May selected as Southeastern Alumna of the Year

Genny MayHAMMOND – A public safety executive and retired U.S. Marshal has been selected as the Southeastern Louisiana University Alumni Association 2020 Alumna of the Year.

Genevieve May, a 1974 graduate of Southeastern, will be honored at the Alumni Association’s annual awards evening this fall as part of Southeastern’s Homecoming Week.

A longtime trooper who served as deputy superintendent with the Louisiana State Police’s Bureau of Investigations, May was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as the U.S. Marshal for Louisiana’s eastern district. May rose through the ranks to lieutenant colonel and was the highest-ranking woman serving with the State Police at the time of her appointment. She is the first woman in Louisiana to be presidentially appointed to serve as a U.S. Marshal and retired from service in 2018. May is currently the intelligence director for the Department of Health and Human Services.

“Excellence and caring are the two pillars of Southeastern success. Genevieve May exemplifies these two attributes in an extraordinary way,” said Southeastern Alumni Board President Richard “Dickie” Whitson. “Her professional accomplishments shine as beacons of excellence, while her commitment to community is an example of caring that we can all emulate.”

A graduate of the FBI National Academy, May began her educational path at Southeastern, earning a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice. She earned her master’s degree in public administration from Louisiana State University, and a master of science degree in criminal justice from Southern University. May also earned master and doctor of philosophy degrees in urban studies from the University of New Orleans. 

In addition to serving public safety as an innovative leader and manger, May has served her country as a reservist in the U.S. Navy since 1986. She was called to active duty to serve the Defense Intelligence Agency and Joint Chiefs of Staff after Sept. 11, 2001. As a result of May’s contributions while serving on active duty, she was awarded the prestigious Defense Meritorious Service Medal. 

May gives back to her community in various ways. She has been involved and volunteered with the Girl Scouts for many years, volunteered for several Habitat for Humanity projects in both the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas, served as the Girls Camp Director for the LSP Camp-Win-A-Friend for disadvantaged girls, and actively participated in numerous professional and service organizations. She has served on numerous boards and committees, including the Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans Board of Directors; the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Policy Administration Council Committee; the International Women’s Forum; and the Louisiana Center for Women in Government and Business Board of Directors.

Honors and distinctions for May include, but are not limited to, the Louisiana Center for Women in Government and Business Hall of Fame Award; the University of New Orleans Distinguished Alumni Award in the College of Liberal Arts; the University of New Orleans Dr. Fritz Wagner Prize for Excellence in Planning in Urban Studies; and the Crimestoppers GNO Sheriff Harry Lee Lifetime Achievement in Criminal Justice Award.