11/14/2018
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University of Louisiana System

14 2018-06-26
Lake Charles

McNeese recognizes president’s list honorees


The president’s honor list for the spring 2018 semester at McNeese State University has been announced. To be on the list, an undergraduate student must earn at least a 3.5 gradepoint average or better while carrying at least 15 semester hours. A senior eligible for graduation but carrying less than 15 hours is also eligible if that student was on the list the previous semester.
The list is as follows:
Lake Charles: Collin Brice Adams, Keri Lynn Menard Airhart, Desaree Dany’ Allbritton, Andre J. Ange, Carmen Edward Angelini, Seth A. Aucoin, Cindi Dawn Babineaux, Andrew Michael Barras, Ryan T. Bartek, Taylor K. Beeson, Brandi L. Bellard, Elizabeth N. Bercier, Layton Gregory Bergstedt, Alexander Ethan Bertram, Lauren Annette Bertram, Daniel Jacob Best, Mackenzie R. Best, Carley Ann Billedeaux, Lauren M. Biven, Jacob P. Blackmer, Lahra Hailey Boitnott, Miranda Ann Daigle Booth, Timothy G. Boreing, Camille G. Boullion, Eloise Celeste Boullion, Jacob Paul Boullion, Gabriel Lee Bourgeois, Mason Nicole Lyon Bower, Chassity P. Bradford, Allyson Renae Breaux, Anne C. Breaux, Callie N. Brevelle, Camran Reid Brindley, Tyler P. Broussard, Phillip Kurt Brown, Matthew James Bruce, Bradley G. Bryant, Anna C. Bushnell, Thomas A. Bushnell, Taylor Lynne’ Caldarera, Jaxson L. Caldwell, Sophie E. Campbell, Cody A. Caswell, Joseph Daniel Cavolaski, Heather M. Champagne, Toni Aunzelle Winbush Chapman, Carleigh Christene Chaumont, Landon C. Chretien, Katherine E. Clark, Brittany L. Clements, Caitlin McCoy Coburn, Jacob G. Cochran, Kaitlin A. Colby, Davon J. Cole, Claire Elitia Colley, Ashley N. Collins, Kelsey P. Comeaux, Gavin Zane Conley, Darby N. Cook, Tina Marie Cooley, Jacob M. Cox, Cydney Alyssa Creel, Eve D. Cruseturner, Christa L. Daigle, Lauren Nicole Damiata, Amy Renee Darbonne, Madison I. Darbonne, Brittiany Nickole DeLand, Bailey Elisabeth Dearman, Callie B. Decareaux, Christian King Delafield, Haley Noelle Delaunais, Kyauhna Rene’ Benoit Dennis, Ruby A. Derouen, Brett A. Diamond, Robert James Dick, Alexis J. Dickerson, Aubrey Rae Dillon, Laiken A. Drake, Joseph R. Dronet, Laikyn S. Dubard, Jessica Kristen Duckworth, Austin T. Dufrene, Kallie B. Duhon, Minh-Paul N. Duong, Katie M. Duplechin, Mallory Breann Dupuie, Cameron Reese Durham, Sarah A. Edwards, Taylor Marie Edwards, Caroline Chamberlain Eggleston, Samantha Ashley Ellerbe, Jillian Christine Engel, Spencer Christian Evans, Bethanie S. Farber, Valeria Fabiana Faria, Brooke L. Ferguson, Avery Fliger, Matthew R. Foltz, William Stanton Foltz, Ashley M. Fontenot, Dillon Christopher Fontenot, Emily Grace Fontenot, Erin Ray Clark Fontenot, Hannah A. Fontenot, Morgan G. Fontenot, Susan Sharday Fradieu, Jametra J. Frank, Bayleigh Noelle Fruge, Greyson Elizabeth Fruge, Jenna Leigh Fruge, Emily Denise Fusilier, Shianne N. Fuslier, Taylor A. Gagneaux, Elizabeth A. George, William Reid Giardina, Mia Rochon Gibson, Allie Suzanne Giffin, Haile M. Gilroy, Gia Marie Gloston, Elizabeth E. Gober, Caleb Ray Greathouse, Madelyn Taylor Guidry, Paul George Guidry, Abigail D. Guillory, Adrianna E. Guillory, David Tyler Guillory, Kassidy A. Guillory, Logan A. Guillory, Victoria R. Guillory, Jenna Hacker, Samuel G. Hacker, Sophie C. Hacker, Alexis Ann Hammond, Kelli Lee Hanks, Olivia R. Hansen, Audrey L. Harris, Alexandra Grace Hebert, Alexandra L. Hebert, Madalyn E. Hebert, Michael S. Hebert, Zachary A. Hebert, Lauren A. Hellums, Tate Louis Helms, Anna Kaj Henriksen, Kathyrn Madison Hile, Zachary M. Honeycutt, Coye Allan Huber, Morgan Alicia Huff, Kaitlyn R. Iguess, James Jean-Baptiste Inderkummen, Anna C. Istre, Brydon L. Jacobson, Madison Blake Jagneaux, Amanda B. Johnson, Peyton Bowen Johnson, Shawna V. Johnson, Tatum N. Johnson, John Fitzgerald Jordan, Aleya C. Joseph, JaDasha Racquel Joseph, Blake Todd Juranka, Ameera M. Kattash, Eileen Jeanie Kemink, Shahrukh T. Khan, Michelle A. Klein, Kelsy M. Kohnke, Gavin J. Labiche, Madison K. Lafargue, Emily K. Lancon, Sophia C. Landry, James Eric Lasher, Christopher H. Latil, Malloree Kate Lavergne, Tyler J. Leblanc, Alicia Dawn Ledet, Madison Frances Leveque, Brandon Fitzgerald Lewis, Alexandra Christine Liles, Collier Thomas Litel, Kenneth L. Logan, Robert H. Lohmann, William B. Mahoney, Caleb Preston Malone, Amanda E. Maloz, Alyssa A. Malveaux, Isaiah J. Manuel, Karly Nicole Marcantel, Ali E. Marceaux, Tanner James Marceaux, Julianne Grace Marler, Jourdan Skylar Marshall, Morgan M. Martel, Jeanne Cormier McCain, Justyce L. McClain, Kennedy B. McLemore, David C. McMichael, Brogan Christopher McNease, Kimberly Danielle Medicis, Patrick A. Medina, Valerie Lynae Mendoza, Stephanie Alyse Menou, Cody J. Miller, Everett Miller, Kaylin A. Miller, Sarah L. Miller, Kyla Marie Naquin Mills, Logan J. Moore, Nicole Kristine Mouhot, Mariah Kaitlynn D. Mouton, Kimberly Ann Mustian, Joseph Muth, Samantha B. Neubauer, Zachary P. Nicholas, Alyssa A. Norwood, LeAnn Mindy Nugent, Melissa Ann Nunez, Landen K. O’Quinn, Hannah A. Ogea, Ashly Ann Carbone Organski, Cecilia Chan Oubre, Tyler C. Peet, Ashlyn Grace Pelafigue, Maisie M. Pelafigue, Justin E. Penn, Hannah E. Pettefer, Rebecca C. Pettefer, Megan K. Peveto, Pamela Ann Phillips, Keondra D. Porter, Kelsey N. Poston, Chloe N. Pugliese, Crosby Dylan Qui, Kayla Mae Quibodeaux, Cody D. Quinn, Marian Q. Ramos, Rebecca Caroline Ramsey, Collin S. Reed, Heather Ann Richard, Steven Curtis Richard, Dean A. Riviere, Sadie B. Roberson, Audrey Marie Rogers, Toni N. Romero, Pratchi A. Roy, Robert Waltler Rutz, Lucy C. Ryder, Reagan C. Saltzman, Jordan Mark Sanders, Madelynn S. Sanders, Darian N. Seago, Megan Taylor Segura, Monisha L. Castille Shropshire, Delaney Rachelle Shuff, Brandi Nicole Simpson, Gavin E. Skinner, Gregory Thomas Smith, Jakob E. Snyder, Katherine L. Soileau, Monica Michelle Soileau, Taylor N. Soileau, Shanna Brooke Spree, Jenna Margaret Spivey, Maxwell Stewart Mchale Sprigg, Ashton T. St. Dizier, Andrew R. Steiner, Alexis Leann Stevison, Kelsey LeAnn Bouderau Strahan, Tori J. Tate, Ashlyn D. Theriot, Sandra Lynn Theriot, Katelyn S. Thibodeaux, Lindsey M. Thompson, Ryhidda S. Thompson, Gabriel Augustus Townsley, Taylor M. Trahan, Bretton Tyler Urban, Breanna Marie Veronie, Lucas C. Verret, Cassi Ann Vincent, Camille Irene Vizena, Jordan Mark Warren, Hailey Ann Wasylkowski, Brielle M. Webb, Keagan L. Wells, Robert Leighton White, Morgan M. Wilder, Amy Rae Willard, Ashley A. Williams, Leatrice Annette Bertrand Williams, Michael Williams, Autumn Praise Windham, Gabriel E. Windham, Kandice Buller Wolfe, Alexis S. Wright, Christina Marie Young and Catherine Elizabeth Zwingman. Abbeville: Audrey D. Gaspard. Anacoco: Sarah E. Dillard, Emily R. Hamrick, Charla D. McInnis. Basile: Lauren H. Bertrand, Brenan S. Langley, Mary E. Leonards, Wendy Veillon. Baton Rouge: Brianna LaShay Hawkins, William Allen Jenkins. Bell City: Andrew Jonathan Galloway, Hannah G. Hebert, Julia L. Hebert, Grant Vincent Leonards. Branch: Jude Daniel Reiners. Brusley: Christopher T. Prejean. Bunkie: Grace Danielle LeJeune. Carencro: Michael D. Eckert, Erin LeVaughn Washington. Carlyss: Madeline C. Gaspard. Church Point: Kaitlyn A. Bellard, Elizabeth A. Boudreaux, Dexter D. Miller. Covington: Lacee Fontenot. Crowley: Elizabeth Dartez, Zaner Marie Delafosse, Takeisha D. Freddie, Levi C. Leger, Emily C. Lucas, Jon R. Mouton, Julia R. Schmid, Jacob P. Zaunbrecher. DeQuincy: Baily Erin Duplechian, Nanci Kaye Evans, Laiken P. Franks, Chasity Marie Grove, Nicholas David Guidry, Caleb H. Jacobs, Kaylee J. Moody, Alicen Elizabeth Pearce, Leslie Paige Smith, Cody L. Thibodeaux. DeRidder: Rebecca Ann Alianell, James C. Baggett, Kailey Rae Bailey, Barbara Baythavong Buria, Annalaura Causey, Hope Cooley Chaney, Amanda Isbell Clendening, Megan Kira Nerys Davis, Hunter W. Frusha, Rebecca Yvonne Harris, Sydney Milbre Meissner, Savannah D. Moses, Conner J. Nesom, Morgan E. Phelps, Keri M. Reeves, David K. Williams. Delcambre: Courtney M. Leblanc, Shanna Marie Vincent. Denham Springs: Andrew M. Ayres, Lauren E. Brown, Landon Patrick Fuentes, Jonathon Charles Guidry, Angela Dawn Owen, Logan M. White. Dry Creek: Matthew Shane Emory. Duson: Danielle R. Broussard, Casey Potier. Egan: Ashley N. Istre. Elizabeth: Jacee Marie Bacon, Maghan Brooke Cooley. Elton: Margaret Anne Bertrand, Juliet Renee Hayes. Eros: Ashlee G. Sebren. Estherwood: Taatum Adair Rubin. Eunice: Courtney P. Ceasar, Adrien L. Courville, Kaliyah Marie Edwards, Kristy Ann Fisher Harrigill, Joshua Raphael Janice, Rheagan M. Ortego, Cierra S. Papillion, Elise M. Velez. Fenton: Chelsye Iranet Spikes. Florien: Samuel Joseph McFarlain. Franklin: Paige M. Diamond, Ashton C. Landry. Gonzales: Ross M. Prince. Grand Lake: John Dalton Boudreaux. Grant: Callie Salene Maddox, Jacob C. Stark. Gretna: Erin Elvira Fortier. Gueydan: Malori D. Dupree, Madison P. Lepretre, Zachary D. Lepretre, Ann C. Simon. Hackberry: Samuel R. Ducote, Taylor V. Johnson. Hathaway: Kylie Brooke Derks. Iota: Emmett M. Bobbett, Melinda Kay Russell Broussard, Hillary F. Cart, Allison E. Hoffpauir. Iowa: Stefani Allie Bourque, Da’vin Jude Broussard, Paige Corinne Buller, Carrie A. Crochet, Alexander S. Darbonne, Skylar N. Droddy, Logan J. Fontenot, Dylan Jeffrey Kay, Kennedy R. Kober, Elizabeth Anne Landry, Kammi Nicole Long, Kathryn Elizabeth Murphy, Alison Nicole Peloquin, Lindsey B. Priola, Tyler Douglas Rather, Shay M. Walker, Shimeka Renee’Washington. Jarreau: Jaci Elizabeth Sadden. Jeanerette: Kanisha R. Allen, Brianna A. Olivier. Jennings: Dylan Ray Bergeron, Madalyn A. Broussard, Summer P. Chretien, Hayleigh Paige Constantine, Hannah C. Dartez, Destiny R. Gay, Gabrielle L. Guidry, Rosalie Clare Guinn, Patrick C. Hale, Trey P. Hargrave, Anne-Marie P. Hebert, Alyssa Marie Hoag, Jordan N. Johnston, Adam Lance Kershaw, Aaron Luke Lamb, Aaron Joseph LeBlanc, Carter L. Ledbetter, Penny A. Lejeune, Timothy G. Miller, Caleb J. O’Connell, Brianna N. Owers, Harriet Beth Quibodeaux, Sadie Christine Quibodeaux, Elizabeth N. Stretcher, Layna Reagan Touchet, Morgan M. Woods. Johnson’s Bayou: Alexander Reese Boudreaux. Kaplan: Clay P. Boudreaux, Shelbee Angelle Leger, Katelyn M. Richard, Kody Alec Romero. Kinder: Courtney B. Buller, Haley Brooke Duhon, Taylor Deon Hebert, Amelia Grace LaFargue, Shelby R. Labuff, Hannah L. Murrell, Sharon Marie Murrell, Ethan L. Reeves. Lacassine: Ginger Faye Young. Lafayette: Briana Nekiah Babineaux, Katelyn Marie Matt Bertrand, Cain F. Castille, Danielle Dalcourt, Erin Menard Fabacher, Ki’Onna J. George, Shea Gabriella Hebert, Brianna Leigh Howlett, Kierra A. Malveaux, Kimberlyn A. Montgomery, Sopheariya Katie Muy, Meeyana D. Richard, Zanna Smith, Alaine J. Williamson. LeBlanc: Jade Lorraine Young. Leesville: Ayla A. Bailey, Samantha Nichole Callaway, Aleyah E. Donald, Elizabeth Brooke Johnson, Megan Elizabeth Kuhn, Cadence Ross Ledet, Janae R. Maricle, Lissette Patricia Tersiev. Longville: Randi Layne Adams, Callie Brooke Bufkin, Tabitha Rose Buford, Peyton Alexis Conner, Brittany Jane Ellender, Tara Deneen LaBruyere, Angel D. Laurent Milner. Luling: Ann Frances Thomas. Lutcher: Tasia Brenae Simoneaux. Mamou: Caroline M. Fontenot, Jenna L. Vidrine. Mangham: Mary Katherine Smith. Merryville: Madison Michelle Benoit, Krystal Rose McMillian, Dawson R. Wallace. Monroe: Amber G. Coons. Morse: Kyra B. Louvierre, Katelyn L. Woods. Moss Bluff: Calli J. Dupont, Sydney R. Manuel. New Iberia: Nicholas F. Bienvenu, Chelcee A. Gilliams, Brailyn Michelle Jolivette. New Orleans: Bryan J. Blunt. Oakdale: Joel Alexander Brabham, Jude Nicholas Brabham, Hannah A. Longino, Allison Black Stark. Oberlin: Jennifer M. Greene, Brandi Marie Victorian. Opelousas: Morgan Ja’lee Edwards, Jeremiah Austin Johnson, Mia M. Manzanares, Kealy R. Stelly. Pierre Part: Jessica Michelle Domingue, Erin N. Vidrine. Pitkin: Alanna K. Falke. Plaquemine: Shelbi L. Strickland, Matthew F. Williams. Ragley: Brennen S. Bourliea, Morgan D. Filipski, Amanda M. Hantz, Joshua Paul Hantz, Shelby Noelle Hunt, Kaetlin P. Lalonde, Brittany Lynn Perkins, Taffi D. Poirot, Lucas Roland Sonier, Isaiah M. Windsor. Rayne: Eric A. Bedel, Madison A. David, Chasity J. Fluitt, Gabrielle M. Peltier, Payton N. Zaunbrecher. Rayville: Alician R. Lewis. Roanoke: Delaney Kaye Jackson, Jerrod Dean LeJeune, Kasey N. Lejeune. Rosepine: Brittany M. Darrah, Madisen Danielle Smith, Molly Kate Thompson. Scott: Allie M. Richard. Singer: Wasey Duncan Crain. Slidell: Brentney A. Carroll, Hallie Nicole Faciane, Rachel M. Stevenson. St. Martinville: Paulette Marshall, Madison Alaina Pillaro. Sugartown: Amanda Anne Sonnier. Sulphur: Olivia Christine Abshire, Keifer Grey Ackley, Haley Brooke Johnson Areno, Madison Rae Barrilleaux, Kyla Michele Baudoin, Nicole D. Bayles, Adrian Felipe Beltran, Kasa A. Benoit, David P. Billodeau, Brittany Nicole Bird, Samuel A. Bohannon, Sara Blythe Bohannon, Mackenzie Elizabeth Bourgeois, Peyton Elizabeth Brooks, Jacob A. Broussard, Raylee Marie Burgett, Allie C. Butler, Bethany Michelle Carnes, Michael J. Casteel, Miranda G. Charles, Freja H. Cole, Denee R. Delcambre, Camron D. Doty, Jacob Roland Dudley, Alexis R. Durio, Andrew Keith Eakin, Matthew Q. Ezernack, Emily J. Fontenot, Garrett S. Fontenot, Kyle J. Fontenot, Robert Brennan Fontenot, Hunter B. Forman, Cameron D. Fultz, Kourtlyn Marie Fuselier, Devin L. Gaidosek, Hannah M. Galbraith, Kallie Ann Gatte, Rebecca Mia Gill, Julian J. Gonzales, Timothy R. Gothrup, Michael J. Graham, William Matthew Griffiths, Hannah Gayle Gros, Jesse Cade Guidry, Maegan Sue Hand, Colin Tyler Haynes, Ashley E. Head, Kaitlyn Alexis Hebert, Kinley Nicole Holmes, Raylee Jene Istre, Alexandria Nicole Jenkins, Danielle Nicole John, Tanner Cole Johnson, Roy L. Jones, Christian A. Keever, Erin E. Kellar, Kara N. Knighton, Devyn A. Knippers, Jay Kumar, Nicole Marie Lanthier, Keileigh Paige LeBlanc, Dylan P. Leblanc, Jace Charles Leblanc, Taylor T. Lebleu, Gavin P. Ledet, Celeste M. Lee, Joan Lin, Samuel K. Mancil, Frankie Beth Marcantel, Alaina Elise Maxfield, Emilee P. Mellard, Savannah Maria Mere, Hunter Scott Misse, Corinne B. Mitchell, Emily Claire Moss, Stephanie P. O’Blanc, Nathan Cole Oakman, Austin J. Pottorff, Matthew Reece Pryor, Ethan Alexander Rapp, Jackson Thomas Ritchie, Elizabeth A. Salvador, Madeline Rose Shelton, Morgan Delaine Sherrill, Marley N. Smith, Austin C. Spell, Christine M. Stephens, Summer Elizabeth Stutes, Julian D. Summers, Ashley Marie Thorne, Halley Marie Vincent, Vicki Lynn Waterbury, Raeleigh Morgan Whitfield, Bethany Kai Wilkinson, Dalton J. Wolbrink, Lauren Bailey Woods, Madison Wyatt, Robert E. Younger, Rachel Marie Zachary. Thibodaux: Erin E. Green. Trout: Katelin Rose Shirley Windham. Ville Platte: Emily K. Bordelon, Sarah Lee Deshotel, Jacques C. Fontenot, Kelsey B. Fontenot, Courtney Annette Cloud Godeaux, Ashley L. Hesnor, Andie M. Landry, Kaitlyn E. Roddy, Elizabeth R. Soileau, Skye Octavia Thibodeaux. Vinton: Erica D. Beasley, Haley Elizabeth Bunting, Jhah Niece Cook, Jacie Lynn Istre, Kayden Blake McFarlain, Rebecca L. Tibbitts, Carlie Brooke Walton, Dawn Marie Welburn, Dawna L. Wilfer. Walker: Matthew J. Hecht. Washington: Sarah E. Brignac. Welsh: Jeffrey Lane Arceneaux, Aaron Reed Ardoin, Cassidy Blair Ardoin, Madyson Blaire Brasseaux, Haley Paige Cooley, Landon S. Hill, Peyton Zane Stanford. Westlake: Abigail Marie Andrus, Inez E. Ange, Cole Allen Conrad, Kassidy D. Conrad, Ada G. Crochet, Colby P. Gatte, Morgan F. Hardey, Alexandra P. Mason, Esther G. McKinney, Joseph Gabriel McKinney, Mary Elizabeth Mead, Brant A. Morton, Laura Jakelyn Oliver, Carly N. Ryder, Haley N. Sacksteder, Tiffany Paige Schatz, Ashlyn Haley Scheinost, Alexandra L. Spears, Christiana Ellen Sutton. Youngsville: Courtnee C. Green, Hayley R. Hughes, Sarah E. Lyons. Zwolle: Kasey Christine Fisette.
Texas
Aledo: Hannah Elise Edwards Berryhill. Allen: Taylor Trent. Beaumont: Carlee Elizabeth Smith. Bryan: Rebecca Adcock. Bullard: Chloe Ducote. Buna: Morgan Denice Lambright. Conroe: Elizabeth M. Golden. Cypress: Ashley R. Koncir. Deer Park: Joshua Paul Hartwell, Emilee M. Mayes. Edna: Crystal L. Coulter. Fort Worth: Diamond C. Lee. Friendswood: Hannah M. Cooley. Frisco: Morgan P. Middleton. Giddings: Jaclyn Elizabeth Gonzales. Goodrich: Amy E. Phillips, Madison M. Phillips. Houston: Megan Ashley Levens. Huntsville: Isabel L. Huntsman, John Michael Neville. Katy: Mikayla Ann Dupont, Britt P. Schmidt. Killeen: Nicholas R. Bedwell. Kountze: Ariel M. Denmon, Sarah M. Robins. Lewisville: Stephen Ugochukwu. Livingston: William A. Pena. Lufkin: Emma C. Godfrey. Lumberton: Jimmy Eugene Bartley, Brittany Nicole Long. Mauriceville: Savannah Sheppard. Montgomery: Riley K. Isaac. Nederland: Emma Kathryn Roccaforte. Orange: Hattie E. Lebleu, Malori Rene Ener Thibodeaux, Andrew J. Usie. Pearland: Alexandra J. Aguilera. Plano: Rachel Leonor Palet, Alexis Haley Rodriguez, Caitlin Brooke Sharrock. Spring: Rachel K. Woods. Sugar Land: Sara N. Lamendola. Vidor: Shanice M. Hagler. Winnsboro: Rhett Deaton.
Other states
Phoenix, Ariz.: Erin Lynn Fakler. Carlsbad, Calif.: Erika Piancastelli. Fallbrook, Calif.: Hailey M. Drew. Hemet, Calif.: Nola R. Prickett. Jamul, Calif.: Victoria M. Yanitor. Mission Viejo, Calif.: Carly M. Passaglia, Nicholas Dean Passaglia. Moreno Valley, Calif.: Sara Ortiz. Wildomar, Calif.: Megan E. Holmes. Fort Collins, Colo.: Angela Noelle McGownd. Parker, Colo.: Bryan D. King. Tamarac, Fla.: Lentz Usvelt Similien. Coeur D’Alene, Idaho: Havana Marie Johnson. Stilwell, Kan.: Mitchell Allan Rogers. Mound Bayou, Miss.: Frederica Keyshawn Haywood. Prineville, Ore.: Carly Jean Hibbs. Lancaster, S.C.: Joshua D. Anderson. Spring Hill, Tenn.: Ashlyn C. Keasler. Cheyenne, Wyo.: Anthony I. Green.
Countries
Albania: Arsid Cerma. Austria: Sophie Lucia Grabner. Belgium: Phonexay Chitdara. Bolivia: Andrea Encina Moreno. Bosnia and Herzegovina: Darko Radakovic. Canada: Kennedy K. Bodfield, Zahaan Eswani, Anmol S. Thind. China: Huanrong Ouyang, Xixi Fan. Colombia: Laura Juliana Gomez. Cote D’Ivoire: Jean Samuel Donald Boue. El Salvador: Yenifer V. Flores. France: Carla Marie Helene Ferretti. Gabon: Rozenn Kenny Moundounga Itoumba. Germany: Kira Anna Benkmann, Lea Marie Kiekenbeck, Christina Sunny Kilian, Nicklas Mattner. Greece: Vladimiros Topalidis. India: Pramod Gobburi, Priyanka Heny Kabira, Priti Lalringmawi Chisolm. Indonesia: Virsya Adonia Vardhani, Jessica Theresia. Ireland: Brian Flanagan, Grace Maria McKenzie, Damian O’Boyle. Italy: Giovanna Fioretti. Nepal: Shiva Acharya, Shreya Acharya, Kabindra Adhikari, Dipesh Bhandari, Sanjay Bharati, Abhishek Bhusal, Saugat Budathoki, Sangam Chapagain, Gilbert Giri, Tsering Dolker Gurung, Rajan KC, Samrat Khatri, Audi Hang Hang Kulung, Vanessa Lama, Joshna Lawar, Jesika Mainali, Himshree Neupane, Anish Pageni, Ishan Parajuli, Mukesh Kumar Patel, Benup Raj Prasai, Suraj Rimal, Shreewan Rupakheti, Biplop Shrestha, Mamata Shrestha, Manish Shrestha, Amrit Silwal, Aditya Singh, Anuja Thapa, Bikram Thapa, Anugnya Yadav. New Zealand: Imogen Ruby Hull. Nigeria: Chukwuemeka O. Ike, David Boluwatife Olatifede. Romania: Maria Alexandra Sand. Saudi Arabia: Abdulrazaq Ibrahim N Alanazi, Abdulrazaq Mallah Alanazi, Afaf Suwayyid N Alanazi, Faisal Alqahtani. Serbia: Nemanja Koviljac, Marija Mastilovic. Spain: Miguel Barrera Lopez, Stella Carra Cueva, Sofia San Jose Moreno. Sweden: Charoline Erlandsson. United Kingdom: Jessica Sarah Fox, Bradley Francis Traviss, Nathan A. Jones, Finlay Ian Murray, Hannah R. Brett. Vietnam: Huy Nguyen Minh Huynh, Ny Thi Thi Lam, Thuy Phuong Anh Nguyen, Nhi Hong Thao Ta, Linh Thi My Tran, Tam Thi Thanh Tran, Tho Nguyen Hoang Tran, Vu Thien Tran, Trang Thi Thao Tran, Nhat Minh Le.
14 2018-05-14
Lake Charles

Billy Navarre awarded with posthumous honorary doctorate


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
The family of the late Billy Navarre accepted his posthumous honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at McNeese State University's spring commencement ceremony on Saturday.

“This is the highest honor that the university can bestow upon an individual,” said Dr. Daryl Burckel, McNeese president. “Billy Navarre is deserving of this honor and for his considerable support of McNeese. Mr. Navarre greatly valued educational attainment and lifelong learning and he was an exceptionally generous individual who strived to improve our community.”

Navarre supported McNeese athletics, Cowgirl Kickers, established an academic endowed scholarship for first-generation students in Southwest Louisiana, was a founding member of the Golden Saddle Club that supports the McNeese rodeo team, and helped establish the McNeese Rotaract Club. He was also a donor to private and public schools in the parish as well as SOWELA Technical Community College.

Upon Navarre's death in 2016, his dealership Billy Navarre Chevrolet, Cadillac, Honda, Hyundai, and Equus was the second largest locally owned business in Southwest Louisiana with more than 300 employees.


14 2018-05-14
Lake Charles

High school students talk post-graduation plans with local officials


More than a dozen area high school students told local officials on Thursday about their plans after graduation, with some explaining their reasons for attending colleges and universities outside Lake Charles.

The event at Sowela Technical Community College was part of the Mayor’s Youth Partnership for the city of Lake Charles. Students had a roundtable discussion with officials from the city, Sowela, McNeese State University and the Calcasieu Parish School Board.


Kourtlen Thomas, a senior at Washington-Marion Magnet High School, said he wants to experience life outside Lake Charles and return after graduation with plenty of ideas. He said he plans to study nursing at Dillard University in New Orleans.

“At the stage I’m at right now, I don’t feel as though I’m that valuable to Lake Charles,” Thomas said. “I would like to explore the world and see what else it has to offer to me.”

Renee Simien, a senior at LaGrange High School, said she plans to study political science at Dillard University and later attend law school. She said her main reason for leaving Lake Charles is a lack of activities for young people.

Mayor's Youth Partnership
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“There are no cafés (or) lounges for us,” she said. “There’s nothing that really grasps our attention. I feel like I would be bored.”

Simien said she would like to return to Lake Charles at some point.

Jasmyne Auzenne, a senior at LaGrange, said she plans to attend Louisiana State University. She, along with several other students who took part in the discussion, will be the first one in her family to attend college.

Sowela Chancellor Neil Aspinwall asked students about their biggest fear while in college. Simien said she is afraid of not having enough financial stability to graduate. Auzenne said she is worried about not having enough support from home. Thomas said his biggest fear is time management.

Several students encouraged government agencies and local organizations to share information on upcoming events using social media platforms like Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram.

“That’s what gets our attention,” Simien said. “That would make us want to be here and be involved in wanting to go to McNeese and Sowela.”

When asked about the impact cellphones have at schools, Jillian Elliott, a sophomore at Westlake High School, spoke about Banzai, a smartphone app that teaches students about economics. She said apps that promote learning remove the stigma of using smartphones in class. Thomas also mentioned Duolingo, an app that helps students better understand foreign languages.

Mitchell Adrian, McNeese vice president of academic affairs and enrollment management, said he left Lake Charles in the early 1980s after graduating from McNeese. He returned in 2007 to work for the university. Adrian encouraged students to explore other cities, but said Lake Charles has plenty to offer.

“We have great programs,” he said. “There’s plenty right here that wasn’t here years ago.”

Karl Bruchhaus, Calcasieu Parish school superintendent, said he went to McNeese after spending one year at LSU so he could be closer to home.

“I never regretted coming back here,” he said.

Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter spoke about several initiatives the city has planned for students attending McNeese and Sowela. He encouraged students who plan to attend college outside Lake Charles to return after graduation and help the community grow.

Aspinwall warned students about accepting more student loan money than they need.

“They’re very easy to get, but they are hard to pay back,” he said.

Students also asked officials about several topics. They included the threat of cuts for the TOPS scholarship, addressing long-term drainage problems, school safety and strengthening programs for courses in science, technology engineering and math.
14 2017-08-17
Lake Charles

MSU Howdy Rowdy Welcome Back to begin next week


Howdy Rowdy Welcome Back 2017 will kick off Mc-Neese State University’s fall semester Monday, Aug. 21. This year’s Howdy Rowdy Week was extended to provide more opportunities for students to see what campus and community life have to offer, said Kedrick Nicholas, director of campus life, engagement and student retention. The schedule:

Monday, Aug. 21

Meet the Greeks — 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., New Ranch (Student Union Annex). Join the 14 Greek-lettered organizations for a day of food, fun and fellowship. Organizations will distribute information.

Tuesday, Aug. 22

Student Organizations Fair — 9 a.m.-noon, New Ranch. The Student Organizations Fair will help students, faculty and staff become acquainted with the over 120 recognized student groups on campus.

Wednesday, Aug. 23

Welcome Back Wednesday — 9 a.m.–noon. The Student Life Coalition will present food and music in the Student Union-New Ranch. At 5 p.m. the Student Life Coalition will have a pool party at the Recreation Complex. Activities will include competitions and free food.

Thursday, Aug. 24

Get Connected Day — 9 a.m.-noon, New Ranch. Representative from various departments will greet students, hand out information and answer questions.

Friday, Aug. 25

Community Day — 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., New Ranch. Businesses and community service agencies will have booths marketing their products and services, as well as potentially offering opportunities for part-time work or internships.

Tuesday, Aug. 29

SGA Day — 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., New Ranch. The Student Government Association will provide free food and music. Students can learn about how to be involved with the SGA.

Wednesday, Aug. 30

Wellness Wednesday — 9 a.m.– noon, New Ranch. Student Health Services will provide information and resources on academic, emotional, nutritional and sexual health, as well as responsible alcohol consumption.

Thursday, Aug. 31

Campus Ministries Day — 9 a.m.-noon, New Ranch. Campus ministry groups will distribute information on worship services, meetings and free lunch programs.

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14 2017-08-17
Lake Charles

LATE REGISTRATION


Students can still register for the fall 2017 semester at McNeese State University online or with their faculty adviser during late registration Aug. 18-22.

Students must be admitted to the university and should see an adviser to get an alternate PIN, if required, before registration.

To register, go to www.mcneese.edu and click on the “Student Central” tab and then click the yellow Banner Self-Service button.

Students who register late need to pay fees by 4:30 p.m. Aug. 23. The payment policy is at www.mcneese.edu/payment.

For more information, call the McNeese Accounting Office at 475-5107.
14 2017-05-30
Lake Charles

Burckel speaks on future of McNeese at Kiwanis meeting


Daryl Burckel, incoming McNeese State University president, spoke to the Kiwanis Club of Calcasieu on Thursday, calling McNeese a “golden jewel” and the “cornerstone of Louisiana.”
Burckel, who was named the new president of McNeese in April, was guest speaker at the group’s weekly gathering at the Pioneer Club.
He spoke of his desire to find ways to address issues caused by a decade of budget cuts to higher education.
“Faculty are disheartened because their paychecks have fallen behind — no raises and yet higher insurance rates and rising costs in other areas,” Burckel said. “They are disheartened but not disengaged.”
Burckel said he would like to offer “no-cost benefits” to faculty and said one example could be providing day care on campus. He also said McNeese needs to “almost transition from a public to a private university because of funding issues.”
As Burckel moves toward taking the helm of McNeese after President Philip Williams retires on June 30, he said he’s excited about the future of the university and that taking on the responsibility is “an enormous task.”
“Actually, I feel like I’m drinking out of a firehose,” he said to laughter.
Burckel has 31 years of experience in higher education, is a professor of accounting, and holds the Arthur Hollins Endowed Professorship in Accounting at McNeese. He is a member of the Army Reserve and is a veteran of the Gulf War.
14 2017-05-30
Lake Charles

McNeese offers summer camps for kids


From Kids College to Summer Band camp to the Engineering academy, McNeese State University seems to be the place for younger students this summer. Kids College is an all day 11 week program starting Monday.

"We have three certified teachers," said May Gray with McNeese Leisure Learning. "We're taking them on field trips, we're taking them to the library every week. They'll be doing many hands on projects, science projects."

Gray says some students come for all 11 weeks, others just for four weeks. There are price breaks on both.

"We go every year to Chennault. They are fabulous and keep the kids busy for hours. They eat at the base. They go up in the tower. They usually see the fire truck working. They often get to ride on the fire truck. That's one of our favorites. We'll be doing nature lab again. We'll be going out to Sam Houston."

Dr. Nikos Kiritsis in the college of engineering holds an Engineering Academy each summer for grades 9 through 12.

"So we're looking for kids who want to work with their hands," said Kiritsis. "They're interested in the subject. We're not necessarily looking for the high achiever with the high grades. We want to get them excited and then hopefully when they decide to go to college, they want to concentrate on the STEM end."

There are also McNeese camps for instrumental music, Cowgirl Kicker cuties as well as sports camps available. For more information, call 337-475-5616 or click here.
14 2017-05-11
Lake Charles

Mr. and Ms. McNeese, 2017 Spring Court selected


McNeese State University students Keifer Ackley, a political science and sociology senior from Sulphur, and Erin Kellar, a biological science senior from Sulphur, have been selected as Mr. and Ms. McNeese on the 2017 Spring Court.

Other court members: Lydia Faulk, Elton, Hannah Goodwin, Lake Charles, Haider Mir, Lake Charles, Abigail Schmitt, Lake Charles, Brandon Soileau, Ville Platte, and Raygan Suarez, Sulphur, seniors; Devonte’ Aaron, Lake Charles, Danielle John, Sulphur, Ryan Robledo, Clayton, Indiana, and Rachel Zachary, Sulphur, juniors; Margaret Carter, League City, Texas, and Austin Pottorff, Sulphur, sophomores; and Jacob Guidry, Lake Charles, and Shay Walker, Lacassine, freshmen.

Ackley is the son of Keith and Janice Ackley. He is president of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and a Blue and Gold Peerleader. He was nominated by the Peerleaders.

Kellar is the daughter of Kurt and Melinda Kellar. She is the guard of Alpha Delta Pi sorority and has previously been on the Spring Court. She was nominated by Aubry Delaune.

Faulk, daughter of Jody and Angela Faulk, is majoring in agricultural sciences. She is president of the Student Life Coalition, a Peerleader and a member of Delta Sigma Pi, National Society of Leadership and Success and the Student Government Association.

She was nominated by the Department of General and Basic Studies.

Goodwin, daughter of Moby and Pamela Goodwin, is an engineering major. She is a member of Chi Omega sorority and a McNeese Alumni Ambassador. She was nominated by the Honors College, Newman Club and Kappa Sigma fraternity.

Mir, son of Nisar and Natasha Mir, is a biological science major. He is a Peerleader and a member of Honors College. He was nominated by Chi Omega and Alpha Delta Pi.

Schmitt, daughter of Andrew and Angela Crawford Schmitt, is majoring in biological science. She is a Peerleader and a member of Chi Omega and Honors College. She was nominated by the Peerleaders.

Soileau, son of Wade “Bo” and Kathy Soileau, is majoring in health and human performance. He is president of Cowboy Catholics, a member of Honors College and former president of the Pre-Physical and Occupational Therapy Society. He was nominated by the Newman Club and Cowboy Catholics.

Suarez, son of Robert and Tammy Suarez, is a health and human performance major. He is a Peerleader, president of the Pre-Physical and Occupational Therapy Society and sergeant-in-arms for Pi Kappa Alpha.

Aaron, son of Kevin Reliford and Lolita Aaron, is a finance major. He is president of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, vice president of the Student Life Coalition and the National Pan-Hellenic Council and secretary of Greek Unity Board. He was nominated by Alpha Phi Alpha.

John, daughter of Chris and Bridget John, is an English and psychology major. She is provisional member director of Phi Mu sorority and a member of Honors College. She was nominated by Kappa Lambda Society.

Robledo, son of Adolfo and Beth Robledo, is an engineering major. He is president of Honors College and Kappa Lambda Society. He was nominated by Honors College.

Zachary, daughter of Stan and Beverly Zachary, is majoring in political science. She is assistant philanthropist in Phi Mu, a SGA Senator and a member of Pi Sigma Alpha. She was nominated by the Pre-Law and Politics Society.

Carter, daughter of Roger and Rhonda Carter, is a nursing major. She is ritualist and discipline chair of Phi Mu and was nominated by Phi Mu.

Pottorff, son of Jimmy and Michelle Pottorff, is a criminal justice major. He is a Peerleader, SGA secretary and was recently named Most Outstanding Active of Kappa Sigma fraternity. He was nominated by Kappa Sigma.

Guidry, son of Patina and the late Trent Guidry, is majoring in political science. He is a member of Cowboy Catholics and secretary of Pi Kappa Alpha. He was nominated by Pi Kappa Alpha.

Walker, daughter of Eric and Monica Walker, is a finance major. She is a Peerleader and a member of Chi Omega and the Newman Club. She was nominated by Chi Omega.
14 2017-05-02
Lake Charles

Hoffpauir wins Addy bronze award


Katelyn Hoffpauir, a McNeese State University visual arts major from Lake Charles, won a Student Bronze Award at the recent American Advertising Federation’s 10th district competition in Fort Worth, Texas.
Hoffpauir received her award for a poster titled “Stop Human Trafficking.”
Awards for advertising creative excellence for both professionals and students were presented at the conference. Entries were judged based on creativity, originality and creative strategy.
At the local level, Hoffpauir won a gold (for her poster), a silver and a bronze Addy. As a local AAF gold Addy winner, she qualified to advance to the district competition with a chance to move on to the national finals.

14 2017-04-28
Lake Charles

Five LNG companies form La . Energy Export Association


Five liquefied natural gas companies have partnered with the World Trade Center of New Orleans to form the Louisiana Energy Export Association to educate the public and lobby lawmakers.

“By putting all of our member companies’ work under one umbrella, we can show the state what kind of impact the LNG industry has,” said Jason French, group chairman and vice president of government and public affairs at Tellurian.

The member companies — G2, Lake Charles LNG, Magnolia LNG, Tellurian and Venture Global — announced the association’s formation before the state House Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday.

The Louisiana Oil and Gas Association and the Louisiana Mid Continental Oil and Gas Association are associate members.

Together, the member companies represent over $60 billion in upcoming investments in Louisiana’s economy, French said.

“We saw a need for a unifying voice,” he said.

John Baguley, chief operating officer for Magnolia LNG, said future projects the association might advocate for in Southwest Louisiana include more favorable tax policies and job training for LNG career opportunities with McNeese State University and Sowela Technical Community College.

Ensuring funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the Calcasieu River, allowing carriers to pass, is also a prospective project.

The association’s timing is right, Baguley said, because Louisiana, which started exporting LNG a year and a half ago, is positioned to become a top-three “country” for LNG exports worldwide. Each new project, Baguley said, means 200-400 permanent jobs and 1,500-4,500 construction jobs.

“The LNG industry has a tremendous impact on Southwest Louisiana, and having the association that will represent its interests and have a stronger legislative voice — that’s a good thing,” said George Swift, president and CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance.
14 2017-04-27
Lake Charles

Legislators face three choices


Gov. John Bel Edwards’ controversial commercial activity tax is dead, and few — including the governor — are mourning its demise. Now, the ball is in the hands of House Republican leaders, and they have shown some willingness to try and find a better solution for closing a $1.4 billion deficit before July 1, 2018.

The deficit is expected because most of the temporary tax measures approved during last year’s special sessions are going off the books on that date. Edwards gets the blame for those higher taxes, but his critics conveniently ignore the fact that he inherited a $2 billion deficit from the Bobby Jindal administration.

Edwards, legislators and taxpayers in this state definitely want to see a 1 percent sales tax disappear that was approved last year, which has given Louisiana the highest localstate sales tax in the country.

“At this point in time, I’m looking for the House leadership to step up, offer solutions and not just continue to say no,” Edwards said after his CAT proposal was shelved.

Speaker of the House Taylor Barras, R-New Iberia, accepted the governor’s challenge.

“I don’t disagree with that,” Barras said about the ball now being in the GOP’s court. “We have a good bit of work to do, and hopefully, we’ll get some traction.”

Rep. Lance Harris, R-Alexandria and chairman of the House Republican Caucus, echoed the optimism, saying, “There’s 160 bills, I think, that have been filed. So I know there’s going to be some that will be passed out of committee on to the floor. So, naturally, there will be some things that we look at, no question about it.”

Everything on the table will be controversial. Edwards has suggested expanding the sales tax base to new services and products. However, getting two-thirds of the Legislature to go along won’t be an easy sell. And the expansion will only produce about $200 million, far short of $1.4 billion.

Barras explained that broadening the sales tax base sounds easy, but legislators balk when some of the services they want to protect are included.

“That one seems to be hot and cold,” Barras said.

Wiping out tax breaks of all kinds could also produce funding to lower the deficit, but that is also a frustrating experience. Corporate and other interests don’t want to give up tax benefits they currently enjoy.

Legislators are their own worst enemies when it comes to tax breaks. Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, has bills this session aimed at creating a sales tax exemption for the purchase of diapers and tampons and restoration of a sales tax exemption for the purchase of medical devices.

Total cost to the state of Morrell’s three bills is $23.9 million. Yes, those are definitely worthwhile exemptions, but other lawmakers believe theirs are just as worthy. Where does it stop? That is how the state got into its current financial dilemma.

Budget reductions are a third source of revenue. The Republicans reportedly have a budget plan that calls for budgeting only 97.4 percent of the revenue forecast, leaving a cushion for another potential mid-year budget cut. The plan also includes an extra $92 million to fully fund the TOPS scholarship program.

What Republicans are calling a standstill budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 doesn’t take into account annual cost-of-living increases. Harris asked Joe Rallo, commissioner of higher education, what would happen if colleges and universities were funded at the current level.

“People talk about a standstill budget but the budget we’ve been presented is basically $18 million less for higher education, 30 percent less for TOPS, increased costs in retirement and medical, so it’s really not a standstill budget,” Rallo said. “It would represent a loss.”

A reader of The Advocate in a letter to the editor sounded a note of pessimism and optimism.

“Lots of budget cut solutions have been proposed … by the readers of this paper and other citizens, some good, some impractical, but it is unlikely the Legislature will adopt any of them,” John Pizer, a Baton Rouge professor, said.

Pizer was more upbeat when he talked about Gov. John Kasich of Ohio creating a budget surplus by eliminating all state spending for projects directed only at municipalities and counties in Ohio. In Louisiana, the state spends money to build local public tennis courts, bridges, city halls, police stations, recreation centers and numerous other projects.

Governors have used those grants from the state construction bill in the past to curry favor with legislators who don’t want to see the handouts ended. However, money for those local projects would go a long way towards erasing that expected deficit.

Priscilla Maumus of Metairie, another Advocate reader, listed some forgotten benefits of taxes.

“Taxes pay for good roads, for educational opportunity, for protection from both human harm and natural disasters, for justice for all, for the health and safety of us all (a health and safety that is threatened when we fail to protect the vulnerable),” Maumus said. “Louisiana is currently failing in nearly all of these respects.”

“A ‘stand-still budget’ is a dereliction of duty,” she added.

Whether members of the Legislature rise to the challenges they face remains to be seen. The choices are clear — raise some taxes, eliminate some tax breaks and produce a balanced budget that best serves the citizens they represent.

It’s long past time to bring some stability to the state budget.

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14 2017-04-27
Monroe

Bone marrow drive for Allums siblings at ULM, other locations


A bone marrow drive for James Christopher Allums, 21, and his sister Elizabeth, 3, is Monday, May 1 at locations throughout northeast Louisiana.

University of Louisiana Monroe Medical Laboratory Science faculty and students are helping organize the drive. The drive on campus is 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in the SUB and Quad.

May 1 is National Fanconi Anemia Day. James Christopher and Elizabeth suffer from this disease, which is fatal without a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. They are the children of Chris and Ellen Allums.

Melanie Chapman, assistant professor to the School of Health Professions, said, "This is a wonderful opportunity for ULM Warhawks to fly high by working together and setting aside our busy agendas to give two great kids, and possibly others, the chance to live out their years. I am privileged to be a part of ULM and this community effort."

Bone marrow drive locations:

ULM SUB and Quad, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Monroe Athletic Club, 6 a.m.-9 p.m.
University Health-Conway, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
St. Francis Medical Center;
Paulen Luttgeharm Insurance, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Glenwood Medical Mall Community Room, 1-4 p.m.
CenturyLink; Newk’s in West Monroe, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Rocket Lube in West Monroe, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Winnsboro Chamber of Commerce, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Brookshire’s in Farmerville
Louisiana Tech Plaza, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Times vary and new locations may be added. For information, check Facebook The Friends of James Christopher and Elizabeth Allums or visit caringbridge.org and search James Christopher Allums .
14 2017-04-26
Lafayette

Searches for 2 school leaders coming to a close


The next McNeese State University president has been chosen, and Northwestern State University will name finalists for its next leader by the end of the week.

On April 20, the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors named Daryl Burckel the seventh president of McNeese. He is an accounting professor at McNeese and a former department head.

Burckel, a native Louisianian, is a two-time graduate of McNeese where he was a member of the football team, according to a ULS release. He received his doctorate in business administration from Mississippi State University.

On April 20 the University of Louisiana System Board
On April 20 the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors named Daryl Burckel the seventh president of McNeese. He is an accounting professor at McNeese and a former department head. (Photo: Courtesy of the University of Louisiana System)
He will replace Philip Williams, who announced his retirement in January after seven years at the helm of the school in Lake Charles. Williams’ last day is June 30.
14 2017-04-24
Lake Charles

150th anniversary: McNeese vital to area's economic development


When McNeese State University was first established in 1939 with a class of 140 students, it was called Lake Charles Junior College, a division of Louisiana State University.
“We were on the South end of town and there was nothing beyond us,” recalled Candace Townsend, spokesperson for McNeese. “It was literally pastureland so not only has the university grown, but the city has grown and so has Southwest Louisiana. Now we have a multi-building campus, we have an athletic campus, and we have over 2,000 acres of farmland.”
A university is special to a community and provides much toward its way of life, Townsend said.
“It was very important to this community to establish a university,” she said. “We’ve been so vital to economic development in this area.”
Through the years
The early enrollment of 140 students has mushroomed to more than 8,000 students over the 78 years of the university’s history.
In 1940, the school changed its name to John McNeese Junior College to honor John McNeese, a renowned Southwest Louisiana educator and the first superintendent of schools in Imperial Calcasieu Parish. In 1950, McNeese became a four-year college and came under the authority of the Louisiana Board of Education. Finally, in 1970, McNeese State University became the official name of the school.
The three original buildings on campus at McNeese were Kaufman Hall, the Arena and Bulber Auditorium.
McNeese’s campus consists of the 121-acre main campus, the 503-acre Farm, the 65-acre Doland Athletics Complex, and nearly 1,600 acres of donated farm property used for research, farming and ranching. The main campus comprises about 30 buildings including the three original structures. Bulber Auditorium is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Giving back
During World War II, the campus was the headquarters of the Louisiana Maneuvers, an extensive military exercise to prepare American soldiers for battle. In 1957, the McNeese community gave aid and comfort to the victims of Hurricane Audrey and served as the National Guard’s base of rescue operations.
In 2005, the university provided shelter for New Orleans residents and university students fleeing from Hurricane Katrina. Just weeks later McNeese faced one of its greatest challenges when Hurricane Rita struck this area. The storm caused much damage to campus facilities and infrastructure and the faculty, staff and students rallied around one another to get the campus back in shape.
Sports
McNeese’s athletic program fields teams in the NCAA for both men and women.
The university is also a member of the prestigious Southland Conference, and competes for championships in football, basketball, indoor track, cross country, outdoor track, baseball and golf for men and cross country, indoor track, outdoor track, tennis, golf, volleyball, basketball, softball and soccer for women.
Arguably the most well-known athlete to have come through McNeese was Joe Dumars III.
Dumars grew up in an athletic family but football was the preferred sport of all five of his brothers who were defensive standouts at Natchitoches Central High School. Dumars played football until junior high school when he developed a liking for basketball. His father built a hoop, made of an old bicycle wheel and half of a wooden door, in their backyard and Dumars spent hours practicing his jump shot.
His hard work paid off and he headed to McNeese to play basketball after he graduated high school. He averaged 22.5 points per game; 25.8 per game in his senior year — sixth in the nation. He finished his college career as the 11th leading scorer in NCAA history.
Drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 1985, his awards began stacking up there, too, including: NBA Finals MVP, 1989 and six-time NBA All-Star. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
Banners
Banners, in its 25th year at McNeese State University, has brought a variety of talent to the community over the years including international award-winning authors, Grammy award-winning singers and musical groups, documentaries, films, dancers, comedians, lecturers and more.
The program received the 2014 Outstanding Arts Organization of the Year Award presented by the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development.
From 2013- 2017
In 2013, McNeese opened the Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial and Economic Development Center. The SEED Center, a partnership between McNeese and the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, and the city of Lake Charles, is dedicated to strengthening and diversifying the economy in the five-parish area.
McNeese celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2014 with special events and programs and embraced the slogan, “Celebrating the Past — Pioneering the Future.”
What’s ahead
Dr. Daryl Burckel was named the seventh president of McNeese this week and current president Dr. Philip Williams will be preparing to retire in June.
In a time of unprecedented economic growth in this area, Burckel has outlined the importance of growing the university’s enrollment and dealing with budget issues by identifying innovative funding sources for the university through business partnerships and other opportunities.
He has 31 years of experience in higher education, is a professor of accounting, and holds the Arthur Hollins Endowed Professorship in Accounting at McNeese.
“I’m honored to take on this role as the president of my alma mater, McNeese State University,” Burckel said this week. “The university has a bright future filled with opportunity.”
14 2017-04-24
Lake Charles

New book features work of McNeese art professor Meghan Fleming


Meghan Fleming, associate professor of art at McNeese State University, is one of 37 Louisiana artists to be featured in the recent book, “Expressions of Place: The Contemporary Louisiana Landscape,” written by New Orleans native John Kemp and published by the University of Mississippi Press.

Kemp’s book features paintings from both acclaimed professionals to up-and-comers, with artistic styles that range from traditional to the abstract. The paintings explore the Louisiana landscape — from the bayous, coastal marshland and grassy prairies to the gritty streets of inner city New Orleans and the piney hills of north and central Louisiana.

The book includes an introductory essay, which places these creators and their works in historical context. “Expressions of Place” provides readers with individual essays and biographical sketches in which the artists, in their own words, give insight as to what they paint, how they paint, where they paint and why they are drawn to the Louisiana landscape.

Of Fleming’s work, Kemp writes, “Like the Louisiana landscape painters of the late 19th century who created luminary images of the region’s coastal marshes, rivers and bayous, Meghan Fleming has found her inspiration in the coastal marshes of the Sabine River delta of Southwest Louisiana.”

Fleming says, “I am interested in the dynamic between land and water, and the necessary yet sometimes perilous balance between them. The marsh of Southwest Louisiana is full in every sense. It has a humming sound and a pungent scent. The wind moves the grasses, the current moves the water and the animals move among both. The land is constantly shifting. It is through the act of painting and drawing where I find myself within this flux, confronting the need for sustainability with the inevitableness of impermanence…”

The devastation of the marsh landscape after hurricanes Rita and Ike became Fleming’s focus in 2010. She used maps from the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources to compare the marsh over a period of time, more specifically from 1998 to 2010.

“My goal was not to make actual maps, but rather to use the maps to create drawings that show time and change. The maps provide an uninterrupted view of the marsh…The longer I looked at the maps, the more I became aware of loss,” she says.

Fleming, who has a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from Indiana University, has been at McNeese since 1999.
14 2017-04-24
Lake Charles

Burckel voted to be president of McNeese


Starting July 1, Daryl Burckel will become McNeese State University’s new president, and it will rely on his leadership to move the university forward in the right direction.

The University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Thursday in favor of Burckel. He beat out two finalists — Neil Aspinwall, chancellor of Sowela Technical Community College; and Jeanne Daboval, McNeese’s provost and vice president for academic and student affairs.

While Aspinwall and Daboval are certainly worthy candidates to lead McNeese, the extensive process to interview and consider each candidate led the board to select Burckel.

With his experience and background, it’s easy to see why.

Burckel is a two-time graduate of McNeese and earned his doctorate in business administration from Mississippi State University. He served as a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1983-1990 and is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm.

He has more than three decades of experience in higher education and works as an accounting professor. He also holds the Arthur Hollins Endowed Professorship in Accounting at McNeese.

Clearly his experience with accounting will come into play as McNeese continues to manage what has become a continuing theme for Louisiana’s colleges and universities — fewer state dollars set aside for higher education.

Burckel also serves as president for the Port of Lake Charles board of commissioners. He serves on the Jeff Davis Bank Board of Directors and the Louisiana Land Trust Board.

Experience like this can only benefit McNeese, as Burckel remains on the forefront of the growing economic development projects in Southwest Louisiana.

Burckel touched on some of these issues during his interviews with the UL System board of supervisors. He mentioned finding different ways to provide funding for McNeese, including business partnerships. Hopefully, his existing connections and working relationships can make those options a reality.

President-elect Burckel will replace current McNeese President Philip Williams, who is retiring June 30. Williams has served as the university’s president for seven years and has been an effective leader and ambassador for McNeese.

While Williams’ departure is certainly a loss for Mc-Neese, we are hopeful and confident Burckel can keep the university prospering. Williams said Burckel “understands the importance of McNeese to Lake Charles and the Southwest Louisiana region.”

We congratulate Daryl Burckel on being chosen to lead McNeese. Hopefully, he can use his professional experience to make sure the university is financially solid and can continue to provide a quality education for its students.

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This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Crystal Stevenson, John Guidroz, Emily Fontenot, retired editor Jim Beam and retired staff writer Mike Jones.
14 2017-04-21
Lake Charles

Lawmakers decide not to bill TOPS students who leave state


BATON ROUGE — Louisiana students who receive TOPS scholarships won’t have to stay in the state after graduation to avoid paying back 50 percent of the free tuition they received while in college.

Rep. Jay Luneau, D-Alexandria, saw his payback proposal defeated 4-2 Thursday in the Senate Education Committee.

Legislators have been reluctant to change TOPS over the years, but they did set a tuition limit last year because of the tuition growth. The state from here on out will only pay the fiscal 2016-17 tuition amount unless lawmakers agree to increase it.

Senate Bill 110 would have applied to TOPS recipients who completed an associate, baccalaureate or postgraduate degree or a shorter education program. They would have had to show proof of residency to avoid paying back 50 percent of their tuition for each academic year they were in school.

Luneau built 11 exceptions into the legislation. It would have covered situations for people in rehabilitation or disability programs, a religious commitment, death of a member of the immediate family and military service.

The state Department of Revenue and the Louisiana Workforce Commission would have been responsible for implementing provisions of the law.

Sen. Beth Mizell, RFranklinton, used the example of a student whom she had awarded a Tulane Scholarship as a reason for opposing the law. She said the young lady wanted to become a research scientist and there is nothing available in that field in Louisiana. She said TOPS is designed to help students do great things wherever needed.

Luneau said TOPS has become an entitlement program that people expect to get without any obligations. He said some hard choices need to be made because the program in its current form is unsustainable.

Sen. Conrad Appel, R-Metairie, said Alabama and Georgia are already luring away Louisiana students with scholarships that include books and tuition. He told Luneau his measure would give other states more ammunition.

Appel also talked about the state’s low job growth rate. He said it is seven-tenths of one percent, which he described as horrible.

“You would be penalizing young people for our failure to create jobs,” Appel said. “We caused the problem by not having a business climate that creates jobs.”

Luneau said legislators and others need to quit accentuating the state’s negatives and talk about its many positives. He mentioned the great job opportunities in Southwest Louisiana, where many billions of dollars worth of economic development is taking place.

“My bill isn’t a total fi x-it, but it’s a step in the right direction,” Luneau said.

Sen. Mike Walsworth, RWest Monroe, said Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas are waiving outof-state fees and don’t require any paybacks. He said getting the tuition money back would be another problem, saying it’s already hard to collect from deadbeat dads.

Dr. James Caillier, executive director of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation, for which the scholarships are named, said a U.S. Census mobility study showed that 78 percent of the students don’t leave Louisiana. Those that do so are because they go to Texas and California where the jobs are available.

Caillier said many McNeese State University graduates go to work in Texas where petrochemical jobs are located.

“TOPS hasn’t changed,” he said. “The goal is the same — prepare kids to succeed. Seventy-six percent graduate and it was never the intent to keep students here.”

Sen. Dan “Blade” Morrish, R-Jennings and chairman of the committee, said the 8 percent of students who get TOPS and don’t keep it is the lowest percentage in the nation. He said the dropouts were higher in the earlier years before the community college system was created and college admission standards were raised.

Luneau said he didn’t know if he agreed with the 8 percent fi gure, and ended debate with a question.

“Are we willing to change it (TOPS) to sustain it?” he asked.

Appel, Mizell, Walsworth and Sen. Mack “Bodi” White, R-Baton Rouge, voted against the bill. Sens. John Milkovich, D-Keithville, and Gerald Boudreaux, D-Lafayette, voted for it. Morrish didn’t vote.
14 2017-04-20
Lake Charles

Meeting to select MSU president will be streamed live


The meeting to select the next president of McNeese State University will be streamed live and held at 9 a.m. Thursday, April 20, at the Claiborne Conference Center in Baton Rouge.

Three finalists for president will be interviewed at the meeting by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System and Mc-Neese should have a new president by the end of the day.

Finalists were selected last week and one semi-finalist eliminated after a full day of public interviews followed with deliberation by the McNeese State University Search Committee.

The candidates for the next president of the university are Neil Aspinwall, chancellor, Sowela Technical Community College; Daryl Burckel, accounting professor, McNeese State University; and Jeanne Daboval, provost and vice president for academic and student affairs, McNeese State University.

UL System President and CEO Jim Henderson told the American Press during a phone interview this week: “It’s critical that we find the right person for this job. Lake Charles is in the midst of an economic boom and Mc-Neese’s next leader is charged with meeting the community’s rapidly changing needs.”

Henderson said the demands for the next president will be even stronger “because the stakes are so high.”

McNeese President Philip Williams, who has served since July 1, 2010, will retire on June 30. Williams is the sixth president in the university’s 78-year history.

Thursday’s meeting will be in Room 100 of the Claiborne building, 1201 N. Third St.

To register to watch the live stream of the meeting, click on the link: http://streaming2.louisiana.gov/home, look for Thursday’s meeting notice, and simply click on the word “register.”
14 2017-04-19
Lake Charles

PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE


Picture
McNeese State University

Citgo supports MSU: Citgo Petroleum Corp. presents a $5,000 donation for business scholarships in the McNeese College of Business through the McNeese State University Foundation. On hand for the donation are, from left, Petula Glaspie, human resources business partner at Citgo; Dr. Musa Essayyad, college dean; and Mickey Mancuso, human resources business partner at Citgo.
14 2017-04-19
Lake Charles

Hebert elected to SLC Hall


FRISCO, Texas — Former McNeese State President Dr. Robert Hebert will be among three inductees to the Southland Conference’s 2017 Hall of Honor Class, Commissioner Tom Burnett said Thursday.

Joining Hebert will be former Abilene Christian faculty athletics representative Dr. J.W. Roberts and former Northwestern State track and field head coach Leon Johnson. Hebert and Roberts will be honored posthumously.

They will be inducted May 23.

“Dr. Hebert provided lifelong service and leadership to McNeese, its excellent athletics program, and by extension, the Southland Conference,” Burnett said.

Hebert served 41 years at McNeese, including 23 years as president — making him the university’s longestserving president. He twice served as the chair of the SLC’s presidential Board of Directors.

During his presidency (1987-2010), McNeese athletics garnered 24 SLC championships, 21 NCAA appearances, one National Invitation Tournament appearance, two NCAA national championship games in football, and two individual national champions in track.

In October 2015, Hebert was inducted into the McNeese Athletics Hall of Honor for his commitment to the well-being of studentathletes and support of the athletic programs.

Hebert supervised more than $133 million in campus renovations and construction projects.
14 2017-04-19
Lake Charles

Decision time nears: McNeese finalists set for interviews


McNeese State University should have its next president this week after a special meeting Thursday, April 20, in which three finalists for president will be interviewed by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System in Baton Rouge.
UL System President and CEO Jim Henderson, in a phone interview with the American Press on Monday said, “When you look at the tens of billions of dollars in economic expansion in the regional economy and how the town has depended on McNeese through the years, it’s critical that we find the right person for this job. Lake Charles is in the midst of an economic boom and McNeese’s next leader is charged with meeting the community’s rapidly changing needs. The demands for the next president will be even stronger because the stakes are so high.”
Henderson said there are “three candidates with a great deal of experience and each brings a set of talent and experiences that can bode well for McNeese. I’m excited to watch as things develop and to see the three interviews on Thursday. I’m confident in the process and feel very strongly that the right person for the job will be the one that is chosen after the interviews.”
The meeting to select the next president will be held at 9 a.m. in Room 100, Louisiana Purchase Room, at the Claiborne Conference Center.
Finalists were selected last week and one semi-finalist eliminated after a full day of public interviews followed with deliberation by the McNeese State University Search Committee. In addition to public interviews, candidates met with McNeese faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members. McNeese had previously hosted presidential search committee meetings and a public forum.
McNeese President Philip Williams, who has served since July 1, 2010, will retire on June 30. Williams is the sixth president in the university’s 78-year history.
The candidates for the next president of the university are Neil Aspinwall, chancellor, Sowela Technical Community College; Daryl Burckel, accounting professor, McNeese State University; and Jeanne Daboval, provost and vice president for academic and student affairs, McNeese State University.
In his letter to the McNeese Search Committee expressing his interest in the position, Aspinall said, in part, “McNeese State University needs a leader who not only understands the importance of quality educational programming and comprehensive student services, the institution also needs a leader who understands that the College also has to be thought of as a business enterprise.”
Burckel, in his letter to the Committee, said, in part, “McNeese is an excellent university, but it is at a crossroads as it faces considerable challenges as well as many opportunities. One thing is for certain: its future will be different from its past. To be successful in the future, regional universities will have to enhance their role in the social, cultural, and economic life of their communities.”
In her letter to the Committee, Daboval said, in part, “I understand the complex nature of public service leadership and am enthusiastic about committing my energy, experience, and skills to the presidency. I am optimistic about the future of McNeese and believe its strong academic values are the foundation for a creative new vision.”
14 2017-04-18
Lake Charles

On CamPus


Student employee

of year named

McNeese State University student Brandon Lewis of Lake Charles has been recognized as the 2017 Janet Delaine Student Employee of the Year. Lewis works in the office of disability services.

Lewis was one of five finalists for the award. Other finalists: Md Shahin Alam, Natore, Bangladesh, electrical engineering and computer science department; Emily McGee, Lake Charles, recreational complex; Danielle Bercier Richard, Lake Charles, Write to Excellence Center; and Shay Walker, Iowa, La., financial aid office.

The Student Employee of the Year Program recognizes students who demonstrate reliability, quality of work, initiative and professionalism, said Derek Fontenot, student employment administrator.

The annual award is named after the late Janet Delaine, who was a member of the Student Employee of the Year Committee and assistant director of financial aid at McNeese.

Kingham named

to dean’s list

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Joshua Kingham has been named to the dean’s list at Evangel University.

To be on the list, a student must earn a grade-point average of 3.6 or higher.

Kingham, a communications major, has also been named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges.

He is a graduate of Hamilton Christian Academy and is the son of William and Diane Kingham.

Four initiated into

honor society

BATON ROUGE — Four Southwest Louisiana students have been initiated into the Phi Kappa Phi honor society, the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society.

They are Madison Hopper of Merryville, a student at Louisiana State University; Shelby Sonnier of Lake Charles, a student at Nicholls State University; and Maiah Hardin of Iowa, La., and Kelsie Stark of Lacassine, both students at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Fisher named

to Epsilon Delta Pi

NATCHITOCHES — Nicholas Fisher of Iowa, La., was among 16 computer information systems majors inducted into Northwestern State University’s chapter of Epsilon Delta Pi.

Membership, by invitation, is open to students who are majoring or minoring in computer information systems.

Zaunbrecher named to Angus Association

Zack Zaunbrecher, Iowa, La., was named a junior member of the American Angus Association, based in St. Joseph, Mo.

Junior members are eligible to register cattle in the American Angus Association, participate in National Junior Angus Association programs and take part in associationsponsored events.

The American Angus Association is the largest beef breed association in the world, with more than 25,000 adult and junior members.
14 2017-04-18
Lake Charles

Decision time nears


McNeese finalists set for interviews

By Lisa Addison
laddison@americanpress.com

McNeese State University should have its next president this week after a special meeting Thursday, April 20, in which three finalists for president will be interviewed by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System in Baton Rouge.

UL System President and CEO Jim Henderson, in a phone interview with the American Press on Monday said, “When you look at the tens of billions of dollars in economic expansion in the regional economy and how the town has depended on McNeese through the years, it’s critical that we find the right person for this job. Lake Charles is in the midst of an economic boom and Mc-Neese’s next leader is charged with meeting the community’s rapidly changing needs. The demands for the next president will be even stronger because the stakes are so high.”

Henderson said there are “three candidates with a great deal of experience and each brings a set of talent and experiences that can bode well for McNeese. I’m excited to watch as things develop and to see the three interviews on Thursday. I’m confident in the process and feel very strongly that the right person for the job will be the one that is chosen after the interviews.”

The meeting to select the next president will be held at 9 a.m. in Room 100, Louisiana Purchase Room, at the Claiborne Conference Center.

Finalists were selected last week and one semi-finalist eliminated after a full day of public interviews followed with deliberation by the Mc-Neese State University Search Committee. In addition to public interviews, candidates met with McNeese faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members. McNeese had previously hosted presidential search committee meetings and a public forum.

‘It’s critical that we find the right person for this job.’
Jim Henderson
UL System president and CEO

McNeese President Philip Williams, who has served since July 1, 2010, will retire on June 30. Williams is the sixth president in the university’s 78-year history.

The candidates for the next president of the university are Neil Aspinwall, chancellor, Sowela Technical Community College; Daryl Burckel, accounting professor, McNeese State University; and Jeanne Daboval, provost and vice president for academic and student affairs, McNeese State University.

In his letter to the McNeese Search Committee expressing his interest in the position, Aspinall said, in part, “McNeese State University needs a leader who not only understands the importance of quality educational programming and comprehensive student services, the institution also needs a leader who understands that the College also has to be thought of as a business enterprise.”

Burckel, in his letter to the Committee, said, in part, “Mc-Neese is an excellent university, but it is at a crossroads as it faces considerable challenges as well as many opportunities. One thing is for certain: its future will be different from its past. To be successful in the future, regional universities will have to enhance their role in the social, cultural, and economic life of their communities.”

In her letter to the Committee, Daboval said, in part, “I understand the complex nature of public service leadership and am enthusiastic about committing my energy, experience, and skills to the presidency. I am optimistic about the future of McNeese and believe its strong academic values are the foundation for a creative new vision.”
14 2017-04-17
Lake Charles

76 works on paper selected for show


McNeese State University’s 30th annual National Works on Paper Exhibition continues through May 12 in the Shearman Fine Arts Annex at McNeese.
Gia Hamilton, director of the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans, is this year’s juror for the exhibition. Hamilton has selected 76 works from a broad spectrum of paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and mixed media works on paper for this year’s display.
The exhibit is sponsored by the McNeese Department of Visual Arts.
Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday.
For more information, call 337-475-5060.
14 2017-04-13
Lake Charles

McNeese State narrows choices for president to 3


After a full day of public interviews and nearly two hours of deliberation by the McNeese State University Search Committee, three candidates — Neil Aspinwall, Daryl Burckel and Jeanne Daboval — were selected Tuesday as finalists for president of McNeese.
The finalists will be interviewed by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System when it meets April 20 to select a president.
McNeese President Philip Williams, who has served since July 1, 2010, will retire on June 30.
Aspinwall, chancellor of Sowela Technical Community College, was asked during the interview how his experience at leading a two-year college could help him head a four-year university.
“Sowela has seen amazing growth in recent years,” he said. “We lost $82 million in budget cuts, so how do we survive? We’ve had to improve our image, connect with businesses, and go for the ‘ask’ when seeking funding. That basic philosophy does easily transfer from a two-year to a four-year school. Additionally, I try to surround myself with people who think differently than I do because they help me stretch.”
He also spoke of the importance of diversity, saying, “There is diversity in race, in thought, in disabilities, in gender ... I value diversity. We have to be inclusive in all we do.”
He said his top three priorities if elected president would be “to learn the institution, build industry partnerships, and explore all programs at McNeese and see where there is room for improvement.”
Burckel, accounting professor at McNeese, was asked what he would do to strengthen the voice of students at the university. “The students are the reasons we’re here,” he said. “Students need to have their concerns heard.”
He acknowledged that budget cuts to higher education have had a big impact, saying, “Our environment has definitely changed. We’ve had a 43 percent cut to our budget, but my business background can help us in these areas as we move forward.”
Asked why he wants to be considered for president, Burckel said, “I’ve had a long career and life could become really easy right now, but I care about this university. A strong university is a strong Southwest Louisiana. There is value here at McNeese, and the support of the community is vital.”
Jeanne Daboval, provost and vice president for academic and student affairs at McNeese, in her opening statement to the committee, said, “I’m very optimistic about higher education in Louisiana. I think we’re at the turning point that will lead us in a positive direction. We’re currently in a marvelous spot because of the growth in Southwest Louisiana.”
Daboval, who has worked for two presidents over her career at McNeese, was asked what she had learned from them. “I learned many things but mostly about how to be a public servant, and about the diverse nature of a college and how rich that is.”
Asked to name the biggest professional decision she has made in her career, Daboval said it was choosing to remain at McNeese after a previous run for president seven years ago ended in upset.
“As you know, I was not successful in my previous bid for president. My biggest professional decision was to stay at McNeese and to leverage my experience and help Dr. Williams as he moved forward as our new president. I really wanted him to succeed, and I wanted to stay at McNeese and to help it grow.”
Mirta Martin, former president of Fort Hays University in Hays, Kan., was eliminated as a candidate Tuesday. In her opening statement to the board, she spoke of having immigrated from Cuba and being raised by her grandmother, who always told her “education is the key to everything.” Martin had a career in the banking industry before working for many years in the education field and ultimately as a president of a university.

14 2017-04-12
Associated Press

Committee names finalists for McNeese president


LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — Three finalists have been selected to replace McNeese State University President Philip Williams, who announced his retirement in January.

The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System hopes to have a new leader in place prior to June 30, Williams' last day. Williams has led the university the past seven years.


The McNeese State University Search Committee Tuesday selected Neil Aspinwall, chancellor of SOWELA Technical Community College; Daryl Burckel, professor and head of the Accounting, Finance and Economic department at McNeese; and Jeanne Daboval, provost and vice president for academic and student affairs at McNeese, for the board to consider.

The board will meet April 20 in Baton Rouge to interview the finalists and select a president.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


14 2017-04-12
Lake Charles

Three candidates now remain in the running for McNeese president


SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) -
The search for the next McNeese State University president is down to three semifinalists - Daryl Burckel, Jeanne Daboval and Neil Aspinwall.

These three will now move forward to the interviews by the University of Louisiana System.

Each of the three remaining candidates said why they think they're the best candidate for the job.

"I'm passionate about what I do. I know this institution as a business; I know it as a higher education enterprise and one of the things I understand is the key to our success is taking care of our students and you're going to have someone who is always on the students' side, who is always going to make sure we have a shared vision and all pulling in the same direction," Aspinwall said.

"I have a passion for this university that I think I am uniquely qualified with a business background to lead the university forward from where we are today and to help us to achieve a level of excellence that I think the university demands of itself and also benefits our community. A strong McNeese State University is a strong Southwest Louisiana community," said Burckel.

"I know this institution inside and out; I have done the job for about 16 years and I'm ready to leverage that knowledge into the community to be the person they recognize as 'here comes McNeese' and to grow the institution with enrollment, I know how to do that too, so I am ready," Daboval said.

This search comes after current president Philip Williams announced his retirement earlier this year after leading the university for seven years.

For more, click HERE and HERE.


14 2017-04-11
Lake Charles

Artwork with racial slur raises eyebrows at McNeese State University


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
Art is a great tool for self-expression, and at McNeese State University, art is celebrated at the Shearman Fine Arts Center, but one piece hanging in the halls is making some people do a double take.

This year marks the 30th anniversary for McNeese's Works on Paper Exhibition, where a guest juror selects works from across the country for a gallery presentation.This year, Gia Hamilton of the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans selected 76 works.

One of those pieces raised a few eyebrows. One McNeese student even reached out to KPLC asking "should this be allowed?"

"In a way, I was addressing the level of aversive or subtle racism," explained artist Demario Dotson, "I want to talk about how they mask racism in a different way."

The 23-year-old artist says the strong language in his art is meant to catch the audience off guard.

"Basically, creating a space for these necessary conversations about racism and discrimination," said Dotson.

This particular work in question was hanging in the first-floor hall of the gallery, but has been moved to the second floor. Before you walk up the steps, signage explains the artworks on display "may not be suitable for all audiences."

President of McNeese Philip Williams said in a statement: "Mr. Dotson is a talented young African-American artist and this print was selected for inclusion in this year’s Works on Paper Exhibition by a widely respected artist and curator, Ms. Gia Hamilton. While I personally disagree with the use of derogatory language in the piece on exhibit, and it is not reflective of McNeese State University, we respect Mr. Dotson's protected right to produce his art and Ms. Hamilton's decision to include his work in the exhibit."

Dotson said he knows his art makes some people uncomfortable, but that's the point.

"I embrace that discomfort in my work with the imagery and text, to get you to think about what's going on," he said, "forcing you to have these conversations."

People may question the profanity, even the meaning behind the art - but Dotson said at least they are talking about it.

The Works on Paper Exhibition will be on display at Shearman Fine Arts Center until May 12.

Copyright 2017 KPLC All rights reserved.


14 2017-04-10
Lake Charles

Community Commitment Awards


Robert Noland Professorship: Robert Noland donates $60,000 to McNeese State University to establish the Robert Noland Professorship in Agricultural Sciences through the McNeese Foundation. On hand for the presentation are, from left, Robert Noland and Dr. Chip LeMieux, director of the Harold and Pearl Dripps School of Agricultural Sciences.

For MSU Foundation: Keri and Rob McCorquodale donate $15,000 to the McNeese State University Foundation to establish the Sherry Blount Memorial Nursing Scholarship in memory of Keri’s mother, Sherry Blount. On hand for the presentation are from, left, Dr. Peggy Wolfe, dean of the Mc-Neese College of Nursing and Health Professions, and Keri and Rob McCorquodale.

14 2017-04-10
Lake Charles

McNeese basketball tournament raises money for Special Olympics


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
A charity basketball tournament at McNeese State University raised thousands of dollars for the Special Olympics on Sunday morning.

The MSU fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha hosted the event, called the "PIKE Slamma Jamma," at the McNeese Recreational Complex, where over 200 people - including Bethany Trahan, 2017 Miss Louisiana USA - showed up to watch McNeese students and Special Olympics athletes compete in friendly basketball matches to raise money for Special Olympics Louisiana.

There was also a DJ, face painting, and photo ops and autograph signings by MSU athletes, Miss Louisiana, and Special Olympics athletes.

The event raised around $4,500 for Special Olympics Louisiana, which surpassed Pi Kappa Alpha's fundraising goal.

Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.


14 2017-04-05
Lake Charles

AT McNEESE


Frazar Library to

reopen Thursday

A grand re-opening of Frazar Memorial Library at McNeese State University will be 2:30-6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 6.

The event will also recognize the 75th anniversary of the facility as a Federal Depository Library.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony with remarks from McNeese President Dr. Philip Williams, Mayor Randy Roach, and others, including a brief history of the building and renovation highlights, will begin at 2:30 p.m.

Public tours will start at 3 p.m. at the public information desk on the library’s first floor.

SEED center holds

HR prep course

A course to prepare participants for a certification test in human resources management will be held 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., every other Saturday from now through May 27, at the McNeese Seed Center.

The course is intended to either prepare human resource professionals for the SHRM Certified Professional or the SHRM Certified Senior Professional exams, achieve professional development or build needed expertise to address today’s human resource challenges.

Melinda Stallings, a SHRM certified professional, will guide participants through the learning modules and online study tools of the SHRM learning systems.

The cost is $1,195 per person. To register, go to www.mcneese.edu/iiec/registration.

For more information, contact McNeese Continuing Education at 337-562-4592.
14 2017-04-04
Lake Charles

McNeese search down to four


McNeese State University moved one step closer to finding its next president with the selection Monday by the search committee of four semifinalists who will interview for the position.

Candidates will sit for public interviews on McNeese’s campus on Monday, April 10 and Tuesday, April 11 and finalists will be selected to interview with the UL System Board on April 20.

“It was a tremendous challenge to narrow a field of 15 talented candidates to four, but I am confident the committee chose the right group to move forward in the process,” said Jim Henderson, UL System president and CEO.

Henderson said Lake Charles is “in the midst of an economic boom and Mc-Neese’s next leader is charged with meeting the community’s rapidly changing needs.”

McNeese President Philip Williams, who has served since July 1, 2010, will retire on June 30.

The semifinalists for president of the university are:

Neil Aspinwall, chancellor, Sowela Technical Community College. Daryl Burckel, accounting professor, McNeese State University. Jeanne Daboval, provost and vice president for academic and student affairs, McNeese State University. Mirta Martin, former president, Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas.

‘It was a tremendous challenge to narrow a field of 15 talented candidates to four, but I am confident the commitee chose the right group to move forward in the process.’
Jim Henderson
UL System president and CEO

“I like the idea of Aspinwall for president,” said Christian Keever, a junior majoring at chemical engineering at McNeese who took a break from playing pool on campus with fellow students to give his opinion of the candidates. “If he has helped Sowela, he can help McNeese.”

Yusuf Celestaine, a freshman at MSU majoring in computer science, said, “I like the business guy, Burckel, because I think we need someone with a strong financial background as our next president.”

A 20-year employee of the McNeese bookstore, Diane Vinson said she’s rooting for Daboval.

“I feel pretty strongly about her,” she said. “She’s a true professional. I’ve had to answer to her before and she’s strict but very good at what she does.”

Michael Reyes, a senior majoring in general studies, said he could see any of the four candidates in the position. “I think there are advantages to the person being local and there are also advantages to someone who might be coming in with no ties at all to the community because they would bring something fresh to the table.”

UL System staff will release a detailed interview schedule when it is finalized. In addition to public interviews, candidates will meet with McNeese faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members.

McNeese earlier hosted presidential search committee meetings and a public forum.
14 2017-04-04
Lake Charles

Celebrating area’s best source for business help


The Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University joined about 1,000 other centers across the country to celebrate SBDC Day on March 22. The day was the inaugural national, collective proclamation of the success and impact America’s SBDCs have in economic development and the small business community. Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach declared it “Small Business Development Center Day.”

At our reception, we celebrated our clients’ successes. It was a thrill and a treat to hear Reta Durgan of Mama Reta’s Kitchen, Ethan Miller of Advanced Audio Video Technologies and Brenda Hill of The Voice explain how our guidance and consultation helped their small businesses get started and grow.

For over 30 years, the LSBDC at McNeese has worked with entrepreneurs and business owners. In the past 10 years, we’ve worked with over 2,500 entrepreneurs. We’ve helped our clients open about 200 new businesses, create over 500 new jobs and secure about $45 million in financing. We’ve also helped existing businesses retain over 350 jobs – that’s employees who can keep on raising their families. About 4,500 individuals have attended our workshops on topics ranging from starting and financing a small business to government contracting to using social media.

Besides our everyday work of assisting entrepreneurs, we also work with interns from McNeese’s Master of Business Administration program. These young adults meet with selected clients, they research questions and topics for clients and they help us run our office. As a companion to their academic studies, this real-world experience in entrepreneurship is valuable for the graduate assistants. The LSBDC staff also gains a different perspective through the eyes of the millennials. Working with us this semester are Paola Perez Suarez and Sulochana Shrestha.

You can take advantage of confidential counseling from the experienced consultants at the LSBDC at McNeese at no out-of-pocket cost. The counseling is “pre-paid” – by McNeese, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Louisiana Economic Development and other funding agencies – so entrepreneurs can get help with business plans, financial projections, marketing ideas and many other aspects of starting and running a small business.

We invite you to add yourself to the list of successful entrepreneurs who have wisely connected to the LSBDC at McNeese. Call us at 337-475-5529 to schedule an appointment. Visit www.lsbdc.org/msu to learn more about us.

l

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.

l

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.
14 2017-04-02
Lake Charles

Churchill brought to life at McNeese in one-man play


The greatest statesman and leader in the history of Great Britain was resurrected Thursday and reconfirmed his wit, wisdom and courage.

As part of the McNeese Banners program, Andrew Edlin portrayed Winston Churchill (1874-1965) in the Benjamin C. Mount Auditorium at the Central School Arts and Humanities Center.

The auditorium was the perfect throwback venue for Edlin’s one-man play. The setting was a replication of Churchill’s underground bunker, from which he led Britain during World War II.

The stage was minimal — desk, chair, podium, and a cabinet filled with brandy, whisky and champagne. Churchill made no apologies during his life for his reputation as a sipper; his retort when questioned about drinking: “I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.”

Edlin has Churchill down pat. Churchill died at 90 as this writer’s generation was beginning college, but his speeches and voluminous books and writings are a monument to his intelligence and industry.

Edlin begins at the beginning. Churchill’s father was a pompous, vain English lord and Army officer who seemingly had no time and certainly no plaudits for his adoring son.

Churchill, according to Edlin, longed for a kind word from his father and only recalled one instance of slight adoration. Life caught up with Randolph Churchill, who died at 44 of syphilis.

Churchill’s mother, the American heiress Jennie Jerome Churchill, remarried twice — the second time to a man younger than Winston.

Edlin’s countenance and almost monotone delivery encapsulated what old film remains of Churchill’s speeches. His inflection was slight, but his delivery was spot on.

Churchill was prime minister of Great Britain twice, 1940-1945 and 1951-1955. In his first administration, Churchill rallied England after Germany swept Western Europe and bombed England nightly.

Churchill taunted Adolf Hitler, saying the bombing would have succeeded had the German leader bombed the airfields and aircraft industries rather than London.

All that did, said Churchill, was make the nation more determined to hold out. Rather than recite Churchill’s most famous speech in its entirety — delivered to the House of Commons in 1940 — Edlin gave three delicious tidbits separately.

That speech is memorable and greatly condensed here: “We will fight on the beaches; we will never surrender.” That speech’s conclusion begs America, again reluctant to rescue Europe from Germany, to enter the war.

As an aside, one of the best books about war-beset England is “Citizens of London,” by Lynne Olson. England was slowly starving to death as its valiant Royal Air Force barely kept Germany at bay.

At dinner on Dec. 7, 1941, with U.S. Ambassador to England John Winant and Averall Harriman, Churchill’s butler whispered to Churchill that the Japanese had bombed “America.”

Churchill, not believing his ears, followed his butler into the kitchen, where the radio was on full blast with the news of the Pearl Harbor bombing and America’s declaration of war.

Then, according to Olson, Churchill joined hands with Winant and Harriman and the three men danced a jig. A little out of character for the stoic Churchill, but accounting for the historic occasion, certainly more than justified.

Edlin’s play would not have been complete without one of Churchill’s most famous retorts, that delivered to Bessie Braddock, one of the first women in the House of Commons.

Braddock said: “Winston, you are drunk, and what’s more you are disgustingly drunk.”

Churchill said: “Bessie, my dear, you are ugly and what’s worse, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly.”

Callous certainly, but humorous in context, if not in application, and Edlin delivered it to a full roar from an appreciative house.


14 2017-04-02
Lake Charles

McNeese president's search continues Monday


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
Another step in choosing a new president for McNeese State University takes place next week.

The presidential search committee of the University of Louisiana System will meet at 11 a.m. Monday, April 3, in Baton Rouge to review candidates who have applied for the McNeese job.

15 people have applied for the McNeese position being vacated by the retirement of current president Dr. Philip Williams.

The candidates include current Sowela Technical Community College Chancellor Neil Aspinwall, McNeese accounting professor Daryl Burkel, McNeese Provost Jeanne Daboval and McNeese Dean of Engineering Nikos Kiritsis. We have a complete list of the candidates and their application letters, on the 7news mobile app and at kplctv.com.

The committee hopes to narrow down that list to a group of semifinalists, who will be interviewed April 10th and 11th on the McNeese Campus.

The board hopes to have new leadership in place at McNeese by July 1st. However, one timetable indicates a new president could be chosen as early as April 20th.

For a full list of McNeese presidential candidates, click here.

Copyright 2017 KPLC-TV. All rights reserved.
14 2017-03-31
Lake Charles

McNeese president's search continues Monday


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
Another step in choosing a new president for McNeese State University takes place next week.

The presidential search committee of the University of Louisiana System will meet at 11 a.m. Monday, April 3, in Baton Rouge to review candidates who have applied for the McNeese job.

15 people have applied for the McNeese position being vacated by the retirement of current president Dr. Philip Williams.

The candidates include current Sowela Technical Community College Chancellor Neil Aspinwall, McNeese accounting professor Daryl Burkel, McNeese Provost Jeanne Daboval and McNeese Dean of Engineering Nikos Kiritsis. We have a complete list of the candidates and their application letters, on the 7news mobile app and at kplctv.com.

The committee hopes to narrow down that list to a group of semifinalists, who will be interviewed April 10th and 11th on the McNeese Campus.

The board hopes to have new leadership in place at McNeese by July 1st. However, one timetable indicates a new president could be chosen as early as April 20th.

For a full list of McNeese presidential candidates, click here.

Copyright 2017 KPLC-TV. All rights reserved.
14 2017-03-30
Lake Charles

MSU Theatre presents Cole Porter musical comedy


McNeese-State-University-Theatre-will-conclude-its-2016-2017-season-with-its-firstmusical-production-in-threeyears-—-Cole-Porter’s-“Kiss-Me-Kate.”-The-musical-will-bepresented-at-7:30-p.m.-April-5-8-and-at-2-p.m.-April-9-in-Tritico-Theatre.-

-“Kiss-Me-Kate”-is-described-as-“one-of -the-mostfamous-musical-‘adaptations’- of -Shakespeare-for-the-stage.”- Focusing-on-a-theatre-company-putting-up-a-musicalversion-of -“The-Taming-of - the-Shrew,”-the-show-tracesthe-main-relationship-between-director/leading-man-Fred-Graham-and-his-ex-wife/ leading-lady-Lilli-Vanessias-they-respectively-portraythe-Shakespearean-roles-of - Petruchio-and-Katharine-(the-Shrew-to-be-tamed).

Fred-and-Lilli-are-joined-bya-troupe-of -traveling-performers-who-play-an-assortment-of - roles,-as-life-begins-to-imitateart-and-the-action-quicklymoves-from-backstage-intothe-production-onstage.

The-show-includes-such-Porter-classics-as-“Another-Op’nin,-Another-Show,”- “Brush-up-Your-Shakespeare”- and-“Wunderbar.”-

The-play-will-be-directedby-guest-director-Walt-Kiserand-choreographed-by-guestartist-Damien-Thibodeaux.-

The-cast-includes:-Tyler-Brumback,-Fred-Graham/Petruchio;-Emily-Lancon,-Lilli-Vanessi/Katharine;-Joseph-Comeaux,-Harry-Trevor/ Baptista;-Lara-Connally,-Lois-Lane/Bianca;-Mary-Kate-Core,-stage-manager;-Ashley-Traughber,-Hattie;-Layton-Bergstedt,-Paul/-Hortensio;-Jeremy-Johnson,-Bill-Calhoun/Lucentio;-Isaac-Thomas,-Gremio;-Andrew-Casanave,-first-man;-Zac-Hammons,-second-man;-Sean-Hinchee,-haberdasher,-and-Luke-Connally,-Harrison-Howell.

The-chorus-includes-Sarah-Broussard,-Elizabeth-Barrilleaux,-Himshree-Neupane,- Dwayne-Vincent,-Jacqueline-Ellis,-Kelly-Caldarera,-Jennifer-Tolbert,-Alaina-Goins,- Jeremy-Rodriguez-and-Bob-Jines.

The-crew-includes:-Jennifer-McHaffie,-stage-manager;- Bonnie-Randel,-accompanist;- Bridget-Delaney,-dramaturge;- Jonathon-Richards,-lightdesigner;-Trevor-Richard,-setdraftsman,-Randy-Partin,-setsupervisor;-Diki-Jines,-Bob-Jines-and-Gayle-Materne,-setbuilders;-David-Hamilton,- costume-design;-Corey-Tarver,- sound-operator;-Diane-Flatt,- prop-head;-and-Briana-Delaney,-prop-crew.

TICKETS
l Ticket prices for “Kiss Me Kate” are $15 for adults, $10 for McNeese faculty/staff, senior citizens and youth, and free for McNeese students with a current ID. For tickets or more information, call 337-475-5040.
14 2017-03-27
Lake Charles

Local group promoting diversity to host lecture on La . women’s history


A city of Lake Charles committee created for promoting diversity and inclusion in Southwest Louisiana will host a free lecture on Louisiana women’s history from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday at Carnegie Memorial Library, 411 Pujo Street.

The lecture is the first in the committee’s “Brown Bag Lecture Series” and coincides with national Women’s History Month, according to event coordinator Marjorie Harrison. Each lecture in the series will be scheduled during a weekday lunch hour. Residents are encouraged to bring their lunch and eat during the event.

Harrison said the idea for the series came from a recent meeting the city held with different religious and cultural community leaders. She said the committee plans to make the series a quarterly event, with the next installment planned for May.

She said she hopes the series becomes a time where residents can enjoy each other’s company while learning something new about their community.

“It’s going to get us talking about diversity,” Harrison said.

Guest speaker Janet Allured, professor of history and director of women’s studies at McNeese State University, will present the lecture Wednesday based in part on her book “Remapping Second-Wave Feminism: The Long Women’s Rights Movement in Louisiana, 1950–1997.”

‘We need to think about starting to get our hands on that history and archiving and preserving it.’
JANET ALLURED
Professor of history and director of women’s studies at McNeese State University .

Allured said she also plans to talk about the historian’s craft, particularly how people in power affect which histories are recorded and which are left untold.

She said the lack of influential Southwest Louisiana women in area records shows just how one-sided history can be.

“We have very little history about women in this area, very little,” Allured said.

She said it’s important for residents to take part in revising history so that it becomes more inclusive and serves the needs of each generation.

“History is always being rewritten. That’s our job. That’s what we do,” Allured said. “We need to think about starting to get our hands on that history and archiving and preserving it.”

Allured has also partnered with McNeese professor Carrie Chrisco to put on a photography exhibit titled “The Personal is Political: Portraits of Louisiana Second Wave Feminists” in New Orleans. The exhibit is based on her recent book and is now available for viewing until May 31 at Newcomb College Institute at Tulane University.

Allured said she hopes to bring the exhibit Lake Charles in the near future, revising it so that it will highlight influential women from Southwest Louisiana whose stories have yet to be told.

All prospective participants are asked to register by contacting Dena Jourdan at dena.jourdan@cityoflc.us or 491-1465. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m.
14 2017-03-22
Lake Charles

McNeese welcomes academic signees


Wearing gold and blue backpacks, more than 475 high school students, many with family and friends in tow, took part on Tuesday in McNeese State University’s first Academic Signing Day.

The students heard from speakers, including McNeese President Philip Williams; met with advisers; retrieved registration information; toured the campus; and had lunch.

Afterward, the students, with pens in hand, sat at tables and — similar to athletes’ scholarship signings — officially accepted their academic scholarships to the university.

Jalen Adams, of Beau Chene High School, said the “friendly atmosphere that I found at McNeese is what originally attracted me to attend here.”

With plans to major in marketing, Adams said he is looking forward to being a “very involved student” when he begins his freshman year at McNeese in the fall.

“The recruiting process really appealed to me as well because they were very handson and I was made to feel that McNeese really wanted me as a student.”

Jolee Beauchamp, a student at West Feliciana High School, said, “I really like the size of the campus and the atmosphere as well. But I have been involved in rodeo in high school, and I’ll be participating in rodeo here at McNeese. So it was the fact that the university has such a good rodeo program that ultimately made me choose McNeese.”

McNeese spokeswoman Candace Townsend said the day was a “tremendous success” and that there are plans to make it an annual event.

The signing day brought students from all over Louisiana and Texas, as well as a student from Colorado.

Kourtney Istre, who works in admissions and recruiting for McNeese, said, “We really wanted to celebrate the academic side of McNeese and today was just phenomenal.”
14 2017-03-22
Lake Charles

McNeese Percussion hosts World Percussion Concert


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
The McNeese State University Percussion Concert is expanding knowledge in music.

It all started when a West Virginia University professor came to McNeese after learning traditional song and dance from Trinidad and Tobago, Guinea and Ghana.

Percussion Professor, Dr. Lonny Benoit said “He comes back, he shares with us the knowledge he's taken from these villages, to basically he comes in and teaches everything by rote, so there is no written notation, it's traditional style in Africa passed down from generation to generation.”

For many of the students, playing instruments through wrote was a new concept.

Senior Josh Hartwell said, “We're not really used to learning any kind of without music notation so learning everything by word of mouth was a really cool process, it was really easy actually.”

The students spend their entire Mardi Gras break, 10-12 hours a day learning the cultural music.

Benoit adds, “It's through knowledge of the subject of it. It's not just, oh I'm just going to play this one drum or I'm just going to learn this dance. They know everything.

The percussion instruments you can see at the upcoming concert were all handmade in their native countries.

The concert is free to attend and takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 23, at Tritico Theater.

Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.
14 2017-03-22
Lake Charles

McNeese summer and fall advising, priority registration scheduled


Students can go online now to view the class schedules for both 2017 summer and fall registrations at McNeese State University at www.mcneese.edu/schedule.
The official advising period for both registrations will be March 27-April 7.
Priority registration for both the summer and fall will begin at 1 p.m. Monday, April 10, for graduate students, seniors, student-athletes and veterans. Junior priority registration begins at 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 11, while sophomore priority registration begins at 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 12. Registration opens for all students at 1 p.m. Thursday, April 13.
Regular summer registration ends June 5 and summer classes begin June 12,
while fall regular registration ends Aug. 14 and fall classes begin Aug. 21.
For more information about summer or fall registration at McNeese, contact the registrar's office at 337-475-5356 or 1-800-622-3352, ext. 5356.




14 2017-03-20
Lake Charles

McNeese to celebrate 'National Small Business Development Center Day'


LAKE CHARLES -- On Wednesday, March 22, the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University will join with hundreds of other SBDCs around the country to celebrate SBDC Day.

The event is the inaugural national, collective proclamation of the success and impact America’s SBDCs have in economic development and the small business community, according to Donna Little, director of the LSBDC at McNeese.

“We are happy to celebrate our success in helping entrepreneurs for more than 30 years. Our work is genuinely exciting and rewarding. We respect and treasure small business owners who work so hard to make their dreams come true,” said Little.

To commemorate SBDC Day, McNeese will host a reception from 4-6 p.m. in the Willis Noland Conference Room on the second floor of the McNeese SEED Center and this event is sponsored by Capital One.

“Some of our clients will be speaking about how our center has assisted them,” she said. “We will also have a proclamation from Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach, there will be other special guests and refreshments from some of our clients’ businesses to showcase their products.”

For more information, call the LSBDC at McNeese at 337-475-5529. To learn more about national SBDC Day, go to http://americassbdc.org/SBDCday/

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.
14 2017-03-16
Lake Charles

2017 McNeese Banners Series now in full swing


Special to the American Press

The Rodney Marsalis Big Brass Band will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, March 17, in Tritico Theatre in McNeese’s Shearman Fine Arts Annex. Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for children under 18. McNeese and Sowela students get in free with a current ID.

Picture
Special to the American Press

The Afro-Caribbean music group Tiempo Libre will perform at 7 p.m. April 27 in Rosa Hart Theater.

The 25th year of McNeese State University’s Banners events features a wide variety of entertainment, ranging from acrobats, world-class musicians and even advice from a zombie expert.

“Zombies, Run!” is set for 7 p.m. today in the Tritico Theatre in the Shearman Fine Arts Annex. Matt Mogk, founder and head of the Zombie Research Society, will give a free lecture on how to survive a zombie apocalypse. Mogk’s lecture will also discuss the history of zombies in film and pop culture.

Banners Director Patricia Prudhomme said Mogk is a featured guest on the TV show “Talking Dead,” which follows the highly-popular series “The Walking Dead.”

“We are always searching for a topic and speaker who would appeal to those 30 and under,” she said. “This was almost a no-brainer with the popularity of the topic. We work to keep a balance of all age groups and demographics.”

The Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass Band will perform at 7 p.m. Friday at Tritico Theatre. Prudhomme said the multimedia presentation will feature vintage footage from the Civil War through the Civil Rights Movement. The band will perform a variety of genres, including traditional gospel, rock, jazz and funk.

The Shadow Theatre Fireflies will perform at 7 p.m.

March 21 in the Lake Charles Civic Center’s Rosa Hart Theater. Prudhomme said the Ukraine-based group has appeared on several popular talent shows. The group’s dancers use shadows to tell stories in a unique and visually thrilling way.

The Doo Wop Project will perform at 7 p.m. March 24 inside Tritico Theatre. Prudhomme said the fivepiece group features current and former singers from the Broadway productions “Jersey Boys” and “Motown: The Musical.”

The one-man play, Churchill, is set for 7 p.m. March 30 at Central School Theatre. The play, starring and written by Andrew Edlin, features a portrayal of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill 10 years after the end of World War II.

Acrobats of Cirque-tacular will perform at 7 p.m. April 7 at Burton Coliseum. The New York-based acrobat group has performed throughout the world and mesmerizes audiences with lavish costumes and high-flying moves.

The lecture, Extreme Killing: Understanding Serial and Mass Murder is set for 7 p.m. April 25 at Tritico Theatre. Northeastern University Professor Emeritus Jack Levin will talk about the minds behind mass murderers and serial killers, along with recent mass shootings.

The Afro-Caribbean music group Tiempo Libre will perform at 7 p.m. April 27 at Rosa Hart Theatre. The Cuban group has been nominated for three Grammys and performs a lively show that has entertained audiences for over a decade.

Banners also features a selection of movies at Cinemark Lake Charles, 548 W. Prien Lake Road. They include the 1971 film, “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” at 3 p.m. March 25; “The Wrecking Crew” at 6 p.m. April 4; and “Free State of Jones” at 3 p.m. April 22.

A documentary, “Mystic Iran: The Unseen World,” will be shown at 6 p.m. April 13 inside McNeese’s Holbrook Student Union. The film, directed by Aryana Farshad, shows her spiritual journey through Iran to document ancient religious practices.

Prudhomme said the diverse performers and lecturers scheduled for this year’s Banners season were made possible by a volunteer committee of community members.

Tickets for certain events are $20 for adults, $5 for children under 18 and free for Sowela and McNeese students with a current student ID.

For more about memberships or ticket prices, visit www.banners.org or call 475-5123.
14 2017-03-16
Lake Charles

McNeese moves ahead in search for leader



14 2017-03-16
Lake Charles

McNeese moves ahead in search for leader


BY LISA ADDISON
laddison@americanpress.com

With senators, business leaders, faculty and students in attendance, McNeese State University moved one step closer to finding its next president with a well-attended public forum and presidential search committee meeting on Monday at McNeese.

The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System held the event to gather feedback from campus and community.

Dr. Philip Williams, president of McNeese since 2010, will retire on June 30.

UL System President and CEO Dr. Jim Henderson said, “What an extraordinary opportunity this is as the university moves toward its 80th year. How fortunate you are to be here in such a fast-growing city with so much going for it. We’re here today to listen and learn; your comments will be extremely helpful through the search process which is transparent and participatory.”

Sen. Ronnie Johns helped to set the genial tone of the forum when he introduced himself to the board and, alluding to past budget cuts to higher education in Louisiana, said, “By the way, I do serve on the Senate Finance Committee” as the room erupted in laughter. “These are challenging times and I appreciate you serving on this board. I also want to publicly thank Dr. Williams. He led this university through budget cuts but he did it with a positive attitude, a smile on his face and a vision for McNeese.”

Johns said Southwest Louisiana is in a period of “unprecedented growth and this university is a catalyst for that. As we move forward, we should be looking for someone with energy, integrity, and someone who can take Mc-Neese to a whole new level.”

R.B. Smith, vice president of Workforce Development at the SWLA Economic Development Alliance, said, “I’m a proud alumnus of McNeese and I’m here today representing the Economic Alliance. We’re grateful for the work of Dr. Williams over the years. He demonstrated stability and positive leadership. We seek those same qualities in our next president and more than anything we should be looking for a visionary.”

Kedrick Nicholas, a former scholarship athlete at Mc-Neese and current director of Campus Life, Engagement, and Student Retention at Mc-Neese, said, “In the advertisement being run seeking a new president there is no mention of diversity. As this city grows and McNeese continues to grow, the population becomes even more diverse. We need a leader that can connect with that.”

Several business leaders as well as those involved in the SEED Center spoke of the importance– especially considering the economic growth in Southwest Louisiana – in choosing a president who understands business and entrepreneurship.

Michael Eason, senior vice president and resident director of Merrill Lynch, said, “I’m a 1978 graduate of McNeese and a 2005 recipient of the ‘Alumni of the Year’ for service at MSU. I have raised approximately $250,000 for McNeese and have endowed a scholarship in the School of Business for three undergraduates per year. I think it’s fair to say I bleed blue and gold.”

Easen said “thinking outside the box” is a phrase that should be included in the job description for president. “Seven years ago, I stood before this committee and stated that we needed a business academic and how prophetic that statement was given the cuts to funding through the years.”

Mike Fuljenz, a business leader and supporter of McNeese, said, “I started at McNeese when I was just 7 years old; I was in the gifted student program. I have loved McNeese for 55 years and I’m a ‘Top 10’ donor to the university. Pick the best person - whether it’s a man, woman, white, black, Vietnamese, or whatever. Pick the best.”

Michael Dees, a local attorney and counsel to the Port of Lake Charles, said he went to McNeese 47 years ago and, “McNeese has been doing what it’s supposed to do but not necessarily what it can do. Lake Charles will soon be the LNG center of the world - is McNeese going to be involved in that? It should be.”

Other dignitaries in attendance were Sen. Dan “Blade Morrish; Willie Mount, former senator and current president of the McNeese Foundation; Vic Stelly, a former state representative; and Johnny Suydam, a former McNeese baseball coach.

‘As we move forward, we should be looking for someone with energy, integrity, and someone who can take McNeese to a whole new level.’
SEN. RONNIE JOHNS
14 2017-03-14
Lake Charles

McNeese moves ahead in search for leader


With senators, business leaders, faculty and students in attendance, McNeese State University moved one step closer to finding its next president with a well-attended public forum and presidential search committee meeting on Monday at McNeese.

The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System held the event to gather feedback from campus and community.

Dr. Philip Williams, president of McNeese since 2010, will retire on June 30.

UL System President and CEO Dr. Jim Henderson said, “What an extraordinary opportunity this is as the university moves toward its 80th year. How fortunate you are to be here in such a fast-growing city with so much going for it. We’re here today to listen and learn; your comments will be extremely helpful through the search process which is transparent and participatory.”

Sen. Ronnie Johns helped to set the genial tone of the forum when he introduced himself to the board and, alluding to past budget cuts to higher education in Louisiana, said, “By the way, I do serve on the Senate Finance Committee” as the room erupted in laughter. “These are challenging times and I appreciate you serving on this board. I also want to publicly thank Dr. Williams. He led this university through budget cuts but he did it with a positive attitude, a smile on his face and a vision for McNeese.”

Johns said Southwest Louisiana is in a period of “unprecedented growth and this university is a catalyst for that. As we move forward, we should be looking for someone with energy, integrity, and someone who can take Mc-Neese to a whole new level.”

R.B. Smith, vice president of Workforce Development at the SWLA Economic Development Alliance, said, “I’m a proud alumnus of McNeese and I’m here today representing the Economic Alliance. We’re grateful for the work of Dr. Williams over the years. He demonstrated stability and positive leadership. We seek those same qualities in our next president and more than anything we should be looking for a visionary.”

Kedrick Nicholas, a former scholarship athlete at Mc-Neese and current director of Campus Life, Engagement, and Student Retention at Mc-Neese, said, “In the advertisement being run seeking a new president there is no mention of diversity. As this city grows and McNeese continues to grow, the population becomes even more diverse. We need a leader that can connect with that.”

Several business leaders as well as those involved in the SEED Center spoke of the importance– especially considering the economic growth in Southwest Louisiana – in choosing a president who understands business and entrepreneurship.

Michael Eason, senior vice president and resident director of Merrill Lynch, said, “I’m a 1978 graduate of McNeese and a 2005 recipient of the ‘Alumni of the Year’ for service at MSU. I have raised approximately $250,000 for McNeese and have endowed a scholarship in the School of Business for three undergraduates per year. I think it’s fair to say I bleed blue and gold.”

Easen said “thinking outside the box” is a phrase that should be included in the job description for president. “Seven years ago, I stood before this committee and stated that we needed a business academic and how prophetic that statement was given the cuts to funding through the years.”

Mike Fuljenz, a business leader and supporter of McNeese, said, “I started at McNeese when I was just 7 years old; I was in the gifted student program. I have loved McNeese for 55 years and I’m a ‘Top 10’ donor to the university. Pick the best person - whether it’s a man, woman, white, black, Vietnamese, or whatever. Pick the best.”

Michael Dees, a local attorney and counsel to the Port of Lake Charles, said he went to McNeese 47 years ago and, “McNeese has been doing what it’s supposed to do but not necessarily what it can do. Lake Charles will soon be the LNG center of the world - is McNeese going to be involved in that? It should be.”

Other dignitaries in attendance were Sen. Dan “Blade Morrish; Willie Mount, former senator and current president of the McNeese Foundation; Vic Stelly, a former state representative; and Johnny Suydam, a former McNeese baseball coach.

‘As we move forward, we should be looking for someone with energy, integrity, and someone who can take McNeese to a whole new level.’
SEN. RONNIE JOHNS
14 2017-03-13
Lake Charles

Competition under way at Southwest La. District Senior Games


The annual Southwest Louisiana District Senior Games kicked off with an opening ceremony in the McNeese recreational sports complex Friday morning.

Around 350 seniors are registered for this year’s games, which includes 24 sports—ranging from golf and archery to bait casting and billiardsplayed through March 20.

The games got a head start on Saturday, March 4 with the track and field events.

Friday’s opening ceremony was immediately followed by the games’ largest event, a 17-team beanbag baseball tournament.

Participants compete in five-year age brackets, and anyone 50 or older is eligible to compete in one or more sports.

The district games also see siginificant enrollment from “out-of-district” seniors—those hailing from outside the six-parish area, often western Texas, district coordinator Angela Jouett said.

Success at the district games can mean qualification for states, which is held at several locations across Louisiana. This fall, Lake Charles will host the state competitions for shuffle board, cycling, swimming and golf.

This year’s state winners won’t advance to nationals, though, which is held on alternating years.

For the district games, most events are hosted at McNeese, the games’ longtime institutional partner. Students in the school’s health and human performance program organize and facilitate the events through a springsemester class.

This year’s proceeds will also help fund a scholarship for McNeese health students, Jouett said.

Friday’s ceremony also honored the games’ Seniors of the Year, Marilyn and István “Steve” Pekar. A retired teacher and electrician, respectively, the husband-andwife athletic duo has been competing in the games for around 15 years.

“It’s fun being with friends and playing the games together,” Marilyn said. “It’s not just about winning; it’s about the friendships.”

Together, the couple competes in around eight events each year, and Pekar said athletics have long been a part of the family’s life.

Marilyn is a Sulphur native, while István hails from Hungary.

Jouett said the games often become one facet of an overarching healthy lifestyle, as many couples and teams practice year-round in preparation.

“It’s a huge health initiative,” Jouett said. “And they not only get exercise but also get out and meet other area seniors.”

‘It’s fun being with friends and playing the games together.’
MARILYN PEKAR
Senior of the Year
14 2017-03-13
Lake Charles

Banners Series prepares to kick off 25th season


LAKE CHARLES — Banners at McNeese State University celebrates its 25th anniversary season of bringing “a world of culture” to Southwest Louisiana with 13 events spread over seven weeks, from March 14 through April 27. Events range from the heart-stopping acrobats of “Cirque-tacular” and zombie expert Matt Mogk’s advice on surviving the zombie apocalypse to jazz music and the big brass band sound from Philadelphia and a one-man play on Sir Winston Churchill.

“Our goal each year is to bring the most exceptional arts and humanities programming to Southwest Louisiana. We are just one part of the rich cultural tapestry of our community that makes our quality of life enviable,” says Patricia Prudhomme, director of Banners at McNeese.

Since 1992, the community has welcomed an unbelievable variety of talent thanks to Banners at McNeese. This includes international award-winning authors, Grammy-award winning singers and musical groups, documentaries and films, dancers, comedians and lecturers and so much more.

According to Prudhomme, the mission of Banners at McNeese is to “provide our community with easy access to exceptional arts and humanities programming and education that are unique to our area. We want to enhance the quality of life in our region and make the area more attractive to people, businesses and industry relocating to Southwest Louisiana.”

Conceived under the guidance of Dr. Robert Hebert, then president of McNeese, and the vision of its first director, Mary Richardson, Banners is recognized as one of the region’s finest arts and humanities series. The program received the 2014 Outstanding Arts Organization of the Year Award presented by the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development.

Prudhomme says Banners at McNeese not only includes the annual cultural season but also its educational programming for area K-12 students and collaborations with other organizations to support the arts and humanities in Southwest Louisiana.

“Each year, with the support of our sponsors, we bring arts and humanities programs and performances to nearly 10,000 K-12 students in Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis parishes that are designed to develop creative, innovative and entrepreneurial thinking,” she added.

Banners at McNeese is supported by corporate sponsors, memberships, grants and its annual fall fundraiser - the Rouge et Blanc food and wine event held on campus. The Banners Committee is all volunteers and includes community members and McNeese faculty, staff and students.

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.

2017 Calendar of Events

• Members Only Opening Party – March 10

Isle of Capri Casino Hotel

5:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. performance

Banners kicks off its 25th season with an exclusive reception for members, topped off with a special a performance of cross-cultural, genre-bending music by Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder.

• Etienne Charles – March 14

Lake Charles Central School Theatre, 7 p.m.

Up-and-coming trumpeter Etienne Charles brings his jazz to Lake Charles in a bold and bluesy performance. Charles’ music draws from his own diverse roots, combining elements of both American and traditional Caribbean island influences.

• Matt Mogk: Zombies, Run! – March 16

Tritico Theatre, Shearman Fine Arts Annex, 7 p.m.

With this tongue-in-cheek lecture, Mogk brings to audiences an interactive multi-media talk that includes essential information for survival in the face of the coming undead apocalypse.

• The Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass Band – March 17

Tritico Theatre, Shearman Fine Arts Annex, 7 p.m.

Some of America’s top brass musicians come together to put on a stunning performance of traditional gospel songs, Sousa march, Dixieland and swing-era jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, R&B and funk.

• Shadow Theatre Fireflies – March 21

Rose Hart Theatre, Lake Charles Civic Center, 7 p.m.

Shadow Theatre Fireflies is a remarkable new take on ancient storytelling forms, combining the traditional art of shadow puppetry and shadowgraphy with modern technology into a spectacular new art form.

• The Doo Wop Project – March 24

Tritico Theatre, Shearman Fine Arts Annex, 7 p.m.

The Doo Wop Project traces the evolution of Doo Wop from the classic sound of five guys singing tight harmonies on a street corner to the biggest hits on the radio today, featuring current and former stars of Broadway’s smash hits “Jersey Boys” and “Motown: The Musical.”

• “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” – March 25

Cinemark Lake Charles, 3 p.m.

Based on the 1964 children’s book by Roald Dahl, this 1971 film follows Charlie Bucket, a poor child who wins a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tour the factory of famous recluse and genius confectioner, Willy Wonka. Accompanied by the other golden ticket winners, Charlie has to navigate the treacherous temptations of Willy Wonka’s Factory and outlast the other insufferable ticket holders for the chance to win a lifetime supply of chocolate.

• Churchill – March 30

Lake Charles Central School Theatre, 7 p.m.

Set 10 years after the conclusion of World War II, Andrew Edlin stars as the shrewd and insightful 80-year-old Sir Winston Churchill as he wrestles with his role in British politics and the changing, post-war world.

• The Wrecking Crew – April 4

Cinemark Lake Charles, 6 p.m.

While bands like the Beach Boys, the Monkees and the Mamas & the Papas were topping the charts in the 1960s, the unsung heroes behind the music remained in the background, unnamed and unknown. With his documentary “The Wrecking Crew,” director Denny Tedesco shines a light on the legendary group of Los Angeles-based studio musicians that made the classic songs we know and love.

• Acrobats of Cirque-tacular – April 7

Burton Coliseum, 7 p.m.

Cirque-tacular brings the fantastic and fantasy of the traditional circus show to a modern audience. Stunning costumes, original music, amazing feats and mesmerizing performances combine to create a one-of-a-kind family-friendly experience that must be seen to be believed.

• “Mystic Iran: The Unseen World” – April 13

Holbrook Student Union, McNeese State University – 6 p.m.

Persian filmmaker Aryana Farshad recently journeyed through Iran to film the great variety of ancient religious rituals still practiced deep within her native country. This exquisite documentary captures spiritual rites hidden for centuries, the women’s chambers in the great mosques, a spontaneous fire ritual in a cave occupied by followers of Zarathustra, sacred dances to pulsating drumbeats and much more.

• “Free State of Jones” – April 22

Cinemark Lake Charles, 3 p.m.

Written and directed by four-time Oscar nominee Gary Ross and starring Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey, “Free State of Jones” is an epic action-drama set during the Civil War. The movie tells the story of defiant Southern farmer, Newt Knight, who banded together with other small farmers and local slaves to launch an uprising that led Jones County, Mississippi, to secede from the Confederacy, creating a Free State of Jones.

Extreme Killing: Understanding Serial and Mass Murder - April 25

Tritico Theatre in Shearman Fine Arts Annex, 7 p.m.

Northeastern University Professor Emeritus Dr. Jack Levin will deliver a thought-provoking account on the sociology behind the growing epidemic of mass shootings. The author or co-author of more than 30 books, Levin brings an expert’s perspective to public understanding of mass murders and the criminal mind.

• Tiempo Libre - April 27

Rosa Hart Theatre, Lake Charles Civic Center, 7 p.m.

Three-time Grammy-nominated Afro-Caribbean music group Tiempo Libre is one of the hottest Latin bands today. Equally at home in concert halls, jazz clubs, festival stages and dance venues, Tiempo Libre is celebrated for its sophisticated tropical music featuring an irresistible, exhilarating mix of jazz harmonies, contemporary sonorities and seductive Latin rhythms.
14 2017-03-13
Lake Charles

‘Book Works’ at Central School


“DistractiFLY,” by Elizabeth Guinn is among the works on exhibit in “Book Works” at the Art Associates Gallery in the Central School Arts and Humanities Center.

An opening reception for an exhibition of artist’s books featuring both current and former McNeese State University visual arts students was held March 9 at the Art Associates Gallery in the Central School Arts and Humanities Center at 809 Kirby St.

The exhibit, titled “Book Works,” features an array of books created by students who were part of a class called Contemporary Approaches to Drawing taught by McNeese art professor Heather Ryan Kelley. The works range from traditional case bound books, accordions and pamphlets to mazes and sculptural, altered books.

Participating artists are ASHLEN BREAUX, Lake Charles; CHANCE DEVILLE, Lake Charles; KATY GEYMANN, Moss Bluff; RON GIBSON, Sulphur; KAT GODSEY, Westlake; ELIZABETH GUINN, Jennings; TAYLOR HICKEY, Orange, Texas; KATELYN HOffPAUIR, Lake Charles; LINDA RAE-LEIGH JOHNSON, Eunice; STEPHANIE LANDRY, Lake Charles; CAMBRIDGE P.J. MATTHEWS, Lake Charles; SHANNON MOORE, Lake Charles; DEVIN MORGAN, Lake Charles; ALEX PATE, Lafayette; SAJEELA SIDDIQ, Lake Charles; KIP TÊTE, Lake Charles; SYDNEY THOMAS, Sulphur; and GABRIELLA TRAHAN, Holly Beach.

The exhibit is on display through April 28.
14 2017-03-13
Lake Charles

One school, many nations


With students from 45

countries, 22 states,

and 37 parishes —

students hail from such far-flung places as Egypt, Nepal and Zimbabwe — McNeese State University is a true melting pot.

Nikesh Kandel, president of the Nepalese Student Association and a senior majoring in engineering, had never been to the United States until he left Nepal three years ago bound for Lake Charles to begin his freshman year of college at McNeese.

“When I first got here, it was very hard to be away from my family, but they are happy for me to be able to further my education by attending Mc-Neese,” Kandel said. “There

are many Nepalese students here. We stick together and support each other. We all get apartments in the same area; we split the bills and groceries; and we decide who is going to cook, do the dishes, and even the laundry. We do everything together as a family because that’s what we are now.”

Kandel said one of the things that really appealed to him when he first got to Southwest Louisiana was the weather. “The climate is very nice and it reminds me a lot of the area where I come from in Nepal,” he said. “I like that it’s easy to find spices here to make dishes that I enjoy from home and that there are also restaurants nearby that serve the kinds of food that I’m used to. But I also like the foods here, especially crawfish. My friends and I buy a lot of crawfish, and we eat it as often as we can.”

The affordability factor as well as the solid reputation of its engineering program attracted Kandel to McNeese. “I was able to get some scholarships for engineering because I had really good grades,” he said. “I really enjoy that people are so friendly here, our faculty does everything it can to help us, and there are so many things to get involved in. I used to do a lot of walking when I first moved here, but I have a car now and I like going on long road trips. I’ve now been to about 20 states and have gone on some nice vacations in the summer. On one of them we drove from here to Michigan and then went to New York and Washington, D.C., and then drove back to Louisiana.”

After graduation, Kandel said he may go to graduate school but wants to stay involved with the engineering field and hopes to open his own business someday.

Omar Zayed, a freshman majoring in computer science, is the only student from Egypt attending McNeese. He credits his fraternity brothers from Pi Kappa Phi with helping him become acclimated to both McNeese and Southwest Louisiana.

“I met some of my fraternity brothers when I was going through orientation and we all just hit it off,” he said. “From that point on we have spent lots of time together, we do philanthropic projects on campus and in the community, and we also have a lot of fun. They are some of my best friends now.”

Zayed juxtaposed his previous life and his current life perfectly when on a recent trip to visit family and friends in Egypt he took a photo with his fraternity’s flag while standing in front of a pyramid. “I’m from Egypt but by bringing the flag with me when I left Lake Charles it’s like I had my fraternity brothers with me while I was away.”

Students who arrive on McNeese’s campus are here for a variety of reasons: Some are drawn to particular areas of studies, others are here because they got academic or athletic scholarships, some are drawn to the climate and way of life in Southwest Louisiana and still others are following in the footsteps of ones who came here from their countries and had positive experiences while here.

‘My friends and I buy a lot of crawfish, and we eat it as often as we can.’
NIKESH KANDEL
Engineering major from Nepal

Preble Giltz Girard, director of international programs at McNeese, has been in her position since 2002 and said she enjoys watching international students interact with students from countries they are from but also with countries other than their own. “It’s amazing to watch,” she said. “For instance, I enjoy watching a student from Zimbabwe interact with a student from Nepal, or a student from Australia interact with a student from China. It’s fascinating to see the friendships and support develop through those interactions.”

Girard works to help international students with their transition to life in a new country as well as doing what she can to help them get acclimated to life on a college campus. Some of the things that her office can assist with ahead of an international student’s arrival include the college application process, admittance requirements, paperwork for a student visa, as well as immigration documents, and information on flights to the United States.

“Affordability is a major reason that many of the international students decide to attend McNeese,” Girard said. “We have exceptional programs at McNeese as well.”

Zayed echoes that and gives a lot of credit to Girard and her staff for their assistance in preparing him for McNeese and Southwest Louisiana. “I wouldn’t be here at McNeese if they hadn’t helped me so much,” he said. “Their office called me, emailed me, wrote to me, helped walk me through the entire process. I was very surprised by how people here are just so nice, friendly and always smiling.”

Lillian Mambiri, a junior at McNeese, is from Zimbabwe and she originally heard about McNeese through her brother, who had been attending college in Florida but was completing an internship at Sasol while studying chemical engineering. “My brother called me and said that I really needed to look into Lake Charles and McNeese because he liked everything he was seeing,” Mambiri said. “Arriving here was my first experience with being in the United States and it has been so perfect. But I didn’t realize everything would be so big. The vehicles that people drive seem so huge. It’s simpler in my country, and a lot of people walk. But a Third World country is going to be more basic in many ways.”

Mambiri hopes more than anything that she can make a difference in the world and especially in Zimbabwe. “As much as I love it here, the whole purpose of me getting an education in the United States is so that I can return to Zimbabwe and put my knowledge to good use. I want to eventually work for the energy authority in Zimbabwe or open up a new one. There’s an energy crisis there, and I would like to work toward coming up with a cheaper alternative for energy. Perhaps I can work briefly for a company here after I graduate and then take all of my ideas to Zimbabwe and put them to good use and make some change.”

She said she has often gotten assistance or advice from the international office at McNeese as, well as the church she attends, Our Lady of Good Counsel. “They really make us feel welcome there, and one of the sisters made a gumbo at the student center at church and it reminded me of the stews we have back home so it really hit my heart and made me think of Zimbabwe.”

Girard, whose office is open year round, said “word of mouth” is powerful and that when students from other countries talk about their positive experiences here it leads to other students wanting to follow their path to Southwest Louisiana and McNeese. “Really, it’s a soft diplomacy that takes place; students become our best ambassadors.”
14 2017-03-13
Lake Charles

Presidential search committee to meet at McNeese


The University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors will hold a presidential search committee meeting and public forum at 10 a.m. Monday, March 13, in McNeese State University’s Hardtner Hall.

McNeese President Philip Williams, who has served since July 1, 2010, will retire on June 30.

ULS President and CEO Jim Henderson is the nonvoting chairman of the committee. Voting members comprise ULS board members and Michael Butkus, McNeese Faculty Senate president.

Non-voting, advisory members include Caleb Prince, McNeese Student Government Association president; Willie Mount, McNeese Foundation president; Kevin Caldwell, McNeese Alumni Association president; and Vic Stelly, community representative.

“We encourage the public to come and participate in the process,” said Candace Townsend, McNeese spokeswoman.

“It’s very important for the committee to hear the ideas and qualifications that they feel the next McNeese president needs to have because interacting with the community is such a critical component of the job of a university president.”

Timeline for the search for McNeese’s next president:

March: Advertise nationally. March 23: Preferred date for nominations/applications. March 27: Committee to receive list of candidates. April 3: Committee meets in Baton Rouge to review applicant materials and select semifinalists. April 11-13: On-campus interviews.

April 20: Finalists presented to full ULS Board and interviews conducted. Possible board selection of McNeese president to be made.

For the forum, parking for the public will be reserved in the parking lot on the south side of Hardtner Hall.
14 2017-03-10
Lake Charles

McNeese Bayou Players take to stage with 'Sleuth'


Last Modified: Thursday, March 09, 2017 11:53 AM
By John Guidroz / American Press
By John Guidroz
jguidroz@americanpress.com
The McNeese State University Bayou Players will present the Tony Award-winning play, “Sleuth,” this weekend at Lake Charles Little Theatre, 813 Enterprise Blvd.
Shows are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday.
The play, written by Anthony Shaffer, is set in modern day England and revolves around business owner Milo Tindle and successful crime fiction writer Andrew Wyke. Upon Tindle’s arrival in the county of Wiltshire, he meets Wyke and is invited to his manor house. There, the story turns into a enticing mystery filled with jealousy, deception and plenty of plot twists.
“It keeps you guessing as to who did it,” said Diane Rathbun, the play’s director. “It’s an interesting story that has appeal for all ages.”
Rathbun said the conflicting interests of Tindle and Wyke eventually lead to a clash between the two.
“There’s someone trying to hold on to his real or imagined influence and popularity, as opposed to someone who has a richer life without all that,” she said.
Despite the dramatic tone of the play, Rathbun said it also has plenty of comedy.
“There’s a little something for everyone,” she said.
The play stars Michael Davis as Wyke and Eric Thibodeaux as Tindle. Other cast members include Joseph John Pressley as Detective Tarrant and Milton Hebert as Inspector Doppler.
The crew includes Mark Bailes, assistant director and costume designer; Barry Rathbun, sound designer; Stephen Vidrine, lighting designer; Joseph Comeaux and Gustavo Gutierrez, special effects and props.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for McNeese faculty/staff, senior citizens and youth, and free for students with a current ID. To reserve tickets, call 475-5040 or visit www.mcneese.edu/theatre.
14 2017-03-09
Lake Charles

Banners season begins with the sound of jazz


The 2017 spring season of Banners at McNeese State University kicks off with a dynamic performance by jazz virtuoso Etienne Charles at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, in the Lake Charles Central School Theatre.

Called by the New York Times as“one of (jazz’s) more ambitious soloists and composers” and as “a daring improviser” by the Jazz Times, this young artist has already made a name for himself as a fresh and innovative voice in modern jazz.

Drawing upon his diverse roots — French Caribbean, Spanish, African and Venezuelan — Charles’ music represents a fusion of cultures, incorporating traditional island influences such as calypso and Haitian voodoo music with classic American fare, among them R&B, reggae and Motown.

This cultural and rhythmic fusion between jazz tradition and Caribbean spirit comes together in Charles’ newest album, “Creole Soul.” Alongside six originally composed songs, Charles also covers jazz legends of the past, including Bob Marley and Thelonious Monk.

From his birthplace in Trinidad, Charles’ musical journey took him first to Florida, where he earned his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University, and then to New York, where he graduated with a master’s degree from Juilliard School. Currently a jazz trumpet teacher at Michigan State University, Charles already has three notable albums under his belt. He has performed with such artists as Roberta Flack, Johnny Mandel and the Count Basie Orchestra and has collaborated with jazz icons Frank Foster and Benny Golson, among many others.

TICKETS
l Tickets for the Etienne Charles performance will be available at the door at $20 for adults, $5 for students under 18, and free for McNeese and Sowela students with current IDs.
14 2017-03-09
Lake Charles

McNeese Bayou Players take to stage with ‘Sleuth’


The McNeese State University Bayou Players will present the Tony Award-winning play, “Sleuth,” this weekend at Lake Charles Little Theatre, 813 Enterprise Blvd.

Shows are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday.

The play, written by Anthony Shaffer, is set in modern day England and revolves around business owner Milo Tindle and successful crime fiction writer Andrew Wyke. Upon Tindle’s arrival in the county of Wiltshire, he meets Wyke and is invited to his manor house. There, the story turns into a enticing mystery filled with jealousy, deception and plenty of plot twists.

“It keeps you guessing as to who did it,” said Diane Rathbun, the play’s director. “It’s an interesting story that has appeal for all ages.”

Rathbun said the conflicting interests of Tindle and Wyke eventually lead to a clash between the two.

“There’s someone trying to hold on to his real or imagined influence and popularity, as opposed to someone who has a richer life without all that,” she said.

Despite the dramatic tone of the play, Rathbun said it also has plenty of comedy.

“There’s a little something for everyone,” she said.

The play stars Michael Davis as Wyke and Eric Thibodeaux as Tindle. Other cast members include Joseph John Pressley as Detective Tarrant and Milton Hebert as Inspector Doppler.

The crew includes Mark Bailes, assistant director and costume designer; Barry Rathbun, sound designer; Stephen Vidrine, lighting designer; Joseph Comeaux and Gustavo Gutierrez, special effects and props.

TICKETS
l Tickets for “Sleuth” are $15 for adults, $10 for McNeese faculty/staff, senior citizens and youth, and free for students with a current ID. To reserve tickets, call 475-5040 or visit
14 2017-03-09
Lake Charles

Harpists to present recital Sunday at McNeese


Harpists Patricia Horvath and Barbara Belew will be presented in a duo harp recital at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 12, in Tritico Theatre on the McNeese State University campus.

This program, a part of the McNeese spring faculty/ guest artist series is free for the public, and will include a number of familiar works.

Sunday’s program includes music from the 14th century until the present day, with quite a few of the works coming from orchestral, lute, organ, piano and vocal literature.

Composers represented include J.S. Bach, Georges Bizet, Johannes Brahms, Patrick S. Gilmore, Franz Joseph Haydn, Skaila Kanga, Guillaume de Machaut, Turlough O’Carolan, Louise Trotter and Karl Wienand.

A graduate of Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, and Indiana University, Belew has taught piano and harp, as well as courses in pedagogy and literature, at McNeese for many years. She also heads the annual Harp Camp. She has coached both McNeese’s harp ensemble and that of the Louisiana Chapter of the American Harp Society, and has played harp with the Lake Charles Symphony and several other area performing organizations.

Belew maintains active membership in the AHS chapter, the Lake Charles Piano Teachers Association, and Alpha Gamma Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, women educators’ organization, and has been named to several Who’s Who publications.

Horvath, a 2004 McNeese graduate as a harp major, is the daughter of Mrs. Lyle Talbot and the late Nathan Taulbee, and lives in Moss Bluff with her husband Richard and their son.

At McNeese she participated in Chamber Singers, performed frequently both on French horn and harp, with MSU’s Wind Symphony, and the AHS ensemble, and won awards in Louisiana Music Teachers Association’s State Harp Rally.

President of the AHS Louisiana Chapter and Assistant Director of the MSU Harp Camp, Horvath was active in student affairs as a collegian, serving as president of Beta Chi Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota, national music fraternity for women, and holding office in the Student Government Association.
14 2017-03-07
Lake Charles

Five reasons you should not take an extension


Don’t do it! Don’t take a tax extension!

At tax time, it is very tempting to take the easy way out and postpone filing that tax return. Everyone dreads gathering the documentation, summarizing the year’s financial activity and answering the accountant’s questions.

But taking the extension is the wrong move. Here are five reasons why you should bite the bullet and spend the time to finish your tax return on time.

First, you will have a full view of your business activity for the year. As you operate, you know your checkbook balance and your accounts payable total and how much other people owe you. But do you really know your net profit or the value of your depreciated equipment or the full total of your inventory? Your tax return will show you this valuable information.

Second, if you need to borrow money, you’ll need a current tax return to take to your banker. If you need a quick loan or a line of credit so you can take advantage of an unexpected opportunity to take on a big job or add a product line, the bank will require your tax returns for the last three years. Don’t put yourself in the position of having to scramble to finish the return.

Third, if a hurricane (or flood or other disaster) strikes, you may want to apply for an SBA disaster loan. If you do, you’ll need to be current on your tax returns. Here in Southwest Louisiana we’ve avoided Mother Nature’s fury for a while, but we could easily have a rough summer. Ask your friends in many communities across Louisiana about their unexpected difficulties from last spring and summer.

Four, you’ll save money. You will pay your accountant for the paperwork required for an extension. So filing on time is cost efficient for your business – and everyone likes to save money. Even with an extension, you have to pay the estimated taxes, so you can’t avoid that cost even if you delay filing.

Five, you’ll be able to brag about getting your return filed on time. No one enjoys working on taxes. But filing the return is an essential part of conducting your business so set aside some time to get your portion prepared. Focus on how good you’ll feel when it’s over and you can brag that you’re done with it.

l

For over 30 years, the Louisiana Small Business Development Center 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 us to schedule an appointment at 337-475-5529.

l

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.

l

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.
14 2017-03-03
Lake Charles

McNeese GradFest to be held March 22


GradFest 2017 will be held for spring graduating students at McNeese State University from 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22, in the Holbrook Student Union (Old Ranch).

At GradFest, students can verify the status of their degree application, pick up their caps and gowns, order graduation announcements and class rings, have a complimentary graduation portrait taken, pay any outstanding fees, learn about student loan repayment and exit interview requirements and talk with representatives from the graduate school, the alumni association, the Mc-Neese Credit Union and the career and student develop-
14 2017-03-02
Lake Charles

McNeese French film fest opens with ‘Francofonia’ tonight


The Tournées French Film Festival returns to the Mc-Neese State University campus on Thursdays in March with the film “Francofonia” 6 p.m. tonight in Baker Auditorium in Farrar Hall. Admission is free.

“Francofonia” is a 2015 film by internationally acclaimed Russian director Alexander Sokurov. Part documentary and part drama, the film focuses on the collaboration between the Louvre Museum director Jacques Jaujard and the German officer Count Franz Wolff-Metternich who, during World War II, worked together to ensure the Louvre’s artworks wouldn’t be destroyed or looted as German troops invaded France.

With a blend of archival footage, real and invented recreations, and philosophical narration, the film considers all of the Louvre’s rich and long history — first as a fortress in the 12th century, then as a palace and finally as a museum holding some of the greatest works of art.

The Tournées Film Festival is a program of the French American Cultural Exchange Foundation. In partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the festival aims to bring the diversity and richness of French cinema to American college and university campuses all across the United States.

All films are subtitled in English. Other films and dates are listed as follows:

l “Mon amie Victoria (My Friend Victoria)” — March 9.

l “Loin des hommes (Far From Men)” — March 16.

l “Phantom Boy” — March 19. (Sunday) — family friendly film

l “Saint Laurent” — March 23.

l “L’armée des ombres (Army of Shadows)” — March 30.

The film festival is sponsored by the McNeese Department of English and Foreign Languages. For more information, call 475-5326 or email Melanie Dees, at mdees@mcneese.edu.
14 2017-03-02
Lake Charles

Creating a cash flow budget


like to tell my students that I could never have made it through my doctoral program without my cash flow budget. I always emphasize this because it was that critical for me to have enough cash on hand each month to meet my monthly and semester bills. Without my budget, it would have been very easy for me to spend a bit too much early on in the program and then be left short toward the end.

As you can imagine, living for four years without a regular paycheck was quite a shock to my budget. Sure, I had a little money coming in in dribs and drabs, but only a fraction of what I had been used to earning before starting the program.

Cash flow budgets are not just important to us individually, they are critical to business enterprises — especially at start-up. Did you know that one of the major reasons a small business fails in its first year is lack of cash? It takes time for a business to turn its first profit and if you do not have enough cash on hand (or secured a large enough line of credit for the times when extra cash may be needed), all the brilliance of your business model combined with your strong will to succeed may not be able to stave off failure.

The cash budget can be prepared fairly simply using a spreadsheet that can be updated monthly as experience and history unfold. The format is:

Beginning Cash Balance

+ Expected Cash Collections

= Total Cash Available

- Expected Cash Disbursements

= Cash Subtotal

+/- Financing Transactions

= Ending Cash Balance

l

The cash budget should be laid out typically on a monthby-month basis and carried forward into the future at least a full year. Under special circumstances it can be laid out week-by-week or even day-by-day basis.

The “beginning cash balance” is simply the amount of cash on hand on day one. For simplicity, use the balance in your checking account. The balance in your savings account can also be included in your budget in a footnote section because a transfer of funds to your checking account is generally necessary to be able to use these funds. Money in a 401K, though, is not cash due to the fact that penalties and interest are imposed upon early withdrawal and because early withdrawal is generally unwise. Money invested in stocks and bonds might be accessible and worth noting, but again in a footnote section if these funds can be liquidated if and when needed.

“Expected cash collections” include the cash and checks one expects to collect during the month from customers and others. In some businesses, cash may be collected immediately from customers and in other businesses cash is collected 30, 60 or even 90 days after the sale is complete. Be sure not to anticipate the collection of cash faster than it is reasonably expected to be collected.

The subtotal of the two above is “Total Cash Available.” This represents how much cash may be spent or saved during the month based on funds currently expected to be on hand.

“Expected Cash Disbursements” include all predictable expenditures that will come due during the month. Each separate bill should be itemized at the amount expected under the belief that it is better to plan for the expected amount than to omit a bill whose amount is unsure. Once the exact amount is known, the budget can be updated, if you wish.

The “cash subtotal” will either be negative or positive. Remember this is a planned amount that can be rectified before the bills actually come due by borrowing money or cashing in investments. This is where planning the financing transactions come in to play. If the “cash subtotal” is excessive, the excess money can be invested to earn a return and if it is deficient, borrowings can be sought if needed.

The purpose of projecting the cash budget out over the long run horizon is to be able to plan you financing needs over time. It is better to ask for the full amount that may be needed over the next year than to make a series of individual smaller requests because the former indicates good planning and the latter a lack of planning.

l

Kay Zekany, Ph.D., CMA is Assistant Professor of Accounting at McNeese State University. Contact her at 475-5538 or kzekany@mcneese.edu.
14 2017-03-02
Lake Charles

NAMES in the NEWS: People shaping the future of Lake Area business


CALDARERA NAMED

LSAE DIRECTOR

KIMBERLY CALDARERA, sales manager of Isle of Capri was installed as a director of The Louisiana Society of Association Executives.

The Louisiana Society of Association Executives is a statewide association comprised of chief executive officers and association professionals.

LEJEUNE WINS

LITERARY AWARD

McNeese State University Professor of English KEAGAN LEJEUNE has won the Louisiana Library Association’s 2017 Louisiana Literary Award for his book, “Legendary Louisiana Outlaws: The Villains and Heroes of Folk Justice.”

Published by the Louisiana State University Press, LeJeune’s book follows Louisiana outlaws from Bonnie and Clyde to largely forgotten figures like Leather Britches Smith. Bringing together both fact and folklore, LeJeune breaks down how Louisiana’s history and legal climate created these fugitives. The book also considers popular reactions to their lives and crimes — how folk heroes rose, survived and thrived and how the communities that once supported and harbored these fugitives could turn against them.

In selecting LeJeune’s work, The Louisiana Literary Award Committee noted that the book “has the rare merit of being scholarly yet accessible to the general reader.”

LeJeune is past president of the Louisiana Folklore Society and editor of its journal, Louisiana Folklore Miscellany. He has collected stories about outlaws and Louisiana folklore for more than 15 years. His book also won the 2016 Brian McConnell Book Award.

l

Have news about your business you’d like to share? Tell us about it. Send management changes, new locations, honors and any other business news to news@americanpress.com. Attach a headshot to your email and we’ll run it in Names in the News.
14 2017-03-02
Lake Charles

It’s one problem after another


Here we go again! No sooner did the state get out of one fiscal jam than another reared its ugly head. The budget Gov. John Bel Edwards proposed for the new fiscal year starting July 1 is $440.5 million short of meeting the state’s basic needs.

The governor is proposing a $29.7 billion budget, which is $1.4 billion higher than the current year’s budget of $28. 3 billion. The increase is because of a $1.7 billion boost in federal money for the expanded Medicaid program for poor and low-income citizens.

State revenues for the new fiscal year are projected to be $9.5 billion, but the general fund needs $9.9 billion to perform basic state services. That’s why there is a $440.5 million shortfall.

OK, so where is most of the money going? Health programs are projected to cost $14.2 billion, 48 percent of the budget. Most of that is federal money. Education costs another 26 percent. That leaves only 26 percent for everything else.

A favorite budget target of House Republicans is the state Department of Health. Unfortunately, Louisiana has the third highest poverty rate in the country. And the fact that over 400,000 citizens were added to the Medicaid rolls when Edwards expanded the program demonstrates the high cost of medical care for the less fortunate in Louisiana.

The Census Bureau estimates 19.6 percent, nearly 890,000 of the state’s 4.7 million residents in 2015, lived below the federal poverty line of about $24,000 for a family of four. The poverty rate was only higher in Mississippi (22 percent) and in New Mexico (20.4 percent). New Hampshire had the lowest poverty rate at 8.2 percent.

Where do we go from here?

Edwards said, “This is not the budget proposal I want to present and should serve as a starting point for the Legislature. For the second year in a row, my budget plan contains no one-time money to pay for recurring expenses and no fund sweeps.

“The budget I am submitting only spends money the state is projected to have for the next fiscal year, meaning that many state services that I, and the people of Louisiana, consider to be important are not yet funded.”

The TOPS scholarship program is at the top of the governor’s funding priorities. The budget contains only enough money to pay 70 percent of its costs. Students and their parents would have to pick up $81.8 million for the second year in a row.

The Department of Transportation and Development is short $43.2 million that could attract another $172.8 million in federal dollars for a total of $216 million. Edwards said that could fund 546 miles of highway overlay and replacement of 360 120-foot bridges and 107 300-foot bridges.

The private-public partnerships that replaced the state’s charity hospital system would be cut 6.2 percent, about $30.5 million.

Nothing in the budget deals with $1.7 billion in deferred maintenance at colleges and universities. McNeese State University has $26.7 million in maintenance that hasn’t been performed. The LSU System deferred maintenance totals over $1 billion.

Residents who have had to delay improvements and maintenance at their homes and businesses know what happens after years of neglect.

A task force has offered recommendations for reforming the budget and tax systems at the regular session beginning April 10. Income tax changes are on the list, along with a harder look at tax credits and deductions.

Rep. John Schroder, R-Covington, said Edwards needs to give lawmakers a plan.

Edwards accepted the challenge. He said he would submit a plan to lawmakers for funding priorities.

“My goal is to fully fund critical priorities of our state, most notably the TOPS program and transportation, but we cannot do that without making reforms and without additional revenue,” the governor said.

Some have already questioned Edwards’ plan to fund pay raises for state employees at a cost of $23.8 million. These workers have gone without merit pay increases for a number of years, and that has taken its toll. The turnover has been high at the state level and at colleges, universities and agencies around the state.

The $440.5 million needed to fund these priorities is insignificant when compared to the revenue problems the state is going to face on July 1, 2018, when temporary taxes and tax break suspensions go off the books.

An additional 1 percent state sales tax approved at last year’s first special session, making it the highest state sales tax in the country, is bringing in an estimated $880.6 million a year. How do you replace those kinds of revenues? You start raising some money this year.

The Council for a Better Louisiana in its wrap-up of the just-ended special session makes some excellent points about successful negotiations over the state budget.

“What that tells you is that the state’s budget, by any measure, is pretty darn tight and even fiscally conservative budget cutters haven’t had much luck in finding cuts of any significance that a majority of their colleagues could view as palatable,” the non-partisan agency said.

“We saw compromise that rose all the way to getting a two-thirds vote on something (use of the rainy day fund) a lot of legislators were totally opposed to when the session began.

“Maybe that’s a reason for just a small degree of hope.”

Time will tell if that is simply wishful thinking on CABL’s part. For the sake of the state’s future, let’s hope not.

l

JIM BEAM, the retired editor of the American Press, has covered people and politics for more than five decades. Contact him at 337-515-8871 or jbeam@americanpress.com.
14 2017-02-27
Lake Charles

Search for McNeese president beginning


BATON ROUGE — The University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors could choose a new McNeese State University president by April 20, according to a tentative timeline accepted by the committee in charge of recommending candidates to the board.
The McNeese Presidential Search Committee met for the first time Thursday and set a framework for the search process. It includes publishing ads for the position and interviewing McNeese faculty, staff, alumni and students, and screening applicants.
Current McNeese President Philip Williams announced in January that he will retire June 30. He has served as president since July 1, 2010.
James Henderson, ULS president, said the committee will be tasked with recommending at least two candidates to the ULS board. He called the timeline “aggressive, but realistic.”
“We may need to alter it, if that is necessary to select the right candidate,” Henderson said. “The search will take on a life of its own.”
The committee will visit McNeese on March 13 to get feedback from campus officials and the community. The committee should get the list of candidates by March 27 and select semifinalists by April 3. Interviews with the semifinalists are set to take place at McNeese April 11-13.
The 16-member committee is made up of 11 members who can cast votes, along with five advisory members. Two of the advisory members include Vic Stelly, a former state representative, and Willie Mount, a former state senator and former Lake Charles mayor.
Mount said she wants the next McNeese president to have the same qualities as Williams.
“He’s very active in the community (and) constantly promoting McNeese,” she said. “I think we’re looking for somebody that’s totally committed to McNeese and Southwest Louisiana.”
Stelly said he is looking for a candidate “who bleeds blue and gold.” He said the next president should also have the “financial knowledge” to help the university manage potential cuts in state funding.
Henderson said the process in choosing a new university president will be transparent.
“We will work collectively with the greater McNeese community to make sure we find precisely the leader to help elevate the university to the next level,” he said.
Henderson said the candidate qualifications don’t have to be limited to those with administrative experience in higher education. Mount said she’s looking forward to “seeing a very diverse group of applicants.”
14 2017-02-24
Lake Charles

Search for McNeese president beginning


BY JOHN GUIDROZ
jguidroz@americanpress.com

BATON ROUGE — The University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors could choose a new McNeese State University president by April 20, according to a tentative timeline accepted by the committee in charge of recommending candidates to the board.

The McNeese Presidential Search Committee met for the first time Thursday and set a framework for the search process. It includes publishing ads for the position and interviewing McNeese faculty, staff, alumni and students, and screening applicants.

Current McNeese President Philip Williams announced in January that he will retire June 30. He has served as president since July 1, 2010.

James Henderson, ULS president, said the committee will be tasked with recommending at least two candidates to the ULS board. He called the timeline “aggressive, but realistic.”

“We may need to alter it, if that is necessary to select the right candidate,” Henderson said. “The search will take on a life of its own.”

The committee will visit McNeese on March 13 to get feedback from campus officials and the community. The committee should get the list of candidates by March 27 and select semifinalists by April

3. Interviews with the semifinalists are set to take place at McNeese April 11-13.

The 16-member committee is made up of 11 members who can cast votes, along with five advisory members. Two of the advisory members include Vic Stelly, a former state representative, and Willie Mount, a former state senator and former Lake Charles mayor.

Mount said she wants the next McNeese president to have the same qualities as Williams.

“He’s very active in the community (and) constantly promoting McNeese,” she said. “I think we’re looking for somebody that’s totally committed to McNeese and Southwest Louisiana.”

Stelly said he is looking for a candidate “who bleeds blue and gold.” He said the next president should also have the “financial knowledge” to help the university manage potential cuts in state funding.

Henderson said the process in choosing a new university president will be transparent.

“We will work collectively with the greater McNeese community to make sure we find precisely the leader to help elevate the university to the next level,” he said.

Henderson said the candidate qualifications don’t have to be limited to those with administrative experience in higher education. Mount said she’s looking forward to “seeing a very diverse group of applicants.”
14 2017-02-23
Lake Charles

McNeese engineering students share knowledge with visitors


By Lisa Addison / American Press
More than 400 students from 19 high schools and Sowela Technical Community College turned out on Tuesday to take part in tours, demonstrations and contests as part of National Engineers Week at McNeese State University.
As Jacob Borden, assistant professor of chemical engineering looked on, McNeese engineering students did a demonstration for visiting students using crawfish tails submerged in sulfuric acid to show chemical reactions. Chris Allen, a senior at Vinton High School, sparked laughter when he said, “I just eat crawfish.”
Borden said he hoped the impact of the day’s event would be “far-reaching and ... give students an appreciation and understanding of engineering.”
One of the most popular contests of the day was a carbon-dioxide-powered car race. Self-propelled cars were built out of balsa wood by students and raced two at a time on a 50-foot-long track.
Sam Houston High School students Kennon Guillory and Trevor Weidner stepped up to “race” their cars. They each hit a button that simultaneously signaled the start of the race, their cars took off and in less than 2 seconds, the race was over with both cars reaching the finish line at the same time as students marveled at the high rate of speed the cars traveled in such a short amount of time.
In another area, as students learned about structural analysis via a cup-stacking contest, Ty Breaux, a student at Midland High School, said, “I learned that the more stable the base the higher the tower can go, and we made it to 25 cups with our tower.”
“This year, our ‘Dream Big’ theme encourages all students to dream big and explore how engineering can help them engage their creativity and technical know-how to transform dreams into reality,” said Nikos Kiritsis, McNeese engineering college dean.
Kiritsis said he hoped that the event would lead more high school students to consider engineering when deciding which paths to pursue when they get to college.
14 2017-02-23
Lake Charles

Solo show ‘No Vacancy’ on display at McNeese


McNeese assistant professor of art Samantha VanDeman will open a solo photography exhibition with a reception 6-8 p.m. today, Feb. 23, in the Grand Gallery of Mc-Neese’s Shearman Fine Arts Annex.

The show, titled “No Vacancy,” features more than 50 photos of deserted hotel interiors taken in New York, Pennsylvania and Alabama and across Europe.

Paying particular attention to color and light, VanDeman said her work “saves the spaces and shows the beauty in what’s left behind.”

VanDeman snapped the series’ first photo in 2009 at the Purple Hotel, a 1960s-era Hyatt outside Chicago slated for demolition.

All of the hotel rooms and lobbies in the show, on exhibit through March 24, were captured just as they were left, with little to no stylistic adjustments.

VanDeman said she looks for ideas by searching photo site Flickr for locations others have documented. She’ll provide an overview of her research process during a talk at the Grand Gallery at 3 p.m. March 15.

VanDeman started as a painter and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Columbia College Chicago. She said she was drawn to photography, though, when she “fell in love with the darkroom and seeing the photos develop.” She concentrated in photography while working on her Master of Fine Arts at the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University.

VanDeman has taught art history and photography classes at McNeese since 2015.

VanDeman’s work has been shown internationally, and she was recognized by the Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward Emerging Photographer Project.
14 2017-02-21
Baton Rouge

Officials hopeful of budget deal


BATON ROUGE — As time winds down on the special legislative session, Southwest Louisiana House lawmakers appeared optimistic on Monday that both chambers can reach a deal in how much of rainy day fund dollars can be used to close a $304 million budget gap.

“I think we’re very close to agreeing,” said Rep. Mark Abraham, R-Lake Charles. “I feel very good about the process.”

After spending several hours negotiating behind the scenes, House lawmakers voted 98-1 to reject the Senate amendments to House Bill 3 by Rep. Cameron Henry, R-Metairie, and send the legislation to a conference committee.

Before the vote, Henry told House lawmakers that discussions on how to fix the budget problem were “promising.” House Speaker Taylor Barras, R-New Iberia, later said the amount of rainy day fund money used could range from $90 million to $99 million.

Last week, House lawmakers voted to use $74.6 million from the rainy day fund. The Senate on Sunday voted to amend Henry’s bill and use $99 million from the rainy day fund. Both totals are less than the $119 million Gov. John Bel Edwards proposed to use from the rainy day fund. The Senate-approved measure calls for $84 million in cuts, a drop from the $115 million in cuts approved by the House. Edwards’ proposal sought $60 million in cuts.

Use of the rainy day fund requires a two-thirds vote by the House and Senate. The House Appropriations Committee will consider today Senate Concurrent Resolution 2 by Senate President John Alario, R-Westwego, to allow for the use of the rainy day fund.

The Senate on Sunday voted 32-5 in favor of the measure. Passage in the GOP-controlled House would require 70 votes, something Barras said he is still working to get secured. Some Republicans have resisted tapping into the rainy day fund to close the budget gap.

“We’re close,” Barras said. “It’s getting members comfortable with the mechanics.”

Meanwhile, House Concurrent Resolution 1, by Barras, is being considered as a possible compromise in deciding the amount of rainy day funding to be used. The legislation, approved by the House on Sunday, would call for allocating constitutional and statutory dedicated funds that flow through Bond Security and Redemption Fund to pay the debt service, starting in the upcoming fiscal year that starts July 1.

The measure states that it could allow for “approximately $96 million to be allocated for debt service payments” in the upcoming fiscal year. It also states that debt service payments in the past “have been made using only the state general fund.”

Abraham said he stood firm on wanting to protect higher education and hospitals.

“As of right now, that is done,” he said. “They’re not making any cuts. I feel good about that.”

The special session is set to end at midnight Wednesday.
14 2017-02-21
Lake Charles

Students stage march for unity


More than 50 college students and community activists turned out Monday for a “unity march” at McNeese State University sponsored by the Progressives of McNeese State, the McNeese chapter of the NAACP and the International Student Association at McNeese.

“When I started out at McNeese as a freshman two years ago I was just astounded by the lack of activism on campus,” said Miyah January.

January, who plans to go to law school after graduation and to be involved in politics, said she couldn’t find a group on campus that she felt lined up with her personal and political views so she started her own and is now president of that group, the Progressives of McNeese State.

“I believe that we should all think and form our own opinions when it comes to important issues but I looked around at McNeese and all I saw was complacency,” she said. “That’s how this group began and we now have dozens of members and are growing more each day.”

The march began in the quad and went around a winding path and back to the starting point, with senior David Palmer leading the way and participants chanting: “We will not be divided; we will all be united.”

“It’s important to be visible and have your particular voice heard,” Palmer said after the march. “Love, inclusiveness and unity will ultimately win out. The turnout today and everyone coming together as one is better than anything I could have ever dreamed of. It’s simply amazing.”

Querencia C. Joshua, president of the McNeese chapter of the NAACP, said, “As a young black woman it’s essential that I speak up and it’s even more important that I’m actually heard. A peaceful march is key; people will listen if you go about it in the right way and you bring your issues to light peacefully. Our goal today was to try and unite the campus as a whole and to bring unity to all people. I think we accomplished exactly what we set out to do.”

Holding a sign with handwritten messages of hope, student Tobi Adasofunjo of Nigeria said he’s tired of the “current political rhetoric in our country.”

“The world should accept all people,” Adasofunjo said. “No harassment; just acceptance. We can make a change if we really want to. It starts with us.”

Freshman Fred Haywood said he wasn’t sure what to expect when he decided to join the march.

“I’m young but I think it’s important to get involved,” he said. “If you don’t get involved, you won’t be able to make a difference. I believe in social justice for all and that’s why I decided to take part in this march.”
14 2017-02-21
Lake Charles

Making rational business decisions


Are you making rational business decisions? Most people, by nature, do not. That’s right – we have to learn to make rational decisions so that the heart does not overtake the mind. We need to overcome the desire to continue to throw good money after a losing pet project.We also need to overcome the temptation to fixate on past costs. Neither bad habit is rooted in best practices for business decision making.

Instead, we need to learn about the decision-making concepts known as “relevant costing,” whereby the only relevant costs are those future costs and revenues that differ across alternatives. That is all there is to it. If you focus on the future, and the implications of the alternatives you are considering for the future, your decision is much easier to make.

Of course, not all factors in decision-making can be quantified, so judgment is still needed. Yet, if you keep your future orientation you will indeed focus on the relevant consequences.

Most of us need more help that just this one fundamental principle. In fact we need two additional principles. First, we also need to consciously realize that past costs are sunk and are therefore irrelevant. Nothing we decide today can change what already happened. Leave the past in the past. It cannot change the future any longer.

Second, we need to seek out opportunity costs, which may or may not be present. An opportunity cost is the foregone margin which is given up in order to accept an alternative use of our resources. For example, every college student who foregoes full time employment in order to go to college incurs the opportunity cost of a full-time salary. And every college student who works full time earns his or her degree slower than if not working, thus delaying graduation. For this reason, the opportunity cost is the ability to work at one’s profession earlier and earn a professional salary for longer in one’s career.

To use a business situation, consider a manufacturing plant that has unused space. The excess space could be (a) rented out (subletted) or (b) used for the construction of a civic project which will be donated to the city. The civic project will be a source of pride for the community and reflect well on your business, but the opportunity cost is the rent revenue foregone. If incremental costs are involved with renting the space, the opportunity cost is the net of the two. If the business can afford the opportunity cost (lost margin), the civic project may be well worth pursuing – illustrating that not all decisions boil down to the quantifiable impact on the bottom line. Nonquantifiable aspects, such as community goodwill, may still win out. The point is to simplify the process of making a good decision by keeping the relevant figures in focus.

To keep your attention on the rational factors of your business decision, begin my writing down all the future costs and revenues that differ between or among alternatives. If a sunk cost or two made it onto your list, promptly erase it (them) so as not to be distracted. Finally, consider if there is an opportunity cost to add to your list. This systematic method of analyzing business decisions will make your life easier and will benefit your business bottom line.

Relevant costing can used in a wide variety of business decision contexts including outsourcing, scarce resource, special projects, special orders, obsolete inventory and much more.

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Kay Zekany, , Ph.D., CMA is Assistant Professor of Accounting at McNeese State University. Contact her at 475-5538 or kzekany@mcneese.edu.
14 2017-02-20
Lake Charles

Open house on Feb. 20 for Engineers Week


“Dream Big” is the theme of this year’s National Engineers Week, Feb. 19-25, and McNeese State University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science will host several activities to mark the annual event.

A community open house will be 6-8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20, in Drew Hall and the Engineering Technology Lab Building.

On Tuesday, more than 400 students from 19 high schools and Sowela Technical Community College will be on campus 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. for an open house that will include tours and the opportunity to visit with faculty and students, as well as participate in various contests of skills and aptitude.

National Engineers Week, begun in 1951, focuses on celebrating the contributions of engineers and bringing engineering to life for students, educators and parents.
14 2017-02-20
Lake Charles

PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE


McNeese State University

PHILLIPS 66 SUPPORTS MSU: Phillips 66 donates $25,000 to Mc-Neese State University through the McNeese Foundation for the College of Engineering and Computer Science student study center and for environmental improvements in the Chozen Hall area. On hand for the donation are, from left, Dr. Nikos Kiritsis, dean of the college; Megan Hartman, Phillips 66 public relations manager; Richard G. Harbison, Phillips 66 plant manager; and Dr. Chris Thomas, assistant vice president for university services.

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Special to the American Press

KIWANIS CLUB SUPPORTS AREA AGENCIES: The Kiwanis of Lake Charles makes a donation of $10,029 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of SWLA, Boys Village, and the Aktion Club of SWLA, on Feb. 7. The funds are proceeds from their annual Big Bang Classic Skeet Shoot fundraiser and will be split by the three agencies. On hand for the donation are, from left, Heather Hohensee, executive director, Big Brothers/Big Sisters; Randy Fuerst, president, Kiwanis Club of Lake Charles; Lannon Pias, president, Aktion Club of Lake Charles; Cindy Matthieu, development director, Boys Village; and Jim Meyer, chairman, Kiwanis Big Bang Classic Sporting Clay Tournament fundraiser for the above agencies.

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McNeese State University

FOR MSU FOUNDATION: R. Reed Mendelson Jr., vice president/financial advisor for Ameriprise Financial Services Inc., donates $15,000 to the McNeese State University Foundation for the Mendelson Family Scholarship in Marketing. On hand for the presentation are, from left, Dr. Philip C. Williams, McNeese president, and Mendelson.

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Special to the American Press

ENTERGY SUPPORTS BBBS: Entergy Louisiana has formed a corporate partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Louisiana with a donation of $5,000. All the funds donated are invested locally into the ment4oring programs run by BBBSSWLA that impact children and families in the Southwest Louisiana community. Entergy will be recognized at both Bowl For Kids’ Sake on March 25 and the annual BBBS-SWLA Golf Tournament, to be held in the fall. On hand for the donation are Anthony “Chip” Arnould, Entergy’s senior region manager; and Heather Hohensee, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Louisiana. To enroll your bowlingfundraising team, visit www.bbbs-swla.kintera.org/bfks2017 or call Sally McPherson at 478-5437, extension 114.

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Special to the American Press

LC TOYOTA SUPPORTS FAMILY & YOUTH: Lake Charles Toyota donates $5,000 in sponsorship of the 2017 Family and Youth Legislative Breakfast held Jan. 19 at L’Auberge Casino Resort. Individuals were able to meet one-on-one with the Southwest Louisiana Legislative Delegation to discuss issues affecting our lives, our businesses, and our community. More than 150 concerned citizens attended the event. On hand for the donation are, from left, Charles Vanchiere, Youth Advisory Council chair; Averie Celestine, Youth Advisory Council vice chair; Julio Galan, president & CEO of Family & Youth; Phil Tarver, owner of Lake Charles Toyota; Ty Touvall, Youth Advisory Council secretary; and Sarah Berwick, Youth Advisory Council parliamentarian.
14 2017-02-20
Lake Charles

McNeese SAGE Lecture on Jim Garrison set March 6


LAKE CHARLES -- As part of McNeese State University’s spring SAGE series, James A. Savage will present a lecture titled “Jim Garrison’s Bourbon Street Brawl: The Making of a First Amendment Milestone” at 3 p.m. Monday, March 6, in the McNeese SEED Center.

Based on Savage’s book of the same title, this lecture explores the first amendment legal precedent set by the prosecution of a major political figure from New Orleans – Jim Garrison, a former district attorney of Orleans Parish and state judge, who is also known for his controversial probe of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

A high profile figure in New Orleans politics, Garrison gained national notoriety in 1962 with a series of raids on French Quarter strip clubs and bars. When local criminal court judges stymied Garrison’s efforts, he accused them of restricting funds for his raids due to their ties to organized crime.

Garrison was sued for defamation and his subsequent conviction would question how far the first amendment’s protection reached in regards to the criticism of public officials. It was a question that would go all the way to the Supreme Court. In 1964, a unanimous court ruled that an individual's freedom to criticize elected judges and other public officials was not only protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution, but that it was also "the essence of self-government."

Savage, an award-winning writer and editor at the Opelousas Daily World and Lafayette Daily Advertiser, received his doctorate in 20th-century American political history from the University of Kentucky and his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

For more information or to register, call 337-475-5616 or visit www.mcneese.edu/leisure.

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.
14 2017-02-16
Lake Charles

Small-business workshop to be held in SEED Center


BY EMILY FONTENOT
efontenot@americanpress.com

A two-hour workshop on how to start and finance a small business will be at 3 p.m. today, Feb. 16, in the SEED Center, 4310 Ryan St. Attendants are asked to register in advance at www.lsbdc.org/msu or by calling 475-5529. Cost is $10 at the door.

The event is part of a series of workshops funded by Sasol and hosted by the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University.

In 2016, its first year, the program hosted 12 workshops, attracting 650 attendants and helping to start 21 new businesses, in addition to providing certifications and tools to dozens of existing businesses, said program director Donna Little.

“It’s a really good foundation for people who are looking to start a small business,” Little said. She said her team is thrilled by the positive response and the effect the workshops have been able to make on local families.

The 21 new businesses have also provided 70 new jobs to Calcasieu Parish residents, she said, and invested $5.4 million in local capital.

Paul Hippman, vice president of operations at Sasol’s Lake Charles East Plant, said in a news release that the program illustrates Sasol’s commitment to “utilizing local businesses and hiring local workers for our existing and new operations.” Hippman gave credit to the SEED Center and McNeese’s small-business center for the program’s success.

The next workshop, “Cash Flow: The Lifeblood of your Business,” will be 4-6 p.m. Feb. 28. Workshops will run through Sept. 14. In the workshops, experts will outline good business practices and assist businesses in qualifying for different categories, including minority- or woman-owned, small and disadvantaged. To view the schedule, visit www.lsbdc.org/msu and click on “Training.”

Little encouraged those who can’t make it out to today’s workshop to download the Small Business Resource Guide at http://allianceswla.org/businessresourceguide.
14 2017-02-15
Lake Charles

Determined to raise awareness of disabilities


When Omar Zayed, an international student at McNeese State University, first arrived on campus as a freshman he said he gravitated to the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity because of its philanthropic focus.

“When I first met them, it felt like I had known them a long time,” the computer science major from Egypt said. “The fact that this fraternity wants to be of service and give back to others was a big pull for me.”

On Monday, Zayed and his fraternity brothers began the first leg of their planned 100-hour journey riding stationary bicycles in an effort to raise awareness about disabilities.

“I could have joined any fraternity but I chose Pi Kappa Phi because of its involvement in philanthropy,” freshman Thomas Gilbert said. “That really stood out to me and was apart from any other fraternity I was considering.

“This particular event that we’re doing is personal to me and means a lot not just because we’re making a difference but because I come from a family with disabilities.”

Cyclists can be found in McNeese’s new ranch during school hours this week until the group hits its 100th hour on Friday.

Between the hours of 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. cyclists will move their operation to LC Fitness on Lake Street.

“All members of our fraternity have to cycle for at least a couple of hours and some will end up doing four or five hours or even more if they want to,” said Thaddeus Richard, a sophomore and president of Pi Kappa Phi.

“The organization that we work hard to raise awareness and funds for is the Ability Experience, a group that was started by the national Pi Kappa Phi,” Richard said. “As we’ve been cycling, we’ve had students with disabilities stop by and just hang out with us and we’ve had others who just want to watch or ask questions. Some have stopped and simply said ‘thank you’ for doing this and others have made donations.”

The Ability Experience promotes the concept of lifelong service among its members by providing opportunities to serve and raise awareness for people with disabilities.

Since 1977, members of Pi Kappa Phi across the United States have raised more than $10 million in support of the Ability Experience and those with disabilities.

‘The organization that we work hard to raise awareness and funds for is the Ability Experience.’
THADDEUS RICHARD
Sophomore and president of Pi Kappa Phi
14 2017-02-15
Lake Charles

SPRING MCNEESE CAREER FAIR


The spring 2017 McNeese State University Career Fair will be 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, in the Recreational Complex on campus. McNeese students and alumni can participate.

More than 60 employers have signed up for the career fair including Northwestern Mutual, PPG, Sasol, Sonic Drive-In and Westlake Chemical Corp.

A list of all participants may be viewed at www.mcneese.edu/career.

For more information, call 475-5612.
14 2017-02-13
Lake Charles

PGA Tour's Palmer, Bohn headline McNeese fundraiser


The upcoming appearance of PGA Tour professionals Ryan Palmer and Jason Bohn for an evening with McNeese State golf fans, along with the addition of local top amateur Billy Gabbert to the Cowboy coaching staff, highlights news this week.
Palmer and Bohn, who have five PGA Tour victories between them as well as more than $35 million in winnings, will be the headliners for a McNeese fundraising dinner scheduled March 26 at the Lake Charles Country Club.
Palmer is familiar to local golfers because he won a Tight Lies Tour event (now the Adams Tour) in 2002 at the Lake Charles Country Club. Ranked No. 86 in the world, his PGA championships came at the Sony Open (2010), the Ginn sur Classic (2008) and the Funai Classic at Disney World (2004). He also won a Web.com tournament in 2003. He was in last year’s FedExCup playoffs for the ninth time in the past 10 seasons.
Bohn’s two PGA titles came in the 2010 Zurich Classic and the 2005 B.C. Open. He also won a Web.com event and has two victories in Canada to his credit.
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Gabbert, a former Cowboys golfer who is a member of the university’s Hall of Fame, is a longtime local amateur standout. He joined the team as a volunteer assistant coach.
“As long as I have been here, Billy has taken an interest in the guys,” said Cowboys head coach Austin Burk. “Over lunch I asked him if he had the time could he help us out a little and he was just as excited about it as I was.
“He has a full-time job and family, and I know that it is asking a lot, but when he is not busy at work or at home he tries to be with the guys. He gives them a little bit of extra direction when it comes to course management or to a first-time shot that they may not know how to play.
“Certainly with his playing success they recognize that he knows what he’s talking about. The biggest thing is that he is genuine. He’s a McNeese guy who cares about the program and the kids.”
Gabbert is a seven-time Lake Charles city champion and a former McNeese MVP. He was runner-up in the 1988 Southland Conference tournament and earned all-conference and all-Louisiana honors as well as producing a league-best 72.6 scoring average.
He’s been a top-10 finisher in the state’s amateur tournament five times and has played in numerous U.S. Amateurs and U.S mid-ams.
l
Holes-in-one were recently produced by Bobby Barnes at Frasch Park in Sulphur and by Nicholas Guillory at Gray Plantation, while Martin Miller posted a career round at The National in Westlake.
Barnes, who is a member of the McNeese Hall of Fame, aced the 120-yard ninth hole with a 9-iron.
Guillory, a member of Barbe High’s golf team, claimed his hole-in-one on the 181-yard 13th hole with a 6-iron.
The 65-year-old Miller shot a 3-under-par 69 at The National. His round had him hitting 13 greens in regulation and making five birdies, including the final hole.
l
The National will host a Callaway demo day on Friday. It will run from 1-5 p.m. said head pro Dave Kaspar.
He said golfers will be able to test Callaway’s new epic driver and use a Track Man to compare drivers.
l
McKenzie LeDuff and Carly Whittington were local winners in last week’s Texas-Louisiana junior golf tour Babe Zaharias Open in Beaumont, Texas. LeDuff won the girls 16- to 18-year-old division with an 83, while Whittington shot 81 to take the girls 14-15 crown.
Upcoming
Friday — Callaway demo day, The National (Westlake), 1-5 p.m.
Saturday — Two man Voo Doo scramble, The National.
March 7 — Southwest Louisiana Open pro-am, The National.
March 8-11 — Adams Tour Southwest Louisiana Open, The National.
14 2017-02-07
Lake Charles

COMPLETE FAFSA APPLICATIONS NOW


The time is now to complete the all-important Free Application for Federal Student Aid paperwork, the gateway to more than $150 billion in grants, workstudy funds and federal student loans.

And with possible cuts to the TOPS program looming over the next legislative session, more students than ever are applying.

In previous years, about $54 million per year in federal dollars were left on the table because students didn’t apply for the funds.

That likely won’t be the case this year.

Louisiana has nearly 42,000 public high school seniors, according to the state Department of Education. In January of 2016, only 797, or 2 percent, of seniors had turned in their forms; so far this year, 11,000, or 26 percent, of students have done so.

The deadline is June 30.

State leaders attribute the increase in applications to the U.S. Department of Education’s decision to make the FAFSA available three months earlier this year, and the state’s own push to make schools aware of the importance of helping students complete the forms.

“It’s vital that students seek FAFSA, scholarships and other possibilities for college funding,” said Judy Harrison, a counselor for seniors at LaGrange High School. “It can be quite a shock to parents and students to find out what it actually costs to attend college.”

The FAFSA forms collect information about your family’s finances to determine your expected family contribution (EFC), the minimum amount your family is deemed able to contribute toward the cost of college. The amount of need that a student is eligible for is the cost of attendance less the EFC. The EFC takes into account factors like family size and the number of children in college, but the key drivers of aid eligibility are the income and assets of the parents and the student.

Louisiana’s Office of Student Financial Assistance is offering free professional help with these forms to students and their families during its College Goal Sunday event this weekend. One-on-one assistance will be available.

Among the 15 locations around Louisiana providing assistance in filling out the forms will be Sowela Technical Community College. The event is set for 1:30-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb.

12. Students under 24 must bring a parent or legal guardian.

Pre-registration for the event is encouraged to ensure that each site has the resources needed to assist all participants. Students can pre-register at www.osfa.la.gov; the website also contains detailed information including the specific records and documentation that participants will need to bring to the event.

Completing the form correctly with detailed income, tax and other information can be a daunting task. Please take advantage of this help to maximize your student’s financial aid eligibility. It will be worth it.
14 2017-02-07
Lake Charles

Tips on choosing a business partner


Choosing a business partner can be as important as choosing a spouse. You’ll likely spend more daylight hours with a business partner than with your spouse so deciding to go into business with someone should be a very careful decision.

Selecting the wrong partner can mean lost time and money and a damaged or ruined relationship. It can also kill a business and leave legal consequences for the owners.

So how do you pick a partner? Begin by making sure that you have similar ethics and goals. Don’t assume that you agree on how to handle tough issues. Explore various scenarios and discuss how you each would handle things. Think more about what you’ll need to do if the business encounters problems than how you’ll deal with success.

Write an operating agreement. That’s a statement of the responsibilities each partner will handle, what you’ll bring to the company, how you’ll split profi t and losses, how much time each of you expects to contribute, how you’ll handle disagreements and what happens if one of you dies or otherwise wants or needs to leave the business. When discord occurs, the two of you can say, “Let’s see what we wrote in our operating agreement about that topic.” Discussing problems before they occur will help to prevent blowups.

Understand the personality and strengths and weaknesses of your potential partner. Usually this means knowing the individual for a long time so you know what might cause a bad mood or disagreement. You will also comprehend how you’ll mesh in the business environment and what each of you will contribute to the success of the operations. A quick decision to start an enterprise together is often a bad choice. The time needed to be sure you’re on the same wavelength is time well spent.

Opening a business with a family member can be a wonderful experience or a terrible mistake. A failed business can lead to very uncomfortable family gatherings and years of distress. Clearly stated expectations and excellent communication are keys to success.

The business consultants at the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University are ready to talk with you about picking your partner in entrepreneurship. Call 337-475-5529 to schedule an appointment with an experienced professional for no-cost assistance. For over 30 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.



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.



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 and do not necessarily refl ect the views of the SBA.
14 2017-02-07
Lake Charles

Edwards proposes cuts, use of ‘rainy day’ funds


BATON ROUGE — Gov. John Bel Edwards’ proposal to close Louisiana’s $304 million deficit relies heavily on using the state “rainy day” fund, cutting spending in the health department and tapping into millions in available fund balances to fill gaps.

The Democratic governor released his budget-rebalancing plan Monday, the starting point for negotiations with lawmakers ahead of a 10-day special session called by Edwards to begin Feb. 13.

Edwards seeks to shield the K-12 public school financing formula, public colleges, state prisons and Louisiana’s child welfare agency from slashing.

He suggests a 2.5 percent cut to the budgets that pay for the state Supreme Court and the Louisiana Legislature. He proposes reductions across a wide array of agencies, such as the Office of Juvenile Justice and state police. Offices led by the attorney general and the insurance commissioner would take reductions.

About $100 million of the plan involves tapping into other available financing — in effect, using fund balances to fill gaps, rather than cuts. Dollars from a drug company settlement, better-than-expected fee collections and other money would be used. Money allocated to the legislative auditor’s office to pay for a new office building would instead fill budget holes. The health department would get $44 million in higher-than-anticipated tobacco tax collections.

Edwards seeks to shield the K-12 public school financing formula, public colleges, state prisons and Louisiana’s child welfare agency from slashing.

A large portion of the governor’s plan hinges on using more than $119 million from the rainy day fund, which requires support from two-thirds of the House and Senate. The proposal is running into pushback from some lawmakers, mainly Republicans, who say they don’t want to raid any more savings accounts to fill budget gaps.

Edwards said in a statement that his administration “sat down with every agency to identify where budget adjustments could be made” while protecting state priorities.
14 2017-02-06
Lake Charles

McNeese career fair set


The spring 2017 McNeese State University Career Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15, in the Recreational Complex on campus.

McNeese students of all majors and classifications, as well as alumni, can participate.

The career fair is a great opportunity for employers to connect with students and alumni seeking full-time jobs, co-op positions and internships, according to Lindsley Burgess, coordinator of the McNeese Career and Student Development Center.

More than 60 employers have signed up for the career fair. Sponsors include: Northwestern Mutual, PPG Industries, Sasol USA Corp., Sonic Drive-In, Southwestern Advantage, Structural Group and Westlake Chemical Corp.

A list of all participants along with a listing of preferred majors may be viewed online at www.mcneese.edu/ career. For more information, call the center at 475-5612.


14 2017-02-06
Lake Charles

ON CAMPUS


SW LA. STUDENTS NAMED TO HONORS LIST

HAMMOND — Several Southwest Louisiana students were among 3,768 named to fall semester honors lists at Southeastern Louisiana University.

To be named to the president’s list, students must have earned a 3.5 or better gradepoint average.

Local students who achieved the honor: JASMINE J. FRANCIS and ALEXANDER B. MURRAY, both of Lake Charles; SAVANNAH M. PATTON of Sulphur; and WHITNEY D. ADAMS of Vinton.

Students on the honor roll have earned a 3.0-3.19 GPA. Local students named to Southeastern’s honor roll are TIMOTHY W. DAVIS and ALEXIS M. JONES, both of Lake Charles, and KARYN L. DENBOER of Sulphur.

ENGINEERING STUDENTS

WIN SCHOLARSHIPS

McNeese State University civil engineering students TRENT HARGRAVE of Lake Arthur and MATTHEW MIXON of Moss Bluff have been awarded $1,000 scholarships by the state Department of Transportation and Development.

“These future transportation leaders represent some of the best and brightest of Louisiana in the civil engineering field at six state universities, and we hope these scholarships inspire them to achieve new heights,” said DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson.

The awards are made possible by a scholarship program funded by the Southeastern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in conjunction with the DOTD and the Louisiana Transportation Research Center.

SASHTO scholarships are given each year to juniors and seniors in civil engineering in Louisiana universities with a professed interest in the transportation field.

ARDIZZONE WINS

POSTER AWARD

McNeese State University biology senior CALEB ARDIZZONE recently received the Best Undergraduate Student Poster award at the American Society for Microbiology South Central Branch’s annual meeting at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Other biology students who presented posters were SARAH DEEB, ZAHAAN ESWANI, KALEB MCDADE and TAMYLLES SOUZA DA COSTA.

Ardizzone and DAKOTA JOHNSON also participated in the 25th International Congress of Entomology in Orlando, Fla.

MCNEESE CHEMISTRY STUDENTS RECOGNIZED

Two McNeese State University forensic chemistry students, KELSEY BROUSSARD and SABRINA BONILLA, were selected to participate in a recent Young Forensic Toxicologist Student Enrichment Program at the Society of Forensic Toxicologists meeting in Dallas.

The program promotes education, networking and interaction among forensic toxicology practitioners and students.

McNeese was the first university in the state to offer a concentration in forensics chemistry.

NURSING STUDENTS MAKE PRESENTATIONS

Two nursing graduate students at McNeese State University made poster presentations during a recent one-day research conference hosted by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Sigma Theta Tau International Delta Eta Chapter. The conference was titled “Leading Change: Advancing Evidence-Based Practice Through Nursing Scholarship.”

JAIME ELDER presented “Unveiling the Rationales for Undiagnosed COPD.” NOOR DEEB presented “Assessment of Sexually Transmitted Disease Knowledge in College Students.”

LOCALS HONORED AT

NORTHWESTERN STATE

NATCHITOCHES — Six hundred fifty-three students were named to the fall 2016 president’s list at Northwestern State University. Students on the list earned a gradepoint average of 4.0. Those named to the list:

DeQuincy: Daniel Killian. DeRidder: Marcel Bilbo, Sara Bishop, Karli Chambers, John Ham, Amanda Krygowski, Jessica McManus, Kristina Pfantz, Shynikia Roberson, Claudia Rouleau, Jacqueline Rushford, Mikalyn Russell, Matthew Stevenson and Desiree Whitaker. Fort Polk: Brittany Chadwick, Robyn Foxworth, Shaunda Gordon, Yaimara Narito and Sandra Valdez. Jennings: Emily Benoit, Wesley Simien and Lydia Williams. Lake Charles: Jamila Daniel, Paula DeJean, Landon Dore, Joshua Fontenot, Karley Hebert, Rebekah Keller and Jason Perry. Leesville: Destin Bennett, Katherine Benson, Michael Cain, Charlotte Cassin, Carter Coriell, Connor Dillon, Katlynn Dillon, Morgan Hall, Leila Hardy, Katarina Haymon, Emily Jackson, Brandon Judd, Zachary Keeton, Reagan Koury, Jessica Mango, Karl Marzahl, Miranda Mize, Hannah Scott, Kasci Toups, Tabitha Vasquez and Matthew Ward. Oakdale: Katelyn Johnson. Oberlin: Jonathon Villareal. Pitkin: Mattie Stewart. Sulphur: Taylor Morris. Vinton: Emily Walter.

ALMATAR NAMED

TO DEAN’S LIST

DUBUQUE, Iowa — ROQIAH ALMATAR of Lake Charles has been named to the fall semester academic dean’s list at the University of Dubuque.

To be named to the dean’s list, a student must earn a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale for that semester.

STUMP ON NOTRE

DAME DEAN’S LIST

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — ZACHARY R. STUMP of Lake Charles has been named to the dean’s list in the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business for outstanding scholarship during the fall 2016 semester.

Students who achieve dean’s honors at Notre Dame represent the top 30 percent of students in their college.

Zachary is a 2015 graduate of Barbe High School and the son of Don and Renee Stump. He is also a member of the Notre Dame men’s swim team.
14 2017-02-02
Lake Charles

Tezeno exhibit opens Friday


“For Living,” a new exhibit featuring the work of local artist Alana Young Tezeno, will open Friday and run through March 24 at the Black Heritage Gallery in the Central School Arts and Humanities Center.

Tezeno is the first local artist to be featured during the gallery’s Black History Month show since it began about 10 years ago, curator Stella Miller said.

Miller said she met Tezeno last year at an art show, saw her work and invited her to be featured this year. She said she hopes Tezeno’s success encourages other local artists to find ways to showcase their work.

“I hope it inspires people to see that you can be from Lake Charles and stay here and good things can happen,” Miller said.

Tezeno graduated from McNeese’s art program in 2014 and teaches visual arts at Washington-Marion Magnet High School. She said her personal focus is on figure drawing using charcoal.

Tezeno said she was surprised to hear that she was chosen for the show and that her chance encounter with Miller led to this opportunity.

The show is a tribute to the trials that all people face, Tezeno said, despite their background. She said that, more than anything, she hopes people feel hope after viewing her work.

“At times people can separate themselves from each other or pretend that they’ve never been there, but I feel like we all go through the same universal struggles,” Tezeno said. “That’s what (the show) was really about.”

Tezeno said she doesn’t feel living in Lake Charles has limited her artistic career but, rather, given her a source of unique inspiration.

“I love my community, and I’m very grateful to live here,” Tezeno said. She said she has been heavily impacted by the work of local artists Eddie Mormon and Candice Alexander and is grateful for their influence.

The museum is opened from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily at 809 Kirby St. An open reception will be held Friday, Feb. 3, from 6-8 p.m.
14 2017-01-31
Lake Charles

PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE


FOR MCNEESE STATE UNIVERSITY TRACK PROJECT: The Henning brothers present McNeese track head coach Brendon Gilroy (far right) with a check for $420,000 to go towards the resurfacing of the outdoor track and construction for a new track entranceway. The project is expected to begin this winter. From left, are assistant track coach and former McNeese All-American javelin thrower Ben Chretien, Dub Henning, John Henning, Tom Henning, and track head coach Brendon Gilroy. Not pictured is Director of Athletics Bruce Hemphill who was out of town at the time the photo was taken.


14 2017-01-31
Lake Charles

LC JOB GROWTH RATES ONE OF HIGHEST IN STATE


It may be a new report, but it’s the same old story: Lake Charles continues to gain jobs while the state continues to lose them.

Louisiana Workforce Commission’s December report puts Lake Charles right behind Baton Rouge in metro areas with the highest job growth rates for 2016.

It added 1700 over the year, 1300 of which were in construction, in the area’s 66th consecutive month with an over-the-year increase.

The area did lose 1,000 job from November to December, 600 of which were construction jobs. But R.B. Smith, vice president of workforce development at the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, attributed the loss of construction jobs to a normal slowdown in projects during the holidays.

“In the holiday season in particular, your supply lines have just about shut down,” Smith said. “A lot of your construction workers, just out of habit, will lay off in the month of December.”

Smith expects construction jobs to pick back up in the next few months and continue growing in 2017.

Louisiana, on the other hand, gained 1,900 over the month but lost 4,600 over the year, its 17th consecutive month with an over-the-year loss.

These over-the-year losses can largely be attributed to the impact of low oil prices that have halted production in many parts of the state, such as Lafayette and Houma. The lack of work has resulted in layoffs in the manufacturing and the mining and logging sectors.

The state did make notable gains over the year and over the month in the health services sector. Louisiana Workforce Commission Executive Director Ava Dejoie attributed these gains to Gov. John Bel Edward’s Medicaid expansion.

“Louisiana’s healthcare industry continues to break employment records with more and more jobs each month thanks in large part to Gov. Edwards’ expansion of Medicaid,” Dejoie said.

Still, overall, the trend of Lake Charles gaining jobs while the state loses them has held true in 2016.

The progress of local construction projects and the price of oil will determine whether this trend holds true for 2017.


14 2017-01-31
Lake Charles

Boomers & beyond: EASE program enrolls senior citizens at McNeese


Eldene Niel’s friends like playing bingo. She prefers learning Latin.
The Merryville native has taken classes at McNeese—covering French and sociology and American literature—off-and-on for decades. And next May, she’ll receive her Bachelor of General Studies.
Her graduation has been supported by McNeese’s EASE (Emphasis on Adult Special Entry) program which assists students over 60 in registering for undergraduate courses. Students receive a significant discount on their first three credit hours each semester.
After paying a $20 fee and completing a brief online application, EASE students are guided through the entire registration and advising process by Director of Community Services and Outreach Betty Anderson.
According to the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness, 19 students over age 64 attended McNeese classes during the fall 2016 semester.
Niel first registered for EASE to take French classes with her husband John after his retirement from dentistry. They’d heard that learning foreign languages forestalls Alzheimer’s, which runs in their family. And John believed that “you should always be a student,” Niel said.
Niel had been a student many times before. During high school, a teacher inspired her love of reading and learning, so she enrolled at McNeese after graduation. But three semesters later, personal circumstances required her to leave.
She later took night classes, but her four children called her home.
And when she tried again, John’s dental practice needed her as an office manager.
His retirement finally allowed the couple to take several semesters of French courses.
But since his passing, she’s returned to McNeese—and this time, she’s going to graduate.
Now in her sixth semester, she’s studied mostly English literature, including classes on composition, short stories and American literature.
She enjoys learning history through her readings and hearing the perspectives of her younger classmates.
Though Niel is pursuing a degree, other students opt for individual classes.
Merele Trares, a retired art teacher, has taken four years of art classes because “you can always find more inspiration.”
Her husband, John, is in his third semester of music theory courses since his retirement from meteorology.
And Barry O’Meara, who signed up for art classes after leaving the oil field, is now studying photography.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for them to come back to school and broaden their horizons,” Anderson said.
Niel commends Anderson for her efforts to make coursework accessible to seniors.
And Niel’s children are proud of her for pursuing her studies.
Outside of class, she regularly practices yoga and runs a YouTube cooking show called “Cooking Can Be Fun! with Edlene.”
After graduation, though, she says she’ll probably take more classes. Future interests include Latin, Greek, mythology, art history and sociology.

14 2017-01-30
Lake Charles

'Just a fantastic man': Colleagues, friends remember former McNeese athletic director Sonny Watkins


He oversaw the resurrection of a now-dominant football program and the construction of the three-story press box suites high above the stadium that houses it. Four other athletic facilities were constructed and 17 teams won Southland Conference titles, cementing his alma mater as one of the league’s most preeminent athletic programs.

None of this — championships, buildings or fundraisers — wrote Sonny Watkins’ legacy. Watkins, who died Friday night, did that on his own, perhaps unknowingly. It left those he employed and those with whom he associated cherishing the aura and attitude with which he lived.

“(He was) a gentleman who showed a lot of respect for people,” said McNeese State associate athletic director Bridget Martin, Watkins’ co-head coach during his tenure as the Cowgirls’ basketball coach. “He had a way of developing relationships and that meant a lot to him. Basketball is what brought us together, but I learned from him how important relationships are and how you treat people. And I think he treated people the way he’d want to be treated.”

Described as a witty man who sought no attention and was never without smile, Watkins was a four-year basketball letterman at McNeese from 1963-66 before immediately being hired as an assistant coach for the four years following his graduation.

Watkins and Martin coached at St. Louis Catholic High School — Watkins the boys basketball team and Martin the girls — before coming to McNeese in 1990. He was named athletic director in 1995, the beginning of an 11-year tenure that catapulted the university to otherwise unprecedented athletic accomplishments.

Under Watkins’ leadership, the Cowboys played in two Football Championship Subdivision national championship games, won seven Southland football titles and won the all sports trophy in 2011-12. The All-American Football Foundation recognized him as one of the nation’s best athletic directors in 2004.

“He was a very easy guy to get to know and, really, to get along with,” former McNeese football coach Matt Viator said Saturday. “An easy guy to work for. He let you do your job and someone I thought was very, very approachable. I can’t tell you enough good things about him … We became really close not just as a boss but as a friend.”

Watkins, who was still called “Coach” by most of his employees, hired Viator, former women’s basketball coach Brooks Donald Williams and former Cowboys baseball coach Mike Bianco.

“He’s just a fantastic man, he really is,” Williams said Saturday. “He’s a former coach, a distinguished community member and I think we’re all certainly saddened for such a big loss for the Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana community. Just a big loss. A really big loss for the McNeese family.”
Watkins, one of only three men to play, coach and later become athletic director at McNeese, drove Williams to the Cowboy Club following her introductory press conference in 2007.

“By the way,” Watkins told his newest employee as she exited the car, “I’m announcing my retirement tomorrow.”

Floored, Williams began to fret. The program she just inherited had won five games.

“You’re going to do great,” he reassured her. Everything’s going to work out fine.”

“He didn’t get rattled,” Martin said. “That was something I could lean on. When I’d get all worked up over something, he was there to let you know that the sun would come up tomorrow. You’re going to work through this situation, you’re going to learn from it, you’re going to overcome it. He didn’t panic.”

Already in the McNeese Hall of Fame, Watkins was inducted into the Southland Conference’s Hall of Honor in 2011, joining his longtime sports information director Louis Bonnette as two of five McNeese representatives in the hall.

“I’ll remember him smiling,” Bonnette said. “Every time I walked into his office he was smiling.”

Martin remembers the coaching — a no-nonsense, defensive-minded approach that did not tolerate laziness. It is the embodiment of how Watkins lived, on and off the court.

“Hard work would be enough to make you successful,” Martin said. “I think he just woke up every day knowing he was going to do his best and that would be good enough.”

14 2017-01-26
Baton Rouge

McNeese State University names President's Honor List, honor roll for fall 2016


The President’s Honor List and Honor Roll for McNeese State University’s fall 2016 semester has been announced.

To be on the President’s Honor List, an undergraduate student must earn at least a 3.5 GPA or better while carrying at least 15 semester hours. A senior eligible for graduation but carrying less than 15 hours is also provided that student was on the President’s Honor List the previous semester. The honor roll lists undergraduate students earning at least a 3.0 or B average while carrying 12 or more semester hours.

The President’s Honor List includes:

DENHAM SPRINGS: Lauren E. Brown, Stacey K. Devall

HAMMOND: Regan O. Bolton

INDEPENDENCE: Alicia A. Rossano

PORT VINCENT: Cole B. Bonewitz

WALKER: Matthew J. Hecht

Honor roll includes:

DENHAM SPRINGS: Keagan Christine Benoit, Austin Reese Rea, Cassidy J. Waters

HAMMOND: Amber J. Donnes

LIVINGSTON: Taylor Nicole Watts

WALKER: Constance A. Register


14 2017-01-26
Lake Charles

Lockwood to kick off SAGE series


“Louisiana and Beyond” is the theme for this season’s McNeese SAGE Series, and coordinator May Gray said participants can expect a few surprises in the normally Louisiana-focused program.

“One couple, who are not from here but have been regulars to the program and are retired McNeese people, said, ‘Oh, we want to hear about things other than Louisiana.’ Then I talked to some other people in the group and they said, ‘No, that’s why we come. We want to learn more about Louisiana,” Gray said with a laugh. “I’m trying to satisfy everybody.”

The six-program series, hosted by the university’s Leisure Learning program, will kick off at 3 p.m. Jan. 30 with a lecture by nature and wildlife photographer C.C. Lockwood.

This is the second time Lockwood — who will showcase photography from his book “The Yucatán Peninsula” — has been featured in the SAGE series.

The Historic New Orleans Collection is also making a return trip with a lecture by Jessica Dorman on the museum’s exhibit “Furnishing Louisiana: Creole and Acadian Furniture, 1735-1835.”

Dorman will speak at 3 p.m. Feb. 13 about what the museum boasts as the “era before mass production and ease of transport began to homogenize furniture design across America.”

Gray said she’s particularly excited about the series’ third lecture — “Jim Garrison’s Bourbon Street Brawl: The Making of a First Amendment Milestone” by James A. Savage.

“Before President Kennedy was assassinated, there was this huge district attorney in New Orleans named Jim Garrison; he must have been six-six,” Gray said. “He was really fi ghting crime and stirring up things. After Kennedy was assassinated, he said that Clay Shaw — who was a very prominent New Orleans businessman — was somehow tied to the assassination and he assassinated Clay Shaw’s character.”

Savage will speak at 3 p.m. March 6.

McNeese’s own Amber Hale will speak at 3 p.m. March 13 about her ocean exploration adventures aboard the Nautilus.

Gray said Hale’s trip last summer involved mapping the ocean floor and that the assistant professor will speak on the importance of science and exploring.

Participants will also hear from Katherine Jeffrey at 3 p.m. March 27 on her book “Two Civil Wars: The Curious Shared Journal of a Baton Rouge Schoolgirl and a Union Sailor on the USS Essex.”

“The schoolgirl, I think she was 14 kept a typical kind of diary, almost like a journal, and I think she had drawings in this book,” Gray said. “Then somehow that journal ended up in the hands of a Union sailor.”

Gray said Jeffrey spent time researching both the girl and the soldier and her book looks at the Civil War from two different sides.

Gray said McNeese history professor Janet Allured will close the series 3 p.m. April 10 with “On Their Own: Three Remarkable Louisiana Women Who Made a Difference.”

“I asked her to speak about three women she featured in her ‘Louisiana Women’ volumes one and two,” Gray said. “She’s going to talk about Baroness Pontalba and that is a fascinating story; it’s an unbelievable story,” Gray said. “And also Dorothy Dicks who was like the Ann Landers of her day and Janet Mary Riley who was instrumental in getting the ‘head and master’ provision overturned in Louisiana’s legal code.”

Gray said the cost to attend the six-part series if $59 if you sign up before Jan. 30. The cost increases to $65 on Jan. 31.

In addition to the lectures, participants can sign up for the Cypress Island Adventure trip around Lake Martin planned for April 11. The trip includes a visit to the Cypress Island conservancy and then lunch in Breaux Bridge at Cafe Des Amis. The cost for the trip is $99.


14 2017-01-23
Lake Charles

Let’s talk about higher education


On Feb. 15, the McNeese Faculty Senate will host state legislators in a town hall forum on higher education to discuss their plans and vision for the future of higher education in Louisiana.

In 2012, the state appropriated $27 million to McNeese. Last year that amount dropped to $19 million. These numbers are mirrored in the budgets of other state institutions.

Higher education spending has meanwhile increased 17 percent in Arkansas, 33 percent in Mississippi and 55 percent in Texas. Most recently, TOPS was reduced to 41 percent of tuition for the spring 2017 semester, yet Louisiana faces a new budget deficit greater than the cost of a fully-funded TOPS program.

The hard truth is that multi-million-dollar budget gaps, as has been the pattern, are increasingly likely to be satisfied by closing degree programs and, eventually, entire campuses. That is the crux of the Board of Regent’s Master Plan, termed Elevate Louisiana, which was adopted at the board’s December 2015 meeting.

The board admits as much by asking on its own website: “Can Louisiana sustain a state-supported $1.571 billion enterprise (2008-2009) on less than $700 million (2016)?”

Cuts and closures aren’t without costs of their own. Headcount reductions at McNeese have so far been met through natural attrition. However, the duties of those who leave must be distributed across the remaining faculty, staff and administration. Additional cuts will further impact educational quality and thereby reduce Louisiana’s ability to compete for jobs. It should also be noted that, since 2008, parishes that host a university have seen 40,000 net new jobs, compared with only 4,000 jobs in parishes that do not host a university.

Stark realities confront the Louisiana higher educational system. The current situation reflects the fact that a decade of cuts has weakened Louisiana’s colleges and universities. What is needed is a path to budgetary sustainability, which is the purpose of the town hall forum.

The forum will be held on the Mc-Neese campus on Feb. 15 from 5 p.m.to 8 p.m. Anyone interested in this discussion is encouraged to attend.


14 2017-01-23
Lake Charles

McNeese Alumni Association phonathon will be Jan. 22-31


The McNeese State University Alumni Association will hold its 22nd annual phonathon Jan. 22-31. McNeese students will be making calls to alumni to update contact information and to ask McNeese graduates to help support the university by making a donation to the annual fund.

“McNeese alumni have been generous in their support,” said Joyce Patterson, director of alumni affairs. “Last year, $90,000 was donated, and we hope to exceed that this year. With all of the state budget cuts, every little bit helps.”

Patterson said each phonathon is unique and brings new supporters. “A few years ago, one of our callers happened to reach a man who had graduated from McNeese in 1946,” she said. “He really enjoyed sharing some of his stories from his time at McNeese, as well as hearing about what is going on at the university at this time.”

Donations — large and small — are combined together, which Patterson said help to make an even greater impact on the university.

“It is financial support from our alumni that helps to keep the university on the cutting edge of technology and to best complete our mission of educating our students and preparing them for the workforce,” Patterson said.

Stephanie Clark, who also works in the alumni office, recalled a memorable phone call from a previous phonathon. “We reached a guy last year who said that he always enjoyed hearing from us each year but it was the first time that he had ever been in the financial position to make a donation and he was so happy to do that,” she said.

Patterson said nearly 20 phone lines are going at once during the phonathon.

Funds raised from the event are spent on campus for scholarships, undergraduate research projects, recruiting, university promotions, faculty support and areas that have been hit the hardest by budget cuts.


14 2017-01-23
Lake Charles

New grads welcome


Lake Charles has been named among the “2017 Best Cities for New Grads” in a poll by careers and personal finance website Goodcall.com.

The city was ranked No. 25 in the country for its cost of living, salaries, amenities, and job market for recent graduates.

“This report helps substantiate the importance of the core mission of Sowela — the creation of a highly qualifi ed and skilled workforce that can help fill the vast number of jobs that are available in the Lake Charles area,” said Neil Aspinwall, chancellor of Sowela Technical Community College.

“Much of Sowela’s transformation in the last few years has been in direct response to the increased availability in the area of good jobs that pay high wages, which this report further validates.”

George Swift, president and CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, said he wasn’t surprised by the results of the poll.

“Well, I think it’s indicative of the jobs we’ll have here in the next few years,” Swift said. “I think those jobs will help to keep more and more of our graduates here after they graduate from college or community college.”

Analysts from GoodCall looked at data from 589 cities nationwide and considered the median salary in each. They then compared that with the median salary for people who have a bachelor’s degree.

‘Students seeking a great job upon graduation from college will find a welcoming environment for their talents from employers right here in Southwest Louisiana.’
PHILIP WILLIAMS
McNeese president

“This new ranking confirms what we have been telling our entering freshmen at McNeese for the past five years,” said McNeese State University President Philip Williams.

“Students seeking a great job upon graduation from college will find a welcoming environment for their talents from employers right here in Southwest Louisiana.”

Megan Stevens, a recent graduate of McNeese State University, said the poll sounds right on target.

“I think those statistics are accurate because I have never had a problem finding a good job,” Stevens said. “And if a person has a degree, then the odds of you getting a job are even higher.”

Stevens resides with her husband, Cullen, in Lake Charles and said, “I also think the cost of living here is perfect. Especially when you compare it to other areas. If you think about it, we have it pretty good in lots of ways here in Lake Charles.”

The cities that the poll ranked among the top 10: Roanoke, Va.; Canton, Ohio; Fort Myers, Fla.; Irving, Texas; Gastonia, N.C.; Mountain View, Calif.; Lansing, Mich.; Beaverton, Ore.; Dallas; and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.


14 2017-01-19
Baton Rouge

McNeese State University names President's Honor List, honor roll for fall 2016


he President’s Honor List and Honor Roll for McNeese State University’s fall 2016 semester has been announced.

To be on the President’s Honor List, an undergraduate student must earn at least a 3.5 GPA or better while carrying at least 15 semester hours. A senior eligible for graduation but carrying less than 15 hours is also provided that student was on the President’s Honor List the previous semester. The honor roll lists undergraduate students earning at least a 3.0 or B average while carrying 12 or more semester hours.

The President’s Honor List includes:

ZACHARY: Drewe V. Burns, Shelby N. Michael

Honor roll includes:

ZACHARY: Sherry Ann Brown
14 2017-01-12
Lake Charles

Construction on Health and Human Performance Education Complex progressing at McNeese


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
You may have noticed construction going on next to Cowboy Stadium.

It's for McNeese State University's new Health and Human Performance Education Complex.

The progress is evident in front of Jack Doland Field house, where the facility is currently being built.

"It's our new Health and Human Performance Education Complex. It's a new facility that's going to have both the Health and Human Performance curriculum in there, as well as some sporting facilities. And we're just very excited about it. It's a good opportunity for us," said Richard Rhoden, director of facilities and plant operations.

Rhoden said total construction costs are about $36 million, which is being funded entirely through capital outlay, state appropriations, and private donations.

The facility is a lot closer for McNeese students who've previously said it's tough going all the way out to Burton Coliseum for games and other events.

Rhoden hopes the closer facility will boost attendance.

"It is going to be a good opportunity particularly for our students who reside on campus, who may not have the ability to travel. It's within walking distance now," said Rhoden.

At 145,000 square feet, the sports arena will be the biggest portion.

"It will hold 4,200 fans in the facility. There will be a separate facility for both volleyball and practice which will hold another 600 fans in there," explained Rhoden.

He said the complex will also include offices and classroom space.

"This does give us an opportunity to expand on our existing academic programs and sports management, health and human performance, athletic training. And it actually gives us the potential for expanding programs into the physical therapy area as well," said Rhoden.

Physical therapy is an area Rhoden said is growing.

"That's an area of the campus that enrollment has increased over the last several years," said Rhoden.

Alfred Palma, LLC is the contractor. Rhoden estimates the facility to be completed by the summer of 2018.?

Back story HERE.


14 2017-01-10
Lake Charles

Southland Conference keeping eye on Texas ‘bathroom bill’


Southland Conference commissioner Tom Burnett said the introduction of Texas Senate Bill 6 is “on the radar” of the conference and its membership institutions.

The bill, also known as the Texas Privacy Act, would force transgender people to use public restrooms and locker rooms assigned to their “biological sex” as printed on their birth certificate.

“It’s early but that’s not to say we’re not aware of it, it’s on our radar,” Burnett told the American Press on Monday. “I’m sure we will begin to interact as we get through administrative meetings later this month, into the spring and ultimately at the end of our academic year when some decisions are made about the conference’s future. We’re watching it, that’s for sure.”

The legislation, filed Jan. 5 by Republican Sen. Lois Kolkhorst and later endorsed by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, is similar to North Carolina’s House Bill 2, which former Gov. Pat McCroy signed into law March 22, 2016.

Upon its passage, the Atlantic Coast Conference voted to move all neutral-site championship events for the 2016-17 season out of North Carolina, including the ACC Championship football game. The NCAA pulled seven 2016-17 championship events, including first- and second-round men’s NCAA Tournament games, after the bill’s passage.

“Fairness is about more than the opportunity to participate in college sports, or even compete for championships,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement when announcing it. “We believe in providing a safe and respectful environment at our events and are committed to providing the best experience possible for college athletes, fans and everyone taking part in our championships.”

The NBA also pulled its All-Star Game, which New Orleans is now set to host.

North Carolina has reportedly lost almost $1 billion since House Bill 2’s passage.

“This issue is not about discrimination — it’s about public safety, protecting businesses and common sense,” Patrick, a Republican, said in a statement following the bill’s filing.

The Southland, which is headquartered in Frisco, Texas, and has seven member institutions in Texas, and seven total 2016-17 championship events scheduled in that state — baseball, soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s tennis and men’s and women’s golf.

‘It’s early but that’s not to say we’re not aware of it, it’s on our radar.’
TOM BURNETT
Southland Conference

Frisco also hosted last weekend’s FCS Championship Game.

“Ultimately, we all have to be cognizant if our national governing bodies or professional leagues are going to respond in a similar manner as they’ve done in North Carolina, we all have to take that into account and figure out what we’re going to do as hosts of NCAA events and our own conference events,” Burnett said. “There’s going to be, I’m sure, a lot of conversation in that regard if this stays on the track it could, I guess.”

Unlike the North Carolina legislation, the Texas Privacy Act would appear to allow private entities that rent facilities the leeway to determine bathroom usages at their discretion, seemingly allowing the NCAA or the Southland Conference to make their own determinations at each event.

“A private entity that leases or contracts to use a building owned or leased by this state or a political subdivision is not subject to a policy developed,” the bill reads. “A state agency or political subdivision may not require or prohibit a private entity that leases or contracts to use a building owned or leased by this state or a political subdivision from adopting a policy on the designation or use of bathroom or changing facilities located in the building.”

Asked if the ensuing exodus of NCAA and other organizations from North Carolina set a precedent of sorts for this situation, Burnett said he “certainly thinks so.” The NCAA convention begins next week in Nashville and Burnett said he expects talks to continue there, while mindful the legislation is in its early stages and no passage is ensured.

“The NCAA is heavily invested in championship events here in this state,” Burnett said, referencing the Women’s Final Four set for Dallas in March and this past weekend’s FCS Championship Game. “There’s going to be a lot of things to talk about and a lot of events kind of in the queue that are going to be considered, I guess, in the same sort of conversation track that you saw in North Carolina, even though the issues may be a little bit different, nuanced whatever. But still, I could see where you would have some of a similar kind of response.”

The bill, which has yet to leave a Senate Committee, faces a long road before it can be signed into law, something Burnett acknowledged Monday.

“I’d want to be really careful with how much time our membership spends on something that may not really have a chance of going anywhere,” Burnett said. “You have to be proactive and somewhat reactive, you have to be prepared for anything. We’ll begin to have the conversations and our group of presidents in Texas are going to have a real good feel and understanding for what’s going to happen in Austin as the session begins.”
14 2017-01-09
Lake Charles

MCNEESE THRIVED UNDER WILLIAMS


McNeese State University President Philip Williams announced last week that he will retire June 30, ending a seven-year run at the helm.

It’s a big loss for the university as it has continued to thrive despite continued yearly cuts in funding. During his tenure, he has kept his focus on student development and improving their overall experience.

Williams, 64, released a prepared statement saying he is leaving McNeese to focus on writing, along with “consulting in the fields of strategic planning and management.”

Williams is McNeese’s sixth president and has served in that capacity since 2010. He undoubtedly had big shoes to fill upon his arrival, replacing the late Robert Hebert, who retired in 2010 after 23 years of service. Hebert died last May.

Early in his tenure, the university experienced tragedy when 19-year-old freshman Ashlea Richard died in October 2010 after being hit by a car while crossing McNeese Street. The university responded by pushing for a parking garage, with the students voting to pay a fee to help pay for its construction.

The three-level parking garage, which opened in May 2013, added roughly 800-900 more spaces. Also, the speed limits on Common Street and Sale Road were reduced in order to make it safer for students crossing the street. Timed crosswalks were also added to improve pedestrian safety.

Williams’ efforts to address student needs included hosting more than 30 events in 2012 to gain public input on ways to improve the university. It was part of a long-term plan he had to make McNeese better.

Some of the resulting goals were promoting innovative ways to teach, working with more regional partners and making a McNeese brand that welcomes a culture of innovation.

The university also saw its community run radio station — KBYS-FM (88.3) — go on the air in June 2014. The SEED Center facility opened its doors in August 2013. McNeese partnered with the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury and city of Lake Charles on the facility, which acts as an incubator for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Work also continues on a $40.5 million basketball and eduction complex near the university’s football stadium and field house.

Higher education has seen a 55 percent reduction in state funding over the last nine years. It goes without saying that Williams’ replacement will have the same challenges in trying to maintain the programs offered at McNeese.

As for who will replace Williams, we will have to wait while the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors conducts a nationwide search.

During an interview in 2010, Williams said McNeese was appealing because of its “core values of academic excellence, student success, fiscal responsibility” and ties to the community. During his time here, Williams continued to push, and improve upon, those qualities.

l

This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the board, whose members are CRYSTAL STEVENSON, JOHN GUIDROZ, EMILY FONTENOT, retired editor JIM BEAM and retired staff writer MIKE JONES.


14 2017-01-03
Lake Charles

McNeese President Williams to retire


McNeese State University President Dr. Philip Williams announced today that he will retire on June 30, 2017. Williams has served as president since July 1, 2010.

“McNeese is an exceptional university with extraordinary employees who are dedicated to student success and live the McNeese motto of providing ‘excellence with a personal touch.’ It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as president. Southwest Louisiana is filled with some of the most generous and sincere people that I have ever met. They warmly welcomed Sandra, Grant and me into the community and we will forever be grateful for the kindness shown us,” Williams said. “I am also grateful for the support of the University of Louisiana System Board and staff.”

McNeese is one of nine universities in the University of Louisiana System.

“Dr. Williams is a thoughtful professional and McNeese will benefit from his leadership for years to come,” University of Louisiana System President Jim Henderson said. “The southwest region of Louisiana is a hub of economic growth and McNeese is a central component. The System Board and I will work closely with the faculty, staff, alumni and community at large to select the university’s next leader with an emphasis on securing that regional growth.”

According to ULS Board Policy, the ULS Board of Supervisors will conduct a national search for a new McNeese chief executive.

During his time at McNeese, the university has been named one of the best regional universities in the nation in the U.S. News & World Report’s prominent annual “Best Colleges” list. It has been selected as a “Top School” in the 2017 Military Advanced Education and Transition Guide to Colleges and Universities, and in 2016, McNeese was also designated as a Military Friendly School by Victory Media and named a “Governor’s Military and Veteran Friendly Campus.”

“McNeese offers outstanding quality and its affordability provides students with a tremendous value and return on their educational investment,” Williams said. “Receiving national recognition validates the work of our faculty and support staff and shows that observers on the national level are recognizing the outstanding quality and value that McNeese offers.”

‘I will be turning 65 next month and I am hoping to resume my interests in writing as well as consulting in the fields off strategic planning and management.’
DR. PHILIP WILLIAMS
McNeese State University president

Prior to his appointment at McNeese, the North Carolina native served as president of the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Ala. Williams is the sixth president in the university’s 78-year history and he succeeded Dr. Robert Hebert who retired in June 2010.

Williams said that he is not leaving McNeese for another university.

“I will be turning 65 next month and I am hoping to resume my interests in writing as well as consulting in the fields of strategic planning and management,” he said.

Williams authored several works of fiction, non-fiction and a series of children’s books with his wife prior to his career in higher education.
14 2016-12-30
Lake Charles

TOPS cut by more than 60 percent, students left reeling


SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) -
Most students who receive TOPS have seen their financial assistance cut by more than half for the upcoming spring semester - leaving thousands of students statewide having to make up the difference with their own money.

With the state's deficit at $313 million for this fiscal year, legislators opted to only fully fund TOPS for the 2016 fall semester. But for the upcoming spring semester, the state cut TOPS financial assistance by more than half to make up the difference.

The numbers from the Louisiana Office of Financial Student Assistance revealed the bitter truth for students across the state, especially at McNeese State University and Sowela Technical Community College.

McNeese students saw cuts of more than $1,200, while Sowela students saw cuts of more than $800.

When the cuts were announced in mid-November, McNeese students were left scrambling to make up the difference.

A tearful Brooke Smith, 20, a McNeese student, said then she felt like a "promise was broken."

"I did good on my ACT; I did what I was supposed to do to be able to get this. I feel like, in a way, it was like an agreement that we made. You do your part and we'll do our part. So, I do feel betrayed because that is what was promised and it's like this is the good thing that's going to happen from you doing what you were supposed to do," she said.

Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a statement, earlier in November, that there will be no more cuts to TOPS.

"When we leave our kids with more student debt than necessary, we’ve failed them. Going forward, it is my hope that we can restore funding to TOPS because too many students across the state are dependent upon the assistance it offers. In fact, despite the budget shortfalls we’re currently facing, we will not be making further cuts to this program. Today, we risk having an influx of students drop out of college or leave with burdensome debt. We can and must do better...The upcoming regular session in 2017 will give us another opportunity to stabilize Louisiana’s budget and invest in our children’s futures, and I’m asking the legislature to work with me, so that Louisiana’s students are not left to shoulder the burden of our state’s financial problems," he said.

McNeese has been working with students to help them defer some fees that are a result of previous cuts to TOPS. The spring semester begins Jan. 17.


14 2016-12-16
Lake Charles

'We're kind of in the 21st century': McNeese's new indoor track drawing rave reviews


Whether it was a McNeese State track athlete or a student exercising after class, running on the 200-meter oval inside the Ralph O. Ward Recreational Complex was sometimes a painful endeavor. A hard layer of polymer first laid on top of concrete in 1983 was more for longevity and durability purposes than the actual performance.

Shin splints were common. The beating on knees were merciless. Track athletes could not wear spikes on the track and, if they did, the indentations left on the track were permanent.

“It was in bad shape,” Michael Soileau said. “It wasn’t very user friendly … it just wasn’t a good surface. It was like running on concrete, essentially.”

Soileau, the head of the Health and Human Performance Department and the school’s director of recreation, estimates the track was renovated once since 1983 — just adding another layer of that aforementioned polymer.

Soileau, along with track coach Brendon Gilroy, spearheaded a presentation to the Campus Development Committee to resurface the track, which was approved with a grant from the student enhancement fee.

That grant was $82,000, athletic director Bruce Hemphill said Thursday. Hemphill said the project’s total cost was $120,230. Both Hemphill and Soileau confirmed the remainder of the money came from both the recreation complex and the athletic department.

The five-lane track — one of just two indoor, 200-meter tracks in the state and the only in the Southland Conference — is now outfitted with a 10 millimeter ProTraxx sports surface. It’s “basically the same” material that’s inside LSU’s Carl Maddox Field House, the state’s other indoor facility, Gilroy said.

Though no official “grand opening” has taken place, students and track athletes are running on the surface with favorable reviews.

“We’re kind of in the 21st century,” Gilroy quipped Wednesday. “As soon as the kids saw it, they were like ‘Wow, coach, this is amazing.’ I’ve been promising them this for the last few years.”

Soileau said only a few cosmetic kinks are required for the project’s full completion and runners are using the track as they please. Its official debut comes when McNeese hosts its first indoor track meet on Jan. 13 and, on the next day, hosts a high school meet.

Gilroy used both instances to sway the committee. Given the lack of indoor facilities in the state, Gilroy estimates the school hosts anywhere from 1,700 to 2,000 athletes during the indoor track and field season. Some are high school athletes still undecided on college destinations.

“Once the word gets out on it, it’s going to attract more people we think and it should do well for the future of track and field in this area,” Gilroy said. “For years we’ve let schools come in and train on the old track, but you can’t wear the spikes. This is a little bit softer and wearing the spikes will make a big difference.”

Added Hemphill: “All athletes want to see the commitment the university is making to the athletic department. This is a way to show not only our present athletes but our future ones, also.”

The renovations were the first of what Gilroy hopes are more renovations inside the complex. Soileau termed the renovations part of a “wish-list process,” but if there were a next focus it would be the 55-meter track downstairs.

“If we were going to do the entire downstairs, we would be looking at about $500,000 if we were going to use that (ProTraxx) surface,” Soileau said. “That’s a half a million dollars more than we currently have. We might could do something in pieces or stages.”

For now, the school will relish its newest jewel.

“(The indoor track) is going to perform like we’ve never seen,” Soileau said. “We have no idea what we’re in for.”

14 2016-12-13
Lake Charles

Thirteen McNeese students earn Summa Cum Laude designation


Thirteen McNeese State University students received the Summa Cum Laude (3.90-4.00) designation during recent fall commencement ceremonies. Two students were recognized for earning a 4.0 grade-point average throughout their college careers — Paula N. Gomez of Prairieville in English, and Elizabeth Jean Heurtevant of Sulphur in sociology.

The other honor students recognized were:

SUMMA CUM LAUDE: Ana Carolina Da Cruz Correa, Orlando; Martin Eriksson, Orebro, Sweden; Linda R. Johnson, Eunice; Julia Kral, Teublitz, Germany; Karah Michelle Pierce and Grant Domonique Wild, both of Welsh; Lacey Ann Porter, DeRidder; Wuke Zhang, Dalian, China; and Victoria N. Hayes, Bethany N. Hebert and Ethan Eli Jones, all of Lake Charles. MAGNA CUM LAUDE (3.70-3.89): Jarian Trevonne Alexander, Samantha Kaye Courville, Cyanna A. Darbeau, Missty L. DeCelle, Erica Michelle Fisher, Emily Hope McGee, Morgan A. Miller, Tanner K. Moreau, Paige M. Newton, Jordan D. Polito, Alyssa A. Richard, all of Lake Charles; Madeline K. Allen, Beaumont, Texas; Robert B. Benton, Denham Springs; Brooke Ellen Bertram, Grand Lake; Tamara Jo Callais, Iowa; Ariel Enrique Hargrove, Rosepine; Derek J. Lee, Abbeville; Trenton E. Pelloquin, Basile; Lucas Benjamin Peterson, DeRidder; Heidi Marie Reed, Fenton; Susan Regmi, Kathmandu, Nepal; Wallace Paul Rogers, Anacoco; Brittany Jenkins Sansone, DeRidder; Olive M. Spellman, Bonwier, Texas; Chase S. Vincent, Morse; Megan Ortego Vincent, Westlake; Alexandria Rose Wade, Highlands, Texas; Casey L. White, Ragley; and Skylar Nichole Young, Reeves.

CUM LAUDE (3.50-3.69): Andrea Blair Brasseaux, Megan N. Galloway, Tori R. Hebert, Catelyn R. Henry, Laken Nicole Hickman, Victoria L. Mendoza, Sorin Marius Munteanu, Amber Lynn Petry, Malia Marie Mitchem Richardson, Colleen M. Stratton, Truc Linh T. Truong and Elena C. Williams, all of Lake Charles; Kendall Claire Broussard and David Garrett Caraway, both of Welsh; Jacklynn Renee Campbell, Rae Ann Lilly, Lauren Paige Mansell and Jennifer Ann Waite, all of Sulphur; Katie Nicole Doxey, Iowa; Klaudia Dorota Gawlik, Nowy Sacz, Poland; Kaily Lynn Glover, Westlake; Jordan Lynn Hebert, Kinder; Guadalupe Vianey Howell, Angier, N.C.; Jacob P. Johnson, Lacassine; Janet M. Jones, Carissa Fruge Mabini, Chirayu J. Shah, all of Jennings; Katherine Danielle Lee and Logan Edwin Spivey, both of DeRidder; Tori B. Miller, Maurice; Darbi Kay Montie, Grand Lake; Kade P. Petry, Gueydan; Santosh Shrestha, Besishahar, Nepal; James B. Smith, Katy, Texas; Ceaira Megan Taylor, Leesville; Adrienne B. Thibodeaux, Basile; Jasmine N. Thomas, Beaumont, Texas; Sarah V. Thomas, Orange, Texas; Josephine B. Vajko, Windsor, Canada; Jasmine A. Vallian, Lockport.

Two students were recognized for earning a 4.0 grade-point average throughout their college careers — Paula N. Gomez of Prairieville in English, and Elizabeth Jean Heurtevant of Sulphur in sociology.
Special to American Press


14 2016-12-12
Lake Charles

McNeese students make Christmas special for Big Brothers Big Sisters children


SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) -
Members of McNeese State University's Greek Life partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters for a holiday event aimed at helping kids.

It's called "Project Save Christmas" and members of Phi Mu and Kappa Alpha brought children in the program a little holiday cheer on Friday.

"These are actually Littles that are enrolled in our program but have not found a volunteer to be their Big yet," said Heather Hohensee, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters Southwest Louisiana.

Hohensee said about 30 out of 40 children on their wait list participated in the fourth annual event.

"Basically they're having Bigs for an evening," said Hohensee.

Littles and their temporary Bigs got a chance to draw their own version of Christmas.

"The best part, really, is seeing the kids have a great time," said Aaron Myers.

Myers had a vision and mission when he started the event four years ago.

"Coming out of foster care as a little kid, I didn't really have the best Christmases and I wasn't with family. I remember as a little kid I always told myself I never wanna see anybody else go through the kind of stuff I went through. So when I came to college and had the opportunity to put on events, 'Project Save Christmas' was the first one that came to mind," explained Myers.

For Tanner Smith, it's a chance to give back: "True meaning of Christmas, you know."

There were plenty of laughs, presents, and even jolly old St. Nick posing for pictures and making spirits bright.

If you're interested in becoming a Big in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program you can find more information HERE.

Our Lady of Good Counsel's Newman Center volunteered their venue for the holiday party.

Copyright 2016 KPLC. All rights reserved.


14 2016-12-12
Lake Charles

McNeese, Sowela agreement to expedite nursing degrees


Sowela Technical Community College and McNeese State University officials signed a memorandum of understanding Friday to make it easier for nursing students to earn bachelor’s degrees.

The agreement will allow students to simultaneously earn credits toward associate and bachelor’s degrees in nursing, said Sowela Chancellor Neil Aspinwall.

He said the arrangement cuts “the time to degree completion and puts the student into the health care workforce sooner.”

Cynthia Nevills, 29, a student at Sowela, said she’s excited about the partnership between the two schools. “I will grab it for sure,” Nevills said. “I’m a single mom, and I already have so many worries and struggles, but this will make my journey a little bit easier.”

Another Sowela nursing student, Ben Ivey, 24, said the agreement “is like a bridge and it is set up now where all we have to do is cross that bridge to our next path toward success.”

Sowela’s associate nursing degree program is designed to prepare students for immediate employment and for a bachelor’s program.

“McNeese and Sowela are here to work together and complement each other,” McNeese President Philip Williams said in a news release. “When we do that, the entire region benefits.”


14 2016-12-12
Lake Charles

CEO Swift receives honorary degree at McNeese


George Swift, president and CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree Saturday during McNeese State University’s commencement ceremony in Burton Coliseum.
“This is the highest honor that the university can bestow upon an individual,” Philip Williams, McNeese president, said in a news release. “George Swift is deserving of this honor for his outstanding leadership in championing the importance of higher education to the success of business development here in Southwest Louisiana and around the state.”
The alliance comprises three groups: The Chamber Southwest Louisiana; the Southwest Louisiana Alliance Foundation, the chamber’s nonprofit fundraising arm; and the Southwest Louisiana Partnership for Economic Development.
Swift, a native of Selma, Ala., Swift attended Samford University in Birmingham. In 1972, he joined Talton Broadcasting Co. at WHBB/WTUN, where he served as announcer, news director, operations manager, sales manager and general manager. He went on to serve on the board of the Alabama Broadcasters Association.
He served on the board of the Selma and Dallas County Chamber of Commerce and served two terms on the Selma City Council, from 1980 to 1987.
Swift moved to Lake Charles in 1987 to become general manager of a group and part owner of Progressive Communications until 2001. He was president of the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters and in 2002 received the LAB Lifetime Achievement Award. He served on the board of the National Association of Broadcasters and produced McNeese sports broadcasts on radio and the Internet in 1997-2003.
Swift was selected in 2004 to start the Southwest Louisiana Partnership for Economic Development. In 2006, he was named president and CEO of the chamber and led the effort to form the alliance. He also served as the catalyst to develop the SEED Center, which features a small-business incubator.
He served a three-year term on the board of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives and is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100, an invitation-only group.
14 2016-12-12
Lake Charles

McNeese holds fall commencement


McNeese State University will hold its fall commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, in Burton Coliseum.
The fall class of 2016 includes students from 37 parishes, 22 states and 17 countries. The university will award 651 degrees, including 57 associate degrees, 491 bachelor’s degrees and 103 master’s degrees.
Jeanne Daboval, provost and vice president for academic and student affairs at McNeese, will serve as master of ceremonies, recognize retiring faculty and confer degrees on candidates.
McNeese President Philip Williams will welcome the fall class of 2016. McNeese will also award an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree to George Swift, president and CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance.
Kevin Caldwell, president of the McNeese Alumni Association, will address students on behalf of the association.
Stephanie Tarver, associate vice president for enrollment management, will introduce honors graduates.
The presentation of candidates for conferral of degrees will be made by the deans of the six colleges, the Dore School of Graduate Studies, and general and basic studies.

14 2016-12-12
Lake Charles

McNeese sets spring fee deadline


Students who have registered online for McNeese State University’s 2017 regular spring semester have until 4:30 p.m. Jan. 11 to pay fees. Classes will begin Jan. 17.
Spring term bills will be available online through the MyMcNeese Portal or the Banner Self-Service account. Students can go to www.mcneese.edu/payment to see the payment methods and payment policies.
A fee-deferral plan is offered to students. All registration fees, including tuition, special assessments, class fees and meal plan charges, are eligible for the plan. Students must pay half of the total amount by 4:30 p.m. Jan. 11, and the rest is due March 2. There is a $30 processing fee. For more information, call the accounting office at 475-5107.
The McNeese bookstore offers an interest-free charge plan to all students enrolled for the spring to assist with the purchase of books and supplies. The Personal Touch Account allows students in good financial standing with the university to establish a charge account at the bookstore with a photo ID.
The account can be used at the beginning of the semester for one month for the purchase of up to $800 in books and supplies. At the close of the purchase deadline, each student is billed for purchases made.
PTAs for the spring will open Jan. 2 and close Feb. 10. The payment deadline is April 3. For more information, call the bookstore at 475-5494.

14 2016-12-08
Lake Charles

McNeese to hold fall commencement Saturday


McNeese State University will hold its fall commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, in Burton Coliseum.

The fall class of 2016 includes students from 37 parishes, 22 states and 17 countries. The university will award 651 degrees, including 57 associate degrees, 491 bachelor’s degrees and 103 master’s degrees.

Jeanne Daboval, provost and vice president for academic and student affairs at McNeese, will serve as master of ceremonies, recognize retiring faculty and confer degrees on candidates.

McNeese President Philip Williams will welcome the fall class of 2016. McNeese will also award an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree to George Swift, president and CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance.

Kevin Caldwell, president of the McNeese Alumni Association, will address students on behalf of the association.

Stephanie Tarver, associate vice president for enrollment management, will introduce honors graduates.

The presentation of candidates for conferral of degrees will be made by the deans of the six colleges, the Dore School of Graduate Studies, and general and basic studies.


14 2016-12-07
Lake Charles

McNeese students get another day to study for finals due to power outage


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
A power outage at McNeese State University has led to Tuesday's finals being rescheduled.

The power went out Tuesday morning while some students were taking finals.

Tuesday's tests will be taken Wednesday. The schedule is posted on the McNeese home page. A message about the link to the exam schedule will also be sent to all McNeese email addresses and posted on the university portal.

First semester freshman, Samuel Luke, was about to take a graphic design final when it happened.

"We walked into the classroom and there was about five or six minutes before the final started and then the power shut out of the whole building and the professor walked in and said well we gotta move it to a different building," said Luke.

Lamb Vempati, who works at the library. saw all of the students' reactions as it was happening.

"I don't know if I should be happy for them because they get one extra day to study but some of them are devastated; they knew the answers; they knew they would get a good score but now they have to wait another day," said Vempati.

A lot of students felt the latter, like Nakia Dennis. She spent a long time studying for her psychology final only to have to wait another day.

"I also couldn't get my grades because of the outage and they couldn't put it into the computers," said Dennis.


14 2016-12-06
Lake Charles

Year-end tax tips can reduce stress


The calendar year is almost over. Many business owners are already fretting about preparing for their 2016 tax returns. If you don’t feel confident that your financial records are in order, here are some tips to avoid stress.

l KEEP THE PAPER UNDER CONTROL. Don’t let paper overtake your world. Ideal management would be a scanning system that organizes the electronic versions of every receipt or invoice. If you can’t switch to an electronic system, don’t let that fact stop you from organizing. Cardboard banker boxes and file folders from the office supply store can put things in order. Fancy labels are great but a handwritten label is better than nothing. Organizing by month is a simple way to start.


l BALANCE THE CHECKBOOKS. You’ll want to have your bank statements in one spot so that you can document expenditures such as online transfers or employee paychecks. If your bank offers online documentation, you’ve saved yourself hours of paperwork. A “best practice” is to review the transactions every few days so you can detect fraud or theft immediately. Banks have specific time limits for reporting discrepancies and online access is an excellent tool to track account activity in real time.

l BE AWARE OF THE AMOUNT OF ANY TAXES THAT YOU MIGHT OWE. It is frightening to see a completed tax return in April and have a large amount due if you haven’t planned for that expense. High revenue in December is typical for many small businesses, which translates into higher profits and more taxes due. Only an ostrich should bury its head in the sand.

l TALK TO YOUR TAX PROFESSIONAL ABOUT A STRATEGY TO REDUCE YOUR TAXES. This isn’t a recommendation to hide income; it’s a suggestion to consider how timing of payments, investments in depreciable equipment or other legitimate business moves can lower your tax bill.

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Running a small business can be exciting but very stressful as well. That’s a lesson learned by Diony Lopez and An Nguyen who have been interns in the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese for the fall semester. They are two of the many students working on a Master of Business Administration degree at McNeese.

In the reports prepared at the end of their internships, Lopez and Nguyen noted that their perspectives have changed due to interaction with entrepreneurs. The students were impressed by the passion shown by people who are working very hard to start a small company and amazed by how much is involved in running a small business. Lopez and Nguyen believe that they are much more prepared for employment in the business world thanks to their experience with the LSBDC at McNeese.

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The business consultants at the LSBDC at McNeese are ready to talk with you. Call 337-475-5529 to schedule an appointment with an experienced professional for no-cost assistance. For over 30 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.

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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.

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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.


14 2016-11-29
Lake Charles

McNeese takes precautions to keep students, employees safe


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
With Monday's deadly attack at Ohio State University, some could be wondering - could an attack happen at McNeese?

Campus officials hope not, but they prepare anyway.

Candace Townsend, McNeese's director of public relations and university events, said she's been through active shooter training and is part of a core group that meets weekly.

"In terms of being prepared, I think those of us involved in a situation like that are as prepared as we can possibly be, but you're never prepared for every aspect of a situation and an emergency, so I think our best philosophy is to expect the unexpected," she said.

Their system relies on police, who are trained to neutralize a threat - and redundant notification systems.

"At the beginning, get information out to tell you to take cover - to be safe. And then as information comes in, we're able to clarify - update," she said.

Townsend said they reach students via text, email, message board and on-campus sirens.

Like most people, student Nicholas Bedwell is horrified by the Ohio State attacks.

"I just think it's crazy that bad things like that can happen somewhere where we go to learn everyday - somewhere where we're not expecting that to happen," he said.

Yet he said he's not fearful.

"I always feel safe here. The campus police do a really good job at keeping us informed and telling us what to do when bad things happen. There are also emergency telephones in different places on campus that are accessible," said Bedwell.

Townsend said in order to avoid complacency, McNeese don't often test warning systems on students

"Our text messaging, emergency system is just that. It's for a true emergency, so students probably have never really gotten a message from us unless it was a test," said Townsend. "And we announce those tests in advance. We usually do those once a semester," she said.

Townsend urged students to pay attention to texts and emails from the university.

When it comes to emergency announcements, Townsend said students cannot opt out of the system. She said it is important for students to keep their information up-to-date.

Copyright 2016 KPLC All rights reserved


14 2016-11-21
Lake Charles

Dorés honored during halftime for contribution to McNeese athletics


Kay and Bill Doré were honored during halftime at McNeese State University’s final home football game Saturday for their dedication and support of McNeese and its athletics programs.

The university has benefited greatly from the Dorés’ generosity, said McNeese President Philip Williams.


“Education is important to Kay and Bill, and we sincerely appreciate their continued financial commitment to both the university and the athletics department,” he said.

Bill Doré received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from McNeese and earned athletic letters in football and track. He was inducted into the McNeese Athletics Hall of Honor in 1988, received the McNeese Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1995 and was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2005.

In 2008 a $1 million donation to the McNeese Foundation was used to set up scholarships for student-athletes. Part of the donation was used to complete the debt obligations on the SkyRanch.

This allowed the athletics department to begin generating revenue from funds received for private and corporate boxes and seats. Prior to this, fees collected for the boxes and seats were used to pay the construction debt on the facility, which opened in 1998.

A $2 million endowment to support graduate student stipends resulted in the graduate school being named the William J. Doré School of Graduate Studies. And the Doré Family Foundation was instrumental in creating the Kay Doré Counseling Center at McNeese, which provides a clinical setting to train students in mental health services.

Bill Doré is a founder of the Golden Saddle Club, which raises funds for rodeo student scholarships, and he was instrumental in establishing the McNeese Rodeo Hall of Fame, at Burton Coliseum.

The Dorés have also provided funds for the art department’s mural contest; the marching band’s travel to the football national championship game in Chattanooga, Tenn.; an educational program to reduce the number of middle school dropouts; and doctoral stipends for faculty in the McNeese College of Nursing.

Bill Doré founded Global Industries Ltd., a marine construction and offshore diving company, and he retired as CEO in 2006. He received the Horatio Alger Award in 2000, and in 2016 was honored at Louisiana Public Broadcasting’s Louisiana Legends Gala.

‘Education is important to Kay and Bill, and we sincerely appreciate their continued financial commitment to both the university and the athletics department.’
PHILIP WILLIAMS
McNeese president


14 2016-11-21
Lake Charles

MARKET BASKET SUPPORT MSU:


The Market Basket Charitable Foundation presents a $10,000 donation to McNeese State University through the McNeese Foundation for the Market Basket Academic Scholarship. On hand for the presentation are, from left, Keith Dauterive, Market Basket senior vice president of buying and advertising; Skylar Thompson, Market Basket president; Steve Cormier, Market Basket senior vice president of retail operations; Russell Saleme, Market Basket director of merchandising; and Richard Reid, vice president for university advancement and executive vice president for the McNeese Foundation.


14 2016-11-21
Lake Charles

Can 1,000 trees be planted in 1,000 days?


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
Well, Sasol, McNeese State University, and 11 other community organizations want to plant these trees, so they teamed up.

They formed this program to improve the quality of life in Calcasieu Parish by planting 1,000 trees over the next two to three years.

The goal is to encourage community residents to restore local ecosystems and green spaces by planting various indigenous trees in locations across the city.

Saturday morning, volunteers kicked-off the program by planting 200 trees around the Calcasieu Parish area

The remaining 800 trees will be planted, starting in the spring of 2017, throughout the Lake Charles area. Locations can be recommended by local residents and will be chosen by the program steering committee over the next two years.

A site can be nominated by calling McNeese at 337-475-5691.


14 2016-11-18
Lake Charles

HIGHER EDUCATION FACING BLEAK FUTURE


A majority of Louisiana college students and their families aren’t interested in letting their universities set tuition rates, but their decision comes at a critical time for higher education. Voters by a 57 percent margin rejected a proposed state constitutional amendment Nov. 8 that would have given the four management boards that authority instead of the Legislature.

Lawmakers currently have to approve tuition increases by a two-thirds vote. Louisiana and Florida are the only two states where legislatures have that authority. However, Florida only requires a simple majority vote.


The Advocate quoted an LSU junior who opposed the amendment. He said he was concerned the Legislature might abdicate its obligation to fund higher education if it lost control.

“Passing this constitutional amendment would give our elected officials a cop-out for higher education funding,” the student said in a LSU newspaper opinion piece. “Why increase or stabilize revenue for higher education when schools can just let students pick up the tab?”

Unfortunately, the Legislature over the last nine years has cut higher education state funding by more than 55 percent. It did pass the GRAD Act in 2010 that allowed universities to raise tuition by 10 percent a year if the schools met graduate rate and other requirements, but the act expired this year.

Joe Rallo, higher education commissioner, said the current need to close a $315 million state budget deficit from the previous fiscal year doesn’t bode well for additional funding. The current year may see another deficit.

Rallo said failure of the amendment means institutions will be looking for new legislation to replace the GRAD Act. Compounding problems for universities is the Legislature’s failure to fully fund the TOPS scholarship program for over 50,000 students.

Students and their parents will have to pick up 58 percent of the spring tuition, which totals over $2,400 at LSU and around $1,500 at other colleges and universities. Officials at the University of New Orleans and Northwestern State University said they would pick up the tab for their students, but they are the exception, not the rule.

UNO managed to pull it off by making sure its students took full advantage of federal Pell grants that go to lowincome residents. However, officials said they aren’t sure they could absorb the extra costs next year.

Northwestern said covering tuition for its 2,400 TOPS students will cost the university $3.5 million. LSU President King Alexander said funding for its 14,000 TOPS students would cost about $27 million.

“That would be a good chunk of our state budget,” Alexander said. “We only get $120 million from the state to run the university.”

Gov. John Bel Edwards is calling on the Legislature to do a better job in 2017 of providing essential funding for TOPS and higher education. It’s a tall order for legislators who have been reluctant in the past to take the bold steps necessary.

We urge lawmakers to start making up for their past failures in this budget area so critical to the state’s future.


14 2016-11-16
Lake Charles

McNeese, LSU students getting notices about reduced TOPS


SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) -
McNeese State University and LSU students from Southwest Louisiana are getting notifications that TOPS will be funded at only 41.8 percent. It's heartbreaking for some, who already struggle to pay for college.

Brooke Smith, 20, was in tears as she expressed her concerns.

"It's very upsetting. It's hard, you know, because... I'm sorry," she said, trying to compose herself.

Smith is a psychology major who considers the cuts a major setback and came to a meeting for students to search for alternatives.

"I'm trying to talk and find some scholarships right now and from there, I have to fill out my FAFSA, of course, and look into those options... That's like my main goal right now - just trying to find something to help me like scholarship-wise," she said.

Smith feels like a promise has been broken.

"I did good on my ACT; I did what I was supposed to do to be able to get this. I feel like, in a way, it was like an agreement that we made. You do your part and we'll do our part. So, I do feel betrayed because that is what was promised and it's like this is the good thing that's going to happen from you doing what you were supposed to do," said Smith.

It's upsetting to Maisie Pelafigue, too who is majoring in chemical engineering.

"As you're going through college, your ideal goal is to finish as soon as possible so you can start your career. So, it makes it difficult because now you also have to think, well, I can't take as many hours as I would like to because I have to work to help afford tuition," she said.

Pelafigue and Smith attended the first of three planning meetings to find out what's happening and what the options are.

"We were notified ...the tuition payment portion of the TOPS award for the spring semester is $1075 and 79 cents. How much did you have for the fall? $2,395 is what your fall tuition award was," said Ralynn Castete, director of scholarships and testing.

So, it's a major shortfall for students who are counting on it. Castete encourages students to seek financial aid counseling and to explore all types of funding, including privately funded scholarships.

There are two more planning meeting in the La Jeunesse Room near the Student Union. Wednesday's meeting is at 1:30 p.m. Thursday's meeting is at 10 a.m.

Click here to read the Governor's statement on the reduced TOPS funding.

Copyright 2016 KPLC All rights reserved


14 2016-11-16
Lake Charles

Are you a millennial entrepreneur? Here's what you need to know


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
This week marks Global Entrepreneurship Week and the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University will host an event geared towards millennials who are thinking about starting their own businesses or have already done so and need some guidance.

The topics that will be discussed at the event include how to take care of your credit, the best route to get a loan and McNeese State University resources.

Aaron Cain, Young, a 24-year-old business owner, opened his air conditioning repair business two years ago and said although he faced several obstacles along the way, it didn't discourage him. He hopes to inspire other millennials to take that step.

"There's a lot to it; you have to have drive; you have to stay focused; you think being your own boss is easy and you get to pick your own work days but you don't… every customer is your boss pretty much and you just have to stay focused on figure out what you want to do and just be passionate about it," Cain said.

The event is free and starts at 6 p.m. this evening, Nov. 15, and last until 8 p.m. at the SEED Center, 4310 Ryan St., Lake Charles.

If you can't make it, the event will be live-streamed on Facebook, click HERE to watch.

For more information click HERE or call 475-5529.

Register by calling the number or click HERE.




14 2016-11-14
Lake Charles

McNeese library reopens


McNeese State University’s Frazar Memorial Library reopened Monday after a nearly four-year closure and massive renovation.

“It is now a 21st-century facility for 21st-century scholars,” said Debbie Johnson-Houston, library director.


She said the 64,000-square-foot, four-story facility was gutted after it closed at the end of 2012 and that renovations began in 2014.

“There isn’t a part of this facility that was not touched. It is a completely new building,” said Johnson-Houston.

She said the library now has more open space and features “new electrical, new air conditioning and heating, new study rooms, new windows, new doors, new floors, new lights and a new color palette — brighter, lighter and blue.” The facility also meets Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines throughout and offers Wi-Fi, self-checkout kiosks and a “smart” security system.

The self-checkout system, said Johnson-Houston, is all touch screen, offers an option to check out in English, Spanish, French, Polish and three forms of Chinese and can display account status. Students can quickly check out up to 25 books at one time by placing the entire stack on the kiosk platform.

Johnson-Houston said the new radio frequency identification system reads the antennae in the book’s security tag when it is checked out. If a book isn’t properly checked out, panels located at the front of the library will light up and beep.

“We had to put in a new security system because ours was outdated. It was so old that we could not get parts for it anymore,” she said. “We had to put new security tags in over 150,000 books.”

She said the new system also tracks data, such as the number of visitors and checkouts.

The renovation project was the first time the library had undergone a structural renovation since the original building opened to the public in 1961 and the four-story addition was completed in 1974. The last renovation, which mostly involved new offices and some aesthetic changes, was done in 1986.

Johnson-Houston, a 1979 Mc-Neese graduate, said that when she came to work at the university in 2005, she was surprised by how much the library looked the same as it did when she was a student.

“Now it is so very different,” she said.

Johnson-Houston said Monday was a soft opening for the library. And despite it being a rainy day, she said, a record number of visitors came through. “We had over 1,400 people,” she said. “Everyone was very excited to see the new library.”

She said people have commented on the library being a “beautiful place” and that the windows and color scheme have made it brighter and more serene.

Johnson-Houston said that on opening day, the new children’s materials area on the second floor proved to be a popular spot. The collection, which had been previously housed in the College of Education building, Farrar Hall, was relocated to the former student lab space. Johnson-Houston said it was originally developed to support the education of school librarians.

“A lot of students were coming and making videos of what they saw for their peers. And this is one of the areas that made a big splash because it brought back a lot of childhood memories for the students,” she said. “They enjoyed the giant books. They found their favorite childhood books in the collection. And they talked about it on Facebook.”

Johnson-Houston said the staff is still adjusting to the larger and more open space of the new library after spending the last few years in the more “intimate” Parra Ballroom, located in the New Ranch.

That temporary space, she said, was about 9,000 square feet and held a collection of about 8,000 of the library’s most popular titles. The lab space had 14 computers, and a small public space was used for sitting and reading. Items had to be requested online or by filling out a form on-site.

‘There isn’t a part of this facility that was not touched. It is a completely new building.’
DEBBIE JOHNSON-HOUSTON
Library director

“We served the public on what we called a request-andretrieve system because the public did not have access to our collections,” she said. “The remaining books stayed in storage.”

“We tried to make it as painless as possible for the students and campus. And we were diligent in trying to reopen as soon as we could,” said Johnson-Houston.

The move back took time and began in August, she said. Project managers had to be assigned to different aspects of the move.

“Student workers, volunteers, staff, administrators all worked so hard,” she said. “We didn’t have any type of moving company to move things back or to tag all the books.”

Johnson-Houston said there are still items that the library is waiting to get, such as additional computers, new furniture and a Starbucks, which will be located near the front entrance.

She expects it will all be there by spring, possibly by the time of the library’s grand opening event, the date of which hasn’t yet been set.

“There are still some things we are working on,” she said. “But the great thing about opening now is that it gives us a chance to live with the building and see where we need to make tweaks.”

The final tally on the renovation’s cost is not yet in, but expectations are that it will come in well under the original estimate, which Johnson-Houston said was about $12 million.

The project received $7.3 million in state legislative appropriations for planning and construction, and students voted to use self-assessed fees from the Campus Development Committee and the Technological Advancements for Students Committee to provide furnishings and technological improvements in the new computer lab.

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14 2016-11-14
Lake Charles

London calling Cowboys band


Former Lord Mayor of Westminster Catherine Longworth visited McNeese State University on Friday to issue the Pride of McNeese Marching Band a formal invitation to perform in the London New Year’s Day Parade and Festival next year.

Longworth came on an official visit representing Queen Elizabeth II and wore traditional Lord Mayor attire.


She was accompanied by parade director Robert Bone, who stressed to band members the significance of the offer. Bone said the invitation must be hand-delivered by a parade patron to be valid. He also emphasized the size of the parade, which has over twice as many participants as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, over half a million in attendance and over 300 million TV viewers.

Bone said bands are an important part of the parade. Since the United Kingdom doesn’t have American football, it doesn’t have school bands. He said the parade staff selects 16 U.S. bands to play each year by word-of-mouth reputation.

“We don’t have anything, anything like your marching bands,” Bone said, adding that the “audience of the streets really go for it.”

Bone encouraged the band to accept the invitation. “I can tell you that it will be a performance experience of a lifetime,” he said. He then introduced Longworth, who was given a standing ovation. Longworth complimented the drum line’s opening performance.

“Today was without exception one of the best of the drum lines I’ve seen,” she said.

She explained that, since Lord Mayors are not elected officials, they serve mostly as ambassadors who continue in service even after their time in office. She spoke about Westminster and all the exciting things students would be able to see.

When the time finally came to offer the invitation, she entreated band conductor Jay Jacobs to accept. Jacobs enthusiastically quipped, “We accept,” evoking a roar of laughter and applause.

Since every official visit requires the exchange of gifts, Longworth gave the university a plate from Buckingham Palace that contained the royal crest and a record of every royal family since 1066. She also gave cuff links to Jacobs and Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach.

Roach in turn gave Longworth and Bone certificates of honorary citizenship to Lake Charles, as well as a key to the city.

DONATIONS

Jacobs said band students will pay most expenses individually. The trip will last eight days and will cost about $3,350. He said the goal is to raise at least $160,000, which would reduce each student’s expenses by $1,000.

Individuals, groups or businesses can donate to the band travel fund through the McNeese Foundation. Donations can be made online at www.mcneesefoundation.org or by calling 475-5588.
14 2016-10-31
Lake Charles

Watchdog group expands into area


Metropolitan Crime Commission setting up shop in Calcasieu

BY MARILYN MONROE
mmonroe@americanpress .com

The Metropolitan Crime Commission, a New Orleansarea watchdog group, is expanding into Southwest Louisiana to report on the efficiency of police agencies and the state district court in Calcasieu Parish, the group’s president said.

The 14th Judicial District Criminal Justice Accountability Project will collect data on the area’s criminal justice system, establish benchmarks and track performance, said Rafael Goyeneche, MCC president.

Goyeneche said the project will use the same key indicators of efficiency and performance that the National Center for State Courts uses, including inventory size and the amount of time a case takes to move through the system. He said judges will be compared with their peers and not with those in other jurisdictions.

Goyeneche said reports will also be issued on the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff ’s Office and other arresting agencies, as well as the District Attorney’s Office. Beginning with an examination of the volume of arrests, the reports will examine the outcomes of all felony cases processed in the court, he said.

‘Do I think we have corruption in Southwest Louisiana? Of course we do. Is the response to that always appropriate or complete? Absolutely not.’
STEVE THOMPSON
McNeese State University ethics professor, Metropolitan Crime Commission advisory board member

“We will share the information with the public,” Goyeneche said. “And we will share the findings of our reports to the individual agencies, providing them with information that they didn’t necessarily have before so that they can make more strategic and informed decisions about how to use their resources and better serve the community and make it safer.”

He said the first report will be issued in 10 months to a year.

“But I believe the results, the benefits of it, will start immediately,” Goyeneche said. “We have met with all the criminal justice officials. They know what we are going to be doing and have pledged their cooperation and support to us.”

Steve Thompson, a Mc-Neese State University ethics professor and an MCC advising board member, said the commission will be a “valuable service” to the area. He said its research can “ask questions we need to answer to determine where we stand on effectiveness and efficiency.”

“Right now, those questions are not being asked,” said Thompson, a retired state trooper. He praised the group’s anti-corruption program, which allows people to anonymously report government waste and fraud. Tips can be reported to MCC at 888- 524- 7001 or www.metrocrime.org.

“Do I think we have corruption in Southwest Louisiana? Of course we do. Is the response to that always appropriate or complete? Absolutely not,” Thompson said. “I think that having this avenue to report corruption is extremely valuable.”

The group’s goal is to encourage people to be more engaged in their community and be knowledgeable about the criminal justice system, Goyeneche said.

“Our objective here is to help, not to hinder, to praise and not to criticize,” he said. “But if there is a problem, we will talk about it.”
14 2016-10-31
Lake Charles

MSU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION


MSU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION: Coushatta Casino Resort donates $5,000 to the McNeese State University Alumni Association to help sponsor 2016 Homecoming week activities. On hand for the presentation, are from left, Greg Raynor, CFO, Coushatta Casino Resort; Jerold Poncho, Coushatta Tribal Council Secretary/Treasurer; and Stephanie Clark, assistant director for alumni affairs at McNeese.
14 2016-10-31
Lake Charles

Spring registration at McNeese underway


Registration for the 2017 spring semester at Mc-Neese State University runs through Jan. 9. The class schedule is available at www.mcneese.edu/ schedule. All students should see an adviser, if required, to get alternate PINs before registration. Jan. 2 is the deadline to apply for admission to be eligible for regular spring registration. Classes will begin Jan. 17. Students can go to www.mcneese.edu and click on the “Students” tab and select Banner Self-Service under Registration to begin the registration process. For more information, call the McNeese registrar’s office at 475-5356 or 800-622-3352, ext. 5356.
14 2016-10-31
Lake Charles

Scholarship application deadline Nov. 15


Nov. 15 is the initial priority deadline for fall 2017 academic scholarship applications at McNeese State University.

“High school seniors should begin the application procedures now for academic scholarships to McNeese,” said Ralynn Castete, director of scholarships at McNeese. “Feb. 15 is the final priority deadline and the awarding of scholarships is under way and will continue until funding is exhausted or by April 15, whichever comes first.”

To apply for academic scholarships, students should complete the online application for Admission and Scholarships before the priority deadlines at www.mcneese.edu and submit all documents such as transcripts and ACT/ SAT test scores as well as information about honors, awards, extracurricular activities and employment when answering the questions.

Castete said students with an ACT composite score of 27 or higher are eligible to apply for participation in the McNeese Honors College. The application is available at www.mcneese.edu/honors.

She said students wishing to qualify for the TOPS Scholarship Program must have a minimum ACT score of 20, complete the 19 units of required core courses and a 2.50 high school GPA on these core courses. More information may be found at the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance website atosfa.la.gov.

McNeese offers scholarships in many other areas as well, including band, vocal performance, theatre, debate, yearbook, campus newspaper, visual arts, rodeo, cheerleading, dance team and athletics. For more, visit www.mcneese.edu/scholarships or call 475-5140.
14 2016-10-28
Lake Charles

McNeese's homecoming parade features 117 floats, bands - and lots of candy



14 2016-10-27
Lake Charles

WATCH LIVE ON 7NEWS SUNRISE: McNeese Homecoming Parade


SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) -
Good Morning. John and Britney here with a look at what's coming up on 7News Sunrise.

The fate of the USS Orleck is unknown. The 71-year-old ship needs support, both in volunteers and financially.

A Lake Area family is giving the term "Keeping up with the Joneses" a whole new meaning. KPLC's Candy Rodriguez will show us just how they're doing that with Halloween decorations.

Plus, it's hard to find a tourist brochure on New Orleans that doesn't have a picture of a historic Saint Charles Avenue Streetcar. Dave McNamara takes us for a ride that's full of history in the Heart of Louisiana.

And today marks one of the most exciting days of the year for McNeese Cowboys fans! It's Homecoming Parade day and we have all the information you need to know to catch the parade and the huge fireworks show.

In weather, a weak disturbance will move west across the northern Gulf of Mexico Thursday and this will bring a few more clouds across the area. However, the chance of rain looks very limited. A few very isolated showers may develop in the afternoon hours, but these will not amount to very much. Afternoon highs will top out in the low 80s and heat indexes will reach the mid 80s. Meteorologist Ben Terry will have more coming up in your 'First Alert Forecast.'

Remember, if you are not near a TV this morning, you can watch us live on the desktop or your smartphone.

Copyright 2016 KPLC. All rights
14 2016-10-26
Lake Charles

MSU collecting feminine products for shelter


The Progressives of McNeese State University is collecting feminine products for the residents at Oasis women’s shelter.
“People donate things like clothes and food all the time,” said Miyah January, a member of the group. “But these basic products are often forgotten about.”
This has led to a serious lack of feminine products at the shelter, January said.
The drive netted 330 packs of feminine products Thursday, its first day. January said the Chi Omega sorority at McNeese donated 200 boxes of products.
Donations will be accepted through Nov. 17 at the shelter, at 601 W. 18th St., or 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursdays in the McNeese New Ranch.

14 2016-10-26
Lake Charles

Richard Crowell's SAGE lecture to focus on link between sport hunting, marsh preservation


Louisiana author Richard Crowell will give a lecture titled, “Chenier Plain: From Market Hunting to Sports Hunting” at 3 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31, in the McNeese SEED Center as part of the McNeese Fall 2016 SAGE Series.

In chronicling the Chenier Plain’s transition from a center of market hunting to one of sport hunting in his book, “Chenier Plain,” Crowell draws together over 140 illustrations.


He highlights the opportunistic land purchases by a U.S. president, British and American businessmen, a university president and an illiterate French-speaking Acadian whose property became the nexus of The Coastal Club, the oldest hunting lodge in the geographic region.

These events, combined with the background of six hunting clubs established before 1929 and modern methods of waterfowl habitat conservation, illustrate how inextricably linked sport hunting is to the life and preservation of this remote Louisiana world of ridges and marsh.

Crowell is a retired attorney from Alexandria.

SAGE is open to the public and cost is $65 for the series. For more information or to register, call 337-475- 5616 or visit www.mcneese.edu/leisure.

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.


14 2016-10-24
Lake Charles

McNeese baseball coach Justin Hill to receive substantial raise


Hill, McNeese’s fourth-year baseball coach whose teams have won 30 or more games in each of his first three seasons, will get a salary bump of nearly $30,000 and a one-year contract extension pending approval of the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors next Thursday.

The contract, released as part of the board’s agenda for its meeting next week, will pay Hill $85,318 annually. His current contract, which expired on June 30, paid him $54,500. If approved, Hill’s new contract expires on June 30, 2017 — a one-year deal.

The 37-year-old former LSU pitcher guided his 2016 team to a 31-25 record last season, including an even 15-15 mark in Southland play and a 7-0 victory against LSU at Alex Box Stadium.

Until Hill took over, McNeese had not won 30 games in back-to-back seasons since 2002. Hill achieved that in his first two years, becoming the second-fastest coach in McNeese baseball history to reach 60 wins. All three of his teams have reached the Southland Conference Tournament.

Hill unveiled a rather daunting 2017 schedule last month that includes a home game against LSU, a three-game series at national-runner up Arizona and a trip to TD Ameritrade Park — the site of the College World Series — for a series against Creighton during the team’s open weekend of Southland play.

“We want to make sure we know where all the restaurants are, what the field looks like,” Hill quipped when making the announcement. “Make sure we get a dry run before we play up there for real.”


14 2016-10-21
Lake Charles

AMENDMENT 2 ALLOWS COLLEGE COMPETITION


Amendment No. 2 on the Nov. 8 general election ballot is a state constitutional amendment that would remove legislative approval in raising tuition amounts for colleges and universities, leaving the decision in the hands of higher education boards. The American Press supports the amendment.

Sen. Dan “Blade” Morrish, R-Jennings, sponsored the amendment during this year’s legislative session. The Senate approved it with a 30-7 vote, while the House approved it with a 95-7 vote.

Currently, Louisiana and Florida are the only two states that require legislative approval to raise tuition costs. Florida requires a simple majority, while Louisiana requires a two-thirds majority.

The amendment calls for the state’s four management boards — the LSU and Southern systems, the University of Louisiana System and the Community and Technical College System — to approve whether colleges and universities can set tuition rates.

Since the 2008 fiscal year, the amount of state general fund dollars appropriated to colleges and universities has dropped “by approximately 71 percent,” according to The Public Affairs Research Council’s “Guide to the 2016 Constitutional Amendments.”

Supporters of the amendment argue that it will allow colleges and universities to act quicker than the Legislature would and stay competitive, making sure they can recruit students and prevent them from going to other schools.

Under the current system, the Legislature “may also allow political considerations to outweigh academic concerns” when debating tuition costs, the guide stated. The amendment, if approved, would eliminate that.

The Legislature also approved Act 18 during this year’s session. It keeps the amount of TOPS awards at the 2016-2017 levels, unless state lawmakers decide to increase them. Supporters of the amendment said Act 18 is requiring colleges and universities “to be more efficient,” the guide stated. Those institutions may set different tuition rates on different degree programs and keep a close eye on which degree programs are in high demand.

Opponents argue that tuition has nearly doubled since 2007, evidence that shows the Legislature will raise tuition when it is necessary. Approving the amendment could lead to tuition costs being raised so much that potential students won’t be able to afford them.

Setting differing tuition rates for certain degree programs, like business and engineering, could hinder some students who don’t have the money to afford the extra cost.

University officials have mentioned the loss of state funding over the last several years because of the state’s ongoing budget problems. The American Press supports the amendment because it allows colleges and universities to stay competitive with other schools while giving them the control and responsibility to set tuition costs for students.


14 2016-10-19
Lake Charles

McNeese to host Q&A Day


he McNeese State University will sponsor its Fall Cowboy Q&A Day for prospective students 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29.

Registration and welcome presentations will be in Bulber Auditorium. Campus tours will be offered, and McNeese personnel will answer questions about academic programs, admissions and other topics.

Students will receive free admission to the McNeese vs. Abilene Christian University football game at 6 p.m.in Cowboy Stadium. Parents and guests can buy tickets at the ticket office in the Doland Field House.

For more information, call 475-5504 or visit www.mcneese.edu/admissions and click on Preview Day.
14 2016-10-17
Lake Charles

Banding birds to learn more about them


Last Modified: Sunday, October 16, 2016 9:15 AM
By Louis Bonnette / American Press
Sam Houston Jones State Park is the location of a once-a-month bird banding and this month’s effort comes up Saturday.
This is a very informative and interesting event that is open to the public and is an excellent way to see wild birds up close.
Local Gulf Coast Bird Club member Mohamed El-Mogazi said the banding station at the park is associated with the Baton Rouge Audubon Society and is part of the Audubon Society’s effort to expand its network of bird monitoring and environmental educational sites.
“Sam Houston Park was selected because of its location which is viewed as one of the most productive bird regions in the state,” he said. “The station was established by Irvin Louque and Phillip Vasseur along with support of researchers from McNeese State and leaders of the Louisiana Bird Observatory.”
Louque, who is a naturalist and a member of the Gulf Coast Bird Club, led the banding activities.
“Mist-nets are used to capture the birds,” El-Mogazi said. “We saw several, each strung between two metal poles, placed at different locations off and to the sides of the Red Trail (in the park). The nets were checked periodically and on one net check we found four birds snagged in the nets — a male and female cardinal, a yellow-bellied flycatcher and a red-eyed vireo.
“Birds were carefully removed from the nets, each placed in a separate cloth bag which kept the birds calm and secure until their turn to be banded.
“At the station, banding paraphernalia was spread out on a table — band boxes of several types and sizes, banding pliers to open and close the bands, rulers, electronic scale, reference books and a binder of bird data sheets. The bands are metal rings, each with a unique number imprinted and they come in various sizes.
“It takes training and patience to handle the birds in the least harmful way. Irvin is experienced and was very careful performing the task. The prized catch of the day was the red-eyed vireo, thought to be a migrant. The bird is known as a long-distance migrant, leaving the U.S. and Canada each fall to spend the winter in South America.
“Other birds collected during the day were a Carolina wren, a recaptured white-eyed vireo and a recaptured northern cardinal.
“Information collected for each bird was recorded onto a data sheet to be submitted to the National Birding Laboratory. Records included the bird ID, sex, weight, wing chord length (length from bird’s shoulder to the tip of its longest wing feather), age estimated from molting feathers and classification as adult or juvenile.
“The purpose of the banding is to gather data useful in both research and management projects. Researchers correlate and compare data that was initially gathered on the bird to that when it was recaptured. Their work provides information on migration time and route, critical habitats for breeding or wintering, bird ages and their survival rates among others.”
El-Mogazi said Saturday’s banding will take place from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. All interested in watching or taking part are asked to meet at the Red Trail parking lot.
Among the birds expected to be captured are wintering species like the hermit thrush, ruby-crowned kinglet and the white-throated sparrow.
Also, the Gulf Coast Club will host a bird watching walk on the same day at Sam Houston Park. This will take place from 8-9 a.m. and will be led by David Booth. Those interested should meet at the deck overlooking the swamp across from the pavilion at 8 a.m. and are encouraged to bring binoculars and a field guide.
14 2016-10-17
Lake Charles

Graley to give reading at McNeese


Lisa Graley, the recipient of the 2015 Flannery O’Connor Award in Short Fiction, will give a free fiction and poetry reading at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, in Stokes Auditorium in Hardtner Hall at McNeese State University.

Graley, a 1995 McNeese Master of Fines Arts graduate, is an assistant professor of English and humanities at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Her book of poetry, “Box of Blue Horses,” was published in 2013 and was nominated for the National Book Award. Her collection of stories, “The Current That Carries,” will be published this fall.

The reading is part of the Leo Luke Marcello Visiting Poet Reading Series, named in honor of the late McNeese professor and poet Leo Luke Marcello.


14 2016-10-17
Lake Charles

Brown continues crusade: Pushes for athlete-friendly NCAA


Two hours before he was to deliver the keynote address at McNeese State basketball’s annual Tip Off Banquet, two women approached Dale Brown inside the Lake Charles Civic Center.
One told him she did not particularly care for basketball and did not follow the sport until she began to learn of Brown’s longstanding, outspoken crusade against the NCAA.
“The NCAA legislates against human dignity. They practice monumental hypocrisy. They’re the largest legal cartel in the history of the world,” Brown told her, repeating the statements that have come to personify his perpetual disdain for the governing body of college athletics. “It’s the truth.”
The woman had a request, one Brown said he had never fielded in his post-retirement years of banquet and motivational speaking.
Jack Jaubert, the portrait artist who has become renowned for his LSU paintings, painted Brown surrounded by 28 of his most famous Tigers players with the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in the background.
The woman requested Brown autograph one with a special message — “The NCAA is the Devil.”
“This has never happened,” Brown said as he dutifully granted the fan’s wish. “That was unique.”
Brown signed the photo, added an “L-S-U-” after his signature and continued his blunt assessment of the organization he spent much of his late coaching career battling.
“All those years, I was considered a maverick,” Brown said. “I sent in, like, 35 suggestions. Rules that were wrong that should be changed. … Of the 35 I suggested, I think 29 of them have been changed. I don’t know how they get away with it. I think (NCAA President) Mark Emmert has really made more of an effort than any of them to be out and get people into try and changing.
“The way I would describe them is they have come millions of miles. But they’ve got light-years to go. And light travels 186,000 miles per second.”
Brown, a guest of Cowboys head coach Dave Simmons and the highlight of the third annual banquet, mingled with the audience and wandered from table to table, constantly being asked for pictures from McNeese players, past and present.
He marveled at the renderings of the school’s $40.5 million, 4,100-seat arena under construction in front of the Jack Doland Field House while recalling watching Simmons play at DeRidder High School.
After Brown’s speech, Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach presented the College Basketball Hall of Famer and four-time Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year with a key to the city.
LSU head coach Johnny Jones, a close friend of Simmons’ since their DeRidder days, was the keynote speaker at last year’s banquet and Joe Dumars headlined the inaugural gathering in 2014. McNeese opens its season Nov. 11 against Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana.

14 2016-10-07
Lake Charles

McNeese representatives hold FAFSA workshops


As part of Financial Aid Awareness Month, university financial aid offices are encouraging prospective and current students and their families to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid for the upcoming academic year.
“Every student is urged to fill out this application, and not just because every student qualifies for some form of federal financial aid,” said Taina Savoit, director of financial aid at McNeese State University. “But based on this single application, students also automatically are considered for federal and state grants, federal student loans and even part-time jobs on campus.”
Instead of having to wait until January to file the 2017-2018 FAFSA, students can apply now.
McNeese financial aid staff will present free workshops in high schools throughout a seven-parish area in October and November for students and parents.
The workshops will provide guidance on what FAFSA is and how it benefits students; how to complete a FAFSA; how to estimate the cost of higher education; and how students can prepare for their education beyond high school, Savoit said.
Workshops will be at 6 p.m. today, Oct. 6, at DeQuincy High; 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, at Kinder High; 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, at DeRidder High; and 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17, at Jennings High.
More times and dates will be announced as they become available. For more information, check with your high school office or call McNeese at 337-475-5065 or 800-622-3352, ext. 5065.

14 2016-10-05
Lake Charles

McNeese degree in health systems management surpasses expectations


The growth of McNeese State University’s new degree program in health systems management has surpassed expectations after its first year of classes and this excites Dr. Amy Bufford, the program’s coordinator.

The HSM program — a collaboration with Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond — was first conceived with an anticipated enrollment of five students.

“Now, after one year, the combined number from both campuses is over 100 students,” according to Bufford. “The HSM program at Mc-Neese experienced the largest percentage growth in undergraduate enrollment for fall 2016.”

Housed in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, the HSM program addresses the growing demand for health care administrators and consultants and offers students a Bachelor of Science degree in one of three academic concentrations — health care management, health care quality improvement and care coordination. The degree plan allows students to complete the degree requirements in three years.

“With an eye toward the continuously evolving field of health care, McNeese is preparing students for careers beyond those involved with direct care,” says Bufford. “Health systems management professionals are prepared to understand current and future health care trends and issues, to develop, communicate and manage resources and solutions to challenges for health care systems and to improve overall quality and outcomes of health care systems and services.”

Graduates will be prepared to enter the workforce in such areas as hospitals, health care clinics, consulting companies, insurance providers, community facilities and not-forprofits as well as managed care organizations.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of health care administrators will grow at twice the rate of average employment, and health care overall will surpass all other major employment sectors. “With this degree, McNeese students can soon join this critical labor force,” adds Bufford.

The program attracts students from a variety of backgrounds, but they all share a common interest in the areas where business and medicine intersect.

Siyanda Mdleleni, of Lake Charles, considered several majors before deciding on health care management. “It’s the right fit,” Mdleleni explains, “because what I eventually want to do is be an administrator at a large hospital.”

Alexis Cormier, from Crowley, enrolled in McNeese with the intention of being a nurse. “I wanted to help people,” Cormier says, “but I have multiple sclerosis, and the career opportunities that the HSM program prepares us for will allow me more flexibility.”

Katherine Hensgens, from Welsh, hopes to become a manager of quality care. “There’s job security on the one hand,” says Hensgens, “and on the other hand, you’re still involved in helping people get better.”

Taylor Gagneaux of Lake Charles wants to open his own rehab facility one day, while Lola Grichendler, from Lake Charles, wants to be a case manager for now.

The future of the HSM program looks good. “We do anticipate more growth,” said Bufford, indicating that she intends to form an advisory board by the summer of 2017, which will consist of practicing professionals from the community. “The advisory board will help our program stay abreast of current trends and issues in a variety of health care environments within our service area.”

For more information about the health systems management program, call 475-5835 or email msuhsm@mcneese.edu. Registration for the 2017 spring semester at McNeese begins Oct. 27.


14 2016-10-04
Lake Charles

Millennials: Important to your business


The largest generation since Baby Boomers is the group called millennials or Generation Y. Many experts set 1977 through 1995 as the span of their birth years. The buying power of these individuals is enormous and small businesses need to figure out how to target these important customers.

The United States Census figures show that this age group totals over 20 percent of the residents in Southwest Louisiana so it is a large part of the local buying public. What does a business owner need to understand about millennials in order to target them as customers?

Millennials are the most diverse generation in American history. In general, they have more college degrees which means more debt. The time spent in college and the greater debt mean that they are more likely to delay major life experiences such as marriage and buying a home. Even moving out of the family home is often delayed for millennials.

This generation has used technology since they were children so it is an integral part of their life. A business must connect digitally to millennials to sell to them. Using social media is crucial to reach this audience. A business’s online presence determines how it is seen by millennials. A website that isn’t user-friendly and easy to navigate on a mobile device will instantly repel a millennial.

To reach these important customers, a business owner should get higher on LinkedIn and improve rankings on search engines. Millennials like videos so posting on YouTube or including an interesting video on the business website or social media page or link can be very effective.

Experts say that millennials are outcome driven, so use a “how to” video that starts with the statement, “This video will show you how to prepare a dinner that will impress your friends” or “This quick how-to video will teach you to build a simple table.” Make a personal connection to the viewer and you’ve won a customer.

If you would like to brainstorm on how to make millennials your customers, the business consultants at the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University are ready to talk with you. Call 337-475-5529 to schedule an appointment with an experienced professional for no-cost assistance.

For over 30 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.

l


14 2016-09-29
Lake Charles

SEED Center collaboration unprecedented


As we celebrate three years of the SEED Center, we reflect on how this center came about. Prior to Hurricane Rita, there had been discussions about the need for a business incubator for our region to encourage start-up businesses and to create a culture of entrepreneurship. One of the first steps was a trip to Dallas to tour a successful incubator which was part of the Dallas Community College system.
Representatives from the Chamber, the SW La. Partnership, City of Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, and Sowela attended. When we returned, R.B. Smith, then with Sowela, suggested a mini incubator be established in the Magnolia Building. After meeting with then Parish Administrator Mark McMurry, we were able to get the Police Jury to lease us five offices to get started. After Hurricane Rita and after a series of public meetings to establish some sustainable projects, the Business Incubator was validated.
After further discussions, it was decided that a one stop center would be beneficial putting several agencies in one convenient location. Several groups of officials toured incubators around the state. Utilizing recovery funds, we now had the beginning of funding for the center.
There were numerous ideas expressed as to the location and the project was floundering until the late Dr. Robert Hebert, President of McNeese University, called to suggest the property on Ryan Street, behind McDonalds that had been purchased for the University by the Shearman family. With this location, all entities rallied behind the project because it would be located on the campus of McNeese, our regional university. With hard work by the Parish staff, to utilize the federal and state requirements for hurricane recovery funds we had the beginning of the funding.
On a leap of faith the Chamber board agreed to sell our building downtown and put proceeds into the new building. The US Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration, EDA, provided a nearly $4 million grant. To round out the funding the City and Parish each put up $500,000 each giving us a total of $13 million dollars so the center could be built without debt. Along the way, many hurdles were overcome to keep the project moving. It was agreed that the Police Jury would serve as the construction manager which was overseen by Dean Kelly of Facilities Management with the Parish.
Mark McMurry kept the Police Jury informed and got their buy-in. Mayor Roach kept the City of Lake Charles and Council on board. As with most projects of this magnitude, any number of times, it could have de-railed. When Dr. Hebert retired, there was concern if the new McNeese President would be supportive. To our delight, Dr. Phillip Williams not only embraced the project, but he enhanced support by the University.
Now at three years of age, the SEED Center stands as an example of the benefits of collaboration by entities in the private and public sector on the local, state, and federal level. The SEED Center facility serves as headquarters for ten entities and as a focal point for business development in the region. The business incubator has served over 30 clients and is now home to 19 clients. We are well on the way to building the culture of entrepreneurship for our region.

14 2016-09-29
Lake Charles

LC outlook remains bright


The economic future remains bright for the Lake Charles Metropolitan Statistical Area, with more than $45 billion in industrial projects being built and a projected 3,800 new jobs next year, an economist said Wednesday.
Loren Scott, president of the economic development firm Loren C. Scott and Associates, said during a presentation at the SEED Center that the uptick in jobs is attributed to more construction workers coming to the area. Despite the projected growth slowing somewhat in 2018 to 2,200 new jobs, or 2 percent, Scott said it is still a positive trend for the area.
“Most (Metropolitan Statistical Areas) in the United States would envy that,” he said. “That (growth) is nine times faster than the state is growing.”
Oil prices are expected to improve, according to Scott’s report, “The Louisiana Economic Outlook: 2017 and 2018.” This year’s average price is $42 per barrel. The average is expected to increase to $53 per barrel in 2017 and $60 per barrel in 2018. However, Scott said, the project average ranges from a low of $30 per barrel to a high of $90 per barrel.
The average price of natural gas is expected to stay relatively the same, according to Scott. However, the U.S. has lost some of its competitive edge with other countries when it comes to natural gas prices.
He said countries in Europe and Asia get their natural gas from other countries that base the cost on the price of oil, which has dropped.
This could lead to some LNG export facilities statewide delaying the start of construction until 2018 or 2019. They could start producing LNG in 2022 when there is an expected shortage.
As of August, Scott said there are $134.8 billion worth of industrial projects statewide. Of that total, $50 billion are chemical-related plants, and $67 billion are LNG export facilities.
Scott said $60 billion worth of industrial projects statewide are under construction or complete, and another $75.6 billion in projects are either in the permitting or front-end engineering design, or FEED, stages.
Of the $96.4 billion in industrial projects announced for the Lake Charles area, $51 billion are in the FEED or permitting stages.
Another threat to the companies that have not started construction is the increase in state business taxes, along with changes to the 10-year industrial tax exemption. Scott said changing the tax exemption had no impact on the state’s budget.
“I don’t understand why this happened,” he said.
The report showed a slight decline in the number of jobs at L’Auberge Casino Resort, Isle of Capri and Golden Nugget. Total employment in 2016 is 4,991, down from 5,748 in 2015.
However, that is more than the 3,329 jobs reported before Golden Nugget opened its doors in December 2014.
While the state’s overall economy has dropped this year, Scott said there will be a rebound, starting in 2018. An anticipated 13,700 nonfarm jobs could be added, depending on oil prices increasing.
Scott said it appears the national economy “is not going to be a big help” to Louisiana over the next two years. He said the U.S. economy is forecasted to continue its slow average annual growth of 2 percent to 2.5 percent.
“We are in the slowest recovery that this nation has ever been through in modern times, going all the way back to World War II,” Scott said.
The Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, Iberia Bank and the McNeese State University College of Business sponsored the event.

14 2016-09-26
Lake Charles

McNeese Black Alumni Chapter hosts jazz fundraiser


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
The McNeese Black Alumni Chapter hosted a scholarship fundraiser at the Robert Noland Alumni Pavilion called 'Jazz it Up.'

The event featured Jennings Saxophonist, Marcus Davis, and hosted a silent auction.

All the money from Saturday's event will go towards scholarships for current students which Chapter President, Deneen Sweet says is very important.

"In order for us to keep the students in school and to provide them with everything that they need while they're in school, it's essential that we raise funds and that we also help with them on campus," said Sweet.

Attendees from as far as Deridder came out to support.

The McNeese Black Alumni Chapter plans to hold more fund-raising events for students in the spring.

Copyright 2016 KPLC. All rights reserved.


14 2016-09-26
Lake Charles

Saving the Cameron coastline


CAMERON, LA (KPLC) -
The state of Louisiana is losing a football field of land every 48 minutes, 16 square miles a year. The shoreline is eroding down in Cameron Parish and because of the damage Hurricane Rita caused, there is little in the way to stop it.

CITGO and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana teamed up to plant plugs of grass along the shoreline.

The third annual dune restoration event began early Saturday morning along two miles of Holly Beach.

"The beach grass we are putting in holds sand in place, captures sand that’s blowing in the wind, uses its roots system to keep it in place to build dunes to keep the beach here to protect us," said Kimberly Reyher, the Executive Director of CRCL.

The mission is to restore the wildlife to the area, as well as providing protection against the receding coastline.

"Not only can we see the progress what we’re doing today, but we can see the grass that we planted two years ago," said CITGO Vice President and General Manager, Tomeo Vadell. "It’s a testimony-you can see for yourself, its beautiful, its growing and I believe we’re making a difference so hopefully our kids can come back in the future and see our coast is still here."

160,000 plants have been planted so far—28,000 just today along 2 miles of Holly Beach.

"It's satisfaction, you can see it’s a job well done and for me it’s a pleasure to see how the community is responding to this program and it seems they are eager to jump and help," said Vadell.

Students from McNeese and local high schools came to help as well.

McNeese received a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2015 called the Bay-Watershed Education and Training or B-WET project.

"One of the components in stewardship and one of the objectives is a project called save our shores and we’re out here today fulfilling that objective by planting 5,000 plants that we purchased," said Gary Kratzer, Nature Lab Coordinator and Principle Investigator for the NOAA grant.

This event was part of CITGO's Caring for Our Coast initiative which started in 2014 to commemorate Katrina and Rita. CITGO, CRCL, and McNeese plan on continuing this effort for years to come.
14 2016-09-26
Lake Charles

Fundraiser will support McNeese history department, student scholarships


A fundraiser to support the McNeese State University History Department and student scholarships will be held on Sept. 29 at the Harlequin Restaurant, 501 W. College St.
“Many notable professors, including Dr. Joe Gray Taylor and Dr. Robert Hebert, taught thousands of McNeese students and are still fondly remembered today,” Patricia Prebula, president of the McNeese Foundation board of directors, said.
In 2012, Nic Hunter, owner of the Harlequin, created an endowed scholarship — the History and Liberal Arts Scholarship — through the McNeese Foundation that is awarded annually to an academically qualified student majoring in history or liberal arts. The Harlequin is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.
“Tickets for the event are $100 per person and the evening will include a silent auction, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres prepared by the Harlequin chefs,” Prebula said.
For ticket information, contact the McNeese Foundation at 475-5588.

14 2016-09-26
Lake Charles

Low response from McNeese, other universities, on statewide sexual assault survey


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
This spring, Louisiana conducted its first statewide survey on sexual assault at all the state's public colleges.

The results came back and only 5 percent of college students took the survey - and less than 1,000 students at McNeese completed it.

"Our survey response rate was comparable to the other institutions in the system that took it, so we were still at that four, five percent rate of returns," said Chris Thomas, assistant vice president of university services.

A reason for such a low response is partly because of how long the survey actually was.

"I started it, and I didn't expect it to take me 10 minutes, but I think it was like, 100 questions, and that's not what I expected I was getting," said senior Maggie Mott.

"I think the people that started were a much higher number, but the people that took it all the way to the end - I think was part of the drop off that they had," said Thomas.

Even though the response wasn't what the board was looking for, Thomas sees the value in the results they did gather.

"I'm glad that it exists so now that we got it, let's take this data, let's look at it; let's compare it to national norms; let's look across the campuses and see if we kind of find out of it and then let's look at it and let's try it again," said Thomas.

Which is exactly what the board plans to do next spring with changes to the survey and possible incentives.

Along with those changes, Mott thinks the board should be firmer in what they are doing.

"Say what it's for, and that they're collecting information because they want to improve the health and security of our campus and all of over Louisiana and that it's for a good reason and not for statistics," said Mott.

Despite these results, Thomas wants to make sure that students at McNeese know that there are resources available and people they can talk to about sexual assault.

"Ultimately when it comes down to it, we want McNeese and really the rest of our society, to be as safe as it can be and so, the more information we can gather from people about what they experience, (the better,)" said Thomas. "Then we couple that with different events we're trying to do to share information, then we can create a good system that works to do what we can to end sexual violence."

To find out more resources on McNeese's sexual assault prevention click HERE.

Copyright 2016 KPLC. All rights reserved.


14 2016-09-26
Lake Charles

SEED Center hits third anniversary


A research project conducted by Stanford University two years ago found that people who feel they are part of a team — that they are tackling a challenging issue as one body, even when they aren’t working directly with one another — are far more motivated and satisfied with their work than people who work alone.
At the time this research was released, the SEED Center had just turned one-years-old. It was a social space just like the study suggested, a space where different groups worked side-by-side on the challenging task of starting a business from scratch, and were able to do so together, as business associates and as friends. These business owners were able to utilize each other’s services, build each other up when times were tough, and come together under the common interest of bettering the local economy.
The SEED Center is now three-years strong. It has quickly become the operational center for any venture pertaining to economic growth and sustainability during this time, and will continue to serve that purpose for the foreseeable future. The Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, the Police Jury, the city of Lake Charles and McNeese State University worked to together to make the project a reality. About 10 different economic organizations are housed under one roof, including a bustling business incubator.
The incubator started off with only eight businesses. Since then, a total of 30 startup businesses have passed through, and 19 currently occupy the facility. “We were endeavoring to create a one-stop center for entrepreneurial and economic development, and now three years later that is a reality,” said incubator executive director, Adrian Wallace.
Wallace also noted that the concept itself is unique. The fact that the SEED Center allows the university to partner with the Chamber of Commerce is something that few economic centers in the country have done. McNeese President Philip Williams pointed out when the SEED Center opened that this same academic, entrepreneurial partnership is what started Silicon Valley — a pretty solid forerunner.
Alliance President George Swift said one of the benefits of having a SEED Center is the impression it makes on people who come into the area. He said having everything under one roof — and under such a modern and sophisticated one at that — really sets the area apart.
All in all, the space is a shining success. Its communal environment and its one-stop-shop atmosphere have proven to be invaluable gifts to this community. On behalf of the American Press, happy birthday to the SEED Center.

14 2016-09-23
Lake Charles

McNeese Theatre to begin its 2016-2017 season


McNeese State University Theatre will begin its 2016-2017 season Wednesday, Sept. 28, with “Lizard,” a coming-of-age story set in Southwest Louisiana and Birmingham, Ala., in the summer of 1976.
The play is by Dennis Covington and is based on his 1991 novel of the same name. Covington said he was inspired to write the story after being stationed at Fort Polk as a soldier in the 1970s.
Covington volunteered at the Leesville State School for Retarded Boys, as it was called. There he said he met a boy whose physical appearance resembled what the character “Lizard” looks like in the play, but the boy never spoke.
“One night I heard him sing,” Covington said. “The sound of that voice was going to stay with me.”
Covington said he heard the “voice” of his fictional character, Lucius, who “looked like a lizard,” later when he was in a fiction writing program.
“It was a miracle for me; I was being led by that voice,” he said. “(Lizard) had a beautiful voice. It took me surprising places.”
After he wrote the novel, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival commissioned Covington to write the play. It was first performed in 1994 at the festival, he said.
Covington said he is excited that his play will run again after a long hiatus, and in the “place where it all began.”
Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 28-Oct. 1 in the Tritico Theater and at 2 p.m. Oct. 2.
Tickets are $15 for adults; $10 for McNeese faculty and staff, senior citizens and youths; and free for McNeese students with a current ID. Some language is not considered suitable for younger audiences.
For more information, call 475-5040.

14 2016-09-22
Lake Charles

McNeese Theatre to begin its 2016-2017 season


McNeese State University Theatre will begin its 2016-2017 season Wednesday, Sept. 28, with “Lizard,” a coming-of-age story set in Southwest Louisiana and Birmingham, Ala., in the summer of 1976.
The play is by Dennis Covington and is based on his 1991 novel of the same name. Covington said he was inspired to write the story after being stationed at Fort Polk as a soldier in the 1970s.
Covington volunteered at the Leesville State School for Retarded Boys, as it was called. There he said he met a boy whose physical appearance resembled what the character “Lizard” looks like in the play, but the boy never spoke.
“One night I heard him sing,” Covington said. “The sound of that voice was going to stay with me.”
Covington said he heard the “voice” of his fictional character, Lucius, who “looked like a lizard,” later when he was in a fiction writing program.
“It was a miracle for me; I was being led by that voice,” he said. “(Lizard) had a beautiful voice. It took me surprising places.”
After he wrote the novel, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival commissioned Covington to write the play. It was first performed in 1994 at the festival, he said.
Covington said he is excited that his play will run again after a long hiatus, and in the “place where it all began.”
Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 28-Oct. 1 in the Tritico Theater and at 2 p.m. Oct. 2.
Tickets are $15 for adults; $10 for McNeese faculty and staff, senior citizens and youths; and free for McNeese students with a current ID. Some language is not considered suitable for younger audiences.
For more information, call 475-5040.

14 2016-09-22
Lake Charles

McNeese recognized as one of top regional universities


McNeese State University has been recognized for the sixth consecutive year by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best regional universities and one of the top public universities in the South.
McNeese ranked tied for 98th among the best Southern regional universities in the 2017 “Best Colleges” report.
“I believe the commitment by our faculty and staff to our motto of ‘Excellence with a Personal Touch’ plays a great part in the high national rankings the university continues to receive for its outstanding academic programs, student success and affordability,” said Philip Williams, McNeese president.
The university also ranked No. 41 in Southern top public schools. It tied with Jacksonville State University in Alabama, earning a score of 36 out of 100.
These rankings were based on measurements such as graduation and retention rates, faculty and financial resources, graduation rates and alumni giving.
U.S. News and World Report listed McNeese’s enrollment as 8,162 students with the 2016-2017 in-state tuition and fees being $7,290.
Out-of-state tuition and fees amount to $18,366 for this school year.
It said McNeese had a 20-to-1 student-teacher ratio and a 21 percent four-year graduation rate.
The university’s engineering and business programs were also ranked by U.S. News and World Report. McNeese’s engineering program ranked 148th among those that don’t offer a doctorate.
McNeese’s business programs ranked No. 446 in the nation.
“McNeese is focused on preparing its graduates ... to meet the challenges and opportunities that a global economy will bring to the workplace in the future both here in Southwest Louisiana and the world,” Williams said.

14 2016-09-20
Lake Charles

People shaping the future of Lake Area business


The McNeese State University Alumni Association presented its 2016 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year awards during halftime ceremonies Saturday at the Cowboys vs. the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks football game.
Recipients are CARLIN G. CONNER, president and CEO of SemGroup; G. JANELLE FROST, CEO of Amerisafe Inc.; and TOMMY MARKS, director for the U.S. Army’s Office of Small Business Programs.
A native of Lake Arthur, Conner graduated from Mc-Neese in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science. He began his career at GATX Terminals Corporation in Houston, serving in various roles, including operations, engineering and commercial management.
Conner — who has more than 25 years of experience in the energy midstream sector — then joined Oiltanking Houston LP in 2000 and served in positions of increasing responsibility, including president and CEO of Oiltanking Holding Americas Inc.; president, CEO and a member of the board of Oiltanking Partners’ general partner; chairman of the board of directors of Oiltanking Partners and its general partner; and managing director of the global Oiltanking Group based in Hamburg, Germany. During this time, Conner led the initial public offering of Oiltanking Group.
In April 2014 he was named head of SemGroup. He is also a member of the SemGroup board of directors, president and CEO of Rose Rock Midstream and chairman of the board of directors of Rose Rock Midstream’s general partner. He is on the executive board of the Philbrook Museum and on the board for Greater Tulsa Regional Chamber of Conference.
Frost, who grew up in Oberlin, received her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from McNeese in 1992 and immediately began her career as a staff accountant in October of 1992 at Amerisafe Inc.
Over the next 24 years with Amerisafe, Frost served as deputy controller, controller, assistant vice president, vice president, executive vice president and chief financial officer, chief operating officer and president.
In April of 2015, Frost was named as the first female to serve as CEO of Amerisafe.
Marks received his Bachelor of Science degree in health and physical education from McNeese in 1977, his Master of Science degree in acquisition management from Florida Institute of Technology in 1988 and his Master of Arts degree in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College in 1992.
As director for the Office of Small Business Programs, he serves as the Army’s lead for small business policy, goals and procedures. In this position, Marks represents the Secretary of the Army at congressional committees and subcommittee hearings on small business, historically black colleges and universities’ minority institutions, economic utilization and other business matters.
A native of Jeanerette, Marks attended McNeese on a track scholarship in 1973 and was active in the ROTC program. When Marks graduated in December 1977, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the infantry and reported for active duty in the U.S. Army in January of 1978. He retired from active duty in 2001 as an Army aviator with the rank of lieutenant colonel after 24 years of service.
After retirement, Marks has worked as a government contractor and Army civilian for the last 15 years, which includes a six-year deployment to Kuwait supporting the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program for the U.S. Army Material Command and then serving as LOGCAP’s executive director.
He previously served as the executive director for acquisition services policy for the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Procurement before his promotion in April 2015.
CIRONI REVIVES
TALK SHOW
JOE CIRONI is again hosting the local current event talk show “Random Thoughts While Shaving” on SuperTalk KAOK 1400. The show airs 7-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.
Cumulus Media Lake Charles market manager Elizabeth Blackstock said the show will once again give listeners an op portunity to exchange views and opinions on local, state, national and international affairs.
Cironi, served as president and CEO of the Chamber Southwest Louisiana from 1986 until his retirement in 2004. He went on to host “Random Thoughts” and retired in 2014.
LEMONS RECEIVES
HAMPTON AWARD
SULPHUR — DANNY LEMONS, maintenance engineer at Hampton Inn Sulphur, was recently awarded “The Spirit of Hampton” award.
The award is the brand’s highest form of individual recognition, and this is the first time an employee from any Hampton Inn by Hilton property in Southwest Louisiana has earned the honor.
Lemons has worked in the hospitality industry for the past eight years as a maintenance engineer and has been with Hampton Inn Sulphur for the past seven months.
Lemons’ coworkers all agree, that no matter what hour of day he is called upon, he always comes prepared, is knowledgeable and delivers excellent customer service.
He has also been instrumental in leading the hotel to be more eco-friendly.
“Danny is a hardworking, enthusiastic and family-oriented young man. He strives to learn everything while remaining courteous and humble,” said Sylvia Warzola, general manager, Hampton Inn Sulphur.
STEVENS, CHEN
PAPER AWARDED
JEffERY STEVENS, assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship, and JIUNSHIU CHEN, associate professor of management, received a Best Paper Award at the International Conference on Learning and Administration in Higher Education 2016 in Nashville.
Their paper — “Does Students’ Personality Affect the Learning Outcomes in an International Business Course?” — will be published in a future issue of Journal of Learning in Higher Education.
Stevens also chaired a session titled “Absorbitive Capacity and New Practice Adoption” at the 76th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management in Anaheim, California. Founded in 1936, the Academy of Management is the largest organization in the world devoted to management research and teaching. It has more than 20,000 members in 125 countries.
ALLURED PRESENTS
FEMINISM LECTURE
JANET ALLURED, history professor and director of women’s studies at McNeese, recently presented a lecture — based on her upcoming book to be released in November titled “Remapping Second-Wave Feminism: The Long Women’s Rights Move ment in Louisiana, 1950-1997” — at the exhibition of “Voices of Progress: Twenty Women Who Changed New Orleans” at The Historic New Orleans Collection on 533 Royal St. in New Orleans.
Research regarding second-wave feminism often concentrates on activities happening in the northern United States, but vibrant pockets of activism existed across the country, including the South. Allured discussed her attempts to reshape this narrative, offering a corrective to the centralized power of northern feminism by focusing largely on the grassroots women’s movement in the South, particularly in Louisiana.
TRACTOR SUPPLY
COMING TO SULPHUR
Tractor Supply Company has announced it will construct its 33rd Louisiana location in Sulphur at 340 W. Calcasieu Boulevard.
The company said it will employ an estimated 15 full- and part-time employees.
Construction is set to be completed by early November.
RECORD SHOP
OPENS IN LC

14 2016-09-20
Lake Charles

McNeese Career Fair scheduled Sept. 28


The fall 2016 McNeese State University Career Fair will be 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, in the recreational complex on campus. McNeese students of all majors and classifications , as well as alumni, can participate.
More than 65 employers signed up for the career fair. Sponsors include: Cheniere Energy, Northwestern Mutual, Polaris Engineering, PPG Industries, Sasol (USA) Corp., Sonic Drive-In, United Rentals and Westlake Chemical.
A list of all participants along with a listing of preferred majors may be viewed online at www.mcneese.edu/  career/  . For more information, call McNeese Career and Student Development Center at 475-5612.

14 2016-09-15
Lake Charles

Former McNeese radio chief engineer pleads no contest to misdemeanor charge


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
The former chief engineer of McNeese's radio station has pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief.

Jacob Ross Conner was accused of "manipulating the controls and interfering with programming at KBYS radio," resulting in a lower quality of audio for a period of time.

Conner was initially charged with simple burglary, offense against computer equipment or supplies over $500 and computer tampering.

In court this week, Conner pleaded to an amended charge of criminal mischief and was fined $50 plus court costs.

Click HERE for more.

Ross is a former KPLC employee.

Copyright 2016 KPLC. All rights reserved.


14 2016-09-15
Lake Charles

FOR MSU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION


PHOTO
14 2016-09-15
Lake Charles

Flood insurance: Why are you waiting?


Flood insurance is on everyone’s mind these days. As you’ve likely learned from news stories beginning in 2005 after Hurricane Rita, regular property insurance doesn’t cover rising water. Jim Donelon, Louisiana’s Commissioner of Insurance, has been quoted as saying that as many as 70 percent of all businesses in South Louisiana don’t have flood insurance.
Even though your shop or store or office is not in a flood zone, water doesn’t recognize those boundaries on a flood zone map. As we’ve seen in the March floods in multiple locations across Louisiana and the recent deluge in South Louisiana, any place can be flooded if the conditions are right.
So why are you waiting to buy flood insurance for your business? Are you willing to gamble that you won’t have to deal with polluted water seeping into the flooring and walls? Can you deal with the risk that your equipment and your inventory will be ruined by oily, stinky overflow? Will you be able to pay a contractor to tear out the walls and pull the carpet before mold contaminates your building or will you and your employees have to do that yourselves?
No one wants to spend money on flood insurance, but when the water rises, you will be happy you spent every penny. When the rain is pouring, you will sleep more easily because the insurance provides some peace of mind. Your agent can explain your options and guide you. Beware – flood policies require 30 days to take effect, so buy now to be covered in a month.
Your business interruption insurance does not cover flood damage. Some business owners in the Baton Rouge area were very disappointed to learn about this gap in their coverage.
Of course, floods don’t happen only with a large, organized weather system. Summertime drenchers can stay parked over a limited area and dump several inches of rain in a hurry.
The tropics are active and it’s anyone’s guess what that means for Southwest Louisiana. Hurricane season runs at least until November 30 so we still face months of uncertainty. Eliminate one of the worry factors in your business environment and buy flood insurance today.
If you’d like to brainstorm about business and how you can operate more profitably, the business consultants at the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University are ready to talk with you. Call 337-475-5529 to schedule an appointment with an experienced professional for no-cost assistance. For over 30 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.
l
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  .
l
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.

14 2016-09-13
Lake Charles

McNeese State Delighted To Be Economic Development Partner


growth the state and ’s the economic Southwest development Louisiana Development Entrepreneurial (SEED and ) Center Economic at hub McNeese for economic State University development is the activities for the region.
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become Louisiana local . Many partners of these in “ business visitors” McNeese and industry graduates and actively to join recruit their workforce.
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in   McNeese the SEED is proud Center to be which a partner will continue to be a central , point education for providing for McNeese an exceptional students synergy and an outstanding for economic facility development to build Southwest and entrepreneurial Louisiana. activities in

14 2016-09-12
Lake Charles

Social media in the face of tragedy


Had social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram existed during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, they may have provided those affected and their families with a better way to communicate, said a McNeese State University instructor.
“The way people use social media and the way we’ve seen it work during a crisis, it’s a great place to get quicker information for family and friends of people involved,” said Christa Bell, who teaches in the university’s mass communication department.
Days after the attacks, she said, she remembered seeing news reports of a “wall full of pictures” of people who had not been located. Bell said certain features like Facebook’s Places — which lets its users check in to report where they are — could have helped identify the location of those inside the World Trade Center, or those who had evacuated the buildings before their collapse. Facebook users in Louisiana who were affected by the recent flooding used the check-in feature to assure others they were safe.
Social media may have been another way to communicate when phone lines became overloaded after the attacks, Bell said. At the time, increased cellphone service in New York and other areas caused networks to crash. She said social media may have provided a different alternative to keep communication, especially with authorities, from breaking down.
“You see government agencies use that now,” Bell said. “They will post links to resources or post announcements like certain shelters that are open or which hospitals are taking victims. Those are things that at the time would have been very helpful.”
Bell said social media platforms provide a way for people to support those directly affected by a tragic event. She mentioned the “Je Suis Charlie” hashtag that Twitter users posted to show support after 11 people were killed in the January 2015 terrorist attack at the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Twitter reported the hashtag being one the most popular news-related tweets since it began in 2006.
“It’s really become a way to show support for victims of those affected by tragedies,” she said. “You saw that at the time of Sept. 11 through the media with letters and cards, but you could only do that if you were local. Social media would have provided a way to show support personally.”
Bell said social media provides more of a face to broad news events, like a terror attack or natural disaster, because its users can upload photos or videos that give people outside the affected area a glimpse into what is happening.
Even websites like YouTube weren’t around in 2001. While Bell said her first thoughts were of social media providing viewers with disturbing videos and photos the news media didn’t show, she said other images would have made people who weren’t directly affected relate to the scale of the attacks.
“It would be vastly different in terms of the ways we would interact with that event,” she said. “During Sept. 11, we all felt solidarity, but it was more distant because you felt like there was nothing you could do. Social media gives people the feeling at least that they can reach out.”
Bell said Twitter would likely have been the most active platform used during and after the attacks. She said more professionals use Twitter, rather than Instagram or Snapchat.
Social media does have its downsides, according to Bell. She said terrorist groups have a “sophisticated understanding of how social media works” and can use it to their advantage, like reporting on the progress of an attack.
“Most platforms have limited access and flag content linked to terrorism,” she said. “Even so, it’s kind of like a Whac-A-Mole: One goes down, and another pops up.”
Bell said there is also the possibility of social media users spreading inaccurate or false information during a crisis.
“People who know better will share things on social media without verifying them,” she said. “If (a terror attack) did happen again, the potential for the rumor mill to start up and cause panic would be rather large. The only way to shut that down would be emergency response groups getting in front of it.”
Still, Bell said social media platforms would have provided more positives than negatives during and after the Sept. 11 attacks. She mentioned the “StrandedinTheUS” hashtag used on Twitter for those stuck in the United States who could not fly home after the attacks in Paris last November.
“People were opening their homes because the flights to Paris were canceled,” Bell said. “People can go beyond reading about it and being passive and do something. There’s an ability to create a community surrounding particular movements.”

14 2016-09-06
Lake Charles

LABOR DAY A DAY FOR WORKING PEOPLE


Labor Day is the one day of the year dedicated to honoring the people who really run the country, the hard-working men and women of America.
First, thank you to all those working Americans who really make this nation tick by keeping the economy running, who set an example of honest labor as the way to get ahead and who demonstrate the fruits of work are prosperity and economic security.
On the other hand, Labor Day is a well-earned day for rest and relaxation for those who have the holiday off. Labor Day is also for picnics, fish fries, barbecues, shrimp boils and, in an election year like this one, for politicking.
This is as it should be. Relaxing and doing as little as possible is one of the best way to observe Labor Day.
Working men and women are not only the backbone of our community, they also set the best example for the coming generation of workers.
There is no better example for children than a mother and father who get up in the morning, put in a hard day’s work, and return home in the evening — in and day out, week in and week out, year in and year out. That’s is the real American work ethic.
There is no substitute for the independence, self-confidence and feeling of accomplishment that an individual can get from earning his own livelihood, supporting his own family and contributing to the well-being of his own local community.
A person can never really be independent unless he has a job, can earn his own keep and need not depend on anyone else for his daily sustenance.
But it takes a lot of preparation to reach that level of self-sufficiency. It takes education, usually some-form of post-secondary training, and hard work to learn a skill to make a person productive and an independent member of the workforce.
Southwest Louisiana is blessed with many resources that can help every young person achieve his or her fullest potential.
Public and private schools in Southwest Louisiana are among the best in the state and offer students a sound foundation for future careers.
This community has the Louisiana Technical College, Sowela Campus, McNeese State University and other opportunities for people to learn a valuable skill or a profession.
We are also fortunate to have a thriving local economy that provides jobs for people who want to get a start or move up in their careers.
Enjoy this Labor Day and appreciate the benefits that freedom, liberty and hard-work bring in this blessed country.

14 2016-09-06
Lake Charles

FALL ARTS PREVIEW


Here’s our first week’s look at happenings and events Southwest Louisiana residents can look forward to attending this fall, winter and into spring. Check next Thursday’s Scene section for even more entertainment options.
The 25th season of Banners at Mc-Neese State University features a wide variety of entertainment, including a bluegrass legend, an up-and-coming jazz artist, a shadow theatre company, acrobats, lectures, films and more.
“We have a season full of powerful acts,” Patricia Prudhomme, Banners director, said Wednesday.
The season kicks off with a members-only opening party March 10 at Isle of Capri Casino featuring Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. The reception is set for 5:30 p.m. with the show starting at 7 p.m. Skaggs is known as a bluegrass musician but also has had a successful career as a country singer and songwriter.
“One of things we want people to notice is that Banners is bringing the foremost talent,” Prudhomme said.
Banners has several musicians lined up for the upcoming season. Jazz musician Etienne Charles will perform March 14 at the Central School Arts and Humanities Center theatre.
The Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass Band will perform March 17 at F.G. Bulber Auditorium. Prudhomme said the band is made up of virtuoso brass players, and the music has more of a classical feel.
The Doo Wop Project will perform March 24 at Bulber Auditorium. The five-piece vocal group provides listeners with a history of Doo Wop and features songs from the Temptations, the Four Seasons, along with more contemporary artists.
One of the more unique featured entertainers is Shadow Theatre Fireflies. The group will perform at Rosa Hart Theatre March 21. Prudhomme said the group, which has been featured on televised talent shows, uses the space and shadows to create a fantasy world that is fun for the whole family.
“The dancers are creating shapes,” she said. “That’s really different for us. (Banners) has dance (events), but this is something families can engage in dance that’s accessible.”
Those looking for high-flying action will find it with the Acrobats of Cirque-tacular. The group will perform April 7 at Burton Coliseum. Prudhomme said the act is “very visually stimulating and features aerialists, fire artists contortionists and more.
Banners closes its season with Tiempo Libre April 27 at Bulber Auditorium. The Afro-Caribbean musical group has been entertaining fans for more than 10 years. The band has been nominated for three Grammy awards.
Banners also features a series of lectures. The first, by Matt Mogk, is set for March 16 and covers everything people need to know about surviving a zombie attack.
“Churchill,” a one-man play by Andrew Edlin, will take place March 30 at Bulber Auditorium. Edlin will portray Sir Winston Churchill, who served as the prime minister of the United Kingdom during part of the 1940s and 1950s.
“It’s fantastic, even if you’re not a history person,” Prudhomme said of the play.
A third lecture, Extreme Killing: Understanding Serial and Mass Murder, is set for April 25. Northeastern University Professor Emeritus Jack Levin will lead the lecture.
This is the second year Banners is screening a series of films. They include, “Beetlejuice,” “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week-The Touring Years,” “Mystic Iran: The Unseen World” and “Free State of Jones.” All four film screenings are free and open to the public.
Prior to the 2017 season, children’s music trio Big Bang Boom will perform at 6 p.m. Sept. 30 at Lake Charles-Boston Academy. Tickets are $5 each, and children 3 and under get in free. The North Carolina-based band is known for playing is original, family-friendly music that mixes a multitude of genres.
The Theatreworks production of “Pete the Cat” is set for 6 p.m. Nov. 24 at Rosa Hart Theatre. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 18 and under. McNeese and Sowela Technical Community College students can get in free with a student ID.
A single-ticket Banners season membership costs $80 to start. A basic membership, including two tickets to all performances, costs $150.
For a full list of scheduled Banners events or for information about other memberships, call 475-5123.
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ONLINE: www.banners.org  .
ACTS THEATRE
BY CRYSTAL STEVENSON
cstevenson@americanpress.com  
ACTS Theatre will open its 50th season with the Louisiana-based novel-turned-playturned-movie “Steel Magnolias.”
“The show is set in Truvy’s beauty salon in Chinquapin, La., where all the ladies who are ‘anybody’ come to have their hair done, discuss relationships, dispense advice and help each other through life’s ups and downs,” said the show’s producer, Larenzo Carrier.
Carrier, who is also a member of the organization’s board of directors, said he is joining the production with fresh eyes, having never seen the movie or read the book.
“To me, seeing what these six ladies have gone through, and not knowing what to expect since this is the first time I’ve seen the play, it’s a beautiful story,” he said.
The show will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 23-34 and Sept. 30-Oct. 1 and at 2 p.m. Sept. 25 and Oct. 2. Ticket are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for students with a valid ID.
“The audience is going to be in for a real treat coming to watch this,” Carrier said. “It’s just a beautiful story that people will love to come see.”
Carrier said auditions for the play’s six leads were competitive with 31 women vying for the roles.
“The talent we have in Lake Charles is just astounding,” he said.
Since ACTS — which stands for Artists Civic Theatre & Studio targeting Adults, Children, Teens and Seniors in the community — is celebrating its golden anniversary, the group decided to “revist” popular shows they’ve performed in the past to kick off the season, Carrier said.
“The season starts with ‘Steel Magnolias’ and next will be ‘Scrooge: The Musical’ in December,” Carrier said.
In 2017, the group will open with “The Miracle Worker.”
“It’s a wonderful story based on the life of Helen Keller,” Carrier said.
“The last show of the season will be something that I don’t think has been done in Lake Charles before and that’s ‘Spamalot’ based on the famous Monty Python franchise,” he said.
ACTS Theatre is located in the historic Dixie Theatre in the heart of the Nellie Lutcher Cultural District at 1 Reid St. For more information, call 433-2287 or visit WWW.ACTSTHEATRE.  COM  .
LAKE AREA
BALLET THEATRE
BY PAMELA SLEEZER
psleezer@americanpress.com  
The Lake Area Ballet Theatre will begin its 2006-17 season with a full-length performance of “The Nutcracker” in December.
Artistic Director Colleen Benoit said the LABT has dedicated itself to carrying on the legacy of local icon Ida Winter Clark and her Lake Charles Ballet Society for Ballet Joyeaux, and that she thinks fans will be especially pleased with this year’s performances.
Opening Dec. 1-2 in the Rosa Hart Theatre, this year’s production of “The Nutcracker ” will feature a cast of more than 130 local dancers, as well as returning guest artist Ramon Gaitan.
Originally from Nicaragua, Gaitan has danced with many professional companies and was featured in the LABT’s previous productions of “The Nutcracker” paired alongside another guest dancer. This year, Benoit said Gaitan will be dancing with local artists.
“This year, our dancers are strong enough that they can dance with him, and we are very excited about that,” she said. “We are very honored to have him return and we greatly enjoy working with him.”
School performances of “The Nutcracker” will take place at 9 a.m. on both Thursday and Friday, while evening performances will be held on Thursday at 7 p.m. and Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The LABT will also host a spring concert event with special musical guests at 7 p.m. March 25, 2017, in the Rosa Hart Theatre.
The event will feature O’Die Frauen accompanied by members of the Choral Foundation, Jukebox and Etudes, and Benoit said an original contemporary piece choreographed by Kalinda LeJune will be accompanied by the McNeese Steel Drum Band.
The LABT will also be performing at Arts Fest in October, which is being sponsored by the Arts Council.
Tickets for “The Nutcracker” and the spring concert will be available soon through the Lake Charles Civic Center Box Office. For more information on the company or sponsorship opportunities, visit www.  lakeareaballettheatre.com  .
CHILDREN’S THEATRE
BY EMILY FONTENOT
efontenot@americanpress.com  
The Children’s Theatre Company will begin its 32nd season with the original production “From Poe to Pig.” Members of the Westlake High Theatre Department will perform the piece on Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. at Westlake High Theatre, 1000 Garden Drive.
Artistic director Kerry Onxley — who wrote and directed “From Poe to Pig” — described it as a comedic spoof on classic literature. A jury of angry pigs will examine a case against the Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Pigs in this parody of Edgar Allen Poe’s major works and Reginald Rose’s “Twelve Angry Men.”
Tickets are $7 and may be purchased at the door or in advance by calling 217-4950.
Next up on the company’s schedule is “Cinderella’s Holiday Dining” at noon Saturday, Dec. 3, at Central School Arts & Humanities Center. Children will have the chance to dine with storybook characters such as Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty and Aladdin, and are encouraged to dress in costume.
Pizza and dessert will also be served, along with hot cocoa and gingerbread. The cost is $25 and reservations must be made in advance. Adults must purchase tickets, as well.
The theatre will put on its two major productions in the spring.
Onxley said a good number of seniors and seasoned performers make up the casting pool this year.
Graduating seniors and other promising performers will get the chance to be part of the “The Lion King Experience, Jr. Edition.” Onxley said copyright was recently lifted with restrictions on the famous Broadway show. He said he’s excited to see what the cast does with it this year.
The Children’s Theatre is holding auditions for “The Lion King Experience, Jr. Edition.” Performances will be held at Central School on Feb. 17-19. Tickets are $13 for children and $15 for adults.
The next and final performance of the season will be “Hercules,” the classic story of a half-man, half-god who wanders the earth fighting evil and overcoming the loss of his family. Onxley said “Hercules” has been on his wish-list for years and that he has high hopes for the cast. Performances of “Hercules” will be held May 6-8 at Central School. Tickets are $13 for children and $15 for adults.
Onxley said students practice four hours a week for each production.
“We are pulling off some craziness,” he said. “I think people are amazed by how we do this in just a few hours a week.”
Season passes are available through the company’s website. Individual passes cost $50 and include four productions. Family passes are $60.
Acting Classes for children ages 5-18 will also begin in September at Central School. Special workshops will be held during the Louisiana Theatre Festival on Saturday, Nov. 5, for children ages 6-12. The Children’s Theatre will also host five theatre workshops during its Summer Starz Series.
For more information on any production or to register for acting classes or workshops, call 433-7323.
LUTCHER THEATER
BY CRYSTAL STEVENSON
cstevenson@americanpress.com  
“Mamma Mia!” — the longrunning, high-energy Broadway musical based on songs by Swedish pop group ABBA — will open the 2016 season at Lutcher Theater in Orange, Texas.
The musical, about a mother, her daughter and three possible dads, is set for 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4.
“This will be the third time that we present ‘Mamma Mia!,” said Lynae Sanford, Lutcher’s marketing manager.
She said the production took a break after their last national tour and then asked Lutcher to be the rehearsing headquarters for their 2016-17 tour.
“We have the privilege of having them here in our area for about 10 days to rehearse and get ready and then they kick off their tour after our performance,” Sandford said. “It’s a unique thing that’s happening and it’s a great thing for us to be able to do, it’s also good for our economy because we’ll be renting hotel rooms and they will be eating here. It’s a real good deal all the way around.”
“Mamma Mia!” revolves around Donna and her daughter, bride-to-be Sophie. Unbeknownst to Donna, Sophie discovers her mother dated three men during the time of her conception 21 years earlier, and she secretly invites all three to the wedding in hopes of meeting her father. Hilarity ensues.
“It’s a great show, it’s so much fun with all the ABBA music,” she said. “By the end of the show, everyone is up dancing in the aisle.”
“Mamma Mia!” is followed by a diverse lineup of 12 other shows that promise “something for everybody,” Sanford said.
Her owner personal favorite? “Elf: The Musical.”
“I am excited about ‘Elf,’ ” she said. “I love the movie and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s going to get everyone in the holiday spirit.”
She said the musical follows the same plot line as the movie starring Will Ferrell, but will include new songs. The show will be performed at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Nov. 12.
Another of her favorites is “Dirty Dancing,” set for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 22 and 2 p.m. Nov. 23.
Sanford, who said she watched the movie “like a jillion times in the ’80s,” said the play is based on the movie and includes “those stage features we are familiar with in the movie — even the actors and actresses look similar.”
“All the great songs are in the show, too, like ‘Hungry Eyes,’ ‘Hey, Baby,’ ‘Do You Love Me?,’ ‘I’ve Had the Time of My Life’ all those great songs,” she said.
“Broadway Christmas Wonderland,” scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22, is similar to a variety show with Rocketettestyle dancers, Santa Claus and Christmas carols.
“It’s just a good, good-spirited Christmas show,” Sanford said.
Additional shows include Symphony at Shangri La, Chris Botti and The Symphony of Southeast Texas, “Pippin,” “Into the Woods,” “Barefoot in the Park,” The Illusionists — Live From Broadway, “42nd Street,” “Greater Tuna” and “Once,” which won eight Tony Awards in 2012.
For more information about the 2016-17 Lutcher Season, visit lutcher.org   or call the Lutcher Theater Box Office at 409-886-5535. Tickets are available now.
LAKE CHARLES
SYMPHONY
BY VICKIE PEOPLES
vpeoples@americanpress.com  
“Music connects us all,” said Lake Charles Symphony executive director Shelly Appleby. “Music is a truly communal experience that stops time while transporting you back in time to witness the great musical masters at work.”
With the creative style and leadership of Maestro Bohuslav Rattay, the Lake Charles Symphony’s 2016-2017 season “will enlighten and delight with beloved events and chilling performances,” Appleby said.
She said the Holiday Home Tour — this year featuring homes on River Road — the Wild Beast Feast, Champagne Bingo and Summer Pops continue to engage the community and show the social side of the Symphony. The events also encourage attendees to learn more about Southwest Louisiana’s palette of culture and art.
“Music is important in life,” Rattay said. “In Southwest Louisiana, we get all kinds of music. Classical music is part of our lives. The Lake Charles Symphony covers the genre that is not as common. Music is good for the brain.”
The Classical Concert Series kicks off at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, at the Rosa Hart Theatre with a side-by-side concert of the Lake Charles Symphony and the Francis G. Bulber Youth Orchestra performing Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf.” The second half of the program will be Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 7.”
The Symphony’s second concert, set for 3 p.m. Feb. 5, moves to the Historic Calcasieu Marine National Bank Building and features a champagne and chocolate preconcert party. The Symphony’s String Chamber Orchestra will perform Grieg’s “Holberg Suite,” Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” and Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings.”
The final concert of the season returns to the Rosa Hart Theatre at 7:30 p.m. April 1. A surprise special guest conductor will lead the orchestra in Trevor Jones’ “Last of the Mohicans,” which will be followed by Schumann’s “Piano Concerto, op. 54, A minor” and Elgar’s “Enigma Variations.”
Season memberships (tickets to all three concerts) starts at $50 for students and $100 for adults. Flex Pass is back this year for $250. Get six tickets and use all six at one concert or use them in any combination you choose.
Season memberships are available starting at $50 up to $1,000. Corporate sponsorships are also available. For more information, contact the symphony office at 433-1611 or online at www.lcsymphony.  com  .
“Everything you love about the Symphony is here. It was here yesterday, it is here today and it will continue tomorrow,” Appleby said.
KC PRODUCTIONS
SWLA
BY EMILY FONTENOT
efontenot@americanpress.com  
After performing the hit musical “Grease” this spring, local theatre group KC Productions SWLA decided to do a smaller, more intimate production this fall. Three local actors will perform the play “4000 Days” at the Central School Arts & Humanities Center Sept. 22-24 at 7 p.m., with a Sunday matinee on the 25th at 3 p.m.
Company founder Keith Chamberlain will direct the play, which had its world premiere at London’s Park Theatre in January. The plot revolves around Michael, who experiences a blood clot in his brain that puts him in a coma for three weeks. His mother, Carol, and partner Paul — who despise one another — visit him in the hospital.
When Michael finally wakes up, he can’t remember the last 4,000 days of his life. He doesn’t recognize the man he has become, and he can’t remember Paul. His mother seizes the opportunity to push Paul out of Michael’s life, while Paul desperately tries to trigger Michael’s memory before it’s too late.
Chamberlain said he read a dozen or so plays before he found “4000 Days.”
He said he chose the play because he wanted a small ensemble and had some talented individuals in mind for the roles. He said he couldn’t be happier with the three choices.
“We have a really strong trio that’s doing this show,” he said.
KC Productions is a professional theatre, meaning all cast and crew members are compensated through money earned by ticket sales and sponsorships. Chamberlain said KC Productions stands out among similar local production companies because of its unique demographic.
“My shows are a little out of the box,” he said. He said they often appeal to a younger and more diverse audience than companies that stick to traditional subject matter.
Chamberlain said he’s bringing back “Rocky Horror Show” this year due to popular demand. It’s set for Halloween weekend, Oct. 27-29 at 7:30 p.m., with a midnight performance on the 29th.
He said he’s also planning a Christmas production, and that an update on that should be coming soon. He and his team will reveal the selection for their big spring performance soon, as well.
Chamberlain said his longterm goal is to give local talent the chance to shine while bringing quality productions to the Lake Area.
“With the Lake Area booming like it is, I don’t foresee any problems with that happening,” he said. “We are getting some really good sponsorship and just looking forward to finding some more people in this town that need to be on stage and need to show their talent.”
Tickets may be purchased by visiting kcproductionsswla.  org   or calling 302-2259.
ITINERANT THEATRE
BY SHANNON ROBERTS
sroberts@americanpress.com  
Itinerant Theatre will begin holding its Coffee House Theatre at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept.
3. The evening monthly event will be held at Stellar Beans Coffee House and Eatery the first Saturday of each month.
Itinerant Theatre is also accepting scripts for the second annual Coffee House Theatre 10-Minute Play Readings and New Short Play Readings. Submitted plays must have subject matter of any one or more issues relevant to this year’s elections. The plays can also bring to light how many Americans still struggle to experience freedom here, said Joy Pace.
Those playwrights whose plays are chosen for the readings will receive a $25 royalty payment per play.
Playwrights will be contacted by phone and email when their plays are chosen for the readings.
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SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
1. Only two plays per category may be submitted per playwright. There is no submission fee.
2. Submissions accepted starting Sept. 1. Submission deadline is Oct. 10.
3. Submissions via email only. Email submissions (in pdf or Word format only) to joypace@  itineranttheatre.com  
4. Plays must include contact info (name, phone number, email address, home city and state, country) on the cover sheet.
5. Plays will require no more than six actors.
6. 10 Minute Plays will run no more than 10 minutes, no exceptions.
7. Short plays will run no more than an hour, no exceptions.
The next Itinerant Theatre season will begin in the spring with both modern classics and new works, Pace said.

14 2016-08-29
Lake Charles

For McNeese Foundation


PHOTO
14 2016-08-29
Lake Charles

Personal income tax reform is difficult


The Louisiana personal income tax, like the state sales tax, is an important contributor in financing state government operations. Efforts to repeal the tax have been tried, but have been unsuccessful.
Jim Richardson of LSU and Steven Sheffrin and James Alm, both of Tulane University, studied the state’s tax structure in 2015. The three economists concluded the personal income tax is important because of its size, its share of total collections, its growth potential and its contribution to achieving a progressive tax structure.
The tax is competitive with other states that have income taxes, they said. However, the three men added that reform of the state’s personal income tax will improve its competitiveness relative to those other states with income taxes.
Current rates for single filers are 2 percent on the first $12,500 of net income, 4 percent on the next $37,500 of net income and 6 percent on net income in excess of $50,000. Those incomes are doubled for joint filers.
The suggestions are to eliminate the federal income tax deduction, excess itemized deductions and the net capital gains exclusions (a total $1.1 billion of tax exemptions). Those changes would make it possible to lower personal income tax rates to 1 percent, 3 percent and 5 percent.
The current income tax generates $2.9 billion and the lower percentages being proposed without the exemptions would produce some $3.1 billion. In effect, the changes would make the tax almost revenue neutral in the first year.
The economists also suggested placing a moratorium on any new tax credits applying to the personal income tax, sunsetting all existing tax credits that apply to the tax, limiting credits for taxes paid to other states and examining and evaluating other major exemptions.
Tax Foundation in its study of the Louisiana tax structure agreed with the Richardson group on most points, but did have some minor variations in its suggestions.
Legislators in their two special sessions adopted some of the recommended changes, but refused to go along with changes in the personal income tax.
Rep. Julie Stokes, R-Kenner, sponsored identical bills at each special session that eliminated the deductibility of federal income taxes paid from state income taxes in exchange for a single tax rate. The first passed the House 86-14, but the second bill was rejected 46-49 at the second special session.
Tax Foundation said the bill at the second session that established a 3.8 percent single income tax rate was a good reform measure.
“True tax reform broadens tax bases while lowering tax rates, and this proposal does both of those things in great measure,” the organization said.
“If passed, the individual income tax reform of this session would strengthen the state’s economic competitiveness, simplify the tax code and produce revenue stability in the years to come.”
Unfortunately, a group of Republican House members, some who had already voted for higher taxes, refused to tamper with the personal income tax. The outcome proves, once again, that tax reform is always much easier said than done.

14 2016-08-25
Lake Charles

Piano recital to feature Morita


McNeese State University will present a free piano recital featuring associate music professor Lina Morita at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2, in Tritico Theatre.
The performance will kick off the fall Faculty/Guest Recital Series. The program will include “Festa no Sertão” by Heitor Villa-Lobos; three pieces by Frédéric Chopin; three pieces by Claude Debussy; and “Allegro barbaro” by Béla Bartók.
Morita, a native of Brazil, has performed as a concerto soloist throughout the world, including Costa Rica, France and the Czech Republic. In 2013, she made her Carnegie Hall debut.
Morita has performed with the Lake Charles Symphony, the Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra and the Washington Sinfonietta in Washington, D.C.
For more information, call the McNeese Department of Performing Arts at 475-5028.
14 2016-08-23
Lake Charles

NAMES in the NEWS


BURCKEL TO LEAD
PORT BOARD
DARYL BURCKEL, a professor of accounting at McNeese State University, was recently appointed president of the sevenmember board of commissioners of the Lake Charles Harbor & Terminal District, which operates the Port of Lake Charles.
Burckel, CPA, CVA, holds the Thelma and Ray Dingler Endowed Professorship for business research at Mc-Neese, and he served as chair of the accounting, finance and economic department from 1996-2002.
In 1980, he graduated from McNeese with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and was awarded one of four NCAA postgraduate scholarships nationally, which he used to earn a master’s degree in business administration in 1982. Dr. Burckel later earned his doctorate in accounting from Mississippi State University. He began his university teaching career at McNeese in 1986 and later taught at the University of New Orleans and Mississippi State before returning to McNeese in 1992.
Burckel has provided extensive service to the Southwest Louisiana business community through numerous local and state economic development studies. He has consulted for numerous local governmental entities and directs the work of graduate students on local governmental projects. He is also a former City Councilman for the city of Lake Charles.
In addition to Burckel’s appointment, former Westlake mayor DUDLEY DIXON has been selected as vice president, MIKE EASON of Merrill Lynch has been appointed secretary/treasurer and WALTER SANCHEZ of the Sanchez Law Firm has been selected as assistant secretary/treasurer.
BROUSSARD PROMOTED
AT DON RIVERS
JILL BROUSSARD has been promoted to business development manager at Don Rivers and Associates.
Broussard began employment with the firm a year ago as associate recruiter. As business development manager, she will be responsible for managing more than 20 clients in the firm and adding new clients. She will carry out recruiting responsibilities for each client and attract new candidates on a national, state, and local level.
Prior to joining Don Rivers and Associates, she spent 11 years in sales and marketing for AT&T, Superior Supply and Steel, and Advanced Corrosion Technologies and Training. She earned two degrees from McNeese State University, a master’s of teaching in 2011 and a bachelor’s in speech communication in 2009.

14 2016-08-23
Lake Charles

Recent W-M grad has gotten head start on college


Recent Washington-Marion graduate Kenneth Logan Jr. got a head start on his college education this summer. Logan took Math 175 and Chemistry 101 Lab. He already had 13 credits prior to starting college from taking Math 113 and 170 in high school.
“I want to get a head start, an early lead,” said Logan. “Hopefully, in the spring I will be a sophomore.”
Logan will benefi t from getting ahead because of his plans to get a double major. He will be getting his degrees in computer science and mathematics.
“I like the way technology is advancing in our society,” he said. “It is very interesting to me.”
He hopes to take his degrees and create an app.
“I want to make an app that everyone wants to download like Angry Birds or Fun Run,” he said. “I want to create or be part of something.”
Logan would also like to help out with his mentor and previous math teacher, Mr. Moore, with his tutoring business.
“He would tell me my mistakes and give me the heads-up on things,” said Logan. “He would show me how I should approach situations.”
Logan has also been busying himself with work. He previously worked for Market Basket and now works for Waitr. He plans on tutoring math in the Tutoring Center at McNeese.
In his free time, Logan said, he enjoys games like Mortal Combat and Call of Duty and plays basketball with his friends.
During his senior year, Logan was the president of the Beta Club and was a member of the National Honor Society.
He won six scholarships along with the American Press Scholarship — including the Marion Class of ’82 Scholarship, the Carol Jean Carter Math Scholarship and the LeFleur Scholarship.
Logan said he had some good advice for upcoming seniors.
“Do something that will improve yourself,” he said. “Prepare yourself for college. Take a college course, boost your ACT score, or study.”

14 2016-08-22
Lake Charles

PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE


L’AUBERGE SUPPORTS CHRISTUS ST. PATRICK: L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles donates $100,000 to the Christus Foundation in support of new cardiac imaging technology. As a major sponsor, L’Auberge will underwrite events that support the hospital’s new Healthcare and Hope…Here at Home campaign. The technology includes a 128-Slice CT Scanner which will bring unprecedented imaging services for cardiac care to Southwest Louisiana. On hand for the donation are, from left, Kristie Evans, L’Auberge Casino Resort health educator; Don Lloyd, Christus Health Southwest Louisiana CEO; Michael K. Pendergast, L’Auberge Casino Resort vice president and general manager; and Kay Barnett, Christus Foundation executive director of development.
American Press SUPPORTS MSU VISUAL ARTS: The American Press Foundation donates $15,000 to the McNeese State University Foundation to establish the Lake Charles American Press Scholarship in Visual Arts. The scholarship was established with the proceeds of the McNeese Visual Arts Calendar that was produced by the American Press. The Shearman family — which owns the American Press — has also established the Shearman Research Grant Endowment and the Library Shearman Grant Endowment through the McNeese Foundation with gifts totaling more than $500,000. At the presentation are, from left, William E. Rose, McNeese Foundation Board of Directors member; Thomas B. Shearman III, president of the American Press Foundation; and Lisa Reinauer, art professor in the McNeese Department of Visual Arts.
FOR WHISTLE STOP’S DANCING CLASSROOM: On Aug. 6, L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles supported Whistle Stop’s Dancing Classroom program by sponsoring the seventh annual Mad Hot Ballroom Gala fundraiser in the L’Auberge Event Center. As a sponsor, L’Auberge Casino Resort made a $5,000 in-kind donation to the Dancing Classrooms program, which gives local elementary students the opportunity to develop essential life skills through the art of social dance and competition. On hand for the donation are Michael K. Pendergast, L’Auberge Casino Resort vice president and general manager; and Leah Bossano, Whistle Stop chairperson.
IBERIA BANK SUPPORTS F&Y: Iberia Banks donates $5,000 in sponsorship of the 2016 Family and Youth Annual Meeting and Awards Presentation held on June 27 at L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles. On hand for the donation are, from left, Ben Marriner, Iberia Bank advisory board member; Phil Earhart, SWLA market president for Iberia Bank; and Julio Galan, president and CEO of Family & Youth.
FOR JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT: Capital One Bank donates $10,000 to Junior Achievement of Southwest Louisiana in support of financial literacy programs for area K–12th grade students. Capital One Bank volunteers taught many of the programs, sharing their time and knowledge to help young people succeed in a global economy. On hand for the donation are, from left, Meg Lovejoy, Junior Achievement of SWLA district director; Paul Lungaro, Capital One Bank, vice president; Filmore Bordelon, Capital One Bank, Lake Charles area president and JASWLA vice chair; Thomas Fuller, Capital One Bankm business banker; and Karen Thomas, Capital One Bank assistant vice president and JASWLA board member.
FOR BIG BROTHERS BIS SISTERS: With a donation of $5,000, Southside Machine Works of Lake Charles was the Title Sponsor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Louisiana’s annual Bowl For Kids’ Sake, held on May 7. In addition to the cash donation, Southside Machine Works formed several teams that participated in this year’s Bowl For Kids’ Sake and raised an additional $2,870. On hand for the donation are, from left, Southside Machine Works owners Richard Guillory, Barton Istre and Joey Jarreau with Heather Hohensee, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Louisiana.
14 2016-08-22
Lake Charles

Holmes plans to become nurse practitioner


Alyssa Holmes of DeQuincy will begin her journey to become a pediatric nurse this fall at McNeese State University. She will be getting her bachelor’s in nursing.
While she was infl uenced by watching “Grey’s Anatomy,” a majority of Holmes’ inspiration to pursue nursing came from her fascination with the human body.
“I have always liked bones and muscles,” said Holmes. “Now I’ve noticed I want to go into pediatrics, since I love kids.”
After getting her bachelor’s, Holmes plans to go back to school to become a nurse practitioner.
Holmes chose Mc-Neese because of its nursing program and its closeness to home.
“My dad lives in Lake Charles,” said Thompson “I didn’t want to go too far from home.”
Holmes said she will join the sorority Phi Mu and plans to play recreational basketball.
Holmes was an athlete in high school. She played basketball and softball all through high school and lettered every year. She was the captain of the basketball team in both her junior and senior years. She also played volleyball her freshman year.
Holmes was a member of her Beta Club. During convention season, she danced in her Beta Club’s competitive musical production, “Frozen.”
“We placed fi rst in district, second in state, and fi fth in nationals,” said Holmes. “We had singers, dancers and actors.”
Because of her passion for children and dancing, Holmes plans to teach at her old dance studio. Holmes said she loves dancing because it gives her an adrenaline rush.
“It is fun, the rush that it gives you,” Holmes said. “You end up out of breath, but it is great.”
One of Holmes’ favorite hobbies is going on trips. She said that her love of traveling is driven by her desire to experience new things. Holmes couldn’t pick her favorite vacation, but she was able to narrow it down to two: Her trip to New York and her vacation to the St. Martin Islands in the Caribbean.
“I defi nitely want to go to Australia,” said Holmes. “I think the Great Barrier Reef is so pretty. I would love to go snorkeling.”

14 2016-08-22
Lake Charles

Thompson hopes to become astrophysicist


Future astrophysicist Lindsey Thompson recently graduated from Sam Houston High School and will attend McNeese in the fall.
Thompson hopes to get her bachelor’s in mathematical physics at McNeese and then move on to eventually get her doctorate in astrophysics.
As to which school she wants to attend after McNeese, Thompson is debating between LSU and Rice University.
LSU would be a good choice, she said, because of its physics and astronomy programs.
Rice is a contender because of its proximity to NASA and its internship programs, she said. Thompson would like to intern and one day work at NASA.
Her love of space inspires her to want to research the vastness of the universe.
“I think it’s so cool and mysterious. It enthralls me,” said Thompson. “Doing that research and fi nding out how things work in space is my ultimate goal.”
Thompson said religion is important to her. She attends Moss Bluff Pentecostal and participates by singing and playing piano.
“That is one way that I express worship and my relationship with God.” said Thompson.
She is also involved with the youth at her church. Thompson said it’s important to teach the youths about Christianity.
“It is an important generation for them to be involved and build their relationship with God,” Thompson said.
She said she also wants to expand her teaching through mission trips.
“I am very passionate about people having a relationship with God,” Thompson said. “I want to spend some time in a mission’s church. I want people to be able to experience him.”
She would like to go overseas to help people in underdeveloped countries learn about God.
While in high school, Thompson was in Beta and the Republican Club. In Beta, she was treasurer one year and participated and placed fi rst in the district oratory competition.
In the Republican Club, she held the offi cer positions — service coordinator, vice chairman, and chairman. She plans to be active in clubs on campus as well.
She aims to join the College Republicans and the Astronomical Society.

14 2016-08-22
Lake Charles

State police, basketball team make wish come true for teen


KINDER — Basketball is Joseph “J.J.” LaFleur’s game. And his family knew that an outdoor basketball court was exactly what the Kinder High senior would want.
On Saturday, Louisiana State Police Troop D granted that wish, presenting the 17-year-old, who was born with 49 XXXXY syndrome and is almost completely nonverbal, with a small court painted in McNeese State University’s colors. The McNeese men’s basketball team was also there with a certificate naming him their honorary captain.
“He is so excited,” said his mother, Melody. “We are so very blessed to have such support from the community and the surrounding area.”
Trooper Andrew Leonards said the court was Troop D’s “first wish back” after a year of non-activity. “We kind of just restarted our Grant-A-Wish program,” he said.
Leonards said the project was a community effort, with many local organizations, businesses and individuals donating labor, time, materials and money.
“This is a project where a lot of people came together to make it happen,” he said.
And it was one that came down to the wire to complete before Saturday.
“They poured the concrete about a week and half ago,” said J.J.’s father, Joe. “We have been trying to paint it, but the rain kept holding us back. We had to paint it three times Friday.”
Melody LaFleur expressed her gratitude to everyone involved, especially her son’s former teacher, Cody Gueringer. She said he spearheaded the effort to get J.J.’s wish granted.
“They had a close bond,” she said. “And it tugged on my heart that he still cares for him to this day so much.”
Joe LeFleur called Troop D’s Grant-A-Wish “a great program.”
“We are very grateful to them,” he said.

14 2016-08-22
Lake Charles

Late registration for McNeese begins today


Students can still register for the fall 2016 semester at McNeese State University online or with faculty advisers during late registration Aug. 19-23.
A one-stop registration help desk will be available 7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, Monday, Aug. 22, and Tuesday, Aug. 23, in the Academic Computing Center in Kirkman Hall.
Representatives will answer questions and help with PIN/password resets. Students can use computers in the center to go online to register and make online payments for tuition, fees and parking tags.
Students must be admitted to the university prior to registration and should see an adviser to get an alternate PIN, if required, before registration or dropping by the help desk.
To register, visit www.mcneese.edu and click on the “Students” tab and then select Banner Self-Service under Registration.
Students who register late need to pay fees by 4:30 p.m. Aug. 24. Go to www.mcneese.edu/payment to see the policy on credit card payments and online payment changes.
For more information on fee payment, call the accounting office at 475-5107. For more information on late registration, call the registrar’s office at 475-5356.
14 2016-08-19
Lake Charles

Late registration for McNeese begins today


Students can still register for the fall 2016 semester at McNeese State University online or with faculty advisers during late registration Aug. 19-23.
A one-stop registration help desk will be available 7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, Monday, Aug. 22, and Tuesday, Aug. 23, in the Academic Computing Center in Kirkman Hall.
Representatives will answer questions and help with PIN/password resets. Students can use computers in the center to go online to register and make online payments for tuition, fees and parking tags.
Students must be admitted to the university prior to registration and should see an adviser to get an alternate PIN, if required, before registration or dropping by the help desk.
To register, visit www.  mcneese.edu   and click on the “Students” tab and then select Banner Self-Service under Registration.
Students who register late need to pay fees by 4:30 p.m. Aug. 24. Go to www.mcneese.  edu/payment   to see the policy on credit card payments and online payment changes.
For more information on fee payment, call the accounting office at 475-5107. For more information on late registration, call the registrar’s office at 475-5356.

14 2016-08-16
Baton Rouge

Wilfer to major in business management


Dawna Wilfer will be leaving her small town of Vinton to gain a higher education. She will be the first in her immediate family to pursue a college degree and has much support from her parents.
She will be studying business management. She said she hasn’t decided what she will do with her degree yet.
“I am not really sure where I want to go with it yet,” said Wilfer. “I want to explore my options before I make a decision.”
Wilfer said her inspiration to major in business management comes from her appreciation of math and a desire to be her own boss.
She said she is excited to start her college journey. She said she will move from Vinton to live on campus.
“I am ready to make new friends and see what kind of people are out there,” she said.
She said she plans to join extracurricular groups in college. Wilfer said she hopes to be a peer leader and plans to join the Newman Club. She also wants to participate in Greek life.
“I would like to do anything I have time for,” she said. “I like to be really involved.”
Wilfer was involved in athletics at Vinton. She was a starting varsity member of the volleyball, softball and track teams for four years. She was part of the Academic All-State Composite Team in all three sports, and, she said, was the first to achieve this in at least 10 years. She was also a starting varsity basketball player for three years.
Wilfer also participated in academic extracurricular activities. She was the treasurer of Vinton’s Beta Club, and she wrote for her school’s newspaper.
“I loved to write about things happening in our community,” said Wilfer. “I wrote about our sports teams, did many book reviews, and did a few major pieces about the flood that affected Texas and Louisiana.”
Wilfer said her love for writing stemmed from her love from reading, especially the works of J.K. Rowling.
“I am a huge fan of the Harry Potter series,” Wilfer said. “Rowling has influenced me to write more expressively.”
Wilfer said she is a proud member of the Harry Potter houses Gryffindor and Pukwudgie and has been enjoying the latest addition to the series, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”
Although Wilfer is ready for college, she said her senior year went by too fast. She said she makes sure to tell all of her younger friends to cherish their last year of high school.
“I really didn’t expect it to go by so fast,” she said. “That was the most memorable year of my life so far.”

14 2016-08-16
Lake Charles

JOSHUA BROWN: ‘Working for NASA would be dream come true’


Joshua Brown of Starks was driven by his love of learning to pursue of degree in mechanical engineering.
“It is going to be difficult, and I am going to learn a lot,” said Brown. “A lot of people say it is hard to do, and I want to see if I can.”
Brown said he would like to help create new technology. One of his aspirations is to work alongside inventors and bring their ideas to life. “They work on ideas brought in by inventors and see if they are logical,” he said.
That is not Brown’s biggest goal, however. Working for NASA and becoming an astronaut would be a dream come true, he said. He is especially interested in NASA’s plans to colonize Mars.
“It is amazing,” he said. “I would be up to it.”
In his free time, Brown enjoys fishing and hunting in the woods surrounding his house. While he is indoors, he spends his time reading fantasy novels, “Game of Thrones” being a favorite of his.
Brown is excited to start college. He is looking forward to moving to Lake Charles and expanding his circle of acquaintances.
“It is a little nerve wracking, since I went to school with only 300 people,” he said. “It is going to be a lot different, but I am excited to experience it.”
While in high school, Brown was a member of Beta and FFA. He was the vice president of FFA and while he was in the club he said he enjoyed the volunteer work he took part in.
“We would do food drives and deliver the food to elderly homes. Every month or so, at the VFW, a truckload of food would come in, and we would help load the elderly’s cars,” he said. “I like helping them.”
He was also the recipient of the Honesty and Integrity Award.
He plans on getting involved on campus as well. Brown is not sure what he wants to join, but he said he will find something.
“I feel it is important to be apart of what you are doing,” Brown said. “I want to go and help.”
14 2016-08-16
Lake Charles

Kohnke wants career in which she can help others


Recent St. Louis Catholic High School graduate Kelsy Kohnke said that, after being inspired by her own teachers, she plans to get a degree in education.
“I remember the impact that teachers had on my life and how big it was,” said Kohnke. “It would be great to have that same impact on children’s lives.”
A past teacher that has a special spot in her heart is her fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Credeur. Kohnke said she has a special memory of her teacher going out of her way to cheer her up.
“It was during the Student of the Year competition. I remember being so upset about not making it to the next level. She wrote me this sweet card,” Kohnke said. “I still have it today.”
Even with this strong inspiration, Kohnke said, she is open to the possibility of changing her major.
“I know that people switch all the time,” she said. “I always thought about neonatal nursing.” Kohnke said she would be satisfied in a career in which she could help people as much as possible.
Kohnke is a member of Christ the King Church. She went on the teen ACTS retreat, and up until her senior year, she was an altar server alongside her siblings.
On Wednesday nights, she works for the church day care.
Kohnke links some of her religious strength to going to St. Louis.
“I think getting that religious education has helped guide me,” she said. “Going to a private school has strengthened my life with Christ.”
While in high school, Kohnke participated in many clubs. She was a member of the National Honor Society, Helping Hands, Students for Life, Ambassadors and the Celebrate Team. She was also a football athletic trainer her first three years of high school. She was a member of the yearbook group junior year and was the head editor her senior year.
She said one of her favorite experiences during high school was her time on the homecoming court her senior year. “I had never thought of doing it before,” Kohnke said. “It definitely made my senior year more memorable.”
One of her favorite pastimes is spending time with her three sisters. Her older sister also goes to McNeese, and Kohnke plans on joining the Newman Club with her. Many of her family members have gone to McNeese, so she said she had an easy decision to make when looking at colleges. “I have just always known I was going to go to McNeese,” she said.

14 2016-08-16
Lake Charles

STATE HAS MORE TO DO TO STABILIZE FINANCES


The three legislative sessions held earlier this year aimed at putting Louisiana back on a solid financial foundation made some progress, but the job is a long way from being finished. A $200 million deficit forecast earlier for the fiscal year that ended June 30 is still expected and it could be even higher.
Gov. John Bel Edwards and legislative leaders are pinning their hopes on budget and tax reform scheduled for the 2017 regular session. Another problem surfacing in 2018 will be the end of $1.1 billion in temporary taxes approved at two special sessions. A $1.5 billion deficit may surface for the budget year beginning July 1, 2018.
Meanwhile, the state may have to float a loan to pay its bills because of cash flow problems. The Advocate reported it’s the first time in a generation that Louisiana has had to borrow this way.
State Treasurer John Kennedy has reported the state’s expenses and its cash intake timelines don’t match up. He said most of the state’s money comes in during the second half of the fiscal year, but expenses can’t wait.
Administrations and legislators in the past have been able to shift money around to meet those needs, but Kennedy said the pools of money are gone. Two he mentioned are a Medicaid trust fund and a contingency fund in the Division of Administration.
Edwards said, “Year after year, they would rob Peter to pay Paul, and they spent down the cash cushion that traditionally our state kept in place to pay bills each year. Unfortunately, as I’ve said, that has severely limited our ability to pay our bills this year and going forward until we are able to stabilize our revenue sources and budgeting process in Louisiana.”
Jay Dardenne, state commissioner of administration, said any deficit from the previous fiscal year would have to be made up during the current fiscal year. That means a number of agencies that have already had budget cuts are probably in for more.
Edwards and Dardenne said they have already warned agency heads to be prepared for additional cutbacks. They have also been instructed to review contracts to find areas where they can be reduced or eliminated. Some of that work is already under way.
“We’re hopeful that people are listening and not spending money too quickly,” Dardenne said.
Some money may be saved after Dardenne renegotiates contracts with private hospital operators who took over the charity hospital system that serves the poor and uninsured in the state. The contracts were completed too quickly by the Bobby Jindal administration.
Another encouraging sign was a Thursday report from Kennedy’s office that said July 2016 net receipts show that total state revenue thus far for 2016-2017 was $652 million, a 19% increase compared to that time last year. State sales tax collections are up by more than $100 million. Gasoline and special fuels taxes also increased.
We hope the good news doesn’t deter administration and legislative leaders from making the necessary financial reforms in 2017 that will lead the state back to financial stability.

14 2016-08-09
Lake Charles

Time is at hand for business opportunities


Recent news reports informed us of a delay in the final investment decision by Shell on their Big Lake Road LNG, formerly known as Trunkline. AAR , a private aviation maintenance and repair firm at Chennault, announced a workforce cut back and reduction in their footprint. This has led to inquiries asking if our region will really experience large growth.
The Shell LNG project has not been cancelled but a final investment decision will be made in late 2017. As for AAR, if this firm vacates some of their hangars and office space including the huge new state of the art Hangar H, Chennault can attract another tenant or two.
Another two LNG projects are in the works. These and some other new projects are expected and have not been added to our project list. We are over $101 billion dollars in projects. $43 billion of that amount is underway now and that is the most in the nation.
Businesses will make their own growth decisions but gearing up now is a wise move, because the growth is coming. Many residents are contemplating how to take advantage of this growth by starting a business. One of the main reasons the SEED Center was established was to encourage entrepreneurship. In September the SEED Center Incubator will be three years old. There are 19 clients in the incubator.
These are start-ups that were not in business until they entered the incubator.
There are very successful companies at The SEED Center including WAITR, the app that allows you to order from participating area restaurants for delivery to your door.
The Cypress Group, an engineering firm, has secured a patent for coastal protection and were named LED’s Small Business Of the Year, an amazing feat for a start-up. Other clients such as Ally-Gator Books, a children’s book publishing firm, Hodges Appraisal, and Southern Touch Tech illustrate the variety of clients.
If you have been considering starting a business, now could be the time.
Adrian Wallace, Executive Director at the incubator can help you evaluate your idea and assist you with training and other resources. Clients at the incubator are provided furnished office space, shared conference rooms and major equipment. The clients can focus fulltime on their business and leave many details to our staff.
Also at the SEED Center is The McNeese Small Business Development Center with resources and information to assist you in planning and establishing a business plan.
SCORE offers free business counseling and PTAC assists you in getting state and federal contracts. If starting a business is a dream of yours, now could be the time to launch your own business. At the SEED Center we are ready to help so you can take advantage of the coming growth.
14 2016-08-08
Lake Charles

ON CAMPUS


Two graduates of Mc-Neese State University’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program have received 2016 Wallace Stegner Fellowships for the Creative Writing Program at Stanford University this fall — J. Bruce Fuller, a 2011 graduate in poetry, and Jenn Alandy Trahan, a 2015 graduate in fiction.
The Stanford program, founded in 1946 by writer Wallace Stegner, offers 10 two-year creative writing fellowships each year, five in fiction and five in poetry.
“The award means unobstructed time to write, but it also puts a spotlight on our work that we otherwise would not have had,” said Fuller, who received a doctorate in English from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2015 and is teaching there. “It is a great opportunity to share our work with a larger audience.”
Trahan, who teaches English as a visiting lecturer at McNeese, said it “feels like I’ve been drafted by an elite team to play a sport I love with my literary idols as my coaches and some of the most talented writers in the country as my teammates. I’m incredibly humbled and honored.”
GRIffiN WINS NATIONAL
MERIT SCHOLARSHIP
EMMA N. GRIffiN of Sam Houston High School has been named a corporatesponsored Merit Scholarship Award winner by the National Merit Scholarship Corp. She will receive the award through Westlake Chemical.
VINCENT PLACES THIRD
IN ART COMPETITION
Sowela Technical Community College graphic art student KATELYN VINCENT received third place in the Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation 2016 Student Design Competition, themed “Infograph It!”
Vincent was chosen from 98 post-secondary school entries in a two-part process. Vincent is the third Sowela graphic art student in the past month to win a national or regional award.
The contest challenged participants to combine critical thinking and creativity with technology to design and create an engaging printed item with a visual graphic that presents complex information or data quickly and clearly.
14 2016-08-08
Lake Charles

LAKE CHARLES SHOWS GROWTH IN JOBS


Lake Charles employers added a healthy 3,200 new jobs over the past year, despite reports of Louisiana losing more than 12,000 jobs in the same timeframe. The Louisiana Workforce Commission’s June report, released last week, found that Lake Charles not only added jobs, but also had no losses in the private sector over the past 11 months.
“We’re indeed fortunate in this area because our economy is diverse, and that helps us when market changes occur — we’re able to endure them better than some other areas,” said R.B. Smith, vice president of business and workforce development at the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance.
The Lake Charles market has maintained steady job growth for five straight years, with 60 consecutive months of over-the-year increases, the report reads.
The city also showed significant gains in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, with 600 new jobs reported. Manufacturing — which showed 6,600 job losses statewide — added 500 jobs in Lake Charles this year.
Smith said people in the Lake Area are “very fortunate” to be part of a stable, prospering market.
“Job opportunities here are good ... and we’re keeping people employed,” he said.
The Lafayette and Houma markets aren’t faring as well. The two cities lost more than 10,000 jobs combined over the last year, primarily reductions in offshore oil work.
The two markets are mirroring the state’s own bleak workforce.
Louisiana is now tied for third highest unemployment rate with Illinois and New Mexico, and only slightly trailing Alaska at 6.7 percent and Nevada at 6.4 percent, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The largest losses statewide were seen in mining and logging, which includes oil and gas production, where 8,100 were lost.
Some increase in unemployment is normal in June, as high school students start looking for summer jobs or recent graduates seek steady work, economists said. So there is no need to panic just yet.
The recovery from the Great Recession, while slower than hoped, has been ongoing. It’s been slow, but slowly relentless. Louisiana will catch up.
In the mean time, Lake Charles should be pleased with its success. More jobs mean money in the pockets of Southwest Louisiana’s households. This bodes well for consumer spending, an inn portent component of our local economy. We’re in good shape.

14 2016-08-08
Lake Charles

Edwards to study health systems management


Recent Barbe graduate Madison Edwards will attend McNeese in the fall to continue her education. After much deliberation, Edwards has settled on getting her degree in health systems management.
Edwards’ career aspirations stem from her desire to help people.
“I wanted to be a doctor, but I can’t deal with the needles.” Edwards said.
“McNeese recently started the health systems management major. It’s the business side of nursing, and I really think I can still impact people through that fi eld without actual hands-on medical work.”
This realization came to Edwards after an unfortunate series of events that occurred toward the end of her senior year.
“I passed out my senior year from a shot and broke my jaw, busted all the membranes in my eardrums, had to have 18 stitches, and I had appendicitis all in the last three months of my senior year,” Edwards said.
She said she is still going to physical therapy and doctors’ appointments, but that she is getting better.
Despite these obstacles, Edwards was able to successfully graduate.
“It was really diffi cult to maintain my grades, but I did.”
Edwards said she got lots of help from her support system. Faith, family and boyfriend Kade played a major role in her success, she said.
Her family is important to her, and having a large family of her own is one of her life goals, she said.
“I have a great family,” Edwards said. “My goal is to have a big, close-knit family later.”
Throughout high school, Edwards was active in extracurricular activities. She was in Barbe’s Bible Study Club, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the National Honor Society. She also cheered for three years.
Edwards spends her time working as well. She baby-sits and recently started working at L’Auberge’s Golf Course Pro Shop.
“They will work with my college schedule,” she said. “I think it’ll be good.”
McNeese was an easy choice. Many of her family members have attended McNeese themselves. She said she is looking forward to joining the Newman Club at McNeese and is even considering rushing, although she is unsure of which sorority she wants to join.
In her free time, Edwards enjoys many activities. Her favorites include swimming, running and shopping. She also said she likes to hang out with her friends, be it her peers or her chihuahua, Cruz.
Edwards said she is involved in the ACTS community at St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church.
“It really has impacted me a lot,” she said. “God is my number one.”
Edwards said that her focus on God has positively affected her life and decisions.
“I have really tried my hardest to do what was right, and it really helps me and shaped me into the person I am,” she said.

14 2016-08-08
Lake Charles

Dad encouraged Brewer to pursue degree in art


Mary Brewer will showcase her talent at McNeese State University through both her extracurricular activities and her chosen major — graphic arts.
Initially, Brewer considered getting her bachelor’s degree in American history. But she said she was encouraged by her dad to pursue a degree that involves art after he saw some of her sketches.
Before that, she said, she had never considered working with art professionally.
“I have been sketching, drawing and doing creative stuff my entire life,” Brewer said. “It was around my sophomore year that I decided to change gears.”
Brewer’s plans include either working for a major company’s advertising department and moving to a big city or staying at home to create her own Web design business.
One of Brewer’s high school accomplishments was being a founding member of the Westlake Book Club.
However, she said, much of her time in high school involved her participation in band.
“Band and academics took up most of my time,” Brewer said. “I didn’t really have that much time to do anything else.”
Brewer was an active member of the Westlake band. She played the fl ute all through high school, but she said she decided to cultivate a new skill during her last two years.
During the fall of her junior and senior years, Brewer said, she was a drum major. She proved to be a talented drum major and was given the Best in Class award at the DeRidder and Sulphur marching festivals.
Brewer will continue to participate in music by joining the Pride of McNeese Marching Band.
“It’s going to be a new experience for me, having school, work, and band to worry about,” she said.
Brewer said she recently started a new job at Miller Law Firm as a receptionist.
She said she plans to join the Baptist Collegiate Ministry.
“A few of my siblings were a part of that,” Brewer said. “From what I have seen it is really fun.”
Her family has a close connection to McNeese, she said. All three of her older siblings and her parents have attended McNeese.
According to Brewer, attending McNeese is nearly a family tradition. Being the youngest child, she will be the last one in the family to attend McNeese for a while, she said.
One of Brewer’s hobbies outside of school and work is cowboy action shooting.
“It’s a shooting competition, but you dress up in cowboy-era clothing and use cowboy-era supplies,” Brewer said.
“It is something people don’t expect of me. It is really fun.”
Although it is a lesserknown activity, she said, she is able to engage in cowboy action shooting here in Lake Charles.
For incoming high school seniors, Brewer had some advice: “Even though it may get tough, with school and trying to fi nd a college and life path, just stay straight and narrow. Don’t venture off.”

14 2016-08-08
Lake Charles

Iowa grad Watkins loves working with people


Brooke Watkins, a 2016 Iowa High graduate, will stay close to home while she continues her education at McNeese State University.
Watkins said that, having a strong love for her family, she knew McNeese was the right choice for her. “It’s home,” she said. “It’s family.”
Watkins will start her college career in the general studies department. “I’m going to fi gure it out,” Watkins said. “I think that if I don’t stress it and take my time, God will show me what I am supposed to do.”
Even though she is unsure of what her future holds, Watkins said, she does have inspiration for a possible choice. “I enjoy working with people,” she said. “I have thought about working with children with special needs. My mom used to work with them, so I am open to that.”
Her love of working with people can been seen through her involvement with many different organizations in high school, she said.
She proved her leadership skills by being the president of Iowa’s student council, and was also a member of the National Honor Society, The 3.8 Club and the Link Crew.
She was a member of the cheerleading team in her fi rst three years of high school.
Since Watkins was so active in high school extracurriculars, it is no surprise that she plans to be involved in campus activities as well. “I really love being involved,” she said. “I feel like it helps school not just be school. It helps it to be something much bigger.”
Watkins said she is interested in the sorority Chi Omega and that she is considering being a peer leader on campus.
Though she is looking forward to the college experience, Watkins said, she’s certainly made the most of her summer.
She said she has been enjoying her time in church. She said she is a regular at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church and that she made her teen ACTS retreat in December.
She said she has also been fi lling her time with some of her favorite hobbies.
“I enjoy hanging out with friends, going to church and going to Florida,” Watkins said. “I went three times this summer.”
Her summer hasn’t been all play, however. She has been hard at work with three jobs, she said. Watkins works at Luna’s Bar and Grill, is an employee of the Calcasieu Parish Federal Employees Credit Union, and is a selfemployed baby sitter.
Even though Watkins is not sure what career path she will take, she said, there is one future goal she is sure of.
“My main goal is to have a family,” she said.
14 2016-08-08
Lake Charles

More bang for your buck McNeese ranked 3rd in state for value, starting salary


The average starting salary for McNeese graduates is $46,900, according to Smart Asset, a financial technology company.
The study considered starting salary, as well as scholarships and grants, tuition, living costs and retention rates at schools across the United States. Data from the National Center for Educational Statistics, Payscale and College InSight were used to rank the schools.
McNeese students received on average $6,239 in scholarships and grants. College tuition for McNeese was $5,701, and student living costs were $12,058.
The retention rate at McNeese — students who re-enrolled the next year — was 70 percent. LSU had an 85 percent retention rate.
“McNeese State University continues to receive national attention for its outstanding academic programs, student success and affordability,” said Philip Williams, McNeese president.
“I believe this is in a great part due to the commitment by our faculty and staff to our motto of ‘Excellence with a personal touch.’ ”
Sowela Technical Community College had the 10th-lowest tuition in the state at $3,243, the report noted.

14 2016-08-02
Lake Charles

Money for your small business


Nearly every owner of a small business will need to borrow money. Sometimes the need is for the start-up, to buy equipment and inventory. Sometimes the need is to add a line of merchandise or hire employees so the company can grow.
WHERE IS THE MONEY?
If you watch television, you might think that a big investor is the answer to your cash needs. It looks so exciting – pitch your product and get a million dollars. The investor will help to guide you as you grow in return for a big chunk of your future profi ts.
But do you want to give up control in exchange for the investment? An entrepreneur wants to live out his dream or her passion. Will you take the cash and be happy operating under someone else’s expectations?
A more realistic option for funding for a start-up small business is your own savings or a loan from friends or family – the traditional “friends, family and fools.” Starting a business with your own cash shows a banker that you are really committed to your idea. You and your family have sacrifi ced and planned so you can turn your dream into reality. You’ve adjusted your lifestyle so you can live on the small income a new business is likely to provide. If a friend or family member is willing to provide a loan, you are going to feel very obligated to do your best to make the business successful. Walking away at the fi rst problem won’t be an option.
A loan for expanding your business will depend upon your personal credit, the collateral you can offer and how the business is doing. The banker will want to see profi t and loss statements, your tax returns, a plan for how you’ll spend the new money and projections for revenues from the expansion.
Perhaps a line of credit is the key to your expansion. That’s an agreement with a bank to provide funding to you when you need it. The fl exibility of an LOC can be useful to a seasonal business. You can buy inventory or pay for materials for a project then pay down the LOC when the revenue rolls in. It’s a bit of security for your business but it also depends on the standard credit qualifi cations.
Free cash fl ow matters to the banker. That’s the money left at the end of each month after you meet all of the fi nancial obligations for the business. You’ll pay your note from the free cash fl ow, so your operation has to produce enough income to cover the debt service.
If you’d like to brainstorm about your options for fi nancing, the business consultants at the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University are ready to talk with you. Call 337-475-5529 to schedule an appointment with an experienced professional for no-cost assistance.
For over 30 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.

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  .
14 2016-08-01
Lake Charles

Woods special recognition


The McNeese State women’s track and field team was honored by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for its NCAA Division I track and field all-academic team honors.
In addition to team honors, javelin thrower Morgan Woods earned individual honors.
It was the fifth year in a row the Cowgirls were honored by the organization. The team compiled a grade-point average of 3.31.
Woods, a native of Lake Arthur, posted a 4.0 GPA in elementary education. She’s the first McNeese freshman to be honored since all-American javelin thrower Ben Chretien earned the award in 2007.
Woods finished fourth at the Southland Conference outdoor championships and qualified for the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round.

14 2016-07-29
Lake Charles

LAKE CHARLES REMAINS STANDOUT ECONOMICALLY


For the sixth consecutive time Lake Charles has been named the Small Market of the Year by the Southern Business & Development Magazine. The honor, in part, is due to the area’s attractiveness to industrial projects.
The magazine awards the designation to cities with populations under 250,000, and judges cities based on their ability to attract projects that create 200 or more jobs and entail capital investment of at least $30 million.
“Louisiana led the region with the most points-permillion at 114.9, easily outdistancing second-place Tennessee (82.0) and third-place Alabama (73.4),” reads the news release.
While the designation is tremendous and certainly earned, the fine print within the announcement questioned if all the industrial plants announced for the Gulf Coast will actually come to fruition.
That questioned has been raised by our own residents, too.
Turns out, maybe not.
Economist Loren Scott said global competition is already threatening the survival of liquefied natural gas exporters in Southwest Louisiana.
“Some of these LNG projects that have been announced will probably not make it vertical,” Scott told the American Press.
About seven LNG companies have announced their intent to build with Southwest Louisiana so far, but only one of them is in operation, Cheniere Energy of Cameron.
And because Louisiana has been such a trailblazer in how it’s attracting these companies, other countries are following suit and trying to woo these types of industries to their neck of the woods.
“It’s getting more difficult to put things together, and that’s worrisome,” Scott said.
Australia is building exporting terminals, which could ultimately lead to the market becoming saturated with LNG exporters. And Europe has outlawed fracking, but for how long?
There’s no need to sound the alarm just yet because billions have already been secured for some of these projects — and, frankly, that’s pretty unheard of. And, according to Bloomberg News this week, the national housing industry has pulled out of its nosedive and the government sector has ended its downtown.
“While it’s unlikely that energy investment will boom any time soon, from a growth standpoint, going from negative to flat has just as big an impact on overall GDP growth as going from flat to positive,” the Bloomberg report states.
However, global natural gas prices remain sluggish and U.S. businesses are already fighting to keep business costs low. How low can they go and still turn a dollar?
Only time will tell the full economic impact of these industries, but as long as the progress is slow and steady, Southwest Louisiana should be fine.

14 2016-07-29
Lake Charles

McNeese investigating employee's Facebook post


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
A situation involving a McNeese State University employee is being investigated after the university received some emails about a post she made on Facebook.

But where is the line drawn if the post happens to be on your personal page?

A concerned viewer contacted KPLC about the post.

McNeese administrators are aware of it but they say it's murky territory because the post was not made while the employee was at work; it wasn't done on any McNeese equipment, nor was it posted on any official university social media sites.

It started with a Facebook post, where the employee shared a video and wrote, "More proof of what a POS our current President is..."

"It just got me thinking - why would you post something like that when you're in such a high-profile position, particularly asking alumni for money to help support the programs that take place at McNeese, but you make such a really vulgar comment regarding the Commander-in-Chief of the United States of America," said Kimberly Donalson, a McNeese alumna and former employee of the McNeese Foundation.

Donalson took a snapshot of the post, which was made by Stephanie Clark, assistant director for alumni affairs at McNeese. Clark has appeared on KPLC a number of times to discuss McNeese Alumni events.

The post was made on Clark's personal Facebook page.

University administration became aware of the of the post after receiving emails early Thursday morning.

"The message that was posted in no way reflects the values or the culture at McNeese," said Candace Townsend, director of public relations at McNeese.

Townsend said this matter isn't about the message itself, but rather the effect it can have on anyone reading it.

"If this employee had posted some other kind of personal information that was offensive, it would be the same thing. It is a matter of not posting things on your private channels, your private pages, that are offensive to anyone," she said, "particularly in a high-profile position at the university or in a public position at the university."

Bradley Shear is an attorney based in Washington, D.C. He specializes in digital technology and privacy law. He said regardless of what you perceive is your right to post whatever you want, there can be consequences.

"In general, most jobs out there are at-will employment, and under at-will employment, you basically can be fired for just about anything. And, whether or not that's fair - that's beside the point. The bottom line is that you just don't know how people are going to perceive what you post," he explained.

Townsend said McNeese is taking this matter seriously.

Personnel details cannot be released but the university is investigating the situation.

KPLC contacted Clark for comment but did not receive a response by news time.

Copyright 2016 KPLC. All rights reserved.


14 2016-07-29
Lake Charles

McNeese fee deadlines approach


Students who have registered online for McNeese State University’s fall semester have until 4:30 p.m. Aug. 17 to pay fees. Fall classes begin Aug. 22.
Fall term bills are available online through the MyMcNeese Portal or their Banner Self-Service account. Go to www.mcneese.edu/payment to see payment policies.
A fee-deferral plan is available through the administrative accounting office. All registration fees, including tuition, assessments, class fees and meal plan charges, are eligible for the fee-deferral plan.
Students must pay half the total amount by 4:30 p.m. Aug. 17; the remainder is due Oct. 3. There is a $30 processing fee. For more information, call 475-5107.
The McNeese bookstore offers an interest-free charge plan to help with the purchase of books and supplies. The Personal Touch Account can be used at the beginning of the semester for one month for the purchase of up to $800 in books and supplies.
PTAs for the fall open Aug. 1 and close Sept. 9. The payment deadline is Nov. 1. For more information, call the bookstore at 475-5494.


14 2016-07-26
Lake Charles

Southwest Louisiana has solid future


The SWLA Economic Development Alliance keeps a running tally of the industrial projects in our five parish region. We add projects as they are announced and confirmed by the state department of economic development (LED). We do not arbitrarily remove projects unless officially canceled by the companies.
As of today, we are showing a total of $43 billion in projects underway in Cameron and Calcasieu parishes. We have another $58 billion in pending projects. Some of the projects are delayed from time to time. For example, G2 X in Calcasieu is on hold while that company completes the purchase of a facility in Southeast Texas. Juniper GTL has filed for Chapter 11 but another company will step in and take that over. Sasol’s Gas to Liquid Plant is still under consideration but not cancelled. We are not including in the dollar amount at least two other LNG facilities. We can announce that we now have over $101 billion dollars in projects either underway or pending. The amount we have underway now exceeds any other area in the entire United States.
We are experiencing just the early effects of these projects.
Currently over 10,000 construction workers are on the job with about 4,500 workers at Cheniere, 2,500 at Cameron LNG and 3,500 at Sasol. We expect an additional 30,000 workers needed to build the remaining projects. As the projects are completed, permanent workers are being hired. We expect needing about 20,000 permanent workers.
The increase in population will have an impact on the region. Managing the growth for quality development is the goal of the GO Group. Big increases in traffic will be the main complaint, but the benefits of increased jobs and more income for families will help to ease the growing pains.
Housing starts are everywhere. In our comprehensive housing study, we project over 11,000 housing units needed for permanent residents. Seven employee villages which will acommodate over 13,000 workers have been permitted. A large number of the construction workers will utilize RVs. About 5,000 RV spaces have been permitted.
Our projects are getting national and international attention as this type of growth is not occurring in other places especially around Louisiana.
Southern Business Development Magazine has named Lake Charles/SW La. the Small Market of the Year for the sixth year in a row.
Our Business Development Team headed by Vice President R.B. Smith, continues to work with prospects, existing industry and education institutions to prepare our area residents for the thousands of jobs available.
Taking advantage of this growth could cut our poverty rate in half within 10 years and that would be a splendid outcome.

14 2016-07-25
Lake Charles

PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE


FOR MSU FOUNDATION: Dr. and Mrs. David Buttross Jr. have donated $104,500 to the McNeese State University Foundation since December 2014. Seven endowed scholarships have been established with the donation: the Edward and Ernest Buttross School of Business Scholarship; the Joe and Al Buttross Scholarship in Mass Communication; the George and Lily Abraham School of Business Scholarship; the Dr. and Mrs. David Buttross Jr. Pre-Med Scholarship; the Dr. and Mrs. David Buttross Jr. Health Management Scholarship — this is the first scholarship established for this new program; Dr. and Mrs. David Buttross Jr. Scholarship in Music #1; and Dr. and Mrs. David Buttross Jr. Scholarship in Music #2. On hand for the presentation are Richard Reid, left, vice president for university advancement and executive vice president for the McNeese Foundation, and Dr. and Mrs. David Buttross Jr.

14 2016-07-25
Lake Charles

McNeese says goodbye to a legend


Rare is the coach who still commands the affection of his athletes after pulling out a shotgun — more on that one later — but such was the appeal of Bob Hayes, a McNeese State legend who died Wednesday at the age of 82.
Hayes, a 2000 inductee to the McNeese Hall of Fame and 2007 inductee to the Southland Conference Hall of Honor, worked at the school for 29 years, first as a track and field coach before becoming one of the most significant athletic directors in program history.
Hayes’ most important move was likely the hiring of football coach Bobby Keasler in 1991. Keasler took over a program that had fallen into disrepair and turned it into one of the cornerstones of Division I-AA, leaving as McNeese’s all-time wins leader in 1998.
He also took a chance on a former McNeese baseball player named Tony Robichaux, officially promoting him to head coach at the age of 26 in 1988. More than 1,000 wins later, Robichaux is still honing his craft at Louisiana-Lafayette.
“I’m personally indebted to him for giving a young kid an opportunity,” Robichaux said. “That’s not easy to do.”
Hayes’ advice was particularly important for a greenhorn coach not particularly well-versed in the ways of NCAA enforcement and its oft-arcane bylaws.
“Bob really helped me because I had just finished playing. You’re not familiar with the NCAA rules, just baseball rules,” Robichaux said. “My (assistant) coaches were young also. So we were very young and Bob had gone through all that as a track coach. He was able to help us stay away from something that would not be good for the university.”
It was as a track and cross country coach that Hayes originally made a name for himself at McNeese.
He was named the program’s head coach in 1967, and looked high and low for talent. Just a year later he got his prize recruit from the Emerald Isle in Irish runner Fanahan McSweeney, who initially thought he was corresponding with 1964 Olympic gold medalist “Bullet” Bob Hayes.
“Fanahan got off the plane at the airport and Bob said, ‘I’m Bob Hayes,’ recalled McNeese sports information director emeritus Louis Bonnette.
McSweeney replied, “No you’re not,” but was eventually convinced of the identity of his new coach.
McSweeney competed for Ireland in the 1972 Olympics after his McNeese career was over.
Unlike his Olympic and Dallas Cowboy namesake, Hayes’ specialty was distance running. To that end he turned McNeese into the cross country power of the Southland in the late ‘70s, leading the Cowboys to four conference titles.
Hayes looked afar to build that program too, getting one of his top runners in Madison, Wisc. native Dave Kohrs when his hometown University of Wisconsin would only offer him a tryout as a walk-on.
The Cowboys won conference team titles in three of Kohrs’ seasons, and he was the individual cross country champion his junior and senior years. And as it turned out, he got to go home after all, running in the NCAA finals in Madison his senior year.
But he didn’t stay.
Kohrs still lives in Lake Charles 41 years after his arrival, and two of his brothers also graduated from McNeese as well as a niece and nephew.
All of that is thanks to Hayes.
“I owe a lot to Bob because he gave me an opportunity to continue my collegiate running,” Kohrs said. “He took a gamble sight unseen and I took a gamble sight unseen.”
He noted that running for the no-nonsense Hayes wasn’t often a picnic.
“If you were going to run for him, you were going to put in the work or you weren’t going to survive the program,” Kohrs said. “With hard work comes great rewards, and he taught that to all the athletes.”
Which brings us back to the story of the shotgun.
One Halloween Kohrs and a teammate dressed as a horse — Kohrs noted he was the rear end — and decided it would be fun to show up at Hayes’ home and surprise his children, Camille and Robert, in costume.
Alas, the idea was brewed after a couple of brews, so the horsemen arrived at the house slightly later than regular trick-or-treating hours.
“He came to the door with a shotgun, and all I heard was ‘Run, he’s got a shotgun!’” Kohrs recalled with a laugh.
Beneath Hayes’ gruff exterior was a man who many were glad to call friend.
“You always knew where you stood with Bob,” said Bonnette, who has known Hayes since both were students at Louisiana Tech. “He was not going to change his thought about anything. He was a good friend, and whatever he said, he meant.”
Even after his retirement in 1996, Hayes was a regular at most every McNeese home sporting event.
“Bob was a true McNeese man,” Bonnette said. “We both graduated from Louisiana Tech, but we’re McNeese people.”
---

14 2016-07-25
Lake Charles

McNeese says goodbye to a legend


Rare is the coach who still commands the affection of his athletes after pulling out a shotgun — more on that one later — but such was the appeal of Bob Hayes, a McNeese State legend who died Wednesday at the age of 82.
Hayes, a 2000 inductee to the McNeese Hall of Fame and 2007 inductee to the Southland Conference Hall of Honor, worked at the school for 29 years, first as a track and field coach before becoming one of the most significant athletic directors in program history.
Hayes’ most important move was likely the hiring of football coach Bobby Keasler in 1991. Keasler took over a program that had fallen into disrepair and turned it into one of the cornerstones of Division I-AA, leaving as McNeese’s all-time wins leader in 1998.
He also took a chance on a former McNeese baseball player named Tony Robichaux, officially promoting him to head coach at the age of 26 in 1988. More than 1,000 wins later, Robichaux is still honing his craft at Louisiana-Lafayette.
“I’m personally indebted to him for giving a young kid an opportunity,” Robichaux said. “That’s not easy to do.”
Hayes’ advice was particularly important for a greenhorn coach not particularly well-versed in the ways of NCAA enforcement and its oft-arcane bylaws.
“Bob really helped me because I had just finished playing. You’re not familiar with the NCAA rules, just baseball rules,” Robichaux said. “My (assistant) coaches were young also. So we were very young and Bob had gone through all that as a track coach. He was able to help us stay away from something that would not be good for the university.”
It was as a track and cross country coach that Hayes originally made a name for himself at McNeese.
He was named the program’s head coach in 1967, and looked high and low for talent. Just a year later he got his prize recruit from the Emerald Isle in Irish runner Fanahan McSweeney, who initially thought he was corresponding with 1964 Olympic gold medalist “Bullet” Bob Hayes.
“Fanahan got off the plane at the airport and Bob said, ‘I’m Bob Hayes,’ recalled McNeese sports information director emeritus Louis Bonnette.
McSweeney replied, “No you’re not,” but was eventually convinced of the identity of his new coach.
McSweeney competed for Ireland in the 1972 Olympics after his McNeese career was over.
Unlike his Olympic and Dallas Cowboy namesake, Hayes’ specialty was distance running. To that end he turned McNeese into the cross country power of the Southland in the late ‘70s, leading the Cowboys to four conference titles.
Hayes looked afar to build that program too, getting one of his top runners in Madison, Wisc. native Dave Kohrs when his hometown University of Wisconsin would only offer him a tryout as a walk-on.
The Cowboys won conference team titles in three of Kohrs’ seasons, and he was the individual cross country champion his junior and senior years. And as it turned out, he got to go home after all, running in the NCAA finals in Madison his senior year.
But he didn’t stay.
Kohrs still lives in Lake Charles 41 years after his arrival, and two of his brothers also graduated from McNeese as well as a niece and nephew.
All of that is thanks to Hayes.
“I owe a lot to Bob because he gave me an opportunity to continue my collegiate running,” Kohrs said. “He took a gamble sight unseen and I took a gamble sight unseen.”
He noted that running for the no-nonsense Hayes wasn’t often a picnic.
“If you were going to run for him, you were going to put in the work or you weren’t going to survive the program,” Kohrs said. “With hard work comes great rewards, and he taught that to all the athletes.”
Which brings us back to the story of the shotgun.
One Halloween Kohrs and a teammate dressed as a horse — Kohrs noted he was the rear end — and decided it would be fun to show up at Hayes’ home and surprise his children, Camille and Robert, in costume.
Alas, the idea was brewed after a couple of brews, so the horsemen arrived at the house slightly later than regular trick-or-treating hours.
“He came to the door with a shotgun, and all I heard was ‘Run, he’s got a shotgun!’” Kohrs recalled with a laugh.
Beneath Hayes’ gruff exterior was a man who many were glad to call friend.
“You always knew where you stood with Bob,” said Bonnette, who has known Hayes since both were students at Louisiana Tech. “He was not going to change his thought about anything. He was a good friend, and whatever he said, he meant.”
Even after his retirement in 1996, Hayes was a regular at most every McNeese home sporting event.
“Bob was a true McNeese man,” Bonnette said. “We both graduated from Louisiana Tech, but we’re McNeese people.”
---

14 2016-07-22
Lake Charles

Church’s outreach program neighborly


One event that is sure to bring a smile to people’s faces is a birthday party, and there were many smiling faces as birthdays were celebrated Thursday at Chateau du Lac.
A monthly event, this month’s birthday party at the residential building was sponsored by Good Shepherd Episcopal Church and the McNeese State University women’s basketball team.
Residents were treated to pizza, fruit and cupcakes, and birthday celebrants received bags of food and necessities like dish soap.
Debra Washington, a Chateau du Lac resident whose birthday is July 6, said she was particularly excited about receiving the dish soap.
“For somebody to do this, it means somebody loves us,” Washington said.
Missy Shaddock with Good Shepherd said the church has an outreach ministry with the complex, including Eucharist services and Bible study.
The ministry also collects clothing and household items to donate to the residents. She said Chateau du Lac residents in turn collect nonperishables to donate to the Faith, Food and Friends food pantry.
The Rev. Jack Myers of Good Shepherd said it’s the duty of the church to meet the people of the community. “It’s one thing to be in a neighborhood,” he said “But it’s another thing to be a neighbor.”

14 2016-07-22
Lake Charles

McNeese Hall of Fame coach/athletic director Bob Hayes dies


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
Bob Hayes, who served as athletic director and track and field coach at McNeese during a 29 year career, passed away on Wednesday.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

He is survived by wife Nell, daughter and son-in-law Camille and Jeff Putfark and granddaughters Shelby and Savannah Putfark all of Metairie, son and daughter-in-law Robert and Emily Hayes of Boise, Idaho and brothers-in-law Mac Perryman of Calhoun and Velle Perryman of Dubberly.

The 82 year old Hayes received numerous honors during his career at McNeese where he became the first fulltime track and field coach in 1967. In 1987 he was named athletic director and held that position until his retirement in 1996.

A graduate of Louisiana Tech, which he had attended on a track scholarship, Hayes was a miler and became that school’s mile run record holder.

An Army veteran and native of Kansas, Hayes took over as track coach at Lake Charles High after his graduation from Tech and then signed on at McNeese.

At McNeese he was also the cross country coach and he started up the women’s track programs, cross country in 1985 and track and field in 1986.

During his track coaching career at McNeese, Hayes brought the university’s teams to the forefront in conference and national competition. He led the Cowboy cross country team to four league titles and he had four runnerup finishes in outdoor track and one in indoor track. He was named the Southland Conference coach of the year in 1974.

Among the athletes Hayes coached on the field at McNeese were all-Americans Brian Cooper, Stephen Starring and Edward Lloyd. Cooper and Starring along with Olympian Fanahan McSweeney, Pat O’Callaghan, Dicky Morgan, David Kohrs and Verril Young are in the McNeese Hall of Fame.

His athletes won 56 individual conference championships (track and cross country) and five conference athlete of the year awards.

During his time as athletic director, McNeese saw such upgrades as the renovation of Cowboy Track and the addition of lights to Cowboy Diamond. Also during that time he brought in such standout coaches as Tony Robichaux in baseball, Scott Eastman in softball, Ron Everhart in basketball and Bobby Keasler in football.

Hayes was inducted into the McNeese Hall of Fame in 2000, was presented a lifetime achievement award by the Louisiana Track and Field Coaches Association in 2005 and was named to the Southland Conference Hall of Honor in 2007. He also served on the games committee at the prestigious Texas Relays for over 40 years.

Visitation: Friday, July 22... 5-7 p.m. Johnson Funeral Home.
Saturday, July 23... 10-11 a.m. University United Methodist Church located at 3501 Patrick St., Lake Charles, LA 70605

Funeral: Saturday, July 23... 11 a.m. University United Methodist Church located at 3501 Patrick St., Lake Charles, LA 70605

Copyright 2016 KPLC. All rights reserved.


14 2016-07-21
Lake Charles

Higher education enriches lives


College affordability has always been an important goal in this country, dating back to the GI Bill enacted after World War II. Unfortunately, times have changed and today’s political system doesn’t give higher education the funding it deserves.
Developments in Louisiana over the last decade are symptomatic of the attitude that prevails in other states. State funding for higher education was decimated here and elsewhere, and the climb back is slow and causing additional damage.
I am a son of the Great Depression era and had a golden opportunity to get a college education for what today we call “peanuts.” If my memory serves me correctly, tuition for my first summer session at McNeese State University was $10.50. The fall semester tuition was an astounding $22.50, and the spring semester was $18.50.
Jesse Verret, my principal at LaGrange High School, was a state representative at the time, and he awarded me a legislative scholarship that covered all of the tuition. I was also fortunate to receive a T.H. Harris Scholarship that was about $100 a year, which easily covered other expenses.
Harris has been described as the dominant public education figure in the first half of the 20th century. He served as state school superintendent from 1908 to 1940. Rep. Lether Frazar of Lake Charles in 1938 sponsored the bill establishing the scholarships in Harris’ name. Frazar later became president of McNeese.
I taught high school American history, English and civics after completing my two-year tour with the U.S. Army in 1957. Teacher pay was about $3,600 a year at the time, but I was somehow able to attend LSU in Baton Rouge for four summers to obtain a master’s degree in history.
Newspaper colleagues of mine got degrees through the GI Bill that granted stipends to cover tuition and living expenses for veterans attending college or trade schools. Nearly 10 million veterans eventually took advantage of those benefits and led productive lives because of their college degrees.
One of the greatest modern day incentives for getting Louisiana students to attend college was creation of the Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) by the Louisiana Legislature in 1997. The program was launched in 1998.
Former state Rep. Charles Mc-Donald, D-Monroe, co-wrote the bill and talked about how important the program was to taxpayers.
“Of all the frivolous things we spend money for, they (taxpayers) are not going to let us take money out of TOPS and spend it somewhere else,” McDonald said. “It’s just too good for too many people.”
Jack Guinn, executive director of the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance in 1997, said, “Success may increase the costs (of TOPS) and the Legislature has to determine if success is worth the price tag. The question is will the Legislature give priority to the program and fund it.”
Most of us know the answer to that question. The Legislature this year for the first time in TOPS history failed to fully fund the program because the costs have skyrocketed. Former Gov. Bobby Jindal gets most of the blame for the nearly $800 million in cuts to higher education during his eight years in office. However, many of the current legislators went along with the governor, and some of them are responsible for failing to fully fund the program this year.
In order to make up for some of the cuts to higher education, universities were allowed to raise tuition. Each time tuition was increased, the TOPS costs escalated. Legislators until this year were reluctant to reform the program to hold down costs, and a number of them refused to raise more revenues to fully fund it.
Yes, there are many students whose parents can afford to pay the tuition. However, the losers in all of this are the students who can’t afford to attend college without TOPS. They have worked hard to achieve the grade level required to get the scholarships. Now, they either can’t go or will be forced to take out student loans they will be paying off for many years to come.
Gov. John Bel Edwards asked higher education officials to hold off on tuition increases, but LSU has increased its tuition by 4.95 percent. That comes on top of a $354 increase in student fees. Undergraduate tuition and fees were $9,842 in 2015-16, and they will increase to $10,816 for the two semesters in the new year.
TOPS funding is short by 8 percent for the fall semester and by 60 percent for the spring semester. Legislators who refused to raise additional revenues have pinned their hopes on better forecasts later in the year, which is how higher education lost nearly $800 million in state funding over the last eight years. Those better days ahead never materialized.
The Council for a Better Louisiana said failure to give higher education the priority it deserves in a state with some of the lowest educational achievement rates in the country is discouraging.
CABL added, “… But the sense of urgency one used to sense at the Legislature to address the plight of higher education seems to have diminished.”
Those of us who received every incentive imaginable to attend college are saddened by the realization that today’s students aren’t given the same advantages. Our lives have been enriched by the experience, and they deserve nothing less.

14 2016-07-20
Lake Charles

Governor's program for gifted children


The Governor’s Program for Gifted Children, a seven-week residential program hosted at McNeese State University, started in 1959 as a day program at the university. In the 60s it became the residential program it is today and has since grown to hold about 100 students.
Students from all over Louisiana, and sometimes as far out as Germany, come to the Lake Area to take both academic and enrichment courses during the summer, said Josh Brown, director of the program. The program is state-funded, and parents pay for about half of the program, including tuition.
In the morning students will take classes like the humanities, composition and science, and the older students will take college-level courses taught by McNeese professors. Enrichment courses range from chorus, drama, debate, publishing and stage tech.
Milla, who is going into the 11th grade, is from Grand Cane and has participated in the program for five years. She said the program has helped her develop as a person and student, honing her social skills and giving her the opportunity to make lifelong friends.
“You feel like you can do a lot more here than you normally do,” Milla said.
Aidan, a student starting ninth grade, said the Governor’s Program has given him opportunities to express himself through the performing arts. He is involved with the program’s publication, “The Thinker,” student government, and will perform in the musical, “The Pirates of Penzance,” later this week.
Although the program is for seven weeks, during the last week, the students prepare for and do final rehearsals for the array of performances to the public.
Milla said the amount of time to practice during the other six weeks is limited to about an hour a day.
“We’re pulling everything together for one last showcase,” Milla said.
Overall, the program is designed to be an enrichment to the lives of the students participating.
“We like to teach them how to think, not what to think,” Brown said.
Students who want to participate in the program need to be at least 12 and can only come back for five summers. The maximum number of new students the Governor’s Program can accept is 40 every summer.
l
Online: gpgc.org

14 2016-07-20
Regional/National

Practical training extension brings a world of opportunity to STEM graduates in the USA


On April 28, 2016, America’s top employers came together with international thought leaders of industry at the Global STEM Talent Summit in Washington DC. The aim of this annual conference - which brings world-leading organizations like STEMConnector together with industry, NGOs, universities and the wider public sector - is to discuss global strategies for filling millions of vacant positions.

“The global STEM Talent Summit is an important piece of the global puzzle of identifying talent gaps and addressing them strategically,” said Nina Vaca, Chairman and CEO of Pinnacle Group, a workforce solutions provider. “We who are in the sectors that most depend on STEM talent have an accountability to be proactive in developing tomorrow’s innovators and leaders.”

Every sector within the STEM category (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is preparing to tackle a universal shortage of talent in its own unique way. The medical sphere, for example, must train seven million doctors, nurses and other health professionals in order to address its current shortfall, according the World Health Organization, increasing the number of global healthcare workers to 12.9 million by 2035.

Symantec, on the other hand, the leading global technology company based in the U.S., forecasts that while six million cyber security jobs will be created by 2019, 1.5 million of these positions will remain unfilled by 2024 if the talent shortage is not addressed.

Reports state that in the past 10 years alone, STEM-related occupations have swelled three times as fast as non-STEM related fields, meaning that the need to develop and retain the sector’s top talent in industry is more crucial than ever before.

“Business leaders have set the tone by ramping up investments and engagement in STEM education in order to prepare the next generation of skilled talent necessary to drive innovation and economic growth,” said Edie Fraser, Chief Executive Officer at STEMConnector. “Now we need to shift our focus of turning investments in education into a sustainable, long-term talent pool.”

The U.S. in particular has implemented a number of comprehensive strategies to attract the world’s top STEM talent. The Optional Practical Training (OPT) Extension for STEM students announced in March this year is one such successful strategy.


Image courtesy of McNeese State University.

There are a number of available visa categories for students heading to the U.S., ranging from J to M. The majority of international students enrolled in the U.S. will have been granted permission to study in the region under the F-1 visa program – a permit that allows them to work after graduation under the OPT extension.

The OPT extension is defined as “a period in which undergraduate or graduate students with F-1 status who have completed or have been pursuing their degrees for more than nine months are permitted by the UCIS to work towards getting practical training to complement their field of studies.”

In response to the rising STEM shortage, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security published a final rule in March this year stating that foreign-born STEM graduates from U.S. institutions may apply for a 24-month extension of their post-completion OPT. Essentially, this means that international students graduating from STEM fields in the USA can remain in the country to pursue valuable work experience for up to 36 months.

This means there has never been a better time to study STEM in the U.S.

McNeese State University, located in Lake Charles, Louisiana, is a prime example of a U.S. higher education provider producing job-ready graduates for the STEM industries. With its College of Science and Agriculture, College of Nursing and Health Professions and College of Engineering and Computer Science, McNeese boasts all the necessary facilities to consistently produce graduates with the expertise to meet the needs of industry.


Image courtesy of McNeese State University.

McNeese State’s College of Engineering, for example, is rated as one of the top engineering schools in the U.S. With a comprehensive portfolio of courses such as the BSc in Chemical Engineering, BSc in Mechanical Engineering and the BSc in Electrical Engineering, the 2015 ROI Report by PayScale, Inc. ranked the college 3rd in the U.S. for return on investment.

“McNeese has received a lot of national attention over the past four years for its outstanding academic programs and affordability,” said Dr. Philip Williams, President of McNeese University. “We are continuously moving along an upward trajectory. These rankings are due to the dedication of our faculty and staff. They are experts in their fields who care deeply about the students and embrace our campus culture of ‘Excellence with a Personal Touch’.”

Approximately one-third of the engineers currently working in Louisiana’s local engineering sector are McNeese graduates. This, paired with the fact that over the past decade McNeese’s medical graduate cohort have been accepted into prestigious U.S. medical schools at a rate that’s almost twice the national average, speaks to the quality of McNeese’s STEM offerings.

“Success and recognition as an engineering professional have more to do with the program quality than the university name,” said Dr. Nikos Kiritsis, Dean of the College of Engineering. “The McNeese engineering program is nationally accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology and our faculty work closely with area industry to ensure that our graduates are well prepared and job ready on day one.”


Image courtesy of McNeese State University.

With more than $77 billion in economic development projects in progress in Southwest Louisiana, McNeese graduates are in a prime position to find quality employment not only in engineering, but also in business, healthcare, the allied health services, education, agriculture, criminal justice, recreation, tourism and entertainment.

As long as higher education institutes like McNeese State University continue to produce talented graduates with the skills to thrive in a diverse international workforce, the global skills shortage in the STEM fields may soon be a thing of the past.

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This article is sponsored by McNeese State University, a Louisiana institution that is wholly committed to excellence in teaching, research and creative scholarly activity. At McNeese, students can choose from more than 75 degree programs offered by the Colleges of Business, Education, Engineering and Computer Science, Liberal Arts, Nursing and Health Professions, Science, the Division of General and Basic Studies, and the Doré School of Graduate Studies. McNeese is home to a diverse student population from the state of Louisiana, the United States, and around the world.

Featured image courtesy of McNeese State University.


14 2016-07-18
Lake Charles

Building better robots


This week, middle school students learned how to program digital games and use coding to get robots to follow an outlined course while attending a summer class at McNeese.
The class, held Monday through Friday, split its time between robots and gaming, both of which require some knowledge of coding.
The robots the students learned on had to be partially assembled with “little bits” — magnetized circuits — and students programmed them to follow a ground course that became increasingly difficult, said instructor Kay Kussmann.
The students had little to no knowledge of any of the programs before participating in the class, she said.
“We had to teach them the code that goes to it,” Kussman said. “Not only did we teach them how to put circuits together and how they work, but the coding to go with it.”
The students had to write their code, upload it and fix bugs in the system to get their robots and games to work properly.
Sisters Erin and Emily, eighth- and sixth-graders, participated in the camp together.
“I was in robotics (at school) one year, and I had no clue what they were talking about, so I decided to take the class,” Erin said.
The sisters’ school, W.W. Lewis, has a course on robotics, and Emily said she is looking forward to taking the class.
Emily, who said she is good at math, said the weeklong camp helped hone her skills. She said part of the math involved included knowing the right percentage of an angle to get the robot to turn on the course correctly.
Her sister agreed. “It’s teaching me good, future skills in case I want to be a programmer or something,” Erin said.
The students also programmed games.
“They’re pretty bright and they catch on very quickly, and they’re so excited about their robots,” said Matthew Aghili, associate dean of engineering and co-instructor of the course. “I think it’s a great introductory for a daylength camp.”
Aghili said it’s important to teach engineering and coding to children at a young age. The girls said it’s not too early for them to start thinking about how the camp experience will affect their career choices.
“I have a lot of possibilities,” Erin said. “But robotics is definitely one.”

14 2016-07-14
Lake Charles

Governor’s Program for Gifted Children to hold productions, recitals next week


The 2016 Governor’s Program for Gifted Children at McNeese State University will present two theater productions, an art show, a student recital and a concert as a finale to its summer program Wednesday-Saturday, July 20-23. Performances are free and will be in the Tritico Theatre; the art show will be held in the Grand Gallery. Both are in the Shearman Fine Arts Annex. The schedule:
“The Pirates of Penzance,” a musical production — 7 p.m. Wednesday-Friday.
“Who Killed Aunt Caroline,” a drama production — 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday.
Art show — 2-7 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
Student recital — 12:30 p.m. Friday.
Choral/large ensemble concert — 3 p.m. Saturday.
The seven-week summer residential program is held on campus each summer as an arts and humanities program for gifted students in Louisiana . It is the oldest and most comprehensive enrichment program for students in grades 6-10 in the state. For more information on the program, call 475-5446 or go to www.gpgc.org  .
14 2016-07-13
Lake Charles

McNeese's NAACP candlelight vigil brings people together


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
Members of McNeese's NAACP chapter, and the Lake Charles community came together Tuesday to hold a candlelight vigil to honor Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and the five officers who lost their lives in Dallas.

The vigil had plenty of singing, praying and sermons from local preachers E.J. Kemper and Bruce Baker.

"This to me is not just a black and a white issue; this is about fairness; this is about justice in our society," said Baker. "There are more people that are with them than they probably realize and sometimes those voices are silent and they don't know what to say..." said Baker.

Members from McNeese's NAACP chapter also spoke about their feelings on the violence in our nation. Some also recited thought-provoking poetry.

The event wrapped up with everyone lighting their candles and coming together in a moment of silence, followed by a closing prayer.

Members of McNeese's NAACP chapter said they were grateful and happy with the turnout, and that their message of peace and unity was shared through the community.


14 2016-07-11
Lake Charles

Officers train for active threat


Last Modified: Sunday, July 10, 2016 9:17 AM
By Shannon Roberts / American Press
About 40 law enforcement officers, fire and emergency medical personnel from several local agencies trained for three days in Burton Coliseum, culminating Saturday in full-scale response scenarios.
This training is part of the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, or ALERRT, based at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.
The training, which started Thursday and ended Saturday, was in the Active Threat Integrated Response Course.
“We take them from the very first report of shots being fired in a variety of different locations to give the officers and responders different looks. The scenarios change throughout the day,” said Austin Police Department Sgt. Sam Shurley, lead instructor for the course.
Shurley said the scenarios range from a single active shooter to multiple shooters.
“The common theme throughout all of them is the officers are forced to resolve the issue by stopping the killing, i.e., stopping the bad guy,” he said. “That’s followed up by stopping the dying.”
McNeese State University Police Chief Bob Spinks said the focus for his officers is different from that of other local police forces.
“Our law enforcement part of the business is really focused on keeping the forces of evil away from the campus to create that protective bubble so that students, staff, faculty, visitors don’t have to look over their shoulder,” Spinks said.
Early on in his career at McNeese, Spinks said, he and others saw the need for cross-training in de-escalation tactics, crisis intervention and emergency medical response.
During the training, the officers and responders have to use different medical techniques to help the wounded and stop the bleeding before the victims are taken by ambulance to another part of the training site.
Spinks said the goal for his squad is to start an active-shooter task force for the McNeese campus. He said all agencies should be prepared to deal with active-shooter scenarios and natural disasters.
Following the recent acts of violence and death of five officers in Dallas, Shurley stressed the “critical nature” of the training and real-life use of skills.
“This has been important from day one,” Shurley said. “This is not planning for if something happens; we’re planning for when something happens.”

Follow Shannon Roberts on Twitter at twitter.com/ShannonAmPress


14 2016-07-11
Lake Charles

McNeese fundraiser gets new name


Last Modified: Sunday, July 10, 2016 8:52 AM
By Louis Bonnette / American Press
What better way to remember one of the Lake Charles Country Club’s most respected golfers than having a tournament named in her honor.
That’s just what the McNeese State Cowgirl golf program has done. They have named their annual fundraising golf tournament in memory of Roxie Stewart.
The official name is the Roxie Stewart Memorial and it will be played each year in early summer, next year’s event will be on June 6.
“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to honor one who embodied the true spirit of golf, the way she treated people, lived her life and was always kind and gracious to the team members,” said Cowgirls coach Mike Fluty. “She loved golf and loved to play and we wanted to do something to honor her memory. It was the right thing to do at the right time.
“Putting her name on the tournament solidifies the tie between McNeese’s women’s golf and the Lake Charles Country Club and its members. It’s a way to show our appreciation.”
Larry Stewart said his wife, who died in February, would love the naming of a tournament in her honor.
“She would think that this was a really great tribute,” he said.
Stewart got involved with the tournament after talking to some of the McNeese players and members of the Country Club’s women’s golf association.
“I wanted to do something for Roxie and decided that this was what I was going to do. She loved the ladies golf team. I told the girls that I will give funding for this tournament every year from now on.”
Stewart said he and Roxie, who were high school sweethearts and graduates of Lake Charles High, have been members of the club for the past 45 years and she would play at least three times a week. They also became a traveling duo, competing with regularity in senior couples tournaments throughout the South.
“I remember the way she got involved with golf,” he said. “I was doing a fellowship in Albany (N.Y.) — probably about 1969. I was in the learning stage (of golf) and she had never hit a golf ball.”
A friend encouraged Stewart to go to his club, use his clubs and play a round.
“It was so beautiful then,” he said. “The weather was cool and Roxie decided she wanted to go with me. She hit only one ball that day and she was bitten. We’ve played all over but her favorite place is Ireland and the Tralee Golf Club. I guess that we’ve been there about a dozen times and she would always walk the course, even in the wind and the rain.
“She was the best golf partner I could have ever had. Every time I went to a medical convention we brought our golf clubs and she was right there with me. One time we were playing (at a hospital tournament) and we walked to the tee box where we found our partners were to be Ben Guilbeau and John Melton. She saw the look on their faces and told them, ‘Look, I’ve been around a long time so whatever you’re going to say won’t shock me so let’s just have a good fricking time.
“Guilbeau came back with ‘Well, let’s go,’ and we took off.
“Probably her lowest handicap was 18 (lowest score in low 80s) but you know, she would only turn in her low scores. She wanted to have the lowest handicap she could possibly have.”
Roxie’s playing partners at the Country Club usually included Idell Cogbill, Darlene Wallace, Jane Pedersen and Jana King.
“She was one of my dearest friends and we all loved playing with her,” Cogbill said. “She felt strongly that the rules were made for everyone and she believed when one got on the golf course one should let all their worries go and have a great time.”
Club professional Stuart Kramer echoed what Cogbill said about Roxie and the rules, adding “She was always keeping the ladies straight. She didn’t play in any of the scrambles because she always wanted to play her own ball and post her own score.”
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Qualifying tournaments for this year’s men’s Louisiana mid-am will not be played due to a short list of participants. One such event was scheduled to be played at the Lake Charles Country club on Tuesday.
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Eric Brown was the top local performer in last week’s Louisiana state junior championship played at Links on the Bayou in Alexandria. He shot 217 (75-74-68) to finish 12th.
The next highest golfer was Logan Kuehn who tied for 16th with 221 (72-75-74). Other results had Jace Benoit at 228 (79-73-76) for 34th, Austin Stewart in a tie for 38th with 231 (77-76-75), Brayden Wright with 245 (81-81-83) for a tie for 63rd and Colby Wynn with 250 (85-84-81) for 67th place.
The girls state am will be played this week at the Alexandria Country Club.
Upcoming
Saturday-Sunday — Louisiana men’s four-ball championship, The National (Westlake).
July 30-31 — First Federal Bank Shine Flournoy two-man scramble, Mallard Cove.
Aug. 6-7 — Westlake ladies and senior men city tournament, The National.
Aug. 8 — J. T. Mitchell Memorial, Lake Charles Country Club.
Aug. 10-11 — Westlake junior city tournament, The National.
Aug. 19-21 — Westlake men’s city tournament, The National.
Sept. 3 — McNeese Cowboy fundraiser two-man scramble, Gray Pantation.
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Louis Bonnette has written about local golf for the American Press since 1971. His column appears each Sunday. Contact him at 274-5689 or lbonnette@mcneese.edu
14 2016-07-11
Lake Charles

Local NAACP members share thoughts on recent shooting deaths


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
From Baton Rouge to Minnesota to Dallas, it's been a week of violence and civil unrest. Tensions are still high as protests and rallies continue.

Reflecting on a week of terror, violence and death, local NAACP members say they are hurt and heartbroken.

"When I heard about the first one it brought me back to my days. My days when lynching was around. Nowadays we are still having lynchings but we have it in different forms. Not white sheets. We're having lynchings with the men in blue, the police officers," said Alfred Doucette Jr.

77-year-old Doucette Jr. is the district vice president of NAACP in Louisiana. On Saturday, he met with a group of young organization leaders from McNeese to discuss the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and the five Dallas police officers.

"Not all the police officers. It's not all of them, and it's not all African-American young men who are thugs, even though they call them that," he said. "Our young people here - they're labeling them, discouraging them. They have a right to be fearful."

"I feel frustrated. I feel heartbroken. I feel hurt just because I have a brother and I call him everyday and I tell him, 'Devin, please don't do anything. Follow the cops rules. Don't break the law. Don't do anything like that.' It's just frustrating that he could be the next hashtag," said Alaine Williamson, a member of the NAACP at McNeese.

"My first reaction was, 'Not another one.' Simply because we are still mourning from Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Oscar Grant, Michael Brown, it's many of them that we can name," said former McNeese Vice President Nicole Williams.

These young leaders want change and they say it must start now.

"I'm praying that we see change. Praying. I just spoke with my NAACPers and I'm just thinking right now, how can we prevent this from happening 10 and 20 years from now. We don't want to be doing the same thing," said McNeese NAACP President Querencia Joshua.

A group of local NAACP members will head to Baton Rouge on Sunday for a peaceful protest.

For a list of rallies, protests and other events happening in the Baton Rouge area, click HERE.
14 2016-07-08
Lake Charles

Summer harp camp applications due today


The 17th annual McNeese State University Harp Camp will be July 25-29 in the Shearman Fine Arts Center on campus.
The camp is open to second-graders through grandparents, no matter the level of experience, said director Barbara Belew.
“We always welcome those with no musical background at all, as well as those who have played harp for several years,” she said.
Belew said the camp has proven to be a “family affair,” as there have been several sets of siblings or cousins, mothers with children, and adults with their grandchildren involved in the camp in recent years.
“We are anticipating a nice-sized group of adult beginners — our “dream achievers” — again this year, knowing that this group has had good hands-on experience in previous years, as have our youthful campers, and we all enjoy the work,” Belew said.
Campers will learn about the types of harps and their construction, techniques for playing the instrument and some music theory. They will also participate in individual and ensemble playing, and many will compose original music in a fun-filled atmosphere.
Camp application forms are due by today and are available from by calling Belew at 475-5036 or the department office at 475-5028.

14 2016-07-06
Lake Charles

Constitutional amendment could give university systems tuition control


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
In November, Louisiana voters will decide whether to allow university systems to set their own tuition rates. The constitutional amendment gives some freedom to colleges and universities and could create a more competitive atmosphere, according to Sen. Dan "Blade" Morrish, R-Jennings.

All states except for Louisiana and Florida give the power of setting tuition to the public university system. In the Bayou State, the legislature controls how much students pay for classes. Morrish hopes to change that.

"To take that authority away from the legislature and give it to the systems, so to LSU, Southern and the UL systems," said Morrish,who authored a constitutional amendment this session allowing university boards to control tuition at their facilities.

Similar legislation has been proposed before, but Morrish said this is the right timing, especially after cuts to the higher education budget.

"They could make up the difference with tuition," he said, adding "that's probably what many of them would do."

If the people pass the amendment in November, it would mean universities would take a long, hard look at what they are worth.

"It's going to make it very competitive they are going to have to look at what their tuition criteria is and how much TOPS is going to pay, and I think that controls them," said Morrish.

He said for full time students - whether enrolled in 12 hours or 18 - tuition is the same. That could change if tuition control shifts.

"The student that takes 18 hours uses the university more, and McNeese may or may not choose to charge a higher tuition for that 18 hours," he said.

Also, courses requiring expensive equipment and lab hours, cost the same as a lecture classes. The amendment could give universities like McNeese the ability to charge different rates for classes, helping the school use its budget more efficiently.

Some against the amendment are concerned with what this might mean years down the road.

"Let's just say LSU, given the ability to raise their tuition whenever they want, they'll price themselves right out of the market and the kids will be paying more," said Rep. Kenneth Havard, R-Jackson. "I mean it'll cost as much to go to LSU as it will Harvard in 10 years."

Morrish said tuition rates would be held to certain criteria to help avoid a price-gouging situation. Those details will be worked out if the amendment passes. We reached out to McNeese, but they declined to comment at this time.

Copyright 2016 KPLC. All rights reserved.
14 2016-07-05
Lake Charles

Tips on how to be a better manager


If you are looking to get more profit from your small business, one smart tactic is to learn to be a better manager. Whether you are the only person in your business or you have 100 employees, you can improve your operations by taking advantage of the many resources offering training for small business owners.
What are some of the topics that can benefit your small business? Everything from a college degree to tips on managing employees, making better use of your time, implementing lean manufacturing processes, improving quality control – and the list goes on.
Many online resources offer information in short articles or brief videos. A short presentation means you can “digest” the knowledge and apply it in your company before you move on to the next tip. The websites of the U.S. Small Business Administration, WWW.SBA.GOV  , and the Louisiana Small Business Development Center, WWW.LSBDC.  ORG  , have excellent articles and videos.
It’s never too late to earn your college degree. Mc-Neese State University, WWW.  MCNEESE.EDU  , offers an online degree in management, so you can get the education you want in the convenience of your own office or home. If you’re wishing you had a Master of Business Administration degree, check out the totally online MBA program that McNeese just introduced.
Here’s a free and easily available resource — the public library. More than an excellent source for books, today’s libraries offer online access to publications and audiobooks, training on using computers and lots more.
If you belong to a trade association, check to see what training is offered. Many professional groups provide continuing education on specific topics of interest to their members and frequently these courses are at a very reasonable cost. Whether online or at a conference, you can benefit from the training that is related specifically to managing your industry.
Even the vendors that supply your merchandise or services may offer specialized instruction in running your kind of business. Safety programs, merchandising tips, financial guidance and detailed information about how equipment works are topics that will help you operate more profitably. Take advantage of a vendor’s expertise to become a better manager and you’ll also get a better return on your investment with that company.
For over 30 years, the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese has worked with entrepreneurs and business owners who are looking to start or grow their small business. Visit WWW.  LSBDC.ORG   to learn more about us. For no-cost assistance with your business, call us to schedule an appointment at 337-475-5529.
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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  .
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Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and La. Department of Economic Development. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

14 2016-07-05
Lake Charles

Cars for Cowboys to benefit McNeese State


With education suffering from the state’s financial issues, schools like McNeese State need more contributions from local communities and businesses.
Jack Hebert of All-Star Buick GMC and Dawn Primeaux, branch manager for Jeff Davis Bank, spoke Wednesday at the Sulphur Rotary Club about the importance of supporting education and athletics, alluding to the very financial trouble McNeese is enduring and its importance in the Lake Area.
“Education is so, so important,” said Hebert. “Our future leaders are coming out of McNeese and McNeese is one of the universities that’s on the chopping block.”
Three car dealerships in the area have donated to Cars for Cowboys for a raffle that will benefit McNeese State University. Jack Hebert and All-Star Buick GMC has donated a 2016 Buick Verano, Billy Navarre Chevrolet-Cadillac has provided a 2016 Chevrolet Cruze and Philip Tarver and Lake Charles Toyota has donated a 2016 Toyota Camry LE.
Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at any Southwest Louisiana Iberia Bank, the three dealerships, online and all McNeese booster clubs. The drawing date will be September 3. You need not be present to win.
Hebert said the raffle is not only for athletics, but academic groups are selling tickets as well. “This is teaching the young people at McNeese that if you have a problem, you don’t look the other way, you address it and this is what we’re doing.”
“They’re giving back to the organizations and to education,” added Primeaux. She said any organization on campus that sells tickets receives 50 percent of the proceeds.
Any business that sells tickets will receive free advertising on radio, TV and billboards, according to Primeaux.
There are 20,000 tickets available for sale. Anyone test driving a car will receive a free ticket.
For more information, call 936-7864 or visit www.carsforcowboys.com.
14 2016-06-29
Lake Charles

Small Business Center recognized


The Louisiana Small Business Development Center has received reaccreditation for a five-year period by America’s Small Business Development Centers nationwide network. The LSBDC network has seven centers, including the LSBDC at McNeese State University.
LSBDC State Director Rande Kessler said, “It is rewarding to see the efforts of our service centers and state office team maintain our mission toward Louisiana small businesses and entrepreneurs in a level that is peer-approved and respected. I truly appreciate the work of our LSBDC staff across the board and am proud that we have been reaccredited for our work with small businesses.”
According to Donna Little, director of the LSBDC at McNeese, the entrepreneurs of Southwest Louisiana have wonderful opportunities in today’s economic climate. “When we meet the national accreditation standards, we guarantee that our LSBDC team continues to improve in how we assist small businesses.”
Recently, McNeese’s LSBDC was recognized as the U.S. Small Business Administration SBDC Service Excellence and Innovation Center for 2016 at the Governor’s Mansion during the annual Louisiana Small Business Awards Ceremony and Little is very proud of this accomplishment.
“This award acknowledges McNeese’s center as the top SBDC in the state,” Little said. “We appreciate being recognized for our hard work and for the successes achieved by our clients. Our biggest reward is seeing business owners achieve their goals.”
According to Little, LSBDC at McNeese has helped start 202 businesses, create 589 jobs, retain another 340 jobs, secure $47 million in capital and increase sales by $7 million.
14 2016-06-23
Lake Charles

First class of school’s innovation engineers


In 2011, McNeese State University became the second university in the country to offer a minor in innovation engineering management, an interdisciplinary program open to all students.
On May 14, McNeese’s first class of innovation engineers graduated: Hannah Fogg of Sulphur; Cullen Haymon of Kinder; Gandy Osburn of Lake Charles; and Becca Tudor of Perrysburg, Ohio.
The minor, created with help from the University of Maine, “teaches students how to develop, refine, communicate and implement new ideas,” said Bridget McDaniel, innovation curriculum coordinator and assistant professor of art at McNeese.
For the program, a Student Innovation Center was established at the SEED Center. It features a lab, business incubation studio and classrooms. Students use the lab to brainstorm, test theories and create solutions, while the studio offers students space, technology and tools to work on new businesses.
McDaniel said the innovation minor consists of six courses that encourage students to collaborate and generate meaningful ideas as they learn to adapt to changing environments.
Tudor, a marketing major, said she chose the minor because of its uniqueness. “I know that there are only a few universities that offer the program in the United States,” she said. “And I wanted to be one of the few students that specialize in innovation.”
Fogg, a chemical engineering senior, has become an ambassador for the program, traveling around the country and teaching others about innovation engineering management.
“The coursework provides you with tools that can be used wherever your career takes you,” she said. “It has taught me how to solve any problem that I might encounter.”
The program is designed to help students learn new thinking skills and takes them through coursework that emphasizes the “create, communicate, commercialize and systems” process.
Haymon, a marketing student, said the early courses help teach students that every idea has a purpose and that “there are no bad ideas.”
After completing the first four courses, the students complete two final courses as a team, focusing on large projects and real-life solutions.
Their final project included a tour of a local business, meetings with its owner, and a semester of planning and problem solving.
The students then developed and presented practical solutions for complications within the business plan, office facilities and employee organization.
A new version of the minor that includes more nontraditional coursework will roll out this fall.
“The coursework has been redesigned to address the needs and interests of our student body, as well as local and regional businesses and industries,” McDaniel said.
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14 2016-06-23
Lake Charles

McNeese athletics took in $11M in FY 2015


How much revenue do sports bring in at Mc-Neese?
According to a state Legislative Auditor’s Office report released Feb. 10, the McNeese State University athletic department took in $11,188,939 in fiscal year 2015 and spent $11,241,696 — a deficit of $52,757.
Ticket sales amounted to $1,038,752, including $842,537 for football, $57,536 for men’s basketball and $54,702 for women’s basketball. Other sports together brought in $83,977. Guaranteed revenue from away games totaled $779,000; outside contributions amounted to $2,006,416.
Parking, program sales and concessions brought in $164,330; licensing revenue, royalties, advertising and sponsorships totaled $853,876. NCAA distributions amounted to $740,796.
Expenses included $3,334,042 for student aid; $1,739,128 for coach salaries; $961,294 for support staff and administrative pay; and $916,140 for team travel. Recruiting costs amounted to $221,382.
Equipment and uniform expenses amounted to $470,581; fundraising and marketing costs totaled $248,121. Medical expenses and health insurance costs amounted to $558,213, and rental fees and debt service for facilities totaled $735,217.
Revenue and expense totals for recent fiscal years:
2010 — $7,720,040; $7,890,850.
2011 — $9,836,234; $9,545,567.
2012 — $9,745,535; $10,139,997.
2013 — $9,704,925; $10,307,780. 2014 — $10,926,299; $10,911,542.
l
ONLINE: www.lla.la.gov  .
NOT ALL WINDOWS
ON TRUCKS COVERED
The Informer on Wednesday answered a question from a reader who was told he had to remove window tinting from his truck and wanted to know why police cars can have extra-dark windows when others can’t.
The column noted that state law — R.S. 32:361.1 — says light transmission on automobile windows must be least 40 percent for side windows in the front, 25 percent for the side windows in the back and 12 percent for rear windows. And it pointed out that law enforcement agencies are exempt from the statute.
A reader called in that day to make an observation that The Informer had neglected to make:
“The article this morning about window tinting, if you look at the statute, 32:361.1, Section D(4) states, ‘The light transmittance requirement of this Section does not apply to windows behind the driver on trucks, busses, trailers, motor homes’ and it goes on and includes the information about law enforcement. But if this fellow had a truck with a crew cab, the rear windows on the side and on the back windows could be painted black, according to the statute.”
That is true. But keep in mind that the law on 40 percent light transmission for front side windows still applies to pickup trucks and SUVs.

14 2016-06-22
Lake Charles

McNeese officially introduces James Landreneau as Its head softball coach


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
McNeese State officially introduced James Landreneau as its new head softball coach at a press conference Tuesday afternoon at the Jack Doland Fieldhouse in front of family members, friends, and fans.

Landreneau was promoted to head coach last week to succeed Joanna Hardin who accepted the head coaching position at the University of Virginia. Landreneau has spent the last four years as a Cowgirl assistant including three of the last four on regular season conference championship teams.

The native of Mamou, Louisiana, Landreneau has been the constant component and the offensive mind on the last two Cowgirl coaching staffs. He first came to McNeese in 2013 when former Cowgirl head coach and current Ole Miss head coach Mike Smith hired him to be on his staff. When Smith took the Ole Miss job following the 2014 season, Hardin retained Landreneau on her staff.

“I am humbled and honored to be given the opportunity to lead this softball program,” said Landreneau. “I would first like to give special thanks to President Philip Williams and Athletics Director Bruce Hemphill, Bridget Martin and Tanner Stine for all their support in this process.”

In his four years at McNeese, the Cowgirls have compiled a 157-66 overall record and an 83-20 mark in Southland Conference play and has been a part of three conference championships (2013, 2014, 2016) while coaching three league player of the year recipients.

“I could not have become the coach that I am today without some help along the way and for Mike Smith and Joanna Hardin to have enough faith and confidence in me to allow me to be part of their staff, said Landreneau.”

This past year, Landreneau coached an offense that was led by two-time NFCA All-America catcher and Southland Conference Player and Hitter of the Year Erika Piancastelli as the Cowgirls won the league regular season and tournament championships while playing in the NCAA Baton Rouge Regionals where they beat former national champion Arizona State in the opening round.

The Cowgirls, who won a school record 43 games, led the league in hitting (.305), slugging (.460), on-base percentage (.409), runs scored (350), hits (466), runs batted in (292), doubles (88), total bases (702) and hit by pitches (81).

In addition to the record number of victories, the Cowgirls also set school records in runs scored, RBI, batters hit, walks (201) and on-base percentage.

In 2015, Landreneau's offense broke or tied four single season records while Piancastelli became the first player in Southland Conference history to be voted as the league's Player, Hitter and Freshman of the Year in the same season.

McNeese posted a .968 fielding percentage that season to rank 36th in the nation. The Cowgirls finished the season ranked fourth in the league with 61 doubles that year as they finished with a 38-15 overall record and a conference championship mark of 19-5.

In 2014, the Cowgirls repeated as conference champions with a 20-6 league record and 40-17 mark overall.

McNeese has led the league in stolen bases the last three years and has ranked in the top 10 in the nation the last two seasons. In 2014, the Cowgirls topped the conference and ranked 19th in the nation with 86 doubles and led the league with a .435 slugging percentage while setting single-season school records in runs scored and on-base percentage while tying records in triples and hit-by-pitches.

Landreneau coached and developed Alanna DiVittorio who broke a combined nine McNeese and Southland Conference records her senior season and was named the league's player and hitter of the year for 2014.

DiVittorio also earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors that season to become just the second softball player in school history to earn the prestigious award.

“I have been privileged to coach and mentor excellent athletes over the years, but this came with sacrifices from those dearest to me. I am a firm believer that I would not be standing here today without the influence of my late parents, Ron and Hope Landreneau. Because of them, I know the value of hard work, dedication, and selflessness. I am very thankful for the many years of support the Lake Area community has given me and for the opportunity to coach many players and for their parents that allowed me to do so.”
14 2016-06-21
Lake Charles

McNeese recognized at concrete canoe race


McNeese State University’s engineering team received the Spirit of Competition Award last weekend for what didn’t happen at the 29th Annual American Society of Civil Engineering National Concrete Canoe Competition at the University of Texas at Tyler.
The team’s crawfishcolored canoe, “Écrevisse, ” broke during the second race of the competition, according to Dr. Dimitrios Dermisis, faculty adviser.
“However, the two students finished the men’s endurance race with a submerged canoe showing undeniable passion and determination,” said Dermisis. “Our students demonstrated a lot of heart and good sportsmanship despite being knocked out of the competition.”
“The judges were impressed with our team and we are extremely thankful for this prestigious award,” said Dermisis. “This is the first time McNeese has participated at the national competition and we are proud of our students.”
McNeese beat out 21 other universities for the spirit award including the Citadel, the University of Texas at Austin, UCLA, Western Kentucky University, University of Florida, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and University of Maryland.
McNeese’s ASCE chapter represented the Deep South Region, which includes 13 universities from Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.
14 2016-06-17
Lake Charles

Sasol’s impact


Sasol’s multibillion-dollar ethane cracker and derivatives project in Westlake will employ 5,000 people at peak construction in 2017, according to a study by economist Jim Richardson.
The results of the study, funded by Sasol, were released Thursday at a news conference at the SEED Center.
Richardson said the project’s benefits in the area will grow over time and that the first people to profit from the company’s expansion will be area residents.
“If you want the economy to grow, you need to have people making investments in it. That’s the name of the game,” he said. “And a growing economy will make the budgeting for the mayor, parish officials, school board officials much easier because they’ll actually have money to buy the public services.”
The facility is expected to be functioning by 2019 and will remain operational for 30 years. More than 3,500 construction workers are currently on-site.
The study says over 500 full-time jobs will be created by 2019. The jobs will have an average annual salary of $80,000. As of now, about 350 full-time workers have been hired — more than 80 percent of them Louisiana residents.
Richardson said employment across the five-parish area has benefited significantly from the project. In 2010, 110,000 people were employed in the area. By 2015, there were 125,000 people employed — an increase of 11 percent. During the same period, the state only saw an increase of 4 percent, according to the study.
Employment in the regional construction sector increased by 70 percent during the period. The state only grew by about 10 percent.
“Other parts of the state are unfortunately incurring some negative vibes, certainly because of the energy markets,” Richardson said. “This area has been the opposite in terms of pushing growth for the state.”
By 2017, there will be 10,000 direct and indirect jobs with personal earnings exceeding $546 million. During the project’s 30-year operational period, there will be almost 1,900 direct and indirect jobs with personal earnings over $100 million.
The economic benefits associated with the project are often based on the tax revenues generated by Sasol’s $8.9 billion capital investment. The study says local and state governments will see $270 million in taxes by 2019. Of that, $122 million will be in the Lake Area.
During the facility’s operational period, $6.2 million in tax revenue is expected to be generated for local governments. From 2015 until now, the company has paid about $8.8 million to local governments.
Richardson said that while Sasol has a 10-year exemption on property tax for project equipment, it will eventually be paying about $100 million. If the company were paying today, the amount would be about $51 million.
“In 2029, the Sasol contribution will be over a quarter, 25 percent, of the property tax base of this whole parish,” he said.
Under a cooperative endeavor agreement between Sasol and the state, Louisiana agreed to put up about $135 million to support the project, The total has not been paid fully, but the commitment is meant to fund infrastructure improvements that Sasol paid for up front.
The agreement included requirements that Sasol create a specific number of jobs associated with the project, make a decision on the potential GTL facility in the region by the end of 2018, and have benefit-cost ratio of at least 1-to-1.
Richardson said that by 2028, the ratio will be about 1.58-to-1 and through 2050, it will be about 2-to-1.
“You can say this project certainly has met the requirements of that cooperative agreement,” he said. “And in that sense, Sasol has, in terms of tax collections and this is even without the GTL plant, even without anything else like that, they have met the commitment in that endeavor agreement.”
Richardson said Sasol has made an effort to continue building roots in the community through a number of avenues, including focusing on local hires and working with small businesses. The study showed that to date, Sasol has invested $4 million in community initiatives.
Donna Little, director of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese, said she has seen firsthand the benefits of Sasol reaching out to local workers and businesses.
“I like to acknowledge Sasol’s support of small business through its assistance with our center and smallbusiness resource guide and its outreach to connect to locally owned small businesses,” she said. “They really encourage them and push them to hire local. I am witness to that.”
14 2016-06-16
Baton Rouge

McNeese names area honor students


Shelby N. Michael, of Zachary, has been named to the President’s Honor List for the spring 2016 semester at McNeese State University.

To be eligible, an undergraduate student must earn at least a 3.5 GPA or better while carrying at least 15 semester hours.

Also, Kyra S. Anderson and Mary Grace Brian, of Slaughter, and Drewe V. Burns, of Zachary, were named to the McNeese honor roll for the 2016 spring semester.

Undergraduates earning at least a 3.0 or B average enrolled in 12 or more semester hours are eligible.


14 2016-06-16
Lake Charles

New Orleans gallery displays works of local art professor


McNeese State University art professor Heather Ryan Kelley’s “Midden Heap Project” will be on display at Antenna Gallery in New Orleans through the end of July.
The exhibition features collages and artist’s books based on James Joyce’s “Finnegans Wake.”
“I am creating a collage per page of ‘Finnegans Wake,’ and based upon those collages I am making a series of artist’s books,” Kelley said.
“On view at the gallery are a selection of the collages and all of the artist’s books related to page one through 216 of the ‘Wake.’ ”
Kelley said she became interested in being part of Antenna Gallery when she saw an open call for exhibition proposals last year in an Arts Council of New Orleans newsletter.
“The gallery was looking for work that connected art and literature,” she said.“And I thought my ‘Midden Heap Project’ would be a good fit. It is truly an honor. The Antenna Gallery is one of the best in New Orleans.”
14 2016-06-16
Lake Charles

McNeese State LSBDC receives re-accreditation


LAKE CHARLES — The Louisiana Small Business Development Center has received re-accreditation for a five-year period by America’s Small Business Development Centers nationwide network. The LSBDC network has seven centers, including the LSBDC at McNeese State University.
LSBDC State Director Rande Kessler said, “It is rewarding to see the efforts of our service centers and state office team maintain our mission toward Louisiana small businesses and entrepreneurs in a level that is peer-approved and respected. I truly appreciate the work of our LSBDC staff across the board and am proud that we have been reaccredited for our work with small businesses.”
According to Donna Little, director of the LSBDC at McNeese, the entrepreneurs of Southwest Louisiana have wonderful opportunities in today’s economic climate. “When we meet the national accreditation standards, we guarantee that our LSBDC team continues to improve in how we assist small businesses.”
Recently, McNeese’s LSBDC was recognized as the U.S. Small Business Administration SBDC Service Excellence and Innovation Center for 2016 at the Governor’s Mansion during the annual Louisiana Small Business Awards Ceremony last month and Little is very proud of this accomplishment.
“This award acknowledges McNeese’s center as the top SBDC in the state,” Little said. “We appreciate being recognized for our hard work and for the successes achieved by our clients. We strive every day to help entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and improve our economy. Our biggest reward is seeing business owners achieve their goals.”
SBA District Director Mike Ricks said the LSBDC at McNeese played a major role in the recovery process of Southwest Louisiana after the disasters of Hurricane Rita in 2005. Since then, the center and the region have significantly progressed.
According to Little, LSBDC at McNeese has helped start 202 businesses, create 589 jobs, retain another 340 jobs, secure $47 million in capital and increase sales by $7 million. The LSBDC at McNeese is located in the McNeese SEED (Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial and Economic Development) Center. “Helping entrepreneurs is an exciting, fulfilling mission,” Little said. “We love working with individuals to pursue their passion and build a future for themselves and their families and employees here in Southwest Louisiana. It’s wonderful to be recognized for doing the work we enjoy.”
Little added, “I also want to recognize McNeese State University as a strong ally for our operation. We appreciate the support that McNeese has provided to our center for over 30 years.”
14 2016-06-15
Lake Charles

Landreneau new coach


James Landreneau spent his first official day as McNeese State’s new softball coach the same way as every other day — working.
There will be a news conference next week to formally introduce the Cowgirls new head coach, but there was no time for that Tuesday as the lone full-time coach on McNeese’s softball staff had to conduct the Cowgirls’ annual summer camp.
“Even though it’s a coaching change, it’s going to be pretty much business as usual around here,” Landreneau said. “Everything will stay pretty similar to how it has been.”
It has been successful for the Cowgirls as of late, which explains how Landreneau finds himself in this spot, replacing Joanna Hardin after her two-year tenure netted the head coaching job at Virginia. Hardin counts herself among the most enthusiastic that her former assistant is the one following in her footsteps.
“James taking over the program is the best thing that could have happened for the team,” Hardin said. “The transition will be seamless. He’s outstanding for the job.
“I’m a better coach having worked with him. It’s very comforting you know someone you trust so much is going to be the next leader.”
Like Hardin, Landreneau was hired by then-coach Mike Smith prior to the 2013 season. But prior to that their paths could not have been more divergent. Hardin was a softball lifer with experience in California and Virginia, whereas Mamou native Landreneau came up from a background in youth baseball, running the Bullet Baseball organization in Lake Charles before becoming an assistant softball coach at Barbe in 2011.
“Absolutely not,” Landreneau said when asked if he could envision a future as a Division I softball coach at that time. “I was very fortunate that Mike Smith had a good talk with me and gave me an opportunity to come here. And I’m thankful for what Coach Jo has done to prepare me for this moment.”
When Smith left for Ole Miss, Landreneau took on multiple responsibilities, serving as Hardin’s recruiting coordinator and was the hitting and defensive coach.
Hardin said Landreneau’s baseball-based philosophy brings the Cowgirls an advantage.
“A lot of guys are coming over from baseball backgrounds. Look at Auburn in the College World Series,” she said referring to Clint Myers. “It adds a lot to the game. The way he sees the game offensively in his mind, I learned a lot from him. He’s adapted really well to coaching the girls.”
Landreneau takes over a defending conference champion that returns everyone aside from its top two pitchers and shortstop — and that includes two-time all-American catcher Erika Piancastelli.
“I’m very blessed to be in a great situation with great players returning and good leadership coming back,” Landreneau said. “And we have some very athletic freshmen coming in.”
Athletic Director Bruce Hemphill has hired new coaches in four sports this year, and has stayed within the program in each instance. He said it should not be seen as laziness or a lack of creativity.
“Much thought has gone into the process of who is the best fit in each of those hires,” Hemphill said. “James is another example of looking at the current direction of the program, whether it is inside or outside, of ‘Who can continue that upper progression of success?’”
Though his hires have formed a familiar pattern, Hemphill said he does not view them that way.
“I look at each sport individually. I don’t see it as a pattern or a coincidence,” Hemphill said. “I look at what’s best for the program and this university.”
14 2016-06-15
Lake Charles

MSU holds summer band camps


High schoolers from around Louisiana and Texas are enhancing their musical and leadership abilities at the McNeese All-Star Summer Band Camps this week.
There are four tracks available for students to explore: instrumental music, percussion and drumline, drum major, and color guard, said Pride of McNeese Band director Jay Jacobs.
“First and foremost, it’s to get the students an experience to improve on their skills in the band area, whether it be playing their instrument or learning new instruments,” Jacobs said. “We run some areas for leadership development.”
For drum majors, Jacobs said students will learn not only the physical elements of conducting but how to lead the band and contribute to helping their band directors back home.
There are master classes on individual instruments, and there are two electives every day that students can choose from to enhance their learning. One of the electives open to all is learning to play steel drums.
“A lot of students really enjoy that,” Jacobs said.
Students will present an end-of-camp performance for the public at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 16, in the Tritico Theater. About 140 students area participating in this year’s camp, with 24 staff members running the program.
Information about the band camp is sent out across the state and to many programs in Texas. For next summer, students who are entering ninth grade are eligible for the camp, Jacobs said.
Students can commute or stay on campus, and the prices vary for each.
“It’s a really relaxed week of just fun learning,” he said. “It’s like I tell the students, it’s one of those great opportunities where you have a really great time but at the end you go, ‘Oh, I learned something.’ ”
14 2016-06-14
Lake Charles

$10,000 check to the McNeese State University Foundation


The Cotton Foundation donated a $10,000 check to the McNeese State University Foundation to support the David Conner Scholarship. The goal is to raise $60,000 which would provide four scholarships per year to students from the fi ve parish who will study in the College of Business. Conner, former vice president of economic development and international services for the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, died in January of leukemia at the age of 56. Standing (left to right): Chuck Matheny, Regional Vice President, Cotton Logistics; Wendy Harper, Cotton Logistics; Mary Beth Conner; and Richard Reid, Executive Vice President of the McNeese Foundation.

14 2016-06-13
Lake Charles

Kids College participates in voyage via Skype


Students at McNeese’s summer Kids College participated in a live interaction via Skype with biology professor Amber Hale, who is aboard the Exploration Vessel Nautilus on an expedition.
The E/V Nautilus is a 211-foot ship that explores and maps unknown areas of the ocean floor using sonar. After the mapping is done, remotely operated vehicles shoot video and collect samples in the area.
Hale, a molecular biologist, is one of 17 educators chosen from around the world to participate in the 2016 voyage. She will be “translating” the technical terms of the voyage for those who watch the interactions, such as the Kids College students on Friday.
She told students that she spends eight hours a day on watch — 4-8 a.m. and 4-8 p.m. — and has seen a variety of sealife, including dogfish sharks, humpback whales, octopuses and snails.
Hale also explained bioluminescence to the students, who are in grades 1-8.
Having learned about the program and the science communication fellow position in 2014, Hale became interested but was not in the position to apply for it.
In the fall 2015, she ended up applying and was accepted among 16 others. To train for her three-week expedition, Hale went to the University of Rhode Island and the Inner Space Center, she said.
She learned about the studies of the Ocean Exploration Trust and learned how to participate in live interactions with people from around the world.
Hale called this trip a “once in a lifetime opportunity” and is excited to get others excited about the science, technology, engineering and math fields.
“This is a really great tool to get the eyes to light up,” she said.

Follow Shannon Roberts on Twitter at twitter.com/ShannonAmPress

14 2016-06-13
Lake Charles

McNeese's Joanna Hardin accepts head coaching job at Virginia


CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA -
McNeese Cowgirl softball has become a hotbed for talented and successful coaches.

For the second time in three years, a Cowgirl head coach has made the jump to a Power 5 Conference team when on Friday afternoon, Joanna Hardin was named the new skipper at the University of Virginia.

"It's with mixed emotions that Joanna is leaving our program," said Director of Athletics Bruce Hemphill. "I am excited for her to not only take a job at a premiere athletic and academic institution in the ACC, but very proud of her accomplishments in her two years as a head coach and previous two years as an assistant.

"Her high character, focus, work ethic, integrity and being an excellent communicator has been as much to do with the success of the program as anything. Those qualities will make her a great fit at Virginia."

Hardin took over the Cowgirl program in 2015 after then head coach Mike Smith left to become the head coach at the University of Mississippi.

In her two seasons, the Cowgirls compiled a 79-34 overall record and 44-9 mark in the Southland Conference, including the 2016 league title and NCAA Regional. Under her guidance, sophomore Erika Piancastelli received All-America honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) in 2015 and 2016. She is the first All-America selection in McNeese State program history.

"There are few words that can express my sincere gratitude to McNeese State University, the Lake Charles community, my incredible coaching staff, and the student-athletes that I have been so fortunate to coach over the last four years," said Hardin. "So many people have contributed to the success of the softball program and it has been such a privilege to bet the head coach for the last two seasons.

"I am grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Bruce Hemphill, President Williams, and the rest of the administration gave me to take the lead of the softball program two years ago. It has taught me so much about life and leadership.

"McNeese and Lake Charles will always have a special place in my heart. As we take the next step in our journey, we are overflowing with appreciation for all that the McNeese family has done for me and (husband) Travis."

In 2016, Hardin led the Cowgirls to a 43-14 record and a No. 33 ranking in the RPI as McNeese claimed the Southland Conference regular-season championship and the Southland Conference Tournament championship. The Cowgirls posted a 23-4 record in conference play and competed in the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional. In regional play, McNeese opened the tournament with a win over perennial national power Arizona State. The Cowgirls were eliminated from the Regional after falling to host LSU, who would advance to the semifinals of the Women's College World Series as a national seed, and the Sun Devils in a 14-inning game in the second meeting between the teams.

Several players excelled under Hardin's tutelage at McNeese, with Piancastelli leading the way as a two-time Southland Player of the Year and Hitter of the Year selection. Eight players also earned All-Southland Conference honors in 2016.

In 2015, her first season as head coach, Hardin coached Piancastelli to Southland Hitter, Player and Freshman of the Year honors. It was the first time a player had ever won all three honors in the league's history. Hardin also coached Jamie Allred who claimed Southland Pitcher of the Year honors that same season.

As an assistant during the 2014 campaign, McNeese broke or tied 23 school or conference records. The Cowgirls ranked in the Top 50 in the nation in ERA, stolen bases and triples per game. Four players ranked in the Top 50 in the nation in 11 different statistical categories. McNeese State's pitching staff included two of the top four pitchers in the SLC to lead the conference in ERA, while ranking 44th nationally.

In 2013, Hardin guided the pitching staff to a Top 10 national ranking and the top spot in the Southland in team ERA with a 1.79 mark. That squad also led the conference in opponent batting average (.220), saves (6), hits allowed (294), runs allowed (122), earned runs allowed (91), walks allowed (53) and extra-base hits allowed (63). Individually, Hardin helped develop the SLC's top pitcher, Megan Bond, who led the conference in ERA (1.27), opponent batting average (.200), and saves (3).

Hemphill will announce plans for the future of Cowgirl softball in the near future.

Copyright 2016 KPLC. All rights reserved.


14 2016-06-12
Lake Charles

McNeese's Joanna Hardin accepts head coaching job at Virginia


CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA -
McNeese Cowgirl softball has become a hotbed for talented and successful coaches.

For the second time in three years, a Cowgirl head coach has made the jump to a Power 5 Conference team when on Friday afternoon, Joanna Hardin was named the new skipper at the University of Virginia.

"It's with mixed emotions that Joanna is leaving our program," said Director of Athletics Bruce Hemphill. "I am excited for her to not only take a job at a premiere athletic and academic institution in the ACC, but very proud of her accomplishments in her two years as a head coach and previous two years as an assistant.

"Her high character, focus, work ethic, integrity and being an excellent communicator has been as much to do with the success of the program as anything. Those qualities will make her a great fit at Virginia."

Hardin took over the Cowgirl program in 2015 after then head coach Mike Smith left to become the head coach at the University of Mississippi.

In her two seasons, the Cowgirls compiled a 79-34 overall record and 44-9 mark in the Southland Conference, including the 2016 league title and NCAA Regional. Under her guidance, sophomore Erika Piancastelli received All-America honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) in 2015 and 2016. She is the first All-America selection in McNeese State program history.

"There are few words that can express my sincere gratitude to McNeese State University, the Lake Charles community, my incredible coaching staff, and the student-athletes that I have been so fortunate to coach over the last four years," said Hardin. "So many people have contributed to the success of the softball program and it has been such a privilege to bet the head coach for the last two seasons.

"I am grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Bruce Hemphill, President Williams, and the rest of the administration gave me to take the lead of the softball program two years ago. It has taught me so much about life and leadership.

"McNeese and Lake Charles will always have a special place in my heart. As we take the next step in our journey, we are overflowing with appreciation for all that the McNeese family has done for me and (husband) Travis."

In 2016, Hardin led the Cowgirls to a 43-14 record and a No. 33 ranking in the RPI as McNeese claimed the Southland Conference regular-season championship and the Southland Conference Tournament championship. The Cowgirls posted a 23-4 record in conference play and competed in the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional. In regional play, McNeese opened the tournament with a win over perennial national power Arizona State. The Cowgirls were eliminated from the Regional after falling to host LSU, who would advance to the semifinals of the Women's College World Series as a national seed, and the Sun Devils in a 14-inning game in the second meeting between the teams.

Several players excelled under Hardin's tutelage at McNeese, with Piancastelli leading the way as a two-time Southland Player of the Year and Hitter of the Year selection. Eight players also earned All-Southland Conference honors in 2016.

In 2015, her first season as head coach, Hardin coached Piancastelli to Southland Hitter, Player and Freshman of the Year honors. It was the first time a player had ever won all three honors in the league's history. Hardin also coached Jamie Allred who claimed Southland Pitcher of the Year honors that same season.

As an assistant during the 2014 campaign, McNeese broke or tied 23 school or conference records. The Cowgirls ranked in the Top 50 in the nation in ERA, stolen bases and triples per game. Four players ranked in the Top 50 in the nation in 11 different statistical categories. McNeese State's pitching staff included two of the top four pitchers in the SLC to lead the conference in ERA, while ranking 44th nationally.

In 2013, Hardin guided the pitching staff to a Top 10 national ranking and the top spot in the Southland in team ERA with a 1.79 mark. That squad also led the conference in opponent batting average (.220), saves (6), hits allowed (294), runs allowed (122), earned runs allowed (91), walks allowed (53) and extra-base hits allowed (63). Individually, Hardin helped develop the SLC's top pitcher, Megan Bond, who led the conference in ERA (1.27), opponent batting average (.200), and saves (3).

Hemphill will announce plans for the future of Cowgirl softball in the near future.

Copyright 2016 KPLC. All rights reserved.


14 2016-06-09
Lake Charles

McNeese recognizes spring honor roll students


The McNeese State University honor roll for the 2016 spring semester has been announced. The honor roll lists undergraduate students earning at least a 3.0 grade-point average while carrying 12 or more semester hours.
Honor roll is as follows:
LAKE CHARLES: Sarah Elizabeth Abshire, Seth Christopher Michael Abshire, Alicia Marie Adams, Collin Brice Adams, Alaina C. Aguillard, Allison Catherine Aguillard, Jarian Trevonne Alexander, Matthew Chris Alexander, Asma A. Ali, Neithaniel Gerritt Allen, Tiffany N. Allen, Yaser Alzamil, John F. Ange, Alexis Rae Arceneaux, Jeffrey Lane Arceneaux, Victoria A. Ardoin, Dylan J. Armentor, Caitlin Audrey-Rose Arrington, Kara Lauren Ashworth, Anthony R. Atherton, Bailey N. Aucoin, Erin Burnthorn Aucoin, Christopher Walton Bacarisse, Kara J. Baggett, Janie Ruth Baird, Zackary Keithan Ball, Noah O’Bryan Barber, Katherine N. Barras, Andrew Evan Bearb, Christian D. Bel, Dori Lee Bell, Brandi L. Bellard, Sharhonda Dannette Bellow, Katherine C. Bennerscheidt, Nicholas Ryan Benoit, Patrick D. Benoit, Anthony Joseph Bercier, Christopher E. Bercier, Hogan Slade Berry, Lauren Annette Bertram, Christian B. Bertrand, Emmalee A. Bertrand, Jensen J. Bertrand, Morgan R. Bertrand, Robert S. Bertrand, Dara Alyse Best, Logan R. Beville, Jacob P. Blackmer, Marsha L. Blount, Jace Matthew Bolton, Barbara Jean Hill Bonilla, Camille G. Boullion, Taylar Lynnae Bourne, Stefani Allie Bourque, Elisa S. Bowman, Brittany Boyce, Janet Jade Boyles, Ryan P. Bradford, Andrea Blair Brasseaux, Marcie Kay Braud, Anne C. Breaux, Ashlen R. Breaux, Natalie G. Breaux, Thomas P. Breaux, Callie N. Brevelle, Priscilla Brown Brooks, Alexandrea Mae Broussard, Chase M. Broussard, Hunter R. Broussard, Andre D’vonta Brown, Angela Lynn Browning, Haley M. Bryan, Lauren Nicole Bullard, Mary F. Buller, Caitlin D. Burcham, Kaylee J. Burcham, Carl A. Burkhart, Gabrielle Elene Burnham, David Michael Burnthorn, Taylor M. Burton, Laci Jaye Butler, Abigail M. Buxton, Brittany D. Calbert, Zachary P. Cart, Crystal M. Carter, Melody Ann Cartwright, Steven Elias Castro, Blake Allen Caswell, Alicia Michele Ceaser, Basha A. Celestaine, Caroline Blayke Chamberlain, Bill T. Chaumont, Madalyn L. Chaumont, Caylee B. Chenier, Shalay Nicole Chiasson, Anna M. Clark, Haley Michael Clark, Jane L. Owen Clark, Katherine E. Clark, Carla M. Collins, Jessi Nicole Collins, Braden Comeaux, Cameron Brett Conley, Grant R. Conner, Whitney Nicole Conner, Hailey N. Cooley, Tina Marie Cooley, Nikolas T. Cormier, Victoria P. Cormier, Jasmine J. Cornett, William I. Cornett, Jessica Elizabeth Courville, Jana Carlile Crain, David L. Crawford, Kristen N. Credeur, Shabrenica Shanique Creque, Shelby Breanne Cudd, Timothy David Cutrera, Tiffany Danielle Degeyter Daley, Joshua P. Damiata, Lauren Nicole Damiata, Patrick Jordan Danna, Amy Renee Darbonne, Mandy Rena Daughtery-Auzenne, Allison B. David, Haley Paige David, Elizabeth M. Davidson, Richard A. Davis, Missty L. DeCelle, Brittiany Nickole DeLand, Emily R. DeRouen, Joseph Patrick Debartola, Daniel Jack Decareaux, Ashley Ann Declouette, Sarah A. Deeb, Jaylin C. Delafosse, Ethan K. Demarie, Sydney E. Dempsey, Kyauhna Rene’ Benoit Dennis, Robert James Dick, Emily Claire Dickerson, Andrew Keith Dietz, Anissa M. Disnuke, Darian A. Doga, Makena J. Doga, Callie Faith Doucet, Clea M. Doucet, Sandra Rene Doucet, Dylan Jeffrey Dozart, Emily Taylor Dozart, Tiffany Duarte, Garrett Michael Dufrene, Larry J. Dugas, Kyle J. Duplechain, Alexis R. Durio, Johnna Lea Durio, Michelle Nicole Eady, Rachel Denise Eder, Jasmine J. Edwards, Jeremi Wayne Edwards, Brennan P. Eisen, Emily Katelyn Elfert, Kari N. Elliott, Heidi Kathryn Elter, Zabrina F. Epps, Grant Jonathan Ewing, Joshua Ramie Farquhar, Falon A. Fields, Erica Michelle Fisher, Kylie Elizabeth Kristin Flesch, Angel Pedro Flores, Matthew R. Foltz, William Stanton Foltz, Bailey M. Fontenot, Brandon L. Fontenot, Brooklyn N. Fontenot, Caitlyn N. Fontenot, Madison Kristine Fontenot, Tania Lynette Francis, Jazmin F. Franco-Farraj, Elizabeth Mae Miller Francois, Jametra J. Frank, Phyllis M. Friddle, Jourdan Skylar Fruge, Adrienne K. Fults, Caitlin Nicole Fuselier, Tressa Galmore, Jenifer P. Gandhi, Priyanka P. Gandhi, Kelsey Deanna Gaspard, Mallory N. Gauthreaux, Rebekah Marie Gazzolo, Chase D. Gillett, Elizabeth E. Gober, Maegan Ryan Gonzales, Hannah Elise Goodwin, Caleb Ray Greathouse, Sarah Morgan Grevemberg, Lola Olivia Grichendler, Donna Tenikia Griffin, Jonathan T. Grigg, Kaitlyn D. Guidry, Abigail D. Guillory, David Tyler Guillory, Kaelyn Grace Guillory, Kassidy A. Guillory, Kiara C. Guillory, Madalyn C. Guillory, Morgan L. Guillory, Toni Marzetta Guillory, Victoria R. Guillory, Emilee A. Gutierrez, Jenna Hacker, Corey R. Hale, Jack Reichley Hall, William F. Hamilton, Kelli Lee Hanks, Laura E. Hanks, Haley M. Harless, Audrey L. Harris, Marie Elaine Haugen, Holly A. Hayden, Victoria N. Hayes, Alex Wade Hebert, Bethany N. Hebert, Madalyn E. Hebert, Matthew S. Hebert, Rickie J. Hebert, Tori R. Hebert, Timothy D. Heffer, Emily Kathryn Hendricks, Victoria Paige Herring, Shannon Rae Hill, Dalton J. Hinton, Tracy Elizabeth Hippman, William R. Hodgkins, Hannah Nicole Hoffpauir, Lauren R. Hoffpauir, Quiana S. Holder, Devany Brooke Hooper, Justine A. Hoppa, Alexander P. Horowicz, Coye Allan Huber, Shannon Rachel Hudson, Courtney R. Huval, Vina Vy Huynh, Elizabeth Ann Hylton, Kaleigh A. Irwin, Jennifer N. Ison, Anna C. Istre, Austin P. Istre, Brandon Dominque Jackson, Breyauna Kristine Jackson, John Zachary Jackson, Ja’Len Devon James, Alexis Michelle Jenkins, Brianna L. Johnson, Elizabeth Brooke Johnson, Haleigh M. Johnson, Jordan Avery Johnson, Victoria D. Johnson, William Gordon Johnson, Aneisia L. Johnwell, John Roy Jones, Kameron Pavge-Ruby Jones, Molly B. Jones, Steven Craig Jones, Traci Lynette Jones, Genita P. Joseph, Querencia Ciera Joshua, Ariel D. Jueschke, Brett Charles Juranka, Conner J. Karam, Brittany Kelly, Rachel L. Key, Shaheryar T. Khan, Anitra L. King, Taylor E. King, Brian J. Kingham, Jennifer L. Kirkendall, Haleah N. Kittling, Johan A. Kjellsten, Karli Maurine Klein, Kinlee M. Klumpp, Kayleigh A. Kohnke, Hannah E. Koonce, William Edward Kreider, Caitlyn M. Kudrecki, Jodie Lynn LaGrange, LeAnn Mindy LaRocca, Wesley S. Labiche, Morgan Claire Labove, Aaron Luke Lamb, Cameron S. Landry, Donovan D. Landry, Karleena Ann Langenfeld, Julianne Camille Lannin, Tyler C. Lannin, Hayden Michael Lantz, Victoria G. Lantz, Aidan Q. Larocca, James Eric Lasher, Tabitha Ann Lasyone, Elizabeth E. Latil, McKenlie Nicole Lavergne, Matthew Keith LeBlanc, Audree Bess LeBleu, Paul Russell LeBleu, Thomas Cade Leake, Baylie E. Lee, Jacob R. Lee, Amanda C. Lehn, Kristen Marie Sonnier Lemaire, Caleb Lewis, Ebony L’Shai Lewis, Collier Thomas Litel, Starr E. Livingston, Madelyn E. Loftin, Shelby L. Lognion, Destiny M. Lubin, Andrea J. Lytle, Gary E. Lytle, Rohan N. Maharaj, Brandi A. Malbrew, Austin G. Mallett, Laken N. Mallett, Madison C. Malone, Carah E. Mancuso, Morgan L. Mancuso, Chloe’ Noelle Marshall, Carol Ann Martin, Caroline Elizabeth Martin, Laura Lee Martin, Tara Lynn Matt, Kaitlin Anastasia Matthews, Savannah Claire Mayeaux, Jarrod Adam Maynard, Victoria Paige McFarlain, Emily Hope McGee, Nathan Curtis McLemore, David C. McMichael, Christian M. McMorris, Caleb C. McNabb, Brant C. McNease, Kyle J. Mccomb, Siyanda Thina Mdleleni, Katie Lynn Mefford, Cynthia A. Melanson, Jamie Aleysa Mele, Alejandra Patricia Mendez, Victoria L. Mendoza, Robyn K. Meschwitz, Mary Megan Metoyer, Lynsey Alexandra Mhire, Amber Michelle Michaelis, Gavin C. Miller, Jeffrey Brian Miller, Luke T. Miller, Natalie D. Miller, Thor Miller, Van Jake Miller, Matthew David Mixon, Shelbi H. Monceaux, Michael Logan Monroe, Zachary Charles Monroe, Lauren E. Montelaro, Lauren M. Montgomery, Evan Christopher Morris, Robert H. Morris, Jordana Michelle Buxton Mott, Courtney E. Mouton, Madison Elizabeth Murphy, Michael Amza Newcomb, Corey W. Newman, Minh Vincent Nguyen, Nathanael Seth Nicholas, Jake Benjamen Nixon, Emani Norflett, Alaina N. Norsworthy, Emily Lorice Northcutt, Kendall Scot Nugent, Samantha D. Nunez, Michael F. O’Meara, Paola Olazabal, Amber D. Olman, Maria C. Orsot, Ramona Elizabeth Orsot, William A. Ott, Diego A. Padilla-Chargoy, Shelby Nichole Parisey, Erik W. Parker, Jalyn Denay Parker, Gabriel Sierra Parson, Alicen Elizabeth Pearce, Gerald E. Peek, Chad Joseph Peloquin, Chanler Jade Borel Perkins, Benjamin R. Perry, Amber Lynn Petry, Ashley N. Petry, Hannah B. Phillips, Ali R. Piatt, Karley Marie Picou, Tabatha L. Pierce, Chivonne Ashley Pierre-Williams, Addilyn E. Poole, Muneeza Qureshi, Rebecca Caroline Ramsey, Megan Anita Rankins, Jason Neil Reddoch, Jaclynn R. Reeves, Janey Patricia Reeves, Shelbie McKenzie Reeves, Lily N. Regan, Thomas C. Reinecke, Cody L. Reviere, Jimmie Jean Richard, Malorie M. Richard, Miranda Faye Richard, Hayley Nicole Staton Richards, Elaine Gayle Rider, Kiani Jene Roberson, Jake Anthony Roberts, Amber R. Robertson, Briaunna N. Robinson, Margaret Claire Rodriguez, Wallace Paul Rogers, Nicole D. Roofner, David Rougeau, Tiffany Joy Rowell, Jake J. Royer, Brooke Gabrielle Rozas, Braden Pierce Ryder, Graham Quincy Ryder, Sonny A. Saicharoen, Katelyn Babineaux Saltzman, Tuaneshia A. Sam, Matthew Patrick Samec, Marissa Lucia Samora, Eric Michael Santini, Jenna Kay Schlotfeldt, Jacob P. Scott, Tiara Chavon Scott, Christian Robert Seaward, Shane T. Selman, Ariel T. Shawa, Mary C. Shearman, Lance Michael Shuff, Kenneth T. Sigmund, Samantha JoAnne Simmons, Brianna M. Simon, Charles Q. Skym, Tristen C. Slauson, Marissa Renea Smith, Molly A. Smith, Morgan L. Smith, Taylor R. Smith, Mallorie Lynn Snider, Morgen E. Snider, Cameron J. Soileau, Lenise G. Soileau, Monica Michelle Soileau, Sarah Abigail Soileau, Shelby Lauren Spann, Sarah Nicole Sparlin, Justin Z. Spikes, Deven Michelle Stanley, Taylor N. Staton-Darbone, Victoria L. Stehula, Andrew R. Steiner, Kelly J. Stephens, Tanner M. Stewart, Stephanie Diane McBride Stickell, Charles J. Stracner, Mallory Brooke Stutes, Halee A. Sullivan, David R. Swire, Blair Belanger Taylor, Cara Michelle Taylor, Kameron Rae Bourgeois Taylor, Quinton R.D. Tharp, Amelia C. Thibodeaux, Caleb Q. Thibodeaux, Deborah A. Thibodeaux, Elise Ann Thibodeaux, Jamie S. Thibodeaux, Katelyn S. Thibodeaux, Myree Sarai Thibodeaux, Claire R. Thigpen, Lorita A. Thomas, Tara Nicole Thomas, Danielle Kay Thompson, Brooklynn Nicole Borel Thornton, Jesse D. Thurman, Alvin John Trahan, Chase E. Trahan, Joey Keith Trahan, Sarah Traske, Hong B. Truong, Truc Linh T. Truong, Patrice Olite Turner, Wendy G. Tygrett, Joshua E. Underwood, Bretton Tyler Urban, Madison Danielle Valenti, Sebastian Vargas, Alexis Louise Vaughan, Mason C. Veillon, Carol C. Vermillion, Adam J. Viator, Rachel Anne Viator, Russell Lynn Victorian, Lindsay Elise Vincent, Tyler Burton Vincent, Ashlyn M. Viola, Jasmine M. Vital, Nguyen Christina Chau Vo, Alla Voth, Kenneth Joseph Waddell, Chase A. Walker, Morgan M. Waller, Glenn Alan Ward, Amna Wardariya, Hailey Ann Wasylkowski, Miles Gagnon Watts, Landen Kane Webb, David A. Weckerly, Annslea T. Whiddon, Randa Gaynes Whitaker, Carley Elizabeth White, Cody Garrett White, Michael M. White, Lori Lee Granger Wilfer, Kennedie Wilkerson, Anna Elizabeth Williams, Ashley A. Williams, Chassiddy Danielle Williams, Elena C. Williams, Leatrice Annette Bertrand Williams, Sara Katherine Williams, Toni A. Winbush, Gabriel Ray Thomas Wing, Brittany Genese Winters, Sydney C. Witherwax, Kara K. Witsman, Ashton Elizabeth Wood, Janice Melissa Worley, Kellen Jerard Wright, Lester E. Wright, Vera Joyce Wyatt.
ABBEVILLE: Nia A. Cole, Derek J. Lee, Courtney P. Lomas, John P. McLain, Hillary L. Primeaux, Kyle M. Zenon.
ADDIS: Louis Jordan Conerly.
AMA: Randi Mischel Beltz.
ANACOCO: Wade R. Morrison.
BASILE: Macie Lane Fontenot, Abbey L. Guillory, Trenton E. Pelloquin, Adrienne B. Thibodeaux.
BATON ROUGE: Christiana C. Berg, Sirtelli R. Dorsey, Denise Ramsey, Kristen Rozas, Brandyn M. Tate, Kelly Denise Terry.
BELL CITY: Megan L. Elkins, Andrew Jonathan Galloway, Julia L. Hebert, Joshua Adam Henderson, Raimee Elizabeth Miller, Darbi Kay Montie, Jarrett S. Nunez, Samantha Rae Davenport Schultz.
BENTON: Amber C. Comeaux.
BOSSIER CITY: Jasmyn N. Carswell.
BOURG: Brady J. Simon.
BOYCE: Christin Dena Gaspard.
BREAUX BRIDGE: Paula A. Alexander, Kendrell M. Davis, Phyllis Marie Jean Louis, Deandre S. John, Morgan L. Perrio.
BROUSSARD: Jennifer L. Comeaux.
BRUSLY: Ryan Christopher Chapman. BUNKIE: Whitney Nicole Ross, Garrett K. Soileau, Bridget M. Yielding.
CAMERON: Andrew N. Mudd, Karlee B. Primeaux, Harmony M. Trahan.
CARENCRO: Robin Michaela Batiste, Brandi N. Broussard.
CHATAIGNIER: Rockell Zena Thomas.
CHURCH POINT: Kaitlyn A. Bellard, Cindy Sherrill Colon, Natalie R. Johnson, Allison Rachelle Schexnayder.
CLARENCE: Raven L. Winslow.
COVINGTON: Joseph D. Long.
CROWLEY: Nicholas E. Benoit, Curtis R. Broxton, Tanika E’Shaun Charles, Trakalyn Brieon Goodley, Allison E. Hoffpauir, Mallory Elise Hoffpauir, Nicole R. Landry, Jordan Christopher Owens, Jakia J. Rigmaiden, Josef C. Schmid, Destani Kay Whitaker.
DEQUINCY: Garrett T. Berry, Jessica Lyn Dyson Burch, Melisa A. Clary, Matthew V. Cooley, Laikyn N. Cooper, Lauryn Ashlie Copeland, Karra Morris Dronette, Nanci Kaye Evans, Jonathan Kade Haley, Brooke Barrow Havens, Micah H. Havens, Arlon A. Hebert, Alicia May Marie Istre, Austin Louis LaRocque, Jonathon T. Lueck, Teresa Anne Nevells, Sydney Kay Lamberth Rainwater, Cody L. Thibodeaux, Erica Louise Thompson, Ethen P. Walls.
DERIDDER: Rebecca Ann Alianell, Alanna J. Anderson, Lindsey N. Aycock, Ayla A. Bailey, Lana Elizabeth Benson, Amanda Michele Brown, Marlana Dawn Callais, Annalaura Causey, Martha Kay Chaddick, Kaitlyn N. Cline, Chelsea D. Coleman, Lindsey Patrice Ruppert Cooley, Dallas D. Day, Steven T. Duong, Kevin M. Erpelding, Dylan Bert Everett, James Robert Ford, Megan N. Fox, Angelina M. Hennigan, Wayne Darrel Hennigan, Samantha Jane Hill, Kennetra Mickell Isler, Phillip A. Jones, Zarina P. Lao, Katherine Danielle Lee, Haley Michelle Lockhart, Shana Nicole Martin, Tiffany M. Mayers, Joshlyn Jade McBride, Aaron T. Milner, Megan Lea Moyers, Lauren Rebecca Mullican, Demi Raye O’Neal, Amelia Paige Parks, Lucas Benjamin Peterson, Kathern Ann Robinson Plummer, Hayden Mitchell Poteet, Jesse Lee Primeaux, Maigen C. Pruitt, Keri M. Reeves, Zachary Carroll Roussel, Tiffany Sanford, Erick P. Scott, Alyson Makenzie Simmons, Bethany Thornton Simmons, Nicholas A. Skinner, Victoria L. Snyder, Logan Edwin Spivey, Katherine D. Stephens, Kyle W. Sylvest, Kyle J. Thorne, Celeste Danielle Townsley, Jamie Marie Wentzel, David K. Williams, Heather Marie Williams, Joey Nicole Willis.
DELCAMBRE: Courtney M. Leblanc, Emily A. Leblanc.
DENHAM SPRINGS: Kalil El-Khansa, April D. Ford, Pearl Russchelle Overhultz.
DOWNSVILLE: Jessica D. Taylor.
DRY CREEK: Jessie L. Burchard, Jordan B. Bushnell, William Russell Hardwick, Deavon Bebee Schluckbier, Christy D. Wilkerson, Scott E. Williams.
DUTCHTOWN: Chelsey L. DeLouche.
EGAN: Hunter Woodward Freeland, Samantha M. Reed, Madilyne C. Trahan.
ELIZABETH: Jacee Marie Bacon, Maghan Brooke Cooley.
ELM GROVE: Allison C. Rogers.
ELTON: Mackenzie Blair Allen, Joel Sullivan Byrne, Kieshauna Quinita Clayton, Naomi Kay Kinkelaar Dufrene, Lydia Claire Faulk, Keagan Chaise Fontenot, Garrett Lane Laughlin, Benjamin C. Shallow, Brittney Celestine Shallow, LaToya LaKeisha Woods-Williams.
ERATH: Drake M. Guidry, Morgan S. Lemaire, Nichole M. Viator.
EROS: Jamie Lee.
ESTHERWOOD: Taatum Adair Rubin, Jenna Nicole Smith.
EUNICE: Courtney P. Ceasar, Adrien L. Courville, Emily B. Deshotel, Jennifer Lauren Frey, Vivian Claire Miller, Emily Paige Ogea, Brad A. Redlich, Alexander Jacque Rozas, Sierra Rachel Stridiron, Miranda Ann LeBlanc Young.
EVANGELINE: Mary Jeleana Simar.
FENTON: Keivian D. Gauthier.
FLORIEN: Marissa Shareese Garner.
FOREST HILL: Kristy L. Robertson.
FORKED ISLAND: Ashton R. Hargrave.
FORT POLK: Tyler L. Crow, Tiffany Anne Laramie.
FRANKLIN: Emily M. Chauvin, Katie M. Sonnier.
GLOSTER: Dwight Deon Gatlin.
GONZALES: Sydney Paige Main.
GRAND CHENIER: Madison L. Bonsall, Lauren A. Carter, Alex C. Jones.
GRAND LAKE: Kevin Joseph Delaney.
GRANT: Bryce Alan Laird.
GRAY: Kuiana Brown Wilson.
GRETNA: Andrew D. Giglio.
GUEYDAN: Danielle Marie Broussard, Canaan J. Delhomme, Trevor M. Derouen, Kimberly Michelle Guillotte, Joshua J. Hebert, Kade P. Petry, Mason P. Reed, Ann C. Simon, Justin Patrick Zaunbrecher.
HACKBERRY: Samuel R. Ducote, Thomas J. Ducote, Samantha A. Little, Destiny J. Simon, Jolie A. Trahan.
HATHAWAY: Maegan R. Charpentier, Darian Paige Lanthier.
HAYES: Heidi D. Zaunbrecher, Jenna Nicole Zaunbrecher.
HOUMA: Jordan E. Brunet, Matthew A. Duplantis, Jon’ Christian Javontae Ward.
IOTA: Allison P. Baggett, Laura E. Cart, Tyler J. Floyd, Ashley Kay Hargrave, Caroline Y. Hebert, Jena Richard LaCombe, Jenna Eileen LeJeune Zaunbrecher.
IOWA: Brittney N. Bourque, Tanner Craig Buller, Jacob S. Caldwell, Tamara Jo Callais, Hannah A. Canter, Lynette Marie Cormier, Nicholas Ryan Daigle, Katelyn Leann Derouen, Alice M. Edmaiston, Mylissa Selena Ferro, Alejandra N. Gonzalez, Natalie Rebecca Irwin, Roger J. Kamrowski, Kennedy R. Kober, Karolyn Ann LaCour, Bryan J. Lambert, Martial Landry, Natalie M. Landry, Kammi Nicole Long, Mandy Cathlynn Edmaiston Lopez, Kelsey Marie Love, Boyd Joseph Lowe, Danielle L. McManus, Abbie C. Melanson, Jake S. Miller, Tess Cecilia Moss, Kimberly Renee’ Nunez, Joann Thellen Panza, Alison Nicole Peloquin, Katelynne A. Reed, James Bertman Sanders, Jeffrey Grant Sonnier, George J. Trahan, Katherine Marie Verdin, Blake Lee John Vidrine, Dionne Renee Vigee, Briley Jade Wilson.
JENNINGS: Michelle Andrepont, Warner James Angelle, Alex Lee Ardoin, Brance Adrian Baca-White, Brittany N. Bonin, Justin Michael Breaux, Courtney Beth Broussard, Chaz Jaye Campbell, Caitlyn Christine Compton, Breanna L. Cummins, Mattie Nicole Daigle, Victoria Patricia De Las Casas, Kylie Brooke Derks, David Gareth Duhon, Katelyn Renee Duhon, Sophie A. Eastman, Elizabeth K. Guidry, Aimee Margaret McNally Guillotte, Rosalie Clare Guinn, Robbie Kayeshon Haley, Angelle R. Hebert, Kathleen Marie Hebert, Dominique Renee’ Ivory, Kristen P. Johnson, Renee Marie Juneau, Adam Lance Kershaw, Sara Elizabeth Kleinpeter, Kaitlyn Eleanor Landry, Robin L. Langley, Tanner Scott Lanier, Haley Michelle LeBlanc, Terry Lam Lu, Clint Hunter Manuel, Morgan Marie Marceaux, Brianna N. Owers, Amber Julaine Pete, Emilie K. Petry, Mallory C. Petry, Russell Peyton Phelps, Matthew Charles Precht, Harriet Beth Quibodeaux, Joseph Gabriel Robicheaux, Olivia P. Robison, Kayli Elizabeth Scogin, Reanne E. Smith, Kayla A. Tracy, Brittany D. Trahan, Katelin Rose Wilder. KAPLAN: Clay P. Boudreaux, Brett M. Broussard, Victoria R. Dubois, Lynsie M. Fulkerson, Michaela Paige Herpin, Cole L. Latiolais, Megan Michelle Treme.
KENNER: Chantel Dauzat.
KINDER: Layni Brooke Allemand, Kade Kent Andrews, Brennan Jules Attales, Kayla Cheree Babineaux, Courtney B. Buller, Whitney Brooke Hollins Bushnell, Caleb Marshal Butts, Betty Jean Cartwright, Lanie Denae’ Courville, Nathan P. Courville, Patience Joy Frederick, Taylor Deon Hebert, Thomas L. Holland, Sadie Alexis Johnson, Jeffery Michael Knapick, Alexis C. LaFleur, Sharon Marie Murrell, Katrina Michele Pitre, Catherine Ellyn Reed, Zachary Ray Rider, Randy C. Savant, Sydney Tyler Thomas, Megan E. Trahan, Desmond R. Woodward.
LACASSINE: Ian S. Gotreaux, Stacy N. Guillory, William Wayne Precht, Victoria Paige Verret.
LAFAYETTE: Mia Marie Batiste, Kaylon M. Benjamin, Nakia R. Dennis, Sonia F. Dorsey, Leah Sedra Fontenot, Ki’Onna J. George, Hannah Suzann Hargrave, Darrel Thaddeus Jackson, Chelcie Jones, Tracy J. Kendrick, Kasey L. Kraemer, Krystal Dawn McBride, Damion Christopher Morgan, Ashley Rose Mouton, Meghan S. Narcisse, Shekeitha Tenise Poullard, Jessica Nicole Suire, Pamela Ann Williams.
LAKE ARTHUR: Lexie D. Abshire, Kelsey M. Guidry, Morgan Leigh Hay, Shanna Renee Hebert, Abby A. Hollister, Taylor M. Lejeune, Kayli R. Meaux, Natalie M. Oliver, Kaitlyn K. Trahan, Stacy L. Welch, Caitlyn Rebecca Womack.
LAPLACE: Joshua E. Smith, Wesley M. Vickers.
LEBLANC: Haley Brooke Duhon.
LEESVILLE: Benjamin F. Burnham, Hannah Michele Cardy, Ceaira Crowe, Brooke M. Ducote, Ariel Enrique Hargrove, Savannah Rachelle Johnson, Kristina Marie Matthai, Shannon Moore, Nicole Page Purtiman, Emilee J. Stewart.
LIVINGSTON: Taylor Nicole Watts.
LONGVILLE: Casey L. Cooley, Taylor Brianne Dixon, Angel D. Laurent Milner, Kelly Darlene Marshall, Chad R. Myers, Alexandra Browne Ramsey, Tiler A. Schysm, Devyn Wayne Smith.
LORANGER: Sarah E. Burch.
LULING: Spencer Floyd Albert.
MAMOU: Jonathan P. Fontenot, Joshua P. Fontenot, Kelsie R. Guillory, Aaron L. Johnson.
MANSfiELD: Ellon Margaret Key.
MANY: Rebecca T. Smith. MARINGOUIN: Bradley J. Sterling.
MARRERO: Torin R. Burns.
MAURICE: Randee Nichole Vincent.
MERMENTAU: Kristy N. Istre, Meaghanne Rayshel Viator.
MERRYVILLE: Summer Alexis Babin, Hailea A. Hammond, Dawn Haley Tyler, Lynnette Brooke Whitehead.
MITTIE: Natosha Jade Morvant, Headyn J. Reeves.
MORGAN CITY: Kellee Ann Bandemer.
MORSE: Kyra B. Louvierre, Katelyn L. Woods.
MOSS BLUff: Kerri Cherie Hebert, Natalie Brooke Khoury, Laiken Thigpen.
MOUNT HERMAN: Brandie L. Kerbow.
NATCHITOCHES: Jamie Drew Davis, Victoria Rachal.
NEW IBERIA: Marielle E. Bienvenu, Nia R. Boutte, Jaleesa Ann-Marie Bray, Kelley Victoria Clancey, Skylar DeRouen, Haley E. Leleux, Joseph C. Lissard, Skylar Nicole Manuel.
NEW LLANO: Darius Johnson.
OAKDALE: Alyssa L. Brabham, Christian Jacob Harrington, Melinda Harrington, Dawson K. Marcantel, Kelsi Alyn Salard, Halie Denise Thompson, Jaime Lynn Welch, Victoria L. Welch.
OBERLIN: Carley Rae Allen, Zachary C. Daigle, Emily Renee’ Granger, Haley Lakyn Reeves, Kylie Elise Smith, Keovonnie S. Wilson.
OPELOUSAS: Chastity A. Boyance, Nicholas Luis Diaz, John Calvin Doucet, Chakeia Markelle James, Tammara R. Richard, Khalil D. Thomas, Lauren R. Wyble, David C. Zerangue.
PATTERSON: Leah R. Prince.
PINE PRAIRIE: Randi B. Bourque.
PINEVILLE: James B. Pressley.
PLAQUEMINE: Jessie Lee Gilchrist Dupre, Kristin A. Lestage.
POLLOCK: Ashley Marie Mayeux.
PORT BARRE: Brittany L. Clements.
PORT VINCENT: Cole B. Bonewitz.
RAGLEY: Zackary T. Ardoin, Dillon J. Breaux, Katie Marie Bruce, Hannah E. Burnett, Chelsea Nicole Darbonne, Morgan Rose Domingue, Katrina Lynne Du-Bose, Morgan D. Filipski, Allison Beth Burleigh Fontenot, Benjamin Richard Garcia, Emily N. Griffin, Amanda M. Hantz, Ashley B. Hossain, Emily Shannon Hunt, Austin Perry Jiminez, Kaetlin P. Lalonde, Jeremiah P. Leger, Brittany Lynn Perkins, Brittany Nicole Pousson, Shawn Eloise Richard, Robert S. Rosfeld, Annette Marie Ramsey Weaver.
RAYNE: Jordan Taite Daigle, Clint Faul, Myashia Chiara Hollier, Cecily C. Schexnyder, Monique Raquel Southerland, Payton N. Zaunbrecher.
RAYVILLE: Shawndareus E. Watkins, Dechristeon J. Wilson.
REEVES: Eric B. Marler.
ROANOKE: Amie E. Ferguson, Victoria AnnaBelle Fontenot, Alexis M. Gaspard.
ROSEPINE: Alexis S. Pearce, Alyx J. Shell, Dustin L. Thompson.
SCOTT: Jean R. Breaux, Logan Claire Richard.
SHREVEPORT: Jalen L. Bowers, Raiyawna S. Gatlin, Jammerio D. Gross, Andrew S. Harp, Andrea Danielle Shepherd.
SINGER: Colton B. Boyer, Callie Tate Crain, Chance Tyler Johnson, Joy Elaine Jordan, Reagan Jewel Kerry, Alicia Diane Leonard, Winter Ixshelle Mathews, Blanche N. Stine.
SLAUGHTER: Kyra S. Anderson, Mary Grace Brian.
SLIDELL: Amber Marie Dixon, Kohl S. Klaus, James David Mitchell.
SPEARSVILLE: Aleanndra N. Nelson.
ST. MARTINVILLE: Brittney Ann Robichaux.
ST. ROSE: Jared Lamar Mack.
STARKS: Sheramie Danette Barlow, Ciara Shantel Bussell, Liegha Jonea’ Clark, Maci J. Stanley.
STONEWALL: Peter M. Ashley.
SUGARTOWN: Cassidy L. Johnson, Kay Emily Sonnier.
SULPHUR: Christayle Dawne Bryant Agosto, Ashley M. Austin, Khenni Rebekah Barr, Caroline Elizabeth Bauer, Adrian Felipe Beltran, Dylon Scott Benoit, Kasa A. Benoit, Stephen Chase Billeaudeau, Alexis N. Blackwelder, Alexiss Aerial Boudreaux, Austin A. Bourgeois, Mackenzie Elizabeth Bourgeois, Taylor Ann Bourque, Bianca N. Bradbury, Lauren G. Breaux, Makayla Diane Breaux, Christina Michelle Brooks, Kristina DaLynn Brooks, Jessie M. Burke, Hunter Beau Burleson, Stephen L. Carrier, Malarie Grace Carroll, Andrew Joseph Casteel, Madison L. Chappell, Qiu Rong Chen, Maddison M. Cholley, Blake Anthony Clooney, Emily Ashlyn Clyde, Chelsea Lynn Comeaux, Ciara Mae Conway, Kayla Renee Dailey, Dustin Michael Darbonne, Lester A. DeLouche, Alyssa Gabrielle Derouen, Kayla Ann Dickerson, Pamela Elyse Dion, Amber Nichole Domingue, Kristen Brooke Blanchard Dore, Madison Lorrain Dulany, Austin Paul Dupre, Brittany Elaine East, Ashley Dianne Edwards, Hannah Grace Fogg, Christopher James Fontenot, Robert Brennan Fontenot, Cathryn Alyson Frey, Hans Alexander Funk, Jessica Morgan Fuselier, Kourtlyn Marie Fuselier, Kylee M. Fuselier, Devin L. Gaidosek, Hannah M. Galbraith, Alex Dewayne Gilbert, Heather Leigh Gill, Rilee Breann Goos, Alice Temise Guillory, Brittany Claire Leon Guillory, Whitney Michele Guillory, Danae Leanne Gunter, Jonathon Kasey Hardy, Lance E. Hawkins, Megan Michelle Hebert, Derek Leland Henry, Elizabeth Jean Heurtevant, Gabrielle Nicole Higginbotham, Kaley James Hinch, Perri Elizabeth Holmes, Kelsi Jo Horton, Alex Paul Huck, Alicia N. Hutchison, Carla Denise Hutchison, Kenzie Kayde LaSage Istre, Cameron Cade Johnson, Haley Elise Johnson, Roy L. Jones, Olivia A. Kelly, Jay Kumar, Liliana Landaverde, Alexis E. Langley, Colin Scott Laughlin, Morgan G. LeDoux, Taylor T. Lebleu, Allison Anne Lee, Celeste M. Lee, Morgan Michele Leger, Elyse Dianne Legros, Ruston A. Logan, Samuel K. Mancil, Lauren Paige Mansell, Christian N. Marsh, Courtney Ann McCarty, Kelly Lynn McDonald, Stephanie L. McGee, Emily E. Meek, Emilee P. Mellard, Anthony Wade Miller, Kimberly Nicole Miller, Devin Garrett Morris, Shauna Amberleigh Mosley, Joseph Muth, Caleb D. Olbrych, Ashley Ann-Marie Owen, Rachel N. Palermo, Ashley Anne Paris, Sarah A. Parsons, Laken Tess Patin, Stephen G. Pennick, Jenica R. Pichnic, Joseph Taylor Pinson, Ashley Marie Prestridge, Lindsey Brooke Primeaux, Brittian L. Qualls, Kerri Elizabeth Racca, Frankie Reed, Miles Arthur Sebastian Reynolds, Kimberly S. Richard, Dalyn Wayne Roberts, Jordan P. Schwartzenburg, Skylar M. Seaford, Elizabeth A. Settoon, Tabitha Jane Goodeaux Sheppard, Annie E. Shipp, Patricia Ilene Smith, Brently Russell Sorgee, Alex K. Spell, Sharyne Elizabeth Stanley, Mary Ellen Stephens, Gage M. Stewart, April Rachel Henry Stone, Carlee Danae Theriot, Regan Ann Thrasher, Barrett Layne Tinker, Jacob Allen Walsh, Vicki Lynn Waterbury, Raeleigh Morgan Whitfield, Shannon Elaine Williams, Sharon Danielle Willis, Devon Thomas Woods, Ty Allan Wright, Mitchell Porter Wyninger, Robert E. Younger.
SWEETLAKE: Sydney Elizabeth Myers.
VILLE PLATTE: Alexandra Pearl Ardoin, Tanner G. Ardoin, Emily R. Bergeron, Sadie N. Buller, Erin E. Deville, Annie Auriel Edward, Brad P. Fontenot, Kaleb Jon Fontenot, Leah B. Fontenot, Maggie M. Fusilier, Courtney Annette Cloud Godeaux, Kaitlyn Elizabeth Guillory, Reygan A. Jagneaux, Macie D. Lafleur, Malerie R. Limoges, Christopher Brian Manuel, Alexa J. Poullard, Allyson K. Soileau, Ja’Kyrah O. Thomas, Brittany N. Vidrine.
VINTON: Keontae’ J. Anderson, Jennifer J. Bahnsen, Tasha Gayle Bruno, Morgan Lyn Robinson Dougay, Hali Elizabeth Habetz, Celine Grace Hoffpauir, Luke Caden LeBouef, Tyler Ryan Marceaux, Monica Thao My Nguyen, Holly Beth Nichols, Jacob Samuel Savoit, Ashley Rae Trahan.
VIVIAN: Olandis J. Johnson.
WALKER: Constance A. Register.
WASHINGTON: Sadie A. Costanza, Kelly Joseph Nielsen.
WELSH: Christopher Ryan Ardoin, Haden P. Cooley, Emma Catherine Cormier, Lauren Taylor Fontenot, Elizabeth B. Fox, Maggie Lynnette Frey, Hayley Alaine Guidry, Estelle Ann Langley, Kourtney Allyson Leblanc, William Don Leger, Morgan Whitney Manuel, Katie A. Matthias, Brandi Rachelle Robinson, Kevin D. Romero, Krystal Dawn Romero, Kourtney A. Soileau, Bethany Delome Trahan, Merci C. Treme, Gabrielle Grace Watkins, Weston J. Watkins, Regan Zaunbrecher Wild, Cole T. Wilkinson, Michael B. Witherwax, Lynzie DeNae’ Yeates. WEST MONROE: Tyler C. Bushnell. WESTLAKE: Wilma R. Bagley, Tyler Ray Todd Brumback, Courtney Paige Carlock, Adam Christopher Chase, Jody Ryan Doucet, Lacy L. Ewing, Donecia R. Fulton, Madison Lynne Gaspard, Brianne Nicole Gleave, Kylie R. Goodeaux, Mallory S. Goodeaux, Morgan F. Hardey, Hayden Alec Hasenbein, Rachel Erin Hebert, Jase D. Johnson, Michael O. Kee, Miranda Lynn Langley, Christian Blaise McCoy, Molly Catherine McGuirt, Mary Elizabeth Mead, Jennifer R. Miller, Rysa Michelle Miller, Tori B. Miller, Alexa J. Mirchi, Brant A. Morton, Kimberly A. Moseley, Shaylee Dawn Newlan, Megan Victoria Ortego, Taffi Poirot, Rosemary Noelle Prejean, Jalen R. Thomas, David William Victory. YOUNGSVILLE: Kristen Nicole Landry, Jillian Beth Phillips. ZACHARY: Drewe V. Burns. ZWOLLE: Kasey Christine Fisette. TEXAS ALLEN: Taylor Trent. ANAHUAC: Mary-Katelyn Jean Price. ARLINGTON: Sarah T. Bricker. AUSTIN: Lewis Guilbeau. BAYTOWN: Rachel D. Smith. BEACH CITY: Amber Michelle DeJean. BEAUMONT: Kamon Roshawd Darby, Michaela Audrianna Malveaux, Katherine Amanda Newmiller, Jacob Alan Stewart, Marisa N. Taunton, Jasmine N. Thomas. BEN WHEELER: Haily R. Jenkins. BRENHAM: Jordan Elaine Foerster. BRIDGE CITY: Courtney Dawn McKinney. BUNA: Nicole Lynn Casper, Brinton R. Ratcliff, Taylor L. Spell. COLUMBUS: Bri-Anna Elizabeth Hernandez. CROSBY: Heather E. Fairbanks. CYPRESS: Ryne C. Ferguson. DAISETTA: Cade A. Huckabay. DEER PARK: Joshua Paul Hartwell, Emilee M. Mayes. DEL VALLE: Diana G. Huerta. EL LAGO: Mireya Olyvia Martinez. ELGIN: Grant Bogue Merka. FLOWER MOUND: Gabrielle Rene’ D’Alesandro. FRIENDSWOOD: Larissa Perez. FRISCO: Morgan P. Middleton. GOODRICH: Amy E. Phillips. GRAPELAND: Lisa Frauenberger. HARLINGEN: Roxie J. Davis. HUNTSVILLE: Jessica Ross. HOUSTON: Edward J. Alcantara, Clay Brast, Kanisha Ford, Jarren E. Greenwood, Leah Hrachovy, Kristian Da’Shawn Ojonta, Richard Bryce Packard, Michelle D. Petrarca, Shanna Brooke Spree, Christy Mingus Williams. HUMBLE: Michael Tyler Jones. KATY: Marie V. Abell, Steven Aaron Robinson, Claire E. Tanous. LAKE JACKSON: Malina Sanchez. LEWISVILLE: Stephen Ugochukwu. LIVINGSTON: Gabriel Cody Gonzales. MONTGOMERY: Kaitlin Claire Fox, William Fox, Riley K. Isaac. NEDERLAND: Donovan Caleb Barfield, Kirsten Danielle Diaz. ORANGE: Gregory Scott Askew, Emilee Faith Bellow, Lauren Elizabeth Dameron, Brittany Valen Dowdle, Amina U. Flore, Hayley Sky Kibodeaux, Lindsey Renee McDuff, Brennon J. Moore, Ashton Lynn Ratcliff, Emily J. Ratcliff, Sarah V. Thomas. ORANGEfiELD: Jamie Leigh Beaulieu. PASADENA: Joseluis Botello-Esquivel, Keegan Reeve Crawford, Blake Cameron Gilbert. PEARLAND: Alexandra J. Aguilera, Keara D. Hudnall. PLANO: Audric Rodriguez Coleman. RICHARDSON: Matthew William Daseke. SPRING: Matthew James Jones, Germaine Bellow Raney. SUGAR LAND: Savannah LaRicci. TROUP: Charisma McCowin. VICTORIA: Darby M. Swoboda. WILLIS: Austin A. Briggs. WINNIE: Amy Anne Harrington, Sydnie Kay Sutherland. ARIZONA MESA: Shelby Michelle Spicer. ARKANSAS SPRINGDALE: Rachel Marie Maddock. CALIFORNIA CARLSBAD: Erika Piancastelli. CHINO: Dayna C. Garcia. EL SOBRANTE: Traci Marie Anderson. FALLBROOK: Hailey M. Drew. HEMET: Nola R. Prickett. LANCASTER: Alexis Suzanne Lee Pertle. MURRIETA: Megan E. Holmes. COLORADO PARKER: Stephen Crane. FLORIDA GREEN COVE SPRINGS: Kody Christopher Hendricks. LAND O’ LAKES: Danielle Duncan. ST. AUGUSTINE: Haleigh I. Smith. IDAHO AMMON: Kendee L. Owen. ILLINOIS AURORA: Liza V. Shelton. ROMEOVILLE: Walter Lawrence Bonk, Karoline Nicole Macias. KANSAS LENEXA: Robert Day. OLATHE: Austin G. Sanders. MICHIGAN CANTON: Erin M. Winters. FLINT: Craig G. McFerrin. NEW BOSTON: Kayla Rose Keller. WILLIAMSTON: Morgan Alyse Petri . MISSISSIPPI MOUND BAYOU: Frederica Keyshawn Haywood. TUPELO: Darrell L. Spivey. MISSOURI OZARK: Bridget Justis. SPRINGfiELD: Rae A. Myers. NEVADA LAS VEGAS: Lauren A. Stroman. NEW JERSEY FREEHOLD: Harry W. Hawthorne. NEW YORK NEW YORK: Kristin R. Wills. TENNESSEE CLARKSVILLE: Samantha Brooke Causey. VIRGINIA VIRGINIA BEACH: Constance Dionne Smith. WEST VIRGINIA FAIRMONT: Kayla M. Wilson Torres. WISCONSIN WITHEE: Tory D. Miller. COUNTRIES BAHAMAS: Ariel Amelia Hanna. BANGLADESH: Joyeta Tamanna Rahman. BRAZIL: Tamylles Catherine Souza da Costa, Giulia Rodriguez Lazzarin, Marciele Andrade de Souza, Breno Aprigio Dantas Mendes Ribeiro, Carlos Eduardo Jun Kataoka, Ludmilla Ventura Alves, Gabriel Tojal Gadelha De Freitas, Bruna Arissa Yoshimura, Andre Steiner Vieira. CAMEROON: Leocadine F. Zebaze. CANADA: Alison Ann Smegal. CHINA: Jing Jin, Xiang Li, Jiachen Ning, Huanrong Ouyang, Meiyi Pan, Weihao Wang, Yiwei Xi, Wuke Zhang, Weiyu Qiu, Jiayi Yang. COLOMBIA: Yeison Henao Herrera. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Sheila Fuentes Fonts. FRANCE: Clemence Valentine Florane Pierrin Harang. GREECE: Dimitrios Panagiotidis, Tryfon Boukouvidis. HUNGARY: Vivien Borbely. INDIA: Rahul Ashokkumar Gandhi, Ritesh Ashokkumar Gandhi, Haider Nisar Mir, Shrimathi Ravikumar, Pretty Chisolm, Harpal Sukwinder Singh. INDONESIA: Patrick Budiman.
IRAN: Shaghayegh Sowlatniayfardjahromi.
JAMAICA: Melissa Ross.
KENYA: Enock Kipchumba Bor, Anderson Kimutai Yego.
MALI: Hassimi Gnafo.
MEXICO: Jose G. Castillo-Ramirez, Cinthya Alejandra Rivas Partida.
NEPAL: Akshyata Uprety, Jiwanshaili Bhandari, Rabindra Jaiswal, Prajwal Khatiwada, Ronish Lamsal, Soniya Maskey, Deependra P.C., Jaanam Pokhrel, Santosh Shrestha, Abhishek Thapa, Bikram Thapa, Pratik Thapa, Ankit Nepal, Binod Pathak.
NIGERIA: Mariam Olaide Ayinde, Justina Ebeojo Eneche, Fatimah Agbeke Tijani.
ROMANIA: Bogdan Cojanu.
RWANDA: Karenzi Alex Mutsinzi.
SAUDI ARABIA: Fahad Abdulrazaq, Mushabbab Zayed H Al Ageel, Ali Abdulaziz A Alabbad, Mohammed Yousef Fahad Alafaisan, Abdullah Theeb G Alajmi, Ahmed Aabdulazim Ali Alalasi, Rayan Ahmed Alamoudi, Mohammad Jafar H Alamrad, Abdulrahman Mallah Alanazi, Fahad Mamdouh M Alanazi, Saad Albaqawi, Saad Mohammed M Albishi, Adel Salem Aldhafeeri, Dhuhayan Saud D Aldohayan, Waleed Khalid M Aldossary, Saad Alenzi, Hasan Ali A Alhajar, Khalid Ayedh M Alhamrani, Rakan Alharbi, Turki Khaled G Alharbi, Nawaf Musleh Alharthi, Sajjad Saeed A Alhassar, Ali M. Alhishan, Fawaz Salma H Aljahdali, Mazen Aljohaif, Abdullah Mohammed S Aljohani, Abdulaziz Saleh H Alkatheri, Abdullah Sultan Ibrahem Alkhalaf, Khalid Fahad S. Alkhaldi, Alhanouf Alkhalil, Mohammed Abdullah K Almaghlooth, Abdullah Ali M Almarouf, Faisal Hamoud M Almazeani, Mohammed Mohsen Almohsen, Mohammed Ali H Almukhtar, Ahmed Abdullah D Almutairi, Tareq Khalid N Alobid, Misfer Ghazi M Alotaibi, Faisal Alqahtani, Nasser Ali S Alqhtane, Abdullah F. Alqunisi, Adel Ayed S Alresheedi, Fahad Mohammed O Alresheedi, Abdulrahman Rada K Alrouaily, Saleh Sulaiman Alrumayh, Waleed Safar Saad Alshahrani, Waleed Mohammed S Alshammri, Yasir Alsharif, Saud Alsubaie, Abdullah Fahad Alsuwaigh, Rakan Khalid Alsuwaigh, Abdulaziz Yousef M Alswailem, Naif Ahmed Altalal, Khalid Ahmed S Alzahrani, Ziad Hassan S Alzahrani, Hassan Ali Alzaid, Yaser Alzamil, Ahmad Ammar A Amin, Bassam Adel Y Banawi, Rayan Riyadh S Basudan, Abdulrahman Saad A Bin Alshaykh, Maged Bosaid, Ali Eskandrany, Naif Habash, Yosef Hakmi, Ahmed Saleh Hasrim, Abdulmajeed Yousef Khurayshi, Mohammed Ali Masmali, Osamah Nasser Nuwisser, Abdulaziz Ahmed Abdulrahman Safar, Waheeb Sami I Samaran, Hani Rasheed Shabak, Binod D.C., Abdullah Alsowayegh.
SERBIA: Tijana D. Antic.
UGANDA: Irene Kaligirwa.
UNITED KINGDOM: Bradley Francis Traviss.
VENEZUELA: Mariana Isabela Ibarra Lucambio.
VIETNAM: Duyen Tuyet Bui, Hoang Minh Cao, Thi Minh Diep, Anh Thi Kim Le, Truc Thi Thanh Le, Tuan Kha Le, Lien Bich Thi Ngo, Phat Minh Ngo, Phu Thanh Nguyen, Tien Thi Cam Nguyen, Thao Thi Thu Tran, Chi Nguyen Quynh Vo, Sach Dinh Van, Han Q. Nguyen, Hoang Nam Duong, Khanh Minh Do.
14 2016-06-07
Lake Charles

Late registration for summer session begins June 10


Late summer registration begins June 10 at McNeese State University. Students must be admitted to the university prior to registration and should see an adviser to get their alternate PIN, if required, prior to registration.
Students can go online to www.mc  neese.edu   and click on the “Students” tab and then select Banner Self-Service under “Registration” to begin the registration process. Late registration ends for the regular summer session June 14. Summer fee bills are now available online to students through the MyMcNeese Portal or their Banner Self-Service account.
Students can go online at www.mc  neese.edu/payment   to see the payment methods and payment policy on credit card payments and online payment changes. For more information, contact the McNeese Accounting Office at 337-475-5107.
A $75 late fee will be charged for those who participate in late registration . First-time freshmen and students who sign up for three hours or less will not be charged late registration fees.
Students who late register must pay all fees, including the adding of courses, in Smith Hall by 4:30 p.m. June 15 or all courses will be dropped.
14 2016-06-07
Lake Charles

School recognizes president’s list honorees


The President’s Honor List for the spring 2016 semester at McNeese State University has been announced. To be on the list, an undergraduate student must earn at least a 3.5 gradepoint average or better while carrying at least 15 semester hours. A senior eligible for graduation but carrying less than 15 hours is also eligible if that student was on the list the previous semester.
The list is as follows:
LAKE CHARLES: Robert E. Acord, Morgan E. Aleshire, Jared C. Amiot, Callie Nicole Anderson, Carmen Edward Angelini, Khristian Lorenza Anthony, Caleb M. Ardizzone, Dinelle Armstead, Olivia N. Babineaux, Kayla N. Baca, Mark Austin Bailes, Aaron Michael Barclay, Allison M. Bartek, Alfred Bartie, Cirstie Ravyn Beaubouef, Cathryn Michelle Bedevian, Taylor K. Beeson, Gurnoor Singh Benipal, Vanessa Alexandra Bentley, Julie Elizabeth Bergeron, Layton Gregory Bergstedt, Jessica A. Bernard, Brooke Ellen Bertram, Anne Marie Bono, Sarah E. Booth, Shelby L. Borders, Stefan Erik Borssen, Samantha Jillian Page Bourque, Lindsey A. Bower, Annie Lauren Bravenec, Natalie A. Brocato, Alison M. Broussard, Sydney E. Brown, Melissa Michele Brister Bruce, Brett J. Bullard, Victoria Ann Burge, Jordan N. Caldwell, Lindsey Nikole Caldwell, Sadie M. Campbell, Sophie E. Campbell, Sarah R. Carpenter, Lauren Leigh Carroll, Canon L. Cart, Carley A. Castille, Cody A. Caswell, Mchaji Cazembe Celestaine, Sharlatte Celestine, Nadine M. Chaisson, Aungelina Louise Chapman, Madison Taylor Claudel, Jonathan Gage Clausen, Jacob G. Cochran, Jordan Coe, Ashley Dawn Collins, Devin D. Collins, Gavin Zane Conley, Haley Elizabeth Cook, Emily E. Cormier, Samantha Kaye Courville, Tori Papania Craddock, Geoffrey William Criswell, Cynthia Leanne Crouse, Kelli L. Cutrera, Kimberly A. Cutrera, Steven James Dabelow, Faren R. Daigle, Kylie N. Davidson, Drusallar Zhane’ Davis, Chance Allen DeVille, Caitlyn Marie Abshire Delhomme, Lindsey E. Delouche, Jillian L. Derouen, Taylor A. Derouen, Tea B. Dickerson, Michelle Lynn Dougay, Joseph Darrell Drinkard, Joseph R. Dronet, Shelia F. Druilhet, Madison Joelie Duff, Trey Dwayne Duffel, Austin T. Dufrene, Kallie B. Duhon, Megan Capri Eakin, Christopher G. Edmond Jr, Blane E. Edwards, Madison T. Edwards, Taylor Marie Edwards, Ty D. Ellender, Kenneth W. Espree, Kelcie A. Evdokimoff, Tara Ewing, Nicole Alexis Ferriss, Jacob Allen Finley, Lauren Nicole Firmin, Elisabeth M. Fish, Allen Christopher Fontenot, Ashley M. Fontenot, Cody Michael Fontenot, Kelli A. Fontenot, Meagan N. Fontenot, Morgan G. Fontenot, Brandi Alyse Foote, Morgan C. Foreman, Gabriele G. Fournerat, Devin E. Friend, Sarah Anne-Marie Frischhertz, Jenna Leigh Fruge, Jordan L. Fuselier, Lauren B. Fuselier, Taylor A. Gagneaux, Matthew J. Gallier, Justin P. Gary, Katy Elizabeth Geymann, Megan E. Goodly, Shyla L. Gordon, Taylor M. Goree, Heidi Gruspier, Isaac P. Guillory, Olivia R. Hansen, Hannah L. Harless, Morgan Arielle Hawkins, Cynthia L. Hayes, Kristen Nicole Hebert, Matthew W. Hebert, Anna Kaj Henriksen, Catelyn R. Henry, Kylie Danee’ Bostick Herrington, Taylor M. Hickey, Monte Lynn Hickingbottom, Laken Nicole Hickman, Andrew Randolph Hill, Chandler Wayne Hine, Lodden G. Hixson, Katelyn E. Hoffpauir, Sasha Bonet Hollomon, Timothy Homan, Tyler T. Houston, Alexis Michelle Howard, Kevin T. Istre, Brydon L. Jacobson, Kaitlin A. Jeanis, Krupa Kanti Jiminez, Krista M. Jimney, Cynthia Makayla Johnson, Ethan Eli Jones, Jennifer Kay Wolford Jones, Ashley Desirae Joseph, Gabrielle D. Kadlubar, Katherine K. Kittrell, Michelle A. Klein, Collin Ray Kober, Cynthia Burt Koonce, William Frederick Kurth, Lauren E. LaFleur, Jada M. Labove, Alexandra Danielle Landry, Randi Landry, Gabrielle Marie Langley, Kristan M. Lau, Dallas Rose Lauderdale, Kelly N. Lavergne, Allie J. LeJeune, Lisa Lynn Childs LeJeune, Tristen J. Ledoux, Alician R. Lewis, Brandon Fitzgerald Lewis, Alexandra Christine Liles, Justin D. Liptak, Allison Hope Livingston, Alexandra C. Loftin, Mason N. Lyon, Chelsea M. Mancuso, Cassandra Lee Ann Mannheimer, Eugene Robert Maples, Ali E. Marceaux, Tyler Trey Marks, Cambridge P. Matthews, Anna Grace Matz, Ty D. Maxie, Sonni L. Mayes, Nicholas Gregg Forrest Mayeux, Victoria Lynn McDaniel, Gabrielle B. McGee, Ethan N. McKinney, Damian McManus, Brooke Ellen McPherson, Kimberly Danielle Medicis, Cody J. Miller, Sarah L. Miller, Remy D. Miller III, Payton N. Monticello, Jonathon B. Moreau, Tanner K. Moreau, Breana L. Moreno, Isabelle E. Moreno, Nicole Kristine Mouhot, Dwight Aaron Nash, Sadie Rose Newell, Zachary P. Nicholas, Hunter D. Nunez, Melissa Ann Nunez, Sierra Simone O’Pry, Hannah A. Ogea, Lindsay Marie Ogea, Ashly Ann Carbone Organski, Georgia G. Osburn, Isabella G. Palmer, Trent F. Parker, Nicholas Dean Passaglia, Merle Calvin Peterson, Hannah E. Pettefer, Pamela Ann Phillips, Tracy Phimmasone, Cheri A. Piert, Jordan D. Polito, Brandon James Potts, Braylynn Javonne Poullard, Laura L. Pousson, Jamie L. Quebedeaux, Crosby Dylan Qui, Tyler Scott Rasbeary, Kayla Brianne Ratliff, Collin S. Reed, Katie Michelle Reed, Michael A. Reed, Kenneth L. Reeves, Melanie A. Regan, Brian Cody Rich, Alyssa A. Richard, Katie Nicole Richard, Trevor Wyatt Richard, Emilie Elisabeth Rimlinger, Lindsey Allison Rivet, Taylor A. Robbins, Joseph P. Romero, Ted E. Romero, Robert Waltler Rutz, Elizabeth A. Salvador, Mark Travis Schmidt, Caroline Elizabeth Self, Yassara Shaikh, Kateln Michelle Ancelet Shillow, Sajeela Farjaad Siddiq, Christopher L. Sims, Brooke D. Smith, Cameron D. Smith, Hannah Kathryn Smith, Melissa L. Snider, Michael Lee Snyder, Nathanael Wade Soileau, Anna Katherine Solari, Michael Dakota Sonntag, Tyler H. Spence, Mable N. Spikes, Stephen Vega St. Michael, Veronica A. Stewart, Sawyer Reace Stiller, Ashlee Bryn Stockwell, Michael L. Stutes, Katelyn E. Sullivan, Owen Montana Sullivan, Victoria D. Sweezy, Shereen K. Taha, Tori J. Tate, Chance J. Terrell, Elizabeth Genee Tezeno, Sandra Lynn Theriot, Hunter G. Thibodeaux, Tristian G. Thomas, Esther A. Thompson, Julia Marie Thompson, Cameron Scott Tooke, Taylor M. Trahan, Candice Mariece Trail, Jade Alexia Turner, Jack Taylor Vanchiere, Lakeyn Kristine Ward, Morgan E. Watson, James L. Weeks, Zachary C. Westergren, Jackson Ray Wilson, Autumn Praise Windham, Justina Lynn Wolford. ABBEVILLE: Kayne Micheal Hargrave, Lani Roy, Bailey M. Vallot, Kiersten R. Williams. ALEXANDRIA: Amanda M. Foster. ANACOCO: Sarah E. Dillard. ARNAUDVILLE: Michelle Leigh Brasseaux, Jennifer M. Doucet. BASILE: Nicholas J. Bertrand, Samantha Renee’ Delahoussaye, Brittany Laine Johnson Lalonde, Kirstie P. Smith. BASTROP: Michelle Antoinette Harden. BATON ROUGE: Michelle Dominick, John Alexander Joyce. BELL CITY: Joshua Michael Fitkin, Zachary W. Miller, Shelby Taylor Landry Thibeaux, Kane Richard Vest. BELLE CHASSE: Natalie Estelle Smith. BERWICK: Kennedy Michelle Sampey. BOSSIER CITY: Mariah KaLee Allen, Jennifer Ann Waite. BROUSSARD: Mary Cazalot Brown. CARENCRO: Tyler S. Gaspard. CHURCH POINT: Gabriella Paige Trahan, Courtney Renee Vallery. COVINGTON: Lacee Anne Fontenot, Rachel L. Rickerson. CROWLEY: Shea Philip Bertrand, Zaner M. Cluse, Levi C. Leger, Austin G. Monceaux, Brittany P. Pastor, Jessica Virella Schexnayder, Nicole C. Taylor. DEQUINCY: Taylor B. Ashworth, McKenzie Ryan Cooper, Morgan Elizabeth Daniels, Shelby R. Matte, Trey Nelson Wayne Neyland, Andrea Paige Royer, Mary-Kate A. Segura, Camron Ray Taylor, Casey L. White, Tate R. Woodard. DERIDDER: Calvin Scott Arthur, Kristen Ann Brown, Nathaniel Aaron Brown, Amy E. Bryan, Alyssa Breanne Barrett Buzzard, Tricia Cheyenne Cappel, Austin G. Cox, Chance Lauren Cronce, Callie Michelle Downs, Macy E. Fazio, Hunter W. Frusha, Michelle Danielle Gauthier, John R. Gill, Rebecca Yvonne Harris, Brittany C. Jenkins, Devin Gunner Jones, Dustin Lee Lange, Chance Allen Leonard, Miah Shaye Lognion, Kaleb C. McDade, Ashley Nichole Pruitt Parker, Lacey Ann Porter, Jessica Lauren Porterfield, Chereamie Alyce Thibodeaux, Drew A. Victor, Shannon Joelle Villanueva, Shane Hadley Waddell, Nathan Henry Weber, Tyler Samuel White, Joshua Taylor Williams, Jossie D. Willis. DENHAM SPRINGS: Robert B. Benton, Stacey K. Devall, Cassidy J. Waters. DRY CREEK: Barron Walker Brown, Sallye D. Dugas, David Kelly Wayne Fontenot, Kendal Campbell Gott, Katlyn H. Humphreys Harper, Baley Lauryn McCullough. EGAN: Alysse M. Vondenstein. ELTON: Scott R. Deshotel, Morgan J. Fuselier. ERATH: Marcus Paul LeBlanc. EUNICE: Kristy Ann Fisher Harrigill, Linda R. Johnson, Matthew R. Klumpp, Thomas S. Logan, Lathan Luke Lyons, Thaddeus D. Richard. EVANGELINE: Danda M. Guidry. GLENMORA: Kennedy Dannielle Melder. GRAND LAKE: Matthew Breaux, Rebecca A. Dupont, Chelsea R. Guidry. GRANT: Matthew Kol Morel, Jacob C. Stark, Nicholas W. Stark. GRAY: Tiffany Nicole Morvant. GRETNA: Katelyn A. Jalbert. GUEYDAN: Laney N. Domingue, Leah Wiggins Fontenot, Trenton C. Vallo. HACKBERRY: Sydney B. Broussard, Kirsten M. Carriere, Sarah E. Lyons HAMMOND: Amber J. Donnes. HAUGHTON: Alexis N. Deleo, Everett Miller. HAYES: Evan David Abshire. HESSMER: Summer N. Anderson. HORNBECK: Alli L. Rushing. INDEPENDENCE: Alicia A. Rossano. IOTA: Hillary F. Cart, Brandi Lea Monceaux Melancon. IOWA: Leigha Allison Ardoin, Madison B. Augustine, Tonia Nicole Aymond, Chantrelle R. Brehm, Emily Ann Burleigh, Alexander S. Darbonne, Kyle Brent Delino, Allie T. Guillory, Jacob P. Johnson, Hope Rene Landry, Karli L. Matt, Kasey Dakota McCauley, Desiree Veillon Mullins, Libby Michelle Peet, Kristin Renee Sharp, Isiah M. Victorian. JENNINGS: Bailey JoSee Broussard, David Garrett Caraway, Christin Marie Crader, Hannah C. Dartez, Lexi S. Doise, Taylor S. Duhon, Hanna N. Esthay, Caleb Uriahs Eugene, Carissa Marie Fruge, Paige Alice Granger, Trent W. Hargrave, Jordan N. Johnston, Janet M. Jones, Nyra Dawn Kershaw, Emily Paige Koll, Trevor S. LeBlanc, Kelly N. LeGros, Nicole Lynn Lopez, Alex Maree’ Marceaux, Jeremy J. Marceaux, Jared K. Meaux, Kate L. Miller, Maggie Noel Mott, Mallory E. Myers, Matthew B. Myers, Ty Pearce Newcomb, Gabrielle E. Redlich, Kristen L. Ringuet, Chirayu J. Shah, Elizabeth N. Stretcher, Morgan M. Woods JOHNSON BAYOU: Allison R. Romero. KAPLAN: Dayne A. Bass, Kailey R. Lejeune, Katelyn M. Richard. KENNER: Brent Raymond Smith. KINDER: Amber Nicole Allyn, Brennan Blake Barnett, Joshua Bell, Tiffany Hope Bohannon, Brittany Nicole Boullion, Amanda Catherine Donaldson, Maye L. Floyd, Lauren Elizabeth Fontenot, Dawn R. Frederick, Emily Nicole Gingras, Jordan Lynn Hebert, Dakota Lane Johnson, Amanda Kay Knapick, Blake Allen LaFargue, Heidi Marie Reed, Alison Kate Sonnier, Kelli Rae Van Norman. LACASSINE: Ashley L. Gotreaux, Ginger Faye Young. LAFAYETTE: Natalie Renee Bruno, Janica Nicole Daniels, Jasmine Shanell Lewis, Jennifer E. Link, Alex Renee Pate. LAKE ARTHUR: Victoria F. Bertrand, Colby Gerard Broussard, Macy D. Istre, Donna Claire Williams LEESVILLE: Luke Elliot Alphonso, Jordan Elizabeth Anderson, Molly K. Cardy, Amanda Lynn Godair, Janae R. Maricle, Emma D. Ransome, Madisen Danielle Smith. LEONVILLE: Tiffany N. Augustine. LOCKPORT: Jasmine A. Vallian. LONGVILLE: Peyton Alexis Conner, Tara Deneen LaBruyere, Tylar Marguerite Matte. LUTCHER: Jaci Theresa LeBlanc. MARRERO: Christopher Michael Tapie. MAUREPAS: Courtney Nicole Adkins. MERRYVILLE: Brandon Dale Giles, Jared Lee McMillian, Kyle Thomas Townsley. MORSE: Roxy R. Richard, Chase S. Vincent. MOSS BLUff: Calli J. Dupont, Theresa Mae Patrick. NEW IBERIA: Nicholas F. Bienvenu, Laurel Alane Blanchard, Courtney R. Boutte, Viviana O. Bradley, Jasmine Janah Delcambre, Latressa S. Gregoire. NEW LLANO: Alexus R. Cook. NEW ORLEANS: Aleisha Marjorie Crowder Anderson. OBERLIN: Matthew Trampus Hebert, Olivia Ann Karam, Alexis Breanne LeBlanc, Allie Laine Manuel. OPELOUSAS: Jerrick C. Comeaux, Brittany Hulett, Crystal J. Leday, Mia M. Manzanares, Kealy R. Stelly. PITKIN: Scott R. Baker, Alanna K. Falke.
PLAQUEMINE: Shelbi L. Strickland. PLAUCHEVILLE: Rebecca R. Knott. PLEASANT HILL: Courtney LeAnn Holmes. PRAIRIEVILLE: Paula N. Gomez. RAGLEY: Chyanne Summer Ahrens, Kayla Denise Bertrand, Erik K. Fontenot, Karlee Nicole’ Goodman, Kaitlyn M. Hantz, Shelby Noelle Hunt, Ashlyn Kate Lonidier, Jessica L. Ramsey, Matthew J. Trahan. RAYNE: Madison A. David, Erin R. Leblanc, Mona Yokum. REEVES: Tallen Cavenah, Kennedy Suzanne Jeffcoats, Julianne Grace Marler, Skylar Nichole Young. ROSEPINE: Lauryn Kimberly Perry Keel. SHREVEPORT: Thomas Kade Aucoin, Arniesha D. Keener, BreAnna N. Maiden, Charnise P. Scott, Tammy Darlene York. SINGER: Autumn Dawn Mathews, John M. Poe, Austin G. Says. STARKS: Madison L. Jones. SULPHUR: Keifer Grey Ackley, Amber Lynn Adams, Christinna Ann Becktold, Gary Lee Blanchard, Jennifer Paige Blanchard, Staci L. Bonvillain, Hailey Marie Borel, Brandon Todd Brewer, Jacob A. Bridges, Dax Daniel Campbell, Jacklynn Renee Campbell, Hannah Michelle Chamblee, Sean Michael Clooney, Joseph L. Conner, Garrett C. Coppels, Ryan J. Domingue, Kristina Kay Dowers, Emily A. Ducote, Thessa Lea Esclovon, Michael Aaron Farrar, Daniel P. Gary, Angela Gail Hoffpauir Guillory, Kayla A. Guillory, Brittany Nicole Dautriel Hanks, Lauren L. Hansen, Austin Kesler Harris, Shaylee Alexis Heard, Kara Elise Hebert, Zackary A. Hermsen, Kylie Dayle Hernandez, Mickenzie Timothy Hill, Harlea Celeste Holmes, Danielle Nicole John, Emily Louise Keeley, Christian A. Keever, Erin E. Kellar, Julianne Paige Elder Killian, Timothy James Kinney, Devyn A. Knippers, Derek J. Landry, Nicholas Adam Lantier, Marie E. LeBlanc, Brianna Rose Lee, Rae Ann Lilly, Ryan T. Logan, Jennifer A. McHaffie, Tori S. McManus, Krystal R. Mcmillian, Tyler J. Morgan, Tracey D. Norris, Nathan Cole Oakman, Kathryn Mikail Petry, Jacob Randall Pierce, Amy Sachs Pierrottie, Alexandra Victoria Porter, Austin J. Pottorff, Karrie M. Pousson, Sarah Elise Pryor, Ana Karen Reyes, Jackson Thomas Ritchie, Caitlin E. Rogers, Nicole R. Sallier, Elizabeth C. Sercovich, Emily A. Smith, Heidi Mariea Overshiner Smith, Kristen R. Smith, Brook N. Sorgee, Tyler Austin Spears, Katelin Michelle Stagliano, Caleb A. Stanley, Amanda Kaye Starr, David Raygan Suarez, Terran Ann Sweeney, Allison C. Sylvest, Katelyn Elise Thompson, Austin James Thorne, Samantha Elaine Trahan, Cory A. Vannetta, Alessandra Mae Villamil, Jennifer Ann Waite, Tabitha Danae Broussard Weeks, Jessica Claire Wells, Kaitlin Denise Wheeler, Aaron Lee Whelchel, Colleen Marie White, Emily Paige Wolbrink, Mackenzie Jade Wright, Rachel Marie Zachary. THIBODAUX: Erin E. Green. TIOGA: Kona Katy Elizabeth Harris. VACHERIE: Tasia Brenae Simoneaux. VILLE PLATTE: John Michael David, Briar W. Fontenot, Camron B. Fontenot, Kelsey B. Fontenot, Averey D. Hollier, Maegan M. Moore, Brandon W. Soileau, Chadwick Q. Soileau. VINTON: Rebecca Ann Coward, Lindsey Danielle Merchant, Amy Lien Nguyen, Ryan R. Tibbitts. WASHINGTON: Abby Marie Fontenot. WELSH: Cassidy Blair Ardoin, Gabrielle K. Briscoe, Maria Elizabeth Briscoe, Sara Lynn Guidry, Jennifer Marie Guillory, Katherine Anne Hensgens, Mckay A. Hicks, Erin Joann Berg Mefford, Karah Michelle Pierce, Kelli Prudhomme, Shelby Suzanne Roberie, Toni N. Romero, Annie M. Watkins, Grant Domonique Wild. WESTLAKE: Inez E. Ange, Kassidy D. Conrad, Jessie Lene Cortez, Ada G. Crochet, Sarah E. France, Kaily Lynn Glover, Kathryn Constance Reeser Godsey, Desiree Melody Guasp, Kaley Nicole Guillott, Darren B. Hooper, Alexandra P. Mason, Megan E. McGuire, Amy Darnell McMillin, Dylan Wayne Myrick, Megan C. Oden, Christopher Joel Ortiz-Torres, Samantha A. Rathjen, Chelsey Danielle Richard, Carly N. Ryder, Alexandra L. Spears, Taylor Renae Whitley, Alexandra E. Widcamp, Tyler B. Young. YOUNGSVILLE: Hannah D. Hughes. ZACHARY: Shelby N. Michael.
TEXAS
BEAUMONT: Madeline K. Allen, Hannah R. Nelson. BEEVILLE: Tevin Charles Wilson.
BRIDGE CITY: Christina Letitia Tallant. DAYTON: Taylor Renee Turner. DEWEYVILLE: Joshua Tyler Fears. FRED: Taylor S. Moore. GATESVILLE: Raymond W. Evetts. GROVES: Mallory Kay Livingston, Brett A. Nicholson. HALLSVILLE: Jamie L. Allred. HIGHLANDS: Alexandria Rose Wade. HOUSTON: Joseph A. Capello, Danielle A. Epps, Victor G. Medina, Anna Camille Salvador, Lauren Leigh Veillon. HUNTSVILLE: John Michael Neville, Rakira L. Turner, Hannah J. Valentine. KATY: Charles W. Brown, Kyle A. Cook, Andrew W. Hedrick, James B. Smith, Jacob Allan Troutman. KILLEEN: Nicholas R. Bedwell, Madelyn Alyssa Husted. LEAGUE CITY: Margaret Carter, Aria A. Kelly, Brianna Lovett, Thomas A. Spagnoli. LUFKIN: Elijah Ray Cutler. LUMBERTON: Bailey Elyse Bridges, Brittany Nicole Long . MISSOURI CITY: Zoey L. Pawlik. ORANGE: Morgan Brittany Blackwell, Michael A. Dupre, Christopher Daniel Garber, Bryan J. Miller, Andrew J. Usie, Hannah M. Walles. PLANO: Stephanie Brooke Dusek. RICHMOND: Adison D. Giambrone. SEABROOK: Aimee Elizabeth Dobos. SPRING: Caleb Maurice Prince, Lauren N. Sestak. SUGAR LAND: Jonathan Luke Hatton. TERRELL: Colton M. Shields. THE WOODLANDS: Ashlynn Morgan Novak.
OTHER STATES
ARIZONA PHOENIX: Erin Lynn Fakler. CALIFORNIA HOLLISTER: Lauren Rae Cowick. JAMUL: Victoria M. Yanitor. MERCED: James Monroe Crouch. YORBA LINDA: Taylor M. Schmidt COLORADO LONGMONT: Kelly K. Graham. PARKER: Bryan D. King. CONNECTICUT STAffORD SPRINGS: Sarah E. Donor Pelletier. FLORIDA TALAHASEE: Jonathan A. Graf. ILLINOIS DOWNERS GROVE: Joseph Anthony Provenzano. OAK LAWN: Kara M. Rockey MARYLAND WALDORF: Kai Matthew Poullard. MICHIGAN CHARLOTTE: Sierra N. Sisco. MINNESOTA STEWARTVILLE: Taylor Suzanne Bestor. MISSISSIPPI CARRIERE: Joshua Michael Blanchet. OHIO HOLLAND: Alexandra M. Graf. MARIETTA: Timothy R. Ludtman. PERRYSBURG: Rebecca Katherine Tudor. OKLAHOMA PIEDMONT: Morgan Vail Wallace. OREGON PRINEVILLE: Carly Jean Hibbs. WASHINGTON SEATTLE: Claire M. Anway. WISCONSIN GERMANTOWN: Margaret L. Marks.
COUNTRIES
BANGLADESH: Quazi Atquiya Fannana Maisha. BENIN: Moulero Ridwane Akobi. BOLIVIA: Andrea Encina Moreno. BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: Darko Radakovic. BRAZIL: Ana Carolina Da Cruz Correa. BURUNDI: Enack Stecy Kamikazi. CANADA: Zahaan Eswani, Navdeep K. Thind, Josephine B. Vajko, Kennedy K. Bodfield. CHINA: Xin Jie Pan. COLOMBIA: Valentina Aristizabal Salazar, Maria Camila Maury-Porras. ECUADOR: Janneth Chanita Correa Silva, Jorge Antonio Roman Romero. GERMANY: Julia Kral, Leonie Weber, Katja Woelfl, Nicole Lamont. INDIA: Pramod Gobburi. INDONESIA: Alex Joshua Anugrah Rumondor, Jessica Theresia. IRELAND: Grace Maria McKenzie. ITALY: Giovanna Fioretti. REPUBLIC OF KOREA: Hang Ok Cho Fontane. LATVIA: Anastasija Trubica. MEXICO: Guadalupe Vianey Howell, Eddy Enrique Soto. NEPAL: Nischal Acharya, Saurav Chaudhary, Shashanka Ghimire, Om Babu Gupta, Nikesh Babu Kandel, Iesan Jung Karki, Santosh Kunwar, Sophiya Maskey, Susan Regmi, Anuja Thapa, Bibek Yadav, Niraj Kharel, Dinkar Regmi. NEW ZEALAND: Imogen Ruby Hull. NIGERIA: Chukwuemeka O. Ike, Osasuwen Dominica Osagie. NORWAY: Maiken Bing Paulsen. PERU: Renato Rafael Falconi Uscamayta. POLAND: Klaudia Dorota Gawlik. ROMANIA: Maria Alexandra Sand. SAUDI ARABIA: Bashaer Abdulraouf Al Hubail, Ahmed Mohammed Al Sahwan, Abdulrazaq Ibrahim N Alanazi, Abdulrazaq Mallah Alanazi, Afaf Suwayyid N Alanazi, Mohammed Hassan Albaqshi, Albaraa Mohammed A Aldhahri, Husain Ali H Alfilfil, Zaid Marji O Alkuwaykibi, Fawaz Khalid A Almoneef, Ahmed Jamhoor Almussali, Abdulrahman Sunaytan E Almutairi, Mohammad Adnan Alnakhli, Nasser Khalid N Alobid, Abdullah Hani Arab, Ehab Adil A Halabi. SERBIA: Nina Radisavljevic. SWEDEN: Martin Eriksson, Charoline Erlandsson, Sofie A. Winther. SWITZERLAND: Bettina Brulhart. UNITED KINGDOM: Hannah R. Brett, Oliver James, Nathan A. Jones, Finlay Ian Murray, Saajan Suraj Patel. VIETNAM: Thi My Linh Tran, Nghia Trong Dinh, Ny Thi Thi Lam, Nhat Minh Le, Tam Thi Thanh Tran, Trang Thi Thao Tran, Trung Thanh Tran, Vu Thien Tran, Ngan Kim Nguyen, Tam Ngoc Thanh Nguyen, An Le Thuy Tran, Tram Thi Ta.
14 2016-06-07
Lake Charles

Is there a hurricane in your future?


Unless you’re living under a rock, you know that it’s hurricane season, and we’re already at “C” in the list of storm names.
Don’t become immune to the warnings. A hurricane could easily be in your immediate future so you and your business need to be ready so that you can protect your company and continue to operate.
The National Weather Service has many tips on the important topic of hurricane preparedness. Several of them apply to getting your business ready for a disaster. Start with assessing your risk, such as the vulnerability of your location to storm surge, the likelihood of your building being severely damaged by wind or a falling tree and the chance of a prolonged power outage.
Check your insurance coverage and decide if it’s appropriate for your situation. Should you add coverage for flooding or business interruption? Make sure that all of your equipment is included and that you have digital photos of everything. Shoot a video of your business, starting at the front door, with your voiceover saying what you’re seeing.
Digital is the key to keeping your information safe. Store your business records, photos, accounting information, insurance documents, tax returns, client data, etc., in the cloud. Don’t trust a single jump drive that hangs on your keychain. Your business information is too important to keep on a device that can easily be lost or damaged.
The National Weather Service recommends that you have a written hurricane plan, created now before you’re counting the hours until the squalls arrive. Make sure you have current contact information for all of your employees so everyone can communicate after the storm. Plan now how you’ll protect your facility so that you and your staff can quickly handle things. Everyone will be anxious to evacuate or otherwise protect their families, so decide the best and quickest way to secure the business and how to get that accomplished. If you have a plan, you can execute it smoothly and be ready for the worst.
The Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University can help you develop a disaster plan for your small business. Be pro-active and survive anything Mother Nature throws at you.
For over 30 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   to learn more about us. For no-cost assistance with your business, call us to schedule an appointment at 337-475-5529.
l
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  .
l
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.
14 2016-06-06
Lake Charles

Willie Mount Former mayor, state senator, civic leader looks back on lifetime of giving back


“Just call me Willie.”
That’s what Willie Mount would say after she became mayor of Lake Charles and people didn’t know what to call her. And sometimes people would assume she was the secretary, there to take them to see the mayor, she said.
However, Mount still said the job was fun and she loved all of it.
Mount was born in Lake Charles to Lee and Willie Landry; she was named after her mother, whom she called her biggest influence.
“She and Dad were powerful influences for me to understand that, to live in the world, you had to give back,” Mount said.
Growing up as the fourth child, Mount said the entire family was close-knit, and her siblings are still close to this day.
Mount has always been involved in her community in a number of ways. As a child, she was readily involved with school, church and her local community.
She participated in the Student Government Association and played sports, along with being in several clubs.
“These provided me with learning about my leadership skills, learning to work with others, learning to be a listener as opposed to talking all the time,” Mount said.
After graduating Lake Charles High School, Mount went on to attend McNeese State University. While attending McNeese, she said she worked to be an “agent of change” and stayed involved in the university and its organizations .
As a student at McNeese, she met the man who became her best friend and later husband in accounting class: Ben. They held similar interests and when he ran for student body president, Mount was actively engaging students to vote for him.
Mount graduated from McNeese in 1971 and would marry Ben Mount in 1976. The two worked to help candidates running for office.
“All of a sudden I had people looking at me and saying, ‘Would you consider running for mayor?’ ” Mount said.
Although she had never run for public office before, Mount said she finally decided to give it a shot in the early 1990s.
“When I would knock on doors or go into businesses, many times people would say, ‘You’ve gotta be joking. You don’t really think you can win. I mean, a woman can’t be mayor,’ ” Mount said. “And the more I heard it, the more determined I became.”
In 1993, after a runoff election, Mount took the oath of office for mayor of Lake Charles. “It was a 24/7 job,” she said.
Mount helped kick into gear the “Lake Charles: Moving Forward Together” slogan, an initiative with local businesses. This brought about a “real cohesiveness” among city government, city employees and residents.
One of the first things she did as mayor was introduce herself to all of the people in the different departments. Many told her they had never before met the mayor.
“The only way I can succeed is if I have a team that wants me to succeed,” she said.
After serving as mayor, Mount was elected to the state Senate in 1999, taking office in 2000. She served for 12 years.
“I was very proud to serve Southwest Louisiana,” she said.
Because she served with other mayors in Southwest Louisiana and went to frequent meetings with them, she said she became aware of needs within the district.
As a state senator, Mount was able to work under three governors: Foster, Blanco and Jindal. She served as both revenue and finance chairman and health and welfare chairman — which she said allowed her to “effectuate change” in both Southwest Louisiana and the rest of the state.
Mount’s husband, Ben, died in 2011, shortly before the end of her term. She said she was faced with the choice of what to do next in her life.
“Two huge events happened in my life; one really difficult experience,” she said. “So, what to do but jump right in and get busy?”
Mount has served on a number of boards in her life — from library to state and medical center boards. “I’ve enjoyed the variety of organizations because they’re so different,” she said.
She now serves on the Louisiana Community Technical College System Board and the McNeese Foundation, supporting both Southwest Louisiana colleges.
Recently, at the May 2016 spring graduation ceremony, Mount received an honorary doctorate degree from Mc-Neese State University.
She said that when President Philip Williams asked her about it, she was completely shocked.
“I was totally not prepared for him to say that to me, and of course, I didn’t feel deserving of it,” she said. “It was a special time. ... I had my brother, my two sisters and their spouses there, many nieces and nephews. That was really special to me because that’s my family.”
She said she loves cooking, reading and going out to eat.
Now she also plays golf with family members: “I’m not very good, but I really enjoy playing.”
14 2016-06-06
Lake Charles

Willie Mount Former mayor, state senator, civic leader looks back on lifetime of giving back


“Just call me Willie.”
That’s what Willie Mount would say after she became mayor of Lake Charles and people didn’t know what to call her. And sometimes people would assume she was the secretary, there to take them to see the mayor, she said.
However, Mount still said the job was fun and she loved all of it.
Mount was born in Lake Charles to Lee and Willie Landry; she was named after her mother, whom she called her biggest influence.
“She and Dad were powerful influences for me to understand that, to live in the world, you had to give back,” Mount said.
Growing up as the fourth child, Mount said the entire family was close-knit, and her siblings are still close to this day.
Mount has always been involved in her community in a number of ways. As a child, she was readily involved with school, church and her local community.
She participated in the Student Government Association and played sports, along with being in several clubs.
“These provided me with learning about my leadership skills, learning to work with others, learning to be a listener as opposed to talking all the time,” Mount said.
After graduating Lake Charles High School, Mount went on to attend McNeese State University. While attending McNeese, she said she worked to be an “agent of change” and stayed involved in the university and its organizations .
As a student at McNeese, she met the man who became her best friend and later husband in accounting class: Ben. They held similar interests and when he ran for student body president, Mount was actively engaging students to vote for him.
Mount graduated from McNeese in 1971 and would marry Ben Mount in 1976. The two worked to help candidates running for office.
“All of a sudden I had people looking at me and saying, ‘Would you consider running for mayor?’ ” Mount said.
Although she had never run for public office before, Mount said she finally decided to give it a shot in the early 1990s.
“When I would knock on doors or go into businesses, many times people would say, ‘You’ve gotta be joking. You don’t really think you can win. I mean, a woman can’t be mayor,’ ” Mount said. “And the more I heard it, the more determined I became.”
In 1993, after a runoff election, Mount took the oath of office for mayor of Lake Charles. “It was a 24/7 job,” she said.
Mount helped kick into gear the “Lake Charles: Moving Forward Together” slogan, an initiative with local businesses. This brought about a “real cohesiveness” among city government, city employees and residents.
One of the first things she did as mayor was introduce herself to all of the people in the different departments. Many told her they had never before met the mayor.
“The only way I can succeed is if I have a team that wants me to succeed,” she said.
After serving as mayor, Mount was elected to the state Senate in 1999, taking office in 2000. She served for 12 years.
“I was very proud to serve Southwest Louisiana,” she said.
Because she served with other mayors in Southwest Louisiana and went to frequent meetings with them, she said she became aware of needs within the district.
As a state senator, Mount was able to work under three governors: Foster, Blanco and Jindal. She served as both revenue and finance chairman and health and welfare chairman — which she said allowed her to “effectuate change” in both Southwest Louisiana and the rest of the state.
Mount’s husband, Ben, died in 2011, shortly before the end of her term. She said she was faced with the choice of what to do next in her life.
“Two huge events happened in my life; one really difficult experience,” she said. “So, what to do but jump right in and get busy?”
Mount has served on a number of boards in her life — from library to state and medical center boards. “I’ve enjoyed the variety of organizations because they’re so different,” she said.
She now serves on the Louisiana Community Technical College System Board and the McNeese Foundation, supporting both Southwest Louisiana colleges.
Recently, at the May 2016 spring graduation ceremony, Mount received an honorary doctorate degree from Mc-Neese State University.
She said that when President Philip Williams asked her about it, she was completely shocked.
“I was totally not prepared for him to say that to me, and of course, I didn’t feel deserving of it,” she said. “It was a special time. ... I had my brother, my two sisters and their spouses there, many nieces and nephews. That was really special to me because that’s my family.”
She said she loves cooking, reading and going out to eat.
Now she also plays golf with family members: “I’m not very good, but I really enjoy playing.”
14 2016-06-02
Lake Charles

McNeese, community mourns loss of Dr. Robert Hebert


SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) -
It's a sad time at McNeese State University and Southwest Louisiana, where many people are mourning the death of retired long time president Dr. Robert Hebert.

Hebert died earlier this week of a brain hemorrhage while vacationing in Italy. He leaves behind a rich life and legacy.

Those who knew him best say Bob Hebert bled blue and gold and this blue - and-gold ribbon around his live oak - is no doubt just the first of many remembrances of him to come.

This majestic oak is but one example of what Hebert leaves behind. It's one of the "endowed oaks" that were once in jeopardy, but now receive perpetual care thanks to his efforts.

"We got together with a couple of faculty members and Bob was very instrumental in it. We didn't want those oak trees to be cut down and so we started endowing oak trees and from that, we've endowed about 200 of the so far."

But Richard Reid, McNeese's vice president for university advancement, said Hebert's lasting legacy stems from his vision for the university.

"We manage endowed scholarships, endowed professorships. You can even endow a professorship so that they can get equipment and do conferences and things of that nature. We started out with about $800,000 and now we're $70 million," he said.

Reid said there are many buildings and improvements at McNeese that Hebert had a hand in - from the College of Nursing building to the SEED Center.

"He got together with the Chamber of Commerce, the parish, the state, the U.S. government and they built the SEED Center for an entrepreneurial research center," he said.

Joyce Patterson, McNeese's director of alumni affairs, said Hebert's dedication went far beyond what many realize.

"He was very good at getting good faculty and recruiting good faculty and I think that helped with the quality of students and the alumni that we have today because of the education they got here at McNeese," she said.

Former State Representative Vic Stelly, who also served on the Louisiana Board of Regents, also knew Hebert well.

He said Hebert always did McNeese proud.

"He bled blue and gold for McNeese. He was a great ambassador for McNeese; all the years he was here, McNeese was first and everything else was second and as a result, he had a great reputation in Baton Rouge. Anything that I served on - when I said something about McNeese, there was something to be proud of and Dr. Hebert was instrumental in that," he said.

Before he was president, McNeese officials said Hebert was one of the university's most well-loved professors. Hebert was at McNeese 41 years - 23 of which were as president.

Reid can't help but smile knowing Hebert died traveling - which he loved.

Funeral arrangements are pending his return home.

Copyright 2016 KPLC. All rights reserved.
14 2016-06-01
Lake Charles

Former McNeese president Hebert dies in Italy


sroberts@americanpress.com  
Retired McNeese State University president Robert Hebert has died of a brain hemorrhage while vacationing in Italy.
Hebert became the fifth president of the university in 1987, serving in that role for 23 years before retiring in June 2010.
Before that, Hebert, a native of Abbeville, came to McNeese in 1969 as an associate professor of history. He served as vice president of academic affairs from 1980 to 1987, according to McNeese.
“I am very honored to have served for so many years, and I leave with a strong sense of satisfaction and peace,’’ Hebert said after announcing his retirement. “I am one of those fortunate people who made the right choices about my life’s work, especially when I chose to return to Louisiana in 1969.”
Mayor Randy Roach said he can remember meeting Hebert for the first time when Roach had just become involved in the Legislature and Hebert became president.
“He had a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm. He did what he set out to do,” Roach said.
During his tenure as president, Hebert initiated selective admissions in 2000, improved student retention rates and oversaw 14 consecutive enrollment increases, including a record enrollment of 8,992 in fall 2005.
He oversaw a number of campus construction and renovation projects, including Hardtner Hall, new residence halls, the addition to Frasch Hall and the nearly completed addition to the Shearman Fine Arts Center. He also oversaw the renovation and repair of several campus buildings damaged by Hurricane Rita.
Roach said he was amazed at Hebert’s involvement in the university and community after Rita. “He did a masterful job,” he said. “He was very handson and very involved in that process. His leadership after Hurricane Rita stands out in my mind.”
Also in his time as university president, Hebert saw the assets of the McNeese Foundation grow from fewer than $1 million to more than $55 million.
Peter O’Carroll, who had been a visiting lecturer at McNeese, talked about Hebert’s legacy: “Bob was the ultimate history professor — many remember him as the best college ‘prof ’ they ever had. Even when he served as president of McNeese, Bob always saw himself as a historian.
“I remember Bob Hebert as a kind man with a quick smile, a man of integrity, a dedicated family man who — after his family — was totally dedicated to McNeese.”
Bob Jones, a financial adviser, said Hebert’s legacy will continue for a long time. “He was a wonderful asset to our community for many years and will be remembered,” Jones said.
Sheriff Tony Mancuso said Hebert would be “greatly missed,” adding that Hebert was easy to get along with.
“Dr. Hebert was a great leader in our community,” Mancuso said. “I knew him as an educator when I was a student at McNeese, but I also knew him as a friend and colleague.”
At the time of his retirement, Hebert was one of the longest-serving university presidents in the country.
Hebert is survived by his wife, Lilly Ann, and sons, Dr. Gregory Hebert, Dr. William G. “Gerry” Hebert and Dr. Edward Hebert, all of Lake Charles, and Dr. Christopher Hebert of Lafayette.
Services by Johnson Funeral Home in Lake Charles are pending.
14 2016-05-31
Lake Charles

McNeese biology professor leaves for three-week deep sea exploration


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
McNeese Assistant Professor Dr. Amber Hale is one of 17 educators worldwide who was selected to be part of an underwater research mission.

Her three-week journey began Monday morning, as she left for the deep sea exploration hosted by the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET).

OET was founded in 2008 by Dr. Robert Ballard, the explorer and oceanographer who discovered the Titanic wreckage.

The research mission Hale is on is called the Nautilus Exploration Program.

"Historically, I've just always wanted to do this. I love science. I love the idea of exploring our world," said Hale. "It is mostly water and we don't know that much about it. We know more about space than we know about our own planet and so I think it's really interesting and a lot of really potentially important discoveries yet to be made in the ocean."

Nautilus is the name of the 64-meter research vessel that Hale will call home for three weeks. She will be on the first of five legs of the expedition. Her journey begins in Victoria, British Columbia and ends in San Francisco.

"There's 31 scientists on the ship at any given time, including myself, and when the robots are diving they are going to be making moves. They're going to be collecting samples. They're going to be trying to get views of things and the lead scientist is in charge of that," she explained. "My job is to take all that scientific jargon and translate it for the people watching at home so that they can understand why we're moving the robots like we are or why we're doing what we're doing."

Hercules and Argus are names of the two remotely operated vehicles (ROV) that will be diving 4,000 meters underwater. They will help researchers study methane seeps which is the process of gas coming up from the ocean floor.

"That's really neat because there's a lot of application there. Not only could they be used to clean up say oil spills but really just for the basic science. We don't understand it and it's really neat and we're just learning about it," she said.

Hale said the most exciting part about this expedition is sharing this groundbreaking research and opportunity with her students.

"I am passionate about getting people interested in science and this is just one more way for me to really connect something awesome with students here in Lake Charles. We get to bring this home," Hale explained. "My students know my face. They're going to be able to see me out there. I have a live interaction set up with my McNeese students. I think it's really awesome for them to see, 'Hey someone from my hometown is doing this thing out in the ocean and it really says hopefully, if she can do it, I can do it too.'"

The Nautilus Exploration Vessel will be available online via livestream 24 hours a day. Hale will narrate parts of the research online.

To follow the journey, click HERE.

Copyright 2016 KPLC. All rights reserved.
14 2016-05-31
Lake Charles

McNeese summer fees due June 8


Students who have enrolled and registered online for McNeese State University’s summer classes have until 4:30 p.m. June 8 to pay fees. Classes begin June 13 for the regular summer session.
Summer session bills are available online through the MyMcNeese Portal or Banner Self-Service account. Students can view and print their registration, fee deferrals and bookstore accounts. At the top of the fee bill there will be links to view detailed bill information, add a parking decal and approve financial aid authorization.
Students can visit www.mc  neese.edu/payment   to see the payment policy and changes. For more information, call the accounting office at 475-5107.
A fee-deferral plan is offered to students. All registration fees, including tuition, assessments, class fees and meal plan charges, are eligible for the fee-deferral plan. Students must pay half the total fee amount by 4:30 p.m. June 8; the remainder is due July 1. There is a $30 processing fee.
The McNeese bookstore offers an interest-free charge plan to all students enrolled for the summer session to help with the purchase of books and supplies.
The Personal Touch Account can be used at the beginning of the session for one month for the purchase of up to $600 in books and supplies. At the close of the purchase deadline, each student is billed.
PTA accounts for the summer will open May 31 and run through June 24. The PTA payment deadline is July 8. For more information, call the bookstore at 475-5494.
14 2016-05-31
Lake Charles

First class of school's innovation engineers


In 2011, McNeese State University became the second university in the country to offer a minor in innovation engineering management, an interdisciplinary program open to all students.
On May 14, McNeese’s first class of innovation engineers graduated: Hannah Fogg of Sulphur; Cullen Haymon of Kinder; Gandy Osburn of Lake Charles; and Becca Tudor of Perrysburg, Ohio.
The minor, created with help from the University of Maine, “teaches students how to develop, refine, communicate and implement new ideas,” said Bridget McDaniel, innovation curriculum coordinator and assistant professor of art at McNeese.
For the program, a Student Innovation Center was established at the SEED Center. It features a lab, business incubation studio and classrooms. Students use the lab to brainstorm, test theories and create solutions, while the studio offers students space, technology and tools to work on new businesses.
McDaniel said the innovation minor consists of six courses that encourage students to collaborate and generate meaningful ideas as they learn to adapt to changing environments.
Tudor, a marketing major, said she chose the minor because of its uniqueness. “I know that there are only a few universities that offer the program in the United States,” she said. “And I wanted to be one of the few students that specialize in innovation.”
Fogg, a chemical engineering senior, has become an ambassador for the program, traveling around the country and teaching others about innovation engineering management.
“The coursework provides you with tools that can be used wherever your career takes you,” she said. “It has taught me how to solve any problem that I might encounter.”
The program is designed to help students learn new thinking skills and takes them through coursework that emphasizes the “create, communicate, commercialize and systems” process.
Haymon, a marketing student, said the early courses help teach students that every idea has a purpose and that “there are no bad ideas.”
After completing the first four courses, the students complete two final courses as a team, focusing on large projects and real-life solutions.
Their final project included a tour of a local business, meetings with its owner, and a semester of planning and problem solving.
The students then developed and presented practical solutions for complications within the business plan, office facilities and employee organization.
A new version of the minor that includes more nontraditional coursework will roll out this fall.
“The coursework has been redesigned to address the needs and interests of our student body, as well as local and regional businesses and industries,” McDaniel said.
14 2016-05-31
Lake Charles

Eight graduates earn top GPA honors


Twenty-three McNeese State University students received the summa cum laude designation — for grade-point averages of 3.90-4.00 — during recent spring commencement ceremonies.
Eight students were recognized for earning a 4.0 GPA throughout their college careers — Colin Broussard, Lake Charles, foreign languages; Sarah France, Westlake, psychology; Ashleigh Franques, DeQuincy, early childhood education; Cathryn Frey, Sulphur, biological science; Anna Salvador, Houston, nutrition and food sciences; Emily Smith, Sulphur, English; Kyle Townsley, Merryville, marketing; and Jacob Troutman, Katy, Texas, accounting.
The other honor students recognized:
Summa cum laude: Joel Byrne, Elton; Jessie Cortez, Westlake; Chance Cronce, DeRidder; John David, Ville Platte; Bailey Dean, Nederland, Texas; Rebecca Dupont, Grand Lake; Lauren Freese, Lake Charles; Kylie Goodeaux, Westlake; Lodden Hixson, Lake Charles; Emily Keeley, Sulphur; Darian Lanthier, Hathaway; Kaitlyn Miller, Lake Charles; Ngan Nguyen, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam; Laura Pousson, Lake Charles; Taylor Whitley, Westlake.
Magna cum laude (3.70-3.89 GPA): Jamie Allred, Hallsville, Texas; Alise Ardoin, Lafayette; Tiffany Augustine, Leonville; Kay Baca, Lake Charles; Andrew Bearb, Lake Charles; Kayla Bertrand, Ragley; Matthew Breaux, Grand Lake; Hunter Burleson, Sulphur; Dax Campbell, Sulphur; Kyler Campbell, Dry Creek; Alvin Capello, Houston; Mchaji Celestaine, Lake Charles; Fantasia Charles, Ville Platte; Emily Chauvin, Franklin; Christin Crader, Jennings; Jo Daigle, Hackberry; Tiffany Daley, Lake Charles; Michelle Dougay, Lake Charles; Alice Edmaiston, Iowa, La.; Hang Ok Fontane, Lake Charles; Briar Fontenot, Ville Platte; Kelli Fontenot, Lake Charles; Dawn Frederick, Kinder; Emily Gingras, Kinder; Alexandra Graf, Holland, Ohio; Katlyn Harper, Dry Creek; Austin Harris, Sulphur; Kona Harris, Tioga; Caroline Hebert, Iota; Mickenzie Hill, Sulphur; Madelyn Husted, Killeen, Texas; Miranda Kalina, Kountze, Texas; Alison Kirk, DeRidder; Nicole Lamont, Leesville; Lisa LeJeune, Lake Charles; Haley Leleux, New Iberia; Timothy Ludtman, Marietta, Ohio; Tiffany Mayers, DeRidder; Caryn Meschwitz, Lake Charles; Jordan Moore, Houma; Jamie Moran, Gonzales; Matthew Morel, Grant; Andrew Mudd, Cameron; Nicoleta Muresan, Turda, Romania; Georgia Osburn, Lake Charles; Xin Pan, Zheng Zhou, China; Brent Richard, Gueydan; Jorge Roman Romero, Guayaquil, Ecuador; Jessica Schexnayder, Crowley; Christopher Thorn, DeRidder; An Tran, HoiAn, Vietnam, Anastasija Trubica, Riga, Latvia; Rebecca Tudor, Perrysburg, Ohio; Courtney Vallery, Church Point; Shannon Villanueva, DeRidder; Tyler White, DeRidder; McKenzie Williamson, Westlake; and Mackenzie Wright, Sulphur.
Cum laude (3.50-3.69 GPA): Seth Abshire, Lake Charles; Emily Alexander, DeRidder; Jared Amiot, Lake Charles; Rebecca Ardoin, Sulphur; Thomas Aucoin, Shreveport; Olivia Babineaux, Lake Charles; Aaron Barclay, Lake Charles; Morgan Blackwell, Orange, Texas; Enock Bor, Lake Charles; Shelby Borders, Lake Charles; Tryfon Boukouvidis, Thessaloniki, Greece; Brittany Boullion, Kinder; Samantha Bourque, Lake Charles; Sarah Bricker, Arlington, Texas; Colby Broussard, Lake Arthur; Amanda Brown, DeRidder; Charles Brown, Katy, Texas; Alyssa Buzzard, DeRidder; Kyle Cook, Katy, Texas; McKenzie Cooper, DeQuincy; Sheridan Cooper, Springhill; Rebecca Coward, Vinton; Kristen Credeur, Lake Charles; Steven Dabelow, Lake Charles; Drusallar Davis, Lake Charles; Caitlyn Fontenot, Lake Charles; David Fontenot, Dry Creek; Matthew Gallier, Lake Charles; Sudip Ghimire, Butwal, Nepal; Karlee Goodman, Ragley; Kendal Gott, Dry Creek; Kelly Graham, Longmont, Colo.; Percy Guillory, Lake Charles; Aimee Guillotte, Jennings; William Guillotte, Lake Charles; Kaitlyn Hantz, Ragley; Harry Hawthorne, Freehold, N.J., Shaylee Heard, Sulphur; Kristen Hebert, Lake Charles; Andrew Hedrick, Katy, Texas; Kylie Hernandez, Sulphur; Emily Hinton, Lake Charles; Emily Hunt, Ragley; Renee Juneau, Jennings; Roger Kamrowski, Iowa, La.; Brian Kingham, Lake Charles; Rebecca Knott, Plaucheville; Blake LaFargue, Kinder; Cameron Landry, Lake Charles; Randi Landry, Lake Charles; Trevor LeBlanc, Jennings; Mattie Leone, Sulphur; Mallory Livingston, Groves, Texas; Ryan Logan, Sulphur; Courtney Lomas, Abbeville; Kalli Maggio, Kinder; Tyler Marks, Lake Charles; Hannah Maust, Riobamba, Ecuador; Katherine Newmiller, Beaumont, Texas; Karen Nugent, Iowa; Christopher Ortiz-Torres, Westlake; Tori Overley, Gueydan; Miranda Partin, Lake Charles; Sarah Pelletier, Stafford Springs, Conn.; Chanler Perkins, Lake Charles; Ali Piatt, Lake Charles; Emma Ransome, Leesville; Brian Rich, Lake Charles; Ted Romero, Lake Charles; Desiraye Rosamore, Lake Charles; Taylor Schmidt, Yorba Linda, Calif.; Jordan Schwartzenburg, Sulphur; Lindsay Seamons, Lake Charles; Lauren Sestak, Spring, Texas; Brently Sorgee, Sulphur; Jessica Suire, Lafayette; Katelyn Sullivan, Lake Charles; Christopher Tapie, Marrero; Lucas Trahan, Welsh; Sarah Traske, Lake Charles; Michelle Traylor, Lake Charles; Lauren Veillon, Houston; Rachel Viator, Lake Charles; Hailee Vincent, Lake Charles; Lakeyn Ward, Lake Charles; and Leocadine Zebaze, Lake Charles.
14 2016-05-27
Lake Charles

Nursing course focuses on research skills


McNeese State University nursing students walking into the research course NURS 390 aren’t quite sure what to expect on the first day of class.
“NURS 390 is a nonclinical course, which is not the norm for our nursing students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program,” said Jenny Barrow, assistant professor of nursing.
“In their clinical courses, nursing students learn how something is done, but this research course teaches them why it is done that way.”
She said the course exposes students to basic research methods used to provide evidence-based care.
Barrow, who said she has “a passion for research,” ends each semester with a research poster project.
Most of the topics come from student clinical experiences and she said the project helps students develop a better understanding of research and how to present their work.
A winning project was selected from among 66 students divided into 14 groups. The top group — Natalie Johnson, Kourtney Leblanc, Laurie Leblanc, Karley Leger and Briley Wilson — won with a project titled “Blooming Through Music.”
The study indicated that family-centered music therapy sessions for children with autism spectrum disorder led to improvements in social interactions. Each person received a cash award from the Kappa Psi Chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.
In researching therapies, the team found studies that indicated improvements in social interactions when children were introduced to music therapy sessions.
Leger said information obtained through research helps nurses to be better educators.
“Through research we discovered what therapies worked and what didn’t work,” she said.
“We now have an appreciation of what goes into research. This will make us better nurses.”

14 2016-05-26
Lake Charles

McNeese class of 1966 recognized by Golden Scholars Society


Among this year’s Golden Scholars: Wallace “Kent” Arceneaux of Houston; Henry “Lynn” Caruso, Robert Howard Landry and Mira Johnson Landry, all of Plano, Texas; Juanita “Janie” Monroe Doucet of Iowa, La.; Elizabeth Bessie Richard LeBlanc of Lafayette; Edward Paul Pomfret of Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; and Paula Ann Guillory Hirsch, Marilyn “Barbara” Hackett Hoffpauir, Marilyn Ann Necessary and Joseph “Billy” Wilbur Rosteet Jr., all of Lake Charles.

14 2016-05-23
Lake Charles

NAMES in the NEWS


DONNA LITTLE of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University recieved the Small Business Development Center Service Excellence and Innovation Center Award and DAVID and JESSICA MINTON of Cypress Engineering and Development Group received the LED Small and Emerging Business of the Year.


14 2016-05-20
Lake Charles

SPECIAL REPORT: Vietnam vet is oldest graduate in McNeese's Spring 2016 class


SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) -
Several hundred students graduated from McNeese State University this past weekend. Among them was 74-year-old Vietnam veteran Alfred Cochran - the oldest graduate in his class.

An inspiration to many, Cochran never let age - or any other challenge - stop him from pursuing his dreams.

While Cochran said photography has always been a passion, a few years ago, he decided to pursue his dreams of becoming a photographer.

"I had done some photography back in the days when they had the film cameras, but when the digital cameras came out, I was really excited," said Cochran.

Shooting on his own, Cochran decided to go back to school - some 50 years after he received his first degree from McNeese State University.

"I completed my degree in 1965 - BS in Civil Engineering," he said.

Cochran would later go on to serve in the U.S. Army, spending a year in Vietnam.

But after returning home Cochran said, "We were not welcomed at all."

Despite the anti-Vietnam sentiment, Cochran found a job with Slumber J (Schlumberger).

"So I went for an interview and the only question they asked me was 'what is your military status?' Military status complete. And the other question that they wanted to know something about was did I know anything about explosives and demolitions. And I said, 'I'm your man,'" Cochran said.

Retiring as an engineer there 20 years later, Cochran said he then went on to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. His PTSD made the decision to go back to school in 2012 a difficult one.

"I did have some hesitation. I didn't know if I could actually compete at the collegiate level at my age. But I learned coping skills of how I can deal with it," said Cochran.

Cochran admitted he felt somewhat out of place in the classroom.

"I was by far the oldest one in the classes," he said.

But he said his fellow students didn't treat him any differently.

"They just accepted me for what I was," laughed Cochran.

But halfway through this degree, health issues took their toll.

"I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and I had to go through all the 28 radiation treatments and chemo for seven weeks," said Cochran.

Despite the challenges, his positive attitude pushed him forward.

"It's just a matter of saying 'I can do this,'" explained Cochran.

And on Saturday, May 14, he did.

Cochran joined some 800 other McNeese students on graduation day.

"I experienced this before but the excitement is a little more intense this morning," said Cochran on Saturday.

McNeese President Dr. Philip Williams also publicly acknowledged Cochran, since it was the first time in McNeese history that a Golden Scholar (a graduate from 50 years ago or longer) also graduated as a student.

"This gentleman exemplifies the concept of lifelong learning and the idea that a quality education never ends. Here he is, 50 years later, waiting to receive his second Bachelor's degree. Al Cochran, would you please stand and be recognized?" Williams said at the commencement.

Roaring applause followed.

A shining example that age is just a number, Cochran has some advice for others, "I don't think anybody is too old to go back to school."

Armed with another degree, Cochran said he plans to put his newest degree - a Bachelor's degree in Arts and Humanities - to use as a photographer while he continues as part of the Mayor's Armed Forces Commission.

Copyright 2016 KPLC. All rights reserved.
14 2016-05-20
Lake Charles

Imperial Calcasieu Museum to spotlight local ceramics artist


“Playing in Mud” at the Imperial Calcasieu Museum will feature recent work by local ceramic artists Elizabeth Guinn, Tracy LeMieux, Jen Van Putten and Ryan Rowland.
All four artists are graduates of McNeese State University and were students of ceramics professor Ken Baskin. The exhibit will run through June 5.
“I think it’s a very interesting exhibit in that each artist’s work is different from the other, so everyone will get to see a variety of styles,” said Susan Reed, director of the museum.
“Some are figures, some are vessels, some are purely decorative. It certainly shows the breadth of talent in this area.”
Guinn’s complete set of dinnerware was her senior project. “LeMieux’s is decorative and functional. Van Putten’s is whimsical. Rowland’s is functional,” Reed said.
LeMieux said her work is about chaos and order.
“I use a paper clay, make it into a slip then extrude it into forms,” she said.
“I take a simple form, create many pieces then put them together to create a larger piece of work. I enjoy working with a simple form to see what overall complex design I can create.”
The neutral palette lets viewers focus on the line quality and movement of each component, and the minimal use of color further emphasizes the control, LeMieux said.
“I hope when people look at my work they think it’s funny without laughing out loud,” Rowland said.
“I feel like I’m planting little funny seeds in their mind, in the sense that there are unique things written on everyday objects that they won’t see anything like it again.
“That way it will always be in the back of their mind; every time they see a similar object they will be reminded of that one time they saw a weird mug or vase.”
The Imperial Calcasieu Museum, at 204 West Sallier St., is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for seniors and children, and free for students and museum members. For more information, call 439-3797 or email impmuseum@bellsouth.net.
14 2016-05-16
Lake Charles

McNeese State to recognize 750 graduates today


McNeese State University will award diplomas and certificates to 750 students at the university’s spring commencement ceremony today, May 14, at Burton Coliseum. Graduates are:
GRADUATE CERTIfiCATE: Business Administration: Jennifer C. Sonnier, Lake Charles
MASTER OF ARTS
ENGLISH: Andrew J. Maust, Riobamba, Ecuador; Victoria Maria Castells, Miami, Fla.; Justin Daniel Eleff, Tampa, Fla.; Dustin Ryan Shattuck, Springfield, Ill.; Amanda Sue Brahlek, Anna Lucille Thomas Mireles, Lake Charles; Christopher Joel Hebert, Sulphur; Dorsey Elizabeth Craft, Orangeburg, S.C.; Annaliese Dawn Wagner, Flower Mound, Texas; Cody Magee, Milwaukee, Wis. PSYCHOLOGY: Cameron M. Scallan, Alexandria; Caitlin R. Delafield, Jimmy F. Trahan, Chase Alec Walling, Lake Charles; Brittany Zaring-Hinkle, Oklahoma City, Okla.
MASTER OF ARTS IN TEACHING
ELEMENTARY EDUCATION GRADES 1-5: Kristin N. Richards, San Francisco, Calif; Elizabeth A. Kohlhund, DeRidder; Joseph Edward Guidry, Elton; Sarah Nicole Crochet, Jennings; Leah M. Marshall, Alexandra Carson Sullivan, Lake Charles SECONDARY EDUCATION GRADES 6-12 (BIOLOGY): Jennifer Rose Underwood, Iowa; Candice Marie Grimball, Westlake SECONDARY EDUCATION GRADES 6-12 (MATH): Kayla Marie Meche Ruiz, Lafayette SECONDARY EDUCATION GRADES 6-12 (SOCIAL STUDIES): Wesley Norris Jones, Westlake SECONDARY EDUCATION GRADES 6-12 (SPANISH): Carin Lynn Tenorio Gastelu, Ponca City, Okla.
MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
Candace Marie Prejean, Sulphur; Pranab Kaushik, Kathmandu, Nepal; Claudia Andreea Nenu, Stefanesti, Romania; Kelsie N. Greenough, Santa Fe, Texas; Thao Phuong Nguyen, Hai Phong, Vietnam
MASTER OF EDUCATION
CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION: Kaylin Queenan Trahan, Lake Charles; Jordan Overman Allen, Sulphur EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP: Tracie D. Reed, Eunice EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP: Stacy Pence Gregory, DeRidder; Teresa Kaye Baldauf, Cassady Fontenot Hickingbottom, Lake Charles; Heather N. Fontenot, Morse; Andria Michelle Monceaux, Sulphur SCHOOL COUNSELING: Natalie A. Thigpen, Lake Charles
MASTER OF ENGINEERING
Shichen Zhao, Xi’An, China; Jasmin Franziska Harmon, Solingen, Germany; Venkat Nithish Baradwaj Nagaraju, Hyderbad, India; Suraj Koditala, Warangal, India; Ashraf H. Alshemary, Lake Charles; Prabin Bhandari, Kathmandu, Nepal; Amanda Andrea Donayre Lara, Lima, Peru; Ahmet Cihan Kaya, Konya, Turkey
MASTER OF FINE ARTS
CREATIVE WRITING: Victoria Maria Castells, Miami, Fla.; Justin Daniel Eleff, Tampa, Fla.; Talisha Shelley, Mcdonough, Ga.; Dustin Ryan Shattuck, Springfield, Ill.; Dorsey Elizabeth Craft, Orangeburg, S.C.; Annaliese Dawn Wagner, Flower Mound, Texas; Meghan Esther Giles, Lubbock, Texas
MASTER OF SCIENCE
CRIMINAL JUSTICE ONLINE: Larry John Cormier, Lake Charles; Christopher Hill, New Orleans; Kelly John Clement, Thibodaux; Michael C. Powell, Puyallup, Wash. ENVIRONMENTAL AND CHEMICAL SCIENCES: Tatiana Alexandra Estrada Mendoza, Ibarra, Ecuador; Stephanie Tidwell, DeRidder; Courtney P. Villemarette, Lake Arthur; Allison Stokes Carnahan, Yashwanth Reddy Nakireddy, Lake Charles; Jessica Suzanne Canerday, Welsh; Brittney Leigh Ivey, Fort Worth, Texas HEALTH AND HUMAN PERFORMANCE: William Ryan Smith, Roseville, Calif; Maegan Carlton, Casselberry, Fla.; Heather M. Vallan, Orlando, Fla.; Tiki R. McCray, Baton Rouge; Kaitlyn Sue Jeter, Benton; Scott A. LeJeune, Gueydan; Jennifer Anne Doucet, Iota; Logan M. Soileau, Lake Charles; Garrett Ray Tunks, Westlake; Martin Allen Caine, Oklahoma City, Okla.; Anna Christine Hullett, Lyles, Tenn.; Matthew R. Wilson, Coldspring, Texas; Rhian Dawes, Glasgow, United Kingdom; Gemma Bridge, Oxford, United Kingdom INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY: Georgia K. Vasilakis, Lumberton, Texas MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES: Vijay Kumar Bijja, Spandana Kommaraju, Sushma Namburi, Hyderbad, India; Nandini Chukkabotla, Nizamabad, India; Jacob Ryan Higgins, Iowa; Kishore Bollam, Wendy Leigh Kussmann, Lauren L. Snider, Lake Charles; Abdullah Dakhlallah T. Alshamdayn, Aljouf, Saudi Arabia
POST-MASTERS CERTIfiCATE
PSYCHIATRIC MENTAL HEALTH NP: Lourdes Torres, Calhoun
MASTER OF SCIENCE
NURSING: Beatrice O. Eboka, Tiko, Cameroon; April Breaux, Carencro; Amanda De Rae’ Barfield, Cheneyville; Jedediah David Meche, Crowley; Amanda L. Porter Harrell, Michael Todd Warren, DeRidder; Kelli Ann Brumfield, Franklin; Meagan Elizabeth Broussard, Hackberry; Anna E. Compton, Kristin Blair Cannon Segura, Jennings; Lori P. Kay, Jasmine V. Penn, Amanda Paige Perkins, Pippa Renee Soileau, Lake Charles; Alison Renee Coleman, Leesville; Kaitlin Pruett, Slidell; Cody Alan Dougay, Westlake; Elise Lavergne, Rheala Shantel Middleton, Beaumont, Texas; April Chari Cockerham, Bridge City, Texas; Courtney Kay Wagner, Lumberton, Texas; Erin Ashley Flavin, Tomball, Texas
POST-BACCALAUREATE CERTIfiCATES
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION GRADES PK-3: Ashley A. Jones, Lake Charles ELEMENTARY EDUCATION GRADES 1-5: Amy Jo Faulk Stratton, Crowley; Kriston Nickole Brewer, Clarissa Dione Gantt, DeRidder; Holly Fruge’ Boudreaux, Elton; Korecia N. Thibodeaux Johnson, Iowa; Sarah Jane Swift Hill, Haley C. Stoetzer, Lake Charles; Dana Michelle Robinson, Raceland MULTIPLE LEVELS GRADES K-12 (ARTS): Melanie Paige Pardo, Lake Charles; Adrienne D. Romero, Sulphur SCHOOL LIBRARIAN: Kimberly Bourque David, Abbeville; Kayla Delaine Nortman, DeQuincy; Susan Hebert Bellon, Iota; Amber R. Viator, Lafayette; Jennifer Lynn Fontenot, Lake Charles; Lou-Enne Sasscer, Leesville; Kellie Gros, Raceland; Christine Smith Dauterive, River Ridge; Allyson B. Molitor Turner, Sulphur SECONDARY EDUCATION GRADES 6-12 (BIOLOGY): Bridgett Lynn Gisclair, Longville SECONDARY EDUCATION GRADES 6-12 (BUSINESS): Sonya Henning Sloan, Lake Charles SECONDARY EDUCATION GRADES 6-12 (GENERAL SCIENCE): John H. Douglas, Sulphur SPECIAL EDUCATION MILD/MODERATE-ELEMENTARY EDUCATION GRADES 1-5: Jody E. Bradley, Sulphur SPECIAL EDUCATION MILD/MODERATE-SECONDARY EDUCATION GRADES 6-12: Angela Richard Wubben, Lake Charles
BACHELOR OF ARTS
ART: Chengyang Jiao, Zheng Zhou, China; Michelle Danielle Gauthier, DeRidder; Brent Paul Richard, Gueydan; Natalie Ann Trahan, Jennings; Thomas P. Breaux, Randi Landry, Tara Lynn Matt, Remy D. Miller III, Jeremy Charles Price, Sarah Traske, Lake Charles; Ethan Gregory Crook, Oak Grove; Alicia Diane Leonard, Singer; Harry W. Hawthorne, Freehold, N.J. ENGLISH: Darian Paige Lanthier, Hathaway; Leslie Kebodeaux Benoit, Iota; Thomas L. Holland, Clint J. Lormand, Kinder; Devin E. Friend, Laura L. Pousson, Lake Charles; Denee Michelle Areno, Emily A. Smith, Sulphur; Lucas G. Trahan, Welsh; Jessie Lene Cortez, Westlake FOREIGN LANGUAGE: Yeison Henao Herrera, Pereira, Colombia; Colin J. Broussard, Lake Charles; Denee Michelle Areno, Sulphur HISTORY: Jorge Antonio Roman Romero, Guayaquil, Ecuador; Katlyn H. Humphreys Harper, Dry Creek; Madelyn Alyssa Husted, Killeen, Texas LIBERAL STUDIES: Caroline Y. Hebert, Iota; Lance C. Richard, Lacassine; Sidney Jacob Coble, Welsh; Alvin T. Capello, Houston, Texas POLITICAL SCIENCE: Jorge Antonio Roman Romero, Guayaquil, Ecuador; Seth Christopher Michael Abshire, Landen Kane Webb, Lake Charles SOCIOLOGY: Kayla Lynn Bailey Ball, Forest Hill, Sadie M. Campbell, Mali E. Gnau, Lauren E. LaFleur, Joshua E. Underwood, Lake Charles; Lindsey Danielle Merchant, Vinton; Constance Dionne Smith, Virgina Beach, Va. SOCIOLOGY ONLINE: Hannah J. Maust, Riobamba, Ecuador; Robin Michaela Batiste, Carencro; Kendal Campbell Gott, Dry Creek; Nichole M. Viator, Erath; Abigael Dawn Barton-Self, Jessica Lynn Crochet, Christopher G. Edmond Jr., Brandi Alyse Foote, Alyssa L. Frank, Phyllis M. Friddle, Chelsea M. Mancuso, Cheri A. Piert, Candice Mariece Trail, Lake Charles; Courtney A. Victorian, Mamou; Latressa S. Gregoire, New Iberia; April Dawn Coco, Sulphur
BACHELOR OF GENERAL STUDIES
James Monroe Crouch, Merced, Calif.; Danielle Duncan, Land O’Lakes, Fla.; Sierra Rachel Stridiron, Eunice; Jimmy De’Juan Thomas, Ferriday; Ashton R. Hargrave, Forked Island; Jo Ann Daigle, Hackberry; Daphani L. McKenzie, Houma; Emilie K. Petry, Marla Lynn Rasberry, Jennings; Kayla N. Baca, Kara J. Baggett, Gabrielle Grace Brame Berlin, Kenneth S. Brown, Alfred Perry Cochran, Chelsea Brooke Dronett, Angela M. Fry, Jacoby Jermaine Gallien, Percy Allisia Guillory, William A. Guillotte, Dalton J. Hinton, Bryce M. Kingsley, Derek James Papillion, Laurie Ann Parks, David Rougeau, Lakeyn Kristine Ward, Lake Charles; Nicole Lamont, Leesville; Derrell L. Joubert, Opelousas; Mason Douglas Martin, Pineville; Kristin Ann Embry, Shaylee Alexis Heard, Julianne Paige Elder Killian, Hanna Leigh Vincent, Sulphur; Nicholas Dane Fontenot, Ville Platte; Bianca G. King, Welsh; Craig G. McFerrin, Flint, Mich.; Hannah R. Nelson, Beaumont, Texas; Gerardo Valadez, Brownsville, Texas; Ricardo Ramirez, Deer Park, Texas; Gabriel B. Hamner, Sealy, Texas; David Demarcus Bush, Tyler, Texas; Darby M. Swoboda, Victoria, Texas GENERAL STUDIES ONLINE: LaToya D. Tunwar, Kinder; Tara Louise Proffitt, Lake Charles
BACHELOR OF MUSIC
Taylor Patrick Seybert, DeRidder; Marcus Paul LeBlanc, Bryce J. Monteaux, Erath; Jordan Thomas Moore, Houma; Ava Elizabeth Brown, Curry Austin Burton, Kenneth W. Espree, Ted E. Romero, Lake Charles; Timothy R. Ludtman, Marietta, Ohio; Edward J. Alcantara, Houston, Texas; Kyle A. Cook, Andrew W. Hedrick, Katy, Texas
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE
AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES: Jessica Rae Delfunt, Athens, Ala.; John P. McLain, Etienne Joseph Trahan, Abbeville; Chase Adam Bijeaux, Breaux Bridge; Kartavius J. Hamilton, Colfax; Tricia Cheyenne Cappel, DeRidder; Kyler Jody Campbell, Dry Creek; Emily M. Chauvin, Franklin; Caleb Matthew Zaunbrecher, Gueydan; Summer N. Anderson, Hessmer; Taylor Kathleen Lewing, Hineston; Camille N. Berken, Demarcus C. Rideaux, Jennings; William Blake Marcantel, Kinder; Mercedes L. Clark, Kristen N. Credeur, Tanner T. Fontenot, Brittany Dokato Guidry, Michelle A. Traylor, Lake Charles; David Lee Breaux, Morse; Kay Emily Sonnier, Sugartown; Morgan Vail Wallace, Piedmont, Okla.; Alana Ella Gustafson, Chepachet, R.I.; William Stark Lambert, Beaumont, Texas; Michelle D. Petrarca, Houston, Texas ATHLETIC TRAINING: Lindsey Patrice Ruppert Cooley, DeRidder; Alexander Jacque Rozas, Eunice; Marissa Shareese Garner, Florien; Christin Marie Crader, Nicole Lynn Lopez, Jennings; Hannah Suzann Hargrave, Lafayette; Kimberly A. Cutrera, Lake Charles; Sheridan Shonda Cooper, Springhill BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE: Rebecca Suzanne Price-Wood, Indianapolis, Ind.; Andrew N. Mudd, Cameron; Tyler Samuel White, DeRidder; Joel Sullivan Byrne, Elton; Allison M. Bartek, Andrew Evan Bearb, Mchaji Cazembe Celestaine, Haley Elizabeth Cook, Rhiannon Brooke Gibson, John Roy Jones, Tracy Phimmasone, Ryan Louis Savoie, Alexis Louise Vaughan, Lake Charles; Dexter James Robichaux, Raceland; Cathryn Alyson Frey, Austin Kesler Harris, Brently Russell Sorgee, Sulphur CHEMISTRY: Talia Chrea McCray, Baton Rouge; Taylor M. Goree, Alexander P. Horowicz, Phoenix J. Sconzert-Hall, Lake Charles; Austin Kesler Harris, Sulphur EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION GRADES PK-3: McKenzie Ryan Cooper, Ashleigh Lauren Prejean Franques, DeQuincy; Jamie Nicole Moran, Gonzales; Leah Wiggins Fontenot, Tori Delaney Overley, Gueydan; Kalli Andrews Maggio, Kinder; Tiffany Danielle Degeyter Daley, Hayleigh Michelle Golightly, Caryn Emily Meschwitz, Hailee B. Thompson Vincent, Lake Charles; Kayla Denise Bertrand, Ragley; Jacquelyn Annette Thibodeaux, Taylor Jo Wilkins, Sulphur; Taylor Renae Whitley, Westlake ELEMENTARY EDUCATION GRADES 1-5: Amy Suzanne Mullican, DeRidder; Amber R. Richard, Grand Lake; Lauren E. Freese, Kaitlyn Lea Miller, Miranda Paige Partin, Lindsay Brooke Seamons, Lake Charles; Kaitlyn M. Hantz, Ragley; Brittany Nicole Dautriel Hanks, Mattie Ann Leone, Tabitha Jane Goodeaux Sheppard, Sulphur; Fantasia M. Charles, Ville Platte; Jennifer J. Bahnsen, Khristina D. Richardson, Vinton; McKenzie Noel Williamson, Westlake; Miranda Laree Kalina, Kountze, Texas HEALTH AND HUMAN PERFORMANCE, GENERAL: Nicholas J. Bertrand, Basile; Austin G. Monceaux, Crowley; Chance Lauren Cronce, Christopher C. Thorn, Joshua Taylor Williams, DeRidder; Vivian Claire Miller, Eunice; Lauren A. Carter, Grand Chenier; Jared C. Amiot, Shelby L. Borders, Kaitlin A. Jeanis, Savannah P. Landry, Zachary S. Nixon, Lake Charles; Jamie Drew Davis, Natchitoches; Shaun D. Johnson, Pineville; Jean R. Breaux, Scott; Jared Lamar Mack, St. Rose; Dillon Patrick Carroll, Megan Nicole Pottorff, Ville Platte; Christopher Joel Ortiz-Torres, Westlake; Brian Peter Hine, Austin, Texas; Ruston C. Collins, Baytown, Texas; Nicole Lynn Casper, Buna, Texas; Sterling Carol Baylor, Bunnell, Texas; Dolores A. Brown, Deal, United Kingdom HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATIONGRADES K-12: Shelby Taylor Landry Thibeaux, Bell City; Alison O’Neal Kirk, DeRidder; Christina M. Arceneaux, Kinder; Cade McKay Dawes, Lafayette; Karlee Nicole’ Goodman, Ragley; Lauren N. Sestak, Spring, Texas MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES: Aaron Michael Barclay, Enock Kipchumba Bor, Steven James Dabelow, Tyler Trey Marks, Lake Charles; Dax Daniel Campbell, Tyler Austin Spears, Sulphur; Holly Beth Nichols, Vinton MEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENCE: Brittany Laine Johnson Lalonde, Basile; Trevor S. LeBlanc, Jennings; Hang Ok Cho Fontane, Lisa Lynn Childs LeJeune, Lake Charles; Kelli Prudhomme, Welsh; Megan C. Oden, Westlake; Bijaya Basnet, Kathmandu, Nepal; Tram Thi Ta, Xuan Loc, Vietnam NATURAL RESOURCE CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT: Alaina Michelle Stelly, Abbeville; Andrea Caroline Williams Gorum, Lake Charles; Mallory Kay Livingston, Groves, Texas; Bailey Elizabeth Dean, Nederland, Texas NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES: Elaina M. Marshall, Alexandria; Alli L. Rushing, Hornbeck; Gabrielle Marie Langley, Kristan M. Lau, Lake Charles; Emma D. Ransome, Leesville; Anna Camille Salvador, Houston, Texas PSYCHOLOGY: Sarah Rose Helo, Crowley; Dustin Lee Lange, Shannon Joelle Villanueva, De-Ridder; Chelsea R. Guidry, Grand Lake; Karen D. Nugent, Iowa; Samantha Jillian Page Bourque, Alison M. Broussard, Colin J. Broussard, Alyssa Minunette Burris, Drusallar Zhane’ Davis, Matthew J. Gallier, Emily M. Hinton, Jaclyn Ann Istre, Baylie E. Lee, Jonathon B. Moreau, Ali R. Piatt, Megan Anita Rankins, Desiraye N. Rosamore, Victoria D. Sweezy, Amanda Rae Thompson, Lake Charles; Tiffany N. Augustine, Leonville; Haley E. Leleux, New Iberia; Rebecca R. Knott, Plaucheville; Kylie Dayle Hernandez, Amy Marie Young Ijaz, Emily Louise Keeley, Sulphur; Sarah E. France, Hayden Alec Hasenbein, Westlake PSYCHOLOGY ONLINE: Allison Louise Vickers Spelbrink, Houston, Texas RADIOLOGIC SCIENCES: Liza V. Shelton, Aurora, Ill.; Tiffany M. Mayers, Alyson Makenzie Simmons, DeRidder; Brittney N. Bourque, Iowa; Maye L. Floyd, Kinder; Abby A. Hollister, Lake Arthur; Tiffany N. Allen, Brian J. Kingham, Jennifer L. Kirkendall, Donovan D. Landry, Natalie D. Miller, Gerald E. Peek, Chanler Jade Borel Perkins, Katelyn E. Sullivan, Quinton R.D. Tharp, Lake Charles; Robert S. Rosfeld, Ragley; Jordan P. Schwartzenburg, Sulphur; Lynzie DeNae’ Yeates, Welsh; Kylie R. Goodeaux, Westlake
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN ACCOUNTING
ACCOUNTING: Diego David Conde-Zanca, Santa Cruz, Bolivia; Xin Jie Pan, Zheng Zhou, China; Kelly K. Graham, Longmont, Colo.; Walter Lawrence Bonk, Romeoville, Ill.; Matthew R. Klumpp, Eunice; Jenna P. Pinson, Jennings; Brittany Nicole Boullion, Dawn R. Frederick, Kinder; Sharhonda Dannette Bellow, Kade R. Brashear, Kimberly Kay Istre Brignac, Melissa Michele Brister Bruce, Savannah Elise Carter, Michelle Lynn Dougay, Rebecca A. Gray, Tabitha Ann Lasyone, Carolyn Nicole Lee, Hannah L. Michel, Lauren Hunter Reeves, Shelby Dawn Hanks Yeates, Lake Charles; Jaime Lynn Welch, Oakdale; Vernon Paul Briscoe, Amanda Kaye Starr, Sulphur; Estelle Ann Langley, Welsh; Derrius M. Washington, Houston, Texas; Jacob Allan Troutman, Katy, Texas
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE
CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Lauren Rae Cowick, Hollister, Calif.; Earl Wayne Sizelove, Lodi, Calif.; Taylor M. Schmidt, Yorba Linda, Calif.; Courtney Renee Vallery, Church Point; Sallye D. Dugas, Dry Creek; Matthew Kol Morel, Grant; Damon L. Gladney, Haughton; Damien Wayne Julian, Jennings; Brent Raymond Smith, Kenner; Blake Allen LaFargue, Kinder; Alfred Bartie, Artellus O. Bellard, Tyler T. Houston, Lauren E. Montelaro, Eric Donovan Perry, Jeremy Charles Price, Christian Renee Thomas, Lake Charles; David C. Zerangue, Opelousas; Ashlyn Kate Lonidier, Ragley; Myashia Chiara Hollier, Rayne; Lauryn Kimberly Perry Keel, Rosepine CRIMINAL JUSTICE ONLINE: Jessica Virella Schexnayder, Crowley; Kasey Dakota McCauley, Iowa; Chelcie Jones, Lafayette; Nichola M. Celestine Ardoin, Jake Anthony Roberts, Jasmine M. Vital, Lake Charles; Christopher Michael Tapie, Marrero; Courtney R. Boutte, New Iberia; Brittany Hulett, Opelousas; Victoria Lynn Trosclair Monk, Pitkin; Chadwick Q. Soileau, Ville Platte; Joseph A. Capello, Houston, Texas; Kayla M. Wilson Torres, Fairmont, W.Va.
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN COMPUTER SCIENCE
COMPUTER SCIENCE: Aaron Michael Barclay, Stephen D. Guillory, Brian Cody Rich, Cameron Scott Tooke, Lake Charles; Tyler Austin Spears, Sulphur; Yubraj Budhathoki, Kathmandu, Nepal; Bassem Mansor O Khabiry, Yanbu, Saudi Arabia; Joshua Tyler Fears, Deweyville, Texas
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN ENGINEERING
ENGINEERING: Stuart Wayne Todd, Pensacola, Fla.; Cody A. Brown, Titusville, Fla.; Zachary Carroll Roussel, Nathan Henry Weber, DeRidder; David Kelly Wayne Fontenot, Dry Creek; Sierra Sade DeCoux Collins, Dylan Gaspard, Eunice; Brett Van Heath, Gueydan; Luke William Finley, Roger J. Kamrowski, Iowa; Janica Nicole Daniels, Raed El Cheikh, Lafayette; Colby Gerard Broussard, Lake Arthur; Jordan David Ardoin, Robert S. Bertrand, Geoffrey William Criswell, Steven James Dabelow, Daniel Jack Decareaux, Carson S. Emily, Allen Christopher Fontenot, Justin P. Gary, Laura Lewis Gibson, Kristen Nicole Hebert, Joshua Cannon Jagneaux, Ram Prasad Koju, Matthew Keith LeBlanc, Tyler Nelson LeLeaux, Garrett M. Soileau, Trung Thanh Tran, Vu Linh Tran Truong, Lake Charles; Brandon Dale Giles, Colin L. Karr, Merryville; Brandon W. Pelt, Pitkin; Annette Marie Ramsey Weaver, Ragley; Justin Paul Kerry, Reagan Jewel Kerry, Singer; Rebecca Erin Ardoin, Hannah Grace Fogg, Mickenzie Timothy Hill, Ryan T. Logan, Caleb M. Redmond, Sulphur; Kona Katy Elizabeth Harris, Tioga; Weiyu Qiu, Westlake; Kai Matthew Poullard, Waldorf, Md.; Sudip Ghimire, Butwal, Nepal; Bibek Yadav, Dhanusa, Nepal; Kamal Karki, Janakpur, Nepal; Niraj Kharel, Ankit Nepal, Kathmandu,Nepal; Manish Maharjan, Lalitput, Nepal; Narayan Shiwakoti, Lamidanda, Nepal; Dinkar Regmi, Siraha, Nepal; Nicoleta Maria Muresan, Turda, Romania; Alper Unluer, Izmir, Turkey; Stephen James Keighley, Athens, Texas; Kyle L. Kohler, Conroe, Texas; Lisa Frauenberger, Grapeland, Texas; Brett A. Nicholson, Groves, Texas; Ngan Kim Nguyen, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam; An Le Minh Tran, Hoi An, Vietnam; An Le Thuy Tran, Hoian, Vietnam; Tory D. Miller, Withee, Wis. ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY: Quinton S. Touchette, DeRidder; Trevor Joseph Fontenot, Justin Blake Rushing, Lake Charles; Steele Hunter Merritt, Natchitoches; Dustin K. Franus, Tyler Scott Vidrine, Westlake; Charles W. Brown, Katy, Texas
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN
FINANCE
FINANCE: Toshiki Gushiken Higa, Santa Cruz De La Sierra, Bolivia; Shelby Lynn Thomas, Grand Lake; Dawn R. Frederick, Kinder; Kade R. Brashear, Cameron S. Landry, Kaitlynn Elizabeth LeBlanc, Sierra Simone O’Pry, Tyler H. Spence, Tanner M. Stewart, Lake Charles; Jaime Lynn Welch, Oakdale; Ashley Davidson Mangham, Shreveport; Mackenzie Jade Wright, Sulphur
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN GENERAL BUSINESS
GENERAL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION: Samantha Jane Hill, DeRidder; William Russell Hardwick, Dry Creek; Aungelle Leah Fontenot, Brandon K. Fontenot, Eunice; Rebecca A. Dupont, Grand Lake; Brooke L. Ardoin, William Wayne Precht, Lacassine; Nicholas S. Klein, Lake Arthur; Kelli A. Fontenot, Morgan L. Guillory, Jordan C. Saltzman, Lake Charles; Adam S. Downing, Oakdale; Derek J. Landry, Sulphur; Binod Pathak, Kathmandu, Nepal; Anh Tran Bao Bui, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN MASS COMMUNICATION
MASS COMMUNICATION: Tryfon Boukouvidis, Thessaloniki, Greece; Laikyn N. Cooper, DeQuincy; Bryana Esther Domingue, Iowa; Kaelyn Grace Guillory, Lodden G. Hixson, Ashley Desirae Joseph, Georgia G. Osburn, Morgan L. Smith, Lake Charles; Kristina Marie Matthai, Leesville; Latressa S. Gregoire, New Iberia; Matthew Trampus Hebert, Oberlin; Austin G. Says, Singer; Hunter Beau Burleson, Sulphur; Harlea Celeste Holmes, Sulphur; Joseph C. Barnes, Ville Platte; Anastasija Trubica, Riga, Latvia; Christina Letitia Tallant, Bridge City, Texas; Lauren Leigh Veillon; Houston, Texas
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN MANAGEMENT
MANAGEMENT: Sarah E. Donor Pelletier, Stafford Springs, Conn.; Cameron Smith, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Diana P. Hollier, Crowley; Karlee Kae Dahlquist, DeQuincy; Nathaniel Aaron Brown, Alyssa Breanne Barrett Buzzard, Megan N. Fox, Brooklyn Michelle Gill, Chereamie Alyce Thibodeaux, DeRidder; Phyllis Abbey Nichols, Elton; Jennifer Lauren Frey, Eunice; Matthew Breaux, Grand Lake; Emily Nicole Gingras, Kinder; Breonne T. Guy, Lafayette; Olivia N. Babineaux, Jessica A. Bernard, Anne Marie Bono, Ashley Dawn Collins, Cherrelle D. King, Cheri Louise Racca, Tristian G. Thomas, Lake Charles; Jaleesa Ann-Marie Bray, Jared Michael Williams, New Iberia; Jeremiah P. Leger, Ragley; Kaleb Jon Fontenot, Ville Platte; Katherine Amanda Newmiller, Beaumont, Texas; Jamie L. Allred, Hallsville, Texas MANAGEMENT ONLINE: Lisa L. Langlois, Baton Rouge; LaToya LaKeisha Woods-Williams, Elton; Brittany N. Hardesty, Melissa Claire White, Iowa; Zabrina F. Epps, Tabitha Ann Lasyone, Victoria Lynn McDaniel, Katie Lynn Mefford, Matthew Patrick Samec, Elizabeth Genee Tezeno, Lake Charles; Stephanie Elise Aucoin, Metairie; Victoria L. Welch, Oakdale; Alicia Lucille Vinson, Patterson; Mona Yokum, Rayne; Thomas Kade Aucoin, Shreveport; Alexis P. Brown, Sulphur; Briar W. Fontenot, Ville Platte; Rebecca Ann Coward, Vinton
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN MARKETING
MARKETING: Athanasios Panagiotidis, Thessaloniki, Greece; Cullen Lee Haymon, Katrina Michele Pitre, Kinder; Baylee C. Gifford, Rickie J. Hebert, Lauren R. Hoffpauir, Alaina N. Norsworthy, Lake Charles; Kyle Thomas Townsley, Merryville; Whitney Michele Guillory, Sulphur; Brittany N. Vidrine, Ville Platte; Alexandra M. Graf, Holland, Ohio; Rebecca Katherine Tudor, Perrysburg, Ohio; Morgan Brittany Blackwell, Hannah M. Walles, Orange, Texas
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN
NURSING
NURSING: Shelby Michelle Spicer, Mesa, Ariz.; Alexis Suzanne Lee Pertle, Lancaster, Calif.; Courtney P. Lomas, Abbeville; Christiana C. Berg, Baton Rouge; Kristen Rozas, Baton Rouge; Molly Erin Alexander, Jadah P. Primeaux, Cameron; Mallory Elise Hoffpauir, Crowley; Emily Christine Alexander, Amanda Michele Brown, Wayne Darrel Hennigan, Haley Michelle Lockhart, Amelia Paige Parks, Bethany Thornton Simmons, DeRidder; Deavon Bebee Schluckbier, Dry Creek; Naomi Kay Kinkelaar Dufrene, Garrett Lane Laughlin, Elton; Kuiana Brown Wilson, Gray; Maegan R. Charpentier, Hathaway; Jessica Ross, Huntsville, Ala.; Laura E. Cart, Iota; Alice M. Edmaiston, Joann Thellen Panza, Iowa; Aimee Margaret McNally Guillotte, Renee Marie Juneau, Jennings; Krystal Dawn McBride, Ashley Rose Mouton, Jessica Nicole Suire, Lafayette; Morgan Leigh Hay, Lake Arthur; Brittani Lynn Corbello, Anissa M. Disnuke, Grant Jonathan Ewing, Caitlyn N. Fontenot, Adrienne K. Fults, Lesley Marie Istre, Cynthia Makayla Johnson, Starr E. Livingston, Laken N. Mallett, Brianna Zhane Parker, Chivonne Ashley Pierre-Williams, Jason Neil Reddoch, Janey Patricia Reeves, Rachel Anne Viator, Anna Elizabeth Williams, Chassiddy Danielle Williams, Leocadine F. Zebaze, Lake Charles; Mallory Lynn Galliano, Metairie; Brandie L. Kerbow, Mount Herman; Marielle E. Bienvenu, New Iberia; Morgan C. Ashmore, Alyssa L. Brabham, Brittany J. Johnson, Oakdale; Jessie Lee Gilchrist Dupre, Plaquemine; Emily Shannon Hunt, Lakin D. Navarre, Ragley; Taylor Ann Bourque, Christina Michelle Brooks, Kristen Brooke Blanchard Dore, Madison Lorrain Dulany, Heather Leigh Gill, Lisa M. Culbertson Henry, Meggan Michelle Hillman, Kaley James Hinch, Perri Elizabeth Holmes, Kenzie Kayde LaSage Istre, Alexis E. Langley, Kimberly Nicole Miller, Ashley Ann-Marie Owen, Carlee Danae Theriot, Sulphur; Christopher Brian Manuel, Ville Platte; Morgan Lyn Robinson Dougay, Vinton; Kristen Nicole Landry, Youngsville; Angela Carol Caughron, Sevierville, Tenn.; Sarah T. Bricker, Arlington, Texas; Leah Hrachovy, Irene Kaligirwa, Houston, Texas; Angelina R. Covington, Huffman, Texas; Malina Sanchez, Lake Jackson, Texas; Emily J. Ratcliff, Orange, Texas NURSING - RN TO BSN ONLINE: Rachel Elizabeth Schmieder Johnson, Baton Rouge; Alise Ardoin, Lafayette; Dionnedra Denise Escort, Morgan City; Rontel Renea Eaglin, Roanoke; Tequilla L. Seals, Memphis, Tenn.; Mary Ryan Sohoski Tinnel, Winnie, Texas
ASSOCIATE OF ARTS IN PARALEGAL STUDIES
PARALEGAL STUDIES: Jessica Virella Schexnayder, Destani Kay Whitaker, Crowley; Kandy Lynn Hester Warren, DeRidder; Andrea Christine Rodriguez, Hayes; Jana Carlile Crain, Katelyn Jane Dickson, Sonni L. Hearon, Megan Leigh Hebert, Patrice Olite Turner, Annslea T. Whiddon, Lake Charles
ASSOCIATE OF GENERAL STUDIES
GENERAL STUDIES: Willie Bob Woosley, Sun Valley, Calif.; Alicia May Marie Istre, DeQuincy; Shannon Joelle Villanueva, DeRidder; Sallye D. Dugas, Dry Creek; Joel Sullivan Byrne, Elton; Justin Nathaniel Guin, Flatwoods; Ashton R. Hargrave, Forked Island; Ginger Faye Young, Lacassine; Trent Brice Duplantis, Lake Arthur; Ashley Nichelle Alfred, Kimberly A. Cutrera, Luciana Georgina Edwards, Nichole Paige Ferguson, Nicholette Erin Fults, Alexis R. Howard, Kristina Marie Latty, Alexandra C. Loftin, Tara Lynn Matt, Lucretia L. Rogers, Gregory Michael Sonnier, Tyler H. Spence, Kyla M. Standley, Trena April Stebbins, Lake Charles; Khalil D. Thomas, Opelousas; Jennifer N. Davis, Shreveport; Alicia Diane Leonard, Singer; Shaylee Alexis Heard, Brently Russell Sorgee, Sulphur; Caitlin Marie Sammons Picard, Splendora, Texas; Tam Ngoc Thanh Nguyen, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
14 2016-05-16
Lake Charles

McNeese State to recognize 750 graduates today


McNeese State University will award diplomas and certificates to 750 students at the university’s spring commencement ceremony today, May 14, at Burton Coliseum. Graduates are:
GRADUATE CERTIfiCATE: Business Administration: Jennifer C. Sonnier, Lake Charles
MASTER OF ARTS
ENGLISH: Andrew J. Maust, Riobamba, Ecuador; Victoria Maria Castells, Miami, Fla.; Justin Daniel Eleff, Tampa, Fla.; Dustin Ryan Shattuck, Springfield, Ill.; Amanda Sue Brahlek, Anna Lucille Thomas Mireles, Lake Charles; Christopher Joel Hebert, Sulphur; Dorsey Elizabeth Craft, Orangeburg, S.C.; Annaliese Dawn Wagner, Flower Mound, Texas; Cody Magee, Milwaukee, Wis. PSYCHOLOGY: Cameron M. Scallan, Alexandria; Caitlin R. Delafield, Jimmy F. Trahan, Chase Alec Walling, Lake Charles; Brittany Zaring-Hinkle, Oklahoma City, Okla.
MASTER OF ARTS IN TEACHING
ELEMENTARY EDUCATION GRADES 1-5: Kristin N. Richards, San Francisco, Calif; Elizabeth A. Kohlhund, DeRidder; Joseph Edward Guidry, Elton; Sarah Nicole Crochet, Jennings; Leah M. Marshall, Alexandra Carson Sullivan, Lake Charles SECONDARY EDUCATION GRADES 6-12 (BIOLOGY): Jennifer Rose Underwood, Iowa; Candice Marie Grimball, Westlake SECONDARY EDUCATION GRADES 6-12 (MATH): Kayla Marie Meche Ruiz, Lafayette SECONDARY EDUCATION GRADES 6-12 (SOCIAL STUDIES): Wesley Norris Jones, Westlake SECONDARY EDUCATION GRADES 6-12 (SPANISH): Carin Lynn Tenorio Gastelu, Ponca City, Okla.
MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
Candace Marie Prejean, Sulphur; Pranab Kaushik, Kathmandu, Nepal; Claudia Andreea Nenu, Stefanesti, Romania; Kelsie N. Greenough, Santa Fe, Texas; Thao Phuong Nguyen, Hai Phong, Vietnam
MASTER OF EDUCATION
CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION: Kaylin Queenan Trahan, Lake Charles; Jordan Overman Allen, Sulphur EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP: Tracie D. Reed, Eunice EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP: Stacy Pence Gregory, DeRidder; Teresa Kaye Baldauf, Cassady Fontenot Hickingbottom, Lake Charles; Heather N. Fontenot, Morse; Andria Michelle Monceaux, Sulphur SCHOOL COUNSELING: Natalie A. Thigpen, Lake Charles
MASTER OF ENGINEERING
Shichen Zhao, Xi’An, China; Jasmin Franziska Harmon, Solingen, Germany; Venkat Nithish Baradwaj Nagaraju, Hyderbad, India; Suraj Koditala, Warangal, India; Ashraf H. Alshemary, Lake Charles; Prabin Bhandari, Kathmandu, Nepal; Amanda Andrea Donayre Lara, Lima, Peru; Ahmet Cihan Kaya, Konya, Turkey
MASTER OF FINE ARTS
CREATIVE WRITING: Victoria Maria Castells, Miami, Fla.; Justin Daniel Eleff, Tampa, Fla.; Talisha Shelley, Mcdonough, Ga.; Dustin Ryan Shattuck, Springfield, Ill.; Dorsey Elizabeth Craft, Orangeburg, S.C.; Annaliese Dawn Wagner, Flower Mound, Texas; Meghan Esther Giles, Lubbock, Texas
MASTER OF SCIENCE
CRIMINAL JUSTICE ONLINE: Larry John Cormier, Lake Charles; Christopher Hill, New Orleans; Kelly John Clement, Thibodaux; Michael C. Powell, Puyallup, Wash. ENVIRONMENTAL AND CHEMICAL SCIENCES: Tatiana Alexandra Estrada Mendoza, Ibarra, Ecuador; Stephanie Tidwell, DeRidder; Courtney P. Villemarette, Lake Arthur; Allison Stokes Carnahan, Yashwanth Reddy Nakireddy, Lake Charles; Jessica Suzanne Canerday, Welsh; Brittney Leigh Ivey, Fort Worth, Texas HEALTH AND HUMAN PERFORMANCE: William Ryan Smith, Roseville, Calif; Maegan Carlton, Casselberry, Fla.; Heather M. Vallan, Orlando, Fla.; Tiki R. McCray, Baton Rouge; Kaitlyn Sue Jeter, Benton; Scott A. LeJeune, Gueydan; Jennifer Anne Doucet, Iota; Logan M. Soileau, Lake Charles; Garrett Ray Tunks, Westlake; Martin Allen Caine, Oklahoma City, Okla.; Anna Christine Hullett, Lyles, Tenn.; Matthew R. Wilson, Coldspring, Texas; Rhian Dawes, Glasgow, United Kingdom; Gemma Bridge, Oxford, United Kingdom INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY: Georgia K. Vasilakis, Lumberton, Texas MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES: Vijay Kumar Bijja, Spandana Kommaraju, Sushma Namburi, Hyderbad, India; Nandini Chukkabotla, Nizamabad, India; Jacob Ryan Higgins, Iowa; Kishore Bollam, Wendy Leigh Kussmann, Lauren L. Snider, Lake Charles; Abdullah Dakhlallah T. Alshamdayn, Aljouf, Saudi Arabia
POST-MASTERS CERTIfiCATE
PSYCHIATRIC MENTAL HEALTH NP: Lourdes Torres, Calhoun
MASTER OF SCIENCE
NURSING: Beatrice O. Eboka, Tiko, Cameroon; April Breaux, Carencro; Amanda De Rae’ Barfield, Cheneyville; Jedediah David Meche, Crowley; Amanda L. Porter Harrell, Michael Todd Warren, DeRidder; Kelli Ann Brumfield, Franklin; Meagan Elizabeth Broussard, Hackberry; Anna E. Compton, Kristin Blair Cannon Segura, Jennings; Lori P. Kay, Jasmine V. Penn, Amanda Paige Perkins, Pippa Renee Soileau, Lake Charles; Alison Renee Coleman, Leesville; Kaitlin Pruett, Slidell; Cody Alan Dougay, Westlake; Elise Lavergne, Rheala Shantel Middleton, Beaumont, Texas; April Chari Cockerham, Bridge City, Texas; Courtney Kay Wagner, Lumberton, Texas; Erin Ashley Flavin, Tomball, Texas
POST-BACCALAUREATE CERTIfiCATES
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION GRADES PK-3: Ashley A. Jones, Lake Charles ELEMENTARY EDUCATION GRADES 1-5: Amy Jo Faulk Stratton, Crowley; Kriston Nickole Brewer, Clarissa Dione Gantt, DeRidder; Holly Fruge’ Boudreaux, Elton; Korecia N. Thibodeaux Johnson, Iowa; Sarah Jane Swift Hill, Haley C. Stoetzer, Lake Charles; Dana Michelle Robinson, Raceland MULTIPLE LEVELS GRADES K-12 (ARTS): Melanie Paige Pardo, Lake Charles; Adrienne D. Romero, Sulphur SCHOOL LIBRARIAN: Kimberly Bourque David, Abbeville; Kayla Delaine Nortman, DeQuincy; Susan Hebert Bellon, Iota; Amber R. Viator, Lafayette; Jennifer Lynn Fontenot, Lake Charles; Lou-Enne Sasscer, Leesville; Kellie Gros, Raceland; Christine Smith Dauterive, River Ridge; Allyson B. Molitor Turner, Sulphur SECONDARY EDUCATION GRADES 6-12 (BIOLOGY): Bridgett Lynn Gisclair, Longville SECONDARY EDUCATION GRADES 6-12 (BUSINESS): Sonya Henning Sloan, Lake Charles SECONDARY EDUCATION GRADES 6-12 (GENERAL SCIENCE): John H. Douglas, Sulphur SPECIAL EDUCATION MILD/MODERATE-ELEMENTARY EDUCATION GRADES 1-5: Jody E. Bradley, Sulphur SPECIAL EDUCATION MILD/MODERATE-SECONDARY EDUCATION GRADES 6-12: Angela Richard Wubben, Lake Charles
BACHELOR OF ARTS
ART: Chengyang Jiao, Zheng Zhou, China; Michelle Danielle Gauthier, DeRidder; Brent Paul Richard, Gueydan; Natalie Ann Trahan, Jennings; Thomas P. Breaux, Randi Landry, Tara Lynn Matt, Remy D. Miller III, Jeremy Charles Price, Sarah Traske, Lake Charles; Ethan Gregory Crook, Oak Grove; Alicia Diane Leonard, Singer; Harry W. Hawthorne, Freehold, N.J. ENGLISH: Darian Paige Lanthier, Hathaway; Leslie Kebodeaux Benoit, Iota; Thomas L. Holland, Clint J. Lormand, Kinder; Devin E. Friend, Laura L. Pousson, Lake Charles; Denee Michelle Areno, Emily A. Smith, Sulphur; Lucas G. Trahan, Welsh; Jessie Lene Cortez, Westlake FOREIGN LANGUAGE: Yeison Henao Herrera, Pereira, Colombia; Colin J. Broussard, Lake Charles; Denee Michelle Areno, Sulphur HISTORY: Jorge Antonio Roman Romero, Guayaquil, Ecuador; Katlyn H. Humphreys Harper, Dry Creek; Madelyn Alyssa Husted, Killeen, Texas LIBERAL STUDIES: Caroline Y. Hebert, Iota; Lance C. Richard, Lacassine; Sidney Jacob Coble, Welsh; Alvin T. Capello, Houston, Texas POLITICAL SCIENCE: Jorge Antonio Roman Romero, Guayaquil, Ecuador; Seth Christopher Michael Abshire, Landen Kane Webb, Lake Charles SOCIOLOGY: Kayla Lynn Bailey Ball, Forest Hill, Sadie M. Campbell, Mali E. Gnau, Lauren E. LaFleur, Joshua E. Underwood, Lake Charles; Lindsey Danielle Merchant, Vinton; Constance Dionne Smith, Virgina Beach, Va. SOCIOLOGY ONLINE: Hannah J. Maust, Riobamba, Ecuador; Robin Michaela Batiste, Carencro; Kendal Campbell Gott, Dry Creek; Nichole M. Viator, Erath; Abigael Dawn Barton-Self, Jessica Lynn Crochet, Christopher G. Edmond Jr., Brandi Alyse Foote, Alyssa L. Frank, Phyllis M. Friddle, Chelsea M. Mancuso, Cheri A. Piert, Candice Mariece Trail, Lake Charles; Courtney A. Victorian, Mamou; Latressa S. Gregoire, New Iberia; April Dawn Coco, Sulphur
BACHELOR OF GENERAL STUDIES
James Monroe Crouch, Merced, Calif.; Danielle Duncan, Land O’Lakes, Fla.; Sierra Rachel Stridiron, Eunice; Jimmy De’Juan Thomas, Ferriday; Ashton R. Hargrave, Forked Island; Jo Ann Daigle, Hackberry; Daphani L. McKenzie, Houma; Emilie K. Petry, Marla Lynn Rasberry, Jennings; Kayla N. Baca, Kara J. Baggett, Gabrielle Grace Brame Berlin, Kenneth S. Brown, Alfred Perry Cochran, Chelsea Brooke Dronett, Angela M. Fry, Jacoby Jermaine Gallien, Percy Allisia Guillory, William A. Guillotte, Dalton J. Hinton, Bryce M. Kingsley, Derek James Papillion, Laurie Ann Parks, David Rougeau, Lakeyn Kristine Ward, Lake Charles; Nicole Lamont, Leesville; Derrell L. Joubert, Opelousas; Mason Douglas Martin, Pineville; Kristin Ann Embry, Shaylee Alexis Heard, Julianne Paige Elder Killian, Hanna Leigh Vincent, Sulphur; Nicholas Dane Fontenot, Ville Platte; Bianca G. King, Welsh; Craig G. McFerrin, Flint, Mich.; Hannah R. Nelson, Beaumont, Texas; Gerardo Valadez, Brownsville, Texas; Ricardo Ramirez, Deer Park, Texas; Gabriel B. Hamner, Sealy, Texas; David Demarcus Bush, Tyler, Texas; Darby M. Swoboda, Victoria, Texas GENERAL STUDIES ONLINE: LaToya D. Tunwar, Kinder; Tara Louise Proffitt, Lake Charles
BACHELOR OF MUSIC
Taylor Patrick Seybert, DeRidder; Marcus Paul LeBlanc, Bryce J. Monteaux, Erath; Jordan Thomas Moore, Houma; Ava Elizabeth Brown, Curry Austin Burton, Kenneth W. Espree, Ted E. Romero, Lake Charles; Timothy R. Ludtman, Marietta, Ohio; Edward J. Alcantara, Houston, Texas; Kyle A. Cook, Andrew W. Hedrick, Katy, Texas
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE
AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES: Jessica Rae Delfunt, Athens, Ala.; John P. McLain, Etienne Joseph Trahan, Abbeville; Chase Adam Bijeaux, Breaux Bridge; Kartavius J. Hamilton, Colfax; Tricia Cheyenne Cappel, DeRidder; Kyler Jody Campbell, Dry Creek; Emily M. Chauvin, Franklin; Caleb Matthew Zaunbrecher, Gueydan; Summer N. Anderson, Hessmer; Taylor Kathleen Lewing, Hineston; Camille N. Berken, Demarcus C. Rideaux, Jennings; William Blake Marcantel, Kinder; Mercedes L. Clark, Kristen N. Credeur, Tanner T. Fontenot, Brittany Dokato Guidry, Michelle A. Traylor, Lake Charles; David Lee Breaux, Morse; Kay Emily Sonnier, Sugartown; Morgan Vail Wallace, Piedmont, Okla.; Alana Ella Gustafson, Chepachet, R.I.; William Stark Lambert, Beaumont, Texas; Michelle D. Petrarca, Houston, Texas ATHLETIC TRAINING: Lindsey Patrice Ruppert Cooley, DeRidder; Alexander Jacque Rozas, Eunice; Marissa Shareese Garner, Florien; Christin Marie Crader, Nicole Lynn Lopez, Jennings; Hannah Suzann Hargrave, Lafayette; Kimberly A. Cutrera, Lake Charles; Sheridan Shonda Cooper, Springhill BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE: Rebecca Suzanne Price-Wood, Indianapolis, Ind.; Andrew N. Mudd, Cameron; Tyler Samuel White, DeRidder; Joel Sullivan Byrne, Elton; Allison M. Bartek, Andrew Evan Bearb, Mchaji Cazembe Celestaine, Haley Elizabeth Cook, Rhiannon Brooke Gibson, John Roy Jones, Tracy Phimmasone, Ryan Louis Savoie, Alexis Louise Vaughan, Lake Charles; Dexter James Robichaux, Raceland; Cathryn Alyson Frey, Austin Kesler Harris, Brently Russell Sorgee, Sulphur CHEMISTRY: Talia Chrea McCray, Baton Rouge; Taylor M. Goree, Alexander P. Horowicz, Phoenix J. Sconzert-Hall, Lake Charles; Austin Kesler Harris, Sulphur EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION GRADES PK-3: McKenzie Ryan Cooper, Ashleigh Lauren Prejean Franques, DeQuincy; Jamie Nicole Moran, Gonzales; Leah Wiggins Fontenot, Tori Delaney Overley, Gueydan; Kalli Andrews Maggio, Kinder; Tiffany Danielle Degeyter Daley, Hayleigh Michelle Golightly, Caryn Emily Meschwitz, Hailee B. Thompson Vincent, Lake Charles; Kayla Denise Bertrand, Ragley; Jacquelyn Annette Thibodeaux, Taylor Jo Wilkins, Sulphur; Taylor Renae Whitley, Westlake ELEMENTARY EDUCATION GRADES 1-5: Amy Suzanne Mullican, DeRidder; Amber R. Richard, Grand Lake; Lauren E. Freese, Kaitlyn Lea Miller, Miranda Paige Partin, Lindsay Brooke Seamons, Lake Charles; Kaitlyn M. Hantz, Ragley; Brittany Nicole Dautriel Hanks, Mattie Ann Leone, Tabitha Jane Goodeaux Sheppard, Sulphur; Fantasia M. Charles, Ville Platte; Jennifer J. Bahnsen, Khristina D. Richardson, Vinton; McKenzie Noel Williamson, Westlake; Miranda Laree Kalina, Kountze, Texas HEALTH AND HUMAN PERFORMANCE, GENERAL: Nicholas J. Bertrand, Basile; Austin G. Monceaux, Crowley; Chance Lauren Cronce, Christopher C. Thorn, Joshua Taylor Williams, DeRidder; Vivian Claire Miller, Eunice; Lauren A. Carter, Grand Chenier; Jared C. Amiot, Shelby L. Borders, Kaitlin A. Jeanis, Savannah P. Landry, Zachary S. Nixon, Lake Charles; Jamie Drew Davis, Natchitoches; Shaun D. Johnson, Pineville; Jean R. Breaux, Scott; Jared Lamar Mack, St. Rose; Dillon Patrick Carroll, Megan Nicole Pottorff, Ville Platte; Christopher Joel Ortiz-Torres, Westlake; Brian Peter Hine, Austin, Texas; Ruston C. Collins, Baytown, Texas; Nicole Lynn Casper, Buna, Texas; Sterling Carol Baylor, Bunnell, Texas; Dolores A. Brown, Deal, United Kingdom HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATIONGRADES K-12: Shelby Taylor Landry Thibeaux, Bell City; Alison O’Neal Kirk, DeRidder; Christina M. Arceneaux, Kinder; Cade McKay Dawes, Lafayette; Karlee Nicole’ Goodman, Ragley; Lauren N. Sestak, Spring, Texas MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES: Aaron Michael Barclay, Enock Kipchumba Bor, Steven James Dabelow, Tyler Trey Marks, Lake Charles; Dax Daniel Campbell, Tyler Austin Spears, Sulphur; Holly Beth Nichols, Vinton MEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENCE: Brittany Laine Johnson Lalonde, Basile; Trevor S. LeBlanc, Jennings; Hang Ok Cho Fontane, Lisa Lynn Childs LeJeune, Lake Charles; Kelli Prudhomme, Welsh; Megan C. Oden, Westlake; Bijaya Basnet, Kathmandu, Nepal; Tram Thi Ta, Xuan Loc, Vietnam NATURAL RESOURCE CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT: Alaina Michelle Stelly, Abbeville; Andrea Caroline Williams Gorum, Lake Charles; Mallory Kay Livingston, Groves, Texas; Bailey Elizabeth Dean, Nederland, Texas NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES: Elaina M. Marshall, Alexandria; Alli L. Rushing, Hornbeck; Gabrielle Marie Langley, Kristan M. Lau, Lake Charles; Emma D. Ransome, Leesville; Anna Camille Salvador, Houston, Texas PSYCHOLOGY: Sarah Rose Helo, Crowley; Dustin Lee Lange, Shannon Joelle Villanueva, De-Ridder; Chelsea R. Guidry, Grand Lake; Karen D. Nugent, Iowa; Samantha Jillian Page Bourque, Alison M. Broussard, Colin J. Broussard, Alyssa Minunette Burris, Drusallar Zhane’ Davis, Matthew J. Gallier, Emily M. Hinton, Jaclyn Ann Istre, Baylie E. Lee, Jonathon B. Moreau, Ali R. Piatt, Megan Anita Rankins, Desiraye N. Rosamore, Victoria D. Sweezy, Amanda Rae Thompson, Lake Charles; Tiffany N. Augustine, Leonville; Haley E. Leleux, New Iberia; Rebecca R. Knott, Plaucheville; Kylie Dayle Hernandez, Amy Marie Young Ijaz, Emily Louise Keeley, Sulphur; Sarah E. France, Hayden Alec Hasenbein, Westlake PSYCHOLOGY ONLINE: Allison Louise Vickers Spelbrink, Houston, Texas RADIOLOGIC SCIENCES: Liza V. Shelton, Aurora, Ill.; Tiffany M. Mayers, Alyson Makenzie Simmons, DeRidder; Brittney N. Bourque, Iowa; Maye L. Floyd, Kinder; Abby A. Hollister, Lake Arthur; Tiffany N. Allen, Brian J. Kingham, Jennifer L. Kirkendall, Donovan D. Landry, Natalie D. Miller, Gerald E. Peek, Chanler Jade Borel Perkins, Katelyn E. Sullivan, Quinton R.D. Tharp, Lake Charles; Robert S. Rosfeld, Ragley; Jordan P. Schwartzenburg, Sulphur; Lynzie DeNae’ Yeates, Welsh; Kylie R. Goodeaux, Westlake
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN ACCOUNTING
ACCOUNTING: Diego David Conde-Zanca, Santa Cruz, Bolivia; Xin Jie Pan, Zheng Zhou, China; Kelly K. Graham, Longmont, Colo.; Walter Lawrence Bonk, Romeoville, Ill.; Matthew R. Klumpp, Eunice; Jenna P. Pinson, Jennings; Brittany Nicole Boullion, Dawn R. Frederick, Kinder; Sharhonda Dannette Bellow, Kade R. Brashear, Kimberly Kay Istre Brignac, Melissa Michele Brister Bruce, Savannah Elise Carter, Michelle Lynn Dougay, Rebecca A. Gray, Tabitha Ann Lasyone, Carolyn Nicole Lee, Hannah L. Michel, Lauren Hunter Reeves, Shelby Dawn Hanks Yeates, Lake Charles; Jaime Lynn Welch, Oakdale; Vernon Paul Briscoe, Amanda Kaye Starr, Sulphur; Estelle Ann Langley, Welsh; Derrius M. Washington, Houston, Texas; Jacob Allan Troutman, Katy, Texas
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE
CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Lauren Rae Cowick, Hollister, Calif.; Earl Wayne Sizelove, Lodi, Calif.; Taylor M. Schmidt, Yorba Linda, Calif.; Courtney Renee Vallery, Church Point; Sallye D. Dugas, Dry Creek; Matthew Kol Morel, Grant; Damon L. Gladney, Haughton; Damien Wayne Julian, Jennings; Brent Raymond Smith, Kenner; Blake Allen LaFargue, Kinder; Alfred Bartie, Artellus O. Bellard, Tyler T. Houston, Lauren E. Montelaro, Eric Donovan Perry, Jeremy Charles Price, Christian Renee Thomas, Lake Charles; David C. Zerangue, Opelousas; Ashlyn Kate Lonidier, Ragley; Myashia Chiara Hollier, Rayne; Lauryn Kimberly Perry Keel, Rosepine CRIMINAL JUSTICE ONLINE: Jessica Virella Schexnayder, Crowley; Kasey Dakota McCauley, Iowa; Chelcie Jones, Lafayette; Nichola M. Celestine Ardoin, Jake Anthony Roberts, Jasmine M. Vital, Lake Charles; Christopher Michael Tapie, Marrero; Courtney R. Boutte, New Iberia; Brittany Hulett, Opelousas; Victoria Lynn Trosclair Monk, Pitkin; Chadwick Q. Soileau, Ville Platte; Joseph A. Capello, Houston, Texas; Kayla M. Wilson Torres, Fairmont, W.Va.
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN COMPUTER SCIENCE
COMPUTER SCIENCE: Aaron Michael Barclay, Stephen D. Guillory, Brian Cody Rich, Cameron Scott Tooke, Lake Charles; Tyler Austin Spears, Sulphur; Yubraj Budhathoki, Kathmandu, Nepal; Bassem Mansor O Khabiry, Yanbu, Saudi Arabia; Joshua Tyler Fears, Deweyville, Texas
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN ENGINEERING
ENGINEERING: Stuart Wayne Todd, Pensacola, Fla.; Cody A. Brown, Titusville, Fla.; Zachary Carroll Roussel, Nathan Henry Weber, DeRidder; David Kelly Wayne Fontenot, Dry Creek; Sierra Sade DeCoux Collins, Dylan Gaspard, Eunice; Brett Van Heath, Gueydan; Luke William Finley, Roger J. Kamrowski, Iowa; Janica Nicole Daniels, Raed El Cheikh, Lafayette; Colby Gerard Broussard, Lake Arthur; Jordan David Ardoin, Robert S. Bertrand, Geoffrey William Criswell, Steven James Dabelow, Daniel Jack Decareaux, Carson S. Emily, Allen Christopher Fontenot, Justin P. Gary, Laura Lewis Gibson, Kristen Nicole Hebert, Joshua Cannon Jagneaux, Ram Prasad Koju, Matthew Keith LeBlanc, Tyler Nelson LeLeaux, Garrett M. Soileau, Trung Thanh Tran, Vu Linh Tran Truong, Lake Charles; Brandon Dale Giles, Colin L. Karr, Merryville; Brandon W. Pelt, Pitkin; Annette Marie Ramsey Weaver, Ragley; Justin Paul Kerry, Reagan Jewel Kerry, Singer; Rebecca Erin Ardoin, Hannah Grace Fogg, Mickenzie Timothy Hill, Ryan T. Logan, Caleb M. Redmond, Sulphur; Kona Katy Elizabeth Harris, Tioga; Weiyu Qiu, Westlake; Kai Matthew Poullard, Waldorf, Md.; Sudip Ghimire, Butwal, Nepal; Bibek Yadav, Dhanusa, Nepal; Kamal Karki, Janakpur, Nepal; Niraj Kharel, Ankit Nepal, Kathmandu,Nepal; Manish Maharjan, Lalitput, Nepal; Narayan Shiwakoti, Lamidanda, Nepal; Dinkar Regmi, Siraha, Nepal; Nicoleta Maria Muresan, Turda, Romania; Alper Unluer, Izmir, Turkey; Stephen James Keighley, Athens, Texas; Kyle L. Kohler, Conroe, Texas; Lisa Frauenberger, Grapeland, Texas; Brett A. Nicholson, Groves, Texas; Ngan Kim Nguyen, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam; An Le Minh Tran, Hoi An, Vietnam; An Le Thuy Tran, Hoian, Vietnam; Tory D. Miller, Withee, Wis. ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY: Quinton S. Touchette, DeRidder; Trevor Joseph Fontenot, Justin Blake Rushing, Lake Charles; Steele Hunter Merritt, Natchitoches; Dustin K. Franus, Tyler Scott Vidrine, Westlake; Charles W. Brown, Katy, Texas
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN
FINANCE
FINANCE: Toshiki Gushiken Higa, Santa Cruz De La Sierra, Bolivia; Shelby Lynn Thomas, Grand Lake; Dawn R. Frederick, Kinder; Kade R. Brashear, Cameron S. Landry, Kaitlynn Elizabeth LeBlanc, Sierra Simone O’Pry, Tyler H. Spence, Tanner M. Stewart, Lake Charles; Jaime Lynn Welch, Oakdale; Ashley Davidson Mangham, Shreveport; Mackenzie Jade Wright, Sulphur
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN GENERAL BUSINESS
GENERAL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION: Samantha Jane Hill, DeRidder; William Russell Hardwick, Dry Creek; Aungelle Leah Fontenot, Brandon K. Fontenot, Eunice; Rebecca A. Dupont, Grand Lake; Brooke L. Ardoin, William Wayne Precht, Lacassine; Nicholas S. Klein, Lake Arthur; Kelli A. Fontenot, Morgan L. Guillory, Jordan C. Saltzman, Lake Charles; Adam S. Downing, Oakdale; Derek J. Landry, Sulphur; Binod Pathak, Kathmandu, Nepal; Anh Tran Bao Bui, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN MASS COMMUNICATION
MASS COMMUNICATION: Tryfon Boukouvidis, Thessaloniki, Greece; Laikyn N. Cooper, DeQuincy; Bryana Esther Domingue, Iowa; Kaelyn Grace Guillory, Lodden G. Hixson, Ashley Desirae Joseph, Georgia G. Osburn, Morgan L. Smith, Lake Charles; Kristina Marie Matthai, Leesville; Latressa S. Gregoire, New Iberia; Matthew Trampus Hebert, Oberlin; Austin G. Says, Singer; Hunter Beau Burleson, Sulphur; Harlea Celeste Holmes, Sulphur; Joseph C. Barnes, Ville Platte; Anastasija Trubica, Riga, Latvia; Christina Letitia Tallant, Bridge City, Texas; Lauren Leigh Veillon; Houston, Texas
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN MANAGEMENT
MANAGEMENT: Sarah E. Donor Pelletier, Stafford Springs, Conn.; Cameron Smith, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Diana P. Hollier, Crowley; Karlee Kae Dahlquist, DeQuincy; Nathaniel Aaron Brown, Alyssa Breanne Barrett Buzzard, Megan N. Fox, Brooklyn Michelle Gill, Chereamie Alyce Thibodeaux, DeRidder; Phyllis Abbey Nichols, Elton; Jennifer Lauren Frey, Eunice; Matthew Breaux, Grand Lake; Emily Nicole Gingras, Kinder; Breonne T. Guy, Lafayette; Olivia N. Babineaux, Jessica A. Bernard, Anne Marie Bono, Ashley Dawn Collins, Cherrelle D. King, Cheri Louise Racca, Tristian G. Thomas, Lake Charles; Jaleesa Ann-Marie Bray, Jared Michael Williams, New Iberia; Jeremiah P. Leger, Ragley; Kaleb Jon Fontenot, Ville Platte; Katherine Amanda Newmiller, Beaumont, Texas; Jamie L. Allred, Hallsville, Texas MANAGEMENT ONLINE: Lisa L. Langlois, Baton Rouge; LaToya LaKeisha Woods-Williams, Elton; Brittany N. Hardesty, Melissa Claire White, Iowa; Zabrina F. Epps, Tabitha Ann Lasyone, Victoria Lynn McDaniel, Katie Lynn Mefford, Matthew Patrick Samec, Elizabeth Genee Tezeno, Lake Charles; Stephanie Elise Aucoin, Metairie; Victoria L. Welch, Oakdale; Alicia Lucille Vinson, Patterson; Mona Yokum, Rayne; Thomas Kade Aucoin, Shreveport; Alexis P. Brown, Sulphur; Briar W. Fontenot, Ville Platte; Rebecca Ann Coward, Vinton
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN MARKETING
MARKETING: Athanasios Panagiotidis, Thessaloniki, Greece; Cullen Lee Haymon, Katrina Michele Pitre, Kinder; Baylee C. Gifford, Rickie J. Hebert, Lauren R. Hoffpauir, Alaina N. Norsworthy, Lake Charles; Kyle Thomas Townsley, Merryville; Whitney Michele Guillory, Sulphur; Brittany N. Vidrine, Ville Platte; Alexandra M. Graf, Holland, Ohio; Rebecca Katherine Tudor, Perrysburg, Ohio; Morgan Brittany Blackwell, Hannah M. Walles, Orange, Texas
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN
NURSING
NURSING: Shelby Michelle Spicer, Mesa, Ariz.; Alexis Suzanne Lee Pertle, Lancaster, Calif.; Courtney P. Lomas, Abbeville; Christiana C. Berg, Baton Rouge; Kristen Rozas, Baton Rouge; Molly Erin Alexander, Jadah P. Primeaux, Cameron; Mallory Elise Hoffpauir, Crowley; Emily Christine Alexander, Amanda Michele Brown, Wayne Darrel Hennigan, Haley Michelle Lockhart, Amelia Paige Parks, Bethany Thornton Simmons, DeRidder; Deavon Bebee Schluckbier, Dry Creek; Naomi Kay Kinkelaar Dufrene, Garrett Lane Laughlin, Elton; Kuiana Brown Wilson, Gray; Maegan R. Charpentier, Hathaway; Jessica Ross, Huntsville, Ala.; Laura E. Cart, Iota; Alice M. Edmaiston, Joann Thellen Panza, Iowa; Aimee Margaret McNally Guillotte, Renee Marie Juneau, Jennings; Krystal Dawn McBride, Ashley Rose Mouton, Jessica Nicole Suire, Lafayette; Morgan Leigh Hay, Lake Arthur; Brittani Lynn Corbello, Anissa M. Disnuke, Grant Jonathan Ewing, Caitlyn N. Fontenot, Adrienne K. Fults, Lesley Marie Istre, Cynthia Makayla Johnson, Starr E. Livingston, Laken N. Mallett, Brianna Zhane Parker, Chivonne Ashley Pierre-Williams, Jason Neil Reddoch, Janey Patricia Reeves, Rachel Anne Viator, Anna Elizabeth Williams, Chassiddy Danielle Williams, Leocadine F. Zebaze, Lake Charles; Mallory Lynn Galliano, Metairie; Brandie L. Kerbow, Mount Herman; Marielle E. Bienvenu, New Iberia; Morgan C. Ashmore, Alyssa L. Brabham, Brittany J. Johnson, Oakdale; Jessie Lee Gilchrist Dupre, Plaquemine; Emily Shannon Hunt, Lakin D. Navarre, Ragley; Taylor Ann Bourque, Christina Michelle Brooks, Kristen Brooke Blanchard Dore, Madison Lorrain Dulany, Heather Leigh Gill, Lisa M. Culbertson Henry, Meggan Michelle Hillman, Kaley James Hinch, Perri Elizabeth Holmes, Kenzie Kayde LaSage Istre, Alexis E. Langley, Kimberly Nicole Miller, Ashley Ann-Marie Owen, Carlee Danae Theriot, Sulphur; Christopher Brian Manuel, Ville Platte; Morgan Lyn Robinson Dougay, Vinton; Kristen Nicole Landry, Youngsville; Angela Carol Caughron, Sevierville, Tenn.; Sarah T. Bricker, Arlington, Texas; Leah Hrachovy, Irene Kaligirwa, Houston, Texas; Angelina R. Covington, Huffman, Texas; Malina Sanchez, Lake Jackson, Texas; Emily J. Ratcliff, Orange, Texas NURSING - RN TO BSN ONLINE: Rachel Elizabeth Schmieder Johnson, Baton Rouge; Alise Ardoin, Lafayette; Dionnedra Denise Escort, Morgan City; Rontel Renea Eaglin, Roanoke; Tequilla L. Seals, Memphis, Tenn.; Mary Ryan Sohoski Tinnel, Winnie, Texas
ASSOCIATE OF ARTS IN PARALEGAL STUDIES
PARALEGAL STUDIES: Jessica Virella Schexnayder, Destani Kay Whitaker, Crowley; Kandy Lynn Hester Warren, DeRidder; Andrea Christine Rodriguez, Hayes; Jana Carlile Crain, Katelyn Jane Dickson, Sonni L. Hearon, Megan Leigh Hebert, Patrice Olite Turner, Annslea T. Whiddon, Lake Charles
ASSOCIATE OF GENERAL STUDIES
GENERAL STUDIES: Willie Bob Woosley, Sun Valley, Calif.; Alicia May Marie Istre, DeQuincy; Shannon Joelle Villanueva, DeRidder; Sallye D. Dugas, Dry Creek; Joel Sullivan Byrne, Elton; Justin Nathaniel Guin, Flatwoods; Ashton R. Hargrave, Forked Island; Ginger Faye Young, Lacassine; Trent Brice Duplantis, Lake Arthur; Ashley Nichelle Alfred, Kimberly A. Cutrera, Luciana Georgina Edwards, Nichole Paige Ferguson, Nicholette Erin Fults, Alexis R. Howard, Kristina Marie Latty, Alexandra C. Loftin, Tara Lynn Matt, Lucretia L. Rogers, Gregory Michael Sonnier, Tyler H. Spence, Kyla M. Standley, Trena April Stebbins, Lake Charles; Khalil D. Thomas, Opelousas; Jennifer N. Davis, Shreveport; Alicia Diane Leonard, Singer; Shaylee Alexis Heard, Brently Russell Sorgee, Sulphur; Caitlin Marie Sammons Picard, Splendora, Texas; Tam Ngoc Thanh Nguyen, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
14 2016-05-16
Lake Charles

Overcapacity issues at MSU graduation


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
Every year thousands of students reach a milestone in their life -- graduation.

Years of hard work and dedication brought these McNeese State University students to the finish line.

"It feels nice that I am done," said Steven Dabelow who graduated with two degrees.

Loved ones were ready Saturday morning to witness MSU graduates walk across the stage; but several attendees were unable to enter the Burton Coliseum due to safety reasons as the arena had reached capacity of 6,500, causing family and friends to miss out.

"We have to be careful and make sure that we are not overcapacity so if there is an emergency and we have to evacuate we would be able to get everyone out safely," said Candace Townsend, director of the public information and communications office at McNeese.

"Let me in or you can take me to jail," said Stacie Allen who was attempting to attend graduation but had to wait outside. "It's ridiculous" she said and added, "I've never not been allowed to get into a graduation."

Allen was one of the many individuals.

"People who paid a lot of money for their kids to go to school here and are not even being allowed to get into the graduation is unacceptable," she said.

For some family members, the journey to graduation wasn't an easy one.

"I've traveled all the way from New York, Rochester, and I drove all the way here overnight from Houston and came here without sleep," Prashanth Tipirneni said who was unable to see his sister-in-law accept her degree but finally got to see her walking out.

Several attendees shared ideas they say would have prevented the issue.

"Split it [graduation] into a couple departments," Prashanth Tipirneni said.

"They need to look into having it somewhere else if it is not going to be able to accommodate its graduates and their families and people who want to see their milestone of graduating college," added Allen.

But not everyone was upset about not being able to get in.

"No, I am not upset, I am excited. [I] don't worry about things like this because she strived hard and worked hard to get her degree," said Dorothy McKnight who was simply happy this day had come for her niece. She added, "We are celebrating all day," and said she reminded others there to, "stay calm."

Security was allowing people to go in as soon as others left but for some they said it was too late.

Last year during May's commencement, McNeese had the same problem and Townsend said these issues will be discussed in future meetings to see how the administration can address the problem.
14 2016-05-16
Lake Charles

Willie Mount receives honorary doctorate


McNeese­State­University­conferred­an­honorary­Doctor­of ­Humane­Letters­degree­to­business­owner,­civic­leader,­ and­former­Lake­Charles­mayor­and­state­senator­Willie­Landry­Mount­during­the­146th­commencement­ceremony­Saturday­at­the­Burton­Complex.­­­Mount­received­her­Bachelor­of ­Science­degree­in­business­administration­from­McNeese­in­1974.­She­serves­on­the­McNeese­Foundation­Board­of ­Directors,­is­a­recipient­of ­the­McNeese­Distinguished­Alumni­Award­and­has­been­inducted­into­the­McNeese­College­of ­Business­Hall­of ­Fame.­
“This­is­the­highest­honor­that­the­university­can­bestow­upon­an­individual,”­said­Dr.­ Philip­C.­Williams,­McNeese­president.­“Willie­Mount­is­deserving­of ­this­honor­for­her­outstanding­contributions­to­both­McNeese­State­University,­the­city­of ­Lake­Charles­and­the­state­of ­Louisiana.”
Mount­was­elected­to­the­Louisiana­Senate­as­the­first­female­senator­from­District­27­in­1999­after­serving­as­the­first­elected­female­mayor­of ­ Lake­Charles­from­1993-1999. Mount served in the Senate until 2012. During her tenure she chaired the Health and Welfare Committee, the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee, and was vice-chair of the Education Committee, in addition to membership and service to several other committees.
A former small business owner, Mount has been active in several civic and community betterment projects. She has also been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades.
Mount has also served on a multitude of boards and organizations at the local and state levels, including the Library Board of Control for the Calcasieu Parish Public Library, Lakeside Bank, National Hurricane Museum and Science Center, Lake Area Medical Center, Lake Charles Symphony, and the GO Group-Special Initiatives Task Force, among others.
14 2016-05-16
Lake Charles

CONGRATS TO COWGIRLS ON THEIR VICTORY


Congratulations McNeese State University softball players. The American Press and all of Southwest Louisiana are proud of you. On Friday, the Cowgirls beat Lamar to win their fourth Southland Conference title, securing their spot in the NCAA tournament. The girls shined on the conference’s biggest stage and set a season school record for wins during the tournament. McNeese went 3-0 in the double-elimination tournament before beating rival Lamar twice along the way. “Our goal has been to win the tournament all season,” said McNeese head coach Joanna Hardin, a former Mc-Neese player herself. That goal was easily reached Friday, which has led to an automatic berth in the national tournament. The Cowgirls will find out where they will go and who they will play when tournament pairings are revealed at 9 p.m. tonight on ESPNU. The players, who twice before in the last three tries had flamed out in this tournament despite being the top seed, never flinched this time. “Every kid that plays Division I softball works hard, it’s very rewarding to see their work paid back,” Hardin said. “They’ve earned it. This is the best team in the conference, and I think it came out the right way.” All-American catcher Erika Piancastelli, who was named the tournament’s MVP, finished 6-for-9 with five RBIs, and seniors Taylor Goree, Emily Vincent and Jamie Allred helped McNeese post a 154-64 record. “We have the talent, we have the players and this year we had the grit to really take one home,” Piancastelli said. “I’m really proud of my team right now.” We are, too. “This is a special group,” Hardin said. “They deserve this.” Yes, they do.

14 2016-05-16
Lake Charles

ON CAMPUS


21 INDUCTED INTO BETA
GAMMA SIGMA
Twenty-one business students have been inducted into the McNeese State University chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma Scholastic Business Honor Society, the highest national academic recognition a business student can receive.
Inductees include graduate students ADRIAN DALTON AUGUSTINE of Sulphur and XIAORONG RAO of China; and undergraduates JENNIFER L. ARMENTOR, MICHELLE L. DOUGAY, CHRISTIAN B. BERTRAND and PATRICE GRIBBLE, all of Lake Charles; REBECCA A. DUPONT and DARBIE K. MONTIE, both of Grand Lake; TAD R. NOPE and LAUREN N. BULLARD, both of Moss Bluff; KYLE T. TOWNSLEY of Merryville; MACKENZIE J. WRIGHT of Sulphur; SAMANTHA J. SIMMONS of Anacoco; REBECCA L. MCNABB of Alexandria; BRANDON J. ROBERT of Zachary; ADISON D. GIAMBRONE of Richmond, Texas; ANGEL D. LAURENT MILNER of Fred, Texas; RYAN C. CHAPMAN of Brusly; SAKULKARN AUYYAPAT of Thailand; DEREK J. LANDRY of Negreet; and UYEN T. NGUYEN of Vietnam.
Several awards were also presented to students at the ceremony.
JACOB A. TROUTMAN of Katy, Texas, an accounting major, received the Jeff and Rhonda Lee Miller Distinguished Senior in the College of Business Award. Other Miller Distinguished Student Recognition Awards went to WALLACE PAUL ROGERS of Lake Charles, in accounting; KELLI A. FONTENOT of Lake Charles, in general business administration; Wright, in finance; Dupont, in management; and Townsley, in marketing.
The Citgo scholarship recipients were SAVANNAH E. CARTER, HANNAH K. SMITH and ALLA VOTH, all of Lake Charles; OLIVIA A. KARAM of Oberlin; and TEVIN C. WILSON of Beeville, Texas.
Four students who received the Delta Sigma Pi Scholarship Key awards were Auyyapat, ROSS E. JOHNSON of Lake Charles; MARCELA STUDINSKA of Czech Republic, and Troutman.
Five faculty members were also recognized for their outstanding performance: Dr. BANAMBER MISHRA, Top Teacher of the Year Award, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics; Dr. LONNIE TURPIN, Top Teacher of the Year Award, Department of Management, Marketing and Business Administration; Adrian, Research Leadership Award, Department of Management, Marketing and Business Administration; Dr. A. MATIUR RAHMAN, Research Leadership Award, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics; and Dr. C. MARTIN KONOU, Innovative Ideas Award.
AREA STUDENTS GRAMBLING GRADUATES
GRAMBLING — Three Southwest Louiisana students were among 400 students recgonized during Grambling State University’s recent spring commencement ceremony.
Area graduates include MESHACH SMITH of Leesville, bachelor of arts in music; YOSHA WATSON of Lake Charles, bachelor of science in criminal justice; and MIA LATIGUE and KIA LATIGUE, both of Lake Charles, bachelors of social work in social work.
14 2016-05-13
Lake Charles

Chief engineer of McNeese radio station arrested


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
The chief engineer of McNeese radio station KBYS has been been arrested following an incident at the station.

Jacob Ross Conner, 27, is charged with simple burglary, offense against computer equipment or supplies over $500 and computer tampering. Conner, a former KPLC employee, is a McNeese graduate and a full-time employee of the university.

The initial report states that police initially received a report "that a subject that had been fired from KBYS was at the radio station and reportedly manipulating the controls and interfering with programming at KBYS radio."

However, McNeese spokeswoman Candace Townsend said Conner is not fired, but on paid administrative leave. He was arrested on the McNeese campus Wednesday night.

Townsend confirmed that the incident resulted in a lower quality of audio for a period of time. The radio station did not go off the air, except for a few seconds when there was a change in formatting, she said. Listeners may have noticed "slight differences" in sound quality, although that has been restored.

“This in no way interrupts KBYS’ broadcast,” Townsend said. “We’re continuing to work with our dedicated group of volunteers. There are also several McNeese employees that can help with day-to-day radio functions.”

14 2016-05-09
Lake Charles

McNeese to hold spring commencement ceremony


McNeese State University will hold its spring commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 14, in Burton Coliseum.
The spring class of 2016 numbers 785 and comprises students from 32 parishes, 24 states and 16 countries. The school will award 817 degrees — 45 associate degrees, 659 bachelor’s degrees and 113 master’s degrees.
McNeese will also award an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree to Willie Landry Mount of Lake Charles.
The presentation of degrees will be made by the deans of the six colleges, the Dor? School of Graduate Studies and General and Basic Studies.
All family members and guests attending the ceremony are encouraged to arrive early. Burton Coliseum has a maximum number of seats, and once the audience reaches capacity, late-arriving guests will have to remain outside until other guests leave and seats are available.
This is for the safety and security of all guests and graduation candidates and to comply with fire marshal regulations, school officials said.

14 2016-05-06
Lake Charles

Afternoon with MusicMakers to benefit local students


Last Modified: Thursday, May 05, 2016 2:53 PM
By Shannon Roberts / American Press
Patrons can spend An Afternoon with MusicMakers at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 7, in the Grand Gallery of the Shearman Fine Arts Complex at McNeese State University.
They will also be able to bid on items such as jewelry and a resort getaway in a silent auction and eat their fill at a dessert buffet.
“It’s going to be good,” said Eva LeBlanc, president of the MusicMakers2U program.
At 3 p.m., about 75 students in the MusicMakers program will perform “You are my Sunshine” in the Tritico Theater.
Also performing will be Sulphur High’s Jazz Band, Washington-Marion’s Jukebox Marching Band, and Mickey Smith’s Sax in the City.
LeBlanc said this is the third annual fundraiser for the program, which funds the repair and refurbishment of instruments donated for the program through CSE Federal Credit Union, as well as the purchase of “unusual instruments” — instruments like tubas, cellos or baritones, which are not typically donated.
The program has repaired 220 instruments in the Southwest Louisiana region over about three years, she said.
“An Afternoon with MusicMakers showcases our very own MusicMakers and also highlights an abundance of local talent in our area,” LeBlanc said.
“There’s so much talent in this town.”
She said that talent is what makes the program’s leaders most proud.
The students who will be performing receive the music a month in advance and will attend a camp on Saturday before the fundraiser.
There they will meet with mentors, music professionals and McNeese students who are majoring in music.
“It’s going to be so cute,” LeBlanc said.
Students who receive instruments through MusicMakers2U show interest in music and exhibit good musicianship, LeBlanc said.
Some McNeese music majors have also received these instruments.
Tickets for the concert can be obtained at www.MusicMakers2U.org or mm2udonations.squarespace.com.
Tickets can also be purchased at the door for $30, or $20 for people age 60 and over and for students. Children under 6 are admitted free.
For more information, contact LeBlanc at musicmakers2U@gmail.com.
14 2016-05-05
Lake Charles

perfect HARMONY


trons can spend An Afternoon with MusicMakers at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 7, in the Grand Gallery of the Shearman Fine Arts Complex at McNeese State University.
They will also be able to bid on items such as jewelry and a resort getaway in a silent auction and eat their fill at a dessert buffet.
“It’s going to be good,” said Eva LeBlanc, president of the MusicMakers2U program.
At 3 p.m., about 75 students in the MusicMakers program will perform “You are my Sunshine” in the Tritico Theater.
Also performing will be Sulphur High’s Jazz Band, Washington-Marion’s Jukebox Marching Band, and Mickey Smith’s Sax in the City.
LeBlanc said this is the third annual fundraiser for the program, which funds the repair and refurbishment of instruments donated for the program through CSE Federal Credit Union, as well as the purchase of “unusual instruments” — instruments like tubas, cellos or baritones, which are not typically donated.
The program has repaired 220 instruments in the Southwest Louisiana region over about three years, she said.
“An Afternoon with MusicMakers showcases our very own MusicMakers and also highlights an abundance of local talent in our area,” LeBlanc said.
“There’s so much talent in this town.”
She said that talent is what makes the program’s leaders most proud.
The students who will be performing receive the music a month in advance and will attend a camp on Saturday before the fundraiser.
There they will meet with mentors, music professionals and McNeese students who are majoring in music.
“It’s going to be so cute,” LeBlanc said.
Students who receive instruments through MusicMakers2U show interest in music and exhibit good musicianship, LeBlanc said.
Some McNeese music majors have also received these instruments.
Tickets for the concert can be obtained at www.MusicMakers2U.org   or mm2udonations.squarespace.com  .
Tickets can also be purchased at the door for $30, or $20 for people age 60 and over and for students. Children under 6 are admitted free.
14 2016-05-05
Lake Charles

A brief history of the annual Cops and Jocks event


The annual Cops and Jocks Golf Tournament and auction is about more than just golf, celebrities and good times. Over the last few years, hundreds of thousands of dollars in proceeds from the event have gone toward families of Lake Area police officers, McNeese State University athletics, scholarships for students and various other charitable organizations. This year’s tournament will take place today and tomorrow at the Contraband Golf Club.
The event has created a footprint in the community. And for event organizers, that was the plan all along.
Alan Heisser, one of the golf classic’s founders, said the idea for the endeavor came from humble beginnings. While sitting on Lake Charles Police Chief Don Dixon’s back porch, the pair decided they wanted to organize an event that would not only attract people to the area, but one day have the power to change the lives of local residents.
The only complication, he said, was coming up with the name. Eventually, they landed on Cops and Jocks.
“When you start something like this, you basically have to twist people’s arms to get them to be a part of it,” Heisser said. “Once it gets rolling, people start hearing about it, then it becomes easier to get people to want to be involved. We’ve had sponsors who have been along with us for 14 years. That kind of support makes an event like this easy to put on.”
When the tournament first began, the proceeds were primarily directed toward the families of law enforcement. To paint a clear picture of how much of an effect the funds can have a on a life, Heisser talked about Ethan Manuel, the son of a local police officer. When Ethan was a child, doctors said the youngster would never be able to walk.
Funds from the event were used to pay for Ethan’s medical expenses and now, as a teenager, he walks and remains a key ambassador for Cops and Jocks.
“Ethan comes back to the tournament every year. It makes you think about how he went from not being able to walk to where he is now. He actually played in the tournament last year,” Heisser said. “That shows what can happen through this event. He’ll always be a part of Cops and Jocks.”
Over time, as the proceeds grew, so did the tournament’s reach. Various athletic programs for McNeese are beneficiaries of the fundraising effort each year, with an emphasis placed on the football program.
Heisser was a tight end for the Cowboys during the mid-1970s. And his passion for the school and its program remains part of the foundation as to why the event was created.
The tournament proceeds also provide scholarship funds to potential college students in the area.
Athletes like former NFL running back Marshall Faulk, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, retired MLB pitcher Roger Clemens, and former Dallas Cowboy defensive lineman Ed “Too Tall” Jones have all been known to frequent the tournament.
“Lake Charles isn’t like Houston or New Orleans where there are always famous athletes around,” Heisser said. “These people choosing to come here and spend time at this event, it creates a buzz for the area. It benefits us as a community.”
He said his hope is that once he is done being involved with the tournament, it can be passed along to someone else in the community, continuing its traditions and its impact on the region.
“I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve been fortunate businesswise, career-wise, athletically. There’s too many people that don’t take the time to give back. It makes a difference when you do,” he said. “Mc-Neese gave me an opportunity to get an education. I am blue and gold through and through. I will always support them because they supported me.”
14 2016-05-03
Lake Charles

Education makeover


Two schools received “flipped” classrooms Monday morning as part of a collaboration effort with McNeese State University secondary education Methods students.
Mary Wallace, a Methods course professor at McNeese, said the idea for Flip My Class grew out of a desire to show students how everything can fit together in the classroom.
“As a class we said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to flip a classroom?’” Wallace said.
Students received a budget of $500 and donated paint and had to come up with an application for teachers at two partner schools: F.K. White Middle and Washington-Marion High. The McNeese students went through the applications and chose a winner from each school based on their rubric.
One of the winners was Kari Cook at Washington-Marion, a first-year biology teacher. She applied after only a couple of weeks of working at the school and her classroom was bare with tan-brown walls.
“My kids this year deserved something they could be excited about to come to science and biology because it is an exciting subject,” Cook said. “I love the life they’ve brought in here, the water fountain, the trees. I love the cells they painted on the wall.”
Six to seven students were involved in recreating each room. Leigha Ardoin was the student who painted the cells onto Cook’s wall.
“We got everything done within the last week,” Ardoin said.
The students selected Carolyn Smith from F.K. White as the other winner.
Smith jumped up and down from excitement, clapping her hands in joy during the unveil.
“I love it, y’all,” she said.
After both teachers were selected, students interviewed them to find out specifics on what they wanted and didn’t want for their classrooms.
McNeese student Avery Hollier said Cook talked about keeping her classroom organized and “earthy.”
Ardoin said the original brown walls with a black border made the room’s occupants drowsy: “That’s why we chose this really, really bright color to wake everybody up and get them excited to come to class.”
Wallace said the project is “good for schools, good for kids.”
The project was about more than just cleaning up the rooms, but about honoring the teaching and learning space, she said.
“Biology is all about the study of life, and now they’ve brought life into the room,” Cook said.
14 2016-05-02
Lake Charles

Entrepreneur, philanthropist ‘Billy’ Blake remembered


Local entrepreneur and philanthropist William “Billy” Blake died Friday. He was 83.
Blake, longtime manager of J.A. Bel Estate and Quatre Parish Company, was remembered Sunday for his giving nature to the region and people he loved.
“Billy did many wonderful things for this community,” said Richard Reid, vice president for university advancement at McNeese State University.
He did a lot for the university, too.
Blake donated the money to build the roadway on McNeese State University connecting Ryan Street to Sale Road and named the road after his beloved wife of 62 years, Kay.
Kay Krause Blake Drive, which runs between the school’s entrance plaza and the front entrance of the Shearman Fine Arts Center, was a surprise birthday present for her.
“We wanted to do something to make it extra special, and she graduated from here, so the naming was ideal,” Blake said at the time of the dedication.
Reid, who served on the Mc-Neese Foundation board with Blake, said the community leader was always available to help with projects that improved Southwest Louisiana.
“He not only served on the board, but he also made sure that other people got involved with McNeese and its scholarship program. He was one of the most charitable people that I have come in contact with,” he said.
“One thing he learned from his family was to give back,” Reid said. “His mother, Violet Howell, taught him that being generous to the community was very important.”
Reid said Blake and his wife made it their mission to make sure other people had a better life.
One of the couple’s passion projects was Chapel of the Holy Spirit, an open-air chapel in Big Lake that the pair built in 1992 and then rebuilt it after it was leveled by Hurricane Rita in 2005.
“People come here to just sit,” Blake said at the chapel’s rededication in 2007. “It doesn’t have to be formal worship. People just like to be here. Many times I come out in the morning, and the sun shines through that cross as it comes up. It is beautiful.”
Reid said Blake did not help others for recognition, but because he believed that was what he should do.
“He was a great person,” Reid said. “He did not think just about himself. He thought about what he could help people do. He was one of the greatest and nicest people I’ve ever met.”
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. today at Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd.
14 2016-04-28
Lake Charles

Holocaust survivor to speak at McNeese April 28


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
Holocaust survivor Eva Kor will speak at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at Bulber Auditorium on the McNeese campus.

Kor will speak about her story of survival at one of the most notorious concentration camps.

In her book "Surviving the Angel of Death: The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz” , she describes how she kept hope while in Auschwitz and found forgiveness for the atrocities she endured.

For more info, call (337)436-4025 or email literacy@jllc.net.

Copyright 2016 KPLC. All rights reserved.


14 2016-04-28
Lake Charles

McNeese State, Chennault construction listed in bill


BATON ROUGE — McNeese State University and the Chennault Industrial Airpark have major projects listed in the state’s construction bill for the 2016-17 fiscal year. Officials at both facilities have given status reports on each one.
Some jobs that have been completed are listed in House Bill 2 because payments are outstanding on the projects. Unless otherwise indicated, the projects are being financed by general obligation bonds and are in Priority 1, the highest funding priority.
Gov. John Bel Edwards has eliminated many projects from the bill, saying they had little chance of being funded. It is an effort to put the legislation in a more stable financial position.
Candace Townsend, director of public relations and university events at McNeese, and Richard Rhoden, director of the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations, updated the status of the university’s eight projects.
Randy Robb, executive director at Chennault, explained the status of the airpark’s projects.
Renovation of the Drew Hall parking lot at McNeese has $270,000 for the work that comes from fees and selfgenerated funds. McNeese has requested additional state funding, Townsend said, and the project is now on hold.
The Contraband Bayou erosion retaining wall, phase two, has $2.3 million in Priority 1 and $3.2 million in Priority 5. Townsend said the project is ready to go and that permits may be issued this week. It is a deferred maintenance project that is needed to prevent further property loss.
The Health/Human Performance Education Complex has $25.8 million in Priority 1 and $12.9 million in Priority 5. The project has been awarded and is ready to go. The contractor will begin dirt work on or before May 16.
The Alpha Hall renovations have $1.3 million and are in their final phases and should be completed this summer, Townsend said.
Renovations and an addition to the Shearman Fine Arts building have $4.4 million in the bill. Townsend said the project has been in the capital outlay requests for 14 years. It was one project originally , but was divided into separate projects after Hurricane Rita in 2005 because of escalating construction costs.
The phase one addition was completed in 2010. The band hall renovation was completed in 2013. The rest of the project is to renovate the older part of the building.
Frazar Memorial Library has $3.5 million for renovation and repairs, and the project is in its final phases. Townsend said it should be completed this summer.
Campuswide elevator repairs have been completed, but there is $230,000 still in the bill to cover the cost of the work.
Americans with Disabilities Act upgrades campuswide have $4.8 million available. Townsend said it is a multiphase project spread over several years. Current plans are being redesigned to reduce the cost of the project and they should be bid within 30 days.
Robb said three of the Chennault projects are in a holding pattern, awaiting a comprehensive master development plan for the airpark.
A new aviation hangar and ground support equipment facility has a $1 million local match and $260,000 in H.B. 2. An addition to Building 3101 has a $964,400 local match and $200,000 in the bill. A new air cargo facility has a $1.1 million local match and $350,000 in Priority 1 and $2.75 million in Priority 5.
The fourth project, a new Hangar H, has been completed but has $78,700 in the bill.
Robb said moving the city’s Mallard Cove golf course is part of the airpark’s $257 million effort to expand its cargo-handling capacity. The plan involves construction work on 220 acres owned by Mallard Cove.
The land would house two 150,000-square-foot railserved warehouses, four 75,000-square-foot aircraft hangars, a 200,000-squarefoot light industrial park, a 250,000-square-foot business park, cargo-handling equipment and roads and rail infrastructure.
Chennault has proposed construction of an alternative golf course for the city. The Mallard Cove property was developed on property donated by the federal government.
14 2016-04-26
Lake Charles

Pinnacle Awards given to six McNeese faculty members


SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) -
Six McNeese State University faculty members were awarded 2016 Pinnacle Excellence Awards Monday ceremony.

Established by Pinnacle Entertainment Inc., the parent company of L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles. the annual award recognizes outstanding faculty achievement in McNeese's business, education, engineering/computer science, liberal arts, nursing/health professions and science colleges.

Recipients and their winning proposals:

Dr. Jeff Stevens, assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship, College of Business: “Total Student Advising Program (TSAP)” focuses on increasing student retention, as well as student degree completion through an innovative advising program that focuses on the total student.
Dr. Angelique M. Ogea, assistant professor of education professions, Burton College of Education: “Eliminating Roadblocks for Students in the Department of Education Professions: Ensuring Student Progression by Offering Praxis Study Sessions" offers up-to-date Praxis study materials in Frazar Memorial Library, as well as monthly study sessions for students for the initial teacher licensure program and for their education degree programs.
Dr. Pankaj Chandra, professor of mechanical engineering and head of the Department of Chemical, Civil and Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science" “IMPROVE: An Approach to Enhance Advising and Retention” focuses on creating a student handbook for freshman engineering students that includes all of the necessary resources available on campus and some guidelines for the day-to-day management of time, study habits and lifestyle challenges.
Dr. W. Steve Thompson, assistant criminal justice professor, College of Liberal Arts: “Police Academy Certification” provides funds to purchase equipment and fund training necessary to sustain the McNeese Criminal Justice Academy Certification Program so they're ready for service with a law enforcement agency.
Katrina Carter, assistant professor of nursing and assistant head of the Department of Nursing, College of Nursing and Health Professions: "Collaborating and Implementing a Living-Learning Community for First-Year College of Nursing Students at McNeese State University" explores development of a living-learning community for nursing students at McNeese and promote engagement and involvement of current resident nursing students with nursing faculty as well as those students entering the clinical nursing course sequence.
Dr. Christos Douvris, assistant professor of chemistry, College of Science: “A Comprehensive Study for Retention Improvement in General Chemistry at McNeese State University” focuses on identifying the challenges associated with the retention of students taking general chemistry and then planning strategies and tactics that could lead to retention improvements.
Each winner received a $5,000 stipend and a commemorative award statue.

" At a time when higher education is facing increased budget cuts, it’s gratifying to be able to work closely with our quality local university in support of exciting and fresh new learning opportunities for college students across our region. We congratulate the winners of this year’s Pinnacle Excellence Awards for their innovative ideas and their passion for education,” said L’Auberge Senior Vice President and General Manager Keith W. Henson.

“These awards recognize our faculty’s commitment to enhancing our students’ success. The focus of this year’s awards supports our Quality Enhancement Plan for improving faculty advising of our students as they progress through their degree program and prepare for careers after they graduate," Said McNeese President Philip Williams.

The Pinnacle Excellence Awards were established in 2003 by Pinnacle and McNeese to recognize outstanding faculty achievement. Since then, Pinnacle has given $330,000 in awards to McNeese professors.
14 2016-04-25
Lake Charles

For MSU Banners



14 2016-04-25
Lake Charles

For McNeese Foundation



14 2016-04-18
Lake Charles

Banners to present Cimarron in performance April 22


Grammy-nominated Cimarron will perform in concert at 7 p.m. Friday, April 22, in F.G. Bulber Auditorium in Lake Charles as part of the 2016 Banners at McNeese State University season.
From the cattle-rearing Llanos Orientales region of Colombia, Cimarron performs the festive dance music of joropo, a fiercely virtuoso display of rippling melodies and powerful rhythms, combining Andalusian, Indigenous Indian and African roots.
Led by harpist Carlos Rojas, the musicians explore and experiment with their rich heritage while retaining the essence of the tradition. The musical fireworks created by harp, bandola, cuatro, bass, cajon, maracas and high-pitched voices are simply breathtaking.
This program is made possible through Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America, a national initiative of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts to bring contemporary and traditional performing arts from Latin America to audiences across the United States.
Tickets will be available at the door at $20 for adults, $5 for students plus a five percent applicable sales tax. The concert is still free to McNeese and Sowela students with ID.
For more information on this event or Banners at McNeese, visit the Banners website at www.banners.org or call the Banners office at 337-475-5123.
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.
14 2016-04-18
Lake Charles

74-year-old vietnam vet's words of wisdom: 'IT CAN BE DONE'


Al Cochran wants all veterans to know if he can return to school and earn a degree, so can they.
Cochran was born in Merryville, where he raised beef cattle with his father. He attended primary school for all 12 years before enrolling at McNeese State University in 1960 to earn a degree in civil engineering.
“It was much different than now,” Cochran said. “The professors would come to class, and they would tell you that 25-30 percent of you are going to fail.”
He graduated in the summer of 1965. In 1967 he went to Vietnam with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“Naturally, engineers build things. And that’s what we did — build things under fire,” Cochran said.
He recalled how during the Tet Offensive of 1968, the engineers had to go to their secondary mission as infantrymen and retake locations in Qui Nhon and An Khe. He remembers what it felt like to take the beach at Qui Nhon.
“It was just a matter of wading ashore,” Cochran said. “It was just a feeling of one of the Normandy landings without the fighting.”
He said it was an “awesome feeling” when the doors opened up to the beach.
“Sam and I were the first two off the landing craft,” he said. “Sam was my trusted company mascot: a dog.”
While headed to Vietnam, Cochran slipped a German Shepherd mix named Scrub Cause Sam aboard from Fort Hood, Texas, all the way to Vietnam.
“I don’t know if he adopted me or I adopted him, but it was a good relationship,” Cochran said.
He also made friends with an officer at Fort Hood, but the two were sent to different battalions. They are still good friends to this day, and both will be headed to a reunion at Fort Hood later this month.
Because of his time in Vietnam, Cochran is listed as 100 percent disabled. He has problems related to Agent Orange and has been in steady treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Even with his illnesses, Cochran re-enrolled at McNeese in 2012, taking photography courses. He considers himself a “pretty good shutterbug” and enjoys shooting photos, especially at football games.
After he took a few of the photography classes, he decided he enjoyed being at school again, so he took more arts and humanities classes to earn another bachelor’s degree, in general studies. When he first majored in civil engineering in 1960, Cochran said his schedule didn’t permit him to take those courses because it would “clutter up” his mind.
Now, criminal justice classes are his favorite, and he said he hopes to continue taking more of them in the fall after his May 14 graduation.
“I could have gotten a master’s degree just as easily,” Cochran said of his current endeavor. “But I didn’t want a master’s degree. I wanted to go back to school and just compete with the kids.”
Taking college courses has also been a therapy for Cochran. He calls it “putting on blinders” for his PTSD.
“Those intrusive thoughts don’t come at me,” he said. “I use self-medication in a good way.”
His self-medication is using classes and learning to divert his attention from the anxiety that will come and invade his thoughts.
In 2013 Cochran underwent nearly 30 radiation and chemotherapy treatments for esophageal cancer, and in 2015 he was diagnosed with heart artery blockage and had double bypass, open heart surgery.
“That was my biggest challenge of going to school, my health issues,” he said.
Cochran’s course grades have been all A’s “but one,” and he said he has competed with the younger students well.
When Cochran retired in 2001, he said the anxiety he had been suppressing for years hit him hard. His wife pushed him into finding help.
“I had to seek treatment,” he said.
He received therapy and learned coping skills from the VA, where he was told, “You’re not crazy. You just have an anxiety disorder.”
The treatment helped him, he said, and he hopes others will seek help for their problems. “We can’t be cured, but... help is available,” he said. “You just have to ask for it. The asking is the hard part.”
If there is one thing Cochran has learned through his time in Vietnam, college and dealing with his anxiety, it’s a lesson from the Army Corps of Engineers motto: “Essayons,” which means “Let us try,” he said.
“Failure is not an option,” Cochran said.
For all the veterans out there considering going back to school, Cochran encourages them to attend and has a simple phrase for them: “It can be done.”

14 2016-04-14
Lake Charles

MSU to present ‘Complete Works of William Shakespeare’


Audience members can get a taste of all of William Shakespeare’s canon plays and sonnets in just 90 minutes in this semester’s conclusion by the McNeese State University Theatre Bayou Players on April 20-24 in the Tritico Theatre. The “shenanigan”- filled show is entitled “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).”
Director Brook Hanemann said there are only three “zany characters” in the production who are attempting to put on a performance of all of Shakespeare’s shows. The show stars Heather Partin of Moss Bluff, Mark Bailes of Rosepine, and Rebecca Harris of DeRidder.
“(The characters) don’t necessarily know everything about Shakespeare,” she said.
The actors incorporate improv, rap and modern pop culture to try to reenact his plays and portray the sonnets.
“They turn one of the tragedies into a cooking show,” Hanemann said.
The audience plays a large role in the performance, and the Fourth Wall is broken down, she added. Some audience members will be taken into the performance.
This production was picked by the play selection committee because it is outside the realm of normal productions. “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” allows those involved to hone their skills and learn improvisation, Hanemann said.
“It’s a really great training ground,” she said.
Hanemann added that she feels fortunate to have everyone who was involved in the production and for the collaboration among local entities and theaters.
“Everybody can really grow and learn from each other,” she said. “It’s a great team to be proud of.”
She added that by sharing resources such as labor and props, the community is able to do much more than normal.
“Everyone should come see it because they’ll be really sad if they miss out,” Hanemann said. “It’s the type of show where even if you don’t like Shakespeare, you’ll like the show.”
Performances will be held in the Tritico Theatre at 7:30 p.m. April 20 – 23 and at 2 p.m. on April 24.
Ticket prices are $15 for adults and $10 for McNeese faculty and staff, senior citizens and youth. Tickets are free for McNeese students with a current ID. For tickets or more information, call 337-475-5040 or go to www.  mcneese.edu/theatre  .
14 2016-04-11
Associated Press

McNeese State promotes Cryer as new women's basketball coach


LAKE CHARLES, LA.
McNeese State promoted assistant women's basketball coach Kacie Cryer to head coach Friday, one day after Brooks Donald Williams resigned to take an assistant position at Alabama.

Athletics director Bruce Hemphill said Cryer has the work ethic and tenacity to quickly make this team her own.

"Kacie is known as a rising star among assistant coaches across the U.S. and she has a passion for women's collegiate athletics," Hemphill said in a statement announcing her promotion. "She has the unique perspective of both a collegiate student-athlete and a Division I assistant coach. She is an excellent recruiter and was instrumental in bringing in all of next year's team, including this fall's incoming freshman class to McNeese."

Cryer worked seven years under Donald Williams, who resigned Thursday after nine seasons. Her 161-130 record made her the all-time winningest women's basketball coach in school history.

Donald Williams took the Cowgirls from anonymity to respectability, leading the program from a 10-21 record in her first year (2007-08) to the first postseason in its history when it reached the NCAA Tournament in 2011. McNeese has played beyond the regular season every year since.

Donald Williams said it will be difficult to leave a program that she's spent the last nine years building. "It's been a great ride and I'm thankful for the Lake Charles community and their continued support. I believe there's still really good things ahead for Cowgirl basketball."

McNeese will hold an introductory press conference for Cryer Thursday at 4 p.m. in the Endzone Club at the Jack Doland Fieldhouse.

"I am honored, blessed and excited to have this chance to continue the success of this established program that I have been associated with for seven years," Cryer said. "Coach Williams has done a tremendous job at McNeese and I plan on continuing the success she has already put in place. I will work extremely hard to get this program to a higher level."

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/sports/article70739882.html#storylink=cpy
14 2016-04-11
Lake Charles

Pigs could be key to new knee and arthritis treatment


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
Pigs and humans: The two have a whole lot more in common than you might think. Pigs have proven to be particularly effective in bio-medical research for humans.

A potentially groundbreaking research project on knee and arthritis treatments is underway in pigs at the McNeese State University farm.

The specially-selected swine were all evaluated from head-to-hoof to be part of this research study, which is spearheaded by orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Alan Hinton, and partnered with Dr. Chip LeMieux of MSU's Harold and Pearl Dripps Department of Agricultural Sciences.

"We do look at the feet and legs. We make sure that they don't have any abscesses or sores or any kind of structural issues in the pigs prior to the surgery," said LeMieux.

When Hinton came up with the idea for this research project, he knew he needed access to pigs. He reached out to LeMieux, who has used pigs at the farm for his own research projects that could have human implications.

"A lot of the physiological systems are similar," said LeMieux. "The joint size and structure and the weight-bearing of this animal is real similar to the humans."

The purpose of Hinton's project is to regrow a meniscus, which is the cartilage in the knee that protects the bones from wear and tear.

"What we're doing here is to remove a piece of meniscus from the pig and then inject stem cells to see if it can regrow the meniscus," he said.

To do that, the pigs are put on the operating table under anesthesia, administered by retired veterinarian, Dr. Sam Monticello, and a piece of the meniscus is removed. Next, human stem cells are injected into that site.

"We found that it's not actually the cells per se that do the good, it's something that they produce, it's something in the proteins," said Hinton.

That "something" is what this research team hopes will create a new meniscus and healthy surrounding tissue, where arthritis develops.

In the initial stage of the research with a different set of pigs, arthritis developed in just six months after meniscal surgery. Hinton said there is no current option to prevent arthritis when people have this same surgery.

"Most of the time, the only way to really take care of it is to remove the piece of meniscus," said Hinton. "What that does is it relieves the short-term symptoms, but unfortunately long-term, over the course of 15-20 years, arthritis can develop."

These pigs are now three weeks post-op and their recovery is going smoothly. They are monitored every day, checking their gait and stability, which is overseen by the McNeese farm staff.

"They're doing great; have no problems with them," said Monticello."They're moving around pretty well."

Time will tell if there is healthy growth inside these pigs' joints.

"The pigs will be harvested at four, five, six months to see if we have any regrowth of the meniscus," said Hinton.

If that regrowth happens, this research project will become even larger. So will the hopes of it translating into human benefits one day soon.

"The idea and the thought is that one day this would be available to the physician at the time they took out the torn cartilage or use it to help heal a torn piece of cartilage," said Hinton.

Relieving pain that can become debilitating and maybe even making meniscus removals a procedure of the past.

While the research is centered on benefiting humans, it is something that could also improve the health of animals with meniscal tears.

The research team is held to a strict set of standards in treating the pigs with care.

Copyright KPLC 2016. All rights reserved.
14 2016-04-11
Lake Charles

Adam Johnson to give free reading


Pulitzer Prize-winning author and McNeese State University alumnus Adam Johnson will give a free reading of his fiction at 5:30 p.m. today, April 8, in the Ben Mount Auditorium at the Central School Arts and Humanities Center.
Johnson, winner of a Whiting Writers’ Award and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, is the author of several books, including “Fortune Smiles,” which won the 2015 National Book Award, and the novel “The Orphan Master’s Son,” which was awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize.
His fiction has appeared in Esquire, GQ, Playboy, Harper’s Magazine, Granta, Tin House and The Best American Short Stories. His work has been translated into 32 languages.
Johnson is the Phil and Penny Professor in Creative Writing at Stanford University, where he teaches courses in fiction and creative nonfiction. He earned his Master of Arts in English and his Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at McNeese and his doctorate in English from Florida State University.
For more information, call 475-5326.
14 2016-04-11
Lake Charles

Prayers answered: Hemphill proof there is hope


Bruce Hemphill never saw it coming and he can’t remember the first five minutes after he heard the news.
He can’t even tell you the day he was told he had cancer.
“It was a blur,” the McNeese State athletic director said. “You don’t think it is happening to you.”
That was in the fall of 2014, when all his plans were put on hold as he entered the fight of his life.
“Nothing can prepare you for hearing that,” he said. “I just became numb.”
On that day Hemphill went from believing he had strep throat to becoming a statistic.
That’s also the day he began a journey that would take him from the brink of death to the place he his today, cancer-free and with a greater respect for the disease and appreciation for life.
“I am a better person now, no question,” Hemphill said. “I don’t take anything for granted.
“I am not a cancer survivor, I am a cancer thriver.”
How he got to this point, one year after being told he was free of the tonsil cancer and returning to work, is a story of determination, inspiration and hope.
Hemphill arrived at McNeese in the summer of 2013, returning to his roots after living all over the country. The Sulphur native planned to give back to his home community by helping the university’s sports programs, he once cheered for, continue to grow. He settled in for what he thought would be a long and healthy run leading McNeese’s athletic department.
But not all things go the way one plans.
After suffering a sore throat, ear pain and eventually trouble swallowing, doctors gave him the dreaded news as to just how sick he was.
“I know a lot of people believe cancer equals death,” Hemphill said. “I didn’t look at it that way.”
After those initial blurry first five minutes, Hemphill said he turned from victim to fighter.
“The hell with feeling sorry for myself. I said right then I’m going to kick cancer’s ass.”
Taking lessons he learned over the years of playing and being a part of athletics, Hemphill decided to attack the disease head on.
“I’m not saying this is the way everyone has to do it; all people are different and all types of cancer are different,” he said. “I just know this is what was going to work for me. It’s what I had to do.
“This was the only way I knew how to fight it. It’s not the right way, it’s not the wrong way, it’s Bruce’s way.”
So he rallied around a McNeese theme: “Expect to win. It is what I have been taught, it is the McNeese way whether we are playing Nebraska or LSU, we teach to win,” Hemphill said.
But he doesn’t want anybody to think winning was easy. Hemphill also says to tell all those who are or will fight the disease, finding your own way is the key.
What worked for him may not work for the next person. And even with his positive attitude and determination, he admitted there were a lot of dark days before the dawn.
After being told of his cancer, doctors asked him if he wanted to wait to start his treatment until after the holidays, so he could enjoy Christmas, which also served as his 59th birthday.
Hemphill wanted none of that.
“I was ready. No way I was going to wait,” he said. “It was game time.”
However, this was no ordinary game against no ordinary foe. This opponent would prove to be a relentless bully with a winning record.
As Christmas ended and the new year was about to begin, Hemphill, who became engaged just days before the holiday, had no idea just what a demon he was in a fight with.
With his team in place, which was led by his fianc?e, brother and sister-in-law, along with a host of professional caretakers at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Hemphill headed straight into the teeth of his foe.
That’s when the depths of this battle really showed.
“Nothing can prepare you for the treatments,” he said. “Nothing at all. Nothing anybody tells you, nothing anything you have gone through before, nothing compares to it.
“I would be a liar if I told you it was easy or I wasn’t scared.”
Hemphill would lose 50 pounds during his 33 radiation treatments and about as many chemotherapy treatments. He would at times need help with basic functions such as eating or going to the bathroom.
During his stay he went from walking to his treatments to being pushed by way of a wheelchair.
All the while he would pass by others fighting cancer, many with blank looks on their faces and most in far worse conditions.
“Everywhere you looked there where those with that deer-in-the-headlights look,” Hemphill said. “You say at first that you won’t become one of them, but after a while you do.”
While he said he never lost confidence, he did admit he leaned on the power of prayer and the unconditional love of those around him.
Each day he would hear stories of those who had finished their treatments. He could even hear their victory as each one who completed their ordeal at the Houston hospital would ring the bell when finished.
“I was going to ring that bell,” Hemphill said. “That’s how I got through it, the nights when I couldn’t sleep, the inability to feed myself, the pain. After each treatment I would say four down and 29 to go and so on.
“I’m not going to say there were not a lot of tough times, times when you wonder what’s next. But I never lost my drive to ring that bell.”
Then, on Feb. 4, 2015, after the last of those radiation treatments, Hemphill got to ring that bell.
For the first five minutes after that, he did something he had not really done during the entire ordeal; he “cried like a baby.”
Unfortunately for him, the bell only signaled the end of Round 1.
Weeks after returning home, cancer found an ally and attacked Hemphill once again, this time almost winning.
Prior to his first cancer treatments, Hemphill had been stricken with the flu. He fought it off like he had many times before, but the infection never completely left his body. With all the radiation and chemo, his immune system had shut down and the flu grew into pneumonia.
By the time he made it to the emergency room of a local hospital, Hemphill was septic and in a true struggle just to survive. He would spend the next 10 days in the intensive care unit of Lake Charles Memorial, his life literally in the balance.
Through it all his team remained by his side, fighting with him.
Despite the second big blow to his health, Hemphill was ready to fight on.
“As awful as I felt, here was Game 2,” he said. “Let’s move on. Here is the next opponent.”
Being treated locally this time, many people wanted to see him and wish him well. But Hemphill stuck to his team and told people not to feel sorry for him but rather just thanked them for their support.
“I just promised everybody I was going to beat it,” he said. “I knew there were a lot of people out there who were sicker than me, I had seen them. I had seen how hard they fought.
“You get strength from watching others fight and seeing what they go through.”
But the second game ended the same as the first, with Hemphill left the victor.
Soon after, he heard the words he had been hoping for since he was first stunned by the news of his cancer: the tumor was gone.
“It was great news, but it’s a different feeling,” he said. “You don’t beat cancer. You have a great deal of respect for the disease.”
His cheering and tears came from the ringing of that bell weeks before. Now he was ready to move on.
“I don’t fear the ‘It.’ It’s not coming back,” he said. “It’s gone.
“I feel the same way about it as I feel about any opponent. That game is over, time to move on.”
Hemphill also makes sure everybody knows he didn’t beat cancer, “We beat cancer,” he said referring to his team.
“It wasn’t me, it was we. I could not have done it by myself.”
Just about a year ago he returned to work, walking back into his office for the first time. While he didn’t fit the same into his clothes, he was ready to take on his next challenge.
Since then he has passed every doctor’s test and said he believes there is nothing about his cancer that keeps him from accomplishing those goals he set out when he took the job at McNeese.
One thing Hemphill did want to make clear is that he didn’t tell his story for himself, but rather for the next person who finds himself sitting in a doctor’s office in a blur after being told they have cancer.
He wants them to know there is a way out and that their game has just started.
He also wants to let them know it is one they can win.
It’s about all anybody can ask for at such a time: hope.

Follow Jim Gazzolo on Twitter at twitter.com/JimAmPress
14 2016-04-05
Lake Charles

MBA students get real-world experience


McNeese State University invested in a Small Business Development Center in 1984. Since then, the Center has helped thousands of entrepreneurs to create hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in capitalization for their small businesses.
Along the way, students from the Master of Business Administration program in the College of Business at Mc-Neese have played a role in assisting Louisiana SBDC clients. Two interns from the McNeese MBA program are working with the LSBDC this spring.
Candace Prejean also works as a graduate assistant with the H.C. Drew Center for Business and Economic Analysis. She has a strong accounting background and plans to become a certifi ed public accountant. Candace has helped LSBDC clients set up tax registrations and understands their tax obligations. She’s also researched information for clients and plays a role in managing the fi nancial reporting for the LSBDC offi ce. Prejean said, “Working with business owners is preparing me to be a CPA. I am learning the nuts and bolts of daily operation. Understanding the nuances of cash fl ow for a small business will help me with my future clients.”
Pranab Kaushik has owned and operated a small business himself. He brings that background to helping entrepreneurs develop business plans and fi nancial projections. Kaushik said, “I’ve learned about business plans in class, but now I’m putting the ideas into practice. Our clients have the passion it takes to succeed. Our job is to teach them the business skills, such as understanding competition and operating legally, that success will require.”
As is typical for Millennials, both Prejean and Kaushik are very tech savvy. They’ve worked to improve social media presence for clients’ small businesses. Computers have always been part of their lives so they easily incorporate technology into everyday operations.
These MBA students have years of “book knowledge.” Working with individuals who own a small business supplements the theory and gives Prejean and Kaushik a much better understanding of the real business world. They see that entrepreneurship is more than balancing an accounting equation or calculating where demand meets supply. When they fi nish their MBAs, these two young adults will move on to jobs in the Louisiana workforce. Their employers will fi nd that the real-life experience with LSBDC clients has improved the learning and increased the value of their McNeese education.
For over 30 years, the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese has worked with entrepreneurs and business owners who are looking to start or grow their small business. Visit www.  lsbdc.org   to learn more about us. For no-cost assistance with your business, call us to schedule an appointment at 337-475-5529.

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  .

14 2016-03-30
Lake Charles

Arena's survival can be a boost to McNeese


There was more than a little concern on the McNeese State campus over the past few weeks.
Most of it was over the state’s budget and cuts to higher education.
Some of that remains, as the new governor attempts to stabilize a financial crisis that continues to linger in Louisiana.
The cuts over the years at state schools have been huge, and have taken their toll on athletics as well.
When you are cutting educators, classes and programs it’s pretty hard to argue the football team needs new shoulder pads.
But last week McNeese’s athletic department got to breathe a giant sigh of relief when Gov. John Bel Edwards said their big project was the only new one on any college campus that will be moving forward.
“I believe there is only one project where we are at the point where the bids came back in and they were at or below budget, in fact they were below budget,” Edwards said. “I will tell you this was on McNeese State University. It is a building that will be constructed there.”
The news came as a surprise to McNeese officials at the time. They were hoping for the best but after the past several years of cuts most likely worrying about the worst.
Now it seems like they can go ahead with the new building that will hold inside of it the school’s on-campus arena. The $40.5 million project is funded in part by the H.C. Drew Foundation, which is likely the key to having it continue moving forward.
There is no question the facility, which will also be home to the Health and Human Performance Department, has the potential to help improve the school’s basketball programs, especially the men’s team.
Over the years the school has had a hard time generating a fan base even in good seasons. Crowds didn’t turn out at Burton Coliseum, making the old arena seem empty and dull.
Without the crowd noise there just wasn’t a good atmosphere to sell the programs, even if several of the players came from local schools and towns.
Playing the Civic Center hasn’t been much better. Saying not everything works correctly in the old building would be an understatement.
If ever a school could use a face lift for its basketball programs’ home court it was McNeese.
Recently the football, baseball and softball programs at the school have all seen their facilities upgraded, in large part thanks to local donations. Basketball is trying to ride that wave into the future.
While you can never put a dollar amount on what the new arena might mean to the university or either program, and you can never compare it to other educational programs at the school, it should be noted the facility could do a lot more than just bring new fans to the team.
It might energize the entire campus. It has happened before.
A new arena shows that the school is growing despite what might be happening at other universities in the state. That’s something not only athletes but other students like to see when they are picking where to go.
A fresh building gets a lot more attention than an empty parking lot on recruiting weekends.
There is also the fact that McNeese would hold the financial benefits from the arena. That will include concessions, advertising and even possibly the naming rights to the court itself.
Athletic Director Bruce Hemphill has said as much in the past.
To some this may seem like throwing money away at a time when it is needed elsewhere in the educational system.
However, for McNeese it shows that despite the hard times their future is still bright.

14 2016-03-28
Lake Charles

McNeese arena survives budget cuts


While state projects all over Louisiana are getting slashed with the budget ax, a new on-campus home for McNeese State basketball looks to be steaming forward.
Gov. John Bel Edwards seemed to say so Thursday.
During a news conference, Edwards said some projects that were already started would continue on college campuses. He then specifically referred to a building that has yet to be started at McNeese as the only one that is set to go ahead despite not having begun construction.
“I believe there is only one project where we are at the point where the bids came back in and they were at or below budget, in fact they were below budget,” Edwards said. “I will tell you this was on McNeese State University. It is a building that will be constructed there.”
According to several McNeese sources, the only major building project planned for campus is the new sports area, which will also be the home of the Heath and Human Performance Department.
The building, a $40.5 million project that was planned to have a 4,100-seat arena inside, is funded in part by the H.C. Drew Foundation.
Candace Townsend, a spokeswoman for McNeese, said, “I have not gotten anything to my knowledge on the status of that project, so I can’t confirm it either way. If it’s true, it would be very good news for us.”
The project was in question after Edwards talked about slashing the state’s budget after he took office in January.
McNeese was hoping to use the new arena to bring new fans and added revenue to campus overall and the athletic department specifically through the sale of advertising, concessions and other possible marketing avenues.
Both men’s basketball coach Dave Simmons and women’s coach Brooks Donald Williams have been using the hope of a new arena to recruit players.
Drawings of the arena have been on display at McNeese State home games for most of the season, though they were not seen at the season’s finale in Burton Coliseum.
Now it seems they can be put back up thanks to Edwards’ comments.
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Follow Jim Gazzolo on Twitter at twitter.com/JimAmPress
14 2016-03-28
Lake Charles

Higher ed spared


Louisiana’s higher education system was spared additional budget reductions for this fiscal year Thursday, and Gov. John Bel Edwards announced at a news conference that a sports complex at McNeese State University survived $1 billion in cuts he is making to the state’s capital construction budget.
The McNeese project is a $40.5 million basketball and education complex to be constructed near the McNeese football stadium and field house. Edwards said the project had been bid and came in under the expected cost.
Candace Townsend, a spokeswoman for McNeese, said, “I have not gotten anything to my knowledge on the status of that project, so I can’t confirm it either way. If it’s true, it would be very good news for us.”
The project was in question after Edwards talked about slashing the state’s budget after he took office in January.
McNeese was hoping to use the arena to bring new fans and added revenue to campus and the athletic department through the sale of advertising, concessions and other marketing avenues.
Both men’s basketball coach Dave Simmons and women’s coach Brooks Donald Williams have used the hope of a new arena to recruit players.
The governor called the news conference to announce where he would make an additional $70 million in budget reductions for the fiscal year ending June 30. He said the entire amount would fall on the state Department of Health and Hospitals.
The department can handle the cuts because of savings realized through cost-effective Medicaid monitoring and reimbursements, he said. He said there would be no major reductions in services. But he said there would be cuts to payments made to managed care companies and private hospital partners who took over the state’s charity hospitals.
Edwards said he couldn’t in good conscience reduce higher education spending because budget reductions to colleges and universities over the last eight years were the highest in the nation. They totaled nearly $800 million over that period. He said higher education already must assume a $28 million shortfall in funding for the TOPS scholarship program in this fiscal year.
The state is still facing a $750 million shortfall for the fiscal year starting July 1, he said. He said legislators at their recent special session did reduce the expected $2 billion deficit.
The $1 billion reduction to the capital construction budget is necessary because funds for those projects are needed for higher education and other operations, the governor said. He said $80 million in savings would be used to fix roads and that other money would be used to catch up with maintenance at colleges and universities.
Recent storms have complicated the maintenance problems, he said, and repairs are urgently needed to provide students with a proper learning environment.
Edwards said projects that were canceled were in line to be funded, but there was little hope the money would be available. He said the state had to borrow money to complete projects already underway, but borrowing money for new projects is not the way to do business.
The state’s credit rating has been downgraded, and future bond sales will be limited, he said. He said it’s time to start being more realistic about budgeting and financing by not making empty promises.
This isn’t the time to be building new buildings on college campuses and elsewhere, Edwards said. There have been $170 million worth of budget cuts since he became governor, he said.
The Legislature raised a significant amount of money at the special session, he said, but challenges remain. In addition to the $750 million shortfall for the new year, he said $328 million in one-time money used to balance this year’s budget won’t be available in fiscal 2016-17.
Edwards suggested people attend House Appropriations Committee meetings to hear about the tough decisions facing state agencies. There is no revenue to be raised at the current session, but he said there would probably be another special session after this one ends.
The governor said his budgets won’t be based on contingencies, but on revenue projections — a change from budget practices over the last eight years under former Gov. Bobby Jindal. Basing budgets on what might happen is doubly irresponsible, Edwards said.
“It won’t be the budget I wanted to implement,” he said.
Edwards said there is tremendous concern about the ability to fund TOPS in the new year. He said he has always supported the scholarship program, and that “putting TOPS at risk brings me no joy.” But he said he plans to try to fund the program.
l
14 2016-03-24
Lake Charles

WORKS ON PAPER McNeese to display selected art through May 12


ecial to the American Press
The 29th annual McNeese National Works on Paper Exhibition is on display in the Grand Gallery of the Shearman Fine Arts Annex at McNeese State University.
The exhibit, which runs through May 12, is sponsored by the McNeese Department of Visual Arts and is part of the 2016 Banners at McNeese season.
Brooke Davis Anderson, executive director of Prospect New Orleans, is the juror for this year’s Works on Paper Exhibition.
Prospect New Orleans invites leading contemporary artists from around the globe to exhibit at venues that include major cultural institutions, as well as non-arts venues, and public spaces in the New Orleans area.
Anderson has selected 72 works from a broad national spectrum of paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, and mixed-media works on paper for this year’s exhibition.
Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays when the university is open.
For more information about Banners events, visit the Banners website at ban  ners.org   or call the Banners offi ce at 475-5123.
14 2016-03-21
Lake Charles

Le Bocage hosts horse rides for McNeese Autism Program


It has been said that animals, especially horses, have healing qualities. Children from the McNeese Autism Program were able to experience that Thursday at the Stables at Le Bocage.
The children were able to each ride a horse for 10 minutes, performing such tasks as putting a ring on a pole or a ball through a hoop. They were coached on their posture and encouraged to hold their arms straight up in the air or out to their sides like a plane while adult volunteers held on to them.
While waiting their turn to ride the horses, the kids played games like horseshoes, blew bubbles and created necklaces, which were all therapeutic activities.
After everyone had a chance to ride, they were able to paint a miniature horse named Martini using their hands.
The children present ranged in age from 5 to 15, said Megan Cross with the McNeese program. She said the university’s program focuses on getting children on track to go to school by developing social and behavioral skills.
Equine-assisted therapy is a widely used method to help those with a wide range of disabilities. Reins of Hope Therapeutic Riding Program is just one of the many programs available to people around the country.
Program director Jeanne Dennis said the horseback therapy helps to work everything between fine motor and gross motor skills. The tasks the children were asked to complete while riding helped with hand-eye coordination, as well.
She said another focus of the equine-assisted therapy is to work on core abdominal strength because many children born with autism have difficulty holding themselves upright, Dennis said.
“This brings it all together,” she said. “They don’t realize they’re doing anything therapeutic because it’s so fun.”
Although Thursday was just an introduction to the program for the children and the McNeese students who assisted them, Dennis said she hopes this will open doors for the children in the future and in their therapy.
14 2016-03-17
Lake Charles

McNeese’s Bayou Players kick off spring season


McNeese’s Bayou Players spring season will begin with a production called “Beckett X Five” this weekend. “Beckett X Five” features fi ve of Samuel Beckett’s plays, part of the Theater of the Absurd.
Director Stan Morris said this production is not “the usual kind of play” because the plays seem to have no meaning.
“But each individual audience member ... can get their own meaning,” Morris said.
Theater of the Absurd is about nothingness and sameness, he said. Although at fi rst glance each of the plays seem to have nothing in common, each one has something to do with life, which is why Morris picked these fi ve.
“What people get out of the plays would depend on what happened in their own life,” he said.
The fi ve plays are all short plays, with the longest running about 20 minutes. Each one has only a few actors, some of which — like “Rockaby” — only have one person onstage the whole time.
The fi ve plays that were chosen include “Not I,” “Act Without Words,” “Rockaby,” “Come and Go” and “Quad,” Morris said.
This production not only features Mc-Neese State University actors, but those from the community as well, he said. Some of those community members include students from LaGrange High School.
Morris said there is one explicit word in the entire production, but those high school age and above would be the ones to best understand the production. He said younger audience members “might get bored.”
The performances will be at 7:30 p.m. March 19 and 2 p.m. March 20 in Tritico Theatre. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for McNeese faculty and staff, senior citizens and youth, and free for McNeese students with a current ID. For tickets or more information, call 475-5040 or go to www.mcneese.edu/theatre  .
14 2016-03-14
Lake Charles

Will it float?


Civil engineering students from Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee gathered on Friday at Prien Lake Park to test their concrete canoes in a competition for the Deep South American Society of Civil Engineers. This year, McNeese is hosting the event for the first time in almost three decades.
Before Friday’s competition, the teams of engineering students from the 13 universities had to do mathematical calculations to create a mold for the canoes, said McNeese junior Drewe Burns. The concrete for the canoe is tested on the seventh, 14th and 28th day before seeing if the canoe will float. “We made a lot of different mixes to see which one would be the best mix, the lightest mix and which one was going to be the strongest so that we could choose the mix for our concrete canoe,” said freshman Caleb Greathouse.
The canoe is allowed to be up to 20 feet long and 3 feet wide and cannot be made using a premixed concrete. The teams must create the concrete themselves, he said.
“It’s not cornbread in a box,” Burns said. “It’s madefrom-scratch cornbread.”
Before the races, each canoe must be filled with water so it is submerged for two minutes, but it has to be able to come back up. The McNeese concrete canoe team competed in two sprint races and then two endurance races with fewer members in the boat.
“We’re really excited that we’re hosting the ASCE conference after almost 30 years,” said Dimitrios Dermisis, McNeese professor of civil engineering.
President of the ASCE Mc-Neese Chapter Jessica Trahan agreed.
“It really is a great way for McNeese to showcase Southwest Louisiana by inviting all these universities,” Trahan said. “It’s just a great way to take what we’ve learned in the classroom setting and apply it to as close to a real-life scenario as we can get.”
Dermisis said it has taken about six months to put together the competitions.
The rain and inclement weather in the state caused teams from Arkansas to have to travel through Mississippi to reach Lake Charles, and the flooding even prevented Louisiana Tech from attending this year’s event, Trahan said. The concrete bowling event was postponed from Thursday evening to Friday.
Today the universities will participate in a steel bridgebuilding contest before tonight’s award ceremony. There the winners from Friday’s canoe races will be announced.
14 2016-03-14
Regional/National

US in Africa on first foreign student recruitment drive


With an eye on Africa’s youthful population, economic growth and swelling middle-class, the United States has embarked on its first education trade mission to the continent, with 25 universities and colleges. Student recruitment and building partnerships with universities are the goals of the visits to South Africa, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

During the 2014-15 academic year, the United States hosted nearly one million international students, according to official statistics. But only around 34,000 students – a tiny 3% – came from Sub-Saharan Africa.

Africa’s student recruitment market has potential, although the idea of the continent losing even more of its brightest to the developed world is alarming. For many young Africans, studying abroad will be less about education quality than securing a better life.

Certainly there are study abroad push factors here. In many universities and countries there is classroom overcrowding, lecturer strikes, and lack of education quality, facilities, research – and job opportunities upon graduation.

Nigeria was not on the itinerary of the US education trade mission, although it is number 15 on the list of top places of origin of international students in America, according to the 2015 Open Doors report of the Institute of International Education.

In 2014-15 there were some 9,500 Nigerian students in US colleges and universities, up by 20% on the year before, and Nigeria has one of the fastest growing student populations there.

The mission

The US mission began in Johannesburg, where on 7 March Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Analysis Marcus Jadotte – who is leading the American delegation – opened a Career Indaba Education Fair attended by more than 16,000 South African students.

“Degrees from colleges and universities in the United States are recognised around the world by companies who are increasingly interested in an innovative workforce and well-trained job candidates,” said Jadotte, according to an embassy release.

“In addition, international students are highly valued in the United States because they bring with them a rich and diverse perspective, which improves the learning experience for all students.”

According to Voice of America, many of the universities in the delegation came armed with scholarship opportunities.

Ghana – Second largest sender of students to US

From there it was on to Ghana’s capital Accra, where the USA Higher Education Student Fair was held on Thursday 10 March. McNeese State University and the San Mateo Colleges of Silicon Valley announced that scholarships were available to qualified students at the fair.

The number of Ghanaians studying in America increased by 6.3% last year and the country surpassed Kenya to become the second largest sender of students from Africa, trailing only Nigeria.

“Currently more than 3,100 Ghanaian students are spread among 600 universities and colleges in all 50 American states,” said the US embassy in Accra, adding that educational exchange between the two countries was mutual.

“Ghana is a popular study abroad destination for Americans, as well, ranking second in Africa after South Africa, with more than 2,300 Americans earning credit at Ghanaian universities last year.”

In Ghana, Jadotte said: “Africa presents a number of opportunities for US institutions seeking to globalise their campuses”. He added: “Outwardly mobile students make up 25% of all students on the African continent – the highest rate in the world.”

Ghana’s Deputy Minister for Education Sam Okudzeto-Ablakwa said the government was prepared to provide support to students who would like to study in the US, based on need. The government spent about 20 million Ghana Cedis (US$5 million) last year to provide support to Ghanaian students studying abroad.

But, the minister added, in addition to the recruitment drive by American universities, the government would like to see more collaboration in research with higher education institutions in Ghana.

* Among the universities represented were: University of Arizona; University of California, Irvine; University of California, San Diego; California State University; University of Delaware; University of Florida, Gainesville; Huston-Tillotson University; Indiana University; Loyola University; University of Mary Hardin-Baylor; Maryville University; McNeese State University; Michigan State University; Murray State University; Northern Kentucky University; Schiller International University; West Virginia University; and Wheeling Jesuit University. There were also colleges from across America.

14 2016-03-10
Lake Charles

McNeese State classes resume Thursday


McNeese State University offices will be open and classes will be held on Thursday, March 10.
School officials made that decision late Wednesday afternoon as it appeared any severe weather Thursday would be to the north of the university primary service area.
14 2016-03-10
Lake Charles

SPECIAL REPORT: McNeese students research how to produce oil from local waste


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
It takes millions of years for the earth to naturally produce oil but research students at McNeese State University believe it's possible to imitate, and expedite, the process in a lab.

A group of undergraduate engineering students conduct an experiment as the professor explains the process.

"Step One: Take some of our Aluminosilicate and that gets loaded into reactors," said Dr. Jacob Borden, assistant professor of chemical engineering.

Step Two requires mixing the clay and water concoction and adding in tiny compounds of extracted waste, commonly found in the Bayou State.

"We put this in and essentially see if we can mature that into something more like oil," Borden said.

Finally, Step Three: Cap the reactor, pop it into a conventional oven and then leave it in there for about a week.

"All we have to do now is monitor the temperature and make sure that it's staying at 150 degrees Celcius, which is about 300-350 degrees Fahrenheit," he said.

This might sound like a classic chemistry experiment, but these students are trying to make one of the world's most valuable natural resources.

"Basically, we are trying to make oil. We’re just trying to take what people find as waste and make something useful out of it," said McNeese senior Brett Nicholson.

One unique aspect about their research is they're taking local waste like sugarcane bagasse (leftover residue after juice is extracted) from St. Mary Parish or crawfish and shrimp casings from local restaurants, to see if they're able to produce oil from them.

“The biggest thing that we will gain from this is a better understanding of how oil is made, which means we will be better at extracting it and using it as it comes out of the ground," explained Borden.

With a background in fuels and alternative energy, Borden wanted to find an alternative source for the unstable oil industry.

"If you think about what is happening in the oil industry, fracking and the like, it's essentially going after immature oil and so instead of having oil now we're sort of one step back in the process and that's going to keep happening over time," he said. "We're going to run out of the easy stuff and we're going to have to keep sort of backing up."

So he turned to 13 of his students to begin distinct research that's never been done before.

"The coolest part about this research project is that we're looking at problems that don't have solutions yet," said senior Robert Bertrand. "When we make a discovery or when we figure out something new, for the first few moments, I am the first person to ever have known that.”

Over the past five months, this group has been conducting live experiments with different waste products and clays to see if it's possible to mimic the process of oil formation.

"We're starting with the bare bones. We're doing the basic steps of this. We'll move on from there and see if it's really liable to actually create all this," said senior Justin Gary.

After the reactors are ready to be pulled out of the oven, students open them to see what's inside.

Bertrand said this is the most rewarding part.

"We've opened reactors that we thought there were going to be nothing like no reaction, no nothing. We'll open them and the smell coming off of them will smell like methane sometimes," he said.

Next, they test the sample.

"We’re starting to see some very interesting results. We can’t confirm anything and it’s going to be a long time before we’re able to say something like oil came out but really it’s been in the interest of the students. I think it’s an engaging project and that the students are really driving it forward now," said Borden.

Even though they haven't produced crude oil yet, each experiment leads them in the right direction.

No matter how long it takes to reach the ultimate goal, they're confident their efforts will lead to the future of oil production.

"The ultimate goal is that one day you'll have a plant out somewhere. You'll bring it lawn clippings, old leaves, bagasse - that we're dealing with, fruit rinds, trees, sawdust and you'll load it into the plant. Out of the end of the plant, there will be gasoline," Bertrand explained. "That's the dream. It's taking waste products that nobody wants anything to do with and turning them into something usable.”

Variations of this research have been conducted by Masters and PhD students across the country but this particular project by undergraduate students, is the first of its kind.

Copyright 2016 KPLC. All rights reserved.
14 2016-03-10
Lake Charles

Popovich Comedy Pet Theater performance Tuesday


The Popovich Comedy Pet Theater will be coming to Lake Charles on Tuesday, March 15 for a 7 p.m. performance in Burton Coliseum.
This performance is a part of the Banners season for McNeese State University.
“It is lots of fun,” said Patricia Prudhomme, Banners director. “So many points of it are fun, entertaining and interesting.”
Prudhomme said the performance has the look and feel of a circus, especially with Gregory Popovich’s dress and makeup, resembling a clown. Audiences can expect to see “everything from cats and dogs” and now there is even a miniature pony named Mr. Diamond, she said.
One act in particular is the high wire act that the animals participate in.
“It’s amazing to me that you can train cats to do anything,” Prudhomme said.
Popovich is both the producer and star of the show and has traveled throughout the United States and all over the world with his pet co-stars. Performances include the European-style clowns and juggling and balancing acts, according to a news release.
Popovich has won a number of juggling awards and is known as one of the top three best jugglers of the world.
Prudhomme said one of the positive aspects of this family-friendly show which “everyone can enjoy together” is that all of the 30 or so animals, from birds to goats, have been rescued.
Tickets are available at the door for $20 for adults, $5 for students, and free for McNeese and Sowela students with a student ID.
Prudhomme said there are also a number of Banners events that are open to the public, including movies and lectures.
14 2016-03-09
Lake Charles

McNeese calls off Wednesday due to weather


McNeese State University will be closed tomorrow, Wednesday, March 9, due
to the forecast of heavy rain, high winds and localized flooding.
Day and night classes are canceled on Wednesday and offices will be closed. A
decision about Thursday will be made Wednesday afternoon.
For updates, monitor the McNeese website, official McNeese social media
channels, KBYS and other local media.
14 2016-03-07
Lake Charles

MSU to host student art exhibition, showcase


LAKE CHARLES — Student undergraduate scholarly research presentations, a juried student art exhibition and a performing arts showcase are just a few of the highlights of the 2016 Undergraduate Scholar and Research Symposium to be held Tuesday, March 8, at McNeese State University.
This program is sponsored annually by the McNeese Alumni Association as a way of recognizing students and faculty mentors who work together on research projects and scholarly endeavors, according to Joyce Patterson, alumni affairs director.
The public is invited to view 20 undergraduate research posters from 2 p.m.-3 p.m. in the Willis Noland Conference Center on the second floor of the McNeese SEED Center. Students from various disciplines across campus - along with their faculty mentors - will be available to discuss their work. Research runs the gamut from developing healthier and tastier recipes to the environmental impact of mechanical sewer systems in Southwest Louisiana and from behavior in racing quarter horses to a salinity transport study of the Calcasieu water system.
A team of judges will hear oral presentations that afternoon and will then select the top 10 projects. Students will receive cash awards provided by the McNeese Alumni Association.
Also that evening, the annual Juried Student Exhibition will open to the public at 6 p.m. on the mezzanine floor of the Shearman Fine Arts Annex.
Juror Jennifer Restauri, curator of education at the Stark Museum of Art, selected 33 student works from over 200 entries. The show will feature printmaking, ceramics, bookarts, painting, drawing, foundation design, photography, graphic design and 3-D design by 23 student artists. The exhibition will be on display through April 8.
And then at 7 p.m., a performing arts competition will be held in Tritico Theatre in the Shearman Fine Arts Annex that will showcase 11 student performances that will feature flute, piano, clarinet, euphonium, marimba, a brass quartet, two brass quintets and vocals. Audience members will have the opportunity to vote on the winning performance.
A reception for all events will be held in the Shearman Fine Arts Grand Gallery from 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.
Top selections in each of these areas will advance to participate in the fifth annual University of Louisiana System Academic Summit April 14-15 hosted by Nicholls State University in Thibodaux. All travel costs and registration fees for students and faculty mentors are being paid by the alumni association.
The Undergraduate Scholar and Research Symposium is part of the 2016 Banners at McNeese season.
14 2016-03-07
Lake Charles

MSU professor to discuss book


Author Keagan LeJeune will discuss his new book, “Legendary Louisiana Outlaws: The Villains and Heroes of Folk Justice,” at 6:30 p.m. March 8 at the Downtown Lafayette Public Library, 301 W. Congress St., in Lafayette as part of the Bayou State Book Talks series.
ABOUT THE BOOK
From the infamous pirate Jean Laffite and the storied couple Bonnie and Clyde, to less familiar bandits like trainrobber Eugene Bunch and suspected murderer Leather Britches Smith, “Legendary Louisiana Outlaws” explores Louisiana’s most fascinating fugitives.
Author Keagan LeJeune draws from historical accounts and current folklore to examine the specific moments and legal climate that spawned these memorable characters. He shows how Laffite embodied Louisiana’s shift from an entrenched French and Spanish legal system to an American one, and relates how the notorious groups like the West and Kimbrell Clan served as community leaders and law officers but covertly preyed on Louisiana’s Neutral Strip residents until citizens took the law into their own hands. Likewise, the bootlegging Dunn brothers in Vinton, he explains, demonstrate folk justice’s distinction between an acceptable criminal act (operating an illegal moonshine still) and an unacceptable one (cold-blooded murder).
Recounting each outlaw’s life, LeJeune also considers their motives for breaking the law as well as their attempts at evading capture. Running from authorities and trying to escape imprisonment or even death, these men and women often relied on the support of ordinary citizens, sympathetic in the face of oppressive and unfair laws. Through the lens of folk life, LeJeune’s engaging narrative demonstrates how a justice system functions and changes and highlights Louisiana’s particular challenges in adapting a system of law and order to work for everyone.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Keagan LeJeune is professor of English at McNeese State University, past president of the Louisiana Folklore Society, and editor of its journal, Louisiana Folklore Miscellany. He has collected stories about outlaws and Louisiana folklore for more than fifteen years.
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Bayou State Book Talks is a monthly discussion series led by authors from Louisiana who have written books that are of interest to Louisianians. For more information, call 337-482-6027 or email clspre  sents@louisiana.edu  .
14 2016-03-04
Lake Charles

Colleges, universities need quick solutions


The plight of Louisiana’s higher education system was brought home to our readers this week when officials at McNeese State University talked about the possibility it could be among the state institutions losing their accreditation. An article in The Chronicle of Higher Education talked about deep cuts to state colleges and universities being the highest in the nation since 2008 and how that may affect each one.
The Chronicle quoted Belle S. Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges, who wrote to Louisiana officials about what the loss of accreditation means.
"Public sanctions have a chilling effect on enrollment of potential students, and withdrawal of accreditation results in the loss of federal financial aid," Wheelan, said.
The association told Jay Dardenne, Louisiana commissioner of administration, accreditation for schools in the state may have to end before the completion of the semester.
Students cannot graduate and get jobs from non-accredited programs, a McNeese spokesperson said. Students could also be unable to complete classes and lose financial aid eligibility.
The Chronicle notes that there is little expectation that state legislators can find solutions that would spare the public colleges.
Even if revenues are raised, institutions will still have to absorb $70 million in budget cuts. The situation is even worse next year when the state faces a $2 billion budget deficit.
In spite of the bleak forecasts, the magazine said some Louisiana Republican legislators call the warnings exaggerations and insist institutions become more efficient.
State Sen. Dan “Blade” Morrish, R-Jennings, came to the defense of McNeese and other higher education institutions. He told the Chronicle he agrees higher education can be more efficient but doesn’t blame institutions for their budget predicament.
“This Legislature and the previous administration have cut higher education more than it’s ever been cut," Morrish said. "For us to blame them and almost humiliate them is a disgrace.”
Barry Erwin, president of the Council for a Better Louisiana, told the magazine last year’s legislative actions did little to remedy the fiscal crisis. He said it has been complicated by low oil prices, an abundance of questionable business incentives and lawmakers’ reluctance to increase taxes on any segment of the public.
The Chronicle said the future of TOPS scholarships is also a major concern. Colleges are being asked to absorb a $28 million shortfall in the popular program.
Morrish is sponsoring several bills, the magazine said, that are designed to make the program sounder by capping the award and giving universities control of their tuition.
The magazine in January reported that, contrary to developments in Louisiana, “higher education continues its slow climb out of the depths of the recession.” State money for higher education has increased in 39 states. The range is from 0.1 percent in Kentucky to 16 percent in Oregon.
We urge state legislators to heed these dire warnings about the bleak future facing Louisiana higher education and quickly come up with the necessary funding to put colleges and universities back on a sound financial footing.
14 2016-03-02
Lake Charles

McNeese professor creates art for Steven Tyler's Skittles commercial


AKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
Did you happen to see the Skittles "The Portrait" commercial during Super Bowl 50? If you didn't, watch the video below. Mobile users, click HERE.


In the commercial, Steven Tyler is staring at a self-portrait made entirely of Skittles, which comes to life while he sings "Dream On," the 1973 hit performed by Tyler and his band Aerosmith. The self-portrait finally explodes into million pieces after Tyler tells it to go "higher" and "higher."

What you might not know is Martin Bee, an art professor at McNeese State University, had a hand in creating the artwork for the commercial.

Nobody knew about Bee's involvement until Super Bowl night.

“I had signed a non-disclosure agreement, so that’s why I couldn’t say anything,” said Bee.

So, how did Bee get the prestigious honor?

A week before Christmas, he was contacted by an ad agency after someone saw some of his work in the Directory of Illustration, a showcase for illustrators that is outsourced to major media outlets across America.

Bee worked closely with the art directors at the ad agency, along with Tyler, to come up with the artwork for the commercial. It took Bee three days to complete it.

Bee submitted several illustrations until the ad agency and Tyler agreed upon the sketch used in the commercial. His illustration of Tyler was then altered to incorporate the Skittles candies and turned into a live animation clip used in the commercial titled "The Portrait."

Bee said he worked on other national campaigns but not along the lines of "this magnitude."
14 2016-03-02
Lake Charles

Accreditation, credit threatened


sroberts@americanpress.com  
McNeese and other state colleges and universities could be in danger of losing institution accreditation and suffering a credit drop.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges sent a letter to Jay Dardenne, state commissioner of administration, on Feb. 11 saying accreditation for schools in the state may have to end before the completion of this semester. SACSCOC is the regional accrediting body for 800 public, private and for-profit higher education institutions in 11 Southern states.
“Achieving and maintaining accreditation by a reputable and internationally recognized accrediting body is imperative,” said Candace Townsend, McNeese State University’s public information director.
She said students cannot graduate and get jobs from nonaccredited programs. Employers look for graduates from accredited schools, she said.
In the letter to Dardenne, SACSCOC President Belle Wheelan said one of the principles of accreditation is a sound financial base and demonstrated financial stability. She said students could be unable to complete classes and lose financial aid eligibility if accreditation is lost.
Townsend said many professional programs in schools like McNeese are eligible for accreditation by agencies specific to the program, such as engineering or nursing. The Louisiana Board of Regents mandates that some programs be accredited.
“It would not be possible to achieve and maintain program accreditation if McNeese lost SACSCOC accreditation,” she said. “An even bigger problem is if an institution loses accreditation, it cannot accept federal financial aid.”
A credit rating drop would mean an increase in the interest rate for bonds that are sold in the future, Townsend said. Because the state does not assist with monies for the construction of non-academic buildings — such as a residence hall or the parking garage — the college or university must have its own method of getting the money.
This includes bonds, she said.
“If the institutions are unable to demonstrate continued financial stability or continue to enroll students, the Board of SACSCOC would have to consider a public sanction of the institutions or a withdrawal of their accreditation,” Wheelan wrote. “Public sanctions have a chilling effect on the enrollment of potential students and withdrawal of accreditation results in the loss of federal financial aid.”
Townsend said students have alternate plans for financial aid besides TOPS, whose future is still unknown. She encouraged students to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for those other financial aid opportunities.
14 2016-03-01
Lake Charles

Funding business growth: Where’s the money?


So you’ve read all the news stories about the $90 billion in industrial expansion occurring right here in Southwest Louisiana. And you’re thinking that now is a good time to expand your small business and take advantage of the new residents who are moving here and sell to the industries and new businesses.
You’re right that now can be a great time to grow. The prime contractors that are building the new industrial facilities will buy millions of dollars of services and supplies. We believe that much of that money will be spent with Louisiana companies.
Southwest Louisiana will have many thousands of construction and other contract workers, plus thousands of new permanent residents. They will want to buy everything from haircuts to new homes.
How do you expand? Do you buy a bigger building? Open a second location? Add more merchandise? Hire more salespeople? All of these possibilities require financial and operational analysis. This means you need to examine how much your choices might cost, how your business income will increase and how you’ll manage the growth. Some of the factors may be additional employees, more insurance and different competition.
Once you decide how you want to grow, you have to decide how you can fund your business growth so that you can sell to the new customers. If you decide to borrow, who will lend to you?
The most likely lender is the bank or other financial institution you deal with every day. Your banker knows your track record, your financial history and your credit score. Your past success is a big factor in your pursuit of funding.
To be ready to talk to your banker, make sure you’ve prepared your 2015 tax return. Don’t put it off, don’t take an extension. Grit your teeth and put together the documents you need for your tax professional, then be proactive about completing it. Your last three years of tax returns are essential for a business loan so get it done.
A banker will likely want you to project your business operations based on expansion. You’ll need to estimate expenses and income, based on your history, and what you realistically can expect from your growth.
Expansion is a big decision. It should be considered carefully before moving forward. All of this preparation will take time and effort and help is available from the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese. Experienced consultants will work with you to review the facts and figures you need to consider. With their guidance, you’ll develop the necessary spreadsheets and business plan that will convince your banker that you’re a good prospect for a loan. Services at the LSBDC at McNeese are available by appointment, with no out-of-pocket costs to the business.
For over 30 years, the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese has worked with entrepreneurs and business owners who are looking to start or grow their small business. Visit www.lsbdc.org   to learn more about us. For no-cost assistance with your business, call us to schedule an appointment at 337-475-5529.
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14 2016-02-25
Lake Charles

For MSU Foundation



14 2016-02-25
Lake Charles

Preview party to kick off 24th season of MSU’s Banners


The 24th season of Banners at McNeese State University kicks off with a season preview party featuring a performance from country music star Larry Gatlin.
The event starts with a reception at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Isle of Capri Hotel and Casino. Gatlin will perform at 7 p.m.
Gatlin wrote several hit songs during the 1970s and 1980s, such as “Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer to You).”
Patricia Prudhomme, Banners director, said that this year’s Banners events range from dance troupes and acrobats to pet comedy theatre. She said the mission of Banners is to bring entertainers, artists and speakers that wouldn’t be featured at other events scheduled in Southwest Louisiana.
“We try to bring people of substance,” Prudhomme said. “We’re trying to make it something you want to plan for.”
Those looking for high-fl ying entertainment should attend the Cirque Zuma Zuma event, set for 7 p.m. March 3 at Burton Coliseum Complex. The show is described as an African-style Cirque du Soleil.
Gregory Popovich will bring his Pet Comedy Theatre to Burton Coliseum at 7 p.m. March 15. The show features 15 cats and 10 dogs rescued from animal shelters that perform different stunts and talents. Prudhomme said this is Popovich’s last tour before he takes up a residency in Las Vegas.
Several musicians will perform at Banners this year. They include the contemporary French-Acadian musicians Vishten, Colombian musicians Cimarron, and jazz singer Cécile McLorin Salvant. Salvant recently picked up a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album for her 2015 release, “For One To Love.”
New to Banners this year are four fi lm screenings at the Cinemark movie theater, 548 W. Prien Lake Rd. Featured fi lms include, “Selma,” “The Princess Bride,” “Desert Dancer” and “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me.”
There will also be readings and lectures by Jill McCorkle, David Sears, Erin Entrada Kelly, Robert Cooper, David Wrobel and more.
Prudhomme said that Banners event planners have focused on “condensing the length” of the season and booking talent that “has more value.” She said the events focus on jazz, world, classical, roots and family.
“That seems to have resonated with the public,” she said. “This way you have a focused season, and we are respectful to our partners. People can go to Banners events and go to other locally scheduled events.”
A single-ticket Banners season membership costs $80 to start. A pass holder membership, including two tickets to all performances and reserved seats, costs $150.
Friday, Feb. 19 is the last day to purchase season tickets.
For a full list of scheduled Banners events or for information about other memberships, call 475-5123.
14 2016-02-25
Lake Charles

ART GOES DIGITAL


McNeese State University art professor Gerry Wubben will be unveiling his digital sketchbook tonight during an opening reception for his solo “iPad drawings” exhibit in the Grand Gallery of the Shearman Fine Arts Annex.
He said the exhibit, which encompasses two floors of the gallery, will feature 290 iPad drawings measuring 44-by-30 inches.
“I’m very, very traditional. And by traditional, I mean I’m old school in terms of using drawing as the basis for all my art,” he said. “I’ve taught at McNeese for about 28 1/2 years so I’ve been drawing a long time.”
He said his inspiration for creating artwork on an iPad came from internationally known painter David Hockney.
“He’s one of the greatest painters alive, and he started using the iPad and I thought, ‘You know, if he can start using it, I’m going to give it a shot.’ ”
Wubben said he was awarded a grant two years ago to explore the process.
“I got an iPad and I got a stylist and I just started drawing,” he said. “And I found it an easy transition to get used to drawing on an iPad because I had so much of a background in drawing. I found it opened up a whole new avenue in terms of using color, using process, plus it has its own look.”
He said he appreciates the digital element of the finished designs.
“It doesn’t look like a traditional drawing, but that’s one of the points,” he said. “I embraced the digital look of it and I just ran with it.”
He said in the two years since receiving the grant, he has completed about 2,000 drawings on the iPad.
“It takes me hours to do one (hand) drawing, so this is a whole new process that really lets me create quickly,” he said.
Wubben said he was trained as a printmaker, which has benefited him with the iPad design.
“Printmakers like to layer things and this is a great medium for layering information and most of the images in the show you can see all this layering and history to the image,” he said.
Wubben said the exhibit will consist of some nature and abstract work, but will predominantly feature heads and faces.
“I personally feel it is the most expressive vessel out there,” he said. “When you look at anybody, you look straight at their head and I personally feel it’s the strongest element out there to convey emotion. I’m really, really big on structure and anatomy and these are all very, very anatomically based.”
A reception for the exhibit is set for 6-8 p.m. today. The exhibit will be on display through March 11.
14 2016-02-25
Lake Charles

Students get a glimpse of future possibilities


ENNINGS — Students from four Jeff Davis Parish high schools got a leg up on their future lives Monday during a College Career Expo.
Hundreds of students in grades 8-12 from Jennings, Hathaway, Lake Arthur and Hathaway high schools were able to network with employers and representatives from more 50 local businesses, colleges and universities and different vocational and career fields during the three-hour event.
“We’re very excited,” Superintendent Brian Lejeune said. “We have over 150 different occupations and opportunities for students and parents to learn more about and visit with representatives to see what is available to them and what kind of futures are out there for them. Hopefully they will make some good choices.”
A second College Career Expo will be held 5-8 p.m. Feb. 15 at Welsh High School for students from Welsh and Lacassine high schools. The experience was an eye opener for Brianna Evans, a junior at Jennings High School, who took the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about different job fields while visiting the various booths.
“Right now, I am interested in nursing, but I am looking at other things to get more ideas of what there is available,” Evans said.
Freshman Ava Duhon of Lake Arthur High School is also interested in nursing and got some hands-on experience while visiting with representatives of the McNeese State University College of Nursing.
“I’ve very interested in nursing and have always been since I was young,” Duhon said. “The thought of saving someone’s life is really great to me.”
Assistant Department Head of College of Nursing, MSU Katrina Carter assisted Duhon in inserting a nasogastric tube into the stomach via the nose of a manikin.
Duhon’s mother, Crystal Conner said the expo gave students like her daughter a chance to explore a variety of career options.
Zach Broussard, a freshman at Hathaway High School, wants to be a game warden.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do because I like fishing and hunting,” Broussard said.
His mother Holly Broussard said the College Career Expo is a great opportunity for students to start thinking about the next step in their future lives.
“It’s a great opportunity for them to see as many different employers and professional opportunities that are available to them,” she said. “We had to learn the old way.”
In addition to educational programs available at area colleges and universities and vocational schools, the Expo also spotlight careers in health care, industry, agriculture science, banking, construction, food service, law enforcement and more.
14 2016-02-25
Lake Charles

An introduction to engineering


McNeese kicked off Engineering Week with an open house Monday followed by interactive demonstrations for high schoolers and younger students on Tuesday.
The demonstrations comprised all four engineering concentrations, as well as computer sciences, including stations such as carbon dioxide drag races, wind tunnels and robots.
Brett Nicholson, a chemical engineering senior at McNeese, said the lab she was demonstrating showed students what juniors and seniors might do in their individual research. She, along with others, talked about how they were attempting to create an oil-like substance using waste products such as bagasse from sugar cane or chitin from shellfish.
“We’re trying to take that waste and create something useful out of it,” she said. “(This) is something you do outside of class, but it teaches you so much about what you need in class.”
Nicholson said she wanted people to know that chemical engineers do not simply work for oil and gas companies or refineries. “There are chemical engineers in the food industry — Frito Lay, Coke, Pepsi,” she said. She also said the auto industry and clothing companies use chemical engineers for research. Her dream job would be to work for Honda’s research and development division because she enjoys riding dirt bikes, as well as her engineering studies.
Other groups of engineering students demonstrated pulley systems and group projects such as the MARS topographical map using sand and a depth-sensing camera.
Chemical engineering professor Jacob Borden said Engineering Week started in 1951 to expand the public’s knowledge about engineering and the role it plays in everyday life.
“This is our chance to show what we do,” he said. “Keep in mind that everything you use every single day was engineered.”
This knowledge is most important for young people who could enter engineering one day, he said.
“Don’t be intimidated,” Borden said. “Come in with eyes wide open. If you have a passing interest in engineering, you should probably be an engineer.”
Nicholson said that what helps set McNeese apart from other universities with engineering is the role of the faculty.
“They are hands-on in everything we do, from the moment we walk in our freshman year to the moment we step on that stage at graduation,” Nicholson said.
Borden said McNeese’s program focuses on serving its students, providing them with what they need for the industry. “Anybody can do this, and we need everybody to do this,” he said.
14 2016-02-25
Lake Charles

An introduction to engineering


McNeese kicked off Engineering Week with an open house Monday followed by interactive demonstrations for high schoolers and younger students on Tuesday.
The demonstrations comprised all four engineering concentrations, as well as computer sciences, including stations such as carbon dioxide drag races, wind tunnels and robots.
Brett Nicholson, a chemical engineering senior at McNeese, said the lab she was demonstrating showed students what juniors and seniors might do in their individual research. She, along with others, talked about how they were attempting to create an oil-like substance using waste products such as bagasse from sugar cane or chitin from shellfish.
“We’re trying to take that waste and create something useful out of it,” she said. “(This) is something you do outside of class, but it teaches you so much about what you need in class.”
Nicholson said she wanted people to know that chemical engineers do not simply work for oil and gas companies or refineries.
“There are chemical engineers in the food industry — Frito Lay, Coke, Pepsi,” she said. She also said the auto industry and clothing companies use chemical engineers for research. Her dream job would be to work for Honda’s research and development division because she enjoys riding dirt bikes, as well as her engineering studies.
Other groups of engineering students demonstrated pulley systems and group projects such as the MARS topographical map using sand and a depth-sensing camera.
Chemical engineering professor Jacob Borden said Engineering Week started in 1951 to expand the public’s knowledge about engineering and the role it plays in everyday life.
“This is our chance to show what we do,” he said. “Keep in mind that everything you use every single day was engineered.”
This knowledge is most important for young people who could enter engineering one day, he said.
“Don’t be intimidated,” Borden said. “Come in with eyes wide open. If you have a passing interest in engineering, you should probably be an engineer.”
Nicholson said that what helps set McNeese apart from other universities with engineering is the role of the faculty.
“They are hands-on in everything we do, from the moment we walk in our freshman year to the moment we step on that stage at graduation,” Nicholson said.
Borden said McNeese’s program focuses on serving its students, providing them with what they need for the industry. “Anybody can do this, and we need everybody to do this,” he said.
14 2016-02-25
Lake Charles

An introduction to engineering


McNeese kicked off Engineering Week with an open house Monday followed by interactive demonstrations for high schoolers and younger students on Tuesday.
The demonstrations comprised all four engineering concentrations, as well as computer sciences, including stations such as carbon dioxide drag races, wind tunnels and robots.
Brett Nicholson, a chemical engineering senior at McNeese, said the lab she was demonstrating showed students what juniors and seniors might do in their individual research. She, along with others, talked about how they were attempting to create an oil-like substance using waste products such as bagasse from sugar cane or chitin from shellfish.
“We’re trying to take that waste and create something useful out of it,” she said. “(This) is something you do outside of class, but it teaches you so much about what you need in class.”
Nicholson said she wanted people to know that chemical engineers do not simply work for oil and gas companies or refineries.
“There are chemical engineers in the food industry — Frito Lay, Coke, Pepsi,” she said. She also said the auto industry and clothing companies use chemical engineers for research. Her dream job would be to work for Honda’s research and development division because she enjoys riding dirt bikes, as well as her engineering studies.
Other groups of engineering students demonstrated pulley systems and group projects such as the MARS topographical map using sand and a depth-sensing camera.
Chemical engineering professor Jacob Borden said Engineering Week started in 1951 to expand the public’s knowledge about engineering and the role it plays in everyday life.
“This is our chance to show what we do,” he said. “Keep in mind that everything you use every single day was engineered.”
This knowledge is most important for young people who could enter engineering one day, he said.
“Don’t be intimidated,” Borden said. “Come in with eyes wide open. If you have a passing interest in engineering, you should probably be an engineer.”
Nicholson said that what helps set McNeese apart from other universities with engineering is the role of the faculty.
“They are hands-on in everything we do, from the moment we walk in our freshman year to the moment we step on that stage at graduation,” Nicholson said.
Borden said McNeese’s program focuses on serving its students, providing them with what they need for the industry. “Anybody can do this, and we need everybody to do this,” he said.
14 2016-02-25
Lake Charles

Banners to offer four free film screenings


Banners at McNeese State University has teamed up with Cinemark Movie Theatre in Lake Charles to present four free film screenings throughout the 2016 season.
The first film is Academy Award winner “Selma,” which will be shown at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, in the Cinemark Movie Theatre.
Directed by Ava DuVernay, this moving film chronicles the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. leads a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition.
The 2015 film follows King, played by David Oyelowo, and his brothers and sisters as they lead one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement as the march concludes with President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The film won an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song in a Motion Picture, with the rousing song of “Glory.”
For more information on the event or Banners, visit banners.org   or call 475-5123.
14 2016-02-25
Lake Charles

AT MCNEESE


The McNeese State University Department of Visual Arts will host High School Portfolio Day 2016 for junior and senior art students from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday, March 5, in the Shearman Fine Arts Annex.
Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Grand Gallery and department tours will be available for the students, parents and teachers.
Students are invited to bring their art portfolios of no more than 10 images and/or their sketchbooks for visual arts faculty to review. Seniors are eligible for award recommendations at McNeese. Students can preregister to receive assigned review appointments by contacting event coordinator Lisa Reinauer at lreinauer@  mcneese.edu  .
For more information, contact the department at 475-5060.
MCCORKLE TO READ LATEST WORK
A free reading by awardwinning author Jill Mc-Corkle will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Stream Alumni Center as part of the 2016 Banners at McNeese State University season.
McCorkle is the Ada Vincent Visiting Writer and this event is sponsored by the McNeese Master of Fine Arts program.
McCorkle has written several novels, including “The Cheer Leader,” “July 7th” and “Life After Life,” and she has published four collections of short stories.
Five of McCorkle’s books have been named New York Times notable books. She has also received the New England Booksellers Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature and the North Carolina Award for Literature. She is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.
She teaches creative writing in the MFA Program at North Carolina State University. She was also a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard for five years.
For more, visit the Banners website at banners.org   or call the Banners office at 475-5123.
14 2016-02-25
Monroe

MSU’s gumbo fundraiser to benefit art department


The McNeese State University art department will hold a gumbo fundraiser 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, in the Shearman Fine Arts Annex Atrium.
Tickets are $10, and the proceeds will be used to help McNeese ceramics students attend the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts Conference on March 16-19 in Kansas City, Mo.
Participants can choose from either chicken and sausage gumbo or seafood gumbo and also receive a handmade ceramic bowl created by ceramics students and faculty members.
Co-sponsors for this event are Mari and James Bittner, owners of Brick House Catering and Events, and Deb and Bill Mixon.
Tickets can be purchased in Room 112-A of the Shearman Fine Arts Annex. For more information, call 475-5060.
14 2016-02-23
Lake Charles

National Engineers Week 2016 at McNeese State University


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
The McNeese State University College of Engineering and Computer Science will host several open houses from 6-8 p.m., Mon.-Sat., Feb. 21-27 for high school juniors and seniors.

The event is held in conjunction with the National Engineers Week 2016, with the hopes that it will inspire young people to take a closer look at engineering and computer science.

“Interested students of all ages and their parents, as well as other community members, are invited to campus to ask questions, tour our state-of-the-art facilities and learn more about the engineering profession,” said Dr. Nikos Kiritsis, college dean.

Activities are planned from Monday through Saturday and will focus on how engineers have a positive effect on every day life.

The event will be held at Drew Hall in the Engineering Technology Lab Building.

For more information, call 337-475-5857 or visit their website.
14 2016-02-22
Lake Charles

McNeese spokeswoman responds to 'Pay to Play'


SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) -
While the "Pay to Play' report indicated McNeese representatives declined comment to WVUE, McNeese spokeswoman Candace Townsend did accept KPLC's invitation to do so. Here's what she had to say, in her own words:

On the overall report:

"They're not taking into consideration when they look at the increase in the athletic budget, and also say the increase in athletic salaries, is that there is quite a bit of money that has been donated by private donors and through private fundraisers to augment coaches' salaries. That's not money that comes from the university, but by law, that private money has to run through the university to come back to those coaches and their paychecks. So, it has to be accounted for. It has to be counted towards taxes and those sorts of things. But that's private donor money."

On Philip Williams’ statement saying percentages can be highly misleading:

Townsend: “One thing with percentages, alright, if you’re looking at, if you’re trying to take a percentage where you're taking, say for example, you're going to say that you’ve increased, let’s say you’ve increased the College of Liberal Arts faculty by, say, 50 percent, and you’ve only increased the College of Engineering faculty by 25 percent. Well, if the College of Liberal Arts only had two people in it, and you added one, and the College of Engineering may have had a hundred people in it, and you added one, it’s not the same percentage, so you’ve got to look at the bottom line of the whole. And the athletic budget as a total is a much smaller number than the overall McNeese State University budget. So, when you start talking about percentages of, say, a $60 million budget or percentages of, say, let’s say a $10 million budget, those are gonna be much different numbers.”

On how McNeese declined an on-camera interview for this report:

“When I was originally contacted by the producer, he was trying to set up some times when they could come from New Orleans to Lake Charles to interview Dr. Williams, and the first couple of dates they threw out were not working for us. We tried to get back in touch and do some things, and the next thing I heard was when they sent an email saying that they were putting this together and did we want to respond via statement, which certainly we did respond via statement.”

Regarding a state lawmaker in 2007 saying casino money was to be allocated toward education, but the report says about $800,000 was spent on athletics:

“Well…OK…riverboat money, or the head tax as it used to be called, is dedicated to one-time sources, one-time money. It cannot be spent on things that are recurring. Now, in a particular year, riverboat money, or head tax money, some of that was transferred into the athletic department budget. But within the same time period, you have to understand that tuition within the time period they’re looking at at McNeese has gone up over 110 percent. In fall of 2009, tuition was a little over $1,700. In fall of 2015, tuition was $3,600. And that’s what Dr. Williams was saying in his statement is that the majority of the money that the university transfers to athletics is to cover student athlete scholarships. And then that money is returned to the university when they pay their tuition and fees or when they pay their room and board. So, it’s money that if you look at purely the revenue side of athletics, athletics is going to show that student athlete scholarship money as a revenue source. Just like they show sponsorship money, just like they show private donations, just like they show ticket sales. That’s a revenue source, but then student athletes pay their tuition and fees back into the university.

KPLC: Did you respond to a very specific set of questions or just send a blanket statement? Were you given a specific list of questions they wanted answered?

Townsend: “As I recall, he did send us a list of questions, yes.”

KPLC: Were those questions answered?

Townsend: “I felt as though the questions were answered, yes.”

KPLC: Has the number of athletic employees increased in recent years despite these budget constraints McNeese is facing?

Townsend: “I know that the report shows that we have a slight increase in the number of athletic employees, and we’ve also had an overall decrease for the university in this time period of over 200 employees. But one thing that’s critical, though, on the academic side as compared to the, or the university side, as compared to the athletic side…on the athletic side you have to remember that the NCAA has certain requirement that make men’s and women’s sports equitable concerning the number of coaches that they have to have. There has to be an equality there. You can't have a large number of coaches for men’s sports and then cut your women’s coaches in half. They mandate that equality, whereas on the university side, particularly in the support staff, we can eliminate and not replace 3 or 4 positions and then either use student workers for some clerical duties, or divide the duties up of those employees, from maybe 3 or 4 people leaving, you divide that among 1 or 2 people. I’m doing several other jobs myself right now. There’s some things you can do on the academic and the support staff side that you can't do for other rules and regulations on the athletic side. We’ve lost…we offered 2 faculty retirement incentive programs in an attempt to reduce our overall budget because we were taking such a big hit in our reduction in state appropriations. We were trying to find ways to become more efficient and reduce our expenses. So we had a number of faculty, tenured faculty that were retirement eligible, making very high salaries that opted for retirement. Some of those people were replaced but perhaps at a lower salary, and others of them may not have been replaced, and we’re covering those classes with either part-time visiting lecturers, or those classes may be covered by a dean now instead of a full-time faculty member.

KPLC: To say that the school is pumping more money into athletics - is that something that you consider a misleading statement?

Townsend:“Well, I can't say that the statement is completely misleading because with the increased cost of tuition, of scholarships, yes, more money is going there. Also our cost of student athletes’ health services and medical care has gone up. Just like healthcare costs have gone up everywhere. And those are things that the university is required to take care of. Do I say that we’re sending more money to athletics and it is directly hurting the university? No, I can't say that because some of the money that is going into athletics, such as tuitions and fees and scholarships comes directly back. Money that student athletes get as part of their scholarship package for room and board comes back into the university when they live on campus and they have their meal plans.”

KPLC: Several other college presidents did respond, a couple declined, but several did respond to take part in this report. They were given the same deadline to reply, but Dr. Williams couldn’t find the time, therefore that was perceived as a decline to comment?

Townsend: “There are only two college presidents in this report that were actually interviewed on campus – the president at Northwestern and the president at Nicholls. They did not interview the president at UL Lafayette. They did not interview the president at Tech. They did not interview the president at Grambling.”

KPLC: Well, they tried to interview the other presidents and they, too, either couldn’t find the time or declined.

Townsend: “Well, I can't answer of what the situation was, but you have to understand too, you're in the news business, and I'm in the university business, our schedules don’t always mesh. And just as I said, we’re down 200 employees. I can't always meet the needs of the media either. And there are times when I just have to say I'm sorry, I'm not available today, I can't do that today. So the insinuation that we weren’t trying to be available is incorrect. I think that truly it’s a matter of we cannot always be available on the media’s time schedule.

“Let me just tell you another thing. Something else that they're not taking into consideration when they look at the increase in the athletic budget and also the increase in athletic salaries is that there is quite a bit of money that has been donated by private donors and through private fundraisers to augment coaches’ salaries. That’s not money that comes from the university, but by law, that private money has to run through the university to come back to those coaches and their paychecks. So it has to be accounted for. It has to be counted towards taxes and those sorts of things. But that’s private donor money. For example, Coach Guidry. Coach Guidry’s salary, Lance Guidry football coach’s salary, is higher than what Matt Viator’s salary was, but yet the university’s part of his salary is the same as it was for Matt Viator. Any increase has come from private donors.

KPLC: What is your response to a college president who was interviewed for this report saying ‘I'm sorry, I told the athletic director you're going to have to do more with less.’ Your response to that in a time of such a budget crisis?

Townsend:“Well, I think we have done more with less. And we've asked our athletics department to do more with less, and that’s part of the reason why their revenue has increased, and they have a bigger budget to spend, is because they have gone out and they’ve done private fundraising. They’ve gone out and they found sponsorships. And that’s part of what that increase is about also. So, what you're not seeing on the university’s side is the amount of money that our private McNeese Foundation has raised that they give back to the university to help faculty, to help with equipment, to help with university needs, and also more importantly, to help students to meet that gap with what they don’t get from perhaps their TOPS, that they can give them private donor scholarships to help them pay their tuition and reduce their student loan debt.”

KPLC: Do you know what that amount was last year?

Townsend: The McNeese Foundation gives the university more than a million dollars a year to help with student scholarships. And that doesn’t include the money that comes from our McNeese Alumni Association that they also give in terms of scholarships and they also give in terms of money to the university to help with needs such as faculty that need a computer, faculty that need lab equipment, faculty that need supplies. Our supply equipment budgets have been absolutely slashed to the bone. I mean some of us are buying our own copy paper. So it’s not a matter of…it’s not a matter of everybody trying to, you know, not do more with less, or everyone is doing more with less, and the athletic department is under the same restrictions. We’re not giving the athletic department any more money than what we can do under law. And in some cases, the reason they do have more money to spend is because it’s private donor money. It’s self-generated funds that they’ve raised, just as we've had to raise student tuition and fees over 110 percent since 2008 to cover the $20 million loss in state appropriations that we've had. So, it’s all relevant when you get into it. It’s very, very complicated information, and when you start looking at different spreadsheets, and you try and look at different universities and compare things, everybody does things differently.”

KPLC: A lot of people are going to watch this and question priorities….where the priorities lie. Your response to those people who will raise an eyebrow and say ‘hmmm…they're always talking about how they're hurting and how they (the state) need to stop the cuts, and Dr. Williams goes on KPLC this week and talks about how this has to stop…your response to the people who might question where the priorities lie?

Townsend: “Well, I think that our priorities are always gonna be on academics. It’s always gonna be on classroom instruction. I mean, we've made that very, very clear. I mean, I think you can ask support staff that, of the people that are doing 2 and 3 jobs that don’t have any administrative assistance support or now that you had maybe an office of 5 people, and now you have 2 people. Everybody can say that the focus has been on academics because we always know that whatever money is there to replace positions, it’s going to be faculty positions that come first. Always. The critical need faculty positions are always going to come first. And athletics, what I would say about athletic spending is athletics is a tremendous part of the university operation. I think folks in Southwest Louisiana would agree that there would be an absolute outcry if there was anything that said that we were going to get rid of athletics at McNeese. And when you do that, you affect the overall recruiting for the university. Because surprisingly, there are a lot of students that tell us in their incoming student surveys that they came to McNeese because of athletics. They came to McNeese because they're playing in the band. We wouldn’t have a marching band if we didn’t have athletics. There are a number of things that athletics does for Southwest Louisiana that, just the economy, just when we have people coming in from other cities to come to our games here, they're spending money in Southwest Louisiana. So athletics…athletics…yes, does it cost money to have an athletics program? Absolutely. But athletics also brings a lot to the table in terms of visibility and also in terms of economic income for the area.”
14 2016-02-22
Lake Charles

McNeese president responds to 'Pay to Play'


SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) -
The following is Dr. Philip Williams' full statement that was emailed to WVUE in response to the "Pay to Play" segment:

"The largest single sum 'spent' on athletics at McNeese is the amount designated for Athletic Student Aid. This amount is extremely misleading, because it is never actually 'spent' by McNeese. Although it shows up in the expense column of the NCAA statement, the entire amount is immediately returned to McNeese in the form of tuition and fees. The amount student-athletes pay back to the university in the form of tuition and fees is not shown as revenue to the University in that same audited statement, because the statement is intended to reflect only Athletics operations, not operations of the University as a whole. Thus, McNeese did not actually make an out-of-pocket payment for 'Student Financial Aid' as a casual observer might wrongly conclude from the audited statement. This figure is a bookkeeping entry, and does not refer to the fact that the student pays that money back to McNeese. If this number is subtracted from the expense column, the athletics budget becomes profitable by approximately that same amount.

Furthermore, the use of percentages suggested by the reporter can be highly misleading, especially when they are applied to budget numbers of differing sizes. Since the athletics budget represents a small fraction of the overall University budget, percentages relating to this fraction of the budget should not be compared to percentages that apply to the University budget as a whole.

For example, the total increase in funding for athletics at McNeese was approximately $1 million over the nine-year period in question, or an average increase of approximately $110,000 per year. This $110,000 annual increase amounts to less than 1 percent of the university’s annual operating budget of approximately $60 million. And, as noted above, most of this increase was due to scholarship increases that are largely bookkeeping entries, because the student-athlete must use the entire amount to pay for tuition and fees. When the misleading bookkeeping entry of Student Financial Aid is removed from the financial statement, the annual budget increase for athletics entirely disappears."
14 2016-02-22
Lake Charles

McNeese hoping less is more


McNeese is hoping that a little less can lead to a lot more.
That’s a little less out-of-pocket money for football tickets and a lot more local interest from fans.
It is a novel idea.
Monday evening McNeese State announced it was cutting ticket prices for the upcoming season. This is not the norm these days as college programs throughout the state of Louisiana are bracing for another round of budget cuts.
Cowboys rival Nicholls State is even talking about a forced temporary closure of its campus.
That would cause turmoil in the Southland Conference, in which McNeese plays, if the school has some forced weekend forfeits of games.
But McNeese is committed to going in the other direction, thinking less money up front can lead to more money on the back side.
This, however, isn’t about cash on hand next fall. This is an effort by McNeese officials to change the direction of the program, which despite having success on the field, has lost some of its luster with the locals off the field.
Competition is the main reason, but there are others.
On any given Saturday, there are likely 13 or 14 Football Bowl Subdivision games for fans to pick from on their televisions. It’s hard to beat the comforts from home, or more importantly, the price.
Yet McNeese is willing to try with this new way of thinking.
“We understand that we are in a real battle for the entertainment dollar in Lake Charles,” McNeese Athletic Director Bruce Hemphill said awhile back.
He also understands traditional Cowboys fans are not as young as they used to be, which is a real concern for the future.
Then there is the real fact that the demographics of the area are constantly changing, with new families moving into Southwest Louisiana who have no ties to the university or the football program. Lower prices might be a way to at least get those folks to take a look at the Cowboys.
“We’re increasing our fan and family experience,” Hemphill told the American Press on Monday. “The price in so many places is going up. We moved kickoffs up to 6 o’clock for families, and here’s another way to increase the family experience.”
Then there is going after the younger generation. All children under the age of 12 will get into Cowboys games free this fall.
“If we get them to cheer for the Cowboys and Cowgirls at a young age, they’ll grow up wanting to continue to do the same,” Hemphill said.
He went on to tell the story how he, a kid from Sulphur, became hooked on McNeese football.
“I can remember when I was young I would roll around on the hill and watch the games at Cowboy Stadium,” Hemphill said. “That’s when I became a fan of McNeese football and have been ever since.”
Of course, now Hemphill is paid to be a Cowboys fan, but building a younger fan base is needed by the university.
What makes this move more interesting is it comes on the heels of an SLC championship and the signing of a new head coach, Lance Guidry, who already has fans fired up.
Usually schools pounce on such things to raise ticket prices, but the Cowboys are trying something different.
The move may just work, as fans have over the past few years complained about the price of tickets. Fans always complain about the price of tickets.
At least now McNeese fans can’t.
There is still nothing better than winning to draw the interest of the sporting public, but shaving a few dollars off admission isn’t bad, either.
Maybe less can become more.
14 2016-02-22
Lake Charles

Cowgirls help fulfill a dream


Five-year-old Landon McKee lived out a dream Thursday night when he signed a letter of intent with the McNeese Cowgirls basketball team. He will continue to live it out as he acts as a coach during Saturday’s game against Lamar.
When he was three weeks old, Landon was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a “silent disease,” said his mom, Tiffany.
Cystic fibrosis is a lifethreatening genetic disease that causes the body to produce thick mucus that can clog the lungs and interrupts digestion. According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, it affects 30,000 children and adults in the United States alone.
“He’s just an entertainer,” McKey said of her son. “He loves to be the center of attention.”
As if to prove that point, Landon demonstrated popular dance moves to Cowgirls team members from his favorite songs and played basketball with the women.
McKey said Landon loves to play sports and hunt, but has recently grown fond of playing basketball. She said exercise is important for those diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.
Landon is aware of and understands his disease, McKey said. He takes five pills at every meal to help him with digestion. “He’s just a little trouper,” she said.
Cassondra Guilbeau, development director of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, said the signing day has been in the works for a while and at Saturday’s game, families of those with the disease will have a booth to give out information.
“This is important for families and people like Landon so we can find a cure,” she said.
Right now, there is no cure for cystic fibrosis. However, many with the disease will live into their 30s or 40s.
Head coach Brooks Donald Williams said Landon was just the “spark and fire” her team needed. “We’re just so honored to have him as a team member,” she said.
Just before signing, Donald Williams asked the boy if he wanted to play ball with the Cowgirls. In response, he gave a thumbs-up, saying, “Thumbs-up means ‘yes.’ ”
As Landon signed the third piece of paper while wearing his McNeese State University jacket, the Cowgirls women cheered him on and chanted his name.
When he had finished signing, the team excitedly walked with him back onto the court to continue shooting hoops, leaving his parents behind to talk with his new head coach about Saturday’s game plan.
14 2016-02-18
Lake Charles

McNeese State University concerned with budget cuts


LAKE CHARLES

Higher education is one of the hardest hit areas due to the state's budget deficit.

Some University of Louisiana School System officials announced potentially closing the last two weeks of school for this spring semester in order to reduce costs.

McNeese State university President Dr. Philip Williams says closure at McNeese is not an option even in a worst case scenario.

"Closure is not an option at Mcneese, we will be open. we may be seeing cuts in travel, supplies and equipment, there may be cuts in hiring of new faculty that we really need to cover classes in the fall. those would be unfortunate because we really want to serve our students" said Dr. Phillip Williams.

Students enrolled in summer 2016 courses will not be impacted. Those classes will continue as scheduled.
14 2016-02-17
Lake Charles

McNeese president: 'Closure is not an option'


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
While other state schools are threatening to suspend classes early, McNeese President Dr. Phillip Williams says that is not on the table here.

"Closure is not an option at McNeese," Williams said. "We will be open."

Williams said that cuts to travel, supplies, equipment, repairs and hiring are a possibility.

Statewide cuts to education and healthcare appear imminent as the Louisiana legislature meets to figure out how to solve a nearly $1 billion deficit.

Williams admitted that the cuts will mean McNeese will be a "tougher university for our students."

Students have already seen the result of past cuts - maintenance deferred around campus and classes made available less often.

Classes that were offered every semester, are now offered once a year or once every two years, Williams said.

"This means students who want to graduate on time find it harder and harder to schedule the classes they need," he said.

While there are cuts to TOPS, McNeese will pick up the tab the state is not paying this semester, but in the future, those cuts could mean less money for students, he said.

Copyright 2016 KPLC. All rights reserved.

14 2016-02-17
Lake Charles

McNeese State University lowering football ticket prices


In attending any game at Cowboy Stadium, it does not take long to notice that many in the crowd, if not the majority, are graying upstairs — and those are the ones lucky enough to still have hair at all.
Their loyalty to McNeese State is unwavering, though, and athletic director Bruce Hemphill made a move in the direction of creating another generation that will follow the Cowboys as devoutly by announcing a drop in ticket prices for the 2016 season on Monday. Perhaps most significantly, all children under 12 will now be admitted to the stadium for free, encouraging families to show up with everyone in tow on Saturday nights.
“Recruiting is a key whether for our athletes or our university,” Hemphill said. “If we get them to cheer for the Cowboys and Cowgirls at a young age, they’ll grow up wanting to continue to do the same.”
While it is common to see sports teams increase their prices after a successful season, Hemphill is going the other direction following McNeese’s 2015 Southland championship run.
“We’re increasing our fan and family experience,” Hemphill said. “The price in so many places is going up. We moved kickoffs up to 6 o’clock for families, and here’s another way to increase the family experience.”
Season tickets will cost the same as they did in 2015, though with an additional home game on the ‘16 schedule fans will be getting more bang for their buck.
Single-game prices will drop by $5 in every section with the exception of student guest general admission tickets, which are still $10 per game.
The End Zone Club is the only section that will experience a price increase, going up to $650 for season tickets after being sold for $500 this past season.
Season-pass parking rates will be increased in all sections, going up by $5 in Lots A, C and D, $10 in Lot B and $50 for a tailgating pass.
McNeese also announced a number of seats are being removed to give Cowboy Stadium more handicap-accessible areas in compliance with the American Disabilities Act. The school says those changes will affect a number of season-ticket holders who will be contacted by the ticket office prior to renewal for 2016.
14 2016-02-16
Lake Charles

College concerns TOPS funding in jeopardy


BATON ROUGE — The state budget that Gov. John Bel Edwards gave the Legislature Saturday for the fiscal year starting July 1 has raised serious concerns among Louisiana students who are receiving TOPS scholarships. If legislators during the current special session don’t raise revenues, the popular program would only be funded at 20 percent for fiscal 2016-17.
Legislators are trying to plug a $943 million hole in the current year’s budget and another $2 billion deficit for next year. TOPS is underfunded this year by $28 million, but students will still get their tuition money. The shortfall will have to be absorbed by higher education institutions if more revenues aren’t found.
The scholarship program is expected to cost $293 million next year, but only $60 million has been budgeted. To fully fund TOPS, lawmakers would have to raise $233 million.
Over 57,000 students will be eligible for TOPS next year, but less than 9,000 would qualify if funding isn’t increased. That is because the ACT score of 20 required currently to qualify for TOPS could increase up to 28.
Sujuan Boutte, executive director of the Louisiana Office of Financial Assistance, told the Joint Legislative Budget Committee that is because lack of funding requires her to cut off ACT scores from the bottom to give the awards to those scoring highest on the test.
“High school seniors are asking us if they’re OK,” Boutte told the committee. “We really can’t say whether they are or not. Until we know more we can’t send the eligibility letters.”
Legislators consider TOPS one of the state’s most cherished higher education programs and they have resisted repeated attempts to change it in any way. Lawmakers seem to be confident that the necessary TOPS funding will be found, but there is Republican resistance to higher taxes. The first votes on proposed taxes aren’t expected to come before next week or even later.
Edwards is among those who have defended the program in the past, and he reaffirmed his support Sunday in his special session opening address to the Legislature. He introduced Kyle Ypya, a senior at C.E. Byrd in Shreveport who is looking forward to receiving the scholarship to attend Louisiana Tech.
“While students won’t be billed for the shortage of TOPS funds this semester, the future of TOPS, a program that I will fight tooth and nail to protect, is at risk, and therefore, so is the future of our children,” Edwards said.
“…. It is unacceptable that parents like Kyle’s who have encouraged their kids to work hard and achieve their goals, to be suddenly struck with the paralyzing fear of figuring out how to replace a scholarship and pay for tuition for their child.”
14 2016-02-15
Lake Charles

University leaders react to LOSFA funding decision


SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) -
A day after the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance announced it would stop payments for the TOPS Program - now some of those payments will resume.

"I can see why that would be very scary to a lot of people. Parents and students included - everyone wonders what does this mean? " asked Candace Townsend, director of public relations at McNeese State University.

Townsend welcomed the news, saying the previous announcement could have crippled the school.

"That was going to equate to about a $5.7 million loss in revenue to McNeese State University and now today, we're hearing that they're going to resume payments, but only pay the universities 80 percent of what the universities were expecting," Townsend added.

Colleges and universities across the state will now have to absorb the remaining 20 percent, which means around a $1.1 million loss for McNeese and a $120,000 loss for SOWELA Technical Community College.

While current students are already covered through the spring semester, Anna Daigle, interim executive director of enrollment services at SOWELA, said what happens during the upcoming legislative session is critical.

"It impacts those students who plan to attend and even the students that are planning to graduate that have worked so hard to earn their tops so it's those particular students will have to come up with a new plan on how they're going to be able to pay the tuition and fees," she said.

Daigle said there might be quite a few changes as the state wades through this financial crisis - but one thing will remain the same.

“Students are our number one priority so we're going to work very hard to make sure that the impact is very minimal, so at this time we don't know because we don't know what they're going to do is session but we hope that it's an outcome that's going to have a minimal impact on the students," she added.

Both Daigle and Townsend said students who depend on TOPS are in the clear for now, but they urge parents and students to pay close attention to the legislature this year as lawmakers work to fix the state's finances.
14 2016-02-12
Lake Charles

PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE


FOR MSU FOUNDATION: AT&T donates $15,000 through the Mc-Neese State University Foundation to establish 10 engineering scholarships in the College of Engineering and Computer Science for eligible undergraduate students seeking a bachelor’s degree in engineering with a focus on either chemical, civil, electrical or mechanical engineering. On hand for the presentation are, from left, McNeese President Dr. Philip Williams; Richard H. Reid; vice president for university advancement and executive vice president for the McNeese Foundation; Donna Harrington, regional director for AT&T; and state Sens. Dan W. “Blade” Morrish (R-Jennings), and Ronnie Johns (R-Sulphur).
14 2016-02-12
Lake Charles

STUDENT FEES NEED REVIEW


While the Gov. Edwards and the Louisiana Legislature are contemplating imposing massive tax increases on on taxpayers, they also need to review the massive student fees being imposed on students at Louisiana’s public universities.
Among the fees are academic excellence fees, cheerleader fees, processing fees, entertainment fees and latenight programming fees.
And these fees charged to students at universities keep growing every year. The fees, of course, are on top of the escalating costs in tuition, textbooks and other costs of higher education.
Although skyrocketing tuition gets more attention, fees have shot up even faster, and they now can make up roughly one-third of the overall cost of college for a typical Louisiana student.
Although no university has been exempt from soaring fees, some have been soaring higher than others. Since 2005, fees have ballooned by more than 340 percent at Louisiana Tech and by 280 percent at McNeese State University.
The reason for the spike in student fees is this: The state has slashed direct aid to four-year universities by more than half since 2008. Much of the resulting shortfall has been made up by the steep tuition hikes.
But all tuition increases greater than 10 percent must be approved by the Legislature, whereas universities get away with imposing some new fees and raising existing ones without the lawmakers’ approval.
The Legislature last year opened the door for more variance in how much students pay for college depending on their majors, passing a new law that lets universities create “differential fees” for certain program.
State officials need to wake up and realize that the big government they have created is becoming an economic disaster for many Louisiana citizens who have to pay the bill.
Students fees at public universities are in need of serious review when the Legislature next meets.
14 2016-02-12
Lake Charles

Chamber SWLA and Alliance launch 2016


At the 112th annual banquet of the Chamber SWLA Jan. 28 at Golden Nugget, new officers were installed and a packed house of 1,200 heard from our new Governor, John Bel Edwards.
Our 2015 Chair of the Board, Celia Vincent Broussard, President of Southwest Call Center of La., noted that last year was one of our most successful ever with many new members putting the chamber membership now over 1,500.
The industrial announcements and anticipated growth lead the nation. Celia introduced John Pohorelsky, 2016 Chair, who is managing member of the Scofield, Gerard, Pohorelsky, Gallaugher and Landry Law Firm. John told of his father’s history coming to the United States after fleeing Nazi and Communists rulers in Czechoslovakia. His compassion and vision for the area will lead us to new heights this year.
One of the highlights of the annual banquet is recognition of our volunteers and the awarding of the Civic Service Award. Last year’s recipients were Rick and Donna Richard. Rick Richard presented this year’s award to Willie King, a self-made businessman and community leader. Willie’s hands-on work with youth is legendary as he gets in schools to mentor hundreds of youth.
The Chamber and Alliance depend on over 250 volunteers to help us carry out our programs. Each year we recognize one outstanding volunteer who has gone above and beyond expectations. This year’s Volunteer of the Year was Cheyenne Boudreaux of Southern Solid Waste. Cheyenne is always ready to help with Leadership SW La., the golf tournament, membership campaign, and many other Chamber activities.
Governor John Bel Edwards made one of his first major addresses in his new administration.
We appreciate his interest and time to visit SW La. Gov. Edwards outlined his vision for the state and outlined the tough fiscal issues facing Louisiana. He presented a menu of options to raise revenue. More taxes are never popular, but the state‘s financial disaster cannot be pushed down the road any further. Decision time is here with a Feb. 14 special session of the legislature.
Nowhere in the state is the need for support of education more critical than in SW La. There is a huge need for expanded training programs, so any further cuts to McNeese State University and SOWELA Technical Community College would be unwise. Having our local students trained for industry jobs will increase our region’s standard of living and develop lifelong tax-paying citizens.
The Chamber also announced our new initiative which will be detailed soon to put focus on the need for a new I-10 bridge over the Calcasieu River at Lake Charles.
The banquet ended on a light note with Comedian Jimmy Tingle. He kept the crowd laughing with Humor for Humanity.
We needed a light moment as it has been a tough time for us at the Alliance. As you may know, David Conner, our VP of Economic Development and International Services recently lost his fight against leukemia. David contributed so much to our region with this work at the Alliance and as a member of the Calcasieu Parish Planning and Zoning Board. His contributions will last and his memory lives on. Our deepest sympathy to David’s family.
Realizing that we all have a limited amount of time to make positive impacts on our region, all of us at the Alliance are re-dedicating ourselves to strengthening our area’s economy so there is opportunity for all whether it be in employment, starting a business, or improving on the quality of life for all residents.
14 2016-02-03
Lake Charles

Students get a glimpse of future possibilities


JENNINGS — Students from four Jeff Davis Parish high schools got a leg up on their future lives Monday during a College Career Expo.
Hundreds of students in grades 8-12 from Jennings, Hathaway, Lake Arthur and Hathaway high schools were able to network with employers and representatives from more 50 local businesses, colleges and universities and different vocational and career fields during the three-hour event.
“We’re very excited,” Superintendent Brian Lejeune said. “We have over 150 different occupations and opportunities for students and parents to learn more about and visit with representatives to see what is available to them and what kind of futures are out there for them. Hopefully they will make some good choices.”
A second College Career Expo will be held 5-8 p.m. Feb. 15 at Welsh High School for students from Welsh and Lacassine high schools.
The experience was an eye opener for Brianna Evans, a junior at Jennings High School, who took the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about different job fields while visiting the various booths.
“Right now, I am interested in nursing, but I am looking at other things to get more ideas of what there is available,” Evans said.
Freshman Ava Duhon of Lake Arthur High School is also interested in nursing and got some hands-on experience while visiting with representatives of the McNeese State University College of Nursing.
“I’ve very interested in nursing and have always been since I was young,” Duhon said. “The thought of saving someone’s life is really great to me.”
Assistant Department Head of College of Nursing, MSU Katrina Carter assisted Duhon in inserting a nasogastric tube into the stomach via the nose of a manikin.
Duhon’s mother, Crystal Conner said the expo gave students like her daughter a chance to explore a variety of career options.
Zach Broussard, a freshman at Hathaway High School, wants to be a game warden.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do because I like fishing and hunting,” Broussard said.
His mother Holly Broussard said the College Career Expo is a great opportunity for students to start thinking about the next step in their future lives.
“It’s a great opportunity for them to see as many different employers and professional opportunities that are available to them,” she said. “We had to learn the old way.”
In addition to educational programs available at area colleges and universities and vocational schools, the Expo also spotlight careers in health care, industry, agriculture science, banking, construction, food service, law enforcement and more.
14 2016-02-03
Lake Charles

Study: McNeese has substantial financial impact on state


SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) -
A study shows the impact McNeese State University has on both the region and state. The study laid out some key factors that could potentially impact the future of Southwest Louisiana's workforce and questioned the future of higher education in Louisiana.

Conducted by Dr. Mostafa Malki, an economics and finance lecturer at the University of North Texas, the study revealed that McNeese actually gave the state more money back in tax revenues then it received in state appropriations for 2015.

"Because this is a non-for-profit institution, their role is basically to build the basis, a strong base, for the economy, the region, so that we have sustainable economic growth and a strong economy - so we have to have an educated workforce to be able to compete with the rest of the world," he said.

The study was based on several key factors – university expenditures, faculty and staff expenditures, student spending, sporting and cultural events, and other extra-curricular activities - that showed the impact.

According to Malki's study, in 2015 the university's total annual economic impact statewide was $407.8 million and $371.6 million on the Southwest Louisiana region.

And the total fiscal impact to state and local government was $22.7 million, while the state appropriations were only $19.2 million.

"We're generating more tax revenue to the state than the state is paying for McNeese," said George Swift, president & CEO of the SWLA Economic Development Alliance.

This is something that higher education supporters believe could impact Southwest Louisiana's future workforce.

"We don't believe at the Chamber Southwest that McNeese can sustain any further cuts and have quality programs in engineering and nursing and education and college of business and all the things that they have and so, we think it's time to invest in education and not make any further cuts, especially with all the projects we have coming to our area, it just doesn't make sense," Swift said.

With Gov. John Bel Edwards' proposed mid-year cuts from higher education, McNeese's president, Philip Williams, said that would be another obstacle the university would have to face.

"If we were to be cut, then that's less that we can do for the state, but hopefully, the state will realize that higher education is a big benefit, not only to the community, to the 12 -parish Southwest Louisiana area, but to the state as a whole," he said.
14 2016-02-03
Lake Charles

McNeese has $371.6M impact on local economy


McNeese State University’s total economic impact in 2014 was $371.6 million for Southwest Louisiana, and $407.8 million statewide, according to a new report discussed Tuesday.
Mostafa Malki, an assistant business economics professor at the University of North Texas at Dallas, presented the report to local officials and business leaders at the SEED Center.
It details the economic impact of McNeese based on spending by the university, faculty and staff and students, along with sporting and cultural events and other extracurricular activities.
Other aspects, like capital spending, are factored into the report.
“Universities, in general, are really motors of growth and economic development for their communities,” Malki said. “They support every aspect of the economy. It doesn’t matter what field you’re in, education is going to touch it.”
Malki said McNeese produced 3,920 jobs throughout the region and 4,301 jobs statewide in 2014.
The university awarded 1,591 degrees in 2014, including 1,150 bachelor’s degrees, 280 master’s degrees and 121 associate degrees. The total degrees, Malki said, produced an education premium of $1.4 billion . An education premium takes in what graduates earn from a university education.
The report also showed that McNeese is relying less on state funding, with that share going from 62 percent in 2009 to 31 percent in 2014. Meanwhile, McNeese’s share of tuition and fees increased from 38 percent in 2009 to 69 percent in 2014.
While McNeese received $19.2 million in state funding in 2014, the total regional and state tax impact was $22.7 million in tax revenue.
“The perception is that people think universities don’t pay any taxes,” Malki said. “But universities generate enough taxable activity.”
Philip Williams, McNeese president, said he is excited about the findings, particularly that the university is sending more money in taxes back to the state than it receives.
“McNeese is a tax revenue generator,” he said. “When students buy things, they pay sales taxes. When employees are here, they pay income taxes. We have construction projects, and that generates tax revenue for the state.”
Williams said the $1.4 billion education premium shows that graduating students can go from being dependents to taxpayers and producers.
The report used budget data from the University of Louisiana System for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.
14 2016-02-01
Lake Charles

Future on-campus home closer to reality


Last Modified: Sunday, January 31, 2016 10:57 AM
By Jim Gazzolo / American Press
Back in the southeast corner of Burton Coliseum, in a room that seems closer to the cows than the court — or at least smells closer — sits four pictures of McNeese’s basketball future.
Or at least what it could look like.
They are color photo drawings of what the new on-campus home of the school’s basketball teams, among other things, might look like.
Early drawings for sure, but it has the look of a possible bright future.
On Wednesday, bids will be open on the $40.5 million project, which is the largest in university history.
“It is exciting times and we are really looking forward to it,” said McNeese Athletic Director Bruce Hemphill. “This is a great thing for the school, Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana.”
The first shovels are expected to hit ground about 30 days later.
The facility, which will be anchored by the 4,100-seat arena, will also be home to the Heath and Human Performance Department.
“It is really something,” said Hemphill, who added that the state’s budget woes won’t be an issue in the project.
“The money is there. We are ready to move forward.”
Just what exactly the final project will look like won’t be known until the bids are opened, but the building, which is funded in part by the H.C. Drew Foundation, is happening.
“The venue is an absolute necessity for us and our campus,” Hemphill said.
For some that may seem far off in the future, but look at how far this plan has already come.
It wasn’t so long ago when nobody believed an arena on the school’s campus could ever be built.
“It has been talked about in the past, but not like it is now,” said McNeese State men’s basketball coach Dave Simmons.
No longer are other teams able to use the phrase while recruiting players against McNeese that Burton is a great place to play if you are a horse, or in the rodeo.
The program can actually sell a home just steps from where the students go to class.
“We have been using it when we talk to kids about playing here,” Simmons said. “We show them the photos, talk about being a part of something new. That seems to get them excited.”
Think what you want about Burton, fact is the public isn’t buying the arena, or maybe the product.
Few fans showed up last Monday night for the Cowboys’ win over Incarnate Word, an exciting overtime thriller that was the team’s third victory in four outings.
But it was lost on the public.
For now, the trip to a McNeese home game means heading out to Burton and takes fans past not one, not two, but three popular college watering holes.
That’s asking a lot of college students to pass one bar let along three.
Moving across the street from campus housing will make it easier for fans to show up, or tougher to ignore.
“This is the next thing for us,” Simmons said. “I think it is an important step in getting the type of players we need here to compete at our level.”
It is also a place the entire college community can rally around.
“There is a lot excitement about it,” Simmons said. “Lake Charles is growing bigger and bigger so we can sell that as well. Kids want to come to a community and school that is growing.”
They also want to have an arena they can call home and not just for games.
There have been times over the years when players have missed or been late to practice because they could not get rides to the arena.
One time last year a senior walked into practice wet, and when asked why, he said he had to ride his bike to Burton in the rain.
That won’t be as big a problem if the arena is on campus.
“It will help us in so many ways,” said McNeese women’s coach Brooks Donald Williams. “Everything is right there for the student-athletes. Their weight room, study room, locker room all in the same place. That’s convenient and will be huge for us.”
It also doesn’t hurt to sell the newness, either.
“It looks like it will have all the bells and whistles, which kids love,” Donald Williams said. “It is just such a positive for the school and our program.”
This has been needed for some time. Burton was built for rodeos and there are few good basketball seats.
“This will be much more of a fan-friendly basketball arena,” Hemphill said. “(Burton Coliseum General Manager) Jason Barnes and the Police Jury have been very good to us, but this is something we really need.”
Economically it is a must in today’s game. Hemphill sees the arena as much more than just a place to call home; he sees it as a place to earn some income.
“It is ours, that’s the big thing,” he said. “We can sell advertising, parking, what we need for our programs.”
The court’s name could even be up for sale.
Hemphill also sees the new arena as a showcase for the campus.
“I think it is something all students will take pride in,” he said.
He is hoping that when they build it, the students will come.
Either way, at least they can’t complain about the location.
14 2016-01-29
Lake Charles

Art goes digital: Wubben to unveil artwork tonight


Crystal Stevenson / American Press
McNeese State University art professor Gerry Wubben will be unveiling his digital sketchbook tonight during an opening reception for his solo “iPad drawings” exhibit in the Grand Gallery of the Shearman Fine Arts Annex.
He said the exhibit, which encompasses two floors of the gallery, will feature 290 iPad drawings measuring 44-by-30 inches.
“I’m very, very traditional. And by traditional, I mean I’m old school in terms of using drawing as the basis for all my art,” he said. “I’ve taught at McNeese for about 28 1/2 years so I’ve been drawing a long time.”
He said his inspiration for creating artwork on an iPad came from internationally known painter David Hockney.
“He’s one of the greatest painters alive, and he started using the iPad and I thought, ‘You know, if he can start using it, I’m going to give it a shot.’ ”
Wubben said he was awarded a grant two years ago to explore the process.
“I got an iPad and I got a stylist and I just started drawing,” he said. “And I found it an easy transition to get used to drawing on an iPad because I had so much of a background in drawing. I found it opened up a whole new avenue in terms of using color, using process, plus it has its own look.”
He said he appreciates the digital element of the finished designs.
“It doesn’t look like a traditional drawing, but that’s one of the points,” he said. “I embraced the digital look of it and I just ran with it.”
He said in the two years since receiving the grant, he has completed about 2,000 drawings on the iPad.
“It takes me hours to do one (hand) drawing, so this is a whole new process that really lets me create quickly,” he said.
Wubben said he was trained as a printmaker, which has benefited him with the iPad design.
“Printmakers like to layer things and this is a great medium for layering information and most of the images in the show you can see all this layering and history to the image,” he said.
Wubben said the exhibit will consist of some nature and abstract work, but will predominantly feature heads and faces.
“I personally feel it is the most expressive vessel out there,” he said. “When you look at anybody, you look straight at their head and I personally feel it’s the strongest element out there to convey emotion. I’m really, really big on structure and anatomy and these are all very, very anatomically based.”
A reception for the exhibit is set for 6-8 p.m. today. The exhibit will be on display through March 11.
14 2016-01-29
Lake Charles

Spring series kiks off Feb. 22 in SEED Center


McNeese State University will kick off its spring 2016 SAGE series with nationally known Louisiana wildlife photographer C.C. Lockwood at 3 p.m. Feb. 1 in the SEED Center.
SAGE offers a series of short lectures and discussions on Monday afternoons in the SEED Center centered on a specific theme each fall and spring. This spring’s theme is “Louisiana Heritage Abounds.”
Lockwood will discuss his latest book, “Louisiana Wild: The Protected and Restored Lands of the Nature Conservancy,” which portrays the good work the Nature Conservancy is doing on over 280,000 acres of land in the state.
Other presenters this semester will include:
Ray Brassieur: “Louisiana Healing Traditions Into the 21st Century” – 3 p.m., Feb. 22
Laura D. Kelley: “Irish in New Orleans” — 3 p.m., March 14.
Rich Campanella: “Lincoln in New Orleans: The 1828-1831 Flatboat Voyages and Their Place in History” — 3 p.m., March 28
John H. Lawrence: “Creole Houses: Traditional Homes of Old Louisiana” — 3 p.m., April 4
John Troutman: “Lagniappe-Kika Kilaawaiian: How the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Changed the Sound of Modern Music” — 3 p.m., April 25.
In addition, SAGE participants can also register for a special behind-the-scene tour of the Historic New Orleans Collection led by HNOC curator Judith Bonner. The tour — “Awash With Color: Seldom-Seen Watercolor Paintings by Louisiana Artists, 1789-1989” — will be 6:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. April 18. Cost is $145 by April 4 and $155 after April 4.
Lectures are open to the public and cost is $65 for the series. For more information or to register, call 475-5616 or visit www.mcneese.edu/leisure.
14 2016-01-28
Lake Charles

McNeese faculty plans concert


A free McNeese faculty brass recital featuring ROD LAUDERDALE, horn, WILLIAM G. ROSE, trombone, and DAVID SCOTT, trumpet, with LINA MORITA on piano, will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, in Tritico Theatre.
The program will feature the following: “Fanfare for St. Edmundsbury” by Benjamin Britten, with Scott, Etienne Stoupy and Ricky Peters on trumpet; Horn Sonata, Op. 17 by Ludwig van Beethoven, with Lauderdale and Morita; “With Malice Toward None” by John Williams, with Scott and Morita; “Skylines,” Op. 296, by David Uber, with Rose, Morita, Lonny Benoit, timpani, and Ty Ellender, percussion; and Quintet No. 1 by Victor Ewald.
The recital will conclude with “American Brass Band Journal” by G.W.E. Friederich, with the Rapides Symphony Brass Quintet, which includes Lauderdale, Rose, Scott, Paul Morton from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, trumpet, and Brian Gallion from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond on tuba.
Lauderdale is an assistant professor of music. A California native, he holds a Bachelor of Art degree in music from California State University, Hayward, and a Master of Music degree in conducting from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
He performs more than 30 orchestral concerts a year, most as principal horn. He currently plays with the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony of South-East Texas and the Rapides and Lake Charles symphonies.
Rose, associate professor music, teaches the low brass studio and music theory, conducts the brass choir and has served as musical director for music theater productions.
He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and his master’s degree from Michigan State University.
He has performed with the Milwaukee, Acadiana and the Greater Lansing symphonies and the Detroit Chamber Winds and he serves as principal trombonist with the Lake Charles and the Rapides symphonies and lead trombonist with the Lake Charles Jazz Band.
Scott, associate professor of music, teaches trumpet and holds the Alexander Endowed Professorship in Music. He received his bachelor’s degree in music from DePauw University and his master’s degree in music from the University of Louisville.
Scott has performed as a recitalist/clinician throughout the United States with such orchestras as the Louisville Orchestra, Palm Beach Opera, Spokane and Lake Charles symphonies and the Midland-Odessa Symphony Orchestra and as an artist at the Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Sewanee Summer Music Festival.
He is a Yamaha Performing Artist, a Louisiana Touring Artist, Louisiana Roster Artist and a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
He is also a founding member of the chamber ensemble Pastiche.
14 2016-01-28
Lake Charles

Spring series kicks off Feb. 22 in SEED Center


McNeese State University will kick off its spring 2016 SAGE series with nationally known Louisiana wildlife photographer C.C. Lockwood at 3 p.m. Feb. 1 in the SEED Center.
SAGE offers a series of short lectures and discussions on Monday afternoons in the SEED Center centered on a specifi c theme each fall and spring. This spring’s theme is “Louisiana Heritage Abounds.”
Lockwood will discuss his latest book, “Louisiana Wild: The Protected and Restored Lands of the Nature Conservancy,” which portrays the good work the Nature Conservancy is doing on over 280,000 acres of land in the state. Other presenters this semester will include:
Ray Brassieur: “Louisiana Healing Traditions Into the 21st Century” – 3 p.m., Feb. 22
Laura D. Kelley: “Irish in New Orleans” — 3 p.m., March 14.
Rich Campanella: “Lincoln in New Orleans : The 1828-1831 Flatboat Voyages and Their Place in History” — 3 p.m., March 28
John H. Lawrence: “Creole Houses: Traditional Homes of Old Louisiana” — 3 p.m., April 4
John Troutman: “Lagniappe-Kika Kilaawaiian: How the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Changed the Sound of Modern Music” — 3 p.m., April 25.
In addition, SAGE participants can also register for a special behindthe-scene tour of the Historic New Orleans Collection led by HNOC curator Judith Bonner. The tour
— “Awash With Color: Seldom-Seen Watercolor Paintings by Louisiana Artists, 1789-1989” — will be 6:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. April 18. Cost is $145 by April 4 and $155 after April 4.
Lectures are open to the public and cost is $65 for the series. For more information or to register, call 475-5616 or visit www.mcneese.edu/   leisure.
14 2016-01-25
Lake Charles

Is there a nursing shortage in Louisiana?


SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) -
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 19 percent - faster than the average of any other occupation.

The Louisiana Center for Nursing reports that could mean a major shortage of nurses. And with the economic growth Southwest Louisiana is experiencing, will the demand be met?

"All the predictions economists and workforce demands are showing that the supply of nursing is going to be challenged and it's going to grow more in the next 2-5 years, said Peggy Wolfe, dean of McNeese State University's College of Nursing and Health Professions.

In 12 weeks, another batch of McNeese State University nursing students will enter the workforce.

"Very much looking forward to graduation," said Jessie Dupre, a senior nursing student at McNeese.

Wolfe said their timing couldn't be better, "The job market is very good."

While demand for nurses is high - with the industrial expansion in Southwest Louisiana projected to draw in some 50,000 people in the five-parish area, according to workforce development officials - will there be enough nurses to go around?

Combine that with Gov. John Bel Edwards' recent announcement to possibly slash $131 million to higher education, Wolfe is concerned with keeping qualified instructors.

"I am concerned that the budget continue to allow the faculty that are needed," said Wolfe.

But perhaps the biggest challenge are those retiring.

"I think that report spoke to 34 percent of practicing nurses today will retire within the next one to 10 years," explained Wolfe.

Despite students facing a higher GPA (now 2.7 in science) for admission and a tougher curriculum, those in the nursing program said it's worth it.

"The faculty, I have confidence has prepared us beyond belief for mental, physical, spiritual and emotional challenges," said Dupre.

And many students in the nursing program said they plan to stay local.

"I have an externship contract with Lake Charles Memorial Hospital so I plan to work with them after graduation. I'm really excited for that," said Chassiddy Williams, another senior nursing student at McNeese.

Senior Garrett Laughlin added, "You know there's so many opportunities for us and hospitals are competitive right now, competitive pay. Just a great place to be right now Lake Charles, Louisiana."

While that's good news for Southwest Louisiana now, only time will tell if we can meet the ongoing demand for nurses, long-term.

Wolfe said enrollment has leveled out in large part because their Associate Degree program (two-year program) - which carried about 300 students - will end this fall and transfer to SOWELA.
14 2016-01-25
Lake Charles

More cuts coming to higher ed


Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne in a recent email said Louisiana’s universities should prepare for a $131 million cut to higher education if state lawmakers and the governor don’t agree on how to raise revenue.
Candace Townsend, McNeese State University public information director, said the University of Louisiana system faces a 29.03 percent cut. That means that each of the system’s nine universities, including McNeese, would face a $2.9 million cut.
This cut would be 32 percent of McNeese’s appropriation from the state, Townsend said. The university will now have to look at the expenses that it can freeze or reduce. “It’s very, very difficult to cover a midyear cut,” she said.
Students enrolled in this spring semester will not see a change, Townsend said. The university will be planning cutbacks that will take place in the fall. “The biggest problem in the state right now is the deficit in this year’s fiscal budget,” she said.
The Legislature will go into a special session to look at the budget deficit this February. She said university officials hope lawmakers will find more solutions to the problem: “We’ll be following it all very closely.”
Townsend said the university’s first action is to prepare a budget-reduction proposal for Monday. It will look at reducing spending on supplies and equipment as well as not filling nonessential positions.
The Louisiana Community and Technical College System faces about a 15 percent cut, which could affect Sowela Technical Community College.
14 2016-01-19
Lake Charles

PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE


FOR MSU FOUNDATION: Banners at McNeese State University is annually supported by donations from area corporate sponsors. Entergy donates $10,000 for the spring 2016 Banners program. Frank Shannon left, Entergy senior region manager, presents the donation to Patricia Prudhomme, Banners director.
14 2016-01-13
Lake Charles

Late McNeese registration Jan. 15-20


Students registering late for the regular spring semester at McNeese State University can register online or with their faculty adviser Jan. 15-20.
Students must be admitted to the university prior to registration and should see an adviser to get an alternate PIN, if required, prior to registration or dropping by the help desk.
To register, go to www.  mcneese.edu   and click on the “Students” tab and then select Banner Self-Service under Registration to begin the process.
Students who register late must pay fees by 4:30 p.m. Jan. 21 or all courses will be dropped. They go to www.  mcneese.edu/payment   to see the policy on credit card payments and online payment changes.
There is a $75 late-registration fee. First-time freshmen and students who sign up for three hours or less will not be charged. For more information on fee payment, call the accounting office at 475-5976.
For more information on late registration, call 475-5356.
14 2016-01-12
Lake Charles

Big move launches new year


A great visual for the launch of the new year is the photo that appeared on the front page of last Friday’s American Press.
The picture was the transport of a huge piece of equipment through Westlake to the Sasol construction site for the Ethane Cracker project. The vessel was a 50-foot-tall 930-ton boiler. This is a perfect symbol of the ramp-up of our area’s projects.
In recent months, we have seen growth throughout the area measured by increased traffi c.
2016 will be the year that many projects start construction or receive permitting and industrial and residential development will greatly increase.
There are dozens of subdivisions and apartment complexes being built throughout the region with among the largest being Belle Savanne in Carlyss and planned community Morganfi eld in southeast Lake Charles.
Temporary housing is being built for construction workers. It appears a growing trend will be workers and industries utilizing RV parks for the temporary workers.
There are many infrastructure needs being addressed. The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury is holding public hearings on the drainage problems and how to correct them.
Traffi c will be a big issue. The reconstruction project for the I-210 Bridge will get underway this summer as will an Alliance effort to increase support and urgency for a new I-10 bridge.
The Chamber SWLA is launching a Business Development and Diversity Task Force. Similar to the Quality of Life Task Force and the Public Policy Committee, this is supported by the Chamber Board for the purpose of diversifying our economy and making business opportunities more accessible to all businesses, especially small businesses. The Business Development and Diversity task force will start by fi rst addressing within the Chamber membership any concerns and issues so that all companies have potential to participate in our region’s multi-billion dollar growth. Our goal is to include veterans, women, and all minorities as we advocate for policies to enhance opportunities and promote cultural sensitivity.
SWLA’s gaming and tourism market is getting another boost with the announcement of a new hotel tower at Golden Nugget and the construction of a new hotel at Delta Downs in Vinton.
The need for a trained workforce is of major importance.
This spring the new workforce training center at Sowela is to be completed and hundreds of area residents can begin a new career path. There are other training facilities including the Plumbers and Pipefi tters Local 198 Apprentice Training Center, ABC School and others. Mc-Neese University continues its important role in providing degrees especially in healthcare, agriculture, business, education, and engineering. It will take cooperation and combined efforts to maximize getting our local and Louisiana citizens into the workforce.
Generational projects and quality of life projects are needed to provide a higher quality of life for all residents which is a key factor in attracting and keeping our next generations here. Calcasieu voters will have an opportunity April 9 to determine if the gap funding will be available to build the National Hurricane Museum and Science Center.
Louisiana voters will also get a voice in selecting our nation’s next President in the March 5 presidential primary.
With the legislators elected and Governor John Bel Edwards’ administration starting in Baton Rouge, tough decisions will be made for our state’s future. We hope to gain more insight when our new governor will address the annual Chamber SWLA Banquet Jan. 28. At that meeting, The Chamber begins our new year of volunteer leadership headed by 2016 Chair of the Board John Pohorelsky of the Scofield, Gerard, Pohorelsky, Gallaugher, and Landry Law Firm.
Some areas of our state and nation are still having a tough time due to the economy, especially due to decline of oil prices. We are fortunate to be in SWLA at this particular point in time. This is our year to shine as a region and push for opportunity for all.
GEORGE SWIFT is President/CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. Contact him at 337-433-3632 or gswift@allianceswla.org  .

14 2016-01-06
Lake Charles

McNeese adds four to football coaching staff


LAKE CHARLES, LA -
McNeese head coach Lance Guidry has almost completed his first staff as head coach with the additions of Cowboy greats, Kerry Joseph, Zack Bronson and Charlie Ayro on Tuesday. All three are members of the McNeese Sports Hall of Fame.

In addition, McNeese also brings in Dennis Smith from Florida A&M. Smith has had coaching stints at Florida International and the University of Miami.

Joseph will coach wide receivers and will be co-offensive coordinator, Bronson defensive backs, Ayro linebackers and Smith running backs and work with special teams.

Landon Hoefer, who has been the Cowboys’ quarterback coach the last two seasons, has been promoted to offensive coordinator. Lark Hebert will move from linebackers’ coach to the defensive line as well as being the team’s camp coordinator and director of football operations, and Eman Naghavi will take on the role of recruiting coordinator in addition to remaining the offensive line coach.

Toby Willis will continue to coach tight ends and serve as the team’s video coordinator while Carlos Perez returns to coach the defensive ends.

“KJ, Zach ‘B’ and Ayro, all I can say is ‘Wow’,” said Guidry. “Being able to hire these three former all-Americans and McNeese Hall of Fame inductees is huge for our program. They all were great players but they are even better people and role models.

“I felt this was very important to hire these guys because who better to sell McNeese than three products of McNeese. It was an honor to play with two of the three and now it will be an honor to work with them. McNeese got better today, that’s for sure.”

Joseph, McNeese’s all-time career leader in touchdown passes and second in career passing yards and total offense, spent last season as a training camp intern with the New Orleans Saints working on the offensive side of the ball under head coach Sean Payton after he officially retired from a 10-year career in the Canadian Football League. Over the past few years, the New Iberia native spent many of his off-seasons as a player working in strength and conditioning and helping youth football.

He broke into the CFL in 2003 with Ottawa and then moved to Saskatchewan in the 2006 dispersal draft after the Renegades folded. He helped the Roughriders win the third Grey Cup in franchise history in 2007, the same year he was named the league’s Most Outstanding Player. He also played for Toronto, Edmonton and Saskatchewan before retiring for football in December 2014.

“I believe KJ will impact this program as a coach the same way he did as a player in the mid-90s,” said Guidry. “It was not only his talents that made him great, but it was his desire to be the best on and off the field. This desire is what made him arguably the best QB to ever wear the blue and gold. He will become a super star in this coaching profession.”

Joseph, who won 41 games and three Southland Conference championships as a starter for the Cowboys from 1992-95 including leading the program to its first-ever playoff victory (1992) and first national semifinal appearance (1995), will recruit the Lafayette area.

He was inducted into the McNeese Sports Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Southland Hall of Honor in 2012.

Bronson, a 1996 consensus all-American and 2007 McNeese Sports Hall of Fame inductee, spent the 2007 and 2008 seasons as a graduate assistant on the Cowboys’ coaching staff, helping the team to back-to-back conference championships.

Following his GA stint at McNeese, Bronson coached football and track at Westside High School in Houston from 2009-12 and spent the last two seasons on the staff at Beaumont-Kelly.

“Zack’s biggest asset has always been his ability to relate to all people and players,” said Guidry. “He was one of the all-time greats to play at McNeese, however it’s his humble disposition that makes him a mentor and the ideal role model. He will always be the standard of what a NFL safety looks like, walks like, plays like, but more importantly, acts like.”

As a player for the Cowboys from 1993-93, the Jasper, Texas native won two conference championships and was a member of that memorable 1995 team that finished the season 13-1 with an appearance in the 1-AA (now FCS) semifinals.

He’s the only player in school history, and one of six in league history, to be named a first-team all-conference performer all four years.

Following his collegiate career, Bronson signed as an undrafted free agent by the San Francisco 49ers in 1997, and during his rookie season, recorded 24 tackles with an interception. He went on to play eight seasons in the NFL, seven with the 49ers (1997-2003) and one at St. Louis (2004). He ended his career with 247 tackles, 19 interceptions and two touchdowns.

His 346 interception return yards with the 49ers is ranked as the 10th-most in franchise history and currently holds the franchise record with the longest interception return of 97 yards.

Bronson will recruit the Beaumont and Golden Triangle areas.

Ayro spent the 2002 and 2003 seasons on the McNeese staff after finishing up a record-breaking and hall of fame career when he set the school’s career record in total tackles with 486, a mark that still stands. He helped coach the Cowboys to the 2002 FCS national title game and back-to-back conference championships.

He has been involved in coaching for nearly 15 years. After he earned his master’s degree at McNeese, he went on to coach six seasons at Lamar Consolidated as linebacker coach from 2004-09 and helping the Mustangs to the Division I 4A Texas State Championship in 2007. He served as defensive coordinator at LaGrange High School here in Lake Charles from 2010-12 and most recently, defensive coordinator at Seven Lakes HS in Katy the last three years.

“You don’t become an all-time leading tackler in McNeese history without mastering your craft and truly understanding what the opposition is trying to do,” said Guidry. “Charlie will be a great teacher of the game and will keep the ‘DWA’ brand alive and well.”

A consensus all-American for the Cowboys from 1995-98, he led the team in tackles three seasons and in addition to his career record in the category, his 171 tackles in 1998 still stands as a single-season record. Also that year he was named the conference’s defensive player of the year and was named to five all-America teams.

Ayro, a 2010 inductee into the McNeese Sports Hall of Fame, will recruit the Houston area.

Smith is an energetic young coach who brings strong ties to talent-rich South Florida. He spent last season at Florida A&M working with the tight ends and directed the FAMU special teams unit.

Prior to FAMU he worked two seasons as wide receivers and special teams coach at Itawamba Community College in Fulton, Mississippi where his receiving group ranked second among Mississippi junior colleges in total receptions with 227.

A 2005 graduate of the University of Miami, he worked as assistant director of football operations at The U in 2006 before spending six seasons at Florida International, serving in various roles including assistant director of football operations (2007); graduate assistant coach for offense (2008-10); director of player personnel and quality control (2011); and recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach (2012), helping FIU bring in the top recruiting class in the Sun Belt Conference in 2011 and 2012.

“Dennis has a variety of qualities that makes him one of the most important hires for McNeese,” said Guidry. “His experience as an FBS director of football operations and recruiting coordinator will help define our daily, weekly, and seasonal football activities. Spending most of his coaching career in Florida, he’ll help our program reach out to new recruiting grounds in the future.”

Smith will recruit the New Orleans area and in Florida.

Guidry is expected to name a defensive coordinator in the coming days.
14 2016-01-05
Lake Charles

Will you start a business in 2016?


Becoming an entrepreneur is a very popular topic. Turn on the television and you’ll see sharks, or look at any of the thousands of websites for advice. How do you decide if it’s a good choice for you?
Owning a small business can be tremendously satisfying. You can follow your passion and you make all the decisions. But it can be very risky and it’s always a lot of work, with long hours. Often, the owner gets the lowest pay of anyone in the company because everyone else gets paid fi rst.
If you want to start your own business in 2016, a good beginning is to talk to us at the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University. You can attend our free “Starting and Financing a Small Business” workshop on Jan. 14, then meet one-on-one with a consultant. You’ll discuss how much it will cost to get started, where you would fi nd the funding, what a banker is really expecting and many other important aspects of starting a small business.
Chances are good that you have skills and knowledge that you believe will let you make a good income as an entrepreneur. At the LSBDC at McNeese, we can help you navigate the fi nancial and management aspects of running the business. Planning cash fl ow, managing employees, handling sales tax returns and many other chores are essential to success.
You may be an excellent salesman or craftsman but keeping good records may not be your strong suit. The LSBDC business consultants can work with you, with confi dentiality assured, to help you cover everything you need to make a profi t. Your tax professional will be grateful that you’ve managed your paperwork and you’ll sleep better at night knowing that you haven’t cut any corners.
Don’t worry about paying the business consultants – we’re “pre-paid” through tax dollars. So you can meet with us multiple times with no out-of-pocket costs. From pre-venture exploration and loan packages through growing pains into mature operations, we can give you confi dential, practical advice that you’d pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to get from others.
For over 30 years, the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese has worked with entrepreneurs and business owners who are looking to start or grow their small business. Visit www.lsbdc.org   to learn more about us. For no-cost assistance with your business, call us to schedule an appointment at 337-475-5529.

14 2016-01-04
Natchitoches

http://www.leesvilledailyleader.com/article/20151226/NEWS/151229806


The top graduates from Northwestern State University’s College of Nursing and School of Allied Health and the College of Business and Technology were recognized during afternoon commencement ceremonies Friday.
The summa cum laude graduates maintained 4.0 grade point averages.
Pictured are (from left) Daniel James of Natchitoches, commencement speaker and NSU alumna Nicole Vasquez, Louisiana’s 2016 High School Teacher of the Year; Ashton Averitt of Hornbeck and NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson.
14 2015-12-26
Lake Charles

McNeese ranked top value university


McNeese State University has found itself recognized in another online ranking; this time from bestvalueschools.com. The university was ranked as the fifth “top value” college or university in the state, beating out LSU at number six.
The website ranked the best value schools based on their graduation rates, net price, acceptance rate and 20-year net return on investment.
Part of McNeese’s high ranking was based on its “extreme affordability” and because of its reputation as a “regional leader in higher education,” the website states.
Candace Townsend, director of the Office of Public Information and Communications at McNeese, said in a statement that the university has increased its admission standards in recent years.
“The higher admission standards position incoming freshmen to be more likely to succeed in their first year, more likely to stay enrolled and on track with a degree plan from year to year and, most importantly, more likely to graduate in a timely manner,” she said.
Townsend also noted that the return investment is high at McNeese partially because of the nationally accredited business, engineering, computer science and nursing programs, which are in high demand and have greater starting wages than other fields.
“I believe that the national attention McNeese receives for its academic programs, student success and affordability is in great part due to the commitment by our faculty and staff to our motto of ‘Excellence With a Personal Touch,’ ” Townsend said.
14 2015-12-17
Lafayette

UCB's Fuljenz Receives Honorary Doctorate


Mike Fuljenz, president of Universal Coin & Bullion and a nationally recognized expert on gold and rare coins, received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater on Dec. 12, 2015, during McNeese State University's (Lake Charles, La.) 145th commencement ceremony.

“This is the highest honor that the university can bestow upon an individual,” said McNeese President Dr. Philip C. Williams. “Mike Fuljenz has contributed time and resources to numerous McNeese student activities, including key contributions to academic, athletic and cultural organizations, and is deserving of this honor for his outstanding contributions to both McNeese State University and his community.”

Fuljenz, who is an NRA Benefactor member and has appeared on NRA News and NRA Guns and Gold, attended McNeese from 1972-75 as a chemistry/biology major. His financial support over the years has placed him among the school’s top 10 all-time donors, and he was inducted into the McNeese Athletic Hall of Honor in 2009.

“Having been an educator, I’m honored to receive this prestigious recognition from one of the universities I have been proud to strongly support for decades with time, talent and treasure,” Fuljenz said. A recipient of the NRA’s Golden Ring of Freedom for the work he has done as a longtime patron of the association, Fuljenz has also received several awards for his contributions to the field of numismatics—including the Numismatic Literary Guild’s Clemy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Medal of Merit from the American Numismatic Association.

Above, McNeese State University President Dr. Philip C. Williams presents Michael R. Fuljenz with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during the university’s recent commencement ceremony. Photo courtesy of mcneese.edu
14 2015-12-17
Lake Charles

McNeese elevates Guidry to head coach


McNeese State didn’t take very long to find its new head football coach.

He was already on staff.

The university in Lake Charles officially introduced Lance Guidry as its head coach, just two days after predecessor Matt Viator was announced as Louisiana-Monroe’s new head man. Guidry, a 1995 McNeese graduate, was for the past three seasons the defensive coordinator for the Cowboys, who won the Southland Conference championship this season.

“This is an established program, but we need to get back to a dominant one once again,” Guidry said during a press conference Wednesday. “This season was a great start. It starts with personnel in our program, so it will start with our staff. We have a great staff now, but I don’t know who will be with me or who wants to leave. The ones who are here with me are going to ride with me, I promise you that.”

McNeese State defeated Lamar 20-14 in Beaumont to complete a 10-0 regular season on Nov. 21. Earning a first-round bye in the NCAA Division I playoffs, the Cowboys then lost to current semifinalist Sam Houston State 34-29, two weeks later.

This is Guidry’s first permanent head coaching gig on the collegiate level. He was interim coach at Miami University of Ohio for the 2010 GoDaddy Bowl, a win over Middle Tennessee, and at Western Kentucky for the 2012 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, a loss to Central Michigan. He succeeded recently hired Texas Southern coach Mike Haywood and current South Florida coach Willie Taggart, respectively, in those instances.

“He’s a proven winner everywhere he’s been,” McNeese athletic director Bruce Hemphill said. “He’s an exceptional motivator and understands the pulse of the team.”

Guidry, who lettered at McNeese from 1990-93, coached on the high school level before first joining McNeese’s staff in 2000. He left after the 2004 season to become head coach at Carencro (Louisiana) High for three years before returning to coach the defensive backs in 2008.

- See more at: http://www.panews.com/2015/12/16/mcneese-elevates-guidry-to-head-coach/#sthash.1hJmBcsb.dpuf
14 2015-12-17
Lake Charles

In the saddle Guidry gets dream gig


Lance Guidry was introduced as the 15th head football coach in McNeese State history on Wednesday afternoon, and it was immediately clear that those in attendance at his opening news conference were getting what they wanted as the energetic 44-year-old former Cowboys player and defensive coordinator made the event feel more like a pep rally or fraternity party than a staid, formal event.
“Lake Charles needs to ‘Cowboy Up’ with McNeese State University,” Guidry said to open his tenure. “I love McNeese and I love McNeese only. I will not apologize for that. There is not another university in the state of Louisiana I care about except McNeese State, because it’s my university. When you know who you are and what you are, you don’t have to pretend to be anything else.”
Guidry took the issue of loyalty to the blue-and-gold even further when he met alone with the media after being introduced to the public.
“Other football teams are on TV so much and it’s so easy to throw on their letters,” Guidry said. “When you pledge a fraternity, and to me that’s what playing football at McNeese was, I’ve never seen guys wear another fraternity’s colors or letters. That fraternity may be bigger and prestigious, but nobody does that. McNeese is enough if you’re a McNeese alum. I’m not saying you can’t root for another team, but if you’re alumni, McNeese needs to come first. I don’t see anyone else putting McNeese ahead of their university, and they shouldn’t.”
Getting the Lake Area all-in on the McNeese bandwagon is his top objective, with a Football Championship Subdivision national cham- pionship being the conduit toward doing so. The Cowboys reached the championship game in 1997 and 2002, but haven’t won a playoff game in seven tries since losing to Western Kentucky in the ’02 title game.
“This is an established program, but we need to get to where this is a dominant one once again,” Guidry said. “This year was a great start to get that thing dominant.”
McNeese went 10-1 this past season, which helped open the door for Matt Viator to depart for Football Bowl Subdivision Louisiana-Monroe. Now Guidry will play the waiting game to see who on the staff will join Viator in Monroe before putting the pieces together for his own, though he did say he will keep every assistant who wants to stay at McNeese.
When it came to finding Viator’s replacement, Athletic Director Bruce Hemphill simply looked down the opposite end of the football offices.
“I considered one person,” Hemphill said. “We could not find a better fit at a better time for McNeese football. I went after Lance immediately.”
Viator offered to take Guidry along with him to be ULM’s defensive coordinator, but the Welsh native could not pass up his first full-time opportunity to become a college head coach. Guidry served as the interim head coach in bowl games for Miami (Ohio) in 2010 and Western Kentucky in 2012.
Guidry is under a threeyear contract worth $180,000, pending approval of the Louisiana System Board of Supervisors. His base pay will be the same as Viator’s — $119,500
— with the rest coming from the private MSU Foundation. The private funding provides a raise of almost $40,000 per year over Viator’s total pay.
“In finding our next successful football, I did not have to look outside the front doors of McNeese,” Hemphill said. “He has a clear and complete understanding of Southwest Louisiana culture and accepts the responsibility and high expectations of McNeese football. His communication skills with his players, the coaches and the public are beyond belief.”
Guidry, in his fourth coaching stint with the Cowboys, played defensive back at McNeese from 1990-93 after graduating from Welsh High School.
He was a graduate assistant at McNeese in 1994 before moving on to assistant coaching jobs at Leesville and Carencro high schools. He came back to McNeese as defensive coordinator from 2000-04 before serving as Carencro’s head coach from 2005-07. That led to a third stint at McNeese before being hired by Mike Haywood at Miami (Ohio) as defensive backs coach in 2009. In 2011 he moved to Western Kentucky, where he became the defensive coordinator for Willie Taggart before returning to McNeese yet again in 2013.
“I never really started out wanting to be a head coach. I just wanted to coach the game of football,” Guidry said. “But as you go through over the years of course your aspirations grow higher and higher. But when I got the interim job at Miami I realized I wanted to do this. You can make more of an impact on both sides of the ball…
“To be able to do this at your alma mater is a blessing, but it is also a responsibility because it comes with expectations that are very high. Winning conference is not enough. It’s what’s expected. My goal is to be the first coach at McNeese to win a national championship.”
14 2015-12-15
Lake Charles

End of an era


The Matt Viator watch is over, as is his time at McNeese State.
A courtship that drew out over the course of six days finally reached its conclusion on Monday morning with reports that a deal had finally been reached between Viator and Louisiana-Monroe for him to become the program’s new football coach.
Both schools confirmed the news later in the day.
“We have known for several days that Coach Viator was being considered for the head coaching position at UL-Monroe. That fact is a compliment to both Coach Viator and the success of our football program,” said McNeese athletic director Bruce Hemphill. “We appreciate everything that Coach Viator has done for Mc-Neese football, the athletics department and the University over the past 17 years, the last 10 as our head coach. We wish him the very best at UL-Monroe.”
Viator will be introduced by ULM at a press conference today.
A 10-year veteran at McNeese, Viator tied Bobby Keasler as the program’s all-time winningest coach with 78 victories. He is also following Keasler’s career path up to Monroe, where the coach was hired away from McNeese in 1999. ULM has been a member of the upper-tier Football Bowl Subdivision since 1994, but only one bowl appearance to show for it.
Viator was the 2015 Southland Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Cowboys to their fourth conference title in his tenure. McNeese made five playoff appearances and never had a losing season under Viator.
The reaction to his departure ranges from fellow coaches to current and former players.
LSU coach Les Miles was among those with praise for ULM’s hire.
“I have great respect for coach Viator and the job he did at McNeese State,” Miles said. “He’s an outstanding coach who always had his teams ready to play and play well in all three phases of the game.”
Viator’s longest nemesis in the Southland Conference, Stephen F. Austin coach Clint Conque, also showed his appreciation. Conque and Viator have squared off nine times with Conque holding a 5-4 edge in the series.
“I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for Matt. Through all of our years of competition, his teams were always fierce on the field but very classy either in victory or defeat,” Conque said. “He is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate, as is evident by the success McNeese has seen during his time there. I have no doubt he’ll do a tremendous job at ULM and get the Warhawks off the ground and into a contender.”
Quarterback Grant Ashcraft, who will head into spring practice as the favorite to become next year’s starter, tweeted, “Congrats to Coach V on his job at ULM. Much deserved. Thank you for the opportunity you have given so many of us.”
Former players were also happy for Viator’s opportunity to move to a higher level.
“ULM is getting a hell of a head ball coach and an even better man,” tweeted Miguel Gauthreaux, who played for Viator from 2008-12. “We will miss him here in Lake Charles.”
14 2015-12-15
Lake Charles

VIATOR WON ON, Off THE fiELD


It’s an end of an era at McNeese State University. For 10 years, Matt Viator roamed the sidelines in a calm, cool demeanor. Now he will take his talents to the University of Louisiana-Monroe where he will be officially announced as the head football coach at a press conference today at 10 a.m.
Viator was not only a fixture at McNeese, but was also a coach at both Sam Houston and Sulphur High schools.
The Southwest Louisiana product was a big part of our community, not only as a coach but as a teacher.
Viator leaves behind large shoes to fill.
He has a 78-33 record overall during his time at Mc-Neese and is the winningest coach in the history of the Southland Conference.
But more important than those record-breaking victories, Viator raised the bar for his players academically.
Many universities today have put sports and revenue first and learning second, seriously shortchanging their students. Not Viator.
The No. 1 priority in college should be academics, preparing our young adults for the challenges of the world. Viator did this.
He has a clearer vision of the dual role of studentathletes — that they not only be great players, but good students and citizens as well.
He cared that his players succeed in life, not only on the gridiron. His players describe him as a man of principle. He passed along to them a measure of his own integrity, and they are grateful.
Under his leadership, academics increased in importance. Players were expected to study and to justify their acceptance into the program.
His players also became a part of the community, many going on to live their lives after football and college right here among us as productive businessmen, husbands and fathers. That perhaps more than the wins and losses will be Viator’s legacy at McNeese.
We only wish him well and thank him for his service.

14 2015-12-15
Lake Charles

McNeese recognizes honor graduates


Seven McNeese State University students received the Summa Cum Laude (3.90-4.00) designation in fall commencement ceremonies.
Three students were recognized for earning a 4.0 grade-point average throughout their college careers
— Nicole Elizabeth Hudson of Tipp City, Ohio; Marcela Studinska of Bohumin, Czech Republic; and Amanda Wilhite of Paris, Texas.
The other honor students recognized were:
SUMMA CUM LAUDE: Sakulkarn Auyyapat, Hatyai, Thailand; Leah J. Broussard, Abbeville; Laura Casey, Lurgan, Ireland; and Sylvia Diane Simmons Cloessner, Singer.
MAGNA CUM LAUDE (3.70-3.89): Jennifer L. Arceneaux Armentor, Lake Charles; Amanda Renee Murray Blount, Sulphur; Cade John Burns, Kinder; Nycolle Catherine Souza da Costa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Megan
E. Crooks, Lake Charles; Stephanie D. Daigle, Lake Charles; Ashton B. Ezernack, Noble; Lakeyn Marie Fontenot, Lake Charles; Tiffany
N. Fontenot, Lake Charles; Shelby Kay Wolfe Fountain, Grand Chenier; George Ivy Gilbert, Oakdale; Kayla N. Haugen, DeRidder; Allison Dalton Hillebrandt, Vinton; Dana M. LeJeune Istre, Lake Charles; Ross Evan Johnson, Lake Charles; Meleah Elizabeth Kimball, Lake Charles; Alyson N. Kratzer, Mermentau; Sandra Carolina Lewis, Lake Charles; Mollie N. Matz, Lake Charles; Nikkole
E. Miller, Sulphur; Felix C. Navejar, Westlake; Uyen Thi Tu Nguyen, Hanoi, Vietnam; Tad R. Nope, Lake Charles; Grant L. Richard, Sulphur; Jude Anthony Richard, Westlake; Halie E. Stevens, Grand Lake; Bidhan Thapa, Kathmandu, Nepal; Morgan Lindsey Smith Weeks, Sulphur; and Cunzhi Zhao, Suzhou, China.
CUM LAUDE (3.50-3.69): Nezira Obatogni Akobi, Cotonou, Benin; Marybeth Katlin Anderson, Pitkin; Mandy Duckworth Benoit, Lake Arthur; Carly Kaitlin Bertrand, Lake Charles; Jerika J. Blum, Lake Charles; Tyler J. Bolfing, Montgomery, Texas; Courtney Alexandra Boudreaux, Richardson, Texas; Anna B. Breaux, Lake Charles; Kasha Lynn Carpenter, Lake Charles; Hannah N. Cashat, Gueydan; Brittney Renee’ Celestine, Lake Charles; Caitlyn Noelle Downs, Sulphur; Matthew Grant Dunn, Sulphur; Amy Dutton, Pine Prairie; Ashley Nicole Fejarang, DeRidder; Brittany Elizabeth Flore, Lake Charles; Bailey Anne Gilbeaux, Orange, Texas; Jenna C. Granger, Hackberry; Ashley Nicole Hackler, Lake Charles; Jade A. Hernandez, Jarrell, Texas; Chauncey Hesnor, Ville Platte; Daulton Jacob Huber, Lake Charles; Kourtney Claire Kennedy, Lake Charles; Megan Elizabeth Landry, Hathaway; Richard Glenn Lee, Lake Charles; Kelsey Ann Leidig-Hebert, DeRidder; Tori E. Lormand, Crowley; Rupa Maharjan, Kathmandu, Nepal; Meagan Mitchell Oliver, Jennings; Zachary P. Parrish, Wynne, Ark.; Jeevan Rai, Kathmandu, Nepal; Danielle Marie Richard, Eunice; Nickolas Jude Richard, Eunice; Rachel Elizabeth Rust, Lake Charles; Nicole Lindsey Settoon, Plaquemine; Christopher Joseph Thibodeaux, Iota; Matthew Thomas Thibodeaux, Central; Hailey Tiffany Veillion, Labadieville; Devon Sean Vincent, Morse; William Andrew Willis, Vinton; Hannah Marie Wilson, Welsh; and Jessica E. Young, Lake Charles.
14 2015-12-15
Lake Charles

698 McNeese students honored at commencement


McNeese State University awarded diplomas and certificates to 698 students at the university’s fall commencement ceremony Saturday at Burton Coliseum. Fall 2015 graduates were:
EDUCATION SPECIALIST
Educational leadership online: Carolyn Bilbo, Lake Charles.
GRADUATE CERTIfiCATE
Business Administration: April L. Fruge, Kinder; Travis A. Lafleur, Sulphur; Nzube Azubuike Igboekwe, Lagos State, Nigeria. Gifted education: Christine Cherry Selman, Grand Chenier; Amy E. Ellender, Sulphur.
MASTER OF ARTS
PSYCHOLOGY: Whitney Lee Tekin Chapman, Bell City; Jodie Thibodeaux Lown, Carencro; Joshua Paul Roberts, Cecilia; Oliver Eugene Perkins, DeRidder; Mary Allison Conner, Iowa; Taylor Mardis DeWoody, Lake Charles; Jessica Ann Singer, Ragley; Joel Thomas Daugherty, Westlake; Nicole Snow, Waco, Texas.
MASTER OF ARTS IN TEACHING
Elementary education grades 1-5: Kelly Elizabeth Booth, Christina Lee Guidry and Melissa Ann Louviere, all of Lake Charles; and Katherine Elizabeth Daniel and Amy E. Ellender, both of Sulphur. Secondary education grades 6-12: Sarah Rose Sonnier, Lake Charles.
MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
Xiaorong Rao, Wuhan, China; Kevin Sutanto, Jakarta, Indonesia; Karly M. Guidry, Breaux Bridge; Colten James Miller and Ryan Edward Smith, both of Lake Charles; Adrian D. Augustine, Sulphur; Allison C. Deshotel, Ville Platte; James C. Wix, Westlake; Laura Denisse Hood, Los Mochis, Mexico; Mridu Pradhan, Kathmandu, Nepal.
MASTER OF EDUCATION
CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION: Angela Carol Bujol, Lake Charles; Tiffany B. Manuel, Oberlin; and Tara Owens and Jennifer Ann Callahan Sims, both of Sulphur. EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP: Jessica Lynne Wiltz, Duson; Lauren Michelle Dorris, Springfield, Mo.; Alisa Boutte, Houston, Texas; Lauri Lynn Hampshire, Cornelius Harmon, Kenny Harrison, Latania Harrison and Kevin G. Henry, all of Port Arthur, Texas; Canji Michelle Rhodes, Texarkana, Texas; Verril Joseph Young, Texas City, Texas. SCHOOL COUNSELING: Shawn M. Heiss, Wilmington, Del.; Alexis Cecilia Malbroux, Lake Charles; Danielle Marie Malveaux Williams, Scott; Charlotte M. Sawyer, Youngsville.
MASTER OF ENGINEERING
Saivinay Rudrangi, Andrapradesh, India; Srija Badikol, Hyderbad, India; Mounika Rachakonda, Medak, India; Devikiran Khode, Nizamabad, India; Hareesh Datar, Siddipet, India; Lokesh Alluri, Telangana, India; Suman Reddy Thanugundla, Pavan Kumar Kandula, Warangal, India; Daniel Rangel, DeRidder; Jared
M. Fusilier, Eunice; Asa J. Tindall, Haughton; Vamshi Krishna Manne, Dung Thi Nguyen, Lake Charles; Dipendra Man Pradhan, Shankar Thapa, Kathmandu, Nepal.
MASTER OF SCIENCE
CRIMINAL JUSTICE ONLINE: Erika Leigh Navarre, Iowa; Dwayne Allen Petroski, Lake Charles; Marshall T. Thompson, Iuka, Miss.; Kara Monica Blosser, Spotsylvania, Va. ENVIRONMENTAL AND CHEMICAL SCIENCES: Zynna Santoshi Kumari Makarla, Hyderbad, India; Alexis Jane Bachman, Echo; Ashley S. Bridgewater, Greensburg; Victoria M. Fontenot, Lafayette; Dusty Alan Savage, John Peter Soileau, Lake Charles; Vincent Paul Deshotel, Ville Platte; Erik
J. Sneddon, Lowell, Maine; Shreedu Pradhan, Rashmi Tamang, Kathmandu, Nepal; Ziyad Aziz Hafeez, Garland, Texas. HEALTH AND HUMAN PERFORMANCE: Kelly Ann Holter, Tucson, Ariz.; Ruhiyyih Bannister, Gainseville, Fla.; Jordan
J. Mars, Vandalia, Ill.; Emily C. Franklin, Jordan Free, Angelle Graham, Baton Rouge; Travis
E. Theriot, Jennings; Courtney Elizabeth Foch, Amanda Runkle, Lake Charles; Allison Claire Callahan, Sulphur; Caitlin D. Pond, Westwood, Maine; Erik D. Dixon, Hyattsville, Md.; Chelsea Lynn Copheranham, Amarillo, Texas; Kelly Uche Okorocha, Houston, Texas. INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY: Garrett Furlow, Atlanta; Willory Lemonier, Fenton; Jerlan Kishonne Delmore, Kimberly A. Dronett, Kirsten L. Guillory, Lake Charles. MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES: Peixia Cheng, Macheng, China; Taraka Satyanarayana Murthy Bodapati, Shiva Kumar Vuppala, Hyderabad, India; Ruthwik Akula, Nizamabad, India; Karthik Simha Vinnakota, Moni Vipparthy, Visakhapatnam, India; Nikhil Deva, Warangal, India.
MASTER OF SCIENCE
IN NURSING
Craig Matthew Kidder, Arnaudville; Brandi T. Prather, Eunice; Samantha Ann Marceaux, Grand Lake; Briana D. Horton, Grant; Codie J. Lee, Iowa; Karli Elizabeth Nabours, Lake Charles; Heather Kay Nelson, Merryville; Crystal Jeansonne, New Iberia; Rein Thomas Liles, Scott; Amanda Lynn Babineaux Duplantis, St. Martinville; Angela Kay King Jones, Sulphur; Brittany Fontenot Miller, Ville Platte; Destiny Lynn Kerry, Woodworth; John Andrew Fernon, Yasheka Shonte’ Roy, Beaumont, Texas; Jedidiah Randall Morgan, Call, Texas; Amanda Joy Guy, Lumberton, Texas; Jodi Lynne Love, Nederland, Texas; Jennifer Abney Bell, Nome, Texas; Reagin Hall, Port Arthur, Texas.
POST-BACCALAUREATE
CERTIfiCATES
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION GRADES PK-3: Morgan Elisabeth Nutt, Iowa; Tanya N. Mixon, Lake Charles. ELEMENTARY EDUCATION GRADES 1-5: Allison F. Corbello, Lake Charles; Maeghan Elizabeth Sartin, Westlake. MULTIPLE LEVELS GRADES K-12 (health and human performance): Michelle Darlene Richard, Grand Chenier. SCHOOL LIBRARIAN: Julia Ione Fredieu, Lafayette SECONDARY EDUCATION GRADES 6-12 (BIOLOGY): Charlotte A. Grogan, Greenwell Springs. SECONDARY EDUCATION GRADES 6-12 (BUSINESS): Jessica Nicole Hebert, Iowa. SECONDARY EDUCATION GRADES 6-12 (SOCIAL STUDIES): Steven J. Sneddon, Las Cruces, N.M.
BACHELOR OF ARTS
ART: Ellen E. Flores, DeRidder; Jenna C. Granger, Hackberry; Elizabeth A. Guinn, Jennings; Skylar D. Burdette-Turner, Stephanie D. Daigle, Halie D. David, Tiffany N. Fontenot, Amit Kumar, Alexis M. Schuller, Lake Charles; Hannah Marie Wilson, Welsh; Nicole Elizabeth Hudson, Tipp City, Ohio, Blake Austin Jasken, Houston, Texas. ENGLISH: Nycolle Catherine Souza da Costa, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil; Alexis B. Lyons, DeQuincy; Kayla
N. Haugen, DeRidder; Joshua
A. Williams, Destrehan; Cassie Diane Broussard, Tucker J. Rhoden, Rachel Elizabeth Rust, Lake Charles; James E. Brame, Sulphur . HISTORY: Cody James Huval, Breaux Bridge; Easton J. LaCombe, Egan; Shelby Kay Wolfe Fountain, Grand Chenier; Morgan Jade Andreas, Jonathan Don Barber, Carly Kaitlin Bertrand, Lake Charles; Hannah R. Stevens, West Monroe; Amanda Wilhite, Paris, Texas. LIBERAL STUDIES: Bridget Ilene Delaney, Nathan A. Fritzenschaft, Jamie Richard Fuselier, Lake Charles; Matthew C. Vidrine, Pine Prairie; Grant L. Richard, Sulphur. ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP: Richard Glenn Lee, Lake Charles. POLITICAL SCIENCE: Caitlyn Noelle Downs, Sulphur; Jonathan Thomas Hensley Pelnar Walker, Austin, Texas. SOCIOLOGY: Thomas J. Buxton, Matthew E. Snow, Lake Charles. SOCIOLOGY ONLINE: Shanreca Shalone Dennis, Jeanerette; Jacqueline Braxton, Deborah Ann Carrier, Brittany Elizabeth Flore, Rita M. Jackson, Kenyettra
K. Tasker, Elizabeth Sossamon Venable, Lake Charles; Tori R. Broussard, Maurice; Denise Montrice Collins, New Orleans; Anjuel Monique Kennedy, St. Martinville; Tamara Marie Eloi, Alicia Danielle LeBlanc, Tanya Leigh Pevoto, Alisa Joette Henry Stevens, Sulphur; Quannett Montane Lafleur, Ville Platte; Ashlynne C. Gregory, Fletcher, Okla.; Bailey Gayle Fennell, Inola, Okla.
BACHELOR OF GENERAL
STUDIES
GENERAL STUDIES: Michael Desabrais, Gilbert, Ariz.; Layla Jade Pedigo, Chico, Calif.; Jessica M. Proulx, Cottonwood, Calif.; Andrea S. Lucien, Los Angeles, Calif., William George Richardson, Alexandria; Ken’Yonna D. Moses, Angie; Allen Micheal Gomez, Columbia; En’Chantra A. Cormier, Jeremy J. Puissegur, Crowley; Tyler Chase Richard, DeQuincy; Kayla Ashley Clausen, Karlee Leanne Farris, Ashley Nicole Shell, DeRidder; Chelsey L. DeLouche, Dutchtown; Megan Nicole Gobert, Elton; Claire Lee Ardoin, Dianna Lynn Bergeron, Eunice; Dominique M. Staton, Fort Polk; Cody S. Jouett, Grand Lake; Christopher Joseph Thibodeaux, Iota; Tyler Cade Broussard, Desmine Jamal Goodly, Iowa; Laura Frank Charles, Brittany Kettler Schexnayder, Spenser
C. Wells, Jennings; Skyla Nicole Herpin, Kaplan; Elizabeth Mim Guidry, Kinder; Brittany Lashaye Bernard, Myra Kay Carroll, Lafayette; Brittney Paige Sonnier Moore, Saidi M. Woods, Lake Arthur; Dari D. Abshire, Omosigho Amadasun Ogbunuju, Jennifer Ann Dugas Ambrose, April Marie Lowe Ben, Dillon L. Berlin, Danielle Marie White Broussard, Kasha Lynn Carpenter, Dylan
J. Champagne, Mika Mechelle Cormier, Brooke L. David, Destinie N. Dellafosse, Alexandra P. Duplechin, Marquita Danielle Fontenot, Karen Susanne Ford, Leonard T. Fuselier, Sarah Beth Guillory, Whitney Ann Howell, Nicole Brown Myers, Madison Danielle Valenti, Brittany Ann Verret, Katherine Ann Walls, Corrinne A. Wasserman, Lake Charles; Dalton L. Barron, Longville; Latkin Brooke Robberson, Merryville; Ariel Renee Allen, New Orleans; Brittany
J. Johnson, Oakdale; Hanna R. Fontenot, Oberlin; Adrian Dion Fields, Opelousas; Karenisha D. Mazone, Palmetto; Heather Nicole Reeves, Lacy Ann Thompson, Ragley; Candace Sheree Berry Winters, Starks; Amanda
R. Kyle, Tori L. McAlister, Abigail Faith Sullivan, Ramsey Wheat Vincent, Sulphur; Chauncey Hesnor, Ville Platte; Taylor Anne Istre, Vinton; Cassie M. Broussard, Welsh; Devaney Noel Bellard, Westlake; Marvin Lee Orr, El Campo, Texas; Isabel Booth, Houston, Texas; Tyler Ward Terry, Hurst, Texas; James Cantu, Lake Jackson, Texas; Jacob Albert Prince, Spring, Texas. GENERAL STUDIES ONLINE: Natalie Christ Courville, Basile; Kelly Lynn Chatelain, Lake Charles.
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE
AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES: Allison
M. Northcutt, Lake Worth, Fla.; Justin Michael Denney, Anita, Iowa; Leah J. Broussard, Hillarie
P. Hebert, Abbeville; Cole Charles Cloud Reiners, Branch; Lanna K. Thibodeaux, Church Point; Alex D. Lee, Douglas C. Zaunbrecher, Eunice; Lance K. Turner, Dillon G. Weldon, Grant; Spencer Lang Trahan, Gueydan; Gavin J. Guidry, Iota; Kaitlyn Elizabeth Bertrand, Jennings; Hunter Shae Doise, Kelsey L. Fontenot, Alexandra Lizabeth Welch, Isaac J. Woods, Jennings; Megan M. Hart, Kelly; Garrett Lane Buller, Kinder; Katelyn E. Landry, Alanie Summer May, Amanda Leah Ortego, Lake Charles; Devon Sean Vincent, Morse; Tanya Louann Davis, Ponchatoula; Desiree Claire Smith, Sulphur; Kolby Elizabeth Gilbert, Vinton; Logan James Quebedeaux, Washington; Darrin Clavin Walker, Raywood, Texas. BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE: Cade John Burns, Kinder; Mollie N. Matz, Lake Charles; Shay A. Hollie, Longville; Raymond Earl Johnson, Westlake. CHEMISTRY: Sierra N. Haralson, DeRidder; Hailey Tiffany Veillion, Labadieville; Mary C. Klumpp, Lake Charles; Felicia Ann McGee, New Orleans; Bhawana Bhandari, Kathmandu, Nepal. EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION GRADES PK-3: Danielle N. Foreman, Iowa; Alaina R. Richard, Lake Arthur; Brittney Renee’ Celestine, Megan E. Crooks, Somer
D. Farhat, Ashley Nicole Hackler, Lake Charles; Taylor Ashley NesSmith, Rosepine; Elizabeth
M. Courmier, Starks; Courtney
L. Ogea, Sweet Lake; Amanda R. Hansen, Vinton. ELEMENTARY EDUCATION GRADES 1-5: Taylor Elaine Hollier, Baton Rouge; Megen R. Walls, DeQuincy; Dana M. LeJeune Istre, Monica Lynn Smith, Lake Charles; Brittany Lee Buller Bushnell, Ragley; Sylvia Diane Simmons Cloessner, Singer; Rhonda J. Dunn, Sulphur; Meghan Rachell Stein, Westlake. HEALTH AND HUMAN PERFORMANCE: Jessica Lynn Mayo, Anacoco; Katie L. Little, Creole; Trace Sidney Trosclair, Eunice; Terrell J. Alfred, Denitra
L. Meche, Lafayette; Adam T. Clausen, Lakeyn Marie Fontenot, Stephanie N. Melancon, Armand E. Rachal, Lake Charles; Santangelio J. Collins, Kiosha Mitchell, New Iberia; Dionna Lynette Henry, Sulphur; Christopher Ryan Marshall, Westlake; Saajan Suraj Patel, Elizabeth City, N.C.; Jade A. Hernandez, Jarrell, Texas; Tyler J. Bolfing, Montgomery, Texas. HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION GRADES K-12: Damian P. Broussard, Delcambre; Brendan
T. Trahan, Grand Chenier; Nicole Lindsey Settoon, Plaquemine; Katherine Paige Doucet Kershaw, Sulphur; Jordan T. Royal, Bridge City, Texas; Stormi Nicole Champion, Montgomery, Texas. MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES: ATH David Andrew Janise, Jennings, Luke John Loukas, Sulphur. MEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENCE: Danielle Marie Richard, Eunice; Jerika J. Blum, Joanna Marie Blum, Whitney M. Brown, Mariann S. Clemons, Monali Ashokkumar Gandhi, Kishor Gautam, Lake Charles; Lauren Elizabeth Hollier Brown, Ragley; Chhungta Gurung, Rupa Maharjan, Kathmandu, Nepal; Rosna Shrestha, Petersburg, Va. NATURAL RESOURCE CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT: ABrennan
C. Thom, Iowa; Blake Donovan Bennett, Lake Charles; Caleb C. Whalley, Longville. NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES: Ashley Michelle Bratschko, Murrieta, Calif. PSYCHOLOGY: Richard J. Bergeaux Jr., Basile; Andricia Lanette Johnson, Shedreka
Y. LeDee, Baton Rouge; Emily
M. Stutes, Crowley; Eyan Wess Cea, Kelsey Ann Leidig-Hebert, Sonna Lynn Morvant, DeRidder; Nicole Tyrae Williams, Gibson; Halie E. Stevens, Grand Lake; Meagan Mitchell Oliver, Jennings; Kaylee D. Morgan, Kinder; Demarcio Anthony Wallace Wiltz, Lafayette; Kayla
S. Gregory, Chelsea M. Johnson, Varsha Monique Jones, Jasmine
R. Mitchell, Vincent E. Voros, Paige Nicole Woodcock, Rickki
A. Young, Lake Charles; Ashton
B. Ezernack, Noble; Genesis Jehan Wallace, Oakdale; Jolie
A. Dubriel, Oberlin; Timikia S. Lazard, Opelousas; Grace C. Hernandez, Case Michael Pousson, Candace N. Ray, Morgan Lindsey Smith Weeks, Sulphur; William Andrew Willis, Vinton; Haleigh A. Jackson, Sydney Nicole LaFleur, Westlake; Kaitlyn M’kenzie Wisehart, Hutto, Texas; Courtney Alexandra Boudreaux, Richardson, Texas. SECONDARY EDUCATION AND TEACHING: Kourtney Claire Kennedy, Lake Charles; Sunni Lynnette Ciulla Wilbur, Ragley. ACCOUNTING: Brandon J. Bateman, Belize City, Belize; Michelle Goodwin Dickerson, Wakarusa, Ind.; Laura Casey, Lurgan, Ireland; Justin R. Davis, Baton Rouge; Eric Philip Strauch, Cecilia; Bianca S. Anderson, Tori
E. Lormand, Crowley; Olivia J. Fontenot, Elton; Destin Brett Clement, Evangeline; Angela Sue Leonard, Hayes; Heather Renee Armentor, Lacassine; Katelyn Elizabeth Askew, Corin
R. Charles, Blake C. DeRouen, Jacob Allen Gillett, Isaac L. La-Combe, Charmaine M. Mosely, Tad R. Nope, Lake Charles; Raven Jacquelle Frank, Mamou; Sarah A. Richard, Mermentau; Kyla A. Langlinais, Sulphur; Felix
C. Navejar, Westlake; Kabita Ghimire, Butwal, Nepal; Danielle Osaretin Osagie, Lagos, Nigeria; Jesse J. Morton, Mont Belview, Texas; Krishon O. Seastrunk, Newton, Texas; Uyen Thi Tu Nguyen, Hanoi, Vietnam; Vinh Phu Nguyen, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Zachary P. Parrish, Wynne, Ark.; Ebony T. Harris, Alexandria; William Robert Briscoe, Baton Rouge; Jordan Gregory Craft, Haughton; Paul Scott Goen, Sasha L. Guillory, Frank Chilton Hyatt, Alexander D. Parsons, Michael Jamar Richard, Lake Charles; Wallace
L. Scott, Weyanoke; Jordan T. Murray, Youngsville; Brittany S. Sherman, Anahuac, Texas; Kelvin J. Bennett, Bon Wier, Texas; Bryan Christopher Foster, Bon Wier, Texas CRIMINAL JUSTICE ONLINE: Jacqueline Page, Baton Rouge; Halston K. Mills, DeRidder; Joseph Daniel Johnson, Lafayette; James Trey Thomas, Lake Arthur; Alexis W. Courville, Katie
L. Fruge, Loueanna Bargeman Grice, Sandra Carolina Lewis, Michael Gerard Simien, Alexander D. Vincent, Lake Charles; Erroll M. Williams, New Orleans; Landia R. Thompson, Roanoke; Cameron Paul Ellis, Shreveport. COMPUTER SCIENCE: Jonathan
R. Georgiades, DeRidder; Justin Dale Hebert, Iota; Justin Ryan Daigle, Devin J. Quebodeaux, Lake Charles; Garrett D. Head, Sulphur; Michael A. Pickett, Vinton; Sujit Manandhar, Bidhan Thapa, Kathmandu, Nepal ENGINEERING: Cunzhi Zhao, Suzhou, China; Mateo Aristizabal, Pereira, Colombia; Reginald Trey August, Carencro; Mitchell
D. Sewell, DeRidder; Cyrus Lee Vidrine, Duralde; Nickolas Jude Richard, Eunice; Shawn Michael Wilson, Iowa; William J. Benoit, Jarren P. Cornner, Stephanie Renee Myers, Samuel C. Roques, Brock J. Stewart, Edward Leon Williams, Lake Charles; Nolan T. Hunt, Longville; Shalin Jeanise Townsend, Luling; Lauren Renee Petrofes Landry, Ragley; Gunnar R. Busch, Allyson Rose Cloud, Hayden G. Haynes, Ronnie Iftakhar Hossain, Sulphur; Jeevan Rai, Kathmandu, Nepal; Abinash Shrestha, Lalitpur, Nepal; Nabin Dhakal, Lamjumg, Nepal; Minh Hoang Pham, Vung Tali, Vietnam. ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY: Jeremy S. Chafin, Corey Jordan Couvillion, Joseph D. Eastman, Brandon Lee Fruge, Lake Charles; Curtis Mitchell Rogers, Monroe; George Ivy Gilbert, Oakdale; Skylar B. Richard, Ragley; Charles Justin McMillian, Logan Ford Planchard, Vinton; James Nicholas Brewer, Westlake. FINANCE: Bin Zhao, Huaxian, China; Dushyant J. Patel, Navgari, India; Heather Renee Armentor, Lacassine; Katelyn Elizabeth Askew, Tracey Charmaine Fuselier, Michelle Nicole Gibbs, Jacob Allen Gillett, Charmaine
M. Mosely, Tad R. Nope, Lake Charles; Sakulkarn Auyyapat, Hatyai, Thailand. GENERAL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION: Marcela Studinska, Bohumin, Czech Republic; Sadie R. Lambert, DeRidder; Michael A. Wimberley, Eunice; Mark Logan Fontenot, Ross Evan Johnson, Trekessa Lasha Siverand, Lake Charles; Van B. Nguyen, New Orleans; Jaci Lynn Williams, Reeves; AnnaMarie Elizabeth Bruce, Desiree Claire Smith, Sulphur; Uyen Thi Tu Nguyen, Hanoi, Vietnam. MASS COMMUNICATION: Roselie
G. Kelly, Lancaster, Calif.; Jodi L. Miller, Eunice; Megan Elizabeth Landry, Hathaway; Steve B. Corbin, Kinder; Adam J. Bradley, Sara E. Drott, Paige D. Gatson, Karleigh Rose Gutierrez, Sara E. Martin, Lake Charles; Jude Anthony Richard, Westlake; Bailey Anne Gilbeaux, Orange, Texas. MANAGEMENT: Jodi L. Fournerat, Basile; Matthew Thomas Thibodeaux, Central; Bianca
S. Anderson, Crowley; Mary Elizabeth Williams Washington, DeRidder; Katlyn Blair Wallett, Eunice; Patrick F. Hardey, Jonathan H. Harless, Justin Matthew Mouser, Lauren Ann Ricklefsen, Courtney Erin Robinson, Kaelynn D. Stidham, Lamaraka
D. Suggs, Lake Charles; Richard Mason Ross, Leesville; Dylan Thomas Windsor, Ruston; Jack Edward Clyde, Sulphur; Kandice Lin DuBroc, Sulphur; Britta Hyman, Sulphur; Dylan M. Stitzlein, Sulphur; Sujina Maharjan, Kathmandu, Nepal; Hoang Nam Duong, Moscow, Russia; Lance Sefcik, Georgetown, Texas; Leslie Anne Spell, Orangefield, Texas. MANAGEMENT ONLINE: Michelle
E. Broussard, Erath; Dylan E. Morgan, Grand Lake; Mason Dean Hicks, Hackberry; John Marshall Griffin, Jennings; Jennifer L. Arceneaux Armentor, Early Wayne Ledbetter III, Kristin
E. Wright, Lake Charles; Alyson
N. Kratzer, Mermentau; Alvin Varnado, New Orleans; Jason Robert Dupuis, Sulphur; Anna Eva Matteo, Deptford, N.J.; Gabrielle Renae Williams, Houston, Texas. MARKETING: Grant L. Dubroc, Baton Rouge; Megan E. Townsley, DeRidder; Benjamin Charles Benoit, Adam Ross Guidry, Lake Charles; Gabrielle Aimee Deloach Rider, Mamou; Marybeth Katlin Anderson, Pitkin; Madeleine Claire Benoit, Prairieville; AnnaMarie Elizabeth Bruce, Matthew Grant Dunn, Sulphur; Danielle N. Reilly, Ville Platte; Sanjib Bastola, Kathmandu, Nepal. NURSING: Nezira Obatogni Akobi, Cotonou, Benin; Corissa N. Storms, Cottonwood, Calif.; Miranda J. Savoie, Baton Rouge; Kathedria Nicole Davis, Breaux Bridge; Kei’Andrea Monae Barker, Andrew C. Batiste, Crowley; Ashley Nicole Fejarang, Gregory Paul Taylor, DeRidder; Lanh T. Duong, Eunice; Hannah N. Cashat, Alyssa
M. Saporito, Gueydan; Alaina Lauren LeJeune, Iota; Erika Jade Guillory, Iowa; Alisha Menard LeDay, Jennings; Lauren M. Hoffman, Kinder; Denise Justine Eugene, Brittany Ann Hardy, Hannah Catherine Lutz, Kelci Elizabeth Quereau, Lafayette; Mandy Duckworth Benoit, Carly Joy Hay, Lake Arthur; Andrew Armand, Hannah R. Babineaux, Taylor J. Belaire, Anna B. Breaux, Dana M. Breaux, Sylvia M. Dugas, Sondra Lewis Flugence, Lauren Meredith Fruge, Kimberly J. Galmore, Daulton Jacob Huber, Meleah Elizabeth Kimball, Kristina D. LeBleu, Courtney Brooke Manuel, Diante A. Marks, Kaitlyn Marie McEvoy, Kathryn
C. Phillips, Hannah M. Reed, Amberly N. Richard, Alexis N. Sonnier, Vanessa Ann Stewart, Jessica
E. Young, Lake Charles; Kadie Leigh Castro, Maurice; Amber Renee Faulk, Joi R. Thomas, Rayne; Kelsi M. Kyle, Rosepine; Brooklynn M. Belcher, Brennan
C. Bergeron, Amanda Renee Murray Blount, Colby D. Ceasar, Brandi Morgan Drost, Madison Nicole Ezernack, Courtney Joy Hawkins, Shelly Denee Hollier, Lexus Louvier Martin, Nikkole
E. Miller, Nicholas S. Parsons, Adam Michael Price, Sulphur; Allison Dalton Hillebrandt, Vinton; Wendy Yvonne Hornsby Hotard, Welsh; Cheyenne T. Ganley, Thurmont, Md.; Anita Shrestha, Kathmandu, Nepal; Khara L. Ryals, Beaumont, Texas; Mikah Lea Morris, Port Neches, Texas.
NURSING-RN TO BSN ONLINE:
Jennifer Naomi Lamarche Perry, Alexandria; Deborah Thomas, Baton Rouge; Angela Renee Fontenot, Evangeline; Brantley Paul Booth, Christine Miller Fox, Lake Charles; Lauren Elizabeth Vallery, Longview; Amy Dutton, Pine Prairie; Scott Jamison Leger, Sulphur.
ASSOCIATE OF ARTS
IN PARALEGAL STUDIES
Brittany Naylene Jouett, Alberta, Canada; Sara N. Thompson, Hayes; Kissie Simon, Madison Danielle Valenti, Emily Sue Wing, Lake Charles.
ASSOCIATE OF GENERAL
STUDIES
Brittany Naylene Jouett, Alberta, Canada; Judy L. Thomas, Orlando, Fla.; Michelle Antoinette Harden, Bastrop; Crystal Dalene Crawford LaVergne, DeRidder; Dianna Lynn Bergeron, Joalice Marie Valmore, Eunice; Daphani L. McKenzie, Houma; Kaitlyn Blair Kingrey, Kinder; Jodi Fitzgerald, Matthew Scott Fitzgerald, Brittney Paige Sonnier Moore, Lake Arthur; April Marie Lowe Ben, Hannah E. Clements, Michael Todd Fontenot, Lea Anne Hollier, Robert Earl Jacobi, Brittany Nichole Joseph, Janie E. Lunn, Christian M. Mc-Morris, Tara Louise Proffitt, Adriana Paulina Quigley, Michaela Dakota Touchstone, Rachel Marie Walker, Lakeyn Kristine Ward, Lake Charles; Ariel Renee Allen, New Orleans; Phyllis Sue Gray, Ragley; Elizabeth Arielle Kellner, Michael Benjamin Lucas, Rosepine; Grace C. Hernandez, Sulphur; Garhett J. Fontana, Westlake; Khara L. Ryals, Beaumont, Texas; Gabrielle D. August, Houston, Texas; Dakota
A. Breaux, Pearland, Texas; Nick
W. Vidrine, Oakley, Utah.
ASSOCIATE OF SCIENCE
ENGINEERING: Malik Montrell Fontenot, Opelousas; Logan Ford Planchard, Vinton. NURSING: Frances Marie Zaworski, Emporia, Kan.; Kelcie Lee Ann Coram, DeRidder; Kaylyn Marie Dawsey, Grand Lake; Khristopher Paul Fuselier, Iowa; Tomika Marie Galmore, Sara Christine Loewer, Jennings; Alishia G. Richard, Lake Arthur; Lanette Tower Babineaux, Andrew Evan Bearb, Rebekah Lynn Bourque, Kelly Fontenot Campbell, Tina Marie Carroll, Adriana Allyse Childress, Veronica Marie Crader Doucett, Christopher J. Miles, Romina Pacheco, Cortney Charles Rochon, Amy Lynn Sheffield, Lake Charles; Krystal
G. Hargrave Boudreaux, Morse; Tabitha Harris, New Iberia; Noell Elizabeth Hebert, Perry; Terri D. Williams, Ragley; Bethany Lynell Knatt-Broussard, St. Martinville; Annie Lynn Bourque, Vanessa Ann Parker, Kristie Gail Whisenhunt, Sulphur; Lauren Nicole Broussard Hawkins, Vinton; Nadyia Jean Achane, Evan W. Iguess, Welsh; Stacey Renee’ Freeman Bynum, Westlake; NeAisha M. Anderson, Jackson, Miss.; Sorin Marius Munteanu, Constanta, Romania.
14 2015-12-14
Lake Charles

Fees for McNeese spring semester due Jan. 13


Students who have registered online for McNeese State University’s 2016 spring semester have until 4:30 p.m. Jan. 13 to pay fees. Classes will begin Jan. 19.
Spring term bills will be available online via MyMcNeese Portal or Banner Self-Service accounts. Students can go to www.mcneese.edu/payment to see the payment methods and policy.
A fee-deferral plan is offered. All registration fees, including tuition, assessments, class fees and meal plan charges, are eligible for the plan. Students must pay half of the total amount by 4:30 p.m. Jan. 13, and the remainder is due March 1. There is a $30 processing fee. For more information, call the accounting office at 475-5107.
The McNeese bookstore offers an interest-free charge plan to all students enrolled for the spring to assist with the purchase of books and supplies. Students who are in good financial standing with the university may establish a charge account at the bookstore with a photo ID. The account can be used at the beginning of the semester for one month for the purchase of up to $800 in books and supplies. At the close of the purchase deadline, each student is billed for purchases made.
Accounts for the spring will open Jan. 4 and close Feb. 19. The payment deadline is April 1. For more information, call the bookstore at 475-5494.
14 2015-12-14
Lake Charles

698 students graduate from McNeese State University


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
McNeese State University held its fall commencement ceremony Saturday morning at Burton Coliseum.

The fall class of 2015 included 698 students from 38 parishes, 23 states and 19 countries.

Dr. Jeanne Daboval, provost and vice president for academic and student affairs served as master of ceremonies.

The McNeese Wind Symphony, directed by Dr. Jay Jacobs performed the processional, national anthem, alma mater and recessional.

McNeese President Dr. Philip Williams also awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree to Michael R. Fuljenz of Beaumont, Texas.

Barbara Streete Bailey, president of the McNeese Alumni Association addressed the students on behalf of the association.

Stephanie Tarver, associate vice president for enrollment management introduced the honor graduates.

KPLC will have students reaction tonight on 7News at Six and 7News Nightcast.
14 2015-12-14
Lake Charles

698 students graduate from M