3/21/2019
ULS NEWS ARTICLES

Today's News

University of Louisiana System

00 2019-03-21
Alexandria

Applications being accepted for CLIP program


ALEXANDRIA, La. (Orchard Foundation) - Applications are being accepted for the Central Louisiana Instructional Partnership program. CLIP is a teacher residency program focusing on developing middle school Math and Science teachers in high-need schools in Central Louisiana. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, April 30 with the program slated to begin in summer 2019.


To qualify, applicants must have earned an undergraduate degree, must not have teacher certification, and must meet Northwestern State University's Master of Teaching graduate school requirements. To apply for CLIP, interested persons should complete and submit the CLIP application, release form, essay, and a current resume. The application should also be made to NSU’s graduate school. Application forms and more details can be found at www.theorchardfoundation.org. Complete CLIP program requirements will be reviewed during the applicant interview process.

Applicants selected for the CLIP program will complete a 15-month accelerated graduate program of study culminating in a Master of Arts in teaching degree from Northwestern State University and a professional teaching certification. CLIP residents will receive a stipend to cover the expense of tuition, as well as an annual stipend of $36,000 during their residency.

While completing their graduate coursework, CLIP residents will be immersed in an academic year school-based residency in a high-need school identified by the nine partner public school districts. CLIP residents will experience a variety of learning opportunities alongside a trained and experienced mentor teacher. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be placed in CLIP-participating schools and will receive two years of induction support with sustained coaching and professional development. CLIP graduates are required to teach in a Central Louisiana high-need school for at least three years following graduation as part of the CLIP agreement.

The Orchard Foundation, a nonprofit local education fund and the education arm of The Rapides Foundation, will serve as the lead organization for CLIP. Project Partners include the nine Central Louisiana School Districts of Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides, Vernon, and Winn; NSU’s Gallaspy College of Education & Human Development and College of Business & Technology-Computer Information Systems; Urban Learning & Leadership Center; EvalWorks; and The Rapides Foundation. CLIP is funded through a $4.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Quality Partnership grant program.

For more information, contact CLIP Field Coordinator Jennifer Cowley at 318-767-3017. Applications are also available on the related link above.
00 2019-03-21
Associated Press

Edwards proposes $19M more for higher ed


BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards is asking lawmakers to spend $19 million more this year on higher education than was budgeted, to fill gaps in the TOPS college tuition program, help schools facing accreditation reviews and pay for boosted online resources for students.

The items are included on a list of additional spending requests for the budget year ending June 30 that the Democratic governor is asking lawmakers to finance in their upcoming legislative session. The Board of Regents provided a detailed breakdown of the higher education proposals Wednesday to The Associated Press.

The highest-price-tag item is $5.9 million for TOPS, which costs more for this school year than the $295 million lawmakers allocated for it. Lawmakers regularly fill late-year gaps in the free tuition program.

Other dollars would pay for LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center to recruit faculty, an expense matched with private foundation money. 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.

Under the governor's proposal, $3 million would be steered to online resources for students, such as electronic textbooks, an initiative that Regents spokeswoman Meg Casper Sunstrom said seeks to reduce costs for students who have seen tuition and fees grow.

Another $5 million would give cash influxes to three campuses under accreditation review, amid concerns they are at risk of losing the validation standard. The schools include Northshore Technical Community College, Central Louisiana Technical Community College and the University of Louisiana at Monroe's pharmacy school.

House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry questioned the accreditation-related spending during a joint House and Senate budget hearing Tuesday. He 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.

Barbara Goodson, the governor's deputy commissioner of administration, said repeated cuts to state financing before Edwards took office have caused problems at higher education institutions.

"We're still grappling with some of these growth issues which were caused by years of less funding," she said.

Louisiana only has two pharmacy programs, one at ULM and the other at the private Xavier University in New Orleans. While Henry questioned the funding proposal, several lawmakers said Louisiana needs to ensure the viability of its only pharmacy program at a public college.

"There's a huge shortage of pharmacists in the state today. They can't graduate enough. But due to budgetary constraints, they've had to limit their enrollment," said Sen. Ronnie Johns, a Lake Charles Republican who graduated from the ULM pharmacy school. "We've got to do everything we can to keep their accreditation on an even keel."

Edwards' list of additional spending requests for the current year tops $82 million, such as $25 million to repay FEMA for the state's share of disaster-recovery efforts from different storms and other public-safety items previously backed by lawmakers.

Before the Louisiana Legislature can determine the fate of any of the spending proposals, Republican House Speaker Taylor Barras must agree to increase the state income forecast to provide enough money to cover the costs. Barras has blocked forecast changes so far, raising concerns about the stability of the state's economy.
00 2019-03-21
Associated Press

Gov. Edwards proposing $19 million more for Louisiana higher education


BATON ROUGE — Gov. John Bel Edwards is asking lawmakers to spend $19 million more this year on higher education than was budgeted, to fill gaps in the TOPS college tuition program, help schools facing accreditation reviews and pay for boosted online resources for students.

The items are included on a list of additional spending requests for the budget year ending June 30 that the Democratic governor is asking lawmakers to finance in their upcoming legislative session. The Board of Regents provided a detailed breakdown of the higher education proposals Wednesday to The Associated Press.


The highest-price-tag item is $5.9 million for TOPS, which costs more for this school year than the $295 million lawmakers allocated for it. Lawmakers regularly fill late-year gaps in the free tuition program.

Other dollars would pay for LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center to recruit faculty, an expense matched with private foundation money. 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.

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New Louisiana budget fights emerge in 2019

Even under the most optimistic of budget expectations, there's not enough money to cover all the wants across state government.

Under the governor's proposal, $3 million would be steered to online resources for students, such as electronic textbooks, an initiative that Regents spokeswoman Meg Casper Sunstrom said seeks to reduce costs for students who have seen tuition and fees grow.

Another $5 million would give cash influxes to three campuses under accreditation review, amid concerns they are at risk of losing the validation standard. The schools include Northshore Technical Community College, Central Louisiana Technical Community College and the University of Louisiana at Monroe's pharmacy school.


House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry questioned the accreditation-related spending during a joint House and Senate budget hearing Tuesday. He 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.

Barbara Goodson, the governor's deputy commissioner of administration, said repeated cuts to state financing before Edwards took office have caused problems at higher education institutions.

"We're still grappling with some of these growth issues which were caused by years of less funding," she said.

Louisiana only has two pharmacy programs, one at ULM and the other at the private Xavier University in New Orleans. While Henry questioned the funding proposal, several lawmakers said Louisiana needs to ensure the viability of its only pharmacy program at a public college.

"There's a huge shortage of pharmacists in the state today. They can't graduate enough. But due to budgetary constraints, they've had to limit their enrollment," said Sen. Ronnie Johns, a Lake Charles Republican who graduated from the ULM pharmacy school. "We've got to do everything we can to keep their accreditation on an even keel."


Edwards' list of additional spending requests for the current year tops $82 million, such as $25 million to repay FEMA for the state's share of disaster-recovery efforts from different storms and other public-safety items previously backed by lawmakers.

Before the Louisiana Legislature can determine the fate of any of the spending proposals, Republican House Speaker Taylor Barras must agree to increase the state income forecast to provide enough money to cover the costs. Barras has blocked forecast changes so far, raising concerns about the stability of the state’s economy.
00 2019-03-21
Baton Rouge

Four Louisiana online MBA programs make rankings


Four Louisiana Universities made the list of the best online MBA programs in 2019 from BusinessStudent.com.

Louisiana Tech University came in at No. 14, University of Louisiana Monroe was No. 146, Louisiana State University Shreveport was No. 188, and McNeese State University was 191st on the 202-school list.

The top-ranked school on the list was Auburn University, which has a 78% acceptance rate.

While traditional MBA enrollment is down across the board, online MBA programs are seeing record numbers of people enroll due to lower tuition costs and the ability to study from anywhere. The U.S. News and World Report 2019 list of online MBA programs includes 301 schools, up from 170 in 2017.

Programs without national accreditations were not included in the BusinessStudent.com list, which ranked schools based on tuition, accreditation, acceptance rate, student support and engagement.

As part of the study, more than 100 former online MBA students were surveyed and 83% ranked tuition price as their number one consideration when choosing a program. Read the full report.

Editor’s note: A previously published version of this story incorrectly stated that LSU did not make the ranking. However, LSU did not participate in the survey and would not have been listed in the first place. Daily Report apologizes for the error.
00 2019-03-21
Hammond

Governor appoints SLU nursing dean to state board


HAMMOND — Ann Carruth, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Southeastern Louisiana University, has been appointed by Gov. John Bel Edwards to the Louisiana State Board of Nursing, on which she will serve a four-year term.

The mission of the 11-member board is to safeguard the life and health of Louisiana residents by ensuring registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses are competent and safe.

A resident of Hammond, Carruth has served on the faculty of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Southeastern since 1990.
00 2019-03-21
Hammond

SLU Community Music School to host summer programs


HAMMOND — The Southeastern Louisiana University Community Music School is hosting a series of summer programs for young musicians.

The summer programs include a middle school band camp, guitar workshop, chamber music workshop,and a strings orchestra workshop, as well as seven weeks of individual lessons, said Community Music School Director Jivka Duke.

A middle school band camp is June 17-21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 1 to 5 p.m. Friday, with a concert at 7 p.m. Friday, June 21. Lunch is provided Monday through Thursday, as well as dinner Friday. Tuition for the camp, scheduled in Pottle Music Building on Southeastern’s campus, is $225. Registration is open until the first day of camp; however, a $20 late fee will apply to registrations postmarked after May 1.

Coordinated by Southeastern Interim Director of Bands Derek Stoughton, the camp is open to students in fifth through ninth grades during the 2018-19 school year, although high school students are welcome to attend. Camp activities include concert band, private lessons and master classes, jazz combos, lessons in improvisation and theory classes.

The chamber music, choir and guitar workshops are from 9 a.m. to noon June 10-14, with a concert at 1 p.m. June 14. Tuition for each workshop is $170 and includes lunch June 14. Registration is open until the first day of the workshops; however, a $20 late fee will apply to registrations postmarked after May 20.

The beginners’ string orchestra workshop will take place from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. June 10-13, and June 14 from 10:30 a.m. to noon, with a concert at 1 p.m. June 14. Suitable for first- to third-year violin, viola and cello students, the workshop will be taught by Duke.

Tuition for the workshop is $125 and includes lunch June 14. Registration is open until the first day of the workshop; however, a $20 late fee will apply to registrations postmarked after May 20.

The CMS will also offer private instrumental and vocal lessons from June 10 to July 25. Lessons are scheduled according to the instructors’ availability and with consideration of the students’ family vacations. Individual lesson fees vary according to the instructor’s qualifications.

For information on any of these programs, visit www.southeastern.edu/smc or call (985) 549-5502.
00 2019-03-21
Hammond

Southeastern Foundation will host Chefs Evening March 31


Tickets are on sale for Southeastern Louisiana University Foundation’s Chefs Evening.

The event, showcasing restaurants and caterers from across the region, will run from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 31, in the Student Union Grand Ballroom on the Hammond campus.

Prior to the main event, the President’s Toast will feature hors d’ouevres courtesy of One Thirteen Restaurant and wine personally chosen by Southeastern President John L. Crain, according to an SLU news release. The President’s Toast is held in the President’s Residence, also on campus, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

This year’s restaurants and beverage companies participating include Aquistapace Covington Supermarket, Benedict’s Plantation, Blackened Brew, Cate Street Seafood Station/Boston Restaurant, Champagne Beverage, The Cocoa Bean Bakery and Café, Crescent Bar, Don’s Seafood, Eddie’s Frozen Custard, Gallagher’s Grill, Gnarley Barley, Jacmel Inn, Jim Carey Distributing, Le Saigon, Our Mom’s Restaurant & Bar, PJ’s Coffee, Salty Joe’s BBQ Shop, Sarita’s Mexican Grill and Cantina, Southeastern Catering, Texas Roadhouse, The Big Squeezy Cold Pressed Juicery, Tope La and Trey Yuen.

Tickets are $75 for the Chefs Evening; $100 for the President's Toast; President's Toast and Chefs Evening combined is $150; a reserved table for six is $600; and Chefs Evening patron table for six is $1,500.

To learn more or purchase tickets, visit southeastern.edu/chefsevening, call (985) 549-2239, or email chefsevening@southeastern.edu.
00 2019-03-21
Hammond

Southeastern concert to pay tribute to Beethoven


Southeastern Louisiana University Symphony Orchestra, Northshore Chorale, Bella Voce, and Southeastern Concert Choir will pay tribute to Ludwig van Beethoven in a concert Wednesday, March 20, at the Columbia Theatre.

Titled “Beethoven Night at the Columbia Theatre,” the concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the downtown Hammond theater, located at 220 E. Thomas Street.


00 2019-03-21
Lafayette

UL Career Services Hosts Etiquette Dinner For Students


Halfway through UL’s business week, the business department and the Office of Career Services hosted an etiquette dinner in the ballroom. All students, faculty and staff were invited to not only learn but to mix and mingle as well. Students were expected to gain valuable etiquette skills, tips and network.

Director of Career Services Kim Billeaudeau says the etiquette dinner aims to teach students how remain professional in every situation.

“Sometimes students just don’t know they haven’t been immersed into the professional world, so anytime we can put on events such as the Moody Business Week, where were having events where they can practice and having them practice in their own comfortable environment.”

To see what’s in store for the rest of business week, you can visit business.louisiana.edu
00 2019-03-21
Lafayette

UL Athletics mourns loss of two staff members


Louisiana Athletics is mourning the loss of two staff members who passed away recently.

Leonard Wiltz and Lynn Williams two long-time staff members died this past week.

Wiltz worked for the University for more than 40 years, according to UL Athletics. He passed away at his home in Lafayette this past Thursday.


Lynn Williams / Louisiana Athletic Department
“Leonard served in many capacities with the department, bringing a tireless work ethic, an engaging smile, and a quick joke,” a release says of Wiltz.

Lynn Williams served more than 30 years as equipment manager for the Ragin’ Cajuns

“It was a job he loved, and he was loved in return by the many student-athletes and staff he impacted over the many seasons he worked with the University,”

Lynn passed away at his home in Lafayette on Wednesday, according to officials.

In a statement on the passing of the two staff members, Athletic Director Bryan Maggard said the Wiltz and Williams will be missed.

“The entire Louisiana Athletics family mourns the loss of these two special individuals. Both Leonard and Lynn dedicated their lives to the service of the University of Louisiana and its student-athletes. The impact they had on so many people will serve as their legacy, and both will be dearly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families,” Maggard said.
00 2019-03-21
Lafayette

Musicals and operas and symphonies, oh my!



00 2019-03-21
Lake Charles

Flamethrowers will be playing those ‘songs you forgot you loved’


Live at the Lakefront, the free outdoor concert series, continues at 6 p.m. Friday at the Civic Center’s Arcade Amphitheatre with homegrown favorites The Flamethrowers playing highenergy covers of popular, classic and modern hits.

The six-piece band’s various musical backgrounds and tastes can be heard in its song selections. They include Motown, Paul Simon and current artists like Justin Timberlake. Logan Fontenot, guitar/vocals, said the band plays songs “you forgot you loved.”

“We allow people to forget their problems for a little while and have a good time,” he said.

Maggie Belle Band, a seven-piece ensemble out of New Orleans, is one of two opening acts. The band blends old and new sounds with its distinct flavor of soul, funk and R&B.

“Audience members will be in for a ride — at times, moving and emotional — other times driven and upbeat,” said keyboardist Brian Hunter.

Belle said the songs reflect the “emotional ups and downs of the human heart.” A registered nurse, she said the personal and emotional connections made at work are conveyed through her music.

The Zyde-Pokes, McNeese State University’s official Zydeco band, will also perform traditional sounds of southern Louisiana. Lonny Benoit, head of McNeese’s liberal arts department, said the band aims to “preserve one of our area’s greatest resources, Zydeco music.”

The student ensemble is comprised of traditional button-style accordion, bass, keyboard, guitar, drums and frottoir (washboard). The band’s energetic set is “sure to get you off your feet and dancing,” he said.

Pets and ice chests are prohibited.

The concert series is hosted by The Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana. All beverage sales will benefit the Arts Council.
00 2019-03-21
Lake Charles

SAGE group ‘goghing’ on Houston field trip April 2


The McNeese State University SAGE Series is “goghing” on a field trip to Houston on Tuesday, April 2.

The group will visit The Museum of Fine Arts to see the travelling exhibition “Vincent Van Gogh: His Life in Art,” as well as the Hindu temple, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. McNeese art history instructor Aline Baldwin will accompany the tour.

The exhibition, which runs through late June, is making its only stop in Houston, and features more than 50 works by the painter from various points in his career, as well as correspondence between Vincent and his brother Theo, all on loan from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, the Netherlands, as well as some other European collections.

Leisure Learning coordinator May Gray said she decided to integrate the trip into the SAGE season when she saw the show was coming to Houston, and also got McNeese art history teacher Bridget Mc-Daniels to do a SAGE Series lecture about Van Gogh in preparation for the field trip.

“When I saw that exhibit was coming to Houston, I reached out to Bridget, who has done other SAGE lectures for us, and it was just perfect,” Gray said. “The chance to see these Van Gogh paintings, not just to see them but to have more information about what these things mean, what all the colors mean, and how they represent his mental states. It’s really special.”

McDaniel’s lecture is being shown on the C-Gov channel everyday at 3:15 and 9:15, both a.m. and p.m., through March

22.

For more info about the exhibition, visit www.mfah. org.

In the afternoon the group will tour the Mandir, a temple for Hindu followers to pray and worship. According to their website, the Mandir “is built according to the Shilpa Shastra, a collection of architectural treatises that have been an integral part of Indian architecture and engineering for thousands of years ... elevating the soul to the pinnacle of God-realization according to Hindu philosophy.”

Also featured at the temple is an exhibit that highlights significant contributions from India to global culture, religion, science and technology.

The temple is composed of Italian marble and Turkish limestone, hand carved in India and assembled at its home in Stafford, Texas. More than 1 million volunteer hours were utilized in the construction of 33,000 pieces that make up the temple.

“The architecture is exquisite. It’s really exciting for me, to see these other religions and cultures. I hope everyone enjoys it, it’s going to be a beautiful day,” Gray said.

To see photos of the grounds, and for more info about the Mandir, visit www. baps.org/houston.

The cost for the SAGE trip is $135 per person, and spots are still available.

Participants can register through March 27 by calling 475-5616. Send checks, made payable to “McNeese Foundation,” to Box 92375, Lake Charles, LA, 70609.

The bus will meet in the McNeese Stadium parking lot and leave at 7 a.m. and return around 8 p.m. For more information, email mgray@ mcneese.edu.
00 2019-03-21
Lake Charles

McNeese allows students to experience different cultures throughout campus


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Hira Mahmood traveled from Pakistan in order to break any pre-conceived notions about her country.

“We start to respect each other," Mahmood said. “We start to respect each other’s cultures and our differences and everything. What social media is telling us—what we came to know about different sources is not actually true. We need a true presentation. We need a direct communication.”

Saurav Sharma from Nepal agrees and is grateful that McNeese is helping to educate students about people and places.

“You don’t have to go and practice this; you don’t have to sit there and recite their books and everything," Sharma said. "Knowing others culture, their belief, their norms. values; it’s beneficial for you.”

Mahmood says that events like this are what make the campus cohesive.

“We are the youth of the nation. We are the future,” Mahmood said.

At a parade on the campus, international students shared their cultural traditions.

“Accepting actually that yes, we are the part of this country and we are here. We are U.S., we are Pakistani, we are Napoli, we are every country,” Mahmood said.

Below is a list of all of the countries that represent the student body at McNeese:

Albania
Angola
Australia
Austria
Bahamas
Bangladesh
Benin
Bolivia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brazil
Cameroon
Canada
China
Colombia
Cote d’ Ivoire
Egypt
France
Gabon
Germany
Ghana
Greece
Honduras
India
Indonesia
Iran
Ireland
Italy
Japan
Jordan
Kenya
Korea, Republic of
Mexico
Montenegro
Nepal
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nigeria
Peru
Poland
Rwanda
Saudi Arabia
Serbia
South Africa
Spain
Sweden
Syria
Trinidad and Tobago
Turkey
Ukraine
United Kingdom
Vietnam
Zambia
Zimbabwe
Copyright 2019 KPLC. All rights reserved.
00 2019-03-21
Monroe

Our guide to weekend fun March 21-24


Where: ULM Brown Theatre, 4001 DeSiard Street, Monroe; When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; Admission: $15, $5 ULM staff, student tickets are sold out; Info: 318-342-3811 or www.facebook.com/events/234338367424712

Enjoy a showing of The Phantom of Opera by the ULM VAPA Program! The Phantom of the Opera is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Charles Hart. Richard Stilgoe and Lloyd Webber wrote the musical's book together. Stilgoe also provided additional lyrics. Based on the eponymous French novel by Gaston Leroux, its central plot revolves around a beautiful soprano, Christine Daaé, who becomes the obsession of a mysterious, disfigured musical genius living in the subterranean labyrinth beneath the Paris Opéra House.
00 2019-03-21
Natchitoches

Regional dance conference to include three Northwestern State works


Three works from Northwestern State University will be performed at the American College Dance Association Southeast Regional Conference at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia on March 28-31.

“Comm/itment” by senior Asher Van Meter of Edmond, Oklahoma, and “Flirting with Light” by Assistant Professor of Dance Crystal Lewis will be presented for judging on March 29. Choreography by Mary Strickland of New Orleans is being performed at the informal concert.

“Comm/itment” is a trio with Maci Burt of Mandeville, Alphonse Engram of DeRidder and Sarah Talbot of Baton Rouge.

“It’s a piece that deals with the struggles of relationships and abuse, whether it be physical or emotional, and the effect it has on the two women in the piece,” said Van Meter, a theatre major with a concentration in dance. “The man in the piece moves in and out of their lives and you watch how it affects them when he’s with them, when they’re alone and when they deal with this jealousy and longing for him to come back. It deals with a lot of isolation for them and how they trap themselves within their own anxiety and let him control them.”

Lewis’ work is a light sensitive piece with two distinct sections and a cast of 11.

“The first section is lit entirely by tap lights controlled by the dancers,” said Lewis. “This creates not only a spectacle of light, but has a deeper meaning of being drawn to this light. The second section has a more ethereal and otherworldly feel as the dancers are lit by the tap lights, while simultaneously being bathed in a soft golden hue. The second section has more of a ritual feel as the dancers move in and out of partnering as they are circled around each other and the tap lights.”

Lewis originally choreographed this work as part of her graduate thesis concert.

“Initially when creating this work, I was playing with the notion of lighting dance through non-traditional lighting methods,” said Lewis. “I have set this particular work on several students and colleges over the years, each time it has morphed and changed to embody the dancers dancing the work. The piece is mostly abstract but does have an overarching theme of humanity and hope as the light bathes the dancers.

Other students from Northwestern State attending the conference are Taylor Young, Katherine Langlois, Jayzen Boger, Anna Birbiglia, Kennedy Butler, Brandi Corkern, Cathleen Oviedo, Brittany Davis, Kelsy Elkins, Vilma Castro Lopez, Tara Lane, Emily Ricalde, Luther Brooks IV and Alphonse Engram. Also attending are Ashley Henry, Vincent Spinks, Dustin Huffman, Erin Fallis, Mary Scott Pourciau, Leyla Fettweis, Haleigh Giorlando-Wall, Abigail Miller and Hannah Knoff.

While at the conference, students can take master classes and attend dance performances, research presentations, panel discussions and lectures. They can also meet students and faculty from a number of institutions. Faculty can present research and participate in professional development opportunities.


00 2019-03-21
New Orleans

UNO students ready to embark on Japan summer study


The 11th UNO-Japan summer study abroad program at Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan, will be held May 26-June 29; and the online Intro Session will be May 15-25.

The program will offer five classes:

Intermediate Japanese
Journey to the Heart of Zen
Deciphering Manga and Anime
Philosophy & Film: the Silver Screen and the Rising Sun
Samurai Tradition
Each student takes two classes, Monday through Thursday. Credits earned on the program are fully transferable. Cultural activities will include calligraphy, ikebana, origami, kendo and more.

UNO students, age 18 or older, as well as students from around the U.S., are eligible to apply.


The tuition is $4,595 for UNO students, and &5,095 for guest students. The fee covers six credit hours, tuition, housing, lunch on campus, 30-day bus pass in Kyoto, study abroad health insurance, cultural activities, guided city tours, participation in Tomodachi and more.

Tomodachi means “friends” in the Japanese Language. It is a unique lunch program to connect UNO-Japan students with Doshisha students.

Optional field trips in Kyoto, Osaka and Nara are available for an additional cost.

“The program intends to offer a well-rounded experience. Combining academic learning, inquiry with social and cultural experiences and free time to travel,” said Jennifer Torres, new program coordinator, UNO-Japan Summer Study Abroad Program.

“We also hope you will follow us to Japan through social media and start considering joining us in 2020. With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Japan will be more accessible and interesting. Applications for the 2020 UNO-Japan program will open at the end of October,” said Torres.

For further information, go to http://New.uno.edu/studyabroad/Japan.

Children’s World Fair
China and the Philippines will be included and featured in the 21st Children’s World Fair, presented by the Louisiana Children’s Museum, on March 23, at the museum. The Early Explorers Party will be 10 a.m. to noon. All the adventurers are welcomed to join the fun at noon.


The fair provides children, ages 2-12 with an appreciation of the unique and universal customs of our global community in an interactive learning environment.

At the China Pavilion, the visitors will make panda bookmarks, play Chinese checkers, take a picture at the Great Wall, visit a fortune teller, search for hidden pandas around China.

For STEM experiment, the children will explore the Albedo effect and use the terrain of China to learn about how different terrains effect our climate and temperature.

On central stage, the visitors will enjoy an interactive martial arts demonstration from the Shaolin Institute. In addition, the visitors will learn how to use chopsticks and sample shrimp fried rice.

Visitors to the pavilion of the Philippines, will play the popular Filipino game of SIPA, create their own fishing lines, decorate fishes, practice fishing skills, and make puppets of Tamara, an endangered dwarf buffalo that can be found only in the Philippines.

The Philippines Archipelago comprises about 7,641 islands.

For STEM experiment, the children will learn about how the islands form and become volcano builders and harness the earth’s power to create new islands.

In addition, the visitors can taste a juice from a calamondin citrus tree, pancit, fried noodles, and abode, a dish consisting of marinated meat, seafood or vegetables.


“The Asian community is important fabric of New Orleans over the past 20 years. The Children’s World Fair has showcased the beauty of many Asian countries, their rich customs and unique traditions. Each year, children are introduced many contributions of the Asian community in an engaging and dynamic celebrations,” said Julia Blanc, CEO, Louisiana Children’s Museum.

Tickets are $16 per person for LCM members, and $20 per person for non-members.

Tickets are available for purchase online at www.lcm.org or call 504.266.2415

For information of the Children’s World Fair and/or Louisiana Children’s Museum, also visit www.lcm.org or call 504.266.2415.

Tina Soong writes about people and events of interest to the Asian American community. To reach her, email tsoongtotherim@aol.com.
00 2019-03-21
New Orleans

Crescent City College Notes for March 20


SALES SUCCESS: Alee Hess, of Belle Chasse, was on a team of seven Southeastern Louisiana University students who successfully competed in the Bayou Sales Challenge, a role-play competition held recently at Nicholls State University. In only Southeastern’s second time participating in the competition, Hess won the Individual Sales Competition, the highest honor of the sales challenge. The team earned three of the top five spots after the first round of competition and four of the top 10 spots after the wildcard round against six other universities, including Florida State, LSU, Nicholls, Southern, University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Xavier.
00 2019-03-20
Baton Rouge

Yvette Girouard: Naming Ragin' Cajuns softball field named after me a huge honor


Still at a loss for words, I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to Bryan Maggard, Jessica Leger, Joseph Savoie, my players and their families, coaches and staff and the incredible fans who back Louisiana softball. For 20 years, the Ragin' Cajuns softball program was my child. It was truly a labor of love. I woke up excited every day to make this program one of the best in the nation.

Watch: Yvette Girouard reacts to Lamson Park softball field named in her honor
There are no adequate words to capture how much I am humbled to have the team's historic playing field bear my name. None of this would have been possible without the community. When we needed them to step up financially, supporters did so. There is no question their passion, love and dedication to Ragin' Cajuns softball carries a national recognition.

The players who loved wearing the Vermillion and White are so invested in this program and are a huge part of this honor. I hope that they realize that this honors them and the staff of coaches, trainers and managers who worked under me.

Please accept this humble thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Merci beaucoup, and Geaux Louisiana softball

Yvette Girouard

retired softball coach

Baton Rouge
00 2019-03-20
Houma/Thibodaux

Clune becomes ‘Pied President’ for Nicholls Give N Day


Nicholls State University’s second annual Give “N” Day today was a smashing success, literally.

The fundraising event for campus organizations featured President Jay Clune being smashed with pies in his face, a reward for the organizations who raised the most money for their endeavors.

“It was for a great cause,” Clune said. “These are great young people out here, and it means a lot to me that they’re supported, and anything I can do to help them, I’m happy to do, because I love being amongst them.”

The event was put on by the Nicholls Foundation as a way to help various fraternities, sororities, clubs and departments raise more for their efforts than they can raise separately.

Sigma Gamma Rho sorority raised the most money of the organizations participating, and the Nicholls football team had the highest number of individuals donate.

Jeremy Becker, executive director of the Nicholls Foundation, said that the first such event last year raised just under $80,000 for the participating campus organizations, and that the goal was to surpass the $100,000 mark this year.

“With 111 different areas, it allows donors to pick and choose where they want their money to go,” Becker said. “They know their money stays with that organization and the money has to stay on campus.”

Kayla Freemon of Sigma Gamma Rho had the honor of applying the first pie to Clune’s face, after the sorority raised more than any of the other organizations involved.

Freemon said that she hopes the experience will help grow her fledgling sorority, which has just three active members.

“It was pretty exciting to represent my sorority and be the first one to pie him,” Freemon said. “We’re using the money to better ourselves on campus and make ourselves better known on campus. We want to do better events and give back to the community.”
00 2019-03-20
Lafayette

Lafayette Parish students tackle blank pages, find their voice through poetry


Jack Bedell stands before about 100 high school sophomores and juniors Tuesday at the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum. He tells them to write a list of three things they know they have but don't know where they are.

"Best prompt ever," one of the teachers says with a laugh from the back of the room.

The room gets louder as students and teachers from Acadiana High, Carencro High, Lafayette High and Northside High talk and scribble in notebooks.

The icebreaker worked. It got the teenagers to drop their guard and write, even if just about a cellphone charger, earbuds and that jacket they let someone borrow one time.

"Don't judge yourself or worry about being perfect," says Bedell, who was appointed Louisiana's poet laureate by the governor in 2017. "... Please give yourself permission to write."

Then he pushes them to go a little deeper with the next prompt.

"Write three names of people you care about but you don't know how they feel about you," Bedell says.

"Dang," one girl says, dragging out the syllable from her chair in the crowd.

Lafayette Parish students received new notebooks during a creative writing workshop called Improving the Blank Page Poetry Day with Louisiana Poet Laureate Jack Bedell Tuesday.
Lafayette Parish students received new notebooks during a creative writing workshop called Improving the Blank Page Poetry Day with Louisiana Poet Laureate Jack Bedell Tuesday. (Photo: Layni Menard/Special to The Adve)

MORE: Students teach students everything from robotics to poetry at free day camps

Students hunch over in their chairs to write in notebooks they received that day. Some smile or let out a nervous giggle. Others look pretty serious. One looks up at nothing in particular while she thinks.

These exercises are part of Improving the Blank Page Poetry Day, a project made possible through partnerships between Lafayette GEAR UP, the National Writing Project of Acadiana, the Hilliard and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Bedell, also a professor of English at Southeastern Louisiana University and author of nine books, is leading students in the Lafayette school district's Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs.

The Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum and the A. Hays Town Building hosted the semiannual Improving the Blank Page Poetry Day with Louisiana Poet Laureate Jack Bedell Tuesday.
The Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum and the A. Hays Town Building hosted the semiannual Improving the Blank Page Poetry Day with Louisiana Poet Laureate Jack Bedell Tuesday. (Photo: Layni Menard/Special to The Adve)

GEAR UP is a federally funded program intended to increase the number of students prepared to succeed in post-secondary education by offering support services to high-need middle and high schools.

Grant funds cover teacher training, writing clubs and activities like Tuesday's workshop with Bedell.

"The thing I find most inspiring is working with writers with energy, young writers who have the courage that's either trained out of older writers or that fear has stopped for older writers," Bedell said. "... It doesn't get any better than this for me."

He hopes to amplify students' voice by encouraging their poetry and creativity.

"Poetry teaches voice," he said. "At the point where our country is, these men and women need their voice. ... My role isn't really to create (their voice), just to amplify that."

Saron Battaglia, a social studies teacher and GEAR UP leader at Carencro High, hopes her students come away with "a love for writing and the understanding that it's not scary or something evil."

Her counterpart at Northside High, Katie Wallace, is looking for her students to be inspired. Both want to see more participation in their schools' writing clubs and hope this might spark an interest.

MORE: Carencro High has school district's 'best attorney' and 'best witness'

Lafayette Parish students received new notebooks during a creative writing workshop with Louisiana Poet Laureate Jack Bedell Tuesday.
Lafayette Parish students received new notebooks during a creative writing workshop with Louisiana Poet Laureate Jack Bedell Tuesday. (Photo: Layni Menard/Special to The Adve)

Cy Dugas with Lafayette High hopes his students take full advantage of the opportunity to write creatively.

"They're so bombarded with formulaic writing and writing for the test that this is a chance to look inside themselves and tell their story," Dugas said.

On that note, the time also serves as good practice for writing essays for scholarships or college applications.

The Improve the Blank Page Project started in 2014 and includes events every semester, including summer workshops for teachers and students — "anything to get youth writing creatively," said Toby Daspit, associate professor in the College of Education at UL Lafayette.
00 2019-03-20
Lafayette

UL nursing students asking for donations for homeless


UL nursing students are offering their services to the homeless and they need your help.

The students will give health screenings on April 30 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at the St. Bernadette Clinic.

The purpose of this annual “Giving HOPE” outreach is to provide the community’s homeless population with the essentials they need along with free health screenings.

The group is asking for food, hygiene items and clothing donations to be dropped off at room 209-B V.L. Wharton Hall at the University. Deadline for drop-off is Friday, April 26, 2019.

Last year’s event had more than 200 attendees and the group was not able to provide all necessities to everyone, according to Dr. Jessica McCarthy, University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Their goal is to ensure that every attendee is provided the essentials.

The students are asking individuals and businesses that are interested in helping them reach their goal either by donation of services, monetary, or items. There is a need for all types of services and items, if unsure of how you can help or have questions, contact Dr. Jessica McCarthy at jessica.mccarthy@louisiana.edu or (337)781-1197.

Donation Ideas:

· New men’s tennis shoes or walking
shoes (Sizes 10-14), socks
· Light neutral color blankets
· To-go foods
· New back-packs
· Little combs/brushes
· Toothbrushes and toothpaste
· Granola bars
· Small Kleenex packs
· Small packs of hand wipes
· Water bottles
· Nail clippers
· Chapstick
· Travel toiletry items
(lotion, shampoo, deodorant, etc.)
· Gift certificates in small amounts
($5) for fast food restaurants
· New summer shirts (M-XXL)



Video of 2018 “Giving HOPE”



00 2019-03-20
Lafayette

UL to Host An Evening Of Dance


The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s School of Music and Performing Arts Dance Program presents An Evening of Dance 2019. Performances will be on April 4, 5, 6, at 7:30 pm and April 8 at 2:00pm in the Burke-Hawthorne Theatre in Burke Hall on the UL Lafayette campus.

This eagerly awaited annual dance production will showcase original dances choreographed by students in the UL Lafayette Dance Program and will feature dancers from the Dance program, the university community and the Acadiana region. The 2019 production promises an evening of concert dance that is thoughtfully diverse in its subject matter and richly innovative in its approach.

Tickets are available at the door one hour prior to each performance. General admission is $10.00. Tickets for UL Lafayette alumni, Senior Citizens, students and children are $5.00. UL Lafayette faculty, staff and students with a valid ID are admitted free of charge.
00 2019-03-20
Monroe

ULM to host Women's Symposium March 27


MONROE, La. (Press Release) - (3/19/19) As part of the celebration of Women’s History Month, The University of Louisiana Monroe will host the 4th annual ULM Women’s Symposium on Wednesday, March 27 at the Bayou Pointe Student Event Center. The event will start at 12 p.m. with lunch and will continue until 5 p.m. with a networking social following the symposium.

“It is my pleasure to invite everyone to the 4th annual ULM Women’s Symposium,” said Kelsey Bohl, chair of the ULM Women’s Symposium. The women’s symposium will feature discussions in a panelist/moderator format. Panelists include university faculty, staff, and prominent leaders within the community.

“The women’s symposium links students with female leaders from across Northeast Louisiana. The symposium will address topics that are relevant to all genders and focus on professional development, personal growth, and cultural awareness. Some of the panel discussions for this year’s event include women’s leadership, mentorship, self-care, and diversity and inclusion," Bohl said.

The keynote speaker is ULM Alumna LeAnn Boyd, PharmD, Founding Partner & CEO of Southern Scripts. Boyd will speak about her experience in entrepreneurship and leadership.

The ULM women’s symposium is excited to welcome Donna H. Edwards, First Lady of Louisiana as the Guest of Honor. Edwards will provide the welcome during the event.

The symposium will conclude with the prestigious ULM Women’s Symposium awards presented to five individuals that have empowered women both personally and professionally. The honorees this year include Betty Scott Cummins, Sydney Canfield, Susan Hoffmann, Kandice Guice, and Dr. Eric Pani.

The overarching theme of the women’s symposium is WINGS: Women Influencing the Next Generation of Success. The mission of the symposium is to empower, motivate, and encourage girls and women from all backgrounds and all educational and professional levels to pursue their passions and seek leadership roles in their desired career paths.

“The ULM campus is 64 percent female, an average higher than the UL system average of 60 percent. Thirty percent of those females at ULM are students of color. Nationally, over half of the graduates in higher education are female” Bohl stated, “While we still strive for gender parity in many professions, the women’s symposium provides an outlet for leaders in our area to share their experiences in hopes of inspiring all attendees.”

Complete information about the Women's Symposium, including registration, discussion topics, panelists, and more are available at ulm.edu/womens-symposium.
00 2019-03-20
New Orleans

St. Tammany College Notes for March 20



SALES SUCCESS: Three Covington students at Southeastern Louisiana University were part of the team that successfully competed in the Bayou Sales Challenge, a role-play competition held recently at Nicholls State University. Garrett Buras, Danyel James and Taylor Windom were part of the group that earned three of the top five spots after the first round of competition and four of the top 10 spots after the wildcard round against six other universities, including Florida State, LSU, Nicholls, Southern, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Xavier.
00 2019-03-20
Ruston

TRAYVON MARTIN’S MOTHER TO SPEAK AT GRAMBLING ST.


Grambling State University will host Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton as keynote speaker at the University’s Women’s History Convocation at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 21 at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center.

On the night of Feb. 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida, George Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African-American high school student. Zimmerman shot Martin, who was unarmed, during a physical altercation between the two. Zimmerman, injured during the encounter, claimed self-defense in the confrontation.
00 2019-03-20
Ruston

DISTINGUISHED TECH COB ALUMNAE TO APPEAR


Louisiana Tech University’s College of Business will host three distinguished alumnae as part of “Inside the C-Suite: Women Mean Business” at 4 p.m., April 2.
00 2019-03-19
Lafayette

UL College of Business Helps Students Dress For Success


A pop-up closet at UL’s Moody Hall assisted students in dressing for success this morning.

The UL Career Closet pop-up shop kicked off the university’s Moody Business week. Gently worn business attire was donated from the community to UL students. The clothing is free of charge for young UL professionals seeking employment.

Graduate Assistant of the College of Business Macy Bennett says the Career Closet event presents an opportunity for students to see what career services has to offer.

“This is really an opportunity for us to, you know, show students what our office is and what we have to offer. They have too much to worry about with the interview itself, so we just want to make it easier for our students”


Moody Hall will celebrate business week by hosting a wide array of events and services for students all week long.

The business school’s internship program was also introduced to prospective students today.

Business majors learned how to participate in the program while earning college credit. Employers and former interns also shared their experiences and perspective on the program.

Director of Marketing and Outreach Heather Develcourt says the goal of the panel is to offer real word advice and mentor ship to future business leaders.

“We hope our students really gain that real world hands on experience that will make them the most marketable when they leave the university. Taking what they’re learning in the classroom and applying it in real life situations with those employers.”



Students will of course be pursuing the holy grail of on-the-job training and paid internships.
00 2019-03-19
Lafayette

Ex-UL softball players want to intervene in Lotief's lawsuit


Five former University of Louisiana at Lafayette softball players are asking to join a 2018 lawsuit their former coach filed against the university and its representatives.

Chelsea Lotief, Doni Sanders, Miranda Grotenhuis, Sarah Koeppen and Teryn Haley Pritchett in January filed a request in federal court to join the 2018 lawsuit filed by long-time Ragin' Cajuns softball coach Michael Lotief. A judge has not ruled on the request, Lotief's lead attorney, John McElligott Jr. of Lafayette, said Monday.

UL officials fired Lotief on Nov. 1, 2017, alleging complaints from students and staff about "violent, vulgar language and verbal and physical assault, creating a hostile learning and working environment." Officially, the university said Lotief violated university system policies.

During a 2017 news conference, Lotief, surrounded by tearful softball players, said he was fired in retaliation for passionately complaining about gender inequality in the UL athletics department. They also alleged the student complaints against Lotief were coerced.

Lotief filed a lawsuit in 19th Judicial District Court in East Baton Rouge Parish in September 2018 alleging his firing was in retaliation over Title IX gender inequality complaints, and alleging defamation, discrimination because of physical disabilities and more. The UL Board of Supervisors, UL System/UL Lafayette, UL President E. Joseph Savoie, Athletic Director Bryan Maggard and Deputy Athletic Director Jessica Clarke Leger were named defendants.

On Nov. 1, the case was moved, at the request of defendants, to federal court in Baton Rouge. By Nov. 26, the university and other defendants filed a motion to move the case to federal court in Lafayette. The judge hasn't ruled on the motion, McElligott said.

The five former softball players on Jan. 3 filed a motion to intervene in Lotief's lawsuit. The university and other defendants are opposing the request.

The women in their intervention complaint allege as students and softball players at UL they suffered "inequities and discrimination" based on gender in violation of Title IX. The document alleges UL "refused to provide equal and adequate medical treatment and competent care" to female softball players as compared with male athletes; did not provide adequate and equitable playing facilities; limited softball players' access to indoor practice facilities and indoor hitting cages; "refused" to provide equitable administrative office space or to hire and retain a trainer for women's softball since May 2017 despite NCAA requirements; expected Lotief to perform grounds maintenance; did not provide softball players with equal access to the weight room, physical assessments and nutritional supplemental drinks after workouts were provided to male athletes; and ignored softball players' complaints about possible Title IX violations.

The legal document further alleges Lotief's replacement and UL officials "began a pattern of systematic retaliation" against the softball players who complained of gender bias and filed a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights.

Nine former UL softball players in September filed discrimination complaints against the university through the U.S. Department of Education.

The five seeking to join Lotief's lawsuit alleged the university and its representatives caused them mental anguish, embarrassment, humiliation and emotional distress; physical pain and suffering; past and future medical costs; loss of enjoyment of life; and loss of earnings.

In a motion the Board of Supervisors of the UL System, UL and the other defendants, oppose the women's motion to join the lawsuit.
00 2019-03-19
Lafayette

What’s Happening in Arts and Entertainment 3/18-3/24


Thursday

The Old Mad and the Thief and Gallantry

The UL Lafayette Opera Theatre spring operatic production, under the direction of Shawn Roy , starts Thursday night with two one-act operas. Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief and Douglas Moore’s Gallantry The Old Maid and the Thief. The first was conceived as a radio opera and Gallantry is a soap opera, complete with written in commercials. L

March 21, 22 and 23 at 7:30PM and March 24 at 3:00PM

Burke-Hawthorne Hall

Hebrard Boulevard on the UL Campus

$15; /$10 for seniors and UL Alumni

337-482-5939

ulopera2019.brownpapertickets.com

Saturday

If you saw the dance company Ailey II in February, you won’t want to Ron K. Brown’s Evidence, A Dance Company. Ron was recognized from the start as an important dance force. His company will perform two pieces, Incidents, and Order My Steps, which takes its title from Psalms 119.

Meet Ron Brown at a pre-show reception, hosted by Van Eaton & Romero and take in this great performance

The program includes two major pieces: Incidents, created from a collection of images inspired by several historical texts. Order My Steps takes its title from Psalms 119 and explores ideas behind the scripture and seeing one’s life as a path. What iso ur direction? Is it correct and how do we determine that?

7:30 p.m.

Acadiana Center for the Arts

Corner of Jefferson and E. Vermilion www.acadianacenterforthearts.org

Earlier in the day, pull on some comfy clothes and meet up for a community movement class. It’s fun. No dance experience is necessary. All ages and all

genders are welcome. It’s free if you have a ticket to the performance that night and $10 without. All dance levels welcome. Capacity is limited.

University of Louisiana at Lafayette – McLaurin Hall

Saturday, March 23 | 10:00AM-12:00PM

$10, or free with a purchased ticket to the performance that night by Evidence at the AcA

Monday

The 27th Annual Mad Hatter’s Luncheon & Style Show benefitting the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra’s educational activities is Monday and it’s quite an event. The fun luncheon includes a style show, silent and live auction, and it’s all for a great cause.

Doubletree by Hilton

1521 W Pinhook Rd.

Tickets $75

11 – 2 p.m.

337 232-4277

www.acadianasymphony.org
00 2019-03-19
Monroe

ULM Risk Management Program receives $50k from industry leader AmWINS


AmWINS, Inc., the country’s largest wholesale insurance broker, recently announced a $50,000 donation to ULM’s Risk Management and Insurance Program.

“The decision to invest in the ULM RMI program was easy for AmWINS. The quality of talent is amazing and we have had the opportunity to hire quality employees. So, it was not a question of should we invest — it was why would we not invest. The benefit the program provides to the insurance industry far outweighs the investment,” said Tammy Culmone, Executive Vice President for AmWINS and Branch Leader for the Baton Rouge and Monroe offices.

AmWINs currently employs more than 30 of ULM’s Risk Management and Insurance graduates, with 26 of those hires occurring since 2016. Four ULM RMI spring 2019 graduates have already accepted positions with AmWINS upon graduation and four ULM RMI juniors and seniors have accepted internships for the summer of 2019.

“AmWINS has been a great partner to ULM’s RMI program. Not only have they hired and interned many of our graduates, they routinely speak to our classes and at RMI Society meetings. AmWINS employees have improved and enriched our curriculum and our students’ experience,” according to Dr. Christine Berry, Program Coordinator and Professor of Risk Management and Insurance at ULM. “AmWINS supports not only our teaching efforts but also our recruiting efforts by sending ULM RMI Alumni who are AmWINS employees back to campus to talk about this great industry and the challenging and rewarding opportunities within AmWINS.”

ULM’s program is one of the few in the country that provides specialized courses in surplus lines and reinsurance. Surplus Lines insurance is heavily used in Louisiana and across the South in the agriculture, entertainment, petrochemical and tourism industries.
00 2019-03-19
Monroe

EXCLUSIVE | Governor John Bel Edwards: CenturyLink Headquarters to stay in Louisiana


Gov. John Bel Edwards and CenturyLink have reached an agreement to extend the company's commitment to maintain its headquarters in Louisiana, a source with direct knowledge of the deal confirmed to USA Today Network.

The deal, which will be announced jointly by Edwards and CenturyLink Chief Executive Jeff Storey in the coming weeks, will keep CenturyLink's corporate headquarters on U.S. 165 North in Monroe through 2025.

Spokespersons for both Edwards and CenturyLink declined to comment.

Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo said he's "looking forward to the official announcement."

"Gov. Edwards and his staff have been engaged in locking down this new agreement for months and included us throughout the process," Mayo said. "We're excited about the future of the company in Monroe and the state."

CenturyLink's previous deal, which included $25.9 million cash grants from the state and other incentives based on job growth, was signed in 2011 under former Gov. Bobby Jindal and ends on Dec. 31, 2020.


More: Former CenturyLink CEO partners with nonprofit to break cycle of poverty

CenturyLink is the largest public company headquartered in Louisiana with operations in 60 countries. Globally it employs more than 40,000.

The company employs more than 2,000 workers in Louisiana with most of those located at the corporate headquarters in Monroe. CenturyLink's annual state payroll has exceeded $200 million.

Details of the extension will also include other adjustments, but state and local officials have been most pensive about the future of the company's headquarters since Storey took over for longtime CEO Glen Post in May 2018.

The extension will likely calm those fears for now.

Storey had been the CEO of Level 3, which CenturyLink acquired in a merger that closed in Nov. 2017.

A photo of CenturyLink's corporate headquarters in Monroe taken March 15, 2019.
A photo of CenturyLink's corporate headquarters in Monroe taken March 15, 2019. (Photo: Greg Hilburn/USA Today Network)

That transition and other changes with the company's executive team have created angst about whether the company would move its headquarters after the current agreement expired.

Storey didn't relocate to Monroe when he took over as CEO, but commutes often to the headquarters.

He and his family continue to live near Denver, where Level 3's headquarters was located in Broomfield, Colo., and where CenturyLink continues to have a large presence.


Bob Eisenstadt, a University of Louisiana at Monroe economist, said securing the corporate headquarters of a company magnifies its economic impact in that location.

"The headquarters attracts many of the vendors and consultants and the supply chain, which is where a lot of the impact comes from," said Eisenstadt, who also leads ULM's Center for Business and Economic Research.

"There's also a greater concentration of higher-paying jobs, research and development and management at a corporate headquarters," he said.

Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1
00 2019-03-19
Natchitoches

Tickets still available for Flavor of Louisiana


NATCHITOCHES – On-line tickets will be available through Wednesday, March 20 for Flavor of Louisiana, a seafood extravaganza presented in partnership with Northwestern State University and the Louisiana Seafood Board. The event will feature 25 chefs and vendors from around the state offering samplings of Louisiana seafood dishes, along with specialty cocktails, craft beers, desserts and meat options for non-seafood eaters.



Flavor of Louisiana will take place from 6-11 p.m. Friday, March 22 in Prather Coliseum. Tickets are $65 per person and $125 per couple and will be available at the door.



“We are grateful to our many sponsors for supporting this event, which is our largest spring fund raiser for student scholarships,” said Associate Director of Development Kimberly Gallow. “Dozens of student volunteers are helping plan and execute Flavor of Louisiana which has become one of the most popular events Northwestern has hosted in recent years.”



In addition to samplings of a variety of seafood dishes, guests can enjoy music, dancing and People’s Choice voting for their favorite chef station. Several academic departments are presenting demonstrations and hosting raffles and silent auctions for gift baskets, prize packages, vacation get-aways and other items with proceeds directly benefiting their specific academic programs. Local artist Morgan Lasyone will create a live painting of the event that will be auctioned that evening.



“Our faculty, staff and student volunteers are all hands on deck for this event,” said Erin Dupree, Development program coordinator. “Dollars raised at Flavor of Louisiana directly impact student scholarships, professional development for faculty and support for academic programs, so there will be participation from students, spirit groups and representatives from each college. Guests should be sure to visit the individual academic booths to see the variety of prizes that will be available.”



Earlier in the day, NSU will honor five outstanding individuals with induction into the Long Purple Line, NSU’s Alumni Hall of Distinction. Tickets to the Long Purple Line lunch and induction, which will be held at noon March 22 in the Sylvan Friedman Student Union Ballroom, are $20 and are available by calling (318) 357-4248.



Tickets to Flavor of Louisiana, the Long Purple Line luncheon and induction ceremony and information on other upcoming events is available at northwesternalumni.com or by contacting Dupree at (318) 357-5699 or brossette@nsula.edu.
00 2019-03-19
New Orleans

24-hour Write-A-Thon: UNO hosts university-wide fundraiser


The University of New Orleans Write-A-Thon is a university wide fundraiser, sponsored by local businesses, happening this Wednesday & Thursday, March 20-21, from 10 a.m. to 10 a.m. on the UNO campus. Every few hours, the event will move to different parts of campus to coincide with various workshops and events.

University of New Orleans 24-hour Write-A-Thon 2019
University of New Orleans will host a 24-hour Write-A-Thon to raise funds for the UNO Scholarship Fund and university departments (via UNO)
Students, staff, faculty, and the New Orleans community will raise funds from the personal networks leading up to and during the event. Then, across the 24 hours on the day of the event, participants will write, attend workshops, parties, and events for as little or as long as they wish, even for the full 24 hours. (See Schedule)

There will be food, snacks, and a raffle for participants, with prizes from local business. Supporters can sign up or donate here.

50% of the money raised will be given to the UNO Foundation Student Scholarship Fund and 35% will be retained by the department/team that raises the funds. Each Write-A-Thoner may join a team, such as the UNO Press Office, the English Department and others. More at the event Facebook Page here.
00 2019-03-19
Shreveport

NBC 6 Sports Director sits down with Broderick Fobbs to talk the future of GSU Football


Tim Owens:
Losing a guy like Devante Kincade to graduation in 2017, those are some pretty big shoes to fill, it seemed like Geremy Hickbottom took control of that position the last 6 games or so. Is it his job to lose going into 2019.

Broderick Fobbs:
It is, the thing that's always interessting is anytime you have great players in certain positions it leaves a void. I thought Geremy did a really good job of stepping in and maintaining the same attitude and focus of the shuffling going back and forth. He ended the year being the guy so of course we're entering the 2019 season with Geremy Hickbottom at the helm.

Tim Owens:
Since you've been a headd coach, dad's always been here at the office with you coacching running backs. He retired last month, what's it like coming to work everyday and not having dad there?

Broderick Fobbs:
That's a really good question, because I assumed it would be a certain way and it was totally different. My dad has always been the person I've looked to for advice. He's always been the type of person that has a calming effect over myself and any other situation I've ever been in. Looking at the end of the table and him not being there, it was very challenging. It was different.

Tim Owens:
Speaking of father figures, Coach Rob was a father figure to a lot of athletes here on the Grambling campus over his 57 years as the head coach, what was the biggest thing you learned from him?

Broderick Fobbs:
I think the biggest thing is to make sure you show how much you care about your players. He was very tough on us and to the student athlete it looks like you don't care about them, because you're disciplining them, but disciplin is love. I think that was something he was so focused on.

Tim Owens:
Being a head coach at your alma mater is everybody's dream, it's awesome, is Grambling State your dream job?

Broderick Fobbs:
It's one of my dreams, it is. Grambling has always been a place that has given opportunities to everyone. That's what's so great about Grambling State University. It is definitely one of my dreams but I also want to do other great thing. I want to be the best in coaching. I want to coach on the highest levels and that's something that Grambling gives you. It gives you those opportunities where youo can put your best foot forward and springboard you to greatness. That's what the "G" is for, Greatness.
00 2019-03-18
Baton Rouge

UL Opera Theatre to perform double bill of comic operas March 21-24


The University of Louisiana at Lafayette Opera Theatre will open a double-bill of American comic operas on March 21 in the Burke-Hawthorne Theatre on campus.

On the program, under the direction of Shawn Roy, will be Gian Carlo Menotti’s "The Old Maid and the Thief" and Douglas Moore’s "Gallantry." "The Old Maid and the Thief" was originally conceived as a radio opera and "Gallantry" is a soap opera complete with written-in commercials.

Performance are at 7:30 p.m. March 21-23 and 3 p.m. March 24. Tickets are $15 and $10 for seniors and UL alumni. Admission is free for UL students, faculty and staff and those younger than age 18.

Tickets are available at the door or at ulopera2019.brownpapertickets.com.
00 2019-03-18
Lafayette

UL honors softball program's history by naming field after Yvette Girouard


So many things have taken place in Yvette Girouard’s life that she never dreamed could happen.

On Friday night at Lamson Park, that list grew by one.

From now on, the University of Louisiana's nationally ranked softball team will play its home games on Yvette Girouard Field.

“The absolute ultimate. I never dreamed this would happen,” said Girouard, who was the softball program's first coach.

LHSCA 'Legends' roundtable provides historical perspective, food for thought
The announcement came right after Girouard threw out the first pitch for the Cajuns’ Sun Belt home opener against Troy.

And in true UL softball fashion, Girouard was so surprised that she still didn’t believe it, even after longtime public address announcer Robert Harris made the proclamation.

“I thought Robert was pulling his usual shenanigans,” Girouard said. “Because I turned around and said, ‘Robert, really?’ Because he’s been known to pull off a few things.

“He auctioned my momma’s Cadillac off a million times.”

Then it finally hit her that Harris wasn’t joking — for a change. All of the alumni and friends of the program weren’t only there Friday to celebrate alumni weekend at Lamson Park.

“When I saw the players that came back, I was in shock,” Girouard said. “I certainly never put two and two together, because I never dreamed this would ever happen. I mean, who dreams that a field might be named after them?

“I just can’t believe everybody kept it a surprise.”

It was the latest in a long line of truly unbelievable developments in Girouard’s life.

Yvette Girouard, Gerald Hebert headline 2018 Louisiana-Lafayette Hall of Fame class
Yvette Girouard, Gerald Hebert headline 2018 Louisiana-Lafayette Hall of Fame class
In the 1970s, she took classes at Earl K. Long Gym on the UL campus. A decade later, she had an office there and was the first-ever head softball coach at her alma mater.

In the fall of 1980, Girouard tells the story of former UL president Ray Authement offering her that job despite having no park, no uniforms, no budgets and no scholarships … but still with an expectation of winning.

Ten years later, Girouard led the then-Lady Cajuns into an NCAA Regional field for the first time.

By 1993, Girouard and the program she built from scratch was in the Women’s College World Series, finishing third in the country.

Girouard went on to coach at LSU from 2001 to 2011.

Then in 2013, after 13 years of being considered "the enemy" of many in the program she constructed from the ground up, Girouard was welcomed back to Lamson Park, throwing out the first pitch of a game between the Cajuns and Houston, coached by one of her former players Kyla Hall, on April 18, 2013.

“I can’t even put it into words,” Girouard said. “I’m in such shock. For so long, it wasn’t a good story for me. It was hard. It was awful. My players were hurting too. I keep saying this regime has allowed me to come back home and my players to come back home.”

This time, her name will be permanently displayed on that field forever.

“Thank God I didn’t burn any bridges,” Girouard thought out loud. “God is good, God is good.”

No, it wasn’t the exact field she coached on in the program’s early days.

In that first year, the team that has now qualified for six Women’s College World Series and only missed the NCAA Regional play once since 1990 played at five different city parks. “I never knew where we were playing,” Girouard recalled.

Yvette Girouard is first softball coach to enter Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame ... and she started from scratch
Yvette Girouard is first softball coach to enter Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame ... and she started from scratch
Then came fields in the Cajun Field parking lots, retrieving balls from drains and chicken-wire fence.

She still remembers seeing the site of the program’s first real softball field — known for years as Lady Cajun Park — before being renamed Lamson Park. As Girouard has described many times, that first sight of it featured “barns, cows, bulls, mice, no access to the field and 5-foot tall grass.”

By 1997, it was considered by some the best softball field in the country.

Girouard coached UL’s program from 1981 until 2000, accumulating a 759-250 record. Her career head coaching record is 1,285-421.

She was NFCA National Coach of the Year in 1990 and 1993.

Fittingly, her name is now on the field around a fancy new ball park she never dreamed could result from an old dairy farm field.

“This has always been home for me,” Girouard said. “This was a labor of love the entire time I was here. I loved our program and what it stood for. I still love it to this day.”
00 2019-03-18
Lafayette

Two Women Who Impact Athletes At UL


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 2019-03-18
Lafayette

Watch: Yvette Girouard reacts to Lamson Park softball field named in her honor


Watch as former UL head coach Yvette Girouard reacts as the sign bearing her name is unveiled.The softball field at Lamson Park was named in Girouard's honor Friday prior to the game against Troy.

Can't see video below? Click here.


00 2019-03-18
Lake Charles

PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE


For MSU First Choice Campaign: ISC Constructors, LLC donats $30,000 to the First Choice Campaign at McNeese State University. Local industry partners and contractors are investing in McNeese and the future of Southwest Louisiana through this initiative to raise $1 million per year for the next three years. ISC Constructors will contribute $10,000 per year over the three-year period for the campaign and this commitment to the First Choice Campaign will provide the necessary resources to meet the needs of growing academic programs in support of the economic expansion in Southwest Louisiana. On hand for the presentation are, from left: Steve DeRouen, vice president of the Lake Charles Region of ISC Constructors, LLC; and McNeese President Dr. Daryl V. Burckel.
00 2019-03-18
Lake Charles

Competition is golden


Four-time medalist Gertie Charles took a deep breath Friday morning as she let the bean bag leave her hand and glide through the air toward the target.

Charles, who is 83, is among more than 300 seniors competing this month in the Southwest Louisiana District Senior Games at McNeese State University. The games opened Friday morning with bean bag baseball in the school’s recreational complex and will conclude with track on Saturday, March 30.

“I’m excited about it, I really am,” said Charles, who is part of the 10-member “Young at Heart” group who meets at the Pryce/Miller Recreation Center every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to practice bean bag baseball. “It gives me something to do and I really enjoy this game.”

Charles — who has medaled in washer pitch, bean bag baseball and walking during previous district games — grinned from ear to ear after her turn and high-fived teammates as she walked back to her seat.

Southwest Louisiana District Senior Games Director Angela Jouett said each year’s opening ceremonies ultimately end up being a “day of hugs” for her.

“I get to know them and love on them,” she said. “I can’t believe I get to be part of this. It fills my heart.”

Jouett said the Senior Games — now in its 28th year locally — offers those over 50 a chance to compete in events such as softball throw, track races, walks, horseshoes, bean bag baseball, archery, swimming, table tennis, bowling and more. The games allow seniors to meet new people, try new events and stay active.

‘When my children were small, I didn’t swim at all. I swim three days a week now. I don’t drive anymore, but I do swim.’
Catherine Holden
91-year-old competitor

“We want to promote healthy living,” Jouett said. “It’s all about healthy living.”

Catherine Holden, who will turn 92 on April 12, will be competing Tuesday in swimming.

“When my children were small, I didn’t swim at all,” she said. “I swim three days a week now. I don’t drive anymore, but I do swim.”

Holden said there are no other competitors in her age category so “she’s a shoo-in.”

“I’ll compete in three races — the 50-meter freestyle and the 50-meter and 100-meter backstroke — and I’m assured three golds,” she said with a laugh.

Holden — who was a Senior Olympian in 2003 — has competed in the Southwest Louisiana District Senior Games for the past 19 years.

“I’ve swam three days a week during that time, but I’m starting to fight it now, especially the freestyle,” she admitted. “With the backstroke I can go forever. I enjoy it, it’s my pleasure and it’s my exercise. I look forward to it.”

Day 2 of the Senior Games will start at 8:30 a.m. with washer pitch, followed by basketball free throw, bait casting, swimming, accuracy throws, horseshoes, dominoes, table tennis, bolo golf and spelling at the McNeese Recreational Complex. Billards will start at 1 p.m. at Frosty Factory.



For the complete roster of activities, dates and times, visit www.cppj.net/Home/Components/News/News/3391.
00 2019-03-18
Lake Charles

Making transition from veteran to classroom


The Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs has entered into a new endeavor with the state’s higher education providers to create a new program to serve veterans students — LaVetCorps.

Beginning in the fall, LaVetCorp will open 30 new resource centers on campuses statewide — including Mc-Neese State University and Sowela Technical Community College — to increase student access to state and federal veterans benefits.

The program will be staffed a LaVetCorp “Navigator” — a veteran or dependent of a veteran who is familiar with both the military lifestyle and challenges facing veterans as they transition to civilian life and the resources available at each individual college or university.

Chris Thomas, McNeese’s vice president of student affairs, said the navigator will serve as “peer mentor” who truly understands the bureaucracy of the VA and that of higher education.

“This will be a person who understands where they comes from; an advocate on behalf of the institution and the VA,” he said.

McNeese has 172 students enrolled who are utilizing GI Bill benefits with variety of backgrounds and a variety of needs while navigating university life, Thomas said.

“Vets come with war-time experience or not, deployment, different branches, with college experience or without,” he said. “ ‘Veteran’ is truly a diverse word when it comes to serving this umbrella term of students.”

It’s “highly likely” the university serves more veterans who may choose to not identify as so, Thomas added. He said he hopes the resource center and its staff will create a “halo effect” that will encourage more veterans to identify.

“We owe this to them,” he said. “They served us and we must serve them now.”

Sowela has 150 veteran students enrolled. The college has made veteran services available for a number of years, Allison Dering, interim executive director of enrollment management and student affairs, said.

She said the LaVetCorp program will take the veteran’s experience “to the next level.”

The college plans to renovate a new space in its Charleston building to serve as the LaVet-Corp “centralized location.” In a communal, easily accessible setting, veterans will work with the campus navigator and have refreshments and entertainment.

“They go from all working for one purpose to civilian life, but that sense of camaraderie is still there,” she said. “When veterans meet, it’s amazing, they can just strike a conversation from a common background.”

The navigator will not be a counselor, she said, but rather will help foster the sense of community that veterans are used to from their time serving.

“Vets have such a unique experience, if you’re not one, it’s hard to understand. Hopefully this will make that transition easier,” Dering said.



For more information on LaVetCorp, visit www.vetaffairs.la.gov.
00 2019-03-18
Monroe

ULM Trumpet Studio’s Talons for Taps offers final 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 taps at funeral and memorial services.

Taps is a 24-note salute played by a lone bugler or trumpeter at military funerals.

Talons for Taps was developed and is led by Eric Siereveld, assistant professor of trumpet in the ULM School of Visual and Performing Arts.

“Talons for Taps was formed to provide the ULM Trumpet Studio an opportunity to give back to the community that serves us,” Siereveld said. “Signaling taps is a brief, but moving, tribute to our fallen and passed service men and women. As strange as this may seem, many service members are not given a live bugler for their memorial service or funeral. There simply are not enough military buglers available to provide taps live. This is where Talons for Taps comes in. We are honored and humbled to provide live taps for those in our community who’ve served.”


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Members of the ULM Trumpet Studio who provide this service along with Siereveld are, Kody Jernigan of Longview, Texas; William Joiner of West Monroe; Kris Balint of Longview; Sabrina Mata of Jena; Ian Lee of Columbia; Hawk Walker of Monroe; Solomon Abang of Lagos, Nigeria; Austin Pasche of Pollock; Vincent Capuano of Bossier City; and Ryan Blomquist of Pineville.

Talons for Taps performances are free, however honorariums are accepted.

“We use those gifts to cover both travel costs and to provide the students contact with clinicians and military servicemen and women who provide insight to this simple, but important service,” Siereveld said.


Since forming in September, Talons for Taps has performed at four funeral/memorial services and three Veterans Day events.

Siereveld said Talons for Taps prefers to stay in a 30- to 40-minute travel radius, “However, since we understand the importance of this service, we will consider any and all requests for a Talons for Taps service. We may not always to be able to provide the service, but we attempt to fulfill all of our service members families in need.”

The easiest way to get in touch with Talons for Taps is through the website ulm.edu/music/talons-for-taps.html or by emailing Siereveld at siereveld@ulm.edu. A Talons for Taps request form is on the website.
00 2019-03-18
Monroe

Sybrina Fulton to keynote GSU Women’s History Convocation


Grambling State University announced that Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton will keynote the University’s Women’s History Convocation at 11 a.m. March 21.

Since her son’s death, Fulton has become an inspiring spokesperson for social change across the country.

“Mrs. Fulton is an important voice for social change today,” said GSU President Rick Gallot. “We are excited for our students to witness her example of how we can all champion progress for our community.”

In addition to her national social justice work, Fulton continues to live and work in Miami-Dade County, Florida where she advocates and help coordinate housing for those in need.

Campus and community members are invited to attend this month’s convocation.

Want to go?

Who: Grambling State University
What: Women’s History Month Convocation
When: 11 .m. March 21
Where: Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center, Grambling
00 2019-03-18
Monroe

ULM to host Women's Symposium on March 27


As part of the celebration of Women’s History Month, The University of Louisiana Monroe will host the fourth annual ULM Women’s Symposium on March 27 at the Bayou Pointe Student Event Center. The event will start at noon with lunch and will continue until 5 p.m. with a networking social following the symposium.

“It is my pleasure to invite everyone to the 4th annual ULM Women’s Symposium,” said Kelsey Bohl, chair of the ULM Women’s Symposium. The women’s symposium will feature discussions in a panelist/moderator format. Panelists include university faculty, staff, and prominent leaders within the community. “The women’s symposium links students with female leaders from across Northeast Louisiana. The symposium will address topics that are relevant to all genders and focus on professional development, personal growth, and cultural awareness. Some of the panel discussions for this year’s event include women’s leadership, mentorship, self-care, and diversity and inclusion.”

La. First Lady Donna Edwards is the guest of honor for the the 4th annual ULM Women’s Symposium.
La. First Lady Donna Edwards is the guest of honor for the the 4th annual ULM Women’s Symposium. (Photo: marie constantin)

The keynote speaker is ULM Alumna LeAnn Boyd, PharmD, Founding Partner & CEO of Southern Scripts. Boyd will speak about her experience in entrepreneurship and leadership.

The ULM women’s symposium is excited to welcome Donna H. Edwards, First Lady of Louisiana as the Guest of Honor. First Lady Edwards will provide the Welcome during the event.

The symposium will conclude with the prestigious ULM Women’s Symposium awards presented to five individuals that have empowered women both personally and professionally. The honorees this year include Betty Scott Cummins, Sydney Canfield, Susan Hoffmann, Kandice Guice and Eric Pani.

LeAnn Boyd, PharmD, is the keynote speaker for the the 4th annual ULM Women’s Symposium.
LeAnn Boyd, PharmD, is the keynote speaker for the the 4th annual ULM Women’s Symposium. (Photo: Courtesy)

The overarching theme of the women’s symposium is WINGS: Women Influencing the Next Generation of Success. The mission of the symposium is to empower, motivate, and encourage girls and women from all backgrounds and all educational and professional levels to pursue their passions and seek leadership roles in their desired career paths.

“The ULM campus is 64 percent female, an average higher than the UL system average of 60 percent. Thirty percent of those females at ULM are students of color. Nationally, over half of the graduates in higher education are female” Bohl stated, “While we still strive for gender parity in many professions, the women’s symposium provides an outlet for leaders in our area to share their experiences in hopes of inspiring all attendees.”

Complete information about the Women's Symposium, including registration, discussion topics, panelists, and more are available at ulm.edu/womens-symposium.

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00 2019-03-18
Monroe

'Phantom' transforms ULM's Brown Theater into Paris Opera House


For more than 30 years, the “Phantom of the Opera” has haunted the Majestic Theater in New York, making it the longest-running show in Broadway history.

Now, for four performances, the Phantom’s lurking presence will send shivers through audiences at the University of Louisiana Monroe as Brown Theater transforms into the Paris Opera House.

ULM’s School of Visual and Performing Arts will present the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic under a special licensing agreement that became available for the first time in 2011 permitting high schools and colleges to mount productions of the show. It will be the first performances of “Phantom of the Opera” to ever be staged in Ouachita Parish.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. March 21- 23 with a 2 p.m. matinee March 24.

The musical, which won seven Tony Awards including best musical, best director for Hal Prince and best actor for Michael Crawford, was Broadway’s biggest financial success until surpassed by “The Lion King.”

“Phantom” straddles the divide between opera and Broadway musicals and relies heavily on singers who can act, as opposed to actors who can sing, says Mark R. Clark, professor of music and director of opera at ULM. Clark directs the production.

Originally, Clark intended the production for the Louisiana Opera Company, which he directs during the summers. But in reviewing the licensing agreement, he discovered that wasn’t going to happen.

“I tried to get the rights for the Louisiana Opera, but I saw only a college production was authorized, and the cast has to consist of college students,” Clark says.

Still, Clark said, the time seemed right. “The shows we have done have covered lots of ground. We work closely with the Strauss Playhouse, doing shows they haven’t done or can’t do. This show has demanding music, not just the famous melodies but sextets and opera, and right now the students we have are very strong.”

Although licensing places certain restrictions to assure it is a college production in terms of casting, the script and music are the same that have thrilled audiences in the Majestic Theater in New York since 1988. The performances at Brown Auditorium will feature an orchestra conducted by Deborah Chandler, director of choral activities and a conducting teacher at ULM.

At its heart, “Phantom” is a complicated love triangle. At the center is Christine, a chorus girl and an orphaned daughter of a prominent violinist who has been taught by an invisible Angel of the Music.

The Angel of Music is the phantom, who hides a hideous deformity behind a mask. He views Christine as his muse, sees his obsession as love and plots to have her star in an opera he has written. He is willing to kill anyone who gets in the way.

But the Phantom is more than a killer and manipulator. He also is a scholar, magician, architect, inventor and composer who was was ostracized because of his deformed face. He was cruelly exhibited in a cage as part of a traveling fair until he escaped and subsequently took refuge beneath the opera house, which became his home.

Christine also is loved by Raoul, a childhood friend who, discovers his old friend is part of the opera company after becoming one of its main benefactors.They become engaged, and Raoul promises to protect Christine despite the danger they face.


Christine is torn between love of Raoul and awe of the phantom. She overcomes her aversion to his face but fears his inner darkness.

Clark cast honors sophomore Leah Huber in the role of Christine.

“She was singing in the Shreveport Opera as a high school student,” Clark says. “Her ability, instincts and experience are remarkable. I can see her making a career of singing this role. She knows how to get very close to the edge as Christine.”

The Phantom will be played by Blake Oden, a senior nursing student.

Jase Cascio, a junior, is cast as Raoul.

Clark acknowledges the challenges of staging a show so well-known and ambitious.

“There are a lot of challenges,” he says. “Every show has its challenges. In this case, the biggest challenge is facing up to the expectations of the magical stage effects.”

For instance, a chandelier crashes from ceiling to stage at the end of the first act. A mirror must reveal an invisible presence and be able to allow an actress to walk through it.

“I first saw Phantom in Los Angeles, and when the chandelier came down, I was disappointed,” Clark says. What he missed was the big picture, the performances and plot development. In studying the book and music to prepare to direct, the greatness of the show opened up to him.

“Now I have a lot more respect for the show. I believe we have done a good job putting the frame of the show on our stage,” Clark says.

“We’ve built a chandelier from scratch,” Clark says.

Clark also says an old theater organ — which the Phantom uses to compose — was found on campus and has been placed in Brown Auditorium.

Clark hopes, however, the audiences look beyond the theatrics. “I want our audiences to be overcome by the performances,” Clark says.

Lloyd Webber's score, with lyrics primarily by Charles Hart with contributions by Alan Jay Lerner and Richard Stilgoe, is sometimes operatic in style but maintains the form and structure of a musical throughout.

Among the best-known songs in the score are the title song, “The Music of the Night,” “All I Ask of You” and “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again.”

The full-fledged operatic passages are reserved principally for subsidiary characters in make-believe operas staged within the musical.

It’s here, Clark says, that Lloyd Webber has fun parodying the opera production impresarios and styles of the 1880s.


As for him, that’s been a challenge. “The hardest thing for me is to make fun of opera.”

To go

What: “Phantom of the Opera,” a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe
When: 7:30 p.m. March 21-23; 2 p.m. Sunday, March 24
Where: Brown Theater, the University of Louisiana Monroe
Tickets: $15, general admission. ULM students get one free ticket with valid ID and can purchase additional tickets for $5 each. ULM faculty and staff, $5 each. Tickets available at ulm.edu/vapa. or at the VAPA Box Office in Biedenharn Hall at ULM. Tickets for the gala are $45, call 342-5556
Director's Gala 5-7 p.m. March 23

KEDM Public Radio and the University of Louisiana Monroe’s School of Visual and Performing Arts will present a Director’s Gala before the March 23 performance of “Phantom of the Opera.”

The gala, from 5 to 7 p.m. in ULM’s Black Box Theater, will feature heavy hors d’oeuvres and desserts, beer and wine from local vendors. The party also will feature live music and an appearance by the cast.

Guests enjoy VIP seating as well as early admission to the performance. Proceeds from the Director’s Gala benefit KEDM and the ULM School of Visual and Performing Arts.

“This Gala is a wonderful chance to support the arts,” said Michelle Miller, KEDM membership manager. “Guests really get to know each other, the cast, and the theatre community.”

Proceeds from the Director’s Gala benefit KEDM and the ULM School of Visual and Performing Arts.

Tickets for the gala are $45. For tickets, call 342-5556.
00 2019-03-18
Natchitoches

Summer, fall registration begins Monday at NSU


Registration for the summer and fall 2019 semester at Northwestern State University begins Monday, March 18.

Northwestern State students can begin the registration procedure by checking the online schedule of classes through NSUConnect then meeting with their advisor. Students can begin signing up for summer and fall classes through NSUConnect, which is available through my.nsula.edu.

Graduate students, authorized ADA students with a permit, honor students with a cumulative 3.5 grade point average and 12 or more hours, active military veterans, ROTC cadets and student-athletes can begin registering March 18.

Seniors can start signing up on March 19 and juniors can begin registering on March 20. On March 21, sophomores can begin scheduling summer and fall classes and freshmen and non-traditional students (adults 25 and over) with less than 30 hours can start registering on March 22.

Early registration for the 12-week summer session is through May 21. Students taking classes in the eight-week session can register through June 4. Early registration for first four-week summer session is available until June 4 and through July 2 for the second four-week session.

Registration for the fall semester is available through Aug. 18. Late registration will be held Aug. 19- 27. Fall classes start on Aug. 19.

For more information on summer and fall registration at Northwestern State, go to
nsula.edu/registrar.
00 2019-03-18
Regional/National

University trumpeters offer Taps for veterans’ funerals


Ten trumpet students at a Louisiana university are offering to play Taps at veterans’ funerals, rather than leave the haunting farewell bugle call to a mechanical device.

“A lot of people get a recording, and play it over a speaker. It means something because it’s the song. But when you have an actual person with the horn ... and you hear the horn ring over the fields, it takes the breath out of your chest,” Kody Jernigan, a music education major at the University of Louisiana in Monroe, said in a telephone interview.

The senior from Longview, Texas, is a member of Talons for Taps , named because the university’s mascot is the Warhawk — a nod to the World War II-era Curtiss P-40 Warhawk airplane. All are members of the ULM Trumpet Studio: seven trumpet majors and three other students taught by Assistant Professor Eric Siereveld.

Siereveld said “all of them jumped in head-first” when he suggested the volunteer program and explained why he felt it was important.

Service members deserve the honor, he said.

“They’ve sacrificed too much for us to not have what in the long run is a relatively small acknowledgement of the sacrifice they’ve given.”

The Pentagon has estimated that 10 to 15 percent of military and veterans’ families ask for a funeral with military honors: at minimum, a two-person uniformed honor guard, folding and presentation of the U.S. flag, and a rendition of Taps.

But as deaths in Iraq and among military veterans grew and the number of military buglers and trumpeters got smaller, Congress passed a law in 1999 allowing a recording if no brass player was available. In 2003, the Pentagon approved what it calls a ceremonial bugle to replace boom boxes when possible. Anyone can play it, since a chip holding a digital recording of the call is inside a cone-shaped speaker fitted into the instrument’s bell.

“The average person may not notice it’s not a live bugler. But any musician or anyone who’s even been in a band can tell the difference,” Siereveld said. To him, he said, it sounds tinny and thin.

There are at least three national groups created to match brass-playing volunteers with veterans’ funerals. Bugles Across America , formed in 2000, has 5,000 members who have played at 125,000 funerals, said founder Tom Day of Berwyn, Illinois. Another is Taps for Veterans , founded by Jari Villanueva of Catonsville, Maryland, who did not immediately respond to an email.

The Youth Trumpet & Taps Corps , enlisting high school musicians, has gone national since Katie Prior of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, started it as her Girl Scout Gold Award project in 2014. It has about 100 members in 30 states, Prior said in an email.

Prior, now studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology, said the largest, most active groups are in Oklahoma, Texas, Illinois, and Wisconsin, which grant excused absences from school to play Taps at veterans’ funerals. West Virginia’s Board of Education also grants such absences.

“Students who are not able to get excused from school play at funerals on weekends and school breaks and spend most of their volunteer hours playing Taps at wreath laying ceremonies and community events honoring veterans,” she wrote.

Siereveld said he started a separate group because “I wanted to create a culture at ULM, a spirit of camaraderie with the community. I think that’s an important part of what the university does — give back to the community that provides for us.”

Siereveld said he has played Taps at about 35 to 40 military funerals over the years.

“Both of my grandfathers served in the military, so I guess it was just impressed on me that that’s an important part,” he said.

He recalled a great-uncle’s funeral, and his grandfather’s composed stoicism until Taps was blown. “It made an impression on me that it’s something that sits with the living,” Siereveld said.

Talons for Taps members have already played at four funerals or memorial services and three Veterans Day ceremonies.

___

McConnaughey reported from New Orleans.
00 2019-03-18
Ruston

Louisiana Tech announces winter honor roll


Louisiana Tech University has announced the names of students on its fall quarter president’s and dean’s honor lists.

Students whose names are followed by an asterisk earned recognition as members of the president’s honor list. That distinction signifies achievement of at least a 3.8 academic grade point average on a minimum of nine semester hours completed (100-level or higher), with no grade lower than a B.

To be eligible for the dean’s honor lists, a student is required to earn at least a 3.5 academic grade point average with no grade lower
00 2019-03-15
Baton Rouge

Chess Tournament for the Grambling Community March 19-20


The Department of English and Foreign Languages of Grambling State University is sponsoring A Round-Robin Chess Tournament for the Grambling Community.

The Tournament is scheduled to take place Tuesday and Wednesday, March 19-20, 2019 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the Tiger Express.

All prizes are for the top-ranked students only:

1st Prize: $75.00

2nd Prize: $50.00

3rd Prize: $25.00

4th & 5th Prizes: Triple weighted chess set

(Entry into the Tournament is Free)

For more information contact:

Professor Hugh F. Wilson

Cell: (318) 548-9817

wilsonh@gram.edu

Professor Charles Snodgrass

snodgrassc@gram.edu
00 2019-03-15
Hammond

Southeastern students compete in Bayou Sales Challenge


A team of seven Southeastern Louisiana University students successfully competed in the Bayou Sales Challenge, a role-play competition held recently at Nicholls State University.

Members of the sales team included Denham Springs native Austin Rogers, along with Mary Graves of Kentwood, Alee Hess of Belle Chasse, India Williams of Baton Rouge, and Garrett Buras, Danyel James, and Taylor Windom, all of Covington.


00 2019-03-15
Lafayette

UL business dean finalist for job at Southern Miss


The business dean of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette could be moving back to Mississippi soon.

J. Bret Becton, dean of UL Lafayette's B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration since 2017, is a finalist for the comparable position at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

Becton is one of two finalists for the dean of the school's College of Business and Economic Development. He interviewed on the Southern Miss campus Thursday and participated in a public forum Friday, according to the school.

The school is his alma mater and his previous employer.

Becton came to Lafayette from Southern Miss two years ago.

He was associate dean for operations and accreditation for the University of Southern Mississippi's College of Business. He managed that college's budgeting, assessment, academic affairs and accreditation.

He earned a bachelor's degree in psychology at Southern Miss before moving on to a master's degree in industrial/organizational psychology at the University of Tulsa and a doctorate in management from Auburn University.

His competitor for the job is Christopher Shook, a dean at the University of Montana, who is to be interviewed later this month.

MORE: UL Lafayette's solar farm an opportunity to diversify Louisiana's economy

According to its website, the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration enrolls more than 2,000 undergraduate students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

Students major in eight areas of business: accounting; economics; finance; hospitality management; insurance and risk management; management; marketing; and professional land and resource management.

UL Lafayette declined to comment Thursday.
00 2019-03-15
New Orleans

State reviewing controversial wastewater treatment technique


A site south of Ponchatoula is dead center in a lengthy debate over a controversial wastewater treatment technique. And the city of Hammond, though it lies well seven miles to the north, is deeply involved in that debate, thanks to a treatment system that discharges the city’s wastewater into protected marsh.

On either side of the debate are residents and stakeholders who each say they have science on their side. And watching from Baton Rouge are two state agencies responsible for permitting Hammond’s so-called “wastewater assimilation” operation. Both are reviewing the city’s effort to build and maintain a wastewater pipeline — which runs from Hammond to the site along the marsh — and its struggles to keep its discharge within safe, legal limits.

The Lens has confirmed that the agencies — the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Natural Resources — are investigating Hammond’s wastewater assimilation system after several years of shortcomings in treating the water that it discharges at the edge of the Joyce Wildlife Management Area.


Google Maps image shows location of pipeline south of Ponchatoula

Hammond’s discharge pipe itself extends about 6.4 miles from the South Sewage Treatment Plant in south Hammond to South Slough — a long canal running west to east, just north of the northwest corner of the Joyce Wildlife Management Area. The City of Hammond owns the land along South Slough on which the pipeline sits and where it discharges the treated wastewater. The neighboring wildlife management area is overseen by yet another state agency, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

The wastewater assimilation method — its proponents prefer to call it wetland assimilation — is designed to provide a cost-effective alternative to standard wastewater treatment systems.

“The ability of wetlands to perform certain water purification functions has been well established for natural watersheds,” reads an excerpt from a use attainability analysis written in 2005 by Comite Resources, the private firm that designed Hammond’s system and several others across south Louisiana. “Studies in the southeastern United States have shown that wetlands chemically, physically, and biologically remove pollutants, sediments and nutrients from water flowing through them.”

The practice as currently permitted has been used since the early 1990’s in communities across south Louisiana. DEQ has even promoted the technique, listing 11 municipalities on its wetland assimilation web page.

Proponents say that because the sewage and stormwater is rich in nutrients, assimilation has the added benefit of helping to rebuild wetlands that have been hard hit by natural and man-made factors, including canals built for forestry, oil & gas production and highway construction. The flow of the wastewater, called effluent, also serves to keep saltwater out of freshwater marshland.

But that wastewater must be properly treated before it’s discharged. And that has been part of the problem in the City of Hammond and other towns using assimilation techniques.

The Hammond pipeline began discharging into the marsh in 2006. The city, which formerly discharged its wastewater into Ponchatoula Creek, had been cited by the DEQ for failing to comply with state limits on effluent content in the treated water prior to that. Since the assimilation program went online, it’s been cited dozens more times.

Opponents of assimilation, in Tangipahoa Parish and elsewhere, say it actually harms wetland environments and can take away some of the protections the marshes offer against extreme weather events. In the face of that criticism, the DEQ says it is reviewing the impact of assimilation systems across Louisiana.


Tom Wright / The Lens

Ed Bodker taking a water sample.

THE WRONG KIND OF GREEN
On a chilly March morning — Lundi Gras, to be precise — Ed Bodker crouched on the edge of the Joyce Wildlife Swamp Walk, south of Ponchatoula, and drew vials of murky water.

“I’ve been taking this test for 10 years,” he said. “And it consistently shows the same thing, except that originally it was much more.”

The test was an off-the-shelf test kit for ammonia. He drew samples from three sites along or near the Swamp Walk, sites that sit about a mile from the long pipe where the City of Hammond discharges wastewater from its sewage treatment system.

Bodker, a Ponchatoula resident who grew up in the region, said the sites he took these samples from are where water draining out of the marsh flow into the nearby canal along Interstate 55.

“The purpose of putting it in that marsh was for it to spread out over a large expanse,” he explained. But some of that water “short circuits” from the spread and finds its way toward a nearby canal, he said.


Tom Wright / The Lens

Water samples some distance from the discharge site test positive for high ammonia content.

Two of the three vials of water turned a dark, rich green in color after a few minutes in the testing solution. According to the kit’s test strip, the color indicated the presence of ammonia or ammonium ions between 4.0 and 8.0 parts per million, at the top of the consumer-grade testing metric. The third, taken the furthest from the discharge site, turned greenish yellow, suggesting a lower ammonia presence between 0.5 to 1.0 ppm.

“I have literally spent days at a time, out in a pirogue in that marsh, taking hundreds of these samples to map where the water was going,” Bodker told us. “As dramatic as this shows, I can’t get anybody to come down here officially with me to show them that.”

Ammonia matters in a wastewater assimilation context because its presence in discharged water indicates potential eutrophication. That’s what happens when elevated levels of nutrients — such as nitrogen, of which ammonia is one form — promote increased growth in some, though not all, forms of vegetation and especially algae.

“Prolonged or excessive nutrient loading may adversely affect the assimilation area, with organic decomposition and loss of root matter contributing to decreasing soil stability and shearing,” wrote the authors of a 2017 paper for the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation. “Recent research suggests that nitrogen enrichment accelerates plant decomposition in freshwater marsh.”

Bodker, a retired environmental manager from the La. Department of Transportation and Development, has railed against the impacts of the Hammond wastewater assimilation system since it began service in 2006.

He said one issue with excessive nitrogen levels is that they promote grass species that are annual in nature — they grow from seed and die within a year. Those annuals don’t promote firm soil development as well as perennial grasses, which regrow each year.

“Some species tolerate that ammonia better than others,” Bodker said. “And mostly that’s floating species, which don’t have roots and so you don’t have the roots holding it all together.


Tom Wright / The Lens

Ed Bodker takes a soil plug from a control marsh west of the discharge site.

“I guess a lot of people don’t understand why I’ve taken this cause on so much for so long,” Bodker said as he boated up Anderson Canal, running west of the interstate, to show off a control marsh — an area of the marsh with strong perennial growth that is far removed from the Hammond discharge point. “Not only did this marsh mean a lot to me, when I was growing up, but the implications are much broader than just this one little spot. People don’t realize that the nutrient pollution worldwide is just an unbelievably large problem.”

Bodker stopped the boat on the canal at a spot next to a wide area of grassy marsh. “That marsh mat is 1,100 years old,” he said, “which is the general age of all these marshes.”

Wearing hip waders, he stepped carefully through a patch of cutgrass along the canal bank until he came to the firm mat of the marsh, covered in great part by a perennial grass called maidencane, or Panicum.

“It has a really strong root system, just like wire,” he told The Lens. “It holds that marsh together. And it’s been holding that marsh together for hundreds if not thousands of years.”

Bodker moved several yards into the marsh and selected a portion of soil to cut into with a large cane knife.

“This is the marsh mat,” he said after hauling the plug back to his boat. “It generally runs in between 30 and 50 centimeters thick. And you can see the living roots. And this other stuff” — referring to the soil clinging to the Panicum roots — “is old, real old, and the living roots hold it in place.”

Bodker said, when those living grass roots die, they lose their ability to hold soil together. “It would be loose,” he said, “which is what happened in the sewage marsh.”


Tom Wright / The Lens

Floating vegetation on top of large ponds of open water south of the discharge site.

The difference between tight marsh soil and the looser, watery muck found in swamp regions is a key factor in terms of stormwater protections.

Bodker said the Panicum roots held up fine when Hurricane Katrina hit these marshes, before the Hammond discharge began in 2006. But after wastewater assimilation began at the edge of the Joyce Wildlife Management Area, hurricanes such as Isaac, Gustav and Ike blew through and left stormwaters four to five feet in depth in parts, he said, raising up big clumps of loose soil around the area near the discharge pipe.

“All the marsh gases got in there and became buoyant during that high water,” he said. “And then the wind and all lifted big islands up and small islands and lifted up and blew it over. And when the water dropped, those islands fell down on top of the old marsh mat.”

That left big clumps of weak soil piled up in spots. “If you were to look out there and see stuff growing, you’d say, well, that looks pretty good,” he said. “But it’s not uniform,” like the control marsh to the west. “The mat is compromised.”


Tom Wright / The Lens

Discharged wastewater enters the marsh. A section of boardwalk is seen in the foreground.

Bodker said the sewage discharge into the marsh neighboring South Slough changed what was once a uniformly vegetated marsh. Now the area is swampy, dominated by annual plants such as cutgrass and floating vegetation including pennywort, a perennial also known as Hydrocotyle that grows well in sewage ditches. Some of the vegetation is water hyacinth, an invasive species. And there are large patches of open water, offering much less protection for residents north of the area against storm surge from Gulf hurricanes.

“I have literally walked across the marsh before the sewage, many times,” he said. “In fact, when I was a boy, my friend had trap lines all the way around the marsh. And muskrats used to live in the marsh. They don’t have any in there now.“

He noted that deer, once common in the area, also are absent now, not being able to move through the swampy area. “It bogs them down just like it would you and me,” he said. Patches of sharp-edged cutgrass also present an obstacle.


Ed Bodker

A ground-level view from February 2009 of algal bloom

What does well in the sewage marsh, Bodker said, is algae. In a 2010 presentation to the LPBF, he documented large blooms of green and blue-green algae, including one that sprawled over a 50-acre area.

“This type of green water is typical in oxidation ponds,” he wrote in that presentation. “This favors accelerated decomposition and destabilizes populations of denitrifying bacteria.” Denitrification is the removal of nitrogen and nitrogen compounds such as ammonia, in this context, from the soil. It’s performed naturally by bacteria.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warns that some algal blooms are toxic to people and animals. Such harmful blooms are promoted by sunlight, slow-moving water and nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus — just the sort of nutrient pollution that often accompanies wastewater discharge.

Bodker also warned of diseases impacting wetland vegetation, such as anthracnose, caused by fungal infection. There’s also the threat of avian botulism — a strain of toxin that’s especially prevalent among waterfowl in North America.

He noted the spores for avian botulism are found just about everywhere. “But they’re not toxic unless they are subject to certain conditions,” he said. “And those conditions are nutrient-rich water, decaying organic matter and warmer temperatures. And those conditions exist because of that sewage right here.”

‘ADMINISTRATIVELY CONTINUED’
Hammond has been running the wastewater assimilation system for two years without a current permit under the Louisiana Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, according to DEQ.

In a Feb. 28 email exchange with The Lens, DEQ spokesman Greg Langley described Hammond’s permit as “expired but administratively continued,” meaning the city is still operating the program legally.

“They applied for renewal within [the] appropriate timeframe,” he said.

Langley later noted that there are three other assimilation projects that are “administratively continued”: Guste Island, Terrebonne Parish’s South Wastewater Treatment Plant and the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board’s East Bank Treatment Plant, which discharges treated wastewater into the Central Wetlands in St. Bernard Parish.

These three systems, however, are in the process of being renewed, Langley told The Lens on Wednesday. Hammond’s permit is on hold, pending a comprehensive DEQ review of wastewater assimilation systems across the state. That review, contracted to an environmental consulting firm called Naturally Wallace Consulting, LLC, is due back to DEQ on August 31.

Langley said public concerns expressed to the agency and monthly reports of wastewater discharge, including those from Hammond, prompted a re-evaluation of assimilation projects.

Meantime, DNR is investigating concerns about construction of the discharge pipeline. The Lens obtained a Feb. 18 letter from DNR’s Office of Coastal Management to Comite Resources and the City of Hammond, noting that an enforcement case had been opened “for review of a possible violation of permit conditions.”

DNR noted that the assimilation project’s Coastal Use Permit (CUP) allowed for installation of a “3600 ft. discharge line … to be installed along the south slope of the spoil bank.” But the line that was installed extends 5,525 feet atop the spoil bank, according to the letter.

“The unauthorized clearing for the discharge line installation resulted in approximately 3.52 acres of impacts to Bottomland Hardwood habitat,” the notification continued.

The DNR letter required that the city and Comite respond within 30 days and called for a new permit application to document the unauthorized line installation and clearing activities, as well as “unauthorized pier construction” — apparently referring to long planks of boardwalk running from the area around the discharge pipe towards the edge of the Joyce Wildlife Management Area.


Tom Wright / The Lens

Pennywort among other vegetation in the waters near the discharge site.

The Lens’ own review of recent discharge monitoring reports, filed by the City of Hammond with DEQ, uncovered a range of violations in the over-10-year period since its own assimilation project came online in 2006, including:

“metal load” violations involving mercury and copper reported in 2015 and 2016;
multiple exceedances due to “insufficient aeration & high ammonia levels” reported for the first half of 2016;
failures of testing for whole effluent toxicity (WET) from August 2015 through July 2016;
continued failures of tests for WET and exceedances for Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) in 2017 and 2018, as indicated on LDEQ non compliance reports (linked here, pg 49).
BOD in particular is a frequently cited indicator for the effectiveness of wastewater treatment. It represents how much organic matter is present in wastewater.

As Hammond officials reported the violations, they reported on corrective actions being taken to address them. Many of those actions involved fixing, replacing and adding new aerators at the treatment facility, where they supply oxygen for the biological processes used to break down organics.

“Insufficient aeration and 1 current aerator is in disrepair,” read a May 2018 report on a BOD concentration violation. “Currently awaiting facility improvements. Disrepair aerator has been repaired.”

That same violation report also acknowledged failures to properly test each month for copper and zinc during wastewater treatment. “No copper sample,” it read. “Discrepancy in chain of custody to contract lab caused the samples to go unanalyzed. … A tracking system has been put in place to ensure samples are taken in an accurate timely manner.”

Despite these frequent issues, the Hammond treatment facility continued to pump wastewater in bulk into the wetlands at South Slough.

“During non-rain-event periods, flow is approximately 3.0 [millions of gallons per day],” read a letter to DEQ by the city’s water & sewer superintendent, Guy Palermo — “MGD” stands for millions of gallons per day. “During rain periods, flows have exceeded 16 MGD.”

The Lens asked city officials how rainwater accumulation impacted the facility’s ability to treat wastewater before discharge to the marsh.

“Before heavy rains, we lower the lagoons to compensate,” reads a written response sent by Lacy Landrum, the city’s director of administration. “We have also spent close to $6 million on rehabilitation of our collection system to correct inflow and infiltration problems, and we know this is a primary way stormwater enters the sewer system.”

While heavy rains add more volume to the discharge system, they have something of a benefit in that they dilute the discharge into the wetlands. But they do not reduce the content overall; they reduce the impact of contaminants for each gallon discharged but over time, organic compounds and toxic metals not removed in treatment still enter the discharge area.


Google Maps image of Hammond\’s South Sewage Treatment Plant off Natchez Street

SCHOLARLY DEFENSE
To find a defender of assimilation projects, one need look no further than Dr. John Day. He is an emeritus professor of LSU’s Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences.

“I have published probably 400 papers that have been peer-reviewed, chapters in books and scientific journals,” Day told The Lens in an interview Monday. “My work has been cited almost 22,000 times, and that’s about 10,000 up from the next person in my department. And I’ve worked all over the world.”

He’s also the founder of Comite Resources — the company that designed Hammond’s assimilation system and continues to monitor Hammond’s system and others across the state.

The City of Hammond said it pays Comite $44,140 a year to monitor discharge and conditions at its sewage marsh. The Secretary of State’s office still lists Day as “officer/director” of Comite and the company’s web site lists him as “president” — but he said he hasn’t been paid by Comite “probably for a couple of years.”

While Day and LSU’s Andree Marie Breaux frequently are credited with development of modern assimilation technique, Day said the practice itself has been used by municipalities for many decades. A 2018 slideshow presentation he produced said the town of Breaux Bridge has been discharging wastewater into the wetlands for 70 years; Ponchatoula, for more than 50 years.

“These things have functioned,” he told The Lens. “Now keep in mind that permitting for these didn’t begin until 1992, with the city of Thibodaux. But it was just plenty of places in Louisiana, opportunistically, just discharged their treated effluent.”

Day said it was only in the late 1940’s that many communities around the country started using a central collection system for wastewater. “Before that, you have individual outhouses or septic systems,” he said. “And it was right after World War II that you get in this massive effort to put in collection systems and bring your effluent, your sewage, to a plant and then treat it and then discharge it.”

Day said wastewater assimilation provides important tertiary treatment for wastewater, after the primary treatment of removing solid waste and the secondary treatment of reducing biological oxygen demand and solids leftover after primary treatment, called total suspended solids.

“What we’ve found is that, [in] every single wetland assimilation system, nutrients are reduced to background levels,” he said. “They aren’t reduced to zero, but they’re reduced to levels that a system has, a wetland has, if nothing [else] was going into it — And that was one of the primary objectives of wetland assimilation.”

Day argued the assimilation technique is poorly understood by its critics, including Bodker. He has written several scientific papers with colleagues at LSU and other schools and his staff at Comite Resources defending the practice and highlighting what he views as abundant evidence of healthy vegetation growth at discharge points, such as South Slough.


Photo from John Day slideshow showing researcher inspecting vegetation near the discharge pipe.

“You see several species there,” he said, referencing a photograph of a researcher examining vegetation in the marsh south of the Hammond discharge. “The tall one is cattail, Typha species — this is the end of the growing season when the big seed heads break up and go. But you can see some other species in there — that’s bulltongue or Sagittaria. And then there are some other species down there. So, it’s a fairly diverse community.”

He acknowledged there have been issues with some growth, but he disputes what critics say caused those problems.

In a 2019 article that appeared in the journal Wetlands Ecology and Management, Day, fellow Comite employees Robert Lane and Rachael Hunter, and Southeastern Louisiana University biologist Gary Shaffer rebutted an earlier article by Bodker, LSU professor Eugene Turner and Southeastern Louisiana University biologist Christopher Schulz. Bodker, Turner and Schulz argued that most of 5,000 cypress trees planted about a decade ago near Hammond’s discharge point “either died, floated out of their anchorage, lodged over or manifested signs of abnormal growth.”

For one thing, Day told The Lens, “Most of the trees that died — and we’ve argued about this at meetings — are Chinese tallow,” an invasive species.

He resisted suggestions that treated effluent was to blame for tree deaths in the marsh. He said.


Tom Wright / The Lens

Planted trees and plastic waste sitting at the edge of the marsh.

Shaffer, who planted the trees along with his students, determined that shade from tall marsh grasses were a significant factor in the tree deaths.

“You get marsh grass up to about two meters high now,” Day said. “Cypress is very intolerant of low-light conditions. If you plant a cypress tree in your yard, in the shade of a big oak tree, it will either die” or its growth will be stunted.

The trees were planted as part of marsh rebuilding efforts by Shaffer, who frequently has collaborated with Day in assimilation studies.

“We also maintain a nursery of thousands of healthy bald cypress and water tupelo seedlings located adjacent to the discharge pipe and inundated with the effluent,” read the 2019 rebuttal paper by Day and Shaffer.

The Southeastern biologist and his wife, Demetra Kandalepas, have their own environmental consulting firm, Wetland Resources LLC, which promotes cypress and tupelo planting projects to help revive marshland.

When asked if considerations of shade from tall grasses were not taken into consideration when planting the seedlings south of the Hammond discharge, Day said, “Well, we’re learning. No, in retrospect we should have expected it. Seedlings grow very fast but this stuff just took off. And I guess it was unanticipated.”

Day and company place blame for problems with marsh vegetation on nutria, the large invasive rodent species that has earned a name for itself as a disrupter of wetland ecologies.

“There was no evidence of a negative effect on the vegetation until nutria began to impact the area late Fall of 2007,” Day’s 2019 article said. “Intensive nutria removal began in the spring of 2008 and continued through the winter of 2008–2009. Approximately 2000 nutria were killed by shooting. Vegetation recovery began during the Spring of 2009 and was most pronounced and consistent nearest the discharge pipe.”

Bodker cast doubt on the nutria claim. “That’s ridiculous,” he said. “They claim they killed 2,000 nutria, but they don’t have any statistics on it.”

The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation said it had asked Comite for its data on the nutria hunting but received nothing.

“We’re having a hard time pinpointing that that is the sole source for some of the issues that they’re seeing in Hammond,” said LPBF executive director Kristi Trail. “Just knowing that nutria are an issue around the state, if we figured out how to eradicate them in one particular location, we should be using that same process all throughout the state to get rid of them.”

When asked if there was any accounting for time spent hunting the nutria, or daily counts or weight totals of the nutria killed or captured, Day told The Lens, “Actually none, except what we say. There were eight people who participated. I didn’t go out there and do any shooting myself. But just to put this in perspective, again, this was coming at a critical time and the main thing was to go out there.”

Day noted that Shaffer led some of his own Southeastern students onto the boardwalks extending into the marsh to shoot nutria and kept a “rough running tally” of rodents killed.

“If I was to go back and do a lot of things, one of the things is we would have written it all down,” Day told The Lens. “But we didn’t.”

He noted that nutria “eat-outs” have been a common occurrence across the state. “They’ve been occurring ever since they escaped down from New Iberia — you know that story. They bloom up, the females have three litters a year. They’re busy; they could be rabbits.”

Once the nutria run out of marsh to eat, he said, they “die back down and they just quiesce. And these things come and go. And that’s the only thing. You can’t cite another example, anywhere in the world, [with] this concentration of nutria, that causes the wetland to basically crash in a year.”

CRISIS STATE
Trail and Skaggs of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation note that the science and views on wastewater assimilation have come a long way since the Hammond site was opened for discharge.

“We’re very clear that initially we did support the concept of assimilation in the vein that it may benefit our wetlands, which as we know are in a crisis state,” Trail told The Lens. “However, you fast forward 10 years later, having these sites at practice, we’re not seeing the benefit to it.”

She said she can’t fault the municipalities that use assimilation technique to deal with wastewater, and that these communities cannot simply turn these systems off and immediately switch to something new — alternatives can be expensive to develop and implement.

But there are other costs to consider. One of them is extreme weather.

“From our standpoint, those wetlands are one of our first lines of defense to protect populated areas from storm surge,” Trail said. “If you consider a scenario where you have a hurricane coming in from the east, pushing a bunch of water into the lake, those wetlands there, that are just south of the Hammond-Ponchatoula area, are what absorb that storm surge so that those communities will not flood. You need those there.”

There are also mitigation costs to consider, when such systems damage wetlands.

“We think that, if the true costs were shown, then it would change the way this is done,” Skaggs said. “I think it needs to be the do-no-harm type of strategy. We don’t want to see cutting off our arm at the expense of the rest of the body.”
00 2019-03-15
Regional/National

What College Activists Can Learn From Hamilton


Much is justifiably made of how Alexander Hamilton’s hustler spirit can be found in his immigrant identity and difficult childhood. It is part of the brilliance of the show that Lin-Manuel Miranda gives a new nobility to America’s Founding by infusing it with a contemporary urban minority spirit.

But, seeing Hamilton in Chicago for a second time just the other week, I noted another key identity in those early scenes: Alexander Hamilton was a college student. In the second song, the fateful scene where our hero first meets his nemesis Aaron Burr, he recounts feeling disrespected by an administrator at Princeton, and subsequently punching him out. In the third, he sings about getting a scholarship to King’s College, now Columbia University.

This is Hamilton the all-out revolutionary. The man who is “young, scrappy and hungry”, who promises to fan sparks into flames, who sees the ascendancy of his name and the independence of his nation as inextricably intertwined, who will “lay down his life if it sets us free”.

The American Revolution needed that brash spirit, both to inspire it and to win a remarkably unlikely victory against a mighty empire with a mammoth army.

But as the show goes on, we see Hamilton evolving. His mentor and patron George Washington reminds him that “winning is easy, governing is harder.”

And so, Hamilton needs to cool his hot head, to make alliances, to negotiate and compromise, to build for the long term. He writes more than he fights, builds more than he protests. Instead of throwing rocks at the windows, he walks through the doors of fancy buildings into “the room where it happens”.

Most tellingly, Hamilton argues against involving the United States in France’s war with England, which Jefferson characterizes as a revolution which ought to remind American’s of their own ideals. “The people are leading” Jefferson insists. But Washington, with Hamilton at his side, responds: “The people are rioting – there’s a difference.”

Yes, there is – and being able to discern one from the other is the difference, in our era, between making noise and making lasting change. In Hamilton’s time, it was the difference between building a nation and being dead.

There are a variety of things here that are useful for progressive student activists to consider. How would you govern if you were in charge, and had all of the responsibilities of leadership, not just the luxury of advancing the causes that concern you the most?

I think about this when I run into diversity activists on college campuses who are angry at what they consider to be racist policies and curriculum and who say things like, “The only thing I care about is the success of students of color at this school.”

That’s the fiery spirit of the revolutionary Hamilton, the one that zeroes in on a narrow set of deficiencies without wondering how you build a nation after you win the revolution.

An interesting exercise to give those students: if you were the President of the College, if you had to think about everything from budgetary woes to the alarming number of Americans who say they have lost confidence in higher education, how would you lead? How would you make the changes you want to make AND get everything else you need to get done?

My whole life changed when someone offered me a similar challenge in my early twenties. I was a fierce protester in my undergraduate days at the University of Illinois, and I both believed in the causes I championed and enjoyed the attention that leading a march on the quad brought me. I took that same approach to my civic activities when I graduated. I regularly called out the leaders of global interfaith organizations for attracting audiences that were overwhelmingly white, male and elderly, and for running conferences that were full of boring panels.

“You need young people,” I shouted from the floor. “You need action.”

Several of those elders nodded approvingly at my antics. Protest, for me and for them, was both the means and end of progress.

But someone along the way played a far-seeing Washington to my young brash Hamilton. “Those ideas you have about the need for more young people and more action in interfaith work - those are great ideas. You know, instead of spending all your energy criticizing other people for not doing enough along those lines, you should spend some time thinking about how to make those ideas reality.”

A group of friends and I took that challenge seriously, and twenty years later the institution www.ifyc.org that emerged out of that moment has helped north of 500 campuses start or strengthen their interfaith programs.

Part of what I love about Hamilton is how Lin-Manuel Miranda manages to highlight how important both energies – the revolutionary spirit and the builder ethos – are to long-term social change. Perhaps the compromiser Hamilton, the one who sees in shades of gray and trades the geography of the nation’s capitol for a national bank, would have been ill-suited for the black-and-white thinking that inspired a revolution. And, of course, very few revolutionaries manage to build a nation, much less a democracy.

What if today’s student protesters, so effective at calling out what other people are doing wrong (the list of sins and mistakes is long and deserves to be shouted from the rooftops), can match the righteous revolutionary spirit with the ethos and skills of the nation-builder?
00 2019-03-14
Lafayette

Annual UL Majors and Minors Fair Prepares Students for Career Paths


The annual Majors and Minors Fair taking place at UL Lafayette Wednesday.

UL’s Career Services brings representatives from all eight colleges under one roof for undergrad students to ask questions about their education paths. It’s also a chance for students to explore study abroad opportunities for their major.

Lauren Landry, associate director of UL Major and Career Exploration Center says, “There’s so much information that students need to know about their majors about their degree progression and also about career opportunities that they have once they earn their degree in whatever their chosen field is.”

The annual Majors and Minors Fair happens each Spring semester.


00 2019-03-14
Lafayette

UL graduate programs get high marks from U.S. News & World Report


U.S. News & World Report gave high marks to five degree programs at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in its 2020 Best Graduate Schools national rankings released Tuesday, according to a news release from UL. U.S. News & World Report researched and ranked graduate programs in business, education, engineering, law, medicine and nursing.

UL Lafayette’s B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions were each recognized.

“There are no graduate or undergraduate degree programs in law or medicine at the University, so recognition in each of the remaining programs that U.S. News & World Report considered underscores the strength of the entire graduate program,” said Dr. Mary Farmer-Kaiser, dean of the Graduate School.

U.S. News & World Report placed the university’s College of Education at No. 134, an increase of 38 spots compared to last year’s rankings.

The College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions master’s degree in nursing program also climbed, to No. 156 from No. 172.

The college’s doctor of nursing practice program also made the list but did not receive a numerical ranking. U.S. News & World Report often cites noteworthy programs without assigning a number.

UL Lafayette’s MBA program was ranked No. 178 in the “part-time MBA” category said Dr. J. Bret Becton, dean of the B.I. Moody College of Business Administration. Whether students are enrolled part-time, full-time or online, however, the curriculum is the same.

The College of Engineering’s graduate programs were also recognized, although the publication assigned no numerical ranking.

The University offers a master’s degree in engineering and a doctoral degree in systems engineering. Each degree offers concentrations in chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical and petroleum engineering.

U.S. News & World Report’s rankings are compiled based on factors such as student engagement, faculty credentials and training, student service, and technology and peer reputation. They are based on university-reported data from the 2018-2019 academic year.

The rankings are designed to help prospective college students make decisions about where to enroll and what programs they want to pursue.
00 2019-03-14
Lafayette

Bayou to Beltway: March 13, 2019


Did you miss our Bayou to Beltway show with Dr. Terry Chambers the Donald & Janice Mosing BORSF Endowed Chair in Mechanical Engineering at UL Lafayette and Ms. Gretchen Vanicor, Director of Sustainability at UL Lafayette, about how innovation in engineering and practical approaches to energy conservation are making UL Lafayette a hub in green energy. We discussed UL’s designation as both a green power partner and “eco-friendly.” We discuss UL’s Strategic Plan for sustainability which looked at all aspects of how UL was approaching it’s energy and environmental foot-print. This plan was launched in July of 2018 and includes faculty, students and staff across UL Lafayette. As part of this plan the UL campus is used as a “living lab” to implement green solutions to sustainability. Dr. Chambers discusses integrating research into energy and energy efficiency into campus sustainability and the wide “buy-in” by the faculty and institution. Dr. Chambers discusses the energy efficiency and sustainable energy Center is one of four centers. The Center has three goals: research and design into sustainable and renewable technology, developing renewable energy products for Louisiana, and education and outreach to the University and also the community.
Please see what you missed from this recent talk with Dr. Terry Chambers and Ms. Gretchen Vanicor on Bayou to Beltway, This Wednesday at 12:30, and then Saturday at 5:30.
00 2019-03-14
Lafayette

Pop culture and history intersect at UL lecture series’ latest installment


Award-winning historian Dr. LaKisha Simmons will discuss “Black Women’s Memories: Monuments, History and the Louisiana Sugar Cane Plantations of Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’” during a lecture at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

The third annual Guilbeau Lecture will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 14, in H.L. Griffin Hall, room 147. It is free and open to the public.

Simmons is an assistant professor of history and women’s studies at the University of Michigan. Her book, “Crescent City Girls: The Lives of Young Black Women in Segregated New Orleans,” won the 2016 Julia Cherry Spruill Prize from the Southern Association for Women Historians for the Best Book in Southern Women’s History.

Simmons’ lecture on Thursday explores themes of violence and enslavement found in Beyoncé’s “Lemonade,” the singer’s 2016 Grammy Award-winning visual album. Scenes for the album were filmed at Destrehan Plantation, near New Orleans.

UL Lafayette’s Department of History, Geography and Philosophy hosts the Guilbeau Lecture Series, which is funded by the Guilbeau Charitable Trust.

The trust honors the memories of history graduate student Jamie Guilbeau and his mother, Thelma Guilbeau. The Guilbeaus created the trust through an endowment managed by the UL Lafayette Foundation.

Parking for the lecture is available in the Girard Park Circle garage, 138 Girard Park Circle.

In addition to being the Guilbeau Lecture, Simmons’ presentation also will serve as the keynote address for a conference that examines how Louisiana’s artists, museum professionals and public historians incorporate – or avoid – discussions of slavery in their work.

The conference, “Representing Enslavement: Louisiana’s Past in the Present,” will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, March 15, at the Clifton Chenier Center, 220 W. Willow St. in Lafayette. It is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Find details here: https://cls.louisiana.edu/news-events/events/20190212/representing-enslavement-louisiana’s-past-present-keynote-lecture.


00 2019-03-14
Lake Charles

Autism spectrum is focus of McNeese Theatre play


McNeese State University’s Theatre program will present “The Autism/Aspergers Project” March 20-24 in an effort to bring awareness to autism spectrum disorders.

The play will focus on the stories and experiences of people who are on the autism spectrum or are related to people on the spectrum in some way, said director Charles McNeely.

“Our main effort is to bring understanding to something that is misunderstood,” McNeely said. The content of the script was created from meaningful and real-life experiences, he said.

“In preparation for the play, information has been collected through research, different organizations and through peoples’ stories,” he said. “We have been collaborating and practicing in efforts to bring the production together.”

In addition to the play being held on the campus, Mc-Neely said he wants to bring the production to different schools in the parish to bring understanding to students and teachers, as well.

“One in every 68 people are on the spectrum, and in school a teacher will most likely interact with an autistic student,” he said.

McNeely said the stories and experiences will be portrayed in the play by Peyton Stanford, Aaron Tanner, Hannah Jolivette, Himshree Neupane, Cecile Roques and Supratik Regmi.
00 2019-03-14
Lake Charles

MCNEESE SPRING GRADFEST


GradFest Spring 2019 was held Wednesday for graduating students at McNeese State University in the Parra Ballroom in the Holbrook Student Union Annex. The Mc-Neese Alumni Association sponsored the event. Gradfest is a “one stop shop” to help prepare students for graduation. Students were given the opportunity to verify the status of their degree application, pick up their caps and gowns, order graduation invitations and class rings as well as have a complimentary graduation portrait taken.

Rick Hickman American Press
00 2019-03-14
Monroe

McDonald, ULM interim AD, will apply for permanent job


Scott McDonald hasn’t given much thought to the “interim” tag proceeding his title of Louisiana-Monroe athletic director.

Other than he’d like it removed.

“I plan to continue doing it,” McDonald said. “If it comes to a situation where I need to apply for the position, then I’ll certainly do that.”

Mum on the subject since McDonald’s appointment in September, ULM President Nick Bruno intends to conduct a search and have a full-time athletic director in place by July 1. The next athletic director will be ULM’s fourth in two years and the fifth of Bruno’s almost nine-year tenure.

ULM chief administrative officer Scott McDonald was appointed interim athletic director following Nick Floyd's resignation in August, shepherding the athletic department through football season and into the spring sports calendar.
ULM chief administrative officer Scott McDonald was appointed interim athletic director following Nick Floyd's resignation in August, shepherding the athletic department through football season and into the spring sports calendar. (Photo: File photo)

Bruno declined to comment on the impending search.

“If we go through a national search, then I’ll go through it the same way any other candidate would,” McDonald said.

McDonald, an alum and longtime supporter, shepherded ULM through football season and into the spring sports calendar following Nick Floyd’s resignation as athletic director in August. Floyd, who resigned for health reasons, held the job for 13 months.

Prior to Floyd’s resignation, McDonald left the banking industry in June to become ULM’s chief administrative officer — a position that already included oversight into the athletic department and reports directly to Bruno.

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Over the past sixth months, McDonald and executive associate athletic director Todd Dooley conducted the search that led to Molly Fichtner’s hire as head softball coach and began revamping athletic promotions and gameday experience alongside associate athletic director John Lewandoski.

A search is underway to find the next women’s basketball coach after Jeff Dow announced his decision to leave ULM at the end of the season. Dow’s contract expires on March 31.

“Scott came in at a difficult time and there wasn’t a lot of training going on,” ULM men’s basketball coach Keith Richard said. “He’s really tackled it with both hands, and to be honest, he’s been a breath of fresh air to everyone in the athletic department with his positive energy.”

McDonald said his day-to-day duties at ULM are no different than the workload he juggled as the executive vice president and chief retail officer at Ouachita Independent Bank, now Bancorp South, from 2006-2018.

I think the pace was something I had to get accustomed to in terms of how many different places that not only myself, but the staff had to be,” McDonald said. “

“There’s no question in my mind that attendance improved later in the year as we brought more promotional things into the mix. I think the final game against Louisiana-Lafayette was tremendous in terms of the gameday experience. The feedback I got from that was super, so we’ll continue to incorporate those ideas as we move forward.”

ULM drew a reported 18,167 fans, its largest home crowd of the year, to Malone Stadium for the season-finale against the Ragin’ Cajuns. Prior to the Battle on the Bayou, the largest crowd of the season was 15,722 for the Troy game, followed by 13,787 for Georgia Southern, 13,235 for homecoming against Texas State and 10,137 for the home opener against Southeastern Louisiana.

Overall, ULM finished eighth among the Sun Belt Conference’s 10 teams in home attendance with an average crowd of 14,210. The seating capacity at Malone Stadium is 30,427.

The average home attendance for men’s basketball 3,003 — good for third in the 12-team Sun Belt — and women’s basketball finished seventh with an average home crowd of 1,009 at 7,000-seat Fant-Ewing Coliseum.

“Scott have been very engaged with what we’re trying to do,” ULM football coach Matt Viator said. “He really cares about ULM and has a lot invested here, which I think is important.”

McDonald’s tenure has met with some challenges. On March 1, the Sun Belt released the 2019 football schedule without a written agreement between ULM and Grambling State to move the season opener from Saturday, August 31 to Thursday, August 29.

Both schools agreed to play the game as scheduled on Aug. 31, which conflicts with the Bayou Jamb held at Malone Stadium. ULM and Bayou Jamb officials are working together to reschedule the high-school football showcase and keep it on campus.

Patti Thurmon, marketing and promotions director for Bayou Jamb, was hired in January as the general manager of Warhawk Sports Properties through Learfield Sports. ULM currently has openings for an assistant athletic director to oversee the Warhawk Club, formerly the ULM Athletic Foundation, and a director of ticket sales and service.

The athletic department has cycled through over 30 employees since 2015.

As president of the ULM facilities corporation, another of McDonald’s many titles, he is part of the group bringing a proposed medical school to the university. Progress came with a price, and ULM agreed to lease the Grove, its primary tailgating area, the recently renovated L-Club house and the golf team’s club house to the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM).

While the medical school carries the “proposed” label until accreditation is secured, construction is ongoing. The L-Club house and the golf house have been demolished and most of the trees on the South side of Malone Stadium that constitute the Grove have been removed.

Tailgating will move to the pecan grove and East side of Malone Stadium, which will include water and electricity hookups for RVs, campers and other vehicles.

No renderings or other information has been presented to tailgaters or season-ticket holders.

“We’ve gone through many renditions,” McDonald said. “Several folks have been involved in an advisory standpoint from the community and the athletic foundation.

“We’re at the point where we’re putting those bids out to cost. It's a 60-day project and feel good about our timing once we get all that back and moving forward."

ULM and the L-Club have discussed constructing a new house at the southeast corner of Malone Stadium. The golf team will move to a new house on the vacant lot adjacent to Brown Stadium and Warhawk Field.

McDonald oversaw the completion of several athletic facility upgrades, including the renovations to Brown Stadium and Groseclose track and the construction of indoor batting tunnels, a player’s lounge and the instillation of padded walls at the Warhawk Softball Complex.

The brand-new Charlie Martin training room in Malone Stadium is also near completion.

“I haven’t even thought about not being the athletic director because that’s part of my responsibility,” McDonald said. “I’ll do anything (Bruno) asks me to do, and until I’m told I’m not the athletic director, that’s how I’ll attack it.”

Follow Adam on Twitter @adam_hunsucker
00 2019-03-14
Natchitoches

NSU to hold phlebotomy class in Alexandria


Northwestern State University’s Office of Electronic and Continuing Education will offer a Phlebotomy Technician course in Alexandria starting Monday, March 25.

The classroom portion of the class will be held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Room 164 of the NSU Cenla campus at 1410 Neal Kirby Boulevard through April 29. The clinical portion will be held on April 30 – May 10. Hours for this portion will vary.

This course is broken down into five weeks of classroom and two weeks of clinical training. The class is designed to teach entry-level phlebotomy skills to students interested in pursuing a career in phlebotomy. Students are required to complete 100 clinical hours and 100 venipunctures before being allowed to take the board exam. Upon satisfactory completion of this course, students will be eligible to take the National Board Certification Exam on site through the American Certification Agency for Healthcare Professionals. This course also includes Basic Life Support Certification through the American Heart Association.

Requirements to take the class include proof of a high school diploma, GED or official transcript, payment of National Board Certification and material fee paid to the instructor on the first night of class, a set of solid scrubs of any color for clinical days and the required textbook: Phlebotomy Essentials, 6th edition (Wolters Kluwer).

The fee for the class is $950, half of which must be paid with registration. The remainder must be paid prior to the start of class along with $150 paid directly to the instructor for National Board Certification and material fee.

For more information on NSU non-credit programs, go to nsula.edu/ece/non-credit-programs/ or call (800) 376-2422 or (318) 357-6355. To register for classes, go to checkout.nsula.edu.

To learn more about NSU’s online non-credit courses visit gatlineducation.com/nsula or ed2go.com/nsu/.


00 2019-03-14
Regional/National

Lanny Keller: A tale of two economic worlds, North Carolina and Louisiana


Years ago, Baton Rouge businessman Jim Bernhard told a story of how a classmate of his ended up as president of the Senate in North Carolina. Bernhard, a supporter of LSU and higher education, was frustrated by Louisiana’s unwillingness to pay the bills for competitive colleges and asked his old friend how it was done in North Carolina.

“First, we fund the colleges,” was the reply. “Then we do everything else.”

That’s called priorities. It works. We don’t get it.

The Bernhard story came to mind as Barry Erwin, president of the Council for a Better Louisiana, launched yet another initiative to get Louisiana off the bottom of the rankings of the states.

“What is our vision?” Erwin said. “Do we even have one?”

As Erwin noted the advantages we have as a state, like the energy industry and the Mississippi River, he perhaps unwittingly echoed former Gov. Bobby Jindal, who was continually peeved by casual references to Louisiana as a poor state.

Jindal had a point: We are in many ways a rich state, just with a lot of poor people in it.

That means initiatives like expansion of Medicaid to working families made sense, but Jindal — pursuing a run for president — declined to embrace it. He also pushed a crude version of supply-side economics, slashing taxes without regard for the need for funding of institutions like colleges.

Erwin noted Louisiana’s poor ratings, such as the second-highest rate of poverty, and 49th as the best state for jobs. His group, combining with the Public Affairs Research Council and the Committee of 100 for Economic Development, plans to publish in April a four-part agenda for state progress.

They hope that the candidates for governor and Legislature in the fall elections will support a specific set of changes to push Louisiana off the bottom of the good lists and the top of the bad lists, as former Gov. Buddy Roemer used to say.

Tellingly, in light of the Bernhard story, Erwin noted that turning around the state means becoming competitive not so much with rich Northern states but our friends like Kentucky, ranked 41st or so on many of the same lists where we’re farther down.

But Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia all rank significantly better than Louisiana or Kentucky. It is a longstanding divergence of economic fortunes in the Deep South, between the coastal states of the Atlantic seaboard (and Tennessee) and the poorer Delta South, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas (and Alabama).

Our Views: Jeopardizing funding for colleges shortchanges both students' and state's futures
North Carolina is one of the places that the Baton Rouge Area Chamber chose for a delegation to visit, as Raleigh-Durham and the Research Triangle area is a booming region, a leading place in the South as a magnet for intellectual talent.

Their problems there are mostly from growth, like housing and public transportation, but though every state is different, they have significantly higher taxes overall — meaning that they are putting money into higher-quality public services.

Which leads us back to universities, public and private. The immense economic and social impact of the University of North Carolina makes Chapel Hill a synonym for education as well as basketball. Same goes for the private Duke and the public North Carolina State universities.

Funding such research institutions is not easy, even with priorities in order. But the payoff from those institutions is surely one part of the difference between Louisiana’s ratings and those of North Carolina.

In a knowledge economy, how are the smarts going to be paid for? That’s the vision question.

Email Lanny Keller at lkeller@theadvocate.com.
00 2019-03-14
Ruston

LOUISIANA TECH TO CELEBRATE PI DAY THURSDAY


Louisiana Tech’s Mathematics program and student chapter of the Society of Women Engineers are sponsoring Pi Day activities at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday. Festivities will include competitions, a pizza lunch and prizes!

Pi Day events are open to the public and for all ages. Join us in the Bogard Hall entryway for a pie baking competition, a daylong Buffon’s needle experiment and Gregory-Leibniz series to calculate Pi, and to watch the winner of the Pie Your Professor competition get rewarded with a pie to the face. Follow latechpiday on Instagram for clues to the campus-wide scavenger hunt.
00 2019-03-13
Lafayette

Saved from the boiling pot! Lt. Gov. Nungesser “pardons” crawfish


LAFAYETTE – Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser came to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on Tuesday for the third annual ‘Pardoning of the Crawfish’ event.

The event is a partnership between the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, Louisiana Seafood and the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.

Each year, one lucky crustacean is saved from the boiling pot and released into a state park.

This year’s crawfish was pulled out of the Atchafalaya Basin and named in honor of former then-USL President Clyde Rougeau.

After the ceremony, “Clyde” was brought to Palmetto State Park outside of Abbeville and released.

Nungesser says the annual event is a way for the state to show the world all that Louisiana has to offer. “We do it for a lot of fun, but we have to get creative to market Louisiana anyway we can,” Nungesser said.
00 2019-03-13
Lafayette

Annual Women’s leadership Conference at UL


Hollis Conway joined News15 Today On Tuesday to talk about the upcoming Women’s Leadership Conference. The 12th annual event brings together students, faculty, staff and community members to commemorate the theme of National Women’s History Month. The goal of the conference is to provide an opportunity for personal and professional leadership development that is centered on the needs of women from various cultural backgrounds.

It’s happening on March 21, 2019, at the UL Lafayette Student Union. It will be a full day of educational breakout sessions, inspirational awards presentations, and empowering keynote speakers.
00 2019-03-13
Monroe

Athletic training industry on the rise


MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Athletic trainers across the country are getting some recognition this month. March is National Athletic Training Month, honoring those who keep student-athletes healthy.


Most people think athletic trainers are just the people who run out on the field when a player gets hurt and tape ankles, but the role of an athletic trainer is much bigger than that.

ULM’s head athletic trainer Jason Dunavant says he spends 12 hours a day on campus. He helps student-athletes with illness, injuries, and even mental support.

Dunavant says athletic trainers are always on their toes because they're the first people to respond to injuries.

"We need to remind people that we're more than just the people who run out on the field all the time. We have other aspects that we do,” he says. “Even though you see one athletic trainer on the field, there are probably two to three somewhere else around the venue that are acting as the emergency medical standby."

ULM has four staff members and six graduate students working as athletic trainers right now. The ULM training staff has also expanded recently, providing healthcare to the cheer, dance, and water skiing teams.

Dunavant says in the past few years, new research has been released about concussions, heart health, and the mental health of student-athletes.

With so much changing in recent years, there’s an increased need for healthcare professionals. That’s why Dunavant says he sees a bright future for athletic training and students who want to enter the field.

"The field as an allied healthcare profession is growing exponentially. We've raised our minimum standards from a bachelor's to a master’s degree. The popularity of sport and the popularity of medicine just provides an outlet for athletic training and the profession to grow," he explains.

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00 2019-03-13
Monroe

Domestic incident lands ULM football player in jail



00 2019-03-13
Natchitoches

NSU's Ishmael Lane named Southland Defensive Player of Year


NATCHITOCHES – Ishmael Lane’s preseason commitment to a relentless work ethic paid off handsomely Monday when Northwestern State’s senior standout was named Defensive Player of the Year in the Southland Conference and a repeat first-team All-Southland selection.

“What great honors for a great young man. He’s really developed into an outstanding player. He’s always been an outstanding human being,” said NSU head coach Mike McConathy. “He had a great year. He had a stretch of double-doubles that has been as impressive a run as we’ve had in my 20 years.”

Lane, a 6-8 senior forward/center from Port Allen, averaged a double-double in Southland contests, 15 points per game and a conference-leading 11.3 rebounds per game. He posted seven double-doubles in a row from Jan. 19-Feb. 9, a string that topped NCAA Division I at that time, and had 11 overall in 2018-19, 26 in his career.

He finished tied atop the league in blocked shots (69), including a conference-best eight stops against New Orleans on Feb. 6 when he nearly had the fifth triple-double in school history, posting 19 points and 15 rebounds, including a 16-foot jumper at the buzzer to force overtime.

Northwestern State's Ishmael Lane was named the Southland Defensive Player of the Year.
Northwestern State's Ishmael Lane was named the Southland Defensive Player of the Year. (Photo: Gary Hardamon/NSU)

It was one in a series of clutch plays he made in his senior season. His tip-in at the buzzer on Jan. 12 lifted NSU to a 61-59 road win over arch-rival Stephen F. Austin. He drained a clinching 3-pointer with nine seconds left in an early-season overtime victory over Alabama A&M and sank two free throws with 6.4 seconds left to lock up an 80-75 victory Feb. 2 at Central Arkansas.

Lane finished his Demon career Saturday matching his career single-game rebounding high, snatching 19 to go with 18 points and three blocks in a 70-63 loss to UCA.

The 19 rebounds mirrored his total in a January meeting against regular-season champion Sam Houston State (scoring 19 as well). Those two performances were the best rebounding totals by a Southland player this season. They were tops by a Demon in 25 seasons.

The All-Southland team and individual honors were announced Monday afternoon by the league office in Frisco, Texas. Senior guard Cameron Delaney of regular-season champion Sam Houston State was the Player of the Year, with Abilene Christian’s Joe Golding winning Coach of the Year honors.

Sam Houston post player Kai Mitchell was voted Newcomer of the Year and Gerrale Gates of New Orleans won Freshman of the Year accolades.

Joining Lane on the All-Southland first team squad were Delaney, Southeastern Louisiana senior guard Marlain Veal, SLU senior center Moses Greenwood, and Lamar senior guard Nick Garth. Votes came from the 13-team league’s head coaches and basketball sports information contacts.

Lane was a preseason first-team All-Southland pick after earning top five status last year on the 15-man all-conference squad. He was the focal point of opposing defenses all season, frequently drawing double teams and dealing with sagging zone defenses.

Committing to constant effort helped him dominate in Southland play. His rebounding and blocked shots (2.8) averages more than doubled his career rates entering his senior year.

“He didn’t take plays off, and that’s why his rebounding numbers went through the roof. He did a phenomenal job of raising the level of his game with that approach,” said McConathy. “It’s easy to say, but it takes tremendous commitment to do that practice after practice, game after game.”

Adding in NSU’s 13 non-conference contests, Lane’s overall season averages were 13.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks. He sank 50 percent of his shots, including 17 of 65 3-pointers, and made 61 percent at the free throw line. Lane averaged 1.4 assists and nearly one steal.

After starting 114 of his 117 games for the Demons in four seasons, Lane finished ranked in NSU’s top 10 of three career statistics. His 1,467 points (12.5 career average) stand ninth all-time in Demon history, while his 842 rebounds are eighth and his 169 blocked shots are third.

Lane led NSU in rebounding, blocks and shooting percentage in each of his four seasons. He finished with a career 52.6 percent shooting rate, including 36 3-pointers for a career 32 percent average. He was a 62.5 percent shooter on the free throw line as a Demon.
00 2019-03-13
New Orleans

What do you want to know about crawfish? We’ll ask the expert


As we approach peak crawfish season, many Louisianians will find themselves squeezed around tables twisting off mudbug tails. But amidst building mounds of discarded crawfish shells, you might also wonder what there is to know about the freshwater crustaceans. How many species are there? How can you tell if a crawfish is male or female? What is their lifespan?

Next week, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune will visit assistant professor Christopher Bonvillain at the astacology lab at Nicholls State University to answer your questions. (Astacology is the study of crawfish.)



What do you want to know about the biology or ecology of Louisiana crawfish? Submit your questions in the comments on this post and within the comments on the Where NOLA Eats Facebook group and we’ll ask Bonvillain. He’ll answer the questions live on Facebook and we’ll post the answers on NOLA.com.
00 2019-03-13
New Orleans

St. Tammany College Notes for March 13


UL HONORS: Three St. Tammany Parish students at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette were recently initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the national's oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society. The students include Katherine Azuara and Alexander Nguyen, of Covington, and Ada Tusa, of Mandeville.

BUSINESS COMPETITION: Molly Fix, a senior marketing major from Mandeville, recently placed second in the Jack W. Salisbury Scholarship Awards for a $500 scholarship. The awards, for business-to-business sales scenarios, were held during the E.J. Ourso College of Business Professional Sales Institute's fourth annual Internal Sales Competition and Career Fair.

MEDICAL CODING: Northshore Technical Community College in Lacombe is registering for medical coding and CPC certification prep classes at 5 p.m. Tuesdays, April 2 through June 18, at 65556 Centerpoint Blvd. The class prepares students for medical coding by mastering the steps for using ICD-10-CM and CPT to code medical diagnoses and procedures and more. CPC Practice exams will be delivered in the course to gauge readiness to sit for CPC certification exam. For more information, email bobbiefontenot@northshorecollege.edu or call (985) 545-1667.

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE: Northshore Technical Community College in Lacombe is offering a full-tuition scholarship to a 2019 graduating high school senior or graduating WorkReady U — Adult Education student from St. Tammany, Washington, St. Helena, Tangipahoa and Livingston parishes enrolling full-time in the maritime technology program during the 2019-20 academic year. The scholarship is for two consecutive semesters, for a maximum total scholarship award of $5,000 (fall and spring semesters only). For information and application, see northshorecollege.edu/financial-aid/scholarships.
00 2019-03-13
Regional/National

Massive Admissions Scandal


What many are calling the worst admissions scandal in higher education emerged Tuesday, with federal authorities announcing 50 indictments in a scheme that allegedly involved faux athletes, coaches who could be bribed, cheating on the SAT and ACT, million-dollar bribes and "guarantees" that certain applicants would be admitted to highly competitive colleges.

By the end of Tuesday, several coaches had lost their jobs (oddly, not for helping athletes, but for helping nonathletes) and some politicians were calling for investigations of college admissions. Meanwhile a broader debate has been renewed about the many advantages that wealthy families have -- advantages that are legal. And advocates for black and Latino students were quick to note that just as a lawsuit against Harvard University could endanger many colleges' affirmative action plans, fresh evidence has arrived that college admissions is far from a meritocracy. The investigation was dubbed "Operation Varsity Blues" by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, both actresses, were among the wealthy parents indicted. Others may not be as well-known nationally but are leaders in business, law and other fields.

The indictments include charges of conspiracies related to racketeering, wire fraud and more. In some cases, coaches were bribed to place on their lists of recruited athletes the names of nonathletes whose parents allegedly paid bribes. (While competitive colleges don't much like to talk about it, those on such lists have a far better chance than other applicants do of being admitted.) In other cases, authorities say that parents arranged for their students to cheat on the SAT or ACT, in part with the help of bribed proctors.

The institutions involved include Georgetown, Stanford, Wake Forest and Yale Universities, the University of Southern California, and the University of Texas at Austin.

At a briefing on the indictments Tuesday, Andrew Lelling, a U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, said that some parents paid up to $6.5 million "to guarantee admission" for their children to elite colleges. He said a total of 33 parents have been charged.

“There will not be a separate admissions system for the wealthy. And there will not be a separate criminal justice system, either," Lelling said.

In one document released today, one of the cooperating witnesses described the scheme -- and how it contrasted with trying to get one's child into an elite college through a donation:

The documents released by the U.S. attorney stunned many with their detail, obtained through wiretaps. Parents discussed how they would create false athletic profiles for their children.



In another excerpt from the documents released Tuesday, parents are quoted on their cover stories in case they get caught.

The alleged ringleader in the case (who is pleading guilty to numerous charges) is William (Rick) Singer, who coordinated the various bribes -- to coaches, proctors and others. He ran a private counseling company called the Edge College & Career Network (also known as "the Key") and a related foundation that authorities said was used to hide money used for bribes.

The general pattern in many of the charges appears to be helping nonathletes gain the benefits of being admitted as athletes.

For example, one of those indicted today is John Vandemoer (at left), who is Stanford's sailing coach, and was Tuesday morning listed in that position on the team's website (although not by the end of the day). He is charged as participating in a racketeering conspiracy with a business that provides help to those seeking college admission. The conspiracy, according to the indictment, was designed to enrich those involved, including Vandemoer.

According to the indictment, the various parties worked at "designating applicants as purported recruits for competitive college athletic teams, including the Stanford sailing team, without regard for the applicants' athletic abilities, in exchange for bribes" and engaged in "concealing the nature and source of the bribe payments."

In one case discussed in the indictment, $110,000 was paid to Stanford sailing accounts in return for a false designation that someone was outstanding at sailing.

The allegations also extend to cheating on the SAT and the ACT. According to the indictments, those involved in the conspiracy encouraged students they were being paid to help to file papers with ACT or the College Board saying that they had learning disabilities. When they received permission to take the test under special circumstances (typically with extra time), these applicants were told to use one of two testing centers that one of the defendants said he could "control." Those taking the tests were then told to come up with fake reasons, such as a family wedding, for needing to take the exam in one of these centers, which were far from their homes. Bribes were then allegedly given to have others take the tests.

In other cases, the federal documents say, a third party served as "a purported proctor for the exams while providing students with the correct answers, or to review and correct the students’ answers after they completed the exams."

A sad detail in the materials released today: "In many instances, the students taking the exams were unaware that their parents had arranged for this cheating."

Felicity Huffman (at right), the actress, is among those charged with such cheating on behalf of her oldest daughter. The indictment charges that Huffman considered doing the same for a younger daughter but opted out.

The other actress indicted today -- Lori Loughlin -- is charged (together with her husband) with paying $500,000 to have her two daughters designated as recruits to the University of Southern California crew team, even though the indictment says neither daughter rowed.

The indictment details how the couple was advised that their older daughter was on the "lower end" of USC's admissions standards, and that they then agreed to the bribery scheme. An email from Mossimo Giannulli, Loughlin's husband, to one of those involved in the alleged bribery includes the line "I’d like to maybe sit with you after your session with the girls as I have some concerns and want to fully understand the game plan and make sure we have a road map for success as it relates to [our daughter] and getting her into a school other than ASU!"

At least one of the couple's daughters, a YouTube personality named Olivia Jade Giannulli, may not have wanted to go to USC for the intellectual experience. As People reported last year, she faced widespread criticism for a video in which she described this approach to her first year in college: “I don’t know how much of school I’m gonna attend but I’m gonna go in and talk to my deans and everyone and hope that I can try and balance it all. But I do want the experience of, like, game days, partying … I don’t really care about school, as you guys all know.”

Other Scandals

As shocking as the indictments are, the concept described was already the subject of a federal indictment in July.

Philip Esformes is a Florida business executive facing numerous federal charges of Medicare fraud related to the nursing homes and assisted-living centers he has owned. In July, he was charged with bribing a basketball coach at the University of Pennsylvania to help get Esformes's son admitted to Penn. The indictment said that Esformes paid $74,000 in cash. While the son did play basketball in high school and was admitted to Penn, he never played on the team there. The coach is Jerome Allen, who led the Penn program for six years and is now an assistant coach of the Boston Celtics. A Penn spokesman said Tuesday that a university investigation into the allegations is ongoing.

And there have been other scandals pointing to the ability of the wealthy or powerful to gain admission over others.

A 2009 series in the Chicago Tribune called "Clout Goes to College" exposed how the University of Illinois essentially has a separate tier for consideration of the politically connected, letting in some people with questionable academic credentials.

A 2015 survey by Kaplan Test Prep of admissions officers found that 25 percent of them “felt pressured to accept an applicant who didn’t meet your school’s admissions requirements because of who that applicant was connected to.”

Coaches Are Out of Jobs. What About the Students?

By Tuesday afternoon, universities involved had issued statements saying they didn't know what was going on, were working closely with those investigating and were launching their own investigations, and coaches named were no longer on the job.

Stanford said that its sailing coach had been "terminated." Yale said "the Department of Justice believes that Yale’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions has been the victim of a crime perpetrated by its women’s soccer coach, who is no longer at the university." The University of Southern California said that two of its employees "have been terminated" and that "USC is in the process of identifying any funds received by the university in connection with this alleged scheme." The University of Texas at Austin said that its men's tennis coach was placed on leave. Wake Forest announced its volleyball coach had been placed on leave.

The university statements did not focus on any possible actions against students admitted through the frauds alleged in the indictments. While the information provided by authorities said that some students may not have known, it may seem hard to believe some of the activities were not apparent to some of the beneficiaries of the scheme. Some students may not have enrolled at the colleges their parents allegedly tried to scheme against. Stanford's statement said that "neither student [mentioned in the indictments] came to Stanford; one student was initially denied admission and intended to reapply but never did, and the second never completed an application."

David Hawkins, executive director for educational content and policy at the National Association for College Admission Counseling, said via email, "Ultimately, each institution will have to follow their own protocols. In cases where students were unaware of or not involved in the activities in question, it’s likely that the institutions’ administrations will want to reach out to the student to brief them on their status at the university, and offer supports or other accommodations that are necessary to ensure that they are able to focus on their studies. Given that this is such a public and high-profile scandal, the institutions may also engage in campuswide communication to ensure that the student body understands the institution’s response to the incident."

Testing Companies

In many of the cases discussed in the indictments, parents working with Singer appear to have engaged in all kinds of violations of the rules of standardized tests: lying to get certified as someone with learning disabilities, lying to justify taking tests at certain testing centers, and bribing proctors. Both the College Board and ACT said that the indictments showed that this type of alleged wrongdoing will be found out and punished. Both said that they were cooperating with the federal investigation.

A statement from the College Board said, "Today’s arrests resulting from an investigation conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts send a clear message that those who facilitate cheating on the SAT -- regardless of their income or status -- will be held accountable. The College Board has a comprehensive, robust approach to combat cheating, and we work closely with law enforcement as part of those efforts. We will always take all necessary steps to ensure a level playing field for the overwhelming majority of test takers who are honest and play by the rules."

A statement from ACT said, "ACT contracts with thousands of people to locally administer the ACT around the country. These individuals certify to follow ACT's policies and procedures to administer the ACT test. In these cases, the two charged individuals allegedly did not follow ACT's rules. ACT is committed to ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity to demonstrate what they’ve learned in school through their hard work. No student should have an unfair advantage over any other. The integrity of the ACT scores that we send to colleges and scholarship agencies is of critical importance to students and their parents. ACT works hard to ensure that the ACT scores we report to colleges are fairly earned."

What Next for Admissions?

Many admissions leaders said that they were both stunned by the allegations and concerned that they represented an extreme of trends they have been watching with concern.

Some counselors said that they too have been approached about schemes such as those outlined in the indictment.

"As a company, we have been approached by families who would like to explore 'alternative routes' to admissions and who have explicitly offered similar monetary amounts to the families involved in this current scandal," said a statement from InGenius Prep. "While this doesn’t happen often, the position we always take is that this is not how we conduct business or how we educate our students and families. It’s incredibly concerning that others in our industry would accept these offers."

"This is an unfortunate example of the lengths to which people will go to circumvent and manipulate the college admission process, particularly to gain admission to highly selective colleges,” said a statement from Stefanie Niles, NACAC president and vice president for enrollment and communications at Ohio Wesleyan University. She said that the reported scheme was an “extreme response to the commodification of the college admission process -- one that is focused on college acceptance as an end unto itself.”

Many admissions officers said that they worried about the impact of the scandal on the reputation of higher education and on the reputations of admitted applicants who have learning disabilities or who are (real) recruited athletes.

Michael Reilly, executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, sent a message to members Tuesday afternoon.

"This behavior compromises the integrity of college admissions and reinforces stereotypes that people of privilege can circumvent the rules," Reilly said. "It undermines public confidence in our institutions. In light of this development, we encourage our member institutions to review all of their admissions processes, including those related to student athletes, to ensure that they are transparent, fair and abide by the long-standing ethical expectations of our profession."

Jim Jump, the academic dean and director of college counseling at St. Christopher's School in Richmond, Va., and Inside Higher Ed's "Ethical College Admissions" columnist, said via email, "What I find most sad is that some of the kids involved were not aware of the test fraud or the recruiting fraud. The college process tests a parent's basic beliefs about college, about parenting and about your child, and it's clear that these folks don't trust any of them. I'm even more troubled by the hidden assumptions -- that going to a certain kind of college is so important that anything goes. The emphasis on application numbers and admit rates is partly responsible for public panic over admission, which plays out in this mess."

Legal and Unfair?

The indictments focused on violations of the law. But to many observers, the controversy was an opportune time to note all the advantages wealthy applicants have that don't violate any laws. They attend, on average, better high schools. Their parents hire private counselors and testing tutors and essay tutors and more. Wealthy applicants can apply early and not worry about financial aid packages. Wealthy applicants can apply to institutions that are not need blind and know that they have a better shot of admission than a student who needs aid. Those who have legacy status have additional advantages.

As Tuesday's news spread, many people started to talk about those issues. The headline in New York magazine: "All College Admissions Are a Pay-to-Play Scandal." An essay in Vox (by an alumna of Inside Higher Ed) featured the headline "The Real College Admissions Scandal Is What’s Legal."

The issue came up (with humor) on "The Daily Show":






Groups that back affirmative action and don't want the courts to limit the ability of colleges to consider race in admissions noted the irony that they face legal scrutiny, while wealthy applicants (generally white) have been rigging the system.

A statement released by Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said, "These disturbing allegations about the extent to which parents, coaches and administrators may have used their wealth, power and privilege to game the college admissions process is a reminder of how essential it is for us to ensure equity and opportunity in higher education. We demand greater accountability and transparency in the admissions process on behalf of the thousands of exceptional applicants of color who seek admission to our colleges and universities each year and yet have their qualifications called into question as the result of race-conscious admissions. This is a moment which calls for our institutions of higher learning to review their admissions processes, expose fraudulent practices and commit to addressing the various ways in which privilege and bias have unfairly infected admissions determinations for far too long."

Akil Bello is co-founder of Bell Curves, which provides test prep and counseling to low-income students who can't afford other services. In an interview, he said he worried about the focus on celebrities being indicted, rather than on systemic issues.

"We should ask ourselves not about Felicity Huffman, but rather what do these individuals suggest about the abuses ongoing in the educational system and how many people are committing the same crimes either better or on smaller scale and getting away with it?" Bello said via email.

Added Bello, "These individuals were able to use their vast discretionary capital to exploit the admissions system on every level. It wasn't enough to have greater knowledge of the system, more access to support, consistent access to expertise and multiple accommodations -- they felt they needed to criminally guarantee advantage. This creates a trickle-down effect in which your level of wealth and social capital will determine where you are admitted to college. This goes a long way towards exposing the lie that is meritocracy in American higher education. These families who started on third base decided to steal home and pay off the refs to ensure that they beat the tag. The long and short of this story might be that again in American society we have an example of how the wealthy use their income to hoard opportunity and power while concurrently espousing 'American values' of fairness, democracy and merit."
00 2019-03-12
Alexandria

Central Louisiana universities making military students a priority


Louisiana will soon become the second state in the U.S. to have veteran centers on every college campus. Governor John Bel Edwards announced the initiative in February alongside the state department of veterans affairs and higher education leaders.


Image Source: KALB
Here in Central Louisiana there are a few colleges already making veterans and even active duty military feel right at home.

Over in Leesville, you can find an NSU satellite campus next to Fort Polk.

"It's ten minutes to get here," said Sgt. Timothy Grier. "But, most of it I just study at home and do it online."

The satellite location just outside Fort Polk's gate makes education convenient for active duty soldiers.

"NSU is great when it comes to making it easy for us active duty soldiers," said Sgt. Regina Williams. "They know how hard we work. I work through the weekend and all of that."

NSU has been recognized as a military friendly school for the last ten years. PFC Ana Gomez said she's getting the college experience.

"Being a young soldier, you are kind of missing your friends going to college," PFC Gomez said. " But, when you actually come and get to do those face to face classes, I feel very fortunate to be able to come and do that with my job."

NSU's VP of Technology, Innovation, and Economic Development Dr. Darlene Williams said they provide most of the main campus services at their satellites, including one outside Barksdale Air Force Base.

"We have dedicated staff who have been professionally prepared to work directly with the military, and a have a real understanding and appreciation for the types of services that our military need," Dr. Williams said.

Down in Alexandria, LSUA provides similar services on campus to 100 veterans. LSUA Vice Provost Eamon Halbin said they provide a liaison and counseling services.

"Not all of them, but some suffer from PTSD, they have those symptoms," Halbin said. "The counseling staff are able to put on accommodations for them to help them be successful on our campus."

They also have a veterans-only lounge.

"Socialize, get together with each other, some of them study in here," Halbin said. "Some of them come in and take a nap between classes."

Both schools said they are excited to work with the governor to create dedicated veterans centers on campus.

"It is a very small token of our appreciation for what they actually sacrifice every day for us and for our country," Dr. Williams said.

The support makes PFC Gomez proud to be a demon.

"Definitely makes you feel a part of campus even though we do have a 24-hour job," Gomez said.

The governor hopes to have all veterans centers in place by the fall.

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00 2019-03-12
Baton Rouge

A University Goes It (Mostly) Alone Online


Like many institutions with online ambitions, Southern Methodist University has leaned on the expertise of outside companies to launch and manage its virtual academic programs. SMU's master's in data science is offered through 2U, and its forthcoming online master's in business administration is being managed by Noodle Partners.

If Larenda Mielke has her way, though, those will be the last online programs SMU ever offers through a corporate online program management (OPM) company -- at least one that handles most if not all of the functions (program development, instructional design, marketing for students, etc.) of launching and operating an online program.

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It's not that she isn't impressed by the companies' quality or expertise. SMU is proud of and committed to the programs it has created with 2U and Noodle, says Mielke, associate provost for continuing education at SMU, and values the companies' employees who work with SMU. "I would hire some of them if I could match their salaries."

But as the person hired 18 months ago to help SMU develop a more strategic presence in online education, Mielke has concluded that building an in-house unit to create and operate most aspects of online programs aligns better with the university's mission and interests than does turning over some strategic control -- and not insignificant financial sums -- to for-profit companies with overlapping but differing goals and motives.

OPMs and their owners have every right to earn profits, Mielke says, but universities like SMU would do better to pour revenues back into their own programs and purposes than to enrich shareholders and executives.

"I look at that and I think, that money comes from tuition," Mielke said.

Mielke is not some capitalism hater or naïf. She's been a business school administrator at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Virginia, and she and her husband operate three companies.

But as the university creates more programs designed to "bring the SMU culture" of smaller classes and deep interaction with professors "to the online world" -- its first self-built program, in cybersecurity, will begin in January 2020 -- Mielke says she wants to do it in a way that won't make students say, "This is what my tuition money is paying for?"

Officials at 2U said they preferred not to comment directly on Mielke's assertions or its relationship with the university, except to say it is "proud of our work with SMU."

But in a statement, Chip Paucek, 2U's chief executive officer, said that many of its campus partners have strong in-house capabilities but choose to work with the company nonetheless.

And 2U's "shared success" model, Paucek said, benefits universities in two ways: directly in terms of their share of the tuition revenue earned, and indirectly from the "ongoing investments 2U makes in delivering industry-leading technology and marketing, among many other services." 2U, like most of the online program managers, does not make public its financial arrangements with its partners.

SMU's Online Programs, Current and Future

Southern Methodist, a nearly 12,000-student private university in Dallas, has moved cautiously into online education. Like many such institutions, it has used external providers to get its initial online degree programs off the ground.

It launched its online master's program in data science, a program that now enrolls 350 students, with 2U in early 2015. And the university's Cox School of Business struck an agreement late last year to begin an online master's in business administration with Noodle Partners, an online program management provider started by the founder of 2U, John Katzman.

The university hired Mielke in July 2017 to ramp up its online presence, with a focus on professional and continuing education.

As she assessed the landscape at SMU and elsewhere, Mielke recognized that university officials have had a steep learning curve in online learning and have learned much from the partnership with 2U. But she also saw that there were limits on how much information providers like 2U were willing to share about how the programs function, such as what it cost them to acquire a student.

Mielke had to make the case to Steven Currall, SMU's provost and vice president for academic affairs, and eventually to the university's Board of Trustees that bringing online program development and management largely in-house was a sound financial and strategic decision.

To do that, she says, she had to construct financial models to show that the university could build online programs without the up-front investment that online program providers typically make for their university partners; it is to recoup that investment (which normally takes three to five years for a successful program) that the OPMs often require long-term contracts and revenue-sharing agreements that pay them as much of two-thirds of tuition income for a decade or more. (Online program management companies are increasingly experimenting with varying models of financing academic programs, amid growing pushback against the long-term revenue-sharing agreements.)

Mielke declined to share figures on the economics of the plan. But she ultimately persuaded university leaders, she says, that making its own investment in an in-house unit is worth it if SMU can ensure that the tuition money that flows once the programs gain momentum does not leave the institution. "Under this scenario, the amount of money that would go as profit for the external company would instead be investing in research and all the other areas that the university needs," Mielke says.

The Job Ahead

The cybersecurity program, for which SMU began accepting applications last month, is the first of what Mielke expects to be a degree program per year that the university spills out over a decade.

Mielke is focused right now on building out what she calls "our optimal product mix: the most useful and viable programs we could bring out in this way, online and for nontraditional students, to create a good cash flow."

Among the other challenges is deciding how to mix the university's internal expertise with whatever outside partners SMU might hire to supplement what it can do well itself.

"The university does not have an internal advantage in market research," for example, she notes. She and the deans and faculties of SMU's colleges are developing lists of possible programs "we think are the best ones to start with," and "each one of those we put through external market research" to help make the final decisions on which to launch.

SMU "will certainly outsource certain services when it makes sense" to do so, Mielke said.

Forgoing the use of online program managers will be difficult in certain ways, she acknowledges. "I feel like David to their Goliath," Mielke said of 2U and Noodle, noting the hundreds of marketers employed by the companies.

"That's another reason why universities choose to work with a place like 2U -- they don’t have the confidence that they can figure it out, and even if they [did], it's really hard to go up against big competitors," Mielke said.

Getting a "huge, siloed organization like a university" to operate "in alignment" and with the kind of agility required to compete in a fast-changing landscape is "daunting" she says.

The biggest risk for SMU, she says, is "internal strategy execution, because lots of parts of the university need to work together to make this succeed."

But the opportunity -- to create a new way of launching online programs that capitalizes on the university's strengths and reinvests money that might otherwise go to outside companies -- has a huge potential upside.

"What we're trying to do that [these companies] can't is building programs from the university's perspective," she says, "so I don't undermine what universities do best."
00 2019-03-12
Lafayette

UL Opera Theatre schedules spring performances


The UL Lafayette Opera Theatre has planned their Spring performances.

The Theatre will present a double-bill of American comic operas. Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief and Douglas Moore’s Gallantry will be the two one-act operas presented. The Old Maid and the Thief was originally conceived as a radio opera and Gallantry is a soap opera complete with written in commercials. The productions feature an all UL Lafayette student cast and accompanied by piano. The Theatre is directed by Shawn Roy.

The four performances will take place in Burke-Hawthorne Theatre on the UL Lafayette campus.

Performance dates are March 21, 22 and 23 at 7:30PM and March 24 at 3:00PM.

Tickets are $15 for the general public, with a special discounted price of $10 for senior citizens and UL Lafayette alumni. UL Lafayette students, faculty and staff and anyone under 18 years of age gets in for free.

Tickets may be purchased at the door, or online at ulopera2019.brownpapertickets.com. For more information, please contact the UL Lafayette School of Music at 337-482-6012.
00 2019-03-12
Lafayette

Brown Bag Lunch Series Featuring Becca Begnaud


The Center for Louisiana Studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette continues the new Brown Bag Lunch presentation series on Friday, March 15, 2019, at 12:30pm in Dupré Library room 221. Admission is free and open to the public. Becca Begnaud, a UL Lafayette alumna, will share her research “Hold the Space: Creating Community with Healing Traditions.”

Becca Begnaud has been offering her gift as a healer to the community for 29 years as a traiteur and healing artist who incorporates music, visual arts, writing and storytelling. Her degree in anthropology and her travels in France and India have supported her journey. Becca hosts Tibetan Buddhist monks every year and sees people for private healing sessions. Her work as a healing artist began in 1989 following a cancer diagnosis. She studied Reiki and Healing Touch, and attended Camp Bluebird as a patient and has returned as a counselor since 1990. She studied Trauma First Aide after Hurricane Katrina and served the National Guard for ten years in the Lafayette area. She worked as a hospice volunteer and as a VISTA volunteer with The Extra Mile and served as the first director of Healthcare for Musicians (now the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation Healthcare Initiative). She regularly organizes Healing Arts Gatherings and hosts a podcast through AOC Community Media.

The Brown Bag Lunch Series is held monthly on a Friday beginning at 12:30pm on the UL campus in Dupré Library room 221 throughout the Spring Semester. Presentations highlight recent research in the diverse UL Lafayette archival collections and folklife projects around the state. This free event is open to the public.
00 2019-03-12
Lafayette

How I got here: UL economics professor, Acadiana business economist Gary Wagner


Gary Wagner is a professor of economics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is also the Acadiana Business Economist/Board of Regents Support Fund Endowed Chair in Economics. He previously worked for the Federal Reserve.

I grew up in northeast Ohio about halfway between Cleveland and Pittsburgh. It was a pretty normal Midwestern childhood in the sense that I played a lot of sports year-round with other kids in the neighborhood and cousins. I would say my parents were probably the biggest influence in my life. They were always very supportive of whatever my brother and I were doing at the time.

I was a first-generation college student so I don't think I had my eye on bigger things when I started my career as a professor because I really did not know what to expect. I taught at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Duquesne and University of North Carolina. Moving around to some other universities has taught me a few things: First, other opportunities are available for anyone who is willing to work hard and does a good job; second, every place does things a little bit differently so I've tried to borrow the good lessons from all of the great people I've been lucky enough to work with over the years.

The UL position was attractive for several reasons. First, I see it as a blend between a traditional academic position (teaching, research, service) and the public role that I am working to develop to help strengthen UL's presence in the community and state. Believe it or not, it is pretty rare for a university to have a position that mixes these roles together. Second, I am the inaugural holder of the Acadiana Business Economist Endowed Chair position so that gives me a great deal of flexibility to mold the position rather than being forced into a direction that was established by someone else.

The obvious weakness in Acadiana's economy is that we are still very dependent on the oil and gas industry. So while the industry offers very competitive jobs in terms of wages and benefits, the industry as a whole is very cyclical which means that Acadiana experiences more ups and downs than some other regions whose economies are based on less volatile industries. On the advantage side, I have been extremely impressed by the extent to which business and community leaders in Acadiana are willing to come together to find solutions to our region's challenges.

The tax structure in Louisiana is fairly unique relative to other states and, unfortunately, it can be an obstacle to growth. As an example, we have two layers of administration for collecting sales taxes — one at the state level and one at the local level — so it is much more costly for us to collect the same amount of revenue as our neighboring states. In addition, sales tax rates often vary quite a bit within the same parish so this likely influences where existing firms and potential firms decide to locate and try to grow.
00 2019-03-12
Lake Charles

Would you like to enjoy success?


In the past 20 years, nearly 5,300 entrepreneurs have taken advantage of services from the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University. As reported by our clients, the LSBDC has helped clients obtain nearly $75 million in funding, start over 365 businesses, add over 1,100 employees and retain over 400 workers in those 20 years.

Would you like to enjoy this success, too?

The LSBDC at McNeese is one of seven centers in Louisiana, part of a network of about 1,000 SBDCs in the United States. Each and every office has professional counselors that help small businesses get started and grow. Every day, the two business consultants at the LSBDC at McNeese work individually with entrepreneurs to develop business plans, calculate financial projections, research the market, understand the competition and get ready to go to the bank for a loan.

Counseling services from the LSBDC at McNeese are free of charge to the individual business owner. The center is funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Louisiana Economic Development and McNeese, with support from Sasol North America and the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. Entrepreneurs can meet with consultants regularly, from pre-venture (planning the start-up) and establishment of the company, through growth or expansion.

Some LSBDC clients started their businesses 15 or 20 years ago and still seek advice when they are making a big decision or handling a problem. History has shown that longtime LSBDC clients are more likely to be successful, add employees and increase sales. Bankers like to know that a potential business owner has met with the LSBDC because it means the business plan is more solid and the deal will probably be less risky.

Inexpensive workshops are also offered by the LSBDC at McNeese. On Thursday, March 14, Mark Judson from the Southwest Louisiana Law Center will speak about “Legal Pitfalls to Avoid as a Small Business Owner.” For just $10 per person, attendees can learn about legal issues that might affect their business. This training is sponsored by Sasol.

March 20 is National SBDC Day, when we will celebrate Small Business Development Centers across America. “Starting and Financing Your Business Idea” will be the topic of a workshop at 3 p.m. If you’re thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, this is the right seminar for you. We’ll cover what it really takes to start your own business, what a banker expects from a business borrower and many other aspects of running your own company.

Learn more by visiting www. lsbdc.org/msu. Click on “Training” to see details about upcoming workshops and to register. Call 337-475-5529 to schedule an appointment for one-on-one counseling or just to get more information. Let the consultants at the LSBDC at McNeese help you with the difficulties of running your small business. For 35 years, the LSBDC at McNeese has worked with entrepreneurs and business owners who are looking to start or grow their small business. Take advantage of this wonderful local resource.



Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and La. Department of Economic Development.



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 2019-03-12
Monroe

Country's largest wholesale insurance broker donates 50K to ULM


MONROE, La. - (3/11/19) The country’s largest wholesale insurance broker is investing in the future by giving back to a local university.

AmWINS Group, Inc. announced a $50,000 donation to ULM's Risk Management and Insurance program.

AmWINS is the largest wholesale insurance distributor in the country and wanted to invest in the future of their industry.

Tammy Culmone, the branch leader of Baton Rouge AmWIN, says that it was an easy choice for the company to make.

Culmone said, "It wasn't a matter of should we invest, it was a matter of why wouldn't we invest. The quality of students and the quality of talent that they produce is beneficial to the insurance industry as a whole and has been beneficial to our company."

AmWINS currently employs more than 30 ULM graduates and says that they look forward to hiring more ULM students in the future.
00 2019-03-12
Monroe

ULM's Smith named Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year


The Sun Belt Conference announced its 2018-19 men's basketball postseason honors Monday, headlined by Georgia Southern senior guard Tookie Brown named Player of the Year, Louisiana-Lafayette senior forward JaKeenan Gant named Defensive Player, Coastal Carolina freshman guard DeVante Jones named Freshman of the Year, Louisiana-Monroe senior guard Daishon Smith named Newcomer of the Year and Texas-Arlington head coach Chris Ogden named Coach of the Year.

These awards, along with the All-Sun Belt first, second and third teams, were voted on by the league’s 12 head coaches and a selected media panel.

Smith (5) joins former Warhawks Tylor Ongwae and Majok Deng as a first team All-Sun Belt selection during ULM coach Keith Richard's nine-year tenure.Buy Photo
Smith (5) joins former Warhawks Tylor Ongwae and Majok Deng as a first team All-Sun Belt selection during ULM coach Keith Richard's nine-year tenure. (Photo: Nicolas Galindo/The News-Star)

Smith burst on the scene for ULM to earn Newcomer of the Year and All-Sun Belt first-team honors. He is the first Warhawk in conference history to be selected Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year. Smith is just one of two Sun Belt players and one of just seven Division I players to average at least 22.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game this season. The conference's second-leading scorer at 22.0 per game is also averaging 4.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game.

Brown is the first Eagle to be named Sun Belt Player of the Year and the first player in conference history to earn All-Sun Belt first-team honors in four seasons. He is just the sixth player in conference history to earn four All-Sun Belt honors, joining Jacksonville's Otis Smith (1982-86), New Orleans' Bo McCalebb (2003-05, 2006-08), South Alabama's Augustine Rubit (2010-14), UL Lafayette's Shawn Long (2012-16) and Troy's Wesley Person (2014-18).

Brown is putting an impressive conclusion to his Georgia Southern career. He is the eighth player in Sun Belt history to eclipse 2,000 career points. In the conference annals entering the Sun Belt Championship, he ranks fourth all-time in points with 2,272, 10th all-time in assists with 521 and 19th all-time in steals with 196. This season, Brown is averaging 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game.

Gant earns Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year honors for the second time in as many seasons, adding his first All-Sun Belt first-team honor as well. He is the only NCAA Division I player this season averaging 20 points (20.4), 8.0 rebounds (8.6) and 2.70 blocks (2.70) per game. Gant has been among the nation’s best shot blockers for the bulk of the regular season. He enters the conference tournament ranked sixth nationally in blocks per game and tied for sixth in total blocks with 81. In the final week of the regular season, the Missouri transfer surpassed 1,000 career points in his Louisiana career.

Jones is putting together a stellar rookie season for Coastal Carolina. He is the first Chanticleer to receive Sun Belt Freshman of the Year recognition. Jones leads all Sun Belt freshmen in scoring at 13.5 points per game. He has posted four games scoring 20 or more points, highlighted by a career-high 30 at ULM on March 2. In conference play, his 14.4 points per game topped all freshmen and ranked 18th overall and his .828 free throw percentage ranked sixth overall.

Ogden earns Sun Belt Coach of the Year honors in his first season, guiding UTA to 12 conference wins and the No. 2 seed for the conference tournament after being voted to finish 11th in the league's preseason poll. The Mavericks faced one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the nation this season, going up against seven NCAA NET Rankings quadrant 1 opponents all on the road. Ogden's UTA squad closed the regular season on a four-game winning streak.

Joining Brown, Gant and Smith on the All-Sun Belt first team are a pair of junior guards in Georgia State's D'Marcus Simonds and Texas State's Nijal Pearson. Simonds earned first-team accolades for the second-straight year in a season where he has scored in double figures in 29 of 31 games and is averaging 18.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. A third-team pick a year ago, Pearson is averaging 17.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game.

Georgia Southern, ULM, South Alabama and Texas State each boast two All-Sun Belt selections.

The 2019 Sun Belt Conference Men's Basketball Championship, presented by First Bank and Trust, begins on Tuesday, March 12 and concludes with the title game on Selection Sunday, March 17.

2018-19 SUN BELT MEN’S BASKETBALL POSTSEASON HONORS

All-Sun Belt First Team

Tookie Brown, Georgia Southern (Sr., G, Madison, Ga.)
D’Marcus Simonds, Georgia State (Jr., G, Gainesville, Ga.)
JaKeenan Gant, UL Lafayette (Sr., F, Springfield, Ga.)
Daishon Smith, ULM (Sr., G, Jacksonville, Fla.)
Nijal Pearson, Texas State (Jr., G, Beaumont, Texas)

All-Sun Belt Second Team

Ronshad Shabazz, Appalachian State (Sr., G, Raleigh, N.C.)
Rayjon Tucker, Little Rock (Jr., G, Charlotte, N.C.)
Ty Cockfield II, Arkansas State (Sr., G, Gainesville, Ga.)
Zac Cuthbertson, Coastal Carolina (Sr., F, New Bern, N.C.)
Josh Ajayi, South Alabama (Jr., F, El Monte, Calif.)

All-Sun Belt Third Team

Quan Jackson, Georgia Southern (So., G, Tallahassee, Fla.)
Michael Ertel, ULM (So., G, Indianapolis, Ind.)
Trhae Mitchell, South Alabama (Jr., F, Austell, Ga.)
Brian Warren, UTA (Jr., G, Indianapolis, Ind.)
Tre'Larenz Nottingham, Texas State (Sr., G, Moreno Valley, Calif.)

Sun Belt Player of the Year

Tookie Brown, Georgia Southern (Sr., G, Madison, Ga.)

Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year

JaKeenan Gant, UL Lafayette (Sr., F, Springfield, Ga.)

Sun Belt Freshman of the Year

DeVante Jones, Coastal Carolina (Fr., G, New Orleans, La.)

Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year

Daishon Smith, ULM (Sr., G, Jacksonville, Fla.)

Sun Belt Coach of the Year

Chris Ogden, UTA
00 2019-03-12
Natchitoches

NSU alumni David and Sherry Morgan name recipients of Extra Mile, First Generation Scholarships


NATCHITOCHES – Several Northwestern State University students were named recipients of scholarships funded by NSU alumni David and Sherry Morgan that totaled nearly $25,000 in awards for high-achieving students and first-generation students at Northwestern State University. Scholarships were announced during the Morgan Scholarship Banquet with special guests that included Mark Springs, alumnus of NSU’s Beta Omicron Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi and CEO of Avatar Nutrition; Sigma Sigma Sigma National President Natalie Averitt of Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Pi Kappa Phi Foundation Director Chris Conner of Charlotte, North Carolina.



Members of Beta Omicron Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity and Alpha Zeta Chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority hosted the third annual event.



Long-time NSU supporters, Mr. and Mrs. Morgan created the scholarships to recognize members of Pi Kappa Phi and Sigma Sigma Sigma who are committed to going the “Extra Mile” to achieve success. Recipients of First Generation Scholarships are the first in their immediate families to attend college. Members participate in an application process that is reviewed by chapter alumni before selections are made.



Guests included Natalie Averitt, national president of Sigma Sigma Sigma, and Chris Conner, foundation director of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, who presented Morgan with a citation of distinguished service from the national fraternity.



NSU and Pi Kappa Phi alumnus Mark Spring, chief executive officer of Avatar Nutrition, was keynote speaker and encouraged students to make going the extra mile a habit, view failures as opportunities and surround themselves with people who encourage them.



Recipients of the David D. Morgan Extra Mile Scholarship presented to members of Pi Kappa Phi are Blake Blanchard of St. Martinville, Colton Campbell of Coushatta, Jonathan Castillo of Bossier City, John Harrington of Center, Texas; Daniel Larin of Little Elm, Texas; Christian Rhodes of Gray and Char’Tarian Wilson of Shreveport.



Recipients of the Sherry F. Morgan Extra Mile Scholarships are Emily Benoit of Jennings, Elizabeth Coleman of Napoleonville, Hannah Gaspard of Buckeye, Mallory McConathy of Stonewall, Meredith Phelps of Natchitoches, Brette Reaux of Youngsville, Abigail Reynolds of Minden, Haley Sylvester of Baton Rouge and Madysen Watts of Saline.



Recipients of Morgan First Generation Scholarships are Mia Adams of Bourg, Emily Benoit of Jennings, Blake Blanchard of St. Martinville, Jonathan Castillo of Bossier City, Katie Cole of Natchitoches, Elizabeth Coleman of Napoleonville, Kaylie Couch of Haughton, Hannah Gaspard of Buckeye, Kelsi Horn of Many, McKenzie Kuhlow of Anacoco, Emily Miller of Grand Cane, Jacob Norris of Monterey, Baylie Quick of Saline, Brette Reaux of Youngsville, Josue Urbina of Logansport, Madysen Watts of Saline, Char’Tarian Wilson of Shreveport and Alanna Woodel of Natchitoches.



David Morgan, a 1973 NSU graduate and alumnus of NSU’s Beta Omicron Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi, established the Extra Mile Scholarship in 2008 to recognize members of Pi Kappa Phi who distinguish themselves through academic success, chapter leadership, campus involvement and part-time employment. The scholarship has since grown and is awarded at the national level as well as in the local chapter.



The Sherry Fargerson Morgan “Extra Mile” Scholarship for Sigma Sigma Sigma was announced in 2017 and mirrors the criteria for Pi Kappa Phi by honoring students who are outstanding and high achieving members of the chapter.


Recipients of the Morgan First Generation Scholarships were, front row from left, Mia Adams, Bayli Quick, Katie Cole, Madysen Watts, Elizabeth Coleman, Emily Benoit, McKenzie Kuhlow and Char’Tarian Wilson. On the back row are Kaylie Couch, Hannah Gaspard, Kelsi Horn, Emily Miller, Brette Reaux, Blake Blanchard, Jacob Guidry, Josue Urbina, Jacob Norris and Jonathan Castillo.

Members of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority who were awarded Sherry F. Morgan Extra Mile Scholarships were, front row from left, Bayli Quick, Katie Cole, Madysen Watts, Elizabeth Coleman, Emily Benoit and McKenzie Kuhlow. On the back row are Mia Adams, Kaylie Couch, Hannah Gaspard, Kelsi Horn, Emily Miller and Brett Reaux.

Members of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity who were recipients of the David D. Morgan Extra Mile Scholarship were, from left Jonathan Castillo, Char’Tarian Wilson, Blake Blanchard, Jacob Guidry, Jacob Norris and Josua Urbino.
00 2019-03-12
New Orleans

Former Saints star Marques Colston to make keynote address at UNO business event


After years of catching passes, a former Saints star is ready to show off his skills in a different arena.

The University of New Orleans announced Monday that retired wide receiver Marques Colston will give the keynote address at their annual Management Week, held from March 11-15.

Colston's speech will occur at Kirschman Hall, room 122 on March 14 at 12:30 p.m. The big-bodied wide receiver played 10 seasons for the Saints from 2006-'15. After being selected in the 7th round of the 2006 NFL draft out of Hofstra, he went on to catch 711 passes for 9,759 yards and 72 touchdowns in his career. He also starred on the Saints' Super Bowl-winning team in 2009.

Since his retirement, Colston has been active in several business ventures. He is the founder and managing partner of Dynasty Innovation, a "a strategy and execution firm focused on marketing, branding, sports and education," according to a UNO release. He is also a partner at both Main Squeeze Juice Co. -- a New Orleans based juice and smoothie bar -- and Timeless Herbal Care, a Jamaica-based Cannabis company that focuses on the international medical cannabis industry.

He is also a managing director for the Center for Innovation at Virtua Health systems, and he is on the advisory board for One Team Collective, which is a "sports technology accelerator" run by the NFL Players Association.
00 2019-03-12
New Orleans

What do you want to know about crawfish? We’ll ask the expert


As we approach peak crawfish season, many Louisianians will find themselves squeezed around tables twisting off mudbug tails. But amidst building mounds of discarded crawfish shells, you might also wonder what there is to know about the freshwater crustaceans. How many species are there? How can you tell if a crawfish is male or female? What is their lifespan?

Next week, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune will visit assistant professor Christopher Bonvillain at the astacology lab at Nicholls State University to answer your questions. (Astacology is the study of crawfish.)



What do you want to know about the biology or ecology of Louisiana crawfish? Submit your questions in the comments on this post and within the comments on the Where NOLA Eats Facebook group and we’ll ask Bonvillain. He’ll answer the questions live on Facebook and we’ll post the answers on NOLA.com.
00 2019-03-12
Regional/National

A University Goes It (Mostly) Alone Online


Like many institutions with online ambitions, Southern Methodist University has leaned on the expertise of outside companies to launch and manage its virtual academic programs. SMU's master's in data science is offered through 2U, and its forthcoming online master's in business administration is being managed by Noodle Partners.

If Larenda Mielke has her way, though, those will be the last online programs SMU ever offers through a corporate online program management (OPM) company -- at least one that handles most if not all of the functions (program development, instructional design, marketing for students, etc.) of launching and operating an online program.

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It's not that she isn't impressed by the companies' quality or expertise. SMU is proud of and committed to the programs it has created with 2U and Noodle, says Mielke, associate provost for continuing education at SMU, and values the companies' employees who work with SMU. "I would hire some of them if I could match their salaries."

But as the person hired 18 months ago to help SMU develop a more strategic presence in online education, Mielke has concluded that building an in-house unit to create and operate most aspects of online programs aligns better with the university's mission and interests than does turning over some strategic control -- and not insignificant financial sums -- to for-profit companies with overlapping but differing goals and motives.

OPMs and their owners have every right to earn profits, Mielke says, but universities like SMU would do better to pour revenues back into their own programs and purposes than to enrich shareholders and executives.

"I look at that and I think, that money comes from tuition," Mielke said.

Mielke is not some capitalism hater or naïf. She's been a business school administrator at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Virginia, and she and her husband operate three companies.

But as the university creates more programs designed to "bring the SMU culture" of smaller classes and deep interaction with professors "to the online world" -- its first self-built program, in cybersecurity, will begin in January 2020 -- Mielke says she wants to do it in a way that won't make students say, "This is what my tuition money is paying for?"

Officials at 2U said they preferred not to comment directly on Mielke's assertions or its relationship with the university, except to say it is "proud of our work with SMU."

But in a statement, Chip Paucek, 2U's chief executive officer, said that many of its campus partners have strong in-house capabilities but choose to work with the company nonetheless.

And 2U's "shared success" model, Paucek said, benefits universities in two ways: directly in terms of their share of the tuition revenue earned, and indirectly from the "ongoing investments 2U makes in delivering industry-leading technology and marketing, among many other services." 2U, like most of the online program managers, does not make public its financial arrangements with its partners.

SMU's Online Programs, Current and Future

Southern Methodist, a nearly 12,000-student private university in Dallas, has moved cautiously into online education. Like many such institutions, it has used external providers to get its initial online degree programs off the ground.

It launched its online master's program in data science, a program that now enrolls 350 students, with 2U in early 2015. And the university's Cox School of Business struck an agreement late last year to begin an online master's in business administration with Noodle Partners, an online program management provider started by the founder of 2U, John Katzman.

The university hired Mielke in July 2017 to ramp up its online presence, with a focus on professional and continuing education.

As she assessed the landscape at SMU and elsewhere, Mielke recognized that university officials have had a steep learning curve in online learning and have learned much from the partnership with 2U. But she also saw that there were limits on how much information providers like 2U were willing to share about how the programs function, such as what it cost them to acquire a student.

Mielke had to make the case to Steven Currall, SMU's provost and vice president for academic affairs, and eventually to the university's Board of Trustees that bringing online program development and management largely in-house was a sound financial and strategic decision.

To do that, she says, she had to construct financial models to show that the university could build online programs without the up-front investment that online program providers typically make for their university partners; it is to recoup that investment (which normally takes three to five years for a successful program) that the OPMs often require long-term contracts and revenue-sharing agreements that pay them as much of two-thirds of tuition income for a decade or more. (Online program management companies are increasingly experimenting with varying models of financing academic programs, amid growing pushback against the long-term revenue-sharing agreements.)

Mielke declined to share figures on the economics of the plan. But she ultimately persuaded university leaders, she says, that making its own investment in an in-house unit is worth it if SMU can ensure that the tuition money that flows once the programs gain momentum does not leave the institution. "Under this scenario, the amount of money that would go as profit for the external company would instead be investing in research and all the other areas that the university needs," Mielke says.

The Job Ahead

The cybersecurity program, for which SMU began accepting applications last month, is the first of what Mielke expects to be a degree program per year that the university spills out over a decade.

Mielke is focused right now on building out what she calls "our optimal product mix: the most useful and viable programs we could bring out in this way, online and for nontraditional students, to create a good cash flow."

Among the other challenges is deciding how to mix the university's internal expertise with whatever outside partners SMU might hire to supplement what it can do well itself.

"The university does not have an internal advantage in market research," for example, she notes. She and the deans and faculties of SMU's colleges are developing lists of possible programs "we think are the best ones to start with," and "each one of those we put through external market research" to help make the final decisions on which to launch.

SMU "will certainly outsource certain services when it makes sense" to do so, Mielke said.

Forgoing the use of online program managers will be difficult in certain ways, she acknowledges. "I feel like David to their Goliath," Mielke said of 2U and Noodle, noting the hundreds of marketers employed by the companies.

"That's another reason why universities choose to work with a place like 2U -- they don’t have the confidence that they can figure it out, and even if they [did], it's really hard to go up against big competitors," Mielke said.

Getting a "huge, siloed organization like a university" to operate "in alignment" and with the kind of agility required to compete in a fast-changing landscape is "daunting" she says.

The biggest risk for SMU, she says, is "internal strategy execution, because lots of parts of the university need to work together to make this succeed."

But the opportunity -- to create a new way of launching online programs that capitalizes on the university's strengths and reinvests money that might otherwise go to outside companies -- has a huge potential upside.

"What we're trying to do that [these companies] can't is building programs from the university's perspective," she says, "so I don't undermine what universities do best."
00 2019-03-12
Regional/National

A pianist/composer’s dream of dog-sledding in Alaska came true. It ended with a severed finger.


Yotam Haber is an established composer and pianist, an assistant professor at the University of New Orleans, a former artistic director of New York’s MATA festival and winner of a Guggenheim fellowship and a Koussevitzky Foundation commission, among many other honors and awards. Since childhood, though, he has had another dream: to race sled dogs in Alaska.

Last week, Haber’s dream came true. On March 2, he got to ride through the streets of Anchorage in the ceremonial opening leg of the 2019 Iditarod, the legendary dog-sled race, on the sled of Blair Braverman, one of the most visible contestants in this year’s race. Haber had come to Alaska to help with Braverman’s sled dogs, as well as to record the sounds of runners on the snow to incorporate into a piece he was writing for the New York-based Argento Ensemble.

But the dream ended three days later when, dragged behind a tipped dog sled, Haber watched his right index finger snap off “like a twig,” followed by a geyser of blood.

“I told people on Twitter that I’m going to call my piece ‘Finger Lake,’ ” Haber said ruefully on Sunday from his home in New Orleans after surgery to reattach his finger. (Finger Lake is a stop on this year’s Iditarod course.)

[From 2017: Kronos Quartet plays world premiere by Yotam Haber.]

It was chance that linked Haber to one of this year’s best-known Iditarod competitors. In a field with more women than any previous Iditarod, Braverman, a 31-year-old writer, has drawn attention through an active social media presence, tweeting her preparations for the race to more than 60,000 followers on Twitter. (Her fans, who identify themselves with the hashtag #uglydogs, a reference to a derisive tweet aimed at Braverman some months ago, have helped defray her considerable Iditarod expenses through online donations.)

Braverman’s husband, the writer Quince Mountain, is an old friend of Haber’s wife, the visual artist Anna Schuleit. After Braverman qualified for the race, the pair asked Schuleit whether she’d want to help out in Alaska by looking after the members of their 30-dog pack that weren’t among the 14 chosen to pull her Iditarod sled.

“That’s Yotam’s dream,” Haber’s wife told them. Born in Holland to Israeli parents, Haber had grown up in Israel, Nigeria, and Milwaukee, where he moved at age 10. As a child, he was so focused on his goal of becoming a veterinarian and racing in the Iditarod that he built his own sled and rounded up neighbor dogs to pull it. But as his musical career took off, he put his mushing dreams aside — until Braverman’s offer came along. “It felt like this was the culmination of my life, in a way,” he said.


As a child in Wisconsin, Haber, standing, built his own sled and rounded up neighbor dogs to pull it. (Courtesy of Yotam Haber)
On the race’s first day, Braverman pulled Haber onto the back of her sled for the ceremonial ride. The bulk of his visit, however, was to be spent in a remote, family-run lodge 63 miles from the nearest highway, accessible only by snowmobile, where he would take the dogs out for a run three times a day. His own social media account reflected the exhilaration of the experience. “The dogs go crazy until you tell them to go,” he said. “And as soon as you start sledding, it’s total silence — just the sound of their feet, and the runners on the snow.”

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Yotam Haber
@yotamhaber
Dear #uglydogs, heartfelt thanks for your many well wishes!! From the morning of my accident, this pure joy that I get to share with you. Like all of you, I am continuing to follow Blair’s courageous race at every turn.

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12:04 PM - Mar 9, 2019 · New Orleans, LA
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On the third day, as he was being pulled down a steep slope by an exuberant team, Haber made a mistake: Rather than riding the brake with two feet, he rode it with only one, creating enough of an imbalance that the sled tipped over. Every musher has drilled into them that Rules 1, 2, 3 and 4 of dog-sledding are the same: Never let go. Lying on his side, dragged along by the dogs and feeling his grip slipping, Haber reached up and grabbed the only thing he could see for purchase — a snow hook, a heavy piece of metal used to anchor the sled in the snow. His right index finger got jammed into it, and he watched it snap off, held only by a flap of skin. His first feeling, he said, was disappointment that his Alaskan dream was surely over.

Getting out of Alaska proved a much longer journey even than getting there. Haber jammed his finger back into place, the lodge owners swaddled his hand in towels and they began an eight-hour wait for a helicopter that never came. They finally got out by snowcat, a Jeep fitted with tanklike treads that took four hours to creep out to the road, where an ambulance was waiting to drive him to Fairbanks, three more hours away. The doctor in Fairbanks sewed the finger provisionally into place but recommended he have it treated at home, since it was likely to be a long process, so he got on a plane and flew back to Louisiana. He was taken into surgery a matter of hours after he landed, and was scheduled to learn on Tuesday whether the surgery had been successful.

The Iditarod will conclude this week; on Monday, Day 9 of the race, Braverman was still competing, with 11 of her original 14 dogs (substitutions are not allowed). Another handler has stepped in to care for the dogs Haber was watching. Following along at home, encased in a cast reaching from his fingers to his armpit, Haber still has a few things to be thankful for. For one thing, he’s left-handed.

And for another thing, musicians are understanding.

“During those eight hours waiting for the helicopter,” Haber said, “I contacted the head of the Argento Ensemble. I said to him, ‘I’ve never missed a deadline on a commission, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to finish this one.’ ”
00 2019-03-12
Regional/National

Here’s What Trump’s 2020 Budget Proposal Means for Higher Ed


President Trump's proposed federal budget for the 2020 fiscal year, unveiled on Monday, includes a $7-billion cut for the Department of Education, a streamlined repayment process for student loans, and the elimination of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
The proposal, for the fiscal year that begins on October 1, is unlikely to be enacted in a divided Congress. But, as is the case every year, the wish list does signal the White House's priorities, including those for higher education.

This year's proposal is yet another effort by the administration to streamline the student-loan system, which could bring down costs for taxpayers and students, said Robert Kelchen, an assistant professor of higher education at Seton Hall University. But the department and the president, he said, "have little ability to change the terms of federal student loans," a process that must involve Congress.

"This is a topic that will dominate the discussions this year about reauthorizing the Higher Education Act," Kelchen said, referring to the law, last reauthorized in 2008, that governs federal financial aid. (Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who leads the education committee, has said that he is optimistic that the act could be reauthorized by the end of 2019.)

The growth of student-loan debt, which has surpassed $1 trillion, could influence Congress to support a simpler, streamlined repayment program that holds all borrowers to the same standards, Kelchen said.

Under the current Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, only federal and nonprofit-group employees qualify for loan forgiveness. The president's proposal would provide forgiveness to all undergraduate borrowers with remaining balances after 15 years, and to borrowers with graduate-school debt after 30 years.

While the forgiveness program needs reform, its elimination would be a mistake, argued James Kvaal, president of the Institute for College Access and Success. "We know from research," he said, "that student-loan debt often deters graduates from going into low-paying careers, which include teaching, health care, and the military."

Trump's budget outline also suggests a risk-sharing loan system that would require colleges to share some financial responsibility for defaults on student loans. That change, however, is "still under discussion within the administration" and would require approval from Congress, said Jim Blew, the Education Department's assistant secretary for planning, evaluation, and policy development.

The budget also has a $500-million request from the department for federal work-study programs, which is $630 million less than in the 2019 budget. "We'd like for federal work-study to be a career-building opportunity, rather than how it's used as a subsidized work force on campuses," Blew said.

The 2019 Trends Report

The proposed change would allocate work-study funds to colleges on the basis of the number of Pell Grant recipients they enroll. The federal formula on which the allocation is based now is outdated, some say. Kelchen's research has found that community colleges and newly established colleges receive less in work-study funds than older, more-expensive private colleges do. Colleges might oppose the funding change, but it is generally supported by higher-education researchers, Kelchen said.

It's encouraging that the budget considers restructuring federal work-study, Kvaal said, but it costs money to offer a high-quality program. "There's a disconnect between the rhetoric in connecting work-study to students' careers to the budget that's provided," he said.

Higher-education organizations criticized the budget cuts on Monday. "Wrong-headed," Kvaal called them. The budget cuts, he said, outweigh the much-needed changes in the federal student-loan system.

The American Council on Education, which represents more than 1,700 college presidents, urged Congress to increase funding for student aid and biomedical research.

Follow Terry Nguyen on Twitter at @terrygtnguyen, or email her at terry.nguyen@chronicle.com.
00 2019-03-11
Alexandria

Northwestern State long jumper wins national championship


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Northwestern State long jumper Jasmyn Steels entered the 2019 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships on Friday night ranked ninth in the country. She walked out an instant NSU legend.

With a school record 21-2½ leap, the junior from College Station, Texas, won the fourth NCAA championship in Northwestern State track and field history in her first career appearance in a national meet.

Steels broke a 15-year-old school record set by four-time All-American Stephanie Sowell on her very first jump of the evening in the 16-athlete preliminary round. That 21-2½ mark was matched in the fifth of six rounds by Deborah Acquah of Texas A&M, but Steels retained the lead because her second-best jump Friday was 21-1¼ to 20-0½ by Acquah.

The advantage held up through the final round, with Acquah fouling, locking up the stunning victory for Steels, who previously owned a personal best of 20-9¼. She was unbeaten in four long jump competitions this season until she was upset at the Southland Conference Indoors, finishing second with a 20-4½ mark in the same venue, the Birmingham CrossPlex.

Friday night, in her return to the arena, she had the greatest series of her life. Four of her six attempts were better than any previous career jump. Her four best marks ranked first, third, sixth and eighth in the field.

“This feels great. I came in really ready to jump,” said Steels. “Ever since the conference meet, I’ve been thinking about this and I’ve been super tuned-in. I’ve been ready and focused for several weeks, to be honest, and it all worked out.”

Steels climbed among the elite champions in school history: the 1981 4x100 meter relay team of Victor Oatis, Joe Delaney, Mario Johnson and Mark Duper; Brian Brown, the 1990 men’s indoor high jump champion; and the 2011 women’s discus winner, Tracy Rew.

Steels joined Rew as Lady Demons who have captured a national championship for NSU and became the first to do so indoors. Sowell’s second-place indoors in 2004 was the previous best by a female competitor from Northwestern. Her career best was a winning 20-10½ at the 2003 Southland Outdoors.

Friday night, Steels bettered that on her first two attempts, equaled it on her third, and topped it again on the fifth (20-11¾).

Head track and field coach Mike Heimerman said he could not be prouder of Steels’ ground-breaking accomplishment.

“I am very ecstatic. This is an unbelievable night,” said Heimerman. “Like I said Thursday, she was capable of placing anywhere from first to last, but tonight she was on fire. (Jumps) coach Tyron (Stewart) had her set up to jump her best.

“The foot foul she had in round five would’ve been close to 22 feet. I am very proud of her. It’s an awesome day to be a Demon. We are going to relish this win.”

Stewart knew Steels was in the right state of mind and was eager to see what she would do.

“I’m so proud of what she accomplished, and I believed in her the whole way. Leading up to this championship, she has been looking great, but she’s been looking great all year,” said Stewart, a five-time All-American long and triple jumper at Texas A&M who won the 2014 USA Indoor long jump title.

“She really went out there and executed it the way I wanted her to and followed the game plan perfectly. Everything she has done this season leading up to this has made me a proud coach. I can’t ask for more than this right now.”

Associate head coach Adam Pennington said the first jump set the tone for Steels’ victory.

“She went out there and popped off that first jump, and that’s really what set the momentum for her. More than anything, I think she kind of rattled some of the other girls in the competition after she set the standard,” said Pennington, who was in Birmingham with Stewart and Steels. “She was consistent across the board, and being consistent is what won her that national title.

“To be second in the conference championship and then turn around and win it all, is just an amazing story.”

Steels’ second-best jump, which was her second attempt in the prelims, would have beaten all competitors except Acquah’s best and tied the third-place leap by Yanis David of Florida.

The top national indoor qualifier, Rougui Sow of Florida State, placed ninth at 20-6½.



00 2019-03-11
Baton Rouge

Max Gruver's family, others call on LSU to be more transparent on Greek Life investigation


The family of Max Gruver and other advocates are calling on LSU to release findings from a recent investigation into how university officials reacted to complaints about possible hazing at the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity that were received well before nine DKE members were booked with a range of serious crimes.

LSU has said the investigation “fully exonerated” the employees who received the earlier complaints, but that no public paper trail from it exists.

The university asked the Taylor Porter law firm to investigate administrators connected to Greek Life — whom the university never named — after nine DKE members were arrested last month and accused of urinating on pledges, dousing them in gasoline, forcing them to lie on glass and more. A week later, LSU said the investigation determined that university officials had received “no credible information” in the earlier complaints that should have triggered a probe into DKE.

LSU was warned that DKE pledge left school after stress from pledging, but did little to respond
LSU was warned that DKE pledge left school after stress from pledging, but did little to respond
LSU said no written report on the investigation exists because university employees received the results of the investigation orally. After The Advocate requested any records related to the investigation, LSU responded that the “only known record” is exempt from disclosure because of attorney-client and work product exemptions from state open records laws.

The family of Gruver, who died in 2017 after a hazing incident at LSU's Phi Delta Theta fraternity, questioned why LSU would withhold information. “If there are violations or infractions to the student code, the university has a responsibility to take the necessary steps to correct the issues,” the family said in a statement. “And the university must be transparent regarding violations, sanctions and investigations. Students, families and the campus community deserve to know the truth.”

Gruver’s parents, in particular, have become advocates for anti-hazing legislation and training in the wake of his death. They have also filed a federal lawsuit against the university seeking $25 million in damages, alleging their son never would have died if LSU officials had responded appropriately to previous complaints about hazing incidents at his fraternity.

LSU Police found evidence of drug use at Kappa Sigma house amid questions about hazing
LSU Police found evidence of drug use at Kappa Sigma house amid questions about hazing
This week brought new revelations about possible hazing and other recent misbehavior at other LSU fraternities. LSU Police searched the Kappa Sigma fraternity house Tuesday and found evidence of drug usage there, and a former LSU official sent an email in January that said Kappa Sigma was under police investigation at that time for “a hazing violation related to theft.”

LSU’s Pi Kappa Phi fraternity is also under police investigation for possible hazing.

In their statement, the Gruvers said LSU’s staff and the institution are fully responsible for Greek life, along with other clubs and sports on campus. When university-affiliated organizations don’t comply with the rules, LSU should completely disassociate from them, the Gruvers said.

“Lives are on the line,” they added.

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LSU did not respond to messages from The Advocate seeking comment for this story.

Some state lawmakers said this week they also would welcome more details about LSU's investigation.

“I would certainly like to see it,” said state Rep. Nancy Landry, R-Lafayette. “I would like to know if they weren’t following the rules, because I would like to know how the law would need to be changed if we have a problem somewhere.”

DKE gameday banners were a constant source of drama inside LSU, new records show
DKE gameday banners were a constant source of drama inside LSU, new records show
Landry sponsored legislation last year, named after Gruver, that toughened state laws against hazing. She said she understands the attorney-client privilege shield and the sensitivity around personnel investigations, but said those differ from the university’s internal hazing investigations that the Max Gruver Act sought to make easier to access. One goal of the legislation passed last year, she said, was “to get everything out in the open” and to ensure the proper people are being punished.

Adam Goldstein, program officer at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, said it’s common for universities to hire outside legal counsel to perform investigations into potential employee wrongdoing because it protects them from accusations of bias in internal investigations. FIRE is known nationally for its advocacy for free speech and other First Amendment protections on college campuses.

Our Views: In wake of fraternity abuses, LSU seems more interested in protecting its own
Our Views: In wake of fraternity abuses, LSU seems more interested in protecting its own
But Goldstein said he could not recall another case in which a university refused to release records from an outside investigations that was meant to instill confidence in the institution — especially when the records were said to absolve university employees.

“Institutions end up being so paranoid about their transparency obligation that they end up making themselves look worse than the transparency would,” Goldstein said. “If the report found there was no responsibility, the idea that there’s not some form of that you’d want to share — it feels like a miscalculation. And that miscalculation is going on over and over again, where institutions err on the side of secrecy in ways that work against them — people’s imaginations are often worse than reality.”

Goldstein said LSU’s behavior reminded him of a decade-old case in which Florida media outlets filed suit over the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s refusal to cough up records related to an academic cheating scandal at Florida State University. The outlets sought documents that an FSU-hired law firm accessed from the NCAA as the firm prepared an appeal of the penalties the NCAA had imposed.

The lawyers signed confidentiality agreements with the NCAA and used a secure computer to access the documents. Florida courts ruled that the documents were public because they were examined by a public agency’s lawyers and used in the course of the agency’s business.

House of horrors: Allegations after LSU DKE members' arrests point to fraternity code of silence
House of horrors: Allegations after LSU DKE members' arrests point to fraternity code of silence
Goldstein said LSU officials clearly believed they would have had to disclose records of the investigation of the administrators, if such records existed — because they went out of their way to avoid possessing them.

“What does stand out to me is this looks like a transaction designed to avoid creating a public record,” Goldstein said. “Is Louisiana law intended to test how clever you are? Or is it intended to tell you what to do?”

And Kevin Cope, an LSU professor and vice president of the Association of Louisiana Faculty Senates, said that if LSU wants people to believe the results of the Taylor Porter investigation, then the university needs to release evidence from it.

“Sequestering the evidence looks inherently suspicious and raises doubt in any reading community,” Cope said.

Former DKE fraternity director: 'I knew from the very beginning ... that LSU was a problem'
Former DKE fraternity director: 'I knew from the very beginning ... that LSU was a problem'
State Sen. Dan Claitor, a Baton Rouge Republican, said he agreed with LSU’s position that the records should not be released to the public if they fell under attorney-client privilege exceptions. But he said he understands the questioning of the process as well.

“Was that a maneuver to keep it that way?” Claitor asked. “I don’t know. If the folks are exonerated by their own investigators, then you have to take that with a grain of salt. If I hire you to investigate me, how important or reliable will that investigation be?”

He said it may be worth reviewing whether there’s a better way of keeping the public and university students and parents informed about the status of campus officials when they are being investigated over their handling of hazing allegations.

Former DKE fraternity director: 'I knew from the very beginning ... that LSU was a problem'
Former DKE fraternity director: 'I knew from the very beginning ... that LSU was a problem'
Though LSU said the Taylor Porter investigation found administrators had no knowledge of prior actionable hazing allegations at DKE, records show the university received at least two warnings over the past three years about problematic behavior at the fraternity. In 2016, a mother reported to LSU that her son left school because of the stress from pledging DKE and said members believed her son was a "rat."

LSU did not document any investigation prompted by the complaint, or any punishments meted out as a result. And last year, the mother of a DKE pledge told LSU that she was concerned about her son’s description of “hell week” at the fraternity. LSU left it up to local alumni to investigate the allegation; an alumnus said he checked with the fraternity members who assured him everything was OK.

Some observers found the university's response timid.

“I just don’t understand how anyone can have titles concerning Greek life and not have some idea what’s going on at a significant number of the fraternity houses,” said David Easlick, the former longtime national director of DKE and now an expert witness in hazing cases.
00 2019-03-11
Baton Rouge

Check out Livingston's Ashton Gill on tonight's 'American Idol'


Ashton Gill, of Livingston, takes the "American Idol" stage to audition for the judges on Sunday night's episode.

Gill, a nursing major at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, is the second Louisiana singer featured on the ABC reality singing competition series this season. In the second season premiere, Tyler Mitchell, of Florien, an oil field worker, impressed the judges, advancing to the Hollywood round of the competition.

"American Idol" airs at 7 p.m. on WBRZ, Channel 2 (cable Channel 5).
00 2019-03-11
Hammond

‘Felt like a dream’ | Livingston Parish native Ashton Gill to appear on ‘American Idol’


Ashton Brooke Gill, a graduate of French Settlement High School and current student at Southeastern Louisiana University, will be under the bright lights of national television when she appears on “American Idol” on Sunday, March 10.

The episode begins at 7 p.m. locally on The ABC Television Network.

Gill, 20, graduated from FSHS in 2016 before going to Southeastern, where she’s currently majoring in nursing (and one class away from a music minor). She grew up singing in local churches and also performed a few times at the Grand Country Junction, a monthly country-western show in Satsuma.

Throughout high school, Gill split her time between basketball, gifted and talented music, and gifted and talented theatre, even playing the role of Sandy from “Grease.” In college, she’s sang the national anthem for LSU and Southeastern baseball games.

But nothing compares to this “American Idol” opportunity, she said in a phone interview with The News.

“This is the biggest thing I’ve ever done before,” Gill said.

Gill’s upcoming televised audition came during the show’s tour of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho — a 2,300-mile trip from Livingston Parish — where she sang in front of Idol judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie.

It was a long day for Gill, who said she had to wake up at 4 a.m., be ready to sing at 7 a.m., but was ultimately one of the last people to audition for the judges late that night.

“At this point, I was just ready to audition, because I’d been waiting all day long,” she said with a laugh. “My heart was going 110 miles an hour. I was super excited and super nervous, not really going what to expect. But it felt like a dream. It did not feel real.”

Gill is the second current or former French Settlement High student to appear on “American Idol” in the last two years. Last season, 2018 FSHS graduate Laine Hardy became an early fan favorite before he was eliminated in the “Final Judgment” episode, just before the Top 24.
00 2019-03-11
Houma/Thibodaux

Nicholls choirs to perform free concert in Thibodaux


The Nicholls State University Concert and Chamber Choirs will perform March 22 at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Thibodaux.

The free concert, “Sing Me to Heaven,” starts at 7 p.m. and will run for about an hour at the church, 718 Jackson St. in Thibodaux.

“The singers impress me each day as they bring not only an enthusiasm for singing but the discipline required to learn and shape the music to reach deep into its core and connect to its beauty so they can communicate its heart and essence to the audience,” said John St. Marie, assistant professor and director of choral activities. “It is quite apropos that this concert will be offered at St. John’s Episcopal Church -- a beautiful space with deep historical roots in Thibodaux. It will be the perfect atmosphere for this musical offering and you will not want to miss this concert.”

The Concert Choir will perform “With a Voice of Singing” by Gilbert Martin; “El Grillo” by Josquin des Prez, about an inebriated cricket sharing his amorous song. Other selections will include:

• “Warmup” by Leonard Bernstein.

• “Rise Up My Love, My Fair One” by Healy Willan, a text taken from the “Song of Solomon” in which a poet beckons his love to awaken as the winter has gone.

• “To Be Sung on the Water” by Samuel Barber, a vocal piece depicting a tranquil nature scene.

The Nicholls Chamber Choir has been reactivated this semester and will present a set of seven songs titled “Singing by Numbers,” composed by Bob Chilcott. The Chamber Choir will also present a folk song arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams titled “Willow” as well as the concert’s title song, “Sing Me to Heaven,” by Daniel Gawthrop, which he says on his publisher’s website was written to speak “to the way that we, as singers, feel about music in our lives.”
00 2019-03-11
Lafayette

Former VP Dick Cheney to attend UL Alumni event


Former Vice President Dick Cheney will be the special guest of the UL Alumni Association’s spring gala.

Every year, the fundraiser honors an alumni. This year’s honoree is Richard Zuschlag and his family.

The event is scheduled for March 30 at the Alumni Center.

The event includes a silent and live auction, as well as food and entertainment.

Tickets are $100 per individual. Sponsor tables are available for $5,000 and patron tables are $2,000.

For more information on the event, click here.
00 2019-03-11
Lafayette

UL Lafayette to host pardoning of the crawfish Tuesday


Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board will host the 3rd Annual Pardoning of the Crawfish at Cypress Lake Plaza on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

The event takes place Tuesday, March 12 at 3:00 p.m.

Nungesser will oversee this year’s pardoning and he said he is quite pleased with the move of this event to Lafayette, according to The Vermilion.

“We’re going to have a good time,” Nungesser said. “It’s a great thing to do and I’m glad we were able to move it to the university to involve the students. It’s also a lot closer to where all those great crawfish are farmed.” Nugesser said.

According to Barry Landry, director of communications at the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, this year’s lucky crawfish will hail from Kaplan. Once his farmer, Barry Toups, selects Clyde from his bunch, the tiny mudbug will be treated to the life of luxury as he makes his way to UL Lafayette for his official pardon.

With his arrival, greetings beyond those of the lieutenant governor will include: UL Lafayette President Joseph Savoie, Ed.D, the Crawfish Queen and Ben Berthelot with the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission, all present at the event for the kicking off crawfish season, according to The Vermilion.

Once pardoned, Landry said the state has plans for Clyde’s post-pardoning celebration at his new home in Palmetto Island State Park.

“He will be released by Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries officials to live out his days burrowing in the mud of his new home,” Landry said.

“This year’s lucky crustacean will be named Clyde in honor of Dr. Clyde Rougeou who served as president of what was then the University of Southwestern Louisiana from 1966-1974,” Landry said.

Under the time of Rougeou, who is also honored with a building in his name on campus, UL Lafayette’s postgraduate classes flourished. During those years the university began its first doctoral programs while also adding graduate programs such as English, history, mathematics, education and computer science.

The event will also serve as an official kickoff to the 2019 crawfish season, one which Nungesser said he hopes will flourish.

“Hopefully this little bit of warm weather will make them come out,” Nungesser said. “And then our farmers can get some good-sized crawfish on the market.”
00 2019-03-11
Lafayette

UL administrators say when fees increase, at least 5% is set aside for need based grants


LAFAYETTE, La (KLFY) - The University of Louisiana System, which includes UL Lafayette, raised fees this semester for students across their nine institutions. This new fee increase will generate $9.3 million.

Full-time students at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette were hit with a $225 increase in fees this semester. This hit some students hard, especially since fees are not covered by the TOPS program and are mainly paid out of pocket.

Administrators at UL say they are doing everything they can to keep a diploma from the university at a reasonable cost. “Sometimes when you can’t move tuition you may have some autonomy or leverage on the fee side to help cover some of your expenses. That’s why you’ll see fees move often went to tuition doesn’t move,” says Dr. Dwayne Bowie the Vice President of Enrollment at UL.

Bowie says when fees increase some money is set aside to help students who need assistance covering the increase. “5 percent of that at least is set aside for need-based grants. We are looking at those students who are pell eligible. We have to have a gauge to determine what is the need for students. The best gauge we have is those who actually apply for financial aid and are deemed eligible for the Federal Pell Grant,” explains Bowie.

For students to apply for any kind of financial aid they must fill out a free application for federal student aid, also known as the FAFSA. “Then we use those students and we look and see if they are having struggles as far as paying their tuition and fees, and their room and board. We try to give them some additional help where we can,” says Bowie.

Administrators say they constantly analyze FASFA information and update financial aid. They said they are currently looking at students before advising opens up for the summer and fall semesters to try to identify which students need assistance.
00 2019-03-11
Lake Charles

Doré scholarship helps fill in the gap


Twenty-eight students are attending McNeese State University thanks in part to the Horatio Alger William J. Doré Louisiana Scholarship.

This award is changing the lives of students by allowing them to invest in their education without worrying about the financial burden many families face to pay for college, according to Ralynn Castete, scholarships director at Mc-Neese.

“This award specifically recognizes those students who have faced and overcome great obstacles to succeed in their education,” Castete said.

The scholarship was established by McNeese graduate William “Bill” J. Doré, founder of Global Industries Ltd., a worldwide marine construction and offshore diving company. Doré is a national Horatio Alger Award recipient for his lifetime achievement and success as an entrepreneur.

“Mr. Doré began his small business with just three employees, but through perseverance and hard work, his company is now a worldwide leader in its field,” Castete said.

One of the scholarship recipients, Farmina Islam, is a freshman engineering major from Lake Charles. Making McNeese her first choice was never in question — Islam has three sisters who are all McNeese graduates. However, with the TOPS program not fully funded, her family worried about how the remaining cost of her education would be met. Receiving this scholarship filled in the gap.

“When I found out I had received this scholarship, I was so excited but also relieved that my family would not have to worry about finding a way to financially support my education. I have been able to purchase my books and supplies for the semester. Everything is an expense but now my family is left without a financial hardship,” Islam said. “Being recognized with this award for my hard work as a student has only motivated me to continue devoting my time to making my dreams a reality.”

Michelle Andrepont, a senior health and human performance major, is also a scholarship recipient. Andrepont, who commutes to McNeese from Jennings, has been able to pursue her degree because of this scholarship.

“When I was deciding where to go to college, the scholarship offers played a role in my decision. McNeese became my first choice because this award allowed my family to have peace of mind about funding my education,” Andrepont said. “The scholarship has given me the drive to excel and remain focused in my studies.”

To find out more about the Horatio Alger William J. Doré Louisiana Scholarship, call McNeese’s Student Central at 475-5065.



Tori Hebert is a communication specialist at McNeese State University.
00 2019-03-11
Lake Charles

Greek Week activities set for March 11-15


Greek Week gets underway at McNeese State University March 11-15 as 15 Greek sororities and fraternities representing more than 500 students prepare for a week of activities, sponsored by the Greek Unity Board. This year, in addition to daily events, Greek Week’s Change Wars will be from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday in the New Ranch. Greek Week activities include:

Monday, March 11: Banner Competition, all day at the New Ranch. Tuesday, March 12: Group photo, Amphitheatre, 4 p.m.; Greek Trivia, Old Ranch, 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14: Greek Olympics, Recreational Sports Complex, 3:30 p.m. Friday, March 15: Greek Sing, Parra Ballroom, 5 p.m.
00 2019-03-11
Lake Charles

GradFest Spring 2019 will be March 13


GradFest Spring 2019 will be held for graduating students at McNeese State University 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, in Parra Ballroom in the Holbrook Student Union Annex (New Ranch).

The McNeese Alumni Association sponsors this event.

GradFest is a “one-stop shop” to help prepare students for graduation. Students can verify the status of their degree application, pick up their caps and gowns, order graduation invitations and class rings, as well as have a complimentary graduation portrait taken.

Students can also pay any outstanding fees, receive information on exit interview requirements, register with the alumni association and talk with representatives from the graduate school and the career and student development center.
00 2019-03-11
Monroe

ULM welcomes geopolitical strategist Peter Zeihan as Lyceum speaker


Tickets are still available for the University of Louisiana Monroe Presidential Lyceum Series with Peter Zeihan at 7 p.m. March 14.

ULM, in partnership with President Nick J. Bruno and the Office of Student Life, annually sponsors the Lyceum Series which brings newsmakers, celebrities and forward-thinking cultural experts such as Zeihan to campus.

Zeihan is a geopolitical strategist, which means he helps people understand how the world works.

Zeihan combines an expert understanding of demography, economics, energy, politics, technology, and security to help clients best prepare for an uncertain future.

Over the course of his career, Zeihan has worked for the U.S. State Department in Australia, the Washington, D.C., think tank community, and helped develop the analytical models for Stratfor, one of the world’s premier private intelligence companies.

Zeihan founded his own firm — Zeihan on Geopolitics — in 2012 in order to provide a select group of clients with direct, custom analytical products. Today those clients represent a vast array of sectors including energy majors, financial institutions, business associations, agricultural interests, universities and the U.S. military.

With a keen eye toward what will drive tomorrow’s headlines, his irreverent approach transforms topics that are normally dense and heavy into accessible, relevant takeaways for audiences of all types.

Zeihan is a critically-acclaimed author whose first two books — “The Accidental Superpower” and “The Absent Superpower” — have been recommended by Mitt Romney, Fareed Zakaria and Ian Bremmer. His forthcoming third title, “Disunited Nations: The Scramble for Power in an Ungoverned World” will be available in late 2019.
00 2019-03-11
Monroe

GSU students react to on-campus shooting


GRAMBLING, La. (KNOE) - A Grambling State University student is in the hospital after being shot Thursday morning. Campus officials say the shooting was accidental.


GSU officials say the shooting happened at the Mary McLeod Bethune dormitory.
Deputies with Lincoln Parish Sheriff's Office say it happened at the Mary McLeod Bethune dormitory after 8:00 A.M.

GSU President Rick Gallot says the victim and the suspect were friends. He said the gun accidentally discharged.

The suspect is Tyren Abraham. Gallot says the suspect has had run-ins with university police before.

"[He] had previously been arrested by our police department for a weapons charge," Gallot said. "Having a weapon on our campus."

Students say though the shooting was accidental, they are still concerned about safety.

"I don't feel very secure here because the dorms don't ever be locked," one student said.

"I feel like safety can be better in all aspects," another student added.

Though the shooting happened after 8:00 A.M., students were not notified until before 11:00 A.M. Students say the lack of a quick alert worries them. Once the alert came, it did not provide many details for students.

"Gun accident on campus...that's all it says," a student read.

Gallot says the alert did not take priority because the shooting was accidental and isolated.

"All of the guns and stuff on campus. It's not as safe as it should be," one student said. "I stayed in my room. I didn't go to class."

Gallot is encouraging students not to invite outsiders on to campus.

This shooting makes it the third on campus in less than two years. In each case, the suspect was not a student.

Some students say they still feel safe though.

"It's a lot of stuff they do on campus to make sure we're safe as far as checking I.D.s," one student said,

"Police are doing their jobs. It's just students that cause the conflict that causes the trouble," another added.

Gallot says they do not tolerate this behavior on campus. He says they are working with officials to make sure guns are not on campus.

"There's no need for individuals to possess weapons on this campus," Gallot said.

Grambling State University Laboratory High School is across the street from the dormitory where the shooting happened. It was not put on lockdown.

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00 2019-03-11
Natchitoches

Jasmyn Steels stuns field, snags indoor long jump national championship


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Northwestern State long jumper Jasmyn Steels entered the 2019 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships Friday night ranked ninth in the country. She walked out an instant NSU legend.

With a school record 21-2 ½ leap, the junior from College Station, Texas, won the fourth NCAA championship in Northwestern State track and field history in her first career appearance in a national meet.

Steels broke a 15-year-old school record set by four-time All-American Stephanie Sowell on her very first jump of the evening in the 16-athlete preliminary round. That 21-2 ½ mark was matched in the fifth of six rounds by Deborah Acquah of Texas A&M, but Steels retained the lead because her second-best jump Friday was 21-1 ¼ to 20-0 ½ by Acquah.

The advantage held up through the final round with Acquah fouling, locking up the stunning victory for Steels, who previously owned a personal best of 20-9 ¼. She was unbeaten in four long jump competitions this season until she was upset at the Southland Conference Indoors, finishing second with a 20-4 ½ mark in the same venue, the Birmingham CrossPlex.

Friday night, in her return to the arena, she had the greatest series of her life. Four of her six attempts were better than any previous career jump. Her four best marks ranked first, third, sixth and eighth in the field.

“This feels great. I came in really ready to jump,” said Steels. “Ever since the conference meet I’ve been thinking about this and I’ve been super tuned-in. I’ve been ready and focused for several weeks to be honest, and it all worked out.”

The College Station, Texas, native climbed among the elite champions in school history: the 1981 4×100 meter relay team of Victor Oatis, Joe Delaney, Mario Johnson and Mark Duper; Brian Brown, the 1990 men’s indoor high jump champion; and the 2011 women’s discus winner, Tracy Rew.

Steels joined Rew as Lady Demons who have captured a national championship for NSU and became the first to do so indoors. Sowell’s second place indoors in 2004 was the previous best by a female competitor from Northwestern. Her career best was a winning 20-10 ½ at the 2003 Southland Outdoors.

Friday night, Steels bettered that on her first two attempts, equaled it on her third, and topped it again on the fifth (20-11 ¾).

Head track and field coach Mike Heimerman said he could not be prouder of Steels’ ground-breaking accomplishment.

“I am very ecstatic. This is an unbelievable night,” said Heimerman. “Like I said Thursday, she was capable of placing anywhere from first to last, but tonight she was on fire. (Jumps) coach Tyron (Stewart) had her set up to jump her best.

“The foot foul she had in round five would’ve been close to 22 feet. I am very proud of her. It’s an awesome day to be a Demon. We are going to relish this win.”

Stewart knew Steels was in the right state of mind and was eager to see what she would do.

“I’m so proud of what she accomplished and I believed in her the whole way. Leading up to this championship she has been looking great, but she’s been looking great all year,” said Stewart, a five-time All-American long and triple jumper at Texas A&M who won the 2014 USA Indoor long jump title.

“She really went out there and executed it the way I wanted her to and followed the game plan perfectly. Everything she has done this season leading up to this has made me a proud coach. I can’t ask for more than this right now.”

Associate head coach Adam Pennington said the first jump set the tone for Steels’ victory.

“She went out there and popped off that first jump and that’s really what set the momentum for her. More than anything, I think she kind of rattled some of the other girls in the competition after she set the standard,” said Pennington, who was in Birmingham with Stewart and Steels. “She was consistent across the board, and being consistent is what won her that national title.

“To be second in the conference championship and then turn around and win it all, is just an amazing story.”

Steels’ second-best jump, which was her second attempt in the prelims, would have beaten all competitors except Acquah’s best and tied the third-place leap by Yanis David of Florida.

The top national indoor qualifier, Rougui Sow of Florida State, placed ninth at 20-6½.

The rest of the NSU track and field teams open the 2019 outdoor season Saturday morning at the McNeese Cowboy Relays/Bob Hayes Challenge in Lake Charles.
00 2019-03-11
Regional/National

Another Ruling Chips Away at NCAA Limits for Athletes


A federal judge on Friday ruled that the National Collegiate Athletic Association and its members had violated federal antitrust law by artificially capping the value of scholarships for educational purposes -- but stopped well short of creating the kind of free market for athletes' compensation that the players and their lawyers had sought.

The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken -- whose 2014 decision in a related case began the slow chipping away of the NCAA's limits on colleges' support for athletes -- is a clear court loss for the association. But lawyers for the athletes also got far less than they wanted: a toppling of the "amateur" athlete model by which the NCAA has for decades limited compensation to athletes to a scholarship and slowly expanding associated benefits.

The plaintiffs, a group of current and former Division I men's and women's basketball players and athletes who played football at universities in the Football Bowl Subdivision, alleged that the NCAA's complex rules -- approved and carried out by the member colleges and conferences -- unfairly restrict what the players could reasonably get in exchange for their athletic talents in an open market.

The association argued, as it has for decades, that the rules restricting compensation have maintained a form of "amateurism" that sustains public support for the college sports enterprise, and that requiring athletes to be students (and compensating them as such) helps integrate them into their campuses.

In her ruling, Judge Wilken in many ways split the difference. She supported the NCAA's argument for continuing to restrict compensation and benefits that are unrelated to education (i.e., payments for sports-related performance), but concluded that the NCAA's amateurism model (which she described as "circular") does not justify the limitations on the education-related benefits that the NCAA currently maintains.

The plaintiffs proposed three possible alternatives to the current system, two of which the judge rejected as creating problems of their own. The first, to lift all NCAA limits on compensation for athletes, would "open the possibility that at least some conferences would allow their schools to offer student-athletes unlimited cash payments that are unrelated to education" -- little different from how the professional leagues operate, Wilken wrote.

Much the same result, Wilken wrote, could occur from a system in which the NCAA continued to limit education-related compensation but could not limit payments unrelated to education.

Instead, she endorsed an approach in which the association continues to limit the value of an athletic scholarship to the cost of attendance and to restrict compensation and benefits unrelated to education, but generally does not limit education-related benefits. Her opinion lists a set of "education-related" benefits that the ruling bars the NCAA and its colleges from restricting, including “computers, science equipment, musical instruments and other tangible items not included in the cost of attendance calculation but nonetheless related to the pursuit of academic studies.”

Wilken also said the NCAA would be enjoined from restricting "post-eligibility scholarships to complete undergraduate or graduate degrees at any school; scholarships to attend vocational school; expenses for pre- and post-eligibility tutoring; expenses for studying abroad that are not covered by the cost of attendance; and paid post-eligibility internships."

The ruling also notes that the list could also be amended by a court-approved motion of the NCAA or the players.

In a statement Friday night, the NCAA's chief legal officer, Donald Remy, criticized the court's ruling but acknowledged, without directly saying so, that it could have been a lot worse for the association. "The court’s decision recognizes that college sports should be played by student-athletes, not by paid professionals. The decision acknowledges that the popularity of college sports stems in part from the fact that these athletes are indeed students, who must not be paid unlimited cash sums unrelated to education. NCAA rules actively provide a pathway for tens of thousands of student-athletes each year to receive a college education debt-free."

Michael McCann, a sports law expert and associate dean of the law school at the University of New Hampshire, said in a column in Sports Illustrated that the main outcome of Wilken's ruling would be to crank up the competition among universities and conferences over the value of the sports scholarship.

"Schools that already compete for recruits in myriad ways -- spending many millions of dollars to fund top coaches’ salaries, constructing new stadiums, building state-of-the-art training facilities -- will be able to compete in one additional way: by offering athletic scholarships of higher value," he wrote.

McCann noted that the ruling could have a slew of implications for colleges and their sports programs, including possibly creating Title IX issues that could require institutions to increase their scholarship spending for female athletes if they do so for men.
00 2019-03-11
Shreveport

Ohio State's Urban Meyer to keynote inaugural Grambling State event


GRAMBLING, LA - (GSU Press Release) The Grambling State University Department of Athletics, in conjunction with the Eddie G. Robinson Museum, announced a very special event in the continuing posthumous celebration of Eddie Robinson's 100th birthday.

The event is part of a new program called, "Legacy Keepers: Preserving the Eddie Robinson Playbook," and former head football coach of the Ohio State University, Urban Meyer, will be the keynote speaker at the inaugural event. The event will take place on Thursday, March 21 at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center on the campus of Grambling State University.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the program will begin at 7 p.m. Admission for the event is free and open to the public.

"We are very excited to have Urban Meyer on our campus and have him as a guest speaker," Grambling State head coach Broderick Fobbs said. "Coach Meyer is a well-respected coach across the nation and has won numerous championships. It is an honor to bring him on the campus, not just to see Grambling State, but to see the history and legacy of what Eddie G. Robinson has built."

Prior to the event, there will be a VIP Reception beginning at 5:00 PM at the Eddie G. Robinson Museum. A very limited number of tickets are available for this event (https://tinyurl.com/eddierobinson100).
00 2019-03-11
Shreveport

Grambling State searches for Director of Bands and Music Department lead​


GRAMBLING, LA - (GSU Press Release) Grambling State University announced applications will close March 13, 2019 for submissions to fill its vacancies for a permanent Director of Bands and a permanent Head of the University’s Music Department.

“The Tiger Marching Band is an integral part of what makes our University’s culture outstanding,” said President Gallot. “I am extremely proud of all that the World Famed Band and the GSU Music Department have accomplished. Both new permanent positions will have the privilege and responsibility of ensuring that the University’s legacy of excellence in music and entertainment continues.”

About the Role: Director of Marching, Concert & Pep Bands
The next Director of Bands for Grambling State University will lead the charge furthering the long-standing legacy of distinction for its 220 exceptional students who participate in the World-Famed Tiger Marching Band. In addition, the new leader will oversee and contribute to the development of all other concert, pep band, and other instrument-led ensembles on campus. Learn More

About the Role: Head of Music Department
The new Head of Grambling State University’s Music Department will provide visionary leadership and strategic direction to a team of fourteen faculty members, including seven adjunct and seven full-time members. Overseeing the education and development of more than one hundred talented students, the role will manage three academic programs including Liberal Arts Concentration, Music Education-Instrumental Concentration, and Music Education-Vocal Concentration. The new department head will spearhead the division’s contributions to the University’s strategic priorities, including but not limited to increasing its student enrollment, broadening its community involvement and impact, and delivering first-rate operational efficiency.
Learn More
00 2019-03-08
Shreveport

Book traces Native American habitation in northwest Louisiana


People have lived in northwest Louisiana for at least 13,000 years.

Stop and digest that for a moment.

“What always astounds me, and I think will surprise readers,” says archaeologist and author Jeffrey Girard, “is the incredible length of time that people have lived in this area–at least 13,000 years—and how profound the changes were in human lifeways.”

I’m excited about Girard’s book, “The Caddos and Their Ancestors,” published last year by LSU Press, and what it tells us about who we are now.

Girard traces native human habitation in northwest Louisiana from the end of the last Ice Age, through the formation of the Caddo culture in the 10th century BCE, to the early 19th century. He depicts a distinct and dynamic population spanning from precolonial times to the dawn of the modern era.

book1
“The Caddos and their Ancestors” (Photo: Courtesy)

“The study of the Caddo heritage of our region is both important and fascinating,” Girard says. “All of our present actions, all of the decisions we make depend on some notion of what happened in the past.”

That comment alone led me to buy this book.

Girard, former Louisiana Archaeologist of the Year, served as regional archaeologist for the Louisiana Division of Archaeology and retired from the faculty of Northwestern State University after 26 years. His passion for his field shines through in his research on the Caddo people. This examination of a cultural force in our region provides a thorough history of the centuries the Caddo people and their predecessors survived and thrived in what is now Louisiana.

“The persistence of Caddo culture is inspirational regarding human resolve and tenacity even in times of extreme adversity,” he says.

Those of you who love to read historical nonfiction will likely share Girard’s philosophy. “Learning about the past is important because it helps us understand the diverse ways that people and societies operate and expands our notions of what it means to be human beings,” he says. “People are naturally curious about how people lived long ago.”

book3
Jeffrey Girard (Photo: Courtesy)

Girard uses the material evidence that defined Caddo culture long before the appearance of Europeans in the late 17th century. He explains that reliance solely on documented observations by explorers and missionaries—which often reflect a Native American population with a static past—propagates an incomplete account of history.

“Caddo people occupied the landscape for at least a thousand years and left a remarkable record of how they lived—how they interacted with their environment and with one another,” he says. “Incredible changes took place through time and these are what I try to convey in the book.”

By using specific archaeological techniques, he reveals how the Caddos altered their lives to cope with ever-changing physical and social environments across thousands of years. This approach puts in context the remnants of houses, mounds, burials, tools, ornaments and food found at Native American sites in northwest Louisiana.

More book news: New Louisiana bird book flies onto shelves

The book describes and includes illustrations of these archaeological finds and explores the social organization, technology, settlement, art and worldviews of this society.

“We find artifacts and other remnants of the past and wonder when they were made and what they were used for,” he says. “The discipline of archaeology explores these issues, especially for ancient times when no written records are available.”

The hard cover book retails for $29.95, and it is also available in digital formats. Girard is now the co-editor and author of chapters in a book about Caddo Indian pottery to be published by LSU Press.

Want to read more about regional history? Girard recommends:

“Caddo Indians: Where We Come From,” by Cecile E. Carter, University of Oklahoma Press

“The Caddo Indians: Tribes at the Convergence of Empires, 1542-1854,” by F. Todd Smith, Texas A&M University Press, College Station

“Archaeology of Louisiana,” edited by Mark A. Rees, Louisiana State University Press

What’s on your reading list these days?

I’d love to hear your book suggestions: judy@judychristie.com.

Book columnist Judy Christie is the author of 17 books, including 10 novels. To sign up for her free book-lover e-newsletter: www.judychristie.com.
00 2019-03-07
Hammond

SLU media praised at journalism conference


HAMMOND — Southeastern Louisiana University earned praise of judges at the Southeast Journalism Conference in February, bringing home first-place awards in categories for radio and television.

SLU media placed: KSLU News ranked first for Best College Radio Station, Northshore News ranked first for Best College Video News Program, and The Southeastern Channel ranked first for Best College TV Station.

Students who placed in the Best of the South categories include Connor Ferrill, of Mandeville, first for Best Radio Journalist; Tyler Rogers, of Hammond, first for Best Broadcast Advertising Staff Member; Parker Berthelot, of Denham Springs, second for Best Television Hard News Reporter; Andrew Scherer, of Mandeville, third for Best Television Feature Reporter; and Jessica Bowen, of Denham Springs, seventh for Journalist of the Year.

Professor of Communication Amber Narro, past chairwoman of the conference, said Southeastern’s team participated in on-site competitions during the conference, and students benefited from workshops and networking with professionals who shared their work and experiences in photography, multimedia journalism, data driven journalism and investigative reporting.

“The competitions evolve every year,” Narro said. “The workshops are geared for real jobs where students could develop their skills so it is relevant to the work they’ll be doing in the field.”
00 2019-03-07
Monroe

ULM Risk Management Program receives $50,000 from industry leader AmWIN


MONROE, La. (Press Release) - (3/6/19) AmWINS, Inc., the country’s largest wholesale insurance broker, recently announced a $50,000 donation to ULM’s Risk Management and Insurance Program.

“The decision to invest in the ULM RMI program was easy for AmWINS. The quality of talent is amazing and we have had the opportunity to hire quality employees. So, it was not a question of should we invest – it was why would we notinvest. The benefit the program provides to the insurance industry far outweighs the investment,” said Tammy Culmone, Executive Vice President for AmWINS and Branch Leader for the Baton Rouge and Monroe offices.

AmWINs currently employs more than 30 of ULM’s Risk Management and Insurance graduates, with 26 of those hires occurring since 2016. Four ULM RMI spring 2019 graduates have already accepted positions with AmWINS upon graduation and four ULM RMI juniors and seniors have accepted internships for the summer of 2019.

“AmWINS has been a great partner to ULM’s RMI program. Not only have they hired and interned many of our graduates, they routinely speak to our classes and at RMI Society meetings. AmWINS employees have improved and enriched our curriculum and our students’ experience,” according to Dr. Christine Berry, Program Coordinator and Professor of Risk Management and Insurance at ULM. “AmWINS supports not only our teaching efforts but also our recruiting efforts by sending ULM RMI Alumni who are AmWINS employees back to campus to talk about this great industry and the challenging and rewarding opportunities within AmWINS.”

ULM Risk Management graduates have gone to work all over the country with AmWINS in locations such as Nashville, Houston, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, New Orleans, and their headquarters in Charlotte, N.C. AmWINS recently opened an office in Monroe. Students who have interned over the summer in offices like Charlotte, Baton Rouge and Dallas can work part-time in Monroe while in school.

Junior Risk Management and Insurance Major, Logan Latin said “My first internship with AmWINS was last summer in Houston, Texas. Since then, I have had the opportunity to intern in Monroe while attending classes as well as return to the Houston office over the winter break, and I have already accepted my internship in Houston for this upcoming summer. It is exciting to know that I have an amazing potential position waiting for me when I graduate, especially as a current junior.”

ULM’s program is one of the few in the country that provides specialized courses in surplus lines and reinsurance. Surplus Lines insurance is heavily used in Louisiana and across the South in the agriculture, entertainment, petrochemical and tourism industries.

AmWINS is a global specialty insurance distributor with premium placements of over $15.3 billion annually. They are the largest distributor of property, casualty and professional lines insurance products (e.g. public entities, construction risks). Employing over 4,800 people, AmWINS specializes in offering retail agents an array of P&C programs for specific product lines, industry segments and business types. They provide services in brokerage, underwriting, group benefits and access to Lloyds of London.
00 2019-03-07
Monroe

Do you have what it takes to lead the GSU Tiger Marching Band?


GRAMBLING — Grambling State University announced applications will close March 13 for submissions to fill its vacancies for a permanent Director of Bands and a permanent Head of the University’s Music Department.

“The Tiger Marching Band is an integral part of what makes our University’s culture outstanding,” said President Rick Gallot. “I am extremely proud of all that the world-famed band and the GSU Music Department have accomplished. Both new permanent positions will have the privilege and responsibility of ensuring that the university’s legacy of excellence in music and entertainment continues.”

Director of Marching, Concert & Pep Bands

The Director of Bands for Grambling State University will lead the charge furthering long-standing legacy of distinction for its 220 exceptional students who participate in the world-famed Tiger Marching Band. In addition, the leader will oversee and contribute to the development of all other concert, pep band and other instrument-led ensembles on campus.

Head of Music Department

The Head of Grambling State University’s Music Department will provide visionary leadership and strategic direction to a team of 14 faculty members, including seven adjunct and seven full-time members. Overseeing the education and development of more than 100 talented students, the role will manage three academic programs including Liberal Arts Concentration, Music Education-Instrumental Concentration and Music Education-Vocal Concentration. The department head will spearhead the division’s contributions to the university’s strategic priorities, including but not limited to increasing its student enrollment, broadening its community involvement and impact, and delivering first-rate operational efficiency.



Tiger Marching Band

Known as the “Best Band in the Land,” the 200-plus member world-famed Tiger Marching Band has been nationally celebrated since its founding, including performances at half-time during NFL Super Bowls I and II (1967 and 1968). Continuing the legacy, the band boasts more than 50 NFL half-time shows and 14 Super Bowl performances; 15 NBA performances; commercials for major brands such as Coca-Cola; international performances from Africa to Asia; and major motion pictures features including Drumline (2002) and The Great Debaters (2007).

Grambling State University Music Department

The Department of Music is in the College of Arts and Sciences at Grambling State University.

The primary mission of the Department of Music is to produce graduates who will be leaders and advocates in their respective fields. The department is committed to building the community through the arts by being a resource for music pedagogy and performance. Home to the Grambling State University Symphony Orchestra and the Concert Choir, the division aims to cultivate a climate where creativity flourishes, engaging the community with music, and making it accessible to all.

“We will move forward with high expectations of hiring the best candidates to advance our Tiger Band and Music Department,” said Gallot. “Both programs have served as beacons of achievement and I am excited to welcome the next generation of success.”

Applicants are encouraged to submit interest for each of the roles for Director of Bands or Head of the Music Department at careers.gram.edu. Each opening will close to new applicants March 13, and the University aims to conclude the search process on May 1.
00 2019-03-07
Ruston

TECH BUSINESS CLASS PITCHES SCHOOL SUPPLY SAVINGS PLAN


All children in the United States are legally entitled to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). To Lincoln Parish Schools Superintendent Mike Milstead, finding a way to help families purchase school supplies would greatly strengthen the parish’s provision of FAPE.

Thanks to a collaboration with a class in Louisiana Tech University’s College of Business, a potential plan to centralize the purchase of grades K-5 school supplies for the district is in the works.
00 2019-03-07
Shreveport

Book traces Native American habitation in northwest Louisiana


People have lived in northwest Louisiana for at least 13,000 years.

Stop and digest that for a moment.

“What always astounds me, and I think will surprise readers,” says archaeologist and author Jeffrey Girard, “is the incredible length of time that people have lived in this area–at least 13,000 years—and how profound the changes were in human lifeways.”

I’m excited about Girard’s book, “The Caddos and Their Ancestors,” published last year by LSU Press, and what it tells us about who we are now.

Girard traces native human habitation in northwest Louisiana from the end of the last Ice Age, through the formation of the Caddo culture in the 10th century BCE, to the early 19th century. He depicts a distinct and dynamic population spanning from precolonial times to the dawn of the modern era.

book1
“The Caddos and their Ancestors” (Photo: Courtesy)

“The study of the Caddo heritage of our region is both important and fascinating,” Girard says. “All of our present actions, all of the decisions we make depend on some notion of what happened in the past.”

That comment alone led me to buy this book.

Girard, former Louisiana Archaeologist of the Year, served as regional archaeologist for the Louisiana Division of Archaeology and retired from the faculty of Northwestern State University after 26 years. His passion for his field shines through in his research on the Caddo people. This examination of a cultural force in our region provides a thorough history of the centuries the Caddo people and their predecessors survived and thrived in what is now Louisiana.

“The persistence of Caddo culture is inspirational regarding human resolve and tenacity even in times of extreme adversity,” he says.

Those of you who love to read historical nonfiction will likely share Girard’s philosophy. “Learning about the past is important because it helps us understand the diverse ways that people and societies operate and expands our notions of what it means to be human beings,” he says. “People are naturally curious about how people lived long ago.”

book3
Jeffrey Girard (Photo: Courtesy)

Girard uses the material evidence that defined Caddo culture long before the appearance of Europeans in the late 17th century. He explains that reliance solely on documented observations by explorers and missionaries—which often reflect a Native American population with a static past—propagates an incomplete account of history.

“Caddo people occupied the landscape for at least a thousand years and left a remarkable record of how they lived—how they interacted with their environment and with one another,” he says. “Incredible changes took place through time and these are what I try to convey in the book.”

By using specific archaeological techniques, he reveals how the Caddos altered their lives to cope with ever-changing physical and social environments across thousands of years. This approach puts in context the remnants of houses, mounds, burials, tools, ornaments and food found at Native American sites in northwest Louisiana.

More book news: New Louisiana bird book flies onto shelves

The book describes and includes illustrations of these archaeological finds and explores the social organization, technology, settlement, art and worldviews of this society.

“We find artifacts and other remnants of the past and wonder when they were made and what they were used for,” he says. “The discipline of archaeology explores these issues, especially for ancient times when no written records are available.”

The hard cover book retails for $29.95, and it is also available in digital formats. Girard is now the co-editor and author of chapters in a book about Caddo Indian pottery to be published by LSU Press.

Want to read more about regional history? Girard recommends:

“Caddo Indians: Where We Come From,” by Cecile E. Carter, University of Oklahoma Press

“The Caddo Indians: Tribes at the Convergence of Empires, 1542-1854,” by F. Todd Smith, Texas A&M University Press, College Station

“Archaeology of Louisiana,” edited by Mark A. Rees, Louisiana State University Press

What’s on your reading list these days?

I’d love to hear your book suggestions: judy@judychristie.com.

Book columnist Judy Christie is the author of 17 books, including 10 novels. To sign up for her free book-lover e-newsletter: www.judychristie.com.
00 2019-03-06
Baton Rouge

Nungesser announces Bayou Culture Collaborative workshop series


“Events include an artist sense of place workshop, collecting stories workshops in Lafourche Parish, gumbo making at the Chauvin Folk Art Festival, carving classes, Mardi Gras costume making, and more.”

Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser today announced a series of workshops in Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes through the Bayou Culture Collaborative, an initiative of the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program in collaboration with the Louisiana Folklore Society and other organizations.

“The goal is to help sustain the vital traditional knowledge of coastal communities affected by land loss,” said Lieutenant Governor Nungesser. “These events will occur at a variety of locations throughout the area and will include workshops, classes, and presentations about local traditions and how to sustain them. The input we receive from local community members will be vital to this work.”

A meeting of the Louisiana Folklore Society in Houma on March 23, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Duhé Center features presentations about traditional cultures throughout Louisiana in the morning session. The afternoon session features a presentation on efforts to support traditional cultures in Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes. The Duhé Center is located at 235 Civic Center Blvd. in Houma.

On March 30, a four-part workshop titled Moving Traditions Forward: Documenting Bayou Culture Workshop Series begins at the North Branch of the Terrebonne Parish Library, located at 4230 West Park Avenue in Gray, Louisiana. The workshops will focus on documenting traditions, conducting oral interviews, and then sharing findings with your community. Each workshop runs from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., and are as follows:

---March 30: Exploring Local Folklife and Choosing What to Document

---April 13: Getting Ready for Interviewing: Techniques for Documenting Local Stories and Knowledge

---April 27: Catch and Release: Documentary Photography and Videography for your Community

---May 11: Presenting, Archiving, and Funding your Project

“This workshop series is only part of what the collaboration is offering,” said Maida Owens, director of the Folklife Program. “Events include an artist sense of place workshop, collecting stories workshops in Lafourche Parish, gumbo making at the Chauvin Folk Art Festival, carving classes, Mardi Gras costume making, and more.”

For a full calendar of events, more details on each workshop, and registration information, visit www.louisianafolklife.org/bayouculture.

This project is a collaboration between Louisiana Folklore Society, the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program, the South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center, Nicholls State University Center for Bayou Studies, Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts in Education, University of Louisiana at Lafayette Center for Louisiana Studies, and Bayou Regional Arts Council. The Bayou Culture Collaborative is funded 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.

Contributed by the La. Office of Cultural Development
00 2019-03-06
Baton Rouge

This Louisiana program luring adults to college could benefit students, state; here's how


Until a few months ago, Courtney Henderson was a full-time mom raising five children.

Now she is part of a pilot project aimed at trimming the staggering number of adults in Louisiana 18 years and older with a high school diploma or less — nearly 1 of every 2 adults.

Henderson, 32, is on scholarship at Baton Rouge Community College, where she is studying business management in hopes of eventually opening her own hair salon. "I am going to do whatever I have to do to succeed," she said.

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Henderson is taking 12 credit hours, spends four days a week on campus and hitches a ride to and from classes.

"I am not giving up," she said.

Higher education leaders hope the pilot program benefiting Henderson and a few hundred other students soon turns into a state-funded program that could someday help transform the state's economy.

"They are there because they know this is going to be life changing for them," Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed said.

Louisiana's new higher education leader starts job early to help head off potential budget cuts
Louisiana's new higher education leader starts job early to help head off potential budget cuts
The scholarships are aimed at helping adults often working two or three jobs, supporting a family and struggling to get ahead in the 21st century world.

It is an age-old problem in Louisiana, which has suffered from low education attainment for generations.

"We still have 1.7 million people with a high school diploma or less," said Monty Sullivan, president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System and one of key players in launching the pilots.

Southern, LCTCS leaders call for more need-based college aid
"The real story is, how do you survive economically with a high school diploma or less?" Sullivan said.

The program stems from a 2018 proposal that started big — state-funded college scholarships for adults.

"We felt like the data made the case that we have an adult problem, but we are spending the primary financial aid dollars for young people," Sullivan said. "We have to focus some of our resources on adults."

LCTCS president: Coming up with more financial aid for students still a challenge for La.'s community, technical colleges
LCTCS president: Coming up with more financial aid for students still a challenge for La.'s community, technical colleges
The initial proposal quickly died amid recurring state budget troubles.

"The problem was the $5 million price tag," Sullivan said.

What ultimately won final approval was House Resolution No. 12, which directed LCTCS officials to launch a pilot project, with private money.

Sullivan and others did just that, raising $175,000 initially from community foundations, businesses and others to fund scholarships.

That allowed 112 students who met the requirements, including Henderson, to enroll in colleges last fall.

Louisiana community colleges too costly, state's higher education chief says
Louisiana community colleges too costly, state's higher education chief says
The average age was 27.

Another $200,000 raised allowed 146 students to sign up for the spring semester.

The adult students outperformed those on traditional state scholarships — 2.82 GPA compared to 2.72 — and returned for the fall semester at a rate nearly 50 percent higher than other students.

"When you create the pathway for individuals they will take you up on it," Sullivan said. "Adults perform in the classroom at least as well as the recent high school graduates."

Sullivan has long decried Louisiana's huge number of adults with a high school diploma or less, and how it drives up the rate of Medicaid recipients, those who rely on other government benefits, and the state's bulging prison population. "This is an opportunity to produce taxpayers," he said.

"That language, I don't like it," Sullivan added. "But those folks in that building like it," he said, a reference to the State Capitol and the 144-member Legislature.

Senate Education Committee Chairman Dan "Blade" Morrish, R-Jennings, one of the sponsors of the legislation that sparked the pilots, said the program stands to benefit students, employers and the state.

"It's just a great opportunity for them to improve their lives and to actually have a skill that they can market," said Morrish.

House Education Committee Chairwoman Nancy Landry, R-Lafayette, said the program will allow the state to tap into a huge potential workforce that lands quality jobs. "It is a benefit to the state and very cost effective," Landry said.

Louisiana's community and technical colleges are celebrating their 20th anniversary with roughly 150,000 students.

They cater to students much different, and oftentimes more serious, than those at four-year schools.

"When someone shows up on campus you have one shot," Sullivan said. "They have one shot. You better have something to offer them that day."

For $1,500 that could mean training for a commercial driver's license, and eventually a $50,000 per year salary, double the state's average income.

"The question becomes twofold," he said. "How do I find $1,500, and how do I pay the bills during the program?

"The program we are talking about here is how to solve part of the problem for them," Sullivan said.

Reed said the scholarships, and the hope they become permanent, also addresses a larger issue.

"We have said for so long, ‘This is the way,’ ” she said. "But we don't say how do you get there, how do you pay for it."

Other states have launched similar efforts, including one in Tennessee that enrolls about 6,000 students.

Any push to make the scholarships a permanent part of state government is likely a year away, in part because 2019 is an election year.

"We have to find a way to capture that adult market," Sullivan said.
00 2019-03-06
Hammond

Academics featured in state’s largest regional literary rally at Southeastern’s Rock ‘n Roar


More than 3,400 students from 84 different high schools converged on Southeastern Louisiana University on Saturday, Feb. 23, for the Southeast Louisiana District Literary Rally and Rock ‘n Roar, the university’s annual campus-community festival.

Southeastern currently has the largest regional literary rally in the state.

The Louisiana High School Rally is an academic competition in which high school students compete by taking exams on a variety of subjects. It has been held throughout the state since 1909, with the regional competition held at Southeastern for more than 40 years.

The Southeast Louisiana District Literary Rally at Southeastern featured 48 different tests on subjects ranging from agriculture to calculus.

Literary rally participants came from both public and private high school students in more than a dozen parishes, including Livingston, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Jefferson, Orleans, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Washington and West Feliciana.

Students who earned qualifying scores on their tests will advance to the State Literary Rally at LSU in Baton Rouge in April.

At the Southeast Louisiana District Literary Rally, more than 825 students qualified for the State Rally, while 370 students qualified for the Freshman Scholastic Achievement Award, which comes with a Southeastern scholarship if the student chooses to attend the university within one year after graduating from high school.

After finishing their tests, students were able to gather information from hands-on academic displays, financial aid and career booths at Rock n’ Roar.

Now in its 23rd year, Rock n’ Roar provided a day of family fun for both the Literary Rally visitors and the community, said Southeastern Director of Recreational Sports and Wellness and Rock n’ Roar Chairman Seth Thomas.

“Rock ‘n Roar is an event with something for everyone, and a great way to invite the community, campus and regional high school students to have fun while visiting and learning about Southeastern,” said Thomas. “We appreciate the efforts of students, faculty and staff to share Southeastern’s offerings with future Lions.”
00 2019-03-06
Lafayette

UL LIFE Student, Camrin Sandoz, Hits Ceremonial First Tee Shot for Louisiana Classics


LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) - Learning Is For Everyone otherwise known as the L.I.F.E. program, helps UL students with special needs.

Camrin Sandoz is a member of the Ragin Cajun Golf team as well as the LIFE program.

Last year, Robert, otherwise known as Big Bob, hit the ceremonial first tee shot for the Louisiana Classics.

This year, it was Camrin's turn.

ted sandoz "The UL LIFE program has given these kids a lot of opportunities that they may not have had," said Sandoz's father, Ted, "It's just been pretty awesome especially being part of a college team."

Golf is a sport that has always been part of Camrin's life.

His father is a UL alum and his brother plays as well.

It's a passion they all share.

"He's done a lot with special olympics over the years," explained Ted, "he's had a lot of opportunity to travel around and play some golf with a bunch of pros and it's a pretty awesome sport."

"I play golf with with my dad and my brother which is fun now to watch them play," said Camrin, "when I grow up, become a PGA member of the team."

Of course those PGA dreams couldn't come true without the love and support that surrounds Camrin every day.

"I thank my coach, coach Theo, he does everything for the golf team, I love my golf team and also I love the team, it's been a fun year."

If you were to visit Oakbourne Country Club, you would find Camrin on the course, with his teammates, giving advice or words of encouragement.

"It feels fun to be with my golf team."

While some may think Camrin is the one learning from these interactions, the real impact comes from him.

"These guys on the team have accepted him," said Ted, "I see him in the locker room this morning, they treat him like he's everybody else."

"The joy and smiles and happiness that he brings everyday," said UL Golf Head Coach Theo Sliman, "it teaches our boys a while heck of a lot."

Camrin will graduate from UL next Spring.
00 2019-03-06
Lafayette

UL Lafayette-LSUE Partnership Eases Degree Pathway For Informatics Majors


Lafayette- Earning a bachelor’s degree in informatics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is as easy as 2+2.

LSU at Eunice graduates can apply course credits earned there toward completing a bachelor’s degree in informatics at UL Lafayette. Administrators from both institutions signed a transfer agreement Thursday that will be in effect for the Fall 2019 semester.

Informatics is applied computer science. It examines how individuals interact with and share information. Informatics students learn to design and adapt information systems to solve problems that arise in the workplace and in everyday life.

Under the 2+2 plan, students complete 60 credit hours in two years at LSUE to earn an associate degree. Those credits then transfer to UL Lafayette, where the student accrues another 60 hours over two years to earn a bachelor’s degree from its School of Computing and Informatics. Undergraduate degrees require at least 120 credit hours to complete.

LSUE and UL Lafayette have existing transfer agreements in biology and elementary education. Dr. Joseph Savoie, the University’s president, said the latest pact “strengthens an already strong collaboration with LSUE. It also underscores that the University is serious about its role in supporting Louisiana’s emergence as a technology hub.”

“Top tech companies regularly recruit graduates from our informatics and computer science programs because the University has a record of providing exceptionally educated professionals with the agility to navigate this rapidly changing field,” Savoie said.

Dr. William Crowe, LSUE’s interim chancellor, said the agreement “is exactly the kind of transfer relationship our students are looking for and what they deserve.” He added the “clear, affordable path toward a bachelor’s degree” strengthens graduates’ long-term earning potentials.

“By enabling LSUE graduates to continue their educations at UL Lafayette, we enhance their ability to provide a good living for themselves and their families,” Crowe said.

Dr. Azmy S. Ackleh is dean of UL Lafayette’s Ray P. Authement College of Sciences, which includes the School of Computing and Informatics. He noted the University offers Louisiana’s only master’s degree in the discipline in addition to an undergraduate degree in informatics.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for LSUE graduates to join our informatics program and complete an undergraduate degree in a timely manner. With diplomas in hand, they then can pursue a master’s in informatics here or enter the workforce,” Ackleh said.

The transfer agreement’s signing comes less than two weeks after the state announced a $1.25 million economic development grant to the School of Computing and Informatics. The funds will support a pipeline of talent between the University and tech companies such as Waitr, CGI, Perficient and Enquero. Each has offices in Lafayette.

Dr. Michael W. Totaro, an associate professor who coordinates the informatics master’s degree program, said LSUE students who transfer to UL Lafayette will benefit from the state grant, which will be used to enhance academic programs and create certification options.

“Individuals trained in applied computing fields such as informatics are essential to the health of Louisiana’s tech sector. This agreement with LSUE will also help increase the number of STEM graduates, whose skills and training touch so many facets of everyday life,” Totaro said.

Dr. Renee Robichaux, LSUE’s vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, noted that growth in the state’s tech economy mirrors an increase in computing jobs nationally. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment opportunities in the field will grow at an above-average rate over the next decade.

“The development of the transfer agreement between LSUE and UL Lafayette took the vision and dedication of faculty and administrators from both institutions. This agreement will be vital in providing needed expertise for tomorrow’s workforce,” Robichaux said.

At LSUE, students will take courses in computer information technology, natural sciences, mathematics, and general education courses in English, history and literature. Once enrolled at UL Lafayette, students will take advanced courses in informatics, computer science, mathematics and statistics.

Visit informatics.louisiana.edu for more information on the University’s bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in informatics.
00 2019-03-06
Lafayette

Louisiana student applies to wrong SLCC, gets a free trip to Utah


A 21-year-old from Estherwood was looking to take a few summer courses and speed up her expected graduation date from University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Kaitlynn Lovelady is a junior majoring in business management. She was working at her internship last week and typed "SLCC" in the Google search bar, looking for South Louisiana Community College in Lafayette.

The top result was slcc.edu, which looked like what she wanted. She quickly filled out an online application, submitted it and figured she would pick out her exact courses later when she had more time.

Once it was all said and done, she saw she was at the website for Salt Lake Community College in Utah. It turns out the SLCC she had been looking for is found at solacc.edu.

Kaitlynn Lovelady, 21, is a junior at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She was looking to take some summer classes at South Louisiana Community College in Lafayette when she accidentally applied to Salt Lake Community College in Utah. She tweeted about it and received more attention than she expected.
Kaitlynn Lovelady, 21, is a junior at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She was looking to take some summer classes at South Louisiana Community College in Lafayette when she accidentally applied to Salt Lake Community College in Utah. She tweeted about it and received more attention than she expected. (Photo: Leigh Guidry/USA TODAY Network)

She texted a few friends to laugh about her mistake, and after work she thought, "I'm gonna just make a funny tweet about it," she said in an interview.

She wrote, "I just applied to SLCC for summer class only to realize it’s Salt Lake Community College in SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH instead of SOUTH LOUISIANA COMMUNITY COLLEGE. GOODBYE $40!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Lovelady had no idea how it would take off. It has gotten 92 retweets and more than 1,000 likes on Twitter since Feb. 27.

She expected some response from Acadiana, but one of the first notifications she got was a reply from Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox.

"Kaitlynn, we don’t know each other... but trust me when I tell you that might be the best $40 you’ve ever spent! (And I’ve been in Southern LA in the summer... I promise you’ll enjoy our dry heat better.)" Cox tweeted Feb. 28.

Kaitlynn Lovelady, 21, is a junior at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She was looking to take some summer classes at South Louisiana Community College in Lafayette when she accidentally applied to Salt Lake Community College in Utah. She tweeted about it and received more attention than she expected.
Kaitlynn Lovelady, 21, is a junior at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She was looking to take some summer classes at South Louisiana Community College in Lafayette when she accidentally applied to Salt Lake Community College in Utah. She tweeted about it and received more attention than she expected. (Photo: Leigh Guidry/USA TODAY Network)

"It blew up from there," she said in an interview.

Others in Utah echoed Cox's sentiment, talking up their state's weather, mountainous scenery and other positives.

The Louisiana native replied that Utah sounded great but a summer away wasn't in her budget. She jokingly added, "If anyone from Utah wants to pay my flight there and back, I’ll consider it."

That's exactly what has happened.

Someone from Utah is paying for Lovelady to spend a weekend in April, during her spring break from UL Lafayette, in the Beehive State.

She was surprised, but excited to take him up on the offer. She's only been to Texas outside of her home state, so this is a big leap.

"I have no idea what to expect," she said. "... I want to showcase what Utah has to offer."

MORE: Paul Breaux Middle speech team dominates at Mississippi tournament

Kaitlynn Lovelady, 21, is a junior at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She was looking to take some summer classes at South Louisiana Community College in Lafayette when she accidentally applied to Salt Lake Community College in Utah. She tweeted about it and received more attention than she expected.
Kaitlynn Lovelady, 21, is a junior at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She was looking to take some summer classes at South Louisiana Community College in Lafayette when she accidentally applied to Salt Lake Community College in Utah. She tweeted about it and received more attention than she expected. (Photo: Leigh Guidry/USA TODAY Network)

But Louisiana isn't giving her up so easily. Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser responded to Cox with a tweet of his own.

"@SpencerJCox, you can't have her! There may be beautiful mountains in Utah, but #OnlyLouisiana can feed your soul. @KaitlynnLovelad knows that there is nothing quite like Louisiana! Stay in Louisiana Kaitlynn!" Nungesser tweeted Monday.

SLCC — the one in Louisiana — even came up with a hashtag for the effort, #KeepKaitlynnInLA, adding, "It's so much warmer here! See you on campus soon!"

She loves Louisiana — "It's home," she said — but she's looking forward to checking out Utah, too.

Like her mom told her, "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Once she's there, she wants to try out skiing and hiking.

"I definitely hope to see some snow — like, real snow," she said with a smile.

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00 2019-03-06
Lake Charles

Louisiana to become second state in U.S. to have veterans centers on all college campuses


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Governor John Bell Edwards and the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs announced plans to have veterans centers on every college campus in Louisiana by the Fall 2019 semester. This would make Louisiana the second state in the U.S. to do so.

There are currently 8,300 veterans enrolled in colleges across the state. McNeese State University Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Chris Thomas says veterans make up around 3.5 percent of students at MSU.

“The percentage of our veterans coming back that need to retool themselves and to complete their college degree," Thomas said. "I think we have a real opportunity to serve those men and women and to put them in a position for success and that’s what this position is about.”

SOWELA Technical College opened their Veterans Success Center in 2014. Darlene Hoffpauir, Sowela’s Marketing & Communications Manager, says the center offers access to tutoring services, priority registration, a private computer lab, and support while transitioning from military to college for veterans and military service members.

At McNeese, Thomas says a resource officer for veterans can be found in the Registrar’s Office and they are in the process of finding a location for their veterans resource center.

“I think we have an opportunity with this particular person to take all these different areas of expertise and have a front door place for our veterans to come back. And so, if they need the assistance, if they have a question; they have a person with whom they can speak, someone to help them use their G.I. Benefits, to help them with their articulation agreements with other institutions. Many of our veterans start college at various places in their time in the service and so, we would love to be able to help them be graduates from McNeese,” Thomas said.

The program for the veterans centers is called the LaVetCorps, and will cost about $520,000 per year.

State officials said federal grants are expected to take care of $320,000 and the Department of Veterans Affairs about $200,000, including in-kind contributions and $2,500 site fees paid by campuses.

Copyright 2019 KPLC. All rights reserved.
00 2019-03-06
Monroe

Grambling State Women students win awards


GRAMBLING – Three women students and one alumnus of Grambling State University took home top honors at this year’s Black Engineer of the Year Awards in Washington, D.C. Arlanda Nunsett, Faith Pittman, and Niana Celestine were rewarded for their excellence in community service, student leadership, and academic achievement.

Each year, the Black Engineer of the Year Awards STEM Conference connects professionals with students for three days of education, networking, and career advancement. Students from universities across the United States also compete during the conference for nation-wide award competitions as well as prestigious internships, competitive career openings and research opportunities.

Grambling students and alumnus were recognized for service, leadership and innovation at the Black Engineer of the Year Awards.
Grambling students and alumnus were recognized for service, leadership and innovation at the Black Engineer of the Year Awards. (Photo: Courtesy)

The winners:

Arlanda Nunsett, winner of the BEYA Community Service Award
Arlanda Nunsett, Senior Electronics Engineering Technology major, currently holds a 3.41 GPA and was recognized by BEYA this year for achievement in Community Service. Arlanda was recognized for her volunteerism as an academic coach for college and K-12 students. Nunsett also serves on campus with the National Society for Black Engineers (NSBE), the Center for Mathematical Achievement in Science and Technology (CMAST), the STEM Learning Community and the World-Famed Tiger Marching Band.

In addition to her award, Nunsett also received an onsite internship offer from Northrop Grumman; one of America’s leading global security companies.

Faith Pittman, winner of the BEYA Student Leadership Award
Faith Pittman, a Junior Chemistry major with a 3.31 GPA, was recognized by BEYA for her work on-campus as a student leader. On campus, Faith serves as a student leader for the Department of Chemistry, the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Chemist and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE), Chemistry Club, and the Center for Mathematical Achievement in Science and Technology (CMAST). This year, her work has included STEM outreaches for K-12 students, raising $1,000 and more than 420 pounds of food donations for the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana.

Faith is also Miss Black and Gold and has recently secured and internship with global pharmaceutical leader, Eli Lilly.

Niana Celestine, winner of the BEYA Academic Award
Niana Celestine, a Senior Computer Science and Marketing major, has a 3.92 GPA which helped her win BEYA’s nationwide honor in Academics. In addition to her academic honors, Niana has been acknowledged as a star intern by technology provider, Century Link, and led winning teams at the 2018 Bayou Classic BizTech Challenge (1st place), HBCU Battle of the Brains – (3rd Place) and CenturyLink Disrupt (2nd Place).

Alumnus Dominique Wilson, winner of the BEYA Modern Day Technology Leader Award
2016 Engineering Technology graduate and former award-winner for BEYA’s student leadership honor, was named the 2019 a Modern-Day Technology Leader of the year. Today, Wilson works as a Level 2 Software Engineer at Huntington Ingalls Industry, America's largest military shipbuilding company and government services provider. Wilson job offer from Huntington in 2016 at the BEYA conference.

“These awards reflect the continuous hard work of the students, and staff in our CMAST (Center for Mathematical Achievement in Science and Technology) program,” said President Rick Gallot. “We are grateful to our CMAST project director Mrs. Corisma Robinson Akins and the entire team for how they continue to innovate.”
00 2019-03-06
Monroe

Board of Regents help reduce college textbook costs


The Louisiana Board of Regents this week hosted teams from six campuses across the state assisting them in implementing creative plans to reduce textbook costs to students.

Through targeted grants funded by regents, and awarded by The Louisiana Library Network for course redesign and adoption of open textbooks and other Open Education Resources, regents estimates these efforts could save more than $1 million over three years for 15,000 students.

Ten campuses were awarded a total of $67,500 through the LOUIS Affordable Learning Project to jump start efforts to adopt OER, which significantly lower textbook expenses for students. Below is a list of colleges/universities receiving awards, the area of concentration and the amount awarded:

Northshore Technical Community College, Microbiology, $2,500
Delgado Community College, General Biology Lab, $5,000
Fletcher Technical Community College, Psychology, $7,500
Grambling State University, Organic Chemistry I, $7,500
Grambling State University, Graduate Level Courses, $7,500\
Nicholls State University, Culinary, $7,500
Northshore Technical Community College, Criminal Justice Reform, $7,500
River Parishes Community College, AS/LT Physical Science Degree, $7,500
Fletcher Technical Community College, Basic Composition, $7,500
Northshore Technical Community College, Biology 1010 and 1020, $7,500

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“This is an innovative way to tackle affordability barriers for today’s students,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed. “It’s important that we work aggressively to minimize textbook cost savings for our students and maximize their success. By redesigning courses so sharable, openly licensed material can be accessed, we not only reduce the financial burden we also improve student retention, progression and completion. I applaud this approach and the campuses that are transforming their delivery of knowledge to meet the needs of our students and our state.”

Beginning this summer, and continuing over three years, faculty, librarians, and other staff will redesign and create new courses for students using Open Educational Resources.

Additionally, they will track student outcomes and savings to access the success of the initiative.

During the kickoff meetings this week, participants received training on open licensing, using the LOUIS OER Repository, and locating other OER content. Board of Regents will continue supporting the teams over the summer and during the duration of the project.
00 2019-03-06
Natchitoches

Northwestern State names five alumni to Long Purple Line


Northwestern State University will honor five alumni by inducting them into the University’s alumni hall of distinction, the Long Purple Line. The 2019 inductees are Stewart Ewing of Monroe, Luther W. “Buddy” Lott and Patricia Pierson of Natchitoches, Billy Montgomery of Haughton and Thomas M. Wright of Houston.

Honorees will be honored at a luncheon on March 22 at 11 a.m. in the Friedman Student Union Ballroom. Tickets are $20. Tickets and RSVP’s can be made by Friday, March 8 at noon by contacting Mary-Katherine Horton at mkhorton@nsula.edu.

Since 1990, 130 NSU alumni have been named to the Long Purple Line.

Stewart Ewing served as executive vice president and chief financial officer for CenturyLink.

Ewing was the longest-serving chief financial officer of all Fortune 500 companies in the nation at his retirement in 2017. He joined CenturyLink in 1983 as vice president of finance, became vice president and controller in 1984 and senior vice president and chief financial officer in 1989. He was elevated to the position of executive vice president and chief financial officer in 1999.

Before joining Century Telephone, which later became CenturyLink, Ewing was associated for 10 years with KPMG, formerly Peat Marwick & Associates in Shreveport.

Ewing was instrumental in CenturyLink’s transformation from a regional exchange telephone company to a worldwide technology and telecommunications company. He was at the forefront of CenturyLink’s acquisition strategy by negotiating all stages of purchase agreements from financing the acquisitions to regulatory issues to folding new companies into the corporate structure and philosophy. He was a leader in ensuring that CenturyLink headquarters remained in Monroe.

Ewing earned a bachelor’s in business at NSU in 1973. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from NSU in 2017. Ewing is a member of the NSU College of Business Hall of Fame and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.

Luther W. “Buddy” Lott became president of Lott Oil Company in 1979 and has helped build it from a single truck and two employees to one of the region’s most successful petroleum distributorships. The company delivers more than 100 million gallons of fuel and three million gallons of commercial lubricants to Louisiana and adjoining states. Lott Oil was a key responder during Hurricane Katrina, delivering the first diesel for generators to the command posts set up by FEMA and the Coast Guard in downtown New Orleans. The company remains a vital team member in disaster response planning with state and parish emergency services and law enforcement.

Lott is a leader in his profession, serving on the National Advisory Board for Chevron-Texaco, as vice president of the Chevron Texaco Petroleum Marketers Association and former president of the Louisiana Oil Marketers and Convenience Stores Association. He has also been involved in public service and in local civic organizations.

Lott is a decades-long supporter of Northwestern State athletics and the Demons Unlimited Foundation. In 2017, he and his family established the Luther W. Lott, Sr. Memorial Scholarship, an endowed four-year scholarship through the NSU Foundation. Through his leadership Lott Oil is a long-time supporter of numerous charitable organizations.

Billy Montgomery has had successful careers as a coach and educator and in politics. He served for 20 years in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1988 to 2008. Montgomery has been the Bossier Parish Police Jury’s project coordinator since 2008. Before entering politics, he won more than 300 games over 10 seasons at Haughton and Lafayette High winning two state championships. He served as assistant principal at Haughton from 1970-82 and principal from 1982-88.

Montgomery has been named to the Louisiana Political, Louisiana High School Coaches Association, Louisiana High School Basketball Coaches and Ark-La-Tex Sports Museum’s Hall of Fame. He was named Louisiana’s Mr. Basketball in 2009. Montgomery was recognized as One of the 10 Most Influential People in High School Sports.

The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame awarded him the Dave Dixon Award in 2011. Montgomery was named “A Leader of the Century by the Shreveport Times” in 2002. He was the only individual to receive the International Police Award in 1990.

Montgomery earned a bachelor’s in education in 1960 and a master’s in administration and supervision at NSU in 1966. He also did additional work toward his plus 30 at NSU.

Patricia Pierson was successful as a coach, teacher and administrator at Northwestern. She earned a bachelor’s at NSU in 1977 and master’s at NSU in 1980 and a doctorate at LSU in 2001.

She was Northwestern State’s women’s basketball coach for nine years, winning three conference titles, leading the Lady Demons to the finals of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament and coaching multiple all-conference and academic All-American players. Her 1985-86 team won 25 games, the most in school history. She won more than 200 games as a collegiate head coach, serving five seasons at East Carolina where she won a regular season conference championship and coach of the year honors in 1992.

She joined Northwestern’s faculty in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences in 1992. Pierson later became head of the department and helped create the bachelor’s program in hospitality management and tourism, which has placed graduates in positions with leading companies throughout the nation. Under Pierson’s leadership, the program achieved national accreditation.

Pierson was a two-time recipient of the College of Science, Technology and Business Excellence in Teaching Award and was selected as Academic Advisor of the Year at NSU. In 2015, Pierson was awarded the status of Department Head Emeritus by the College of Science, Technology and Business.

Thomas M. Wright is a partner in the RSM US LLP Houston office and is a member of National Tax Leadership Committee for RSM’s Private Client Services group, leads the PCS Practice for the Central Region and co-leads the RSM Family Office practice. His primary expertise is in tax matters related to tax planning for family wealth preservation, wealth transfers, charitable transfers, closely held business enterprises and multigenerational families. He works extensively with high-net-worth families, family offices and closely held businesses.

He began his career with Haskins & Sells (now Deloitte USA, LLP) in 1973 and was admitted to Deloitte as a partner in 1981. In 1985, he joined the Houston firm of Margolis, Phipps & Wright, P.C. He served on the Executive Committee of Margolis, Phipps & Wright, P.C. until joining his partners and staff members in opening the Houston office of RSM in 2013. He is active in numerous professional organizations including the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants and has spoken at numerous seminars on subjects related to taxation and tax legislation.

Wright earned a bachelor’s in accounting at Northwestern State in 1973.

He serves on the Northwestern State University Foundation board and is a trustee of Mary R. Gallaspy Charitable Trust No. 2.
00 2019-03-06
Natchitoches

NSU holding Spring N-Side View, Credit Connection March 9


Northwestern State University will hold its annual Spring N-Side View and Credit Connection on Saturday, March 9.

Registration for Spring N-Side View and Credit Connection will begin at 9 a.m. in Magale Recital Hall and the programs start at 10 a.m.

As part of Spring N-Side View, representatives from each of Northwestern State’s colleges will be on hand to explain degree programs offered at NSU. Staff from the financial aid, housing and scholarship offices will also be available to answer questions. A student panel will give a unique perspective on the university. An orientation program for parents will also be held. A campus tour will also be part of Spring N-Side View.

During Credit Connection, students can earn college credit by taking an advanced standing examination which can result in credit being posted on the student’s college transcript once they enroll at Northwestern State.

Tests for English 1010, English 1020, Spanish, Math 1020 or 1060 and fine arts will be offered. Students can take up to two tests at no charge. A reservation and valid, current photo ID are required to test.

Students with ACT Math subscores below 19 or 460 on the SAT or English subscores below 18 on the ACT or 450 on the SAT can take Accuplacer, a college placement test that assists the university in evaluating students in writing and math for placement decisions. Passing the exams can result in students being able to register in college level courses instead of developmental courses. The cost for the exam is $15 for math or English or $25 for both.

To register, contact the NSU Testing Center at (318) 357-5246.

The first round of Credit Connection tests begins at 10 a.m. with the second round at 1 p.m.

Northwestern State offers a unique scholarship opportunity for students with strong leadership potential and provides them with a yearlong leadership program. The President’s Leadership Program is designed to promote active involvement in the campus community and provide opportunities for students to build leadership skills together. A PLP Emerging Leaders Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A reservation is required in order to participate in the program. Those interested can sign up at nsula.edu/fye.

Lunch will be available at 1 p.m. for $8. Those participating in N-Side View Day can get tickets to the NSU-Central Arkansas basketball doubleheader which begins at 1 p.m. in Prather Coliseum.

To reserve a spot for Spring N-Side View contact the Office of Admissions and Recruiting at (318) 357-4503 or (800) 327-1903.
00 2019-03-06
Natchitoches

NSU LitCon 2019 set for April 12-13



00 2019-03-06
New Orleans

St. Tammany College Notes for March 6


ANNAPOLIS APPOINTMENT: Gabriella "Gabby" Berger, of Mandeville, has received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. She attends Mandeville High School and maintains a 4.17 GPA. Her parents are Walter and Amy Berger.

GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY: Greta Shallengerger, of Mandeville, and Anna Yue, of Slidell, have earned faculty honors for fall 2018 for maintaining a 4.0 academic average for the semester at the Atlanta institution. Matthew Marion, of Mandeville, and Natalia Wauldron, of Covington, have earned spots on the dean's list at the school for students who have a 3.0 or higher academic average.

JOURNALISM HONORS: Two Mandeville students were among several from Southeastern Louisiana University to take awards at the Southeast Journalism Conference earlier this month. Connor Ferrill received first for Best Radio Journalist and Andrew Scherer received third for Best Television Feature Reporter. The school also placed first in categories for both radio and television. KSLU News ranked first for Best College Radio Station, Northshore News ranked first for Best College Video News Program, and The Southeastern Channel ranked first for Best College TV Station.

BOSTON UNIVERSITY: Caroline L. Brantley, of Covington, has recently been named to the dean's list at Boston University for the fall semester. Each school and college at the Massachusetts university has its own criterion, but students generally must attain a 3.5 GPA as a full-time student.

MEDICAL CODING: Northshore Technical Community College in Lacombe is registering for medical coding and CPC certification prep classes at 5 p.m. Tuesdays, April 2 through June 18, at 65556 Centerpoint Blvd. The class prepares students for medical coding by mastering the steps for using ICD-10-CM and CPT to code medical diagnoses and procedures and more. CPC Practice exams will be delivered in the course to gauge readiness to sit for CPC certification exam. For more information, email bobbiefontenot@northshorecollege.edu or call (985) 545-1667.

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE: Northshore Technical Community College in Lacombe is offering a full-tuition scholarship to a 2019 graduating high school senior or graduating WorkReady U — Adult Education student from St. Tammany, Washington, St. Helena, Tangipahoa and Livingston parishes enrolling full-time in the Maritime Technology program during the 2019-20 academic year. The scholarship is for two consecutive semesters, for a maximum total scholarship award of $5,000 (fall and spring semesters only). For information and application, see northshorecollege.edu/financial-aid/scholarships.
00 2019-03-06
Regional/National

Building a Digital Commons One Floor at a Time


In April, the University of Louisiana Monroe's Library will celebrate its 20th anniversary. In library years, that's a long time. Called the "jewel of the bayou" when it first opened along a distinctive wetland, by 2019 the five-story structure definitely needed an update, if only because the way people learn has evolved. As Library Director Megan Lowe explained, back when her facility was built, libraries were "regarded as repositories of information; librarians were gatekeepers of information. Now we're more about facilitating access and supporting the learners, supporting the researcher. That takes a lot of different forms. Not just connecting reader to book anymore; it's connecting a user to resource or user to service, and therefore we have to change."

About 16 months ago, the university hired Thomas Hoover as chief information officer and dean of the library. Almost immediately, he, Lowe and Chance Eppinette, information technology director, took a "road trip" together. They visited five different institutions in the southern part of the state to look at what other libraries were doing. Their goal: to turn the current facility into a "digital commons."

Now their vision is starting to come to life — on a single floor. Their approach, however, of working with students, finding common interests between the library and IT and coming up with that certain "something" that highlights the uniqueness of the facility, will stand them in good stead as they remodel their way through the rest of the building.

Making Space for Collaboration
For the last couple of years, the team has been setting up collaboration study rooms among the five floors of the facility, where, as Eppinette explained, "anywhere from three to 10 students can reserve a room and gather with their partners and utilize touchscreen AV technology."

Usage of those rooms among students proved popular and delivered the "kickstart" for the expansion of technology throughout the library. Now, Eppinette noted, "We're moving those four study room walls out; we want them to still have that collaboration, but they're doing it in an open air space."

By "open air space," he specifically meant the second floor, which was left empty after a "deselection" process had eliminated about half of the library's physical book collection.

What the trio imagined was a space that would be "fun to be in, comfortable," with different "zones," such as a computer lab spread out in various configurations and collaborative spaces where students could be "alone but together." In other areas, tall bistro tables would invite patrons to make quick stops for checking e-mail or wheel over a whiteboard or two and collaborate on projects.

Bringing Stakeholders in Early
When Hoover, Lowe and Eppinette came back from their library tour, they spent time "dissecting" what Hoover called the "good, the bad and the uglies" to create a plan to take to the student government association. That only made sense since the SGA was backing the use of student technical fees for the makeover. Those students were a big part of the decision-making. A student committee of eight, each person representing a different academic area, college or department, advised throughout the planning.

Before the purchase order was put in for the new furniture, for example, the trio held an open forum for four hours on the second floor, provided cookies and punch and walked students through a presentation on what the newly redesigned floor would look like. "We wanted to make sure there were no surprises," said Hoover. "We didn't force it down their throats. Involving them in the process early is key."
00 2019-03-06
Regional/National

Trump Vows Executive Order on Campus Free Speech


President Trump vowed Saturday to "soon" issue an executive order that would deny federal research funds to colleges and universities that do not support free speech.

"If they want our dollars and we give them by the billions, they’ve got to allow people to speak," said Trump in a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

He did not describe how the executive order would work, or who would judge whether a college or university was not protecting free speech.

During his speech, President Trump brought on stage and praised Hayden Williams, who was punched last week when he was at the University of California, Berkeley, seeking support for the president and conservative causes and criticizing Jussie Smollett, the actor who is facing charges of false reporting to the police in a hate crime he claimed to have experienced.

Of Williams, President Trump said that he should sue Berkeley "and maybe sue the state." To loud applause, Trump said, "He took a hard punch in the face for all of us. We can never allow that to happen." And he added that after Williams sues Berkeley, "he's going to be a very wealthy man." The crowd at the meeting chanted "USA" as Trump made these statements.

Video has widely circulated showing Williams being punched.


Trump did not note that Berkeley arrested a man, Zachary Greenberg, for assaulting Williams. Neither Williams nor Greenberg are students at Berkeley. The university had permitted Williams to be on campus expressing his views.

Late Saturday, Berkeley released a new summary of what had happened, reiterating that the university had in this incident not wavered in its commitment to free speech or its willingness to take action in response to the attack on Williams. The statement said that events at the university have been "willfully distorted and inaccurately reported."

This is not the first time President Trump has used an incident at Berkeley to suggest that federal research dollars should be cut off over alleged denial of free speech rights.

In 2017, violent protesters (believed by university officials to be from off campus) set fires and damaged property at the university just before a scheduled appearance by Milo Yiannopoulos. President Trump tweeted:


Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - NO FEDERAL FUNDS?

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5:13 AM - Feb 2, 2017
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What he didn't note at that time was that Berkeley officials had allowed Yiannopoulos to speak, calling off the event only amid the violence. Berkeley had defended his right to appear on campus (and he has appeared since), citing principles of free speech even as some on campus said he should be kept away because of views many find offensive.

Terry Hartle, senior vice president for government and public affairs at the American Council on Education, in an interview shortly after President Trump's Saturday speech, called the proposed executive order "a solution in search of a problem." He said that is because "free speech and academic freedom are core values of research universities."

While "controversies do arise," Hartle said that the norm is for universities to err on the side of promoting free speech. He asked how some federal agency in the future would try to enforce the executive order by determining whether a college had done enough to promote free speech. He predicted that an executive order would lead people to try to create free speech incidents just to stir up controversy.

And Hartle said that federal law gives religious institutions broad discretion about campus activities. "Would religious institutions be required to have speakers whose views were antithetical to the college?" Hartle asked. "Would Yeshiva University be required to host a Holocaust denier?"

Hartle also noted the lack of consistency of the Trump administration about free speech.

"As always in the current environment, irony does come into play. This is an administration that stifles the views of its own research scientists if they are counter to the political views of the administration, such as on climate change. And the president vigorously attacks people like Colin Kaepernick who exercise their free speech rights."

Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, said via email, “Public research universities have a First Amendment constitutional obligation to protect free speech. It is an obligation they take very seriously and work hard to protect. Our campuses serve as important forums for the debate of diverse ideas. An executive order is unnecessary, as public research universities are already bound by the First Amendment, which they deeply respect and honor. It is core to their academic mission.”

The Trump Administration Record

Before he was president, Trump called for the National Endowment for the Arts to stop supporting, and for museums to stop displaying art he considers to be "gross, degenerate stuff." And while he has been president, his staff has taken actions -- such as blocking critics from the Trump Twitter feed -- that have led to the administration being sued over First Amendment concerns.

Trump's first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, gave several speeches denouncing the squelching of speech on college campuses. But Sessions was silent about (and declined to answer questions on) squelching that was done at the behest of Republican politicians, such as when the University of Kansas took down an artwork featuring the American flag after GOP leaders in the state demanded that it come down.

The Trump administration's officials talk regularly about Berkeley. The administration has been silent as Republican legislators in Tennessee have for years tried to kill a student-organized "Sex Week" at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville -- an event that does not use state funds.

Views of Groups That Focus on Free Expression

Among organizations that promote free expression on campus, the response to President Trump's Saturday speech was tepid.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education released a statement that said in part, "While we are glad that this important national issue has the president’s attention, we do not currently have any more information on the details of the executive order. We are looking forward to learning more about this initiative in the coming days."

Jonathan Friedman, project director for campus free speech at PEN America, said via email, "We need to see the text. On the surface the government reaffirming the importance of free speech on campus is appropriate and essential, particularly at a time of serious threats to open discourse. In practice, new and proposed measures ostensibly intended to protect speech can yield unintended negative consequences for speech, which we've documented in our work. While we at PEN America reserve judgment until a draft of the order is released, we believe that any government action on this issue should be approached in a thoughtful, nonpartisan manner, upholding the universal principles of free speech and academic freedom."

Debra Mashek, executive director of Heterodox Academy, said via email that "we need diversity and dialogue, not decrees."

Added Mashek, “Heterodox Academy encourages individual colleges and universities to advance common-sense policies and practices that promote teaching, learning and discovery. Higher ed would not benefit from a blunt, top-down, partisan decree that politicizes the academy’s core values of open inquiry and academic freedom. Governments cannot legislate campus cultures. In order to create classrooms and campuses that welcome diverse people with diverse viewpoints and that equip learners with the habits of heart and mind to engage that diversity in open inquiry and constructive disagreement, colleges and universities must harness their own values, histories and capacities.”

Could Solomon Amendment Be a Model?

Many in higher education questioned how the executive order might work. Two proponents of the measure, however, say that the Solomon Amendment provides a model.

In an article in National Affairs last year, Frederick M. Hess and Grant Addison, both of the American Enterprise Institute, called for federal funds to be cut off to American colleges that do not support free expression on campus. They said that the precedent for this could be the Solomon Amendment, the 1996 law that barred federal funds from going to colleges and universities that did not permit military recruiting or Reserve Officer Training Corps programs on campus. The law came at a time when some colleges were barring the military from campus, citing its policies (since lifted) of discriminating against gay people. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2006 upheld the constitutionality of the amendment, which was challenged by law schools.

While there was no dispute that some colleges barred the military, in the case of free expression, some institutions (such as Berkeley) denounced by President Trump can point to evidence that they in fact support free expression.

"New federal guidance in this area has a chance to make free inquiry and free speech relevant to the broader scientific research community in a fashion that it has not been previously," says the article. "The slumbering, silent middle on campus may awaken when accomplished researchers bringing in millions in 'indirect' costs suddenly recognize that the ideological crusades of their colleagues may imperil their laboratories and research projects. Campus leaders who have found it easy to virtue signal by indulging students and faculty demanding constraints on speech will now have a fairer fight on their hands, and they will need to be worried about their biochemistry and engineering faculty departing for institutions eligible for federal funds."
00 2019-03-01
Lafayette

UL Black Student Union hosts inaugural Black Essentials Expo


As Black History Month comes to a close, the UL Black Student Union hosted their inaugural Black Essentials Expo for business, music and art. the expo showcased local black business, some of which included students. some of the businesses consisted of artists, musicians, hair, makeup and much more.

Black Student Union President Kenton Jackson says planning the Black Essential Expo took a lot of hard work and planning. Kenton says she hops black owned businesses benefit from the showcase.

“It took a lot of panning, a lot of hard work and i want to shout out my Black History Month Chairman, Jamie, because she put this altogether and she’s really excited for It was just a lot of planning to showcase black owned businesses. There are a lot of black owned business and student ran businesses that are here on the campus of the university.”

If you’d like more information on the UL Black Student Union, you can email them at the ulbsu@gmail.com.
00 2019-03-01
Lake Charles

Pottorff, Breaux chosen as Mr. and Miss McNeese for 2019


McNeese State University Sulphur seniors Lauren Breaux, a radiologic sciences major, and Austin Pottorff, a criminal justice major, have been selected as Miss and Mr. McNeese on the 2019 Spring Court.

Other court members are: seniors — Khristian Anthony and Andrew Eakin, both of Sulphur; Shelby Smith, Kingwood, Texas; and Shay Walker, Lacassine; juniors — Tyler Daigle, Welsh; Jillian Engel, Vermilion, Ohio; Jacob Guidry, Lake Charles; and Carlee Smith, Nederland, Texas; sophomores — John Dalton, College Station, Texas; and Jordan Latham, Moss Bluff; and freshmen — Claire Adams, Lake Charles; and Robert Hall, Shreveport.

Pottorff is the son of Jimmy and Michelle Pottorff. He is president of the Student Life Coalition, past president of the Kappa Sigma fraternity and a Blue and Gold Peerleader. He was nominated by Student Life Coalition.

Breaux is the daughter of Billy and Julie Breaux. She is a past president of Alpha Delta Pi sorority and a member of the Order of Omega and the Newman Club. She was nominated by Greek Unity Board.

Anthony, son of Kareem Anthony and Felicity Harris, is majoring in biological science. He is president of Sigma Alpha Pi Honor Society and a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and Student Government Association. He was nominated by Alpha Delta Pi.

Eakin, son of Billy and Sarahjane Eakin, is majoring in health and human performance. He is a Blue and Gold Peerleader and a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and the Physical Medicine Society. He was nominated by the Peerleaders and the Physical Medicine Society.

S. Smith, daughter of William and Mysti Smith, is majoring in health and human performance. She is executive vice president of Alpha Delta Pi and a member of the Physical Medicine Society and the first PanHellenic Executive Council. She was nominated by Alpha Delta Pi.

Walker, daughter of Eric and Monica Walker, is majoring in finance. She is a member of Chi Omega sorority and the Newman Club. She was nominated by the Blue and Gold Peerleaders.

Daigle, son of James and Nanette Daigle, is majoring in management. He is a Blue and Gold Peerleader, a Student Life Coalition coordinator and a member of Kappa Sigma. He was nominated by Alpha Delta Pi, Chi Omega and Student Life Coalition. Engel, daughter of Daniel and Chris Engel, is majoring in mass communication. She is on the executive board of Chi Omega, marketing director for the Student Life Coalition and vice president of the Alpha Psi Omega Theatre Honors fraternity.

Guidry, son of Patina Guidry and the late Trent Guidry, is majoring in management. He is recruitment chair for the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, a member of the Newman Club and a Blue and Gold Peerleader. He was nominated by the Department of General and Basic Studies.

C. Smith, daughter of Tommy Smith and Johnna McCown, is majoring in health and human performance. She is president of Alpha Delta Pi, a Blue and Gold Peerleader and the Student Government Association speaker pro-temp. She was nominated by Alpha Delta Pi.

Dalton, son of Bob and Linda Dalton, is majoring in psychology. He is a member of Kappa Sigma and Newman Club. He was nominated by Kappa Sigma and the Greek Unity Board.

Latham, daughter of Jeff and Becky Latham, is majoring in biological science. She is a Blue and Gold Peerleader, vice president of the Pre-Dental Society and a member of Chi Omega. She was nominated by the Peerleaders and Chi Omega.

Adams, daughter of John and Alice Adams, is majoring in chemistry. She is a member of Chi Omega and the Mc-Neese Honors College. She was nominated by Chi Omega.

Hall, son of Robert and Rosalyn Hall, is majoring in agricultural sciences. He is a Blue and Gold Peerleader and a member of the Pre-Vet Society and FFA McNeese Chapter. He was nominated by the Peerleaders.
00 2019-03-01
Natchitoches

NPHC donates book to Watson Library for Black History Month


Northwestern State University’s Pan-Hellenic Council commemorated Black History Month by donating a book to NSU’s Eugene P. Watson Memorial Library, a tradition that began six years ago. The book is titled “African American Fraternities and Sororities: The Legacy and the Vision.” From left are Javoante Batiste of Marksville, Jordan Aery of Shreveport, JaKayla Lee of Lafayette, Caleb Allen of Opelousas, Darius Brock of Shreveport, University Archivists Mary Linn Wernet and Sharon Wolff, Gabriel DeCuir of Bossier City, Jamien Sampson of Gonzales and Lydia Johnson of Baton Rouge. “We decided to buy a book as a council about the history of black fraternities and sororities and present it to the library, so students can have more insight on the meanings behind these distinct groups,” Decuir said. The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) is a collaborative organization of nine historically African American, international Greek lettered fraternities and sororities.
00 2019-03-01
Natchitoches

NSU to host Science Showcase on Friday


Northwestern State University’s School of Biological and Physical Sciences will host a Science Showcase on Friday, March 1, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Registration will be held in Magale Recital Hall. Workshops will take place in Bienvenu Hall, Fournet Hall and Kyser Hall.

Those attending will have an opportunity to experience a day in the life of a science major through an introduction to NSU sciences faculty, staff and students, science education and research facilities and student events and organizations.

Participants will be able to interact with sciences faculty, staff and current students through hands-on science educational demonstrations led by NSU science faculty and student-led panel discussions. There will also be a chance to learn about available scholarships, career opportunities and more.
00 2019-03-01
Regional/National

Open Access Is Going Mainstream. Here's Why That Could Transform Academic Life.


ebate over the future of scholarly publishing felt remote to Kathryn M. Jones, an associate professor of biology at Florida State University — that is, until she attended a Faculty Senate meeting last year.

There she learned that the library might renegotiate its $2-million subscription with the publishing behemoth Elsevier, which would limit her and her colleagues’ access to groundbreaking research. Horror sank in. Like other experimental scientists, Jones regularly skims articles published in subscription journals to plan future experiments. What would happen if she couldn’t access that body of important work with the click of a button?

Though initiatives to make published research more freely available have for years poked at the publishing industry’s armor, these efforts — known as the open-access movement — have not toppled the norms of how academic work is distributed and read. Titans like Elsevier, Springer Nature, and Wiley own troves of journals that enjoy immense respect in academe. In the dominant system, a person can read newly published research in one of two ways: pay a one-time fee to obtain an article locked behind a paywall, or get it through a campus library, which may pay millions of dollars for subscriptions.

That may soon change. Smaller-scale efforts are mixing with top-down decisions — through universities’ subscription negotiations and a major European plan that mandates open-access publication for certain research — to put unusual pressure on publishers.

Don’t think these battles are confined to the library or an individual discipline. The changes have the potential to alter nearly everything about how research is disseminated — and therefore how departments spend money, researchers collaborate, and faculty careers advance.


“There is reason to believe we are at a true tipping point in transforming this industry,” says Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason, university librarian at the University of California at Berkeley, who helped lead that university system’s negotiations with Elsevier. “We are getting enough alignment and actual action on the part of providers of research and readers of research to change the intermediary — the publishing industry.”

It won’t be easy in a landscape still dominated by subscription publishing. One major challenge will be incorporating open-access principles into the existing work culture of faculty members and researchers, who have a huge incentive to publish in known subscription journals because of their prestige. Some worry about other unintended consequences.

The European plan “changed the conversation quite substantially.”
Despite her qualms, Jones supported Florida State’s desire to reduce costs through negotiations. Her mother was a public-school librarian, and Jones knew budgets were tight. She even publishes many of her own articles under an open-access model.

After doing some research, she learned that other universities were also renegotiating big packages. If that’s the trend, she thought, maybe we are just stupid to keep paying at this rate.

Florida State decided to halve the cost of its Elsevier contract, paying about $1 million to subscribe to the 150 most-used journals, as identified by faculty members, instead of the more than 1,800 journals they could read as part of the bundle. Budgetary strain was the prime cause, but in announcing the decision, the library also noted its broader support for the open-access movement. The Faculty Senate supported the libraries unanimously.

So Jones searched for keywords — including "bacterial exopolysaccharide" and “rhizobium” — in the journals that didn’t make the cut, and then downloaded those issues before access ran out. The files gobble up space on an external drive, but she says easier access for the near-term future is worth the burden.

The ideal solution, Jones realized, didn’t exist. “We were just trying to throw as many journals as we could into the lifeboat.”

Complicating any discussion about open access is that many groups that agree in principle that research should be free to read disagree with the particulars of how that should happen. Those tensions emerged in the fall when a group of major European funding agencies took on the mantle of change through a new initiative: Plan S.

There are two predominant ways to publish under an open-access model. “Gold” open access imposes a processing charge on a researcher, university, or funding agency before an article is released — but after that, anyone can read that article free of charge, immediately after publication, and there are looser restrictions on republication.

Many federal agencies under the Obama administration started requiring “green” open access for the articles they funded — in which a version of an article is published in a free repository in addition to in any subscription journal. That free version may be subject to a delayed release.

Some open-access supporters say research is truly open only when all content is freely accessible, with no copyright restrictions for re-use. Other proponents say certain restrictions are OK, including limiting commercial use. Article-processing fees covering formatting, coordinating peer review, and digital housing can be a few thousand dollars. Some fear that those charges could soar, making publishing less accessible. (Processing fees are high in more-selective journals, some publishers say, because it takes effort and time to weed through articles.)

Under Plan S the research financed by members of the coalition must be published in compliant open-access journals by 2020, made accessible without any embargo. The funding agencies include national research foundations in about a dozen European countries, in addition to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in the United States and the Wellcome Trust in Britain.

Collectively, the original signatories financed more than 20 percent of the scholarly articles published in their countries in 2017, and 3.3 percent of scholarly articles published that year worldwide, according to the consulting and advisory firm Delta Think. More funding agencies have since expressed support, including in China, according to Robert-Jan Smits, open-access envoy for the European Commission.

The announcement of Plan S raised cheers — and questions. To boosters of open-access publishing, it showed that major foundations had soured on expensive subscription journals and that large-scale change was on the way.

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“It is only through a concerted and coordinated approach across national funders that the necessary progress can be made,” says Carlos Moedas, the European commissioner for research, science, and innovation, in a statement strongly encouraging other funding bodies to follow suit.

But resistance to the announcement was swift. Lynn Kamerlin, a professor of structural biology at Sweden’s Uppsala University, coordinated an open letter against Plan S that more than 1,600 people signed. She says the top-down mandate made researchers bristle.

It “threatens to shatter researchers’ trust,” she says. “It’s a worrying moment — the grass roots is where you need it. The research community should take the lead.”

One concern outlined in the petition was the risk that individual researchers would see lower international rankings and standings if they could not publish in top journals.


Charles T. Watkinson, associate university librarian for publishing at the University of Michigan and director of the university’s press, thinks about equity when he considers publication driven by article-processing fees. Academics at small colleges and in the humanities are less likely to have money from their institution or their funding agency to cover article-processing charges, he says. Watkinson serves on the oversight committee of Lever Press, an open-access book publisher backed by a group of liberal-arts college libraries.

“How can we support scholars who don’t have funding coming with them?” he asks. “Plan S is driven by very well-funded fields.”

Haakon Gjerløw, a Ph.D. fellow in political science at the University of Oslo, fears that the plan will isolate him from researchers in the United States and other countries whose central funding agencies do not support it. It depends on how the plan is implemented, guidance for which was collected through early February.



Gjerløw has worked with a social-science project called Varieties of Democracy for more than three years and has valued collaborating with American academics. Data collection was paid for by agencies that support Plan S. He says he would understand if American researchers no longer wanted to work on a project that had to adhere to strict open-access rules, potentially limiting any ability to publish in a top journal.

“They do not have any great incentive to cooperate across the Atlantic,” he says. “It could end up being a waste of time if you couldn’t get any academic credit out of it.”

Plan S aspires to increase global science collaboration by making results “widely available without paywall and delays,” wrote Smits in an email.

“I always thought that scientists were collaborating at [the] international level to extend in partnership the frontiers of knowledge, address the grand societal challenges, transfer knowledge to industry and train the next generation of researchers,” he said. “If scientists now tell you that they will no longer collaborate globally if they will not be allowed to publish behind expensive paywalls, the time might have come for a more fundamental debate of the role of science in our society.”

“Libraries are under great pressure ... to cut back on the number of materials they collect.”
Smits said that Plan S organizers have heard from certain fields that not enough open-access outlets exist. The coalition, he said, is analyzing this gap and has pledged to offer incentives for the development of new open-access platforms.

It makes sense for the foundations to force change, he wrote, because “not much progress has been made” in expanding open access in more than two decades. “Funders are now taking their responsibility through ‘the power of the purse.’ ”

In 2015, Johan Rooryck felt prepared to resign as editor of the Elsevier-owned linguistics publication Lingua. For a while, he could convince himself that he worked for the good of his field, for academe. But looking into Elsevier’s profits made him think differently about his work. After a high-profile boycott of Elsevier in 2012, academics he respected told him they didn’t want to perform peer review for Lingua anymore.

He started, very slowly, to feel like a bad guy. They’re holding all the strings, he thought to himself.

He and his editorial colleagues decided to resign. Their goal was to orchestrate a so-called “flip” of the journal — a transfer of the leadership team that edited Lingua to a new open-access publication.

Because the publication had the same editorial team, he expected it would not confront questions of quality that plagued other open-access journals.

Rooryck reeled in half a million euros from the Association of Dutch Universities and other groups and devised a longer-term solution, in which the nonprofit Open Library for the Humanities would pay processing fees of individual articles — and try to spread the practice of “flipping” to others.

TAKEAWAYS:
Bottom-up efforts and top-down decrees make this a major turning point for open-access publishing.
Some large library systems are pursuing new types of subscription packages with publishers. Negotiators want one package that would cover subscription charges and open-access publishing fees.
National research foundations in about a dozen European countries have joined a coalition that would force the academics they fund to publish their research under an open-access model. Comments on implementation were due in February.
One challenge: Departments largely do not consider open-access publication in their promotion-and-tenure decisions.
The editors sent a letter to Elsevier that announced their resignation and started a new open-access publication called Glossa. They had the support of writers and reviewers, some of whom withdrew their articles from Lingua and submitted them to Glossa for publication. And he heard from readers as far away as Indonesia and South Africa who were thrilled to be able to read the articles without paying. It was satisfying, feeling like he had changed something for the better.

Since then, Rooryck has heard from editors at other publications who ask for advice in flipping their own journals.

He is frank in his responses: You have to be careful, he counsels. A publisher, he says, “has much more money than you do and has much better lawyers than you do.”

Rooryck also had the advantage of name recognition and experience — he started editing Lingua in 1999.

Gemma Hersh, Elsevier’s vice president for global policy, says that when editors leave to start an open-access journal, “We wish them the very best of luck.” Lingua’s impact factor, measuring citations of published articles over several years, dropped from 2015 to 2016 but rose again in 2017. Glossa has not yet received one because it has not existed long enough, Rooryck says.

Rooryck leads two groups that aim to transition subscriptions to open-access journals, one centered on the field of linguistics called LingOA that flipped several journals but doesn’t have the money to do more. The Fair Open Access Alliance also works with editors and advisory boards who want to flip their journals to open access. They issued a statement in support of Plan S in 2018.

Rooryck agrees with those who say that the open-access movement had reached a turning point. Plan S “changed the conversation quite substantially,” he says. The next step, he says, is for more university libraries to stop paying for subscriptions, freeing up money to support open-access publication of their faculty members’ work.

“What we do is bottom up,” he says. “But for once, the bottom-up effort and the top-down effort meet — in the principles we share.”

It was only a matter of time before Emily L. Dennis got another request to review a pending academic paper. They pop into her inbox a few times a month, and she says yes regularly. But an email in December from the University of California at Los Angeles, where she completed her Ph.D. in neuroscience, changed that consideration.

One of America’s top research universities was calling for a boycott. As the UC system negotiated its contract with Elsevier, UCLA urged affiliated academics to consider declining to peer-review articles for that publisher’s journals. The letter also asked faculty members to consider publishing research in other journals, particularly prestigious open-access publications.

Dennis, now a postdoctoral scholar at Harvard University, hadn’t been following the UC negotiations closely, nor was she particularly attuned to the open-access debate. But, reading the email, she started to think differently about the time she spent reviewing articles for for-profit companies without compensation.

Dennis respects many Elsevier journals, and she’s not sure how she’ll handle the decision of where to publish her future work if negotiations don’t improve before then. “I don’t want to be the stick in the mud who says, ‘No, we can’t submit here.’ ”

Still, she decided to join the boycott. The very next day, when asked, she declined to review a submission for an Elsevier-owned journal. “I don’t feel it’s worth my time right now.”

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Negotiations in good faith continued through January, a month after the contract was set to expire, and at the end of the month the university said access was expected to continue amid the discussions. But in many respects, Ivy Anderson and MacKie-Mason, the lead UC negotiators on the Elsevier contract, are relying on people like Dennis to carry forward their vision for the system’s library contracts even after negotiations have concluded.

Their ultimate goal? Having one package that would cover subscription charges and open-access publishing fees, meaning that articles published by UC faculty members would be available freely around the globe. The vision is to transfer the financial burden of reading research from readers to the researchers, their universities, or funding agencies. UC’s prior five-year contract with Elsevier cost about $50 million.

Darrell W. Gunter worked at Elsevier for more than a decade starting in the 1990s. The constant refrain he heard from universities in the early 2000s, he says, was that they needed an "orderly retreat" from the Big Deal — journal packages sold in bulk by major publishers — because library budgets couldn’t absorb the rising costs of the bundles. (Publishers argue that they offer more value as more pieces are published annually.)

"Libraries are under great pressure from their administration to cut back on the number of materials they collect," Gunter says. "You have this natural friction. You can’t subscribe to everything, so you have to pick and choose."

Publishers are aware that something is broken, Gunter says, and he expects disruption to come. Years ago, major publishers wouldn’t want to talk about open access at all, he says.

Hersh, Elsevier’s vice president for global policy, says the company responds to what customers ask for and evolves its business in line with those needs. It’s not the company’s job, she says, to move researchers to publish in one way or another; it’s to reflect what researchers want.


The company publishes more than 170 open-access journals and more than 1,850 hybrid journals, and every journal allows authors to publish a version of the paper open-access, often with an embargo period.

"Yes, open access is important. It’s important to our customers," says Hersh. "We’re also seeing that subscription is really, really important."

The California system isn’t the first to advocate for aspects of this model, and Elsevier certainly isn’t the only company that sells big bundles to libraries. Six universities, including two in the United States, canceled Big Deal bundles for 2018 with Springer Nature, Elsevier, and Wiley, according to the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, which tracks cancellations and promotes changing the structure and culture of publishing to promote open access.

In June, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced an agreement with the Royal Society of Chemistry, a professional association that publishes dozens of journals. Through the agreement, MIT subscribed to the society’s articles with the guarantee that any MIT-authored article published in those journals could be read freely, anywhere in the world.

University of California negotiators expect others to follow that model soon. "There is a recognition beginning to develop in the U.S.," Anderson says, "that maybe this direction is a reasonable one to pursue."

"The open-access conversation is going mainstream in a way it hasn’t before.

Lindsay Ellis is a staff reporter. Follow her on Twitter @lindsayaellis, or email her at lindsay.ellis@chronicle.com.
00 2019-02-28
Hammond

SLU professor honored with lifetime mentor award


HAMMOND — June Williams, associate professor of counseling at Southeastern Louisiana University, has been selected as the 2019 recipient of the International Chi Sigma Iota Jane E. Myers Lifetime Mentor Award.

Chi Sigma Iota is an international honor society that values academic and professional excellence in counseling.

Throughout her career, Myers served as a mentor to others in the counseling profession. The Jane E. Myers Lifetime Mentor Award was established to recognize society members who demonstrate exceptional commitment to mentoring others.

“June Williams epitomizes all the qualities that the Jane E. Myers Lifetime Mentor Award represents. She is a wonderful colleague who actively mentors her peers,” said Jacqueline Guendouzi, head of Southeastern's Department of Health and Human Sciences. “Her commitment to students is unfailing, and she goes beyond the call of duty to foster caring, competent and successful student-counselors."

A resident of Kenner, Williams has been a member of the Southeastern faculty since 1995. She is a member of the American Counseling Association, the Louisiana Counseling Association, the Louisiana College Counseling Association, and Chi Sigma Iota, having served a term as president in all four organizations. She has also served on the Licensed Professional Counselors Board of Examiners and the editorial review board for the Journal of College Counseling.
00 2019-02-28
Lake Charles

BANNERS MCNEESE CULTURAL SEASON OPENS MARCH 8


Brook Hanemann said she is excited about overseeing the 2019 McNeese State University Banners program.

Hanemann, who took the helm as director of the program just before the 2018 season kicked off, said last year’s season attracted 15,000 attendees.

This year, she’s hoping for even more.

Hanemann said this season will be staged in downtown Lake Charles, as it is every third year, to promote foot traffic for areas businesses.

She said organizers of the 2019 Banners Cultural season have worked to make sure the program’s offerings appeal to all demographics.

“This year succeeds in being very diverse,” she said.

March 8

The season opens to the general public with Josephine: A Burlesque Cabaret Dream Play, beginning at 7 p.m., Friday, March 8, in the Tritico Theatre in the Shearmen Fine Arts Annex on the McNeese campus. The one-woman biographical musical combines cabaret, theatre and dance to tell the story of Josephine Baker, the first African-American international superstar. The event is for those 18 and older.

March 9

Billy Strings kicks off at 7 p.m. in F.G. Bulber Auditorium on the McNeese campus. Strings is a bluegrass prodigy known to break several strings per song. His songs are about the hard lives he saw growing up in the abandoned rural communities of America.

March 12

Ilse N. Bulhof Lecture: The Tree Between Heaven and Earth will begin at 7 p.m. in the Stokes Auditorium in Hartdner Hall on the McNeese campus. Bulhof was an internationally acclaimed academic, philosopher and author. Her son, McNeese professor Johannes Bulhof, presents the lecture about her life and works. Admission is free and no ticket is required to attend.

March 16

Leif Pedersen’s Jazz N’ Bossa kicks off at 7 p.m. in F.G. Bulber Auditorium. The performance features jazz clarinet player Ken Pepelowski, Chuck Redd on Vibes, vocalist Leif Pedersen (previously of the Tommy Dorsey Band), pianist John Mahoney, bassist Ed Wise and special guest Brazilian jazz guitar sensation Diego Figueiredo.

March 17

A Celtic Pilgramage with John O’Donohue begins at 3 p.m. in Stokes Auditorium on the McNeese campus. This documentary featuring the Irish poet, philosopher and theologian John O’Donohue will be introduced with personal anecdotes and will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

March 24

Freedom Brass will begin at 3 p.m. in F.G. Bulber Auditorium. The brass ensemble of the U.S. Air Force Band of the West is comprised of two trumpets, French horn, trombone, tuba and percussion performing a repertoire spanning music over five centuries.

March 26

The Red Hot Chili Pipers will begin at 7 p.m. in Bulber Auditorium. The performance is being promoted as “Bagpipes with attitude, drums with a Scottish accent, and a show so hot it carries its own health warning.”The band fuses traditional Scottish music with rock/pop anthems that they call “bagrock.”

March 29

Peter Gros from the original Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom will present a free performance for schools at 10 a.m. in Bulber Auditorium and a regular performance at 7 p.m. He has spent nearly 30 years working with wildlife.

March 31

Abdullah Ibrahim: A Struggle for Love documentary, begins at 3 p.m. in Bulber Auditorium. Touted as the “spiritual and reallife successor of Duke Ellington, Ibrahim is considered to be the greatest living jazz musician. The Cape Town native was born Adolph Johannes Brand in 1934 and his music conveys African, British, Chinese, Indian, Islamic and American music influences. He met Duke Ellington in Switzerland in 1962 and returned to his home country in 1990 after the release from prison of Nelson Mandela and his conversion to Islam.

April 6

Jazz Master Abdullah Ibrahim will perform at 7 p.m. in Bulber Auditorium.

April 9

Unthinkable: Inside Criminal Minds with William Aprill will begin at 7 p.m. in Stokes Auditorium. Aprill, a career mental health provider and former decorated law enforcement agent, will lead a lecture delving into what turns a normal human into a violent monster and how predators select their victim.

April 11

Former McNeese professor Robert Cooper will present his poetry and travel stories, beginning at 7 p.m., at the 1911 Historic City Hall at 1001 Ryan St. The event is free to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. No ticket is required.

April 15

The Americans kick off at 6 p.m. in Bulber Auditorium. The lecture/performance will feature acoustics and a deep knowledge of the pre-war recording era.

April 17

Chase Padgett: 6 Guitars will begin at 7 p.m. in Tritico Theatre in the Shearman Fine Arts Annex. 6 Guitars is a blend of music, comedy, and characters featuring blues, jazz, rock, classical, folk and country musical styles.

April 28

The animated movie “Sing” will be presented beginning at 3 p.m. in Stokes Auditorium in Hartdner Hall. The movie features humanoid animals vying for a $100,000 singing contest award.

April 30

A Digital History of Engagement begins at 7 p.m. in Stokes Auditorium. Louisiana-based multimedia Maestro Jarret Loftstead, using material from the Banners season, will discuss the process of creating highlights and lead a talk-back discussing the integration and elevation of the digital work and local contributors.

Arts education

Banners is “not just entertainment,” Hanemann said. “I’ve seen the need for arts and communication in this community.”

Hanemann said she previously worked in an “artsrelated way” in a Lake Charles school in a low-income community.

“To say that the school was under-served or that the children came from backgrounds where they didn’t have a lot of resources would be the most gross understatement,” Hanemann said. “There is no way for me to articulate what these children do not have.”

Throughout the year, Banners brings art into local schools. Last year, Banners presented a South African steel drum performance at schools. This year, former area resident Damien Thibodeaux, who has been teaching kindergarten students music and dance in China, is going to do a cultural exchange in the schools.

Hanemann said he will bring video of his Chinese students performing a song and dance they learned in his class. He’ll teach local students a song a dance to be filmed and shown to Thibodeaux’s students in China.

The 2019 Banners membership drive is underway now.

For more information visit www.banners.org.
00 2019-02-28
Lake Charles

McNeese student injured in fall from parking garage


A McNeese State University student was injured Tuesday in a fall from the campus’ three-story parking garage.

In a statement to the American Press, President Daryl Burckel said the injured student received immediate care and attention from campus police, witnesses and emergency response personnel and their family was notified.

Burckel said the student is expected to recover from the injuries.

“At this time the privacy of the student and the student’s family is of utmost concern for us,” he said.

Burckel said the director of the school’s counseling center has visited the student and their family at the hospital to offer support.

“The health and safety of our McNeese students are paramount to our faculty, to our staff and to me,” Burckel said. “We recognize that challenges arise in life and our counseling center is always ready” to offer support.
00 2019-02-28
Lake Charles

Students, employers connect at McNeese


The McNeese State University 2019 Spring Career and Internship Fair was held Wednesday in the Recreational Complex on campus. McNeese students of all majors and classifications, as well as alumni, participated. The career fair offered an opportunity for employers to connect with students and alumni seeking fulltime jobs, co-op positions and internships. More than 70 employers attended the career fair.
00 2019-02-28
Natchitoches

Students earn Order of Omega Scholarships


NATCHITOCHES – Two Northwestern State University students were named recipients of Order of Omega scholarships honoring Greek leaders on college campuses.



Abigail Reynolds of Minden and Rowdy Burleson of Mansfield are among 138 nationwide recipients of Order of Omega Scholarships that recognize academic achievements, participation and leadership in campus organizations, citizenship and service to the Order of Omega and the campus community. The scholarship is intended to support future academic endeavors. Since 1985, Order of Omega has awarded over $1 million in undergraduate scholarships.



Reynolds, who is majoring in hospitality management and tourism, received the Patrick W. Halloran Scholarship. The award was established to honor Dean Patrick W. Halloran who served Order of Omega from 1964 – 1971.



On campus Reynolds is president of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority, vice president of Order of Omega, Freshman Connection student coordinator, Demon VIP chairman and a member of Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. Off campus she is a registered Louisiana Lobbyist.



Burleson, who is majoring in criminal justice, received the Kent L. Gardner Scholarship which was established in 1999 to recognize Dr. Kent L. Gardner, former Vice President of Student Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington and Order of Omega’s Executive Director from 1971 – 2013.



On campus, Burleson is a member of Kappa Signa where he has served as rush chairman, president and philanthropy chair. He has also been involved with Freshman Connection as a two-year Connector and Presidential Leadership Program, serving as a PLP mentor.



Order of Omega was founded in 1959 at the University of Miami to recognize fraternity men and women who have attained a high standard of leadership in interfraternity activities, to encourage them to continue along this line and to inspire others to strive for similar conspicuous attainment.
00 2019-02-27
Hammond

Denham Springs natives among Southeastern students honored at Southeast Journalism Conference


Southeastern Louisiana University earned the high praise of judges at the Southeast Journalism Conference earlier this month, bringing home first place awards in categories for both radio and television.

Southeastern media placed in the following categories: KSLU News ranked first for Best College Radio Station, Northshore News ranked first for Best College Video News Program, and The Southeastern Channel ranked first for Best College TV Station.

Students who placed in the Best of the South categories include the following: Connor Ferrill of Mandeville, first for Best Radio Journalist; Tyler Rogers of Hammond, first for Best Broadcast Advertising Staff Member; Parker Berthelot of Denham Springs, second for Best Television Hard News Reporter; Andrew Scherer of Mandeville, third for Best Television Feature Reporter; and Jessica Bowen of Denham Springs, seventh for Journalist of the Year.

Professor of Communication Amber Narro, past chair of the conference, said Southeastern’s team participated in onsite competitions during the conference, and students benefited from workshops and networking with professionals who shared their work and experiences in photography, multimedia journalism, data-driven journalism and investigative reporting.

“The competitions evolve every year,” Narro said. “The workshops are geared for real jobs where students could develop their skills so it is relevant to the work they’ll be doing in the field.”
00 2019-02-27
Lafayette

Sankofa African American Museum on wheels visits UL


The Sankofa African American Museum on wheels visited the UL student union this afternoon.

Students were invited to explore the history of the African American experience from 1860 onward. The exhibit did not shy away from controversies and the harsh experiences in African American history and sought to be a unique and engaging learning experience.

UPC Culture Coordinator Amyriah Campell says having the opportunity to share such an important part of African American history is an amazing experience.

“It’s so amazing because I feel like this is an important part of our history that many students don’t get, and i feel like it’s what’s needed for them. And, I feel like it’s so amazing that we can bring this opportunity to our students.”

Next month, the University Program Council plans to raise awareness about homelessness. If you’re a student who would like to get involved with this event or UPC go to upc.louisiana.edu


00 2019-02-27
Lafayette

UL Lafayette students want to 'Cut the Fees'


Members of the local chapter of Young Americans for Liberty sought out fellow University of Louisiana at Lafayette students to talk about increases in student fees Tuesday.

Maggie Anders, a sophomore political science major at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, talks about which student fees she and some of her classmates say are most contested. She and others in the Young Americans for Liberty at UL host a "Cut the Fees" protest on campus Tuesday. They want to start a conversation about student fees.
Maggie Anders, a sophomore political science major at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, talks about which student fees she and some of her classmates say are most contested. She and others in the Young Americans for Liberty at UL host a "Cut the Fees" protest on campus Tuesday. They want to start a conversation about student fees. (Photo: Leigh Guidry/USA TODAY Network)

"This is a widespread problem that we are trying to attack on the local level," said Maggie Anders, a sophomore political science major from St. Francisville. "Getting students involved on their local campus is a great way to get them involved a national conversation."

Louisiana public universities do not have autonomy to raise tuition without legislative approval, despite efforts to change that in recent years. Anders argues that instead schools have raised fees to fill in that gap.

"They've abused that loophole," she said.

In October, the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors approved fee increases to raise about $9.3 million across its nine institutions, which includes UL Lafayette.

Members of Young Americans for Liberty at University of Louisiana at Lafayette host a "Cut the Fees" protest on campus Tuesday. They want to start a conversation about student fees.
Members of Young Americans for Liberty at University of Louisiana at Lafayette host a "Cut the Fees" protest on campus Tuesday. They want to start a conversation about student fees. (Photo: Leigh Guidry/USA TODAY Network)

The increases went into effect for the spring semester and ranged from university to university.

Fees were to grow per credit hour by $18.59 at UL Lafayette and $5.30 at Southeastern Louisiana University, for example, according to the Associated Press.

For full-time students at UL Lafayette, that equals a $223.08 increase per semester, according to the system.

YAL Chapter President Kaleb Moore is paying more than $2,000 in fees alone this semester. A full-time student taking 12 hours, his bill includes $2,441.52 in fees, he said.

Anders and her fellow YAL members held a clipboard of pages of fees for students and a sign with a shorter list of what she called "the most contested" fees.


"I have three Student Union fees I pay," Anders said. "And no one seems to know what the Masterplan Advancement Program Fee is."

MORE: Want to talk about Louisiana public education? Town hall set for Thursday

They asked students for support signatures and for their feedback on the fee situation, collecting 240 signatures Tuesday, Moore said.

"The #CutTheFees movement at UL focuses on a longstanding need for financial transparency between the administration and the student body," Moore said.

"All students should get involved to show the university that we care where our money is going. The students have proven to us they are fed up with the fees. We are determined to do something about it."

They also accept responses through social media. Find them on Instagram @yalibertyul and on Facebook and Twitter @YALatUL.

"One, we are asking for more transparency," Anders said. "Two, we would like to inform students of fees many don't even know about. And three, we want student feedback on which fees they don't want to keep paying."

Members of Young Americans for Liberty at University of Louisiana at Lafayette host a "Cut the Fees" protest on campus Tuesday. They want to start a conversation about student fees. From left are students Triston Myers, Summer Cratty, Caleb Wooton, Maggie Anders, Joshua Baudoin and Carly Taylor.
Members of Young Americans for Liberty at University of Louisiana at Lafayette host a "Cut the Fees" protest on campus Tuesday. They want to start a conversation about student fees. From left are students Triston Myers, Summer Cratty, Caleb Wooton, Maggie Anders, Joshua Baudoin and Carly Taylor. (Photo: Leigh Guidry/USA TODAY Network)

They plan to take the feedback to their Student Government Association and university and system administration.

"We want to start the conversation," Anders said.

Anders wants to have a meeting with administration at the university level, namely UL Lafayette President Joe Savoie, and at the UL System.

READ MORE: SMILE ex-CEO Chris Williams bullied employee into sex, made voodoo doll of victim, lawsuit says

She'd like to see a "UL Checkbook" site like the searchable online database of state expenditures Louisiana Checkbook.

"We want more honesty from the university about where our money is being spent," said Carly Taylor, a freshman from Baton Rouge.

"We want our money spent on our education," Anders added.

UL System President and CEO Jim Henderson agreed about the importance of transparency.

"Every university should be transparent about fees and what students are paying," Henderson said. "... Anytime students are asking these questions, that's healthy engagement, and they deserve answers."

He said the system is working on getting institutional data to the Louisiana Checkbook, because the technology systems "don't talk seamlessly to each other" right now.

In the meantime the system has started an Operational Transparency site through its website, he said. Find it at www.ulsystem.edu/operational-transparency/.

Anders is an executive board member for YAL and the state chair for Louisiana and Oklahoma.
00 2019-02-27
Natchitoches

Entries being accepted for 2019 Louisiana High School Essay Contest


NATCHITOCHES – The 11th annual Northwestern State University Louisiana High School Essay Contest is now open for submissions until May 31. The essay contest is open to all Louisiana students in grades 9-12 regardless of type of school institution, including students in all types of private educational environments, as well as home schooled students.

The 2019 Contest theme is “I am Louisiana.” Entrants are invited to address one or both of the following questions: “How has growing up in Louisiana shaped you into the person that you are today? What makes you Louisianan?” Personal reflections and experiences are valid as part of the essay content. Essays may be in narrative form if the student chooses.

Family Doctors
Essays should be approximately 1,000 – 2,500+ words, should have titles and should be typed (double spaced, 12-point font, standard margins). Entries should include a cover sheet with the student’s name, school affiliation, entrant’s mailing address, phone number, e-mail address and the title of their entry. Entries may be submitted via e-mail to Dr. Shane Rasmussen, rasmussens@nsula.edu or mailed to the Louisiana Folklife Center, NSU Box 3663, Natchitoches, LA 71497. “2019 NSU Louisiana High School Essay Contest” should be the subject line of e-mails. The deadline for contest submissions is May 31. Prize-winning students will be notified by July 15.

The prizes for the contest winners are: 1st place – $150; 2nd place – $100; and 3rd place – $50. In addition, essay contest winners will receive a $200/per semester NSU scholarship with a value up to $1,600 if they attend NSU for four years. This award is in addition to other scholarship awards that the student may receive from Northwestern State. Winners must have at least a 20 ACT composite or 950 on the SAT, as well as at least a 2.0 GPA to be eligible. Essay winners need to submit proof of the award.

Winning essayists will be invited to read their paper at the 11th Annual Louisiana Studies Conference held at Northwestern State on Saturday, September 21. The top three winning entries will also be published in the Louisiana Folklife Journal. Submission of an entry to the Contest entails granting permission to publish the essay in the Louisiana Folklife Journal. Entries may be subject to minor revision prior to publication. Additional information is available on the website for the Louisiana Folklife Center at Northwestern State University: louisianafolklife.nsula.edu.

The NSU Louisiana High School Essay Contest is sponsored by Louisiana Folklife Center, the NSU Writing Project, the College of Arts, Sciences, Graduate Studies and Research, the Office of Financial Aid, and the Office of Recruiting at Northwestern State.
00 2019-02-27
Natchitoches

NSU Creative Writing Faculty Reading


Northwestern State University’s Department of English, Foreign Languages and Cultural Studies held a Creative Writing Faculty Showcase on Feb. 21, which was open to students and the Natchitoches community. Around 40 people attended to listen to poems and excepts of novels and to ask the authors questions.

Dr. Rebecca Macijeski, the coordinator of the NSU Creative Writing Program, was the first reader. She read poems from her project centered around a fictional 1930s fiddle player named Virgil. The poems told the stories of his adventures and gave Virgil mythological elements and abilities. One of these poems did not have a written title, instead it had a pictorial title of a train to represent the symbols homeless people during the Great Depression used to communicate. She also read some poems from the point of view of Death, imaging that Death is a woman.

Next, Professor Shae Montgomery read. His poetry contained interesting and literary takes on “The Munsters” and “The Adams Family.” He delves deep into the minds of the characters, exploring emotions largely ignored on screen including class, race, and gender throughout a whole book’s worth of poems. Then he read a few poems based on his difficult experience living in Nebraska, from the point of view of a character named Snake. Some of these poems were shared out loud for the first time at the reading.

Third, Professor Oona Zbitkovskis, author of Peculiar Poems for Pint Size Provocateurs read humorous poems intended for children. They were full of riddles and rhymes and made all ages of the audience laugh. Zbitkovski thinks “writers are completely obsessed with the idea of finishing things” even though revisions and drafts are an important part of the writing process, so she read some unfinished poems. These were a completely different genre of poems, full of proactive images and curses.

Dr. J. Andrew Briseño was the final reader. He read an excerpt of his novel Down and Out which is about a reality tv show based in Paris, Ark. The first excerpt described the dilapidated town, one unlikely to have a reality tv show based on it. The next except was from much later in the novel, from when the show was already on season 2 or 3. The town seemed to be overly invested in the show, and the characters had standard catch phrases and their own merchandise.

This department and faculty plan to have a reading once a semester, so be sure to keep an eye out for upcoming dates. This reading in particular was in celebration of the new Creative Writing concentration within the English Department that will start in Fall 2019. Next semester, there will also be two sections of the Introduction to Creative Writing class offered. Some other new classes are being developed including one that will focus on studying the creation of visual art and writing together.
00 2019-02-27
New Orleans

St. Tammany College Notes for Feb. 27


NORTHWESTERN STATE: Six hundred and fifty-four students were named to the Fall 2018 President’s List at Northwestern State University. Students on the list earned a grade point average of 4.0. Area students named to the list are:


Covington — Henri Blanchat, Justin Brogdon, Rachael Coyne, Sarah Shiflett
Folsom — Shaylee Laird, Sarah Moore
Kentwood — Jenna Morris
Lacombe — William Simpson
Mandeville — Shannon Roussell
Slidell — Ayrianna Edwards, Katherine Gallinghouse, Parker Gwaltney, Abigail Miller, Sabrina Miller, Holly Penta, Rachel Reed, Jourdan Waddell, Olivia Warren.
Dean's list scholars earned a grade point average between 3.5 and 3.999. Area students named to the list are:

Bush — Saige Tassin
Covington — Kayla Keys, Andrea Mier, Cathleen Oviedo, Etienne Blanchat
Lacombe — Casey Casler
Madisonville — Sarahjane Ladut, Bailey Perrilloux
Mandeville — Maci Burt, Mya Holmes, Sheridan Smith, Jalen Willis
Slidell — Rikki Ayers, Brittany Brooks, Jacqueline Coleman, Shakera Dixon, Jordan Garcia, Thomas Garner, Claire Harvey, William Jensen, Tristan Johnson, Allyssa Marshall, Isabel Melhado, Kha Nguyen, John Norvel, Theresa Sharp, Raina Woods
Honor list scholars have a grade point average of between 3.0 and 3.49. Area students named to the are:

Bush — Serena Bonnette
Covington — Kenneth Sears, Crystal Tucker
Madisonville — Zoe Almaraz, Jensen Volz
Mandeville — Carrie Maxwell
Slidell — Juliana Garcia, Noah Glass, Ashley Henry, Kierston Jackson, Maci Walgamotte.
00 2019-02-26
Houma/Thibodaux

Celebrate the arts at Nicholls


Nicholls State University invites you to spend a night celebrating the arts at the popular annual fundraiser, Art Works.

It’s scheduled for 6-9 p.m. April 2 in Talbot Hall on the Thibodaux campus.

The event will include tours of the studios, interactive learning experiences, a silent auction featuring one-of-a-kind artwork, live painting from a renowned Louisiana artist, an exhibit of local artists’ work, complimentary hors-d’oeuvres and a cash bar.

“I love Art Works because it’s more than just a fundraiser, it’s an event where our alumni, students, faculty, staff and the community come together to support our students and the arts,” said Jean Donegan, art department head.

In the lobby of the Mary and Al Danos Theater, guests can peruse the “Bon Temps” exhibit, featuring unique hand-painted birdhouses, garden posts and framed mirrors. Each item was created by alumni, faculty, students and local artists and designers and will be auctioned off during the night.

Louisiana’s premier folk artist, Alvin Batiste, will paint during the event. The Donaldsonville artist has produced more than 8,000 paintings, many of which are on display in museums and galleries throughout the world, and was once commissioned by actor and musician Billy Bob Thornton to create the album cover for his debut record.

For those with an interest in arts, Nicholls art students and faculty will show you tips and tricks to elevate your skills. Hands-on activities, such as using a potter’s wheel and creating hand-colored photographs, and demonstrations will take place throughout the night. New this year, a printing demonstration will take place in the parking lot using a steamroller.

Among the artwork on display will be the famous, 105-year-old “Blue Dog Steinway,” created by renowned Louisiana artist George Rodrigue. Housed at the Sheraton New Orleans, the piano often tours the country to raise awareness about the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts and has been played by Billy Joel, Allen Toussaint, Ellis Marsalis Jr., Irvin Mayfield and Dr. John.

Tickets are $50 per person, and all proceeds are put back into the department in the form of scholarships, student exhibits and grants sending students to regional and national conferences. Last year’s event raised a record $30,000.

For the second year, artwork will be available for bid online. Supporters unable to attend the event can still bid on many of the items for auction by signing up at nicholls.edu/artworks.

Tickets can be ordered by calling 448-457 or visiting nicholls.edu/artworks.
00 2019-02-26
Lafayette

Students teaching students: Vermilionville hosts quarterly education program


Monday at Vermilionville Living History and Folk Life Park, Lafayette Middle School eighth graders got a unique learning experience. It’s called Veep, Vermilionville Education Enrichment Partnership.

University of Louisiana Lafayette education students create and then teach lesson plans that incorporate Vermilionville. The lessons are also in line with Lafayette Parish School System’s third and eighth grade curricula.

Melanie Harrington, Vermilionville’s education coordinator says, “A lot of times the kids coming here for VEEP day, it’s their only field trip of the school year. And we have a really culturally rich and diverse community and this provides a really cool opportunity for kids to experience that first hand.”

VEEP happens quarterly with various Lafayette Parish schools.

00 2019-02-26
Lafayette

Restore the Roy: Work underway to transfrom historic home into public archive


LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- Work is underway to restore a 118-year-old house at the corner of Johnston Street and University Avenue.
The J. Arthur Roy House, which was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1984, is in need renovations including a heating and cooling system, structural and plumbing repairs, paint, parking and ADA compliant access.

A fundraising campaign, titled "Restore the Roy", was recently launched to repair the historic building and transform it into a public archive managed by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Center for Louisiana Studies.

Built in 1901, the Roy House is the only UL-owned property listed on the National Register of Historic Places

The project is in its first phase on its five year plan. To learn more and to donate to the Restore the Roy campaign, click here.
Center of Louisiana Studies faculty celebrated the start of the first phase of the renovation with a "Center Staff Serenade":
00 2019-02-26
Lafayette

Lafayette man one of nine recipients of Volunteer Louisiana Champions of Service award


Ruben D. Henderson III exercises an open-door policy at his office at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Nestled in a corner in the offices of student engagement and leadership, students can come to the assistant director's office for guidance and advice, or just to take a break between classes to relax one of the bean bag chairs lining the walls of the room.

The physical doors to his office reflect the metaphorical ones he hopes to fling wide open for those less privileged than himself.

"Community service and philanthropy is something that is really important and dear to me," he said. "I think it's an important part of what needs to happen in the world to make it a better place."

Henderson will be honored for his commitment to community service at the Volunteer Louisiana Champions of Service gala in Baton Rouge on April 9. He is one of nine people being awarded in the state.

Henderson serves the community in several roles:

Assistant Director of Student Activities in the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership at University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Adviser for the Black Male Leadership Association (BMLA) at UL
Active member of the Kappa Alpha Psi service fraternity, Lafayette chapter
Active member of the National Association of Campus Activities
Recruits student tutors for New Hope Community Development of Acadiana
Board member at Miles Perret Cancer Services
He also participates in a number of summer academic and leadership institutes for students, serves food at local homeless shelters and works on various community service and beautification projects in Lafayette.

His passion for helping others stems from a fortunate upbringing, he says.

He was raised in a loving family that instilled the values of education, professionalism and service in him at a young age. And he was raised Catholic, so giving back to the community was just something that was the norm for him, he says.

"I've always had a passion to give back and make a difference in the community," he said. "And being that I identify as an African-American male, I know the importance of giving back specifically to the African-American community."

Henderson grew up in Lakes Charles, a small town where he could see that compared to the average black male, he had parents, family, resources and access that others did not, he says.

"I saw there were lots of things that they were lacking as individuals that they just didn't have access to, so I wanted to take my privilege and use it to make other black men better," he says.

One way he does that is by being a role model, he says, and modeling the way he wants the world to be.

It's a philosophy that has action behind it, according to John Newman, CEO and co-founder of New Hope Community Development of Acadiana.

Newman runs New Hope, a neighborhood mentoring program for at-risk kids in the Azalea Park area, with his wife. All 50 kids who attend the after-school program are African-American, he says.

When they first started about eight years ago, they had only white tutors, he said.

"Early on, I realized the students needed to see people who look like them working with them," he says. "In fact, one of the fourth-graders said to me: why do you keep bringing us your friends but not your brothers?"

From there, Newman says he went on a quest to find black leaders in the community who could help them find volunteers. He found Henderson, who connected them with the organizations he works with on campus.

That was about seven years ago. Since then, students from black student organizations have been their primary volunteer base, he says.

And UL has brought the students on campus to be awarded and acknowledged on stage along with their UL student mentors. The kids get to see people like them who are succeeding in college, he says.

And it's made a tremendous difference in the success of the students, he says.

"Now we have elementary age kids talking about when they go to college," he says. "Before all this, the highest dream those kids had was saying they wanted to be a dollar store clerk, or some might say a football or basketball player."

Newman says Henderson's Champion of Service award is well-deserved.

"He does a lot in the community, and he is very worthy of that," he says. "I'm glad to see all his hard work being recognized."

One of Henderson's favorite service events is the Christmas party that New Hope hosts each year, he says.

The kids can earn "New Hope dollars" for good behavior throughout the year. Then at the Christmas party, they can spend those dollars on gifts for themselves and their families.

The event teaches the kids responsibility and how to give generously.

"If they buy a gift for their family, we wrap it for them," Henderson says. "When we're wrapping the gifts, you'll hear them say 'that's for my little brother' or 'my little sister.'

"These kids are so young and so disadvantaged, and they don't have all that we have. And to see them use their money so unselfishly, using the money because their families can't afford to give them the Christmas that we are so privileged to be able to have...it's incredible," he says.

Henderson is aware that the work he does in the community is considered going above and beyond, but he remains humble. He is still caught off guard by the award and the recognition in general. To him, waking up and serving the community is the norm, he says.

"I hope to continue to live every day to inspire others to recognize the value and significance in service," he says. "If we lived our lives more in a way that was not asking what we can do for ourselves, but what we can do for each other and those that don't have the same privileges and access as us, I think the world would be a much better place."
00 2019-02-26
Lake Charles

Free concerts at McNeese today and Thursday


The W.A. and Dorothy Hanna Department of Performing Arts will present two free spring concerts this week in the Tritico Theatre.

The McNeese Symphonic Band, the Clarinet Choir and Brass Ensemble will perform at 7 p.m. today, Feb. 26.

The symphonic band is conducted by Dr. Jay Sconyers, the clarinet choir by Jan Scott and the brass ensemble by Dave Scott.

The McNeese Jazz Band will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, under the direction of Tim McMillen.

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.


00 2019-02-26
Natchitoches

NSU to hold Spring N-Side View, Credit Connection March 9


Northwestern State University will hold its annual Spring N-Side View and Credit Connection on Saturday, March 9.

Registration for Spring N-Side View and Credit Connection will begin at 9 a.m. in Magale Recital Hall and the programs start at 10 a.m.

As part of Spring N-Side View, representatives from each of Northwestern State’s colleges will be on hand to explain degree programs offered at NSU. Staff from the financial aid, housing and scholarship offices will also be available to answer questions. A student panel will give a unique perspective on the university. An orientation program for parents will also be held. A campus tour will also be part of Spring N-Side View.

During Credit Connection, students can earn college credit by taking an advanced standing examination which can result in credit being posted on the student’s college transcript once they enroll at Northwestern State.

Tests for English 1010, English 1020, Spanish, Math 1020 or 1060 and fine arts will be offered. Students can take up to two tests at no charge. A reservation and valid, current photo ID are required to test.

Students with ACT Math subscores below 19 or 460 on the SAT or English subscores below 18 on the ACT or 450 on the SAT can take Accuplacer, a college placement test that assists the university in evaluating students in writing and math for placement decisions. Passing the exams can result in students being able to register in college level courses instead of developmental courses. The cost for the exam is $15 for math or English or $25 for both.

To register, contact the NSU Testing Center at (318) 357-5246. The first round of Credit Connection tests begins at 10 a.m. with the second round at 1 p.m.

Northwestern State offers a unique scholarship opportunity for students with strong leadership potential and provides them with a yearlong leadership program. The President’s Leadership Program is designed to promote active involvement in the campus community and provide opportunities for students to build leadership skills together. A PLP Emerging Leaders Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A reservation is required in order to participate in the program. Those interested can sign up at nsula.edu/fye.

Lunch will be available at 1 p.m. for $8. Those participating in N-Side View Day can get tickets to the NSU-Central Arkansas basketball doubleheader which begins at 1 p.m. in Prather Coliseum.

To reserve a spot for Spring N-Side View, go to nsula.edu/recruiting/preview-days. For more information on Spring N-Side View/Credit Connection, contact the Office of Admissions and Recruiting at (318) 357-4503 or (800) 327-1903.


00 2019-02-26
New Orleans

Krewe of UNO rolls through campus tomorrow


The 2019 Krewe of UNO’s Mardi Gras parade will roll through campus tomorow (Feb. 26) with the theme “Hollywood on Parade.”

The parade will begin at 12:30 p.m. in front of The Cove, a student dining and entertainment venue (No. 33 on this campus map). The route will end in front of the University Center (No. 34), where revelers will be treated with king cake.

UNO President John Nicklow
UNO President John Nicklow tossing throws at 2018’s Krewe of UNO Mardi Gras parade (via UNO)
This year’s paraders include: UNO student organizations, marching bands from Sophie B. Wright Charter School and Morris Jeff Community School, fraternities, sororities, President John Nicklow, the homecoming court, athletic teams, the University’s mascot Captain BrUNO, and representatives from academic departments and other campus groups.

Alumni and members of the community are invited to attend the parade.
00 2019-02-26
Regional/National

The End of the Remedial Course


hey’ve tried compressing it, breaking it into bite-size chunks, computerizing it, even making it optional. But the traditional, prerequisite remedial course that generations of underprepared students have been funneled into before they can start college-level courses remains an insurmountable barrier for too many students. Increasingly, it is being ditched altogether.

At a time when growing numbers of first-generation, minority, and older adult students are going to college, the California State University system, the nation’s largest public-university system, this year eliminated


all freestanding remedial courses. Next year, the state’s entire community-college system will do the same. The moves, which are being watched by reformers and instructors nationwide, will have especially far-reaching consequences for open-access colleges and those that accept the vast majority of students who apply.

Those who favor a shift toward corequisite remediation, in which students start out in college-level classes with support on the side, describe California’s wholesale buy-in as a turning point. They think it could put the nail in the coffin of the sequence of stand-alone remedial classes that trips up so many students.

But skeptics worry that reformers may end up harming many of the students they’re trying to help. They say it’s unrealistic to expect nearly everyone to succeed right off the bat in a college-level class — no matter how much advising, tutoring, and nonacademic support they receive. What will happen to the returning adult whose last math class was three decades ago, the immigrant for whom English is a second language, or the first-generation student overwhelmed with work and family obligations? Will they finally get the chance they deserve to succeed in college, as the reformers would argue, or is needed support being pulled out from under them?

When Christy Stevens enrolled in Pellissippi State Community College in Tennessee more than two decades after graduating from high school, calling her math rusty would be an understatement.

“I graduated from high school with a general-studies degree — no advanced classes, no geometry or trigonometry, no algebra, no nothing,” she said. At 18, she became a single parent and worked two jobs, trying on and off over the next several years to attend college classes.











With her professor’s round-the-clock support in the spring semester last year, using an app that allowed her to seek help with homework day or night, she earned a B-plus in the corequisite survey of math course. But Stevens, who hopes to become a fifth-grade science teacher, barely squeaked by with a D in the subsequent course in geometry that she needed to graduate with her associate degree.

She said she would have appreciated the chance to brush up on her math skills in a remedial class before plunging in to college-level work. That wasn’t an option: In 2015, Tennessee became the first state to drop such classes in favor of a statewide shift to corequisite remediation.

Early results have been promising, especially for students just below the placement cutoff score. But “I’m not one of these 19-year-olds coming out of high school with geometry fresh on my brain,” said Stevens, now 43. “I’ve had to crawl and dig for math knowledge to pass these courses.” Prerequisite refresher classes, she said, “should be an option” for students like her.

The professor of mathematics Stevens credits with helping her pass her first college math course agrees that many students need a more robust on-ramp. “Expecting them to do the prerequisite material, learn the college-level material, and figure out how to navigate college and go full time — because everyone’s pushing everyone to go full time — we’re setting many of them up for failure,” said Mary Monroe-Ellis.

Nationally, nearly two-thirds of entering community-college students and more than one-third of those starting at less-selective four-year colleges are found to be not ready for college-level math or English classes, according to a report by the Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Traditionally, these students have been directed to remedial classes they have to pay for, but don’t get academic credit for. One study by the center found that, of students referred to three levels of remedial math, only 17 percent completed the sequence within three years. For reading, the rate was 29 percent.

The result has been a push to find ways for students to speed through remediation or bypass it altogether.

“When you examine the data, you’ll see that if you give students an opportunity and adequate support, they can meet the demands” of college-level work, said James T. Minor, senior strategist for academic success and inclusive excellence for the California State system. As the evidence continues to build, “I believe we will, as a responsible, progressive university system, move away from labeling students who have been admitted ‘not ready for college,’ ” he added. “Instead, we’ll figure out, with all of the Ph.D. brainpower we have, how to support the students who arrive on our campuses trusting the university to transform their lives.”

The shift toward eliminating stand-alone remedial classes in California is part of a flood of reform efforts that have swept the country in recent years. In 2013, Florida made such classes optional, and state lawmakers took advantage of the reduced remedial ranks to suggest cutting appropriations to two-year colleges.

Tennessee also yanked those courses in its statewide shift to corequisite remediation.

The reformers, supported by grants from major philanthropies including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Kresge Foundation, have persuaded a growing number of state lawmakers and college-system administrators that remedial classes are among the biggest barriers to college completion.

Corequisite remediation, which takes different forms on different campuses, has risen to the top of the reform strategies, with rollouts across such states as Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, and Tennessee.




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Sometimes students are assigned to a college-level class with a companion course that helps them catch up and better understand the material. Or the support may consist mainly of extra tutoring, peer study sessions, and work in the computer lab.

The demographic challenges facing colleges have raised the stakes on getting underprepared students up to speed as quickly as possible. Shrinking numbers of 18-year-olds have forced many open-access colleges to step up their recruitment of older adults, veterans, and others who have been out of school for years. The economic downturn that many are expecting could send more older adults back to college. In states with shrinking applicant pools or free community-college tuition, less-selective four-year colleges are having to dig deeper into their applicant pools to fill their seats. Meanwhile, growing numbers of underrepresented-minority students pose equity challenges for colleges since, statistically, black and Hispanic students are far more likely to end up — and get stuck — in remedial classes.

Rebecca Goosen, associate vice chancellor for college preparatory at San Jacinto College in Texas, is pleased that the days of putting students in sequences of up to three remedial courses are over.

But Goosen, a national leader in developmental education, said that despite the fervor for corequisite courses, they may not work for those who are least prepared. “I hope the train doesn’t crash down the road because we’re putting students who really struggle, especially in math, in classes they can’t handle,” she said.


“If you give students an opportunity and adequate support, they can meet the demands” of college-level work.


This year, the State of Texas required that 25 percent of students needing developmental education be placed in corequisite classes. “We skim off the top and take the students who are almost there — and they’re successful,” Goosen said. Next year, the requirement will jump to 50 percent, and the following, 75 percent. Goosen said she fought efforts to require corequisite remediation for all developmental students.

Some students arrive perplexed by fractions and relying on calculators. “What do you want me to do with a student who doesn’t understand the number line, reads at a fourth-grade level, and can’t write a complete sentence?” she asked. Despite a robust system of corequisite support that involves two instructors for 20 students circulating, answering questions, frequently testing, and giving nightly homework, “we’ve had to take students out of co-rec because they weren’t going to survive,” Goosen said.

Skeptics question whether enough is known about how underprepared students who are placed directly in a college-level course fare after that first course. Do they go on to succeed in upper-level courses, earn a certificate or degree? Or is there too much emphasis on whether they make it through their first college-level course? In addition, skeptics point out that many of the studies that have shown successes in skipping remedial courses focus on students who scored near the placement cutoff. Far less is known about how the least-prepared students would fare.

One thing most people agree on is that many of the students who end up taking remedial classes would have done fine without them. The single, standardized placement test that colleges have long relied on does a poor job of predicting success, according to scholars from the Community College Research Center. When other factors, including high school grade-point averages, are considered, more students are placed in and pass college-level math and English courses early in college, they found.

Nineteen states or college systems now allow for the use of multiple measures in placement decisions, according to a state-by-state summary of developmental-education policies published by the Education Commission of the States.

Some of the most promising strategies are being supported and expanded with competitive grants from the commission’s Strong Start to Finish program, whose goals include helping low-income, underrepresented-minority, and returning adult students succeed in college-level math and English and enter a program of study in their first year.



TAKEAWAYS:
•Demographic challenges have raised the stakes for getting underprepared students up to speed as quickly as possible.
•Corequisite remediation, which starts with a college-level class with support alongside, allows many more students to pass a credit-bearing course.
•Debate continues over whether eliminating freestanding remedial courses will help or hinder underprepared students.
•Some faculty members feel pressured to lower their academic standards.
•Nonacademic stressors are just as likely to derail underprepared students as academic deficiencies.

The law affecting California’s community colleges, which will take effect in the fall, requires them to consider measures other than standardized placement tests, like high-school coursework and grades, in placing students. It prohibits community colleges from requiring students to enroll in remedial English or math courses that lengthen the time to graduation unless the students are deemed "highly unlikely to succeed" in transfer-level courses.

The stakes are high. Three-quarters of California’s incoming community-college students have been identified in recent years as underprepared, the vast majority placed in remedial courses, the legislation states. After six years, only 40 percent of them will have a degree or certificate or transfer, compared with 70 percent of students who were allowed to enroll directly in college-level courses, according to the state’s Student Success Scorecard.

Regardless of how you measure it, colleges will continue to face the challenge of educating students who are underprepared. A 2017 Hechinger Report investigation concluded that 96 percent of the two- and four-year colleges surveyed enrolled students who were deemed unready for college-level work. That came as a surprise to many of the students, who had passed standardized tests that indicated they were ready to graduate from high school.

That gap — between high-school and college expectations — continues to confound education reformers. And it explains why many colleges are working closely with neighboring school systems to better align what students are expected to know.











But some say the gap is overstated. “Students were probably always more ready for college than we gave them credit for,” said Bruce Vandal, a senior vice president for Complete College America who oversees the nonprofit’s corequisite-support strategy. “If students are successful in high school, they’ll generally be successful in college.”

The educators who are trying to spread corequisite approaches broadly would like to see a shift in thinking about students deemed unprepared. “They’re saying we need to remove the words ‘remedial’ and ‘developmental education’ from our vocabulary,” Vandal said. Instead of focusing on the deficits some students come with, “we should focus on treating all students as college students from Day 1.”

Katie Hern, an English instructor at Chabot College, a two-year institution, said she co-founded a faculty-led effort called the California Acceleration Project in 2010 after discovering that “the classes we had developed to help students be more successful were hurting them.” Accelerated pathways, including corequisite classes, benefit students from all racial and ethnic groups, all placement and income levels, she said.

Others argue that students are ill-served when they’re placed in classes they aren’t ready for.

“CSU needs to continue to address the developmental needs some students come to college with," said Michal Kurlaender, a professor of education policy at the University of California at Davis. "We want to avoid a sink or swim situation.”

Ending remedial classes could, she worries, have unintended consequences for the students the policy aims to help. “In a system stretched by increasing enrollment and declining state resources, ending remediation may lead some to want to reduce access to students not deemed ready for college-level work,” Kurlaender wrote in September in the journal EducationNext.

”Yet doing so would disproportionately harm students of color and low-income students, who have less access to the opportunities that determine college readiness in the first place.”




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Last year about four in 10 entering freshmen across Cal State’s 23 campuses were assigned to at least one remedial math or English class. The university redesigned or merged about 880 remedial sections, mostly into corequisite or “stretch” classes that span two semesters instead of one.

Alfredo Orantes, a freshman at California State University at Los Angeles, admits he needed extra math support after graduating from high school in June. Instead of being assigned to a full year of remedial math, he was placed in a credit-bearing precalculus course over the summer, followed by another co­requisite class in the fall.

“At first I was struggling to get the hang of it,” he said. But by taking advantage of tips to study in groups, sign up for peer tutoring, and drop in to his professor’s office hours, he was able to keep up.

The remedial reforms are part of the system’s Graduation Initiative 2025, which aims to raise the four-year graduation rate to 40 percent and the six-year rate to 70 percent by 2025. The idea is that by dropping remedial courses and graduating students faster, the system will have more spots available for new students.




But not all faculty members are on board. James Daniel Lee, a professor and chair of justice studies at San Jose State University, won’t accept students who aren’t ready for college-level math. His department was given the option to offer supplemental instruction for those were weren’t ready. Otherwise, unprepared students who wanted in would have to sign up for other tutoring offered by the university.

“I told them all we’re not going to participate,” he said. “Send me students who are ready for math.” He worries that faculty members will feel pressured to lower academic standards. High failure rates could jeopardize their own jobs, he said, especially given policy makers’ intense focus on the corequisite shift.











Math skills are crucial in his field. Crime-scene investigators have to know how to measure skid marks, for instance. "I’m concerned that in a few years, our employers are going to say, ‘Your students don’t know math. We can’t trust you as a source of our talent.’"

So what can be done to improve students’ chances of arriving at college ready to tackle credit-bearing work? In addition to signing students on to a rapidly growing number of dual-credit and advanced-placement classes, high schools are experimenting with ways to test college readiness by students’ junior year. Those who need to catch up can do so in a remedial class offered during their senior year.

Results of such moves have been mixed. Tennessee’s Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support program, known as Sails, which shifts college math remediation to high school, eliminated students’ delay in entering credit-bearing, college-level courses. The problem is that once they got there, they were just as likely to fail the college-level math class.











True, there’s scant evidence that remedial courses boost students’ math knowledge, “but we don’t want to compound the problem by eliminating remediation altogether,” said Thomas J. Kane, a professor of education and economics at the Harvard Graduate School of Education who studied the Sails program. “It’s not just about access. It’s about completion.”

Shifting remediation to high school saves the state money, he said. Kane would like to see those savings shifted into beefed-up counseling and both academic and nonacademic supports that are crucial for disadvantaged students.

“Remedial courses are neither the major cause of the high noncompletion rate nor the solution for it,” he said.

As the debate over developmental education swirls around them, faculty members in the trenches say they’re tired of being blamed for low completion rates of students who start out in their classes.

“Some of the media attention we’ve received and the reforms being pushed assume that all developmental education is ineffective, and we know that’s not the case,” said D. Patrick Saxon, director of the doctoral program in developmental-education administration at Sam Houston State University in Texas.

When sweeping changes are made, strategies that have proved effective are in some cases being scrapped, he added. “My concern is the professionals who’ve spent so much time and energy and entire lives learning how to best serve underprepared students are being denigrated and left out of the discussion,” Saxon said.

A statewide group that had been known as the Tennessee Association for Developmental Education had to change its name to the Tennessee Association for Student Success and Retention because colleges wouldn’t pay to send educators to meetings about developmental education, Monroe-Ellis said.

“The attitude is that now that we’re all co-rec, developmental education doesn’t exist,” said Monroe-Ellis, who was dean of transitional studies at Pellissippi State until the position was eliminated. “Those people still have the same academic and nonacademic needs even if we’re throwing them directly into a college-level class.”


“In a few years, our employers are going to say, ‘Your students don't know math.”’


The National Association for Developmental Education is considering a name change for the same reason. In 1984, it removed the word “remedial” from its title to emphasize the broader umbrella of developmental education, which includes tutoring, advising, time-management tips, and other supports.

Now, even the term “developmental,” which many still associate with stand-alone remedial courses, carries baggage some practitioners are eager to ditch. Doing so could allow the group to rebrand itself and appeal to new audiences, they argue.

Others want to keep the name and clear up misconceptions


about what developmental education is. The way they see it, says Hunter R. Boylan, professor and director of the National Center for Developmental Education at Appalachian State University, "our detractors will continue to castigate us regardless of what we call ourselves, so why bother changing the name?"

While stand-alone remedial courses get a bad rap these days, one of the nation’s most successful models of remedial reform — City University of New York’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs, or ASAP — allows students who need them to start there. The program, which has been replicated nationally, bolsters remedial and college-level courses with extensive financial, academic, and personal supports. A study by the nonprofit research group MDRC found that it nearly doubled three-year graduation rates.

One of the earliest models of corequisite remediation was the Accelerated Learning Program, or ALP, offered to English students at the Community College of Baltimore County. Students scoring just below the placement cutoff were allowed to take two simultaneous courses: one college-level and a companion refresher course. Since the program began in 2007, it’s been adapted by more than 300 colleges nationwide.

Despite the program’s successes in propelling students through English 101, the college’s president, Sandra L. Kurtinitis, said there will always be some who aren’t ready for college classes. “It’s not fair to put an unprepared student into a zone where expectations are real and they don’t have the ability to meet them,” she said.

Her college still offers prerequisite remedial courses, although far fewer today. And applicants who would struggle in a corequisite class are sometimes encouraged to pursue a noncredit certificate. Kurtinitis cited the example of an animal lover who wanted to be a veterinarian, but whose math skills were so weak he’d be unlikely to succeed in even a veterinary-technician program. Advisers suggested a four-month continuing-education program to train as a veterinary assistant, and he’s now happily working in a clinic, washing dogs and helping technicians, she said.

Everyone wants to give students the fastest-possible trajectory to a credential and career, Kurtinitis said.

“But we are an open-door institution, which means all people are welcome here. We need to meet them where they are and give them the support that they need.”

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 2019-02-25
Baton Rouge

On the area arts and cultural scene


The Southeastern Louisiana University Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band will present a concert at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27 in Pottle Music Building Recital Hall in Hammond. Admission is free. (985) 549-2184.
00 2019-02-25
Lafayette

“Pie a Professor day” benefits UL Music Department


It was more pie in the eye than pie in the sky on the UL Lafayette campus today.
Music students at the university hosted “pie a professor. Allowing students to smack pies into the faces of their favorite professors.

The event supported the music program.

Sigma Alpha Iota member Lauren Wise says the event beneifts philanthropic and music related projects.

“It’s really important to us. Obviously, we wouldn’t be a part of a music fraternity if we didn’t think music was important. I think it’s really important that people are exposed to [music] at a young age, especially children, because it gives them something to pour themselves into when maybe everything else seems like it’s chaos.”

You can donate to Sigma Alpha Iota-Iota Omicron’s philanthropic projects through there Venmo Account: Venmo account:sai-iotaomicron.
00 2019-02-25
Lake Charles

MCNEESE SPRING PREVIEW DAY


PHOTOS

Prospective new students attend the McNeese Spring Preview day at McNeese State University Saturday.
00 2019-02-25
Monroe

Gov. Edwards proposes raises for teachers, TOPS in dream budget


Teachers, TOPS and colleges would be among the people and programs who would get raises or funding increases in Gov. John Bel Edwards' proposed budget for next year, though it relies on money that hasn't yet been recognized and can't yet be spent.

Edwards' Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne presented the dream budget to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee on Friday while scolding House Speaker Taylor Barras, R-New Iberia, for blocking an official forecast as a member of the Revenue Estimating Conference.

"The era of instability and uncertainty should be over, but unfortunately it's not," Dardenne said. "It's no secret we don't have a budget estimate from the REC."

Louisiana State Capitol, summer 2018Buy Photo
Louisiana State Capitol, summer 2018 (Photo11: Shyla Hilburn/The News-Star)

The state can't spend money without an official revenue forecast from the Revenue Estimating Conference.

So rather than present the governor's executive budget as required by the Constitution the administration chose to present a "proposed budget."

Edwards and Dardenne plugged in one of the REC economist's forecast that projects an additional $134 million in revenue that begins in the next fiscal year that starts on July 1.

If it eventually comes to fruition, the governor's proposed budget would be $30.4 billion in general appropriations, up from $29.7 billion in the current year.

Barras defended his resistance to recognize additional money and cataloged several previous recent misses in the forecast by the REC and its economists.

"That's what I'm trying to avoid," Barras said. "The later we wait in the year the better (forecast) we get."

Although the governor is required to present a budget, it's ultimately up to the Legislature to build the state spending plan.

That begins in the House Appropriations Committee.

Dardenne said he hopes Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry, R-Metairie, will carry the proposal in House Bill 1, but Dardenne said he has a commitment from Rep. Walt Leger, D-New Orleans, to file the governor's recommendation as a backup.

"That will give you the opportunity to debate the budget immediately," he said.

The governor's proposal would include a $1,000 raise for 60,000 public school teachers and a $500 raise for 40,000 school support workers costing a total of $101 million.

Among the other proposed increases by the governor are:

►About $15 million for TOPS, Louisiana's popular college scholarship program that has been cut or threatened by cuts during the past three years.

►About $10 million for colleges and universities. "It's the first time in over a decade higher education would get more money than the previous year," Dardenne said.

►About $15 million for juvenile justice, which would allow the new juvenile lockup in Bunkie to finally fully open.

►And about $9 million for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services.

"This (proposed) budget include no one-time money, no fund sweeps and no mid-year deficit," Dardenne said.

Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.
00 2019-02-25
Natchitoches

Literary Rally at NSU – Smart Kids Doing Smart Things!


Northwestern State University hosted over 1,000 students from 45 schools from throughout the region for the Northwest Louisiana Literary Rally. The Louisiana High School Rally, an academic competition held throughout the state since 1909 with the regional competition being held at NSU for over 20 years, is an academic competition in which high school students compete by taking exams in a variety of subjects taught in high school. The Northwest Louisiana Rally held at NSU featured 49 different tests ranging from Agriscience I to Calculus II as well as competitions in Drama and Music. Natchitoches parish was ably represented by students from Natchitoches Central, Lakeview and St. Mary’s. Students who earn qualifying scores on their test or performance will advance to compete at the state literary rally at LSU in Baton Rouge on April 6, 2019. In addition, seniors who win an event at the regional or state rally are eligible to earn an honors stipend to NSU or the Scholars’ College.

The Natchitoches Parish Journal wishes to commend the faculty members of all of our parish’s high schools whose hard work and guidance made it possible for these sharp young men and women to attend the rally. The High School Literary Rally is a truly wonderful event. It is a joy to see young people from throughout Louisiana competing at a high academic level. We would also like to commend Northwestern State University for their unflagging hospitality and logistical support over the years in hosting the regional rally. Lastly, the Natchitoches Parish Journal wishes all the best to our parish’s students who will go on to represent our parish at the state rally in Baton Rouge.




00 2019-02-25
Natchitoches

Seafood samples and more will be featured at Flavor of Louisiana


NATCHITOCHES – Chefs, restaurants and several beverage companies have announced their participation in Flavor of Louisiana, Northwestern State University’s spring fund raiser for student scholarships and academic programs. The event will take place from 6-11 p.m. Friday, March 22 in Prather Coliseum.



Presented in partnership with the Louisiana Seafood Board, Flavor of Louisiana will feature dozens of tasting stations where guests can sample prepared seafood delicacies, craft beers, specialty cocktails and desserts. Meat options will also be available for non-seafood eaters.



A few of the items that will available for sampling and their vendors are as follows.



Maggio’s Package Liquors – Oyster Shooter Bloody Mary



Savoie’s Catering – Marinated Crab Fingers & Boiled Shrimp



Raising Cane’s – Sweet Tea



Cane River Kitchenware – Desserts & Coffee



Coca-Cola – Coke, Sprite & Water



Sodexo – BBQ Shrimp served with Jalapeno & Cojita Cheese Grits



Lasyone’s Meatpie Kitchen – Seafood Cornbread Dressing with Crawfish Etouffee



Maglieaux’s – Crawfish Frittatas with Cajun Crab Balls



Mama’s Oyster House – Catfish Creole



“We would like to thank all of our vendors for helping us with this event. For the previous two years, friends of NSU have raved about the variety of delicious samplings that were available at Flavor of Louisiana,” said, Erin Dupree, coordinator of Development. “It’s exciting to see what dishes will be offered from classic favorites to the new and exotic.”



NSU would also like to thank sponsors who are supporting the event, which generates substantial financial support for student scholarships and academic programs. Sponsorships are available at the $5,000 (Louisiana), $2,500 (Bayou), $1,000 (Magnolia and Pelican – separate benefits) levels and include reserved seating and other perks. The $5,000 Louisiana Sponsor level is a double sponsorship with the Natchitoches Dragon Boat Races, a day-long event set for Saturday, April 13 in downtown Natchitoches. Proceeds from the Dragon Boat Races will benefit First Year Experience, programming that encourages freshmen students to be active participants in events and organizations on campus.





Louisiana Sponsors

Tommy Wright, Jo Pease, Wes Breeden

Shawn Daily



Bayou

BOM

Atmos Energy

John Manno Jr.



Pelican

Ted and Carmen Jones

Crystal Stewart

Demons Unlimited Foundation



Magnolia

City of Natchitoches

Dr. and Mrs. James Holly

NSU Demon and Lady Demon Basketball

City Bank and Trust



Tickets to Flavor of Louisiana are $65 per person or $125 per couple. Tickets and more information on sponsorships are available at northwesternalumni.com or by calling (318) 357-5699.








00 2019-02-25
New Orleans

UNO ranked No. 1 university in Louisiana for ethnic diversity


The University of New Orleans is the most ethnically diverse college in Louisiana, according to College Factual, a data analytics company that focuses on higher education outcomes.

This is the second year in a row that the university ranked first out of 30 Louisiana colleges analyzed by the company.

“The ethnic diversity of our student body serves to enrich the educational experiences of all of our students,” said UNO President John Nicklow. “A wide variety of experiences and viewpoints helps foster more understanding and an expanded world view. Our differences are among our institution’s greatest attributes, and they are worth celebrating.”

To create the ranking, College Factual analyzed the ethnicity of each school’s student population. The greater the variety, the higher a college will rank.

The ranking echoes an observation Gov. John Bel Edwards made regarding the university’s diverse student body while delivering the fall 2018 commencement address at the University of New Orleans in December.

“Graduates in the class of 2018, you are a brilliant, diverse community, filled with a thousand points of light,” Edwards said. “Just look at the fellow graduates seated around you … This is what the American dream looks like. This is what Louisiana looks like and you’re a huge part of the reason I am so excited about the future of our great state.”
00 2019-02-22
Baton Rouge

Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration presents $31 billion 'aspirational' budget outline


Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration has presented to state lawmakers an aspirational budget for the coming year, rather than the traditional budget outline that the governor presents annually.

The move is the latest in an ongoing standoff between Democrat Edwards and House Republican leaders, who have blocked the administration's attempts to increase the revenue projection, providing additional funding for the governor's wishlist of items, including pay raises for teachers.

Federation of Teachers president: Raising teacher pay a vital investment for Louisiana
Federation of Teachers president: Raising teacher pay a vital investment for Louisiana
Political Horizons: Gov. Edwards' quest for teacher pay raises turning into dangerous political game
Political Horizons: Gov. Edwards' quest for teacher pay raises turning into dangerous political game
"It would not be in the public’s interest for you to debate a meaningless budget like that," Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne said of the decision to go with an revenue portrait that the state's economists say is more realistic but hasn't been officially recognized.

The nearly $31 billion budget outline Dardenne presented to the Joint Budget Committee on Friday would be the state's largest budget ever. It calls for about a 2 percent increase in state general fund dollars.

House Republican leadership again blocks effort to improve state budget outlook for coming year
House Republican leadership again blocks effort to improve state budget outlook for coming year
Dardenne said the administration anticipated that the Revenue Estimating Conference will recognize the increased revenue before the new budget cycle begins July 1.

Check back with The Advocate for more details.


00 2019-02-22
Lafayette

UL hosts black history trivia night


The University Program Council at UL hosted their second trivia night. With February on it’s way out soon, their theme is Black History Month. Students’ knowledge was challenged on various black history topics such as famous actresses, inventors, and universities and more.

UPC Spirit Director Haley Boutee, says this event is geared towards educating and celebrating black culture.

“Segment two of kind of the series. The first one we had was UL themed, and this one is black history themed, and the next one next month will be women’s’ history themed since it is women’s history month. But, the one tonight I think is super important because people at the university need to know about black history and know about other cultures since we are a PWI.

For more information on UPC events, you can visit upc.louisiana.edu
00 2019-02-22
Monroe

ULM's prodcution of 'The Phantom of the Opera'


WEST MONROE, La. - (2/21/19) Madison Hernandez and Blake Oden with ULM's School of Visual and Performing Arts joined us today on Louisiana Living to talk about their upcoming production of "The Phantom of the Opera".
00 2019-02-22
Natchitoches

NSU production chosen for Kennedy Center Regional Festival


NATCHITOCHES — Northwestern State University’s production of “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” has been invited to participate in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Region VI Festival on Feb. 25 to 28 at the Abilene Convention Center in Abilene, Texas.

Forty productions from colleges and universities in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas were viewed in person by Region VI representatives this fall. NSU’s version of the play was one of six plays chosen to be presented at the regional conference. NSU’s production could be selected for performance at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival National Festival in April in Washington, D.C.

This is the second time in six years a Northwestern State production has been selected.

"Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" has been invited to participate in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Region VI Festival on Feb. 25-28 at the Abilene Convention Center in Abilene, Texas.
"Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" has been invited to participate in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Region VI Festival on Feb. 25-28 at the Abilene Convention Center in Abilene, Texas. (Photo11: Courtesy)

“Having been selected out of the entire Region VI of the Kennedy Center American College festival is a huge honor,” said the play's director, Pia Wyatt. “To have seen what our region produces and be part of the selected six productions that represent this region is truly a delight. ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead’ by Tom Stoppard is a literary whirlwind of words that allows the intellect to be stimulated and tickled.”

Behind the scenes of Shakespeare's “Hamlet,” the play follows the antics of the Prince of Denmark’s two childhood best friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, as they grapple with understanding their existence.

It deals with Shakespeare's language in a delightfully humorous manner that allows today's audience to grasp the heartache, the confusion and the plight of life on this rollercoaster of staying afloat in what can be very confusing and chaotic times.

Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center's founding chairman, the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is a national theater program involving 20,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide annually.

For 50 years, the organization has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the United States. KCACTF has grown into a network of more than 700 academic institutions throughout the country.
00 2019-02-22
Regional/National

OnlineMasters.com Names Top Master's in English Language Learning Programs for 2019


SEATTLE (PRWEB) FEBRUARY 21, 2019

OnlineMasters.com, a trusted source for unbiased college rankings and higher education planning, announced the release of their Best Online Master's in English Language Learning Programs for 2019. The research identifies the top programs in the nation based on curriculum quality, program flexibility, affordability, and graduate outcomes.

In addition to insights gained from industry professionals, OnlineMasters.com leveraged an exclusive data set comprised of interviews and surveys from current students and alumni. Each online degree program was analyzed with only 50 making it to the final list. The methodology incorporates the most recent data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and statistical data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Most importantly, only programs from accredited nonprofit institutions were eligible.

“A master’s in English language learning prepares students for a rewarding and impactful career,” says Barbara Montgomery, Program Recognition Manager. “As more people migrate to the United States, there’s a greater demand for educators to specialize in teaching English as a second language.”

Students who pursue a master’s in English language learning typically work as ESL teachers, tutors, translators, administrators, or guidance counselors. The steady job growth in this market is just one of the many reasons OnlineMasters.com researched, analyzed, and ranked the Top Master’s in English Language Learning programs. To access the complete ranking, please visit https://www.onlinemasters.com/best-degree-programs/education/english-language-learning/

2019 Best Master's in English Language Learning Degree Programs (in alphabetical order):

American University
Arizona State University
Arkansas Tech University
Azusa Pacific University
Biola University
Campbellsville University
Canisius College
Concordia University - Nebraska
Concordia University Chicago
Cornerstone University
Eastern University
Emporia State University
Greenville University
Hamline University
Kennesaw State University
Lamar University
Liberty University
Lipscomb University
Louisiana State University Shreveport
McDaniel College
Mercy College
Minnesota State University Moorhead
Murray State University
Newman University
Northern Arizona University
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Nova Southeastern University
Olivet Nazarene University
Saint Cloud State University
Salem State University
Sam Houston State University
SIT Graduate Institute
Southeast Missouri State University
Southeastern University
Southwest Minnesota State University
Spring Arbor University
St. John's University
Trevecca Nazarene University
University of Mary Washington
University of Maryland - Baltimore County
University of Missouri
University of North Carolina Wilmington
University of North Dakota
University of Northern Colorado
University of Northern Iowa
University of Southern California
University of Texas of the Permian Basin
Webster University
Wilkes University
Worcester State University

About OnlineMasters.com
OnlineMasters.com provides proprietary and unbiased research to help students discover their options for the best graduate programs. The organization aims to inspire students to think big and make an impact in society through the pursuit of higher education. With user-friendly guides and hundreds of program rankings, OnlineMasters.com enables students to make informed decisions about earning a master’s degree online.
00 2019-02-22
Regional/National

Grambling State University: Where Students Are CELEBRATED, Not Tolerated


About 5 years ago, researchers studying historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) concluded that enrollment among Black students at these institutions was on the decline. In fact, a report released by the Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) at the University of Pennsylvania revealed that since the 1980s, the number of Black students enrolling at HBCUs had steadily decreased while the population of non-Black students gradually increased. Subsequently, with the election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States in 2016, reports from an array of sources, posited that HBCUs were experiencing an enrollment renaissance. HBCUs started to see increases in enrollment as more Black students began selecting these institutions for their postsecondary education. Anecdotal evidence suggested that the increase was a result of the “Missouri Effect,” a term coined by Dillard University president, Dr. Walter Kimbrough. The Missouri Effect symbolizes the blatant and unapologetic forms of racism and hate crimes that students of color have been subjected to at the University of Missouri and other predominantly White institutions (PWIs) as a result of Trump’s racialized discourse during his campaign and presidency.


Dr. Robert Palmer

Prompted by this, my colleague, Dr. Janelle L. Williams, a visiting scholar at CMSI and I received a grant from the National Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention in Higher Education as well as additional financial support from CMSI to understand if and to what extent, that any of the phenomenon of the Missouri Effect was having an effect on HBCU enrollment. There are plans to visit more HBCUs, though at this juncture of the study, we visited the campuses of three HBCUs that are vastly different from each other and interviewed at least twenty students — freshmen and sophomores — per campus. We specifically focused on those students because they were in the college search phase during Trump’s ascendency to the national political stage. Grambling State University was one of the institutions we visited and we were fortunate to engage Rick Gallott, the current president of the institution, in a conversation about Grambling’s increasing enrollment. During the 2014-2015 academic year, Grambling enrolled approximately 4,504 students. Since 2016, the number of enrollment applications Grambling has received grew from 7,851 in 2016 to 8,446 in 2018. Today, the rural campus enrolls roughly 5,205 students. President Gallott attributed Grambling’s increase in enrollment to three factors — alumni aiding in recruitment, current racial climate under President Trump, and unique academic programming at Grambling.

In detail, President Gallot explained that Grambling’s alumni were playing an active role in the school’s recruitment efforts, which has resulted in increased enrollment among students. For example, he shared:

“We are seeing a renewed interest, excitement and energy around Grambling again and so our alums have been engaged at all levels. Our alum are even going to college fairs across the country. I received an email from an alum who is in Anchorage, Alaska asking us to send information for a college fair that’s coming up. This gives great personalized exposure of our University to some who might not immediately consider Grambling as a choice.”

President Gallot’s discussion about the critical role that alumni are playing in Grambling’s recruitment process is noteworthy for several reasons. First, when we read about alumni giving back to an institution, particularly HBCUs, often highlighted in the literature is the need for graduates to give back financially. However, time can be as beneficial if not more as money. A 2018 report recommended that HBCUs consider this as a recruitment strategy. Further, we just witnessed the power of alumni and others coalescing around a common goal to support Bennett College financially, what if this principle was applied to recruitment? President Gallot’s comment recognizes that alumni can give back to an HBCU in varied ways. Second, HBCU literature also notes challenges or dissatisfaction that HBCU alumni have with customer services on campus. While we do not have knowledge about the alumni experience of students at Grambling, from President Gallot’s interview, we do know that there is a strong sense of pride and enthusiasm among alumni, aka #GRAMFAM and a commitment to ensure that the institution is not just surviving, but flourishing.


Dr. Janelle L. Williams

Another factor that President Gallot attributed to Grambling’s enrollment surge was the increase in hate crimes in 2016 across PWIs. In the 10 days following the election of Trump, 140 hate incidents were reported at predominately White campuses across the country. According to the U.S. Department of Education, campus hate crime rose 25 percent for a reported total of 1,250 crimes in 2016. The Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism also reported 346 incidents of White supremacist propaganda campaigns that targeted college campuses, following the election. Taken together, this backdrop may have impacted the college choices of Black college-going students in 2016 and still today. Gallot shared his thoughts stating:

“And then not to mention this whole Trump era has brought back racial divisions we thought were healed, Trump has pulled the scab back off. Grambling is a safe space for our kids. One of my fraternity brothers, a Grambling grad, has a son who goes to Yale that had a gun pulled on him by university police as he entered the library. Imagine this Black kid, a student, going to the library, and having a gun pulled on him. That is the current atmosphere that’s out there. And I tell students and parents, when I’m out recruiting, you’re not going to have a gun pulled on you by university police for going to the library at Grambling, it’s just not going to happen. So I think safety concerns during this Trump era is also fueling HBCUs to see an increase in enrollments. Our kids know and feel like Grambling and other HBCUs is somewhere that they’re celebrated not tolerated. And I think that has really made a difference.”

At the very minimum, a bachelor’s degree is a 4-year commitment, and as President Gallot articulated, students want to belong to an inclusive, non-hostile community, campus and institution where they are “celebrated and not tolerated,” while receiving a high-quality education. Spending four years in a hostile environment can be emotionally challenging, psychologically draining and counterproductive to a learning environment. Grambling State University truly embodies this, their motto “Where everybody is somebody!” from students, to staff, to faculty and administrators ─ Grambling truly makes everyone feel welcome ─ regardless of race, nationality, sexual identity or religious affiliation. Lastly, president Gallot spoke to the unique positioning and academic programs housed at the institution, including 40 distinct undergraduate and graduate programs. A new undergraduate program is on schedule to be released in the fall of 2019.

Regardless of the reason for the enrollment renaissance, HBCUs, including Grambling State University, are now in a position to capitalize on the increased enrollments to showcase on a national stage with a contemporary context, the many positive features of these great institutions to new students, and the next generation of HBCU graduates.

Dr. Robert T. Palmer is chair and associate professor for the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the School of Education at Howard University.

Dr. Janelle L. Williams is the assistant director for Health Policy at The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and a visiting scholar at the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions. In addition, she currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Cheyney University Foundation.


00 2019-02-22
Regional/National

Mom twerks in principal’s office after learning daughter got into college


One Texas mom of a high school senior was concerned when the principal summoned her for an impromptu meeting, but she was soon surprised with good news instead: Her daughter had been accepted into college, marking a first for their family.

In fact, she was so excited by the good news that the Grand Prairie Independent School District shared footage of her reaction to social media and it has since gone viral.

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, LaJuana McCree jetted to South Grand Prairie Early College High School after receiving a phone call from the school office regarding her daughter Promise McCree, 18.

Strutting into the office with what she’s since described as her serious “mom face” — and glam oversize sunglasses — to inquire about what happened, McCree has since revealed that she had no idea she was being secretly filmed.

“I was ready for war. I thought Promise had gotten into some serious trouble,” the parent told WXIA-TV of the ordeal.

“There’s something else that you need to talk about. It happened today and I’m going to let Promise tell you what happened,” a school official says, as McCree nervously eyes her daughter.

“I got accepted into Grambling!” her daughter exclaims before the group erupts in cheers and laughter.

An ecstatic McCree proceeds to gasp, scream and throw her arms in the air, dancing and twerking in the 25-second clip.

“Her face just lit up and I didn’t know what to say, I was just speechless,” Promise told WXIA of shocking her mom with the surprise that she got into Grambling State University in Louisiana.

“When she told me, all the anxiety went away,” McCree said.

“And yeah, I did a dance, a celebration dance, it’s called a twerk … that’s a proper response for her being accepted,” she said with a laugh.

According to the outlet, the incident unfolded back in December. Promise officially committed to Grambling over the weekend, prompting the school district to publicize the story.

Promise will be the first in her family to attend university, WXIA reports. She plans to major in criminal psychology.

“Promise is a true gift from God to me,” McCree said of her youngest daughter, as per the Star-Telegram.

“She’s a mentor to her younger cousins and is very family-oriented. She always wanted to watch the Discovery Channel as a kid and find out about planets and science, so I had to find out about those things, too, because she was so inquisitive, always had all these questions.”

“I’m just in awe of the woman she’s becoming, I’m very excited and I’m ecstatic that she’s happy,” she dished to WXIA. “The possibilities are endless, I already know.”
00 2019-02-22
Shreveport

FOX BEST VIDEO: Daughter accepted into Grambling State & mom shows off dance moves


Texas - A Texas mom says she was prepared for bad news when her daughter's school asked her to come in.

Lajuana McCree says she thought her 18 year old daughter, Promise, was in trouble when she got the call.

She entered the principal's office stone-faced, wearing a pair of sunglasses. Instead her daughter shared some good news -- she got accepted into Grambling State University.

Mom couldn't contain her excitement -- busting out in dance on the spot. The acceptance makes Promise the first person in her family to go to college.
00 2019-02-21
Associated Press

Louisiana making cultural changes about hazing, education commissioner says


BATON ROUGE — Louisiana’s higher education commissioner says the state is working through a cultural change she thinks could eradicate hazing on college campuses.

Kim Hunter Reed's comments Monday came after nine members of LSU's Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity were arrested on hazing charges last week.

WAFB-TV reports LSU has placed several administrators on leave while the university investigates if those officials ignored rumors about DKE hazing.



Reed told the Press Club of Baton Rouge the state must hold officials accountable so students feel comfortable to come forward with hazing complaints.

Last year, state lawmakers toughened Louisiana's hazing laws, so prosecutors can pursue felony charges. Universities have adopted a uniform hazing policy.

Reed says the state must now address the mentality that enables hazing, explaining to students that such actions are serious.
00 2019-02-21
Baton Rouge



00 2019-02-21
Hammond

Southeastern Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band to present concert


The Southeastern Louisiana University Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band will present its first concert of the spring 2019 semester at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 27.

The concert, free and open to the public, will be held in the Pottle Music Building Recital Hall.

Under the direction of Lecturer of Double Bass John Madere, the Jazz Lab Band program will include “Bernie’s Tune” by Bernie Miller, Jerry Leiber, and Mike Stoller, and “Cantaloupe Island” by Herbie Hancock.

The University Jazz Ensemble program, under the direction of Instructor of Percussion and Director of Jazz Studies Michael Brothers, will include “Who Can I Turn To?” by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley (arranged by Tom Kubis), and several original compositions/arrangements by guest artist composer/pianist, Michael Pagán.

The selections include “Burn it Forward,” “Deep in My Soul,” “I Contrafact on You,” “Never Let Me Go,” and “Pag’s Groove.”

Associate Professor and Chair of the Music Department at Ottawa University in Kansas, Pagán teaches jazz piano, theory, composition, arranging, and other jazz-related courses. He also directs “Bravo!,” the Ottawa University Jazz Singers. He holds graduate degrees from Northwestern University and Kent State University in composition.

Pagán has served as director of jazz studies at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, interim director of jazz studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and has taught at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance.

He has performed for 40 years throughout the U.S. and in Europe and is in high demand as a jazz pianist in Kansas City, where he performs more than 130 public engagements annually.

As a composer/arranger, Pagán has produced a number of works garnering critical acclaim, including first prize at the New Music for Young Ensembles composers’ competition and a five-star review from the “The Irish Times” (Dublin) for his big band recording “Pag’s Groove.”

His music can be heard on the ARC, Cadence, Capri, Dutch Music Partners, and Tapestry labels and is published by The American Music Center, Dutch Music Partners, and UNC Jazz Press.

For more information, contact the Department of Music and Performing Arts at (985) 549-2184.
00 2019-02-21
Lafayette

Bayou to Beltway: February 20, 2019


Dr. Jim Henderson, President of the University of Louisiana System," this week on Bayou to Beltway at 12:30, 88.7 fm.

This week Bayou to Beltway speaks with President Jim Henderson about higher education in Louisiana and the University of Louisiana's role in that enterprise. We explore how the nine schools that make up the "system" differ from each other, their strengths, their weaknesses and what they bring to each other to make Louisiana better. We talk about the value of higher education to Louisiana's citizens and it's 10 billion dollar value to the economy. We focus on STEM and weigh the merits of educating for jobs as opposed to educating for life.
00 2019-02-21
Lafayette

UL hosts Grad Expo for future graduates


Graduation day for UL students is quickly approaching.

Today, the Alumni Center hosted UL’s grad expo. Soon to be graduates secured their caps, gowns, class rings and were also able to meet with representatives from the alumni association and career services as they plan for commencement.

Future graduate Erin Boudoin says the expo was very helpful in preparing her for the big day.
“It has actually been very helpful here today. They helped me get my cap and gown set up, ordering rings, and also getting my pictures out of the way, because I know my mom really wants pictures. so yeah, it’s been very helpful today.”

Graduation day for UL students is may 17th at the Cajun-dome.
00 2019-02-21
Lake Charles

Students get glimpse of McNeese engineering program


More than 450 students from 17 area high schools toured the engineering department at McNeese State University Tuesday as part of National Engineers Week.

Nikos Kiritis, dean of the college of engineering and computer science, said the annual open house gives students a glimpse into the various engineering programs, such as electrical, mechanical, civil, chemical and computer. McNeese engineering students demonstrated their skills in computer programming, land surveying, video game design and robotics competitions.

"Students want to study engineering, but they don't know what it is and they don't know what engineering education looks like," he said. "By coming here at a younger age, at least they get some visuals of what engineering education is. The sooner they start off asking questions, basically, the better."

High school students also took part in hands-on challenges. Josiah Doucet, a student at Eunice High School, said he is considering a career in engineering after seeing the different ways it can be applied.

"I realize I'm really talented in the realm of physics, engineering, computer science, logic and math," he said. "I feel it would be best to use my abilities there to go into a higher career like this."

Sarah Lyons, McNeese engineering senior, said math and science aren't the only essential skills for success.

"To be a good engineer means to have good problem-solving skills," she said. "A good engineer is someone who can make mistakes, get things wrong but can fix the problems."

Kristen Lemaire, McNeese engineering senior, said she always wanted to be an engineer, and the university's "personal touch" has been helpful in her pursuits.

"You get to know your professors," she said. "(They) care about your success if you're a good student, and that's something that I needed coming back as a non-traditional student."

Kiritis said roughly 40 percent of engineers currently working in the area are McNeese graduates.

McNeese wraps up its National Engineers Week on Thursday with a banquet to recognize outstanding students, faculty and engineers in the community.
00 2019-02-21
Lake Charles

MCNEESE STATE UNIVERSITY NAACP CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY MONTH


With Black History Month, I advise everyone to do research and not just take the word of others. There are so many more contributor to the Black Culture other then the norm. I have very high respect for the Mcneese State University Naacp as they are a group of young millenials who are working to educate others.

They also do various things in the community that have not gone unnoticed. This week they have been doing Black History Week on the Mcneese Campus and it all kicked off Monday.

Tonight there will be a Trap and Paint event at 6 pm. This will be held at the LA Jeunesse Room located in The Old Ranch. It will incorporate a group painting with a Twist of Urban Music and Good Vibes and it is free.

On Tomorrow get ready for The Skin I'm In. This is going to be held in the Parra Ballroom with doors opening at 6 pm for an art show and the program kicking off at 7 pm with free T-Shirts for as long as they last and free admission.

Come out and support the youth and what they are doing in the community.
00 2019-02-21
Monroe

Grant will help Kitty DeGree School of Nursing increase students, faculty


Last year, the Louisiana Center for Nursing reported that in 2017 schools in the state could not accommodate more than 1,400 qualified applicants for registered nurse training due to faculty-capacity issues. Simply put, there were not enough nurses teaching in classrooms.

To have a shortage of nursing faculty at north Louisiana schools naturally results in a shortage of nurses.

This dismal balance, however, is about to change.

The University of Louisiana Monroe Kitty DeGree School of Nursing is participating in the Nursing Adjunct Faculty Project. (Also in the project are Louisiana Tech University and Delta Community College nursing programs.)

The goal is to graduate up to 180 more nurses among the three schools over a three-year period. To reach this goal, more adjunct nursing instructors will be hired and more students accepted.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation recently awarded Workforce Development Board 83 a $300,000 grant to employ qualified nurses as adjunct clinical instructors. The Living Well Foundation provided an additional $44,000 to the WDB-83.

“This investment will support a community that has come together to make critical strides in improving quality of care,” said Michael Tipton, president of the BCBS Foundation. “The nurses who graduate from this program will provide an estimated additional 15,600 patient-care services in the region.”

“Through the collaboration, Kitty DeGree School of Nursing will be able to increase the enrollment number up to 10 additional students per semester, from the budgeted amount. This number is determined at the end of each semester and is affected by multiple factors,” Wendy Bailes, Ph.D., RN, Associate Professor and Interim Director of Kitty DeGree School of Nursing, said.

Using the new grant, the Workforce Development Board will provide for six adjunct instructor positions. In some cases, part-time positions will be available. Nine healthcare facilities have agreed to host clinicals for students in nursing programs.

“Students will benefit from working with advanced practice nurses in the nurses’ home setting,” Bailes said. "Our students who commute from rural parishes may find a clinical site close to home! We are excited about the direction this will take us as the school continues to work and serve within this community."
00 2019-02-21
Monroe

ULM Wind Ensemble to perform


The ULM Wind Ensemble will perform their first concert of the Spring semester on Tuesday evening, February 26, at 7:30 p.m. in Brown Theater on the ULM campus.

There is no admission charge for this performance. Conductors of the Wind Ensemble are Derle R. Long and Steven Pederson.

The repertoire chosen for this performance includes Festival Variations by Claude T. Smith, Who Puts His Trust in God Most Just by J.S. Bach (arr. Croft), Slava by Leonard Bernstein (arr. Longfield), and The White Rose March by John Philip Sousa. The Ensemble will feature ULM Trumpet Professor Dr.Eric Siereveld in Alfred Reed’s Ode for Trumpet. Also featured will Gypsy Dance by Joseph Hellmesberger conducted by Dr. Kenna Veronee, Assistant Professor of Music Education at ULM.

Rounding out the program will be the World Premiere of Roger Jone’s Sympatico, subtitled “A Suitable Symphonic Suite for Band”. The suite is in three movements; I A Maladroiot March, II. An Orphean Ode, and III. The Phoenix (A Felicitous Finale). Roger Jones is a former music faculty member at ULM and served as Director of the School of Music before retiring. Sympactico was composed for and dedicated to the ULM Wind Ensemble.
00 2019-02-21
Monroe

ULM hosts Spring Art Crawl Feb. 28


The College of Arts, Education, and Sciences at the University of Louisiana Monroe is hosting the Spring 2019 Art Crawl at several campus locations on Thursday, Feb. 28, from 5-7 p.m. The exhibition in the CAES Dean’s Conference Room will honor ULM’s 50th anniversary as a university.

Admission is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided.

Participating galleries include The Walker Gallery, Dean’s Conference Room, Bry Art Gallery, and the Stubbs Hall senior art students’ studios.

A showcase of ULM’s talented students, faculty, staff, and alumni will be on display throughout the crawl. The Dean’s Conference Room will host an exhibition featuring historic photographs, artworks and creative writing, commemorating 2019 as ULM’s 50th anniversary of being designated as a university. The show in The Walker Gallery features the ULM Art Program’s student and faculty work, including paintings, pottery, sculpture, prints and photographs. In addition, Bry Gallery will display the 26th Annual Jr./Sr. High School Art Competition and Awards Ceremony. The senior art students’ studios in Stubbs Hall will be open so that visitors can meet the artists and observe their works in progress.

The College of Arts, Education, and Sciences hopes to enrich the community by giving the opportunity for the community to walk through campus and appreciate the work of each artist. Dr. Joni Henry Noble, Professor in ULM’s School of Visual and Performing Arts, recognizes the students’ accomplishments.

“I am so proud of our ULM art majors and all of their efforts to curate and operate Walker Gallery. I hope everyone can attend our ULM Art Crawl and meet these talented artists. In addition, we will be hosting our 26th Annual High School Competition in Bry Gallery. Awards and scholarships will be given out at 6 p.m. that evening. This is one of the most exciting and well-attended events that we host every year. The high school students are always so excited to be recognized and they are so talented,” Noble said.

For more information contact Noble at noble@ulm.edu or 318-342-1383.
00 2019-02-21
Regional/National

WATCH: This mom's visit to the principal's office ended in a victory dance


"I was looking at her like, 'What's the problem?' and when she told me all the anxiety went away," Lajuana McCree said.
Author: Matt Howerton
Published: 9:27 PM CST February 19, 2019
Updated: 10:16 PM CST February 19, 2019
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas — A call to come to the principal's office went from a tense moment to joyous celebration when a Grand Prairie mother learned her daughter wasn't in trouble, but will be the first in her family to attend a university.

Promise McCree, an 18-year-old senior at South Grand Prairie Early College High School, is a trailblazer in her family.

She's the youngest of three sisters and will have an associate's degree by the time she graduates at the end of the year.

SGP Early College High School allows students to take multiple dual credit courses so they can be ahead of the game by the time they go to college.

Sixty-one percent of students graduating will all have an associate's degree by the time they walk the stage for their diplomas.

McCree is part of the first batch of students to graduate through the school.

No one in McCree's family has attended a university before, and McCree learned she will be the first when she heard in December that she'd been accepted into Grambling State University in Louisiana.

Someone McCree owes credit to is her 45-year-old mother Lajuana.

"She just instills in me to be humble, and to achieve to the best of my ability," McCree said.

So when McCree found out she had been accepted, the administration at her school thought they'd give her mother a surprise.

Lajuana was called by a school official and told that her daughter was in the principal's office and that she needed to come right away.

"I was ready for war," Lajuana McCree said. "I thought Promise had gotten into some serious trouble."

"I had to compose myself, but I was firm and I had that look on my face like 'What did you do?'"

When Lajuana arrived, she didn't know she was being filmed by another administrator.

Promise can be seen standing next to her with a grim look until she tells her mother she's been accepted.

Lajuana's face goes from stern to smiles and she gets so incredibly happy that she begins to dance.

"Her face just lit up, and I didn't know what to say I was just speechless," Promise McCree said.

"When she told me, all the anxiety went away," Lajuana McCree said. "And yeah, I did a dance, a celebration dance, it's called a twerk...that's a proper response for her being accepted," she said with a laugh.

The video hadn't been seen until recently, and the district shared it Tuesday after learning that Promise committed to Grambling State over the weekend.

But whether the video is a few weeks old, or 25 years old, it will serve as a milestone for the McCree family.

"I'm just in awe of the woman she's becoming, I'm very excited, and I'm ecstatic that she's happy," Lajuana McCree said.

"The possibilities are endless, I already know."

Promise says that she wants to major in criminal psychology.
00 2019-02-21
Regional/National

Credentialing Evolves as Demand Grows for Middle-Skills Jobs


The bachelor's degree remains by far the best ticket to a well-paying job, according to new research from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, which defines "good jobs" as ones that pay at least $35,000 -- and an average of $56,000 for workers with less than a bachelor's degree.

But the report found that all of the growth of new good jobs in the non-bachelor's-degree economy has been in so-called middle-skills jobs, especially those that require an associate degree. And workers are earning a growing array of credentials to help meet that demand.

The middle-skills pathway, which now accounts for 24 percent of good jobs in the U.S., is undergoing a major transformation from traditional blue-collar jobs to more skilled technical jobs across skilled services and blue-collar industries, according to the report. The middle-skills category includes jobs in traditional industries, such as manufacturing, transportation, utilities, wholesale and retail trade, natural resources, and construction. Skilled-services industries include government, education services, consulting and business services, financial services, health-care services, hospitality and others.

Education and training programs in the middle-skills category have been particularly innovative to respond to changes in labor-market demand, according to the center. "A growing array of approaches has evolved to prepare students for middle-skills jobs, including apprenticeships, on-the-job training, college career and technical education, customized training, non-credit education, certificates, certifications and associate degrees."
00 2019-02-21
Ruston

Louisiana Tech student hospitalized after being hit in crosswalk


RUSTON, La. (KNOE) - A Louisiana Tech University student is hospitalized after being struck by a vehicle in a campus crosswalk, Wednesday morning.


The LaTech police chief says the incident happened Wednesday morning.
Campus Police Chief Randal Hermes says the incident happened around 8:00 A.M.

He says the driver, Noah Blessings, was headed southbound on Tech Drive when he hit a student using the crosswalk near Mitchell dormitory.

Hermes says first responders airlifted the victim to Oschner-LSU Health in Shreveport. He says the victim suffered scrapes and bruises to his head. Hermes says the victim also has a severe leg injury.

He also said Blessings told officers he was going "about 40" mph. The road has a speed limit of 25. Blessings also reported that he was talking on his cell phone.

Hermes says Blessings never touched his brake. Blessings, who is also a student, is cited for failure to yield to a pedestrian.

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00 2019-02-21
Shreveport

CADDO SCHOOLS, UNO ANNOUNCE ‘INSTANT ADMIT’ AGREEMENT [VIDEO]


101.7 / 710 KEEL's Robert J Wright and Erin McCarty talk about the new "instant admit" program, recently announced by Caddo Parish Schools and the University of New Orleans.

Details from new.uno.edu:

"The University of New Orleans announced an instant admit program for graduates of Caddo Parish Public Schools. Students who graduate from a Caddo Parish public high school and meet straightforward grade point average and ACT requirements are guaranteed admission to the University.

-ADVERTISEMENT-




President John Nicklow and Caddo Parish Public Schools Superintendent T. Lamar Goree signed a memorandum of understanding today (Feb.19) at Shreveport City Hall during a ceremony that included Shreveport mayor Adrian Perkins.

Students must meet the following requirements to be admitted:
• Graduated from a Caddo Parish Public High School with a 2.5 GPA or greater;
• Scored at least a 19 in math and an 18 in English on the ACT;
• Submitted an application for admission (no application fee is required for students in Caddo Parish Public Schools)"

But the morning duo also bring up the ever-increasing cost of college tuition, the growing "student loan debt bubble," and how the $1.5 trillion owed is becoming a political issue.
00 2019-02-20
Lafayette

Economic Summit: Acadiana business leaders cautiously optimistic for growth in 2019


Acadiana's economy was the focus as economic development and business leaders joined The Acadiana Advocate for a discussion about the area's economic outlook Tuesday.

The overall tone for the 2019 Economic Outlook Summit was one of cautious optimism. According to Troy Wayman, president and chief operating officer of One Acadiana, and many other panelists, things are looking up for the Acadiana region's economy.

There may be over $300 million in capital investment coming to the region in the near future, Wayman said, based on projects nearing the end of negotiations. He also said the region's economic diversification, citing the expansion of Lafayette General, LHC Group and Stuller, as well as newcomers like CGI and Waitr, should bring an end to double-digit unemployment whenever the oil industry has a bust period.

However, there is some uncertainty looming as a result of the ongoing tariff negotiations with China. Phillip May, president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana, said tariffs create uncertainty, and businesses do not like uncertainty. "The sooner we resolve these tariff issues, the better off Louisiana and the United States will be," he said.

Can't see video below? Click here.



Of course, the oil and gas industry was a major topic of discussion.

While things are looking up in some sectors, Bill Fenstermaker, chairman and CEO of Fenstermaker & Associates, said oil and gas revenues have dropped about $750,000,000 a year for the past three years. He suggested the current administration's policies could be causing Texas oil companies to avoid drilling in Louisiana, especially in the Gulf of Mexico.

However, while many experts believe oil will plateau around $80, Fenstermaker said he expects the price to increase, possibly back to $100 a barrel in the next three to four years.

This is why economic development leaders emphasized the importance of diversifying along with with oil and gas and not abandoning the vital sector of the state's economy.

Two areas that still need work, according to several panelists, are infrastructure and workforce education and development.

Infrastructure improvements are needed to make business development feasible, according to Flo Meadows with Latter & Blum Realtors. Last year, she said, Acadiana saw a 250 percent increase in new commercial construction permits. Major developments such as the redevelopment of the old federal courthouse in Lafayette, the airport renovations, CGI and Waitr's expansions could lead to a similarly good year in 2019, she said.

David Callecod, president of Lafayette General Health, also emphasized the need for more infrastructure to deal with economic growth. While LGH is working to expand to provide more doctors and specialists to help manage new people on the post-expansion Medicaid rolls, he said, the Oil Center is at capacity for dealing with sewer and water and they can't utilize the area near the hospital effectively.

Wayman said One Acadiana has been working on infrastructure improvement strategies to propose to local and state governments, but getting the $1.5 billion needed to pull it off is another challenge entirely.

Educating the next generation of workers through South Louisiana Community College and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette was another key point raised by business leaders, as well as Natalie Harder, chancellor of SLCC, and Joseph Savoie, president of UL.

Harder spoke at length about the two-pronged approach SLCC has to take while both serving its students by creating a path toward a career, but also by serving the businesses and industries of Louisiana by providing them with trained and knowledgeable employees.

She also said looking to the community colleges could be a proverbial "canary in the coal mine" for those looking to see where growth and the economy may be headed.

Savoie said another problem they face is getting students to complete post-secondary education. While Louisiana has a decent enrollment rate, the completion rate sees only half of those who enroll actually finish their course of study.

Savoie and Matt Sias, owner of MSJ Insurance, both stressed the need to get under served communities in the know about their higher education options as under served and minority communities don't know what's out there for them to learn and turn into a career.

"Education has never been more important in this modern economy than it is right now," Savoie said. "Some form of post-secondary education is needed if you want to participate in this economy."


00 2019-02-20
Lafayette

UL hosts 2019 For Our Future conference, NCAA vice president talks opportunities


The University of Louisiana at Lafayette hosted the second annual For Our Future Conference from Feb. 13 to 15.

The conference gathered faculty and staff from all nine of the universities within the University of Louisiana system and offered an opportunity for collaboration to form new strategies for the upcoming year in higher education. This year’s keynote speaker was NCAA Executive Vice President of Inclusion and Human Resources Katrice Albert.

The conference focused on the UL System’s six aspirations laid out in its strategic framework: Academic success, student success and educational attainment, economic development, research and innovation and financial stewardship and accountability.

The majority of the conference’s activities — which included peer-to-peer collaboration sessions, speeches and classes — took place in the Student Union.

“The University is pleased to host the event,” said UL Lafayette President Joseph Savoie, Ph.D. “It is a product of a lot of hard work by the staff and the system office here on campus and each of our nine member institutions. Higher education in Louisiana today faces a host of challenges, but as members of the UL System, we find ourselves in the enviable position of confronting these issues from a position of strength.”

Albert’s speech highlighted the need for continued emphasis on diversity when creating opportunities for higher education. She spoke toward overcoming the influence of “-isms” on higher education, advocating for all to have equal opportunity regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or class.

Throughout her speech, Albert consistently referenced a quote from popular African American feminist, author and social activist Bell Hooks, whom Albert called a “force of nature.”

“A generous heart is always open, always ready to receive our going and our coming,” Hooks said. “This is the most precious gift true love offers, the experience of knowing that we belong. There can be no love without justice.”

Albert also used metaphors based on pop culture and sports to help illustrate her points, referencing the OWN Network show “Queen Sugar,” the Rooney Rule in the NFL and the story for which Saints Head Coach Sean Payton was given his first NFL job.

Each reference was about emphasizing the importance of providing opportunity to those who need it and “being a waymaker.” Albert called on the faculty and staff in the room to understand their own vulnerabilities, “be humble” and know that they don’t always understand the struggles of those they come in contact with.

“To be a courageous leader, you’ve got to be able to rumble with vulnerability,” Albert said. “You’ve got to be humble and understand that you don’t know everybody’s lived experiences. It’s a gift that others are willing to share (with you) if you have a generous heart and open up.”

Beyond the keynote speaker, Loida Lewis, widow of former TLC Beatrice founder and CEO Reginald Lewis, shared the story of her late husband to attendees.

Lewis is the current Chair and CEO of TLC Beatrice, LLC, the family investment firm. She is also a lawyer and was the first Filipino woman to pass the New York bar without attending law school in the U.S.

Plans for the next For Our Future Conference have not yet been detailed.
00 2019-02-20
Lafayette

12 notable quotes from Acadiana economic summit: Lack of education 'rooted in the fact that people don't care'


Business leaders gathered Tuesday to discuss Acadiana's economy at The Acadiana Advocate Economic Outlook Summit.

From infrastructure to oil, from education to tariffs, they had a lot to say. For a quick recap, here is a quote from each of the panelists.

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"Did you know that 31 percent of the population of Houston is involved in the community. Lafayette is 17.3 percent... Lack of education is rooted in the fact that people don't care. Eighty percent of the news media cover what politicians say, but there's none of them (politicians) at these kind of meetings... They are voting on what they want to change, but they haven't heard this story. They're not going to do the research, with very few exceptions, of course." -- Gregg Gothreaux, president and CEO of Lafayette Economic Development Authority

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK
ACA.economicsummit051.022019 (copy)
"When you think about the future of the tech sector here in Lafayette, we have a great foundation to which to build. We have a university’s support. We have CGI and Waitr with thousands of tech jobs. What we really need to do is take that talent and build connections across business sectors. We have a uniquely sized city. We can uniquely take advantage of these connection... I think we're really well situated to grow within the tech sector, but I don’t think we can be a great place for people to move or move back to without a strong educational system and a better quality of life that comes with that." -- Will LaBar, vice president of consulting services at CGI

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK
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"We're seeing a lot of positive things. Are we where we were before the bottom fell out in the oilfield? No, but we're making significant progress. We are cautiously optimistic about the diversification of our economic base in the region." -- Troy Wayman, president and CEO of One Acadiana

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK
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"During this administration, we've had very little drilling in south Louisiana. We're feeling a little better about oil and gas now that we have 17 or 18 rigs in the gulf, up from seven or eight last year, but energy leaders in Houston are saying they're not coming to Louisiana. I hope that moving forward we send a message that we're an energy state and we keep pounding that drum." -- Bill Fenstermaker, CEO of Fenstermaker & Associates

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK
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"Lafayette is very much aware of the price of oil. Lafayette has risen or fallen on the price of oil, but those days are behind us. We’re staying active in energy production and agriculture, but we’re on an amazing march toward the diversification of this economy and that’s going to be a key element for us not only to continue surviving, but grow." --- Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development Don Pierson.

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK
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"Acadiana, as we look at commercial real estate, will absolutely require the investment urban works, especially in disadvantaged areas. I would ask that our community step forward and lead so that we can be the shoulders that those that come behind us can stand upon to reach their future." -- Flo Meadows, Latter & Blum Realtors

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK
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"Community colleges are really the canary in the coal mine for the economy. A great example of that is that most activity for us is in the maritime division. We cannot keep up with all the training requests from big companies like Oceaneering to do Coast Guard certifications down in St. Mary's parish. That tells us that there's something we need to pay attention to as a community and as a state." -- Dr. Natalie Harder, chancellor of South Louisiana Community College.

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK
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"Education has never been more important in this modern economy than it is right now... Some form of post-secondary education is needed if you want to participate in this economy." -- Dr. Joseph Savoie, president of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK
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"These kids (in under served and minority communities) don't know what's out there and their parents don't care to get them out there to learn. They care, but not about that. We have to find ways to get out there and find a platform where we can reach them." -- Matt Sias, owner of MSJ Insurance.

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK
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"The sooner we resolve these tariff issues, the better off Louisiana and the United States will be." -- Phillip May, president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana, who added that tariffs create uncertainty, and businesses do not like uncertainty

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK
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"Healthcare is on the precipice of the most change we could ever see. And it's happening extremely rapidly ... The reason? Healthcare now consumes one-fifth of our overall budget as a nation." -- David Callecod, president of Lafayette General Health

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK
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"You guys want our branches to be there when you need them to be there, but otherwise you're doing your banking on your mobile phone." -- Joe Zanco, chief financial officer and executive vice president at Home Bancorp

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK
Dan Boudreaux

00 2019-02-20
Lafayette

University of Louisiana at Lafayette Performing Arts brings heart and mind together in 'Completeness'


LAFAYETTE — The University of Louisiana at Lafayette Performing Arts Theatre will perform Itamar Moses' offbeat comedy "Completeness" from Feb. 20-24 in Burke Theatre on campus.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

This production marks the regional premiere of this show, which explores how people seek love in the modern context of algorithmic models and disembodied, digital interactions.

When computer-science graduate student Elliot falls for ambitious molecular biologist Molly, they agree to collaborate on a cross-departmental experiment. But unraveling the complexities of programming might tangle them up in unsolvable problems of the heart.

“What a beautiful and hilarious play (Itamar) Moses has written,” said director Carl Granieri. “It’s an intimate look at the problem of trying to shrink love down to a formula. In a world of social media and apps like Tinder pushing ones-and-zeros as the most potent tools for achieving human connection, this play reminds us all that love is no exact science.”

Tickets are $10 at bit.ly/2MFg1JH.
00 2019-02-20
Lafayette

UL's Dave Comeaux dies — 'He was the most unselfish man I ever met'


Condolences are pouring in for one of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's most beloved supporters, David Paul Comeaux.

Comeaux died Saturday morning at his residence in Lafayette after a long battle with cancer. He was 54.

Funeral services were held Wednesday at a Mass of Christian Burial in Holy Cross Catholic Church in Lafayette.

Dave Comeaux and Josie Young attend the UL Lafayette distinguished professor awards.
Dave Comeaux and Josie Young attend the UL Lafayette distinguished professor awards. (Photo11: Kris Wartelle)

"He was so very kind and someone whose bright and joyful smile and personality will be missed," wrote his friend Troy Leger in a Facebook post.

Comeaux was a native of New Iberia but lived in Lafayette most of his life. He graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette B.I. Moody III College of Business and earned a degree in higher education administration at Vanderbilt University.

Comeaux was a huge UL supporter and was employed in the Development Office as the senior director for planned giving.

Dave and Cindy Comeaux with Nanette and Joe Heggie at a Krewe of Bonaparte party.
Dave and Cindy Comeaux with Nanette and Joe Heggie at a Krewe of Bonaparte party. (Photo11: Kris Wartelle)

Longtime friend and colleague Dan Hare knew Comeaux for more than 30 years.

"He was just a genuinely nice person, very thoughtful in the way he spoke to people," Hare said. "He was very dedicated to UL and his family and friends."

Comeaux had a talent for mixing business and pleasure and was involved in numerous civic and social activities.

He was the owner of Dave Comeaux Photography and served as the historian for the Krewe of Bonaparte. He also served on the royal court in 2013.

Former Bonaparte King Cliff Lane knew Comeaux and called him a close friend of more than 20 years. Lane said he never met a more unselfish man, who always thought of others before himself.

"He had just a huge heart and was always there to help anybody," Lane said. "And, incredibly, the whole time he was fighting this disease, he never once complained. It was always, 'What can I do to help somebody else?' He'll be missed by a lot of folks."

Comeaux was known for his involvement in Mardi Gras activities as well as his time raising money and working for UL. Hare said Comeaux had many talents that he shared with the community.

"We enjoyed being involved in the Krewe of Bonaparte," Hare said. "He had so many friends from a variety of the parts of his life. He was a photographer as a sideline and very good at documenting all the activities. We will miss him being with us and his kindness."

Dave and Cindy Comeaux with members of the Krewe of Bonaparte
Dave and Cindy Comeaux with members of the Krewe of Bonaparte (Photo11: Kris Wartelle)

On a personal note, I knew Dave as a consummate gentleman who always made sure I was invited to the Bonaparte events and was so helpful in every way. He made my job easy. He will be missed.

Comeaux's family said he also loved grilling and playing golf, as well as being involved in his son's sports activities and other UL sporting events.

Lane said no matter what, friends and family will do what Comeaux would have wanted and follow his legacy of loving life.

"He loved his university; he loved this whole town," Lane added. "He just loved people. I can't say enough about him — just a fabulous person. We will continue to celebrate his life."

He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Cindy Uhall Comeaux, and one son, Austin David Comeaux. Comeaux also is survived by his parents, two sisters, a brother and several nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions can be made in David Comeaux's name to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
00 2019-02-20
Lake Charles

McNeese Spring Preview Day set for Saturday


McNeese State University’s annual Spring Preview Day for prospective students and their families will be 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23. This free event is sponsored by the McNeese Admissions and Recruiting Office.

Spring Preview Day — a campus-wide open house — begins with a departmental and organizational browse in the Quad. From there, guided tours of the campus will be offered and prospective students and parents will have the opportunity to meet faculty and staff and visit residence halls, the student union and bookstore. McNeese personnel will also be available to answer questions about academic programs, admission, housing, financial aid, scholarships and TOPS.

Prospective students will receive free admission into several athletics events scheduled that day, including men’s and women’s basketball, softball and baseball games. Parents and guests can purchase tickets at the ticket office in the Doland Field House.

Online registration is available at www.mcneese.edu.On-site registration will also be available the day of the event. For a schedule of events, visit www.mcneese.edu/admissions/event/spring_preview_day

For more information, email Jacqueline Clark at jclark@mcneese.edu.
00 2019-02-20
Lake Charles

Students get glimpse of McNeese engineering program


More than 450 students from 17 area high schools toured the engineering department at McNeese State University Tuesday as part of National Engineers Week.

Nikos Kiritis, dean of the college of engineering and computer science, said the annual open house gives students a glimpse into the various engineering programs, such as electrical, mechanical, civil, chemical and computer. McNeese engineering students demonstrated their skills in computer programming, land surveying, video game design and robotics competitions.

“Students want to study engineering, but they don’t know what it is and they don’t know what engineering education looks like,” he said. “By coming here at a younger age, at least they get some visuals of what engineering education is. The sooner they start off asking questions, basically, the better.”

High school students also took part in hands-on challenges. Josiah Doucet, a student at Eunice High School, said he is considering a career in engineering after seeing the different ways it can be applied.

“I realize I’m really talented in the realm of physics, engineering, computer science, logic and math,” he said. “I feel it would be best to use my abilities there to go into a higher career like this.”

Sarah Lyons, McNeese engineering senior, said math and science aren’t the only essential skills for success.

“To be a good engineer means to have good problemsolving skills,” she said. “A good engineer is someone who can make mistakes, get things wrong but can fix the problems.”

Kristen Lemaire, McNeese engineering senior, said she always wanted to be an engineer, and the university’s “personal touch” has been helpful in her pursuits.

“You get to know your professors,” she said. “(They) care about your success if you’re a good student, and that’s something that I needed coming back as a non-traditional student.”

Kiritis said roughly 40 percent of engineers currently working in the area are Mc-Neese graduates.

McNeese wraps up its National Engineers Week on Thursday with a banquet to recognize outstanding students, faculty and engineers in the community.
00 2019-02-20
Monroe

ULM’s Hawkeye student newspaper wins Best College Newspaper


The University of Louisiana Monroe’s student-run newspaper, the Hawkeye, was awarded first-place in Best College Newspaper and third-place for the Best College Website at the Southeast Journalism Conference (SEJC), Best of the South 2018.

In 2017, the Hawkeye won eighth-place for Best Newspaper and seventh-place for Best Website at SEJC.

"Hearing the Hawkeye's name announced as the number one college newspaper was one of the most gratifying experiences I've had since I started working at Student Publications,” said Ethan Dennis, 2018 editor-in-chief and 2019 co-managing editor.

“We were able to place first among more than 30 other institutions in the southeast,” said Sisam Shrestha, Hawkeye editor-in-chief. “This win wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication and support from each one our staff, student writers and readers.”

The conference featured more than 400 entries from more than 30 institutions, including the University of Alabama, University of Tennessee, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Southern Mississippi, University of Memphis and many other private and public schools from seven states, with 10 schools representing Louisiana alone.

For Shresta, Dennis, and the rest of the Hawkeye staff, these achievements did not come easy. It meant countless hours at ULM events, 12-hour Saturday shifts, and weekend deadlines.

“ULM has the hardest-working students in college media,” said Dr. Christopher Mapp, Director of Student Publications. “The Hawkeye staff strives to put out the best product it can for its readers. The students take a lot of pride in their work, and now they can take pride in this first-place award, too. They’ve earned it.”

The SEJC conference was hosted at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn. on Feb. 15.

In March, members of the Hawkeye staff will travel to New York City to compete in the College Media Association’s nationwide competition.

For more information, please see www.ULMHawkeyeonline.com.
00 2019-02-20
Natchitoches

ECED students participate in Cradle to College initiative



Early Childhood Education Methods students at Northwestern State University completed a service project by collecting books and school supplies in an effort to remap the Cradle to Prison Pipeline to a Cradle to College Pipeline in Natchitoches Parish. On the first row are Dr. Michelle Fazio Brunson, director of Graduate Programs in Early Childhood Education; Emily Salter and Brooklyn Noe. On the middle roe are Alora Bryant, Mary Alexander, Caroline Matthews, Shalondria Rainey and Kennedy Fontenot. On the back row are Hannah Chanler and Martha Hopewell. Brunson hopes that by providing early literacy activities and familial support to local at-risk students, youngsters will be more likely to stay in school and eventually attend college rather than follow a path to eventual incarceration. Donations of school supplies and books are always needed. To make a contribution, contact Dr. Michelle Fazio-Brunson at faziom@nsula.edu.
00 2019-02-20
New Orleans

New Hynes Charter School on UNO campus to reserve some seats for university employees


When officials announced in November that a new campus of the highly rated Hynes Charter School would be opening in Gentilly in partnership with the University of New Orleans, they said it would provide 75 kindergarten seats next school year in a district where parents have clamored for open spots in high-quality schools.

However, after the Orleans Parish School Board likely votes to approve the new elementary school on Thursday, as few as 26 of those seats could be available to the general public, thanks to enrollment preferences that include children of full-time UNO employees.

Altogether, 25 percent of seats will be reserved for residents living within a half-mile of the school, 25 percent for residents in a geographic zone encompassing two ZIP codes and another 15 percent for families of UNO faculty and custodial staff members living in Orleans Parish.

District officials announced the new school's enrollment priorities during a committee meeting Tuesday at which board members paved the way for the new school to open by voting to pass its charter operating agreement and sending it to the full board for final approval.

Amanda Aiken, the OPSB's portfolio officer, said the district was "enthusiastic" about the prospect of replicating Hynes, one of the few A-rated and most in-demand schools in the city.

The preference for families affiliated with UNO, Aiken said, was allowed by state law and was given because the university had shown "commitment to providing the land for this new school."

Moreover, because of where the school is located, Aiken said, it would be giving preference to minority and low-income students. The two ZIP codes for which Hynes at UNO will have a geographic priority are more than 80 percent African-American, she said.

The new school will operate at the former Jean Gordon School "swing space," at 6101 Chatham Drive, until a new building is constructed on the UNO campus. It will replicate Hynes' values and curriculum and will offer two programs: a traditional one and a French immersion program.

"This represents a strong commitment not only to diversity but to innovation," Aiken said Tuesday.

Hynes Charter, UNO partner to open new school in Gentilly amid heavy demand for seats
Hynes Charter, UNO partner to open new school in Gentilly amid heavy demand for seats
Aiken said the district was directly responding to a 2017 report by the Urban League of Louisiana that singled out the original Hynes Charter School in Lakeview for having an "equity issue" because of enrollment priorities that "keep the school’s student demographics overwhelmingly white."

That campus, at 990 Harrison Ave., has in recent years accepted up to 66 percent of its students from the school's immediate neighborhood, thanks to enrollment priority exceptions approved by the Orleans Parish School Board, the report noted.

Generally, the OPSB allows schools to save half their seats for students living in certain geographic zones. This year OneApp, the system that matches families to spaces at most of the city's public schools, set aside 25 percent of available seats for students living within a half-mile of a school.

Another 25 percent were set aside for students in one of seven broad geographic zones, which often include multiple ZIP codes.

Hynes has its own admissions priorities, however, as education activist and former teacher Peter Cook underscored in a recent blog.

The school last year set aside 25 percent of available seats for applicants who reside within a half-mile of the school and more than 40 percent of seats for students who reside in the Lakeview-centered 70124 ZIP code, which is more than 90 percent white and has a poverty rate of just 6.5 percent, according to 2017 census data estimates.

A third of New Orleans students don't get into one of their top 3 schools of choice
A third of New Orleans students don't get into one of their top 3 schools of choice
The enrollment restrictions at Hynes have made its student body drastically different from those at most other public schools in New Orleans, according to data provided by the OPSB and the Louisiana Department of Education.

Demographic data provided by the OPSB in January showed that 78.2 percent of students enrolled in the city's public schools, including charter schools that are within city limits but are run by the state, are black; only 9.39 percent are white.

The city's schools teach a lot of students whose families struggle to make ends meet, too, as about 81.9 percent are considered to be "at risk."

At Hynes, the student body is both whiter and richer than at most other public schools.

Data from the state's Oct. 1 enrollment counts show that 359 of the school's 711 students, or 50.5 percent, are white and 34.8 percent are black.

Moreover, only 31.8 percent of Hynes students are economically disadvantaged, making it one of the schools with the lowest number of families that struggle financially in the city.

The school, which has received an A grade from the Louisiana Department of Education for more than five years, has also repeatedly earned academic accolades from the state and the OPSB, making it one of the most coveted schools in the city. Last year, more than 1,000 applications poured in for just 75 kindergarten seats, officials said.

No parents spoke out against the charter agreement at Tuesday's meeting, but Karran Harper Royal, a parent activist, said in an interview that while she agrees with neighborhood preferences for families applying to schools so that kids can attend near their homes, she thinks that partnerships that allow preferences for university employees create an "equity issue."

"If we're talking about equity, some families don't have the luxury of working at a university," she said. "When you have university employee preference, that's when you start to set up a tiered system."
00 2019-02-20
New Orleans

St. Tammany College Notes for Feb. 20


SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE: Northshore Technical Community College in Lacombe is offering a full-tuition scholarship to a 2019 graduating high school senior or graduating WorkReady U — Adult Education student from St. Tammany, Washington, St. Helena, Tangipahoa and Livingston parishes enrolling full-time in the Maritime Technology program during the 2019-20 academic year. The scholarship is for two consecutive semesters, for a maximum total scholarship award of $5,000 (fall and spring semesters only). For information and application, see northshorecollege.edu/financial-aid/scholarships.

SWANK HONOR: Dr. Lorett Swank, of Covington, has received the Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award, one of 10 presented nationally by the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. She is the director of Southeastern Louisiana University's Center for Student Excellence.

GEORGIA TECH: Two area residents recently received degrees from George Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Beatrice Adejoke Adebisi, of Covington, received a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. Greta Shallenberger, of Mandeville, received a Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical engineering.

LA TECH: Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines, has initiated local students Ethan Desforges, of Covington, and Erin Geohegan and Anna Opel, both of Mandeville.

UNIVERSITY OF DALLAS: Jean-Paul Juge, of Madisonville, and Teresa Vall, of Covington, have been named to the dean's list at the University of Dallas. Students must earn a 3.5 GPA or higher for the listing at the Catholic university.

HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY: Emma Hladky, of Covington, has been named to the dean's list at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Students much maintain at least a 3.5 GPA to earn a spot on the list.

UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO: Katherine Stolin, of Madisonville, has earned first honors at the University of San Diego. Students must have at least a 3.65 GPA to make the list at the Catholic university.

UPPER IOWA UNIVERSITY: Robert Blanchard, of Lacombe, and Sandra Price, of Slidell, have been named to the dean's list at the Fayette, Iowa, university. Students must be full time and have a minimum 3.5 GPA for the semester.

RUNNER UP: Natalie Magee, of Covington, was the first runner up in the Miss William Carey University Pageant held recently at the school's Hattiesburg, Mississippi, campus. An intercultural studies and English double major, Magee wants to become an international missionary.

PA PROGRAM: Xavier University, of Louisiana, and Ochsner Health System will launch a new Physician Assistant program in January 2020. The 28-month, full-time graduate program, which leads to a master’s degree in health sciences, is comprised of three semesters of classroom instruction followed by 16 months of clinical training within the Ochsner Health System. For information and applications, see www.xula.edu/physician-assistant-program or call (504) 520-5119.
00 2019-02-20
Regional/National

GCLRA donates to NSU scholarships


The Greater Central LA Realtor Association (GCLRA) made a donation to NSU scholarships that will benefit two students in the GCLRA service area which includes the parishes of Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Evangenline, Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides and Winn. The GCLRA’s mission is safeguarding the rights of property ownership and promoting professionalism to members. GCLRA is the voice of real estate in Central Louisiana.

Pictured from left are Dr. Carmella Parker, NSU Business Coordinator and Special Projects Director; Dr. Margaret Kilcoyne, NSU Business Dean; Janice Bolton, LA Realtors Association Executive Committee; Marsha McGraw-Barbera, GCLRA 2019 President; Jill Bankston, NSU Foundation Associate Director of Development; Shanna Braxton, GCLRA Past President; and Danielle Cobb, NSU Alumni Association Associate Development Director.
00 2019-02-20
Regional/National

WATCH: This mom's visit to the principal's office ended in a victory dance


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas — A call to come to the principal's office went from a tense moment to joyous celebration when a Grand Prairie mother learned her daughter wasn't in trouble, but will be the first in her family to attend a university.

Promise McCree, an 18-year-old senior at South Grand Prairie Early College High School, is a trailblazer in her family.

She's the youngest of three sisters and will have an associate's degree by the time she graduates at the end of the year.

SGP Early College High School allows students to take multiple dual credit courses so they can be ahead of the game by the time they go to college.

Sixty-one percent of students graduating will all have an associate's degree by the time they walk the stage for their diplomas.

McCree is part of the first batch of students to graduate through the school.

No one in McCree's family has attended a university before, and McCree learned she will be the first when she heard in December that she'd been accepted into Grambling State University in Louisiana.

Someone McCree owes credit to is her 45-year-old mother Lajuana.

"She just instills in me to be humble, and to achieve to the best of my ability," McCree said.

So when McCree found out she had been accepted, the administration at her school thought they'd give her mother a surprise.

Lajuana was called by a school official and told that her daughter was in the principal's office and that she needed to come right away.

"I was ready for war," Lajuana McCree said. "I thought Promise had gotten into some serious trouble."

"I had to compose myself, but I was firm and I had that look on my face like 'What did you do?'"

When Lajuana arrived, she didn't know she was being filmed by another administrator.

Promise can be seen standing next to her with a grim look until she tells her mother she's been accepted.

Lajuana's face goes from stern to smiles and she gets so incredibly happy that she begins to dance.

"Her face just lit up, and I didn't know what to say I was just speechless," Promise McCree said.

"When she told me, all the anxiety went away," Lajuana McCree said. "And yeah, I did a dance, a celebration dance, it's called a twerk...that's a proper response for her being accepted," she said with a laugh.

The video hadn't been seen until recently, and the district shared it Tuesday after learning that Promise committed to Grambling State over the weekend.

But whether the video is a few weeks old, or 25 years old, it will serve as a milestone for the McCree family.

"I'm just in awe of the woman she's becoming, I'm very excited, and I'm ecstatic that she's happy," Lajuana McCree said.

"The possibilities are endless, I already know."

Promise says that she wants to major in criminal psychology.
00 2019-02-20
Ruston

ALL-FEMALE TECH TEAM BLASTS OFF


Group to attend NASA-supported RockOn 2019 workshop› home ›
ALL-FEMALE TECH TEAM BLASTS OFF
Submitted by Ruston Leader on Tue, 02/19/2019 - 8:26am
in News
Group to attend NASA-supported RockOn 2019 workshop
Leader News Service
news3.jpg
Courtesy photo - The Louisiana Tech RockOn team consists of (from left to right) Krystal Corbett, Allison Kumler, Abigail Phillips, Mary Caldorera-Moore, and Tess Hamilton.
A team from the College of Engineering and Science at Louisiana Tech University has been selected to participate in RockOn 2019, a NASA-supported workshop that will give faculty and students the opportunity to learn more about rocketry while at the same time putting into practice their engineering problem solving skills.
00 2019-02-20
Shreveport

Caddo students could be automatically admitted to the University of New Orleans


Qualified students of the Caddo Parish School District will be automatically eligible to attend the University of New Orleans upon graduation from high school.

Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins along with representatives of the parish school district and the University Of New Orleans announced the creation of the "Caddo Instant Admit Program" Tuesday.

A Caddo Parish student is automatically admitted to the University of New Orleans if they meet three minimum requirements. Those requirements are:

Graduate from a Caddo Parish public high school with a 2.5 GPA.
Have a 19 in Math and 18 in English on the ACT (or its equivalent on the SAT.)
Submit an application for admission. There is no application fee.
Caddo students who qualify will be automatically considered for one of the university's academic scholarships that range from $2,000 to $5,000 a year for four years. The agreement goes into effect immediately.

"We see this alignment as an opportunity for children, especially those who are first-generation college-goers, to be able to much better navigate what it takes to be successful in our colleges and universities," said Caddo Schools Superintendent Lamar Goree.

Caddo Superintendent Lamar Goree, Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins, and University of New Orleans President John Nicklow sign documents that establish the Caddo Instant Admit Program. Students who meet requirements will be automatically admitted to UNO.Buy Photo
Caddo Superintendent Lamar Goree, Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins, and University of New Orleans President John Nicklow sign documents that establish the Caddo Instant Admit Program. Students who meet requirements will be automatically admitted to UNO. (Photo11: Nick Wooten/The Times)

The University of New Orleans was founded in 1958 and has a total undergraduate enrollment of around 6,500 students, according to U.S. News & World Report.

In 2018, the University of New Orleans was among the top 25 national universities whose students graduated with the lowest average amount of debt as calculated by U.S. News, according to the university.

"Our goal is (to) make it easy for students from Caddo Parish to come to the University of New Orleans and give them opportunities that they may otherwise not (have) had," said University of New Orleans President John Nicklow.
00 2019-02-20
Shreveport

WHAT IS THE NATIONAL CYBER RESEARCH PARK IN BOSSIER?


A short ways east of Bossier City’s center lies the future of the area. The National Cyber Research Park (NCRP) is a physical monument to vision and dedication. The anchor tenant of the park, the Cyber Innovation Center (CIC), serves as the catalyst for the development and expansion of a knowledge-based workforce throughout northwest Louisiana.

Formed from a partnership between the state, Bossier City and Bossier Parish in July
2007, an empty field next to Bossier Parish Community College off U.S. Hwy. 80
transitioned from a cow pasture into the technological marvel that would become the
NCRP. Dotted with three buildings — the CIC, General Dynamics Information
Technology, and the Bossier Parish Community College STEM/Louisiana Tech
Academic Success Center — another is expected to be on the way, the Louisiana Tech
Research Institute.

Kevin Nolten, director of academic outreach for the CIC, called the NCRP the physical
manifestation of everything the CIC and Bossier leadership is trying to do when it comes to the world of cyber. He pointed out that a student can leave high school, attend BPCC for a 2-year degree, walk across a parking lot to the Academic Success Center to continue their education for a 4-year degree, and then literally walk across the street for a full time job at GDIT.

“We are building and educating the next workforce. We are an economic development
engine,” Nolten said. “Not only will that benefit our local economy, but it’s being seen as a model that can be dropped into Dallas, Chicago, Florida, Washington DC, or even rural areas of the country. You see that physical manifestation in this research
park.”

Originally seen as a means to an end — a building to support the, then, newly proposed major command U.S. Air Force Cyber Command (AFCYBER) — the CIC and the NCRP pivoted to a new mission when AFCYBER was downgraded to a numbered Air Force and located primarily at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, in 2009. Parish leaders settled on a public-private partnership that would become a technology hub and ground zero for building a workforce to strengthen national cybersecurity.

Global Strike Command
That mission was strengthened when the U.S. Air Force chose Barksdale Air Force Base as the home for Global Strike Command by giving them another opportunity to devise a plan and workforce that would modernize the nation’s nuclear capabilities, as well as spin off new businesses from that.

The “Cyber Command” play generated a lot of attention and it’s a tag that the CIC and
NCRP have found hard to shake off. Many people heavily involved with the CIC and its
mission will tell you that if the average person were quizzed on what the NCRP and CIC are, many would say, “Cyber Command.” While inaccurate, it’s not necessarily a
negative either. Nolten points out that what the CIC does is a matter of national security through work to support Barksdale.

But he wants the public to understand the importance of the park.

“I hear it in the grocery store, ‘Oh, you work for cyber command,’” he laughed. “We need to tell the community what cyber is. If we can get an understanding of cyber, we can understand how it affects not only companies like GDIT, but the English arts, math, science, social studies. It plays a role in medicine, law, education, and I can keep going. These are the types of things we’ll begin to understand.”

He adds that the community is benefiting from the talent and companies being recruited.

“We want folks to live, work and play here. When I say ‘something to be proud of,’ I
want to be the living testimony for what we’re trying to do. I can say I was born,
educated, went to college, and now work all in this region. It’s proof that this is a thriving area, an up and coming area,” Nolten said.

Academic Outreach
Nolten’s primary gig is heading up the National Integrated Cyber Education Research
Center (NICERC), which advances the CIC’s academic outreach and workforce
development programs. He’s the man in charge of forming the first link in chain that will create a sustainable knowledge-based workforce that can support the growing needs of government, industry, and academia in the U.S.

No pressure, right?

“There is a lot of pressure,” Nolten admitted. “But you get over it by not focusing on
what we need to teach but how we need to teach it. If we can solve the ‘how,’ students
can create connections with what they’re learning in algebra and what GDIT and
Barksdale need.”

As the first stop along the path of cyber education, NICERC’s goal is to get students
interested in cyber STEM based programs and have them continue that path at local
colleges and universities like BPCC and Louisiana Tech.

“I have this idea of a ‘Cyber Interstate’ with multiple on ramps. One is K-12 education,
another is 2-year and 4-year universities. The goal is to ensure that whatever level the
student starts into that knowledge base, they have the tools and resources to be
successful,” Nolten said.

A Cyber Curriculum
Essentially, NICERC created a curriculum from the ground up for K-12 students that gets students introduced and attracted to cyber careers. Since being developed in 2010, that education model has been replicated and rolled out across the entire country.

“Talk about something to be proud of, we have an education model being replicated across the country. We’re just shy of 14,000 teachers being trained with curriculum developed in our backyard, 2.2 million students have benefited from programs we have written right here at the CIC,” Nolten pointed out.

And that curriculum is not only being replicated across the country, but it acts a
recruiting tool for bringing some of the best and brightest to NWLA. Nolten revealed that a NICERC camp at Eastern Michigan University caused a student to completely change her career trajectory and enroll at LA Tech in cyber engineering.

“They’re coming in from all over — New York, Michigan, California.They want to be in
northern Louisiana. If we can get them an education here in north Louisiana, the
likelihood of them staying here after college is even greater,” Nolten said.

That opportunity got a big boost last October when NICERC received a Department of
Homeland Security grant worth $21.5 million over five years to expand its educational
efforts. The result of the grant will see NICERC’s curriculum in 20,000 school districts,
31,000 teachers trained across 2,000 campuses and events, 25 full-year courses
spanning all grade levels, and 7 million cyber-literate students.

“We can ensure the foundation is being poured at the K-12 level and students can
obtain their industry certifications, and show that companies like GDIT can thrive,”
Nolten said. “We talk about how GDIT can exceed employment goals, and by that I
mean, blow them out of the water. All because we have the necessary talent here.”
00 2019-02-19
Baton Rouge

Higher ed commissioner addresses LSU hazing allegations




By Matt Houston | February 18, 2019 at 7:20 PM CST - Updated February 18 at 7:45 PM
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - After nine Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity members at LSU were arrested last week, Higher Education Commissioner Kim Hunter Reed says the state is still in the process of instituting a culture change that could eradicate hazing on Louisiana college campuses.

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“There are many people who are doing it right and who are doing a good job," she told the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday, Feb. 18. "We have to think about what happens when it goes wrong. What is our responsibility to ensure that it doesn’t happen again?”

LSU has already placed a handful of administrators on leave while the university investigates if those officials ignored hazing rumors at the DKE fraternity house. Reed says the state must hold those officials accountable so students feel comfortable enough to come forward with hazing complaints.

“We need good policies and we need good laws, but students have to make sure that they’re speaking up and that we are protecting each other," she said. “This culture has to stop and students have to know they’ll be protected. Administrators have to do their jobs.”

Before the fall semester, Governor John Bel Edwards signed a number of bills that tightened the state’s hazing laws. Now, prosecutors can pursue felony hazing charges and the state’s universities have adopted a uniform hazing policy. New students must also have access to an anti-hazing handbook.

Reed says the state must now address the mentality that enables hazing.

“Those kids think, ‘This will never happen to me. I’m invincible,’" she said. "So we have to sit with our students and say, ‘This is serious. This has happened, and it could happen to you. You are part of the solution and we want to work with you to change the culture.’”

Reed says hazing probably happens at other campuses across the state, which is why she wants administrators at all schools to open a dialogue with their students about hazing.

“I think that culture change is underway,” she said. “I’m discouraged and very concerned to see what has happened again at LSU after the death of a student. We bear responsibility, so if we get information and don’t take action, that’s on us.”

Copyright 2019 WAFB. All rights reserved.
00 2019-02-19
Baton Rouge

Developing Louisiana talent key to Regents’ Master Plan update


Within the next 20 years, expect college—and high school—as we know it in Louisiana to look significantly different.

Specifically, the way in which students move from high school to a postsecondary institution will be more intentional, emphasizing the student’s talent development, says Kim Hunter Reed, Louisiana commissioner of higher education, who recently sat down with Business Report to give an early preview of the Board of Regents’ 2019 Master Plan.

Indeed, the board—which last year elected Reed to spearhead and execute a statewide vision for higher education—will address hot-button issues like LSU’s holistic admissions process and equity gaps in education, but every issue will be studied through the lens of talent—rather than strictly academic—development. That, acknowledges Reed, will require a paradigm shift in the way the state views the purpose of higher education.

“We have to think about blurring the lines between K-12, higher education and the workforce, particularly in a state that has as much poverty as Louisiana does,” Reed says. “If we think about the K-12 system as a partner in our work, and not as a handoff to us, then we would say, ‘We don’t want more kids to go to college; we want more college to come to kids.’”

Board of Regents Master Plan update
(Click graphic to enlarge)
At its core, the plan, still in its preliminary stages, aims to answer a lingering problem that isn’t necessarily unique to Louisiana: a workforce skills gap that seems to only grow wider.

When complete, the master plan will be the board’s most transformative since its 2001 Master Plan, which set minimum admission standards and has carried the state over the past 18 years. As with most transformation, however, the changes Reed hopes to implement won’t happen overnight. After an early draft makes its way to the state capitol in April, during the regular session of the Louisiana Legislature, the board will have to form critical partnerships, streamline existing resources and convince an ever-skeptical public that its vision forecasts the future of higher education across the country.

But in a state saddled with meager resources and perpetual budgetary problems, how realistic is it to assume the success of such a Master Plan? Or, perhaps more importantly, what would it cost Louisiana not to try it, particularly since Artificial Intelligence is well integrated into the mainstream?

“The future is here, it’s now,” Reed says. “So the question is, are we going to be last to the game, or are we going to think about these things now and be the first? Because this future looks so different, we have to think differently.”

GOING DOWN THE PIPELINE
In its current iteration, the Master Plan is low on specifics but rich in its query: What is the purpose of higher education? Is it for affluent young adults to seek and acquire knowledge for the sake of knowledge, an adage that’s become cliché in the canon of higher ed thought?

Though Reed doesn’t dismiss the philosophy, her response to higher education’s future is short and simple: Developing talent. She eyes the institutions as vessels for solutions to multiple statewide issues, such as problems with health care, incarceration and a dwindling skilled workforce.

To more effectively develop talent, Reed believes in broadening its potential student base. Unlike 250 years ago, today’s college population isn’t exclusively 18- to 24-year-old white men; it includes mostly women, as well as a growing number of minorities and nontraditional students.

“We have to think about people’s time and their affordability so that a degree doesn’t have to be a five- or six-year credential,” Reed says. “How do we stack credentials and think about innovative pathways for these students?”

She’s going down the educational pipeline, meeting regularly with Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White to gauge whether the majority of students could graduate from high school with a work-ready credential in addition to a diploma.

Before leaving her post last year as executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Reed oversaw a youth apprenticeship program where high school students went to class three days a week and worked two full days in the manufacturing, information technology, health care or finance sectors with the promise of graduating with a three-year job contract and a $30,000 annual salary.

It’s the kind of program the Board of Regents will examine as one potential pathway. At the college level, she’s exploring options used in other states, such as block scheduling, where typically nontraditional students tell their university whether they can take classes in the morning or afternoon and their schedules are laid out for them.


(Courtesy Louisiana Board of Regents)
“IF WE THINK ABOUT THE K-12 SYSTEM AS A PARTNER IN OUR WORK, AND NOT AS A HANDOFF TO US, THEN WE WOULD SAY, ‘WE DON’T WANT MORE KIDS TO GO TO COLLEGE; WE WANT MORE COLLEGE TO COME TO KIDS.’”
KIM HUNTER REED, LOUISIANA COMMISSIONER OF HIGHER EDUCATION
Reed is also switching the board’s academic planning techniques, moving to a “starfish” approach where board representatives reach out to industries in each of the state’s region, asking the private sector to pitch their five-to-10-year workforce needs. The regents staff will then work with regional colleges and universities to craft an academic planning guide, outlining the curriculum pathway students will need to attain a certain job.

SHRINKING THE PIE
Like its 2001 predecessor, this new Master Plan is expected to guide Louisiana’s public universities and colleges for the next couple decades, meaning the real “payoff” could be a generation or two down the line.

Historically, however, Louisiana’s lawmakers—eager to show voters re-election-worthy accomplishments—have demanded immediate returns on public dollar investments. Adding to the funding challenge is the fact state government slashed some $800 million in funding to Louisiana’s colleges and universities from 2007 to 2015 and cutting another $18 million in 2016.

“We’re not going to get back to over $1 billion (in funding), so how can we do a better job in leveraging everything we have and bringing more people into the tent to think about this work?” Reed says.

It’s undoubtedly the toughest hurdle Reed and her board colleagues must clear. And she anticipates it will take extensive rewriting of the higher education narrative in Louisiana.

While she hopes to secure some research and development partners, and will actively look for grants and other financial resources, Reed thinks back to her messaging tactics with Colorado lawmakers concerned with spiraling budget costs.

In Colorado’s budget pie, K-12 education received the most funding, followed by Medicaid costs, then incarceration costs, with higher ed comprising the smallest sliver.

Reed argued that if more funding went to investing in higher education, not as much money would be needed for the other components.

“If we do our job better, the other pieces of the pie will shrink,” she says. “Whatever your point of entry is, this is the solution.”
00 2019-02-19
Hammond

Interim Southeastern Dean Kristen Bell discusses partnership with Northshore


Interim dean of the Southeastern Louisiana University portion of the Literacy and Technology Center discusses Northshore's partnership with Southeastern and their offering of remedial courses.
00 2019-02-19
Lafayette

The Vietnamese Student Organization at UL hosts Viet week.


Through Friday, Viet week will have fun events, all leading up to a talent show “Lafayette by night”. Today the organization kicked off festivities by serving lunch to students on Rex street.
The VSO serves to promote awareness and appreciation of the Vietnamese culture among the students, faculty and community at UL..

Vietnamese Student Organization External Vice President Daniel Lugo says supporting their philanthropy is the goal of this weeks event.

“The whole point of this week is to raise money for our philanthropic project, and that’s CPP, Children of Vietnam, which actually works to raise money to battle things such as child labor, and get portable water for remote parts of Vietnam, people who are not able to get that.”

If you are interested in joining or want more information, you can reach the group by email at VSAUL@gmail.com
00 2019-02-19
Natchitoches

Dan Poole Honored by his Alma Mater for his Service


NSU alumnus and U. S. Army veteran Dan Poole was honored for his service to our nation at the basketball game Saturday, Feb 16th. NSU President, Dr. Chris Maggio, presented Poole with a “Salute to Service” certificate of thanks from the NSU community. The certificates are part of a program in which the university recognizes veterans who have made a contribution to the university and community.

Dan Poole, a 1948 graduate of Natchitoches High School, earned his bachelor’s degree at the then Northwestern State College of Louisiana in 1952. He then entered the U. S. Army, leaving the service in 1954 to pursue a master’s degree at LSU. While a student at Northwestern, he was a three sport athlete playing football under Coach Turpin, basketball under Coach Prather and track under Coach Ledet.

The Northwestern State University Demons have no more loyal fan than this man who once wore the Demon uniform in three sports. He is a fixture at nearly every NSU home game. Dan Poole has spent a lifetime in service to our state’s youth. He taught in Ouachita and Waterproof before spending over twenty years teaching in the Natchitoches parish school system. As a coach and teacher, he has been a positive influence in the course of innumerable young lives. Dan Poole has selflessly given of himself to his family, community, university and nation and is eminently deserving of this recognition from his beloved alma mater.
00 2019-02-19
Ruston

CAREERS OF TOMORROW


When Louisiana’s first bachelor’s degree program in cybersecurity welcomes its first students this fall at Grambling State University, it and other GSU programs will have backing from Louisiana Economic Development.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, GSU President Rick Gallot and LED Secretary Don Pierson came together at GSU’s Eddie G. Robinson Museum Tuesday to sign a $1.2 million Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen the university’s new cybersecurity program in addition to computer science and computer information systems degree paths.
00 2019-02-18
Houma/Thibodaux

Test your knowledge of south La. at Nicholls’ trivia contest


Nicholls State University in Thibodaux invites you to test your wit on all things south Louisiana in the second annual Big Bayou Trivia Bash.

The second edition of the College of Arts and Sciences fundraiser is scheduled for 6 p.m. March 22 in the newly renovated Cotillion Ballroom in the Bollinger Student Union. Proceeds will be used for scholarships, student technology upgrades and other learning tools.

“Trivia contests are always fun, exciting and instructional experiences,” said John Doucet, Alcee Fortier Distinguished Service Professor and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “We work hard to make our contest special and entertaining for participants because the ultimate goal – what’s most important – is helping our students at Nicholls become more successful graduates.”

Teams of six can sign up at $30 per individual for a chance to win cash or consolation prizes.

Teams will compete against one another in answering 10 categories of questions, including history, sports, entertainment and Louisiana. Additionally, the evening of fun will include some special brain-buster challenges, which are more complicated questions for extra points.

During the event, individuals may also bid on donated silent auction items including rare books and sports items.

To sign up, call 985-448-4386 or trivia@nicholls.edu.
00 2019-02-18
Lafayette

Students take first steps toward blazing their own trails during Black History Month


Wearing long, white button-up shirts with their jazz shoes, Comeaux High students leaped and spun across the gym floor Friday.

Dancers in the school's Performing Arts Academy moved in pairs as a recording of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s words played.

The interpretive dance was part of the high school's program to celebrate February as Black History Month.

Friday's event also featured speeches, singing and more dancing by students, faculty and guests.

Comeaux High School puts on a school-wide program Friday celebrating Black History Month.Buy Photo
Comeaux High School puts on a school-wide program Friday celebrating Black History Month. (Photo11: Layni Menard/Special to The Advertiser)

New Natives Brass Band revved up the crowd with horns, drums and dance moves to remind everyone how cool brass bands are.

University of Louisiana at Lafayette students represented local chapters of the historically black Greek organizations Alpha Phi Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta. Each performed step routines that got students on their feet in the stands.

MORE: UL students take heart from business pioneer's example

The performances set the stage for speaker Donna Lanceslin, a former educator and trailblazer in local politics. In 2014, she became the first African-American and first woman to be mayor of Baldwin in St. Mary Parish.

She led the town for four years before shifting into a new role — another first. This year, she took office as the first female African-American commissioner for the West St. Mary Port.

"There are those who live right here among you, your African-American leaders, who are striving hard to show you the way you should go," Lanceslin said.

She urged students to grow and challenge themselves by getting outside their comfort zones and building relationships with others.

The 69-year-old did not have white classmates growing up, but found herself entering a different world when she graduated from historically black Southern University with a teaching degree.

She began her teaching career during integration in Louisiana and was placed at then-predominately white Berwick High School in St. Mary Parish.

"I'd never been with white children," Lanceslin said.

She was unsure what to do, how to be, how the students would be. She didn't know what to expect. It was out of her comfort zone, but she showed up ready to work.

"I learned they're just like other children," she said. "... You do not teach color. You teach children."

She learned that through building relationships with students like Tim Skinner, whom she called "Timmy."

One of her first "babies," Skinner remains a friend of his former English teacher and attended Friday's program as her guest.
00 2019-02-18
Lafayette

Russo Park's new student section a hit so far



00 2019-02-18
Lafayette

Meetings and news for veterans this week


Meetings this week
Civil Air Patrol, Lafayette Composite Squadron, 6-8:30 p.m. Monday, 120 Dawn St. Call Lt. Col. Poirrier, 337-322-0267 or capmcrunch@cox.net.
Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 504, 2 p.m. every third Wednesday, at Downtown Public Library, Congress St., Lafayette. Call Commander Ron Crowley, (337) 278-6887.
A WW II Victory luncheon will be held at 2 p.m. Feb. 25 at the Golden Corral, 3110 Ambassador Caffery Parkway. WWII and Korean War veterans and their families are invited to attend. Veteran is responsible for the cost of the meal. This event is hosted by The Military Order of the Purple Heart. For more information, call 337-230-3513.
Help for those who need it
The mission of the Student Veterans Organization (SVO) of UL Lafayette is to provide military-affiliated students with the support and camaraderie needed during and after the pursuit of a higher education.

As an official university student organization, they continue their service through philanthropic events, promoting accomplishments of student veterans on campus, and supporting the military community in Acadiana.

For more info: ragincajunsvo@gmail.com or 337-482-5206

Check out their Facebook and Instagram: ULStudentVetOrg.

Acadiana Veterans Honor Guard: Taking care of its own
The Acadiana Veterans Honor Guard was formed in March 2014 by USAF Vietnam veteran Karen Fontenot and United States Army bugler Gary Edmondson.

With a mission to provide military funerals for the veterans of Acadiana, AVHG rank and file consists of honorably discharged United States military veterans from all branches of the military. The all-volunteer force is fully trained and prepared to deliver superior services at the greatest time of need.

The unit has traveled north to Ville Platte, south to Baldwin, east to Henderson and West to Jennings, logging thousands of miles in devotion to the families of the fallen.

Currently touting 37 active members, the AVHG has completed 55 funerals in 2018, and a total of 267 since its inception. The group has also participated in 17 community events this year.

The Acadiana Veterans Honor Guard posts two members at the deceased casket one hour before services, provides flag folding and presentation of the memorial flag to the family, performs a 21-rifle salute and a bugler playing the final Taps.

The Acadiana Veterans Honor Guard continues in its legacy, presenting to our veterans, the final salute.

If you are an honorably discharged U.S. military veteran and would like to be part of this dynamic group, contact the AVHG at 337-873-1526 or email avhg@honorguard.com.

More information is available at avhonorguard.com and facebook.com/avhonorguard/.

Newest U.S.A.F. Total Force
Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually.

CAP’s 57,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP also plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to 24,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs.

Visit GoCivilAirPatrol.com. For more information, please contact Lt.Col. Poirrier at 337-322-0267 or capmcrunch@cox.net.
00 2019-02-18
Lafayette

Waitr moves into Lafayette headquarters, adds 200 new jobs


LAFAYETTE -- Downtown Lafayette came out in force to celebrate Waitr opening its new headquarters on Jefferson Street.

Gov. John Bel Edwards was also on hand and delivered some good economic news for Lafayette and the state.

The delivery service’s 48,000-square-foot office, at 214 Jefferson St. inside the Lemoine Building, will be home to about 200 new jobs over the next few years, according to Waitr Chief Executive Officer Chris Meaux. Their office at 1100 Bertrand Drive will remain open, he said, and will continue to serve as the customer operations center while the new headquarters will house the company’s customer support, engineering, accounting, sales and marketing departments.

“Our workforce is a young workforce,” Meaux said. “They like to be able to get out at lunch or what have you, so downtown was just the right place for us. It’s really exciting with all the development and revitalization that’s happening downtown and we thought we could help be a catalyst for that as well.”

Meaux added that while Waitr is currently on the third floor of the building, they will be taking over the second floor in September.

Edwards applauded the 220 new jobs coming to Lafayette, which are in addition to the 315 people Waitr currently employs in Louisiana and the 5,800 the company employs nationwide. He also said the new jobs will pay higher than average salaries at $55,000 per year plus benefits. According to Louisiana Economic Development, this expansion will add 227 indirect jobs in Lafayette, as well.

“No community can deliver on great food and technology like Lafayette,” Edwards said. “With an ambitious and intelligent staff like they have at Waitr, we believe that Waitr is going to deliver a whole new era a growth for Louisiana.”

Edwards also used the opportunity to announce a new state-supported venture capital program to help get entrepreneurs and startups off the ground. The state will provide $200,000 a year for the next five years for select new businesses with Waitr and Chris Meaux helping in the selection process, according to Edwards.

Edwards also announced the state will be providing a $1.5 million grant to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s School of Computing and Informatics. The grant will allow the school to increase the number of graduates to help staff tech companies in Louisiana like Waitr and CGI.
00 2019-02-18
Lake Charles

Coming full circle


Morgan Daugherty, Hamilton Christian School’s new assistant principal, has come “full circle” in her new role overseeing instructional technology for students and faculty.

A graduate of Hamilton and McNeese State University, Daugherty said she has had the opportunity to view the school from multiple angles, including as a student, parent, board member and now administrator.

“I’ve got a vested interest. It’s a like a complete circle. I grew up here, and now I get to really give back to the place that made me who I am.”

Daughtery comes to Hamilton from a human resources training and learning career at Sasol, an unusual transition she said that has been mentioned by many.

“Most people don’t leave big-time money and things like that, but here I believe I can have an impact everyday. It’s a humbling position to be in leadership that affects change.”

Though she recalled her corporate experience with fondness, Daugherty said she looks foward to the lasting influence she will have with students in her new role. “I really believe the children are the future, and it’s just so important to have people that care in these positions — that want to see them be successful.”

Hamilton’s Christian environment was a big appeal to her, as well, she said.

“This is more missiondriven. This is a Christian school, so we get to weave that through the curriculum. It’s just a different atmosphere.”

Her role will focus on the integration of technology within the curriculum and training teachers to be successful in its implementation in their classrooms.

“It’s one thing to just go hand a teacher technology or a new way of teaching, but my plan is really to be their cheerleader,” she said.

“The addition of my technology into Hamilton’s curriculum is important because it engages students in their content and also prepares them for the future, she said. “Handson learning gets kids excited about school. Technology has become a part of their everyday life and not many jobs they can do without it. So, we’re taking the same strong Hamilton foundation but adding a lot of technology into the mix.”
00 2019-02-18
Lake Charles

McNeese grad is director of NASA’s ISS


This year’s National Engineers Week (Feb. 17-23) theme is “Invent Amazing,” something that Sam Scimemi, a 1984 mechanical engineering graduate from McNeese State University, has witnessed during his 33-year career with NASA.

Scimemi accepted his first position with NASA at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, with the Space Shuttle Program. While at the Center, he later joined the Space Station Freedom team that started his career with the International Space Station. Four space centers across the country and increasingly more complex responsibilities later, Scimemi is the director of the International Space Station at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

“I’ve been involved with almost every aspect of the Space Station from flight software and project management to politics and international relations,” says Scimemi.

His career may have taken him around the world, but he credits his time at McNeese as a very challenging experience that prepared him to work in human spaceflight.

“Mechanical engineering is a very broad field and incorporates many different parts of science, programming and math,” he says. “Having that background where you learn how the physical world works and the importance of working with others has benefited me both as an engineer and now as a manager and leader.”

At McNeese, he was also involved in student organizations that were a valuable source for socializing and networking. As a member and later the president of the McNeese chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering, he recalls “many of the people I met while attending the organization’s annual conference became sources that helped me stay informed about job openings at the Johnson Space Center.”

He also encourages students to take advantage of internship opportunities. “Your education inside the classroom will always be important, but working as an intern allows you to put your knowledge to the test and learn to work as a team. This experience will also give you an idea of what you can expect when entering the workforce,” says Scimemi.

He hopes the 450 high school students attending Mc-Neese’s National Engineers Week activities this week and current McNeese engineering majors will feel confident in their abilities and pursue challenges and goals they have set for themselves.

“My eighth grade class took a field trip to the Johnson Space Center,” he said. “From that moment on, I knew that this was my dream job — the place I wanted to work.”

His determination allowed him to not only join NASA’s team but also paved the way to an out-of-this-world career. “The most important advice I can give is to chase down your dreams…they almost never come to you,” said Scimemi.
00 2019-02-18
Lake Charles

PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE


JD Bank supports MSU: JD Bank donates $100,000 to the First Choice Campaign at McNeese State University. Local industry partners and contractors are investing in McNeese and the future of Southwest Louisiana through the campaign, a three-year initiative with a goal of raising $1 million per year for the next three years. This commitment from JD Bank to the First Choice Campaign will provide necessary resources to sustain growth in high demand academic areas. On hand for the presentation are, from left, Ann Barilleaux, JD Bank vice president marketing director; McNeese President Dr. Daryl V. Burckel; Boyd R. Boudreaux, JD Bank president and CEO; and Dan L. Donald Jr., JD Bank chairman of the board.
00 2019-02-18
Lake Charles

McNeese Internship Fair set for Feb. 27


The McNeese State University 2019 Spring Career and Internship Fair will be from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, in the Recreational Complex on campus.

McNeese students of all majors and classifications, as well as McNeese alumni, can participate.

The career fair is an opportunity for employers to connect with students and alumni seeking full-time jobs, co-op positions and internships, said Ramie Thibodeaux, director of Student Health and Development.

“This is a great opportunity for graduating and current students, as well as alumni, to gain experience networking with employers in their chosen fields prior to graduating,” Thibodeaux said.

“Students who will attend should dress professionally and bring copies of their resume to give to recruiters upon request.”

She also advises students who would like their resume reviewed prior to the fair to make an appointment at the Career and Student Development Center.

More than 70 employers are expected to attend the career fair. Sponsors include: Amerisafe, Henderson Implement & Marine, Indorama Ventures, Northwestern Mutual,PPG Industries and Westlake Chemical Corp.

A list of all employers along with a listing of preferred majors may be viewed online at www.collegecentral.com/mcneese.

For more information, call the center at 475-5612.
00 2019-02-18
Lake Charles

McNeese, United Way offer tax help


McNeese State University has once again partnered with United Way of Southwest Louisiana this tax season to offer free tax preparation assistance to qualifying citizens in Southwest Louisiana through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

This year, 20 McNeese finance and accounting majors are gaining hands-on experience in preparing taxes as interns for VITA.

“Through the VITA program, our interns get handson experience in their field while helping the community,” Morgan Turpin, internship director for the McNeese College of Business, said.

Turpin and Mike Roach, assistant professor of accounting and VITA site coordinator/ manager, are working together to ensure the VITA program continues to be a success at McNeese.

“Our interns are IRS-certified volunteers who provide this tax preparation. We are proud to partner with United Way to provide this valuable service,” she said.

Individuals with an income of less than $54,000 in 2018 qualify for free tax preparation, as well as persons with disabilities, senior citizens and limited English-speaking taxpayers.

VITA also offers additional services, such as tax review for previous returns.

Both appointments and walk-ins are welcome.

VITA is located in Room 302 of the Burton Business Center. Hours are noon-8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2-8 p.m. Wednesdays and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. The program will be available through April 13, but the office will be closed March 4-6 for Mardi Gras.

For more information or a list of required documents, call 433-1088 or visit www.unitedwayswla.org/VITA.



Ashlee Lhamon is a graduate assistant at McNeese State University.
00 2019-02-18
Lake Charles

Helping hands


“Saturdays are for service,” Morgan Smith said as he adjusted his hard hat and put on a pair of leather work gloves.

Smith was among more than two dozen volunteers Saturday forgoing the damp weather to help install insulation and sheetrock for Habitat for Humanity’s latest home under construction on Gulf Street.

“Any time you can put a smile on somebody’s face or change their life, I try and get in and help as much as I can,” said the McNeese State University senior, who graduates in May with a degree in sports performance management.

Ralph Wilson, who serves as board president of Habit for Humanity Calcasieu Area Inc., said the home has been under construction for about two months and is nearing the finishing line.

“We have a few more volunteers than I thought we were going to have, and it’s going quite well,” Williams said. “All of our needs were taken care of as far as materials, and all the volunteers have allowed us to make a lot of progress.”

Williams said Kingsley Building Solutions and Kel & Coe Contracting, who partnered with Habitat for Humanity on the project, have also “been a big help.”

“I just want to give back to the community, that’s my main thing,” Derrick Edwards of Kingsley Building Solutions said.

Williams said Habitat for Humanity builds affordable homes around the world in partnership with families in need of a place to live. The labor of volunteers and partner families, efficient building methods, modest house sizes and no-profit loans make it affordable for low-income families to purchase Habitat houses.

“When the sheetrock is completed today, the next work day will involve painting,” he said.

“Once we get that done, we’ll bring out the family to take a look and go from there. We keep them abreast of the progress.”

McNeese freshman Machiah Edwards, who is majoring in chemical engineering, said this was his first time installing insulation.

“Today I’ve been helping with installing, picking up trash, breaking a few things, but I’ve had fun,” he said with a laugh. “It’s been pretty cool.”

Madeline Smith said she spent her morning cutting the insulation, getting it ready to be installed.

“It was a little easier than I thought it would be,” she said. “I thought I wouldn’t be able to do a lot, but I actually have.”

Williams said the Gulf Street home should be complete by late March.
00 2019-02-18
Lake Charles

McNeese State University students give up their Saturday for Habitat for Humanity build




By Hannah Treece | February 17, 2019 at 7:37 AM CST - Updated February 18 at 6:29 AM
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A single mother of two will soon have a new home to call her own, all thanks to Habitat for Humanity Calcasieu Area and a group of students from McNeese State University.

While some college students spend their Saturdays sleeping or hanging out with friends, one group of students spent their day hanging sheet rock and putting up instillation.

“I always thought Saturdays were for service," said Morgan Smith, a senior at McNeese. “It’s good for young people like us to come out and learn things you don’t normally learn in a classroom.”

Saturday was the first community build project in 2019.

Smith said with a project like this one, he’s getting back just as much as he’s giving.

“I’m definitely learning as I go. I don’t have experience in this at all," Smith said. "This is the first time I’ve ever done something like this, so it’s kind of exciting to be learning some things from professionals.”

It’s that exact attitude that’s built Habitat for Humanity into the organization it is today.

“Habitat for Humanity started many years ago by a founder who had a vision that our local affiliates would be a collaboration between not just home owners, but volunteer from the community and the local government as well," said Ralph Williams.

Williams is the Board of Directors’ President for the Calcasieu Area Habitat. He says college students getting involved in builds reflects what the organization is all about.

“It gives me great hope for our future," Williams said. "Starting as volunteers, understanding the purpose of giving back to your local community, and growing with a work ethic as well.”

For Smith, he said just knowing what the end result of the build will be makes all the hard work going into it well worth it.

“It happens to people all the time. A lot of people don’t get a shelter, or they don’t get something to call their own home," Williams said. "So, to be able to come out here and be a part of this; it really makes a whole lot of difference to me.”

If you’re interested in volunteering with Habitat for Humanity or donating, you can call their local office at 337-497-0129.

Copyright 2019 KPLC. All rights reserved.
00 2019-02-18
Natchitoches

NSU Associate Professor to speak on Louisiana’s role in WWII


Join the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum for a special presentation on “The Pelican State Goes to War: Louisiana in World War II” on Saturday, Feb. 16 from 2-3 pm. The public is invited to this free event.

Northwestern State University Associate Professor Dr. Susan Dollar will discuss the role Louisiana played in preparation for the United States’ entry in World War II. Dr. Dollar will share “behind the scenes” stories from central Louisiana on how mobilizing for the impending fight impacted its citizens.

Produced by The National WWII Museum, the exhibition features artifacts, photographs and oral histories that highlight Louisiana’s extraordinary contribution to America’s war efforts during World War II. It will be on display at the museum through March 15.

“Louisiana, played a pivotal role in World War II, especially in the early stages of the war before the Pearl Harbor attack,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “President Eisenhower and General Patton met at the Hotel Bentley in Alexandria, LA, to plan the Fort Polk training exercises, called the Louisiana Maneuvers, and the Higgins boats that were used in the D-Day invasion were built in New Orleans. Our state played a tremendous role, and we are excited to partner with The National WWII Museum for this exhibit.”
00 2019-02-18
Regional/National

The Economic Gains (Yes, Gains) of a Liberal Arts Education




Class at Vassar College
You've read the stories about liberal arts college grads doomed to a life of poverty, paying back their student loans while living in their parents' basement. And if you've been reading Inside Higher Ed, you have read about studies questioning that narrative.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has now released a new analysis by two economists that examines the questions of the economic payoff of a liberal arts college education. The study makes no claims that liberal arts grads outearn those in, say, engineering. But the report says the claims that a liberal arts degree isn't worth its cost or will hurt a graduate's career prospects prove untrue. Specifically, the report says attending a liberal arts college for most students leads to meaningful economic mobility.

"Critics claim that a liberal arts education is worth less than the alternatives, and perhaps not even worth the investment at all. They argue that increasing costs and low future earnings limit the value of a liberal arts education, especially compared to alternative options such as pre-professional programs that appear to be better rewarded in the current labor market," says the report. "Existing evidence does not support these conclusions."

The report's authors -- Catharine B. Hill and Elizabeth Davidson Pisacreta -- are both at Ithaka S+R, which conducts extensive research on the economics of higher education. Hill is a former president of Vassar College.

Throughout the study, the authors draw attention to misconceptions about liberal arts education. They note that, to the extent some liberal arts graduates end up in relatively low-paying careers, this reflects their career interests and market forces, and would likely be the same even if they attended another kind of institution.

"If someone chooses to be a musician or elementary school teacher, their income is dictated by the labor market," said Hill in an interview. Further, she said that "students who choose to be artists or elementary school teachers may not be people who would want to be an engineer."

That distinction is important, the study says, because there is for many an income gap based on type of institution attended. What is false is the idea that the income gap is so large as to make a liberal arts college education not worthwhile.

The link of institution type and field of study is one of the myths about liberal arts colleges, the authors write. Many pundits and politicians bash liberal arts colleges, and say that the country needs more people with science, mathematics and technology degrees (which are widely seen as leading to more lucrative careers). Using various federal data sources, the study shows that those in private higher education outside liberal arts colleges are more likely to major in engineering (many liberal arts colleges, of course, don't have engineering programs). But for the rest of the STEM fields, liberal arts colleges (at various levels of competitiveness) award larger shares of STEM degrees than do comparable private, non-liberal arts colleges.



The data are why the report (and Hill in an interview) sometimes talk about students experiencing "liberal education," not liberal arts, even when the samples are of students at liberal arts colleges. Hill said that too many people equate liberal arts with humanities study alone, or imagine that "liberal" refers to politics. She said that one reason liberal arts graduates earn more than expected is the diversity of fields studied beyond the humanities. Many of the comparisons in the report are of private liberal arts colleges to other types of institutions. But Hill said she believed many of the findings would be similar if studying those enrolled in liberal arts programs at colleges and universities with a broad range of pre-professional programs.

With regard to actual income, the study relies heavily on the data of Opportunity Insights, which the study refers to by its former name, the Equality of Opportunity Project. Raj Chetty of Harvard University is the leader of the project, which the researchers used to compare the impact on economic mobility of liberal arts colleges graduates and those who attended other kinds of institutions. The important thing about that data is that they recognize that one of the best ways (regardless of what one studies in college, or where) to end up wealthy is to start out wealthy. Chetty looks at various institutions and tracks the movement of students from various quintiles of income in their family background to where they end up after graduation.

The data show that those who started out in lower quintiles and studied at elite private colleges show significant gains and entry into the top quintile of income, even if they are not as large as those gains achieved by those attending other kinds of institutions.



Other comparisons in the study look at the shifts for students, by entering economic quintiles, and those who end up in the top two quintiles, or the top 40 percent of American income. For some of these comparisons, the analysis also considered STEM-intensive institutions.

Not surprisingly, the STEM-oriented institutions do quite well in terms of lifting up the economic status of graduates, and for some groups they outperform other types of colleges.

But here again, there are substantial gains for those attending liberal arts colleges, such that more than 60 percent of them are ending up in the top two quintiles of income postgraduation, even if they started out in the bottom three quintiles.



Other parts of the analysis look at graduation rates (where private liberal arts colleges do better than do other private institutions, across levels of competitiveness). And the study looks at the availability of aid, which finds that actual costs are substantially lower than sticker price.

These figures are important, the authors say, in that questions of the "worth" of a college are based on cost and economic outcomes.

The authors acknowledge in the report the many limitations that remain -- and say that they would like to explore finer subgroups of students both at liberal arts and other types of colleges (including testing their assumptions about those who study the liberal arts at non-liberal arts colleges and universities).

But they point to the Chetty data they have applied to say that attending liberal arts colleges leads to economic mobility across income groups.

"All the evidence shows that the bashing of liberal arts colleges, and the liberal arts, just isn't well founded, just isn't based on evidence," Hill said.

Hill said that she hoped the study would counter some of the prevailing myths, such as the one that says going to a liberal arts college means one isn't studying STEM, when in facts such majors have seen gains at liberal arts colleges.

"If you think back 10 or 15 years, we worried that there weren't enough students in STEM fields, and we've actually succeeded" in changing that, she said.

But Hill said she realized that it would be a continued, uphill battled to argue against the view that studying the liberal arts is economically foolish. "The more evidence we can get out, the better," she said.
00 2019-02-18
Shreveport

From poverty in Africa to an engineering degree at La Tech, Mo Muhammed shares his story


Mubarak "Mo" Muhammed is navigating through his first year with the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.

Mubarak Muhammed said, "I feel like I've been able to like find my place on this team as a motor, as an energy guy, and I really love it."

The junior's journey to Ruston has been a long one, and it started over six thousand miles away, in Suleja Nigeria.

"Where I grew up in the state that I'm from, I'm from Niger state. There's was only like three people that played basketball in all that state," Muhammed said.

Growing up in Suleja, Mo experienced his fair share of hardships, even enduring poverty as a child.

"Oh yeah," Muhammed said. "It was pretty rough."

At times, not even having clean water to drink.

"There was one time in school that we didn't have enough water to drink that we had to go to like the streams," Muhammed said, "and the water was so bad that we had to like use our shirt as a filter. You had to use the shirt to cover your mouth and drink through it just so your shirt can hold dirt from going inside your mouth, and it was that bad. The water was stinking, but you had to drink it or you're going to die of thirst."

Mo also had to spend his early years at a boarding school away from his family.

"You only see your parents once a month, and when you get to see them, you better hope that you get to see your parents that they have some money," Muhammed said. "So, if they don't have anything then you haave to go another month without seeing them. So, I remember going like 9-years-old going five months without seeing my parents, and just having to just depend on going to the school dorms and stuff."

Sports have always been an outlet for Mo, but that hasn't always been concentrated on basketball.

"I'm a straight soccer guy," Muhammed said. "If Tech had a soccer team I feel like I could just go on and dominate right now."

Eventually he found his way to the hardwood, and after a year of playing the sport, was invited to participate in the Basketball Without Borders camp, a venture led by the NBA and FIBA.

"It was just an eye opener," Muhammed said. "The whole trip I was just, my heart was just beating fast honestly."

Mo made his mark, earning all-star honors at the camp, and in 2014, was able to use basketball to move to the United States. Let's just say the experience was eye opening.

"Thinking about it now it was really funny. The first time I saw Wal-Mart I remember I was about to walk in the entrance, and I saw it open by itself, and I was like 'Woah'," Muhammed said."

Mo's basketball career continued at the JUCO ranks, first at the College of Southern Idaho, and then in Louisiana, at Bossier Parish Community College. That's where Louisiana Tech head coach Eric Konkol took notice.

"We we're looking for somebody that could rebound the basketball, play with some versatility, and he does all of those things," Eric Konkol said."

Muhammed is now a key member of the Dunkin Dogs, and is on pace to become the first Tech basketball player to earn an engineering degree. As for the overall goal?

"I have plans to one day go back home and have a clinic or an organization that exposes kids to the ideas of like 'Hey with basketball you can do so much," Muhammed said. "So, if I can take this opportunity back to them, who knows what that can do for like for my little city or my country."

Reporting in Ruston, I'm Brad Cesak.
00 2019-02-15
Lafayette

'Aspiring, Adapting, Achieving': UL students take heart from business pioneer's example


Austin DeHart, a 23-year-old from Morgan City, related to the story of Reginald Lewis, the first African-American to build a billion-dollar business empire.

His widow, Loida Lewis, shared their story Thursday with a group of students at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, including DeHart.

Loida Lewis (right) speaks Thursday at University of Louisiana at Lafayette to share success stories of her late husband Reginald Lewis, the first African-American to create a billion-dollar company. She is interviewed by Student Government Association President Chandler Harris.
Loida Lewis (right) speaks Thursday at University of Louisiana at Lafayette to share success stories of her late husband Reginald Lewis, the first African-American to create a billion-dollar company. She is interviewed by Student Government Association President Chandler Harris. (Photo11: Layni Menard/Special to The Adve)

Their story resonated with him as an aspiring entrepreneur. He asked Lewis for tips as he drafts his own business plan.

He connected to her comments on how the pathway to success changes over time. She'd planned on being a lawyer and politician in her home country of the Philippines, but then met her husband while working in America, fell in love and changed course. That changed again after his death, and she stepped into his role with the companies.

Her husband's path changed over time. He worked as a lawyer for at least a decade leading up to buying a company — the McCall Pattern Company for $22.5 million in 1983.

Loida Lewis (right) addresses students at University of Louisiana at Lafayette to share success stories of her late husband Reginald Lewis, the first African-American to create a billion-dollar company. She is interviewed by Student Government Association President Chandler Harris.
Loida Lewis (right) addresses students at University of Louisiana at Lafayette to share success stories of her late husband Reginald Lewis, the first African-American to create a billion-dollar company. She is interviewed by Student Government Association President Chandler Harris. (Photo11: Layni Menard/Special to The Adve)

Changing priorities or plans doesn't equal failure, but rather success measured differently.

"As you go through life, you have different goals," Lewis said.

DeHart, a fifth-year senior, has seen his goals change. He's changed majors multiple times, shifting from chemical engineering to accounting to computer science.

He finally landed on business management, going to school full time and working 20 to 30 hours a week at Starbucks. So he heard her message of hard work loud and clear.

MORE: School closed due to bat infestation. Here's what's happening

But it was Lewis' comments about love and loss that hit him most.

The widow talked about the sting of losing her husband, the depression that follows loss and how hard it can be to fail.

"Don't think failure is the end," Lewis said. "Failing is just the beginning of knowledge."

She urged students to learn from failure and loss, to not stay in that place and remember a sunrise always follows dark times.

"I lost several family members last semester," DeHart said, taking her words to heart.

Austin DeHart, a senior business management major at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, asked guest speaker Loida Lewis for tips as he puts together a business plan of his own. Lewis is the widow of Reginald Lewis, the first African-American to create a billion-dollar company, and currently chairs his company and foundation.
Austin DeHart, a senior business management major at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, asked guest speaker Loida Lewis for tips as he puts together a business plan of his own. Lewis is the widow of Reginald Lewis, the first African-American to create a billion-dollar company, and currently chairs his company and foundation. (Photo11: Layni Menard/Special to The Adve)

He also appreciated the humility and humanity that Reginald Lewis showed in his lifetime.

"When you think of business owners, you think of a greedy man in a tower," DeHart said. "I specifically don't want to be that."

And the college senior found it refreshing that Reginald Lewis wasn't that.

Loida Lewis is the widow of Reginald Lewis, the first African-American to create a billion-dollar company, and currently chairs his company and foundation. She addressed students and faculty Thursday at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Loida Lewis is the widow of Reginald Lewis, the first African-American to create a billion-dollar company, and currently chairs his company and foundation. She addressed students and faculty Thursday at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. (Photo11: Layni Menard/Special to The Adve)

Despite becoming a billionaire and owning 64 companies in 31 countries through TLC Beatrice International Foods, his wife said he always made a point to give back.

He donated millions of dollars to Harvard Law School, Howard University, his mother's church and more. His foundation, which his wife chairs, continues his giving.

"It definitely shows you how far basic attributes of being human — like bravery, compassion, care — go in the business world," DeHart said.

MORE: Why more than a third of college students are changing schools

The Lewis philosophy was simple, his widow explained.

"You can dream, dream big, but not too big," Lewis said.

She pointed to her head with the last words, explaining it was a warning not to become big-headed or arrogant.

Lewis addressed students, faculty and staff at multiple events over a two-day conference of the University of Louisiana System.

More than 450 faculty and staff from nine universities attended the "For Our Future" conference held this year at UL Lafayette.

Lewis' message aligned with the conference theme "Aspiring, Adapting, Achieving."

James Carter, vice president of the UL System Board of Supervisors, was essential in bringing Loida Lewis to speak at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
James Carter, vice president of the UL System Board of Supervisors, was essential in bringing Loida Lewis to speak at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. (Photo11: Layni Menard/Special to The Adve)

"If he can do it — he was black, inner-city, raised by a single (parent) — you can do it," she said. "... His story is so compelling. I have to continue that process of giving hope. Education is the key out of poverty."

James Carter, vice president of the UL System Board of Supervisors, was integral in connecting Lewis to the conference. He became aware of Reginald Lewis when the business pioneer donated a large sum to Howard University, where Carter was studying.

"The story of Reginald Lewis is one of evolving from a person of very humble beginnings and achieving great things," Carter said. "It is great inspiration for students without regard to race, creed, color or class."
00 2019-02-15
Lafayette

New UL apartments on track for August 2019 opening


Nearly 600 University of Louisiana at Lafayette students will have a new place to live on campus starting with the Fall 2019 semester.

Construction on a luxury-style apartment complex with furnished units and granite counter tops is on schedule for completion in mid-August, Bill Crist, director of facilities management, said.

Students who haven’t claimed a space yet may be out of luck, though, because 95 percent of the 591 beds in the complex already are taken.

“We’re already full before we even open,” Crist said.

Occupying a prominent space near the intersection of Johnston and East Lewis streets, the complex spans both sides of a coulee and includes five buildings, a pool, a sand volleyball court and on-campus parking.

The smallest building, on the corner of Johnston and East Lewis, will include nearly 5,000 feet of commercial retail space on the ground floor, with apartments on the upper two floors, he said.

Called Heritage at Cajun Village, the complex will offer two-, three- and four-bedroom units to students who have earned at least 30 course credits.

The cost to build the apartments alone is about $48 million, Crist said. Other expenses, such as redeveloping an existing central receiving building, bump the cost to about $50 million.

Ragin’ Cajun Facilities Inc., a private nonprofit organization formed in 2001 to finance construction on the UL campus, partnered with the university on the project. As a nonprofit, the group qualifies for tax exemptions and sells bonds to pay for construction without having to compete for state capital outlay money.

Crist and Jerry Luke LeBlanc, UL vice president of administration and finance and former Louisiana legislator, are two of Ragin’ Cajun Facilities’ directors, according to the Louisiana Secretary of State Office.

The organization assisted with financing Legacy Park Apartment Complex on the UL campus, renovating and expanding the student union, renovating O.K. Allen Hall for use as a student health center, demolishing several residence halls and building new ones, building a six-story on-campus parking garage, adding to the Leon Moncla Indoor Athletic Practice Facility and adding seats to the Cajun Field football stadium.
00 2019-02-15
Lafayette

UL Lafayette Adds Composting, Food Donations to Landfill Diversion Efforts


From composting biodegradable material to sending unsold meals to area food banks, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is making strides toward a waste-free campus.

UL Lafayette’s Zero Waste program was expanded in August at Cajun Field. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns football fans had the option of dropping waste into one of two bins placed at stations inside the stadium: one for recycling, another for composting.

Over the course of six home games, 46.8 percent of recyclable and compostable materials was diverted from landfills.

The new composting initiative was added to the University’s existing recycling efforts.

Items such as paper plates, cups, utensils and drinking straws were sent to the University’s 600-acre Experimental Farm near Cade, La., to be converted to compost.

The farm, which is 15 miles from UL Lafayette’s main campus, is used for agricultural and sustainability research, education and outreach. It includes acreage for cattle, rice and sugar cane crops, wildflowers and native grasses, managed wetlands, and educational and research facilities.

In addition to providing eco-friendly fertilizer that will be spread on crops and vegetation at the farm, the compost will be used to educate students about its benefits. Compost, for example, releases less nitrogen into the air than chemical fertilizers, said Brian Kibbe, farm manager.

The composting process typically takes about two months, depending on factors such as size of the pile, materials it contains and weather, Kibbe explained. “Decomposition happens more quickly in hot, dry weather,”

Refuse collected at football games is only one part of the farm’s composting “recipe,” Kibbe said. “Hay, grass and tree clippings, livestock manure and agricultural waste from nearby sugar cane mills are also part of the mix.”

One item that didn’t get heaped on the compost pile: food that went unsold at football games, according to Gretchen Lacombe Vanicor, director of the University’s Office of Sustainability.



Dishes such as jambalaya, pasta, salads, hamburger patties – a total of 1,727 meals – were given to area food pantries. The project was coordinated with help from the University’s food service provider, Sodexo, and Second Harvest Food Bank in Lafayette.

“Rather than throw food away, we thought, ‘Why not distribute the leftover meals to help feed people?’” Vanicor said.

Beyond diverting trash from landfills and providing food for the hungry, the program offers service opportunities. About 160 students worked inside the stadium and mingled with tailgaters during football games to provide information to fans and guide them to the proper bins. Student volunteers also inspected materials collected to ensure a stray piece of plastic hadn’t made its way into the wrong container.

Vanicor expects the Zero Waste pilot program to grow. “If it continues to be successful – and I’m confident that it will – we’ll start looking at ways it can be expanded to other athletic events and other parts of campus,” Vanicor said.

The project is part of the University’s Living Lab, which is partially supported by the University’s Annual fund.

The “lab” promotes sustainability research projects for students such as a “smart-building” pilot program at Rougeau Hall. Sensors placed throughout that building monitor temperature, humidity and indoor air quality.

Learn more about University eco-friendly efforts at the Office of Sustainability.
00 2019-02-15
Lafayette

Plans announced to have veterans resource center on all Louisiana campuses


Veterans returning from active duty especially those who go to college may face a difficult transition.

Plans were announced this week to have a resource center on every Louisiana campus.

The half-million dollar plan is being funded by the LA vet corps program and the department of veterans affairs.

It will allow for 30 offices to be established or built out by the fall.

Staff, including an LA vet corps counselor, will assist veterans with finding what they have earned, making sure they have all the proper documentation, and helping them receive those funds in a timely manner.

In addition to benefit services, staff members can help them make a smoother transition to civilian life.

UL Lafayette's office of veterans services has been operating since 2011 in a small area in Foster Hall.

They are hoping to pilot the state-wide project by being the first to build out a larger space on the mezzanine level in Agnes Edwards Hall, formerly the conference center.

UL vet services currently assists about 700 veterans and military-connected students who are receiving VA benefits.

The more than eight thousand veterans and their dependents bring in $185-million dollars of GI bill funding to Louisiana higher education.
00 2019-02-15
Monroe

ULM mock trial team heads to national championship for 5th year


For the fifth straight year, the University of Louisiana Monroe’s mock trial team finished as one the top teams at the American Mock Trial Association’s (AMTA) Regional Tournament hosted by the University of Texas at Dallas on Feb. 8-10.

The result qualifies the Gold and Maroon squads for the Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS) hosted by Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, on March 15-17.

This is the first time in school history that two squads from ULM have simultaneously qualified for ORCS, as ULM is the only university from Louisiana to qualify for the opening round of the national championship in each of the past five years.

The Gold squad finished third overall at regionals with a 7-1 record, defeating the University of Oklahoma, University of Arkansas, Rhodes College and Southwestern University. Additionally, the Gold squad won the Spirit of AMTA Award, given to the team that best exemplifies the ideals of civility, justice, and fair play. Isiah Chavis, an attorney for the Gold squad, won a best attorney award.

ULM mock trial team students participate in mock courtroom proceedings.
ULM mock trial team students participate in mock courtroom proceedings. (Photo11: Emerald McIntyre/ULM Photo Service)

Competing for the Gold Squad were:

Jorden Johnson,a senior from Monroe;
Isiah Chavis, a junior from Layette;
Cameron Ott, a junior from West Monroe;
Uchechi Owunna, a freshman from Nigeria;
Antonia Harris, a senior from Alexandria;
Nautica Jones, a freshman from St. Martinville; and
Aakriti Pant, a freshman from Nepal.

“I am so proud of our students," said team coach, attorney Bob Noel. "They worked tirelessly all year long with the goal of qualifying for ORCS. In spite of some adversity, they never quit. In spite of winning tournaments, they never grew over confident. In the end, we proved once again that ULM is one the best teams in the nation.”


Attorneys Noel and Kyle Moore coach the ULM mock trial teams, which won three tournaments in this competition year – the Jackson Joust hosted by Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, the Nordic Undergraduate Mock Trial Battle hosted by the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and the Kangaroo Brawl hosted by Austin College in Sherman, Texas.

More than 900 teams competed in regional tournaments, but fewer than 200 advanced to ORCS.

“This weekend proved how dangerous we are," Chavis said. "We improved every round, and it showed. We obviously have a lot of work ahead, but there’s no doubt that ULM will be a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming competition”


The Maroon squad advanced with a 5-3 record, defeating Austin College, Rhodes College, and Texas A&M University.

Representing ULM’s Maroon Squad were:

Eli Bell, a senior from Rayville;
Olivia Myers a junior from West Monroe;
Shelby Joyner, a senior from West Monroe;
Lydia Mills, a junior from Greenwood;
Evan Hebert , a junior from Monroe;
Rebecca Pittman, a sophomore from Vivian; and
Emma Brunel, a junior from France.
"We proved we could rise above anything thrown our way," Joyner said. "I am so proud to lead the Maroon Squad into nationals in Memphis, and I know that we will go out and leave a good impression for ULM everywhere we compete. I’m so blessed to be a part of this team; we are going to do great things in the future!”

ULM is the only university in the state of Louisiana that has fielded an active AMTA-affiliated mock trial team for the past six years and the only university in the state to have competed at the Opening Round Championship Series of the AMTA National Championship the last four.
00 2019-02-15
Monroe

FIRST Robotics Competition kicks off at Louisiana Tech


Nine teams from local high schools will work for weeks to design and build industrial-size robots to compete in Louisiana Tech’s inaugural FIRST Robotics Competition, hosted by the College of Education and SciTEC in the Doug and Sandra Boulware SciTEC Learning Lab.

Caroline Webb, former FIRST competitor and current student in the College of Engineering and Science, spearheaded the kickoff event.

“As a student on a FIRST Robotics Team, I experienced real-world engineering applications and hands-on learning that I would not have received in any high school classroom,” Webb said. “FIRST was more than an afterschool program. Through FIRST, I gained teamwork and leadership skills, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and so much more.”

Founded in 1989, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an international science, technology, engineering and mathematics non-profit organization that teaches 21st century life skills and helps students become innovative problem solvers able to tackle the world’s greatest challenges.

A group of students at Wossman High School work onBuy Photo
A group of students at Wossman High School work on a bobot as part of a science and technology class on Oct. 11. (Photo11: Bonnie Bolden/The News-Star)

During the Robotics Competition, teams of high school students have a six-week window to build and program their robots – all with limited resources. Through the competition, students have the opportunity to gain real-world experience in a number of areas beyond engineering. They must raise funds, design a team “brand,” and present in front of judges. To complete the challenge, they must use project management, communication, and leadership – skills that will benefit them regardless of their future careers. A volunteer professional mentor lends time and talents to guide each team along the way.

The kickoff – under this year’s theme of FIRST Destination Deep Space – marks the beginning of the design-and-build season, and the event allows teams to compare notes, get ideas, and pick up their building kits. Participants were also able to interact with students in the College of Engineering and Science’s Aerospace Engineering Club, who brought small remote control drones to the kickoff.


AXI Education Solutions also held STEM activities, game booths, and demonstrations for particiants.

“AXI always enjoys supporting SciTEC and the College of Education at Louisiana Tech,” said Lisa Dick, teaching and learning consultant with AXI. “Excitement was definitely in the air as this year’s challenge was revealed! I am eager to see the various teams’ approaches to complete this complex challenge during the competitions.”

This year marks the 30th season for the FIRST Robotics Competition. Qualifying teams at district and regional competitions have the chance to win a spot in the FRC Championship, which takes place April 14-20 in Houston and April 24-27 in Detroit.

FIRST Robotics Competition’s Carolyn Arthurs said the organization is proud to partner with Louisiana Tech.

“As our program grows in Northern Louisiana, it’s crucial to the success and sustainability of our teams to have a resource for expertise, technology, education and innovation,” Arthurs said. “Louisiana Tech not only gives us those crucial components, but also gives our students a model of excellence in education to consider for their future educational paths.”

Want to help?

To volunteer as a mentor for local teams, email Arthurs at carthurs@firstinspires.org.

To learn more about ways you can partner with the College of Education on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics outreach efforts, email the SciTEC team at scitec@latech.edu.
00 2019-02-15
Monroe

Tech to send all-female team to RockOn space workshop


A team from the College of Engineering and Science at Louisiana Tech University has been selected to participate in RockOn 2019, a NASA-supported workshop that will give faculty and students the opportunity to learn more about rocketry while using their engineering problem solving skills.

In addition to Louisiana Tech's lead principal investigator, Krystal Corbett, lecturer for mechanical engineering, and Mary Caldorera-Moore, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, molecular science and nanotechnology, and nanosystems engineering, three students will participate in the event: Abigail Phillips (chemical engineering), Allison Kumler (biomedical engineering) and Tess Hamilton (biomedical engineering).

RockOn was established by the Colorado and Virginia Space Grant Consortium to provide participating students with the opportunity to work on an engineering project. The students who attend the workshop will get practical experience with sensors, electronics and spacecraft systems. At RockOn, the students will learn how to build a sounding rocket payload, or a RocketSat, through hands-on activities.

The Louisiana Tech RockOn team is (from left) Krystal Corbett, Allison Kumler, Abigail Phillips, Mary Caldorera-Moore and Tess Hamilton.
The Louisiana Tech RockOn team is (from left) Krystal Corbett, Allison Kumler, Abigail Phillips, Mary Caldorera-Moore and Tess Hamilton. (Photo11: Courtesy)

Activities like the ones that the team will perform at the workshop give Louisiana Tech students more real-world experience which, in turn, will make them better engineers, prepared for professional duties early. This preparedness will produce a stronger technical workforce in Louisiana.

Greg Guzik, director of the Louisiana Space Grant Consortium, says that this workshop will further provide participants with the aerospace experiences that the Louisiana Space Grant Consortium promotes for Louisiana students and mentors.

“In 2018, we sent our first set of Louisiana teams to the RockOn! workshop where teams build a payload for launch on a sounding rocket that carries the payloads beyond the Karman line at 100 kilometers altitude into space itself,” Guzik said. “In 2019, we are very proud to support our first all-female team from LaTech to participate in the sounding rocket workshop to begin their exploration of space. RockOn!”


“Bringing an all-female team to the RockOn summer program is an exciting opportunity to showcase what empowered females can accomplish while also providing a platform for our female engineering students to become role models to others in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields,” Corbett added.

This is the second year that teams from Louisiana have participated and the first year that a team from Louisiana Tech has participated. RockOn will be held June 14-22 at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Colorado.

“I think this is a great opportunity for our students to apply the engineering problem-solving and programming skills they’ve developed through the freshman Living with the Lab series in a real-world setting,” Caldorera-Moore said. “I think it will be an amazing experience for our students to get to spend a week at the NASA Wallops Facility and to get to see the payload they build go up into a rocket!”
00 2019-02-15
Monroe

ULM mock trial team wins Kangaroo Brawl


The University of Louisiana Monroe’s mock trial team won Austin College’s 2nd Annual Kangaroo Brawl in Sherman, Texas, on Jan. 26-27, 2019, for their third tournament win of the season.

ULM’s Maroon squad defeated Texas A&M University, University of Arkansas, and Austin College to finish with a 7-0-1 record. Additionally, ULM’s Gold squad finished in fifth place and three students won best attorney awards — Isiah Chavis, Jorden Johnson, and Shelby Joyner.

Representing ULM’s Maroon squad were Eli Bell (Sr. Rayville), Olivia Myers (Jr. West Monroe), Shelby Joyner (Sr. West Monroe), Lydia Mills (Jr. Greenwood), Evan Hebert (Jr. Monroe), Rebecca Pittman (So. Vivian), and Emma Brunel (Jr., France).

Lydia Mills, “This weekend was proof that the hours we put into preparing for competition was worth it. We have great coaches and a great program, and every university knows that we are competitors. It’s a great feeling to have multiple attorneys commend you for your performance and tell you you’re on your way to being an attorney yourself.”

ULM’s Gold squad picked up wins against Howard Payne University and Texas A&M University.

Competing for the Gold Squad were Jorden Johnson (Sr. Monroe), Isiah Chavis, (Jr. Layette), Cameron Ott (Jr. West Monroe), Uchechi Owunna (Fr. Nigeria), Antonia Harris, (Sr. Alexandria), Nautica Jones (Fr. St. Martinville), Aakriti Pant (Fr. Nepal).

The ULM mock trial teams are coached by attorneys Bob Noel and Kyle Moore.

This is their third win of the year, as they previously won the Jackson Joust hosted by Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., and the the University of Minnesota’s Nordic Undergraduate Mock Trial Battle in Minneapolis, Minn.

ULM is the only university in the state of Louisiana that has fielded an active AMTA-affiliated mock trial team for the last six years; the only university in the state to have competed at the Opening Round Championship Series of the AMTA National Championship the last four.

The American Mock Trial Association was founded in 1985 and is the governing body for intercollegiate mock trial competition.
00 2019-02-15
Natchitoches

Creative Writing Showcase Feb. 21


Northwestern State University’s Department of English, Foreign Languages and Cultural Studies will host a Creative Writing Faculty Showcase that is open to students, faculty and the general public.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 in the Ballroom of Varnado Hall. Refreshments will be provided.

Guests are invited to attend to “hear readings from teaching writers in NSU’s Department of English, Foreign Languages and Cultural Studies. We’ll read from original works in progress—poems, stories and things in-between,” said Dr. Rebecca Macijeski, Creative Writing Program coordinator and assistant professor of English. “Stick around for refreshments, an informal Q&A with us, and to learn more about upcoming classes and the new creative writing concentration starting this fall.”

For more information, contact Macijeski at macijeskir@nsula.edu.
00 2019-02-15
Regional/National

In Dealing With Campus Hunger, One Solution Is to Tell Students Where They Can Get Help


A recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that in the face of a growing campus hunger problem, many colleges are taking matters into their own hands by starting campus programs like food banks and meal-sharing services.

Joy Kostansek, a graduate student in anthropology and sociology at Ohio University, is one student leader who is helping university administrators mitigate what some call "food insecurity," or uncertainty about where a next meal will come from. In 2018, the university became one of a few institutions with a campus location that accepts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamp, benefits. The campus food bank is stocked with fresh produce from a student farm and offers micro-loans to students who need emergency funds.

At Ohio University, some solutions are integrated into the curriculum. The university's food-studies program was developed to help freshmen navigate general-education courses with a focus on hunger, global food systems, and sustainable health choices. Each student in the program is required to take an internship that gives them greater access to food banks and nonprofits in the community.

“People don't define themselves as food insecure until they become aware that they don't have the finances to afford food without the meal plan.”
Kostansek received a food-studies certificate during her undergraduate years at Ohio University and now works as a graduate assistant helping to expand that program. She wants more students to understand that they are eligible for SNAP assistance, and she hopes to destigmatize the benefits.

She spoke with The Chronicle about the emotional toll hunger takes on students and how administrators can encourage their students to help solve food insecurity on campus. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Q. How has hunger affected the people you know at Ohio University?
A. I've gotten to know several people who are food insecure. At OU, both freshmen and sophomores have to stay on campus and get a meal plan. It can mask food insecurity because most people are not directly paying for food day to day. A lot of people don't define themselves as food insecure until they become aware that they don't have the finances to afford food without the meal plan. I wouldn't consider myself food insecure now, but at the beginning of this semester I was in a situation where my funding got messed up, and I wasn't paid for six weeks. I used the food pantry on campus until I got paid.

Q. How did you make the decision to get involved with this problem on your campus?
A. Ohio University is in Appalachia, and depending on what statistics you look at, the county we're in is consistently considered one of the poorest in the state. It's a problem that surrounds us. A lot of different nonprofits work to address it. When I became involved with the food-studies program I interned with a nonprofit called Community Food Initiative.

Now I'm on the steering committee for our campus food pantry. We discuss how we can better serve the people who use the pantry. I'm also with the student farm on campus, which has a mission of education and outreach about healthy, local eating on a budget.

Q. Why are changes being made in the food pantry?
A. The space we had last semester made it very hard to track and gain metrics. It's in an open space where anyone can come in, which is great because a lot of food does leave, but it's hard to know if that's a few students taking a lot of food or a lot of students taking a little bit of food each. We're transitioning so we can still provide that service but also be able to see how we can help them get what they need.

Q. Of the programs Ohio University has put in place to deal with food insecurity, which are the most effective?
A. It's hard to say which is most effective because we don't have a lot of metrics. The food pantry is the most accessible, but we have programs that address this problem more holistically by educating people.

Q. What are the perspectives that administrators miss when they focus on this problem?
A. More than anything it's getting students in the conversation who are actually living this. Leaders can come to it with an educational background, but you need students to understand what it's like to be a hungry student.

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We have one student on the steering committee who gives us great insight about the emotional battle of food insecurity. She points out that maybe we don't want to put a photo of a can on a marketing flier for a food drive because we're trying to move away from thinking that people who are food insecure should accept only eating processed canned food.

Q. How do you address the emotional burden that comes with this problem?
A. First and foremost is showing people that they deserve healthy, nutritious food that won't just make them full but will help them feel good. It's humanizing to not just eat out of a can or eat ramen all the time. Part of how we do that is by having a student farm. The community has access to fresh produce that's grown half a mile from campus. We also work with Community Food Initiatives and the southeast Ohio food bank. That reminds people on campus that there's a network of support for them.

Q. One of the challenges of helping hungry college students is that many of them aren't aware that government assistance is available to them. Do you think students are aware that they're eligible for SNAP?
A. Absolutely not. We have Jefferson Marketplace, which accepts SNAP benefits, but I've talked to students and so many of them don't even know that they qualify for SNAP let alone that they can use it on campus. Understanding is a huge piece that's missing.

Q. What kind of support do you think students need to get that understanding?
A. We have to show them what the average student income is so there's less shame. Then show the resources available to them. Once there's an awareness, there have to be greater efforts to help students apply. It can be a lot to sift through, especially as a student.

Going beyond SNAP, individual campuses need to understand what the extent of food insecurity on their campus is and what their students specifically need. That's something we've devoted a lot of time to. The question we've asked is, how do we promote our services in a way that's accessible to the people who need it?

Zipporah Osei is an editorial intern at The Chronicle. Follow her on Twitter @zipporahosei, or email her at zipporah.osei@chronicle.com.
00 2019-02-15
Ruston

IN HONOR OF A LEGEND


Channing Kirkland, front left, and Eddie Robinson IV, front right, placed a wreath Wednesday morning at the gravesite of their grandparents— Grambling State football coach Eddie Robinson and his wife Doris — as Grambling State University and the city of Grambling celebrated the legendary coach’s 100th birthday. Other events held Wednesday were a university convocation held at GSU’s T.H. Harris Auditorium and a birthday celebration reception in the Doris Hall Banquet Room at the Eddie G. Robinson Museum. The museum will be open from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
00 2019-02-14
Baton Rouge

UL hosts annual system conference focused on higher education access


Students and faculty from across Louisiana discussed how to make higher education accessible for traditional and non-traditional students.

Today UL held the “For our Future” conference at the UL Student Union ballroom. A discussion among experts in areas such as entrepreneurship, work ethic, diversity and inclusion was also held.

UL leaders say today’s discussion will help improve the state’s colleges.

“It’s important to bring educators together because we have a collective purpose and that’s to prepare the talent that gives our employers a competitive advantage, that strengthens our community, and enrichens our state, and to do this on a campus like the University of Louisiana at Lafayette that showcases so much about innovation, its just a great win for all of us,” President of the UL System Jim Henderson said.

The theme for the conference was “Aspiring, Adapting, Achieving.”
00 2019-02-14
Lafayette

UL hosts annual system conference focused on higher education access


Students and faculty from across Louisiana discussed how to make higher education accessible for traditional and non-traditional students.

Today UL held the “For our Future” conference at the UL Student Union ballroom. A discussion among experts in areas such as entrepreneurship, work ethic, diversity and inclusion was also held.

UL leaders say today’s discussion will help improve the state’s colleges.

“It’s important to bring educators together because we have a collective purpose and that’s to prepare the talent that gives our employers a competitive advantage, that strengthens our community, and enrichens our state, and to do this on a campus like the University of Louisiana at Lafayette that showcases so much about innovation, its just a great win for all of us,” President of the UL System Jim Henderson said.

The theme for the conference was “Aspiring, Adapting, Achieving.”
00 2019-02-14
Monroe

"He paved the way" - Grambling Remembers Legend Eddie G. Robinson


GRAMBLING, La. (KNOE) - February 13th is a special day for the town of Grambling. Residents are celebrating the 100th birthday of football legend Eddie G. Robinson.

The town, family, and Grambling State University kicked off their year-long celebration on Tuesday. They held a wreath laying at Robinson's grave, which is in Grambling Memorial Gardens.

Family and friends then gathered at GSU's assembly center for a convocation.

Grambling's mayor described Robinson as "Our very own legend."

Robinson became GSU's coach in 1941. A year later, he was already setting records. In 1942, his team went undefeated without allowing a single point.

Students say he was more than a coach. He was a father to so many that needed one.

"A life that molded and shaped hundreds and inspired millions" is how another described Robinson.

Eddie G. Robinson III says it was not always about the game for his grandfather. He says Coach Robinson made sure his players knew the importance of education.

"It was pretty much a requirement to get your degree to be on his team," Robinson III said.

More than 200 GSU football players have moved into professional ranks under Coach Robinson. He was also inducted into the College Hall of Fame.

GSU President Rick Gallot said, "I don't think there's any dispute that Coach Robinson was a good man and he has left an inheritance not only to his children and his children's children and his children's children's children but so many other children."

The family says they will continue to pour into the foundation Coach Robinson has laid. They also say he always broke racial boundaries.

The mayor says they will celebrate Robinson all year. The next event is Community Day on February 14th. It is from 9:00 A.M. to 4 P.M. at the Eddie G. Robinson Museum.

"The football players are the most important people in the world to me. Without them, there would be no me," Coach Robinson once said.
00 2019-02-14
New Orleans

Louisiana’s veterans will get help transitioning to college via new program


Beginning in August, thousands of Louisiana veterans will have access to mentors at 30 colleges statewide in an effort to help active-duty military service successfully transition to college.

Gov. John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Joey Strickland signed an agreement with higher education leaders at Baton Rouge Community College Wednesday (Feb. 13) to create a new statewide campus veteran center initiative, according to a state news release. The LaVetCorps program will open 30 resource centers on campuses statewide to increase a student veteran’s access to state and federal benefits.

“The men and women who selflessly dedicate their lives to secure the safety and freedoms of our state and nation deserve every opportunity to prepare themselves for the transition to civilian life, and I’m proud of the partnerships that will help them continue to achieve their goals,” Edwards said in a statement. “This initiative will benefit both veterans and communities and thereby our state.”

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“Today, as an enterprise, we are ensuring we serve our veterans better than any other state in the nation.” @LaVetAffairs announced 30 veteran resource centers throughout LA’s colleges and universities. Our nine institutions are ready to better serve our veterans. @LouisianaGov

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More than 8,300 Louisiana veterans and their dependents bring in more than $185 million in federal dollars to Louisiana’s higher education communities each year through G.I. Bill funding, the state Veterans Affairs department stated.

Each LaVetCorps center will be staffed by a state-trained navigator, who would also be an AmeriCorps service member, will serve as a peer mentor to student veterans in transition, according to the state Department of Veterans Affairs. The navigators will also provide training and support to college faculty, staff and administration to increase awareness of student veterans’ needs.


More than 840 state Department of Veterans Affairs employees statewide provide comprehensive care and service to Louisiana’s 284,000 veterans and their families with regard to education, benefits, healthcare, long-term care and burial honors. The state Department of Veterans Affairs is applying for additional AmeriCorps funding to support the expansion of those services to college campuses.

The centers will be located at campuses within the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, University of Louisiana System, LSU System, and Southern University System. The initiative also includes Xavier University of Louisiana.

The Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs will post navigator job opportunities on its website beginning in the spring. The state Department of Veterans Affairs stated it wants to fill these 30 positions with veterans or their dependents by August so they may begin serving at these Louisiana campus communities in the fall.
00 2019-02-14
Shreveport

LED signs technology agreement with Grambling State University


(Grambling, LA) — Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards joined Grambling State University President Rick Gallot and Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson as they signed a $1.2 million Memorandum of Understanding to advance technology careers for Grambling State students.

Through the MOU, Grambling State and LED will establish a Technology Advisory Council that solidifies industry relationships with leading technology employers, including CenturyLink, IBM, GDIT, Microsoft, DXC Technology and CGI. Those relationships will strengthen university degree programs in computer science and computer information systems, while also informing Grambling State’s new cybersecurity program, the state’s first bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity.

Grambling State faculty will participate in externships with major technology employers in Louisiana, and students will benefit from scholarships, internships, apprenticeships and other work-based learning opportunities that align student learning with the needs of those technology employers.

“Grambling State University is not only one of the most important Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Grambling is one of our most successful HBCUs,” Gov. Edwards said. “Under President Gallot’s leadership, Grambling is laser-focused on preparing its students for career success. With a strong commitment to computer science and cybersecurity, with a strategic location on the I-20 Cyber Corridor, and with our state commitment to grow technology careers here, Grambling is poised for greater success as a technology leader in higher education.”

The MOU, which covers four academic years through 2023, comes as Grambling State University develops the first digital library on an HBCU campus. That 50,000-square-foot structure is slated for completion within two years. It will feature over 500 student computer stations and more than 17,000 square feet of dedicated study space. Among other initiatives, the MOU will fund student success specialists who help high school and community college students bridge the transition to challenging degree programs at Grambling State, and then advance to successful technology careers.

“Grambling State University is grateful for the growing support we are receiving,” Gallot said. “These investments will amplify the innovative work of our students and faculty. The support from LED and our corporate partners will help position us to lead in responding to the economic opportunity in our state. Together, we are ensuring that our university’s long legacy of developing innovative workforce leaders will continue for generations to come.”

LED FastStart®, the nation’s No. 1 state workforce training program, will lead the MOU with Grambling State University. FastStart will combine the capabilities of Grambling State and its relationships with regional higher education peers – including Louisiana Tech University, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, Northwestern State University, Southern University at Shreveport, Louisiana Delta Community College and Bossier Parish Community College – to advance student success across multiple software, information technology and STEM disciplines.

During the past decade, the State of Louisiana has funded over $200 million in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, investments linking economic development project wins with higher education campuses. Those STEM investments are producing more than 20,000 new technology jobs in Louisiana.

“In LED FastStart, we have the perfect vehicle to accelerate the cybersecurity and computer science success that Grambling State University already is championing,” Pierson said. “This MOU will harness the strengths of higher education and our leading tech employers on the I-20 Cyber Corridor to forge a next-generation workforce at Grambling State. We can’t wait to get started.”
00 2019-02-13
Baton Rouge

Gov. Edwards announces technology agreement with Grambling State University


BATON ROUGE, La. (Office of the Governor) - On Tuesday, Gov. John Bel Edwards joined Grambling State University President Rick Gallot and Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson as they signed a $1.2 million Memorandum of Understanding to advance technology careers for Grambling State students.

Through the MOU, Grambling State and LED will establish a Technology Advisory Council that solidifies industry relationships with leading technology employers, including CenturyLink, IBM, GDIT, Microsoft, DXC Technology and CGI. Those relationships will strengthen university degree programs in computer science and computer information systems, while also informing Grambling State’s new cybersecurity program, the state’s first bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity.

Grambling State faculty will participate in externships with major technology employers in Louisiana, and students will benefit from scholarships, internships, apprenticeships and other work-based learning opportunities that align student learning with the needs of those technology employers.

“Grambling State University is not only one of the most important Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Grambling is one of our most successful HBCUs,” Gov. Edwards said. “Under President Gallot’s leadership, Grambling is laser-focused on preparing its students for career success. With a strong commitment to computer science and cybersecurity, with a strategic location on the I-20 Cyber Corridor, and with our state commitment to grow technology careers here, Grambling is poised for greater success as a technology leader in higher education.”

The MOU, which covers four academic years through 2023, comes as Grambling State University develops the first digital library on an HBCU campus. That 50,000-square-foot structure is slated for completion within two years. It will feature over 500 student computer stations and more than 17,000 square feet of dedicated study space. Among other initiatives, the MOU will fund student success specialists who help high school and community college students bridge the transition to challenging degree programs at Grambling State, and then advance to successful technology careers.

“Grambling State University is grateful for the growing support we are receiving,” Gallot said. “These investments will amplify the innovative work of our students and faculty. The support from LED and our corporate partners will help position us to lead in responding to the economic opportunity in our state. Together, we are ensuring that our university’s long legacy of developing innovative workforce leaders will continue for generations to come.”

LED FastStart®, the nation’s No. 1 state workforce training program, will lead the MOU with Grambling State University. FastStart will combine the capabilities of Grambling State and its relationships with regional higher education peers – including Louisiana Tech University, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, Northwestern State University, Southern University at Shreveport, Louisiana Delta Community College and Bossier Parish Community College – to advance student success across multiple software, information technology and STEM disciplines.
During the past decade, the State of Louisiana has funded over $200 million in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, investments linking economic development project wins with higher education campuses. Those STEM investments are producing more than 20,000 new technology jobs in Louisiana.

“In LED FastStart, we have the perfect vehicle to accelerate the cybersecurity and computer science success that Grambling State University already is championing,” Pierson said. “This MOU will harness the strengths of higher education and our leading tech employers on the I-20 Cyber Corridor to forge a next-generation workforce at Grambling State. We can’t wait to get started.”
00 2019-02-13
Baton Rouge

Governor joins Grambling president in $1.2 million plan to advance technology careers


BATON ROUGE, La. - Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards joined Grambling State University President Rick Gallot and Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson as they signed a $1.2 million Memorandum of Understanding to advance technology careers for Grambling State students.

Through the MOU, Grambling State and LED will establish a Technology Advisory Council that solidifies industry relationships with leading technology employers, including CenturyLink, IBM, GDIT, Microsoft, DXC Technology and CGI. Those relationships will strengthen university degree programs in computer science and computer information systems, while also informing Grambling State’s new cybersecurity program, the state’s first bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity.

Grambling State faculty will participate in externships with major technology employers in Louisiana, and students will benefit from scholarships, internships, apprenticeships and other work-based learning opportunities that align student learning with the needs of those technology employers.

“Grambling State University is not only one of the most important Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Grambling is one of our most successful HBCUs,” Gov. Edwards said. “Under President Gallot’s leadership, Grambling is laser-focused on preparing its students for career success. With a strong commitment to computer science and cybersecurity, with a strategic location on the I-20 Cyber Corridor, and with our state commitment to grow technology careers here, Grambling is poised for greater success as a technology leader in higher education.”

The MOU, which covers four academic years through 2023, comes as Grambling State University develops the first digital library on an HBCU campus. That 50,000-square-foot structure is slated for completion within two years. It will feature over 500 student computer stations and more than 17,000 square feet of dedicated study space. Among other initiatives, the MOU will fund student success specialists who help high school and community college students bridge the transition to challenging degree programs at Grambling State, and then advance to successful technology careers.

“Grambling State University is grateful for the growing support we are receiving,” Gallot said. “These investments will amplify the innovative work of our students and faculty. The support from LED and our corporate partners will help position us to lead in responding to the economic opportunity in our state. Together, we are ensuring that our university’s long legacy of developing innovative workforce leaders will continue for generations to come.”

LED FastStart®, the nation’s No. 1 state workforce training program, will lead the MOU with Grambling State University. FastStart will combine the capabilities of Grambling State and its relationships with regional higher education peers – including Louisiana Tech University, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, Northwestern State University, Southern University at Shreveport, Louisiana Delta Community College and Bossier Parish Community College – to advance student success across multiple software, information technology and STEM disciplines.

During the past decade, the State of Louisiana has funded over $200 million in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, investments linking economic development project wins with higher education campuses. Those STEM investments are producing more than 20,000 new technology jobs in Louisiana.

“In LED FastStart, we have the perfect vehicle to accelerate the cybersecurity and computer science success that Grambling State University already is championing,” Pierson said. “This MOU will harness the strengths of higher education and our leading tech employers on the I-20 Cyber Corridor to forge a next-generation workforce at Grambling State. We can’t wait to get started.”
00 2019-02-13
Baton Rouge

Louisiana to become second state in U.S. with veteran centers on every college campus


Louisiana will be just the second state in the nation to offer help centers for military veterans on every campus this fall under a plan unveiled Wednesday by Gov. John Bel Edwards and other state leaders.

Each site on the state's 30 campuses, called resource centers, will help veterans navigate campus life, including how to access state and federal benefits due them.

Officials said there is often a wide gap between rank-and-file students and veterans, especially after years in the military culture and combat service.

Joey Strickland, secretary for the state Department of Veterans Affairs, recalled, at the age of 23, enrolling in a Virginia college after serving for two years in Vietnam.

"I didn't know a soul," Strickland said in an interview. "I didn't even know where the registrar's office was."

But a professor at Hampton University, who was also a World War II veteran, recognized his plight, introduced him around and helped turn his college life around.

"That allowed me to settle down and stay in school and start learning to be a student again," said Strickland, who was from Tallulah, Louisiana.

"If it wasn't for that, I would not have made it," he said of the professor's assistance. "These veterans centers are going to take care of that."

Washington state offers similar outreach programs for its student veterans.

About 8,300 Louisiana college students are veterans.

Most ex-service students are high school graduates who never went to college, and are often first-generation college students out of the habit of attending classes and grappling with homework.

LSU President F. King Alexander said about five years ago officials concluded that LSU had about 50 former service members on campus.

Student Veterans of LSU: Group provides 'fraternity' for many first-time college students/veterans
Student Veterans of LSU: Group provides 'fraternity' for many first-time college students/veterans
Bobby Jindal pushes bills aimed to help veterans earn college degrees in Louisiana
After opening a state-of-the-art veterans center two years ago school officials realized they had about 500 ex-soldiers at LSU.

"They are on our campuses," Alexander said. "They just don't have a place to go."

Earlier this year Student Veterans of LSU was named chapter of the year by Student Veterans of America from among 1,500 chapters nationwide.

The program announced Wednesday, called the LaVetCorps, will cost about $520,000 per year.

State officials said federal grants are expected to take care of $320,000 and the Department of Veterans Affairs about $200,000, including in-kind contributions and $2,500 site fees paid by campuses.

Schools taking part include LCTCS, LSU System, Southern University System, University of Louisiana System and Xavier University in New Orleans.

Part of the aim of the resource centers is to make campus life for veterans more vibrant.

Many of the centers will be staffed by men and women who served in the military and their dependents.

"It is important for veterans to seek out other veterans, "said Edwards, an Army veteran himself and graduate of West Point Military Academy.

Higher Education Commissioner Kim Hunter Reed said the centers will let veterans know "we have more than just a welcome mat out there. We have a success map."

Student-hungry colleges and universities also have an incentive to attract and retain the students.

Ex-service members bring in more than $185 million per year in federal dollars to Louisiana through G.I. Bill funding.

Monty Sullivan, president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, said students returning from service are winning new respect amid growing numbers.

Veterans enjoy reserved parking on the campus of Bossier Parish Community College.

Sullivan said about 6,000 students attending community and technical colleges served in the military, with about 1,400 graduating last year.

Those who serve in the centers, called navigators, will be trained by the state Department of Veterans Affairs.

They will also provide training for college faculty and staff to boost awareness of what veterans need and military culture.

"Their biggest challenge is not having been in school for four or five years and trying to adjust, get your head wrapped around studying," Strickland said.

"They are very much more serious than the average student," he added. "I was a 23-year-old in a 44-year-old body."

Said Edwards, "When veterans see these centers I hope they see that we want them on campuses."

Jim Henderson, president of the University of Louisiana System, recalled that, in 1943, legendary Louisiana Tech football coach Joe Aillet said goodbye to 22 underclassmen players headed to war, who then got a letter monthly from the coach during their service.

"When they got back their scholarships were waiting for them," Henderson said.

"That is service to veterans," he said.

"This is a great day for Louisiana. This is a great day for veterans."

Louisiana has about 284,000 veterans.

The gathering included the signing of a memorandum of understanding by Edwards, the leaders of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs and higher education leaders.
00 2019-02-13
Hammond

Southeastern opens new computer lab


Students at Southeastern Louisiana University will soon benefit from a high-tech computer lab thanks to a donation from Envoc, a web and mobile software design, development and application-hosting firm with locations in Baton Rouge and Hammond.

Pending approval from the University of Louisiana System Board, the new space will be named the Envoc Innovation Lab. It is located in the newly constructed Computer Science and Technology Building on Southeastern’s campus.

After years of integrated teaching and mentorship in college classrooms, Envoc is investing in a more permanent way by funding development of the new lab, said Envoc CEO Calvin Fabre. Officially opened Jan. 29, the new lab will provide a work-like environment on campus that is an extension of Envoc’s company culture and mission to create a better reality.

“Many of our Envoceans at our Hammond office are Southeastern graduates, as am I, and we like to stay involved and create learning opportunities for future developers,” said Fabre, a 1990 computer science graduate.

“We personally help develop the computer science curriculum at Southeastern, and some of our Envoceans even facilitate project classes, offering students an opportunity to work side-by-side with thriving professionals on innovative projects. The Innovation Lab enhances that experience on campus.”

John Burris, Southeastern Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Undergraduate Coordinator of Computer Science and Industrial Technology, worked closely with Envoc to organize the lab’s conception and opening.

“Students are highly motivated by the opportunity to experience a real-world work environment, so the vision for the Innovation Lab was to immerse students in the environment of a software agency and encourage professionalism and innovation,” said Burris.

Designed to mirror Envoc’s offices and provide students with a variety of stations to work alone or with a group, the new lab contains a lounge area, two rows of modern workstations, two futuristic privacy chairs, and a section where students can virtually sit in on Envoc’s developer meetings.

Ghassan Alkadi, Professor of Computer Science, said the innovation center is “the result of education and software institutions coming together to invest in young developers.”

“The lab will provide an environment for computer science majors to receive professional mentorship, work on client-based projects, and gain knowledge beyond what can be self-taught or learned in a textbook,” Alkadi said.

For more information, contact the Department of Computer Science at (985) 549-5740.
00 2019-02-13
Lafayette

UL Lafayette hosts keynote on Louisiana’s history of enslavement


The Department of History, Geography, and Philosophy at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette will hosts a keynote & conference entitled, Representing Enslavement: Louisiana’s Past in the Present on Friday, March 15, 2019, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm at the Clifton Chenier Center Auditorium.

Admission is free and open to the public. Speakers include Freddi Williams Evans, Dread Scott, Dr. Ibrahima Seck, Leon Waters, Robin McDowell, Dr. Phebe Hayes, Dr. Jonathan Earle, and Daphne Thomas.

The conference is preceded by a keynote lecture on Thursday, March 14, at 6:00 pm in H.L. Griffin Hall, Rm 147 at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Dr. LaKisha Simmons of the University of Michigan will deliver the keynote lecture, “Black Women’s Memories: Monuments, History, and the Louisiana Sugar Plantations of Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade.’”

Experts from across the state will teach the history of enslavement in Louisiana. Conference organizer Dr. Ian Beamish says the keynote presentation and conference aims to connect historians with the community, in an effort to teach the public history of enslavement in Louisiana.

“Representing Enslavement is an evening keynote and one-day conference designed to bring together experts and practitioners in the public history of enslavement in Louisiana. The conference seeks to foreground the perspective of artists, museum professionals, academic historians, public historians, and organizers in order to make present this history in Lafayette and Acadiana. We hope this event can be a first step to making lasting changes in the way the history of enslavement is represented across Louisiana.”
00 2019-02-13
Lafayette

Upcoming neighborhood events on UL-Lafayette’s campus


UL Lafayette is hosting the following FREE events during the month of February.

Saturday, February 16th 10:30 a.m. Dupre Library “Love Your Gut” with Cultured Guru Learn about gut microbiome health, plant based eating, fermented foods, probiotics and more.
Friday, February 22nd 12:30 p.m. Dupre Library Brown Bag Lunch Series Get a glimpse into Mardi Gras traditions of Gheens, LA -just pack your lunch!
Friday, February 22nd 6:30 a.m. Angelle Hall Project Trio/ UL Symphony Concert Internationally acclaimed “Project Trio” with UL Symphony present FREE concert. “..wide appeal, subversive humor and first rate players..”
Wednesday February 27 7:30pm Angelle Hall Wind Ensemble/Symphonic Winds Concert Free concert entitled “Song and Dance” will feature the UL Winds under the direction of Dr. Missal and the Symphonic Winds conducted by Dr. William Hochkeppel.
For more information on upcoming events hosted by UL-Lafayette, click here.


00 2019-02-13
Lafayette

UL hosts career fair today


UL Lafayette Career Services hosted the Spring 2019 Career Fair today.



The event was held at the Student Union, and offered employers and graduate schools the opportunity to network and to discuss opportunities for internship, co-op and professional employment with candidates of all academic classifications.

The Office of Career Services is now using Handshake, a platform for college recruiting; it replaced the Career Services Online that was in place previously.

We’ll have more later today on KATC TV3.
00 2019-02-13
Monroe

GSU, Louisiana Economic Development sign $1.2M agreement


GRAMBLING — Gov. John Bel Edwards joined Grambling State University President Rick Gallot and Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson on Tuesday to sign a $1.2 million memorandum of understanding to advance technology careers for Grambling State students.

Through the agreement, Grambling State and LED will establish a Technology Advisory Council that solidifies industry relationships with leading technology employers including CenturyLink, IBM, GDIT, Microsoft, DXC Technology and CGI. Those relationships will strengthen university degree programs in computer science and computer information systems, while also informing Grambling State’s new cybersecurity program, the state’s first bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity.

Grambling State faculty will participate in externships with major technology employers in Louisiana, and students will benefit from scholarships, internships, apprenticeships and other work-based learning opportunities that align student learning with the needs of those technology employers.

The tiger statue on the campus of Grambling State University.Buy Photo
The tiger statue on the campus of Grambling State University. (Photo: The News-Star/File photo)

“Grambling State University is not only one of the most important Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Grambling is one of our most successful HBCUs,” Edwards said. “Under President Gallot’s leadership, Grambling is laser-focused on preparing its students for career success. With a strong commitment to computer science and cybersecurity, with a strategic location on the I-20 Cyber Corridor, and with our state commitment to grow technology careers here, Grambling is poised for greater success as a technology leader in higher education.”

Know more: Grambling State unveils new digital library plans

The MOU, which covers four academic years through 2023, comes as Grambling State University develops the first digital library on an HBCU campus. That 50,000-square-foot structure is slated for completion within two years. It will feature over 500 student computer stations and more than 17,000 square feet of dedicated study space. Among other initiatives, the MOU will fund student success specialists who help high school and community college students bridge the transition to challenging degree programs at Grambling State, and then advance to successful technology careers.


“Grambling State University is grateful for the growing support we are receiving,” Gallot said. “These investments will amplify the innovative work of our students and faculty. The support from LED and our corporate partners will help position us to lead in responding to the economic opportunity in our state. Together, we are ensuring that our university’s long legacy of developing innovative workforce leaders will continue for generations to come.”

LED FastStart®, the nation’s No. 1 state workforce training program, will lead the MOU with Grambling State University. FastStart will combine the capabilities of Grambling State and its relationships with regional higher education peers — including Louisiana Tech University, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, Northwestern State University, Southern University at Shreveport, Louisiana Delta Community College and Bossier Parish Community College — to advance student success across multiple software, information technology and STEM disciplines.

During the past decade, the State of Louisiana has funded more than $200 million in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, investments linking economic development project wins with higher education campuses. Those STEM investments are producing more than 20,000 new technology jobs in Louisiana.

“In LED FastStart, we have the perfect vehicle to accelerate the cybersecurity and computer science success that Grambling State University already is championing,” Pierson said. “This MOU will harness the strengths of higher education and our leading tech employers on the I-20 Cyber Corridor to forge a next-generation workforce at Grambling State. We can’t wait to get started.”
00 2019-02-13
Natchitoches

3rd annual Flavor of Louisiana will return March 22


NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University will host the third annual Flavor of Louisiana, one of the university’s most popular spring events, from 6-11 p.m. Friday, March 22 in Prather Coliseum. Flavor of Louisiana is presented in partnership with the Louisiana Seafood Board and will feature chefs, restaurateurs and caterers from throughout the state offering samples of specially prepared seafood dishes and other items.



Last year, nearly 600 guests mixed and mingled among 45 different tasting stations sampling delectable seafood dishes, craft beer, specialty cocktails and desserts. The event raised nearly $50,000 to support student scholarships and academic programs. Individual academic departments raised additional funds for their programs through raffles, games and silent auctions that included weekend getaways, prize baskets, vacation packages and more.



“Flavor of Louisiana is an event that we look forward to because of the positive response we’ve received in the past,” said Director of Development Jill Bankston, CFRE. “Besides all the delicious food samplings, our guests enjoy live music, dancing and visiting with friends. We will also offer a few meat selections that will appeal to non-seafood eaters, so there will be something for everyone.”



Because proceeds from Flavor of Louisiana impact the availability of scholarships, dozens of students will be directly involved with organizing and hosting the event.



“Students volunteer with logistics, preparation, ticket sales, set-up, host and hostess duties, registration and post-party cleanup,” Bankston said. “This is a good hands-on experience with a community event and it shows they appreciate our NSU supporters.”



Tickets to the seafood extravaganza are $65 per person or $125 per couple. Sponsorships are available at the $5,000 (Louisiana), $2,500 (Bayou), $1,000 (Magnolia and Pelican – separate benefits) levels and include reserved seating and other perks. The $5,000 Louisiana Sponsor level is a double sponsorship with the Natchitoches Dragon Boat Races, a day-long event set for Saturday, April 13 in downtown Natchitoches. Proceeds from the Dragon Boat Races will benefit First Year Experience, programming that encourages freshmen students to be active participants in events and organizations on campus.



Flavor of Louisiana will cap off a series of special events at NSU. Earlier in the day on March 22, NSU will honor six outstanding individuals with induction into the university’s alumni hall of distinction, the Long Purple Line. That event will include a luncheon and induction program beginning at 11 a.m. in the ballroom of the Sylvan Friedman Student Union. Tickets for the Long Purple Line luncheon and program are $20.



Information on tickets and sponsorship for Flavor of Louisiana, Long Purple Line induction, Dragon Boat races and other upcoming events is available at northwesternalumni.com or by calling (318) 357-4414.


00 2019-02-12
Baton Rouge

Southern University athletics runs $1.2 million deficit; UL-Lafayette turns small profit


The Southern University athletics program finished the year with a $1.2 million deficit, state Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera said in a report released Monday morning.

Athletic department revenue totaled $13.4 million compared to expenses of $14.7 million.

Football accounted for $3.6 million of the money from team sports and the nationally-televised Bayou Classic in New Orleans another $536,347.

Men's basketball generated $307,865; women's basketball $76,265 and other sports $135,513, the report said.

Coaching salaries, benefits and bonuses totaled $2.4 million, including $892,906 for football.

The latest deficit means the department has been $2.7 million in the red for the past four years, including $164,230, $823,483 and $514,807 the three previous years.

In separate reviews, Southeastern Louisiana University finished $201,132 in the red while athletic programs at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette turned a profit of about $82,000.

SLU ended the year with revenue of $13.9 million and expenses of $14.1 million, according to the state review.

Football accounted for $3.7 million, men's basketball $1 million and women's basketball $784,552.

Coaching salaries were $2.6 million, with $937,368 of that amount for football coaches.

ULL showed operating revenue of $32.5 million and $32.4 million in expenses.

Football was responsible for $7.3 million of dollars collected, men's basketball $1.5 million and women's basketball $216,906.

Under expenses, coaching salaries totaled $6.9 million, including $3.4 million for football.

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Grambling State University ended the year with a deficit of $443,409, Purpera said.

Purpera's report said operating revenue totaled $9.3 million versus expenses of $9.7 million.

Football brought in $2.9 million of the total.

All the reviews covered a 12-month period that ended June 30, 2018.

LSU athletics brought in $145 million in 2017-18; See details of annual budget
LSU athletics brought in $145 million in 2017-18; See details of annual budget
Earlier reports, and one by Purpera released Monday, showed LSU finished the year with a $2.7 million profit in its athletic department, including a $55 million profit for football.
00 2019-02-12
Lafayette

UL audit finds uncorrected access to payroll, student accounts


For the second year, a state audit cited the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for allowing employees to have inappropriate access to an accounting system used for payroll and student accounts.

Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera released the audit Monday for the 2017-18 fiscal year, which ended June 30.

Purpera, in the audit, found UL did not correct as of June 2018 a problem revealed in its 2016-17 audit in which employees had inappropriate access to the Banner accounting system.

UL President E. Joseph Savoie, in a Jan. 15 letter to Purpera, described how the problem reoccurred and a corrective action plan.

In November 2017, he wrote, the university’s human resources department began creating separate security groups and separated duties as appropriate, Savoie wrote. In early 2018, upon implementation of the new groups, previous ones were to be deactivated.

The legislative auditor, however, found one previous security group overruled controls in the new payroll security group, allowing everyone in the old group access to all human resources and payroll functions, he wrote.

That old security group was scheduled to be deactivated by Jan. 18, Savoie said.

One problem discovered through the audit was that 45 employees had the ability to create a student account and modify student information such as Social Security numbers, phone numbers and addresses without a need to have access. Savoie wrote that the university was removing everyone's access to that information if their job does not require access and all requests to change general student information requires approval by the university's registrar.

The university, he wrote, also removed from four cashier supervisors the ability to perform all student cashier functions, such as posting charges and payments to a student's account.
00 2019-02-12
Lafayette

UL Lafayette Graduate School To Host “Geaux to Grad School”


On Wednesday, Feb. 13th the UL Lafayette Graduate School will host an Information Session, “Geaux to Grad School.”

At 6:30 pm at the UL Lafayette Alumni Center Board Room, attendees will learn about opportunities for graduate studies at UL and why and when grad school is a good investment, how to apply, speak to faculty and staff, have questions answered, and enjoy some light refreshments.

This is a great opportunity for those who work to come after business hours and learn about how they can make grad school work for them. We invite you to join us!
00 2019-02-12
Lake Charles

Debt and managing your business


What role does debt play in your business?

Some entrepreneurs hate business debt. They want to pay as they go, never owing anyone. Others want to borrow every penny, never using their own cash.

Which is better? Bankers will tell you that the best route is somewhere in the middle.

Borrowing money can be a good choice if you can make a good profit and manage your cash flow. Suppose a company gets a contract for a big project. The owner can either buy the materials up front for cash, or it can use the line of credit (LOC) it has arranged with the bank, preserving cash for payroll and other regular expenses. When the customer pays the bill for the completed project, the business can pay down the LOC and keep on rolling. Yes, the bank will collect a little interest, but the peace of mind of easily meeting payroll is worth every penny.

Paying for everything in cash means that a business has less in reserve. When a customer delays paying on an invoice, there’s no money to cover the day-today expenses. This jeopardizes the future of the company.

When is a good time to get a line of credit? The usual answer is, “Get a line of credit before you need it,” which is easier said than done. So the real answer is, “Get a line of credit as soon as the bank will give it to you.” Having an LOC is a security blanket. It gives peace of mind because it offers protection from unexpected situations. A seasonal business also benefits from a line of credit. Buying inventory before the selling season is an excellent use of an LOC.

Using debt to manage cash flow has another benefit. A banker cares about “free cash flow.” That’s the money left at the end of each month after you meet all of the financial obligations for the business. It can be difficult to balance debt vs. cash flow but it’s an essential part of running a business successfully.

Let the consultants at the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University help you with the difficulties of running your small business. For 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, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.



Donna Little is the director of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Mc-Neese State University. Contact her at 475-5945 or dlittle@lsbdc.org.
00 2019-02-12
Lake Charles

Teacher pay raise might be answer for certification


Louisiana continues to struggle with making sure schools have certified teachers. Some aren’t certified at all. Others are, yet they are teaching a subject for which they aren’t certified.

It’s a problem that ends up hurting students. However, there are differing accounts as to how many public school students are in classrooms with teachers who are uncertified or are teaching a particular subject outside their certification.

Gov. John Bel Edwards is pushing to boost teacher pay by $1,000. He told The Advocate editorial board last month that more than 250,000 students throughout Louisiana, or 35 percent, are in classrooms with those issues.

But the governor’s numbers don’t take into account every student being taught by an uncertified teacher or a certified teacher who isn’t teaching in his or her field of expertise.

The exact number of students in those types of classrooms can be questioned, but the state should still push to get teachers more money.

Edwards’ plan to increase teacher pay, along with a $500 raise for support workers, has garnered support. State lawmakers will consider it when they meet for the spring session in April.

Proponents argue that offering teachers more money will lead to fewer uncertified teachers statewide. Right now, Louisiana teachers are being paid roughly $50,000 annually on average, about $2,200 less than the Southern Regional Education Board’s regional average.

Since the 2010-2011 school year, Louisiana has seen an 18 percent drop in students who complete teacher preparation programs.

The state is already trying to get quality teachers in classrooms through new requirements for college students, along with the ad campaign, “Be A Teacher LA.”

Getting more certified teachers in classrooms won’t be a cure-all for Louisiana’s education system. But it will definitely help. Offering more money could give aspiring teachers the incentive to become certified.
00 2019-02-12
Natchitoches

Study shows NSU has significant economic impact on service region


NATCHITOCHES, La. (NSU) - Northwestern State University’s economic impact on the Northwest and Central Louisiana region last year was $428.2 million, based on a study by a multi-nation research company that has conducted 1,800 economic development surveys for universities.

NSU president Dr. Chris Maggio said the study by Economic Modeling Specialists International focused on Northwestern’s economic contributions to its service region of Bossier, Caddo, DeSoto, Grant, Natchitoches, Rapides, Red River, Sabine, Vernon and Winn Parishes.

Maggio said the university’s impact on the area’s economy represents 1.4 percent of the entire gross regional product, or GRP, of the 10-parish region.

He said the study is “especially significant because it underscores Northwestern’s substantial return on investments to students, taxpayers and society as a whole in Louisiana.”

The new study was part of a statewide economic impact analysis conducted for the University of Louisiana System which concluded that NSU and the other eight schools in the system contributed $10.9 billion to the state’s economy in 2017-18. That was 4.5 percent of the gross state product.

Northwestern’s direct financial impact on the region included $89.4 million in spending for payroll and operations, $8.4 million in student spending, $8.9 million in visitor spending, $314.3 million in alumni impact and more than $7 million in expenditures for research, construction and spinoff companies.

Including the 961 full-time and part-time faculty and staff positions at Northwestern, the university supported a total of 6,946 jobs as a result of its wide-ranging effect on the economy. That is one of every 55 jobs in the region.

“The ongoing daily impact of Northwestern’s economic contributions to the economic stability in this region is extraordinary," Maggio said. "The creation and support of jobs and businesses, enhancement of the workforce and quality of life in the area, the attraction of thousands of visitors, and spending by students, university personnel and alumni are at the heart of our regional economy.”

The NSU president added, “The long-term impact of the university on the state and regional economy and Northwestern’s return on investments by students and taxpayers are also meaningful and impressive.”

One conclusion of the study, Maggio said, was that students receive $3.70 in future earnings for every dollar they spend for tuition, fees and other expenses to attend NSU. That is an average annual rate of return of 14.5 percent.

According to the report, the average bachelor’s degree graduate of Northwestern last year will receive $20,500 more in increased annual earnings over a lifetime than those without college degrees.

Maggio said the study also shows that tax dollars invested in Northwestern are returned to the state at a rate of $3.80 for every dollar allocated to the university, which is an average annual rate of return of 12.3 percent.

The study determined that the overall social benefits of NSU to Louisiana are valued at $2.8 billion based on increased lifetime earnings of its graduates, expanded business production and savings related to health care, crime and income assistance primarily as a result of degrees received at the university.

“This economic impact report makes it clear,” Maggio said, “that Northwestern is a major asset to the region and state economically and that state allocations to NSU and tuition and fees paid by students provide multiple, lasting benefits to Louisiana and to students attending the university.”

To see information on the report, visit the Related Documents section of the page.
00 2019-02-12
Natchitoches

NSU has $428 million impact on region


NATCHITOCHES—Northwestern State University’s economic impact on the Northwest and Central Louisiana region last year was $428.2 million based on a study by a multi-nation research company that has conducted 1,800 economic development surveys for universities.

NSU president Dr. Chris Maggio said the study by Economic Modeling Specialists International focused on Northwestern’s economic contributions to its service region of Bossier, Caddo, DeSoto, Grant, Natchitoches, Rapides, Red River, Sabine, Vernon and Winn Parishes.

Maggio said the university’s impact on the area’s economy represents 1.4 percent of the entire gross regional product, or GRP, of the 10-parish region.

He said the study is “especially significant because it underscores Northwestern’s substantial return on investments to students, taxpayers and society as a whole in Louisiana.”

The new study was part of a statewide economic impact analysis conducted for the University of Louisiana System which concluded that NSU and the other eight schools in the system contributed $10.9 billion to the state’s economy in 2017-18. That was 4.5 percent of the gross state product.

Northwestern’s direct financial impact on the region included $89.4 million in spending for payroll and operations, $8.4 million in student spending, $8.9 million in visitor spending, $314.3 million in alumni impact and more than $7 million in expenditures for research, construction and spinoff companies.

Including the 961 full-time and part-time faculty and staff positions at Northwestern, the university supported a total of 6,946 jobs as a result of its wide-ranging effect on the economy. That is one of every 55 jobs in the region.

Maggio said, “The ongoing daily impact of Northwestern’s economic contributions to the economic stability in this region is extraordinary. The creation and support of jobs and businesses, enhancement of the workforce and quality of life in the area, the attraction of thousands of visitors, and spending by students, university personnel and alumni are at the heart of our regional economy.”

The NSU president added, “The long-term impact of the university on the state and regional economy and Northwestern’s return on investments by students and taxpayers are also meaningful and impressive.”

One conclusion of the study, Maggio said, was that students receive $3.70 in future earnings for every dollar they spend for tuition, fees and other expenses to attend NSU. That is an average annual rate of return of 14.5 percent.

According to the report, the average bachelor’s degree graduate of Northwestern last year will receive $20,500 more in increased annual earnings over a lifetime than those without college degrees.

Maggio said the study also shows that tax dollars invested in Northwestern are returned to the state at a rate of $3.80 for every dollar allocated to the university, which is an average annual rate of return of 12.3 percent.

The study determined that the overall social benefits of NSU to Louisiana are valued at $2.8 billion based on increased lifetime earnings of its graduates, expanded business production and savings related to health care, crime and income assistance primarily as a result of degrees received at the university.

“This economic impact report makes it clear,” Maggio said, “that Northwestern is a major asset to the region and state economically and that state allocations to NSU and tuition and fees paid by students provide multiple, lasting benefits to Louisiana and to students attending the university.”
00 2019-02-12
Regional/National

Leadership Shares Good News in Nation’s Capital


WASHINGTON D.C. – Leadership from the SWLA Economic Development Alliance/Chamber SWLA visited the nation’s capital in order to update federally elected officials and government agency leaders about the continuing economic prosperity occurring within the state’s southwest region.

The local delegation included: Alliance/ Chamber SWLA President/CEO George Swift, IBERIABANK Market President and 2019 Chamber SWLA Chair Phil Earhart, McNeese State University President and I-10 Task Force member Dr. Daryl Burckel, and Alliance/Chamber SWLA Vice President of Policy and Strategic Development Eric Cormier.

During the visit, the local delegation visited the offices of each member of the Louisiana Congressional Delegation, obtained updates on federal business policy at the United States Chamber of Commerce, heard insights from former members of the state’s Congressional delegation during a breakfast hosted by the Committee of 100, and hosted the week’s main lunch event in which United States Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin was the keynote speaker.

“It is a pleasure to represent the interest of the region and Chamber SWLA family membership during the annual trip to the nation’s capital,” said Swift. “Our multibillion dollar expansion is known to top leaders in Congress and cabinet members. Our infrastructure issues are a top priority also.”

Earhart noted that the insights provided to the delegation by Washington belt-way insiders will be beneficial to the Chamber SWLA staff and board in creating policy initiatives that champion business causes within the region.

“Our efforts are targeted and efficient. Knowing that the Chamber SWLA’s presence in Washington D.C. is appreciated and respected is reassuring. Everyone we talked to understands the importance of our region and business community to the interests of the nation in regards to manufacturing, energy and petro-chemical production.”

The Alliance/Chamber offers thanks to all of the members and staffs Louisiana’s Congressional delegation who spent time with its leadership.
00 2019-02-12
Ruston

COACH ROB TO ALSO BE HONORED IN ATLANTA


In addition to events in Grambling on Wednesday and Thursday, the late coach Eddie G. Robinson will also be honored on Feb. 18 in Atlanta. The College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta will honor Coach Robinson during a reception and speaker panel in conjunction with its Black History Month activities and the Eddie Robinson 100th Birthday Commemoration. The event will take place at the Hall from 5 - 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18.
00 2019-02-12
Shreveport

BPCC, LA Tech earn Military Friendly School designation


Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) and Louisiana Tech University have both earned the 2019-2020 Military Friendly® School designation.

It is the 8th consecutive year for BPCC and they are the only 2-year or 4-year college in Louisiana to earn the gold distinction.

“We are proud to serve our active duty and veteran students as well as their families and we’re extremely honored to be named a Military Friendly® college for the eighth year in a row,” said BPCC Chancellor Dr. Rick Bateman, Jr. “Being named with a GOLD distinction shows our commitment to our nation’s heroes is serious and on-going.”

First published in 2009 by Viqtory, publisher of G.I. Jobs®, STEM JobsSM, and Military Spouse, Military Friendly® Schools is the most comprehensive, powerful resource for veterans today. Each year, the list of Military Friendly® Schools is provided to service members and their families, helping them select the best college, university, or trade school to receive the education and training needed to pursue a civilian career. This prestigious list provides a comprehensive guide for veterans and their families using data sources from federal agencies and proprietary survey information from participating organizations.

Institutions earning the Military Friendly ® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey completed by the school. This year 766 schools earned this prestigious designation.

Louisiana Tech earned the designation for the sixth consecutive year.

“Our University is enriched by the experiences of veterans, active-duty members of the military, and their families,” Tech President Dr. Les Guice said. “No matter where they are enrolled in classes, we are dedicated to providing an unparalleled educational experience.”

Late last year, Louisiana Tech partnered with the Bossier Parish Community College to open a Veterans Resource Center in the Academic Success Center in Bossier City. The facility provides resources for veterans and their families, and the collaboration increases veterans’ ability to earn two- and four-year degrees – as well as graduate degrees – close to home.

“This space is designed to help our veteran students connect with resources designed to ensure their success in school and while they transition into civilian life,” Guice said. “Not only are we committed to supporting our veterans during their enlistment, we want to make sure they are prepared to continue to make a positive impact on their communities when they graduate.”

Institutions earning the Military Friendly®​ ​School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey completed by the school. This year 766 schools earned this prestigious designation.

The Military Friendly rankings list is created each year based on extensive research using public data sources for more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans, and responses to the proprietary, data-driven survey from participating institutions. The survey questions, methodology, criteria and weighting were developed with the assistance of an independent research firm and an advisory council of educators and employers.

The 2019-20 Military Friendly Schools list will be published in the May issue of G.I. Jobs magazine and can be found online.
00 2019-02-12
Shreveport

Grant supports NSU research in nanomaterials


NATCHITOCHES – A Northwestern State University scientist who was selected for an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Grant utilized those funds to purchase a fluorescence spectroscopy instrument to support his research projects.

Dr. Daniel Rivera-Vazquez, assistant professor in the School of Biological and Physical Sciences, directs a student research group that focuses on biosensors and water remediation, which both involve the creation and/or modification of nanomaterials.

Rivera-Vazquez is a material scientist with experience in the synthesis of nanoscale materials and characterizations using microscopy and spectroscopic techniques.

The spectroscopy instrument is being used to provide information regarding the identity and amount of samples based on its fluorescent properties. In materials science, it is used to provide an estimate of nanoparticle size and electronic properties, Rivera-Vazquez said.

“This instrument has a wide variety of applications,” he explained. “We will be using it to determine the presence of organic pollutants in water. Also, we will be using it to get an estimate of nanoparticle size. Other faculty will be using it for purposes that relate more closely to their respective research projects.

“In the case of biosensors, we are researching nanomaterials that can be tailored to detect specific biomarkers,” Rivera-Vazquez explained. “A biomarker is a molecule that appears at the onset of an event of biological importance, such as a stroke or cardiac injury. We are researching materials that are low-cost and at the same time highly effective. This is an important factor for us since we envision generating materials that will, in the long run, be scaled up to serve society.”

In other words, the research could eventually play a role in warning individuals they are at risk for stroke and/or heart attack. In some cases, biomarkers appear before the actual events, he said.

“At risk patients might benefit from at-home monitoring — similar to diabetic patients testing for glucose levels — of a biomarker of interest for their specific condition. We are envisioning something similar to the test strips used for monitoring glucose levels, applied to other processes in the body,” he said.

In the water remediation project, he is working to modify activated charcoal capable of removing a wide array of organic and inorganic materials from water. Activated charcoal modified with silver and copper nanoparticles acquires antimicrobial properties, Rivera-Vazquez said. He is researching questions regarding the modification of activated charcoal with a cost-effective material with high capabilities for water remediation.

“Water remediation is a term that can refer to the removal of undesired materials — waste, heavy metals, among other things — from sources of water,” he said. “The implications of this project are the development of cost-effective filters that can be used for the removal of microorganisms, as well as other pollutants from water sources. We are currently faced with an issue of providing clean water in many communities around the world, and hopefully the development of more efficient filters will contribute to addressing this issue.

“I am passionate about teaching in the classroom as well as the laboratory. I am currently working in the classroom teaching a wide range of courses in chemistry,” he said. Those courses range from first year chemistry to advanced undergraduate courses in physical chemistry and organic chemistry.


“My research interests focus on the synthesis of nanoscale materials for energy and biomedical applications. I worked on the synthesis of CaS nanostructures and studied its optical and electronic properties. This project led to the design of a low cost, fast, microwave assisted reaction which was patented in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. We also tested this material to study its effects on the replication rate of cancer cells. The results of this project have been submitted for publication in a peer reviewed journal,” Rivera Vazquez said.

The Social Science Research Council, with the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, awards Sloan Scholars Mentoring grants to Ph.D. alumni of the Sloan Minority Ph.D. Program. Grants are awarded in three categories that are designed to assist Sloan Scholar Ph.D.s in promoting their work through conference travel, seeking collaborative and learning opportunities to expand their skills as mentors and/or mentees and initiating projects that expand their research – all with the potential of helping those Ph.D.s become more established in their fields.

Since 1995, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has provided support for underrepresented minorities through its Minority Ph.D. and Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership programs, which aim to increase the diversity of higher education in STEM fields. In partnership with the Sloan Foundation, the Social Science Research Council developing the Sloan Scholars Mentoring Network serves the Sloan Scholar community through a strategic mix of professional development, mentoring and leadership training opportunities.
00 2019-02-11
Baton Rouge

Migrating bat swarms causing headaches for some Louisiana schools; get detailed look at removal


Swarms of bats have taken up unwelcome residence at Zachary High, the University of Louisiana at Monroe and Vermilion Parish’s Gueydan High in recent weeks.

The animals are currently migrating north from Mexico to reach their breeding grounds by spring, said Kevin Koski, owner of United Bat Control.

State public health veterinarian Gary Balsamo said Louisiana doesn’t have a lot of caves, so bats that don’t like trees take up in large buildings with high ceilings – a school gym or cafeteria, an apartment complex, a church or even a hospital.

No vampires here, but Louisiana could hold key in bat survival — a vitally important task
No vampires here, but Louisiana could hold key in bat survival — a vitally important task
Bat infestations are “a very common problem,” he said.

Koski said school infestations tend to grab the most attention because of disruptions to classes, concerns from parents and worries that a youth could be injured.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologist Keri Lejeune said the state doesn’t have enough staff to respond to infestations so contracts the work out to private companies like United Bat Control.

To catch the creatures, wildlife removal specialists close all the doors and windows where a colony is hiding. Then the dusk-time stakeout begins, Balsamo said.

Crews wait for the bats to wake up for their nocturnal foraging and look to see where the small mammals may have found a hole or fissure to wriggle in and out of the building. While the bats are out, the team tries to seal all those entryways so they can’t get back in, the veterinarian said.

Then health officials help make sure a building is safe. Bats themselves can transmit rabies, and their guano contains a fungus that can lead to a respiratory infection known as histoplasmosis, Balsamo said. The fungus occurs naturally in some soil and animal droppings, but large quantities of guano could give a person a cough and fever,. In rare cases, he said, it can be fatal for patients with weakened immune system.

UL-Monroe Public Relations Director Hope Young said the school is still cleaning the ventilation systems in Sugar Hall a week after the arrival of the bats.

Classes in parts of the science building have been moved temporarily. No one was hurt during the event, and the campus is taking it in stride. There’s even been a tongue-in-cheek push to change the mascot from the Warhawk to the Warbat, Young said.

The university played host to an indeterminate number of Brazilian free-tailed bats, also known as Mexican free-tailed bats. It’s the usual suspect when Koski’s company gets called in to clear an infestation.

Though his business didn’t respond to any of the most recent incidents, Mexican free-tailed bats tend to travel in colonies ranging from a couple hundred to a couple thousand, Koski said.

Vermilion Parish school officials told KATC-TV they estimated they had about 600 bats and shared photos of dozens of the animals huddling in tight masses in corners of the ceilings at Gueydan High. The school closed for two days while the bats were ushered out.

Zachary school officials did not respond to requests for comment but posted on social media in late January that they were able to keep holding classes in some areas while others were closed for cleaning because they had separate HVAC systems.

Professionals must remove or chemically treat air ducts so the fungus from the guano doesn’t spread, Balsamo said. Companies use various sterilizers and deodorizers, Koski added.

A typical school treatment might cost $10,000 to $25,000, depending on multiple factors, Koski said.

He heard of an unusual Utah case where a school system paid about $350,000, though they had been plagued by problems, including recent infestations of 1,000, and 5,000 bats at a pair of high schools, according to the Deseret News.
00 2019-02-11
Lafayette

UL's Glasco 'selfless' response after loss of daughter an inspiration


How does a parent cope with the loss of a child?

There are myriad answers to the question — and at the same no answers — individual to the person enduring the pain of their loss. No one way is right or wrong.

Maybe the question that should be asked is how can a parent allow his grief to guide others to more comfort and strength in their darkest times?

Head Coach Gerry Glasco as the Louisiana Ragin' CajunsBuy Photo
Head Coach Gerry Glasco as the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns softball take on Oregon. Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. (Photo: SCOTT CLAUSE/THE ADVERTISER)

Louisiana softball coach Gerry Glasco isn’t entirely sure how he, Vickie, his wife of nearly 40 years, or his daughters Tara and Erin have made it through the past two weeks. The parents lost their youngest daughter, Geri Ann Glasco, a volunteer assistant coach at UL with her dad, Jan. 24 in a multi-vehicle accident along Interstate 10.

There’s no handbook on how to deal with burying your child. But the Glascos found something the day after their daughter’s funeral in Illinois that has served as the next best thing.

They found her Bible
How strong in her faith that Geri Ann was, Glasco said, has been one of the strongest coping mechanisms for he and his wife.

MORE | Season opener provides escape, some healing for UL softball

“She helped us a lot with her faith. It helps us knowing how strong she was in her faith,” he said. “If you’re going to lose a child, I’m telling you that makes a difference.”

The day after they laid their daughter to rest, Gerry and Vickie found her Bible — hot pink with gold stripe — that they gifted her back in 2007 at the age of 12 and that she carried to church with her and her parents the Sunday before her accident. The cover and pages were worn from use, as Geri Ann would constantly study it, tabbing particular passages and highlighting specific verses.

Of all the markings in the Bible, the Glascos found notes from her last Bible study, and the message they read couldn’t have been more perfect to ease the pain of going on without their daughter.

Head coach Gerry Glasco talks to his team after havingBuy Photo
Head coach Gerry Glasco talks to his team after having a shaky first inning in the championship game of the 2018 Sun Belt Conference softball tournament at Lamson Park on Saturday May 12, 2018. (Photo: Buddy Delahoussaye/Special to the Advertiser)

“That Bible is what she wrote stuff down and she sent messages to us. She even left her last Bible study. If she could’ve written a hand-written message to me and my wife, it would’ve been what she wrote,” Glasco said.

“It was just an entry that she made and she didn’t know it was going to be the last thing she wrote to us. We came home from the funeral and there it was. All those things she left us and left us in a good place if we have to lose our daughter.

“It was about being selfless. When you want to be what God wants you to be, sometimes you can’t be what you want to be. And you have to give up something you want for what God wants. It was really good and it was really personal.”

'It's not human strength through those days'
Through the tragedy, the Louisiana softball head coach has continued to go to work. Because he’s felt like it’s his responsibility and that he owes his players, a strong softball and Lafayette community that has been there for his family.

“Because it’s my job and I just love these girls,” said Glasco after UL’s season-opening victory against Fordham at Lamson Park on Thursday night. “They’re really special kids.

“And I owe it to the community. Our community has backed my family 100 percent and I owe everything I can give them back. And that’s my job, that’s what I can do, I can coach. We got to get through it and we’re just going to keep fighting and do the best we can do.”

MORE | UL softball to honor Geri Ann Glasco with helmet stickers

Thinking of someone else before himself. That’s the light Glasco has shined through the devastation of losing his daughter, “G.” Geri Ann inherited that characteristic from her dad and mother, evident by the countless and overwhelming outpouring of supportive messages on all of families’ social media.

Cathy Semeria doesn’t personally know the Glascos. But when she heard of Geri Ann’s tragic passing, she felt compelled to reach, as she lost her daughter Christina “Tini” Semeria on April 27, 2016, in a car accident.

“For somebody that’s watching from the outside and knows what’s it like on the inside, the only way to find strength is through faith and community,” said Semeria, who has formed a group of moms who have lost children in her hometown of Canton, Georgia.

“If you don’t have that, I don’t know how you get through it. That’s my experience I can share. In the beginning days, you’re walking through a lot of shock. Then you look back and think, 'How did I have strength to do that?' It’s not human strength through those days.”

Friends, family and fans leave ballons outside of Lamson Park as a memorial to Geri Ann Glasco. Friday, Jan. 25, 2019.
Friends, family and fans leave ballons outside of Lamson Park as a memorial to Geri Ann Glasco. Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. (Photo: SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network)

The first friend Kaitlyn Schutt made when her family moved to Johnston City, Illinois, several years ago was Geri Ann. Soon after, Gerry became her softball coach and the families became connected.

One thing Kaitlyn’s mother Mikilyn noticed right away about the Glascos was their positivity.

“They’re courageous and have been a strong family all the time,” Mikilyn Schutt said. “They raised Geri Ann to be that way. They never meet a stranger and they always see the good in everything. They make the most out of any situation. In time like this, of course they’re mourning and heartbroken, but they turn around to raise money for other young ladies to help get a softball world like Geri Ann. They’re always positive, regardless of the situation.

MORE | Glasco family teaches us lessons far beyond softball

“At the funeral, that’s what Gerry was saying, that they were thankful for every day they were given with Geri Ann. I would have been like, ‘I was robbed, my daughter was only 24. He turned it around. That’s the type of positive people they are, and that’s who Geri Ann was. She made such a positive impact on such many people’s lives than they could ever imagine.”

The day after the accident, Glasco took the time to go on social media and thank those who had reached out to offer the condolences and support.

Louisiana Tech softball coach Mark Montgomery has no idea how his fellow coach did it.

“As a father of three daughters, I can’t fathom what he’s going through. You talk about what’s your greatest fear in life, that’s probably it,” Montgomery said. “No one knows the toll being paid behind closed doors when it’s just Gerry and his wife, Vickie. We don’t see that and I can’t fathom it.

“For him and his wife to publicly address every single sympathizer, I don’t think I’d be able to do that. I think how he’s been able to handle it, I think many would fail. This has brought down the greatest of men. He’s one in a 1,000. The whole softball program, they’re all dealing with losing Geri Ann. It just goes to show his resolve and strength of character.”

'It hurts. And it will for a while'
Through Semeria’s tragedy, what she discovered was most important was to help guide future parents through the difficulty of losing their children. And that’s why she reached out to the Glascos.

“My belief is we’re made to serve, be that spark in the dark and help other people. In that journey of brokenness, in your pain is your greatest ministry, and for other parents that lost a child,” Semeria said. “You can embrace that. It’s hard, but the joy and sorrow will never be separated again. In those moments of reaching out to other people, it gives you more strength to deal with it.”

MORE | Glasco tragedy makes UL softball team tighter

It’s been inspiring for the Ragin’ Cajun softball team to witness, first-hand, how gracious and strong their head coach has been through something so heartbreaking.

“Amazing. He is so tough,” UL sophomore centerfielder Raina O’Neal said Thursday. “He tells us that we’re tough all the time. But we’re looking at him, he’s just taking everything so well. It’s amazing to have a coach like that to follow.”


Louisiana sophomore centerfielder Raina O'Neal reflects on how starting the season can help team heal from Geri Ann Glasco tragedy. Cory Diaz, bdiaz@thenewsstar.com

It’s painful. It hurts. Pulling up to Lamson Park feels different now.

But for now, Glasco’s got daughters, his wife, players, assistant coaches, among others that need him. He’s got a responsibility to help guide them through their struggles. For Gerry, Vickie, Erin and Tara, that’s how they’re answering the "How are you coping?" question.

“That’s my baby. She was my youngest girl. She was a good ballplayer. We connected here at the ballpark. It’s been tough, really tough,” Glasco said. “I don’t know, 1 to 10 what it is, but I know it hurts. When I wake up in the morning, it hurts. And it will for a while.

“But I’ve got to bow my neck and be strong and remember I’ve got responsibilities to these kids. I’ve got two other daughters at home, I’ve got a lovely wife that’s had my back for 39 of the last 60 years. I owe it to my wife and kids, I’m going to keep going and fight through it the best I can.”


UL softball volunteer assistant coach Geri Ann Glasco, youngest daughter of head coach Gerry Glasco and his wife Vickie, died Jan. 24. Tim Buckley, tbuckley2@theadvertiser.com
00 2019-02-11
Lafayette

UL petroleum engineering students graduate with accreditation offered nowhere else


The Department of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette has long been recognized as one of the premiere programs in the nation for those looking to break into the oil and gas industry.

Now, the school and students are seeing the benefits of a unique accreditation that many hope will catapult the university into a global leader in the field.

“When I first came here, they asked me to get this thing going. I said, ‘Sure. I’m a petroleum engineer,” said university instructor Randy Andres.

It’s only been three years since UL’s petroleum engineering department hired Andres as an instructor, but his love affair with oil goes back a long way.

“Roughnecking in high school,” Andres says with a laugh. “I’ve been in the industry for more than 40 years, specifically in drilling.”

This school year mark’s the first time any college or university in the nation has received accreditation in well control training.

2010’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion took the lives of eleven people 40 miles off the Louisiana coast, making the accreditation that much more important.

“This is what this lab is all about. Since the event in 2010, the government wanted to step in and make it regulatory that they wanted to control how we were going to be educated,” informed the UL instructor.

Students in the department now graduate International Association of Drilling Contractors-certified, making UL the only school in the nation to offer such an accreditation.

“Now, when I go out there and find a job, I can actually boast about it and say, ‘Hey, I graduated from an accredited university in drilling engineering,” said Nigerian student Radiat Ibrahim.

Whereas most programs only offer computer based simulations, UL’s well control simulators allow students a hands-on approach to learning.

“I didn’t realize how unique it was when I first came here. I thought most universities had this, but there’s no place where you can physically have the same things you might see on a rig,” said student Wilson Salgado from New Jersey.

Andres says UL’s six operating labs give students the best in class industry education while being mindful of why that education is so important.

“Unfortunately, something like [Deepwater Horizon oil spill] is going to happen. All we can do is the best we can do to educate our people,” said Andres.
00 2019-02-11
Lafayette

UL Lafayette performing arts presents theater comedy, Completeness


Lafayette, LA – PFAR Theatre proudly presents the offbeat comedy COMPLETENESS by Itamar Moses, directed by professor Carl Granieri, running from February 20th to the 24th. The piece explores the timeless question of how human beings seek love in the modern context of algorithmic models and disembodied, digital interactions. After celebrated runs in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, COMPLETENESS will be making its southeastern regional debut at the University of Louisiana.

When computer-science grad student Elliot falls for ambitious molecular biologist Molly, they agree to collaborate on a cross-departmental experiment. But unraveling the complexities of programming might tangle them up in unsolvable problems of the heart. The Chicago Tribune raves that COMPLETENESS “celebrates the seductive power of smarts.” “What a beautiful and hilarious play Moses has written,” says director Carl Granieri. “It’s an intimate look at the problem of trying to shrink love down to a formula. In a world of social media and apps like Tinder pushing ones-and-zeros as the most potent tools for achieving human connection, this play reminds us all that love is no exact science.”

The cast features stellar performances from current BFA acting candidates Matt Heyer, Lacey Howard, John St.Clair, Elise Degruise, Imani McCullum, and Mitchell Wootton.

On the design side, UL PFAR is thrilled to again collaborate with nationally renowned scenic designer Joe Stewart, who is responsible for recognizable designs on many of TV’s most successful programs. In addition to dozens of award nominations from the Art Directors Guild and the Emmy Awards, his company Shaffner/Stewart has claimed Emmys for design on Friends, The George Lopez Show, and The Ellen Degeneres Show, among others. Professor Trent Pcenicni’s charming and thoughtful costume design stands in sharp relief to the fluid, science-lab surrealism being brought to life by technical director Dylan Guidry. BFA Design students Jeffrey Sykes (lighting designer), Erica Feagan (sound designer),

and Jay Tetnowski (projections) round out the talented design team helping to bring this world to life.

COMPLETENESS runs from February 20th-24th, with a press performance on February 19th in the Burke Theater on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Performance times are 7:30 PM, with a 2:00 PM matinee on both Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $10 dollars and may be ordered online through Eventbrite by visiting this link: http://bit.ly/2MFg1JH
00 2019-02-11
Lafayette

Retired UL Lafayette professor recognized for making a scientific breakthrough


LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) - A retired UL Lafayette physics professor is recognized as making progress in research that scientist has been working on for over a century.

Dr. Louis Houston created a theory many scientists like Albert Einstein have been trying to develop for over 100 years. The possibilities from his findings can result in important things like time travel in the near future.

"It's called a 'Unified Field Theory Based on a Rotating de Broglie Wave Packet," said Dr. Louis Houston. He describes this as the possible blueprint to solve a problem scientist like Albert Einstien have studied for over 100 years.

Dr. Houston began his journey on this study about 30 years ago."The problem has been that quantum mechanics and gravity, don't seem to be compatible," said Dr. Houston.

His study has identified how to combine Electromagnetism, Gravity, Weak Force and the Strong Force with Quantum Mechanics into one theory.

”It took a lot of research into different areas of physics that are components of the unified theory. Then I had to put it all together," said Dr. Houston.

He said the results of this breakthrough can lead to a number of things like time travel, endless energy, anti-gravity and traveling faster than the speed of light. "For example, we thought the world was flat for so long and discovered that it wasn't flat," he added as he described the importance of diving more into scientific studies.

"If it seems like it's not following the pack or tradition, don't dismiss it because it could lead to something interesting," said Dr. Houston.

The 'Unified Field Theory Based on a Rotating de Broglie Wave Packet' will be published late February. Dr. Houston will also begin speaking at conferences about his studies this summer in Chicago.
00 2019-02-11
Lake Charles

PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE


LC Coca-Cola supports MSU: Lake Charles Coca-Cola Bottling Co. donates $15,000 to McNeese State University to establish Coca-Cola Scholarship #9 through the McNeese Foundation. On hand for the presentation are, from left: Blaine Royer, on-premise manager for Lake Charles Coca-Cola; Richard H. Reid, vice president for university advancement and executive vice president of the foundation; and Ken Francis, sales center manager for Lake Charles Coca-Cola.

Picture
Navarre Auto Group supports McNeese: Ryan Navarre presents a sponsorship check in the amount of $10,000 to Coach Justin Hill in support of McNeese Athletic Foundation and Mc-Neese Baseball.
00 2019-02-11
Lake Charles

Banners at McNeese schedule announced


The 27th season of Banners at McNeese State University kicks off in March and this year’s entertainment features a spectacularly diverse lineup showcasing jazz and bossa nova, bluegrass, bagpipe rock, classical winds, documentaries, triple-threat theatrical offerings and intriguing, informative lectures, according to Brook Hanemann, Banners director.

“Highlights include Scotland’s own Red Hot Chilli Pipers, who have performed on huge stages such as the Olympics, Peter Gros from the original ‘Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom’ and a lecture/performance on the pre-war recording era by performers featured on ‘American Epic,’ the primetime Emmy-nominated PBS special produced by Robert Redford, Jack White and T-Bone Burnett,” said Hanemann.

“We are also deeply honored to host South African Jazz Master Abdullah Ibrahim just nine days before he is to be honored with the nation’s highest award for jazz musicianship at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.,” she added. “And rising star and bluegrass prodigy Billy Strings joins us on opening weekend only a week after his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.”

Hanemann said the Banners Cultural Season makes its 2019 entrance with a members-only reception and performance at the historic F.G. Bulber Auditorium on the McNeese campus with “Josephine.”

“On March 7, we invite members to join us for an on-stage celebration featuring incredible eats and a special meet-and-greet with the performers from the season’s opening show, ‘Josephine,’ a burlesque cabaret dream play,” says Hanemann.

Several membership options are available. A basic membership includes two tickets to all performances and is available for $150. An individual membership to all events is $80.

Several flex memberships are also available. A Flex membership that includes four tickets to three separate performances is available for $200, while another Flex membership package includes two tickets to three separate events and is available for $100.

To see the various levels of membership available or ticket prices for some of the events, check out the Banners website at www.banners.org or call the Banners office at 337-475-5123.


2019 Calendar of Events


Members Only Opening Reception with “Josephine” – March 7

F.G. Bulber Auditorium, McNeese State University

7 p.m.



Josephine: A Burlesque Cabaret Dream Play – March 8

Tritico Theatre, Shearman Fine Arts Annex, McNeese State University

7 p.m.

“Josephine” is a one-woman biographical musical that combines cabaret, theatre and dance to tell the story of the iconic Josephine Baker, the first African-American international superstar and one of the most remarkable figures of the 20th century. The show was nominated for a 2018 AUDELCO Award for Outstanding Solo Performance for its limited off-Broadway run and has won six “Best of Fest” and six “Outstanding Performance” awards across North America. Our production will spotlight local Louisiana talent on the upright bass, drums and horns to share the stage with “Josephine.”


Billy Strings – March 9

F.G. Bulber Auditorium, McNeese State University

7 p.m.

Bluegrass prodigy, Billy Strings, plays hard and he lives hard, picking so fast and intensely that he’s known to break multiple strings per song. Billy’s undeniable virtuosity and his knowledge of the roots of American music make him one of the most beloved young guitarists today within the bluegrass community.


Ilse N. Bulhof: The Tree Between Heaven and Earth – March 12

Stokes Auditorium, Hardtner Hall, McNeese State University

7 p.m.

McNeese’s own Johannes Bulhof presents a moving lecture chronicling the life and philosophies of his late mother, IlseBulhof, famed author, professor and visionary.


Leif Pedersen’s Jazz ’n Bossa – March 16

F.G. Bulber Auditorium, McNeese State University

7 p.m.

Join us for a night of jazz and Bossa Nova starring jazz clarinet player, the g


reat Ken Peplowski, Chuck Redd on vibes, vocalist Leif Pedersen (previously of the Tommy Dorsey Band), pianist John Mahoney, bassist Ed Wise and special guest, Brazilian jazz guitar sensation, Diego Figueiredo.


A Celtic Pilgrimage with John O’Donohue – March 17

Stokes Auditorium, Hardtner Hall, McNeese State University

3 p.m.

This documentary featuring the inspirational Irish poet, philosopher and theologian, John O’Donohue, will be introduced with personal anecdotes to help set the stage. Come immerse yourself in some Irish splendor to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and stay after for a Q&A session.


Freedom Brass – March 24

F.G. Bulber Auditorium, McNeese State University

3 p.m.

Freedom Brass, the brass ensemble of the United States Air Force Band of the West, is comprised of two trumpets, French horn, trombone, tuba and percussion and is dedicated to presenting to its audiences the total spectrum of today’s musical literature with a repertoire spanning over five centuries.


Red Hot Chilli Pipers – March 26

F.G. Bulber Auditorium, McNeese State University

7 p.m.

Red Hot Chilli Pipers, the most famous bagpipe band on the planet, will knock you out with bagpipes full of attitude, drums with a Scottish accent and an award-winning Bagrock show so hot it comes with its own health warning.


Peter Gros from the original “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” – March 29

F.G. Bulber Auditorium, McNeese State University

7 p.m.

Peter Gros has nearly 30 years of field experience with wildlife. His life is dedicated to inspiring young people to care about wildlife and wild places. His goal is to share his passion for the natural world with young people across the planet, inspiring them to protect animals both locally and globally. Gros says we need to continue to deliver a powerful message about how each of us can make a daily difference in preserving our natural world.


“Abdullah Ibrahim: Struggle For Love” film screening – March 31

Stokes Auditorium, Hardtner Hall, McNeese State University

3 p.m.

This documentary by filmmaker Ciro Cappellari weaves a tale chronicling the life and works of Abdullah Ibrahim. Ibrahim, scheduled to receive the nation’s highest honor for jazz musicianship this year, is a pianist and composer, a warrior against Apartheid and a successor of Duke Ellington. Let this documentary deepen your reverence for one of the greatest living jazz musicians. This screening is free to the public.


Puddles Pity Party – April 1

Rosa Hart Theatre, Lake Charles Civic Center

7 p.m.

Banners at McNeese is pleased to present the “Sad Clown with the Golden Voice.” Deemed “Pagliacci by way of Pee-Wee Herman and David Lynch,” Puddles Pity Party is an internationally acclaimed powerhouse who mixes virtuosic vocals with a soaring achy heart and a brilliant sense of the absurd as he breaks the fourth wall and draws his audiences into the action. Limited seating available.


Abdullah Ibrahim – April 6

F.G. Bulber Auditorium, McNeese State University

7 p.m.

Abdullah Ibrahim, South Africa’s most distinguished pianist, composer and world-renowned musician, will grace our Banners stage the very month the National Endowment for the Arts is scheduled to name him Jazz Master of the Year. Called “South Africa’s Mozart” by Nelson Mandela, Ibrahim was discovered by and partnered with Duke Ellington. Don’t miss out on the musical stylings of this international jazz legend.


Unthinkable: Inside Criminal Minds with William Aprill – April 9

1911 Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center

7 p.m.

How are human monsters made? How do violent criminals pick their prey? These are just a few of the questions to be answered by the straight-shooting and entertaining William Aprill, who will take you on a tour of the dark side of our society in this informative and eye-opening lecture.


The Poetry and Travel Stories of Robert Cooper – April 11

Stokes Auditorium, Hardtner Hall, McNeese State University

7 p.m.

Author and retired McNeese English professor Robert Cooper returns to Banners with more poems and prose pieces from his latest travel writing.


The Americans – April 15

F.G. Bulber Auditorium, McNeese State University

6 p.m.

T-Bone Burnett calls the Americans “genius 21st century musicians that are reinventing American heritage music for this century.” This lecture/performance hybrid treats you to an evening of stunning acoustics and deep knowledge on the pre-war recording era. The Americans have performed alongside Nick Cave, Lucinda Williams and Ryan Bingham, on the “Late Show With David Letterman” and even played the first song at actress Reese Witherspoon’s wedding.


6 Guitars – April 17

Tritico Theatre, Shearman Fine Arts Annex, McNeese State University

7 p.m.

“6 Guitars,” one of the most successful shows of the Fringe Festival circuit, is a pitch-perfect blend of music, comedy and characters. Chase Padgett delivers a virtuoso performance as he transforms between six different guitar players, each with their own distinct voice, views and musical styles. Each character, from the young rock prodigy to the weary blues picker, shares hilarious anecdotes that only a life playing music can give. These balance out the moving stories each delivers about how music has touched their lives and made them a better person along the way.


Family Film Screening: “Sing” – April 28

Stokes Auditorium, Hardtner Hall, McNeese State University

3 p.m.

This free screening is dedicated to our next generation of cultural torch-bearers. “Sing” tells the story of a theatre-owning koala who produces a singing competition to save his theatre from ruin. Come laugh and cry and sing out loud as we celebrate a passion for the stage in this animated, critically acclaimed family movie.


A Digital History of Engagement, with Jarret Lofstead – April 30

Stokes Auditorium, Hardtner Hall, McNeese State University

7 p.m.

Join us for prospecting and progress with Louisiana-based multimedia maestro Jarret Lofstead. We will showcase and discuss this video mashup from the season and lead a talk-back discussing the integration and elevation of our digital work and local contributors. Discussing the process of creating “highlights,” we will enjoy the contributions of the Banners season. These works will include music, dance, theatre, fusion art and lectures by local professors, artists and historians who share our stages with visiting performers.


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.
00 2019-02-11
Ruston

CELEBRATING COACH ROB


Feb. 13, 2019 will mark 100 years since the birth of Eddie G. Robinson, the legendary Grambling State University football coach.

Friends of the Eddie G. Robinson Museum Committee has planned a series of events this year to celebrate the Eddie G. Robinson 100th Birthday Commemoration. Friends is the fundraising arm of the museum. Events begin in Grambling Wednesday and Thursday.
00 2019-02-08
Hammond

It’s alive: Columbia Theatre to present one-time showing of ‘Frankenstein’ Feb. 23


Southeastern Louisiana University’s Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts will present a one-time showing of “Frankenstein” on Saturday, Feb. 23, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Based on Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus,” the production will follow the story of Swiss scientist Victor Frankenstein, who without considering the consequences of his actions successfully creates an artificial human — with terrifying results.

Roy Blackwood, interim director of the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts and Fanfare, said this presentation of “Frankenstein” by the acclaimed Aquila Theatre will include a twist to the production, as is customary for the company.

“After wandering the world alone, the monster eventually comes for Frankenstein’s family,” Blackwood said. “Horrific events unfold until the doctor tentatively agrees to create a mate for the creature. Ultimately, the doctor refuses in an effort to spare humanity but bears the terrible and personal penalties of his decision.”

Published in 1818, “Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus” is considered by many as the first true science fiction novel. The story has since become the inspiration for countless film and stage adaptations.

Blackwood said even though 200 years have passed since it was first published, “Frankenstein” still poses a myriad of critical ethical questions.

“The piece raises an important universal question about the nature of innovation – just because it can be done, should it be done?” he said. “Aquila Theatre’s production of this timeless classic will be bold and thrilling, while paying homage to the original, frightening writing of Mary Shelley.”

Tickets for the production range from $35 to $45 and 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.

Special $15 Southeastern student tickets are also offered for this production. Students must present their university ID at the box office.

All Southeastern faculty, retired faculty or university staff with ID may purchase one ticket for “Hamlet” and receive one ticket at half price. Both tickets must be purchased in the same transaction and for the same price at the Columbia box office.

Contact the box office at (985) 543-4371 for more information.

Southeastern Louisiana University’s production of ‘Frankenstein’

When: Saturday, Feb. 23, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, located at 220 E. Thomas St. in Hammond

General admission: $35 to $45
00 2019-02-08
Lafayette

JCPenney offering discounts, help so UL student can dress for success


JCPenney has partnered with the Office of Career Services at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for a college Suit Up event designed to help students dress for success and jump start their careers.

This private event will take place at the JCPenney in Stirling Lafayette Shopping Center on Sunday, Feb. 10, to accommodate hundreds of students looking for advice on what to wear for job interviews.

Faculty, staff and alumni from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, along with members of the JCPenney team, will be on-hand to offer insights into the latest career fashion trends, how a suit should fit, what size to buy, how to tie a tie and more.

JCPenney will offer a special EXTRA 40 percent discount to all University of Louisiana at Lafayette students with a valid school ID during this event.

Students will also be eligible to receive a free mini makeover at Sephora Inside JCPenney.

The event lasts from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Students should bring their valid UL ID.
00 2019-02-08
Lafayette

UL Lafayette’s ‘Trees for Threes’ gives basketball players extra incentive


Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns basketball players are launching three-point shots for more than an opportunity to put points on the scoreboard.

For each three-pointer nailed by men’s and women’s basketball players in February, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette will gain another tree, thanks to the “Trees for Threes” project being overseen by the Office of Sustainability.

“Based on the final tally of three-pointers, students will plant a variety of native trees that will be purchased from local nurseries,” said Monica Rowand, the University’s sustainability coordinator.

Trees and shrubs will be planted across campus on Saturday, March 30 during the Big Event. As part of the annual, daylong community service project, hundreds of student volunteers plant trees, pick up litter, paint schools and public park facilities, and remove illegal signs from roadways and medians.

“Trees for Threes” is modeled on programs coordinated by the Green Sports Alliance, a nonprofit based in Portland, Oregon. The alliance was started in 2010 by several professional sports teams, including the Seattle Seahawks, Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle Mariners and Vancouver Canucks.

It relies on the influence of sports and athletes to promote healthy, sustainable communities, according to its website. Alliance members represent nearly 600 sports teams and venues from 15 sports leagues in 14 countries.

Mike Hess, the University’s manager of grounds, said he is hopeful the first-year project can be expanded because it has the potential to increase students’ pride in campus. “If it works out, we may try to plant some trees near the Ragin’ Cajuns Athletic Complex so student-athletes can have a reminder of their contributions,” he said.

“Trees for Threes” enhances the University’s already strong commitment to landscaping.

In 1901, Dr. Edwin Stephens planted live oak seedlings on what was then an open field near the intersection of Johnston Street and University Avenue. The campus has blossomed into one that now holds about 250 live oak trees, and a total of more than 2,000 trees and large shrubs. Species include cypress, magnolia and Yaupon Holly trees.

UL Lafayette’s trees have helped its campus earn a reputation as one of the more beautiful in the country. It has also earned continual praise from the Arbor Day Foundation, which recently named the University a Tree Campus USA for the 10th consecutive year.

The Tree Campus USA designation recognizes colleges and universities for nurturing trees and involving students and staff in conservation practices. The national program was created in 2008.

Learn more about the “Trees for Threes” initiative or the Green Sports Alliance.
00 2019-02-08
Lake Charles

Senate panel approves Cain for Minaldi’s seat


The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved President Donald Trump’s recommendation that Lake Charles attorney James D. Cain Jr. be the new U.S. district judge for the Western District of Louisiana. The vote now heads to the full Senate.

The late Patricia Minaldi was judge for the Western District after being appointed in 2003 by then-President George W. Bush. She served until taking retirement disability in 2017, and the seat has been vacant since then.

Minaldi, who also worked as a felony prosecutor and was elected as a judge for the 14th Judicial District Court in 1996 — the first female judge for the district — died at age 60 on Dec. 1, 2018.

Cain was born in DeRidder and attended McNeese State University on a basketball scholarship, where he earned a degree in finance and economics. He earned his law degree from Southern University Law Center.

Upon graduation, Cain served as a judicial law clerk for Judge Henry L. Yelverton of the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal. He has been a lawyer in private practice since 1994, gaining extensive trial experience in the areas of product liability cases, business and commercial litigation.

He has also been admitted to practice in the Middle and Eastern Federal Districts of Louisiana, as well as the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Cain has served on many boards, including the St. Louis Catholic High School Board, Our Lady Queen of Heaven Trust Board, Calcasieu Parish Crime Stoppers Board, and as board president of the Mc-Neese Alumni Association.

Before starting his own firm, Loftin, Cain and LeBlanc, he practiced for 12 years at the Lundy & Davis law firm. Cain is the son of former state Sen. James David Cain.

The Senate Judiciary Committee also approved two other Trump nominees from Louisiana, including Donald Washington as director of the U.S. Marshals Service and Wendy Vitter for U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

In commending the approvals by the committee, U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., said, “Confirming qualified nominees for the bench and executive branch is one of the Senate’s highest responsibilities. Wendy, James, and Don have the experience and qualifications necessary to perform these jobs well, and they are committed to upholding the Constitution.”

Further, Cassidy said, “I’m glad the Senate Judiciary Committee approved their nominations and I urge the full Senate to confirm them as soon as possible so they can get to work serving the people of Louisiana and the country.”
00 2019-02-08
Monroe

ULM Online among top 20 Master’s in Counseling programs


The University of Louisiana-Monroe’s Master’s in Counseling was recently recognized as one of the top 20 programs in the country, according to Human ServicesEdu.org.

The ULM Online program is a Master of Science in Counseling with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

“ULM Online is composed of many fine academic graduate programs, among them Counseling stands out. This group of faculty is innovative and student centered, and deserving of this recognition for their efforts,” said Katie Dawson, Interim Director of ULM Online.

In evaluating the different programs, HumanServicesEdu.org researched the intrinsic value of a program, such as specialty tracks, the number of online courses a program has and accreditation.

David Hale, Ph.D., LMFT-S, Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy and Director of the Online Ph.D. MFT Program, said the recognition of the Counseling program is a benefit to all.

“We are excited to receive this kind of recognition. Not only does it highlight ULM’s Counseling Program, it reflects the value of the Counseling program both academically and financially. Our reputation is built on the strength and quality of our faculty members and the fact that we are affordable,” Hall said.

Shushma Krishnamurthy, Ph.D., Dean of the Graduate School is pleased with the work of the counseling faculty and the growth of the program.

“This is very exciting news! Our Counseling program is a quality, longstanding, established program. The counseling faculty work closely with the students, which is why it is so successful,” Krishnamurthy said.
00 2019-02-08
Natchitoches

NSU will offer Praxis seminars in Natchitoches and Alexandria


Northwestern State University’s School of Education is offering an expanded selection of Praxis content area seminars during the spring semester.

Sessions are scheduled at NSU’s Natchitoches and Alexandria campuses for middle school math, middle school science, secondary math and elementary social studies. Preparation for Praxis core exams in the areas of mathematics, writing and reading are also available.

The sessions are free and open to anyone preparing for a Praxis exam. To view a complete listing of topics, dates, and locations, and to register, visit https://education.nsula.edu/blog/2019/01/28/praxis-review-sessions-scheduled/

For more information, contact Jodi Shirley, academic coordinator and instructor, at shirleyj@nsula.edu or (318) 357-4058.
00 2019-02-08
Natchitoches

Sloan Grant supports NSU scientist’s research in nanomaterials


NATCHITOCHES – A Northwestern State University scientist who was selected for an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Grant utilized those funds to purchase a fluorescence spectroscopy instrument to support his research projects. Dr. Daniel Rivera-Vazquez, assistant professor in the School of Biological and Physical Sciences, directs a student research group that focuses on biosensors and water remediation, which both involve the creation and/or modification of nanomaterials.



Rivera-Vazquez is a material scientist with experience in the synthesis of nanoscale materials and characterizations using microscopy and spectroscopic techniques.



The spectroscopy instrument is being used to provide information regarding the identity and amount of samples based on its fluorescent properties. In materials science, it is used to provide an estimate of nanoparticle size and electronic properties, Rivera-Vazquez said.



“This instrument has a wide variety of applications,” he explained. “We will be using it to determine the presence of organic pollutants in water. Also, we will be using it to get an estimate of nanoparticle size. Other faculty will be using it for purposes that relate more closely to their respective research projects.



“In the case of biosensors, we are researching nanomaterials that can be tailored to detect specific biomarkers,” Rivera-Vazquez explained. “A biomarker is a molecule that appears at the onset of an event of biological importance, such as a stroke or cardiac injury. We are researching materials that are low-cost and at the same time highly effective. This is an important factor for us since we envision generating materials that will, in the long run, be scaled up to serve society.”



In other words, the research could eventually play a role in warning individuals they are at risk for stroke and/or heart attack. In some cases, biomarkers appear before the actual events, he said.



“At risk patients might benefit from at-home monitoring — similar to diabetic patients testing for glucose levels — of a biomarker of interest for their specific condition. We are envisioning something similar to the test strips used for monitoring glucose levels, applied to other processes in the body,” he said.



In the water remediation project, he is working to modify activated charcoal capable of removing a wide array of organic and inorganic materials from water. Activated charcoal modified with silver and copper nanoparticles acquires antimicrobial properties, Rivera-Vazquez said. He is researching questions regarding the modification of activated charcoal with a cost-effective material with high capabilities for water remediation.



“Water remediation is a term that can refer to the removal of undesired materials — waste, heavy metals, among other things — from sources of water,” he said. “The implications of this project are the development of cost-effective filters that can be used for the removal of microorganisms, as well as other pollutants from water sources. We are currently faced with an issue of providing clean water in many communities around the world, and hopefully the development of more efficient filters will contribute to addressing this issue.



“I am passionate about teaching in the classroom as well as the laboratory. I am currently working in the classroom teaching a wide range of courses in chemistry,” he said. Those courses range from first year chemistry to advanced undergraduate courses in physical chemistry and organic chemistry.

“My research interests focus on the synthesis of nanoscale materials for energy and biomedical applications. I worked on the synthesis of CaS nanostructures and studied its optical and electronic properties. This project led to the design of a low cost, fast, microwave assisted reaction which was patented in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. We also tested this material to study its effects on the replication rate of cancer cells. The results of this project have been submitted for publication in a peer reviewed journal,” Rivera Vazquez said.



The Social Science Research Council, with the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, awards Sloan Scholars Mentoring grants to Ph.D. alumni of the Sloan Minority Ph.D. Program. Grants are awarded in three categories that are designed to assist Sloan Scholar Ph.D.s in promoting their work through conference travel, seeking collaborative and learning opportunities to expand their skills as mentors and/or mentees and initiating projects that expand their research – all with the potential of helping those Ph.D.s become more established in their fields.



Since 1995, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has provided support for underrepresented minorities through its Minority Ph.D. and Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership programs, which aim to increase the diversity of higher education in STEM fields. In partnership with the Sloan Foundation, the Social Science Research Council developing the Sloan Scholars Mentoring Network serves the Sloan Scholar community through a strategic mix of professional development, mentoring and leadership training opportunities.



Information on NSU’s Department of Biological and Physical Sciences and degree programs offered is available at sciences.nsula.edu.
00 2019-02-08
New Orleans

UNO President John Nicklow Joins Newell


Is the secret to growing Louisiana's economy more college degrees? We talk to UNO President John Nicklow about their new collaboration with Delgado's 2 year program.
00 2019-02-08
Ruston

Louisiana Tech named a Military Friendly School for the 6th year in a row


RUSTON, La. - (2/7/19) For the sixth consecutive year, Louisiana Tech University has been named a Military Friendly School.

“Our University is enriched by the experiences of veterans, active-duty members of the military, and their families,” Tech President Dr. Les Guice said. “No matter where they are enrolled in classes, we are dedicated to providing an unparalleled educational experience.”

Earlier this year, Louisiana Tech partnered with the Bossier Parish Community College to open a Veterans Resource Center in the Academic Success Center in Bossier City. The facility provides resources for veterans and their families, and the collaboration increases veterans’ ability to earn two- and four-year degrees – as well as graduate degrees – close to home.

“This space is designed to help our veteran students connect with resources designed to ensure their success in school and while they transition into civilian life,” Guice said. “Not only are we committed to supporting our veterans during their enlistment, we want to make sure they are prepared to continue to make a positive impact on their communities when they graduate.”

Institutions earning the Military Friendly® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey completed by the school. This year 766 schools earned this prestigious designation.

“Our faculty and staff take great pride in easing veterans’ and active-duty military members’ transition into the classroom and assisting with the educational process through to graduation,” said Dr. Donna Johnson, who leads initiatives in Shreveport and Bossier City, including the Tech Barksdale instructional site.
00 2019-02-08
Shreveport

ArkLaTex In-depth: The finances of Grambling Athletics


ArkLaTex In-depth: The finances of Grambling Athletics
In college athletics one sport rules all.

"Football is the crown jewel. I mean hey I don't care where you go or what you do that's the crown jewel and at Grambling State University, the rich legacy that we have here, football is the crown jewel. We have many other sports that are great sports that are doing great, but we know, like you say, where the revenue comes from and what we have to do in order to ensure that," said Grambling State University Athletic Director David Ponton.

But it's not easy for non-power 5 schools to turn a profit. In the case of the SWAC, Ponton spoke about the challenges the conference faced moving the championship game from Legion Field in Alabama to Alcorn State in Mississippi due to a potential scheduling conflict with UAB.

"(SWAC Commissioner) Mr. (Charles) McClelland with the SWAC office, he had to do what he had to do in order to get to this year. A lot of times we have to make sacrifices and do things. I actually went to that game. I thought they did a great job of preparing for that game, the stands were full, it was like an old school SWAC Championship contest. So, it may not have been the domes or anywhere like that, but we didn't lose money on that game and I think that's one of the things we have to get back to, that we don't lose money," Ponton said.

Grambling is a part of the University of Louisiana System, but even as one of nine member school that does not mean everything is the same.

Let's take a look at a few examples from programs that belong to different athletic conferences.

In a report released in 2018, by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor for the 2016-17 fiscal year, GSU football operated at nearly an $800,000 loss. Conference USA member Louisiana Tech finished with a gain of $37,000 and Sunbelt member Louisiana-Lafayette loss more than $2 million.

Ponton recognizes the challenges.

"One of my jobs is going to be finding ways to kind of elevate that burden to the university and that's through corporate sponsorships and through gifts-in-kind, through fundraising, whatever I have to do like coach Rob used to say, 'Hey baby, you got to get it done," Ponton said.

But it's even harder when you look at the entire athletic department. GSU loss more than $2 million, Louisiana Tech had a positive finish with nearly $900,000 and ULL eclipsed that mark with $918,500.

Getting in the green is even harder when the funds they used to rely on have gone dry.

"The amount of support we've gotten from the state has dwindled over the years. We went from $32 million to $13 million, so to take that kind of hit most of the burden for the finances are placed on our students. They self-tax themselves $100 a semester in order to support our minor sports and our non-venue producing sports which helps a tremendous amount," Ponton said.

As Ponton leads Grambling into the future, he's focused on achieving more than athletic goals.

"The object is to try to get as close to breaking even as you possibly can. If you break even, as we say, you won," he said.
00 2019-02-07
Baton Rouge

Minority MBA grads earn 16% less than white peers, study finds


While a master of business administration degree might help narrow the compensation gap for minorities, it still doesn’t ensure equal pay with white classmates.

Minority M.B.A. graduates make 16% less on average than their white peers, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing a recent study by the Forte Foundation that surveyed 900 men and women who earned their degrees between 2005 and 2017.

The degree does, however, somewhat shrink the gap. Going into M.B.A. programs, white students surveyed earned an average salary of $71,294, while minorities surveyed earned 24% less at $57,640. Upon graduation, that pay gap narrowed to 16%, with minorities earning $101,505 compared to white graduates’ $117,834—or 86 cents on the dollar.

The study found that black, Hispanic and Native American students received a bigger pay increase after school, averaging a 76% salary gain compared to the 65% average salary bump by their white peers. But the gains come out on top of the unequal pay.
00 2019-02-07
Houma/Thibodaux

Nicholls to screen documentary on female chefs


Nicholls State University is continuing to highlight female chefs with a screening next month of a new documentary on the small percentage of female head chefs and restaurant owners.

The Chef John Folse Culinary Institute will host a March 26 screening of “A Fine Line: A Woman’s Place is in the Kitchen,” an award-winning documentary by Joanna James.

The documentary looks at why only 7 percent of head chefs and restaurant owners are women, despite the majority of female culinary students.

The screening will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Mary and Al Danos Theater. After the film, a panel of leading female chefs from south Louisiana will speak about leadership in the industry.

The panelists include some of Nicholls’ most notable alumnae: Kristen Essig, chef and owner of Coquette in New Orleans; Katie O’Hara, pastry chef at Mopho and Maypop in New Orleans; Anne Milneck, owner of Red Stick Spice Co. in Baton Rouge; and Samantha Love, assistant executive property chef at Caesars Entertainment Corp. in Baltimore, Maryland.

“The ironic part about this discussion is that most culinary programs, like the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute, have predominantly women enrollees, yet professionally those numbers don’t match,” said the Nicholls Culinary Department head, chef John Kozar. “That’s what the film is all about. What can we do, all of us together, to create a level playing field?”

Nicholls’ female to male ratio at the John Folse Culinary Institute is more than 65 percent female, Kozar said.

“A Fine Line” centers on the story of James’ mother, Valerie, building her restaurant in Massachusetts along with other renowned female chefs such as Iron Chef Cat Cora, Michelin-starred chef Barbara Lynch and Mashama Bailey, the first African-American woman to be nominated for best chef at the James Beard Awards.

“I made the documentary because I was inspired to share my mother’s story, what she faced as a woman in the industry,” James said in a news release. “I realized when I started making the film that my mother’s story represented so many women going through similar experiences.”

The screening is part of a nationwide tour held during Women’s History Month in March.

New Orleans chef, author and television host Leah Chase, the Queen of Creole Cuisine and owner of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, will also receive a lifetime achievement award at the March screening at Nicholls.

Marcelle Bienvenu, culinary instructor and longtime New Orleans culinary columnist, will emcee the event.

“We’re excited to be able to host this documentary,” Kozar said. “Our enrollment at the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute is more than 65 percent female, so we have made it a priority to showcase the success of our alumni and other women in the workforce. That’s why we started and continue the Empowered Women Chefs Series, which brings in successful female chefs to connect with our students.”

The Empowered Women Chefs Series invites leading women in the industry to host a lecture and culinary demonstration to encourage women to pursue careers in the restaurant industry.

This year, the institute has hosted Nicholls alumna Allison Richard, executive chef at High Hat Cafe in New Orleans, and southern chef Amy Sinsthe, owner and chef of Langlois, a traveling interactive restaurant.

Tickets are $40 for the cocktail reception, the screening and the panel, or $20 for the screening and the panel. To purchase tickets, visit www.nicholls.edu/culinary/afineline.

A trailer for “A Fine Line” can be found at https://afinelinemovie.com.

Staff Writer Julia Arenstam can be reached at 448-7636 or julia.arenstam@houmatoday.com. Follow her on Twitter at @JuliaArenstam.
00 2019-02-07
Lafayette

UL Lafayette Students Urged to Give Blood at Campus Blood Drive on Feb. 7


Our nation’s blood supply is in need of younger donors. Statistics show that nearly 60 percent of blood donations come from people over 40, and nearly 45 percent come from people older than 50. Students at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette are the perfect generation to begin a new trend in donating blood. By starting now, students today will be the future of Acadiana’s and our nation’s blood supply.

Vitalant and its animal partners hope that new donors will also step-up to help those in need throughout the country. To reinforce the effort, Vitalant’s three spokes-animals (an Instagram-famous cat, a French bulldog and a tiny-but-mighty hedgehog) are coming together to encourage people to help others this month through the simple act of donating blood as part of their “Save the Humans” campaign. View more of the #SavetheHumans campaign at Vitalant.org/savethehumans.

UL Lafayette Students have the chance to #SaveTheHumans when they donate at the blood drive on campus in front of Dupre Library from 9am-3pm and the Conference Center from 10am-3pm on Thursday, Feb. 7.

Donors will receive a “Save The Humans” T-shirt, a coupon from Chick-fil-a for a FREE sandwich or nugget, and a Lafayette Lanes FREE game pass.

“Blood donation saves 12,000 human lives a day and is one of the easiest ways people can make a positive impact on the world. If younger people don't start donating, we could run out. Take it from me - needles are no big deal,” said the spokes-hedgehog.

Schedule your appointment to donate at vitalant.org or call 877-25VITAL(258-4825).

Blood donation takes about an hour from check-in to refreshments. Donors can save about 20 minutes by completing their Fast Track Health History the day they donate. It’s at vitalant.org.

Volunteer blood donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Additional height/weight requirements apply to donors 22 and younger, and donors who are 16 and 17 must have signed permission from a parent or guardian.
00 2019-02-07
Lafayette

UL-Lafayette Considered Top Eco-Friendly School in Louisiana


LAFAYETTE – From composting, to recycling, to solar energy, the University of Louisiana-Lafayette is now internationally renowned for it’s efforts in being Eco-friendly.

The Indonesian GreenMetric Rankings were recently released, and it places UL-Lafayette as the number 25th college in the U.S. for Eco-friendliness.
The ranking also puts UL-Lafayette as the number one university in the state, making them the least wasteful college in Louisiana.

Says Director for UL’s Office of Sustainability Gretchen Vanicor, “We are extremely efficient with the resources that we’ve been given, going above and beyond to make sure that we are conserving resources and that we’re being responsible stewards to our community, to our state and to our world.”

In the fall of 2018, Cajun Field became the first stadium in the state to go 100% trash-less, offering visitors the option to either recycle or compost items like bowls and cups.

“We’re defining problems on campus and in our communities,” explains Vanicor, “We’re testing those solutions on campus and actively looking for community partners to take it off campus.”

The GreenMetric list also awards points for the amount of vegetation on campus, something UL-Lafayette does not lack. But Vanicor says its the work of students that helped get the positive green grades.

“Really working with our students through research projects,” continues Vanicor, “Through hands on projects like the Beau Soleil Louisiana Solar Home; like the ‘Part Lab’ to really teach our students how to – after they leave here – how to make improvements in our world.”

This international ranking is also a sign of even greener things to come.

“We’re really pushing the envelope, we’re pushing boundaries,” adds Vanicor, “We’re testing solutions on campus and finding ways to bring those into our community, because we really take this responsibility seriously.”

The GreenMetric Rankings puts UL-Lafayette 195th out of 719 international universities considered. With the way things are going, they could even crack the top 100 in the near future.

Supporting the university annual fund is how many of these Eco-solutions are being funded.
00 2019-02-07
Monroe

Mrs. Quadruple-Double Does It Again


GRAMBLING, La. - Grambling State women's basketball star Shakyla Hill re-wote the record books again last weekend after becoming the first college basketball player, male or female, to ever record their second quadruple-double. The senior has been on a mission in her final season as a Tiger, already having been named the SWAC Player of the Week for the 6th time this year. Currently Hill ranked top 5 all-time in Grambling's record books for points (1,872, 4th), rebounds (858, 4th), assists (549, 2nd) and steals (443, 3rd).
00 2019-02-07
Natchitoches

Child Development Center applications due March 15


NATCHITOCHES – The Marie Shaw Dunn Child Development Center at Northwestern State University is accepting applications for the 2019-2020 school year. Children must be 3 or 4 years old by September 30, 2019, to be eligible for enrollment.



All applications must be submitted to the CDC by 3 p.m. Friday, March 15. An application is available online at cdc.nsula.edu and available in the CDC office.



Tuition for NSU CDC is $4,600 annually and must be paid by April 1 of the attending school year. A $175 supply fee is due upon enrollment.



The Marie Shaw Dunn Child Development Center is a preschool program for 3- and 4-year old children. The center is a Tier III preschool center that is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The center is dedicated to providing parents, children and university students with the best early learning environment possible.



For more information, contact Amanda LaGrange, director/supervising teacher, at lagrangea@nsula.edu or call the CDC Office (318) 357-6860
00 2019-02-07
Regional/National

Higher Education Needs to Innovate. But How?


Too often, innovation in higher education goes “the way of all flesh.”

A headline in a recent issue of the Boston Globe says it all: “Experimental colleges once were the future. Now, what is their future?” One after another, the innovators of the 1960s and 1970s are biting the dust, fading, or transforming themselves into pale shadows of their original ambitions. It’s not just Hampshire College, but Franconia, Goddard, New College, and perhaps even Evergreen State College.

Innovation within higher education is extremely difficult to sustain. Think of North Carolina’s Black Mountain College, whose faculty and students included Buckminster Fuller, Walter Gropius, Robert Motherwell, Robert Rauschenberg, Merce Cunningham, and John Cage. Founded in 1933, it didn’t make it to its 25th anniversary.

Higher education needs to innovate, not for innovation’s sake, but to increase student success. Except at the more well-resourced, most selective institutions, the status quo is not sustainable. But many of the innovations being instituted undercut the essence of a high-quality education.

These innovations substitute adjuncts for full-time faculty (who then teach highly standardized courses), unbundle the professorial role, sharply reduce or even eliminate humanities programs, and deploy “self-directed, self-paced” correspondence-like courses and screen time for courses that lack rich interactions with a scholar and classmates.

Other innovations include outsourcing programs to for-profits and Online Program Managers, handing off core competencies to outside firms, and redirecting institutional energies away from undergraduates toward potential revenue producers, especially professional master’s and certificate programs.

The challenges facing American higher education are not a secret. Higher education needs to:

Control costs, not an easy task as new fields of knowledge emerge, standards of student services continually rise, and new technologies appear.
Increase completion rates, especially at the less selective institutions where 40 percent or more of students fail to graduate.
Address inequities in institutional resources, instructional spending and student support, and student outcomes.
Better serve the new student majority, non-traditional students: students who work full-time, who care for family members, who transfer, who speak English as a second language.
Better assist unevenly or poorly prepared students to succeed in their chosen major.
Better document student learning and better demonstrate the value of a degree.
Better prepare students for successful post-graduation outcomes.
The barriers to innovation are also clear. These include:

Tradition
Misplaced incentives
Legacy infrastructure
Innovation fatigue coupled with skepticism about the motives and commitment of advocates of academic transformation
Systems of governance
Resource constraints
A major problem at less selective institutions is that students at-risk of failure are not a discrete minority, but, rather, a majority of undergraduates.

What can be done?

The answers to higher education’s challenges are becoming increasingly obvious:

1. Make “high impact practices” a more important part of the undergraduate experience
These include practices that emphasize experiential and inquiry-based learning and include mentored research experiences, supervised internships, field, clinical, and service learning.

2. Substitute structured pathways for stand-alone majors
Structured pathways offer a more interdisciplinary, coherent, synergistic, intentionally designed and sequenced path to a meaningful degree.

3. Place a greater focus on skills and outcomes, better aligned with students’ post-graduation goals
This approach requires faculty to identify explicit, granular learning objectives and aligning activities and assessments with those objectives.

4. Add greater flexibility by innovating in scheduling and delivery modalities
To better meet the needs of non-traditional students, flexibility is paramount. Answers include block scheduling, intersession courses, modularized courses, hybrid and low-residency courses, synchronous as well as asynchronous online courses (but only if these have a powerful social dimension).

5. Make use of data analytics
Using data on student engagement, performance, pace to identify student confusions and misunderstandings in near real-time; student profile and performance data to target students at risk of failure and target interventions; and using historical data in making decisions about admissions and financial aid allocations.

6. Adopt educational technology that supplements and enhances, rather than replaces, face-to-face education
This might include interactive courseware with embedded simulations, assessments, and feedback that can adapt to students’ learning needs and mobile tools to facilitate field-based learning.

7. Adopt active learning pedagogies that emphasize mastery and combine soft skills and hard skills
These are pedagogies that emphasize inquiry, problem-solving, and authentic project- and team-based learning and that seek to produce graduates with the full range of literacies and proficiencies necessary in the twenty-first century, including oral and written communication skills, cross-cultural competence, numeracy, critical thinking, and ethical reasoning.

8. Support greater transparency
Students, parents, and policy makers would greatly benefit from greater openness about program-level outcomes in retention and graduation rates and post-graduation outcomes.

9. Create experimental spaces, where faculty and staff can pilot and scale promising approaches
These promising approaches include modularized offerings, earn-learn models, and maker spaces, sandboxes, accelerators, and innovation catalysts where students can work on novel kinds of projects in conjunction with faculty and support staff.

10. Introduce “Plus” options
These might include joint degrees (like Stanford’s, which couple Computer Sciences with a humanities discipline) and short-term skills workshops offering micro-credentials in areas of high demand (for example, in technical writing, data analysis, and project management).

11. Institute new models of student support
These include one-stop service centers, data-driven behavioral nudges, and tiered support structures that includes bridge programs, boot camps, supplemental instruction, peer mentoring, peer-led study groups.

12. Introduce new assessment models better aligned with learning objectives
These include performance-based and project-based assessments that address authentic, real-world challenges and that are modeled on professional practice.

13. Collaborate cross-institutionally
A simple example involves course sharing in important, but low-demand and high cost, areas of study.

High-quality higher education is not cheap, and efforts to “trim the fat” too often result in eliminating the very elements that distinguish a college education from vocational training: Access to foreign language instruction, laboratories, and, of course, intimate interaction with research scholars and engaged peers.

Higher education needs to change, but we must ensure that the changes augment, not detract, from its special mission.

Steven Mintz is Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin and author of the forthcoming Higher Ed Next: Advancing Access, Affordability, and Achievement.
00 2019-02-07
Shreveport

Dr. Marsha Friedrich made history at Louisiana Tech


Shreveporter Dr. Marsha Friedrich — now a successful obstetrician/gynecologist —made history as a Louisiana Tech engineering student.

She was the first female master's degree graduate in biomedical engineering, in the days when the discipline was new and not offered at many schools around the nation.

Russ Friedrich (clockwise, from seated right), Marsha Friedrich, Rob and Dee Cockran, Jim and Marilyn Kirkland at College of Engineering & Science Distinguished Alumni 2019 Awards Ceremony Dinner at Louisiana Tech. Dr. Friedrich received the Excellence in Biomedical Engineering Award.Buy Photo
Russ Friedrich (clockwise, from seated right), Marsha Friedrich, Rob and Dee Cockran, Jim and Marilyn Kirkland at College of Engineering & Science Distinguished Alumni 2019 Awards Ceremony Dinner at Louisiana Tech. Dr. Friedrich received the Excellence in Biomedical Engineering Award. (Photo: Paul L. Schuetze/The Times)

But her engineering education has served her well.

With her award given in the biomedical engineering program, Friedrich was among 11 recognized at the College of Engineering & Science Distinguished Alumni 2019 Awards Ceremony. Dr. Hisham Hegab, dean of Tech's College of Engineering and Science, presided at the dinner at Tech.

Louisiana Tech Prez Les Guice, Dr. Marsha Friedrich, Kathy Guice, Russ Friedrich at Tech Distinguished Alumni 2019 Awards Ceremony.Buy Photo
Louisiana Tech Prez Les Guice, Dr. Marsha Friedrich, Kathy Guice, Russ Friedrich at Tech Distinguished Alumni 2019 Awards Ceremony. (Photo: Paul L. Schuetze/The Times)

The honors are presented for leadership and professional accomplishments from each program of discipline of the engineering college and also went to: Michael Couvillion, Douglas Houston, Matthew J. Wallace, Jeffrey Plauche, Dr. Kenny Crump, Ronald S. Lindsey, the late Joshua L. Cummings, Jesse Wilkins, Lt. Col. Paul Konyha, Dr. Bruce Patton. Kathleen Cummings received the Industrial Engineering Award for her late husband.

Distinguished Alumni 2019 Award recipients in the College of Engineering & Science at Louisiana Tech: Kathleen Cummings, accepting for her husband, the late Joshua L. Cummings, Dr. Marsha Friedrich, Douglas Houston, Matthew J. Wallace, Michael Couvillion, Dr. Kenny Crump, Jeffrey Plauche, Dr. Hisam Hegab, dean of the college.Buy Photo
Distinguished Alumni 2019 Award recipients in the College of Engineering & Science at Louisiana Tech: Kathleen Cummings, accepting for her husband, the late Joshua L. Cummings, Dr. Marsha Friedrich, Douglas Houston, Matthew J. Wallace, Michael Couvillion, Dr. Kenny Crump, Jeffrey Plauche, Dr. Hisam Hegab, dean of the college. (Photo: Paul L. Schuetze/The Times)

"Louisiana Tech meant a lot to Josh. I wish he could be here to thank you," said Kathleen Cummings

In her acceptance talk, Friedrich noted: "(Professors), thank you for giving me the courage, confidence and tools to attempt to solve life's problems and the humility to know that when you don't have the answer, you can always ask (colleagues) for help."

Friedrich said she was among the first students to work with the then engineering college dean Dr. Dan Reneau, later Tech president, now retired. "(He) started the biomedical engineering, program when no one really knew what that meant," Friedrich said.

Mechanical Engineering Award recipient Konya, who is with NASA, brought a laugh when he told diners that he had not been back to Louisiana Tech in 20 years and found a lot of changes.

On a serious note, Konya added, "The university has given me tools to build character and the ability to stick to my dreams. The university is a big part of the things that have happened to me and not just academically."

Mardi Gras Balls

Krewe Atlas Queen XI Emily Favrot presented to billows of smoke, haze and "Rise Up" at the Atlas Grand Bal XI "Age of Aquarius."Buy Photo
Krewe Atlas Queen XI Emily Favrot presented to billows of smoke, haze and "Rise Up" at the Atlas Grand Bal XI "Age of Aquarius." (Photo: Paul L. Schuetze/The Times)

Atlas. Love! Peace! Harmony! "Bridge Over Troubled Water!" Psychedelic-inspired videos! Yes, Krewe Atlas XVI theme was "Age of Aquarius!" Backed by With breathtaking videos, royals in spectacular costumes, did the 2019 version of the 1960s scene superbly Jan. 17 at Shreveport Convention Center.

Krewe Atlas King XI John Favrot is presented at Grande Bal XI "Age of Aquarius" as "Bridge Over Troubled Water" played.Buy Photo
Krewe Atlas King XI John Favrot is presented at Grande Bal XI "Age of Aquarius" as "Bridge Over Troubled Water" played. (Photo: Paul L. Schuetze/The Times)

Atlas King XVI John Favrot and Queen Emily Favrot ruled the night. Other court members swathed in stunning feathers and other age-inspired costumes: Dukes and Duchesses, Peace Chris Miller and Theresa Miller, Love John Smith and Bitsy Smith; Harmony Zach Favrot and Amanda Favrot.

Captain John Pumilio and Co-Captain Dana Favrot also made grand entrances.

A bow, too, to Royalty Chair Sylvia Mobley.

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Sobek. With Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins in the crowd, Krewe Sobek Grande Bal XVI celebrated to a gold theme of "Disco Nights." Krewe Captain XVI Kevin Moffett and Co-Captain Chip Bryant led the way. Grande Bal Chair XVI Saundra Bigham pulled it all together and Michael H. Harris served as master of ceremonies.

King Sobek XVI Thomas Edwards and Queen Sobek JoAnna Lester-Pruitt topped the court list. Other royals: Keepers: Wind Eric White, Earth Robert Johnson, Water Susan Brown, Fire Danna Joseph.

Krewe Sobek King XVI Thomas Edwards meets his subjects at Sobek Grande Bal.Buy Photo
Krewe Sobek King XVI Thomas Edwards meets his subjects at Sobek Grande Bal. (Photo: Paul L. Schuetze/The Times)

Special party notes: The captain's guests enjoyed shortbread-inspired cookies prepared by Moffett's mother, Eunice Moffett, from her mother's recipes ... The royal court greeted their subjects by dancing down the Mardi ramp to pulsating music ... Fashion notes: Trendy jumpsuits seen in current fashion magazines were popular frocks, as were small print dresses designed to wear formally ... After the presentation ended and music rolled through the venue, there was hardly a spot on the floor — including the ramp — that didn't have revelers dancing' the night away.

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Maggie Martin is a Times reporter/columnist. She can be reached by calling 820-7404. Email: mmartin@shreveporttimes.com.
00 2019-02-06
Hammond

SLU’S history, political science department’s three-part lecture series to highlight Black History Month


The Department of History and Political Science at Southeastern Louisiana University will hold a free lecture series in February in honor of Black History Month.

All the lectures are free and open to the public.

The first lecture, titled “Obstruction: African American Golfers and Southern Resistance in the Twilight of Jim Crow,” will be given by Chad Duffaut in the Student Union Theatre. It is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 12, beginning at 11 a.m.

“One of the most underappreciated narratives of the Civil Rights movement involves the sport of golf and the fight for equal access to proper facilities,” said Department Head of History and Political Science Bill Robison.

“To African American golfers, this fight represented an opportunity to take the next step in changing a broken system and erasing the cruel and unjust life of Jim Crow.”

Next on the schedule is a lecture by Peter Gratton on Wednesday, Feb. 20, titled “African Philosophy: Past and Future.” Scheduled at 11 a.m., the lecture will take place in Pottle Music Auditorium.

“For too long, Africans were thought not to have cultural beliefs or even simply ‘tribal religions,’” said Robison. “This talk demonstrates quickly just how false this view is.”

Robison said Dr. Gratton will quickly reviews the major trends in African philosophy before discussing where the future of this set of philosophical traditions appears to be heading.

The final lecture in the series is scheduled Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 11 a.m., in the Student Union Theatre. Samantha Cavell will deliver a lecture titled “Mary Seacole: Breaking all Boundaries in the Victorian Age.”

“For more than a century, the story of Mary Seacole, a Jamaican nurse and who aided thousands of British soldiers on the front lines of the Crimean War, was lost in the long shadows cast by her rival, Florence Nightingale,” Robinson explained.

“But Mary Seacole’s remarkable journey from traditional healer and specialist in tropical medicine to beloved ‘mother’ of the troops at Sevastopol stands as tribute to her steadfast belief in herself and her mission, and her iron will to overcome all obstacles, especially those of gender, race, and cultural bigotry.”

For additional information about Southeastern’s Black History Month lecture series, contact Robison at 985-549-2413 or wrobison@southeastern.edu.
00 2019-02-06
Hammond

SOUTHEASTERN STUDENTS BENEFIT FROM HIGH TECH COMPUTER LAB


HAMMOND – Students at Southeastern Louisiana University will soon benefit from a high-tech computer lab thanks to a generous donation from Envoc, a web and mobile software design, development and application-hosting firm based in Baton Rouge, with a second location in Hammond.

Pending University of Louisiana System Board approval, the new space will be named the Envoc Innovation Lab and is located in the newly constructed Computer Science and Technology Building on Southeastern’s campus.

After years of integrated teaching and mentorship in college classrooms, Envoc is investing in a more permanent involvement by funding development of the new lab, said Envoc CEO Calvin Fabre. Officially opened Jan. 29, the new lab will provide a work-like environment on campus that is an extension of Envoc’s company culture and mission to create a better reality.

“Many of our Envoceans at our Hammond office are Southeastern graduates, as am I, and we like to stay involved and create learning opportunities for future developers,” said Fabre. “We personally help develop the computer science curriculum at Southeastern, and some of our Envoceans even facilitate project classes, offering students an opportunity to work side-by-side with thriving professionals on innovative projects. The Innovation Lab enhances that experience on campus.”

Southeastern Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Undergraduate Coordinator of Computer Science and Industrial Technology John Burris worked closely with Envoc to organize the lab’s conception and opening.

“Students are highly motivated by the opportunity to experience a real-world work environment, so the vision for the Innovation Lab was to immerse students in the environment of a software agency and encourage professionalism and innovation,” said Burris.

Designed to mirror Envoc’s offices and provide students with a variety of stations to work alone or with a group, the new lab contains a lounge area, two rows of modern workstations, two futuristic privacy chairs, and a section where students can virtually sit in on Envoc’s developer meetings.

“The innovation center is the result of education and software institutions coming together to invest in young developers,” said Professor of Computer Science Ghassan Alkadi. “The lab will provide an environment for computer science majors to receive professional mentorship, work on client-based projects, and gain knowledge beyond what can be self-taught or learned in a textbook.”

For more information, contact the Department of Computer Science at 985-549-5740.

PHOTO:
HIGH TECH COMPUTER LAB NOW OPEN - Students at Southeastern Louisiana University will soon benefit from a high-tech computer lab thanks to a generous donation from Envoc, a web and mobile software design, development and application-hosting firm based in Baton Rouge, with a second location in Hammond. Pending University of Louisiana System Board approval, the new space will be named the Envoc Innovation Lab and is located in the newly constructed Computer Science and Technology Building on Southeastern’s campus. Cutting the ribbon are, from left, Southeastern President John L. Crain and Envoc CEO Calvin Fabre.
00 2019-02-06
Lafayette

UL-Lafayette ranked No. 195 in the world for eco-friendliness


Sustainability efforts at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette are being noticed from a distance of more than 10,000 miles.

UL-Lafayette is 195th on the 2018 University of Indonesia’s GreenMetric Rankings released recently and is No. 25 in the United States.

Eco-friendly practices and overall campus environment were considered at 719 universities from 81 countries for UI’s GreenMetric list. It relies on data collected via online questionnaires submitted by each university. The system is the only one in the world that measures green efforts at universities, according to a press release from the University of Indonesia.

The GreenMetric list is based on factors such as recycling, efficient use of electricity, renewable energy sources and amount of open space, forest and vegetation on campus.

Gretchen Lacombe Vanicor, director of the university's office of sustainability, said its commitment to sustainability stretches beyond “enacting programs to reduce waste on campus or planting trees or using environmentally-sound construction practices.”

“Eco-friendly practices and programs benefit the campus and community but also offer opportunities for education and research,” she said.

The University’s $5 million Photovoltaic Applied Research and Testing Laboratory provides students with training related to alternative energy that reduces fossil-fueled energy consumption and offsets air emissions like sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide and greenhouse gases.

Vanicor cited The University’s “zero-waste” program as an opportunity for students to earn service hours. Bins placed at Cajun Field during football games give fans the option of having their game day trash composted or recycled.

UL-Lafayette has enacted other programs in recent years, she added, that has earned recognition:

The U.S. Department of Education selected the university as one of only 11 postsecondary Green Ribbon Schools in the nation and the only one in Louisiana. The designation acknowledges “leadership in reducing environmental impact, improving health, and teaching environmental education.”
The National Wildlife Federation praised Cypress Lake for its role in protecting wildlife and providing a learning environment for students. The managed wetland on campus is home to alligators, several species of turtles and fish along with hawks, herons and other birds.
The university earned its ninth consecutive Tree Campus USA title last year from the Arbor Day Foundation. The campus has more than 2,000 trees and large shrubs. A rare Montezuma bald cypress that’s one of the largest in the state is listed on the Louisiana Forestry Association’s Directory of Champions.
The Student Union was recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program for environmentally sound building practices and recycling efforts during its expansion and renovation.
00 2019-02-06
New Orleans

Crescent City College Notes for Feb. 6


LEADERSHIP HONORS: Cedric Dent Jr., of New Orleans, was recently selected to participate in the Southwestern Black Student Leadership Conference's Advance Leadership Institute. Davis is a student at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond and was the 2018 Homecoming King.

TRANSFER MOVES FORWARD: Under a new student transfer agreement, eligible Delgado Community College students will have a seamless path to a four-year degree at the University of New Orleans. Delgado students will also have access to new financial aid opportunities and UNO admissions counselors who can admit transfer students on Delgado’s campuses. Some of the highlights of the newly signed student transfer agreement:

Delgado students with 24 or more hours of transferable, college-level coursework, including the completion of a college-level math and English, and an overall GPA of 2.25 or higher, receive guaranteed admission to UNO.
UNO counselors will hold a number of “quick admit” days at Delgado’s City Park and West Bank campuses. UNO will waive the application fee, and eligible Delgado students will be admitted to UNO on the spot.
Students seeking admission before the completion of an associate degree may participate in a financial aid consortium. Students may take classes at Delgado and UNO but use financial aid through UNO to fund their education at both institutions.
UNO will participate in a reverse transfer agreement with Delgado. Transcripts of students who apply and attend UNO for at least one academic year will be sent back to Delgado for articulation and possible award of an associate degree.
All students interested in transferring to UNO will have weekly access to pre-admission advising through a transfer admission counselor.
The agreement must still be approved by the University of Louisiana System and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.

HONOR LISTS: The University of Southern Mississippi has released its president’s and dean’s lists for the 2018 fall semester. The president’s list includes full-time students who earned a 4.0 GPA. Dean’s list scholars are those with at least a 3.5 GPA, but less than a 4.0.

DES ALLEMANDS — President’s list: Donna Marie Hinrichs
DESTREHAN — Dean’s list: Destiny Amari Dupre
GRETNA — Dean’s list: Ashleigh E Jambon, Jonathan K Niehaus
HAHNVILLE — President’s list: Isabella L Brocato
HARAHAN — President’s list: Amanda Blanchard
Dean’s list: Luke Jeffrey Hecker
HARVEY — Dean’s list: Caroline Jane DeGraw
JEFFERSON — President’s list: Jonathan Richard Dunn
LULING — President’s list: McKenzie Claire Hargis, Leah Claire Wilson
Dean’s list: Haley Dallas Faulkner, Amanda Marie Robicheaux
MARRERO — President’s list: Ryan Anthony Neumann
Dean’s list: Gabrielle Mckenna Colley, Alyson Elyse Delaune, Zachery Andrew Ritchie, Jaime Nicole Stigall
MERAUX — Dean’s list: Sarah Ann Hogan, Jacqueline Johnson, Jenna Theresa Miserendino
METAIRIE — President’s list: Simone Madeleine Becnel, Austin Kenneth Boudreaux, Allison Leigh Bucher, Natalie Marie Frazier, Alese Kari Jones, Robin Elizabeth Leonard, Angelina Marie Lovecchio, Gerald Mouton III, Jakob Murray
Dean’s list: Gabriela Elena Alongia, Alexis Rose Bellocq, Sarah Ellarose Boudloche, Camila Cristina Cardoso, Peyton Lissette Dupuy, Penny Rae Fischer, Brittany Elizabeth Juneau, Alexis Christine Lifsey, Julian Christopher Meilleur, Maggie Michele Neupert, Cameron Saige Ponder, Sara J. Powers, Mackenzie Silva, LaQuitta Mone Simpson, Annelise Casey Tortorich
NEW ORLEANS — President’s list: Kaitlyn Elizabeth August, Eliza Ann Baldwin, Shelby Madison Brooks, Kasmine Kimbirlee Hamilton, Olivia M. Leblanc, Rian D. Robinson, Rebecca Ruth Sabine
Dean’s list: Morgane E. Dejoie, Elizabeth Hall Evans, Tiffany Anne Forest, Caitlin Cherie Haik, Norrielle Dianne Haynes, Dreux A. Holmes, Christian Miller, Kathleen V. Tullis, Kayla None Williams
RIVER RIDGE — President’s list: Hannah Dorothy Guichet
Dean’s list: Rebekah Arrington Besselman, Katie Elisabeth Mayer
ST. BERNARD — Dean’s list: Hailey Nicole Stabinsky
TERRYTOWN — Dean’s list: Abigail Rose Huff
WESTWEGO — President’s list: Katie Danielle Milligan
Dean’s list: Jade Gabrielle Alexander
00 2019-02-06
New Orleans

St. Tammany College Notes for Feb. 06


SLU STAGES 'RUDDIGORE': Southeastern Louisiana University’s Opera/Music Theatre Workshop will present “Ruddigore” (The Witch’s Curse) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, 220 E. Thomas St., Hammond. The Gilbert and Sullivan work is a satirical take on the Victorian melodrama genre. Area cast members include Elizabeth Langley, of Mandeville; Anne Lebranche, of Abita Springs; Vivian McCalman, of Mandeville; Mary Vince, of Pearl River; and Ryan Pitre, of Lacombe.

LAW SCHOOL SCHOLARS: Six St. Tammany Parish natives have been named Paul M. Hebert Scholars and Dean’s Scholars by the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center for the spring 2019 semester. First-year students Brittany Williams, Anna E. Reed and Mallory Guillot, and second-year students Madeleine Morgan and Miles Sonnier are among 56 students to be named Hebert Scholars. Third-year student Mary Grace Richardson is among 79 students who were awarded the Dean's Scholar honor. Hebert Scholar is awarded to the top 10 percent of students earning 12 or more semester hours of credit.

UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA: St. Tammany Parish students at the University of Alabama were named to the dean's list with a GPA of 3.5 or above or the president’s list with a GPA of 4.0. The lists recognize full-time undergraduate students.

ABITA SPRINGS — Dean’s list: Mary Hayden
COVINGTON — President’s list: Elizabeth Baul, Julia Lazaro, Nicholas Mejia, Nicholas Meyers, Alexis Nielson, Faith Saucier. Dean’s list: Madison Castleberry, Diana Darr, Alysia Spedale, Samantha Zelden.
MADISONVILLE — President’s list: Payton Morris. Dean’s list: Kaitlyn Allen, Jenna Sims, John Wronkowski.
MANDEVILLE — President’s list: Louis Bubrig, Kaitlyn Cahill, Madeline Erwin, Raina Esteves, Allyson Lacoste, Madelyn Schmidt, Mason Serna. Dean’s list: Hailey Campo, Ryan Carrigan, Isabella Dugas, Grant Fink, Miles Gray, Katie Higgins, Reed Kirk, Abigail Oser, Nicholas Pizzuto, Lindsay Reardon, Alexis Strain, Ann Young.
SLIDELL — President’s list: Laura Carrasquilla, Mitchell Metzger. Dean’s list: Madeline Plunkett, Edward Smith.
UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK: Machayla Merritt, of Mandeville, has been named to the dean's list for the fall 2018 semester at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Students must have completed at least nine credit hours and earned at least a 3.5 GPA to make the list.

UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE: Tracy Mashaw of Mandeville has been named to the fall 2018 dean's list at the University of Delaware in Newark. To be eligible for the dean's list, a student must be enrolled full-time and earn a GPA of 3.33 or above for the semester.

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE: Northshore Technical Community College in Lacombe is offering a full-tuition scholarship to a 2019 graduating high school senior or graduating WorkReady U – Adult Education student from St. Tammany, Washington, St. Helena, Tangipahoa and Livingston parishes enrolling full-time in the Maritime Technology program during the 2019-20 academic year. The scholarship is for two consecutive semesters, for a maximum total scholarship award of $5,000 (fall and spring semesters only). For information and application, see northshorecollege.edu/financial-aid/scholarships.
00 2019-02-06
Ruston

DANNY GRAHAM TO BE HONORED WITH LOUISIANA TECH’S TOWER MEDALLION


Danny Graham, a 1977 business administration graduate,will become the university’s newest Tower Medallion recipient when he’s inducted into Tech’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni at the Winter Commencement Ceremony at 10 a.m. Feb. 23 at the Thomas Assembly Center.
00 2019-02-06
Shreveport

Grambling president to speak at scholarship banquet


Grambling State University President Rick Gallot, will receive the "2019 Outstanding African American Achievement Award" at the Shreveport-Bossier-DeSoto African American Scholarship Awards Banquet. He will be honored for his work in education.

Gallot also will be the keynote speaker.

Other individuals will be given "Make a Difference" awards.

-Rick Gallot..jpg_20110815.jpg
Rick Gallot (Photo: HAWKINSPHOTO.COM)

Katie Latin is founder/director of the organization, which gives scholarships to north Louisiana students, said banquet chairman Ken Latin. A special scholarship will be given in memory of Tony L. Cox, a Lincoln Parish DARE police officer, and will be presented by state Rep. Kenny Cox and Jerome Cox.

The event is at 6:30 p.m., Feb. 9 at Morning Star Baptist Church Family Life Center, 5340 Jewella Ave. Admission: $40, individual, and $300 for tables of eight. Information: 422-0876.

The 2018 Shreveport-Bossier-DeSoto African American Scholarship "Make A Difference" Award Recipients:

Jada Durden — blogger, freelance writer and social media junkie.
Dr. Darryl Gates — retired educator, musician and songwriter.
Willie Giles — pastor, Mary Evergreen Baptist Church and moderator, Mount Herman District Baptist Association.
Krystle Grindley — public information officer Parish of Caddo.
Petrina Jenkins — board of directors for Louisiana State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Jacque Jovic — KTAL television anchor.
Dr. Rodney Pendleton — one of 2,000 dentists worldwide who has received special recognition in oral implantation.
Markey W. Pierre — first African American board chairwoman for Independence Bowl and first African American Woman board chairman for Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce
Grady Smith — principal, Woodlawn Leadership Academy.
Nevada Walker — retired from Caddo Parish Headstart and a building was named in her honor.
00 2019-02-05
Baton Rouge

Changing times put higher ed on a ledge


The mix of economic pressures on students and universities, combined with the coming demographic changes in students as well as a decade of state disinvestment in public education, has forced many higher education institutions to transform or die.

In short, higher education has reached a point of no return, writes LSU Vice Provost of Digital and Continuing Education Sasha Thackaberry in an essay published by WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies. WCET is a nonprofit focused on improving the quality and reach of technology-enhanced learning programs.

Into the current make-or-break landscape for colleges comes the “Shadow Education Sector,” which is increasingly less shadowy. This category encompasses boot camps and a variety of micro-credentials from the providers formerly known as MOOCs.

So what does all that mean to non-academics? Higher education must rapidly change, becoming more flexible in how and where it educates students and tailoring services to fit the needs of both students and the workforce they hope to join.

Thackaberry says these developments bring into question whether traditional universities, like LSU, will keep being relevant in the same way they have been. Read Thackaberry’s full essay on WCET’s website.
00 2019-02-05
Houma/Thibodaux

More wins, more money for Nicholls sports


“For us, being at that $9.6 million number for revenues — that’s big for us,” Athletics Director Matt Roan said.



Nicholls Athletic Revenues and Expenses
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Related content
Nicholls athletics financial report for 2018
Revenue for Nicholls State’s sports programs rose nearly 12 percent over the past three years as the Colonels enjoy the most successful period in university history across all teams.
Nicholls sports made $9.6 million and spent $9.2 million in a year that included a regular-season title in men’s basketball and in softball, the women’s basketball program reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time and the football program hosting its first ever FCS Playoff game, NCAA figures show.
That increase, however, is inflated by a one-time grant from the NCAA of a little more than $500,000 this year. Of that, Nicholls plans to spend roughly $100,000 over the next five years on various sports initiatives like additional tutoring and mental health services for athletes.
All told, Nicholls broke even in 2018, with all 12 varsity teams operating in the black, according to the latest NCAA financial reports.
“For us, being at that $9.6 million number for revenues — that’s big for us,” Nicholls Athletics Director Matt Roan said. “Looking back at our history, I can’t tell you the last time we eclipsed that $9 million mark. We’re there and now our goal is to be at $10 million.”
Nicholls has the second smallest athletics budget in the Southland Conference and the smallest among football-playing schools, according to USA Today’s financial database for the 2016-17 fiscal year. That does not include private universities like Houston Baptist, which do not have to report publicly. 

Despite that, the Colonels saw significant growth over the past three years across the board.
From 2016 to 2018, Nicholls’ ticket sales revenue rose 26 percent in all sports combined.
Football continues to be the biggest money maker, with $2.5 million in revenue and a net profit of $76,502. That comes after the entire coaching staff received a substantial pay raise following the 2017 season.
Ticket sales for the 2017 football season climbed to $180,711 as Nicholls reached the postseason for the first time since 2005.
That number is an improvement from the $104,100 in football ticket sales during head coach Tim Rebowe’s second season in 2015.
In total, Nicholls sports generated $254,821 in ticket sales during last year.
The university also saw an 11 percent increase in cash donations, which totaled $793,504 last year. Roan credits the growth to a policy change he instituted two years ago, allowing coaches more freedom to reach out to individual donors for direct support for their programs instead of letting contributions flow through the athletic department first.
Baseball raised the most donations in 2018, with $79,373. Men’s golf was a close second at $71,320, aided by the donation of a team van worth roughly $50,000. Football was third with $59,414, followed by men’s basketball with $38,243 and softball with $23,753.
One of the largest boosts in 2018 came from the football program’s playoff game, which raised $130,529 in revenue. Nicholls spent $93,587 to host South Dakota State. That includes a guaranteed payment to the NCAA as part of the bidding process for the right to host the game in Thibodaux.
The biggest money maker for all sports came in the form of guaranteed payments teams receive for playing larger schools during the non-conference schedule.
Football brought in the most money in 2018 thanks to its trip to Texas A&M. The Colonels left with a check for $550,000 and 10 points away from an upset.
Football did not pay any guarantees to Prairie View A&M when the Colonels hosted the Panthers, according to filings.
Men’s basketball earned $365,000 in guaranteed payments in a schedule that included a trip to eventual national champion Villanova. It also paid $14,000 to opponents to come to Thibodaux and play.
Women’s basketball received $55,000, while all other sports combined for $31,500 in revenue.
But of all the areas in which Nicholls improved financially over the past three years, Roan was most excited about the gains made in “program, novelty, parking and concession sales,” nearly doubling in revenue. Football alone went from a $15,675 gain to $30,477.
The largest driving factor behind the entirety of Nicholls athletics, however, remains student fees and direct institutional support.
An athletics fee of $10 per credit hour, with a maximum of $120 for full-time students, is added to tuition payments. Students paid $2.6 million toward those fees last year, while the university gave another $2.5 million to its athletic department.
Football was the largest recipient, with almost $1.3 million given by students and the school combined.
“I’m proud of the fact that in fiscal year 2017 and 2018, we operated in the black,” Roan said. “We’re not carrying deficits forward, and that’s a credit to our coaches, who spend what they need; they don’t always spend what they want. It takes a village.”
00 2019-02-05
Lake Charles

Taking area’s message to Washington D.C.


SW La. was in the spotlight during the recent Washington Mardi Gras in Washington, D.C. The SW La. Louisiana contingent was headed by the 2019 Chamber SW La. Board Chair, Phil Earhart. We were joined by McNeese University President Dr. Daryl Burckel; Kevin Melton, executive director at Chennault International Airpark; and Jerry Theunissen, government affairs cconsultant for Chennault; and Eric Cormier, vice president of policy and strategic development at the Alliance. Also representing our region was Marion Fox, executive director of Jeff Davis economic development and JDED board member Ronnie Petree, and Jennings Mayor Henry Guinn.

We attended the programs of the Committee of 100, which is composed of major business leaders around the state. The C-100 hosted a congressional breakfast with all members of our delegation. We then made individual calls on our congressional delegation and staff members. A briefing on governmental issues, infrastructure, international trade, and energy issues were presented to the Louisiana Chambers of Commerce who were also in DC at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The business and networking highlight of DC Mardi Gras is the annual Economic Development Luncheon, chaired this year by Sen. Bill Cassidy, M.D. The SW La. Economic Development Alliance hosted the luncheon which featured remarks and a Q&A session with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The Secretary highlighted last week’s jobs report which was above all projections with 304,000 jobs created.

The growing sectors are leisure and hospitality, construction, healthcare, transportation, and warehousing. These sectors are strong in our region. Governor John Bel Edwards addressed the luncheon and told of the successes that Louisiana is enjoying. He also mentioned that the Lake Charles MSA (Calcasieu and Cameron parishes) was the fastest growing MSA in GNP in figures released last week. Members of the federal delegation gave brief remarks including the Congressman from our District, Clay Higgins, who reported to the large audience that SW La. continues to lead the state and possibly the nation, in industrial projects.

Congressman Higgins announced that the Sasol Ethane Cracker Unit and the Lotte project were going into operation. An additional $65 billion in projects have been announced and in various stages of permitting and planning, for a total of $109 billion. To wrap up the luncheon, Gray Stream of Lake Charles, 2019 chair of the committee of 100, introduced the founder of WAITR, Chris Meaux. Chris told of how he was able to start his restaurant and food delivery firm in the SEED Center in Lake Charles, and grow to an $800 million dollar company. After the purchase of WAITR by Tillman Fertitta, the company went public and since acquired a similar company based in Minneapolis. In response to questions from Senator Cassidy and Gray Stream, Meaux told how he was able to attract technology workers and developers from other cities. Many of the WAITR staff are individuals who had left the state, but came back for a technology company job. This is encouraging because the WAITR success demonstrates that future technology firms can thrive in our region.

The SW La. Alliance will be working with McNeese University, SOWELA Technical Community College, and the five parish school systems to conduct a STEAM initiative. STEAM is what current and future workers will have to know. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math are the fields needed in the job market for today and for the future.

Business Leaders from around the state and our federal congressional delegation were very positive about our region. Our success is not to be taken for granted.

Support of industrial projects and new job creation are the only sustainable ways to increase the quality of life and cut our poverty rate.



George Swift is president/ CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. Contact him at 337-433-3632 or gswift@allianceswla.org.

STEAM is what current and future workers will have to know. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math are the fields needed in the job market for today and for the future.
00 2019-02-05
Monroe

ULM, GSU, and city of Monroe receives grants to install high efficiency lights


MONROE, La. - (2/4/19) Two local parishes are getting money to become more energy efficent.

Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell has awarded $750,000 in grants for Lincoln and Ouachita parishes.

The money will install high-efficiency LED lights in university and municipal government buildings.

Grambling State University and ULM will receive part of it as well as the city of Monroe.

Monroe mayor Jamie Mayo said, "It shows that we are embracing technology to help energy and those type of things, that will ultimately help the city of Monroe. We will use these funds for the city hall, civic center, police department on Wood Street and the Public Safety Center in the southern part of our city."

The grant is an off shoot of the Louisiana quick start energy efficiency program to help home and business customers lower their utility bills.
00 2019-02-05
Monroe

$750K going to ULM, GSU and Monroe for energy efficiency projects


More than $750,000 will go to the University of Louisiana Monroe, Grambling State University and the city of Monroe for projects that will increase energy efficiency.

Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell announced the grant awards on Monday at his office in Monroe. All thee grants will go toward high-efficiency LED lights in university- or government-owned buildings.

The award amounts are:

ULM: $179,830
GSU: $462,508
Monroe: $111,282.
"Energy Efficiency is a cost-effective way to reduce energy costs, improve building comfort and preserve our environment," Campbell said. "Every dollar that our local governments and public bodies save on their electric bills is a dollar that can help them improve service to the public."

The projects are estimated to save thousands of dollars.

Grambling State University President Rick Gallot, Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell and University of Louisiana at Monroe Preside Nick Bruno talked about what $750,000 in grants will do to help reduce energy costs at both universities and in city buildings.Buy Photo
Grambling State University President Rick Gallot, Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell and University of Louisiana at Monroe Preside Nick Bruno talked about what $750,000 in grants will do to help reduce energy costs at both universities and in city buildings. (Photo: Bonnie Bolden/The News-Star)

Campbell said this isn't a handout with no oversight. Each institution submits a plan that details the proposed projected, how much it will cost and when the cost of the project will be recouped in savings. The institutions get approval, complete the projects, then request reimbursement. In this case, all three institutions use Entergy.

Mayo said the grant will replace lighting in city hall, for the police department, the Civic Center and public transit and the Public Safety Center.

Gallot said it took a passionate team to put together the proposal and he looks forward to doing the work.

Bruno said he got concerned that the grant wouldn't come through, but Campbell assured him the grant funds would come in the second cycle of awards. He said the university expects good results.


The PSC Energy Efficiency program is for public entities and political subdivisions. It's an offshoot of the "Quick Start" Energy Efficiency program that has helped residential and commercial customers lower their utility consumption.

Funding for the program for public entities comes from a surcharge on electric bills paid by cities, parish and other political subdivisions served by Entergy, CLECO and SWEPCO.

Campbell said Louisiana Tech University is not eligible because it uses power from the city of Ruston, which is not under PSC oversight.

A second round of grants will be awarded later this year. The deadline is March 1.

Megan Davenport, who works for Campbell, reviews the proposals. She said replacing lighting with LED options is a popular choice, but it's not the only work the grants will fund.

An organization in Shreveport, for example, got a grant to seal its heating and cooling ducts.

Davenport said any project that can help save utility costs could be approved, and the PSC can partially approve a proposal if all the elements don't meet the criteria. She encourages public organizations such as school, libraries or municipalities that use one of the participating utilities to apply.

For more information, contact Davenport at Campbell's District 5 office in Shreveport at 318-676-7464 or megan.davenport@la.gov.
00 2019-02-05
Natchitoches

NSU has record spring enrollment of 10,155


Northwestern State University has a spring enrollment of 10,155, which is the largest for a spring semester in the university’s 135-year history. The previous record of 9,931was set last spring.

* Note – Not all 10,155 attend school on the Natchitoches Campus. We are very blessed to have a large Online enrollment.

The registration count increased by 224 students or 2.2 percent over last spring.

“The record spring enrollment is a reflection of the outstanding work done by our faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the university in moving Northwestern forward,” said Northwestern State President Dr. Chris Maggio. “Larger numbers of students are selecting to attend Northwestern because of its strong academics, the excellent student life experience and the effort that goes into preparing our students for the workforce of tomorrow.”

The university has enhanced student life by opening the Campus Marketplace, which includes the campus bookstore and Chick-fil-A restaurant which began operations last week.

Major capital improvements have been made including a new parking lot at Watson Library, overlay of Caspari Street and upgrades in several classroom buildings. An outdoor stage at Iberville Green will be completed soon.

Students and faculty continued to bring national and international acclaim to the university through their accomplishments. In academics, students had a 100 percent passage rate on the NCLEX exam. The first cohort of BSN students completed their clinical studies on the Natchitoches campus. In the School of Business the first inaugural Inferno Pitch competition took place. NSU recorded the highest student-athlete graduation rate in school history, The university was among the recipients of a highly-competitive Department of Education Teacher Quality Partnership grant.

The university maintained its ranking as a Military Friendly institution for the ninth time.
00 2019-02-05
Natchitoches

NSU to host Spring Career Fair Feb. 12


Northwestern State University will hold its annual Spring Career Fair and Grad Fest Tuesday, Feb. 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Friedman Student Union.

The Spring Career Fair is sponsored by NSU’s Office of Counseling and Career Services and is for juniors and seniors at NSU who want to explore career opportunities, full-time jobs, internships, graduate and professional schools, career paths and volunteer opportunities.

Scheduled participants include Tower Loan, CHRISTUS St. Francis Cabrini, Louisiana Tech University, Southern University Law Center, General Dynamics Information Technology, Louisiana State Police, Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations, Louisiana CAT, LA Workforce Commission, GEICO and the USDA – National Resource Conservation Service.

Also scheduled to take part are City Year, Dallas Police Department, Mississippi College School of Law, Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office, Emerson, Enterprise Holdings, The Orchard Foundation, Ochsner LSU Health, Vertiv, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, Texas Chiropractic College, Texas A&M Commerce Enrollment Management and Retention, National Park Service, Boise Cascade Company, Pinecrest Supports and Services Center, Crest Industries, LLC and ScribeAmerica.

Additional participants may be added.


00 2019-02-05
Ruston

A Look Inside: Louisiana Tech's new Integrated Engineering & Science Building


RUSTON, La. - A new 128-thousand square foot facility sitting on the edge of Louisiana Tech University's campus.
For months crews have been working to make the new Integrated Engineering and Science Building a reality.
A new resource Tech leaders call a game changer.

"We're going to be able to better train those particular fields. We are going to give them the currently state of the art education. We are going to get students uniquely trained," said Associate Vice President for Administration & Facilities Sam Wallace.

New labs, lecture halls, and classrooms --- a thrill for students in the program.

"I'm so excited for this new building it's going to be a great place for students to study and to learn and there are going to be amazing classrooms," said Courtney Wessels.

A nearly $40 million investment the university said will benefit the engineers of the future.

"They will be able to get jobs and the industry of Louisiana will have the best trained workforce," said Wallace.

While construction is not yet complete, the anticipation is building to break in the new study rooms.

"Some of the study rooms are rundown so I am really really excited for this, and it's going to be all electronic so you can get in with your ID so it's going to be really really cool," said Wessels.

The building is expected to be open Septemeber 2019.
00 2019-02-04
Associated Press

Grambling’s Shakyla Hill Gets Second Career Quadruple-Double


GRAMBLING, La. (AP) — Shakyla Hill became the first player in NCAA history with two career quadruple-doubles, finishing with 21 points, 16 rebounds, 13 assists and 10 steals Saturday night in Grambling State’s 77-57 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

The senior guard got her first one nearly 13 months ago on Jan. 3, 2018, against Alabama State. That was only the fourth one accomplished in NCAA Division I history.

Hill got her 10th steal with 52 seconds left.

“I am just so blessed,” Hill said. “To be able to record a quadruple-double once was something special, but to do it again, words cannot describe how I am feeling. I want to thank my teammates for the support and helping me achieve this record.”

Before Hill’s achievement last year, the last quadruple-double was by Soja Tate of Arkansas State against Mississippi Valley State on Jan. 27, 1993. Tate had 29 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals.

Veronica Pettry of Loyola Chicago had 12 points, 10 rebounds, 22 assists and 11 steals for the first official quadruple-double on Jan. 14, 1989. Steals didn’t become an official NCAA stat until 1987-88 and assists became an official stat just two years earlier.

The other official quad-double was by Ramona Jones of Lamar against Central Florida on Jan. 14, 1991.
00 2019-02-04
Lafayette

As the tech industry grows in Acadiana, the race is on both locally and nationally for talent


A native of New Jersey and graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Will LaBar doesn’t plan on moving away any time soon.

After locating here almost 20 years ago and now heading up Montreal-based CGI’s operations in Lafayette as vice president, LaBar eats crawfish and makes his own roux. He’s got a certificate signed by the mayor that declares him an “Honorary Cajun.”

He's in a sector the Acadiana area wants to grow, along with a workforce to support it.

It’s been a trade-off of sorts for LaBar and his new hometown as CGI has become a shining star in Lafayette's technology sector, which already has grown significantly since the company first broke ground on its Acadiana operations in 2015 with plans for 400 jobs.

The global information technology firm announced last year that it expects to add yet another 400 jobs by 2023. The company, LaBar noted, is a bit ahead of schedule in that.

The company has 100 openings right now, and the search has begun.

“If you have about 15 dot-net developers, we can probably get them going tomorrow,” he said. The open positions "span the gamut. I think by 2024 we will have hit 800. We’re going to continue the rapid growth that we’ve had.”

The company won’t be alone. As community leaders grow the tech sector in Acadiana, the challenge will be to fill those jobs at CGI, Waitr or other companies. The number of graduates from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette have grown in recent years, which gives companies a pool of talent to pick from.

It’s a shift from 2014, said Gregg Gothreaux, president and CEO of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority, when the university was producing more graduates than local job openings.

“Nationally, there is a shortage of experienced software developers,” he said. “Acadiana is competing with major markets for these workers, but local companies have had success in attracting this specialized workforce.

“Having a network of tech-intensive companies with local upward mobility opportunities makes recruiting talent and other companies to the region easier.”

Chad Theriot will tell you he’s been around IT for a long time. There was the Tech South summit in 2005 at the Cajundome, where people got together and dreamed of creating an industry for themselves.

The term Silicon Bayou became popular. And once the film industry came seeking tech people and other companies started tech firms, the race for talent was on in an area where for years qualified people went looking elsewhere for employment.

“We knew that was coming for a long time,” said Theriot, a UL-Lafayette grad and president of CBM Technology in Breaux Bridge. “We’ve been a producer of tech people exports. It’s a brain drain. I was one of them. I left because there were no jobs here in IT. I did great and then came home.

“This whole IT surge is bringing a lot of people home, but we’re having to ramp up the number of people who understand IT investing in town.”

Theriot and his partners bought CBM in 2011, and staffers there do a number of services, including hardware, video, programming and software development. Software developers, he noted, can be hard to find.

“A lot of times software developers are weird birds,” he said. “I get it. We’re geeks. In fact, we make geeks look like normal people. But software developers need to fit into the communities they’re living in. We want to find someone who feels comfortable.”

Now companies are competing with nearby metro markets as the tech industry surges worldwide. DXC Technology has opened an office in New Orleans, with plans to employ 300 within a year and 2,000 by 2025.

IBM’s move to hold a job fair in Lafayette last month for its Baton Rouge operations may have raised eyebrows as an attempt to poach local tech talent.

The race for talent, especially in Louisiana, has begun.

“Everything we do as a company is to win the war for talent,” LaBar said. “This is about: 'Does our community have the right ingredients to attract, retain and grow a workforce in this sector that now spans many sectors?' When we’re recruiting, we have to hit all those different levers.”

Data from UL-Lafayette’s School of Computing and Informatics shows enrollment has climbed considerably in the past six years. In 2012-13, 436 students were enrolled in computer science and informatics programs, and that number rose to 666 in 2017-18 and 713 last fall.

The enrollment is ahead of schedule, said Ramesh Kolluru, vice president of research, innovation and economic development and professor at UL-Lafayette.

“It’s never been better as far as the job market and the opportunity to find employment in the Lafayette region,” Kolluru said. “We’ve always had a steady base of companies that have hired and continue to hire tech folks with the oil and gas sectors and so on. Do people have opportunities? Certainly the answer is better than they ever have before.”

Kolluru and the university actively work with CGI and other agencies on workforce needs. The state also has made commitments to keep those large tech companies anchored in Louisiana, which will provide careers for students without having to leave the state.

“They love the fact that they’re creating opportunities for our graduates,” Kolluru said. “But we also love they’re bringing in talent. For a state that has dealt with brain drain, that adds to our economy here, our culture and what we consider ourselves as a community. That’s very gratifying to see.”
00 2019-02-04
Lake Charles

PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE


City of LC supports Family Foundation: Family Foundation of Southwest Louisiana is presented with a $50,000 donation from the city of Lake Charles. Proceeds were donated through the Family Foundation Capital Campaign, which is raising funds to expand Family & Youth’s current facilities. On hand for the donation are, from left: Councilman Rodney Geyen, District C; Councilwoman Luvertha August, District B; Councilman Mark Eckard, District G; Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter; Julio Galan, President and CEO of Family & Youth; and Councilman Johnnie Thibodeaux, District F.

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McNeese State University

For MSU Foundation: Ann and Ray Todd donate $40,000 to the McNeese State University Foundation to establish the Ann Smith Todd Scholarship for nursing majors. On hand for the presentation are, from left: Richard H. Reid, vice president for university advancement and executive vice president of the foundation; Dr. Peggy Wolfe, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions; Ann and Ray Todd; and McNeese President Dr. Daryl Burckel.

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Special to the American Press

Golden Nugget supports Chamber: Golden Nugget donates $45,000 to the Chamber SWLA as part of their 2019 Presenting Sponsorship of the Chamber SWLA Banquet Jan 24 at the Golden Nugget. From left: Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance Major Event Director Michelle McInnis, Chamber Vice President Paula Ramsey, Golden Nugget Senior Vice President and General Manager Alan Trantina, Golden Nugget Community Development Manager Elizabeth McLaughlin, and Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance President/CEO George Swift.

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McNeese State University

Phillips 66 supports MSU: Phillips 66 donates $15,000 to the McNeese State University College of Engineering and Computer Science through the McNeese Foundation.The donation is designated for the power engineering laboratory, the Engineering is Elementary program and student engineering organizations. On hand for the donation are, from left, Dr. Nikos Kiritsis, college dean; Megan Hartman, Phillips 66 public relations manager; and Richard G. Harbison, Phillips 66 plant manager.
00 2019-02-04
Monroe

Report: Louisiana is one of the least-educated states in the nation


Louisiana is the third least-educated state in the country, according to a new study.

Researchers from WalletHub looked at a variety of educational and economic metrics to develop new rankings of the country's most and least educated states.

Louisiana came in at No. 48 in terms of total education, followed by West Virginia and Mississippi.

RELATED: Louisiana schools strive to support rural students

The state also ranked fourth-lowest among the percentage of residents who have high school diplomas. Ranking below Louisiana were Mississippi, Texas and California. Louisiana's 2017 four-year high school graduation rate was 78.1 percent, marking an increase of 5.8 percent since 2012 and 12.1 percent since 2008.

A new study says Louisiana is the third least-educated state in the country, followed by West Virginia and Mississippi.
A new study says Louisiana is the third least-educated state in the country, followed by West Virginia and Mississippi. (Photo: Getty Images)

Other results from the study include:

Louisiana has the second-lowest percentage of residents with an associate's degree or college experience. West Virginia has the lowest percentage.
Louisiana has the fifth-lowest number of residents with bachelor's degrees. It ranks above Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi and West Virginia.
Louisiana is tied for 45th in terms of the lowest number of residents with graduate or professional degrees. Other states ranking low in this category were Nevada, Mississippi, Arkansas, West Virginia and North Dakota.
As part of the study, researchers spoke with Richard Fossey, a professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette who teaches education law and policy.


Fossey told Wallet Hub that one factor for Louisiana's rankings may be that many families leave the state for Texas, where public schools are ranked far higher than those in Louisiana.

"To stop this brain drain, Louisiana must pay its teachers better and provide better working conditions," Fossey told Wallet Hub. "If you compare a typical Texas high school with a Louisiana high school, the contrast is shocking. Texas schools are modern, clean and well-maintained. Louisiana schools are dilapidated in many communities."

RELATED: New report says school choice support holds steady among Americans

Fossey said another factor is that Louisiana has thousands of jobs in construction, oil production and other fields that do not require a college education.

"States need to do a better job of training people in the new technical trades," he said. "A pipe fitter makes a lot more money than a college graduate with a degree in liberal arts."

According to the study, the most educated states in the country are Massachusetts, Maryland, Vermont, Connecticut and Colorado.
00 2019-02-04
Monroe

Former CenturyLink VP will kick off La. Tech's business lecture series


Bill Bradley, retired senior vice president of cyber engineering and technology services at CenturyLink and executive in residence at the Louisiana Tech University College of Business, will present “Leading Change in a High-Tech World” at 4 p.m. on Feb. 5.

The event is free and open to the public and will take place in Davis Auditorium (COB 101).

Bradley is the speaker in the College of Business's fourth annual “Inside the C-Suite” speaker series.

“Technology has transformed the way we work, live and teach. In the College of Business, it is integrated into every aspect of our curriculum,” said Chris Martin, dean of the college. “Bill is the ideal person to present on this topic, and I’m confident he will bring his C-level perspective and insight to our students in this co-curricular program.”

Bill Bradley
Bill Bradley (Photo: Courtesy)

Bradley has 33 years of experience in cyber security and information technology with roles ranging from software developer to chief technology officer and chief information officer at CenturyLink. Under his leadership, the company’s global workforce ensured CenturyLink was protected and its cyber technology services customers received support from a trusted partner.

During his tenure as chief technology officer and chief information officer, Bradley’s leadership was fundamental in CenturyTel’s acquisition of Embarq in 2009 to create CenturyLink, successfully integrating hundreds of applications, converting millions of customers to a single consumer billing system, and tripling the scale of the IT organization.

Bradley received his bachelor’s degree from Louisiana Tech University in 1985.

“Inside the C-Suite” provides a forum for top corporate leaders from some of the nation’s most prominent companies to share their views on topics of societal, academic, and professional importance. The series strives to stimulate insightful conversation on current issues by providing a platform for high-level executives to speak about cutting-edge issues, elaborate on trends, share wisdom, and provide important career inspiration and advice for students. Topics cover a variety of themes in core business subjects such as economic climate, ethics, corporate responsibility, leadership, globalization, strategic planning, entrepreneurship, technology, innovation, and diversity.

For more information on “Inside the C-Suite,” contact Mary Susan Britt, senior director of development for the College of Business, at marysusan@latechalumni.org or 318-257-3741.
00 2019-02-04
Monroe

Hill-story: GSU's Hill records unprecedented 2nd career quadruple-double in UAPB win


GRAMBLING — While players from both teams ran past her up and down the floor, Shakyla Hill lied motionless on the court near midcourt.

The Grambling State star senior point guard had just leaped up and stolen an inbound pass from Arkansas-Pine Bluff's Ashlee Daniel and fought off Aiya El Hassan for secure the ball with roughly 45 seconds remaining in Saturday's SWAC game at the Fredrick Hobdy Arena.

Grambling State senior point guard Shakyla HIll (2) puts up a floater against Arkansas-Pine Bluff the Fredrick Hobdy Arena Saturday.
Grambling State senior point guard Shakyla HIll (2) puts up a floater against Arkansas-Pine Bluff the Fredrick Hobdy Arena Saturday. (Photo: Raven LeDay/GSU Athletics)

"It took all my energy to get that last steal," Hill said after the Lady Tigers' 77-57 victory over the Lady Golden Lions. "I don’t know. The crowd kind of took over and all of my emotions hit me at that moment. I couldn’t even move, I couldn’t even get up."

No ordinary play from an extraordinary player, the steal notched Hill's second career quadruple-double, her second in as many seasons. The two historic performances occurred two days shy of 13 months apart, adding more crazy layers to her remarkable effort where it had been 25 years since the feat has been accomplished by any player before the quadruple-double she earned versus Alabama State at home Jan. 4, 2018.


Hill, potentially the first-ever Division I collegiate basketball player, male or female, ended the night with 21 points, 16 rebounds, 13 assists and 10 steals.

"It’s hard to believe," Grambling women's hoops coach Freddie Murray said. "I’m an even-keel guy; I don’t really do a lot of rah-rah. But I do admonish players that leave it on the court and play both ends of the floor. (Hill) plays on the offensive and defensive end and has done so consistently for the past four years. That’s to be rewarded."

Against UAPB Saturday, Hill came out aggressive on both ends of the court, putting up eight shots in the first quarter for 9 points and collected four rebounds as the Lady Tigers closed on a 10-2 run to take a 16-12 lead.

By the end of the third quarter, where GSU led, 58-40, Hill had already clinched her third triple-double (14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists) this season and 30 seconds into the final period, was just two steals shy of a quadruple-double.

"Coach Murray kept telling me 'If you’re going to do something, do everything in the flow of the game.' I tried to make sure everything I did was in the flow of the game," the Little Rock, Arkansas, native said. "I didn’t want to force and try to get a steal or do extra stuff I don’t normally do. But in the back of my head, I was like you’re only two steals away from getting it again."

Doubt started to creep in though as nearly seven minutes ticked off the clock with Hill still sitting with eight steals with less than three minutes left. She picked her 9th steal at the 2:42 mark, setting up the historic and emotional final 52 seconds.

After recording the 10th steal, Murray subbed Hill out to a standing ovation from the crowd and getting mobbed on the bench by her teammates.

"My emotions are everywhere. I’m so excited but I feel really blessed. I know I said that last year, too, but right now the only thing going through my head is how blessed I am," Hill said.

"My teammates are by far the biggest blessing. I feel like they wanted it more for me than I wanted it for myself. I have to give it to them because they hit shots. There were times where they hit the ball and I ended up getting it. They really pushed me a lot today, they mentally pushed me and kept my head on today."

Four of Hill's teammates scored double figures. Ariel Williams had 11 points, while Justice Coleman and Jazmin Boyd each recorded 10 points.

"I think she has more to give and that’s the scary thing about it. She’s going to continue being the same type of player," Murray said. "She loves the game of basketball and wants to prove a lot of people wrong because she feels like she was overlooked out of high school. She’s playing with a chip on her shoulder."

Follow Cory Diaz on Twitter @CoryDiaz_TNS and on Facebook facebook.com/CoryDiazTNS/
00 2019-02-04
Ruston

‘GOING PAPERLESS’


Grambling State University President Rick Gallot unveiled design plans for the university’s new digital library at an on-site press conference Thursday.
00 2019-02-04
Shreveport

LA Tech Hosts Annual Fan Fest


Saturday, the LA Tech baseball and softball teams got their chance to interact with their fans at their annual fan fest.

Louisiana Tech faithful of all ages getting to interact with their favorite players, and get a few autographs too.

The teams say this moment is special for them.

Matt Miller, senior Bulldog pitcher, said, "This town, this city, they bring a lot of support to the programs here, and it's great to interact with every one and communicate with guys. It's just fun."

Marilyn Rizzato, junior Lady Techster catcher, said, "It's really warming of the heart having all of these fans that you don't really, you know you play on the field for the team, and then you see all of these fans, and you're like wow I'm playing for these little girls that I used to be. So, it's really nice to give back to the community and the little girls who look up to us."

Opening day is right around the corner for Louisiana Tech. Baseball gets their season started on the road at Southeastern on February 15th.

The Lady Techsters begin their season at the Sand Dollar Classic in Gulf Shores Friday, February 8th, against Tennessee State.
00 2019-02-01
Baton Rouge

Envoc Innovation Lab Opening for Tech-Focused Students at SLU


BATON ROUGE, La., Jan. 31, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A software company in Baton Rouge continues making an investment in software development education at Southeastern Louisiana University which, pending University of Louisiana System Board approval, will be named the Envoc Innovation Lab.

Dr. Crain and Calvin Fabre Cut the Ribbon
Dr. Crain and Calvin Fabre Cut the Ribbon
Envoc Developers with Fabre And Dr. Crain
Envoc Developers with Fabre And Dr. Crain
After years of integrated teaching and mentorship in college classrooms, Envoc is investing in a more permanent involvement by funding development of the new lab. The high-tech computer lab opened January 29, 2019, and will provide a work-like environment on campus that is an extension of Envoc's company culture and mission to create a better reality.

"Many of our Envoceans at our Hammond office are SLU graduates, as am I, and we like to stay involved and create learning opportunities for future developers," said Calvin Fabre, CEO of Envoc. "We personally help develop the computer science curriculum at SLU, and some of our Envoceans even facilitate project classes, offering students an opportunity to work side-by-side with thriving professionals on innovative projects. The Innovation Lab enhances that experience on campus."

The computer lab will be located in the newly constructed Computer Science and Technology Building. Envoc worked closely with Dr. John Burris, Undergraduate Coordinator of Computer Science and Industrial Technology, to organize the lab's conception and opening.

"This innovation center is the result of education and software institutions coming together to invest in young developers," said Dr. Ghassan Alkadi. "The lab will provide an environment for computer science majors to receive professional mentorship, work on client-based projects, and gain knowledge beyond what can be self-taught or learned in a textbook."

Students are highly motivated by the opportunity to experience a real-world work environment, so the vision for the Innovation Lab was to immerse students in the environment of a software agency and encourage professionalism and innovation.

To bring this vision to life, the same interior designer for Envoc's Hammond and Baton Rouge offices, Mary Guiteau from Holly & Smith Architects, led the architecture and design efforts. Additionally, Scout Design is creating branded signage to guide students to the lab and vinyl wall clings to complete the Envoc atmosphere.

With a lounge area, two rows of modern workstations, two futuristic privacy chairs, and a section where students can virtually sit in on Envoc's developer meetings, the Holly & Smith designers made careful use of the space while providing plenty of room for students to move around. The lab even features color-coded areas to mirror Envoc's offices and provide students with a variety of stations to work alone or with a group.

Points:

Envoc has been a long-time contributor to the Computer Science Advisory Board at SLU.
Envoc team members regularly act as guest lecturers, and project class contributors bringing real-world business disciplines to the classroom. These include both technology stack selection advice and professional soft-skills such as presentation techniques.
Envoc already has an office presence in Hammond employing 10 SLU graduates whose team produced LA Wallet, the nation's first legal digital driver's license app.
With this endowment, Envoc brings its disciplined, professional environment to the SLU campus where Computer Science upperclassmen can be exposed to a professional code of conduct, and even live, project review meetings with Envoc clients.
Having won Best Places to Work in Baton Rouge for five consecutive years, Envoc will expose students to a proven culture of accountability and productivity.
Holly & Smith, also based in Hammond, modeled the design of the lab off Envoc's Baton Rouge Office space that it won an ITD.
ABOUT ENVOC
Envoc is a web and mobile software design, development, and application hosting firm, headquartered in Baton Rouge, LA, with a second location in Hammond, LA. Envoc was recently named one of the fastest growing private companies in the United States by Inc. Magazine. Envoc's expertise includes PCI-compliant web and mobile software, complex architecture design, kiosks, and document management with a focus on user experience and user interface design. Envoc does not utilize overseas resources. www.envoc.com
00 2019-02-01
Monroe

Grambling State unveils new digital library plans


Grambling State University revealed designs on Thursday for a new digital library that will add more than 50,000 square feet of learning space to the university.

“We see this new facility as an information beacon on a hill,” said GSU President Rick Gallot. “We are grateful to the students, the University of Louisiana System, the Board of Regents, our governor and the legislators who are collaborating to make this vision a reality for our campus.”

Facility background: New digital library
Designed by Architects Beazley Moliere and Mathes Brierre Architects, the new facility will serve the GSU’s growing student body, which recently reached a five-year enrollment high of 5,205 students.

The building will go up at the corner of RWE Jones Drive and Cole Street

The space plan includes:

more than 500 student computer stations;
more than 17,000 square feet of dedicated study space;
room for more than 200,000 physical resources (e.g. books, video, microfilm); and
approximately 5,000 square feet of multipurpose space to support student programming and community events.
GSU will pursue a designation of the first digital library housed at a Historically Black College and University in the United States.

“We are honored to help Grambling State lead new innovation for its students, HBCUs and the Louisiana community,” said Denelle Wrightson, a library and design consultant who has helped to lead site planning and design since the idea started in 2017.

This rendering of the new digital library designed for Grambling State University shows the front of the facility that is estimated to be complete in winter 2020.
This rendering of the new digital library designed for Grambling State University shows the front of the facility that is estimated to be complete in winter 2020. (Photo: Courtesy)

Library receives statewide support
“Grambling State has a long history of producing business and industry leaders who have shaped Louisiana and the nation,” said Jim Henderson, president of the University of Louisiana System. “It’s important, and an honor, to be a part of developing this university’s next generation of leaders and supporting necessary improvements including the new digital library.”

The fast-moving digital library project began in 2017, when Gallot petitioned for the closure and support to replace GSU’s existing facility, the A.C. Lewis Memorial Library, which was constructed in 1962. Gallot, alumni, faculty and ULS leadership partnered with students quickly to garner funding and commitments to make a new facility a reality.

“The commitment of our state legislature is demonstrated by the swift and prompt action on this critical capital outlay need,” said Gallot. “We are fortunate to have a system and community who truly support us and help us ensure our students remain and know they are our top priority.”

This rendering of the new digital library designed for Grambling State University shows the side of the facility that is estimated to be complete in winter 2020.
This rendering of the new digital library designed for Grambling State University shows the side of the facility that is estimated to be complete in winter 2020. (Photo: Courtesy)

Timeline summary: Grambling State University Digital Library
In less than 20 months, the university’s proposal has moved from initial research to funding and design approval. The State of Louisiana’s Capital outlay plan projects the $16.6 million project to complete in the winter of 2020.

March 201: Consultant begins research on Grambling State student and campus library needs
April 2017: Gallot proposes A.C. Lewis Memorial Library closure and new capital outlay project to ULS leadership
July 2017: New library funding approved by the State Bond Commission
September 2017: Library resource relocation completes
March 2018: Architectural team of Architects Beazley Moliere and Mathes Brierre Architects selected to lead library design
December 2018: Final designs submitted to Grambling State University leadership

New library leadership
In January, Grambling State University brought on its first dean of the Digital Library and Learning Commons, Adrienne C. Webber. She brings to the university 29 years of professional experience with more than 21 years of expertise managing library and information innovation.

Most recently the dean of Library Services at University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Webber has served at schools including South Carolina State University, Xavier University, Alabama A&M University and Texas College face the challenges of innovating as the information space changes. She has also served as an archivist for Atlanta Olympic Broadcasting (AOB) and the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games.

“Our team will work to ensure this new facility will provide limitless access to the information and education that prepares students to thrive in the growing information economy,” said Webber. “It’s an honor to work with President Gallot and this university’s rich history as Grambling State steps the nation forward once again.”

This rendering of the new digital library designed for Grambling State University shows the back of the facility that is estimated to be complete in winter 2020.
This rendering of the new digital library designed for Grambling State University shows the back of the facility that is estimated to be complete in winter 2020. (Photo: Courtesy)

More construction at Grambling State
The Digital Library is one of a number of construction projects underway at the university. Other improvement efforts include:

flood restoration projects, which are slated to bring Woodson Hall, Adams Hall, and the Favrot Student Union bowling alley fully online in 2019;
nursing building upgrades that will create a Smart Auditorium in 2020;
intramural center expansion project with new swimming facilities on the location of the former C.D. Henry Natatorium;
Recent technology improvements that range from new video conferencing labs and server room upgrades to safety improvements.
00 2019-02-01
Monroe

$300K grant will help stem nursing shortage


On Jan. 30, representatives from Workforce Development Board 83 joined Monroe-area officials to announce a $300,000 grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation to address the nursing shortage in Northeast Louisiana.

Workforce Development Board 83, which has been serving northeast Louisiana’s regional workforce for the past 30 years, will use the funds to develop a collaborative pilot to train an additional 180 nursing students. Working together, local healthcare facilities and regional training providers will provide six clinical instructors to teach at nontraditional times such as evenings and weekends. The participating schools are Louisiana Delta Community College, Louisiana Tech University and University of Louisiana at Monroe.

“The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the nursing shortage will result in a shortfall of 1.2 million nurses by 2030,” said Terri Mitchell, executive director of the Workforce Development Board. “This program will allow our regional providers to accept and train more qualified applicants, enabling a greater quality of care in the region when these nurses graduate and join the workforce.”

On Jan. 30, representatives from Workforce Development Board 83 joined Monroe-area officials to announce a $300,000 grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation to address the nursing shortage in Northeast Louisiana.
On Jan. 30, representatives from Workforce Development Board 83 joined Monroe-area officials to announce a $300,000 grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation to address the nursing shortage in Northeast Louisiana. (Photo: Courtesy)

In 2016 and 2017, the three nursing schools in the northeast Louisiana region rejected 332 applicants. Schools did not have enough teaching faculty to accept each qualified student who applied. Providing more adjunct faculty will open the pipeline for additional candidates to be trained.

Across Louisiana, patients already feel the effects of consistent vacancies in bedside nurses and specialty nurses. Healthcare facilities are seeing overcrowding in emergency departments. More nurses will yield a greater quality of care.

“This investment will support a community that has come together to make critical strides in improving quality of care,” said Michael Tipton, president of the Blue Cross Foundation. “The nurses who graduate from this program will provide an estimated additional 15,600 patient care services in the region.”

Partners in this grant project include: The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, Workforce Development Board 83, The Living Well Foundation, NELA Healthcare Alliance, Louisiana Delta Community College, Louisiana Tech University, University of Louisiana-Monroe and regional healthcare providers serving as clinical sites.
00 2019-02-01
Natchitoches

NSU Math Department creates Chadick Professorship to honor late colleague, mentor, friend


NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s Department of Mathematics is honoring the memory of a former colleague by establishing the Stan Chadick Endowed Professorship of Mathematics.



Seamless Gutters
“Dr. Chadick was a teacher, mentor, colleague and friend to many and his loss will be felt for a long time, even while he continues to influence the future of our community through all of us that he touched,” said Dr. Leigh Ann Myers, professor of mathematics.



Chadick was a member of Northwestern State’s faculty for 37 years and a Professor Emeritus. During his tenure at NSU, he served as a full-time faculty member, head of the Department of Mathematics and the first director of the Louisiana Scholars’ College. He was the curriculum coordinator at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts at the school’s inception where he helped develop the curriculum and supervised the 45 teachers at LSMSA during the first two years.



Chadick was one of three teachers to receive NSU’s first Distinguished Faculty Award in 1987. He was one of two teachers to receive the first Alumni Association’s Outstanding Teaching Award in 1990. He was awarded the Northwestern State University President’s Distinguished Service Award in 2005. Before his retirement, he was recognized as NSU’s most prolific grant writer. After retirement, the Mathematical Association of America Louisiana-Mississippi Section selected Chadick as recipient of the Certificate of Merit given every five years to a member of the Section. He also received the Louisiana Association of Teachers of Mathematics’ first Lifetime Service Award in Mathematics Education. In 2014, NSU awarded Chadick an honorary Doctorate of Applied Science.



Chadick, an Arkansas native, earned a B.S. in mathematics at University of Central Arkansas and an M. S. in mathematics at the University of Arkansas. He joined Northwestern State’s faculty after receiving his Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Tennessee in 1969 and retired in 2005.



Chadick passed away in 2017.



Faculty in the Department of Mathematics are seeking public support to raise $80,000 in contributions that will be matched by $20,000 from the Board of Regents. Income from the endowment will be awarded to a professor in the department who is involved in professional development of K-16 teachers and/or student activities.



Every contribution of $50 or more to the Stan Chadick Endowment will be matched 1:4 by an anonymous donor until the goal is reached. For example, a contribution of $200 to the fund will result in an additional donation of $50.



For more information, contact Myers at myers@nsula.edu or (318) 357-6140 or Jill Bankston, CFRE, at bankstonj@nsula.edu or (318) 357-4241. Gifts can be mailed to the NSU Office of University Advancement, Development Office, Natchitoches, LA 71497. Information and an online form is available at northwesternalumni.com.
00 2019-02-01
New Orleans

Magic Johnson Enterprises names New Orleans native as president


New Orleans native Christina M. Francis has been promoted to president of Magic Johnson Enterprises in Los Angeles.

Francis joined the company in 2014 as senior vice president of marketing and communications. She had been vice president of marketing and events for NFL Players Inc. and previously served as chief marketing officer for the Orange Bowl Committee.

“Having worked with her the past 16 years on different business ventures, she has proven herself more than capable to handle this role. I trust her to continue growing this company to new heights and establishing new partnerships in the coming years,” said Chairman and CEO Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the retired National Basketball Association and Lakers star.

Formed in 1987, Magic Johnson Enterprises has a portfolio of companies that work together to reinforce the organization’s focus on serving emerging, multicultural communities.

Johnson said Francis' reputation as a successful business mind was forged on the client and agency side, including strategic marketing roles with Fortune 500 companies such as Walt Disney World, Nissan Motor Corporation and IBM.

Francis met Johnson while she was working at UniWorld Group. There she spearheaded the national advertising and promotional campaigns for Lincoln Mercury, which included Johnson, and later went on to run Johnson’s 30 Burger King restaurants. In her new role, Francis will be responsible for managing and directing the corporation’s day-to-day operations including strategy, business development and overseeing many of the organizations partnerships.

“I am humbled and excited to start 2019 in my new role as president of Magic Johnson Enterprises,” said Francis.

Francis was valedictorian of her class at Xavier University, where she received her bachelor's degree. She holds an MBA from the University of New Orleans and was a fellow for the Consortium in Graduate Study and Management at the University of Texas.
00 2019-02-01
New Orleans

Board of Regents Approves New Professional Pilot Bachelor’s Degree


NEW ORLEANS - The Louisiana Board of Regents has approved a new professional pilot bachelor of science program at the University of New Orleans. The program, which still requires approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), will prepare students for a career in the field of aviation. Details were shared in a press release.

The University plans to conduct the program in collaboration with New Orleans Aerial Tours & Flight Training, which is located at the Lakefront Airport, a five-minute drive from the UNO campus. The University will take the lead on certifying the faculty while New Orleans Aerial Tours & Flight Training will provide the technical instruction.

“Our professional pilot program will provide a diverse air space system environment that will expose our students to a wide variety of real world challenges, resulting in highly sought-after graduates,” said John Williams, dean of the College of Business Administration, which will be academic home for the program. “The program will extend the vision of the University of New Orleans as an engine of economic development of the region.”

The professional pilot program will be accredited by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and will blend flight training with rigorous academic study that will provide a foundation for a career in the aviation industry. During the 120 credit-hour program, students will engage in technology-enhanced classrooms, as well as actual flight training. Students who complete the program will meet FAA commercial and private pilot standards, with instrument and multi-engine ratings.

A predicted global growth in aviation and the decrease in the number of trainees, both civilian and military, are creating a looming shortage of pilots, Williams said. In Louisiana, the 10-year growth projection for commercial pilots is 320 jobs with an annual total of 80 openings per year from jobs in the occupation and as a result of retirement or turnover. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for commercial pilots in 2016 was $86,260.

The University will begin accepting applications only after the degree program has been approved by SACSCOC, the University’s regional accrediting body.
00 2019-02-01
Regional/National

Lawyers on Race-Conscious Admissions: ‘This is Doable. But Also, Do it Right.’


If part of the intent of the recent affirmative-action lawsuits brought against universities was to send a chill through admissions offices, it doesn't seem to be working. Most of the discussion at a conference here this week on race and admissions was about how to do a better job bringing underrepresented minority students to campuses, not about whether it can be done at all.

"We do have to be creative about solutions on equity," said Stella M. Flores, an associate dean and associate professor at New York University.

The lawsuits against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were discussed at the University of Southern California's Admissions, Race and Identity conference, but they were not front and center. Instead, the roughly 200 admissions officials, professors, and other administrators got a rundown on the research on identity and access to college.

In "Does Whiteness Equal Meritocracy in Admissions?," Julie Posselt, an assistant professor of higher education at the University of Southern California, explained that institutions were created for white men and will resist change. That's borne out in research on stereotypes, implicit bias, and standardized testing.

"Systems of selection in education end up reproducing unequal outcomes," she said.

It's up to admissions professionals to try to work against those forces, Posselt said. To do that, they should change what they're asking of applicants, how they judge what applicants give them, and who is doing the judging.

Darnell Cole, an associate professor of education at Southern California, brought up the strange way that college admissions encourages applicants to emphasize the challenges in their lives in order to gain entry into the top colleges.

"What is lost when disadvantaged students are forced to commodify their backgrounds for the sake of college admissions?" he said.

The panelists labored over the definitions of race, intersectionality, and "holistic" admissions. They asked admissions officers to consider questions like the one Cole raised when designing their admissions processes.


Harvard on Trial
A trial over the race-conscious admissions policy of Harvard University could have lasting implications for selective colleges. Here is detailed background on the case and coverage of the trial as it unfolded, in a federal court in Boston.

Who Else Will Get Sued Over Their Admissions Policies?
Before Harvard, Asian-Americans Were Thrust Into U. of California’s Acrimonious Affirmative-Action Debate PREMIUM
Both Sides at Harvard Trial Agree on One Thing: The ‘Wolf of Racial Bias’ Is at the Door PREMIUM
But the lawsuits that have captured the public's attention recently could not be completely ignored. They were filed by the anti-affirmative action group Students for Fair Admissions against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. There's speculation among legal scholars that one of them could make it to the now more conservative Supreme Court.

The case against Harvard went to trial in Boston this past fall, putting the university's undergraduate admissions process in the spotlight. Harvard was accused of discriminating against Asian-American applicants by giving them low "personal scores," among other accusations. A judge is expected to rule on that case this year.

The UNC case is barely getting started but was brought by the same organization. In that case, the university was accused of giving "significant racial preferences" to underrepresented minority applicants. Both universities deny these accusations.

The main message for admissions officers at the conference in Los Angeles was pay attention, but don't overreact.

"Don't be afraid, because this is doable," said Jamie L. Keith, a partner at the education consultancy EducationCounsel. "But also, do it right."

She added that admissions officers should know why they make the decisions they do, and document their work.

Art Coleman, managing partner at EducationCounsel, said that several lawsuits over the past few decades have been seen as serious threats to affirmative action.

"We've been there before," he said. But none of those cases came to that.

Kedra Ishop, vice provost for enrollment management at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, said the work of ensuring campus diversity is not simply a matter of admitting applicants with different backgrounds. The whole university has to try to make its campus a place where underrepresented minority students want to come and feel supported once they arrive.

"You have to have a top-to-bottom commitment in doing this work," Ishop said.

Nell Gluckman writes about faculty issues and other topics in higher education. You can follow her on Twitter @nellgluckman, or email her at nell.gluckman@chronicle.com.
00 2019-02-01
Regional/National

A Few Lessons About Public-Private Partnerships


It has been more than a decade since a report by the Institute for Higher Ed Policy first noted a worldwide shift away from public funding sources and toward private capital to finance higher education projects. The report appeared just months before the eruption of the global financial crisis that left an indelible scar on state and local public finances still seen today. The long-term effects of that crisis have only reinforced the logic that made private capital an attractive financing option in the first place.

The cold, hard fact is that available public funds for higher education have been shrinking. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington-based research and policy institute, reported that 46 of 50 states “are spending less per student in the 2015-16 school year than they did before the recession.” Nine of those states have seen inflation-adjusted spending declines of greater than 30 percent. On average, states are spending 18 percent less per student than before the crisis. This trend has provided little evidence of reversing.

To compensate for the funding shortfall, colleges and universities have a limited range of options. Many have decided to raise tuition, but tuition costs had been outpacing inflation for a generation prior to the crisis, and the market can bear only so much. Indeed, many institutions, particularly private ones, are already offering significant discounts off of their sticker prices to entice students to enroll. Others have opted to curb their academic programs and offerings; over the past year, many have announced downsizing and consolidation initiatives, including the elimination of majors and degree programs, intercollegiate athletic teams, and faculty and administrative positions. But such measures, too, have limited use. An institution can cut only so much without jeopardizing its ability to fulfill its mission and attract students.

Finally, some colleges and universities have increased drawdowns on their endowments, but this is more a short-term act of desperation, not the application of a long-term, sustainable financing solution. Besides, despite the cachet of the larger endowments -- Harvard University sports an endowment over $37 billion -- most institutions have fairly modest endowments that are little more than rainy-day funds. Last year, in a study by the National Association of College and University Business Officers, the median endowment value of an American higher education institution was $127.8 million, and 44 percent of all endowments were valued at $100 million or less.

One should also consider that the financial and risk profiles of the average American college or university have changed significantly in the past generation. Notably, many institutions have seen their debt-to-endowment ratios increase because of poor investment performance, increased drawdowns on the endowment itself or larger amounts of debt. And even those with the largest endowments are confronting new threats and challenges. For instance, in the spring of 2016, members of the Connecticut Legislature sought to tax Yale University’s endowment. The idea was quickly scotched a few weeks later, but the proposal gives context to the discussion over higher education funding -- colleges and universities are being squeezed because the states themselves are under financial stress.

These are the factors that have created the difficult circumstances in which higher education finds itself. It is also the reason so many institutions are looking to public-private partnerships as a financing solution for their biggest and most important projects.

The P3 Delivery Model

A public-private partnership, or P3, is long-term agreement between a public entity and a private industry team that is tasked with designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining a public facility. The past decade has seen a steady increase in the use of P3 structures, both inside and outside higher education. In 2016, something of a watershed year for P3, multiple high-profile projects came online in response to a variety of public needs, including a $1-billion-plus water infrastructure project servicing San Antonio, and a $300-million-plus renovation of the Denver International Airport’s Great Hall.

The emergence of the P3 option is happening where it matters most: projects that would be otherwise unattainable under the traditional public-improvement delivery models. For instance, 10 years ago, only a handful of higher education P3 projects were up and running; today, we are approaching three dozen such projects.

The biggest challenge is, of course, the financing component, but P3 teams bring much more to the table than money -- they give public entities access to expertise and innovation that can add significant value to projects at each phase of development.

Several recent higher education P3 projects demonstrate how the P3 delivery model and team approach can enable colleges and universities to take on projects they might not have otherwise been able to pursue.

Wayne State University student residential facility. Wayne State sought out private partners for a project to demolish an existing 407-bed apartment building and replace it with new and renovated residential space. It went from issuing a request for proposals to obtaining financing in relatively record time and began leasing new beds in August 2018. To expedite construction, the private partner secured bridge financing as part of the overall capital stack, enabling the project to tap into generally favorable financing for the larger private placement of debt.

The university not only locked in favorable financing terms and paid off existing debt, but it also moved much of the worry and risk from operations onto the private partner by engaging in a full P3 approach. That includes design, construction, financing, operations and maintenance of the project over a 40-year life cycle, freeing up university resources to focus on academic and other needs.

University of California, Merced, 2020 campus expansion. While residential projects have long been the focal point of higher education P3s, we are beginning to see more ambitious uses of the model. UC Merced 2020 is one example: a campuswide expansion covering some 219 acres and almost two million square feet of new facilities. The $1.2 billion project is likely the largest and most comprehensive P3 in American higher education. The mix of uses features academic learning, administration, research, residential and utilities, among others.

The project includes all project phases and employs an “availability” method of payment whereby the university will compensate a concessionaire directly according to a predetermined formula and schedule for the postconstruction operations and maintenance of the facilities over a 39-year life cycle.

Needless to say, a partnership of this size and scale requires solid relationships, as well as an agreement capable of accommodating changing conditions. The agreement contained flexible provisions to account for a variety of outcomes, including a 50/50 split among partners for any future refinancing gains, as well as a 50/50 split regarding potential cost-saving measures introduced by the developer.

Even when a college or university decides not to use a full P3 model, contemplating such a project often leads to a better result than only considering more traditional options. In 2014, the University of Kansas solicited private partners for a planned $350-million P3 that sought to add some 55 acres of academic, recreational, residential and utilities space to the campus. Ultimately, the university opted to create a nonprofit corporation and borrow the full project outlay from an out-of-state public finance entity rather than tapping private finance. But because the procurement process followed best practices for P3 selections, university stakeholders received the benefit of risk analyses and financial projections from multiple potential private partners, and an innovative debt-only financial approach was selected for the project.

Lessons for Other Institutions

The success of these projects suggests a few lessons for other higher education institutions. First, tapping into the full potential of the P3 model depends greatly on assembling the right partners. A well-rounded P3 team includes people with high-level expertise in private-development equity, architecture, engineering, contracting and law. Aside from the access to innovation and best-in-class skills, the team concept is important because P3 projects are long-term in nature. The relationships on which P3 projects depend will necessarily span many years; therefore, higher education participants need to carefully develop criteria for evaluating potential partners.

Also, few large-scale projects are finished without some kind of unanticipated challenge arising, so it is important to select partners who have demonstrated the stability and commitment required to see projects through to completion. Higher education administrators should study carefully their potential partners’ portfolio of projects and evaluate how each dealt with the inevitable circumstances that challenge a team’s ability to finish a project or to operate and maintain it afterward.

In addition, each of the foregoing projects had institutional champions who advocated for the P3 solution and oversaw the process through to completion. The role of champions in the P3 delivery model cannot be understated. They play a crucial role in securing buy-in for the project at the earliest possible stage and developing strategies to overcome obstacles. Establishing consensus on the campus also provides potential private partners the needed assurance to commit fully to a P3 project and helps to secure the best possible pool of P3 talent.

It is unlikely that the fiscal circumstances facing America’s colleges and universities will improve greatly over the next decade, and the competition for students is fierce. When applied competently and in the right manner, a public-private partnership allows administrators to create solutions that differentiate their campuses and brand them as places capable of getting things done. More institutions should seriously consider this option.


00 2019-02-01
Shreveport

Grambling State University unveils new digital library design


GRAMBLING, LA - Grambling State University revealed designs for a new digital library that will add more than 50,000 square feet of learning space to the University, City of Grambling, and North Louisiana community.

“We see this new facility as an information beacon on a hill,” said President Rick Gallot of Grambling State. “We are grateful to the students, University of Louisiana System, the Board of Regents, our Governor and the legislators who are collaborating to make this vision a reality for our campus.”


The building’s space plan includes:

More than 500 student computer stations;
More than 17,000 square feet of dedicated study space;
Room for more than 200,000 physical resources (e.g. books, video, microfilm); and
Approximately 5,000 square feet of multi-purpose space to support student programming and community events.

The University will pursue a designation of the first digital library housed at a Historically Black College and University in the United States.

“We are honored to help Grambling State lead new innovation for its students, HBCUs and the Louisiana community,” said Denelle Wrightson, a library and design consultant who has helped lead site planning and design since the idea was born in 2017.

The State of Louisiana’s Capital outlay plan projects the $16.6 million project to complete in the Winter of 2020.
00 2019-01-31
Baton Rouge

STEM Café introduces students to benefits of science, technology, engineering, math education


=Several hundred students, from elementary to high school, participated in the Tangi STEM Coalition’s popular STEM Café program which was brought to Livingston Parish for the first time on Saturday.

The STEM Café programs are designed to put the spotlight on students becoming more familiar with the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Special programs and displays were offered on three levels — the elementary discovery section, the middle school career exploration section, and the high school college and career conversations section.

At the event’s opening gathering, held at the Livingston Literacy & Technology Center, Wendy Canarro of the Southeastern Louisiana University faculty and Tangi Stem Coalition’s co-chairwoman, told the students and parents that the STEM Café is a “fun event for the whole family.” She said the program was designed to “excite and inspire youth in STEM, to help parents support their child’s development and to build relationships recognizing and celebrating STEM in communities.”

“We care because exploring STEM is important," Canarro said. "I want to remind the parents with us today that the high-paying jobs are related to STEM. Students need to start early to familiarize themselves with STEM subjects. Play around with technology … join groups such as the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts and 4-H that are including STEM in their programs. Prepare yourselves for STEM careers. If you take the time to explore STEM starting when you are very young, by the time you get to college you will be ready for a career in one of the STEM fields.”

Following the opening address, the students and their parents visited the many stations and classrooms where STEM professionals were available for instruction and advice, and exhibits were set up for exploration. The elementary discovery section provided loosely structured activities that promoted discovery and enjoyment of STEM activities. The middle school section provided more structured hands-on activities lasting about 20 to 30 minutes.

The high school section provided interactions with STEM professionals in small groups of three to four students per professional. The visiting high schoolers met with professionals in a number of different career fields.

Parents were provided with tips and advice on assisting children and youth with their interests and development. Parents were encouraged to ask questions of professionals in the field. Six professionals in the various STEM fields were available for interaction with the parents.

Canarro said the STEM Cafes have been produced by the Tangi STEM Coalition for several years. The movement has grown over the years and has expanded from events in Tangipahoa Parish to the network that now includes several parishes, she said.

“Last year, we had four events and this year we will have nine. We decided to bring a STEM Café to Livingston Parish this year, and it is proving to be a success. We begin the year with the Back To School Session on the SLU campus and after that we have one STEM Café a month. We started with Bogalusa High School in September and then held sessions in Ponchatoula, St. Helena, Independence and today, Livingston. We will have future STEM Cafes at Amite, Pine, SLU and Kentwood,” Canarro said.

David Peak, of Denham Springs, who with his three children were engaged in a demonstration presented by graduate students in biology from Southeastern Louisiana University, said of the day’s program, “This is a really good event. The kids are leaning about some things they might not otherwise have a chance to learn. The hands-on experience is really worthwhile.”

His daughter, Emmarie, was playing with a small, live snake handed to her by graduate assistant Brooke Perrera. At that table, visitors could also play with a huge, live Madagascan cockroach, examine the skull of a once 15-foot alligator and learn other things related to biology.

A popular stop on the booth trail was the exhibit shown by the Hammond High School Storm Chasers Robotics Team. Robots built by the students that have won in competition were on display. The four students demonstrating the robots all said that they planned to major in a STEM field when they enter college.

Experts in such fields as aviation, environmental sciences, industrial and engineering technology, sustainability, mechanical and electrical technology, design, computer science, chemistry, geographic information sciences, physics, medicine and other fields were on hand to interact with the students. The Livingston Parish School System STEM Express Bus sponsored by Assess the Need was parked in front of the Literacy Center and offered a number of hands-on activities for the students.
00 2019-01-31
Baton Rouge

University of Louisiana at Lafayette announced Fall 2018 honor lists


At the end of each regular semester, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette recognizes those students named to the president’s and dean’s lists.

Eligible students must be enrolled full time.

To be included on the dean’s list, students must earn at 3.5 GPA or better, and to be included on the president’s list, students must earn a 3.8 GPA or better.

Livingston Parish
College of the Arts

Dean's list: Jacob M Quigley, Brianna Evangeline Sleeth

President's list: Skylar Marie Brandon, Lillian Rose Marcus, Jessie Marie Quantrille

BI Moody III College of Business Administration

President's list: Sydney Raeann Babin, Michelle Kaye Calamari, Leigh Ann Judge, Kari'gan Michele Kinchen

College of Education

Dean's list: Kristyn Taylor Tallo

College of Engineering

Dean's list: Alana L. Chandler, Samantha L. Mckisson

College of Liberal Arts

Dean's list: Claire Elizabeth Chevalier, Madison E. Hedrick, Mckenzie Dawn Lee, Alayna F. Martin

President's list: Graceann Carroll, Bailey Rose Lemoine

College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions

Dean's list: Alexis J. Moya, Tytiana L. Showers, Jazmyn M. Womack, Mckenzie Jade Young

President's list: Brittney Sasser Koczrowski, Raegan Michel Sweet

Ray P. Authement College of Sciences

President's list: Katie Baudoin

Tangipahoa Parish
College of the Arts

President's list: Scott Joseph Dufreche, Danita Catherine Majeau

BI Moody III College of Business Administration

Dean's list: Jasmine N. Fisher

College of Education

Dean's list: Catherine Irene Cannino, Sarah Rachal Ryals

President's list: Tyrion M. Anderson, Ashley K. Cotton

College of Engineering

President's list: Blake Steven Vampran

College of Liberal Arts

Dean's list: Joseph C. Deville, Bailee Noelle Gaudet

President's list: Kimberly Elise Gordon, Miranda Lynn Howes, Mckenna L. Niland

College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions

Dean's list: Gabrielle E. Capdeboscq, Meghan Danielle Fussell

President's list: Carey Ann O'rourke

Ray P. Authement College of Sciences

Dean's list: Erin Barksdale

President's list: Agueda Elena Bragg
00 2019-01-31
Hammond

Southeastern holds MLK remembrance march


Southeastern Louisiana University celebrated the life and legacy of the late Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. with a memorial march and remembrance program on Monday, Jan. 28.

The event was open to the public and featured remarks by outgoing Chairman of the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors Alejandro “Al” Perkins, a partner at Hammonds, Sills, Adkins, and Guice law firm who is also an adjunct professor at Southern University Law Center.

In addition to his leadership in the legal community, Perkins is a Louisiana Arts and Science Museum Board Member, National Annual Fund Chair for Xavier University, Vice President of the Xavier University Alumni Association-Baton Rouge Chapter, and a lifetime member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

The program began with a candlelight processional, which started outside of the Pennington Student Activity Center at the walkway underpass. The ceremony concluded with a program in the Student Union Theatre that included Perkins’ remarks and reflection on King’s life and impact.

The event was sponsored by the Kappa Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and Southeastern’s Office of Multicultural and International Student Affairs.
00 2019-01-31
Lafayette

UL’s First Ever Online Bachelor of Business Program


Heather Devalcourt stopped by GMA this morning to chat about a new online opportunity that the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is offering. Devalcourt is the director of Marketing and Outreach for the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration at the university.

The online degree is a bachelor of science degree in Business Administration. A bachelor’s degree in business administration is designed to prepare students for careers in a variety of fields, including business, corporate and retail management. As with the University’s conventional business administration degree path, students enrolled in the online program will complete 120-122 credit hours taking a wide range of courses, including accounting, business, economics, finance, management and marketing. The online format enables students to take classes at their own pace while juggling jobs or family obligations.

Students enrolled in this program will be able to complete the 100 percent online program from anywhere, fitting coursework into their lifestyles. All students – including those from other states and countries – who participate in the online program will pay in-state tuition rates and can apply for financial aid and scholarships.

Applicants can begin applying now. Courses will begin in the Fall 2019 semester.

For more information on this program, visit the website https://online.louisiana.edu/ or call (337) 482-1126
00 2019-01-31
Lake Charles

Current and former McNeese ceramics students have work on display


The exhibit “McNeese State University Ceramic Students Past and Present” is on display at Historic City Hall, 1001 Ryan St., through April 13.

Kenneth Baskin, McNeese associate professor of visual arts, put together the exhibit, which features roughly 150 unique pieces.

Matt Young, historic city hall director of cultural affairs, said Baskin was inspired by the Japanese ceramics exhibit, “Nature, Tradition and Innovation,” currently featured on the building’s third floor.

“He saw the talent and effort that went into putting together and creating that show,” Young said. “A goal of ours was to have a place where people could come and see international and local art. (Baskin) called on current and former students to submit their work.”

Baskin said the exhibit highlights the diversity of work created by the students. Young said many of the pieces on display are for sale.

“It’s obvious that the professors at McNeese don’t just teach the students their technique, but they help them find their voice so that they can produce artwork which is completely authentic and genuine to them individually,” Young said.

Featured artists include: Adrienne Romero, Caitlin Rogers, Diana Cruseturner, Crystal Coulter, Eve Cruseturner, Jolie Trahan, Tiffany Lowery, Tracy LeMieux, Jutina Singletary, Elizabeth Guinn, Heidi Benoit, Justina Wolford, Madison Augustine, Ryan Rowland, Shelby Roberie, Stacy Lyons, Rob Younger, Inez Elise, Tina Cooley and Lamis Saqer.

Also on display is “Seen and Unseen” on the building’s second floor gallery. The exhibit features work by the late American photographer Imogen Cunningham, including photos of former Hollywood stars.

Baskin will host a talk on Japanese ceramics in the third floor gallery at 6 p.m. Feb. 6.

Historic City Hall is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.



For more on the McNeese exhibit or other displays, call 491-9147 or visit cityoflakecharles.com.
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Lake Charles

McNeese Bee Club gives students hands-on experience with beekeeping


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A new club on the McNeese University campus is getting some buzz.

The Bee Club just started last semester and is giving students of all majors the chance to get hands-on experience with beekeeping.

“I had never personally been around bee hives like this, but had always had an interest," Emerald Fletcher, a junior at McNeese, said.

Fletcher studies natural resource conservation management and said when she heard about the chance to interact with hives, joining was a no-brainer.

“They collect the pollen, raise their broods and the health of their population; it’s so critical. For us to understand the inner workings of what’s going on in the beehives, it’s just an insight you can’t get anywhere else," Fletcher said.

“Everyone wants to think about bees as just extracting honey and spinning honey down and bottling it in," Darrin Goodwin, Farm Manager at McNeese, said.

Goodwin helps with the Bee Club and said there’s so much more to beekeeping than that. While the students do learn how to collect and bottle honey, they also get hands-on experience maintaining the actual hives.

“We have to have the proper maintenance. We have to have a good colony that’s strong. So, by introducing the correct genetics and introducing good management and there’s also the research side of it trying to learn what we can do to better them," Goodwin said.

That research helping understand the future of the bee population in the Southwest Louisiana area.

“Understanding the health of the bee populations against the verroa mites and the colony collapse disorders that have been prevalent in the recent years; if we can be on the cutting edge of that research in this area, just to do our part in making sure we do have healthy bee populations around here, that’s really awesome to be a part of," Fletcher said.

If you’d like to buy this honey, you can find it at Gayle Hall on the McNeese campus.

The club’s first meeting will be held Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. in the Gayle Hall auditorium.

Copyright 2019 KPLC. All rights reserved.
00 2019-01-31
Lake Charles

McNeese honoring Josephine Baker during SAGE series


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - During a series of programs on history, art, music, and photography, McNeese State University will be recognizing Josephine Baker.

Brook Hanemann, director of Banners at MSU and Master of Fine Arts, will present Baker’s feature. The presentation will focus on Baker’s life, rise to fame, and how she made history.

The program is a diverse series featuring many varieties of figures throughout history. The theme is the “From Founding Fathers to Vincent Van Gogh.”

Guests such as an author and professor from ULL who has written about the Greeks and Romans inspiring the Founding Fathers, representatives from the Houston Museum’s Van Gogh art exhibit, and more will be speaking.

Here is the order of presentations:

Feb. 11: “Flora and Fauna of the Civil War” - Kelby Ouchley
Feb. 25: “Greeks and Romans Bearing Gifts: How the Ancients Inspired the Founding Fathers” – Carl Richard
Mar. 11: “Vincent van Gogh: His Life in Art” - Bridget McDaniel
Mar. 27 (Wednesday): “Louisiana’s Florida Parishes: The Gulf South’s Most Curious Region” - Samuel Hyde
Apr. 1: “The Delta Queen: The History and Recipes of the Legendary Steamboat” - Cynthia Nobles
The programs start Monday, Feb. 4, at 3 p.m. and will continue every Monday and one Wednesday of the following weeks. The cost is $59 for a series of six programs, but if you can’t make them all, you can bring a friend to one instead. After Feb. 4, the cost will be $64.

You can buy tickets at the door, but MSU will not be accepting cash at the door. Different cakes and punch will be served after each program.

Find more information on McNeese’s page HERE.

Copyright 2019 KPLC. All rights reserved.
00 2019-01-31
Monroe

Lee Fobbs retires, reflects on career, coaching with son Broderick at Grambling


GRAMBLING – It took Lee Fobbs a while to get out what he wanted to tell his son, Broderick, when they sat down together earlier this week.

While he knew the decision he along with his wife of 46 years Shelia made together was the right one, admittedly it was still hard. After 47 years of coaching, Lee Fobbs, or “Daddy Fobbs” as he’s affectionately known around the Grambling State football program, felt the time was right to hang up his whistle and retire. The hardest part was telling his son, who he’s coached alongside the last four years in a volunteer basis.

Lee Fobbs retired from Grambling State earlier this week.
Lee Fobbs retired from Grambling State earlier this week. (Photo: GSU Athletics)

“It took me a little while to get it out,” Lee said. “I kind of broke down myself. I knew it was time for it. It’s his time now. I need to step aside and let everything take its place.”

MORE | Q&A with new Grambling AD David Ponton

Amid the tears for both in the moment realizing they would no longer coach together, there was also plenty of laughter and joy in reflection of what the son-father duo have accomplished together in a short amount of time at their alma mater.

“It was one of those deals, he’s been thinking about it for about eight or nine months,” Broderick said. “He wanted to be sure about it. When we had that final conversation, there were some tears but also some joy and laughter thinking about some of the experiences with we did together as coaches. It was a mixture of emotions and different things happening at one time.


“I was happy for him because it was almost like graduation day for him. All the years of service he’s provided student athletes in different states. I enjoyed working with him because he’s always been very supportive and helpful to us and our program.”

Lee Fobbs, a 1973 GSU graduate and former player for the legendary coach Eddie Robinson, has coached at several prominent college football programs the likes of Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M and Baylor as well as a stint with ULM. He’s also ran his own program as a head coach, overseeing the North Carolina A&T football team from 2005 to 2008.

He was an eighth round draft pick by the Buffalo Bills and played in the CFL for the Ottawa Rough Riders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Lee also played in the World Football League for a short stint.

But the most meaningful stop in his coaching career has been at Grambling, coaching alongside and getting a first-hand look at Broderick rebuilding the Tigers back to a highly successful level.

“It’s something we’ve always talked about if we had the opportunity to do it. I’ve been volunteering to help me. It’s been special,” Lee said. “I can’t put it into words. It meant a lot.”

Growing up, Broderick was always around his dad and his fellow coaches as they gameplanned for opponents and getting their team ready to play. Broderick said he owed so much to his dad, as he grasped so much from him on what it takes to be a good coach.

“A couple things: you always speak the truth when you’re talking and coaching. You let them know where they stand and you have to care about (the players) first,” Broderick said. “If you don’t care about young people, you’re in the wrong profession. This is not a profession you get in just to win games, to be a champion or have the most wins. It’s about mentorship and caring of young people.

“It’s been special because he started me on this journey. Not on purpose but this was always something I wanted to do. My whole goal when I was a high school player to all the way up to this point, my focus has always been to try to be like him. And to do things the way he did them. I think that’s the ultimate compliment you can give someone is to try to imitate them.”

Lee Fobbs wouldn’t change a thing. He coached at some great places, under good coaches and helped shape the lives of countless young people. The 68-year-old has spent the majority of his life as a football coach. But he knows it’s time to retire.

“I’ve got a golf game, and I enjoy fishing a lot. I think I can keep myself occupied. I know it’ll be OK,” Lee said.

“I wouldn’t change anything. I’ve been blessed by the good Lord and I’m thankful for that. I’ve got a lovely wife that stayed with me, she hung in there through it all. Everything was fine and I have no regrets.”

Follow Cory Diaz on Twitter @CoryDiaz_TNS and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CoryDiazTNS/
00 2019-01-31
Monroe

ULM online program ranked best in the country


MONROE, La. (KNOE) - An online program at ULM is ranked one of the best in the United States.

A human services education website ranks ULM's Masters in Counseling among the top 20 in the country. The programs are rated on value and accreditation.

ULM credits the program's success to its faculty working closely with students and says it has a 100% pass rate.
00 2019-01-31
Monroe

ULM’s Saulsberry to serve on Live Well Council


Long-time educator and community advocate Dr. Pamela Saulsberry of the University of Louisiana Monroe attended the first meeting of the Empowering Families to Live Well Council on Jan. 25 in the Governor’s Press Room at the Louisiana State Capitol.

Special guest was Gov. John Bel Edwards, who addressed the council at its inaugural meeting.

Saulsberry, Ph.D., LCSW-BACS, is Director of the ULM School of Behavioral & Social Sciences, Professor and Social Work Program Coordinator. Saulsberry was nominated to the council by Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Eric Pani based on a recommendation from College of Business and Social Sciences Dean Ron Berry.

The nomination was officially submitted to Ellen Palmintier, Assistant Executive Counsel, Director of Boards and Commissions, by Dr. James B. Henderson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the University of Louisiana System.

In a statement issued by Saulsberry, she said, “I am excited to have this opportunity to make an impact on the issue of poverty and its impact on families in the state of Louisiana. Because poverty is one of the greatest barriers to the human well-being, especially the family system, a coordinated and well-managed State plan developed to address this issue is of paramount importance. To be part of this Council’s effort to develop such a plan is extremely thrilling to me and directly linked to my life’s work. I look forward to doing the work we are charged to do.”
00 2019-01-31
Monroe

WATCH: Bats take over Sugar Hall at ULM


MONROE, La. (KARD, KTVE) - Students at ULM got quite the surprise when bats decided to take in on their lesson for the day.

Hope Young tells us the bats came in through an outside vent at Sugar Hall. The vent has been covered by a screen to keep them from getting back in.

We are told the bats are Mexican Free-Tailed.

ULM has hired a company to come in and remove the bats and closed Sugar Hall until the bats are removed.

Officials tell us it will take about two weeks to get the bats out and clean all the air ducts.

Sugar Hall housed some administration offices and the Speech Language Pathology department.
00 2019-01-31
Monroe

Pani to retire from ULM; interim VP appointed


Dr. Eric Pani, the Vice President of Academic Affairs at the University of Louisiana-Monroe, is expected to retired on Feb. 28, at which time an interim vice president will serve in the position.

Dr. Steven Siconolfi will serve as interim vice president of academic affairs while a search for a new vice president is conducted. Siconolfi begins work at ULM as Pani’s executive assistant on Feb. 5.

“We are fortunate to have Dr. Siconolfi join the ULM family,” said ULM President Nick J. Bruno. “His career experience in higher education leadership, and scientific research, among his other accomplishments, makes Dr. Siconolfi an excellent addition to our talented team.”

Siconolfi is from Mansfield, Pennsylvania. Among his career achievements, he led the development of the academic and enrollment sections of Rockford University’s strategic plan (Rockford, Ill.) He also was co-leader of the development of a strategic plan for Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.

Siconolfi is the president of Siconolfi Academic Consulting which provides advice and tools for academics, enrollment and international assistance. He served as Senior Vice President and Provost of Mansfield University in Mansfield Penn., from 2015-17, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost of Rockford University from 2012-2015, and Dean of the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance at Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y.

He held several positions at Wayne State University, including Interim Deputy Dean for Health Sciences for Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy and Adjunct Professor of Occupational Therapy.

Siconolfi was a research physiologist with NASA where he rose to senior scientist level. He was Technical Monitor/Lead Research Scientist in the Neuromuscular Research Lab and Technical Monitor/Lead Research Scientist in Body Composition, Energy Metabolism and Pulmonary Function for the Exercise Physiology Lab. Siconolfi coordinated the research program for the Neuromuscular Laboratory at the request of NASA.

Siconolfi holds a patent for a device which measures body volume and another patent for a device which monitors body fluids.
00 2019-01-31
Natchitoches

Perseverance Scholarship honors legacy of outstanding Scholars’ College student


NATCHITOCHES – Matthew Burroughs lived a life that, though far too short, continues to inspire others. As a student in the Louisiana Scholars’ College at Northwestern State University, he left a legacy of hope, friendship and perseverance with his peers and mentors. In his memory, Burroughs’ parents, David and Carolyn Burroughs of Haughton, established the Matthew Burroughs Perseverance Endowed Scholarship that will be awarded to a student enrolled in the Scholars’ College their sophomore year through graduation who demonstrate perseverance and determination.



“I can’t talk about Matthew without smiling,” said Dr. Holly Stave, professor of English, discussing Burroughs’ impact on his faculty mentors and fellow students. “He represents the best about Scholars’. Whatever Matthew did, he did wholeheartedly. He embraced life so very fully and never felt anything to be foreclosed upon him. He never gave up his dreams.”



“I’m grateful for the gift of the Burroughs family and Matthew,” said Frances Conine, dean of students and interim vice president for the student experience. “They raised a child so well and raised him to give back, as they are now doing.”



Burroughs attended Airline High School where he played trumpet in the band and was a tennis player. He graduated with honors from the Louisiana Scholars’ College in 2002 with a degree in Humanities and Social Thought. As a student, he was in Blue Key and the Student Government Association. He played wheelchair tennis competitively, playing in 46 tournaments and ranking as high as #3 in the country and winning 19 championships including two at the at the collegiate level. Northwestern State hosted the collegiate championships in 2002, his senior year.



Burroughs earned a juris doctorate in 2006 from the Paul M. Hebert School of Law at Louisiana State University and practiced law for six years, working primarily with child advocacy helping children find pathways to hope in their future. After receiving a call to ministry in the United Methodist Church, Burroughs became a student at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University where he served as president of the Student Association and volunteered at the Bonhoeffer homeless shelter. He completed his coursework, making an A in each course. He passed away March 8, 2018, and was awarded his Master of Divinity degree posthumously by Perkins and SMU.



“His total purpose and mission were to serve others and he did so with a smile and a sense of purpose and perseverance through whatever obstacles he encountered,” his father David Burroughs said. “Matthew loved and cared about people, Scholars’ College and Northwestern State University. He was often at NSU athletic events and proudly wore the purple.”



Applicants for the scholarship must provide a short essay explaining the obstacles and challenges they have overcome to attend NSU and achieve their education. A scholarship committee will review the applications and obtain the parent’s approval before awarding the scholarship.



The Louisiana Scholars’ College at Northwestern State was established in 1987 as the state’s only designated honors college where the core curriculum combines great books-based courses with courses in mathematics and sciences to provide students with a strong foundation for their more focused study area in a Scholars’ concentration or in a traditional major. Scholars’ provides the small classes and personal attention of a liberal arts college with the resources, opportunities and tuition of a state university.



“I remember Matthew well and his involvement in SGA,” said NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio. “He never ever let his physical limitations hold him back. I can’t think of a more fitting way to remember him than with the term ‘perseverance.’ This scholarship for a Scholars’ College student will keep alive what he stood for.”



“A lot of us take a lifetime to find out what our intended purpose is. Matthew found it,” David Burroughs said.



Friends and donors can contribute to the Matthew Burroughs Perseverance Endowed Scholarship through the NSU Foundation by contacting Development Officer Jill Bankston, CFRE, bankstonj@nsula.edu or (318) 357-4241. Gifts can be mailed to the NSU Office of University Advancement, Development Office, Natchitoches, LA 71497. Information and an online form is also available at northwesternalumni.com.



Information on the Louisiana Scholars’ College at Northwestern State is available at nsula.edu/scholars.


Matthew Burroughs

Students and faculty from the Louisiana Scholars’ College at Northwestern State University, along with NSU administrators, gathered to thank David and Carolyn Burroughs for their generosity in establishing the Matthew Burroughs Perseverance Scholarship for a student enrolled in the Scholars’ College. From left are Dr. Alexei Muravitsky, LSC students Logan Turner, Emily Williams, Kailey Wisthoff and Aron Stephens, NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio, Interim Vice President Student Experience & Dean of Students Frances Conine, Mr. and Mrs. Burroughs, Dr. Holly Stave, LSC Director Dr. Kristen Bartels, NSU Men’s Basketball Coach Mike McConathy, students Paige Parks and Halle Mahfouz and Dr. Vickie Gentry, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.
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New Orleans

St. Tammany College Notes for Jan. 30


LEADERSHIP HONORS: Richard Davis Jr., of Slidell, was recently selected to participate in the Southwestern Black Student Leadership Conference's Advance Leadership Institute. Davis is the president of Southeastern Louisiana University's Student Government Association.
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Ruston

La Tech videographer helps to bring the Louisiana Film Prize to Lincoln Parish


RUSTON, La. - Working on his latest Louisiana Tech hype video, Carter Carroll is looking to put Lincoln Parish on the film map!

"It's just an amazing place to film and last year when I was making my short film and found out I couldn't do it on Lincoln Parish it was kind of a burden," said Louisiana Tech Athletic's Assistant Director of Video & Creative Services Carroll.

That's when he made a call to see if something could be done.

"The city was approached this summer by a couple of local of filmmakers who were interested in filming in the area and on Louisiana Tech campus for the Louisiana Film Prize," said Ruston's Mainstreet Director Tori Davis

Leading the city to partner with Experience Ruston and the Louisiana Film Prize.
Giving creatives a chance to explore the beauty of the parish, and allowing the local art community to flourish.

"To get to see people come here to create their craft and tell beautiful stories is wonderful," said Carroll.

Regardless of any critic reviews, Carroll said he's happy to be apart of the process and looking forward to welcoming filmmakers as the competition begins.

Carroll said the questions are already coming in, "I can think of off the top of my head maybe ten filmmakers in Ruston and Lincoln Parish that have already asked me, 'How do we do this? How do we get involved with film prize?"

The City of Ruston will host a Film Prize Kick-off Party on Thursday, Feb. 21 starting at 5:30 p.m. for anyone interested in learning how to get involved in the competition. The event will be held at the Norton Building in downtown Ruston.

For more information click HERE.
00 2019-01-30
Lafayette

Clams don’t mess around after oil spills, UL researchers find


Stout razor clams may be on the cutting edge of oil spill cleanup, according to University of Louisiana at Lafayette researchers.

After simulating an oil spill, faculty and student researchers found coastal sediments that held razor clams retained 25 percent less oil than areas where the mollusk weren’t present.

That could mean clams are absorbing oily residue, or they might be burying it. Either way, they’re acting as frontline custodians combatting environmental crises, said Dr. Paul Klerks, a UL Lafayette biology professor and one of the project’s investigators.

“Our research shows that evaluations of oil spill impacts need to consider how animals living in coastal areas may influence what happens to the oil. Studies like these are important because they help determine where spilled oil will be found and how fast it will disappear,” Klerks said.

Razor clams are bioturbators, which means their burrowing reworks and moves sediment in the beaches and coastal estuaries where they live. They are ubiquitous in the western Atlantic Ocean from Cape Cod to Argentina, and throughout the Gulf of Mexico.

Feeding and digging by these “ecosystem engineers” can redistribute contaminants over a wide geographic area, potentially exposing other sea creatures to pollutants as well.

UL Lafayette researchers used a series of 30-gallon aquaria to replicate the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf. The team wanted to determine how the light-shelled, semi-cylindrical clams affected what happened to the oil.

Investigators used oil similar to that which inundated Gulf shorelines following the rig’s 2010 explosion, weathering it slightly to mimic the chemical changes that happen when petrochemicals mix with seawater. They then exposed the oil to sand that contained razor clams and other sediments that did not.

Researchers found the clams’ presence reduced contaminants on the sediments’ surface by 25 percent; however, the team noted the level of toxins below the surface had not increased, Klerks said. “We checked oil levels below the surface to assess whether the clams were burying the oil. If they were, then there should have been less oil at the surface and more oil in deeper sediment.

“We found some evidence for burrowing,” but not enough to conclude definitively that the oil’s fate rested below the sediment surface.

Where did it go? Researchers then considered microbial breakdown. That process would involve razor clams and bacteria working in tandem to eliminate the oil, Klerks explained.

“Some bacteria basically eat the oil and break it down. It’s food for them.”

The clams’ burrowing could affect what kind of bacteria and how many occur in sediment and water. In turn, that could increase how quickly the oil breaks down.

Researchers tested this theory, but did not find a difference between the tanks with clams and those without.

Questions remain. While it is clear the clams’ presence affected the oil, Klerks said more study is needed to determine how and why. Another avenue University researchers are examining: how Gulf ghost shrimp interact with pollutants.

Like razor clams, ghost shrimp burrow into sediments, but tend to be more reclusive. They “are very abundant and very active. They make burrows that may be as much as 10 feet deep, so they are likely to have even more of an impact than razor clams,” Klerks said.

He explained that the tunnels’ depths mean ghost shrimp move more sediment than razor clams do. That results in more oxygen below the surface and more bacteria that potentially could consume – and therefore combat – toxins.

The new findings on how both organisms help the environment cope with contaminants “underscore the importance of healthy coastal systems,” Klerks added.

“So much depends on a vibrant coastline, from the seafood and tourism industries to the fish, shrimp and oysters we buy in the stores. Studies such as these help people decide when it is safe to go back to beaches or eat seafood following an environmental crisis.”



The Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology published the team’s razor clam study in its August 2018 issue.



In addition to Klerks, its authors are Alex Kascak and Nihar Deb Adhikary, doctoral students in the Department of Biology; Dr. Alfy Morales Cazan, a postdoctoral researcher in the chemistry and biology departments; Dr. Andrei Chistoserdov, associate professor of biology; and Dr. Febee Louka, associate professor of chemistry.



Two additional authors, Amalia F. Shaik and Sommer Osman, were undergraduate researchers on the study. Both have since graduated from UL Lafayette; Shaik earned a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and Osman completed a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.



A Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative grant partially funded the study. GoMRI is a 10-year independent research program established to study the environmental effects of oil spills.
00 2019-01-30
Lafayette

Why more than a third of college students are changing schools


For some, the path through college is more of a winding road than a straight line.

BLM COLLEGE STUDENT DEBT A USA NC
Schools across the country have taken note that there's no one way to "do college," evident in the rise of transfer recruiters, articulation agreements that encourage students to earn two degrees in four years — one from a community college and one from a four-year university — and other efforts to make it easier to start at one school and finish at another.

Transfer students make up more than one-third of college students across the country.

Looking at one five-year window, about 35 percent of college students transferred to a new school at least once from 2004 to 2009, according to a 2017 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

It's a growing market with more students considering transferring. Applications from prospective transfer students increased by 3 percent in 2017-18, according to the most recent State of College Admissions report.


"Student enrollment patterns that involve multiple movements among two or more institutions and across state boundaries has become the new normal," according to a report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

To meet attainment goals on academic attainment and diversity, higher ed leaders are seeking out transfer students, with university recruiters tasked with just that.

"We've got to find students from all kinds of backgrounds," said Jim Henderson, president and CEO of the University of Louisiana System.

And the background of transfer students with some college experience might mean they are better prepared to finish school than the traditional, 18-year-old first-time freshman, Henderson pointed out.

Melanie McBride, assistant director for transfer recruiting at Northwestern State University, has been focused on recruiting this particular student population since 2005.

Her springs are especially busy, taking her from one two-year school to another for transfer fairs across Louisiana and parts of Texas and Mississippi. And she often gets email information requests from students thinking about transferring.

She tries to recruit at least 1,000 transfer students each year, shooting for about 400 for the spring semester. NSU is close to that number with more than 350 this semester, some of which are online students.

"I've seen every kind of student," McBride said.

Blaine Newby graduated from McNeese State University in 2011. He transferred as a sophomore from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He stands with wife Lindsey Newby.
Blaine Newby graduated from McNeese State University in 2011. He transferred as a sophomore from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He stands with wife Lindsey Newby. (Photo: Courtesy of Blaine Newby)

MORE: One-third of college students are from rural areas. They face specific challenges, and schools are recognizing that

What it looks like
Bethany Frank started at Tyler Junior College in her home state of Texas. She completed general education courses as well as some in journalism, advertising and public relations.

Then she transferred schools and states to Northwestern in Natchitoches, where McBride is a recruiter.

"I knew when starting school I would be a transfer student," Frank said. "... Finances inhibited me from starting at a four-year school."

Like Frank, many students who want a four-year degree choose to start at a community college for the lower cost of tuition, chance to live at home or other financial reason.

Frank completed half her program in Texas and half in Louisiana, graduating in 2010 with a degree in journalism.

Breanna Hatsfelt did the opposite and went from Louisiana to Texas in her transfer, but much of her reasoning was the same.

She started her dental hygiene degree at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and finished at Lamar Institute of Technology in Beaumont.

But her primary motivation behind transferring was the same as Frank's — finances.

Hatsfelt said tuition and clinical costs were much lower at the Texas school. She could live at home and commute without having to pay out-of-state fees.

"I wish I could have gone back in time and looked into out-of-state options as a high school graduate instead of feeling like Louisiana was the choice," Hatsfelt said. "It would have saved me thousands in student loan debt."

Charla Ducote changed schools for her last year of college, transferring to Louisiana College in Pineville in 1992.

MORE: Is adult education the best weapon against poverty?

Her summer job in Pineville turned into a more permanent job offer — if she could finish college locally.

She accepted, as long as she would still be able to graduate on time. She didn't want to spend more time and money on school.

"After my third year I was kind of done with college," Ducote said.

She had just gotten engaged and was focused on finishing her degree, planning a wedding and moving into the next stage of her life.

She was able to fit everything into one year, but it was a very full load because she had transferred schools.

She took 21 hours one semester and 23 the next to fit in some religion and P.E. courses required by the private Baptist college but not by her original school.

Bethany Frank stands with the statue of Caddo in 2009. She started college at Tyler Junior College in Texas and finis