Alumni Association announces Board of Directors
Richard “Dickie” Whitson of Springfield has been elected president and chairman of
the board of directors for 2019-20 Southeastern Alumni Association.
A 1971 graduate of Southeastern with a bachelor of arts degree in business administration,
Whitson retired after a 35-year career with Allegiance Health Care Corp in medical
device equipment sales. He currently serves as chairman of the board for Rosaryville
Spirit Life Center, secretary for the Lion Athletics Association, founder and president
of Golden Pride and volunteers with Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Southeastern’s
Phi Chapter of Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity.
Joining him on the Executive Committee will be President-Elect Patrick Brazan
of Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company; Secretary Stephanie Kropog of North Oaks
Health System; and Treasurer Kristen Bell with Northshore Technical Community College.
Executive Director of Alumni Relations Michelle Biggs said board members commit
their time and expertise to fulfill the association’s mission of strengthening ties
between the university, alumni and community.
“The board is comprised of a wide range of individuals who represent the entire
alumni base. Each member serves a two-year term, and his or her job is to assist in
promoting the mission of the Alumni Association in tandem with that of Southeastern,”
said Biggs. “They promote pride, help in student recruitment efforts, act as mentors,
preserve traditions of the university and encourage active membership in the association.”
Also serving on the board are Tasha Lamkin Dameron with Simply Real Estate LLC;
Malcolm Fitzhugh with Farm Bureau Insurance; Troy Green with White Castle High School;
Alicia Motichek Himber with Southeastern’s Chemistry and Physics Department; Bridget
Bankston Laborde with Northshore Technical Community College; Gina Giacone Laird with
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, Sonja Ragusa Newman with United Way of Southeast
Louisiana; and Dennis “Danny” Wallette with Tangipahoa Mosquito Abatement.
Biggs said that as part of Whitson’s incoming president’s duties he has appointed
two one-year termed board members to round out the membership representation in the
year ahead. These include Nakia Merrill with Cedar Valley College in Lancaster, Tex.,
and Richard Moran with Pala Interstate.
Ex-Officio members of the board include Immediate Past President Beth Carney
Ebberman of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana; Past President Brad Stevens of Edwards
and Stevens Law Firm in Amite; Southeastern President John L. Crain; Vice President
of University Advancement Wendy Lauderdale; and Biggs.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS ANNOUNCED – The Southeastern Alumni Association announced its 2019-20 Board of Directors. Seated
in the front row, from left, are President-Elect Patrick Brazan, Treasurer Kristen
Bell, President Dickie Whitson, Immediate Past-President Beth Ebberman, and Secretary
Stephanie Kropog. Standing, from left, are Nakia Merrill, Alicia Himber, Richard Moran,
Bridget Laborde, Past-President Brad Stevens, Executive Director of Alumni Relations
Michelle Biggs, Danny Wallette, Tasha Dameron, Troy Green, Sonja Newman, and Malcolm
Community Music School names Outstanding Musicians
Southeastern’s Community Music School announced pianists Madeline Brown and Anton
Feldbaum and violinists Lily Anderson, Anna Johnson, Kelsey Jones and Brennan Saenz
as its Spring 2019 CMS Outstanding Musicians.
The Outstanding Musicians were chosen by audience votes during the final spring
“We congratulate our Spring 2019 CMS Outstanding Musicians. We are thrilled to
share their accomplishments with our supportive and culturally unique community,”
said Community Music School Director Jivka Duke. “We take pride in helping all of
our students build bright musical futures and look forward to all of their future
successes. Our fall 2019 semester is fast approaching, and we will offer orchestra
and individual lessons on various instruments and voice. We are also very excited
about the Southeastern Symphony Concert, when our CMS Concerto Competition winners
will perform as soloists.”
Anderson lives in Hammond and attends Southeastern Laboratory School, where she
just finished fourth grade. She has studied violin for one year and has been a ballerina
for six years at Fellom Ballet. Anderson also plays on an all boys flag football team,
is an honor student, and has recently become a Southeastern Lab School cheerleader.
A resident of Whitehall, Brown just completed third grade at Maurepas School.
Next year she will attend St. Theresa Middle in Gonzales. She has been playing the
piano for two years and, in her spare time, enjoys reading and playing golf.
Feldbaum lives in Denham Springs and will be a third grader at Oaks Montessori
School in Hammond this fall. He has studied the piano for three and a half years.
Feldbaum was one of the runners up in the CMS concerto competition in May. He loves
to play laser tag and dodge ball, Duke said, and would enjoy video games, if his parents
let him play any.
Johnson lives in Hammond and attends Hammond Eastside Magnet School, where she
will be entering fifth grade this fall. She has studied violin for four years. In
2018, Johnson was one of the winners in the CMS Concerto Competition and performed
as a soloist with the Southeastern Symphony Orchestra in November. She is an honor
roll student and participates in Hammond Eastside’s musical theatre group, The Company.
She is a student in the Tangipahoa Talented Music Program and was selected to perform
at the International Baccalaureate Global Conference in July.
A resident of Albany, Jones is home schooled and has just completed the eighth
grade. She has been playing the violin for three years and also plays the piano. In
May, she was chosen as one of the winners of the CMS Concerto Competition and will
perform as a soloist with the Southeastern Symphony Orchestra this fall. Jones was
also invited to audition for the Southeastern Symphony in August and hopes to become
the orchestra’s youngest member. When she is not practicing violin and piano, she
loves to read, journal, run, and play music with friends.
Saenz is from Mandeville. He is 11 years old and will be a sixth grade student
at Lake Harbor Middle School this fall. He has played violin for five years, piano
for three years, and he recently started playing trumpet for his middle school band.
He and his sister Alana are this year’s winners of the concerto competition at the
Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra for the Sinfonia Division. They performed as soloists
with the GNOYO in March and were invited to play at the 2019 New Orleans French Quarter
Festival. The siblings are also among the winners for the CMS Concerto Competition
and will perform as soloists with the Southeastern Symphony orchestra this fall.
For more information about CMS programs and general registration, call 549-5502,
or visit the CMS website at www.southeastern.edu/cms.
SOUTHEASTERN CMS NAMES OUTSTANDING MUSICIANS - Southeastern’s Community Music School recently announced its Spring 2019 Outstanding
Musicians. The musicians were chosen by audience votes during the final spring 2019
recitals. Pictured front row, from left, are Anton Feldbaum, Brennan Saenz, and Madeline
Brown. Back row, from left, are Lily Anderson, Kelsey Jones, and Anna Johnson.
Southeastern students win Mark of Excellence Awards
Southeastern students at the Southeastern Channel won nine 2018 Mark of Excellence
Awards, including four first-place honors, at the Society of Professional Journalists’
annual Region 12 conference.
Southeastern Channel students received the most television and broadcast videography
category honors out of all universities in the competition, including the most first-place
awards with four and the most second-place finalist awards with five.
The Mark of Excellence Awards honor the best of collegiate journalism from a
calendar year. SPJ’s Region 12 comprises all universities in Louisiana, Mississippi,
Arkansas and Tennessee.
Mark of Excellence Awards are judged by SPJ industry professionals directed to
choose entries considered the best in student journalism. If no entry rises to the
level of excellence, no award is given.
“The Society of Professional Journalists has long been one of the most respected
journalism organizations, and for our students to eclipse those at much larger universities
in the region by a good margin is truly an outstanding achievement,” said Southeastern
Channel General Manager Rick Settoon. “These awards show the high quality of broadcast
journalism in both news and sports production by our students, and I’m very proud
of their high standards and strong efforts. I’m extremely happy that their hard work
has been rightly recognized.”
Amanda Kitch of Covington won two of the first-place awards for her stories produced
for the Southeastern Channel’s award-winning student newscast “Northshore News.” She
won for “Broadcast News Videography” for her story on the “Krentel Homicide” and for
“Broadcast Feature Videography” for her segment on “Mosquito Control” in St. Tammany
Parish. Kitch is now a television news reporter for WAFB-TV (CBS) Ch. 9 in Baton Rouge.
Andrew Scherer of New Orleans won first place for “Television Sports Reporting”
for his feature on Southeastern basketball star Marlain Veal. Scherer is now a television
news and sports reporter for WXXV-TV (FOX/ABC) Ch. 25 in Gulfport, Miss.
Dylan Domangue of Houma, a senior, won first place in the “Broadcast Sports Videography”
category for his videography of the 2018 Southeastern vs. LSU basketball game in Baton
Rouge. The winning stories for both Domangue and Scherer were produced for Southeastern
Channel broadcast on its national award-winning student sportscast “The Big Game.”
Kitch also garnered finalist honors (second place) for “Television News Feature
Reporting” for her “Mosquito Control” story, while Parker Berthelot of Denham Springs
was a finalist for “Broadcast News Videography” for his videography for the “Northshore
News” story, “CiCi’s Pizza.”
Schuylar Ramsey of Springfield was a finalist for “Broadcast Feature Videography”
for her “Northshore News” story on “Fuller Homes,” while Freddie Rosario of Luling
won second-place finalist honors for “Television Sports Reporting” for his “Big Game”
story on the Lady Lions vs. Abilene Christian softball game. Ramsey is now a television
news reporter for WABG-TV Delta News (ABC/FOX) Ch. 15 in Greenwood, Miss., while Rosario
is a newscast director for KALB-TV (NBC) Ch.5 in Alexandria, La.
“Northshore News” was also honored as a second-place finalist for “Best Overall
Television Newscast.” “Northshore News” has won first-place honors in the region six
In its 16 years of existence, the Southeastern Channel has won over 400 national,
international and regional awards, including 17 awards and 63 nominations from the
Emmys. The channel can be seen on Charter Spectrum 199 in Tangipahoa, St. Tammany,
Livingston and St. Helena parishes, along with its live 24/7 webcast and video on-demand
at www.thesoutheasternchannel.com. The Southeastern Channel can also be seen on Facebook,
Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
MARK OF EXCELLENCE WINNERS- Southeastern students at the Southeastern Channel won nine awards, the most of any
university in television and broadcast videography, at the 2018 Mark of Excellence
Awards given by the Society of Professional Journalists at its Region 12 conference.
Winners, from left, include Parker Berthelot of Denham Springs, Amanda Kitch of Covington,
Dylan Domangue of Houma, and Andrew Scherer of New Orleans. Not shown are Schuylar
Ramsey of Springfield and Freddie Rosario of Luling.
LAA hosts Coaches Caravan to open 2019-20
The Lion Athletics Association will open the 2019-20 Southeastern Athletics season
with the annual Coaches’ Caravan, set for July 22-25.
SLU head football coach Frank Scelfo and head track and field coach Corey Mistretta
will be featured on all four stops. Other Southeastern coaches will join Scelfo and
Mistretta at each location. Admission to each LAA Coaches’ Caravan is $10 with S Club
members and SLU students receiving free admission.
In addition to having the chance to hear about the upcoming 2018-19 seasons from
Lion and Lady Lion coaches, fans will also be able to enjoy food and drinks at each
The first stop will see Southeastern visit Don’s Seafood (136 Rushing Road W)
in Denham Springs on July 22. Scelfo and Mistretta will be joined by new head volleyball
coach Jeremy White, interim head men’s basketball coach David Kiefer and golf coach
Jake Narro in the event, set from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
The remaining three Coaches’ Caravan events will be held from 6-8 p.m. On July
23, the Lions and Lady Lions head to Messina’s Catering (2717 Williams Blvd.) in Kenner.
Representing SLU that day will be Scelfo, Mistretta, head softball coach Rick Fremin
and head women’s basketball coach Ayla Guzzardo.
On July 24, the third stop takes Southeastern to the Fleur De Lis Event Hall
(1645 N. Causeway Blvd.) in Mandeville. Scelfo, Mistretta and White will be joined
by head baseball coach Matt Riser and head soccer coach Chris McBride.
The last stop brings Southeastern home on July 25 for the final Coaches’ Caravan
at Gnarly Barley Brewing (1709 Corbin Road) in Hammond. Fans will be able to hear
from Scelfo, Mistretta, White, Rister, Fremin, Narro, Guzzardo, McBride and head tennis
coach Jason Hayes.
For more information on the LAA Coaches’ Caravan, visit www.LionSports.net/coachescaravans or contact Director of Athletic Advancement Mary Hannah Prevot at 549-5091 or firstname.lastname@example.org.