city. We had such a wonderful tour guide who described in-depth everything we needed to know about New Orleans. He took us to the lower ninth ward, the area that had the most hurricane devastation from Katrina. Seven years later, and we could still see some of the aftermath of the hurricane. There were houses that had windows boarded up, marks on the buildings describing how many people were inside at the time, and even houses that had shingles and rooftops still damaged. We saw homes that Brad Pitt and Make It Right Foundation are constructing for families who lost homes in the storm. The new homes have a modern twist to them, but are nonetheless terrific. We drove over the tallest bridge in the city, and got to see the port of New Orleans as well. The views of the city from the bridge were so beautiful. We could see the skyline in the distance, and proceeded to head into the heart of the city. Beautiful houses lined the streets and I know that we learned a lot about the rich history of the city from the tour.
After the tour of the city, we headed to a Cajun Swamp Tour facility where we got to have jambalaya, homemade potato salad, and gumbo for lunch. It was delicious and many students were glad they got to taste a marvel of New Orleans. The swamp tour was fantastic! We saw so many alligators in the swamp, and even got to hold a two and a half year old alligator individually. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about the swamp and the history of the alligators. Overall, great experience! We later met with a gentleman from Make It Right Foundation, and he explained a lot about the process of rebuilding homes for those who experienced great damage during Hurricane Katrina. We enjoyed some PinkBerry yogurt afterward and headed back to the hotel to get some dinner.
Later that night, we attended a Jazz Festival in a lovely park near our hotel. The music and people there were so relaxing and it was a great atmosphere to experience. We followed up with another night in the rooftop hot tub and everyone zonked out pretty early. We had another fun filled day to rest up for.
Day Three: Thursday, April 26, 2012
After another delicious breakfast in the morning at the hotel, our classes split up to go to different businesses and sites in New Orleans. The two business classes stopped first at Idea Village, a local entrepreneurship business that helps individuals start up their own businesses. The facility was modern and the ladies that spoke to us were very informative about being mentors for an entrepreneur, what it takes to start up a business, and the struggles that entrepreneurs go through. Right down the hall from Idea Village was Launchpad, a local business that allocates and rents out spaces to businesses to use for their offices. Later on, we visited with three gentleman from Hero Farm, a marketing and advertising agency that they started up from scratch. This was my favorite visit because the men were full of fresh and innovative ideas, shared their experiences with us, and offered great advice for future entrepreneurs. We also visited three universities that day: the University of New Orleans, Tulane University, and Southern University of New Orleans. At Tulane University, we discussed a social innovation and social entrepreneurship program they offer. Students of the programs offered their testimonials and it was interesting to hear their experiences. At SUNO, we learned about the devastation that Hurricane Katrina had on the college, the different programs they offer with entrepreneurship, and demographics of the city. It was a busy day, but we had something fun to look forward to later on!
The Rock N' Bowl is a bowling alley that we went to that night that had southern music, dancing, and bowling lanes! It was my favorite part of the entire trip. All of the students enjoyed getting to listen to the music, interact with one another in a fun filled setting in New Orleans, and even dance the night away. What a blast! We went to bed after a long day and dreaded leaving in the morning.
Day Four: Friday, April 27, 2012
We walked the streets of New Orleans all morning today. We got to see Bourbon Street, the infamous street of the city. Many of us did some shopping and got souvenirs to take back home to family and friends. At around noon, we departed for Canton, Missouri. It was sad to say goodbye to the city.