Left, Blair Abene is crowned Miss Louisiana (Photo: Arely D. Castillo/The News-Star/LAGNS); right, Miss Southeastern Brandy Hotard is second runner up in state pageant.
Blair Abene crowned Miss Louisiana
The current and two former Miss Southeastern title holders swept the top honors at the Miss Louisiana pageant in Monroe Saturday night with senior vocal performance major Blair Abene of Hammond winning the crown.
Abene is the first Southeastern student to be crowned Miss Louisiana since Phylis Kelly claimed the title in 1978.
Current Miss Southeastern Brandy Hotard, a nursing major from Port Allen, was second-runner up, a "phenomenal achievement" for a first-time Miss Louisiana contestant, said Jason Leader, coordinator of CAB, the Miss Southeastern pageant sponsor. Miss Southeastern 2003 Jennifer Soileau was first runner-up, while piano performance major Kristen Hilliard of Covington, Miss Southeastern 2007, was among the top 10 finalists.
Competing as Miss Lincoln Parish, Abene, Miss Southeastern 2006, earned the Miss Louisiana crown with what news reports described as "a powerful performance" of Puccini's "Nessun Dorma." She also won the "Miracle Maker Award" for raising the most amount of money -- more than $19,000 -- for Miss Louisiana's charity, the Children's Miracle Network. Along with Abene, Soileau, Hotard and Hilliard were the pageant's top Children's Miracle Network money-raisers with their combined efforts gathering $49,588.
Abene also received the pageant's academic award for highest grade point average and was a preliminary talent winner on Friday night.
"I am ecstatic, I can't even believe this is real," she said.
Abene will compete on January 24, 2009 in Las Vegas for the Miss America crown. She will live in Monroe for the next year as she makes numerous appearances and performs other duties as the Miss Louisiana. According to Leader, she is already involved in activities related to the Miss America pageant, including taping promotional spots for "Miss America Reality Check," The Learning Channel television show associated with the national pageant.
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Southeastern goes to four-day week
Beginning today through Aug. 8, Southeastern has implemented a four-day work week. Campus academic and business offices will be open from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, with a 12-12:30 p.m. lunch hour.
President Randy Moffett said the work schedule change is due to "the impact of rising gasoline costs and the impact on faculty and staff finances." Southeastern will implement a four-day work week for the remainder of the summer.
The new schedule, he said, "will allow the University to fulfill its mission to you, our students, with flexible hours while also providing cost savings for individuals and energy savings for the University.
To best serve the university community, the president said some offices will remain open on Fridays. Sims Memorial Library will be open Monday-Wednesday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Thursday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Friday, 7 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The library will be closed on Saturday and Sunday.
The Pennington Center will maintain the following hours of operation: Monday- Thursday, 5 a.m.- 9 p.m.; Friday, 5 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sunday, 3-9 p.m.
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In a faculty-staff email last week, President Randy Moffett shared updates and information concerning the approaching the end of the regular legislative session. The President said:
"The legislature has approved higher education's request for a tuition increase which we will implement in the fall semester. This modest tuition increase will allow us to generate approximately two million dollars in additional operating funds, and legislative approval has authorized subsequent increases for the following three years. This is very good news for us, and coupled with the new funding provided last year, and the increased funding for our move to SREB four-year 3 category, this should enable us to have an excellent budget year. Our legislators have been extremely supportive of our requests and voted affirmatively for us on all issues.
"We are in the early stage of preliminary budget planning for next year. I am very optimistic that we will be able to continue our history of providing raises for our faculty and unclassified professional staff. Once the session ends on Monday, I will update you with a final report and other budget information.
"Thanks for all you do."
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Barayas obtain citizenship
Congratulations to Dr. Aristides Baraya and Luz Escobar, who are new American citizens. The Barayas were sworn in as new citizens at a ceremony in June 5 at a ceremony in Metairie.
Natives of Columbia, the Barayas joined the Southeastern faculty as foreign languages professors in November 1997. Dr. Aristides Baraya is now a member of the General Business faculty and is director of the College of Business Latin American Business Development Initiative.
"Southeastern opened her doors and offered us the opportunity of recognizing us not only as professionals, but as human beings with dignity. There are so many things that we wish to say to express our gratitude that perhaps the best and most humble way of demonstrating this is by simply saying, 'Thank You.' Our gratitude reflects how much this University has meant and currently means to us.
"As Irving Berlin said, let us swear allegiance to a land that's free, let us all be grateful for a land so fair. God bless America. Land that we love! God bless America, my home sweet home."
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Friendship Circle closed until July 1
Due to the extensive amount of construction that is taking place in Friendship Circle, it will remain closed to parking, but open to through traffic, until July 1. The University Police Department asks motorists to plan an alternate route and parking area until the construction has been completed.
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'Introduction to Diversity' program June 24
The Human Resources Office is offering a program entitled "An Introduction to Diversity" on Tuesday, June 24, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. The program will be held in University Center, room 139. Topics to be addressed will include setting the stage for diversity at Southeastern, developing a group definition of diversity, how diversity affects you and how you can apply the concepts of diversity in your work and personal situations.
Pre-registration is requested by contacting Sharon Sparacello in the Training Division of HR at firstname.lastname@example.org or extension 5850.
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Thanks for donors; tribute for Miller
His former colleagues from the College of Business from left, Mike Budden, Dan Hotard and Brad O'Hara, congratulate Joe Miller, vice president for university advancement, on his 40-year service to Southeastern. A tribute to Miller was part of a special June 16 "thank you" event for university donors highlighting Southeastern's achievements in fundraising over the last decade, including the successful "Commitment to Excellence" campaign, the Campaign for the Visual and Performing Arts, and the campaign to bring back football. Dr. Miller is retiring after having served Southeastern as a faculty member, department head, dean, and vice president.
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PPR training for supervisors
A training program for supervisors who are required to conduct Performance Planning and Reviews (PPRs) on classified employees will be offered by the Training Section of the Human Resources Office on Thursday, June 26. The program will run from 9:30-11 a.m. in North Campus Main Building (NCMB), room 104.
To register, contact Jan Ortego at Jan.Ortego@selu.edu or extensions 5850 or 5771. Pre-registration and supervisory approval are necessary for this class.
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IT faculty conduct workshops for high school, technical college teachers
Southeastern industrial technology faculty conducted two hands-on state Department of Education-sponsored workshops June 16-20 for high school and technical school teachers.
Ed Rode' taught 15 teachers about the new hurricane resistant construction requirements and techniques and other new building code requirements. The workshop participants got hands-on experience, which they will take back to their own students, by constructing three small playhouses that will be donated to area Head Start programs.
Michael Beauvais taught the fundamentals of pipe drafting to eight teachers. "The goal," he said, "is for them to take the classroom-ready materials I have developed and teach this in their classes. This is in response to the regional, national and world shortage of pipe designers."
Richard Feemster of WINK Engineering (above left) met with the teachers to discuss a major project WINK completed and show examples of 3-D laser scanning technology. He also discussed job demand and opportunities. The workshop participants also toured Shaw Sunland fabricators in Walker and met with their engineering department, and heard from Chuck Lawrence of Ford, Bacon & Davis, who demonstrated a large design project and discussed the importance of 3-D modeling of a plant and how that technology is changing the face of the design field benefiting clients and the engineering companies.
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Workplace Negotiation Skills
The Comprehensive Public Training Program (CPTP), a part of the La Division of Administration, is sponsoring a free seminar for managers/supervisors entitled "Workplace Negotiation Skills." The seminar will be held on Monday, July 7, 8:15 a.m.-3:30 p.m., in University Center, room 139. In this one-day class participants will learn how to negotiate in the workplace, use Interest-based negotiating between work groups, clarify points of view, and apply win-win persuasive techniques and methods to gain cooperation from others.
For more information and to register, contact Jan Ortego at the Training Section of the Human Resources Office, Jan.Ortego@selu.edu or extension 5771.
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Collins heads Northshore School of the Arts
Slidell native Charlotte Lowry Collins has been named the first full time director of Southeastern's Northshore School of the Arts.
Collins joined the Southeastern faculty on June 2 to head the unique professional evening program for juniors and seniors committed to the performing and visual arts. Through the program, students in St. Tammany, Livingston and Tangipahoa public schools may take Southeastern music, art, and theater classes - plus one-on-one instruction in music and voice faculty - for college credit.
Since the program's inception in 2006, more than 100 students have participated in the Northshore School of the Arts.
"The Northshore School of the Arts is a wonderful example of how a university and public school systems can work together to enrich educational opportunities," said President Randy Moffett. "This is a continuation of great success, and we are looking forward to seeing it excel under Ms. Collins' leadership."
Collins comes to Southeastern from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga., where she was core coordinator for Department of Visual Arts and General Education Council, and study abroad director. From 1989-91, she was assistant coordinator of the Talented Arts Program for St. Tammany Parish public schools. She was also active in the arts in Slidell, where she chaired the operating committee of the Commission on the Arts, was residency director of the city's Community Artists in Residence Training and was a member of the Slidell Regional Arts Council board.
She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Memphis College of Art and bachelor's degrees in studio art from the University of New Orleans and art education from Louisiana State University. She has coordinated art camps for the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art and the City of Kennesaw, has been an instructor at the Memphis College of Art, and assistant curator at the Albers Gallery in Memphis, Tenn.
"We're very excited to have Ms. Collins on board," said Tammy Bourg, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. "Her experiences as a university faculty member and a high school teacher and assistant coordinator of the St. Tammany Parish Talented Arts Program coupled with her can-do approach will serve the Northshore School of the Arts and area students well."
Collins said initially she plans to survey needs and gather feedback from NSA participants and constituencies in order to formulate a five-year plan for the program.
"We want to build on Southeastern's relationships with area schools and continue to capitalize on our faculty and facilities," she said.
This fall, NSA will offer a new theater course at the university's St. Tammany Center, located in the parish government complex on Koop Drive, north of Mandeville. Also new this fall will be a music theory class at the Livingston Parish Literacy and Technology Center in Walker.
Students will also be able to enroll in Basic Drawing at Southeastern's main campus in Hammond, and Applied Music - one-on-one lessons with college faculty in piano, voice, strings, woodwinds, brass, or percussion -- at all three locations.
For additional information on the Northshore School of the Arts, contact Collins at 985-549-2568 or Charlotte.Collins@selu.edu. More information and registration forms are available at www.selu.edu/nsa.
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Students in the SEAL (Student Entrepreneurs as Active Leaders) program are, from left, Patrick Weber, Hammond; Lexi Ruibal, Ponchatoula; Patrick Gentry, Independence; Jordan Dinser, Hammond; Southeastern physics professor David Norwood, SEAL faculty leader; and Megan Lanier, Amite.
SEAL program creates industry buzz
Southeastern science students are not only impressing their professors but also local Louisiana chemical companies through a program that links undergraduate students with industrial research.
Initially funded by a five-year, $425,000 Post-Katrina Support Fund Initiative (PKSFI) grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents to spur the state's economic development, the Southeastern SEAL program, which stands for "Student Entrepreneurs as Active Leaders," has generated a buzz around the chemical and engineering community after only one year of operation, said David Norwood, associate professor of physics and SEAL faculty leader. The program was recently featured in the national newsletter, "Chemical & Engineering News," published by the American Chemical Society.
SEAL is based on a highly successful program called "ChemEngine" at Virginia Commonwealth University, which gives students valuable industrial experience. The program allows the creation of a student-managed, faculty-supervised non-profit corporation that provides scientific services to area industries. In the process, students gain the valuable experience of doing practical research and working directly with industry representatives.
"This job is not just turning knobs and handling chemicals in the lab," Norwood said. "These students are getting first-hand experience in all aspects of the science world, including how to handle the business aspects of a profit-bearing company."
Megan Lanier of Amite, a junior chemistry major and SEAL student manager, said the program has not only taught her about chemical research but has also brought her out of her shell.
"I am typically a very shy person but SEAL has given me a lot of practice with presentations and public speaking," Lanier said. "The contacts I have made with chemical companies and top-notch researchers are invaluable."
Debra Dolliver, a synthetic organic chemistry professor and co-faculty leader of SEAL adds that the program in a win-win situation for all who take part in the process.
"Not only are these students learning real life experiences and something new every day, but the companies will know where to look in the future when they need to hire skilled, reliable and knowledgeable college graduates," Dolliver said.
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Academic Adventures camps continue in July
"Gizmo's Gadgets and Goop," the first of the Southeastern Academic Adventure camps scheduled for July, will be held July 7-11, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., at the Southeastern Laboratory School cafeteria.
Southeastern camps also coming up in July are the Southeastern Music Festival, July 7-18; "Extreme Sports Science," July 21-25; and "Science Detectives," July 28 - Aug. 1.
"The deadline for each camp is two weeks before the starting date," Camps Coordinator Linda Munchausen reminded parents.
For information and registration forms for Southeastern summer camps visit www.selu.edu/summercamps or contact Munchausen, 985-549-3935, or Southeastern Continuing Education, 985-549-2301.
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Grammy winner Melissa Manchester to perform at Columbia June 27
Grammy-winner Melissa Manchester is coming to the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts June 27.
Manchester, who has been delighting audiences for three decades with her sensual ballads such as "Whenever I Call You Friend," "Don't Cry Out Loud," and "Midnight Blue," will perform at the historic downtown Hammond theater at 7:30 p.m.
"Melissa Manchester's work defines classic contemporary music," said Columbia Director Donna Gay Anderson. "Her musical background is rich. Her father was a bassoonist for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and she studied songwriting at New York University under Paul Simon. This wealth of experience is evidenced in her songs. It is an honor to have her coming to Columbia."
Manchester also worked as a staff writer at Chappell Music and performed as a solo singer/pianist in clubs in Greenwich Village and Manhattan's Upper West Side, where she met Bette Midler. She performed in many venues as a back up singer for Midler, including New York's Carnegie Hall. Six months later Manchester had a recording contract of her own and was performing to sold-out audiences.
She was nominated for Grammy Awards in 1978 and 1979 and received the Grammy Award in 1982 for Best Female Vocalist for "You Should Hear How She Talks About You."
In 1980 Manchester became the first artist in the history of the Academy Awards to have two nominated movie themes in a year - "Ice Castles" and "The Promise" -- and to perform both songs during the awards show.
She debuted her new song "Power of Ribbons" in front of an estimated crowd of 50,000 at Revlon's Run/Walk for Women in Los Angeles in May and followed it up with an encore performance at a sold-out Dodger Stadium on Mother's Day. Manchester is donating the royalties to the ongoing battle against breast cancer. "Power of Ribbons" is available for download at Amazon.com and iTunes.
She will perform her new song and many of her classic hits for a local audience at her June 27 Columbia Theatre concert.
Tickets for Melissa Manchester are $39, Orchestra 1 and Loge; $34, Orchestra 2 and Balcony 1; and $26, Orchestra 3 and Balcony 2. They are available online at columbiatheatre.org or at the Columbia box office, 220 E. Thomas St., 985-543-4371. Box office hours are noon-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and one hour before performance times.
For information about upcoming events in the Columbia Theatre, visit columbiatheatre.org or call (985) 543-4366.
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Southeastern welcomes SBA director
Southeastern held a welcome reception June 6 at the Small Business Development Center for Michael Ricks, recently named U.S. Small Business Administration Director for Louisiana. Area business owners, economic development professionals, and others attended the reception. Pictured from left are President Randy Moffett, Michael Ricks, and Bill Joubert, Small Business Development Center director.
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Southeastern earns Division I Diversity Award
The Department of Athletics was recently honored with 2007-08 Division I Diversity in Athletics Awards for its programs' focus on diversity.
The awards, presented by the Laboratory for Diversity in Sport at Texas A&M University in collaboration with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, were bestowed upon only 62 Division I programs nationwide.
Of the recipients, Southeastern was one of only two institutions to earn three recognitions amid the award subcategories. Southeastern was honored for its work in the areas of Diversity Strategy, African-American Graduation: Female Student-Athletes and African-American Graduation: Male Student-Athletes.
"We are truly honored to receive this recognition," said President Randy Moffett. "A diverse student body is part of the Southeastern tradition, which enriches the lives of all our students."
Moffett said he was particularly pleased to see recognition for improving graduation rates among student athletes. "Student athletes must go above and beyond to compete both athletically and, more importantly, in the classroom," he said. "Completing a college degree has never been more important considering today's competitive economic climate, and Southeastern is proud of our student athletes' success."
The Diversity in Athletics Award recognizes the NCAA Division I athletic departments that excel in the area of diversity. Departments are recognized in eight categories: diversity strategy, gender diversity of department employees, racial diversity of department employees, value and attitudinal diversity of department employees, graduation of African American male student athletes, graduation of African American female student athletes, gender equity compliance and overall excellence in diversity.
"We're very proud of the award as it demonstrates a strong commitment towards diversity and academic and competitive success with all student-athletes," Director of Athletics Dr. Joel Erdmann said. "This is a result of a department-wide culture of inclusion and we take this very seriously and will continue to do our best in these areas.
"This is a reflection on both our coaches, who are recruiting student-athletes with the proper priorities and is an ultimate reflection of the commitment of our student-athletes to achieve their degrees."
The awards are presented on an annual basis through a partnership between NCAA and the Texas A&M Laboratory for Diversity in Sport, which seeks to identify and recognize NCAA institutions that embrace diversity and inclusion with their business practices in athletics.
Site visits will be made to the top five overall excellence in diversity recipients in each division. During these visits, interviews are conducted with the athletic director, assistant athletics directors, coaches, staff, and athletes. When possible, top university administrators are also interviewed.
Questions are centered around several themes: (a) the influence of diversity on the department's processes and outcomes; (b) steps for creating a proactive (i.e., inclusive) diversity management strategy; (c) the barriers that arose in creating an inclusive work environment and the steps taken to overcome these barriers; and (d) steps taken to ensure the diversity-related momentum in the department is maintained.
Once the interviews and research components are complete, the data will be amassed and distributed to all NCAA schools with the hope that the award recipients will continue to demonstrate statistically and objectively what people have been proclaiming anecdotally for a long time - diversity and inclusion within the NCAA contributes to intercollegiate athletics success.
The 12 Division I schools joining Southeastern to earn the Diversity Award were Butler, Charlotte, Denver, Illinois, Illinois State, Kansas, Notre Dame, Ohio State, St. Francis (Pa.), Texas A&M and UCF.
For the award focused on African-American Graduation: Female Student-Athletes, Southeastern was joined by Akron, Drexel, Hofstra, Idaho State, Iona, Long Island University, Louisville, Saint Francis (Pa.) and Wright State.
In the African-American Graduation: Male Student-Athletes award category, Southeastern was joined by Austin Peay, George Mason, Louisiana-Lafayette, Marshall, St. Peter's College, Southern Miss, Tennessee State, Western Illinois and Wisconsin.
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Dr. Aristides Baraya (General Business), Dean Randy Settoon (College of Business) and Dr. Mike Budden (Marketing) presented a paper titled "Enhancing Strategic Business Abilities of Latin Americans Small and Medium Enterprises SMEs at the Global Conference on Business and Finance in San Jose, Costa Rica May 29 The paper was selected for the best paper award. Dr. Baraya also served as a session chair.
Dr. Luz M. Escobar (Foreign Languages), Dr. Mike Budden (Marketing) and Dr. Aristides R. Baraya (General Business) presented a paper titled "Incrementando las Habilidades en Gestion Administrativa de Lideres de Gobiernos Locales Latino Americanos" at the Global Conference on Business and Finance in San Jose, Costa Rica on May 29.
Gerard Blanchard (Physics) recently presented "Use of the Lomb Periodogram to Analyze SuperDARN Backscatter Spectrum" at the 2008 Super Dual Auroral Radar Network Workshop in Newcastle, Australia.
Charles Elliott (History and Political Science) presented "Louisiana Hops, Skips and Jumps into Secession" at the 8th Annual American Studies Conference for Teachers and University Students of the Social Sciences sponsored by the American Professional Educators of Louisiana (A+PEL) in Baton Rouge on June 14.
Dr. David Wyld (Management) recently published an article entitled "Back to the Future?: Why "Old School" Item Pricing Laws May Hold Back the Uses of RFID in Reail Settings," in the Spring 2008 issue of The Coastal Business Journal.
Family and Consumer Sciences undergraduate student Shannon Petz Bonaccorso and Dr. Debbie Johnson (Family and Consumer) have published a manuscript in the Undergraduate Research Journal for the Human Sciences entitled "A St. Joseph Altar: A Family Perspective."
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ByLion is published weekly online (bi-weekly during the summer session) for the faculty and staff of Southeastern Louisiana University. Send submissions to email@example.com, SLU 10880, fax 985-549-2061, or bring to Public Information Office in East Stadium. Submission deadline is noon on Friday. Contact: Christina Chapple, firstname.lastname@example.org, 985-549-2341/2421.
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