ByLion--August 8


Convocation this Friday

New work schedule begins

Biologists help certify seafood

Registration to close

Columbia announces season

Baraya named distinguished faculty

Northshore Chorale invites members

Southeastern in the news

Professional activities

Faculty-Staff Convocation Friday launches academic year   
Southeastern will launch the 2011-12 academic year with its annual fall convocation for faculty and staff on Friday, Aug. 12, at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts in downtown Hammond.
     Scheduled for 10:30 a.m., the event will include a state of the university address by President John L. Crain. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Tammy Bourg will preside over the event, which is open to the public.
     The convocation will include presentation of the President’s Awards for Excellence, the university’s highest faculty and staff honors, as well as presentation of service awards to faculty and staff who have been with the university for 25, 30, and 40 years. Also to be recognized are new faculty and staff, faculty tenure and promotions, emeritus faculty and donors who have established newly endowed professorships.
     The university will provide a shuttle service for the event for faculty and staff to and from the parking facility adjacent to Strawberry Stadium beginning at 9 a.m. The annual Alumni Association-sponsored picnic at Twelve Oaks on campus will immediately follow the morning's ceremonies.

Four and a half day work week begins today   
Southeastern will implement a four and a half day work week for the fall beginning Monday, August 8. 
     During the period, Southeastern will operate Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Employees will have a 45-minute lunch break each day. Friday hours of operation are 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
     “The new schedule provides adequate hours for students and others conducting business with the university, while allowing us to capture savings in energy costs,” said Southeastern President John L. Crain.
     Not affected by the schedule change are the university’s Southeast Louisiana Business Center at 1514 Martens Drive in Hammond and the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts in downtown Hammond.
     The university will be closed Monday, Sept. 5, in observance of Labor Day, and on Thursday, Oct. 6 and Friday, Oct. 7 for fall break. Classes for the fall session begin Aug. 17.

Southeastern biologists developing DNA-based tests for seafood certification programKyle Piller and Mollie Cashner   

A Southeastern biologist has been awarded a three-year $335,000 grant from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) to help develop criteria and tests that could be used in a state seafood certification program.
     Kyle Piller, associate professor of biological sciences, said the state expressed an interest in developing the certification program following last summer’s oil spill, which had a significant negative impact on Louisiana’s seafood industry. Piller, who is already doing several studies for the department, was asked to develop a proposal that could help get the certification program off the ground.
      “Louisiana seafood has long been known for its high quality, but there is concern that the state needs to restore consumer confidence in the seafood industry,” he said. “We’re looking to develop tests that the state would have at its disposal to certify the quality and legitimacy of Louisiana’s seafood program.”
     Several of the tests in the certification program would be used to determine the presence of any contaminants, such as heavy metals or other unwanted elements.
     Piller was awarded the grant primarily to study the genetics of the state’s brown and white shrimp population – part of a family called paenaeid shrimp, the most common species in the Gulf. LDWF is providing his lab with samples of shrimp caught off the Gulf coast.
     The main focus of Piller’s research will be to determine the origins of shrimp being sold by wholesalers to ensure the seafood is from Louisiana as it is claimed.
     Piller and his postdoctoral research associate Mollie Cashner will identify shrimp using several genetic approaches, in particular a relatively cost-effective identification process called DNA barcoding. Tissue is extracted from shrimp samples, the DNA is processed and sequenced, and then compared to a database of known shrimp DNA.
     The researchers also will incorporate into the study other high resolution DNA approaches that are based on more variable markers to try to determine exactly where the shrimp are coming from and to develop baseline data on the variability of the shrimp populations.
     “Right now, we don’t know if there are differences in the genetic stock of shrimp from Louisiana waters when compared to shrimp perhaps coming from Texas waters,” he explained.  “This part of the study is basically forensic science to determine if there are different location-specific genetic markers for Gulf shrimp and to get a better understanding of the distinctiveness of genetic shrimp stocks in Louisiana.”

Southeastern biologist Kyle Piller and Mollie Cashner, a post-doctoral fellow at the university, extract tissue samples from Gulf of Mexico shrimp supplied by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Their research is aimed at developing tests that can be used to certify Louisiana seafood.

Registration process to close for several days   
In a move planned to give students adequate time to make schedule adjustments, registration for classes at Southeastern will be closed for a few days in August.
     “The temporary closure will allow the university’s academic departments to review classes being offered to ensure they meet adequate size,” explained Enrollment Services Director Lori Fairburn. “Students will be unable to register or make changes to their fall schedule of classes starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, August 10, through 9 a.m. Sunday, August 14,” she said.
     During this time, academic departments will make decisions regarding the university’s class schedule. If a class section is removed from the university schedule, students will be notified in time for them to select other courses that may be available. All students are encouraged to check their schedule of classes when registration reopens at 9 a.m. Sunday, August 14.   
     Registration will continue through 5 p.m. Tuesday, August 16. The first day of classes at Southeastern is Wednesday, August 17. 

Columbia Theatre announces 2011-12 season   What’s life without a little culture? The 2011-12 season of Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts has it in spades this year with four music performances, two from Grammy-winning artists, and two Broadway musicals. Sprinkle in some theatrical presentations, and a well-rounded recipe for entertainment emerges.
     “This season offers not only more presentations than last, but a variety and quality that should appeal to our diverse and discerning audience,” said Columbia Theatre Interim Director Roy Blackwood. “Join us for the entire season through season ticket purchases, or for a selection of performances. Additionally, let us know what you would like to see in the future.  I hope to see you at the Columbia Theatre, the Northshore’s cultural gathering place.”
     The season opens Sept. 17 with a performance by Average White Band, a group widely regarded as one of the best soul and funk bands in history. Although best known for their hit “Pick Up the Pieces,” the band’s strength is found in their accomplished song-writing, which has contributed to several gold-selling albums and multiple Grammy nominations for the Atlantic Records label.
     For a different take on theater, patrons will enjoy “Cocktails with Larry Miller” on Oct. 27. With over 50 film appearances, including “Pretty Woman,” “The Nutty Professor,” and “The Princess Diaries,” comedian Larry Miller performs a one-man show that’s two parts comedy and one part theater with a dash of music and a twist of truth. The perils of plumbing, the unmasking of marriage and a debate between Moses and God are just ice-breakers for one of the funniest cocktail parties ever.
     The first of two Broadway musicals, “Fiddler on the Roof” takes the stage on Dec. 2. Winner of nine Tony Awards, “Fiddler on the Roof” has touched audiences around the world with its humor, warmth and sweeping musical score. In the little village of Anatevka, Tevye, a poor dairyman, tries to instill in his five daughters the traditions of his tight-knit Jewish community in the face of changing social mores and the growing anti-Semitism of Czarist Russia.

Read more  

1)Larry Miller2)Pam Tillis


1) COLUMBIA THEATRE PRESENTS A COCTAIL PARTY WITH A KICK – Comedian Larry Miller brings his new one-man show - that is two parts comedy and one part theater with a dash of music and a twist of truth – to the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts Oct. 27. Photo by Colette Blonigan.


2) AN EVENING WITH PAM TILLIS AT COLUMBIA THEATRE – Recording artist, songwriter and Broadway star Pam Tillis will perform at Southeastern Louisiana University’s Columbia Theatre March 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Baraya named distinguished Latin American Faculty in BusinessAristides Baraya   
Aristides Baraya, director of the Southeastern Hispanic Business and Leadership Institute, was honored with the Distinguished Latin American Faculty in Business award by the University of San Pedro Sula in Honduras.
     Baraya was recognized after giving the keynote address at the university’s spring commencement exercises. 
     The award is given to illustrious citizens who combine profound accomplishment and professionalism and demonstrate decades of dedication to the advancement of Latin American society.
     A native of Colombia and resident of Hammond, Baraya also serves on the faculty in Southeastern’s College of Business. He was the first chairman and remains a member of the board of directors of the Hispanic Business Resources and Technology Center located in Kenner.

Community singers, students, faculty, and staff invited to join Northshore Chorale   Singers from the campus and community are invited to join the Southeastern Chorus and Northshore Chorale.
     Choral singing at Southeastern is enjoyed by music majors and non-majors alike in a variety of different ensembles.  
     The Northshore Chorale and University Chorus are non-auditioned ensembles comprised of university students and community members. With more than 100 singers from majors throughout the university and professions across the community, these ensembles regularly perform major works with a professional orchestra and soloists. Past repertoire has included such choral works as Mozart’s “Requiem” and “Mass in C minor,” Faure’s “Requiem,” Orff’s “Carmina Burana,” Schubert’s “Mass in G,” and Vaughan Williams’ “Five Mystical Songs,” in addition to many other masterworks.
     “Anyone who loves to sing should come join us,” said Director of Choral Activities Alissa Mercurio Rowe. “Rehearsals are fun, invigorating and educational.” 
     Rehearsals begin Tuesday evening, Aug. 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the choir room of the Pottle Music Building Annex. The ensemble meets each Tuesday night during the semester from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
     Contact Rowe for more information at 549-5557 or

Southeastern in the news   
Southeastern convocation kicks off academic year

Final Southeastern freshman orientation

New Orleans Times Picayune
Southeastern Louisiana University plans freshmen orientations Aug. 8-9

Baton Rouge Advocate
SLU cutting fall semester office hours to save money

SLU snake experts contribute to book
Analysts: Stock market drop bad, but not same as '08 financial meltdown

Professional activities   
Dr. C. Denelle Cowart (English) presented a paper on “Somerville and Ross and Irish Elitism” at the 2011 meeting of the Society for the Study of Nineteenth Century Ireland in Liverpool, England. The conference was held June 30 to July 1.
     William B. Robison (History and Political Science) had a poem entitled “Clean Hands” accepted for publication in Mayday Magazine, issue 5.
     Dr. David Burley (Sociology and Criminal Justice) aired the commentary “The Dogma of Recycling in Schools and Community,” on WRKF, Baton Rouge public radio, July 13. His commentary can be accessed at

ByLion is published weekly online (bi-weekly during the summer session) for the faculty and staff of Southeastern Louisiana University. Send submissions to, SLU 10880, fax 985-549-2061, or bring to Public Information Office in East Stadium. Submission deadline is 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.

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