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Southeastern conferred degrees on more than 1,200 graduates Saturday, Dec. 10, at the university’s fall commencement exercises.
Robert W. Levy, the current chair of the Louisiana Board of Regents, was the keynote speaker at the 10 a.m. ceremony in the University Center arena. Candidates for associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees were led into the arena by the Golden Graduates, alumni who graduated 50 or more years earlier.
In his welcome Southeastern President John L. Crain noted that the 1,274 individuals being recognized at commencement included 470 men and 804 women who were receiving 17 different degrees; and representatives from 19 states and 17 countries. Fifteen candidates received the doctorate in educational leadership and were hooded by their major professors.
Students receiving doctoral degrees were:
Linda Baker, Hammond; Melanie Clement Becnel, Wilbert Boudreaux and Mary Falgout Breaud, Thibodaux; Arthur Ellis Bernard III, Denham Springs; Joseph Bradley Brumfield, McComb, Miss.; Shayla Alexis Guidry, New Orleans; Arthur M. Joffrion Jr., Houma; Kelli Yvette Joseph, LaPlace; Shannon Lee Lafont, Schriever; Katherine Matranga Lorio, Madisonville; Ragan D. Lorraine, Cut Off; Tarakeshwar Mishra, Fort Smith, Ark.; Cherissa Legendre Vitter, Covington; and Debra J. Yarbrough, Labadieville.
The university awarded its highest academic honor, the President’s Medal for Academic Excellence, to seven students with the highest cumulative grade point average in the university’s five colleges.
Medal recipients were:
▪ College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – art major Alexandra Berndt of Loranger, 4.0 GPA; English major Teresa C. Burkett of Loranger, 4.0 GPA; Spanish major Whitney L. Tisdale of Hammond, 4.0 GPA.
▪ College of Business – accounting major Rhonda Olson Fairburn of Abita Springs, 3.979 GPA.
▪ College of Education and Human Development – early childhood education major Marie Nicole Holley of Ponchatoula, 3.960 GPA.
▪ College of Nursing and Health Sciences – nursing major Tiffany Hollenbeck of New Orleans, 3.977 GPA.
▪ College of Science and Technology – computer science major Travis M. Duryea of Mandeville, 3.794 GPA.
1) President’s Medal Winners: Southeastern awarded its highest academic honor, the President’s Medal for Academic Excellence, to seven students with the highest cumulative grade point averages in the university’s five colleges at Saturday’s commencement ceremony. Seated from left are Teresa C. Burkett of Loranger, Whitney L. Tisdale of Hammond, Tiffany Hollenbeck of New Orleans, and Alexandra Berndt of Loranger. Standing, from left are Louisiana Rep. Steve Pugh, President John L. Crain, Travis M. Duryea of Mandeville, Marie N. Holley of Ponchatoula, Rhonda Fairburn of Abita Springs, and commencement speaker Robert W. Levy, chair of the Louisiana Board of Regents.
2) Commencement speaker: Robert W. Levy, chairman of the Louisiana Board of Regents, addresses the more than 1,200 graduates at Southeastern’s commencement ceremony Saturday.
Above: Southeastern student-athletes display the over 100 gifts the athletic department contributed to the university’s “Toys from the Heart” drive. Pictured from left are Karly Dagys, Megan McMillan, Tamra Grayson, Kyle MacIntosh, Paige Dollison, Gabrielle Dubroc, Jennifer Marzi and Torin Lucas.
A Southeastern Channel student documentary production recently won an Emmy at the 2011 Suncoast Region Emmy Awards gala in Miami. The student documentary “Glazed: The University Donuts Story” was the only Emmy winner selected out of 12 college nominees. Pictured from left are student producers Stephen Pfeil of Hammond and Calvin Nix of Baton Rouge and Southeastern Channel General Manager Rick Settoon.
Early education students practice craft
Southeastern education senior Amber Madere of Gonzales, dressed as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” guides young Emerson Acosta of the Southeastern Lab School in an activity designed to encourage higher order thinking skills. Each semester, Southeastern students taking the Early Childhood Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Methods course create developmentally appropriate learning centers in order to demonstrate their skills in teaching pre-kindergarten and kindergarten aged students. The students present their learning centers and activities to local early childhood students, early childhood educators, and the Southeastern community. This semester over 40 children and many more educators, visitors, and current Southeastern students participated in Southeastern’s Early Childhood EXPO presentation.
Sims Library to sponsor Civil War reading and discussion series
Sims Memorial Library at Southeastern has been awarded a grant from the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities to sponsor a five-part reading and discussion series on the Civil War.
Entitled “Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War,” the discussion series, as well as topical books, will be offered at no charge on five Tuesday evenings in the Southeastern library starting Jan. 31 and concluding March 27, said Beth Stahr, head of reference and instruction. She and fellow librarians Dayne Sherman and Ladonna Guillot wrote the application for the $3,000 competitive grant.
In addition to the in-depth sessions on campus, the grant -- one of only 65 awarded from more than 175 submitted -- will allow the university to partner with the Southeastern Department of History and Political Science and the Tangipahoa Parish Library System to offer six free Civil War presentations next year at area libraries.
“This is a natural follow-up to the national exhibit which the library hosted earlier this year on the Constitutional crises that President Abraham Lincoln faced during the Civil War,” said library Director Eric Johnson. “We’re pleased to be able to offer this exceptional discussion series to our area residents.”
Southeastern receives $4.9 million in TRIO program grants
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the TRIO programs at Southeastern nearly $5 million to provide counseling and information on college admissions to individuals from underserved populations looking to enter postsecondary education.
TRIO refers to the original three programs of the Higher Education Act of 1968: Upward Bound, Talent Search and Student Support Services. While retaining the TRIO name, the program has expanded to include other programs, including Veterans Upward Bound and Educational Opportunity Centers.
“These programs are geared toward first generation and low income students in an effort to prepare them for postsecondary education opportunities,” said Duane Donald, Southeastern coordinator of Special Projects and TRIO. “The programs have proven to be very effective, and many students from low income families depend on them to succeed academically in high school and college.”
Educational Talent Search programs for Tangipahoa and Washington parishes were awarded $3.04 million to cover operations through August 2016. The grants fund programs in selected schools in the two parishes.
Serving junior and senior high school students, ETS offers academic tutoring and non-academic services, including personal and career counseling, information on financial aid and ACT/SAT testing.
The Educational Opportunity Center at Southeastern received a $1.87 million grant through 2016. Donald said the program annually serves more than 1,200 individuals in the nine parishes of East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Jefferson, Orleans, St. Helena, St. John the Baptist, Tangipahoa and Washington.
The program, he said, is committed to improving the lives of its participants by providing services, such as academic assistance, career exploration, enrollment and financial aid assistance and financial and economic literacy counseling.
Donald said the EOC program maintains strong partnerships with numerous organizations and schools that are also working to assist individuals from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.
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TRIO Program receives grant funds
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