Today's News

University of Louisiana System

00 2019-05-23
Baton Rouge

Louisiana governor asks Trump for disaster declaration for Ruston, Morehouse tornadoes

BATON ROUGE — Gov. John Bel Edwards has asked President Donald Trump for a disaster declaration to help recovery efforts from two April 25 tornadoes that left a path of destruction in Lincoln, Morehouse and Union parishes, killing a mother and son in Ruston.

"I have determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of local and state governments," Edwards said in a letter sent to Trump Tuesday night.

MORE: Ruston, Tech will need months to recover from tornado that killed mother, son

A presidential disaster declaration would open the door for individual and public federal recovery funds.

An EF-3 tornado ripped through Ruston and Louisiana Tech University about 1:47 a.m. April 25 and also caused extensive damage in Union Parish.

MORE: Churches, businesses work to help storm victims

Robert Brown used a drone Thursday, April 25, 2019, around the Louisiana Tech University campus. An early morning tornado killed two people and devastated the city.
Robert Brown used a drone Thursday, April 25, 2019, around the Louisiana Tech University campus. An early morning tornado killed two people and devastated the city. (Photo: Courtesy Robert Brown)

Kendra Butler, 35, who was earning her master's degree at Grambling State University, and her son Remington Butler, 14, a Ruston High School freshman, were killed when a tree crashed through their home in Ruston.

An EF-2 twister tore through Morehouse Parish the same morning at about 2:42 a.m.

MORE: Ruston moves into recovery mode day after tornado

Edwards reported 373 homes were affected in the three parishes with 206 of them suffering major damage or complete destruction.

He said 350 of the homes were uninsured.

MORE: Tornado damage to Ruston city property tops $9.1 million

Edwards told Trump more than $12.2 million in damage to public property and infrastructure occurred, far exceeding the $6.8 million threshold for aid.

He said Louisiana Tech's campus suffered $9.5 million in uninsured damage, including the destruction of the school's baseball, softball and soccer stadiums and fields.

MORE: LA Tech channels adversity from tornado to win, hopes to inspire Ruston

Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.
00 2019-05-23

NSU Theatre Camp July 15-27

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance will host the popular Summer Theatre Camp July 15-27 for students who have completed third through 10th grade.

This year’s camp will feature the first production of a full-length junior edition show, “Alice in Wonderland Jr.” The camp is fast-paced and action-packed. It will culminate with four performances of “Alice Jr.” at 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27.

The camp will take place from 12:30-5 p.m. and costs $200 per student, which includes materials. Space is limited.

Space is limited. For more information or to register, call (318) 357-4483.
00 2019-05-23

Low-Income and Minority Students Are Growing Share of Enrollments, and 2 Other Takeaways From New Study

A growing number of undergraduates come from low-income families, especially at less-selective colleges, according to a new analysis by the Pew Research Center.

Using data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study — which was last updated in 2016 — the Pew researchers found that community colleges and the least-selective four-year colleges have seen the greatest rise in poor and minority students. The most selective, private four-year institutions have not seen as much of an increase, according to a report by the researchers.

The report, released on Wednesday, places the fast-changing demographics of higher education in sharp relief. Here are three key takeaways:

1. More low-income students may be going to college, but they aren’t attending selective institutions.

While poverty among 18-to-64-year-olds has remained relatively flat in the past two decades, the share of undergraduates who were impoverished has increased from 12 percent to 20 percent. That may help explain why their enrollment growth isn’t reflected across all institution types. Most low-income students are flocking to the least-selective colleges.

2. More nonwhite undergraduates are attending college across the board.

As the total nonwhite population increases in the United States, the percentage of racial and ethnic minorities is expanding at public and private nonprofit colleges as well as for-profit colleges. Over all the share of nonwhite students at all institutions has grown from 29 percent in 1996 to 47 percent in 2016.

The most drastic increases have been at less-selective institutions. The share of nonwhite undergraduates at community colleges and public four-year institutions grew by 19 percentage points from 1996 to 2016, while private, nonprofit four-year colleges saw a rise of only 10 percentage points.

Much of this demographic change is being driven by the increase in the share of Hispanic enrollments, which have doubled at four-year colleges since 1996.

3. Low-income students are just as likely to take out student loans as are other undergraduates.

Idea Lab: Admissions and Enrollment

Nowadays 39 percent of undergraduates borrow to attend college, up from 26 percent in 1996. The chances that students will borrow grow if they attend a four-year institution rather than a community college, but borrowing has increased by 10 percentage points among community-college students as well.

Twenty years ago, however, low-income students were more likely to take out student loans than higher-income students were. That divide is rapidly closing. Thirty-eight percent of low-income students took out loans in 2016, the same as for middle-income students. The percentage of higher-income students who borrowed was just slightly lower, at 30 percent.

The report also found that undergraduates are less likely to work while enrolled than they were over a decade ago, and the share of students working full time has also declined significantly, from 38 percent in 2000 to 25 percent in 2016.

Zipporah Osei is an editorial intern at The Chronicle. Follow her on Twitter @zipporahosei, or email her at zipporah.osei@chronicle.com.
00 2019-05-23

Wealth's Influence on Enrollment and Completion

The federal government on Wednesday released a wide range of updated and new data on postsecondary education, including broader measures of college completion and several indicators that show how much family wealth contributes to college students’ odds of enrolling and graduating.

For example, among people who were ninth graders a decade ago, those from the highest quintile of socioeconomic status (parental education and occupations and family income) were 50 percentage points more likely to be enrolled in college in 2016 than were their peers from the lowest quintile -- 78 percent compared to 28 percent.

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Money also played a big role in which college and level of degree program students enrolled in, according to the new report from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Students from the lowest quintile who attended college were more likely to first pursue an associate degree (32 percent) than a bachelor’s degree (47 percent). Their peers from the wealthiest quintile, however, were much more likely to first seek a four-year degree (78 percent) than a two-year degree (13 percent).

Likewise, the percentage of higher-income students who first enrolled at a highly selective college or university (37 percent) easily outpaced that of lower-income students (7 percent).

Wealthier students also were much more likely to enroll at a four-year college than at a community college or for-profit institution. More than half of students from the top quintile first enrolled at a public four-year institution (54 percent), while 26 percent enrolled at a four-year private college. The report found that 18 percent enrolled at a community college while less than 2 percent attended a for-profit.

Among students in the lowest quintile, however, 51 percent first enrolled at a community college compared to 28 percent at a four-year public, 8 percent at a four-year private and roughly 13 percent at a for-profit.

The report found that lower-income students from that ninth-grade Class of 2009 were less likely to enroll in college within one year of graduating from high school.

Roughly one-third of students from the lowest quintile of that cohort enrolled within one year of graduating high school and were still in college or had earned a credential by 2016, according to the report, compared to 79 percent of students from the top quintile. Likewise, 53 percent of students from the lowest quintile either never enrolled or delayed their enrollment by more than a year, compared to roughly 11 percent from the top quintile -- 88 percent from this group enrolled in college within one year after high school.

“These numbers are sobering,” said Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, director of upskilling policy at the National Skills Coalition, who called the new report an “affirmation of how diverse the higher education cohort is, and how different the college-going experience can be.”

Completion Rates for Part-Time Students

The new data arrived as the higher education sector has been rocked by scrutiny of its role in perpetuating economic inequality, thanks to a high-profile admissions scandal and unflattering data on social mobility.

As with the Varsity Blues scandal, the federal numbers pull back the curtain on how higher education is stacked in favor of white and wealthy students, said Phil Martin, a spokesman for the Education Trust.

"Students from the least affluent families who enrolled in college were more than three times as likely to start at a community college than their wealthier peers. Community colleges are starved for resources. No surprise their outcomes aren't great," Martin said via email. "Students from the most affluent families were about five times as likely to enroll in a selective college as students from the least affluent families. Selective colleges are typically the ones with lots of resources. So the wealthiest students get the richest campus experience."

The Education Department's annually released report, dubbed "The Condition of Education 2019," features updated and improved measures of student success. Some of those indicators can be broken out by the relative wealth and race and other characteristics of students, including whether they attended college full-time or part-time.

As was the case with students’ enrollment patters, socioeconomic status had a big impact on those outcomes, according to the data.

For example, the report includes updated completion rates for Pell Grant recipients (data that did not become available until the department recently broadened its completion metrics). The federal grants are need based and represent a subset of lower-income students within the general undergraduate population, the report said.

Completion rates after eight years for the 2009 cohort were lower for Pell recipients who attended four-year colleges across all levels of selectivity except for open-admissions institutions.

For colleges that accepted 90 percent or more of applicants, the new federal completion rates were about 12 percentage points lower for Pell recipients than for nonrecipients (35 percent compared to 47 percent). Among colleges that accepted less than a quarter of applicants, completion rates for Pell recipients lagged by 10 percentage points (79 percent compared to 89 percent).

NCES recently began publishing college completion rates that include part-time students, an improvement from the much-criticized previous limitation of only tracking graduation and transfer rates for full-time students who attend college for the first time.

“This provides the clearest picture yet of how colleges are doing in providing all of their students a credential,” said Michael Itzkowitz, president of the Edvisors Group, a consulting firm, and a former Education Department official during the Obama administration. “This is much more representative of all students who are attending college today.”

For example, the report said just 22 percent of students attended public colleges on a full-time, first-time basis, compared to 42 percent who attended part-time and had previously enrolled at another postsecondary institution.

Yet the addition of part-time students to colleges' completion report card doesn’t make them look better.

The full-time, first-time rate was the “most generous” measure, Itzkowitz said. The new report found that most institutions have eight-year graduation rates of less than 50 percent, he said, although those numbers improve substantially when transfer numbers are added.

“The typical institution leaves students with a mere 50-50 chance of graduating from the institution where they started,” he said, adding that a high percentage of part-time students are “leaving without any credential in hand.”
The “nontraditional” student is the norm for the two-year sector, with three-quarters of the 4.7 million community college students who enrolled in 2009 attending either part-time or not for the first time, meaning they were not included in traditional graduation and retention rates.

Graduation rates for students who enrolled at a community college in 2009 were higher among those who attended full-time (30 percent of first-time students and 38 percent of non-first-time students earned a credential at that college within eight years) than for part-time students (16 percent for first-time students and 21 percent for their non-first-time peers).

Transfer rates for community college students eight years after entry were higher among students who had previously enrolled elsewhere (37 percent for part-time students and 30 percent for full-time students) than among their first-time peers (24 percent for both full-time and part-time).

Part-time students also make up large shares of enrollments at four-year institutions. The report found that 44 percent of students who enrolled at a four-year public in 2009 attended full-time and first time, as did 57 percent of students at four-year privates.

Part-time students at four-year colleges were unlikely to graduate within eight years. Just 19 percent of part-time, first-time students who enrolled at a four-year public or private graduated within eight years, according to the report, compared to 32 percent of part-time students at publics who previously attended another institution and 43 percent at privates. (In most cases, similar portions of those students transferred to another college.)

The report should be a call to action for policy makers, said Martin.

"[S]tudents from low-income families are underserved at every level of the U.S. education system," he said. "That's obviously not the kind of system anybody would set up if the goal was equal opportunity."

New Data on Wages

The federal data also included updated employment outcomes for bachelor’s degree holders.

Unemployment rates for young adults (ages 25-29) with a bachelor’s degree were lower in 2017 than in 2010, when the recession was in full swing (3.1 percent compared to 5.6 percent). But median annual earnings (inflation adjusted) were not measurably different.

The median annual earnings for young adults with a bachelor’s degree were $50,500, according to the report, which included both wages and unemployment rates by selected fields of study.

Earnings ranged from $38,400 for graduates with degrees in social work and human services ($39,000 for those with degrees in liberal arts and humanities) to slightly more than $70,000 for holders of bachelor’s degrees in electrical and mechanical engineering.

Graduates with liberal arts and humanities degrees had an unemployment rate of 5.8 percent, which was the highest among fields covered by the data.

Read more by Paul Fain
00 2019-05-23

LA Tech University is 90 percent to fundraising goal

00 2019-05-22

Southeastern Louisiana University confers degrees on 1,100, including 116 from Livingston Parish

Southeastern Louisiana University conferred degrees on 1,100 graduates Saturday, May 18, at the university’s commencement ceremony.

Former Louisiana House and Senate member Ben Nevers was honored with a Southeastern Louisiana University Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree as part of the ceremony.

00 2019-05-22

Nicholls Foundation receives $700K donation

The chairman of the Nicholls Foundation Board donated $700,000 to the foundation.
Nicholls State University and Boysie Bollinger announced the new endowment on Monday evening.
Bollinger was the president and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards and has now donated $1 million to the university this year.
The board’s chairman had donated $300,000 in March to renovate the Donald G. Bollinger Student Union, which is named after his father.
Bollinger also contributed Nicholls’ first-ever endowment of $1 million.
His endowment will help support the foundation’s work.
The foundation manages about $25 millionin endowed funds and provides $2 million worth of scholarships and professorships each year.
00 2019-05-22

’Moonwalker Mike’ overcomes incredible obstacles and graduates from Nicholls State

THIBODAUX, La. (WAFB) - “Moonwalker” Mike Allen first captured our hearts in a 2017 WAFB report when he graduated from East Ascension High School.

Allen completed the next step in his education and has graduated from Nicholls State University’s Bridge to Independence Program on May 18.

The Bridge to Independence certificate program is a two-year program for students with intellectual disabilities.

Students enrolled in the program complete courses at Nicholls while also learning leadership and social skills needed for future employment and independent living.

Allen has special needs. He was born 13 weeks early, weighing a mere 2 lbs., 4 oz. His mother, Lisa Carter, told WAFB in 2017 that he was born with a condition called hydrocephalus, in which fluid builds on the brain.

RELATED: Special needs student defies odds, graduates from East Ascension High and plans to attend college

However, Allen did not allow his condition hinder him from making the most of his high school years. He bowled and ran track for the Special Olympics, sang in his church choir, and volunteered.

It was in high school that earned his nickname “Moonwalker” for moves on the dance floor.

Allen continued to work hard at Nicholls and earned the Bridge to Independence program’s Ambassador’s Award for raising awareness about the program.

Carter told WAFB on May 21 that her family thanks all of the people who made donations and gave encouragement to Allen.

“Words cannot express how grateful we are to be a part of such a loving community!” she said.

Carter says now that Allen is graduated he currently looking for employment.

Here’s a look at his resume:

"Moonwalker" Mike Allen is currently seeking employment after graduating from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La., on May 18, 2019.
"Moonwalker" Mike Allen is currently seeking employment after graduating from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La., on May 18, 2019.
For more information on the Bridge to Independence program at Nicholls State University at https://www.nicholls.edu/bridge-to-independence/.

Copyright 2019 WAFB. All rights reserved.
00 2019-05-22

UL associate director of Global Engagement selected as Fulbright recipient

A faculty member of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is reaching out in a big way.

Rose Honegger, Ph.D., associate director of Global Engagement for UL, has been selected as one of 800 U.S. citizens to participate in the Fulbright program this year and will travel next month to Japan for a two-week stay to promote the university.

“This was a dream come true,” said Honegger. “I truly believe in the mission of the Fulbright program, which is to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. I am very honored to represent my university, our state, and the United States through this cultural diplomacy program.”

During her stay, Honegger will meet with several universities and government agencies in Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Koyoto. She hopes to further her understanding of the Japanese education system and network to develop future opportunities for UL Lafayette.

Honegger will meet with several Japanese students who have taken interest in UL. She will also reconnect with alumni at Sophia University, a global partner to UL Lafayette.

“We just signed an agreement for student and faculty exchange with Sophia University,” said Honegger, “and I am very excited to finally meet my counterpart at Sophia University that I have been working through this agreement for the past 2 years.

“This Fulbright program will help me meet Japanese stakeholders that have an interest in developing a partnership with our university for student and faculty exchange and research collaboration," Honegger added.

Honegger shared that she looks forward to experiencing the rich food and culture of Japan.

The Fulbright Program, the flagship international exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, was created in 1946 in an effort to increase mutual understanding between the U.S. and the people of other countries.

Fulbright award recipients are selected based on academic and professional achievement, service and leadership. Honegger was accepted into the program after she completed a lengthy application process and received a peer-review panel’s recommendation.

Honegger, a native of Malaysia, moved to the United States in 1987 to pursue her master's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Through the Office of International Affairs, she administers programs and steers students toward services intended to help to ease their transitions. She works closely with the UL's Intensive English Program, which she shared is among her most rewarding work.

The Intensive English Program is one of many international opportunities UL Lafayette engages in, you can learn more about UL's Office of International Affairs by visiting internationalaffairs.louisiana.edu.
00 2019-05-22

ULM's Talons for Taps program is honoring Veterans

MONROE, La. (KNOE) - ULM’s Talons for Taps program is honoring veterans throughout the ArkLaMiss. The program provides live buglers, or trumpeters, at local memorial services and funerals in the area.

Eric Siereveld is the founder of Talons for Taps at ULM. He says the military can’t provide a live bugler at every ceremony or service, so this program fills a void in Northeast Louisiana.

Siereveld says he played in a similar program in college, so when he came to teach at ULM he wanted to give students a way to give back to the community.

He says playing taps at a ceremony adds something special and meaningful, especially for the family.

“Because I think they know, that's the final call, and it's very impactful on the families and you feel humbled and honored that you get to be a part of it because it's such a small thing,” says Siereveld. “It's 30 to 45 seconds, but it means everything to them and everything to the family.”

Recently they played at the Monroe Police Department's wreath laying ceremony as part of police week.

Siereveld says the program started last September, and they’ve played at over 20 events so far.

“At the last one, the World War II Veteran's service, the family came up to me and the sister said ‘I was just fine until you played taps and then I wasn't okay’."

Students like ULM senior Kody Jernigan say a live rendition of taps really makes all the difference.

"It brings back good memories for those who have a touching relationship with music, and it's its own language, it speaks to people in ways words can't."

And music is a language that Jernigan is all too familiar with. He’s played the trumpet for most of his life, and he says he can see how much music impacts people when they play at services.

"It really speaks to your heart and it tells you that you're doing something better for the community that not really other people can do,” says Jernigan.

You can fill out a request form on the Talons for Taps website, https://www.ulm.edu/music/talons-for-taps.html.

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00 2019-05-22

Watch live: GSU president testifies before Congressional committee on cybersecurity

President Rick Gallot of Grambling State University, is scheduled to testify before a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security at 1 pm. Tuesday.

Gallot, who serves on the board of energy provider Cleco Corporate Holdings LLC and Origin Bank, will share and answer committee questions on how the U.S. Department of Homeland Security can grow and diversify today’s cyber talent pipeline.

“We know that with the right support, HBCUs will continue to lead as a critical answer to the 3-million-person cybersecurity job gap that exists globally,”Gallot said.

GSU is home of Louisiana’s first Bachelor of Science degree in Cybersecurity.
00 2019-05-22

Graphic design students display work

Pictured above, Louisiana Tech senior graphic design student Joseph Catalanello, middle, shows off some of his animation and artwork at the school’s Graphic Design Senior Exhibition opening reception.
00 2019-05-21
Baton Rouge

Bills aim to protect Louisiana from cyber attacks

BATON ROUGE — Lawmakers are hoping to put Louisiana on the map for leading cybersecurity efforts and tightening security loopholes. Members of the House Commerce committee on Monday advanced a host of bills that would curb cyber attacks and provide businesses with ways to use electronic currencies.

The bills passed without objection and now move to the House floor.

Building safe IT networks and shielding the state from cyber attacks has been a priority during this legislative session.

Earlier this month, the House Appropriations Committee advanced proposed legislation that would bolster Louisiana’s cybersecurity and IT infrastructure.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat running for re-election this fall, has promoted the need to build an IT and cybersecurity framework across the state. In late 2017, the governor signed an executive order creating the Cybersecurity Commission in order to address cyber risks across the state.

Rep. Franklin J. Foil, R-Baton Rouge, proposed legislation that would request the Louisiana Economic Development — the state’s business development agency — to study how businesses can adopt federal cyber security standards enacted in 2015.

“A malware attack can sometimes connect to 15,000 emails,” said Paul Rainwater, a representative of the state-run Louisiana Cybersecurity Commission. “You need protections for private industries to share that with state law enforcement,” he added, pointing to the need for information sharing.

Efforts to strengthen cybersecurity have spanned across the state. At a ceremony held at the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City last Tuesday, officials, including the governor, announced the creation of a cybersecurity education center to provide training and further resources.

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Educational programs related to cybersecurity, including undergraduate, graduate and associate degree programs, already exist at different universities in the state, including LSU, Grambling, Tulane, Louisiana Tech, University of New Orleans and at Bossier Parish Community College.

Another piece of legislation regarding cybersecurity was proposed by Sen. Barrow Peacock, R-Bossier City. His bill would allow private industries and public institutions to coordinate and share information on cybersecurity threats.

Cybersecurity threats include any unauthorized actions that aim “to adversely impact the security, availability, confidentiality, and integrity of an information system,” according to Peacock’s bill.

“We used to think terrorists were guns and bombs, but now it is a computer system,” said Rep. Stephen S. Pugh, R-Ponchatoula after the meeting.

The push for enhanced security measures comes as cybersecurity threats are on the rise across the nation.

The FBI received over 350,000 complaints nationally and victims lost $2.7 billion, according to a 2018 report. In Louisiana, the FBI reported 3,469 victims of cyber crime and calculated $16 million in losses last year.

“Most of us are willing to give law enforcement the tools to be able to do their job to protect us,” commented committee chairman Rep. Thomas G. Carmody, R-Shreveport after the meeting.

Another bill, proposed by Rep. Mark Wright, R-Covington, would urge the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions to study the regulation and licensing of virtual currency businesses, particularly bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency.

Virtual currency providers use digital money and convert it into monetary tokens, like a bitcoin. Will Haynie, owner of bitcoin ATMs in Shreveport, New Orleans and Baton Rouge, referred to them as “digital gold.”

Legislatures in Alabama, North Carolina, and Arizona have already taken steps to regulate virtual currency businesses. Microsoft and Reddit are two of the major companies that have accepted bitcoins as a payment method.

In the United States, the number of accounts for virtual currency transactions--also referred to as wallets--has increased to 34 million accounts since 2016 according to a recent report by Statista.

Rep. Stephen S. Pugh, R-Ponchatoula said that Wright’s proposal is a “good move to make rational decisions,” admitting that the state still has more work to do. “We are so far behind on technology,” Pugh said.
00 2019-05-21

Nicholls opens food pantry on campus

Shelves of canned goods, fruit cups, Capri-Sun juice packets and ramen noodles were showcased behind a white frame.

Sitting behind the old Office of Continuing Education on Nicholls State University’s campus, the fully stocked pantry will provide students food when they’re in need.

The university held a soft opening to announce the creation of a food pantry this morning.

Nicholls is the latest school in a countrywide movement to create food pantries on college campuses. On Monday, Fletcher Technical Community College announced plans to open one in the next few weeks.

After talking about the need to assist students who were struggling to afford food for a couple years, the university partnered with the local Helio Foundation’s Mom’s Pantry to bring it to life.

Mom’s Pantry leader Reagan Creppell said students shouldn’t have to worry about anything beyond their homework and classes.

“When students come here, that stress comes from their classes, the labs they’re going to take this semester or how hard they’re studying,” she said. “It should never come from their hunger.”

Creppell said the partnership symbolized Nicholls taking another step toward creating an equitable experience for its students.

“This should be a place that when you get here and you work hard, that’s all that matters,” she said.

Across the country, studies suggest around half of college students facing food insecurity are first-generation students.

Nicholls Dean of Students Michele Caruso said that statistic was personal for the university as 63 percent of its students are first-generation and more than half are Pell Grant recipients.

Pell Grants are federal scholarships awarded based on financial need.

Caruso said that addressing food insecurity is a step toward “improving retention.”

“We hope to help them meet that basic need so they won’t have to think about those things,” she said.

Nicholls Student Government Association President-elect Emma Bourgeois said she knows some of her friends have experienced food insecurity while on campus.

“No one really talks about it,” she said. Affected students are often feel too embarrassed to ask for help.

Bourgeois said students are faced with a choice: pay for food or everything else. It’s rent and electricity or a meal.

“Students are left with no money for food and then don’t know where to turn,” she said. “This is a leap in the right direction.”

Nicholls’ Greek students and the University Honors Program also pooled money and donated $6,100 to Mom’s Pantry to help run the campus’ pantry and future programs targeting food insecurity.

Nicholls’ Panhellenic Council President Halli Westerman presented Creppell with the check during Wednesday’s ceremony.

Caruso said the new food pantry’s location offered the right balance of being close to campus, but private enough for students who may not feel comfortable with others knowing that they used the pantry.

She said the university is working with Creppell to open other pantries and start new initiatives to improve access to food, like offering fruit giveaways or spaghetti dinners.

Staff Writer Halle Parker can be reached at hparker@houmatoday.com or 857-2204. Follow her on Twitter, @_thehalparker.

00 2019-05-21

ULM breaks ground on new golf facility

Construction is underway on the new Wallace Jones complex on the ULM campus. The 5-thousand square foot facility will house the men and women's golf programs.
00 2019-05-21
New Orleans

Photos: UNO graduates get inspiration from alumna Sheba Turk

00 2019-05-21
New Orleans

UNO adds certificate program in translation, interpreting

The University of New Orleans has added a certificate program in Spanish/English translation and interpreting for students and professionals in the legal and health care industries.

A news release said the non-degree program is the only combined legal and health care translation and interpreting certificate program in the state.

Lisbeth Philip, assistant professor of Spanish and coordinator of the program, said there is a growing demand for translators and interpreters in those fields as well as social services.

“Our program aims to meet this demand by providing proficient bilingual individuals with the skills they need to become professional legal or healthcare translators and interpreters,” she said in a statement.

Anyone proficient in Spanish and English who has a high school diploma or GED qualifies for admission, the news release said. Translation courses will be taught online, and interpreting courses will be at UNO on Saturdays.

Lean more about the program here.
00 2019-05-21

Gov. John Bel Edwards gets update on Louisiana Tech tornado recovery

RUSTON,La (KNOE) - Louisiana Tech is still recovering after an EF-3 tornado ripped through Ruston last month.

Governor John Bel Edwards visited Louisiana Tech's campus Monday to see how the campus is coming along.

"The extent of the damage, if anything, is actually more visible today because it's uncluttered by the trees. So it's a remarkable amount of damage,” said Edwards at a press conference.

While the damage is severe, Edwards said it could have been worse.

"The fact that we could sustain this much damage across this much area on campus and off campus. Including residential housing units here on campus and only have 2 lives lost is remarkable and we should all be thankful for that,” said Edwards.

Louisiana Tech's campus still has about 5.2 million dollars in damages after insurance.

As for the rest of Lincoln Parish, Governor Edwards said it got the brunt of the storm.

"Several hundred more homes were destroyed and had damage that was classified as either major, minor or that the homes were affected,” said Edwards.

Commercial offices in the parish are around 5.6 million dollars to 86 different properties.

Governor Edwards said the state will be calling on the federal government to help carry the financial load.

“Should the president honor the request for assistance from the federal government that they would pay 75 cents of the dollar towards fixing the damage and we will take care of the other 25 cents,” said Edwards.

That request also includes aid for families and businesses affected by the storm.

“It could entail rental assistance, limited repair costs to make a residence habitable meaning safe secure and sanitary. It would make available small business administration disaster loans,” said Edwards.

If the federal government approves the state’s request, individuals will be eligible for a low-interest loan via the Small Business Administration.

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00 2019-05-20

Nicholls students push to discuss renaming campus streets, buildings

As a secondary education major, Ciera Eugene spent a lot of time in Nicholls State University’s Polk Hall – named after Confederate Gen. Leonidas Polk.
The alumna recalled that walking through campus surrounded by symbols of a time when African Americans were subjugated felt like she was carrying “a heavy burden.”
To her, the building names were a form of glorification.
“I would have to go into a building that is named after someone who had no regard for my ancestors and people that looked like me,” said Eugene. “It’s just kind of disheartening.”
On a campus where 18 percent of students are black and 30 percent are nonwhite, some are now pushing for a serious conversation about the names of some buildings and streets on campus.
Aside from buildings referencing Confederate generals, every street on Nicholls’ campus is a nod back to the time of slavery.
One year before the university was forced to integrate, the student government association voted in 1962 to name the streets after a plantation or plantation owner in Louisiana.
In April, Nicholls released a draft diversity action plan to collect feedback on 60 proposed recommendations to improve inclusion that a group of students, faculty, staff and alumni compiled over the course of a year.
In the plan, the student working group recommended for the school to formally start discussing the renaming of streets and buildings “associated with plantations and other culturally hurtful associations.”
Since forming March 2018, Nicholls’ new Black Student Union has made this one of its top priorities. In the past few months, its membership has grown to about 70 students.
Student leaders say the Black Student Union itself was created to provide a forum for minority students to have a louder voice than they have in the past.
The historically conservative campus is one of the last four-year public universities in the state without an office or committee specifically dedicated to diversity and inclusion. The formation of a dedicated office was one of the staff’s recommendations in the draft diversity action plan.
Asked what names on campus were the most concerning, Black Student Union President Trang Tran and Vice President Arrington Blanchard chuckled.
“All of them,” they said.
In terms of streets, the pair said only one of the plantations – Acadia – related to Nicholls, as the campus includes a part of its land.
“For the other plantations, some were local, but then others have no correlation to Nicholls State or even Thibodaux,” said Tran.
At least four of the street names – Madewood Drive, Audubon Avenue, Afton Drive and Glenwood Drive – are derived from plantations located in St. Francisville, Baton Rouge or Napoleonville.
The question of whether the names of some buildings and streets are appropriate isn’t new.
Tran and Blanchard said alumni have talked to them about the complaints that have arisen before. But it never rose to the point of demanding action from the administration.
“No one ever formally tried to change it,” said Blanchard.
Eugene, who was one of the founders of the Black Student Union before graduating last year, said she’d heard people talk about the names since she first stepped foot on campus. As a freshman, seniors would tell her that they’d talked about it since they started too.
“This is at least eight to 10 years that people have been talking about it,” she said. “It was just something where people knew what it was and just accepted it rather than start any conflict about it.”
Now, the students say there are two differences: the students have a forum to talk about the issues and an administration interested in listening.
Blanchard, Tran and Eugene said Nicholls President Jay Clune and other administrators have been receptive to their ideas so far.
“Dr. Clune has always made sure he took the initiative to talk to minority students and faculty rather than worrying about what everyone’s thinking,” Eugene said.
Administrators said Clune decided to form the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force charged with creating the draft action plan soon after arriving on campus in January 2018.
Asked why he made inclusion one of his first priorities, Clune pointed to the students, complimenting them on how active they are on campus.
“They deserve to be heard,” he said. “They’re the ones that walk it (campus) more than anyone.”
Clune said the diversity and inclusion plan was one of multiple long-term plans he had the university staff begin to work on, including a new university strategic plan, a facilities master plan and an athletics master plan.
When it comes to renaming the campus’s streets, Clune said he viewed it as Nicholls students reassessing the decision made by students that came before them.
“I would’ve considered the recommendation of the group in 1962, and I will consider the recommendation of the student group in 2019,” he said.
On the draft plan, the target for starting a formal discussion about renaming buildings or streets is by the end of the fall semester.
“This does not addressed renaming,” said Clune. “That’s determined through a process.”
He said that right now they’re in the “listening stage, not in the response stage.”
When buildings like Beauregard and Polk halls were named in 1961, the book “Nicholls State University: The Elkins-Galliano Years, 1948-1983” stated they had to be approved by the state board that governs the school after they were recommended by the then-president of Nicholls. The book was written by retired professor Alfred Delahaye.
Clune said he wanted to be proactive in his approach to discussing how to make campus more inclusive and avoid “knee-jerk reactions” by having a diversity plan.
“I do not think tradition and inclusion are exclusive of one another,” he said. “I think they can going hand in hand.”
Clune declined to provide his own stance on the names of any buildings or streets in an interview on Tuesday. He said he didn’t want it to influence the perceptions of the discussions that committee will have in the future about the issue.
“The president has to be careful to respect the shared governance process,” he said. “You want them to be acknowledged that their time and their input is valuable, and for me to say how I feel right now, it would short-circuit that.”
When it came to the potentially renaming the university, Clune said Nicholls is a brand.
“The school’s name is not up for debate,” he said.
The university is named after Francis T. Nicholls, who served as a Confederate general before becoming a governor and state Supreme Court justice.
In the 1990s, a New Orleans high school named after Francis T. Nicholls purged its ties to the Confederacy and was renamed Frederick Douglass High School. It’s still in operation as a public charter school.
Across the country, universities and cities are reckoning with vestiges of the Confederacy and protesters from both sides of the heritage versus hate debate.
The University of Mississippi’s student government recently voted to recommend the administration remove a Confederate statue from its campus.
Tran and Blanchard said they viewed the discussion of buildings and streets as a starting point.
“I think the university is just trying to cope and figure out what they’re going to do next so it wouldn’t start too much of an uproar,” said Tran.
00 2019-05-20

Nicholls graduation: ‘Your education is just beginning’

About 750 students graduated Saturday from Nicholls State University with inspiration from a successful local business leader.

“Today is an important milestone in your ultimate success, but it is not the end of your journey,” the commencement speaker, Dr. Craig Walker, told the students shortly before receiving their diplomas. “It is my wish that each of your attain your dreams.”

Walker, a 1973 graduate of Nichols, was awarded an honorary doctorate of science degree from the university during the ceremony.

Originally from Bourg, Walker commuted 40 miles to attend Nicholls after graduating from South Terrebonne High School.

“I had dreams, as many of you sitting in the audience today, of ultimately making contributions to humanity, but I had my doubts about my own capabilities,” Walker said.

He later earned is medical degree at the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans and earned fellowships at Ochsner Foundation Hospital in New Orleans and Harvard Medical School.

Walker now owns and operates the Houma-based Cardiovascular Institute of the South.

Encouraged throughout his life to pursue a college degree and education, Walker said his parents made many sacrifices for him and his eight siblings to attend college.

“My father so treasured education that he read extensively each morning and afternoon after working our farm all day. He devoted time to reading the dictionary to improve his vocabulary. He read historical novels, poetry, scientific journals, magazines and an entire newspaper each day,” Walker said. “I clearly remember my father’s words close to graduation, ‘Craig I’m proud of you. This is the beginning, not the end of your education. Education is a lifelong endeavor.’”

Walker said his father repeated the same sentiment upon his graduation from medical school.

“Your education is just beginning,” he said.

One of Nicholls 2019 President’s Medal recipients, Jonathan Bergeron, is hoping to follow the same path. Originally from Chauvin, Bergeron graduated with a 4.0 degree in chemistry and pre-med. Last fall, he scored in the 99th percentile on the MCAT.

Bergeron was also recently recognized by the Louisiana state Legislature for his accomplishments.

He said he chose Nicholls, following in family footsteps, because of the renowned chemistry program.

“My older brother especially, he was in the pre-med program and told me how renowned it was and how intense. They say some of the classes are harder than those in med school,” he said.

Bergeron is still waiting to hear back about medical school acceptance but is hoping to head to New Orleans for the next step in his education.

“I’m excited, I’m going to miss a lot about Nicholls, especially the chemistry department and the research,” Bergeron said. “But I’m excited to move on and see what’s next.”

Kylie Dufrene, a graduating student with a 4.0 GPA also earned the President’s Medal. She chose to stay close to home and go to Nicholls to pursue the nursing program.

“I could have never imagined that I would be at that point,” Dufrene said about earning the medal. “I knew the nursing program would be so competitive, so I needed to get good grades in first place. By the end of first semester, I had all A’s. By next semester, I was on the same track, so I felt like, OK I can get into the program now.”

Dufrene attributed her love of the program to her instructors.

“They went above and beyond just the book knowledge that nursing required. They really wanted to provide a better experience and teach us to get to know patients on personal level,” she said.

With graduation behind her and a nursing degree in hand, Dufrene said she’s hoping to go on to medical school, a dream she realized during her internship at Chabert Medical Center in Houma.

“I encourage each of you to dream big dreams,” Walker said. “Your Nicholls degree does not ensure success or happiness, but it is a great start. Don’t stop now, you can make a difference,” Walker said.

Staff Writer Julia Arenstam can be reached at 448-7636 or julia.arenstam@houmatoday.com. Follow her on Twitter at @JuliaArenstam.

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00 2019-05-20

Three jobs, two master's degrees and many hobbies later, UL student graduates early

At just 21 years old, Jacob LeBlanc graduated with dual master's degrees, and a perfect 4.0, in both business administration and systems technology among his list of activities.

LeBlanc was a graduate assistant at UL while teaching electronics and carpentry courses at South Louisiana Community College. He always had the goal of becoming a professor but had no clue his dream would manifest into two master's degrees by 21.

"I always had the goal to teach at university and I knew I had to get master's in order to teach," LeBlanc said. "I didn't plan on teaching so soon."

LeBlanc is like most other young adults — he's just busier. In the last year he has spent endless hours in the lab for his thesis, worked as a carpenters assistant and played accordion in a band on top of the teaching positions at SLCC.

It's the only way LeBlanc likes to live his life.

"Everything has its allotted place," he said. "There's no other way to live."

He wanted to add carpentry to his list of skills to "ensure that people didn't consider me to be a scholar who doesn't know how to do anything except study books."

For his thesis, he implemented both degrees and focused on sustainable energy sources. Microbial fuel cells ended up the main focus of his 234-page study, and how they can clean water while producing energy.

“It’s very promising because a lot of the wastewater treatment methods require so much energy, and it’s cost intensive," he said "But this method actually produces energy in some situations."

Education has always been a priority to the Scott native. Throughout middle school and high school, he took advanced classes and packed his schedule full. When his 16th birthday came around, he was applying to colleges.

LeBlanc comes from a family with strong ties to UL. His mother, both of his older sisters and his grandmothers graduated from the university, so it was an obvious choice for his undergraduate degree.

He doesn't attribute his ambition to anything in particular, he said, but his two sisters acted as his motivation and support. He took the same advanced classes in middle school and high school as his older sister.

"They provided a good example," he said.

While other college students were wrapping up their freshmen year, LeBlanc was graduating from the University of Louisiana with a bachelor's in industrial technology at 19 years old.

LeBlanc, second from right, is one of the Outstanding Masters' Graduates.
LeBlanc, second from right, is one of the Outstanding Masters' Graduates. (Photo: Rachel Keyes)

Finally, he was able to achieve his goal of earning a master's — but one wasn't enough.

Leblanc had to take three business electives for his systems technology degree. He realized he was only eight courses shy of a master's in business administration and casually decided to take on another master's degree.

“I figured, if I am taking these three, I might as well just finish the rest,” he said.

Despite graduation on Friday, his hectic schedule isn't bound to change. He has already applied to many jobs and — to no one's surprise — is considering going for his doctorate, as well as starting a business.

Before any of that, LeBlanc said, he is traveling to Canada to play accordion at the 2019 Acadian World Congress. He said the instrument is simply "something I picked up on the side"when he was 12 years old to help the weekends pass by.

LeBlanc, who has played the accordion since he was 12, is also in a band traveling to Canada for the 2019 Acadian World Congress.
LeBlanc, who has played the accordion since he was 12, is also in a band traveling to Canada for the 2019 Acadian World Congress. (Photo: Rick Nesbitt)

Contact Victoria Dodge at vdodge@theadvertiser.com or on Twitter @Victoria_Dodge

00 2019-05-20

PHOTOS: UL Class of 2019 graduation

PHOTOS: UL Class of 2019 graduation

00 2019-05-20

UL Lafayette Spring 2019 Commencement marked by several milestones

The numbers were telling at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s 161st Commencement ceremonies Friday at the Cajundome and Convention Center.

The 1,786 degrees awarded to UL Lafayette graduates make the Spring 2019 class “one of the largest in school history,” said Dr. Joseph Savoie, University president, during the General Assembly.

Bachelor’s degrees were presented to 1,535 graduates. Master’s degrees were awarded to 216 graduates. Thirty-three graduates received doctoral degrees. One graduate certificate and one post-baccalaureate certificate were bestowed.

The Spring 2019 class is also one of the most diverse in University history, Savoie said. The 1,109 degrees conferred on women are the most ever awarded to females at a single ceremony.

UL Lafayette also awarded degrees to the second-largest number of African-Americans and Hispanic graduates in University history, Savoie said. A total of 287 degrees were presented to African-American students, and 62 degrees were awarded to Hispanic students.

Spring 2019 graduates represented 50 Louisiana parishes, 34 states and 30 countries. The youngest graduate was 20; the oldest was 63.

Doctoral candidates were hooded at the General Assembly bachelor’s and master’s degrees were conferred at ceremonies that were held at different campus locations.

At the General Assembly, Savoie encouraged graduates to “please take time to thank the people who helped you reach this moment. And in the years ahead, I hope your diplomas will serve as a reminder and an inspiration. Remember the support you were given, then emulate that example by helping someone else realize their ambitions as well.”

Ada Tusa was named UL Lafayette’s Outstanding Graduate. A biology major, she earned a bachelor’s degree from the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences.

Jacob LeBlanc was recognized with the Outstanding Master’s Graduate Award. He received a master’s degree in systems technology.

The 25 undergraduate students who were recognized as summa cum laude graduates for achieving perfect 4.0 grade point averages were the most in University history. They are:

Sarah Elizabeth DiLeo, who majored in performing arts, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of the Arts.
Victoria Louise Roux, who majored in industrial design, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of the Arts.
Zachary Michael Lewis, who majored in finance, received a bachelor’s degree from the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration.
Marylou Major who majored in marketing, received a bachelor’s degree from the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration.
Taylor Elizabeth Bourliea, who majored in secondary education and teaching, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Education.
Nicholas Michael Broussard, who majored in art or music education, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Education.
MiKel Alexis LeBlanc, who majored in early childhood education, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Education.
Alyssa Michele Smith, who majored in early childhood education, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Education.
Derek Matthew Boutin, who majored in electrical engineering, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Engineering.
Chad Anthony Donohue, who majored in chemical engineering, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Engineering.
Kyle Scott Farmer, who majored in chemical engineering, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Engineering.
Jennifer Nicole Thibodeaux, who majored in mechanical engineering, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Engineering.
Elizabeth Amber Daspit, who majored in anthropology, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Liberal Arts.
Jacob Jude Delahoussaye, who majored in political science, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Liberal Arts.
Elizabeth Michelle Hollier, who majored in speech pathology and audiology, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Liberal Arts.
Miranda Lynn Howes, who majored in speech pathology and audiology, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Liberal Arts.
Abigail Gatzy Morton, who majored in political science, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Liberal Arts.
Lexie Ranae Mouton, who majored in speech pathology and audiology, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Liberal Arts.
Lauren Ann Short, who majored in psychology, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Liberal Arts.
Katelynn Maritza Sprague, who majored in mass communication, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Liberal Arts.
Sydney Corryn Escott, who majored in biology, received a bachelor’s degree from the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences.
Hannah Elizabeth Istre, who majored in biology, received a bachelor’s degree from the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences.
Lindsey Claire Schexnailder, who majored in biology, received a bachelor’s degree from the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences.
Ada Francesca Tusa, who majored in biology, received a bachelor’s degree from the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences.
Catherine Rose Weber, who majored in biology, received a bachelor’s degree from the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences.
View a list of Spring 2019 graduates.
00 2019-05-20

Hard work carries first-gen grad from Breaux Bridge to the Brooklyn Bridge

Zachary Wells is in an elite group. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette senior is among just 16 percent of applicants accepted into Columbia Law School’s fall class. The New York City institution is ranked in the nation’s top 5 for law studies.

But the road from Wells’ hometown of Breaux Bridge to the home of the Brooklyn Bridge runs first through the Cajundome.

That's where, at Spring Commencement on Friday, he simultaneously marked two achievements. At the moment he received his bachelor’s degree in accounting, Wells also became the first person in his family to graduate from college.

“I realize how lucky I am,” Wells said. “I am very thankful. This is definitely not just me. It’s teachers and professors believing in me, working hard to see me through. It’s my parents pushing me toward it, constantly reminding me that education is the most important thing you can do. It opens doors that wouldn’t be open.

“I am extremely, acutely aware that it wasn’t just me.”

UL Lafayette defines a first-generation student as one whose parents did not pursue or did not complete a degree program. Like Wells, a quarter of the Spring 2019 graduating class qualifies for the designation.

Neither of Wells’ parents completed high school. His dad was a commercial painter and laborer before becoming a pastor. His mom is a homemaker. Wells said his parents worked hard, so he emulated their examples.

He balanced a rigorous study schedule with off-campus employment — first as a bank teller, then as a runner for a local accounting firm. Earlier this year, he secured an internship in the Lafayette office of Postlethwaite & Netterville.

Thirty hours of prep time for accounting exams weren’t uncommon, Wells recounted. “I would start studying the week before. Do my flashcards and then run through them. I’d read the book and outline it. Make flashcards from the book. Make flashcards from my notes from the lecture.”

But even a wall of flashcards couldn’t ensure a flawless transcript. He earned a solitary B — in an upper-level accounting course, no less. The B stung, he said. “I worked especially hard in that class,” Wells recounted. “Oh, well.” He still maintained a 3.97 GPA.

Positivity is among Wells’ most-notable traits, said Chase Edwards, an attorney and assistant professor of law in the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration. Wells took several courses with Edwards, but the two are connected in another way.

Like Wells, Edwards was the first in his family to go to college. He remembers facing common roadblocks confronted by first-generation students, including self-doubt and an unawareness of resources designed to help him succeed.

“I was that typical first-generation student who didn’t know how to reach out to faculty, so I didn’t really make any connections. Consequently, I missed out on having a mentor, but that’s exactly the reason I proactively reach out to first-gens in my classroom.”

Edwards didn’t have to reach out to Wells. The student came to him. Then a sophomore, Wells approached Edwards following class one day to discuss a journal article the assistant professor had written. Wells had read the 35,000-word piece, and wanted to talk about it.

As the conversation progressed, Edwards asked Wells what he wanted to do after graduation. Wells answered he was considering law school.

Soon, Edwards brought Wells a second-hand Law School Admissions Test study guide. It is similar to the one he used when he prepared for the LSAT. Over the course of his teaching career, Edwards has purchased more than two dozen copies for students who say they want to pursue a law degree.

“A lot of times, whenever I’ll buy one of these books for someone, it may be the only time that anybody literally buys into their success. A lot of times, it makes a world of difference for them,” Edwards said.

“There’s never been anybody I bought that book for who gave up after that.”

Wells certainly didn’t. Edwards would see him between classes, sitting in the second-floor atrium in Moody Hall, poring over the guide.

“He studied, studied, studied. I usually tell someone to expect to take the LSAT twice, but his score came back astronomically high.” The highest possible result is 180; the median for first-time test takers is 150. Wells scored 171, “which is just nuts,” Edwards said.

The results placed him in the exam’s 98th percentile. Initially, Wells had considered law schools within Louisiana. But his score broadened his options. “The world was now his oyster,” Edwards said.

Wells applied to the law schools at Yale, Harvard, Stanford, New York and Columbia universities and the University of Chicago, the top 6 schools to study tax law, his intended field.

In early April, he received an acceptance email from Columbia. He read it once, then again. He recalled thinking: “Did that just happen?” He checked the email a third time.

Wells called his parents. “They were dumbfounded. This is an Ivy League law school!”

Wells left the next day for Columbia’s admitted students orientation. When he returned to Lafayette, he had made two decisions.

The first was sartorial. He needed a suit. Edwards took him shopping. They chose a versatile blue one, and a number of shirts and tie combinations to match.

Second, after hearing a speaker at the conference discuss human rights, Wells decided that was the avenue for him rather than tax law. He was interested in such causes before, but the panel convinced him that he “could do more for the world” by litigating human rights issues, he said.

Edwards’ wasn’t surprised when Wells told him of his new intended path. “He’s the guy you know is always going to make the right decisions. He’s just a solid person. If my two sons grow up to be like him, I’ll be proud as hell.

“Zach is the clearest proof that I’ve seen that grit and determination can still take you all the way to the top of the ladder.”
00 2019-05-20
Lake Charles


Little receives excellence award

BATON ROUGE — Donna Little, director of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University, received the Region VI Louisiana Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Center Award.

“LED appreciates the opportunity to congratulate and recognize some of our best during National Small Business Week,” Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson said. “Small businesses account for more than 97 percent of all employers in Louisiana, and they employ more than half of our private-sector workforce. Louisiana is fortunate to have so many enterprising and innovative business leaders. Their efforts are vital to the continued vitality of our state’s economy.”

Leonards, Holt

elected by LBA

BATON ROUGE — Carly Leonards of JD Bank in Jennings has been elected chairman-elect of the Louisiana Bankers Association’s 2020 board of directors.

Delegates to the recent LBA convention also elected Justin Holt of Lakeside Bank in Lake Charles as the Southwest region director.

Founded in 1900, the LBA’s mission is to help banks grow and prosper in Louisiana. For more than 119 years, the LBA has provided Louisiana’s bankers with top-quality professional development, revenue-enhancing products and services, governmental relations and public advocacy.

Finley asssumes bank leadership role

Gina Finley has been named assistant vice president of Merchants & Farmers Bank. She will work from the bank’s Nelson Road location.

With more than 18 years of experience, Finley has worn many hats in the banking industry including universal utility banker, loan processor, in-store branch supervisor,retail deposit specialist, CSR and teller. Her new responsibilities will include providing customer service for the retail banking business of prospective and existing customers, opening of new accounts, implementing personal banking concepts through the sale of other retail banking services including remote deposit capture/cash management, and management of tellers.

Finley is a resident of Southwest Louisiana and a graduate of LaGrange High School.

Miller named Young Professional of Year

NEW ORLEANS — The Louisiana Credit Union League’s Young Professionals Network has presented Chad Miller from the Southwest Louisiana Credit Union with the first Young Professional of the Year Award.

The award recognizes an individual 18-40 years of age who has been exceptionally supportive of the Louisiana credit union movement over the past year. The individual enhances teamwork in the organization, inspiring others as a direct result of their dedication and leadership.

From his first role as a loan officer to his current role as COO, Miller has fully embraced the mission and passion as a credit union employee and committee member within YPN. He has earned Credit Union Compliance Expert and Credit Union Certified Financial Counselor designations. He was also featured in a recent LCUL publication about his experience as a first-time homeowner and how he applied his learnings from LCUL’s Financial Counselor Course to the home buying process.

Hinson named chief

financial officer

KINDER — Coushatta Casino Resort has named Greg Hinson as its new chief financial officer.

Hinson comes to Coushatta most recently from Margaritaville Resort Casino in Boisser City as its vice president of finance and administration.

He brings over 30 years of diverse finance and operations experience, including 13 years in the gaming industry. He also served in the Greenville, Miss., Tunica, Miss., St. Louis and Atlantic City markets.

As chief financial officer, he will oversee all aspects of the resort’s finance and compliance functions, including accounting, cage and credit, revenue audit, purchasing, treasury/cash management and regulatory compliance.

He and his wife, Amy, have three children.
00 2019-05-20
Lake Charles

McNeese spring graduates receive honor designations

Thirty-four McNeese State University students received the Summa Cum Laude (3.90-4.00) designation in spring commencement ceremonies held Saturday, May 11, at Burton Coliseum.

Eight students were recognized for earning a 4.0 GPA throughout their college careers: Alexis N. DeLeo, Haughton, in mathematical sciences; Yenifer V. Flores, San Miguel, El Salvador, in history; Haile M. Gilroy, Lake Charles, in mathematical sciences; Chukwuemeka O. Ike, Lekki, Nigeria, in engineering; Danielle Nicole John, Sulphur, in psychology; Bryan D. King, Parker, Colorado, in natural resource conservation management; Molly Kate Thompson, Rosepine, in English; and Morgan M. Woods, Lake Arthur, in elementary education.

The other honor students recognized were:

Summa Cum Laude: Randi Layne Adams, Longville; Abdulrazaq Ibrahim N Alanazi, Alqurayyate, Saudi Arabia; Cassidy Blair Ardoin, Welsh; Layna Grey Bergstedt, Lake Charles; Nicholas F. Bienvenu, New Iberia; Camille G. Boullion, Lake Charles; Sarah E. Brignac, Washington; Amy Renee Darbonne, Lake Charles; Jennifer M. Doucet, Arnaudville; Austin T. Dufrene, Lake Charles; Zahaan Eswani, Toronto, Canada; Elizabeth E. Gober, Lake Charles; Kelsie R. Guillory, Mamou; Levi C. Leger, Crowley; Alexandra Christine Liles, Lake Charles; Miah Shaye Lognion, DeRidder; Emily C. Lucas, Crowley; Kennedy B. McLemore, Lake Charles; Kimberly Danielle Medicis, Lake Charles; Everett Miller, Haughton; Darko Radakovic, Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Katelyn M. Richard, Kaplan; Robert Waltler Rutz, Lake Charles; Rachel M. Stevenson, Slidell; Esther A. Thompson, Lake Charles; and Rachel Marie Zachary, Sulphur.

Magna Cum Laude (3.70-3.89): Collin Brice Adams, Lake Charles; Afaf Suwayyid N. Alanazi, Alqurayyate, Saudi Arabia; Inez E. Ange, Lake Charles; Jaycey Ann Beard, Eagle, Colorado; Nicholas R. Bedwell, Killeen, Texas; Sara Blythe Bohannon, Sulphur; Lindsey A. Bower, Lake Charles; Jacob A. Bridges, Sulphur; Emily Ann Burleigh, Iowa; Sophie E. Campbell, Lake Charles; Canon Cart, Lake Charles; Cody A. Caswell, Lake Charles; Courtney P. Ceasar, Eunice; Gavin Zane Conley, Lake Charles; Ada G. Crochet, Westlake; Faren R. Daigle, Lake Charles; Hannah C. Dartez, Jennings; Madison A. David, Rayne; Alyssa Gabrielle Derouen, Sulphur; Emily Claire Dickerson, Lake Charles; Tea B. Dickerson, Lake Charles; Charoline Erlandsson, Stockholm, Sweden; Nanci Kaye Evans, DeQuincy; Avery Fliger, Baschor, Kansas; Morgan C. Foreman, Lake Charles; Shianne N. Fuslier, Lake Charles; Rebecca Mia Gill, Sulphur; Courtnee C. Green, Youngsville; Audrey L. Harris, Grand Lake; Madalyn E. Hebert, Lake Charles; Jessica Leigh Ramsey Ivey, Longville; Delaney Kaye Jackson, Roanoke; Reygan A. Jagneaux, Ville Platte; Aaron L. Johnson, Mamou; Jeffery Michael Knapick, Houston, Texas; Devyn A. Knippers, Sulphur; Tara Deneen LaBruyere, Longville; Celeste M. Lee, Sulphur; Jennifer E. Link, Lafayette; Brittany Nicole Long, Lumberton, Texas; Mia M. Manzanares, Opelousas; Janae R. Maricle, Leesville; Julianne Grace Marler, Lake Charles; Kaleb C. Mc-Dade, DeRidder; Grace Maria McKenzie, Cork, Ireland; Cody J. Miller, Lake Charles; Mallory E. Myers, Jennings; Monica Thao My Nguyen, Vinton; Nathanael Seth Nicholas, Lake Charles; Ashley N. Petry, Lake Charles; Austin J. Pottorff, Sulphur; Crosby Dylan Qui, Lake Charles; Ana Karen Reyes, Groves, Texas; Laura Marie Schmid, Crowley; Darian N. Seago, Lake Charles; Thomas A. Spagnoli, Houston, Texas; Caleb A. Stanley, Lake Charles; Jacob C. Stark, Grant; Elizabeth N. Stretcher, Jennings; Sandra Lynn Theriot, Lake Charles; Shay M. Walker, Lacassine; and Kaitlin Denise Wheeler, Sulphur.

Cum Laude (3.50-3.69): Faisal Ibrahim Nasser Alqahtani, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Jordan B. Ashworth, Lake Charles; Kara Lauren Ashworth, Lake Charles; Madison B. Augustine, Fenton; Anne C. Breaux, Lake Charles; Lauren G. Breaux, Sulphur; Gabrielle K. Briscoe, Welsh; Bradley G. Bryant, Lake Charles; Brett J. Bullard, Lake Charles; Kelly Noel Caldarera, Lake Charles; Hannah A. Canter, Holmwood; Brentney A. Carroll, Slidell; Miranda G. Charles, Lake Charles; Maddison M. Cholley, Sulphur; Jacob G. Cochran, Lake Charles; Jordan Coe, Lake Charles; Michael Warren Cutrer, Sulphur; Rhett Deaton, Winnsboro, Texas; Haley Noelle Delaunais, Lake Charles; Kyle Brent Delino, Iowa; Taylor S. Duhon, Lake Arthur; Ty D. Ellender, Lake Charles; Erin E. Green, Thibodaux; Rosalie Clare Guinn, Jennings; Morgan F. Hardey, Westlake; Haley M. Harless, Lake Charles; Julia L. Hebert, Bell City; Emily Kathryn Hendricks, Welsh; Megan E. Holmes, Wildomar, California; Kevin T. Istre, Lake Charles; Caitlin E. Johnson, DeRidder; Prajwal Khatiwada, Hetauda, Nepal; Sarah Nicole Kidder, Orange, Texas; Michelle A. Klein, Lake Charles; Kennedy R. Kober, Iowa; James Eric Lasher, Lake Charles; Katie Nicole Lee, Groves, Texas; Mary E. Leonards, Basile; Collier Thomas Litel, Lake Charles; Shelby R. Matte, DeQuincy; Nicklas Mattner, Braunschweig, Germany; Emilee M. Mayes, Deer Park, Texas; Morgan P. Middleton, Frisco, Texas; Kaylee J. Moody, Sulphur; Brant A. Morton, Westlake; Savannah D. Moses, DeRidder; Emily Lorice Northcutt, Lake Charles; Huanrong Ouyang, Guangzhou, China; Meiyi Pan, Shenshen, China; Nola R. Prickett, Hemet, California; Latoshua Mabre Bergeron, Breaux Bridge; Muneeza Qureshi, Lake Charles; Brandi LeJeune Reed, Gueydan; Michael A. Reed, Lake Charles; Elliott L. Reeves, Dry Creek; Thaddeus D. Richard, Eunice; Steven Aaron Robinson, Katy, Texas; Toni N. Romero, Welsh; Rebecca T. Smith, Many; Christine M. Stephens, Sulphur; Veronica A. Stewart, Lake Charles; Shereen K. Taha, Lake Charles; Cody L. Thibodeaux, DeQuincy; Lorita A. Thomas, Lake Charles; Danielle Kay Thompson, Lake Charles; Jolie A. Trahan, Hackberry; Taylor M. Trahan, Lake Charles; Jordan Mark Warren, Vacherie; Lauren Bailey Woods, Sulphur; Lauren R. Wyble, Opelousas; Madie B. Young, Basile; and Heidi D. Zaunbrecher, Hayes.

See this article in the e-Edition Here
00 2019-05-20
Lake Charles

McNeese student awarded research internship

Biological science major Tanner Marceaux of Lake Charles will be spending his summer in Bethesda, Md., to participate in a prestigious 10-week internship at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

This is the 16th year students from McNeese have been awarded the research internship. The internship is competitive, as students are selected based on academic performance, as well as faculty interviews and recommendations.

For those students who are looking to work in the health sciences field, this internship offers an unparalleled opportunity, according to biology department head Dr. William Dees.

“Students get the chance to work at a premiere research institution and network with experienced medical professionals,” Dees said. “With USUHS located not far from the National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine, students can also attend seminars and presentations on current medical research, as well as gain a historical perspective on how far medical research has come.”

McNeese honor grad list, A4

For the internship, Marceaux will be studying how infectious disease pathogens affect organisms. Focused on microbiology and molecular biology, Marceaux’s work will involve a variety of tests and experiments, as well as investigating therapies that can go towards immediate treatment and vaccine development.

“I would like to go on to medical school, and I think this internship is really going to help prepare me for that,” Marceaux said. “I’m excited for this opportunity to work in a world class lab and get hands-on experience with the research and development process.”

McNeese students who were selected for this internship have gone on to become successful health care professionals and research scientists. Among them: Dr. Raphiel Heard (USUHS intern 2007) received his Doctor of Medicine degree from LSU Medical School in Shreveport and is now an internist in Richmond, Va.; Dr. Michael Authement (USUHS intern 2010) received a doctorate in neuroscience from USUHS and is now a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; Dr. Tod Guidry (USUHS intern 2011) received his doctorate in microbiology and immunology from LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport and was selected for a science policy fellowship with the American Association for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C.; Allison (Fusilier) Manuel (USUHS intern 2014) and Caleb Ardizzone (USUHS intern 2016) are doctoral students at the University of Alabama-Birmingham and LSUHSC-New Orleans, respectively; and Robert Rutz (USUHS intern 2018) will attend LSU Medical School in Shreveport this coming fall.

Dees said the internship experience has had a profound positive impact on McNeese students.

“Students selected for this internship have the opportunity to explore and learn about medical research and careers in the health sciences. Findings from the research conducted during these internships are presented by the students at state and national scientific conferences. Such engagement with the scientific community helps our students build confidence in their academic abilities and opens doors for exceptional opportunities,” he said.

Ashlee Lhamon is a graduate assistant at McNeese State University.

‘I’m excited for this opportunity to work in a world class lab...’
Tanner Marceaux
McNeese student
00 2019-05-20

Veteran submariner Johnny Hays gains college degree more than 50 years later

It was one of those life changing decisions. Johnny Hays of Keithville left Northwestern State University for the Navy more than 50 years ago.

But everything just came full circle, you might say.

Johnny finally got a college diploma last week, thanks to a national program called Win-Win, which determines whether a student or former student has enough requirements for an associates' degree.

"There's feelings you can't describe," Johnny says of getting that diploma. "Here was something that you worked for at one time. All of a sudden it drops back on you."

Johnny was just 12 hours short of an ag degree. But as he talked with potential employers, something always came up.

"Everywhere I went, the few interviews I had, they asked do you have military service," Johnny recalls.

So Johnny left school for the Navy. Figured he'd come back to finish his degree and get on with life. He volunteered for submarine duty. Hit the books hard to become a machinist mate on a fast attack nuclear powered sub, where he manned the engine room and monitored the nuclear system.

In the Cold War days around 1970, his sub cruised mostly in the Pacific, tracking Soviet subs, disappearring behind them in the cone of silence.

"They couldn't track us. They couldn't find us. But they knew we were there," he says. "Every now and then we'd pop up and let 'em know we were there. And then disappear. They'd tried to find us. And not gonna happen," he added with a laugh.

Except when the Soviets would pull a Crazy Ivan, as dramatized in the movie "The Hunt for Red October." The Soviets would turn sharply to see if an American sub was behind them.

Johnny says such an encounter led to a frightful near miss, as the Soviet sub came back around full circle.

"Once I counted the turns of the screw on a Russian sub as they went across us. They missed us by, I understand, less than 20 feet according to the sonar tech. That was scary. If they had broadsided us and everything I'd be looking at you from above probably," he said with another chuckle.

Johnny thought about making the Navy a career. But six years of life mostly underwater was too hard on his young family.

"I spent two Christmases below 600 feet, wasn't with my family," he says.

Johnny left the Navy. But instead of finishing college, he went to work at Shreveport's GM plant for almost three decades. Then while in semi-retirement came news that NSU could hand him that degree.

He even got to graduate from NSU with his grandson.

"Oh, that was a hoot," Johnny says.

Call it Johnny's version of a Crazy Ivan.

"This is part of my life that I've completed and it's a wonderful feeling," he beamed.

Johnny admits that if he would've studied as hard at NSU as he did in the Navy, he might've wound up with a Master's Degree, and a completely different life. But that would've meant he wouldn't have that grandson, or the rest of his family.

He likes the way it turned out.
00 2019-05-20

COES inducts nearly 100 'Order of the Engineer' members

The College of Engineering and Science at Louisiana Tech University is pleased to announce Carli Whitfield of Waskom as one of its Order of the Engineer inductees for the Spring of 2019.

The Order of the Engineer is a national organization that is dedicated to upholding the standards and dignity of the engineering profession.

It is open to engineering seniors and graduates from colleges with ABET accredited curricula, registered professional engineers and special engineers throughout the United States.

During the induction ceremony, initiates received a stainless steel ring to wear on the fifth finger of the working hand and accepted the Obligation of the Engineer, a code of ethics that promotes honesty and integrity in engineering professions.

The Louisiana Tech inductees join a dedicated and prestigious group of engineers from across the nation

That number includes a number of Louisiana Tech graduates.

This year, the College has inducted 93 new members.
00 2019-05-20

Keeping the playbook alive: Grambling honors legacy of coach Eddie Robinson

00 2019-05-20

University of Louisiana Monroe 2019 graduates

The following students were awarded degrees at the University of Louisiana Monroe Spring 2019 Commencement on May 11, 2019.

DeSoto Parish

Frierson: Miranda June Lambert, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

Mansfield: Jasmine Cherelle Montgomery, Master of Science in Psychology and Master of Arts in Criminal Justice.

Caddo Parish

Keithville: Jeffrey Robert Berry, Bachelor of Business Administration in Management; Emily Paige Procell, Bachelor of Science in Nursing in Nursing.

Shreveport: William Branden Bowers, Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D) in Professional Pharmacy; Blake Andrew Buckman, Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting*; Erin Imani Campbell, Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology; Katelyn Renee Candler, Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D) in Professional Pharmacy; Madison Elizabeth Crusan, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science‡; Hannah Mckay Cruz, Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction; Shakayla Nicole Freeman, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology*; Julia Elizabeth Gaston, Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting*; Paige M. Gipson, Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene; Abigail Ma Xugong Gould, Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D) in Professional Pharmacy; Dominique Renea Hayes, Bachelor of Science in Biology; John Coleman Windham Horn, Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology; Brittany Johns, Bachelor of Science in Health Studies: Health Care Mgt. & Mktg.; Jakerick M. Johnson, Bachelor of Science in Biology; Tenerica Lashion Madison, Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D) in Professional Pharmacy; Eryn Denay Robertson, Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology; Yuvonne Dominique Robinson, Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance; Kristie Kay Stansell, Bachelor of General Studies in General Studies; Tiana Trashon Thompson, Bachelor of Arts in Communication; Kenny Tran, Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D) in Professional Pharmacy; Cecelia Elise Vergo, Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D) in Professional Pharmacy*; Cory Denard Walker Jr., Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology; Jerimee Demetris Washington, Bachelor of Arts in Communication; Jessica L. Watkins, Bachelor of Science in Health Studies: Health Care Mgt. &Mktg.

Vivian: Amber Jade Hartzo, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

Bossier Parish

Benton: Kayla Nicole Dinkins, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education*, Caleb R. Spain, Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Administration*, Donovan L. Stewart, Bachelor of Science in Construction Management.

Bossier City: Khristian Xavier Albert, Bachelor of Arts in Communication; Tabitha Faye Baker, Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Administration; Vincent Michael Capuano, Bachelor of Arts in Communication; John Edward Lee Dunford, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science†; John Edward Forsythe III, Bachelor of Science in Aviation†; Erica Alessandra Garcia, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art†; Haley Marie George, Bachelor of Science in Nursing in Nursing; Ashley N. Hall, Bachelor of Science in Toxicology; Damascus Davante Jacobs, Master of Science in Biology; Amanda Michele Johnston, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology; Heather Nicole Medaries, Bachelor of Science in Health Studies: Health Care Mgt. & Mktg.; Raquel Pilar Metcalf, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology†; Kelsi Sullivan Mitchell, Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D) in Professional Pharmacy; Alexander Madison Mize, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science; Ryan Christopher Phillips, Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice*; Janae Marie Richardson, Bachelor of Science in Nursing in Nursing; Kaylee Lynn Roblow-Law, Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice; Erika Loren Strozier, Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology; Joseph Hunter Walker, Bachelor of Business Admin in Risk Management & Insurance*; Naadia Nicole West, Master of Science in Biology.

Haughton: Andrew Tyler Beene, Bachelor of Science in Construction Management; Zachary A. Beene, Bachelor of Science in Construction Management; Lauren Taylor Frazier, Bachelor of Science in Toxicology*; Cameron Van Gay, Bachelor of Arts in English†; Jessica Nicole Hawkins, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology*; Benjamin Anthony Rhodes, Bachelor of Arts in English*; Randall Jordan Roberson, Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene†.

Plain Dealing: Millie Ann Baldwin, Bachelor of Arts in English*.

Bienville Parish

Castor: Mallory Ann Mccarthy, Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene†.

Gibsland: Charaveon Tubbs, Bachelor of Science in Health Studies: Health Care Mgt. & Mktg.

Jamestown: Ashley N. Temple, Bachelor of Science in Nursing In Nursing*.

Ringgold: Jacob Tyler Hay, Bachelor of Science in Construction Management.
00 2019-05-20

New cybersecurity education center coming to Louisiana college

BOSSIER CITY, La. (WAFB) - Officials announced a new cybersecurity partnership that will help bolster Louisiana’s I-20 Cyber Corridor.

The partnership, which will create the state’s first cybersecurity education center, was announced Tuesday during a ceremony at the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City. Chancellor Rick Bateman of Bossier Parish Community College and Chief Operations Officer Bryan Dickens of Cybint Solutions Inc. had signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop the cyber center at Bossier Parish Community College’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Technology.

“Well over a decade ago, the leaders of Northwest Louisiana joined the State of Louisiana in creating the Cyber Innovation Center as an anchor of the 3,000-acre National Cyber Research Park here in Bossier City,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards, who also attended the ceremony. “Today, GDIT employs 800 cybersecurity professionals here because of that effort, we have a major STEM Building serving students and veterans, and shared by Bossier Parish Community College and Louisiana Tech University. We have established an I-20 Cyber Corridor stretching from this cyber hub, and the Global Strike Command of Barksdale Air Force Base, to the Fortune 500 headquarters of CenturyLink in Monroe. Today, we’re assembling another strategic asset that will make Louisiana a national and global leader in cybersecurity.”

The BPCC building will host ongoing cybersecurity training, credential coursework, and field exercises on a virtual cyber range. The program will also provide resources for those who want to take online training.

A late 2017 report the Commerce and Homeland Security departments identified 300,000 active openings for cyber-related jobs in the U.S. The report projected a global shortage of 1.8 million cyber jobs by 2022.

President Craig Spohn of the Cyber Innovation Center said the new partnership will benefit the U.S. military as it modernizes missions in the future. Barksdale’s Global Strike Command, located at Barksdale Air Force Base, could be a key beneficiary.

Over the next several months, BPCC and Cybint Solutions will begin establishing the center, which includes developing curriculum and building a financial model for revenue sharing.

The partnership represents another technology development since Governor John Bel Edwards and his delegation last October went on an economic development mission to Israel. During the trip, Edwards met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a meeting that focused on defense and cyber security.

Earlier this year, Edwards announced the formation of an Innovation and Integration Lab in Baton Rouge, a partnership of LSU’s Stephenson Technologies Corp. and Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. For the Bossier partnership, Cybint Solutions is based in New York but has its roots in cyber solutions developed by Israeli Defense Forces veterans and industry professionals. Discussions in Israel between Gov. Edwards and Cybint Solutions helped bring about the cyber center partnership in Northwest Louisiana.

Copyright 2019 WAFB. All rights reserved.
00 2019-05-20

Before GSU, LaTech face off on gridiron, they’ll team up to help 2 nonprofits

LINCOLN PARISH, La. (KSLA) - Only once have the Grambling State Tigers and Louisiana Tech Bulldogs met on the football field.

That will change come early September, when the teams square off for the first time in their home parish, Lincoln.

GSU will be looking to settle a 19-year-old score.

But three months before the two football squads again become gridiron foes, they’ll join forces to help MedCamps of Louisiana and the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Louisiana.

The Tigers and Bulldogs together will engage in the community service project June 4.

“This is a great event for bringing the two communities together. And I am looking forward to these two programs gathering in the name of sportsmanship and community,” LaTech head coach Skip Holtz says in a statement announcing the project.

The next day, Holtz and Grambling State head coach Broderick Fobbs will host a kickoff luncheon at the Ruston Civic Center in Ruston.

All proceeds from ticket sales will go directly to the two charities.

“We are excited to share this opportunity with Louisiana Tech and the community in Lincoln Parish,” Fobbs says in the statement. “While we look forward to our football game on Sept. 7, we also wanted to share this outstanding community service engagement to help those at the Boys and Girls Club, as well as MedCamps.”

It was the evening of Sept. 4, 2010, when the two Lincoln Parish teams went head to head in the inaugural Port City Classic in Shreveport’s Independence Stadium.

LaTech bested Grambling State 20-6 in the season opener.

This time, the Tigers will have to travel but a mere handful of miles east for the meet-up in LaTech’s Joe Aillet Stadium.

Grambling State will be coming off a 6-5 season.

LaTech ended 2018 with an 8-5 record and beat the University of Hawaii, 31-14, in the Hawaii Bowl to become one of only two programs in the nation with five consecutive bowl wins.

Fobbs says he’s are anticipating a hard-fought, well-respected football game Sept. 7.

Tickets to the kickoff luncheon June 5 cost $40 per person, $250 for a table for eight people. They can be purchased by clicking here or by calling the Louisiana Tech ticket office at (318) 257-3631.

Tickets to the Sept. 7 game between Louisiana Tech and Grambling State will go on sale June 3.

[Source: LaTechsports.com]
[Source: LaTechsports.com]
Copyright 2019 KSLA. All rights reserved.
00 2019-05-17
Baton Rouge

Bill would make prosecuting hazing cases easier

By Matt Houston | May 15, 2019 at 7:50 PM CDT - Updated May 15 at 7:50 PM
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The House’s education committee approved a bill Wednesday, May 15 that would require campus organizations and university officials to contact law enforcement as soon as they learn of any hazing allegations.

Under current law, organizations have 14 days to conduct an internal investigation to determine the accuracy of those allegations before notifying law enforcement. University officials are essentially excluded from that law and do not have to make initial reports to law enforcement, though they are expected to cooperate with investigations.

BILL WATCH 2019: What’s what during the 2019 Louisiana Legislative Regular Session
“Fourteen days is just way too long,” East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore said. “The quicker law enforcement can reach out and capture social social media and cell phone information and locate witnesses to get statements from them... it’s important.”

East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore
East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore (Source: WAFB)
Moore noted that organization members are typically not comfortable offering witness testimony that might incriminate a fellow member, meaning physical evidence is especially important to the prosecution’s case.

But during a 14-day grace period, Moore says forensic evidence can wash away and students can delete potentially incriminating texts or videos.

“That’s what law enforcement was telling me was causing some issues,” said Rep. Nancy Landry, R-Lafayette.

Landry’s bill would require any organization officer or representative and any university official to report hazing allegations to police immediately after they’re made aware of the rumors, punishable by a $10,000 fine for failing to do so.

(Source: WAFB)
“Accountability is important in everything that we do,” UL System President Jim Henderson said. “It’s important that we send that lesson to our students to prepare them for what comes after college.”

The committee approved the bill without much debate. It now heads to the House floor, though it could be dual-referred to the Criminal Justice Committee before it reaches the Senate.
00 2019-05-17

One of the oldest buildings on UL's campus is getting a makeover

Geoff Thompson is a man with many titles and more than 15 years of restoration experience. But the most important job for Thompson now is revamping the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's Roy House.

He's using all of his experience — carpentry, custom furniture creation, pottery and sculpture, architectural salvaging, and historical conservation — to restore the House. And he's helping to raise money for the effort.

Geoff Thompson stands next to a column on The Roy House porch. He has already restored the rotted wood at the bottom, maintaining the original design.
Geoff Thompson stands next to a column on The Roy House porch. He has already restored the rotted wood at the bottom, maintaining the original design. (Photo: Victoria Dodge)

"And it’s not just a job for me," he said.

What started as a side job while studying pottery and sculpture at the University of The Arts in Philadelphia to help Thompson pay for college transformed into a full-fledged restoration business.

He landed in Louisiana four years ago after his wife, Kimberley Southwick-Thompson, was accepted at UL to finish her doctorate in English.

After a slow start with his business, he revamped most of the homes at Vermilionville.

"It really helped me understand the Acadian culture," Thompson said. "I started to understand the way they built things here with the different seasons, environment. The way weather effects the structure, ways they would mediate that."

History of the home
The Roy House was built in 1901, the same year students started attending what was then Southern Louisiana Industrial Institute. J. Arthur Roy built and lived in the home, all while being one of the first board members for the university.

Since then, the Roy House has been many things — apartments, a meeting place for the debate team and even a frat house.

Now the home, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, is becoming the face of The Center for Louisiana Studies, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's press and research center for all things Cajun.

The Center, which opened in 1973, publishes all of the research and books coming out of UL with more than 100 current titles in print. Josh Caffery, director of the Center, called it a "humanity center focused on Louisiana."

The home was one of the first in Lafayette to have indoor plumbing, and Caffery joked that it is now the oldest plumbing in the city.

So clearly the historic building needs a little work. That's where Thompson comes in.

Restoration efforts underway at The Roy House, One of the oldest buildings on UL's campus. Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
Restoration efforts underway at The Roy House, One of the oldest buildings on UL's campus. Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (Photo: SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network)

How Thompson operates
When he stepped into the home for the first time, Thompson said, he was giddy with excitement. He said the interior is "remarkably intact" despite all the title's the home has held since being built.

"The point of my work is that you can't tell I actually did anything," he said, adding that salvaging wood and other old items is a top priority for him.

"I come from an art background. And a furniture maker as well so I love the detail.”

He's confident in his ability to return the late Victorian characteristics back to their original luster. It might take almost as long to remove the lead paint off the windows as it took to originally make them he said. But he knows it's worth it.

“You couldn’t make this again," Thompson said. "No one could afford to do all this level of detail."

After touring the home, Thompson said, he made it his goal to be chosen by the university to revamp one of the oldest buildings on campus. Three years and two bid efforts later, he said he became the lucky carpenter to get the job.

Part of the job is about fundraising. In total, the restoration will be $800,000, but so far only $300,000 has been raised. Last week, Thompson spent some of his afternoons giving presentations to possible donors. From the beginning, he said, he's wanted to be involved in every aspect of rebuilding the home, especially encouraging philanthropy.

"I said 'Hey look, let me help (the Center) with the fundraising,' because hopefully they know someone has an invested interest in this and it's not just a job," he said.

Starting the restoration
Rot that started in the porch had crept it's way into the foundation. The first thing Thompson did when the project started in February was lift part of the house and fix the structural damage — this time with treated lumber. He said that was just a tenth of the work needed to be done.

Humidity has not been kind to the home, however, especially the flocked wallpaper. The velvet-like decorate encroaches on the rooms, peeling and hanging off the shellacked wood. Thompson admitted the wallpaper can't be saved, but will be framed and placed around the home as a homage to the history of the mansion.

Restoration efforts underway at The Roy House, One of the oldest buildings on UL's campus. Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
Restoration efforts underway at The Roy House, One of the oldest buildings on UL's campus. Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (Photo: SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network)

"It’s not quite building the whole place but to modernize it so they can use it," he said. "Quite a few things have to be tweaked to be able to use it.”

Now when he sees the home, he no longer feels a mix of daunting eagerness. It's just simply exhilaration.

"I feel pretty good right now," Thompson said. "The structure is more stable than ever. The stuff that was really worrying me about the structure is fixed. Now it's just assembly, painting, putting everything together."

Thompson's and the center's main goal is to preserve the history of the home and make it last another 100 years, which will take many modern updates. Simple things like air conditioning are not in the home and he said at least a third of the changes are mechanical. All of the changes and restorations are done with the building in mind, keeping the integrity of the original design.

"It’s a beautiful house; it’s a landmark here," Thompson said. "It’s worth going through the effort of trying to preserve it, trying to maintain its integrity so it doesn’t happen again.”

Restoration efforts underway at The Roy House, One of the oldest buildings on UL's campus. Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
Restoration efforts underway at The Roy House, One of the oldest buildings on UL's campus. Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (Photo: SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network)

Contact Victoria Dodge at vdodge@theadvertiser.com or on Twitter @Victoria_Dodge.

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00 2019-05-17

La. Tech is taking a patient approach to rebuild

Louisiana Tech fans can expect a fairly lengthy wait before seeing construction begin on athletic facilities damaged or destroyed from the EF-3 tornado that hit Ruston April 25, according to Tech athletic director Tommy McClelland

Speaking recently at the Tech Advancement Group’s Tech and Tails event at the Bossier Civic Center, McClelland said the goal is to get the rebuild right.

“If we try to hurry up to rebuild, then we might not recruit the necessary money to do it the right way,” McClelland said. “Patience in this case, is what we have to exhibit. That’s not always something I’m good at. But we have a great team, obviously starting with our president. We’ve brought in outside council, people who have gone through this with FEMA before.”

Louisiana Tech Tommy McClelland speaks to the media prior to the TAG's Tech and Tails event recently at the Bossier Civic Center.
Louisiana Tech Tommy McClelland speaks to the media prior to the TAG's Tech and Tails event recently at the Bossier Civic Center. (Photo: Jimmy Watson/The Times)

In addition to killing two people, the tornado did significant damage to Tech’s soccer, tennis, softball and baseball facilities. McClelland didn’t disclose financial numbers for how much damage was done, or what the replacement costs will be, but he did talk about where needed funds will come from.

“It’s a combination of what the facility was insured for, what is the gap in terms of the replacement cost — what’s the insurance pays versus the replacement cost — to build back the same facility,” McClelland said. “Then that’s where FEMA and the State of Louisiana come into play in funding back those facilities.”

Louisiana Tech softball coach Mark Montgomery details his team's response to dealing with the aftermath of the tornado. Cory Diaz, bdiaz@thenewsstar.com

Those three sources may not be only part of the equation as planning continues on rebuilding.

“Certainly as we begin to lay out that vision, it doesn’t rule out there could be some additional philanthropic support that comes in to take us to an even different level as we look to rebuild our facilities,” McClelland said.

There has been some discussion about moving the baseball field to another location, maybe one that allows for an expanded parking area for fans. But nothing can be set in stone until the total money available is known.

“Part of that is how much are we going to gain. If we get what we think we can get, then it opens up more possibilities,” McClelland said. “If not, building back in the exact same spots would allow us to have that.”

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)

McClelland said it will be important to do what’s best for each individual sport,
what’s best for the athletic department and what’s best for the campus as a whole.

“(President Les) Guice is a very strategic thinking president. We’ve been undergoing strategic initiatives and facility master plans since he’s been at Tech,” continued McClelland. “In light of all those conversations, how does all this fit in?”

Many Tech fans felt comfortable with the facilities that are now unusable and are impatient about knowing when replacements will start rising from the earth.

“We’ve yet to share what it could be. If we do decide to go in a different direction on locations, there will be renderings and opportunities to gravitate to what the vision is,” McClelland said. “At the end of the day we could end up being back at the same locations, but it’s going to be what’s in the best interest of the campus.”

Twitter: @JimmyWatson6
00 2019-05-17

Feed Your Soul: ULM Schulze Dining Hall

00 2019-05-17

Emergency preparedness for local universities

(KNOE) - After the deadly tornado went through Louisiana Tech University's campus a few weeks ago, their emergency response team says they were ready because they prepare year-round.

Election security / Source: MGN
Louisiana Tech says their emergency response team is comprised of faculty that are trained to respond to dangerous situations. They say they meet with local law enforcement throughout Lincoln Parish multiple times a year to go through possible emergency scenarios.

Officials say they have pre-scripted messages for things like weather events to make sure they can get the message out to students and faculty as fast as possible across social media, email and text messages.

"To the credit really of the weather services in our region, we knew it was coming, we could see it,” says Jim King, the Vice President for Student Advancement at Louisiana Tech. “We began notifications relatively early just alerting people as it began unfolding, and they had predicted it fairly accurately so we were able to prepare the university."

In the wake of the tornado, they say they're already looking at ways to improve their response to something like that in the future. They say during the storm many places were without power, so for future events, they now have heavy-duty phone chargers for every member of the emergency response team.

They say they’re also looking at getting ID badges for members of their team so that local law enforcement knows who they are when they arrive on the scene.

The school says students, faculty, and parents have to go to the university website to sign up for their tech alert system.

ULM says social media and their alert system is also a big part of how they keep the campus community safe. They say you can also head over to the Warhawk alert page to sign up.

The University Police Department says they complete real-life scenarios and training with the local police, fire departments, and homeland security multiple times a year. They say it’s important to work with local fire departments because they say when people are in danger they want to have as many agencies responding as possible.

They say for emergencies, university staff from the physical plant, student life, the counseling center and more will meet at the emergency operations center.

Tom Torregrossa, the director of University Police, says usually first responders will respond to emergencies, but he says they also have a community emergency response team (CERT) comprised of a group of trained individuals.

"That will assist us in our campus response in terms of, say, a gas leak, or a fire or just an incident that is not of that great of magnitude,” says Torregrossa. “And it's seemed to have worked out really well for us so far."

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00 2019-05-17

NSU addiction studies program ranked in top 10 for quality, affordability

The Bachelor of Science in Addiction studies at Northwestern State University has been named among the top online programs for both quality and affordability according to the website guidetoonlineschools.com.

The program was ranked as the fourth best online bachelor’s substance abuse counseling degree and fifth for affordability.

In determining the top programs, the website researched tuition rates online and received median salaries by PayScale and reflect the reported mid-career (10+ years of experience) salaries of alumni from each school. Tuition data and median salaries were then entered in an ROI formula to determine rank order. The median salary for a Northwestern State graduate in addiction studies after 10 years was determined to be $71,800 a year.

A bachelor’s degree in addiction studies offers an understanding of the human mind, addictive behaviors and advances in addiction counseling. Students have the opportunity to join one of the fastest growing job fields. Addiction Studies graduates typically work as addiction counselors.

“The addiction studies degree program at Northwestern State has endeavored to provide a quality education to those wanting a bachelor’s degree in the area of addiction studies,” said Associate Professor of Psychology Joseph Biscoe, who is director of the Louisiana Addiction Technology Transfer Center. “A trained educated workforce is what the field of addiction is demanding. The addiction studies program provides the foundation for certification and/or licensure as an addictions counselor.

Biscoe said the program has a diverse population of students that ranges from young to mature and entry level through individuals with doctorates.

“All students are seeking additional knowledge, skills and understanding of addiction. Students in the degree are not only located regionally, but also nationally and internationally,” he said. “One of our students recently mentioned, ‘I have been a minister for the past 20 plus years and if I would have had this knowledge, I would have been able to assist others in a more productive and powerful way.’ Another student, a high school teacher, mentioned, ‘The information provided in the courses work as allowed me to work with my students in the classroom with greater understanding and create a healthy environment due to some of the challenges they face at home and in society.’”

The Northwestern State addiction studies degree is offered online and face-to-face. It is also supported by the South-Southwest Addiction Technology Transfer Center. For more information on Northwestern State University’s addiction studies program, go to psychology.nsula.edu.
00 2019-05-17

University of New Orleans: Shaping the next generation of teachers and educational leaders

Teachers and educators help shape the minds and lives of their students. While the job is both challenging as it is rewarding, a career in the field can help you make an impact on lives – both in the classroom and beyond.

But more than a fulfilling career, teachers are needed in just about every corner of the world, including in the US, Australia and the UK. For example, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects nearly 1.9 million job openings for teachers of preschool through postsecondary school between 2014 and 2024 in the US. Meanwhile, 2016 data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) notes that there are “massive teacher shortages at the primary and secondary levels”.

“In the next 14 years, countries must recruit 68.8 million teachers to provide every child with primary and secondary education: 24.4 million primary school teachers and 44.4 million secondary school teachers,” it said.

An education stronghold
Source: University of New Orleans

Students who are keen on building a successful career within the education sphere may want to consider getting an undergraduate or graduate degree in the field to help launch or to enhance their career prospects. The University of New Orleans (UNO) offers prospective students a unique study location within an international city, making it especially appealing for international students.

UNO offers strong programs in education, special education, education leadership as well as counselling education under their College of Education and Human Development for prospective students, all of which are nationally accredited. Beginning fall 2019, the programs are uniting under the new School of Education, which will offer new opportunities for study and advancement.

Some of their undergraduate programmes relating to education that might appeal to would-be teachers include Elementary Education, Elementary Education – Integrated/Merged Option and Secondary Education.

Alternatively, graduates who are keen to enhance their knowledge in a particular field can choose from several graduate programmes, including the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), a Graduate Alternate Certification Program intended to allow individuals who have completed a non-education bachelor’s degree to earn a master’s degree and an initial teaching certificate. Candidates fully admitted to the MAT degree program will be eligible to apply for a practitioner teacher license.

Individuals who already hold a teacher certification may want to explore the Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Instruction (M.Ed.), a student-centred, performance-based programmes designed to develop an advanced knowledge base for understanding the interaction of theory and practice in culturally diverse, metropolitan, educational settings. Graduate students will engage in field activities and reflective inquiry as they explore theoretical and practical content in their specific areas of interest. Areas of concentration include both general education and special education.

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Source: University of New Orleans

Their Master of Education in Counseling (M.Ed.) prepares professional counsellors for a unique profession which emphasises prevention of emotional and mental disorders, early intervention when problems are identified, and empowerment of clients.

Graduates are usually employed as professional counselors in a variety of settings including community mental health agencies, substance abuse treatment programmes, schools, colleges, universities, rehabilitation agencies, mental and physiological health hospitals, residential treatment programs, employee assistance programs, social service agencies and pastoral settings.

Preparing tomorrow’s teachers
UNO is cementing its status as an established education powerhouse. For the next academic year, UNO will become a School of Education, further enhancing their profile within the education realm.

The best way to learn is through experience, and to help students put theory into practice, UNO is starting a new elementary school on their campus, a lab school that will afford students the chance to get hands-on training. Meanwhile, their educational technology is state-of-the-art, especially with their partners in area schools who provide hands-on experience for their students within classrooms in the city.

As a public research university in an urban environment, UNO prides itself for being affordable – the US News & World Report has ranked UNO among the national universities whose students graduate with the lightest debt loads. They’re also ranked #230-#301 in National Universities. To boot, nearly 77 percent of their students receive some form of financial assistance each year, totalling over US$41 million in financial aid and scholarships.

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Source: University of New Orleans

Enrolling as a student in UNO doesn’t only mean that students will get to live and study in one of the great cities in the world – they’re also highly likely to score meaningful employment post-graduation. In fact, 90 percent of students here are employed within two years of graduation, according to Niche.com. Within the past year, UNO was also ranked tops in the state in lowest student debt and number one in Louisiana in highest early career salaries.

Regardless of the programme students choose to study, the experience of studying at UNO is unrivalled – international students will appreciate the cultural diversity of Louisiana’s largest city, while its vibrant music scene and French influence, seen in its architecture and cuisine, make the birthplace of jazz a cultural experience not to be missed.

So, if you want to prepare to be a teacher or educational leader, UNO has the learning and research opportunities available to get you to your goals professionally.

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00 2019-05-17

Louisiana Governor launches the first ever Cyber Security Education Center in the state with Cybint and BPCC

NEW YORK, May 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Global cyber education leader, Cybint Solutions, and Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) are once again leading the charge to enhance Louisiana's cybersecurity educational ecosystem, and equip current and future cyber professionals with advanced skills, tools and expertise.

Cybint's Bryan Dickens, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and Dr. Rick Bateman, Jr., chancellor of BPCC usher in a new era of cyber education in Louisiana.
Cybint's Bryan Dickens, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and Dr. Rick Bateman, Jr., chancellor of BPCC usher in a new era of cyber education in Louisiana.
In yesterday's ceremony at the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City, La., Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced the formation of the new Cyber Center Hub of North Louisiana, a collaboration between the state, Cybint, BPCC, Louisiana Tech University, Northwestern State University, Grambling University and Louisiana State University-Shreveport.

The Cyber Center, which will be housed on the BPCC campus, will offer Cybint's comprehensive suite of multi-level cyber education and workforce development offerings for cybersecurity professionals and students across Louisiana. Classes will range from cyber literacy for non-technical professionals to advanced, hands-on simulation-labs and a cyber-range environment for those pursuing a cybersecurity career.

Cybint and BPCC have enjoyed a longstanding relationship and shared mission to positively influence cyber education in Louisiana. In 2018, the organizations hosted two professional development cyber range competitions and workshops, the initial one for industry partners and the second for academic partners. The overwhelming response was that Cybint provided a comprehensive educational training platform that would benefit both industry and academia.

"Well over a decade ago, the leaders of Northwest Louisiana joined the State of Louisiana in creating the Cyber Innovation Center as an anchor of the 3,000-acre National Cyber Research Park here in Bossier City," Gov. Edwards said. "Today, GDIT employs 800 cybersecurity professionals here because of that effort, we have a major STEM Building serving students and veterans, and shared by Bossier Parish Community College and Louisiana Tech University. We have established an I-20 Cyber Corridor stretching from this cyber hub, and the Global Strike Command of Barksdale Air Force Base, to the Fortune 500 headquarters of CenturyLink in Monroe. Today, we're assembling another strategic asset that will make Louisiana a national and global leader in cybersecurity."

"This is an exceptional honor for us," Cybint CEO Roy Zur said. "Our collaboration with BPCC has been impactful and our entire organization has been gratified to see the enthusiasm and passion for cyber learning in this region. We look forward to the next phase."

"From all of our research, we found that Cybint was the premier leader in providing a platform for hands-on cybersecurity education, training, and simulation," said Dr. Rick Bateman, Jr., chancellor of BPCC. "To establish such a partnership with Cybint is a win for everyone involved. Our partnership will have a far-reaching impact that benefits not only our students here at BPCC, but also students, industry partners, and educational institutions across the state of Louisiana."

About Bossier Parish Community College
Bossier Parish Community College is a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance (2-Year) by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and was designated this past year as the first Center of Workforce Excellence in Cyber Technology in Louisiana.

BPCC offers a number of IT degree options including Cyber Technology, Computer Information Systems, and Systems Administration. For more information about becoming a cyber student or partnering, please contact cyber@bpcc.edu or visit www.bpcc.edu.

About Cybint Solutions
Cybint Solutions is a Cyber Education company committed to solving the skills gap and market shortage in cybersecurity through innovative education and training solutions for all levels of expertise. Cybint integrates emerging cyber technologies, hands-on environments and evergreen content into a cutting-edge learning platform for businesses, higher-education institutions, government agencies and regional cyber centers worldwide. With an eye toward preparing the next generation of cyber experts, Cybint creates a deep and powerful global network of cyber knowledge that goes far beyond typical technical expertise. To further address the critical workforce shortage in the industry, Cybint launched the Cyber Talent Network platform which helps match qualified cyber professionals with employers in their region based on the candidates' skills and capabilities. Cybint was founded as a collaboration of military-trained cybersecurity and intelligence experts, industry professionals and well-seasoned educators.
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Uniquely Louisiana: Helping Hands

RUSTON, La. (5/16/19)-- When the country thinks of Louisiana, a few things may come to mind.

Our beautiful landscapes and wildlife, the ultimate "sportsman's paradise" and of course, the endless amount of phenomenal food.

But our state offers something else that makes us uniquely who we are, the one thing that really stands out, is how the people here are willing to help their neighbor.

Especially after tragedy strikes.

When a tornado ripped through Ruston in April, people from all over the state swarmed together to help the city get back on its feet.

"I started getting calls from other mayors, other cities, electrical companies offering their support. there were neighbors helping neighbors cut tree off houses and everything else. People just coming into the area to help cut," said Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker.

The deadly storm left a path of destruction behind, but Louisianans swiftly came together to start picking up the pieces.

"It was quite interesting because you saw this large sense of community. You saw this large sense of everyone coming together. You had people, even if they couldn't come, they showed their support, they donate. You know, they tried to help out anyway they could," said Louisiana Tech student Daniel Christian.

Nearly 2,000 Louisiana Tech students started cleaning up just two days after the storm.

Volunteers from as far as New Orleans showed up to help local businesses that we're destroyed.

For business owner Tyler Storms--the outpour of support--simply overwhelming.

"The strongest feeling that I have....is the love that I've received, and that's the....that's the strongest feeling that I have," said Storms.

This sense of community, the way Louisiana is always lending a helping hand, it's something that Mayor Walker says revolves around an unshakable sense of faith.

"Churches are kind of the center of our communities and I think when you look at our city, I say it's special all the time, but when you look at it, you see that faith plays a big part of that," said Mayor Walker.

Yes, in Louisiana there's a lot of things we're known for.

There's a lot of things we should be proud of, but our willingness to help each other, our sense of love for our neighbors and community...

Well, that should top the list.

"I think if we could nail it to one thing, in Louisiana, I'd say we enjoy life, and we live it to the fullest and therefore we just like to help other people," said Mayor Walker.
00 2019-05-17

Keeping the playbook alive: Grambling honors legacy of coach Eddie Robinson

The words of Eddie G. Robinson echo through the halls of Grambling State each day.

On what would be the legend's 100th birthday year, his university is making sure those words are heard by everyone on campus, "Coach Rob has effected so many people other than football. He affected my life. He's the reason why I'm still here at Grambling State University. I used to wake up as a little boy and watch him on TV on Saturdays because it was a black coach on TV. Something that you didn't see," said GSU Athletic Director David Ponton.

As part of the Legacy Keepers: Preserving the Eddie Robinson Playbook program, Grambling invited two coaching legends that say Robinson's ideals shaped their outlook on the profession, "Sometimes when you see people do that you say, I'd like to be that way some day. I'd like to be like that man. That's my first and probably greatest impression, lasting impression that I have of coach Robinson and it was probably 50 years ago," said Alabama's head coach Nick Saban.

"I'm beyond blessed as far as some neat things that I've done in my life. To stand in the Eddie Robinson Museum on his 100th birthday, to be asked to come here, it's a dream. I grew up in the generation of coach Rob," added former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer.

It was a move that people like Ponton were happy to see, "To have another great coach come and acknowledge a great coach, it means a lot. Much like Coach Saban said, the fact that coach Rob and what he did here at Grambling State University, it's something that, when you think about it, the impressions over the course of all of the years, it's immeasurable. You see some of these young student athletes come back and they say, 'Coach I appreciate what you did for me because I may not have made it if it hadn't been for this university or coach Rob'."

As the Tigers continue to remember the legend, they are also heading down the path forged by coach Rob, "To see us where we are going back in the direction that we are going to now and the successes that we are having now, it's getting back to that excellence that we had when coach Rob was here."
00 2019-05-15

SLU names interim director of Literacy and Technology Center

WALKER – Southeastern Louisiana University has appointed Krystal Hardison as interim director of the Livingston Parish Literacy and Technology Center.

A resident of Watson, Hardison holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in counselor education, both from SLU, said Tena Golding, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

00 2019-05-15

Southeastern honors College of Nursing and Health Sciences students

Three students received the Southeastern Louisiana University College of Nursing and Health Sciences’ highest honor, the Dean’s Award, at the college’s annual honors convocation held on campus recently, including one from Livingston Parish.

The Dean’s Award in the Department of Health and Human Sciences was presented to Abbey Bethel of Denham Springs. The Dean’s Award in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies went to Madelyn Jarman of Abita Springs, while the School of Nursing Dean’s Award went to Haley Evans of Baton Rouge.

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UL Lafayette recognizes Spring 2019 Outstanding Graduates

LAFAYETTE, LA (KLFY) - Each spring and fall semester, deans from UL Lafayette’s academic colleges nominate a student as 'Outstanding Graduate'. Nominations are based on leadership, scholarship, and service. An Alumni Association committee interviews candidates and selects one to receive the overall award.

Ada Tusa is the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Outstanding Graduate.Tusa is among eight award finalists who will be recognized during the Spring 2019 Commencement General Assembly. The ceremony begins at 11 a.m. on Friday at the Cajundome. In addition to being the spring semester’s overall honoree, Tusa represents the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences as its Outstanding Graduate. A biology major with a minor in chemistry, Tusa has a 4.0 GPA.

She was one of five students selected to attend the Tulane National Primate Research Center Summer Fellowship Program for Undergraduate Students. She will enroll at the LSU Health Sciences Center School of Medicine in New Orleans to become a physician.

Here’s a look at the remaining Spring 2019 Outstanding Graduates:

Haley Brooke Campbell is the Outstanding Graduate for University College. She is a general studies major with a concentration in behavioral sciences. Campbell has a 3.8 GPA.

Sarah DiLeo is the Outstanding Graduate for the College of the Arts. She is a performing arts major with a concentration in dance. DiLeo has a 4.0 GPA.

Hallie Dodge is the Outstanding Graduate for the College of Education. She is a kinesiology/exercise science major with a 3.93 GPA.

Kyle Farmer is the Outstanding Graduate for the College of Engineering. He is a chemical engineering major with a 4.0 GPA.

Abigail Gatzy Morton is the Outstanding Graduate for the College of Liberal Arts. She is a political science/international relations major with a dual minor in psychology and visual arts. Morton has a 4.0 GPA.

Theresa Sapera is the Outstanding Graduate from the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions. Her GPA is 3.56. Sapera was secretary of the UL Lafayette Student Nurses' Association.

Zach Wells is the Outstanding Graduate for the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration. An accounting major, he has a 3.97 GPA. Wells was selected the Outstanding Member of the Kappa Theta Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, an accounting honor society.
00 2019-05-15

UL Lafayette recognizes top scholars as Outstanding Master’s Graduates

Jacob LeBlanc is the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Outstanding Master’s Graduate.

LeBlanc was among five finalists for the award. Each will be recognized during the Spring 2019 Commencement General Assembly. The ceremony begins at 11 a.m. on Friday at the Cajundome.

Each graduate program nominates a student for the award. Criteria include leadership, scholarship, service and research.

The dean of UL Lafayette’s Graduate School leads a panel that selects the top candidates. An Alumni Association committee interviews the finalists and chooses an overall Outstanding Master’s Graduate.

LeBlanc is this year’s overall honoree. In addition, he represents the Department of Industrial Technology as its Outstanding Master’s Graduate. He has maintained a 4.0 GPA while pursuing a master’s degree in systems technology.

LeBlanc’s thesis examined microbial fuel cells, which use natural bacteria to generate electrical currents. The cells are a potential sustainable energy source.

While pursuing his graduate degree, LeBlanc taught industrial and electronics technology courses at South Louisiana Community College. He’s also enrolled in UL Lafayette’s B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration, and will complete an MBA this summer.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology from UL Lafayette in 2017, and was the College of Engineering’s Outstanding Graduate that year.

LeBlanc hopes to continue teaching and may work toward a Ph.D. at a later date. He is the son of Vicki and Chris LeBlanc of Scott, Louisiana.

Here’s a look at the remaining Outstanding Master’s Graduate Award finalists.

Brennan Brunsvik is the School of Geosciences’ Outstanding Master’s Graduate. He is pursuing a degree in geology and has a 4.0 GPA.

Brunsvik’s thesis research involved relocating hypocenters, underground points where earthquake ruptures begin, to reconstruct the L’Aquila quake. The 2009 tremor occurred in Italy, resulting in more than 300 deaths. This work included collaborations with scientists at Columbia University, and the National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology and the State University of Milan, both in Italy.

He co-authored several peer-reviewed journal articles and presented his research findings at numerous national conferences.

Brunsvik is a 2017 graduate of Southern Utah University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in geology. He is the son of Nichole and Robert Brunsvik of Parowan, Utah, and plans pursue a doctoral degree following his graduation from UL Lafayette.

Eva Lieberman is the Department of Psychology’s Outstanding Master’s Graduate. She has a 4.0 GPA.

Lieberman’s master’s thesis examines intoxication and sexual violence. She has presented her research findings at numerous national conferences, and has co-authored a peer-reviewed journal article on intervention by witnesses to sexual assaults.

She is a research assistant in the psychology department’s Sexual Violence Research Lab, and was a volunteer intern at Hearts of Hope, a local rape crisis and child advocacy center. She continues to work at the center as a family advocate.

Following graduation, Lieberman hopes to teach undergraduate psychology classes and continue her research. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. at a later date.

Lieberman earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2017 at the University of Alabama. She is the daughter of Harriet Lieberman of Katy, Texas.

Manuel Guillermo Rojas Ahumada is Outstanding Master’s Graduate for the School of Music and Performing Arts. He has a 4.0 GPA and is pursuing a master’s degree in music performance.

A drummer and percussionist, Rojas performs with the University’s wind, jazz, and world music ensembles, and in its symphony orchestra.

Rojas founded and directs the musical group Latino Pulse, which performed at this year’s Festival International de Louisiane. As a volunteer, he teaches members of and arranges music for Les Étoiles de la Louisiane, a children’s vocal ensemble that performs traditional and modern songs in French.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in musical performance from Universidad Central in Bogotá, Colombia. Following graduation, Rojas hopes to pursue a doctor of music arts degree. He is the son of Marcela Ahumada and Guillermo Rojas of Bogotá.

Chandler G. Steckbeck is the Department of English’s Outstanding Master’s Graduate. She has a 4.0 GPA.

Her concentration is Renaissance and early modern literature and culture. Steckbeck’s thesis explores themes of nature that appear in William Shakespeare’s “King Lear.” She has presented this research and other scholarly work at University and national conferences.

While pursuing her master’s degree, Steckbeck taught several composition and rhetoric courses, as well as British literature. She also worked in the University’s Writing Center, and served as secretary of the English Graduate Student Association.

Following graduation, Steckbeck plans to pursue a Ph.D. with a concentration in English Renaissance dramas.

Steckbeck earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in 2017. She is the daughter of Sandra and Richard Steckbeck of Enid, Oklahoma.
00 2019-05-15

Tech graduate and former spy Charles Gandy to visit Ruston on Friday

Charles Gandy, who graduated from Louisiana Tech’s College of Engineering and Science (COES) in 1955, will be the inaugural speaker in the President’s Leadership Colloquium speaker series.

Gandy is the subject of a recently declassified true story about a life-and-death counter-intelligence challenge and the race to find a leak in the United States Embassy in Moscow before more American assets are identified and killed.

Tied to the University’s 125th anniversary, the President’s Leadership Colloquium will feature speakers on the Tech Tenet of Leadership.

Gandy’s story recently was turned into a novel, "The Spy in Moscow Station: A Counterspy’s Hunt for a Deadly Cold War," written by former Director of Research at the National Security Agency (NSA) Eric Haseltine. The book follows Gandy, who was an NSA-Central Security Service (CSS) Hall of Honor inductee (2008) and former Tech COES Alum of the Year.

As part of a book tour, Gandy, Haseltine, and his wife and frequent co-author Chris Gilbert (MD, PhD) will visit Ruston for a brief presentation and book signing at 8:30 a.m. May 17 in Wyly Auditorium. The public is invited.

Released April 30 by Macmillan Publishing/Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, "The Spy in Moscow Station" will be available for purchase at the presentation.

“Most people thought he was just another bureaucrat who ‘worked for the government,’” said Gandy’s son, Chuck. “That couldn’t be further from the truth.”

There was a hint he might be more than “just another bureaucrat” when he was promoted to “Senior Cryptologic Executive Service” (SES) and when he was inducted into the NSA Hall of Honor. Turns out he’s one of those guys who, if you asked him at the class reunion, “So, what are you doing now Charles?, he’d could have said, legitimately, “Well I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.”

“Dr. Haseltine’s book reveals the struggles he overcame, both internal and foreign, to save lives in Moscow and protect U.S. citizenry back home,” Chuck said. “Some of his Lincoln Parish friends are going to be surprised.”

“Outsmarting honey traps and encroaching deep enough into enemy territory to perform complicated technical investigations, Gandy accomplished his mission in Russia but discovered more than State and CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) wanted him to know,” Gen. Michael V. Hayden (Retd.), former director of the NSA & CIA, writes in the book’s forward. “…This is the true story of unorthodox, underdog intelligence officers who fought an uphill battle against their own government to prove that the KGB had pulled off the most devastating penetration of U.S. national security in history.”

After his graduation from Tech, Gandy’s first assignment to the NSA in 1955 was as an Air Force 1st Lieutenant. He retired as a civilian in 1986.

In between, reads his 2008 NSA/CSS Hall of Honor bio, Gandy “made significant contributions to the fields of signals intelligence, information assurance, and counterintelligence. His work in research, development, and deployment of quick reaction capabilities greatly strengthened cryptologic community support to the highest levels of government…Mr. Gandy’s contributions enabled the NSA to anticipate key activities of foreign adversaries and determine where our own vulnerabilities existed. Much of this engineering work was in sensitive signals analysis and countermeasures development… Mr. Gandy’s lifetime of creativity and innovation in the use of advanced technology led to numerous successes. Many senior leaders…frequently relied on Mr. Gandy to tackle mission issues that were both exceptionally challenging and exceptionally sensitive.”

After leaving the NSA, Gandy continued his research activities. He developed a special radar that detected breathing and heart rate for people trapped in rubble of collapsed buildings.

If you’re a good spy, most people won’t know your professional history. Until now, that’s been true with Gandy. But some of the Gandy family history is a bit more known — although most people don’t realize it.

“Dad met and married my mom, Freda Grambling, who grew up at 510 Spencer Street near the Tech Campus in Ruston,” Chuck said. “Her great-great-great grandfather (Judson H. Grambling) ran the sawmill that became the whistle-stop on the L&N Railroad.”

He donated land for construction of the school that is today Grambling State University.

Haseltine, a PhD neuroscientist and formerly the Associate Director of National Intelligence in charge of Science and Technology for the U.S. Intelligence community, has authored or co-authored 15 patents in optics, special effects, and electronic media. Before joining the NSA, he was, among many other positions, Executive Vice President of Disney Imagineering.
00 2019-05-15

NSU’s SGA unveils portraits

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s Student Government Association unveiled the first three of what will be a series of portraits that honor individuals who made significant contributions to the university.

Motel 6
“The purpose of the portrait program is two-fold,” said SGA President Jacob Ellis. “The first is to ensure that buildings and prominent spaces which are named after individuals feature a portrait of that person. The other is to highlight the contributions of women and individuals of color who have contributed to the rich heritage of Northwestern State University.”

Portraits of Joe Delaney, Scharlie Russell and Jimmy Long will be installed in the Student Union, Russell Hall and the Student Services Center.

“Another goal of the program is to highlight the talents of our students and alumni,” Ellis said. “We wish to only include pieces that have a connection to the university by commissioning paintings and other art works that are created by those who are or who have attended NSU.”

Artist Chris Brown, a former Chicago Cubs minor league pitcher and Northwestern State Demon who is also the artist for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, painted the portrait of Joe Delaney. Artist Osvaldo Ferrer Miranda, who created the paintings of Russell and Long, is a graduate student in the School of Creative and Performing Arts who was previously commissioned to paint the official portrait of former NSU President Dr. Randall J. Webb that hangs in the Wellness, Recreation and Activities Center.

Delaney was a two-time All-American athlete for the NSU Demons as well as a track and field star. He played two seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and was chosen as AFC Rookie of the Year in 1981. Delaney died June 29, 1981, while attempting to rescue three children from drowning in a pond in Monroe. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Citizen’s Medal from U.S. President Ronald Reagan and was inducted into NSU’s alumni hall of distinction, the Long Purple Line, in 2017.

Russell was the head librarian at Louisiana State Normal School and late Normal College, as NSU was then known, from 1910-1940. Russell Hall, formerly the school’s library and now home to the College of Business and Technology, was named in her honor after Louisiana Governor Richard Leche was sentenced to prison and his name stripped from the building. Russell Hall remains as one of only two buildings on the NSU campus to be named after a woman.

A member of the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors from 2001-16, Long served eight consecutive terms in the House of Representatives from 1968 to 2000. Colleagues in the House and Senate adopted a resolution during his last term honoring Long as “Dean of the Legislature.” A recognized authority on education policy, he chaired the House Education Committee and was instrumental in the creation of the Louisiana Scholars’ College at NSU as well as the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts. Long died in a traffic accident on Aug. 9, 2016.

“We are tremendously grateful to our artists for sharing their talent with us and agreeing to be part of this project,” Ellis said. “We plan to continue the SGA Portrait Project and try to tell the full story or our beloved university through the narrative of the people who have helped shape it into the institution it is today.”

Artist Chris Brown, right, a former Chicago Cubs minor league pitcher and Northwestern State Demon who is also the artist for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, painted the portrait of Joe Delaney. He is pictured at the portrait unveiling with Delaney’s teammate Jack Brittain Jr., left. The picture will hang in the NSU Student Union.

Artist Osvaldo Ferrer Miranda, a graduate student in the Department of Fine and Graphic Art, created the portraits of Scharlie Russell and Jimmy Long that will hang in Russell Hall and the Student Services Center.
00 2019-05-15

Northwestern Chamber Choir preparing for European competition

Northwestern State University’s Chamber Choir will be competing in the Ave Verum International Choral Competition in Baden, Austria, on May 31-June 2. The ensemble, directed by Dr. Nicholaus Cummins, will leave for Austria on May 22.

NSU’s Chamber Choir was one of eight choirs chosen from around the world along with ensembles from countries including Russia, Slovakia, Czechia, Ukraine, Hungary and Italy. Northwestern State is one of two choirs from the U.S. selected for the competition.

Family Doctors
Before the Ave Verum International Choral Competition, the Chamber Choir will also perform in three European capitals at Saint Martin’s Basilica in Prague, Czech Republic, Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vienna, Austria, and Saint Martin’s Cathedral in Bratislava, Slovakia.

The competition is in honor of the location of Mozart’s “Ave Verum Corpus,” which premiered in 1791 in Baden. This competition only occurs in odd years. The opening round features the 10 selected choirs which all sing in a night concert in the town square called the Long Night of Choral Music. The next day, four choirs are selected for the Grand Prix de Ave Verum. The winners receive a trophy and cash prize for the competition. The last American choir to win was the University of Georgia in 2013.

Last summer, the Northwestern State Lyric Choir won a Gold Medal in the Female Choirs category at the 3rd Budapest International Choral Celebration and Laurea Mundi International Open Competition and Grand Prix of Choral Music. The Chamber Choir received a Laurea Summa Cum Laude diploma in the Mixed Choir category and a Laurea Cum Laude diploma in the Musica Sacra (Sacred Music) category.

Baden is near Vienna and is well-known for its spas. Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and many other well-known composers wrote music or lived there. Because of Baden’s rich history, composer and choral director Wolfgang Ziegler founded the Ave Verum International Choral Competition in the city. An international jury will judge the competition. Ziegler asked Cummins to submit recordings of NSU’s choir after the Laurea Mundi competition. More than 40 choirs were considered for the event.

For more information on Northwestern State’s choral programs, go to capa.nsula.edu/music.

The Northwestern State University Chamber Choir
00 2019-05-15

LA Tech’s Dr. Marshall receives award from Center for Audit Quality and American Accounting Association Auditing Section

00 2019-05-14
Baton Rouge

Louisiana dead last for 3rd straight year in 'Best States' list; Edwards: rankings inaccurate

WASHINGTON — Louisiana is now three for three in being recognized as the worst state based on health care, education, infrastructure, crime and other quality-of-life measures, according to a national analysis released this week.

U.S. News & World Report, known for consumer-focused rankings on education, health care and other factors, released its third annual "Best States" list Tuesday. The feature was launched in 2017 to provide insight into how states stack up in specific areas of interest.

In addition to coming in 50th overall each time the report has been released, Louisiana this year also ranked 50th compared to all others in individual analyses on crime, opportunity and the environment. Other categories scored included the state's economy (49th), education (48th), fiscal stability (43rd), health care (45th) and infrastructure (48th).

Louisiana dead last, again, in latest 'Best States' ranking; Edwards admin: report 'misleading'
Louisiana dead last, again, in latest 'Best States' ranking; Edwards admin: report 'misleading'
“As people are increasingly concerned about income disparities, rising health care costs, gaps in education and crumbling infrastructure, it’s more important than ever to focus on the day-to-day policies that affect people where they live their lives,” said Eric Gertler, executive chairman at U.S. News. “In conjunction with objective data and trusted journalism on state performance, the rankings fills the gap in local reporting for the benefit of residents, business leaders, decision-makers and government officials.”

Alabama, Mississippi, West Virginia and New Mexico rounded out the bottom of the list.

At the top: Washington, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Utah and Vermont.

According to U.S. News, the "Best States" methodology was streamlined this year "to reflect more objective, transparent and comparable data across the framework."

Louisiana's 'worst state' ranking angers some readers; others say, 'sadly, it's true'
La.'s 'worst state' ranking angers some readers; others say, 'sadly, it's true'
"The rankings are based on more than 70 metrics and tens of thousands of data points," U.S. News said in a news release.

Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration has argued the data U.S. News uses for some categories is years old and pre-dates his time in office or only includes his first few months.

“Unfortunately, this ranking doesn’t accurately reflect the progress Louisiana has made in recent years and how much better we are doing today given the gains that we have made in many critical areas that directly impact people’s lives,” Edwards said in a statement. “Louisianans know how much better we’re doing now than when we were facing down a $2 billion dollar deficit just a few years back. By working together across party lines, we’ve stabilized our budget, turned deficits into a surplus, are investing more in education at all levels and focusing on our infrastructure for the first time in years. We have improved our health care by extending coverage to thousands of working adults, we no longer have the highest prison population in the country, and higher education funding is fully stable.”

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According to U.S. News' methodology, data for each measure is from 2015 or more recent, with regularly scheduled updates. The analysis also was measured on outcomes, so in the case of education the number of degree-holders was a factor but not the number of people enrolled in college or money spent on higher education per student.

Sources include ACT, U.S. Census Bureau, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FBI, Bureau of Labor Statistics and others.

The publication also added this year a national survey of 23,000 people across the country to provide direct input on levels of satisfaction with government services.

Louisiana comes in dead last in new 'Best States' ranking
Louisiana comes in dead last in new 'Best States' ranking
Louisiana did see a slight uptick in its rankings in health care (from 47th to 45th) and fiscal stability (from 48th to 43rd) compared to last year. Both areas have been priorities for Edwards, who expanded the Medicaid health care program after taking office in 2016 and spent the first three years of his term addressing budget instability before the Legislature acted to shore up the state’s finances with the extension of a 0.45 percent sales tax hike last year. The state sales tax rate went from 4 percent when Edwards took office, to a temporary stint at 5 percent, and now is 4.45 percent.

“It takes time for improvement to show up in data, and some of the U.S. News and World Report’s data sources are several years old, which is frustrating. But we know we’re doing far better than we were years ago and we fully expect that will show up in future rankings,” Edwards said.

See the full report and rankings here.
00 2019-05-14
Baton Rouge

Louisiana Legislature 2019: Cyber Security

“Cybersecurity is the new frontier,” Abraham said. “For once, can Louisiana be on the cutting edge of something new?”

Lawmakers are looking for ways to train more information-technology experts and bolster the state’s cyber defenses.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat running for re-election, has promoted the state’s need to build an IT and cybersecurity infrastructure, and the House Appropriations Committee considered bills this week to help achieve this goal.

The committee advanced a proposal by Rep. Mark Abraham, R-Lake Charles, to create the Louisiana Cybersecurity Talent Initiative Fund. If approved by the full Legislature, it would appropriate more money for degree and certificate programs related to cybersecurity and information technology.

“Cybersecurity is the new frontier,” Abraham said. “For once, can Louisiana be on the cutting edge of something new?”

Programs related to cybersecurity, including undergraduate, graduate and associate degree programs, already exist at universities like Grambling, Tulane, Louisiana Tech, University of New Orleans and at Bossier Parish Community College.

Jim Henderson, president of the University of Louisiana system, and Les Guice, president of Louisiana Tech, spoke in support of the proposal.

Several cybersecurity and information technology companies are located in Monroe, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Ruston, Lafayette and Bossier. In addition, state universities have established technology development programs at institutions like the Cyber Innovations Center, Louisiana Tech Enterprise Campus, ULL Research Park and UNO Research Park.

Abraham fears that Louisiana is a potential target for cyber attacks due to its large port system and its location at the mouth of Mississippi River.

Another Republican, Rep. Barry Ivey of Baton Rouge, proposed a constitutional amendment to help build the state’s IT infrastructure. Ivey’s amendment would establish the State Cybersecurity and Information Technology Fund to address growing vulnerabilities in the state’s technology system.

Ivey’s plan would cost about $34 million annually, starting in the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

“We can complain about how bad things are or how old our stuff is, but the silver lining is that we can actually create one of the most advanced, sophisticated, secure systems for operating state government compared to every other state in the nation,” Ivey said.

Ivey’s amendment would divert the money in increments from revenues generated in the bond security redemption fund.

Rep. Rick Edmonds, R-Baton Rouge, questioned Ivey about the funding specifics. Ivey voluntarily deferred the bill for discussion after the governor’s budget has been solidified.

When he ran for secretary of state last year, Edmonds campaigned on enhancing cybersecurity measures to prevent voter fraud.

Edmonds and others in that race questioned the eventual winner, Kyle Ardoin, about his oversight of the state’s voting procedures.

Edwards created a cybersecurity commission in 2017. He also traveled to Israel to negotiate a partnership between Stephenson Technologies Corporation, LSU’s applied research center and Israel-based Check Point Software Technologies.

“To the governor’s credit,” Ivey said, “he’s certainly led the charge, in my opinion, on bringing the issue to the forefront at the state level and also participatory at the national level as well.”

Originally published May 1, 2019.

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00 2019-05-14

Southeastern honors College of Nursing and Health Sciences students

Three students received the Southeastern Louisiana University College of Nursing and Health Sciences’ highest honor, the Dean’s Award, at the college’s annual honors convocation held on campus recently, including one from Livingston Parish.

The Dean’s Award in the Department of Health and Human Sciences was presented to Abbey Bethel of Denham Springs. The Dean’s Award in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies went to Madelyn Jarman of Abita Springs, while the School of Nursing Dean’s Award went to Haley Evans of Baton Rouge.

00 2019-05-14

Former Colonels player returns to Nicholls to earn degree 30 years later

Some people buy a fancy sports car when they hit 50. Others try to change their wardrobe.

Fletcher Thompson satiated his mid-life urges by finally earning his college degree 30 years after he left Nicholls State just 16-hours shy of walking across the stage.

On Sunday, the former Colonels baseball player, who left school after being drafted by the Houston Astros in 1990, joined the rest of the present-day Colonels seniors in receiving his diploma in interdisciplinary studies prior to Nicholls’ series finale against Stephen F. Austin. 

“I have an 18-year-old daughter and she wanted to know why am I doing this? You have a job” Thompson said. “It’s just the principle of finishing something you started.”

Thompson — now a flight attendant for United Airlines and living in New Orleans — never gave returning to school much of a thought until he was at a reunion event and a professor asked him what he graduated in.

He was surprised to learn that his previous hours still counted toward his degree and he would be able to take his final classes all online. In all, it would only take one semester of work to earn his degree.

He said his favorite courses were a history of hip-hop class and a course on the culinary history of the South.

“I hadn’t written a research paper in 30 years,” Thompson said. “Trying to balance work and class, it was tough.”

While the official university graduation ceremony won’t take place until this weekend, Nicholls baseball held a special ceremony for its seniors who will be unable to walk with their classmates due to the Colonels having a crucial road trip to Abilene Christian. 

Thompson will also walk in the official graduation this weekend, but the Colonels made sure to include him in the baseball ceremony as Thompson was an all-time great in program history.

Thompson was a member of a Nicholls team that won a conference title and reached the NCAA Regional Tournament in 1989. They were nicknamed the “Bayou Bandits” after leading the country in stolen bases.

After being drafted by the Astros in the 11th round of the 1990 draft, Thompson spent six years in the minor leagues, climbing as high as AA ball. 

University President Dr. Jay Clune was on hand at Ray. E Didier Field to give Thompson his diploma.

“The fact that he would want to come back and want a Nicholls degree says a lot about him and says a lot about us,” Clune said. “We’re proud to count him among our graduates.”
00 2019-05-14

UL Spring Commencement set for Friday

LAFAYETTE, La. – About 1,800 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees will be conferred at UL Lafayette’s Spring 2019 Commencement Friday at the Cajundome and Convention Center.

The General Assembly will be held at 11 a.m. at the Cajundome. Doctoral candidates will be hooded at this ceremony. Graduating seniors, faculty members and administrators will attend, wearing full academic regalia.

Master’s and bachelor’s degrees will be conferred at separate ceremonies for each academic college. A schedule and locations are below.


8 a.m. College of Liberal Arts
1:30 p.m. B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration
4 p.m. College of Engineering
Cajundome Convention Center – Exhibit Hall (1st floor)

8 a.m. College of Education
1:30 p.m. College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions
4 p.m. University College
Bourgeois Hall

8 a.m. College of the Arts
1:30 p.m. Ray P. Authement College of Sciences
For parking at the General Assembly and academic college ceremonies at the Cajundome and Convention Center, graduates and faculty members should enter through Gate 8 on West Congress Street, or through Gate 11 on Souvenir Gate. Once that parking lot is full, motorists will be directed to the Cajun Field parking lot.

Parking for guests who attend ceremonies at the Cajundome and Convention Center will be at Cajun Field.

Parking at Bourgeois Hall will be available in the lot outside the building for graduates and faculty members, who should enter the lot via the south entrance.

Parking for guests who attend ceremonies at Bourgeois Hall will be at Cajun Field or Blackham Coliseum.

Security measures will be in place at the Cajundome and Convention Center and at Bourgeois Hall. University Police officers will examine the contents of purses, bags, and packages. Extremely large bags or oversized packages won’t be permitted inside Commencement venues.

Share your story with family and friends by using the #ragingrads hashtag on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Google+ posts.

A Snapchat filter will be available from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout the Cajundome and Convention Center and at Bourgeois Hall.

The General Assembly will be broadcast on the University’s Facebook page. [u7061146.ct.sendgrid.net]

The livestream [u7061146.ct.sendgrid.net]can be accessed via computer, smartphone or tablet.

Learn more about Spring 2019 Commencement [u7061146.ct.sendgrid.net]
00 2019-05-14

UL Lafayette Spring Commencement Set for Friday

About 1,800 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees will be conferred at UL Lafayette’s Spring 2019 Commencement Friday at the Cajundome and Convention Center.

The General Assembly will be held at 11 a.m. at the Cajundome. Doctoral candidates will be hooded at this ceremony. Graduating seniors, faculty members and administrators will attend, wearing full academic regalia.

Master’s and bachelor’s degrees will be conferred at separate ceremonies for each academic college. A schedule and locations are below.


8 a.m. College of Liberal Arts
1:30 p.m. B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration
4 p.m. College of Engineering
Cajundome Convention Center – Exhibit Hall (1st floor)

8 a.m. College of Education
1:30 p.m. College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions
4 p.m. University College
Bourgeois Hall

8 a.m. College of the Arts
1:30 p.m. Ray P. Authement College of Sciences
For parking at the General Assembly and academic college ceremonies at the Cajundome and Convention Center, graduates and faculty members should enter through Gate 8 on West Congress Street, or through Gate 11 on Souvenir Gate. Once that parking lot is full, motorists will be directed to the Cajun Field parking lot.

Parking for guests who attend ceremonies at the Cajundome and Convention Center will be at Cajun Field.

Parking at Bourgeois Hall will be available in the lot outside the building for graduates and faculty members, who should enter the lot via the south entrance.

Parking for guests who attend ceremonies at Bourgeois Hall will be at Cajun Field or Blackham Coliseum.

Security measures will be in place at the Cajundome and Convention Center and at Bourgeois Hall. University Police officers will examine the contents of purses, bags, and packages. Extremely large bags or oversized packages won’t be permitted inside Commencement venues.

Share your story with family and friends by using the #ragingrads hashtag on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Google+ posts.

A Snapchat filter will be available from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout the Cajundome and Convention Center and at Bourgeois Hall.

The General Assembly will be broadcast on the University’s Facebook page.

The livestream can be accessed via computer, smartphone or tablet.

Learn more about Spring 2019 Commencement
00 2019-05-14
Lake Charles

Celebrating small businesses

If you own a small business or work for one, you’re in the majority of Americans. The U.S. Small Business Administration reports that American small businesses create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.

Small Business Week, held May 5-11, celebrated entrepreneurship across our great country. In Louisiana the SBA and Louisiana Economic Development honored banks and organizations that work with small businesses and recognized outstanding small business owners.

At an awards program held on May 9 at the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion, the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Mc-Neese was named winner of the 2019 Service Excellence and Innovation Center Award for both Louisiana and for SBA’s Region VI (which includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, New Mexico and Louisiana).

For the operating year of 2017-18, clients of the LSBDC at McNeese reported that they started 18 businesses, added over 100 jobs and had capitalization (financial investment) of over $14.7 million. The Center had over 500 attendees at over 30 different workshops.

McNeese State University has hosted the LSBDC at McNeese for over 35 years. Other supporters include the Southwest Louisiana Alliance for Economic Development, Sasol North America, Louisiana Economic Development and SBA. The mission of the LSBDC is to help small businesses get started and grow. As part of the SEED Center, the LSBDC is one of the resources that assists entrepreneurs to build the economy in Southwest Louisiana.

You’ve heard that small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Think about the local restaurant that serves your favorite hamburger, the shop where you take your dry cleaning and the company that sponsors your child’s sports team. These places employ your friends and family, put money back into the local economy and support local activities and charities.

The LSBDC at McNeese encourages you to shop local and support locally owned small businesses. You’ll help an entrepreneur bring his dreams to life. Every big business was once one of the little guys, with an owner who struggled to turn passion into a profitable reality. Before you order online, investigate what’s available down the street.

Let the consultants at the LSBDC at McNeese help you with the difficulties of running your small business. For over 35 years, the LSBDC at McNeese has worked with entrepreneurs and business owners who are looking to start or grow their small business. Visit www.lsbdc. org/msu to learn more about us. For no-cost assistance with your business, call 337-475-5529.

Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and Louisiana Department of Economic Development. All opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

Donna Little is the director of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University. Contact her at 475-5945 or dlittle@lsbdc.org.
00 2019-05-14

ULM Museum of Natural History receives big donation, real India elephant tusks from mid 1800's

5/13/19) MONROE, La. -- ULM’s Museum of Natural History received a new donation today all the way from the jungles of southwest India.

The Indian elephant tusks date back to 1848 and found their way to the United States in the 1930s.

Longtime benefactor Linda Laine presented the tusks to ULM Monday morning.

Each tusk is about six feet long and weighs more than 60 pounds each.

00 2019-05-14


Northwestern State University awarded 948 degrees to 942 graduates during spring commencement Friday, May 10. Spring 2019 graduates listed by hometown are as follows.

Auburn, Washington – Selina Cho, Bachelor of Science in Nursing;

Abbeville – Samantha Richard, Master of Arts in Teaching;

Abita Springs – Rachel Strain, Associate of General Studies;

Alexandria – Justin Dupree, Jessica Griffin, John O’Dell, Associate of Science in Nursing; Antoinette Baker, Meagan Braud, Jasmine Brown, Ashley Colson, Laindia Howard, Donald Johnson, Sidnethia Starks, Associate of General Studies; Steven Bryant, Selena Elmore, Bachelor of General Studies; Allison McCloud, Bachelor of Music; Iris Barrera, Kristan Cascio, Maeghan George, Chelsea Jones, Jimmie Magee, Madeline Pharis, Robin Scott, Tiffany Townley, William Welch, Samantha Wynn, Bachelor of Science; Marquita Benjamin, Decoste, ShaKiyla Lindsey, Tashiana Whitehead, Bachelor of Social Work; Nancy Robinson, Master of Arts; Shaundreca Love, Jocelyn Mabrey, Christopher Reimer, Master of Science in Nursing;

Anacoco – Tristan Harvey, Associate of General Studies; Jacob Bennett, Bachelor of Arts; Kenneth Cochran, Caitlin McKee, Jason Ortiz, Cassandra Osborne, Brooke Phillips, Cayla Roberts, Emily Williams, Bachelor of Science; Karington Hood, Kayla Stephens, Bachelor of Social Work;

Angola – Ursula Poarch, Bachelor of Arts;

Arlington, Texas – Reginald Lars, Associate of General Studies; Samantha Bell, Bachelor of Science;

Arnaudville – Bliss Leblanc, Bachelor of General Studies; Dianna Davis, Master of Arts in Teaching;

Atlanta, Georgia – Tremayne Flagler, Bachelor of General Studies;

Aurora, Colorado – Lindsey Torres, Master of Arts;

Austin, Texas – Wyona Crenshaw, Carson Goldsmith, Associate of General Studies, Ysmina Smith, Bachelor of Science;

Avondale – James Brown, Bachelor of Science;

Barksdale AFB – Priscilla Molina, Associate of Science in Nursing;

Ball – Kelsey Walters, Associate of General Studies; Brittani Billingsley, Master of Science in Nursing;

Baltimore, Maryland – Shatera Walters, Bachelor of Science;

Baskin – Ashli Gandy, Master of Science in Nursing;

Bastrop – Anna Akins, Kayla Bonner, Kimberly Robinson, Bachelor of Science;

Baton Rouge – Barbara Friedrichs, Bachelor of General Studies; Jenna Baldwin, Teressa Calligan, Rosa Campbell, Maisyn Guillory, Jordan Hall, Madison Harris, Bethany Lee, Rachel Monsour, Madalyn Mullins, Emma Rivet, Ashleigh Rumby, Bachelor of Science, Laura Vance, Megan Vernon,Master of Education;

Belle Chasse – Natalie Wilson, Associate of General Studies, Bachelor of Arts; Annie Wright, Bachelor of Science;

Belmont – Kelly Bass, Associate of Science in Nursing;

Belton, Texas – Rachel Hall, Master of Music

Bentley – Byron Walters, Master of Music;

Benton – Mark Foy, Bachelor of Applied Science; Tamara Korner, Bachelor of General Studies; Jessica O’Neal, Bachelor of Science; Emily Maddox, Craig Martin, Master of Science in Nursing;

Blairstown, New Jersey, Patrick Garie, Master of Science;

Boaz, Alabama – Taylor Wilkes, Master of Science;

Bogalusa – Taylor Johnson, Bachelor of Science; Laura McFarlain, Bachelor of Social Work;

Bossier City – Lauryn Bakalis, Kaytlin Clark, Austin Coffey, Brandi Ervin, Kenesha Joiner, Regena Juneau, Brittney Malmay, Niesha Marks, Melissa Murphy, Kortney Nattin, Shelby Peebles, Lindsey Rathel, Jerdine Robinson, Associate of Science in Nursing; Brittney Blechl, Lena Harrell, Lytrisha Scott, Associate of General Studies; Casi Martin, Bachelor of Applied Science; Samantha Maiette, Bachelor of Arts, Nicholas Jones, Bachelor of General Studies; Colby Cranford, DeMontre Evans, Daijonni Ferguson, Kelsey Gallman, Candace Guillory, Dejaney Jackson, Rance Mason, Andrea Parks, Katherine Parson, Kennedy Parson, Brittani Phillips, Colby Ponder, Taylor Powell, Madison Rowland, Dakota Schudalla, Sydney Shannon, Danielle Toney, Madeline Webb, Nour Zeidan, Bachelor of Science; Azita Naderi, Reid Rogers, Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Timothy Osteen, Master of Arts; Kimberly Perez, Master of Arts in Teaching; Tarcariyunn Caldwell, Emily Green, Mary Inman, Amita Patel, Elizabeth Robinson, Ashley Viviano, Stephanie Whitman, Master of Science in Nursing;

Boyce – Timothy Glass,Bachelor of General Studies; Sonya Hill, Lane Robinson, Julia Watson, Bachelor of Science; Kristen Ducote, Lisa Lee, Master of Science in Nursing; Kayla Tanner, Educational Specialist;

Breaux Bridge – Blanche Trahan, Associate of General Studies;

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma – Madeline Drake, Bachelor of Science;

Broussard – Matthew Buteau, Bachelor of Science;

Brownsboro, Texas – Brice Borgeson, Bachelor of Science;

Byram, Mississippi – Rachel Elkins, Master of Science;

Bunkie – Chelsea Villemarette, Associate of Science in Nursing;

Burleson, Texas – Addison Pellegrino, Bachelor of Music Education;

Calvin – Erin Price, Bachelor of Science;

Campbell – Caidon Campbell, Bachelor of Science;

Campti – LaTrice Telsee, Associate of General Studies, Damarte Fisher, Bachelor of Arts; Kortney Greer, Dorianna Telsee, Donta’ Turner, Bachelor of Science

Canon City, Colorado, Kimberly Rupp, Bachelor of Science;

Carencro – Harold Williams, Bachelor of Arts, Britney Bonnet, Olivia Tolliver, Master of Arts in Teaching;

Cartagena, Colombia – Jair Morelos Castilla, Bachelor of Music; Hassik Vasquez Narvaez, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science; Daniel Racero Rocha, Bachelor of Science;

Castor – Hogan Nealy, Bachelor of General Studies;

Castor – Kaycee Collinsworth, Bachelor of General Studies;

Champaign, Illinois – Titi Joerres, Master of Arts in Teaching;

Charlotte, North Carolina – Alyssa Collins, Master of Arts;

Chauvin – Randy Savoie, Master of Arts;

Chicago, Illinois – Ona Giles, Bachelor of General Studies

Clarence – Malik Metoyer, Bachelor of General Studies;

Clayton – Glendalyn Boothe, Bachelor of Arts;

Clermont, Florida – Jacob Manning, Master of Science;

Colfax – Kaneedra Harrison, Associate of General Studies, Dalton Jones, Associate of Science; Alison Churchman, Bachelor of General Studies;

Colorado Springs, Colorado – Rossana Potempa, Bachelor of Arts;

Columbia – Tyler Duchesne, Bachelor of Applied Science;

Columbus, Georgia – Teresa Sandusky, Bachelor of Science;

Conroe, Texas – Zachary Krolczyk, Bachelor of Arts;

Converse – Wade Hicks, Associate of Science in Nursing; Ricki Sepulvado, Master of Arts; Dorothy McCrocklin, Master of Arts in Teaching; Ashley Asbell, Master of Education;

Cottonport – Zachary Gauthier, Bachelor of Science;

Coushatta – Destiney Coatney, Bachelor of Arts, Sydney Anderson, Emily King, William Lee, Aston Lester, Sh’Kea Sibley, Mikailah Smith, Caroline Wren, Bachelor of Science;

Covington – Kelsey Cassidy, Brian Pickett, Bachelor of Science; Leslie Hoffman, Master of Education;

Covington – Casey McKinnerney, Master of Music;

Dallas, Texas – Rose Obiora, Bachelor of Science;

Delhi – Jasmine Poe, Bachelor of Social Work

Denham Springs – Matthew Broussard, Associate of General Studies; Stephanie Ryals, Bachelor of General Studies; Jenson Wall, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Music Education, Caitlyn Cutrer, Bachelor of Science; Emily Falcon, Master of Arts in Teaching;

DeQuincy – Valarie Clark, Casie Kellogg, Master of Science in Nursing

DeRidder – Taylor Gill, Associate of General Studies; Amie Ashworth, Brandy Bryant, Lauren Callis, Rebekah Frantz, Bobby Guichet, Lakaybra Purdy, Julie Ramos, Morgan Smith, Associate of Science in Nursing; John Ham, Bachelor of Arts; Eriq Carver, Karli Kennedy, Crystal Mccollough, Rebecca Richmond, Summer Thomas, Tyler Wright, Bachelor of Science, Kaylyn Cooley, Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Shynikia Roberson, Bachelor of Social Work;

De Soto, Illinois – Jayci Deaton, Bachelor of Science;

Deville – Amber Kreideweis, Associate of Science in Nursing; Hannah Siebeneicher, Bachelor of Arts; Kealee Anderson,

Mikayla Brown, Amanda Slayter, Bachelor of Science; Susan Littleton, Master of Education;

Dodson – Melanie Thomas, Bachelor of Science;

Double Oak, Texas – Alexsis Cable, Master of Science;

Downsville – Abby Fordham, Bachelor of Applied Science;

Dubberly – Joni Nelson, Master of Art;

Edmond, Oklahoma — Jayzen Boger, Payton Hartwick, Jiyoon Lee, Bachelor of Science;

Elizabeth — Kolby Friday, Bachelor of Arts; Sadie Perkins, Bachelor of Science;

Elmer — Brennan Mays, Bachelor of Science;

Euless, Texas — Brooke Payton, Associate of General Studies;

Eunice — Jeremy Ortego, Associate of General Studies; Mary Pitre, Bachelor of Applied Science;

FPO, AP, CA — Amber Travis, Bachelor of Social Work;

Franklinton — Douglas Goss, Associate of Science, Bachelor of Science;

Ferriday — Shanequa Tyler, Associate of General Studies;

Florien — Chelci Scott, Associate of Science in Nursing; Danielle Anthony, Associate of General Studies; Kristopher Dees, Tyler Johnson, Emma Ray, Kaitlin Sepulvado, Megan Wagley, Bachelor of Science; Amanda McFarlain, Master of Education;

Forest Hill — Anna Doherty, Rachel Humphries, Bachelor of Science;

Forney, Texas — Jared Walker, Bachelor of Music;

Fort Myers, Florida — Andrea Smarsh, Bachelor of Social Work;

Fort Polk — Jamie Curtis, Cynthia Schwartz, Associate of Science in Nursing; Leo Banaszak, Charlotte Rivara, Associate of General Studies; Jessica Ramirez, Shiela May Tabonares, Sasha Trevino, Bachelor of General Studies; Genesis Rondon Torres, Bachelor of Science;

Fort Worth, Texas — Corban James, Bachelor of Science; Darius Williams, Master of Music;

Franklin — Alison Guidroz, Bachelor of Science;

Fuquay Varina, North Carolina — Craig Vickers, Bachelor of General Studies;

Garland, Texas — Joseph Goodson, Bachelor of Science;

Gilbert — Sarah Calhoun, Bachelor of General Studies;

Glenmora — Eric Baker, Kristopher Devore, Bachelor of Science; Tiara Baker, Bachelor of Arts;

Gloster — Caitlin Burford, Associate of Science in Nursing; Jennifer Simmons, Bachelor of Science;

Gonzales — Keanna Bolding, Associate of General Studies; Rebecca Marchand, Bachelor of Music Education; Julie Breaux, Jordan Enloe, Bachelor of Science;

Grand Cane — Nathan Graham, Associate of General Studies; Kayden Booker, Bachelor of General Studies; Catie Griffith, Master of Science in Nursing;

Greenwell Springs — Katherine Langlois, Bachelor of Science;

Greenwood – Lyn Belida, Associate of Science in Nursing; Branden Savell, Bachelor of Science;

Gretna — Janelle Montalvo, Master of Arts in Teaching;

Hallandale Beach, Florida — Ralph Boereau Bachelor of Arts;

Hammond — Angela Davis, Educational Specialist; Brittany Johnson, Master of Science in Nursing;

Hamtramck, Michigan — Mary Cotter, Bachelor of Science;

Harrisonburg — Brandi Bordelon, Master of Science in Nursing;

Harvey — Tyrone Johnson, Associate of General Studies; Kelly Maldonado, Bachelor of Science;

Haughton — Shakayla Bell, Bachelor of General Studies; Stephen Bundrick, Bachelor of Music Education; Bethanie Couch, Brittony Cole, Alexis Hoeltje, Angie Nguyen, Jamie Phillips, Licentra Randolph, Hannah Robertson, Logan Turner, Kacie Wilkinson, Dawn Young, Bachelor of Science; Amanda Hathorn, Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Chelsea Dunlop, Keith Sellers, Master of Arts in Teaching; Jerry Williford, Master of Science in Nursing;

Henderson Texas — John Floyd, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Music of Education;

Hessmer – Aslyn Dennie, Associate of General Studies; Mckinley Greenhouse, Dana Lala Bachelor of General Studies; Daren Dauzat, Bachelor of Science;

Hornbeck – Tricia Ceballos, Associate of Science in Nursing; Sarah Ceballos, Bachelor of Science; Shaina Neal, Master of Arts;

Houma — Kelsey Chauvin, Bachelor of Applied Science; Rhiannon Dean, Sarah Lajaunie, Bachelor of Science; Richard Jones, Master of Arts in Teaching;

Houston, Texas — Oai Lee Huynh, Bachelor of Science; Jordan Rains, Master of Science;

Humble, Texas — Toiquisha Johnson, Bachelor of General Studies;

Hyden, Kentucky — Zachary Sparks, Master of Science;

Iota — Katie Latiola, Bachelor of General Studies;

Iowa — Marvette Williams, Bachelor of Arts;

Jefferson — Ariann Knox, Master of Arts;

Jena — Mercedes Farris, Bachelor of Science; Kathy Lambeth, Master of Science in Nursing;

Jennings — Rachelle Edwards, Bachelor of Music Education; Destany Brown, Rachel Edwards, Lydia Williams, Bachelor of Science;

Jonesboro — Destini Mathews, Bachelor of Science; Carson Robinson, Master of Arts in Teaching;

Jonesville – Rachel Powell, JaMarcus Wilkerson, Bachelor of Science; Cydnie Plaisance, Master of Science in Nursing;

Kinder –Kelsey Frank, Bachelor of Social Work;

Kansas City, Missouri – Myleesa France, Associate of General Studies;

Katy, Texas – Clayton Holgorsen, Bachelor of Science; Jennifer Weittenhiller, Master of Arts;

Keatchie — Brittany Miller, Bachelor of Science;

Keithville — Tabitha Boldings, Robert Hays, Associate of General Studies; Felicia Flint, Associate of Science in Nursing; Jeniffer Campbell, Bachelor of General Studies;

Keller, Texas — Deby Woodard, Bachelor of Applied Science;

Kenner — Willie Soniat, Bachelor of Arts;

Kentwood — Kevin McDaniel, Master of Education;

Kerrville, Texas — Kristy Harris, Bachelor of Arts;

Killeen, Texas — Sara Bishop, Associate of Science in Nursing; Kierra Poole, Bachelor of Social Work;

Kinder — Lacey Weldon, Associate of Science in Nursing; Jonathon Villareal, Bachelor of Science;

Lacombe — Amy Schneider, Bachelor of General Studies;

Lafayette – Claire Broussard, Anthony Paris, Associate of General Studies; Ashanti Alfred, Jeffrey Blossom, Bachelor of Applied Science; Rachael Bryant, Bachelor of Music Education; Laci Bruno, Ashley Guidry, Hannah Travis, Bachelor of Science; Brandy Burrell, Megan Sistrunk, Master of Arts; Atia Garrett, Master of Education;

Laplace — Tiffanie Bourgeois, Master of Science in Nursing;

Lake Arthur — Tuesdi Stipek, Bachelor of General Studies; Nicole Andrews, Bachelor of Science;

Lake Charles — Lynell Broussard, Ashlynn Smart, Associate of General Studies; Landon Dore, Ashtyn Hare, Richard Jimney, Rebekah Nicholas, Bachelor of Science; Jacqueline Clark, Master of Arts; Daren Reed, Master of Arts in Teaching;

Lake Providence — Brandy Chapman, Lakarven Pitts, Bachelor of Science;

Lansing, Michigan – Angelica Ortega, Master of Arts;

Lauderhill, Florida — Daeshon Gordon, Associate of General Studies; Tamara Style, Bachelor of Arts;

Lawtell — Karoline Guidry, Bachelor of Science;

Lawton, Oklahoma — Jennifer Davis, Master of Science in Nursing;

Leander — Karissa Boswell, Bachelor of Science;

Lecompte — Linzey Evans, Bachelor of Science; Ikeia Johnson, Bachelor of Social Work;

Leesville — Diana Cassels, Jessica Herring, Leigha Jackson, Mahala Lewis, Shermeka Rogers, Danielle Smyth, Joyce Stevick, Associate of Science in Nursing; Cecilia Alfaya, Diana Cassels, Leigha Jackson, Julia Park, Krystal Todd, Associate of General Studies; Wendy Bartlett, Damion Brown, Raegan Dotson, Jessica Gray, Matthew Ward, Bachelor of Arts; Joseph Cryer, Britney Harvey, Bachelor of General Studies; Rachal Brown, Jonathan Bruce, Miranda Fulks, Payton Gordy, Sydnee Haag, Taylor Helton, Haley Hood, Karl Marzahl, Amy McKellar, Linsey Preddy, Heather Snell, Megan Tucker, Bachelor of Science; Sabrina Coffman, Kayla Wells, Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Brittany French, Bachelor of Social Work; Samantha Thomas, Master of Science;

Lena — Kardaria Lajaunie – Associate of General Studies;

Lewisville, Texas — Jasmine Frazier, Bachelor of Arts; Erin Knox, Bachelor of Science; Venus Par, Bachelor of Science in Nursing;

Little Elm, Texas — Jasmine Ealy, Bachelor of Arts;

Little Rock, Arkansas — Whitney Jinks, Bachelor of Science;

Logansport — Charles Mclintock, Bachelor of Science;

Longview, Texas – Kelsey Hall, Associate of General Studies; Kelli Hickerson, Bachelor of Arts;

Loranger — Laurie Lassalle, Associate of General Studies;

Loreauville — Tiffany Trahan, Bachelor of Science;

Luling — Macie Barrios, Bachelor of Science;

Lumberton, Texas — Joshua Terry, Bachelor of Science;

Machesney Park, Illinois – Alicia Teran, Bachelor of Science;

Madisonville – Bailey Garfield, Bachelor of Science;

Mandeville – Carrie Maxwell, Bachelor of Science;

Mangham – Rebekah Aultman, Bachelor of Arts;

Mansfield – Ladarius Ealy, Bachelor of General Studies; Whitney Jackson, Autumn Laffitte, Master of Science in Nursing;

Mansura – Magen Hegger, Bachelor of Science; Rebecca Holcomb, Master of Arts in Teaching;

Many – Maegan Burkett, Sydni Easley, Ashley Lafitte, Bachelor of General Studies; Heidi Knight, Bachelor of Science; Samantha Simmons, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science; Krisha Williams, Bachelor of Science; Brittany Founds, Emmy Jeane, Valarie Williams, Master of Education;

Marble Falls, Texas – Sarah Lewis, Bachelor of Science;

Maringouin – Rineshia Adams, Bachelor of Science;

Marksville – Morgan Hughes, Associate of Science in Nursing; Tanner Nugent, Bachelor of Applied Science; Andre Boyer, Madeleine Morrow, Bachelor of Science; Jennifer Spivey Mayes, Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Shelby Lemoine, Bachelor of Social Work;

Marrero – Ajeahnell Dempsey, Bachelor of Fine Arts; Luis Escobar, Bachelor of General Studies; Tara Brown, Bachelor of Science;

Marshall, Texas – Serdalyer Darden, Bachelor of Science;

Marthaville – Melinda Powell, Bachelor of General Studies; Dillon Hagan, Bachelor of Science; Daniel Rachal-Glaspill, Bachelor of Science;

Memphis, Tennessee – Tristan Joynes, Master of Science;

Meridian, Mississippi – Reed Michel, Bachelor of General Studies;

Metairie – Jaime Waguespack, Associate of General Studies; Christian Frost, Bachelor of Arts; Kathryn Bancroft, Anna Birbiglia, Cameron Duhe, Bachelor of Science;

Minden – Angelina Carlin, Associate of Science in Nursing; Asata Sylvas, Bachelor of General Studies; Amanda Rogers, Bachelor of Science; Special Crawford, Bachelor of Social Work; Shonesty Kinsey, Association of General Studies; Abby Greene, Bachelor of Science;

Minneapolis, Minnesota – Jenna Carlson, Bachelor of General Studies;

Mobile, Alabama – Major Deacon, Master of Science;

Monroe – Stephanie Elliott, Associate of General Studies; Jansen Chisley, Jaquita Davis, Aaron Hunt, Ashley Jackson Franklin, Ashley Murphy, Orlandan Williams, Bachelor of Science; Debra Coenen, Master of Science in Nursing;

Montegut – Megan Pellegrin, Bachelor of Science;

Monterey – Tara Dale, Master of Education;

Monterey, Tennessee – Roy Gentry, Bachelor of Science;

Montgomery – Heather Wehunt, Associate of General Studies; Miranda Bartlett, Bachelor of Science; Morgan Bartlet, Bachelor of Social Work;

Mooringsport – Bruce Schimmel, Bachelor of Science; Jo Anna Fisher, Bachelor of Social Work;

Morgan City – Jeremy Orgeron, Bachelor of Arts; Kelly Terrebonne, Master of Arts;

Moss Bluff – Bayleigh Smith, Bachelor of Science;

Mount Pleasant, South Carolina – William Martin, Associate of General Studies;

Mt. Hermon – Warren McFarlain, Bachelor of Science;

Murcia, Spain – Cristina Gonzalez Corchon, Bachelor of Science;

Natchitoches – Micion Aaron, Danielle Anthony, Aaron Berry, Santaurus Burr, Endesha Davis, Joises Florez-Perez, Courtnye Franklin, Eyvette Harris, Charizma Hill, Leigh Martin, Hannah Robertson, Tracy Wilridge, Richard Ziegler, Associate of General Studies; Paula Sanchez Luna, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science; Rachel Jeane, Ricky Lacour, Christopher Lewis, Ja’Lesia Mims, Kevin Price, Meghan Richard, Kayla Rockett, Jacob Ware, Bachelor of Arts; Robert Carrier, David Holmes, William Rogers, Taylor Rutledge, Jalon Sangster, Bachelor of General Studies; Luis Gallo Quintero, Aura Hernandez Canedo, Daniela Salas Ricardo, Jason Smith, Ricardo Ventura, Bachelor of Music; Jeremy Aaron, Kayla Arnold, Adam Barnes, Blake Bechtel, Terrius Bell, Keaton Booker, Brooks Bryan, John Byone, Dominitra Charles, Kaleb Chesser, Jessica Coleman, Haley Dahlhoff, Jacob Dahlhoff, Kara Davis, Logan DeOre, Chasity Dupree, Virginia Falgoust, Kaihe Fisher, Moises Florez-Perez, Luis Gallo Quintero, Haley Genovese, Laura Guzman Rodriguez, Thomas Hadzeriga, Hannah Haigh, Deshon Hayes, Aura Hernandez Cadedo, Saul Hernandez, Jasmyn Hunter, Hannah Jones, Kelsey Jordan, Lyndon Kneuppel, Colby Koontz, John Lindsay, Alexis Moses, Trevor O’Bannon, Anthony Pastorello, Jarrot Remo, Shelby Riedel, Taylor Robverts, Skyler Speer, Patrick Sprung, Cierra Stephens, April Trowbridge, Kaleb Usleton, Fierra Vaughn, Ricardo Ventura, Naloni Walker, Brianna Watermolen, Madysen Watts, Sarah Kay Whitehead, Bachelor of Science; Maria Rushing Bachelor of Social Work; Caron Coleman, Education Specialist; Amy Hooks, Master of Arts; Jeffrey Nieman, Steven Miette, Vashaun South, Master of Arts; Macy Coleman, Master of Arts in Teaching; Emilie King, Alexis Rice, Faith Stanfield, Master of Education; Kaitlin Champagne, Spencer Goodwin, Aaron Patrick, Kayla Velasquez, Master of Science; Susanna Squyres, Master of Science in Nursing; Kelsey Jordan, Bachelor of Science; Savannah Bynog, Associate of General Studies;

Natalbany – Shawanda Robinson, Bachelor of Arts;

Natchez – Courtney Sarpy, Associate of General Studies; Brandi Carpenter, Bachelor of Science;

Natchez, Mississippi – Victoria Bradford, Bachelor of Science;

New Iberia – Mia Bashay, Tara Bonvillain, Natalie Ortego, Bachelor of Science; Theodore Turluck, Master of Arts in Teaching;

New Orleans – Jaime Hendrickson, Diane Nguyen, Iceyuniek Oliney, Amy Thomas, Bachelor of Science; Sally Cragin, Master of Arts in Teaching; Allison Curtis, Master of Education; Frenisha Allen, Associate of General Studies; Jared West, Bachelor of Science;

New Roads – Landry Davis, Bachelor of Science; Sharon Dunnehoo, Master of Arts in Teaching;

Noble – Savannah Anderson, Shelby Etheridge, Thomas Rivers, Bachelor of General Studies;

North Richland Hills, Texas – Cody Germany, Gregory Germany, Bachelor of Science;

Northville, Michigan – Kelly Wright, Master of Science;

Oak Grove – Tonya Creech, Bachelor of Science; Heidi Stephens, Master of Arts in Teaching;

Oakdale – Kelli Morgan, Associate of General Studies; Katelyn Johnson, Kristy Lowe, James Obrien, Magan Soileau, Mary Wharton, Bachelor of Science; Courtney Thompson, Bachelor of Science in Nursing;

Oberlin – Deanna Villareal, Bachelor of Social Work; Jennifer Trombatore, Master of Science in Nursing;

Olla – Cierra Evans, Bachelor of Arts; Danielle Veuleman, Master of Education;

Opelousas – Jordan Brisco, Kayla Pitre, Bachelor of Science;

Otis – Sabrian Thiels, Bachelor of Science;

Palestine, Texas – Bethany Hubbard, Master of Science;

Paris, Texas – Zachary Hevron, Bachelor of Science;

Pearl River – Joseph Lagreco, Bachelor of General Studies;

Pelican – Justin Allen, Associate of General Studies;

Pineville – Sydney Duhon, Autumn McSwain, Stacey Ramsey, Associate of Science in Nursing; Jasmine Clark, James Wenzig, Associate of General Studies; Cedrick Lott, Bachelor of Arts; Taylor Campbell, Rodney Lonix, Bachelor of General Studies; Katlin Ernst, Hannah Pusateri, Micah St. Andre, David Veal, Emily Wiley, Bachelor of Science; Stacy York, Associate of Science in Nursing; Katie Rayburn, Master of Arts; Kenneth rushing, Master of Arts in Teaching; Mary Huff, Jennifer Kees, Elizabeth Wiggins, Master of Education; Wakanda Mason, Tatjana Mimes, Arwa Mohammed, Rebecca Sigler, Master of Science in Nursing;

Plain Dealing – Camille Watkins, Bachelor of General Studies; Nicholas Cason, Bachelor of Science; Cheryl Cook, Associate of Science in Nursing;

Plano, Texas – Asher Van Meter, Bachelor of Science;

Plaquemine – Kameron Landry, Bachelor of Science;

Plaucheville – Hailey Brouillette, Associate of Science in Nursing, Associate of General Studies; Matthew Armand, Bachelor of Music;

Pleasant Hill – Makenzi Patrick, Bachelor of Science;

Pollock – Kari Taffi, Bachelor of Arts;

Pollock, Texas – Katelyn Boles, Bachelor of Science;

Port Allen – Ishmael Lane, Bachelor of Arts;

Port Barre – Skylar Guidroz, Bachelor of Arts;

Prairieville – Hannah Beason, Dwight Robinette, Bachelor of Science; Melissa Bailey, Master of Education;

Princeton – Amie Bowen, Tricia Malone, Associate of Science in Nursing; Jacorious Jeter, Bachelor of Arts; Micah Larkins, Ariell Shield, Bachelor of Science;

Provencal – Taylor Craft, Bailey Scarbrough, Bachelor of Science;

Quitman – Kristopher Cash, Master of Education;

Raceland – Melissa Duet, Master of Arts in Teaching;

Rayville — Emily Rawls, Bachelor of Science; Melissa Duckworth, Master of Arts in Teaching; Mallory Middleton, Master of Science in Nursing;

Reeves – Dominique Aymond, Master of Arts in Teaching;

Richfield, Minnesota – Leah Barnes, Bachelr of Science;

Richmond, Texas – Ebonie Francis, Bachelor of Science;

Richton, Mississippi – Kalen Meggs, Bachelor of Arts;

River Ridge – Taylor Young, Bachelor of Science;

Roanoke – Leah Moore, Master of Science in Nursing;

Robeline – Patricia Goodwin, Laura Olguin, Associate of Science in Nursing; Angela Mitchell, Bachelor of Arts; Kacy Morace, Bachelor of General Studies; Arin Ammons, Bergen Oge, Bachelor of Science;

Rochester, New York – Jackie Fritz, Master of Science;

Rosharon, Texas – Whitney Washington, Bachelor of Science;

Ruston – Ragen Hanson, Associate of General Studies; Heather Beckwith, Phynecha Richard, Bachelor of Science; Meghan Kavanaugh, Elyse Mills, Rachel Moore, Master of Science in Nursing;

St. Francisville – Ryan Reed, Bachelor of Science; Diana Weller, Master of Arts in Teaching;

St. Martinville – Malik Anthony, Blake Blanchard, Destiny Simon, Bachelor of Arts;

Salado, Texas – Reagan Rogers, Bachelor of Science;

Salem, Oregon – Stephen Kim, Master of Science;

Saline – Aaron Savell, Bachelor of Science;

San Antonio – Anthony Renteria, Bachelor of Science;

San Pedro Sula, Honduras – Jonathan Andino Matrid, Bachelor of Music;

Scott – Tayla Soileau, Bachelor of Science; Hollie Touchet, Master of Science in Nursing;

Seabrook, Texas – Amy Whitecotton, Bachelor of Science;

Shreveport – Ashley Brokenberry, Associate of General Studies; Tiffany Allen, Loree Daws, Jessica Hill, Jolene Mateo, Tara McMullen-Turner, Joseph Michael, Robert Mottet, Kaitlin Rawlinson, Misty Roe, Ivana Skocibusic, Tonya Steele, Pamela Stroughter, Laken Thompson, Associate of Science in Nursing; Jessica Adams, Azhani Bennett, Divina Ann Cinco, Angela Coleman, Jasmine Crowe, Tabitha Dabney, Luke Hill, RaTonya Howard, Jared Husley, Qunika Kinsey, Jacinta Lewis, Paula Monsanto, Sarah Starr-Nech, Cory Thomas, Ly-Shaquala Williams, Angela Wills, Associate of General Studies; Jessica Adams, Jessica Bourne, Bachelor of Applied Science; Reagan Escuyde, Chatoria Pace, Katherine Sawyer, Jade Williams, Bachelor of Arts; Mackita Brown, Zandrai Douglas, Jazzmine Jackson, Bachelor of General Studies; Yasmeen Bader, Xavier Daughtery, Rebekah Evans, Samantha Freeman, Jamie French, Elaina Guerror, Caitlin Johnson, Damion Johnson, Drake Johnson, Nathan Jones, William Mahoney, Kelly Moody, Michael Phelps, Taylor Poleman, Shelby Reddy, Kristen Reutlinger, Angelica Satcher, Catherine Shaw, Jackiesha Simmons, Richard Sloan, Curt Story, Rodnisha Terry, Gabrielle Thomas, Kayla Waller, Dillion Wilkerson, Lana Williams, Shamolia William, Bachelor of Science; Shequita Brown, Sarah Starr-Neth, DeAndre Stevenson, Joyce Turner, Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Rakeisha Brown, Bachelor of Social Work; Shamela Freeman, Eiyana Middleton, Tiffany Sandifer, Master of Arts; Sadie Pearson, Master of Arts in Teaching; Cara Lamb, Master of Music; Nicholas Campbell, Master of Science; Elizabeth Bright, Julie Brown, Kayla Bryant, Shimekia Evans, Dannette Furgerson, Elizabeth Hunter, Brandi Jaison, Ema-Chanel Johnson, Lori Phillips, Christina Simpkins, Sara Vergis, Hannah Williams, Master of Science in Nursing; Victoria Bradford, Associate of General Studies; Savonya Robinson, Bachelor of Arts; Breyonna Thompson, Bachelor of Science; Shreka Ellis, Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Diedra Emerson, Associate of General Studies; Alexis Mason, Bachelor of Science;

Silverlake, Washington – Veronica Umiker, Associate of General Studies;

Simpson — David Marquis, Bachelor of Science;

Slagle – Rachel Holten, Bachelor of Science in Nursing;

Slidell – Erica Brumfield, Associate of General Studies; Jacqueline Coleman, Theresa Sharp, Bachelor of Music Education; Claire Harvey, Ariel Johnson, Bachelor of Science; Kelly McNeese, Master of Arts in Teaching;

Spring, Texas – Victoria Harris, Bachelor of Science; Anastasia DiFrancesco, Master of Science;

Springhill – Reagan Tilley, Associate of Science in Nursing;

Sterlington – Jody Boatright, Master of Arts in Teaching; Kaitlyn Johnston, Jessica Smith, Master of Science in Nursing;

Stonewall – Derrick Hamon, Associate of General Studies; Chase Slater, Bachelor of Arts; Alexa Barron, Mallory McConathy, Heather Schiller, Bachelor of Science; Kristi Bass, Mastet of Arts in Teaching; Shelby Bickham, Melanie Matthews, Master of Education;

Sulphur – Derek Henry, Bachelor of Arts; Elisabeth Perez, Bachelor of Science; Kayla Gaspard, Master of Science in Nursing;

Thibodaux — Terrance Johnson, Bachelor of Arts; Katelyn DeLaune, Samantha Eroche, Master of Arts in Teaching;

Tomball, Texas — Aliona Salter, Bachelor of Science;

Toms River, New Jersey — Jacqueline Manza, Bachelor of Science;

Trout — Amber Morphis, Kaitlyn Roark, Associate of Science in Nursing; Andrea Walters, Bachelor of Science;

Tullos — Danielle McCartney-Brown, Master of Arts in Teaching;

Ventress — Racheal Gaudé, Bachelor of Fine Arts;

Vidalia – Christopher Wells, Associate of Science in Nursing; Charles Johnson, Evandria King, Bachelor of Science; Savannah Anderson, Master of Arts in Teaching; Dawn Moss, Summer Powell, Jenny Watson, Master of Science in Nursing;

Vinton — Toby Stanley, Madison Zaunbrecher, Bachelor of Science; Kelsie Rayon, Bachelor of Social Work;

Vivian — Cynthia Dixon, Associate of Science in Nursing; Chase Lewis, Associate Degree, Bachelor of Science;

Walker — David Kolb, Bachelor of Arts; Johnny Brister, Brittany Marten, Bachelor of Science;

Washington — Halie Briley, Bachelor of Science;

Wayneville, Missouri — Molly Fields, Bachelor of General Studies;

Welsh — Jordan Durio, Bachelor of Arts; Katherine Salassi, Bachelor of Social Work;

West Monroe — Allison Freeman, Associate Degree, Bachelor of Science; Jaimie Hankins, Master of Education; Marbie Becton, Nicholas Fisher, Lacey Kennon, Brooke Sutton, Jennifer Williams, Master of Science in Nursing;

Whitehouse, Texas — Jackson Allen, Bachelor of Arts;

Wilmington, Delaware — Amy Bourett, Associate of Science in Nursing;

Wilmington, North Carolina — Noelle Cox, Associate of General Studies;

Winnfield — Shannon Drake, Melissa Mixon, Zachary Perot, Associate of General Studies; Lori Spangler, Bachelor of General Studies; Fabian Correa Guette, Alonso Restrepo Cardozo, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science; Bachelor of Music; Jermesia Anderson, Derek Ball, John Collins, Polina Mutel, Rebecca Reine, Anna Sibley, Bachelor of Science;

Winnipeg, Manitoba — Tyra Duma, Bachelor of Science;

Winston Salem, North Carolina — Ulric Aristide, Master of Arts;

Woodworth — Kaitlyn Albert, Associate of Science in Nursing, Associate of General Studies;

Youngsville — Noel Bourgeois, Brian Horton, Bachelor of Applied Science; Brandon Granger, Bachelor of Arts;

Ypsilanti, Michigan — Anthony Enos, Bachelor of Science;

Zachary – Nekia Richardson, Associate of General Studies, Darryl Anderson, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Brooke Melancon, Master of Science in Nursing;

Zwolle – Holly Laroux, Bachelor of Applied Science, Samantha Rivers, Bachelor of General Studies; Rylea Sepulvado, Bachelor of Science.
00 2019-05-14

Louisiana Tech University students invent state-of-the-art diabetes kit

RUSTON, La. (KNOE) - Louisiana Tech University students are trying to help people with diabetes. The group Polar Case developed a diabetes kit they say has heating and cooling technology that others don't.

The team created a diabetes kit that is compact enough that people can carry it anywhere. More importantly, it's temperature controlled.

“It was a really good experience, so it was kind of like a dream come true,” says Joseph Brunet.

Brunet is part of the team comprised of Mechanical Engineering and Business students. The team won the university’s Top Dog New Venture Championship and thousands of dollars to continue developing their proof of concept.

“It automatically controls the temperature with an electric temperature control unit that we designed,” says Carli Whitfield, a member of Polar Case. “And it also has some lights on it that display whether or not it's being heated or cooled as well as the remaining battery life."

They say the product is designed to hold all the necessary supplies a diabetic needs daily. They say the Polar Case kit gives users more flexibility to be outdoors in any temperature.

“My little brother was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 17 months old, and he's ten now,” says Whitfield, “And then, my dad just last year was diagnosed with type 1."

She says she’s watched the struggles of her family members trying to keep their supplies at room temperature, and that’s what sparked the idea.

Whitfield says thanks to online surveys they were able to narrow down what's inside the kit, like insulin pens, meters, strips, pen tips, a lancing device, glucagon, and extra supplies.

Arman Hajiesmaeili - another member of Polar Case - says now they'll turn to social media to market it.

“We want to give doctors and maybe some bloggers the free product so they can actually test it,” says Hajiesmaeili.

He says as an international student he hopes to take this product worldwide. The rest of the team says the future is pretty bright, too.

“I think in the future it won't just be for diabetics, you know we're hoping to move into other markets,” says Brunet. “There's EpiPens, there's tons of medication besides those two that could use this technology."

The team says they've already met with investors and plan to continue developing their diabetes kit after graduation

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00 2019-05-14

ExxonMobil donates to Tech

00 2019-05-14

Louisiana Tech’s College of Business announces 2019-20 Caddo and Bossier REAL Scholarship recipients

RUSTON — Dr. Chris Martin, dean of the College of Business at Louisiana Tech University, recently announced the recipients of the College’s REAL Scholarship for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Lauren E. Lasiter, of Bossier City, Airline High School
Joshua D. Lewis, of Shreveport, Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts
Bret C. Frotz, of Benton, Benton High School
Alexis N. McClain, of Shreveport, Captain Shreve High School
Andrew D. Atkins, of Shreveport, Loyola College Prep
Avery A. Jeffcoat, of Bossier City, Airline High School
Maggie R. Dinkins, of Shreveport, C.E. Byrd High School
Shelby L. Watson, of Haughton, Haughton High School
“The applicant pool for the REAL Scholarship was extremely impressive again this year,” Martin said. “I am eager to welcome these students to Louisiana Tech in the fall, and am confident they will thrive at the College of Business. I would also like to offer my gratitude to our alumnus for providing the funds to support the academic achievements of students from the Caddo/Bossier area.”

Awarded to first-year undergraduates from Caddo and Bossier parishes, recipients receive $8,000 per academic year, for up to four years, to assist with tuition, room and board, books, and fees. This award is in addition to Louisiana’s TOPS.

“In establishing this scholarship, more students in Caddo and Bossier parishes will have the opportunity to attend the College of Business and improve their quality of life,” said the REAL Scholarship’s anonymous donor, who noted his Louisiana Tech education enriched his life beyond his wildest dreams. “I hope other alumni will be inspired to give back to one of our state’s greatest assets — Louisiana Tech University.”
00 2019-05-13
Associated Press

Louisiana tax revenue surge eyed for colleges, coast, roads

More than $400 million in unspent cash from Louisiana’s better-than-expected tax collections would pay for roadwork, coastal protection projects and public college programs, among a long list of spending plans under debate by lawmakers.

The package of budget bills would plug gaps in the TOPS college tuition program, pay down debts, steer money to legal judgments owed by the state and cover the fire marshal's overtime for investigating the burnings of three black churches in St. Landry Parish.

Dollars would be invested in computer upgrades, socked into a savings account and steered to lawmakers' favored local projects. Much of the spending matches recommendations made by Gov. John Bel Edwards.


Louisiana had a $308 million surplus from the budget year that ended June 30, dollars limited in use by the state constitution. The state also has another $110 million in unbudgeted money for the current year, based on revised tax collection estimates.

Plans to spend the money are contained in three budget bills, two of which won unanimous House backing Thursday and await debate in the Senate. House lawmakers will start advancing the third measure, the state's construction budget bill, next week.


Under the constitution, one-quarter of last year's surplus, $77 million, flows to Louisiana's "rainy day" savings account. Another 10 percent, about $31 million, must pay down debt in the retirement systems for state workers and public school teachers.

Lawmakers propose to send $25 million of the unbudgeted cash to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to cover a portion of Louisiana's share of ongoing disaster recovery efforts. Another $9 million would pay legal judgments, money owed to people who successfully sued the state.


The spending plans include $22 million for higher education programs.

TOPS would receive another $6.6 million to cover full tuition for eligible students, since the program costs more this school year than the $295 million lawmakers allocated for it.

Other dollars would pay for LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center to recruit faculty. The LSU and Southern University AgCenters would get more cash, and LSU's New Orleans medical school would receive more than $2 million to pay a new lease arrangement with the Louisiana Cancer Research Center.

Money would be steered to a fund expected to help with online resources for students, such as electronic textbooks. The University of Louisiana at Monroe's pharmacy school would get $3 million to help with expenses as it undergoes accreditation review.


Nearly $90 million would pay for road and bridge work, coastal projects would receive $55 million and lawmakers' favored local projects would divvy up about $51 million. Another $20 million would chip away at a lengthy backlog of repairs needed at state-owned buildings.


More than $7 million would continue computer upgrades to the state's financial reporting system, a years-long project aimed at moving every agency to the same accounting system. Louisiana's child welfare agency would receive $5 million for upgrades to its eligibility system.

The budget bills would steer other dollars to public safety programs. The corrections department would receive about $8 million, while the juvenile justice agency would get more than $1 million to help it handle increased caseloads from a law change shifting more offenders from the adult corrections system to the juvenile system.

The Louisiana fire marshal’s office would get $37,000 to cover overtime expenses in an investigation that led to the arrest of the arson suspect in the burnings of three century-old African American churches in and around Opelousas.
00 2019-05-13

From physics to Hollywood. One Louisiana professor makes it to primetime TV

HAMMOND, La - A lab at Southeastern Louisiana University is hardly Hollywood.

In fact, it's a long, long way from Hollywood, California.

That's until you see an unlikely leading man.

He's a physics professor at Southeastern Louisiana University.

WGNO News with a Twist fun guy Wild Bill Wood has a question for this professor.

Wild Bill asks, "what is the name of this big man, big celebrity on campus?

The man says, "Rhett Allain."

Wild Bill says, "that sounds like the name of somebody who would always be signing autographs."

Rhett Allain sighs and says, "yea, not so much,"

You see, it's not his name that makes him famous.

It's his work behind the scenes on the TV show MacGyver.

That's where you'll find Rhett Allain.

That's where the physics professor works as a technical consultant.

And that's where he makes sure that all the on screen magic on MacGyver can also really happen in real life.

The professor is a firefighter. And a bit of a good cop.

His role as technical consultant means that he is ready to bust any show business special effect that turns out to be fake.

The not-so-mad-scientist was checking scripts for a cable TV show when big-time, prime-time TV came calling.

That's how he got the gig on MacGyver.

Wild Bill says, "you're the behind the scenes guy who puts all those ideas and all that information into MacGyver's head?"

Rhett Allain says, "that's my favorite part, great chance to see science and be super creative."

Right now, you see Rhett Allain's name only at the end of the show.

After the episode, it's in the closing credits.

That's for now.

You'll also see his name coming soon.

No doubt.

To an autograph seeker near you.
00 2019-05-13

Southeastern Community Music School benefits from First Guaranty Bank sponsorship

First Guaranty Bank is once again providing support to the Southeastern Louisiana University Community Music School.

“Over the past several years, many students from our community have benefited from the bank’s sponsorship of the program,” said Community Music School Director Jivka Duke. “Due to First Guaranty Bank’s generosity, during the fall 2019 and the spring of 2020 semesters, CMS will again provide tuition assistance to students who qualify.”

00 2019-05-13

Ville Platte, Evangeline Parish have potential for economic rebound with industry, tourism, UL students say

Ville Platte has strengths that could bring industry and tourism to what was once listed as the second-poorest town in America, according to a group of University of Louisiana at Lafayette students.

At an end-of-semester presentation Wednesday, students spoke about the potential for growth in Ville Platte along with the issues residents there face. Students in Geoff Stewart's MBA class identified focal points for their project as reviving downtown, luring industrial developments back to Evangeline Parish and promoting tourism in order to revive the economy.

It’s the early part of a multi-semester project, Stewart said, as students lend a hand to a city in which 40 percent of the population lives in poverty and the median household income is only $18,000.

The area already has an industrial park that is also certified site, a low cost of living and numerous tax incentives.

In this poor Louisiana city, leaders joining forces with UL students to revitalize downtown
In this poor Louisiana city, leaders joining forces with UL students to revitalize downtown
"One of the main strengths Ville Platte has to offer is the certified site,” said MBA student Ben Como. “Almost 55 percent of companies find a shovel-ready site very important for site selection. The industries that are already there like Ville Platte Ironworks, Cameron, Cabot — they all complement each other. So finding and attracting industries that complement each other is a strength that can be capitalized on."

Yet it’s the competition for those sites, the lack of broadband and technological infrastructure and the external perception of the area and the state's stagnant economies that are constraints.

Students suggested leveraging South Louisiana Community College's Coriel Campus, 1124 Vocational Drive, in Ville Platte and nearby LSU-Alexandria and LSU-Eunice to help with workforce training along with existing manufacturers.

Tourism, students noted, has potential with the open real estate, local culture and the Evangeline Parish Chamber of Commerce, but any success would be hindered by the abandoned buildings, poor economy, lack of aesthetic appeal, low education levels and aging population.

A Main Street Park would help bring people, especially young families of tourists, downtown for outdoor and cultural events. Festivals or farmer's markets would then help the businesses and the overall economy.

Students and faculty held three town hall meetings in Ville Platte for the project.

"This is just the beginning of a multi-semester project,” said Stewart, an endowed chair in regional business development at UL. “This is special because it's the first class that's worked with Evangeline Parish and with Ville Platte. So next semester we're going to take their work and build on top of it, and it's only going to get better from here."

Renee Brown, executive director of the Evangeline Parish Chamber of Commerce, said the presentation of the class' findings were "enlightening, optimistic and filled with goals that are reachable." She said that many of the people she has discussed the findings with are "very excited and ready to get started."

"It gave us a lot of hope and reminded us of the potential we have,” she said.
00 2019-05-13
Lake Charles

Three generations of grads walk together

Three generations of the McRight family walked to “Pomp and Circumstance” on Saturday during McNeese State University’s spring commencement.

Retired Maj. Kelly McRight, Class of 1962, walked with fellow members of the Golden Scholars Society as the Class of 1969 was recognized on its 50th anniversary, while his son, Jason McRight, graduated with a master’s degree in criminal justice, and his grandson, Blake McRight, received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering.

Kelly graduated from Mc-Neese with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and business.

“When I attended McNeese, there were only the science and administration buildings, the auditorium, gymnasium and the dorm,” he said.

Kelly said he had a great experience at McNeese.

“My degree opened a lot of doors for me. After I graduated, I worked extensively in the agricultural field before joining the U.S. Army and retiring after 29 years of service.”

He also returned to his alma mater to teach ROTC from 1989 to 1993.

Jason, who also has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from McNeese (1997) is the director for planning and research at the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Although he said he has a short time before retirement, he wanted to return to Mc-Neese for his master’s degree.

“This was a personal goal of mine,” he said. “I chose McNeese because it’s local, affordable and because the degree is 100 percent online. This makes it very easy for someone who’s working full time to take classes. That flexibility was an important factor.”

Blake said both his grandfather’s and father’s experiences at McNeese influenced his decision to attend.

“McNeese’s chemical engineering program provides the same quality of education as programs at larger universities and it’s so close to home,” he said. “McNeese was the clear choice for me.”

Ashlee Lhamon is a graduate assistant at McNeese State University.

‘McNeese was the clear choice for me.’
Blake McRight
Engineering graduate honored during McNeese State University’s spring commencement
00 2019-05-13
Lake Charles

McNeese announces spring class of 2019

McNeese State University will award 764 diplomas to 730 candidates at the university’s spring commencement ceremony today, May 11, at Burton Coliseum.

The spring class of 2019 includes candidates from 34 parishes, 20 states and 28 countries and degrees awarded will include 54 associate degrees, 616 bachelor’s degrees, 93 master’s degrees and one education specialist degree.

Spring 2019 graduates are:

Master of Fine Arts

Creative Writing: Laniesha Shaneara Brown, Bloomfield, Conn.; Tyler Robert Sheldon, Hutchinson, Kan.; Travon Godette, Orange, Mass.; Andrew Braden Wittstadt, Blen Arm, Md.; Trong-Anh Mai, Kentwood, Mich.; Ashlee E. Lhamon, Cloudcroft, N.M.; Elliot Sloan Kaiser, Dallas, Texas.

Education Specialist

Educational Leadership: Vanessa N. Gauthier, Lake Charles

Master of Arts

English: Laniesha Shaneara Brown, Bloomfield, Conn.; Jennifer Leah Rockweiler Anderson, Lafayette; Luke Elliot Alphonso, Leesville; Travon Godette, Orange, Mass.; Sarah Elizabeth Harshbarger, Centreville, Md.; Trong-Anh Mai, Kentwood, Mich.; Ashlee E. Lhamon, Cloudcroft, N.M.; Arman Avasia, Houston, Texas; Matthew John Moniz, Alexandria, Va. Psychology: Hannah J. Maust, Riobamba, Ecuador; Stacy L. Welch, Lake Arthur; Jordan L. Fuselier, Ali R. Piatt, Lake Charles; Chrysta Stuart, Diego Martin, Trinidad and Tobago

Master of Arts in Teaching

Elementary Education Grades 1-5: Jordan Hall Downs, Baton Rouge; Hannah A. Alleman, Duson; Emily Marie Whetsell, Englewood, Fla.; Jerlan Kishonne Delmore, Lake Charles; Heidi Mariea Overshiner Smith, Sulphur; Gage Nicole Ibeck Orange, Texas Secondary Education Grades 6-12 [Biology]: Gambrelle Primeaux Hoffpauir, Cameron; Jessen Mayo Hacker, Lake Charles; Maria Zheanette Dupont, Rayne Secondary Education Grades 6-12 [Math]: Mei-Chu L. Dugas, Kinder; Miriam Laverne Watkins, Hilton Head Island, S.C. Secondary Education Grades 6-12 [Social Studies]: Travis Joseph Spears, Sulphur Secondary Education Grades 6-12 [Spanish]: Chantal Denisse Castille, Lake Charles

Master of Business


Business Administration: Frank Joseph Speranza, Baton Rouge; Garrett Keeney, Kristie R. Landry, Emily Ann McElveen, Christine M. Tarver, Lake Charles; Sambidhan Khaniya, Bharatpur, Nepal; Upasana Pandey, Kathmandu, Nepal; Kara Elise Hebert, Sulphur; Son H. Mai, Grand Prairie, Texas

Master of Education

Curriculum and Instruction: Jessica Lauren Porterfield, DeRidder Educational Leadership: Carlie Andre’ Roszell, Houma

Master of Engineering

Engineering: Durgesh Nandini Munnangi, Vijayawada,India; Mitchell B.K Morgan, Lake Charles; Minh Hoang Pham, Suoi Nghe,Vietnam; Joseph Alexander Biondini, Vinton

Master of Science

Criminal Justice: Michelle Antoinette Harden, Bastrop; Jacob P. Johnson, Iowa; Ramin Pirouznia, Lafayette; Alexis Michelle Howard, Tamela LaShawn Lee, Lake Charles; Khadijah J. Archangel, Loreauville; Kevin Glyn Howell, Jason Kelly McRight, Sulphur Environmental and Chemical Sciences: Caleb Matthew Zaunbrecher, Gueydan; Phoenix J. Sconzert-Hall, Lake Charles; Jacob S. Latiolais, New Iberia Health and Human Performance: Kayra J. LaFleur, Basile; Kaitlyn Diana Pinkerton, New Lenox, Ill.; Alexandra Starkova, Madrid, Spain; Jared Lamar Mack, St. Rose; Lindsey Brooke Petzold, Giddings, Texas; Alex M. Eykelbosch, Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom; Niall David Holt, Southampton, United Kingdom; Maegan M. Moore, Ville Platte Instructional Technology: Sarah W. Savoy, Lacassine Mathematical Sciences: Joshua G. Aucoin, Lake Charles; Brittian L. Qualls, Sulphur

Master of Science

in Nursing

Nursing: Laterica L. Sanders, Alexandria; Crystal Faye Rollins, Basile; Amanda Lapeze Bethel, Baton Rouge; Taylor V. Cage, Bossier City; James M. Miller, Carencro; Anthony Michael Peperone, Covington; Bridget Odom Lee, Haughton; Jed M. Guillory, Iowa; Kelly Mott Whitehead, Jennings; Paige Nicole deClouet, Kristen Cannon Godeaux, Lafayette; Lexie Renee Miller, Lake Charles; Kayla Leigh Dunn, Lena; Alyssa M. Czudek, Chelmsford, Mass.; Ryan Paul McCloskey, Metairie; Kate Louviere, Patterson; Jacqueline E. McNeal, Beaumont, Texas; Kaylee J. Bennett, Lumberton, Texas; Christopher Martin Arceneaux, Welsh; Travis C. LeGlue, White Castle; Shanna R. Johnson, Rachel M. Whitstine, Youngsville

Bachelor of Arts

Art: Zaner Marie Delafosse, Crowley; Shelby R. Matte, DeQuincy; Christopher Gary Huff, Caitlin E. Johnson, DeRidder; Madison B. Augustine, Fenton; Jolie A. Trahan, Hackberry; Collin Brice Adams, Inez E. Ange, Heather M. Champagne, Haley Noelle Delaunais, Ashley N. Petry, Esther A. Thompson, Lake Charles; Robert E. Younger, Bayville, N.J.

English: Levi C. Leger, Crowley; Keri M. Reeves, DeRidder; Emily Ann Burleigh, Iowa; Breana Leighanne Camel, Heather E. Fairbanks, Kjuana Aaliyah Kenner, Cody J. Miller, Lake Charles; Molly Kate Thompson, Rosepine; Calista N. Craft, Hunter B. Forman, Sulphur; Erin E. Green, Thibodaux; Brittany Nicole Long, Lumberton, Texas

History: Yenifer V. Flores, San Miguel, El Salvador; Crosby Dylan Qui, Bailey J. Stark, Lake Charles; Cole B. Bonewitz, Port Vincent; Heather Brooke Dowers, Sulphur; Aidan D. Anderson, Beaumont, Texas

Liberal Studies: Gabrielle Elene Burnham, Lake Charles

Political Science: Betsy Anne Buller, Iowa; Collier Thomas Litel, Lake Charles; Grant M. Fontenot, Roanoke; Rachel Marie Zachary, Sulphur

Sociology: Brianna LaShay Hawkins, Baton Rouge; Paula A. Alexander, Breaux Bridge; Katelynne Jean Keith, Folsom, Calif.; Shelia M. Janice, Eunice; Leah Sedra Fontenot, Lafayette; Taylor S. Duhon, Lake Arthur; Kiara Chante Guillory Cabrera, Jacqueline L. Higginbotham, Meagan E. Vezinot, Lake Charles; Sarah Elise Dye Bevel, Leesville; Kylee Mae Olinger, Las Vegas, Nev.; Destiny Montiville, New Iberia; Chandrika D. Rideau, Opelousas; Brittany L. Clements, Port Barre; Kasa A. Benoit, Matthew Reece Pryor, Shavanah Angelique Whittaker, Sulphur; Sarah E. Brignac, Washington

Bachelor of General Studies

General Studies: Angela August, Abbeville; Benjamin L. Bertrand, Basile; Desiree Jeansonne, Baton Rouge; Phyllis Marie Jean Louis, Breaux Bridge; Madeline M. Guilbeau, Carencro; Emily C. Lucas, Crowley; Chasity Marie Grove, DeQuincy; Ta-Neesha D. Jackson, Savannah D. Moses, DeRidder; Blaise A. Scriber, Duson; Taylor D. Brown, Elizabeth; Morami Redditt Cole Engler, Grand Lake; Sage Paul Seay, Hackberry; Kennedy R. Kober, Iowa; Konner K. Richard, Kayla A. Tracy, Jennings; Tehya Christine Langley, Kinder; Tonya Williams Duffy, Brun Joel Lavergne, Nicole B. Roy, Lafayette; Carlee R. Kibodeaux, Lake Arthur; Eugene Kurt Babineaux, Tamara D. Brantley, Amy Nicole Calder, Kelsey L. Cash, Chelsea Rae Marshall Cook, Leah Gautreaux Courtade, Benjamin Thomas Daugherty, Benjamin Joseph Flavin, Kristine N. Fontenot, Abigail E. Hankins, Elizabeth Paige Hunt, Kimberly Danielle Medicis, Ada K. Shearman O’Quain, Jamie L. Quebedeaux, Shelbie McKenzie Reeves, Jada Lee Thibodeaux, Kelsie Lynne Wright, Lake Charles; Tara Colleen Augustine, Steven M. Prewitt, Leesville; Taylor Brianne Dixon, Jessica Leigh Ramsey Ivey, Longville; Cesily Deloach Wilson, Mamou; Kelly R. Benoit, Merryville; Kimberly Chavis, New Orleans; Swechha Baral, Queens, N.Y.; Tevin D. Davis, Rayne; Tina Mascorro, Rosepine; Tyler J. Smith, Shreveport; Amanda Anne Sonnier, Sugartown; Danika Shae Boese Bergeron, Kaylee J. Moody, Sulphur; Ashleigh Nicole Young, Arlington, Texas; Grant A. Ashcraft, Atascocita, Texas; Ashley R. Christopher, Baytown, Texas; Gabrielle Rene’ D’Alesandro, Flowermound, Texas; Harris Pafe Tafah, Grand Prairie, Texas; Katie Nicole Lee, Groves, Texas; Cayne Ueckert, Jasper, Texas; Caitlin Erik A. Jones, Richmond, Texas; Marie Sammons Picard, Taylor, Texas; Tasha Gayle Bruno, Vinton; Kaitlyn Elyse Sonnier, Welsh; Donavon James Borel, Carmen L. Broussard, Samantha Joelene Dawson, Whitney Elizabeth Reeves, Westlake

Bachelor of Music

Music: Layna Grey Bergstedt, Lindsey A. Bower, Jordan Coe, Ty D. Ellender, Julianne Grace Marler, Taylor M. Trahan, Lake Charles; Jacob A. Bridges, Sulphur; Tyler Ray Todd Brumback, Tyler B. Young, Westlake; Diana G. Huerta, Austin, Texas; Ashley Danielle Traughber, Houston, Texas; Nicholas R. Bedwell, Killeen, Texas; Amy E. Phillips, Livingston, Texas; Amina U. Flore, Orange, Texas; Angel Pedro Flores, San Antonio, Texas

Bachelor of Science

Agricultural Sciences: Gregore Magno Cadore, Rio Verde, Brazil; Catherine Paige Monk, Bell City; Mary Grace Brian, Central; Kate L. Miller, Evangeline; Nadja S. Knox, Chicago, Ill.; Hannah C. Dartez, Penny A. Lejeune, Jennings; Cole L. Latiolais, Kaplan; Reginald Eagins, Lafayette; Amy J. Dupuis, Morgan C. Foreman, Kaitlyn Paige Fruge, Sydney Claire Frye, Hailey Ann Wasylkowski, Vera Joyce Wyatt, Lake Charles; Devin H. Magnon, Maurice; Nila Pradhananga, Bhaktapur, Nepal; Sopheariya Katie Muy, Oberlin; Karenzi Alex Mutsinzi, Kigali, Rwanda; Justine Monique Simien, Scott; A’njela Lynn Green, Arlington, Texas; Brookelyn Raye Cuniff, Hamshire, Texas; Hannah Dawn Thompson, Port Neches, Texas; Garrick M. Fontenot, Ville Platte; Brody S. Fisher, Washington; Gabrielle K. Briscoe, Welsh

Biological Science: Madie B. Young, Basile; Zahaan Eswani, Toronto, Canada; Kaleb C. McDade, DeRidder; Elliott L. Reeves, Dry Creek; Martha Tsaliki, Thessaloniki, Greece; Hannah A. Canter, Holmwood; Kyle Brent Delino, Iowa; Mallory E. Myers, Jennings; Tallen Cavenah, Kinder; Jada M. Francis, Lafayette; Kara Lauren Ashworth, Denver Michala Gober Bel, Sydney E. Brown, Canon L. Cart, Jacob G. Cochran, Muneeza Qureshi, Robert Waltler Rutz, Abigail Louise Schmitt, Veronica A. Stewart, Daniel A. Worley, Lake Charles; Hannah Elizabeth Larsen, New Iberia; Chastity A. Boyance, Opelousas; Romy A. Aguinaga, Cameron Cade Johnson, Sarah Elise Pryor, Heidi Paige Simmons, Sulphur; Jordan Mark Warren Vacherie

Chemistry: Jade-Renee Hickman Zaunbrecher, DeRidder; Jordan E. Brunet, Houma; Olivia P. Robison, Jennings; Joshua L. Seaman, Kinder; Alyssa Gabrielle Derouen, Kristina Kay Dowers, Sulphur

Early Childhood Education Grades PK-3: Maghan Brooke Cooley, Elizabeth; Courtney P. Ceasar, Eunice; Sydney Paige Main, Gonzales; Kelsey Nicole Benoit, Hornbeck; Rosalie Clare Guinn, Elizabeth N. Stretcher, Jennings; Katelyn M. Richard, Kaplan; Taylor Deon Hebert, Kinder; Michelle Leigh Brasseaux, Lafayette; Keri Lynn Menard Airhart, Lake Charles; Malorie Dawn Marcantel Maddox, Mittie; Allison Black Stark, Oakdale; Madison A. David, Rayne; Jacie Lynn Istre, Vinton; Toni N. Romero, Welsh; Ada G. Crochet, Westlake

Elementary Education Grades 1-5: Julia L. Hebert, Bell City; Stefani Allie Bourque, Iowa; Elizabeth K. Guidry, Morgan M. Woods, Lake Arthur; Sandra Lynn Theriot, Leatrice Annette Bertrand Williams, Lake Charles; Janae R. Maricle, Leesville; Tara Deneen LaBruyere, Longville; Frankie Beth Marcantel, Annie E. Shipp, Kaitlin Denise Wheeler, Sulphur; Reygan A. Jagneaux, Ville Platte

Health Systems Management: Takeisha D. Freddie, Crowley; Allison Jill Fontenot, Kinder; Celeste M. Lee, Sulphur; Laura Jakelyn Oliver, Westlake

Health and Human Performance, General: Darko Radakovic, Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Jimmy P. Converse, Baton Rouge; Nola R. Prickett, Hemet, Calif.; Sarah L. Clayton, Ladera Ranch, Calif.; Zahaan Eswani, Toronto, Canada; Laura Marie Schmid, Crowley; Lentz Usvelt Similien, Tamarac, Fla.; Nicklas Mattner, Braunschweig, Germany; Haley D. Hudson, Grand Lake; Grace Maria McKenzie, Cork, Ireland; Kimberlyn A. Montgomery, Lafayette; Carley Ann Billedeaux, Camille G. Boullion, Tea B. Dickerson, Austin T. Dufrene, Dustin Glenn Duhon, Haley M. Harless, Ashley L. Hesnor, Kevin T. Istre, Brett Charles Juranka, Christopher P. Livings, Nichole Dawn Logan, Kennedy B. McLemore, Hunter D. Nunez, Emily Nissa Seals, Lake Charles; Marval T. Bourgeois, Larose; Randi Layne Adams, Longville; Erin M. Winters, Canton, Mich.; Alexandria Jaclyn Andrews, Oakdale; Mia M. Manzanares, Lauren R. Wyble, Opelousas; Morgan Brooks Smith, Shreveport; Brentney A. Carroll, Slidell; Alexandria Nicole Jenkins, Dylan P. Leblanc, Noah Michael Nicholson, Lauren Bailey Woods, Sulphur; Emilee M. Mayes, Deer Park, Texas; Ana Karen Reyes, Groves, Texas; Aubree N. Turbeville, Mesquite, Texas; Kirsten Danielle Diaz, Nederland, Texas; Rhett Deaton, Winnsboro, Texas; Jonta J. Jones, Vacherie; Cassidy Blair Ardoin, Welsh

Health and Physical Education Grades K-12: Tyler S. Gaspard, Carencro; Haley Rose Sanford, Franklinton; Jacob C. Stark, Grant; Matthew B. Myers, Hathaway; Michael D. Schultz, Reeves; Timothy R. Gothrup, Gregory Cameron Lafleur, Sulphur; Morgan F. Hardey, Westlake

Mathematical Sciences: Alexis N. DeLeo, Haughton; Patrick C. Hale, Jennings; Haile M. Gilroy, Nathanael Seth Nicholas, Michael A. Reed, Brittany Amber Smith, Caleb A. Stanley, Lake Charles

Medical Laboratory Science: Anderson Kimutai Yego, Eldoret, Kenya; Amy Renee Darbonne, Fariha Syeda Neaz, Lake Charles; Ashley Dianne Edwards, Kristian Blake Griffiths, Sulphur; Cinthya Alejandra Rivas Partida, Guadalajara, Mexico

Natural Resource Conservation Management: Bryan D. King, Parker, Colo., Miah Shaye Lognion, DeRidder; Christina Michelle Keathley Cary, Ill.; Michael A. Grubbs, Lake Charles; Haley Nicole O’Hara, Angleton, Texas; Katie A. Matthias, Welsh

Nutrition and Food Sciences: Mara Bojalil, Athens, Texas

Psychology: James Lavoice Harvey, Amite; Ashlee B. Daily, Anacoco; Meiyi Pan, Shenshen, China; Heaven Nicole Felix, Crowley; Thaddeus D. Richard, Eunice; Audrey L. Harris, Grand Lake; Ka’Desia Danee Harmon, Kinder; Macy Renee Guillory, Lake Arthur; Anne C. Breaux, Miranda G. Charles, Laiken A. Drake, Shianne N. Fuslier, Nina M. Sonnier, Danielle Kay Thompson, Lake Charles; Aimee A. Archangel, Leesville; Sydney Adele Leonard, Livonia; Rebecca T. Smith, Many; Rakia R. Taylor, Pineville; Rachel M. Stevenson, Slidell; Rebecca Mia Gill, Linda M. Hurtado, Hafeez A. Ijaz, Danielle Nicole John, Keileigh Paige LeBlanc, Ashlyn Elaine Richard, Jennifer L. Semien, Sulphur; Morgan P. Middleton, Frisco, Texas; Brianna Leigh Howlett, Vidor, Texas; Megan Anne Gaillard Richardson, Vinton; Olandis J. Johnson, Vivian; Morgan LeAnne Appleby, Devin Jermal Eaglin, Westlake

Radiologic Sciences: Jennifer L. Comeaux, Broussard; Jaycey Ann Beard, Eagle, Colo.; Jennifer E. Link, Lafayette; Taylar Lynnae Bourne, Markeeta A. Collins, Emily Claire Dickerson, Makena J. Doga, Taylor Marie Edwards, Vina Vy Huynh, Shereen K. Taha, Lorita A. Thomas, Lake Charles; Kelsie R. Guillory, Mamou; Jasmine A. Washington, Opelousas; Lanie Catherine Breaux, Cecily C. Schexnyder, Rayne; Alexis M. Gaspard, Roanoke; Alexis Elizabeth Sedano Addison, Lauren G. Breaux, Sulphur; Thao Thi Thu Tran, Buon Ma Thuot, Vietnam

Bachelor of Science

in Accounting

Accounting: Nanci Kaye Evans, DeQuincy; Gina M. Arnold, DeRidder; Blakelyn Jeane Diaville, Quinten J. Swann, Eunice; Heidi D. Zaunbrecher, Hayes; Jeffrey Grant Sonnier, Iowa; Diamond D. Francis, Alaine J. Williamson, Lafayette; Gavin Zane Conley, Faren R. Daigle, Cindi Dawn Gott, Madalyn E. Hebert, Madison Elizabeth Murphy, Kendall Scot Nugent, Lori Lee Granger Wilfer, Lake Charles; Simpson Le, Taunton, Mass.; John Henry Daniels, Kansas City, Missouri; Osasuwen Dominica Osagie, Ikeja, Nigeria; Michael Shawn O’Dell Ragley; Fahad Mastour Alwuthaynani, Mecca, Saudi Arabia; Sara Blythe Bohannon, Sulphur; Khai Quang Truong, Hanoi,Vietnam; Lindsey E. Delouche, Westlake

Bachelor of Science

in Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice: Dayna C. Garcia, Chino, Calif.; Mia L. Thomas, Eunice; Lacie Elizabeth Fontenot, Lafayette; Jordan B. Ashworth, Danielle N. Breaux, Andre D’vonta Brown, Jeanine Marie Cormier, Jeffrey Brian Miller, Charles J. Stracner, Merjani J’Nai Sullen, Lake Charles; Taryn Megan Brooks, Marrero; Dynesty Le’trel Gilliam, New Iberia; Samantha Nichole Callaway, Fort Bragg, N.C.; Michael Warren Cutrer, Devyn A. Knippers, Austin J. Pottorff, Sulphur; Katherine Lea-Ann Leubner, Westlake

Bachelor of Science

in Computer Science

Computer Science: David Alejandro Menacho Vargas, Santa Cruz, Bolivia; Pramod Gobburi, Khammam, India; Timothy D. Foreman, Grand Lake; Jason James Rowland, Jennings; Shaunak Y. Patel, Wendy G. Tygrett, Lake Charles; Mukesh Kumar Patel, Bingunj, Nepal; Prajwal Khatiwada, Hetauda, Nepal; Jiwanshaili Bhandari, Nikesh Khadka, Kathmandu, Nepal; Dorcas Christine Charles, Ville Platte

Bachelor of Science

in Engineering

Engineering: Aaron M. McCain, Abbeville; Chelsea Nicole Couvillion, Alexandria; Austin J. Williams, Anacoco; Jennifer M. Doucet, Arnaudville; Megan L. Elkins, Zachary W. Miller, Bell City; Huanrong Ouyang, Guangzhou, China; Cody L. Thibodeaux, DeQuincy; Kevin J. Orgeron, Hackberry; Chad Marion Brockhoeft, Harvey; Everett Miller, Haughton; Katelyn Leann Derouen, Iowa; Shima Mohammadi, Tehran, Iran; Patrick C. Hale, Jennings; Avery Fliger, Baschor, Kan.; Peter Eugene Broussard, Lake Arthur; Mazen Aljohaif, John F. Ange, Jacob P. Blackmer, Camran Reid Brindley, Bradley G. Bryant, Sophie E. Campbell, Allison B. David, Jonathan David Farraro, Kylie Elizabeth Kristin Flesch, Brandon L. Fontenot, Gunnar Gerard Goodwin, William R. Hennigan, Kristen Marie Sonnier Lemaire, Rohan N. Maharaj, Brandon Cade Martin, Christian J. McGee, Robert F. Nodier, Emily Lorice Northcutt, Shaunak Y. Patel, Braylynn Javonne Poullard, Craig Jamal Rodriguez, Nicholas Schwertner, Christian Robert Seaward, Kennedee M. Sheeley, Kenneth T. Sigmund, Cristian Silviu Tudor, Anthony Curtis Vincent, Gabriel Ray Thomas Wing, Lake Charles; Jeremiah C. Fletcher, Leesville; Samuel Sawyer Bufkin, Longville; Aaron L. Johnson, Mamou; Shreewan Rupakheti, Kathmandu, Nepal; Kshamata Subedi, Parbat, Nepal; Chukwuemeka O. Ike, Lekki, Nigeria; Brennan Matthew Romar, Opelousas; Earl Patrick Alon, Manila, Philippines; Saud N. Ahmed, Ayla A. Bailey, Brittany M. Darrah, Rosepine; Ali Eskandrany, Al Medina, Saudi Arabia; Zaid Marji O. Alkuwaykibi, Al-Qurayat, Saudi Arabia; Abdulrazaq Ibrahim N. Alanazi, Alqurayyate, Saudi Arabia; Rakan Khalid Alsuwaigh, Dammam, Saudi Arabia; Ammar Fageerh, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Abdullah Sultan Ibrahem Alkhalaf, Jubail, Saudi Arabia; Waleed Abumelha, Khamis Mushait, Saudi Arabia; Fawaz Salma H. Aljahdali, Makkah, Saudi Arabia; Faisal Ibrahim Nasser Alqahtani, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Alexis Durio Aucoin, William G. Dever, Hans Alexander Funk, Benjamin Scott Heape, Anais Elizabeth LaFleur, Terrah Lynn LaFleur, Toby Thomas Landry, Ruston A. Logan, Ethan J. McInnis, Blake A. McRight, Remi Danielle Richard, Sulphur; Daniel Scott Cooley, Friendswood, Texas; Thomas A. Spagnoli, Houston, Texas; Britt P. Schmidt, Katy, Texas; Zachary Thomas Smith, Livingston, Texas; Ashton Lynn Ratcliff, Orange, Texas; Monica Thao My Nguyen, Vinton; Collin S. Brown, Colby P. Gatte, Raymond Earl Johnson, Brant A. Morton, Westlake; Lillian Tsitsi Mambiri, Harare, Zimbabwe

Bachelor of Science

in Finance

Finance: Shay M. Walker, Lacassine; Elijah Paul Broussard, Brett J. Bullard, Kelly Noel Caldarera, Cody A. Caswell, Stephan L. Fontenot, Tyler Scott Frey, Dakota Jarreau, Tyler C. Peet, Darian N. Seago, Lake Charles; Abdalelah Saud Alhazmy, Rigadh, Saudi Arabia; Dalton Alexander Drake, Sutton Chase Farmer, Jenica R. Pichnic, Sulphur; Jarren E. Greenwood, Houston, Texas

Bachelor of Science

in General Business

General Business Administration: Jamee P. Stewart, DeQuincy; Jenifer P. Gandhi, Navsari, India; Chase A. Comeaux, Jennings; James Eric Lasher, Ian James Ryder, Lake Charles; Blake Michael Comeaux, New Iberia; Afaf Suwayyid N Alanazi, Alqurayyate, Saudi Arabia; Saleh Abdulrahman S. Alnashmi, Alridadh, Saudi Arabia; Lize-Mey Hartmann Brown, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa; Maegan Sue Hand, Sulphur; Sarah Nicole Kidder, Orange, Texas; Navi Marie Jackson, Tyler, Texas; Zachary S. Israel, Benjamin E. Johnson, Ville Platte

Bachelor of Science

in Mass Communication

Mass Communication: Justyce L. McClain, Phoenix, Ariz.; Megan E. Holmes, Wildomar, Calif.; Aaron Luke Lamb, Jennings; Alyssa D. McNabb, Logan K. Sills, Lacassine; Yolanda Ann Sam Hawley, David A. Singleton, Lake Charles; Danielle Elaina Adossa, Metairie; Delaney Kaye Jackson, Roanoke; Skylar M. Seaford, Christine M. Stephens, Sulphur; Emily Kathryn Hendricks, Welsh

Bachelor of Science

in Management

Management: Allison L. Lavergne, Arnaudville; Mary E. Leonards, Basile; Torrey J. Byrd, Bossier City; Phuong Au, San Jose, Calif.; Jessie LeAnn Edwards, Dry Creek; Christopher John Fleming, Evangeline; Rebecca Ann Alianell, Palm Bay, Fla.; Heidi D. Zaunbrecher, Hayes; Keylee Young, Johnson Bayou; Desmond Silas Holloman, Megan Elyse McCarley, Kinder; Gunnar Boyd Raborn, Lafayette; Deavin B. Andreas, Carl Patrick Farris, Christopher J. Fontenot, Nathan K. Hampton, John C. Land, Leslie Lartigue Mose, Tyler M. Nugent, Mallorie Lynn Snider, Lake Charles; Jacob A. Polk, New Iberia; Kristen Renee Benoit, Ragley; Justin Christopher Brinson, Slidell; Maddison M. Cholley, Austin D. Nelson, Raeana Mesuch Tracy,Sulphur; Charoline Erlandsson, Stockholm, Sweden; Jeffery Michael Knapick, Evan Christopher Morris, Houston, Texas; Keeley Jo Gray, Orange, Texas; Ian David Berrigan, San Antonio, Texas, Dylan Paul Buller, Washington; Grant H. Watkins, Welsh; Courtnee C. Green, Youngsville; Abigail T. Byrd Schexnider, Westlake

Bachelor of Science

in Marketing

Marketing: Sadonya Rhea Batiste, Church Point; Elizabeth E. Gober, Shane T. Selman, Lake Charles; Simpson Le, Taunton, Mass.; Rayan Altouyan, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Steven Aaron Robinson, Katy, Texas; Nghia Tuan Do, Hanoi, Vietnam; Hannah N. Fontenot, Ville Platte

Bachelor of Science

in Nursing

Nursing: Margaret G. McGehee, Basile; Sydney A. Stevens, Bell City; Latoshua Mabre Bergeron Quebedeaux, Breaux Bridge; Blake Alan Hill, Delcambre; Jacie Virginia Folse, Des Allemands; Hanna N. Esthay, Evangeline; Brandi LeJeune Reed, Gueydan; Sydney B. Broussard, Natasha M. Hicks, Hackberry; Cathlyn Jeanne Oubre Hyatt, Hahnville; Caitlin Nicole Fuselier, Boyd Joseph Lowe, Kristin Renee Sharp, Iowa; Nyra Dawn Kershaw, Jennings; Annie Lynn Bourque, Erika Carrizales, Hannah Elizabeth Clements, Megan Tania Clemons, Michelle A. Klein, Miranda Lynn Langley, Alexandra Christine Liles, Paola Moreaux, Jalyn Denay Parker, Shanxi Piao, Briaunna C. Rachal, Taylor A. Robbins, Kiani Jenè Roberson, Lake Charles; Kelly Moreau Bergeron, Leonville; Alaina Faye Johnson, Payton Elizabeth Young, Mamou; Shelbi H. Monceaux, Midland; Charlie Ann Earl, Mittie; Nicholas F. Bienvenu, New Iberia; Emily Renee’ Granger, Oberlin; Macy E. Fazio, Rosepine; Brittney Ann Robichaux, St. Martinville; Gabrielle Nicole Higginbotham, Samantha Elaine Trahan, Sulphur; Jacob Alan Stewart, Beaumont, Texas; Hailey Louise Campbell Carr, Buna, Texas; Dionne Renee Vigee, Georgetown, Texas; Tara Lyne Flores-Powell, Horizon City, Texas; Margaret Carter, League City, Texas; Alicia Kay Bryant, Welsh; Megan E. McGuire, Westlake

Associate of Arts

in Paralegal Studies

Paralegal Studies: Emily Denise Fusilier, Devon Paige Mouton, Lake Charles; Elizabeth Ann Torrans, Pineville; Kodie Elaine Burch, Sarah Shirley Timpa, Ragley; Trudy Lynn Courts Tietje, Roanoke; Amanda Lynn Fee, Lauren E. Richardson, Sulphur; Bethany E. Bergeron, Westlake


of General Studies

General Studies: Braesher M. Parker, Abbeville; Chelsea Nicole Couvillion, Alexandria; Kristen N. Mayo, Anacoco; Eli Alexander Aultman, Cheyenne A. Benoit, DeQuincy; Thaddeus D. Richard, Eunice; Hanna N. Esthay, Evangeline; Sydney B. Broussard, Hackberry; William Bennett Heinen, Matthew B. Myers, Hathaway; Shay M. Walker, Lacassine; Elizabeth K. Guidry, Lake Arthur; Anne C. Breaux, Sydney E. Brown, Bradley G. Bryant, Steven J. Corbello, Brooklyn N. Fontenot, Shianne N. Fuslier, Gunnar Gerard Goodwin, Katelyn S. Johnson, Miranda Lynn Langley, Nichole Dawn Logan, Allison Guillory Meche, Abigail Louise Schmitt, Kennedee M. Sheeley, Alyssa Jane Stevens, Jada Lee Thibodeaux, Lake Charles; Sydney Adele Leonard, Livonia; Rebecca T. Smith, Many; Danielle Elaina Adossa, Metairie; Jessica Heard, Akron, Ohio; Jade E. Marvin, Cincinnati, Ohio; Justyn T. Breaux, Opelousas; Rakia R. Taylor, Pineville; Sherell L. Fontenette, St. Martinville; Linda M. Hurtado, Claire Elizabeth Landry, Austin J. Pottorff, Sarah Elise Pryor, Ashlyn Elaine Richard, Sulphur; Johnny Rankins, Vinton; Colby Mark Oliver, Brooke C. Woodson, Welsh; Ella M. Eaglin, Lauren B. Fuselier, Westlake
00 2019-05-13
Lake Charles

Three generations of McNeese graduates recognized at commencement

By Drew Marine | May 11, 2019 at 5:33 PM CDT - Updated May 12 at 12:00 PM
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Graduation season is here and for most college grads — crossing that stage to get your diploma is a huge stepping stone. But, for the McRight family, this was an extra special day.

“Growing up I always heard my grandfather’s stories about back in the old days, you know. Even my dad, he also went to McNeese, so he had some stories too about how buildings were and how parties were," Blake McRight, the grandson of the family and who received a Bacherlor’s degree, said.

“My dad went to McNeese, my grandmother was a dorm mom here, my wife works at McNeese, we met when we were going here. Now my son is graduating from McNeese," Jason McRight, the son of the family and who received a Master’s Degree, said.

“It’s been great and this has just been a family tradition I guess you can say. We’ve enjoyed it. I hope we have many many more years, but I’ve reached the age now where I’ve been coasting," Kelly McRight, grandfather of the family and who was honored as a McNeese graduate, said.

These three represent three generations of their family and were recognized at McNeese University’s 152nd commencement Saturday.

Blake received a Bachelor’s in chemical engineering.

“Chemical Engineering. It’s been a ride, it’s been a tough ride. I’ll tell ya that. I’m just thankful I graduated honestly," Blake said.

Jason received a Master’s in criminal justice.

“The masters was actually just kind of a personal thing, I’m actually only about 9 months away from being eligible from being able to retire. So, it’s really more of a personal thing. Hopeful it’ll show the future generations behind me there’s no reason to stop being on the path to education," Jason said.

Along with Kelly, who was honored as a McNeese graduate.

“I received my degree in agriculture and business. I worked for a lot of major oil companies, and then I decided to get out of that and go to the military. That’s what I did and I enjoyed it," Kelly said.

This family graduation making an already very special day, three times sweeter.

“It’s pretty special to be honest with you. It’s pretty neat all three of us will be out there," Jason said.

Blake plans on working at a plant as a chemical engineer after graduation.

Copyright 2019 KPLC. All rights reserved.
00 2019-05-13

ULM holds graduation ceremony

MONROE,La. (KNOE)- Waves of cheers and excitement filled Fant-Ewing Coliseum as ULM’s class of 2019 walked across the stage.

"It's a relief. It really is," says 2019 graduate Mykel Wilson.

"Thanks for all the support and I love you," beamed another graduate as she talked about her family support.

There was only standing room as family and friends filled the venue to capacity. For some, today is a family milestone.

"She's the first one that graduated from our family, from college", said proud family member Clarissa Westbrook.

The crowd of 900 graduates was 68% female and featured students from 55 different Louisiana parishes.
Governor John Bel Edwards beamed with pride over the school's dedication to diversity and told the students to keep working hard.

"209 completed their degrees online, your ages range in age from 19 to 63. 51 of you are international students," said Edwards.

In his commencement speech, he offered graduates words of encouragement.

“While one journey may be ending, another one is just beginning," said Edwards.

"Pray as if everything depends on God. And work as if everything depends on you."

As students celebrate walking to campus for the last time, President Nick Bruno left them with one final message.

The sun always shines with on ULM," said Bruno.
President Nick Bruno says the graduating class holds many of ULM’s 4 thousand interns.

Together they put $22 million into the economy. U-L-M was also voted one of the safest colleges in America.

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00 2019-05-13

Over 400 students graduate from GSU today

(5/10/19) GRAMBLING, La. -- Grambling students were decked out in black and gold from head to toe with smiles as big as one could imagine.

Today the 'Gram Fam' stood proud as members prepared to head into the next phase of their lives.

Thousands came out to Grambling State University to celebrate their loved ones' accomplishments.

This year's commencement speaker was Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League.

More than 400 graduates crossed the stage today.

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00 2019-05-13
New Orleans

Crawfish Mambo at UNO: Savor the photos

Dozens of crawfish boil teams competed for prizes during the day-long Crawfish Mambo on the campus of the University of New Orleans. The annual event also featured a crawfish eating contest, live music, a kids tent, and the Mambo Artists Village.

The Top Agent Realty boil team serves up the mudbugs
Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
The Top Agent Realty boil team serves up the mudbugs
Mudbug aficionados listen to the music of the Bucktown All-Stars
Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
Mudbug aficionados listen to the music of the Bucktown All-Stars
People sample crawfish boils from various teams
Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
People sample crawfish boils from various teams
The Capital One boil team dumps some crawfish
Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
The Capital One boil team dumps some crawfish
Dozens of crawfish boil teams compete for the heart of the crowd
Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
Dozens of crawfish boil teams compete for the heart of the crowd

Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
Crawfish. Lots of crawfish.

Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
People sample crawfish boils from various teams

00 2019-05-13
New Orleans

Biotech start-up firms "graduate" from NOBIC to UNO's growing private sector roster

The University of New Orleans has attracted another technology company to its Advanced Materials Research Institute, as it grows its roster of commercial research companies coming out of their "incubator" stage looking for access to qualified employees and expensive equipment.

The addition of Obatala Sciences, together with its sister company, LaCell, brings to four the number of companies that have relocated to the AMRI facilities in the past two years.

Obatala Sciences has been housed for the last seven years at the New Orleans BioInnovation Center, or NOBIC, a start-up "incubator" facility on Canal Street that has recently run into financial troubles.

New Orleans biotech start-up 'incubator' in bail-out talks amid financial woes
The move to AMRI coincides with Obatala's first round of venture capital fund-raising, talks with potential investors having started last month with the hope of raising $4 million, said Trivia Frazier, the company's CEO.

"We're now exiting 'stealth mode'," she says. "We've been under the radar for most of the last seven years but we're starting to ramp up in terms of going after state and federal research grants, and other activities like sales."

The move to AMRI will give Obatala, a biotechnology company that offers pharmaceutical companies quicker ways to move from animal to human testing, access to qualified students and faculty and to equipment it couldn't afford to buy or lease on its own.

That is the same proposition that attracted Advano, a company using silicon nanotechnology to develop batteries for the renewable energy sector, two years ago after the two founders had just secured $500,000 in funding, according to John Wiley, AMRI's director.

Advano's co-founders, Alexander Girau and Shiva Adireddy had been doing research at Tulane University and "were originally just looking to borrow some equipment but we said, 'hey, instead of us bringing it to you why don't you move here," said Wiley.

The company re-located in July, 2017 and "once that proved workable, start-ups in this town all seem to know each other, so that led to InnoGenomics," a company specializing in DNA processing for medical and forensics labs. InnoGenomics also had been at NOBIC for its early years and moved up to AMRI as it grew and required more staff and access to equipment.

Meanwhile, Advano has gone from just the two founders to a staff of 20 and is set to move to UNO's Center for Energy Resource Management building this summer.

Developing the private sector relationships with tech companies makes sense for the university and its students, Wiley says. "We have $10 million of state-of-the-art equipment and having this additional income helps...Also, it makes a lot of sense for students having employment and internship possibilities right on campus, especially as a large percentage of our student population are non-traditional in that they may be working, have kids and so on."

AMRI is talking to other commercial ventures and non-profits about moving to its space, including one that is studying wasting disease in the deer population in the northeast U.S., Wiley says.

Kris Khalil, NOBIC's interim CEO, who is working on a new business plan aimed at resuscitating the center by bringing it into closer partnerships with the universities, said the Obatala/LaCell move is the kind of thing NOBIC was designed to foster.

"This success story is a direct result of NOBIC’s efforts as a force multiplier for the region's biotech industry, and is exactly the type of trajectory contemplated when NOBIC was established," he said.

"The companies will gain the space needed to allow significant future growth, and be directly involved as UNO creates new training for students in biotechnology that will make them ideal employment candidates upon graduation."
00 2019-05-13

LA Tech to host LSU in ‘Hoops 4 Disaster Relief’ exhibition

RUSTON, LA (KSLA) - Louisiana Tech will host LSU in an exhibition contest called “Hoops 4 Disaster Relief” on Nov. 2 in the Thomas Assembly Center on Karl Malone Court.

Head coach Eric Konkol announced the contest Friday, May 10.

The proceeds from the event will benefit disaster relief efforts following the tornado that hit Ruston and LA Tech’s campus on April 25.

“We are grateful to LSU for coming to Ruston to play in this exhibition game and aid in the rebuilding efforts. This game will benefit our team and excite our fans, but more importantly, it will provide a tremendous opportunity to raise resources for the Disaster Relief Fund," said Konkol.

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“This is what we do in Louisiana,” said LSU head coach Will Wade. “When someone needs help, we all pitch in. For us, it gives our guys the opportunity to travel and go play a good team away while we prepare for the season. It’s helpful for everybody and we’re glad to be a part of it.”

Tickets are available now by calling the LA Tech Ticket Office (318) 257-3631, on Facebook or through the official website.

Copyright 2019 KSLA. All rights reserved.
00 2019-05-13

Bulldogs Host Annual Tech & Tails Event

The 11th annual Tech & Tails event hosted by the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs took place Friday night in Bossier.

The event was emceed by football color analyst Teddy Allen.

This event gives the Tech coaches a chance to interact with a part of their fan base they don't get to see every day, and they say they love having the event.

Skip Holtz said, "What's great about it is having the opportunity to mingle. To see so many of the people that are here that they make that trip over to Ruston all the time during the fall for the different events and the things that are going on with the university, but it's our opportunity to come back over here and say thank you to so many people in this community that support us."
00 2019-05-10
Baton Rouge

Proposed teacher pay raises boosted in Louisiana's $30B budget passed by House; see next steps

Around this time last year, a divided Louisiana House was wrestling with a state budget that threatened to shutter hospitals, cut popular scholarships for college students and raised fears of tossing the elderly out of nursing homes.

But on Thursday, faced with a recently-recognized $119 million in additional state revenue instead of a severe shortfall, the House easily passed a spending plan where the biggest source of controversy was how much extra money the state should spend on public schools, and how large of a raise teachers should get.

The $30 billion budget passed 100-1, sending it to a Senate that is almost certain to make its own round of changes. Despite a disagreement between some Republicans and Democrats over how to handle giving teachers raises, members did not try to make large-scale changes to the spending plan outlined by House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry.

“This is obviously one of the easiest budget processes we’ve gone through in the four years I’ve been here,” as head of Appropriations, said Henry, R-Metairie.

The plan would give teachers a $1,200 pay raise and support staff a $600 raise. That’s higher than the $1,000 and $500 respective raises outlined by the governor and endorsed by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. It would fully fund TOPS, deliver an extra $36 million in state money to higher education and boost spending on corrections, among other departments.

However, it does not include a $39 million block grant to public schools that proponents, including the governor and BESE, have deemed crucial.

“We’re willing to compromise with them,” Henry said of the Senate. “But they have to be willing to work with us in the process and not give us two minutes as it relates to the state budget.”

House committee approves revamped plan that'd give teachers $1,200 raises, not $1,000
House committee approves revamped plan that'd give teachers $1,200 raises, not $1,000
State Rep. Walt Leger III, who goes to bat for the governor in Henry’s Appropriations Committee, did not try to alter the school funding and teacher pay plan, like he did in committee.

Instead, he said the Senate will work out some of the “flaws” in the budget. Those include language that limits how agencies can spend their money and where they can cut, Leger said. He tried making those changes Thursday but was shot down, opposed by Henry and other Republicans.

Leger said bringing the fight over the budget to the House floor would have been “counterproductive.”

“There are a number of really fundamental problems with this,” Leger said after the House wrapped up its work on the budgets. “But I expect that ultimately the universe of those is so much smaller than what it has been in the past few years."

Last year, lawmakers were dealing with a $650 million fiscal cliff as they created their spending plan because of expiring taxes.

Defying House leaders, BESE sticks with request for $39 million increase for public schools
Defying House leaders, BESE sticks with request for $39 million increase for public schools
But a partial renewal of a sales tax penny shored up the state’s finances this year, and higher than expected tax collections led to $119 million in additional funding being recognized by the Revenue Estimating Conference for next year’s budget. Lawmakers used that money to fund teacher raises, pay for TOPS, and deliver an extra $4 million to the Office of Motor Vehicles in an effort to decrease wait times. Councils on aging would get an additional $4 million, and disability services championed by advocates would get extra money.

The plan gives $10 million of the $13 million requested by the Department of Children and Family Services, but prevents the agency from cutting the food stamp program. The head of DCFS told the House Appropriations committee last month that she has nowhere else to cut besides the food stamp program because of the dire state of her budget.

Lawmakers indicated a willingness to put more money toward early childhood education. Higher education would get an extra $36 million, a move that fully funds the popular tuition program TOPS.

“Higher education is faring better in this proposed budget than they have in a decade,” said Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, the budget architect for Gov. John Bel Edwards.

The budget also cut out “excess budget authority,” from several agencies to the tune of $700 million, an effort to bring spending estimates in line with what departments expect. Henry said he and other members heard in the news the state was set to have the largest budget in history, but noticed many departments did not spend all the money they were authorized to, often because fees or federal dollars did not come in as expected.

Agencies can come back to lawmakers throughout the year to recoup their lost budget authority if the money comes in, he added.

Lawmakers also unanimously approved budgets for the Legislature and judiciary, as well as a supplemental bill that spends excess money.

The state has a $308 million surplus from last fiscal year, some of which lawmakers decided Thursday to spend on unfunded liability for the state employees and teachers retirement systems.

Lawmakers also had $110 million in excess funding for the current fiscal year that ends June 30, money the House aimed toward paying down debt service, implementing a new online government system and several other areas.

The House advanced standstill legislative and judicial budgets. Combined, the House approved $34 billion in spending for the 2020 fiscal year.
00 2019-05-10

Building bridges: UL Lafayette’s Honegger headed to Japan as Fulbright scholar

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Dr. Rose Honegger will travel to Japan next month for a two-week stay as a Fulbright U.S. scholar.

She is one of 800 U.S. citizens selected this year for the prestigious program. Participants journey to other to countries to teach, conduct research or provide expertise as part of the international cultural exchange program. It’s one of the most competitive fellowships in the world.

The associate director of Global Engagement at UL Lafayette will have a full itinerary. She will meet with educators and public officials at about a dozen universities and governmental agencies.

A key component of the program is to “promote mutual understanding between different cultures,” she said. “Another is educational collaboration.”

Honegger will learn about opportunities for UL Lafayette students to study in Japan. She will hear about ways the University can accommodate students from that country who wish to study here.

Honegger will also promote the University’s Intensive English Program, which offers courses in writing, reading and speaking for students whose first language isn’t English.

“We’ve had interest from Japanese universities that want to do intensive summer programs catered to their students,” she said.

“The program is for non-native speakers who are interested in improving their English language proficiency. It’s essentially a bridge program for international students,” Honegger explained.

This spring, 442 students representing 62 countries are enrolled at UL Lafayette.

Helping students from other countries adjust to life on campus and in the community is a familiar role for Honegger. Through the Office of International Affairs, she administers programs and steers students toward services intended to help ease their transitions.

“Adjusting to a new culture can be challenging, and many international students are entering an entirely different educational system,” Honegger said.

Fulbright award recipients are selected based academic and professional achievement, and service and leadership. Honegger was accepted into the program after she completed a lengthy application process and received a peer-review panel’s recommendation.

The Fulbright Program was founded in 1946. It’s sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Learn more about the Fulbright Program
00 2019-05-10
Lake Charles

Bikeshare program could benefit area

Bike share programs have been a topic of discussion locally for some time. And a new study suggests that Lake Charles and McNeese State University are good locations to introduce such systems.

Making Lake Charles a more friendly place for bicyclists, while giving residents another option when it comes to transportation, are certainly welcome ideas. Bike share programs may be the solution for both issues.

Nearly two years ago, Lindsey West, president and CEO of the Baton Rouge-based Bantam Strategy Group, spoke about how bike share programs have worked in cities like Birmingham, Ala. At the time, she said she felt Lake Charles was ready to discuss the possibility of rolling out a system.

Work on the Bayou Bikeshare Plan study began last fall. It recommends starting off with 151 smart electric bicycles and 32 hub locations in Lake Charles, then adding 184 more bicycles and 39 new hubs three years afterward.

According to the study, this approach is easy to use and wouldn’t rely on larger dock-based stations and kiosks.

The study suggests a different approach in Sulphur, specifically allowing residents to pay a small fee to check out a fleet of bicycles from staffed locations. A central hub would open with roughly 10 to 20 bicycles.

This approach is being recommended because Sulphur has fewer people and a lower demand for bike share than Lake Charles. It also states that the program caters more toward longer trips. For instance, a resident or student could check out a bicycle for a month as another form of transportation.

Bike share programs are growing in the U.S. A dozen cities had them in 2010, according to West. Now, more than 150 cities either have them or are working to introduce them.

Plenty of steps remain before bike shares are a reality in Lake Charles or Sulphur. Funding has to be secured, and a bicycle vendor would need to be chosen.

Knowing that a bike share system could work in the local area is encouraging. Still, we have to make sure the program is rolled out the right way so residents can get the most benefit from it.
00 2019-05-10

Gov. Edwards to deliver address at ULM's Commencement Saturday

MONROE, La. - (5/9/19) Gov. John Bel Edwards will deliver the commencement address at ULM's Spring Commencement.

The University of Louisiana Monroe presents Spring Commencement 2019 at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 11 in Fant-Ewing Coliseum.

A large crowd is expected; therefore, Bayou Pointe will be open for those who would like to watch commencement exercises on a large screen.

President Dr. Nick J. Bruno will confer 910 degrees upon 900 graduates. There are 10 associate’s degrees; 671 bachelor’s degrees; 92 Doctor of Pharmacy degrees; 118 master’s degrees; four Doctor of Education degrees and five Doctor of Philosophy degrees.

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00 2019-05-10

Cutting-edge autism program is coming to ULM

MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The University of Louisiana at Monroe is now offering a new program starting this fall all about autism. This Post-Baccalaureate Certificate will give students the opportunity to learn about autism throughout a person's life.

The ULM Autism Center's director, David Irwin, says this program is 15 credit hours and will kick off this fall with 2 courses, followed by 2 courses in the spring, and a final course in the summer.

Irwin says this is one of the first programs of its kind in Northeast Louisiana. He says most colleges and universities have one or two classes involving autism, but not a comprehensive program going in-depth with autism.

He says the first class will be an introduction to autism and how to diagnose someone. Irwin says the second class will show the referral process to in-depth evaluation centers, and the third will detail evidence-based treatment techniques.

The fourth class "will look at people beyond the high school years transitioning into employment, independent living, working and holding down a job or attaining a college degree," says Irwin.

"Sometimes individuals can have very good supports within the school system, then they graduate high school," says Irwin. "And I heard one person say at a meeting 'it's like they've fallen off a cliff all their supports and help left them when they graduated high school'."

He says the fifth class will detail "family and parent partnerships with professionals."

Irwin says you can head over to ULM's course registration website, https://www.ulm.edu/schedule/.

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00 2019-05-10

Handel named provost, vice president for academic affairs at Northwestern State

NATCHITOCHES, La. (NSU) - Dr. Greg Handel has been named provost and vice president of academic affairs at Northwestern State University. The appointment is subject to approval by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.

“During his career at Northwestern State, Dr. Handel has demonstrated that he has all of the professional capabilities and personal characteristics to excel in the position of provost and vice president for academic affairs,” said Northwestern State President Dr. Chris Maggio. “I know he will do an outstanding job as he undertakes new responsibilities that are vital to the future success and excellence of our university.”

Handel has been dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since 2017 and was interim dean in 2016-17. He has been director of the School of Creative and Performing Arts since 2014 after eight months as acting director. Handel joined NSU’s faculty in 2008.

“I am honored to be chosen as provost and vice president of academic affairs, and look forward to serving the university,” said Handel. “NSU has a dynamic, gifted, talented and passionate faculty and staff that work tirelessly to be responsive to students and to progressively grow the academic culture of the university.”

Handel taught courses in music, music education and fine arts and advised more than 80 music education majors each semester. He also served as rehearsal accompanist/organist for Northwestern State’s Chamber Choir and Concert Choir. Handel received the 2011 Excellence in Teaching Award for the College of Arts, Letters, Graduate Studies and Research. He has been a public school teacher at all levels in South Dakota and Arizona.

“This is an exciting opportunity to engage and dialogue with those individuals and departments to create new ways to expand our academic quality and integrity, and to work with advisory councils in assisting us with being responsive to workforce and industry needs,” said Handel. “NSU is positioned to continue as a leader in our region, and I am honored to be part of that conversation.”

Handel and Director of Bands Dr. Jeff Mathews co-authored “The Best Sounding Band in the Land: A History of the Northwestern State University Band." He has also contributed to The Grove Dictionary of American Music and the Music Educator’s Journal. He is completing a publication, “Celebrating 50 Years of Community Commitment and Collaboration: The History of the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Society.” Handel has been a regular presenter at state, regional and national professional conferences.

A graduate of Augustana College, Handel earned a master’s degree and doctorate at Arizona State University. He is a 2017 graduate of the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education: Institute for Management and Leadership in Education.

Copyright 2019 NSU. All rights reserved.
00 2019-05-10

NSU Men’s Basketball sets dates for summer camps

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s Men’s Basketball program and Head Coach Mike McConathy will offer summer camps for you in Bossier City and in Natchitoches.

Kids’ Camps are listed as follows.

Hoops for Kids – At Airline High School – Bossier City, LA

Dates: June 3-6, 2019

Girls and Boys Ages: 4 years of age to entering 7th grade

Day Camp – at Prather Coliseum on NSU in Natchitoches, LA

Dates: July 8-11, 2019

Girls and Boys Ages: 5 years to entering 9th grade

Challenge Camp – Overnight camp, stay in Dorms on NSU Natchitoches Campus

Dates: July 12-14, 2019

Boys Ages: Entering 7th grade to entering 12th grade

Registration is available at demonbasketballcamps.com or you can visit the Men’s Basketball Office in Prather Coliseum to pick up your registration forms or contact Marcia Bolton at (318) 357-4274 to have the forms mailed.
00 2019-05-10

Three voice students receive Guillory Scholarship

Three voice students at Northwestern State University have been selected as the 2019-20 recipients of the Guillory Scholarship for Vocal Excellence. The scholarship was instated through the NSU Foundation by Megan Guillory, a former voice student at NSU.

The recipients are Emily Adams of Raceland, a sophomore music major with a performance concentration; Michelle Moline of Bossier City, a senior music major with a performance concentration, and Amanda Charles, a graduate student from Houston. Adams and Charles are students of Terrie Sanders. Moline is a student of Marcy McKee.

“Receiving the Guillory Scholarship means so much to me,” said Charles. “It shows me that I have someone that believes in me as a performer and also gives me the extra push that I needed to continue on with my studies. I am truly grateful for this blessing.”

Guillory recently held auditions to determine the recipients, who must be voice majors with at least a 2.5 grade point average. The scholarship awards $500 per recipient in both the fall and spring semesters.

“To know that my university is supporting me in all that I do and that alumni are impressed with what I’m doing is such an honor and I can’t be more thankful for everything they do for me,” said Adams. “I always accept anything given to me with such appreciation. I will use this scholarship to further my vocal education. I am so thankful for alumni reaching out and helping us further our aspirations.”

For more information on music programs at Northwestern State go to capa.nsula.edu/music. To find out about establishing a scholarship at NSU, go to northwesternstatealumni.com/nsufoundation.

The 2019-20 Guillory Scholarship for Vocal Excellence was recently awarded at Northwestern State University. Recipients, from left, Amanda Charles of Houston, Emily Adams of Raceland and Michelle Moline of Bossier City are with donor Megan Guillory.
00 2019-05-10

ROTC cadets recognizes during spring awards program

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s Department of Military Science hosted an end-of-semester awards program for cadets in the Reserve Officer Training Corps. The 69th Demon Battalion Spring Awards Ceremony highlighted the accomplishments of cadets in and out of the classroom.

Academic honors were presented to Cadets Clayton Casner and Cole Spoon, President’s List (4.0) students, and Cadets Karl Marzahl, MacKenzie Buie-Grace, Joseph Orchi, William Jenson, Gennyfer Pena, Alyah Cortez and Seth Ozsoy, Dean’s List (3.50-3.99) students.

Cadets who earned honors for 4.0 grade point averages in military science were John Ham, Karl Marzahl, Mackenzie Buie-Grace, Eboni Phidd, Maria-Magdalena Torres, Neil Garcia, William Jensen, Ethan Lewis, GEnnyfer Pena, Adrian Vandiver, Clayton Casner, Alyah Cortez, Daja Easter, Caleb Krikorian, Trenton Malmay, Madison Miller, Seth Ozsoy, Cole Spooner, Dylan Trueblood, Terran Turner, Alex Wade and Katelyn Watson.

Cadet Caleb Krikorian received the Sons of American Revolution Award presented to a meritorious cadet who has displayed good standing militarily and scholastically. He or she must be enrolled in the first year of the program and show a high degree of merit with respect to leadership qualities, soldierly bearing and excellence.

Four MS 4 senior cadets were recognized by Lt. Col Wendell Bender.

Cadet Logan DeOre served as the Command Sergeant Major and received the Field Training Exercise Award and the National Sojourners Award presented in recognition of the highest attributes of Americanism and support of the United States as a member of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

Cadet John Ham served as Executive Officer and Co0captain of the Ranger Challenger Team for three years. He received the Cadet Scholar GP Award, the Field Training Exercise Award and the AUSA Military History Award.

Cadet Brandon Homan received the Recruiting Award and the Field Training Exercise Award.

Cadet Karl Marzahl served as the Demon Battalion Commander this year and co-captain of the Ranger Challenge Team for three years. He received the Silver Medal Athlete Award, the Recruiting Athlete Award and the Field Training Exercise Award. He also received the award for the Most Outstanding Cadet, Cadet Leadership Course, and the Colonel Tomas Baker Award annually presented to an outstanding senior cadet who exhibits exemplary traits of dedication and leadership. He also received the Lion’s Club Award presented annually to a cadet who has shown excellence in leadership. The selected cadet must have excelled over the course of the year in all facets of military science and must uphold the highest ideals of patriotism and fidelity.

MS-3 junior-level cadets were recognized.

Cadet Justin L. Broussard received the Field Training Exercise Award.

Cadet Mackenzie Buie-Grace is the Battalion’s Executive Officer and the Detachment Commander for LSU-S, a partnership school. He received the Recruiting Award and the Field Training Exercise Award. He also received the AUSA ROTC Medal given to an outstanding junior cadet who contributes the most towards advancing the standing of the Military Science Department and is in the top 10 percent of their class in ROTC and the top 25 percent of their class in other subjects.

Cadet Larancion Magee is the Assistant S1, Administrative Officer. He received the Recruiting Award and the Field Training Exercise Award.

Cadet Joseph S. Orchi is the S-3 Operations and Training Officer. He received the Recruiting Award and the Field Training Exercise Award. He also received the award for Most Outstanding Cadet, Cadet Initial Entry Training, Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Cadet Eboni C. Phidd is the S1 Administrative Officer. She received the Recruiting Award and the Field Training Exercise Award. Phidd also received the American Legion Scholastic Excellence Award presented by Gordon Peters Post 10. The award is presented to the cadet in the top 10 percent of his or her class in academic subjects, is ranked in the top 25 percent of ROTC classes and has demonstrated sound leadership potential.

Cadet Maria-Magdalena Bansil-Torres will be the 2019-20 Battalion Commander and Ranger Challenge Captain. She received the award for the most improved GPA, the Silver Medal Athlete and the Field Training Exercise Award. Bansil-Torres also received the Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Patriotic Award presented to a junior who has been selected for patriotic standards above and beyond all others, and the Military Officers Association of America Award for an outstanding junior-level cadet who has demonstrated exceptional potential for military leadership.

Cadet Terran D. Turner is the S-2 Military Intelligence Officer. He received the Cadet Honors GPA Award and the Field Training Exercise Award.

MS-2 sophomore-level cadets were recognized.

Cadet Tanner Delphin is the S-6, Communications Officer. He received the Field Training Exercise Award.

Cadet Neil Garcia is the Assistant S-4, Logistics Officer. He received the Cadet Honors GPA Award and the Field Training Exercise Award.

Cadet Ronesha Johnson received the Recruiting Award.

Cadet Ethan P. Lewis is the 2019-2020 Battalion Command Sergeant Major and Ranger Challenge Co-Captain. He received Cadet Honors GPA, Recruiting Award and Field Training Exercise Award. He also received the AMVETS medal and certificate presented to an outstanding cadet for diligence in the discharge of duties and the willingness to serve God and country for the mutual benefit of all.

Cadet Jordan Loyd is the Platoon Sergeant. He received the Recruiting Award and the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Award that recognizes a cadet who has contributed most among cadets on campus to encourage and demonstrate patriotism by deeds or conduct during participation in extracurricular activities or community projects with demonstrated academic excellence and potential for outstanding leadership.

Cadet Deasheneire Payne received the award for most improved score on the Army Physical Fitness Test.

Cadet Gennyfer Pena is the Assistant S-3, Operations and Training Officer. She received the Gold Medal Athlete Award for scoring the highest of all cadets this semester, the Recruiting Award and the Field Training Exercise Award. Pena also received the award of the General Society of the War of 1812 that recognizes an outstanding sophomore of high moral character and good academic standing.

Cadet Robert Sneed is the Detachment Commander for LSU-A, a partnership school. He received the award for the Most Improved Cadet, MS II class.

Cadet Adrian Vandiver received the Recruiting Award and the Field Training Exercise Award. Vandiver also received the award of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War given to a cadet who has shown a high degree of patriotism to the nation and has demonstrated a high degree of academic performance and leadership.

MS-1 first-year cadets were recognized.

Clayton Casner received the Award for Most Improved Cadet in the MS-1 class. He earned the Recruiting Award and the Field Training Exercise Award.

Cadet Alyah Cortez received the Military of Foreign Wars of the United States Award presented for exceptional leadership potential.

Cadet Daja Easter received the Cadet Scholar GPA Award.

Cadet Trenton Malmay is the 2019-2020 Company First Sergeant. He received the Silver Medal Athlete Award.

Cadet Madison Miller received the Recruiting Award and the USAA Spirit Award that recognizes the cadet who best displays the traits and characteristics that embody the spirit of service to others.

Cadet Seth Ozsoy received the Recruiting Award and the Field Training Exercise Award. He also received the Military Order of the Purple Heart Leadership award presented to an underclassman with a positive attitude toward ROTC and country. The cadet must hold a leadership position in the cadet corps and be active in school and community affairs.

Cadet Cole Spooner is an Assistant S-2, Military Intelligence Officer. He received the Bronze Medal Athlete Award.

Cadet Dylan Trueblood received the Cadet Honors GPA Award and the Veterans of Foreign Ward award presented to an undergraduate student who has demonstrated achievement and concentrated effort in military subjects with demonstrated capability and diligence in the ROTC program.

Cadet Alex Wade received the Cadet Honors GPA Award and the Recruiting Award. Wade also received the Award of the Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America given to a freshman who has demonstrated potential for good leadership as well as demonstrated similar or related accomplishments reflecting the ideals of patriotism.

Cadet Katelyn Watson also received the Daughters of the American Revolution Award presented to a cadet who shows outstanding ability and achievement and has demonstrated dependability and good character, leadership ability and patriotic understanding of the importance of ROTC training.

Cadets who volunteer to serve in the National Guard Military Funeral Honors program

render final honors to service members who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to the nation. This service is one of the last memories that Veterans’ families will have of that person,

so those Guardsmen devote additional time to training. They must know and execute precise drill and ceremony, casket and urn sequences, flag folds, how to conduct a firing party and uniform maintenance.

Cadets Caleb Krikorian and Trenton Malmay were recognized for serving in the Louisiana Army National Guard Military Funeral Honors program.

The award of the Military Order of World Wars is presented to a cadet form each class who excels in all military and scholastic aspects of the ROTC program. Cadets Karl Marzahl, Terran Turner, William Jensen and Trenton Malmay were recognized with the citation from the Lieutenant Tory H. Middle Chapter in appreciation for demonstrated excellence in academic and military studies, application of leadership principles and desire to serve the country. Honorees also exhibited qualities of dependability, good character and adherence to military discipline to bring credit to the NSU’s ROTC unit and the university.

The U.S. Army Sergeant York Award is presented to a cadet who excels in the program and devotes additional time and effort to maintaining and expanding it. This year’s recipient was Cadet Ethan Lewis.

The Leadership Excellence Award recognizes a cadet who demonstrates leadership ability in the program, across campus and in civic activities. This year’s Leadership Excellence Award was presented to Cadet Karl Marzahl.

The Cadet Commendation Medal recognizes those who contributed extraordinary efforts to the program and the Cadet Achievement Medal recognizes those who displayed outstanding efforts to the ROTC program. Cadets who received the Cadet Commendation Medal were Cadets Katelyn Watson, Gennyfer Pena and Mari-Magdalena Bansil. Cadets who received the Cadet Achievement Medal were Cadets Cole Spooner, Ethan Lewis and Mackenzie Buie-Grace.

Tops cadets from each class were also recognized as those who show academic and military leadership and demonstrate strong officer potential. The cadets volunteer, speak up, encourage others to improve and rise above their peers to build their program. This year’s Superior Cadet Award recipients were Cadet Seth Ozsoy, Top MS I; Cadet Ethan Lewis, Top MS-2; Cadet Mackenzue Buie-Grace, Top MS III, and Cadet John Ham, Top MS IV.

Scholarship recipients were also recognized. Cadet Ronesha Johnson earned the Jeanice Leadership and Excellence Schoalrship given to an active ROTC cadet who participates in at least two other activities at NSU, maintains a high GPA and demonstrates leadership Potential.

Cadet Gennyfer Pena earned the Malcolm Daisy Scholarship given as a reward for perseverance against adversity. The scholarship recognizes a cadet’s drive to serve one’s country as a U.S. Army officer and exhibits all Army values on a regular basis.

Cadet Alex Wade earned the James A. Noe Memorial Scholarship presented to a cadet who displays a high degree of leadership potential, a high standard of moral conduct and support of the NSU ROTC program.

Cadet Marzahl was recognized for his leadership as Battalion Commander this past year and an engraved Leatherman multitool.

A Commissioning Ceremony for graduating ROTC cadets who will take the Oath of Commissioned Officers will take place at 1:30 p.m. Friday, May 10 in the TEC/Middle Lab School Auditorium. Cadets Dominitra Charles, Logan DeOre, John Ham and Karl Marzahl will take the oath to serve as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army. The public is invited to attend. The oath will be repeated during the 3 p.m. commencement program in Prather Coliseum.

Information about NSU’s Department of Military Science and ROTC Program is available at rotc.nsula.edu.
00 2019-05-10

NSU students named to Future Educator Honor Roll

Students in Northwestern State University’s School of Education were honored by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Kim Hunter-Reed, and State Superintendent of Education John White for being named to the Future Educator Honor Roll. Alli Douet, a secondary education major who will graduate from NSU this fall; Layken Moore, a dual enrollment student from Anacoco High School who will attend NSU this fall to major in elementary education; Heidi Knight Pilcher, a graduating senior in early childhood education, were among 40 future teachers in the state in the first class of honorees recognized by the Louisiana Board of Regents in a program at the state capitol May 7. From left are NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio, Susan Roberts, instructor of education; Douet, Moore, Pilcher, Dr. Kimberly McCallister, dean of NSU’s College of Education and Human Development, and Dr. Katrina Jordan, director of NSU’s School of Education. A keynote address was provided by Kimberly Eckert, Louisiana’s 2018 Teacher of the Year, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at NSU.
00 2019-05-10
New Orleans

2 biotech companies moving lab to UNO

Founders of two biotech companies are moving their lab to the University of New Orleans in July, according to a news release.

Biotech companies LaCell LLC and Obatala Sciences are moving to the University of New Orleans and will be housed in the Science Building. Photo courtesy University of New Orleans
Biotech companies LaCell LLC and Obatala Sciences are moving to the University of New Orleans and will be housed in the Science Building.
Photo courtesy University of New Orleans

LaCell LLC and Obatala Sciences will be housed on the second floor of the Science Building within the Advanced Materials Research Institute, the university announced Thursday.

The companies are currently based at the New Orleans BioInnovation Center. They will be sharing space at UNO – one large lab and two offices.

John Wiley, director of AMRI, said this will expand the number of startups in the institute and further increasing internship and job opportunities for students.

“Further, the unique materials these companies are working on will greatly complement current AMRI faculty research programs, allowing for the development of new, cutting edge materials including those of technological and medical importance,” Wiley said in the news release.

LaCell was founded in 2010 by Drs. Jeffrey Gimble and Xiying Wu. In 2017, they founded spin-off company Obatala Sciences with Trivia Frazier, who serves as CEO. The companies concentrate on generating biotech products that aid in increasing efficiency and reduce costs of drug development.

LaCell focuses on stem cell research and the clinical translation of that research. Obatala is a tissue-engineering company that produces a 3-D human tissue culture system that is promoted for disease modeling and drug discovery within the obesity, diabetes, metabolism, pharmaceutical and academic sectors.

According to the news release, UNO was selected by Obatala and LaCell because of its ability to meet their rapidly growing needs for space, core facilities and trained personnel.

Frazier said he believes the company can provide an opportunity to train undergraduate students, as well as collaborate with the UNO faculty.

“Our company is on the cutting edge for bio technology,” Frazier said in the news release. “We are confident that this partnership brings mutual growth to the University and our business.”

LaCell and Obatala Sciences will join startups InnoGenomics and Advano, which also have spaces at UNO.

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00 2019-05-10

Terry Bradshaw named commencement speaker for LA Tech’s ceremonies

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Shreveport native and former Louisiana Tech football star, Terry Bradshaw, will speak at the college’s Spring Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 25.

The ceremony for the College of Education and the College of Liberal Arts is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. A second ceremony for the College of Applied Sciences, College of Business and College of Engineering and Sciences will happen at 5 p.m.

Both take place inside the Thomas Assembly Center on the Louisiana Tech University campus in Ruston.

Bradshaw, a graduate of Woodlawn High School, quarterbacked at Louisiana Tech before being chosen as the No. 1 draft pick in the 1970 NFL Draft. From there, he led the Pittsburg Steelers to four Super Bowl championships. Twice, he was the Super Bowl MVP. He retired from pro football in 1984 and eventually was voted into the NFL Hall of Fame.

After football, he started his broadcasting career with CBS. He’s now an analyst on Fox NFL Sunday.

Bradshaw lives in Oklahoma with his wife Tammy and has three daughters.
00 2019-05-10


Politically speaking, there are a lot of folks who aren't exactly fans of Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards or Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins. Which is perfectly fine and normal. But, regardless about what you think about these two men or their political leanings, they are doing one very important thing: they are doing everything in their powers to make Shreveport and Louisiana a technological hub. And I think we should give some credit where credit is due.

Now, for years, we've talked about how the state as a whole and Shreveport specifically have lost thousand of high paying jobs. Most of those jobs were factory work. Sadly, those industries probably will never come back to the state. In fact, most of those jobs don't even exist any more...at least not in the traditional sense. I know some of you are raising eyebrows and yelling at me through your computer or phone right now...we can debate whether or not high paying, low education jobs will ever return another time.


What I want to discuss is technology, cyber security and how Shreveport (and Louisiana as a whole) is killing it right now. If you have noticed, the world is run on technology these days. Everyone has a cell phone, jobs in any number of industries are being replaced by computers and robots, and a growing number of businesses are moving toward cloud based technologies. Just as an example, SWEPCO's outage map is run off of an Amazon-based cloud server. This stuff effects and influences more than you realize.

And that is why I think John Bel and Adrian deserve some praise and acknowledgement. Those two guys are doing everything they can to increase the tech industry in Louisiana and our area.

We'll start with the Governor. He has been slowly but surely building a technology pipeline. He's courted tech firms and brought them to the state, he's brokered deals between state colleges and various companies to increase tech education (look at the recent partnership between Amazon and Louisiana Tech and Community Colleges) and he's been showing the entire country that Shreveport/Bossier is a cyber security hub that everyone needs to be apart of. In fact, the Governor is bringing the National Governor's conference to Shreveport to teach them about cyber security and to show them what our area can do for them.

Adrian for his part has hired Keith Hanson, which may end up being the single best decision he makes a mayor. Keith is working businesses to find out what they need entry level employees to know before they join the work force. He's then giving that information to local educators to make sure they are building a well educated and qualified work force. For instance, manufacturing companies don't really have "lines" any more, they have robots that people "troubleshoot". Keith is making sure kids have the baseline knowledge they need to operate that kind of equipment. Plus, what kids will need to be able to jump into some of the higher level jobs like the governor is building.

The world is changing. And, for once, the state of Louisiana and Shreveport are out in front of that change instead of lagging behind.
00 2019-05-09
Baton Rouge

Edwards, LCTCS announce collaboration with Amazon

Gov. John Bel Edwards, Greater New Orleans, Inc. and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System today announced a new partnership with Amazon Web Services, a computing business unit within Amazon.

As part of the collaboration, each of the 12 LCTCS colleges will implement AWS Educate, a cloud learning platform for students.

LCTCS will also work with AWS Educate to create an associate degree in cloud computing to address the Louisiana tech employers’ need for workers with cloud computing skills.

AWS Educate is a global initiative to provide students with resources for building skills in cloud technology. Additionally, the program provides access to a proprietary job board, enabling students to search and apply for thousands of cloud jobs and internship opportunities from Amazon and other companies around the world.

“As we continue to diversify Louisiana’s economy, tech jobs are making up an important growth sector,” Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson said. “Companies specializing in software, IT services, digital media, advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, GIS technology and other emerging fields have partnered with higher education institutions across Louisiana to create programs that provide a pipeline of skilled workers. Starting with this two-year associate degree at LCTCS institutions, we look forward to expanding commitments with four-year degree programs across the UL System, as well as at the Southern University and LSU systems. This represents a great opportunity to help us secure our 21st-century workforce.”
00 2019-05-09
Baton Rouge

Amazon partners with Louisiana community colleges to offer new degree

BATON ROUGE, La. (WVUE/LSU Manship School News Service) - The Louisiana Community and Technical College System is partnering with Amazon Web Services to implement the tech company’s Educate curriculum, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Wednesday (May 8).

The community colleges will also collaborate with Amazon to offer an associate degree in cloud computing.

“This is all about the talent pipeline,” Edwards said. “We want that in Louisiana, too.”

The partnership is the first step in a broader push to try to increase the workforce for high-paying tech jobs in the state, the governor said. Building an information technology and cybersecurity infrastructure has been one of Edwards’ goals this legislative session.

The credits from the 12 community and technical colleges will transfer to institutions in the Louisiana State University system, the University of Louisiana system and the Southern University system.

“The very nature of work is changing forever,” University of Louisiana System President Jim Henderson said at the briefing.

Edwards said tech jobs often pay twice as much as other types of jobs and that the tech industry needs more women and minorities.

Last year, Louisiana failed in a long-shot bid to persuade Amazon to locate its second headquarters here.

The partnership with Amazon comes as lawmakers strive to expand information technology jobs in the state and bolster Louisiana’s cyber defenses.

Last week, the House Appropriations Committee advanced a proposal by Rep. Mark Abraham, R-Lake Charles, to create the Louisiana Cybersecurity Talent Initiative Fund.

The bill, which would fund degree and certificate programs in cybersecurity fields, is scheduled for debate on the House floor next week.

Rep. Barry Ivey, R-Baton Rouge, proposed a constitutional amendment that would create the State Cybersecurity and Information Technology Infrastructure Fund to improve the state’s technology system.

No action has been taken on that proposal.

Copyright 2019 WVUE/LSU Manship School News Service All rights reserved.
00 2019-05-09

UL Stress Relief Week includes dogs, bubble wrap and pizza

Agitated typing and frustrated sighs were replaced with soft giggles and thudding tails at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's Edith Garland Dupré Library Wednesday. Finals week is in full swing at the campus — but so is Stress Relief Week.

Stress Relief Week consists of activities that coincide with finals week. Tiffany Ellis, head of User Engagement and Instruction Librarian, came up with the idea in 2017. She said it was the simple solution to an overwhelming issue.

"Obviously, stress and finals go hand in hand," she said. "And part of finals is taking a break."

If only it were that simple.

But it is.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette helps students to relieve stress during finals week by bringing therapy dogs, like Cooper, to the library as part of Stress Relief Week. The therapy dogs are provided by Pet Partners of Acadiana, a non-profit organization with registered therapy animals, including birds, miniature horses, rabbits and llamas.Buy Photo
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette helps students to relieve stress during finals week by bringing therapy dogs, like Cooper, to the library as part of Stress Relief Week. The therapy dogs are provided by Pet Partners of Acadiana, a non-profit organization with registered therapy animals, including birds, miniature horses, rabbits and llamas. (Photo: Layni Menard/Special to the Advertiser)

Originally, the event only happened on Wednesday, but she later realized having a Stress Relief Day was, well, stressful. Thus Stress Relief Week was created.

Each day has a different theme to help students to cope with the pressures of testing. Most days offer passive activities, such as coloring sheets, bubble wrap or DIY stress balls, things students can do before or after a final. The most popular day is still Wednesday because therapy dogs come to the campus library to greet students.

Jessica Waddell, a junior majoring in biology, said she comes to see the dogs every year. They help her to decompress from finals but they also act as a good buffer until she gets to go home and love on her own dog.

A student holds a therapy rabbit in the Edith Garland Dupré Library Wednesday, May 8, 2019. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette helps students to relieve stress during finals week by bringing therapy animals, to the library as part of Stress Relief Week. The therapy dogs are provided by Pet Partners of Acadiana, a non-profit organization with registered therapy animals, including birds, miniature horses, rabbits and llamas.Buy Photo
A student holds a therapy rabbit in the Edith Garland Dupré Library Wednesday, May 8, 2019. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette helps students to relieve stress during finals week by bringing therapy animals, to the library as part of Stress Relief Week. The therapy dogs are provided by Pet Partners of Acadiana, a non-profit organization with registered therapy animals, including birds, miniature horses, rabbits and llamas. (Photo: Layni Menard/Special to the Advertiser)

The pups are provided by Pet Partners of Acadiana, a non-profit organization with registered therapy animals, including birds, miniature horses, rabbits and even llamas. Ellis said students come back specifically to pet man's best friend.

"Hundreds of students come to see the dogs," Ellis said. "Students even remember their names."

Contact Victoria Dodge at vdodge@theadvertiser.com or on Twitter @Victoria_Dodge

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00 2019-05-09

Designing success: UL College of Engineering program molds students into leaders

Hanz Unurh, a doctoral student in systems engineering at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, owns a thriving real estate appraisal company in his native Honduras.

He runs the business remotely, thanks to a competent team he communicates with via phone and email.

The 36-year-old says that although the enterprise is prospering, he isn’t satisfied. He envisions opening a second company – or parlaying his doctoral degree into a high-paying job in industry – while continuing to run his real estate business.

That’s why he’s a member of the College of Engineering’s Designing Leaders Program. The eight-week lecture series is held in Madison Hall during the spring semester for undergraduate and graduate students pursuing an engineering or industrial technology degree.

About 40 students participated during the Spring 2019 semester. They are chosen by a panel of faculty members. “It’s a good opportunity to get what you can’t get in the classroom,” Unurh said.

The program is intended to fan innate leadership qualities. It is also in place to help students figure out their leadership styles.

They receive guidance from CEOs, business owners, public officials, academics, entrepreneurs and other leaders who talk about their leadership styles and keys to success.

Students get a range of pointers, including what to expect when entering the workforce, how to draft a business plan, the importance of ethics in the workplace, and tips for public speaking.

Unurh said advice from proven leaders provides inspiration and insight that helps him envision ways he might flourish in his own career.

“This program gives you an opportunity to hear from people who have already done things you are interested in and who have been very successful at it,” he explained.

Take Eric Knezek, a recent Designing Leaders panelist. He told students resiliency in the face of setbacks and a willingness to take risks are crucial traits for success.

He speaks from experience.

Faltering eyesight in his mid-20s grounded the former U.S. Navy lieutenant’s plan to become a fighter pilot and astronaut.

Knezek, who earned bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in oceans engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, was ultimately offered a teaching position at the academy.

“It would have been a great opportunity, a very secure job,” he told students.

But Knezek, now 44, decided against the safe route. He wanted more control over how quickly and how high he could rise.

Knezek is founder and managing partner of Truston Technologies Inc. The company, based in Annapolis, provides engineering and advanced material fabrication services. It also offers general and specialty marine construction services to government and industry.

“The fact that I had this goal to be an astronaut got me to Annapolis. Then I set a different goal – owning a company.”

Dr. Mark Zappi, a chemical engineering professor, started the Designing Leaders Program in 2012 to provide participants “tools that will help them be more complete employees.”

“Everybody has the potential to be a leader, and everybody will lead differently. No single style is right. It’s what’s right for you,” Zappi explained.
00 2019-05-09

UL professor's two-year project: Integrating Lafayette’s segregated history

For more than two years, Rick Swanson has tried to integrate the history of a still segregated town. Decades after the end of Jim Crow, Lafayette, like a lot of cities in the Deep South, remains largely divided by income and race — historically black and impoverished neighborhoods to the northeast of the Evangeline Thruway, white affluence to its south. For Swanson, understanding the source of that divide begins with a complete comprehension of Lafayette’s history, told from interwoven black and white perspectives.

That history is nearly complete, he says. On Thursday, he’ll present the culmination of this dogged and emotionally trying work, Lafayette in Black and White: A Brief History of Lafayette Parish, 1770 – 1970.

“I’m trying to tell a big picture story,” he said. “I’ve reached a point where I’ve exhausted the data sources — it’s never really completely exhausted — but I have all the data that’s needed to tell the story.”

Data in this case are historical records — 20th century studies, decades of census data, slave narratives and other primary sources — that fill in what Swanson regards as a heretofore incomplete tale of how contemporary Lafayette came to be. Begun in part as an effort to slay the well-worn local myth that Acadiana did not have much slave ownership, Swanson’s research has rounded out the black experience at major inflection points in Lafayette history, like the arrival of the railroad or the mid-20th century oil boom, which are taught to locals as unalloyed boons.

Not necessarily so for thousands of black families, cut off from economic and educational opportunities, particularly at the dawn of Acadiana’s petroleum era. Wide disparities in educational attainment, a legacy of slavery and segregation, largely left the black community out of the region’s prosperity.

What Swanson found in his research makes intuitive sense: Better educated white workers were in a position to take the jobs cracked out of the oil economy that bloomed in the 1960s. A “tiny fraction” of black men of working age at the time had high school diplomas, according to Swanson; where 25 percent of Acadiana’s white population went to college, 3 percent of African Americans did. Not only did more whites get the new jobs, armed with degrees, they were more likely to climb company ladders and start their own businesses. The result was vastly diverging social experiences.

“It’s basically compound interest. It’s inequity built upon inequity built upon inequity. You just didn’t see the wealth accumulation in the black community to the same degree as you did whites. It left black communities generations behind,” he says.

Swanson says his sourcing corroborates the oral histories of black families and fleshes out what they knew all along — slavery and segregation were devastating on the local black community, as anywhere else. His work, though primarily an academic exercise, is intertwined with Move the Mindset, a civic education group originally founded to lobby for moving the statue of Confederate Gen. Alfred Mouton from its perch in downtown Lafayette. Move the Mindset, which is hosting Swanson’s talk, has expanded its scope, seeking to impact Lafayette’s conventional attitudes toward its racial history, one very much influenced by the Lost Cause revisionism that proliferated in the South decades after Appomattox. White oral history in Lafayette minimizes or even erases the region’s participation in slavery, and joins the romanticization of the Civil War as a conflict fought over states rights, not to preserve slavery.

“Well thank goodness slavery didn’t happen around here,” Swanson recalls a white friend saying recently. That’s a commonly held notion, he said. What Swanson found in the historical record is a brutal legacy of Acadiana slaveholders, perhaps no worse than other areas, but certainly no better.

Swanson’s research has unfolded in public over the past two years. He’s given frequent talks to growing, increasingly diverse crowds and is now a regular speaker in the Leadership Lafayette program. The message is starting to move.

The impact of that work, Swanson believes, is not strictly academic, however important it is to set the record straight. Understanding that social systems created the conditions of enduring disparities in wealth, education and quality of life, he says, is the first step in an arduous process of reconciliation and rebuilding. History matters, in other words, because the past is very much present if you choose to be aware of it.

“Where is the economic development? Where are the new schools? Where are the hospitals located? Where are the libraries located? The current patterns, the focus of money are still near the patterns of the past,” he says. “I’m not saying people are doing this on purpose. … It doesn’t occur to them.”

Move the Mindset presents Lafayette in Black and White: A Brief History of Lafayette Parish, 1770 – 1970, at the Lafayette Public Library – Downtown Branch Thursday, May 9, at 6 p.m. The event is free, but seating is limited.
00 2019-05-09
Lake Charles


Museum showcasing works that received purchase awards at McNeeese Works on Paper exhibit over 32-year span
By Donna Price

Donna Price / American Press

Imperial Calcasieu Museum Interim Director Devin Morgan with “She Was So Young and Pretty,” an intaglio print by New Jersey artist Lynn Allen. An exhibit opens tonight showcasing this piece and others that received purchase awards throughout the 32 years of the McNeese Works on Paper exhibit.

The National Works on Paper exhibit at McNeese State University has been an annual event for 32 years now. The juried show features works from artists all over the country, all made on or with paper. Each year, one or more pieces included in the show receives a purchase award and becomes part of the University’s collection.

Tonight, a retrospective showing of the works of purchase award recipients from all 32 years of the exhibit opens 6 - 8 p.m. at the Gibson-Barham Gallery inside Imperial Calcasieu Museum, 204 W. Sallier St.

The exhibit, “32 Years of Works on Paper from the collection of the McNeese State University Department of Visual Arts,” includes 54 pieces, all made on or with paper.

Devin Morgan, Interim Director of the Museum, has been collaborating with McNeese staff for over a year rounding up pieces for the show.

“Some of the pieces were hanging in faculty offices. Some were in closets. Others were stacked in a storage area,” said Morgan.

“Every year, the juror of the Works on Paper show is different, so each show has a different feel to it. You never know what that year’s juror is going to pick or what they’re going to like. Works on Paper is always one of the most eclectic, diverse exhibits at McNeese and this retrospective reflects that,” said Morgan.

The exhibit hangs through June 15.
00 2019-05-09

ULM officials claim campus one of safest in U.S.

The University of Louisiana Monroe has received the distinction of being named one of the Safest Colleges in America by Alarms.org, and thus, one of the safest in the state.

Alarms.org determined, based on data submitted to the FBI and reviewed “relative to the surrounding area of campus,” that ULM ranks highest of the University of Louisiana System institutions in the study.

Nationally, Alarms.org ranked 490 colleges and universities which it deemed exceptionally safe based on FBI and police data. ULM ranked No. 257. Alarms.org is the official site of the prestigious National Council for Home Safety and Security, a national trade association of licensed contractors, alarm installers and other U.S. trade groups.

The safety of each person on the campus of the University of Louisiana Monroe is the number one priority of the administration of President Nick J. Bruno and the University Police Department. Each semester, free workshops by professionally trained staff are offered on self-defense and crisis management strategies. During severe weather or other hazardous conditions, students and employees are notified through special Warhawk Alerts which send text messages, automated phone calls and emails advising of the situation.

“We are committed to safeguarding our students, faculty, employees and visitors to the ULM campus,” stated President Bruno. “The fact that our ongoing efforts have been recognized on a national level substantiates our dedication to the safety of all.”

Institutions not considered in the survey are those with less than 1,000 students, or those which did not submit data to the FBI.

The University Police Department submits campus crime and safety reports to the FBI as required by the Clery Act. The FBI urges caution when interpreting Uniform Crime Reporting data due to a myriad of factors.

00 2019-05-09

Edwards to give address at ULM commencement

The University of Louisiana Monroe presents the Spring Commencement Exercises 2019 at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 11. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. in Fant-Ewing Coliseum.

Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Steven Siconolfi will recognize distinguished graduates, faculty, and guests. Gov. John Bel Edwards will deliver the commencement address.

Prior to being elected governor of Louisiana, Edwards also served eight years in the Louisiana House of Representatives for District 72.

Edwards also attended the United States Military Academy at West Point and graduated in 1988. While serving eight years’ active duty, he was commissioned second lieutenant as an Airborne Ranger in the U.S. Army.

Edwards retired from the U.S. Army as captain of the 82nd airborne parachute infantry. He received law degree from Louisiana State University after returning home.

Edwards married First Lady Donna Edwards in 1989, and together they have three children: Samantha Bel, Sarah Ellen, and John Miller.

Guest seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Reserving seats is not allowed. All markers placed in seats in an effort save them will be removed.

Please find a seat upon entering the coliseum. Standing in walkways or entryways, on stairs, or along the handrails of the upper concourse during the ceremony is not permitted.

Use of air horns and other noisemakers is not allowed during the commencement ceremony.

To ensure that every graduate’s name can be heard when announced, guests are asked not to make any noise other than that of normal applause as degrees are awarded. Guests are not allowed on the floor of the arena to take photographs.

Disabled/infirm seating is provided on the arena floor of Fant-Ewing Coliseum. All seating is provided on a first come, first served basis (i.e., no saving of seats or spaces).

Access to the arena floor is through the ramp on the east side of Fant-Ewing Coliseum. Seating passes are not provided.

Unless disabled, children must be seated in the upper level of the Coliseum. Any service animal must be identified as such by its harness/vest, card, or other appropriate form of identification.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, all guests in the floor-level seating area are asked to allow graduates to exit the floor before moving toward the ramp exit.

Info: https://www.ulm.edu/commencement-info/.
00 2019-05-09

ULM expanding their Autism courses

The school's Autism Center is now offering a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate with five classes about autism throughout a person's life.
00 2019-05-09

ULM students win quiz bowl, make presentations

Students from the University of Louisiana Monroe Honors Program recently attended the annual meeting of the Louisiana Collegiate Honors Council (LCHC) hosted by Dillard University in New Orleans.

Attending the conference were honors students from colleges and universities across Louisiana. In all, 57 students represented ULM, making ULM the largest delegation at the conference.

“I am extremely proud of how well-represented and how well-prepared our honors students were at LCHC,” said Dr. Joshua Stockley, Director of the ULM Honors Program. “ULM had more attendees and student presentations than any other institution, which speaks volumes about the amount of collaboration between professors and students and the quality of research conducted by students at ULM.”

The ULM Honors Program defeated the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in the quiz bowl competition, earning the designation of 2019 quiz bowl champions among honors programs in Louisiana.

Competing for quiz bowl were Bria Winfree (junior, history), Rayni Amato (junior, psychology), Cameron Ott (junior, political science), Kushal Timilsina (sophomore, computer information systems), Lydia Mills (junior, English), David Hagensee (junior, computer science), Kaitlyn Morris (sophomore, elementary education) and Destenae Mosby (junior, psychology).

Nine students presented papers based on research conducted at ULM, including, Chelsea Bock (senior, toxicology), Mallory Crawford (senior, biology), Linsey Hrabovsky (senior, nursing), Aaron Nguyen (senior, biology), Bailey Mabou (senior, toxicology), Anne Marie Hancock (senior, biology), Shivam Kharga (senior, computer science), Arohan Rimal (sophomore, biology), and Madison Crusan (senior, political science).

The Louisiana Collegiate Honors Council is an association of honors program directors and students from universities and colleges across Louisiana. Students present papers and posters showcasing their own work and research, discuss specific issues related to the furtherance of successful honors programs and careers, and compete in the quiz bowl competition.
00 2019-05-09

Jefferson Hwy. Association supports NSU culinary arts

Northwestern State University’s culinary arts program received a donation from the Jefferson Highway Association in thanks for providing food and service for the group’s convention opening reception. The donation, with an additional $1,500 earned by providing box lunches to 4-H Club members, will support the Leah Chase Endowed Scholarship for a student in NSU’s Hospitality, Management and Tourism program. From left are HMT faculty Connie Jones and Valerie Salter, Arlene Gould and NSU Chef John Carriere.
00 2019-05-09

NSU students named to Future Educator Honor Roll

Students in Northwestern State University’s School of Education were honored by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Kim Hunter-Reed, and State Superintendent of Education John White for being named to the Future Educator Honor Roll. Alli Douet, a secondary education major who will graduate from NSU this fall; Layken Moore, a dual enrollment student from Anacoco High School who will attend NSU this fall to major in elementary education; Heidi Knight Pilcher, a graduating senior in early childhood education, were among 40 future teachers in the state in the first class of honorees recognized by the Louisiana Board of Regents in a program at the state capitol May 7. From left are NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio, Susan Roberts, instructor of education; Douet, Moore, Pilcher, Dr. Kimberly McCallister, dean of NSU’s College of Education and Human Development, and Dr. Katrina Jordan, director of NSU’s School of Education. A keynote address was provided by Kimberly Eckert, Louisiana’s 2018 Teacher of the Year, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at NSU.
00 2019-05-09

Grambling baseball player named Valedictorian

Grambling, LA – May 07, 2019 – Today, Grambling State University named baseball student-athlete, Jalen Alexander Heath, Valedictorian of the Spring 2019 graduating class. Heath earned top honors, with a 3.98-grade point average, and will take the stage Friday, May 10, 2019 at 10 a.m. at the University’s Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center.

Grambling State Univ

Congratulations to Valedictorian and student-athlete, Jalen Heath on receiving this Springs's top academic honor. @GSU_TIGERS
@RickGallot #Scholarship #GramFam #HBCU #InvestULS http://www.gram.edu/news/?p=6677

7:50 AM - May 8, 2019
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Grambling State Baseball Player Named Valedictorian
Jalen Alexander Heath to be recognized at University’s 2019 Spring Commencement Grambling, LA – May 07, 2019 – Today, Grambling State University named baseball student-athlete, Jalen Alexander Heath,...

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Heath, an infielder for Tiger’s Baseball Team, has earned a series of academic honors including being named the Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award for 2017, 2018, and 2019. He is also a three-time SWAC All-Academic Team member and has been highlighted on the President’s List every semester since beginning his college career.

Heath is a native of Colorado Springs, Colorado and the son of Nolan and Karen Heath.

“My GSU experience was one that I will never take for granted,” says Heath. “I am forever grateful for the experiences that I have had here and how they will make me a better person in my future.”

When asked about his proudest college memories, Heath replied, “My greatest achievement as a student at Grambling State comes from being able to maintain a great academic standing all while completing my dream of playing baseball at the Division I level.”

After graduation, Heath plans to pursue a career as an accountant and ultimately hopes to become a Chief Financial Officer. As valedictorian, Heath will address more than 400 classmates at Spring Commencement.
00 2019-05-08
Baton Rouge

Shreveport may get law school; LA Tech won't get LSUS

BATON ROUGE — Lawmakers on a House panel here Tuesday agreed to study the possibility of establishing a Southern University Law Center campus in Shreveport, but a measure for Louisiana Tech University to take over LSUS was taken off of the board.

State Rep. Cedric Glover, R-Shreveport, carried both House Concurrent Resolution 24 asking the Board of Regents to study the viability of a law school and House Bill 470 to merge Tech and LSUS.

Louisiana State Rep. Cedric Glover of Shreveport.
Louisiana State Rep. Cedric Glover of Shreveport. (Photo: Submitted)

Members of the House Education Committee were receptive to the possibility of establishing a law school, approving the measure without opposition.

But Glover, foreseeing the inevitable fate of his Tech-LSUS bill, voluntarily deferred that measure.

Southern Law Center Chancellor John Pierre offered his "full support" of the law school study.

"The vision of the Southern University System is to increase its footprint throughout Louisiana," he said. "This is an opportunity to increase the footprint in a much-needed venue."

Glover said the Caddo Parish Commission has committed up to $100,000 toward conducting the study, showing that "we have skin in the game."

"For most of my adult life I've heard a great deal of interest in northern Louisiana and specifically Shreveport about the possibility of having a law school," said Glover, who is also former mayor of the city.

Glover said he believes northwestern Louisiana is one of the largest geographic regions in the South that isn't served by a law school.

He and Pierre envision a non-traditional setting perhaps in downtown Shreveport, where Southern already has a presence.

They said the law school could serve students at night and on weekends and perhaps in some circumstances virtually.

"We can be on the cutting edge of legal education delivery," Pierre said.

As for a Tech takeover of LSUS, Glover said he continues to believe LSU has neglected its Shreveport campus, "but I know how this vote is going to go."

Before Glover shelved his bill, he said, "I'm not here wearing an LSU jersey. I'm not here wearing a Louisiana Tech jersey. I'm here wearing a Shreveport jersey."

He also noted the question of LSU's commitment to LSUS has been an issue from as far back as 1968, where he showed a headline from a Times' story that read "LSU-S poorly treated."

Glover also noted a 1994 study that suggested a merger with Tech and a similar effort seven years ago that also failed.

LSU opposes any such merger.

Before the Legislative Session began LSU President King Alexander said LSUS is one of the fastest growing universities in the state.

"Chancellor (Larrry) Clark and his faculty and staff are doing great things, and we are very proud of the impact they have on the region," Alexander said in the statement. "We have never been more committed to LSUS and the Shreveport-Bossier community, and they have the full backing of the entire LSU family.”

Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1
00 2019-05-08

Walker native among Southeastern students honored at business convocation

Students earning accolades from Southeastern Louisiana University’s College of Business were honored May 2 at the college’s annual academic convocation, including one from Walker.

Dean Antoinette Phillips also recognized those students inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society and Southeastern’s own honor society, the Thirteen Club. Marketing Instructor April Kemp recognized the college’s incoming and outgoing student ambassadors.

00 2019-05-08

UL Lafayette Influence Contributes to ‘Lost Bayou’ Success at Tribeca Film Festival

From acting roles and screenwriting to script consultation and internships, University of Louisiana at Lafayette alumni, faculty and students helped make “Lost Bayou” a hit at the Tribeca Film Festival.

The feature film premiered at the independent festival in New York, which ended Sunday. Tribeca is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world.

“Lost Bayou” tells the story of a woman struggling with addiction who returns to Louisiana to reconnect with her estranged father, a Cajun faith healer who lives on a houseboat in the Atchafalaya Basin. She discovers he is hiding a disturbing secret.

The film, which was shot last year, resonated with Shayna Weingast, the festival’s associate programmer. She wrote on the Tribeca website: “‘Lost Bayou’ is a hauntingly evocative slice of Louisiana life that traces the fraught journey out of pain and into healing.”

Two screenings of the film were originally planned for the festival, said Hunter Burke, who co-wrote “Lost Bayou” and was a supporting actor. After the initial screenings sold out quickly, Tribeca organizers scheduled another. When that one sold out too, a fourth showing was added.

Burke, who earned a bachelor’s degree in performing arts from the University in 2007, is thankful – but not surprised – by the film’s popularity at Tribeca.

“There’s a certain desire for Southern-based content across the U.S. As for Louisiana, I think there’s a lot of interest in our customs and the way we approach life,” he said.

Burke, who is from Broussard, Louisiana, wasn’t the only University graduate to feature prominently in “Lost Bayou.” Teri Wyble, the film’s lead actress, earned a bachelor’s degree in performing arts in 2008. She is from Arnaudville, Louisiana.

Burke’s and Wyble’s work on “Lost Bayou” isn’t the first time on film for either actor.

Among many roles, Wyble played a resistance soldier in “Terminator: Genisys” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Burke’s growing résumé also includes roles in major Hollywood productions. In “The Big Short,” for example, he played an analyst in a film loaded with A-lister’s, including Christian Bale and Marisa Tomei.

Wyble said she was excited to act in “Lost Bayou” to do her part in accurately portraying the place where she was born and raised.

“Louisiana and our culture isn’t often depicted very well in film. We are often made fun of, or characterized in a way that isn’t authentic. It’s like, ‘We don’t talk like that and that’s not how we do things,’” she explained.

Conni Castille, a senior instructor at UL Lafayette and director of the University’s Moving Image Arts program, was a consultant during shooting of “Lost Bayou.” As a filmmaker, she has written, directed and produced award-winning documentaries on Cajun and Creole culture.

Castille agrees with Wyble.

“It’s frustrating to see films about our way of life made by people who know nothing about it. It’s gratifying to know we can have control over our own narrative,” she explained.

Castille helped three of her students – Levi Porter, BreAnna Smith and Ryan Watts – get a front row seat to the shooting of Lost Bayou.

Porter, from Berwick, Louisiana, and Smith, from Baton Rouge, will earn bachelor’s degrees in moving image arts this semester. Watts, of New Orleans, earned a moving image arts degree in Spring 2018.

Each of the three worked as production assistants several times a week during shooting.

Smith photographed and catalogued “continuity shots.” The sequenced photos are referenced continually during shooting to ensure that actors’ clothing is consistent from scene to scene.

“If costumes look even slightly different, it makes editing footage harder and increases the chances for mistakes to make their way into the finished film,” she said.

Smith wants to be a screenwriter, director or work in art departments during movie productions.

“I hope to go to grad school in Austin and then maybe come back to Lafayette or New Orleans because of all the opportunities in the movie industry here,” she said.

For Watts, duties such as holding a boom pole topped with a microphone gave him an up close look at unfolding scenes. More importantly, his proximity to the inner workings of movie production emboldened him.

Watts is a director of video production at a local marketing agency where he helps create commercials. In his spare time, Watts makes short films. He envisions “doing bigger, more challenging projects in the future like being a director of photography for movies or TV shows.”

“That kind of work, honestly, is intimidating. But after being on a movie set I was like, ‘OK, maybe I can do that.’ It changed my thinking,” he said.

One of Porter’s duties was ensuring quiet on the set during takes. When cameras stopped rolling, he took every chance he could to pick the brain of Natalie Kingston, the cinematographer for “Lost Bayou.”

Kingston earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from the University in 2004. Among other projects, she shot the Grammy-nominated film “Two Trains Runnin’” – a New York Times Critic Pick.

Porter aspires to be a director of photography for feature films, in charge of considerations such as how shots are framed, lighting and camera angles.

He found a perfect mentor in Kingston.

“She was always willing to answer my questions, with everything else that was going on. It was really cool to be able to learn from a professional.”
00 2019-05-08
Lake Charles

Bayou bike share study complete, recommends program come to LC, McNeese

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A bike share program study and recommendation has come to Lake Charles for the McNeese State University campus.

The Bayou bike share study began last year, looking at a handful of factors including community connectivity and demographic trends. It’s been determined: bringing a bike share program to Lake Charles and McNeese is feasible.

Some students said it would be especially beneficial to those without vehicles.

“I think bike share would be beneficial for international students and a lot of student athletes that I know personally, whenever they come their freshman year they have to live on campus and they’re not allowed to bring their car," Paige Buller, junior at McNeese, said.

“I’ve lived in various cities with no transportation before and it’s been a challenge and exciting to learn how to get transportation and I think it could be very useful," Hannah Pettefer, a senior at McNeese, said.

So, when can we expect to see a bike share program around town? Sara Judson, C.E.O. of the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana said it could roll out within the next year, but, there are a few things that need to happen first — like finding a vendor.

“So there will be different parts of the community where people can check out a bike, or return a bike, and that way people from all over the area will have the chance to use them to get from one part of the community to the other; but it will not be the dock-less system that some people have a problem about on the littering," Judson said.

The Vice President of McNeese Student Affairs, Chris Thomas, said he’s excited this could help connect students with the community.

“We want our students to have every opportunity to enjoy the water, and the restaurants downtown as much as anybody. Not having a car shouldn’t keep them from seeing all of the things this city has to offer," Thomas said.

“A lot of students are really into new technology and they see that in bigger cities, and it’s intriguing and they want to do it. I mean I’m from here and I think it would be cool to hop on a bike and go around town," Buller said.

The study also looked at the City of Sulphur, and at this time, it said Sulphur should first focus on a community bicycle and pedestrian plan.

Copyright 2019 KPLC. All rights reserved.
00 2019-05-08

Truly GramFam: Father and daughter to graduate GSU minutes apart

Grambling State University’s 2019 spring graduation will feature a rare occurrence — a father and daughter will receive their degrees just minutes apart.

Leartrice Hawkins and his daughter Lear Hawkins are candidates to receive their Masters of Criminal Justice on Friday.

“The Hawkins family members are truly GramFam,” said President Rick Gallot. “One of best sources of students and greatest areas of pride are those sent to us by alumni who believe in our university. They understand the enormous benefits of attending an HBCU.”

The Hawkins are alumni of Grambling State University, graduating in 1967 and 2003 with their bachelor's degrees in Political Science and Biology respectively.

This week, they will be cheered on by more than a few family members who also attended Grambling College, Grambling University and Grambling State University.

For more than 12 months, the duo have studied where Leartrice and his wife earned their first degrees together more than 40 years ago.

“We made Grambling State University our home,” he said.

More: National Urban League CEO to keynote Grambling State commencement

Want to go?

What: Grambling State University Commencement, Spring 2019
When: 10 a.m. Friday
Where: Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center, Grambling State University, 100 N. Stadium Drive, Grambling
00 2019-05-08

Alabama's Nick Saban helps GSU celebrate Eddie Robinson's 100th birthday

GRAMBLING — Nick Saban first picked up his lasting influence of Grambling State's legendary football coach Eddie Robinson more than 50 years ago.

What he learned still sticks with the now six-time national championship-winning coach today.

"When I was a young coach, I couldn't tell you when or where but it was one of those coaching clinics we have every year and I was just starting out in coaching," Saban recalled Tuesday on GSU's campus. "I may have been 25, 27 years old and he (Robinson) spoke at one of these clinics we have. He talked about humility and how important it was in being successful in being a head coach and the things you need to do to be successful. He talked about never being satisfied and treating other people the right way.

"He embodied so much class in the way he spoke, carried himself. Sometime you see people that way and you say, 'I want to be that way someday.' That's my first and probably greatest impression, lasting impression I have of coach Robinson."

Alabama head football coach Nick Saban tours the Eddie G. Robinson Museum before town hall event Tuesday, May 7, 2019.Buy Photo
Alabama head football coach Nick Saban tours the Eddie G. Robinson Museum before town hall event Tuesday, May 7, 2019. (Photo: Cory Diaz / The News-Star)

Saban, Alabama's current head football coach, participating in a town hall where he answered predetermined questions and took a couple of questions from audience members afterwards, marked the second event in the "Legacy Keepers: Preserving the Eddie Robinson Playbook" series, presented by the Eddie G. Robinson Museum on campus for the College Football Hall of Fame coach's continued 100th birthday celebrations.

Former Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer, who's won three national championships with the Buckeyes and Florida, was on campus back in March as a keynote speaker.

"We were very excited to have Nick Saban, a coach who I read a lot about and study his coaching philosophies, on our campus," Tigers head coach Broderick Fobbs said. "Coach Saban is such a well-respected coach across the nation. It was an honor to have him on campus, not just to see Grambling State, but to see the history and legacy of what Eddie G. Robinson has built."

MORE | Alabama's Nick Saban to visit Grambling State

Fobbs sat with Saban during the town hall event and asked the Crimson Tide coach a series of questions regarding his memories of Robinson along with his thoughts on how the game of football has changed, his extensive coaching tree, how he defines success as well as what he what he looks for in making coaching moves.

Robinson had a knack for making his players better people, Saban said, and that was one of the things he learned from the former Grambling coach.

"The relationship that you have, the impact that you have and to see them so well, that's what you proud as a coach. When you talk about someone like coach Robinson, all great coaches have this, but when you meet their former players and they come back and talk about the lessons they learned, the stories they tell and what a great impact he had on their lives," said Saban, who's won the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year award twice in 2003 and 2008, "That's what makes him one of the greatest coaches.

"It doesn't matter how many games he won — the 400 wins is something fabulous — but it's that you know that their leadership, the example they set. They were somebody that somebody could emulate, they cared enough to help somebody else out. That kind of leadership and that impact helping so many people have better opportunities for themselves. Coach Robinson is one of the greatest coaches of all time in doing it.

"I think people like Eddie Robinson and (legendary Alabama football coach Paul) 'Bear' Bryant probably did things that were so much more important to society, in terms of the opportunities that they created, probably the integration of the South, which is one of the greatest things anyone can be involved in," Saban added. "I'm just so pleased and honored to be here as part of Coach Robinson's 100th birthday."

Last season, Saban’s No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide squad played Clemson for the College Football Playoff National Championship, losing 44-16. Alabama’s played for four straight and seven of the last 10 national titles since the Saban took over the program in 2007, winning it all in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2017.

Alabama is the only school to make the CFP field all five years and has the most playoff victories with six.

Saban has amassed a 247-80-1 record in his 30-year head coaching career that’s included a stop in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins, as well as Toledo, Michigan State and mostly recently LSU before his current 11-year tenure as the Crimson Tide coach.

Follow Cory Diaz on Twitter @CoryDiaz_TNS and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CoryDiazTNS/
00 2019-05-08

Night of the Arts set for May 9th

Night of the Arts

Thursday, May 9, 2019

6:00 pm

Louisiana Tech University Campus, “The Quad”

Louisiana Tech University’s Fashion Merchandising & Retail Studies Event Planning Class is partnering with Louisiana Tech’s Jazz Ensemble and Theatre’s Costume Design Department to create a special event of entertainment, “Night of the Arts.” The Event Planning class in the Fashion program at Louisiana Tech University is designed for students to understand and learn how to implement effective principles and programming for special events that include successful advertising strategies, creative skills, organizing and planning budgets, venues, as well as the fashion knowledge and experience of working hands-on with retail merchants in the Ruston community. Each year the class is assigned a final project of creating and implementing a fashion show. This year, we have decided to enhance the final project and showcase two other exceptional programs at the University to create a special night of entertainment under the stars in the Quad on Tech’s campus.

“Night of the Arts” will feature:

· The amazing sounds and talents of Louisiana Tech’s Jazz Ensemble under Director Trevor Davis

· Beautiful costumes will come to life through performance illustrations from Tech’s Theatre program under Costume Designer Michele Dormaier

· Fashions by local merchants

· The fashion program will feature several students showing their own designs

· An after-party of fun and refreshments will also be held in the Quad at 7:30

Come join us for an evening under the stars!

VIP Tables (seating for 8) - $200

General Admission - Free
00 2019-05-08

ULM Doppler radar helping save lives

Nearly two weeks after an EF3 tornado, packing winds of 136-165 mph, struck in the early morning hours of April 25, Ruston is still cleaning up and rebuilding.

The National Weather Service credits the University of Louisiana Monroe’s Doppler radar system as vital in helping save numerous lives. The data from ULM’s Doppler radar was crucial to the alerts, alarms and sirens informing residents that a tornado was on the ground.

Prior to February 2017, the NWS might not have been able to provide adequate warning because there was a large gap in radar coverage.

ULM installed its Doppler radar system in October 2016. “We have been providing the National Weather Service offices in Shreveport and Jackson with a direct feed of our data since February 2017,” said Todd Murphy, an Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Science at ULM.

Through a dedicated server, the system delivers NWS-Shreveport meteorologists up-to-the-minute information that they use as a major tool in tracking dangerous weather.

“Before our Doppler radar, we relied on the weather service’s radar in Shreveport and Jackson. But because of the curvature of the Earth, those radar systems were overshooting Northeast Louisiana,” Murphy said.

On the night of April 24, the NWS-Shreveport was tracking a storm system that included several reports of tornado damage along a 150-mile stretch beginning in St. Augustine County, Texas.

The storm moved northeast, taking aim at Ruston.

The University of Louisiana Monroe on Wednesday held a ribbon cutting for a $3 million Doppler radar that will fill a coverage gap over northeastern Louisiana and southeastern Arkansas Bonnie Bolden/The News-Star

Monroe is closer to Ruston than Shreveport is, “so we were able to provide a lower radar beam” given the Earth’s curvature and the storm’s close proximity to the ground, Murphy said. That beam told quite a story.

The ULM radar captured a debris signature with the storm that the Shreveport radar failed to detect.

“Shreveport saw circulation and a tornado debris signature” in the data transmitted from the ULM system, Murphy said, explaining that a debris signature, when picked up by radar, is an indication that material is flying in the air and a tornado is on the ground. “It gave Shreveport more confidence in what they were seeing.”

The NWS-Shreveport meteorologists, using the ULM data, then checked with their other resources.

“Usually, the weather service uses an array of reports — police, spotters and radar,” Murphy said.

Jason Hansford, the meteorologist on duty in Shreveport in the early morning of April 25, in correspondence with Murphy, explained how ULM’s radar “depicted a tightening circulation just southwest of Ruston along U.S. 80 around 1:45 a.m., with what appeared to be a debris signature which was confirmed by our damage survey team as the preliminary start point of the tornado.

“The debris signature was quite apparent around 1:52 a.m. near the intersection of U.S. 167 and I-20, which I noticed and immediately told the warning meteorologist on the Ruston storm to issue a follow-up (statement) confirming a radar-indicated tornado. I also had our communicator call the Ruston PD/Lincoln Parish Sheriff's Office to alert them of the radar confirmed tornado, which they confirmed themselves from the ground given the substantial damage reports coming in,” Hansford wrote.

The NWS-Shreveport used all of the available data to redraw its warning boxes. It also provided Ruston residents with time. Tornado-warning sirens wailed and urgent statements came in a steady stream through weather radios.

“The data from this radar, alongside the spotter call, and frequent communication with the Bienville/Lincoln, and Union Parish Sheriff's offices during the event, was extremely beneficial and helped our office save so many lives during this event,” Hansford wrote.

“In fact, our office and the survey teams received numerous compliments from the public, city, parish and state officials with the long lead times leading up to the impacts on the city of Ruston.”

The University of Louisiana Monroe's Doppler weather system will be joined by a new, portable Doppler Wind Lidar. The Lidar is funded by a National Science Foundation grant of almost $275,000. Congressman Ralph Abraham, a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, supported the NSF grant.
The University of Louisiana Monroe's Doppler weather system will be joined by a new, portable Doppler Wind Lidar. The Lidar is funded by a National Science Foundation grant of almost $275,000. Congressman Ralph Abraham, a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, supported the NSF grant. (Photo: Emerald McIntyre/ULM Photo Services)

Without ULM’s radar, the National Weather Service would not have had a complete picture of what was happening on the ground in Ruston when, as Hansford writes, “this destructive tornado struck the city shortly before 2 a.m. when much of the city was sleeping.”

The warnings could not save property. Louisiana Tech suffered heavy damage, especially to the softball and soccer stadiums. Several homes and businesses were reduced to rubble.

Huge trees were uprooted and tragically, a mother and son were killed when a tree fell on their home.

But ULM’s role in the tornado detection and the saving of lives cannot be underestimated.

“The ULM radar is becoming an indispensable tool as part of our warning operations for north central Louisiana and the surrounding areas,” said Mario D. Valverde, meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service office in Shreveport.
00 2019-05-08

ULM's Dr. Anita Sharma Discusses a 'Senior Bootcamp'

00 2019-05-08

National Weather Service recognizes NSU as 'StormReady' campus

NATCHITOCHES, La. (NSU) - The National Weather Service has recognized Northwestern State University as StormReady® on Tuesday and named Health and Environmental Safety Officer Julie Powell an Ambassador with the Weather Ready Nation through the NWS.

“NSU is concerned with the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors. One way we assist in promoting safety is by becoming a StormReady University,” said Marcus Jones, executive vice president for University and Business Affairs. “In the event of severe weather, EHS Officer Julie Powell will work with the National Weather Service for early detection and early notification.”

Earlier this year, 15 faculty/staff members toured the National Weather Service facility to get an idea of how severe weather is identified and broadcast. NSU personnel participate in a weekly weather briefing performed by the NWS.

“When conditions warrant, we share information via Facebook/NSU Student Concerns and Purple Alert,” Jones said. “Additionally, we will host a National Weather Service Skywarn class this summer for the Natchitoches community and surrounding areas. Everyone is invited to attend, including students.”

“Northcentral Louisiana experiences very active severe weather episodes throughout the year,” said Charlie Woodrum, Warning Coordination Meteorologist of the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Shreveport. “Due to our geographic location, potentially deadly weather could impact Northwestern State University and Natchitoches Parish on any given day. In order to prepare for severe weather and keep its citizens safe, university staff members partnered with the NWS to meet the criteria required by the StormReady® program.”

Woodrum and Senior Meteorologist Jason Hansford presented the university with a recognition letter and a special StormReady® sign during a ceremony Tuesday

The nationwide StormReady® community preparedness program uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle local severe weather and flooding threats.

To be recognized as StormReady®, a community or university must establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center; have more than one way to receive severe weather forecasts and warnings and to alert the public; create a system that monitors local weather conditions; promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars; and develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.

“Today, there are more than 3,000 StormReady® communities,” Hansford said. “Northwestern State University joins the ranks of over 250 universities across the nation that have achieved StormReady® status and only the third university in the state of Louisiana.”

Hansford added, “The program is designed to help StormReady® communities improve communication and safety skills needed to save lives — before, during and after a severe weather event. The establishment of StormReady® universities is vital given the recent EF-3 tornado which tore through Louisiana Tech University in Ruston during the early morning hours of April 25.”

The StormReady® recognition will expire in three years, before which the university will go through a renewal process.

The NWS is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. It operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy. Visit us online at weather.gov and on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NWS.

Copyright 2019 NSU. All rights reserved.
00 2019-05-08

Study-abroad family dynamics class available this winter

NATCHITOCHES – Dr. Karen Walker, assistant professor of child and family studies in Northwestern State University’s School of Education will teach a class in London and Dublin that is open to undergraduate and graduate students.

Walker will be teaching Family Dynamics in Movies in London and Dublin Dec. 26-Jan. 8 through the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad (CCSA), which has programs open to any undergraduate or graduate student in good academic and disciplinary standing. The class would be of interest to students in social work, criminal justice, child and family studies, nursing, counseling, education and other professions that work directly or indirectly with families.

The course will compare family dynamics in movies set in London and Dublin to real world situations.

“Love, marriage, parenting, relationships – we get them right… we get them wrong. Analyzing the motives of characters in movies will help you better understand the families you will work with in your future career,” Walker said. “Families are complex, and our changing society continues to add complications.”

Participants will uncover their own identities, beliefs, values, attitudes and assumptions about relationships and families.

“Studying abroad is the experience of a lifetime,” Walker said. “Exploring new cities, different cultures, and expanding your world-view increases self-confidence and your chances of getting a job after graduation.”

To find out more about the course and CCSA visit https://ccsa.studioabroad.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=Programs.ViewProgram&Program_ID=41357.

Contact Walker with questions at (318) 357-6065 or walkerka@nsula.edu. She will be teaching this course again in Summer 2020 at Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland.
00 2019-05-08

Anatomy lab named for Dr. Jack Pace

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s School of Biological and Physical Sciences named Room 217 in Bienvenu Hall for Dr. Jack Pace who taught many classes there during his long tenure at NSU.

Family Doctors
Dr. Pace’s widow Bonnie Pace thanked the friends and family who gathered to recognize the Dr. Jack Pace Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory May 6 and talked about his impact on campus and in the community. Friends contributed to the Jack W. Pace Memorial Endowed Scholarship to the extent that its inaugural recipient was recognized. She is Sarah Sargent of Lake Charles, a biology major with a concentration in natural science.

“He was a true servant to the university,” said Dr. Francene Lemoine, director of the School. “He taught thousands – probably tens of thousands – of students and many of us were touched by the impact that he had.”

Pace was a member of the Northwestern State faculty for 41 years where he taught animal science and preparatory classes for the nursing curriculum, served as head of the Department of Agriculture and Biological Sciences and was advisor to the Rodeo Team and NSU Vet Tech committee. Through many years of teaching at NSU, he touched the lives and inspired hundreds of his students. He passed away Aug. 3, 2018.

Friends of the late Dr. Jack Pace gathered for the naming of the Dr. Jack Pace Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory in Room 217 of Bienvenu Hall, where Dr. Pace taught thousands of students over the years. From left are Dr. Francene Lemoine, director of the School of Biological and Physical Sciences, NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio, Bonnie Pace, Camden Pace and Wes Pace.
00 2019-05-08

Proposed LSU Shreveport-Louisiana Tech merger tabled for now

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The closely watched proposal to merge LSU Shreveport and Louisiana Tech has been put on hold.

Rep. Cedric Glover voluntarily deferred his House Bill 470 Tuesday in front of the House Committee on Education.

“The votes simply were not there to advance the legislation,” said Rep. Glover.

The measure recommended putting LSUS under the University of Louisiana System umbrella and subsequently, Louisiana Tech.

“I’m not here wearing a LSU jersey. I’m not here wearing a Louisiana Tech Jersey. I’m wearing the jersey of Shreveport-Bossier and North Louisiana,” Rep. Glover told committee members.

The measure was shaping up to be a contentious issue among higher education leaders in Shreveport, Ruston and Baton Rouge.

Statement from LSUS Chancellor Larry Clark:

“As always, we share Representative Glover’s goal of a stronger, more vibrant, and economically viable future for the Shreveport-Bossier region. LSUS, as part of the LSU system, is committed to achieving that goal, and we are confident that the plans we have put in place will continue to put our students on a path to success, which will only serve to promote the betterment of our community as a whole.”

Statement from LSU President Dr. F. King Alexander:

“We are pleased to see HB470 put to bed. LSUS belongs in the LSU family, and it will always remain there. We are proud of the success and impact our university has enjoyed under Chancellor Clark’s leadership and know even greater things await around the corner.”

It’s important to note there are no North Louisiana legislators on the House Education committee.

Copyright 2019 KSLA. All rights reserved.
00 2019-05-07

Colleges could get more money for raises, scholarships

Nicholls State University officials are watching proposals for the state to pay for employee raises and increase scholarships.

Those priorities for higher education – set and advocated by the University of Louisiana System and the Louisiana Board of Regents – will be the major initiatives that could affect the local university, Nicholls President Jay Clune said today.

The leadership of both boards have been working closely to present a united front on priorities for the legislative session, Clune said.

Nicholls Executive Vice President for Enrollment and External Affairs Alex Arceneaux and Clune said the two boards have requested for the state Legislature to pay for a 2 percent salary increase for faculty and staff members.

When the presidents from the nine universities in the ULS provided input, compensation was one priority they all shared, they said.

“They asked us, ‘What are your top five priorities,’” said Clune. “The answer was for one, two and three, faculty and staff salaries.”

Clune and Arceneaux said the last state-financed raise for higher education employees took place prior to 2007. From 2007 to 2017, they said, education had seen budget cuts due to financial issues at the state level.

Arceneaux said the across-the-board 2 percent increase for higher education employees is about the same size as the raise being considered for teachers and support staff at the K-12 level.

The UL System and Board of Regents are also asking for the House Appropriations Committee to include an additional $9.3 million from the state to fully pay for TOPS scholarships. The money is included in the governor’s proposed budget.

TOPS, or the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students, provides merit-based scholarships for Louisiana residents.

Nicholls is also looking to have the state pay for the second phase of its planned expansion of athletic facilities near Barker Hall. The $10 million plan was split into two phases. The first phase will cost $6.5 million, with $4 million covered by the state. Nicholls will raise the other $2.5 million. The university plans to break ground on that project soon, said Clune.

This session, Clune said, the university is asking the state for the full $3.5 million required to complete the second phase when the time comes.

Arceneaux said they’re also keeping an eye on five proposed bills – two in the Senate, three in the House. He said all of the bills seem reasonable without adding unnecessary or unfunded burdens to the schools.

• Senate Bill 54 would add another seat on the health workers commission for the UL System president.

• Senate Bill 117 would allow universities to explore more opportunities to use E-textbooks to reduce student costs.

• House Bill 121 would create a mechanism to allow people to have outstanding debt forgiven and be readmitted to universities to finish their degrees.

• House Bill 294 would allow a campus climate survey on sexual assault to be conducted every three years rather than annually in the hopes of avoiding survey fatigue.

• House Bill 443 would require universities immediately to report hazing incidents to outside law enforcement agencies.

Clune and Arceneaux said the university doesn’t participate in actively lobbying for or against any measures in the state Legislature, allowing the UL System president and Board of Regents to do so on its behalf.

Staff Writer Halle Parker can be reached at hparker@houmatoday.com or 857-2204. Follow her on Twitter, @_thehalparker.
00 2019-05-07

Finals Week Causing Widespread Stress Across UL’s Campus

Life can get pretty stressful and for college students this time of the year, their stress levels may be sky rocketing. To help combat the anxiety, UL is hosting a stress relief week. Even if you’ve graduated college you might want to listen up to see exactly how stress can impact your health.

“I’m generally opposed to stress” laughed UL Psychology Professor, Dr. Valanne MacGyvers.

Almost everyone can agree, being stressed is not the best.

“I’m hoping to get de-stressed very soon” exclaimed Brandi Cole, a student at UL.

On UL’s campus stress levels are rising.

“I can feel the tension just walking into the building. Especially if tests are going on, you can just feel the tension.” said Dr. MacGyvers, “It’s just like a vibe that is everywhere. Everyone is so tense it’s very noticeable.”

Those high levels of stress can be harmful for your health.

“It can release a chemical in your body called cortisol which can stress out and cause issues for various organs in your body.”explained Frank Garber, a Nurse Practitioner at South Star Urgent Care.

But how do you know if you’re stressed? The symptoms may be right in front of you.

“Headaches, fatigue, nausea, chest pains and sometimes tummy ache…” listed Garber.

For students trying to make the grade, the thought of finals week might be an obstacle.

“The idea of finals is for them to show us how much they’ve learned this semester. But, sometimes if you’re too stressed out. You can’t show what you’ve learned because the stress interferes with your cognitive function.” said Dr. MacGyvers.

“Sometimes you’re worried you didn’t quite meet the teachers expectations despite paying attention to class and taking notes.” said Cole.

If you find yourself tensing up, Dr. Valanne Macgyvers says mindless tasks like coloring, origami and just taking a moment to breathe, can help release anxiety.

“Recognize that it’s the acceptance of ‘it is what it is’. Breathe in, breathe out, keep breathing, keep stepping forward, do the best you can do and don’t let the world land on your shoulders. It doesn’t belong there.” said Dr. MacGyvers.
00 2019-05-07
Lake Charles

McNeese will honor Class of 1969 during weekend celebration

McNeese State University’s Class of 1969 will be honored during the annual celebration of the McNeese Alumni Association’s Golden Scholars Society on Friday and Saturday, May 10-11.

To share in this celebration, the Class of 1969 has invited all previous Golden Scholars inductees to participate, Stephanie Clark, McNeese assistant director for alumni affairs, said.

“This is one of our favorite events that the McNeese Alumni Association sponsors. It’s truly amazing to meet our Golden Scholars, visit with them and hear their stories about campus life,” Clark said. “We enjoy spending the weekend reminiscing and celebrating all that they have accomplished in their 50 years since graduation.”

On Friday morning, the graduates will reunite at the University President’s House for a reception. Later that evening, they will move to the Doland Field House for a dinner and an induction and pinning ceremony.

On Saturday, the 1969 graduates will don yellow robes and march in spring commencement at 10 a.m. in Burton Coliseum with the spring Class of 2019.

Those Golden Scholars attending are: Janice Areno (’69) of Sulphur; Col. Gordon Brewer (’69) of San Antonio, Texas; Carol Cannon (’67), Wilda Chelette (’64, ’78), Dr. Phyllis Cuevas (’61, ’73, ‘76), Dr. Spence Cuevas (’75, ’80), Lake Charles; Peggy Guillory (’69, ’75), Betty Harrison (’69), Ron Hayes (’69, ’71), Bill Koehl (’69), Maj. Kelly McRight (’62), Annette Norman (’69, ’95), Bill Ross (’69), Richard Stutes (’69), Helen Vincent (’64) and Linda White (’68, ’72), all of Lake Charles; Linda Cunningham (’70, ’73) and Pat Cunningham (’69, ’73), both of Kingwood, Texas; Benny Davis (’69, ’75) and Darlene Davis (’72), both of Tyler, Texas; Coleen Farabough (’69) of Shreveport; Anita Griffiths (’69) of Kinder; the Rev. Johnny Johnson (’69) and Linda Johnson (’90, ’03), both of DeRidder; Lula Singletary (’69, ’77) of Iowa, La.; John Smith (’69, ’74) of Roanoke; and Chris Verret (’69) of Lafayette.
00 2019-05-07

Wes Rollo suprised with Poche Fishing Scholarship

NATCHITOCHES – Wes Rollo thought he was going to the president’s home at Northwestern State University to attend a program for incoming freshmen leaders. It turned out, he and his parents, Sonya and Jeff Rollo of Natchitoches, were surprised to find members of the Dylan Kyle Poche family and the NSU Foundation prepared to award him a two-year scholarship for participation on the NSU Fishing Team.

Wes, who will graduate from Natchitoches Central High School this month, will be awarded $10,000 for his freshman and sophomore year at NSU. The Poche family presented another $10,000 to the NSU Fishing Team to underwrite travel expenses, supplies and team jerseys. Proceeds were generated through the fourth annual Dylan Kyle Poche Memorial Fishing Tournament that took place on Toledo Bend Lake March 23 with 213 boats participating.

“This is special in a lot of ways,” said Director of Development Jill Bankston. “I’ve known Wes since he was about three years old. He is full of grit and determination. The Poche family could not have chosen a better recipient and this is also a special day for the NSU Fishing Team.”

Dylan Poche was a member of NSU’s Fishing Team when he lost his life in January 2016. Later that year, his parents, Burt and Shelley Poche and Misty Ott, established the fishing tournament and scholarship to honor his memory and support the NSU Fishing Team.

“I’m thankful and honored to give Wes this scholarship,” Burt Poche said. “Dylan would be proud.”

Sonya Rollo thanked the Poche family for blessing others through their pain.

“We are thankful for the legacy of Dylan and that he lives on through this scholarship,” she said. “We knew Dylan. Fishing is a kinship and we are thankful that you chose us.”

NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio remarked on Wes Rollo’s courage as he battled cancer as a youngster and said the Poche family’s support of the NSU Fishing Team will put it on a trajectory to win a national championship.

Sonya Rollo said that fishing is more than a sport to Wes. Wes was diagnosed with AVN leukemia in September 2013, the start of his seventh grade year. He had been a baseball player and pitcher, but the disease ended his athletic career. His 31-month treatment was effective, but brutal on his body and fishing became his outlet.

“Fishing is big in his life in so many ways. While he was in bed, he watched fishing videos and learned about mating patterns and how to fish in different conditions,” she said. “He was secluded and it was a lonely time, but he used that to his advantage. When he was alone, he studied and fished.”

For Wes, fishing was both emotional and physical therapy. Having to balance himself in a boat helped the bones and joints that had been affected by treatment and he improved with physical activity. When Wes was able to return to school at the end of his ninth grade year, he joined the NCHS fishing team and last year was able to go to the Bassmaster Nationals.

Members of the NSU Fishing team and Juddy Hamous, team sponsor, attended the scholarship announcement to welcome Wes to the team. Hamous, a long-time friend of the Poche family, said the club is an opportunity for a student to get involved on a competitive level with a healthy and enjoyable lifetime sport. The waterways in and around Natchitoches make it a popular sportsman’s destination.

Earlier this year, the Louisiana High School Athletic Association approved bass fishing as a winter sport on a one-year trial basis, an indication of growing interest in the sport. The NSU Fishing Team is open to all full-time students who maintain a 2.0 or better grade point average.

For information supporting the NSU Fishing Team or student scholarships at Northwestern State, contact the NSU Foundation office at (318) 357-4414 or visit northwesternstatealumni.com. To learn more about the NSU Fishing Team, visit beademon.com/fishing.

Members of the NSU Fishing Team welcomed incoming freshman Wes Rollo of Natchitoches during an announcement naming Rollo a two-year recipient of the Dylan Kyle Poche Fishing Scholarship. From left are Rollo, Kyle McAllen, Tyler Pate, Maguire Parker, Gage Ulrich, Jackson Mcgee, Dawson Cranford and team sponsor Juddy Hamous.
00 2019-05-07

Memorial scholarships honor two local students

NATCHITOCHES – A Natchitoches family is honoring two young men by establishing scholarships in their memory at Northwestern State University. David and Jennifer Thornton created the Boaz Barber Squyres Memorial Scholarship to benefit an upper level accounting major and the Joe Robertson Memorial Scholarship to benefit a law enforcement officer, first responder or the immediate family member of a law enforcement or first responder.

Motel 6
The families of both young men met with the Thorntons and the scholarship recipients recently to talk about what the scholarships mean to each of them.

Boaz, son of Merlin and Mary Squyres, was a 2013 graduate of Natchitoches Central High School and was studying accounting at Northwestern State when he passed away from injuries sustained in an accident in 2015 at age 20. David Thornton, a friend of Merlin Squyres, felt moved to do something to honor Boaz.

“It’s a very big honor for them to do this in memory of Boaz,” said his mother Mary Squyres. “We are very grateful to the Thornton family for this. It hurts to think that he didn’t get to finish but it is comforting that other young people will benefit from this scholarship.”

Joe Robertson, son of Richard and Tammy Robertson, was a close friend of Jennifer Thornton growing up in Natchitoches where they attended school and church together. Joe was a Natchitoches City Police Officer when he was killed in an off-duty motorcycle accident in 2005 at age 20. Individuals in 14 states – 21 males and 13 females ranging in age from 17 to 71 — benefited from Robertson’s decision to be an organ donor.

“Joe really wanted to help people,” his mother Tammy Robertson said. “This would make him very happy. Others won’t forget and, in this way, he is continuing to help people. He would be proud to know his name is on a scholarship that will help someone in law enforcement.”

“David and Jennifer established these scholarships in memory of two special individuals,” said Jill Bankston as she introduced the scholarship recipients, Thomas Celles and Jonathan Roberts.

Celles is a junior level accounting major in the Louisiana Scholars’ College. He has held a job throughout his college career, has been involved with several campus organizations and plans to complete an internship in Baton Rouge next semester.

Roberts is pursuing a degree in criminal justice, having returned to NSU as a non-traditional student. He has been employed in law enforcement for 12 years, currently with the Narcotics Task Force of the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office. He is married with two children ages 6 and 2.

“We love Mrs. Mary and Mr. Merlyn and we knew Joe very well. He was very dear to us,” Jennifer Thornton, explaining her and David’s desire to honor the young men. “We wanted to continue Joe’s legacy and remember Boaz because he was in school to be an accountant like his dad.”

The Thorntons have previously created scholarships at NSU in honor of teachers who made an impact in their lives, as well as a scholarship for a student in the School of Creative and Performing Arts.

“This day is special on so many levels, for me personally and for the university,” said NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio. “We are honoring the memory of two fine individuals and their names will be attached to these scholarships in perpetuity. These two students epitomize the ideal recipients. They know the stories behind these awards and why they are important.”

Information on creating a scholarship in honor or in memory of an individual is available at northwesternalumni.com or by contacting Director of Development Jill Bankston at (318) 357-4241 or bankstonj@nsula.edu.

David and Jennifer Thornton honored the memory of two young men by establishing scholarships in their memory at Northwestern State University. The couple created the Boaz Barber Squyres Memorial Scholarship and the Joe Robertson Memorial Scholarship and were joined by family members, friends and recipients for the scholarship announcements. From left are Keith Thompson, Jonathan Roberts, Richard and Tammy Robertson, Jennifer and David Thornton with daughters Tenley and Taelyn Thornton, NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio, Thomas Celles and Mary and Merlin Squyres.
00 2019-05-07

NSU initiates spring 2019 Phi Kappa Phi inductees

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest, most selective and most prestigious all-discipline honor society, held an induction ceremony for Spring 2019 initiates. Selection criteria for Phi Kappa Phi are based on high academic standard. Membership is open to the top 7.5 percent of second term juniors and the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students, as well as faculty and professional staff who achieved scholarly distinction.

Motel 6
Initiates listed by hometown are as follows.

Alexandria – Fr. John Brocato, Wayne E. Harper, Martha Hopewell, Kaleigh r. Martin, Jennifer A. Prevot, Sydney N. Seastrunk;

Amite – Sidney Polezcek;

Anacoco – Jessica Marie Horton;

Baton Rouge – Meagan Barbay, Colleen Reese, Laura Vance;

Benton – Kara E. Knippers;

Bossier City – Peyton Lee Davis, Jacqueline Loche, Taylor L. Powell, Tori Spraggins;

Boyce – Sonya Hill, Hannah Denise Miller;

Breaux Bridge – Nina McCune;

Broussard – Monica D. Trahan;

Bunkie – Lauren Beard Emerson;

Canton, Ohio – Angela R. Disatell;

Cheneyville – Katie Baronne;

Clermont, Florida – Jacob A. Manning;

Converse – Elaina Richardson;

Covington – Rachael Anne Coyne;

Cut Off – Kaelyn Musgrave;

Cypress, Texas – Alexis B. Warren

Denham Springs – Halle Mahfouz;

DeRidder – John Austin Ham;

Destrehan – Hannah Boquet, Stephanie M. Webre;

Deville – Hannah Siebeneicher;

Dodson – Kimberly Liner;

Doyline – Kathleen A Redler;

Edmond, Oklahoma – Payton E. Hartwick;

Forest Hill – Adrianne Bailey Doré

Forney, Texas – Jayden Wheeler;

Frierson – Brittany D. Furro;

Garner, North Carolina – Emily E. Roy;

Gray – Tevyn L. W. Johnson;

Greenwood – Char-Tarian Wilson;

Hallsville, Texas – Emma G. Hawthorne;

Haughton – Dawn M. Young;

Kenner – Brooke Petkovich;

Kentwood – Jenna Marie Morris;

Lafayette – Anita G. Breaux;

Lake Charles – Steven DeWitt;

Lawtell – Karoline Guidry;

Leesville – Carter Coriell, Allessa Ingraham-Albert;

Little Rock, Arkansas – Maeghan E. Arnolal;

Madisonville – Jensen Volz;

Mamou – Melissa Soileau;

Many – Ricky Lynette Sepulvado;

Marrero – Jade Anne Duthu;

Monroe – Angela Mathews;

Morgan City – Kelly Acosta Terrebonne;

Natchitoches – Taylor Camidge, John A. Allen, Samantha Clark, Kevin Denks, Alison Garcia, Greg Alan Handel, Kelsey Ann Jordan, Brooke Meade, Shelby Riedel, Joseph Cade Stepp, Mary Linn Wernet;

New Iberia – Tara J. Bonvillain;

New Llano – Kaitlyn Hotz;

Oakdale – Katelyn Ray;

Pineville – David R. Asbury, Carlee Lake, Wesley Williams;

Prairieville – Wendy Hazey

Raymond, Mississippi – Rachel. D. Elkins;

Rayville – Terry Christian Rigers;

Reading, Pennsylvania – Dereka M. Lint;

Ringgold – Sherri Wiggins;

Robeline – Megan Elise Palmer, Caleb Wester;

Shreveport – Emily AnnMarie Arnaud, Katherine D. Bolls, Ashlee Elliott, Tawana M. Harris-Glover, Jonathan Martinez, Zachary Scott Sanders;

Simmesport – Bailie E. Marsh;

Slidell – Sabrina Miller;

St. Francisville – Claire Elizabeth Leming;

Sterlington – Kaitlyn Danielle Johnston;

Sulphur – Sonya Warner Hidalgo;

Trout – Devon D. Smith;

Vinton – Shae Alexus Cramer, Madison Zaunbrecher;

West Monroe – Jamie Lynn Putnam Guillot;

Westlake – Brandon James Trahan;

Winnfield – John Colllins, Rebecca McNeill;

Wisner – Rebecca E. Jones;

Zachary – Ciara Chanel Gibbs;

Zwolle – Holden Rivers;
00 2019-05-06

Holden native among honorees of Southeastern’s College Science and Technology

Southeastern Louisiana University’s College of Science and Technology recognized students for outstanding academic performance at the college’s honors convocation held April 30.

One of those students, Clarissa Smith of Holden, is from Livingston Parish.

00 2019-05-06

Fête: You Are What You Post

Heretofore, society has mainly concerned itself with one’s personality and decorum in public. Since Louis XIV noticed his nobles stepped on the grass at Versailles during his annual summer celebrations and posted small “etiquettes,” or little signs, warning them to stay on the path, no trash tossing, etc., the primary concern has been what you do and say in the flesh. Not anymore.

Sadly, there are no little signs on social media, and many need to be warned.

And before you trot out the excuse that “it’s my personal page, and I can say what I want,” let me remind you the grass may look greener on Facebook but you’re still stepping on it.

According to Psychology Today, what you post affects your social capital. People judge you by your online persona, and while you may be a grandma in person, if you’re a political meme monster online, one will negate the other socially and the result won’t be grandma.

You are likewise totally remiss to think only your likeminded “friends” see your posts. All it takes is a screenshot and just like the real world, not everyone you meet virtually is your friend.

Simply put, there is no home-free in society online or off, where you can say what you want however you want without paying the consequences.

People are truly liking or disliking you at a speed never before known to man, and you will pay a steep price for, as we used to say, letting it all hang out. Social media has seduced you into thinking you’re out of harm’s way — you’re not — and society will censor you just the same.

Only faster.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at Fete@theadvocate.com.

Bottle of Wine, Fruit of the Vine
Everyone stayed politely on the path here. The Confrerie du Vin de Suresnes gathered at Mouton Plantation, the better for representatives from the Brotherhood of Wine of Suresnes to induct new honorary members from Lafayette. Cementing ties that go back decades were Laborde & Earles, Buz Reid, EJ Krampe, Shirley Cosper and Cydra Wingerter, while other native sons and daughters awaited Acadian Superette’s somewhat complique pork belly and loin with jacket of cracklins. Enjoying the alfresco celebration with some Cotes-du-Rhone were gentihommes Jean-Louis Testud and Andre Selle; Acadiana’s own Philippe Gustin; four-time Grammy nominated musician Cedric Watson, speaking French in the wild; Alaska man Thom Ely, a long way from home and here for the Cycle Zydeco and Cajun Bike Festival; and Fête favorite Luis Mora, whose online posts are never out of line. The event was a kickoff to Festival International.

Elsewhere at Festival, the Lafayette International Center bestowed its 20th International Achievement Award on Warren Bares, president of J. Maxime Roy Inc. The ceremony was hosted by Opportunity Machine in downtown Lafayette during the annual Festival International opening reception. Also, Chip and Jennifer Jackson joined the ranks of the Rain Angels, those generous individuals who make sure Festival International is paid for, come rain or come shine.

Shining Light
Vermilionville hosted Shining Light for their sixth annual Cajun Zydeco Bash fundraiser, complete with Lil Buck Senegal, Roddy Romero, Corey Ledet and Leroy Thomas. Guests and contributors were treated to catfish as well as some primo zydeco, but the best came from proud mother Hayley Lejeune, who said her 25-year-old son was playing that evening thanks to music training provided by Shining Light when he was a boy. Shining Light provides financial assistance to underserved children for the purpose of academic enrichment.

Eminent Faculty Awards
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette honored its own for academic excellence with a formal celebration at the Petroleum Club. Taking that long walk to the podium were Ray P. Authement Excellence in Teaching Award recipients Deedra Harrington, Brian Kelly and Kari Smith; Distinguished Professor Award winners Daniel Gang and Jeffrey George; and Leadership in Service Award honoree Jeff Lush. Provost and VP for Academic Affairs Jaimie Hebert emceed, Vice President of University Advancement John Blohm gave the welcome, President E.J. Savoie made a speech and dinner was served. What we loved: Father-son duos Mark and Cole Miller and Daniel and Mark Gang. Mark was a gifted student we taught back in the day. Fête takes complete credit for him.

FOH Luncheon
Friends of the Humanities met at the Petroleum Club for its annual meeting and luncheon featuring Jason Barry. The author, investigative reporter and filmmaker gave his talk on New Orleans from Bienville to post-Katrina rebirth, while Jordan Kellman and Michael McClure bestowed Founder's Day Awards on Loic Bourdeau and Allison Leigh. "We've created an award that will go annually to the College of the Arts, and one to the College of Liberal Arts," said FOH President Judy Kennedy. "Before, they had to alternate." By the way, the College of the Arts cleaned up this week award-wise, with four of its faculty also receiving Eminent Faculty Awards the previous evening, and Barry gets our award for his quote: "The press is the hope of the future."

00 2019-05-06

UL sends alert on alligator mating season to students, staff

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is warning students and faculty about alligators on campus as mating season begins.

Cyprus Lake, located on campus, is home to a number of alligators and other wildlife. As mating season is underway, the university if reminding students, faculty and visitors to be aware of female alligators who may be nesting along the perimeter of the lake.

Eggs, if deposited, are expected to hatch in mid-August through early September.

A few tips from UL Lafayette are as follows.

Stay at least 10 feet from retention walls.
Supervise children.
Avoid bringing pets near Cypress Lake.
Do not feed or antagonize the alligators.
A message from the university is below:

“Cypress Lake is home to many species of wildlife, including alligators. Co-existing with alligators is part of life at the University. The Office of Environmental Health and Safety wants you to be aware that it is alligator mating season.”

“The courtship process for the alligators began in April. Mating happens in May or June, before females build nests and deposit eggs. The eggs will hatch from mid-August through early September, after 63-68 days of incubation.”

“Female alligators may make their nests in the shallow parts of Cypress Lake near the lower retention walls.”

Cypress Lake is located behind the Student Union on UL Lafayette’s campus. UL Lafayette is the only university in the United States with a managed wetland on its campus.
00 2019-05-06
Lake Charles

Study: Lake Charles feasible location for bikeshare program

Lake Charles and McNeese State University are “feasible locations for a bikeshare system,” according to the recently-released Bayou Bikeshare Plan study.

Bantam Strategy Group of Baton Rouge and Toole Design Group conducted the study, which began last fall. It gives suggestions for introducing a bike-share program in Lake Charles and Sulphur.

The study recommends an initial launch of 151 smart electric bicycles, with 32 hub locations in Lake Charles. A second phase would be rolled out three years later, bringing in 184 new bicycles and 39 new hubs.

“This recommendation removes the need for larger dock-based stations and kiosks while still providing a functional and easy-to-use program,” the study reads.

It recommends funding be a combination of “user fees and sponsorship/advertising partnerships” and not rely on government dollars. It also advises the city and McNeese to choose one bike-share vendor through a cooperative endeavor agreement.

For Sulphur, the study suggests “a bicycle library” and focusing initially “on a community bicycle and pedestrian plan.” A bicycle library would let residents pay a minimal fee to check out a fleet of bicycles from staffed locations.

According to the study, the bicycle library is being proposed because Sulphur has a smaller population and a “low-to-moderate demand for bike-share.”

The study recommends an initial launch of 151 smart electric bicycles, with 32 hub locations in Lake Charles. A second phase would be rolled out three years later, bringing in 184 new bicycles and 39 new hubs.

“This type of program is not set up for short, spontaneous, point-to-point trips,” the study reads. “A resident or student could check out a bike and keep it for a month or a semester as a means of getting around.”

A central hub should start out with “at least 10 to 20 bikes,” including bicycles for children. The central hub location could be one of the six parks in Sulphur.

Lori Marinovich, assistant director of planning for the city of Lake Charles, said the city will look for interested bike-share vendors and will also discuss the option of partnering with McNeese.

“This program can be an asset for our students, particularly our resident and international students,” Marinovich said in a statement.

The Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana commissioned the study.
00 2019-05-06
Lake Charles


The Kappa Psi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing at McNeese State University recently had its induction and installation ceremony.

Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society recognizes superior achievement, develops leadership qualities, fosters high professional standards, encourages creative work and strengthens the commitment to the ideals and purposes of the nursing profession.

The following nursing students were inducted: Taylor Bost, Hannah Brignac, Lisa Fuselier, Cheryl Haines, Caitlin Fuselier, Michelle Klein, Alexandra Liles, Taylor Robbins and Christopher Arceneaux, all of Lake Charles; Whitney Conner and Boyd Trey Lowe, both of Iowa, La.; Brandi Reed of Geuydan; Macy Fazio of DeRidder; Lauren Fontenot of Kinder; Nicholas Bienvenu of New Iberia; Sydney Broussard of Hackberry; Emily Ruder Robinson of Leesville; Nyra Dawn Kershaw of Jennings; Megan McGuire of Westlake; Brittney Robichaux of St. Martinville; Rebecca Hattabaugh of Baton Rouge; Shanna Johnson and Rachel Whitstine, both of Youngsville; Maggie Carter of League City, Texas; Jacob Stewart of Beaumont, Texas; and Dionne Vigee of Georgetown, Texas.

Savanna Fruge of Iowa, La., was awarded the Arthur Adams Scholarship.

Beta Gamma Sigma welcomes inductees

Twelve business students have been inducted into the McNeese State University chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma Scholastic Business Honor Society.

Membership into Beta Gamma Sigma, which stands for honor, wisdom and earnestness respectively, is the highest national academic recognition that an undergraduate or graduate business student can receive. Only the top 10 percent of undergraduates and the top 20 percent of graduate students are invited to join.

Beta Gamma Sigma inductees are: Gideon Koegelenberg, Megan Landry and Brandi Simpson, all of Lake Charles; Matthew Braquet and Sarah Bohanno, both of Sulphur; Gabrielle Peltier of Rayne; Matthew Emory of Dry Creek; Sarah Kidder of Orange, Texas; Robert Dick of New Brunswick, Ohio; Sambidhan Khaniya of Bharatpur, Nepal; Upasana Pandey of Kathmandu, Nepal; and Joshna Lawar of Bhadrapur, Nepal.

The Jeff and Rhonda Lee Miller Distinguished Student awards were presented to juniors Jace Leblanc of Sulphur in accounting; Peltier in business administration; Karma Gurung of Kathmandu, Nepal, in finance; Damilola Balogun of Lagos, Nepal, in management; and Paige Buller of Sulphur in marketing; and seniors Linh Tran of Vietnam in accounting; Morgan Quinn of Westlake in business administration; Shay Walker, of Iowa, La., in finance; Jennifer Greene of Oberlin in management; and Elizabeth Gober of Lake Charles in marketing.
00 2019-05-06
Lake Charles

McNeese graduation May 11

McNeese State University will hold its 152nd commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 11, at Burton Coliseum.

The spring class of 2019 includes 752 candidates from 34 parishes, 22 states and 28 countries, and 789 degrees will be awarded, including 55 associate degrees, 639 bachelor’s degrees, 94 master’s degrees and one education specialist degree.

McNeese President Dr. Daryl V. Burckel will welcome the candidates and introduce the Golden Scholars from the Class of 1969.

Commencement speaker is State Sen. Dan W. “Blade” Morrish (R), who is a 1972 graduate of McNeese with a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife management.

Morrish is serving his third term representing District 25 in the Louisiana State Senate, which includes all of Jefferson Davis and Cameron parishes and portions of Acadia and Calcasieu parishes.

The Jennings native is the current chairman of the Senate Education Committee and the Select Committee on Hurricane Recovery and is a member of several other senate committees.

Brad A. Guillory, president of the McNeese Alumni Association, will address the students on behalf of the association.

Several honor graduates will also be recognized during the ceremony. They are designated as summa cum laude (3.90-4.00), magna cum laude (3.70-3.89) and cum laude (3.50-3.69).

Vocal performance seniors Lindsey Bower, Tyler Brumback, Jordan Coe and Taylor Trahan will lead the students and audience in the alma mater.

For the spring commencement, each candidate received eight tickets for the ceremony.

All guests must have a ticket to enter the coliseum.

The McNeese commencement ceremony will be live streamed at www.facebook.com/McNeeseStateU. The ceremony will also be broadcast on the Calcasieu Government Channel at a date to be announced.
00 2019-05-06

Where should LA Tech rebuild baseball stadium?

Louisiana Tech University President Les Guice said he and his team are already considering possible sites on which to rebuild the baseball stadium destroyed by the April 25 tornado that totaled Pat Patterson Park at J.C. Love field.

That includes the possibility of rebuilding on the existing footprint at the corner of Alabama and Tech Drive, but at least two more sites are also being considered.

Tech's softball and soccer facilities were also totaled, but the infrastructure for those fields is considerably less extensive to replace than the baseball stadium.

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're considering all the possibilities," Guice said.

Among those possibilities are the intramural field on Alabama across the street from Joe Aillet Stadium, which is adjacent to the softball and soccer fields, and what's known as the "rugby field" on Tech Drive across the street from the Lambright Intramural Center.

Both of those sites are basically shovel ready.

One consideration may be how quickly the rebuild can begin.

Guice said his goal is to have any new facilities open in time for next spring's seasons. Tech's baseball team is playing its final home series of the year this weekend at the University of Louisiana at Monroe stadium.

"I'm going to challenge our people to achieve that goal," he said.

That would seem less likely at the existing site, where demolition will take weeks. There is also limited parking at the existing site.

"There's an accessibility problem at the existing site," Guice said. "We have to look at all of the impacts and possibilities and make the best decision."

Officials with Louisiana's Office of Risk Management said the baseball stadium's maximum insurance benefit is $2.3 million for a total loss, which is only a fraction of the cost of a new facility.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette spent $16 million to renovate and rebuild its baseball stadium in 2016-17.

Steve Davison, an influential alumnus who spearheaded efforts to raise funds for previous athletic infrastructure enhancements, said the new stadium "should be on par with a top 50 or 60 baseball program and one that could potentially host an NCAA regional."

Davison was a player on some of Tech's all-time best baseball teams during the 1980s.

"We have to look at this as an opportunity to build something we can be proud of that will last another 50 years," he said.

Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1

00 2019-05-06

Tornado damage to Ruston city property tops $9.1 million

Damage to city property in Ruston exceeds $9.1 million, according to preliminary estimates FEMA provided to the city on Friday.

The total is only damage reported to city of Ruston property and does not include damage to homes or LA Tech properties.

FEMA is collecting data as the area pursues a presidential disaster declaration that will bring in federal aid.

The threshold of damage required is $6.8 million in the region. Totals from LA Tech, Morehouse, Union and other areas damaged by the storm can contribute to meeting the threshold, but Ruston's damage alone exceeds the minimum.

In a briefing Friday, Mayor Ronny Walker said the city is winding down an initial recovery push after a deadly EF-3 tornado moved through Ruston and the LA Tech campus on April 25.

An early morning storm passed through Ruston, La. on April 25 causing damage and two fatalities.Buy Photo
An early morning storm passed through Ruston, La. on April 25 causing damage and two fatalities. (Photo: Nicolas Galindo/The News-Star)

Walker said primary goals have been to restore electrical services to customers and clear roads to get students back to school so a feeling of normalcy could return.

"From my standpoint as a mayor in a first-time disaster, as bad as the disaster was, it (recovery) to me has gone really smooth," Walker said. "We have a great team here in the city, but the team the governor sent to us was exceptional, too. It has not been nearly as stressful as I thought it would be simply because I knew we were taking care of the basics."

Earlier this week, the city announced power was restored to all customers able to receive electricity in their homes at this time. Those still without power will need to complete repairs before the home is able to safely receive electricity.

Walker said crews from AT&T, the city and Suddenlink are also working to complete fiber repairs to restore internet and cable access in areas of Ruston.

Repair work is leading to rolling street closures as crews move from one location to the next. Closures will continue in the coming weeks as additional crews work to remove repaired lines from the ground.

The city received updates on the FEMA estimations Friday afternoon after the agency and other agencies, such as the Small Business Administration, spent the larger part of the week inspecting impacted structures including residences and businesses.

Casey Tingle, Chief of Staff for the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency, said a presidential disaster declaration would allow small businesses to access low interest loans through the SBA to get back on their feet.

FEMA is expected to return to Ruston next week to review additional information that will be added to Governor John Bel Edwards' request for a presidential declaration.
00 2019-05-06

Drake Mills is LA Tech’s newest Tower Medallion recipient

Drake Mills, a 1982 finance graduate of Louisiana Tech, the University’s Alumnus of the Year in 2010, and chairman, president, and CEO of Origin Bancorp Inc., is the university’s newest Tower Medallion recipient.

Mills will be inducted into Tech’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni during the spring commencement ceremony. Graduation ceremonies will be held at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, May 25, at Thomas Assembly Center. Mills will be recognized during both ceremonies.

The Tower Medallion Award signifies membership in the Hall and is awarded to Tech alumni who have distinguished themselves by exceptional achievement, community service, and humanitarian activities.

“I am honored to be recognized as the recipient of the Tower Medallion,” Mills said. “Louisiana Tech is a special place that means so much to me and my family. I have a tremendous amount of pride in and passion for this University. I look forward to being a part of our future growth.”

Drake Mills
Drake Mills (Photo: Courtesy)

“Partnerships are about loyalty and teamwork, and Louisiana Tech is fortunate to have a strong friend and ally in both Origin Bank and in Drake Mills, a visionary who cares deeply about both the University and the community,” said Brooks Hull, vice president for University Advancement. “His loyalty and service are among the many reasons we are so pleased to award him the Tower Medallion.”

Mills has more than 35 years of banking experience and started out as a check file clerk with Origin. He worked his way up through the organization in various capacities, including in-house system night operator, branch manager, consumer loan officer, commercial lender and chief financial officer.

Mills became president and chief operations officer in 1996 and was named CEO of Origin Bank in 2003. He has served as president of Origin’s holding company, Origin Bancorp Inc., since 1998, as CEO since 2008, and as chairman of the Board of Directors since 2012.

Under his leadership as president and CEO, Origin Bank has grown from assets of $200 million to over $4.8 billion, primarily through organic growth.

Mills served on the Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas from 2011 to 2014. He represented the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas on the Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council to the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C., and was appointed as the council’s President for a one-year term in 2013. He is also a past Chairman of the Louisiana Bankers Association.

Mills oversees Origin’s executive management team as well as the development and execution of the organization’s strategic plan. His vision and leadership are most instrumental in Origin’s growth and success.
00 2019-05-06

NSU gets approval for a computed tomography certificate program

NATCHITOCHES – A new Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Computed Tomography at Northwestern State University has been approved by the State Board of Regents. Enrollment will begin this summer.

Northwestern State’s radiologic science faculty, in response to employer and student need and demand, developed the proposed 12-credit program targeted toward working, registered radiologic technologists who wish to earn advanced certification in computed tomography (CT). The American College of Radiology has suggested requiring certification for all computed tomography technologists, which requires passage of the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) Computed Tomography Exam.

Family Doctors
According to Joel Hicks, director of NSU’s School of Allied Health, eligibility for the exam requires 16 clock hours of classroom learning and professionals and employers have found that this is often not sufficient to acquire the knowledge needed to pass the exam. Professionals and employers are asking for certificate programs to support CT certification.

Projections from the U.S. Department of Labor and Louisiana Workforce Commission projections indicate CT technologists are in demand and predict that the market will grow about 13% in the next ten years. The Joint Commission (healthcare provider institution accreditor) requires documented training for all CT technologists. Hicks said embers of NSU’s School of Allied Health Advisory Board have confirmed that, in line with recommendations of the American College of Radiology and The Joint Commission requirements, they are requiring certification for all CT Technologists, further confirming the need for a program designed to prepare students for the certification exam.

The program is designed to attract working registered radiologic technologists who hold a bachelor’s degree and are seeking additional certification in computed tomography. Hicks expects the program to appeal to recent graduates of Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science programs from NSU and other programs in the region because it will be offered completely online. Additionally, there is an optional clinical option that may be beneficial to students looking to expand their imaging skills.

For more information on NSU’s School of Allied Health, go to nursing.nsula.edu/allied-health-programs.
00 2019-05-06

NWS will recognize NSU as StormReady May 7

NATCHITOCHES – The National Weather Service will recognize Northwestern State University as StormReady during a program set for 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 7 in the Alumni Plaza. Warning Coordination Meteorologist Charlie Woodrum and Senior Meteorologist Jason Hansford will present the university with a recognition letter and Storm Ready sign on behalf of the National Weather Service.

The public is invited to attend. The Plaza is located adjacent to A.A. Fredericks Fine Arts Auditorium in the Creative and Performing Arts complex, 150 Central Avenue.

In case of rain, the ceremony will take place in Hanchey Gallery.

For more information, contact Woodrum at (318) 636-7345 ext. 223.
00 2019-05-06
New Orleans

Mudbugs Galore: Eat Your Heart Out At Crawfish Mambo

Instead of adding extra stress to your life by trying to figure out who has the cheapest crawfish by the pound or commit to going to that co-worker’s house who you really don’t care for but their dad knows how to boil, sometimes it’s best to just pay a flat fee and eat all the crawfish your greedy little heart desires. I say that with love and without judgement. Thank the goddesses you live in New Orleans, where this time of year there’s a crawfish fest almost every other weekend. Pull out your festival calendar, and make another note. May 11 from 11-5 p.m., The University of New Orleans will throw its 7th annual Crawfish Mambo.

The first batch will drop when the gates open at 11 am. Indulge in dozens of different crawfish boils cooked by teams competing for cash prizes, unique trophies, and the greatest gift of all, bragging rights. If you can peel and eat crawfish in your sleep, consider showing your talents at the crawfish eating competition. Shop at the Mambo Artists Village, let your kids burn off some energy at the kids tent, and dance to the tunes of Young Pinstripe Brass Band, Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, and the Bucktown All-Stars.

The Crawfish Mambo is put on by UNO’s Alumni Association and has turned into its primary fundraiser. They aim to build positive PR, and raise funds for mentorships, scholarships, and professional development programs for UNO students.

The UNO Crawfish Mambo is family friendly and if your young’ns are under 7, they get in free. Tickets range from $15 for students, $25 general admission in advance ($35 day of), and if feasting with the commoners isn’t your style VIP will cost you $75. For more info and to purchase tickets, click here.
00 2019-05-06

Diabetes kit wins invention innovation contest at Louisiana Tech

RUSTON, LA -- Team Polar Case won first place and $3,000 in the 2019 Top Dog New Venture Championship at Louisiana Tech University.

The team won for its all-in-one device that holds the most important diabetes supplies in a compact, temperature controlled, inconspicuous unit.

Management/Entrepreneurship major Brittney Walker and Mechanical Engineering majors Carli Whitfield, Ashley Boyd, Arman Hajiesmaeili, Joseph Brunet, and Samuel Haskins made up the first-place team in the recent on-campus competition.

The Innovation Enterprise Fund awarded another $1,000 to the team.

In all, a total of $19,000 in cash and prizes was awarded during the event, established in 2002. Awards were given to the top three finishers as well as for entrepreneurial spirit and in-kind services.

Second place and $1,500 was awarded to Team BEE 3D, made up of Mechanical Engineering majors Scott Roberts, Zack Harrington, Joey Higuera, and Justin Colley and Management/Entrepreneurship major Charlie Franck for their low-cost 3D printer kit and textbook for STEM education.

The Sea Skimmer team was awarded third place and $500. Mechanical Engineering majors Rebecca Doucet, Logan Caskey, Jacob Johns, Mason Mallard and management/entrepreneurship majors Nash Robbins and Ashley Bieller are developing a robot watercraft that cleans litter and debris from bodies of water.

Hero Aeronautics was awarded the $2,000 Jones Walker Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, which recognizes the team with the most entrepreneurial spirit. Hero Aeronautics is developing a satellite-type UAV for aerial crop surveillance that carries a payload and flies indefinitely. The sponsor of the award, Jones Walker LLP, serves local, regional, national, and international business interests in a wide range of markets and industries; today, the company has approximately 355 attorneys in 15 locations.

A new award was given by Just Business, a giving circle comprised of Tech’s College of Business alumni and friends who pool financial resources and jointly decide how funds will be invested. This year the group awarded $8,000 of in-kind service funding to the Polar Case team as financial support for Polar Case to develop an intellectual property strategy and form a legal business entity.

The Louisiana Tech Robert H. Rawle Enterprise Center sponsors six months of incubator space, valued at $4,000, to the winning teams.

This year’s competition actually began in October, when teams developed ideas and competed in the Top Dog Idea Pitch. After the pitch, student teams had the option to continue with their ideas and build an investor deck to enter the preliminary round of the New Venture Championship. After the preliminary round, seven multi-disciplinary teams advanced to compete in the Top Dog New Venture Championship.

Judges for the Top Dog included Jamie Adams, CRO at Scorpion Internet Marketing; Lisa Johnson, president, Bossier Chamber of Commerce, Lance Foster, partner/Jones Walker; and Dr. Dave N. Norris, former West Monroe mayor and economics professor.
00 2019-05-03

Acadiana broadcaster honored at UL Communications banquet

UL Lafayette’s Communication Department showcased its students and honored a familiar face to Acadiana.

At the annual banquet, the Department of Communications highlighted student and department accomplishments of the year. UL Lafayette says the banquet is a great way to showcase their students as they begin to transition into professional careers.

At Thursday’s banquet, a familiar face to televisions in Acadiana was honored with the 2019 Outstanding Communication Alumni Award. Agnes Derouen, a former anchor at KATC, was presented with the award.

Derouen worked at KATC for 20 years as an anchor, reporter and editor. She is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and currently works for KPLC in Lake Charles.

Derouen says she’s proudest of helping young broadcast journalists find their way in the business.
00 2019-05-03

Economist named director of Blanco Public Policy Center at UL

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has named Dr. Stephen R. Barnes founding director of the Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Public Policy Center.

Barnes directs LSU’s Economics and Policy Research Group, the state’s largest university-based economics research center. He will begin his new position at UL Lafayette in August.

Barnes said the Blanco Center “is poised to become a leading source of research on the most pressing challenges facing Louisiana.”

“It will work with researchers throughout the University, the state and beyond to inform and evaluate public policies that affect the lives of every person who calls Louisiana home. The results of these collaborations can make our state a model for change across a number of social challenges.”

He continued: “Governor Blanco’s efforts to establish a public policy center at UL Lafayette reflect her belief that an informed public is essential to our state’s strength, today and in the future.”

Blanco is a UL Lafayette alumna and the only woman elected Louisiana governor. The University announced last year it would honor her pathbreaking 25-year career in public service with the policy center’s creation.

Barnes’ appointment as Blanco Center director, and as an associate professor of economics, is pending approval from the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors, said Dr. Jordan Kellman, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. The college oversees the center in partnership with Edith Garland Dupré Library.

“Dr. Barnes has collaborated with a number of federal and state agencies, industry partners and advocacy groups. He has worked with scholars in more than a dozen disciplines. His breadth and depth of knowledge and extensive experience guiding policy research will be invaluable to the Blanco Center’s development,” Kellman said.

“The University believes the Blanco Center can become Louisiana’s premier public policy resource. Dr. Barnes’ leadership will help ensure that.”

Barnes is a native of Baton Rouge. He completed an undergraduate degree in economics at LSU, and earned master’s and doctoral degrees, both in economics, from the University of Texas at Austin.

He joined LSU’s Department of Economics in 2009. He became the Economics and Policy Research Group’s associate director the following year, and its director in 2012.

During his tenure at LSU, Barnes helped secure more than $8 million in federal, state and industry grants to examine health care, coastal restoration, career and technical education, and economic development, among other topics.

Blanco said expertise in these issues and others “makes Dr. Barnes ideal to guide the public policy center as its founding director.”

“The center’s mission is to offer a dispassionate, independent voice – rooted in scholarly research – to a host of challenges,” including criminal justice reform, economic opportunity, government ethics and education.

“Dr. Barnes has shown an ability to navigate various disciplines and numerous policy areas. The Blanco Center’s interdisciplinary mission and multifaceted focus will benefit from the agility he possesses as a scholar and researcher,” the former governor added.

The center will issue policy papers that inform public discussions, and sponsor lectures and symposiums. In addition, it will house Blanco’s gubernatorial papers. The 90 boxes of material she donated to UL Lafayette include documents that pertain to economic development and higher education, among other issues she championed as governor.

The collection also chronicles her direction of recovery efforts after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the state in August and September 2005.

The papers will be available for research once University archivists process the materials.

A native of Coteau, Louisiana, Blanco graduated from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, now UL Lafayette, in 1964 with a bachelor’s degree in business education. Her husband, Raymond, was a coach and longtime administrator at the University.

Kathleen Blanco served two terms each in the state House of Representatives, on the Public Service Commission, and as lieutenant governor. She was governor from 2004 to 2008.

Most of the funding for the $2.7 million Blanco Center will come from private gifts. More information is at blancocenter.louisiana.edu.
00 2019-05-03

ULM golf unveils new facility, celebrates record-breaking season

im Baldwin couldn’t wait to show off the Louisiana-Monroe golf program’s new digs. And there was no better time than after the best season in school history.

In just three short seasons, Baldwin has transformed Warhawks men’s golf into one of Louisiana’s best collegiate teams. Now they’re getting a facility to match.

Baldwin offered a sneak peek at the new Wallace Jones Golf Complex at the ULM Golf team partner’s appreciation dinner on Wednesday night at the university library. Construction on the 5,000-square foot, $800,000 facility is scheduled to begin on May 13 on the vacant lot adjacent to Brown Stadium and Warhawk Field.

The complex was designed by architects Brian McGuire and Robert Ellis and Bing Bishop Construction received the bid.

ULM golf coach Tim Baldwin showed supporters a sneak peak of the new golf facility at the ULM Golf team partner’s appreciation dinner on Wednesday night at the university library.
ULM golf coach Tim Baldwin showed supporters a sneak peak of the new golf facility at the ULM Golf team partner’s appreciation dinner on Wednesday night at the university library. (Photo: Emerald McIntyre/ULM Photo Services, Emerald McIntyre/ULM Photo Servi)

“We’ve got a very generous community I can tell you that,” said Baldwin, who prior to ULM was the golf coach at Southeastern Louisiana for 27 years.

“An anonymous donor put up the first $300,000 for this project. The university also came to the table and we’ve met the figure we’ve got to have to get this thing going. We’ve got more to do obviously, but this will give our men’s’ and women’s’ programs one of the best facilities in the Sun Belt Conference.”


The original golf house, constructed in 2012 and recently renovated, was demolished to accommodate the proposed Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM).

The new golf complex features coach’s offices, men’s and women’s locker rooms, kitchen, putting greens, simulator and a driving range into Bayou Desiard.

“This gives our guys and girls everything they need right on campus,” Baldwin said. “It’s going to be huge for the golf program and we’re doing everything we can to keep it growing.”

The ULM men's and women's golf teams broke several school records during the season.
The ULM men's and women's golf teams broke several school records during the season. (Photo: Emerald McIntyre/ULM Photo Services, Emerald McIntyre/ULM Photo Servi)

ULM men turn in season to remember
A record-setting season saw the ULM men’s golf team come out of nowhere to finish second at the Sun Belt Conference Golf Championships.

Left for dead in the third round, the Warhawks rallied and beat Texas-Arlington in a sudden death playoff. The upsets continued in Round 4, where ULM slayed top overall seed Georgia Southern.

Guillaume Fanonnel, a junior from Lyon, France, made 11 pars and five birdies in the third round at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Miramar Beach, Florida. His birdie putt on hole 18 forced sudden death with UTA.

“G knew he had to make a birdie on the last hole of regulation and did it on the toughest hole of the course,” Baldwin said. “All week we’d been hitting a nine iron off the tee, but we told him to hit the driver and he absolutely struck it right down the middle.”

The tournament switched to match play in the semifinals, where ULM beat Georgia Southern, 3-2, to advance to the championship round. Thibault Santigny, a junior from Paris, France, scored a 2-1 win over Steven Fisk, the Sun Belt’s individual champion.

Looking for an advantage, Baldwin and assistant coach Nathan Weant tore up the lineup card for match play.

“Nathan and I talked about how we would matchup players and it played out just like we wanted,” Baldwin said. “A lot of these guys are from Europe and they play a lot of match play, so it wasn’t anything new.”

Arkansas State defeated the Warhawks, 4-1, to win the Sun Belt men’s team championship.

ULM finished 84th in the final national rankings, second only to LSU (12) in the state, ahead of Louisiana-Lafayette (127), McNeese State (128), Louisiana Tech (150), Nicholls State (222), Southeastern Louisiana (228) and New Orleans (231)

“I couldn’t be prouder of the effort and the desire that these guys had to keep playing,” Baldwin said. “There was a little strategy involved, but we knew how gritty our guys are and they can play some golf.”

The Warhawks set seven school records in 2019, notched their first Top-5 win in program history over no. 4 Vanderbilt and won the Old Waverly Collegiate Championship by one shot over Ole Miss.

Fanonnel became just the second player in school history to qualify for the postseason, where he will compete in an NCAA Regional hosted by Stanford in Palo Alto, California.

ULM women’s team set new records
Without a coach at the start of the season, Baldwin pulled double duty and coached the ULM women’s golf team. Baldwin plans to have a new coach in place during the new fiscal year, beginning in July.

“I’d never coached women before in the 30 years I’ve done this, but I decided it was better for me to do it instead of scrambling and making a bad hire,” Baldwin said. “It was different but it’s still golf in the end and it was a lot of fun.”

The Warhawks improved their team scoring average to a school record 305.31, down from 315, and set two other program-best marks. Jahaanvie Walia, a sophomore from Lusaka, Zambia, averaged the best individual score on a Par 5 in school history and the team had the best Par 5 average in school history.

ULM finished ninth in the Sun Belt Women’s Championships and improved 25 spots in the national polls. Scarlett Eaton was the team’s top individual finisher in the conference championships at 14th place.

Follow Adam on Twitter @adam_hunsucker
00 2019-05-03

2 Northwestern State students die in separate incidents

Two Northwestern State University students, including one from Pineville, have died in separate incidents, according to the Natchitoches Parish Coroner's Office.

Foul play isn't suspected in either incident, both of which happened Thursday.

The coroner's office was notified about the first incident around 10 a.m. Samuel Taylor, a 46-year-old student from Natchitoches, collapsed while in class, reads a release.

He was taken to the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

"At this time, no suspicious circumstances exist, and his death appears due to natural causes," it reads.

The second notification came around 11:20 a.m. about a 23-year-old student who had been found dead in his apartment.

He was identified as Michael Robichaux from Pineville, reads the release. The death is being investigated by the coroner's office and the NSU Police Department.

"No foul play is suspected; however, an autopsy will be conducted to determine exact cause of death," it reads.
00 2019-05-03

2 Northwestern State University students pass away

NATCHITOCHES, La. (NSU) - Two Northwestern State University students died Thursday in separate, unrelated incidents.

Photo Source: Pexels / MGN
The students were Samuel A. Taylor, 46, of Natchitoches and Michael Robichaux, 23, of Pineville.

University Police Chief Craig Vercher said foul play is not suspected in either incident.

According to Vercher, the Natchitoches Parish Coroner’s Office will conduct autopsies to determine the cause of death of the students.

Northwestern State president Dr. Chris Maggio said, “The entire Northwestern family is shocked and saddened by the sudden death of these students. Their families are in our thoughts and prayers, and the university will continue to provide assistance and support to the students’ friends and loved ones.”

Copyright 2019 NSU. All rights reserved.
00 2019-05-03

Student, faculty research lauded at 32nd annual Research Day

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University recognized outstanding achievements in research during the university’s 32nd annual Research Day April 25, an event that showcased student and faculty research projects that span the scope of academia. Throughout the day, students and faculty presented projects in 15-minute concurrent oral sessions, a poster sessions and art poster sessions, both in person and via virtual presentations. The day culminated with an awards ceremony and recognition of previous recipients.

Glendalyn Boothe of Clayton and Shelby Riedel of Broussard were winners of the Phi Kappa Phi Student Research Awards.

Boothe’s topic is “Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease and Screening of Potential Inhibitors with Pharmacophore Modeling.”

Riedel’s topic is “Fighting Influenza – Pharmacophore Modeling of Neuraminidase Inhibitors.”

Faculty were also recognized for outstanding research with presentations of the Dr. Jean D’Amato Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award, the Dr. Mildred Hart Bailey Faculty Research Award and the Dr. Marietta LeBreton Louisiana Studies Award.

Dr. Massimo Bezoari, professor of chemistry in the Louisiana Scholars’ College, was named recipient of the Dr. Jean D’Amato Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is designed to honor senior faculty members whose careers have included a significant commitment to research and service to their disciplines. Nominees must have made significant contributions to their fields of study; remained dedicated to a consistent research agenda spanning their careers, including publications, presentations, research grants or other related activities; and demonstrated a sustained record of service to the discipline.

Dr. Shane Rasmussen, associate professor of English and director of the Louisiana Folklife Center, was named recipient of the Dr. Marietta LeBreton Louisiana Studies Award. This award recognizes faculty members whose research careers have been dedicated to Louisiana topics. Nominees may have conducted research in any discipline.

Dr. Sarah McFarland, professor of English, was named recipient of the Mildred Hart Bailey Research Award. This award is given for outstanding research or distinguished artistic performance and/or creative work substantially completed during the past three years. Northwestern faculty and adjunct faculty carrying a twelve semester-hour course load are eligible for nomination.

Isabella Jones of Saline was for the second year in a row named winner of the Student Design Award. Jones is a senior majoring in graphic communications and biology.

Dr. Betsy Cochran is faculty coordinator of NSU Research Day. The full program of events and more information is available at researchday.nsula.edu.

Shelby Riedel of Broussard and Glendalyne Boothe of Clayton were named winners of Phi Kappa Phi Student Research Awards during NSU’s 32nd annual Research Day. From left are Dr. Betsy Cochran, Research Day faulty coordinator; Riedel, Professor Matt DeFord and Boothe.

NSU recognized three members of the faculty with research awards. From left are Dr. Massimo Bezoari, winner of the Dr. Jean D’Amato Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award; Dr. Betsy Cochran, Research Day faculty coordinator; Dr. Sarah McFarland, winner of the Mildred Hard Bailey Research Award, and Dr. Shane Rasmussen, winner of the Dr. Marietta LeBreton Louisiana Studies Award.

Isabella Jones of Saline was for the second year in a row named winner of the Student Design Award for designing cover art for NSU’s Research Day program. From left are Dr. Betsy Cochran, Research Day faculty coordinator; Professor of Art Matt DeFord and Jones.
00 2019-05-03

NSU will provide Military Honor cords for commencement

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University has launched a new initiative to honor graduating military and veteran students by providing them with red, white and blue Military Honor cords to wear as part of their commencement regalia.

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“These red, white and blue cords are a special recognition to show NSU’s gratitude and respect for the men and women who have made an unwavering commitment to both their nation and their academic studies,” said NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio.

Graduating students who are veterans or are currently serving in the military on active duty, including National Guard and Reserves, are authorized to wear a Military Honor cord. The cords are available at the Office of Technology, Innovation and Economic Development, 100 South Hall, across Caspari Street from Turpin Stadium. The cords can be picked up any time before commencement.

For more information, call (318) 357-6100.
00 2019-05-03
New Orleans

Retired UNO Professor donates $60K for chemistry professorship

Charles O’Connor’s career researching and teaching chemistry at the University of New Orleans spanned more than three decades. Now retired, O’Connor is manifesting his fondness for chemistry by creating an endowment fund.

Retired UNO chemistry professor Charles O’Connor and wife will help establish an endowed professorship in chemistry named after him. (via University of New Orleans)
A $60,000 donation from O’Connor and his wife, Sally E. O’Connor, will help establish an endowed professorship in chemistry. The University will pursue a $40,000 match from the Louisiana Board of Regents.

O’Connor, who retired in 2012 following a 35-year career at the University, describes the endowment as his way of giving back.

“I spent my whole career there,” said O’Connor. “I just thought I could give something back to the chemistry department and help them recruit faculty.”

See the full story from UNO here

00 2019-05-03

LA Tech players uplift Ruston kids' morale, provide escape after tornado with day of fun

RUSTON — The brutal, unbelievable reality of the EF-3 tornado that destroyed a sizable portion of the Ruston community and Louisiana Tech University has been hard to escape for thousands of residents in the area.

What’s gone in the wake of the storm has created voids in countless people’s lives, from losing homes and businesses, a constant, painful reminder for all those that were affected a week ago. But the bigger toll was the lives taken by the tornado, striking the the kids involved in Courtney Wallace Jr.’s UPHY youth program the hardest as they suffer through the tragedy together.

Kendra Butler, a 35-year-old Grambling State master’s degree student and her son, Remington, 14, where involved in the youth-mentoring program. Butler was a former life coach with the organization while her son, a Ruston High freshman and basketball player, was a member of the program’s AAU basketball team.

Courtney Wallace, center, smiles during a group talk at the end of the UPHY meeting, United Positive Humble Youth, a youth mentorship, in Ruston, La. on May 1. The meeting drew an estimated 50 kids from the community. Buy Photo
Courtney Wallace, center, smiles during a group talk at the end of the UPHY meeting, United Positive Humble Youth, a youth mentorship, in Ruston, La. on May 1. The meeting drew an estimated 50 kids from the community. (Photo: Nicolas Galindo/The News-Star)

“It was pretty hard on me,” said 14-year-old Joshua Anding, a Ruston Junior High School student. “I didn’t believe it at first because it didn’t seem real. I don’t know how to explain it, it was just hard. Just hearing it, I couldn’t believe it; it didn’t seem real to me.”

Wallace, a senior football player at Louisiana Tech and founder of the UPHY, or United Positive Humble Youth program that not only consists of mentoring but also the aforementioned basketball team and a step team, has spent the past three years mentoring Ruston youth from ages 9 to 17, holding meeting and practices at local elementary and junior high schools.


With the unforgiving personal damage done to his kids losing a good friend and a role model, he knew he needed to provide something for them to get their mind off of things.

And then, shortly after the tornado hit last Thursday morning, Wallace’s former teammate at Tech and recently drafted NFL player Jaylon Ferguson, struck up conversations with the UPHY founder to see what they could do to lift spirits. Out of those talks came a day of fun at longtime Louisiana Tech football coach Ed Jackson’s house where Wallace, Ferguson, and several other current and former Bulldog football players spent time playing basketball, hurling water balloons, getting in a dunk tank and an inflatable water slide along with hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza to eat for the 45 to 50 kids that took part.

MORE | LA Tech athletic facilities 'total rebuild'

“The woman just passed in the tornado was a former coach of our program,” said Wallace, a Neville High School graduate. “Remington he was on our AAU basketball team. A lot of these kids are his peers. Ferguson called and he wanted to do something to make sure the kids were uplifted.”

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“It’s been pretty tough. We try to give them assurance the kids that met Kendra and all the basketball players that knew Remington, we try to tell them to keep their head high. Every day, every step, every thing you do, they’re watching you. Try to make them proud every day because they’re two angels in heaven that are looking down at you every day. Just make them proud.”

Ferguson, who was selected 85th overall by the Baltimore Ravens but has been out in the Ruston community since the tornado ravaged its communities helping with the cleanup efforts, heard about what the UPHY youth were suffering through. So he stepped up.

“The last couple of days in Ruston has been real rough, especially for these kids,” Ferguson said. “They lost one of their friends. Ruston is still in the cleanup process, so I’m just trying to make it the best I can for today, take advantage of this time we got.

“Being able to work with the kids. I know when I was little, I would’ve done anything for a football player to stop and talk to me. At the college level, and I’m recently drafted, well-known around Ruston, I’m just trying to do my little part in giving back and help everybody I can.”

MORE | Mother, son killed in Ruston tornado

Once they heard what Wallace and Feguson were doing for the kids, Tech players Willie Baker, Ezekiel Barnett, Ka’Derrion Mason, Cee Jay Powell, Aaron Roberson, Collin Scott and former teammates Michael Rodriguez, who recently signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Seattle Seahawks, showed up to have fun with the kids.

“It’s definitely an escape,” Barnett said. “A lot of things got damaged around town, a lot of people got affected, thousands of people got affected. It was a deadly tornado. This is a nice getaway, to not think about things for a while. Have fun, have games, everybody just be kids and have fun. Not have to worry about what’s back at home, or how my house got messed up, or this happened. It’s nice to get away.

“We’re superstars to them, so it’s nice to be involved with them and give back. It don’t cost me nothing to come out here and support the kids, play with them and be with them. Just be one of them again.”

As UPHY’s founder, Wallace said for his current and former Louisiana Tech teammates to want to participate meant a lot to him and his kids.

“It definitely means a lot to me that they’re here. Not only are they interested in what I have going on, but they’re showing that they’re really interested in the kids’ lives,” Wallace said. “When you show me that you care about my kids, you sold me. That means a lot to me.”

Getting over the tornado and the damage will take a while, but having the opportunity to play basketball or hang around some NFL and college football players was desperately needed, Anding said.

MORE | Tornado & NFL Draft: Ferguson day before Ravens pick helping others

“It’s very positive. I love that they came out to help support what we got going on today,” Anding said. “Be out here with these young kids to keep them lifted in the (tornado) that we had last week. I just want to thank them for that.”

Wallace’s UPHY youth program was started on guiding the local youth how to become upstanding young men and women once they grow up. The lessons he along with his fellow Tech football players have been able to teach them in the aftermath of the last week’s deadly storm is just another important step in showing the kids what life is about, togetherness, resiliency and caring for each other.

“It’s OK to grieve, it’s OK to be upset, to be down about it, but at the same time, you got to do what’s best for you and know (Kendra and Remington’s) light is always going to shine on you,” Wallace said. “They all have been recovering pretty good.”

Follow Cory Diaz on Twitter @CoryDiaz_TNS and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CoryDiazTNS/
00 2019-05-03

"Giving Day" at Louisiana Tech

RUSTON, La. (5/1/2019) It's been nearly a week since the tradegy that struck when the tornado hit the Ruston community. On May 1, Louisiana Tech took another big step towards rebuilding, when they introduced their first ever "Giving Day" and the support the university received has been nothing short of incredible.

00 2019-05-02
Baton Rouge

Cybersecurity education bill advances through House committee

BATON ROUGE — Lawmakers are looking for ways to train more information-technology experts and bolster the state’s cyber defenses.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat running for re-election, has promoted the state’s need to build an IT and cybersecurity infrastructure, and the House Appropriations Committee considered bills this week to help achieve this goal.

The committee advanced a proposal by Rep. Mark Abraham, R-Lake Charles, to create the Louisiana Cybersecurity Talent Initiative Fund. If approved by the full Legislature, it would appropriate more money for degree and certificate programs related to cybersecurity and information technology.

“Cybersecurity is the new frontier,” Abraham said. “For once, can Louisiana be on the cutting edge of something new?”

Programs related to cybersecurity, including undergraduate, graduate and associate degree programs, already exist at universities like Grambling, Tulane, Louisiana Tech, University of New Orleans and at Bossier Parish Community College.

Jim Henderson, president of the University of Louisiana system, and Les Guice, president of Louisiana Tech, spoke in support of the proposal.

Several cybersecurity and information technology companies are located in Monroe, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Ruston, Lafayette and Bossier. In addition, state universities have established technology development programs at institutions like the Cyber Innovations Center, Louisiana Tech Enterprise Campus, ULL Research Park and UNO Research Park.

Abraham fears that Louisiana is a potential target for cyber attacks due to its large port system and its location at the mouth of Mississippi River.

Another Republican, Rep. Barry Ivey of Baton Rouge, proposed a constitutional amendment to help build the state’s IT infrastructure. Ivey’s amendment would establish the State Cybersecurity and Information Technology Fund to address growing vulnerabilities in the state’s technology system.

Ivey’s plan would cost about $34 million annually, starting in the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

“We can complain about how bad things are or how old our stuff is, but the silver lining is that we can actually create one of the most advanced, sophisticated, secure systems for operating state government compared to every other state in the nation,” Ivey said.

Ivey’s amendment would divert the money in increments from revenues generated in the bond security redemption fund.

Rep. Rick Edmonds, R-Baton Rouge, questioned Ivey about the funding specifics. Ivey voluntarily deferred the bill for discussion after the governor’s budget has been solidified.

When he ran for secretary of state last year, Edmonds campaigned on enhancing cybersecurity measures to prevent voter fraud.

Edmonds and others in that race questioned the eventual winner, Kyle Ardoin, about his oversight of the state’s voting procedures.

Edwards created a cybersecurity commission in 2017. He also traveled to Israel to negotiate a partnership between Stephenson Technologies Corporation, LSU’s applied research center and Israel-based Check Point Software Technologies.

“To the governor’s credit,” Ivey said, “he’s certainly led the charge, in my opinion, on bringing the issue to the forefront at the state level and also participatory at the national level as well.”.
00 2019-05-02

Nicholls student saves a life

William Simmons will soon be leaving Nicholls State University with a diploma and a bright future.

And, thanks to Simmons, Hannah Hotard has a future, period.

Last month, Simmons saved Hotard’s life in the Galliano Dining Hall by keeping her from choking to death by performing the Heimlich Maneuver.

Hotard, a student with Down’s Syndrome in Nicholls’ Bridge to Independence program, had a piece of food lodged in her throat that required emergency intervention, not once but twice. The potentially fatal object was a piece of chicken from a bowl of gumbo.

“I couldn’t breathe,” Hotard said. “I was scared, I was crying. I tried to get it out, but I couldn’t do it.”

Hotard’s friend Gabrielle Cabera went for help.

Simmons, a senior from Napoleonville, was working at a serving station in the dining hall at the time and saw what he called “a commotion” at a nearby table.

“I went over there to see what was going on,” Simmons said. “She was able to breathe a little bit, but she was struggling.”

Simmons looked around to see if any of the several people standing around would do something. No one did.

“I’d never done (the Heimlich Maneuver) on an actual person, but I’d taken a class on it in high school,” Simmons said. “My certification is expired now, but I remembered how to do it.”

Simmons went back to work, but his services were required again.

“Did it a little but, and it got out,” he said. “I made sure she was all right and started walking back to my station, and they came up to me a minute or so later and said that she was sort of choking again.”

And so Simmons performed the maneuver a second time and finally got the last of the errant food out.

“After it came out I felt OK,” Hotard said. “I felt better because I could breathe and I could talk. But they wouldn’t let me have a Coke, I had to drink water.”

For his efforts, Simmons was recognized by Nicholls President Jay Clune, who invited him to the University Council, a meeting of administrators, directors and faculty on April 23, where he was introduced.

Simmons will soon have a degree in health and nutrition services with a minor in dietetics.

Bridge to Independence assists students with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorder with job and social skills. Nicholls’ program is one of only 50 programs in the United States certified by the U.S. Department of Education and the first in Louisiana.
00 2019-05-02

Forbes 'Best Value Colleges' cites University of Louisiana

00 2019-05-02

UL professor up for state economics job

Gary Wagner is originally from Ohio and moved to the Hub City to teach economics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Wagner previously worked at the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland. That experience has helped prepare him for a new opportunity with the state.

"This is a statewide position you would be setting the states budget," Wagner said.

This job comes with no compensation, because it is a public service position. If Wagner does get this position, he feels it will bring some prestige to UL.

"UL would have someone in a position to give expertise to the state," the educator said.
00 2019-05-02

UL students design gamer backpacks for Red Bull competition

If you asked the 15 university students at Jefferson Street Pub on Wednesday morning how much they had slept the night before, you’d hear the same answer from everyone.

Not much.

Don’t make assumptions, however, and rush to the comment section of the story to scold these students. They hadn’t been drinking and partying all night — even though they spent the morning in a bar.

What the University of Louisiana at Lafayette students had done is stay up all night finishing their backpack designs for a contest with Red Bull.

The contest asked the industrial design students to work with Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios — a champion gamer and extremely popular live streamer on the internet — to create a pack that holds his mobile video gear.

“I didn’t sleep,” said Cortez Hunter, 23, when talking with The Daily Advertiser about his preparation the night before. “I was very ready for this.”

Barrios, who plays Nintendo’s "Super Smash Bros." competitively, streams live videos of himself at events on Twitch, a popular website where internet figures share live videos of themselves.

To create and send high-quality videos, he lugs around a cache of gear, batteries, cords and various pieces of equipment. Students set out to create the perfect bag for him as a part of their class, and, on Tuesday, Barrios came to Lafayette to judge the finished products.

UL design students spend spring semester developing streaming backpack for top e-sport athlete. Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
UL design students spend spring semester developing streaming backpack for top e-sport athlete. Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (Photo: SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network)

Barrios was joined by Patti Dunn, a soft-goods expert and founder of New Orleans-based Tchoup Industries, who will take the winning design and prepare it for manufacturers.

At the end of the event, students gathered around to hear the judges’ decision. As each name was announced, the crowd of students rang out with applause, even though they were competing against one another.

Hannah Landry won first place, Armand Delaureal took second and Samantha Bishop placed third.

Barrios complimented every design but said Landry’s bag design fit every single one of his criteria right out of the gate when he reviewed the bags midway through the semester. Because she had done so well on it initially, he said she was able to refine the smaller details throughout the second half of the semester.

Although it is unclear how far Landry’s winning bag will go, professor Adam Feld told the class that the winner could have their bag manufactured solely for Barrios or it could possibly be picked up by his whole e-sports team and mass produced.

The Daily Advertiser talked with several students about the process of designing the bags, and how they changed their perception of creating a design from scratch.

Rebecca Hill, 23, attempted a very modular design that had several different compartments in a light-colored bag with stark, contrasting purple zippers. She built her bag around the idea of order, she said, with nary a single place on the bag that didn’t function as a cable guidance system.

“I really like making things and, like, using my hands. So, I guess future careers might be something to make things,” she said.

Industrial Design student Dallis Miller with the bag she designed for the competition as UL design students spend spring semester developing streaming backpack for top e-sport athlete. Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
Industrial Design student Dallis Miller with the bag she designed for the competition as UL design students spend spring semester developing streaming backpack for top e-sport athlete. Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (Photo: SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network)

Each student had different experiences and dreams that drew them to the design field with some wanting to make toys and others wanting to make shoes. Yet, everyone expressed an interest in tactile work, like Hill described. It provides an outlet for their creative aspirations and revealed the patience needed to create a prototype.

“The entire process is trial and error,” said Darcy Fabre, 21, who wants to work with soft-goods in the future. Her red-and-gray bag, with multiple, semi-hidden zippers slashing across the front to create pockets of various size, went through several rounds of reworking before arriving in its final state.

There was probably a total of about 24 hours of sewing on the bag, she said, all within the final week of the project.

“I basically worked on it nonstop,” Fabre said.

Dunn told students right away that they should expect to tear down initial ideas to reconfigure them. A seam ripper, she said, was essential.

Backpacks are difficult to make, Dunn said, because there are so many different pieces and features, and it can be incredibly hard to know what order to build it in for the sake of ease and efficiency.

Still, working with the students, which she had done the prior year as well, provides an opportunity to nurture future talent in the field.

“I like seeing those little nuggets of creativity,” Dunn said. “I like spotting that.”

Top Super Smash Bros. player Gonzalo Barrios judging the designs as UL design students spend spring semester developing streaming backpack for top e-sport athlete. Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
Top Super Smash Bros. player Gonzalo Barrios judging the designs as UL design students spend spring semester developing streaming backpack for top e-sport athlete. Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (Photo: SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network)

Delaureal, 22, said his second-place bag was inspired by his work as a photographer at sporting events. He noticed the professionals he worked with had satchel-like bags that allowed them to quickly swap their gear out for needed pieces.

He was the only one who broke from the conventional backpack style and attempted to use an over-the-shoulder, single-strap bag. That risk, Barrios said, was the reason that he gave the bag second place.

Dominic Adams, 21, said he was originally interested in design because of a love of fashion, particularly when it comes to shoes. The opportunity to work with Red Bell, an international corporation with a huge footprint, was a great way to build a portfolio and get work out into the world.

His minimalist tech bag with a semi-circle zipper trail on the front revealed a huge padded bag inside, perfect for traveling with gear, he said. And it only took him three sewing machines — the first two broke — to finish the prototype, Adams said with a laugh.

Feld said most of the students came to the project with little or no experience sewing, a major component of the project. This project not only bolstered that technical skill, he said, but it also gave them real-world experience building a product for someone who had certain needs in mind.

From a paper sketch, to a paper model and then a final design, students went through multiple iterations of their backpacks before landing on their finished product. Seeing that progression, no matter how the contest ended, was rewarding as an educator, Feld said.

“From a faculty standpoint, I am a proud papa,” he said.
00 2019-05-02
Lake Charles

Masterworks Chorale closes season with ‘Nelson Mass’

00 2019-05-02

ULM opens virtual reality lab

The University of Louisiana at Monroe recently opened its newest cutting-edge opportunity, the Thomas J. Nicholson Virtual Reality Lab.

Thanks to a generous donation from the Jean and Saul A. Mintz Foundation, a lab with 28 student stations with Oculus Go 64GB VR headsets and headphones and an instructor’s station has been established in the ULM Library. It also features two networked projection screens.

The lab can be scheduled for classes and has open hours from noon-4 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Currently, users have access to several different software programs including Breaking Boundaries in Science, The Body VR, Jurassic World: Blue, YouTube VR and many others, with ULM-made content coming soon.

The VR lab is the most recent collaborative initiative between the Office of Information Technology and the library. It represents a significant part of the library’s evolving Information Commons taking shape on the second floor.

“This is an exciting opportunity for ULM that will enhance the traditional classroom learning experience for our students and also open up research possibilities across the disciplines,” said Thomas Hoover, CIO and Dean of Library Information Technology.

The lab will also enhance the learning and teaching experience of the campus community. The lab has already had an impact beyond ULM as students from Woodlawn Middle School have used the facility. Additionally, several ULM faculty have brought their classes to use the lab, representing several different colleges and disciplines across campus including education, geography, marketing, computer science and astronomy.
00 2019-05-02

NSU SAAC collects more than $2,000 for Ruston, Louisiana Tech tornado relief

The Northwestern State baseball team came away with a victory against longtime rival Louisiana Tech on Tuesday night.

Family Doctors
While the Demons were busy grabbing a 3-1 win, the NSU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee was helping the Ruston community take a step forward in its rebuilding efforts.

Northwestern State’s game against the Bulldogs raised more than $2,600 in donations for the Ruston community as it recovers from a tornado that struck the area in the early-morning hours of April 25.

“I think some of our kids were impacted in ways we can never know, because of some of their personal ties they have with the Ruston community and Louisiana Tech, with family, friends or coming from that area,” Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Development Kaitlyn McCanna said. “They were just as impacted when they heard the news. They wanted to jump to action to do whatever they could to provide support.

In a show of solidarity and support, several Natchitoches dignitaries, including Mayor Lee Posey and NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio, presented Louisiana Tech Director of Athletics Tommy McClelland and head baseball coach Lane Burroughs with a proclamation before Tuesday’s game, setting in motion a day of giving and fraternity between the schools.

The Louisiana Tech flag that flew above the center-field wall at Brown-Stroud Field for Tuesday night’s game will remain there through the final six Northwestern State home games of the 2019 season.

Direct cash donations at Tuesday’s game totaled $1,725 while concessions revenue added another $790.25. An additional $100 donation was sent to the NSU Athletics Department on Wednesday morning, pushing the total to $2,615.25 in funds that were donated to the Louisiana Tech Disaster Relief fund.

Northwestern State SAAC members spent the majority of Tuesday’s game taking donations at the gate as well as meandering through the crowd to collect monies from fans.

The Louisiana Tech campus was hit hard by the tornado, which also destroyed businesses and homes in the town. The storm system killed five people, including two in Ruston, in two states.

Despite the athletic rivalry that has existed between Northwestern State and Louisiana Tech, NSU’s SAAC leadership had an easy decision when it came to assisting its fellow University of Louisiana System school.

“It was not surprising at all,” McCanna said. “We’ve got a great group of kids who lead themselves. This was an initiative they wanted to put on. We just helped provide the support and promotion of it. Outside of that, they took it and ran with it. They felt compelled to make this happen.”

00 2019-05-02

Navy veteran will earn associate degree 50+ years after leaving NSU

More than half a century after he left Northwestern State University to serve his country, Robert Monroe “Johnny” Hays of Keithville, LA will walk across the stage at Prather Coliseum to receive his associate degree in general studies. Hays and his family will share the special day with his grandson, Colby Cranford, who is earning a degree in Hospitality Management and Tourism and marketing during NSU’s afternoon commencement exercises Friday, May 10.

Born in 1944, Hays attended Northwestern State College from 1962-66, but left school to serve in the U.S. Navy from 1966-1972. He qualified for an associate degree through Project Win-Win, a national initiative in which a college audit determines if a student or former student has accumulated enough requirements for an associate degree. Hays’ daughter, Kristy Hays Koch, submitted the application earlier this year.

Motel 6

Hays, 75, graduated from Minden High School in 1962 and enrolled at Northwestern State as a pre-med major, which he later changed to agriculture. He took mechanical courses and worked his way through college by roughnecking in the oilfield. As his graduation approached during the Vietnam era, Hays began interviewing for jobs and discovered that many interviewers would ask about military service. Hays’ brother, who was four years younger, elected to join the Air Force rather than go to college and Hays decided to enlist in the Navy.

Based on high ASFAB scores, Hays was recruited to join the Navy’s nuclear power program. He later volunteered for submarine service where he was sent to Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Spain, Malta and other ports in the Mediterranean Sea. As part of the nuclear power program, he was sent to the U.S. Naval Training Center in Bainbridge, Maryland, where he took courses in nuclear physics, calculus, chemistry and other courses related to nuclear power plant operations, which were under the direction of Admiral Hyman Rickover, known as “the father of the nuclear Navy.”

Hays’ Naval career continued as he completed secondary school in procedures and operations at the Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut. He then served at Pearl Harbor for three years on the USS Flasher, a nuclear fast attack submarine that was deployed to the Gulf of Tonkin. Hays also attended dive training classes, where he was certified in scuba and hard hat diving.

Hays married Gloria Calder in 1968 and found that sub duty was hard on family life. He has three daughters, Deborah Hays, Donna H. Cranford and Kristy H. Koch. At points in his career, he spent over 100 days without seeing sunshine and two Christmases below 600 feet. After retiring from the Navy, he returned to Louisiana and completed a machinist program and apprenticeship. He worked as a precision tool and die maker, joining the maintenance department at the General Motors Shreveport plant in 1981 where he worked for 28 years. He retired in 2008 but continues to work part-time at a shop in Shreveport repairing sewing machines, quilting machines and sharpening scissors.

“I’ve had a good life,” he said, anticipating his upcoming graduation, where he will be joined by his family. Another grandson, Dawson Cranford, is a current NSU students and is involved with Kappa Alpha and the NSU Fishing Team.

Graduation ceremonies begin at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Friday, May 10 in Prather Coliseum. 10 a.m. graduates include those from the Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development, the Louisiana Scholars’ College and the College of Arts and Sciences with the exception of those receiving degrees in general studies. 3 p.m. graduates are those who will receive degrees in general studies along with those receiving degrees from the College of Nursing and Allied Health and the College of Business and Technology. Both ceremonies will be streamed live at nsula.edu.
00 2019-05-02

Number of Colombian graduates at NSU hits high as international exchange expands

Sebastian Roldan Gomez sat in Marcus Jones’ office asking about the price of a plane ticket to return to his native Colombia.

Roldan Gomez had attended classes at Northwestern State University for a few weeks, said his English was “awful,” and he couldn’t make friends even with fellow Colombians.

Motel 6
Jones, now NSU’s Executive Vice President for University & Business Affairs who has been a leader in expanding the school’s international student population, made Roldan Gomez a promise.

“He said, ‘Let’s take a video of everything that you’re saying,’” Roldan Gomez recalled. “’Give yourself three months, and at the end of the semester, if you think you still can’t stay here, I’ll pay for your ticket home.’

“That was almost four years ago now, and I’m still here.”

Roldan Gomez will be one of 12 Colombian students to graduate May 10 in Prather Coliseum. He’ll graduate with a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems after already obtaining an undergraduate business degree.

The group of Colombian students represent the largest single graduating class since Jones and others started making inroads into Central and South America toward the beginning of this decade.

Arguably the most important trip came when Jones heard the orchestra at Universitaria Tecnologico Comfenalco in Cartagena, a secondary school in the Colombian coastal city.

Jones returned with Bill Brent, then the director of NSU’s School of Creative and Performing Arts, who heard the orchestra and offered 28 students music scholarships on a 2012 trip.

The first five of those students enrolled in 2013, starting an impactful pipeline between Colombia and Natchitoches that’s expanded to seven different Colombian schools. NSU has 22 exchange agreements with schools in nine different countries on four different continents.

“I think it’s been a major cultural exchange for our domestic students because the international students really integrate well, befriend and are befriended by our American students,” said Jones, who started to expand NSU’s international program at the request of former NSU President Dr. Randall Webb. “Many have met life partners, gotten married and are starting families with Americans.

“The other impact I see is the desire to continue their education. Many are staying here to work on masters and doctoral degrees. Many of the students we’ve recruited from the Cartagena region come from low-income families, so this whole process is life-changing not just for them but for their entire families. You see this process lifting an entire family out of the struggle they’ve dealt with.”

Aura Hernandez Canedo was part of the Cartagena pipeline centered around music, the most common path for Colombian students to NSU.

Hernandez Canedo finished five semesters of chemical engineering at Universidad de Cartagena before transferring to NSU, where she’ll graduate with degrees in music performance and industrial engineering on May 10.

“I’ve met so many people from so many different cultures here — America, Jordan, Dubai, Nepal — and my violin professor (Andrej Kurti) is from Serbia,” Hernandez Canedo said. “Nothing has really been that difficult because everyone has been willing to help.

“I was a little shy speaking in the beginning because I didn’t want to embarrass myself. But everyone welcomes us with open arms, and they say, ‘It’s OK if you make a mistake, we’ll correct you.’”

Hernandez Canedo initially started singing but fell in love with the violin in the sixth grade.

“I would like to be in music my whole life, and I’ll be OK as long as I’m playing,” Hernandez Canedo said. “I’d be happy teaching, too.”

The majority of Colombian students are on musical performance scholarships. Those students are often featured in special performances reserved for the highest achieving musicians.

“These students truly love music and love playing it,” Jones said. “They are some of the hardest working students, and I think it goes back to how they were trained in the Colombian institutions.

“In Colombia and other places like Honduras, there really isn’t anywhere for classical music students to go after they finish high school. So they come to NSU to play because this is what they love to do and because there are more options here.”

Jones encourages Colombian students to get degrees outside of music, especially if they want return to Colombia.

“Business, engineering and music business are three degrees that they tend to gravitate toward,” Jones said. “It goes back to the type of options they have available to them if they go back home.

“A music degree might not be as financially viable as an engineering or business degree. They can come here to get an engineering degree, fund that degree partially with music scholarships, and then go home and still get musical training if they want to do music, but they are armed with another degree that might open more doors.”

Roldan Gomez will likely return to Colombia, possibly to his home Pereira in central Colombia. But his dream is to go back to Los Angeles, where he worked at an internship equivalent for international students at a technology firm focused on the environment.

“I was excited to be able to use some knowledge from college, but I was scared at the same time because you don’t know anyone,” Roldan Gomez said. “I came here with a dream, and that’s all we have.

“I’ve used my (internship), so the only way I can stay (in the U.S.) is to find a company to hire me through a sponsorship.”

Wherever Roldan Gomez and Hernandez Canedo end up, they’ve found a community in Natchitoches that they will forever remember.

“We’re far away from our families in Colombia, but we became a family here,” Roldan Gomez said. “These people have become my family.

“We feel that everyone here at NSU wanted us to succeed, whether it’s asking somebody where a building was, asking professors extra questions or another student sharing a calculator.”

For more information resources available for international students at Northwestern State go to nsula.edu/international.
00 2019-05-02
New Orleans

UNO student dies while swimming in the Gulf of Mexico during Florida vacation

A University of New Orleans student died recently while swimming in the Gulf of Mexico during a vacation in Florida, according to UNO officials.

In a campuswide email, UNO President John Nicklow Wednesday (May 1) shared “with deep sadness” that UNO student William “Nick” Collinsworth was swimming in the Gulf in Panama City Beach, Florida when he was caught in rough surf. Unfortunately, Collinsworth was unable to make it safely back to shore, Nicklow stated.

“Nick is remembered by his friends for his love of music (both creating and sharing with others), his bright smile and funny laugh, his inclusiveness and interest in others, and his selfless attitude. One friend described Nick as a good listener and great conversationalist. He impacted many through his friendship, and he will be greatly missed,” Nicklow stated.

Panama City Beach Police said Collinsworth, a 19-year-old from Belle Chasse, was pulled from the water Wednesday afternoon, the Panama City News Herald reported. Collinsworth was last seen entering the Gulf on April 19 behind the Sandpiper Beacon Resort, over 8 miles away from where his body was found, according to the report.

A celebration of Collinsworth’s life, planned by his friends at UNO, will take place May 7 at 3 p.m. at UNO’s Merrick Patio between the amphitheater and the Earl K. Long Library, Nicklow stated. He encouraged students who wish to speak to someone to contact UNO’s Counseling Services at (504) 280-6683. UNO faculty and staff may also contact Counseling Services to learn about accessing counseling resources in the community, Nicklow stated.
00 2019-05-02

Forgiving small student debts can have a huge impact

We’re used to thinking of America’s student loan debt in terms of its colossal aggregate — more than $1.4 trillion, a figure that exceeds even our ballooning credit card debt and increasingly animates political debate.

But it’s often a surprisingly small amount that keeps students from finishing their college degrees — a past-due housing bill, an unpaid library fee or a neglected tuition charge. Because of this “institutional debt” (as distinct from “loan debt”), colleges hold transcripts hostage, keeping stop-outs from returning to their or any institution until they’ve paid up.

In the Detroit area alone, there are nearly 700,000 adults with some college but no degree — would-be graduates that the region’s talent-hungry employers want to get back into the classroom. Just 40 percent of Detroit-area residents today have gone beyond high school, a number not nearly enough to fill industry demands for highly skilled workers or to satisfy residents’ own hopes for better lives.

Addressing this mismatch, the Detroit Regional Chamber and three higher education institutions — Wayne State University, Henry Ford College, and Oakland University — on Monday announced an innovative plan to break down one of the most stubborn barriers to post-high school completion.

Video: Dawn Medley, associate vice president for enrollment management, Wayne State University

The announcement came Tuesday during a three-day meeting of nearly 400 educators, workforce experts and community activists who are working to increase education attainment in 24 communities across the nation. The communities, which have earned designation as Talent Hubs, are gathering this week in Detroit to learn from each other and share strategies for success.

Under the arrangement announced Tuesday, the three colleges have agreed to forgive a certain amount of outstanding debt if students enroll at any of the three institutions, stay current on new postsecondary financial obligations, and make progress toward their degree or certificate. Henry Ford, a community college, will forgive half of total outstanding debt, and Wayne State and Oakland, both four-year institutions, will each wipe out up to $1,500 of debt.

The partners hope their effort will help move the Detroit Chamber closer toward its goal of boosting the area’s postsecondary attainment rate to 60 percent.

Debt forgiveness is clearly a great deal for the students who want to come back — particularly the low-income adult students of color who disproportionately benefit. (At Wayne State, which started a successful debt forgiveness program last year called Warrior Way Back, African-American students account for only 21 percent of the stopped-out population but represent 45 percent of the stop-outs with financial holds.)

Some photos from the event.
But what’s in it for the colleges? That’s easy, says Dawn Medley, the university’s associate vice president for enrollment management. They forgive a small debt, which they may already have written off, but get thousands back in tuition income that would otherwise have been lost. Wayne State saw a net gain of $200,000 in just the first seven months, Medley said. (Other institutions can calculate their return on investment by using a tool just introduced by the Institute for Higher Education Policy.

Yet the greatest benefit to re-engagement, of course, is a better-educated populace and a more prosperous region. A one-time industrial powerhouse that’s working hard to turn itself around, Detroit needs all the future engineers, manufacturing technicians and medical professionals it can get. Its troubled K-12 system needs to better prepare students for college in the first place. But stop-outs are already part-way — often most of the way — there. With just a small measure of grace, institutions can give them one last nudge toward the finish line.
00 2019-05-02

Southern Miss, Mississippi State to hold fundraisers for Louisiana Tech athletics

A couple of Mississippi colleges are helping a neighbor in need.

Southern Miss and Mississippi State’s athletic departments both announced plans this week to benefit Louisiana Tech, whose campus was ravaged by a tornado on April 25.

Mississippi State has added Louisiana Tech to its baseball schedule. The teams will play in Starkville on Tuesday, May 14 at 6:30 p.m.

Admission to the game is free for fans, and seating will be general admission. The Salvation Army will be on site accepting monetary donations to support Ruston, La., and Louisiana Tech’s campus to aid in recovery from the storm.

Southern Miss, meanwhile, will donate the proceeds from its traditional 50/50 baseball raffle from its home game against Florida Atlantic on Friday night. That game starts at 6 p.m.

The Southern Miss baseball and softball teams will also accept monetary donations. The softball team hosts Louisiana Tech in a three-game series this weekend — a doubleheader Saturday starting at 1 p.m., and a single game Sunday at 1 p.m.

Louisiana Tech’s athletic facilities took the brunt of the damage from the tornado that ripped through the campus early in the morning of April 25.

The soccer, track, tennis, softball and baseball facilities all suffered major damage. The softball and baseball stadiums will not be able to be used again this season.

The softball team moved three games last weekend to the University of Louisiana-Monroe. The baseball team plans to do the same for its last home series of the season, May 10-12 against Western Kentucky.

“We are so appreciative and thankful to ULM’s administration and coaching staff for offering their assistance,” Louisiana Tech coach Lane Burroughs said. “We had so many schools reach out to us, and the support was overwhelming.”
00 2019-05-02

LaTech launches Giving Day 2019

RUSTON, LA (KSLA) - You could make a difference by giving back to Louisiana Tech with a donation on May 1.

Today is the inaugural Giving Day for Louisiana Tech. This event aims to inspire students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends to make a gift to the college or different departments on campus.

Before a fatal storm hit Ruston last week, Giving day was already in the works.

“Just as we saw more than 1,200 students gather together Saturday to make a difference on our campus, Giving Day gives us the opportunity to make a positive impact on Louisiana Tech no matter where we are,” said Brooks Hull, vice president for university advancement, in an email.

As of 8:30 a.m., the school already had over $121,000 in donations.

“We have been planning this event for months, and it’s even more important now to ensure our University has the resources it need," Hull said. "This Giving Day has the potential not just to bring Tech back to a sense of normalcy, it can propel us toward greater impact for generations of future Bulldogs.”

To give, click here. For more information, click here.

Copyright 2019 KSLA. All rights reserved.
00 2019-05-02

LSUHS & La Tech team up to establish new research center

LSU Health Shreveport and Louisiana Tech University are joining forces to establish the Center for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine.

The LSU and University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors announced Wednesday that they have provided one-year conditional approval of the request to develop CTERM, a collaborative research endeavor between the universities.

The proposal will be reviewed next by the Louisiana Board of Regents.

The CETERM 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 traumatic injury.

Specifically, the goal of CTERM is to produce clinically relevant stem cells and biomaterial scaffolds to generate useful cell- and tissue-based therapies that can combat the loss of healthy tissue associated with chronic diseases.

A multi-disciplinary team of researchers from LSU Health Shreveport and Louisiana Tech will combine their expertise to study chronic health issues that affect the region and parishes across the state, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The CTERM will also offer an ideal environment to train future scientists, engineers and clinicians for careers in stem cell biology, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

LSU Health Shreveport Vice Chancellor for Research Dr. Chris Kevil said, “We are grateful for the approval of the governing boards of LSU and the UL System. This collaboration holds tremendous potential for addressing the issue of tissue loss associated with chronic disease, as well as providing an innovative genre of scientific training.”

Louisiana Tech University President Dr. Les Guice said, “This new Center is directly aligned with our commitment to providing the highest quality research, education, and economic development for our state and nation. This formal partnership has grown from collaborations between our two institutions over several years, and it represents an opportunity to capitalize on the respective strengths of faculty and staff at both institutions.”

CTERM supports an already established collaborative relationship between LSUHS and Louisiana Tech, and will enhance opportunities available to students, researchers, and clinicians in a critical area of basic and translational research.
00 2019-05-01

Tech Foundation distributes first storm donations to faculty, staff in need

The first funds given to the Louisiana Tech University Foundation to help with recovery from the April 25 tornado will be used to provide assistance to faculty and staff members who suffered significant losses during the EF-3 storms that plowed through Ruston.

Donations given to the University Excellence Fund since the tornado are available for immediate use. President Les Guice determined that helping faculty and staff members was a top priority because they are so influential in helping students achieve success.

“The tornado caused such incredible devastation on our campus and in our city, and we wanted to make a difference for those faculty and staff who have been impacted by the storm psychologically and financially,” Guice said. “Their commitment to our students is one of the things that helps make our Tech Family so strong; we determined to help in a way that is so needed at this time.”

University of Louisiana System President and CEO Jim Henderson (left) and Louisiana Tech President Les Guice accept funds from Louisiana Tech University Foundation Board President Bill Hogan (right). Donations toward the University Excellence Fund are being used to assist faculty and staff members who suffered catastrophic losses during the April 25 tornado.
University of Louisiana System President and CEO Jim Henderson (left) and Louisiana Tech President Les Guice accept funds from Louisiana Tech University Foundation Board President Bill Hogan (right). Donations toward the University Excellence Fund are being used to assist faculty and staff members who suffered catastrophic losses during the April 25 tornado. (Photo: Courtesy)

The Foundation has designated funds for employee recovery assistance that will be given out as stipends.

“When I think about what’s great about the Ruston community, it starts with the Tech Family, particularly the faculty and staff that mentor our city’s next generation of leaders,” said Bill Hogan, Foundation Board president. ” The Louisiana Tech University Foundation is proud to provide these relief funds.”

To date, more than 300 donors have given to benefit the university in its recovery efforts. Tech Family and Friends can donate at ltu.al/disasterrelief.
00 2019-05-01

NSU Spring Commencement to be held May 10

00 2019-05-01
New Orleans

Big plans: Incoming UNO AD says fundraising key to winning across the board

00 2019-05-01
New Orleans

Louisiana law puts residents’ jobs at risk over student debt

00 2019-05-01

Ruston, Tech likely to qualify for federal aid following tragic twister

BATON ROUGE — Ruston and Louisiana Tech University are almost certain to qualify for federal aid to repair public damage from last week's deadly tornado that killed a mother and her teenage son, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Tuesday.

Edwards hosted a large group of officials, bankers and other business leaders from Ruston and Tech at the Governor's Mansion Tuesday to discuss recovery from the EF-3 twister that packed maximum winds of 145 mph.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, center, discusses last week's tragic twister in Ruston with energy and trucking titan James Davison, left, and Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker.
Gov. John Bel Edwards, center, discusses last week's tragic twister in Ruston with energy and trucking titan James Davison, left, and Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker. (Photo: Greg Hilburn/USA Today Network)

"We believe the damage is severe enough that we'll get significant help on the public side," Edwards said. "We're going to stick with you every step of the way."

Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will join personnel from the Governor's Office of Homeland Security in Ruston, where damage assessments could take weeks.

The threshold to secure federal disaster assistance is $6.8 million in damage to the city and Tech. If federal disaster assistance is granted, the feds would fund 75 percent of repairs to public facilities.

A car destroyed by a falling tree near the Louisiana Tech campus during Thursday's tornado. Cleanup at damaged homes and businesses is underway.Buy Photo
A car destroyed by a falling tree near the Louisiana Tech campus during Thursday's tornado. Cleanup at damaged homes and businesses is underway. (Photo: Ashley Mott/The News-Star)

"That number is likely going to exceed $20 million at Tech alone," Edwards said.

It's less clear whether there will be enough damage to private property to trigger individual assistance.

State Fire Marshal Butch Browning's agency has already identified damage to about 1,200 public and private structures in Ruston and on Tech's campus.

Edwards said he was "inspired" by the Ruston and Tech communities' response to the storm.

More than 2,000 Tech students have fanned out to offer assistance, joining countless others like NBA Hall of Famer Karl Malone and 81-year-old energy and trucking titan James Davison.

Davison was wielding a chainsaw in his pajamas just after the storm ripped through the city early Thursday morning to free a friend who was trapped in her home by trees.

"You'd really be proud of Ruston," Davison said.

Ruston Mayor Ronnny Walker agreed.

"I don't think there's a city in America who residents would have some together so effectively and quickly to help their neighbors," Walker said.

Tech President Les Guice said it's hard to convey the extent of the damage to the campus and city or the way in which the people have rallied.

"What's happening here with our students and faculty and our community is enormous," Guice said.

Edwards again asked for prayers for the family of Kendra Butler, 35, who was earning her master's degree at Grambling State University, and her son Remington Butler, 14, a Ruston High School freshman, who were killed when a tree crashed through their home.

Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1

Tornado damage at the Motel 6 along I-20 in Ruston.
Tornado damage at the Motel 6 along I-20 in Ruston. (Photo: Henrietta Wildsmith/The Times)
00 2019-04-30

Nicholls seeks to improve campus inclusion with action plan

About a year ago, a task force of more than 40 people worked to gather information to create a draft of Nicholls State University’s first diversity and inclusion plan.

The goal, officials said, is to ensure the university is responsive to the needs of people from all walks of life.

Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Michele Caruso said there had been a general knowledge that such a plan was needed for years. But it wasn’t until Nicholls President Jay Clune began interviewing for his job that someone committed to the initiative. One of Clune’s first actions after he was hired in 2018 was to create the task force.

Four groups worked on different sections of the plan under the guidance of a seven-member steering committee. Students, alumni, faculty and staff members held focus groups to discuss areas of concern, form objectives and then create steps toward reaching those goals.

The resulting plan includes several dozen actions and sets tentative deadlines to accomplish each. Among them:

• Start formal discussions and take action when necessary on renaming campus streets and buildings associated with “plantations and other culturally hurtful associations.”

• Establish an “interfaith dialogue federation.”

• Collect figures on the diversity among faculty members.

• Provide diversity education to faculty members.

• Create a multicultural center on campus.

• Promote awareness of the alumni chapter to international students.

The deadlines vary, with the earliest aiming for December and those for more extensive projects targeted for August 2021.

Caruso said the target times don’t directly correlate to the group’s priorities as much as “what’s the most logistically feasible to be accomplished.”

“We can make the little steps toward those more significant and impactful ones,” she said.

As the university doesn’t have a specific Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Caruso said those issues are her responsibility.

Caruso said the plan is a result of a large group of people coming together to share their experiences and review those of others.

“We need to make sure that we’re culturally competent with all our processes, including hiring,” she said.

Nicholls biology professor Sara Shields, who was a member of the faculty group and on the steering committee, said the issue of ensuring there isn’t any unconscious bias in the hiring process was discussed at length. She said group members realized it affects not only who is hired but who is placed on a tenure track. Improving inclusion could lead to improving faculty retention, she said.

“In a lot of how we evaluate faculty, we could do better,” Shields said.

The university is accepting community feedback on the plan through through Wednesday at nicholls.edu/diversity-inclusion/. The website includes an outline of the plan and its action steps.

“We want this to be a collaboration with the support of the community,” Caruso said.
00 2019-04-30

UL Lafayette "Ragin Cajuns" is a New York Times Crossword Clue

00 2019-04-30

Agnes DeRouen to receive UL Lafayette outstanding alumna award

00 2019-04-30

UL prize winner lifts veil on hidden history of South La. vigilantes

00 2019-04-30
Lake Charles


00 2019-04-30
Lake Charles

Industry Sector Has Strong and Positive Impression On SWLA

00 2019-04-30
Lake Charles

Five alumni, fraternity and sorority honored as Trailblazers

00 2019-04-30

‘Big Event’ bigger, better, and right on time

All hands and all Dogs were on deck Saturday as Louisiana Tech students, the campus community and many university friends, businesses and organizations pitched in to pick up storm debris and encourage each other during Tech’s Big Event.

Organized by the Tech Student Government Association, the Big Event is an annual volunteer project that became bigger and more needed after an EF-3 tornado early Thursday morning caused severe damage to the campus and Ruston.

“A lot of progress was made today in clearing debris from our campus thanks to an army of enthusiastic volunteers, a battalion of the National Guard, a fleet of lift trucks, a Cajun Navy, Farm Bureau providing food, and a special Mailman (Tech alum Karl Malone) driving a CAT,” said Tech President Les Guice on his Facebook page. “Thanks to everyone who made the sacrifices to make this an impactful day of recovery for our Tech Family.”

All hands and all Dogs were on deck Saturday as Louisiana Tech students, the campus community, and many University friends, businesses, and organizations pitched in to pick up storm debris and encourage each other during Tech’s Big Event.
All hands and all Dogs were on deck Saturday as Louisiana Tech students, the campus community, and many University friends, businesses, and organizations pitched in to pick up storm debris and encourage each other during Tech’s Big Event. (Photo: Photo by Donny J Crowe)

Supplies were provided with the first disbursement from the Louisiana Tech University Foundation fund designated for storm recovery and a generous donation from Lowe’s Home Improvement.

“Our alumni and friends have been incredibly generous since the storm plowed through the Louisiana Tech campus,” said Brooks Hull, vice president for university advancement. “For example, when we needed water for our volunteers, CenturyNext Bank, Origin Bank, Pearce Lumber, Rolling Hills Ministries and Super 1 Foods stepped forward. Domangue’s and Fuqua Paper provided serving and cleanup supplies.

“As we continue the cleanup and rebuilding process, we will continue to rely on our community partners and members of the Tech Family for their guidance and support. Their leadership will help strengthen Tech for generations to come.”

The College of Applied and Natural Sciences and Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation cooked burgers and served to anyone who wished to eat lunch at Argent Pavilion.

The list of volunteers is long, and 1,200 is a conservative estimate of how many students worked Saturday.

“We had volunteers from as far away as New Orleans and DFW come to feed students, first responders and work crews in the area,” Guice said.

Dawn Ward, whose husband Ken took an engineering class taught by Guice long ago, drove over from Shreveport with her three sons so they could help Saturday. Courtney Wessels, who studies industrial engineering at Tech, said she was “in complete awe” since Thursday morning of “how willing our community is to serve.”

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Probably no illustration was stronger of teamwork during the cleanup than the dozen-plus students who walked toward a debris pile with a 20-foot tree trunk on their shoulders.

“I think there’s a lot of hope we can take away from this (experience), just seeing how the community is rallying together,” said SGA President Matt Flynn.

Donations continued to arrive throughout the day. Keri Spivey Anderson, mother of Tech softball player Kailey Anderson, gathered supplies from her co-workers at Texas Oncology, the Dallas Strikers softball team where Kailey coaches in the summer, and Kailey's former high school, Mesquite High. She delivered them on her way to cheer on the Lady Techsters softball team in Monroe.

Monetary donations were encouraged and accepted in Houston from Conference USA member Rice, Tech’s host for a three-game set of baseball games this weekend. Other universities providing volunteer support included Grambling State University and the University of Louisiana — Monroe. ULM’s softball facility also served as the home field for the Lady Techster softball team this weekend.

If you would like to help with relief efforts but can't be in Ruston to volunteer, please donate at ltu.al/disasterrelief.

Other businesses and individuals making donations of time, necessities, or resources for Saturday’s event:

Tri-Sigma – Northwestern State University
First National Bank
Lincoln Builders
Pafford EMS
Will Baker
Colin Pringle
Kenny Waldrop
Johnny's - Sterlington
Uptown Downtown
Crumbs Catering
Social Bites
Brister's Smokehouse
Beau Vines
Cajun Navy of Northwest Louisiana
Sweetwater Baptist Church
Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity
Fairway Carts
Little India of Monroe
00 2019-04-30

Bob Anderson, longtime ULM sports information director, dies

Bob Anderson was known as "The Dean." He earned that title by setting the standard in his profession for over three decades as the sports information director at Louisiana-Monroe.

From his perch inside the press box that bears his name atop Malone Stadium, or courtside at Fant-Ewing Coliseum, Anderson chronicled many of the most memorable teams, indelible athletes and colorful coaches in the history of then-Northeast Louisiana University.

Anderson remained a fixture at sporting events began writing a book about the history of ULM athletics afrer retiring. The product of his 10-year labor of love, “Indian Territory,” was published in 2003.
Anderson remained a fixture at sporting events began writing a book about the history of ULM athletics afrer retiring. The product of his 10-year labor of love, “Indian Territory,” was published in 2003. (Photo: File photo)

ULM athletics lost its caretaker when Anderson died on Sunday, April 28. He was survived by his wife, Nike, and sons, Nick and Tom, and their families.

Visitation will be held at First United Methodist Church in Monroe on Thursday, May 2, at 1 p.m. A funeral service will follow at 2 p.m.

“Nobody worked harder at promoting the university than Bob,” former ULM President Dwight Vines said. “When I first joined the faculty at ULM in 1958, Bob and I would ride to games together and we went up and down the road for many miles.

“We were close for very many years and he did such a remarkable job for a long time.”

A Mississippi-native, Anderson earned bachelor's and master's degrees from LSU and began his career at the Monroe Morning World in 1957 after serving in the United States Army. He became the sports information director at ULM in 1961 and stayed for 33 years, which was the longest tenure of any SID in Louisiana at the time of his retirement in 1994.

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“He made all of our jobs easier,” ULM and Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame men’s basketball coach Mike Vining said. “Many times he would just call me and tell me he took care of something and I never had to worry about it.

“Sometimes people come here and their goal is to move on to a bigger job. There’s nothing wrong with that but that wasn’t Bob. His worked tirelessly to make ULM the best it could be and made it his home.”

Adam Hunsucker
· Apr 28, 2019
Longtime ULM sports information director Bob Anderson has died. He was one of the best to ever do it and the title doesn’t begin to do that justice.

Tim Brando

Add me to the growing list of those offering prayers to Bob and his family. He loved the former Northeast La. University (now) @ULM_Official and will be missed by all who knew him. RIP🙏🙏🙏🙏

6:00 PM - Apr 28, 2019
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With a notepad in hand, Anderson chronicled the thrill of numerous NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments, NCAA Baseball Regionals, and euphoria of the 1987 Division 1-AA/FCS Football National Championship.

“If there was one person that was Mr. NLU/ULM it was Bob,” said Stan Humphries, the quarterback of the 1987 national champions.

“He knew everything about the university and promoted us the best way he knew how and we all appreciated how professional he was."

"Great Scott!" Anderson didn't always adhere to the no cheering in the press box rule when it came to his beloved Northeast Louisiana Indians, now Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks.
"Great Scott!" Anderson didn't always adhere to the no cheering in the press box rule when it came to his beloved Northeast Louisiana Indians, now Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks. (Photo: Courtesy of ULM L-Club)

The always meticulous Anderson was a stickler for the details. He never hesitating to pick up the phone or visit a newsroom if it meant getting the school or its athletes the recognition he felt was earned through his work with the Louisiana Sports Writer’s Association (LSWA) and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

Anderson received the Mac Russo Award for Progress and Ideals from the LSWA in 1992, the LSWA’s Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism in 1994, Mr. Louisiana Basketball honors from the Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches in 1997 and was the first SID inducted in the Southland Conference Hall of Honor in 2002.

“Whatever I say won’t be adequate both for the LSWA and me personally,” said Doug Ireland, the longtime SID at Northwestern State, chairman of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and a former Anderson pupil.

“Bob is truly a Mount Rushmore guy in the SID world and as a human being. He was widely beloved and so passionate about his adopted university that you cannot think of ULM without Bob Anderson.”

Anderson was revered throughout the state for his work ethic and beloved for his eccentricities. He demanded professionalism at all times. The only cheers in the press box came from Anderson, followed by a resounding, "Great Scott!"

"His struggle to contain his emotions in the press box was fairly well known, in good times and bad," said Robby Edwards, who succeeded Anderson as ULM's SID and held the position from 1994-98.

"In 1987, we opened the football season at Louisiana Tech and won 44-7. I was next to him in the press box and he wasn’t loud, but he was excited. After every big play, he punched me in the arm. The next day, I had bruises up and down my left arm."

While losing never agreed with Anderson, he knew how to add levity to even the most disappointing of defeats with his trademark sense of humor.

“Bob had sort of a dry wit that I enjoyed,” Vines said. “One time we road with the basketball team to Louisiana Tech and we got whipped pretty good. The bus was quiet on the way back until Bob spoke up and said, ‘At least we don’t have to spend the night in Ruston.’”

Anderson worked for Congressman John Cooksey after retiring, including four years as press secretary, and was inducted into the ULM Hall of Fame in 1999. His book, “Indian Territory: The Story of ULM Athletics,” was published in 2003.
00 2019-04-30

ULM unveils new virtual reality lab

00 2019-04-30

Public forums set for NSU provost applicants

00 2019-04-30

NSU to take donations for Louisiana Tech tornado relief at Tuesday’s game

00 2019-04-30

New gallery unveiling includes honors, accolades and heartfelt tributes

00 2019-04-30

Showcasing Historically Black Colleges in ‘Homecoming’

00 2019-04-30

Class resumes for LA Tech students after tornado

00 2019-04-29
Baton Rouge

Nicholls professor of 53 years reflects on career

00 2019-04-29

Loved ones remembered during Southeastern Louisiana University’s Golden Silence ceremony

Southeastern Louisiana University remembered loved ones who passed away during the previous year when it held its annual “Golden Silence” ceremony on Wednesday, April 3.

Sponsored by the Southeastern Alumni Association, the annual event brings the campus community together for a remembrance ceremony in honor of members of the SLU family – students, faculty, alumni, staff and friends of the university – who died the previous year.

00 2019-04-29

Enjoy a dose of opera this weekend at Nicholls

00 2019-04-29
Lake Charles

ABA & Autism Awareness event set for today at Drew Park

Milestones Behavioral Services will be wrapping up the month of autism awareness today with its 2nd annual ABA & Autism Awareness event, which will combine familyfriendly fun with accessible connections to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) providers.

Rain or shine from 10 a.m. to noon, Milestones will be set up at Drew Park at 416 Dr. Michael Debakey Drive to provide families with games and entertainment, as well as drinks and snacks, alongside informational offerings that can help families of children who may be on the autism spectrum connect with local ABA providers.

A form of therapy based on the science of learning and behavior, recent studies have shown that ABA therapy can increase language and communication skills while decreasing problem behavior in people and children with autism.

According to Milestones founder Melissa Raymond, the number of local ABA providers has increased dramatically in recent years, and she said the important task at hand now is to educate the community on the many services that are available to them.

“We hope to not only spread awareness about the services that are available, but to also host an event where individuals can come and enjoy a good time,” Raymond said.

Toby Osburn, the executive director of McNeese University’s autism program, said Southwest Louisiana families are able to take advantage of a unique, high concentration of organizations that serve individuals and families touched by autism.

“We have a large number of ABA providers who cater to children and adolescents, nonprofit organizations that help adults, and grass-roots advocacy groups that are laser-focused on this issue for individuals and families,” Osburn said.

According to Osburn, McNeese is one of only 21 universities in the world that offers a master’s degree level of training to work as a licensed, board-certified behavior analyst. It is also one of only a handful of university-based training-treatment clinics in the nation.

“That’s an amazing distinction for our university, community and region,” Osburn said.

Autism awareness events such as today’s strive to keep inclusion at the forefront of society’s consciousness, and Osburn said he believes those events can be attributed to the rise in acceptance of persons with autism in multiple areas. With more employers now willing to give people with autism a chance at employment, and faith communities willing to accommodate the needs of persons with autism and their families, Osburn said he believes autism awareness continues to be spread and accepted by the local community with open arms.

“Actions, not just events or words or goodwill, actually make our community more inclusive,” Osburn said.

Today’s event is free and open to the public.
00 2019-04-29

Beyoncé launches Adidas collaboration with Grambling's Tiger Marching Band

The World Famed Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band helped Beyoncé with a major product launch over the weekend.

Earlier this month, the superstar announced that her athleisure brand Ivy Park will partner with Adidas for shoes and clothing designs.

On April 18, she dropped a surprise documentary, "Homecoming," about her two-weekend engagement at Coachella 2018. She was the first black woman to headline the event, and her performance payed homage to Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Last weekend, she held a launch party for the clothing collaboration and brought in Grambling students for a private performance.

A video of "Gramchella" was published on her YouTube channel Thursday.

University of Louisiana System President Jim Henderson joked on Twitter Friday that when he watched a practice earlier this month, they just told him they were going to California "but left out a key detail."

Jim Henderson

So...they told me they were rehearsing for a California performance, but left out a key detail. Dude, I WOULD HAVE BOUGHT MY OWN TICKET!! #GramChella https://www.instagram.com/tv/Bwsgf7PB2bA/?igshid=a244610inj7b …

Grambling State Univ

What an honor! During today’s #ULSAcademicSummit hosted at GSU, @ulsystem President, Dr. James Henderson, stopped in to visit a World Famed practice session. Thank you for the acknowledgements, @DrJBHenderson. 🖤💛 #BandFacts #Gramfam #YourHBCU

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11:55 AM - Apr 26, 2019
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GSU students and fans shared the love on Friday:

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Corii Moore⚜️
#GRAMCHELLA🔥 really just a blessing from the man above. Never thought I’d be performing at this level,so I’m just gonna remain humble and say thank you🙏🏽

9:45 AM - Apr 26, 2019
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Unkle Ky.
To wake up & see some of my college friends/classmates and Beyoncé wearing a Grambling hat man we making history 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 I Love My HBCU. #LEGENDARY #GRAMFAM🐯 #GRAMCHella

9:36 AM - Apr 21, 2019 · Grambling, LA
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When @CocaCola needed a band, they called Grambling
When the @NFL needed a band for the Super Bowl, they called Grambling
When the @NBA needed a band for the All-Star Game, they called Grambling
When @Beyonce and @adidas needed a band, they called Grambling #TheWorldFamed

1:14 PM - Apr 21, 2019
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00 2019-04-29

LaTech, Lincoln public schools to reopen Monday

00 2019-04-29

Bulldogs bounce back

00 2019-04-29

Gov. Edwards tours damage from Ruston tornado

00 2019-04-29

'The Big Event' moved to this weekend on LA Tech campus

00 2019-04-29

Bulldog Strong T-shirt to benefit Louisiana Tech University

00 2019-04-29


00 2019-04-26


Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser was in Lafayette yesterday to announce a grant to UL Lafayette to increase economic development in the seafood industry.

The grant is worth $250,000.

This grant money is coming from a program of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board.

We are also receiving funding from the USDA Rural Business Development Agency.

U-L researchers will conduct feasibility studies, develop business and community economic development plans, and establish leadership and entrepreneurship training to assist small and emerging businesses in Vermilion, Iberia, St. Mary parishes.

Seven newly-added parishes in the southeastern sector of coastal Louisiana will also be part of the economic expansion efforts.
00 2019-04-26

UL snags $250K state grant to expand study of coastal seafood industry

00 2019-04-26

UL seafood study second phase gets additional $249,000, will be expanded to include all coastal parishes

00 2019-04-26

Ruston, Tech will need months to recover from deadly tornado that killed mother, son

Ruston is mourning the loss of a mother and teenage son and contemplating months of rebuilding after a killer tornado ripped through the city and Louisiana Tech University campus early Thursday morning.

Kendra Butler, 35, who was earning her master's degree at Grambling State University, and her son Remington Butler, 14, a Ruston High School freshman, were killed when a tree crashed through their house.

"We all need to pray for that family and the entire community as Ruston rebuilds," Gov. John Bel Edwards said in an interview with USA Today Network after assessing the damage from the air and the ground Wednesday afternoon.

"The damage is extensive and catastrophic," he said.

The National Weather Service confirmed the Ruston tornado as "at least" an EF3 with deadly winds as high as 165 mph.

"It's bad, real bad," Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker said. "We took a direct hit."

Much of the damage occurred along Tech Drive and Cypress Springs subdivision south of Interstate 20, but Walker said there was damage throughout the city.

LA Tech President Les Guice said there was extensive damage to the universities' baseball and softball fields, but the academic structures remained intact with mostly minor damage.

Police and first responders check residential areas south of I-20 in Ruston.Buy Photo
Police and first responders check residential areas south of I-20 in Ruston. (Photo: The News-Star)

Lincoln Parish Sheriff Mike Stone said the fatalities occurred in a house near the Pizza Hut restaurant just off of Interstate 20.

Storm damage along I-20 near exit 85 by the Pizza Hut and Lincoln Parish LibraryBuy Photo
Storm damage along I-20 near exit 85 by the Pizza Hut and Lincoln Parish Library (Photo: The News-Star)

"I've never seen it this bad in my 43 years," Lincoln Parish Sheriff Mike Stone said. "It's tragic, and it's going to be a while before we can get all this cleaned up."

Classes were canceled at Tech on Thursday and Friday.

Lincoln Parish schools in Ruston will also be closed Friday.

"We're still assessing the damage," said Guice, who said the tornado came through Ruston about 2:30 a.m.

NWS Shreveport

Damage surveys are still ongoing, and these ratings could be increased if more severe damage is found. Additional tornadoes may be added to this list.

Near Mooringsport, LA: At least EF1
Near San Augustine, TX: At least EF2
Ruston, LA: At least EF3

1:09 PM - Apr 25, 2019
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LA Tech Tornado Damage
Guice said he and his wife Kathy were awakened by tornado sirens and heard the tornado. The president's home in on campus next to Aillet Stadium.

"There was a strong roar and we heard trees snapping," Guice said.

Guice said some cars were picked up by the tornado and moved about 50 yards.

Walker said the city has suffered "a tremendous amount of electrical grid issues" and some areas of the city could remain without power into the weekend.

Storm damage at La. Tech's JC Love Field baseball stadium.Buy Photo
Storm damage at La. Tech's JC Love Field baseball stadium. (Photo: Cory Diaz/The News-Star)

Other damage to homes and businesses "will take months to recover," Walker said.

State Police Col. Kevin Reeves said he has dispatched extra units and troopers to Ruston to assist, as did law enforcement from other cities and parishes as well as the Louisiana National Guard.

Fifth District U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-Alto, has toured the damaged and contacted the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the White House.

"They got hit hard and I will help in any way that I can," said Abraham, who also tweeted his prayers for the victims and community.

According to the National Weather Service, warnings began being issued in St. Augustine, Texas, around 11 p.m. and warnings continued until about 3 a.m. as the storm system traveled across eastern Texas and northeastern Louisiana.

The storm traveled through Lincoln, Bienville and Red River parishes making its way through Pleasant Hill and heading northeast.
00 2019-04-26

Edwards to speak at ULM spring commencement

00 2019-04-26

Annual Senior Dance Concert to be held May 4

00 2019-04-26

LA Tech sports facilities 'total rebuild' after 'devastating' early morning tornado

RUSTON -- Look no further than the baseball, softball, soccer and tennis courts on Louisiana Tech's campus to understand the magnitude of the aftermath of the tornado that smashed through campus early Thursday morning.

While the core academic buildings, as well as shockingly the multiple dormitories that neighbors the the baseball and softball fields were nearly untouched, baseball stadium J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park, the Louisiana Tech Softball and Soccer Complexes and the tennis courts suffered catastrophic damage.

"Baseball, softball, soccer (fields), tennis (courts) all of those are devastated," Tech Athletic Director Tommy McClelland told media members Thursday after assessing the damage. "

"It's devastating. It's a total rebuild for us."

TORNADO KILLS TWO: Mother, son killed in Ruston tornado

His rough, initial estimate of the cost of the destruction of the four athletic facilities was in the range of "millions (of dollars)."

Outfield fence demolished, light poles snapped
"This is not something we went to sleep last night thinking we'd be dealing with. But we've been overwhelmed by the support of the Tech family, the Ruston community and those that have reached out. That extends into the athletics community," McClelland said. "We've had people reach out to help, and quite frankly I don't know how to answer that question yet. There'll be a day and time when we can answer that but right now it's about making the campus safe and beginning the process of cleaning up and rebuild."

Story continues below video of tornado damage

Video of the storm damage in Ruston. Shreveport Times

The Tech softball and soccer stadiums took the brunt of the force from Thursday's storm. At the softball complex, the entire outfield fence was demolished and the scoreboard had a hole ripped through it. The bullpen along the right field fence and and batting cages behind the home team dugout were destroyed. Trees fell onto the stands and on top of the press box and multiple light poles snapped and were lying on the artificial turf.

Adjacent to the softball stadium, the soccer field barely looks recognizable as the stands were nearly wiped out while the scoreboard, team benches and both goals were moved down. The natural grass surface sustained debris and water damage.

Storm damage at the La. Tech softball stadium.Buy Photo
Storm damage at the La. Tech softball stadium. (Photo: The News-Star)

McClelland categorized the Love Shack as the "most dangerous" area on campus and urged people to stay away from the structure. The concrete overhang partially collapsed in two separate spots falling into the stands, damaging many seats as well as lifted into the intersection of Alabama and Tech Drive. The outfield wall, running from left center to right center, including the tall center field wall, was completely blown way and the scoreboard beyond the rightfield fence is a total loss. The batting cages suffered some wind damage but appears to be salvageable.

The fencing around the tennis courts became mangled from the storm and there were several trees and other types of debris thrown onto the playing surfaces.

"Long-term for us, we got to look at what do we do? How to we rebuild the right way? It's difficult to say if I had -- if we had the money appropriated right now for these facilities, I don't know if we have them built in nine months," McClelland said. "That begins the question of we need to be preparing ourselves for the fact that we might not play softball, baseball, certainly soccer at these facilities for next year. What does that look like and how do we do that?"

Louisiana Tech football player Praise Okorie helps clean up debris at the La. Tech soccer stadium.Buy Photo
Louisiana Tech football player Praise Okorie helps clean up debris at the La. Tech soccer stadium. (Photo: Cory Diaz/The News-Star)

Timing of Thursday's tornado caused more than physical structural damage. Louisiana Tech softball and baseball programs have been uprooted from their facility homes for the remainder of their respective home games this season, meaning both teams won't get to celebrate Senior Days at their own stadiums or have a place to practice

ROLLING STORM DAMAGE REPORTS: A storm damage reports database shows tornadoes, large hails and high winds in the U.S. during the last 24 hours.

The Lady Techsters are scheduled to host Western Kentucky this weekend for its final Conference USA home series of the regular season. McClelland said that the athletic department is working hard to ensure that the team will get to play their games this year locally and are looking at playing the WKU series at either Cedar Creek School or Ruston High.

“It could've been a far worse deal. You can't replace people's lives, but you can build and replace athletic facilities and that's what we intend to do.”

Tommy McClelland, Tech Athletic Director
"It's definitely really depressing," Techster senior softball player Berkley Calapp said of the damage to the softball field. "With Senior weekend this weekend, I didn't realize my last game on the field was going to be a midweek [game versus Louisiana-Lafayette Wednesday night]. It's sad."

Storm damage at the Louisiana Tech Softball Complex in Ruston.
Storm damage at the Louisiana Tech Softball Complex in Ruston. (Photo: Cory Diaz)

Baseball's final home series versus WKU, too, the weekend of May 10-12. With the games being more than two weeks away, McClelland said its gives Tech ample time to put a contingency plan in place. Right now, playing the games and practicing at either neighbor Grambling State or possibly Louisiana-Monroe 30 miles up I-20.

More: LA Tech folds to pressure from No. 8 Ragin Cajuns in midweek clash

In the wake of the storm, several football, softball players as well as other student-athletes and regular Louisiana Tech students were seen helping in the clean up efforts around campus.

"It's not organized," Tech head football coach Skip Holtz said. "Everybody's just kind of gotten up, gotten out on their own and said ,'what can we do to help?' and starting to clean up. I'm sure there's more things that we're going to be able to do, but it's pretty neat. One of our players, I told him it was great to see him out here and he said, 'coach this is our school.'

Storm damage at the Louisiana Tech softball fields.
Storm damage at the Louisiana Tech softball fields. (Photo: Cory Diaz/News-Star)

"I think that's the true spirit of Louisiana Tech and the Tech family," Lady Techsters basketball coach Brooke Stoehr said. "People talk about that, you can't quantify that, but you see that in times like this where we all pull together whether you're football, men's basketball, women's basketball or softball, we're all in this together. And we're all on the same team."

While the tornado ripped up athletic facilities on campus and financial and logistical nightmares, the fact that no students or student-athletes were harmed, providing a little hope, Tech head football coach Skip Holtz and women's basketball coach Brooke Stoehr said, in the wake of the devastation.

Storm damage at the La. Tech softball stadium.Buy Photo
Storm damage at the La. Tech softball stadium. (Photo: The News-Star)

"When you look at the destruction that this storm left in it path here in Ruston from trees, facilities, buildings, the power of the storm it's been unbelievable. You say your prayers and blessings that the injuries, how fortunate we are that it went through a tennis court and not a dorm building where there were hundreds of students sleeping last night," Holtz said. "I don't want to say blessed because there's a lot of destruction, but we're blessed.

"Our biggest concern is the safety of the student because they're under out care, all of them on campus," Stoehr said. "I'm so grateful and thankful that they're OK. We know that buildings and facilities can be repaired. We're just thankful that there's not a lot more damage to lives."

Those interested in contributing to the disaster relief efforts can do so online at ltu.al/disasterrelief.

Louisiana Tech football coach Skip Holtz and women's basketball coach Brooke Stoehr share thoughts on the tornado destruction on campus. Cory Diaz, bdiaz@thenewsstar.com

Stay tuned as this story will be updated.

Follow Cory Diaz on Twitter @CoryDiaz_TNS and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CoryDiazTNS/
00 2019-04-26

GSU student & her 14-year-old son killed in Ruston tornado

RUSTON, LA (KSLA) - The mother of one of the victims in last night’s deadly storm has identified the two people killed at a Ruston home.

Cathey Jackson identified the victims as her daughter 34-year-old Kendra Butler and Jackson’s grandson 14-year-old Remington Butler.

Remington, who would have turned 15 in two days, was a freshman at Ruston High School.

According to neighbor Jesse Pullin, two children from the Butler home ran to his home for help.

Pullin attempted to make it through the home but couldn’t.

First responders were able to recover Kendra’s and Remington’s bodies.

Preliminary information on last night’s storms indicate at least an EF3 tornado touched down in Ruston, the National Weather Service reports.

Grambling State University released the following statement following Butler's death:

"On behalf of the entire Grambling State University family, I would like to offer our condolences to the family of Kendra Butler and her son Remington Butler as they mourn the loss of our student and community member.

"We are deeply saddened by the impact suffered by this family and our sister school, Louisiana Tech University in the wake of this morning’s tornado.

"While it is difficult to find reason for events like these, we do have faith that the strong love and concern that connects us will once again carry us through as we assist in recovery.

"To all of our students, I want to encourage you to support and look out for one another.

"To our Governor, Dr. Guice, Mayor Walker, Sheriff Stone, and our fellow Lincoln Parish residents, thank you for the continued collaboration that keeps our community strong as we work to recover."

Grambling State University Resources Reminders
University Counseling Center
(318) 274-3338 or (318) 274-3277

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00 2019-04-26

Here are some ways you can give, get help in wake of deadly storms

00 2019-04-25
Baton Rouge

Report: Tornado 'direct hit' in Ruston kills 2, damages Louisiana Tech; see photos, videos

A tornado ripped through Ruston early Thursday morning, reportedly killing two people and damaging Louisiana Tech's campus.

"It's bad; real bad," Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker told the Monroe News-Star. "We took a direct hit."

No information about the two fatalities has been released.

On Louisiana Tech's campus, university president Les Guice said the baseball and softball fields are damaged, and trees are snapped across campus.

Classes are canceled Thursday. No one on campus was seriously injured, the report said.

"I've never seen it this bad in my 43 years," Lincoln Parish Sheriff Mike Stone told the News-Star. "It's tragic, and it's going to be a while before we can get all this cleaned up."

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00 2019-04-25
Baton Rouge

HBCU Day held at La. state capitol

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Human Jukebox made its presence felt Wednesday at the state capitol. It was all part of HBCU Day.

Students and leaders from Southern, Dillard, Xavier, and Grambling spent the day showing the value their universities bring to the state.

“The state actually need HBCUs to ramp it up even more in terms of the production of talent here in the state, so we accept that obligation here in the state to do so,” said Dr. Ray Belton, SU president.

The presidents say additional funding would go a long way to closing the education gap and in turn the wage gap in Louisiana.

Copyright 2019 WAFB. All rights reserved.
00 2019-04-25

KSLU holds cutest pet photo contest

00 2019-04-25

UL graduating veterans receive cords at ceremony

00 2019-04-25

Our guide to weekend fun April 25-28

Whether you plan to stay indoors or head outside to enjoy the sunshine, we know a handful of places to find fun this weekend.

April 25
56th Annual Juried Competition Exhibition Reception

Where: Masur Museum of Art, 1400 South Grand, Monroe; When: 5:30-7:30 p.m.; Info: 318-329-2237 or www.facebook.com/events/372006610273109

Join Masur Museum of Art for the long-awaited reception celebrating their 56th Annual Juried Competition! This year's juror, Catherine Futter (Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art) will be giving a talk and announcing prize winners at 6 p.m. The exhibition will be on view through May 11, 2019 and will showcase contemporary artists throughout the United States of America working in any medium.

Wine Over Water

Where: University of Louisiana at Monroe, 700 University Avenue, Monroe; When: 7-10 p.m.; Admission: $60; Info: 318-342-1000 or alumni.ulm.edu/page/wineoverwater

Wine Over Water is your opportunity to support scholarship funding by attending an exclusive party on the beautiful ULM campus. Net proceeds go to "The Spirit of The Warhawk" scholarship. Attire is dressy casual, no denim or shorts. The Bridge Party is from 7-10pm. Ticket prices include: food from over 30 local restaurants, wine provided by Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits, beer provided by Marsala Beverage, a commemorative wine glass, boat rides on Bayou DeSiard and entertainment featuring Flashback 5. In addition, the Patron Party will be held prior to Wine Over Water Bridge Party at 6-7:30 p.m in the ULM Library, 7th Floor. Patron Party Tickets include complimentary hors d'oeuvres, event wine glasses, and attendance to the Wine Over Water Bridge Party event. Entertainment at the Patron Party will be by Rod Allen Payne and Trevor Davis.

April 25-28
Mamma Mia at Strauss

"Mamma Mia" will be performed at Strauss Theatre Center Thursday through Sunday.
"Mamma Mia" will be performed at Strauss Theatre Center Thursday through Sunday. (Photo: Courtesy of Smiling Rhino Theatre)

Where: Strauss Theatre Center, 1300 Lamy Lane, Monroe; When: 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; Admission: $30 for adults, $10 for students; Info: 318-323-6681

Enjoy a showing of Mamma Mia at Strauss! A mother, a daughter, three possible dads, and a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget. The magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter, and friendship, creating an unforgettable show with songs such as the title song plus “Dancing Queen”, “Thank You for the Music”, and “Money, Money, Money.”

April 26
West Monroe-West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce Annual Skeet Shoot & Crawfish Boil

Where: Ouachita Parish Rifle Range, 1311 Edwards Road, West Monroe; When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. skeet shoot, crawfish boil begins at 5 p.m.; Info: 318-325-1961

Stop by the Ouachita Parish Rifle Range on April 26th for the Annual Skeet Shoot & Crawfish Boil! Prizes will be awarded to the 1st and 2nd Place Teams in the skeet shoot! Snacks & beverages provided.

Bingo Brunch at the Food Bank of NELA

Where: Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana, 4600 Central Ave, Monroe; When: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Admission: $1-$35; Info: 318-322-3567

Join the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana for Bingo Brunch! Various ticket packages are available, with Bingo cards, brunch, and drinks also offered à la carte. Chef Pat Nolan Catering is providing the delicious food. Prizes include: $50 Target gift card; $50 Brookshire's gift card; $50 Restaurant Cotton gift card; plus many more! All proceeds benefit the Food Bank's hunger relief efforts in our community.

Ouachita Live Concert - Astro Motel

Where: Antique Alley, 100-400 blocks of Trenton Street, West Monroe; When: 5:30-8 p.m.; Admission: Free; Info: www.facebook.com/events/2119795018127318

Stop by Downtown West Monroe every Last Friday March - October for a musical event!

April 26-28
Ballet Under the Stars

Where: Kiroli Park, 820 Kiroli Road, West Monroe; When: 6 p.m. – food and fun, 7 p.m. – performance begins; Admission: $25 adults, $10 students 18 and under, children under 3 admitted free; Info: www.twincityballet.org/performances

Beautiful dancing and an outdoor setting combine to make an unforgettable evening for patrons of North Louisiana’s signature spring arts event. Celebrated choreographers will work their magic to produce a varied, full-spectrum concert of dance that covers many genres. Picturesque Kiroli Park creates the perfect backdrop for our dancers to share their incredible strength, musicality, beauty and joy of dance.

April 27
Celebrate Your Heroes 5K & 1 mile run

Where: Chennault Park & Golf Course, 8475 Millhaven Road, Monroe; When: 7:30 a.m.; Admission: $25; Info: 318-322-2235

Louisiana Hospice & Palliative Care is hosting the second annual Hospice Promise Fundraiser “Celebrate Your Heroes” 5K and 1 mile Fun Run/Walk! Dress up as your favorite hero! Awards will be given for teams with the best team name, best costume and largest team. Individuals in costume will be eligible for door prizes. This is a chip-timed event and includes a race t-shirt. Prizes will be awarded for first place finishers. Medals for second and third place finishers. Age Groups: 14 and under, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60 and over. Celebrate your favorite hero on their Hero Wall. For a $20 donation, send them a 4x6 photo and write up of your hero and they will feature them during the race. McDonalds is the presenting sponsor and will be providing breakfast for all registered participants.

Love Your Community Day

Where: Downtown Riverwalk, 316 South Grand, Monroe; When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Admission: Free; Info: 318-812-0450 or www.facebook.com/events/1658521864248584

Love Your Community Day will be an event for everyone at the RiverMarket. This event will consist of coffee and tea tastings, a kid zone, local non-profits, local authors, and local vendors from Ouachita Parish. The RiverMarket is so happy to partner with Ouachita Parish Public Library and the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana on this event. You can show your appreciation for your community by bring non-perishable foods to our canned food drive on this day or enter the canned food sculpture contest at 11:30. They will also have their first Little Miss Ouachita River pageant from 2:30-4.

Summer Camp & Kids Activities Expo

Where: Pecanland Mall, 4700 Millhaven Road, Suite 2000, Monroe; When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Admission: Free; Info: 318-322-4635 or www.eventbrite.com/e/summer-camp-kids-activities-expo-tickets-59125997450?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

Plan your entire summer in one day at the Summer Camp & Kids Activities Expo! The Expo will feature representatives from day camps, overnight camps, specialty camps, VBS, summer programs, travel planning, and year-round activities such as dance, art, sports, martial arts, music, tutoring, etc. Giveaways, free activities, and more!
Want to be an Exhibitor? Email tiffanyo@macaronikid.com for more information.

Strut Your Mutt

Where: Kiroli Park, 820 Kiroli Road, West Monroe; When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Admission: $15 in advance, $20 at park; Info: 318-396-4016 or www.eventbrite.com/e/strut-your-mutt-tickets-58512977892?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

Come out to Kiroli Park and Strut Your Mutt to support SOS Pets of Ouachita, sponsored by local VFW Post 1809! Free bandanas for all dogs, while supplies last! VFW / SOS shirts available for purchase at the event!

Stock the Shelter Benefiting Ouachita Parish Animal Shelter

Where: VitalPet - Monroe Animal Health Center, 3150 Sterlington Rd, Monroe; When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Info: 318-323-4411 or www.eventbrite.com/e/stock-the-shelter-benefiting-ouachita-parish-animal-shelter-tickets-59449555220?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

Bring your donation item and join VitalPet - Monroe Animal Health Center for a fun day for the entire family while helping stock the shelter. There will be a jumper for the kids, face painting, food and drinks, and much more. Pets are also welcome to attend as they will have digital portraits available to purchase. They will also raffle off some items that everyone would love! Raffle tickets will be sold at the hospital starting April 19th as well as the day of the event.

Desiard Street Marketplace & Artisan Stroll

Where: RiverMarket, 316 South Grand, Monroe; When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Info: 318-807-9985 or www.facebook.com/events/276934366577889

The Downtown RiverMarket is proud to put on the Desiard Street Marketplace & Artisan Stroll between 4th and 6th Street. This event will showcase artisans from all over Northeast Louisiana while bringing shoppers and vendors to the Downtown Monroe area. They will have live entertainment from country artist Bryan Martin from 2-4 in the courtyard of 2 Dudes Brew & Que. Local downtown businesses will being offering specials in their businesses to get attendees downtown as well.

16th Annual Smokin on the Bayou Rib Cook-off

Where: Forsythe Park, Riverside Drive & Forsythe Avenue, Monroe; When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Admission: $10; Info: 318-329-2439 or www.facebook.com/events/2114683841911366

You can purchase 7 sampler tickets to taste the teams Rib's for $10. That purchase will also give you a chance to vote on your favorite team for our People's Choice Award! There will be activities for the kids and split the pot tickets!

Dine & Wine Under the Vines

Where: Landry Vineyards, 5699 New Natchitoches Road, West Monroe; When: 3-6:30 p.m.; Admission: Adults $20, Ages 11-18 $10, Ages 10 and under admitted free; Info: 318-557-9051

The Louisiana Restaurant Association and Landry Vineyards would like for you to join them on Saturday, April 27, 3:00- 6:30 pm for an afternoon of great food from area restaurants, live music by Lisa Spann & Co and fun. The cost of the ticket will include free sample size food items from at least 17 local restaurants and free wine tastings. A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit the LRA Education Foundation. To purchase tickets and VIP tables visit www.LRA.org

"Twist of Fate" - featuring Joseph Kingma

Where: Jack Howard Theater, 401 Lea Joyner Expy,, Monroe; When: 7-9 p.m.; Admission: $5-$25; Info: 318-329-2225 or www.eventbrite.com/e/twist-of-fate-tickets-50133375275?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

The four most iconic notes ever written astound in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67. Hear this musical manifestation of fate – a cornerstone of the symphonic canon – in all its grandeur. In addition, pianist and Stricklin Emerging Artist Winner Joseph Kingma mesmerizes with Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16.

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00 2019-04-25

Annual innovative I-20 Top Twenty set for April 30

Louisiana Tech’s I-20 Top Twenty, an event that annually highlights economic and business development success found at the heart of north Louisiana’s I-20 corridor, will be 6-8 p.m. April 30 at University Hall on campus.

By celebrating ingenuity and excellence, this much-anticipated event helps to identify, connect, engage and energize innovators, entrepreneurs and forward-thinking individuals throughout the region.

Emerging business leaders, futuristic thinkers, research and technology investigators, young CEOs, and founders participate by demonstrating the potential of their endeavors. Select entrepreneurs will deliver brief presentations for their new ventures at 6. Beginning at 7, a variety of prototypes, technologies, products, and services will be exhibited and explored.

Established business and community leaders are invited to share their experience and connections. This helps facilitate progress and growth for the promising new ventures being showcased. Everyone engages to ask questions, provide feedback, and offer encouragement.

File photo
File photo (Photo: File photo)

“The I-20 Top Twenty helps develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem, build community, and stimulate economic opportunities within this region by boosting new ventures, strengthening existing firms, and rejuvenating industry icons,” said Kathy Wyatt, Tech’s Enterprise Campus Director. “This effort helps shape our economic future and position north Louisiana for prosperity and growth.”

Parking is available in lots located at the intersections of Everett Street and West Railroad Avenue, or at West Louisiana Avenue and College Street. For more information or to RSVP, contact tbdc@latech.edu or 318-257-3537.
00 2019-04-25
New Orleans

St. Tammany College Notes for April 24

NATIONAL HONOR: Southeastern Louisiana University's Southeastern Channel has been named best in the nation, taking a first-place award for “Best Comedy Video” as selected by College Broadcasters, Inc. The student comedy show “College Night” earned the first-place honors. Four other Southeastern Channel productions also placed in the top four in the country out of over 950 entries from colleges and universities across the nation. “Mandeville Beach,” a news story by Amanda Kitch of Covington, produced for the student newscast “Northshore News,” won second place for “Best News Reporting Video.” “Don’t Procrastinate,” produced by Jennifer Doss, of Mandeville, placed fourth in the nation in the “Best PSA Video” category. “College Night” is a "Saturday Night Live"-styled sketch comedy show written, produced, directed, shot, edited and performed by students. Other key contributors to the first-place episode included John Sartori, of Mandeville.
00 2019-04-25
New Orleans

Crescent City College Notes for April 24

TIGER 12: Macie Coker, of Chalmette, a mechanical engineering senior at LSU, and Joseph DeCorte, of New Orleans, a mathematics and biochemistry senior, have been named to the Tiger Twelve Class and were honored recently in Baton Rouge. The award is presented to full-time students who exemplify the seven tenets of the university's Commitment to Community.

LEGISLATIVE SCHOLARSHIP: Victoria Martin Rocquin, of Lutcher, a student at Southeastern Louisiana University, recently was named a recipient of a scholarship from the Louisiana Legislative Women's Caucus Foundation. The College Women of Excellence award will be presented Tuesday, April 30, at the Governor's Mansion.

NATIONAL HONOR: Southeastern Louisiana University's Southeastern Channel has been named best in the nation, taking a first-place award for “Best Comedy Video” as selected by College Broadcasters Inc. The student comedy show “College Night,” produced by Jordan Reid, of Luling, earned the first-place honors. The Southeastern Channel also had four additional productions place in the top four in the country as National Finalists out of over 950 entries from colleges and universities. “Mandeville Beach,” a news story by Amanda Kitch, of Covington, produced for the student newscast “Northshore News,” won second place for “Best News Reporting Video.” “The Big Game” student sportscast, produced by Freddie Rosario of Luling, won third place in the nation for “Best Sportscast Video.” Andrew Scherer of New Orleans, Dylan Domangue of Houma and Richie Solares, of New Orleans, anchored the winning episode. “Proud Dad,” produced by Jeremy Gaines, of New Orleans, and “Don’t Procrastinate,” produced by Jennifer Doss of Mandeville, placed second and fourth in the nation, respectively, in the “Best PSA Video” category. “College Night” is a "Saturday Night Live"-styled sketch comedy show written, produced, directed, shot, edited and performed by students. In addition to Reid, other key contributors to the first-place episode were Boone; Kitch; Gaines; Mason Dauphin, of Luling; John Sartori of Mandeville; and Courtney Bruno, Jeremy Rhodes, Hope Ramirez, Josh Hodgeson and Dustin Arroyo, of New Orleans.

PRESIDENT RETIRES: University of Holy Cross President Dr. David “Buck” Landry, 76, who over the past five years at the helm has transformed the 103-year-old New Orleans educational institution from a small neighborhood college to a fully accredited university, announced his retirement by June 30 or whenever the board selects his successor. During his tenure, the school was renamed, launched its first doctorate programs, expanded its master's programs and restructured the governance while increasing overall student enrollment.

SCIENCE AWARD: Grant Landwehr, of Covington, a chemical engineering student at LSU, has received the 2019 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Honorable mentions also went to Grace Bingham, a May 2018 LSU graduate in biological engineering from Luling, and Brandon Oubre, a graduate in computer science and mathematics from Montz.

UNO-NICHOLLS TEAM: The University of New Orleans and Nicholls State University will create a pathway for students from Nicholls to easily transition to UNO to complete a bachelor’s degree in the College of Engineering, and for students from UNO to complete courses at Nicholls that would help them attain a professional land surveying certification from the Louisiana Professional Engineering and Land Survey Board.

HEALTH FILMS: The Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, community radio station 102.3 FM WHIV-LP and the Southern Center for Health Equity will produce the inaugural Public Health Film Festival of New Orleans to showcase cinematic stories that emphasize disparities in both public health and basic individual rights. The film festival, open to the public, will be Friday to Sunday, May 10-12, at the university’s downtown campus at 1440 Canal St, New Orleans. Tickets are available at www.f-no.org/tickets.

BIBLE COLLEGE TERM: The next term of Koinonia Bible College begins Monday, April 29. Courses offered include Romans, Systematic Theology, 1 Corinthians, Church of the Bible, the Bible and Science and more. The college is located at 5049 Ehret Road, Marrero, with classes also being offered in Slidell and Waveland, Miss. For information, call (504) 340-6739 or visit www.kbc.org.
00 2019-04-25
New Orleans

Student debt hits hardest at historically black colleges: report

Students attending historically black colleges and universities are leaving with disproportionately high loans compared with their peers at other schools, The Wall Street Journal reports.

A Wall Street Journal analysis of federal Education Department data from 2017 found HBCU alumni have a median federal­ debt load of about $29,000 at graduation, and the report stated that’s­­ 32% above graduates of other public and nonprofit four­-year schools. Graduates of four­-year for-­profit colleges weren't part of the Journal's comparisons, the report stated.

The Journal found the HBCU debt gap has widened partly because tuition increases have outpaced inflation nationwide. Additionally, the report stated parents of black college students have lower incomes than parents from other racial groups. An analysis of census data by the Economic Policy Institute also shows black college graduates typically earn less than white graduates. Many non-HBCUs have also amassed larger endowments, and the report stated this provides some relief of the pressure to raise tuition on low-income students.

Dillard president slams inequities in philanthropy amid fundraising push: report

Walter Kimbrough says historically black colleges don't get the same massive gifts as other schools.

Nationally, student loan debt hit an all-time high of $1.36 trillion in the third quarter of 2018, according to data from Experian, a consumer credit reporting agency. A report last year from Bloomberg put the total closer to $1.44 trillion.

Louisiana ranks eighth nationwide among state with the most HBCUs. Louisiana’s university officials are pushing for increased investment in those universities because they say HBCUs reap tangible financial rewards for the state. A November 2017 report commissioned by the United Negro College Fund’s Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute found Louisiana’s HBCUs collectively generated $923 million for Louisiana’s economy.

The report, titled “HBCUs Make America Strong: The Positive Economic Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” tracked data from 2014, basing its estimate on direct spending by HBCUs on faculty, employees, academic programs and by students attending the institutions. According to the report, Louisiana’s HBCUs generated 8,454 jobs in their local and regional economies. Included in that total were 3,578 are on-campus jobs, and 4,876 are off-campus jobs.

Read the full Wall Street Journal story online, though it is behind a paywall.
00 2019-04-25

EPA Announces The Winners Of The 7th Annual Campus RainWorks Challenge

Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the winners of its seventh annual Campus RainWorks Challenge, a national competition that engages college students in the design of on-campus green infrastructure solutions to address stormwater pollution. Winners included a team from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for their project on cultivating community resilience through flood control and green infrastructure.

“EPA’s Campus RainWorks Challenge encourages students to transform classroom knowledge into innovative ideas to solve real-world environmental problems,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “I congratulate this year’s winners, and it is encouraging to see how contestants worked closely with their local communities to develop ways to protect water resources from harmful stormwater pollution.”

Stormwater runoff is a significant source of water pollution in America. Managing runoff remains a complex environmental challenge for local communities across the country. EPA’s Campus RainWorks Challenge asks students and faculty members at colleges and universities across the country to apply green infrastructure design principles, foster interdisciplinary collaboration, and increase the use of green infrastructure on the nation’s college campuses.

Through this year’s Challenge, EPA invited student teams to compete in two design categories: the Master Plan category, which examines how green infrastructure can be broadly integrated across campus, and the Demonstration Project category, which focuses on how green infrastructure can address stormwater pollution at a specific site on campus. With the help of a faculty advisor, teams of students focused their expertise, creativity, and energy on the challenges of stormwater management and showcased the environmental, economic, and social benefits of green infrastructure.

The Challenge winners are:
University of Oregon (1st Place Demonstration Project Category) – The team’s project, titled “Good Drainage Good Vibes,” redesigned a local high school campus to incorporate a variety of green infrastructure practices. Extensive stakeholder engagement within the community led to a practicable design capable of not only managing stormwater runoff onsite, but also providing hands-on education for students and connecting the local community their watershed. Watch the team’s video about their project: https://youtu.be/3QkKMIUBRhs

“The challenge was meaningful for our College of Design students because it created a chance to collaborate on tackling an urgent environmental design problem while working with local high school students on connecting the community with their watershed," said University of Oregon College of Design Dean Christoph Lindner.

University of Louisiana at Lafayette (1st Place Master Plan Category) – Titled “The Ripple Effect,” this project’s ambition reached beyond the borders of its own campus. Located in low-lying Southern Louisiana, the community of Lafayette often experiences extreme weather events that cause flooding and threaten infrastructure. With the support of the university’s Department of Sustainability, the team redesigned their campus to incorporate realistic, replicable green infrastructure practices that engage with the broader community to cultivate regional resiliency. Watch the team’s video about their project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6qMrIi7sLc

“The Ripple Effect is designed to improve infrastructure at UL Lafayette, and to provide a framework for using campus as a ‘living lab’ for researching and developing green infrastructure strategies that will benefit the entire community and region,” said Gretchen LaCombe Vanicor, director the Office of Sustainability at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

University of Arizona (2nd Place Demonstration Project Category) – With their project titled “(Re)Searching for a Spot,” this team proposed to transform a parking lot to manage stormwater runoff onsite, reduce local flooding during Arizona’s monsoon season, and create a multi-functional space that yields educational and ecological benefits. The design’s proximity to relevant research departments on-campus inspired the students to incorporate monitoring installations into the design to provide quantitative information on the environmental benefits of green infrastructure practices. Watch the team’s video about their project: https://youtu.be/UUxH6zG51kY

“We are so thankful to the EPA for providing this opportunity to have real-world project ideas submitted and evaluated by experts,” said Nancy Pollock-Ellwand, Dean of the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona. “Students not only have the opportunity to evaluate their local surroundings, but also to think critically about the immense damage that can be caused by urban flooding.”

Florida International University (2nd Place Master Plan Category) – The “EcoFlow” entry integrated multiple green infrastructure practices into a master plan design that emphasizes resilience. Located in South Florida, the university’s Modesto Maidique campus is susceptible to extreme weather events that are further exacerbated by dense development and low ground elevation. Using the existing design features of the campus, the team created an interconnected system that mitigates both stormwater pollution and flooding and enhances the recreational, educational, and aesthetic value of the campus. Watch the team’s video about their project: https://youtu.be/Ivf2g-IWsZA

“This project exemplifies the creativity and innovativeness we are cultivating here at FIU. Our students are dedicated problem solvers addressing real-world engineering challenges and work collaboratively alongside faculty and industry partners,” said John Volakis, dean of the FIU College of Engineering & Computing. “In this case, our civil engineering students introduced a design that incorporates green infrastructure elements. As a college, we couldn’t be more proud of their achievements.”

First place teams will receive a $2,000 student prize to be split among team members and a $3,000 faculty prize to support green infrastructure research and education. Second place teams will receive a $1,000 student prize and a $2,000 faculty prize.

About EPA
EPA is also pleased to recognize Utah State University for honorable mention in the Demonstration Project category and the University of Arizona for honorable mention in the Master Plan category.

Since 2012 more than 600 teams have participated in the challenge.

Green infrastructure tools and techniques for stormwater management include green roofs, permeable materials, alternative designs for streets and buildings, trees, habitat conservation, rain gardens, and rain harvesting systems. Utilizing these tools decreases pollution to local waterways by treating rain where it falls and keeping polluted stormwater from entering sewer systems. Communities are increasingly using innovative green infrastructure to supplement “gray” infrastructure such as pipes, filters and ponds. Green infrastructure reduces water pollution while increasing economic activity and neighborhood revitalization, job creation, energy savings, and open space.

For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/campusrainworks.

SOURCE: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
00 2019-04-25

Louisiana Tech cancels classes due to tornado damage

RUSTON, La - University President Les Guice says classes are being cancelled in order for school officials to assess the damage done to the campus from the tornado early Thursday morning.

Strong winds have knocked down power lines at Louisiana Tech University.

A confirmed tornado also caused damage as it busted out windows and created severe damage to the campus itself including the baseball field.

Andy Pederson
Significant tornado damage in Ruston, Louisiana. @MyArkLaMiss @jarodfloyd @ReidLybarger @BrianBriggsWX

2:55 AM - Apr 25, 2019
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00 2019-04-24
Baton Rouge

'HBCU Day at the Capitol' to be held April 24

BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC - Beyonce' has the entire world interested in the culture of Historically Black Colleges and Universities after the recent release of her Netflix documentary entitled 'Homecoming'.

The HBCU Advisory Council, along with Southern University System, Dillard University, Xavier University, and Grambling State University, will host “HBCU Day at the Capitol.”

This is an historic event where the state’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCU), newly created HBCU Advisory Council, and the higher education governing board, Louisiana Board of Regents, showcase and highlight the institution's recent accomplishments to higher education and its contributions to the state and region's economic impact and workforce demands.

The presidents from each university and commissioner Kim Hunter Reed are slated to make remarks at an 11 a.m press conference in the Governor's Press Room at the Capitol. The HBCUnique Presentation will feature the pep bands from Southern University and Grambling State University, cheerleaders, and student organizations.

Below is the tentative schedule for the day:

9 a.m.- 4 p.m.- Campus Displays

Location: Capitol Rotunda

11 a.m.- HBCU Day Press Conference

Location: Governor’s Press Room

Noon- HBCUnique Presentation

Location: Capitol Steps/ House Patio

1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.- Chamber Presentations

3:00 p.m.- HBCU Advisory Council Meeting

Location: Governor’s Press Room

00 2019-04-24

Sutton named Southeastern Alumnus of the Year

00 2019-04-24

Funds needed for Restore the Roy

00 2019-04-24

EPA Applauds UL Lafayette for Storm Water Management Efforts

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette made a splash with its storm water management plan.

Its plan – entitled The Ripple Effect: Community Cultivated, Regionally Replicated – won the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2018 Campus RainWorks Challenge in the Master Plan category. Forty-nine colleges and universities participated in the competition.

The plan outlines campus “green infrastructure” initiatives. The term refers to processes designed to decrease, slow and filter water that flows into drainage systems from buildings, streets and sidewalks.

Green infrastructure combats flooding and pollution. It has been a growing consideration for designers and developers in recent years, thanks to changing construction regulations geared toward sustainable building practices, said Gretchen LaCombe Vanicor, director of UL Lafayette’s Office of Sustainability.

The office released The Ripple Effect plan late last year. Methods being implemented or planned by the University include creating bioswales, installing rainwater collection systems and using permeable building materials.

A focus on sustainable building practices has become increasingly important, in part, “because of the large amount of rainfall we receive in this part of the country,” Vanicor said.

She cited unprecedented flooding in August 2016 that swamped 56 of 64 parishes in Louisiana, killed 13 people and caused billions of dollars in damage. In south Louisiana, more than 30 inches of rain fell. The deluge, which the National Weather Service characterized as a 1,000-year flood, left the state reeling.

“The flood demonstrated that our region – like many – can’t adequately handle extreme rain events. The Ripple Effect is designed to make our campus a ‘living lab’ for researching and developing green infrastructure strategies that will benefit and influence public officials, developers, businesses and homeowners,” Vanicor explained.

The first phase of the tiered Ripple Effect includes planting native grasses, provided by the University’s Ecology Center, along the banks of Coulee Mine. The coulee, which runs through the city and campus, funnels storm water into the Vermilion River.

Planting prairie grasses lessens erosion, helps filter contaminants and slows the rate at which water drains from campus.

Another initiative to help diminish the amount of water pouring into drainage systems will be the continued placement of retention ponds near new campus developments, said Bill Crist, director of Facility Management. Retention ponds have been dug for buildings at the University’s Research Park. One will also be positioned near the Heritage at Cajun Village residential apartments, which are being constructed at the corner of Johnston and East Lewis streets.

“Retention ponds reduce the risk for flash flooding because they fill with water that would otherwise pour into drainage systems very quickly,” Crist explained.

Another initial goal of the University’s green infrastructure plan is to increase the number of bioswales on campus. The shallow troughs hold plants and other vegetation. They act as sieves to remove silt and contaminants from rainwater.

Student volunteers collaborating with the Office of Sustainability and the Office of Facility Management have installed two bioswales. One sits between Burke-Hawthorne and V.L. Wharton halls. Another is between Oliver and Madison halls.

Future phases of The Ripple Effect include constructing sidewalks and parking lots with permeable pavement that absorbs rainwater instead of repelling it. Rainfall absorbed by permeable pavement eventually seeps into the ground, which lessens runoff from cascading onto rain-saturated green spaces.

A longer-range project involves installation of an aquifer storage and recovery system – a specialized well that holds excess rainwater. The stored water can be injected into the Chicot Aquifer.

Olivia LaHaye, a graduate student in civil engineering, is one of several student researchers who contributed to The Ripple Effect. As part of her master’s thesis, she is conducting a feasibility study to research processes for replenishing the Chicot Aquifer.

Water is being pumped from the massive underground layer of water in southwest Louisiana more quickly than it can be replaced by nature. Without a steady supply of freshwater, saltwater is infiltrating the aquifer from coastal areas.

“Surface reservoirs are one of the most common methods for storing water that could be used to replenish the aquifer, but that water is vulnerable to evaporation, seepage and contamination,” LaHaye explained.

Blair Begnaud and other architecture students helped LaCombe compile research for The Ripple Effect. Among many duties, she researched areas of campus where water tended to pool and potential ways sustainable architectural design could be integrated into campus buildings constructed long ago.

Begnaud also collaborated with University offices, departments and other students who assisted the Office of Sustainability.

The work has influenced her career path, as did the fact that her own house flooded in 2016.

She will start a job at an architectural firm in Fayetteville, Arkansas after she earns her master’s degree in May. “Sustainability projects, including city planning, will be part of my responsibilities. It makes me both proud and confident that I studied at a University that is a national leader in storm water management.”

The EPA award brings more than a pat on the back for a job well done.

For its win, the University received a $5,000 prize. “The money will be put right back into storm water-mitigation related projects, and to support research and education,” Vanicor said.

Learn more about The Ripple Effect
00 2019-04-24

ULM Alumni host annual Wine Over Water, April 25

The ULM Alumni Association and the Ouachita Parish Alumni Chapter are hosting Wine Over Water on the ULM campus bridge, April 25 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The event supports scholarship funds as proceeds from the night benefit the Spirit of the Warhawk Endowed Scholarship.

The Spirit of the Warhawk Endowed Scholarship supports local students pursuing their undergraduate degree at ULM. A ticket purchase ensures students of northeast Louisiana can continue to strive for academic excellence and ease the financial burden. Numerous scholarships have been awarded since the event’s inception.

Food from over 25 local restaurants will be featured at the event. Wine will be provided by Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, and beer provided by Marsala Beverage. Each attendee will receive a commemorative wine glass, sunset boat rides on the bayou with B&L Marine and entertainment featuring Flashback 5. Tickets are $60. The evening’s attire is dressy casual.

The Tonore’s Cork Pull is back by popular demand. With over 50 bottles of wine up for grabs, you can purchase a cork for $25 and take home a mystery bottle. No bottles are valued at less than $25, but many are worth more.

In addition, a Patron Party will be held prior to Wine Over Water. The event will begin at 6 p.m. and last until 7:30 p.m. in the ULM Library, on the seventh floor. Tickets are $125 each and entertainment will be provided by Rod Allen Payne and Trevor Davis.

Tickets are available online at ulm.edu/wine, by calling 318-342-5420, or at the Laird Weems Center now located at 4400 Bon Aire Drive. Office hours are Monday – Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
00 2019-04-24
New Orleans

New AD: UNO hires Northeastern University's Tim Duncan to replace Derek Morel

00 2019-04-24
New Orleans

Water Institute of the Gulf celebrates opening in UNO Research and Technology Park

00 2019-04-24

What’s Really Behind Employers’ Interest in Education?

’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.

Is there more than self-interest behind employers’ interest in education?
Employers aren’t shy when it comes to complaining about colleges’ faults in preparing students for the workplace. Isn’t that more than a little tiresome sometimes? The lack of specificity. The nostalgia for the days when college grads supposedly showed up at their first jobs fully ready to tackle their assignments. And when did all of this become the job of colleges? Don’t employers have some responsibility, too?

I wrestled with these issues in writing the new Chronicle report, “Career Ready Education: Beyond the Skills Gap, Tools and Tactics for an Evolving Economy.” Even if I weren’t the author, I would tell you that this report is a really useful guide for understanding and responding to the changing landscape of hiring and credentials, with practical advice for college leaders and employers alike on how to collaborate on programs, services, and even facilities that will improve students’ employability. My bottom line: Colleges can make these adaptations without becoming overly reactive or reductive. And they need to.

That doesn’t mean employers should be let off the hook. But I’m not holding my breath.

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For a section of the report called “Voices of Employers,” we asked business leaders to weigh in on how colleges could work more effectively with employers.That’s in the report. But I also wondered what they were doing on their own.

So with the help of Sara Lipka, a Chronicle senior editor (and the editor of the report), we also posed this question: What one thing should employers do to ensure that new hires and existing staff members get the skills they need to be successful?

Here’s what we heard.

Michael Bokina, vice president and head of human resources, Siemens USA:
Employers should invest in their people and provide platforms that help employees own their careers. Siemens does this by investing $50 million annually in continuing education for U.S. employees. We also leverage our advanced manufacturing apprenticeship program to help both new and existing staff access technical and classroom training.

Scot McLemore, manager of talent acquisition and deployment, Honda:
Employers must actively engage their employees and provide learning opportunities that allow their employees to continue to develop higher-level skills. The learning should be aligned with skills and knowledge required in positions within the organization. If possible, an industry-recognized certificate or credential should be an outcome of the learning.

Glenn E. Johnson, head of work-force development, BASF North America:
Provide a structured training program that is based on competency modeling and job and task analysis instead of learn-as-you-go training that is wholly time-based, and provide those analyses and models to the education programs in their community that develop future workers.

Mohamad Ali, president and chief executive officer, Carbonite:
Providing ongoing employer-sponsored skills training both internally and externally not only helps develop and retain talent, but it also helps drive innovation within those companies to remain competitive on a local and global scale.

Marie Artim, vice president for talent acquisition, Enterprise Holdings:
Employers must prove their commitment to developing employees and providing internal opportunities for growth. As a promote-from-within organization, we believe in the concept of building versus buying talent, and we recognize the importance of consistently training and developing individuals as they take on new roles.

Obviously, that is a small sample, but the self-interest implicit in the answers is telling. Likewise, even as companies like Starbucks, McDonald's, Uber, and Walmart pay for college courses for employees (and as colleges maneuver to capture a slice of that market), it’s clear that many employers see investing in education as a way to benefit themselves — improving employee retention, for example. No crime in that, but let’s also be clear about how significant it really is.

Tuition benefits for employees are nice, but they go only so far. I was reminded of that this weekend when I spotted a stream of comments that lit up Twitter from Abigail Disney, a documentarian who is a granddaughter and grandniece of the Disney Company’s two founders. As part of a longer thread that criticized the inequity of the company’ overall salary structure, she highlighted just how difficult it can be for low-wage workers to take advantage of the company’s tuition benefit.

What’s more, only about half of all employers even cover the cost of college tuition for their employees, per the latest survey from the Society for Human Resource Management. And according to Ryan Craig, an author and investor, half of all spending on education for people over the age of 25 comes from a select group of large companies; employees who work elsewhere are on their own.

Many in the education world paint a sunnier picture. At the ASU GSV Summit this month, I heard Frank Britt, CEO of the education company Penn Foster, declare that employer-providing training for middle-skills workers is now “the new normal.” OK, but that’s a sector where job openings now exceed the supply of job seekers.

I found myself agreeing much more with one of his fellow panelists, Deval Patrick, a former governor of Massachusetts, who recalled how the last recession had shown so many people how vulnerable they were to job losses and wage stagnation. He reminded the audience that all this talk about employer-provided training wouldn’t help workers who don’t have an employer “or may no longer have one.”

All of which is to say, employers may continue to play a role in promoting education and training, and the more of that the better. But let’s not fool ourselves into counting on that support as any kind of replacement for the public commitment to broad education that we need, as a society, to keep our democracy strong. As useful as employers can be in helping to shape curricula and services (as I learned in reporting “Career-Ready Education”) their interests can also be narrow. And if economic conditions darken, employers can become fickle patrons.

When we talk about college parents, often that means students, too
Is it any wonder we’re hearing more and more about a “two generation” strategy designed to improve access to higher education for older students by providing child care and other assistance?

More than one in five college students — 22 percent of all undergraduates — are parents, according to new analysis of data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study. Of the 3.8 million students who are raising children while in college, roughly 2.7 million are mothers and 1.1 million are fathers. Among the mothers, 62 percent are single parents.

The number of students who are parents has declined since 2011-12 by 20 percent — more than the decline in enrollment overall during the same period. But as this report from the Ascend program at the Aspen Institute and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research shows, the reasons are mixed.

Some parents, it says, probably chose not to enroll because they found jobs after the recession and were deterred by “the rising cost of college in combination with the continued high cost of non-tuition expenses like child care, housing, and transportation.” For them, the benefits of working won out over college.

Also, the report notes, “the closure of more than 100 for-profit colleges between 2012 and 2016 probably also contributed to parents’ decreased share of the student body.” For more, click here to download the full analysis.

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 editions, or sign up to receive your own copy, you can do so here.

This article is part of:

The Edge: Newsletter Archives
00 2019-04-23

Southeastern doctorate program in nursing named best in state

The Southeastern Louisiana University Doctor of Nursing Practice Program has been recognized as the Nursing School of the Year in Advanced Practice by the Louisiana Nurses Foundation.

The award recognizes a school of nursing offering formal education for registered nurses seeking a graduate degree for advanced clinical practice roles, as well as nursing administration, nursing education and research.

00 2019-04-23

Nicholls to create new coastal studies center

A new coastal studies center is in the works for Nicholls State University’s campus, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced this afternoon.

The new center will be the fruit of a newly announced partnership between the Nicholls, the state and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.

Edwards, CPRA head Chip Kline and Nicholls President Jay Clune signed a memorandum of understanding today to make the partnership official.

In his remarks about the announcement, Clune called the partnership “vitally important” as Nicholls’ student body largely comes from such areas as Houma, Raceland and Grand Isle that are in jeopardy due to Louisiana’s land loss and coastal erosion issues.

“They’re among the most environmentally threatened student populations on Earth,” said Clune. “Students will be participants in saving their homes.”

According to a press release from the governor’s office, the center will focus its studies on the Terrebonne and Atchafalaya basins, creating models to aid coastal protection projects in the region.

“This is the beginning of a partnership where we can focus our attention on the Atchafalaya River and the potential for it to be a restoration tool for the Terrebonne Basin,” Edwards said. “The Terrebonne Basin has the highest rate of land loss of any basin along our coast, and it presents some of the most difficult conditions for us to implement projects.”

Kline said the partnership between CPRA and Nicholls is “a natural fit.”

“Partnerships such as this are a necessary and beneficial aspect of the business of coastal management in Louisiana,” Kline said in a press release.

The announcement came while dozens of leaders in coastal restoration were in Baton Rouge for Coastal Day, an event aiming to educate lawmakers about the efforts along the coast.

No timeline for the creation of the center has been provided.

Nicholls’ partnership with the state came less than a week after the university entered into an agreement with the University of New Orleans that will make it easier for students enrolled in Nicholls’ geomatics program to transfer into UNO’s engineering program.

That agreement was designed to promote more students entering the field of coastal engineering.

Staff Writer Halle Parker can be reached at 857-2204 or hparker@houmatoday.com. Follow her on Twitter at @_thehalparker.

00 2019-04-23

Photos: Class Acts -- Check out these local students

00 2019-04-23


A Senate Bill could see a change in public high schools allowing every junior and senior to take two college courses free of charge starting next school year. It’s an effort that’s got the support of Gov. John Bel Edwards. Higher Ed Commissioner Kim Hunter Reed said while Louisiana does offer dual enrollment, there isn’t universal access for students.

“It’s all over the place in who pays, and what access students have, so we want a statewide framework so that every student, every junior and senior has access to dual enrollment courses,” said Hunter Reed.

Hunter Reed said the state Board of Regents is looking into ways to keep the students from having to foot the bill on dual enrollment classes following a fee-shaming study that was conducted last year.

“A lot of the conversation was around lunch fee shaming, but what I understand was there was when there was a study commissioned, a lot of the discussion was around dual enrollment,” said Hunter Reed.

Hunter Reed said emphasizing the importance of college through easier access to dual enrollment is a message that needs to be given to students.

“They begin there college journey early and we say to every student, ‘You are going beyond high school, you’ve got to do that,’ I think that’s very important, so the signalling is important,” said Hunter Reed.
00 2019-04-23
Lake Charles

McNeese to offer STEM Academy summer program

00 2019-04-23
Lake Charles

Community gets behind Senior Games

00 2019-04-23
Lake Charles


00 2019-04-23
Lake Charles

MAP Ping out progress

00 2019-04-23
Lake Charles

Industries among top taxpayers in parish

00 2019-04-23
Lake Charles

McNeese art exhibit shines light on importance of recycling

00 2019-04-23

Tech team finishes in Top 10 in international debate championship

Against more than 80 other competitors, Louisiana Tech junior political science major Leah Hannah was Champion of the Varsity Division in the recent 2019 International Public Debate Association (IPDA) National Championship, the top achievement in an exceptional performance by Tech’s team.

Tech placed in the Top 10 of more than 40 schools nationwide that competed in the tournament co-hosted by Tech, Bossier Parish Community College, and LSU-Shreveport. Tech was 11th in the nation in Season Long (total points added up for each tournament all year), and sixth nationally in both the Varsity and Professional divisions.

Maura Yeagle, junior communication major, and Steve Garcia, junior political science major, were seventh in the nation for Season Long Team Debate.

Nate Foster, senior accounting major, was one of the top speakers in Team Debate at the tournament.

Yeagle and Rachel Madore, a senior engineering major, and Garcia and Katie McKenzie, a junior engineering major, also were double octo-finalists in Team Debate.

Senior engineering major Seth McReynolds, junior political science major Kendrick Kruskie, and both Cody Kitchens and Charlie McBride, each a junior computer science major, helped the team place in tournament’s Top 10.

Junior communication major Madison Dunn, and sophomore biology major Brye Edwards served as judges at the tournament.

Hannah and Megan Smith, the team’s coach, travel to West Chester University in Pennsylvania the final week in April for the Interstate Oratorical Society National Tournament, the oldest speech competition in the nation. Hanna qualified for the tournament in persuasive speaking when she won first place in Louisiana with her persuasive speech at the Southern Forensics Championship Tournament in January.

The purpose of Tech’s Debate Team is to promote rhetoric, argumentation, education, and forensic skills. For more information, contact Smith in Tech’s Department of Communication at megan@latech.edu.
00 2019-04-23

ULM’s Prasai wins first place for photo taken in NYC

A photo by Prajal Prasai, a 21-year-old junior in Communication at the University of Louisiana Monroe, earned a first place award at the Spring National College Media Association Convention in New York City.

The annual conference is primarily for journalism students. Staff from ULM’s student newspaper The Hawkeye, where Prasai is the co-managing editor for art, attended to learn techniques, share knowledge and connect with professionals and peers. Prasai said he is fascinated by NYC and thanked The Hawkeye for the opportunity to attend the convention in March, 2019.

Prasai, from Lalitpur, Nepal, and fellow student photojournalists from universities across the country were challenged to roam the streets of NYC in an on-site photography competition held during the convention.

Prasai’s photograph “Free the Spirit” is a black and white scene in a crowded NYC subway. Prasai photographed a moment of mood and movement of the main people in the photo, and the action surrounding them.

“I wanted to capture something that reflects the life of people in a big city. For me, knowing and learning about people and their lifestyles is very critical in understanding this world we live in. Knowing other people’s lives and struggles (will) make you compassionate, caring, kind and tolerant. So, I was looking for stories that moved my heart. The guy, Eddie, gave his last remaining $3 to the guitarist, and I was just very surprised and moved. I had to tell his story,” said Prasai.

The ULM junior credits Srdjan Marjanovic, Creative Director, and Emerald McIntyre, Digital Media Editor, both with the Office of Marketing and Communications; Siddharth Gaulee, former Hawkeye Art Director and photographer; and Dr. Christopher Mapp, Director of Student Publications, for providing him with critiques, motivation and vast opportunities which he said have made him the photographer he is today. Prasai is also a student photographer with the Office of Marketing and Communications.

“They have always motivated me to push my limits, have constantly critiqued my work, and have imparted their priceless wisdom whenever I needed,” Prasai said.

Prasai started his photography journey in January 2017. He plans to attend graduate school in pursuit of a Master of Fine Arts in Photography.

“Hopefully, I will get to attend some good art schools. After that, it’s another adventure to the unknown” he said.
00 2019-04-23

NSU Department promoting Burroughs Scholarship

00 2019-04-23

Student work featured in New Media Showcase

00 2019-04-23
New Orleans

UNO selects Tim Duncan as new athletic director

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The University of New Orleans announced Monday that the school has selected Tim Duncan as its new athletic director.

Duncan, a Memphis native, is currently the deputy athletic director for external affairs at Northeastern University in Boston.

He has held leadership roles at both NCAA Division I and Division II institutions, including serving as director of athletics on two different occasions.

“We conducted a very thorough national search, and I could not be more excited to have Tim join the University and lead Privateer athletics,” UNO President John Nicklow said. “Our athletic successes and national reputation are growing, and I believe Tim brings the energy, experience and the excellence to further elevate our program. We share the same vision, enthusiasm and entrepreneurial attitude.”

Within Northeastern University’s 18-sport NCAA Division I program, Duncan oversees the external affairs unit, comprised of communications, corporate sponsorships, fundraising, marketing and game day experience, ticket sales and operations, and video production. During his tenure, donations, corporate partnerships and ticket revenue have all increased.

In October, Duncan spearheaded a marketing campaign known nationally at #HowlinHuskies, a rebranding of the Northwestern Athletics logos package. “The University of New Orleans has everything I wanted in a job: a visionary president, an institution with academic rigor, coaches and staff committed to winning with integrity and developing young leaders and, most importantly, a great city in which my wife, Lisa, and I can raise our children Tyson, Turner and Tatum,” Duncan said. Prior to his time at Northeastern, Duncan worked exclusively in the South. He was director of athletics at Division II Clayton State University in Morrow, Georgia from 2014-2018. He also served as director of athletics at Paine College, a Division II HBCU located in Augusta, Georgia, from 2011-2014.

Duncan will be introduced at a news conference in the Homer Hitt Alumni and Visitors Center ballroom at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30.

Copyright 2019 WVUE. All rights reserved.
00 2019-04-23
New Orleans

UNO names Tim Duncan as new athletic director

00 2019-04-23

Tim Duncan: Way Down Yonder In New Orleans

The French have a saying – C’est toujours le bon moment – which in English translates to, “It’s always the right moment.”

In many ways, these words define the city of New Orleans. A forgotten jewel on the end of a golden river that runs through the heart of our country, often overlooked and underestimated, but never outshined.

There is a quiet energy that courses through the city, one of great optimism and hope. You can hear its whisper as you walk down St. Charles and Esplanade, like the soft rumble of the trumpet growing ever so louder until you become enveloped in the jubilee of the revelers on Bourbon. The tides rise and fall, but the citizens of the Big Easy always remain even keeled as they navigate whatever obstacles come their way. To them, opportunity is not some nostalgia of the past or a dream of the future. Opportunity is right now.

That is why there is no better institution positioned to seize the moment and start something great than the University of New Orleans. Like the city whose name it carries, the university is filled with people who carry that same energy and enthusiasm, and all who are eager to share it with the rest of the world. And it’s the Privateers that have the opportunity – or perhaps better yet the responsibility – of carrying the iconic fleurs-de-lis flag across college athletics.

From the moment I stepped on to the campus of UNO and the shores of Lake Pontchartrain, I knew there was simply no other place like it. The Southland Conference is full of great institutions, but none can come close to offering what UNO does –the beauty of the campus and the magical spirit of a great American city – can be seen and felt everywhere. Even more exciting is the great potential of the university to sync even further with the people of New Orleans. Much like I experienced as a student-athlete at the University of Memphis, I know what great pride a university in the heart of a city can bring its populous.

For an organization to have an opportunity to build and sustain a culture of success, there must be strong vision and leadership from the top, and Dr. John Nicklow is exactly the type of President that an athletics director dreams of working for. A former Division I student-athlete himself, Dr. Nicklow has a tremendous appreciation for what a strong sports program can do for a university, both within the local community as well as nationally. At New Orleans, athletics will no longer just be a small part of the larger campus portfolio, it will become a cornerstone of the university and a fundamental part of its long-term strategic mission.

To properly execute on this strategy, I have to stay true to my own core values, ones which I have built around my own initials – Teamwork, Accessibility, Discernment and Service (TAD’S):

Teamwork: As a basketball player at Memphis playing alongside the likes of Penny Hardaway, my job was to play good defense, grab rebounds, set picks, and make sure my teammates looked good. My role as athletic director at New Orleans will be no different. I have to remove obstacles from the paths of our student athletes and coaches so that they can shine.

Accessibility: My greatest responsibility as an athletics director is to ensure that each of our student-athletes is maximizing their athletic and academic experience to help propel them to success after they graduate. That means developing a relationship with each of them, being present in their lives, and creating an inclusive environment in which their opinion matters as much as mine.

Discernment: Decisions are based on judgement, and your judgement is based on you experience. If the Privateers are to reach our full potential, it will require the collective experience and wisdom of everyone in our organization. It’s my job to channel all of that intellectual capital into processes that help us move closer to achieving our goals.

Service: There is no place in our great country that rallies behind its own like New Orleans; service to others is an inexorable part of being a citizen of the Crescent City. The Privateers will embrace their brothers and sisters in the community, roll up their sleeves, and give back in ways that will serve as a shining example for athletic programs everywhere.

When I arrive on campus this summer, I will have to hit the ground running. With the help of Dr. Nicklow, his cabinet, the coaches and administrators within Athletics, I plan on having 100 meetings in 100 days (#100meetings100days) with the people in the greater New Orleans community who we identify as most critical to the success of our athletics program. It is our goal to make the Privateers athletics department the most intertwined program in the country when it comes to its hometown. That starts with ensuring that everyone in the university and greater NOLA community has an opportunity to contribute to and have ownership of our vision.

Of course, that vision starts with the great administrators and coaches who are already part of the UNO athletics program. I plan to meet with each and everyone of them too, and the first thing I will ask is: (1) What are the top 5 things you want to see changed, and (2) What are the top 5 things you’re afraid of being changed? The answer to these questions and more, will help me build a road-map for strengthening the culture of our athletics department. I have no expectation that everyone will embrace my core values, which is why it will be critical that we as a department define our own operating principles based on what is important to UNO Athletics.

Above all, I’m incredibly excited to meet and begin working with the hundreds of students and athletes who carry with them the hopes and dreams of the university community and its local populous. As I have learned from my current boss and mentor Jeff Konya, this new generation of student-athletes – Gen Z – wants their voices to be heard and their influence felt. That is why they will see me early and often, whether it be on campus, on the sidelines during practices and games, and perhaps even taking in a few classes with them. To the same end, I hope to see them in my office regularly, and look forward to hosting them on leadership retreats and town hall events around campus.

While there is little question that the we will face great challenges in our mission to transform the Privateers into a truly national athletics program. But the challenge to create something great and beautiful is one that the city and the people of New Orleans have been faced with before, and just like they have done in the past, will prove yet again that they have the resolve and resilience to do whatever it takes to see things through.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!
00 2019-04-23

Warren’s Free-College Plan Would Cancel Student Debt for Millions

Sen. Elizabeth A. Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat running for president, issued a $1.25-trillion plan on Monday that would cancel most student-loan debt and make every public college free.

The plan, unveiled in a blog post, would cancel up to $50,000 each in student-loan debt for 42 million Americans, wiping it out entirely for three-quarters of those borrowers.

It would also allow any American to attend a two- or four-year public college “without paying a dime in tuition or fees,” Warren’s post said.

The senator dismissed as “nonsense” complaints that her plan, which would cost an estimated $1.25 trillion over 10 years, was unaffordable. The cost would be more than covered, she wrote, by what she called an “ultra-millionaire tax,” a 2-percent annual tax on the 75,000 families in the United States worth at least $50 million.

The plan, which was welcomed by supporters as a bold move to eliminate crushing debts holding many families back, was criticized by others as a waste of money that subsidizes people who can afford to pay for college.

Warren said her plan would help reduce inequities of wealth between white and minority families. It would do that, in part, by canceling at least a portion of the debt of more than 95 percent of the nearly 45 million Americans who owe money on student loans, she said.

Warren added that her plan would stimulate economic growth and allow more people to buy homes and start small businesses. “Once we’ve cleared out the debt that’s holding down an entire generation of Americans,” she wrote, “we must ensure that we never have another student debt crisis again.”

The debt burden, Warren wrote, is a result of the government’s consistently putting the interests of wealthy people ahead of those of working families.

“Policy makers stood by as state after state pulled back on investments in public higher education and sent tuition soaring,” she wrote. “They stood by as for-profit colleges exploded, luring in students with false promises and loading them up with debt as their executives and investors raked in billions in taxpayer dollars. They stood by as employers demanded higher credentials while offloading the cost of getting those credentials onto workers.”

At a time when American families have more than $1.5 trillion in student-loan debt, the movement for some form of free college, which was pushed into the background after President Trump was elected, is once again picking up steam.

Democratic candidates have been staking out proposals; some would limit free tuition to two-year colleges or impose income limitations, while others would cover living expenses as well as tuition and fees.

Meanwhile, two other Democrats — Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin — have introduced the Debt-Free College Act. It would provide federal matching funds to states that help students pay the full cost of attending a two-year or four-year college.

Warren’s proposal drew mixed reviews on social media.

Mark Huelsman, a senior policy analyst at Demos, a left-leaning think tank, tweeted that Warren’s proposal would help ensure that the nontuition costs that create the biggest barriers for low-income students would be covered.

Donald E. Heller, provost at the University of San Francisco, criticized the plan on Twitter: “One of the worst #HigherEd financing proposals ever — millions of people would enjoy a huge consumer surplus they don’t need or deserve. Hopefully the other Dem candidates will do better.”

It would make more sense, Heller said in an interview on Monday, to use existing mechanisms like Pell Grants, which are based on financial need, to expand support for students. “But to sit here and allow the children of rich kids to go to the University of Michigan or the University of Virginia for free is absolutely ridiculous,” he said.

Warren’s plan would call for an additional $100 billion in Pell Grants over the next 10 years, and expanded eligibility for receiving the money.

Asked about the impact that Warren’s plan could have on private institutions like his, Heller said it could force some of them to close. Meanwhile, flooding public colleges that already have low graduation rates with more students could make it even harder for those institutions to graduate students on time, he argued.

Income-Based Proposal

Sara Goldrick-Rab, a professor of higher-education policy and sociology at Temple University who has long championed free college, said it was wrong to consider tuition breaks to wealthier students as giveaways. They’re simply a political necessity, she wrote in an email.

“A former community-college student struggling with $5,000 in debt while raising two kids will get a smaller amount of debt forgiven under this program than a former Penn student now employed who might have $50,000 paid off,” she wrote, “but make no mistake about it, it will change the life of that former CC student and her kids, and not change the life of the Penn student nearly as much.

“But we won’t be able to get the former CC student loan forgiveness (or free tuition) without helping her wealthier counterparts,” she wrote.

Tiffany Jones, director of higher-education policy at the Education Trust, said that while the price tag on the Warren proposal is steep, “I don’t think you can touch issues of affordability and student success on the cheap, which is what a lot of people have tried to do.”

The plan would cancel $50,000 in student-loan debt for those with household incomes under $100,000. The amount canceled would be reduced by $1 for every $3 in income above $100,000. So, for example, someone earning $130,000 would get $40,000 in debt cancellation, while a person with a household income of $160,000 would have $30,000 canceled. No debt would be canceled for those earning more than $250,000.

Jones said that she appreciated Warren’s attempt to do the most for students who need it most, but that she would like to see a broader consideration of a family’s financial position. That’s necessary, she said, to adequately address the wealth gap between white students and students of color.

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Warren’s plan also calls for barring for-profit colleges from receiving any federal money, including military benefits and federal student loans, “after an appropriate transition period.” She accused those colleges of using taxpayer money “to enrich themselves while targeting lower-income students, service members, and students of color, and leaving them saddled with debt.”

Steve Gunderson, president of Career Education Colleges and Universities, which represents for-profit colleges, blasted the proposal in an email on Monday.

“Senator Warren has finally disclosed her true endgame,” he wrote. “She, like too many voices in the public sector today, are so opposed to the very existence of small family businesses that she now proposes to eliminate the very sector that was created to provide midlevel career skills education and continues to do so today.”

Warren’s plan would also create a fund of at least $50 billion for historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions. And it would provide extra federal money to states that demonstrate substantial improvement in enrollment and graduation rates for lower-income students and students of color.

Neal McCluskey, director of the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute, a conservative think tank, dismissed the proposal as a “massive waste” of money.

“People go to college, and often take on loans to do so, at least in part to greatly increase their lifetime earnings,” he wrote in an email. “It is unfair that they should not have to repay the taxpayers who had no choice but to give them that money, on the terms the borrowers voluntarily agreed to.”

Ending tuition and fees at public colleges, he argued, would force taxpayers “to fund the private gain of students, especially students from more well-to-do families, who tend disproportionately to go to college.”

Beth Akers, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, also criticized Warren’s proposal. “It’s hard for me to stomach the idea of billing the masses, about two-thirds of whom don’t benefit from the earnings power afforded by a college degree, so that college graduates can enjoy the fruits of their education without the hindrance of having to pay for it,” she wrote in an email.

Pete Boyle, a spokesman for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, said private colleges weren’t the only ones that could suffer under Warren’s proposal. State colleges in New England and other regions that rely on out-of-staters would lose those students if they could stay in their home states and attend college free, he said.

A spokeswoman for the American Association of Colleges and Universities called the proposal a “bold, far-reaching effort to make college more affordable,” but added that the association would “need to carefully examine the implications of such a plan.”

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 2019-04-23

The Case for Pell in Prisons

Congress passed sentencing reform legislation in December that was widely regarded as the first major step in recent years to address mass incarceration. Now many involved in that fight are turning their focus to higher education.

A coalition of groups with a broad range of ideological positions is pushing to make repeal of the federal ban on Pell Grants for incarcerated students a top priority as talks heat up over reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, the law that oversees federal financial aid.

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Those organizations, including civil rights groups, religious colleges and conservative organizations, argue that college access for students behind bars is an issue of equity for postsecondary education and also the logical extension of efforts to end mass incarceration.

“For two years, all anyone has been talking about is 94 percent of people in prison are going to come home someday. This was a natural next step,” said Kevin Ring, president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums. “This is just saying, let’s allow people to use their time to improve themselves and to prepare themselves for returning home.”

Federal law has prohibited incarcerated students from receiving Pell Grants -- the primary form of need-based student aid -- for more than a quarter century. That’s limited the growth of college programs for people behind bars, while some sort of postsecondary credential has become ever more important to get a well-paying job.

But many conservatives in recent years, including Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, have expressed interest in supporting prison education. And the Trump administration has named financial aid for incarcerated students as a top priority for a new higher ed law.

Advocates for removing the ban saw one sign of progress this month, when Senator Brian Schatz, a Hawaii Democrat, reintroduced legislation to repeal the ban, with bipartisan support from Senator Mike Lee, a Utah Republican. Supporters are looking to win over lawmakers to support a repeal of the ban and to have Pell Grants for incarcerated students mentioned in the same breath as bail and sentencing reform.

“We’re in a moment where criminal justice reform has a lot of bipartisan support and momentum,” said Tiffany Jones, director of higher education policy at the Education Trust. “We want to build on that momentum at the federal level.”

Advocates also said the Second Chance Pell experiment, which was launched under the Obama administration and will soon enter its third year, could be an asset in winning more support for prison education. The experiment allowed a limited number of incarcerated students to receive Pell Grants while enrolled at participating colleges. So far, the program has awarded more than $35 million in aid to about 8,800 students, according to the Government Accountability Office.

In a listening session on the experiment this month, DeVos said the nation “benefits when former inmates are able to re-enter their communities and contribute in positive and meaningful ways.”

Next Steps

But significant hurdles remain to move the needle politically, including widespread misconceptions about how the Pell program works and about how lifting the ban would affect current students.

“We have to explain to folks that the Pell Grant is an entitlement program,” said Jones.

That means anyone who qualifies receives the grant, which provided a maximum award of about $6,000 this academic year. There isn’t a limited amount of Pell grants, so expanding eligibility would not prevent other students from receiving grants.

A Vera Institute report released in January found that most people in prison would qualify for postsecondary education but don’t receive the necessary financial support. Less than 10 percent of incarcerated individuals completed any postsecondary program in 2014, the latest year for which data is available.

The report also found that prison education increases the employment and earnings of formerly incarcerated people. And it argued that expanding postsecondary education would save $365 million per year in state spending on incarceration. The Vera report projected that if every eligible person in state prisons received a Pell Grant -- an unlikely possibility -- the total costs of the program would rise by only 10 percent. But the savings on other government spending would be much greater, it said.

Advocates who support repealing the ban have sought to knock down misconceptions in meetings with lawmakers and in events organized on Capitol Hill that target their staffers. Earlier this month, Ed Trust and the Institute for Higher Education Policy organized an event for mostly congressional staff members that was designed to simulate the re-entry challenges faced by formerly incarcerated people.

A debate also is likely to unfold over who qualifies for the grant -- would all incarcerated students be eligible? Or only nonviolent offenders and those without long-term sentences?

The Second Chance Pell experiment directed institutions to prioritize individuals who are set to be released within five years, although it did not bar financial aid for other incarcerated students. And the White House has backed "targeted" financial aid for incarcerated students who are eligible for release. A Democratic House proposal to reauthorize the Higher Education Act last year included a repeal of the ban without restrictions. Groups like Ed Trust and the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities are pushing for a similar “clean repeal” of the Pell ban.

“We think that all people are created with dignity and all people were created for a purpose,” said Shapri LoMaglio, vice president for government relations at the council. “We think that education gives people an opportunity to fulfill their purpose vocationally. That applies whether you’re a prisoner or not.”

Efforts to build support for repealing the Pell ban have brought together education policy advocates and criminal justice reformers who wouldn’t typically cross paths, as well as organizations with decidedly different politics.

“It’s amazing to go to these meetings and you see your archenemies in other areas,” said Arthur Rizer, director of criminal justice and civil liberties at R Street, a free-market think tank. “I’m not going to say we’re holding hands and singing, ‘Kumbaya.’”

In meetings with lawmakers, he argues lifting the Pell ban is an issue of supporting incarcerated individuals’ re-entry after prison. Blocking access to an education undermines the future chances of those individuals, Rizer said.

“This is taking FIRST STEP and making it real,” he said, referring to the new sentencing-reform law.

The Pell ban was installed as part of a 1994 crime bill that was passed at the height of the tough-on-crime era and is now widely viewed as draconian. Critics of mass incarceration say that punitive approach hasn't made communities safer and has exacerbated racial and economic inequality. Ring, the president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, who served 15 months in federal prison for his role in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, called the inclusion of the ban on Pell Grants "a nasty bit of spite." He and other advocates said the government instead should invest in individuals behind bars.

The FIRST STEP Act was seen as the first serious legislative effort to deliver on that critique of mass incarceration. The bill encountered vocal opposition from conservative lawmakers like Senator Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, and former attorney general Jeff Sessions. But figures like Kim Kardashian lobbied President Trump to support FIRST STEP.

Virginia Foxx, the ranking GOP member on the House education and labor committee, believes no person's potential should be ignored, a spokeswoman said. But Foxx doesn't support a repeal of the ban.

"We believe it's work-force development programs, not Pell, that can do the most good for incarcerated Americans, and that's where we should be looking," said Marty Boughton, a Foxx spokeswoman.

So far, most critics haven’t spoken out publicly against Pell Grants for incarcerated students. Instead, advocates have encountered mostly quiet opposition from some lawmakers who remain skeptical about lifting the ban. Meanwhile, others have indicated interest in continued prison education but have been hesitant to sign on to a bill.

Rizer said many conservatives still see support for education as a state issue, and some critics see the idea of incarcerated students receiving special benefits if the ban was dropped as a powerful argument.

But removing the Pell ban, he said, is “about making the program that already exists available to people who need it the most.”

Arguments for expanding access to Pell Grants have found a receptive audience with the officials who run many state correctional institutions. In a March Capitol Hill event, for example, Heidi Washington, director of the Michigan Department of Corrections, said the state will soon have 1,000 incarcerated students participating in the Second Chance Pell experiment.

That will save the state money, Washington said, by reducing the number of reoffenders. But it also has a profound impact on the environment of correctional institutions.

“The greatest impact is students discovering what they’re able to achieve when they’re given the opportunity to pursue an indication,” she said. “We look forward to ultimately lifting the ban so we can grow our numbers even more.”

An even more important key to winning over Republicans in Congress could be support from the White House. In a celebration of the FIRST STEP Act earlier this month, President Trump talked about his administration’s support for re-entry programs and for the Second Chance experiment.

“I think maybe more than anything else, we’re now proving that we are a nation that believes in redemption,” he said.
00 2019-04-22
Associated Press

National Urban League CEO Marc Morial to Address GSU Grads

00 2019-04-22
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00 2019-04-22

STEM awareness increased through new ‘Brain Food Truck’

Area students now have the opportunity to feed their minds with hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities through a new “vehicle.”

The Tangi STEM Coalition, of which Southeastern Louisiana University is a member, has successfully developed the “Brain Food Truck,” a mobile STEM lab to increase accessibility to STEM activities for youth in underserved communities.

00 2019-04-22

Crowds celebrate Good Friday on a deeper level through Living Stations of the Cross

00 2019-04-22
New Orleans

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00 2019-04-22

Beyoncé's 'Homecoming' on Netflix is an ode to black culture — and HBCU greatness

“When I decided to do Coachella, instead of me pulling out my flower crown, it was more important that I brought our culture to Coachella,” Beyoncé shares more than 30 minutes into “Homecoming,” her newly released Netflix concert documentary chronicling her historic headlining experience in 2018. “Our culture,” in this context, refers to black American culture, specifically that which has been preserved and nurtured at HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities).

As Charlamagne Tha God observed during his popular televised radio show, “The Breakfast Club,” even as Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z have become increasingly powerful and embraced by the mainstream, they have never abandoned their roots. Indeed, they have doubled down on their black identity, something that has traditionally not been true of popular black artists like Michael Jackson in the past.


Beyoncé's Coachella performance was an unprecedented celebration of black cultural influence in America
In an era where black kids are celebrated for their Ivy League acceptances, Beyoncé’s praise of HBCUs in “Homecoming” is a powerful affirmation of their continued value. Teenage Beyoncé’s desire to attend an HBCU is no newsflash for the millions of others like her who understand and respect HBCU history. Before earning a doctorate at Boston University, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta; Oprah Winfrey is an alum of Tennessee State University in Nashville; presidential candidate Kamala Harris graduated from Howard University in Washington D.C. In an age when so many of the lesser known HNBCU institutions like Bennett College in North Carolina are struggling to keep their doors open, Beyoncé shouting out their collective greatness from every corner of Coachella is a huge boost.


Beyoncé was raised on the grandeur of events like the Battle of the Bands, which she witnessed at Prairie View A&M, just north of her hometown of Houston. (In recent years, Honda has sponsored a popular version of the event in which Prairie View has competed.) Destiny’s Child, in its early stages, practiced at Texas Southern University, the HBCU in her hometown that Michael Strahan attended and where her father and former manager Mathew Knowles is a visiting professor. Black college homecomings thrive on theatrics. Every year is a challenge; how will you best last year’s performance?

Beyoncé’s decision to perform her music with a black college band — or a “black orchestra,” as she calls it in “Homecoming” — created a sound familiar to those of us who have attended the epic marching band clashes at various homecomings and “classics.” (The Bayou Classic, held every Thanksgiving weekend in New Orleans and aired on NBC, has pitted Louisiana school rivals Grambling State University and Southern University against each other for nearly 50 years.) The events have long included energetic covers of Beyoncé and Destiny’s Child songs, complemented by elaborate formations. At other schools, attendees may come to see the game; at black colleges, the halftime performance is the real draw. A good game is just a bonus.

Decades ago, halftime performances with dancers like the Prancing J-Settes from Jackson State University in Mississippi and the Stingettes from Alabama State University were some of the few times when black female beauty was truly celebrated. “Black women often feel underestimated. I wanted us to be proud of not only the show, but the process," Beyoncé says in "Homecoming." "I wanted everyone to feel thankful for their curves, their sass, their honesty — thankful for their freedom.” Beyoncé’s regality and electrifying showmanship in “Homecoming” isn’t new for fans of black college bands used to seeing women in this light. But its celebration on this large a platform is.

Beyoncé’s regality and electrifying showmanship in “Homecoming” isn’t new for fans of black college bands. But it is being presented on the biggest stage to date.

Beyoncé didn’t simply want to reference these traditions — she wanted to elevate and safeguard them for all the world to see. “Homecoming” makes this clear. Beyoncé’s attention to detail is impressive. At one point in “Homecoming,” she obsesses over making sure the greatness of the music gets its due in the film. She wants it to sound as amazing streaming on Netflix as it did live. For decades, many have carried that greatness around like a myth. Here, Beyoncé is committed to preserving it for posterity. There’s a reason why both Spike Lee’s “School Daze” and "Drumline" are treasured cult classics.

There's a popular belief that "a woman carries the culture." Beyoncé manifests that truth here. Towards the end of “Homecoming,” she whispers the words of the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing" in her oldest daughter Blue Ivy’s ear. When Blue Ivy sings it back, Beyoncé praises her, not only demonstrating how a mother loves and supports her child but also how a culture celebrates its traditions by passing them on to the next generation.

In “Homecoming,” Beyoncé lives up to a Maya Angelou quote featured in the documentary: “Tell the truth, to yourself first. And to the children. Live in the present, don’t deny the past. Live in the present, and know the charge on you is to make this country more than it is today.” By putting her culture — her black culture — on Coachella’s main stage with no apologies, she’s pushed black colleges and their traditions into the mainstream.
00 2019-04-18

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00 2019-04-18

Nicholls State University closed Thursday due to predicted severe weather

00 2019-04-18

National Urban League CEO to keynote Grambling State commencement

Grambling State University announced it will host Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League and president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, as keynote speaker at the spring commencement, at 10 a.m. May 10.

Morial, who leads the nation’s largest civil rights and urban advocacy effort, is well known for his local work as former mayor of New Orleans. His tenure as mayor included developing a broad multiracial coalition that led New Orleans’ 1990s renaissance and ended with a 70 percent approval rating.

As a lawyer, Morial won the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Award for his legal service to the underserved. He also was one of the youngest lawyers, at age 26, to argue and win a major case before the Louisiana Supreme Court.

“It’s an honor to host a transformational leader like Mr. Morial,” said GSU President Rick Gallot. “His experience in advocacy, service, and entrepreneurship offers an important perspective to our graduates as they prepare to change the world.”

Want to go?

What: Grambling State University Commencement, Spring 2019
When: 10 a.m. May 10
Where: Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center, Grambling State University, 100 N. Stadium Drive, Grambling
00 2019-04-18

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00 2019-04-18
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00 2019-04-18

The Future of Gen Ed

WASHINGTON -- General education is not simply filler for a student’s time in college beyond the major. Done well, gen ed can answer students’ questions about what college is, and why it matters.

Gen ed is also a great American contribution to higher education, affording students the time and space for intellectual exploration, and teaching them to learn to think in different ways.

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Yet general education is under threat. Politicians question the value of it, specifically requirements that aren’t explicitly job oriented. Students don’t always get it. And creating and adopting a strong general education program demands much of already time- if not resource-strapped professors and their institutions.

Is gen ed worth the fight? Speakers at Wednesday’s Inside Higher Ed Leadership Series event, The Future of Gen Ed, think so. The sold-out all-day meeting, held at Gallup's headquarters here, featured conversations on why general education matters more than ever, along with data-driven arguments for gen ed. Other speakers offered thoughts on challenges and lessons learned in their own institutions’ gen ed reforms, and whether diversity should be a program requirement.

‘A Common Commitment’

Geoffrey Harpham, visiting scholar and senior fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University and former president and director of the National Humanities Center, talked about the namesake figure of his 2018 book on the “golden age” of education, What Do You Think, Mr. Ramirez?: The American Revolution in Education. Harpham once met a Mr. Ramirez (that’s a pseudonym) during a campus visit and described how general education transformed the man’s life.

Ramirez went from being a penniless Cuban refugee in 1960s Florida who spoke no English to a professor emeritus of comparative literature. The turning point was when he enrolled in a community college and was forced to take a course on Shakespeare. A professor asked him what he thought about some topic of discussion -- the first time anyone had ever done so. Ramirez was too embarrassed to answer at the time, as he thought he had nothing to say and “no thoughts at all.”

But of course he did have thoughts and things to say. He just needed someone to ask him the right question.

Harpham said he’s under no illusion that we’ll return to that golden age of general education. But he said he does hold out hope that general education survives as a powerful democratizing force and a “common commitment -- variously realized to be sure -- to a common culture that we all share and have a responsibility for.”

While general education is often expressed as a program of courses and values, it’s also an “aspiration,” or spirit, that can be embodied by any professor in any class, he said.

Lynn Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, agreed that general education is a democratizing force that provides a mind- and life-broadening education to the many, not just the elite few. And so political rhetoric that “calls into question the value of higher ed generally, and of liberal education in particular, perpetuates growing racial and economic segregation in our society,” she said.

What can be done? Higher education needs to “demonstrate in a more compelling way that we are teaching 21st-century skills,” Pasquerella said. She offered the example of her own son, Pierce, who railed against having to take courses in small group communication and intercultural competence while he was studying to be a filmmaker.

Then Pierce’s first job out of college happened to be on the Jerry Springer show, where he helped manage guests for hours on end in the green room. Finally all that education made sense to him.

Still, Pasquerella said, if a student who has two academics for parents doesn’t understand at the time what good his education is doing him, “What hope do other students have of sticking with a structure they think is totally useless?”

Case Studies in Gen Ed Reform

Indeed, one measure of a gen ed program’s value is student buy-in. In one of a number of general education case studies presented, Mary Dana Hinton, president of the College of Saint Benedict, said that her faculty members are seeking to build a more cohesive and student-centered program with the college’s new Integrations Curriculum. The program, set to begin in fall 2020, was guided by three design principles: making explicit connections between classes via themed courses, reflection and more; high-impact practices including writing-intensive courses, common intellectual experiences and a student portfolio; and a strong liberal arts and sciences education.

“Our faculty was seeking to answer two key questions: Why does general education matter to liberally educated students, and what content and pedagogy best support our goals for the liberal arts” on campus? Hinton said. While the process was faculty driven, Hinton added, students were engaged in conversations about what courses would help them lead and make positive change in the world from the start.

Linda A. Bell, provost and dean of the faculty at Barnard College, helped oversee a general education reform around 2016 that was, in part, prompted by students' requests for a change. There wasn’t necessarily anything wrong with the 16-year-old curriculum centered on nine ways of knowing, she said. But “fundamentally working is not good enough.”

Barnard’s reform, also driven by the faculty, resulted in a new Foundations curriculum promoting six modes of thinking, including thinking technologically and digitally. Courses in dance, architecture and fine arts, among other disciplines, satisfy it. Barnard has devoted more resources to it based on student demand. It's also committed to reviewing the Foundations every five years.

Ursinus College also hopes to transform the residential college experience with its new general education program based on four enduring questions, Mark B. Schneider, provost and dean, said in a separate TED talk-style presentation.

While liberal arts colleges were well represented at the event, administrators, faculty members and even students from across institution types shared insights, too. Pam Y. Eddinger, president of Bunker Hill Community College, reminded those present that half of all college students are at institutions like hers. So if general education is to survive, she said, community colleges must be involved in conversations about it. And those conversations must be inclusive, she added, saying that her culinary students and faculty members are intellectuals, too, for example.

Melody Bowdon, interim vice provost for teaching and learning at the University of Central Florida, is helping lead an overhaul of the general education program there. It’s complicated by the institution’s massive enrollment (some 68,000 students, mostly undergraduates), state restrictions on the curriculum and the fact that over half of undergraduates transfer from community colleges.

Still, she said, the process has gone relatively smoothly and enjoyed high levels of faculty enthusiasm. A valuable part of the process is hearing faculty members make explicit connections between program requirements and the content they’re already teaching -- making what's often invisible in general education visible. Bowdon also personally invites faculty members to participate in workshops on the pedagogical innovations that make gen ed courses that much more successful.

Donald J. Laackman, president of preprofessional Champlain College, talked about the merits of integrating general education across disciplines, for all four years, via the Core. And Melinda Zook, professor of history at Purdue University, discussed the runaway success of a Cornerstone Integrated Liberal Arts certificate program for students studying outside the liberal arts. The 15-credit-hour certificate is based on engagement with transformative texts and advanced humanities study.

Diversity Matters

An increasing number of institutions are requiring students to study diversity within their curricula. Should they?

Lucía Martínez Valdivia, assistant professor of English and humanities at Reed College, spoke with candor about her lingering doubts as to how her institution responded to a long-term student protest over a shared introductory humanities courses. The course, Hum 110, previously began with The Epic of Gilgamesh and covered ancient texts from Rome to Egypt. But following student complaints that the curriculum was "too white," there are now new modules. One of them attempts to cover 500 years of Mexican cultural history in a few weeks.

At least one student involved in the protest has since expressed regret, acknowledging that she “didn’t know what she didn’t know” at the time, Valdivia said. Valdivia’s response was that that’s typical for an 18-year-old. But the fact that students don’t know what they don’t know is something colleges might seriously weigh in responding to these kinds of student demands, she said.

Valdivia also said her last few weeks of teaching have confirmed that the closer in time and space diversity-based content is to students’ own experiences, the harder it is for them to be objective and ready to take information in.

Students' "learning identity is something we can no longer take for granted at liberal arts colleges,” she said. “Things have changed so much in the last 10 years.”

Laura Rosanne Adderley, associate professor of history at Tulane University, said students were involved in but did not drive a decision to add two diversity-related requirements to their curriculum. Students are now requred to take one course that is more than 50 percent related to race and inclusion in the U.S.., and one course on global perspectives. The latter requirement was inspired by the idea that when one studies life, language or culture outside one’s own domain, one’s racial empathy grows.

Adderley said it’s too soon to call these new requirements a success. But one hope is that they’ll not only revitalize enrollments in history and other courses dealing with diversity, but possibly draw students deeper into these programs, through exposure.

But to Valdivia’s point, students only benefit when they are in a growth mind-set and believe they have something to learn, Adderley said.

“These courses are not to fix people who don’t already know,” Adderley said. “It’s not what they’re there for.”

Measuring Gen Ed's Value

Getting gen ed right is clearly tricky. But beyond anecdotes and personal opinion, the data on long-term outcomes indicate that students benefit when colleges do get it right. Richard A. Detweiler, founder and managing director of HigherEdImpact, discussed his findings from 1,000 interviews with both liberal arts and other kinds of college graduates, 10 to 40 years postgraduation. He found that gradates who reported key experiences associated with liberal arts colleges (which tend to value general education) had greater odds of measures of life success associated with these colleges’ goals.

Graduates who reported discussing philosophical or ethical issues in many classes, and who took classes in the humanities, were 25 to 60 percent more likely than other graduates to have characteristics of altruists, for example (meaning they volunteered and gave to nonprofit groups, etc.). And those who reported that professors encouraged them to examine the strengths and weaknesses of their views, and whose course work emphasized questions on which there is not necessarily a correct answer, were 25 to 40 percent more likely to report that they felt personally fulfilled.

As for money, Detweiler has found there is a strong relationship between a having a broad undergraduate education and financial success. Those who take more than half of their course work in subjects unrelated to their majors -- an extensive general education -- are 31 to 72 percent more likely than others to have higher-level positions and to be earning more than $100,000.

A number of commenters throughout the day bemoaned the difficulty in assessing general education at the institutional level. But Carol Geary Schneider, fellow at the Lumina Foundation and president emerita of the AAC&U, bristled at that idea, saying that there's no need to recreate the wheel on assessment. Groups such as AAC&U have long-standing essential learning outcomes for a liberal education, she said.

"You don't have to measure every little course," she said. "We're not doing enough to celebrate the tools that already exist."
00 2019-04-17

Nicholls State, UNO enter new partnership

By Halle Parker / Staff Writer
Posted Apr 16, 2019 at 6:32 PM
Updated Apr 16, 2019 at 6:32 PM

Sitting side by side in the presidential conference room, the presidents of Nicholls State University and the University of New Orleans signed a new partnership today between their geomatics and engineering programs.

The two universities entered a memorandum of understanding that will provide a pathway for geomatics students from Nicholls to earn degrees in civil engineering from UNO. It also allows engineering students from UNO to transfer to Nicholls easily to earn a certification in land surveying through its geomatics program – one of the only such programs in the state.

Nicholls’ geomatics program teaches students how to use the latest technologies and information systems to survey and map land.

After the signing, Nicholls President Jay Clune and UNO President John Nicklow said the partnership will give students the opportunity to earn more qualifications more efficiently.

Given the current environmental challenges in the region, Clune said, UNO’s strong civil engineering program is of interest to Nicholls students.

“We don’t have engineering; we need engineering,” said Clune. “We need civil and coastal because we’re in the area of the greatest land loss on the planet.”

Nicholls State Dean of Arts and Sciences John Doucet said the university had been interested in having a program for a long time without the resources to do so.

“UNO has the infrastructure and the personnel to deliver a civil engineering program,” said Doucet.

Nicklow said the partnership allows the universities to share their strengths without having to build new programs from scratch.

While both universities have partnerships with other colleges, Nicklow noted that this one is unique in creating opportunities for both student bodies, rather than one school taking in the students of another school.

“This is a mutual benefit,” he said.

Clune said he got the idea from his experience at a previous university that had two campuses with a single engineering program that served both. The classes for one were held via video conference so that the students at another campus still had access.

“When I got here, I thought, ‘We need to do that with UNO,’” said Clune.

With 58 miles separating the two campuses, Clune said partnership could help encourage students to take their skills and put them toward solving the challenges facing this area.

“We need our students to come back and help us save our coast,” he said.

The agreement was approved by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors at its Feb. 22 meeting.

00 2019-04-17

UL food pantry is officially open for business, helping fight food insecurity

00 2019-04-17
Lake Charles

Mayor, education officials meet with students for roundtable discussion

00 2019-04-17
Lake Charles

The future is now

00 2019-04-17
Lake Charles

Mayor and college administrators hear from LC seniors about how to keep students in town for college

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - As graduation season approaches, some high school seniors met with local college administrators and Mayor Nic Hunter.

About a dozen students shared their thoughts and asked questions as many of them are close to beginning their college career.

“What’s driving you? What’s on your minds? What do you like about this community? What don’t you like about this community?" Hunter asked.

Hunter was curious about what would keep students in the area for the next step of their lives.

“Even if you do decide to leave Lake Charles even after that that’s still okay, but think about coming home one day. Again, that’s what I want this conversation to be about. What are we doing as community to prepare this city for you all?” Hunter said.

Washington Marion High School senior, Chadd Smith, said he plans on attending Louisiana State University. While he said his dual enrollment at McNeese has been eye-opening, he wants more out of his college experience.

“It’s a bit bigger campus, and, since I live in Lake Charles, it’s a chance for me to get away from home and spread my wings and experience things for myself," Smith said.

Of course, for many students, money plays a big factor when deciding where to go to school. Students like Ariel Harrington, a senior at Barbe High School, said her original plan wasn’t to attend McNeese — but the university’s generosity changed her mind.

“I wanted to go out of state to experience new things, I had lived my whole life in Lake Charles and I was ready to get out. But then it kind of dawned on me that a smarter decision would be to stay here and go to school where I could go for free and not have to worry about taking on debt," Harrington said. "McNeese is very generous with their scholarships and really appreciate that. It’s going to help me out in the future for when I go to med school.”

Both students said while they may not stay in Lake Charles forever — it will always be home.

Copyright 2019 KPLC. All rights reserved.
00 2019-04-17

NSU student visiting Paris shares thoughts about Notre Dame fire

00 2019-04-17

New Media Student showcase returns to NSU

00 2019-04-17

NSU hosts Special Olympics Red River Games

00 2019-04-17

Do Your Academic Programs Actually Develop ‘Employability’? There’s an Assessment for That

Is a glut of unfilled jobs — as many as seven million, depending on how you calculate — the result of a “skills gap”? The term is everywhere, but all the talk doesn’t help students who enroll in college and aspire to rewarding careers, employees who want more education to get ahead, or institutions trying to keep up with the future of work. As hiring becomes more skills-based and alternative credentials gain traction, how can the degree remain a reliable signal on the labor market?

The Chronicle recently released a special report, “Career-Ready Education: Beyond the Skills Gap, Tools and Tactics for an Evolving Economy,” drawing on more than 100 interviews with educators, employers, policy makers, and students. We asked them how to add relevance to the curriculum and strengthen connections between higher education and industry without dismantling educational models or compromising principles. In the report, we explore several approaches to prepare students to start or advance their careers.

Lots of colleges claim that their academic programs prepare students for employment. A new organization known as the QA Commons says: Prove it.

The idea is to evaluate whether individual courses of study develop the skills that employers increasingly say they want, the so-called soft skills like communication, adaptability, and problem solving.

Career-Ready Education

“We don’t think they’re ‘soft’ anymore. We think they’re essential,” says Ralph A. Wolff, who founded the group after more than three decades in accreditation (he led the higher-ed arm of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges).

QA Commons spent two years developing and testing a set of “essential employability qualities” and recently began offering to certify programs that meet its standards. Among the first to sign up is the state of Kentucky, which has put forward 20 programs from six institutions, including two-year colleges and the flagship university.

The group’s assessment focuses on five factors, examining whether a given program:

develops skills in a work-based context, such as through a capstone project.
coordinates its activities with the institution’s career services.
creates meaningful relationships with employers.
engages with students to make sure they feel they are being prepared well.
reports how its graduates fare in the labor market.
The organization, backed by more than $3 million in grants from the Lumina Foundation, doesn’t dictate exactly how programs should meet those criteria. But it suggests that skills like technical agility or comfort with other cultures are best taught over time, with continued attention to students’ experiences inside and outside the classroom.

Guttman Community College, the newest institution of the City University of New York, was one of 27 colleges to undergo the assessment during the group’s experimental phase. For a college that prides itself on career development, the process was “a way to see if we were true to our word,” says Niesha Ziehmke, Guttman’s associate dean for academic programs.

The QA Commons ‘Essential Employability Qualities’
People skills like collaboration, teamwork, and cultural competence

Problem-solving abilities like inquiry, critical thinking, and creativity

Professional strengths like effective communication, work ethic, and technological agility

The assessment — of programs in business, IT, and human services — turned up a few areas where certain skills weren’t as embedded in the curriculum as they could be. The college has since added a new business course that revolves around students’ internships and jobs and replaced an IT course with one offered by a nonprofit organization called Per Scholas, which has close ties to industry and a hands-on space in the Bronx. Students who successfully complete that course earn not only academic credit, but a credential in computer-network management.

Whether or not Guttman’s programs get certified by the QA Commons, Ziehmke has found the process worthwhile, and now wants to put other programs through it, too. “We do not do this enough in liberal arts,” she says.

Wolff, meanwhile, hopes the approach will gain traction and perhaps even be adopted by traditional accreditors. “We’re not trying to vocationalize the whole higher-ed world,” he says, but college leaders need to pay more attention to developing students’ prospects.

“What we’d like to do,” Wolff says, “is legitimate that preparation for the workplace is part of the academic enterprise.”

Goldie Blumenstyk writes about the intersection of business and higher education. Check out www.goldieblumenstyk.com for information on her book about the higher-education crisis; follow her on Twitter @GoldieStandard; or email her at goldie@chronicle.com.
00 2019-04-17

Bossier City couple commit $150,000 to LA Tech’s College of Business

RUSTON — Dr. Bob and Mary Cunningham, of Bossier City, have made a $150,000 gift to benefit Louisiana Tech University’s College of Business. Part of the University’s “Forever Loyal” Campaign, their gift provides support for the Dr. Bob and Mary Cunningham Scholarship Fund, building and technology upgrades, and programming within the College.

“We’re eternally grateful to Bob and Mary for their generosity,” said Dr. Chris Martin, dean of the College of Business. “This gift shows their ongoing commitment to the success of the College of Business and, most importantly, our students.”

The Dr. Bob and Mary Cunningham Scholarship was established to support the educational opportunities of African American students studying accounting, business administration, or entrepreneurial management from Bienville, Caddo, or Bossier parishes. In 2016, Mary also started The Henderson Sisters Scholarship along with her three sisters who also are Tech graduates. This scholarship helps students pay for books and incidental expenses.

“We’ve been blessed with so much, and the Bible teaches that to whom much is given, much is required,” said Bob. “The fact that we can give something back to the University that has given us so much is an honor as well as a blessing. Throughout my career in teaching and in business, my degree from Tech’s College of Business has always given me instant credibility.”

Bob is a three-time graduate of the College of Business, where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1973, Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in 1985, and Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree in 1996. Mary received a bachelor’s degree in music in 1975 and a master’s in 1982. The couple met during their studies at Louisiana Tech.

Today, Bob serves as CEO of the Heritage Group, a consulting firm specializing in the higher education sector, and the Cunningham Group, a fraud investigation company. His entrepreneurial spirit and love of accounting have been woven throughout his career — from starting his own delivery business immediately after college and later an accounting practice, to serving as an instructor at both Louisiana Tech and Grambling State University. In 1999, he and a partner purchased a cable contracting construction company through a partnership with a large telecommunications company where he worked fulltime after his retirement from teaching in 2006. The company was sold in June 2015. In addition to those interests, Bob has served as the evangelist for Queensborough Church of Christ in Shreveport since 1984.

Mary retired after serving 22 years as a music specialist for Caddo Parish Schools. The couple has three children and five grandchildren.
00 2019-04-17

Students at La Tech working with real clients through graphic design

00 2019-04-16

UL students get front row seat to inner workings of Festival International

00 2019-04-16
Lake Charles

McNeese offers STEM Academy

00 2019-04-16

Alabama head coach Nick Saban to visit Grambling State

00 2019-04-16

ULM receives a generous donation from a local group

00 2019-04-16

Wine Over Water set for April 25th

MONROE, La. -- (4/15/19) The ULM Alumni Association and the Ouachita Parish Alumni Chapter invite you to attend Wine Over Water on the beautiful ULM campus bridge. This is your opportunity to support scholarship funds as proceeds from the night benefit the Spirit of the Warhawk Endowed Scholarship, which is instrumental in attracting our local scholars to ULM.

The Spirit of the Warhawk Endowed Scholarship supports local students pursuing their undergraduate degree at ULM. Your ticket purchase ensures students of Northeast Louisiana can continue to strive for academic excellence and ease the financial burden. Numerous scholarships have been awarded since the event’s inception and our goal is to increase support for our students through Wine Over Water each year.

The Ouachita Parish Alumni Chapter hosts events throughout the year to connect alumni and friends. This event is sure to be an unforgettable night. The celebration will be held on Thursday, April 25th on the Northeast Drive Bridge, and will overlook beautiful Bayou DeSiard. With food from over 25 local restaurants, wine provided by Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, and beer provided by Marsala Beverage, your taste buds will be delighted. You will receive a commemorative wine glass, sunset boat rides on the bayou with B&L Marine and entertainment featuring Flashback 5. You do not want to miss this evening of fun, and tickets are only $60. The evening’s attire is dressy casual – no denim or shorts, please.

The Tonore’s Cork Pull is back by popular demand. With over 50 bottles of wine up for grabs, you can purchase a cork for $25 and take home a mystery bottle of wine for you to enjoy. No bottles are valued at less than $25, but many are worth more. Not only do you have the chance to win spectacular wine, you are also supporting ULM.

In addition, a Patron Party will be held prior to Wine Over Water. This event will begin at 6:00 p.m. and last until 7:30 p.m. in the ULM Library, on the seventh floor. This will give you the best view of campus, and allow you to begin enjoying the celebration prior to the bridge opening! Patron Party tickets include complimentary hors d’oeuvres, event wine glasses, and attendance to the Wine Over Water Bridge Party. These exclusive tickets are $125 each and lively entertainment will be provided by Rod Allen Payne and Trevor Davis.

Tickets are available online at ulm.edu/wine, by calling 318-342-5420, or at the Laird Weems Center now located at 4400 Bon Aire Drive. Office hours are Monday – Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Don’t wait; get your ticket today and support the Spirit of the Warhawk Endowed Scholarship!

To learn more about the ULM Alumni Association, please visit ulm.edu/alumni.
00 2019-04-16

Phi Beta Delta inducts international scholars as new members

00 2019-04-16

To Improve Leadership, Some Colleges Take a Cue From Industry: 360-Degree Reviews

Susan Jaffe, dean of dance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, can’t claim to love all the comments she has received on her 360-degree performance reviews, which include assessments from not only her superiors, but also some of her fellow deans and her faculty members. Even though those are sometimes painful, Jaffe finds them helpful. "Just because we’re the boss, doesn’t mean we’re always right," she said.
Such all-around evaluations are common in the business world, but harder to find in the academy, especially for those at higher administrative levels.

Some college administrators tend to think they’re unnecessary, or worry about what the results will be, said Peter Seldin, an emeritus professor of management at Pace University who has written extensively on academic evaluations. "Another group firmly believes in the philosophical position that faculty need to be evaluated, but administrators don’t."

The School of the Arts gives 360 reviews every three years, hand-in-hand with executive training by a consultant, at the dean level and above.

"A dean is directly responsible for a multimillion-dollar budget plus significant compliance and regulatory operations plus the professional livelihood of 30 to 40 people," said David English, the school’s executive vice chancellor and provost. "It’s not enough to say, Oh, you’re a smart person, you’ll be fine, here’s the HR person if you need anything."

How to Make 360-Degree Evaluations Effective
Be clear about their purpose: to support strong job performance, not punish people for weak performance.
Make evaluations confidential, and make sure everyone knows they are.
Design the questions to fit how your college, and the role being evaluated, is structured.
Help reviewees understand the results, and develop an action plan.
The school still does standard annual reviews, but those don’t give an administrator as much insight, said English. Dean Wilcox, who became dean of liberal arts there in 2012, agrees. He said his 360 evaluation was much more valuable than a traditional performance review.

"I’m a theater person who went into teaching, and I have zero leadership training," he said. "I realized when I took the job, that was a skill set that was lacking."

The review — for which the consultant charges $495 per person — is administered electronically and takes around half an hour for each reviewer to complete, English said. The reviewee’s faculty, staff, and direct supervisor can respond to the 360, while the person being evaluated can also select others to include.

"I was asked to identify people to talk to across the spectrum," Wilcox said. "I wanted to hear criticism, not just handpick people that say I’m doing OK." His review was done by two bosses, eight peers, and eight direct reports.

But criticism is rarely easy to take and can be morale-crushing. "People can be harsh," said Allison Vaillancourt, vice president for business affairs and human resources at the University of Arizona. Her institution gives 360s using a point scale combined with open-ended questions that prompt written responses. "If you just give someone a data dump, it can be completely debilitating."

How to help people put the criticism to good use? One way is to have a trained coach or human-resources representative go through the appraisal with the reviewee. In 2017, the University of Arizona developed a team within human resources focused on organizational leadership and development; one of its missions is to help reviewees make sense of the findings, as well as work on an action plan. Wilcox, of the School of the Arts, said it was helpful that his 360 was part of a long-term strategy to have deans work with coaches: "If I had received the review outside this process, it would be much more difficult to pick through."

Keys to Success
Other important ways to make sure a 360 succeeds, according to the Center for Creative Leadership, a company that works with colleges and industry, are: being clear about why it’s being done and what problem is being solved; having strong support for the reviews from senior executives; and making clear that the data are confidential.

It’s also important, especially in higher education, to make sure the questions make sense for how the college is structured.

"What one dean does can be very different from what another dean does," said Jeffrey L. Buller, director of leadership and professional development at Florida Atlantic University, who has published several books on faculty evaluations and academic leadership.

That’s even truer for vice presidents, he said. "What a vice president for academic affairs does is almost totally different than what a vice president for business affairs does, or a vice president for student affairs."

© Integral Higher Education Leadership Profile. Kramer Leadership, LLC and Integral Development. All rights reserved.
A sample page from the 360-degree evaluation used by the U. of North Carolina’s School of the Arts.
In past 360s, Jaffe said, deans unfamiliar with her work were asked questions about how well she ran her program or delegated to her staff.

"They would have no idea, but one person gave me a super low score. I was howling. I got far better scores from people I’m actually working with." She brought up her concerns, and in later reviews, people unacquainted with her work were not included.

Before the School of the Arts worked with a consultant, it used 360s based on evaluations given in industry; changing to one specifically designed for higher education helped get at issues that matter more to a university than to corporations, said English.

In the same vein, when governing boards perform 360 reviews of university presidents, it’s critical that the members of the board — many of whom increasingly come from sectors outside of higher education — are trained to know how a college leader’s role differs from that of an industry CEO. "A lot of people think they know how to run a university because they’ve been to college," said Buller. "That’s not the case."

Timing can also make a difference: Katie Conboy, provost and senior vice president at Simmons University, in Boston, said her 360 review took place in the middle of a major restructuring, and — through her review — she was surprised to find that the faculty was far more lukewarm about the changes than she had thought.

"I was floating along being happy and assuming I was going to bring people along with me," she said, and was surprised to read comments like, "She really needs to listen, not just pretend to listen."

"Those are things you don’t forget," she said, but the experience taught her that she had to make more of an effort to talk about what she was accomplishing and to praise people for their contributions.

She thinks 360 reviews are especially valuable for new deans.

"Deans are in an interesting spot — in one sense they are the CEOs of their unit, and in another they’re middle managers of the university," she said. "So they need to hear from those who see them as their CEO and also from people who see them as partners — I think that’s a helpful balancing."

Ensuring Follow-Up
Trying to make the focus of the 360s developmental rather than evaluative — and ensuring follow-up — makes the reviews most useful.

"The primarily driving force behind such evaluations should be to help people be better at their jobs — not to use them as a punitive tool," said Pace’s Seldin. That requires care.

"People have all sorts of motivations when they complete 360s," said Vaillancourt. "If we’re not getting along with someone and we’re asked to give feedback, it’s possible we could use a 360 to punish someone. Or if we really like someone, we might not be honest, because we don’t want someone to get in trouble."

The Art of Executive Feedback
8 Deans Share: What I Wish I Had Known PREMIUM
What 4 Colleges Are Doing to Groom New Leaders PREMIUM
At Arizona, 360 reviews done every five years can include responses from faculty, students, administrators, and other stakeholders — even community collaborators, donors, and industry partners, depending on who is being reviewed. The five-year appraisals have come to carry a great deal of weight — too much, Vaillancourt believes — and there are some faculty members who would like to see full 360 reviews annually. What she would rather see is informal 360 reviews every few years, so that people are "able to course-correct before the five-year review process happens."

Those could include just a few questions, such as, "What are this person’s most significant accomplishments this year, what advice do you have for this person to start, stop, or change in order to be more effective?"

"It’s more like pulse-taking," she said.

In addition, over the past five years or so, academic or administrative heads at Arizona have been able to request their own 360 and choose whom they want feedback from, to get a sense of how they are doing; these are not shown to superiors. Vaillancourt said there might be five to 10 such requests annually.

She thinks 360-degree reviews will become increasingly common on campuses: "I think there’s a realization that leadership development really matters and giving people developmental feedback can be quite transformative."

It may take a while, though. Seldin notes that his book on conducting faculty evaluations outsells his book on conducting evaluations for administrators four to one.
00 2019-04-15
Baton Rouge

College classes in every public high school in Louisiana? 'It is worth the effort'

00 2019-04-15

Southeastern student earns national scholarship

00 2019-04-15

Ragin’ Cajun Catholics Announce: Living Stations of the Cross

00 2019-04-15


UL Lafayette is wrapped with tradition in every aspect of the college experience. That's why I knew that the class ring would not be any different. Every part of the ring has a purpose, and it is full of extensive symbolism. I am here to break it down for you.

1. The Ring Face

The most prominent and noticeable attribute to the ring is the raised fleur de lis placed directly in the center. This is the standard logo for the university.

The "red" stone surrounding the fleur de lis is actually a color called vermillion which not only represents the school's colors but also is a naturally occurring pigment associated with eternity. The year placed directly underneath the stone "1898" is the year in which the proud University found its footing.

2. The Left Side

The left side of the ring features the ring wearer's major. In my case, I just went with a "BA" for bachelor's degree. Surrounding the wearer's major are oak trees. According to the University website, The University's first president, Dr. Edwin L. Stephens planted oak trees on campus to symbolize the university's "growth, strength, and endurance."
In front of the oak trees stands Martin Hall, which houses the main administrative building on campus.

Below this lies the nickname "Ragin' Cajuns" which depicts the unifying name that people who have attended UL call themselves.

Under this, there are four tiny rectangles. The four rectangles represent the four name changes that the university has gone through as well the walk of honor where each UL graduate receives a brick upon graduation.

3. The Right Side

The other side of the ring depicts the year in which the wearer graduated. Encompassing the year are Cypress trees which represent Cypress Lake, the natural swamp filled with turtles, alligators, and other wildlife, on campus. Beneath the year is the University crest, which features the Acadian and Creole flags, a shield, a pelican, oak leaves, and the Latin motto: bravely, happily, faithfully. The represents the diverse culture and heritage of the university. closing out the bottom is an interlocking "UL" symbol which signifies the initials of the University.

5. The Inside

On the inside of the ring, the words "Heart and Hand" are inscribed which are the final three words of the university's alma mater.

I think that the coolest part about the ring is that every single student gets the exact same one.

I find that this in and of itself is a symbolic representation of the fact that regardless of where we end up, or what we do, or even if we drift apart, each and every one of us will always and forever be Ragin' Cajuns at heart.
00 2019-04-15
Lake Charles


00 2019-04-15
Lake Charles

Orientation sessions scheduled for incoming freshmen

00 2019-04-15
Lake Charles


00 2019-04-15

NSU’s Gómez places third at national competition

00 2019-04-15

NSU’s 69th Demon Battalion’s Military Ball Celebrates Past, Builds the Future

00 2019-04-15

2019 Dragon Boat Races-Fun for an Excellent Cause

Saturday’s abysmal weather did not deter 14 teams of paddlers eager to show their mettle in the 4th annual Dragon Boat Races held on Natchitoches’ picturesque downtown riverbank on April 13. The storms held off just long enough for teams of paddlers to complete their races. This fun event has rapidly become an area-wide favorite, growing in popularity each year. Teams came from various NSU student organizations, and local businesses. The Natchitoches Sheriff’s Department’s “Donuts and Delinquents” team took top honors in the Corporate category with the NSU Scholars’ College taking top honors among the student teams, albeit with a considerable boost from a few members of the Demon football team. Fort Polk’s Bayne-Jones Hospital made its third appearance at the races, sending a team of soldiers and their families to compete, enjoy a day of hospitality and a well earned respite from their duties. The soldiers’ Spartan robes, swords, shields and spears easily won the best costumed crew contest. A jazz band of NSU student and alumni musicians entertained the crowd throughout the morning.

The event has a serious purpose, however. It is a major fundraiser for Northwestern State University’s First Year Experience Office. This year’s race is expected to bring in $8,000 to help fund leadership development programs, speakers and workshops, all designed to help new NSU students successfully navigate the critical first year of college.
00 2019-04-15


00 2019-04-12
Baton Rouge

LSU president defends student fee hikes, tells state lawmakers 'we need your help'

LSU boosted student fees last year because state aid was frozen while assistance for colleges nationwide rose by an average of 3.8 percent, LSU President F. King Alexander told lawmakers Wednesday.

"We are growing and expanding and succeeding," Alexander told the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

"But we need your help," he said. "We need your help to claw back into the academic marketplace so that we are not losing people."

'We are on the bottom:' LSU operating on 1991-style budget, F. King Alexander says
'We are on the bottom:' LSU operating on 1991-style budget, F. King Alexander says
The issue surfaced during a five-hour committee review of budgets for colleges and universities.

Committee members are in the early stages of reviewing Gov. John Bel Edwards's spending proposals before crafting a higher education funding plan of their own.

State aid for colleges and universities remained at standstill levels for the past two years, something of a victory after nearly a decade of budget cuts.

The fact that LSU announced student fee hikes shortly after the Legislature finalized its budget last year sparked criticism from key lawmakers, including House Speaker Taylor Barras, R-New Iberia.

Barras said at the time the increases were a "shocker."

Alexander told the committee he was asked by state legislators why fees rose.

"Our zero percent reduction was a zero percent increase and the U.S. average was 3.8 percent in state appropriations," he said.

Hikes in state aid elsewhere allowed schools in those states to absorb mandated costs while LSU had no such cushion for $8 million in forced spending, Alexander said.

He said fee increases – they totaled about $17 million – allowed the school to handle mandated expenses and provide faculty members with an overdue pay raise.

The hikes mean full-time students pay $282 more per semester on the Baton Rouge campus.

Amid bumpy financing for Louisiana universities, enrollment rises at LSU, Southern
Amid bumpy financing for Louisiana universities, enrollment rises at LSU, Southern
Alexander said higher fees had no impact on fall enrollment, which he said is up by about 6,000 students in the past decade.

"It was the largest freshmen class we have had in history," he said.

A professor at LSU is paid 8.6 percent less – $10,951 – than the regional average, according to figures provided to the committee.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Cameron Henry, R-Metairie, pointedly asked higher education officials for data on how the pay of college presidents in Louisiana compares with their regional peers.

Spending per student in Louisiana is 48th in the nation $3,350 below the average, statistics compiled by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association show.

Alexander said Alabama spends more than $4,000 per student above the national average, leaving a gap of more than $7,000 with Louisiana.

Louisiana ranks 16th among 16 states in the region in spending per student through state aid and tuition and fees, according to committee data.

State Rep. Franklin Foil, R-Baton Rouge, vice-chairman of the committee, noted that what the state charges on average remains below the regional benchmark – $9,273 here versus $9,914 in neighboring states.

Alexander downplayed regional comparisons.

He said reaching that benchmark in the poorest region of the nation "is not a goal any of us should aspire to. We should do better."

In a mild surprise, LSU's new admission policy did not spark questions or controversy.

'We are not lowering standards': LSU president makes spirited case for new admission rules
'We are not lowering standards': LSU president makes spirited case for new admission rules
The school now admits some students who fail to meet traditional standards, which has triggered charges that LSU is lowering its standards.

Alexander and others dispute that criticism.

Committee members were also presented data that show enrollment at community and technical colleges has dropped 21 percent since 2010, to 65,036 last fall.

Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed and Monty Sullivan, president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, said those figures are misleading.

Unlike four-year schools students at two-year colleges enroll nearly year round, not just at the start of the fall and spring semesters, officials said.

They are often enrolled only long enough to earn a credential that ensures a better-paying job.
00 2019-04-12
Baton Rouge

Special taxing districts a possibility for Louisiana’s public colleges

00 2019-04-12
Baton Rouge

Higher ed asks for more funding in budget

00 2019-04-12

Nicholls students scoring experience at Masters

00 2019-04-12

Grand opening: UL Lafayette Pantry Addresses Campus Food Security Needs

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s pantry is ready to serve food security.

Campus Cupboard is a free resource for students and staff who require short-term help to meet their food needs. The pantry began operating in November, but celebrated its grand opening Thursday at 413 Brook Ave., inside the Intensive English Language building.

Dr. Joseph Savoie, UL Lafayette president, used a pair of oversized ceremonial scissors to slice a specially made paper ribbon depicting crossed forks and knives to signal that the Cupboard was open – officially – for business.

“Food security is a student success issue. It’s a retention issue, and a quality of life issue, and one that helps students succeed at greater rates,” Savoie said.

“Students who seek food assistance come from every walk of life, every type of family, and every financial situation. They all deserve help. That’s what a family does. That’s what this Campus Cupboard does as well.”

After the ceremony, visitors toured the Cupboard. Some peered into two storage rooms where canned goods and other nonperishables sat in orderly rows atop a series of chrome-plated steel shelves. There were tooth brushes, sticks of deodorant and other toiletries stored there as well. Like food items, the hygiene products are free to pantry customers.

Dr. Pearson Cross, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts, pointed at a side-by-side upright cooler – emblazoned with the iconic Coca-Cola logo – inside one of the rooms. The company donated the refrigerator to Campus Cupboard; it will enable the pantry to offer fresh food items in addition to nonperishables, Cross said.

“This donated cooler is indicative of what’s driven this project from the beginning – community support. We have partners throughout Lafayette and Acadiana, and Campus Cupboard would not exist without members of the University family who also saw a need and were determined to meet it.”

Cross chaired a committee that began planning the Cupboard in late 2017. The panel’s members included representatives from the Student Government Association, Graduate School, the Division of Student Affairs, the Community Service and Sustainability offices, and other administrative units and academic departments.

Community partners include Second Harvest Food Bank, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and Sodexo. United Way of Acadiana, another partner, recognized the Campus Cupboard last month with its Luminary Award.

The honor “is given to an organization or coalition that lights a new path in giving, advocating or volunteering,” said Margaret H. Trahan, United Way’s president and CEO. “The award recognizes creative approaches and solutions.” By creating the pantry, the University “demonstrated what proactive compassion can create,” she added.

Since its soft launch in November, Campus Cupboard has helped a monthly average of 50 clients, and distributed an estimated 3,400 items, Cross said. Many items were collected through food drives or individual donations.

Dr. Rose Honegger, UL Lafayette’s associate director of Global Engagement, served on the planning committee. She noted that hunger is a challenge every community confronts.

A 2016 national report indicated about 22 percent of college students in the United States go hungry at some point in the semester. More than 500 American universities and colleges, including several in Louisiana, offer students and staff food assistance.

“This need is not just local and not just on our campus. It’s on all college campuses, and it’s heartbreaking to see,” Honegger said.

Students who face food insecurity tend to choose innutritious options that often cost less than healthier fare, Honegger noted. They’re also more likely than peers to skip, fall behind in or drop courses.

“It’s difficult to concentrate on an essay when you’re hungry,” she said.

Dr. Margarita Perez, the University’s dean of students, echoed Honegger’s sentiments. She was also a planning committee member.

“When students are hungry, when they don’t have what they need, they can’t concentrate and they can’t be learners. Campus Cupboard is one way among many ways that we can ensure our students get to graduation,” Perez said.

Campus Cupboard is open twice weekly, from 2-5 p.m. on Tuesdays and from 9 a.m. to noon on Fridays. Visit studentaffairs.louisiana.edu/services/campus-cupboard for information on how to donate or volunteer.
00 2019-04-12
Lake Charles


00 2019-04-12
Lake Charles

McNeese displays rare collection of first edition books

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - As part of National Library Week, McNeese is displaying a rare collection of first edition books. The collection was on display from 2 pm to 6 pm April 11th.

Debbie Johnson-Houston, the Library Director at McNeese, says this collection is comprised of rare editions of mostly American authors like Ernest Hemingway, and William Faulkner.

"This collection being here today is a part of a bigger celebration,” Johnson-Houston said. “We are celebrating national library week.”

National library week was started in 1958 with the intention to promote library use. Pati Threatt is the archivist at the school and says holding first edition books from these famous authors is great for the students.

"You're holding a little piece of history also,” Threatt said. “This was before he got to be a really famous author and before he was studied in school or anything. So you can kind of transport yourself back in time when he was just an average writer trying to make a living."

“I work here in the library so it’s kind of embarrassing that I didn’t know they were here,” one student said. “But it’s really cool and definitely something you should come check out and if you’re ever writing a paper its something special to add to your references.”

“Libraries are one of the few entities in the community that can level the playing field for all it’s citizens,” Johnson-Houston said. “Everyone has free access to the resources in the library. Here at McNeese, there’s no difference between students who come from a wealthy background, or students who come from a lower economic background. We’re on the same page.”

If what Johnson-Houston or Threatt said inspired you to visit the collection you can book an appointment anytime to visit the collection. To contact the McNeese Library check out there website here!

Copyright 2019 KPLC. All rights reserved.
00 2019-04-12

NSU students advocate for higher ed at ULS Day

00 2019-04-12

Columns Cafe will serve lunch April 16

00 2019-04-12

Presidents Divided on Community College Bachelor's Degrees

Community college and university presidents are sharply divided over whether two-year institutions should offer bachelor's degrees, a new Inside Higher Ed survey finds.

Two-year college presidents want to offer more bachelor's degrees because they believe such programs would help close racial, ethnic and economic gaps in degree attainment. But four-year college presidents are skeptical of the idea and have fought against proposals that would increase bachelor's degree availability at community colleges. They are concerned about the quality of a bachelor's degree from a community college and see the push as evidence of mission creep.

This is among the key findings of Inside Higher Ed's 2019 Survey of Community College Presidents, which you can download free here. The fifth annual survey, released today in advance of the annual meeting of the American Association of Community Colleges and conducted by Gallup, is based on responses from 235 two-year college leaders. (Responses to some questions come from a larger pool of 784 respondents to Inside Higher Ed's Survey of College and University Presidents.)

More About the Survey
Inside Higher Ed's Survey of
Community College Presidents was
conducted in conjunction with Gallup.

Inside Higher Ed regularly surveys key
higher ed professionals on a range of

Inside Higher Ed's editors will discuss
the report's findings and themes in a
free webcast on Tuesday, May 7.
Register for the webcast here.

The survey was made possible in part
by the financial support of Cengage
Learning and Jenzabar.

The community college presidents' survey also found that many of these leaders believe that the push to make all public higher education free would hurt their institutions. These presidents say they face an increasingly complex set of challenges such as declining enrollment, shrinking budgets and a lack of clear transfer pathways to universities as pressure builds from lawmakers and their communities to improve graduation rates.

The Inside Higher Ed survey asked a broad set of questions about community college bachelor's degrees at a time when half the states have now enabled two-year institutions to award such degrees.

The survey found that 75 percent of community college presidents would like to see their campuses offer bachelor's degrees, even though only one in 10 reported offering four-year degree programs on their campuses. Only 1 percent of respondents said their college offers a wide range of four-year degree programs.

Eighty percent of community college presidents agreed that their institutions are in a strong position to offer bachelor’s degrees to students who would not otherwise have access to those degrees because of four-year universities' higher costs or distance from where students live.

Joyce Ester, president of Normandale Community College, in Bloomington, Minn., said individual colleges in the state would not be opposed to offering bachelor’s degrees, but they would have to be programs that meet local employment and economic needs. The state doesn't allow community colleges to award four-year degrees, according to research from New America.

“Across the country students should have the ability to gain baccalaureate degrees in a cost-effective way that fits their situation and still meets all the academic expectations of their programs,” Ester said. “It would have to be program-specific degrees -- it shouldn’t be carte blanche.”

Sixty-eight percent of the presidents surveyed at public and private four-year institutions disagreed with the idea that community colleges should be allowed to offer bachelor’s degrees. Only 12 percent of four-year presidents support the idea.

Many of the four-year college presidents surveyed, 47 percent, also disagreed with the belief that the educational attainment gap between racial groups could be narrowed if community colleges offered four-year degrees. Opposition to four-year degrees at community colleges came mostly from presidents of public four-year institutions.

Wyoming in March became the latest state to allow community colleges to offer four-year degrees. But the community colleges faced opposition from the state’s only four-year institution, the University of Wyoming.

Laurie Nichols, president of the University of Wyoming, said in an email that the state does not have the population to support "eight college universities," which is how she describes UW and the seven community colleges that will now offer bachelor's degrees.

“We can learn from surrounding states that have created too many four-year colleges -- also on spare populations -- and struggle to support them,” she said. “This move would also create extensive duplication of programs, courses and faculty. Duplication is very costly to a state.”

Before passage of the bill granting Wyoming community colleges access to four-year degrees, Nichols called for more time to research the issue and said the university was willing and ready to collaborate with community colleges.

Twenty-six states currently allow community colleges to offer at least one bachelor’s degree program, said Mary Alice McCarthy, director of the Center on Education and Skills with the education policy program at New America, a Washington think tank. (See related essay by McCarthy here.)

“As states try to increase the rate of bachelor’s degree attainment, everyone is depending more and more on community colleges to get the job done,” McCarthy said. “Right now, we’re depending on the system of transfer, so why don’t we just be more direct about it? Rather than having students chase after a bachelor’s degree and go through a terrible transfer process … allow them to finish the degree where they start.”

McCarthy said offering bachelor's degrees in Wyoming community colleges makes sense because many people live in parts of the state without access to a four-year public institution.

"We do need to be careful we're not just chasing cheap degrees," she said. "We need to make sure these are high-quality degrees, and we need a work-force focus. But I don't think there is any reason to believe that a Miami Dade College or a Broward College can't produce a high-quality bachelor's degree program."

Although more than half of states allow community colleges to offer four-year degrees, each state varies on how broad those programs can be. Michigan, for example, passed a bill in 2013 that allows community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees only in cement technology, maritime technology, energy production technology and culinary arts. State lawmakers have since regularly introduced new bills attempting to expand the types of four-year programs the community colleges can offer. Those proposals have so far failed to make it through the Legislature.

“In a state that has one of the top forecasted declines in high school population in the country, with 15 public universities and 40 independent colleges, it makes absolutely no sense to create, convert and vastly expand the missions of our community colleges,” said Dan Hurley, chief executive officer of the Michigan Association of State Universities.

Hurley noted that many Michigan universities already offer bachelor’s degrees at satellite centers located on community college campuses. About 5,030 students are enrolled in these four-year degree programs, and 1,452 bachelor's degrees were awarded to these students between 2017 and 2018, he said.

The state also has more than 760 transfer agreements between two- and four-year institutions, Hurley said.

“It would really strike me as being unhelpful to convert the community colleges into direct competitors as opposed to extensive collaborators,” he said.

Ester, the Normandale president, said her campus has a similar arrangement with three universities offering bachelor’s degrees on their campuses. Normandale has about 14,000 students, 860 of whom are enrolled in one of the 14 bachelor’s degree programs offered by the three universities.

Transfer as a Barrier

One reason community colleges want to offer more bachelor's degree program is that transfer barriers remain a challenge for students, McCarthy said.

Eighty-one percent of the community college presidents surveyed by Inside Higher Ed said the barriers were significant. And 67 percent of two-year presidents said a lack of interest by public four-year colleges prevents students from transferring from community colleges to universities. Fifty-seven percent of community college presidents said there is little interest from private four-year institutions to build transfer pathways to those institutions.

“Transfer works in some places,” McCarthy said. “But every study around transfer shows significant credit loss when students make the move.”

A Government Accountability Office study released in 2017 found the average transfer student lost a full 43 percent of their credits, or about 13 credits, which is the equivalent of a semester of course work.

McCarthy said some of the best transfer partnerships between two-year colleges and universities exist in Florida, which also allows the community colleges to offer four-year degrees.

“Valencia College and the University of Central Florida do work well together, but Valencia also offers bachelor’s degrees,” she said. “That hasn’t ruined anything for UCF. We don’t want Valencia and the other colleges to duplicate things like liberal arts, but there are programs they can do that UCF doesn’t. The Florida case shows this isn’t a zero-sum game, and it doesn’t have to come at the expense of four-year programs.”

Valencia offers bachelor’s degrees in nursing, computer science and business leadership. One in four UCF graduates transferred from Valencia.

Both institutions recognize they’re not going after the same market for students, said Josh Wyner, chief executive officer of the Aspen Institute for Community College Excellence. Valencia won Aspen’s highest community college award in 2011.

“UCF enrollment is growing, and Valencia’s enrollment is growing because people understand they’re not in competition,” he said. UCF enrollment has steadily increased each year from about 56,000 students in 2010 to nearly 69,000 students in 2018, according to the university. Valencia enrolled about 41,300 full- and part-time students in 2010. In 2017, the full- and part-time student enrollment totaled more than 45,500.

Free College vs. Tuition-Free Community College

The survey also found that nine in 10 community college presidents overwhelmingly expect to see free community college expand across the country. They believe the free-college movement also has a positive impact on the way two-year colleges are perceived by the public.

“Free community college is more appealing because it’s less expensive, but people also view community colleges as open access, more accessible and more in the community and attached to work-force programs,” said Wesley Whistle, an education policy adviser at Third Way, a center-left think that has consistently opposed free-college proposals.

But community college presidents worry that calls for free four-year college hurt their efforts to expand free-tuition programs at two-year colleges. Seventy-one percent of surveyed community college presidents believe free four-year college hurts their institutions.

"There are better ways to address the affordability problem than free college,” Whistle said. Third Way has recommended tripling the size of the Pell Grant award and building federal-state partnerships that incentivize states to reinvest in their college and university systems.

Wyner said the "devil is in the details" when it comes to tuition-free community college programs, but he ultimately supports these programs and their ability to make college more affordable for students.

Recent polling by the Campaign for Free College Tuition found support for state governments, instead of Congress, to create tuition-free programs. Respondents to that poll said they supported the idea of free college because of successful tuition-free community college programs in states such as Tennessee and Rhode Island.

Whistle said even though free community college programs are looked upon more favorably, depending on how they are crafted, they still may not help low-income students. "Last-dollar" programs, for example, may only cover the costs of tuition and fees after all other federal and state aid is used. Low-income students whose tuition is covered by federal financial aid, such as the Pell Grant, would still have books and other expenses not covered in a last-dollar program, he said.

The proponents of free community college also don't always consider if two-year institutions have the resources to handle an influx of students, Whistle said.

“If students enroll in an underresourced institution, you’re not doing anything to make them better off,” he said. “It’s important for policy makers to understand there is more nuance to this than just tuition.”

Declining Enrollment and Revenue

Seventy-three percent of community college presidents surveyed said a lack of finances continues to be a problem for their campuses. And nearly 70 percent said enrollment management is a big challenge.

“Community colleges are being asked to deliver more degrees of a higher quality to a more diverse population without additional government funding,” said Wyner, Aspen's president.

At St. Cloud Technical & Community College in Minnesota, administrators have been looking for solutions to help students struggling with food and housing insecurity, while also helping the state reach its goal of having 70 percent of adults in the state with a degree or certificate by 2025.

“Students don’t care about transfer when they worry about if they can eat, pay their bills or are depressed,” St. Cloud president Aneesa Cheek said. “We have to get back to really caring and using our financial and human resources to demonstrate in our budgets that we care about students. But that’s not easy … state funding has declined, and federal financial aid hasn’t kept up as much as we’d like. It’s a tight rubber band stretched to the maximum.”

Minnesota is one of 30 states that has a higher per-student state appropriation than it did in 2013 but is still funded at a lower level than it was before the 2008 recession, according to a recent report by the State Higher Education Executive Officers association. Minnesota funded institutions at $8,437 per full-time equivalent student in 2008. As of 2018, that figure had decreased to $7,758.

Many community colleges that relied on adult learners to fill classroom seats, in addition to traditional high school graduates, have been hurt by enrollment declines. Older adult learners in particular are less likely to enroll when the economy is performing well.

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education projects the number of high school graduates to remain flat from now until 2023 and to decrease after 2025 from about 3.5 million graduates per year to about three million.

“Enrollment is always going to be a significant issue, because we’re in the people business and the education business,” said Ester, the Normandale president. “A lot of schools are seeing bigger declines, but we’ve flattened off and I’m very grateful for that.”

Enrollment at Normandale was at 7,440 students in 2011 and has hovered around 6,850 students for the last five years, according to the college's data. Ester said the college’s high school dual-enrollment programs have helped stabilize the campus population. From 2011 to 2018, the high school student enrollment at Normandale more than doubled, from 519 to 1,094 students.

Over all, community colleges nationally are operating under different levels of state and local funding while trying to serve different constituents, such as students, faculty and local communities, and being innovative.

“With all of these different things going on, it’s important for us to be innovative,” Ester said. “When you’re worried about keeping the lights on, it’s hard to innovate, but that’s what our students deserve and what they expect.”

Six in 10 community college presidents surveyed said they worry some education reforms expected to improve graduation rates at two-year colleges may not actually increase student learning.

“At the center of our discussions is equitable student outcomes and acknowledging that learning is about quality and rigor,” Cheek, the president of St. Cloud, said. “It’s not about how do we change the student, but how do we change, through pedagogy and practice, our systems and policies?”

The challenge and expectation are that community colleges will maintain quality, a rigorous curriculum and the overall learning experience for students while improving the way that education is delivered to students, she said.

The Presidential Pipeline

Cheek is one of the newer community college presidents -- she has been at St. Cloud for nine months. There have been concerns over the past decade about filling open presidential positions as many community college presidents reached retirement age.

Fewer presidents surveyed -- 17 percent compared to 26 percent a year ago -- indicated they plan to retire in the next two years. That percentage is smaller because many of those positions have been filled.

In North Carolina, 34 out of 58 presidents started those positions in the past three years, said Audrey Jaeger, executive director of the Belk Center for Community College Leadership at North Carolina State University.

“The issue is [now] less about how many are retiring but how can we prepare current and future presidents for these complex jobs,” she said.

Current community college presidents were also split on whether there is an impressive pool of potential two-year leaders available to take their places.

37 percent agreed that there is a strong pool of potential community college leaders.
34 percent remained neutral on the question.
28 percent disagreed and do not feel there is a strong pool of future leaders.
The presidents who were skeptical of the pool of potential two-year leaders said there are not enough clear paths to the presidency.

43 percent of community college presidents agree there are no clear paths to prepare for the presidency.
39 percent disagreed and believe there are clear paths.
60 percent said there are too few minority candidates for community college presidencies.
42 percent said there are too few women candidates.
"We have to go after the talent,” Jaeger said.

At N.C. State’s doctoral program for community college leaders, Jaeger said there are candidates and future students who have the potential to be great leaders, but often they need scholarships to pursue a doctorate or encouragement to pursue becoming a president.

Cheek, who is African American, said she didn’t take the traditional route to become a president. She worked in the corporate sector for about 10 years before taking a position in the president’s office at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, and received encouragement from the college's president, Steven Johnson, to pursue the presidential pathway.

Cheek views her role as president as fulfilling the goal she set to help improve her community when she left the corporate workplace.

“If employers say students are not ready, then we've failed,” she said. “If our transfer institutions say they’re not ready, then we’ve failed. Extending how we measure ourselves and hold ourselves accountable has to extend beyond our institutions. We are trying to improve the economic and social mobility for students, and if they’re not able to navigate the next leg of their journey, we have more work to do.”

Read more by Ashley A. Smith

00 2019-04-11
Baton Rouge

How would you spend $119M more in state budget?

00 2019-04-11
Baton Rouge

TOPS expected to be fully funded this year; governor asks students to stay in La.

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - More than 1,200 students from colleges in the UL system celebrated funding stability for higher education at the capitol Wednesday.

By coincidence, it happened on the same day that the state’s universities testified about their needs in front of the House Budget Committee. Lawmakers will have to send some more money to TOPS this year because more students are on the program, but it’s expected to be fully funded. Governor John Bel Edwards asked the students at the capitol to stay in Louisiana once they graduate.

“Our state is in a much better place than we were three years ago. We no longer lead the nation in our disinvestment for higher education and that stability means the world to our state and it actually means an awful lot to you," said Edwards.

The governor is also proposing a boost in higher education funding that will be debated throughout the session, which ends in early June.

Copyright 2019 WAFB. All rights reserved.
00 2019-04-11
Baton Rouge

TOPS expected to be fully funded this year; governor asks students to stay in La.

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - More than 1,200 students from colleges in the UL system celebrated funding stability for higher education at the capitol Wednesday.

By coincidence, it happened on the same day that the state’s universities testified about their needs in front of the House Budget Committee. Lawmakers will have to send some more money to TOPS this year because more students are on the program, but it’s expected to be fully funded. Governor John Bel Edwards asked the students at the capitol to stay in Louisiana once they graduate.

“Our state is in a much better place than we were three years ago. We no longer lead the nation in our disinvestment for higher education and that stability means the world to our state and it actually means an awful lot to you," said Edwards.

The governor is also proposing a boost in higher education funding that will be debated throughout the session, which ends in early June.

Copyright 2019 WAFB. All rights reserved.
00 2019-04-11
Baton Rouge

The Rundown: An improved forecast as lawmakers begin budget work and more Louisiana politics news

Today in The Rundown: REC agrees to updated revenue estimate; higher ed leaders defend escalating student fees; arrest made in recent church fires; and everything else you need to know in Louisiana politics today.

Be sure to sign up to get The Rundown in your inbox by filling out the form here.

The Countdown…

Days until the session must end: 56

Days until election day: 184

The News

State budget: House Republican leaders, after repeatedly blocking past attempts, have allowed an increase in the state's revenue projection for the coming budget cycle. http://bit.ly/2uVxmGj

Higher ed: Facing questions from state lawmakers, university leaders defended the rapidly escalating student fees that they are charging after years of cuts to universities' budgets. http://bit.ly/2uX34mv

Law enforcement: An arrest has been made in connection with the recent spate of church fires in St. Landry Parish. http://bit.ly/2uVN7Nn

Happening today

House is out until 4 p.m. Monday, and the Senate reconvenes at 5 p.m. Monday.
Louisiana Sales and Use Tax Commission for Remote Sellers meets at 1:30 p.m. at thee LaSalle Building.
Governor's schedule

10 a.m.: Law enforcement update on church fires at St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office in Opelousas.
Noon: PAR Conference and Luncheon at Crowne Plaza Baton Rouge
4 p.m.: Governor’s Mansion Afternoon Easter Egg Hunt (Closed Media)
Tweet beat

Sam Karlin
Another, quieter part of the REC meeting this morning was an update on how much Louisiana spends on tax incentives.
The state has so far spent nearly $300 million in tax incentives in this fiscal year.
Next year, the state is projected to spend $675 million #lalege #lagov

3:56 PM - Apr 10, 2019
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Greg Hilburn
.⁦@RickGallot⁩ wins for best shades during ⁦@ulsystem⁩ day at Capitol #lalege #lagov #GramFam23

12:49 PM - Apr 10, 2019
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Meet the Press

.@SenJohnKennedy on the possibility of a highly redacted Mueller report: "If we get a redacted report from Bill Barr where every third word is blacked out... I'll be right here next to my Democratic colleagues saying this is in bad faith." #MTPDaily

4:33 PM - Apr 10, 2019
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Cathy Newman ⚜
· 11h
Replying to @cenewman0
Student sent me screenshot of her fee bill (personal/irrelevant info redacted) but since tuition/fee breakdown isn't posted _anywhere_ on ULM's website, I hesitate to publicly share the image. DM if you want more specifics. But very similar to LSU's (which is publicly available).

Cathy Newman ⚜
In 2015, in response to outcry over massive cuts to higher ed, #lalege gave Louisiana univ system boards of supervisors power to unilaterally impose fees on students. That's how LSU got "student excellence fee" & ULM got "board assessed fee," both nearly $900/semester.

8:36 PM - Apr 10, 2019
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NFIB Louisiana
Week 1 of the Regular Session wraps up tonight with some maneuvering already happening and some great champions in #lalege already working overtime to protect #smallbiz. Looking forward to Week 2!

8:26 PM - Apr 10, 2019
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Advocate photos: University of Louisiana System Day at State Capitol draws crowd, showcases programs of its nine institutions for state leaders, Wed., April 10, 2019. https://www.theadvocate.com/acadiana/multimedia/photos/collection_3f8f24b2-5beb-11e9-9c8b-136f52c94d0c.html … #lalege #lagov @DrJBHenderson @LouisianaGov @theadvocatebr

7:08 PM - Apr 10, 2019
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Will Sentell

First hearing in bid to cap highway billboards set for Tuesday in House Transportation Committee. Backers face uphill battle.#lalege

5:12 PM - Apr 10, 2019
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Melinda Deslatte

Rep. Steve Pugh is asking the state ethics board if he's allowed to work for the House as the Capitol Foundation Coordinator (selling state souvenirs, essentially the "gift shop clerk" as he calls it) after his term in office ends in January: http://ethics.la.gov/publicweb/bluesheet.aspx?ItemID=23982&MeetingID=405 … #lalege

1:38 PM - Apr 10, 2019
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Melinda Deslatte

Republican candidate for governor @DocAbraham has released a list of 100 endorsements from around the state: https://abrahamforgovernor.com/2019/04/10/abraham-rolls-out-over-100-endorsements-from-elected-officials/ … #lagov #lalege

1:18 PM - Apr 10, 2019
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Abraham Rolls Out Over 100 Endorsements From Elected Officials - Ralph Abraham for Governor
Abraham Rolls Out Over 100 Endorsements From Elected Officials Over 100 Louisiana elected leaders across the state endorse Abraham for Governor BATON ROUGE, La – Ralph Abraham’s campaign for...

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Tips, comments or suggestions? Send your feedback to ecrisp@theadvocate.com or @elizabethcrisp on Twitter.
00 2019-04-11
Baton Rouge

Who doesn't love mascots? Photos: University of Louisiana System Day at State Capitol

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 was University of Louisiana System Day at the State Capitol, where over 1,200 students, alumni and faculty from nine universities showcased academic programs and performance groups for state leaders. Speakers included Governor John Bel Edwards, UL System Board Chair Mark Romero and UL System President and CEO Jim Henderson. Lunch was be provided by Nicholls State University's Chef John Folse Culinary Institute with desserts crafted by the University of New Orleans' Lester E. Kabacoff School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration. Interactive academic program displays include virtual reality devices, drone and robotics demonstrations, innovative arts, and allied health.

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Mascots, from left, Colonel Tillou of Nicholls State University, Rowdy from McNeese State, Grambling's Tiger and University of New Orleans' Captain BrUNO stare each other down before a spirit contest between the University of Louisiana System universities' mascots and cheerleaders, at UL System Day at the State Capitol, Wednesday, April 10, 2019. Over 1,200 students, alumni and faculty from nine universities showcased academic programs and performance groups for state leaders. Speakers included Governor John Bel Edwards, UL System Board Chair Mark Romero and UL System President and CEO Jim Henderson. Lunch was provided by Nicholls State University's Chef John Folse Culinary Institute with desserts crafted by the University of New Orleans' Lester E. Kabacoff School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration. Interactive academic program displays include virtual reality devices, drone and robotics demonstrations, innovative arts, and allied health.

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University of Louisiana System President & CEO Jim Henderson, left, shakes hands with Gov. John Bel Edwards, center, before each spoke at UL System Day at the State Capitol, where over 1,200 students, alumni and faculty from nine universities showcased academic programs and performance groups for state leaders. At right is State Sen. Jay Luneau, D-Alexandria.

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Grambling State University's Orchesis Dancers perform University of Louisiana System Day at the State Capitol,Wednesday, April 10, 2019.

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University of Louisiana at Lafayette cheerleader Madison Allemand, left, gets some throwing advice from Northwestern State University of Louisiana cheerleader Terrence Green, center, as they and other cheerleaders including ULL's Sara Reilly, right, fool around with a football at University of Louisiana System Day at the State Capitol, Wednesday, April 10, 2019. Over 1,200 students, alumni and faculty from nine universities showcased academic programs and performance groups for state leaders. Speakers included Governor John Bel Edwards, UL System Board Chair Mark Romero and UL System President and CEO Jim Henderson. Lunch was be provided by Nicholls State University's Chef John Folse Culinary Institute with desserts crafted by the University of New Orleans' Lester E. Kabacoff School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration. Interactive academic program displays include virtual reality devices, drone and robotics demonstrations, innovative arts, and allied health.

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Ashleigh Young, a member of the McNeese State University rodeo team, ties the legs of a model goat during a demonstration at University of Louisiana System Day at the State Capitol, Wednesday, April 10, 2019.

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Mascot Colonel Tillou, left, of Nicholls State University, shakes a finger at Roomie, Southeatsern Louisiana University's lion mascot, before a spirit contest between the University of Louisiana System universities' mascots and cheerleaders, at UL System Day at the State Capitol, Wednesday, April 10, 2019. Over 1,200 students, alumni and faculty from nine universities showcased academic programs and performance groups for state leaders. Speakers included Governor John Bel Edwards, UL System Board Chair Mark Romero and UL System President and CEO Jim Henderson. Lunch was provided by Nicholls State University's Chef John Folse Culinary Institute with desserts crafted by the University of New Orleans' Lester E. Kabacoff School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration. Interactive academic program displays include virtual reality devices, drone and robotics demonstrations, innovative arts, and allied health.

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Gov. John Bel Edwards, left, shakes hands with the University of Louisiana System Board Chairman Mark Romero, right, at UL System Day at the State Capitol, Wednesday, April 10, 2019.

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From left, Ben Greenberg, Tomas Majcherski, Dylan James and Robert Brennan, members of the University of New Orleans Jazz All Stars, play at the University of Louisiana System Day at the State Capitol, where over 1,200 students, alumni and faculty from nine universities showcased academic programs and performance groups for state leaders, Wednesday, April 10, 2019.

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From left, Peyton Matherne, S.J. Newton and Kelly Zeringue, students in Nicholls State University's Chef John Folse Culinary Institute, get ready to serve up a chicken and sausage jambalaya to the crowd at University of Louisiana System Day at the State Capitol, Wednesday, April 10, 2019.

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Richard Davis, Jr., left, student member on the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System, shakes hands with Gov. John Bel Edwards at University of Louisiana System Day at the State Capitol, Wednesday, April 10, 2019.

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From left, University of Louisiana at Monroe Associate Director of Alumni Affairs Jenny Pankey, Director of Alumni Affairs Melissa Kiper and State Sen. Mike Walsworth, R-West Monroe, get their picture taken with the school's mascot, Ace the Warhawk, at University of Louisiana System Day at the State Capitol, Wednesday, April 10, 2019. Walsworth graduated from Northeast Louisiana University, which changed its name to University of Louisiana at Monroe in 1999.

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Southeastern Louisiana University students clown around with the school's lion mascot at the University of Louisiana System Day at the State Capitol, Wednesday, April 10, 2019.

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Crowd at the University of Louisiana System Day at the State Capitol, where over 1,200 students, alumni and faculty from nine universities showcased academic programs and performance groups for state leaders, Wednesday, April 10, 2019.

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Louisiana Tech University students take a break at University of Louisiana System Day at the State Capitol, where over 1,200 students, alumni and faculty from nine universities showcased academic programs and performance groups for state leaders, Wednesday, April 10, 2019.
00 2019-04-11
Baton Rouge

Southeastern hosts tech job career fair

Southeastern Louisiana University hosted Tech Connect, its annual career fair for technology March 27.

A collaborative effort between the Office of Career Services and the Departments of Computer Science and Industrial and Engineering Technology, Tech Connect attracted more than 45 area employers looking to fill numerous positions in high-demand tech fields.
00 2019-04-11
Baton Rouge

SLU group will hold farmers market, celebrate Earth Day April 17

The Southeastern Louisiana University student organization Reconnect will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with a farmers market on Wednesday, April 17.

The market will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of the Student Union on the Hammond campus.

Sponsored by the Sociology and Criminal Justice Department, the market will feature locally grown produce, pies, food, coffee, soaps and jewelry. There also will be live music.

In addition to the farmers market vendors, representatives from various student and community organizations will take part in celebrating Earth Day, including the Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station, the Sustainability Center, biology graduate students, Dining Services, Reconnect, the Sierra Club and the Citizens Climate Lobby. The first 300 participants will receive a free reusable water bottle.

A student environmental club, Reconnect participates in the Real Food Challenge, a national effort among college students to promote the use of locally grown, healthy and sustainable food products.

For more information, contact Associate Professor of Sociology David Burley at david.burley@southeastern.edu.

00 2019-04-11

SLU students help community in annual The Big Event

HAMMOND — A record number of approximately 1,000 Southeastern Louisiana University students, faculty, staff and alumni put in a day of community service in the City of Hammond and nearby communities March 30 as part of the university’s The Big Event.

Sponsored by the Student Government Association, The Big Event is intended to give students and other volunteers the opportunity to help the communities and organizations that support Southeastern in many ways. This is the ninth year the SGA has sponsored the program.

The students included individual volunteers and representatives of several student organizations, fraternities and sororities. They worked at sites such as Our Daily Bread Food Bank, the Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce, TARC of Hammond, Ministries of Hope and the Louisiana Children’s Discovery Center.

Jobs included beautification and landscaping projects, cleanup efforts in downtown Hammond, sorting materials and conducting inventory for nonprofit organizations.
00 2019-04-11

Celebrate French food at Nicholls fundraiser

Nicholls State University invites you to take a culinary walk through history at an annual fundraiser May 10 in New Orleans.

The Dinner of the Century, a benefit for the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute, will pair Nicholls students and faculty with top New Orleans chefs to recreate a historic dinner at the Grand Ballroom of the Royal Sonesta Hotel, 300 Bourbon St.

This year’s theme is “The French Ancestry of New Orleans Cuisine,” a nod to the French royalty of the kitchen. The five-course menu will include dishes tracing their roots to French royalty from the 17th through 19th centuries.

“It has become a tradition that we recreate a historic menu of the past,” said Chef John Folse, namesake of the Thibodaux’s university’s cooking school. “This year, we will walk through the evolution of French cuisine that eventually made its way to La Nouvelle-Orléans.”

A cocktail reception will kick off the evening at 6, with dinner at 7. A reception will follow.

During the event, Drago Cvitanovich will be inducted posthumously into the Lafcadio Hearn Hall of Honor. The Lafcadio Hearn Award is given to culinary professionals who have had a long-term, positive influence on the cuisine and culture of Louisiana and the nation. Hearn, who died in 1904, wrote a series of books and articles that introduced New Orleans to the world and helped document Creole cuisine for future generations.

Cvitanovich, who died in 2017, opened the world-famous Drago’s restaurant in 1969 with his wife, Klara. The couple were inducted into the Louisiana Restaurant Association Hall of Fame and received the Ella Brennan Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Award from New Orleans Wine and Food Experience.

Tickets are $250 per person, $3,000 for a 10-seat benefactor table or $5,000 for a 10-seat corporate table. Formal attire is required. Visit nicholls.edu/culinary/doc or call 493-2704.
00 2019-04-11

Campus Cupboard aims to help students with food, hygiene needs

Photo caption: Graduate student Trey Delcambre organizes canned food donated to UL Lafayette’s Campus Cupboard. The on-campus pantry is located at the University’s Intensive English Program building, 413 Brook Ave. (Photo credit: Doug Dugas / University of Louisiana at Lafayette).

LAFAYETTE, La. – The University of Louisiana at Lafayette will celebrate a ribbon cutting and grand opening for its on-campus pantry that aims to enhance food security among students and also provide hygiene products.

The Campus Cupboard is a resource for undergraduate and graduate students who require short-term assistance meeting their food and hygiene needs. It is in UL Lafayette’s Intensive English Program building, 413 Brook Ave.

Campus Cupboard is “designed to help tide students over when they are having problems paying for food,” said Dr. Pearson Cross, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts. He chairs the committee that began planning the pantry in late 2017.

The panel includes representatives from the Student Government Association, Graduate School, the Division of Student Affairs, the Community Service and Sustainability offices, and other administrative units and academic departments.

The Cupboard’s community partners are Second Harvest Food Bank, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Sodexo and United Way of Acadiana.

Pantry patrons will be asked to present student IDs.

“Campus Cupboard is not designed to feed someone who has no other food source. In the case of chronic need, we hope to refer students to other providers,” such as Second Harvest or Foodnet, Cross said.

More than 500 universities and colleges in the United States offer food assistance to students, said Chandler Harris, president of the UL Lafayette’s Student Government Association.

In Louisiana, LSU, Delgado Community College, and Louisiana Tech, Southeastern Louisiana and Northwestern State universities have food pantries.

“Hunger exists on many college campuses, though you can’t always see it. Unfortunately, there is a stigma associated with food insecurity, and that’s unfair,” Harris said.

“The Campus Cupboard is a statement. The University community is saying it wants to help.”

National studies indicate students who face food insecurity are more likely to skip, fall behind in or drop courses, said Dr. Mary Farmer-Kaiser, dean of the University’s Graduate School.

“Food insecurity among undergraduates and graduate students hurts their academic performances. It’s difficult to focus on classwork, complete assignments, or write a thesis or dissertation if you are hungry,” Farmer-Kaiser said.

“The Campus Cupboard is combatting hunger, but it’s also providing an essential tool for student success. No one should have to defer the pursuit of a degree because of hunger.”

For information on the Campus Cupboard, or to donate, email Pearson Cross at pearson@louisiana.edu, or Sally Donlon, assistant dean of the College of Liberal Arts, at sallyo@louisiana.edu.
00 2019-04-11

BCBS foundation awards grant to ULM for health screenings

The University of Louisiana Monroe announced today, Tuesday, April 2, that it would provide healthcare screenings and education events to citizens in Union, Morehouse, Richland, East Carroll, West Carroll, Tensas, Madison and Bienville parishes for the next three years thanks to a $96,679 grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation.

The ULM Colleges of Health Sciences and Pharmacy will partner with Ochsner LSUHSC-Monroe (formerly E.A. Conway) and local community organizations to conduct healthcare screenings and educational events in the service area. According to Project Manager, Dr. Susan Lacey, the ULM Kitty DeGree Chair in Nursing, “When individuals are identified at-risk or need additional education to manage a previously diagnosed condition, they will be referred to their original provider, a local provider, and/or a Federally Qualified Health Clinic.”

Screening for Life will also train area citizens to help manage the screenings and events. After the grant ends, ULM faculty will remain engaged with the Community Health Workers (CHWs) as they continue screenings and education in places where people gather, such as churches and beauty shops.

Susan Chappell, Executive Director of ULM Advancement, Foundation and Alumni Relations, said, “We thank Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation for making it possible to reach north Louisiana citizens living in underserved areas with Screening for Life.”

ULM President Nick J. Bruno said the Screening for Life grant will allow the university to expand its healthcare services to surrounding communities that rank high nationally for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and obesity.

“Thanks to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, ULM will be able to make an impact with people who have a significant need for healthcare services,” Bruno said.

Michael Tipton, president of the Blue Cross Foundation, says that the ULM project stands out for its partnerships, “Our Foundation has positioned itself to support communities coming together to solve tough health problems. We commend this unique partnership of educators, healthcare providers and community leaders to improve the health and lives of those living in the northeast region.”

The three-year program begins Aug. 1.

00 2019-04-11

ULM plans to celebrate International Week

The University of Louisiana Monroe’s International Student Services is hosting its annual International Week from Sunday, April 14 through Thursday, April 18. The purpose of this special week is to highlight the diverse cultures and nationalities present on ULM’s campus.

“We have an active international community at ULM. Our annual International Student Week highlights diversity, cultural exchange and Warhawk pride! We are excited to highlight our international students through song, dance, food and networking,” said DeVaria Hudson, Director of International Services and Programs.

All activities are free except the International Food Festival and the International Gala. The gala is free for the first 150 members, $10 for ULM domestic students, and $15 for faculty and staff. Tickets can be purchased at the International Student Services office in Sandel Hall, Suite 200.

“There are so many opportunities for the community to become involved in International Student Week. Join us for the flag parade, Holi (Festival of Colors), soccer tournament and gala. I’m really looking forward to the food festival. Our international students are some of the best chefs this side of the bayou,” said Hudson.

The International Food Festival is one of the most anticipated events of the week. Guests will be able to enjoy a global variety of sample food provided by international students and faculty, priced from 50 cents to $2 per item.


Sunday, April 14

• Kickoff

Time: 5 –7 p.m.

Location: International Student Center

• Winter is Coming Watch Party

Time: 8 p.m.

Location: The Hangar

Monday, April 15

• Flag Parade

Time: 3 p.m.

Location: Fant Ewing Coliseum to Scott Plaza

• International Health Fair

Time: 3-7 p.m.

Location: The Hangar

• Holi (Festival of Colors)

Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

Location: Bayou Park

Tuesday, April 16

• Kayak Race & Henna

Time: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Location: Wesley Foundation

• Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt

Time: 5-7 p.m.

Location: Wesley Foundation

Wednesday, April 17

• Food Festival

Time: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Location: The Hangar

• Soccer Tournament Battle for I-20

Time: 5 p.m.

Location: Intramural Soccer Field

• African-Caribbean Dance Workout

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Location: Activity Center

Thursday, April 18

• International Student Gala

Time: 6:30-9 p.m.

Location: The Hangar
00 2019-04-11

Tech Eco-Car wins twice at Eco-Marathon

The Louisiana Tech University Eco-Car team earned two first-place, $3,000 awards at this year’s Shell Eco-Marathon competition held in Sonoma, California, on April 3-6.

Designed and built from the ground up entirely by Tech students, the team’s UrbanConcept car turned in a 195 miles-per-gallon performance on the Sonoma Raceway and won first place in the overall vehicle design category. The team also won the communication award for its efforts in documenting and marketing the program’s activities leading up to the competition.
00 2019-04-10
Baton Rouge

Tuesday, April 9th: Jim Henderson, Michael Henderson, Fairleigh Jackson

00 2019-04-10

ULM to host suicide awareness walk

00 2019-04-10

Annual Gospel Scholarship Musical benefiting Grambling State University students

Annual Gospel Scholarship Musical benefiting Grambling State University students

00 2019-04-10

NSU hosts STEAM tour for ninth graders

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University, in partnership with the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOFSA), hosted the inaugural S.T.E.A.M. tour for about 150 ninth graders from four high schools in the region. Students visited several departments on campus to learn academic and career opportunities in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.

“Throughout the day, they toured campus, met college students and faculty and saw first-hand how interdisciplinary tools and projects enhance education and prepare students for innovative work in the modern world,” said Steve Gruesbeck, who coordinated the event with Dr. Jafar Al-Sharab, head of NSU’s Department of Engineering Technology.

Students from Red River High School, Lincoln Preparatory, Many High School and Converse High School participated.

“They are hearing from two representatives from each discipline to show how these areas intersect,” Gruesbeck said. “For instance, we’ve paired Computer Information Systems with biology where students can see how virtual technology is applicable to health science.”

Faculty also presented demonstrations in fine arts, culinary arts and engineering technology to show how those fields complement each other and students were able to view NSU’s Mazda Rotary Art Car, an interdisciplinary experiential learning project. The day also included the New Media Student Showcase and a performance by the Out On A Limb Improv Troupe.

LOSFA’s partnership in the S.T.E.A.M. tour was orchestrated through Louisiana GEAR UP (Louisiana Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), a federally funded national initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Education which gives grants to states or institutions of higher learning to create partnerships with high-poverty middle or high schools. In partnership with 16 school districts, LA GEAR UP aims to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education.

NSU’s S.T.E.A.M. tour was a preview to upcoming separate, but related week-long camps this summer for students in LA GEAR UP parishes, including Red River and Sabine. Camp Locomotion will be July 8-12 to study movement of humans and robots. Energy Camp July 15-19 will focus on light and sound energy. Robotics Camp will be July 22-26 and Advanced Robotics will be July 29-Aug. 1. On Fridays each camp will include an off-site educational and career-oriented field trip.

“Robots are a great STEAM tool because they combine so many principles at one time such as engineering, problem-solving and team work. In addition, robots play a significant role in advanced manufacturing and smart factories,” Sharab said. Students will also learn about safety, electrical and digital electronics and robot programming.

For more information on NSU’s programming with GEAR UP parishes or upcoming summer sessions, contact Gruesbeck at sgruesbeck@nsula.edu or Al-Sharab at jafar@nsula.edu.

Chef John Carriere from Northwestern State University’s culinary arts program talked to students from Many High School about the intersection of science and art in cooking by explaining how yeast reacts with other ingredients to make bread. The students were among about 150 ninth graders who participated in the university’s inaugural S.T.E.A.M tour, which is intended to expose students to academic and career opportunities in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. NSU Faculty from several disciplines presented information in each of those areas and demonstrated how the disciplines complement each other.
00 2019-04-10
New Orleans

St. Tammany College Notes for April 10

00 2019-04-10

Revenue From Online Ed Is On the Rise. So Is the Competition, Moody’s Says.

As universities continue to cope with the long-term financial fallout of the Great Recession, many of them are increasingly turning to online programs to survive. That's one implication of a recent report by Moody’s Investors Service.

Southern New Hampshire U.
The offices for Southern New Hampshire U.'s growing online division are housed in the Millyard, once a textile mill, in Manchester, N.H.
Online-focused private institutions like Western Governors University and Southern New Hampshire University have expanded their online offerings, enrolling thousands of students looking for a convenient and inexpensive college degree. The University of Massachusetts system is among the most recent public institutions to stake out a similar strategy.

This trend of growth and investment in online education will lead to intensified competition and changing key players, the report says. For an industry previously dominated by for-profit institutions and a handful of private nonprofits, the landscape is shifting quickly.

The report predicts that colleges will try to differentiate their online degrees in areas like branding, tuition costs, and quality of education. Competition among companies providing these services — online program managers, or OPMs — will also increase as the industry becomes more saturated.

Here are two other key takeaways:

Low barriers to entry, high barriers to success
While distance-learning programs are not likely to replace the traditional college experience for everyone, the rate of growth in online enrollment is outpacing that for campus enrollment. The market for online programs is crowded and relatively easy to enter, but traditional name-brand universities now claim a larger share of it than in the past. This means smaller institutions with less-established programs will struggle unless they can set themselves apart, according to the report.

Sustaining the College
Business Model

Public universities are expected to maintain their shares of online enrollment. The report shows that publics enroll more than half of all exclusively online students and benefit from the lower price tags of their programs, compared with private colleges. Private for-profits are expected to face challenges: Changing regulatory attitudes and the rise of mega-universities will threaten their growth, the report says. For example, Ashford University and the University of Phoenix, formerly market leaders, are seeing significant declines in enrollment.

The risks and benefits of different operating models
When a university looks to enter the online market, it can either build its own program or partner with a third-party OPM. Building a successful in-house online operation is complicated, although it can bring in greater profits. The report found that while more universities are working with OPMs, which have fewer upfront costs, doing so brings some risks.

First, there is a lack of published research on the success rates of these programs, and it can be difficult for a university to break a contract with an OPM. An institution also runs the risk of losing access to web pages and some student information, which belongs to the provider under most contracts, according to the report. These companies are typically for-profit enterprises, the report says, which could put student success on the back burner. It can also be risky to rely on a third party’s technology to deliver courses to students.

Editor's note (4/9/2019, 7:05 p.m.): The headline and first paragraph of this article have been altered to clarify that the Moody's report, on its own, did not overtly draw the conclusions described.

Follow Terry Nguyen on Twitter at @terrygtnguyen, or email her at terry.nguyen@chronicle.com.
00 2019-04-09
Associated Press

Governor touts budget stability as session begins

BATON ROUGE — Only months from an election seen as a referendum on his performance, Gov. John Bel Edwards told lawmakers today that Louisiana was “back on the path to prosperity” after stabilizing its finances, framing his term as ending budget uncertainty even as he and House Republican leaders squabble over next year’s spending plan.

“The budget crisis that for years held Louisiana hostage is over,” the Democratic governor said to a joint gathering of the majority-GOP House and Senate on the opening day of the annual legislative session.

The 60-day regular session is the 11th session of the four-year term, a span that has been marked by heated budget-balancing tax debates and conflicts between the governor and House Republican leaders.

A seven-year tax deal struck last year ended fears of deep cuts across health and education programs that marked budget debates for the past decade. Still, financial feuds remain front and center this session with Edwards and House GOP leaders at loggerheads about how much the state should spend in the budget year starting July 1 and what income projections to use.

This latest feud comes as Edwards is seeking a second term in the Oct. 12 election, facing two Republican challengers: U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham and businessman Eddie Rispone. Abraham attended the speech and objected to Edwards’ characterization of a state with economic momentum.

“The state is not prosperous right now,” said the congressman, who represents a northeast Louisiana-based district.

In a campaign-style speech, Edwards touted past achievements and outlined a limited election-year agenda.

He’s seeking pay raises for teachers and school support workers, creation of a program that promotes veteran-owned businesses and passage of a state law to prohibit health insurance discrimination based on preexisting medical conditions.

Edwards again is proposing to raise Louisiana’s minimum wage and enact new equal pay laws, efforts that have failed three years in a row. He asked lawmakers to send a minimum wage hike to voters to decide.

“While we refuse to act, our neighbors in Arkansas have raised their minimum wage three times, most recently with an $11-an-hour ballot initiative,” the governor said.

Lawmakers will debate tax measures, though little appetite seems to exist for significant change after last year’s deal. Some Republicans want to reverse Edwards’ restrictions on a property tax break program for manufacturers. Repeat efforts to raise Louisiana’s gas tax to address a $14 billion roadwork backlog face the same opposition that previously killed the proposal.

Contentious debates are expected on Louisiana’s use of the death penalty, the legalization of sports betting, the loosening of marijuana penalties, the handling of sexual harassment settlements involving state officials and a proposal to ban abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Other repeat debates are planned on whether to enact statewide regulations for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft and whether to strike a new long-term deal with Harrah’s, the operator of New Orleans’ land-based casino.

Edwards struck a bipartisan tone in his speech: “No matter where I go across this state, I am more and more convinced that there is far more that unites us than divides us.”

But even as Edwards was delivering his remarks, his campaign issued a statement slamming Abraham for showing up to the speech, calling it a “desperate, pathetic stunt.” And Republican Rep. Blake Miguez, of Erath, tweeted an objection to Edwards’ speech while the governor was giving it, saying Edwards’ descriptions of economic prosperity were untrue.

As a backdrop to the session, all 144 legislative seats also are on the October ballot. Many of the 47 term-limited lawmakers are angling for new elected jobs, while other lawmakers are running for reelection.

Rep. Tanner Magee, a Houma Republican, predicts the looming election will lead to more grandstanding than anything else.

“It’s going to be about positioning yourself to be in the election cycle, and I think it’s going to be a lot of just political stuff instead of substance,” Magee said.

00 2019-04-09
Baton Rouge

Gov. Edwards: TOPS, colleges, hospitals safe from cuts

BATON ROUGE — Gov. John Bel Edwards' address to open the Legislative Session took on the tone of a campaign speech, the first time since his taking office the state isn't faced with a budget crisis either real or imagined, as some Republicans contend.

"This is going to be a very different speech than you are used to me delivering the opening day of session because the budget crisis that for years held Louisiana hostage is over," Edwards said here Monday in front of a Joint Session of the House and Senate.

"You won’t hear me talk about a fiscal cliff," he said. "Funding for higher education is stabilized. TOPS is fully funded. And health care services aren’t on the chopping block.

Gov. John Bel Edwards opens the Legislative Session with remarks to lawmakers in the House Monday.
Gov. John Bel Edwards opens the Legislative Session with remarks to lawmakers in the House Monday. (Photo: Greg Hilburn/USA Today Network)

"It wasn’t easy," said Edwards, the only Democratic governor in the Deep South. "Hard choices and compromises had to be made. But today I can stand before you and say that the state of Louisiana is much stronger and in a much better place than we were just a few years ago."

The governor also touted economic development projects across the state under his watch from securing CenturyLink's headquarters in Monroe to an expansion of Waitr's headquarters in Lafayette, Hunt Forest 3 Products' new sawmill in central Louisiana and SuperATV's distribution facility in Shreveport.

"Now, there’s still lots of work to do, but we are putting this state back on a path to more prosperity, more opportunity," Edwards said.

Edwards also noted Louisiana abortions dropped to a 10-year low last year, which he celebrated but critics have bemoaned as restricting access to women.

The governor said he will try again to secure the passage of bills to raise the minimum wage in Louisiana and shrink the pay gap between men and women, even though all of his previous efforts have been rebuffed.

"As I’ve said before, there’s no point in talking about family values if we aren’t actively valuing families," he said.

And he reiterated his top priority, a pay raise for public school teachers and support workers that has actually drawn bipartisan support.

MORE: Gov. Edwards: Raises for teachers, women, working poor

"Make no mistake — the pay goes to the adults, but the investment is in our children," he said.

Edwards is less likely to get support on adding money for public school districts and higher education.

Those are among the issues that will set the stage for the coming budget battle.

MORE ON DECK: Teacher raises, fetal heartbeat, sports betting, death penalty

"There will be a robust debate on the budget," said House GOP delegation Chairman Lance Harris of Alexandria, who is also a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

"The taxpayers are going to see a difference in philosophies — grow the government or control it," he said. "The table is set to have that debate."

And while Edwards was celebrating his record, his re-election opponents were telling another story in email and social media.

An example: "What John Bel Edwards Won't Tell You Today," a press release from Republican U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham contradicting the governor's remarks.

Abraham also attended the governor's address and stood on the House stage as an elected congressman. Edwards' other Republican opponent Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone was also on site.

Aside from politics, Edwards addressed the recent outbreak of church fires, three in Acadiana with predominantly African-American congregations and one in Caddo Parish at Vivian United Pentecostal.

MORE: St. Landry Parish church fires: What we know now

"Churches are sacred places, and no one should fear for their safety in their house of worship," he said. "And no one should be concerned that their house of worship would be destroyed."

"Right now, there are more questions than answers, but hopefully the investigation will yield information we can share with the public in short order," he said.

Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1


00 2019-04-09

UL economist Gary Wagner one of three candidates to fill position on Louisiana Revenue Estimating Conference

00 2019-04-09

Evening of Dance showcase presented at UL

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s School of Music and Performing Arts Dance Program wrapped up its Evening of Dance 2019 performances today.

The show ran this past week in the Burke-Hawthorne Theatre in Burke Hall on the UL Lafayette campus.

The annual dance production showcases original dances choreographed by students in the UL Lafayette Dance Program and features dancers from the Dance program, the university community and the Acadiana region.

“We are in the midst of our spring dance production called an evening of dance,” said Kenneth Jenkins, coordinator. “It is an annual event and it showcases the work of student choreographers in the program.”
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How to stay out of tax trouble

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LA Tech EcoCar wins vehicle design, communications awards

The LA Tech EcoCar won two awards in the Shell Eco-marathon Americas Mileage Competition at Sonoma Raceway over the weekend.

The vehicle, designed by Louisiana Tech University students and faculty won the Communications Award and the Vehicle Design Award for UrbanConcept.

According to a news release, the team submitted an "an integrated communication plan with clear objectives, audience and content strategy, multi-channel tactics and measurable analytics."

Additionally, the car's design included details like LED lights mounted inside the body of the car for a sleeker, aerodynamic look.

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Congrats ⁦@LATechEcoCar⁩ for two 1st-place awards for Design & Communications at #ShellEcoMarathon. Led by Tyler Fontenot (MEngr), driver LeAnn Tengowski (BmE), Madison Wooley (Comm) & a powerful team who dedicated many hours in planning, design, bldg, testing & competing!

8:44 AM - Apr 7, 2019
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More than 1,000 students participated in the event, at which teams from colleges and high schools try to design the most fuel-efficient vehicle.

This year, a total of 88 high school and college teams from across the Americas including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and the United States, participated in the competition, in two vehicle classes: Prototype and UrbanConcept. The Prototype class is focused on ultra-efficient, lightweight designs, typically with 3 wheels. The UrbanConcept class focused on more "roadworthy" vehicles aimed at meeting some of the real-life needs of drivers. Entries were divided into three energy categories: Internal Combustion Engine (gasoline, diesel and ethanol), Hydrogen Fuel Cell and Battery Electric.

Northern Illinois University of DeKalb, Illinois took home first place in the Internal Combustion Engine Prototype category with their gasoline-fueled vehicle achieving 1,524 miles per gallon.

Mater Dei High School broke the United States UrbanConcept record in the Battery Electric category with a 68.2 miles per kilowatt-hour run.
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Spring 2019 phlebotomy grads honored with pinning ceremony

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NSU Theatre and Dance to present “The 1940’s Radio Hour”

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‘A Triumph of Bureaucracy’: How One University Is Converting From Quarters to Semesters

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Grambling State closed Monday in wake of heavy rains, flooding

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Grambling State to resume classes Tuesday

GRAMBLING, LA (KSLA) - Classes and other activities at Grambling State will resume Tuesday, university officials say.

But they advise students, staffers and other motorists to allow extra time for parking because crews still are working on flood-impacted areas of the campus.

And then there are the elevators ...

Grambling State Univ

GSU Update: Elevator Service, Charles P Adams - Tues. April 9, 2019 - Elevators will be unavailable as crews work to repair weather-impacted areas of the building.

5:09 PM - Apr 8, 2019
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The school was closed Monday due to flooding Sunday.

(Sources: Larry Holston, Grambling State University)
But back open to traffic are RWE Jones Drive between Central and College avenues, Cole Street between RWE Jones Drive and Ballock Street, and College Avenue west of Main Street.

And pre-housing has been extended until the close of business Tuesday.

The flooding Sunday highlights the need for an ongoing effort to update the university’s drainage system, Grambling State President Rick Gallot said in a statement.

“We look forward to furthering the conversation around our ongoing drainage update project and will remain in close contact with the governor, our representatives and the federal partners who are helping drive progress on this work.”

Campus crews have been maintaining the university’s drainage system; and school officials have continued to work with FEMA and other partners on the drainage system update since Grambling State flooded in 2016, officials report.

“Multi-agency workgroups have convened as recently as March 28, 2019, to advance progress on the project which would help mitigate the impact of seasonal events like the most recent severe rainstorm.”

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Grambling State Univ

The Grambling State University World Famed Tiger Marching Band kicked off #Ellucian Live 2019 today! 🎶 #Gramfam #WeThoughtYouKnew #MommaThereGoesThatBand

2:51 PM - Apr 8, 2019
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00 2019-04-09

Grambling president says damage from weekend storms highlights need for campus improvements

GRAMBLING, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Heavy rains and winds brought by storms over the weekend highlight the need for improvements to Grambling State University's facilities and infrastructure, according to a statement released by the university on Monday.

According to the statement, the Grambling Status University campus near the intersection of RWE Jones Highway and Cole Street experienced limited access and potential water damage.

Classes were canceled Monday while crews worked to assess the damage. Classes and operations on campus are expected to resume as usual Tuesday, although students, faculty, and community are encouraged to factor in additional time for parking as crews continue to service flood-impacted areas throughout campus.

“We are grateful for the partners statewide who collaborate in our ongoing efforts to improve facilities and infrastructure." GSU President Rick Gallot said in the statement. "This week’s weather events illustrate the urgency and importance of our work to provide adequate facilities for our students, faculty, and the community partners who depend on our University.”

“We look forward to furthering the conversation around our ongoing its Drainage Update Project and will remain in close contact with the Governor, our representatives, and the federal partners who are helping drive progress on this work.”

Background – University Drainage Infrastructure
Since the campus flooding events of 2016, campus facilities and safety crews have actively maintained drainage-ways and related infrastructure. University officials also continue to work with FEMA and partners on a larger Drainage Update Project. Multi-agency workgroups have convened as recently as March 28, 2019, to advance progress on the Project which would help mitigate the impact of seasonal events like the most recent severe rain storm.

Monday, April 8, 2019 – Classes Closed, Facility Assessments Continue
Grambling State University administrative offices are closed and classes canceled Monday, April 8, 2019.

Facilities and Safety and Risk Management team members continue to assess building conditions throughout campus and will provide updates via gram.edu/news and twitter.com/grambling1901 on service and building operations for the week of April 8, 2019.
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UL economist Gary Wagner one of three candidates to fill position on Louisiana Revenue Estimating Conference

Gary Wagner, Acadiana business economist with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's Moody College of Business, was named one of three candidates to serve on the state's Revenue Estimating Conference.

The four-member board, which includes the governor, the Senate President and Speaker of the House, decides how much money state government has available to spend. The Louisiana Board of Regents nominated three candidates to replace LSU economist Jim Richardson, who announced in November his plans to retire.

Wagner, an economic researcher and adviser with interests in regional economics and state and local public finance issues, monitors the regional economic environment, conduct research and analysis and share those results with the business community. He has authored or coauthored more than 40 professional articles and reports on state and local policy issues and has delivered more than 200 public and non-academic presentations.

Wagoner, a former regional economic adviser for the Federal Reserve in Philadelphia, is a respondent in the Survey of Professional Forecasters, the oldest quarterly survey of national economic forecasters in the United States.

Other candidates include

Stephen R. Barnes, director of the LSU Economics & Policy Research Group. He’s worked at LSU since December 2000 and received his doctorate from the University of Texas.
Gregory B. Upton Jr., who analyzes economic policy issues in the energy industry at the LSU Center for Energy Studies. His Ph.D. is from LSU.
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Evening of Dance showcase presented at UL

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s School of Music and Performing Arts Dance Program wrapped up its Evening of Dance 2019 performances today.

The show ran this past week in the Burke-Hawthorne Theatre in Burke Hall on the UL Lafayette campus.

The annual dance production showcases original dances choreographed by students in the UL Lafayette Dance Program and features dancers from the Dance program, the university community and the Acadiana region.

“We are in the midst of our spring dance production called an evening of dance,” said Kenneth Jenkins, coordinator. “It is an annual event and it showcases the work of student choreographers in the program.”
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BATON ROUGE — LSU University College presented its annual “Celebration of Excellence” Spring Awards program recently and awarded $66,000 through 55 undergraduate student scholarships, four LSU faculty teaching awards, two graduate teaching assistant awards and one LSU Advisor of the Year Award.

During the ceremony, Jalashia Reliford of Lake Charles received the Elayn Hunt Memorial Scholarship.

Anthony Student

Employee of Year

McNeese State University student Khristian Anthony of Sulphur has been recognized as the McNeese 2019 Janet Delaine Student Employee of the Year.

Anthony works in the Community Services and Outreach Office, which oversees the early admissions and dual enrollment programs for high school students.

Ashley Hesnor of Ville Platte is the other finalist. She works in the Recreational Sports Complex/Intramurals Office.

McNeese employs 545 students throughout the campus. The Student Employee of the Year program — sponsored by the National Student Employment Association and the Southern Association of Student Employment Administrators — recognizes students who demonstrate reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism and contributions, according to Derek Fontenot, student employment administrator.

The annual award is named in of honor the late Janet Delaine, who was a member of the Student Employee of the Year Committee and assistant director of financial aid at McNeese.
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Senior recital April 11 in Tritico Theatre

The McNeese State University W.A. and Dorothy Hanna Department of Performing Arts will present a free senior recital by Amy Phillips, mezzo-soprano, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, in Tritico Theatre.

Phillips, of Livingston, Texas, will perform works by Handel, Mozart, Mahler and Debussy. She will be assisted by Lindsey Bower, soprano, and Dr. Ulysses Loken, on piano.

At McNeese, she has performed in choral solos and composer showcases as well as musical theatre roles. A recipient of a choral service award, she has also been awarded the Juliet Hardtner Endowed Scholarship.

Persons needing accommodations as provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact the ADA Coordinator at 337-475-5428, voice; 337-475-5960, fax; 337-562-4227, TDD/TTY, hearing impaired; or by email at cdo@mcneese.edu.

McNeeese Choirs present free concert

The McNeese State University W.A. and Dorothy Hanna Department of Performing Arts will present a free concert by the McNeese Choirs at 7 p.m. Friday, April 12, in Tritico Theatre. A special guest alumni choir comprised of former McNeese choir members will perform with Chamber Singers.

Concert Chorale will sing “Laetatus sum” by Johann Michael Haydn, “Regina Coeli” by G.P. Palestrina, “Zum Sanctus” from the “Deutsche Messe” by Franz Schubert, “Sit Down Servant” adapted and arranged by Linda Twine, “Rise Up, My Love” by Bradley Ellingboe and “Fascinating Rhythm” from “A Gershwin Portrait” by George Gershwin.

Chamber Singers will perform “Exsultate, justi” by Lodovico Viadana, “I Dream a World” by Connor Koppin with poetry by Langston Hughes, “Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves” from “Nabucco” by Giuseppe Verdi and “Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal” arranged by Alice Parker.

A 35-member alumni choir will join the Chamber Singers to perform several selections, including “Music of Living” by Dan Forrest, “Seal Lullaby” by Eric Whitacre and “Ride On, King Jesus” arranged by Moses Hogan. Soloists for “Ride On, King Jesus” will be current students Katie Colby and Jacob Voisin.

Choirs are under the direction of Dr. Darryl Jones, director of choral activities. Student pianist Julianne Marler will accompany Concert Chorale and Dr. Ulysses Loken will accompany the Chamber Singers and Alumni Choir.

Persons needing accommodations as provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact the ADA Coordinator at 337-475-5428, voice; 337-475-5960, fax; 337-562-4227, TDD/TTY, hearing impaired; or by email at cdo@mcneese.edu.

Band, symphony

concert April 14

The McNeese State University W.A. and Dorothy Hanna Department of Performing Arts will present the McNeese Symphonic Band and Wind Symphony in a free spring concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 14, in Tritico Theatre in the Shearman Fine Arts Annex.

The concert will include a special guest performance by the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Wind Ensemble, which will perform under the direction of McNeese alumnus Jose Ochoa.

The symphonic band, under the direction of Dr. Jay Sconyers, will perform a program titled “American Connections.” Works featured are John Phillip Sousa’s tribute to President Garfield titled “In Memoriam” and his “Fairest of the Fair,” John William’s music from the movie “Lincoln,” which will feature associate professor of music Dave Scott on trumpet, and Andrew Boysen Jr.’s “Fantasy on a Theme of John Phillip Sousa.”

The wind symphony, under the direction of Dr. Jay Jacobs, will perform three works that feature a mythological connection. Works featured are Silvestre Revueltas’s “Sensemayá,” Scott McAllister’s work “Love Songs” and Frank Ticheli’s “Symphony No. 2.”

The concert will also include a performance by the McNeese Trumpet Ensemble, directed by Scott.

Persons needing accommodations as provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact the ADA Coordinator at 337-475-5428, voice; 337-475-5960, fax; 337-562-4227, TDD/TTY, hearing impaired; or by email at cdo@mcneese.edu.

Jazz Band to perform

free concert

The McNeese State University Jazz Band will perform in a free concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, in Tritico Theatre. The concert is under the direction of Tim McMillen, visiting music lecturer.

The program will include “Sackbut City” by Rayburn Wright, “This Time, Last Year” by Kris Berg, “Afternoon” by Pat Metheny and arranged by Bob Curnow, “Soupbone” by John Clayton, “Blane El Niño” by Dave Zoller, “Second Race” and “Us” by Thad Jones and “Nostalgia in Times Square” by Charles Mingus and arranged by Sy Johnson.

Persons needing accommodations as provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact the ADA Coordinator at 337-475-5428, voice; 337-475-5960, fax; 337-562-4227, TDD/TTY, hearing impaired; or by email at cdo@mcneese.edu.

Opera workshop

set for April 18

The McNeese State University W.A. and Dorothy Hanna Department of Performing Arts will present an opera workshop at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 18, in Tritico Theatre in the Shearman Fine Arts Annex.

The opera workshop will feature a number of opera scenes, including Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites,” Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” and “The Magic Flute” and Smetana’s “The Bartered Bride.”

Performers include seniors Amy Phillips, Taylor Trahan, Ashley Traughber and Tyler Brumback, junior Lara Connally and sophomores Elizabeth Barrilleaux and Joel Jacob. Director is Carol Lines and pianist is Ulysses Loken.

The program is free to the public.

Persons needing accommodations as provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact the ADA Coordinator at 337-475-5428, voice; 337-475-5960, fax; 337-562-4227, TDD/TTY, hearing impaired; or by email at cdo@mcneese.edu.
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Thanks to paper place mats at Chinese restaurants everywhere, most folks know their Chinese zodiac animal sign. Last week a Mc-Neese Leisure Learning class had fun finding out how the combination of animals and elements—fire, water, wood, earth and metal -- in their Chinese astrology chart impacts individual energy, career and relationships.

Next week the class will find out how to apply these ancient Eastern philosophies -- including feng shui -- to a modern Western issue: decluttering and organizing the home.

“We’ll talk about why we create clutter and how understanding a little about feng shui can help get us find the right motivation to deal with clutter,” said Cheryl Bowie, class instructor. “Specific feng shui exercises and approaches could make the work fun, even intriguing.”

Feng shui goes beyond hanging a wind chime here or there. Bowie will demonstrate how taking an intentional approach can make a difference and will give case studies that demonstrate results.

“If you’ve been following all the press about Marie Kondo, much of what she says fits with feng shui philosophy,” said Bowie.

Kondo advises gathering belongings and keeping only the things that spark joy.

“For feng shui consultants, the real pioneer in this work was Karen Kingston, one of my early teachers,” Bowie said.

Bowie, known as the Feng Shui Lady of The South in some circles, has been practicing feng shui since 1991. She has studied with masters in California and Hong Kong and is a member of the International Feng Shui Guild. Bowie has also served as keynote speaker and workshop presenter for State Farm Insurance, National Kitchen & Bath Designers Association, AIA, and higher education development director regional conferences.

Feng shui was first used to help the Chinese select dwelling sites. Feng means wind. Shui means water. Feng shui is a system of principles said to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to energy flow. The focus is to present an environment that is conducive to balance and harmony.

When I reduce clutter, I feel a lifting,” said Jennifer Ewing, a McNeese Leisure Learning student in Bowie’s class. “I don’t want to sound mystical, but it just feels better.”

Tidying Up with Feng Shui, scheduled for Tuesday, April 16, 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. still has openings, but class size is limited, according to May Gray, coordinator for Leisure Learning Classes at McNeese.

The class meets in the Holbrook Student Union Executive Meeting Room. The fee is $36. Go online to mcneese.edu to register or call

(337) 475-5616.
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Lake Charles


Shared from the 4/7/2019 American Press eEdition
Special to the American Press

Merchants & Farmers Bank supports Family Foundation: Family Foundation of Southwest Louisiana is presented with a $25,000 donation from Merchants & Farmers Bank in support of Family Foundation’s Capital Campaign. Proceeds were donated through the Family Foundation Capital Campaign, which is raising funds to expand Family & Youth’s current facilities. From left: Richman Reinauer, Family Foundation trustee; Ken Hughes, president/CEO, Merchants & Farmers Bank; Shawn Camara, city president, Merchants & Farmers Bank; and Julio R. Galan, president/CEO of Family & Youth.

Special to the American Press

Citgo supports Imperial Calcasieu Museum: Dana Keel, Government and Public Affairs Manager for Citgo presents a $10,000 check to Devin Morgan, interim director of the Imperial Calcasieu Museum. Citgo sponsors and supports the arts education programs at the Museum, such as Branch Out Summer Art Camp.

Special to the American Press

First National Bank supports UW: First National Bank of Louisiana donates $6,445 to United Way of Southwest Louisiana. On hand for the donation are, from left: Roxanna L. Mize, vice president/compliance officer, First National Bank of Louisiana; and Melissa Butter, resource development manager with United Way of Southwest Louisiana.

Special to the American Press

St. Nicholas Center supports UW: St. Nicholas Center for Children donates $13,780 to United Way of Southwest Louisiana. On hand for the donation are, from left: Ada O’Quain, Debbie Papania, Alisa Burklow, Tiffany Roberts, all of St. Nicholas Center for Children; and Catherine Thevenot, campaign manager for United Way of Southwest Louisiana.

Special to the American Press

Boys Village supports UW: Boys Village donates $5,012 to United Way of Southwest Louisiana. On hand for the donation are, from left: Cindy Mathieu, development director, Boys Village; and Catherine Thevenot, campaign manager, United Way of Southwest Louisiana.

Special to the American Press

Citgo contributes Team Green: With the help of a $5,000 donation from Citgo, a mercury collection facility is offered to residents at no charge at the city’s wastewater division located at 1132 W. 18th St. Citgo has long been a supporter of the Keep Greater Lake Charles Beautiful—Team Green endeavor, having contributed more than $40,000 to help support the program since 2007 when the mercury recycling facility opened. On hand for the donation are, from left: Emelie Mosca Gary, city of Lake Charles Wastewater Division and Mercury Collection Facility manager; Dana Keel, Citgo Government and Public Affairs manager and compliance manager; and Katie Harrington, city of Lake Charles public information officer.

Special to the American Press

Calcasieu Parish Police Jury supports UW: Calcasieu Parish Police Jury donates $6,766 to United Way of Southwest Louisiana. On hand for the donation are, from left: Keith White, Tara Ross, Luci Mireles, Christina Joyce-Wilson, and Catherine Thevenot, campaign manager, United Way of Southwest Louisiana.

For McNeese Foundation: A $45,000 donation has been given to McNeese State University to establish the Sylvia McGuire and David C. Elks Scholarship through the McNeese Foundation. David C. Elks, a 1969 McNeese history graduate who lives in Stonington, Conn., has established the scholarship on his behalf and in memory of his wife, Sylvia, who attended McNeese and was a strong advocate of the university. Elks — who credits McNeese for his success in life — has designated the scholarship for history or liberal arts majors.

For Louisiana Blue Claw Baseball team: Ryan Navarre of Billy Navarre Auto Group presented a sponsorship check in the amount of $2,000 to David Coleman and the Louisiana Blue Claw Baseball team on March 20 at the Billy Navarre Chevy showroom floor.

See this article in the e-Edition Here
00 2019-04-08

‘A Triumph of Bureaucracy’: How One University Is Converting From Quarters to Semesters

On a sunny September morning in 2014, Tomás D. Morales, president of the California State University at San Bernardino, welcomed hundreds of students, faculty, and staff to his annual convocation address. He listed the university's latest accomplishments, goals, and even a new pilot shuttle service. But what stood out to the campus community was Morales's official call for the university to convert from a quarter to a semester system — a critical step, he called it at the time.

The conversion had been brought up before. In May 2013, the university hosted an open forum for students to ask Timothy P. White, chancellor of Cal State, about the conversion. But no plans were officially drawn up.

Morales's announcement made it official for San Bernardino that fall, and nearly five years later, the campus is at the epicenter of this major transition. It is one of the last six Cal State campuses to adopt the semester calendar, after three years of planning and anticipating. The process, administrators say, is complex, requiring continual committee meetings and collaboration across departments. It's also costly — at least $40 million was spent across the six campuses, reports EdSource, a multimedia platform that focuses on education in the state. On top of that, the San Bernardino campus set for itself a strict deadline for the fall of 2020.

Nationwide, a small number of four-year institutions — about 5 percent — run on the quarter system. As more states seek to standardize their institutions' academic calendars, that number may well get even smaller. Here's how one institution is making the transition.

Curriculum as the Foundation

Tom Provenzano, a professor of theatre arts, directs Bernardino's curriculum committee — a role that, in the heat of the calendar transition, has nearly overtaken his teaching life. The system has been pushing for this move for as long as he can remember, he said, but the university didn't always have the resources to make it happen. "I see it as a triumph of bureaucracy, the way we're working," he said.

Establishing a new curriculum is the first step in the process, said Craig R. Seal, dean of undergraduate studies. Students on the quarter system take shorter classes that are typically 10 weeks long, and they usually register for new courses three to four times in one academic year. In a semester system, students will register twice a year for courses that are longer, lasting about 15 weeks.

“We want to help students finish without stumbling in the middle of the transition.”
That change requires a revamped curriculum, which San Bernardino will finalize this fall, before it can begin advising students on how to academically anticipate 2020.

Overhauling a curriculum opens the door to bigger, broader changes. Departments could submit revised course plans under a semester time line or take the opportunity to innovate, developing new courses and teaching strategies, Provenzano said.

The campus approached restructuring its curriculum through a three-step process. It created tiers to identify which programs would be the simplest to convert, starting with the smaller graduate programs, followed by the undergraduate departments, and finally overhauling general-education requirements.

The CSU system is also pushing campuses to establish consistent general-education requirements, which presented challenges for San Bernardino as it reworked its programs. "There were a lot of conversations about what should be in general education, and if that aligns with our campus values," Seal said.

But the biggest challenge, he said, is getting buy-in from the faculty. "Of course, no one is completely happy with everything," he said. "But I keep reminding people that we have to start teaching this in the fall of 2020. We have no choice."

A concern of the faculty is that majors appear to have been sized down, according to Provenzano. Fewer academic periods means fewer courses, although the number of hours of instruction would be similar, Seal said. Completing a major is contingent upon the number of credits a student accumulates, and Provenzano is worried that students, and even some faculty members, feel like they are "losing out" on the number of courses with semesters.

"But the biggest driver in all of this is making sure that students are graduating in a timely manner," he said. "We want to help students finish without stumbling in the middle of the transition."

Critical Advisement

San Bernardino has hired several professional advisers and brought in additional faculty members to help students chart their academic paths, Seal said. The university has created general one-year roadmaps for the transition year, the academic year 2019-20, before the official conversion.

"They help our freshmen and transfer students identify which courses they should get out of the way before we go into conversion," he said. That way, first-year students at the university in fall 2019 will be put on a uniform path that is already mapped out for them for the transition year.

The 2019 Trends Report

The advising team also focused on students who are scheduled to graduate before the fall of 2020. "The goal is to get those students out if you can, especially if it makes sense for them to graduate prior so that it becomes less complicated," Seal said.

With the curriculum in place, the next step is to finish a credit-conversion guide, which will make it easier for advisers to outline students' course plans. The guide shows how a student's existing academic record on the quarter system will translate to a semester calendar.

In a way, it's beneficial that San Bernardino is one of the last campuses to convert, said Grace King, the university's project director overseeing the change. It allows the leadership team to learn from the mistakes or anticipate the obstacles that other universities have experienced, and work to mitigate the results of the transition.

The advising team, Seal said, has traveled to at least two other campuses, and San Bernardino worked closely with the consulting team hired by CSU to work with the converting campuses.

"We've learned early on that it's important to set up the roadmaps," Seal said. "We had to have the curriculum and the course conversion guide done early enough because some of our sister schools didn't have that."

Anticipate and Adapt

In the last decade, the California State system and the University System of Ohio have required their campuses to shift from quarters to semesters, in an effort to standardize the academic calendar. Among California's community colleges, 109 of 112 are on the semester system, according to San Bernardino's conversion project web page.

And while the transition makes sense logistically, the process is lengthy and requires a lot of bureaucratic legwork, said Steven Fink, associate executive dean for curriculum and instruction at Ohio State University who oversaw its conversion to the semester system. "I think everybody has to customize the process somewhat to their own culture and environment, but it's helpful to learn from other institutions," he said.

San Bernardino administrators did not specify what problems they are anticipating after the conversion is complete.

For Students on the Quarter System, Landing a Summer Internship Can Bring Complications
But enrollment and graduation rates tend to change, Fink said. Leading up to its conversion, Ohio State saw a rise of students planning to graduate and a decline in enrollment shortly after. Ohio State analyzed the transition at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where, officials said, the institution returned to a steady state in enrollment and graduation within three years.

It takes a few years for the university to become acclimated to the changes, Fink said. They're not always welcomed. Provenzano, who is overseeing the curriculum change at San Bernardino, said that some faculty members felt "under siege." "What we're trying to do is give support to faculty, especially those who are not completely on board with it," he said.

While standardizing the academic calendar might prove especially useful for state universities, even years after Ohio State's transition, the end result isn't always neat or simple. Administrators have to anticipate and adapt, Fink said, paying special attention to the programs most affected.

"There are pros and cons to both calendar systems," he said. "Some professors and programs benefited more, and some perceived they were hurt by it."

Follow Terry Nguyen on Twitter at @terrygtnguyen, or email her at terry.nguyen@chronicle.com.
00 2019-04-08

Grambling State closed Monday in wake of heavy rains, flooding

GRAMBLING, LA (KSLA) - There will be no classes Monday at Grambling State University in Grambling.

Parts of the Grambling State University campus flooded Sunday as heavy rains moved through the area. (Photo credit: Larry Holston)
Parts of the Grambling State University campus flooded Sunday as heavy rains moved through the area. (Photo credit: Larry Holston)
All student activities and campus events have been canceled.

And all administrative offices will be closed.

“Essential personnel are to report and encouraged to use caution when traveling,” says a notice from school officials.


1901 Bistro (formerly Cash Street Grill) will be closed;
McCall Dining Center will open at 10 a.m. Monday then resume normal service; and,
Tiger Express will be open for normal service hours.
The shutdown is to allow for campus buildings to be assessed in the wake of severe weather that brought heavy rains and power outages.

Grambling State Univ

GSU SHUTTLE SERVICE for Monday, April 8, 2019
Weather permitting, Student shuttle service will run as planned. University classes and administrative offices closed. Please visit https://twitter.com/grambling1901 for updates.

9:33 PM - Apr 7, 2019
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Storms on Saturday temporarily knocked out electrical service to the campus and surrounding areas.

Then heavy rains Sunday led to flooding in some areas of the campus.

Grambling State Univ

GSU Update: Please note that travel access has been restricted on campus due to excessive flooding. AVOID:
RWE Jones Dr. (between Central Avenue and College Avenue), Cole Street (between RWE Jones HWY and Ballock Street), College Avenue (areas west of Main St)

8:33 PM - Apr 7, 2019 · Grambling, LA
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University officials say anyone with a safety emergency should call (318) 274-2222.

Otherwise, the school will post updates on its Twitter account @Grambling1901.

Grambling State Univ

Pre-housing extended until close of business on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. University classes and administrative offices closed. Please visit https://twitter.com/grambling1901 for updates.

9:33 PM - Apr 7, 2019
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Copyright 2019 KSLA. All rights reserved.
00 2019-04-05

UL recognizes students hard work at honors convocation

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is recognizing the hard work of their students this year.

Thursday evening at the Cajundome, sophomores, juniors and seniors with a 3.5 GPA or higher and graduate students with a 4.0 GPA were honored for their hard work.

Each spring, the University recognizes sophomores, juniors and seniors with at least a 3.5 GPA and graduate students with a 4.0 GPA for academic achievement.

A reception at the Cajundome for students and their families and friends followed the event.
00 2019-04-05

From Italy with love with the Friends of Music

There is no doubt that the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's School of Music is at its best in competition. We've been present for many magical moments; classical, opera, jazz ensembles, all performed by musicians that are the product of an excellent program.

Maria LeFleur, Gerald Guilbeau, Mike and Lynn Crochet
Maria LeFleur, Gerald Guilbeau, Mike and Lynn Crochet (Photo: Kris Wartelle)

They couldn't do so without he help of the Friends of Music who offer financial assistance to talented UL Lafayette music students, in the form of scholarships and performance competition awards.

Tish Johnson, Mona Burris and Jonathan Kulp
Tish Johnson, Mona Burris and Jonathan Kulp (Photo: Kris Wartelle)

Ed and Shelly Roy
Ed and Shelly Roy (Photo: Kris Wartelle)

With that goal in mind, the Friends' recent fundraiser, "From Italy with Love," was held on Mar. 30 at the Palmetto Club in Lafayette. The opera performance alone was worth the price of a ticket.

Sally Burdette, Judy Thomas and Judy Dunn
Sally Burdette, Judy Thomas and Judy Dunn (Photo: Kris Wartelle)

Shawn Roy, Mike Huber and Carolyn French
Shawn Roy, Mike Huber and Carolyn French (Photo: Kris Wartelle)

If you missed it, there is always next year. We have to admit, in addition to the music, our next favorite thing was the sparkling rosé. Carolyn French, you sure know the way to this society reporter's heart.
00 2019-04-05

NBC 10/FOX 14 General Manager speaks at GSU's annual Mass Communication Conference

GRAMBLING, La. - (4/4/19) Grambling State University is holding their annual Mass Communication Conference.

This year, GSU brought in Christopher Pearman, media veteran and father of Raven-Symoné, to be the keynote speaker.

The conference is held to help the students and professionals to further develop their work.

NBC 10/FOX 14 General Manager Randy Stone was also on hand to give some advice and insight to attendees.

The conference will continue tomorrow at 11 AM in the Grambling Hall Auditorium.
00 2019-04-05

Response to the LSUS and LA Tech merger bill

Shreveport, La. - Representative Cedric Glover's bill to merge LSUS and Louisiana Tech comes after a similar bill failed seven years ago.

There are some big differences to Representative's Glover House Bill 470.

In 2012, the bill filed by State Senator Jim Fannin left it open for the campus of LSUS to close down and students would drive to LA Tech or complete courses online. Glover's bill does add protections to keep the campus open but under a new name.

The bill requires the Chancellor of LSUS to send an "intent to leave" letter by August 1 to the Southern Association of Colleges. Louisiana Tech would have until July 2020 to their "intent to merge" letter. Upon approval, LSUS then would cease to exist as a separate institution.

The President of Louisiana Tech Les Guice sent a statement.

"We were not aware that this bill was being filed with the state legislature. Louisiana Tech continues to keep our focus on advancing economic prosperity and education opportunities for north Louisiana, the state and nation."

Glover's bill would transfer LSUS from the LSU University System to the University of Louisiana System.

The LSU system includes the campuses in Baton Rouge, Alexandria, Eunice and Shreveport. Along with the LSU health campuses, including the one in Shreveport.

The University of Louisiana System includes LA Tech, Grambling, McNeese, with six others colleges.

The President of the University of Louisiana System Jim Henderson sent a statement.

"The needs of the community and regional economy are paramount, and all discussions about structural changes should take place in that context. We are proud of the University of Louisiana System's significant impact on northwest Louisiana, including Louisiana Tech's transformational work in the Cyber Research Park which is strengthened by Grambling State University's first-in-the-state undergraduate degree in cybersecurity, the longstanding Northwestern State University nursing school, and multiple partnerships with K - 12 and other entities, including LSUS. Chancellor Clark and his team have done some incredibly innovative work over the past several years. I hope that work is recognized and supported. We look forward to working with Rep. Glover, our partners, and the entire northwest Louisiana community to ensure the region's potential is realized."

We did reach out to the LSU System President F. King Alexander. His staff told us he was in meetings throughout the day and could not send a statement at this time. Once he gets an opportunity he will send one.

00 2019-04-05

Rep. Glover and LSUS chancellor meet to discuss proposed merger bill

SHREVEPORT, La - Representative Cedric Glover and Louisiana State University - Shreveport Chancellor Larry Clark have a face-to-face conversation about the future of LSU-Shreveport Thursday morning. "We're talking the issues. Whether it's collaboration or partnership is ultimately what differs in the terms we're looking at it," said Clark. "Chancellor Clark and I, I think both are trying to get to the same place. We may disagree about how we get there but we're both looking to make a greater Shreveport," said Glover. Glover and Clark were very brief on how their morning meeting went with the delegation. Both gave their concerns in the meeting on the future of the institution.

Glover filed a bill that would merge the school with Louisiana Tech. He's been vocal in the press about the decline in attendance a Clark has been vocal about his opposition against the bill and the lack of investment in the school.

We caught up with lawmakers who attended the meeting and they gave their opinions. "I think that Cedric definitely brings up an interesting proposition. I wouldn't say that we have reached a consensus today no other than our mutual support of the mission other than to make it as much as a success that we can," said Representative, Thomas Carmody. "We also need to make sure we take a hard look at the budget because the state budget has grown 25 percent. So it's time if we want to protect our priorities that we look at some cuts," said Representative John Milkovich.

The bill will be brought up at the legislative session which starts Monday.
00 2019-04-04
Baton Rouge

SLU holds job fair for students

Southeastern Louisiana University held a Biz-Connect fair March 14. Sponsored by the Southeastern College of Business and the Office of Career Services, Biz-Connect was designed to introduce employers to seniors looking for employment opportunities in the business realm.

Southeastern business students visited with representatives of 49 area and national employers.
00 2019-04-04

SLU holds job fair for students

Southeastern Louisiana University held a Biz-Connect fair March 14. Sponsored by the Southeastern College of Business and the Office of Career Services, Biz-Connect was designed to introduce employers to seniors looking for employment opportunities in the business realm.

Southeastern business students visited with representatives of 49 area and national employers.
00 2019-04-04

Work by ULM’s Dr. Joni Noble accepted for exhibit

Dr. Joni Henry Noble, Professor of Art, in the School of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Louisiana Monroe, has been accepted in Art Flow 2019, a statewide art exhibition held in downtown Baton Rouge.

Noble’s work, “Fiddle 1,” a black and white archival print, will be displayed at The Heron, a luxury condominium in Baton Rouge’s convention district.

The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge and Forum 35 are sponsors of Art Flow 2019.

More than 100 individual art works will be exhibited throughout downtown Baton Rouge in a variety of venues.

The goal of this exhibition is to present quality artwork by Louisiana artists in a way that allows the community more access to artwork in a non-gallery setting.
00 2019-04-04

Livingston Parish natives join volunteer effort in Southeastern’s annual ‘Big Event’

A record number of approximately 1,000 Southeastern Louisiana University students, faculty, staff and alumni put in a day of community service in the City of Hammond and nearby communities on Saturday, March 30, as part of the university’s annual “The Big Event.”

Sponsored by the Student Government Association, “The Big Event” is intended to give students and other volunteers the opportunity to help the communities and organizations that support Southeastern in many ways.

00 2019-04-04

UL Offering a Food Pantry for Students

The UL Lafayette Campus Cupboard is a resource for undergraduate and graduate students who require short-term assistance meeting their food needs. The pantry provides free, nonperishable items to meet students' temporary food needs.

It's located in UL Lafayette’s Intensive English Program building, 413 Brook Ave, next to The Saint Street Inn. Students who visit the Campus Cupboard will be asked to present their University IDs.

To volunteer, complete a quick online form. To donate,email pcross@louisiana.edu or sally.donlon@louisiana.edu. For more details, see https://studentaffairs.louisiana.edu/services/campus-cupboard.
00 2019-04-04

UL's goal is new RCAF system to benefit athletics and its investors

When the UL athletic department rolled out the details of its new Ragin’ Cajuns Athletic Foundation policy for the upcoming school year, it knew many questions would arise.

And truthfully, everyone from RCAF executive director Jim Harris to athletic director Dr. Bryan Maggard himself welcome the inquiries with open arms.

Their wish, however, is through all of the explanatory conversations that are going to ensue between now and the official start of the next school year on July 1, that the conclusion will be a win-win for both the university’s investors and the athletic department.

Ragin' Cajuns Athletic Foundations unveils new investment model, includes opportunities to recognize donors
Ragin' Cajuns Athletic Foundations unveils new investment model, includes opportunities to recognize donors
Before explaining how both may be possible, the first step is unveiling the primary changes in the new policy.

In the former system, not all donations were created equal. For example, a $100 donation to the general fund carried more weight in the RCAF’s eyes than a $100 donation to the basketball program’s Rebounders Club.

In this new system, a $100 donation counts the same no matter which drawer its dropped into.

“In the past, a donation to the Diamond Club was worth half of the weight of a donation to the annual fund,” Harris explained.

“Our answer to why in the past used to be because we were weighting areas based on how we felt would be the most important to the athletic department. The annual fund gifts were going to the athletic department budget and we were trying to grow our budget annually year by year by year, so we were encouraging fans to give to the annual fund. We could use that money for our operational budget and thus reward those fans more than if they gave to another area that we would call restricted.”

The second main change in the new policy is priority points no longer determine each investor’s rank. Now, once each investor’s total donation is determined, that figure will dictate which level that investor falls and the priority points will determine which spot within that level each investor falls.

For the record, investors earn a point for every $100 given to athletics, a point for every $300 given the university, a point for each season ticket purchased and 10 points for each year as an investor to the annual fund.

“Our hope is that fans will find that they now have more control over their experience and their benefits, because a dollar is a dollar,” Harris said.

The next thing fans need to understand, however, is to take those two main points at face value. Where each investor ranks really matters now.

“One thing that’s important,” Harris revealed. “A fan could say, why should I care about my points? Because as an athletic department, we have never really used priority points in a way that a lot of other schools have used priority points. Now that Dr. Maggard is here and kind of looked at this, he wants to use rank to drive everything.”

This new policy is used at larger schools across the country, including at Missouri, and the athletic department’s hierarchy has determined it’s in the best interest of UL, as well.

And he means "everything."

“Rank will drive an individual investor’s experience here,” Harris said. “It means, ‘Where do I park?’, ‘What hospitality areas do I have access to?’, ‘What events am I invited to?’, ‘How many parking passes am I allowed to purchase for each individual sport?’, ‘If I want to move my seats in stadium, how do I line up with other people who want to move their seats.’ Your rank will determined all of those kinds of issues. It’s the only fair and equitable way to do that.”

The idea is it gives each investor more control over his or her experience, but it also provides a greater incentive to know exactly where you stand in relation to other investors. That’s where the athletic department hopes to benefit.

“So the main driver here for an individual would be to get the highest rank I possibly can because the higher you rank, the more benefits you’re able to enjoy,” Harris said. “Some people may not care so much about that and that’s OK. That’s why I said it gives the investor the opportunity to affect their rank however they choose to determine what benefits they want. That’s the gist of what the system is.”

It’s for those investors who are concerned the athletic department wants to keep informed.

“As everybody lines themselves up, we’re going to have 14 different investment levels, all the way from 50 dollars at bottom to 100 thousand at the top on an annual basis,” Harris said. “What we’re hoping to do is line everybody up and some of those people are going to be just shy of the level above them. We can talk to those individuals and say ‘your rank is number 500, but if you give just a little bit more to get to the next level, your rank could jump from 500 to 400 just by giving a few extra dollars. Those conversations can drive more investment, which would obviously help the university.”

Comfortable or not with this new policy, the RCAF has asked its investors to state their donation intentions for the upcoming school year by June 1 so all the points can be known and calculated.

“Based on that pledge, we’ll slot you in for that level — even though you haven’t paid it yet — for first run at rank,” Harris said. “Then you’d have the whole 12 months to pay that pledge off.

“You can always increase it, you technically could even decrease it, but then you’d fall in rank if you do that.”
00 2019-04-04
Lake Charles

Chef teams heat things up at Wild Beast Feast

The Lake Charles Symphony is hosting its 19th annual Wild Beast Feast 5-8 p.m. Saturday at VFW Post 2130, 5676 Lake St.

The annual event is a fundraiser for the symphony’s upcoming concert series.

Heather Rashall, Wild Beast Feast coordinator, said about 20 chef teams cooking different Cajun dishes will be featured at the event.

“The chefs will be cooking many Cajun-styled dishes using wild game. There will be Cajun shrimp tostadas, oyster smoked beer bisque, roasted duck and goose imperial, and many more dishes in the works,” Rashall said.

Admission is $50 for adults, $25 for students/children and free for children 5 and under. The ticket will provide unlimited sampling throughout the event and afterward will be used to cast votes for the People’s Choice Award. The team with the most votes will win the award. There will also be prizes awarded to the top three chef teams.

Live entertainment will be provided during in the event by McNeese State University’s zydeco band “Zydepokes.”

“We wanted to partner with McNeese in order to utilize their students and their talent,” Rashall said.

All the proceeds from the event will be beneficial to the symphony and its educational outreach program.

“We partner with different schools to promote symphonic music. In the past we have worked with Chris Gunter at Barbe High School to get more symphonic music to high school and middle school students. Our future plans are to expose and feature student in concerts,” she said.
00 2019-04-04

‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ set for April 10

The Wellspring, in collaboration with the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) Femhawks, will host its 4th Annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Wednesday, April 10 at 4 p.m. in the ULM Quad.

Registration will begin at 3:30 p.m.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is a playful opportunity for men to raise awareness in their community about the serious causes, effects and remediations to men’s sexualized violence against women. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), every 92 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.

“As this area’s Accredited Sexual Assault Center, The Wellspring’s Counseling & Family Development Center (CFDC) sees first-hand the damaging impact caused by the trauma of sexual violence. We embrace the opportunity to engage with community partners to increase awareness in our community around this issue,” said Professional Services Director Lisa Longenbaugh of The Wellspring’s CFDC. “It is important that we come together to understand the experiences of those victimized by sexual assault and work to change perspectives, improve relationships, and unite as a community to take a stand against sexual violence.”

Longenbaugh wants the community to know that The Wellspring is here to help. “Our crisis lines are always open, and we can provide support, information and advocacy for those who experience sexual assault.”


00 2019-04-04

Autism awareness and research leads to more diagnoses

MONROE, La. (KNOE) - People are wearing blue this April for National Autism Awareness Month.

David Irwin is the director for the Autism Center at ULM. He says the first step to helping these children is with a diagnosis.

Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder that affects a person's social interactions, communication skills, and behaviors. Irwin says early signs of autism include poor eye contact and delays in communication. Some children can also be sensitive to lights or sounds.

With all those challenges also come some unique skills. Irwin says some children are very talented musicians, artists, or show very high levels of intelligence.

"It's a wonderful feeling for us to help these families who say 'I didn't know what was wrong, I just knew something was different with my child and I didn't know where to go,” he says. “It's been very rewarding to have something here for the people here in this area because there is a strong need for it."

Irwin says in the past, many cases were undiagnosed. Statistics show only one in 150 children was diagnosed with autism ten years ago. Now, it's one in 59. Irwin says it's because of increased education, awareness, and new screening techniques - Not because of vaccines like many people believe. In fact, many studies have disproved that theory.

Irwin says many adults even come to him with questions and find that they have autism but they weren't diagnosed as kids.

He says a simple diagnosis can help people work through some of the challenges they may face.

"When they have Autism Awareness Month, it's about having the public understand that these people have many, many strengths. They do have some challenges, but oftentimes they need to be properly identified and supported," he explains.

The Autism Center at ULM can diagnose people of all ages with autism and they also offer treatment for young children and their families.

Irwin says in the future, he wants to expand treatment services to rural areas in northeast Louisiana and also provide more therapy for kids and their families.
00 2019-04-04

NSU’s 3rd annual LitCon will be a celebration of the humanities

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s third annual LitCon, a celebration of the humanities, will be held Friday, April 12-Saturday, April 13 at NSU’s Orville Hanchey Gallery from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. each day. The event recognizes how various creative endeavors are interlinked and will feature a wide variety of presentations and workshops along with a book and art fair where vendors will share and sell their works.

Event Co-Organizer Dr. Rebecca Macijeski said presentations and workshops will include talks on literary analysis of video games, interpretations of pop culture, information about podcasts and podcasting and workshops on print making, comedy improv, creative writing and more.

Katie Bickham, a poet and English faculty member at Bossier Parish Community College, will host a reading and signing of her new collection of poetry, Mouths Open to Name Her, out now with LSU Press.

The event is free and open to the public.

“The event is being held over two days this year in order to open it up to participants and guests from the broader region,” Macijeski said. “This year we circulated a call for proposals inviting writers, artists and other humanities-related folks to submit proposals for possible selection at LitCon. We received a high number of very interesting proposals from seven regional institutions other than NSU, and we will have presenters who are undergraduate students, graduate students and university faculty. Hosting the event over two days will allow us to offer many more presentations and workshops.”

The event will also feature a Cosplay contest during the lunch hour on both days. Participants can come dressed as their favorite author or artist.

More details will be released soon on LitCon’s facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LitCon-1465766050226741/.
00 2019-04-04
New Orleans

St. Tammany Schools Notes for April 3

SUMMER MUSIC PROGRAMS: The Southeastern Louisiana University Community Music School is hosting a series of summer programs for young musicians. They include:

A middle school band camp June 17-21 for students in grades five through nine. Tuition is $225.
A guitar workshop June 10-14. Tuition is $170.
A chamber music workshop June 10-14. Tuition is $170.
A strings orchestra workshop June 10-14, suitable for first- to third-year violin, viola and cello students. Tuition is $125.
A choir workshop June 10-14. Tuition is $170.
Private instrumental and vocal lessons from June 10 to July 25. Individual lesson fees vary according to the instructor’s qualifications.
For more information on any of these programs, go to www.southeastern.edu/smc or call (985) 549-5502.
00 2019-04-04

Bachelor's Degree Center Releases National Rankings of Marketing Degree Programs

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., April 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Bachelor's Degree Center (https://www.bachelorsdegreecenter.org/), a free guide to traditional and online bachelor's degree programs in all disciplines, has released four 2019 rankings of the best marketing bachelor's degree programs in the US:

25 Best Bachelor's in Marketing Degree Programs for 2019 (https://www.bachelorsdegreecenter.org/best-marketing-degree/)
15 Best Online Marketing Bachelor's Degree Programs for 2019
10 Fastest Online Marketing Bachelor's Degree Programs for 2019
10 Most Affordable Online Marketing Bachelor's Degree Programs for 2019

The Top 3 Best Marketing Bachelor's Programs for 2019 are: 1) California State University, Fullerton; 2) Minot State University; 3) University of Washington. The Top 3 Online Marketing Bachelor's Programs for 2019 are: 1) Washington State University Global Campus; 2) Colorado State University Global Campus; 3) Temple University.

A complete list of all institutions ranked is included at the end of this release.

"In the 21st century, marketing is everywhere" as BDC editors say; "the popular image might still be the old-fashioned advertising agency of Mad Men, but in reality, marketing isn't just restricted to Madison Avenue." In fact, marketing isn't even restricted to one industry: "Marketing is a component of every industry, even industries that few people would expect – education, government, even non-profit charities." As Bachelor's Degree Center editors explain, today is the best time ever to go into marketing, because "Professionals in marketing can find employment in all sorts of environments and settings, either working for a specific employer, joining an agency, or building their own independent consulting business." A degree isn't even a necessity - but it can be a boost on the job market.

As BDC editors explain, "For working adults looking to put their creativity and design smarts to new (and lucrative) use in marketing," a degree program can help make advances in their career. An on-campus program provides "a strong support network of mentors and colleagues, but access to internships and jobs" as well. On the other hand, "The convenience of an online marketing degree gives working adults the opportunity to complete their degree while still working," and incorporate what they learn in their current careers. Those are the kinds of programs Bachelor's Degree Center is highlighting with their Marketing rankings.

Bachelor's Degree Center has been providing advice, resources, and rankings on the best traditional and online bachelor's degree programs since 2014. Completely independent and unbiased, BDC is working to be the ultimate resource for new high school graduates, working adults returning to school, and nontraditional students.

All Institutions in the Bachelor's Degree Center Marketing Rankings (in alphabetical order)

Azusa Pacific University

Bellevue University

Brigham Young University

California State University, Fullerton

Central Michigan University

Colorado State University Global Campus

Concordia University St Paul

Dallas Baptist University

DeSales University

East Carolina University

Florida Atlantic University

Florida Institute of Technology

Florida International University

Florida State University

Fort Hays State University

Maryville University of St Louis

Mercy College

Michigan State University

Minot State University

New Mexico State University

Northern Kentucky University

Northwest Christian University

Northwest Missouri State University

Old Dominion University

Oregon State University

Regis University

San Diego State University

Southern New Hampshire University

Temple University

Tennessee Technological University

Texas State University

Thomas Edison State University

Troy University

UMass Dartmouth

University of Alabama in Birmingham

University of Arkansas

University of Central Florida

University of Colorado Denver

University of Delaware

University of Florida

University of Georgia

University of Louisiana at Monroe

University of Louisville

University of Mary (ND)

University of Maryland University College

University of Memphis Global

University of Minnesota Crookston

University of Minnesota Twin Cities

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of North Texas

University of South Dakota

University of South Florida

University of Texas at Dallas

University of Texas of the Permian Basin

University of Washington

University of Wisconsin - Madison

University of Wisconsin Whitewater

Washington State University Global Campus

West Texas A&M University

Wichita State University

Ava Ellis
Lead Editor, Bachelor's Degree Center

SOURCE Bachelor's Degree Center

Related Links
00 2019-04-04


Madison Wooley acted behind the scenes on the set of Shell’s “The Great Travel Hack” YouTube series as one of the “brainiacs” at Mission Control.
00 2019-04-03

UL Lafayette students tackle grueling obstacle course across Cypress Lake filled with alligators

UL Lafayette students in the School of Kinesiology are leaping into an innovative new set of final exams this spring — a grueling obstacle course across Cypress Lake for students to tackle.

Exercise science majors have been coaching physical education majors to prepare them for the trip across four large vermilion bouncy balls.

According to Dr. David Bellar, “Education in modern times needs to be based upon authentic real-world scenarios. The popularity of game shows and competitions based upon obstacle courses is growing at an exponential rate. In the School of Kinesiology, we want to prepare our students for the future, and engage them in examinations that are applicable to the modern world.”

Grades will be calculated based on how quickly students soar through the course with points deducted for every slip and fall, according to Bellar.

OK, we can't keep this joke going any longer, as Bellar has confirmed with News 10 that it was an April Fools Joke!

A representative for the Dept. says they received numerous phone calls from folks wanting to sign up for the class.

"Regisitation opens Monday for summer classes, and we have a feeling enrollment was set to surge."
00 2019-04-03

Local pilot officially holds world record for youngest solo trip around the globe

If you look up "youngest person to circumnavigate by aircraft, solo," at guinnessworldrecords.com, you'll find a local pilot.

Mason William Andrews completed his solo flight around the world in 76 days. He flew home to Monroe Regional Airport on Oct. 6. He was 18 years and 163 days old.

At the time, they expected the Guinness World Records verification process to take several months.

Over the weekend, his family got confirmation that Andrews holds the world record.

Mason William Andrews, 18, is home in Monroe, Louisiana, after successfully circumnavigating the globe — alone —in 76 days. He's the youngest pilot to make the trip. He's also the youngest pilot to cross the Atlantic and Pacific oceans alone. Bonnie Bolden/The News-Star
00 2019-04-03

GSU announces new Chiropractor program

GRAMBLING, La. - (4/3/19) It's a partnership with Logan University, a three plus three program that would allow students to become doctors after just six years.

Students will do their first three years at Grambling as Biology students.

They have to complete 90 hours of courses, then they'd go to Logan University of Docotr in the Chiropractic Program.

President Rick Gallot says that it saves students some time and money.

Students will graduate with two degrees and the program launches in Spring 2019.
00 2019-04-03

CenturyLink investing millions into programs at local universities

MONROE, La. (KNOE) - CenturyLink has signed an extension that keeps its headquarters in Monroe through 2025. In exchange, the state offered an incentive package that includes an annual performance-based grant, subject to the company's payroll performance.

It also was announced it's investing in higher education Tuesday morning and giving up to $2 million to Louisiana Tech University, The University of Louisiana at Monroe and Grambling State University.

ULM President Nick Bruno said he's grateful to the governor and everyone involved who got the win for the area.

"The more students that we can educate in the needs that are from our region then the better probability is that there would stay in the community, have their families here and buy homes," Bruno said.

He also said it's too early to tell how much money each school would get and what they would be used for, but he has an idea on what else the deal could include.

"The agreements are always tailored to the needs of the entity and the businesses itself," he said. "There are a number of these businesses across the state, so they defined what their needs are and then they'll come to us and say, hey we want to work with the university and we want you to produce this for us so we'll have those available in the workforce."

Students said they believe this could make landing a job easier.

"I think the technology world has developed so much and everyone wants to move in the tech world and it has a lot of scope so most of the classes that I've had at the university has given me hands on experience on what the stuff would look like in the real world," Pujan Dahal, a graduating senior taking a job at CenturyLink, said.

GSU President Richard Gallot said, "This is proof that the I-20 corridor has a bright future driving innovation for our state. LA Tech President Les Guice said, "We hope to continue our innovative work with them in research and product development."

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00 2019-04-03

$97K grant will fund health screenings for 8 parishes

00 2019-04-03

$97K grant will fund health screenings for 8 parishes

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation and the University of Louisiana Monroe are partnering through a grant that will provide heath screenings for eight Northern Louisiana Parishes.

The $96,699 special projects grant from the foundation will help ULM launch a three-year project that will start in August. The Screening for Life initiative will help check for preventable or treatable illnesses in Union, Morehouse, Richland, East Carroll, West Carroll, Tensas, Madison and Bienville parishes.

ULM President Nick Bruno said he thinks health care workers are overlooked, and he's proud that his university educates health care providers.

"I'm not aware of anyone laying in a hospital bed who has called for an engineer when they needed help," he joked.

Susan Lacey, the Kitty DeGree chair of nursing and director of the program, said these preventable conditions are particularly devastating in northeastern Louisiana and people of color are disproportionately affected, leading to disability and premature death.

Lacey said the effects of the project will help reduce emergency care. She thinks it will have far-reaching effects, including health and economic effects.

Screening for Life, she said, will include faculty and students from six departments within ULM and the Oshner LSU Hosptial Monroe (formerly E.A. Conway). The departments include: nursing, pharmacy, health studies, occupational therapy, medical laboratory science.

Michael Tipton, President of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation (front center), presents a check for a $96,679 grant for the Screening for Life program to University of Louisiana Monroe President Nick J. Bruno (front right) joined by Louisiana State Sen. Francis Thompson (front left). Also pictured (from left to right) are, Susan Lacey, Kitty DeGree Chair in Nursing and project manager for Screening for Life, Roxanne Smith of the ULM Foundation, Lauren Fowler of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, Mike Vining with the city of Monroe, Louisiana State Rep. Frank Hoffman, Katie Murray of Louisiana State Rep. Jack McFarland’s office, Ken Alford, Interim Dean of the College of Health Sciences, Hannah Livingston of U.S. Sen. John Kennedy’s office and Paula Griswold, Associate Dean of the College of Health Sciences.
Michael Tipton, President of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation (front center), presents a check for a $96,679 grant for the Screening for Life program to University of Louisiana Monroe President Nick J. Bruno (front right) joined by Louisiana State Sen. Francis Thompson (front left). Also pictured (from left to right) are, Susan Lacey, Kitty DeGree Chair in Nursing and project manager for Screening for Life, Roxanne Smith of the ULM Foundation, Lauren Fowler of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, Mike Vining with the city of Monroe, Louisiana State Rep. Frank Hoffman, Katie Murray of Louisiana State Rep. Jack McFarland’s office, Ken Alford, Interim Dean of the College of Health Sciences, Hannah Livingston of U.S. Sen. John Kennedy’s office and Paula Griswold, Associate Dean of the College of Health Sciences. (Photo: Emerald McIntyre/ULM Photo Services)

The goal is to provide screening services and information to at least 2,400 individuals over the three-year period.

Additionally, Lacey said, they will train community health workers on how to provide screenings, even after the program is over.

Blue Cross Louisiana Foundation President Michael Tipton said his organization is looking to fund more projects and partner with more organizations to start solving some communities' preventable health problems.
00 2019-04-03

Grambling State audit shows continued improvement

GRAMBLING, La. (Press Release) - (4/2/19) Grambling State University announced that the institution’s 2018 annual audit was completed with no findings on the heels of its improved fiscal health score.

“We continue to prioritize accountability and accuracy throughout our University,” said President Rick Gallot. “Our successful audits are evidence of the constant hard work and collaboration between our finance division and leaders across our campus.”

As a part of the University of Louisiana System (ULS), Grambling State University is required to provide financial information to the office of Louisiana’s Legislative Auditor (LLA). The annual review examines the effectiveness of the University’s internal controls, financial reporting, and its compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

The University’s most recent audit, completed in December of 2018, examined activity during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2018. For this period, the report determined that Grambling State has sound internal controls and is in compliance with all laws and regulations.

“We appreciate the work of our audit team and those who collaborate across the state to invest in our accountability,” said Martin Lemelle, Chief Operating Officer and Vice President for Finance and Administration. “Each audit is an opportunity to examine and improve our processes while we grow our fiscal health.”

Grambling State University’s most recent audit examined the period in which the University and its Finance division accomplished

a 100 percent increase in its fiscal health score,
acknowledgement from the Louisiana Board of Regents for its progress, and
a three-year high of University revenue.
“Our accomplishments in growing accountability are key as our student body and academic programs expand,” said Lemelle. “These proof points demonstrate that Grambling continues to be a worthwhile investment for our students and partners.”
00 2019-04-03

Dragon Boat Races April 13

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s Office of First Year Experience will host the 4th annual Natchitoches Dragon Boat Races Saturday, April 13 at the newly renovated downtown Natchitoches riverbank.

This year, the races will be planned and executed by the Demon VIP (Volunteers in Progress) organization on campus, to provide students with a real-world event planning experience. All proceeds will go to fund future leadership initiatives at NSU.

Races will begin at 8 a.m. and will continue throughout the day with vendors, music and activities for families and spectators. Spectator admission is free.

Dragon Boat teams consist of 20 paddlers (a minimum of eight must be female) and one drummer. The helmsman will be provided. There will be a practice session for each team during the week preceding the event.

Anyone who would like to enter team or become a vendor should email Van Erikson at eriksonv@nsula.edu or call (337) 519-7771.
00 2019-04-03
New Orleans

Throw Me Somethin': UNO library's used-book bazaar is a best seller

Time to turn the page on another Friends of the UNO Library used book sale. Thousands of books will be available this week, along with CDs, DVDs and vinyl records.

“We’ve had some incredible donations,” said Dana Criswell, publicity chairwoman for Friends of the UNO Library. The sale includes books from the estates of two well-known locals: author Mary Lou Christovich and soprano Thais St. Julien, Criswell said.

Sale hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 4; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, April 5; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 6, on the fourth floor of the Earl K. Long Library at the University of New Orleans lakefront campus, 2000 Lakeshore Drive.

General admission is $5 for the first two hours of the sale on April 4, and free after that. Admission is free at all times to UNO students and members of Friends of the UNO Library. Proceeds benefit the library.

More than 1,000 books from Christovich’s Garden District home were boxed for the sale, and many books in St. Julien’s private collection were not about music, Criswell said. The opera singer and co-director of Musica da Camera “had a gazillion detective novels,” she said.

Volunteers with Friends of the UNO Library pick up donations for the used book sales held every spring and fall, Criswell said. One of the most prized purchases from book sales is an electronic server for digitized Louisiana Supreme Court records housed in the library’s special collections. Dating back to 1813, the records are sought out by scholars from all over the United States, Criswell said.

For information, call the library office at (504) 280-6556.

Offbeat cotillion
Celebrate the first unofficial ball of the 2020 Carnival season by joining King Iggie Perrin and Queen Angelle Verges at Cochon Cotillion XXIII from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World, 1380 Port of New Orleans Place. A patron party will take place from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

A spoof of a traditional Carnival ball, the event features outlandish costumes and benefits Bridge House/Grace House, a treatment facility serving men and women who are dependent on alcohol or drugs.

Along with a mini parade, caricatures and face painting, the cotillion includes a silent auction and raffle, live music from ELS and Mike Morris, and food and drink from New Orleans restaurants. Also performing will be the Double Step Cloggers, Muggivan School of Irish Dance and the Pussyfooters.

Tickets prices start at $100. For information visit bridgehouse.org/events/cochon-cotillion/.

Back to the ’70s
Dress as your favorite 1970s television character and head over to St. Paul’s Episcopal School’s annual gala from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at St. Paul’s, 6249 Canal Blvd.

The Saint Claude Serenaders will entertain during a patron party from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Rebirth Brass Band will play during the gala from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. There will be food and drink, a live auction and a DJ from 8:30 to 10 p.m.

“We hope to see Laverne and Shirley, even the Fonz,” said St. Paul’s director of development Tiffany Tandecki.

Tickets start at $75 for individuals and $150 for couples. For information and tickets, call the school at (504) 488-1319.

Monumental planting
Join a second line and commemorate NOLA Tree Project’s 50,000th tree planting from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, April 5, at Louis Armstrong Park, 701 N. Rampart St.

Live oaks will be planted and dedicated to project partners and sponsors, followed by a reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, 1205 N. Rampart St.

Tickets for the reception, featuring food, drink and music, are $25. For information visit www.nolatreeproject.org and click on “news and events.”

Girls on the Run
Girls on the Run of New Orleans will host its biannual 5K run at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 6, at Shelter 10 at Audubon Park. Early arrival is suggested.

Girls on the Run is an activity-based, youth-development program that teaches life skills to girls in grades three to eight. During the 10-week program, participants build peer connections and develop community service skills while preparing for the 5K event, which is presented by the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust.

The run is open to the public. Registration is $35, which includes an event shirt and medal, post-race food and drink, and a dance party.

Race packet pick up will be on Thursday, April 4, at the Girls on the Run office, 7100 St. Charles Ave. For information visit www.gotrnola.org/5k.
00 2019-04-03

Online Program Tuition, Netflix-Style

SEATTLE -- More than 300,000 residents of Idaho either have an associate degree or attended college but never attained a degree. (Sound familiar?) A substantial portion of the state’s population lives in rural areas far from Boise State University's campus in the state capital.

Half a decade ago, Boise State administrators convened to figure out how to reach that population and others outside the university's demographic. Pete Risse, associate dean of extended studies, knew one of his relatives worked at, as he put it, “a subscription-based retail company based in Issaquah, Wash.” (Amateur detective work indicates he’s talking about Costco.)

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Conversations with executives there didn’t go very far -- the company wasn’t interested in education, and Boise State would have struggled to scale offerings to the company’s 91 million subscribers, as administrators had optimistically envisioned. But the seed of the idea was planted, Risse said last Thursday during a presentation at the University Professional and Continuing Education Association's annual conference here.

Three years after the initial Costco talks, the dean of the university’s College of Innovation and Design received a grant for work-force development programs. He met with Risse to discuss it, and on that day, both happened to be wearing the same shirt -- from Costco. Right then and there, they revived the idea for subscription-based education; work-force development seemed like a natural fit.

In the meantime, Boise State was in the middle of a $6 million, five-year push to increase its suite of online programs, which now number more than 40. The institution enrolls 3,500 fully online students, and approximately 9,500 students take at least one online course. The staff for the university's extended studies department has grown since 2014 from 42 to 135 members; most of the new entrants are instructional designers.

“Conditions were finally right to deal with this,” Risse said.

Last fall, Boise State rolled out Passport for Education, a new approach to tuition offered to students in two of the university’s online bachelor’s degree programs: applied science and multidisciplinary studies. Rather than paying up front per semester, students make a year-round commitment and pay in monthly installments.

They’re also paying less over all than peers in other Boise State online programs. For an 18-credit year, students pay $425 per month -- 18 percent less than standard tuition. For a 27-credit year, the tuition reduction is even steeper -- 30 percent off regular tuition, for a total of $550 per month. The university also installed a “tuition lock” so that students enrolled in the Passport programs pay the same amount for seven years before tuition increases.

Administrators had heard over the years from students, particularly at a distance, that they had committed to tuition and federal financial aid at the start, only to six months later find a “huge bill” that took them by surprise. The subscription model allows students to know what they’re paying and plan around when they’re paying it.

Institutions like Western Governors University and alternative providers like StraighterLine have in recent years begun experimenting with subscription-based models, particularly for competency-based education programs, which students complete on flexible schedules. The fervor around the adult student market stems from concern that the population of traditional-age college students will decline in the next decade, coupled with the increasing support for online as a viable mode of delivery. Boise State's experiment represents an effort to break down barriers between students and opportunities for learning and professional development.

How It Works

The Boise State model is made possible through a partnership with CapEd, a Boise-based credit union that advertises the university’s online program and subsidizes fees incurred by students in the Passport programs. To take advantage of Passport, students are required to open an account of any type with CapEd and to set up the subscription’s automatic deduction through CapEd. As of this fall, students will be permitted to set up automatic deductions from a non-CapEd account, as long as they also have an open CapEd account.

Other than that, CapEd gets no revenue from the university or anything else out of the partnership, except an opportunity to serve the state’s residents, according to Rebecca Morgan, director of Boise State X, a division of the College of Innovation and Design devoted to expanding the university’s affordable education options. She admitted the credit union's apparent altruism at first seemed too good to be true for the university.

Getting more business is “way down on their list of priorities,” Morgan said. “It’s very weird to sit with their Board of Directors and hear them say, ‘We’re trying to help people get education.’”

Serving this population can be tricky, administrators admitted. Students who haven’t been to college in decades often need a refresher on the basics of “how college works,” according to Morgan.

“Students ask questions like, ‘Do I still look up a book on the library card catalog?’” Morgan said. “If they’ve been out for 10 to 15 years, things have changed.”

The academic programs currently available through Passport lend themselves to their intended audience, according to Jon Schneider, director of the programs.

The applied science degree is geared toward students with a technical associate degree, which counts for as many as 60 credits in the 120-credit program. The multidisciplinary studies degree offers flexibility to students “looking for something they can apply to their life,” Schneider said. Both programs went online in 2016; courses unfold in seven-week sessions.

How It’s Going

As expected, a few complications have arisen in the early days of Passport. One student found the payment system so confusing that he offered to draw up a handout diagram that the university could provide to other students. A quarter of the state’s residents can’t access the internet, which means the program isn’t reaching everyone who might benefit from it.

Another challenge also ended up being a blessing. Administrators had predicted that some students might end up enrolling in fewer than the number of credits they had signed up to do. But almost every student has completed 100 percent of their commitment thus far. Similarly, administrators thought the 18-credit option might be more popular, but slightly more than half of students who enrolled through Passport opted for nine credits per semester, or 27 over all.

“They were taking off faster than we were taking off,” Morgan said. “That was a fun assumption to know that we were wrong.”

Twenty-seven students have opted for Passport; Morgan expects "significant accelerations" from the institution's recruitment funnel. A third of current Passport students are eligible for federal Pell Grants. Eighty percent of them live in Idaho; many of the remaining 20 percent likely attended Boise State but have since moved out of Idaho, Morgan said.

The goal for next spring is 100 Passport students, and 250 by spring 2021, according to Morgan. For every 250 new Passport students, the institution has committed to adding a new faculty member. CapEd recently received federal certification, which could open the door to offering Passport beyond Idaho. Administrators are also considering converting more degree programs to the Passport model.

Administrators said they feel grateful for support from their superiors, who have encouraged them to take risks and assured them that falling short of success is different from failure. If something goes wrong with a program, according to Morgan, the dean of the innovation and design college reliably responds with a wink, “That’s what I thought it would do anyway.”
00 2019-04-03

LSU Tech merger bill to fall through

RUSTON, La. - (4/3/19) The bill was filed by State Representative and former Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover.

LSUS Chancellor Larry Clark says that this merger will not happen.

It's the same bill introduced seven years ago but Legislators shot it down at the time.

Clark says the merger would raise tuition and many of the LSUS students do not meet the admission standars set by Louisiana Tech.

Clark says that he fears students will not apply to the University because of how word of this bill has spread throughout the media.

00 2019-04-03


Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards made a stop early in his re-election campaign Monday at Louisiana Tech University. After a brief meeting with university President Les Guice, Edwards joined Guice, Tech students, faculty, and city of Ruston officials on a tour of Tech Pointe and the ongoing construction of the Integrated Engineering and Science Building. Edwards spoke on the importance of new engineering space at Tech, the state’s budget surplus and his push for new investment in higher education.
00 2019-04-03

LSUS chancellor strongly opposes proposed merger of his school with LaTech

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Officials with Louisiana State University in Shreveport made an official statement Tuesday afternoon regarding a proposed merger with Louisiana Tech University.

Their comments came in response to state Rep. Cedric Glover’s proposed House Bill 470.

The bill presented Friday recommends putting LSUS under the University of Louisiana System umbrella and, subsequently, Louisiana Tech.

LSUS Chancellor Larry Clark said the proposed merger caught him by surprise.

“I nearly ran off the road," he said.

“I’ve known Rep. Glover for many years. I believe that he comes with this in good faith in belief of what he thinks is best for this university and what’s best for the region, I believe him. I just disagree.”

Clark said he agrees with Glover in that more investment should be made in the LSUS campus, but strongly believes merging the university with Louisiana Tech is not the way to do it.

“I gotta tell you if Louisiana Tech were to come over, they would have to have an investment. They’d have to invest.

"So why are we waiting for someone else to come over to put another name outside? We’re not a restaurant. We’re just going to change the name of the restaurant and expect it’s going to be all the same? It’s not going to be.”

Clark also noted LSU-Shreveport’s online program and the amount of money out-of-state tuition students brings into the university.

This is not the first time a proposed merger has been debated.

The links below provide a look back at what happened when the idea was floated about seven years ago.

Board of Regents recommends LSUS-LaTech merger
Click here to view the full Regents recap on the proposed merger (PDF)
LSUS students protest merger
LSU system president, board chair visit Shreveport
Possible LaTech merger worries LSUS students
Bill to merge LSU-Shreveport with LaTech advances
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Copyright 2019 KSLA. All rights reserved.
00 2019-04-02
Baton Rouge

On the cultural scene: Symphony concerts, plays, a new museum exhibit opening and an opera performance

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Michael Blaney, will present "George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue plus Student Soloists" at 7:30 p.m. April 5 in Angelle Hall Auditorium on the UL campus in Lafayette.

Susanna Garcia will be featured as piano soloist for "Rhapsody in Blue." UL student soloists include Madelin Trcalek performing the Demersseman Concerto "Italien for Flute and Orchestra"; Jordan Price performing the Strauss "Horn Concerto No. 1," and Noah Ferrell performing the Weber "Clarinet Concerto No. 1."

Admission is free. For more information, call (337) 482-6012.
00 2019-04-02

Former Vice President Dick Cheney appears at UL Spring Gala

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette Alumni Association honored Acadian Ambulance founder Richard Zuschlag at its annual spring gala. Spouse Elaine Zuschlag is a USL nursing school graduate and the Zuschlag family has been a supporter of the University.

Jamie Holmes, Jake Delhomme, Dick Cheney, Scott Domingue and Daren Strother
Jamie Holmes, Jake Delhomme, Dick Cheney, Scott Domingue and Daren Strother (Photo: Kris Wartelle)

The star-studded evening took place on March 30 at the Alumni House and featured very special guest, former Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney and Zuschlag have been friends since 2006.

Gail Savoie, Dick Cheney, Joseph Savoie and Richard Zuschlag
Gail Savoie, Dick Cheney, Joseph Savoie and Richard Zuschlag (Photo: Kris Wartelle)

Cheney flew in from his home in Virginia just for the event. Cheney remarked on how much the community has benefited from Zuschlag's philosophy of giving back.

"I’ve learned that in Louisiana, you take care of your own, and you take care of others – and the Zuschlags embody that trait," Cheney said.

Bryan and Kerry Maggard
Bryan and Kerry Maggard (Photo: Kris Wartelle)

Bryan and Laura Lee
Bryan and Laura Lee (Photo: Kris Wartelle)

If there is one thing that sets this evening apart from others, it is the beautiful outdoor setting and the impeccable food and entertainment. If you missed it, not to worry.

Chantelle Aaron and Beverly Black
Chantelle Aaron and Beverly Black (Photo: Kris Wartelle)

Kristi and Troy Hebert
Kristi and Troy Hebert (Photo: Kris Wartelle)

All you have to do to experience it yourself is purchase a ticket and help support the university. Proceeds help support Alumni Association initiatives.
00 2019-04-02

Local student gets invited to the White House

LAFAYETTE, LA (KPLC) - A local student was invited to the White House to listen to President Donald Trump discuss higher education and free speech on college campuses.

“I actually got the invite via email, and it was in my spam folder. I guess Yahoo said that probably isn’t real. So, I’m glad I checked," Kaleb Moore, a University of Louisiana of Lafayette political science major, said.

Moore, from Lake Charles, was invited to the White House just a few weeks ago to hear the president talk about a topic he’s passionate about: protecting free speech on college campuses.

“Under the guise of speech codes and safe spaces and trigger warnings, these universities have tried to restrict free thought, impose total conformity and shut down the voices of great Americans like those here today. All of that changes, starting right now," President Trump said at the White House on March 21.

Moore was one of multiple students invited for the work he’s done to protect free speech on ULL’s campus.

“I thought it was amazing that something we had been working on for months down here was actually noticed at the federal level," Moore said. “We had petitions to remove a[n] unconstitutional speech code from the student handbook. The code read you couldn’t say anything distasteful or offensive on any of the university’s media, like the Wi-Fi.”

During Moore’s visit to the White House, President Trump signed an executive order that would withhold federal money from universities that infringed on students’ First Amendment rights.

“We will not stand idly by and allow public institutions to violate their students constitutional rights. If a college or university doesn’t allow you to speak, we will not give them money. It’s very simple," Trump said.

Moore said to have seen the president talk about this in person meant a lot to him.

“To see that on the national level that they care about issues that happen right here at home, you know, on our public university’s campuses; it was very reassuring for me," Moore said.

Moore plans to graduate this summer and hopes to get a job with a non-profit that protects free speech.

Copyright 2019 KPLC. All rights reserved.
00 2019-04-02
Lake Charles

Two MSU alumni honored posthumously

The McNeese State University Alumni Association has awarded its 2019 Distinguished Service Awards posthumously to two alumni — Martin “Marty” Chehotsky, a 1978 graduate in accounting, and Thomas “Tommy” Coyne, a 1972 graduate in business administration.

“We are proud to recognize two exceptional members of our McNeese family who provided years of loyalty and service to McNeese,” said Joyce Patterson, McNeese director for alumni affairs.

At McNeese, Chehotsky served as president of both Kappa Alpha fraternity and the Interfraternity Council and was a member of the Blue Key Honor fraternity. He was also chosen as a member of Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.

After graduation, he joined the McElroy, Quirk and Burch CPA firm as a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner and Certified in Financial Forensics accounting. In 1977, he was elected to the Mc-Neese Alumni Association Board of Directors and then served as secretary, treasurer, vice president and president of the association.

Chehotsky was instrumental in establishing the McNeese Mavericks – a group of individuals who give of their time and talents to support the work of the alumni association. In 2008, he joined the Mavericks and served as a volunteer for the next 10 years. He was also a longtime member of the McNeese Cowboy Club, which supports the McNeese athletic program.

Receiving the award on his behalf will be his wife, Nancy, along with his sons Thomas, Nicholas, John, David and Andrew.

At McNeese, Coyne was an outstanding member of the McNeese track team, having broken the school record of 7 minutes, 39 seconds in the two-mile relay. He was also an active member and alumnus of Kappa Sigma fraternity.

A longtime concrete sales representative in Southwest Louisiana, Coyne was the regional general manager of Port Aggregates. He served on the boards of the Coastal Conservation Association, Southwest Louisiana Home Builders and the McNeese Cowboy Club.

Coyne was a founding member of the McNeese Mavericks and one of its most active members. He was instrumental in raising funds for McNeese through sponsorships and donations and was a volunteer for the McNeese Homecoming Ladies Champagne Bingo.

His family established the Tommy Coyne Scholarship Fund in his memory through the McNeese Foundation. Receiving the award on his behalf will be his wife, Susan, daughters Kristi, Kara and Katie, and his father, Thomas.
00 2019-04-02

For Students on the Quarter System, Landing a Summer Internship Can Bring Complications

Krista Keplinger made it through one round of interviews recently for a summer internship at a local radio station when she disclosed a minor detail: She couldn’t start work until mid-June, when her academic year ended. A junior at the University of California at Davis, Keplinger had never applied for a media internship before. She never expected her schedule to be a problem.
While the recruiters said they were interested in her as an applicant, they insisted she start in May. And when Keplinger told them that wasn’t possible, she was immediately withdrawn from consideration. “Normally,” she said, “that station hires people from Sacramento State University, which is on the semester system, so I think they want all their interns to start at the same time.”

Davis is on the quarter system, which splits the academic year into four 10-week quarters, the last of which ends in June. (Colleges on the semester system typically use two 15-week terms.) When her academic calendar sank her internship prospects, Keplinger felt unqualified for other roles in media, she said.

The roughly one-month difference between when the two calendars end can appear insignificant, but some students say it puts needless obstacles in their search for summer internship, and even places them behind the curve for a postgraduation job. While most did not turn down available opportunities, they described to The Chronicle a myriad of complications.

Some were able to negotiate later starting dates, but others weren’t given that flexibility. Several students recalled reaching out at the start of the quarter to their professors, hoping to schedule earlier final exams or to complete their courses remotely. Some said they had been screened out of the selection process for internship programs because of their rigid timeline.

The headaches students described were anecdotal, but hint at an overlooked problem at the handful of campuses that operate on the quarter system. There’s even evidence to suggest the issue has, in part, motivated some campuses to switch to semesters.

Unexpected Setbacks
Gaudi Iyer, a senior computer-science major at the University of California at San Diego, which is on the quarter system, described fall recruiting as an extremely high-stress period. “Since school starts a month later [than in the semester system], you’re forced to tackle starting a new year and finding a new job at the same time,” she said.

The 2019 Trends Report

Quarter-system students have varying experiences with employers, Iyer added. Students who attend prestigious institutions have stronger professional networks, which can help in negotiating the terms of an internship, she said. “If students are coming from backgrounds where their schools aren’t as prestigious or if their majors aren’t as desired, employers aren’t necessarily going to make exceptions,” she said.

Olivia R. Sanchez, a graduate student in journalism at the University of Oregon, recently discovered that the start date of her internship would fall during the last two weeks of class. She considered asking her professors to make special arrangements for her final projects, but she didn’t really want to risk rushing her master’s capstone.

The scheduling conflict took her aback, Sanchez said, since she had studied on a semester system as an undergraduate at the University of Portland. “It was never a problem before,” she said, “and now I suddenly realize I have to make changes in my schedule.”

Complications from the quarter system can weigh on students’ minds even before they start applying for internships, which can lead them to screen themselves out of opportunities. “I’ve often found myself choosing between spending hours working on a cover letter for an internship I’d be immediately disqualified for, or risk sounding presumptuous by asking for adjustments before I even hit the button on my application,” said Pranav Baskar, a freshman majoring in journalism at Northwestern University.

Other students have faced greater frustrations, progressing far in the interviewing process — some even receiving offers — only to be withdrawn from consideration. Most employers were aware of their academic calendars, the students said, but still expected them to leave college early.

After a federal agency offered him a summer fellowship, Mohamed Al Elew, a senior majoring in computer science at UC-San Diego, faced a last-minute rejection from the program because it conflicted with his finals schedule. In an email to Elew, the program’s coordinator asked him to make special arrangements with his professors, explaining that previous fellows had opted to take their exams remotely.

“I still feel humiliated by the whole ordeal.”
Elew sought to take his finals early, by the second week of the quarter, but leaving early wasn’t an option in some classes. He received an incomplete mark in one class, on the condition that he take the final at the start of next term, and ended up withdrawing from another course since he wouldn’t receive a passing grade with an early exam. “I still feel humiliated by the whole ordeal,” Elew said.

Gabriela Valencia went through three rounds of interviews for an operations position at a nonprofit organization, and was even asked if she could work remotely in May and June. A junior majoring in political science at the University of California at Los Angeles, Valencia said the internship started around the eighth week of the quarter, when some classes still had midterms. “I was told that while the nonprofit really liked me,” she said, “another candidate was more convenient because they could start sooner.”

At a Disadvantage
Only about 5 percent of four-year colleges and universities, many of them public institutions, operate on the quarter system. So frustrations like those are far from the norm in higher education.

Career advisers at quarter-system institutions say the problems are actually minor. They’ve found employers — mostly those that recruit on their campuses — to be flexible, although they advise students to start thinking right away about the recruitment process. In recent years, the advisers say, some large firms and companies have begun recruiting as early as August or September.

The advisers acknowledge that the recruiting schedule can be particularly demanding for students seeking positions in industries that recruit in the fall quarter. “Primarily on the recruiting side, it just means we have to make sure that our students are ready earlier and faster than at other schools,” said Christine Wilson, interim director of the UCLA’s career center.

“If they aren’t already thinking of their internship plans during the summer,” said Rachel Finch, director of external relations at Oregon State University’s career center, “by the time they’re back in school for the fall quarter, it’s already October and they may fall behind on that process.”

“We have to make sure that our students are ready earlier and faster than at other schools.”
Certain industries, including accounting and banking, have a rigid timeline for the recruiting process, Finch said, while others have a rolling recruitment cycle, a practice that could disadvantage students who start classes later. A rolling cycle means that positions could be filled before quarter-system students even have a chance to apply.

But mostly, Finch said, the students face isolated problems unrelated to the academic calendar. The timing differences between the quarter and semester systems, she said, do not appear to be a large concern for students — a view supported by other career officials who spoke to The Chronicle.

But administrators whose institutions have moved from a quarter to a semester calendar commend the change, despite the yearslong, often tedious process to accomplish it. They believe it will put their students on an even ground with peers at other colleges.

Starter Kit: New to the Administration

California State University at San Bernardino offers a course credit if students take part in a 10-week internship program. But often their schedules don’t align with what some employers are used to, according to Craig Seal, dean of undergraduate studies. “That puts our students at a particular disadvantage,” he said.

The university is now reorienting its curriculum and academic calendar, and is expected to start on the semester system by the fall of 2020.

After the University of Cincinnati converted to a semester calendar, in 2012, administrators felt students were better positioned to compete for summer internships, said Annie Straka, director of multidisciplinary initiatives. Back when the university was on the quarter system, Straka worked as manager of academic internships. At the time, she said, students felt they had been “late to the game” in securing those jobs because their schedules didn’t align with what employers wanted.

“Even regardless of start date,” Straka said, “there are so many other students at semester schools actively looking for positions starting a month in advance of our students.”

Minimal Research
There has been minimal research on the effect on students of shifting from a quarter to a semester calendar, said Stefanie Fischer, an assistant professor of economics at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo. Fischer and two other economists wrote a paper, published in 2018, on the effect of the academic calendar on graduation rates. The paper found that students caught in the transition from quarters to semesters face delayed graduation. The scholars have also conducted research on how a switch to a semester calendar affects summer employment; that paper is under review.

One reason administrators cited for making the calendar conversion, Fischer said, was to provide more opportunities for study abroad and to better accommodate summer employment and internship cycles.

“Schools have speculated that semesters are better for students academically and professionally,” she said, “but in reality there hasn’t been any research to know the causal impact of the switch.”

Most students who spoke to The Chronicle said they actually enjoy the quarter system. A 10-week quarter is fast-paced, but it allows them to learn from more professors and keeps them on their toes academically. But it’s very much a double-edged sword, said Iyer, the UC-San Diego student.

“I really cherish the fast pace, and I thrive in the short turnaround time,” she said, “but you’re always thinking about school, and then there are jobs you have to apply to just hanging in the back of your mind.”

Follow Terry Nguyen on Twitter at @terrygtnguyen, or email her at terry.nguyen@chronicle.com.
00 2019-04-02

College Consensus Publishes Ranking of the Best Online MBA Programs for 2019

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., April 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- College Consensus (https://www.collegeconsensus.com), a unique new college ratings website that aggregates publisher rankings and student reviews, has published a guide to the 50 Best Online MBA Programs for 2019 at https://www.collegeconsensus.com/online/best-online-mba-programs/.

Online MBA programs are a proven way for busy working adults to enhance their careers, earn higher salaries, and move into positions of authority, responsibility, and leadership. Some of the top business schools in the US have developed online programs that combine educational excellence with affordability and proven job-market success. For working adults and other nontraditional students looking for an online MBA, College Consensus has ranked the 50 Best Online MBA Programs for 2019.

Schools in the 50 Best Online MBA Programs are all accredited institutions and were ranked according to three equally-weighted factors:

Affordability (33%)
Convenience (33%)
Reputation (33%)
The Top 3 Online MBA Programs are: 1) University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; 2) Pittsburg State University; 3) Southeastern Oklahoma State University. The full list of the top 50 are included at the end of this release.

The MBA "is consistently seen as the most easily identifiable business education credential for professionals from around the world," College Consensus editors write. "But just as business has evolved to meet the needs of a culture wanting the best investment for the future, the highest ease, and everything at the click of a button, so this degree has evolved into today's online MBA." Consensus editors ranked online MBA programs by "evaluating over 550 distance MBA programs, we analyzed their tuition costs, fully online capability, and GMAT/GRE requirements."

The full top 50 Best Online MBA programs (in alphabetical order) are:

Arizona State University - Carey School of Business

Arkansas Tech University - College of Business

Augusta University - Hull College of Business

Baylor University - Hankamer School of Business

Bryant University - College of Business

California State University, San Bernardino - Brown College of Business and Public Administration

Colorado State University - College of Business

East Carolina University - College of Business

Emporia State University - School of Business

Fayetteville State University - College of Business and Economics

Henderson State University - College of Business

Howard University - School of Business

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business

Marshall University - Lewis College of Business

Midwestern State University - Dillard College of Business Administration

Missouri State University - College of Business

Naval Postgraduate School - Graduate School of Business and Public Policy

North Carolina A&T State University - College of Business and Economics

Northeastern University - D'Amore-McKim School of Business

Northern Kentucky University - Haile/US Bank College of Business

Ohio University - College of Business

Oklahoma City University - Meinders School of Business

Oklahoma State University - Spears School of Business

Pittsburg State University - Kelce College of Business

Prairie View A&M University - College of Business

Southeast Missouri State University - Harrison College of Business

Southeastern Oklahoma State University - Massey School of Business

Southern Arkansas University - Rankin College of Business

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville - School of Business

Suffolk University - Sawyer Business School

Texas A&M International University - Sanchez School of Business

Texas A&M University-Commerce - College of Business

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi - College of Business

Texas Southern University - Jones School of Business

University of Arizona - Eller College of Management

University of Central Arkansas - College of Business

University of Central Missouri - Harmon College of Business

University of Dallas - Gupta College of Business

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business

University of Houston-Victoria - School of Business Administration

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Gies College of Business

University of Louisiana at Lafayette -Moody School of Business Administration

University of Louisiana at Monroe - College of Business and Social Sciences

University of North Carolina at Pembroke - School of Business

University of Scranton Arthur J. Kania School of Management

University of Southern Indiana - Romain College of Business

University of Texas at Dallas - Jindal School of Management

University of Texas of the Permian Basin - College of Business

West Texas A&M University - Engler College of Business

Western Illinois University - College of Business and Technology

Carrie Sealey-Morris
Managing Editor, College Consensus
(512) 710-9901
TW: @CollegeConsens
IG: @CollegeConsensus

SOURCE College Consensus

Related Links
00 2019-04-02


Governor John Bel Edwards stopped by Louisiana Tech University this morning.

The governor toured the construction site for a new building near campus. The Integrated Engineering and Science Education building is a three-story, 128,000 square foot facility that will offer a new learning space for students studying engineering, math and science.

It's expected to open in the fall.

Governor Edwards also talked about the budget surplus, his push for new investment in higher education and his commitment to workforce development and stem education.

While we caught up with him at Tech, we wanted to get his thoughts on Rep. Cedric Glover's proposed House Bill 470. That bill would merge Louisiana Tech and LSU-Shreveport.

"I haven't spoken to Representative Glover or anyone from the LSU system or University of Louisiana system about that bill. I can tell you i was in the legislature for eight years before becoming governor and on the education committee and a similar bill was filed way back that needed a 2/3 vote. Quiet frankly, I don't see that happening this year," said Governor John Bel Edwards.

Louisiana Tech is responding to Representative Glover's proposal in a written statement. Louisiana Tech said...

"We were not aware that this bill was being filed with the state legislature. Louisiana Tech continues to keep our focus on advancing economic prosperity and education opportunities for North Louisiana, the state and nation."
00 2019-04-02


The new legislative session is scheduled to begin April 8th. And there's a lot of interesting bills on table. But the latest one to be filed by Cedric Glover really caught my attention. House Bill 470 calls for LSU-S to merge with Louisiana Tech and become apart of the Louisiana University System.

My first thought when I saw this over the weekend was "haven't we already tried this?". And I was right, we did. About 7 years ago, a similar proposal was made. But, despite garnering a lot of support, ultimately went nowhere and failed.

My second though was "is this a good idea?" And that I'm still unsure of. I haven't yet talked to Mr. Glover about his bill or his intentions. What I do know is that LSU Shreveport needs some help. I haven't been on campus since I graduated about 10 years ago...but according to everyone I've spoken with, the place is in dire need of funding and support.

LSU-S seems to be the LSU system's red headed step child. They claim it...but just barely. The facility is in poor condition. From what I hear, when it rains, some of the buildings leak. And I know when I was there, the equipment on hand wasn't exactly the latest or greatest. In fact, during the budgetary battle the last few years, it was suggested that LSU-S just be closed to save the LSU System money. While no movement was ever made on that front, the idea was floated and wasn't exactly shot down.

But, is merging with Tech the answer? And honestly, I don't know. I know Dr. Jim Henderson, who runs the Louisiana University System, is a brilliant guy. I also know that the Louisiana system isn't exactly flush with cash. So, can they really help make the situation out there any better? That remains to be seen. When suggested in 2012, Tech was on board with taking over the LSU campus but said they needed at least 5 years to complete the merger properly. I think Cedric's bill wants Tech to take over immediately, i.e. August 1st (assuming the bill passes).

All I know is that something with LSU-S needs to change. And, back in 2012, the Louisiana Board of Regents and several other groups thought that moving LSU Shreveport into the Louisiana system would solve a lot of problems with the University. And, let's be honest here, if it keeps the school open and functional, what could this change possibly hurt? Because, in my humble opinion, our current set up isn't doing anyone any good.
00 2019-04-01
Associated Press

Education leaders aim high in master plan rewrite

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana’s higher education policy leaders are setting an ambitious goal for the state, striving for six in 10 working-age adults to hold a college degree or other employment credential beyond a high school diploma by 2030.

That’s a high bar in Louisiana, which consistently lags the nation in educational attainment. Fewer than half of adults aged 25 to 64 have achieved such a standard.

But as the Board of Regents does a significant rewrite of the statewide master plan governing public higher education in Louisiana, it wants to spark conversation, encourage achievement and inspire a vision.

“We see it as a call to action for the state,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed.

Louisiana adopted its first statewide higher education master plan in 2001, a document that created statewide college admissions standards, incorporated mission statements for campuses and included a funding formula to divvy up dollars from the state. Adjustments have been made since then, but Reed and the Regents are doing a wholesale rewrite in response to a state law requiring an updated document to the governor and lawmakers by Sept. 1.

Goals of the new plan include expanding access to education beyond high school, eliminating equity gaps between white and minority students and helping adults who long ago left school to get a skills-based credential or other educational training.

While other states often gain their educated workforces with transplants from elsewhere, 96 percent of Louisiana’s workforce is made up of state residents. Reed said that drives home the need to bolster training and educational options here.

“We are not importing talent into our workforce. We have to cultivate the talent we have,” she said.

An estimated 56 percent of jobs require education beyond beyond a high school diploma, but only 44 percent of Louisiana adults aged 25 to 64 have a skills-based certificate or college degree, according to Regents data.

Leaders want six in 10 working-age adults to hold a college degree or other employment credential beyond a high school diploma by 2030.

To reach the 2030 goal will require producing 45,000 more credentials annually in 11 years — whether a skills certificate, associate degree or university degree — than students received in 2018. To make that happen, the Regents say, would require significant growth in the credentials obtained particularly by African-American residents.

The Regents say Louisiana will need to sell people on the increased salaries and better quality of life they can achieve with training beyond a diploma. But they acknowledge they’ll also need to sell that idea to policymakers, including lawmakers who help finance technical school and college campuses and slashed state funding for higher education repeatedly over the last decade.

No dollar figure has been placed on the 2030 goal yet, but the Regents clearly see financing needs attached to the attainment level they want to reach.

“We cannot achieve any of the goals at a standstill budget, or with the cuts we’ve taken,” said Regents Chairman Marty Chabert, who works for Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration.

That could be a tough ask of a majority-GOP Legislature that has talked of scaling back state spending and asked whether college leaders have done enough to trim their expenses.

At a recent budget hearing, House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry questioned an Edwards proposal to give $5 million to three campuses under accreditation review, amid concerns they are at risk of losing the validation standard. Henry said the schools should try to “rework their business model.”

“It can’t be, ‘When in doubt, we’ll just go to the Legislature and get more money.’ That’s not sustainable,” said Henry, a Jefferson Parish Republican.

Additional parts of the master plan discussion will include decisions on whether to tweak the financing formula or admissions standards, but the Board of Regents first wanted to set its overarching higher education goals before tackling the other details.

The admission standards in particular have become controversial because Louisiana State University has stopped solely relying on standardized test scores and grade point averages as the key to admission and has acknowledged it granted more exceptions than the master plan allows.

‘We cannot achieve any of the goals at a standstill budget, or with the cuts we’ve taken.’
Marty Chabert
Board of Regents chairman
00 2019-04-01
Baton Rouge


This year marks the 200th anniversary of education in Lake Charles — the first formal school of any kind was taught by Thomas Rigmaiden in the home of Jacob Ryan in 1819.

As the Lake Area celebrates that achievement, Mallory Wall is leading a grassroots education effort of her own.

Wall, who is volunteering as the education outreach coordinator for the 2019 Chennault International Airshow, is using the community event as a vehicle to engage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies.

Wall, a graduate of Mc-Neese State University who served as Student Government president and as a member of the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors and the Louisiana Tuition Trust Authority, has 10 years of classroom experience as an English teacher.

“I got really interested in education and the link between what happens in K-12 and how students are prepared and ready for what comes next in post-secondary,” she said. “What we were seeing and what we still see is a major gap between the readiness for graduating from the K-12 system and then the readiness for what comes in higher education, whether it’s four-year college or university and especially the two-year programs in the technical college system. There’s a real need to elevate the potential of the community and technical college experience particularly given the industry that exists in this region and across the state.”

Wall said many students “shy away” from community and technical colleges because they think it’s “less than or not as good as a fouryear institution.”

“But really, here especially, there are so many wonderful employment opportunities and wonderful careers that you can have through this community and technical college experience,” she said. “We want to do more to bridge that gap and do more to expand the offering of community and technical college pathways for kids in high school.”

Wall, who now works in the non-profit sector for a group that helps influence education policy both at the state level and in certain school districts, said she is volunteering as the education outreach coordinator to get students interested in jobs in the Southwest Louisiana economy.

“The entire purpose of the airshow is to give back to the community,” she said. “The funds raised through the show itself and through sponsorships, ultimately those dollars go back into the community, specifically in the field of education.”

Wall said the economic outlook of the state shows the higher-paying jobs that will allow people to have a better quality of life require the state to put a bigger emphasis on STEM.

“In this area, if you look at the workforce and you look at the jobs that are available, most of them are in a STEM-related field. The higher-paying jobs are in a STEM-related field,” she said. “Students need to be accessing advanced math courses and science courses so they are ready when they get to the higher education system because that’s what it takes. If you’ve never had physics, it’s really going to limit your ability to get in those upper-level science courses in college. If you don’t have a solid foundation in chemistry, organic chemistry is going to be tough for you, if not impossible.”

She said there is a “misalignment” in the jobs available in the state and in how students are being prepared for after graduation.

“There’s also a lack of awareness in the STEM field, particularly for female students and also students of color,” she said. “We want to identify opportunities that will help those kids get access.”

Wall is leading the effort to arrange field trips to the airshow for students at economically disadvantaged schools; in-school visits and guest demonstrations by science and aviation professionals who will be arriving in advance of the airshow; a Sasol STEM Tent at the airshow, with technology exhbits byMcNeese State University, Sowela Technical Community College and Chennault and industry simulators and virtual-reality demonstrations; essay contests at all school levels and classroom grants to STEM teachers; and a pair of four-figure scholarships.

“The airshow has an opportunity to both impact the focus on STEM and can be an awareness-building piece,” she said. “People think of the airshow as a fun-filled weekend with the family ... but then also you have this captive audience of 15,000-20,000 people that we can say, ‘This is how you get here. This is a pathway to this being an option for your child,’ whether it’s military service, working in aeronautics, working in engineering.

“There’s so many different opportunities; people don’t know that they are out there,”

Wall said. “The airshow has an opportunity to build awareness around what STEM really is, how to access it, what you need to do to be prepared or have your child prepared to be successful in a STEM field.”

The airshow is May 10-12 at Chennault International Airport.

The 2019 Chennault International Airshow will be held May 10 – 12 at Chennault International Airport. Online: https://chennaultairshow.com

‘The airshow has an opportunity to build awareness around what STEM really is, how to access it, what you need to do to be prepared or have your child prepared to be successful in a STEM field.’
Mallory Wall
2019 Chennault International Airshow education outreach coordinator
00 2019-04-01

Learn how to preserve bayou history at workshop

With land loss affecting large portions of Terrebonne Parish, the history and culture of the bayou is in danger of being forgotten.

But residents and other interested parties can learn how to preserve its heritage and traditions at a four-session workshop at the Terrebonne Parish Library’s North Branch in Gray starting Saturday.

Brigid Laborie, reference services supervisor of the Terrebonnne Parish Library, said the workshops are designed to help regular people learn how to record their culture.

“It’s a hands-on workshop,” Laborie said. “We’ll have people there, special-guest speakers for every session who are going to be working one-on-one with the people in the workshop to teach them techniques they can use.”

The project is a collaboration between the Louisiana Folklore Society, the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program, the South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center, Nicholls State University Center for Bayou Studies, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Center for Louisiana Studies and the Bayou Regional Arts Council.

The workshops run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 30, April 13, April 27 and May 11, with lunch provided.

The collaborative is paid for with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, the Louisiana Division of the Arts and the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.

The first workshop, entitled “Exploring Local Folklife and Choosing What to Document,” is a low-key, highly interactive workshop that will call on participants’ personal traditions as a way of introducing folklife and documentation.

Other workshop topics include “Getting Ready for Interviewing: Techniques for Documenting Local Stories and Knowledge” on April 13, “Catch and Release: Documentary Photography and Videography For Your Community” on April 27 and “Presenting, Archiving and Funding Your Project” on May 11.

The last of the series is geared toward artists, but anyone is welcome to attend. Laborie said budding historians can attend all four sessions, but they will get something out of the experience even if they make just one.

“Those who complete the series will have mentoring available to complete their projects,” Laborie said. “Going forward, we at the Terrebonne Parish Library would like to work with those people to do something to preserve their history as well.”

All workshops are free, but pre-registration is required. To register, contact Laborie at blaborie@mytpl.org or leave a message at 876-5861, ext. 242. Include your contact details if you leave a message. For information about other workshops, visit louisianafolklife.org/bayouculture.

The Terrebonne Parish Library North Branch is at 4130 W. Park Ave. in Gray.

Staff Writer Scott Yoshonis can be reached at 850-1148 or syoshonis@houmatoday.com. Follow him on Twitter @Foster_Cajun.
00 2019-04-01

CGI, Junior Achievement of Acadiana's Large Business of the Year

CGI has been named the Large Business of the Year for the Junior Achievement of Acadiana's annual Business Hall of Fame.

Founded in 1976, CGI Group Inc. is the fifth largest independent information technology and business process services firm in the world.

At CGI's U.S. Onshore Delivery Center in Lafayette, Louisiana, more than 400 CGI professionals deliver world-class IT services using emerging technologies such as cloud, cybersecurity, intelligent automation, and advanced analytics to enable digital transformation using Agile and SecDevOps methodologies.

CGI’s onshore delivery model focuses on creating high-quality IT jobs through unique partnerships with state and local governments, and university and college systems to establish centers of excellence in small and midsize towns and communities. CGI’s Lafayette center is on a growth trajectory to provide 800 total jobs to the Lafayette community and is anchored on a public-private partnership between CGI, the State of Louisiana, Lafayette Economic Development Authority, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
00 2019-04-01

Heidi Melancon, Junior Achievement of Acadiana's Richard Baudoin Jr. 'Friend of Business' award winner

Heidi Melancon with the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette has been named the Richard Baudoin Jr. “Friend of Business” award winner for the Junior Achievement of Acadiana's annual Business Hall of Fame.

Melancon is an alumna of UL, where she received her B.S. and MBA degrees. She is currently the Regional Director of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at UL and has been with the network since 2005.

Melancon began her tenure as a business consultant and was named Regional Director in March of 2014. Her accomplishments include helping small business owners obtain over $30 million in capital, create over 600 jobs, and start over 130 businesses through her counseling efforts. Her corporate background and experience as a small business owner with her husband, Philip, has made her invaluable in strategic planning and helping existing business owners.

Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame Logo
Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame Logo (Photo: Submitted Photo)

In addition to her counseling and director duties, Melancon has been the regional coordinator of the Louisiana Economic Development Small & Emerging Business Development Program since 2006. She is a board member and treasurer of both the Lafayette International Center Foundation and The Opportunity Machine. She also serves as an advisory member of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program for the Lafayette Regional Airport and for the Business Department at South Louisiana Community College.

Melancon has been an active council member of the UL Alumni Association and has served on the Outstanding Graduate and Scholarship Committees. She was selected as a past State Star for the LSBDC network and has received several awards for stellar service throughout her tenure. Lastly, her center was recently awarded the 2018 SBDC Excellence and Innovation Award for Louisiana and for SBA Region VI which covers the Southeast region of the U.S.

She is married to Phillip Melancon and they recently celebrated their 25th anniversary. They are the proud parents of two sons, Matthew, a UL student, and Reece, a junior at St. Thomas More High School.
00 2019-04-01
Lake Charles

Coding workshop

McNeese State University hosted a one-day workshop Saturday at the Calcasieu Parish Technology Training Center to provide quality professional development in computer science education for more than 60 elementary teachers from 35 different schools from nine parishes. McNeese partnered with Code.org, a national non-profit organization focused on increasing access to computer science education.
00 2019-04-01
Lake Charles

McNeese participates in global exchange program

McNeese State University is hosting two Pakistani students this spring semester as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Pakistan.

McNeese is the only university in Louisiana selected to host students through the program, according to McNeese’s Director of International Programs Preble Giltz Girard.

“This is a tremendous honor for McNeese and is a testament to the quality of our programs, our student support services and our tremendously warm and welcoming community that values diversity,” Girard said.

“While these students will only be with us for one semester, they have already made an indelible impression on campus and will be great ambassadors for McNeese and all of Southwest Louisiana when they return home in May,” she added.

Created by the department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in 2010, the program is aimed at promoting better understanding of the United States abroad. Engineering majors Hira Mahmood of Rawalpindi, and Muhammad Aleem of Islamabad, have not only been tasked with continuing their studies, but also learning more about the cultures and values of the U.S. and Louisiana to share with their communities when they return.

“As cultural ambassadors, we get the chance to act as a bridge between the two countries and also show the beauty of Pakistani culture to Americans,” Mahmood said.

Competition for a space in the program is fierce: eligible students must be Pakistani citizens, 25 or younger, enrolled in a college or university, proficient in English and display high academic achievement and strong leadership qualities. Of the 30,000 students that apply, only about 200 are selected to participate.

Based on a lengthy interview process and their paths of academic study, Mahmood and Aleem were assigned to McNeese, though neither student was familiar with Louisiana before they arrived.

“I knew Louisiana was a state,” Aleem said, “But I didn’t know the state abbreviations. So when I first got my letter, I saw ‘McNeese State University, LA.’ I thought – I’m going to Los Angeles!”

Both students were quickly embraced by the McNeese and Southwest Louisiana community and found that, in many ways, there wasn’t as great a difference between the cultures as they were expecting.

“When we came to the United States, we were told about U.S. culture and how it’s different from our own culture,” Aleem said. “For example, in Pakistan, whenever we meet someone, even a stranger, we always hug each other. The people in Washington, D.C., told us Americans don’t hug — the most you can do is shake hands. They even gave us a tutorial on how to shake hands. But when I came to Louisiana, the first thing people did was hug me!”

Both say that their education at McNeese has been very different than what they’re used to in Pakistan.

“Academically, McNeese has been brilliant,” Aleem said. “Over here, professors are very practical and assign us hands-on projects instead of exams. I really enjoy my classes, and because McNeese has a small student body, you receive more personal time with your professors. They can personally address your questions and help you explore your interests. For example, an engineering professor changed our class syllabus when the class expressed the need to learn more about certain software. His priority was to make sure we had what we needed to succeed.”

Mahmood concurs.

“The professors are great. When I needed help, I was amazed — the class was over, but they stayed to help break down concepts so they were easily understandable for me. They’re so helpful and encouraging to students.”

While studying at McNeese, the students have also had the chance to travel extensively throughout the U.S. to get a broad idea of how American culture differs from place to place. The students have traveled everywhere from Chicago to Disneyland and extensively through Louisiana. They also had the chance to participate in a very Louisiana tradition: Mardi Gras.

With the semester nearly over, Aleem said he wants to eventually return to McNeese to pursue a graduate degree, while Mahmood plans to help establish facilities in Pakistan where women and girls can pursue their education. Both students said they are excited about returning home to fulfill their roles as cultural ambassadors and spread what they’ve learned about the U.S., Southwest Louisiana, and Mc-Neese to their home country.

Ashlee Lhamon is a graduate assistant at McNeese State University.
00 2019-04-01
Lake Charles


pecial to the American Press

For Autism Services of SW La.: The Southwest General Contractor Association recently held their annual Clay Shoot benefiting Autism Services of Southwest Louisiana (ASSL). Present at the check presentation for $6,500 are: David Landreneau, LAGC Southwest regional manager; Jared Caveys, vice president of construction for Pat Williams Construction; Amy Donald, executive director, ASSL; Geri Christ Landry, board member, ASSL; Sharon Doucet, manager, Advantage Resourcing; and Blake Hines, president, Blake Hines Inc.

McNeese State University

For MSU Foundation: Cynthia Young Rougeou donates $20,000 to the McNeese State University Foundation to establish the Cynthia Young Rougeou History Scholarship. Rougeou — a 1978 history graduate of McNeese — is the executive director of LASERS, the Louisiana State Employees Retirement System that serves over 89,000 members. On hand for the presentation are from left, Rougeou, and Richard H. Reid, vice president for university advancement and executive vice president of the McNeese Foundation.

Special to the American Press

For Sowela Technical Community College: The Sowela Graphic Art Club students recently completed a 264-foot mural at Petro Bowl. The artwork spans the entire length of the bowling lanes, incorporating a Southwest Louisiana theme complete with crawfish, Lake Charles skyline and wildlife. Club members volunteered their time to paint the mural, a project that took from September 2018 to February 2019 to design, outline and paint. The mural was part of a fundraiser for the club, which raised $2,000. Pictured in front of the mural accepting the donation from Petro Bowl are: front row, from left: Petro Bowl General Manager Debbie Stroderd, Sowela Chancellor Dr. Neil Aspinwall, Graphic Art Club Advisor and Instructor Darrell Buck; middle row, from left: Phillip Mitchell, Instructor Thunder John, Shawn Aucoin, Instructor Erik Jessen; and back row, from left: Gabriell Guillory, Quincy Mudd, Kiara Hartman, Kevin Wise, Dennis Evans, Jasmine Vital and Cevannah Duncan.
00 2019-04-01

Flavor of Louisiana raises $77K for scholarships

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s third annual Flavor of Louisiana, the university’s popular spring seafood extravaganza, was a resounding success, according to organizers. The March 22 event drew about 750 guests and raised more than $77,000 for student scholarships and academic programs.

“We are tremendously grateful to our guests, to our sponsors and to the 100-plus volunteers who helped make our event memorable,” said Jill Bankston, CFRE, director of Development. “It took a lot of teamwork to pull together an event of this magnitude, but the positive feedback we have received and the success of the event made it all worth the effort.”

In addition to dozens of booths featuring seafood dishes prepared by chefs from throughout the region, academic departments organized booths that featured raffles, silent auctions and items for purchase to raise money for their individual programs.

Matt DeFord, chair of the Department of Fine and Graphic Art, said he and his colleagues raised about $500 through raffles and sales of original art.

“It was amazing,” DeFord said. “We plan on using the funds to benefit a student in the form of a scholarship.”

The Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development more than doubled last year’s fundraising at Flavor of Louisiana. Their team of faculty and students worked with local businesses, alumni and faculty to showcase Louisiana memorabilia items that were raffled or sold in silent auction to benefit the five units within the college, which includes the School of Education, Department of Health and Human Performance, Department of Psychology, Department of Social Work and Department of Military Science. Current students and faculty will benefit from the funds raised with the creation of at least one new scholarship, improvements to degree program materials and growth plans for the college, according to Dr. Kimberly McAlister, dean.

“People attending the event were excited about the raffle items and generous to support the college,” McAlister said. “We are incredibly appreciative of this opportunity and the generosity of the people attending Flavor of Louisiana. Plans are already underway for next year’s event.”

For the last three years, Flavor of Louisiana has been presented in partnership with the Louisiana Seafood Board which donates all the seafood items for the chefs to prepare. Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser has been a supporter of the event since its inception and this year was the recipient of a special honor. Northwestern State President Dr. Chris Maggio presented Nungesser with the Nth Degree to recognize meritorious service to the university, to the city of Natchitoches and the state of Louisiana.

“A unique ‘food festival’ event like Flavor of Louisiana brings our loyal supporters to campus and also attracts individuals from around the region,” Bankston said. “We were happy to roll out the purple carpet for every ticketholder, every sponsor and everyone who contributed to supporting NSU and student scholarships. Community support for the university is critical to what we at the NSU Foundation do to support the university and its mission.”

About 750 guests enjoyed the food and entertainment at Northwestern State University’s third annual Flavor of Louisiana, the university’s spring fund raiser presented in partnership with the Louisiana Seafood Board. The event raised about $77,000 to support student scholarships and academic programs.

Northwestern State University surprised Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser with a special honor during Flavor of Louisiana when NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio awarded Nungesser the Nth Degree, a designation that recognizes meritorious service to the state, the university and the community. Nungesser has attended Flavor of Louisiana, NSU’s most popular seasonal event, every year since its inception.

Angela Lasyone of Lasyone’s Meat Pie Kitchen won the People’s Choice Award during Flavor of Louisiana and was awarded an embroidered purple chef’s apron. Lasyone, center, is pictured with Northwestern State University Alumni and Development Staff Jill Bankston, Kimberly Gallow, Danielle Cobb, Erin Dupree and Matthew Whitaker.
00 2019-04-01

Robotics team participates in first competition

NATCHITOCHES – A Natchitoches community robotics team mentored by engineering technology students at Northwestern State University participated in its first-ever competition, ranking 21st out of 60 teams and tying for the highest-ranked rookie team. The Bayou Regional Competition took place at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner March 21-23.

Currently in its first year, the team is made up of local high schoolers and is part of an international organization called FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) that has 3,802 teams in 28 countries, according to Patrick Sprung, an industrial engineering technology major who took a lead in organizing the team.

“We are a community team, meaning that we have high school students from the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts and Natchitoches Central High School. They are the youth competitors. The NSU Engineering Technology department provides build space for the team and our ET students and faculty are the mentors that help guide the youth members in the construction of the robot,” Sprung explained.

“This is a win-win situation for everyone involved,” Sprung said. “The high school students get to learn new concepts of engineering, technology, coding, 3D modeling and teamwork through working together and being guided by the NSU student mentors. The NSU mentors are also able to reinforce some of the concepts they’re learning in the classroom, machine tools, 3D modeling, programming, supervision, project management, etc., by teaching the high school students what they know.”

In its first competition, the team did amazingly well, Sprung said.

“I am so proud of the team. Our final record for the 2019 Bayou Regional Competition was 5 wins-4 losses. Our robot was also ranked first in the alternate group during the final qualifying matches,” Sprung said. “When teams would come to scout our robot, affectionately named Dante, they would always ask how many years we have been around; and then were astounded by what the students had built for rookies compared to other first-year teams. Many judges, friends, mentors, parents and passersby commented and expressed their excitement and astonishment at how well our team built Dante and was operating him.”

“Our college student and high school students all seemed to have a wonderful experience, meeting the other groups of industrious people all competing but in their own unique ways. It’s almost indescribable unless you’ve been there and have an affinity for this sort of subject and competition.”

Sprung participated in FRC (First Robotics Challenge) competition when he was in high school and proposed the idea to NSU classmates about starting a team. In addition to filing paperwork and consolidating people and funds, he faced challenges in educating students about the FIRST organization and accommodating two different school systems.

During competition, a rocket repair simulation, Dante’s job was to pick up a hatch panel to patch a hole in the rocket ship. The team worked feverishly between matches to make modifications, Sprung said.

Competitions are usually held during the spring semester with the build season running Jan. 5-Feb. 19 leaving the team with six weeks to build a fully functional robot. In the wake of success at their first competition, the team hopes to build recognition and gain community support through sponsorships.

“We always need new mentors and youth members,” Sprung said. “It’s only our first year, but the potential is there for this team to become a beacon for STEM education and make a major impact on our community. We hope to take our robot on a tour around our community at some point and show off what he can do, and hopefully get more students involved.”

The team meets at 3 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays in Williamson. Hall Room 112 with labs open for use when needed. For more information, contact Sprung at psprung039565@nsula.edu.

The Demon Robotics Team that participated in its first-ever competition are, front row from left, Karan Baker, Jackie Jacoby, Jaiden Stark, Ariell Shield and Dr. Jafar Al-Sharab. On the middle row are Kayla Tyler, Riley Louviere, Donavan Dowden, Ethan Begnaud, Breyonna Thompson, Patrick Sprung, Caleb Vining, Edwin Perez and Dr. Shahriar Hossain. On the back row are Kenneth Darcy, Mason Bulot, Matthew Bailey, Eli Tomlin and Seth Baggett. Not shown are Kayla Marceaux, Word Lindsey and Orlandan Williams

The robot Dante’s job was to pick up a hatch panel and patch a hold in a rocket ship.
00 2019-04-01

Bill filed to merge Louisiana Tech and LSU-Shreveport

RUSTON, La. (KTVE)- A bill has been filed by Louisiana State Representative Cedric Glover to transfer LSU-Shreveport to Louisiana Tech.

No later than August 1, 2019, the chancellor of LSU-S is to submit a letter stating the intent of change in governance from the LSU Sytstem board to the University of Louisiana System board to the president of the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

The bill says students enrolled in and in good standing with LSU-S at the time of the transfer/merger should be allowed to continue their enrollment.

Read the bill here.
00 2019-04-01


Pictured left to right, Louisiana Tech students Matt Barbier, Sydney Thibodeaux and John Bartholdi work on the impromptu construction of a doghouse as part of the first Sustainable Solutions Competition at the American Society of Civil Engineers Conference on Friday morning.
00 2019-04-01


The new legislative session is scheduled to begin April 8th. And there's a lot of interesting bills on table. But the latest one to be filed by Cedric Glover really caught my attention. House Bill 470 calls for LSU-S to merge with Louisiana Tech and become apart of the Louisiana University System.

My first thought when I saw this over the weekend was "haven't we already tried this?". And I was right, we did. About 7 years ago, a similar proposal was made. But, despite garnering a lot of support, ultimately went nowhere and failed.

My second though was "is this a good idea?" And that I'm still unsure of. I haven't yet talked to Mr. Glover about his bill or his intentions. What I do know is that LSU Shreveport needs some help. I haven't been on campus since I graduated about 10 years ago...but according to everyone I've spoken with, the place is in dire need of funding and support.

LSU-S seems to be the LSU system's red headed step child. They claim it...but just barely. The facility is in poor condition. From what I hear, when it rains, some of the buildings leak. And I know when I was there, the equipment on hand wasn't exactly the latest or greatest. In fact, during the budgetary battle the last few years, it was suggested that LSU-S just be closed to save the LSU System money. While no movement was ever made on that front, the idea was floated and wasn't exactly shot down.

But, is merging with Tech the answer? And honestly, I don't know. I know Dr. Jim Henderson, who runs the Louisiana University System, is a brilliant guy. I also know that the Louisiana system isn't exactly flush with cash. So, can they really help make the situation out there any better? That remains to be seen. When suggested in 2012, Tech was on board with taking over the LSU campus but said they needed at least 5 years to complete the merger properly. I think Cedric's bill wants Tech to take over immediately, i.e. August 1st (assuming the bill passes).

All I know is that something with LSU-S needs to change. And, back in 2012, the Louisiana Board of Regents and several other groups thought that moving LSU Shreveport into the Louisiana system would solve a lot of problems with the University. And, let's be honest here, if it keeps the school open and functional, what could this change possibly hurt? Because, in my humble opinion, our current set up isn't doing anyone any good.
00 2019-03-29

Columbia Theatre to present ‘Artrageous’

outheastern Louisiana University’s Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts will present “Artrageous,” an interactive art and music experience, in one performance only on April 6 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the production are available at the Columbia Theatre box office Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. or by phone at (985) 543-4371. Patrons may also get tickets online at www.columbiatheatre.org.
Southeastern Louisiana University’s Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts will present “Artrageous,” an interactive art and music experience, in one performance scheduled for Monday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m.

According to Columbia Theatre/Fanfare Director Roy Blackwood, the “Artrageous” troupe of artists, musicians, singers and dancers will pay tribute to a variety of art forms, pop icons and musical genres, culminating in a gallery of fabulous finished paintings.

00 2019-03-29

UL Center for Louisiana Studies works to "Restore the Roy", the oldest building on UL's campus

LAFAYETTE, La (KLFY) - On the corner of University and Johnston Street in Lafayette, you’ll find the Roy House, the oldest building on University of Louisiana at Lafayette's campus.

The home, built by J. Arthur Roy in 1901, is the only home on the National Registry of Historical Places that UL owns. It is in need of major repairs, but an ongoing renovation project is working to transform it into a cultural hub.

“It's the oldest building on UL's campus and it's the most historic building on campus. Our hope is it will become the home of the Center for Louisiana studies,” says Dr. Josh Caffery, director of the Center for the Louisiana Studies.

He hopes moving into the Roy House would give the center more visibility. The center is the home to the UL printing press The Center hopes to open a bookstore in the Roy House featuring the university's publications as well as other Louisiana literature.

J. Arthur Roy House was built in 1901. (Center for Louisiana Studies)
“In general, we want the downstairs to be a public space, said Caffery. "It will be a place where students can come and study. It will be where we can have small talks and classes, also where people can engage the archives of the Center for Louisiana studies- the archives of Cajun and Creole folklore."

Contractors are working on the foundation and restoring the original beams on the front porch.

Jeoffery Thompson is the historical contractor and project manager.

“Because this is a complex process, and we want to save as many of the original materials as possible, I’ve brought them offsite in a controlled space so that we can work on them in the shop," Thompson said. "We will remake any parts that need to be remade or repair anything that’s original and try to keep everything intact as possible.”

Caffery said ideally, the Roy House will be an academic and cultural hub.

"We really want to make it a hub for people who can come here and then be directed to wherever it might be best for them to find what they’re looking for in the realm of Louisiana history and culture," Caffery said.

He said it will probably take the next three to four years to raise enough money to restore the home and open it to the public.

Learn more about the Restore the Roy campaign.
00 2019-03-29
Lake Charles

McNeese launches Greaux Blue campaign

McNeese State University’s Kay Doré Counseling Center is seeking to expand its services to address Calcasieu Parish’s rising suicide rate.

The center has started Greaux Blue, McNeese’s crowd-sourced fundraising tool, to raise $25,000 for increased education, training and research on suicide. Calcasieu’s suicide rate is 19.9 deaths per 100,000 residents, according to data from the Calcasieu Coroner’s Office. It’s higher than the 15.18 deaths statewide and the national rate of 14 deaths.

“We felt it was out of obligation to be a good partner,” said Kevin Yaudes, assistant professor of psychology. “McNeese takes up a large footprint in Lake Charles, and we produce most of the licensed professional counselors in the area.”

Charlie Hunter, chief investigator with the coroner’s office, said 15 suicides have occurred from Jan. 1 to March 11. This trend suggests the local suicide rate could potentially double this year if it continues.

More local research is needed on the rising suicide rates for specific demographics, Yaudes said.

“Instead of broad strokes, really digging down deep is necessary,” he said. “It may look different from community to community, and that’s the research that seems to be missing, at least as far as I can tell.”

Along with research and training, the funds will ensure the center maintains its rate of $20 per session for its clients. Funds will also help McNeese continue its local partnerships with initiatives like Sam Houston High School’s Peer Initiative Leaders of Tomorrow program, which trains students and staff on providing peer-to-peer support to address underlying causes of student suicide.

Yaudes said better understanding of suicide warning signs and healthy dialogue can help save lives.

“Talking about suicide is actually protective,” he said.

Donations to the initiative can be made by mailing a check designated “KDCC/Suicide” to the McNeese Foundation, Box 91989, Lake Charles, LA 70609, or online at greauxblue.mcneese.edu/kdcc.
00 2019-03-29

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes brings awareness to violence against women

The Wellspring, in collaboration with the University of Louisiana at Monroe Femhawks, will host its fourth annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® at 4 p.m. April 10 in the ULM Quad. Registration will begin at 3:30 p.m.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® is a playful opportunity for men to raise awareness in their community about the serious causes, effects and remediations to men's sexualized violence against women. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), every 92 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.

“As this area’s Accredited Sexual Assault Center, The Wellspring’s Counseling & Family Development Center (CFDC) sees first-hand the damaging impact caused by the trauma of sexual violence. We embrace the opportunity to engage with community partners to increase awareness in our community around this issue,” said professional services director Lisa Longenbaugh of The Wellspring’s CFDC. “It is important that we come together to understand the experiences of those victimized by sexual assault and work to change perspectives, improve relationships, and unite as a community to take a stand against sexual violence.”

Longenbaugh wants the community to know that The Wellspring is here to help. “Our crisis lines are always open, and we can provide support, information and advocacy for those who experience sexual assault.” Victims can access these services by calling 318-323-1505.
00 2019-03-29

Tech grad and Disney leader is ARCH50 Lecturer April 1

Louisiana Tech architecture graduate Michael McCune, today an Imagineer for Walt Disney, will visit the campus April 1 as the School of Design’s most recent ARCH50 Lecturer in a continuing celebration of 50 years of architecture at the university.

McCune (BS Art Studio ’07, MA Architecture ’08) will speak on “Design — Technology — Imagineering” at 4:30 p.m. in Wyly Auditorium. All are welcome, especially job seekers.

“We hire not only architects and interior designers,” McCune said, “but also engineers, graphic designers, theater lighting/acoustic engineers, writers, artists, game developers and software engineers.”

“The purpose of the ARCH50 lecture series is to celebrate excellence among our alumni and to inform our current students of the rich legacy of the Architecture Program at Louisiana Tech University,” said Tech’s School of Design Director, Karl Puljak. “Michael’s path within the profession of architecture has been primarily focused on the role technology plays in how we describe, design, and build experiences. His current position as a Disney Imagineer further recognizes this pursuit of excellence and his interest in pushing boundaries of technology and how we experience it.”

“I had the pleasure of teaching Michael during my first year at Louisiana Tech,” said Kevin Singh, an architect, an associate professor in Tech’s School of Design, and the U.S. Green Building Council’s Innovative Champion Award winner for 2018. “Michael was always pushing the boundaries of design through the use of technology and learning any new software he could get his hands on. It was clear in Tech’s design studio that he was very interested in how this translated into real projects in the built environment. His professional trajectory to become a Disney Imagineer — within a decade out of school — further exemplifies this pursuit and passion, which translating design ideas into amazing experiential architecture.”

McCune began his professional career at Trahan Architects in Baton Rouge, and after four years there moved to New York City to join CASE, an industry leading technology consultancy at the time, where for the next years he directed and led teams that focused on Building Information Modeling (BIM) implementation and project consulting in the latter stages of the building design and construction processes for world-renowned architects, engineers, contractors and owners.

After CASE was acquired by WeWork, McCune joined Walt Disney Imagineering as a Project BIM Manager, where he led the tactical overall and daily approach of how the Toy Story Land project team leveraged BIM and other technologies to optimize performance through design and downstream into fabrication and construction. Michael then led the use and adoption of BIM technologies on attractions for the Atlantic region as the Regional BIM Manager.

Today he serves as a BIM & Virtual Design and Construction Product Lead, leveraging his experience on projects and industry process to lead a software development team, developing custom technologies that impact the global design and construction of Disney's theme parks, cruise chips, resorts and retail experiences.
00 2019-03-29
New Orleans

WWL-TV’s Sheba Turk to give UNO’s 2019 commencement speech

WWL-TV news anchor and author Sheba Turk will address graduates as the keynote speaker at the University of New Orleans spring commencement ceremony. The ceremony is scheduled for May 17.

Turk, who earned a bachelor’s degree from UNO in 2011, was hired as an associate producer at WWL-TV shortly after completing her UNO degree. She then worked her way up to traffic reporter and morning show reporter before becoming host of the entertainment show “The 504.”

Turk took on a new role as a co-anchor of WWL-TV’s Eyewitness Morning News after the show concluded its 5-year run last year. She also recently published the book “Off Air: My Journey to the Anchor Desk,” which highlights the rapid rise in her career. A New Orleans native, Turk grew up in the 7th Ward and graduated from St. Mary’s Dominican High School.

The Sheba Turk story: How the WWL anchor got by with a little help from her friends

Her new book, "Off Air," recounts the New Orleans native's journey.

In a statement, UNO President John Nicklow Thursday (March 28) said they are thrilled to welcome Turk back to campus.

“As someone who was in the same position as our graduates not long ago, and who has also excelled rapidly in her career, she will have a unique ability to connect with our students. We are looking forward to her wisdom and perspective,” Nicklow stated.

UNO will also award an honorary degree to automobile dealership executive and civic leader Ray Brandt, according to a UNO news release. Brandt is the president and CEO of the Ray Brandt Automotive Group. Brandt’s portfolio of dealerships represents more than a dozen different automobile manufacturers, the university stated. Brandt has served on the boards of the University of New Orleans Foundation, the Louisiana Board of Regents, Southern University at New Orleans and the Pro Bono Publico Foundation.

UNO’s ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. May 17 at the UNO Lakefront Arena.
00 2019-03-28
Associated Press

3 economists recommended for Louisiana forecasting panel

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Louisiana’s governor and legislative leaders will choose from three university economists to fill a vacancy on the state income forecasting panel.

The Board of Regents recommended the list Wednesday to the governor, Senate president and House speaker, who will select one economist to join them on the Revenue Estimating Conference.

On the list are Stephen Barnes and Gregory Upton from LSU and Gary Wagner from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

The independent economist position on the conference is a critical role in state government. The panel determines the income projections used to build the state budget. It adopts multiyear forecasts for state tax, license and fee collections.

Only one economist, LSU’s Jim Richardson, has filled that role since the forecasting panel was created three decades ago. He is retiring.
00 2019-03-28
Baton Rouge

Regents tap three candidates to be new REC economist

The Louisiana Board of Regents nominated Wednesday three professors to fill the independent economist spot on the state’s Revenue Estimating Conference.

The four-member board, which includes the governor, the Senate President and Speaker of the House, decides how much money state government has available to spend.

They also will choose which of the three nominees will take the place of LSU economist Jim Richardson, who has held the position since the board was established. He announced in November his intent to retire from the REC.

Veteran Louisiana economist announces retirement; search begins for replacement
Veteran Louisiana economist announces retirement; search begins for replacement
Two of the Regents' nominees are from Louisiana State University and the third is from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. They are:

Stephen R. Barnes, who is director of the LSU Economics & Policy Research Group. He’s worked at LSU since December 2000 and received his doctorate from the University of Texas.
Gregory B. Upton Jr., analyzes economic policy issues in the energy industry at the LSU Center for Energy Studies. His Ph.D. is from LSU.
Gary A. Wagner analyzes regional economics as well as state and local public finance issues at ULL. His doctorate is from West Virginia University.
Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed and Board of Regents Chairman Marty J. Chabert, sought recommendations as well as input from both public and private universities across the state in selecting the final slate.

“We have advanced a strong slate of candidates who have the expertise needed to serve in this important role,” Reed said. “I am grateful to the faculty who expressed an interest in serving and certainly grateful to Dr. Richardson for his long and stellar tenure.”

The REC is at the center of a budget fight because House Speaker Taylor Barras, R-New Iberia, and his surrogates have refused to approve an increase in estimated revenues recommended by legislative and administration economists.

After House Speaker Taylor Barras objects, no upgrade to Louisiana budget forecast
Funding for some pay raises delayed after Louisiana House speaker objects to budget forecast upgrade
Richardson, Senate President John Alario, R-Westwego, and Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, who sits in for Gov. John Bel Edwards, all agree to the higher number. But all four must agree unanimously.

Barras refuses, saying he’s concerned that the economic recovery may not be sustained and feels it better to wait before agreeing that revenues are coming into the state treasury at higher than expected rates.

The outcome is that two competing annual budget bills have been filed in the session that begins April 8. One that outlines spending on services should the REC recognize the additional money and one that appropriates based on the figure approved last year.
00 2019-03-28

Lions Connected wins national award

Lions Connected, a Southeastern Louisiana University Department of Teaching and Learning program that provides a personalized, post-secondary educational experience for individuals with intellectual disabilities, recently received national recognition.

The American Council on Rural Special Education (ACRES) named Lions Connected a recipient of its “Exemplary Program for Vocational Training and Transition” award.

00 2019-03-28

Two Women Who Impact Athletes At University of Louisiana

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) - When it comes to athletes, the work they do off the field impacts their greatness on it.

With the new nutrition program at UL, two women have entered the weight room that have made an impact in several different ways.

"We live in a world where we don't think women know what they're talking about or they can't do a job that a man can do," said senior Safety Deuce Wallace, "but they've given us proof that they know what they're talking about."

Candice Walls and Kaylin Sticher both can be found working closely with all the student athletes.

They provide protein shakes and snacks after practice and even help the athletes with a quick workout during the day.

"I do everything from the weight training to speed and conditioning," explained Walls, "I'm on the field, I'm at games with them, I warm them up for games."

"It really inspires us to help the kids achieve what they want to achieve in life," said Sticher

A lot of the students arent use to seeing women train athletes.

Especially female trainers working with the males.

But for both Walls and Sticher, it is so much more than just a job.

"To me, I get to set a good example of how women should uphold theirselves in front of the male athletes," said Walls, "then I can show the women how you can be a powerful woman in a world that's kind of dominated by men at times."

Earning respect and having to prove your knowledge isn't always easy.

Sometimes though, just lending a helping hand or having an ear to listen is the key.

"They have to be able to trust you." said Sticher, "I think it's more about being patient and really truly having to listen about someone."

"If you're questioning what they say just look at the products that they've created." said Wallace, "both Candice and Stich they are very detailed about what they do and they take it very seriously and it shows."
00 2019-03-28

Alum Donates New Boat to the Ragin’ Cajun Water Ski Team

The national champion Ragin’ Cajun Water Ski Team officially unveiled their brand new 2019 MasterCraft Ski Boat today.

The boat was donated to the team by UL Lafayette Alumni Joe Spell and Ragin’ Cajun Water Ski Alums Steve and Danyelle Critchley of Bennett’s Boat and Ski, a waterski training center and boat dealership.

The boat was delivered by the Critchleys to Martin Hall where Spell and UL President E. Joseph Savoie handed over the keys to Team Captain, Harry Spavin, and the rest of the students on the UL Water Ski Team. Spell is CEO and Founder of Tides Medical, a Lafayette-based regenerative medicine company. Spell spent two years on the Ragin’ Cajun Water Ski Team, 1999- 2001.

The Ragin’ Cajun Water Ski Team currently holds Six National Championship titles making it one of the most successful club teams in university history. The team is on track to take home another title this year and has already had a successful recruiting season thanks to the generous donation from Spell, a spokesman said.

The team will be showing off the boat this April 13-14, 2019 at their 5th annual Fleur de Ski Water Ski Tournament. The public is invited to the tournament held at Airport Lake. Admission is free and the team is asking that attendees bring toiletries, blankets, socks, etc., to be donated to St. Michael’s Shelter, a local shelter for male veterans, and The Emily House, a local shelter for homeless women and children. For more information on the tournament and a complete list of items, please visit the team’s Facebook page.
00 2019-03-28


UL Lafayette nursing students are taking part in a meaningful initiative aimed at helping the homeless population in Lafayette. Personal care and other items are being collected ahead of the main outreach day on April 30th. Dr. Jessica McCarthy joined us on Acadiana's Morning News to talk about the major need. SHOES!

UL Nursing H.O.P.E. Initiative
Subscribe to News Talk 96.5 KPEL on

You can find out more information about the program and how to donate by calling (337) 781-1197.
00 2019-03-28
Lake Charles

National juried art show hangs at McNeese through May 9

The 32nd annual McNeese National “Works on Paper” Exhibit is on display in the Grand Gallery of the Shearman Fine Arts Annex at McNeese State University. The juried exhibit, which opened March 21, will hang through May 9.

Juror Stephanie Mitchell, executive director of the Lawndale Arts Center in Houston, chose 66 works for this year’s show from among the 805 pieces submitted by 286 artists, said Lizzie Weber Pullin, McNeese visual arts department administrative assistant.

The “Works on Paper” exhibit is open to all artists living in the United States.

“The pieces submitted from farthest away come from Everett, Wash. — about 2,400 miles away,” Pullin said.

Of the 10 artists who entered from Lake Charles, four had work accepted in the show. Of those four, three are McNeese students — Collin Adams, Camille Vizena and Mackenzie Best. Adams and Vizena are art majors. Best is an art education major.

The 66 selected pieces in the exhibit include paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and mixed media pieces. Work in any medium using paper as a component part was eligible for submission.

The “Works on Paper” exhibit was introduced 32 years ago by art professor Heather Ryan Kelley and former Department Chair Bill Iles, Pullin said.

Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call the department at 475-5060.

Online: www.mcneese.edu/mcneese-national-works-on-paperexhibit
00 2019-03-28

Talons for Taps offers moving tribute to veterans

A dedicated group of University of Louisiana Monroe musicians have stepped forward to recognize the service and honor the sacrifices of United States Armed Forces veterans by performing “T