Pam Tillis in concert March 24

Saving on energy costs

Chamber After Hours

SBDC staff wins awards

McGraw appointed to board

Rock ‘n Roar March 24

Law firm helps Chefs Evening

Teaching with Primary Sources

Women Mean Business

Mejia wins NATS competition

Fine and Performing Arts news

RaceTrac contest update

Leap test preparation

Southeastern in the news

This Week in Athletics

Professional activities

Columbia Theatre to present Pam Tillis March 24 Pam Tillis
Southeastern’s Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts will present one of country music’s legendary ladies, Pam Tillis, on March 24.
     “An Evening with Pam Tillis” begins at 7:30 p.m. in the downtown Hammond theatre. The event is sponsored by The Terry and Pamela King Endowment and The Shirley Wiginton Program Endowment.
     “A Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year, Pam Tillis has written songs for some of the top singers in and beyond Nashville, including many of her own hits. She has remained true to the honesty of country music, such as that sung by Mel Tillis, her famous father,” said C. Roy Blackwood, Columbia Theatre interim director. “Ms. Tillis is at the peak of her career with a fully mature voice providing delighted fans a rich, rewarding experience each time she performs.”
     A recording artist, songwriter and Broadway star, Tillis has been a formidable force in country music since her first single hit the charts in 1990. In addition to winning three CMA Awards, two Grammies, and, most recently, an IBMA award, Tillis has also been inducted as an Opry member and has had her compositions recorded by artists as varied as Chaka Khan, Martina McBride, Highway 101, Juice Newton and Conway Twitty.
     Tillis has 14 Top Five hits, including six that hit number one, and has sold over 6 million records. She also holds the distinction of being the first country entertainer to star in a Broadway Musical when she was cast in “Smokey Joe’s Café” in 1999.
     Tickets range from $38 - $44 and are available at the Columbia Theatre box office on Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. 4 p.m. or by phone at (985) 543-4371. Patrons may also get tickets online at
Alternative resources, conservation save Southeastern in energy costs Mike Asoodeh and Byron Patterson
Officials at Southeastern are eyeing the possibility of being off the commercial electrical grid within a decade.
     With energy costs rising in a tight higher education budget situation, conservation and alternative energy sources implemented by the university may make that vision a reality.
     “It’s an aggressive goal, admittedly,” said Southeastern Physical Plant Director Byron Patterson, “but we believe we have to think aggressively or it won’t happen at all. Any strides taken toward this overarching goal are steps in the right direction.”
     The university is using a combination of tactics: solar power to generate electricity and heated water, in-house biodiesel generation to power off-road vehicles and landscaping equipment, replacement of aging equipment with more energy efficient models, and conservation through a tightly controlled energy management system.
     Among the latest and most visible additions is the placement of solar panels on top of the recently renovated Kinesiology and Health Sciences Building to heat water used in the indoor pool and locker rooms used by the tennis and track teams. Also, a set of photovoltaic solar panels able to withstand winds of up to 135 miles per hour and that track the sun for maximum efficiency -- generate electricity that helps power the university’s Physical Plant offices.
     The seven rows of linked panels on the kinesiology building cost approximately $150,000 and were purchased with funds approved by the university’s Student Technology Fee Committee. The committee uses dedicated student fees to fund large and small projects that improve technology available to students and advance student learning opportunities. The new energy resources, while helping reduce costs for the university, also are accessed by students in Southeastern’s environmental awareness courses and in the Energy Engineering Technology program, providing hands-on experience and research opportunities.
     Mike Asoodeh, professor of industrial technology and chief information officer, said the annual energy savings will allow the university to recover the initial investment in approximately five years by significantly reducing the need for natural gas.
     The panels powering the Physical Plant and those placed on top of the university’s administration building to provide hot water, as well as the biodiesel operation that uses waste cooking oil from food concessions on campus and area restaurants, were also funded through the committee’s allocations.
Read more

Above: Southeastern Chief Information Officer Mike Asoodeh, left, and Physical Plant Director Byron Patterson stand next to the array of solar panels mounted on top of the Kinesiology and Health Studies Building. The panels provide all the energy needed to heat water for the indoor pool and locker room located in the facility.

Chamber After Hours at Southeastern Southeaster hosts Chamber After Hours
The three area chambers of commerce -- Hammond, Ponchatoula, and Amite --held their March Chamber After Hours last week at Stawberry Point, the top deck of the Southeastern parking garage, where they watched the Lions take on Mississippi State on nearby Alumni Field. The event was co-hosted by Southeastern and Northshore Technical Community College. The Lions defeated the Bulldogs 5 to 1.

Southeastern SBDC staff wins state awards
Three members of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern were recognized with awards at the state SBDC spring meeting held in March in Lafayette.
     William Joubert, director of the university SBDC and its Southeast Louisiana Business Center, was cited with the group’s Big Deal Award for his work with a local healthcare operation in its business and human resources development.
     Business consultants Wayne Ricks and Steven Baham were recognized with the Five Million Dollar Club and Million Dollar Club awards respectively, based upon their efforts to help achieve financial backing for multiple clients.
     Joubert received the Big Deal Award in 2010 for his work in developing a comprehensive retail study that served as a critical marketing tool in recruiting major new retailers to the city. Ricks is also a past recipient of the Five Million Dollar and Million Dollar club awards.
McGraw to serve on Permafrost Association Board
Molly McGraw, associate professor of geography at Southeastern, has been asked to serve on the board of directors of the U.S. Permafrost Association (USPA).
     A member of the Southeastern faculty since 2005, McGraw had been conducting geomorphologic research in the Colville River delta located in the Alaskan arctic with LSU Professor Jesse Walker of LSU for over a decade. McGraw will serve a one-year term on the board.
     The USPA is an organization focused on scientific and engineering research of permafrost, i.e. permanently frozen ground, in both the United States and abroad. Permafrost is found in higher latitudes and higher elevations worldwide and is at the fore front of climate change and associated global warming.
     Headquartered in Fairbanks, Alaska, the organization is comprised largely of scientists, engineers, and students working in fields related to the cryosphere. The association was organized in 2001 and works closely with the International Permafrost Association in hosting an international conference, which will be held in June in Salekhard, Yamal-Nenets autonomous district, Russia. McGraw is attending and presenting a paper at the conference.
Academics, camps, activities featured at Southeastern’s Rock ‘n Roar March 24
Approximately 2,800 high school students from 72 area schools will converge on Southeastern Saturday, March 24, for the Southeast Louisiana District Literary Rally and Rock ‘n Roar, the university’s annual campus-community festival.
     Scheduled for 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Rock ‘n Roar, now in its 16th year, will follow its predecessors’ successful track record of providing a day of family fun for both the Literary Rally visitors and the community, said Southeastern Alumni Association Director Kathy Pittman.
     “Rock ‘n Roar is a day-long event with something for everyone and a great way to get the community, campus and area high school students together to have fun while visiting and learning about our campus,” said Pittman.
     Rock ‘n Roar will entertain public and private high school students from East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Washington and West Feliciana parishes.
     At the Literary Rally, students will compete in 48 different academic subjects. When they finish their tests, students can gather information from hands-on academic displays, financial aid and career booths, and enjoy refreshments from the wide variety of food booths sponsored by student organizations.
     Entertainment for the day includes performances by Southeastern Star contestants, the Southeastern cheerleaders, and dance camp participants. KSLU radio will be on hand with music and a D.J., while visual arts students will host a pottery sale and demonstration.
     Hungry festival goers can feast on a variety of snacks including pastalaya, hamburgers, jambalaya, curly fries, sloppy joe’s, nachos, snowballs, funnel cakes, baked goods and a variety of drinks.
     Families will find a multitude of children’s activities, including face painting, an interactive football throw with members of the Lion football team, a rock climbing wall, jousting arena and slide.
     Rock ‘n Roar will again sponsor its popular camps for local children. The dance camp for children ages 5-12, hosted by the Southeastern Lionettes dance team, is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Kinesiology and Health Studies Building. Dance camp fees are $15 and include refreshments. Immediately following the camp, young dancers will perform in the Student Union park.
     Art education students will offer a hands-on art camp for children ages 5-12 from 9-11:30 a.m. with an art project to take home. The camp, which costs $10, will take place in Clark Hall.
     The baseball camp is set for 9-11:30 a.m. at North Oak Park. Children ages 6-13 are invited to participate and are asked to bring their baseball glove for a day of fun. Camp fee is $10.
     Parents can pick up applications for camps at the Alumni Center, 500 West University Ave., or register online at Pre-registration and payment for all camps is mandatory by March 22 due to limited space.
     Pets are not allowed at the event. For additional information about Rock ‘n Roar, call the Alumni Center at 985-549-2150 or visit
Law firm sponsors President’s wine choices for Chefs Evening 2012 Michelle Gallo, John L. Crain, Andre Coudrain, Ashley Sandage
The Hammond law firm of Cashe, Coudrain and Sandage is sponsoring the President’s Wine Choices for Southeastern’s upcoming Chefs Evening. Pictured are, from left, Chefs Evening Event Coordinator Michelle Gallo, Southeastern President John L. Crain, and attorneys Andre Coudrain and Ashley Sandage.
     Crain has made four wine selections that will be featured at Chefs Evening April 1 at the Pennington Student Activity Center from 5 to 8 p.m. Proceeds from event provide unrestricted support for the colleges of the university. For ticket information, call 985-549-3770 or 1-866-474-4438 or email
Teaching with Primary Sources
The Library of Congress-Teaching with Primary Sources program at Southeastern will be offering free four-day institutes for K-12 teachers on June 11-14 and on July 9-12. They will be located in the KIVA(TEC250) of the Cate Teacher Education Building. The workshopsare designed to assist teachers in exploring and analyzing some of the over 20 million digitalized sources available for use in their classrooms. The fourth day will be spent on a field trip examining primary sources first hand. Lunches and materials are provided as well.
     The Library of Congress-Teaching with Primary Sources Level II institute will be offered this fall as a 100% online graduate course at Southeastern. The program will pay the in-state graduate tuition for a limited number of participantswho successfully complete the Level I Institute during the summer. Contact Laura Hancock at laura.hancock@southeastern.eduor 549-2229 for additional information.
Women Mean Business Women Mean Business logo
The Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern, along with Tangipahoa Professional Women will host “Women Mean Business” on Thursday, March 29.
     The Women Mean Business conference will provide high impact strategies to help women of all ages survive and thrive individually and professionally. The full day event will be jam packed with knowledge, tools, resources and connections and will be held in Twelve Oaks Reception Hall from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
     Women Mean Business presenters include Dian Lusher, Owner of Dynel, Inc; Amber Narro, a communications consultant, and Kathleen Abel, Director of TARC. The event will also feature an informative panel of experts that will address the top wellness issues for women in 2012.
     Women Mean Business 2012 will provide opportunities to network with other professionals and local business owners. Table sponsorships are available for businesses interested in participating in this event. Another highlight of this event is an exclusive showcase of spring and summer looks titled “Women Mean Fashion.”
     Cost to attend is $50; discounts will be given to students and members of TPW and any Tangipahoa Parish Chamber of Commerce. To register for the conference or receive more information about table sponsorships, log on to www.lsbdc.orgor contact LSBDC at 549-3831 or
Vocal performance major takes first place in NATS competition Alexandra Mejia
Alexandra Mejia, a junior vocal performance major at Southeastern, took first place in the junior women classification of the Louisiana National Association of Teachers of Signing (NATS) competition held Saturday (March 10) at Nicholls State University in Thibodeaux.
     Mejia, a student of Stephen Rushing, associate professor of vocal music, competed in a field of seven contestants from universities across the state. In the final round, she sang the aria “Willow Song” from Douglas Moore’s opera “The Ballard of Baby Doe.” Judges for the competition came from music faculties and private voice studios across the state.
     This marks the second time Mejia has placed in a NATS competition. A resident of Bush, she plans to attend graduate school in vocal performance and concentrate in opera performance.
Fine and Performing Arts news

March 20 - Saxophone Studio Recital, PA 7:30 p.m.

March 21 - Jeffrey George, Guest Guitar Recital, PA 7:30 p.m. - part of 2012 Southeastern Guitar Festival

March 23 - Brian Albus, Junior Percussion Recital, PA 7:30 p.m.

March 26 - Dr. Thomas Kmiecik, Faculty Clarinet Recital, PA 7:30 p.m. - part of 2012 Southeastern Women’s History Month Celebration

On going through April 5 - Fine Arts Student Exhibition, Contemporary Art Gallery

For more information on events in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, visit our website at

RaceTrac contest update RaceTrac logo

The RaceTrac contest continues through April 30. Below are the current contest standings.


Female - $1,504
Male -     $   570

Southeastern students help with LEAP test preparations LEAP test preparations
Students at Hammond Junior High Magnet School are getting some valuable help in their preparations for the upcoming LEAP tests.
     Southeastern students have volunteered to not only tutor eighth grade students in anticipation of the important state assessment test, but are also providing snacks to help them through the stressful testing day.
     Celina Echols, professor of teaching and learning in the College of Education and Human Development, is supervising the service project where students in education and adolescent psychology courses have taken time from their own studies to volunteer for a few weeks to tutor the younger students. The response has been very positive, Echols said.
     “It is really encouraging to see that our students are so invested in working with these kids,” says Echols. “They don’t have to be here, doing this, but they are. That shows great commitment. Plus they are getting a lot of good experience.”
     The volunteers have been working with the eighth graders for the past month and a half on the writing portion of the LEAP test, a section that has proven increasingly difficult for students.
     “We volunteered to work with these students every Friday to prepare them for the essay section of the LEAP test,” says Amber Lyons, a junior education student. “We tutor them for a few weeks on writing essays to make sure they are prepared.”
     The Southeastern students went beyond their tutoring efforts when they gathered Thursday (March 15) to put together bags with snacks to give the kids before the big test. The bags include items such as fruit bars, fruit, bottled water and other treats.
The program has the full support of the faculty. Dean of the College of Education and Human Development John Fischetti was on hand to greet the volunteers and offer his support.
     “Hammond Junior High Magnet School provides our students with a diverse setting to apply what they have learned in the classroom,” Fischetti said. “Our students are working to support these kids and it’s not in their curriculum.”
     Echols and Fischetti hope to see this program grow and start to include other facets of education. In addition to the tutoring services, the Hammond Junior High students heard Southeastern student Alex Rogers talk to them about the issue of bullying and read from book he authored, “I’m Only Human After All.”
     “This came about as part of an effort to educate our students on the toxicity of bullying,” says Echols. “Our students volunteered to help these kids with their writing and will be handing these packages out next week before the LEAP test. They’ve also gained some insight into the damage that bullying can inflict.”

Above: Southeastern teacher candidates have spent the last several weeks tutoring eighth graders at Hammond Junior High Magnet School in preparation for their LEAP assessment tests. Packing bags of snacks and goodies for the students are, from left, Mary-Kathryn Fletcher, Suzette Rabalais, Amber Lyons and Devin Shaw.

Southeastern in the news
Alternative Resources, Conservation save Southeastern in Energy Costs

Academics, camps, activities featured at Southeastern's Rock ‘n Roar March 24

BR Advocate
Tangipahoa schools to start air quality work
Journalism students win awards at conference

Rock ‘n Roar offers activities for children

Tangipahoa schools start air quality work

Alumni group holds reception for coach

State funds run out on coastal erosion effort

LSU balks at Regents funding plan

Hammond Daily Star
Columbia presents Pam Tillis
Students earn science fair honors

This Week in Athletics
The Southeastern men’s golf team will host the eighth annual Carter Plantation Intercollegiate, while the Lion baseball team returns home to host four games during this week in Southeastern Athletics.
     The 54-hole tournament, the first hosted by Southeastern since the 2010 Southland Conference Championships, is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday and is free to the public. Joining Southeastern in the two-day event will be UALR, Central Arkansas, Jackson State, Jacksonville State, Louisiana-Monroe, McNeese State, Nicholls State, Oakland (Mich.) and Stephen F. Austin.
     Action begins at 8 a.m. on both days with the 10 teams playing 36 holes on Monday before competing in the final 18 holes on Tuesday. Southeastern will be paired with UALR and Jacksonville State in the opening two rounds on the Par 72, 7,049-yard course, located in Springfield, La. The David Toms signature course is also the home for Lion golf and is hailed as one of the top courses in Louisiana.
     Winners of five of its last six games, including a two-game sweep of No. 21 Mississippi State, the Southeastern baseball team (15-6, 3-3 Southland) will return home for a four-game home stand this week. On Wednesday, Southeastern will host Jackson State at 6 p.m. UT Arlington comes to town on Friday, opening a three-game Southland series with a 6 p.m. contest. The series continues on Saturday at 2 p.m. and concludes on Sunday at 1 p.m. All of this week’s baseball action will be broadcast live in the Hammond area on KSLU-FM (90.9) and on the Internet at, where live stats will be available.
     The Greek Challenge continues this week, which covers all baseball and softball home games through April 28. The Greek organization with the highest attendance for those games will earn $1,000 and use of the party patio at the Southeastern home football game of its choice. Second place will receive $500 and the aforementioned party patio use, while the third place organization earns $250.
     The Southeastern softball team (6-21, 0-2 Southland) will hit the road for three games this week. On Wednesday, the Lady Lions will be in Baton Rouge for a 4 p.m. contest at Southern. Southeastern then heads to San Marcos, Texas to open its road Southland Conference schedule at defending league tournament champion Texas State. The series opens with a 6 p.m. contest on Friday and closes with a 12 p.m. game on Saturday.
     The women’s tennis team (6-5, 0-3 Southland) also will play its first league matches away from home this week. First, Southeastern hosts a pair of non-conference matches, welcoming Southern on Tuesday at 6 p.m. and Alcorn State on Thursday at 5 p.m. to the Southeastern Tennis Complex. Southeastern then heads to Beaumont, Texas on Saturday for a 12 p.m. match at league foe Lamar. On Sunday, Southeastern faces McNeese State in a 12 p.m. road match.
      The men’s and women’s track and field teams will compete in the third meet of the outdoor season this week. The Lions and Lady Lions will compete in the LSU Relays, scheduled for Friday and Saturday in Baton Rouge.

Monday, March 19
Men’s Golf, Carter Plantation Intercollegiate, Carter Plantation (Springfield), 8 a.m.
Tuesday, March 20

Men’s Golf, Carter Plantation Intercollegiate, Carter Plantation (Springfield), 8 a.m.
Women’s Tennis, vs. Southern, Southeastern Tennis Complex, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, March 21
Baseball, vs. Jackson State, Alumni Field, 6 p.m. (KSLU)
Softball, at Southern, Baton Rouge, 6 p.m.
Thursday, March 22
Women’s Tennis, vs. Alcorn State, Southeastern Tennis Complex, 5 p.m.
Friday, March 23

Baseball, vs. UT Arlington, Alumni Field, 6 p.m. (KSLU)*
Softball, at Texas State, San Marcos, Texas, 6 p.m.*
Men’s and Women’s Track and Field, at LSU Relays, Baton Rouge, All Day
Saturday, March 24
Baseball, vs. UT Arlington, Alumni Field, 2 p.m. (KSLU)*
Softball, at Texas State, San Marcos, Texas, 1 p.m.*
Women’s Tennis, at Lamar, Beaumont, Texas, 12 p.m.*
Men’s and Women’s Track and Field, at LSU Relays, Baton Rouge, All Day
Sunday, March 25
Baseball, vs. UT Arlington, Alumni Field, 1 p.m. (KSLU)*
Women’s Tennis, at McNeese State, Lake Charles, 12 p.m.*

Southeastern home events in bold
* - Southland Conference contest

Professional activities
Mary Mocsary (English Department) presented “Seize the Pleasure of Jane Austen” to a group attending the Jane Austen Literary Festival in Mandeville on March 11.
     Dr. Luanne Billingsley (Nursing) presented and published “A CNS’s Perspective on Multi-User Virtual Environments: A Year Later, What More Do We Know?” at the 2012 National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists conference in Chicago. The presentation provided an overview of nursing research and education trends in one virtual learning environment and shared lessons learned from more than a year as an avatar researcher, exploring applications related to nursing research, education, and practice.
     Drs. Lucyna Kabza, Randy Wills, Tilak DeAlwis, Lisa Kuhn, David Gurney, Linhong Wang, Dennis Merino, and GarryWalls, as well as instructor Becky Walls attended the Louisiana/Mississippi Section of the Mathematical Association of America's 2012 Spring Meeting on March 1-3, at Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, La.
     Drs. Randy Wills and Tilak DeAlwis ran the 9th annual Integration Bee. There were 37 students participating from high schools, colleges, and universities in Louisiana and Mississippi.
     Dr. Linghong Wang gave a presentation titled “Irreducible representations of quantum Weyl algebra at root of unity.” Dr. Gary Walls gave a talk on “Autocommutator Subgroups,” and Dr. David Gurney gave a talk on “Tests for Normality.”
Student Rabin Gora presented a talk “Quaternionic Zeros of a Quadratic Equation,” which is a joint work with another student, Saket Khatiwada. Their advisers are Drs. Merino, Reyes, and Walls, and the research was supported by a STAR grant from the College of Science and Technology.
     Charles Elliott (History and Political Science) presented “Deep South Darsan: Looking as Readers at Writers” at the 6th Annual Celebration of Writers and Readers Symposium in St. Francisville on Feb. 25.
     Dr. Jean Fotie (Chemistry & Physics) and his undergraduate research students Nancy Massawe, Bijay Bhattarai and Jessica Rhodus published an article titled: “Unexpected 5,6,7,8,9,10-hexahydro-6,6-pentamethylenephenanthridines and 2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-4,4-tetramethylene-1H-cyclopenta[c]quinolines from Skraup Doebner Von Miller quinoline synthesis, and their implications for the mechanism of that reaction” in The Journal of Organic Chemistry 2012, 77(6), 2784-2790, with collaborators from Louisiana State University, the Centre of Marine Biomedical and Biotechnology Research at Florida Atlantic University, and McGill University in Canada.
ByLionis 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 University Marketing and Communications Office in East Stadium. Submission deadline is 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Return to By-Lion directory