Southeastern grad student combines love of horses with award-winning research
Kalie Beckers of Loranger loves horses. She also loves her academic field of biology
and has found a way to combine the two interests into award-winning research.
Beckers, a graduate student in biological sciences, has received the R.J. Strawinski
Memorial Research Award presented by the South Central Branch of the American Society
of Microbiology. The award is presented by the organization in recognition of outstanding
presentations by graduate students.
The branch is comprised of more than 1,000 microbiologists from over 50 institutions
in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
Beckers’ award recognized her efforts to develop a solid methodology to collect
fecal samples from horses and related species so that wider and more consistent research
can be conducted.
“Kalie has accomplished a lot in a short period of time. She proves it helps
to work on projects that you love,” said Southeastern Biological Sciences Professor
Gary Childers, who supervised her work.
“We were looking for a standard method to collect samples so that potentially
I can crowdsource,” said Beckers, who will enter veterinary school in the fall. “Crowdsourcing
allows scientists to obtain additional information through the enlistment of services
by a wide group of people. With more samples from a wider geographical range, I will
be able to research many more hypotheses and not be limited by samples only in one
She said her initial work was to develop a standard method of collection to ensure
samples are not contaminated and are properly handled to get informative results.
“Kalie’s study demonstrates that contaminants can very quickly grow and confound
results, but also finds that compromised samples can likely be identified and removed,”
said Christopher J. Schultz, a Southeastern biology research associate. He said her
project has taken lessons learned from the American Gut Project, a crowd-sourced,
citizen-scientist effort that collects and shares data, and applies the information
to horse studies.
“I love horses and work with them all the time at home. I wanted to research
something I was interested in while working in Dr. Childers’ lab,” she said. “He studies
bacteria, so we met in the middle – horses and their intestinal bacteria.”
CHECKING SAMPLES – Southeastern graduate student Kalie Beckers of Loranger runs collected samples
on the university’s personal genome machine that generates millions of DNA-sequences
from samples under the supervision of research associate Christopher J. Schultz. Beckers,
who plans on going into veternary science studies in the fall, was recognized for
her work by the South Central Branch of the American Society of Microbiology.
Southeastern student receives scholarship from WDSU-TV
A student television news reporter at Southeastern has been honored with the first
ever 2017 Billy Pilgrim Scholarship in Creative Services presented by the Louisiana
Association of Broadcasters.
Maria Goddard of New Orleans, an anchor-reporter for the Southeastern Channel’s
award-winning student newscast, “Northshore News,” received the $1,500 scholarship
recently in Baton Rouge at LAB’s annual Prestige Awards luncheon attended by the top
television and radio broadcasters in the state.
“I have to give the credit to God,” Goddard said. “I’m really humbled that I
was even considered because Billy Pilgrim was such a great man. I’m honored to be
able to represent him and to carry on his legacy of being creative in the best way
Goddard is the first-ever recipient of the scholarship established this year
by WDSU-TV in New Orleans in honor of Pilgrim, an award-winning creative services
director for WDSU who died last summer. Two months before he died, Pilgrim’s WDSU
creative services department won the state’s Promotion of the Year Award at LAB’s
2016 Prestige Awards.
“The Southeastern Channel is incredible, and it shows with all of the awards
it wins,” Goddard said. “Our quality of work is recognized on so many levels. We’re
able to be on an anchor desk and have the feel of an actual newsroom. We’re able to
go out with all of the cameras, microphones and whatever is needed to get the story
done. We have all of the equipment of a professional newscast and news station.”
Applicants for the scholarship had to submit a 500-word creative writing essay
and have a minimum grade point average of 2.5. The judges were members of the WDSU
creative services department team.
The scholarship was presented to Goddard by Joel Vilmenay, WDSU general manager.
“We wanted to honor Billy with a scholarship in his name as he really cared deeply
about teaching our next generation of broadcasters,” Vilmenay said at the ceremony.
Goddard said she met Pilgrim at LAB’s first student workshop last year in New
Orleans, where he was a panelist and gave students a tour of the WDSU facility and
his creative services department.
A communication major at Southeastern, Goddard has earned real world experience
through internships at WDSU and WAFB (Baton Rouge) and is an anchor-reporter for “Northshore
News,” which has been named “Best in the South” by the eight-state Southeast Journalism
Conference and one of the top four in the nation by College Broadcasters, Inc. Goddard
was honored earlier this year for her fifth-place “Best of South” recognition for
“Best Television Feature Reporter” out of television students from 33 universities
in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and North
“Maria aims for the heart with her stories,” said Rick Settoon, Southeastern
Channel general manager. “She digs deep and finds stories that are not only informative,
but inspirational and entertaining as well. Then her excellent creative writing and
reporting talents take over to deliver stories that are impactful and moving for the
SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT- Maria Goddard, a Southeastern senior from New Orleans, is presented the first annual
Billy Pilgrim Scholarship in Creative Services by WDSU-TV General Manager Joel Vilmenay
at the 2017 Louisiana Association of Broadcasters Prestige Awards luncheon in Baton
Rouge. A reporter-anchor for the Southeastern Channel’s student newscast, “Northshore
News,” Goddard received the $1,500 award in honor of Pilgrim, the award-winning creative
services director at WDSU who died last summer.
Southeastern hosts U.L. Academic Summit
Southeastern Professor of Philosophy Barbara Forrest was one of the keynote speakers
at the University of Louisiana System Academic Summit held on campus last Thursday
The annual event attracts students and faculty from the system's nine universities
who make poster and oral presentations on their research and service-learning projects.
A performance arts showcase and visual art exhibition were also part of the summit.
The event was coordinated by Susan Coats, head of the Department of Psychology.
Alumni Association to hold Golden Silence today rain or shine
The Southeastern Alumni Association will host its annual Golden Silence ceremony to
honor deceased Southeastern alumni, students, faculty and staff or their family members,
today, Monday, April 3.
The annual event will be held at 6 p.m. in the Pottle Performance Circle on Ned
McGehee Drive in Friendship Circle. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be moved
inside to the Pottle Music Annex Recital Hall.
For more information, contact the Alumni Association at 549-2150, 1-800-SLU-ALUM
or firstname.lastname@example.org. The event is free and open to the public.
Southeastern Wind Symphony to present concert April 6
“Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and a Lot of Blue,” a concert by
the award-winning Southeastern Wind Symphony, will be presented at the Columbia Theatre
for the Performing Arts in downtown Hammond on Thursday, April 6.
Featuring a variety of music from various composers, the concert will be held
at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are adults $10; faculty, staff, and seniors $5; and all students
are admitted free. SLU students must present their student IDs to receive tickets.
Tickets are available at the Columbia Theatre box office at 220 E. Thomas Street or
by calling 543-4371.
“This is going to be a wonderful musical event for our university,” said Interim
Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands Derek Stoughton, pictured above.
“We will have several guest artists performing in the concert; however, we are most
excited about welcoming world-renowned tuba virtuoso Oystein Baadsvik to our campus
to perform. Mr. Baadsvik will perform three of his compositions with us, and it will
be an experience that will not be forgotten.”
Baadsvik is the only tuba virtuoso to have carved out a career exclusively as
a soloist, rather than becoming a member of an orchestra or accepting a teaching post.
His multi-faceted musical career as a soloist, chamber musician, lecturer and recording
artist has taken him all over the world.
Stoughton said additional guests to perform include Robbie Malbrough of Gonzales
and Lindsey Poret of Luling, undergraduate clarinet students of Professor Victor Drescher
who were the winners of this year’s Southeastern Concerto Competition. Also featured
will be Southeastern Professor of Piano Henry Jones, who will perform George Gershwin’s
famous “Rhapsody in Blue.”
The program will include “Blue Shades” by Frank Ticheli; “O Magnum Mysterium”
by Morten Lauridsen and arranged by H. Robert Reynolds and “Concerto for Two Clarinets
and Orchestra” by Franz Krommer.
The program will continue following intermission with “Gabriel’s Oboe” by Ennio
Morricone and arranged by Baadsvik; and “Concerto for Tuba and Wind Ensemble” by
The Southeastern Wind Symphony has been recognized in recent years with two Global
Music Awards for its CD recording “Live.” A second CD is being produced from performances
in Orchestra Hall in Chicago and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington
For more information, contact the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at 549-2184.
Southeastern marketing breakfast to feature media adviser for Trump campaign
A Baton Rouge marketing and advertising professional from Baton Rouge who served
as a media adviser for President Donald Trump will serve as the guest speaker at Southeastern’s
annual Marketing Breakfast on Tuesday, April 11.
Jay Connaughton, founder and partner of the Baton Rouge firm People Who Think:
Innovative Advertising, Innovative Politics and Fridge, will speak at the event at
8 a.m. in the Southeastern Student Union Ballroom. The breakfast is sponsored by the
Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management, the Southeastern Marketing Association,
and G. Dean Brunson, CPA, of Richmond, Va.
The program is open to students and the general public. Tickets are $10 and can
be ordered and prepaid online at tinyurl.com/marketingbreakfast2017 or at the door.
A native of Louisiana and graduate of LSU, Connaughton founded People Who Think
with the intent of combining high design standards with a deep understanding of the
client’s needs. His wide range of experience in both corporate and political brands
across multiple industries provides the perspective needed to use deep data to address
He was selected to serve as a media advisor to the Trump campaign based on his
work over the last 20 years on numerous major campaigns. His strategies have helped
shape and win elections for Republican U.S. senators, congressmen and other elected
leaders at all levels of state government. His firm has earned numerous awards, including
more than 100 Addy Awards.
For more information on the lecture, contact the Department of Marketing and
Supply Chain Management at 549-2277.
Southeastern student earns national OSH&E scholarship
A Southeastern senior majoring in occupational safety, health and environment has
been awarded a national scholarship from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals.
Richard B. Barnard of Mandeville received the $5,000 award based upon his cumulative
grade point average, a submitted essay on why he entered the program, and his commitment
to obtaining professional certification upon his graduation.
Barnard, who will graduate this spring, plans to pursue a career in the field
and eventually obtain his certified safety professional designation.
“Many things attracted me to the safety field,” he said, “but my my experience
working in the inland towboat industry as a deckhand and later a tanker-man exposed
me to the realities of the necessity for safety in the workplace.”
The Southeastern OSH&E program last year was ranked 19th in the nation by the
website collegevaluesonline.com, and was the only institution in Louisiana to be recognized.
The ranking is based on quality of academics; value, which includes tuition affordability
and financial aid; and the calculated average return on investment data, a guide to
the success of students graduating from the program.
The program is nationally accredited by the Applied Science Accreditation Commission
of ABET, Inc. The program grew from a two-year associate’s degree program to a four-year
bachelor of science program following considerable input from managers at area industries
that reported a significant need for safety, health and environmental professionals.
The program prepares students for a variety of positions, including roles of safety
engineers and safety supervisors.