Southern University Land-Grant Campus aims to pioneer medical marijuana research in Louisiana PAGE 36
SULC celebrates 70 years of legal education PAGE 42
SUSLA turns 50 PAGE 40
SUBR focused on campus safety through community policing PAGE 44
SUNO steps up in big way during disaster PAGE 47
SU alumna making strides in Silicon Valley PAGE 49
FROM THE PRESIDENT-CHANCELLOR
Greetings, At 137 years strong, Southern University is looking to the future with confidence and optimism. This year, for the first time in a decade, we are able to enjoy stable higher education funding, thanks to our Governor, Legislators, and many friends and advocates of SU. We should note the 408 percent increase in funding dedicated to support capital improvements on the SUBR campus, the realignment of colleges, the initiation of the Freshman Academy that promises to have a significant impact on retention, the resurrection of the Athletic Department whose outcomes now provide for 10/15 teams being eligible for post-season competition as opposed to 13/15 one year ago that were ineligible. Southern University alumni and supporters have always contributed to make a difference by giving in meaningful ways to help us execute our vision to make the dreams of becoming successful professionals a reality for all who come through our doors. In June, the University was part of the successful launch of the SU System Foundation’s (SUSF) Million Dollar March Campaign. This significant philanthropic appeal is a viral fundraising campaign whose contributions provide direct support for student scholarships, faculty research projects, and important campus initiatives for the five campuses of the Southern University System. More than 155 volunteer fundraisers will activate their fundraising efforts for 90-days, beginning on July 1, leading into the 24-hour SU GIVE DAY on September 29, 2017. As the SUSF CEO pointed out recently, SU’s giving from alumni and organizations has increased by 35 percent over the last four years. SU’s direct support to students, faculty and University capital improvements from philantropic gifts have increased by 35 percent over the last four years. More than 14,500 alumni volunteer fundraisers, donors, business partners, SU System staff and faculty, and students are responsible for the significant increase in private financial support, and institutional impact listed above. This is what we mean when we say We Are Southern! Like most families, we have had our share of good and bad, and like most families, the Jaguars are ultimately successful in overcoming obstacles and uniting in the name of our beloved Southern University. It is my belief that the Southern University System is at a crossroad in its evolution. The University has come a long way over the course of 137 years and we have benefitted from many who have unselfishly given of themselves to ensure that its mission is fulfilled. In recent years, the University has been challenged from a number of different fronts and yet Southern University has endured and arguably become stronger. Today, then, constitutes another stage in the growth of a storied institution. We have in our embrace an opportunity to expand our presence throughout Louisiana; and in accordance, respond to our obligation to serve our respective community. We must do this work together, and as history has indicated, such a collective effort works best for the Southern University and A&M College System. Sincerely,
Ray L. Belton, President-Chancellor, Southern University System
CONTENTS SU System Magazine SU System President-Chancellor
President-Chancellor Message ........................................................................... 1
Ray L. Belton
SU System Board of Supervisors 2017 Ann A. Smith, Chair Donald R. Henry, vice chair John Barthelemy Jr. Tony M. Clayton Leroy Davis Armond C. Duncan Raymond M. Fondel Jr. Curman L. Gaines Joe R. Gant Jr. Richard T. Hilliard Patrick D. Magee Domoine D. Rutledge Michael A. Small Leon R. Tarver II Samuel C. Tolbert Rani G. Whitfield
SU System & Campus Highlights ........................................................................ 3 Cover Story Seeing Green: Southern University Land-Grant .................................................... 36 SUSLA Feature ............................................................................................. 39 SULC Feature ................................................................................................ 42 SUBR Feature ............................................................................................... 44
SU System Chancellors
SUNO Feature ............................................................................................... 47
Ray L. Belton, SUBR Rodney Ellis, SUSLA Lisa Mims-Devezin, SUNO Bobby R. Phills, SUAREC John Pierre, SULC
SU System Alumni Highlights ........................................................................... 49
SU System Athletic Highlights .......................................................................... 52
Southern University System
Editor Henry J. Tillman
Copy Editors Jasmine Hunter Robyn M. Merrick
Feature Writers Maya Riley Banks William Broussard Erin Fulbright
Contributors Carla Ball Tammy Barney Christopher Jones Shannon Levingston-McCowan LaKeeshia Giddens Lusk Susan Nelson Alliyah Moore (student intern) Bridget Udoh
Copy and photos from SU Ag Center Office of Technology and Communications SUBR Office of Communications SUBR Athletics SUSLA Office of Communications SUSLA Graphic Services SUNO Public Relations SU Alumni Affairs SULC Office of Communications and Development Support
Photography N. John Oubre III
On the Cover In June 2015, Louisiana passed legislation allowing doctors to legally recommend medical marijuana for their patients. The law only allows for the prescription of non-smokable forms, like oils and pills. In the 2016 legislative session, legislation was passed removing restrictions on doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients and allow for the prescription, growth, and dispensing of medical marijuana in Louisiana. The new law, making Louisiana the 25th state to adopt a comprehensive medical marijuana program, also expands the disease states that can be treated to include people suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, wasting syndrome, seizure disorders and spasticity, Crohnâ€™s disease, and muscular dystrophy or multiple sclerosis. The state legislature designated Louisiana State University and Southern University as sites where research and growth of medical marijuana could commence, giving them both the rights of first refusal. Both university boards authorized the institutions to do so, making these Louisiana public universities the first in the nation to be authorized as sole growers and researchers for their state.
Pre-press and Printing Emprint/Moran Printing
SU SYSTEM & CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS
SUS campuses hold 2017 spring commencements, honor top grads The Southern University System awarded more than 1200 degrees to diverse classes among its four campuses during spring commencement exercises last May.
SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY BATON ROUGE
South African Ambassador to the United States Mninwa J. Mahlangu delivers the commencement address for Southern University Baton Rouge Spring 2017 commencement exercises, Friday, May 12, in the F.G. Clark Activity Center. Nearly 700 candidates received degrees.
South African Ambassador to the United States Mninwa J. Mahlangu delivered the commencement address for the Southern University Baton Rouge Spring 2017 commencement exercises, Friday, May 12, in the F.G. Clark Activity Center. Nearly 700 candidates received degrees. The spring 2017 chief student marshal was Naja I. Webb, with a cumulative grade point average of 3.912. She is a psychology major from Baton Rouge. The graduate degree candidates include students who represent the first graduates of the SU Executive Masters of Science in Criminal Justice – Online Degree program. The Southern University School of Nursing, recently was honored as the “2017 Nursing School of the Year, Graduate Degree
Baton Rouge native Naja I. Webb was chief student marshal for Southern University Baton Rouge’s 2017 Spring Commencement Exercises, Friday, May 12, 2017, in the F.G. Clark Activity Center.
Programs” by the Louisiana Nurses Foundation (See story page 34), and was named “Nursing Program of the Year by HBCU Digest (see story, page 32), graduated its largest nursing class in the history of program: 134 students. The University awarded posthumous undergraduate degrees to former students Denver A. Smith and Leonard Douglas Brown who were killed in November of 1972 during a campus demonstration. Honorary doctor of humane letters degrees were awarded to Ambassador Mahlangu and SU alumna Dolly Deselle Adams, a former national president of The Links, Incorporated, during the annual spring graduation exercises. CONTINUED ON THE FOLLOWING PAGE
SU SYSTEM & CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY BATON ROUGE
South African Ambassador to the United States Mninwa J. Mahlangu (pictured center, left photo), and SU alumna Dolly Deselle Adams (pictured center, right photo), a former national president of The Links, Incorporated, were each awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Southern University during spring graduation exercises Friday, May 12, 2017, in the F.G. Clark Activity Center. Pictured with the honorary degree recipients are SU Board of Supervisors chair Ann A. Smith and Leon R. Tarver II, SU Board of Supervisors chair emeritus.
Posthumous undergraduate degrees awarded Southern University Baton Rouge awarded posthumous undergraduate degrees to Leonard A. Brown and Denver D. Smith during its spring commencement exercises Friday, May 12, 2017, in the F.G. Clark Activity Center. Brown was awarded a degree in agriculture, and Smith was awarded a degree in computer science. Evelyn Turner Brown (center), Leonard Brownâ€™s sister, accepted the commemorative diploma from SU System President Ray L. Belton (right). Nelson Smith (left), Denver Smithâ€™s brother, received the memorial degree from Belton.
SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY SHREVEPORT SU Chancellor Rodney Ellis congratulates SUSLA Spring 2017 chief student marshal Stanimir Zivol as he received his degree during the commencement ceremony May 16 in the Shrevport Convention Center.
Rebecca Miller Sykes, president of the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation was the guest speaker for SU Shreveportâ€™s spring commencement exercises, May 16, 2017, in the Shreveport Convention Center. Pictured with Sykes (second from right) are (left-right) SU System President-Chancellor Ray L. Belton, SU System Board Chair Ann A. Smith, and SU Board Member Curman Gaines.
Shreveport native Rebecca Miller Sykes addressed the Southern University Shreveport graduates during the spring commencement program, May 16, 2017, in the Shreveport Convention Center. Sykes was appointed in 2013 as president of the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation.
The chief student marshal for SUSLAâ€™s spring graduation class of was Stanimir Zivol from Omolijica, Serbia. He graduated with a 2017 degree in business administration and earned 3.88 grade point average. Zivol received scholarships from several four-year universities including Tougaloo College.
SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY LAW CENTER SU Law Center alumna Shonda D. Stone, appellate judge, Second Circuit Court of Appeal, Shreveport, was the speaker for the Spring 2017 SU Law Center Commencement, May 13, 2017, in the F. G. Clark Activity Center on the Southern University Baton Rouge campus. One hundred and thirty-five graduates received the juris doctor degree this spring. Erin Hammons of Lafayette was the top day student and Zachary native Crystal M. Etue was the top evening student.
Shreveport judge and SULC alumna Shonda Stone (second from left) was the speaker for the spring SU Law Center commencement, May 13, 2017, in the F.G. Clark Activity Center. Pictured with Stone are (left-right) top day student Erin Hammons, SULC Chancellor John Pierre, and top evening student Crystal M. Etue.
SU SYSTEM & CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY NEW ORLEANS Pictured left is SUNO commencement speaker Sally-Ann Roberts. Pictured right is SUNO spring 2017 chief student marshal Keri Randolph Burns who received a bachelor’s degree in health information management systems with a 3.979 grade point average during commencement May 13, 2017, in Lakefront arena. Burns plans to take the RHIA Exam and then to attend the University of Texas Health Science Center for a master’s of science degree in biomedical informatics in the Spring of 2018. Her ultimate career goal is to own and operate an independent living facility for the mentally challenged. Born in Jamaica, Keri came to the United States when she was 5 years old with her parents.
In addition to conferring degrees to 525 graduates, Southern University New Orleans, Saturday, May 13, 2017, in Lakefront Arena, conferred an honorary doctor of humanities degree for Katherine Johnson, a physicist and mathematician who made contributions to the U.S. space program. The commencement speaker was WWL-TV’s Sally-Ann Roberts. The Class of 2017 consisted of 72 honor graduates: four suma cum laude, 16 magna cum laude, 39 cum laude, and 13 honors. Health information management systems major Keri Randolph, who was chief student marshal, earned the highest grade-point average of 3.979.
SUSLA and LSUS sign MOU for College Connect Program Southern University Shreveport (SUSLA) Chancellor Rodney Ellis (pictured right) and Louisiana State University Shreveport (LSUS) Chancellor Larry Clark (pictured left), November 10, 2016, held a formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding of the College Connect Program (CCP). The College Connect Program enables students to attend four-year campuses while being enrolled at SUSLA. Four-year colleges and universities have mandatory requirements for students to enroll. The CCP offers students an opportunity to take courses that will help in reaching the required number of class hours coursework to transition into the four year college or university.
Southern University’s Nelson Mandela College of Government and Social Sciences to forge relationships with South African Government The newly formed program creates international opportunities for students and faculty The Nelson Mandela College of Government and Social Science, Thursday, May 11, 2017, hosted a rededication ceremony and South African Ambassador to the United States, Mninwa J. Mahlangu, was the guest of honor. Pictured in front of the updated sign after the rededication ceremony are (left-right): SU System President-Chancellor Ray L. Belton, SU System Board of Supervisors Chair Ann A. Smith, Ambassador Mahlangu and his wife, SU System Board of Superviors member Leon R. Tarver II, and Dean Damien Ejigiri, Nelson Mandela College of Government and Social Sciences.
Southern University’s newly formed Nelson Mandela College of Government and Social Sciences will introduce a new curriculum, programs, and international opportunities this summer. Previously known as the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, the school was upgraded at the beginning of 2017, and it is the only college of government in the state. “Our goal is to become more expansive and create additional opportunities for our student body and faculty,” said Damien Ejigiri, dean of the Nelson Mandela College of Government and Social Sciences. “The curriculum now extends beyond foreign government relationships and presents recruitment and academic connections with African countries.” Dean Ejigiri has established a relationship with the South African Ambassador to the United States, Mninwa J. Mahlangu, who has openly declared the forging of a connection between the College and South African government. The South African diplomat rededicated the College on behalf of the late Nelson Mandela on the campus of Southern University in May. After the ceremony, Mahlangu and Ejigiri discussed leading efforts to establish exchange programs and training opportunities within multiple South African universities. The relationship will also connect the College to South African companies to establish recruitment efforts for graduates. Furthermore, faculty will be
encouraged to visit the country to discuss best practices and further develop valuable connections. When then President of South Africa Mandela visited the SU campus, he was honored at an event dedicating the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs after him. A few months ago, the School was upgraded to the College of Government and Social Sciences, and it is the only college of government in the state and the region. “The mission of the College is to attract and educate men and women from across the globe who will matriculate with the spirit of service, superb competence and employability skills needed in the market, and who further will acquire the uncompromising spirit to fight for justice and equality,” said Jocelyn Freeman, Nelson Mandela College of Government and Social Sciences professor. In addition to international opportunities, the new curriculum will have a stronger emphasis on government issues and relationships within the state and southern region. The College has also formed a partnership with the Southern University College of Business to introduce a new Ph.D. program with a concentration in finance and business. Students from the College of Business will also be able to earn dual degrees from the Nelson Mandela College of Government and Social Sciences.
SU SYSTEM & CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS
SU Board installs officers for 2017, welcomes new members
Taking the oath of office for the Southern University Board of Supervisors during the January 6, 2017, SU Board meeting in Baton Rouge, were two newly appointed members and three reappointed members. Pictured (left to right): Domoine D. Rutledge (newly appointed), Rev. Samuel C. Tolbert Jr. (reappointed), Chairwoman Ann A. Smith (reappointed), Leroy Davis (newly appointed), and Richard Hilliard (reappointed). SU Board of Supervisors general counsel Winston Decuir Jr. administered the oath of office.
The Southern University and A&M College and co-owner of DRH Consulting Group, “I salute the long-standing System Board of Supervisors, January 6, LLC in Gramercy. members of the Board for installed officers for 2017 and held a swearingTaking the oath of office for the SU Board their great and unselfish in ceremony for newly appointed members were two newly appointed members and service to the Southern during its regular monthly meeting. three reappointed members named by University System and conChairwoman Ann A. Smith and vice Governor Edwards, December 30, 2016. gratulate those members chairman Rev. Donald R. Henry, who were “I salute the long-standing members of the who have been reappointed elected during the annual officers’ election Board for their great and unselfish service who will continue in service. in November 2016, were installed as the new to the Southern University System and I genuinely look forward officers for the governing board for the only congratulate those members who have been to working with you as we historically black college and university system reappointed who will continue in service. I advance the mission of the in America. genuinely look forward to working with you Southern University System.” Smith is a retired school educator and as we advance the mission of the Southern – SU System President administrator in Tangipahoa Parish, member University System,” said SU System President Ray L. Belton. of the Louisiana School Board Association, Ray L. Belton. and former member of the Tangipahoa Parish Sworn in on the 16-member board that School Board. serves to manage and supervise the SU System were: Henry represents the 2nd Congressional District. He is a Leroy Davis, of Baker, is a retired professor and dean of planning and scheduling professional at Noranda Alumina, LLC; CONTINUED ON THE FOLLOWING PAGE
Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College. Additionally, Davis is a former mayor and councilman of the City of Baker. He received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, a master of science degree from the University of Illinois, and a doctoral degree from the University of Illinois. He serves as a representative of the 2nd Congressional District. Richard T. Hilliard, of Shreveport, is a senior engineer and business consultant at the Maintowoc Company, Incorporated. Hilliard received a bachelor of science degree from Georgia Technological University and a master of science degree from Walsh College. He serves as a representative of the 4th Congressional District. Domoine D. Rutledge, of Baton Rouge, is an attorney and general counsel of the East Baton Rouge Parish School System. He is a former national president of the Southern University Alumni Federation and the current president and chairman of the Southern University System Foundation Board of Directors. Rutledge received a bachelor of arts degree and a juris doctorate from the Southern University Law Center. He serves as an at-large member on the board. Smith, of Kentwood, received a bachelor of science degree and a master of science in education from Southern University. She serves as a representative of the 5th Congressional District. Rev. Samuel C. Tolbert Jr., of Lake Charles, is the pastor of the Greater Saint Mary Missionary Baptist Church. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Bishop College and a master of divinity from Payne Theological Seminary. He also has received an honorary doctorate of divinity from Union Baptist College and Theological Seminary and Christian Bible College and an honorary doctorate degree from Temple Bible College. Rev. Tolbert serves as an at-large member on the board. Southern University alumnus John Barthelemy Jr. of Braithwaite, was sworn in as a member of the Southern University System Board of Supervisors during its regular meeting on the Baton Rouge campus, May 12, 2017. Governor John Bel Edwards appointed Barthelemy April 28 for a term expiring December 31, 2022. He represents the First Congressional District, as required by statute. Currently Plaquemines Parish Council chairman, Barthelemy is a former educator for 42 years who has served as a principal, supervisor, and school superintendent. He received a bachelor of arts in health, physical, and safety education, and a master of education + 30 from Southern University. He is a lifetime member of the Pointe-a-la-Hache Volunteer Fireman’s Association and the SU Alumni Federation. Barthelemy was president of the Literary Rally Association of Greater New Orleans and director of the East Bank Football Recreation Program. “I am honored to be here to be a part of this distinguished Board
Rev. Donald R. Henry takes the oath of office as vice chairman of the Southern University Board of Supervisors during the governing board’s regular meeting January 6, 2017, in Baton Rouge. Pictured (left to right): Dana Henry, Rev. Henry, and Marguerite Henry. SU Board of Supervisors general counsel Winston Decuir Jr. administered the oath of office.
Taking the oath of office for the Southern University Board of Supervisors during the May 12, 2017, SU Board meeting in Baton Rouge was newly appointed member John Barthelemy Jr. SU Board of Supervisors general counsel Winston Decuir Jr. administered the oath of office.
who will continue to provide leadership to young minds who will guide us in the future,” said Barthelemy. The 16-member Board of Supervisors of Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College is vested with the responsibility for the management and supervision of the institutions of higher education, statewide agricultural programs, and other programs which comprise the Southern University System. Members serve six-year terms appointed by the governor.
SU SYSTEM & CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS SULC seniors awarded Baton Rouge Bar Foundation scholarships
Pictured (from left): Hannah Honeycutt, SULC professor Gail Stephenson, and Lamar Gardner.
Two SU Law Center seniors, Hannah Honeycutt and Lamar Gardner, were recipients of the Baton Rouge Bar Foundation scholarship. The scholarship is awarded in the spring semester to an upper-class student on the basis of financial need, academic achievement, community service and exemplary character. Gardner, a native of Corinth, Mississippi, received his B.A. in political science from Mississippi State University and a master in public administration (with a concentration in public policy) from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia. While at SULC, Gardner interned with the Lazard and Battiste Law Firm and the Cold Case Justice Initiative and currently serves as the law clerk to Judge Tarvald Anthony Smith in Baton Rouge City Court. He is the 2016-2017 editor-in-chief of the Southern University Law Review. After graduation, Gardner will sit for the Georgia Bar Examination. Honeycutt is a native of Baton Rouge and a graduate of Louisiana State University. Prior to pursuing her J.D., Honeycutt was a member of the LSU Golden Girls and New Orleans Saintsations. During her time in law school she has served as the editor-in-chief and the executive editor for the Journal of Race, Gender, and Poverty, the president and the recruitment chair for Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, and a member of their Society of Scholars, and is currently the vice president of the Maritime Law Society. After graduation, Honeycutt plans to take the Louisiana bar and practice personal injury and class action at Fayard & Honeycutt in Denham Springs. This scholarship is jointly sponsored by the Baton Rouge Bar Association, Inc., and the Baton Rouge Bar Foundation.
Shreveport names first band director Southern University Shreveport made history by naming Albert Jackson as its first director of bands. Jackson, former director of bands at Langston University, comes to SUSLA with 38 years of experience in the field of band and music education. Jackson has taught band, choir, piano, music appreciation to students ranging from grades first through 12 to students at the university level. He also served as band director at Albert Jackson Texas College, Green Oaks High School, Memphis Central High School, Griffin Elementary, and Dogan Middle School. Under his leadership, Green Oaks Jazz Band was recognized as one of the top high school jazz ensembles in the nation and The Langston University Marching Band was chosen to participate in the prestigious Honda Battle of the Bands for three consecutive years. Jackson is a Grambling native and was a member of the Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band. If interested in becoming a member of this historic band, or know someone that would like to participate, please contact Jackson at 318-670-9381 or via email at email@example.com.
SU Lab School earns U.S. News national ranking, bronze medal Southern University Laboratory School is ranked 38th among U.S. News & World Reportâ€™s Best High Schools in Louisiana. SU Lab School is recognized in the National Rankings and earned a bronze medal. Schools are ranked based on their performance on state-required tests and how well they prepare students for college.
SU System receives MERLOT Stewardship Award The Southern University System received a MERLOT Stewardship Award at the INNOVATE 2017 International Conference, co-sponsored by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) and the Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) global organization, April 5-7, 2017, in New Orleans. The SU System was recognized for its leadership role in launching the partnership with the California State University MERLOT, an Affordable Learning Solution (AL$) portal, and the Southern University Open Library for Education (SUOL4Ed) on April 19, 2016. The SU Open Library provides access for open education resources to the University and enables SU System faculty to develop online courses and programs using free and quality Open Education Resources (OER). It also helps faculty develop educational multimedia resources and open textbooks to contribute back to the OER and Open Access (OA) global movements.
Pictured: (left to right): Dawn Ventress Kight (J. B. Cade Library), Reshonda Corley (research assistant SMED), Marier Piper (SMED doctoral student, SUBR), Susanah Craig (SMED SUBR), Francesca Williams (SMED, SUBR), Loretta Spruel (SMED doctoral student, SUBR), Veronica McEachin (SUSLA Direct. Online Learning), Moustapha Diack (Chair SMED), Sharron Y. Herron-Williams, vice chancellor for academic affairs, SUSLA, Cynthia Bryant (Dean, College of Humanities and Interdisciplinary Studies, SUBR).
Southern University was the first institution in Louisiana and the first historically black college and university (HBCU) in the U.S. to deploy an affordable learning solution technology. Because of these significant efforts and leadership role, the University co-hosted with OLC and MERLOT an HBCU Summit on AL$ and Quality Online Program as part of the International INNOVATE conference. SU System President Ray Belton inaugurated the HBCU Summit, chaired
by Moustapha Diack, professor and chair of the SU Doctoral Program in Science/ Mathematics Education and directorMERLOT Africa Network. The summit targeted 104 HBCUs in the U.S. and Higher Education in Africa (HEIA) and will be an integral part of the INNOVATE conference set to be held every April in different states in the U.S. Next year’s summit, April 2018, will be held in Nashville, Tenn.
SULC student wins 2017 La. State Bar Law Student Pro Bono Award Third-year SU Law Center student Yvonne Henshaw was named the recipient of the 2017 Law Student Pro Bono Award by the Louisiana State Bar Association. The award was given during a ceremony and reception at the Louisiana Supreme Court May 23, 2017. “I was so excited and surprised to be given this honor,” said Henshaw. She was nominated for the award by Robin Kay, the pro bono program coordinator at the Baton Rouge Bar Association. The LSBA’s pro bono awards are meant to highlight the important and impactful work being done by lawyers, judges, and law students from across the state.
SU SYSTEM & CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS
SU celebrates 137 years, honors alumni elected officials
Sharon Weston Broome, the first female elected mayor-president of Baton Rouge-East Baton Rouge Parish, was the keynote speaker for the Community Prayer Brunch and Southern University Founders’ Day Convocation, March 9, 2017, in the F.G. Clark Activity Center. Pictured is Mayor Broome (second from left) receiving an honorary SU Alumni Federation (SUAF) Life Membership from (left – right) Robyn Merrick, chief of staff, SU System attorney Preston Castille, SUAF president; and Derrick Warren, director, alumni affairs, SU System and SUAF executive director.
Southern University Baton Rouge, March 9, 2017, observed its annual Founders’ Day to celebrate 137 since its establishment as a university, and to honor employees celebrating 10, 20, 30, and 40 years of service and to recognize Southern University alumni who are elected officials throughout the state of Louisiana. The theme for the 2017 commemoration was “Southern University: Positively Impacting the Community, the State, the Nation, and the World.” Sharon Weston Broome, the first female elected mayor-president of Baton Rouge-East Baton Rouge
Parish, was the keynote speaker the mid-morning combination Community Prayer Brunch and Founders’ Day Convocation. The University was founded in New Orleans in 1880 and relocated to Baton Rouge in 1914. Events included the SU Laboratory School Pilgrimage to the Clarks’ Gravesite, Founders’ Day Prayer/Breakfast Convocation, and a SU Founders’ Day Birthday Party in the Smith-Brown Memorial Student Union’s Jaguar Square. In keeping with the celebration of Baton Rouge’s Bicentennial, the 2017 Southern University Founders’ Day observance was one of the University’s events to commemorate the founding of Baton Rouge. The city in January celebrated 200 years since its incorporation. Broome told the audience of students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and friends of Southern University’s strong history. “Southern University provided opportunities for so many who couldn’t find it elsewhere,” said Broome, She stressed the importance of Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs), especially Southern University. After her inspiring message, the Southern University Alumni Federation presented Mayor Broome with an Honorary Life Membership to the Alumni Federation. During the convocation, more than 30 SU alumni who serve as elected officials were recognized and honored with a special certificate of appreciation. Earlier in the day, pre-kindergarten through 12th grade Southern University Laboratory School students and guests gathered on the river bluff for its annual program. This year, SU alumnus, Dr. Rani G. Whitefield, who is also a member of the Southern University Board of Supervisors, was the speaker for the ceremony at the Clarks’ gravesite.
Southern University, March 9, 2017, hosted a celebration in observance of the University’s annual Founders’ Day commemorating 137. Events included the SU Laboratory School Pilgrimage to the Clarks’ Gravesite on the bluff. Pictured are SU Lab School students placing memorial wreaths on the graves of the University’s founders.
Ford Motor Company Fund awards $20,000 in scholarships to SU
Ford Motor Company Fund awarded $20,000 for scholarships to Southern University. The University was selected by popular vote aboard the sold-out Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage, a HBCU fundraiser presented by Ford. Southern University won out over many of the nation’s other HBCUs represented on the trip. These scholarship funds will have an impact on many students who may be unsure about their ability to finance their study,” said Ray L. Belton, president, Southern University. “It might be a few credits they need to cover, or books, but these funds can make the difference for someone in staying in school and completing their degree.” The scholarships and the HBCU Community Challenge are two ways the Ford Fund works with groups like the Tom Joyner Foundation to increase awareness about the critical role HBCUs play in providing African Americans with knowledge and skills to succeed. Over half of all African-American professionals are graduates of HBCUs. The majority of African-American Ph.D.’s
in science and engineering were educated at a HBCU, as are more than half of all African-American public school teachers and nearly three-quarters of dentists. “Alumni of HBCUs are among the most loyal you will find anywhere. Their enthusiasm bears witness to the power of education,” said Pamela Alexander, director, community development, Ford Motor Company Fund. “The response to the on-board voting grows each year. We are pleased to advance the educations of students attending Southern University.” With more than 136 years of excellence in higher education, the Baton Rouge campus is the center of the Southern University and A&M College System -- the nation’s only historically black university system. More than 12,000 students study in 34 undergraduate programs and 22 graduate programs on five Louisiana campuses. Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 201,000 employees and 62 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks and SUVs, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. To expand its business model, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities with investments in electrification, autonomy and mobility. Ford provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company.
SU students take home five awards at NATS conference The Southern University Music Department had five students to place in the student audition portion of the Louisiana National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) conference at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, March 11, 2017. The five SU winners were: Nicholass Lockett, tenor, first place in the Hall Johnson Negro Spiritual category, and second place in overall Senior Men category; Ryan Alexander, baritone, second place in the Hall Johnson Negro Spiritual category; Bennie Brown, tenor, third place in the Non-Tradition Adult Men category; and Bryant Harris, baritone, received honorable mention in the Junior Men category. “This annual experience is paramount for our students because it motivates them to do their very best work and pushes them outside of their comfort zone. They tend to work harder than normal and sometimes they surprise me and themselves with the power of their competitive work ethics,” said Richard Hobson, affiliate artist and professor of voice and opera at Southern. The NATS conference is held every springs and has more than 200 entrants from universities across Louisiana. The universities
Pictured (left to right) Bennie Brown, Nicholas Lockett, and Ryan Alexander.
include: LSU, Loyola, McNeese State, Nicholls State, Tulane, Louisiana Tech, and Southern. Southern is the only HBCU in attendance at the conference.
SU SYSTEM & CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS
Employees receive inaugural ‘A
Pictured above: SU System President-Chancellor Ray Belton, SU Board of Supervisors Chair Ann A. Smith, January 2017 “Above and Beyond” Award recipient Albert D. Clark, and SU Board Member Leroy Davis.
Pictured above: SU System President-Chancellor Ray Belton, SU Board of Supervisors Chair Ann A. Smith, February 2017 “Above and Beyond” Award recipient Linda D. Frederick, and SUNO Chancellor Lisa Mims-Devezin.
A long-time Baton Rouge business law professor and a SUNO Student Support Services director were awarded the first “Above and Beyond” Award presented by the Southern University Board of Supervisors during its regular monthly meeting February 17, 2017. The “Above and Beyond” Award was established to help inspire and motivate SU employees to reach their maximum performance. One award will be presented at the SU Board of Supervisors meetings each month. “This award honors outstanding achievements in the workplace, exceptional contributions toward efficiency and effectiveness of operations, special efforts in promoting workforce excellence, or outstanding service to the University community and constituents,” said SU Board Chair Ann A. Smith.
SU Board member Leroy Davis, who nominated Clark, said Clark is a dedicated employee who often stays after work to assist students.
Albert D. Clark Jr. – January Albert D. Clark Jr., who received the employee award for January, has been working at SU Baton Rouge for 38 years.
Linda D. Frederick – February The SUNO employee who was presented the February award is Linda D. Frederick. Gloria B. Moultrie, vice chancellor, community outreach/ university advancement, SUNO, described Frederick as a quintessential leader in the Department of Student Support Services for more than 15 years. “She has an opendoor policy for all program problems and interests, and is willing to offer her advice and professional expertise when needed,” said Moultrie.
Katherine Plant – March Southern University Baton Rouge traffic guard Katherine Plant received the March 2017 “Above and Beyond” Award presented by the SU Board of Supervisors during its regular monthly meeting March 31 at the Solomon Episcopal Conference Center in Loranger.
Pictured above: SU System President-Chancellor Ray Belton, SU Board of Supervisors Chair Ann A. Smith, March 2017 “Above and Beyond” Award recipient Katherine Plant, SU Board Vice Chair Rev. Donald R. Henry, and interim SU University Police Chief Joycelyn Johnson.
Plant, a University Police employee, was nominated by interim chief Joycelyn Johnson who said Plant is an exceptional employee who often works extra hours and is a perfect example of going above and beyond to get the job done.
Major L. Brock– April Major L. Brock, assistant vice chancellor for student success at Southern University Shreveport (SUSLA), was the “Above and Beyond” Award recipient for April 2017. Brock, who was nominated by Glen Harris, education advocate, SUSLA TRIO Educational Opportunity Center, was recognized during the SU Board of Supervisors regular monthly meeting, April 21, in Baton Rouge. “Of his many accomplishments, his unique quality of being able to operate comfortably on all levels with colleagues and students alike, is his most impressive attribute,” said Harris. The April 2017 Above and Beyond Award winner provides leadership to assigned areas in an effort to inform
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l ‘Above and Beyond’ Award
Pictured above: SU System PresidentChancellor Ray Belton, SU Board of Supervisors Chair Ann A. Smith, April 2017 “Above and Beyond” Award recipient Major L. Brock, and SU Shreveport Chancellor Rodney Ellis.
Pictured above: SU System President-Chancellor Ray Belton, SU Board of Supervisors Chair Ann A. Smith, May 2017 “Above and Beyond” Award recipient Curtis V. Chisley, and SU Ag Center Chancellor Bobby R. Phills.
students and employees of the planning, assessing, expanding, and evaluation of curriculum and course requirements for successful college retention and completion. “Brock is a valued SUSLA employee whose work in the re-affirmation process with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is noteworthy and commendable,” said SUSLA Chancellor Rodney Ellis
Curtis V. Chisley– May Curtis V. Chisley, SU Ag Center research associate was recognized as the “Above and Beyond” Award recipient for May 2017. Chisley was nominated by Calvin Reuben Walker, chairman of the Department of Agricultural Sciences and SU Ag Center vice chancellor for research. “He is assigned to the Organic Swine Farm, yet he helps out in many other facets of the SU Land-grant Campus. He wears many hats beyond his title of research associate. He is one of our top recruiters in the Department of Agricultural Sciences,” said Walker.
Pictured above: SU System President-Chancellor Ray Belton, SU Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Rev. Donald R. Henry, SU Board of Supervisors Chair Ann A. Smith, June 2017 “Above and Beyond” Award recipient Angela Scott Gaines, and SU Law Center Chancellor John Pierre.
According to Walker, the May 2017 Above and Beyond Award winner was part of a team that won the 2015-16 USDA/National Institute of Food and Agriculture Award for Innovative Projects and Programs. He is affiliated with five active grants/projects totaling in excess $1,000,000. He is a co-author on at least 14 publications and conducted several international meat science workshops. Chisely earned a B.S. degree in animal science from SU in 1974 and worked at the USDA and Agricultural Marketing for 27.5 years. At SU he manages three agricultural units (Meat Lab, Swine, and Poultry Farms). He led the effort in the development of a National FFA Meat Identification CD-ROM that is sold nationwide and has generated more than $20,000 for the Ag Center. Recipients of the award are nominate their peers, the top three nominations are forwarded to the Board of Supervisors chair and vice chair for selection.
Angela Scott Gaines – June The June 2017 “Above and Beyond” Award recipient was Angela Scott Gaines, SU Law Center facilities manager and technical support specialist for the Law Library, She has been employed at SU for 27 years, 16 years at the SU Law Center. She began her work in the SUBR Comptroller’s Office before transferring to the SULC. Gaines’s commitment to the University does not stop with her day job. She sits on the Facilities Management Committee, Bayou Classic Committee, Homecoming Committee, Traffic and Parking Appeals Committee, SULC Development Team, and is a member of the Southern University Alumni Association. The dedicated employee also works diligently during athletic, Student Government, and other special events across campus.
SU SYSTEM & CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS
SU students, faculty research team assists with clean water efforts in Ghana Southern University student and faculty researchers from the Department of Mechanical Engineering spent several weeks in the Bongo District of Northern Ghana, through the SU International Research Experiences for Students (SU-IRES), helping develop a lowcost, but technologically efficient composite material filtration system for sustainable water purification. Pictured is Deidre Street, executive director for institutional effectiveness and research, Office of Research and Strategic Initiatives, and SU IRES co-principal investigator, helping distribute school supplies to students at a local primary/junior high school in Kumasi.
People living in the Bongo Region of Kumasi, Ghana, now have access to cleaner water thanks to an ongoing partnership through the SU International Research Experiences for Students (SU-IRES). For the third year, researchers from the Southern University and A&M College Department of Mechanical Engineering in Baton Rouge, and the Department of Materials Engineering at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana have partnered to develop a low cost, but technologically efficient composite material filtration system for sustainable water purification in the Bongo Region of Ghana. KNUST has served as the host University for the Summer International Research Experience of this project and has facilitated arrangements to enable successful research, scholarly visits and made available the necessary research laboratories for student projects. By having a hands-on approach, students have learned excellent data acquisition techniques and gained the ability to analyze and interpret scientific information. The project has allowed students majoring in STEM fields to engage in hands-on international research in an unfamiliar environment and yet be able to adapt to solving problems in untraditional environments. The SU-IRES has supported 22 students (18 undergraduates and four graduates) during the past three years of summer research. SU student participants built a prototype water purification system designed by SU senior mechanical engineering students Dorlissia Robinson, Paula-Marie Mensah, Jason Peters, and Tevin Wilson, as their capstone design project during fall and spring 2016-2017. The project aims to alleviate high fluoride levels (above 3 mg/L) found in groundwater in northern Ghana, which is above the World Health Organization’s recommended guideline value of 1.5mg/L. This study utilizes a locally available Balungu laterite that has been modified with alum solution to precipitate Al(OH)3
and Al2O3 on its surface to develop a low-cost and sustainable adsorbent for the adsorption of fluoride. In the first two years of this project research conducted has shown that the method used to modify the laterite successfully improved the laterite’s ability to adsorb fluoride ions from an aqueous solution. “We are grateful to collaborators in Ghana, professor Francis Momade and Dr. Albert Adjaottor, KNUST Department of Materials Engineering, for making available the laboratories and funding from the National Science Foundation that has made this project possible. Overall, this research will contribute to addressing water quality concerns and the availability of drinking (potable) water to humanity – especially in developing areas,” said Patrick Mensah, SU IRES Principal Investigator and mechanical engineering professor. The Southern University research team consisted of eight students from various STEM disciplines, two mechanical engineering faculty, and two staff: Deja Feist, senior, chemistry; Skyler Franklin, junior, biology; Raven Fuselier, senior, plant science; Kaleb Jennings, senior, mechanical engineering; Paolo Fon Ketcha, junior, civil engineering; Paula Mensah, engineering graduate student; Darrell Moses, sophomore, mechanical engineering; Jaylen Scott, senior, mechanical engineering; Patrick Mensah; Deidre Street, executive director for institutional effectiveness and research, Office of Research and Strategic Initiatives, and SU IRES co-principal investigator; and Bernice Ruth, mechanical engineering secretary and SU IRES project assistant. The SU-IRES Research Team experience was June 5 - July 3, 2017.
SU professor earns NEHA’s premier credentials in environmental health The National Environmental Health Association recently conferred upon Rao Uppu, the James and Ruth Endowed Professor of Environmental Toxicology in the College of Sciences and Engineering at Southern University Baton Rouge, its premier dual credential, Registered Environmental Health Specialist/ Registered Sanitarian (REHS/ RS). Uppu is being recognized for his set of defined competencies, evidenced Rao_Uppu through years of working experience in environmental health and successful testing in a wide range of science and engineering topics as they relate to promotion of environmental public health, responding to emergencies, and the like. Apart from extensive academic preparation, Uppu attributes his success to his more than 20 years of research in chemical/ molecular toxicology (LSU and SUBR) and over five years of field research experience in molecular epidemiology (India). “It took nearly two years to earn the REHS/RS credential which involved years of working experience in environmental health and successful testing in a wide-range of science and engineering topics as they relate to promotion of environmental public health, responding to emergencies, and the like. The reason I strived so hard to earn the REHS/RS credential was that I wanted to introduce an M.S. degree program in environmental health as a foundation course to our Ph.D. program in Environmental Toxicology,” said Uppu. The honor of conferring REHS/RS by NEHA began in 1937. According to NEHA, the REHS/RS credential holders “demonstrate competency in an impressive range of environmental health issues, directing and training personnel
to respond to routine or emergency environmental situations, and providing education to their communities on environmental health concerns.” Additionally, they are key members who ensure communities’ compliance with local, state and federal environmental health regulations. The REHS/RS credential is among several recent accomplishments for Uppu. A longtime member of the Society of Toxicology, the world’s largest toxicology association, Uppu was an elected Fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences (FATS, 2013) and earned board certification from the American Board of Toxicology (DABT, 2014). In 2015, he was named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a recognition he received from the world’s largest scientific organization for his work in the areas of ozone-mediated oxidations, oxidative and nitrosative stress, and cell signaling. Uppu is one of a handful of scientists, residing both within the US and outside, who earned the distinction of having all four credentials: DABT, REHS/RS, FATS, and AAAS Fellow. He is a proud Southernite who earned these recognitions while a member of the faculty at Southern University. Uppu has published numerous research articles in peerreviewed journals and has mentored several graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Additionally, he has been adjudicator for several PhD/DSc theses from other countries. In 2007, Uppu was honored as the University-wide researcher and professor of the year. He also received SUBR’s Business and Industry Cluster Quality Award (2011), Telugu Association of North America Excellence in Science Award (2011), SUBR Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (2013), and the Becoming Everything You Are (BEYA) Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Innovators Award.
Miss SU lands number one spot for Ebony’s HBCU Campus Queens competition When the 2016-2017 Ebony HBCU Campus Queens online competition ended in January, five out of the six Louisiana HBCUs were among the top 10 schools in the final round. Southern University Baton Rouge’s Corinne Sheree Vaughn was voted to the number one spot with help from her peers, family, and friends. Congratulations also to the following Louisiana university Queens: Germika Stewart, Southern University at New Orleans; Chelsea Bosley, Dillard University; Astra Watts, Grambling State University; and Jasmine Merlette, Xavier University of Louisiana.
SU SYSTEM & CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS
SU visits universities in China to forge global partnership Southern University Baton Rouge collaborated with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), select land-grant HBCUs, and state agencies to develop the “1890’s Institutions Initiative” to forge global partnership to create the production of human capital in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, and Mathematics (STEAM). On March 3, 2017, a delegation traveled to China to visit Beijing Union University, Tsinghua University, Beijing University, Nankai University, and Shandong University to begin phase one of the proposed initiative to explore mutually beneficial opportunities and bring new insights to bear on the role of science and technology in producing a competitive advantage in the scientific enterprise. “The trip provided an opportunity for a select group of 1890 institutions, along with TMCF and state agencies, to learn how other universities have successfully linked academics and research to entrepreneurial, community, and economic growth,” said Michael Stubblefield, vice chancellor for Office of Research and Strategic Initiatives. “It also provided a platform for our potential international partners to engage a network of universities in six states, as well as the entire 22-state network of TMCF schools. We wanted to connect partners across scientific disciplines, geographic boundaries, and knowledge institutions (universities,
governments, businesses, non-profits, etc.) in educating a new generation of dynamic, globally competent workforce (scholars, practitioners, innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders) who will add value to the U.S. scientific enterprise,” added Stubblefield. The partnership is designed around bilateral faculty exchanges, bilateral student exchanges, jointly sponsored research, economic development initiatives, and building capacity through jointly sponsored centers of excellence in STEAM. Southern University and TMCF are joined in the delegation with Alcorn State University, Fort Valley State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Louisiana Board of Regents, Louisiana Economic Development, and the Louisiana Workforce Commission. Within the 1890’s Institutions Initiative, Southern looks to broaden strategic partnership between the nation’s black land-grant universities and international institutions of higher learning. The idea behind the 1890’s Institutions Initiative to forge global partnerships is to bring schools, colleges and universities, government, and industry to the table to reform and restructure, to produce master teachers in the sciences, to support global partnerships, and to invest wisely and heavily in creating a comparative advantage in the global marketplace of science and technology.
National Ag Day attracts more than 3,000 students to SU Activity Center The Southern University Land-Grant Campus celebrated its 2017 National Ag Day event with the rest of the nation on March 21. Faculty, staff, students from kindergarten to college and community members participated in the celebration with students from area schools numbering more than 3,000. National Ag Day is about recognizing and celebrating the contribution of agriculture in our everyday lives. The event provided not only the opportunity and forum for youth to learn about Louisiana agriculture, but also the platform to meet and recruit potential students to Southern University and particularly, the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences. Southern University System President-Chancellor Ray Belton and Land-Grant Campus Chancellor-Dean Bobby Phills, along with numerous administrative staff, were on hand to bring greetings to Ag Day participants.
SU Land-Grant Campus professor receives outstanding scientist award, students recognized at conference
Dr. Yadong Qi
Yadong Qi received the distinguished Morrison-Evans Outstanding Scientist Award for 2017 from the Association of 1890 Research Directors’ (ARD) at its biennial symposium in Atlanta, Georgia, April 1-4, 2017. Qi is interim department chair and director of the Urban Forestry Graduate Program, a professor of urban forestry with the Southern University College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences, and a research scientist in the SU
Ag Center. Qi is only the second Southern University scientist to ever receive the award. The first Southern University recipient was in 1989. Nominees were submitted for selection from the 1890 Institutions and Qi emerged the sole winner of the prestigious award. The ARD biennial symposium honors one outstanding scientist from the 19 intuitions based on established criteria. Undergraduate and graduate student oral and poster presentation competitions were also held during the symposium. Land-Grant Campus students Brittany Benjamin, Patrice Lazard, and Asia Rubin placed in the oral competition. Benjamin, an urban rorestry graduate student from New Orleans, won third in the graduate student category of renewable energy, natural resources, and environment; Lazard, an agricultural economics undergraduate student from Lawtell, won first place in the undergraduate student category of family, youth, community, and economic development; and Rubin, an animal science undergraduate student from Lafayette, won third place in the undergraduate student category of animal health and production and animal products. The Morrison-Evans Outstanding Scientist Award is named in honor of Richard D. Morrison, president emeritus, of Alabama A&M University and Congressman Frank E. Evans of Colorado. Morrison and Evans provided leadership in seeking research and extension funds for the 1890 Institutions under the Second Morrill Act of 1890.
SU ranked among 50 Great Value Colleges for Family and Consumer Sciences The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) in the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences is prominently ranked in the 2016-2017 list of 50 Great Value Colleges for Family and Consumer Sciences. Ranked 19 of 50, it is the only FCS unit in Louisiana to make the list. In its discussion of Southern University’s FCS program, greatvaluecolleges.net wrote, “Practical experience is a priority. All concentrations include opportunities for students to enrich their education through participation in internships, service learning, study tours, or similar activities. Students are also encouraged to join professional and student organizations and regularly participate in events held by these organizations.” According to Doze Butler, associate dean, FCS has a small, but dedicated faculty and staff. Faculty members are involved in the full spectrum of activities that are the lifeblood of higher education. They teach, participate in research and other scholarly activities, and engage in service and other outreach efforts. Faculty are known for mentoring and advising students. The department consistently ranks as the sixth largest producer of bachelor’s degrees at the University.
More than 200 small farmers attend SU LandGrant Campus conference The Southern University Land-Grant Campus held its 7th Annual Louisiana Small Farmer Conference March 16-18, 2017, at the Southern University Ag Center. Nearly 200 small farmers from throughout the state attended the three-day event themed, “Innovation and Resilience for Louisiana’s Family Farms.” This year’s conference kicked off with a grant writing workshop which prepared attendees with information to conceptualize and develop a competitive grant proposal for the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program. Other sessions included value added marketing, soil health, a modern technology and farming drone demonstration, farm labor issues, produce safety, and a panel discussion on bees and cut flowers.
SU SYSTEM & CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS
Nursing chair selected as FNINR ambassador Cheryl Taylor, chairperson, Graduate Nursing Programs, and director, Office of Nursing Research, SU School of Nursing and Allied Health, was recently selected as an ambassador for the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR). FNINR an independent nonprofit group that advocates for and advances nursing science in the name of promoting the health and wellbeing of all Americans, Cheryl Taylor, announced the selection of 15 Ambassadors to join the ranks of 15 others currently filling this role. Ambassadors are selected from a national pool of applicants based on their abilities to advance public, health professions, and policy-maker awareness of the critical research agenda linked to the National Institute for Nursing Research (NINR). These highly qualified individuals, many of whom function in the scientific community, will focus specifically on educating Congressional leaders as to the high-impact and cost-effective treatments and quality-of-life enhancements that emanate from nursing science. Ultimately, the goal is advance research funding to ensure the training of scientists at a time of major scientific breakthroughs and to promote the updated NINR strategic plan that specifies how nurse scientists improve the wellbeing of Americans across the human lifespan. “It is humbling for me as to be chosen to represent nursing science and health care research for NIH’s National Institute of
Nursing Research as an ambassador. As a mentor to many students and faculty, and in the spirit of professional inter-subjectivity, my lifelong commitment to advance nursing and health care research is strengthened by this national appointment. Caring is truly the essence of nursing,” said Taylor. Taylor, the Dr. Jewel and Dr. James Prestage Endowed Professor at SUBR, and fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, was recently reappointed by the National League for Nursing (NLN) to the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) to serve a third term as NLN consultant. She was also elected in 2016 by the prestigious American Academy of Nursing to serve as a member of the Fellow Selection Committee. Taylor also serves as an AACN/NLN Jonas Scholar Mentor for three Ph.D. nursing students and was elected by the NLN membership to their National Strategic Planning Committee. At the statewide level, she is a member of the Louisiana Action Coalition Diversity Steering Committee and a member appointed by the Governor, of the Louisiana Department of Health and Human Services Institutional Review Board. In July, she was name HBCU faculty member of the year by HBCU Digest. (see story, page 34) FNINR is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to provide resources to support nursing research and help advance the mission of NINR. FNINR seeks to support research-based nursing practice by educating health care professionals, Congress, and other appointed and elected officials, as well as the public in general about the advances made through nursing research and its benefits to patients, families, the community and the delivery of quality health care.
Annual SU Academic Honors Day Awards Program recognizes top achievers Southern University, April 19, 2017, held its Annual Academic Honors Day Awards Program Parents, family, friends, students, faculty and staff were in attendance. Students who earned a 3.0 GPA or better for the fall and/ or spring 2016 semesters were honored. Among this year’s honorees was Patrice Lazard, agricultural economics major, who won the Chancellor’s Scholar Award and the highest GPA honor in the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences. Pictured is Lazard (middle) with SU System President-Chancellor Ray L. Belton and Bobby R. Phills, dean-chancellor of the SU Center and College of Agriculture, Family and Consumer Science.
SU to sign MOU transfer agreement with California Community Colleges Beginning Fall 2017, transfer students from California Community Colleges (CCC) awarded an associate degree, will be guaranteed admission to the Southern University Baton Rouge (SUBR) at junior standing as part of a partnership through the California Community Colleges Transfer Guarantee to Historically Black Colleges and Universities Program. The goal of California’s HBCU Transfer Guarantee Program is to provide additional transfer pathways for transfer-ready community college students from any one of 113 colleges that will ultimately contribute to an increase in baccalaureate-level degree attainment.The California Community College System is the largest system of higher education in the nation composed of 72 districts and 113 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year, of which over 100,000 students transfer each year to baccalaureate degree granting institutions. “On behalf of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the California Community Colleges Transfer Guarantee to HBCUs Program, I am pleased to inform and welcome Southern University and A&M College participation as a program partner. I am excited about this new partnership we will now share, and I look forward to further efforts between us to provide transfer opportunities for California’s students,” said Helen P. Young, project director, California Community Colleges Transfer Guarantee Agreement to Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
As part of the partnership, a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Southern University and A&M College and the California Community College Chancellor’s Office will be signed. “The mission and function for Southern and all HBCUs remains centered on access and lifelong success. Over the last two decades, community colleges have increasingly become the portal through which many AfricanAmerican and first-generation college students enter higher education. The California Community College Transfer agreement facilitates Southern University’s ability to expand the access pipeline that leads to gainful employment,” said Luna Young, interim executive vice president and provost, Southern University and A&M College System. Southern University and A&M College is the flagship institution of the nation’s only historically black college and university system in America. Located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the campus is on Scott’s Bluff overlooking the Mississippi River in the northern section of the city.
SUSLA radiologic technology student wins first place SUSLA Radiologic Technology Program student Jessica Lowry was the first place winner of the 2017 Midwinter Junior Division Student Bee Competition, March 18, 2017, hosted by the Louisiana Society of Radiologic Technologists (LSRT), at Louisiana State University Alexandria, March 18, 2017. Each year, students from accredited radiologic technology programs from across the state of Louisiana, individually compete in the LSRT Student Bee competition for accolades, monetary prizes, and to champion their institution as having the winning students. Competing Institutions include Northwestern State University, Louisiana, Baton Rouge General, McNeese State University, Louisiana State University at Alexandria, Louisiana State University at Eunice, Southern University at Shreveport, and University of Louisiana at Monroe. Pictured (left - right): Shelia Swift, program director; Jessica Lowry, first place LSRT Student Bee Winner; and Benita Lawrence, instructor.
SU SYSTEM & CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS
SU environmental toxicology students win awards at two national conferences
(from left to right) Prathyusha Bagam, Gagandeep Kaur, and Rakeysha Pinkston
Three Southern University Baton Rouge students in the Environmental Toxicology Department (ENTX) won awards at two national conferences, in Baton Rouge and North Carolina, in March. Gagandeep Kaur, Prathyusha Bagam, and Rakeysha Pinkston, graduate students in the ENTX Ph.D. program, placed first, second, and third best for their research work and platform presentations at the 74th Joint Meeting of Beta Kappa Chi and National Institute of Science. The conference was held in Baton Rouge, March 15-18, 2017.
Kaur’s research focused on determining epigenetic markers on immune related genes in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) models, while Bagam and Pinkston’s research studied the role of autophagy mechanism and proteasome variants in COPD models. Pinkston also received second place for platform presentation at the 29th Annual Student Conference hosted by the National Black Graduate Student Association in Charlotte, North Carolina on March 22-25, 2017. The theme of the conference was “Beyond the hashtag: Taking research, innovation and solidarity from words into action.” Associate professor and program coordinator for environmental toxicology at SU, Sanjay Batra, served as the research project advisor for the three students. “These awards provide a tremendous boost for students to strive and excel in their field of research and aim for even bigger accomplishments in the future,” said Batra. “The exposure of students at the national meetings and their interaction with peers in the field will be instrumental in improving the ongoing research projects, and ensures that the students receive the optimal academic and mentoring experience thereby leading to overall growth of the program.” In addition to the awards, Pinkston was elected as a regional representative for the south central region for the National Black Graduate Student Association.
BRAABJ honors SU instructor at scholarship luncheon
Longtime Southern University Baton Rouge mass communication broadcast instructor Darrell Roberson was one of three pioneering journalists honored by the Baton Rouge Area Association of Black Journalists (BRAABJ) at its 5th Annual Scholarship Luncheon, April 21, 2017, at Boudreaux’s in Baton Rouge. The other 2017 pioneering journalists were former WBRZ News 2 photographer, Sailor Jackson and WTQT 106.1FM radio personality, Kerwin Fealing. Proceeds from the luncheon will be used to send LSU, Southern University, and Southeastern University journalism students to the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) convention in New Orleans in August. BRAABJ, a non-profit organization founded in 2012, is made up of local media and media-related professionals. The goal of the National Association of Black Journalist affliate organization is to highlight and support journalists of color and give back through mentoring and scholarships. Last year, BRAABJ was recognized as NABJ’s Chapter of the Year.
SU physics professor recognized for astronomy achievement and science education outreach Stephen C. McGuire, the James and Ruth Smith Endowed Professor of Physics, Southern University Baton Rouge, received national and international recognition for his work with Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) research and science education outreach. On February 15, 2017, McGuire began his three-year appointment on the Committee on Opportunities Stephen C. McGuire in Science (COOS) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). According to Yolanda Comedy, director, AAAS Center for Advancing Science and Engineering Capacity, this AAAS Board appointed Committee advises the AAAS directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) Programs on initiatives and projects related to enhancing the status and accelerating the advancement of minorities, women, and disabled persons in science and engineering professions. The Committee also advises the AAAS Capacity and Career Centers. “I am honored to serve our community from this new position and in doing so further strengthen the backgrounds of our students, teachers, and the general public at all levels in critical STEM disciplines,” McGuire said.
Earlier this year McGuire shared in the UK Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) 2017 Group Achievement Award in Astronomy, which was received by the LIGO team for the direct detection of gravitational waves. Professor John Zarnecki, president of the Royal Astronomical Society, congratulated the winners, “The recipients of the Royal Astronomical Society’s 2017 awards, medals, and prizes reflect the enormously wide range of interests of the Society and its members. From the interior of our earth through to the outer planets of our solar system and further to our own galaxy and even to the outer reaches of our universe, all disciplines are represented. The achievements of all of our winners are impressive and we are so pleased to be able to acknowledge them.” Also, McGuire is among the voices of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) in the movie “LIGO Detection” (www. newscientist.com/round-up/ligodetection/) describing their initial reactions upon seeing the historic signals received in the twin detectors at Livingston and Hanford, Washington on September 14, 2015. The movie premiered on February 7, 2017, in celebration of the one-year anniversary of the announcement of the direct detection gravitational waves by LIGO. McGuire is the Southern University principal investigator to the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. He is a co-principal investigator on the SUBR-LIGO Partnership Project in Science Education and directs the on-campus Southern University LIGO Advanced Optical Materials Laboratory. The National Science Foundation funds his research.
SU Ag project coordinator appointed to board by Governor Edwards
Tiffany R. Wilkerson-Franklin
Tiffany R. Wilkerson-Franklin, was appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards to serve on the Governor’s Advisory Board of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Franklin was appointed on February 24, 2017, to serve on the Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Criminal Justice, Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Advisory Board for three years. The board serves to encourage and assist the state, units of local government, and private non-profit agencies in the comprehensive improvement of the juvenile justice system in the State of Louisiana; to assist in the establishment of juvenile justice policy by providing advice and counsel to the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement, Louisiana Legislature, and the Governor of Louisiana on ways and means to facilitate greater juvenile justice system effectiveness; and to carry out the requirements according to the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. Wilkerson-Franklin serves as extension project coordinator at the Southern University Agricultural LandGrant Campus.
SU SYSTEM & CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS
SUBR nursing student selected for NSNA resolutions panel The National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) president, with Board approval, appointed Steven Jackson Jr., a graduating senior nursing student at Southern University Baton Rouge (SUBR) College of Nursing and Allied Health, to serve as a member of the 2016-2017 NSNA Resolutions Committee. This is the first time for a SNA leader from SUBR to be on the national level with student nurse leaders from other schools across the United States. The resolutions committee will be critically reading, writing and analyzing, and deciding on which resolutions will go before the NSNA House of Delegates. In addition, Jackson and the committee will present a report to the 2017 House of Delegates. Many nursing programs give students practicum credit in leadership management courses for their contributions at this national professional nursing organizational level, because the activities involve hands-on governing, management, organizing, and conflict resolution skill development. The role involves a lot of collaborative work and Jackson will be representing SUBR School of Nursing and Allied Health and NSNA on behalf of more than 60,000 nursing students. “I am honored that NSNA has appointed me to a position of this caliber, representing the Southern University School of Nursing. I am blessed to have the support of my parents and guidance from my faculty advisor professor Juanita Garner as well as Dr. Trudy Williams and professor Rosalynn Thyssen, and NLN consultant to NSNA, Dr. Cheryl Taylor,” said Jackson. Jackson is well prepared for NSNA’s resolutions committee because of his leadership ability and his participation last year in NSNA’s convention in Orlando where he attentively listened,
learned, and returned to SU with enthusiasm to build the SU chapter better, said Juanita Garner, SU School of Nursing assistant professor and SNA faculty advisor. Jackson is the current president of the SU Student Nurses Association. He represented SUBR and Steven Jackson the School of Nursing and Allied Health on a national stage at the 65th Annual National Student Nurses’ Association Convention, April 5-9, 2017, in Dallas, Texas. “This is a first for the SU School of Nursing and he is definitely a trailblazer in this and several student nurse roles. Thanks to former SNA faculty advisor, the late professor Kimberly Vincent-McCoy, for her sacrifice to ensure this student’s personal commitment and professional achievement, and to the current faculty advisor, assistant professor Juanita Garner for continuing professor McCoy’s legacy of commitment and sacrificial service by mentoring student leaders such as Mr. Jackson to achieve their dreams, recruit and mentor potential student nurse leaders to grow the SNA,” said Cheryl Taylor, chairperson, Graduate Nursing Programs, and director, Office of Nursing Research, SU School of Nursing and Allied Health, who is the NLN’s National Consultant to NSNA.
SU Land-Grant Campus inducts three new members as Louisiana Living Legends Three honorees were recognized as Louisiana Living Legends during the 7th annual Louisiana Small Farmer Conference, March 17, 2017, at the Southern University LandGrant Campus: Patricia Meyinsse, professor of agricultural economics at the SU College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences; Donald McDowell, retired professor from the Department of Agribusiness, Applied Economics, and Agriscience Education at North Carolina A&T State University; and Lee Hampton, retired parish chair in St. Landry Parish and cooperative extension agent. The three join 21 others who have been honored with this recognition since 2005. This occasion provides opportunity to honor individuals in research, teaching and extension with links to the SU Land-Grant Campus. Pictured: (left - right) Living Legends Lee Hampton, Patricia Meyinsse, and Donald McDowell.
SU professor to serve on international organization executive board Madan Kundu, chair and professor of the Department of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies in the SU Baton Rouge College of Nursing and Allied Health, has been elected to serve on the Executive Board of Rehabilitation International (RI) for 2017-2021. The announcement was made during the 23rd Rehabilitation International World Congress held at the International Convention Center in Edinburgh, Scotland in October Madan Kundu 2016. Kundu served as North American Chair of RI during 20012004 and 2005-2008. He was previously elected to serve as Global Chair of Work and Employment Commission of RI for 20092012 and 2013-2016. In these positions, he provided leadership to implement Article 27: Work and Employment of the United Nations Convention on the Rights for People with Disabilities (UN CRPD). During his tenures, Kundu also traveled to 22 countries and made 44 presentations and conducted Rehabilitation International seminars in Hong Kong and Tokyo. Annually, he
is invited to participate in the Conferences of the State Parties (COSP) at the United Nations. Kundu was actively involved in the RI World Congress Meeting themed, “Create a more inclusive world.” He served on the Program Committee and made two presentations: Competencies Needed for Return to Work (RTW) Professionals for Successful Employment Outcomes for People with Disabilities, and Assessing Vocational Rehabilitation Engagement of People with Disabilities: A Factor Analytic Approach (presented on behalf of Alo Dutta, professor, Department of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies, SUBR). During the congress, Kundu was interviewed by the producer of “Real Factory,” a French television company preparing a documentary about the quality of life for people with disabilities. Her Royal Highness Princess Anne inaugurated the congress. World-renowned physicist and cosmologist, and a person with disability, Stephen Hawking, provided the congress keynote speech via videoconference. Approximately 1,100 participants attended the meeting from 68 countries that resulted in 200 presentations by the experts.
Gov. appoints SU nursing professor to state Nursing Board Jacqueline J. Hill, associate professor and chair of the Southern University Baton Rouge School of Nursing and Allied Health’s Undergraduate Nursing Program, was appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards to the Louisiana State Board of Nursing (LSBN). “It is truly an honor to be the first Southern University School of Nursing graduate to be appointed to such a prestigious board. Little did I know Jacqueline J. Hill that 30 years later after attending my first LSBN meeting as a student that I would be afforded the opportunity to serve on the board. I consider it a tremendous blessing to be at the table where decisions relevant to nursing are made,” said Hill. Hill, a SU alumna, will serve a three-year term ending December 31, 2020.
“Dr. Hill is a consummate professional with a genuine desire to make a significant contribution to nursing as an educator and innovator. I have no doubt that she will be a definite asset to the Louisiana State Board of Nursing,” said Janet Rami, dean of the SU School of Nursing and Allied Health. The Louisiana State Board of Nursing is responsible for safeguarding the life and health of Louisiana residents through the regulation of persons practicing or offering to practice as registered nurses. The 11-member board is charged with ensuring that persons practicing as registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses are sufficiently trained and licensed. The board also establishes minimum curriculum requirements and approves nursing schools. Hill serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for the American Nurses Association’s member newspaper, The American Nurse, and in 2015, she was inducted into the Louisiana Nurses Foundation’s Hall of Fame--the first graduate of Southern’s Nursing School to be inducted. She is past president of the Louisiana State Nurses Association.
SU SYSTEM & CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS
SU Law Center professor elected to positions with national and local economic and criminal justice groups Southern University Law Center professor Angela Allen-Bell has been named an honorary co-chair of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund’s Wall Street Project Economic Summit and as a member of the board of directors of the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center. The Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund is a multi-racial, multi-issue, Angela Allen-Bell progressive, international membership organization fighting for social change. The organization’s Wall Street Economic Project encourages Corporate America to increase opportunities for minority vendors and consumers, and to work toward ensuring equal opportunities for culturally diverse employees, entrepreneurs, and consumers. The Louisiana Capital Assistance Center, located in New Orleans, provides legal representation to low-income individuals
who are charged with capital crimes. The organization’s goals include developing innovative advocacy strategies and pursuing systematic litigation related to issues of racism in the criminal justice system and a chronic lack of funding for adequate representation. Allen-Bell is an associate professor of legal analysis and writing at the Southern University Law Center, where she is the B.K. Agnihotri Endowed Professor of Law. She was recently named a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Her research focuses on civil rights, restorative justice, social justice, and the interplay between race and justice. She has the distinction of having been selected for membership in the National Black Lawyers-Top 100, an invitation-only organization. In addition to being a recurrent speaker in the community, as well as in the legal arena, Allen-Bell is frequently interviewed and quoted by local, national, and international media. She has twice submitted written testimony to the United States Senate’s Judiciary Committee on the Constitution and has served as an expert reviewer of solitary confinement teaching materials that are available through the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).
SU nursing professor receives national lifetime achievement award Wanda Spurlock, professor, School of Nursing and Allied Health, Southern University Baton Rouge, received the National Black Nurses Association’s (NBNA) Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was presented to Spurlock by NBNA Acadiana Chapter, Saturday, January 14, 2017, in conjunction with the organization’s President’s Scholarship Gala held at the Ramada Inn Convention Center in Lafayette. Wanda Spurlock This award honors a nurse exemplifying lifelong leadership involvement in nursing in various capacities. “It is indeed an honor for my sustained body of contributions to the field of nursing to be recognized through this award. I view this award as an important milestone along my journey and professional commitment to improve the quality of life for persons with Alzheimer’s disease while continuing to raise
awareness, especially among the African-American population,” said Spurlock. Spurlock, a newly inducted fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, and a fellow of the National Gerontological Nursing Association, has received numerous awards and honors throughout her 40-year tenure as a registered nurse. She is recognized nationally for her expertise in dementia care and gerontological nursing leadership. Spurlock is also recognized as an Excellence in Care Specialist through the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America and is a certified TimeSlips Facilitator, a creative story telling process for persons with dementia and other forms of cognitive impairment. The National Black Nurses Association, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1972 and today represents 150,000 registered nurses, licensed vocational/practical nurses, nursing students and retired nurses. Members are from the United States, Eastern Caribbean, and Africa, with 92 chartered chapters, in 35 states. The mission of NBNA is “to represent and provide a forum for Black nurses to advocate and implement strategies to ensure access to the highest quality of healthcare for persons of color.”
Pictured: (from left): Mayor Ollie Tyler, City of Shreveport; Ann Gremillion, GCC Hall of Fame Inductee; Reece Middleton GCC Hall of Fame Inductee; E. Jean Ware GCC Hall of Fame Inductee; Winzer Andrews, GCC Hall of Fame Inductee; Ray L. Belton, Ph.D., SUS Chancellor/President, $50,000 Endowment; Rodney A. Ellis Ed.D, SUSLA Chancellor; Wendell Piper, SUSF President; John Hubbard, 2017 Chair.
Gentlemen, Start Your Cookers: The 18th Annual Gentlemen’s Cooking Classic Cooks for a Cause Every June, citizens of Shreveport and Bossier City can count on two things: summer’s rising temperatures and Southern University Shreveport’s Foundation raising funds. The Southern University Shreveport Foundation (SUSF) hosts the Gentlemen’s Cooking Classic every year since 2000, and this year’s event built on the success of its greatest turnout ever. The 18th Annual Gentlemen’s Cooking Classic (GCC) was held on Saturday, June 10, 2017, at the Shreveport Convention Center. This year’s event, themed, “Spic’n it Up! Cooking on the Red,” once again featured chefs who swapped out their suits for aprons to delight the taste buds of participating patrons, all the while “Meeting Needs and Making a Difference” for SUSLA student scholarships and elevating the institution’s profile in the community and local media. In past years, hundreds of chefs and young aspiring chefs participated as event volunteers, helping to build SUSLA’s most successful fundraising event. Participants such as Chef Ernest Palmisano of Ernest’s New Orleans Restaurant, former mayor and State Representative Cedric B. Glover, State Senator Greg Tarver, and a host of local political officials, celebrities, coaches, and educators have added to the event’s truly diverse local flavor. In the past 17 years, event participants have helped SUSF secure more than $500,000 in scholarships to support the continuing education efforts of students in the Shreveport/Bossier City area. Funds raised at the event can also enable SUSF to provide additional support to initiatives SUSLA wishes to pursue that may not otherwise be funded. The Shreveport Convention Center, City of Shreveport, and Brookshire’s have also served as corporate sponsors. “With the cost of higher education tuition, fees, and books rising each year, generating increased support for aspiring SUSLA
students becomes more crucial. The Gentlemen’s Cooking Classic addresses those needs through engaging broad-based support in a family-friendly and inclusive environment that celebrates Louisiana’s unique blend of food and family,” said SUSLA Chancellor Rodney Ellis. The event has evolved from one small enough to be held on campus at SUSLA, to the RiverView Hall in downtown Shreveport, and when it outgrew that facility, it was moved to Louisiana Downs. The event is into its third year of a contract with the Shreveport Convention Center, where ever since the event was relocated, the SUSF has observed tremendous growth. The size of the facility, proximity to Shreveport’s popular downtown area, and ability to accommodate more tables all have contributed to significant growth in attendance in recent years. Past themes of the event have included “Cooking With Southern Riders,” “Calling all Mardi Gras Krewe Chefs,” and the 2015 theme “Precious Gems—Ladies in the House” allowed women to compete as guest chefs for the first time. In addition to recognizing winners of the cooking and booth decoration contests, a number of individuals are invited who have either offered significant support to the event, to SUSLA, or to the Shreveport/Bossier City community at large. In this part of the program, these individuals are recognized as “Southern Gentlemen.” Young aspiring chefs compete in the “Lil’ Chefs” division, introduced in 2015, and compete for prizes in one of four categories: appetizer, entrée, side dish, and dessert. This has become a particularly popular and heartwarming aspect of the event, as young men collaborate with fathers, grandfathers, uncles, older brothers, or anyone who provides significant mentorship and guidance to them in their daily lives.
SU SYSTEM & CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS
Southern University System, LCTCS announce Pathway Scholarship The Southern University System (SUS) and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS), November 30, 2016, announced the LCTCS/SUS Pathway Scholarship, an annual transfer scholarship worth up to $1,500 annually for active Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society student members who wish to transfer to either Southern University Baton Rouge (SUBR) or Southern University New Orleans (SUNO) upon completion of an associate’s degree at an LCTCS college. Students who meet the LCTCS/SUS Pathway Scholarship Transfer guidelines will be guaranteed admission to SUBR or SUNO after completing an application to the college. The announcement was made during a signing ceremony at the Louisiana State Capitol with Governor John Bel Edwards, SUS President Ray Belton, SUS Board of Supervisors then Chairman Leon R. Tarver II, LCTCS President Monty Sullivan, and LCTCS Board of Supervisors Chairman Tim Hardy. SUS will provide the SUS President-Chancellor Ray L. Belton (right) and LCTCS President Monty Sullivan, sign a scholarships to active PTK graduates who meet LCTCS/SUS Pathway Scholarship agreement that will provide scholarships to active LCTCS certain guidelines on a first-come, first-served Phi Theta Kappa graduates who meet certain guidelines, during a press conference at the Louisiana State Capitol. basis until available funds are committed. Last academic year (2015-2016), LCTCS had more than 15,800 students transfer to public and private four year institutions across the country. Of that number, 747 students transferred to either SUBR or SUNO. “We are indeed excited to partner with LCTCS to establish this meaningful agreement that gives promising LCTCS students the privilege and support to pursue further study to earn a bachelor’s degree at Southern University,” said Belton. “Southern University wholeheartedly welcomes these high-achieving transfer students and remains committed to our mission of providing access and opportunity for all our students.” LCTCS and SUS are committed to providing more transfer Pictured (left to right) are Monty Sullivan, president, LCTCS, Timothy W. opportunities to those Louisiana citizens who want to pursue Hardy, Board Chair, LCTCS, John Bel Edwards, Governor of Louisiana, a bachelor’s degree after completion of an associate’s degree at Ann Smith, Chair, SUS Board, Leon R. Tarver II, SUS Board, and Ray L. Belton, President-Chancellor, SUS at press conference at the State Capitol an LCTCS college. LCTCS and SUS seek to remove economic to announce the signing of the the LCTCS/SUS Pathway Scholarship obstacles that prevent students who are active PTK Honor Society agreement. members from transferring to SUBR or SUNO upon completion of an associate’s degree.
Pictured left to right are Bessie Vaughn, president of the SUNO Alumni Association; Alvin Bopp, chair of the Natural Sciences Department; Evelyn Harrell, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; James Gray, New Orleans City Council, District E; Cynthia Ramirez, president of the Faculty Senate; Eddie Williams, director of the Infrastructure Branch, Federal Emergency Management Agency; David Adegboye, vice chancellor of academic affairs; Ray L. Belton, president-chancellor of the Southern University System; Lisa Mims-Devezin, chancellor of Southern University New Orleans; Germika Stewart, Miss SUNO; Louis Blackmon, president of the Student Government Association; Ann A. Smith, chair of the SUS Board of Supervisors; Brian Faucheaux, architect with Sizzler, Thompson and Brown Architects; Wesley Bishop, associate vice chancellor of academic affairs and Louisiana State Senator; and Stephen Lasavio, senior manager of State Facilities Planning and Control. A group of SUNO administrators and SU Board members and System leaders along with several federal, state, and local officials. participated in a ground breaking ceremony for the new Arts, Humanities an Social Sciences Building at SUNO, June 16, 2017, on the Park campus.
SUNO breaks ground on new buildings Southern University New Orleans broke ground on the new Natural Sciences Building during a ceremony January 25, 2017, on the Park Campus. Several federal, state, and local officials and dignitaries attended the event, which marked the start of construction for the $27.7 million, four-story facility. The general contractor is the Roy Anderson Corporation. Also, on the Park Campus, SUNO broke ground on the new Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Building during a ceremony, June 16, 2017. The arts, humanites, and social sciences building is expected to be complete by July 2018. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has allocated $82 million to cover the construction costs for the Natural Sciences Building and three other new buildings on the SUNO Park Campus. The other buildings are the Millie M. Charles School of Social Work (currently under construction), an Education Building on the Lake Campus, and the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences .
“As a Biology professor, I am personally excited to see construction begin on our new Natural Sciences Building,” SUNO Chancellor Lisa Mims-Devezin said. “This new building will house such programs as biology, forensic science, and health information management systems. We are grateful for this opportunity to enhance our campus, which bodes well for our long-term goal of providing higher education to students in our region, state, nation and beyond.” The SU Board of Supervisors along with several federal, state, and local officials and dignitaries attended the June event which marked the start of construction for the $21.2 million, three-story facility, which will have an office and lab wing, with an auditorium and proscenium tower extending to nearly five stories. The general contractor is the Roy Anderson Corporation. The 70,640-foot building, designed by Chasm + Fusion Architects, is expected to be complete by October 2018.
SU SYSTEM & CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS
SU System highlighted at State Capitol All five campuses of the SU System, as well as the SU System Foundation and Alumni Federation, June 5, 2017, gathered at the state capitol, to showcase and promote Southern University. SU System leaders and Board members were recognized in the House and Senate where resolutions were presented in honor of SU Day at the Capitol. Long-time Southern University baseball coach Roger Cador, who recently announced his retirement, also was recognized.
SUSLA receives $500,000 federal grant to benefit aerospace training The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) recently awarded a $500,000 grant to the Shreveport Airport Authority, to renovate two existing buildings leased to Southern University Shreveport for their Airframe and Powerplant school. According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create five new jobs, retain 150 jobs, and spur $1.76 million in private investment. “We commend the Shreveport Airport Authority for working to spur new opportunities in the region’s critical aerospaceaviation sector,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs Dennis Alvord. “This project will not only bring muchneeded jobs to the community, it will help fill a void in aircraft maintenance that is impacting the aviation sector nationwide.”
The project is located at the Shreveport Downtown Airport in the Cherokee Park neighborhood and sits in a flood-impacted area. The funding will allow the school the ability to recruit and train more aircraft technicians to meet the growing demand for trained aviation professionals. In addition, the project will attract financially disadvantaged residents in a primarily low-income African-American neighborhood and throughout the region to the aerospace field where they are highly under-represented. The Southern University Shreveport program is one of few nationwide, and its students are in great demand for their aircraft maintenance skills.
SUSLA student accepted into ‘nano bioengineering’ summer program Southern University Shreveport biology major, Demetrius McAtee, was accepted to participate in the 2017 summer program, “Nano Bioengineering,” at Alabama State University, in Montgomery, Alabama. McAtee was one of 10 students selected. McAtee said, “The internship will provide extensive experience in research protocols and build on the current knowledge that I’ve gained from my professors at SUSLA. It will allow me to acquire ideas, concepts, and skills that will help me in future research during graduate and medical school.” His career goal is to become a doctor. The nine-week summer program started May 29. The program includes not only hands-on research in state-of-the-art facilities, but weekly career development seminars, workshops, field trips, and presentations in research symposiums. McAtee says that he could not have achieved this honor without the guidance and instruction of Berry Hester, dean of business and the STEM program at SUSLA, and other faculty members. Demetrius McAtee
SU SYSTEM & CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS
SU College of Nursing in HBCU Awards spotlight For the second time in two years, the Southern University Baton Rouge College of Nursing and Allied Health claimed a HBCU Award for “Best Nursing Program,” and Cheryl Taylor, chairperson, Graduate Nursing Programs, and director, Office of Nursing Research won the “Female Faculty Member of the Year,” honor, during an awards dinner, July 14, 2017, at the Gallup Building in Washington, D.C. The annual awards program, sponsored by HBCU Digest, acknowledges and celebrates achievements at historically black colleges and universities throughout the United States. “The purpose of the awards ceremony is to give our HBCUs an opportunity for national exposure in key areas of campus performance,” said Jarrett L. Carter Sr., founding editor of HBCU Digest. The SUBR College of Nursing and Allied Health enjoys a long list of awards and achievements including being honored as the “2017 Nursing School of the Year, Graduate Degree Programs,” by the Louisiana State Nurses Association (LSNA) and Louisiana Nurses Foundation. (see story, page 36) This is the fourth time that Southern’s nursing program was chosen as Nursing School/Program of the Year by the LSNA. Southern was also selected as Nursing School of the Year in 2010, 2012, and 2015. “SUBR School of Nursing’s HBCU Award for Nursing Program of the Year serves as validation of the hard work of our faculty, staff, and students. Dr. Jacqueline Hill, chair of the BSN program, Dr. Sandra Brown and Dr. Wanda Spurlock leaders for the Nurse Practitioner and Doctorate in Nursing Practice Programs, and Dr. Cheryl Taylor for the PhD in Nursing Program, have provided the leadership in achieving our goals,” said Janet S. Rami, dean of the SUBR College of Nursing and Allied Health. Established in 1986, Southern’s School of Nursing (SON) currently offers four degrees: the bachelors of science in nursing (BSN); the master of science in nursing (MSN) with a specialty in family health; the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) with a major in nursing; and the Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP). Since 1986, Rami, has led the School in creating a pathway to excellence
in the nursing and health care workforce. While the BSN program has produced more than 2000 RNs (85 percent African American) since its inception, the MSN program, which began in 1992, has produced more than 400 graduates; many of who are from disadvantaged backgrounds, with an average pass rate of 95 percent on the national certification exam (exceeding the national average). The SON is the largest producer of African-American MSN graduates and the only producer of Ph.D. graduates in the state of Louisiana, with 40 graduates since its inception. These programs have fulfilled a significant role in expanding the advanced practice-nursing workforce with highly competent minority nurses. Further, the PhD program is a research-focused doctorate that prepares nurse scientists for education, service, and research. The graduate nursing program expanded in 2012 to fulfill its promise to build a stronger and more diverse advanced practiced registered nurses (APRN) workforce in Louisiana and has produced 11 DNP graduates since its inception and is currently pursuing its goal to advance evidence-based practice through rigorous scholarship and leadership to improve the health care of vulnerable populations. The College of Nursing and Allied Health has the largest enrollment among SUBR’s six colleges and the largest number of undergraduate and graduate completers. Nationally recognized graduate faculty include four NLN Certified Nurse Educators, two fellows of the American Academy of Nursing (FAANs), a fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Educators (ANEF), and a fellow of the National Gerontological Nursing Association, who all serve as faculty leaders and mentors in the graduate and undergraduate programs. Additionally, two graduate faculty members currently serve as on-site evaluators for the NLN Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CNEA). In addition to faculty members maintaining specialty certifications, they hold leadership positions in local, state and national professional nursing organizations as well as board positions in nursing and healthcare organizations. “We decided in the late 1980s that our School would be nationally recognized for its success in producing highly qualified nurses. To operationalize our vision we employed faculty who
The SUBR College of Nursing and Allied Health was named “Best Nursing Program,” and Cheryl Taylor, chairperson, Graduate Nursing Program and director Office of Nursing Research was named “HBCU Female Faculty Member of the Year” during the HBCU Awards, July 14, 2017, in Washington, D.C. Pictured (left-right): SU System President-Chancellor Ray L. Belton; SU Board of Supervisors Chair Ann A. Smith; SUBR College of Nursing and Allied Health Dean Janet S. Rami; Cheryl Taylor, Luria Young, interim vice president for academic affairs and provost; Curman Gaines, SU Board Member and Chair, academic affairs committee; and Rev. Donald R. Henry, Vice Chair, SU Board of Supervisors.
were leaders in the healthcare community. SUBR alumni who cheered us on and advised us to maintain our high standards supported us. The numerous state and national awards and recognitions we have received over the last several years stand as testimony to the potential of our university when we employ proven academic leadership principles over politics. We accepted the HBCU Award on behalf of all of our faculty, staff, and students and all SUBR alumni,” Rami added. Taylor was in attendance at the awards ceremony and accepted the nursing program award, and her individual recognition. No stranger to the spotlight, Taylor, the Dr. Jewel and Dr. James Prestage Endowed Professor at SUBR, was recently selected as an ambassador for the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR). FNINR an independent nonprofit group that advocates for and advances nursing science in the name of promoting the health and wellbeing of all Americans, announced the selection of 15 Ambassadors to join the ranks of 15 others currently filling this role. Ambassadors are selected from a national pool of applicants based on their abilities to advance public, health professions, and policy-maker awareness of the critical research agenda linked to the National Institute for Nursing Research (NINR). “I accepted this national honor at the ceremony in Washington D.C. in memory of the late Dr. Jewel L. Prestage who graduated from Southern University in 1951, and became the first AfricanAmerican woman in the United States to earn a PhD in political science from the University of Iowa. She was a master teacher, mentor, and one of many good teachers dedicated to the mission of HBCUs. I am only one of many precious HBCU ‘Jewels’ who live and love to teach and learn. I share this award with dedicated teachers and staff throughout the SU System. Thank you Southern
University for being here for all of us. Thank you Dr. Jewel L. Prestage for making Southern University the place of your education and then your life’s work,” shared Taylor. Taylor, also a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, was recently reappointed by the National League for Nursing (NLN) to the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) to serve a third term as NLN consultant. She was also elected in 2016 by the prestigious American Academy of Nursing to serve as a member of the Fellow Selection Committee. Taylor also serves as an AACN/ NLN Jonas Scholar Mentor for three Ph.D. nursing students and was elected by the NLN membership to their National Strategic Planning Committee. At the statewide level, she is a member of the Louisiana Action Coalition Diversity Steering Committee and a member appointed by the Governor, of the Louisiana Department of Health and Human Services Institutional Review Board. Created in 2011, and crowning winners in the fields of leadership, arts, athletics, research, and community engagement, the HBCU Awards is the first national awards event to recognize the influence and impact of historically black colleges and universities on American culture, according to HBCU Digest. Southern University had seven other finalists up for 2017 HBCU Awards: Southern University Human Jukebox, The Southern Digest student newspaper; the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, the Southern University National Alumni Federation, former student Lenard Tillery, student Perry White; and faculty member Moustapha Diack. The HBCU Awards, presented by the Thurgood Marshal College Fund, was part of an HBCU Executive Media Training Summit, July 13 - 14, in Washington, DC.
SU SYSTEM & CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS
SU nursing grad program named ‘School of the Year’ The Southern University School of Nursing and Allied Health’s Graduate Nursing Program was honored as the “2017 Nursing School of the Year, Graduate Degree Programs,” by the Louisiana Nurses Foundation, Saturday, April 4, 2017, at the annual Nightingale Awards Gala, the “Academy Awards” of Nursing and Healthcare. This award recognizes a school of nursing offering formal education for registered nurses seeking a graduate degree for advanced clinical practice roles as well as nursing administration, nursing education and research. Established in 1986, Southern’s School of Nursing (SON) currently offers four degrees: the bachelors of science in nursing (BSN); the master of science in nursing (MSN) with a specialty in family health; the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) with a major in nursing; and the Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP). As the dean of the School of Nursing since 1986, Janet S. Rami, Ph.D., RN, has led the school in creating a pathway to excellence in the nursing and health care workforce. While the BSN program has produced over 2000 RNs (85 percent African American) since its inception, the MSN program, which began in 1992, has produced more than 400 graduates; many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds, with an average pass rate of 95 percent on the national certification exam (exceeding the national average). “This award validates the superior quality of nursing education at Southern University and the dedication of the nursing faculty,” said Rami. The SON is the largest producer of African-American MSN graduates and the only producer of Ph.D. graduates in the state of Louisiana, with 40 graduates since its inception. These programs have fulfilled a significant role in expanding the advanced practice nursing workforce with highly competent minority nurses.
Further, the PhD program is a research-focused doctorate that prepares nurse scientists for education, service, and research. The graduate nursing program expanded in 2012 to fulfill its promise to build a stronger and more diverse advanced practiced registered nurses (APRN) workforce in Louisiana and has produced 11 DNP graduates since its inception and is currently pursuing its goal to advance evidence-based practice through rigorous scholarship and leadership to improve the health care of vulnerable populations. Nationally recognized graduate faculty include four NLN Certified Nurse Educators, two fellows of the American Academy of Nursing (FAANs), a fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Educators (ANEF), and a fellow of the National Gerontological Nursing Association, who all serve as faculty leaders and mentors in the graduate and undergraduate programs. Additionally, two graduate faculty members currently serve as on-site evaluators for the NLN Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CNEA). In addition to faculty members maintaining specialty certifications, they hold leadership positions in local, state and national professional nursing organizations as well as board positions in nursing and healthcare organizations. This is the fourth time that Southern’s Nursing program has been chosen as Nursing School/Program of the Year. Southern was also selected as Nursing School of the Year in 2010, 2012, and 2015. Cheryl Taylor, PhD, RN, FAAN is the chairperson of the Graduate Nursing Programs and Sandra Brown, DNS, APRN, FNP-BC, CNE, ANEF, serves as coordinator of the MSN and DNP programs. The SU School of Nursing was recently named “Best Nursing Program” by HBCU Digest during an awards dinner in Washington, DC. (see story, page 32)
SU computer science professor receives $100,000 Apple grant for robotics camp Ebrahim Khosravi, chairman and professor in the SU Baton Rouge Department of Computer science received a $100,000 Apple HBCU Faculty Grant for his proposal on Robotics and Sensors Summer Camp. Khosravi is among the first recipients of this award as part of Apple’s initiative with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF). “Our distinguished Review Board Ebrahim Khosravi comprised of corporate and academic partners, received and conducted a blind evaluation of over 125 Grant Proposals from 35 HBCUs. They had an arduous task ahead of them, as all of the proposals presented unique and creative solutions to addressing the migration of talent on our HBCU campuses from STEM related disciplines to Non-STEM majors,” said Denise Young Smith, vice president worldwide talent, in the grant award notification letter also signed by TMCF president and CEO Johnny C. Taylor Jr. The SUBR Computer Science Department selected students from middle and high schools to participate in a five-week robotics and sensors summer camp program. During this time, students will work on real world robotics and sensor technology projects that will enable them to succeed in college studies and in their future careers. “The funding provided through this grant (Thurgood Marshall
College Fund, TMCF- Apple) will enable the Department of Computer Science to attract under-represented middle and high school students to science, technology and engineering (STEM),” said Khosravi. The robotics and sensors summer camp program at SU employs specific innovative features aimed at providing access to advanced robotics and sensor technology, as well as cutting-edge equipment such as 3D/G code, autonomous and semi-autonomous robotic technology, and distributed sensor networks using elliptic curve cryptography. The partnership between Apple and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) seeks to fund innovative approaches to attract, retain and graduate students in STEM disciplines within the Black Colleges community. The Apple TMCF Competitive Faculty Grants Program has as its primary goal to support inventive approaches created to improve the participation, persistence, and graduation rates of African-American students in STEM-related disciplines. “We all recognize the incredible demands we will be facing in the Technology industry. Providing a path for our students to flourish is critical today, and will be even more so in our very near future. Therefore, we are grateful that each of you took the time to apply for the Apple HBCU Faculty Grant as a way of way of supporting the incredible work that is happening on your campuses today to prepare students to achieve immeasurable success for tomorrow,” added Smith and Taylor.
SULC professor elected to positions with AALS Chris Odinet, SU Law Center Horatio C. Thompson endowed assistant professor of law, was elected as the chair-elect of the Real Estate Transactions Section and as an executive committee member of the Commercial and Related Consumer Law Section of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS). The election took place at the association’s annual meeting from January 3-7, 2017 in San Francisco, Chris Odinet California. AALS, headquartered in Washington DC, is a national organization comprised of nearly 200 law schools. The group focuses on promoting excellence in teaching and scholarship, preserving academic freedom, promoting diversity,
improving legal education, and fostering justice. AALS schools enroll most of the nation’s law students and produce the majority of American lawyers and judges, as well as many lawmakers. “I’m very much looking forward to serving in these leadership roles in AALS,” said Odinet. “Commercial and consumer law, as well as real estate finance, are my teaching and research areas so having the chance to work closely with others in the field is really exciting.” Odinet joined the Law Center faculty in 2013. He is a frequent speaker on issues related to mortgage finance, real estate, and consumer financial protection. He is a 2016-18 Louisiana Bar Foundation Scholar-in-Residence and recently was appointed as an inaugural real property scholar with the American College of Real Estate Lawyers/American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law. Odinet is also one of Louisiana’s four delegates to the Uniform Law Commission, a national state law reform body.
Southern University Land-Grant Campus aims to pioneer medical marijuana research in Louisiana The state legislature designated Louisiana State University and Southern University as sites where research and growth of medical marijuana could commence, giving them both the rights of first refusal. Both university boards authorized the institutions to do so, making these Louisiana public universities the first in the nation to be authorized as sole growers and researchers for the state. In June, 2015, Louisiana passed legislations allowing doctors to legally recommend medical marijuana for their patients. The law only allows for the prescription of non-smokable forms, like oils and pills. In the 2016 legislative session, legislation was passed removing restrictions on doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients and allow for the prescription, growth, and dispensing of medical marijuana in Louisiana. The new law, making Louisiana the 25th state to adopt a comprehensive medical marijuana program, also expands the disease states that can be treated to include people suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, wasting syndrome, seizure disorders and spasticity, Crohn’s disease, muscular dystrophy or multiple sclerosis. The bill’s author, Senator Fred Mills (R-Parks) is a pharmacist by trade, and had successfully advocated for legislation based on medical therapies in his previous stint as a state representative. Southern anticipates similarly potential benefits for the institution and the state from the Medical Marijuana Program including the financial resources that will derive from the sale of products from the medical cannabis. Janana Snowden, director of the Southern Institute for Medicinal Plants, SU Ag Center explains, “it wil allow us to leverage critical resources needed to develop experiential training opportunities for our students to develop medicine from medicinal plants other than cannabis.” In a politically red state, on a campus known for proudly displaying an affinity for Columbia blue and gold, a new color has suddenly garnered significant importance: green. Even with the new law in place, the first patients in Louisiana to benefit from the use of medical marijuana may not do so for as much 36
as 18 months, as the expense of conducting the research (without state appropriations) will require bid processes to identify thirdparty vendors. If successful, Southern will become one of the first universities in the country to conduct research on medical marijuana for patients, though success comes with a hefty price tag as a new facility could cost more than $10 million. Other considerations, such as questions over the potential threat of lost federal funding (marijuana is still considered a Schedule I narcotic by the federal government), security of a marijuana production facility, and finances (Southern cannot afford for such a venture to lose money) must also be tackled by university administrators. As of now, the potential benefit appears to outweigh these risks, and officials at the Southern University Land-Grant Campus are gearing up for the challenge. Led by Chancellor/Dean of Agricultural, Family, and Consumer Sciences Bobby Phills and Snowden, the Southern University Land-Grant Campus is researching policy, funding options, and political considerations as it prepares to explore a pioneering opportunity in medical marijuana research. According to Snowden, “the Southern University Land-Grant Campus is developing the medical cannabis project to be the foundation of our newly established research institute whose primary focus is evaluating plants for therapeutic use. We have made significant progress towards the advancement of this initiative including visiting multiple states and their top cultivation facilities, hosting a Town Hall meeting (see sidebar story) with as many as 100 potential vendors in attendance, and continuously meeting with the state entities involved with regulating this project. We are immensely involved with the state’s rule (policy) making processes.” She adds, “It is estimated that the contracted vendor will need to make an initial investment of approximately five to seven million dollars to begin the project. There was a state issued Request for Applications (RFA) in May 2017. Anyone bidding on the contract was required to go through the Louisiana Procurement and Contract Network (LaPAC) system.”
“One of the greatest challenges is one of educating the general public, helping them to understand medicinal properties of cannabis and the benefits of using it as a means of providing various types of medicines to relieve many illnesses. There is a need to garner more support from physicians on board who are willing to recommend medical cannabis to patients and assisting in providing information to citizens regarding how cannabis can be used as a medicine rather than a drug,” Snowden said.
Southern anticipates similarly potential benefits for the institution and the state, including “the financial resources that will derive from the sale of products from the medical cannabis.” “It will supply significant resources towards the growth of all component areas within the Land-Grant Campus, as well as System-wide,” Snowden notes. She concludes, “It will also allow us to leverage critical CONTINUED ON THE FOLLOWING PAGE
“The Southern University Land-Grant Campus is developing the medical cannabis project to be the foundation of our newly established research institute whose primary focus is evaluating plants for therapeutic use. We have made significant progress towards the advancement of this initiative including visiting multiple states and their top cultivation facilities, hosting a Town Hall meeting (see sidebar story) with as many as 100 potential vendors in attendance, and continuously meeting with the state entities involved with regulating this project. We are immensely involved with the state’s rule (policy) making processes,” according to Snowden. – Janana Snowden, director Southern Institute for Medicinal Plants
The enthusiasm that inspires the Land Grant Campus officials and Southern University is shared by researchers, advocates, and legislative officials across the country, even though it’s pioneering opportunity is a historic one. “This Medical Marijuana Program will give us the ability to reach out into the community and provide some help by making medicine for debilitating medical conditions. We will also conduct research on other medicinal plants through the Southern Institute of Medicinal Plants,” said Phills. With the passage of legislation in 2012 that led to the legalization of marijuana use in all forms in the State of Colorado in January, 2014, there is now information on the economic impact of statesanctioned recreational and medicinal marijuana sales. According to a Marijuana Policy Group report, “Colorado sales for medical marijuana increased […] to $408.4 million, from $386.0 million in 2014. These gains are helping the Department of Revenue to offset losses from other tax streams.” In a state that is perennially challenged to generate resources to balance the state budget, such reports suggest a strong opportunity for voters and legislators to investigate in future years. Further, The University of Mississippi, the federal government’s only approved medical marijuana research site since 1968, was recently awarded a $69 million grant in 2015 for continuing research.
resources needed to develop experiential training opportunities for our students to develop medicine from medicinal plants other than cannabis. Other potential benefits include: establishment of endowed chairs and professorships, partnerships with private organizations and foundations, strengthening of our academic course offerings, and purchasing state of the art equipment. Financial resources generated from this project can also be used for matching requirements in attracting large grants and contracts.” Snowden’s palpable enthusiasm for the new opportunity extended to Southern is matched by her expertise, and both pose to serve Southern’s students and faculty and bode well for Louisianians in need of new medical treatment options. “This venture is historic for the SU System. The successful implementation of medical marijuana program and research initiatives potentially has far-reaching impact in terms of muchneeded additional revenue and opportunities to contribute in a meaningful way to treat medical conditions and to be engage in valuable research,” said SU President-Chancellor Ray L. Belton. Southern University has received applications from seven companies seeking to be its medical marijuana grower. The Southern Ag Center expects to finish reviewing applications by the end of the July. The companies vying for the contract are: Advanced Bio Medical, Aqua Pharm, Citiva Louisiana, Columbia Care, Med Louisiana,
“This Medical Marijuana Program will give us the ability to reach out into the community and provide some help by making medicine for debilitating medical conditions. We will also conduct research on other medicinal plants through the Southern Institute of Medicinal Plants.” – SU Ag Center ChancellorDean Bobby R. Phills
Southern Roots, and U.S. Hemp Corp. The SU Board of Supervisors will likely approve a vendor in August. The evaluation committee has not completed their review at this time. Upon completion of their review, the committee will submit the name(s) of the finalist(s) to the Southern University Board of Supervisors for review and approval. For additional information about Southern University’s Medical Marijuana Program visit, www.suagcenter.com/PageDisplay.asp?p1=12549
Town Hall meeting and pre-bid conference
Rani Whitfield, M.D., speaks about the benefits of medical marijuana at the SU Agricultural Land-Grant Campus’s Town Hall Meeting on February 23, 2017.
The Southern University Land-Grant Campus, consisting of the SU Ag Center and the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences, held an informational Medical Marijuana Town Hall meeting, February 23, 2017, at the SU Ag Center. SU System attorney Winston Decuir Jr. provided the community and potential vendors with an overview of the law that authorizes licensed physicians to recommend medicinal treatment for 10 debilitating medical condition, including cancer, HIV, AIDS, Cachexia/Wasting syndrome, seizure disorders, epilepsy, spasticity, Crohn’s Disease, muscular dystrophy, and multiple sclerosis. The law also stipulates that the plant must be developed into pharmaceutical grade medicines such as oils, pills, powders, gelatin-based chewables, and other non-inhalable forms. The SU Ag Center hosted a mandatory pre-bid conference for potential vendors interested in becoming a cultivation and production facility operator for its Medical Marijuana Program May 19. Snowden anticipates a contracted vendor will be selected in August after proper vetting of applications. The University has also identified undeveloped land at the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center’s Experiment Station in Baker as the location of the facility. This site is located off the campus and students will not be involved in the growing or processing of the cannabis component. The vendor will be required to make an investment of $5-7 million and must be able to conduct a seed to sale operation.
SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY SHREVEPORT
SU Shreveport awarded $1 million to develop a community kitchen/kitchen incubator Southern University Shreveport was awarded a $1 million dollar grant to develop a kitchen incubator in the Allendale community in Shreveport. The Milam Street Kitchen Incubator/ Community Kitchen grew out of a partnership between the City of Shreveport Department of Community Development and the regional Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) to revitalize the Allendale and Ledbetter Heights neighborhood. Outreach and engagement efforts revealed that many food entrepreneurs in the Choice Neighborhood work from their homes with very limited capacity preparing meals for catering activities, or creating food products for sale in local markets. The majority are not working from health-approved facilities and lack commercial equipment for food preparation. The Choice Neighborhoods program supports locally driven strategies to address struggling neighborhoods with distressed public or HUD-assisted housing through a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation. Local leaders, residents, and stakeholders, such as public housing authorities, cities, schools, police, business owners, nonprofits, and private developers, come together to create and implement a plan that transforms distressed HUD housing and addresses the challenges in the surrounding neighborhood. The program is designed to catalyze critical improvements in neighborhood assets, including vacant property, housing, services and schools. Additionally, many small businesses lack the entrepreneurial and financial management training they need to be successful. The Shreveport community has a strong cultural heritage tied to Louisiana’s cajun, creole, and southern cuisine manifested in the many micro-enterprises centered on culinary products and food preparation. Public engagement and market research also revealed that the region has a need for a kitchen incubator to support existing food-related businesses in the Choice Neighborhoods and to create living wage jobs in a growing industry.
In addition, the community kitchen will provide education, training, and community engagement opportunities for neighborhood residents as well as target public and assisted housing residents. This will include the Culinary Medicine Center, a Community Café, job training, and general wellness services. The training component of this project is modeled in part after Liberty’s Kitchen in New Orleans. As the project design took shape, a Choice Neighborhoods Education partner, SUSLA emerged as the project lead. SUSLA has successful experience with two small business incubators, workforce development programs, and culinary arts training. Additionally, the Choice Neighborhoods Health and Wellness partner, the Martin Luther King Health Center and Pharmacy, brought its relationship with the Tulane University Culinary Medicine Center to the conversation. The proposed facility will be a newly constructed, 5,000 square foot building located on a 2.2 acre site. The building will include a commercial kitchen, a conference room, office space/incubator workstations, an event space, a restaurant/café, food storage, and administrative offices. The site also will offer the opportunity for outdoor dining, and the potential to expand into a “food truck” or “market hall” concept using the remaining land. “SUSLA is pleased to be a part of a community endeavor that will engage numerous partners throughout the city. Without the leadership of the City of Shreveport and the following partners the project would not be possible: Shreveport Housing Authority, the Martin Luther King Health Center & Pharmacy, SU/LSU Ag Centers, the Community Foundation of Northwest Louisiana, and Step Forward,” said Janice Sneed, vice chancellor for community and workforce development.
SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY SHREVEPORT
SUSLA poised for golden jubilee celebration Southern University Shreveport opened for instruction on September 19, 1967, as a two-year commuter college to serve the ShreveportBossier City area. This fall the campus will begin its Golden Jubilee Celebration of 50 years with a series of events to commemorate its founding. Walter Austin served as the institution’s first chief executive officer followed by Leonard C. Barnes in 1971, who served as the first SUSLA Chancellor from 1977 to 1987. The administration building at SUSLA is named in Barnes’ honor.
Leonard C. Barnes who became SUSLA’s second chief executive officer in 1971, was appointed the first chancellor in 1977. Barnes who served until 1987, had the administration building at SUSLA named in his honor.
Over the years, SU Shreveport has grown and evolved into a University campus that is recognized for outstanding achievement in teaching, scholarship, and workforce development. Beyond the original physical plant’s main campus on Martin Luther King Drive, SUSLA has expanded to a downtown campus at 610 Texas Street and an Aerospace Technology Center, located at the Shreveport Downtown Airport, 1560 Airport Drive, occupying two aircraft hangars with classroom space in the main terminal building. According to current SUSLA Chancellor Rodney Ellis, who was appointed in March 2016, the focus has changed to reflect a new institutional direction. Earlier this year, Chancellor Ellis and his administrative team began execution of its newly created strategic plan focusing on increasing effectiveness and efficiency of efforts, and reducing the budget. Within the SUSLA strategic plan, seven goals were identified including, cultivating a culture of academic excellence, strengthening the academic and co-curricular experience, providing an outstanding campus climate, improving resources, and ensuring short and long-term financial sustainability.
“The SUSLA campus is only as great as the students that we graduate, says Ellis. Increased student demand for entry into SUSLA’s nursing programs has dictated an increase of the physical space with a renovation of the Allen Building which will create a 25,797 square foot facility featuring revitalized infrastructure equipped with state of the art instrumentation, a 21-bed learning laboratory, smart classrooms, office space, and a lecture hall for enhanced learning. Similarly as popular with the students is the Radiologic Technology Certification Program. With the reaffirmation of Radiologic Technology by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) students can enter the program knowing that it has met the standards of the profession and when they graduate, they are ready to enter the workforce immediately. “We are proud of our ability to provide graduates that meet the workforce needs of the local area, the state and the nation,” says Ellis. Partnerships are also a hallmark of the SUSLA campus. The campus was selected for the The Southern University System Board of third consecutive Supervisors, March 2016) named Rodney G. Ellis to become the seventh chancellor of Southern year as the training University Shreveport. provider for a renewed initiative with ExpressJet Airlines. Through the Louisiana Workforce Commission Incumbent Worker Program (IWTP) SUSLA received a $592,250 grant to increase productivity and company growth. The campus also renewed memoranda of understanding also known as the College Connect Program or Connect programs with LSU-S, SUNO, and SUBR. the college connect program is a pathway for underprepared students to earn an associate of
general studies degree (AGS) from SUSLA so that they can make a seamless transition to a degree program at one of the four-year institutions. The overarching goal of the Connect program is to increase the number of certificate, diploma, and associate degree completers. Participants have access to student support services, housing, and other campus facilities and programs. The SUSLA campus continues to strive for excellence with innovative programs and teaching and learning experiences that touch the lives of the people in the Shreveport community and beyond. Certainly, SUSLA has many reasons to celebrate its 50 years of accomplishments. SUSLA Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Melva Williams says “Students, faculty and staff of SUSLA are making their marks in academia, and the 50th anniversary is a great time to recognize and celebrate all that we have accomplished and all that we will continue to accomplish in the years to come. The events will be representative of our rich history and present the enthusiasm and vision that contributed to shaping SUSLA.”
Events will include: Monday, September 18, 2017 “Blasting the Block for SUSLA’s 50 Years of Service”
• Blue & Gold Block Party • After-Five Happy Hour Affair SUSLA 610 Texas Street – Downtown Shreveport 4:50 pm – 7:50 pm
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 Theme: “Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence”
• Convocation (Welcoming alumni and friends) Southern University Shreveport – Main Campus 9:00 am – 10:30 am
• SUSLA’s 50th Birthday “Rock the Yard” Party Immediately following Convocation (music, games, food, fellowship) Wear your Blue & Gold paraphernalia. 11:00 am – 2:50 pm
• SUSLA 50th Birthday Gala Theme: “A Golden Gala” Remington Suites Hotel – 220 Travis Street, Downtown Shreveport 6:50 pm – 10:50 pm Event cost: $50 per person
SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY LAW CENTER
SU Law Center celebrates platinum jubilee The Southern University Law Center will celebrate its 70th anniversary this fall with a celebration marking an outstanding record of scholarship, teaching, and service. Created by the Louisiana State Board of Education at its January 10, 1947 meeting, the SU Law School accepted its first students in September of the same year with a mission and purpose to give minority students access to a professional law degree. According to Law Center Chancellor John K. Pierre, a letter written by Charles J. Hatfield III was the catalyst for the creation of the Southern University School of Law. “We are an institution that has been dedicated to access and opportunity in legal education,” said Pierce. While 2016 was declared The Year of Charles J. Hatfield III, the 2017 already has proven to be a noteworthy year for the SULC. In March, SULC students Jordan Franklin, Kywonna Drake, Damien Watt, and Tara Melancon earned first place in the 2017 Intra-State Mock Trial Competition hosted by the Louisiana State Bar Association. The Southern University Law Center also received top rankings in diversity,” Pierre says. According to US News and World Report, the SULC has a 51.5 percent yield rate—meaning the percentage of accepted students who enroll—placing it at #4. “We train our students to be lawyer leaders,” says Chancellor Pierre. “When they leave the law center, we expect them to be change agents in the communities in which they serve.” This year the SULC celebrates its first permanent endowment
($5 million) and the formation of a Chancellor’s Advisory Board. Both will assist the SULC to enhance its mission, goals, and objectives. The School has also partnered with the AACSB accredited College of Business to offer a joint JD/MBA Program. “We have more students entering law school with STEM backgrounds and a combination of skill sets which allows us to educate the different roles that lawyers now play in the workplace and as entrepreneurs, says Pierre. In response to recent events, the law center began a disaster relief clinic to meet the needs of the community after the historic flood and other natural disasters that occurred in the past year. The 70th year celebration, Friday, September 1, will feature the unveiling of the next class of commemorative brick pavers located at the entrance of the Law Center’s A.A. Lenoir Hall. Bricks are available for purchase online at www.sulc.edu/giving-2/brickcampaign/ for $500, and is open to law center alumni, family, and supporters. “Alums can become a permanent physical part of the Law Center’s history with the purchase of a commemorative brick,” says Tanya Freeman, SULC development director. “The purchase will also support law center students financially in Bar preparation, moot court competitions, and need-based scholarships.” Additionally, the SULC will celebrate its new Legislative Hall of Fame which features the photographs of alums who have and are currently serving in a legislative capacity. Currently there are 50 law center alumni featured in the Hall of Fame.
Established in 194, the SU Law Center is one of only two public law schools in the state. The law school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is currently the most diverse in the state of Louisiana.
The School will also have a special dedication of the new courtyard and current students will guide tours of the Law Center. The culminating event for the day is an anniversary gala that will be held at L’Auberge Casino. According to Freeman, the anniversary will be a time to reconnect with classmates and to celebrate the vast experiences of its law center graduates. Alums also will have the opportunity to earn Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits Friday, September 1. At no cost to the attendee, the law center will offer a 2-hour CLE with 1 hour of ethics to assist former students in their mandatory CLE compliance for the year. The weekend celebration ends Sunday, September 3, as the Southern Football Jaguars take on South Carolina State Panthers at 1:30 p.m. in a televised home game that will appear on ESPN 2. Don’t miss out on the celebration. Start making your plans today! More information will soon be available on our Website. Faculty and staff of the SU Law Center are looking forward to the celebration and encourages all alums to attend. “We make history every day at the Law Center and in communities, corporations, board rooms, classrooms, and in the military through our alums, says Freeman. “This event will highlight that fact.”
After nearly 70 years of providing legal education to a diverse population of students, the SULC boast a number of distinguished grads who serve in positions throughout the legal field. The campus recognized several grads during an annual reception in the spring.
SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY BATON ROUGE
SUPD gains campus support through creative engagement Southern University Police Department, April 18, 2017, hosted the second “Kickin’ It With Cops” event in an effort to engage in open dialogue with students and the campus officers. A fun game of kickball also took place, in which the SUPD officers beat the students in both games. The SUPD plans more events to promote campus safety while getting to know campus officers.
Over the last two years, the Southern University Police Department (SUPD) has been developing a campaign to help engage and promote campus safety at Southern University Baton Rouge. “Keeping Jags Safe” has evolved into a number of avenues that is connecting the SUPD officers with students as well as building trust and opening the doors of communications. The first thing that was introduced by SUPD and Chief of Police Joycelyn Johnson to kick off this campus safety campaign was the Jags Safe App. The app was introduced to the campus about two years ago and placed the SUPD in the student’s hands, as well as allow students to report incidents around campus and in the campus housing area. Students are able to send photos and the exact location of the incidents anonymously. The app helps them to be more accountable for their peers and keeping their campus safe, said Chief Johnson. “We are learning about incidents in the dorms or on campus now. We are getting feedback about everything as well. We weren’t getting feedback before,” said Kevin Johnson, deputy administrator, SUPD. Currently there are more than 2,500 people registered with the Jags Safety App. Chief Johnson understands that apps come and go and that technology is ever changing. And they are still improving their communication system. “We want to stay up with what is going on with technology. So we are looking at doing a separate emergency response method to better deliver the messages,” said Chief Johnson. “The students will be able to text SUPD from the app and they can respond via text for any questions.”
During the summer the Jag Safe App is going to have a few other new features including a computer panic button for faculty and staff, and a mass notification for students to send to their emergency contact in case of a campus incident. “If someone comes in a classroom or office, the faculty can just hit certain keys on the keyboard and it will automatically connect to myself and the dispatch that a panic button has been activated. It will tell the building, room number, and floor. And our students will have the option to have their emergency contact notified through a text message that they are okay during a situation.” said Chief Johnson. Students are receiving more communication from the SUPD. And many of them are enjoying the fact that they receive notices about what is going on safety-wise on the campus. “Some of the students really like it and they let us know. They text back messages to notices sent out via the app. We received several thank you messages. And when we see students around campus they let us know that it works,” said the police chief. Not only is the app helping with the relationship between the students and SUPD, but SUPD have hosted many events for the students and even began working closely with the Office of Dean of Students, Residential Housing, and the Division of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management. Dean of Students Marcus A. Coleman says he has seen a change in communications. “I have seen, since Chief Johnson has taken over, a tremendous change in the communications. The police department and Student Affairs have opened up. We constantly talk, four or five times a day about different issues and grant opportunities to make the campus safe.”
“From Student Affairs, we are responsible for student experience once they are admitted to University through graduation. Part of that experience is campus safety and SUPD is the primary agency charged with that responsibility. But it falls under us to make sure they have a good relationship, which is key to campus safety,” said Coleman. “Keep Jags Safe Night Out” is one event the SUPD started in order to connect with the students and teach them about safety. This event is hosted in the fall and coordinated in collaboration with the Office of Dean of Students. “Jag Safe Night is important because not only do we have our SUPD that they (students) see every day, but we have outside agencies working with us on campus everyday working special detail with SUPD. Also it is important for students to see, get to know, and learn from Baton Rouge Police, East Baton Rouge Sheriff, the Constables Office and the Zachary and Bakery police departments. It is very important for them to get to know them and build a relationship with the agency and not just our SUPD,” said Coleman. “A lot of cases we solve come from students and student gathered information. Making sure we have that working relationship helps to keep that campus community safe,” added Coleman. Other events that were held last year that kick-started the conversations between the SUPD and SU students included: “Kickin’ it with Cops,” “Coffee with Cops,” and several active shooting talks. And starting in the fall, SUPD will provide free engraving for student property such as laptops and tablets. “This will help when things are stolen and they come in to recover their property,” said Kevin Johnson. The events began after Chief Johnson joined the White House Community Policing initiative in 2016. The White House Initiative opens the conversation of law enforcement being more transparent and open with the community. Southern University Baton Rouge was the first HBCU to join the initiative. SUPD has also improved its officer training and hiring process. Adopted from the White House Initiative, SUPD now has a log on their website that tells all the trainings and hours the officers have done. From the initiative they have chosen two data sets: roll call training and the community outreach. “It shows the things that we have done for each. It shows every month what has been done on each shift and what they are doing. Every officer has to registered 29-30 training hour a year,” said Chief Johnson. During the summer, SUPD officers also go through training with the local District Attorney’s office. Starting in the summer officers will be assigned to dorms where they will have to get out of their vehicles to walk their dorm area and get to know the students. Students are aware of more of the coverage because the police department is more visible and are communicating more.
“I think students are noticing a change and difference of things going on in the department. The officers are interacting more with the students. The students like to be able to have a conversation and know the officers by name. They definitely are communicating more,” said Chief Johnson. Not only is the SUPD engaging with the students on campus but they are reaching out into the community and with other universities. Last year, the SUPD adopted two pre-kindergarten classes from Southern Lab and Capitol Elementary. Every month the officers visit the classes to teach a safety tip like Eddie Eagle Gun Safety, Stranger Danger, or when in trouble and what they should do. “Reaching out to the community is something I believe a police department should do no matter if it is a campus police or city police or sheriff, because the community is who we protect and serve and if they don’t know you, how are they going to trust that you are protecting and serving them. You have to have some kind of interaction. You have to have dialogue and communication. The smaller kids, it’s the best time to teach them that police officers are your friends,” said Chief Johnson. This summer SUPD hosted a summit with other university police to talk about communication on campus. The summit CONTINUED ON THE FOLLOWING PAGE
Southern University’s Campus Police Department in 2015, launched its official Jags Safe app for students, faculty and staff to bring an added degree of safety on campus and its surrounding areas.
SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY BATON ROUGE included ten campus chiefs and a student representative from their campus to join in on the conversation. The universities included: Tuguloo, JSU, Xavier, SUNO, SUSLA, McNesse, ULL, LSU, Grambling State, and Northwestern. The summit was held April10 and 11 with the SU Office of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management. It is clear to see that being active helped increase the engagement with students. “I want us to do things that make us stand out and that makes Southern stand out, and I want our students to have the best police department they can have. The police department is responsible for the safety of everyone on the campus,” said Chief Johnson. Chief Johnson was named the HBCU Law Enforcement Executives and Administrators’ (LEEA) Regional Director of the Year for Region 4 on July 18, 2017, at the LEEA Annual Conference in New Orleans. HBCU-LEEA us a non-profit organization that provides protective programs and training to law enforcement agencies on HBCU institutions campuses in order to maintain the highest standards in promoting security and law enforcement.
SU police chief Joycelyn Johnson and Raven Gooden, a student ambassador majoring in business management, participated in a focus group discussion facilitated by the National Center for Campus Public Safety, at Howard University in Washington, D.C., along with campus police chiefs and student leaders from HBCU campuses across the country August 31, 2016. Also in 2016, was invited to a White House 21st Century Policing Briefing. The event provided an overview of the recommendations from the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY NEW ORLEANS
SUNO provides quick emergency response, support to community after devastating storm In February, a strong storm swept through the state spawning deadly tornados in south Louisiana. Hit hard was New Orleans east where there was devastating damage and hundreds left homeless. SUNO located in New Orleans east, was spared any damage, but was on the front line of relief efforts by providing housing for some of the tornado victims. Pictured are SUNO Honore Center students assisting residents with relief efforts.
On Tuesday, February 7, 2017, a strong storm swept through the state spawning deadly tornados in south Louisiana. New Orleans east experienced a rare event from the turbulent weather when the National Weather Service declared that an EF-3 tornado had ravaged the area. It was the strongest tornado reported in the city since recordkeeping began in 1950. There was devastating damage and hundreds left homeless in the area. SUNO, located in New Orleans east, was spared any damage but was commended by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu for the quick and effective measures it used to notify the campus community of the impending danger and its effective emergency action. Also, in response to the historic event, SUNO campus leaders organized to aid devastated families. SUNO was on the front line of relief efforts by providing housing for some of the tornado victims. “We saw a need,” says SUNO Chancellor Lisa Mims Devezin. “We wanted to play an integral role in the recovery process not only for our students, faculty, and staff who were affected, but also for those in the community.” Chancellor Mims Devezin, Campus Police Chief Bruce Adams and members of the executive cabinet visited Joe W. Brown Park to
assess the housing needs of individuals impacted by the tornadoes who were living in the shelter. After Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, and the state’s congressional delegation all requested a disaster declaration, President Donald Trump signed the order which made it possible for residents to receive federal assistance. SUNO’s Conference Center served as the official site for the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Program (DSNAP) in the wake of the tornados that hit New Orleans East. Additionally, the College of Business and Public Administration offered free income tax services for disaster survivors and other community stakeholders during the DSNAP application process. According to Gloria Moultrie, SUNO Chief Administrative Officer, Community Outreach, Alumni Affairs and Public Relations, SUNO agreed to house individuals and families based on the need and availability of bed space in the campus housing facility. “In many instances, families were housed the same day that the tornadoes hit,” says Moultrie. Campus records indicate that more than 100 persons were housed at SUNO.
SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY ALUMNI BATON ROUGE NEWS
Southern University alumna Charlotta Carter charts path to success for black women in STEM In 2016, audiences delighted at the performances of Janelle Monae, Octavia Spencer, and Taraji P. Henson in a major motion picture “Hidden Figures,” a story about how NASAemployed mathematicians Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson accomplished the task of calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. While critics and fans alike adored Charlotta Carter the movie (with only a $25 million budget, it generated over $160 million in sales, and led to Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild nominations), the real story was that so little was known about the black women without whom the launch would never have been accomplished. The stories of women like them, the pioneering NASA engineers featured in We Could Not Fail: The First African Americans in the Space Program by Richard Paul and Steven Moss (2015), and emerging awareness of women like Dr. Alice Ball, whose groundbreaking treatment for leprosy was never credited to her until decades after her death, reveal the tragedy and triumph of black women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). While black women have accomplished so much, despite challenges erected by structural racism and sexism in America, so few emerge as visible heroes to inspire the next generation of black female successors to continue their work. This is evidenced by alarmingly low numbers of ethnic minorities and women employed in STEM fields in contemporary America. Significant increases in federal funding for STEM programming and emphases on these programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, newly-announced partnerships such as Google and Howard University’s “Howard University West” program to train black coders, and even a national tour by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to address the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley leave skeptics unfazed by comparatively low
numbers in the tech workforce. One AfricanAmerican woman in STEM who has bucked these unfortunate trends and charted a path to a successful STEM-centered SU alumna Charlotta Carter, founder and CEO of GRI career is Technology Solutions, in 2016, received an award for California-based top 100 Woman Owned Business by the San Francisco GRI Technology Business Journal. Solutions, LLC President and CEO Charlotta Carter. Hailing from Baker, Louisiana and a graduate of Baker High School, she began her pathway to success with a bachelor’s degree in computer science earned from Southern University in 1981, and in the course of her career, she has become a key figure in growing diversity talent in the Silicon Valley and in Canada. Her company, a technology staffing solutions and consulting firm, was the first AfricanAmerican-led company chosen in the Silicon Valley to participate and complete the Warren Buffett-Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Program. She is also managing partner with a Canadabased company, PWC Technology Services, Inc. Carter has enjoyed a career of more than 25 years, with stints with companies that include IBM, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and SGI. Her company is a Minority, Woman-Owned, HUB Zonebased business formed in 2006, and at the helm of that business, she has worked with several Fortune 500 technology companies. She also serves on the leadership team for PWC Technology Services, Inc., an information technology consulting and staffing firm based in Toronto. A testimony to her dedication to diversifying the STEM workforce, in 2015, Carter also founded and serves as an ambassador for DVRSTY-STEM Accelerators, a San Mateo, California-based non-profit organization “focused on growing diversity technical/STEM talent in the Silicon Valley” (from www. dstemaccel.org) and focusing on hiring, networking, education, entrepreneurship and inclusion of diversity resources in the Silicon CONTINUED ON THE FOLLOWING PAGE
SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY ALUMNI NEWS Valley. She also serves as chair-elect for Region 6 of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), an organization that focuses on providing mentorship, networking opportunities, and career guidance to aspiring and practicing engineers. In a recent interview with Carter, she talked about her about her career in STEM, her childhood in Baton Rouge, and young adult years as a Southern University student, and keys for the future of black women in the STEM workforce. 1) Why did you choose Southern University? I grew up in Scotlandville, and for me it was my first choice. My mother, father, and cousins went to Southern and Scotlandville native Charlotta Carter earned degrees in diverse earned a degree in computer science areas, including computer from Southern University and charted science, engineering, and a path to a successful STEM-centered career is California-based GRI education. My father, Technology Solutions, LLC President Vernon Jordan, was part and CEO. Pictured is Carter with fellow of the “Southern 16” SU alumni Barbara West Carpenter, students who rallied for state representative, and Herman Brister, superintendent, Baker Public Schools. civil rights on campus and had to leave when he was expelled. He attended and graduated from another university, but understood that the turbulence of the times dictated it, and held no animosity toward Southern. In fact the institution later honored him with an honorary degree in 2004. 2) How did your experiences at Southern, including your choice of major and any professors you’d like to highlight, prepare you for success? My computer science professors did an incredible job of bridging the gap between undergraduate education and the workforce for me. Their outreach to corporate America to develop and expand curricular choices and educational training set me up for success, and those connections led to internships and eventually an assignment with IBM. Professors were supportive, encouraging, and helpful. After graduating and taking my first job in California, I encountered a large network of professional engineers and computer scientists with affiliations to Southern that were especially helpful once I entered the workforce and Corporate America, as well. 3) Many consider your success to be pioneering for black women in STEM. Do you often think about yourself as a trailblazer, or do
you simply pursue success and excellence and ignore such labels? I’m not really obsessed with labels and learned a long time ago to lose my fear of being told “no.” I believe in pushing forward and not worrying about labels or restrictions. Starting DVRSTYSTEM Accelerator to reach out to and develop opportunities for ethnic minorities and women professionals in STEM was my way to address gaps I perceived in the STEM workforce because it is a passion, but I’ve never let those obvious gaps shape or hinder my own ambitions. DVRSTY-STEM Accelerators takes the brainpower and creativity of aspiring minority STEM professionals and provides them with expertise, resources, connections, and industry knowledge to bridge the gap between their great ideas and pitching them, protecting their intellectual property, and developing entrepreneurial ideas that can become businesses. Diversity training for corporations is also an important part of diversifying the STEM workforce, and I’m proud to work through my non-profit and through NSBE to advocate and provide such training. STEM knowledge is crucial, but translating that into business success is so much more important. 4) What encouragement would you offer to students at Southern who aspire to become STEM professionals? Never say “no” to yourself—aim high. Know there will be peaks and valleys, but set big goals and work as hard to identify the resources to them as you possibly can. And collaborate! Network purposefully and develop relationships and share resources to achieve your goals. 5) Please share a fun, lighthearted memory of your time at Southern. I enjoyed concerts on campus (The Commodores, The ChiLites, and the Stylistics were favorites) and Greek shows; the Human Jukebox and Battle of the Bands were always favorites. I remember Southern and growing up in Baton Rouge when I did fondly. More about SU alumna Charlotta Carter: • • • •
Title: President and CEO of GRI Technology Solutions, LLC Top 100 Woman-Owned Business - San Francisco Business Times Top 25 Woman-Owned Business - Silicon Valley Business Journal MSA (Master Service Agreement) with the State of California (4/2017) • Advisor - NSBE Professionals: Region 6 (West Coast Region) • WIPP LAC: Women in Public Policy-Leadership Advisory Council • Chair-elect: NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers) Region 6 To learn more about Carter’s companies, please visit: GRI Technology Solutions, LLC www.gritechsol.com PWC Technology Services, Inc. www.pwctech.ca DVRSTY-STEM Accelerators www.dstemaccel.org
SU SYSTEM ATHLETIC HIGHLIGHTS
Bringing Back Baseball G For 11 years the Southern University Baseball Program has hosted the successful “Bringing Back Baseball Gala” in an effort to raise money and connect with the little league programs in the Baton Rouge Community. A lot of the money raised during the annual “Bringing Back Baseball” Gala for the SU Baseball Progream comes from the auction items provided by the MLB Player Alumni Association such as signed baseballs, bats and gloves, and other items. Over the 11 years of hosting this fundraiser event, the program has raised in access of $400,000 to a half million dollars for the baseball program and little league programs in the Baton Rouge area.
What started out many years ago with a phone a call by former SU Head baseball coach Roger Cador to Bill North, former MLB player, in Seattle, has become a sought after event within the baseball community in Baton Rouge. “I was in Baton Rouge and I made a call to Bill North, in Seattle. Bill got Geoff Hixson, chief operating officer for MLB Players Alumni Association, on the phone in Colorado Springs and from there this fundraiser was born,” said Cador, who recently retired as SU head baseball coach. “I was thinking the MLB Players Alumni Association would do the fundraiser but Geoff said they would do it and ‘you have to raise the money in Baton Rouge because we can’t do it.’ They were going to provide auction items, and big league players. And that is how it started.” This was not the first time Cador had to raise money and go out and ask for help when it came to the SU program. So once he got the word that Hixson would help, he began hitting the streets. “I worked really hard and a lot of people stepped up to the plate,” said Cador.
Not much can be done without the help of others. Cador said the first year was the biggest with more than 500 people in attendance. He received help with decorations from Patricia Flood, University special events coordinator, and some friends over at LSU, who helped with the live auction at the event. “We had no one helping us. So I reached out to Dr. Sharon Paul, Kathy Sherburne, and Janice Getreaux. They work with the LSU Foundation. I asked them and they said they would help. It has been the four of us since, and now we have Coach Dan who does some of the leg work,” said Cador. “Now this frees me up to go find the dollars. That is my job. I have to go get the people who will purchase tables for the event.” The MLB Player Alumni Association brought in the former and current MLB players and Cador had his fellow players in the league return to support their program. It is nice having the major leaguers current and past come but having major leaguers that are Southern alums is the grand slam, he said. “It is always great when the players that played at Southern come back. Like Rickie Weeks, Trinidad Hubbard, Fred Lewis,
l Gala: ‘Just Ask!’ Duwane Day, and Cody Hall. All those guys played in the big leagues and they come back. But I have had managers like Dusty Baker, manager of Washington Nationals, and the President of Chicago White Sox Kenny Williams as guest speakers. Darrel Miller, exec of MLB spoke at last year’s gala,” said Cador. “When I call for former players they are happy to do it. If you don’t ask you will never know and I ask everybody. Do I get a A fundraising idea that led to a phone call to some well-connected friends, grew into a yes from everybody? successful and much anticipated effort to build No, but I do get them support for SU baseball and local little league and I also get Will programs. Coach Roger Cador, who recently Clark (Miss. State) retired as head coach of SU Baseball, has coordinated and headlined the “Bringing Back and Ryan Theriot Baseball Gala” which raises money and the (LSU). Those guys profile of the Jaguar program. have no connection to Southern, but it has nothing to do with where they go. It has to do with the reputation we have built in baseball and the fact that we ask them to do something for a really great cause,” said Cador. The first few years the event was held at the Crown Plaza Hotel, but four years ago L’Auberge Casino and Hotel stepped up as a sponsor and offered a permanent venue for the gala. Cador usually has about 30-40 sponsors each year for the gala that he has cultivated relationships with over the years. “They (sponsors) are what it takes to make it happen. I give them time and don’t just go to them when I need money. I build a year round relationship with them and I find things of interest to them and provide that for them. That is how you get people. People are people and will recognize that. I go all through the year and call or send emails. I am always in the community talking to people. That is how I am able to build what we were able to build. It is through hard work, and not expecting people to just give me something, but I have earned the right of them and then they give,” said Cador.
Cador also noted “It is always great when that a lot of the money the players that played raised comes from the at Southern come back. auction items provided Like Rickie Weeks, Trinidad by the MLB Player Hubbard, Fred Lewis, Alumni Association Duwane Day, and Cody such as signed baseballs, Hall. All those guys played bats and gloves, and in the big leagues and they other items. Over the come back. But I have had 11 years of hosting this managers like Dusty Baker, fundraiser event, the manager of Washington program has raised in Nationals, and the President access of $400,000 to a of Chicago White Sox Kenny half million dollars for Williams as guest speakers. the baseball program Darrel Miller, exec of MLB and little league spoke at last year’s gala.” programs in the Baton – Coach Roger Cador, retired Rouge area. head coach of SU Baseball, “I try to spread the wealth. The fundraiser was built on trying to help the little league programs in the Baton Rouge area, as well as ourselves,” said Cador. “Southern athletics has been in a crisis as it relates to dollars and cents and the more we can relieve the budget from items they don’t need to spend on the better. I understand that this always made it easier for the athletic directors because they knew I wasn’t going to ask for anything.” “I am most proud that of all the things I have done that my word has been good as gold,” said Cador, relating to raising money from the community and assisting the SU Athletic Department and their programs. Being able to run a successful fundraising event throughout the years has set Cador up for his next chapter with the SU Athletic Department. On June 2, 2017, Cador announced his retirement as head baseball coach for the Jaguars. Athletics director Roman Banks stated during the announcement that Cador will take one the role as director of development for the athletic department. “I’m in a good place and I’m happy. I am not going anywhere right now, but will take on another role with the athletic department helping to raise money with Coach Banks,” said Cador during his retirement announcement. The 2017 Bringing Back Baseball Gala is planned for Wednesday, November 8 at 7 p.m. at L’Auberge Casino and Hotel. Tickets are $100 and $1,000 for a table. For more information, call the SU Baseball Fieldhouse at 225-771- 3172.
SU SYSTEM ATHLETIC HIGHLIGHTS
SU athletics boasts impressive academics, APR numbers; earns post-season success Two Southern University athletic programs posted perfect scores of 1,000 on its 2015-16 Academic Performance Rates. Men’s Basketball, others posted highest single-year APR scores in program history. Southern University student-athletes made marked improvements in the classroom as evidenced by the latest NCAA Academic Progress Rate Report (APR) announced in early May. Two Southern University athletic programs posted perfect scores of 1,000 on its 2015-16 Academic Performance Rates while the Jaguars’ Men’s Basketball program produced its highest APR score ever as listed in the report, which can be found on NCAA. org. As a result, 10 SU athletic teams are eligible for NCAA postseason play in 2017-18 after a comprehensive effort spearheaded by the University’s Office of Athletic Compliance and Student Services. Southern’s volleyball and tennis teams posted a perfect single year APR score of 1,000 in 2015-16 while men’s basketball, women’s softball, tennis, and volleyball either tied or posted its’ highest scores in program history. Other programs that posted at or above the 930 benchmark includes; football (930), women’s basketball (966), women’s wowling (955), women’s soccer (938), and women’s indoor and outdoor track & field (934). “To say we are elated and encouraged by the recent APR Report is certainly an understatement,” said SU System PresidentChancellor Ray L. Belton. “In a relatively short period, the Department of Athletics with broad campus-wide support and determination, has significantly improved academic outcomes and opportunities for studentathletes.” “We commend athletics director Roman Banks and everyone who worked hard to regain the academic integrity and vitality of Southern Jaguar Athletics,” said Belton. Southern University Athletics also was awarded 12 delayed graduation points for the 2015-16 academic cycle. Delayed graduation points are points earned for a student-athlete who has lost a point at any time during their matriculation or did not graduate in 10 semesters. “Words cannot express how I feel about where we are headed academically,” said Banks. “Having a solid APR report is the
equivalent of winning a championship as we have had several programs sacrifice their success athletically in order to improve academically. Our Board of Supervisors, along with PresidentChancellor Dr. Ray Belton, made improving our APR scores a priority and the Office of Compliance and Student Services has worked tirelessly to ensure their vision of where Southern Athletics needs to be academically is met.” “I also want to thank our coaches for sharing the vision with their student-athletes and helping them to understand how important APR is to our overarching goal of continued success,” added Banks. Associate athletic director of compliance and student-athlete services Trayvean Scott echoed Banks’ sentiments. “We are extremely proud of the historic academic resurgence this athletic department has undergone over the course of the last two years,” Scott said. “This department, along with the institution, has made APR improvement its highest priority. And through this broad-based commitment, we have created a standard by which to measure ourselves moving forward. Though today’s announcement provides solace to our past challenges, we look forward to many subsequent years of continuous academic improvement in an effort to distinguish Southern University Athletics as a premier athletics department for academic achievement.” The Academic Progress Rate (APR) holds institutions accountable for the academic progress of their student-athletes through a team-based metric that accounts for the eligibility and retention of each student-athlete for each academic term. Currently, teams must earn a 930 four-year average APR or a 940 average over the most recent two years to participate in NCAA championships. In 2015-16 and beyond, teams must earn a four-year APR of 930 to compete in championships. While the APR is intended as an incentive-based approach, it does come with a progression of penalties for teams that under-perform academically over time such as a reduction in practice and competition hours, increased academic activities and postseason bans.
SU System Board appoints SUBR director of athletics of future multi-year APR scores ending the NCAA-imposed postseason ban. (see story, page 54) Among his administrative achievements, Banks has cultivated a working relationship with the external units within the Southern University campus to ensure the department remains NCAA compliant. He also has increased the academic resources afforded the student-athletes by hiring additional compliance and academic support personnel. While serving in dual roles, Banks guided Southern through NCAA mandated postseason bans and successfully implemented the recovery of vital compliance data used in APR calculations. “I am extremely grateful to the SU Board of Supervisors and Dr. Ray Belton for granting this tremendous opportunity to continue progressing the SU athletics department forward,” said New director of athletics, Roman Banks, and new men’s basketball interim Roman Banks. “The time has come to elevate the Southern Jaguar head coach Morris Scott. athletic brand and establish a new standard of excellence while The Southern University System (SUS) Board of Supervisors maintaining the recent work we accomplished as a certified and a approved the appointment of Roman Banks as the director of compliant NCAA Division I member institution.” athletics, University officials announced during its March 31, 2017 As Banks assumes his new role as athletics director full-time, meeting, in Loranger. the SUS Board also approved the appointment of associate head The decision removes the existing interim title for Banks, who coach Morris Scott to interim head men’s basketball coach. held the post in an interim capacity for more than 18 months while “We are confident that associate head men’s basketball coach also serving as the head coach of the Southern University men’s Morris Scott, who was appointed interim basketball program. head coach, will continue guiding the team “I was pleased to recommend Mr. Roman “I am extremely grateful to and players in a manner consistent with its Banks to assume the role of athletic director the SU Board of Supervisors record of success and growth,” Belton said. for Southern University on a full-time, and Dr. Ray Belton for Scott, a former basketball player and permanent basis,” said Dr. Ray L. Belton, granting this tremendous graduate of Florida A&M University, Southern University System President. opportunity to continue served as an assistant for six seasons under “Having served in a dual role as interim progressing the SU athletics Banks. Scott’s leadership and basketball athletic director and head men’s basketball department forward. The acumen helped the program win two SWAC coach during a particularly challenging time has come to elevate Tournament championships and make two period, Coach Banks provided solid leadership the Southern Jaguar athletic NCAA Tournament appearance. Scott also and gained the respect and support of his brand and establish a new played an instrumental role in Southern colleagues, student-athletes, alumni, and standard of excellence claiming the 2013 SWAC regular season title, stakeholders. His appointment will ensure a while maintaining the recent the program’s first since 2006. seamless transition to continue moving the work we accomplished as “Morris Scott has been a key figure in our department in a positive direction.” a certified and a compliant bid to return the men’s basketball program NCAA Division I member During his two-year tenure as interim to prominence since my arrival at Southern institution.” athletics director, Banks spearheaded the in 2011,” Banks said. “His knowledge of University’s broad-based efforts to address – director of athletics, the history and tradition associated with numerous compliance and academic progress Roman Banks. Southern Basketball is unparalleled and rate (APR) shortcomings with the NCAA. As he has relentlessly pursued those studentresult, Southern learned the 2013-14 studentathletes who embodied the traits we valued as a staff in producing athlete data submitted to the NCAA has been deemed accurate a winning culture.” and serves as the department’s starting point for the calculation
SU SYSTEM ATHLETIC HIGHLIGHTS
SUNO Track Team brings home National Championships, coach and star student-athlete honored The Southern University New Orleans Track Team was recognized for its success at the 2017 Indoor Track & Field National Championships in Johnson City, Tennessee in March. The team also performed well at the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship in New Orleans in April. The SUNO team and coaches were recognized during the May 12, 2017, Board of Supervisors meeting in Baton Rouge. Members of the SUNO Track team earned honors from performances during the NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships in Johnson City, Tennessee in early March. Sophomore business administration major Jahnoy Thompson won first place in the 200 meters and 400 meters, and was named the most valuable player. In team events, the Lady Knights won top honors in the Women’ 4X400 relay. Several team members also were named All Americans: Academe Campbell and Danielle Richards in the men’s 400 meters; Alex Saunders in the men’s 800 meters; Shadae Hylton, Shantae Green and Kimona Smikle in the women’s 400 meters. Several team members also were named All Americans: Campbell and Richard in the men’s 400 meters; Saunders in the men’s 800 meters; Hylton, Green and Kimona Smikle in the women’s 400 meters. Overall, the Lady Knights – with eight athletes -- placed fifth out of 68 schools; while the Knights placed third out of 68 schools, with only four athletes.
“Words can’t describe how proud I am of my group,” Coach Yhann Plummer said of his team. “We beat teams with 30-40 athletes. The best part is that the team also performs at the top of their class with a team GPA of 3.5.” Plummer also credits Lady Knight Coach Younne Reid’s hard work and dedication for helping the Lady Knights compete at such a high level. Plummer and Thompson, a member of the SUNO Track Team, received top honors in late May from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). In his 11th year as head coach, Plummer was named 2017 Coach of the Year in the South Region. He helped the Track Team place third at the Gulf Coast Championships, posting 18 event champions. Thompson was named 2017 Athlete of the Year for the South Region. A sophomore from Manchester, Jamaica, Thompson is ranked third nationally at 400 meters (46.97) and fourth nationally at 200 meters (20.94). He won conference titles in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 400 meters, and anchored the winning 4X100 and 4X400 relay teams. Award winners were determined by a vote of the USTFCCCA member coaches. Coach Plummer and student-athlete Thompson joind other honorees at the 2017 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, May 25-27, in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
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