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Area schools participating in indoor air quality study
When Hammond High Magnet School science teacher Zaklina "Jackie" Hutchinson heard about an indoor air quality (IAQ) improvement program being conducted in area schools, she was eager to see if this could be something she could include in her teaching strategies.
She quickly volunteered to serve as the IAQ coordinator for her school and neighboring Hammond Eastside School.
"I'm always looking for ways to enrich my students' learning process, so when I heard about this, I wanted in," said the biology and chemistry teacher. "Besides, I was curious to find out about the air quality of our school. After all, this is where we – the teachers and students – spend most of our time every single day."
Hutchinson serves as IAQ coordinator for her school and nearby Hammond Eastside Elementary School and was tasked with working with Southeastern Louisiana University occupational and environmental health specialist Ephraim Massawe to implement an IAQ program at the two schools. The effort is part of a $38,000 grant awarded to Massawe from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop and implement IAQ improvement programs based on the agency's "Tools for Schools" program.
"Our intent is to train school IAQ coordinators who can identify, evaluate and document the current air quality in schools and then implement various cost-effective measures to improve and sustain good indoor air quality in the schools, our homes and other micro-environments," Massawe said. "Good indoor air quality has been shown to improve the learning processes in children."
Massawe, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Industrial Technology, said poor indoor air quality is a serious public health hazard.
"People spend more than 90 percent of their time in indoor environments," he explained. "Indoor air pollutants may be two to five times higher than outdoor air levels."
Louisiana has a relatively high rate of respiratory illnesses, which can be worsened by poor indoor air quality, he added. State health statistics support that observation, showing that about 200,000 people in Louisiana suffer from asthma, a chronic lung condition characterized by episodes of coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. The American Lung Association of Louisiana estimates there are more than 2,900 cases of pediatric asthma and nearly 7,000 cases among adults living in Tangipahoa Parish.
"In addition to costing residents money in terms of hospital and doctor visits, these respiratory illnesses can also led to tardiness, absenteeism and lower academic productivity in our schools – not only to students, but also to staff and faculty," he said.
After securing support for the Tangipahoa Parish School System, Massawe and his undergraduate assistant Laura Vasut began working with individual schools to identify IAQ coordinators. They then initiated a program that to identifying sources of poor indoor air quality and evaluating them through measurements, walkthrough audits, and interviewing parents and teachers. The IAQ coordinators meet as a group on Saturdays to discuss, compare and interpret results and to develop action plans.
Coordinators were trained to use the EPA Tools for Schools program and were provided with equipment to conduct measurements. Walkthrough audits helped identify sources of poor indoor air quality, such as nearby idling school buses, smoking, construction and demolition, mold, paint, pesticides, inefficient ventilation, and cleaning products.
"Some data indicated high contaminants during drop-off and pick-up times because emissions from idling buses contain high amounts of particulates and carbon dioxide, as well as other combustible by-products," Massawe said.
Vasut, who presented a poster on the progress of the project at the recent University of Louisiana System Academic Summit at the University of Louisiana in Monroe, said walk-through audits of 11 schools in the parish have been completed. And, while no major problems were detected, minor, inexpensive issues were identified, including mildew and mold growth in damp areas, higher than optimal temperature and humidity levels, and the need for better air filter maintenance and replacement.
"These are all problems that can be resolved at minimal costs to the schools, while providing a much healthier environment for student achievement and learning," Massawe said. "They are the 'low-hanging fruit' options that we recommend for implementation right away because they do not require feasibility studies or detailed financial analysis and resources."
When Hutchinson met with Massawe and Vasut, the science teacher recognized the valuable teaching opportunity the exercise represented.
"I realized this could be incorporated into a real learning experience for my students," she said. "We did baseline data collection with the equipment provided by Southeastern, both here and at Hammond Eastside. We found the carbon dioxide levels were within the recommended ranges, and temperature and humidity levels were fairly stable. We found nothing disturbing, such as mold, and the air filters were all clean."
Hutchinson took the learning experience a step further.
"My students were scheduled to take a quiz on statistical analysis, and I thought to myself, 'why not give them real air quality data from the two schools I coordinated to analyze and process?' The students not only analyzed the data, they plotted it in Excel to identify relationships between variables and possible sources of pollution, or environmental triggers of asthma. They also conducted research and created a presentation on safe air quality control limits and suggested remedies aimed at improving the quality of air in the schools."
Massawe said Hutchinson took a strong program and added significant value by involving her students in collecting and analyzing the IAQ data.
"When I visited the classroom, students were very actively involved and engaged," Massawe noted. "I was very impressed with her approach and teaching philosophy. This is a very innovative way of implementing the IAQ program. While we continue to find ways to improve the air quality our kids are breathing, we also involve them and give them a real hands-on experience in processing and interpreting the data. I hope other IAQ coordinators can emulate this teaching strategy."
"It has been a wonderful experience," Hutchinson said. "More schools should partner with this program as a way of improving the air quality in the schools. Having indoor air quality coordinators also can sustain this program well after the project is concluded."
For more information on the program, contact Massawe at 549-2243.
AIR CHECK – Hammond High Magnet School students Brett Sylve, left, and Brant Balado evaluate the indoor air quality in their classroom while Southeastern occupational and environmental health specialist Ephraim Massawe and science teacher Zaklina "Jackie" Hutchinson observe. The EPA-funded program is intended to detect factors impacting indoor air quality in Tangipahoa Parish schools.
Southeastern accepting applications for organizational leadership program
Applications are being accepted from students with some college credit for a new totally Internet-based degree program in organizational leadership at Southeastern.
With a focus on disaster relief management, the organizational leadership degree program was approved this year and is being offered in cooperation with the eight other institutions in the University of Louisiana System. The other institutions are offering the degree with a variety of other concentrations.
Karen Fontenot, interim dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Studies, said the degree is a good fit for Southeastern, which has served as a staging area for various agencies during hurricanes, major storms and other disaster-related incidents. The degree, she said, will help to prepare professionals who can recognize existing and potential areas of disaster and who can plan and implement relief strategies before, during and after incidents.
"Given the widespread occurrence of natural and industrial-related disasters in every part of the country and world, professionals prepared in the field of disaster relief management at all levels of government and in private agencies are becoming increasingly valuable," Fontenot said.
The program is intended primarily for individuals who have completed some college, providing them an opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree online without having to go through traditional college courses.
To enter the program, students must be at least 25 years old and have completed 60 hours of college credit including general education courses. Students with less than 60 hours will have opportunities to earn credit online or through prior learning assessment that gauges skills learned on the job.
"We anticipate most of our students will be working full time or may be serving in the military and need the flexibility offered through online learning," Fontenot said.
Courses in the disaster relief management concentration include organizational communication, hazardous materials management, disaster sociology, crisis communication, private and public sector security, environmental and resource economics and a capstone course that tests overall knowledge of the area.
The degree will consist of 30 hours of courses offered jointly by faculty at the nine universities in the UL System and 30 hours in the disaster relief management concentration offered by Southeastern. The online platform will be seamless, and the cost will be uniform across concentrations and universities. Courses are offered in five eight-week terms each year.
For more information or to apply, go to the Organizational Leadership web site at southeastern.edu/orgleadership.
The degree is offered in cooperation with the state's Center for Adult Learning in Louisiana (CALL), sponsored by the Louisiana Board of Regents. The other institutions involved in the degree and their areas of focus include: Grambling State University, human relations; Louisiana Tech University, project team leadership; McNeese State University, strategic global communication; Nicholls State University, foodservice strategies and operations; Northwestern State University, public safety administration; University of Louisiana-Lafayette, health and wellness; University of Louisiana-Monroe, financial services; and the University of New Orleans, cultural and arts institutions.
Southeastern Channel to air special on Abita Mystery House
John Preble has always collected things. As a child he began collecting stamps, coins, signs and bottles. It started as competition with friends.
Over five decades Preble's gathering of weird and unusual things has grown to epic proportions, and it's now on display as the Abita Mystery House, a popular museum of folk art off Highway 36 in Abita Springs.
Preble and his Abita Mystery House, or UCM (you-see-em) Museum, are featured in the latest episode of the award-winning travel series "Northshore Gems," produced by the Southeastern Channel. The program debuted Saturday (June 8) and will re-air several times weekly during the next month, according to Southeastern Channel General Manager Rick Settoon.
"John Preble takes viewers on an eccentric and highly-entertaining tour of his fascinating Abita Mystery House," Settoon said. "It's the most popular roadside attraction of offbeat and unusual folk art for tourists on the North Shore."
Preble shows host Rob Moreau his gallery of homemade inventions, animated displays and walls covered with everything from signs, paintbrushes and old radios to postcards, cell phones and computer motherboards. There are walls of paint can lids, coke cans and hot sauce bottles. There's even a grouping of "Paint by Numbers" works that Preble began purchasing at garage sales as a child.
"It's all decoration," Preble says in the show. "I look at any object like a decoration-bottle caps, motherboards, bicycle parts, car parts, whatever. Can I decorate with it? That's as simple as it is."
An artist and inventor, Preble has fashioned all of the museum miniatures himself- from cats and dogs to the "River Road" exhibit with a gas station, pool hall, barbecue house and rhythm and blues lounge with dancing figurines. He also created his own Mardi Gras parade and an animated music box version of a classic New Orleans jazz funeral with tiny musicians.
Preble got the idea for the museum when his family visited Tinkertown in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Upon returning home he found an abandoned house nearby and converted it, adding the façade of an old gas station. A weathered dairy barn on the property became the "House of Shards," a stucco house with walls of striking mosaics.
"I like my eye seeing things," Preble says. "I don't like to look at a blank wall. Some people enjoy looking at nothing. I enjoy seeing as much as I can."
Word of the mystery house and tourist referrals has spread across the Atlantic Ocean. One visitor from Poland found his favorite Polish bottle cap on the museum wall. Preble says that now visitors donate objects rather than store them or throw them away.
The show concludes with Preble leading Moreau through the Shed of Revelation and the Patio of Compassion. He displays an archive of old pinball machines, jukeboxes, bicycles, motorbikes and outboard motors.
Wood-carved fantasy creatures include a bassigator, dogigator and quackigator, while a special robot display reveals moving parts formed from ordinary kitchen appliances.
The episode was produced, videotaped and edited by Southeastern Channel staff member Byron Caplan.
The Southeastern Channel, which has won nearly 200 awards in its 10 years of existence, airs on Charter Cable 18 in Tangipahoa, Livingston and St. Tammany parishes and on Channel 17 in Washington Parish. Its live 24/7 webcast and video on demand can be seen at www.southeastern.edu/tv.
A DREAM HOUSE- John Preble, owner of the Abita Mystery House museum in Abita Springs, points to a sign at the museum entrance which says, "This mystery house is the beginning of your dreams." The museum's odd and unique collection of folk art is featured on the newest episode of the Southeastern Channel's award-winning series "Northshore Gems." The program debuts at 8 p.m. Saturday and airs throughout the next month.
Motorists are encouraged to buckle up
Safety should be everyone's top priority, and Southeastern Police Chief Carmen Bray today reminded all students, employees, and visitors that saving a life is a snap. Buckle Up America encourages everyone on the road to use seat belts and restraints and to use them properly.
"Seat belts are the most effective lifesaving feature in a vehicle," said Chief Bray. "However, they only work if you use them and use them correctly. It only takes a second to snap the buckle on a seat belt, but the benefits can last you a lifetime."
Nearly one in five Americans still fail to buckle up regularly and too many children still don't use their seat belts or child safety seats.
In 1998, the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), developed a national initiative to increase seat belt use to 85 percent by the year 2000 and to 90 percent by 2005. The latest national seat belt use rate was 85 percent in 2010.
"You have too much to lose if you don't buckle up," said Chief Bray. "Using a seat belt will halve your chances of being killed or badly injured in a serious crash, and using the proper age-appropriate car seat in a passenger car will reduce your infant's chance of fatal injury by 71 percent and your toddler's by 54 percent."
According to research compiled by NHTSA, from 1975 through 2009 an estimated 9,310 children under age 5 were saved by child restraints (car seats or adult seat belts).
All States have laws requiring infants and toddlers to ride in car seats, but children still ride unprotected, and the consequences are frightening. According to NHTSA, fully 31 percent of passenger vehicle occupants under 5 who were fatally injured in crashes in 2009 were riding unrestrained.
"Let's use Buckle Up America! Commit to wearing seat belts on every trip, ensuring that everyone who rides in our cars is buckled up and that all children 12 and younger ride in the back seat in properly installed restraints appropriate for their age and size," Chief Bray said. "Remember; never place a rear-facing infant seat in front of an air bag. Drivers and front-seat passengers should maintain at least a 10-inch distance between themselves and their air bags. While we cannot always avoid a crash, we can take the responsibility to do everything in our power to protect ourselves and our loved ones."
For more information on seat belt safety, visit http://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.
1) SHERMAN SCHOLARSHIP AWARDED – Members of the Sherman family present the William F. Sherman, M.D. Memorial Scholarship
to Southeastern student Heather Hoda of Ponchatoula, center. The Sherman family endowed
the scholarship in memory of the late Dr. William Sherman of Ponchatoula, a 1971 Southeastern
graduate, who was killed in an automobile accident in 1976. It supports students seeking
careers in medicine. Pictured from left are Senior Director of Development, Advancement
Services Katherine Rose, Hammond dentist Kenneth Sherman, Hoda, Patti Neihaus, and
2) SPEED MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP AWARDED - The Wade Speed Memorial Scholarship at Southeastern was awarded to Josh Blanchard of Hammond and Shelby Brignac of Hammond. The scholarship was established in memory of the late Southeastern alumnus and prominent Hammond businessman Wade Speed. Funds raised at the annual Wade Speed Golf Tournament support the scholarship that is awarded to a graduate of either Hammond High School or St. Thomas Aquinas High School, enrolled in the College of Business. Pictured are, from left, John W. Lyles, Richard Bertone, Blanchard, Brignac, Zoey Jackson, Brignac's daughter, Kenneth Sherman, and Senior Director of Development, Advancement Services Katherine Rose.
Southeastern LSBDC staff honored with awards
Several staff members at the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern were recognized with awards at the state SBDC meeting held in Baton Rouge.
Business consultant Wayne Ricks was honored with the Start up Superstar Award for helping 15 new companies in the region get off the ground, while consultant Scott Huffman was given the Top Sales and Top Job Generator awards for creating 107 new jobs in the region.
Ricks and Huffman joined consultants Steven Baham and Ginger Cangelosi in receiving Million Dollar Club awards based on their efforts to help achieve financial backing for multiple clients.
At the meeting, William Joubert, director of the Southeastern LSBDC and the Southeast Louisiana Business Center, was presented a certificate recognizing the center's recent reaccreditation through the Association of Small Business Development Centers.
Since 1984, the Southeastern LSBDC has provided the tools and resources needed to help businesses grow and compete in an increasingly competitive and challenging economic environment. Since 2003 the center has consulted with nearly 2,400 entrepreneurs, helped secure over $256 million in loans and equity capital, obtained funding for more than 80 percent of its projects, created over 2,000 jobs and provided more than 21,000 hours of training for businesses throughout the North Shore.
National conference on safe, sustainable use of nanotechnology in environmental remediation
An increasing number of hazardous waste disposal sites are using nanotechnology and nanomaterials in their environmental remediation efforts, leaving open questions about the safety of such techniques.
An inaugural national workshop was held at Southeastern June 5 - 7 to try to provide some answers to the questions and concerns on the safe use of nanomaterials in environmental remediation.
Nanomaterials are tiny engineered particles, often smaller than the width of a human air, that are being synthesized and formed to perform specific functions in medicine delivery, pharmacology, industry and environmental remediation.
"While applications and results of nano-enabled strategies for environmental remediation are promising, there is still the challenge of ensuring such applications are both safe and sustainable," said conference organizer Ephraim Massawe. "The federal government has established different projects coordinated by different agencies, called signature initiatives. We plan on generating information supportive of some of these federal initiatives."
The event, "Nano-4_Rem_Anseers2013: Applications of Nanotechnolgoy for Safe and Sustainable Environmental Remediations," was a cooperative endeavor involving the university and agencies and institutions, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institute of Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The Louisiana Board of Regents provided partial financial support.
1) Ephraim Massawe addresses participants at the inaugural national workshop at Southeastern last week to try to provide some answers to the questions and concerns on the safe use of nanomaterials in environmental remediation.
2) Workshop attendees view a Power Point presentation at the conference.
Adaptive Physical Education Minicamp scheduled June 17-20
Southeastern is now accepting applications for an Adaptive Physical Education Minicamp to be held June 17-20 from noon to 3 p.m.
The camp is sponsored by the Division of Extended Studies, in partnership with the Department Kinesiology and Health Studies.
"Adaptive PE Mini Camp features three days of fun-filled, three-hour sessions of physical education activities," said Camp Director René Wallace, a certified adapted physical education teacher and instructor at Southeastern. "The camp focus will be on motor development, socializations, and having fun!"
Graduate and undergraduate students will assist camp participants while working toward Adaptive Physical Education Certification, Wallace added.
The camp is $70 and will be held in the Kinesiology and Health Studies Building gymnasium at 400 Tennessee Street. Camp drop-off and pick-up will take place inside the gymnasium on the first day. Arrangements will be made to meet children outside of the building for the remaining two days.
Space is limited, and applications may be accepted on-line by visiting www.southeastern.edu/es. Applications may also be accepted by phone at 985-549-2301, by fax at 985-549-5078 or by visiting the Extended Studies office in the University Center, room 103.
For more information about registration, contact Extended Studies at 1-800-256-2771.
CPTP Program on June 18
CPTP Providing Quality Service, a free professional development program, is scheduled June 18, from 8:15 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. in the University Center, room 139.
This one-day class provides a foundation that will help participants address the basic service needs of their customers. Participants will learn how to assess individual situations to identify potential opportunities for providing good service; specific strategies to help meet the needs of customers working with state government; and strategies for dealing with difficult and challenging customers.
To register for this class, please email Jan.Ortego@southeastern.edu or call extension 5771 for more information.
Comments on nursing doctoral program solicited
The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) will conduct an initial accreditation review of the doctor of nursing practice program offered by Southeastern.
The review -- to be conducted Sept. 10-11 -- is intended to assess the educational program's compliance with CCNE standards.
Federal regulations require that accrediting agencies allow for public comment on the qualifications of institutions or programs under consideration for continuing accreditation, according to CCNE.
Individuals with pertinent and valid information about the program are invited to submit their comments in writing to CCNE at least 30 days before the review. Only signed comments will be accepted by the agency.
CCNE shares third-party comments with members of the evaluation team prior to the visit, but at no time during the review process are these comments shared with the program. During its review of the program, the evaluation team considers third-party comments, if any relate to the accreditation standards and the program's qualifications for accreditation status.
Information should be sent 30 days before the visit begins to the Commission on Collegiate Nurisng Education, Attention: Ms. Christina Walcott, Accrediting Assistant, at One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036-1120.
Southeastern in the news
Southeastern Nursing and Health Sciences students honored
Southeastern honors Livingston, St. Tammany and Tangi grads
All Star Auto partners with SLU on Zoom
SLU tech center opens for students
NTCC to develop new St. Tammany campus, expand course offerings
Charlotte A. Humphries (Kinesiology) and Madge Ashy (retired from Kinesiology) published "The games children play III: More comments on effective teaching" in the Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, pp. 14-16.
Nine Southeastern students presented the results of their undergraduate research at the second annual University of Louisiana System Academic Summit in April at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. The students, the titles of their projects, and their faculty mentors are: Arjun Sharma (Computer Science) "VODOAT, an automated parking-lot management system," with Dr. Ghassan Alkadi and Dr. Kuo-Pao Yang; Bijay Bhattarai (Chemistry); "Synthesis of Single Geometric Oxime Ether by Palladium Catalyzed Suzuki Cross Coupling Reaction," with Dr. Debra Dolliver; Dinesh Devkota (Computer Science) "Rich Search Engine Optimization: New Benchmarks for Success," with Dr. Theresa Beaubouef; Diwas Bhattarai (Computer Science) "Method for Indexing Queries for Frequency Analysis," with Dr. John Burris; Durel Hoover (Computer Science), "Verification-Driven Learning Approach: Playing Cards Application Case Study," with Dr. Wendy Zhang; Laura Vasut (OSHE) "Implementation of an Air Quality Improvement Program in a Public School Environment: A Case Study Review of Successes and Failures," with Dr. Ephraim Massawe; Ranjan Poudel (Computer Science) "Verification Driven DVD Retail Application," with Zhang and Beaubouef; Sarju Adhikari (Chemistry) "Palladium-Catalyzed Negishi Cross-Coupling of N-alkoxybenzimidoyl halide," with Dolliver; Saroj Simkhada (Biology) "Systematics of Clavicipitaceous fungi associated with morning glories based on rpb1 sequence data," with Dr. Rick E Miller.
Dr. Marc Riedel (Sociology and Criminal Justice) has recently completed a term as Special Issues Editor of Homicide Studies. The special issue on Elderly Homicide includes six original articles on different aspects of a rapidly emerging issue.
"Political Interests and Regulatory Enforcement in the Aftermath of Accidents" by Dr. Peter Shrock (Sociology and Criminal Justice) has been published in the July-August 2013 issue of Sociological Spectrum.
Connie Davis, Kathy Sue Edwards (Auxiliary Services) and Kay Maurin (University Housing) attended NACAS South Conference in Hilton Head, SC on May 4 - 8. Davis served as President for the 2012 - 2013 year, and, as she passed the gavel to the incoming President and accepted the title as Past President, she received a plaque "In Recognition of Excellence in Leadership and in Appreciation for Dedication as President." Maurin presented a session at the conference titled "How Do We Measure Success?"
Dr. Debra Dolliver (Chemistry and Physics) is a co-author on a journal article with Dr. Timothy Snowden, et. al., from the University of Alabama "Synthesis of Potent CERT Inhibitor HPA-12 Featuring a Tandem Corey–Link and Intramolecular Nucleophilic Acyl Substitution Reaction," Synthesis, DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1338495.
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