8/21/2019
ULS NEWS ARTICLES

Today's News

University of Louisiana System

00 2019-08-21
Hammond

Parade, Toups top Hot August lineup


Lionpawlooza will take the party to the streets at the 24th Hot August Night this Friday.

The traditional Southeastern Louisiana University pep rally at Hot August Night has often been a stationary exhibition, but this year Roomie the Lion, the Spirit of the Southland Band, and SLU athletic teams will march down Thomas Street to the DDD Main Stage on Cate Street where the pep rally will take place from 6- 7 p.m.

The parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Columbia Theatre, travel on East Thomas Street, turn left onto South Cate Street and stop at the stage across from Anytime Fitness and Cena.

After Lionpawlooza, zydeco musician Wayne Toups will headline the night's entertainment from 7-9:30 p.m. on the DDD Main Stage.

"We're going to party even if it rains," said Chelsea Tallo Little, executive director of Hammond Downtown Development District. Little spoke Tuesday at Hammond Kiwanis Club's meeting at The Mezzanine Event Hall.

Assistant Director Olivia Graziano distributed to Kiwanis members the maps for Hot August Night's locations for music, food, events, and wine and beer walk. The entirety of Hot August Night runs from 4:45 to 9:45. Sales will end at 9, and wine walk punch cards must be submitted by 9:30 to be entered to win prizes.

There are 44 stops on the wine and beer walk, but participants will be limited to drinking at a maximum of 20 of those stops. All alcohol featured on the walk is available in downtown liquor stores, bars and restaurants.

The Listening Local stage will return and will stand off Cypress Street, behind Tacos and Beer and Our Mom's Restaurant and Bar. Local artists who will play the stage include Miguel Funnell, Ameal Cameron, Joe Burns, Rick Tobey and Dead Savage.

Little told Kiwanians how Hot August Night started small during a time when downtown was trying to bring business back to the area. The $20 fee to participate in the wine walk hasn't changed, but attendance has.

The event now boasts attendance of 12,000 people, she said.

She also spoke on the recent and coming projects of Hammond DDD.

"My job is to get people here and keep it thriving," she said. "We wear a lot of hats."

When she began as director, she was the only one on staff. Graziano was added and put in charge of Hammond Farmers Market later. A board of directors and various committees round out Little's team.

Downtown Development District's vacancy rate has dropped to 12 percent, and 94 percent of the buildings in the district have been renovated. Within the 74 blocks of the district, there are around 700 residents in the 300 apartments and residences.

"Most DDD layouts do not include residential neighborhoods. We are the only one in Louisiana Main Street that has homes in it," Little said.

The DDD's leadership also makes it unique, as many are under direct control of their municipal governments.

Ongoing projects for the DDD include Cate Square upgrades, trash cleanup, establishing stops for trucks delivering to downtown businesses and restaurants, building a pavilion between the DDD office and La Carreta, and lighting projects.

The pavilion, in talks since 2002 or before, will bring with it new, safer roadside parking on Railroad Avenue on that block and a sidewalk. Little hopes to use the pavilion for the farmers market and weekend live music. Lighting projects reveal another unique Hammond characteristic.

"These green light poles are not found in other communities. We're trying to buy more," she said.

Hammond Kiwanis Club will have its own wine and beer tasting booth during Hot August Night this year inside The Mezzanine Event Center. The club also inducted a new member at Tuesday's meeting, Edwards Jones Investment financial advisor Shaun McArthur.

Hot August Night 2019

4:45 p.m. - Wine and Beer Walk sales begin

5-9:30 - Wine and Beer Walk

5:30 - Lionpawlooza Parade, begins on East Thomas Street

DDD Main Stage - South Cate Street

6-7 - Lionpawlooza Pep Rally

7-9:30 - Wayne Toups

Listening Local Stage - North Cypress Street

5-5:45 - Miguel Funnell

6-6:45 - Ameal Cameron

7-7:45 - Joe Burns

8-8:45 - Rick Tobey

9-9:45 - Dead Savage
00 2019-08-21
Lafayette

UL Lafayette unveils app to help students, supporters connected with University


UL Lafayette has unveiled a new app that will keep students, graduates, and supporters connected with the University.

Users can view news stories, interact with social media feeds, take a virtual campus tour, update contact information, and reserve tickets for alumni events.

"GeauxU is about engaging graduates and connecting them to their alma mater. It has features that give users the opportunity to become regular participants in University life, whether they live on campus, across the country, or in another part of the world," said Troy Hebert, president of the UL Lafayette Alumni Association.

The app features a Wallet section, where users have access to their membership cards for the Alumni Association, the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum, the Ragin' Cajuns Athletic Foundation, and Edith Garland Dupre Library.

Users can also connect with alumni clubs by location and with chapters that align with their professions or interests, said Lauren Shiver, the University's associate vice president for Advancement Operations.

Shiver explained another section of the app. The Traditions section lists over 40 activities, such as performances at Angelle Hall, tailgating at Cajun Field, or wearing red on Fridays.

Some activities ask users to upload photos or write a few sentences to share their experiences. As users work through the list, they'll unlock four achievement levels and win prizes.

The app is one component of the University's ongoing efforts to deepen affinity for and engagement with the school, said Jennifer LeMeunier, the Alumni Association's executive director.

The app also provides information about booking the Alumni Center for events, added LeMeunier.

Shiver detailed the overall purpose of the app: "GeauxU is designed to build a mobile community. Its features replicate the sense of belonging to the University family that graduates had when they were students here."

The GeauxU app is now available in the App Store and on Google Play.
00 2019-08-21
Lafayette

New UL Apartment Complex Ready Just In Time For Fall 2019 Semester


Classes are about to begin at UL for the fall 2019 semester, but the university has spent the past year expanding its on-campus housing.

UL Dean of Students, Dr. Dewayne Bowie, says its brand new apartment complex, The Heritage at Cajun Village is ready just in time for the new semester.

“A lot of tough weather conditions to deal with but they’ve made it happen.” said Dr. Bowie.

He added the weather presented a lot of challenges, but they are putting the finishing touches on the heritage.

“Right now they are still working on things like the landscaping. You got some wet grounds and things of that nature.” he said.

The new apartment complex will bring hundreds of additional students to campus.

Dr. Bowie believes it will make the university a more tight knit community.

“Kids that live on campus have a higher graduation, then those who don’t and also what we find is that they also get so much more out of the college experience. They get more involved and engaged, than those who live off campus.” he explained.

He says the Heritage is just another step toward improving the college experience.

“Things may not be happen as quickly as they want them to sometimes, but we are listening and we make plans for those things that we feel in conversations with our students that would add a whole different dimension and be a benefit to the campus. We just really want to improve this living and learning environment for our students.” said Dr. Bowie.

Students will start moving in later this week and classes start on Monday.

The weather has delayed the opening of another new student apartment complex–Campion at Lafayette–until August 31st.

Campion is not affiliated with the university.
00 2019-08-21
Lafayette

Acadiana is facing a teacher shortage


Students are back in class, but some of them haven’t met the person who will be teaching them this school year.
​More than 50 teaching positions remain open across Acadiana.

Only Evangeline and St. Martin parishes have teachers in every classroom. According to their websites, Lafayette and St. Landry parishes need nearly two dozen teachers each.

That shortage isn’t limited to our area alone, and the problem appears to be that less students want to become teachers.

​​”The numbers in colleges of ed and teacher prep have been dwindling over the last eight to 10 years,” said Dr. Nathan Roberts is the Dean of the College of Education at UL Lafayette. “The number that we’re producing don’t even come close to being able to fill the needs that are within the state. He sees first hand why the program has gone from an enrollment of 1400 students who want to be teachers to 900 today.​​

The trend started when the legislature made changes in terms of teacher tenure and the requirements of teachers and all the accountability within the teaching profession.”​

Once students do graduate with a teaching certification, Dr. Roberts says the pressure and lack of support push many of them out of the classroom.​​

“Right now, they’re walking into schools that don’t have good facilities, they have a lack of supplies,” Roberts said. “No one would want to be a fireman without a fire truck, a police officer without a police car, you put a surgeon in there with no tools, they can’t do the job that they want to do and if teachers had the resources and the ability to teach they’d be the happiest people in the world.”​​

Figuring out the most effective teacher accountability presents a challenge, but Roberts believes the current method may not be the best way to measure success.

​​”In the old days with a high school diploma you could function in society. They taught you all those little pieces plus math and science and others. Today, the only thing that matter is can you pass the test and get an appropriate score.”​​

So what is the university doing to draw in students who want to be teachers in the current educational climate?​​

“What we try to do is encourage them that teachers can change lives. Doctors save lives, attorneys represent people, but teachers change it all and it’s a great profession that has wonderful benefits that ties in with the salary.” ​​

Dr. Roberts explained that UL Lafayette does offer alternative certification options. If someone has a degree, parishes may hire them to teach while they work toward becoming certified.
To find out what teaching jobs are available across the state, visit teachlouisiana.net.
00 2019-08-21
Monroe

'We've known that all along': ESPN ranks Grambling football among best all-time


GRAMBLING – When the 2019 college football season officially kicks off this weekend, it’ll mark the 150th anniversary of the sport being played.

To commemorate the milestone, ESPN recently unveiled its list of the top 50 college football programs of all time, using a formula it created that factored in number of national championships, a program’s winning percentage in its 50 best seasons, winning percentage since integration (1969-present), as well as a few other variables.

Coming in right at the midway point at No. 25 is Grambling State, the only HBCU to make the cut and rated the seventh-best non-current FBS football program.

Dec 17, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; A Grambling State Tigers
Dec 17, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; A Grambling State Tigers player raises his helmet prior to the Celebration Bowl against the North Carolina Central Eagles at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Photo: Brett Davis, Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

“Grambling's success in the postwar era is a tribute to the coaching acumen and sheer willpower of Eddie Robinson, who served the school as football coach and pretty much every other administrative job needed to field a football team,” ESPN noted about the program. “Under Robinson, Grambling became the most celebrated HBCU in the segregated era of the 1940s through the 1960s. Once the SEC schools began recruiting African American talent, Grambling's days as a feeder to the NFL quickly came to an end. Progress has its victims too.”

For those that have been around and ingrained in the Tigers football program, seeing the Grambling State name on ESPN’s list was no surprise.

“We’ve known that all along without anyone rating that,” said current GSU head football coach Broderick Fobbs, who played running back from 1992-96 for the legendary Grambling head coach Eddie Robinson. “When you look at what coach Robinson has done for a number of years, it speaks volumes. You don’t win 400-plus games and not be ranked pretty high.

“That says a lot about coach Robinson and his program and what he’s built. And we’re standing on his shoulders and trying to continue to process of the foundation that always been laid.”

Under the Hall of Fame coach’s watch, the “G” produced more than 200 players that played in the NFL, most notably quarterback Doug Williams, offensive lineman Buck Buchanan, Willie Brown, Willie Davis and Charlie Joiner, during his tenure at GSU that spanned 58 years. While coaching at Grambling State, Robinson became the winningest head coach in college football history after passing Alabama legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant in 1985 and finished with 408 wins. That number is currently third all-time behind John Gagliardi former coach at St. John’s (a DIII university in Minnesota) and former Penn State coach Joe Paterno.

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Since first fielding a football team in 1928, Grambling has competed in the NCAA Small College Division then moved up to Division II in 1973 before leaping up to Division I-AA (now known as the FCS) in 1978 and has accrued a large amount of success. The G-Men have captured 26 conference championships, 25 in its current conference the SWAC and one in the Midwestern Conference in 1955.

To Fobbs, there was one glaring mistake in ESPN’s assessment of the Grambling State football program, which has won 15 Black College National Championships, as recently as 2016.

“The number of national championships that we’ve won, that they seemed to have overlooked because they had a zero there. I watch everything,” he said. “We’ve won a number of national championships.”

Despite the omission, the mention as one of the best college football program in history gave the already tradition-rich Grambling a nice feather in their cap and Fobbs said it’s another thing he and his coaching staff can throw into their recruiting pitch.

"I think it is. I think that’s important. The thing we tend to focus on that is important is the substance of the program. That’s the key,” Fobbs said. “So many times today, the substance is overlooked. What is the program really about? Everything is about facilities, uniforms and the bells and whistles, but what is the program really about?

“Even if you have those things, you need to focus on young men development and making sure that they’re better people and human beings so they can play football but also be better when they get out in society. That’s something that we focus on, something I’ll always continue to focus on regardless of what we have and what we’re trying to get accomplished.”

Follow Cory Diaz on Twitter @CoryDiaz_TNS and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CoryDiazTNS/

Read more Grambling State football news
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Grambling State motivated, uplifted by Clark's presence at fall camp
00 2019-08-21
Natchitoches

NSU Career Center adds companies to Purple Pride Partner Program


NATCHITOCHES, La. (NSU) - Northwestern State University’s Office of Counseling and Career Services has two new members of the Purple Pride Partner Program, an initiative intended to help companies connect with students to help meet workforce needs and student employment goals.

The program’s newest partners are Enterprise Holdings, LLD, and Heart of Hospice. Enterprise Holdings donated $5,000 at the Wise Partner level. The Career Center worked with Enterprise Talent Acquisitions Manager Jeffrey Green and Dustin Laroux, Generalist Manager Dustin Laroux, a graduate of NSU.

Heart of Hospice is an Advance Partner through a donation of $500. Amanda Anderson, manager of Volunteer Services at the Alexandria site, and Ginger Clampit, volunteer coordinator at the Monroe location, worked with NSU's Career Center and NSU's Social Work Department to start the partnership.

“By partnering with us we will help initiate and form bonds between our students and employers to meet both their needs,” said Randi Washington, assistant director of the Counseling and Career Services Office. “It is our mission to prepare our amazing graduates for the world of work. To do so we realize that our partnership with businesses will allow us to learn about company needs and goals and assist them in hiring our students and alumni.”

Partnership Levels are Wise Partner ($3,000+ donation); Aspire Partner ($1,000+ donation) and Advance Partner ($500+ donation). Each level comes corresponding values of recognition at events, in publications and via social media; promotional and recruitment opportunities and other benefits.

“We at the NSU Career Center are excited about our partners,” Washington said. “We look forward to implementing new ideas, services and incentives for our students and employers.”

For more information about the program visit https://careercenter.nsula.edu/employers/partners/ or contact Washington at washingtonr@nsula.edu or (318) 357.4050.

Copyright 2019 Northwestern State University of Louisiana. All rights reserved.
00 2019-08-21
Natchitoches

Get ready for the new Steak ‘n Shake at NSU Student Union


Campus Dining at Northwestern State University released several artistic renderings as a sneak peak for the Steak ‘n Shake, which will be opening soon in the NSU Student Union. So far there’s been a lot of excitement expressed over this new dining option by the NSU and Natchitoches communities alike.
00 2019-08-21
Regional/National

Why Has Black-Student Enrollment Fallen?


hen Leykia Nulan joined the provost’s office at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2015, her mission was to increase the enrollment of black and other minority students.

Nulan, who is now director of freshman admission as well as assistant provost for diversity in enrollment management, soon realized that many promising prospective black students were never making it into the pool of applicants.

Amherst draws a large proportion of its black students from nearby Springfield, Mass. Teachers and counselors there told Nulan they’d been discouraging their students from applying. "They just assumed they would never get in and said, ‘Oh, you’re not going to get in, you don’t have the right grades or testing to even compete,’ kind of taking us off the student's list before they even got to us," Nulan says.


Another way students failed to enter the pool was that their Common Application, which can be used to apply to many colleges at once, remained incomplete, even after all application materials were due.

So Nulan and her team contacted those students directly to verify that they were still interested in applying to Amherst. Some were surprised that all their documents had not gone through and sent in the ones that were missing.

From the fall of 2010 to the fall of 2017, Amherst’s African-American enrollment rose to 1,320, from just 1,000, a 32 percent increase. Black students still make up just 5.2 percent of the student body. But the numbers are moving in a positive direction.

That is not the case for black enrollment in college over all. It hit a peak in 2010 and has declined by more than 13 percent since then. Sixty-six percent of recent black high-school graduates enrolled in college in 2010. By 2017 that share had fallen to 58 percent.

Black enrollment took a hit for several reasons. African-American students were disproportionately represented at for-profit colleges, hundreds of which have closed in the past few years. Low unemployment rates have led to enrollment declines at two-year public colleges, where blacks are slightly overrepresented.

The estimated number of black public-high-school graduates in the country has fallen by about 25,000 from 2010 to 2017, meaning the pool is smaller — but that is nowhere near the loss in enrollment of nearly 365,000 black college students over the same period. Some college officials argue the level of decline found in U.S. Department of Education data may appear exaggerated, because an increasing number of students identify themselves as "two or more races," and others are of unknown race.

Even though African-American enrollment at four-year public institutions grew from 2010 to 2017, it didn’t grow at the same pace as overall enrollment.

Leaders at flagship and land-grant institutions like the University of Florida engage in frequent conversations about how they can do better at enrolling minority students, says Charles Murphy, director of Florida’s freshman and international admissions. "I don’t think there is a university in that group that feels like they’ve arrived."

Florida’s efforts include holding application-workshop sessions at high schools with large percentages of low-income and first-generation college students and having academic departments reach out to admitted students in the hope that they will feel comfortable about enrolling. The university last year hired its first chief diversity officer.

Other colleges shared their own ideas for increasing the enrollment of black students.

Partnerships. At the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Nulan and her staff work with Springfield Public Schools, ensuring that Amherst faculty and staff members interact face-to-face with students as often as possible. Through the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s 100 Males to College program, the university offers mentors and family-oriented activities to prospective students.

College-application sessions. African-American male staff members at the University of Nevada at Reno began holding monthly meetings about two years ago with black male juniors in high school in Las Vegas. Each session focused on a different aspect of the college-application process. The program, Nevada Scholars of Tomorrow, allows students to meet potential staff and faculty role models as well as peers, and was last year expanded to include black female students, says Everett L. Jackson, director of the university's Las Vegas Office for Prospective Students. The Reno campus reported that 693 black students were enrolled in the fall of 2017, 48 percent more than in 2010.

Text messages. Staff members at North Carolina State University this year ran a project, supported by a grant through the federal GEAR UP program, in which the university sent text messages to high-school students in counties with low resources. The university used chatbot technology to answer students’ questions about admissions. Ronnie Chalmers, director of strategic initiatives in the university’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions, says the project has resulted in stronger student yield.

Summer programs. North Carolina State also offers the Emerging Scholars Academy, a six-day summer program that brings 100 high-school juniors interested in African-American culture to campus.

Students accepted to the academy, which is free, are joined by 10 North Carolina State students who serve as "near-peer" mentors. During the week, attendees draft their college-admission essays, work with a test-preparation team, and attend classes.

"Having the near-peer model, having our mentors with them all week to talk about their experience and the steps they took to get to a competitive institution like N.C. State, I think that’s really important in having students see themselves in someone," Chalmers says.

The academy, he says, also serves as an affirmation for students, who must have a cumulative 3.5 GPA or be in the top 10 percent of their class to attend. "Students sometimes don’t have the confidence in themselves, but bringing them to a college campus, having them sit in a college classroom, having them do some writing, it can change that confidence level," Chalmers says. At the close of the program, "students are in tears talking about how inspiring the event is."

And it works — academy participants are admitted to North Carolina State at higher rates than those in the general pool. While the program aims to promote general college readiness, it’s also a way for North Carolina State to distinguish itself among other colleges that students may be considering.

Chalmers says that, given the national decline in black student enrollment, colleges across the nation have been placing staff members in North Carolina State’s region — and offering substantial financial-aid packages to lure away students who might have traditionally expected to attend his institution. Enrollment of black students at North Carolina State fell 26.1 percent between 2010 and 2017.

"If, before, we may have been competing with two or three other schools, we may be competing with 10 schools now. There’s a lot of competition in North Carolina specifically for those students," Chalmers says. "You see that decline" in black-student enrollment. "Well, every school is trying to reverse that decline."

Competition for black and other minority students is particularly intense for the better-known private nonprofit and public universities, like Amherst and North Carolina State. That’s why Leykia Nulan has engineered a highly-personalized method of reading underrepresented students’ applications.

She and her staff are looking at the files "holistically and moving them through our process in a way that would counterbalance some of the obstacles that these students would face that may not be present for students with, say, a longstanding history of college-going in their family, or a fluency with college culture and the application process, or access to additional test prep or resources at their school," Nulan says.

Compounding those issues for students interested in Amherst, Nulan says, is the fact that the university recently did away with allowing an undecided major option on the Common Application, which all applicants must use. That means students’ admissibility depends on the first- and second-choice majors they select — and many times, Nulan and her team find, underrepresented students apply to majors they are not competitive in.

So Nulan has developed a "high-touch" process for reviewing applications, in which she or a member of her team might email a student whose academic qualifications don’t meet Amherst’s benchmarks for success in their intended major, and suggest a number of related majors instead.

"Sometimes the students say no. And sometimes they say, ‘Oh, absolutely, sure. Thanks for explaining this to me,’" Nulan says. "So we're just doing academic advising, essentially, in the college application process."

That outreach is one way of expanding the pool. Lorelle Espinosa, vice president for research at the American Council on Education, believes institutions need to start working with prospective college students even earlier and play a larger role in getting children ready for college.

"I’d love to see all campuses play a more active role in their communities and in seeing more students get college-ready and ultimately enroll in college, and not do it from a place where they’re trying to create, always, a pipeline to their college, but a pipeline to any college anywhere in the country," Espinosa says.

"When you think about how K-12 is funded and you think about where the most underresourced schools are located, they’re in these communities that are becoming more and more segregated by class and by race," she says. "The whole picture here has a lot to do with these systemic barriers and systemic racism that you see from the very beginning of a child’s life all the way to the work force. Like any big problem in society, it turns out to be much more complicated than news headlines or common assumptions would lead you to believe."
00 2019-08-21
Ruston

Tech recognized for low student loan debt


Louisiana Tech University has been recognized in LendEDU’s fourth annual Student Loan Debt by School by State Report for having one of the lowest average student loan debt per borrower rates in Louisiana.

Louisiana Tech was ranked as second in the state for lowest student loan debt. The average loan debt for borrowers was $24,659, and the University was in the 25th percentile for number of students graduating with loans.

“We are proud to see Louisiana Tech continue to make higher education affordable,” said Les Guice, Louisiana Tech president. “Earning a college degree can be transformational for students and their families. Creating opportunities for all and strengthening our state, region, and nation means that our University works to make that education affordable for as many families as possible.”

Tech has consistently been named a best value among schools in Louisiana. Most recently, MONEY magazine recognized the University as a Best Value in the state and country, and Forbes magazine named Louisiana Tech to its Best Value Colleges list. Increasing access to quality education was also ranked as one of Louisiana Tech’s strengths in the Times Higher Education World Impact rankings released in early April.

“Students and parents continue to see that Louisiana Tech provides a nationally recognized value in higher education,” Guice said. “Our faculty and staff work to ensure that all students have the support to achieve their dreams — and make a positive change in their careers and communities — through a college degree.”

This recognition is an indicator of the investment Tech’s Office of Financial Aid makes in each student, Vice President for Student Advancement Dr. Dickie Crawford said.

“The team in the Office of Financial Aid has the daunting task of ensuring each student has the resources to complete their education,” Crawford said. “The office’s mission is to help our students succeed and begin to make an impact. Their hard work and caring are one of the first introductions our students have to the Tech Family, and they do a great job at it.”

In Louisiana, the average debt per student borrower is $27,487, the 20th lowest in the nation. Forty-seven percent of Louisiana’s college students graduated with debt.
00 2019-08-20
Houma/Thibodaux

Nicholls welcomes second black male retention group


Standing in front of a mix of old and new faces today, Nicholls State University professor Farren Clark emphasized the mission of the CROWN program -- help first-year students overcome barriers, find their purpose and achieve academically.
“Our goal is 3.0,” he said, asking the fresh batch of mentees and mentors to repeat that grade point average they will all strive for in their first semester. Everyone joined in the chant.
The program grew by about 10 students this year with its second cohort of 35 students. They held orientation for the new group on Friday morning.
CROWN -- or Colonel Retention of Winners Network -- is a program unique to Nicholls that pairs first-year black male students with a peer mentor who will support and help connect them to campus.
Students also participate in weekly guest lectures and workshops on topics ranging from financial literacy to resume building and study skills.
The 2018-19 school year was the university’s first with the program. According to the data from the admission’s office, retention of black male first-year students saw a nearly 15% increase between 2017-18 and 2018-19. It matched that of their white male counterparts.
The data showed that in 2012-13, retention of that black male students was below 50% and had grown to just under 60% in 2017-18. For 2018-19, it jumped to close to 75%.
“I knew there we’d see results, but I didn’t think we’d see these results,” Nicholls President Jay Clune told the group.
Now, he said the university is observing the program to see how it can be applied to other student populations.
“The question that came up at convocation was what can we learn from CROWN that we can apply to all students,” said Clune.
Clune, who has backed the project himself, also commended Nicholls Provost Sue Westbrook for her early support of the initiative and work with Clark.
One of the new freshmen, Damion Martin, came to Nicholls from Little Rock, Arkansas.
When Martin was considering attending college, he said he worried it would be “overwhelming.”
“I still do sometimes,” he said.
But, after hearing about the program from Clark about a month earlier, he said he thinks the brotherhood in CROWN will help relieve some of that stress.
“I think CROWN will help me prioritize my goals and stay focused while in school,” said Martin.
Many of the mentors are students who were part of the inaugural class of mentees or served as a mentor last year.
Senior Davonte Burse is entering his second year as a mentor and said he’s enjoying the “positive vibes” from the new group. He can’t wait to give another student the guidance that he wished he had as a freshman.
“It’s been a very rewarding program for me as a mentor,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot, not just from mentoring but from having a mentee. It’s mutual.”
The students will be paired with a mentor at their first meeting of the semester on Aug. 21.
Staff Writer Halle Parker can be reached at hparker@houmatoday.com or 857-2204. Follow her on Twitter, @_thehalparker.
00 2019-08-20
Lake Charles

McNeese reopens to new and returning students today


LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - McNeese State University’s “Howdy Rowdy″ welcome week for 2019 starts today, Monday, August 19, 2019.

The University has set up a variety of events over the next two weeks for the thousands of new and returning students that are expected to be coming to the campus for the start of the Fall semester.

The “Howdy Rowdy” week was created to help students experience what campus and community life has to offer.

The following is the schedule of events:

Monday, Aug. 19, Meet the Greeks: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., in the Quad. You can join the 11 Greek organizations for a day filled with food, fun and fellowship. Organizations will distribute information about joining their groups or supporting their philanthropic efforts.
Tuesday, Aug. 20, Student Organizations Fair: 9 a.m. - noon or 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m., in the Parra Ballroom, New Ranch. The annual Student Organizations Fair is a chance for students, faculty and staff to become acquainted with the over 100 recognized student organizations on campus.
Wednesday, Aug. 21, Welcome Back Wednesday: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., in the New Ranch. The Student Life Coalition will hand out free novelties and food and provide music in the Student Union.
Thursday, Aug. 22, Get Connected Day: 9 a.m. - noon, in the New Ranch. Various student support departments and academic areas will greet new students, hand out information about the services they provide and answer general questions.
Monday, Aug. 26, Campus Ministries Day: 9 a.m. - noon, in the New Ranch. McNeese’s campus ministry student organizations will distribute information to students regarding worship services, meetings and free lunch programs.
Tuesday, Aug. 27, SGA Day: 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., in the New Ranch. The McNeese Student Government Association will host a day of free food, music and cool giveaways to show its appreciation for the McNeese student body. Students can also learn more about how to be involved with the SGA.
Wednesday, Aug. 28, Wellness Wednesday: 9 a.m. - noon, in the New Ranch. To promote student wellness, Student Health Services will provide information and resources on academic, emotional, nutritional and sexual health as well as responsible alcohol consumption.
Thursday, Aug. 29, Community Day: 9 a.m. - noon., in the Parra Ballroom, New Ranch. Local business and community service agencies will have informational booths in the New Ranch about their products and services, as well as opportunities for part-time employment or internships for students.
Copyright 2019 KPLC. All rights reserved.
00 2019-08-20
Monroe

ULM’s “The Pursuit” features NLU Indian great Joe Profit


Every year in August, ULM gets Warhawk supporters from near and far to rub elbows and enjoy each others company, before football season.

Monday evening at Bayou Pointe, on the campus of ULM, hundered gathered for “The Pursuit.”
00 2019-08-20
Monroe

ULM turns a Profit into a 'Pursuit' speaker


When Louisiana-Monroe approached all-time great Joe Profit to be the keynote speaker at this year’s Pursuit, he didn’t hesitate to tell his alma mater yes.

“I will never turn down an opportunity to come home and talk to our young people and older folks like me,” Profit said. “I’m following a good friend and a fellow alumnus in Tim Brando. Those are some big shoes to fill, but I’m elated to have this opportunity.”

One year after Brando guest hosted The Pursuit, Profit will headline the annual kickoff event for the 2019-20 athletic and academic year. The Pursuit is sponsored by BancorpSouth and scheduled for Monday, August 19 from 6-to-9 p.m. at the Bayou Pointe Event Center on campus.

A transcendent figure in ULM history, Profit was the first African American to play college football at a predominantly white institution in Louisiana and graduated in 1971 as the Gulf States Conference’s all-time leading rusher.
A transcendent figure in ULM history, Profit was the first African American to play college football at a predominantly white institution in Louisiana and graduated in 1971 as the Gulf States Conference’s all-time leading rusher. (Photo: File photo)

A transcendent figure in ULM history, Profit was the first African American to play college football at a predominantly white institution in Louisiana and graduated in 1971 as the Gulf States Conference’s all-time leading rusher.

“The Pursuit is a celebration of all things ULM and we welcome back one of our most accomplished student-athletes,” ULM athletic director Scott McDonald said. “Joe enjoyed a storied career at our university and has continued to excel in business, education and community service. We are honored to have him return to share his story.”

Born in Lake Providence, Profit grew up in Monroe during segregation and attended Richwood High School. He starred at running back for the Rams and legendary coach Mackie Freeze, earning scholarship offers from Grambling State, Southern and Alcorn State.

At the time, most of Louisiana’s best African American players opted for Grambling or Southern. Profit was inspired to attend Alcorn in Lorman, Mississippi by Patrick H. Robinson, a teacher and coach at Swayze Junior High.

“Mr. Robinson was also a businessman and that inspired me so much that I wanted to go there and be a certified public accountant,” Profit said. “It didn’t work out at Alcorn. I didn’t know it at the time, but there was a better plan ahead of me.”

Profit left Alcorn in the summer of 1967 and returned to Monroe unsure of his future. Despite the misgivings of his father, and the reluctance of ULM coach Dixie B. White, Profit would not be dissuaded from attending then-Northeast Louisiana University.

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“I leaned a lot on the things I learned from Coach Freeze when I got to Northeast,” Profit said. “A lot of folks don’t understand we didn’t have a lot of resources at Richwood. We were able to hold our heads up high because Coach Freeze instilled in us that we must high expectations of ourselves, regardless of the circumstances.

“That challenged I faced at Northeast gave me the experience I needed to maneuver through life. I learned that I couldn’t limit my challenges, but I could certainly challenge my limits.”

Profit’s name wasn’t even in the program when NLU opened the 1967 season. That changed quickly as Profit distinguished himself on the field. His 1,027 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 211 carries made him the school’s first 1,000-yard rusher and stood as the best season for a runner in program history until 1972.

During his final season in 1970, Profit set NLU’s all-time rushing record with 2,818 yards. It stood until Roosevelt Potts broke the record in 1992.

“Being in a segregated environment all my life actually helped me when I got to Northeast,” Profit said. “It taught me that mean-spiritedness didn’t come in color. I knew that some of the people I lived with who looked just like me were mean as snakes, so I didn’t confuse meanness with skin color.”

The Atlanta Falcons made Profit the seventh pick of the 1971 NFL Draft. Profit played 2.5 seasons with the Falcons (1971-73) and finished the 1973 season with the New Orleans Saints. He also played one season for the Birmingham Americans of the World Football League in 1974.

Profit reinvented himself as a successful businessman after retiring from football. He owned several Burger Kings and an International House of Pancakes in the Atlanta area before entering the telecommunications business.

Former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush appointed Profit to the Federal Communication Commission’s Small Business Advisory Committee. Profit has remained close to politics and is a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Georgia’s 7th District.

Profit has received numerous Entrepreneur of the Year awards and was inducted into the ULM Hall of Fame and Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

With an assist from ULM Hall of Famer Al Miller, Matt Viator reached out to Profit shortly after being ULM’s football coach in December 2015. Profit spoke to the team prior to games against Georgia State in Atlanta during the 2016 and 2018 seasons.

“The first time we played at Georgia State, he came the next day and rode the bus with us and stood on the sideline,” Viator said. “He’s very appreciative of ULM and the opportunity the university gave him, and I think that’s a great message for our players.”

Profit called Viator a “world class leader” and the perfect coach for the Warhawks.

“He reminds me of some of the great coaches I had because he wants to produce not just great players, but men that will excel beyond football,” Profit said.

“The time is now for our alumni and this community to rally around this university and I’m excited to see what this team has in store for the season.”

Follow Adam on Twitter @adam_hunsucker
00 2019-08-20
Monroe

ULM, districts partner to foster teachers


The University of Louisiana Monroe School of Education is partnering with three area school districts with an initiative to encourage and guide students at four high schools toward careers as teachers.

To accomplish this goal, the School of Education is launching Educators Rising during the 2019-20 school year at Neville, Wossman, Oak Grove and Ruston high schools. The project is under the direction of Dr. Amy L. Weems, ULM Assistant Professor of Education.

“We are thrilled to be a university partner for the Educators Rising initiative, and we are so encouraged by the commitment of our partner schools that are piloting coursework for the 2019-20 school year,” Weems said.

Weems said the high school partners are recruiting students for Educators Rising now, at the beginning of the school year. ULM will support the program through virtual professional learning communities, by mentoring teachers and students, hosting campus visits and skill-development days for Educators Rising competitions.

ULM provided the EdRising Academy Curriculum to the four pilot schools for the 2019-20 school year. Normally it is purchased by the schools. The curriculum is being used to teach a dual enrollment course at Ruston High School and as a dual credit course at Oak Grove, Neville and Wossman.

“Both are taught as a partnership between ULM and approved instructors in these high schools,” Weems said.

Also part of the program is the EdRising Virtual Campus available to pilot school students and teachers.

“It’s like a social media connection for schools that are implementing Educators Rising,” said Weems.

The School of Education is chartering a collegiate chapter of Educators Rising which will give ULM education students access to this network of mentors and future educators as well. Chapter members will also serve as ambassadors working with community partners and aspiring educators.

The mission of Educators Rising is to expand opportunities for high school students to experience the high-impact empowerment teaching can offer, help students develop leadership skills and have experiences to advance career choices, increase diversity in the local teacher workforce and support local teachers as they recruit and mentor students to enter education.
00 2019-08-20
Monroe

ULM offering low-cost therapy for couples and families


ULM's Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic is trying to get the word out into the community about their services. The clinic says they see a myriad of cases.


ULM's Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic offering low-cost therapy for individuals, couples, or families. (KNOE) -
"We see individuals, we see couples, we see families, we see folks for marital problems, but not necessarily because the name says 'Marriage and Family'," says Dr. Van Frusha with the clinic. "Here in the next few weeks, we'll probably be seeing more parent-child things because school is going to be beginning."

Dr. Van Frusha is an instructor in the Marriage and Family Therapy department at ULM. The clinic started back in 1983, and Dr. Frusha says it's considered one of the best-kept secrets on the bayou. But, he says they're trying to change that.

Dr. Frusha says their clinic is known around the world for the work they do. He says their Endowed Chair with ULM just lectured.

People in the community will pay no more than $30 for the first session, then $20 for sessions after that. Dr. Frusha says they try not to turn clients away, so they will always try to make their services affordable.

The clinic is free for ULM students.

He says their clinic is known around the world for the work they do. Dr. Frusha says their Endowed Chair recently spoke in China about their work. He says they use Systemic Therapy techniques to help patients.

He says they try to get clients on the right track within 10 sessions.

Dr. Frusha says when they work with patents they look at their whole environment, including their souse, family or work environment. They say they see a lot of patients after they've been prescribed medication for their problems, but aren't seeing improvement.

"We don't live in a vacuum, and so a lot of times, if you work with just the individual, if you don't take into account what's going on around them or with other people, then whatever you're doing can get influenced negatively when they go back into that system," says Dr. Frusha.

He says when seeing new clients the first thing they do is make a human connection with them. He says they're an instructional institution, so their Master's and Doctorate program participants will help patients and get hands-on experience.

Dr. Frusha says they're open late too to make sure people can come after work or school. Call (318) 342-5678 to make appointments. The clinic is located in Strauss Hall at 700 University Ave, Monroe, La. 71209.
00 2019-08-20
Natchitoches

NSU hosts Convocation for Class of 2023


NATCHITOCHES, La. (NSU) - Northwestern State University welcomed about 1,400 freshmen during the university’s annual New Student Convocation on Sunday.

New students were introduced to deans, department heads, motivational speakers and the Demon Creed of loyalty, leadership and service.

Members of the Class of 2023 come from more than 300 high schools in ten states and all corners of Louisiana.

Convocation marks the beginning of each student’s academic journey, which concludes with graduation.

Fall classes at NSU began Monday.

Late registration goes through Aug. 27.

Information is available here.

Copyright 2019 Northwestern State University of Louisiana. All rights reserved.
00 2019-08-20
Regional/National

Relax, English Majors. You’re Still Plenty Employable.


I’m Goldie Blumenstyk, a senior writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education, covering innovation in and around academe. Here’s what I’m thinking about this week.

Skills matter more than the major. A million job profiles prove it.
My usual advice to college students is: Major in something you like. Last week Michelle Obama offered similar guidance to first-generation college students at a Beating the Odds Summit in Washington, D.C. (She also advised them not to rush the choice: “You should pick a major you’re excited about, and you’re not going to know that for a couple of years.”)

Now I’m pleased to report that a new analysis that examined the first, second, and third jobs of nearly one million professionals shows that neither of us is full of it.

Frankly, I’m a bit relieved, too. It’s nice to know that the data — crunched by the labor-market-analytics company EMSI — show that this follow-your-heart advice has held true, even as the economy has shifted and as students face increasing family and public pressure to pick majors that might seem to have the most practical payoffs.

By following the actual career paths of real people, EMSI found that “the outcome of the English major looks pretty similar to the outcome of the business major,” as Rob Sentz, the company’s chief innovation officer, told me. In other words, said Sentz, your major “doesn’t doom you to a fixed path.”

The reason? EMSI’s analysis found that the very skills held by those who had majored in English — or philosophy or social sciences or business or communications — seemed to have prepared them well for jobs in fields like sales, marketing, training, and management, which are all now in high demand.

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For anyone interested in tracing the work trajectory of 750,000-plus people from those majors, compared with the 162,000-plus who majored in more-applied fields like health care, engineering, and IT, “Degrees at Work: Examining the Serendipitous Outcomes of Diverse Degrees” includes just enough of those snakey-looking graphics to make your eyes cross. (I did find that the more I stared at them, the easier they were to follow — and the outcomes are fascinating.)

But more important than all of that are the lessons that colleges should take from the findings.

As they see the kinds of jobs students from various majors land, the report recommends that colleges become “more proactive about communicating these outcomes.” It also calls on colleges to think about curricula from a “skills” perspective, and create “skills-based transcripts to help students understand not just the subject matter they studied but the skills acquired or exercised in class.”

The “badges” movement that I’ve written about before in this newsletter is one formal way to carry out those ideas. But there are also ways to do it in less-formal ways in classroom settings. I realize that means getting a lot more faculty members on board. And while that might seem like a, uh, cultural challenge, it shouldn’t be. If anything, it seems like the doorway to a win-win opportunity, especially for fields (like my long-ago major, history) that are now facing enrollment declines. Show students that the majors they like are also majors that can lead to good jobs, and everybody wins.

Or, as Sentz put it: People are landing in good jobs from a variety of majors, but “it’s happening without a lot of intentionality.” Now that “we can see this in the data,” he asked, “can we talk about it a little more?”

Quote of the week.
“The textbook industry, once a robust market with a multitude of competing publishers, is now dominated by a handful of giants.”
—Open Markets Institute and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund

From a letter to the antitrust division of the U.S. Department of Justice in which the organizations and eight other groups and individuals urge the federal government to block the planned merger between Cengage and McGraw-Hill.

Following up on the pipeline from college to public service.
Last week’s newsletter, on how colleges can help repair the broken talent pipeline to government service, resonated with many readers. Here’s some of what I heard:

Jason Tyszko, vice president of the Center for Education and Workforce at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, wrote to say that while the “talent pipeline management” program at his organization had not previously worked with any government bodies, it was now interested in seeing how it might connect with the Volcker Alliance’s Government-to-University Initiative. Ditto for another chamber-foundation project, called the Job Data Exchange, which encourages employers to post jobs in a common machine-readable format.

Dave Seliger described his efforts on this issue when working for the Office of the Mayor of New York City, in 2016, and later founding a nonprofit group to carry out the work. He designed a model “that would essentially ‘backdoor’ public-university students into local civil-service systems in a Teach for America meets work-force-development method,” Seliger wrote. Ultimately, the lack of philanthropic support drove him to fold the nonprofit. But the work did help lead to the Civil Service Pathways Fellowship, a partnership between the city and the City University of New York.

“I’m sure your readers would appreciate learning about an actual solution to the government talent crisis — and something their own institutions could easily implement!” he wrote. Seliger called the fellowship, now on its second 25-person cohort, the city’s “best-kept secret.” The only press it’s gotten, he said, was in a union newspaper.

And then, with a pointed reality check, there was this, from Mark Lafer, who spent most of his 41 years in professional life in government-funded organizations. “When I started my career,” he wrote, “I along with most others recognized that we were making a trade-off. We would earn less than we might in the private sector, but could sleep well at night and look forward to a secure, comfortable retirement. Today those making the choice recognize that they will likely make much less, have sleep disrupted by memories of ridicule from those they strive to serve, and are subject to the vagaries of the stock market when planning for retirement.”

At least in his home state of Pennsylvania, Lafer said, the hits to public employees’ salaries, health care, and retirement benefits “have made government work an increasingly poor decision.”

RIP, CG.
As you may have read, Corbin Gwaltney, the founder and owner of The Chronicle (and The Chronicle of Philanthropy), died this week at age 97. In recent years he wasn’t active in our newsroom, but I still have vivid memories of my early years here, when he would edit my stories and I’d nervously wait to see if I had earned a coveted “Fine piece –cg” note at the top.

Corbin and I had our occasional moments, but overall he unflaggingly supported me and my work here, and for that, and the incredible opportunities of this job, I will be forever grateful. I’m also enormously proud to be part of the news organization that he had the vision to create. I’ll miss his passion for politics, his disgust for injustice, and even his love of puns. But his legacy lives on in the work all of us do every day. I know he’d be pleased with that.

Got a tip you’d like to share, or a question you’d like me to answer? Let me know, at goldie@chronicle.com. If you have been forwarded this newsletter and would like to see past issues, or sign up to receive your own copy, you can do so here.
00 2019-08-20
Shreveport

Grambling State University welcomes students back to class


GRAMBLING, La- Students at Grambling State University have a lot to look forward to as classes resume session on Monday.

Students will now have 24 hour dinning thanks to a deal the university made with entrepreneur and basketball hall of fame star Magic Johnson.

The deal between Sodexco Magic and Grambling State University will bring 6.7 million dollars to the university's dinning facility and new restaurants as well.

Steak n Shake, Chic-Fil-A and Firehouse Subs will be available for students this fall.

Students had a say in the improvements to the dinning center.

"We incorporated into the RFP 24/7 dinning and we've been able to achieve what the students asked for and that was extended hours for food services," President of Grambling University Rick Gallot said.

The university will also become the first school in the state to offer a bachelors degree in cyber security.

Each year, 40 percent of graduates studying computer science graduate from Grambling.

Gallot says with this new program he expects that number to increase.

"Currently there is a gap in the workforce of about 2.5 million jobs that are available in cyber security and as we've gone around the country and met with different corporations and agencies there is a need for diversity in the workforce," Gallot said.

The school was recently recognized as a top university for graduating African-American students.

Also coming this fall is the construction of a new natatorium and Grambling will become the first Historic Black College to have a virtual library.
00 2019-08-19
Baton Rouge

Kathleen Blanco, a trailblazing Louisiana governor, dies after long cancer battle


Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, who became the first woman elected governor of Louisiana and then saw her political career derailed by the costliest hurricane to ever hit the United States, died Sunday from complications from ocular melanoma. She was 76.

Her trailblazing career began modestly enough.

At 21, she married Raymond “Coach” Blanco and over the next 14 years, she gave birth to six children. During that time, politics was not present in her life as she cooked for the family, changed diapers, ferried her children to and fro and cleaned the Blanco home in Lafayette.

kathleenblanco.02.adv
kathleenblanco.02.adv
“It was a daily struggle to fight dirt,” she recalled in an interview years later. “You know what? Dirt always wins.”

Blanco entered the workforce in 1979, in need of money and adult conversation. Four years later, after working for the U.S. Census Bureau, she mounted a long-shot bid for the state House, with help from Raymond, a former football coach with keen political instincts. Their children accompanied her as she knocked on doors.

Blanco won, and she kept on winning as she sought higher-profile offices, with voters responding favorably to her calm, likable and genuine manner. In 2003, the Democrat was elected as Louisiana’s governor after serving two terms as lieutenant governor.

But Hurricane Katrina struck 20 months into her tenure, killing more than 1,500 people in and around New Orleans, badly damaging more than 200,000 homes, scattering Louisianans all over the country — and dealing a crippling blow to Blanco’s political career. She opted not to seek re-election in 2007.

Kathleen Blanco: My life has been charmed, challenged by many unexpected events
Kathleen Blanco: My life has been charmed, challenged by many unexpected events
In December 2017, a decade after she left the Governor’s Mansion, Blanco disclosed she had been diagnosed with ocular melanoma, a rare type of cancer that had no cure.

“I’ve had an extraordinarily full life,” she said then, adding that her devout Catholicism left her at peace with whatever lay ahead.

The news of her terminal illness prompted a series of tributes from political leaders and an overflowing of goodwill from ordinary people during the final months of her life. Until then, Blanco had kept a low profile following her departure from the Governor’s Mansion.

Gov. Kathleen Blanco will lie in state at the Capitol; see full service information
Gov. Kathleen Blanco will lie in state at the Capitol; see full service information
"Some things of our destiny we can’t control, like hurricanes and cancer," she said in September 2018.

During her first 20 months as governor, Blanco was a popular, can-do governor who was pro-business, pro-life, pro-guns and focused on improving the state’s education system. She seemed likely to cruise to re-election.

But Katrina’s arrival on Aug. 29, 2005 changed everything. The federal levees failed catastrophically and water swallowed up low-lying neighborhoods. The city and the state seemed woefully unprepared.

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On early-morning television shows, operating on little sleep, Blanco looked haggard and overwhelmed in the immediate aftermath of what was by some measures the worst natural disaster in U.S. history. TV images captured bedraggled people stranded on Interstate 10 and others suffering in the Louisiana Superdome, which lost part of its roof, ran out of food, saw its bathrooms fail and had no air conditioning in sweltering humidity.

Government looked incompetent, and Blanco suffered much of the blame.

Kathleen Blanco honored by Saints with Hall of Fame class award: 'Highlight of my life'
Blanco recalls mission to turn post-Katrina Superdome from 'symbol of despair' to 'beacon' of hope for Saints, Louisiana
“Her legitimacy and popularity was gone in two weeks,” a political consultant said eight months later.

Hurricane Rita followed Katrina on Sept. 24, 2005, walloping southwest Louisiana, flooding coastal towns and knocking out electricity.

In the wake of both hurricanes, Blanco fought hard for federal rebuilding aid and created the Road Home Program to assist residents in navigating the paperwork needed to claim a piece of it. But the program moved slowly, and she suffered more blame.

Remembering Kathleen Blanco: See photos of the former governor over the years
In March 2007, facing certain defeat, Blanco announced that she would not seek re-election that fall.

"I am doing this so we can work without interference from election-year politics," Blanco said in a televised address from the foyer of the Governor’s Mansion.

By the time she left office in January 2008, she was frustrated at how Hurricane Katrina had overshadowed the many successes of her career and re-written her political epitaph.

“I felt like I was victimized in a way, just like the people who lost their homes were victimized,” she told The Advocate.

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Rep. Kathleen Blanco, D-Lafayette, in her first term in 1985 in the Legislature, was one of five women in the state House of Representatives.

ADVOCATE FILE PHOTO BY BILL FEIG
Like several of her predecessors — including Huey Long, Jimmy Davis and Edwin Edwards — Blanco came from humble beginnings.

She was raised along the bend of a highway, La. Hwy. 88, in the French-speaking community of Coteau, set among sugar cane fields deep in Acadiana south of Lafayette. Born on Dec. 15, 1942, she was the first of seven children born to Louis and Lucille Babineaux. The family crammed into a house with only three bedrooms and a single bathroom.

Louis Babineaux sold and cleaned carpets while his wife cared for the large brood.

Life in Coteau revolved around the five-room schoolhouse, which was a block away from home. The Babineaux’s Catholic church, Our Lady of Prompt Succor, was across the street from the school. Nearby was the general store owned by Blanco's grandfather.

Louisiana reacts to Governor Kathleen Blanco's death; She 'loved Louisiana ... with all her heart'
Louisiana reacts to Governor Kathleen Blanco's death; She 'loved Louisiana ... with all her heart'
Kathleen, a shy child, was more serious than her schoolmates. She would borrow four or five books every time the bookmobile stopped in Coteau.

When she was 14, her parents loaded the household belongings onto the back of a truck and moved the family to New Iberia, 10 miles away. By then, she was attending school there at Mount Carmel Academy, an all-girls Catholic school where the girls prayed before every class.

Before school dances, the nuns told the girls that they could not remove their shoes. "If you took off your shoes at the dance," the nuns would say, "what would you take off on the way home?"

Blanco graduated from the University of Southwestern Louisiana — now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette — with a degree in business education. She met Raymond at a party in 1962. A big, blustery man who loved politics, food and football, he was a local star as the 26-year-old head coach at Catholic High School.

Robert Mann: Remembering Kathleen Blanco, 'the most empathetic, compassionate person to serve as Louisiana governor'
Robert Mann: Remembering Kathleen Blanco, 'the most empathetic, compassionate person to serve as Louisiana governor'
The relationship blossomed, but Raymond Blanco faced a problem: He was short of money to buy an engagement ring. That is, until the night he won more than $400 playing blackjack at an illicit casino on U.S. Hwy. 90 between Lafayette and New Iberia. They married in 1964.

Kathleen Blanco taught at a high school for a year before quitting to begin raising her family.

She was a stay-at-home mom until she was 37. Raymond, meanwhile, served as the dean of students at the University of Southwestern Louisiana.

At 40, Kathleen Blanco won the state House race in an upset, and she cruised to re-election four years later in 1987. She won a seat on the Public Service Commission in 1988 and won re-election in 1992. (Blanco mounted a campaign for governor in 1991 but dropped out after 100 days, short of funds.) She was elected lieutenant governor in 1995 and won re-election in 1999.

+18Photos: Reggie Bush, Marques Colston, Louisiana Gov. Blanco selected for Saints Hall of Fame
Photos: Reggie Bush, Marques Colston, Louisiana Gov. Blanco selected for Saints Hall of Fame
In the 2003 governor’s race, a Republican wunderkind named Bobby Jindal came from nowhere to finish first in the primary. Blanco nosed out two other Democrats for second place.

She and Jindal met at a climactic debate three days before the runoff. Blanco’s internal polls showed she was trailing narrowly.

The two candidates addressed typical issues until each was asked to identify a defining moment in their lives.

As the polished Jindal discussed his conversion to Christianity and the birth of his daughter, Blanco realized she would have to address her rawest moment.

"The most defining moment came when I lost a child," she told the statewide television audience.

Blanco cooly greets Bush *** Friction between state, federal government... 09/05/05
President George W. Bush, right, is greeted by Lt. Gen. Russel Honore (second from right), La. Gov. Kathleen Blanco, Michael Chertoff, secretary of homeland security and Major General Bennett Landreneau on his visit to the La. State OEP.

Advocate staff photo by Patrick Dennis
Blanco's 19-year-old son, Ben, the baby of the brood was killed instantly in 1997 when an industrial crane fell on him near Morgan City. Ben was cutting up scrap metal over the Christmas holidays to earn a few extra dollars

"It's very hard for me to talk about it," Kathleen Blanco said as the debate wound down, looking into the camera and fighting tears. "I guess that's what makes me who I am today — knowing that one of the worst things that can happen to a person happened to me, and we were able to protect our family, and the rest of my children have been strong as a result of it."

Analysts said her heartfelt response may have spelled the difference with voters. She defeated Jindal, 52 percent to 48 percent.

As governor, Blanco didn’t engage in bluster or strong-arm tactics to get her way, as her male predecessors typically did. She had a steely nature, however. In an instance that grabbed the attention of political insiders, she had then-state Rep. Troy Hebert stripped of his committee chairmanship after Hebert led the opposition to her on a key tax vote.

During her first 20 months, liberals liked her emphasis on improving education and health care. Businessmen liked that she cut business taxes and was recruiting new companies to Louisiana. Cultural conservatives liked that she believed in God, hunted, fished and opposed abortion. Most everyone liked that she ran a clean government.

Katrina and Rita changed the equation.

Over the next 2½ years, Blanco operated in crisis mode. She traveled repeatedly to Washington to secure billions of dollars in federal aid from the administration of President George W. Bush. She wrestled with how to get aid to residents as quickly as possible given government regulations meant to prevent fraud and abuse.

One of her first moves came in late 2005 when she went against political allies by winning legislative approval to have the state-run Recovery School District take over more than 100 shuttered schools from the dysfunctional Orleans Parish School system. This allowed state officials to oversee the reopening of New Orleans' public schools.

It may have been her most significant policy achievement. Today, New Orleans is the only city in the country that has an all-charter school system, parents can choose their child's school and test scores and graduation rates have risen dramatically.

In her final year, with the state coffers flush from post-Katrina spending, Blanco and the state Legislature raised teacher pay to reach the Southern average, a long-time goal. She left Jindal with a $1 billion budget surplus, although she signed off on a tax cut that helped set the stage for future deficits. (Jindal and the state Legislature approved a larger second one.)

She and Raymond returned to their home in Lafayette and lived quietly, focusing on their family and charitable work. She began work on a memoir but never finished it. In 2013, they became early and key advisers to then-state Rep. John Bel Edwards as he began a long-shot campaign for governor.

Blanco always believed that her achievements as governor would be noted in time.

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Quarterback Drew Brees is all smiles after being congratulated by Gov. kathleen Blanco after Saints' 27-24 win. Saints-Eagles football action in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Jan. 13, 2007.

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING
She lived to see some of that reappraisal.

For example, the Superdome Commission credited her in 2018 with saving the New Orleans Saints franchise by making the politically difficult decision in late 2005 to authorize the dome's renovation when most New Orleans residents hadn’t yet returned home and the city could barely provide police and fire protection. Completing the work before the 2006 season brought the Saints back to New Orleans, where they and the Superdome have flourished since then.

Her decision, Advocate columnist Stephanie Grace wrote, recast the Superdome “from a scene of despair to a symbol of resolve.”

In mid-2018, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette established a public policy center in her name that included her gubernatorial papers. She insisted that it serve to bring together people of differing views to hash out their differences.

“She understands the importance of education and investing in our children,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said at the Sept. 21, 2018, opening ceremony. ”She knows it's an investment, not spending.”

On Sunday, he said, "She was a woman of grace, faith and hope. She has left an eternal mark on all who knew her, because she was generous and unconditional in her love, warm in her embrace and genuinely interested in the welfare of others.

"While she knew that her name would forever be linked with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, it was her dying wish that she be remembered for her faith in God, commitment to family and love of Louisiana."

In her final days, Blanco said goodbye to friends at St. Joseph's Hospice Carpenter House in Lafayette and gave heart-warming gifts, characteristically wanting to make sure she had tied up all loose ends.

Survivors include her mother Lucille Babineaux, who lives in New Iberia; Raymond; five children: Karmen, Nicole, Monique, Pilar and Ray; and 13 grandchildren. She will be honored with an inter-faith service at St. Joseph's Cathedral in downtown Baton Rouge Thursday morning. Afterward, her body will be taken to the Capitol where it will lie in state for public viewing. There will be a public visitation in Lafayette on Friday, and her funeral Mass will be on Saturday in Lafayette. The burial will be private.

After she went public with her terminal illness, Blanco said her deep religious faith left her unafraid to die.

“I don’t want to leave this Earth,” she said. “I don’t want to leave my family. Some of them are into young adulthood and toddlers. We have this great spectrum of energy that’s here. It’s not that you want to leave anybody, but when your body’s worn out, what can you do? It’s kind of what I’ve always thought of.”

Advocate librarian Judy Jumonville contributed research to this article.
00 2019-08-19
Lafayette

Acadiana remembers former Gov. Kathleen Blanco as 'representative of the best of this region'


Former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco died Sunday at the age of 76 after a long battle with cancer.

Blanco died from complications from ocular melanoma. As soon as the news broke, friends and colleagues across the state reacted to her death.

Acadiana leaders fondly remember Blanco as a compassionate leader who worked hard for every Louisiana resident. They proudly claim Blanco, a Coteau native and University of Louisiana at Lafayette graduate, as their own.

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"The thing that sits closest in my immediate memory of her is warmth, care, concern and determination to do what was right," said Pearson Cross, a UL political scientist. "She was a formidable person, but somehow managed to package that strength in a velvet glove so that you weren't aware often times just how strong, resilient and determined she was."

As an employee of a state university, Cross initially considered Blanco to be his "boss of bosses." Cross would later consider her to be his friend and neighbor after she moved into a home in his Lafayette neighborhood of Bendel Gardens.

In recent years, Cross said the former governor pushed him to speak up about issues in Louisiana.

"She said, 'You have a voice. You have a platform. You have to let people know the truth,'" Cross said. "She encouraged me to be forthright in public affairs, and I've never forgotten that. It's been a responsibility I've lived up to some of the time, and the rest of the time it's something I try to aspire to."

Greg Davis, former director of the Cajundome, worked closely with Blanco after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Louisiana coast in 2005.

Blanco called upon Davis and his team to shelter displaced Louisiana residents at the Lafayette event venue.

"She demonstrated to all of us that we were responding to the needs of fellow Louisiana citizens," Davis said. "Some were referring to them as refugees — a negative stereotype being pushed by the national media — but Blanco didn't react that way. She reacted in a very human way, and she treated everyone as a human being worthy of respect."

Like many, Davis also remembers Blanco as a champion for increasing access to education and improving outcomes for children in poor, minority school districts.

"I'll always remember Governor Blanco as a leader who would look at the landscape of education outcomes in Louisiana and see something that would leave her outraged," Davis said. "She would not settle for that because deep in her heart she believed that all children could learn at all levels."

Richard Zuschlag, chairman and CEO of Acadian Companies, remembered Blanco as a friend and inspiration.

"Kathleen was a brilliant teacher, an astute politician, a dedicated public servant and a pioneer among women in Louisiana politics," Zuschlag said in a statement. "She met all of her challenges and opportunities with skill, grace, wisdom and compassion. Our community, our state and our nation have lost an outstanding public servant.

"While Kathleen may always be remembered as our first female governor or for her many other public achievements, I will always remember her as a loving friend and a compassionate leader.”

Blanco had been recognized several times since announcing her terminal cancer diagnosis.

Recent honors in Acadiana include a UL public policy center in her name that houses her gubernatorial papers, a stretch of U.S. 90 between Lafayette and Raceland with signage in her name and an exhibit hall in her name at the Bayou Teche Museum in New Iberia that features her desk and an American flag that flew over the capitol on her birthday.

"I think Acadiana will remember Blanco with pride," Cross said. "She is and was one of ours who rose to great heights, and she'll always be remembered as a Cajun, as an Acadian, as a representative of the best of this region."
00 2019-08-19
Lafayette

Some UL students in hotels as heavy rainfall causes delays for off-campus housing projects


The heavy rainfall over the past year has led to no shortage of headaches and some delays for two major student living complexes near the University of Louisiana at Lafayette scheduled to open this month.

The Heritage at Cajun Village and the Campion at Lafayette are both developments that cater heavily to UL students. The university built The Heritage at the corner of Johnston Street and Lewis Street. Campion, owned by Alpha Management Partners, is at 1501 Pinhook Road and is the first off-campus student housing built in 10 years.

However, heavy rains over the past year have hampered both projects and slowed construction to the point where The Heritage will be complete just in time for its scheduled Aug. 23 opening, while Campion at Lafayette has been forced to push back its opening to Aug. 31.

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Because of the delay, Alpha Management Partners has housed about 70 students at local hotels. The students were scheduled to move into the development before classes begin on Aug. 26.

"This has been the worse-case scenario for us and we're sorry for the inconvenience this has caused the students and their parents and we're trying to do right by them," said Michael Davis, president and CEO of Alpha Management Partners. "The weather has been absolutely crazy with the amount of rain since construction began. So far, we've had an unprecedented amount of rain and we just aren't able to open up on time."

The 191-unit complex will have units ranging from one bedroom and one bathroom to four bedrooms and five bathrooms. It also will feature a resort-style pool with a lazy river, a dog park, gated private parking, fitness room, shuttle to campus and other amenities.

By its new opening date, 16 of the 18 building will be ready and all the students will be able to move in. The remaining two mid-rise, traditional style buildings won't open until the end of September. The development started signing leases at the end of October right after its groundbreaking.

According to the LSU AgCenter, Louisiana averages about 60 inches of rain a year with about 109 rainy days each year. So far in 2019, the state is at just under 48 inches, almost 10 inches above the average for t this time of year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA is predicting Lafayette will receive 69.37 inches of rain this year.

Davis said most of the students and their families, while disappointed, have been understanding about the delays and seem satisfied with the work the company has put in to trying to accommodate them.

Meanwhile, The Heritage at Cajun Village, the new luxury style apartments on campus, will be moving in its nearly 600 students on Aug. 23, just in time for the new semester to start. According to Bill Crist, director of facilities management, the weather since construction began has caused delays that required even more workers and it's being finished on time has been a "monumental feat" by contractor The Lemoine Company.

"Since we started on May 23 of last year, we've had 130 rainy days. It's unbelievable how they've pushed at the end of this thing to get all the little details tied up," Crist said. "It's been a long process. We're always glad to reach the finish line with any project, especially when it comes out right and on time and under budget."

The five Georgian-style buildings at The Heritage are inspired by the classic design of the University's original buildings around the quad. The complex has pool, sand volleyball court, a bike/walking path that connects to campus, a zen garden with hammocks and barbecue pits and on-campus parking. The development offers two-, three- and four-bedroom units to students who have earned at least 30 course credits.

The project came in just under $50 million. It was originally approved for 1,000 beds, but only did 589. The remaining beds and buildings will be added across the coulee in a later phase .

There are also 202 apartment units in the works for downtown Lafayette with the converted old federal courthouse bringing 68 residential units, the Vermilion Lofts bringing 24 units, Buchanan Heights bringing 30 units, an apartment complex on Monroe Street bringing 70 units and a development at 600 Johnston St. bringing 10 more.
00 2019-08-19
Lafayette

Billy Napier: Suggesting UL football players donate to RCAF 'just part of our player development program'


For many around the area and the country, the conversation UL coach Billy Napier had with his football team Wednesday about gratitude and showing appreciation by donating to the school’s Ragin' Cajun Athletic Foundation was completely out of left field.

In Napier’s mind, however, it was just that day’s installment of his student development program. On practically every day during August camp before a mid-day walk-through, Napier invites a guest speaker or two to address the team.

Some of those talks are about relatively basic things like how best to address the media during interviews. Others are about serious issues in life.

T.J. Wisham took military approach to earning scholarship with Cajuns
T.J. Wisham took military approach to earning scholarship with Cajuns
“No different than today,” Napier said Friday of the controversial RCAF seminar, “we had a terrific speaker come in and talk about addiction and talk about the things our players need to do — the coping mechanisms we need to equip them with and the skill set that they need to build to get them prepared. Talk about maybe some of the things that make them predisposed to having an addiction.”

Teaching them about the RCAF and encouraging them to join was the next seminar on the schedule.

“It’s no different,” Napier said. “It’s just part of our player development program and I think a great gesture on behalf of our players to all Ragin’ Cajuns that came before, are now and will come in the future that, ‘You know what? I appreciate what I have here.’ That was the intention, and I hope this will be a positive when it’s all said and done.”

Conditioning better
It’s a little over midway through UL’s August camp, and senior defensive leader Deuce Wallace is getting the feeling that his team is getting closer to being physically ready for the regular season.

“I’m actually seeing the more positive part of (conditioning),” Wallace said. “I think some guys have found their routines. Some found it quicker than others, but most guys are starting to get into that routine where they’re getting their legs back. They’re not as fatigued, not as tired. They just find what they need to do daily in order to be refreshed for the next practice.”

See UL coach Billy Napier's statement regarding initiative of football players donating to RCAF
See UL coach Billy Napier's statement regarding initiative of football players donating to RCAF
While the Cajuns have routinely practiced in the evenings or indoors, there’s been enough heat in Wallace’s mind to be ready.

“I think it’s still preparing us, because when we start practicing it’s extremely hot,” Wallace said. “That’s probably the toughest part because you’re not really loose yet. The focus is to start fast. It’s harder when the conditions are tough, so I think it makes us better every day.”

As for injury updates, wide receiver Brian Smith Jr., running back Elijah Mitchell and cornerback Michael Jacquet were all expected to return to practice this week, according to Napier.

Next-level scrimmage
Saturday’s second intrasquad scrimmage was similar in some ways to the first one last week, but it’s certainly not on the same level.

“It’ll be some things that will be a little bit different,” Napier said beforehand. “We’ll be more multiple on both sides. We’ll throw more at the players from an execution standpoint to see who can handle a little more of the playbook.

“We learned a lot about our players between last week and this week. The play count will be very similar, but it’ll be a little more game-like.”

Napier, Maggard explain ideas behind controversial concept of UL players donating to RCAF
Napier, Maggard explain ideas behind controversial concept of UL players donating to RCAF
Wallace had specific goals in mind for his secondary to improve on.

“I’m hoping to see exponential improvement just in terms of fundamentals, whether it be technique, eye discipline, stuff like that,” he said. “I think we need to amp up our toughness a little bit."

Filling that Dome void
It’s something high school football players have heard for years from coaches to increase their appreciation for actually reaching the state finals in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

“Most of the football players in this state never make it to the Dome,” those state title coaches tell them.

It's team first for Manac, but his individual play figures to be critical for the Cajuns
It's team first for Manac, but his individual play figures to be critical for the Cajuns
UL senior inside linebacker Jacques Boudreaux is one of those former high school players who never made it to the state finals during his playing days at Holy Cross.

So when the Ragin’ Cajuns play Mississippi State on Aug. 31 in the Superdome, Boudreaux will actually be able to fill that void … sort of.

“Obviously, I’m really super excited to play in the Superdome,” Boudreaux said. “I’m from New Orleans. I never went to a state championship (game). This is going to be like a state championship in a sense, if you want to look at it like that.”
00 2019-08-19
Lafayette

See UL coach Billy Napier's statement regarding initiative of football players donating to RCAF


(Below is the full text of UL coach Billy Napier's opening statement at Friday's news conference in the Cox Communications Building on the UL campus. On Wednesday, Napier unveiled a new initiative that encouraged Cajun football players to give a minimum $50 donation to the RCAF. Napier said it was mandatory in his original statement. Later Wednesday, the university clarified that it wasn't mandatory. UL director of athletic Dr. Bryan Maggard added Friday that it wasn't mandatory, but that he fully supported Napier's purpose mission behind the initiative.)

BILLY NAPIER'S STATEMENT:
“I think it’s important that I address some of the criticism that we’ve caught from our $50 contribution by the players to RCAF. I think anybody that knows me or knows my intentions on that would tell you that basically we want to have a program here that’s about teaching young people principles and values that are going to help them after football is over.

I just had a great conversation with our team after the walk-through. I think maybe we’re getting the messaging that’s coming across out there is a little bit different than what we want. I just want everybody to know that intention here is to create a culture within our building that we’re grateful for what we have and the opportunity that’s in front of us and we understand and want to educate our players about the process of where their scholarship comes from, where their cost-of-attendance check comes from, where the facilities that we have, the things relative to their tuition, books, fees – all the investment that goes into our athletic department and the university and the support that they have given our players (comes from).

Napier, Maggard explain ideas behind controversial concept of UL players donating to RCAF
Napier, Maggard explain ideas behind controversial concept of UL players donating to RCAF
I will say this, over the last few years we’ve done a lot to improve the experience of the student-athletes at the University of Louisiana. That’s what this is about. This is a simple gesture on behalf of our players to say ‘thank you’ to all the people out there that have given back to this place and put these young in position to where they can live out their dream of playing college football and getting a college education. I think if you spoke with our players, maybe what’s out there publicly doesn’t reflect what’s going on here. This is a group of young men that totally understood the message. Maybe it was put out there that this was a mandatory deal. When I spoke with the players I told them if they can’t afford it or maybe they feel like they’re stretched a little thin, they can easily come see me personally, or if they disagree with it, they can come see me personally and I’ll pay theirs on my behalf.

So this is something I think we need. I think young people need it. I think it’s important. I think it’s part of my job to teach them the principles and values that go along with our football program. We’re talking about $50 a year for four years - $200 bucks – four dollars and a quarter a month, 17 cents a day to basically say ‘thank you’ to the people who have contributed to their experience and their opportunity. I know they respected it. We had several that said they’re going to do more than $50, because of their appreciation.

I know it came across maybe there nationally as a mandatory required experience. Maybe I misspoke in the way I presented it and that’s my fault. I do think that’s something we’ll continue to do and I think it’s going to be good for our players to be educated about that process and have perspective and not feel entitled and know that it is a privilege to be a college student-athlete. And I hope that one day they value their experience here and they want to give back even more when they get in position to do that. I know recently for me, I just wrote a check back to the athletic department and football program that I played at. Why did I do that? I did that because I valued the experience and lessons that I learned, the education that I got, not only in the classroom but on the playing field, and that’s what this is about.

Hopefully, we can get the opinion maybe of the outside world and see what our intentions were.”
00 2019-08-19
Lafayette

Napier, Maggard explain ideas behind controversial concept of UL players donating to RCAF


When the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's football coach introduced a new concept of student-athletes donating to the school’s fundraising organization during their playing days to show gratitude, he didn't anticipate the negative reaction.

But UL athletic director Bryan Maggard and coach Billy Napier made it clear Friday the university isn’t mandating its scholarship football players make the minimum Ragin’ Cajun Athletic Foundation donation of $50 per year, but they also aren’t backing down from the original intent of the initiative.

Napier unveiled the idea in his normal Wednesday news conference when he detailed new foundation executive director Lee De Leon’s seminar with the team that morning about the inner workings of the foundation.

“Coach Napier’s comments were well-intentioned,” Maggard said. “It’s a subject he’s passionate about. The purpose was to educate, inform and encourage our student-athletes about the RCAF, so when they grow up and start earning a living, they can become investors in the program.

“If a student-athlete decides to become an investor now, great, but the intention was never to make it mandatory. Whether it’s legal or illegal (according to the NCAA), we would never dictate to student-athletes how they must spend their scholarship money.”

Napier originally said Wednesday that joining the foundation was required for scholarship players — but after the news conference, Patrick Crawford, UL assistant athletic director for communications and digital strategy, issued a statement to clarify that the initiative is not mandatory.

Napier took responsibility for how he originally delivered the message.

“I know it came across maybe there nationally as a mandatory required experience,” Napier said. “Maybe I misspoke in the way I presented it and that’s my fault. I do think that’s something we’ll continue to do, and I think it’s going to be good for our players to be educated about that process and have perspective and not feel entitled and know that it is a privilege to be a college student-athlete.”

Napier also gave more details of how he presented the plan to UL’s football players.

“Maybe it was put out there that this was a mandatory deal,” Napier said. “When I spoke with the players, I told them if they can’t afford it or maybe they feel like they’re stretched a little thin, they can easily come see me personally, or if they disagree with it, they can come see me personally and I’ll pay theirs.”

UL senior safety Deuce Wallace said he hasn’t heard any negative reaction from his teammates since Wednesday's announcement.

“I think it was sort of taken out of context, you know,” Wallace said. “We weren’t required to give anything. He just brought it up in a manner of, he kind of set it up to give us a visual as to if everyone were to give $50, the number that it would be in contributions to give back just because of what they’ve done for us so far.”

Napier said several players said they were going to donate more than $50. The second-year coach also said he recently gave a donation to his alma mater, Furman, where he played quarterback.

“This is a simple gesture on behalf of our players to say ‘thank you’ to all the people out there that have given back to this place and put these young men in position to where they can live out their dream of playing college football and getting a college education,” Napier said. “I think if you spoke with our players, maybe what’s out there publicly doesn’t reflect what’s going on here. This is a group of young men that totally understood the message.”

In an era when there are debates across the country about paying college athletes and claims the NCAA is exploiting them, Napier said he understands some of the reaction to his new initiative.

“I think that’s a whole other discussion,” Napier insisted. “That’s completely different what we’re trying to get accomplished here. Our intentions here is to create a group of football players that have gratitude, don’t feel entitled, want to express their ‘thank you’ and appreciation to the people that help provide the opportunity they do have.

“This is not related to that at all. This is strictly an educational piece.”

Maggard also added that for a football player to meet a $50 minimum gift, he would actually need to give only $25, because the university routinely matches the donation of faculty.

“Certainly no student-athlete has to do this, but if they do choose to start investing now, you’re talking about $2.10 a month,” Maggard said.

Maggard reiterated the long-range idea behind the initiative to encourage players to give back to the university is to educate them on the process now, so it would increase the possibility of them becoming investors after leaving the program.

”Coach Napier is just very passionate about the university staying connected with student-athletes after they leave the university,” Maggard said. “By educating them now while they’re here about the whole process and how all the resources they enjoy are funded, they will have a greater appreciation for it for when they get older and are asked about becoming investors.”

Although Napier's “mandatory” comment Wednesday was not accurate, Maggard said he fully supports the premise of the new initiative.

“Some have suggested that it’s even wrong to encourage it,” Maggard said. “I disagree with that. I have no problem with that. If a student-athlete wants to give back to the program now, I have no problem with that.”


00 2019-08-19
Monroe

ULM Foundation recognizes outstanding faculty and staff with Awards for Excellence


MONROE, La. — (8/16/19) Each year the ULM Foundation presents the Awards for Excellence to faculty and staff who have shown outstanding service to the University of Louisiana Monroe and the community.

The five awards were presented following ULM President Nick J. Bruno’s State of the University address on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, in Brown Auditorium. Career biographies of each recipient were read by Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Alberto Ruiz. The awards were presented by Bruno, ULM Foundation Board of Trustees President Jerry Allen and Executive Director of ULM Advancement, Foundation and Alumni Relations Susan Chappell.

Awards were presented to three faculty and two staff members.

The recipients include the following:
Award for Excellence in Teaching – Dr. Michelle Zagar, Clinical Associate Professor of Pharmacy in the School of Clinical Sciences for the College of Pharmacy

Dr. Michelle Zagar joined the College of Pharmacy in 2004 after eight years in kindergarten and elementary education. She earned her B.S. in Elementary Education in 1990 and Master of Elementary Education in 1995 from the University of Southwestern Louisiana. In 2003 she completed her PharmD at ULM.

Zagar has served on 25 committees and subcommittees including nine years on the College of Pharmacy Curriculum Committee. She has received nine teaching awards and honors, coordinates and instructs eight courses, published four peer-reviewed manuscripts that have been cited 39 times and has given over 30 continuing education presentations. She strives to maximize the interactions of her clinical practice students with their learning material, pharmacy practice, as a mentor and motivator, giving them autonomy and promoting confidence.

Award for Excellence in Research – Dr. Jana Giles, Associate Professor and Endowed Professor in English Literature in the School of Humanities for the College of Arts, Education, and Sciences

Dr. Jana Giles joined the university in 2009 and earned tenure in 2015. She has published 231 pages of research, presented 24 conference papers or invited lectures, received many grants of external and internal funding, supervised 64 students in research activity and taught 77 courses. Her current book project is titled, “The Post/Colonial Sublime: Aesthetics, Politics and Ethics in the Twentieth Century.”

Giles was one of only eight people in Louisiana to receive the prestigious Board of Regents Awards to Louisiana Artists and Scholars (ATLAS) grant in 2018. She earned a B.A. of Arts in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in 1988, a Master of Arts in English from the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Cambridge.

Award for Excellence in Service – Dr. Rhonda Hensley, Professor of Nursing and Associate Director of Graduate Nursing Programs for the Kitty Degree School of Nursing in the College of Health Sciences

Dr. Rhonda Hensley’s 45-year career began with a B.S. in Nursing from ULM in 1973. She went on to earn an M.S. in Nursing, a Doctor of Education and a Doctor of Nursing Practice. In addition to her professorship at Kitty DeGree School of Nursing, Hensley is editor-in-chief for the Online Journal of Inter-Professional Health Promotion, collaborates with Ochsner-LSUHSC Monroe to present Stanford Youth Diabetes Coach Training to Richwood High School students, coordinates grant activities for the Mobile Bridge to Health and has led five medical mission trips to underserved communities outside and inside the U.S.

Hensley is president of BDR Advanced Education Associates in Continuing Education Services and is a family nurse practitioner part-time at Winnsboro Medical Clinic. In 2018, she received the state award for Nurse Practitioner Advocate of the Year.

Award for Service by Unclassified Staff – Jessica Griggs, Student Advocate and Retention Coordinator for ULM Online

With her professionalism, care and dedication, Jessica Griggs has many responsibilities with ULM Online. As Student Advocate and Retention Coordinator, she assists online students with academic advising and career planning, educates potential students on specifics of ULM Online, promotes student success in online courses by providing necessary tools for at-risk students and managing and maintaining social media for ULM Online.

Griggs was the first person on either side of her family to graduate high school and earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Her college experience had many challenges, but she overcame these with grace and determination. She is an example of perseverance to her students. When she isn’t on campus, Griggs devotes hours to coaching/sponsoring a flag cheerleading squad, judging social studies fairs, organizing events and promotions for her church and organizing multiple charitable events.

Award for Service by Classified Staff – Sharon Doaty, Administrative Coordinator, Marriage and Family Therapy & Counseling Program

Recognized Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019 for 20 years of service to ULM, Sharon Doaty started as an administrative coordinator in the College of Education and Human Development/Curriculum and Instruction before joining the Marriage and Family Therapy and Counseling programs in the School of Allied Health in the College of Health Sciences. Doaty is responsible for communicating effectively with multiple departments to plan meetings and prepare welcome packages, coordinating dozens of recruiting events, managing the office when the supervisor is absent, and much more.

Her dedication resulted in excellent marks on performance reviews and her ability to learn and master new concepts for administrative use. Her colleagues and supervisors have also given her praise for the wonderful work she has done saying that she an asset to the Marriage and Family Therapy and Counseling programs and especially to ULM.
00 2019-08-19
Natchitoches

2019 NSU Move in Day: Welcome Demons!


Northwestern State University was a scene of well practiced efficiency as 850 first year students moved into their new dorms on NSU’s move-in day Saturday, August 17. The new Demons were welcomed to campus by a large group of student volunteers from almost every student organization and several of NSU’s sports teams. They were joined by community and faculty volunteers who helped students and their families unpack their vehicles. In addition to helping the new students settle in, the volunteers also went a long way to making the freshmen feel welcomed to their new university-and its community.

In addition to the students who moved in Saturday, off campus freshmen and ones who moved in earlier bring the total up to around 1,750, an increase from last year. The Natchitoches Parish Journal would like to take this opportunity to welcome NSU’s incoming freshman class and wish them all the best in their studies. We look forward to seeing your talents displayed on the field, on the stage and in all of the many different ways that your presence makes our city a better place to live.
00 2019-08-19
Natchitoches

NSU, DOTD develop crosswalk for pedestrian safety


The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announces the installation of a new crosswalk on LA 6 (University Parkway) near Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.

The crosswalk – which is a partnership between DOTD, NSU and the NSU Foundation – is located near the intersection of LA 6 and North Street in front of the Eugene P. Watson Memorial Library on the university campus.

“The safety of NSU students, LSMSA students and everyone who utilizes our campus amenities on both sides of University Parkway is vitally important,” said Jennifer Kelly, assistant to the Provost for Academic Support and Auxiliary Services. “We offer many thanks to the cooperation with DOTD that helped expedite the process of installing the new crosswalk.”

Kelly said the flow of traffic into and out of the Watson Library parking lot will also change. Motorists will now enter the Watson parking lot at the entrances directly in front of the NSU Marketplace bookstore and exit the parking lot at the exit across from North Street.

“This change will ensure the safety of both pedestrians and motorists on University Parkway,” she added.

The crosswalk includes a center refuge island where pedestrians are able to stand and wait safely, if necessary, before proceeding to cross the highway. It also features two rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFB) that are push-button activated. These beacons can enhance safety by reducing crashes between vehicles and pedestrians at mid-block crossings. The RRFBs increase driver awareness of potential pedestrian conflicts through the use of an irregular flash pattern.

“Ensuring safe mobility for pedestrians is a priority for DOTD, and we were pleased to be able to work closely with NSU and the NSU Foundation to see the installation of this crosswalk from conception to installation,” said Troy Roussell, P.E., District Engineer Administrator for the Alexandria region.

Additionally, NSU constructed a new sidewalk on campus adjacent to the library leading to the crosswalk. This addition was made to interconnect the existing sidewalk between a nearby campus parking lot and the library to encourage pedestrian use of the crosswalk. Repairs were also made to a portion of the sidewalk on the north side of LA 6 leading to the crosswalk from the new campus bookstore and Chick-fil-A.

DOTD encourages pedestrians to utilize the new crosswalk when attempting to cross LA 6 and reminds motorists to stop when the beacons are flashing and a pedestrian is waiting to cross. Motorists are urged to avoid distracted driving and obey the posted speed limit.
00 2019-08-19
Natchitoches

Northwestern State announces beer sales at football games


The Northwestern State Athletic Department announced Friday it has received approval to sell beer and spiked seltzers during football games at Turpin Stadium for the 2019 football season.

Northwestern State also will sell the same offerings at baseball and softball games in 2020. Northwestern State’s alcohol sales policy can be found on its website here: https://nsudemons.com/sports/2019/8/16/Alcohol%20Policy.aspx

The addition of beer sales follows a growing national trend across college athletics, including the Southeastern Conference’s decision in May to lift its longtime ban on stadium-wide alcohol sales, which had been the only such ban among any major FBS conference.

Associate Athletic Director for External Relations Dr. Haley Taitano told a capacity crowd in the Stroud Room inside the NSU Athletic Fieldhouse of the decision Thursday night at the annual Season Ticket Pickup Party. The decision was met with a round of applause and cheers.

“This addition (selling beer) to the NSU football in-game experience has been in the works for the past several years, so it is exciting for it to finally come to fruition,” NSU Director of Athletics Greg Burke said. “The fact that recent postseason surveys from our fans fervently have requested the sale of beer further reflects that this move will be a positive as it relates to fan satisfaction.”

Alcohol sales will originate from the main concession stand on the west side of Turpin Stadium as well as concession stands on the east side and the third floor of the stadium. Customers will be limited to two drinks per trip through the line and sales will end at the conclusion of the third quarter. All purchasers will be required to show their ID at the concession stands at the time of purchase.

Additionally, there will be a no re-entry policy at the stadium this season.

Sodexo, Northwestern State Athletics’ catering partner, collaborated on the policy for the sale of beer and wine at Turpin Stadium.

“Kudos to several individuals, including Haley, Sodexo General Manager Steve Kauf, and other members of our administration and campus community, for their input and due diligence that helped position our department and university for this significant in-game enhancement,” Burke said.

Added Taitano: “Beer sales will provide an increased revenue stream for NSU, not only in the form of concession sales revenue, but also through enhanced sponsorship agreements. We have been working closely with our current corporate partner, Eagle Distributing, and have recently developed a new partnership with Cane River Brewing Co. here in Natchitoches. There is an exciting announcement regarding that partnership coming soon.”

Northwestern State’s home opener is set for Sept. 7 against Midwestern State. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.

Photo Credit: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services


00 2019-08-19
Regional/National

A Football Coach Told His Players to Donate to the Booster Club. Now His University Says It’s Just ‘Strongly Encouraged.’


Billy Napier, head football coach at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, announced a new team rule on Wednesday: Players on scholarship would be required to become paying members of the university’s booster club, the Ragin’ Cajuns Athletic Association, at a minimum of $50 a year.

“This coach can take away playing time and scholarships from his players. He can stand in the way of their education. This is blatant extortion in my opinion.”
The university issued a statement on Friday walking back his comments after they stirred controversy in the national sports media, saying donating wasn’t mandatory but was “strongly encouraged.”

“Coach Napier’s comments were well-intentioned,” said Bryan Maggard, the athletics director, but “we would never dictate to student-athletes how they must spend their scholarship money.”

College athletes, and football players in particular, have long been the subject of debate about exploitative labor practices. Despite raking in more than $1 billion in revenue last year, the National Collegiate Athletic Association prohibits member colleges from paying athletes beyond the cost of attendance, and has fought off legal challenges seeking to force it to allow such compensation.

Ramogi Huma is the founder of the National College Players Association and a former football player for the University of California at Los Angeles. He told The Chronicle that, in his view, there is no difference between “mandatory” and “strongly encouraged” when the power dynamic between coach and players is so uneven.

“This coach can take away playing time and scholarships from his players. He can stand in the way of their education. This is blatant extortion in my opinion,” Huma said. “This is a work force that, it's been ruled time and time again in courts, has been exploited and illegally denied compensation.”

A university spokesman did not respond to The Chronicle’s request for comment Friday.

‘All About Gratitude’

While business for UL-Lafayette’s athletic programs is by no means booming, they turned a small profit of $82,000 last year, which is better than some of its peer institutions. So why is the booster club turning to players for money?

On Wednesday, Napier, who earned $850,000 last year, said the mandatory donations were “all about gratitude.” In a Friday news conference he said that while he may have misspoken in calling the donations mandatory, he still plans to strongly encourage players to donate as a gesture of thanks.

“It’s a simple gesture on behalf of our players to say thank you to all of the people out there who ... put these young men in a position where they can live out their dream of playing college football and getting a college education,” he said.

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Huma said players don’t often have a lot of reasons to be grateful for athletic associations, which typically focus their fund-raising efforts on better facilities, amenities, and coaching salaries.

“In general, the booster clubs are there for the schools, not the players,” he said. “The irony is they're trying to attract recruits by hiring the best coaches and building the best facilities, but apparently this is a case where once a recruit becomes an actual player on the team, they can just be taken advantage of.”

Dan Wolken, a columnist for USA Today, wrote in a column on Friday that impressing a sense of indebtedness onto athletes and asking them to help with fund-raising efforts is “an awful idea.”

There’s “already enough of a one-sided transaction in favor of the school,” Wolken wrote. “Louisiana-Lafayette doesn’t need to make it worse.”

Napier’s rationale for encouraging players to donate was to teach them the “principles and values” of the football program.

“We want to educate our players about the process of where their scholarship comes from, where their cost-of-attendance check comes from, the facilities they have,” he said at the news conference. “I think it’s going to be good for our players to ... not feel entitled and know that it is a privilege to be a college student-athlete.”

No other UL-Lafayette athletes were asked to donate to the athletic foundation. For Huma, the fact that football players were singled out raises concerns about the racial dynamics of the push to teach college athletes about gratitude.

“Targeting football players, who are disproportionately African-American, is likely a civil-rights violation,” Huma said. “When you don't include all of the sports, those that are traditionally white, you are in a very dangerous area.”
00 2019-08-19
Ruston

GSU appoints interim Engineering Technology Department leader


GRAMBLING — Grambling State University announced Friday that Edwin Thomas will now lead the University’s Engineering Technology program which recently received new support from Governor Edwards and Louisiana Economic Development.

“As our technology programs grow, it’s critical to ensure our students are connected with faculty who have the network and the knowledge to deliver a strong career start,” said GSU President Rick Gallot. “From the band to the technology classroom, Dr. Thomas has proven to be a dedicated champion who leverages every opportunity to advance the lives of our students.”

Thomas is an alumnus of Grambling State University and member of the academy for more than 30 years. After gaining his Bachelor of Science degree from GSU in 1978, he earned a Master’s in Industrial Technology from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.

Thomas returned home to Grambling Statetoearnhisdoctorate degree in Education with a concentration in Higher Education Administration, Supervision and Management.

Since then, he has served as an expert consultant on home and plant design throughout Louisiana and served in several faculty positions. Thomas has also served as an advisor for the Louisiana Department of Economic Development. With numerous engineering certifications, include CAED from the University of Texas in Austin, and more than 20 years of Industrial Engineering field experience, Thomas is well known for his leadership as a band director of the World Famed Tiger Marching Band.

The university’s Engineering Technology department offers concentrations in electronics engineering technology and drafting and design engineering technology leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Technology. Both programs are accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET. A construction engineering technology concentration is also offered in the department.

The university will launch a national search for a head of the engineering technology program later this year.
00 2019-08-19
Shreveport

GSU Ranked 25th Best Program in College Footbal History


VIDEO
00 2019-08-14
Baton Rouge

Joint venture including Baton Rouge's Jim Bernhard strikes energy privatization deal with Louisiana


Louisiana will enter into a complex agreement that could lead to the widespread privatization of energy systems at state agencies and universities throughout the state, after lawmakers reviewed the deal for a final time Tuesday.

Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration struck the deal with LA Energy Partners, a joint venture between Johnson Controls Inc. and Bernhard Energy Solutions, one of several companies controlled by Baton Rouge businessman Jim Bernhard.

The company will lease chiller systems at the Shaw Center for the Arts, a state-owned building in downtown Baton Rouge, from the state for $3 million over 20 years. The state will then buy back the chilled water — used to cool the building — for $6 million. The firm will also make energy upgrades at 31 state buildings, including the State Capitol, Governor’s Mansion and state Supreme Court building, in exchange for $54 million.

Aside from the cash, LA Energy Partners will also make money selling the extra chilled water to other companies, who use it to cool their commercial buildings, in downtown Baton Rouge.

However, the deal is not limited to those buildings. The agreement lets state agencies and universities opt in to similar deals with LA Energy Partners, which sets the stage for the company to land contracts with potentially several other entities. If those schools or state entities want to privatize their energy systems, they would not have to go through a public bid process to find a company to hire. Instead, they could contract with LA Energy Partners using similar terms outlined in the state deal.

The contract calls for LA Energy Partners to make a 5% return on equity for the state deal, as well as an 8% return for subsequent deals with other entities.

“We're satisfied it's very much a positive for the state,” Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne said following a Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget hearing. “But it's a unique arrangement, and that's why it took so long to negotiate.”

Dardenne said the company has already reached out to Southern University and Northwestern University to pitch similar deals. The deal will be signed in the “very near future,” he said, after the budget committee reviewed it for the second time Tuesday. The administration made several changes at the behest of lawmakers, giving the legislative auditor oversight over the deal and clarifying the contract will end if lawmakers don’t appropriate the money.

State officials have said they believe energy savings from the improvements at state buildings will offset the millions in costs. The initial deal lasts 20 years. The total “net public benefit” to the state will be about $18.8 million, the Edwards administration estimates.

Bernhard Energy Solutions partnered with the HVAC company Johnson Controls at the request of the Edwards administration after both firms submitted proposals to the state. Bernhard Energy Solutions is one of several companies controlled by Bernhard Capital Partners, a private equity firm run by former Shaw Group chief executive and Democratic Party official Jim Bernhard, who was floated as a potential candidate for governor before ruling it out last year.

Another Bernhard Capital Partners firm, NextGen Utility Systems, tried to take over the Lafayette Utilities System last year before backing out amid a public outcry from residents.

Former Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration initially proposed privatizing some state-owned chiller systems several years ago. The Edwards administration revived the idea shortly after the governor took office.
00 2019-08-14
Houma/Thibodaux

Elementary students go to school at Nicholls


The new magnet school aims to get kids focused on higher ed at an early age.

For about 40 fourth- and fifth-graders from C.M. Washington Elementary in Thibodaux, this school year will serve as their first college experience.

In partnership with Lafourche Parish School District, Nicholls State University is hosting a new magnet program on its campus. The elementary students spend their main instructional time, about 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at Nicholls’ Polk Hall.

They not only have the chance to say they’re “going to college” but have access to professors who can visit the classrooms and talk when different subjects arise.

“That typically doesn’t happen in an elementary school. There’s just not enough time,” said Scot Rademaker, the new dean of Nicholls’ College of Education.

Approached by Lafourche’s school district, the program was backed by Nicholls’ administration, including President Jay Clune, and agreement was signed in December.

Each of the 38 students participating applied to be in the STEM-focused program last year. All were required to live in Thibodaux school attendance zones and have a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. Officials also looked at students’ test scores, disciplinary records and recommendations from principals.

The students, who started class Thursday, are split between two classrooms staffed by two teachers and two aides.

Part of the hope is to introduce children to the idea of pursuing a higher education, officials said.

“It gets them thinking at an early age that this is something I want to do,” said Rademaker. “Why not prepare them earlier?”
00 2019-08-14
Natchitoches

NSU employees recognized for years of service


Several long-time employees of Northwestern State University were recognized for their years of service during the university’s annual Fall Faculty/Staff Lunch Monday. From left are NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio congratulating Kent Mitchell, Pam Cook, Maureen McCarty and Bessie Jones for 25 years of service, and Bill Brent with 35 years. Drake Owens, assistant vice president of External Affairs, presented the awards.
00 2019-08-14
Natchitoches

NSU will host part-time job fair Sept. 4


NATCHITOCHES, La. (NSU) - Area employers are invited to participate in a part-time job fair at Northwestern State University.

The event is for local businesses who are interested in connecting with college students to fill part-time employment positions.

“This event is designed specifically for NSU students who are looking for a part-time job that will work with their class and study schedules,” said NSU Job Location and Development Officer Karen Loach. “Our students are highly motivated but may not be familiar with the city or well-informed about the businesses in our area. This is an opportunity for NSU students to network with employers and business owners locate dependable employees.”

The job fair will take place from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4 in the Student Union Ballroom.

“Students should bring a current resume and practice a quick introduction,” Loach said. “Employers can bring promotional items or giveaways promoting their businesses.”

For more information, students should click here.

Employers, click here.
00 2019-08-14
Regional/National

Supporting international students through every step of their journey to success


When international students think of studying in the US, they commonly look for universities in larger states such as New York, Florida or California.

But by expanding their search radius and looking in lesser-known yet thriving states such as Louisiana, they can find schools that provide a diverse environment and support for international students.

One such university is McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, which has a strong reputation for developing employable global graduates and granting them the tools for success.



Affordable tuition fees make McNeese a great choice for international students looking for return on investment.
At this university, the curriculum is designed to help students develop the skills needed to become valuable employees, providing plenty of opportunities for them to forge connections with industries.

International students, particularly from countries in West Africa, have found the university incredibly supportive as it facilitates pan-African connections in a unique global environment.

Helping students achieve their career potential
Lillian Mambiri, from Zimbabwe, recently landed her dream job at Coca-Cola. She attributes her success to her experience studying chemical engineering at McNeese State University.

She chanced upon the university when she heard about the location as a central engineering hub and how students can reap the benefits of studying in his location.

She said, “I really did not know anything about McNeese, as a matter of fact I wanted to go to Florida or Massachusetts for some odd reason.

“However, my older brother got an internship at one of the big plants and next thing he told the family about how he had found a good affordable university surrounded by great industries.

“So, his attractions were the cost of living in Lake Charles and the job prospects for engineers, and of course that also became a big attraction to me.”

It turned out to be a great decision as she found the university to be a diverse cultural hub with plenty of opportunities for international students to excel.

There were also lots of practical learning experiences to benefit Mambiri and her peers.

“The professors in chemical engineering have been supportive, they have an open-door policy and whenever you need help with anything, they are never hesitant.

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“The real chemical engineering stuff hit hard in senior year when we had to apply everything we had learnt to designing and simulating real processes. This part of the curriculum really helps in giving a feel of what it is like working as an engineer.

“McNeese also has several professional societies that schedule plant tours and bring in motivational speakers from different companies.

“In school we often feel like we are taught irrelevant material, however McNeese has successfully acquainted me with processes which are commonly employed in this area and the company then gives me the savoir-faire.”

She also said that she is still in touch with her professors, after graduation, who offer her assistance when she needs it.

Jean Boue, from the Ivory Coast, is in his fourth semester of studying financial analysis and also commends the university of its efforts in helping students graduate career-ready.

He said, “The first element that attracted me to McNeese State University was affordable tuition and fees and their special scholarship they offer to provide a hand of support for International Students.

“Most Universities require the students to complete at least a semester before receiving any kind of grants or scholarships, but McNeese State University does not demand that.”

He stressed that the university and its highly-ranked programmes contribute strongly in helping students gain employability through practical experience and internships.

“The McNeese State University Business Faculty is ranked among the top ones across the United States which contributes highly and positively to building successful careers of every student graduating from the McNeese College of Business.

“The multiple relational partnerships and sponsorships available at the College of Business is an extreme advantage for the students to obtain an internship and enter into a wonderful career path and a bright future.”

Diverse environment and global exposure
Furthermore, Lake Charles is a diverse and welcoming environment, making it easy for Mambiri to fit in and feel at home, as well as providing exposure to other cultures.

“Lake Charles is quite diverse; on one hand you have all these international students from various parts of the world, and on the other hand, you have Americans from different parts of the US with so many different cultures.

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McNeese State University

“McNeese feels like a culture hub. This has really opened my mind, in terms of being more understanding and respectful of people’s cultures and beliefs. I

“Instead of focusing on how much I miss home, I find myself gathering different food recipes from many places and sharing “growing-up” stories with parts of the world I never thought I would be exposed to.”

Jean Boue brought up the issues that most – if not all – international students face at some point during their time abroad, including loneliness and culture shock.

“Living far from home always brings up some down moments in the life every international student at a point their studies abroad such as depression, loneliness.

“McNeese State University has a diversified campus with students originated from all around the globe, which helps in the process of dealing with some culture-shock issues.”

For those from West Africa looking to study abroad in a supportive and diverse community with plenty of industry links, McNeese State University is an excellent choice – proven by the success stories of international graduates.
00 2019-08-14
Ruston

Pumphrey to give Tech summer commencement address


Norman D. Pumphrey, Jr., Associate Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering and Construction Engineering Technology at Louisiana Tech University, will serve as commencement speaker for the University’s Summer Ceremonies at 10 a.m. Aug. 22, in the Thomas Assembly Center on the Ruston campus.

A 1976 graduate of Tech with a with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering, Pumphrey served his undergraduate alma mater with distinction from 1990 until his retirement in June 2019.

Pumphrey has served in many roles, including both assistant and associate professor, and for two years as program chair of Civil Engineering (2002-2004). In 2004 he moved to Enrollment Managementwhere he was director of advising and retention, the inaugural director of the Bulldog Achievement Resource Center (BARC), and the director of Basic and Career Studies before returning to his academic home in the College of Engineering and Science in 2014.

In May of that year Pumphrey was named program chair for Construction Engineering Technology, a position he held until his retirement.

In 2017, Pumphrey was selected to receive both the Tech Senate Award and the Louisiana Engineering Foundation Faculty Professionalism Award.

Immediately after his graduation in 1976, Pumphrey was employed by the Federal Highway Administration, where he worked for more than four years before returning to pursue a master’s degree in geotechnical engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri University for Science and Technology). He then enrolled in the PhD program and eventually earned that degree in transportation engineering and transportation materials at Purdue University.

He then spent three years on the faculty at the University of Alabama beforereturning to Ruston in 1990.

Pumphrey has enjoyed teaching and interacting with students both in and out of the classroom, and he has been presented with numerous local awards for his teaching and academic advising, including the University award for Outstanding Undergraduate Advising in 2002.

He spent 15 of his 29 years at Tech as faculty advisor of the Tech chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers and assisted the Tech chapter of the Associated General Contractors in coordinating student member attendance at various national conferences and competitions.

Pumphrey co-authored several children’s Christian Discipleship and Sunday School teaching guides and student materials for Lifeway and 254 Basics and taught preschoolers at Temple Baptist Church for many years.

He coached his two boys in both Dixie baseball and Ruston Parks and Recreation soccer and refereed high school boys and girls soccer for several years.

More recently Pumphrey has has been active in Ruston Community Theater.
00 2019-08-13
Monroe

ULM School of Education partnering with area school districts to encourage the next generation of teachers


MONROE, La. — (8/12/19) The University of Louisiana Monroe School of Education is partnering with three area school districts with an initiative to encourage and guide students at four high schools toward careers as teachers.

To accomplish this goal, the School of Education is launching Educators Rising during the 2019-20 school year at Neville, Wossman, Oak Grove and Ruston high schools. The project is under the direction of Dr. Amy L. Weems, ULM Assistant Professor of Education.

“We are thrilled to be a university partner for the Educators Rising initiative, and we are so encouraged by the commitment of our partner schools that are piloting coursework for the 2019-20 school year,” Weems said.

Weems said the high school partners are recruiting students for Educators Rising now, at the beginning of the school year. ULM will support the program through virtual professional learning communities, by mentoring teachers and students, hosting campus visits and skill-development days for Educators Rising competitions.

ULM provided the EdRising Academy Curriculum to the four pilot schools for the 2019-20 school year. Normally it is purchased by the schools. The curriculum is being used to teach a dual enrollment course at Ruston High School and as a dual credit course at Oak Grove, Neville and Wossman.

“Both are taught as a partnership between ULM and approved instructors in these high schools,” Weems said.

Also part of the program is the EdRising Virtual Campus available to pilot school students and teachers.

“It’s like a social media connection for schools that are implementing Educators Rising,” said Weems.

The School of Education is chartering a collegiate chapter of Educators Rising which will give ULM education students access to this network of mentors and future educators as well. Chapter members will also serve as ambassadors working with community partners and aspiring educators.

“High school and collegiate members can compete in various events that show their expertise in the field of education at state and national competitions and conferences to earn college scholarships,” Weems said.

The mission of Educators Rising is to expand opportunities for high school students to experience the high-impact empowerment teaching can offer, help students develop leadership skills and have experiences to advance career choices, increase diversity in the local teacher workforce and support local teachers as they recruit and mentor students to enter education.

“We know that our best and brightest future educators include high school students who want to make a difference in their communities, and we will be passing on our passion for teaching and learning to them through Educators Rising,” Weems said.

For more information about Educators Rising or how your high school can become part of the initiative, contact Weems at weems@ulm.edu or 318-342-1280 or visit educatorsrising.org.
00 2019-08-13
Natchitoches

Jena student completes internship at Baylor College of Medicine


NATCHITOCHES, La. (NSU) - Northwestern State University student Devon Smith recently wrapped up an internship at the Baylor College of Medicine. Smith, a senior biology major from Jena, participated in the College’s SMART Program that allowed him and other undergraduates across the nation to gain hands-on experience working on cutting edge research in the biomedical field.

Smith said the research was on a disease termed alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency. Specifically, on a gene that could play a role in increasing its onset in affected infants. He conducted this research in the lab of Kjserti Aagaard M.D., Ph.D., in collaboration with Richard N. Sifers Ph.D.

“The entire experience was so fascinating and engaging. I sometimes had to pause in the just to say to myself, ‘I’m at Baylor College of Medicine right now, one of the most prestigious research centers in the country, doing cutting edge research that could impact thousands of lives in profound ways,’” said Smith. “The realization made me feel truly grateful and elated to be a part of this experience. Not only in my lab, but also with the friends I made in the program.”

According to Smith, the program allowed him to make many lifelong friends and mentors that he said he will keep for the rest of his life.

“I know without a doubt that a career in medical science is what I am meant to do,” said Smith. “I also have to thank everyone at Northwestern State. It was my professor’s encouragement apply in the first place that allowed me to have this life-changing opportunity. Overall, this has been one of the most amazing experience in my life and would love to do it all over again.”

Northwestern State’s School of Biological and Physical Sciences offers several comprehensive programs that prepare students to enter into the job market competitively at the bachelor level or to further their education in either graduate or professional school. For more information, go to sciences.nsula.edu.

Copyright 2019 NSU. All rights reserved.
00 2019-08-13
Natchitoches

NSU alumnus Ted Jones, veteran attorney and lobbyist, dies at age 85


Baton Rouge attorney and lobbyist Theodore (Ted) L. Jones died Sunday at his home in Baton Rouge. He was 85.

Jones was a prominent Louisiana attorney who provided counsel to governors, members of Congress, U.S. Senators and presidential candidates.

A native of Tifton, Georgia, Jones earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Northwestern State with special studies in accounting and economics in 1960. He received a Juris Doctorate at the University of Mississippi in 1963 and a Master of Laws in Taxation from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1970.

“I am truly going to miss my dear friend Ted Jones, one of our greatest NSU alumni and supporters,” said NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio. “There will never be another like him. He will be forever missed by his Northwestern family and the state of Louisiana, which he devotedly served for over half a century. His was truly a life well lived.”

Jones held the Charles D. Ragus Endowed Chair in the School of Business at Northwestern State. Jones was honored with induction into the NSU Hall of Distinction, the Long Purple Line in 2003 and an honorary doctorate of humanities in 2005. He served on NSU Foundation Board of Directors and the board of the Gallaspy Trust.

“Ted Jones was a true mentor to me, personally and professionally, and was a dedicated and passionate alumnus of NSU. Any time we needed a legal opinion or other assistance, his vast knowledge and network of contacts was an invaluable resource,” said Drake Owens, Assistant Vice President of External Affairs and director of the NSU Foundation. “He genuinely cared about the people he came in contact with and had a deep love for his alma mater.”

Dr. Margaret Kilcoyne, Dean of the College of Business and Technology said Jones showed personal touches in his dealings with faculty, staff and students that will be long remembered.

“He brought real-world experiences into the classroom regarding the importance of ethics and legal taxation,” said Kilcoyne. “His love and devotion of NSU and the State of Louisiana were evident not only in his daily life, but also in his classroom lectures full of witty comments and great stories. Outside of the classroom, Mr. Ted loved to fundraise, host events and share the fruits of his beloved garden with his NSU family. We will miss his gregarious personality, his warm and genuine smile and his giving spirit.”

Jones was in private practice since 1963 except for several stints in government service. He served as chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Speedy O. Long and as counsel and special counsel for Medicare to Gov. John J. McKeithen. Jones was on the presidential campaign staff of Vice President Hubert Humphrey in 1968.

He was special counsel to Gov. Edwin W. Edwards for federal affairs, wetlands and transportation from 1984 to 1988 and 1992 to 1996.

Jones was a counsel on the Federal Campaign Act of 1971 for numerous candidates for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. He has also counseled candidates for state and local office on the Louisiana Campaign Finance Disclosure Act of 1975.

He was the author of two books on business and tax planning in closely held corporations and on foreign tax credits.

His service also includes being general counsel for the Louisiana Democratic Party from 1964 to 1988, an elected Presidential Elector from the 6th Congressional District in 1976 and a national committeeman of the Democratic National Committee from 1994 to 1998.

He received the Harvey Peltier Award and an honorary doctor of humanities from Nicholls State University. Jones was inducted into the Thumbpickers Hall of Fame in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, in 1999 and received the Muhlenberg Sound Award in 2000. He was inducted into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame in 2007 after previously receiving the Friends of Earl Long and Friends of Jimmie Davis Award. He has been a director of the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame and a member of the advisory board of the Delta Music Hall of Fame. He was honored by LPB in 2018 as a “Louisiana Legend.”
00 2019-08-13
New Orleans

Photos: UNO move-in day in New Orleans



The UNO Move-In Krewe—made up of University of New Orleans administrators, faculty, staff and returning students helped freshmen and new transfer students move into the Pontchartrain Hall residence halls.

Volunteers helped carry everything under the sun to the new students rooms. A cookout in the Pontchartrain Hall courtyard followed for all new students with music, games and a student organization fair. The first day of class of the fall 2019 semester is Wednesday, August 14.

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Daniel Hunsaker and Susan Hunsaker check-in as University of New Orleans dorms buzz with activity during New Student Move-In Day in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. Resident Assistants, Move-In Krewe members, and university president John Nicklow helped freshmen and transfer students unload vehicles and load in to rooms in Pontchartrain Hall North.

PHOTO BY SHAWN FINK
NO.unomove.nc.082119.17.jpg
University of New Orleans President John Nicklow, center, helps unload a car as dorms buzz with activity during New Student Move-In Day in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. Resident Assistants and Move-In Krewe members helped freshmen and transfer students unload vehicles and load in to rooms in Pontchartrain Hall North.

PHOTO BY SHAWN FINK
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University of New Orleans President John Nicklow, left, helps unload a car as dorms buzz with activity during New Student Move-In Day in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. Resident Assistants and Move-In Krewe members helped freshmen and transfer students unload vehicles and load in to rooms in Pontchartrain Hall North.

PHOTO BY SHAWN FINK
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University of New Orleans dorms buzz with activity during New Student Move-In Day in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. Resident Assistants, Move-In Krewe members, and university president John Nicklow helped freshmen and transfer students unload vehicles and load in to rooms in Pontchartrain Hall North.

PHOTO BY SHAWN FINK
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University of New Orleans freshman Annalisa Huete organizes her belongings as dorms buzz with activity during New Student Move-In Day in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. Resident Assistants, Move-In Krewe members, and university president John Nicklow helped freshmen and transfer students unload vehicles and load in to rooms in Pontchartrain Hall North.

PHOTO BY SHAWN FINK
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University of New Orleans sophomore Olivia Bergeron new students as dorms buzz with activity during move-in day in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. Resident Assistants, Move-In Krewe members, and university president John Nicklow helped freshmen and transfer students unload vehicles and load in to rooms in Pontchartrain Hall North.

PHOTO BY SHAWN FINK
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Senior Hamza Odeh helps unload a car as University of New Orleans dorms buzz with activity during New Student Move-In Day in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. Resident Assistants, Move-In Krewe members, and university president John Nicklow helped freshmen and transfer students unload vehicles and load in to rooms in Pontchartrain Hall North.

PHOTO BY SHAWN FINK
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University of New Orleans sophomore Olivia Bergeron new students as dorms buzz with activity during move-in day in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. Resident Assistants, Move-In Krewe members, and university president John Nicklow helped freshmen and transfer students unload vehicles and load in to rooms in Pontchartrain Hall North.

PHOTO BY SHAWN FINK
NO.unomove.nc.082119.27.jpg
Chalmsford, MA freshman Aiden Grossman, left, cheeks in to his room with Resident Assistant Kylee Freiermuth, right, as University of New Orleans dorms buzz with activity during New Student Move-In Day in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. Resident Assistants, Move-In Krewe members, and university president John Nicklow helped freshmen and transfer students unload vehicles and load in to rooms in Pontchartrain Hall North.

PHOTO BY SHAWN FINK
NO.unomove.nc.082119.39.jpg
Kenny Huber, left, and Marissa Huber, center, carry a belongings into Pontchartrain Hall North as University of New Orleans dorms buzz with activity during New Student Move-In Day in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. Resident Assistants, Move-In Krewe members, and university president John Nicklow helped freshmen and transfer students unload vehicles and load in to rooms in the dorms.

PHOTO BY SHAWN FINK
NO.unomove.nc.082119.01.jpg
Graduate student Costain Nachuma, left, and Solomon Rhodes, center, help freshman Chalmsford, MA freshman Aiden Grossman, right, unload a car as University of New Orleans dorms buzz with activity during New Student Move-In Day in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. Resident Assistants, Move-In Krewe members, and university president John Nicklow helped freshmen and transfer students unload vehicles and load in to rooms in Pontchartrain Hall North.

PHOTO BY SHAWN FINK
NO.unomove.nc.082119.31.jpg
Mascot Captain BrUNO greets University of New Orleans students during move-in day at the dorms in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. Resident Assistants, Move-In Krewe members, and university president John Nicklow helped freshmen and transfer students unload vehicles and load in to rooms in Pontchartrain Hall North.

PHOTO BY SHAWN FINK
NO.unomove.nc.082119.12.jpg
University of New Orleans President John Nicklow, left, helps unload a car as dorms buzz with activity during New Student Move-In Day in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. Resident Assistants and Move-In Krewe members helped freshmen and transfer students unload vehicles and load in to rooms in Pontchartrain Hall North.


00 2019-08-13
Regional/National

‘If You Call It History, You’ve Got to Do History’: Historians Chafe at a Video That Omitted Their University’s Whites-Only Origins


When Louisiana Tech University opened its doors, in 1895, its inaugural students had to be at least 14 years of age, pass a mathematics exam, and be able to read, write, and spell with “tolerable correctness.”

They also had to be white.

But that crucial qualification is not mentioned in a nine-minute video about the institution’s 125-year history, posted last week on YouTube.

“I'm not trying to say that they got their facts wrong, or anything like that. I'm trying to say that they could have better contextualized them.”
There’s a growing movement among colleges and universities, especially in the South, to grapple with their racist legacies, rooted in chattel slavery and perpetuated in its aftermath. Scholars, along with students and community activists, are often the ones driving universities to acknowledge that they were founded by white people, for white people — often by white men, for white men.

Within that national context, “it certainly is odd, to put it mildly,” that Louisiana Tech does not mention in the video that the institution was segregated for about 70 years — more than half of its existence, said John Worsencroft, an assistant professor of history at the institution. Universities are in the business of selling their stories. They want a narrative of progress, Worsencroft said, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But that narrative only means something, he said, when it’s underpinned by historical knowledge.

“I’m not trying to say that they got their facts wrong, or anything like that,” he said. “I’m trying to say that they could have better contextualized them.”

‘A Short Marketing Piece’
The video, a snippet of which was shared by the university on Twitter, is titled “Forever Loyal: 125 Years of Louisiana Tech University.” It was produced for the Happening, an annual event hosted for Louisiana Tech alumni and friends, Tonya Oaks Smith, a spokeswoman, said in an email. Attendees had a “wonderful and positive” response to the video, Smith said. It was “a short marketing piece” and not intended to be an exhaustive history of the university.

“A lot of history is packed into 125 years,” the university tweeted when sharing the video. “Relive it all by watching this retrospective journey through Louisiana Tech’s past.”

In the video a narrator describes how people in the small town of Ruston, La., began discussing a state-supported technical school. In 1894, State Rep. George Madden Lomax sponsored a bill establishing the Industrial Institute and College of Louisiana, the narrator says. She doesn’t mention that the bill said the college would be “for the education of the white children of the State of Louisiana.” Nor does she mention that Grambling State University, a historically black university, was founded about five miles away, out of necessity.

Graduate studies began at Louisiana Tech in 1958, and its first doctoral-degree programs were approved in 1967, the narrator says. During that span, Louisiana Tech also admitted its first African-American students. In 2016 the university created a scholarship to honor two of them. “The struggle was real, but it was also necessary,” one of the students, Bertha Bradford-Robinson, said in a news release announcing the scholarships.

Neither she nor her classmate is mentioned in the video.

Louisiana Tech was founded and flourished in a social and economic system based in white supremacy, said Andrew C. McKevitt, an associate professor of history there. And that foundation has staying power. There’s still a local attitude that Grambling State is where black students go, and white students go to Louisiana Tech, he said. (Slightly more than 12 percent of students at Louisiana Tech are black.) Just three years ago a public school operated by Louisiana Tech on its campus reached a settlement with the Department of Justice to desegregate.

The Status of Women
Unlike African-Americans, the role of women is touched upon in the video, but it’s not a particularly nuanced view, said Worsencroft. The narrator describes how the first dormitory building was for women, and later adds, “These female students were pioneers for the university.”

What’s not mentioned, said Worsencroft, is why. Women lived in a dorm because at the time, the university didn’t trust women to behave appropriately, whereas men were allowed to live wherever they wanted to, he said. For one of his courses, Worsencroft’s students created an archive that documents the regulations governing the lives of women on the campus.

For decades, women were restricted in how they could behave, when they could leave the campus, and whom they could invite to their rooms. Parents were asked to “limit the number of their daughter’s correspondents,” according to a 1925-26 university bulletin. When rules were broken by a couple, women were often the ones who were threatened with punishment under the written penalties.

And while the university touts its strength in engineering, it didn’t graduate a woman in that program until 1948, the class archive says. That’s because men were steered toward engineering, science, and business, Worsencroft said, whereas women were steered toward home economics.

The video exists presumably to “inculcate a sense of pride” about the things the university does, Worsencroft said, namely, its role in educating the people of northern Louisiana. So it’s ironic, he said, that the university’s communications department “would not even think to ask the very experts that they employ in that mission in interpreting the history of the university.” (Smith, the spokeswoman, said that the department had worked with the university archives, the Alumni Association, and other employees to produce the video.)

What seems to have been misunderstood is that interpreting history is a developed skill, Worsencroft and McKevitt said. It’s not as simple as listing facts in order. Students who take introductory survey courses learn to think of history as a set of tools, used to critically examine the past in order to inform the present, McKevitt said.

If the video had been advertised as a “celebration” of the university, the obvious erasure of all of the context would be less glaring, McKevitt said.

But “if you call it history, you’ve got to do history.”

Historians, said Worsencroft, have an expertise, just like medical professionals or engineering professors. You wouldn’t throw on a lab coat and presume yourself a surgeon, he said. And could you imagine, he said, if the university posted a video about the football team and didn’t run it by the athletics department beforehand?

No, he said. You can’t.

Emma Pettit is a staff reporter at The Chronicle. Follow her on Twitter @EmmaJanePettit, or email her at emma.pettit@chronicle.com.
00 2019-08-13
Ruston

Tech named to MONEY magazine’s Best Value College list


MONEY magazine has named Louisiana Tech University to its Best Value College list for 2019. Tech was one of only two public universities in Louisiana named to the list published Monday.

In its sixth year delivering the Best Value ranking, Money evaluated over 700 colleges and universities. Editors for the magazine compared institutions on affordability, educational outcomes, and quality of education, and data is compiled from the U.S. Department of Education, Peterson’s, and PayScale.com.

“Louisiana Tech consistently provides our students with an exceptional value and our graduates with an excellent return on their educational investment,” Louisiana Tech President Les Guice said. “National recognition such as this from MONEY is encouraging and motivating for our campus community. It shows our focus on providing unparalleled educational experiences, solving the grand challenges of our time, and creating a 21st Century Campus impacts our students and alumni in a number of positive ways. ”

To compile the final group of colleges and universities ranked in the 2019 Best Colleges report, MONEY editors eliminated those institutions that had less than 500 students, graduated less than the median for its institutional category (public, private, or historically black college or university), those without sufficient data to analyze and institutions that had been identified as in financial difficulty by the U.S. Department of Education or bond ratings agencies.

The Money Best Value is the latest in a number of high profile rankings for Louisiana Tech. In May, the University was named a Forbes Best Value, and in April, Times Higher Education recognized Louisiana Tech as one of only 30 universities in the United States on its 2019 University Impact Ranking for sustainable development. In addition, in February, Tech was named to the national Military Friendly Schools list for the sixth year in a row.

The complete MONEY 2019 Best Colleges rankings are listed at http://money.com/money/best-colleges/.
00 2019-08-13
Ruston

GSU recognized as a top producer of minority grads


GRAMBLING — Recent data published by Diverse Issues in Higher Education acknowledged Grambling State University as a top 10 leading producer of African-American graduates in five categories: computer science, social sciences, education, marketing, and homeland security and related areas.

“Our deans, faculty, and students have been hard at work growing our experience in the classroom,” said GSU President Rick Gallot. “While it is no surprise to us here on campus, it’s encouraging when influential organizations recognize the contributions and growth among HBCUs.”

Grambling State’s acknowledgments, based on 2018 data from the National Center for Educational Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, also included:

• Increased number of graduates in nine undergraduate degree categories,

• Increased number of graduates in seven graduate degree categories, and

• Acknowledgment as a top 100 minority graduate producer in 22 categories.

The University’s largest growth in graduates was driven by its degree programs in criminal justice, public administration, visual and performing arts, and computer and information systems.

The Diverse Issues rankings come as the University prepares to launch Louisiana’s first bachelor of science in Cybersecurity and the recent award of 10 full tuition and fee scholarships to incoming students in technology and engineering degrees through the inaugural Technology Tour scholarship program.
00 2019-08-12
Lafayette

UL Lafayette awards 330 degrees during Summer Commencement


The University of Louisiana at Lafayette conferred 330 degrees during its Summer Commencement ceremony on Friday at the Cajundome.

Bachelor’s degrees were awarded to 226 graduates. Master’s degrees were awarded to 90 graduates, the most ever at a summer ceremony. Fourteen graduates earned doctoral degrees.

Graduates represented 37 parishes, 20 states and 15 countries. The youngest graduate is 21; the oldest is 54.

Dr. Joseph Savoie, UL Lafayette president, told Summer 2019 graduates they had the potential to “make a difference in the communities and the lives of people you hold dear.”

“You need only strength of character and a sense of purpose. You are seated here today because you have both. And you are seated here today because you are prepared to stand for something tomorrow,” Savoie said.

Dr. Jeffrey George, an associate professor of guitar studies in the School of Music and Performing Arts [u7061146.ct.sendgrid.net] , was the Commencement speaker. He was honored with a Distinguished Professor Award in April.

George reminded graduates that “success is a journey. It’s not a destination.”

“The truth about goals is the closer you get to actually reaching them, the more they change, unfold and grow,” George said.

Keegan Christopher Lange was recognized as a summa cum laude graduate for achieving a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Lange, a computer science major, received a bachelor’s degree from the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences

The University held its first summer ceremony since 1949 in 2014. Summer Commencement was reintroduced to give graduating seniors an opportunity to participate in a ceremony without having to wait until the end of the fall semester.

View a list of Summer 2019 graduates
00 2019-08-12
Lake Charles

Edwards touts SW La.’s economic success


“There’s no shortage of positive things I can talk about in Southwest Louisiana about growth,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said Thursday night during the second annual Alliance for Positive Growth awards banquet.

“When we discuss how the Port of Lake Charles and its partners secured $136 million in federal funding for dredging and maintaining the Calcasieu Ship Channel, that means the 37 percent of the Lake Charles area gross domestic product that is tied to the port is actually going to continue and grow over the coming years,” he said. “When we say Lake Charles was named the Small Market of the Year for the ninth year in a row in Southern Business Development Magazine’s ranking of economic development results that means that of all the communities across the south of over 250,000 residents, Lake Charles surpassed them all and has for nine years.”

Edwards said the multitude of recognition the area has earned is unprecedented, and the growth isn’t ceasing.

“This year Sasol began the operation of the ethylene cracker as the site’s other plants also began to come online in what is a more than $12 billion chemical manufacturing investment here in Southwest Louisiana,” he said. “And after 6,000 construction jobs that project is delivering more than $60 million in new payroll, or permanent jobs.

“In May, Lotte Chemical and Westlake Chemical completed their $3.1 billion ethylene and MEG complex at the intersection of I-10 and I-210 and Lotte Chemical USA moved its headquarters from Houston to Lake Charles in what has become an extraordinary project for this region,” he said. “Thousands of construction jobs were generated over the three years and now 230 new high-paying permanent jobs have been created directly on that site along with thousands of indirect jobs.”

He said Cheniere is approaching $20 billion in capital investment as it begins construction on its six LNG trains on Sabine Pass and Cameron LNG has completed an investment of more than $10 billion at an LNG complex in Hackberry.

“More than 160 new direct and indirect jobs are already associated with the Lacassine Rail Park in Jeff Davis Parish and the developer plans to create rail services for up to 2,300 rail cars across a 400-acre logistic park,” he said. “And just this week we announced an $18 billion partnership between the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and the Cameron Parish Police Jury to add three additional miles of unique rock breakwaters for a shoreline protection project at Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in Cameron.”

Edwards said it’s an exciting time for the state and he knows the Alliance for Positive Growth is committed to ensuring continued successful growth — like housing, infrastructure and strategic development to benefit all residents in Southwest Louisiana.

The alliance celebrated several area projects and recognized five individual winners.

In the Southwest Louisiana Indivudal Recognition Award category, Barbara Savant won for Allen Parish; Lisa Adams, Beauregard; John Cardone Jr., Calcasieu; Ryan Bourriaque, Cameron; and Marion “Butch” Fox, Jeff Davis.

Project Award winners were A-Won Ace Hardware TIY, Sabine Pass Liquefacation Project, Flock of Five Gift and Art Emporium, Gator Chateau, McNeese State University Health and Human Performance Education Project, Lake Charles Memorial Health System Archer Institute, Southern Vintage Flea Market, Calcasieu Industrial Park, and Sowela Technical Community College’s Sycamore Student Center.

Other nominees included Audubon Place Suddivision Phase One, Cameron LNG Liquefacation Train 1, Cheniere LNG Operation and Maintenace Building II, Cypress Center, Lotte Chemical Ethylene and Ethlene Glycol Production Project, Kirby Street Apartments, and the St. Jude Dream Home Giveway 2018.

The President’s Award was given to Cynthia Roy and artwork by Sowela student Amber Johnson was chosen for this year’s program cover art.
00 2019-08-12
Monroe

Bruno to deliver State of the University address Wednesday morning


University of Louisiana Monroe President Dr. Nick J. Bruno will discuss the accomplishments of the past year and a preview of the goals ahead in the annual State of the University address at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14 in Brown Auditorium. The public is invited to attend.

The State of the University is given during University Week before the fall semester begins. Classes start Monday, Aug. 19.

Bruno will highlight some of the achievements of 2018-19 such as the first graduates of the nurse practitioner program in the Kitty DeGree School of Nursing in the College of Health Sciences, men’s basketball receiving its second consecutive Sunbelt Team Academic Champion Award and events hosted by the School of Visual and Performing Arts drawing 147,000 visitors to campus.

He will discuss current and future building projects including a new residence hall, innovative new degree programs such as the Master of Music Education, grant funding nearing $14 million and the success of the SOAR capital campaign exceeding its $55.4 million goal.

Bruno will provide updates on the changes made by the state Legislature to address inequities in ULM funding and fiscal appropriations made to the university budget. He will present some of the goals for the upcoming year and ULM’s continued and growing positive impact in the community, especially in health sciences.

At the conclusion of the address will be the presentation of the Foundation Awards of Excellence. The awards are given to faculty and staff who have demonstrated extraordinary service to the university.
00 2019-08-12
Monroe

Quentin Holmes named interim police chief at GSU


On Friday, Grambling State University officials announced that Quentin Holmes has been appointed the institution's new Interim Chief of the University Police Department and Special Advisor to the COO for Public Safety.

“Dr. Holmes’ continuous leadership has helped consistently grow safety and the student experience on our campus,” said GSU President Rick Gallot. “We look forward to his contributions during this interim period and on an ongoing basis as a special advisor.”

Holmes is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Monroe with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice.

He holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration from Jackson State University. Since 2017, Holmes has served as a visiting professor in Grambling State’s Department of Criminal Justice.

He is most well-known for serving as a law enforcement officer in Monroe for more than 20 years, including six years as Chief of Police.

Effective Aug.9, Holmes will take over as both interim chief of police and permanent special advisor for public safety, leading the Office of University Police.
00 2019-08-12
Natchitoches

NSU SGA president concludes internship with Governors Fellows Program


Northwestern State University Student Government Association President Jacob Ellis of Athens was one of 13 Louisiana college students who spent the summer interning in the administration of Louisiana Gov John Bel Edwards. Students participating in the nine-week Lamar Governor’s Fellows Programs in Louisiana Government were assigned to cabinet-level agencies for a close observation of government in the non-partisan program.

Ellis was assigned the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control where he studied the craft brewery industry and researched how craft breweries can grow and help the state’s economy. He and fellow interns had an audience with the governor earlier this week to describe their experiences and offer ideas on how to improve state operations.

Ellis was selected for the Governor’s Fellows Program because of high academic performance, devotion to the state of Louisiana and his interest in public service.

“I really enjoyed getting to learn first-hand about state government,” Ellis said. “I have a much better understanding about how our state is governed. I also made great contacts that will help me in the future. I really enjoyed the networking aspect. It was a great opportunity to learn and have fun while representing NSU.”

Students were provided housing at LSU and a $1,500 stipend. They also earned three hours of credit through LSU’s Public Administration Institute. Students took field trips to Angola Penitentiary for perspective on criminal justice changes, Southern University to discuss civil rights and the D-Day Museum in New Orleans.

“I truly enjoyed working with an outstanding group of young people,” he said. “It was great to see people my age with the same passion for our state and the dedication to get things done. I will remain friends with each one of these people. They impacted me as much as the program itself did.”

Ellis is starting his senior year at NSU and will graduate in May 2020. After graduation, he plans to pursue a Master’s of Public Administration and stay in Louisiana to help it make the state the best it can be, he said.

Lamar Advertising is sponsoring the program for five years.
00 2019-08-12
Natchitoches

New Media expands program offerings


Northwestern State University’s Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts is expanding its curriculum to give students more options to learn skills that today’s employers are looking for in media professionals. The department underwent significant curriculum changes last year, revamping two concentrations and adding a new one in Sports Media, according to Dr. Brian Gabrial, department head. A new 18-credit certificate in Strategic Communication also launched.

“Last fall, the department undertook these changes as a response to the current media environment, which requires all communication to possess a trove of skills to be employable,” Gabrial said. “These changes were in response to what employers were telling us what they wanted in hiring prospective employees. The Sports Media concentration came about because of student interest.”

In addition to writing, presentation and research skills, today’s graduates must know how to shoot photographs and video, collect audio and be effective social media entrepreneurs, Gabrial said. The new certificate in Strategic Communication is for undergraduates and includes the fundamental, professional skills writing courses as well as public relations and marketing courses.

“With the new concentrations as well as the new certificate, we expect to see many more students applying as majors and minors,” Gabrial said. “We live in a media saturated world, so effective communication skills are critically essential for any undergraduate.”

Northwestern State’s Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts prepares students for careers as TV anchors, radio hosts, bloggers, photojournalists, graphic designers, social media managers, speech writers, public relations specialists, reporters and scores of other professions. Graduates also find success as educators, attorneys, entrepreneurs, administrators, business executives and other professions in which effective communication skills is essential. Available concentrations include Strategic Communications, Sports Media and Journalism, Broadcast and Digital Media Production.

Gabrial said the curriculum expansion initiatives were pushed forward by his predecessor, Dr. Paula Furr, who retired in May.

For more information contact Gabrial at (318) 357-5366
00 2019-08-12
New Orleans

UNO New Student Move-in Day held this weekend


NEW ORLEANS- On Saturday, hundreds of new students moved into the dorms at the University of New Orleans to begin the next chapter of their lives called college. Full of welcoming staff, Pontchartrain Residence Halls were packed with students unloading their things, moving into their new dorms, and saying goodbye to their friends and family. But, some students we spoke with are happy to finally get away from home and live on their own.

"Hectic yea crazy, but it feels good, independent away from my parents!" Z'nia says.

Regular classes at UNO will begin August 14th.
00 2019-08-12
Regional/National

Study: College Presidents Prioritizing Student Mental Health


With college students reporting problems with anxiety and depression more than ever before, and suicides now a big problem on campuses, university presidents are responding accordingly.

More than 80 percent of top university executives say that mental health is more of a priority on campus than it was three years ago, according to a new report released today by the American Council on Education.

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"Student mental health concerns have escalated over the last 10 years," the report states. "We wanted to know how presidents were responding to this increase. To assess short-term changes, we asked presidents to reflect on the last three years on their campus and whether they have observed an increase, decrease, or no change in how they prioritize mental health."

ACE, which represents more than 1,700 college and university presidents, surveyed more than 400 college and university leaders from two- and four-year public and private institutions. About 78 percent of those surveyed were at four-year universities, and the remainder led two-year institutions.

The association found 29 percent of all the presidents surveyed received reports of students with mental health issues once a week or more. About 42 percent of the presidents reported hearing about these problems at least a few times every month. As a result, presidents have allocated more funding to addressing student mental health problems -- 72 percent of the presidents indicated they had spent more money on mental health initiatives than they did three years ago. One unnamed president even reported spending $15 million on a new “comprehensive student well-being building.”

Hollie Chessman, a research fellow with ACE who helped draft the report, said the association wanted to assess how presidents were navigating the student mental health “crisis” and the types sorts of resources they were devoting to mitigate it. A recent study by the American Psychiatric Association found that in 2017 about 34 percent of students were being treated for some sort of mental health issue, compared to 19 percent of students in 2007.

Presidents surveyed by ACE said they heard about students’ problems with anxiety and depression the most. About 75 percent of presidents reported hearing about anxiety and depression the most frequently among mental health issues, with 23 percent of presidents saying suicide was one of the top problems on the campus. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among college students, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

“We know that poor mental health hinders student academic success,” Chessman said. “I think it’s important that mental health and well-being be a campuswide priority, and it is for a lot of college presidents.”

The presidents also said they relied mostly on their top student affairs professional -- the vice president of student affairs or a person in an equivalent position -- to handle student mental health matters.

Roughly 92 percent of presidents said they depended the most on their vice president for student affairs and about 85 percent of presidents said they relied on student affairs executives.

“This wasn’t a surprise,” Chessman said. “It definitely speaks to the pressure that student affairs professionals are under.”

Some of the presidents’ choices as the go-to person on campus for mental health matters were surprising -- about 32 percent indicated that they relied on their campus police chief, and 27 percent said they relied on legal counsel.

Professors also spent more time dealing with mental health problems among students than they had three years ago, according to the presidents. About 82 percent of presidents said they agreed or strongly agreed that faculty devoted more time to student mental health than in previous years.

“The issues facing students have become more complex and time-consuming for faculty and staff to address,” one president said in the report. “It also involves multiple staff (student services, counseling, security, external resources, safety, legal) to develop a comprehensive plan to address.”

About 58 percent of presidents said they would add more staff to address mental health concerns, particularly in the campus counseling centers, if they had unlimited financial resources.

Across the country, these centers often report being overburdened as more students feel comfortable taking advantage of the mental health services provided, Chessman said. She noted that the increased use of these centers is a sign that perhaps the stigma about seeking help for mental health problems is lessening.

Chessman said she would like to see follow-up research on mental health programs and “best practices around these issues” in higher ed. For example, while writing the survey report, she found one institution that required all students, professors and staff at the university to receive “mental health first aid” training on how to handle mental health problems and crises on campus.

“It’s really important to know what all institutions are doing to address these issues,” she said.
00 2019-08-09
Lafayette

Student affected by UL's housing glitch: "I felt sick to my stomach"


UL is blaming a computer glitch for allowing 70 students to register to live in the new Heritage Apartments at Cajun Village.

Today, UL released a new statement saying that the administration will personally reach out to each student affected by the error.

For some students, that could be good news.

Emily Lloyd, a biology major living in California, was planning to live in Heritage Apartments. She, and other affected students that KATC spoke to, had already put down a deposit and had been assigned a room.

On Wednesday, she was told by the University that she and her roommates would not be allowed to live in Heritage.

"I felt sick to my stomach...I was so stressed out," Lloyd said.

However, after Lloyd, her parents, her roommates, and other family members all called UL, the University has placed them back in the apartment complex.

Lloyd said after the turnaround, she feels as if a "huge weight's been lifted off my shoulders."

Even though Lloyd's situation got cleared up fairly quickly, she said she hopes UL will communicate more clearly with students in the future.

"If you keep asking them...they will eventually give you an answer."
00 2019-08-09
Lafayette

UL FALL FAN DAY SET


With the 2019-2020 college sports season is right around the corner, fans of Louisiana Ragin' Cajun football, soccer, and volleyball will soon have an opportunity to get to know the players and coaches a little better.

Louisiana's Fall Fan Day is set for Sunday, August 18th, from 11 am-1 pm at the Cajundome Convention Center in Lafayette. Admission is free.


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Cajun fans will have the chance to talk and take photos with players and coaches in the respective sports, while taking home 2019 schedule posters.

UL football will open their 2019 regular season schedule on Saturday, August 31, when they take on Mississippi St. at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

Louisiana soccer, under the direction of first-year head coach Lance Key, begins their season on August 22, when the square off with UTSA in the Cardinal Classic in Beaumont, Texas.

Finally, UL volleyball will start their 2019 campaign on Friday, August 30, when they host Incarnate Word on the opening day of the Doubletree Classic.
00 2019-08-09
Natchitoches

NSU named the 7th best online institution in the U.S.


Northwestern State University has been named as the number seven Accredited Online College in the United States by study.com.

Study.com compiled a list of the 50 best accredited schools that provide online degree programs. Data was gathered from sources including the U.S. Department of Education and various accreditation agencies. All of the schools on this list have regional or national accreditation, and many of them have earned multiple specialty accreditations for its programs as well. In addition to their accreditations, we looked for schools with a variety of online program options that encompass both multiple levels and a ranged of fields of study.

“We are honored to be recognized as a leading online education provider in the United States,” said Vice President for Technology, Innovation and, Economic Development Dr. Darlene Williams. “Northwestern State University embraced online education more than two decades ago. Accessibility, affordability and quality are fundamental elements of our program, and we will continue to innovate in ways that make it possible for anyone, located anywhere in the world, to become a part of the NSU family.”

Study.com’s rankings are unique in that they emphasize accessibility, affordability, and quality of education, which were considered the most important attributes in our school rankings.

Northwestern State’s online campus, eNSU, is Louisiana’s first and largest electronic campus, offering accommodating class schedules, personalized instruction, military benefits and financial aid to those who qualify. The university offers 40 online degree programs.

The concentration in pre-law and paralegal studies was ranked as the number 10 program in the country by bestcolleges.com. The concentration is within the bachelor’s program in criminal justice. The purpose of the concentration is to establish a pre-law and paralegal studies focus of concentration within the criminal justice program and to offer the entire program in an online forum. The concentration provides a well-rounded liberal arts degree with a legal focus of study. Those who successfully complete this concentration will be better able to transition into post graduate legal study or for the student desiring to move directly into the legal field in a support position in paralegal employment.

Career options for paralegals are growing. Between 2014 and 2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects an eight percent increase in the number of paralegal jobs in the nation. The median income for a paralegal is about $50,000 annually, according to the BLS.

The site uses data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Navigator, which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics to determine academic quality, affordability and online competency. Several additional ranking factors from a survey of institutions were included in the ranking methodologies.
00 2019-08-09
Natchitoches

AMT Program holds third cohort signing


Many gathered at Central Louisiana Technical Community College’s Natchitoches Campus on Aug. 8 to witness the signing of the third cohort of students to participate in the Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program. The students were joined by their sponsoring manufacturers, program supporters, local and state officials, family and friends.

The AMT (Advanced Manufacturing Technician) program is a partnership between Northwestern State University, CLTCC, the Natchitoches Community Alliance and seven regional manufacturers who are members of GeauxFAME, the local chapter of FAME (Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education). Through the AMT program, students work as paid employees in a facility three days per week. This includes intensive classes two days per week with CLTCC and NSU faculty. TOPS and TOPS Tech scholarships are applicable to tuition for this 2-1/2 year program, which they had to meet admissions criteria and pass a rigorous interview process to get into.

The third cohort consisted of 10 students:

RoyOMartin- Marvin Gistarb of Cloutierville, Malcom Phillips of Winnfield, and Ethan Seiley of Glenmora

Weyerhaeuser- Jonah Chandler of Winnfield

Alliance- Troy Davis of Shreveport

Boise Cascade- Ory Coffman of Oak Hill, Colton Coker of Calvin, Jared Lucht of Pitkin, Keenan Smith of Coushatta, and Kristy Willis of Leesville

The students were excited and thankful for the opportunities and support they’ll receive from this program.

Upon completion, students will hold a certificate from CLTCC and an associate degree in Industrial Engineering Technology from NSU. Credits will transfer to a bachelor’s degree program for students who choose to pursue a 4-year degree.

“These students are the cream of the crop,” said Laurie Morrow, dean of CLTCC-Natchitoches Campus. “We’re looking forward to watching them learn and grow as a part of this program and our community.”

NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio praised the partnerships between higher education and industry that makes the program possible. He credited Natchitoches Community Alliance, NCA Director Tony Davis, GeauxFAME and faculty, administrators and recruiters from NSU and CLTCC.

“When we originally had this idea back in 2016, we were all anxious to see it through,” he said. “We really wanted to hit the ground running. Our collective vision was to prepare the next generation of manufacturing leaders in this region.”

Earlier this week, the first AMT class that began the program in 2017 was recognized for completing the program. Administrators hope to build next year’s cohort up to 20 students.
00 2019-08-09
Natchitoches

NSU will introduce Human Library Collection event honoring military on Sept. 11


NATCHITOCHES, La. (NSU) - Northwestern State University will present its first Human Library Collection event Wednesday, Sept. 11 in which panelists will discuss their experiences serving in the military and/or being part of a military family.

Sessions will take place at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when active duty and retired military personnel, along with their families, will offer perspectives on the challenges and rewards of military life.

Sessions will take place in the NSU-TV Studio, Kyser Hall Room 138. Guests may attend one or both events.

NSU’s inaugural Human Library Collection event will “be honoring military members -- veterans, active members as well as their dependents because their story is important also,” said Deborah Huntington, head of Collection Development and Cataloging at NSU’s Eugene P. Watson Library.

A human library is one in which people serve as a source of information, supplementing books, academic journals and other traditional resources, Huntington explained. With a human library, researchers can talk with or interview an individual one on one to ask questions and get a first-hand account of what that person saw or lived through.

“The concept of a ‘human library collection’ is a new trend in librarianship especially with university and college libraries,” Huntington said. “It not only serves as another resource for research but also builds upon already established library collections. It is another extension of oral histories and bringing stories off the shelves for validation and understanding via face-to-face.”

A human library is also an outreach and engagement vessel that involves the university and the community at large.

“It showcases and promotes how diverse our communities are with acceptance, understanding and inclusion by having face-to-face dialogue and conversations, by sharing and validating life experiences of individuals via round table discussions, interviews Q & A panels, live recordings, speakers, etc.,” Huntington said. “I feel that integrating a ‘Human Library Collection’ here at NSU can make an educational impact by using a social approach to educate students, break down any silos on campus via multi-disciplinary presentations and panels, enhance and complement library collections in times of great budget constraints and respectfully challenge stereotypes and prejudices.”

The human library concept dovetails with the university’s core curriculum and meets many competencies set for in the university’s mission statement “to understand the universe through the study of life and physical sciences, to understand the diversity of human knowledge and experiences across cultures as examined through the humanities, and to demonstrate an understanding of human behavior and the relationship between individuals and their societies,” Huntington said.

Panel participants on Sept. 11 will be State Representative LTC Kenny Cox, General George Peyton Cole, LTC Frank Hall, SSG Brittany LaPoint, LTC Jeff Matthews, NSU Assistant Archivist Sharon Wolff, a military dependent, and Dr. Lisso Simmons, Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade, and others who will share their stories about military service.

The event is supported by NSU President and First Lady Dr. Chris and Jennifer Maggio, Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs, the NSU Foundation, NSU-TV, Sodexo and Watson Library.

Organizers plan to host a Human Library event at least once per semester. The next Human Library will take place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, in the NSU-TV Studio, Kyser Hall Room 138.




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For more information, about the Human Library Collection event, contact Huntington at huntingtond@nsula.edu or (318) 357-6947.
00 2019-08-09
Ruston

Emergency response programs, tools keeping Louisiana Tech students safe in threatening situations


RUSTON, La. (KNOE) - Lousiana Tech has several emergency response programs and tools to keep students and faculty safe and informed during potentially threatening situations like an active shooter.


(SOURCE: KNOE)
Most students said they feel safe on campus, but there’s always the fear of the unknown.

"You never know but I think Louisiana Tech is a very good school to go to and a very safe place for incoming students from all over the world," said Chloe Campbell, LA Tech student.

The campus police department does mandatory safety presentations and meetings with first-year students during summer orientation. They also hold presentations for student organizations and students at the beginning of fall quarter.

Campus Police Chief Randal Hermes said the programs and tools work together to keep everyone safe around the community.

"If we can help teach people to keep themselves safe it'll make our community safer and so that's why we do all the programs that we do," said Hermes.

Not only that - the campus has an automated alert system for everything from severe weather to crime. Keeping students updated instantly via email and text message. Students must enroll themselves if they would like to receive alerts.

Another student told us the emergency alert system kept them in the loop during a missing person warning.

"We knew about it within seconds, everybody that's in the email they email you text you everything to keep you updated," said Demetrius Elmore, LA Tech student.

The campus also has emergency call system towers throughout campus, with the push of a button dispatch is readily available.
Another student said the small campus encourages a safe environment for everyone.

"They all just work together and like everybody is a family, I don't see hatefulness all the time," said Ashlynn Vidrine, LA Tech student.
Campus police encourage faculty and students to always be aware of their surroundings.

"Prevention is the key to this whole thing so observing and recognizing concerning the behavior of individuals whether its students or staff and how to report that," said Hermes.

The campus police department also does its own training monthly on various scenarios.
00 2019-08-08
Lafayette

Noted guitarist to address UL Lafayette Summer Commencement on Friday


The University of Louisiana at Lafayette will confer undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees on Friday, Aug. 9, during Summer 2019 Commencement.

The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. in the Cajundome.

UL Lafayette holds Commencement three times a year, at the end of the fall, spring and summer semesters.

Dr. Jeffrey George, an associate professor of guitar studies in the School of Music and Performing Arts, will be the Commencement speaker.

A prolific scholar whose research has earned international recognition, he maintains an active performing career in addition to his teaching; he has performed in rock, country, bluegrass, reggae and blues bands. He also performs solo classical guitar concerts.

George was honored with a Distinguished Professor Award in April. Established in 1965, the award recognizes educators for their research, teaching effectiveness, and contributions to their professions and to campus life.

Security measures will be in place at the Cajundome. University Police officers will examine purses, bags, and packages. Extremely large bags or oversized packages won’t be permitted.

The University revived the summer ceremony in 2014 after a 65-year hiatus. It was reintroduced so graduating seniors wouldn’t have to wait until Fall Commencement in December to be recognized. Prior to 2014, the last Summer Commencement was held in 1949. The summer ceremony is smaller than Commencements held in the fall and spring.

For more details about the ceremony, including guest and graduate parking information, visit commencement.louisiana.edu [u7061146.ct.sendgrid.net] .
00 2019-08-08
Monroe

Elementary Education and Special Education program at LA Tech is one of the best


The National Council on Teacher Quality ranked Louisiana Tech's program as one of the best due to things like their rigorous admissions process and student teaching experience.
00 2019-08-08
Monroe

Parkinson Resource Center at Louisiana Tech growing resources


The center is a project started by Louisiana Tech and their division of nursing last Fall. They say after the success of the Rock Steady Boxing classes, they wanted to create a center with resources for Parkinson's patients throughout the Arklamiss.

00 2019-08-08
Monroe

ULM officials highlight achievements at alumni meeting


ABIE GARRISON (center) is a recent recipient of the University of Louisiana at Monroe Franklin Parish Alumni scholarship. Since 1984, the group has provided scholarships to 35 Franklin Parish students who are attending ULM. Garrison is a ULM sophomore majoring in Elementary Education. Pictured with her are: (from left) Joann Williams and Glen Williams - chapter president. (Sun photo by Joe Curtis)

University of Louisiana at Monroe freshman and student transfers from Franklin Parish total 160 for the upcoming school year.


00 2019-08-08
Monroe

Herons on the Bayou statues join ULM landscape


The University of Louisiana Monroe’s new Herons on the Bayou statue “Discombobulation” was recently installed in front of Brown Auditorium. The statue was designed and painted by ULM art student Katelyn Vaughan and sponsored by College of Arts, Education, & Sciences Dean Dr. John Pratte. A second heron will be installed in Scott Plaza.

Emerald McIntyre/ULM Photo Services

Emerald McIntyre/ULM Photo Services
The University of Louisiana Monroe landscape will soon have two custom-painted heron statues as part of the local Herons on the Bayou public art project. One has already been installed.


00 2019-08-08
Monroe

Former ULM All-American Joe Profit selected as keynote speaker for The Pursuit, Aug. 19


Former University of Louisiana Monroe All-American Joe Profit, who became the first 1,000-yard rusher in school history in 1969, has been selected as the keynote speaker for The Pursuit, scheduled for Monday, Aug. 19 from 6-9 p.m. at the Bayou Pointe Student Event Center.


00 2019-08-08
Natchitoches

Henderson will discuss Compete LA at Chamber lunch


University of Louisiana President Dr. Jim Henderson will discuss Compete LA at the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon Wednesday, Aug. 14. The program, which is launching this fall, will help individuals with some college credit complete their degrees through one of the nine UL System schools, including Northwestern State University.

Compete LA is designed to re-engage adult learners and assist them in navigating the barriers from re-enrollment to graduation.

The luncheon will take place at Lasyone’s Meat Pie Kitchen, 622 Second St. Doors open at 11 a.m. with the buffet at 11:15 a.m. followed by the featured program at 11:45 a.m.

If you plan to attend, please contact Leah Jackson, NSU’s Director of Public Information and Media Relations at (318) 357-4553.

The Chamber requests RSVPs by Friday, Aug. 9.

Information on Compete LA is available at CompeteLA.org.
00 2019-08-08
Natchitoches

NSU online programs ranked seventh in the nation


Northwestern State University has been named as the number seven Accredited Online College in the United States by study.com.

Study.com compiled a list of the 50 best accredited schools that provide online degree programs. Data was gathered from sources including the U.S. Department of Education and various accreditation agencies. All of the schools on this list have regional or national accreditation, and many of them have earned multiple specialty accreditations for its programs as well. In addition to their accreditations, the site looked for schools with a variety of online program options that encompass both multiple levels and a ranged of fields of study.

“We are honored to be recognized as a leading online education provider in the United States,” said Vice President for Technology, Innovation and, Economic Development Dr. Darlene Williams. “Northwestern State University embraced online education more than two decades ago. Accessibility, affordability and quality are fundamental elements of our program, and we will continue to innovate in ways that make it possible for anyone, located anywhere in the world, to become a part of the NSU family.”

Study.com’s rankings are unique in that they emphasize accessibility, affordability, and quality of education, which were considered the most important attributes in our school rankings.

Northwestern State’s online campus, eNSU, is Louisiana’s first and largest electronic campus, offering accommodating class schedules, personalized instruction, military benefits and financial aid to those who qualify. The university offers 40 online degree programs.

The concentration in pre-law and paralegal studies was ranked as the number 10 program in the country by bestcolleges.com. The concentration is within the bachelor’s program in criminal justice. The purpose of the concentration is to establish a pre-law and paralegal studies focus of concentration within the criminal justice program and to offer the entire program in an online forum. The concentration provides a well-rounded liberal arts degree with a legal focus of study. Those who successfully complete this concentration will be better able to transition into post graduate legal study or for the student desiring to move directly into the legal field in a support position in paralegal employment.

Career options for paralegals are growing. Between 2014 and 2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects an eight percent increase in the number of paralegal jobs in the nation. The median income for a paralegal is about $50,000 annually, according to the BLS.

The site uses data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Navigator, which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics to determine academic quality, affordability and online competency. Several additional ranking factors from a survey of institutions were included in the ranking methodologies.
00 2019-08-08
Ruston

Hundreds attend ‘The Happening’


Hundreds of Louisiana Tech alumni and supporters flocked to the Monroe Civic Center Tuesday night to attend The Happening celebrating the university’s 125th anniversary. The annual event is a prelude to the beginning of a new academic and athletics year for the school.
00 2019-08-08
Ruston

‘Buddy Bowl’ to honor Davis


O.K. “Buddy” Davis is pictured with Louisiana Tech President Les Guice (left) and Tech Director of Athletics Tommy McClelland during Davis’ 2013 induction into the Louisiana Tech Athletics Hall of Fame.

Ruston Daily Leader Executive Sports Editor Emeritus O.K. “Buddy” Davis spent much of his life devoted to covering Louisiana Tech University and Grambling State University athletics.

So it’s only fitting that when Tech and GSU meeting on the football field on Sept. 7, the game will be called the “Buddy Bowl.”

The “Buddy Bowl” will kick off at 2:30 p.m. and will be televised live on the NFL Network in the first ever meeting between the two programs in Lincoln Parish.

Tech and Grambling State have only played each other once before — In 2010 at Independence Stadium in Shreveport.

The Bulldogs will wear special helmet stickers honoring Davis, who passed away on July 13 at the age of 72, during the game, while a tribute video will be played and Buddy Davis trivia will be pushed through Tech social media accounts during the game. Tech officials plan a moment of silence prior to the game and an on-the-field recognition during the game as well.

A member of the Louisiana Tech Athletics Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, Davis was also honored by the Grambling Legends Hall of Fame in 2017. For 55 years, the Ruston native covered both the Bulldogs and the Tigers for the Ruston Daily Leader, penning countless stories about many players, coaches and teams from both universities.

Louisiana Tech named the press area of the new press box and suites of Joe Aillet Stadium — opened in September of 2017 — after Davis, a 2013 inductee of the Tech Athletics Hall of Fame.

Tech will get an early kickoff to its season on Aug. 17 when the annual LA Tech Fan Fest will give Tech fans and supporters an opportunity to interact with the 2019 Louisiana Tech football, soccer and volleyball teams at the Thomas Assembly Center.

Doors to the TAC will open at 12:30 p.m. with the free event slated to run until 2 p.m. Players and coaches from all three programs will sign autographs and take pictures with fans.

Bulldog football fans will also have the opportunity to take their picture with the Hawaii Bowl trophy, and youngsters can enjoy the inflatable bounce houses and various games. Official Tech merchandise through the Barnes and Nobles Bookstore will be on sale and members of the Tech spirit squads will join Champ and Tech XXII for the event.
00 2019-08-07
Lafayette

Princeton Review again rates UL Lafayette among nation’s ‘Best’


The Princeton Review has placed the University of Louisiana at Lafayette among the top 13 percent of the nation's four-year colleges for undergraduate education.

The educational services company released its 2020 edition of "The Best 385 Colleges" on Tuesday.

The guide's editors considered 3,000 public and private colleges and universities in the U.S. before selecting "our 'best' overall," said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review's editor-in-chief and the book's lead author.
The guide does not rank schools from 1 to 385. Instead, it uses the results of surveys of more than 140,000 students to examine academic programs and life on their respective campuses. The guide presents that information to help prospective students choose a college.

Responses from UL Lafayette's students show they feel valued by the community, enjoy intramural sports opportunities and campus recreational facilities, and regularly take advantage of the city's food and music scenes.

"Students who attend the University of Louisiana at Lafayette will likely never be bored," the guide states.

Survey participants agree. "Throughout the year, there are tons of festivals unique to Lafayette, all of which are free to attend," one biology major is quoted as saying.

Respondents also cited the University's welcoming and diverse student body, and lauded attentive faculty members who challenge them to succeed academically. "Most of the professors I've had have been very passionate about their subjects, which in turn makes the students interested in class," said one English major.

Dr. DeWayne Bowie, the University's vice president for Enrollment Management, said UL Lafayette's inclusion in the guidebook is "especially gratifying since it's based on responses from our students."

"The surveys indicate that undergraduates are happy to pursue degrees in a challenging academic environment located in a city that also knows how to have fun," Bowie said.

The complete list of school profiles and rankings are available at https://www.princetonreview.com/college-rankings/best-colleges .

The Princeton Review is known for its tutoring, test-prep courses, books, and other student resources. It is not affiliated with Princeton University.

This is the 28th edition of its "Best Colleges" guide.


00 2019-08-07
Monroe

FOX’s 'Empire' selects Grambling State intern to help shoot final season


Grambling State University student Kayla Sullers landed the internship of a lifetime, working with camera and production teams behind the scenes of FOX’s critically-acclaimed TV show "Empire" during its final season.

“Everything so far has been very hands-on,” Sullers said when asked to highlight her favorite parts of the experience. “From my very first day, I started on set, witnessing every aspect of preproduction along with the production standpoint.”

Sullers was recommended for a camera department internship by a film company she previously had done work for. After three rounds of interviews, she was hired as one of 13 interns who provide camera set up and maintenance, manage filming equipment and shadow the grip department, directors and the A-list cast who support the show including Taraji P. Henson, Terrance Howard, Yazz and others.

Prior to college, her work as a filmmaker and videographer was recognized by the Museum of Science & Industry Black Art Exhibition and WTTW Chicago Public Media. Sullers’ work has won awards such as the CineYouth Festival Award Recipient from the Chicago International Film Festival.

“My education and work experience at Grambling helped prepare me for the real workforce as well as interacting with others in the best presentation of myself,” said Sullers.

Kayla Sullers, a rising sophomore studying mass communication at Grambling State University, interned on the set of "Empire" during the show's final season.
Kayla Sullers, a rising sophomore studying mass communication at Grambling State University, interned on the set of "Empire" during the show's final season. (Photo: Courtesy)

A native of Chicago, and rising sophomore at Grambling State, Sullers chose to major in mass communication with a concentration in integrated media in preparation for her career goals of becoming a cinematographer, director of photography and executive producer.

During the academic year, Sullers is a student worker for the university’s Office of Communications, and she drives community progress in her spare time as a member of the Student Leadership Initiative.

“The goal of President (Rick) Gallot and our entire university is to ensure our students have the opportunity to obtain more than a degree,” said Carolyn Hester, Dean of the College of Professional and Graduate Studies. “Kayla is an example of the hundreds of thousands of HBCU students whose talents change the world when they’re given the opportunity.”

Kayla’s hard work will culminate when the sixth and final season of Empire starts to air on FOX in September.
00 2019-08-07
Natchitoches

NSU scholars reflect on influence of Toni Morrison


NATCHITOCHES, La. (NSU) - “She opened doors others could not have opened. What a gift to the world she was,” said Dr. Holly Stave referring to Toni Morrison, the venerated novelist, editor and professor, who died Tuesday at age 88.

Stave, a professor of English in the Louisiana Scholars’ College at Northwestern State University, is a preeminent Morrison scholar, having studied her work since 1988 and been active in publishing and presenting articles on Morrison’s work.

Morrison, the first African American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, penned novels, children’s literature, short fiction, plays, the libretto for an opera and numerous non-fiction essays and articles. Her 1970 debut novel “The Bluest Eye” about an impoverished and abused black girl who longs for blue eyes, was not a best seller but gained prestige when it was added to the City University of New York’s curriculum. Several acclaimed novels followed and in 1987, she published “Beloved,” a critical and commercial success that won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and other awards. The story, inspired by true events, is about an enslaved African American woman kills her child rather than see her live in slavery.

“What I mean by opening doors had to do with her portrayal of black life,” Stave said. “She challenged stereotypes and the members of the communities she portrayed were flawed, as we all are, but they also were smart, funny, loving, in many cases, and capable of redemption in almost all cases. I’ve heard black readers say they’d never seen black lives rendered in such a way that they identified so much with them. And as for white readers, I think many of us read from two perspectives—as white readers looking at a world unavailable to us, and as humans who saw a world we recognized and could identify with, regardless of race. She did not play the race card but she made readers confront their own prejudices and invalid assumptions.”

“I think what draws people to her work is the insight and depth of feeling she brings to writing about the black experience,” said. Dr. Allison Rittmayer, a professor of English and film in NSU’s Department of English, Foreign Languages and Cultural Studies. “Her voice had a profound impact on the course of contemporary literature, and has inspired so many writers and scholars, especially black women, who are still marginalized by the academy and the literary world.”

“Her works of literature were iconic and frequently requested by both students and faculty. Her stories are beloved by many,” said Deborah Huntington, head of collection development and cataloging at NSU’s Eugene P. Watson Memorial Library.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Photo Source: PBS NewsHour / MGN

Morrison was born Chloe Anthony Wofford on Feb. 18, 1931, in Lorain, Ohio. She attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., graduating in 1953, and earned a master’s degree at Cornell University in 1955. She began her career as a college instructor and worked from 1963-1983 as a book editor for Random House. She published “The Bluest Eye” at age 39.

During her career, Morrison held several prestigious academic appointments, lectured frequently, appeared on the cover of Time magazine and won numerous awards. She was honored with the 1996 National Book Federation’s Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and in 2012 was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. In 2016, she received the PEN/Saul bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction.




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Stave is currently coediting a collection of essays on Morrison that will be published next year. In writing about Morrison, Stave has explored the feminist, religious and spiritual implications of Morrison’s work.

“People were drawn to her work for its honesty, but also its lyricism,” Stave said. “Her language is just beyond compare—the only writer I think of who might be a peer in that area is Faulkner and some critics have explored the connection between those authors in their writing. She doesn’t pull any punches. Her works are brutal, but they reflect the world we know. Her characters live—they are never cardboard cut-outs representing ideological positions. She veers on the margins of social realism and magic realism, and she makes us see with incredible clarity what is in front of our faces.”

Copyright 2019 Northwestern State University of Louisiana. All rights reserved.
00 2019-08-07
Natchitoches

Maggios read during NPL story hour


Northwestern State University First Lady Jennifer Maggio and President Dr. Chris Maggio were special guests at Natchitoches Parish Library Tuesday where they were invited to read to children during Back to School Story Hour. While youngsters colored pictures related to going back to school, the Maggios read “Click, Clack Quack to School!” and “The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School.” Both books send positive messages of encouragement to children going back to school or those nervous about going to school for the first time. Listeners were Caitlyn Bradley, Elli Fultz and Lizzie Cooper. Information on programming at NPL is available at youseemore.com/Natchitoches.
00 2019-08-07
Natchitoches

NSU Move In Day is Aug. 17


NATCHITOCHES – Move-In Day for incoming Northwestern State University students will be from 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17 and community volunteers are invited to help welcome the students and their families to campus.



“We are grateful to the Natchitoches community for their support of NSU and welcome community volunteers for Move-In Day,” said Van Erikson, director of First Year Experience. “If you are part of a civic or service group, church or business that would like to be involved, please let us know.”



Volunteers are needed to cover shifts from 7:30-9:30 a.m., 8:30-10:30 a.m., 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Volunteers should report to the Move-In Headquarters tent at Iberville Dining Hall. From there, they will be shuttled to their assigned residence hall – University Columns, University Place I or University Place II. Volunteer parking is in the lower Sabine lot.



“We hope that the Natchitoches-NSU community will help us create a positive and memorable move-in experience for our new and returning students,” Erikson said. “Our volunteers are great at assist new students in finding their rooms and buildings, meeting and greeting family members, handing out water, answering questions and of course, helping move a box or two. Please show your Demon pride by wearing your favorite Northwestern t-shirt and volunteering. While our new students fear the task of packing, the crowds, roommate encounters and leaving home we can make their first day at Northwestern State University a great one.”



To volunteer to be part of the NSU Move-In Crew, contact Erikson at (318) 357-4025 or email eriksonv@nsula.edu.



Classes at NSU will begin Monday, Aug. 19.
00 2019-08-07
New Orleans

UNO professor to teach disaster preparedness course this fall


Suppose you were stranded without anything to drink. Do you know how to use a plastic bag to make a cup of water? As a business owner, are you familiar with the steps needed to ensure your organization is prepared to reopen after a disaster?

UNOUniversity of New Orleans healthcare management professor Randy Kearns has more than 30 years in disaster and emergency management, and he has used that experience to create a business course called “Disaster Management, Business Continuity & Personal Preparedness.”

The course examines disaster planning and emergency management from a personal and business standpoint.

The objective, said Kearns, an Eagle Scout—which is the highest and most prestigious achievement among Boy Scouts—is to teach some of the “little” things people need to be able to do when responding and dealing with a disaster.

“Disasters will always happen,” Kearns said. “We can’t control the hazards. We can control our vulnerabilities to those hazards.”

Kearns worked as a paramedic for a decade and spent eight years as a Federal Emergency Management Agency reservist responding to federally declared disasters, including Hurricane Katrina. He is well versed in the many facets of trauma and crisis, with expertise in healthcare management, policy, operations, disaster medicine, and burn care.

His career path also includes stints leading a county emergency service department and faculty posts in healthcare, including at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine for seven years.

Prior to coming to UNO last year, Kearns was an associate professor and healthcare management department chair at the University of Mount Olive in North Carolina.

“I lived it,” Kearns said regarding the content covered in the course. “Experiences influence what I teach.”

Kearns said he views emergency management at three levels:

Number one is community preparedness. How do we help the community be more prepared? The course includes discussion on major local, state and national policies and programs designed to improve preparedness to a large-scale disaster, public health or medical emergency.
Second, he connects community preparedness to the business world. If an organization doesn’t understand the principles of business continuity, they are one disaster away from not being able to do what they do, Kearns said. “Whether you have dozens of employees, two employees, or hundreds of employees, somebody has got to keep their eye on what it takes to be able to continue the business,” he said.
The third piece of emergency management is personal preparedness. That runs the gamut from basic first aid to personal survival, Kearns said. Can you stop life-threatening bleeding? Can you open an airway? Can you do just a general injury assessment? “You have to be able to protect yourself, help yourself, and then help others,” Kearns said.
As part of the course, students will complete up to twelve FEMA training certificates that many public and private sector companies require emergency management employees to possess, such as the Incident Command System or ICS 100.

“It gives you an opportunity to have those on your resume from one class,” Kearns said.

As part of the personal preparedness section of the course, students will not only learn how to take a plastic bag and make a cup of water, but Kearns also will teach students how to start a fire—with a bottle of water.

Scout’s honor.
00 2019-08-06
Hammond

SLU Community Music School announces outstanding musicians for spring 2019


HAMMOND — Southeastern Louisiana University’s Community Music School announced pianists Madeline Brown and Anton Feldbaum and violinists Lily Anderson, Anna Johnson, Kelsey Jones and Brennan Saenz as its Spring 2019 CMS Outstanding Musicians.

The honorees were chosen by audience votes during the final spring recitals.

Lily lives in Hammond and attends Southeastern Laboratory School, where she just finished fourth grade. She has studied violin for one year and has been a ballerina for six years at Fellom Ballet. She also plays on a boys flag football team, is an honor student and has recently become a Southeastern Lab School cheerleader.

A resident of Whitehall, Madeline completed third grade at Maurepas School. Next year she will attend St. Theresa Middle in Gonzales. She has been playing the piano for two years and enjoys reading and playing golf.

Anton lives in Denham Springs and will be a third grader at Oaks Montessori School in Hammond this fall. He has studied the piano for 3½ years and was one of the runners-up in the CMS concerto competition in May.

Anna lives in Hammond and attends Hammond Eastside Magnet School, where she will be entering fifth grade this fall. She has studied violin for four years. In 2018, Johnson was one of the winners in the CMS Concerto Competition and performed as a soloist with the Southeastern Symphony Orchestra in November. She is an honor roll student and participates in Hammond Eastside’s musical theater group, The Company. She is a student in the Tangipahoa Talented Music Program and was selected to perform at the International Baccalaureate Global Conference in July.

A resident of Albany, Kelsey is home-schooled and has completed the eighth grade. She has been playing the violin for three years and also plays the piano. In May, she was chosen as one of the winners of the CMS Concerto Competition and will perform as a soloist with the Southeastern Symphony Orchestra this fall. Jones was invited to audition for the Southeastern Symphony in August and hopes to become the orchestra’s youngest member. She loves to read, journal, run and play music with friends.

Brennan is from Mandeville. He is 11 years old and will be a sixth grade student at Lake Harbor Middle School this fall. He has played violin for five years and piano for three years, and he recently started playing trumpet for his middle school band. He and his sister Alana are this year’s winners of the concerto competition at the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra for the Sinfonia Division. They performed as soloists with the GNOYO in March and were invited to play at the 2019 New Orleans French Quarter Festival. The siblings are among the winners for the CMS Concerto Competition and will perform as soloists with the Southeastern Symphony orchestra this fall.

For information about CMS programs and general registration, call (985) 549-5502 or visit the CMS website at southeastern.edu/cms.
00 2019-08-06
Natchitoches

Maggio completes Harvard leadership program


NATCHITOCHES, La. (NSU) - Northwestern State University President Dr. Chris Maggio completed the Institute for Educational Management (IEM) program offered through Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education last month.

The program is designed for senior leaders in higher education to address pressing challenges that include setting strategic direction and getting buy-in from key stakeholders, competing successfully in a dynamic marketplace, optimizing the impact of financial and human resources, embracing the right emerging technologies, leveraging diversity and creating an inclusive community on campus, and responding to questions about the relevance and effectiveness of higher education.

Participants worked alongside Harvard faculty and accomplished peers to explore strategies for long-term institutional success during the nine-day executive education program.

“It was an honor to be accepted and to participate in this highly esteemed executive education program at Harvard University,” Maggio said. “Of course, the program was rigorous and the preparation work demanding but I truly feel I was able to grow as a leader through participation in the program.”

Maggio said participants were presented with case studies taught by Harvard University professors.

“The assignments placed us in the role of decision-makers where we formulated strategies, policy recommendations and had to problem solve in most cases a real situation,” he explained. “We then reviewed the case and were able to discuss as a group, defend our analyses, review implications of alternate solutions. I certainly found that this active participation challenging and the discussions a way to test to development of alternate solutions.

“I was in class with educational leaders from throughout the nation and world,” he said, adding that the program allows for continual engagement with new professional colleagues and Harvard faculty through online learning opportunities and personal contact.

Maggio was named NSU’s 19th president in May 2017 after serving as acting president January-May 2017. His appointment followed a long career in leadership and administrative roles at the university that included serving as Vice President of the Student Experience and as interim vice president in which he led the Dean of Students and the Offices of Admissions, Recruiting, Financial Aid, Student Activities and Organizations, First Year Experience and Leadership Development, Judicial Services, Counseling and Career Services, Student Life, the Student Activities Board, Student Government Association and Greek Life.

Northwestern State has recorded enrollment increases for the past four years. NSU’s Fall 2018 enrollment reached 11,081, the largest in the university’s history.

Copyright 2019 NSU. All rights reserved.
00 2019-08-06
Natchitoches

First class of AMT completers honored at recognition ceremony


NATCHITOCHES, La. (NSU) - Three graduates in the inaugural class of students completing the Advanced Manufacturing Technician program were recognized in a ceremony at Central Louisiana Technical Community College’s Natchitoches campus Monday.

Benjamin Gewin, Taylor Kight and Melonia McDaniel are the first completers of an innovative program in which students attend classes at CLTCC two days per week and work in paid positions three days per week in a sponsoring manufacturing facility.

In addition to AMT certification from CLTCC, the students earned an associate degree in engineering technology from Northwestern State University with credits that can be transferred into a four-year bachelor’s degree program. The program was created in response to regional manufacturers request for employees with increasingly advanced technological skills.

Administrators called the three graduates trailblazers and praised their hard work.

“Three years ago, this concept was brought to this region. AMT began because we listened to our manufacturing partners,” said NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio, adding that each student has grown not only in technical knowledge, but also acquired communication skills and self-confidence.

“There is something special about being in the inaugural program,” said Jimmy Sawtelle, CLTCC chancellor. “Ten years from now, these three professionals will be movers and shakers in the manufacturing industry.”

The AMT program is supported by the Natchitoches Community Alliance Foundation and is made possible through agreements with sponsoring manufacturers AFCO Industries, Alliance Compressors, RoyOMartin, Pilgrims, Boise Cascade, Stella-Jones and Weyerhaeuser.

NCA’s Executive Director Tony Davis explained that the sponsoring industries come together to support the AMT program through the Federation of Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME). The northwest and central Louisiana group that sponsors students is called GeauxFAME.

Later this week, CLTCC will host an event in which candidates officially sign commitments to be part of Cohort 3 of the AMT program. The signing program will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 9.

Click here for more information.

Copyright 2019 Northwestern State University of Louisiana. All rights reserved.
00 2019-08-06
Natchitoches

Creole Heritage Center at NSU will host open house Thursday, Aug. 8


NATCHITOCHES, La. (NSU) - The Creole Heritage Center at Northwestern State University will host an open house from 1-6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8 in Kyser Hall Room 116.

Guests are invited enjoy refreshments, tour the Center and learn more about the 2019 Creole Heritage Celebration that will take place Sept. 27-28 at NSU.

The Creole Heritage Center was established to promote and preserve Creole Culture.

Although its initial focus was the Creole community of Cane River, the Center’s scope has broadened to include the entire state of Louisiana and Creole colonies throughout the world.

The upcoming Creole Heritage Celebration is themed “Let Your Legacy Live On” and will include a fun run/walk, panel discussions, a zydeco reception and dance, exhibits, vendors, tours and a tribute to Clementine Hunter.

Television and film actor Robert Richard will be the featured guest.

Guests who attend the Aug. 8 open house will be able to pick up a schedule and register for events that will take place Sept. 27-28.

For more information, contact Loletta Wynder at wynderl@nsula.edu or by calling (318) 357-6685.

Copyright 2019 Northwestern State University of Louisiana. All rights reserved.
00 2019-08-05
Baton Rouge

Good news for Louisiana college students: Their fees aren't rising this semester


Thousands of Louisiana's college students face a surprising change as they start courses this month and pay their registration bills: Their costs for attending class aren't rising.

For years, many students across Louisiana's public university campuses faced repeated tuition hikes, and more recently, regular fee increases.

But none of the state's four college systems has enacted such mandatory, system-wide increases for upcoming fall semester classes, which generally start between Aug. 14 and Aug. 26 around Louisiana.

"There's no appetite to increase fees," said Cami Geisman, spokeswoman for the University of Louisiana System, the state's largest university system.

Louisiana's public college systems currently don't have authority from lawmakers to raise tuition rates, but lawmakers gave them the ability to set and modify their fees within certain parameters through mid-2020.

Fees aren't covered by the TOPS tuition aid program, so students and their families must pay them out of pocket.

"We have no plans to increase fees at this time," said LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard.

The decision not to raise fees for the upcoming fall semester comes after Gov. John Bel Edwards and state lawmakers boosted state spending on higher education by $47 million in the $30 billion-plus state operating budget that started July 1. Nearly one-third of the increase ensures TOPS covers full tuition for all eligible students. More than $9 million will help campuses pay for some of their growing health and retirement costs.

Louisiana Spotlight: After years of Jindal cuts, education finally a winner in the Louisiana budget
Louisiana Spotlight: After years of Jindal cuts, education finally a winner in the Louisiana budget
Geisman said the UL System board didn't want to raise student charges because of the legislative efforts to increase higher education financing, but also because of concerns about the impact on students.

"The cost to the student has increased so much over the past decade, something's got to give," she said. "We can't just keep increasing fees and increasing fees."

During the previous school year, the LSU and Southern University systems enacted campus-wide fee hikes of up to 5 percent on their students, raising millions of dollars and costing students in some instances nearly $300 more a semester. The UL System followed up in the spring, boosting student charges for eight of its nine campuses.

The Louisiana Community and Technical College System hasn't done system-wide mandatory fee hikes for four years.

"Our board is adamant on that fact," said system spokesman Quintin Taylor.

Though fees aren't increasing system-wide, some program- or course-specific fees are growing on individual campuses, according to the college systems.

Raised fees, layoffs at LSU not an option as board deals with budget shortfall; see possible fixes
Raised fees, layoffs at LSU not an option as board deals with budget shortfall; see possible fixes
In defense of prior increased charges, college leaders point out campuses took deep and repeated state financing cuts over nearly a decade, and tuition and fee hikes didn't fully offset the slashing. They say while campuses are digging out from prior cuts, they're coping with mandated increases in health care, retirement, and insurance costs and competing to hold on to faculty.

At the LSU Board of Supervisors meeting in June, officials said while the governor and lawmakers increased spending on mandated increases, that only covers a portion of the growing costs. They also said the money doesn't address faculty salary levels that remain below peer institutions in other states.

"We are at about a 1990-01 (state) funding level," LSU System President F. King Alexander said. "We have about 8,000 more students than we did at that time."

Still, board Chairman James Williams suggested LSU needs to find ways to raise money without boosting fees: "We all want to be careful as good stewards of this university not to always seek those resources on the backs of the families who pay the costs."
00 2019-08-05
Baton Rouge

UL, others looking to make Lafayette's transportation network more sustainable


Making Lafayette a more sustainable and eco-friendly community was the focus of Thursday's PlanLafayette Day at the LITE Center. Making the city's roads and transportation network more sustainable was one major topic addressed at the event.

Although many in the community shy away from alternate transportation methods like public transit, biking or walking to their destinations, the benefits such practices can bring go far beyond just helping protect the environment, panelists said.

"A car is not just what we use to get from Point A to Point B. A car is something that contributes to traffic, has an impact on roads, it needs a place to park once people get out of it and then also it is a source of air pollution and emission," said Monica Rowand, sustainability coordinator for the UL Lafayette Office of Sustainability.

The goal of getting people out of single occupancy vehicles into other modes of transportation is easier said than done.

UL Lafayette conducted a communter student survey this spring that had more than 500 responses. Although the vast majority of students who commuted via single occupancy vehicles lived outside the the city, those who lived within two miles of campus overwhelmingly didn't want to bike or walk to school because of factors such as the weather or lack of time.

University officials are trying to remedy this by showing students who live near campus that taking a car actually takes longer in most cases than just walking, biking or taking public transit.

Meanwhile, city/parish engineer Warren Abadie addressed some of the benefits of using public transit. For example, buses are safer and better for the environment, he said, and people who use them are less stressed and exercise more.

Abadie acknowledged that taking the bus had its own unique challenges, such as frequency of routes and finding the correct routes and transfers .

"The reality of Lafayette is that transit administrators are given 13 buses and we're told to go cover the city," Abadie said. "For us, it's about balance. We can concentrate on a small area and have the buses run really frequently... or we can spread it out and try to cover as much area as we can."

The transportation department always leans toward coverage area over frequency, Abadie said, because it's not just about getting people where they need to go, but also "getting people to opportunities."

As such, Lafayette is a mix of 30-minute and one-hour routes that stop at approximately 570 bus stops, which can be confusing to the uninitiated. This is why the routes and times are now available through Google and also through Lafayette Public Transit's mobile app.

Wi-Fi and GPS trackers have also been added to buses to make them a more attractive mode of transportation. Covered bus stops are also being built. However, at the rate of about 20 sheltered bus stops per year, it will take about 26 years to get them all covered.

Abadie said electric buses like those in Shreveport and other cities could be added to the fleet in about three to five years as the city would have to invest in new infrastructure and wait for some of the bugs to be ironed out of the system.

"There's been electric buses for a long time, but they've required the investment in a quick-charge terminal," Abadie said, "but battery technology is such now that you can charge it overnight and the bus can run throughout the day."

Finally, the PlanLafayette event showed off some of the recent infrastructure improvements as they gave a tour of UL's $5 million Solar PART (Photovoltaic Applied Research and Testing) Lab and held a ribbon cutting for Lafayette's first public electric vehicle charging station at Cajun Field.
00 2019-08-05
Monroe

SUMMER MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAM FOR SCHOOL MUSIC DIRECTORS


MONROE, La. (AP) — The University of Louisiana at Monroe has a new summer program for school music teachers who want to earn a master's degree in music education.

A news release said the program takes three summers, with sessions timed so high school band directors can hold school band camps in July.

The head of the School of Visual and Performing Arts, Dearle Long, says the summer program means teachers can keep working while earning the degree.

Long said in an email that it's Louisiana's only master's of music degree designed primarily for teacher preparation, and the only one that's summer-only on campus. He says others are aimed either at research or a combination of research, performance and music education.

The first seven students are taking classes.
00 2019-08-05
Monroe

ULM art students collaborate with the Boys and Girls Club to create a wall mural


WEST MONROE — (8/2/19) ULM’s Kappa Pi Honorary Art Fraternity reached out to the boys and girls club to paint an extraordinary piece on its wall.

“All the different things that are in this mural embodies every kid that we have come through our doors,” said Tabby Soignier Truxillo, Director of Development at Boys and Girls Club in West Monroe.

A Friday filled with fun, music, and paint, as members of the Boys and Girls Club in West Monroe and ULM’s Kappa Pi came together to create an extraordinary masterpiece.


Photo by Tabby Truxillo and Brooke Foy.
“For us, it’s really fun, I feel like I personally do a lot of these projects throughout the community. But for my students, this is one of the first big ones that we’ve gotten to work kids on so it’s really important to them,” said Brooke Foy, Assistant Professor at ULM and Faculty Advisor for Kappa Pi.

Foy has created works of art throughout the Twin Cities over the years and is excited to have her students pick up the paintbrush to influence today’s youth.

“We’re here at the Boys and Girls Club to help provide any type of impact we can, as it relates to the arts,” Foy added. “We’re doing a giant mural in their gym. It’s not just our kids doing the mural but we want to work with their kids.”

The Boys and Girls Club hopes this project leaves a lasting impression on the kids.


Photo taken by Tabby Truxillo and Brooke Foy.
“That means being able to introduce them to art and anything else we might be able to give to them through our programs that is a tremendous feeling, ” Soignier added. “And being able to maybe have some future artists here behind us today, because they’ll think this is the day that started my passion for art.”

The Boys and Girls Club of West Monroe will be having after school program beginning Aug. 19th, which is the first full week of school for Ouachita Parish. To learn more information you can call (318) 323-5368.
00 2019-08-05
Monroe

ULM is becoming a leader in music education across the state


MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The new summer Master of Music Education program at the University of Louisiana at Monroe is the only one of its kind in Louisiana.


ULM just started their Master of Music Education program, and it's the only one of its kind in the state of Louisiana. (KNOE) -
Derle Long is the director of the School of Visual and Performing Arts. He says having a program of this caliber here in Northeast Louisiana brings people from all over.

The program is for people who have teaching credentials in music but want to become leaders and masters in their craft.

The school says everything is taught in the classroom with immediate feedback and hands-on experience.

"We had the Twin-City Community Band move their rehearsals out here, so our instrumental students had an actual lab group to work with," says Long. "We also had the band camp that we sponsor every summer, and we had the choral camp here during the month of July, so all our vocal ed students had a chance to have a lab group."

He says they just completed their first summer session with seven people from across the state. They had students this first year from Winnfield, Baton Rouge, and even the Band Director from Neville High School.

He says students study things like choral techniques and methods, instrumental literature, foundations of music education, brass techniques, jazz history, and much more.

Long says it's a total of 36 credit hours taught only in the summer. It takes three summer semesters to finish the program.

He says one school even paid to send their employee to ULM for their Master of Education program, which is something he hopes other schools will do to make it more accessible.

Long says they've been working on this program for two years now, and says it was his priority to bring a program like this to campus after their master's program in music was cut in 2009 due to funding.

He says his program is modeled after a Master's degree at Florida State University, and now the teacher who started that program is helping ULM bring their degree to life.

They received approval from the Board of Regents a few weeks before courses began this summer, so Long says they're planning to have more students next summer now that they have time to advertise.

Here's a link to the summer Master of Music Education program webiste
00 2019-08-05
Natchitoches

40th annual Folk Festival spotlights rich, diverse culture of Louisiana


By Dr. Shane Rasmussen

Photos by Chris Reich, NSU Photo Services



NATCHITOCHES – The audience at the 40th annual Natchitoches-Northwestern State University Folk Festival held on July 26-27 was entertained and educated about the rich and diverse cultural offerings of the state. The Festival featured traditional Louisiana foods, Kidfest activities, music, traditional crafts, narrative sessions, musical informances, and cultural exhibits. This year’s Festival theme “Vive la Louisiane!” was a great success, with a very happy audience.



The Festival opened with a rousing dance, beginning with Cajun dance lessons, followed by Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue, and the night closed out with Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band. Side stage performances included Natchitoches gospel group Joyful Sounds, 50 Man Machine, which includes NSU faculty Paul Forsyth, Collier Hyams, and Oliver Molina, and an open jam with Max & Marcy, Ed Huey, and Cane Mutiny.



Saturday’s events included performances in Prather Coliseum by 50 Man Machine, Creole la la with Goldman Thibodeaux and the Lawtell Playboys, the Louisiane Vintage Dancers, Brandy Roberts, the Rayo Brothers, Tab Benoit, Jamie Berzas & the Cajun Tradition Band, the Stewart Family and Friends Bluegrass Band, line dance lessons by the Cajun French Music Association Dance Troupe, the Canneci N’de Band of Lipan Apache, zydeco dance lessons by Avila Kahey, Wayne & Same Ol’ 2 Step, Hardrick Rivers and the Rivers Revue Band, Celtic Music with the Kitchen Session of Baton Rouge and a jam session with Max and Marcy.



In addition to stage performances there were narrative sessions and music informances, including conversations about American songwriting, culture & costumes of 19th century Louisiana, Tab Benoit’s The Voice of the Wetlands Fondoution, and the musical journey of Vanessa Niemann (aka Gal Holiday). Also featured was a music informance by Tab Benoit. Outdoor activities included demonstrations by the Central Louisiana Dutch Oven Cookers, the Red River Smiths, the Southern Stock Dog Association, and Wash Day, presented by the West Baton Rouge Museum. This year the Festival continued a series of free workshops for Festival attendees. Festival goers attended a Cajun accordion workshop by Jamie Berzas and Bruce Daigrepont.



The annual Louisiana State Fiddle Championship was also held on Saturday in the Magale Recital Hall as part of the Festival. Fiddle Championship judges included Steve Birdwell, Steve Harper, Henry Hemple, and Clancey Stewart. The new Louisiana Grand Champion is Ron Yule of DeRidder. Second place winner was Joe Suchanek of Merryville, with Owen Meche of Arnauldville placing third. Meche also took first place in the 21 and under championship division.

Suchanek took first in the 60 and up championship division, with Yule coming in second, Birgit Murphy of Opelousas in third, Mark Young of Balise in fourth, Wilfred Luttrell of DeRidder in fifth, and Ron Pace of Alexandria in sixth. Luttrell and Yule also took first place in the twin fiddles competition.



As the new Louisiana State Fiddle champion, Yule also performed on the main stage in Prather Coliseum. Dr. Lisa Abney managed the fiddle championship. Dr. Susan Roach from Louisiana Tech University emceed the championship.



Four musicians and a renowned filé maker were inducted into the Louisiana Folklife Center’s Hall of Master Folk Artists. Inductees included Louisiana Music Hall of Famer Tab Benoit, who also served as honorary Festival Chair, Cajun musicians Jamie Berzas and Bruce Daigrepont, filé maker John Oswald Colson, and country singer Vanessa Niemann.

Dr. Shane Rasmussen, director of the Louisiana Folklife Center, led the induction ceremony, assisted by State Representative Kenny Cox and Dustin Fuqua, Chief of Resource Management at Cane River Creole National Historical Park. In addition, the honorary award of Folklife Angel was given to long-time Festival crew chief James Christopher Callahan, an NSU alumnus.

In addition to 4 book signings and 8 exhibits by such groups as state parks and archives, over 70 craftspeople displayed their traditional work on Saturday. These craftspeople demonstrated and discussed their work with the Festival patrons. Craftspeople displayed accordion making, beadwork, baskets, Czech Pysanky eggs, filé making, flintknapping, folk art, knives, music instruments, quilting, pottery, spinning & weaving, tatting, walking sticks, whittling and needlework, wood carving, and more. 8 food vendors provided a cornucopia of traditional Louisiana foods to the Festival audience.



Support for the Louisiana State Fiddle Championship and the Natchitoches-NSU Folk Festival was provided by grants from the Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc., the Louisiana Division of the Arts Decentralized Arts Fund Program, the Louisiana Office of Tourism, the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, and the Shreveport Regional Arts Council.

Much needed support also came from generous sponsorships from Acme Refrigeration of Baton Rouge, C&H Precision Machining, Chili’s, City Bank & Trust, the City of Natchitoches, Cleco, John Clifton Conine, Atty; CP-Tel, Domino’s Pizza, the Donut Hole, El Patron, Family Medical Clinic, Grayson’s Barbecue, Hardee’s, the Harrington Law Firm, D. Michael Hayes, Atty; JB & M Enterprises, Jeanne’s Country Garden, La Capitol Federal Credit Union, McCain Auto Supply, Jason O. Methvin, Atty; Morning Star Donuts, the Natchitoches Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, Natchitoches Regional Medical Center, NSU Men’s Basketball, the Pioneer Pub, Pizza Hut, Raising Cane’s, Ronnie’s Auto Glass, Save A Lot, Sonny’s Donuts, Southern Classic Chicken, Natchitoches Super 1 Foods 604 and 613, TOTO, Inc; Trailboss, UniFirst, Walmart, Waste Connections, and Weaver Brothers Land & Timber. In addition, numerous newspapers, online venues, and radio and TV stations assisted the Festival by generously printing articles, airing interviews, free promotional PSAs, and/or participating in on-air ticket giveaways.



The success of the Festival was made possible due to the many volunteers from NSU’s faculty and staff, who gave generously of their time and talents. The Louisiana Folklife Center is grateful to Phyllis Allison, David Antilley, Kay Cavanaugh, Corieana Ceasar, Jason Church, Sherrie Davis, Matt DeFord, Christine Dorribo, Michael Doty, Bruce Dyjack, Alexis Finnie, Ashlee Grayson, Charlotte Grayson, Dr. Hiram F. “Pete” Gregory, Dr. Greg Handel, Wesley Harrell, Jackie Hawkins, Diana Hill, Kristie Hilton, Carla Howell, Leah Jackson, Dr. J. Ereck Jarvis, Melissa Kelly, Suzanne Kucera, Dr. Chris Maggio, Barbara Marr, Terri Marshall, Coach Mike McConathy, Byron McKinney, Valerie Meadows, Gwendolyn Meshell, Dr. Jim Mischler, Melinda Parnell, Julie Powell, Kathy Pylant, Charles Rachal, Chris Reich, Stephanie Stanton, Bethany Straub, Anna Vaughn, Randi Washington, Mary Linn Wernet, David West, Taylor Whitehead, Emily Windham, Dale Wohletz, and Sharon Wolff. NSU students included Francisco Ballestas-Sayas, Caleb Callender, Makayla Fisher, Valentina Herazo-Alvarez, and Ina Sthapit. NSU alumni included Michael Cain, Michael Taylor Dick, Hammond Lake, Greg Lloid, De’Andrea Sanders, and Daniel Thiels. Many thanks are due to the Louisiana Folklife Center staff, including administrative coordinator Shelia Thompson, student workers Macey Boyd, Jalima Diaz, Heather Jones, Caitlin Martin, and Taylor Nichols, and graduate assistants James Harrison and Erica McGeisey.



Thanks also go out to Andy Adkins, Myranda Adkins, Alexandria Arens, Robert D. Bennett, Jennae Biddiscombe, Rebecca Blankenbaker, Derek Boyt, Erin Boyt, Melanie Braquet, Sherry Byers, the Central Louisiana Dutch Oven Cookers, Don Choate, Jr., Catherine Cooper, Hailie Coutee, Helen Dalme, Cameron Davis, Eli Dyjack, Sheila Dyle, Adam Edwards, Justin French, Jennifer Gallien, Reagan Guillory, Grace Hardy, Dr. Don Hatley, Sue Hatley, Lani Hilton, Ed Huey, Peter Jones, Leonard King, Michael King, Abagael Kinney, Dan Martin, Deron McDaniel, Ivan McDaniel, Charity McKinney, Sheila Ogle, Sara Parnell, Kimberly Perry, Audrey Rasmussen, Gidget Rasmussen, Susan Rasmussen, Wyatt Rasmussen, the Red River Sanitors, Sukrit San, Rick Seale, Lorie Speer, Lori Tate, Margaret Thompson, Sara Vaughn, Emily Ware, Briton Welch, Justice Welch, Shirley Winslow, and the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center trustees and officers Derek Booker and Larry Willis.



Natchitoches Area Convention and Visitors Bureau staff members included Arlene Gould, Kelli West, NSU students Anne Cummins and Megan Palmer, and NSU alumna Heather Dougan.

Special thanks go to Craig Routh for his generous permission to use his painting, Dixieland Jazz Fleur-de-Lis, for the Festival t-shirt.
00 2019-08-05
Natchitoches

Creole Heritage Center at NSU will host open house Thursday, Aug. 8


NATCHITOCHES, La. (NSU) - The Creole Heritage Center at Northwestern State University will host an open house from 1-6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8 in Kyser Hall Room 116.

Guests are invited enjoy refreshments, tour the Center and learn more about the 2019 Creole Heritage Celebration that will take place Sept. 27-28 at NSU.

The Creole Heritage Center was established to promote and preserve Creole Culture.

Although its initial focus was the Creole community of Cane River, the Center’s scope has broadened to include the entire state of Louisiana and Creole colonies throughout the world.

The upcoming Creole Heritage Celebration is themed “Let Your Legacy Live On” and will include a fun run/walk, panel discussions, a zydeco reception and dance, exhibits, vendors, tours and a tribute to Clementine Hunter.

Television and film actor Robert Richard will be the featured guest.

Guests who attend the Aug. 8 open house will be able to pick up a schedule and register for events that will take place Sept. 27-28.

For more information, contact Loletta Wynder at wynderl@nsula.edu or by calling (318) 357-6685.

Copyright 2019 Northwestern State University of Louisiana. All rights reserved.
00 2019-08-02
Lafayette

Plan Lafayette day focuses on waste reduction and sustainability


Thursday UL Lafayette officially marked Plan Lafayette Day with a number of events centered around sustainability.

Events also focused on how the public can become involved in everything from storm water management to waste reduction.

“… we really believe that all these projects that we are doing are critical to the resiliency and health sustainability of our community. So it was really talking about how we use our campus as a living lab, and that we are sharing the lessons that we learn from the pilot projects that we do on campus. Also our efforts to institutionalize sustainability across every effort that we have on campus,” says Gretchen Vanicor Director of Sustainibility at University of Louisiana at lafayette

According to the university’s website, the 2018-2021 Sustainability Strategic Plan plans to guide the entire University community in continuing steady progress toward achieving sustainability goals.

For more information on UL Lafayette’s sustainability goals click here.
00 2019-08-02
Natchitoches

NSU Music Academy set to begin its fifth year


NATCHITOCHES, La. (NSU) - The Northwestern State University Music Academy will begin its fifth year on Monday, Aug. 19.

The academy is under the direction of Northwestern State music faculty Dr. Christine Allen and Dr. Francis Yang. It will offer piano, guitar and percussion lessons for students from age six and older, even adults.

Alumna Robyn Tan, alongside piano majors Shihuan Wang, Ramon Barralaga and Claudia Musgrove, will teach piano.

Music majors Jake English and Juan Manuel Santos will teach guitar and percussion, respectively.

Last year, academy students performed in a Christmas concert and spring recital.

Students also participated in the National Federation of Music Clubs Festival, the Central Music Teachers' Association Sonatina Festival and the Louisiana Music Teachers Association Upper Elementary Auditions.

For further information, contact Yang at yangf@nsula.edu.

Copyright 2019 NSU. All rights reserved.
00 2019-08-02
Natchitoches

NSU will participate in upcoming AMT events


NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University will participate in two upcoming events to promote the Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) GeauxFAME program, a partnership between NSU, Central Louisiana Technical Community College and Natchitoches Community Alliance.



The AMT GeauxFAME program is a hands-on learning program that allows students to take classes and work part-time in a sponsoring manufacturing facility. Upon completion, the students hold an associate degree from Northwestern State and have the option of continuing on towards earning a bachelor’s degree in engineering technology.



CLTCC will host an Achievement Ceremony for the inaugural class of 2019 who completed the AMT Geaux FAME program. The students began the program in Fall 2017 and completed the program by attending classes full-time two days per week and paid work experience at their sponsoring manufacturing facility three days per week. The program is structured so that students learn manufacturing principles and develop productive work behaviors and self-development skills.



The Achievement Ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 5 at the CLTCC Natchitoches campus, 6587 Hwy. 1 Bypass.



To recognize incoming AMT students, CLTCC will host an event in which candidates officially sign commitments to be part of Cohort 3 of the AMT program. The signing program will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 9.



The AMT GeauxFAME program supported by the Natchitoches Community Alliance Foundation and is made possible through agreements with sponsoring manufacturers AFCO Industries, Alliance Compressors, RoyOMartin, Pilgrims, Boise Cascade, Stella-Jones and Weyerhaeuser.



More information is available at https://nca-la.com/workforce-ready/amt.
00 2019-08-02
Regional/National

The College Dropout Scandal


igher education is billed as the ticket into America’s middle class. That’s true for students who actually earn a degree. The average lifetime earnings for those with a bachelor’s will be nearly $1 million more than those with only a high-school diploma, and the gap keeps widening as more employers demand a university credential.

But the contention that college is the engine of social mobility is false advertising for the 34 million Americans over 25 — that’s more than 10 percent of the entire U.S. population — who have some college credits but dropped out before receiving a diploma. Many of them are actually worse off economically than if they hadn’t started college. While they earn a little more than those who never went beyond high school, they leave college with a pile of debt but without the chance to secure the high-paying jobs to pay it off that a degree would open up. Dropouts are nearly twice as likely as college grads to be unemployed, and they are four times more likely to default on student loans, thus wrecking their credit and shrinking their career options.

The American Institutes for Research calculates

that the cost of dropping out, measured by lost earnings, is $3.8 billion, and that’s just for a single year and a single class of students. But dollars-and-cents calculations tell only a fraction of the story. A college education gives students the intellectual capital to tackle high-skill jobs, as well as the social capital to make the connections and build the networks that can lead to success. An Associated Press article by Christopher S. Rugaber points out that as income disparity widens, “it is doing so in ways that go beyond income, from homeownership to marriage to retirement. Education has become a dividing line that affects how Americans vote, the likelihood that they will own a home and their geographic mobility.” As The Chronicle has shown, educational disparities even affect public health.
According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, fewer than 60 percent of college freshmen graduate in six years, two years beyond what is considered “on time,” and that rate has barely changed during the past decade. Community-college students are meant to earn an associate degree in two years, but even after having been in school for six years, fewer than 40 percent have graduated. The United States ranks 19th in graduation rates among the 28 countries studied by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, putting the country on a par with Lithuania and Slovenia.

Statistics can be numbing, the stuff of policy wonkery, but bear with me — the deeper you dive into these numbers, the bleaker the picture that emerges. Public universities graduate a little over half their students; roughly a quarter of those who enroll in for-profits earn a bachelor’s degree. If these institutions were held to the same standard as our high schools, 85 percent of them would be branded dropout factories.

Some students leave school because of money woes, and others realize that college isn’t right for them. But many depart because the institution hasn’t given them the we-have-your-back support they need.

The fact that 40 percent of college freshmen never make it to commencement is higher education’s dirty little secret, a dereliction of duty that has gotten too little public attention. In Academically Adrift (University of Chicago Press, 2011), Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa surveyed more than 2,300 students and discovered widespread disaffection with colleges and inattention to academics. The typical student, they reported, studied far less than students in the early 1960s.

Strikingly, the universities didn’t seem to care. “Faculty and administrators, working to meet multiple and at times competing demands, too rarely focus on either improving instruction or demonstrating gains in student learning.” The priority for many college presidents is getting freshmen in the door and tuition dollars in the bank. Meanwhile, professors go about their business, inattentive to the problem — ask most professors about how many students depart their institution and you’re likely to get puzzled looks and an off-the-mark guesstimate.

No one is held accountable for this sorry state of affairs. Nobody gets fired because students are dropping out.



Alamy

The priority for many college presidents is getting freshmen in the door and tuition dollars in the bank.
A growing number of states have tied funding to graduation rates. Though this pressure tactic is tempting to politicians, such financial incentives are blunt policy instruments that may backfire, making it harder for needy students to get admitted to college because they are worse bets to graduate. A Century Foundation report argues that focusing entirely on outcomes reinforces disparities between institutional haves and have-nots, while failing to move the needle on completion. As The Washington Post summarized, “Students can be derailed from graduating for many different reasons, including a lack of academic preparation or money. Colleges with ample resources can readily address those needs to raise graduation rates, but schools with limited means often struggle.”

“We have met the enemy and he is us”: Pogo’s immortal line is dead on. Universities are not powerless to change this situation, but many of them take a hands-off approach. Administrators and professors who cling to the raft of high standards and low expectations contend that these students have had their chance. They’ve blown it — case closed. As one vice president for university engagement put it, “Our job is to give you an opportunity; your job is to take advantage of it. If you don’t, oh, well.”

“Give us better students and we’ll graduate more of them,” the apologists cry, but that excuse doesn’t wash. The graduation rate at universities whose students look alike on paper varies by as many as 20 percentage points. To take one example, Washington Monthly reported in 2010 that about 13 percent of Chicago State University’s students graduate compared with roughly 50 percent of those at North Carolina Central University. The institutions enroll students with similar academic credentials.

Students from low socioeconomic backgrounds have the most to gain from a college degree. The Stanford economist Raj Chetty and his colleagues at the Opportunity Insights group identified a handful of universities, among them the City University of New York, California State University at Los Angeles, and the University of Texas at El Paso, that are making good on the pledge of economic mobility, catapulting students from poor families into the middle class. But these universities are the decided exceptions. Here’s a set-your-hair-on-fire statistic: According to an estimate from the University of Pennsylvania’s Pell Institute, in 2017 students whose families were in the top income quartile were 4.8 times more likely to have earned a bachelor’s degree by the age of 24 than were students whose families were in the bottom quartile. Higher education doesn’t simply maintain social-class distinctions. It widens the chasm between rich and poor.

Roughly a third of undergraduates are the first in their family to go to college. Unlike their middle-class classmates, there’s no one they can rely on to explain how to cope with the stresses of college life. They would benefit greatly if their professors, counselors, and advisers were easy to reach, as they are at elite colleges, but on most campuses this kind of mentoring is a luxury. Advisers rank near the bottom on most universities’ priority list — at big public universities, an adviser may be assigned upward of 1,000 students, and individual students become merely statistical artifacts. This inattention may help to explain why white students graduate at a rate 10 percentage points higher than Latinos, and 20 percentage points higher than black students.

The Education Trust, an advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., flagged 18 institutions where black students graduate at much higher rates than they do at peer-level colleges. For instance, the SAT scores of undergraduates at the University of California at Riverside are roughly the same as those of students at the University of Illinois at Chicago, yet 30 percent fewer black students earn a bachelor’s degree at UIC.

Recipients of Pell Grants, the federal financial-aid program for students from poor and working-class families — a third of the college population — also fare badly. Their six-year graduation rate is lower than that of students who aren’t getting this subsidy. As with overall graduation rates, there’s a yawning gap between the best- and worst-performing colleges. A 2017 Brookings Institution report identifies 14 universities, among them the University of Massachusetts at Boston and CUNY’s York College, where the graduation rate for Pell recipients is higher than for non-Pell students. At the other end of the spectrum, the same report fingers the University of Akron for a hall-of-shame award. There, 9 percent of Pell Grant recipients graduate in six years (you read that number right), versus 70 percent of the rest of the students.

Over four out of ten college freshmen do not graduate within six years.

For just a single year and a single class of students, that's estimated to be $3.8 billion in lost earnings.

Data is from The American Institutes for Research. Icons are from ProPublica's Weepeople font


The dropout problem could be solved in a New York minute if diplomas were handed out to every undergraduate who sticks around for four years. That’s a preposterous proposal, one that’s worthy of a Jonathan Swift satire, but I have heard that at least one professor at a major state institution actually recommended something similar to his colleagues. Because black and Latino students live on-the-precipice lives, he argued, simply showing up for class should earn them a B.

Solutions to the dropout crisis need not be so fanciful, for every college administrator with a pulse knows the tools that have been proven to remedy the dropout problem. They don’t cost a fortune and they don’t require a genius to make them work.

Here’s the in-a-nutshell summary:

Information that identifies top-flight colleges that talented students from poor families didn’t realize were within reach helps them make better choices.

Text-message nudges prod students into starting, and staying in, college.

Data analytics can be used to anticipate which freshmen are likely to need help, enabling advisers to corral them before their problems ripen into crises.

Brief experiences, rooted in psychological insight, which promote a sense of belonging and a growth mind-set, make students more resilient when confronted with the predictable setbacks of undergraduate life.

Revamping make-or-break classes: Remedial courses in math, reading, and writing — the downfall for millions of students — substantially lower the number of failing grades.

Building connections across the community: Designated pathways from community colleges to four-year institutions give students in two-year colleges a direct route to a bachelor’s degree — a clear incentive to pursue their education — as well as providing universities with well-prepared upperclassmen.

These strategies work for one basic reason. They enable students to recognize that they are full-fledged members of a community that takes them seriously as individuals rather than as members of an impersonal bureaucracy that batch-processes them like Perdue chickens.

During campus visits I asked students why they were enthusiastic about their college. I kept hearing the same answer — they have our back.

For more than half a century, UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute has surveyed

more than 15 million students at some 1,900 colleges. The bottom line: “The more students are academically and socially engaged with other people on campus … the more likely (other things being equal) they will stay and graduate from college.” A recent study of nearly 7,000 students on 34 campuses reached the same conclusion. “Students’ perceptions of the degree to which the institution was supportive of their academic, personal, and social needs were the most powerful predictor … of increased academic competence.”
In short, the more students believe that they belong, the better they do academically. The reverse is also true — without this kind of engagement, “the social isolation and loneliness that follow often lead to withdrawal.”

As an article in the journal New Directions For Higher Education put it: “A revolution appears to be sweeping the campuses of the nation’s colleges and universities, and it is based on a simple credo: The success of an institution and the success of its students are inseparable.” It is sad, and telling, that three professors who have spent their careers studying the doings of universities believe that putting students first is a revolutionary idea.

Unfortunately, they’re right. Some universities have made the changes necessary to turn this credo into reality. There, more students are graduating, and the graduation gap is closing or has disappeared entirely. But making significant changes, like revamping big-enrollment courses or investing heavily in just-in-time advising, demands a leader with the courage to act, as well as the talent to create a compelling vision and develop a sense of urgency among campus constituents. Leaders like this are in short supply.

College presidents aren’t generally known for their bravery. Instead, they wax eloquent about the imperative of student success; or invoke buzzwords, as if rhetoric could substitute for action; or fantasize about quick fixes; or launch ill-considered pilot projects; or gather mountains of data that sit unused.

“I’m appalled that so many universities continue to engage in practices known to be, at best, modestly effective,” Mark Becker, president of Georgia State, tells me, and when nothing comes of those efforts, the administrators blame the tools, not themselves. They are driven by the desire to enhance their institution’s prestige, as defined by its standing in the U.S. News pecking order. This fixation on status explains why scholarships are increasingly awarded on the basis of students’ academic credentials, not their financial need.

A college president has many competing priorities — raising money, placating lawmakers, wooing donors, managing crises, and the like — and rarely does the dropout problem make the cut. “Few institutions take student retention seriously,” says the Syracuse emeritus professor Vincent Tinto, the author of Completing College (University of Chicago Press, 2012). “Most treat it as one more item to add to the list of issues to be addressed.”

“We’re convinced that serving underserved students is an important thing to push out into the higher-education world,” Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University, asserts. You might think Crow was stating the obvious, since higher education is sold as the glide path to the middle class, but this is not how most colleges operate. “The graduation rate is something we can have a tremendous amount of influence over, and we had to make a conscious decision to do this.”


“Give us better students and we’ll graduate more of them,” the apologists cry. That excuse doesn’t wash.
The status quo exerts a mighty appeal, and the prospect of doing things differently invariably brings opponents out of the woodwork. “There’s no reason to expect presidents to be change agents,” Josh Wyner, executive director of the College Excellence Program at the Aspen Institute, points out, “especially if that change is risky and not necessary to preserve the ‘quality’ of their institutions, measured by traditional definitions of enrollment, buildings, and prestige.”

When I asked Timothy M. Renick, the student-success czar at Georgia State, whether institutional inertia explains why so many universities weren’t tackling the dropout problem, he replied:

“It is more than inertia — it is structural. I visit lots of campuses. They invite me because they see the changes made at Georgia State and want similar successes. But when I get to campus and explain how we centralized advising, to make it better, I hear they could never do that because the Dean of X wouldn’t support it, and the Dean of X is supported by the trustees. When I talk about junking lectures in math, and making the courses more interactive, I hear that the faculty senate would never go against the chair of math to enact such changes.”

Yet unless university leaders are up for the challenge — unless they regard student success not as a risky business but as a moral imperative — the dropout problem won’t be solved. “It’s almost as if students require a lottery-esque winning ticket to have a better shot at succeeding in college,” says Brad Phillips, president of the Institute for Evidence-Based Change. “What would it look like if colleges made a real commitment to scale a few, high-impact, research-based programs?”

The six strategies that I summarized offer a solid starting point for a university that’s determined to keep its students in school, but there’s no one-size-fits-all formula. The logjams that undergraduates encounter on their way to graduation — the courses they need for their major but can’t get into, the bureaucratic rigmarole they encounter, the bottomless pit of remedial math into which they slip — must be identified before solutions can emerge, and these vary from college to college. A university’s culture — its shared values, history, and identity — exerts a powerful force. Budgetary realities affect what’s doable.

At the annual meeting of the American Council on Education a few years back, Freeman A. Hrabowski III, the longtime president of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, exhorted his colleagues not to adopt a “what can you expect?” attitude toward poor and minority students but instead to focus on “what they can become.” Hrabowski’s deeds match his words — UMBC produces more black bachelor’s-degree recipients who go on to complete M.D.-Ph.D.s than any other college in the country.

Though a handful of hypercompetitive colleges like Amherst and Vassar have made a point of admitting more poor and working-class students, their efforts are just a thimbleful in the ocean of need. And among the elite institutions, these are rarities. Here’s another “you’ve got to be kidding” fact: at 38 elite colleges, including five in the Ivy League — Dartmouth, Princeton, Yale, Penn, and Brown — more students come from the top 1 percent of the income scale than from the entire bottom 60 percent.

It’s at the outsized state universities and community colleges, the mass-education institutions that educate nearly 80 percent of undergraduates, where the dropout problem is most severe and where the need for action is greatest. Some are responding admirably. Consider the University of Central Florida, one of the largest public institutions in the country, which justifiably refers to itself as the best university no one has heard of; or its neighbor, Valencia College, which the Aspen Institute named the nation’s top community college, where the quality of teaching rivals that of any institution; or California State University at Long Beach, which must be doing something right, since it receives more than twice as many applicants as Harvard.

At these universities and others like them, Hrabowski’s admonition embodies the implicit mission statement. These colleges tailor the known-to-work strategies to fit their circumstances, while including home-grown ideas in their bag of tricks. Each takes a somewhat different approach to engaging its students, and it’s these differences — variations on the theme of promoting students’ sense of belonging — that we should focus on. By demonstrating what can be accomplished without making a herculean effort, or having Hercules at the helm, their successes should prod institutions with scandalous track records into action.

David Kirp is a professor in the Graduate School at the University of California at Berkeley and a contributing op-ed writer at The New York Times. This essay is excerpted from his new book, The College Dropout Scandal (Oxford University Press).
00 2019-08-01
Hammond

‘Here to serve’ | Public tours Literacy and Technology Center, learns about variety of offerings for students from preschool through college


Kimberly Albin has heard the questions more times than she can count.

What goes on inside the Livingston Parish Literacy and Technology Center?


00 2019-08-01
Lafayette

Plan Lafayette Day with UL-Lafayette Office of Sustainability


STUDIO 15- Monica Rowand, with UL Office of Sustainability and LCG was in studio to tell us about PlanLafayette Day Sessions!

When: Thursday, August 1, 2019
Location: LITE Center
Website: sustainability.louisiana.edu
00 2019-08-01
Monroe

Sutton named interim dean of ULM College of Health Sciences


The University of Louisiana Monroe announces the appointment of Jana Sutton, Ph.D., as Interim Dean of the College of Health Sciences.

Sutton has been Interim Director of the School of Allied Health since January 2018. Prior to her appointment to Allied Health, she was Program Director of Marriage and Family Therapy and Counseling Studies since May 2009. Sutton has been with ULM for 14 years.

Dr. Albert Ruiz, Vice President of Academic Affairs, said, “Dr. Sutton is committed to the success of ULM students. She also understands the growing demand for highly skilled health professionals. Her dedication and expertise make her an excellent interim leader for the College of Health Sciences.”

Sutton is a Louisiana Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy-Supervisor and American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy-Approved Supervisor. She is past-president of the Louisiana Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

“I am excited to work with the faculty and administration to expand program offerings in the health sciences,” Sutton said. “I intend to collaborate closely with the community to ensure that workforce needs are met and ULM students are trained to immediately enter into health professions.”

She also plans an increased focus on interprofessional education and research.

Sutton received her master’s and Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from ULM. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of South Carolina.

Sutton, originally from England, lives in Monroe with her husband and their three sons.
00 2019-08-01
Monroe

Bill Roark: Ruston is Louisiana's boom town


This will conclude a report on the good things happening in Northeast Louisiana.

The previous two articles covered Monroe and West Monroe and today I will report on “Louisiana’s boom town,” better known to all of us as Ruston.

Once a sleepy town on I-20 with little happening, today it is the destination of choice for a growing number of businesses. It seems like the business universe has discovered this place of opportunity, the location of a high-tech University (Louisiana Tech) and another world-famous university (Grambling) with a high per capita income population.

From 2015–2018, 105 businesses opened in Ruston with more than 1,000 employees including Walmart Neighborhood Market, a Medical Center, Planet Fitness, seven restaurants and three national chain hotels.

In 2018 alone there were 104 new commercial permits totaling more than $56 million and 59 new residential permits. From January to the present in 2019 there have been 50 new commercial permits with a total of more than $12 million.

There is also another restaurant under construction, one new housing development, the Ruston Truck Stop at the intersection of Farmerville Highway and I-20 Service Road, a new Popeye’s coming soon and a multi-family complex in negotiations.

All this plus the development of the new Ruston Marketplace Shopping Center on the I-20 northside service road. The Marketplace has landed national tenants including Hobby Lobby, TJ Maxx, Ulta, Five Below and Rack Room Shoes all this in a turbulent retail world nationwide.

The numbers I have quoted in this report come from the Economic Development Administrator for the city of Ruston. You now know why many call Ruston, “Louisiana’s boom town.”

P.S. Last column I quoted Roy Campanella as saying about a famous restaurant, “It’s so crowded no one goes there anymore.” I was corrected by a true disciple of Yogi Berra that said Yogi was the one who made this statement. Thanks for the correction.
00 2019-08-01
Monroe

Master of Music Education added to ULM program


The University of Louisiana Monroe School of Visual and Performing Arts has added a Master of Music Education to its music program.

This new graduate degree is the only one of its kind in Louisiana.

The face-to-face curriculum offers an emphasis on developing master teachers and leaders for music education where students work with actual ensembles.

Faculty and student peers will provide instant feedback on teaching practices and alternative approaches to improve the delivery of instruction and retention of learning.

“Our platform is the synthesis-analysis-synthesis model of teaching that is used in successful music rehearsals and classrooms throughout the United States,” said VAPA Director Dr. Derle Long.

The Master of Music Education courses are offered during summer terms. The new program began this summer with seven students.

Students graduate after their third summer term. Courses in the first summer term allow high school band directors to work on their degree while having band camps in July.

Long believes that a benefit to only offering courses for this degree in the summer is it allows teachers to keep their current jobs while working on a master’s degree.
00 2019-08-01
Natchitoches

IncludED textbook agreement will save NSU students money


NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University received approval to participate in a textbook program that will save students money on textbooks beginning this fall.



IncludED is a partnership between the NSU Marketplace Campus Store and NSU Auxiliary Services that will allow students to rent or purchase digital textbooks at a reduced cost. The charge will be posted on the student’s myNSU account along with tuition and fees that can be paid along with other university charges or using financial aid.



“The University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors challenged universities to address the cost of textbooks and this is NSU’s response to assist our students,” said Jennifer Kelly, assistant to the provost for academic support and auxiliary services. “The average savings is 62 percent or $114 per course.”



Partnerships like IncludED are being implemented nationwide, but Northwestern State is the first institution in the University of Louisiana System to put the program in place, Kelly said. If successful, other schools in the system will follow NSU’s model. The plan was approved by the UL System Board of Supervisors in June.



IncludED will be an opt-out program for NSU students. Students will receive an email from the university and from the campus bookstore that will direct them to a landing page with detailed information that will show courses, rental costs and how much the student is saving. Some accounting books, for example, can cost up to $350 but the cost through IncludED will be $60, Kelly said.



There will also be a link in myNSU to inform students about the program and books that are included. Students may receive additional emails from textbook publishers such as Pearson, McGraw-Hill or Elsevier. Textbooks for 135 courses will be available., Kelly said.



“We piloted the program with select math courses in Fall 2018 and success rates went up from 70 percent to 90 percent. Professors and students believe the improved success was due to accessibility of materials on the first day of class,” Kelly said. “Students often do not buy a textbook because they can’t afford it or they don’t have their financial aid yet. This addresses textbook affordability and also allows the student to be prepared with all materials the first day of class.”



NSU Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Greg Handel agreed that response among students and professors was very positive.



“Professors and students alike appreciated having access to materials on the first day of class, so instruction was able to begin immediately,” Handel said. “We believe this access provided a strong platform for student success, and course evaluations show that students were able to embrace the material throughout the semester because of the digital access.”



Handel said NSU worked the greater part of the past academic year to study which textbooks could be delivered through the IncludED platform to provide significant cost-savings to students.



Students with questions can email included@nsula.edu or contact the NSU Marketplace Campus Store at (318) 238-3630 or 1671mgr@follett.com. For a question about billing, students should reach out to Student Accounting at (318) 357-5447 or email studentaccounting@nsula.edu.
00 2019-08-01
Regional/National

Kamala Harris Wants to Invest in STEM at HBCUs. But Does Her Plan Ignore Pressing Needs?


Sen. Kamala D. Harris on Friday became the latest Democratic presidential candidate to highlight the importance of historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, when she proposed a policy to dedicate $60 billion to STEM programs and infrastructure for those institutions.

Jeff Kowalsky, AFP, Getty Images
Sen. Kamala Harris, a Democratic presidential candidate, has proposed dedicating $60 billion to STEM programs and infrastructure at HBCUs.
Harris is the only HBCU graduate on the roster of Democratic candidates, and her plan is the latest in a field of policies aimed at supporting the institutions. But her proposal, which would create a competitive fund to support infrastructure, scholarships, fellowships, and research grants, has raised questions about what HBCUs truly need and what would most benefit their students.

Howard University’s president, Wayne A.I. Frederick, told The Chronicle that Harris’s plan to focus on STEM shows her knowledge of the outsize role that HBCUs play in producing black graduates in those fields.

According to a 2013 study by the National Science Foundation, all but one of the top 10 undergraduate institutions of origin for black graduates with Ph.D.s in STEM are HBCUs. Howard, which is No. 1 (and is Harris’s alma mater), produces more black graduates who go on to attain a doctorate in a STEM field than Cornell, Harvard, MIT, and Stanford combined.

“And we’ve been doing that while underresourced,” Frederick said. “It’s a significant return on investment if you ensure that those institutions are doing that at a greater level.”

David Wilson, president of Morgan State University, said the increased focus, from Harris and others, was long overdue.

“These institutions have been overproducing the top black talent in this country for over a century and a half on a shoestring budget,” Wilson said. “It’s about time that a presidential candidate recognized the true value of these 100-plus institutions, and made appropriate investments in them.”

But, Wilson said, the country has a long way to go before the ranks of those who work in STEM fields diversify to more accurately reflect America’s demographics. “If we’re going to get there,” he said, “and if we want to be serious about turning out innovators and innovators of color, we can’t do that if there is not an appropriate investment in the institutions that are carrying the heaviest load.”

Harris’s plan is particularly well-suited to support the 47 public HBCUs that are part of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, a nonprofit that represents those institutions, said its senior vice president, David Sheppard. He said that the plan’s most helpful provision is the $10 billion it would set aside for new STEM-related infrastructure, like laboratories.

“There’s never been an issue about there being the intellectual capacity to do the research … but there’s never been the infrastructure to support it,” he said. “If you’re going to set aside the funding to give a springboard for our schools to get there, then that gives us the potential of being competitive in a considerably shorter period of time.”

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Some of the larger HBCUs, like Howard and Morgan State, are looking to propel themselves from Research 2 to Research 1 status in their Carnegie Classification so they can better compete with predominantly white institutions, or PWIs, that are research-intensive. Wilson said Harris’s plan could help research-oriented HBCUs do that by leveling the playing field.

“There’s a ripple effect of bringing some HBCUs initially to a level of competitiveness with their PWI counterparts,” he said. “Once you bring it to that level of competitiveness, then they will know how to successfully compete on an annual basis for these federal grants and contracts … because that’s the way these institutions sustain themselves.”

‘STEM Is a Buzzword’

Harris, who represents California, is just the latest Democrat to propose increasing federal spending on HBCUs. Sen. Elizabeth A. Warren, of Massachusetts, has pledged to increase federal funding for HBCUs by $50 billion; Julián Castro, of Texas, wants to invest $3 billion every year in financial aid for students at HBCUs; and Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind., has promised to invest $25 billion as part of his “Douglass Plan” to promote racial equality.

But not every HBCU president is thrilled about Harris’s proposal. Fisk University, with a total undergraduate enrollment of 664 students and an endowment of less than $40 million as of 2017, isn’t a research university and isn’t trying to be one. Its president, Kevin D. Rome, said that Harris’s focus on STEM ignored the much greater needs of smaller, private HBCUs: replacing crumbling infrastructure and, more important, increasing financial aid for low-income students.

“For most students, their most pressing concern is, Can I remain in school?” Rome said. “If we can’t meet the basic needs of the students, if students can’t afford to pay their tuition, then they can’t benefit from any of the other programs.”

Fisk is by no means the only HBCU struggling to support its students. Graduates of HBCUs leave college shouldering more debt, on average, than their counterparts at predominantly white institutions — 32 percent more, according to 2017 data from the U.S. Department of Education. And with more than 70 percent of HBCU students relying on financial aid, Rome is skeptical that a multibillion-dollar investment in STEM would address their most urgent problems.

Sustaining the College
Business Model

“STEM is a buzzword,” he said. “But I hope that the buzzwords don’t get in the way of the real needs, and the real needs are financial aid and infrastructure.”

Jarrett Carter, the founding editor of HBCU Digest, said the best plan would give individual HBCUs discretion over their increased funding so they could tailor it to their particular needs.

“It’s a natural fit to want to say, well, STEM is one of the things we do best, so let’s put more into STEM. But the risk that you run in doing that is, you’re going to make a bunch of black MITs,” he said. “You have to look at your various institutional members to say, OK, how does this funding that we’re making available fit into your institutional profile and mission?”

Carter also cautioned against efforts to put HBCUs on par with large, high-activity research institutions. Instead, he advocated a strategy that would raise graduates’ job prospects by training them to contribute to the state and local economies around their institutions.

“Why are we trying to put HBCUs in a mold, that the only way that you’re relevant, competitive, and worthwhile is if you are emulating Cal Berkeley or Johns Hopkins? How do we rethink excellence, how do we rethink industrial value?” he said. “If you really want to help the poor, if you really want to help build American cities and towns, stop thinking in terms of what has powered elite towns and cities.”
00 2019-07-31
Baton Rouge

Our Views: A new way to ease the path back to college


The prime candidates for enlarging Louisiana’s pool of college graduates aren’t just kids fresh from high school.

They’re also like Brikinya McZeal, who is 35 and had 47 hours in college, but moved into the workforce without getting a secondary degree. Now, because of Compete LA, a promising new program of the University of Louisiana system, she is taking online courses with a view to getting the business management diploma that would help her with her career.

For Jim Henderson, who heads the University of Louisiana system, that is the kind of student who can return to higher education either through online courses or in person.

That’s good for the 10 UL System universities, since paying customers help the bottom line. But the way Henderson has structured the program is sensitive to the fact that someone like McZeal — now a manager at Verizon — has a higher expectation of customer service that the college must meet.

We like that particular aspect of the Compete LA program. A “coach” will help returning students navigate the system, “doing most of the legwork,” as McZeal said, to make re-entry to college as painless as possible.

For the world of government, customer service can be a difficult concept to embrace. But Henderson’s campuses have thousands of students who for many reasons take some courses, even several years’ worth, and do not end up with a degree.

Two-thirds of those who left college without a degree live in the Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Acadiana areas, Henderson’s data shows.

Henderson said adults already juggling jobs and child care responsibilities can see their back-to-college plans squashed with questions about transcripts and parking fines.

"Any one of those barriers is enough to derail them for the next several years," Henderson said during recent meeting with our editorial board.

We applaud this initiative and also welcome a similar one from the community college system to try to develop data on who’s not finishing a program — and can perhaps return to complete a job-enhancing degree.

UL System campuses, like others in the state, have a problem with completion rates of traditional students, too. It’s expensive to give the one-on-one attention that can make a difference to a student ready to give up after a year or two in college. Some of those students have challenges a college can’t resolve, but those who are helped add to Louisiana’s population of folks ready to face the uncertain economies of this century with greater confidence.

Those with college degrees tend to earn higher salaries and have more options in the job market. Helping more Louisianans finish college is a win for them, and the state, too.
00 2019-07-31
Monroe

Medical school on ULM's campus to be completed by December


MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine's Louisiana campus is set to be finished by late December.


The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine's Louisiana campus is set to be finished by late December. Source: (KNOE)
Though the school is on University of Louisiana Monroe's campus, it is a separate, private entity.

The dean of the new school, Ray Morrison, said he hopes that the school will bring more physicians to Northeast Louisiana.

"Our mission is to provide for family practice physicians to move into the Northeast Louisiana sector," said Morrison. "We, of course, are very happy to entertain Louisiana primarily because we want them to be able to go back to their communities and to practice in their communities. That's kind of our primary goal."

Morrison said the medical students will be able to use ULM's facilities.

"They will be able to enjoy a lot of the nice stuff that ULM has. The dining areas, of course, we'll encourage them in the sporting activities if they want to participate," said Morrison. "Of course they can go to the Warhawks games. We're going talons out for the Warhawks."

He said that medical students will be able to use some of ULM's labs as well.

Additionally, Morrison said that some of the faculty from both schools will have opportunities to teach at the other.

Morrison estimated that the school would bring an additional $75 million per year back into the community.

Morrison said that classes will begin in August 2020.
00 2019-07-31
Monroe

ULM sports medicine training for upcoming football season


MONROE, La. (KNOE) - ULM sports medicine held a clinic today to stay up to date on the latest practices. With football season around the corner, the athletic training staff covered emergency situations. Their biggest concerns are the heat, head and heart.


ULM sports medicine held its annual clinic to prepare its training staff for the upcoming football season.
Edward Via School of Medicine assistant dean Randy Ladrit says they train to make sure they’re ready for any possible situation. "One of the key things that we do as athletic trainers is to be prepared," Ladrit says.

As they prepare, they also cover what can be done before an emergency happens. "Being in the South or Louisiana, you always worry about the heat. It's always a factor pretty much 13 months out of the year. It's always hot. It's always humid."

ULM's staff follows the Korey Stringer Institute guidelines. Ladrit says it starts with practicing smart like avoiding the hottest times of day and taking breaks when they're needed.

"Practice for the sake of practice is not good practice,” Ladrit says. “Quality practice where the athletes are able to perform at their best which comes from proper hydration, proper nutrition, and rest. That's good quality practice."

To ensure quality, the trainers have tools on hand to beat the heat, including a wet bulb thermometer. "It's monitoring the heat, the humidity, the direct sunlight,” Ladrit says. It also measures wind speed and direction.

ULM director of athletic training Jason Dunavant says this information will give the staff a better idea of how to protect the student-athletes.

Recently, the Louisiana Athletic Trainers Association hosted a golf tournament to raise awareness for the field and money with local high schools in mind. "Our state association, the Louisiana Athletic Trainers Association is going to purchase wet bulb monitors for four high schools in the area,” Dunavant says. “That way we can gather data of what the heat humidity radiant temperature is for our area."

Dunavant says the four schools they are currently looking at to have the thermometers are Ouachita, Neville, West Monroe and Ruston.

While this will help the training staff, Ladrit says beating the heat starts with the players. "When you're done with practice, you need to rest, relax and rehydrate,” Ladrit says. “Those are the key things. Eat well, replenish your fluids, and get up off your feet. "You have to practice and prepare just like your game plan with an eye towards Saturday."
00 2019-07-31
Natchitoches

ADVANCE program for young scholars completes 31st year


NATCHITOCHES – The ADVANCE Program for Young Scholars completed its 31st summer program from July 7-27 at Northwestern State University. The three-week academic and residential program is a collaborative effort with Duke University’s Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) and is tailored for gifted students who are rising 8th – 12th graders. Students from Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana and one student from the United Kingdom attended the program.



The students immersed in one course of their choice: Algebra 1, Algebra 2, American West, Biology, Chemistry, Creative Writing, Criminalistics and Forensic Science, Film Studies, Geometry, JAVA, Physics or Psychology. Each course was taught by an instructor with an advanced degree and the students also received support from a teaching assistant. Classes were held from 9 a.m. -4 p.m. Monday – Friday and half a day on Saturday.



To balance the challenging academics, the residential life portion offered a variety of recreational and social activities each evening and during the weekend. These activities included movies, sports, board games, arts and crafts and trips to local eateries. This gave the students a chance to mingle with other like-minded students and built a sense of community. Throughout the program, students were under supervision by a residential assistant, teaching assistant or senior staff member.



“Attending an academic academy such as NSU’s ADVANCE Program for Young Scholars was not a plan for my summer,” said Adriana Hernandez of Natchitoches. “Arriving at ADVANCE is one of the best decisions we ever made. I found out my roommate was also going to be in my class. I had different expectations for ADVANCE, but it passed my expectation and I am really proud. ADVANCE really has so many fun activities and the RAs and TAs really encourage you to do activities, so you meet new people. If I have another chance to come back to ADVANCE I will come back.”



“Before coming to ADVANCE, I had been in multiple academic away camps in previous summers, but I think this has been the best experience out of all of them,” said Michael Venson of Round Rock, Texas. “I also like the class I’m in, Psychology, because I’m never bored when I’m learning. Even though I was completely new to the subject, I was taught in a way that is easy to understand. My favorite part of the camp is the activities. Compared to the other camps that I’ve been to, I think ADVANCE is the best one. There is such a diverse group of people here and so many amazing things to do, and I plan on doing it all over again next year.”



Mason McCart of Natchitoches said there is no other camp like ADVANCE.



“It is so special in its way that it is incomparable. This camp inspires you to be your true self. I genuinely feel that the staffers want me to come out of this camp as a more educated and just overall better person. ADVANCE is for sure not just a highlight of my summer, but of my year,” McCart said.



Haley Pritchard of Loveland, Colorado, said she wanted to try ADVANCE to get experience living in a dorm to prepare for college.



“The program ended up being so much more than just some practice living in a dorm,” Pritchard said. “The sense of community, exciting classes and skilled staff had me making the trek back for four more years. I’m now on my fifth and final year at ADVANCE. I’m so happy I’ve gotten to spend these years here and I hope after I age-out I’ll be able to come back as a staffer to be further involved with the program.”



For more information, on ADVANCE visit http://advance.nsula.edu/, or contact the ADVANCE office at (318) 357-4500 or NSUAdvance@nsula.edu.
00 2019-07-31
Regional/National

Our Views: A new way to ease the path back to college


The prime candidates for enlarging Louisiana’s pool of college graduates aren’t just kids fresh from high school.

They’re also like Brikinya McZeal, who is 35 and had 47 hours in college, but moved into the workforce without getting a secondary degree. Now, because of Compete LA, a promising new program of the University of Louisiana system, she is taking online courses with a view to getting the business management diploma that would help her with her career.

For Jim Henderson, who heads the University of Louisiana system, that is the kind of student who can return to higher education either through online courses or in person.

That’s good for the 10 UL System universities, since paying customers help the bottom line. But the way Henderson has structured the program is sensitive to the fact that someone like McZeal — now a manager at Verizon — has a higher expectation of customer service that the college must meet.

We like that particular aspect of the Compete LA program. A “coach” will help returning students navigate the system, “doing most of the legwork,” as McZeal said, to make re-entry to college as painless as possible.

For the world of government, customer service can be a difficult concept to embrace. But Henderson’s campuses have thousands of students who for many reasons take some courses, even several years’ worth, and do not end up with a degree.

Two-thirds of those who left college without a degree live in the Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Acadiana areas, Henderson’s data shows.

Henderson said adults already juggling jobs and child care responsibilities can see their back-to-college plans squashed with questions about transcripts and parking fines.

"Any one of those barriers is enough to derail them for the next several years," Henderson said during recent meeting with our editorial board.

We applaud this initiative and also welcome a similar one from the community college system to try to develop data on who’s not finishing a program — and can perhaps return to complete a job-enhancing degree.

UL System campuses, like others in the state, have a problem with completion rates of traditional students, too. It’s expensive to give the one-on-one attention that can make a difference to a student ready to give up after a year or two in college. Some of those students have challenges a college can’t resolve, but those who are helped add to Louisiana’s population of folks ready to face the uncertain economies of this century with greater confidence.

Those with college degrees tend to earn higher salaries and have more options in the job market. Helping more Louisianans finish college is a win for them, and the state, too.
00 2019-07-31
Regional/National

Report: Texas Has the Most Cybersecurity Growth Potential


A new Business Facilities report determined which states are most prepared to support the cybersecurity industry.

By Casey Leins, Staff Writer July 30, 2019, at 1:33 p.m.
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Cybersecurity Growth in TX

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Photo Taken In San Antonio, United States
San Antonio is one of the nation's major cybersecurity hubs, according to Business Facilities. (GETTY IMAGES/EYEEM)

Texas has the most cybersecurity growth potential in the U.S., according to Business Facilities' 15th Annual Rankings Report.

The cybersecurity sector, which currently employs more than 900,000 Americans, is growing quickly, with the supply of workers unable to meet the industry's demand. The cybersecurity growth ranking is based on how well states have prepared to support the sector through cyber employment, cyber-specific higher education programs, research labs and innovation centers and partnerships with national security programs.

Business Facilities, a media company focused on informing companies about where to expand or relocate, ranked states across two dozen business-related categories including business climate and economic growth potential. According to the report, Texas has the most potential for cybersecurity growth largely due to efforts in San Antonio.

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San Antonio, which has the highest concentration of cyber and intelligence workers outside of the nation's capital region (including Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland), is home to the Air Force Cyber Command.

The report also notes that San Antonio houses some of the country's leading cyber education programs, including the University of Texas—San Antonio's cybersecurity undergraduate program and a new National Security Collaboration Center. The city, which includes more than 140 cybersecurity firms, also offers six National Security Agency Centers of Excellence.

Following Texas in the ranking are Virginia, Louisiana, Maryland (home to the National Security Agency) and Georgia.

According to Business Facilities, Louisiana Tech University developed the nation's first four-year degree in cyber engineering, and the state's governor, Democrat John Bel Edwards, has been a leader among the country's governors working to address cybersecurity issues.

One of Louisiana's cybersecurity-related efforts has been to protect the state's small businesses, which are most vulnerable to cyber attacks. The Department of Defense awarded Louisiana State University's Stephenson Technologies Corp., an applied research corporation, $10 million in 2018 to assist the state's small businesses that work with manufacturers.

"Through this major defense contract, our small businesses now have an ally in that fight, and we can provide real solutions to develop the cyber workforce of tomorrow," Edwards said, according to the report.
00 2019-07-31
Regional/National

Cost, Price and Competition in Online Learning


BALTIMORE -- Does online education cost colleges less to produce? And if so, should online courses therefore be priced lower for students?

Many supporters of digitally enabled learning have long believed that it has the possibility of bending higher education's cost curve by using technology to broaden how many students an institution can serve, thereby lowering the per-student cost of providing a higher education. And at a time when tuition and student debt levels continue to rise, some advocates for students believe online education should be a tool to drive down students' spending on their postsecondary educations.

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Online courses, New America's Kevin Carey wrote in his widely discussed article this spring, are "a lot cheaper for universities to run. There are no buildings to maintain, no lawns to mow, no juice bars and lazy rivers to lure new students. While traditional courses are limited by the size of a lecture hall, online courses can accommodate thousands of people at a time. This is how universities could break the tuition cost curve -- by making the price of online degrees proportional to what colleges actually spend to operate the courses."

Carey's argument about whether online courses cost less to produce largely got lost in the shuffle of debate over his view that outside companies that manage colleges' digital programs were a primary culprit in driving up the price of online education.

But the topic is an important one, and a discussion about the role of online education at Inside Higher Ed's conference here this month on the future of public higher education kept returning to it.

The session touched on a wide range of issues -- including how digital learning is reshaping the competitive landscape for public colleges and universities -- but cost and price played a central role in the discussion among four prominent online ed experts as they assessed the current landscape.

Burck Smith is founder and CEO of StraighterLine, which years before it was in vogue began offering low-priced general education courses as an alternative to college programs. He said the world is finally catching up, with more colleges and universities (including well-established ones) beginning to price their online programs significantly lower than their in-person counterparts.

This is particularly occurring in the adult learning space, he said, citing entities such as Southern New Hampshire University's College for America and Arizona State University's Global Freshman Academy that are giving students lower-priced (and lower-risk) ways to test out their readiness for higher education. But Smith said "that's more a function of where innovation starts in higher ed than of its applicability" to other parts of the higher education market. Major universities such as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Georgia Institute of Technology are lowering the price of online master's programs, too.

Others were less confident that prices will fall, even if to a person they agreed that online learning, at scale, is less expensive to offer.

"It's pretty clear that if you move down the path to complete digital delivery, the cost of instruction will go down," said Don Kilburn, president of UMass Online and former president of Pearson North America. "But there are a number of institutional pressures that may not allow you to price them less. You may not want to cannibalize your on-ground programs, or legislators may stop you."

Online education is at the core of what the University of Maryland Global Campus does, and that allows it to price its education much lower than its face-to-face peers, said Javier Miyares, the university's president. "There's an up-front investment, but as you spread that investment over more students, it becomes cheaper. You don't need the structure of buildings, you don't need the [health] counseling center. You deliver most of the education through adjuncts," most of whom -- at a place like Maryland Global Campus, which is aimed at working adults -- are moonlighting working professionals rather than the sort of adjuncts who yearn for the tenure track.

But the picture looks much different at traditional campuses that are trying to move more aggressively into online education, said Michelle Marks, vice president for academic innovation and new ventures at George Mason University.

"Institutions like UMUC [UM Global Campus's former name] … started delivering online education for working adults," with a direct state investment for that purpose and a fully developed set of "competencies and mechanisms to serve that type of student," Marks said. "For many of us, who started as traditional institutions, you don’t have expertise, you don't have that competency and you don’t have capital to invest in the things you need to do very differently to serve those students. There are real switching costs involved."

She added, "To think that you can go from a traditional institution to serving online students as well as they need to be supported without an investment is unrealistic for most of us."

So many things are different, Marks said: transforming the institution's schedule to allow for more regular program "starts" ("changing a calendar is a really hard thing!" Marks said), new systems for payments and advising and psychological services.

George Mason's solution, in part, was to take on a partner (in its case, Wiley Education Services, an online program management company). "We don't have the tens of millions it would take, so they provided the capital investment to help us scale quickly," she said. "There are obviously pros and cons to that," in a bit of understatement, given debate over the large proportion of tuition revenue that online program management companies often take.

Smith of StraighterLine conceded that most colleges and universities are loath to lower their prices, "because that has a negative market signal."

But there are ways other than formally cutting prices that one can lower what students spend, he said. "You can set up better credit pathways, since reducing risk upon entry is another way of reducing the effective price. You can be consistent around fee structure, or lock in tuition. Most likely those are the tools that will get used rather than direct price reduction."

Ultimately, though, unless higher education is even more different from every other industry than it clearly is, there's only one way for prices to go, Smith said.

"Every other market’s been transformed by online delivery," he said. "When the cost structure of a big chunk of the model changes, it doesn’t just change that part. There's a nest of cross-subsidies internally, and external subsidies.

"We're struggling in fits and starts to figure all that out," he said, "but it is happening."
00 2019-07-31
Ruston

IMPROVEMENTS: LA Tech students can expect new dorms and parking spaces in the near future


RUSTON, La (07/30/19)– Some buildings at Louisiana Tech date back to the 40’s, That’s why the university has decided to replace a few of the oldest dorms- Harper, Mitchell, and Cottingham.

“I lived in Harper my freshman year and my roommate ended up being one of my closest friends, so it’s sad to see it go, because of all of the memories were made, but I’m glad that LA Tech is making these improvements,” Victoria Mount, LA Tech Senior, said.

University personnel say they hope the new and improved living space will help students become successful.


“Because they have easier access to study facilities, easy access to libraries, easy access to food,” Tonya Oaks Smith, LA Tech Public Relations, said. ” All of those things that students need in order to succeed, so that’s why having housing on campus, and upgraded and improved housing is important.”

Tech will be replacing the buildings one at a time, so there won’t be a lack of living space for students.

“So we won’t lose any of the capacity that we have to house our students now, and then in 2020 we’ll be able to place them in new residential halls,” Smith said.

Students have also had trouble finding parking.

Parking is difficult, the gravel lots are inconvenient. they’re a nice temporary solution, but i’d like a more permanent and nicer solution to the problem with more parking spaces,” Patrick Hardin, LA Tech Senior, said.

That’s why the university will be adding 1,000 new parking spaces.

“I commute, but I walk. I usually get a parking sticker, but it’s usually hard finding parking after 10 in the morning, so I think it would help a lot,” Hardin said.
00 2019-07-30
Natchitoches

Northwestern student completes fellowship at LSU Health Shreveport


Northwestern State University senior Abigail Poe of Natchitoches was one of 10 participants from across the nation taking part in the LSU Health Shreveport Department of Microbiology and Immunology’s Undergraduate Biomedical Research Fellowship Program.

Poe worked in Associate Professor Rona Scott’s lab to research HPV’s influence on retinoblastoma protein and EBV’s influence on host cell differentiation.

“This program fully immersed us in grad school life,” said Poe, a biology major with a biomedical concentration. “Having participated in research at NSU gave me a good foundation in basic techniques that I was able to build on. Some new skills I learned included cell culturing, organotypic rafting, Western and Southern blots and immunofluorescence.”

During the fellowship, the students attended weekly seminars, workshops, journal clubs and social events. The fellowship ended with a poster presentation and a party. Poe was invited to continue her work in Scott’s lab over the coming year.

Northwestern State’s School of Biological and Physical Sciences offers several comprehensive programs that prepare students to enter into the job market competitively at the bachelor level or to further their education in either graduate or professional school. For more information, go to sciences.nsula.edu.
00 2019-07-30
Regional/National

LOUISIANA DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY AFTER CYBERATTACK


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Louisiana has officially declared a state of emergency following a cybersecurity incident. The cyberattack is specifically a massive attack on school systems and has so far affected Sabine, Morehouse, and Ouachita schools in northern Louisiana. This is the first time that the state of Louisiana has declared a state of emergency for a cybersecurity breach, but due to the severity of the attack, it was an obvious decision. This cyberattack against Louisiana is just the latest in a growing string of incidents aimed at state, city, or local governments.

The state of emergency allows for numerous state resources to be deployed, including aid from cybersecurity incident experts in the Louisiana National Guard and Louisiana State Police as well as the Office of Technology Services. Additionally, according to the actual state of emergency declaration, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) has been mobilized in accordance with the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, La. R.S. 29:721.

Gov. John Bel Edwards stated the following regarding his state of emergency declaration:

The state was made aware of a malware attack on a few north Louisiana school systems and we have been coordinating a response ever since... This is exactly why we established the Cyber Security Commission, focused on preparing for, responding to and preventing cybersecurity attacks, and we are well-positioned to assist local governments as they battle this current threat.

The Cyber Security Commission Gov. Edwards references was formed in 2017 and is described in a news release from Louisiana’s Office of the Governor as “a statewide partnership comprised of key stakeholders, subject matter experts, and cybersecurity professionals from Louisiana’s public sector, private industry, academia, and law enforcement.” The governor is not stating anything specific about the investigation, especially what kind of attack this is and what kind of threat actors Louisiana is dealing with (for example, whether its garden-variety cybercriminals looking for a payout or something more sinister like cyberterrorists).

According to the declaration, Gov. Edwards intends to keep the state of emergency in place until August 21 “unless terminated sooner.” Until more information comes out, there is little else one can do but speculate of what is occurring in Louisiana. Hopefully, more information will come out as the incident response teams get things under control.
00 2019-07-30
Regional/National

Publishers' Pending Merger Faces Growing Opposition


Consumer advocacy groups, along with more than 40 student government organizations, separately called on the U.S. Department of Justice Monday to block the proposed merger of publishers Cengage and McGraw-Hill Education. The move is a reflection of the significant concern among consumer and student groups about the merger.

In a letter to the department drafted by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and signed by student government organizations, the groups noted that the merger would create a publisher so big that its only real rival would be Pearson. They also argued that the merger would “consolidate more power” with a small handful of publishers, reducing competition and ultimately raising prices for students.

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“Because there are so few publishers, and because faculty choose books on behalf of their students, the normal rules of supply and demand have broken down,” the letter says.

A key concern raised by the students is that the new publisher would quickly move to eliminate the used book market. When the Cengage and McGraw-Hill Education merger was announced in May, leaders of the companies said the new publisher would focus on developing digitally enhanced learning platforms. Publishers say these platforms provide a better learning experience for students, but they also have the added bonus of allowing publishers to take back market share previously lost through the sale of secondhand books.

Over time, it is possible the new publisher, which will be called McGraw Hill, may follow in Pearson’s footsteps by phasing out the sale of print textbooks and shifting to a “digital first” strategy. The students argue that if they can’t resell their course materials, it will hurt those who already struggle to afford texts.

“We have many classmates that have skipped buying the access code and are doomed to fail the class,” the letter says. “By reducing the need to compete, and then using access codes, subscription services and ‘inclusive access’ to strong-arm students into buying materials, Cengage and McGraw-Hill will be able to continue their decades-long pattern of raising prices.… From our perspective as the primary consumers of textbooks, this merger will allow skyrocketing prices to continue unchecked.”

A second letter to the Department of Justice opposing the merger on a legal and economic basis was made public on Monday. It was drafted by the Open Markets Institute and signed by U.S. PIRG, the Economic Policy Institute and several other consumer advocacy groups, as well as a handful of professors.

The Open Markets Institute suggested in the letter that together Cengage and McGraw-Hill Education would control at least 41 percent of the higher education textbook market -- matching Pearson. The letter argued that the merger would substantially lessen competition between companies, making it “unlawful under long-standing antitrust law.”

Sandeep Vaheesan, legal director at the Open Markets Institute, and Kaitlyn Vitez, director of U.S. PIRG’s higher education campaign, said they hoped the letter would encourage the Department of Justice to consider the impact of the merger on students.

“We’re optimistic that we will hear back from the DOJ and get the opportunity to talk more about what this means for students,” said Vitez.

Vaheesan said the merger could also hurt academic authors and editors, because the market would lose a major employer.

“We have a market that is already very concentrated, and that concentration has led to price increases above inflation," he said. "This merger would only accelerate those trends.”

Open access advocacy group SPARC has also opposed the merger. Nicole Allen, director of open education for SPARC published a Q&A on the merger on Monday with "answers to common questions and an update on what we're doing to stop it."

"Over the past two months, we've been working with industry and antitrust experts to build a complaint against the merger, which we intend to file with the DOJ's antitrust division," wrote Allen. "If approved by federal regulators, the merger would reshape the U.S. higher education course material market as a duopoly -- with potentially dire consequences in terms of price, access and control of student data."

Representatives of McGraw-Hill Education and Cengage said in an emailed statement that they remain confident the merger will benefit their customers and are working closely with the Department of Justice to complete the merger-review process.

Given that the merger was announced in May and does not appear to have progressed, it seems likely that the DOJ requested additional information from the companies about the proposed merger, said Vaheesan. Cengage and McGraw-Hill did not confirm whether this is the case.

The publishers still expect the merger to take place in early 2020, subject to customary closing conditions.

Michael Hansen, CEO of Cengage, told Inside Higher Ed in May that the merger would create quality, affordable products for students.

“The price increases on the sticker prices of textbooks were unconscionable,” he said, adding that both publishers had “taken that message to heart.”

Cengage reports that its all-you-can-read subscription model Cengage Unlimited saved students more than $60 million during the 2018-19 academic year. McGraw-Hill Education reports that its inclusive access programs saved students $55 million in 2018. On a website promoting the merger, the publishers say they plan to expand these programs, offering "more affordable options for students."

Nick Sengstaken, chief of staff of the student government executive branch at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is skeptical that the merger will result in lower prices for students. Digital course materials might be sold at a “discount” off the sticker list price, but used books are often cheaper and still have a resale value, he said.

“Students are starting to wake up to these issues,” said Sengstaken. “Textbooks and course materials are too expensive. They limit students from being able to do other things, such as -- to be blunt -- eating.”

He said more than 350 UNC Chapel Hill professors have signed a textbook pledge to select affordable textbooks for students. Sengstaken and other students are also working to change the university’s “opt-out” policy for inclusive access deals into an “opt-in” model that would allow students to shop around for cheaper alternatives. He also advocates for the use of open educational resources.

“I’d much rather have an OER textbook in print than a digital product,” he said.
00 2019-07-30
Ruston

Louisiana Tech to build new residence halls in 2020


RUSTON, La. (KNOE) - Louisiana Tech will soon build new residence halls on campus.


Cottingham, Harper and Mitchell Halls will be demolished after the new residence halls are open. (Source: KNOE)
It’s a project students like Samuel Stewart appreciate. "It's not awful, but it could definitely use some remodeling," says Stewart, an incoming cyber engineering major.

He says it’s important to be able to feel at home as he moves out of the home he’s known his entire life. “Having somewhere nice to get used to and call my second home is really good."

The new halls will add 600 more beds as it replaces three older halls on campus. Harper Hall is set to come down next summer, while Mitchell and Cottingham will remain open until the replacements are finished. School officials hope the project will be done by fall 2021.

Senior biology major Alexaviar Gaston lived in Mitchell when he first came to Tech. He says it wasn't his first choice, but it was good enough.

He's glad to see the school upgrading. "It's about time for change and improvement,” Gaston says. "It is a little outdated compared to other schools, but I feel like it's worth it. It's about time."

Tech is also adding a thousand more parking spaces throughout campus too. Gaston says that will help students as well. "Parking is sometimes hectic, especially at the beginning of the school year."

That struggle will hopefully be one less thing for students to worry about as they settle in their new home. "For me, I'm four hours away from home," says Aaron Taliaferro, freshman civil engineering major.

"Knowing that I have a place to go study, go eat, or even be by myself or hang out with friends there. Just having a place you can call home is really important."
00 2019-07-29
Lafayette

Through tragedy and conflict, UL's athletic director has strengthened bond with his new community


it was always carried out in a methodical fashion, whether it was a situation that blind-sided him or a controversy he created.

“I know we’ve worked very hard to do that," he said. "Could we have done better in certain situations? I’m sure we could have. Could we have communicated a little better? I don’t know. But as I look back on all of those challenging incidents, I certainly feel good about what we accomplished.”

Quick but don’t hurry
The first two road bumps, just seven months into the job, didn’t catch him by surprise.

On Nov. 1, 2017, Maggard fired Michael Lotief, UL's highly successful softball coach.

The decision immediately drew a line in the sand, dividing the community and the fan base for the department’s most successful program. Some of those wounds still haven’t healed.

But whichever side of that decision you were on, there’s no arguing with how quickly Maggard addressed it.

Not quite three weeks later, he was introducing a highly qualified replacement in Gerry Glasco.

And while Glasco himself would tell you he’s disappointed the program hasn’t at least returned to super regional play in his first two seasons, the initial fears that the its glory days were gone have been relieved.

Matt Deggs vows to carry Robichaux's torch as new Cajuns baseball head coach
Matt Deggs vows to carry Robichaux's torch as new Cajuns baseball head coach
About two weeks later, Maggard fired football coach Mark Hudspeth. That decision was less controversial, and just 12 days later Maggard introduced Billy Napier has UL’s next head football coach.

“Over my 22 years at Missouri, I had the opportunity to be involved in some searches,” Maggard said. “In any situation, you’re going to learn. You may learn how to do things or you may learn how not to do things. When it comes to coaching searches, my innate philosophy has always been, ‘Be quick, but don’t hurry.’ But also, if you know the person is out there, find a way to go get them.

“It’s not that I had a model to follow. I line it out with characteristics and traits that I look for in a coach, and when I can, I want the input of the student-athletes of that team. But at the end of the day, I know I need to find a coach that checks those boxes that I’m looking for in a head coach, who I think will not only make that sport’s team better but make our whole department better.”

Trouble really gets personal
In the fall of 2018, Maggard personal life was turned upside down when Kerry, his wife of 28 years, was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“It was one of those times, you just kind of buckle down and move ahead,” Kerry Maggard said.

That's when her husband seems to be at his best.

“There have been some rough moments," Kerry said. "But he’s a planner, an administrator to the tee. I tend to be much more emotional. When I was at some of his my weakest moments, that’s when he would take over again, really just research, make a plan, move ahead and encourage me.”

Today, Kerry reports that, “everything is clear and good” after radiation — now “just monitoring and trying to forget bout it between each testing period.”

As Maggard and his family were dealing with that life-altering news, tragedy struck his athletic department again. On Jan. 24, Geri Ann Glasco — UL assistant softball coach and daughter of the head coach — was killed in a crash on Interstate 10.

She was only 24 years old.

The story of Matt Deggs and a hire that's come full circle when UL baseball needs him most
The story of Matt Deggs and a hire that's come full circle when UL baseball needs him most
“That was just so tough,” Maggard said. “It was so heartbreaking.”

Two months later, two athletic employees who had been with the department more than three decades died a week apart: Equipment manager Lynn Williams and longtime UL employee Leonard Wiltz.

“Everyone within the athletic department had to lean on each other during those times,” Maggard said. “With the loss of Lynn Williams and the number of people who have worked with him for so long — the same with Tony, obviously, and the love and respect people have for Gerry and Vickie Glasco. They may not have known the Glascos as long as Lynn and Tony, but that hurt for that family was as strong.”

No way to prepare for this one
In late June, tragedy struck again when the news came that longtime baseball coach Tony Robichaux had suffered a heart attack.

Immediately Maggard's mind went to work.

“To be honest, I never thought about us losing him,” he said. “But I was thinking that he may not be able to come back until January, or maybe he and (wife) Colleen would decide, ‘That’s it. We’re done. We’re going to focus on life.’

“Even then, I was thinking we may need to find some interim-type phase to get us through to the season.”

On July 3, the beloved and iconic coach died.

UL fans everywhere were stunned. UL baseball without Tony Robichaux seemed unthinkable.

Cajuns AD: 'Impossible' to replace Robichaux; search for next baseball coach 'will be quick but not hurried'
Cajuns AD: 'Impossible' to replace Robichaux; search for next baseball coach 'will be quick but not hurried'
In his leadership role, Maggard didn’t have the luxury of grieving. He had to console and comfort and somehow be uplifting.

He personally called every player on the team. He called all of their parents. He called every recruit in the most recent signing class.

It wasn’t something he had done before. In his 20-plus years in athletic administration, Maggard had never encountered the death of a head coach.

“No, there was no blueprint on this,” he said.

But something told him it was needed. Later, multiple parents expressed how comforting his gesture was.

“I think my mind went to, ‘If I were a parent, what would I appreciate?’ ” Maggard said. “I had a student-athlete population to worry about. As a parent, I wanted to reach out to the parents to let them know, ‘Hey, we’ve got your sons. We’ve got them and we’re going to be there for them.’ I think it was just me being a parent myself.

“It was just the right thing to do in my opinion. I wanted them (players) to know that we know it’s a tough time, but also ensure them that I was committed to going out and finding a head coach who they would be proud to play for and work with.”

Supporting wife by his side
The days following Robichaux's death were difficult for everyone. Maggard knows he was lucky to have Kerry helping him through it all.

“We kind of went back and forth,” Kerry said. “At times, it was very emotional for both of us, but sometimes when it was harder on him, I was able to encourage him to move forward with the process and start thinking ahead, knowing that’s what coach Robe would want — to keep that baseball program as strong as it has been and continuing his mission of developing young men.

“I tried to keep things as stable at home. I handled some of our kiddo’s issues a little more, trying not to load more onto his plate during that week or two. I just tried to be there to listen and talk.”

Incredibly, two weeks later on July 18, Maggard unveiled the perfect choice to replace Robichaux in former assistant coach Matt Deggs.

Tony Robichaux's family displayed the class, poise the coach always did at his memorial service
Tony Robichaux's family displayed the class, poise the coach always did at his memorial service
During the press conference introducing Deggs, all the emotion Maggard had suppressed in ordered to do his job caught up with him.

What came across was not the organized, efficient athletic director. He was just being a caring human being.

Like others in the stadium club that day, Maggard couldn’t help but notice the emotional embrace between Deggs and Robichaux's widow, Colleen.

“To be real honest, I probably suppressed a lot of my personal emotions (during the search),” Maggard said. “Leading up to that press conference introducing coach Deggs, I was really focused on getting my mind right and I was going to get through that just fine.

“There were a couple parts of my remarks that I knew could get a little emotional and they ultimately did. But I was just overcome with emotion when I saw Matt Deggs go over and hug Colleen. I pretty much lost it right there and I didn’t gain my composure too well. That’s why I struggled so much in my remarks.”

Organized, yet compassionate
"I do feel a burden lifted off my shoulders identifying the very best baseball coach for us today," Maggard said. "He checked all the boxes on the non-coaching side, but, hey, he’s a great coach as well."

But the grief is still there.

“Even today, there’s just a somber feel to me," Maggard said almost two weeks later. "Maybe it’s just because this is my time to grieve a little bit, reflect and pay my own respects to a great man that we lost.”

His ability to compartmentalize his leadership duties did not erase his compassionate side. It just sort of redirected it.

“He’s my best friend,” Kerry said. “It was a grieving process and a process of moving on that we go through together, no matter what the challenge is. But this (Robichaux death) was definitely a really rough thing. There was no way to prepare for this. It’s just a realization of how precious life is.”

After his 'trip around the bases,' legendary UL baseball coach Tony Robichaux makes it safely home
After his 'trip around the bases,' legendary UL baseball coach Tony Robichaux makes it safely home
The way her husband has delivered what was needed for the athletic programs and the fans did not surprise Kerry Maggard.

“I’m so proud of him, because he’s so compassionate,” she said. “He checks on Colleen almost every day. There was a lot going on behind the scenes at that time, but again, the Robichaux family reached out to him. There was a connection made that was really special as everyone was going through a grieving process in their own way.”

As rough as the past weeks have been — sure, he’s worn out physically and emotionally — Maggard is not complaining.

“I will say this, it continues to be an honor to serve in this role,” he said. “It has been very challenging, but my challenges pale in comparison to the Robichaux family, the Glasco family and others. So by no means would I ever want to sound like ‘Oh, woe is me.’ I had a role to play in those situations and just wanted to do the very best I could.”

The Maggards are not sure why Cajun Nation has faced so many losses during their tenure here.

“You could never imagine the amount of tragedy that this community has had in the past couple years,” Kerry said. “Sometimes I just wonder what the plan is.”

Perhaps Maggard and his family showed up in these parts just at the right time.

“I’ve heard people make that comment,” Maggard said. “I don’t know. I do know that everything that’s happened has made us stronger and it’ll continue to make us stronger. It’s shown us that together we will get through anything. Let’s just hope there’s no more for a while.”
00 2019-07-29
Lafayette

Blanco family fund set up at UL to support campus ministry


A mass and luncheon was held on Friday, July 26 at Our Lady of Wisdom in honor of Governor Kathleen and First Gentleman Raymond Blanco. The event also recognized the newly established Blanco Family Support Fund.

First Gentleman Raymond Blanco, UL President Dr. E. Joseph Savoie, and many others were present for the event. Members of the Blanco family were honored for their dedication to the University community and the Campus Ministry at Our Lady of Wisdom Church & Catholic Student Center.

The Blanco Family Support Fund is an endowed fund that will be used to support Catholic Campus Ministry on UL Lafayette's campus in perpetuity.

Governor Kathleen Blanco joined the event via teleconference.

For more information about the Blanco Family Support Fund, contact Mary Hernandez, Executive Director of Advancement.
00 2019-07-29
Monroe

Tired of being 50th? RESET Louisiana sets path out of cellar


Louisiana's most prominent good governments groups have created a road map they believe will lead the state out of the cellar and climbing the ladder to the top.

Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL), the Public Affairs Research Council (PAR) and the Committee of 100 for Economic Development (C100) has raised $500,000 from their members to create the RESET Louisiana's Future campaign.

It's no coincidence the campaign comes as term limits could turn over more than one-third of the lawmakers in Louisiana's Legislature.

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test (Photo: Courtesy photo)

"We're tired of being 50th, 49th, 48th," said C100 President Mike Olivier during a meeting with reporters at PAR's headquarters in Baton Rouge Friday. "Now is the time to do something about it because so many seats are changing."

RESET focuses on early childhood education, K-12 education, higher education and workforce, taxes, the Louisiana Constitution, pension reform, criminal justice reform and public safety and transportation and infrastructure.

"We've been studying all of this for a long time," CABL President Barry Erwin said. "It's time to get something done."

"Nothing happens while you wait," PAR President Robert Travis Scott said.

RESET's focus areas
Following are key points for RESET's eight focus areas:

Early childhood

Make sure every at-risk child has access to high-quality early care and education programs from birth through 4.

MORE:

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K-12 education

Maintain and expand existing accountability reforms and grow the dual-enrollment program allowing high school students to take college classes and the career track program called jump-start.

MORE:

Low percentage of Louisiana 4th graders read on grade level
Report: Louisiana is one of the least-educated states in the nation
Higher education and workforce

Focus on increasing higher education attainment for high school graduates both in colleges and universities and career certificates. Forty-six percent of Louisianians attain a post-secondary degree or certificate. RESET said the state needs that number to grow to 56% to meet workforce needs.

MORE:

Louisiana is the worst state for jobs
Louisiana has one of the worst economies
Here's where it’s best (and worst) to be a teacher
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Taxes

Create a fair, simple and competitive tax environment for individuals and businesses by broadening the base and lowering the rates.

MORE: Study: Louisiana worst for financial literacy

Louisiana Constitution

Simplify the state constitution to increase fiscal flexibility and modernize. That will require a constitutional convention. Scott said PAR will soon roll out a study showing what's missing, what would change and how a new Louisiana Constitution could look using fact-based research.

MORE: Louisiana voters to decide whether to add abortion ban to constitution

Pension reform

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Build a new system for a new era, transitioning from the state's existing traditional retirement and reducing the billions of existing liability.

MORE:

America’s retirement crisis
Louisiana among worst states to grow old in
Criminal justice reform and public safety

Make sure the 2017 reforms reducing Louisiana's once nation-leading prison population remain intact and create task forces to study crime prevention and how to create more crisis intervention centers as prison alternatives for those who qualify.

MORE: America's most violent state? Louisiana.

Transportation and infrastructure

RESET wants Louisiana's transportation infrastructure to be an asset rather than the liability it is now. The campaign acknowledges that can't happen without additional recurring revenue, including new taxes.

MORE: What is the state of Louisiana's infrastructure?

RESET meeting with candidates
Members of CABL, PAR and C100 have already met with all of the legislative candidates they could identify before qualifying begins Aug. 6 and are now meeting with incumbents.

They have also met with Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards and his top Republican challengers U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham of Richland Parish and wealthy Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone.

RESET isn't asking candidates to sign pledges and isn't making political contributions. It will roll out a $100,000 digital marketing campaign and schedule town hall meetings in all of the state's major metro markets.

"We're trying to say these are the things that can move the needle and this is the time to elevate these issues," Erwin said.

Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.

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00 2019-07-29
Regional/National

Higher Education Has Become a Partisan Issue


James Johnsen’s letter to the University of Alaska system went out like a flare. “It is with grave concern for the future of our university and our state that I share with you devastating news of the budget Gov. Mike Dunleavy released this morning,” Johnsen, the president of the system, wrote in the June 28 note to members of the university. The governor planned to cut $130 million from the school’s budget. Combined with a previous $5 million cut, that made for 41 percent of the system’s budget gone in one year.

Johnsen implored the Alaskan legislature to override the veto. (The legislature, for its part, has struggled even to agree on a meeting location to vote on the override.) He wanted students, faculty, and staff to make the university’s case as well: to laud its programs, and emphasize its contributions to Alaska’s economy. But in the meantime, Johnsen wrote, he needed to immediately implement furlough plans, and he needed to prepare a plan for financial exigency—which would allow the university to begin the process of removing tenured faculty. Roughly 1,300 faculty and staff jobs could be lost as a result of the funding cut.

The scramble playing out in Alaska represents the worst-case scenario for public colleges. It has not been uncommon to see significant cuts by states to higher-education funding—particularly during economic slowdowns—but “it is uncommon to do it in one fell swoop,” Nick Hillman, an associate professor of higher education at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, told me. Alaska had a deficit, and the governor had promised not to raise taxes to deal with it, so he chose a favored punching bag to take the hit instead: higher education.

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Over the past 25 years, since Newt Gingrich helped Republicans reclaim the gavel in the House of Representatives, Americans have become more politically polarized. Not only do members of one party view the other party as wrong, but they more frequently view them as a “threat to the nation’s well-being.” Americans don’t trust the other side, and more and more they mistrust institutions too, including the media and higher education.

Polls have shown that confidence in higher education, overall, has decreased in the past few years. A Pew Research Center survey found that 61 percent of Americans are worried about the path America’s colleges and universities are on. Democrats think that the cost of tuition is too high and, to a much lesser extent, that students are not getting the skills they need for the workplace. But Republicans overwhelmingly hold negative views of the sector; 73 percent thought higher education was going in the wrong direction, as opposed to 52 percent of Democrats. A 2018 Gallup poll found that only 39 percent of Republicans expressed a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the sector, down 17 percentage points from 2015.

For many Republicans, mistrust of Democrats and mistrust of institutions collide when it comes to higher education, because they see colleges and universities as having a liberal bent. They point to surveys showing that college leadership leans liberal, and that liberal professors outnumber conservative ones on campuses.

The latest corroboration for some conservatives was Harvard’s decision to rescind admission to Kyle Kashuv, a Parkland survivor and conservative activist, because of racist messages he sent via Google Docs while in high school. For some, this drove home the message that liberals, and universities, practice selective forgiveness, allowing for the former sins of liberal institutions and people (see: Harvard University’s own past) but not doing the same for conservatives.

Read: Kyle Kashuv becomes a symbol to conservatives who say the left can’t forgive

It’s been an open question for some time whether this partisan mistrust would translate into tangible, monetary penalties for higher education. One answer came last fall, when voters in Montana took to the polls to decide whether they would continue to tax themselves to support higher education. The tax, known as the six-mill levy, has been voted on once every decade since 1948, and this vote was seen as a bellwether for public sentiment on higher education. Though the measure had been passing narrowly in preceding years, voters in 2018 again decided to continue taxing themselves to support their state universities. The support was likely the result of an interesting phenomenon that occurs when the conversation is not about “higher education” as a monolith but about people’s local colleges. Even though people may feel dubious about higher education more broadly, they can see the good that their local schools do and often feel favorably toward them as a result.

But what happens when the fate of local colleges is not up to the public decision but to a single politician? In Alaska at least, it has meant the decimation of the state’s higher-education budget. Dunleavy, for his part, repeatedly declared on the campaign trail that he would not cut the state university budgets, but has done so nonetheless.

The trend is not universal. Some Republican-run states have invested in higher-education programs—including Tennessee, which now has tuition-free community college—for economic reasons. But, that said, the costs make higher education an easy target. It is also easier to cut than health care or K–12 funding. Higher education “is not constitutionally mandated,” Andrew Koricich, an associate professor at Appalachian State University, told me, “so states always use it to balance a budget.” Even when state leaders say they want a “strong public higher-education system,” the cost of making it so—and thus the taxes needed to pay for it—are a tough sell.

In rural states, where many residents lack easy access to colleges and universities, those cuts can hit especially hard. The elimination of state funding, the Alaska system’s president lamented, could result in the closure of one of its campuses. The students who rely on that university would be left in the lurch, needing to travel farther to get to one of the school’s remaining campuses. The task of getting an education, for those in rural communities where a college degree is already hard to come by, would become a little harder.

“There’s this political idea that we shouldn’t be raising taxes for things that benefit us individually,” Koricich told me, “not recognizing that everyone benefits from teachers and doctors and lawyers” and all of the other jobs that require a college education.

In 2018, Johnsen offered a sober assessment of the University of Alaska system. The system had seen $145 million in cumulative state funding cuts over the previous four years. The new, single cut from the governor’s veto would nearly match that four-year decline in funding. Alaska may be an extreme case, but it shows one possible fate for public colleges in an age of mistrust: wounded by a thousand small cuts, and then a machete.
00 2019-07-29
Regional/National

The Case for Saying No to Tuition Increases


James V. Koch is quite certain that no one should become a trustee at a public university, entrusted with making higher education accessible to a state’s students, without a thorough grounding in education economics.

Trustees "need education and training before they should be allowed to serve," he writes in The Impoverishment of the American College Student (Brookings Institution Press, 2019).

The book could serve as a primer for trustees. Koch, president emeritus of Old Dominion University, which he led from 1990 to 2001 after four years at the helm of the University of Montana, dices every which way the causes of the cruel rise in tuition charges and other costs of college attendance.

Idea Lab: College Access

By phone from Montana, where he spends summers, he said that "the ladders of opportunity that traditionally have been present in American higher education no longer are there."

He asked: At a time when young Americans are burdened by student-loan indebtedness of $1.4 trillion, how many hours would a typical private-sector American worker — "Joe Lunchbucket," in his words — have to work to pay the annual tuition and fees at a four-year public college? He sounded pained as he answered his own question: "In 2000 it was 250, and in 2016 it was 447, almost double.

"And that augurs badly for American society," he said.

Koch is now a professor of economics emeritus at Old Dominion. Since 2002, when he returned to teaching, he has advised some 50 boards of trustees about college governance. Debates over tuition costs,, he said, too often ignore economic complexities. He reviews many of those complexities before reaching a provocative bottom line: Institutions could better control tuition costs "if they wanted to."

State funding cuts? "Those are part of the story, but they’re responsible for only perhaps half of the tuition increases we’ve seen."

What else causes them? Many things, he said, among them institutions’ quest for rankings, the resistance of many of them to adopt technological innovations that increase productivity. "It really is complex," he says.

It is troubling, he writes, that "one of the pillars of our national approach to making college affordable may be shaky and even counterproductive." He cites the "once heretical" suggestion by William J. Bennett in 1987, as secretary of education under President Ronald Reagan, that generous federal financial aid edges tuition prices up. "Basic supply-and-demand analysis" Koch argues, demonstrate that that would be so.

Where he faults many institutions, he says, is in their not using the tuition charges they collect to admit additional less-affluent students. He contends that colleges balk at the prospect of lower rankings, reduced average test scores, and greater expense, in hesitating to enroll those students on their campuses.

Is there hope? To answer that, he returns to the subject of trustees, saying that the most effective change may be to demand more of them. Typically, he says, trustees ask presidents to bring in more research dollars, build buildings, raise funds from donors, and achieve higher rankings — costing them all the money they collect, whether from states, the federal government, or tuition increases levied even in years when the governmental flow isn’t reduced.

Given that some colleges hold down tuition and admit more students on Pell Grants — California’s public colleges, for instance — Koch asks why prestige-oriented public institutions elsewhere can’t do the same. Why must they have low percentages of such students? "Institutions, it seems to me, can make choices about how they want to go about things," he says.

If governors did better at selecting trustees, and gave them better guidance, the trustees would better fulfill "their primary responsibility, which is to the citizenry, and taxpayers, and students, rather than to the institution and its president," he says.

Koch’s consulting for boards has shown him that "board members oftentimes have become cheerleaders for the institution," whether they are considering a president’s new pet project or tuition increases.

When it comes to the latter, in particular, he says, "generally there are unanimous votes, and there are seldom any negative votes."

Peter Monaghan is a correspondent for The Chronicle.
00 2019-07-26
Hammond

‘Lion Up Recovery’ | Southeastern launches first collegiate recovery program in Louisiana


The Lion Up Recovery Advisory Council met for the first time recently to discuss Southeastern’s collegiate recovery program. Seated, from left, are Vice President for Student Affairs Eric Summers, Coordinator of Collegiate Recovery Madison Evans, Dean of Students Gabe Willis, Greg Snodgrass of Cumberland Heights, Chris Flanagan of River Place Hospital, Angie King of Beacon Behavioral Health, Angela Tyrone of Florida Parishes Human Service Authority, and Donna Bliss of Child Advocacy Services. Standing, from left, are University Counseling Center Director Peter Emerson, Tom Bennett of Acadia Health, Assistant Director of the UCC Annette Baldwin, Dan Gilmer of The Grove, Southeastern Reference and Instruction Librarian Ben Bell, Licensed Professional Counselor Stuart Carpenter, Andrea Peevy of the University Health Center, student Alaina Fontenot, Madison Nyquist of St. Christopher Addiction Treatment, and student William Sadler. Not pictured are Emily Meyers of LongBranch Treatment Center, Emily Simcoe of St. Christopher Addiction Treatment, community member Chip Thirstrup, and Felicia Kleinpeter of Imagine Recovery.

Southeastern Louisiana University will soon host the first and only collegiate recovery program at a public institution in Louisiana, according to school officials.

Scheduled to launch this fall, “Lion Up Recovery” is recognized by the Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE) and is a voluntary program to help students in recovery achieve their higher education goals.


00 2019-07-26
Houma/Thibodaux

Nicholls’ program helps black male students connect with campus


When Maurice Willis attended orientation for the culinary program at Nicholls State University last summer, there were only five black students in his group of around 25.

As a student who attended a multiracial high school in Texas with a large black population, he worried he wouldn’t have many black friends while attending a predominately white college like Nicholls.

“Everybody knows what it’s like to be the new kid at a new school,” he said. “It’s even more different to be at a new school in a different state with a different culture.”

But then, he learned about CROWN.

The CROWN program -- which stands for Colonels Retention of Winners Network -- is designed to connect first-year black male students with older students as mentors to help them build relationships on camps and improve retention. The program started in 2018. Willis’ class was the first set of 18 students.

“I really never had doubts that I would make friends, but it was a relief to be in the CROWN program,” said Willis, who is about to enter his sophomore year. “I would not have as many connections and friends that I do now.”

He said the support went beyond his mentor. Everyone in the program supported each other, pushing them to be better in school and become more involved on campus.

Nevertheless, he said his mentor, Brendon Bowser, Nicholls’ Alpha Phi Alpha Inc. chapter president, was like an older brother to him. They would talk about their goals and how they would achieve them.

Laughing, Willis said, “Every time we were about to go out, he would always ask me if I did my homework.”

When the students attended CROWN orientation ahead of the 2018 fall semester, they crafted the program’s motto, which highlighted the symbolism of its name and the importance of the relationships built.

The last line reads, “In this brotherhood, a king can’t be a king without the strength of his own brothers.”

For CROWN Council President Rodney Woods, the support of his mentor and the rest of the program’s participants decided whether he made it through his first year at Nicholls.

“March was a tough month,” he said. “A lot of things happened in life that I couldn’t control.”

Luckily, whenever he was overwhelmed or let his head hang, the group was there to lift him up. He said he didn’t go a day without receiving an encouraging message from someone checking in on him.

“It’s not only a group, it’s a brotherhood,” said the graphic design major. “Being a part of that, it just made me feel so welcome here at Nicholls.”

The program itself drew him to Nicholls in the first place. Woods said he was originally planning on going to an art institute to study photography, but one short meeting with program coordinator Farren Clark changed his mind.

“It was the love and support that he showed me in that 30 minutes that really drew my attention to come to Nicholls,” he said.

Clark, who is also an assistant professor of speech, said he was amazed by how the students grew the program over the past year.

“The way these guys have carried the goals of this program at a pace that is only expanding is beyond me,” he said.

Clark said he’s seen firsthand how black male students had struggled to connect with campus over the years, unable to see themselves reflected back at them in the student body or faculty.

“I would feel the numbers dwindle for black male students,” he said.

Especially for those who weren’t athletes, he added.

“With this being a university program, it shows the focus of our administration and leadership. And that this liberal arts college is focused on all students,” said Clark.

Over the year, the students would meet every Wednesday to hear from motivational speakers. They also read the book “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, which focuses on the realities of being black in the United States.

Clark said the program garnered support from a wide range of departments on campus, such as the dyslexia center. The director covered the cost of giving a copy of the book to every student in the program.

“CROWN is not separate from the university, but its goal is to be that bridge to various parts of the university,” he said.

Ultimately, Clark said the program helps students carry their momentum from their high school graduation into their first year of college.

“Because these young men are royalty,” he said. “Their ideas, their aspirations, their talents extend in so many directions and on so many levels.”

As sophomores, both Willis and Woods plan on being mentors to the next cohort of freshmen.

They said they aim to provide the same level of support to their mentees that their mentor did, or more.

“As a mentor, I want to be my mentee’s go-to person,” said Willis.

Woods said he would like to see other schools start programs similar to CROWN.

“It gave a safe place for us black men at the school to talk about what’s going on in life,” he said. “It should be at any other school as well.”

Staff Writer Halle Parker can be reached at hparker@houmatoday.com or 857-2204. Follow her on Twitter, @_thehalparker.
00 2019-07-26
Monroe

Sutton named interim dean of ULM College of Health Sciences


The University of Louisiana Monroe announces the appointment of Jana Sutton, as Interim Dean of the College of Health Sciences.

Sutton has been Interim Director of the School of Allied Health since January 2018. Prior to her appointment to Allied Health, she was Program Director of Marriage and Family Therapy and Counseling Studies since May 2009. Sutton has been with ULM for 14 years.

Albert Ruiz, Vice President of Academic Affairs, said, “Dr. Sutton is committed to the success of ULM students. She also understands the growing demand for highly skilled health professionals. Her dedication and expertise make her an excellent interim leader for the College of Health Sciences.”

Sutton is a Louisiana Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy-Supervisor and American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy-Approved Supervisor. She is past-president of the Louisiana Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

ULM
ULM (Photo: Courtesy)

“I am excited to work with the faculty and administration to expand program offerings in the health sciences,” Sutton said. “I intend to collaborate closely with the community to ensure that workforce needs are met and ULM students are trained to immediately enter into health professions.”

She also plans an increased focus on interprofessional education and research.

Sutton received her master’s and Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from ULM. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of South Carolina.

Sutton, originally from England, lives in Monroe with her husband and their three sons.
00 2019-07-26
Regional/National

Textbook-Exchange Programs Are Saving Students Money. Will They Soon Be Obsolete?


Philip Miller learned early on that buying textbooks directly from his university bookstore was not an affordable option.

“I spent way too much on textbooks my freshman year, and then I realized, seeing what my classmates went through, that textbook prices can be a barrier to learning,” said Miller, a senior at Tufts University. “That is ridiculous when we have this $70,000 education, that textbook prices are preventing us from taking advantage of that.”

So, after getting involved in student government, he started pursuing his passion project: a textbook-exchange program that would facilitate student-to-student used-textbook sales. Student sellers contact the program’s organizers to list their used books and asking prices on a public spreadsheet, which student buyers peruse. Volunteers from the student government set up a physical location during the first few weeks of classes, and students flock to seal the deals.

The Future of Learning

The program has proved popular. Since it began, in September 2017, the program has facilitated the sale of more than 2,000 textbooks; saved students $177,000, Miller estimates; and inspired similar programs at other universities.

Cameron Barrett, a business graduate student at the University of Houston, last year created a textbook-exchange program as president of the Student Government Association. His program is different from Miller’s: Instead of facilitating the sale of used textbooks from student to student, the program collects textbooks as donations, amassing a stockpile of books for a wide array of courses. Students can then use the university library’s course-reserve system to check the books out, free, for the semester they’re enrolled in a given course.

But the success of such programs — which have their roots in the online student-to-student textbook market that’s been around for decades — may be short-lived. With textbook publishers like Pearson pivoting toward digital-first models, student textbook exchanges may run out of print books and courses that use them, leaving students with fewer options for affordable course materials.

Excitement and Expansion

Miller expected Tufts students to be excited about the program, and about their potential savings. What he didn’t expect was the flurry of emails and messages he received in the year that followed from students at other colleges who wanted his help in setting up programs of their own. Miller has helped student governments at Wesleyan, Ohio State, and Brandeis Universities build textbook-exchange programs.

Those programs’ popularity speaks to the growing recognition that high textbook prices place a heavy burden on students. According to a study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, textbook prices rose by more than three times the rate of inflation from 2002 to 2013.

So students have been turning toward alternative markets to rent or buy used textbooks. Sometimes that means going to Amazon Marketplace, taking to Facebook to troll for deals, or hawking their tomes on student-group pages and “buy/sell” groups.

Ariel Deutsch, a junior at Wesleyan University, was one of the first students to reach out to Miller. For her, the textbook-exchange program was merely a way to institutionalize that informal online market.

“What we’re doing is essentially facilitating exchanges that would already happen on Facebook, but streamlining it in a way that it makes these exchanges happen more quickly,” said Deutsch, who runs Wesleyan’s exchange program.

She added that apart from providing an accessible, physical location for the exchanges to happen, creating the programs is a way for student governments to call attention to the problems that necessitate such secondary-market transactions in the first place.

“Part of it is just like the idea of showing the responsibility to make student resources … accessible to as many people as possible,” she said. “The first step is really acknowledging that it’s a huge issue.”

‘Digital-First’ Puts Programs at Risk

But changes in publishing may render textbook exchanges less viable in the near future. Kaitlyn Vitez, director of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s higher-education campaign, said that publishers’ shift to digital textbooks, and the expiring access codes that may accompany them, are bad news for student textbook exchanges, which rely on the circulation of large volumes of print textbooks to remain feasible.

“The increased use of digital, expiring products … is explicitly designed to work around the ways that students have figured out how to work around the broken marketplace,” Vitez said. “It’s really exciting that student-government leaders want to make formal exchanges on their campuses, but in today’s broken textbook marketplace, those workarounds are going to be less effective.”

“Inclusive access programs,” in which students are automatically subscribed to digital textbooks upon enrolling in a course that requires them, are also increasingly popular. Colleges that use inclusive access are required to offer materials at discounted prices, and students are allowed to opt out. But automatic enrollment will almost certainly take a bite out of resale markets like student exchanges.

Student-run textbook-exchange programs, Vitez said, are a short-term solution to a long-term problem.

“It’s really trying to fix the problem that students have right now, and that’s: We need books for next semester. But students have a lot of power to ask for bigger commitments from their schools toward affordability,” she said.

An Institutional Alternative

Access to course materials can be made affordable even in a digitally dominated publishing field, but students can’t do it themselves.

Robert Butterfield runs a program at the University of Wisconsin-Stout that has been operating for more than 100 years. Through the program, students can gain access to all course materials, which Butterfield said amounts to an average of $1,500 in value, for $45 per class. He also said that next year students can probably expect a 12-percent drop in price.

“We do it through negotiation with publishers, we do it by buying used books, we do it by investing in things like inclusive access,” he said. “Our unofficial model here in my department is ‘finding affordability wherever it lives.’”

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Student fees pay for the entire program, which purchases textbooks and lends them out like a library system. For digital titles or access codes, Butterfield said, the program negotiates with companies to gain longer-term access to materials so they can be recycled from one year to the next.

Butterfield thinks cutting textbook costs is a good place for universities to start focusing on affordability problems.

“The likelihood that we’re going to reduce the high cost of tuition is low,” he said. “The ability for us to move the price of room and board is much more difficult, much more involved. But content is a way for us to address the high cost of education.”

Despite the daunting prospect of digitization, Miller, of Tufts, isn’t slowing down. He said he plans to form the Textbook Exchange Network, an umbrella organization unaffiliated with the university to host the software he wrote for his program. He’ll coordinate with interested student governments around the country.

“Our goal,” he said, “is to make textbooks as accessible as possible to as many students as possible.”

Liam Knox is an editorial intern at The Chronicle. Follow him on Twitter @liamhknox, or email him at liam.knox@chronicle.com.
00 2019-07-26
Ruston

Louisiana Tech to rebuild baseball stadium at current location


RUSTON — J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park will stay put.

Affectionately known as “The Love Shack,” Louisiana Tech’s home baseball stadium that suffered catastrophic damage after being hit by an EF-3 tornado in April, will remain at its current location on campus, Tech officials announced Thursday afternoon.

"The stadium remaining in the same location is great news to us," Louisiana Tech baseball coach Lane Burroughs said in a school release. "I know our players and coaches are excited about it. J.C. Love Field is such a unique and cozy setting for college baseball. Our players love it, and our fans love it."

Possible new sites for Tech’s baseball stadium included the intramural field on Alabama Drive across the street from Joe Aillet Stadium and also what’s known as “rugby field” on Tech Drive across the street from the Lambright Intramural Center. But after reviewing all the options, Louisiana Tech Athletic Director Tommy McClelland said keeping the baseball team’s home where it’s been since 1968 was the right move.

Louisiana Tech's baseball and softball stadium suffered extensive damage after an early morning tornado passed through Ruston, La. on April 25.Buy Photo
Louisiana Tech's baseball and softball stadium suffered extensive damage after an early morning tornado passed through Ruston, La. on April 25. (Photo: Nicolas Galindo/The News-Star)

“We looked at a number of sites in conjunction with the university as related to its strategic plan," McClelland said in the release. "Considering all factors, we decided it was best to remain at this historical, unique location. The combination of the student apartments beyond the outfield wall and the railroad tracks that run behind the fences makes for such a great setting for our fans to enjoy Tech baseball."

MORE | Riding the storm out: LA Tech seeks new homes for displaced teams

Damage to the Love Shack — large pieces of the concrete overhang above the stands were knocked down, the outfield fence from left centerfield to almost the right field foul pole leveled as well as the scoreboard and batting cages mangled — rendered the stadium “condemned.”

McClelland told The News-Star last month that the Bulldog baseball, softball and soccer teams were going to have to practice and play games at off-campus sites and that he was hopeful that demolition for all three stadiums, which the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors “pre-approved” during its monthly meeting in June, could begin “sometime this summer.” But according to the school’s release, that may not happen.

Future plans and where the school’s softball and soccer facilities that were also decimated by the tornado could end up are still being evaluated, officials said. Repair work for Tech’s tennis and track facilities is expected to start this fall.

McClelland told The News-Star in June that he believed it’s going to take $17 million to $22 million, after the university collects insurance money, funds from FEMA disaster relief and potential financial assistance from the state of Louisiana, to begin the process of rebuilding the baseball, softball and soccer stadiums.

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Although his team won’t be playing in its own home stadium in the spring of 2020, Burroughs said, he and his coaching staff and players can’t wait to get in its new facility by 2021.

“I know that everyone has been eager to know a direction, including us as coaches. It is human nature to want to know everything now, but this has been a learning process. I just want to thank Dr. Guice, Tommy McClelland, Adam McGuirt and everyone who is working so diligently to make sure this is done correctly,” Burroughs said.

“I know it is still early in the process, but we are excited about what the final product will do for our baseball program.”

Follow Cory Diaz on Twitter @CoryDiaz_TNS and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CoryDiazTNS/
00 2019-07-25
Lafayette

After complaints, University of Louisiana baseball unveils new parking plan for 2020 season


There will be a new parking plan in 2020 for fans attending games at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park.

The simplified parking structure will be more convenient for fans attending Louisiana Baseball games and efforts are being made to reduce conflicts with outside events, according to a release from the university.

This comes on the heels of 2019 parking changes that drew complaints from some fans and a 28-31 season for the UL baseball team that saw attendance fall as the season progressed.

In 2019, tailgating locations were added to the adjacent areas to Russo Park along Reinhardt and Stadium, allowing fans the opportunity to tailgate ahead of Louisiana Baseball's home contests, beginning at 8 a.m. on game dates. Additional tailgating areas are located along both Bertrand and West Congress.

“We are constantly looking for ways to improve the game day experiences for our fans and this parking plan will do just that,” Director of Athletics Bryan Maggard said Wednesday. “We listened to and heard our fans. These adjustments, along with our fan-friendly concessions, will provide for a great experience in one of the best venues in the country.”

As part of the new plan, the main parking lots across from Russo Park will be available for free to all fans on a first-come, first-serve basis, while utilizing the curbed parking lots adjacent to the stadium for premium seat holders, Founder’s Lot patrons, and accessible parking.

ADA compliant parking will have better access to the stadium, with two dedicated lots on either side of the Ragin' Cajuns Soccer/Track Facility along Reinhardt Drive.

Another key component is the return of a dedicated tailgating space outside the gates of Russo Park, which is free to all fans.

RV owners will now set up in the main parking lot for free on a first-come, first-serve basis. The new spaces include power receptacles that have been added to the row of transformers in this designated area.

Louisiana Athletics will take steps to work with outside organizers to limit multiple events happening in the lots surrounding the ballpark, according to the release.

One of those events is Mardi Gras, which will fall on a home baseball weekend. Each year, baseball fans have to share the Cajun Field parking lot with parades and a Mardi Gras carnival. Information on parking changes as a result of this event will be distributed to fans prior to those dates.

For more information on obtaining Founder’s Lot passes, contact the RCAF by calling (337)-851-2903 or emailing rcaf@louisiana.edu.
00 2019-07-25
Lafayette

Apres Midi: July 24, 2019, an interview with UL's Office of Sustainabilty


An interview with Monica Rowand from UL's Office of Sustainability concerning their upcoming event, "Sustainability from Campus to Community." The Office of Sustainability has parterned with Plan Lafayette to host an event that will highlight the Lafayette Community's vision for sustainable approaches to development, centered around the Lafayette Comprehensive Plan.

The Lafayette Comprehensive Plan is a parish-wide initiative to develop a vision and action plan for Lafayette 2035. The plan coordinates many aspects of the community including land use, transportation, public utilities, environmental, and historic resources.

This event will have four talks, all free of charge! Visit the links below to register for each one seperately!

The event is August 1st, 2019, located at Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE,) 537 Cajundome Blvd, Lafayette LA.

UL Lafayette Strategetic Sustainability Plan – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ul-sustainability-plan-tickets-64681249358
Lunch N Learn - Campus as a Living Lab – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/campus-as-a-living-lab-tickets-64687399754
Building a Sustainable Transportation Network – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lunch-n-learn-building-a-sustainable-transportation-network-tickets-64688240268
Solar PART Lab Tour and Electric Charging Station Ribbon Cutting – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/solar-part-lab-tour-and-electric-vehicle-charging-station-ribbon-cutting-tickets-64688592321
GreenDrinks – https://www.facebook.com/events/2905041099522668/

Visit the Lafayette Comprehensive Plan Facebook page for even more information.
00 2019-07-25
Lake Charles

Hemphill explains changes at McNeese


It's tough at the top. Bruce Hemphill should know.

The McNeese athletic director is going into his seventh athletic year leading the Cowboy athletic department. He's faced criticism – justified or otherwise – for a number of issues – perceived or otherwise – that those in his position usually receive the most flack for.

Hemphill sat down with the American Press for a Q&A at 2019 Southland Conference Football Media Day and asked him about things ranging from his health (he suffered a heart attack in June) to why the athletic department made some of they changes they made and the effect that LSU has or doesn't have on McNeese game-times.

David Berry: Before I get to sports, I know you had a medical episode (Hemphill confirmed it was a heart attack). How are you feeling right now?

Bruce Hemphill: Thanks for asking. (I'm) much better. As I tell people, I'm getting back to abnormal. (The return of) stamina and strength will be gradual, but it's coming.

DB: This year, there's a lot of excitement (for football) with the hire of a new head coach. What's been your point of view on the outside excitement on the program?

BH: One, there is much excitement. Not only because of the excitement coach Gilbert is bringing, but the excitement from the players. I think opening the season with Southern is huge. Not only because it'll be his first ballgame, but also because of the rivalry between the two. The way that it ended many years ago, a hurricane stopped the game from being played. Having this game open up the season, the excitement that it's bringing between the two universities is fantastic.

DB: With the changes brought to home side and sideline of Cowboy Stadium (from the east to the west side) and the change of kickoff times for the last three home games (from 6 p.m. up to 4 p.m.) what has been the general feedback on those two moves?

BH: First, with the sideline, the first question that we got when we first talked about switching sides was, we never understood why it was that way to begin with. We're probably one of the few universities in the country that was doing it that way. So we looked at it like that it's a chance to be on the home side like everybody else. To be out of the sun, also, will be a big advantage for us. So now on the other side, it will be the visiting team, the visiting fans, visiting band. We've given our fans plenty of opportunity, if they want to switch sides, to come back to the home side.

As far as the game times, we knew that early August and September are going to be very hot. So we knew we wanted to keep those games at six. Coach Gilbert and I and (McNeese State University president) Dr. Burckel talked about the last three games knowing that last year, when we played Lamar at (3 p.m.), that was our second-biggest crowd of the year. So always looking at ways to increase the fan experience and increase our fan base.

DB: How much, if at all, does the athletic department factor in LSU football start times when it comes to determining McNeese football start times?

BH: No we don't (factor that) because of obviously the weather in August and September. No matter what time LSU is playing, we know we need to play at six. And by the second half of the season, LSU has not set their game times. But we need to have our games set.

DB: From an entire athletic department standpoint, what in your opinion is the state of the athletic department?

BH: We're making progress. We're getting better across the board. I think one of the things you'll see in the hiring of coach Gilbert, coach Schroyer, keeping our coaches, is our increase in the McNeese brand across the country. It's known more and more, not only through social media, but winning. We're continuing to make progress, obviously graduating our players. Winning, and having a great experience for our student-athletes as well as our fans.

DB: How is fundraising going for the athletic department at this moment?

BH: With the state limitations that we have, the southwest delegation has done a great job of increasing the brand of McNeese over in Baton Rouge. But we've got limitations. That's why we've got to depend on now, more than ever before, on private donations. I think the big way you can see it now is what we've done facility-wise. That's the number-one thing recruits want to see, is the commitment that the university has made towards athletics.

David Berry covers McNeese State athletics. Email him at dberry@americanpress.com
00 2019-07-25
Monroe

Annual ULM alumni meeting slated for Aug. 1


The Franklin Parish University of Louisiana at Monroe Alumni Chapter is hosting its annual banquet at Brown’s Landing Restaurant beginning 6 p.m. Aug. 1.

Dr. Nick Bruno, president of ULM, will be keynote speaker and will update attendees on university activities.

Other expected guests will be new athletic director, Scott MacDonald, Brooks Williams, new women’s basketball coach and Molly Fichtner, softball coach.

There will not be an auction of items this year. We ask for donations to the scholarship fund which are tax deductible. A Franklin Parish student receives the scholarship annually.

The meal is dutch treat.
00 2019-07-25
New Orleans

New 'culinary medicine' course teaches medical students healthy recipes


LAPLACE, La. — It's likely that at some point your doctor told you to change your diet for better health, but has your doctor ever given you the ingredients list to modify your favorite dish?

Soon, that could be part of your future medical exam.

LSU Health medical students in their third year are the first to try the pilot program, an elective at the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nichols State University.

"Food is often sort of seen as the enemy to health, but I think that this course is really showing us that it can also be a positive thing, and part of the solution as well," said Kelsey Lacourrege, a third year LSUHSC medical student.

It's not a typical medical school class. A recent assignment: Lactation cookies, the kind to help a nursing mom and her baby.

"There is science behind it. It's the flax seed and brewer's yeast that are included in the cookies. Not a whole lot of sugar in them," said chef John Kozar, Head of the Culinary Institute.

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"Whenever it comes time to talking to my patients and educating them, I can really spend a little bit more time and really go that extra, extra mile to help them, and make sure that they don't end up coming back and seeing me too often," said Evan Villemez, a third year LSUHSC medical student.

The culinary medicine course is part lecture from dieticians about nutrition for people with chronic illness like diabetes, the elderly, athletes, pregnant women, and even religion's role in food choices. There are field trips to the grocery, cardiac rehab, hospital cafeteria services, as well as time in the kitchen.

ALSO: Alcohol and summer heat don't mix

"Students learn about food and health and they incorporate that into their own health care routines, and their own self care. And that have been shown to improve how they can counsel patients," said Dr. Robin English, a Pediatric Hospitalist and Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Medical Education at LSUHSC.

They've made baked "fried" chicken with corn flakes, grains and yogurt, rather than white flour and eggs, and taste test compared muffins with egg yokes and without. So in the future, the prescription your doctor writes, may just be his or her favorite recipe.

The intensive culinary medicine class lasts two weeks.
00 2019-07-25
Regional/National

Do Title IX Protections Discriminate Against Fraternity Members?


A lawsuit filed by the parents of a Louisiana State University student who died during a fraternity hazing ritual could drastically reform college disciplinary systems nationwide if it is successful.

This month, a federal judge agreed that a groundbreaking legal argument by the student's parents potentially has merit. The parents' argument is that fraternity members and pledges at the state's flagship institution are far more at risk than their sorority counterparts because the university disregarded the dangerous and sometimes fatal hazing activities that occur among men in Greek life and cracked down on the women more severely.

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The lawyer for the parents of Max Gruver -- an 18-year-old who died in 2017 after being forced to chug hard liquor -- alleged this violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal law barring sex discrimination at public and private educational institutions that receive federal funds.

Title IX cases often grab headlines because the law prohibits sexual violence on college campuses, a problem that has received increased media scrutiny and prompted public outrage in the past decade. In recent years, however, advocates for students accused of sexual assault have increasingly asserted that guidance on Title IX issued by the Obama administration on how these cases should be adjudicated infringed on the due process rights of the accused.

Still, the law has never been tested in a case involving hazing and purported gender inequities in Greek life. Legal observers said this interpretation of Title IX stretches its boundaries and could prompt others to challenge colleges' disciplinary measures with legal arguments that have not applied under the law.

“You would need to be watching every equity point -- to traffic court, to sabbaticals, to discipline in residence halls,” said Peter Lake, director of the Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy at Stetson University in Florida. “You would need to have an equity monitor at all times … the infrastructure to monitor this would be extremely costly and fairly intrusive.”

U.S. District Court Judge Shelly D. Dick wrote in a recent ruling that she would allow the Title IX allegations in the Gruver family's lawsuit to go to trial. They are seeking $25 million in damages.

Dick was persuaded by the argument that men involved in Louisiana State’s Greek system possibly “face a risk of serious injury and death,” which is a far cry from how university administrators publicly portray Greek culture on campus.

The lawsuit notes that university officials sent Max Gruver a book -- Greek Tiger, a guide to fraternity and sorority life at the institution -- the summer before he arrived on campus, and that his parents say encouraged him to join. But the handbook did not mention the “rampant” hazing incidents in fraternities, the lawsuit states.

Institutions rarely publicize fraternity or sorority infractions, even serious incidents such as hazing and sexual assaults, and it’s a long-standing problem, said John Hechinger, senior editor at Bloomberg News and author of True Gentlemen: The Broken Pledge of America’s Fraternities.

“It’s sort of shocking that colleges promote these organizations when all of these terrible things have been happening," he said.

Four fraternity pledges, including Gruver, have died from hazing at Louisiana State since 1979. In contrast, “hazing of female Greek students is virtually nonexistent,” the lawsuit states.

The Gruver family's lawyer, Douglas Fierberg, contends that because the university has essentially protected sorority members by limiting hazing among them, it has violated Title IX by not doing the same for fraternities.

Louisiana State countered in court filings that Title IX did not apply in this case.

Judge Dick disagreed.

“If these facts are proven, a jury may infer that LSU’s policy created the heightened risk to Greek male students of serious injury or death by hazing, thereby inflicting the injury alleged herein,” she wrote in her ruling.

Matthew Naquin, 21, the accused ringleader of the hazing against Max Gruver, was recently found guilty of negligent homicide. Gruver had been made to recite the Greek alphabet as part of a hazing episode -- he was forced to take swigs of 190-proof liquor each time he erred. An autopsy revealed Gruver died from alcohol poisoning.

Ernie Ballard, a Louisiana State spokesman, declined to comment on Dick’s ruling other than to say it was a preliminary motion. He did provide a written statement on the verdict related to Naquin.

“Our hearts ache for the Gruvers and all those impacted by this trial and the verdict,” the statement said. “Hazing is an irresponsible and dangerous activity that we do not tolerate at LSU. These tragedies, and the penalties that follow, can be prevented and we have been working diligently to put more safeguards, education and reporting outlets in place for our students regarding hazing. [The] verdict shows that allegations of hazing are fully investigated, and those found responsible face criminal charges.”

While the Gruvers won in moving the lawsuit forward, Gentry McCreary, chief executive officer of Dyad Strategies, which consults with institutions on Greek life, said he doubts their rationale on Title IX would hold up during a trial.

McCreary said the initial strategy was “brilliant,” as many institutions would be tempted to settle during this phase in the legal proceedings. But he said the lawsuit would likely fall through unless the data supported the lawsuit’s theory.

A settlement is more likely, he said. He cited the settlement between Pennsylvania State University and the family of Tim Piazza, a fraternity pledge who died after being forced to drink until, intoxicated, he tumbled down a flight of stairs. Fraternity members carried him to a couch but did not get him medical care, and he died the next day.

The Penn State settlement encouraged fraternities to enact new safeguards to stop hazing, including having a “trained adult” who is not a chapter member live in the Greek houses. Penn State also must provide more training against hazing and on alcohol abuse as part of the settlement.

Courts and lawmakers nationwide are taking hazing more seriously. The governor of Florida just signed one of the country's toughest antihazing laws. Legislation has been proposed in Louisiana that would require universities to immediately report hazing incidents to law enforcement. It would also force institutions to document every step they take in responding to hazing complaints.

Lake theorized that if Louisiana State wanted to settle, it may have offered to earlier on. He believes Fierberg, the attorney representing the Gruvers, may not want to settle. Because his argument was so unorthodox, he may not have expected to win, Lake said. Now, Fierberg is leading one of the most significant college discipline lawsuits in higher education, Lake said.

“If he’s successful, lawsuits will be filed in every federal court on this,” Lake said.
00 2019-07-24
Baton Rouge

Louisiana's college campuses crumble as LSU locker room gets $28M makeover


BATON ROUGE — LSU’s unveiling of its posh $28 million football locker room this week sparked a social media debate about priorities as many of Louisiana's college campuses crumble under the weight of almost $2 billion in deferred maintenance.

Although all of the LSU football renovations were paid for by private donors, it highlighted the disparity for state-funded infrastructure at colleges and universities.

MORE: LSU unveils jaw-dropping renovations to its Football Operations Building

Leaky roofs, mildew-stained ceilings, threadbare carpet, pipes propped up by two-by-fours and parking lot potholes can be found from Louisiana Tech University to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, from Northwestern State to LSU-Shreveport and from the University of Louisiana at Monroe to Central Louisiana Technical Community College.

LSU's locker room renovation was noted in a Chronicle of Higher Education story with the headline: "LSU Just Unveiled a $28-Million Football Facility. The Flood-Damaged Library Is Still ‘Decrepit.’"

MORE: Jay Bilas takes shot at NCAA over LSU's extravagant football locker room


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Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards and the Republican-controlled Legislature have stabilized higher education's operating budgets, but there's not been a large enough infusion of money to dent the deferred maintenance backlog.

"Our facilities are disintegrating from the inside out," University of Louisiana System President Jim Henderson said two years ago.

MARCH 2017: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards: 'We are failing our students'

Since then, little has changed.

"It's an issue that grows every year," Henderson told USA Today Network Tuesday.

“Each year that we're unable to address facility needs the problems accumulate and worsen until at some point they can't be repaired,"”

Monty Sullivan, president of Louisiana Community and Technical College
"The investment in the LSU athletic program by private donors is a tremendous asset to LSU and Louisiana," Henderson said. "It's really a different conversation from deferred maintenance, but I'm happy it has prompted the conversation."

Henderson said the system's nine presidents will meet in Baton Rouge next week for their annual retreat.

"It's something we plan to talk about collectively to identify non-traditional methods like public-private partnership to address the problem," he said.

The LSU System alone has more than $1 billion in deferred maintenance needs, including $718 million at its Baton Rouge campus, while the University of Louisiana System has a $364 million backlog, the Southern University System has a $184 million backlog and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System has $150 million in unmet maintenance.

"Each year that we're unable to address facility needs the problems accumulate and worsen until at some point they can't be repaired," Louisiana Community and Technical College President Monty Sullivan has said.


Grambling State President Rick Gallot said the university must abandon its library because of issues created by deferred maintenance. Greg Hilburn/USA Today Network

Deferred maintenance by campus
Following is an itemized list of deferred maintenance on every campus as of 2017:

University of Louisiana System

Grambling State: $48.9 million
Louisiana Tech: $41.3 million
McNeese State: $26.7 million
Nicholls State: $39.1 million
Northwestern State: $30.5 million
Southeastern Louisiana: $48.1 million
University of Louisiana at Lafayette: $44 million
University of Louisiana at Monroe: $46.8 million
University of New Orleans: $39 million
System total: $364 million
LSU System

LSU: $718 million
LSU AgCenter: $14.1 million
LSU Health Sciences Center-New Orleans: $249 million
LSU Health Sciences Center-Shreveport: $55.7 million
LSU-Alexandria: $6.4 million
LSU-Eunice: $13.2 million
LSU-Shreveport: $2.3 million
LSU Pennington: $5.7 million
LSU Health Care Services Division: $3.2 million
System total: $1.06 billion
Southern University System

Southern: $156 million
Southern-New Orleans: $16.2 million
Southern-Shreveport: $11.2 million
System total: $184 million
Louisiana Community and Technical College System

Baton Rouge Community College: $5.3 million
Central Louisiana Technical Community College: $10.2 million
Delgado: $54.1 million
Fletcher Technical Community College: $8.7 million
Louisiana Delta Community College: $10.3 million
Northshore Technical Community College: $3.6 million
Nunez: $1.9 million
Northwest Louisiana Technical College: $14 million
South Central Louisiana Technical College: $7.5 million
South Louisiana Community College: $20.2 million
SOWELA: $14.2 million
System total: $150 million
Source: state of Louisiana

Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.
00 2019-07-24
Baton Rouge

LSU professor on new football locker room: 'This state values athletics more than academics'


The LSU professor who helped ignite arguments around the school's new football locker room and other improvements said Tuesday the issue points up how athletics trumps academics in Louisiana.

Fiery debate about LSU football's renovated operations center erupts on social media
Fiery debate about LSU football's renovated ops center erupts: 'No university or taxpayers dollars were used'
"It seems to me that academics are even less important to us than they were 20 years ago," said Robert Mann, professor of mass communications at LSU and a veteran of the political arena himself.

"We have largely abandoned higher education in this state compared to where we were 20 years ago," said Mann, who worked for former Gov. Kathleen Blanco and U.S. Sen. Russell Long, both Democrats.

What sparked the bickering was the announcement that LSU was opening a nearly $28 million Football Operations and Performance Nutrition Center, including a state-of-the-art football locker room.

LSU football just turned its locker room into 'first class' pods with sleep space
LSU football just turned its locker room into 'first class' pods with sleep space
The work was financed with private dollars from the Tiger Athletic Foundation, which supports athletics, and former football players.

LSU officials said TAF, like other support groups, is fulfilling its mission.

"We are excited about the renovation of the LSU Football Operations and Performance Nutrition Center along with all the great facilities we've been able to update recently across campus," Ernie Ballard, a spokesman for the school, said in an email.

Ballard noted that no student tuition dollars, fees or state dollars were used to pay for the center.

Former star Tyrann Mathieu helped finance the Football Operations Center and the Mathieu Players Lounge.

"Not only did we donate money for a new facility, I also started a scholarship fund as well," Mathieu tweeted on Tuesday.

"I can see a lot of people are in their feelings about what I choose to do with my money," he wrote. "Please read the entire print."

Roger Neustadter, a part-time resident of New Orleans who was traveling in Italy on Tuesday, noted that LSU is one of the few schools with self-sustaining athletic programs.

"If athletics are self-supporting and people choose to donate $ to it rather than to academics that is their choice whether we agree or not," Neustadter said in an email.

But after a decade of higher education cuts at LSU and other schools, and a backlog of capital needs, the announcement has re-ignited arguments about state support for academics.

The Chronicle of Higher Education did a story with the headline, "LSU Just Unveiled a $28 Million Football Facility, The Flood-Damaged Library is Still Decrepit."

'We just have to do better': Gov. John Bel Edwards notes neglect as he, lawmakers tour LSU library
The reference is to Middleton Library, which is plagued by water leaks and other issues.

Mann said the headline "accurately reflects the fact that this state values athletics more than academics."

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Said Mann, "I am not begrudging athletics for what they can raise money for and build."

"I just think that it highlights this massive disparity on campus, this best of times/worst of times situation that we have," he said.

Academic fundraising through the LSU Foundation has long trailed dollars raised by the TAF.

The Advocate reported in 2016 that, in a typical year, athletic donations total about $45 million compared to about $41 million for the LSU Foundation.

Of the nine schools in the Southeastern Conference with separate foundations for athletics and academics LSU was the lone school where athletics outpaced aid for the classroom.

School officials said that trend has since changed.

In March LSU launched a $1.5 billion fundraising drive.

"Many of the fundraising priorities in the $1.5 billion "Fierce for the Future Campaign" focus on increasing scholarship funding, supporting faculty and investing in programs and facilities that drive innovation," the foundation said in an email.

Backers of TAF contend that, for LSU to be competitive in football and other sports, a source of private fund-raising is essential.

TAF dollars help finance scholarships, the maintenance of Mike the Tiger's habitat and even the east upper deck of Tiger Stadium. The organization also donated $11.8 million to the academic side in 2017 and helped defray costs for over 450 athletes, according to the most recent tax filings.

Ballard said TAF benefits athletics "and their donors give to TAF with that goal in mind."

"Other foundations at LSU raise funds for academics and academic facilities, such as the recently-completed Patrick F. Taylor Hall, the finest engineering building in the country; renovated the French House, home to our Honors College and the new Business Education Complex," he said.

TAF leaders did not respond to a request for comment.

Catherine McKinney, a rising senior from St. Francisville who plans to attend law school, said the state Legislature should pay more attention to the academic side of the school.

"When LSU comes around and says they are having a budget shortfall just a few weeks ago and then TAF slaps $28 million on an athletic facility it is a little frustrating to students in the library that has flood damage," McKinney said.
00 2019-07-24
Lafayette

UL Lafayette teams up with Project Beloved to provide a special area for victims of sexual assault to talk with police


Molly Jane Matheson, a 22-year-old college student in Fort Worth, Texas, wanted to become a social worker so she could help troubled youth.

She was enrolled at a community college, and was mulling over options for transferring to a larger school.

That will never happen.

On April 10, 2017, her mother, Tracy Matheson, discovered “the worst nightmare a parent could possibly ever dream up” inside Molly Jane’s apartment. She found her daughter’s body. The next day, Matheson learned that Molly Jane’s death was ruled a homicide and that her daughter had been raped.

On the one-year anniversary of her daughter’s murder, Matheson established Project Beloved: The Molly Jane Mission. Through the nonprofit, she serves as an advocate for survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence.

Matheson worked with Texas legislators to help establish Molly Jane’s law, for example. It will mandate that law enforcement agencies in Texas enter information about suspects into a national database that helps them identify serial offenders and track similarities in sexual assaults. The law will go into effect Sept. 1.

Project Beloved also has given Matheson a way to help victims “find their voices.” With the help of two interior designer friends who volunteer for Project Beloved, Matheson furnishes “soft” interview rooms in police stations.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is the first university in the nation to partner with Project Beloved to give sexual assault and domestic violence victims a special area where they can talk with investigators. It’s a small interview room inside the recently renovated police station in Bittle Hall.

The cozy space is bathed in muted lighting, holds three blue leather chairs draped with blankets, and has paintings of nature scenes on its walls.

Aesthetics aren’t the impetus for the décor. Matheson said “soft” interview rooms – as opposed to stark, institutional rooms – are designed to soothe traumatized crime victims. The rooms assist law enforcement investigations, she added.

“It’s a tool for police to investigate sexual assaults. I believe with every fiber of my being that soft interview rooms yield better results. There is going to be a different dynamic between law enforcement and victims,” she said.

Victims in comforting environments are better able to recall details and relay accounts of what happened to them during police interviews, according to Matheson.

Lt. Darren Zachary, a ULPD investigator, agrees. “It takes courage for sexual assault survivors to come forth and tell their stories. A person who has been traumatized is dealing with a lot of emotions. A person who has been assaulted will open up more in an environment that is more inviting than a standard interview room.

“I think this room has the potential to help so many survivors. Hopefully, we never have to use it, but realistically we know we probably will have to. And we’ll be able to share it with other law enforcement agencies, too, because we all work together,” he said.

In April, Zachary began researching soft interview rooms after attending conferences that focused on sexual assault and violence against women. He found Project Beloved’s website, and contacted Matheson. She readily agreed to make ULPD the second law enforcement agency she has assisted through Project Beloved. Matheson recently helped install a soft interview room at the Angleton County Sheriff’s Department in Lufkin, Texas.

Last week, Matheson traveled from Fort Worth – transporting furniture and accessories Project Beloved donated to ULPD – to help officers furnish the room.

“It’s been good for me to have something to really take my grief and channel it in this direction. I still miss her every moment of every day, and I’d do anything for five more minutes with her. But that isn’t going to happen.

“The only thing I can do now is make sure that her legacy lives on and that her death brings change.”

Learn more about Project Beloved.

Photo: Lt. Darren Zachary partnered with nonprofit Project Beloved to set up a “soft” interview room for victims of sexual assault and violence in ULPD’s recently renovated police station in Bittle Hall. Rachel Rafati / University of Louisiana at Lafayette
00 2019-07-24
Lafayette

Holli' Conway is part of Broadway-bound Tina Turner musical


Holli' Conway, Miss Louisiana 2018, will be making her Broadway debut at the same time as "TINA — The Tina Turner Musical."

The show is set to open in the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in the fall. The first preview will be Oct. 12. Opening night is set for Nov. 7.

Conway is listed in the cast list as an Ikette and member of the ensemble.

Broadway has always been her dream. She majored in theater with an emphasis on musical theater at Northwestern State University and previously acted as a playlist production vocalist for Carnival cruise lines.

Conway will be on stage with Tony-nominated Adrienne Warren playing Tina Turner. (Nkeki Obi-Melekwe will play Tina at some performances.) Daniel J. Watts is cast as Ike Turner. Dawnn Lewis is set to play Zelma, and Myra Lucretia Taylor will play Gran Georgeanna.

Conway ended her reign as Miss Louisiana in June. She has lived in Lafayette and Monroe.

Miss Louisiana 2018 Holli' Conway practices a song on Aug. 21, 2018. She won the Miss America talent preliminary last year and is set to make her Broadway debut in fall 2019.
Miss Louisiana 2018 Holli' Conway practices a song on Aug. 21, 2018. She won the Miss America talent preliminary last year and is set to make her Broadway debut in fall 2019. (Photo: Bonnie Bolden/The News-Star)

Last year: Meet Miss Louisiana 2018 Holli' Conway

2019: Holli' Conway talks about Miss Louisiana reign, chasing dreams
00 2019-07-24
Regional/National

More States Are Passing Campus Free-Speech Laws. Are They Needed, or Is the Crisis Talk Overblown?


When Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas signed a law last month mandating free speech across public-college campuses, he recorded himself shaking his finger at the camera and putting potential censors on notice. “Shouldn’t have to do it. First Amendment guarantees it. Now, it’s law in Texas,” the Republican intoned as he pulled out his pen.
Weeks earlier, another governor wasn’t so accommodating when a free-speech bill landed on his desk. In May, Montana’s governor, Steve Bullock, a Democrat running for president, vetoed that measure, calling it “a solution in search of a problem.”

Just as Abbott later pointed out, he wrote, the First Amendment already provides the basic protections. “These rights do not lessen in any way when a student walks onto a university campus,” he wrote.

The bill, Bullock wrote, “appears to be driven by recent headlines accusing public universities of free-speech restrictions around speakers who visit their campuses.” He said university leaders across the state had assured him that their policies “are entirely consistent with — and, indeed, promote — our constitutional values of free speech and free assembly.”

Leadership Insights: Managing a Crisis

Still, more than a dozen states are now extending such protections to public-college campuses.

So what gives? If free speech is guaranteed under the First Amendment, why are so many states in a rush to enact bills doubling down on those protections? Are they, as one skeptic suggests, largely symbolic gestures aimed at appealing to conservative voters who feel their views are being quashed in academe? Or are they a necessary check on campuses that are going overboard in shielding students from views that offend them?

At least 16 states have approved such laws, which proponents say are needed to prevent controversial speakers from being disinvited or shouted down by protesters. Many of the laws also aim to ensure that an entire campus — not just a designated free-speech zone — is open to demonstrations and protests.

Skeptics, however, worry that some of the laws interfere with colleges’ autonomy and could have the unintended consequence of squelching all forms of protest.

Among the measures’ most powerful backers is the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, which works with legislators to shape and fine-tune their laws.

“Even when the bills don’t pass, it puts schools on notice that legislators are watching,” said Joe Cohn, FIRE’s legislative and policy director. “It’s a powerful incentive for schools to snap into shape.”

‘Red Meat for the Base’
But some provisions go too far for the foundation. Mandatory expulsion for students who shout down speakers, for instance, risks trampling on the free-speech rights of the protesters, it cautions. When such punishments are set by legislators, campus administrators may apply them rigidly, without assessing individual culpability, meaning that someone participating in a group protest is treated in the same way as someone who plays a key role in intentionally disrupting an event.

President Trump wants colleges to know the feds are also watching. In March he issued an executive order requiring colleges to support free speech if they want to get federal research funds. Critics have questioned how federal officials will determine if speech is being protected, and asked whether the requirement will simply burden colleges with another layer of reporting duties.

State laws protecting free speech raise similar issues. “The big question for me is whether or not this legislation is essentially a kind of red meat for the base,” said Michael C. Behrent, a member of the American Association of University Professors’ Committee on Government Relations.

“Is it just feel-good legislation for conservatives to get mileage around a culture-war issue?”
“Is it just feel-good legislation for conservatives to get mileage around a culture-war issue?” added Behrent, an associate professor of history at Appalachian State University, in North Carolina. “If anything, the main effect will likely be to remind campuses to follow the commitments they already have.” Most are already well aware, he said, of their First Amendment obligations.

Even Trump hinted as much when he said, in 2018, that “the vast majority” of people on college campuses supported free speech and that talk of a crisis was “highly overblown.”

In a report for the AAUP, Behrent wrote that campus free-speech advocates speak in a way that seems to invoke core AAUP principles: “They argue that colleges and universities should not shelter students from upsetting ideas, that administrators should not cancel engagements by speakers who might offend campus constituencies, and that institutions of higher education must be protected as spaces for vigorous, albeit civil, disagreement.”

But rather than a commitment to academic principles, the impetus behind the legislation, he said, is “brazenly political.”

His own state of North Carolina became, in 2017, the first to enact a free-speech bill modeled on a proposal by the Goldwater Institute, a conservative and libertarian think tank.

“The idea of a 'free-speech zone' might sound appealing in theory. But in practice, these zones function more like free-speech quarantines.”
Among other things, it calls for strict disciplinary measures against people found to have violated the free-speech rights of others, expects colleges and universities to be neutral on public issues, and instructs the state’s systemwide Board of Governors to report each year on the state of campus free speech.

Many of the state laws take aim at “free-speech zones,” designated places on a campus where students can protest, presumably in a safer, less disruptive way than opening the entire campus to demonstrations.

“The idea of a ‘free-speech zone’ might sound appealing in theory,” FIRE said in a post on its website. “But in practice, these zones function more like free-speech quarantines, banishing student and faculty speakers to outposts that may be tiny, on the fringes of campus, or (frequently) both.”

‘Suing Your School 101’
The proportion of colleges that limit demonstrations and similar activities to free-speech zones has dropped from about one in six in 2013 to one in 10 in 2018, according to a FIRE survey of public and private two- and four-year colleges.

Pierce College, part of the Los Angeles Community College District, agreed last year to open the main parts of its campus to protests and demonstrations after a student who was handing out Spanish-language copies of the U.S. Constitution sued the college. The student, who was also seeking recruits for a campus chapter of Young Americans for Liberty, said his First Amendment rights had been violated when he was told he had to stay within a 616-square-foot “free-speech” area, which a local newspaper described as roughly the size of three parking spots.

Some of the state bills seek to make it easier for people who feel their rights have been violated to sue their colleges or universities, a provision that has many campuses worried. Kentucky’s free-speech law, for instance, allows people to sue for up to $100,000.

Fears that such laws would open a floodgate of lawsuits haven’t materialized, but some campus officials remain worried. A few lawsuits have been filed against colleges that canceled talks by white supremacists like Richard B. Spencer. Meanwhile, Turning Point USA, a conservative political-action group, was widely reported to have titled a conference breakout session “Suing Your School 101: Knowing and Defending the First Amendment on Campus.”

Proponents of added free-speech protections say they can close a “graduation loophole” that, in theory, could allow a college or university to drag out a case until a student plaintiff graduates and no longer has standing to sue.

To address that potential problem, some free-speech laws require a court to award financial damages if plaintiffs can prove their rights were violated. Courts would have to keep the cases open even if the plaintiffs had graduated, FIRE’s Cohn said.

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Mildred García, president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, agrees with those who consider talk of a free-speech crisis overblown. When she was president of California State University at Fullerton, many professors and students urged her to call off a speech by the conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos.

The costs, and risks, of such an appearance are now well known. The University of California at Berkeley spent around $800,000 in security costs to enable Yiannopoulos to speak for 20 minutes in 2017 and a total of some $4 million for a series of provocative speeches that fall.

Despite the opposition to Yiannopoulos’s appearance at Fullerton, García said she couldn’t cancel the speech. Instead, she beefed up the police presence with helicopters and sharpshooters, and the protests were largely contained. When universities bend over backward to accommodate controversial speakers, “you’ll never hear about it because he didn’t get the response he wanted,” she said.

“In all of the universities I’m familiar with, there is a marketplace of ideas, and we really protect free speech,” she said. “That’s what makes a university.”

Katherine Mangan writes about community colleges, completion efforts, and job training, as well as other topics in daily news. Follow her on Twitter @KatherineMangan, or email her at katherine.mangan@chronicle.com.
00 2019-07-24
Shreveport

Sponsors Commit to Cybersecurity Workforce Development by Supporting Community College Cyber Summit


A growing number of businesses see the value in teaching the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. The Community College Cyber Summit (3CS) is the premier conference that prepares educators to grow the future workforce. Several big sponsors have already contributed to this cause and will be showing their support at 3CS.

The 3CS is a yearly event focused solely on cybersecurity education at community colleges. Faculty, administrators, students, employers, colleges, government and industries benefit from the hands-on workshops, presentations, speakers, job fair and fun activities offered. This year, 3CS is scheduled July 30 to Aug. 1 at Bossier Parish Community College in Bossier City, Louisiana.

Sponsors, as much as the presenters and participants, make this high-level event possible. Not only do they help provide educational opportunities, but they also connect with hundreds of faculty, administrators and students across the country eager to learn best practices, latest technologies, curricula and products to take back home.

Some current 3CS sponsors devoted to furthering cybersecurity education include Bay Path University, Cyber Innovation Center, EC-Council, General Dynamics Information Technology, IBM Security, Northwestern State University, Palo Alto Networks, and Red Hat, all of which are Platinum sponsors. SynED/California Cyberhub is a Diamond sponsor, which is a high-level sponsorship at $10,000.

“Sponsors are essential to 3CS success,” said Dr. Bob Spear, the 3CS Chair. “The enormous amount of time, energy and commitment they provide attendees is outstanding. From presentations of cutting-edge technologies to contributing to cybersecurity career exploration options, we simply wouldn't have the interactive, hands-on summit we're able to host without them!"

For more information, visit http://www.my3cs.org.

About Community College Cyber Summit:
The Community College Cyber Summit (3CS) is organized and produced by the National CyberWatch Center, National Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance (CSSIA), CyberWatch West (CWW), and Broadening Advanced Technological Education Connections (BATEC), which are all funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The outcomes of 3CS will leverage community college cybersecurity programs across the nation by introducing the latest technologies, best practices, curricula, products and more. To learn more, visit http://www.my3cs.org.
00 2019-07-23
Monroe

Family and friends honor slain Grambling student with candlelight vigil


WINNSBORO, La. (KNOE) - A stormy Monday night didn’t stop family and friends from honoring the memory of Waneshia Bush.


Family and friends gathered Monday to honor the memory of Waneshia Bush. Bush was shot and killed by a stray bullet at a birthday party early Sunday morning.
Bush was shot and killed while at a 17-year-old’s birthday party at the corner of Blanson and Smith Street in Winnsboro early Sunday morning. Franklin Parish Sheriff Kevin Cobb says the 21-year-old was hit by a stray bullet after an argument between two groups of men got out of hand.

Those who knew Bush considered her as one of the few bright spots in the Franklin Parish community. The young woman was a rising junior at Grambling State University and an honor student.

"NeNe was loving, NeNe was caring, she was free-hearted, free-spirited, she was all of the above, she was a diva, and she would light up a room when she walked in a room. She was that type of person," said Ramesia Williams, a family friend.

People cried, prayed, but also shared a few lasting memories of Bush at Monday's candlelight vigil. Bush’s cousin recalls some of the final words they had between each other.

“Got her to the hospital, she was up, alert and talking. We just didn’t expect it to turn out like that because we honestly thought it was just a little wound to the shoulder,” said Sierra Pleasant. "That night, she never flinched. She never dropped a tear. She never complained the whole entire time. She kept telling me, ‘I’m ok. I’m ok.’”

Those at the vigil say they’re still having a tough time coping with Bush’s unexpected passing.

"You know us as a community, we’re small, and this is Winnsboro. And it just really breaks my heart to know that young lady lost her life to a senseless act,” said Williams.

Sheriff Cobb knew Bush personally. He says her senseless killing highlights a growing problem in our country, and that anyone with any information needs to step forward.

"There's times when our communities need to check themselves about what they will allow happen or not allow happen," said Sheriff Cobb. "We don't need I heard or they said, you know there were enough individuals there that saw what happened."

Pleasant says if she had the chance to speak to her cousin one last time, this would be her response.

"I love you. Get your rest baby girl and justice will be served," said Pleasant.

The sheriff says the names of the arrested suspects will be released soon. Charges include aggravated assault with a firearm, illegal carrying of weapon, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

If you have any information on this case, you can call the Franklin Parish Sheriff’s Department.
00 2019-07-23
Regional/National

LSU Just Unveiled a $28-Million Football Facility. The Flood-Damaged Library Is Still ‘Decrepit.’


On Sunday night Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge unveiled a $28-million renovation of its Football Operations Building, an all-in-one venue with a player’s lounge, weight room, training center, and nutritional facility serving prime rib, king crab, and jambalaya. The renovated locker room has lounging pods complete with iPad mounts, charging stations, and ventilated storage drawers.
“This is why you come to LSU,” said one LSU football tweet, accompanied by a video of players celebrating the new digs.

These are good days for LSU athletics. Tens of millions of dollars each year pour into the Tiger Athletic Foundation, the department’s main fund-raising arm. The football team, a barometer of any major university’s athletic achievement, is a perennial Top 25 power.

Meanwhile, the university’s funding from the state Legislature has been cut in half in the past decade. The situation was so dire in 2015 that the university drafted plans to declare financial exigency due to a lack of academic funding from the state.

The 2019 Trends Report

Nowhere is this financial contrast more evident than in infrastructure. LSU has a $700-million backlog in deferred maintenance, and on the campus’s academic side, “threadbare buildings” aren’t uncommon, infrastructure is “run-down,” and funding for renovations has “sort of maxed out,” said Robert Mann, a professor of media and public affairs.

“The library” — prone to flooding since the 1980s — “is decrepit, almost falling in on itself,” he said. “While on the other side of the tracks, you’ve got these Taj Mahal-like facilities for football and basketball and baseball and every other sport.

“It’s sort of the best of times and the worst of times,” he continued.

Mann holds no animosity for LSU athletics or the administration. He lives near the campus and tailgates on football Saturdays. His two children attend the university and watch the team play in its 102,321-seat Tiger Stadium. But he believes the disparity between athletic and academic facilities points to a larger issue of misplaced university priorities — and the public importance assigned to football records over academic ones.

“The disparity is a mile wide,” Mann said of public support for academics versus athletics. “And I don’t know what it’s going to take to close it. I just don’t see that happening in this state anytime soon. I don’t resent football; I just wish people cared as much about what we were doing in the classroom.”

In a statement, an LSU spokesman wrote that “it’s important to understand that our different foundations have different roles on campus working toward the common mission of the university.” Donors give to the Tiger Athletic Foundation, knowing it will go toward athletes, infrastructure projects, and salaries, while other funds go toward academic projects, including Patrick F. Taylor Hall, a recently renovated engineering building.

3 Little Pigs
Big money in college athletics is no new phenomenon. Academics have felt angst over the emphasis on football, especially, for more than a century. But in recent decades, salaries for coaches and money for facilities have skyrocketed.

“We’re running commercial operations — and I include my own university — that really are inconsistent with the state of academic gains,” said Charles T. Clotfelter, a professor of public policy at Duke University who wrote a book about big-time college sports. “We don’t even acknowledge the fact that we’re doing this thing because there’s virtually no mission statement of any major university that even mentions athletics, much less commercial athletics.”

Clotfelter likened the funding disparity between academics and athletics to three little pigs, two of which are struggling and one of which runs a hedge fund, works in a commercialized world, and “probably lives in a brick house.”

The finances, Clotfelter said, are “by and large separated.” LSU’s football renovations, according to a 2018 news release, were “100 percent funded by money raised by the Tiger Athletic Foundation.” The foundation did not make anyone available for comment on Monday.

And LSU is among the leaders in athletics spending: The university reported more than $123 million in athletics-related expenses in 2016, the ninth-highest total in the country. For a 2018 legislative audit, it reported more than $137 million in expenses. About $8 million in athletics profit was transferred back to the university.

“You've got an operation that's taking in all this money. And in fact, they can't spend it fast enough.”
“In general, universities will raise all the money they can, and then the university will spend all the money it raises,” Clotfelter said. “In this case, you’ve got an operation that’s taking in all this money. And in fact, they can’t spend it fast enough.”

Clotfelter said the LSU situation was the most recent proof of a general rule: Athletics ventures share little with their university, “except the name and the tradition of operating. But in terms of the objectives, it’s not really part of the bigger enterprise.”

And that’s not even addressing the issue of more fairly compensating college athletes, especially football players who produce millions for their university and in return receive scholarships and personal sleeping pods designed to mimic first-class air travel. Such inequities, in the face of a $28-million renovation of a facility built in 2005, has drawn the ire of former LSU stars and sports commentators alike.

“The locker room when I was at LSU seven years ago was better than the current one in Carolina,” tweeted Eric Reid, a former Louisiana State football player now on the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. “But there’s no money to compensate these young men for the revenue they bring to the school #JustSaying.”

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Like Mann, Clotfelter expects little to change anytime soon. The baseball stadium in Baton Rouge was ranked the best college ballpark in the nation; the gymnastics program recently completed a training center that cost more than $10 million. And the Tiger Athletic Foundation reported more than $45 million in contributions and grants in 2017.

Less than a half mile from the gymnastics center, Middleton Library is still flood-prone. Two waterproofing projects cost the university about $850,000 over the past eight years, but February brought a rising water table, north-side flooding, and a situation that Stanley Wilder, dean of Louisiana State libraries, described as “crisis mode.” The basement is still inaccessible to the public.

“So there are plans to erect a new library on this campus, and they talk about it a lot,” Mann said. “The one thing they can’t talk about is they have no way to pay for it.”

Will Jarvis is an editorial intern at The Chronicle. Follow him on Twitter @willyfrederick, or email him at will.jarvis@chronicle.com.
00 2019-07-23
Ruston

Louisiana Tech's Parkinson Resource Center bringing more resources to the area


RUSTON, La. (KNOE) - The Parkinson Resource Center at Louisiana Tech University is growing to offer more resources for people with Parkinson’s Disease. After the success of the Rock Steady Boxing class, they’re looking at bringing Dance for PD to Ruston.


The Parkinson Resource Center at Louisiana Tech University is growing its resources for Parkinson's Disease patients. (KNOE)
Dr. Larry Neal is an Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor, and also a Parkinson’s patient. He brought the Rock Steady Boxing classes to Ruston back in 2016, and due to the success of the classes, faculty at Louisiana Tech felt there was a need for more resources. That’s when Louisiana Tech and their Division of Nursing came together to create a center in the fall of 2018.

They had their first sample Dance for PD class last week, taught by Tech alum Kelly Harp Haber, who already teaches these classes down in New Orleans. Dr. Neal says it was a lot of fun for people with Parkinson’s Disease and their spouses and families.

"Music was a big part of it, we love to hear music and the rhythm,” says Dr. Neal, “I learned how to wave significantly and how to move and point with music."

And the center is growing too. The Speech-Language Pathology Department at Tech is also joining the center to bring more expertise.

The faculty will be “bringing the Lee Silverman Voice training program, an evidenced-based Parkinson's program, to deal with the issues of voice and the softening of the voice that comes with Parkinson's Disease,” says Dr. Donna Hood, the Director of the Division of Nursing.

There are “a lot of symptoms, voice and swallowing, sense of smell, and stiffness, pain, and discomfort, and as we begin to see those things we begin to realize we need things more than just exercise,” says Dr. Neal.

Dr. Tara Haskins, an Associate Professor with the Division of Nursing, says the center reaches out to people as far away as Southern Arkansas.

“We believe that our impact is not just in Ruston, this extends both north, south, east, and west of us,” says Dr. Haskins. “There are a lot of rural communities."

She says this program is not only helpful for those with Parkinson’s Disease, but also for students. They have a student scholar program, where students apply to be a Parkinson Nursing Student Scholar and they work in the center all year long. Dr. Haskins says their first four scholars just completed the program, and they’re looking forward to more.
00 2019-07-23
Ruston

Tech research institute tabs leader


Brigadier General Gerald Goodfellow (Ret.), a 30-year Air Force veteran, has been named executive director for the Louisiana Tech Research Institute (LTRI) in Bossier City and director of technology innovation for Louisiana Tech University.

Goodfellow’s core responsibility will be to help achieve the vision of LTRI as a world-class, nationally recognized resource for research, education, training, and technology innovation in strategic areas of national security.

“LTRI enables the University to provide research and development capabilities for a variety of industry and defense partners,” said Tech President Les Guice. “Gen. Goodfellow will lead our work at LTRI and help the institute become a self-sustaining and growing enterprise. His experience will also be valuable for our Office of Research and Partnerships in its work to cultivate partnerships focused on training and education. We are pleased to have such an exceptional leader for LTRI with the expertise, character, and integrity that has been proven over an outstanding career in the Air Force.”

Goodfellow will focus on expanding the cooperative collaboration that is integral to the culture at Louisiana Tech. He will build upon the framework enabled by the Cyber Innovation Center, the Bossier community, and other regional partners to lead to unique workforce generation, research, and educational programs. Prior to joining LTRI, Goodfellow served as the Director of Strategic Plans, Programs, and Requirements at Air Force Global Strike Command located at Barksdale Air Force Base. In this position, he was responsible for strategic planning, and for resourcing the nation’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile force, B-1, B-2 and B-52 bombers, UH-1N helicopters, the E-4B National Airborne Operations Center Aircraft, and Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications (NC3) systems.

“We are enthusiastic about Gen. Goodfellow’s potential to continue the growth momentum of LTRI and take it to greater heights,” said Sumeet Dua, Associate Vice President for Research and Partnerships at Tech and Senior Vice President of LTRI. “His leadership will be crucial as we cultivate unique partnerships, build and deliver new educational content, and promote and extend novel research and development opportunities through LTRI.”

Goodfellow holds a master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, a Master of Military Operational Art and Science from the U.S. Air Force Air Command and Staff College, and a Master of Aeronautical Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He spent much of his career educating and training military members and civilians including time as a professor of strategy and planning at the U.S. Army War College where he instructed Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps Officers, as well as civilian senior-level employees with the U.S. government.

“Gen. Goodfellow’s appointment could not have come at a better time,” Dua said. “LTRI is poised to grow unique core competencies in applied and translational research and education, with a scalable model and infrastructure for growth, and generate newer opportunities for sponsored engagement for our faculty and students. Through LTRI’s and Louisiana Tech’s joint efforts, we will continue the pursuit to become a trusted partner for the Department of Defense and other agencies in order to serve our national security needs.”

Goodfellow is a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism in combat.

He was later awarded the General Ira C. Eaker Award for the “Outstanding Single Feat of Military Airmanship”

In addition, he holds the World Record in Aviation for the fastest ever Nonstop Flight Around-the-World with refueling in flight, which he flew in a B-1 Bomber.

For this flight he was also awarded the Mackay Trophy, which is on permanent display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C., for the “Most Meritorious Aerial Flight of the Year.

He assumed leadership of LTRI July 1.
00 2019-07-22
Lafayette

Residents of historic Lafayette neighborhood gather to celebrate Community House opening


McComb-Veazey residents braved the heat Saturday to share food, laughs and ideas for their neighborhood’s future at the soft opening of the Community House, a congregation space aiming to uplift the historic Lafayette neighborhood.

Tina Shelvin Bingham, executive vice president of the McComb-Veazey Neighborhood Coterie, said the vision for the Community House is for it to be like the community’s living room, a space where people feel comfortable coming to seek resources, attend workshops and fellowship with one another.

The project was a collaboration between the McComb-Veazey Neighborhood Coterie, Project Front Yard, Lafayette Habitat for Humanity, Lafayette Consolidated Government and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, among other partners.

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At the event, a DJ played music while children jumped and squealed in two bounce houses, volunteers roasted vegetables and community members talked about the neighborhood, its future and what they hope to see with representatives from local stakeholder groups.

“This is a complete change from what it looked like before. The before and after pictures don’t do this justice at all. We’ve done way more than we thought with this project,” Bingham said.

The process began around 2015, she said, and it took between two to three years to finalize the plans with local government and secure funding for the project. The house was funded by two Lowe’s Foundation grants, one for $20,000 acquired with Project Front Yard through Keep Louisiana Beautiful and another for $100,000 through the group’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity, Bingham said.

The neighborhood coterie signed a cooperative endeavor agreement to turn the blighted property into a community asset, Bingham said, and it is managed by Lafayette Consolidated Government through its adjudicated properties program.

Bingham became passionate about revitalizing the McComb-Veazey area after returning to Lafayette in 2008. She graduated from Southern University and when she returned home saw a downturn in the neighborhood and other areas of the north side.

+11Photos, video: Habitat for Humanity, Lowe's help actualize McComb-Veazey Community House
Photos, video: Habitat for Humanity, Lowe's help actualize McComb-Veazey Community House
Her grandmother’s church is in the neighborhood and it's where her dad’s family lived, she said, so she has a personal stake in seeing the neighborhood improve.

In 2014, Bingham organized her first project with the coterie, a mural painting at the corner of Magnolia Street and Twelfth Street. Seeing this community space completed only yards from that site is amazing, she said.

“It’s a full circle moment for me,” Bingham said.

Lafayette Habitat for Humanity President Geoff Gjertson, an architecture professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, headed up the design of the Community House with architecture graduate student David Hebert. Gjertson said the cottage-like, 700 square foot space was divided into four small rooms before the redesign started.

The home was severely dilapidated, he said. The foundation wasn’t sound, the floor was settling, there was significant damage to the windows and exterior siding and there were problems with the roof.

The construction team raised the home and adjusted the foundation, installed new windows, replaced the interior walls, reframed the building and installed a new roof, among other work, Gjertson said.

With the added wraparound front porch, the house now has about 1,200 square feet of usable space. Discussions about the home’s future include possibly adding a commercial kitchen, he said.

Inside the house, they’re planning to add a drop-down screen and projector, a television, Wi-Fi, a mini free library for people to take and donate books, and computers for residents to submit job applications and children to complete homework.

Once finished, the space will be used for the coterie’s monthly meetings, workshops on business development and leadership, the organization’s “Cooking in the Hood” food demonstrations and game nights, and other community needs. They’re also looking for suggestions and what the community would like to see out of the building, she said.

“We want people to take ownership of it,” Bingham said.

Martin Arceneaux, construction site supervisor for Lafayette Habitat for Humanity, said the community’s excitement has been evident during his crew’s work over the last several weeks. Neighbors have been slowing down while driving by to peek at the home’s progress and have stopped to ask questions or cheer them on.

The best part has been getting to know the people the house will serve, he said.

“It’s just a great feeling knowing this is going to be an asset for the neighborhood. More than a house for a family, it’s going to be a house for the whole neighborhood,” he said.

Holy Rosary Institute redevelopment moving forward: 'It's a vital part of telling our story'
Whitli Ozenne was one of those residents. Ozenne, 29, has lived in the neighborhood for 15 years and said she’s excited to see positive change happening. She and her family live on Louisiana Avenue and she said she’s proud to see growth happening in the neighborhood her mother grew up in and her ancestors have called home.

Watching her 3-year-old son, Wenzel, play with other children on a bounce house, Ozenne said she thinks spaces like the Community House will “add hope and lead to a brighter future for the young people coming up around here.”

Redevelopment in the north side has lagged and many of the buildings are aging and out of date. Seeing this and other projects happening in the area is a good sign for the future, she said.

“Every neighborhood deserves to have quality housing and a quality center to go to,” Ozenne said. “I think it’s very nice they’re doing something like this in this neighborhood. It gives the people somewhere positive to go and a place to escape.”
00 2019-07-22
Lafayette

UL Police Department gets soft interview room for sexual assault victims


By: Jordan Lippincott

UL Police Department.jpg

LAFAYETTE — The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is the first university in the country to have a soft interview room at their police department.

Investigators will use the interview room to talk to victims of sexual violence.

They're hoping the new addition will lead to more arrests.

Lieutenant Darren Zachary is on UL police's sexual assault response team. In the last five years, he's received training on how to treat victims of sexual assault.

"Survivors, what I like to call them, rather than victims... Survivors will open up to law enforcement a little more when they're in an environment that's a little more inviting," explained Lt. Zachary.

With the help of the nonprofit Project Beloved, Zachary's dream of having a soft interview at the police department came to fruition.

In the room, you'll find pillows and blankets, which is different from your standard interview room.

"It's something as simple as just changing the general atmosphere that you interview victims of sexual violence in," said Beloved Project founder and president Tracy Matheson.

Matheson started the organization after finding her daughter dead in her apartment in 2017. She learned that her daughter had been raped and killed.

"It became clear that we needed to do something. We weren't just going to sit quiet and try to put our lives back together," said Matheson.

She says both the victims and police benefit from a soft interview room.

"It's setting up law enforcement for success, so that they could get the very best evidence and then hopefully take that perpetrator off the streets, get an arrest."

Zachary believes the soft interview room is part of an even bigger picture.

"With law enforcement believing survivors, that's a good step in the right direction. This soft interview room is just a small part of that," said Zachary.

To find out more about Project Beloved, click here .
00 2019-07-22
Monroe

Family remembers Waneshia Bush with balloon release


WINNSBORO, La. (KNOE) - One woman is dead in an overnight shooting in Winnsboro.


Waneshia Bush's family had a balloon release to honor her./ Source: KNOE
Waneshia Bush was hit by a stray bullet after a gunfight broke during a birthday party.

On Sunday, her family honored her with a balloon release. They met where Bush was struck just hours before. Then, they joined hands and prayed.

"It's hurting,” says Brianna Davis, Bush’s cousin. “I would wait for her every day for her to get off, and we'd sit back. It's just shocking, because this a different type of pain. I never thought I'd lose someone I was really close with."

As they reflect on her life, the biggest thing that comes to mind is her vivid personality.

"Great person, great personality," Davis said. "She always kept a smile on her face."

Family members say she had a smile that infected every person she met. The 20-year-old was also a minister of dance at her home church, preparing to share that love at her own dance camp in August.

Bush was also a standout in the classroom. She was an honor-roll student at Grambling State University.

"In Gram, she was talking about how she was ready to go back and be the queen again," Davis said.

As her family prepares to move on, they know they've got to stay strong, because they say that's what she would want.

"I love you, Waneshia," Davis said. "The Bush marathon does continue. I love you. I'm going to try to stay strong for you. Get your rest. Fly high. I'm going to keep her name high."

Bush's family is also planning to have a vigil Monday night at the same location at 7pm.
00 2019-07-22
Monroe

Winnsboro shooting claims the life of a Grambling Honor student


WINNSBORO, La (07/21/19)– It was supposed to be a night of fun while celebrating a friends birthday , however, that’s not how it ended. Sunday July 20, Waneshia Bush attended a house party on the corner of Blanson and Smith Street in Winnsboro. During that party, around 1:10 a.m. Sunday, she was shot and killed.


It’s unclear how this all started but officials believe Bush was an innocent bystander, at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Franklin Parish Sheriff Kevin Cobb states that he personally knew the victim, saying “She was a fine person, in college, who was succeeding in her life. her tragic death is the result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Bush’s friends and family want not only justice, but to honor her memory. Loved ones will have a balloon release for Waneshia, Monday evening on Blanson street. They are also planning a “walk for justice” in her honor.

Bush was an honor student at Grambling State University where she was studying psychology. She was only 20 years old.

Franklin Parish Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who knows anything about the shooting to come forward. You can contact the Franklin Parish Sheriff’s Office at (318) 435-4505, the Winnsboro Police Department at (318) 435-4307.
00 2019-07-22
Monroe

7th annual dance camp held at Grambling State University


GRAMBLING, La (07/20/19)–Girls were ready to get their dance on at the seventh annual all-star academy dance camp. This three day camp is hosted at Grambling State University and put on by All-Star Dance Academy.


The instructors help girls from ages 5 to 18 develop their dancing skills.
It all started when two girls wanted to help kids in the area enhance their artistic abilities.



“When I was younger, we didn’t really have dance camps here. So we had to go far away. So I thought having one here would be good for the community, good for the university and you know give the kids something to do in the summer time,” said Nicole Ivory, Creative Director of All-Star Dance Academy.


The camp is also helping the dancers stay healthy and active this summer.
Tomorrow, July 21st, the girls will show case their talent in a final performance.
00 2019-07-22
Monroe

ULM gets high tech drones for UAS Research Center


The University of Louisiana Monroe gets two high tech drones for use in their Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research Center.

00 2019-07-22
Regional/National

Task Force Dagger Foundation Supporting the University of New Orleans' Effort to Recover Missing World War II Airmen in Germany


The University of New Orleans, through its partnership with the University of Innsbruck in Austria and the UNO-Innsbruck International Summer School, is leading a joint effort to excavate the site of a World War II aircraft crash in Germany, in the hopes that the project will help the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) in its mission to make the fullest possible accounting of American personnel. The team will be joined by volunteers from the Task Force Dagger Foundation (TFDF), a nonprofit that serves U.S. Special Operations Command members and their families.

DALLAS, July 22, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- University of New Orleans anthropology professor D. Ryan Gray is leading the excavation as part of a field school in archaeology. The site is located in southern Germany, and it is thought to be the location of a crash of a B-17 shot down during a 1944 bombing raid. The field investigations, combining traditional archaeological methods with state-of-the-art investigative techniques, will hopefully allow for missing air crew associated with the crash to be recovered and identified. The project, which will conclude mid-August, includes 15 students in the UNO-Innsbruck International Summer School, two students from the University of Innsbruck and six volunteers from the TFDF.

The project was developed as a public-private partnership with DPAA, to further the DPAA's mission to locate, recover, identify and return American personnel still unaccounted for from previous wars and conflicts. The UNO Department of Anthropology and Sociology has developed an active archaeology program in New Orleans, with an emphasis on urban historical archaeology. This will be the second archaeological project that UNO has conducted in coordination with the DPAA. The first, in 2017, resulted in the recovery and identification of the remains of Captain Lawrence Dickson, the first of 27 missing Tuskegee Airmen from World War II to be recovered. The story of Dickson's recovery and return to his family, including his daughter, Marla Dickson Andrews, was featured in the PBS NOVA documentary The Last B-24.

This summer, the Task Force Dagger Foundation is providing personnel—who are former members of the U.S. Special Operations Command—with skills such as explosive ordnance detection, medical coverage and engineering experience to assist with the site excavation while also providing personnel to assist with the search for remains. This effort is part of TFDF's Rehabilitative Therapy Event program. One goal of the program is to help former special operations service members make the transition from the military to civilian life. It introduces them to a project with a meaningful military mission and purpose. TFDF team members also get a chance to experience archaeology through real life application.

The project is being coordinated with logistical and administrative support from the UNO Division of International Education, in particular Alea Cot, assistant provost for international education, and Irene Ziegler, program director for the UNO-Innsbruck International Summer School, the 44-year-old flagship program of the University of New Orleans.

Additional student financial aid for the project is being provided by the Richard Wallin Boebel Chair in Anthropology at UNO, the Carl Muckley endowment in the UNO Department of History, the UNO Student Government Association, the Timothy P. Ryan and Louise C. Schreiner award, and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The project is being sponsored by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (Award No. HQ0761-18-2-0001); however, the information or content and conclusions do not necessarily represent the official position or policy of, nor should any official endorsement be inferred on the part of, DPAA, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Government or the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc.

SOURCE Task Force Dagger Foundation
00 2019-07-22
Ruston

LA Tech Celebrates 50th anniversary of when Apollo 11 landed on the moon


RUSTON, La (07/19/19) — Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of when Apollo 11 landed on the moon, creating one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind.

Many in the community gathered, young and old, at Louisiana Tech University for a watch party of NASA’s special broadcast called Giant Leaps.
The show interviewed Apollo astronauts, current and future astronauts, scientists, and engineers. Talking about what happened in the past and what is going to be happening in the future.



“The plans as far as we can tell from what NASA said today, is that the very first mission will have both men and women going back to the moon,” said Dr. Lee Sawyer, Academic Director for Chemistry and Physics at LA Tech.

This new era of exploring space will bring the first woman to ever land on the moon and the first man to go back since the Apollo Missions. There are hopes this will happen by 2024.

NASA has more exciting news as they plan to send a human to land and explore Mars. There have been rovers roaming on Mars, but it’s not the same.


Dr. Lee Sawyer, Academic Director for Chemistry and Physics at LA Tech.
“We have this feeling, as humans, that we aren’t really there until somebody sets foot and plants the flag,” said Sawyer.

This generation can be motivated to strive for anything, even if it’s wanting to walk on the moon.

“Neil Armstrong was, as we saw in the broadcast, just from a small town in Ohio. Anybody with the motivation and the desire, it’s a reminder that you can succeed in things like this,” said Sawyer.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


00 2019-07-22
Ruston

Tech online MBA receives accolades


Louisiana Tech University’s Professional Master of Business Administration continues to be recognized as a top program in the nation. The College of Business was ranked No. 3 on College Consensus’ list of “25 Best Value Online MBA Programs” and ranked No. 14 on Business Student’s report of “Editor’s Choice Best Online MBA Programs.”

“I’m proud that our Professional MBA continues to be recognized among the nation’s best programs,” said Chris Martin, dean of the College of Business. “Our graduate programs provide students with a relevant and innovative education from a nationally ranked research institution with a high return on investment. These rankings serve to validate to stakeholders the value of the educational experience we provide.”

By combining results from the most reputable college ranking publishers including U.S. News, The Economist, and Businessweek and thousands of real student reviews, College Consensus provides an accurate and comprehensive ranking of a school’s reputation and quality.

Institutions included in the “25 Best Value Online MBA” ranking were selected according to three main criteria: affordability, convenience, and reputation. The final ranking was determined by return on investment — an equation of graduate salary expectations and cost of tuition. For more information about College Consensus, visit CollegeConsensus.com.

BusinessStudent.com is the fastest growing business education social community dedicated to informing students and professionals on careers, courses, degrees, and jobs available in the competitive fields of business, technology, and healthcare.

To determine the “Editor’s Choice Best Online MBA Programs,” a panel of business professionals analyzed data from over 300 business schools and assigned points to each school in five categories: cost, accreditation, acceptance rate, student support, and student engagement. For more information about Business Student, visit BusinessStudent.com.

Louisiana Tech’s Professional MBA provides an interdisciplinary approach that prepares innovative and ethical leaders for success in today’s rapidly changing business environment. The program is designed to provide a solid foundation in all business disciplines while integrating technology and innovation and exploring business issues in a global context. The online delivery method makes learning convenient for those who cannot attend a consistent class schedule and prefer to work at their own pace.

The College of Business also offers several other delivery methods for the Master of Business Administration. The 30-hour Traditional MBA is taught face-toface on Louisiana Tech’s Ruston campus. Students can elect to specialize in one of five fields of business (finance, information assurance, innovation, marketing, or six sigma) by taking an additional six hours.

Tech’s 30-hour Executive MBA curriculum is designed for students with management experience and thus relies heavily on integrating each individual’s experience to enhance the overall learning. Structured to provide minimal disruption to busy work schedules and personal lives, students pursuing the Executive MBA degree meet for classes every other weekend in Tech’s Bossier City, La., Academic Success Center.

The Hybrid MBA is a 24-month, 36-hour program with concentrated coursework in computer information systems and information assurance. All in-person classes take place in Bossier City.

Graduate certificates in business administration and information assurance as well as a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) are also offered as part of the College of Business’ graduate programs.

For more information about these programs or to apply online, visit mba.latech.edu.
00 2019-07-19
Hammond

Southeastern’s Livingston Center to host community breakfast


Southeastern Louisiana University’s Livingston Center will host a community breakfast on Tuesday, July 30, beginning at 8 a.m.

The event is free and open to the public.

00 2019-07-19
Houma/Thibodaux

Our opinion: Let’s improve our higher education numbers


Louisiana ranks next to last in the nation in higher education achievement. That means that fewer of our adults have college degrees than almost any other state.

Clearly, this must change – especially since we are all facing a future in which training and education will play an ever-more-important role in our job prospects.

While higher education is not for everyone, it does play a significant part in getting tomorrow’s leaders ready to take the helm of businesses and institutions that affect all of us.

The University of Louisiana System has launched an innovative new effort aimed at drawing people who have attended college but who never earned their degrees back to campus. The hope is that people who have already been drawn to higher education will show a willingness to return and see the process through to completion.

Compete LA is a laudable program that could make a real difference in people’s lives around the state. And our own Nicholls State University is part of the system where this ambitious program is taking place.

There is a place for skills training and other educational emphases. But higher education must also play a part in Louisiana’s development of a qualified workforce that can endure the changes that are coming through the increasing use of technology and automation. Fewer and fewer of the jobs that will be available in coming years will accommodate workers with little or no education beyond high school.

It is vital that our state harness the abilities we have and hone them into skills that will be lucrative for more people. To that end, Compete LA is offering help to those who want to return to school. It will make available academic coaches and other forms of assistance that might ease the transition from the work world back into the academic world.

In the process, it will be creating people who are better prepared to further their careers and boost the state’s modest higher education performance.

This is an exciting way to make a dent in some of the ratings that continue to see our state falling behind others. And the idea of promoting a return to college seems like a promising place to start.

This is the kind of program that should return a great dividend in return for what should be a small investment.

Let’s get started.

Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper, not of any individual.

00 2019-07-19
Houma/Thibodaux

Nicholls’ first campus master plan to guide development


Nicholls State University’s first-ever campus master plan will be used to guide development - and donations - over the next 25 years.

The plan was another initiative of Nicholls State President Jay Clune, who said he’s used to having “plans for everything.”

Clune said the master plan will help officials maintain the campus’s walkability and coherency as well as show the state and donors what new capital projects they’re focused on and the importance of maintaining current facilities.

“Now when they’re (donors) interested, we have a menu of what we want to put where,” said Clune. “We hand them a copy of the master plan and say, ‘Right now, we’re focused on this.’”

A Duplantis Design Group team worked with the administration to develop the plan, drawing information from students, faculty, staff and the public through questionnaires, subcommittees and feedback from college deans.

“It was really about understanding the campus’ function and try to identify the core elements that made Nicholls unique,” said Ashley Webre, who worked on the Duplantis team.

Kyle Domangue, Duplantis’ vice president of architecture, said one of the things they noticed was how the library seemed cut off from the rest of campus in the current design, so the plan proposes trying to open a corridor through the student union to connect it.

“We really wanted to dream big and experience the full experience of what campus can be,” he said.

The subcommittees and college deans played a role in a needs assessment that Duplantis offered university staff in the plan, looking at a facility’s renovation priority, capacity and physical condition.

“We’re hoping this will be used internally to talk about new projects and additional funding,” Webre said.

One survey question asked about the students’ least favorite building on campus, and the overwhelming response pointed to Peltier Hall.

Clune said the university has already started renovation work inside Peltier Hall, which hosts a lot of lower-level general education courses for freshmen and some sophomores.

“That becomes a retention issue for us,” he said.

Clune highlighted renovating Ellender Memorial Library as one of the larger initiatives coming up. He said Nicholls plans to “completely redo” it and open the floor plan inside the 135,000-square foot building.

To improve walkability, he said the plan is to slowly move parking away from the center of campus and decrease vehicular traffic and congestion around academic buildings.

He noted the campus wouldn’t lose any parking spaces, they would just be moved as time goes on.

Right now, he said some areas of campus aren’t inviting for students to walk to, lacking sidewalks or offering sidewalks that are very narrow. Instead, they drive from building to building.

Clune also stressed that the master plan is a “living document.”

“A 25-year master plan is conceptual,” he said. “It’s the first master plan which will be revised on an ongoing basis as projects become available.”

Staff Writer Halle Parker can be reached at hparker@houmatoday.com or 857-2204. Follow her on Twitter, @_thehalparker.


00 2019-07-19
Monroe

ULM's Unmanned Aircraft Research Center gets the use of high tech drones from AeroVironment, Inc.


MONROE, La (KNOE) ULM’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems program has a new weapon in its education arsenal. It’s called the Quantix. And as Tammi Arender reports, this is a big benefit not only to students but farmers as well.


The University of Louisiana Monroe gets high tech drones for use in their Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research Center.
“Take about 3 -5 minutes to start it and then it’s gone”
One of the newest education tools in ULM’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research Center’s toolbox is this drone.

AeroVironment's Quantix is on loan to the university for a year.

“This is a hybrid a tail sitter. It takes off and lands vertically. When it does take off it climbs to about 100 feet and flips over and becomes a fixed-wing,” said Paul Karlowitz, Director of Operations of the Precision AG and UAS Research Center.

Paul Karlowitz is the director of operations of the Precision Ag and UAS Research Center at ULM. He says this drone is different from any other because of its speed and ability to collect data.

“Flies about 40 miles an hour and can map 400 acres in about 45 minutes,” said Karlowitz.

Stephanie Robinson, the Research center’s manager says this is a game-changer for farmers.

“They can get the idea quicker of what’s going on in their field to fix it quicker rather than using a Phantom 4 or any other drone that may take longer to process,” said Stephanie Robinson, ULM’s UAS Research Center Manager.

Robinson says not only is this the easiest to operate and fastest flying fixed-wing but the analysis of the data collected is processed quickly as well.

“Our data with this. We can put it at 12 o’clock and we can be done by 2:00 o’clock,” said Robinson.

For students of ULM’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems program, having access to this type of drone technology could benefit them when they start looking for a job.

“So if they go look for a job and that job looks at their experience or their logbook and sees they fly this. We’ve never heard of this before and the student shows them what it is and what it does then they have an advantage as far as somebody who does not fly this drone at all,” said Robinson.


00 2019-07-18
Baton Rouge

Matthew Naquin found guilty in 2017 hazing death of LSU freshman, frat pledge Max Gruver


An East Baton Rouge Parish jury has convicted a former LSU student and ex-Phi Delta Theta member of negligent homicide in the 2017 alcohol-related hazing death of 18-year-old fraternity pledge Max Gruver.

The six jurors decided the case quickly Wednesday, taking about an hour to convict 21-year-old Matthew Naquin. Sentencing was scheduled for Oct. 16. Naquin faces anywhere from probation to five years in prison.

Probe uncovers that ex-LSU frat member deleted 700 phone files; Matthew Naquin's lawyers to begin defense
Probe uncovers that ex-LSU frat member deleted 700 phone files; Matthew Naquin's lawyers to begin defense
Gruver, of Roswell, Georgia, had been at LSU a month when he died of alcohol poisoning in what authorities have described as a hazing ritual — dubbed "Bible study" — at the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house.

Gruver and other Phi Delta Theta pledges were told to chug 190-proof liquor the night of Sept. 13, 2017, if they gave wrong answers to questions about the fraternity or could not recite the Greek alphabet.

Gruver died the following morning. His blood-alcohol level was 0.495%, which is more than six times the legal limit to drive in Louisiana. An autopsy also detected THC, the chemical found in marijuana, in Gruver's system.

"The goal here is stop hazing of any sort, but definitely to stop hazing that leads to death," East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore said outside the courtroom Wednesday.

Max Gruver's parents on conviction of ex-LSU student Matthew Naquin: 'It's justice for our son'
Max Gruver's parents on conviction of ex-LSU student Matthew Naquin: 'It's justice for our son'
Prosecutors said Naquin, from Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas, was primarily responsible for Gruver's death, but while testifying for the defense Gruver's former LSU roommate said Tuesday that Gruver was frequenting bars and missing classes throughout his brief time at LSU. James Patrick Canter, who pledged Phi Delta Theta with Gruver, said he could tell Gruver “had not had much experience with drinking.”

Naquin's former LSU roommate, Ryan Matthew Isto, 20, of Butte, Montana, and ex-LSU student Sean-Paul Gott, 22, of Lafayette, pleaded no contest last year to misdemeanor hazing and testified last week. Another former LSU student charged with hazing, Patrick Andrew Forde, 22, of Westwood, Massachusetts, also testified as a prosecution witness. Prosecutors said they’ll decide later whether to prosecute him.

Days before Max Gruver died, ex-LSU frat member says Matthew Naquin warned but 'blew me off'
Days before Max Gruver died, ex-LSU frat member says Matthew Naquin warned but 'blew me off'
Naquin has also been charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly deleting hundreds of files from his phone during the criminal investigation and after a search warrant had been issued for the phone, but he was not standing trial on that charge this month.

"We want this to send a message to the country that hazing should not exist," Stephen Gruver, Max's father, said Wednesday. "It's dangerous and we have to all work together to bring an end to hazing."

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Trial testimony and court documents filed in the case indicate Naquin was warned by members of the fraternity — just two days before Gruver died — to tone down his interactions with pledges. He was told his actions with pledges were extreme and dangerous.

Phi Delta Theta has been banned from the LSU campus until at least 2033 as a result of the investigation into the events leading to Gruver's death.

"It won't bring Max back... it's not something we're ever going to be happy about but at the same time it's justice for our son and for the man who caused his death," Rae Ann Gruver said Wednesday.
00 2019-07-18
Hammond

North Oaks Shock Trauma Center announces date for annual symposium


HAMMOND — On Nov. 1, North Oaks Shock Trauma Center, in partnership with the North Oaks Foundation and Southeastern Louisiana University’s School of Nursing, will host the third annual Prepared for the Unexpected Trauma Symposium.

“Our goal is to provide national caliber education for trauma providers in our region,” said Dr. Marquinn Duke, trauma program medical director for North Oaks Shock Trauma Center.

Several regional and local leaders with expertise in trauma care will headline the event.

The symposium will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom at Southeastern Louisiana University, 303 Union Ave., Hammond. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. The one-day conference is appropriate for physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, pre-hospital personnel and nursing students who practice or study in the areas of surgery, trauma surgery and emergency medicine.

Continuing nursing education contact hours are pending approval. North Oaks Health System is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Louisiana State Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Early bird registration is available online through Oct. 18, at www.northoaks.org/trauma2019. Early bird registration fees are $100 for physicians, nurses and health care professionals; $50 for prehospital providers; and $25 for nursing students. Registration will increase to $125 for all categories after Oct. 18. North Oaks Health System will cover the registration fee for its employees who attend the symposium.

The symposium will feature eight sessions:

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the OR, presented by Arkansas Children’s Hospital Chief of Trauma Todd Maxson
Abdominal Trauma, presented by North Oaks Shock Trauma Center trauma surgeon Shahrzad Talebinejad
Neuro Trauma, presented by North Oaks Shock Trauma Center Trauma nurse practitioner Lorris Bouzigard
First Responders and Trauma, presented by 8th Ward Volunteer Fire Department Medical Officer Benjamin Baham
Pediatric Trauma, presented by Children’s Hospital – New Orleans Pediatric Trauma surgeon David Yu
Rural Trauma Training, presented by Rapides Regional Medical Center Trauma Medical Director Jeremy Timmer
Difficult Airways, presented by North Oaks ENT & Allergy Clinic ENT/Facial Trauma surgeon D’Antoni Dennis
Provider Burnout, presented by University Medical Center – New Orleans Trauma psychologist Erika Rajo
For information, call North Oaks Trauma Program Manager Tyler Brignac at (985) 230-2485 or visit www.northoaks.org/trauma2019.
00 2019-07-18
Hammond

SLU Community Music School announces outstanding musicians for spring 2019


HAMMOND — Southeastern Louisiana University’s Community Music School announced pianists Madeline Brown and Anton Feldbaum and violinists Lily Anderson, Anna Johnson, Kelsey Jones and Brennan Saenz as its Spring 2019 CMS Outstanding Musicians.

The honorees were chosen by audience votes during the final spring recitals.

Lily lives in Hammond and attends Southeastern Laboratory School, where she just finished fourth grade. She has studied violin for one year and has been a ballerina for six years at Fellom Ballet. She also plays on a boys flag football team, is an honor student and has recently become a Southeastern Lab School cheerleader.

A resident of Whitehall, Madeline completed third grade at Maurepas School. Next year she will attend St. Theresa Middle in Gonzales. She has been playing the piano for two years and enjoys reading and playing golf.

Anton lives in Denham Springs and will be a third grader at Oaks Montessori School in Hammond this fall. He has studied the piano for 3½ years and was one of the runners-up in the CMS concerto competition in May.

Anna lives in Hammond and attends Hammond Eastside Magnet School, where she will be entering fifth grade this fall. She has studied violin for four years. In 2018, Johnson was one of the winners in the CMS Concerto Competition and performed as a soloist with the Southeastern Symphony Orchestra in November. She is an honor roll student and participates in Hammond Eastside’s musical theater group, The Company. She is a student in the Tangipahoa Talented Music Program and was selected to perform at the International Baccalaureate Global Conference in July.

A resident of Albany, Kelsey is home-schooled and has completed the eighth grade. She has been playing the violin for three years and also plays the piano. In May, she was chosen as one of the winners of the CMS Concerto Competition and will perform as a soloist with the Southeastern Symphony Orchestra this fall. Jones was invited to audition for the Southeastern Symphony in August and hopes to become the orchestra’s youngest member. She loves to read, journal, run and play music with friends.

Brennan is from Mandeville. He is 11 years old and will be a sixth grade student at Lake Harbor Middle School this fall. He has played violin for five years and piano for three years, and he recently started playing trumpet for his middle school band. He and his sister Alana are this year’s winners of the concerto competition at the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra for the Sinfonia Division. They performed as soloists with the GNOYO in March and were invited to play at the 2019 New Orleans French Quarter Festival. The siblings are among the winners for the CMS Concerto Competition and will perform as soloists with the Southeastern Symphony orchestra this fall.

For information about CMS programs and general registration, call (985) 549-5502 or visit the CMS website at southeastern.edu/cms.
00 2019-07-18
Lafayette

UL will name Matt Deggs as its new head baseball coach just 15 days after Tony Robichaux's death


Just 15 days after the death of longtime UL baseball coach Tony Robichaux, the Ragin’ Cajuns athletic department has announced an 11 a.m. Thursday press conference at Russo Park’s stadium club to name the program’s new head coach.


Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns®

@RaginCajuns
𝘈 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘣𝘦𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘴.

The next head coach of @RaginCajunsBSB: @CoachDeggs28. #GeauxCajuns 🤟

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Topping the candidate list from the start was Sam Houston State's Matt Deggs, a former Robichaux assistant.

The university confirmed the hire in a Wednesday night tweet.

Cajuns AD: 'Impossible' to replace Robichaux; search for next baseball coach 'will be quick but not hurried'
Cajuns AD: 'Impossible' to replace Robichaux; search for next baseball coach 'will be quick but not hurried'
Other potential candidates were longtime UL assistant Anthony Babineaux, McNeese State's Justin Hill, Southeastern's Matt Riser, Mississippi State assistant coach Jake Gautreau and former Mississippi State coach Andy Cannizaro.

Deggs coached the Bearkats for the past five seasons, accumulating an overall record of 187-118 during that span. He led Sam Houston to back-to-back Southland Conference titles in 2018 and 2019 one year after leading the program to its first super regional appearance in 2017.

The Bearkats won the Lubbock regional that year, advancing to the super regional at Florida State.

After his 'trip around the bases,' legendary UL baseball coach Tony Robichaux makes it safely home
After his 'trip around the bases,' legendary UL baseball coach Tony Robichaux makes it safely home
Before going to Sam Houston, Deggs served as the hitting coach and recruiting coordinator for the Ragin’ Cajuns. One year after UL hit .263 as a team in 2012, Deggs had the Cajuns’ offense ranked in the top five in eight offensive categories in 2013.

A year later, Deggs offensive arsenal spearheaded UL’s ascent to No. 1 nationally and the program’s first national seed into NCAA regional play. The Cajuns finished in the top 10 in 14 offensive categories, including an OPS of .902.

Deggs would be replacing a legendary figure in Cajun Country in Robichaux, who had a career record of 1,177-773, including 914 wins at UL.

Tony Robichaux's family displayed the class, poise the coach always did at his memorial service
Tony Robichaux's family displayed the class, poise the coach always did at his memorial service
In addition to Robichaux, Deggs worked under Dave Van Horn at Arkansas and Rob Childress at Texas A&M. Deggs also coached at Northwestern State under Van Horn in 1996-97 and actually received his master’s degree in Natchitoches.

The Cajuns are coming off a 28-31 season filled with injuries, not qualifying for NCAA regional play for the third straight season.
00 2019-07-18
Lafayette

UL Football Player Killed In Car Crash


GRAMERCY- Former UL defensive back, 24-year-old, Sean Q. Thomas of Vacherie was killed in a two-vehicle crash on US Hwy 61 south of I-10 in St. James Parish.

According to State Police, Thomas was traveling in the left southbound lane of US Hwy 61 in a 2014 Ford E-450 box truck. At the same time, the driver of a 2011 Kenworth tractor-trailer was making a U-turn from the left southbound lane of US Hwy 61 to travel northbound.

Troopers say, for unknown reasons, Thomas’ Ford struck the rear of the tractor-trailer.

Thomas suffered fatal injuries as a result of the crash. Due to vehicle damage, seat belt use on his part is unknown.

This crash remains under investigation.
00 2019-07-18
Lake Charles

State is making effort to help college dropouts


A new statewide program is looking for ways for the more than 650,000 college dropouts in Louisiana to find their way back to class.

Called Compete LA, the thought behind the program is to make returning to college easier for those who never finished their degree. The program includes a variety of online degree programs and other convenient class structures designed for Louisianians with some college credit.

According to Competela.org, personal coaches will guide students through the process of re-enrollment and find their fastest pathway to a degree. The free coach will also provide support to help them navigate their college journey through graduation.

In Louisiana, one in five adults — 653,000 — have dropped out of college. Those eligible for Compete LA have completed some college credit but not enough for a bachelor’s degree and have been out of college for at least two years.

The program is powered by the University of Louisiana system, which includes Grambling State, Louisiana Tech, McNeese State, Nicholls State, Northwestern State University of Louisiana, Southeastern Louisiana University, University of New Orleans, University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

“Compete LA is a completely free program and the Universities of Louisiana are committed to maintaining low cost educational opportunities for returning adults,” according to the website. “Partner universities have waived the application fee for Compete LA students. Your coach will guide you through the application process and help identify other available aid based on your major and circumstances.”

There’s also grants and financial aid available for military students.

Louisiana’s workforce is changing and the program is designed to eliminate barriers so working adults can take advantage of these new jobs. We applaud the state’s effort in helping our residents have a better future.
00 2019-07-18
Monroe

ULM center offers speech-language pathology services to adults, children


The clients at the Kitty DeGree Speech and Hearing Center cover the age spectrum.

Toddlers come because their speech skills are slow to develop. Seniors come to regain that which a stroke has robbed from them — their ability to speak coherently.

They all come to the center at the University of Louisiana Monroe’s Sugar Hall in pursuit of a common goal — to improve communication skills. There they work with ULM Department of Speech-Language Pathology graduate students working to become speech-language pathologists.

Benefits abound for students and clients alike at the Kitty DeGree Speech and Hearing Center — just one of several campus centers or clinics which are available to the community — that serve a dual purpose.

Students, especially those in Health Sciences, need clinical hours before they can obtain their licenses or certifications. ULM clinics provide that opportunity for students under the tutelage of faculty members.

For that to happen, however, the students need clients. Those come from the community. In many cases the clients would not be able to access help if it weren’t for ULM.

Anne Marie Sisk, a speech-language pathology clinical assistant professor in the ULM College of Health Sciences who serves as director of the Kitty DeGree Center, says the most a client will pay at the center is $10 a visit.

Funding for the Kitty DeGree Speech and Hearing Center, which opened in 2009, comes from the Kitty DeGree Foundation.

DeGree, a philanthropist who was, during her lifetime, a major contributor to ULM and whose legacy lives on through the foundation, was diagnosed with a profound hearing loss as a young woman.

She was taught to read lips by ULM speech-language pathologists.

Services provided

All speech relies on the ability to hear. Hearing screenings for adults and children are offered in the center’s audiological suite. The screening determines if people are able to hear at different modulations where speech occurs.

The therapy rooms for children have shelves of toys used to encourage interaction with the student clinician. Child clients obtain help with articulation, spoken language, social use of language, stuttering and voice disorders.

Speech assistance with those born with cleft palate also is available.

“I remember a little girl of 2 who barely had any language when she came to us,” Sisk said. “Her parents were told she had autism, but after a year she had completely caught up. That was one of our big success stories.”

Among the adults served by the center are those who have suffered a stroke, traumatic brain injury or laryngectomy.

Clinicians also work the clients with voice disorders in need of help with such issues as pitch, loudness and resonance.

Not all of the adults seen at Kitty DeGree Speech and Hearing Center suffer from a medical problem. Help is available for transgender voice modification and accent modification. Accent modifications is designed to enhance business, social and academic Standard American English speaking skills, and clients have included international students, faculty and other professionals.

Helping now, preparing

for the future

Sisk said the clients are served by graduate speech-language pathology students whose work is overseen by five faculty members who are licensed and certified pathologists.

“We are required to watch them directly 25 percent of the time they are with clients,” Sisk said.

Sisk says ULM’s speech-language pathology students are snatched up when finishing the program.

“We have a 100 percent job placement. It’s a growing field, and there’s a lot of demand,” she said.

The center serves 60 clients over the summer and 80 during the regular school year.
00 2019-07-18
Natchitoches

Prescott named University Registrar


Barbara Prescott has been named University Registrar at Northwestern State University. Her appointment has been approved by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.

Prescott will supervise and manage the University Registrar’s Office including functions for student and faculty academic services, registration and graduation, records, Veteran Affairs and NCAA Certification.

She has served as acting registrar since September 2018. Her responsibilities include supervising and managing all functions of the University Registrar’s Office, supervising and managing academic student records in the Banner system, supervising Banner security, authorizing access to the student system, and coordinating the processes for the Curriculum Review Council and the production of the University Catalog.

Her job includes chairing several university committees including the Registration, Credits and Graduation Council, Grade Appeal Committee, Commencement Committee, Registration Committee, Data Entry Standards Council and the Academic Calendar Committee. Prescott supervises the collection and maintenance of grades, coordinates and produces the 14th-class day count and graduation count reports to the Administration at NSU, the State Board of Regents and the Board of Supervisors. She assists faculty, staff and students through counseling, advising and the interpretation and enforcement of academic policies.

Prescott has nearly three decades of experience in the University Registrar’s Office. She was a University Records Analyst Coordinator from 1990-2008 then served as Assistant to the Registrar for Student Services from 2008-2018.

Prescott earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology along with a Master of Arts in Adult Education at Northwestern State.
00 2019-07-18
Natchitoches

Weinzettle named head of Department of Social Work


NATCHITOCHES – Dr. Ruth Weinzettle has been named head of the Department of Social Work at Northwestern State University effective July 1. The NSU Department of Social Work offers the nationally accredited (CSWE-Council on Social Work Education) Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree, with face-to-face and online options. Weinzettle has been on faculty at NSU since 2006 and has been acting director for the last year. Her appointment as department head was approved last month by the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System.



Weinzettle’s first act as department head was to announce that NSU’s social work program was recently ranked fifth online program in the nation by bestcolleges.com, an organization that researches online programs to inform students about institutions that provide quality distance education at an affordable cost.



“I am excited about continuing to lead and work with dedicated colleagues to provide an excellent BSW program,” Weinzettle said.



The department will begin the year with several new faculty and staff in addition to experienced faculty members who will collaborate to achieve departmental goals. Goals include strengthening the online program offerings, establishing stronger connections with social work alumni and community agencies, enhancing efforts to engage with students, including online students, offering student scholarships and implementing the first social work endowed professorship given in honor of Matilde Bradford.



“It will be a busy first year as Head of the Social Work Department,” she said.



Weinzettle chose social work as her life’s work as a teen and earned a bachelor’s degree in social work at Louisiana College and master’s and Ph.D. in social work at Louisiana State University. She began her career in Marksville and worked five years with the State of Louisiana in Child Welfare , the area that influenced her decision to be a social worker. She then spent nearly a decade at Family Counseling Agency in Alexandria as a social worker, family violence program coordinator, clinical supervisor, director of professional services and interim executive director. She transitioned to academia and taught at Louisiana College for 14 years before joining NSU’s faculty in 2006 as associate professor and coordinator of NSU’s Cenla social work program,



She has since served as a professor and director of field education and NSU Lead of the State of Louisiana’s Title IVE Stipend Program. She has taught classes in human behavior and the social environment, generalist practice, field placement, research methods, marriage and family and generalist practice with families. As acting department head, she has for the last year overseen curriculum development course scheduling, budgetary issues, faculty evaluation and other duties.



While teaching college, Weinzettle has also been active in part-time private social work providing therapy services, supervision and consultation services regarding social work practice, community practice and programs. She has been a member of the Association of Social Work Boards since 2004 serving in several leadership capacities.



Professionally, she is an appointed member of the Louisiana State Board of Social Work Examiners, is a member of and site visitor for the Council on Social Work Education and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers.



Weinzettle is currently a volunteer mental health consultant for the Strong Neighborhoods Project directed through the United Way of Central Louisiana and an evaluator for the Extra Mile Parent Project. She is a member of St. James Episcopal Church and the Red River Chorale.



Northwestern State’s online bachelor’s degree in social work at NSU prepares students for generalist social work practice. This 120-credit program includes 53 credits of core social work courses. Students graduate with a bachelor of social work (BSW) degree upon completing the program. Online courses follow both synchronous and asynchronous delivery formats, and courses are taught following the typical 16-week semester with fewer courses offered in either the 8-week A or B terms. In the summer, students can opt to enroll in 4-week or 8-week terms. The BSW program does not require any campus visits for completion. Students meet the field work requirement within their home area with the approval of the school.



Information is available at nsula.edu/socialworkhome.
00 2019-07-18
Natchitoches

NSU students participate in NASA RockOn! workshop


NATCHITOCHES – A student and faculty team from Northwestern State University participated in a research event hosted by NASA earlier this summer at Wallops Flight Facility on the eastern shore of Virginia. Jack Wright of Natchitoches and Holden Rivers of Zwolle, along with Assistant Professor of Physics Anna Dugas, joined 12 other college students and faculty from Louisiana at the RockOn! Workshop where they build and tested a rocked payload that was launched on a sounding rocket. The trip was funded by a grant from the Louisiana Space Grant Consortium (LaSPACE).



“The Terrier-Orion Rocket launched at 5:30 ET June 20. The payload was successfully activated and the team received data,” Dugas said. “There was 35.2 megabytes stored on the microSD card with 478304 lines of data from the accelerometers (3-axis low and medium, 1-axis high), pressure/temperature, humidity, gyroscope and Geiger counter, which yielded from approximately six and a half hours of recording time. The rocket flight length was within 20 minutes, so the data received proved that the G-switch initiated recording and the recording time length was more than sufficient to obtain the time-of-flight measurements. The final battery voltages on the payload were measured both as 8.9 V after initial voltage of 9.7 V, so the payload was designed with a more than sufficient power supply system.”



Rivers, who is majoring in Industrial Engineering Technology, said RockOn! was very organized and participating was a terrific experience that he hopes future NSU students can share.



“There were tons of self-inspections made by workshop workers. This provided clarity when something wasn’t right so it could be fixed without wasting time looking for the problem,” Rivers said. “The attitude of the workshop workers and their leader was very laid back. I believe this offered comfort for what could have been stressful. They did an outstanding job of keeping everyone together and the workshop moving forward.”



Wright, an Electronics Engineering Technology major, said he gained knowledge and information to bring back to the university to apply in the classroom and on future projects.

“The team at RockOn! did an excellent job in helping us have everything well organized and had it down to a fantastic routine,” Wright said. “I hope in the future, NSU can be more involved in participating in similar programs.



Dugas said RockOn! was one of the best professional opportunities she has ever experienced.

“I was amazed at how the workshop’s director Chris Koehler developed such an effective support team, as well as such an effective workshop curriculum and agenda to make sure all attendees at every skill level can learn and build confidence in electronic payload building,” Dugas said. “I was also impressed at the hours the RockOn! Team must have spent after hours fixing the small glitches that came up during the day. For instance, our group had one of the several humidity sensors that had a manufactured problem and the support team replaced our sensor after we left. This workshop was truly fun and educational for my team and I am extremely happy that we got to attend.”



In terms of the payload design, Dugas was impressed by the detailed and highly-visual slides provided on Kindle Fire 7 tables offered to each team member and each PCB board was exceptionally labelled with built-in test ports. She was also impressed that surface mount soldering techniques were included in the training, including the use of reflow iron, and that students came away with respect for people who regularly use surface mount components.



Wright and Rivers also learned how to build effective oscillator and high voltage transformer circuits to operate a Geiger-Muller tube, a hollow cylinder filled with a gas at low pressure used to detect radioactive particles.



“I was also happy that the students now have access to an effective I2C sensors library for the Arduino and they were able to see a complete microSD code on the Arduino IDE, since they struggled with this last spring in one of their courses,” Dugas said.



Outside the workshop, the 15 delegates representing Louisiana and LaSPACE found time for recreation, visiting Tom’s Cove Beach in Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and several restaurants on Chincoteague Island.


NSU students Holden Rivers, left, and Jack Wright, right, accompanied by Professor Anna Dugas, center, participated in the NASA-sponsored RockOn! Workshop where they build and tested a rocked payload that was launched on a sounding rocket. The trip was funded by a grant from the Louisiana Space Grant Consortium (LaSPACE).
00 2019-07-18
Regional/National

Gator captured, pledge restored, ailing giraffe put down: News from around our 50 states


Alabama
Montgomery: The state Department of Veterans Affairs is looking for a location in southeast Alabama to build the state’s fifth veterans home. Al.com says the department sent out requests for site selection proposals Monday. The plan is to build a 182,000-square-foot home to provide skilled nursing care for 150 to 175 veterans. The minimum site requirement is 27 acres. The department is considering Barbour, Butler, Coffee, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Pike counties. These counties can submit proposals by Aug. 15.

Alaska
Anchorage: The city has unveiled the state’s largest rooftop solar project at the Egan Civic and Convention Center. Officials say 216 solar panels are expected to power up to 9% of the convention center’s electricity needs for the year. The $200,000 project was funded from a pool set aside for capital improvements from the Convention Center Room Tax Fund. Artic Solar Ventures CEO Stephen Trimble says the panels the company installed are expected to save the center between $20,000 and $25,000 annually.

Arizona
The OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale, Ariz., has become the state’s only attraction that doubles as a Certified Autism Center.
The OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale, Ariz., has become the state’s only attraction that doubles as a Certified Autism Center. (Photo: OdySea Aquarium)

Scottsdale: The OdySea Aquarium has become the state’s only attraction that doubles as a Certified Autism Center. The International Board of Credentialing and Continued Education Standards announced the aquarium’s certification this month. “We really want this to be the place where families can go no matter what their special needs might be,” says Jessica Peranteau, director of education at OdySea. IBCCES certified centers must be dedicated to serving people with autism, have at least 80% of staff trained and certified in the autism field, and be committed to ongoing training in autism.

Arkansas
Little Rock: Rita Sklar, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas, is retiring after nearly three decades heading the group. Sklar has served as the organization’s executive director since 1992. The group says Holly Dickson, its legal director, will serve as interim director, and a national search will be announced soon. Sklar has headed the group while it has taken on several high-profile legal fights, including over four abortion restrictions that were blocked by a federal judge in 2017.

California
California 071719
People dine outside the former Ahwahnee hotel in Yosemite National Park in California. Delaware North, a company that lost its contract to run Yosemite National Park's hotels, restaurants and outdoor activities, has settled a lawsuit with the National Park Service and the park's new concession operator over rights to the names of famous park landmarks. (Photo: Ben Margot/AP)

Yosemite National Park: A company that lost its contract to run Yosemite National Park’s hotels, restaurants and outdoor activities has settled a lawsuit with the National Park Service and the park’s new concession operator over rights to the names of famous park landmarks. The National Park Service says the settlement with Delaware North allows the park to restore the previous names of some properties at Yosemite, including the Ahwahnee Hotel, which is now called the Majestic Yosemite Hotel. The Park Service awarded Aramark a 15-year contract in 2015. Shortly after, New York-based Delaware North, which ran concessions from 1993 to 2015, filed a lawsuit saying it owned the trademarked names of the sites like the Wawona Hotel and Curry Village.

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Colorado
Denver: Officials say a state email account created to report suspected child abuse or neglect went unchecked for more than four years. KCNC-TV reports the oversight resulted in five possible cases of child neglect undiscovered until May that are now being investigated. Office of Children and Families Director Minna Castillo-Cohen says confidentiality prevents her from providing details. The state set up a child abuse and neglect telephone hotline in 2015 and created the email address to support it. Soon after, state health officials created a new email account with a different address but didn’t delete the original one. By the time the error was discovered, there were 321 emails in the inbox. Of them, 104 were related to concerns of abuse or neglect, including the five that needed immediate attention.

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Connecticut
Newton: The 19-year-old brother of a Sandy Hook school shooting victim – an outspoken advocate for greater school safety measures – says he’s running for the state Senate. Republican JT Lewis of Newtown posted a video on Twitter on Monday announcing plans to challenge Republican Sen. Tony Hwang of Fairfield. The next legislative election is in 2020. Lewis recently finished his freshman year at the University of Connecticut and says he’s running for office to honor his late brother, Jesse, one of the 20 first-graders killed in 2012.

Delaware
Dover: A state law that raises the legal age for smoking and buying tobacco products went into effect Tuesday. Gov. John Carney signed the law in April that increases the legal smoking age from 18 to 21. The Delaware News Journal reports the state joins 16 others with similar legislation prohibiting retailers from selling and adults from purchasing tobacco for minors. There’s a $1,000 fine for breaking the law. The law encompasses e-cigarettes and vapes with anything derived from tobacco or containing nicotine.

District of Columbia
Washington: A new Gallup poll finds most Americans don’t believe the district should become a state, WUSA-TV reports. The survey found 29% are in favor of statehood, while 64% oppose it, with the remainder having no opinion. Gallup says its researchers conducted the poll of 1,018 people across the nation June 19-3. Every Democrat running for president in 2020 has come out in favor of making D.C. the nation’s 51st state, Politico reports. But the research suggests the rest of the country may not be on board. The survey noted no major subgroups of Americans voice majority support for D.C. statehood, though left-leaning political groups are a bit more likely to do so than right-leaning.

Florida
Walt Disney World announced that the Disney Skyliner, which is like mini-cabins in the sky, will begin operating Sept. 29 and will give guests “a never-before-seen bird’s-eye view.”
Walt Disney World announced that the Disney Skyliner, which is like mini-cabins in the sky, will begin operating Sept. 29 and will give guests “a never-before-seen bird’s-eye view.” (Photo: Disney)

Orlando: Walt Disney World announced that the Disney Skyliner, which is like mini-cabins in the sky, will begin operating Sept. 29 and will give guests “a never-before-seen bird’s-eye view.” It will transport visitors among Epcot, Hollywood Studios and several resorts. The mini-cabins will go about 11 mph and hang as high as 60 feet at some points. The rides will last between five and 15 minutes.

Georgia
Atlanta: A FedEx truck driver is being credited for transporting three shooting victims to a hospital. News outlets report four people were shot Monday. Before police arrived, three of the victims flagged down a FedEx driver who took them to Grady Memorial Hospital. The fourth person was later dropped off at the hospital. Police Department spokeswoman Tasheena Brown says police believe the shooting was a result of a possible drug deal gone wrong. She also says the FedEx driver was being a good citizen. The status of the shooting victims is unknown. No charges were filed Monday, and the investigation is ongoing.

Hawaii
Honolulu: A watershed rehabilitation project is showing signs of success, as former dirt slopes on the island of Kahoolawe are now covered in green. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission has worked since last August on the Hakioawa watershed project, funded by a $50,000 grant from the state Department of Health and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Project officials say an estimated 1.9 million tons of soil erode from Kahoolawe annually. Officials say the project focuses on soil erosion control by planting native flora and removing non-native weeds. Nearly 200 volunteers from around the state have worked at the site, which rises from 400 to 1,300 feet in elevation.

Idaho
Twin Falls: A county coroner is pushing for a new system to investigate deaths across the state. The Times-News reports Twin Falls County Coroner Gene Turley says the creation of a state pathology department would save taxpayers money and improve services. He’s presenting his plan to legislators in hopes they will bring it to a vote during theit next session. Turley says Idaho’s 44 coroners can conduct death investigations, but they’re not forensic pathologists. That means bodies must be sent to Boise when autopsies are required. He says his office orders about 25 autopsies a year, costing local taxpayers about $51,000 annually. He’d like the state to create a forensic pathology department with four regional offices, allowing autopsies and toxicology testing to be performed faster and closer to home.

Illinois
Illinois 071719
An elusive 4-foot alligator was caught from a public lagoon in Chicago. (Photo: Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Chicago: Police say an elusive alligator in a public lagoon in the city has been captured. Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says the Humboldt Park gator was caught humanely early Tuesday and is in good health. The reptile, nicknamed “Chance the Snapper,” was first spotted last week, and photos soon started showing up online. Investigators don’t know why the animal, which is at least 4 feet long, was on the loose in Chicago. Frank Robb of St. Augustine, Florida, arrived Sunday and assessed the park and lagoon. Sections of the park were closed to the public Monday on Robb’s recommendation, to reduce the noise and kerfuffle that could keep the animal in hiding.

Indiana
Carmel: The City Council has unanimously voted to strengthen its smoking ordinance, adding a prohibition on using e-cigarettes everywhere smoking is prohibited and extending the smoking ban to all trails, parks and bars except for the establishments that already allow it. The new ordinance will go into effect when Mayor Jim Brainard signs it. The City Council originally started looking at the city’s smoking ordinance in order to provide school officials with more resources to curb the rate of e-cigarette usage in schools.

Iowa
Des Moines: The City Council decided not to adopt any restrictions on firearm accessories Monday night after hearing stiff opposition from area gun owners and several council members. After the council said it would consider gun-accessory restrictions, opposition mounted, including from a state lawmaker who said he would sponsor legislation next year to negate the local action. The proposed ordinance would have banned the possession of high-capacity magazines and “trigger activators” that enable guns to fire at a higher rate. The unanimous council decision came six weeks after the council voted unanimously to look into the restrictions on large magazines and bump stocks.

Kansas
Wichita: The government’s latest crop update says 81% of the winter wheat in the state has now been harvested. The National Agricultural Statistics Service says that the wheat harvest is still behind the 95% that would be average for this late in the season. Its report also rated the condition of the state’s corn crop as 11% poor to very poor, 33% fair and 56% good to excellent. The agency says 2% of the soybean crops planted in Kansas have begun setting pods. About 6% of the sorghum in the state has headed.

Kentucky
Flames and smoke rise from a bourbon warehouse fire at a Jim Beam distillery in Woodford County in Kentucky. The producer of the world’s best-selling bourbon wrote an open letter to some newspapers to thank firefighters for battling the fire.
Flames and smoke rise from a bourbon warehouse fire at a Jim Beam distillery in Woodford County in Kentucky. The producer of the world’s best-selling bourbon wrote an open letter to some newspapers to thank firefighters for battling the fire. (Photo: Pat McDonogh/Courier Journal)

Versailles: Jim Beam has written an open letter to some newspapers to thank firefighters for battling a fire that recently burned down a storage warehouse. The producer of the world’s best-selling bourbon writes that it regrets the environmental impact of the fire. Beam officials say they’re working with state and local authorities to “restore the natural environment” near the warehouse that was destroyed when a lightning strike triggered the fire. Beam writes that it did “everything we could to manage the impact to wildlife.” The massive blaze earlier this month destroyed about 45,000 barrels of aging whiskey. Bourbon-filled runoff flowed into nearby waterways, removing oxygen from the water and killing fish.

Louisiana
Grambling President Rick Gallot and Magic Johnson launched a partnership for SodexoMAGIC and the university on Monday.
Grambling President Rick Gallot and Magic Johnson launched a partnership for SodexoMAGIC and the university on Monday. (Photo: Courtesy)

Grambling: Grambling State University has announced the launch of a long-term partnership with a new dining service provider SodexoMAGIC, whose chairman is former NBA great Earvin “Magic” Johnson. The new agreement will deliver $6.7 million in facility renovations, new major-brand, quick-serve restaurants and 24-hour dining. The university’s partnership comes as a result of a collaborative RFP process in which students, faculty and staff weighed in on proposals from America’s leading dining service providers.

Maine
Portland: The state’s congressional delegation is getting involved in a push to extend federal aid to members of the state’s wild blueberry industry. Wild blueberries are an important crop in Maine, but the industry has struggled with low prices in recent years. Maine’s delegation says the U.S. Department of Agriculture should include the industry in its Market Facilitation Program, which is designed to provide money to agricultural producers affected by trade disruptions. A USDA spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a question about the likelihood of including the wild blueberry industry in the Market Facilitation Program.

Maryland
Annapolis: Gov. Larry Hogan has renewed an agreement with a jurisdiction in Japan that is designed to advance life sciences. Hogan signed a new memorandum of understanding in Annapolis with Gov. Yuji Kuroiwa of Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan. Hogan says renewing the agreement will help build on mutual strengths that Maryland and Kanagawa have in biotech and life sciences. He says increasing engagement with Japan has been a key goal of his administration. Kanagawa is part of the greater Tokyo area.

Massachusetts
Marblehead: Police are investigating anti-Semitic posters found near the entrance to Temple Emanu-El on Monday morning. Rabbi David Meyer tells The Daily Item of Lynn that one flier was placed on the temple’s welcome sign adjacent to its front steps. Meyer says although the posters are “distressing,” he has been heartened by the response of the interfaith community in the town north of Boston, as well as law enforcement. The fliers reference local groups that support a neo-Nazi website. Meyer says surveillance video has been turned over to police, who are seeing the public’s help.

Michigan
Lake Linden: A government task force is considering three ways to deal with mining waste rock that threatens to smother a natural reef in Lake Superior off the Keweenaw Peninsula. The Buffalo Reef Task Force has scheduled a public meeting for July 31 in Lake Linden to discuss the options. Waste rock called stamp sands were dumped into the lake during the copper mining era a century ago. Waves have slowly been carrying them toward the reef, a crucial spawning area for whitefish and lake trout near the mouth of Big Traverse River.

Minnesota
St. Louis Park: A suburban Minneapolis city council has voted to reinstate the Pledge of Allegiance at its meetings after the decision to drop it generated a firestorm of criticism, including from the White House. The St. Louis Park City Council voted to drop the pledge June 17 to be more inclusive to new residents and noncitizens. Protesters packed the meeting room last week, and on Monday night more than 100 people showed up to call for the reinstatement of the pledge. The council then voted unanimously to bring it back.

Mississippi
Starkville: The Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District is studying whether it can offer stipends to math teachers to make the job more attractive. Superintendent Eddie Peasant says math teachers in grades seven to 12 are the hardest to retain because they can make more money in other places. The Commercial Dispatch reports that this past school year, the nearby Columbus Municipal School District started offering a $3,000 signing bonus to incoming math and science teachers. Peasant says that rather than a one-time bonus, he would like to offer a stipend at the end of the school year for three years to see if that helps keep teachers in the Starkville-Oktibbeha district.

Missouri
Kansas City: Former Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jason Kander is starting a job at a nonprofit for veterans. The Kansas City Star reports that Kander will lead a national expansion of Veterans Community Project. The nonprofit helps homeless veterans. Kander says the organization helped him when he dropped out of politics last year to seek treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from his time as an Army intelligence officer.

Montana
Helena: Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock’s presidential campaign will pay for out-of-state travel costs associated with his security detail after questions were raised about taxpayer funds being used, officials said Monday. The governor and Department of Justice entered into a memorandum of understanding July 2 in which the governor’s campaign agrees to pay for “incidental expenses,” including travel, lodging and cost meals incurred by the Montana Highway Patrol officers.

Nebraska
Lincoln: State emergency officials are urging south-central Nebraska residents and local governments to document any damage they experienced from flooding earlier this month. Officials with the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency say they’re still collecting damage reports from local emergency management offices. They recommend documenting damage by photograph or video, if possible. They say affected people should register the damage with their private insurer and local emergency management offices.

Nevada
Nevada 071719
Both of the dormitories damaged in a natural gas explosion at the University of Nevada-Reno will remain closed for at least a year, and the most severely damaged one isn’t expected to reopen until at least the fall of 2021. (Photo: Scott Sonner/AP)

Reno: Both of the dormitories damaged in a natural gas explosion at the University of Nevada-Reno will remain closed for at least a year, and the most severely damaged one isn’t expected to reopen until at least the fall of 2021. School officials say they’re making progress on plans to find housing for 1,300 students who were scheduled to live in Argenta and Nye halls when the fall semester begins at the end of next month. A July 5 explosion in a basement boiler room at Argenta Hall led to a much larger gas blast that blew out walls and windows but caused only minor injuries to eight people.

New Hampshire
Chichester: Two horses have been rescued from a farm and are recovering from starvation. Live and Let Live Farm Director Teresa Paradis tells the Concord Monitor that the horses were rescued Monday from a home near Hollis where they were living in “sewer-like conditions.” The mare and stallion – both roughly 20 years old – had been kept in a dirty barn behind the home. Paradis feared they wouldn’t have survived much longer if they hadn’t been rescued, and she estimated they would need months of care. The owners, who were not named, handed over the horses voluntarily. No charges are expected.

New Jersey
Sears
The Sears store at Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, N.J., held a grand reopening in October 2017 after being downsized and redesigned, but it will close this fall. (Photo: Tariq Zehawi/North Jersey Record)

Wayne: The Sears store at Willowbrook Mall will close this fall, a company spokesperson confirmed Monday. Transform Holdco LLC, which acquired Sears Holdings’ assets earlier this year, was unable to reach an agreement regarding the store’s lease during bankruptcy proceedings, the Sears spokesperson said. The Wayne store is expected to close in mid-September, and liquidation sales began July 13. The spokesperson did not know how many associates would be affected by the closure.

New Mexico
Santa Fe: Patient enrollment in the state’s medical marijuana program has increased by nearly 10% since the start of the year. The Department of Health says the number of active patients increased to 74,100 at the end of June. That represents a 1% increase over May enrollment and a 35% expansion since June 2018. New Mexico’s medical marijuana industry is expressing mixed opinions about a proposal to limit production to 1,750 plants per producer and whether it helps ensure adequate supplies to patients.

New York
Shenectady: The Rivers Casino and Resort opened its sports betting lounge to the public Tuesday, the first of what are likely to be several casinos that expect to begin taking bets before the fall football season. The state’s entry into sports wagering comes after a ruling last year by the U.S. Supreme Court lifted sports betting prohibitions covering most states and prompted a frenzy of interest. In New York, officials are eager to catch up to New Jersey, where gamblers bet more than $3 billion on sports in the first full year since it became legal in that state.

North Carolina
Raleigh: The General Assembly has given final approval to a measure that would give the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the state’s only federally recognized American Indian tribe, the authority to offer sports betting. The House voted for the measure that had cleared the Senate three months ago. The bill now goes to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk. A Cooper spokesman says the bill will be reviewed before he makes a decision on whether to sign it.

North Dakota
North Dakota 071719
Thousands of white pelicans and their nests are visible on two small islands in the middle of the Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge in North Dakota. The number of American white pelicans that have returned to North Dakota to nest at North America's largest refuge is likely down only slightly from last year and still among the highest on record, federal Fish and Wildlife Service said. (Photo: Will Kincaid/AP)

Bismarck: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says an aerial count of American white pelicans nesting in the state doesn’t give a clear picture of the number of the big-billed birds. The nesting colony at Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge is the largest in North America. Acting Refuge Manager Drew Williams says an aerial survey last month was done in the afternoon and counted only 12,000 birds. Williams says biologists believe the number of adults at the refuge is probably down only slightly from last year’s count of 29,000 birds. The pelicans usually arrive at the refuge north of Medina in early April and stay through September.

Ohio
Dayton: Parts of the state are preparing for a new area code and mandated 10-digit dialing in early 2020. The Dayton Daily News reports area code 326 will be rolled out for new phone subscribers alongside the existing 937 area code in the Dayton area in southwest Ohio. Starting Feb. 8, 2020, all local phone calls will require use of the area code plus the seven-digit number. The 326 area code will take effect March 8, 2020. A Public Utilities Commission of Ohio spokesman says available numbers under area code 937 are running low and will run out in 2021. All current 937 subscribers will keep their numbers.

Oklahoma
Oklahoma City: A finance report shows the inaugural committee for the new Republican governor spent more than $2.4 million on inauguration festivities to launch his first term in office. Gov. Kevin Stitt took office in January to become Oklahoma’s 28th governor. The report filed last week indicates Stitt’s inauguration celebrations cost was more than former Gov. Mary Fallin spent on both of her inauguration festivities combined, The Oklahoman reports. Stitt’s committee used all of the $2,471,900 that was raised from contributed funds and ticket sales, exhausting residual funds in his inaugural account. Oklahoma tribes, major local businesses and oil companies contributed the most to Stitt’s campaign, which was entirely funded by private donations. Stitt’s spokeswoman says the inauguration costs exceeded previous celebrations because the events were “wildly successful.”

Oregon
J0-20130716-OUTDOORS-307160801-1
State officials have fully opened a 35-mile road circling Crater Lake National Park in Oregon while closing two backcountry campsites. (Photo: Statesman Journal file)

Portland: State officials have fully opened a road circling Crater Lake National Park while closing two backcountry campsites. Rim Drive, which stretches 35 miles around Crater Lake, is considered one of the most scenic drives in the Pacific Northwest and usually remains open until the middle or end of October. Last week, officials in the national park 232 miles south of Portland opened Rim Drive’s eastern segment. The road’s western side and the park’s north entrance opened in June. Park officials last week also announced an emergency closure of the Dutton Creek and Red Cone campsites. Officials say the sites along the Pacific Crest Trail have been shuttered because of hazardous trees.

Pennsylvania
Philadelphia: The for-profit owner of a longtime teaching hospital that’s scheduled for closure says he tried to keep Hahnemann University Hospital open, including transferring it to a not-for-profit organization. But CEO Joel Freedman says those discussions weren’t successful, and no one else offered to take it over. Freedman issued the statement Monday, as Gov. Tom Wolf, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders assailed Freedman and his venture capital firm. They’re blaming Freedman for taking Hahnemann into bankruptcy and shutting down the 495-bed hospital. Hahnemann will stop admitting patients from the emergency room this week.

Rhode Island
Providence: Residents are paying more for a ride on the city’s popular electric bikes. JUMP, an Uber-owned company, announced a change in its pricing model Monday. A $2 fee now buys only 6 minutes and 40 seconds on the electrified bike share. Last week, that same $2 could buy a 30-minute ride. An hourlong ride costs more than four times as much, going from $4.10 to $18. The company says it has also “temporarily paused” the monthly subscription service. The Providence Journal reports that city spokesman Ben Smith says Providence is “disappointed in this fee increase.” Smith says the city will advocate for JUMP to reevaluate the price changes and expects the monthly plan to return soon.

South Carolina
Dispatcher At Work
A dispatcher in Greenville, S.C., monitors calls at her work station. The Police Department is hopeful officers will be able to shave down response times when it matters most with the implementation of new call-tracing software. (Photo: Greenville Police Department)

Greenville: The Police Department is hopeful officerswill be able to shave down response times when it matters most with the implementation of new call-tracing software. The agency announced Tuesday that its dispatch center is adopting RapidSOS, a free program that allows dispatchers to pinpoint a caller’s exact location in seconds. Before RapidSOS, dispatchers had to rely on older technology that used cellphone towers to triangulate a caller’s location. But that took valuable time and provided only a relatively general area for the call. The new program, which can be used only while the caller is on the line, gives the caller’s exact location immediately, with precision that can show whether the call is coming from the northbound or southbound lane of a road.

South Dakota
Pine Ridge: The Oglala Sioux say they are the state’s first tribe to legalize same-sex marriage. The tribal council last week approved a same-gender marriage ordinance in a 12-3 vote with one abstention. The new marriage ordinance amends marital and domestic law that has not changed on the Pine Ridge reservation since 1935.

Tennessee
Nashville: Gov. Bill Lee now says he’s in favor of changing a law that requires the state to honor Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan. Lee tweeted Monday that although it’s his job to enforce the law, he plans on working to change a decades-old statute requiring governors to sign a proclamation designating July 13 as “Nathan Bedford Forrest Day.” Lee’s statement Monday comes days after he faced national backlash not only for signing the proclamation last week but also for declining to answer if he thought the law should change.

Texas
Big Bend National Park: Experts say fossil remains discovered in the 1980s at the park have been identified as a new genus and species of duck-billed dinosaur. Officials with Big Bend National Park announced details of the creature named Aquilarhinus palimentus for its aquiline nose and shovel-shaped jaw. Texas Tech University Professor Tom Lehman discovered the fossil. The peculiar lower jaw was noted, but it wasn’t until recently that researchers determined the specimen was more primitive than prior identified duck-billed dinosaurs. Duck-billed dinosaurs, known as hadrosaurids, were the most common herbivorous dinosaur at the end of the Mesozoic era. Details are in the Journal of Systematic Paleontology.

Utah
Salt Lake City: A 15-year-old giraffe has been euthanized at Hogle Zoo after struggling with intestinal issues. The zoo says Kipenzi the giraffe was euthanized July 12 after zookeepers noticed that her appetite severely decreased and that she wasn’t going to the bathroom. Zoo veterinarians said the giraffe did not respond to exhaustive treatment and showed no signs of recovering. Kipenzi came to Utah in 2005 from Brookfield Zoo in Chicago.

Vermont
Montpelier: Officials say the deaths of two dogs after they drank water from a private pond and the closures of two beaches underscore the reasons for concern over cyanobacteria. New England Cable News reports the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources says small-breed dogs fell ill and died earlier this year after swimming in a pond on private property in Stowe. The owner of the adult dog and puppy contacted the state last month. Cyanobacteria can produce harmful toxins and often flourishes during hot days of summer. The Burlington Parks, Recreation and Waterfront Department closed the cove at Oakledge Park to swimmers on Monday because of a suspected cyanobacteria bloom. The city’s busy North Beach was closed Friday for the same reason.

Virginia
Richmond: The city’s public school system says starting next school year, it will no longer require educators to take a drug test before being allowed to teach. WWBT reports Richmond Public School officials announced the district is lifting mandatory preemployment drug testing for school positions. The one exception will be for those who serve in safety positions, such as bus drivers and school security officers. The station says the school system approved the change earlier this year as a cost-savings measure, and it went into effect Monday.

Washington
Seattle: Health officials say a new case of measles has been confirmed in a Seattle nurse. KOMO-TV reported Monday that Seattle Children’s Hospital officials say the nurse contracted the disease from a patient who was being treated for measles at the facility. The hospital says the patient was in appropriate isolation, and the nurse was wearing personal protective equipment while caring for the patient. The nurse might have exposed people to the disease while she was working July 8-11. The measles case marks the 10th in King County since May.

West Virginia
Winfield: State Police are set to increase patrols on a 3-mile section of U.S. Route 35 known for deadly crashes. WSAZ-TV reports there have been six deadly crashes on that stretch of highway in Putnam County since May. Trooper Justin Cavender says speed has been a factor in many of the crashes on the road, adding that it seems like people are ignoring speed-limit signs. Cavender says troopers have issued more than 300 tickets to drivers speeding on the highway since May.

Wisconsin
Madison: People in Monroe and Juneau counties can expect to see more military vehicles on the road and aircraft overhead this week as the Wisconsin National Guard runs a massive disaster training exercise. The exercise, dubbed Patriot North, was set to begin Monday and run through Thursday at Volk Field in Camp Douglas and Fort McCoy in Tomah. The training is designed to help civilian emergency management officials and first responders coordinate with the military in a host of disaster scenarios including high winds, evacuations, and a storm surge collapsing buildings and causing mass casualties. The training will involve more than 700 civilians, volunteers and military personnel from more than 20 states.

Wyoming
Gillette: Plans to shoot off an enormous firework during a pyrotechnics convention are worrying some residents. Pyrotechnics Guild International will hold its annual convention in Gillette in August. One feature of the event will be setting off an enormous, mortar-style firework. The handmade shell measures 36 inches wide – as big as any featured in fireworks shows in the U.S. Some locals worry the big boom will be too close to their homes. Guild President Paul Smith tells the Gillette News-Record his organization is scouting out different locations.
00 2019-07-18
Regional/National

Tough New Law Against Hazing


Florida’s governor has signed one of the country’s most intricate antihazing laws, an attempt to stem the sometimes deadly rituals by expanding those who could be criminally liable and offering protections for those who help an ailing victim.

Historians and experts say the law is among the “most cutting-edge” in the nation. That’s largely because of the unique provisions that ensure Good Samaritans can’t be prosecuted if they see a hazing victim needs medical attention and they’re the first to contact 911 or campus security. In order to escape criminal charges, the person making the phone call would need to remain on the scene until help arrived, according to the law. Such a measure may reduce hazing-related deaths if students don’t fear being punished for contacting authorities. Under the law, a person could also be immune from charges if he or she administered medical aid.

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Even those who orchestrated the hazing can take advantage of these exemptions.

“In a few remote possible cases, a true perpetrator of hazing may escape prosecution, but it is far more important that lives do not get extinguished while perps cower in fear and do nothing to save their friends,” said Hank Nuwer, a journalism professor at Franklin College in Indiana who has written extensively about hazing.

Under the new law, those who weren’t physically present during a hazing event, but who helped plan it, can now be prosecuted. This would likely affect a fraternity or sorority leader, but Peter Lake, director of the Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy at Stetson University, said he could envision a legal scenario in which administrators could also be held liable.

Sometimes officials must sign off on a Greek life event, and Lake said the law will likely test whether they would be immune from criminal charges or a civil case.

“This is definitely a new frontier for hazing prevention,” Lake said.

Nuwer said that chapter members have tended to skate by when a prosecutor brings charges only to the most “active” perpetrators and chapter officers.

“Finally it is recognized that individuals in the entire chapter bear some responsibility in a death when they knew, planned and abated actions by the most fervent zealots in the group who took things to a dangerous and fatal level,” Nuwer said.

Andrew’s Law, which the governor approved last month, is named for Andrew Coffey, a Florida State University pledge who died in November 2017 after he drank an entire fifth of Wild Turkey bourbon at an off-campus party.

Coffey, 20, was participating in a “big brother” night where the initiates were expected to finish the bottle of alcohol presented to them by their “big.” Coffey did -- he then fell unconscious and was carried to a couch and ignored until the early morning. His “big” had gone home. Coffey was found without a pulse. His autopsy found he died of alcohol poisoning -- his blood alcohol level was 0.447, nearly six times the legal driving limit.

His death upended Greek life at Florida State. The president, John E. Thrasher, shut down all fraternity and sorority activities that November, proclaiming the entire network of 50-some chapters needed to be reworked. Florida State did not respond to request for comment for this piece.

A couple of months later, Thrasher partially lifted the ban, adding new requirements for Greek life, requiring fraternities and sororities to use a third-party vendor to supply their booze and shortening the recruitment “rush” period, when many of these incidents occur.

But antihazing advocates, among them Coffey’s parents, were not fully satisfied. They lobbied the Florida Legislature to amp up the state’s law, which was already one of the stricter in the United States.

In 2005, Florida politicians made hazing a first-degree misdemeanor and a third-degree felony if a victim was seriously injured or died -- they named the law the Chad Meredith Act, for a University of Miami student who drowned in a hazing death in 2001. Then-governor Jeb Bush signed the law.

David Bianchi, one of the lawyers who helped write the Chad Meredith Act, also worked on Andrew's Law.

Bianchi, who represented the Coffey family, said prior to the bill’s passage that the law needed some improvements. He referenced a hazing case last year, also at Florida State. During a hazing game, Nicholas Mauricio was hit so hard in the face he fractured his skull and was left unconscious. He lived, but police said at the time there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the fraternity members for hazing (Mauricio was already a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity but was not yet registered as a Florida State student).

The new law closes that loophole -- under the legislation, current members of a group can also be considered hazing victims.

The bill sailed through the legislative process, being unanimously approved at every step. It was bipartisan, being sponsored chiefly by both a Democrat and Republican. Lake said lawmakers were likely confident in passing the legislation after a Florida Supreme Court ruling in December that flatly rejected a challenge to the Chad Meredith Act as potentially unconstitutional.

On the federal side, two U.S. representatives, Marcia Fudge, a Democrat from Ohio, and G. T. Thompson, a Pennsylvania Republican, last month introduced the End All Hazing Act, an amendment to the Higher Education Act.

It would require institutions to maintain a website that would publicize information about student organizations that had been disciplined for hazing. Colleges and university officials would also need to report allegations of potentially deadly hazing within 72 hours to campus police or other law enforcement.

The End All Hazing Act has been endorsed by the National Panhellenic Conference and the North-American Interfraternity Conference, which represents many sororities and fraternities nationally. Both groups created the Anti-Hazing Coalition, along with parents of students who died from hazing.

Andrea Benek, a spokeswoman with the North-American Interfraternity Conference, provided a statement on the new Florida law to Inside Higher Ed:

“The North-American Interfraternity Conference is deeply committed to eradicating hazing by advocating for stronger laws throughout the country. We support comprehensive hazing prevention measures -- proactive education, transparency and accountability around standards -- enacted through federal and state legislation. We work in partnership with the Anti-Hazing Coalition to make lasting cultural change in student organizations and on university campuses.”
00 2019-07-17
Houma/Thibodaux

La. colleges seek return students


Brikinya McZeal is about to start taking college classes again, lured back to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette 15 years after leaving by a new state push to boost the woeful number of adults in Louisiana with a college degree and the skills needed in a changing workforce.

McZeal, 35, plans to take 12 hours online during the fall semester to go with the 47 she already has in hopes of earning a degree in business management.

What got her attention is a new program called Compete LA, which is targeting the 1 in 5 adults in Louisiana -- 653,000 -- who went to college but left without a degree.

Louisiana ranks 49th in the nation in education attainment, with just 23.4 percent of adults earning a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to state figures.

Two thirds of those who left college without a degree live in the Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Acadiana areas.

The aim of the push is to make returning to college easy, including academic “coaches” and other hands-on assistance that can knock down barriers for otherwise college-bound adults put off by the red tape.

Jim Henderson, president of the University of Louisiana System, said adults already juggling jobs and child care responsibilities can see their back-to-college plans squashed with questions about transcripts and parking fines.

“Any one of those barriers is enough to derail them for the next several years,” Henderson said during an interview with the editorial board of The Advocate.

“We designed Compete Louisiana to eliminate barriers so that we can take those working adults that have some college but no degree and quickly get them back on the path toward degree attainment,” he said.

The UL System includes Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, the University of New Orleans, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Southeastern Louisiana University and others.

McZeal, 35, is the mother of two children, ages 10 and 9. She left school in 2004. “And it was always supposed to be temporary,” she said.

“Then when I went to work and became a manager at AT&T, a lot of the people I was managing had degrees and I was managing them,” she said. “I never went back.”

Not long ago she made inquiries about returning to college.

“I had applied to McNeese and Loyola,” she said. “They were giving me the runaround. I have children. It was just too much.”

She heard about Compete LA on Facebook.

“When I found out about the program, that they are encouraging former students and doing most of the legwork, it was a no-brainer,” she said.

Adults still have to figure out how to pay for the classes, especially since students now must handle about 70% of the price tag at Louisiana schools.

“That can be a barrier,” Henderson said.

But Compete LA is also part of a multiprong effort to transform Louisiana from something of an education backwater.

Only 4.5% of adults ages 25-49 who left college without a degree are enrolled in classes, according to the Louisiana Board of Regents. That is the second lowest percentage in the nation.

At the same time, the state ranks high when it comes to the kind of repetitive jobs most likely to be replaced by robots.

Henderson said the outlook is especially grim knowing that the workforce of 2030 will look much different from today’s.

“We are preparing students for jobs that don’t exist,” he said.

The regents next month plan to launch their ambitious master plan aimed at more than doubling the number of degrees and other credentials issued annually by 2030 -- to 85,000 per year.

“It will demand that Louisiana postsecondary education and its partners try new approaches, disrupt the status quo, implement new strategies for all potential student populations, enable all students to participate and emphasize re-engagement of working-age adults,” according to the plan.

Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed said Compete LA holds promise.

“We applaud the campuses in the University of Louisiana System for the clear message they’re sending to adults with some college credit in this state. We’re here to educate you,” Reed said in a statement.

The Louisiana Community and Technical College System has launched a pilot program aimed at trimming the number of adults 18 and older with a high school diploma or less -- now 1 of every 2 adults.

“The requirements to be gainfully employed and contributing to this economy, the skill set requirements, continue to escalate,” said Monty Sullivan, president of the LCTCS.

The latest effort is supposed to formally kick off around the end of the month.

Officials said the modest costs of assisting adults returning to college can be handled by tuition and fees.

Henderson said some who re-enroll in college will qualify for grants, school aid or tuition reimbursement from their employers.

McZeal is getting some tuition assistance from her employer, Verizon.

Henderson said he hopes that, in five years, about 10,000 adults will be resuming their college careers and thousands of others will have finished.

“That is the scale of the program that is necessary if we are going to move the needle,” Henderson said.
00 2019-07-17
Regional/National

This Map Paints a Grim Picture of America’s Economic Divides. Colleges Shouldn’t Run From Them.


I’m Goldie Blumenstyk, a senior writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education, covering innovation in and around academe. Here’s what I’m thinking about this week.

Our country’s economic divides will get worse. Colleges should act.
Think the country is divided now? Wait till you see what it might look like a decade from now, when the economic upheavals wrought by continuing automation bring 60 percent of net job growth to 25 “megacities” and their high-growth hubs and peripheries, leaving vast swaths of the nation even farther behind.

That geographic divergence is what first caught my attention as I paged through a new report, “The Future of Work in America,” from the McKinsey Global Institute.

The divide shows up clearly on the shaded maps in the report, including the map just below, in which the darkest-colored counties represent regions where job growth is projected to be greatest by 2030 — above 15 percent for the regions in black, negative for the areas in the lightest gray.


(For a clearer look at this map and the full key, see Page 10 of the report’s Executive Summary.)

The executive summary also includes another color-coded map showing the megacities and the locations of 12 other “community archetypes” that the McKinsey institute uses to describe the mosaic that is the American labor market. That work force is polarized now, and projected to become even more so, with education levels one of the key dividing points.

“Individuals with a high-school degree or less are four times more likely to be in a highly automatable role than individuals with a bachelor’s degree or higher,” the report states, and “as much as 14 times more vulnerable than someone with a graduate degree.” (Memo to Alaska lawmakers: Most of your state is characterized by low-growth indicators.)

And the impacts won’t hit evenly. The institute predicts workers who are Hispanic or black are most at risk of having their work lives upended (because of the jobs they now hold). It also estimates that automation could displace nearly 15 million jobs now held by people ages 18 to 34, and 11.5 million more held by workers over age 50. And some of the largest occupational categories — administrative support, food services, and production work — have the highest potential for displacement.

If the current state of American political discourse isn’t enough to get you down, I suspect reading the full 124-page report could do the trick.

But I don’t think the lesson here is to curl up in a little ball and hide. If anything, the findings in the McKinsey report (and maybe the recent spate of venomous political tweets, too) are just the latest in a series of wake-up calls to higher-education leaders of the opportunities ahead. Tens of millions of people will need new and higher-level skills throughout their lifetimes to sustain themselves and their families, and as the report notes, “not just digital skills but also critical thinking, creativity, and socioemotional skills.”

Want Goldie’s insights delivered to your inbox each week?



Having recently written two in-depth reports — “The Adult Student” and “Career-Ready Education” — I know that some colleges are already deeply engaged in such challenges, and those just getting started have plenty of good advice upon which to draw. But many still are on the sidelines.

With an eye toward the economic changes ahead, the McKinsey authors describe the range of decisions that employers will be making about investments in training and retraining, and they note that “this period of transition could be a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform many ‘dead end’ jobs into more interesting and rewarding work.” Higher education needs to find its way into as many of those conversations as possible.

All of which brings me back to that first map. I find myself imagining an overlay that shows the locations of colleges across the country. Many of the gray areas on the McKinsey map would be covered by dots, representing many of the same small, private and regional public institutions now facing enrollment and financial challenges. You get my drift here, right? The regions of the country likely to face the biggest economic challenges in the next decade because of automation are also the places filled with established educational organizations that may need a new agenda. Talk about an opportunity.

Read these books.
For the panel I moderated last month at Columbia University (part of a conference that also had “the future of work” in its title) I received several great suggestions from newsletter readers for questions to ask my panelists on colleges’ relevance for “a work force in flux.” In return, I asked each panelist to suggest a book that might be useful to readers on that topic, or the future of higher education in general. Here’s what I got.

From Chris Dede, a professor of learning technologies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education: Artificial Intelligence in Education, a new book from the Center for Curriculum Redesign. Dede said he recommends it because the influence of AI should change the goals of education: “Since the division of labor is changing, we need to change the curriculum in powerful ways.”

From Kelly Otter, dean of Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies: Robot-Proof, by Joseph Aoun, although she doesn’t buy all of his predictions for the future. “I do not look at it as a road map,” Otter said. “Read it with a grain of salt.”

From Chris Mayer, associate dean for strategy and initiatives and an associate professor of philosophy at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point: The Fuzzy and the Techie, by Scott Hartley. The book focuses on the technology sector but shows how the people with “human skills” — the fuzzies — “actually do quite well in the tech world.”

To those I’ll add one of my own: The just-published How to Win in a Winner-Take-All World, by Neil Irwin. (Irwin, a New York Times reporter, was a fellow moderator at the conference.) This book, copies of which I’ve already given to two of my early-in-their-career nephews, is a smart look at how to create a successful career in a world that has evolved to favor large, global, digitally advanced companies. Through interviews, Irwin makes the case for a “winding career path,” showing how people who take on a variety of experiences and roles become the “glue people” best positioned to help connect silos to one another and to help their organizations advance.

Some updates.
A couple of months ago, I told you I’d be following along (and writing) as a consulting firm spends two years advising a college on a turnaround strategy. More than a dozen colleges applied for this Project Capstone opportunity, which will be provided by Entangled Solutions. Entangled’s founder, Paul Freedman, tells me that the applicants include an eclectic mix — public and private, large and small, and rural and urban, including an HBCU and a college “with an entirely unique mission.” Entangled will narrow the field, and I plan to observe this summer as the company and its specially chosen advisory board make the final choice.

About a year ago, I described a project by the Education Design Lab to test whether employers really care about the value of “badges” that colleges might use to help students define and communicate skills. Now that work — which is designed especially for students who may not have all the networks of connections that students at more selective colleges can more easily acquire — is expanding. On Wednesday the design lab will announce plans to further develop the badges in three regions of the country, working with as many as two dozen employers, including Enterprise and the Jaynes Corporation. Three of its original academic partners on the project — Central New Mexico Community College, San Jose State University, and the University of Maine — will continue with it as well.

The lab will also release a paper about some of what it has learned so far, including the finding that using the word “badges” isn’t such a great idea. “Learners,” the paper notes, “are more inclined to participate in a ‘micro-credentialing program’ as opposed to a ‘badging program.’”
00 2019-07-17
Regional/National

Is US drama training a realistic option for British students?


Most vocational drama training in the US takes place in conservatoires at universities where students study for a bachelor of fine arts or a master of fine arts degree.

The Tisch School of Arts, for example, is part of New York University. It trained Martin Scorsese, Angelina Jolie, Woody Allen, Anne Hathaway and many more.

Tisch Drama claims “to prepare you for a sustained career in the performing arts and related fields”, and offers a curriculum that is a mix of vocational and more academic components. It offers training in acting, directing, musical performance, production, design and stage management and says students “will experience collaborating in a variety of productions and rehearsal projects led by world-famous theatre artists and faculty”.

The fly in the ointment is cost. To graduate at the end of the four-year course you need 120 credits, some of which, in the case of US students, are carried over from a two-year “associate” degree that is broadly similar to a UK foundation degree. At Tisch, a single credit costs $2,247 (£1,700 at current exchange rates) for the academic year 2019/20, although there is a sliding scale, so the more you do concurrently, the less the cost. Nevertheless, if you do 120 credits at Tisch, it’s likely to cost in excess of $250,000 (£196,000) plus extras and subsistence over four years.

And Tisch is only an example. It’s a broadly similar picture at Yale School of Drama, which trained Meryl Streep and Paul Newman, American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco (Denzel Washington, Winona Ryder) University of California, Los Angeles (James Coburn, Ben Stiller) or DePaul University, Chicago (Gillian Anderson, Judy Greer) and dozens of others. The University of Minnesota’s department of drama and theatre arts, however, which has a partnership with the Guthrie Theatre, comes cheaper – about $25,000 dollars (£19,600) a year and less, as is usual in US universities, for residents of the state of Minnesota.

“American universities run more like businesses [than comparable UK institutions]” says Amelia Bryant, a US national currently studying in the UK on Rose Bruford’s American Theatre Studies course. “That has its advantages because it is usually well-organised and prepares you for the business of theatre.”

How to choose your three-year drama course



American universities operate a liberal arts programme, which keeps the base wide because you are obliged to take credits in subjects in addition to your ‘major’.

“Not only will you get standard actor training classes such as voice, speech, movement etc, but you get a whole new perspective,” says Bryant. “A history class could be even more telling than a Stanislavski technique class. It offers a key element that all actors need.”

As in the UK, some of these drama departments have evolved to become part of universities. The Actors Studio in New York City (alumni include Julia Roberts, Montgomery Clift and Eli Wallach among many others) has had Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler and Sanford Meisner on its staff in the past. In 2006, it became part of Pace University. The tuition fee is $44,714 per year, which equates to about $180,000 (£144,000) over four years and there are charges in addition to accommodation and transport costs.

Kenneth Avery-Clark is a Canadian-born actor. Nine years ago in 2010, he co-founded American Musical Theatre Academy in London with Christie Miller “to bridge the gap between the creative ideals of the West End and Broadway.” Today it operates in New York, Belfast and Rome as well as London.

He has reservations about the standard US four-year programmes. “Those interested in a performance career should look at shorter options, because breaking into the industry young is important,” he says, adding that AMTA offers one and two-year programmes that focus on musical theatre industry readiness.

What does the industry want from musical theatre graduates?



Avery-Clark came from a musical family, played a variety of instruments, started performing professionally at 15 and began touring the US at 18.

“I learned a lot by doing along the way,” he says. “That is why I think it’s so important teachers should be currently in the industry and fully conversant with how things work.”

The other US option is private studios. “They tend to be in major markets such as NYC, Chicago, LA and San Francisco,” says Richard St Peter, assistant professor at Northwestern State University of Louisiana. “Actors there often continue their training even if they already have a performance degree.”

Of course, training in the US – especially in California – tends to be more film-focused than its UK equivalent. Outside the university offering, there are actors’ studios spread across Los Angeles that offer coaching.

Baron Brown Studio, for instance, which specialises in Meisner technique, boasts Dustin Hoffman, Halle Berry and Tom Hanks among its alumni. The system is a cross between film-related training and continuing professional development and there are still many starry-eyed young hopefuls who turn up in LA in the hope of enrolling in such classes and being “discovered”.

But Avery-Clark offers a word of warning to UK students hoping to train in the US and launch a screen career. “You should really train in the country you are going to work in. If you don’t have a green card [an American work permit], you won’t be able to work in the States anyway, so there’s no point in training there if you’re then going to work in London.”

A selection of US training opportunities
• Tisch School of the Arts, New York City; tisch.nyu.edu
• Yale School of Drama, New Haven; drama.yale.edu
• American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco; act-sf.org
• University of Southern California, Los Angeles; usc.edu
• University of California, Los Angeles; ucla.edu
• Juilliard School, New York City; juilliard.edu
• DePaul University, Chicago; depaul.edu
• Syracuse University School of Drama, New York City; syracuse.edu
• University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; twincities.umn.edu
• Northwestern State University of Louisiana; nsula.edu
• Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh; cmu.edu
• AMTA, New York; theamta.com/us
• Baron Brown Studio; baronbrown.com
• California Institute of the Arts, Valencia; calarts.edu
00 2019-07-17
Regional/National

The future of work in America: People and places, today and tomorrow



00 2019-07-17
Ruston

Gastons leave $2.5 million gift for Tech education, engineering


The estate of Harry and Rubye Gaston recently made a $2,500,000 legacy gift to benefit both Louisiana Tech University’s College of Education and College of Engineering and Science.

The endowments will fund undergraduate scholarships, graduate assistantships and fellowships, and the Engineering General Endowment.

“It is an honor to celebrate the legacy of Harry and Rubye Gaston through their generosity to the students of the College of Education,” said Emily Kabbes, Tech’s Director of Development. “The priority they placed in supporting students in both the College of Education and College of Engineering and Science is admirable.”

Harry Gaston, Jr., received his Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering at Louisiana Tech in 1952. During Gaston’s time at Tech, he was selected into the engineering honor society, Tau Beta Pi. After graduating he enrolled in the University of Texas in Austin, where he received his Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering and met and married Rubye Oliver.

After serving in the United States Army during the Korean War, Gaston moved to Houston with his wife. Following their move, he joined Robert W. Harrison Company, a petroleum consultant firm, which later merged into Ryder Scott Company Petroleum Engineers. Gaston served as president of the company from 1991 until his retirement in 1997. In 2005, Gaston was named the Alumnus of the Year for the College of Engineering and Science at Tech. He died in 2006, and Rubye passed away in 2018.

Prior to their deaths, the Gastons established endowed scholarships at both Tech and the University of Texas.

“We are thrilled that the Gaston’s generous legacy will forever provide for unparalleled educational experiences,” said Dr. Hisham Hegab,

Dean of the College of Engineering and Science. “Their thoughtful allocation aids several initiatives here and now, including our ability to attract and retain top quality graduate students to Louisiana Tech as a premier research institution.”

The endowment was split into four different endowed funds:

• The Harry and Rubye Gaston Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship for the College of Education provides unrestricted support for undergraduate students in the academic departments of Curriculum, Instruction and Leadership; Kinesiology; and Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, as well as other programs including Call Me MiSTER and UTeachTech.

• The Harry and Rubye Gaston Endowed Graduate Scholarship was established to attract and retain outstanding graduate students in the College of Engineering and Science.

• The Mattie Black Gaston Memorial Endowed Scholarship was established to provide funds for a student with high academic potential in the College of Engineering and Science who would otherwise be unable to attend Tech due to financial need.

• TheEngineeringEndowment is used to fund scholarship and other expenses within the college on an asneeded basis.

The Gaston family gift enhances programs in the colleges of Education and Engineering and Science, allowing the University flexibility to respond to needs and create more opportunities to fund students’ educations well into the future.

“We are grateful they made this important decision together regarding their estate plans while they were living so that we may pay their gift forward to the many, many students who will be positively impacted by their lives and generosity,” Kabbes said.
00 2019-07-17
Shreveport

LSU Health Shreveport And La Tech Form New Research Center


NEW RESEARCH CENTER IN NW LA - A collaborative research endeavor between LSU Health Shreveport and Louisiana Tech University was announced last week. The LSU System and University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors have provided a one-year conditional approval of the request to establish the Center for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine or CTERM for short. CTERM will focus on the development of cell-based and tissue-engineering therapies to combat tissue inflammation, damage, and loss associated with complications of metabolic syndrome or trauma injury.

Dr. Chris Kevil, Vice Chancellor for research at LSU Health-Shreveport outlined the strengths each institution brings to the collaboration.

"This takes the expertise of bioengineering and biomaterials from Louisiana Tech and partners it with our expertise in clinical sciences such as orthopedics, stem cells, and rehabilitation," Kevil explained.


Dr. Chris Kevil, Vice Chancellor for research at LSU Health-Shreveport
CREDIT COURTESY: LSU HEALTH-SHREVEPORT
The CTERM collaboration will be the first research center in the state established as a partnership between the University of Louisiana System and the Louisiana State University System. It will enhance opportunities for students, researchers, and clinicians in a critical area of basic and translational research as they work on potential new cell therapies for patients.

Listen Listening...1:59 The LSU System and University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors have provided a one-year conditional approval of the request to establish the Center for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine or CTERM for short
00 2019-07-16
Monroe

Grambling partners with Magic Johnson for new dining program


GRAMBLING – Grambling State University on Monday announced the launch of a long-term partnership with a new dining service provider SodexoMAGIC. The new agreement will deliver $6.7 million in facility renovations, new major-brand quick-serve restaurants, and 24-hour dining.

“The best part of our new program is that we, as students, are driving the design,” said Steven Wilson, rising senior and President of the University’s Student Government Association. “I’m grateful to President Gallot and the entire administration for how they’ve helped turn our comments, emails, and surveys into an experience that supports all of our students.”

Grambling President Rick Gallot and Magic Johnson launched a partnership for SodexoMAGIC and the university on Monday.
Grambling President Rick Gallot and Magic Johnson launched a partnership for SodexoMAGIC and the university on Monday. (Photo: Courtesy)

The University’s partnership comes as a result of a collaborative RFP process where students, faculty and staff weighed in on proposals from America’s leading dining service providers. The winning finalist, SodexoMAGIC, is well known for its chairman, NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and its service to universities and corporate clients that include Delta Airlines, the Walt Disney Company, the Federal Reserve Bank, and Toyota.

“This agreement is a great example of what is possible when Universities put our students first,” said Rick Gallot, president of Grambling State. “We are fortunate to collaborate with a partner, like SodexoMAGIC who understands the holistic needs of our students.”

What to expect
The partnership will include a two-year overhaul of campus dining facilities and the launch of new program features that include:

New menus overseen by Chef G. Garvin, nationally acclaimed TV host, author, and NAACP Image Award winner
A new mobile app feature for ordering takeout and made-to-order items
Allergen-friendly meal programs to support vegetarians and other specialized dietary needs.
The deal connects SodexoMAGIC and the university for a five-year partnership that will yield a $51 million return on investment and includes a five-year option to renew.

Rendering of the renovated student union food court Tiger Express.
Rendering of the renovated student union food court Tiger Express. (Photo: Courtesy)

“We are proud to partner with the Grambling State community and excited about investing in the students,” said Earvin "Magic" Johnson, NBA hall of famer and chairman of SodexoMAGIC. “My team is committed to providing excellent service that the Grambling students, staff, and community deserve so they can continue leading efforts to change the world in sports, technology, and in business.”

Facility renovations
As a part of the five-year partnership, Grambling State’s campus will receive $6.7 million in facility updates and additions that include:

A Steak & Shake food truck addition in early Fall 2019
Renovations to the student union food court (Tiger Express)
The addition of national brands Chick-fil-a, Firehouse Subs, and Pizza Hut, to be completed November 2019
A full-scale renovation of McCall Dining Hall during the Summer of 2020
The addition of a campus Starbucks planned for a 2021 opening.
Blueprint for the layout and new brand positions at Grambling University student food court.
Blueprint for the layout and new brand positions at Grambling University student food court. (Photo: Courtesy)

“As we make history with our new library and academic programs, we know that our student experience has to match the same levels of excellence,” said Martin Lemelle, the University's Chief Operating Officer. “We are excited about what this partnership means for students today and for the generations to come.”

Future of Grambling dining
Through a 12-month research effort, students, faculty, alumni, and staff collaborated in the vendor selection and program design for the future of Grambling State’s dining program. In addition to the formal RFP, the research included:

A meta-analysis of dining contracts throughout Louisiana and the Southeast;
Campus surveys that engaged more than 20 percent of students and faculty;
Student focus groups and weekly meetings led by the Student Government Association to assess the campus needs and capture ideas.
Key findings from the University’s research included:

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71% expressed interest in new major brand food options including Chick-fil-a as the #1 student choice
69% of respondents requested increasing food variety
56% of respondents suggested increasing dining service hours
More than 50% of respondents shared that they participate in a specialized diet (e.g. keto, gluten-free, vegan/vegetarian)
For interviews or more information on Grambling State’s new dining program, email Jovan Hackley at mediarelations@gram.edu or call (318) 243-5012.
00 2019-07-16
Regional/National

Magic Johnson makes another HBCU assist with Grambling deal


GRAMBLING, LA — July 15, 2019 – Today, Grambling State University announced the launch of a long-term partnership with a new dining service provider SodexoMAGIC. The new agreement will deliver $6.7 million in facility renovations, new major-brand quick-serve restaurants, and 24-hour dining.


“The best part of our new program is that we, as students, are driving the design,” said Steven Wilson, rising senior and President of the University’s Student Government Association. “I’m grateful to President Gallot and the entire administration for how they’ve helped turn our comments, emails, and surveys into an experience that supports all of our students.”


The University’s partnership comes as a result of a collaborative RFP process where students, faculty, and staff weighed in on proposals from America’s leading dining service providers. The winning finalist, SodexoMAGIC, is well known for its chairman, NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and its service to universities and corporate clients that include Delta Airlines, the Walt Disney Company, the Federal Reserve Bank, and Toyota.

“This agreement is a great example of what is possible when Universities put our students first,” said Rick Gallot, President of Grambling State. “We are fortunate to collaborate with a partner, like SodexoMAGIC who understands the holistic needs of our students.”

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Grambling State Univ

@Grambling1901
Grambling State Launches New Dining Program with @MagicJohnson ’s Sodexo Magic http://www.gram.edu/news/?p=7110 @RickGallot @Sodexo_MAGIC @gram1901dining

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The partnership will include a two-year overhaul of campus dining facilities and the launch of new program features that include:

New menus overseen by Chef G. Garvin, nationally acclaimed TV host, author, and NAACP Image Award winner
A New mobile app feature for ordering takeout and made-to-order items
Allergen-friendly meal programs to support vegetarians and other specialized dietary needs.
The deal connects SodexoMAGIC and the University for a five-year partnership that will yield a $51 million return on investment and includes a five-year option to renew.

“We are proud to partner with the Grambling State community and excited about investing in the students,” said Earvin “Magic” Johnson, NBA hall of famer and chairman of SodexoMAGIC. “My team is committed to providing excellent service that the Grambling students, staff, and community deserve so they can continue leading efforts to change the world in sports, technology, and in business.”

Grambling-State-Union_Favrot-Renovation-Floorplan-web
New Dining Program Brings Facility Renovations for Grambling State

As a part of the five-year partnership, Grambling State’s campus will receive $6.7 million in facility updates and additions that include:

A Steak & Shake food truck addition in early Fall 2019;
Renovations to the student union food court (Tiger Express);
The addition of national brands Chick-fil-a, Firehouse Subs, and Pizza Hut, to be completed November 2019;
A full-scale renovation of McCall Dining Hall during the Summer of 2020; and
The addition of a campus Starbucks planned for a 2021 opening.
“As we make history with our new library and academic programs, we know that our student experience has to match the same levels of excellence,” said Martin Lemelle, the University’s Chief Operating Officer. “We are excited about what this partnership means for students today and for the generations to come.”

Student Feedback Drives the Future of Grambling State Dining

Through a 12-month research effort, students, faculty, alumni, and staff collaborated in the vendor selection and program design for the future of Grambling State’s dining program. In addition to the formal RFP, the research included:

A meta-analysis of dining contracts throughout Louisiana and the Southeast;
Campus surveys that engaged more than 20 percent of students and faculty;
Student focus groups and weekly meetings led by the Student Government Association to assess the campus needs and capture ideas.
Key findings from the University’s research included:

71% expressed interest in new major brand food options including Chick-fil-a as the #1 student choice
69% of respondents requested increasing food variety
56% of respondents suggested increasing dining service hours
More than 50% of respondents shared that they participate in a specialized diet (e.g. keto, gluten-free, vegan/vegetarian)
In addition, the research and formal RFP evaluation engaged representatives from divisions across campus including:

Alvin Bradley, Director of Purchasing
Arshauna Candler, Student, Sports Management & Public Relations
Ashley Dabney, Student, Business Management & Marketing
Carnelia Barfield, Assistant Director of Housing & Residential Life
Casey Byrd, Management and Research Analyst, Strategic Management Services
Craig Jones, Director of Network Services
Frederick Carr, Director of Facilities Management
Gourjoine Wade, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students
Halana Miles, Purchasing Officer
Javonte White, Student, Criminal Justice
Jessica Clinton, Student, Visual and Performing Arts
Jovan Hackley, Associate Vice President of Strategic Initiatives & Marketing
LaJazzmond Pichon, Student, Mass Communications
Martin Lemelle, Chief Operating Officer & Vice President of Finance
Peggy Hanley, Associate Vice President of Information Technology
Quaneshia Armstrong, College of Business Professor
Rickenzie Johnikin, Student, Mass Communications & Miss Grambling 2019-2020
Rudolph Ellis, Associate Dean of Students
Sheilah Faucette, Associate Vice President for Finance
Steven Wilson, Student, Biology
Tanisha Cousby, Director of Campus Living & Residential Life
Taryne Standifer, Business Services Manager & Tiger 1 Card
00 2019-07-16
Regional/National

Great Business Schools Releases National Rankings of Business Bachelor's Degree Programs


CHAPEL HILL, N.C., July 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Great Business Schools (https://www.greatbusinessschools.org/), a free online guide that takes students from the decision to attend business school all the way to application and acceptance, has released four 2019 rankings of the best Business Bachelor degree programs in the US:

25 Best Business Bachelor's Degrees for 2020 (https://www.greatbusinessschools.org/best-undergraduate-business-programs/)
15 Best Online Business Bachelor's Degrees for 2020
(https://www.greatbusinessschools.org/best-online-business-bachelors-degree/)
10 Fastest Online Business Bachelor's Degrees for 2020
(https://www.greatbusinessschools.org/accelerated-online-business-degree/)
10 Most Affordable Business Bachelor's Degrees for 2020
(https://www.greatbusinessschools.org/most-affordable-online-bachelors-business/)

The Top 3 Best Business Bachelor's Programs for 2019 are: 1) The Georgia Institute of Technology; 2) University of Notre Dame; 3) Georgetown University. The Top 3 Online Fire Science Bachelor's Programs for 2019 are: 1) University of Florida; 2) Northeastern University; 3) Rutgers University.

A complete list of all institutions ranked is included at the end of this release.

GBS editors put it bluntly: "A successful career in business has to start somewhere, and it rarely begins with dumb luck." Rather than learning on the job, or hoping for the best in the 21st century "a successful career in business begins with intelligence, determination, and preparation, and more often than not, today it begins with a bachelor's degree in business." The worlds of finance, banking, marketing, and every other aspect of the modern, global business world is complex, and a bachelor's in business "gives graduates the credentials and foundation to take on the job market and to find their place wherever the market takes them."

The GBS rankings cover both on-campus and online programs, giving fair coverage to both options. According to the editors, on-campus programs "provide real mentorship from experienced, knowledgeable businesspeople" and "offer internship opportunities that often lead to rewarding jobs." In turn, online programs allow working adults the chance to "complete their bachelor's degree entirely online, working around their current schedule without having to leave their job or move to go 'back to school' in the traditional sense." Either choice can fit, and GBS is dedicated to helping students make the decision that is right for them.

Going to the right school is important for every student. Great Business Schools doesn't get caught up about which schools are the "best." They focus on what makes business schools great places for students to learn and grow. Rankings and resources that reflect a wide range of needs and priorities are what set GBS apart.

All Institutions in the Great Business Schools Business Bachelor's Rankings (in alphabetical order)

Appalachian State University

Arizona State University

Auburn University

Babson College

Bellevue University

Bentley University

Boston College

Boston University

California Baptist University

California State University, East Bay

College of William and Mary

Columbia Southern University

Cornell University

Eastern Kentucky University

Fayetteville State University

Florida Atlantic University

Georgetown University

Georgia Institute of Technology

Kansas State University

McKendree University

McNeese State University

Morehead State University

Murray State University

Northeastern University

Oklahoma State University

Penn State World Campus

Purdue University

Quinnipiac University

Rider University

Rutgers University

Saint Joseph's College of Maine

Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

Temple University

Texas A&M, College Station

University of Colorado Colorado Springs

University of Florida

University of Georgia

University of Illinois at Chicago

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

University of Louisiana - Monroe

University of Massachusetts - Amherst

University of Massachusetts-Lowell

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

University of Minnesota

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

University of Notre Dame

University of Pennsylvania

University of South Carolina

University of Southern California

University of Texas, Austin

University of Virginia

University of Washington

University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

University of Wisconsin - Parkside

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Virginia Institute of Technology

Wake Forest University

Washington State University

Washington University in St. Louis
00 2019-07-16
Ruston

Grambling inducts 2019 Legends


The Grambling Legends Hall of Fame inducted its Class of 2019 Saturday night at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center. Pictured from left to right is that Class: Terry Sykes, Mike Williams, Elfrid Payton, Allette Williams (accepting for her father, the late Tom Williams), Miechelle Willis, Wendell Henderson and Sam Holden.
00 2019-07-15
Baton Rouge

University of Louisiana colleges are pushing folks to return to college and complete their degree


Brikinya McZeal is about to start taking college classes again, lured back to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette 15 years after leaving by a new state push to boost the woeful number of adults in Louisiana with a college degree and the skills needed in a changing workforce.

McZeal, 35, plans to take 12 hours online during the fall semester to go with the 47 she already has in hopes of earning a degree in business management.

What got her attention is a new program called Compete LA, which is targeting the 1 in 5 adults in Louisiana — 653,000 — who went to college but left without a degree.

Louisiana ranks 49th in the nation in education attainment, with just 23.4 percent of adults earning a bachelor's degree or higher, according to state figures.

More Louisiana high school students are taking college courses, but access still uneven
More Louisiana high school students are taking college courses, but access still uneven
Two thirds of those who left college without a degree live in the Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Acadiana areas.

The aim of the push is to make returning to college easy, including academic “coaches” and other hands-on assistance that can knock down barriers for otherwise college-bound adults put off by the red tape.

Jim Henderson, president of the University of Louisiana System, said adults already juggling jobs and child care responsibilities can see their back-to-college plans squashed with questions about transcripts and parking fines.

"Any one of those barriers is enough to derail them for the next several years," Henderson said during an interview with the editorial board of The Advocate.

"We designed Compete Louisiana to eliminate barriers so that we can take those working adults that have some college but no degree and quickly get them back on the path toward degree attainment," he said.

The UL System includes the University of New Orleans, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Southeastern Louisiana University and others.

McZeal, 35, is the mother of two children, ages 10 and 9. She left school in 2004. "And it was always supposed to be temporary," she said.

"Then when I went to work and became a manager at AT&T, a lot of the people I was managing had degrees and I was managing them," she said. "I never went back."

Not long ago she made inquiries about returning to college.

"I had applied to McNeese and Loyola," she said. "They were giving me the runaround. I have children. It was just too much."

She heard about Compete LA on Facebook.

"When I found out about the program, that they are encouraging former students and doing most of the legwork, it was a no-brainer," she said.

Adults still have to figure out how to pay for the classes, especially since students now must handle about 70% of the price tag at Louisiana schools.

"That can be a barrier," Henderson said.

But Compete LA is also part of a multiprong effort to transform Louisiana from something of an education backwater.

Louisiana to become second state in U.S. with veteran centers on every college campus
Louisiana to become second state in U.S. with veteran centers on every college campus
Only 4.5% of adults ages 25-49 who left college without a degree are enrolled in classes, according to the Louisiana Board of Regents. That is the second lowest percentage in the nation.

Decade-long effort pays off: Louisiana public high school graduation rate reaches 81 percent
Decade-long effort pays off: Louisiana public high school graduation rate reaches 81 percent
At the same time, the state ranks high when it comes to the kind of repetitive jobs most likely to be replaced by robots.

Henderson said the outlook is especially grim knowing that the workforce of 2030 will look much different from today's.

"We are preparing students for jobs that don't exist," he said.

The regents next month plan to launch their ambitious master plan aimed at more than doubling the number of degrees and other credentials issued annually by 2030 — to 85,000 per year.

"It will demand that Louisiana postsecondary education and its partners try new approaches, disrupt the status quo, implement new strategies for all potential student populations, enable all students to participate and emphasize re-engagement of working-age adults," according to the plan.

Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed said Compete LA holds promise.

"We applaud the campuses in the University of Louisiana System for the clear message they're sending to adults with some college credit in this state. We're here to educate you," Reed said in a statement.

The Louisiana Community and Technical College System has launched a pilot program aimed at trimming the number of adults 18 and older with a high school diploma or less — now 1 of every 2 adults.

This Louisiana program luring adults to college could benefit students, state; here's how
This Louisiana program luring adults to college could benefit students, state; here's how
"The requirements to be gainfully employed and contributing to this economy, the skill set requirements, continue to escalate," said Monty Sullivan, president of the LCTCS.

The latest effort is supposed to formally kick off around the end of the month.

Officials said the modest costs of assisting adults returning to college can be handled by tuition and fees.

Henderson said some who re-enroll in college will qualify for grants, school aid or tuition reimbursement from their employers.

McZeal is getting some tuition assistance from her employer, Verizon.

Henderson said he hopes that, in five years, about 10,000 adults will be resuming their college careers and thousands of others will have finished.

"That is the scale of the program that is necessary if we are going to move the needle," Henderson said.
00 2019-07-15
Baton Rouge

University of Louisiana colleges are pushing folks to return to college and complete their degree


Brikinya McZeal is about to start taking college classes again, lured back to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette 15 years after leaving by a new state push to boost the woeful number of adults in Louisiana with a college degree and the skills needed in a changing workforce.

McZeal, 35, plans to take 12 hours online during the fall semester to go with the 47 she already has in hopes of earning a degree in business management.

What got her attention is a new program called Compete LA, which is targeting the 1 in 5 adults in Louisiana — 653,000 — who went to college but left without a degree.

Louisiana ranks 49th in the nation in education attainment, with just 23.4 percent of adults earning a bachelor's degree or higher, according to state figures.

More Louisiana high school students are taking college courses, but access still uneven
More Louisiana high school students are taking college courses, but access still uneven
Two thirds of those who left college without a degree live in the Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Acadiana areas.

The aim of the push is to make returning to college easy, including academic “coaches” and other hands-on assistance that can knock down barriers for otherwise college-bound adults put off by the red tape.

Jim Henderson, president of the University of Louisiana System, said adults already juggling jobs and child care responsibilities can see their back-to-college plans squashed with questions about transcripts and parking fines.

"Any one of those barriers is enough to derail them for the next several years," Henderson said during an interview with the editorial board of The Advocate.

"We designed Compete Louisiana to eliminate barriers so that we can take those working adults that have some college but no degree and quickly get them back on the path toward degree attainment," he said.

The UL System includes the University of New Orleans, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Southeastern Louisiana University and others.

McZeal, 35, is the mother of two children, ages 10 and 9. She left school in 2004. "And it was always supposed to be temporary," she said.

"Then when I went to work and became a manager at AT&T, a lot of the people I was managing had degrees and I was managing them," she said. "I never went back."

Not long ago she made inquiries about returning to college.

"I had applied to McNeese and Loyola," she said. "They were giving me the runaround. I have children. It was just too much."

She heard about Compete LA on Facebook.

"When I found out about the program, that they are encouraging former students and doing most of the legwork, it was a no-brainer," she said.

Adults still have to figure out how to pay for the classes, especially since students now must handle about 70% of the price tag at Louisiana schools.

"That can be a barrier," Henderson said.

But Compete LA is also part of a multiprong effort to transform Louisiana from something of an education backwater.

Louisiana to become second state in U.S. with veteran centers on every college campus
Louisiana to become second state in U.S. with veteran centers on every college campus
Only 4.5% of adults ages 25-49 who left college without a degree are enrolled in classes, according to the Louisiana Board of Regents. That is the second lowest percentage in the nation.

Decade-long effort pays off: Louisiana public high school graduation rate reaches 81 percent
Decade-long effort pays off: Louisiana public high school graduation rate reaches 81 percent
At the same time, the state ranks high when it comes to the kind of repetitive jobs most likely to be replaced by robots.

Henderson said the outlook is especially grim knowing that the workforce of 2030 will look much different from today's.

"We are preparing students for jobs that don't exist," he said.

The regents next month plan to launch their ambitious master plan aimed at more than doubling the number of degrees and other credentials issued annually by 2030 — to 85,000 per year.

"It will demand that Louisiana postsecondary education and its partners try new approaches, disrupt the status quo, implement new strategies for all potential student populations, enable all students to participate and emphasize re-engagement of working-age adults," according to the plan.

Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed said Compete LA holds promise.

"We applaud the campuses in the University of Louisiana System for the clear message they're sending to adults with some college credit in this state. We're here to educate you," Reed said in a statement.

The Louisiana Community and Technical College System has launched a pilot program aimed at trimming the number of adults 18 and older with a high school diploma or less — now 1 of every 2 adults.

This Louisiana program luring adults to college could benefit students, state; here's how
This Louisiana program luring adults to college could benefit students, state; here's how
"The requirements to be gainfully employed and contributing to this economy, the skill set requirements, continue to escalate," said Monty Sullivan, president of the LCTCS.

The latest effort is supposed to formally kick off around the end of the month.

Officials said the modest costs of assisting adults returning to college can be handled by tuition and fees.

Henderson said some who re-enroll in college will qualify for grants, school aid or tuition reimbursement from their employers.

McZeal is getting some tuition assistance from her employer, Verizon.

Henderson said he hopes that, in five years, about 10,000 adults will be resuming their college careers and thousands of others will have finished.

"That is the scale of the program that is necessary if we are going to move the needle," Henderson said.
00 2019-07-15
Lafayette

Tropical Storm Barry forces local couple to move wedding inside UL Lafayette indoor football field


Casie Falcon Young was supposed to get married Saturday night at The Manor in St. Martinville.

Tropical Storm Barry made that impossible, but the ingenuity of family and friends allowed her to still say “I do” Saturday — in a place she never expected.

She and Garland Young Jr. wed Saturday morning inside the indoor practice football field for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

“I was so disappointed until my niece called and said, ‘We can still do this; Let’s do it at UL, and Uncle Lynn could be with us in spirit,” Young said Sunday.

Young’s uncle, Lynn Williams, was an equipment manager at UL since 1985.

He died in March at 56, leaving a void in the equipment room and the hearts of UL players and family like Young.

She had been in the football facility before, often when there was a bad weather situation like this. He would have had them inside the large building to make sure they were safe during a storm.

“We would have been there anyway with him if the situation was different,” she said.

To read full story: https://www.theadvertiser.com/
00 2019-07-15
Lake Charles

Pilot program will focus on shortage of teachers


This fall, the Calcasieu Parish School Board and McNeese State University are partnering on a new pilot program aimed at fixing the nationwide shortage of teachers in the classroom.

EdRising is an elective course offered to high school students on what it’s like to be an educator. Students parishwide will travel to either A.M. Barbe or Sulphur High School to take the class. Those who pass the course and the national standardized EdRising assessment can earn up to six education credits from McNeese.

“Teachers do a great job of promoting professions in engineering, skilled trades, law, medicine — every field but our own,” said Lori Benoit, EdRising teacher at Barbe. “It’s time for us to start, and EdRising is a great way to do it.”

The School Board will pay the students’ credit costs. However, unlike traditional dual-enrollment courses, EdRising is open to all students interested in being a teacher, regardless of their ACT score or grade point average.

“You don’t have any of those barriers with this,” Tammy Hebert, CPSB director of high school curriculum, said. “Just find the student with the light. Who has the light for teaching? Look for them. Bring them in the classroom.”

Katie Williams, assistant professor at McNeese, said there is a need for “strong teachers that really have a human connection.”

“We find that the most important qualities of good teachers are their characteristics and their professional dispositions,” she said.

EdRising students will study professional teaching methods, content skills and classroom management techniques. They will also take part in classroom observations at other schools, along with some parent/teacher conferences and faculty meetings.

“Ultimately, we hope they see the value in what they get in this course in high school, want to pursue that and return back to their communities and have that strong impact with students,” Williams said.

Another goal of the program is for students to respect teachers more, Andi McFarlain, Sulphur high EdRising teacher, said.

“Too many students think what I think is a noble profession is just a backup plan or something to stay away from,” McFarlain said. “We need to change that way of thinking.”

Benoit said EdRising may be the answer to one of the biggest challenges in education.

“We want to be a part of the solution,” she said. “We have a pool of students sitting right there to be good teachers. It’s just that no one’s asked them or shown them how.”

To enroll in the program, email loris.benoit@cpsb.org or andrea.mcfarlain@cpsb.org.
00 2019-07-15
Monroe

Doug Williams Drive: GSU legend 'humbled' by campus street bearing his name


GRAMBLING — After tugging the curtain off the street sign that reads “Doug Williams Drive” on Grambling State’s campus Friday afternoon, Doug Williams reached up and gave the black-and-gold marker a gentle tap.

The moment, surrounded by his family, humbled the Grambling legend, an iconic career for the quarterback propped up by guiding the Tigers to three SWAC championships under legendary head football coach Eddie Robinson as a player before leading the Washington Redskins to a rousing 42-10 victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXII in 1986, becoming the first African-American quarterback to start and earn Super Bowl MVP honors.

After his NFL playing ended, he eventually found his way back to his alma mater, leading the G-Men to two HBCU national titles and three more conference championships during two different stints as head coach from 1998-2003 and 2011-2013.

Doug Williams, with his family, was honored Friday afternoon at Grambling State University with a street named after him.Buy Photo
Doug Williams, with his family, was honored Friday afternoon at Grambling State University with a street named after him. (Photo: Cory Diaz / The News-Star)

Williams’ accolades stretch almost the same distance as the newly minted Doug Williams Drive, formerly Facilities Drive. He’s done plenty for GSU, and those in attendance spoke to his legacy with other Grambling legends such as Willis Reed and Wilbert Ellis, fellow Hall of Fame quarterback Bert Jones taking in the street naming ceremony.

“The most important thing is the turnout,” Williams said. “See how many people came out — it makes you feel so good. It humbles you with a lot of gratitude. Emotionally, I wanted to stay strong. My kids here, I didn’t want them to see me breakdown, but this is a great moment for me.

“To have a street named after you and to be there for years to come when I’m gone, they can remember that my daddy did something great at Grambling State University along with his teammates. I don’t look at it as overdue. People are going to do what they feel like they should do. Like they say in church, it might not come when you want it to, but it’s right on time. I look at it, take it in stride and I’m humbled by it. There’s so many other guys that have come before me and after me that deserve the same platform that I received today.”

For those whom Williams has personally effected, the moment was long overdue.

“I am here to say thank you,” current Grambling State head football coach Broderick Fobbs said. “Thank you to a pioneer, someone who has been very instrumental in my life as a player. Not only that, but as a coach. Coach Williams, he gave me the honor of going to the NFL Coaching Summit about three or four weeks ago. I want to thank him for what he’s done not just on the field, but also off the field for coaches that look like me. Coach Williams has done a great job, he’s also doing a good job in management as well, and I want to him commend him for he’s done not only for all but also for me.

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“This is well overdue.”


Grambling legend Doug Williams unveils Doug Williams Drive Friday afternoon at GSU's campus. Cory Diaz, bdiaz@thenewsstar.com

District 11 State Rep. Patrick Jefferson, who represents Lincoln, Bienville and Claiborne parishes, proposed the bill in the legislature to have the street on Grambling’s campus changed to Doug Williams Drive. With a concerted effort, Jefferson said, the bill unanimously passed earlier this legislative session.

“Many people remembered (Super Bowl XXII) because when he was on that stage, it was about GSU, but Louisiana took note. Every legislator was so excited,” Jefferson said.

Jefferson said he felt compelled to propose the move to add the street to GSU’s campus because of the impact Williams has had for the institution.

“We’re honoring a man who is the perennial MVP. For us, he’s the perennial Super Bowl MVP and we’re just thankful I had a part to be able to participate in toady. What he’s doing, what he’s done and continues to do for Grambling State will ensure that there will always be a Grambling State University,” Jefferson said. “He stands on the shoulders of many before him and we stand on his shoulders.

“We look for role models. We look for individuals that we can identify with. When you think football and Grambling State, there’s so many. But there’s no bigger game than the Super Bowl. And to have an individual who was on that world stage and to do what he did, to torch the Broncos like he did, all of the records and accolades — we could still be talking about the things he did during that game and career. I thought it would be fitting talking with President Rick Gallot and the administration. Hopefully, this is the beginning.”

Reed recalled watching Super Bowl XXII in Sacramento, California with fellow NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell while both coached with the Kings more than 30 years ago. From someone who’s had an accomplished athletic career, Reed recognized the mark Williams has left at Grambling.

“I think he’s always done a lot for Grambling, he and Shack Harris both, and a lot of the other guys,” Reed said. “We don’t have Coach Rob anymore, but they are legends of Coach Rob. They still have that Eddie Robinson philosophy in them and that’s tremendous for us and tremendous for our school.”

His legacy has already been imprinted in Grambling State lore. But now Williams hopes when future football players turn on Doug Williams Drive, the street that leads up to football team’s athletic support facility building and Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium on campus, that they’ll realize great things can be achieved by attending GSU.

“People that go to school here don’t have a clue about the people that came before them. When they see a Doug Williams Drive, some will come here and not know who Doug Williams is. But they got a phone and they can Google Doug Williams,” Williams said. “If they do the same for Willis Reed, the Buck Buchanan, Ernie Ladd, Willie Brown they’ll find out the same thing that they went to an institution where a lot of great people went."

Follow Cory Diaz on Twitter @CoryDiaz_TNS and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CoryDiazTNS/
00 2019-07-15
Monroe

Grambling State University hosts first human trafficking summit


GRAMBLING, La (7/12/19) – Human Trafficking also referred to as modern-day slavery, is the fastest-growing and second-largest criminal industry in the world.

It’s a crisis GSU wanted to highlight ahead of its power of one weekend.

School officials along with specialists talked about knowing what to do if you or someone you know is ever targeted or becomes a victim of human trafficking.

Award-winning actress Vivica A. Fox was also at today’s summit to unveil trailers from two soon-to-be-released films on the topic.

Grambling’s Mayor Edwards Jones was also in attendance. Mayor Jones says it’s critical that we protect our children.

“We have brought all in what we call our specialists in to talk about human trafficking and how it affects mainly the children. said Edward Jones, Mayor of Grambling. It is of the utmost importance because children are the most important commodity that we have,” said Edward Jones, Mayor of Grambling.

If you or anyone you know is a victim of human trafficking you can call the national hotline at (888)-373-7888.


00 2019-07-15
Ruston

Louisiana Tech's College of Education is in the spotlight


RUSTON, La. (KNOE) - Louisiana Tech University's College of Education is once again in the spotlight.


The College of Education at Louisiana Tech is getting recognized for one of the best Elementary Education and Special Education programs in the country. (KNOE)
Its undergraduate Elementary Education and Special Education program was ranked in the top 20% nationally by the National Council on Teacher Quality.

The national group says they base their rankings on things like a rigorous admissions process, emphasis on research-based approaches to teaching for elementary candidates, and quality student teaching experiences.

Dawn Basinger with the College of Education says they take their clinical residency, where students are out in the school district their senior year, very seriously.

"We can give our students the one on one support they need and our faculty, again, our faculty are fabulous," says Basinger. "The courses that they teach, Our literacy program has been recognized before by one of our state acreditors, so I think the faculty make the difference."

Basinger says they just started using a new program called Swivl to record students as they're teaching out in the field, so they can get feedback from professors and see their lessons in a new perspective.

Carrice Cummins is teaching literacy courses in the College of Education and has been in the field for over 40 years, teaching almost every grade between Kindergarten and 12th grade.

She says a great teacher really molds a student's learning experience for the rest of their lives. That's why she says it's so important to have a great Elementary Education and Special Education program, since children are still developing the foundations of critical thinking and reading.

They say their program combines elementary education but also trains candidates in special education so they're prepared for any and every classroom.

"Every child learns differently and so best practices, good teaching will help every child," says Cummins. "And so our teachers here that are trained not only in regular education but special education, they know the importance of tweaking everything, not just trying to teach across the board, not just teaching one set curriculum in one set way."

Louisiana Tech's College of Education also has a Master of Arts in Teaching program that's both online and in the classroom to certify people who may have received a degree in another field previously.
00 2019-07-15
Shreveport

NSU holds roast of Doug Ireland


Doug Ireland is synonymous with Northwestern State. After more than 30 years on the job, the long-time SID is heading off to retirement.

As he says his goodbyes to the University, some of his closest friends took one last chance to let him know how they felt at the Roast of Doug Ireland.

Check out the video for a look at the roast.

Ireland has been critical to helping the KTBS Sports Department cover the Demons for years. For everyone here at KTBS, thanks for everything, Doug!
00 2019-07-15
Shreveport

Magic Johnson congratulates Doug Williams on street name at Grambling State University


Grambling State honored former quarterback Doug Williams with a street naming ceremony. Just another way to further his legacy. From leading Grambling to three SWAC championships, or the Washington Redskins to a Super Bowl Title. Williams broke barriers in football. The first black quarterback to play in a Super Bowl and to then win Super Bowl MVP. He’s currently the senior vice president of player personnel for the Redskins, who shared a message on their twitter from a good friend.

Magic Johnson said, “Doug, I just want to congratulate you man, a street named after you man that’s huge. You’ve meant so much to Grambling, but also the state of Louisiana, the NFL, fans like myself who admire you, respect you, love you. You’re a Super Bowl Champion, a Super Bowl MVP, and now a street named after you. May God bless you congratulations from the Magic man to you Doug.”
00 2019-07-12
Baton Rouge

Cancellations and closures due to TS Barry


WAFB) - Tropical Storm Barry threatens to inundate parts of Louisiana under heavy rains, prompting closures and event cancellations in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas.

Below you can find a running list of canceled events and closures:

STATE OFFICES

State offices in the following 32 parishes will be CLOSED Friday, July 12:

Acadia
Ascension
Assumption
Calcasieu
Cameron
East Baton Rouge
East Feliciana, Iberia
Iberville, Jefferson
Jeff Davis
Lafayette
Lafourche
Livingston
Orleans
Plaquemines
Pointe Coupee
St. Bernard
St. Charles
St. Helena
St. James
St. John
St. Landry
St. Martin
St. Mary
St. Tammany
Tangipahoa
Terrebonne
Vermilion
Washington
West Baton Rouge
West Feliciana
Capital Area Human Services will CLOSE clinics Friday, July 12 in the following parishes:

Ascension
East Baton Rouge
West Baton Rouge
Iberville
Pointe Coupee
East Feliciana
West Feliciana
ASCENSION PARISH

The Ascension Public Schools support workers job fair, originally slated for Thursday, July 11, has been canceled.
Ascension Parish has postponed Dancing for a Cause, originally slated for Saturday, July, 13. No new date has been given.
Le Chateau des Juenes will be CLOSED Friday, July 12.
23rd Judicial District Court and Ascension Parish Court will close at 12 p.m. Friday, July 12. Courts will reopen with normal business hours Monday, July 15 at 8:30 a.m.
ASSUMPTION PARISH

ACT test day at Assumption High School. The test day was scheduled for Saturday, July 13, but has now been canceled.
EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH

The Celebrity/Sorta Celebrity Softball Game has been rescheduled for Friday, July 19, at LSU Tiger Park. All previous ticket sales will be honored. As originally planned, gates are scheduled to open at 5 pm, with a picture and autograph session beginning at 5:30 pm and the game to follow at approximately 7 pm. We are doing our absolute very best, to put together the very best event possible under these very difficult circumstances. We are rescheduling the event to raise money for the Louisiana military charities.
LSU will be closed Friday, July 12, Saturday, July 13, and Sunday, July 14 due to inclement weather and potential for flooding in the Baton Rouge area. All classes and events scheduled for Friday are cancelled. This includes all athletic and academic summer camps, the LSU Early Childhood Education Laboratory Preschool, the LSU Testing Center, all camps and activities at the University Laboratory School, and any other events or activities scheduled on LSU’s campus. Non-essential personnel should not report to campus on Friday.
Due to an enhanced risk of severe weather throughout the area, Baton Rouge Community College (BRCC) is announcing the closure of all of its educational sites Friday, July 12 to Sunday, July 14. All activities and events are canceled. The college will resume normal business operations on Monday, July 15.
Baton Rouge Bike Share Launch, originally scheduled for Thursday, July 11, has been canceled and rescheduled for July 18.
The First Annual Slam’d and Cam’d Car Show has been postponed to Saturday, July 20.
The Louisiana Art & Science Museum’s “Art After Hours” event, initially scheduled for this Thursday, has been postponed to August 1.
Fortis College commencement ceremony scheduled at the LSU union theatre on Friday is cancelled and will rescheduled for Friday, August 2nd, at 7:00pm.
Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University (FranU) is CLOSED Friday, July 12.
Badges and Booksacks, originally scheduled for Saturday, July 13 at 11 a.m. is POSTPONED. No reschedule date has been set at this time.
All Southern University Baton Rouge campuses will be CLOSED Friday, July 12. Southern University New Orleans is CLOSED Thursday, July 11 and Friday, July 12.
The BREES Expungement event scheduled for Saturday, July 13 is canceled. The next event will be Sept. 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at City Hall.
The Knock Knock Children’s Museum will be CLOSED Saturday, July 13. The museum will reopen at its regular time on Sunday, July 14 at 11 a.m.
The OMT Concert and Drawings scheduled for Friday, July 12 at the Belle of Baton Rouge Casino are canceled.
The LSU Museum of Art will be CLOSED Friday, July 12 through Sunday, July 14.
Baton Rouge City Court will be CLOSED Friday, July 12. The court is scheduled to reopen Monday, July 15. All docketed cases scheduled for Friday will be reassigned and involved parties will be notified.
The LA Surplus Property Live Auction is POSTPONED until Saturday, July 20. No auction will be held Saturday, July 13.
East Baton Rouge Parish Juvenile Court CLOSED Friday, July 12.
All East Baton Rouge Council on Aging senior centers will be CLOSED Friday, July 12. The main office will be open until noon Friday.
All locations of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library will be CLOSED Friday, July 12, due to the threat of severe tropical weather.
The EmployBR Job Fair schedule for Friday, July 12 is POSTPONED to Friday, July 19.
St. Joseph’s Academy will be CLOSED Friday, July 12. The ACT test scheduled for Saturday, July 13 will be rescheduled. Students will be notified by ACT.
The Louisiana Art & Science Museum will be CLOSED Friday, July 12 and Saturday, July 13. The museum is scheduled to reopen Sunday, July 14, but that is subject to change.
The 19th Judicial District Court will be CLOSED Friday, July 12.
The Clerk of Court’s Office will be CLOSED Friday, July 12.
The Emerge Center for Communication, Behavior, and Development will CLOSE at 12 p.m. Friday, July 12.
EBR City-Parish Government will be CLOSED Friday, July 12, with the exception of essential personnel.
Second Baptist Christian Academy will be CLOSED Friday, July 12.
The ACT scheduled to be administered at the Dunham School on Saturday, July 13 has been CANCELED. Students will be notified by ACT when a new date is set.
Advantage Charter Academy is CLOSED Friday, July 11, 2019. School office will open on Monday, July 14, 2019.
LAFOURCHE PARISH

Nicholls State University classes and activities are canceled for Friday, July 12
LIVINGSTON PARISH

Free health screenings at Rouses Market in Denham Springs, originally scheduled for Saturday, July 13 has been canceled. Organizers are rescheduling the health fair.
Denham Springs Beauty College will be CLOSED Friday and Saturday.
Denham Springs Christian Academy will be CLOSED Friday, July 12.
MORGAN CITY

Bikes on the Bayou 50th anniversary celebration has been cancelled due to weather. The event has been rescheduled for Saturday, August 24.
ST. MARY PARISH

The Civil Division of the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office located on the 4th floor of the Courthouse in Franklin and at the Morgan City Branch Office will be closed starting at noon on Friday.
The Sheriff’s Shooting Range will be closing at 1 pm today and will be closed Friday through the weekend.
TANGIPAHOA PARISH

Peak Performance Physical Therapy Hammond Clinic Ribbon Cutting/Open House scheduled for Thursday, July 11 at 4pm has been postponed to a later date (date TBA in the next week).
PRISON VISITATION CLOSURES

The Louisiana Department of Corrections (DOC) has canceled all prisoner visitation at state-run facilities until further notice. DOC will notify the public when visitation resumes. The cancellation affects the following facilities:

Allen Correctional Center
BB Sixty Rayburn Correctional Center
David Wade Correctional Center
Dixon Correctional Institute
Elayn Hunt Correctional Center
Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women
Louisiana State Penitentiary
Raymond Laborde Correctional Center
NATIONAL PARK CLOSURES

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve Headquarters and French Quarter Visitor Center - 419 Decatur Street, New Orleans
Barataria Preserve - 6588 Barataria Boulevard, Marrero (closure includes trails and parking areas)
Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetery - 8606 West St. Bernard Highway, Chalmette (closure includes all grounds)
Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center - 314 St. Mary Street, Thibodaux
Acadian Cultural Center - 501 Fisher Road, Lafayette
Prairie Acadian Cultural Center - 250 West Park Avenue, Eunice
New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park Headquarters at 419 Decatur Street and visitor center at 916 North Peters Street, New Orleans
Tropical Storm Barry formed in the Gulf on Thursday. It is expected to make landfall Saturday as a Category 1 hurricane.

Tracking Barry
3:33
FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Fri., July 12 - Landfall likely in St. Mary Parish
1:53
Liz Koh live from Grand Isle as evacuations are underway
2:55
Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks on storm preparedness
1:34
Louisiana residents stock up ahead of Tropical Storm Barry
0:43
Talking to kids about safety during Tropical Storm Barry
1:09
EBR prepares for Tropical Storm Barry
1:25
Ascension Parish prepares for Tropical Storm Barry
1:31
CPRA helps state officials forecast the impact of Tropical Storm Barry
3:06
Livingston Parish prepares for Tropical Storm Barry
20:23
State leaders provide update ahead of expected hurricane
41:45
Mayor Sharon Weston Broome gives update on EBR preparations ahead of Tropical Storm Barry
2:02
Louisiana National Guard gears up for storm
2:31
DOTD testing pumps ahead of potential tropical weather
3:31
Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome on 9News This Morning
2:18
BRPD setting up barricades to prevent drivers from going into high flood waters
2:12
Evacuation issued for Grand Isle ahead of Tropical Storm Barry
RELATED: Sandbags available ahead of potential severe tropical weather

On Wednesday, Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency for Louisiana ahead of the tropical weather that’s expected to significantly impact the state.

The latest forecasts for Potential Tropical Cyclone #2 predict it will become Hurricane Barry and make a Louisiana landfall by Saturday.

Copyright 2019 WAFB. All rights reserved.
00 2019-07-12
Hammond

Colleges announce campus closures ahead of Tropical Storm Barry


LSU, Southeastern Louisiana University, Southern University and Baton Rouge Community College have all announced closures ahead of Tropical Storm Barry, which is projected to make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane this weekend.

The schools made the announcement on their social media pages, and all said campus operations and activities are cancelled through Sunday, July 14.

Barry officially became a tropical storm at 10 a.m. Thursday, making it the second named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a “State of Emergency” for all of Louisiana on Wednesday, the same day parts of New Orleans were inundated with as much as 7 inches of rain. Parts of Plaquemines Parish were under mandatory evacuations early Thursday morning, with more to possibly follow in the coming days.

Current models from the National Weather Service have Livingston Parish receiving anywhere from 8” to 15” of rain, with larger totals in isolated pockets possible. Changes in pressure could shift the storm and adjust those totals.

Sand and sandbags can be picked up at locations in the following link:

Sand, sandbags now available at Livingston Parish fire stations for coming weather
BREAKING NEWS
Sand, sandbags now available at Livingston Parish fire stations for coming weather
David Gray | The News
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00 2019-07-12
Lafayette

UL campus will be closed Friday due to weather


LAFAYETTE, La. (UL Lafayette)- The University of Louisiana at Lafayette will be closed Friday, July 12, due to the threat of potential flooding in Acadiana from Tropical Storm Barry. All Friday classes are canceled. UL Lafayette expects to re-open and resume classes on Monday, July 15.

Employees should not report to campus on Friday. Essential personnel should check with their supervisors.

Participants of activities scheduled on campus, including athletic and academic summer camps, will be contacted directly by their event coordinators.

All campus buildings will be closed, except for Cypress Lake Dining Hall during dining hours.

As always, our highest priority is the safety and security of the UL Lafayette community and our Acadiana family. We encourage everyone to prepare their properties and stay indoors during severe weather.

We continue to monitor the storm. For updates and emergency information, visit the University’s website, and check your University email account, text messages, and official University social media accounts.


00 2019-07-12
Lake Charles

Closings and Cancellations


LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - State Offices in 32 parishes will be closed on Friday. Those closures include offices in Calcasieu, Cameron, and Jeff Davis Parish.

SCHOOL CLOSINGS
McNeese State University - Campus closed Fruday, all activities canceled through Sunday.
Calcasieu Parish Schools - All schools and facilities closed on Friday
Diocese of Lake Charles and Catholic Schools - Schools and offices closed on Friday
Lake Charles Charter Academy - Closed Friday
Southwest LA Charter Academy - Closed Friday
Lake Charles College Prep - Closed Friday
Cameron Parish Schools - Schools and facilities closed Thursday and Friday
St. Nicholas Center for Children
Lion’s Den Daycare in Vinton closed Friday.
Hayleigh’s Childcare - Closed Friday
CANCELLATIONS
ACT Testing - Saturday test at LaGrange is canceled
ACT Testing - Saturday test at McNeese is canceled. Rescheduled test date will be posted at www.actstudent.org.
ACT Testing - Saturday test at Pitkin High School is canceled. Rescheduled test date will be posted at www.actstudent.org.
Sulphur Special City Council Meeting scheduled for Thursday has been canceled.
Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Reality Check class scheduled for Friday has been canceled.
Summer enrichment programs, and summer camp at Drew Park and Camp AmeriCorps, as well as all feeding sites well all be closed on Friday, July 12
RESCHEDULED
Ainsley’s Angels Roll With the Wind Sunset 5K - changed to Saturday July 20th - call 337-802-4181 for details.
Send your closing or cancellation to news@kplctv.com .
00 2019-07-12
Monroe

ULM will award one lucky student with newly founded scholarship


MONROE, La (7/11/19) – Students could have another way to pay to further their education at the University of Monroe.

A new scholarship in business administration is geared toward a student pursuing a career in the insurance industry.

Founder Barry White says it’s a way of expanding students’ knowledge to work in the insurance industry.

“We felt like we should give something back to the community to ULM and West Monroe High School insurance companies are contacting Dr. Barry Christine, literally on a daily basis to recruit her students that are in the risk and management program,” said Berry White, Founder of Scholarship.

If you’re interested in applying you can call Dr. Christine Barry, Director of Risk Management and Insurance at 318-342-1157.


00 2019-07-12
Natchitoches

NSU monitoring weather conditions through the weekend


ATCHITOCHES – Officials at Northwestern State University are monitoring weather conditions related to Tropical Storm Barry, in coordination with the National Weather Service.



As of Thursday, July 11, Tropical Storm Barry has shifted eastward in direction. Weather predictions in Natchitoches Parish have greatly improved. It is now projected that the local region could possibly receive 2-3 inches of rainfall over the course of three days, rather than the previously projected 7-8 inches.



Saturday, July 13, Sunday, July 14 and possibly Monday, July 15 should be rainy and windy, with wind gusts of 30 miles per hour possible, according to the National Weather Service.



Officials will continue to monitor weather conditions and issue announcements as needed.



Announcements will be posted on the Northwestern State University homepage, www.nsula.edu, and on NSU’s Facebook pages, Twitter and Instagram accounts. NSU will also issue announcements to students, faculty and staff through Purple Alert, the university’s emergency notification system. Information on Purple Alert is available at https://www.nsula.edu/purplealert/.
00 2019-07-12
New Orleans

LIST: Closings across Southeast Louisiana due to Tropical Storm Barry



BREAKING LIVE VIDEO
LIVE: Tropical Storm Barry team coverage


BREAKING NEWS
Tropical Storm Barry: Path, Spaghetti Models, Live Radar


WEATHER ALERT
45 Weather Alerts

SEVERE-WEATHER
LIST: Closings across Southeast Louisiana due to Tropical Storm Barry
This list will be updated with information from various institutions in and around the metro New Orleans and Southeast Louisiana Areas.
Author: WWL Staff
Published: 5:10 PM CDT July 10, 2019
Updated: 5:51 AM CDT July 12, 2019
NEW ORLEANS — Ahead of a tropical weather system that could develop into a tropical storm or hurricane, several institutions closed their doors as officials weighed the danger of staying open.

This is the latest list of closures. Need to add a closure to this list? Email eyewitness@wwltv.com;

2nd Parish Court in Jefferson Parish will close at 12 p.m. Thursday and will reopen Monday at 8:30 a.m.

All Catholic School campuses - in New Orleans Archdiocese will be closed Friday, July 12. "Closure or early closure announcements regarding activities set for Thursday, July 11 are at the discretion of the school/camp leadership. Parents are encouraged to check email and site websites and social media for more information."

Audubon Nature Institute facilities - Will remain closed Thursday (July 11) due to severe weather. This includes Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Escape Extinction: Sharks, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center and Audubon Park Clubhouse Golf Course and Tennis Courts.

Carlie Care Kids Preschool - Carlie Care Kids Preschool will be closed Friday, July 12.

Delgado College - all locations are closed from 5 p.m. Wednesday through Monday, July 15.

Dillard University will be closed Thursday and Friday. Watch the university's website and social media for updates.

Entergy New Orleans - Due to the city’s emergency declaration and the possibility of inclement weather, our two walk-in care centers are closed on Thursday, 7/11. Please visit enter.gy/6013EvyQJ or call us at 1-800-ENTERGY should you need assistance.

Gretna City Hall - "Due the impending inclement weather, Gretna City Hall will be closing tomorrow, July 11th at 12:00 p.m. and will remain closed through Friday, July 12th. City Hall will resume normal business hours on Monday, July 15th at 8:00 a.m."

Herzing University in Kenner - Herzing University in Kenner will be closed Friday, July 12.

Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Office - The Jefferson Parish's District Attorney's Office will be closed until Monday 8:30 am.

Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court will be closed Thursday at 12 p.m. through 8 a.m. Monday.

Jefferson Parish Schools - All schools and offices in Jefferson Parish will be closed Friday.

JPSO - The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office's administrative offices will be closed starting at noon on Thursday, July 11. Normal services will resume Monday, July 15. Emergency services will continue as normal during the closure.

Lafourche Parish Assessor's Office - All offices of the Lafourche Parish Assessor will be closed Friday, July 12.

Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center - Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center in Terrebonne Parish has canceled all appointments for today. The Emergency Room will remain open.

Louisiana Supreme Court will be closed Thursday and Friday. For the purposes of filings, those days will be considered legal holidays.

Loyola University - Loyola's campus is closed Thursday and Friday and all classes have been cancelled for those days.

LSU - The Baton Rouge area university will be closed Friday, July 12. All classes and events scheduled for Friday are cancelled, including all academic and athletic summer camps. The LSU Dining Halls will be open on Friday.

Some parking lots are in low-lying areas and have a history of flooding. Students may want to consider moving their vehicles to higher ground prior to Friday. LSU recommends that any students who choose to leave campus or go home for the weekend should do so before the inclement weather begins, but should use caution and watch local weather reports if they are heading to a location that is also expecting flooding and tropical storm conditions. Safety should be everyone’s priority.

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary - New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College is cancelling all classes July 11 and 12 due to potential TS Barry. The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Early Learning Center will also close July 11 and 12.

New Orleans City Hall - Mayor Latoya Cantrell said Wednesday that city hall would remain closed Thursday. She has not said if the building would be reopened Friday.

New Orleans City Park - New Orleans City Park will adhere to the following hours: Thursday, July 11 - entire Park closed at 2 pm; Friday, July 12 - Sunday, July 14 entire Park closed.

New Orleans Recreational Department - NORD summer camps will be closed Thursday, July 11, 2019 due to severe weather across the New Orleans area. Summer camp employees should not report to work either until weather conditions improve and until NORD reopens. Updates from the City will be provided at ready.nola.gov and on social media @nolaready and NORD website www.nordc.organd on social media at @NORDCommission.

New Orleans Municipal and Traffic Court - New Orleans Municipal and Traffic Court will be closed Wednesday July 10, 2019 due to weather conditions and flooding. The Municipal and Traffic Court of New Orleans will remain closed until the threats posed by hazardous weather conditions have passed.

Nunez - Nunez Community College will be closed on Thursday, July 11. All classes and activities are canceled. We will send additional updates about campus status as they become available.

Ochsner Urgent Care Warehouse District will be closed Thursday and Friday. Patients are encouraged to visit Ochsner’s other urgent care facilities or use Ochsner Anywhere Care, which connects patients to Ochsner Physicians via virtual visits.

Open Minds Open Hearts Daycare Center - will be closed on Friday - July 11, 2019 due to weather.

Orleans Parish Civil District Court, and First and Second City Courts - Orleans Civil District Court, first and Second City Courts will close at noon on Thursday, July 11, 2019, and Friday, July 12.

Orleans Criminal Court - The Criminal District Court for the Parish of Orleans shall be closed Thursday, July 11, 2019, due to the inclement weather and will remain closed Friday, July 12, 2019.


Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office - District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro announced the Orleans Parish DA’s office will be closed July 11-12 in preparation for Tropical Storm Barry.

SUNO - Southern University at New Orleans is closed Thursday and Friday.

St. Charles Parish Government - St. Charles Parish Government offices will be closed tomorrow, July 12. All essential personnel will report to work.

St. George's Episcopal School's Dragon Camp and Ready Set Read program - will be closed tomorrow— Friday, July 12. Stay safe and dry!

St. Tammany Council on Aging - Due to the severe weather threat, all St. Tammany Council on Aging (COAST) Centers and the Administrative Office, will be closed Friday, July 12, 2019.

State Offices - State offices in 32 parishes will be closed Friday, July 12, 2019. Those parishes are Acadia, Ascension, Assumption, Calcasieu, Cameron, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Jeff Davis, Lafayette, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Vermilion, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.

Trinity Educational and Enrichment Program - Summer Camp is cancelled for Thursday, July 11 due to weather.

Tulane University - Tulane's campuses in New Orleans and Elmwood will close Thursday, July 11 through Sunday, July 14. The New Orleans campuses will reopen on Monday, July 15 and classes will resume on Tuesday, July 16. Please visit Tulane.edu/emergency for ongoing updates.

UNO - The University of New Orleans campus is closed Thursday and Friday.

University of Holy Cross - The University of Holy Cross will be closed July 11-13, due to the incoming storm. The University is scheduled to reopen on Monday, July 15, 2019.

Xavier University - Xavier University will be closed Thursday-Sunday, July 11-14 due to predicted inclement weather. The campus will reopen Monday, July 15. For more information continue to check emails, texts, and xula.edu.

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SEVERE-WEATHER
LIST: Sandbag locations by parish
Several parishes are giving out free bags of sand to help residents prepare for the upcoming storm.
Author: Chris McCrory
Published: 4:26 PM CDT July 10, 2019
Updated: 5:24 AM CDT July 12, 2019
Ahead of the tropical weather meteorologists believe will develop into a tropical storm or a hurricane, several parishes have designated spots where residents can pick up sandbags to shore up their homes against floodwaters.

Here are the sandbag pickup locations:

TANGIPAHOA PARISH:

Sandbags will be available at Tangipahoa Parish Government's Public Works office, located at 44512 W. Pleasant Ridge Road east of Hammond and at the Roseland Public Works shop, located at 63101 Commercial Street in Roseland.

ST. CHARLES PARISH:

Sandbagging locations will be set up by 5 p.m. Wednesday at the following locations:

East Bank Bridge Park
West Bank Bridge Park
Montz Recreation Park
Bayou Gauche Road (at the foot of the bridge at the entrance to the island)
The EOC is currently accepting sandbag requests from the elderly and people with disabilities.

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH

Self- Serve Sandbag locations. Residents should bring a shovel and fill their own bags.

Intersection of Bamboo Road and Indigo Pkwy (near Lake Pontchartrain Elementary)
Railroad Avenue Fire Station (near Riverside Academy)
Ezekiel Jackson Park in Garyville
West Bank Complex
Wallace, Edgard & Pleasure Bend Fire Stations
Pre-filled sandbags for elderly and disabled:

(7 am to 7 pm daily)

425 Captain G. Bourgeois, LaPlace
ST. JAMES PARISH:

Grand Point Fire Station - 32122 Hwy 642, Paulina
Lutcher Senior Center - 2631 Louisiana Ave, Lutcher
Training Center on WB - 29126 Health Unit Street, Vacherie
Welcome Senior Center - 7140 Park Street, St. James
Gramercy Fire Department – 1502 N Airline Ave., Gramercy
PLAQUEMINES PARISH:

To pick up sandbags from any of these locations, you must be a resident of Plaquemines Parish with a valid Photo ID. There is a 12 bag limit, and bags will be signed out.

Eastbank- Braithwaite PROWN Shop
Plaquemines Parish Government Building- Belle Chasse PROWM Shop
Belle Chasse Heavy Equipment Shop - 192 Sewer Plant Road
ST. TAMMANY PARISH:
Sandbags will be available for distribution: Thursday, July 11, 2019 until 6:30 p.m, and

Friday, July 12, 2019 7:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.

St. Tammany Parish Government- Building C
21410 Koop Dr., Mandeville
St. Tammany Parish Public Works- Airport Road Barn
34783 Grantham College Rd., Slidell
St. Tammany Parish Public Works- Fritchie Barn
63119 Highway 1090 in Pearl River
St. Tammany Parish Public Works Barn- Keller Barn
63131 Fish Hatchery Road, Lacombe
St. Tammany Parish Public Works Barn- Covington Barn
1305 N. Florida Street, Covington
WASHINGTON PARISH:
Sandbags will be available at these locations beginning Thursday.

WPFD #7 –
17380 Bill Booty Road
Bogalusa LA
WP Public Works Location #2
Yacc Road (Hwy 10 west of Seven Mile Road)
Bogalusa LA
WP Public Works Location #3
801 Pearl St
Franklinton LA
ST. BERNARD PARISH:

Sandbags will be available Thursday, July 11 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the sandbag barn in the old Kaiser facility at the rear of the Port of St. Bernard in Chalmette. It will resume today from 5 pm to 7 pm.

St. Bernard residents must show proof of residency in order to receive sandbags, and there will be a limit of 10 per vehicle.

TERREBONNE PARISH:

The following locations are open as of 3 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10 as self-serve sandbag locations. Please bring your own shovel, TPCG will provide sand and bags.

Cannata's West - 6307 W. Park, Houma
Airbase Softball Complex - 9544 East Main, Houma
Donner Community Center - 361 Azalea Drive, Gibson
Ward 7 Chauvin, 5006 Highway 56, Chauvin
Bayou Black Fire Station, 2820 Savanne Road, Houma
St. Ann Church, 4355 Hwy 24, Bourg
Mechanicville Gym, 2814 Senator St., Houma
Upper Dularge Fire Station, 1767 Hwy 315, Theriot, LA
Pointe- Aux- Chenes Knights of Columbus Hall, 1558 Hwy 665, Pointe-Aux-Chenes
Montegut Fire Station, 1105 Hwy 55, Montegut, LA
Gibson East Fire, 5218 North Bayou Black Dr.
Bobtown Fire Station, 4717 Hwy 57, Houma
Village East Fire, 100 Development St., Houma
Civic Center, 346 Civic Center, Houma
Public Works - North Campus, 206 Government St., Gray
HANCOCK COUNTY:

The Mississippi county will be handing out sandbags at several locations.

Hancock County Arena – 4184 Kiln Delisle Road, Kiln
Hancock County Old Complex – 3068 Longfellow Drive, Bay St. Louis
Lakeshore Community Center – 6440 Lower Bay Road, Lakeshore
West Hancock Fire Department – 16006 Washington Street, Pearlington
Bayside Fire Department – 6215 West Hinds Street
Diamondhead City Hall – 5000 Diamondhead Circle
OTHER AREAS
Town of Franklinton - Available Thursday:

Franklinton Yard
1108 Lenora St
Franklinton LA

City of Bogalusa – Available Wednesday
North of Austin St @ Youth Build
Avenue B Ballpark
Main Street Ballpark

Village of Varnado - Available Thursday
Town Hall
63095 Main Street


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00 2019-07-12
Ruston

Louisiana Tech's College of Education is in the spotlight


USTON, La. (KNOE) - Louisiana Tech University's College of Education is once again in the spotlight.

Its undergraduate Elementary Education and Special Education program was ranked in the top 20% nationally by the National Council on Teacher Quality.

The national group says they base their rankings on things like a rigorous admissions process, emphasis on research-based approaches to teaching for elementary candidates, and quality student teaching experiences.

Dawn Basinger with the College of Education says they take their clinical residency, where students are out in the school district their senior year, very seriously.

"We can give our students the one on one support they need and our faculty, again, our faculty are fabulous," says Basinger. "The courses that they teach, Our literacy program has been recognized before by one of our state acreditors, so I think the faculty make the difference."

Basinger says they just started using a new program called Swivl to record students as they're teaching out in the field, so they can get feedback from professors and see their lessons in a new perspective.

Carrice Cummins is teaching literacy courses in the College of Education and has been in the field for over 40 years, teaching almost every grade between Kindergarten and 12th grade.

She says a great teacher really molds a student's learning experience for the rest of their lives. That's why she says it's so important to have a great Elementary Education and Special Education program, since children are still developing the foundations of critical thinking and reading.

They say their program combines elementary education but also trains candidates in special education so they're prepared for any and every classroom.

"Every child learns differently and so best practices, good teaching will help every child," says Cummins. "And so our teachers here that are trained not only in regular education but special education, they know the importance of tweaking everything, not just trying to teach across the board, not just teaching one set curriculum in one set way."

Louisiana Tech's College of Education also has a Master of Arts in Teaching program that's both online and in the classroom to certify people who may have received a degree in another field previously.

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00 2019-07-12
Shreveport

LA Tech and LSU Health Shreveport partner for a research center


SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Two of Louisiana’s most recognized educational institutions are partnering up to establish a new research center.

“This is going to be one of just multiple innovative ideas that are going to benefit, the patients, the students and the researchers in North West Louisiana,” said Dr. G. E. Ghali, Chancellor of LSU Health Shreveport.

LSU Health Shreveport and Louisiana Tech University launch the Center for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine.

“This takes the expertise of bioengineering and biomaterials from Louisiana Tech and partners it with our expertise in clinical sciences,” said Dr. Chris Kevil, Vice Chancellor for Research at LSU Health Shreveport.

Health officials say this partnership is a game-changer and can benefit more than one million people statewide

“These diseases we’re addressing are of critical need right here in NW Louisiana all a result of obesity, heart disease, cancer, loss of tissue resulting from those kinds of things,” said Dr. Les Guice, President of Louisiana Tech University.

Not only will this be beneficial for patients but will be an economic boom for the area, Dr. Guice adds.

“This how you begin to attract talent, which is important to us. Talented faculty, talented students, and also companies,” said Guice.

School leaders are applying for grants which could bring the center up to $30 million dollars if approved.

Stay up to date with the latest news and weather by downloading the Arklatexhomepage News App from the App Store or Google Play.


00 2019-07-11
Hammond

SLU students win broadcast excellence awards


HAMMOND — Southeastern Louisiana University students at the Southeastern Channel won nine 2018 Mark of Excellence Awards, including four first-place honors, at the Society of Professional Journalists’ annual Region 12 conference, a news release said.

Southeastern Channel students received the most television and broadcast videography category honors out of all universities in the competition, including the most first-place awards with four and the most second-place finalist awards with five.

The Mark of Excellence Awards honor the best of collegiate journalism from a calendar year. SPJ’s Region 12 comprises all universities in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee.

Mark of Excellence Awards are judged by SPJ industry professionals. If no entry rises to the level of excellence, no award is given, the release said.

Amanda Kitch, of Covington, won two of the first-place awards for her stories produced for the Southeastern Channel’s award-winning student newscast “Northshore News.” She won for Broadcast News Videography for her story on the “Krentel Homicide” and for Broadcast Feature Videography for her segment on “Mosquito Control” in St. Tammany Parish. Kitch is now a television news reporter for WAFB in Baton Rouge.

Andrew Scherer, of New Orleans, won first place for Television Sports Reporting for his feature on Southeastern basketball star Marlain Veal. Scherer is now a television news and sports reporter for WXXV in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Dylan Domangue, of Houma, a senior, won first place in the Broadcast Sports Videography category for his videography of the 2018 Southeastern vs. LSU basketball game in Baton Rouge. The winning stories for both Domangue and Scherer were produced for Southeastern Channel broadcast on its national award-winning student sportscast “The Big Game.”

Kitch also garnered finalist honors (second place) for Television News Feature Reporting for her “Mosquito Control” story, while Parker Berthelot, of Denham Springs, was a finalist for Broadcast News Videography for his videography for the “Northshore News” story “CiCi’s Pizza.”

Schuylar Ramsey, of Springfield, was a finalist for Broadcast Feature Videography for her “Northshore News” story on “Fuller Homes,” while Freddie Rosario, of Luling, won second-place finalist honors for Television Sports Reporting for his “Big Game” story on the Lady Lions vs. Abilene Christian softball game. Ramsey is now a television news reporter for WABG in Greenwood, Mississippi, while Rosario is a newscast director for KALB in Alexandria.

“Northshore News” was also honored as a second-place finalist for Best Overall Television Newscast. “Northshore News” has won first-place honors in the region six times.
00 2019-07-11
Hammond

SLU newspaper staff honored by Louisiana Press Association


HAMMOND — Southeastern Louisiana University’s student newspaper, The Lion’s Roar, recently received several awards from the Louisiana Press Association Better Newspaper Contest for 2019.

The Lion’s Roar staff was recognized in several categories of the competition with awards for first place in the Best Overall Website category and second place in the General Excellence category. Southeastern student journalists also received awards for page design and photography.

The Nebraska Press Association judged this year’s 1,034 entries from 37 publications and college and university student newspapers.

The Lion’s Roar Editor-in-Chief Annie Goodman, a senior from Denham Springs majoring in communication, took first place in the Best Feature Story category for her piece titled “Overcoming Addiction: four years sober.” Goodman also received second place in the Best Front Page category for her design work for the front pages of Aug. 28, 2018, and Nov. 13, 2018, issues of The Lion’s Roar.

“I have learned so much from working at The Lion’s Roar,” Goodman said. “I never expected to be where I am today achieving the things I am. I’ve won a few awards over the years, but this is my first, first place award, which is pretty exciting.”

Reporter Nikisun Shrestha also received recognition for his photography. Shrestha, a senior from Nepal majoring in accounting, was honored with a first-place award in the Best Sports Photo category, along with a second-place award in the Best Feature Photo category.

Recently the staff of The Lion’s Roar also received awards from the Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press Broadcasters and Media Editors College Contest competition and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Gold Circle Awards in March.

Jacob Summerville, a senior political science major from Baton Rouge, was awarded second place in the Feature Photo category at the LA-MS APME Career Day and College Awards held at the Two Mississippi Museums in Jackson, Mississippi. Summerville’s photo featured students who performed in the production of “The Beautiful Bridegroom.”

For the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Circle Awards, Riana Brasleman and Jonathan Rhodes, both former staff reporters for The Lion’s Roar, were honored for their work in cartooning and sports photography respectively.

Brasleman, a senior majoring in social work from Mandeville, was recognized for her cartoon portfolio showcasing her work titled “Dear College,” which received a second place award in the Cartoons category and a third-place award in the Cartoon Portfolio of Work category.

Rhodes, a recent graduate in communication from Slidell, also placed third in the Single Sports Photography category for his photo titled “Lions Win Game Despite Rainout.”

“My staff has grown so much since they joined, and I love watching them flourish,” Goodman said. “Seeing them recognized for their good work is really amazing — especially since I know I don’t praise them nearly enough. Now, I can’t wait to see what awards our newer staff members will receive this time next year.”

Goodman was also recognized by the Gold Circle Awards for her opinion piece titled “Decoding the Barcode Tattoo,” with a second-place prize in the Personal Opinion: Off-campus Issues category.
00 2019-07-11
Lafayette

UL Young Alumni hosts summer networking social


The UL Young Alumni Chapter and the 705 Group hosted a summer social tonight.

The event was held at the UL Alumni Center. There the young professionals got together and shared ideas involving community engagement throughout Acadiana.

“Be involved in your community, even if you’re right out of the university or right out of high school,” says Young Alumni Chapter President Millicent Nugent.

“If you’re younger, don’t wait until you’re older, you know, get involved now. Be apart of your community and enjoy it and have fun ’cause there’s groups for everyone to be a part of.”

Sarah Berthelot, President and CEO of Louisiana Association of United Way and UL’s head football coach Billy Napier were also in attendance to encourage leaders to better Acadiana.
00 2019-07-11
Lafayette

UL researchers create model for tracking wildlife


University of Louisiana at Lafayette researchers have earned international recognition for creating a mathematical model to determine how quickly wildlife can recover following natural disasters.

Dr. Azmy S. Ackleh, Dr. Ross Chiquet and Dr. Amy Veprauskas are recipients of the Rollie Lamberson Research Award. The global Resource Modeling Association presents the honor.

The team received the award during the association’s conference in May in Montreal for an academic journal article they wrote with two other collaborators. In it, the authors suggested a mathematical framework wildlife and environmental agencies can use to decide if animal populations have had sufficient time to recover after ecological disasters.

That determination can enable officials to decide how long conservation efforts – limits on hunting, fishing and seafood harvesting, for example – should continue, the authors wrote.

Ackleh is dean of the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences and a professor of applied mathematics at UL Lafayette. Chiquet and Veprauskas are assistant professors of applied mathematics.

Sharing the Lamberson prize are Dr. Tingting Tang, a University graduate who is now a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Applied and Computational Mathematics, University of Notre Dame; and Dr. Hal Caswell, a biologist and emeritus research scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts.

Mathematical models replicate real-life situations, and use equations and data to predict future behavior.

The prize-winning article complements other research at the University examining the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In April 2010, the wellhead on the rig exploded. Millions of barrels of crude streamed into the Gulf of Mexico before the well was capped three months later.

Shortly after, UL Lafayette researchers, including Ackleh and physics professor Dr. Natalia Sidorovskaia, began studying how the disaster affected sperm and beaked whales that live in the Gulf.

They used underwater acoustical devices to listen to and record the mammals as they communicated in clicks, whistles and other sounds. The noises enabled researchers to determine how the oil spill had affected whale populations.

A $5.9 million grant from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative that researchers received in 2014 funded the study as part of the Littoral Acoustic Demonstration Center-Gulf Ecological Monitoring and Modeling consortium project.

“GoMRI’s support has enabled University researchers to examine the numerous effects the oil spill had on the Gulf and its inhabitants for the past five years, and it continues to do so. We are very grateful,” Ackleh said.

The acoustic data provided short-term information on the spill’s effect on the whales, while the model the article presented “provides a means of studying possible long-term impacts,” he added. “This research highlights the fact that mathematical models can provide powerful insights into biological problems even when little data is available.”

The article suggests that to predict when a population will reach pre-disaster levels, it’s key to estimate the number of adult animals in a population. “A population with more adults is able to recover faster because adults are capable of contributing to population numbers through reproduction quicker than juveniles,” Ackleh explained.

Another factor to consider: how the magnitude of the disaster translates to reductions in survival rates of individuals. That’s more important to the long-term recovery of the population than the duration of the crisis.

The loss of life means there are fewer adults, so that suppresses the population’s recovery for a longer period, Ackleh said. He added that agencies should develop strategies to quickly mitigate a disaster’s impact. That’ll help populations bounce back faster.

Though the authors used data about Gulf sperm whales and the Deepwater Horizon spill for their study, the model they produced can be applied to other animals and other crises as well, Ackleh said. “This is a lesson learned for future disasters.”

The article appeared in the February 2019 issue of Natural Resource Modeling, a peer-reviewed journal. Read it here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nrm.12166 [u7061146.ct.sendgrid.net]

The Rollie Lamberson Research Award is named for a retired professor of mathematics at Humboldt State University in California. The Resource Modeling Association presented the inaugural award in 2016.

The association includes researchers from around the world in the fields of mathematical modeling, natural resources management and environmental science. It was founded in 1980.

Photo caption: From left, Dr. Amy Veprauskas, Dr. Azmy S. Ackleh and Dr. Ross Chiquet, recipients of the Rollie Lamberson Research Award. (Photo credit: Doug Dugas / University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
00 2019-07-11
Monroe

White family establishes $25K endowed scholarship at ULM


Barry and Denita White of West Monroe have established the $25,000 Barry O. White Endowed Scholarship for the Risk Management Insurance Program at the University of Louisiana Monroe.

The scholarship announcement will be made at a press conference at 9 a.m., Thursday, July 11 in the Media Room on the 6th floor of the ULM Library.

The Whites have a true passion for the Risk Management Insurance Program at ULM, as well as West Monroe High School. By creating this scholarship, the Whites are combining their support of both, as this scholarship will be awarded to a West Monroe High School graduate who enrolls in RMI at ULM.

Barry White, a 40-year veteran of the insurance industry, sees unlimited opportunities for young people who go into the field. According to White, each year there are more than 68,000 job openings in insurance, primarily due to retirements.

“I know firsthand that for years the Risk Management Insurance curriculum under the direction of Dr. Christine Berry has prepared young people to enter this lucrative and interesting industry,” White said. “Because of Dr. Berry’s passion for developing her students, a majority of them have job offers even before they start their senior years.”

The scholarship recipient will be selected by the ULM Foundation Scholarship Committee. The first scholarship will be awarded in Fall 2020.
00 2019-07-11
Natchitoches

NSU Dinner Theatre will present “Great American Trailer Park Musical”


NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance will present “The Great American Trailer Park Musical,” a Granny-slappin’ good time dinner theatre, July 24-27 and July 31-Aug. 3. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. with the dinner and show beginning at 6 p.m.



Reservations are required.



“The Great American Trailer Park Musical” is a two-act musical, written by David Nehls and Betsy Kelso. It explores the relationships between the tenants at the Armadillo Acres Trailer Park in Florida, particularly between Pippi, “the stripper on the run,” the Dr. Phil-loving agoraphobic Jeannie and Jeannie’s tollbooth-collector husband Norbert. It was performed in the first annual New York Music Theater Festival in 2004 and Off-Broadway in 2005.



The cast includes Adele Hebert of Lafayette as Pickles, Chase Crane of Livingston as Norbert, Jade Duthu of Marrero as Jeannie, Kristie Contreary of Geismar as Linoleum, Mary-Scott Pourciau of Baton Rouge as Pippi, Milla Gonzales of Bossier City as Betty and Ricky Hernandez of Las Vegas, Nevada, as Duke.



Krislyn Mardis of Choudrant is stage manager and Je’Breanne Morgan of Plaquemine is assistant stage manager and sound designer. Elizabeth Guy of Anacoco is costume designer.



Tickets are $30, which includes the meal and show. The meal will include soup, salad, an entrée, dessert, tea and coffee. Dress is casual and the show is appropriate for all ages.



For more information or to make reservations, call (318) 357-4483, or visit https://capa.nsula.edu/theatre/season-tickets to order tickets online.


00 2019-07-11
New Orleans

List: Places closed in New Orleans area ahead of potential hurricane


NEW ORLEANS — Ahead of a tropical weather system that could develop into a tropical storm or hurricane, several institutions closed their doors as officials weighed the danger of staying open.

This is the latest list of closures:

Dillard University will be closed Thursday and Friday. Watch the university's website and social media for updates.

Louisiana Supreme Court will be closed Thursday and Friday. For the purposes of filings, those days will be considered legal holidays.

All Catholic School campuses - in New Orleans Archdiocese will be closed Friday, July 12. "Closure or early closure announcements regarding activities set for Thursday, July 11 are at the discretion of the school/camp leadership. Parents are encouraged to check email and site websites and social media for more information."

Audubon Nature Institute facilities - Will remain closed Thursday (July 11) due to severe weather. This includes Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Escape Extinction: Sharks, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center and Audubon Park Clubhouse Golf Course and Tennis Courts.

Delgado College - all locations are closed from 5 p.m. Wednesday through Monday, July 15.

Entergy New Orleans - Due to the city’s emergency declaration and the possibility of inclement weather, our two walk-in care centers are closed on Thursday, 7/11. Please visit enter.gy/6013EvyQJ or call us at 1-800-ENTERGY should you need assistance.

Gretna City Hall - "Due the impending inclement weather, Gretna City Hall will be closing tomorrow, July 11th at 12:00 p.m. and will remain closed through Friday, July 12th. City Hall will resume normal business hours on Monday, July 15th at 8:00 a.m."

JPSO - The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office's administrative offices will be closed starting at noon on Thursday, July 11. Normal services will resume Monday, July 15. Emergency services will continue as normal during the closure.

Loyola University - Loyola's campus is closed Thursday and Friday and all classes have been cancelled for those days.

LSU - The Baton Rouge area university will be closed Friday, July 12. All classes and events scheduled for Friday are cancelled, including all academic and athletic summer camps. The LSU Dining Halls will be open on Friday.

Some parking lots are in low-lying areas and have a history of flooding. Students may want to consider moving their vehicles to higher ground prior to Friday. LSU recommends that any students who choose to leave campus or go home for the weekend should do so before the inclement weather begins, but should use caution and watch local weather reports if they are heading to a location that is also expecting flooding and tropical storm conditions. Safety should be everyone’s priority.

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary - New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College is cancelling all classes July 11 and 12 due to potential TS Barry. The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Early Learning Center will also close July 11 and 12.

New Orleans City Hall - Mayor Latoya Cantrell said Wednesday that city hall would remain closed Thursday. She has not said if the building would be reopened Friday.

New Orleans Recreational Department - NORD summer camps will be closed Thursday, July 11, 2019 due to severe weather across the New Orleans area. Summer camp employees should not report to work either until weather conditions improve and until NORD reopens. Updates from the City will be provided at ready.nola.gov and on social media @nolaready and NORD website www.nordc.organd on social media at @NORDCommission.

Nunez - Nunez Community College will be closed on Thursday, July 11. All classes and activities are canceled. We will send additional updates about campus status as they become available.

SUNO - Southern University at New Orleans is closed Thursday and Friday.

Trinity Educational and Enrichment Program - Summer Camp is cancelled for Thursday, July 11 due to weather.

UNO - The University of New Orleans campus is closed Thursday and Friday.

University of Holy Cross - The University of Holy Cross will be closed Thursday, July 11, due to the incoming storm. As of now, the University is scheduled to reopen on Friday, July 12, 2019.

Xavier University - Xavier University will be closed on Thursday, July 11, 2019 and Friday, July 12, 2019 due to predicted inclement weather. For more information continue to check emails, texts, and xula.edu.
00 2019-07-11
New Orleans

Waterspout spotted on Lake Pontchartrain near New Orleans Lakefront


NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - During Wednesday morning’s severe weather, a waterspout was spotted on Lake Pontchartrain near the New Orleans Lakefront.

Viewers submitted pictures and video of the funnel cloud that was seen by residents in the Gentilly neighborhood and UNO.



Ashley
@SexyassIam2
#NewOrleans #Weather Be Safe This in the East by Uno

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Zack Fradella
@ZackFradellaWx
A waterspout at the Lakefront this morning. This is what prompted the Tornado Warning in NOLA. 📸 from Rebecca Fazzio. @NWSNewOrleans @FOX8NOLA

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8:28 AM - Jul 10, 2019
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Kijana
@Bl4ckT0nySt4rk
Tornado in New Orleans 😳🌪

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Julie Lea
@SisterhoodCr8tr
Water Spout! #nola #NewOrleans

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To submit your pictures and video, email pix@foxlive.com
00 2019-07-11
Regional/National

Three Major AWS Educate Cloud Degree Announcements


Building off of momentum on AWS Educate’s Cloud Degree initiative from last year, including the launch of the 19-school California Cloud offering and the cloud degree launched last year with Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), AWS Educate has been working around the world to bring cloud opportunities to students from the US to the UK.

The AWS Educate Cloud Degree initiative is a collaborative effort between AWS Educate and leading educational institutions to develop degrees and certificates in cloud computing that will prepare students from colleges, vocational schools, and technical academies for in-demand cloud jobs.

By working with college faculty – and their high school and four-year university partners – AWS Educate’s Cloud Degree initiative allows accredited educational institutions to integrate AWS content into their curriculum and create a cloud computing degree, specialization, or certificate offering.

George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College Collaborate to launch the first Bachelor’s Degree in AWS Educate’s Cloud Degree Offering
George Mason University (Mason) and NOVA, in collaboration with AWS Educate, announced a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) pathway in cloud computing. This degree offers students a seamless transfer pathway from a two-year associate degree to a four-year bachelor degree in the cloud, providing a clear path to high-demand careers in cloud computing at AWS partners and customers.

Building on NOVA’s established Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in cloud computing that was launched with AWS Educate in the fall of 2018, students can take cloud-based courses at NOVA in preparation for remaining degree-specific coursework at Mason. NOVA and Mason faculty worked with AWS Educate curriculum designers to create a BAS degree path that will equip students with technical skills and hands-on experiences to help prepare them for careers in cloud architecture, cybersecurity, software development, and DevOps.

UK Career Colleges bring AWS Educate’s Cloud Degree Global
The Career Colleges Trust, in collaboration with AWS, announced that it will be developing a new two-year course in cloud computing to create pathways to high-demand careers. The program of study, which will be launched in early 2020, is being developed with AWS Educate, and is the first implementation of AWS Educate’s Cloud Degree outside of the U.S. Through the collaboration, the course will be delivered at universities and Digital Career Colleges across the United Kingdom, thus helping to ensure that young people have the skills needed to meet industry demand. The new program marks the beginning of a plan to bring cloud computing education throughout UK colleges and universities. The speed, scale, and reach of this implementation can serve as a model for opening career pathways in technology for diverse populations across the UK and beyond.

Louisiana Announces a Statewide Implementation of the AWS Educate Cloud Degree
Governor John Bel Edwards, in conjunction with GNO Inc. and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS), announced a collaboration with AWS to unlock new opportunities in cloud computing across the state of Louisiana. As part of the collaboration, each of the 12 LCTCS campuses will implement AWS Educate with AWS Educate to create an Associate Degree in Cloud Computing. Additionally, the University of Louisiana system announced that they will be creating a seamless transfer from LCTS into their four-year degree institutions. This new offering will extend opportunities for students across Louisiana from its urban centers to its rural communities, preparing them to meet the demand from the tech employers for employees with cloud computing skills.

To learn more about the AWS Educate cloud degree initiative, visit here.
00 2019-07-11
Shreveport

LA Tech and LSU Health Shreveport partner for a research center


SHREVEPORT, La.(KTAL/ KMSS)-Two of Louisana’s most recognized educational institutions are partnering up to establish a new research center.

“This is going to be one of just multiple innovative ideas that are going to benefit, the patients, the students and the researchers in North West Louisiana,” said Dr. G. E. Ghali, Chancellor of LSU Health Shreveport.

LSU Health Shreveport and Louisiana Tech University launch the center for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

“This takes the expertise of bioengineering and biomaterials from Louisiana Tech and partners it with our expertise in clinical sciences,” said Dr. Chris Kevil, Vice Chancellor for Research at LSU Health Shreveport.

Health officials say this partnership is a game changer and can benefit more than one- million people statewide

“These diseases we’re addressing are of critical need right here in NW Louisiana all a result of obesity, heart disease, cancer, loss of tissue resulting from those kinds of things,” said Dr. Les Guice, President of Louisiana Tech University.

Doctor Guice adds, not only will this be beneficial for patients but will be an economic boom for the area.

“This how you begin to attract talent, which is important to us. Talented faculty, talented students, and also companies,” said Guice.

School leaders are applying for grants which could bring the center up to 30 million dollars if approved.
00 2019-07-11
Shreveport

Grambling State to honor Doug Williams


GRAMBLING, La. | Grambling State University, along with the department of athletics, will hold a special ceremony at 3 p.m. on Friday, July 12 to honor former GSU quarterback Doug Williams.

Grambling State will hold a street naming ceremony in honor of Williams and will take place on the corner of Facilities and Stadium Drive in Grambling, La.


GSU Athletics

@GSU_TIGERS
From one great to another great — @magicjohnson congrats @bayoubullet on his upcoming honor as Grambling State will name a street after the former Tiger quarterback on Friday #RespectTheG #grambling #gramblingstate #gramblingstateuniversity #WhyNotGrambling #gramblingiseverything

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Williams, who was a two-time recipient of the Black College Player of the Year Award, attended Grambling State and played for legendary head coach Eddie Robinson. He guided the Tigers to a 36-7 record as a four-year starter at quarterback and led Grambling State to three Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Championships.

In 1977, Williams led the NCAA in several categories, including total yards from scrimmage (3,249), passing yards (3,286), touchdown passes (38), and yards per play (8.6). He finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting, behind Earl Campbell, Terry Miller and Ken MacAfee.

Williams graduated from Grambling State with a bachelor's degree in education, and began working on his master's degree before the 1978 NFL Draft.

Despite the success that he enjoyed on the football field, then-Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Joe Gibbs was the only NFL coach that visited Williams. Gibbs spent two days with Williams, reviewing play books, film and going through passing drills. Gibbs rated Williams as the best quarterback in the draft and the Buccaneers selected the 6-foot-4 quarterback in the first round (17th overall) in the 1978 NFL Draft. With that selection, Williams became the first African-American quarterback taken in the first round of an NFL Draft.

Williams, who threw for 16,998 yards in his professional career, played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1978-1982), Oklahoma/Arizona Outlaws of the USFL (1984-1985) and the Washington Redskins (1986-1989).

During the 1986 season, Williams reunited with Gibbs in Washington and initially served as a backup to Jay Schroeder. However, an injury to Schroeder moved Williams into the starting spot. Williams, who went 42-45-1 overall, passed for 100 touchdowns and rushed for 15 touchdowns in 88 games, helped guide the Redskins to the Super Bowl XXII as Washington routed the Denver Broncos. In addition to winning a Super Bowl, Williams became the first black quarterback to play in the big game. In the Super Bowl, Williams completed 18 of 29 passes for 340 yards, with four touchdowns, as he earned Super MVP honors.

After a career with the Redskins, Williams worked as an executive with Tampa Bay (2004-2010), Virginia Destroyers (2010-11) and Washington Redskins (2014-present). He had a few stops as a head coach, first at Morehouse where he went 3-8 during the 1997. Williams returned to his alma mater, guiding the Tigers to an overall mark of 61-34 and a 36-23 SWAC record from 1998-2003 and 2011-2013. His 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2011 teams were SWAC West Division Champions. In addition, his team's won the SWAC Championship three times (2000, 2001 and 2011) and Black College Football National Championship two times (2000 and 2001).

Follow Grambling State Athletics

For complete coverage of Grambling State athletics, please follow the Tigers on social media at @GSU_Tigers (Twitter), /gramblingstateathletics (Facebook), @gramblingathletics01 (Instagram) or visit the official home of Grambling State Athletics at gsutigers.com.
00 2019-07-10
Houma/Thibodaux

Nicholls, LSU Health New Orleans partner to offer Culinary Medicine Course


Nicholls State University has announced a partnership with the LSU Health New Orleans to offer a two-week course in culinary medicine, beginning this summer.

Nine third-year LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine students are studying the effects that nutrition can have on preventing and treating chronic diseases, as well as learning the necessary cultural skills and recipes needed to promote good nutrition.

The program began on July 1.

Defined by the founder of ChefMD and Chef Clinic, Dr. John La Puma, culinary medicine is an evidence-based field blending the art of cooking with the science of nutrition.

Culinary medicine encourages physicians to learn more about food and work with nutrition professionals to prevent and treat patients' illnesses.

“The Office of Undergraduate Medical Education is excited to offer this career planning elective to the Class of 2021," said Dr. Catherine Hebert, associate professor of clinical medicine and co-director of clinical sciences curriculum at LSU Health New Orleans. "While students are taught the science of nutrition during their first and second years of medical school, the Culinary Medicine CPE gives them the opportunity to translate this into practical knowledge. It is not just about telling a patient to cut out salt and fat. It is about teaching them how to do this in a way that is realistic given the time and money constraints that we all face.”

Students will begin each day in the classroom learning nutrition theory through lectures, case studies and simulations covering ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and obesity.

They will also take field trips to Rouses with a Registered Dietician and will tour the kitchen at Thibodaux Regional Medical Center. The students will also get the chance to test their new nutritional knowledge at local restaurants.

After the morning work, students will move to kitchens to learn basic culinary skills and relevant recipes from chefs and culinary professionals.

“We have selected recipes and dishes that are appropriate to the nutrition content being taught in the morning,” Culinary Department Head Chef John Kozar said. “Let’s say they learn about diabetes in the morning, we will work on dishes appropriate for a diabetic patient in the afternoon.”

Eating patterns and specific foods have show effectiveness in treating some case of rheumatoid arthritis, epilepsy, cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, metabolic syndrome and acute cough, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

“This is an exciting opportunity for both Dietetics and the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute to have an even bigger impact on the community,” said Dr. Brigett Scott, associate dean of the College of Science and Technology and associate professor of dietetics. “What people eat has one of the biggest impacts on their health. Ultimately, the goal is that these future doctors will practice in Louisiana and promote the nutrition and culinary skills they learned to make an impact on the health of our community.”

The School of Medicine is one of the six schools of LSU Health New Orleans. It educates the majority of Louisiana's physicians. LSU Health New Orleans medical faculty and residents take care of patients in most major hospitals and clinics in southern Louisiana.

Its research enterprise produces life-changing discoveries, as well as jobs and economic impact. Outreach and service activities support people of all ages in communities in many Louisiana parishes.
00 2019-07-10
Lafayette

University of Louisiana at Lafayette Spring 2019 President's List & Dean's LIst


LAFAYETTE —The University of Louisiana at Lafayette recognized students who made the President’s List and Dean’s List for the spring 2019 semester recently.

Eligible students must be enrolled full time.

To be included on the Dean’s List, students must earn at 3.5 GPA or better and to be included on the President’s List, students must earn a 3.8 GPA or better.

Here are students from Teche Area parishes on the Dean’s List and President’s List.
00 2019-07-10
Lafayette

Cajun players told 'We're gonna get through it together'


The family. The friends. The former players.

Even the fans.

All have been dealing with various stages of grief and mourning since 25-season-long Ragin’ Cajuns head baseball coach Tony Robichaux died last Wednesday.

So have members of another group who are not to be forgotten, and for them UL athletic director Bryan Maggard and Cajuns associate head coach Anthony Babineaux have pledged full support and aid.

That group: current and future UL baseball student-athletes, including recent signees.

Maggard and Cajun assistant coaches have been in touch with them both before and after the passing of Robichaux, the 57-year-old coach from Crowley who died 10 days after suffering a heart attack.

Related: Legendary UL baseball coach Tony Robichaux dies

'He was old school': More than 1,200 remember UL coach Tony Robichaux at service

The funeral procession for UL baseball coach Tony Robichaux makes its way down Cajundome Boulevard on Monday.Buy Photo
The funeral procession for UL baseball coach Tony Robichaux makes its way down Cajundome Boulevard on Monday. (Photo: SCOTT CLAUSE/THE ADVERTISER)

“Initially when I spoke with them (about his death) over the weekend, I think they were still in shock,” Maggard said Monday, the day of Robichaux’s funeral. “I think most of us were at that point. And it’s one of these things, I think, that over time it will continue to hit us a little bit more.

“I told each other as I spoke to them: ‘I think there will be different milestones as we progress through this’ — the first for them being when they come back in the fall, and Tony Robichaux isn’t there.

“But … I told them we are here for them, we love them, and,” Maggard added, “we will help see them through this.”

Maggard said grief-counseling services are being made available not only for current players, but also for UL athletic department staff members as they grieve in the days, weeks and months to come.

More: UL's Maggard comforts Cajuns on Robichaux funeral day

“Tony touched many,” the Cajuns athletic director said.

“Certainly his student-athletes were very close to him. But there were a lot of people who worked in this department for two-plus decades (who were, too).”

Babineaux, speaking on the day of Robichaux’s wake Sunday, said the team is “doing OK.”

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“When we reached out to them Wednesday afternoon, after he had passed, some of the conversations were difficult,” said Babineaux, who worked alongside him on UL’s staff all 25 seasons, starting as a student assistant. “Everybody expresses themselves differently and grieves differently, and some guys, you know, they broke down right away. And other guys, it was like they just couldn’t believe it, you know?”

More: Right-hand man Babineaux always was with Robichaux

The Rev. Bryce Sibley who preached at Monday’s funeral Mass at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, said Robichaux was “awake, aware and really happy to see me” when he visited him in the hospital before undergoing surgery the day after the heart attack.

It was there that, using a baseball analogy around which he built his homily, Sibley said he could tell Robichaux was “ready to return home.”

Cajun players were kept up to date on Robichaux’s condition, from when the heart attack occurred and the school issued a statement a day later saying surgery was successful and that the coach “was expected to make a full and complete recovery,” to later in the week, when he took a turn for the worse.

The night before his passing, some of them joined community members for a prayer vigil at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park, where a Rosary was prayed for Robichaux.

More: Community unites in prayer to support UL baseball coach Robichaux

More: Community mourns for UL coach Tony Robichaux during Sunday visitation

Robichaux’s assistants divided the list of UL players to provide the various updates.

“The last message that I did send to the team, I was more explicit with it than the prior ones,” Babineaux said, “so they knew he was in very, very critical condition, and then a phone call came from myself and other members of our staff that he had passed.

“That was tough to do also, because … I’m trying to console 10 or 15 individuals while trying to collect my thoughts and collect myself and make sure I was strong for those guys.”

Babineaux was asked Sunday how the program can regroup and go forward.

“We told the players when we called them, ‘You know, we’re gonna grieve through this together. We’re gonna mourn through this together,’” he said. “‘We’re gonna get through it together, you know? This is gonna make us tighter as a family, tighter as a unit.’

“The tough thing about it is you don’t really know how each guy is doing, because of the fact we’re in the summer and guys are not here. If this would have had happened during the semester, when guys all here, it’s a little different.”

Remembering UL's Robichaux: Leger pours his heart out

Players are not scheduled to return to school for the upcoming fall semester until August, and — especially with some scattered throughout the country for the summer — not all were able to make it back to Lafayette for the wake and funeral.

“This is sort of a strange dynamic in that we’ve reached out to everyone; we’ve talked to everyone,” Babineaux said, “but you just don’t know how each guy is doing.

“The beginning of the semester is not that far away, so when we have that first team meeting it’s gonna be a tough (one).”

Especially for Babineaux.

“Nobody had had 25 (first) team meetings with him like I have,” he said.

But he wants to be a source of the strength they’ll need now.

Reds shortstop Trahan on Robichaux: 'You felt that light'

“I told them all, ‘We’re here for you; we’re gonna get through it together,’” Babineaux said.

“Once they get back to campus we’ll be able to wrap our arms around it a little better, and see how each guy is grieving.”

Until then, Robichaux’s staff of assistants — Babineaux, hitting coach Jake Wells, recruiting coordinator Jeremy Talbott, volunteer pitching specialist Daniel Freeman, academic and camp coordinator Chris Domingue — are working in synch.

As of Monday afternoon, Maggard said no interim head coach had been named.

“Right now,” Maggard said, “we’re just all kind of pulling together, and leaning on each other’s shoulders, and going from there.”
00 2019-07-10
Monroe

High schoolers have fun gearing up at camp


Grambling, La. (KNOE) - High schoolers from around the area are camping in style.


Counselor helps a student with a drone project./ Source: KNOE
The Louisiana Gear Up program and Grambling State University are preparing them for college, and they love it.

Students like Kiran Byrdsong come back for the fun and cool projects. "It was actually fun," says Byrdsong, Carroll High School ninth-grader.

He didn't expect his first time coming to camp to be so exciting. "Summer's been boring lately. Nothing has really been happening. So, I just came to it just because. It turned out to be really fun."

The fun is helping the students stay focused on lessons. From Math to English and everything else in between, it's a chance for them to learn more and make sure they ace the ACT. "Learning more about what I can do to get a better grade on the ACT, just prepping me. And it's not hard. The stuff they’re showing us is helping us. Like helping me know I can actually pass it."

The best part of the week is up in the air, though. Well, it isn’t yet. “We're learning to build a drone out of Popsicle sticks," says Faith Porter, Wossman High School ninth-grader. “I've always bought one that already built completely. It's exciting because it's something I've never done and something completely new."

Derry Davidson, the lead counselor at the camp, says he's having as much fun as the kids. "They're funny, but we make sure we get work done," Davidson says. That work is essential because he knows he and the other counselors serve as role models for the kids. "I'm showing them no. Don't go to work. Stay in school. Go to college and get a degree."

Grambling hopes these students come to their school for that degree. “This is a powerful recruitment effort for Grambling State University,” says Dr. Loretta Walton Jaggers, GSU education professor. “Certainly we want to encourage students at a very early age to come to the university where everybody is somebody.”

While these high schoolers decide where they will take their talents, their goals are set high. Byrdsong says he plans to do great on the ACT. “I'm gone make a 36," he says.

Meanwhile, Porter says she wants to help others. "I want to become a counselor for like kids and adults with my own practice."

The LA Gear Up program will have another camp next week at Louisiana Tech.

Grambling will host another at the end of the month.

To sign your kid up for the camp and learn about their other services, go to https://www.osfa.la.gov/
00 2019-07-10
Regional/National

Making the FAFSA Mandatory


In a bid to boost the number of students receiving financial support for college, Texas will soon become the second state to require high school seniors to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid before graduating.

A handful of states have looked at making FAFSA completion mandatory for graduating high school students. Beginning with the 2020-21 academic year, Texas will provide a serious test case for the policy after big successes in Louisiana, which enacted the requirement last year.

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Completing the form is a leading indicator of college enrollment. And there’s ample evidence that more financial aid is associated with outcomes like college completion. Actually achieving big gains in FAFSA completion, though, requires significant investment and outreach by schools and state officials.

During the past academic year, Louisiana saw FAFSA completions by high school students climb by more than 25 percent. College access groups say high school seniors leave millions of aid dollars on the table each year by not completing the form -- often because it’s too difficult or they don’t believe they’ll qualify for aid.

“As the forerunner of this kind of policy, the early successes that Louisiana has seen with mandatory FAFSA has to be encouraging for other states,” said Bill DeBaun, director of data and evaluation at the National College Access Network. “We shouldn’t assume Texas will see the same effects Louisiana did. But given the scale of the state, even a modest effect could make a big splash on the FAFSA completion cycle.”

If Texas has 25 percent of the growth Louisiana saw in FAFSA completions, that would mean an additional 12,700 students submit the application, DeBaun said.

According to numbers from NCAN, Louisiana ranks first among all states this financial aid cycle, with a completion rate of 78.7 percent. Texas ranks a distant 31, with a completion rate of 55.2 percent.

The complexity of the FAFSA application has come under increasing scrutiny at the federal level. Senate lawmakers negotiating a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act have identified a streamlined application as a top priority.

The Education Department in recent years has rolled out changes designed to simplify FAFSA completion, like the IRS data retrieval tool and the use of prior-prior year family income. But only Congress could alter the application itself.

Sujuan Boutte, executive director of the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance, said the complexity of the form remains the biggest obstacle for students and parents, whether or not a state requires completion.

“It’s not just going to happen. There are going to have to be strategies in place,” she said.

In Louisiana, that meant a multipronged approach to FAFSA completion backed by funding from the Kresge Foundation. The organization worked one on one with students during the school day and with parents in the evening on completing separate portions of the application. It also launched a peer support program where current college students assisted high school seniors in completing the form.

The organization also used automated phone messages to remind parents about completing the form. And it offered financial vouchers for students to purchase items like a graduation cap and gown if they completed the form.

Boutte said school officials also have to be there to assist students even after the FAFSA is submitted -- many need assistance making sense of financial aid offers when deciding on a college.

In Louisiana, students can get certain waivers to the requirement. The same is true under the Texas law. A parent or student aged 18 or older can opt out. A school counselor can grant a waiver for good cause. And students can also fulfill the obligation by completing the Texas Application for State Financial Aid.

There are still details to be worked out in how the requirement would work in practice on Texas high school campuses. The Texas Education Agency will appoint an advisory committee to develop expectations for those campuses.

High school counselors for the most part don’t track whether students have submitted a FAFSA, said Lesa Pritchard, president-elect of the Texas School Counselor Association and executive director of student support services at Boerne Independent School District outside San Antonio.

“I don’t know what tool there is going to be for tracking it,” she said.

Colleges in the state can currently track FAFSA completion; school counselors can’t.

They’re also already tasked with a number of compliance activities -- students in the state must receive CPR instruction and training on how to interact with a police officer before graduating high school. Both requirements must be documented on a student’s transcript.

“We need a lot more students to get a postsecondary education,” said Pritchard. “If this will help, obviously we’re game for that.”

Some states, like Colorado, have begun sharing FAFSA completion records with high school counselors, noted Nick Hillman, an associate professor of educational leadership at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. With few states seriously scaling up their student aid programs, boosting FAFSA completion may be the most effective way to get more financial support to college students who need it, he said.

Research strongly suggests more financial aid can lead to improvements in graduation rates and other outcomes.

“I prefer states do this over financial literacy requirements,” Hillman said. “There’s a lot of good evidence behind this.”
00 2019-07-10
Ruston

City of Grambling to seek compensation from ULS


GRAMBLING — A portion of Main Street in Grambling has been designated as a “university road.”

The section of Main Street that runs between College Avenue and Central Avenue crosses directly through the busiest part of Grambling State University’s campus.

The designation came as an amended House Bill No. 357 passed during the state legislative session that ended last month.

But the City of Grambling, which previously owned and controlled that portion of Main Street, has expressed concerns over the fact that city officials were not notified of the legislation and that no financial compensation has been discussed.

“The thing we don’t understand is that this legislation directly affects the city, so why didn’t we know about it until after the fact?” Grambling Mayor Edward Jones said. “The city understands that at this point, it’s a done deal. We’re not trying to take on the state. Right now we’re just concentrating on getting paid for the portion of the street that was taken away from the city.”

To begin the process, Jones said Monday that city attorney Pamela Breedlove was working on an email to be sent to board members of the University of Louisiana System, which the new legislation gave authorization “to designate certain public roads on the campus of Grambling State University as ‘university roads,’ to provide for an effective date; and to provide for related matters.”

During a specialcalled Grambling City Council meeting on Thursday, council member Phyllis Miller brought up the fact that the change could affect the city in other ways.

“This will likely take away from us potential Main Street Funding,” Miller said.

Each year, Louisiana Main Street offers a grant to business owners in Main Street districts.

This is a dollar-fordollar matching grant

Steven Wilson, president of Grambling State’s Student Government Association, said he thinks the move by the state was the right one for GSU students.

“The road designation supports the best interest of our students,” Wilson said. “As active citizens of the community, we look forward to the continued partnership between the university and the City of Grambling.”

Jones agrees with Wilson’s feelings about the continued partnership between the city and GSU.

“Hopefully the town and gown relationship in Grambling will only get stronger,” Jones said. “Our concern is only fair compensation for something we didn’t even know we had the potential of losing.”

GSU said the legislation provides flexibility for both safety and operational purposes.

“The success and safety of our students is our first priority,” said President Rick Gallot. “This improvement allows our staff the operational flexibility to address dynamic security requirements and support the functional needs of the university.”

Main Street isn’t the only Grambling street affected by the new legislation. At 3 p.m. Friday a ceremony will be held at the corner of Facilities and Stadium drives to rename that portion of the roadway leading to Eddie G. Robinson Stadium as Doug Williams Drive.

Williams, a former Grambling football standout, was the first African American quarterback to win a Super Bowl and be named MVP of that game when the Washington Redskins defeated the Denver Broncos in 1988.
00 2019-07-09
Lafayette

UL's Maggard comforts Cajuns on Robichaux funeral day


On the day Tony Robichaux was laid to rest, UL athletic director Bryan Maggard took great comfort in knowing where the longtime Ragin’ Cajuns baseball coach is now.

“I know where his faith lies,” Maggard said before Robichaux’s funeral Monday at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Lafayette, “and certainly I know that he is in a far better place.

“He would not be shy to admit that his destination was Heaven,” Maggard added, “and in my heart of hearts that’s where I know he is today.”

Robichaux, 57 and UL’s head coach for the past 25 seasons, died last Wednesday, 10 days after suffering a heart attack.

Thousands stood in line to pay their respect during a six-hour wake held Sunday at the Cajundome Convention Center, and on Sunday more than 1,200 or so packed pews of the church on Johnson Street to say a final goodbye before Robichaux was driven away to be buried in his hometown of Crowley.

Related: Legendary UL baseball coach Tony Robichaux dies

'He was old school': More than 1,200 remember UL coach Tony Robichaux at service

Mourners gather down the route for the funeral procession Monday to pay their respects to UL baseball coach Tony Robichaux.Buy Photo
Mourners gather down the route for the funeral procession Monday to pay their respects to UL baseball coach Tony Robichaux. (Photo: Andre Broussard/Special to The Advertiser)

Maggard, speaking at UL’s athletic complex a couple hours prior to the funeral, suggested the turnout Sunday spoke volumes about the way Robichaux lived his life – working to turn his players first and foremost into better husbands, fathers, friends and God-fearing men.

“For me,” Maggard said, “it was certainly a great tribute to a great man.

“Not remotely surprised by the number of people that showed up to his visitation.

“It just reinforced the number of people he touched,” Maggard added, “whether directly or indirectly, through his (own) role as a great husband, a great father, a great man and a great coach.”

Maggard, like so many others Sunday and later Monday, was moved by the pillar of poise that Robichaux’s family – Colleen, his wife of 31 years; Ashley, his daughter; Justin and Austin, the two sons who played for him at UL; and countless other relatives – exhibited throughout the days of mourning.

Related: Community mourns for UL coach Tony Robichaux during Sunday visitation

More: Right-hand man Babineaux always was with Robichaux

“They’re a rock-solid family, and I think their foundation is their faith,” he said, “and they are taking great comfort in knowing where their husband and died lies.

“It’s just a testament to the Robichaux name, the Robichaux family, and I’ve marveled at just watching them from slightly afar, on how strong they are.”

They, he suggested, uplifted him and so many others, not the other way around.

“We know they’re hurting, we know they’re sad,” Maggard said, “but to see the level of comfort they have in knowing where their husband and their dad is, I feel very comforted.”

Maggard called Robichaux’s longstanding relationship with the Acadiana community “one of a kind,” and suggested it was something that inspired the faith of countless others.

Related: Cajuns coach Robichaux toiled 'to turn boys into men'

More: Robichaux's Cajuns had 'certain values, certain qualities'

Ragin' Cajun fans wait to say goodbye to longtime UL baseball coach Tony Robichaux on his funeral procession route Monday.Buy Photo
Ragin' Cajun fans wait to say goodbye to longtime UL baseball coach Tony Robichaux on his funeral procession route Monday. (Photo: Andre Broussard/Special to The Advertiser)

“Tony, he was a living testament,” Maggard said.

“He saw himself (as) so much more than a baseball coach. But, at the same time, he saw himself just as a simple man, and that’s what I think was really unique about him.

“We all can emulate that type of persona,” he added, “when people are looking at us.”

Robichaux served on the search committe that vetted Maggard before hiring him away following a two-plus-decade stay in the athletic department at the University of Missouri, and he spoke to Maggard at length before the hire was made.

Now Maggard said he will remember Robichaux – as so many others have said they will too since his passing – as a man of “great faith, great principles.”

“What I loved about him was just how consistent he was. He never wavered,” Maggard said. “He had principles. He was not afraid of those principles. He shared those principles. And as he talked the talk he certainly walked the walk.”

Related: Cajuns coach Robichaux 'was one of the good guys'

UL athletic director Bryan Maggard.Buy Photo
UL athletic director Bryan Maggard. (Photo: Andre Broussard/Special to The Advertiser)

Before heading over to the funeral, Maggard delivered a message to fans of the UL program.

“I would tell the Cajun Nation that they all remain in the thoughts and prayers and (his wife) Kerry and I,” he said, “because we know how near and dear Tony was to all of their hearts.

“This is a time when everybody is hurting, so Kerry and myself will continue to lift everybody up in thoughts and prayer to help us all get through this tough time.”

Reds shortstop Trahan on Robichaux: 'You felt that light'

More:Jonathan Lucroy credits Robichaux for opportunity to play in major leagues

More: Community reacts to Tony Robichaux's passing

Lafayette's Sam Taulli Sr.: 'Tragic loss for our entire community'
00 2019-07-09
Lafayette

'He was old school': More than 1,200 remember UL coach Tony Robichaux at service


LAFAYETTE — They came dressed formally in dark suits and dresses, but also in vermillion shades of red, blue jeans and even medical scrubs.

University of Louisiana at Lafayette baseball coach Tony Robichaux would have liked the cross section of Cajuns and the like who attended his funeral Monday.

"He was old school," said sports writer Glenn Quebedeaux, who wore a suit. "He wanted the players who drink out of the water hose."

Funeral services for Cajuns Head Coach Tony Robichaux at Fatima Catholic Church. Monday, July 8, 2019.Buy Photo
Funeral services for Cajuns Head Coach Tony Robichaux at Fatima Catholic Church. Monday, July 8, 2019. (Photo: SCOTT CLAUSE/THE ADVERTISER)

Robichaux, who was the Ragin' Cajuns' baseball coach for the last 25 years, was buried Monday afternoon at Woodlawn Cemetery in his hometown of Crowley after a visitation and a funeral Mass in front of more than 1,200 at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church here. He passed away last Wednesday at age 57 after multiple heart surgeries.

On Sunday night, thousands packed the Cajundome Convention Center for visitation, a rosary and eulogies.

MORE: Associate head coach Anthony Babineaux worked for Robichaux for 25 years

"This is a great testimony to the legacy of this great man," Father Bryce Sibley said as he looked out into the crowd as Mass began Monday at 2 p.m.

Throngs of former Cajun players paid their respects, including Los Angeles Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy, an All-Sun Belt Conference catcher in 2005 and '07 who was carried off the field Sunday after being brutally run over by Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick in an 11-10 loss in 10 innings at Houston.

Lucroy, who was hospitalized Sunday and treated for a concussion and broken nose, appeared fine Monday as he walked to and from his seat in the church. He was one of several former players who was an honorary pallbearer.

Among the former UL players in attendance were Wyatt Marks, Gunner Leger, Nick Thurman, Daniel Lahare and Seth Harrison. All present UL baseball assistant coaches were there.

UL football coach Billy Napier, basketball coach Bob Marlin, and women's basketball coach Garry Brodhead attended along with former softball coaches Yvette Girouard and Michael Lotief and former athletic director Scott Farmer.

Former UL baseball assistant coach Matt Deggs, who is now the head coach at Sam Houston State in Huntsville, Texas, also attended.

Present UL athletic director Bryan Maggard and current president Joseph Savoie also attended.

MORE: Former combatants remember Robichaux as a fierce competitor

Former LSU baseball coach Skip Bertman and present LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri were on hand.

Former South Alabama baseball coach Steve Kittrell and his wife Carol attended the visitation on Sunday.

Robichaux had planned to continue coaching UL baseball for several more years at least, friends said.

"In baseball, a short game can be just as complete as one that lasts for eight hours," Father Sibley said during the homily. "We wish Tony's could have been longer. In baseball, every journey is a journey to home plate. Tony is home."
00 2019-07-09
Natchitoches

Boydstun Scholarship will benefit HMT students at NSU


NATCHITOCHES – An anonymous donor is honoring the life of a Northwestern State University alumna by creating a scholarship in her memory. The Willie Ethel Boydstun Endowed Scholarship will benefit a student in NSU’s Hospitality Management and Tourism program. Boydstun passed away in 2008 at age 89.



“The donor was a member of a women’s club in Natchitoches and most of the members are now deceased,” explained NSU Development Officer Danielle Cobb. “Mrs. Boydstun would come and present to the club members. They still had a balance of $7,800 in their club banking account, so they closed the account and decided to establish a scholarship in Mrs. Boydstun’s name.”



To be eligible, the student must be from north Louisiana and have a grade point average of at least 2.0. The recipient will receive $250 in the fall and spring semesters.



Boydstun was born in Many in 1918 and was a graduate of Many High School. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in home economics at Northwestern State and a Master of Science in agricultural extension education from Louisiana State University. She joined the staff of the LSU Agricultural Extension Service in Natchitoches in 1955 and was well-known throughout Natchitoches Parish for her homemaking skills and abilities, teaching the art of homemaking to people in the area for many years as a home demonstration agent. She received the Distinguished Service Award from the Louisiana Association of Extension Home Economists in 1976.



Boydstun was a member of the Natchitoches Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches, Natchitoches Garden Club, Natchitoches Historic Foundation, Delta Gamma Phi, Epsilon Sigma Phi, the Louisiana Retired Teachers Association, the Natchitoches Extension Home Economics Association and the Louisiana Extension Home Economics Association. She was also an active member of First Baptist Church of Natchitoches until her health declined. She served on the Shultz Chapel building committee, the pastor search committee and the landscape committee.



“Our family is very thankful to the anonymous donors who contributed to start this scholarship,” said Boydstun’s grandson William Masson. “My grandmother firmly believed in the value of higher education. She would be very happy to know that NSU students will benefit from this honor in her name.”



Boydstun’s late daughter, Carolyn Boydstun Masson, and two grandsons, William and Patrick Masson, are all NSU graduates.



Friends are invited to contribute to the scholarship by visiting northwesternalumni.com or contacting Cobb at (318) 357-5513 or cobbd@nsula.edu.
00 2019-07-09
Natchitoches

College of Education earns CAEP accreditation


NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development was among 42 providers in 23 states and the District of Columbia to earn accreditation for their educator preparation programs (EPPs) from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). During CAEP’s spring 2019 review, the 42 providers were approved under rigorous, nationally recognized CAEP Teacher Preparation Standards.



“These providers meet high standards so that their students receive an education that prepares them to succeed in a diverse range of classrooms after they graduate,” said CAEP President Dr. Christopher A. Koch. “Seeking CAEP Accreditation is a significant commitment on the part of an educator preparation provider.”



CAEP is the sole nationally-recognized accrediting body for educator preparation. Accreditation is a nongovernmental activity based on peer review that serves the dual functions of assuring quality and promoting improvement. CAEP was created by the consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. It is a unified accreditation system intent on raising the performance of all providers focused on educator preparation. Approximately 800 educator preparation providers participate in the CAEP Accreditation system, including some previously accredited through former standards.



Educator preparation providers seeking accreditation must pass peer review on five standards, which are based on two principles: solid evidence that the provider’s graduates are competent and caring educators and solid evidence that the provider’s educator staff have the capacity to create a culture of evidence and use it to maintain and enhance the quality of the professional programs they offer.



“The CAEP accreditation process is quite rigorous, and, therefore, is an accurate measure of the excellence of our Teacher Preparation Programs,” said Dr. Katrina Jordan, director of NSU’s School of Education. “The faculty, staff, students and stakeholders of the School of Education at Northwestern State University worked tirelessly to ensure that we were able to receive this accreditation by consistently setting and meeting rigorous academic goals as well as by directly participating in the accreditation process. Thank you to all of those who helped us to reach this incredible milestone. Because we have this ‘seal of approval’ from such a meticulous and highly regarded accreditation body, we can say with certainty that we are thoroughly preparing our students for the workforce while ensuring that their investment into our programs is an excellent one.”

Information on NSU’s Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development and degree programs available can be accessed at.
00 2019-07-09
Regional/National

How Rising College Costs and Student Debt Contribute to a Social-Mobility ‘Crisis’


At a time when higher education’s worth is already under a microscope, soaring college costs and student-debt levels threaten to further undermine public support of the sector. How did higher education get here?

Old Dominion U.
James V. Koch, a professor of economics and president emeritus at Old Dominion U.
That’s what James V. Koch, a former president of Old Dominion University, wanted to explore in his new book about four-year public institutions, The Impoverishment of the American College Student, to be released on Tuesday by the Brookings Institution Press.

Koch spoke recently to The Chronicle about why the costs of public higher education have ballooned over recent decades, how colleges can keep student debt from spiraling out of control, and why debt cancellation is a bad idea. The interview has been edited for space and clarity.

Q. What inspired you to write a book about college affordability and student debt?

A. We are approaching a crisis situation in the United States with respect to the ability of individuals to move upward in society. I would not blame all of that on higher education, but higher education is a major part of the problem. I wanted to thoroughly dissect the data and generate something that would be reasonably definitive in saying, This is the situation. Here’s how we got here. And here’s what we can do about it.

Sustaining the College
Business Model

Q. Many of the causes of rising tuition and fees are widely known, such as decreased public support, administrative bloat, amenities expansion, and rankings competition. You mention one cause that is a little more complex: the role of federal student financial aid. How does that work?

A. This remains a somewhat-controversial area. But recent research leads to the conclusion that additional federal financial aid may stimulate institutions to increase tuition and fees more than they might have. In a sense, it’s a variation of the third-party-payer problem that we see in medicine: When someone else is paying the bill, we don’t pay quite as much attention to the price.

In higher education, when students have the federal government assuming some of the responsibility for the cost of their education, and the institutions know they’re going to get these dollars to support the students they enroll, this gives them much greater leeway to increase prices because they have confidence that the federal government is going to bail them out.

Q. What’s the solution to that? Reduced federal financial aid?

A. That wouldn’t make us better off. We’d be worse off. But I think it would be useful for each institution to have some skin in the game. If I’m a for-profit institution, for example, for the last few decades I could do my very best to make sure that students borrowed the most money possible so they could pay their tuition today. If a student defaulted, the institution bore no responsibility for that, and didn’t have to pay anything as a consequence. It would be a good idea to have institutions bear some responsibility so that if a student defaults, they have to pay back some portion of that.

Q. It seems as if canceling student-loan debt would have been a fringe issue even just a few years ago, but it’s now part of mainstream political debate. How did we get here?

A. In 2017 one out of every six student debtors was in default. And only 45 percent were paying on time. This is problematic. My wife and I were able to go to school in the 1960s, and through scholarships, summer jobs, and jobs on campus went through our undergraduate careers with very little debt. A typical person just can’t afford to do it that way today.

“The ability of Joe Lunchbucket to pay for higher education has declined.”
In 2000 the number of work hours required per typical private-sector employee to pay for average tuition and fees was 250. In 2016 it was 447 hours. Pretty clearly, the ability of Joe Lunchbucket to pay for higher education has declined. Many of the presidential candidates have picked up on this. People are straining and hurting, and they’re defaulting on their debt, or not attending school at all, or attending part time and running into a variety of problems.

Q. Is debt cancellation the answer?

A. I don’t think so. It would set into motion a series of behavioral disincentives that would maybe cause us to end up being worse off. If institutions know that student debt is going to get canceled, that reduces the inhibitions they might have toward increasing their prices. Why control prices if someone is going to come in and take care of the problem for you?

“If they know they don't have to save, they won't.”
Further, if I saved money for my children to go to school and you haven’t, and if you go into debt, then I’m being penalized for having been rational and having saved. It’s a disincentive that we don’t want to put in front of parents in the future. If they know they don’t have to save, they won’t.

Q. Are American colleges engines of social mobility?

A. Yes. But not as much as they used to be. In my book I talk about some individuals who moved up through the ranks from poverty. Since I’m in Montana right now, one such individual is Mike Mansfield, who was a U.S. senator and Senate majority leader for many years as a Democrat. Mike Mansfield dropped out of high school and worked in the copper mines of Butte. He was able to propel himself out of that, go to the University of Montana, and went on to his career.

Q. Is something like that less likely today?

A. Absolutely. Raj Chetty and the people at Harvard track economic mobility. They have lots of numbers showing that the ability of someone to move from the lowest income quintile to the highest income quintile has declined over time. Some of the institutions that thought they were good at it aren’t really very good at it after all. Institutions can do better if they wanted to, but for a variety of reasons, they don’t.

Q. What are some of those reasons?

A. Who wants to be the president who presides over the decline in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings? You might be a better institution because of it, but it would look as if the institution had deteriorated.

Q. You write in your book that student debt held by households increased by 322 percent from 2004 to 2017, even after factoring for inflation. Is higher education’s business model sustainable?

A. Yes and no. It depends on what kind of institution you are. The University of Michigan last year got something like 60,000 undergraduate applications, so they have price-making power. They have brand identify. They can do pretty much what they want, and students are going to pay.

Career-Ready Education

But if you’re talking about a regional state college like Western Illinois, they’re in a completely different environment. They don’t have the price-making ability or prestige, and there are all sorts of other things happening, so life is very difficult for them. The business model does not work well for some institutions, but it works very well for others.

Q. How do we make college more affordable?

A. Every tuition and fee increase at a public institution is approved by a board of trustees or regents. Usually the votes are unanimous. I was president for 15 years, so I sang some of the same songs that presidents and administrators sing these days [when they want tuition hikes]. Presidents end up co-opting their boards. They give them tickets to all the events. They do all kinds of things that make the board members feel good and make the board members feel this is really important and that they need to do what the president asks them to do.

Q. So you think boards should be doing a better job of holding the line on tuition increases?

A. Yes. Part of the problem is they get appointed by governors or elected officials and think they’re supposed to be advocates for the institution rather than representing the public and taxpayers and students. They become advocates for the institution and perhaps even the president rather than saying, We’re here to represent citizens and taxpayers and make sure the university is doing what it should be doing for society at large.

Vimal Patel covers graduate education. Follow him on Twitter @vimalpatel232, or write to him at vimal.patel@chronicle.com.
00 2019-07-08
Hammond

Southeastern’s Community Music School names outstanding musicians, including three with Livingston Parish ties


Southeastern Louisiana University’s Community Music School recently announced its top musicians as determined by audience votes during the final spring 2019 recitals.

Of the six named a Spring 2019 CMS Outstanding Musician, three have Livingston Parish ties.

00 2019-07-08
Houma/Thibodaux

Nicholls’ new campus master plan available online


Nicholls State University has made its new 25-year campus master plan available to the public.

Crafted using results from a campus-wide survey, subcommittee meetings and design meetings during the fall of 2018, the plan states that the design is meant to maximize the existing space, leave room for flexibility and create a campus that serves students and the community.

“It is consistent with and supports our university’s mission, vision and strategic plan, and is flexible enough to accommodate the inevitable change that is typical in higher education,” Nicholls President Jay Clune said in an introduction to the plan.

The plan highlights the partnership between Nicholls and local nonprofit Friends of Bayou Lafourche and its proposed Bayou-Side Park. The park is expected to include features such as a floating deck, walking trails and an outdoor classroom.

It also sets renovation priorities for the Nicholls’ facilities and projects where new ones will be built, expecting to use its property across Bowie Road for more student life-related projects.

The university is considering completely replacing its student union with “a more modern” building.

There are also plans to move parking - one of students’ main concerns - to the outside of campus to make room for improvements to academic buildings.

“Right now, visitors traveling to campus are greeted with a very unclear strategy for parking and navigating,” according to the campus master plan.

To alleviate some traffic issues on campus, the plan proposes the introduction of roundabouts, shifting traffic onto main thoroughfares and redesigning some of the roads on campus.

“It is evident that the current layout of the streets adversely affects vehicular traffic, preventing the flow of other modes of transportation and creating unsafe situations where vehicles and pedestrians share spaces,” according to the plan.

The plan suggests these changes will help improve the “walkability” of the campus.

In addition to changes to traffic, the plan proposes connecting green spaces on campus into a “greenway.”

The full plan can be found on the university’s website: https://www.nicholls.edu/president/campus-master-plan/.

Staff Writer Halle Parker can be reached at hparker@houmatoday.com or 857-2204. Follow her on Twitter, @_thehalparker.
00 2019-07-08
Lafayette

Community mourns for UL coach Tony Robichaux during Sunday visitation


Hundreds of people stood in line Sunday at the Cajundome Convention Center to pay their respects to University of Louisiana at Lafayette baseball Coach Tony Robichaux, with Ragin' Cajun and McNeese State jerseys, wedding pictures and piles of flowers adorning his casket.

The public visitation held Sunday, along with a Rosary prayer, attracted fans, players and families touched by Robichaux during his 25 years as a legendary UL coach. He died Wednesday, days after suffering a heart attack.

Friends, family and fans pay their respects to Coach Tony Robichaux at the Cajundome Convention center. Sunday, July 7, 2019.
Friends, family and fans pay their respects to Coach Tony Robichaux at the Cajundome Convention center. Sunday, July 7, 2019. (Photo: SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network)

While waiting in line during the public viewing, people spoke of how surreal Robichaux's passing felt and how the realization of his death had set in. Others said he was the most principled human they had ever known, and how this public recognition was more than deserved.

"Every player that ever talks about him always says the same thing," Frank Brown, a UL Diamond Club fan, said after he took a moment to pay his respects to Robichaux at the Cajundome. "That they're a better person now because of him."

The public visitation offered those attending an opportunity to write their memories of the coach or to leave in one of three boxes their favorite "Robeisms," the sayings that he made famous.

A video of Robichaux's recorded interviews and speeches was on display as hundreds of people waited in line to visit his casket. People of all ages paused to pray or spend a last moment with this man who had been an institution at the university and in the community.

"God gave you the option to make a difference in people’s lives," he said in one video. "I’m a baseball coach, that’s it. But that’s not who I am."

"It's not dishonorable for your ability to fail. It's dishonorable to fail your ability," he said. "Only time we lose is when we fail to learn."

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The Robichaux family, 13 relatives including wife Colleen, sons Justin and Austin, and daughter Ashley, greeted visitors who came into the Cajundome to offer condolences. Nearby, the casket holding the beloved man known as "Coach Robe" sat bathed in light.

Some visitors cried with the family, while others laughed as they spoke of fond memories. Many hugged and embraced one another.

"I told Colleen the world is a better place because of Tony and she said, 'Oh I know'," Brown said. "I think everybody knows at this point."

Anthony Babineaux, assistant UL baseball coach, said Robichaux was more than just an extraordinary UL baseball coach.

"The way he led his life his how you should lead your life," Babineaux said. "And that was the biggest thing he tried to get over to me and to our players, and really everybody that he came in contact with every day.

"Doing it the right way, doing it the Lord's way," he said. "I was asked about his legacy before and that's no doubt going to be his legacy. What he did with these kids and how he prepared them to be men and face the world once they got past us."

Babineaux said more than 150 players have reached out to share their condolences.

Visitation also will be held at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church on Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A funeral Mass will follow.

Burial will take place in Crowley following the funeral Mass. Geesey-Ferguson Funeral Home of Crowley is handling arrangements.

Contact Victoria Dodge at vdodge@theadvertiser.com or on Twitter @Victoria_Dodge
00 2019-07-08
Lafayette

Cajuns coach Robichaux toiled 'to turn boys into men'


Back in March, the sports equipment manager who worked more than 30 years at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette passed away.

Among the eulogists was Tony Robichaux, head baseball coach of the Ragin’ Cajuns since 1995.

“When he (Robichaux) spoke at Lynn Williams’ funeral … he said something to the effect of, ‘I told (wife) Colleen, if somebody gets up when I’m gone and starts talking about baseball, to go rip the microphone away from them,’” said Jay Walker, UL’s longtime play-by-play voice.

Walker’s paraphrased version of what Robichaux said was close enough.

To his dying day, the coach from Crowley wanted to be remembered not for what he did but instead for who he was. Robichaux, 57, passed away Wednesday, 10 days after suffering a heart attack. When he is laid to rest Monday in his hometown, his wish will be realized.

Related: Legendary UL baseball coach Tony Robichaux dies

More: Cajuns coach Robichaux 'was one of the good guys'

UL coach Tony Robichaux, who died Wednesday, talks to Ragin' Cajun players on the mound during a March game against thee University of New Orleans.Buy Photo
UL coach Tony Robichaux, who died Wednesday, talks to Ragin' Cajun players on the mound during a March game against thee University of New Orleans. (Photo: James Mays/Special to the Advertiser)

Since his death, the man with 1,177 all-time wins is being lauded not nearly so much for what his teams did on the field — UL’s 12 NCAA Regionals, four Super Regionals and 2000 trip to the College World Series — but instead for what his career really was all about.

“He changed my life,” said ex-Cajuns second baseman Jace Conrad, a former minor-leaguer in the Tampa Bay Rays system who played his last season on a 58-10 Super Regional team in 2014.

“I came into UL as a freshman, and from Day 1 the guy had it set in his mind. He told me after I sat down one day: ‘I’m gonna help make you a better person. I’m gonna help make you a better follower of Christ.’ And he said, ‘I’m gonna help make you a better family man and a friend.’

“He stuck to his word all the way through. He never veered off his path,” Conrad added. “He had a plan for each and every kid that came through that program for what he wanted to do … and he executed it. That’s something I’ll never forget.”

When the university announced his death, it said “Coach Robichaux, the winningest head coach in Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball history, leaves behind a legacy of servant leadership, compassion and faith that extends beyond the baseball diamond and into the lives of the thousands of student-athletes and staff he impacted in his 25 seasons leading the program.”

Yet, Robichaux's obituary does not even mention that he coached the Cajuns for 25 years.

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He surely wanted it that way.

More: Funeral arrangements set for UL coach Tony Robichaux

"Coach Robichaux recorded more than 900 victories during his tenure here," UL President Joseph Savoie said, "but his life and influence cannot, and should not, be measured in wins and losses alone.

"Rather, his legacy rests in the lessons he taught student-athletes about their lives beyond the diamond. He urged them to be magnanimous in victory, reflective in defeat, and to exemplify integrity and determination in all they did.

"Because he lived these principles, he was more than a coach," Savoie added in a statement. "He was a lodestar, a light that guides travelers toward a destination. That’s how Tony Robichaux will be remembered by everyone who admired him and by the University he represented so well."

Sixty or so miles away from Lafayette in Baton Rouge, two of Robichaux's longtime rivals suggested the same.

“He changed kids’ lives every day,” former LSU coach Skip Bertman said.

“Tony was an outstanding coach,” current Tigers coach Paul Mainieri added, “but he was an even greater molder of young men, and the positive impact he made upon his players is immeasurable.”

Related: Cajuns' Robichaux was 'fierce competitor,' but helped LSU before 2000 national title game

The testimony of his players past and present confirms just that.

“It was a 24/7, 365-day commitment from him,” 2017 Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year Gunner Leger, who finished his Cajun career this year, told The Daily Advertiser. “Whether you knew him a day or your entire life, he genuinely cared about you.”

Sometimes it didn’t matter if you knew him at all.

'He wanted to help a complete stranger'
Pitcher Brock Batty was a freshman pitcher in the 2017-18 school year.

He’ll never forget the day one of his first team meetings as a Cajun was about to begin.

“Right before it started, my best friend told me he was going to commit suicide and said he would give me one chance to say goodbye to him before he did,” Batty shared on Twitter.

“I was scared to get up and say I needed to leave because I didn’t know what coach would say or do.”

Early in the meeting, handouts were distributed. Batty asked if he could fill out the paperwork later and explained why.

Robichaux, also UL's pitching coach, of course said it could wait.

More: Robichaux's Cajuns had 'certain values, certain qualities'

“I walked out of the stadium club and called my best friend Justin but he wouldn’t answer,” Batty tweeted. “I called his mom and siblings to let them know what Justin had told me about his intentions of suicide.

“I never returned to the meeting and about 30 minutes later the meeting was dismissed. I was crying my eyes out on the steps outside the stadium club overlooking the field feeling hopeless because I thought Justin was gone.

“Everyone left except for Coach Robe,” Batty added, “and he noticed me laying there and gave me a hug and talked to me for a long time about Justin’s situation and talked to me about God’s plan for everyone.”

Batty said Robichaux spoke to him “in such a caring way” that it made him feel “I was in the right place, playing for the right man.”

“Shortly after he left, Justin’s mom called me and told me they tracked him down and that he was safe,” Batty tweeted. “I told this to Coach Robe and he wanted to talk to Justin to try and help him through his tough time.

“He wanted to help a complete stranger. This is the type of man he was.”

More: Would ex-Cajun Justin Gabriel be a coach now if not for UL's Robichaux? 'Not a chance'

The importance of family
Matt Casbon played first base for the Cajuns from 2005-07, and served as a graduate assistant coach under Robichaux in 2009 and ’10.

Now UL’s director of ticket operations for all sports, Casbon stayed particularly close to Robichaux and the baseball program after his playing days were done.

He feels he knows how how Robichaux was able to do what he did.

“First and foremost he led by example,” Casbon said. “He wasn’t trying to tell you to do something that he either hadn’t already lived through or was currently living through.”

Robichaux was a college baseball player himself, a pitcher for one season at Wharton Junior College in Texas, for two at McNeese State in Lake Charles, where he began his coaching career, and, for his final season on the field, at UL.

“He learned how to play the game the right way, which led him to coaching the game the right way,” Casbon said, “and through all of that he had a family to think about.”

Lafayette's Sam Taulli Sr.: 'Tragic loss for our entire community'

Robichaux is survived by his wife of 31 years, Colleen Dailey Robichaux; one daughter, Ashley Robichaux Moody and her husband, Lon; two sons, Justin Michael Robichaux and his wife Leigh Ann, and Austin Michael Robichaux and his wife Sara; his father, Ray Thomas Robichaux; and three brothers, Timmy, Troy and Michael Robichaux.

UL coach Tony Robichaux, left, who died Wednesday, embraces his father, Ray Robichaux, after receiving a pitch from him before a game at renovated M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park in 2017 .Buy Photo
UL coach Tony Robichaux, left, who died Wednesday, embraces his father, Ray Robichaux, after receiving a pitch from him before a game at renovated M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park in 2017 . (Photo: SCOTT CLAUSE/THE ADVERTISER)

His sons both played for the Cajuns.

“For us, coming in (as) 18-, 19-, 20-year-olds with the whole world ahead of you, really,” Casbon said, “he just made sure you understand the importance of family, not only in the clubhouse but also back home.

“(He) made your parents understand that we were one of his own now, and he was going to take care of them as if he had raised them from the beginning.

“And he just always had this perspective that the game is important, but it’s not the most-important thing,” Casbon added. “He always preached that message that there was so much more outside of baseball.”

More: Community reacts to Tony Robichaux's passing

'He created a home for us'
Consider the sermon delivered and heard.

Over and over again.

“He set out to make men who have the ability to be great dads, great husbands,” shortstop Blake Trahan, who made his Major League Baseball debut last season with the Cincinnati Reds, told The Daily Advertiser.

“All that stuff everyone is saying is so true. … If we really boil it down and look at it, that was Coach Robe’s mission. He just did it through baseball.”

Reds shortstop Trahan on Robichaux: 'You felt that light'

Robichaux didn’t just advocate family, though.

He built one as well, and it’s been a lasting one.

Year after year, one former Robichaux-coached Cajun after another has returned to UL — no matter where in the country they may play or live — to prepare for a new season before spring training got underway.

Trahan.

Jonathan Lucroy, a two-time All-Star catcher now with the Los Angeles Angels.

Former major-league pitcher Danny Farquhar, recently released from the New York Yankees minor-league system. Nick Thurman, currently a minor-league catcher in the Seattle Mariners organization. Stefan Trosclair, an infielder recently released from the St. Louis Cardinals’ AA-affiliate.

The list goes on and on.

Related: Lucroy credits Robichaux for opportunity to play in major leagues

“He always had open arms for his former players to come work out there and be around the guys,” Trahan said. “He just created a home for us, and it was a place we’d always go back (to).

“We just feel like we can, and it’s a beautiful thing, because I know it’s not like that everywhere.”

Guiding God's 'broken people'
When all was going well, Robichaux quietly rooted for his former Cajuns to thrive.

When times were tough, whether a player was struggling or had just been released or simply needed some words of wisdom, Robichaux was a text, phone call or open office door away.

“I always felt l could reach out to him at any time,” Trahan said.

“There was no hesitation there,” added Casbon, who remains grateful that Robichaux made him part of a family like few will ever experience.

Leger, though, does know the feeling.

“There were numerous occasions when I would walk in to his office to speak with him,” he said. “He would almost always be on the phone with an ex-player, friend, or coach mentoring them through their problem at the time.”

Remembering UL's Robichaux: Leger pours his heart out

So as word of Robichaux’s passing spread, former and current Cajuns took to social media with their own special words for the beloved coach.

As they did, Robichaux’s ability to successfully complete the mission he always had in mind became apparent for those who didn’t already know.

“Coach Robe was a great influence to many peoples’ lives. He was working to turn boys into men,” tweeted infielder Chase Compton, who has spent time in the San Francisco Giants’ farm system. “Thank you coach for the many life lessons you have taught throughout your coaching career. Your players will never forget.”

“He was a father figure to me when I needed one,” tweeted pitcher Connor Cooke, a UL freshman this past season. “The lessons he taught me and everyone he encountered will live on for years to come. Thank you coach for all you’ve done.”

Michael Leaumont is a sophomore pitcher from Texas.

“During a private meeting he told me that if I were a little older and his daughter was a little less married that I’d have his blessing to marry his daughter because he thought that much of me as a man,” Leaumont tweeted. “That is one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received.”

O’Neal Lochridge, a St. Thomas More High product, transferred to UL after starting his college career at LSU.

He played his final season as a Cajun this year, and called Robichaux “a man who poured his heart (and) soul in mentoring and guiding the broken people God put in front of him.”

“Coach Robe, thank you for changing my perspective on life,” Lochridge tweeted. “I will forever be in debt.”

More: Former player starts GoFundMe for Coach Robichaux and family

Still watching over his team
For second baseman Conrad, whose younger brother Brenn also played for the Cajuns, the impact of Robichaux’s loss cannot be measured because his reach was so widespread.

“His players were his only concern besides family,” Conrad told The Daily Advertiser, “and he changed more lives than people will ever understand.”

Robichaux commanded respect — and received it.

“It was to the point where, on a daily basis, whenever me and my teammates were away from the baseball field, or on (it),” Conrad said, “every decision was made off of the fact that we did not want to disappoint Coach Robichaux.

“That’s something to this day that still goes through my mind — you know: ‘What would Coach Robe do?’ It’s gonna be tough. I’ll never be able to pick up the phone to call him anymore. The last text he sent me, the end of it said, ‘I’ll always be here for you and Brenn.’”

UL's Tony Robichaux works in the dugout during a 2018 game against LSU. Robichaux, 57, died Wednesday after 25 seasons as coach of the Ragin' Cajuns.
UL's Tony Robichaux works in the dugout during a 2018 game against LSU. Robichaux, 57, died Wednesday after 25 seasons as coach of the Ragin' Cajuns. (Photo: SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network)

Even in death, Conrad sees nothing changing in that regard.

“That’s gonna hold true,” the Lafayette High product said, “because he’s gonna be able to watch over not only his family and his friends but also the rest of us from here on out.”

As he took time to reflect just hours after Robichaux had passed, Conrad did not mention one number or one statistic.

All he talked about was the man, the one who died as the seventh-winningest active coach in NCAA Division I baseball.

“Although he was one of the greatest winners of all-time, he really didn’t care about that,” Conrad said. “He had one goal, and that was to make you a better man.

“I applaud him for holding true to what he told every one of his players whenever they walked in and committed to play for him.”

That being the case, no one should worry about the microphone needing to be ripped from them on the day he is eulogized.

Much more will be spoken of the man he was than the baseball his teams played.

It’s just the way Robichaux wanted it, just what he told wife Colleen he hoped would happen so many times before he went to sleep.

“That’s who he was,” radio-man Walker said. “That’s how he wants to be remembered.”

Sports editor Heidi Venable and reporter Glenn Guilbeau contributed to this report.
00 2019-07-08
Lafayette

Funeral arrangements set for UL coach Tony Robichaux


Tony Robichaux, the beloved coach who led the UL baseball team for 25 years, will be laid to rest Monday.

According to information from UL, visitation will be held from 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday at the Cajundome Convention Center. A Rosary will be prayed at 7 p.m.

An additional visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church on Johnston Street in Lafayette. A funeral Mass will follow.

Burial will take place in Crowley following the funeral Mass. Geesey-Ferguson Funeral Home of Crowley is handling arrangements.

Robichaux died Wednesday morning surrounded by loved ones at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. Robichaux, 57, was hospitalized after a heart attack June 23 and underwent two surgeries soon after.

A day after learning of the death of the legendary "Coach Robe," people came to pray Thursday at the place where he spent so much of his life.

A group spent some of their Fourth of July holiday praying the Rosary in front of the locked gate of M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park.

More: Jonathan Lucroy credits Robichaux for opportunity to play in major leagues

More: Reds shortstop Trahan on Robichaux: 'You felt that light'

Cheryl and Annie Perret, mother and daughter and UL alumnae, had attended the prayer service for Robichaux at the field Tuesday night. They returned Thursday with flowers and prayers for his family and a community facing this loss.

People pray and place flowers and notes at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park on Thursday, July 4, a day after learning of the death of legendary University of Louisiana at Lafayette baseball Coach Tony "Robe" Robichaux.Buy Photo
People pray and place flowers and notes at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park on Thursday, July 4, a day after learning of the death of legendary University of Louisiana at Lafayette baseball Coach Tony "Robe" Robichaux. (Photo: Leigh Guidry/The Advertiser)

"We mourn the loss... that was once his impact on the community: being a positive role model on young adults," Cheryl Perret said. "God's purpose for him has been fulfilled. ... We mourn for the family and the community."

Clay and Patti Judice joined the Perrets in prayer Thursday. Their son, Adam, played for Robichaux from 1996-99.

More: Former player starts GoFundMe for Coach Robichaux and family

People pray and place flowers and notes at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park on Thursday, July 4, a day after learning of the death of legendary University of Louisiana at Lafayette baseball Coach Tony "Robe" Robichaux.Buy Photo
People pray and place flowers and notes at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park on Thursday, July 4, a day after learning of the death of legendary University of Louisiana at Lafayette baseball Coach Tony "Robe" Robichaux. (Photo: Leigh Guidry/The Advertiser)

"He took care of our boy the way we did," Patti Judice said.

They go way back with Robichaux and his family. The coach's second year at UL was their son's first.

"Everything you're hearing about him today we've known about since day one," she said. "I think he would be so pleased that he's not being remembered for his coaching but for his words."

The man she knew was full of faith, which was perhaps what impressed her most about him.

"When they got into town on road trips he always found the closest Catholic church and he would find out Mass schedules and let everyone know," Judice said. "That was one of my first great impressions of him."

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As they prayed for the coach and his family, they also thought of what comes next.

"We can never give back to Tony what he gave to us except to continue his legacy," Judice said.
00 2019-07-08
Lafayette

UL Lafayette issues statement on the death of coach Tony Robichaux


The following can be attributed to Dr. Joseph Savoie, University of Louisiana at Lafayette president.

It is difficult to imagine this University, or this community, without coach Tony Robichaux.

For players and fans alike, he was Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball, a transformative, iconic figure who strengthened and nurtured the program for a quarter century.

Coach Robichaux recorded more than 900 victories during his tenure here, but his life and influence cannot, and should not, be measured in wins and losses alone.

Rather, his legacy rests in the lessons he taught student-athletes about their lives beyond the diamond. He urged them to be magnanimous in victory, reflective in defeat, and to exemplify integrity and determination in all they did.

Because he lived these principles, he was more than a coach. He was a lodestar, a light that guides travelers toward a destination. That’s how Tony Robichaux will be remembered by everyone who admired him and by the University he represented so well.

Gail and I join the University community in extending our condolences and prayers to Colleen, Ashley, Justin, Austin and the entire Robichaux family.
00 2019-07-08
Lake Charles

McNeese State University Spring Honor Roll & President’s Honor List


LAKE CHARLES — Several students from the Teche Area were named to The President’s Honor List and the Honor Roll for the spring 2019 semester at McNeese State University, the school announced recently.

To be on the President’s Honor List, an undergraduate student must earn at least a 3.5 GPA or better while carrying at least 15 semester hours. A senior eligible for graduation but carrying less than 15 hours is also eligible provided that student was on the President’s Honor List the previous semester.

PRESIDENT’S LIST:

NEW IBERIA: Nicholas F. Bienvenu, Carli A. Judice

ST. MARTINVILLE: Madison Alaina Pillaro

The honor roll lists undergraduate students earning at least a 3.0 or B average while carrying 12 or more semester hours.

HONOR ROLL:

FRANKLIN: Ongel A. Davis, Ashton C. Landry

JEANERETTE: Dynasty A. Butler, Jalon Jarae Charles

NEW IBERIA: Kenzi M. Borres, Tiffany Janae Broussard, Blake Michael Comeaux, Courtney Marie DelaHoussaye, Kaitlyn Elizabeth Freyou, Maria Sylvanie Garrett, Dynesty Le’trel Gilliam, Kelsey E. Jones, Nya P. Lewis, Kaysha K. Pradia, Hope Marie Reddick, Logan N. Robin, Jacoby R. Sam, Ledaryeantae Thibodeaux, Briana Williams

ST. MARTINVILLE: Brandon D. Potier, Brittney Ann Robichaux
00 2019-07-08
Monroe

Warrant: ULM student said a 'loss of lives' will happen if he fails to get degree


A University of Louisiana Monroe student is facing one count of cyberstalking related to a threat posted on social media.

According to an arrest warrant for Kevin James Conant, 24, officers at the ULM Police Department learned Conant posted a death threat via the Snapchat messaging app.

Kevin Conant
Kevin Conant (Photo: OCC)

"The threat appears to have been directed toward the university and those that conduct business here (student, staff, visitors, etc.)," the warrant states.

More: LSU sorority sisters among those killed in Bahama helicopter crash

According to the report, the initial information regarding the threat was brought to the attention of the department by several university administrators who are in fear of Conant.

Officers reviewed the post and reported that at the end of the message Conant said: "If I don't get my degree, there will be serious consequences, including loss of lives."

The warrant states officers learned Conant owes a fee to the university and is unable to register for the fall semester. Officers suggest it is a possible reason the suspect made the post on Snapchat.

Conant was booked into Ouachita Correctional Center Wednesday on one count of cyberstalking. Bail was set at $10,000, and the suspect posted bond.

Follow Ashley Mott Reporter on Facebook for the latest news.
00 2019-07-08
Monroe

ULM receives grants for medical research


VIDEO
00 2019-07-08
Monroe

ULM receives grants to fund medical research


MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The University of Louisiana at Monroe is becoming a leader in medical sciences. Five faculty members received grants totaling $371,017 to continue their medical research.


ULM receives grants to fund medical research from the National Institute of Health and the Louisiana Biomedical Research Network. Courtesy: MGN
The grants came from the National Institute of Health and the Louisiana Biomedical Research Network.

From the College of Pharmacy, Dr. Nektarios Barabutis, Dr. Georgios Matthaiolampakis, and Dr. Seetharama Jois received grants. And Dr. Siva Murru and Dr. Srinivas Garlapati received grants in the College of Arts, Education, and Sciences.

Dr. John Pratte is the Dean of the College of Arts, Education, and Sciences. He says getting these grants is a gateway into more funding down the road.

He says Dr. Murru is working on new anti-cancer drugs, and Dr. Garlapati is researching the parasitic disease Giardiasis. And now he says students will be able to learn about these topics in a hands-on way.

Dr. Pratte says the new medical school brings a lot of opportunities.

"The process of developing new drugs, new therapies, it's great you can do it in a lab, you can do it on cells," says Dr. Pratte. "But at some point, you have to take these further on down the line for testing."

He says often they have to partner with groups in regions that are farther away, so he thinks it will be great to have a local organization they can partner with on research.

Here's a link to Dr. Nektarios Barabutis's research

Here's a link to Dr. Georgios Matthaiolampakis's research

Here's a link to Dr. Siva Murru's research

Here's a link to Dr. Seetharama Jois's research

Here's a link to Dr. Srinivas Garlapati's research

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00 2019-07-08
Monroe

Portion of Main Street in Grambling named a university road


A portion of Main Street in Grambling has been designated as a “university road” by Grambling State University.

The section of Main Street that runs between College and Central avenues received the designation as it crosses directly through the busiest part of the university's campus, according to a news release from the university, making it an essential segment of the institution’s daily functions.

“The success and safety of our students is our first priority,” said Grambling State President Rick Gallot. “This improvement allows our staff the operational flexibility to address dynamic security requirements and support the functional needs of the university.”

“The road designation supports the best interest of our students,” said Steven Wilson, president of Grambling State’s Student Government Association. “As active citizens of the community, we look forward to the continued partnership between the university and the City of Grambling.”
00 2019-07-08
Monroe

ULM study abroad students, professor participate in ceremony in Mexico


Students who participated in the University of Louisiana Monroe’s study abroad program in Mérida, Mexico, in June took part in a special ceremony as the end of their stay neared.

The group was included in the 45th anniversary celebration of its host language school, the Centro de Idiomas del Sureste (CIS).

In attendance were the founders of the school, Jorge and Chloe Pacheco, the director, Fernando de la Cruz, Jose Pacheco (no relation to the founders), the Supervisor of the Secretary of Education for the State of Yucatan, teachers from all branches of the CIS, host families, the ULM-Mexico group — including its longtime director, Dr. Charles Holloway — and members of the local press.

Holloway is Professor of World Languages in the School of Humanities in the College of Arts, Education, & Sciences.

ULM-Mexico students included, Shelby Cook, Melanie Deal, Colby Glatter, Savanna Gonzalez, Elizabeth Hancock, Emily Healy, Sadaf Helforoosh, Bonnie Hemphill, Ashtin Houghton, Scarlett Lester, Jessica Marvin, Skylar Orozco, Torianne Servais, Luke Vaughn, Amber Waterhouse, along with Mrs. Carol Holloway.

As part of the ceremony, the CIS planted an árbol de la amistad, a tree of friendship, and placed in front of it a sign dedicating the tree to Holloway and commemorating the decades-long relationship between ULM and the CIS, an association initiated by School of Humanities Director, Dr. Ruth Smith.

The CIS had planned the 45th anniversary ceremony to coincide with the ULM group’s visit in order to highlight the special nature of their connection with ULM. The ULM-Mexico program offers students an experience of true cultural immersion.

“Studying abroad is very different from simply traveling to another country as a tourist,” explained Holloway. “Our students live with Mexican host families, take classes in Spanish, and use Spanish each day as they interact with the people of Mérida.”

Such intensive and direct contact with a culture different from one’s own is deeply rewarding and even life-changing.

“I can say without hesitation that this experience changes forever the hearts and minds of the students who participate,” Holloway said.

He attributes much of the program’s success to the careful planning of faculty and staff at the CIS, whose director “consistently goes far above and beyond anything that would be expected in order to ensure that our students have an exceptional experience in Mérida.”

But he also credits the quality of ULM participants, who understand that they are ambassadors for their university, state, and country.

“I am pleased that our students have taken this role seriously over the years, and in doing so, have helped to make possible the decades of friendship between ULM and the CIS,” he said.
00 2019-07-08
Natchitoches

Northwestern State Spring Honor list, dean’s list & President’s List


NATCHITOCHES — Northwestern State University released its Honor List, Dean’s List and President’s List for the Spring 2019 semester recently.

Students on the Honor List must be enrolled full-time and have a grade point average of between 3.0 and 3.49. Students on the Dean’s List earned a grade point average of between 3.5 and 3.99.

Students listed by hometown are as follows. Students on the Presiden’ts List earned a grade point average of 4.0.


HONOR LIST:

Franklin — Zachary McEndree;

Jeanerette — David Blakesley;

New Iberia — Mia Bashay, Dainell Ledet, Alex Romero;

St. Martinville — Belinda Alexander, Jacoby Fontenette, Destiny Simon, Maleik White, Cassandra Zenon;

Youngsville — Devin Forestier, Devyn Shores, Sophia Toranto.

DEAN’S LIST:


Baldwin — Christine Barard;

Franklin — Chaqaire Jenkins, Cheyanne Smith;

New Iberia — Taylor Freyou, Jacob Gary, Jaci Jones, Grace Kerns, Destinee Leger, Payton Romero, Alexis Trosclair, Madison Willett;

St. Martinville — Blake Blanchard;

Youngsville — Randall Blair, Chloe Blank, Jude Garrett, Jessica Gilmore, Brette Reaux, Isabelle Vivien.

PRESIDENT’S LIST:

Franklin — Alison Guidroz;


Loreauville — Tiffany Trahan;

New Iberia — Tara Bonvillain, Madison Castille, Emily Neuville, Madison Romero;

St. Martinville — Alli Douet;

Youngsville — Brandon Granger.
00 2019-07-08
New Orleans

https://www.nola.com/news/politics/article_3bf7d922-9f87-11e9-bda1-d3c444057b78.html


Ed Chervenak, a longtime political scientist and professor at the University of New Orleans, is leaving the Lakefront campus for a role at a private research firm, he said Friday.

He will work through UNO's summer semester, then leave on Aug. 1 for a job as senior analyst with the Olinger Group, a local market research firm, he said.

Story Continued Below


Chervenak has worked in UNO’s political science department for almost two decades. He took the reins of the UNO Survey Research Center in 2012, replacing Robert Sims.

The center, which does analyses on local elections and polls to gauge the public’s mood on issues, was founded by Susan Howell in 1986.


It was not immediately clear who would succeed Chervenak at the center, or even whether the center will continue. As UNO reduced programs and departments in recent years to tighten its belt, the political science department did not rank high among its priorities, and the master’s and doctoral programs were eliminated.

Asked his reasons for leaving, he said in an email, "I made the move because I was offered an opportunity that I didn’t think I could pass up. This is an opportunity for change and a new challenge.

"That’s about all I can say."
00 2019-07-08
New Orleans

Louisiana appears to be facing a robot invasion


A new report from Oxford Economics says Louisiana is one of two states most likely to lose jobs to robots.

Louisiana is tied with Oregon for the top spot on the 'robot vulnerability index.'

That's the index used to determine which regions or states are likely to see the most jobs lost to automation by 2030. It highlights places that do not currently use many robots, as compared to international competitors, and are dependent on lower-skilled manufacturing jobs.

"We possibly have a disproportionate amount of those types of positions that somebody's going to build a machine to take over for them," says UNO Business professor, Mark Rosa.

"Just to suggest that we would be affected most, then that also suggests that we've got these types of jobs that a machine could somewhat easily replace."

And, the study says those are the areas in which automation will take a disproportionate toll.

"I'd be of the opinion that, anybody that's going to lose their job to a robot substitute...that's usually entry-level work, something that could be done repetitively by a machine," Rosa says.

However, the Oxford study notes that areas with reliance on tourism or financial and business services are associated with lower scores on the robot index. So, New Orleans would seem to be somewhat more insulated from the automation trend.

"If you want a smiley face and not people just doing things on phones...you go into a restaurant and you're being served...those things would be hard to replace with machinery. So, you've got some of that interface. And tourism is, of course, a big deal to New Orleans. And their jobs are safer."

Rosa also notes that an automation invasion is not necessarily a bad thing, as the rise of the robots will boost productivity and economic growth creating new jobs.

Following Louisiana and Oregon on the 'robot vulnerability index' are Texas, Indiana and North Carolina. Hawaii had the lowest score, followed by Washington, D.C., Nevada, Florida and Vermont.
00 2019-07-08
New Orleans

Veteran UNO political scientist, pollster to depart for private research firm


Ed Chervenak, a longtime political scientist and professor at the University of New Orleans, is leaving the Lakefront campus for a role at a private research firm, he said Friday.

He will work through UNO's summer semester, then leave on Aug. 1 for a job as senior analyst with the Olinger Group, a local market research firm, he said.

Chervenak has worked in UNO’s political science department for almost two decades. He took the reins of the UNO Survey Research Center in 2012, replacing Robert Sims.

The center, which does analyses on local elections and polls to gauge the public’s mood on issues, was founded by Susan Howell in 1986.

It was not immediately clear who would succeed Chervenak at the center, or even whether the center will continue. As UNO reduced programs and departments in recent years to tighten its belt, the political science department did not rank high among its priorities, and the master’s and doctoral programs were eliminated.

Asked his reasons for leaving, he said in an email, "I made the move because I was offered an opportunity that I didn’t think I could pass up. This is an opportunity for change and a new challenge.

"That’s about all I can say."
00 2019-07-08
Regional/National

How Rising College Costs and Student Debt Contribute to a Social-Mobility ‘Crisis’


At a time when higher education’s worth is already under a microscope, soaring college costs and student-debt levels threaten to further undermine public support of the sector. How did higher education get here?

Old Dominion U.
James V. Koch, a professor of economics and president emeritus at Old Dominion U.
That’s what James V. Koch, a former president of Old Dominion University, wanted to explore in his new book about four-year public institutions, The Impoverishment of the American College Student, to be released on Tuesday by the Brookings Institution Press.

Koch spoke recently to The Chronicle about why the costs of public higher education have ballooned over recent decades, how colleges can keep student debt from spiraling out of control, and why debt cancellation is a bad idea. The interview has been edited for space and clarity.

Q. What inspired you to write a book about college affordability and student debt?

A. We are approaching a crisis situation in the United States with respect to the ability of individuals to move upward in society. I would not blame all of that on higher education, but higher education is a major part of the problem. I wanted to thoroughly dissect the data and generate something that would be reasonably definitive in saying, This is the situation. Here’s how we got here. And here’s what we can do about it.

Sustaining the College
Business Model

Q. Many of the causes of rising tuition and fees are widely known, such as decreased public support, administrative bloat, amenities expansion, and rankings competition. You mention one cause that is a little more complex: the role of federal student financial aid. How does that work?

A. This remains a somewhat-controversial area. But recent research leads to the conclusion that additional federal financial aid may stimulate institutions to increase tuition and fees more than they might have. In a sense, it’s a variation of the third-party-payer problem that we see in medicine: When someone else is paying the bill, we don’t pay quite as much attention to the price.

In higher education, when students have the federal government assuming some of the responsibility for the cost of their education, and the institutions know they’re going to get these dollars to support the students they enroll, this gives them much greater leeway to increase prices because they have confidence that the federal government is going to bail them out.

Q. What’s the solution to that? Reduced federal financial aid?

A. That wouldn’t make us better off. We’d be worse off. But I think it would be useful for each institution to have some skin in the game. If I’m a for-profit institution, for example, for the last few decades I could do my very best to make sure that students borrowed the most money possible so they could pay their tuition today. If a student defaulted, the institution bore no responsibility for that, and didn’t have to pay anything as a consequence. It would be a good idea to have institutions bear some responsibility so that if a student defaults, they have to pay back some portion of that.

Q. It seems as if canceling student-loan debt would have been a fringe issue even just a few years ago, but it’s now part of mainstream political debate. How did we get here?

A. In 2017 one out of every six student debtors was in default. And only 45 percent were paying on time. This is problematic. My wife and I were able to go to school in the 1960s, and through scholarships, summer jobs, and jobs on campus went through our undergraduate careers with very little debt. A typical person just can’t afford to do it that way today.

“The ability of Joe Lunchbucket to pay for higher education has declined.”
In 2000 the number of work hours required per typical private-sector employee to pay for average tuition and fees was 250. In 2016 it was 447 hours. Pretty clearly, the ability of Joe Lunchbucket to pay for higher education has declined. Many of the presidential candidates have picked up on this. People are straining and hurting, and they’re defaulting on their debt, or not attending school at all, or attending part time and running into a variety of problems.

Q. Is debt cancellation the answer?

A. I don’t think so. It would set into motion a series of behavioral disincentives that would maybe cause us to end up being worse off. If institutions know that student debt is going to get canceled, that reduces the inhibitions they might have toward increasing their prices. Why control prices if someone is going to come in and take care of the problem for you?

“If they know they don't have to save, they won't.”
Further, if I saved money for my children to go to school and you haven’t, and if you go into debt, then I’m being penalized for having been rational and having saved. It’s a disincentive that we don’t want to put in front of parents in the future. If they know they don’t have to save, they won’t.

Q. Are American colleges engines of social mobility?

A. Yes. But not as much as they used to be. In my book I talk about some individuals who moved up through the ranks from poverty. Since I’m in Montana right now, one such individual is Mike Mansfield, who was a U.S. senator and Senate majority leader for many years as a Democrat. Mike Mansfield dropped out of high school and worked in the copper mines of Butte. He was able to propel himself out of that, go to the University of Montana, and went on to his career.

Q. Is something like that less likely today?

A. Absolutely. Raj Chetty and the people at Harvard track economic mobility. They have lots of numbers showing that the ability of someone to move from the lowest income quintile to the highest income quintile has declined over time. Some of the institutions that thought they were good at it aren’t really very good at it after all. Institutions can do better if they wanted to, but for a variety of reasons, they don’t.

Q. What are some of those reasons?

A. Who wants to be the president who presides over the decline in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings? You might be a better institution because of it, but it would look as if the institution had deteriorated.

Q. You write in your book that student debt held by households increased by 322 percent from 2004 to 2017, even after factoring for inflation. Is higher education’s business model sustainable?

A. Yes and no. It depends on what kind of institution you are. The University of Michigan last year got something like 60,000 undergraduate applications, so they have price-making power. They have brand identify. They can do pretty much what they want, and students are going to pay.

Career-Ready Education

But if you’re talking about a regional state college like Western Illinois, they’re in a completely different environment. They don’t have the price-making ability or prestige, and there are all sorts of other things happening, so life is very difficult for them. The business model does not work well for some institutions, but it works very well for others.

Q. How do we make college more affordable?

A. Every tuition and fee increase at a public institution is approved by a board of trustees or regents. Usually the votes are unanimous. I was president for 15 years, so I sang some of the same songs that presidents and administrators sing these days [when they want tuition hikes]. Presidents end up co-opting their boards. They give them tickets to all the events. They do all kinds of things that make the board members feel good and make the board members feel this is really important and that they need to do what the president asks them to do.

Q. So you think boards should be doing a better job of holding the line on tuition increases?

A. Yes. Part of the problem is they get appointed by governors or elected officials and think they’re supposed to be advocates for the institution rather than representing the public and taxpayers and students. They become advocates for the institution and perhaps even the president rather than saying, We’re here to represent citizens and taxpayers and make sure the university is doing what it should be doing for society at large.

Vimal Patel covers graduate education. Follow him on Twitter @vimalpatel232, or write to him at vimal.patel@chronicle.com.
00 2019-07-03
Hammond

SOUTHEASTERN @ LIVINGSTON | New director looks to re-brand Literacy and Technology Center


WALKER - She couldn't wait to take the assignment.

For years, Livingston Parish native and resident Krystal Hardison got into her car in Watson and proceeded to drive straight past the Literacy and Technology Center in Walker all the way to Hammond, where she worked at Southeastern.


00 2019-07-03
Hammond

SLU Theatre Alumni present 'Moon Over Buffalo' | Photo Gallery



00 2019-07-03
Lafayette

Prayer Vigil for Tony Robichaux



00 2019-07-03
Natchitoches

NSU Ed.D. program earns top ranking


NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) program was ranked by Great Value Colleges as the #1 online Training and Development program. Northwestern State was selected for the top-ranked spot not only for the program’s affordability but also for the institution’s overall outstanding reputation, its faculty’s excellence and the unerring commitment to providing non-traditional students a high-quality education and in doing so, giving them all the tools that they need to achieve their future career goals.



Northwestern State’s Doctor of Education in Adult Learning and Development focuses on developing community college leaders and preparing practitioners to work with adult learners and workforce development. Graduates will be qualified to assume advanced leadership roles in areas of community college leadership, workforce development, post-secondary education, adult learning and development, and scholarship.



The Doctor of Education is a practitioner degree program that prepares students for the practice of adult learning and leadership across the following domains: teaching and learning, curriculum and instructional design, adult development, workforce development, program management and planning, organizational change, and community college leadership.



Two concentrations are available: Community College Leadership and Adult Learning and Workforce Development.



“It is certainly an honor for our doctoral program to receive this recognition, particularly as we are only in our third year,” said Dr. Bill Morrison, coordinator of Adult Learning and Development Programs. “ I think that part of the reason for this recognition is that the program has a broad appeal in that it emphasizes rigorous, practice-based learning for those who wish to pursue advanced practice and leadership roles in the many different venues where adults learn, including community colleges, universities, adult education programs, and corporate training program.”



Great Value Colleges rankings are determined by using data collected from College Navigator regarding tuition, as well as program information gleaned directly from each institution’s official website. The methodology is based primarily on tuition but also considers program flexibility, customization within the degree program both in content and format and an overall factor which highlights each program’s unique offerings and sets it apart from the pack.



Great Value Colleges compiles these rankings in an effort to contribute to the academic mission of higher learning institutions. We provide pertinent, unbiased information for prospective students and working professionals to aid them in making more informed decisions as they seek to further their education.



“Northwestern State University has been a leader in online learning for almost two decades, being the state’s first and largest electronic campus,” said Dr. Katrina Jordan, director of the School of Education. “As part of that campus, the program for the Doctorate in Education in Adult Learning and Development maintains the highest standards for online degree programs. Courses are interactive, engaging, and designed to optimize online learning. We are so pleased that this innovative, exemplary program has been nationally recognized as being both of high quality and affordable.”



Information on Northwestern State University’s Doctor of Education program is available at https://education.nsula.edu.
00 2019-07-03
Natchitoches

McCullen family creates scholarship for upper level nursing students


NATCHITOCHES – The McCullen Family of Natchitoches has created an endowed scholarship through the Northwestern State University Foundation that will benefit upper level nursing students. Wayne and Sandra McCullen created the scholarship to mark the 50th anniversary of their graduation dates from Northwestern in 1969 and 1970 and their 50th wedding anniversary. The couple hopes the scholarship will help “someone in clinicals who is very serious about being a nurse,” they said.



The McCullens, along with their children and their spouses David and Beth McCullen of Oxford, Mississippi; Brandon and McCall McCullen of Benton and Rob and Michelle McCullen Posey of Benton, joined faculty and administrators from Northwestern State University’s College of Nursing to discuss needs the scholarship will fill and the family’s history with Northwestern State. In Mr. and Mrs. McCullen’s immediate family, four out of five are NSU graduates and, including their children’s spouses, seven out of eight are NSU graduates.



“This is very dear to me,” Wayne McCullen said. “I give a lot of credit to NSU for my success.”



Mr. McCullen was a first-generation college student from Springhill who credited his parents’ work ethic in forming his character. He became interested in nursing as a teenager after an emergency appendectomy in which he was acquainted with the CNA (Certified Nurse Anesthetist) who put him to sleep for the procedure. He later asked his guidance counselor where he should pursue a nursing degree and was pointed to NSU. After earning his bachelor’s degree in nursing, he pursued a degree in anesthesia at the University of South Alabama and served as the director of anesthesia at Natchitoches Regional Medical Center from 1974-2000.



Mr. McCullen was a three-term mayor of Natchitoches, leading the city from 2000-2012. Prior to that, he served on the Natchitoches City Council from 1980–2000. Northwestern State honored him with an Nth Degree for meritorious service and in 2012 he was inducted into the Long Purple Line, NSU’s Alumni Hall of Distinction.



Mrs. McCullen graduated from Baton Rouge High School and completed her nursing degree at NSU in 1970. As an RN, she held several positions in nursing care and administration at Natchitoches Parish Hospital, including serving as assistant director of nursing, taking time off when each of their children was born. She was active in the community while raising a family and supporting her husband’s political life. The McCullens have been members of First Baptist Church for over 50 years and will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary Aug. 9.



Mr. and Mrs. McCullen both credited NSU for preparing them for successful careers and, with the support of their children, felt a strong desire to give back.



“We are delighted we can contribute and make it possible for a person with a hardship to finish their degree in nursing,” Mr. McCullen said. “I could not have gone to school without scholarships and student loans.”



Beginning this fall, the $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a nursing major in clinicals in Shreveport, Alexandria or Natchitoches who demonstrate a financial need.



“The culture we have right now at NSU is keeping our students at the forefront,” said NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio, adding that 80 percent of NSU students receive some form of financial aid. “We know the median income for families in northwest Louisiana has put a burden on a lot of our students. Gifts like this make or break whether a student can continue to go to school. I’m so grateful the McCullens are embracing this as a family.”



Maggio said that when he became president of Northwestern, Mr. and Mrs. McCullen were role models for him and his wife Jennifer, who looked up to the McCullens as a husband and wife team in leadership roles.



Dr. Dana Clawson, dean of NSU’s College of Nursing and School of Allied Health said scholarships for students are the college’s great need.



“We had a couple of students who passed the spring semester, but we noticed they weren’t re-enrolled. They are one semester from graduating but they said, ‘We just can’t afford to go.’ We were able to find scholarship money and if we hadn’t been able to, I think we would have passed the hat. Many of our students are first generation students and those taking summer classes don’t receive TOPS.”



NSU’s nursing program has grown by 30 percent in the last two years. There are about 2,500 nursing students and over 700 in clinicals. Graduates have 100 percent job placement and 100 percent pass rate on the NCLEX, the National Council Licensure Examination required to become an entry-level nurse.



In addition to improving labs and technology and hiring faculty to accommodate growth, administrators have developed several programs to meet needs in the community, including a paramedic/military medic to RN program that will begin this fall and a Bachelor of Science to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program for students who completed a degree in biology and would like to become nurses. The School’s first class of psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners graduated this past May.



Clinicals students are now able to take classes at sites in Natchitoches and Alexandria so that students with band, athletic or ROTC scholarships can more easily complete upper level courses. The School also offers a full summer session so students can finish a year early. Administrators said scholarship awards also help offset the cost of board fees, exam fees and other costs stacked on top of tuition.



“We have been so incredibly blessed,” Mrs. McCullen said. “We are so thankful to be able to help someone or several people.”



Information on associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs, post-master’s certificate programs and continuing education offered through NSU’s College of Nursing is available at nursing.nsula.edu.


The McCullen family of Natchitoches initiated a scholarship to benefit Northwestern State University nursing students through a donation to the NSU Foundation. From left are David and Beth McCullen, Brandon and McCall McCullen, Wayne and Sandra McCullen and Michelle and Rob Posey. Of the eight, seven are Northwestern graduates. The scholarship commemorates the 50th anniversary of Wayne and Sandra’s graduation from NSU and their 50th wedding anniversary.
00 2019-07-03
Natchitoches

Summer camps let NSU show off to prospective students


The Northwestern State University campus will see plenty of activity this summer as more than 8,500 students and staff will take part in more than 50 summer camps and workshops hosted by the university.

The camps include band, art, music and science camps, Louisiana Boys State and Girls State, cheerleading and sports camps, the ADVANCE Program for Young Scholars, the Louisiana Association of Student Councils, robotics camps and more.

“We have the most enchanting, beautiful campus in the state of Louisiana,” said Director of Enrollment Services Jana Lucky. “Summer camps are a great way to show off our campus to students that might not have had an opportunity to experience it. Natchitoches is also very friendly and welcoming to visitors from all over.”

About half of the camps are overnight camps, requiring the students to use campus residence halls and dining facilities. Lucky says this gives camp participants a good idea of what student life is like at Northwestern State. The camps have a significant economic impact on the community because of the overnight stays and purchases made by the camps and visits from parents.

This year’s summer camps will have an estimated economic impact of nearly $3.5 million on the local economy, according to the Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Camps also provide a valuable way for academic departments to promote themselves and possibly spark an interest in a future NSU student. Northwestern State’s Department of Engineering Technology has offered STEM robotics camps for nearly 10 years for both beginning and advanced levels.

“The interdisciplinary construction of robots, which involves motors, sensors, and programming, makes it a useful pedagogical tool for all STEM areas,” said Jafar Al Sharab, head of the Department of Engineering Technology. “The novelty of robotics is instrumental in attracting and recruiting diverse STEM students. In the classroom, robotics can easily be used to introduce a variety of mandatory skills needed to pursue a variety of STEM career paths. More specifically, a robotics platform advances students’ understanding of both scientific and mathematical principles develops and enhances problem-solving techniques and promotes cooperative learning.”

A list of summer camps hosted by Northwestern State is at facilityuse.nsula.edu/summer-camp-list.
00 2019-07-03
New Orleans

From Lafayette to Raceland, this highway is now named after Governor Kathleen Blanco


The honors keep coming for former Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who is gravely ill with cancer.

Gov. John Bel Edwards and the state Department of Transportation on Tuesday renamed the Evangeline Thruway from Lafayette to Raceland as the “Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Highway.” The sign is now front of the Howard Johnson Hotel.

The former governor and her husband Raymond joined Edwards at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Lafayette afterward for Blanco to formally endorse the current governor, who is running for re-election in the Oct. 12 primary.

Story Continued Below


"We are so happy with the results of his hard work," Blanco said. "And we just want to see that continue...And I'm just going to try to survive long enough to vote for him." The crowd laughed.

"This is a governor who cares about education, a governor who cares about economic development, a governor who cares about children," she added.

Edwards said he would wear her endorsement "as a badge of honor."

'I've had an extraordinarily full life:' Former Gov. Kathleen Blanco at peace with whatever lies ahead in terminal cancer diagnosis
'I've had an extraordinarily full life:' Former Gov. Kathleen Blanco at peace with whatever lies ahead in terminal cancer diagnosis
Kathleen and Raymond Blanco were among the earliest supporters of Edwards’ longshot campaign before he was elected governor in 2015. They are all Democrats.


During the past year, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette – Blanco’s alma mater – created a public policy center in her name that houses her gubernatorial papers. Blanco, the state’s first female governor, served from 2004-08.

In January, the New Orleans Saints unveiled a plaque at Gate A in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome recognizing Blanco's role in working to reopen the Superdome a year after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and blew a hole in the dome's roof.

During her occasional public appearances since announcing in December 2017 that she was suffering from terminal cancer, Blanco has urged political figures to set aside their partisan differences to work together.
00 2019-07-03
Regional/National

Demand for Campus Child Care Is Growing. Choosing How to Provide It Can Be Fraught.


When Yvonne Sherwood heard that the university-funded child care center she’d been sending her sons to for years was going to be replaced by a for-profit provider, she was outraged. The University of California at Santa Cruz graduate student had been more than satisfied with the campus’s Early Education Services, describing the teachers there as “like family.”

More importantly, she was worried she wouldn’t be able to afford the cost of the new center. “This is an issue for us about access,” Sherwood told The Chronicle. “If we do not have access to quality, affordable child care, then we do not have access to higher education as students with family.”

“When public universities help advance the corporatization of early childhood education and care, they not only betray their essential social and educational missions, they also voice support for a world in which childhood is there to be mined rather than defended.”
The need for campus child care is growing — and not just among instructors and graduate students. According to a 2014 study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, almost five-million undergraduates are parents. A 2011 report from the same policy group found that access to affordable child care is one of the most important factors in a student-parent’s decision to enroll at a college or university.

The decision to offer child care is complicated by questions of resources. Bright Horizons Family Solutions, the for-profit company tapped by Santa Cruz, opened its first campus center at Iowa State University in 1997. Now the company operates about 50 locations for universities and colleges, many of which were attracted by the notion of cost savings.

But several campuses have decided to cut ties with Bright Horizons in recent years, opting to manage child-care facilities on their own. In some cases those decisions have come in response to complaints about the quality of care — something on the minds of those in Santa Cruz who are upset with the new provider.

The debate at Santa Cruz raises an especially relevant question as the need for child care on campuses grows, yet funds remain scarce: Are institutions best equipped to run those services themselves?

Backlash at Santa Cruz
In March, Sherwood and her 8-year- old son joined dozens of other parents to march with the university’s Graduate Student Association in protest of the contract with Bright Horizons. The demonstrators had a laundry list of concerns: Some research has shown that, on average, for-profit centers have higher teacher-student ratios and higher employee-turnover rates. And in California, teachers at for-profit centers are subject to less-stringent education requirements from the state.

The cost of care will also increase significantly. At the current center, parents are charged on a sliding scale based on income — the average cost ranges from $200 to $900 per month — and they are eligible for Title V funding and subsidies from the state. At a Bright Horizons center, those subsidies would disappear, and prices would rise to market rates, which, in Santa Cruz, is about $1,000 per month.

These concerns are shared by more than the 40-some protesters who attended the March rally. As of Thursday, a petition opposing the contract with Bright Horizons had garnered 564 signatures from students, faculty, and other university community members.

Scott Hernandez-Jason, a university spokesman, said the institution plans to use some of the money it saved by contracting out the management of its child-care center to provide university subsidies for graduate-student parents. The amount it will offer has not yet been determined, he said.

In 2010, Santa Cruz stopped offering child care to faculty and staff, making it the only campus in the University of California system without that service and prompting the university to explore options for expanding to meet the need. According to Hernandez-Jason, the new center, which is expected to open in May 2020, will serve the children of faculty and staff as well as those of students.

But faculty members, whom the shift is supposed to help, have signaled their opposition to contracting out child care to a for-profit company. In 2015 the university’s committee on faculty welfare recommended that a separate, university-operated child-care center be established for the children of faculty and staff, and specifically determined a third-party operated center to be “unviable.”

Hernandez-Jason also said that parents will benefit from the expertise that a professional child-care provider like Bright Horizons brings to the table. But Bright Horizons wouldn’t be held to the same standards for quality as the current center. In California, a teacher at a for-profit center is required to have only half the early-childhood-education credits required of full teachers at nonprofit centers, and assistant teachers at for-profit centers aren’t required to have any.

Though Bright Horizons centers aren’t required to meet the same minimum standards as nonprofit centers, they either meet or exceed standards set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, according to Ilene Serpa, the company’s vice president for communications.

Keeping It Local
Other universities, under similar pressures to meet the growing child-care needs of their faculty and staff, have rejected the for-profit option.

In 2012 the University of California at Berkeley decided to scrap its plans to transfer management of its child-care center to Bright Horizons following parent backlash. In 2015 Pennsylvania State University decided not to renew its contract with Bright Horizons, electing to bring its center under the management of the university.

When Boston University decided to expand its child care services, a task force was formed to explore the best option for doing that. It conducted internal surveys, held open “town hall” meetings, compared the strategies of other universities, and solicited input from students, faculty, and staff. Ultimately, the task force recommended that the university devote more funding to provide expanded services in-house.

Diane Tucker, vice president for human resources at the university, helped lead the task force. She said that the recommendation came down to quality of care, which she said is important to attract graduate-student parents and young faculty.

“We look at this as a recruitment and retention tool,” she said. “It's an investment for the university because it's an important benefit for our faculty, staff and graduate students, especially our mid-career faculty.”

But not every university administration has seen it that way. Cornell University’s child-care center has been managed by Bright Horizons for over a decade. In 2010, a faculty committee recommended that then-President David Skorton not renew Cornell’s contract with the for-profit child-care provider, citing low quality of care and 47 violations of New York State child-care regulations. Skorton rejected the recommendation, saying, in part, that although the center had started with “significant problems,” substantial improvements had been made starting that year.

Serpa echoed that point, saying that the Bright Horizons center at Cornell underwent “significant changes” in the first few years of operation and has seen subsequent improvements since.

Corporate Care or Community Care?
Sydney Van Morgan taught sociology at Cornell until 2014. During her tenure there she both enrolled her children in the Bright Horizons-operated Cornell Child Care Center and pulled them from it. She said that a for-profit company’s incentive to cut costs is inherently at odds with its ability to offer high-quality child care. She also said that Bright Horizons, which was bought in 2008 by the private equity giant Bain Capital, is a particularly hard sell for parents who want to see the maximum return on their tuition fees.

“It's very odd that parents are paying tuition to put their children into these daycare centers, and that part of that tuition is going to the profit margin of Bain Capital, as opposed to being reinvested back into the center,” said Van Morgan, who once ran a Facebook page called “Campaign Against Corporate Childcare on Campus.”

In 2017 Kyle Parry, an assistant professor of art history and visual culture, wrote a letter urging Santa Cruz administrators to renege on the agreement with Bright Horizons in favor of expanding the current, university-run center. He told The Chronicle via email that he doesn’t buy the university’s rationale for making the switch, which he said very likely has more to do with shedding university liability for the children and eliminating the cost of staffing.

Adult Students: The Population Colleges Can't Afford to Ignore

Parry has a 9-month old daughter, whom he does not plan on sending to the new Bright Horizons center at UCSC. It won’t be affordable, he said, and he doesn’t have faith that the holistic approach that defined the old child-care center will carry over.

But Parry also has a moral problem with the university supporting for-profit child-care initiatives.

“When public universities help advance the corporatization of early childhood education and care, they not only betray their essential social and educational missions, they also voice support for a world in which childhood is there to be mined rather than defended,” he wrote.

Switching to a for-profit center from a university-run center can also displace current employees, and lower pay combined with distant ownership can make it harder for companies like Bright Horizons to retain their teachers. Employees of the UCSC center will not be guaranteed jobs at the expanded center, and even if they are rehired, they will lose the significant benefits offered by the university to its employees.

“You can see their eyes fill when we talk about this transition, and the breaking of their relationships with our children, and the fear of losing their health benefits,” said Sherwood, the Santa Cruz graduate student and parent. “And when you come to see people as your community and as your family, that's disheartening.”

Tucker, of Boston University, said that when the campus task force looked to compare strategies for child-care expansion at other universities, the field of peer institutions was split between outsourcing and devoting more resources to in-house services. At the end of the day, she said, it’s another difficult decision universities must make about how to allocate their limited funds, but she’s proud of the decision that BU made.

“We're fortunate that we have leadership at the university who think it's an important investment,” she said. “It certainly seems like not every university has been able to convince their administration that this is a worthwhile place to put resources.”

Liam Knox is an editorial intern at The Chronicle. Follow him on Twitter @liamhknox, or email him at liam.knox@chronicle.com.
00 2019-07-02
Lake Charles

Bruce Hemphill expected to make full recovery after suffering ‘cardiac event’


LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - McNeese Director of Athletics Bruce Hemphill is expected to make a full recovery after suffering a “cardiac event,” school officials say.

Hemphill was admitted to a hospital after suffering the event late Saturday night.

The Sulphur native is entering his seventh year as athletic director at McNeese.
00 2019-07-02
Natchitoches

Student focuses on Cradle to Prison intervention


India Gurley of Logansport, a student majoring in Child and Family Studies at Northwestern State University, initiated round two of a service project to benefit local preschool and kindergarten students. For the second time, Gurley implemented a t-shirt fund raiser to support the Early Childhood Education Cradle to Prison Intervention Pipeline project at NSU. Gurley raised enough money to purchase 140 children’s books for local classrooms and plans to share her experience at the annual Louisiana Early Childhood Association conference in October with Dr. Michelle Brunson, director of Graduate Programs in Early Childhood Education at NSU.
00 2019-07-02
Regional/National

‘These Cuts Have Real Consequences’: A New Study Surveys the Damage of State Disinvestment in Public Universities


A new National Bureau of Economic Research working paper examines the effects of a decades-long decline in state funding for public universities. According to the results, the decrease has had, and will continue to have, damaging repercussions, suggesting reason to be concerned about the future of public higher education.

The study behind the paper, “Public Universities: The Supply Side of Building a Skilled Workforce,” was conducted by a team of researchers, who compared trends at public universities in states where cuts in higher-education funding have been steep, such as Michigan and Wisconsin, with those in states where appropriations for public institutions have remained fairly stable, like New York and Texas. The conclusion? That the continuing decline in state funding will very likely lead to a shortage of skilled workers with degrees, as well as the erosion of universities’ “long-term research capacity, which contributes to economic growth.”

It also illustrates how the decrease in funding has led many public institutions to adopt strategies for endowment growth traditionally associated with private universities. For the more elite public universities, that may undermine certain central goals, like funding general research and providing higher education to in-state students. For others, those strategies are simply out of reach.

The Chronicle spoke with two of the study’s authors: John Bound, a professor of economics at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; and Sarah Turner, a professor of economics and education at the University of Virginia, who responded to questions via email. The other co-authors are Gaurav Khanna, an assistant professor of economics at the University of California at San Diego, and Breno Braga, a research associate at the Urban Institute. The interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Q. What are some of the major causes of the decline in state funding for public universities?

Bound. First of all, the fraction of the state money going to higher education is declining. So, it’s not just that state budgets have declined — cuts to state budgets, they happen. But the fraction of their money that states are spending on higher education has declined. Now, there is some really conventional wisdom of why this is happening that has to do with funding for other programs, the big one being Medicaid. But we found that while that plays some role, it can’t explain anything close to the total. And we really didn’t find strong evidence for any alternative.

If you try and look at political actors influencing these cuts, it doesn’t scream at you that that’s what the major cause is. For example, Michigan has had major cuts, as has Wisconsin. And in Michigan’s political context, there was not the same political revolution as there was in Wisconsin. So, I don’t think it’s simply something you can label as progressives versus conservatives. That makes me think there are fundamental economic factors at work that are pushing states to fund higher education less than they did in the past. Do I think that might be really disastrous in the long run? I would say yes. In some sense, the old model for funding public higher education in the U.S. is breaking down — that state model that resulted from states feeling they had a vested interest, economically.

Q. Your report gives a kind of historical overview of how state funding for public universities greatly contributed to economic growth throughout the 20th century, before declining over the past 30 or so years. Are states investing less in education now mostly because of budget cuts, or does it have to do with how state economies have changed?

Bound. What you’re suggesting is certainly consistent with what I would claim to be both common sense and simple economic models. Both in terms of the education that states provide their students and the return from that education that states experience, states have become less of a closed economy than they were before. The money that Wisconsin spends on higher education, for example, does less for the state of Wisconsin now than it would have 30 years ago. More and more, the best and the brightest high-school graduates are going out of state to go to college. Also, research and development returns less to the state of Michigan than it might have 100 or 50 years ago. The New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman talks about the flattening of the world, but the U.S. is also flattening in the sense that we’re less state-centric and more integrated with each other, and that reduces the viability of the state as an economic beneficiary from education.

Q. Your study also brings up some of the different ways that public universities are dealing with the shortage of funds, and it specifically notes the disparity between what public research universities can do and what other, what you call “broad-access,” public institutions are capable of. What are these differences, and do research institutions have an edge when it comes to adapting?

Bound. Research universities, typically being some higher-profile universities, have various ways to somewhat limit the damage being done to undergraduate education. Increasingly, top state schools are going to out-of-state students or out-of-country students, who pay high fees, to try to replace some of the money from the state coffers.

Public universities are privatizing, depending more on tuition, depending more on private contributions, things like that. And as that happens, it’s reasonable to think that state universities, since more and more money is coming from tuition, will be more and more oriented toward the interest of the people paying those tuitions. And that will have consequences for the nature of the education they provide but also for the research being done. So in a certain way, the consequences to the students at the research universities may be less than at the non-research universities. But the consequences for research may be greater at the research universities just because more research is done there.

Q. What do you mean when you say it’ll have an impact on the kind of research that’s done there?

Bound. There are two parts to that. One is that subsidies given to research will be taken away to some extent and given to the undergraduate program. That’s kind of tilting things away from research toward students, so that the students are less impacted. The other thing you can see happening is that emphasis will be put on research that can be externally funded. With the increasing pressure to get money from external sources, people might have different perspectives on whether that’s good or bad. It’s easier for researchers to get funding for things that have very clear, fairly short-term tangible output. But my own belief is that a lot of unfunded research, in the very long run, produces important developments. Even if the only thing you care about is GDP per capita, it may have long-term positive effects.

Q. Is that difference between top-tier and lower-tier public universities a result of those top-tier public universities’ ability to adopt private universities’ model of endowment growth and funding?

Bound. Yes, partially. But also, an increasingly important source of revenue is tuition from out-of-state students, including foreign students. So, it’s the capacity to attract the people who have enough money to pay. They’ll look at the U.S. News & World Report rankings for the University of Michigan and say, Oh, that’s a great school. It’s not Harvard or Swarthmore or something, but it’s pretty good. So we’ll be willing to pay that money for the University of Michigan. But if you ask, Are they willing to pay for Eastern Michigan? They haven’t even heard of it.

Q. What’s the impact of this decrease in state funding on the ability to bring in students who can’t pay full tuition and on the incentive to populate classes with wealthier students from out of state who can pay full tuition? Is there a worry that the socioeconomic diversity of public institutions will approach the levels of disparity present at private institutions?

The Future of Enrollment

Turner. The “affordability” challenges that have gotten so much attention recently are real, and changes in state appropriations are definitely a contributing factor. The increase in tuition levels in response to declines in appropriations tends to increase the challenge of paying for college for all but the most affluent students.

Where the narrative gets complicated is in measuring the impact on “net price” (cost of attendance minus grant aid) for students from different income groups and at different types of institutions. Preliminary work finds that a small group of resource-intensive universities, those that belong to the Association of American Universities, have been able to largely insulate low-income students from increases in tuition by also increasing grant aid. Broad-access institutions, which often lack resources from private philanthropy or out-of-state students, are simply unable to provide additional grant aid.

The representation of students from across the income distribution at public research universities has been a problem for decades; it is not “caused” by the decline in state appropriations. What has happened is in the larger economy — the increase in the stratification of family incomes exacerbates the problem. Declines in appropriations make it difficult for institutions to fund investments to increase the pool of low-income students, and they also make it more difficult for universities to provide the resources to make college affordable for “near poor” and “middle-income” families.

Q. What kind of practical actions can state lawmakers and university administrators take to address the problems that are brought up in your study?

Bound. Well, from the point of view of state legislatures, the answer simply would be more money. But we actually have only a very partial diagnosis of why the money is falling. We weren’t thinking about this as giving advice to people. This is a serious issue, which is not to say that we have a solution. The main point is: These cuts have real consequences for individuals who might get a college education, who might not otherwise or might not get high-quality education because of the decline. And also for the research that is done in the United States, which presumably has an impact in the long run on things like GDP per capita.

In terms of if I have advice or a message for university administrators, my answer would be no. We basically think university administrators are doing the best job they can, given the resources they have. For example, the University of California system, which used to have a very limited number of seats available for out-of-state students, increased the number of out-of-state acceptances dramatically after the Great Recession. And the administrators have to go argue with Sacramento and say, No, we’re not taking it away from the in-state students; what we’re doing is we’re using these people to subsidize them. So, I think that to try to micromanage university administrators is a mistake. What I do think is that an administrator at the University of Michigan has options available to him or her that an administrator at Eastern Michigan does not.

Liam Knox is an editorial intern at The Chronicle. Follow him on Twitter @liamhknox, or email him at liam.knox@chronicle.com.
00 2019-07-02
Regional/National

How 3 Experts Say Colleges Can Prepare Students for 21st-Century Careers


ollege and business leaders often refer to a “skills gap” — a shortage of qualified candidates to fill open jobs — or debate whether such a gap exists. What’s clear is that students who enroll in college, whether straight out of high school or at some juncture in their working lives, face a lack of information about which academic programs will lead to given career paths. And those programs may not prepare them for an evolving economy.

Last month The Chronicle invited five experts to our office, in Washington, for a roundtable discussion on integrating career development into the educational experience. They considered how to expand models of work-based learning and promote opportunities for all students.

A few stayed afterward to offer more advice: Edward Smith-Lewis, director of the Career Pathways Initiative at UNCF, the organization formerly known as the United Negro College Fund; Lakeisha Mathews, director of the Career and Internship Center at the University of Baltimore; and Jill Klein, interim dean of the School of Professional and Extended Studies at American University, where she also serves as an executive in residence in information technology and analytics. The full roundtable report is available free here.

Sara Lipka edits coverage of campus life and other topics. Follow her on Twitter @chronsara, or email her at sara.lipka@chronicle.com.
00 2019-07-02
Regional/National

How CenturyLink Internships foster Next Generation IT Employees


For many students, summer internships started May 30. few weeks after spring commencement events. Although the season didn’t officially begin until June 21, USBE online has been covering everything from getting summer internships through the college network you build to racking up an array of experiences and even signing up for part-time internships during the academic year.

We start this week with Niana Celestine, a computer science and marketing student at Grambling State University, who has done three internships at the telecommunications company, CenturyLink.

Vernon Irvin, senior vice president at CenturyLink, Inc., leads more than 1,000 sales and marketing staff who grow the telecom company through data, voice, cloud computing, and information technology (IT). Irvin is responsible for small and midsize business, state and local government, and education.

Celestine, who expects to graduate this fall with dual bachelor’s degrees in computer science and marketing, has had three internships with CenturyLink.

“I was part of the communications team, where I worked on the planning and design of the company’s intranet, particularly the migration of content from legacy platforms to the new intranet site after the acquisition of former telecommunications company, Level 3,” she said.

Celestine says the project she is most proud of was the initial idea and groundwork for an augmented reality training app for technicians as part of the CenturyLink Disrupt competition, later adopted by the product development and technology team.

Celestine started her initial internship search online by applying through CenturyLink’s website. She got a call back from a recruiter, followed by a hiring manager, and within two months, she received an offer via email. Celestine credits the relationships she built within CenturyLink and her hard work with positioning her to be brought back year after year.

“I feel blessed to have landed the initial internship at CenturyLink on my first try,” said Celestine, who hopes to secure a program manager or software engineer position after graduation. Thousands of applications pour into CenturyLink for these summer spots every year, and I felt so honored to be sought out by my hiring managers and team after my first internship.”

CenturyLink provides broadband, voice, video, advanced data and managed network services over a 265,000-route-mile U.S. fiber network and a 360,000-route-mile international transport network. Last year, CenturyLink deployed faster broadband speeds to more than 1 million homes and small businesses and faster speeds to nearly 2 million more.

The 2019 BEYA Student academic award winner said internships are invaluable in many ways such as breathing life into classroom concepts, and relationship building.

“From a personal development perspective, internship experience can boost students’ self-confidence in their ability to do the work and reignite their passion for their particular area of study,” shared Celestine. “It was after the first internship that I became more active around campus—taking part and emerging victorious in a number of competitions, conferences, and speaking engagements at my school and around the nation. The skills and knowledge acquired from working in the industry can provide considerable advantages over the competition when applying to fulltime roles, scholarships, or other exciting opportunities.”

Celestine will complete her fourth internship during summer 2019. As part of a research team at Grambling, she collaborated with the Cyber Innovation Center and National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center to help bring STEM—particularly cyber and computer science—curricula and professional development to K-12 educators.

“As a researcher, I help develop the modules that the educators will then go out and teach younger students with interest in technology,” said Celestine via email. “With cybersecurity being the main focus, I pull together the concepts from cryptography, penetration testing, social engineering, and other current topics, and translate them into the material that countless students will be exposed to.”
00 2019-07-02
Regional/National

Slow Going on Faculty Diversity


Despite more universities placing an emphasis on attempting to diversify their faculty ranks, a new study shows very little progress, particularly at research universities. And much of the success in faculty diversity has been in untenured positions.

According to the study, which was published by the Hispanic Journal of Law and Policy from the South Texas College of Law, Houston, colleges in recent years have not seen substantial growth in racial diversity among faculty members.

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The study is based on federal data from 2013 to 2017. One of its authors, Julian Vasquez Heilig, the incoming dean of the College of Education at the University of Kentucky, said the motivation for the research came from his wondering if increased discussions of diversity and faculty recruiting programs had been successful in creating a more diverse professoriate.

“We wanted to test this hypothesis -- whether we in higher ed were improving diversity in those particular areas,” Vasquez Heilig said. “A lot of times faculty, when we have these discussions, talk like we’re reinventing the wheel. We have these ideas and these gut feelings of what might work. But I think we need to be more empirical and data driven on diversity.”

Diversity issues were shown to be particularly prevalent at doctoral-status institutions, a category representing universities with the heaviest research focus, where the number of black tenured faculty members grew by only one-tenth of a percent from 2013 to 2017, to comprise 4 percent of the total tenured faculty. The number of Hispanic and Latino tenured faculty members also grew by less than 1 percent (0.65 percent) in that time, and in 2017 was 4.6 percent of tenured faculty. Faculty positions filled by Asian Americans saw the largest amount of growth at doctoral-status institutions, with a 1.2 percent increase to make up 12.8 percent of all tenured faculty.

At master’s-level institutions, black faculty members made up a larger percentage at 5.6 percent of tenured faculty. But the group saw smaller growth during the years studied, with an increase of less than a tenth of a percent (0.07 percent). Hispanics and Latinos, who were 5 percent of tenured faculty at these institutions, in 2017 saw a 0.64 percent increase.

The study revealed moderate progress for gender diversity during the 2013 to 2017 period, with a 1.7 percent increase in the amount of women serving in faculty positions at doctoral-status institutions. The share of women serving in any faculty position is roughly on par with men, the study found, but women still only make up 32 percent of tenured positions.

“Despite concerted efforts, we really haven’t moved the needle that much in terms of ethno-racial and gender diversity,” Vasquez Heilig said. “Especially when you consider the growing population of communities of color in the United States, you haven’t resultantly seen the growth in faculty especially at the doctoral levels. Many institutions that are making the most noise -- the brand-name institutions -- have had some of the worst progress.”

The study also examined previous research regarding the positive effects of a diverse faculty on students, and how colleges and universities should continue to work to break down barriers that prevent more diversity among faculty members.

“It’s good for students to have role models who are people of color; it’s good for students to have faculty members with different backgrounds,” Vasquez Heilig said. “The majority of professors are still male. We need to continue to make the case, not only to our own institutions but to our broader communities at large, that diversity is good for students and that it’s an important part of the educational mission.”
00 2019-07-01
Baton Rouge

As opioid lawsuits balloon in Louisiana, potential settlement dollars face these complexities


If you live in Louisiana, there is a good chance your local government has filed a lawsuit against opioid makers or distributors, seeking damages for the companies’ alleged fueling of the nation’s opioid crisis.

More than 100 lawsuits filed in Louisiana — the lion’s share of them by cities, towns, parishes and sheriffs — are included in a massive docket of more than 2,000 similar cases from across the U.S. The plaintiffs include cities like Baton Rouge and New Orleans, insurers like Blue Cross and Blue Shield and even the University of Louisiana System, which filed suit this month.

Now comes the hard part: reaching a deal that could provide a windfall of money to cities and states across the country — including potentially every city in Louisiana — to help abate the opioid epidemic.

The cases sit before an Ohio federal judge, who has pushed both sides to move toward a settlement that addresses America's opioid problem. In response, the plaintiffs' lawyers have devised a unique system that would rope every single city in America into the case, creating a formula to determine how much in settlement funds each would receive.

Baton Rouge is a class representative in the case, making it one of the jurisdictions that will represent the interests of all political subdivisions in the country if the class is certified by the court.

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But the ballooning number of lawsuits on the Ohio docket, along with even more lawsuits filed by states like Louisiana, has added layers of complexity to the issue. A group of state attorneys general, including Louisiana's Jeff Landry, recently sent a letter to the Ohio judge that cast doubt on the “novel” new approach to negotiating and asked the judge to delay ruling on it.

Crucial dates are approaching. The first bellwether case on the Ohio docket is set for trial in October, and U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster in Cleveland could rule on the negotiation class idea in August.

“The pressure is starting to increase for everybody to try to get a resolution as we stare down that trial date in October,” said Burton Leblanc, a lawyer with Baron & Budd who was hired by Baton Rouge to represent the city in the fight against opioid distributors. “The judge wants us to settle ... We need to get something done.”

A complex case
The more than 2,000 suits brought by cities, towns, counties, Native American tribes, labor unions and a host of others are all consolidated in what’s known as multi-district litigation. Polster is overseeing all those cases, including the more than 100 filed by Louisiana cities, parishes, towns, sheriffs, fire districts, tribes and others.

The defendants include drug makers and distributors, who allegedly fueled the opioid crisis by falsely marketing powerful, addictive drugs as safe, pumping them into the market with little regard for their effects — including a historic rise in overdose deaths. The governments suing the companies cite dramatically increased costs associated with the epidemic, for spending on health care, incarceration, emergency response and more.

Purdue Pharma, the maker of the blockbuster opioid OxyContin, is at the center of many of the lawsuits. The firm didn’t respond to a request for comment, but like other defendants it has strongly denied the allegations.

John Parker, of the Healthcare Distribution Alliance, which represents distributors, said the idea those companies are to blame for the number of opioid prescriptions written "defies common sense."

Margaret Thomas, an expert in complex litigation at the LSU law school, said multi-district litigation is designed to handle these types of complicated issues. Polster's job is even harder, though, because the state lawsuits aren't under his control. That's why attorneys general are part of the negotiations in Polster's court.

“We’ve seen lots and lots of (multi-district litigation cases) that are big, complex and have thousands of claims — even more claims than this one,” Thomas said. “But have we seen them with as many types of players in terms of cities, unions, Indian tribes, individual states? I can’t think of one that’s exactly like this.”

Leblanc, who is working on the Baton Rouge case for a potential 25% cut of a settlement, has enlisted the help of Ted James, a Baton Rouge Democratic state representative. Leblanc said Baton Rouge is an appropriate class representative in the case because it has been particularly hard hit by the opioid crisis.

“Baton Rouge unfortunately has one of the highest opioid prescription rates per capita in the state and the South,” Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, who hired Leblanc, said in a statement. “We have also been dramatically impacted by overdose and death due to opioids.”

If the negotiating class is approved by the judge, lawyers would use a formula to figure out which cities have been hurt worst by the opioid epidemic, and allocate the settlement dollars accordingly.

“What we’ve learned is the companies are not willing to come to the table with any meaningful dollars or resources until we can give them certainty we can wrap up the litigation,” Leblanc said. “That’s why we filed this negotiating class.”

Separate from the multi-district litigation, though, Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration filed its own lawsuit in state court in late 2017. After a dispute with Republican Landry, who is a political rival of the Democratic governor, the two agreed in early 2018 that Landry would represent Louisiana in the case against 17 pharmaceutical companies. Nearly every state in the U.S. has now filed suit in the rush to litigate the opioid crisis.

Louisiana governments, lawyers file lawsuits against drug companies for rise of opioid cases
Louisiana governments, lawyers file lawsuits against drug companies for rise of opioid cases
In the letter sent to Polster recently, the attorneys general, including Landry, batted back the idea of the negotiation class that would include every city in the U.S., arguing that it cannot bring about a “global” settlement because states will continue to litigate their own cases.

Recently, the state of Oklahoma reached a settlement with one of the defendants in the slate of opioid suits, Teva Pharmaceutical, that sends $85 million to the state.

Thomas, of LSU, said that settlement — for one state and with only one of the many pharmaceutical firms — "raises the stakes” in the opioid litigation. She believes it indicates the numbers will rise in a potential global settlement, which would resolve virtually all claims brought by cities and states.

“It signaled these cases are worth more than perhaps people initially thought they were,” she said.

Jennifer Connolly, of Baron & Budd, one of the 19 lawyers now contracted with the state to work on the opioid litigation, said there’s no guarantee the cases will be resolved with “complete peace,” though that is one of many potential outcomes on the table.

Connolly likened the opioid litigation to the tobacco litigation of the 1990s, which delivered a windfall in settlement dollars to states including Louisiana. This time, though, municipalities that felt they did not have sufficient say in where the tobacco money went filed suit against opioid makers to have a seat at the table when the litigation nears a settlement.

Growing claims
The suits have ballooned in Louisiana in the past year and a half. Lawyers have sought out lucrative contracts with cities and the state, which in turn have rushed to grab a slice of whatever settlement might come from the litigation.

According to Jerry Cronin of RMI Inc., a subsidiary of the Louisiana Municipal Association, 30 municipalities in Louisiana have filed lawsuits on the issue, from small towns like Berwick to cities like Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

Coroner’s offices; rehab organizations like Odyssey House in New Orleans; sheriffs including Jefferson Parish’s Joe Lopinto; and Native American tribes including the Tunica-Biloxi and Four Winds Louisiana Cherokee are all part of the action. So too are fire protection districts in places like St. Tammany Parish and West Baton Rouge, a Gretna ambulance company and Louisiana’s largest health insurer, Blue Cross.

One unique entity to file suit is the University of Louisiana System, which oversees nine colleges and universities including the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, Southeastern Louisiana University and the University of New Orleans.

Jim Henderson, president of the UL System, likened a university campus to a municipality. It has residents and its own police force, for instance.

Those university campuses also face the same types of consequences from the opioid epidemic as anywhere else, he said. Opioid abuse has not only strained emergency services, but also led to hard-to-quantify behavioral issues among students and absenteeism among employees, he said.

If the schools do receive a slice of the settlement, Henderson said the money will go to prevention and treatment of opioid addiction.

“This is not a windfall for operations by any stretch of the imagination,” he said. “This is helping students and staff who have a problem with opioid addiction.”

A continuing crisis
Deadly opioid overdoses plateau in Louisiana, though more cases involve fentanyl
Deadly opioid overdoses plateau in Louisiana, though more cases involve fentanyl
While fatal drug overdoses appeared to finally level off in Louisiana last year, the state is still facing historically high numbers of deaths and an alarming rise in the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl. In 2017, 401 people in Louisiana died from opioid overdoses, up from 160 in 2012.

The state lawsuit pegged the annual costs of the epidemic at about $300 million in government spending on health care, prisons, social services and schools and in lost productivity.

Prescriptions have fallen steadily, however, as the state has tightened laws on prescribing. According to figures provided by the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy, the number of opioid prescriptions per 100 residents fell to 96 last year, down from 105 the year before and about 116 in 2014.

So far this year, at least 46 people in East Baton Rouge Parish have died from drug overdoses, most from heroin and other opioids, according to Coroner Beau Clark. That’s more than the number of homicides in the parish so far, 36, according to Clark's figures.

Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, has “surged” into the local market in an alarming trend, Clark said. The drug is more dangerous than prescription opioids like OxyContin or even heroin because of its potency.

Clark said settlement dollars should be funneled almost entirely into addiction treatment. Rehab services are often not covered by insurance, which has left people without the means to pay for it out in the cold, he said.

“I think the solution is to take all that settlement money and as much as possible put it into the treatment side,” he said. “The education side will take care of itself.”
00 2019-07-01
Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge, New Orleans area Business Honors for June 30, 2019


The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality presented Environmental Leadership Program awards to recipients, based on voluntary pollution prevention efforts, community environmental outreach initiatives, environmental ordinances and enforcement and environmental management systems that went above regulatory compliance to improve the environment.

Awards went to Compost Now (New Orleans Waste); Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation; LSU-Campus Sustainability; Southeastern Louisiana University-Sustainability; Jefferson Parish Government; the Port of New Orleans; St. Tammany Parish Government; Martin Ecosystems; BASF Corp.; Dow Louisiana Operations; Dow St. Charles Operations; and ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Refinery.
00 2019-07-01
Baton Rouge

On the area arts and cultural scene


Southeastern Louisiana University will present the Northlake Community Band in concert at 7 p.m. July 11 in Pottle Auditorium on SLU's Hammond campus. Admission is free. The band consists of musicians from junior high school students through retired professionals and is open to new members. (985) 549-5502 or email cms@southeastern.edu.
00 2019-07-01
Lafayette

UL baseball coach Robichaux in critical condition after second open-heart surgery


UL baseball coach Tony Robichaux underwent a second surgery at Ochsner Health Center in New Orleans after a heart attack last week and is reported to be in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit, university officials said Sunday.

“Coach Robichaux has received additional medical attention as a result of the incident suffered last Sunday," Ragin' Cajuns athletic director Bryan Maggard said.

More: Robichaux to visit Ochsner as part of recovery for heart attack

The Cajuns baseball coach of 25 years went to Ochsner last week after suffering a heart attack June 23 and having open heart surgery at Lafayette General Medical Center, which UL called a "successful medical procedure."

UL officials said last week Robichaux, 57, was expected "to make a full and complete recovery."

"The Robichaux family asks specifically for prayer during this time,” Maggard said in a short statement released late Sunday afternoon.

Both of Robichaux’s sons, Justin and Austin, played for UL.

Robichaux recently completed his 25th season as coach of the Cajuns, whom he took to the College World Series in 2000.

Concerned members of the UL athletic community, local sports media personnel and others around the college baseball world were deep in prayer after hearing the update of Robichaux's condition on Sunday.

Several reacted with comments posted on Twitter, including these:

From Lance Key, the Cajuns' women's soccer coach: "Please say a prayer and trust God for his full recovery."
From Jay Walker, UL's longtime baseball, football and basketball radio play-by-play voice: "Robe needs our prayers. Who will stop what they are doing RIGHT NOW to pray for him?"
From KLFY TV's Madeline Adams: "Keeping Coach Robe in my prayers ... My heart is hurting for the Robichaux family, his team, and all of the UL Athletics community."
From Scott Prather, program director at UL baseball flagship station KPEL 1420 AM: "Please pray for coach Robichaux and his family."
From the official Twitter page of the LSU baseball program: "Please keep Coach Robichaux and his family in your prayers."
Robichaux posted his 900th victory with UL during a 28-31 season in 2019 and owns a 1,177-767 (.605) career record over 31 years, including time at McNeese State in Lake Charles.

After playing at McNeese State and UL in the early 1980s, the man from Crowley arrived at UL from McNeese, where he was head coach from 1987-94, for the 1995 season.

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Since then, Robichaux has always figured, there's no reason to leave.

After taking UL to the College World Series in 2000, Robichaux has continued to firmly believe the mid-major Sun Belt Conference’s Cajuns could some day make their way back from Lafayette.

They’ve come close a couple times.

In 2014, when UL went 58-10 and was ranked No. 1 heading into the postseason, it made it to an NCAA Super Regional and beat Ole Miss in its opener, needing just one more victory to return. Instead, the Rebels rallied to win the last two games in the best-of-three series and eliminate the Cajuns on UL’s own home field.

In 2015, UL again made it to a Super Regional, but this time it dropped back-to-back games against LSU in Baton Rouge.

All in all, the Cajuns have played in eight more Regionals since that remarkable 2000 run.


00 2019-07-01
Lafayette

Beer, burger, popcorn all sold for $3 or less; UL Athletics unveils fan-friendly concessions


UL Athletics will roll out a new fan-friendly concessions menu for the 2019-20 Ragin’ Cajuns athletic calendar, highlighted by hot dogs, popcorn and potato chips available for $1 each to all fans at Cajun Field. Special prices and deals, including on draft and canned beer, will be available at all home events, where applicable.

The overall fan favorites menu also includes: bottled water, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, pretzels, nachos, fountain soda, 16-ounce domestic beer cans, Frito chili pies and ICEEs. All items are available for purchase for $3 or less under the new pricing structure.

All specialty pricing will be available to fans as pregame festivities take place during fan fast activities at Russo Park.

Additionally, new premium items such as crawfish nachos, turkey legs, po’boys, jambalaya and shrimp & grits will be on-sale to fans at prices ranging from $4 to $8.
00 2019-07-01
Monroe

Grambling women’s basketball holds inaugural team camp


Saturday was a first for the Grambling women’s basketball team.

The program hosted their inaugural team basketball camp at the Hobdy Assembly Center.

Over 14 teams took part. Most of the squads were from the mid-South region. But, one group traveled from Minnesota.
00 2019-07-01
Natchitoches

Northwestern State names football press box after SID Ireland


NATCHITOCHES, La. (NSU) - Longtime Northwestern State scribe Doug Ireland spent countless fall nights on the Turpin Stadium press level, feverishly recounting the latest Demon football contests.

Now, that press area high above the Turpin turf will bear his name.

Starting in the 2019 football season, media will compose their own NSU football articles on the Doug Ireland Media Level of Turpin Stadium after the Louisiana Board of Supervisors approved the measure (Thursday/Friday) in their June meeting.

“Doug is truly deserving of this special recognition,” said Jerry Pierce, vice president for external affairs. “He has promoted Northwestern’s sports programs effectively for three decades through extensive media initiatives, and it is appropriate for the name of the media area of the stadium press box to reflect his immeasurable contributions to the university.”

NSU director of athletics Greg Burke, who has been a part of the Demon athletics department for most of Ireland’s 30 years, said honoring Ireland in a visible way is an easy decision.

“It is appropriate and fitting for Doug to be honored in this enduring manner as an illustration of the lasting mark he leaves on the NSU athletic program after so many years of service and dedication,” Burke said.

A 1986 broadcast journalism graduate from Northwestern State, Ireland returned to his alma mater in January 1989 and began a three-decade career promoting NSU's 14 intercollegiate teams.

Armed with nearly a decade's worth of experience in newspapers and as an assistant sports information director at UL Lafayette, Ireland quickly put his stamp on NSU athletics. His 1992 football media guide earned "Best in the Nation" honors in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) ranks from the Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America.

The award-winning sports information director took home 33 Louisiana Sports Writers Associations honors just since 2000, including the 2017 LSWA Story of the Year.

The majority of those honors came from telling the stories of Northwestern State athletes, coaches and support staff members.

He’s tutored a wide range of sports information protégés, including directors at Kansas State, McNeese and Northwestern State, an associate commissioner of the Southland Conference with others that have worked at LSU, Vanderbilt and Penn State among other institutions and various publications.

Ireland’s career has had many branches and a vast impact, including his volunteer role as chairman of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, housed in Natchitoches.

His friendly face greeted numerous Louisiana Sports Hall of Famers and has been part of a weekend experience that has hall of famers returning each year for a new class of inductees.

Copyright 2019 NSU. All rights reserved.
00 2019-07-01
New Orleans

New Orleans hosted 11.6 million visitors in 2018, UNO report says


New Orleans hosted 11.6 million visitors in 2018, marking another year of growth for the city’s visitor count, according to the University of New Orleans’ Hospitality Research Center.

The 2018 count was up 5.5% from just under 11 million in 2017, according to UNO’s annual visitor survey. Spending was also up. Visitors left behind $8.3 billion, up 11.7% from the year before.

John Williams, dean of UNO’s College of Business Administration, which houses the Hospitality Research Center, said this year’s survey provided interesting insight into the concerns visitors have when visiting New Orleans. He noted city infrastructure rose to the top five among visitor concerns for the first time, edging up alongside long-time responses such as safety and cleanliness.


According to the report, the average visitor in 2018 spent $185 on lodging, $210 at local restaurants and $107 on shopping. They spent another $82 at local bars and nightclubs. In total, visitors spent $2.14 billion on lodging, $2.43 billion on restaurants and $1.24 billion on shopping.

About 44% of those surveyed stayed in a hotel during their time in the city. A quarter of visitors stayed with friends and family, 12% stayed in non-hotel accommodations such as short-term rentals, and 18% made a day trip to the city. Most visitors, however, planned an extended stay, spending an average of 4.6 days here.

The report specifically compares spending between visitors staying in hotels and those who stay in short-term rentals, or what it calls “private home rentals.” Tourists staying in rentals tend to spend more time in the city (an average of 4.2 nights compared with 3.8 nights for hotel stays) and spend less money on lodging, according to the survey. On average, those staying in rentals spent about $227 on lodging during their stay. That compared with $382 for those who stayed in hotels.

Cleanliness, the homeless and safety remain top concerns for those visiting, according to the survey. For the first time ever, concern about the state of the city’s roads, water and drainage systems, and other infrastructure was among the chief concerns for visitors.


That concern was highest among visitors 65 year and older. Roughly a third of respondents in that age group cited infrastructure as a chief concern, outweighing all other concerns, according to the survey. Williams said many older respondents reported using taxi or ride-share to get around the city, noting rough sidewalks, potholed streets and lack of reliable public transportation to other parts of the city.

Visitors ages 50-64 and 35-49 worried most about homelessness in the city. Younger travelers were least likely to cite negatives in their response, though safety was their chief concern.
00 2019-07-01
Shreveport

‘If stupid were speed, you’d be a jet’


Has it really been 40 years since that gay and sunshiney teen-aged summer at my home in Claiborne Parish when my dad informed me that I’d flunked out of college?

Forty years. Sometimes it seems like only four decades. Wait a minute: that reminds me of a joke a funny friend told me. “There are three kinds of people in this world: those who can do math and those who can’t.”

I didn’t get that at first, another reason why it’s not hard to believe what happened in June 1979 when I came from my summer job at Beacon Gas Plant, where I had been given a role in Upper Management, which is how the wiseguy bosses defined my duties as concrete finisher, grass mower, and heavy-things toter. “You’ll manage,” they said.

Those guys…

I was covered in a mix of Claiborne Parish dirt and concrete leavings when my dad met me, smiling there in the kitchen of the First Baptist Church parsonage in Homer, holding a letter in his hand. I saw the Louisiana Tech letterhead and was immediately proud as that’s the very school I was attending. “Someone took the time to write my dad and mom and tell them how well I was doing,” was what I thought underneath my Atlanta Braves hat that was way overdue for an oil change. “I love my school.”

The wanderings of the ignorant mind never cease to amaze even mine.

I was preparing to act humble, start studying the kitchen floor and sort of kicking my shoes in an “Aw shucks” way when my dad’s face changed. I’d seen this a few times before, once when I’d backed into a tractor and put a dent in the car and once when a deacon had leaned back in a pew and lit up a Lucky Strike just as daddy was closing his sermon with a poem.

Heaven help.

“You flunked out,” he said. “Of school.”

He showed me the paper. (“At least he feels I can still read,” I remember thinking, hopefully.) Sure enough, I had a 0.1Something grade point average. I can’t remember what was after the 0.1 but, I mean, does it make a difference? 0.19 will still get you fired from school. Every time.

“If dumb were speed, you’d be a jet airplane,” he said. Dad had a way of summing up things so even the feeble-minded could understand. He communicated with me on my level. I had to appreciate that.

“Zoom?” I said.

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He handed me the paper, said something like “Good luck in prison,” and left, I suppose to go hang around with smarter people. I felt bad because Elvis had died just two summers before, so it had been a tough couple of years for my family in general and for my dad in particular. We loved “Ebis.”

Mom weighed in later on my non-accomplishment, I think crying while stirring macaroni, mumbling something about how she remembered, though vaguely, me being a good student at one time. Responsible. Willing. Dependable.

“But maybe I have you confused with another one of my sons,” she said. This from a woman who had two daughters and me.

A good woman like that couldn’t sugar coat it. Wouldn’t have been fair to me. It was obvious that a D-plus effort in a Type A world wouldn’t get it. Momma had told me since I was little, “Remember, you’re unique— just like everybody else.”

So long story short, I showered, left my ballcap off, and went to see Tech’s Dean of Admissions Patsy Lewis, who proved to be my Guardian Angel in Ruston. It’s a long story, but she told me to not miss class, to sit up front, and to do as I was told.

Joy. Rapture! It worked. And it really wasn’t even that hard.

To all those prospective freshmen out there, keep Mrs. Patsy’s advice nearby. Lean on it and trust it. It will save you tens of thousands of dollars, plus years of woe and wondering. The common denominator in all of our problems is the guy in the mirror.

I was actually taking care of a lot of my responsibilities that spring of 1979. But not all of them. And while college is so much more than learning a craft from professionals, it is at its core — since it’s college — about learning a craft. Or at least beginning to learn a craft.

Keep showing up. Sit up front. Do as you’re told. Non-conformity is a beautiful thing, but there are times in life when, to borrow the sentiment of an old friend, you can’t, for the sake of the team, be a smoking window when civility and society need you to be a non-smoking aisle.

Maybe it’s worth mentioning that I work at Tech today. And that I’m still in “Upper Management.” And proud of it.

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu
00 2019-07-01
Shreveport

Valley/SWEPCO continues support of NSU


SHREVEPORT – Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell presented an additional $75,000 in aid to Northwestern State University arising from the purchase of the Valley Electric Membership Cooperative by SWEPCO in 2010.



Campbell presented NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio with a check for $75,000 to supplement $231,000 already donated by Valley/SWEPCO. Maggio said the total to date of $306,000 from Valley/SWEPCO is being used to match $80,000 in State Board of Regents funding, bringing the total budget impact on the Natchitoches school to $386,000. NSU will use the funds for university endowments, scholarships and grants.



The Valley/SWEPCO money originates from Valley Electric capital credits accumulated over the co-op’s 70 years of service. After buying Valley in 2010, SWEPCO refunded $25 million in capital credits owed to the families and businesses that were Valley members.



“Efforts to locate co-op members who were owed money are done, and at my request the Public Service Commission has dedicated the remaining one percent to NSU,” Campbell said.



Campbell said former Valley members are paying 13 percent less for electricity today with SWEPCO than they were as co-op members in 2010. In addition, since the sale SWEPCO has invested nearly $100 million in tree-trimming and other improvements in the eight-parish Valley territory.



Maggio said the donation of Valley funding to NSU means the co-op continues to contribute to the wellbeing of the Natchitoches community and its university.



“Northwestern State students are the direct beneficiaries of this donation,” Maggio said. “Many of our students come from the area formerly serviced by Valley Electric. Many are first-generation students. These funds, which support scholarships and faculty development, will be used in the best interest of individuals pursuing the dream of a college degree.”



Malcolm Smoak, president and chief operating officer of SWEPCO, said all former Valley employees were hired by SWEPCO and are valuable members of the SWEPCO team.



“Their focus on customer service and dedication to the Valley is visible each day through their hard work to deliver safe, reliable and affordable energy to our customers,” Smoak said. “Our continued investments in the power grid, our employees and the community are possible because Valley members overwhelmingly voted in 2010 to join SWEPCO.”


Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell presented a check to the Northwestern State University Foundation that will fund scholarships, endowments and grants. The funds arose from the purchase of Valley Electric Membership Cooperative by SWEPCO in 2010. From left are SWEPCO President and CEO Malcolm Smoak, Campbell and NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio.
00 2019-06-28
Hammond

Denham Springs native among SLU students honored by Louisiana Press Association, media organizations


A Denham Springs native was among several Southeastern Louisiana University students who recently received awards from the Louisiana Press Association “Better Newspaper Contest” for 2019.

Annie Goodman, a 2015 graduate of Denham Springs High and Editor-in-Chief of the SLU student newspaper “The Lion’s Roar,” took first place in the Best Feature Story category for her piece titled “Overcoming Addiction: four years sober.”


00 2019-06-28
Houma/Thibodaux

Campers arrive for start of Manning Passing Academy


For Rakendrick Baker the nearly five hour drive from Shreveport to the campus at Nicholls State University each summer has become a sort of annual tradition.

Going into his junior season at Evangel Christian Academy, Baker started his third year at the Manning Passing Academy when campers reported for registration Thursday afternoon. 

With a brand new Nike duffel bag, three MPA T-shirts, an MPA hat and a brand new Wilson-brand football under his arm, Baker walked to the campus dorms to drop off his bags before orientation for the roughly 1,200 campers and 125 coaches in a few hours — the same as he’s done the past few years.

While there’s plenty of other development camps maybe a little closer to home, Baker never gave it a second thought to where he wanted to spend his summers.

“The work that we put in makes you better,” Baker said. “The work I put in last year helped me throughout the season. Not even big plays, but being a better teammate on and off the field.

“It’s the coaches. They push you until you can’t go anymore and you give it your all and get better.”

They came from near and they came from afar, all to learn from some of the best in the game about everything passing.

In 2018, the MPA, now in its 24th year and 15th at Nicholls, welcomed high school players from 47 states and Canada, according to executive director, founder, namesake and patriarch to the first family of quarterbacks Archie Manning.

This year is expected to tell a similar story with players entering Stopher Gym wearing shirts from schools all across the country as they slowly moved through the registration lines.

“The learning opportunities to learn from Peyton Manning and Eli, and even the college quarterbacks like (Georgia’s) Jake Fromm,” Matthew Dupuis of Houston said as he made his way to Thibodaux for the first time. “Knowing you can learn from them means a lot. It’s why you should come.”

Of course the most exciting part of the week is often the young players meeting their counselors.

While they were not told which of the 44 college quarterbacks — along with one receiver — they would be working with for the next three days, just about everyone had a player they were looking forward to meeting.

Of course being in Louisiana, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a big favorite among those from the Gulf region.

Zander Meeks, a rising junior who made the trip from Newton, Miss., for the second year, said Burrow was who he wanted to work with this week.

“It’s the atmosphere and having fun,” Meeks said. “I learn new stuff every year.”
00 2019-06-28
Regional/National

University of Louisiana at Lafayette: Students Should Not Be Shielded from Offensive Speech


The University of Louisiana at Lafayette recently updated its policy on free speech, acknowledging that the school cannot “shield” students and faculty from speech that they deem “offensive.”
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL Lafayette) announced last week that the school had updated its policy on free speech, according to a report by the Vermilion. The updated policy states that the school cannot protect students and faculty from “offensive” ideas.

“It is not the responsibility of the University to shield individuals from speech protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America,” states the policy, “including without limitation ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive.”

Last year, the school’s student government passed a resolution to change UL Lafayette’s policy prohibiting students from producing supposed “distasteful or offensive” material.

Joseph Shamp, a member of student government — and the president of the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) group on campus — said the resolution defended students’ civil liberties.

“I currently have with me 60 pages of students who are aligning with us to change this policy,” said Shamp, while reportedly holding up sheets of paper containing the signatures of concurring UL Lafayette students.

Now, the school’s updated policy is in compliance with “federal and state laws, and in coordination with the UL System and Board of Regents,” according to an email obtained by Vermilion.

The report adds that the policy also elaborates on the school’s reasons for updating, and explains how students, faculty, staff, and visitors can report violations of the policy, which defines acceptable free speech as “freedom of individual thought and expression consistent with the rights of others.”

The policy does, however, detail UL Lafayette’s legal reasoning for regulating some aspects of speech.

“According to the Supreme Court, public entities such as the University have discretion in regulating the ‘time, place, and manner’ of speech,” states the policy, “The right to speak on campus is not a right to speak any time, at any place, and in any manner that a person wishes.”

“The University can regulate where, when, and how speech occurs to ensure the functioning of the campus and achieve important goals, such as protecting public safety,” the policy elaborates.

The policy adds that the vice president of student affairs, Patricia Cottonham, will oversee the enforcement of the update.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler at @alana, and on Instagram.
00 2019-06-28
Ruston

Riding the storm out: LA Tech seeking new homes for displaced teams


RUSTON – The three Louisiana Tech sports teams affected most by the tornado that hit the university and the Ruston community won’t be playing their home games on campus for the 2019-20 seasons.

Athletic Director Tommy McClelland confirmed to The News-Star Thursday that new facilities for the baseball, softball and soccer teams won’t be ready at any point their respective seasons this coming year. Back on April 25, an EF-3 tornado, that claimed two lives, decimated Tech baseball stadium J.C. Love Field, the Lady Techster Softball complex and soccer stadiums where McClelland feels between $17 and $22 million, after the school collects insurance money, funds from FEMA disaster relief as well as potential financial assistance from the state of Louisiana, will be needed to start to build.

Robert Brown used a drone Thursday, April 25, around the Louisiana Tech University campus. An early morning tornado that killed 2 and devastated the city.
Robert Brown used a drone Thursday, April 25, around the Louisiana Tech University campus. An early morning tornado that killed 2 and devastated the city. (Photo: Courtesy Robert Brown)

“None of the sports are going to be in their home stadiums for this upcoming 2019-20 year,” McClelland said. “Soccer, working with Ruston High and (Ruston Parks and Recreation department) to host them in those locations. The new complex is going up south of town, we’re working with the mayor’s office to secure a championship site for them.

“The biggest thing, most people think about where you’re going to play, 90 percent is where you practice? That’s the biggest issue we’re trying to address immediately. It’s going to be a combination of south of town and Ruston High.”

Working out a contingency plan for the Lady Techster soccer team, which opens the 2019 season Aug. 23 at Southeastern Louisiana, was the most pressing for McClelland and his athletic department to figure out. The team plays its first seven matches on the road before its first scheduled “home game” Sept. 6 versus McNeese State.

New facilities for the Tech baseball and softball teams won’t be ready by spring and McClelland said the department is still working on a plan for both. The track and field and tennis courts suffered damage from the tornado, but McClelland said he anticipates repairs at the tennis courts to be completed before the teams begins fall competition.

“Our track, which we just resurfaced, needs damage repair, new lights. We feel confident tennis will be ready by fall competition. It’s the most simplistic facility to fix,” McClelland said.

At its monthly meeting Thursday, the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors "pre-approved" the demolition of the Love Shack, Tech softball and soccer stadiums. McClelland told The News-Star he remains optimistic that demo at all three sites could begin “sometime this summer.”

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But approval of the demolition does not necessarily mean that new facilities for any of the three sports will stay at its current location.

MORE | Where should LA Tech rebuild baseball stadium?

“Not necessarily. All three of those sites are part of this evaluation. It’s not only a sport decision, athletic department decision, but it’s a university decision on how we better the whole campus. I think there’s a fresh look that’s being taken at all three of those,” McClelland said. “It may be that all three remain, it may all moved or combination of those things. At this point, more likely than not that soccer and softball will move. That’s not a fact, but it’s more likely that will occur. Current sites provide challenges when it comes to water, drainage. An area that we constantly fought irrigation and other challenge. Sewer pump station between two facilities. We have not have option, we may go back and it’ll be better than what it was.

“My optimism is this summer. We’re all on the same page. We have a freshman class coming in, we want to clean things up. It’s not everyone doesn’t have a sense of urgency. Every day it’s how do we get the ball moving on it? It’s about $500,000 to do demo. I can come up with that money. We could start that tomorrow but we wouldn’t be reimbursed by the state for that. If we don’t follow the protocol of how they do it, we won’t get reimbursed. It’s too important for us to have that so we can build back the right way. Because it’s condemned, we can’t even go in and cut the grass. It’s not a safe environment so it becomes an eye sore. Soon, in the matter of weeks, or just a few months, that’s going to be a distant memory because it’ll be gone. Although we’re still dealing with the residue of this, the vision in what we’re trying to accomplish is far exceed most people’s expectations.”

There has been talk about the baseball stadium potentially moving to the intramural field on Alabama Drive across the street from Joe Aillet Stadium and what’s known as “rugby field” on Tech Drive across the street from the Lambright Intramural Center.

Through Louisiana’s Construction Management At-Risk program, the process has been expedited for Tech. The school has already appointed an architect and McClelland said contractors should be hired July 1.

While visibly, it doesn’t appear that much is happening, much has been matriculating behind the scenes and McClelland anticipates once the athletic department learns what the total relief dollar amount will be, things will happen fast.

“Once we get to a point, things are going to move quickly. You still have to go in and evaluate what the total amount is and come to a conclusion. I can’t tell you how many meetings with different engineering firms, the governor’s office, Adam McGuirt was hired in this role,” McClelland said.

“We’ve been as proactive as anyone. (Louisiana Tech President Les) Guice said he’s heard that no one’s been more organized than we have. I think that’s made our process faster. It’s not where we want it to be, but we’re making headway as fast as we can.”

Follow Cory Diaz on Twitter @CoryDiaz_TNS and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CoryDiazTNS/
00 2019-06-28
Shreveport

The Natchitoches-NSU Folk Festival


The 40th Annual Natchitoches-NSU Folk Festival will be held on July 26-27 in air conditioned Prather Coliseum on the Northwestern State University campus. The Festival features three stages of music, the Louisiana State Fiddle Championship, over 70 traditional crafts persons, exhibits, Louisiana foods, and narrative sessions. This year’s theme “Vive la Louisiane!” will celebrate how Louisiana’s folklife – its unique crafts, food, music, and culture – are alive and well! Headline performers include the Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band, country singer Gal Holiday, the Louisiane Vintage Dancers, the Stewart Family Bluegrass Band, and Louisiana bluesman extraordinaire Tab Benoit!

Children 12 and under are admitted free. Tickets are $13 for a two-day pass, available in advance only, or $10 at the door for all events on Saturday, or $6 for a one-time evening pass to all events after 5 PM. For advance tickets or more information, call (318) 357-4332, email folklife@nsula.edu, or go to louisianafolklife.nsula.edu.

Support for the Festival is provided by grants from the Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc., the City of Natchitoches, Cleco, the Louisiana Division of the Arts Decentralized Arts Fund Program, the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, and the Shreveport Regional Arts Council.
00 2019-06-27
Baton Rouge

University of Louisiana at Lafayette announces Spring 2019 President's and Dean's Lists


The University of Louisiana at Lafayette recognized students named to the president’s list and dean’s list for spring 2019.

To be included on the dean’s list, students must earn at 3.5 GPA or better, and to be included on the president’s list, students must earn a 3.8 GPA or better.

Eligible students must be enrolled full time.

East Baton Rouge Parish
ARTS

Dean's List

Angelle Carter

Alexander Gilchrist

Brandi Gosserand

Mary Harrel

Jessica Nolan

Katherine Surek

President's List

Julia Johnson

Lena Le

Ciara LeBlanc

Tiana Martin

Brock Sampite

BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

Dean's List

Matthew Cangelosi

Tyler Frederick

Whitney Hartmann

Connor Joffrion

George Johnson

Emily Kron

Sadie Mouledoux

Quintoria Shorts

President's List

Nicole Crochet

Evan Delhom

Roberta March

Hanna Rovira

Jacob Wharton

EDUCATION

President's List

Kyle Buvens

Rio Gauthier

Andree Halliburton

Londyn Morse

Emma St Romain

Dean's List

Patrick Jefferson

Matthew Terrio

Caroline Trelles

ENGINEERING

Dean's List

Adam Frost

Siedarius Green

Ralph Issa

Emma Markert

Braedon Miller

Madison Neill

President's List

James Golden

Rebecca Smith

LIBERAL ARTS

President's List

Maria Abascal Ponciano

Kathryn Bardwell

Karli Blair

Paige Bourg

Emily Britt

Alexis Cooke

Sophia Haik

Zenora Hambrick

Katherine Harelson

Emma Lacy

Madelyn Myer

Tameia Oxley

BreAnna Smith

Shelby Smith

Dean's List

Alexandria Anderson

Chidinma Anyanwu

Benjamin Butler

Ashlyn Capello

Rebekke Chenevert

Briana Clay

Zachary Creel

Maura Dupre'

Johnella Felders

Abagail Fuselier

Sarah Haik

Kirstin Honore

Letitia Jacques

Olivia Labarre

Rachel Lachney

Kelsea Mccray

Nicole Mistretta

Meridian O'Neill

Anthony Schiro

Kayla Telhiard

Sarah Wehbe

NURSING & ALLIED HEALTH PROFESSIONS

President's List

Shalyn Barker

Treashur Pearah

Dean's List

Brianna Cooper

Lauren Findish

Rusty Guilbeau

Peyton Segrest

Walter Washington

SCIENCES

President's List

Ryan Baird

Taja Bell

Ryan Haycook

Sadie Kraft

Dean's List

Ashton Fletcher

Mia Plessy

Casey Stikes

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE

Dean's List

Kevin Brown

Madison White

Victoria Woodward
00 2019-06-27
Lafayette

UL catcher Lexie Comeaux nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year


LAFAYETTE — UL catcher Lexie Comeaux was been nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award, which recognizes graduating female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.

Comeaux is a two-time All-Sun Belt Conference pick (2017, 2019) and was an NFCA All-Region nod in 2017. As a student, she earned academic honor roll status from the conference three times (2015, 2018, 2019).

Leadership was a strong suit for Comeaux, as her efforts helped UL to four straight NCAA tournament appearances.

As a senior, she hit .321with eight home runs, 43 RBIs and 10 doubles.

The selection committee will announce nine finalists from three divisions in September. From those nine finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics then will choose the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year.
00 2019-06-27
Monroe

Grambling State to honor its 1985 football team


GRAMBLING — The Grambling State University department of athletics, in collaboration with the Eddie G. Robinson 100th Birthday Commemoration Committee, will honor the 1985 Tigers football team during the Oct. 12 home opener against Alabama A&M with an '80s G-Men Throwback Game, sponsored by adidas.

The 1985 season was special for many reasons, including Eddie Robinson winning his record-breaking 324th victory, which surpassed Alabama’s Paul “Bear” Bryant for then-most wins by a college football head coach.

In addition to the record-breaking moment, the 1985 team finished the season 9-3 overall, 6-1 in Southwestern Athletic Conference play and co-conference champions. The Tigers ended that season with a heartbreaking 10-7 postseason loss to Arkansas State.

The event, which is open to any member of the Grambling State football teams, begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11 with a reception at the Eddie G. Robinson Museum. The 1985 team will be honored during halftime of the Alabama A&M game on Oct. 12.

Registration is $50 and includes admission to the Welcome Reception on Oct. 11, a game ticket on Oct. 12 and a commemorative T-shirt. All proceeds benefit the Grambling State Football program.

Deadline to register for the event is set for Sept. 1.
00 2019-06-27
Monroe

ULM faculty receive $371,017 in research grants from La. Biomedical Research Network-NIH


MONROE, La. – (6/26/19) The University of Louisiana Monroe Office of Sponsored Programs and Research (OSPR) announces that five faculty members have received research grants totaling $371,017 from the Louisiana Biomedical Research Network (LBRN) funded by the National Institutes of Health. The LBRN is committed to raising the competitiveness of Louisiana researchers.

ULM President Dr. Nick J. Bruno Jr. commended the faculty researchers, saying, “These grants are indicative of the caliber of researchers and research being done at ULM. The new and ongoing research could lead to better medical treatments and one day a cure for devastating diseases such as cancer.”

Dr. John Sutherlin, Director of OSPR, said, “Receiving grants from the NIH indicates what great research is taking place in pharmacy, biology and chemistry. These professors are setting a gold standard for all of us at ULM. These five awards show the continued successes and dedication of ULM’s faculty to biomedical research. ”

Grants were awarded to:

• Dr. Nektarios Barabutis, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology, $35,250, “Elucidation of the Mechanisms Which are Involved in the Anti-inflammatory Action of Hsp90 Inhibitors in the Vasculature”

• Dr. Georgios Matthaiolampakis, Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutics, $70,500, “Tumor Associated Macrophage Polarization and Lung Cancer”

• Dr. Siva Murru, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, $67,867, “Design, Synthesis, and Evaluation of Nitrogen Heterocyclic Compounds for Anti-Cancer Activity”

• Dr. Seetharama Jois, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, $56,400, “Immunomodulation by Plant-Based Grafted Cyclic Peptides: Implications in Treating Chronic Inflammation”

• Dr. Srinivas Garlapati, Assistant Professor of Biology, $141,000, “Mechanism of Translation Initiation in the Protozoan Parasite Giardia lamblia”

Dr. Glenn Anderson, Dean of the College of Pharmacy, said, “We are humbled by the dedication that our faculty show each day and we celebrate their successes. The University of Louisiana Monroe is making a difference through identifying new ways to combat the diseases that plague our community. We thank the LBRN for partnering with the college and ULM to make this possible.”
00 2019-06-27
Monroe

Grambling State to induct 7 into Legends Hall of Fame


GRAMBLING -- Grambling Legends, Inc. will induct seven new members into the Legends Hall of Fame during a banquet ceremony on Saturday, July 13 at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center on the campus of Grambling State University.

The seven members who will be inducted into the hall of fame include, Wendell "Brick" Henderson (SWAC honors, drafted by the Chicago Cubs), Samuel "Sam" Holden (All American NAIA, played for the Saints and Oilers), Elfrid Payton (Canadian Football Hall of Famer), Terrace "Terry" Sykes (three-time All-SWAC, drafted by Washington Bullets),

Michael Williams ( GSU and Bayou Classic MVP), former track and field and football coach, Thomas "Tom" Williams will be inducted posthumously, Miechelle Willis (SWAC track and field shot put champion, retired deputy director of athletics at Ohio State University).

The 2019 Grambling Legends Sports Hall of Fame weekend festivities include a 4:30 p.m. press conference held on Friday, July 12 at the Eddie G. Robinson Museum. A “meet and greet” with the current and former inductees, along with the general public, will begin at 5 p.m. in the Doris Robinson Hall of the museum.

The Grambling Legends, Inc. created this event to give honor and recognition to former university student-athletes, administrators and associated contributors, as well as to support Grambling State University and the Eddie G. Robinson Museum. Additionally, most recently it established the Willis Reed Basketball Classic which held its inaugural event. To date, more than 130 outstanding individuals have been inducted into this prestigious group.

The Hall of Fame enshrinement dinner and induction proceedings will begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 13, and includes a “Parade of Stars” in addition to captivating video tributes of each inductee.

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Banquet tickets may be purchased for $75.00 each from Dr. Ruby Higgins at (318) 243-7557 before the event. Tickets will not be sold on the day of the Induction. Seating for a table of eight is $600. Tickets are non-transferrable and non refundable. Higgins is also available at rubydhiggins@yahoo.com.
00 2019-06-27
Monroe

ULM faculty get $371,017 in research grants


Five faculty members at the University of Louisiana Monroe have received research grants totaling $371,017 from the Louisiana Biomedical Research Network funded by the National Institutes of Health, the university's Office of Sponsored Programs and Research announced.

The LBRN is committed to raising the competitiveness of Louisiana researchers.

ULM President Nick J. Bruno Jr. commended the faculty researchers.

“These grants are indicative of the caliber of researchers and research being done at ULM,” he said. “The new and ongoing research could lead to better medical treatments and one day a cure for devastating diseases such as cancer.”

“Receiving grants from the NIH indicates what great research is taking place in pharmacy, biology and chemistry,” said John Sutherlin, director of OSPR. “These professors are setting a gold standard for all of us at ULM. These five awards show the continued successes and dedication of ULM’s faculty to biomedical research.”

Grants were awarded to:

Nektarios Barabutis, assistant professor of pharmacology, $35,250, “Elucidation of the Mechanisms Which are Involved in the Anti-inflammatory Action of Hsp90 Inhibitors in the Vasculature”
Georgios Matthaiolampakis, assistant professor of pharmaceutics, $70,500, “Tumor Associated Macrophage Polarization and Lung Cancer”
Siva Murru, assistant professor of chemistry, $67,867, “Design, Synthesis, and Evaluation of Nitrogen Heterocyclic Compounds for Anti-Cancer Activity”
Seetharama Jois, professor of medicinal chemistry, $56,400, “Immunomodulation by Plant-Based Grafted Cyclic Peptides: Implications in Treating Chronic Inflammation”
Srinivas Garlapati, assistant professor of biology, $141,000, “Mechanism of Translation Initiation in the Protozoan Parasite Giardia lamblia”
“We are humbled by the dedication that our faculty shows each day, and we celebrate their successes,” said Glenn Anderson, dean of the College of Pharmacy. “The University of Louisiana Monroe is making a difference through identifying new ways to combat the diseases that plague our community. We thank the LBRN for partnering with the college and ULM to make this possible.”
00 2019-06-27
Natchitoches

Northwestern State names Jason Pugh to lead media relations department


NATCHITOCHES -- The Northwestern State athletics media relations department has a new leader as Jason Pugh was promoted to the position, announced athletics director Greg Burke on Wednesday.

Pugh will take over the assistant athletics director for media relations slot after working under long-time director Doug Ireland, who finished his 30-year tenure as the Demons and Lady Demons top promoter.

Matt Vines will assume Pugh's former position as the assistant sports information director.

Both promotions are subject to approval by the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System, which governs Northwestern State.

"Jason and Matt are both perfect fits to sustain the continuity of NSU's media relations office that was a staple of the NSU athletic program under Doug Ireland's leadership for so many years," Burke said. "They will give our department's outreach efforts a good combination of what has been in place while at the same time, broadening the scope of what we do in the media relations area to further expand the profile of Demon and Lady Demon athletics.

"Jason and Matt are well-liked and respected by coaches and staff members alike, which will further make for a smooth transition in the media relations office. The fact that both also have the unique perspective of having covered NSU athletics as sportswriters has further strengthened their affinity and passion for our program."

Pugh has spent five years at NSU as the assistant sports information director and has been the primary sports information contact for baseball, women's basketball and volleyball and the secondary football contact since his arrival as well as publications coordinator in charge of the department's various media guides.

The Bossier City native spent 12 years covering high school, college and professional sports at The Shreveport Times before joining the NSU sports information department in 2014. Pugh has won ample awards in journalism and in media relations, including helping promote two baseball All-Americans in Adam Oller and David Fry.

Vines joined NSU athletics in 2015 as a graduate assistant before serving as the assistant communications director in 2016.

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The Shreveport native has been the primary contact for soccer and softball while assisting with the department's publications and social media.

Vines covered high school and college sports for three different newspapers in seven years, the last being The Shreveport Times, winning multiple writing awards in Tennessee and Louisiana.

"I'm thrilled to see Jason and Matt receiving well-deserved promotions," Ireland said. "They are incredibly skilled professionals who bring great passion to Northwestern State athletics and I've been honored to work alongside them. They are greatly admired and appreciated by the coaches and student-athletes with whom they've worked at NSU, as well as their peers in our profession around the state and Southland Conference."
00 2019-06-27
Regional/National

Race, Geography and Degree Attainment


A new analysis of U.S. Census data at the county level shows that rural areas tend to have low college-degree attainment levels, and that urban and suburban areas often feature wide gaps across racial lines.

The report from the Center for American Progress was inspired in part by maps of the 2016 presidential election and by studies on "education deserts," or commuting zones that lack more than one broad-access postsecondary education option, said Colleen Campbell, director for postsecondary education at the center.

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"The intention is to make people think about the bubbles they live in," she said.

Just under 40 percent of Americans over the age of 25 have earned an associate, bachelor's or graduate degree, according to the report. About 35 percent of white adults hold at least a bachelor's degree, compared to 18 percent of adults from underrepresented groups. And just 8 percent of bachelor's degree holders live in rural counties.

The center's analysis breaks down degree attainment in each of the nation's 3,220 counties, by using data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey. An accompanying interactive map includes the locations of roughly 12,000 college campuses.

Fully 84 percent of the counties in the bottom 10 percent on degree attainment rates are mostly or completely rural, the group found. And just 16 percent of the counties in the top 10 percent are rural. Counties with low attainment rates are most heavily concentrated in the South, running from the borders of Oklahoma and Texas to the Atlantic Ocean.

Proximity to a college campus is a major driver of the rural attainment gap. Rural counties are home to 14 percent of the nation's campuses, the analysis found, even though these areas cover 97 percent of land area in the U.S.

"Furthermore, disparities exist between well-resourced flagships and lower-resourced regional and community colleges, which tend to be the only ones in rural areas," the report said.

Children in education deserts may not see postsecondary education as an option, making it unlikely that they will earn a college degree, and perpetuating the cycle of poverty.

For example, Lee County in Arkansas is majority black and has a 13 percent overall degree attainment rate. It is home to twice as many residents without high school credentials as those with college degrees.

The nearest community college is 18 miles from the county seat of Marianna. The next closest option is a for-profit beauty school that is located 40 minutes away. And the closest in-state, public, four-year college is a four-hour round trip from Marianna.

Big Cities and College Towns

In contrast, 93 of the top 100 U.S. counties on degree attainment are either urban or suburban.

Yet high-attainment counties, particularly urban ones, also feature some of the nation's largest gaps between white adults and those from underrepresented groups. Urban areas with particularly yawning gaps include many of the nation's biggest cities, including New York City (56 percentage points), Denver (47), San Francisco (44), Boston (42), Atlanta (41), Los Angeles (35) and Chicago (32).

Washington, D.C., is a prime example of racial inequality in degree attainment, the report found. Three times as many white adult residents in the nation's capital hold a bachelor's degree or higher compared to black adults, a gap of 62 percentage points.

"Those without a degree have not shared in the economic boom that has occurred in the District over the past decade. This is in part due to the huge influx of college-educated young adults into the District, most of whom are white," the center said. "Washington also has extremely low access to affordable colleges, especially those that are open enrollment."

Large racial and ethnic gaps on degree attainment also exist in college towns, particularly those that include flagship public universities. Examples include counties that are home to the University of Virginia (50 percentage points), University of Colorado at Boulder (40), University of Texas at Austin (37) and the University of California, Berkeley (36).

"High attainment rates in these places are not driven by students, as most are not over the age of 25," the report said. "Rather, these colleges tend to be large employers, and faculty and staff very often are white bachelor's and graduate degree-holders."

Deep, systemic inequities have long pushed people of color out of postsecondary education, the analysis concluded. And both state and federal policy makers should better support educational options for adults, particularly those who dropped out of high school or college.

"State legislators really need to think about the geographies of their states. Do they want college to be accessible to everyone in their state?" said Campbell, who added that traditional colleges can't be the sole solution. "We need multiple pathways. A lot of this is about operating outside of higher education."
00 2019-06-27
Regional/National

How robots change the world


What automation really means for jobs and productivity.
The robotics revolution is rapidly accelerating, as fast-paced technological advances in automation, engineering, energy storage, artificial intelligence and machine learning converge. The far-reaching results will transform the capabilities of robots and their ability to take over tasks once carried out by humans.

Already, the number of robots in use worldwide multiplied three-fold over the past two decades, to 2.25 million. Trends suggest the global stock of robots will multiply even faster in the next 20 years, reaching as many as 20 million by 2030, with 14 million in China alone. The implications are immense, and the emerging challenges for policy-makers are equally daunting in scale.

call out robotsThe rise of the robots will boost productivity and economic growth. And it will lead to the creation of new jobs in yet-to-exist industries. But existing business models in many sectors will be seriously disrupted and millions of existing jobs will be lost. We estimate up to 20 million manufacturing jobs are set to be lost to robots by 2030.


New industrial robot installations (thousands)
New industrial robot installations for landing page
Since 2010, the global stock of robots in industry has more than doubled: as many robots were installed in the past four years as over the eight previous. Approximately every third robot worldwide is now installed in China, which accounts for around one-fifth of the world’s total stock of robots. Download the report to learn more.

Forecast of cumulative job losses
The robot vulnerability index
Map-USA

Our Robot Vulnerability Index highlights specific regions that are at highest risk of labour disruption—but also reveals some common patterns across regions. This index help identify which regions within our chosen economies (the US, Germany, UK, France, Japan, South Korea and Australia) will be hardest hit by the ongoing automation of the manufacturing sector. Download the report to learn more.

Download the How robots change the world report now to learn about:
The trends driving the rise of robots

The impact of automation on the workforce

The implication of robotization for regions with a high risk of labour disruption
00 2019-06-27
Shreveport

Career skills program benefiting airmen and local businesses


A program that brings together airmen who are leaving active duty and local companies. Many say it's a win-win for all involved.

It's called the Air Force Career Skills Program and it's helping airmen transitioning from active duty to life in the civilian workforce. Lt. Col. Melvin Green is one of the first from Barksdale Air Force Base to take advantage of the program that just started last summer.

"One of the purposes of the program is to help broaden your resume and give you a skill set that you probably didn't have before," said Green.

He just finished his internship with the Louisiana Tech Research Institute, which is housed at the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City. He was an instructor and policy advisor on some of the same topics he was involved with at the Global Strike Command.

"The internship program was mentioned to us and one of our staff said, 'Hey, maybe that would be good for us to have some of the smart folks who are looking to retire, they could come and contribute to some of the programs we're working with Global Strike Command,'" Green said.

"Lt. Col. Green is the first intern we've had. It's a relatively new program and it allows Louisiana Tech to increase our partnerships and the work we do with the Air Force and to support the local community," said Adam Lowther, director of Research and Education for the Louisiana Tech Research Institute.

You might be thinking this just sounds good for those military members who are transitioning into something military related in the community, but that's not the case. In fact, at Volunteers of America in Shreveport they have an intern working for them in the finance department.

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"I remember getting an email from our H.R. Director and looking at it and thinking what is this program. I read through the documentation and it spelled it out really clearly that this is a retiree or soon to be retiree from just over at Barksdale that we could have come and work at our program. I thought wow that's great because we serve veterans in our other programs," said Valerie Perez, controller for Volunteers of America North Louisiana.

The internship can last for a maximum of 180 days at the end of the service members active duty commitment. While they intern, they are paid their regular wages by the Air Force so no out of pocket expenses for any of these local organizations.

"To me the most important thing is that we not only add value to our programs, but it helps us save costs in the community when we're really looking to provide the much needed services," said Tricia Jowell, communications director for Volunteers of America North Louisiana.

The coordinator of the career skills program at Barksdale said every airman leaving the Air Force is told about the program during something they call T-A-P or the Transition Assistance Program. If someone is interested they have to get their commander to sign off and release them. And she stressed that it is completely up to the separating or retiring service member to find their own internship.

"The big thing about the program, the onus is on the individual. The Air Force is not going to go out and actively match the service member to an organization. It's the service member's job and responsibility if they so choose to participate in the program to go out and find a company in which they can be matched with," said Green.

He also told me that he was the fourth person within his command to sign up and it started really catching on from there, with four more people signing up within the next month alone. He's seen positive results and great opportunities for the future.

"If you're aircraft maintenance and you want to go over and continue to work maintenance you can do so at the regional airports and things like that. Or if you want to get outside your industry, the senior master sergeant I talked to said a lot of folks are getting into real estate, they're getting their real estate license during that 6 months or 180 day transition," Green said.

Whatever the industry it seems to be working out well for those involved here in North Louisiana.

"It's a great program. It allows us to support the community. To help as they transition off of active duty," said Lowther.

"It's a win-win. We're able to give them exposure in the civilian workforce and get them more acclimated to retiring and going back into the workforce in our community. But we also get to benefit from having their expertise," said Jowell

Green also told me from his experience the bigger the company the harder it is to make a connection because the large companies can't figure out how not to compensate a government employee during their internship.
00 2019-06-26
Lake Charles

MSU Leisure Learning: Introduction to Excel


Excel is a very versatile software program that can be used in every home and business. It's a practical program that has many functions for anyone to use. In many professions, knowledge of this program is also a requirement. Classes are held on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6:00-8:00 pm on McNeese's campus and the cost is $85. Visit mcneese.edu/leisure for more information.
00 2019-06-26
Monroe

Love Your Community Breakfast held at Louisiana Delta Community College


MONROE, La. (KNOE) - A group of business and community leaders met for a "Love Your Community" breakfast at Louisiana Delta Community College Tuesday, June 25, 2019.


The Love Your Community breakfast at Louisiana Delta Community College.
The Love Your Community Initiative was started in 2012 by John Rea and a group of local advocates who through the years have been making headway with positive promotion of Northeast Louisiana.

Rachal Bouriaque of ULM provided entertainment. Breakfast sponsors are State Farm (Greg Manley), Assurance Financial, Hayes Harkey Title, and InspectionSmith.

Chancellor Epps was the keynote speaker. Other guests include St. Francis Medical Foundation, Senator Jim Fannin, Wade Bishop, Joe Lane of LA Delta, Nathan Kinnard of VCOM, Pastor Tom Lowe of Christ Church, Bayou Life Magazine, KNOE, Louisiana Tech, ULM, and Grambling Public Relations, and a select group of LA Delta Students.

John Rea says this initiative is a great way to let people know about the resources we have in our area.

The next Love Your Community Breakfast will be July 17, 2019, at the St. Francis Medical Foundation in Monroe.
00 2019-06-26
Natchitoches

NSU’s Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program ranked 4th nationally


NATCHITOCHES –Northwestern State University’s Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program has been ranked fourth in the country by RegisteredNursing.org.



Nursing programs were assessed on several factors which represent how well a program supports students during school, towards licensure and beyond. You can learn more about the methodology used by visiting https://www.registerednursing.org/rankings-methodology/.



The highly revered and rewarding pediatric nurse practitioner role is a popular choice for nurses who want to make a difference in the health of children. This advanced nursing career can be achieved through a master’s or doctoral level pediatric nurse practitioner program, and most allow students to choose between primary or acute pediatric care. Online and campus-based options are available.



“Over the last four to five years we’ve had one to eight graduates each spring. Everyone has passed boards although two students passed on a second attempt,” said Meredith Eastin, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner coordinator. “Everyone, besides those that graduated in May, is currently practicing as a pediatric nurse practitioner. Many are employed in primary care clinics, but there are graduates employed in pediatric specialty clinics, community health centers and school-based health clinics.”



The field of pediatrics is a particularly rewarding one for advanced practice RNs. Building lasting relationships with children who are ill or injured is just one asset of Pediatric Nurse Practitioner care. Choosing the right Pediatric NP program is of great importance, and RegisteredNursing.org’s rankings of the top online/hybrid Pediatric Nurse Practitioner programs help students find their perfect fit.



For more information on our top nursing school rankings, visit the Methodology Page (https://www.registerednursing.org/rankings-methodology/)



Northwestern State trains the next generation of Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioners through its Master of Science in Nursing specialty program. The curriculum is comprised of 42 total credits, with 720 clinical hours required. Enrolled students take courses in Genomics for Nursing Practice, Family Dynamics, Research in Nursing and much more. Both part-time and full-time study options are available.



MSN Programs

Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Online/Hybrid
Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PCPNP), Campus


RegisteredNursing.org is an organization of registered nurses who care deeply about the profession and provide the resources future nurses need to succeed. Helping to bring those interested in nursing from the research phase to enrollment to landing that first RN job and beyond.



“Overall the feedback has been great,” Eastin said. “Students felt a close connection with instructors. They felt well prepared when entering clinical practice and they would recommend our program to future students. Students reported they liked the small size of the class. They were able to communicate with one another and learn together as a team.”



More information on Northwestern State’s nursing programs is available at nursing.nsula.edu.
00 2019-06-26
Regional/National

3 Higher-Ed Angles to Watch For in This Week’s Democratic Debates


On Wednesday and Thursday, the contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination will take the stage for their first televised debates. On Wednesday night, 10 candidates, including Elizabeth A. Warren, Cory Booker, and Amy Klobuchar will face off. The second night will feature 10 more candidates, among them Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Kamala Harris.

If history is any guide, higher education probably won’t take up a lot of airtime. But here are three ways it might make its way onto the stage:

1. Just about all the candidates have opinions on college affordability. Student debt is more controversial.

Many of the Democrats’ plans for social mobility focus on health care, with debates over “Medicare for all” and other reforms. But recent proposals have pushed higher education into the limelight. The high price of college has driven a handful of candidates leftward, particularly on how to handle the country’s $1.6 trillion in student-loan debt.

The New Generation of Students

Warren came out in front on the issue in April, calling for a plan to cancel up to $50,000 in debt for most borrowers. Her plan was scaled by income, reducing at least some debt for 95 percent of borrowers and wiping it out entirely for 75 percent. She said this month that she would propose legislation to that effect with James E. Clyburn, the House majority whip.

Days before this week’s debates, Sanders took the chance to leapfrog Warren with an even more ambitious proposal: canceling all student debt. Rep. Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, joined Sanders on Monday to announce that the pair would introduce bills to wipe out all federal and private student-loan debt, “no questions asked.”

Julián Castro, the former housing secretary under President Barack Obama, has called for a more incremental debt-forgiveness plan that would cancel student debt for lower-income borrowers.

Sanders and Warren won’t get the chance to directly trade jabs over the new plans, as they won’t share the stage on the same night (Castro and Warren are scheduled for Wednesday, Sanders for Thursday).

Some experts worry that universal programs would give undue taxpayer benefits to relatively wealthy students, and those who earn more after graduating. A few candidates — including Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and Rep. Seth Moulton — have echoed similar hesitations even while supporting types of free or discounted college.

Most of the Democratic candidates have embraced plans for college affordability more broadly, including debt- and tuition-free college. Such plans would have been out of the party mainstream just a few years ago.

2. Criticism of Betsy DeVos (and possibly for-profit colleges) may be an applause line.

Betsy DeVos, the secretary of education, has proved an effective target for the Democratic candidates in their criticism of the Trump administration. An October 2017 poll conducted by HuffPost and YouGov found DeVos had the lowest approval rating of any Cabinet secretary, tied with then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The Democratic contenders have not been shy about calling her out on the campaign trail. “There's no greater example of how we're failing students and teachers than Betsy DeVos, the worst Secretary of Education we’ve seen,” Warren tweeted in May, also saying she would appoint a former public-school teacher to the post if elected. According to the Associated Press, Beto O’Rourke was applauded at a speech when he asked the crowd, “Do you all think that we can do better than Betsy DeVos as secretary of education? I do, too.”

If education comes up, expect some shots at DeVos, one of Trump’s longest-serving Cabinet members. In the same breath, candidates might also bring up for-profit colleges. The secretary’s ties to for-profit education have been the subject of much scrutiny. Warren, in particular, has been a leading critic of those ties.

On Tuesday, Warren tweeted her support for a new lawsuit that alleges the Education Department is slow-walking applications for debt relief from students of closed colleges. Many of those colleges are for-profits.


Elizabeth Warren

@SenWarren
I’m glad students cheated by shady for-profit colleges are fighting back against @BetsyDeVosED in court. If she doesn’t care about helping defrauded students, then let’s hope a federal judge will make her care. https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/25/politics/betsy-devos-borrower-defense-lawsuit/index.html …

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Betsy DeVos faces new lawsuit over student debt forgiveness
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is facing another lawsuit over the department's loan forgiveness program aimed at helping defrauded students.

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3. Some prominent candidates have criticized activists for shutting down campus speakers.

A popular talking point among conservative pundits is that college campuses are bastions of unchallenged, liberal doctrine — and that conservatives who try to speak up are shut down. President Trump signed an executive order this year that warned colleges to protect free speech or risk federal intervention.

Several prominent Democrats have signaled support for the notion that free speech is under threat on campuses. In a speech at the University of Delaware in 2017, Biden condemned liberal activists who have sought to shut down speeches by right-wing commentators. Sanders said something similar in the same year.

RELATED CONTENT
‘No Exceptions, No Questions Asked’: Progressives Propose Legislation Canceling All Student-Loan Debt PREMIUM
Democrats Running for President Are Staking Out Ground on Free College. Here’s Where They Stand.
Some scholars have called the free-speech crisis overblown and argued that the graver risk of restrictions to speech is faced by liberal professors who have been disciplined following outrage fueled by conservative media outlets.

Will any of the candidates adopt that position? If they’re faced with a question on the issue, we may find out.
00 2019-06-26
Regional/National

Financial Emergencies Can Be Catastrophic for Low-Income Students. A Start-Up Wants to Help.


I’m Goldie Blumenstyk, a senior writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education, covering innovation in and around academe. Here’s what I’m thinking about this week.

Students need money for financial emergencies. A start-up wants to help.
It says a lot about the state of American higher education — and perhaps the ed-tech scene, too — when a start-up decides that its business will be to help needy students find emergency aid and to guide colleges in providing that assistance in a fairer and more efficient way.

I’m still getting my head around exactly what it says.

Meanwhile, the story of how that company, Edquity, has been shifting course continues to interest me. Ditto its founder, David Helene, whom I first met just over a year ago, when he took part in our “Shark Tank: Edu Edition” at South by Southwest EDU and was pitching the Edquity app as a college-planning and money-management tool for students.

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The app was always designed with low-income students in mind, but since then, Helene says, he’s become even more conscious that the problem many students face isn’t that they don’t know how to budget their finances. It’s “students not having money to manage,” as he puts it.

The Edquity story gets even more intriguing this week: On Tuesday the Brooklyn-based company is naming Sara Goldrick-Rab as its chief strategy officer for emergency aid, marking the first time the crusading sociology professor at Temple University has, in her words, “set foot in the for-profit sector.” She will help the fledgling company apply its tech-driven services to help colleges manage and apportion emergency aid to the students most in need.

The idea, Helene tells me, is to “replicate and digitize what a lot of colleges have done in a scrappy way” already. Institutions like Amarillo College, with its array of supports for needy students, have set the bar in this arena. Helene hopes Edquity will become the tool that colleges use to “scale what Amarillo calls their ‘culture of care.’”

(Edquity has also been making moves on other fronts. This month it acquired BridgeEdU, the Baltimore-based college-completion company founded by Wes Moore, whom you may know for his book The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates, or from my 2018 interview with him.)

Edquity continues to offer money-management tools to students. Another section of the app, designed for students at LaGuardia Community College and Nevada State College, provides information on available emergency aid from local as well as national groups, plus contact information for social-service agencies, complete with a Yelp-like feature that lets students give feedback that others can see.

Edquity’s newest college-facing system is built around an algorithm that Goldrick-Rab developed, based on research on students facing food insecurity and homelessness, that she and others conduct at the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice.

Until now, Edquity has had limited reach, with just a few hundred students using its app. Its first test comes this fall, when the 86,000-student Dallas County Community College system will use the company to help it manage its emergency-aid programs. The company expects about 18,000 students to use the app to seek assistance. Researchers from the Hope Center will evaluate the effort. Goldrick-Rab says the study will be at “arm’s length” from her, overseen by the center’s research director.

Edquity is also looking to expand the notion of what emergency aid from a college looks like. It’s forging partnerships with hotel chains, car-repair companies, grocery stores, and the like, so that students facing eviction, car trouble, or hunger can get direct assistance or discounts from such providers when the college learns that they need it.

I find that idea particularly clever. “Sometimes cash is the right solution,” as Helene told me. But such partnerships are a creative way for colleges with limited resources to extend their services while tapping into corporations’ philanthropic inclinations. And having an entity like Edquity do this at a national level could save a lot of colleges a lot of energy better used elsewhere.

More broadly, I understand how an app like this could be helpful, especially because, as Goldrick-Rab notes, sometimes figuring out who deserves what takes more time and money that the aid itself is worth. “In this case, tech actually helps us,” she says. And I see the value in putting some automation in the process, especially if it can avert some of the shame that students might feel when applying for aid face-to-face.

Still, I expect Edquity could (and should) face questions about the assumptions and weighting of student needs driving its proprietary algorithm — despite Goldrick-Rab’s assurances that “there’s nothing about it that can do any harm.”

Beyond that, I find Edquity’s direction both troubling and comforting: troubling because so many students have these emergency needs that a company sees a market, but comforting because so few other ed-tech companies even focus on issues affecting the neediest students. At least here’s one that does.

Got a tip you’d like to share, or a question you’d like me to answer? Let me know, at goldie@chronicle.com. If you have been forwarded this newsletter and would like to see past issues, or sign up to receive your own copy, you can do so here.

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00 2019-06-26
Ruston

https://www.rustonleader.com/sports/tech-gsu-presidents-visit-davis


Louisiana Tech and Grambling State University Presidents Les Guice and Rick Gallot made a special trip to Room 58 of the Princeton Place Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Ruston on Monday afternoon to spend a half hour with Lincoln Parish icon...
00 2019-06-25
Houma/Thibodaux

Nicholls students bring home 12 culinary, hospitality awards


Twelve Nicholls State University current and future students were awarded scholarships from the Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation. Nicholls student Dustin Rockwell also received the top prize, the Jim Funk Scholarship.

The Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation Scholarship Fund in 2019 awarded $52,400 more than 24 ProStart and LRA Board scholarships. Current and future Nicholls students earned 12 of those scholarships.

Rockwell, who graduated from Slidell High School in 1998, enrolled at the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute with the hopes of learning how to operate a café. His goal at Nicholls is to attend Institut Paul Bocuse in France. This his second year of receiving an LRAEF scholarship and he continued a Nicholls tradition in earning the top award.

The Jim Funk Scholarship is named after the former LRA President and CEO who created the educational foundation during his 30 years with the organization.

The recipients were honored March 21 at an LRAEF event, Serving the Future — Celebrating Careers in Hospitality, at Generations Hall in New Orleans. The scholarships range from about $2,000 to $2,400.

Created in 2009, the LRAEF Scholarship Fund has awarded nearly $50,000 in financial support for students interested in advancing their education in culinary, hospitality or related fields since its inception.

The LRA Board Fund Scholarship is presented to students who intend to pursue a career in the restaurant, food service, tourism or hospitality industry. The fund is supported through an annual donation by the LRA Board of Directors. Nicholls students receiving the scholarship are Sara Baiamonte, a freshman from Robert; Blane Coley, a freshman from St. Francisville; Claire LeBlanc a sophomore from Abita Springs; Jenna Duryea, a junior from Mandeville; Janesa Buras, a sophomore from Abita Springs; Taylor Mattox, a junior from Baton Rouge; and Kiersten Wegman, a junior from Chalmette.

The ProStart Scholarship is presented to students who have or will receive the National ProStart Certificate of Achievement. This year’s current or future Nicholls recipients are Cade Kershenstine, a graduating senior at Hammond High Magnet School; Kacey Kile, a graduating senior at West Feliciana High School; Brock Nicholls, a sophomore from Sulphur; and Andrew Cambre, a freshman from Cambre.

Central Louisiana students pursuing a culinary or hospitality career can receive the LRA Cenla Chapter Scholarship. This year’s recipient is Taylor Mason, a Nicholls student from Anacoco High School.


00 2019-06-25
Lafayette

UL's Robichaux recovering after heart attack, surgery


Longtime UL baseball coach Tony Robichaux was recovering Monday at Lafayette General Medical Center following a heart attack that occurred late Sunday night.

Robichaux “is expected to make a full and complete recovery,” according to a statement from the Ragin’ Cajuns released Monday night.

Robichaux underwent open heart surgery at Lafayette General, which the school referred to in its statement as "a successful medical procedure."

“Our No. 1 priority is Coach Robichaux’s health,” Cajuns athletic director Bryan Maggard said in a statement.

“We will be supporting Coach and his family in every way possible,” Maggard added. “I’m certain that Ragin’ Cajuns fans everywhere are sending their prayers.”

UL's head coach Tony Robichaux meets with South Alabama's head coach Mark Calvi at home plate before the game as the Ragin' Cajuns take on the South Alabama Jaguars at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field on Friday, April 4, 2019.Buy Photo
UL's head coach Tony Robichaux meets with South Alabama's head coach Mark Calvi at home plate before the game as the Ragin' Cajuns take on the South Alabama Jaguars at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field on Friday, April 4, 2019. (Photo: James Mays/Special to the Advertiser)

More: UL's Maggard has 'a great deal of confidence' in Robichaux

The Robichaux family thanked “the many individuals, both locally in Lafayette and across the country, who have shared their prayers, support and well wishes for Coach Robichaux,” according to the Cajuns’ release.

Both of Robichaux’s sons, Justin and Austin, played for UL.

Robichaux recently completed his 25th season as coach of the Cajuns, whom he took to the College World Series in 2000.

He posted his 900th victory with UL during a 28-31 season in 2019 and owns a 1,177-767 (.605) career record over 31 years, including time at McNeese State.

Related: Robichaux has a reason for 25 seasons as Cajuns coach

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Robichaux’s situation prompted reaction on social media as word of his heart attack spread:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with (Cajuns) skipper Tony Robichaux, who had surgery following a heart attack. … Get well soon, coach” D1Baseball co-manager Kendall Rogers.
From the official Twitter account of the LSU baseball program: “Thoughts and prayers for coach Robichaux.”
From Robichaux’s former program, McNeese: “Please keep Coach Robichaux in your prayers. #Gerogua Cajuns #GeauxPokes.”
“Prayers up for one of the best and classiest (coaches) around,” tweeted Jeff Horchak, a former television sports reporter and morning-show host now working in Monroe.
“Very happy to hear the surgery went well and he’s expected to make a full recovery,” tweeted Scott Prather, program director at KPEL 1420 AM, which broadcasts Cajun baseball games. “Praying for Robe and the Robichaux family.”
More: Several Cajuns not returning to UL baseball team in 2020

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00 2019-06-25
Monroe

LA Tech, Eric Konkol agree to 1-year contract extension


Louisiana Tech is tacking on another year to men’s basketball head coach Eric Konkol’s contract.

Tommy McClelland, Tech athletics director, confirmed to The News-Star Monday that Konkol had been proposed a one-year extension to his contract. BleedTechBlue.com first reported the move on Friday.

The University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors will hold their monthly meeting Thursday and McClelland told The News-Star he expects Konkol’s contract addendum to be approved. Upon approval, it’ll mark the third time he’s received an extension since signing his initial five-year deal when he was hired in 2015, earning extension after his first and second seasons heading the men’s program.

Louisiana_Tech_LSU_Basketball_70162.jpg
Louisiana Tech head coach Eric Konkol has a word with the referee after a call in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against LSU, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Bill Feig) (Photo: The Associated Press)

“I’m pleased. I think coach Konkol is excited about the team he’s got coming back this year and we’re excited to continue to work with him,” McClelland said. “When you look at his overall success since he took over the program, I mean this past year, we went 15-1 at home. He’s done a great job and it’s the least we can do to give him another year on his deal.”

Konkol, who agreed in principal to the extension right after last season ended, had three years remaining on his five-year contract and the one-year extension will not alter the terms of his deal, a deal valued at $2 million, earning $400,000 annually. His contract, with four years left on it, now runs through the 2022-23 basketball season.

Louisiana Tech has gone 83-49 since Konkol took over before the 2015-16 season. The head coach led the Bulldogs to two straight 23-win campaigns to open his tenure and the team, which lost guards Derric Jean and Exavion Christon early in the season to season-ending injuries forcing Konkol and his staff to down to a consistent, eight-man rotations for the majority of the season, won 20 games a year ago.

Jean and Christon will be back for the 2019-20 season while Tech lost athletic forward Anthony Duruji, who transferred to Florida earlier this year.

Day two is the best the Bulldogs have finished in the Conference USA tournament under Konkol, winning one game in the tournament each of the last three years.

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The last time Tech competed in a postseason tournament was in 2016 in the Vegas 16, where it lost its first game, 88-83, to East Tennessee State.

Follow Cory Diaz on Twitter @CoryDiaz_TNS and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CoryDiazTNS/
00 2019-06-25
Natchitoches

NSU Wind Symphony to perform in Spain at international conference


It’s been a busy summer for Northwestern State University’s Wind Symphony. Members of the ensemble are preparing to perform at the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles conference in Buñol, Spain July 10-13. WASBE is the only international organization of wind band conductors, composers, performers, publishers, teachers, instrument makers and friends of wind music. It is the only organization completely dedicated to enhancing the quality of the wind band throughout the world and exposing its members to new worlds of repertoire, musical culture, people and places. The conference is held every two years.

NSU was one of seven groups chosen to perform and was one of two selected from the United States. Ensembles from Australia, Canada, Italy, Spain and Portugal will all play at the conference.

“Being selected to perform at the international level is an honor and speaks volumes about the dedication of everyone involved in the School of Creative and Performing Arts,” said senior music education and music performance major Hope Spaw of Bossier City. “This opportunity would not be possible without the past members of our wind symphony and their contributions they made while they were in school.”

To apply for WASBE, Director of Bands Dr. Jeff Mathews submitted a recording of the ensemble’s spring concert for review by the WASBE artistic council. The recording was peer-reviewed by an international committee of wind band conductors. He also submitted concert programs covering the last three years to inform the artistic council of the style and caliber of work the ensemble typically performs, a history of the program and a proposed program of what they will perform at the WASBE conference in Spain.

“This has been a long-time goal of mine.” said Mathews, who conducts the Wind Symphony. “Bands from all over the world apply for this opportunity, so the committee recognized the quality of our program. It is the result of the work done over the years to build the School of Creative and Performance into a world-class program.”

The NSU Wind Ensemble is a concert band that performs in winter and spring that is counterpart to the Spirit of Northwestern marching band. Participation is by audition and members are regarded as among the top musicians in the department.

“Over the past 30-plus years, we have built an outstanding marching band, so it is gratifying that our concert band — our serious musical side — is being recognized as well,” Mathew said. “Some of our best recruiters are band directors out there and they understand what this means.”

NSU’s performance at the conference will be live-streamed for internet viewers and recordings will be available for purchase of the performance.
00 2019-06-25
Ruston

LA Tech accounting alumnus earns top score on CPA exam




RUSTON — Louisiana Tech University accounting alumnus Warren Wolf recently received the Elijah
00 2019-06-24
Baton Rouge

'He had such a bright future': Examining fatal overdoses at LSU and the rise of prescription drugs


nal college senior faces the impacts of his growing addiction to pills. The film seeks to move beyond old stereotypes, according to the project website: "The face of addiction is not sunken faces and tattered clothes. It's bright eyes and khaki shorts."

Despite being aware of his friends' drug use, Culbertson said, he viewed it as just another aspect of the college party scene, not unique to DKE or the LSU Greek system as a whole.

"Part of what really came to scare me is that I watched this happen to people around me for four years and hadn't really even thought to say anything until it was too late," he said. "How were none of us deciding that this was a bigger issue?"

***

It appears he wasn't alone in brushing concerns under the rug, according to David Easlick, the former longtime national executive director of DKE who now serves as an expert witness in hazing cases nationwide.

Even after the DKE chapter's second fatal overdose in several months, neither DKE national leaders nor LSU administrators issued a public response or launched an investigation. In contrast, LSU's Sigma Chi chapter was shut down for three years after a member died from an accidental drug overdose off campus in 2015. His death raised concerns among alumni, who started investigating and soon found evidence of blatant drug use inside the chapter house.

Easlick said DKE should be ashamed of its silence.

"That's a pretty goddamn good indicator that something's wrong. It should have raised more than red flags," he said. "Someone should have been down there investigating the next day. … You can't just sit there and let people die."

Former DKE fraternity director: 'I knew from the very beginning ... that LSU was a problem'
Former DKE fraternity director: 'I knew from the very beginning ... that LSU was a problem'
Doug Lanpher, the current DKE executive director, declined to answer questions or respond to criticism about how the fraternity responded to the fatal overdoses.

The outcome of the organization's hazing investigation, which resulted in nine arrests and closed the chapter earlier this year, did not address drug use. National leaders said only that investigators found students had violated the fraternity's hazing and alcohol policies. Police later accused DKE members of engaging in abusive hazing rituals that included beating pledges with a metal pipe, dousing them with gasoline and urinating on them. But none of the students arrested are also facing drug charges.

LSU's Office of Student Advocacy and Accountability is still conducting its own investigation, which will determine how long the chapter will be banned from campus.

LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard III said there was no evidence that either of the fatal overdoses occurred during chapter activities, so the incidents didn't trigger an investigation into the DKE chapter. But he said the "safety of all students is of the utmost importance to us." He said the LSU community "mourns the loss of all students who have passed away, and we understand how difficult these times are for family, friends and loved ones."

Ballard listed a number of existing programs and resources through the LSU Student Health Center that are aimed at addressing substance abuse among students. The center offers mental health counseling and wellness coaching, then refers students to more intensive addiction treatment options if needed.

All incoming students are required to complete an online education program on alcohol, drug use and sexual violence prevention. Ballard said fraternity advisers also receive additional training that's more specific to Greek organizations.

LSU also adopted a medical amnesty policy in 2018 that allows students who call 911 for help to later avoid university sanctions for related alcohol or drug violations. The policy notes that "amnesty is intended to promote action when an emergency situation is present." Ballard said that's one of several recent changes that arose from discussions following Max Gruver's death.

"Safety is a shared responsibility," he said. "The university does all it can to educate, provide information and offer assistance to students. But we know that our influence can only go so far. … It is ultimately up to the students to make wise decisions in their personal lives."

***

Parents want more action from both LSU administrators and local law enforcement.

Garry and Mary Ellen Jordan, both attorneys, said they're disappointed no one was ever held accountable for selling the drugs that killed their son.

"I think LSU wanted to avoid the publicity of someone selling fentanyl to students," Garry Jordan said. "To me it was a chance for the administration and campus police to take a stand and say we're gonna get to the bottom of this. … That never happened."

Court records indicate no arrests have been made in the fatal overdose cases identified by The Advocate dating back through 2015.

East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III said he's heard from several frustrated families who want dealers held accountable in LSU overdoses cases. Most of those cases are still considered open investigations and could result in future arrests.

But he said solving drug distribution cases has become more challenging for a number of reasons, including getting access to locked cell phones, which often contain evidence investigators need to support an arrest.

Moore also emphasized the scope of the problem, which extends far beyond LSU as the opioid crisis continues to devastate communities nationwide.

Fatal overdoses in East Baton Rouge more than doubled from 37 in 2010 to 83 in 2016. Last year overdoses claimed 102 lives — of which 32 involved fentanyl, according to coroner's records. Those records don't include nonfatal overdoses, which are more difficult to track because of medical privacy laws. It's unknown how many LSU students have overdosed but survived within recent years.

"It's a mess overall," Moore said. "And fentanyl is weaponizing the market. It's the semi-automatic, not the revolver, of drugs."

Baton Rouge area families cope with opioid epidemic as overdoses continue to climb
Baton Rouge area families cope with opioid epidemic as overdoses continue to climb
The Jordans pointed to an initiative at the University of Mississippi that was launched in response to the death of William Magee, who overdosed not long after his college graduation. The William Magee Center for Wellness Education is scheduled to open on the Ole Miss campus this fall with a focus on educating students, providing support services and conducting research.

William Magee's father, who was publisher of the Oxford Eagle newspaper at the time, wrote a column about his son's descent into drug addiction that went viral online after its publication in 2016. It presents a familiar narrative of excessive alcohol and drug use — including "Xanax, lots of Xanax" — that's "all contextualized into a good collegiate reason as opposed to abuse or a problem."

Magee told The Advocate he thinks most universities are afraid to discuss these alarming trends because administrators are worried it could hurt enrollment. But he said acknowledging and addressing the problem will actually have the opposite effect.

"Why wouldn't we turn around and talk openly and honestly about providing wellness education to our students because we love and care about them?" he said. "I can tell you it's absolutely going to be a recruiting tool."

***

Karen and Paul Morgan lost their son Jonathan in April 2017 when the LSU freshman died from an accidental drug overdose. Karen Morgan had scheduled a meeting with Moore to discuss her son's case, but it was rescheduled when news of Max Gruver's death broke that morning.

The spotlight then turned to hazing in subsequent months, which helped Karen Morgan and other parents push a proposal through the legislature in 2018 that holds people accountable if they see someone in danger — whether from hazing or drug use or other reasons — and don't call 911.

Family, friends of LSU's Max Gruver mourn loss, build his legacy with anti-hazing foundation
Family, friends of LSU's Max Gruver mourn loss, build his legacy with anti-hazing foundation
People who violate the state's "duty to assist" statute now face maximum penalties of $1,000 in fines and one year in prison. Those maximum penalties increase to $2,000 and five years if the unreported harm results in a death. The new law was designed to work hand in hand with the state's existing good Samaritan law, which gives people immunity from prosecution when they call 911 to report an overdose.

Karen Morgan pursued the bill because she believes it would have saved her son's life.

She said detectives raised questions about the timeline of events the morning of Jonathan's death — and whether the friend who found him unresponsive waited before calling 911. The friend initially told police he had left Jonathan's apartment around 11 p.m. but later admitted he spent the night there, Karen Morgan said.

She said investigators had reason to suspect that efforts had been made to clean up the scene that morning, but not enough evidence to support an arrest. Police reports corroborate her statements.

Jonathan Morgan, 19, grew up in Mandeville and graduated from Mandeville High School before moving to Baton Rouge to attend LSU. He played football and guitar, was an honors student and planned to major in psychology.

"He had such a bright future," Karen Morgan said. "His story just highlights how any kid is susceptible to this."

She said her son was prescribed Adderall as a high school junior but later stopped taking it because he didn't like the highs and lows. She knew he experimented with marijuana and started doing cocaine in social settings at LSU.

After hearing about Graham Jordan's death, Karen Morgan texted her son the obituary, hoping it would give him pause. She told him: "Please, for God's sake, be careful."

Another LSU student — also from the north shore — had overdosed and died just a few months earlier and Karen Morgan had heard about both deaths through friends and colleagues in the area. Just three months later, she found herself facing the same unbearable grief.

"It's hard for me to talk about Jonathan in this light because I feel like I'm dishonoring him. He was a whole person, but he made a bad choice that took his life," she said. "So many of us have made bad choices, and we learn from them. We use them as stepping stones. … Jonathan never had that opportunity."
00 2019-06-24
Houma/Thibodaux

New Nicholls dean seeks to improve education



Scot Rademaker said he’d always wanted to move into the administrative side of developing future educators.

“You just have to put in the work to get to that point,” he said.

He said he’s looking forward to transitioning into serving as Nicholls State University’s dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.

Rademaker, who has experience in the public school system, as a professor and a division head, said he started searching for a new job after he learned that his employer - The College of New Rochelle in New York - is closing.

According to an article by Inside HigherEd, that college is expected to close by the end of this summer.

While on the job search, Rademaker said he immediately felt welcome on Nicholls’ campus.

“We really felt at home,” he said of himself and his wife.

Nicholls’ decision to house education and psychology under the same umbrella also attracted him.

Between 2006 and 2009, Rademaker worked for public school systems in Florida. In Miami-Dade County Public Schools, he worked in its division of psychological services as a reading interventionist, or reading coach. Then, he served as a school psychology intern with the Sarasota County School Board.

He said he’s seen how closely individuals in the two fields work together in school systems each day. School psychologists, social workers, teachers and school administrators work together regularly.

“It makes sense in my mind to put those things together so that they might collaborate as undergraduates and then again as professionals,” he said.

Rademaker said the whole