ByLion--September 19


Morrison Lecture postponed

Enrollment, ACT scores increase

Marsh wins EMPixx Award

Career Fair is Wednesday

Allain starts physics blog

Electoral forums scheduled

Student authors book

Monument dedicated

Non-credit courses offered

Nominations for Who's Who

PPR training for Employees

PPR training for Supervisors

Southeastern in the news

This week in Athletics

Professional activities

Southeastern’s Morrison Lecture postponed   
Southeastern’s James H. Morrison Lecture, originally scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 20, has been postponed. The lecture, which this year will feature Barry Erwin, president of the Council for a Better Louisiana, will be rescheduled for a later date.

Southeastern shows increase in enrollment, ACT scores   
Overall enrollment and ACT scores of incoming freshmen increased at Southeastern this fall, according to the unofficial semester report released by administrators last week.
     The total headcount for this fall, including all classifications, is 15,414 compared to last fall’s 15,351. ACT composite scores for incoming freshmen also increased this fall with an average of 22.3, compared to last year’s 22.1; that’s higher than the state’s ACT average of 20.2 and the national average of 21.1.
     Southeastern’s new freshman class includes 737 “highly qualified” students with ACT scores of 24 or higher.
     Southeastern has also seen an increase in the number of partnering high schools that participate in the state’s Early Start program, in which eligible 11th and 12th grade public high school students have the opportunity to earn college credit.
     President John L. Crain said he was pleased to see overall enrollment remain strong despite increases in admission standards last fall when the university raised entrance requirements for the fourth time since initially doing so in 2000.
     “Under the GRAD Act, Louisiana universities are evaluated on factors beyond enrollment, including graduation rates and a number of other benchmarks related to success of students,” explained President John L. Crain. “The best predictor of student success and progression through the curriculum to graduation is preparation in high school as generally reflected in higher ACT scores.”
     Crain noted that this semester 103 students are enrolled in courses offered on the Southeastern campus by Northshore Technical Community College through a partnership designed to ensure post-secondary educational opportunities for students who do not yet meet the university’s admission standards.
     The top six feeder parishes to Southeastern this fall are St. Tammany, 3,608; Tangipahoa, 2,380; East Baton Rouge, 1,936; Livingston, 1,909; Jefferson, 1,074; and Ascension, 1,189.
English instructor wins EMPixx Award for filmAlan Marsh   
Alan Marsh, an instructor of English, has earned an EMPixx Award presented by the American Pixel Academy for his film Rabbit Moon.
     EMPixx awards are given annually, honoring excellence in the production of five divisions of moving pixels: TV commercials, TV programs, corporate videos, Internet moving pixels, and independent films and videos.
     A published author with a novel, children’s book and short stories to his credit, Marsh decided several years ago to learn the art of filmmaking.
     “Rabbit Moon is essentially a children’s picture book put into film,” Marsh said. “It is also multimedia as it goes back and forth from live action to animation. The animator for the film, Jason Killeen is now a Southeastern alumnus.”
     Marsh’s inspiration for Rabbit Moon came from a classmate in first grade who was horribly burned.
     “During recesses, she would try to interact with the other kids and was basically shunned. This story is an attempt to show children that physical scars do not mean there is something wrong with the inner person,” he said. “On the contrary, life’s ‘badges of courage’ may even indicate a certain growth or maturity in a person that others will not achieve until they are much older.”
     In addition to the EMPixx award, Rabbit Moon also earned a Silver Remi at the Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival.

Career Fair is Wednesday, September 21   
Southeastern students and alumni are invited to participate in Career Fair 2011, the Office of Career Services’ annual university wide career event.
     Held as a benefit exclusively for Southeastern students and alumni, Career Fair 2011 will have over 130 organizational participants and will be held Wednesday, Sept. 21, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Pennington Student Activity Center on the corner of University Avenue and General Pershing.
     Representatives from various companies and hospitality, government, business, engineering, finance and banking industries will be onsite to answer questions and take resumes. 
     “Career Fair provides Southeastern students and graduates the opportunity to obtain that much needed face time with recruiters to set themselves apart from the rest of the pack and all of those faceless resumes that come their way,” said Ken Ridgedell, director of Career Services.  “There is no other venue that will allow you to directly interact with recruiters and managers from over 130 employers and leave a lasting, positive impression, all in one day.  In fact, it would take you months, possibly even years, to speak with as many recruiters as you can in just one day at Southeastern’s Career Fair 2011.”
     To get the most out of the fair, Ridgedell said students and alumni should bring copies of their resumes; be prepared to briefly discuss career interests, goals, knowledge and skills; and collect brochures and business cards.
     Resume FAQs and samples are also available at For additional information on Career Fair 2011, visit or contact Career Services at 549-2121 or

Southeastern physics professor a modern day ‘Mr. Wizard’Rhett Allain in physics lab with students   
Ever wonder about the energy in a Super Bounce Ball? Or what about the scientific accuracy of those guys on television’s Mythbusters program?
     Did you ever ponder the question, “Why do mirrors reverse left and right, but don’t reverse up and down?”
     Physicist Rhett Allain thinks about things like this all the time and has incorporated them into his role as an educator. Several years ago, Allain, an associate professor of physics at Southeastern, started Dot Physics, a blog that addresses different issues in the realm of physical sciences. He uses his blog topics as examples in his lectures to students. Dot Physics has become a popular feature in Wired magazine and on the Internet, receiving over 430,000 hits over the last several months.
     In effect, Allain has become Southeastern’s own version of “The Science Guy,” or, for the older generation, “Mr. Wizard.” Allain attracted considerable attention nationwide this past summer when he analyzed the physics behind “Angry Birds,” a popular game frequently downloaded for entertainment on cell phones and other devices.
      “I initially started the blog as an aid for my students to show them how I wanted them to solve problems I presented in class,” said Allain. “I enjoyed it so much that I couldn’t stop. I just kept finding new ideas, new projects and new problems to analyze.”
     Most of his posts include photos, graphs, charts and other visuals to help readers understand the discussion.
      “As physics professors, we try to get our students to 'think physics,’” said Gerard Blanchard head of the Department of Chemistry and Physics at Southeastern. “That is, we want them to see physics at work all around them every day. Dr. Allain's blog takes this to a much larger audience.”
      Allain prides himself on the fact that the ideas and concepts he writes about in his blog are typically laid out in an easy to understand format. When most people hear the word “physics” it brings to mind complicated graphs, laws and principles, he explained, but he works to keep it at a level where everyone can appreciate the science.
      “Sometimes I’ll post things that are pretty complicated, but most of the time I try to aim for the general public to explain things in terms that anyone can understand,” he said. “The topics can range from upper-level graduate issues to something so basic a fifth grader can understand it.”
     Allain harbors no secrets about the success of his blog, but points out a very interesting way for beginning writers to go about creating a blog and making it work. The key to a successful blog, he said, is to begin by writing for a single audience member -- yourself.
      “I tell people who are starting a blog that the first person you are writing for is yourself because you might be the only one reading it,” he said. “And that’s ok. If you start a blog with the intent to get as many people to read it as possible, then it’s probably not going to be very successful. But if you’re writing it for yourself, and you really enjoy what you’re doing, then the success may come later.”
     Allain said he will continue to discuss his ideas online and hopes others will come to enjoy and learn more about science through Dot Physics.
      “My main goal is to help people understand and get excited about science and physics,” he said. “I think the blog has done a good job of accomplishing that.”
Allain’s Dot Physics blog can be found on, or he can be followed on Twitter as @rjallain.

Making science fun -- Southeastern physics professor Rhett Allain adjusts equipment in his classroom while students, from left, Chester Parrott, James Patterson and Rodney Garland Jr. look on. Allain is the author of the highly popular blog “Dot Physics.”

SGA joins Hammond Chamber to host electoral forums   
Southeastern’s Student Government Association will join forces with the Hammond Chamber of Commerce to sponsor a series of “Meet the Candidates” forums in preparation for the Oct. 22 primary election.
     The forums, scheduled for two nights on Monday, Oct. 3, and Wednesday, Oct. 5, will be held in Southeastern’s Student Union Theatre. The public is invited and encouraged to attend the free discussions.
     “It’s vital that students become engaged in their political landscape so they can be active citizens upon graduation,” said Luke Holloway, SGA president. “We need to get to know those individuals who will be elected to represent our university in the state Legislature.”
     The Monday night forum will feature candidates running for local legislative races. Moderated by former WDSU-TV broadcaster and current Southeastern communication instructor Steve Bellas, the form will focus on the new legislative districts that impact Hammond: House District 86 and Senate District 6, both of which were redrawn in reapportionment earlier this year. House candidates are slated for a 5 p.m. start with Senate candidates at 7 p.m.
     House District 86 is a new Tangipahoa seat, drawn completely inside parish boundaries. The seat has drawn five candidates and includes portions of Hammond, Natalbany, Tickfaw, Independence, Amite, Husser and Loranger. Senate District 6, wholly recreated as part of the redistricting process, now spans the central Florida Parishes, traversing a slender arc from East Baton Rouge Parish to Hammond. Two candidates are vying for the post.
     The Wednesday night forum will spotlight candidates for the positions of Tangipahoa Parish President and Parish Council District 8, the only district that touches Hammond and does not involve an incumbent. Two candidates are running for Parish President, while three are in the running for the council seat. Northshore Bureau Chief Doug Mouton of WWL-TV in New Orleans will serve as moderator. Parish Council candidates will be featured at 5 p.m., with Parish President candidates to follow at 7 p.m.
     The Hammond Chamber is soliciting questions for the candidates from the public. Questions should be submitted to the Chamber via e-mail at or faxed to 985-345-3749. Questions can also be submitted via the Chamber’s Facebook page.
      “For the sake of time, the decision was made prior to qualifying that this year’s forums would focus mainly on ‘new’ districts and those races that do not involve incumbents,” said Hammond Chamber Chairman Chris Moody. “However, out of consideration for the other House and Senate candidates who are running for offices that represent the Hammond area, we will invite them to be our special guests at Monday’s forum and host a “Campaign Table” in the theater lobby before and after the forums.”
     For more information about the forums, contact the Hammond Chamber at (985) 345-4457.

Southeastern student authors book on teen issuesAlex Rogers   
Like many teens, Alex Rogers endured some painful struggles and difficulties in his high school years. Now the Southeastern student is hoping to use those experiences to inspire other young people who may be facing similar problems.
     The junior business administration major from Marrero has put his thoughts into a book, I’m Only Human After All, which tackles important issues many young adults confront:  problems such as bullying, growing pains, sibling rivalry, and the death of a close friend.
      “I want others to be empowered,” said Rogers. “I want them to be able to read this book and take from it something that can help them with struggles in their own lives.”
     Rogers uses real-life situations to connect with his audience. He recalled a bullying experience he had with some classmates in high school.
      “A number of times I was bullied when several of my classmates teased me about a weight issue I had,” said Rogers. “Basically, they were making glaring comments at every given opportunity they could and taking pleasure in my pain.”
     Rogers wrote the book as a first installment in what he envisions as an “empowerment series.” The book is self-published through CreateSpace, a company owned by Amazon that gives authors the option to publish works through the website. He also got professional advice from several freelance editors who reviewed and examined the book for its style and content.
      “The narrator is a teen going through trouble with bullying and other matters of ‘fitting in’ at his school,” says one of the editors who reviewed Rogers’ work. “The perspective and the thought he gives these matters make this a worthwhile read, especially since ‘bullying’ is such a hot topic these days. That makes this work relevant and interesting to other teens.”
     Rogers explained that the second book will cover his later high school years, and the third will address issues he has faced in college.
      “The next book is more about becoming an adult, about finding my own identity, what fits and what doesn’t fit,” he said. “College will be broader and cover more of the social issues, such as race, stereotypes and gender differences.”
     Rogers is hoping that others will be inspired by his work.
      “I think as the reader you are able to sympathize with Alex as he is ostracized by his peers,” said Ariel Leary, a housing coordinator at Southeastern. “The story is very relatable. I can honestly say I learned a number of life lessons that can be applied to my own adult life, as well as some knowledge I wish I had had going through school.”
     More information about the book and the empowerment series can be found on Rogers’ Facebook page “I’m Only Human After All.” The book can be purchased online through in both paperback and Kindle and through Barnes & Noble in paperback and Nook.
Monument dedicatedMonument dedicated   
Members of the West Florida Republic Bicentennial Commission and guests dedicated a new monument to initiate the West Florida Republic Tourism Trail at the Louisiana State Visitors Center on I-10 near Slidell Sept. 10. 
     The seven-foot tall granite monument and accompanying printed materials are positioned at the first stop on the tourism trail which crosses the entire Florida Parishes highlighting sites connected to the West Florida Revolt. The marker dedication also served as the official closing of the bicentennial celebration which included film work, a theatrical production, orchestral productions, student essay contests, lecture series, scholarly conferences, and exposure to more than 400 media outlets nationwide.
      Southeastern, and specifically the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies, served as the domicile of the celebration by legislative appointment.  Ten permanent markers and monuments were placed across the Florida Parishes and more than 8,000 individuals participated in specific aspects of the year-long celebration.  For additional information on the West Florida Revolt and/or the Tourism Trail contact the Center at 985-549-2151. 

Above: Members of the West Florida Republic Bicentennial Commission are, from left, Sam Hyde (Chairman), Tanya Leader (St. Tammany), Rita Allen (St. Helena), Shirley Newsham (East Baton Rouge), Denise Martin (Livingston), Kathi Major (Washington), Mary Jo Salmon (East Feliciana), and David Norwood (West Feliciana).

Range of fall non-credit courses offered   
The Division of Extended Studies will offer a wide range of non-credit classes for area residents this fall. All courses offered are listed in the newly released Extended Studies Continuing U catalog.
     “Southeastern has a wide variety of non-credit offerings to choose from, and community members can view the Extended Studies Continuing U catalog conveniently on-line at,” said Tom Dawsey, recruiting and marketing manager. “Students can also register for courses at this website or by stopping by the Division of Extended Studies office in the University Center, room 103.”
     Dawsey said career enrichment courses include areas of administration and business, computer and technology, digital media and design, skilled trade, and test preparation. Personal enrichment topics include art, music, healthcare and fitness. Southeastern’s Community Music School offerings are listed in the catalog as well.
     “Courses new to Extended Studies this fall include Introduction to Metal Casting, Introduction to Java, Basic Film Acting, and Introduction to Stained Glass,” Dawsey added. “Southeastern faculty or qualified professionals teach every non-credit course.”
     Classes are offered at Southeastern’s main campus, the Livingston Literacy and Technology Center in Walker, and the St. Tammany Center in Mandeville.
     For more information, contact the Division of Extended Studies at 985-549-2301 or

Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges   
Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges is an annual honors program honoring our nation’s leading college students. Selections to this program are made each Fall Semester and coordinated by the Office for Student Engagement. Administrators, faculty and staff as well as student organization presidents and/or advisors are encouraged to nominate students who they feel are deserving of this award.
     A Who’s Who Nomination Form is located on the Student Organizations/Strategic Initiatives website or the Greek Life website. Upon being selected for nomination, each student is sent an application to fill out and return to the Office for Student Engagement.
     When considering a student for the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges award, please base it upon the following criteria:

Only upperclassmen (juniors and seniors) and graduate students are eligible.
Selections should be based on the student’s scholastic ability, participation and leadership in academic and extracurricular activities, and citizenship and service to the University.
2.5 Adjusted Cumulative Grade Point Average to be eligible.

     Awards are presented at the Division of Student Affairs Awards Convocation held the last week of the Spring Semester.

PPR Training for Employees   
A brief training program on the Performance Planning and Review (PPR) process will be offered to classified employees on Tuesday, September 20, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., in the Human Resources Office Conference Room.  
     Topics include the PPR rating system and its factors, planning sessions, and timetables of which employees should be aware. The training will help classified employees better understand the process, which is used in evaluating their performance. 
     Classified employees planning to attend should get their supervisor’s permission and register by emailing Jan Ortego at or by phoning extension 5771.
PPR Training for Supervisors   
There will be a training program for supervisors who are required to conduct Performance Planning and Reviews (PPRs) on classified employees on Thursday, September 22, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Human Resources Office Conference Room.             
     To register for this program, please email Jan Ortego at or phone extension 5771. Pre-registration is requested for this class.
Southeastern in the news   

Southeastern hosts electoral forum

International trade seminar offered

BR Advocate
Muslims no longer 'invisible' in US, panelist says

New Orleans Times Picayune
West Florida Republic monument dedicated

This week in Athletics   
The Southeastern football and volleyball teams will open Southland Conference play during this week in Southeastern Athletics.
     The Lions (1-2) will travel to Lake Charles for a 7 p.m. contest at McNeese State on Saturday. Saturday’s game will be broadcast live in the Hammond area on KSLU-FM (90.9) and on the Internet at
     The Southeastern volleyball team (4-12) will open the week at home, hosting Louisiana-Lafayette on Tuesday at 7 p.m. On Thursday, the Lady Lions will open Southland play with a 7 p.m. match at Lamar. Southeastern heads to Lake Charles on Saturday for a 2 p.m. match with McNeese State.
     The Lady Lion women’s soccer team (6-1-1) will close out its non-conference schedule this week. Southeastern heads to Louisiana Tech for a 1 p.m. match on Sunday.
     The Southeastern men’s and women’s cross country teams will also return to action this week. On Saturday, the Lions and Lady Lions compete in the LSU Invitational in Baton Rouge.
     The Lion men’s golf team will continue its fall schedule this week. On Sunday, Southeastern opens up the three-day Golfweek Challenge in Burlington, Iowa. The tournament runs through Tuesday, Sept. 27.

Tuesday, September 20
Volleyball, vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, University Center, 7 p.m.

Thursday, September 22
Volleyball, at Lamar, Beaumont, Texas, 7 p.m.*

Saturday, September 24
Football, at McNeese State, Lake Charles, 7 p.m. (KSLU)*
Volleyball, at McNeese State, Lake Charles, 1 p.m.*
Men’s and Women’s Cross Country, at LSU Invitational, Baton Rouge, All Day

Sunday, September 25
Women’s Soccer, at Louisiana Tech, Ruston, 1 p.m.
Men’s Golf, at Golfweek Challenge, Burlington, Iowa, All Day

Southeastern home events in bold
* - Southland Conference contest

Professional activities   
Dennis Sipiorski (Fine and Performing Arts) is having a one person exhibit at the Caffery Gallery in Baton Rouge through the month of November. The exhibit has ten paintings created during a one week class Sipiorski offers on the coast of Louisiana. The class is offered through LUMCON science center.
     Dr. Stuart Stewart (Louisiana Campus Compact) received a Love of Learning award from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. There were 1,800 applications submitted, and she was one of 80 who were selected in the nationwide competition. The $500 award was used to pay tuition and travel expenses to the Emerging Leaders Institute at the Bush School for Public and Governmental Service at Texas A&M University.

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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