Southeastern confers degrees
Southeastern accreditation reaffirmed
ByLion takes a break
ROTC courses return

Norman authors story collection
Christmas tree recycling continues
Nursing program ranked
UPD receives grant


Southeastern in the news
This Week in Athletics
Professional Activities



President's Medal WinnersSoutheastern confers degrees on more than 1,100
Southeastern conferred degrees on 1,139 graduates Saturday, Dec. 12, at the university’s fall commencement exercises.
     One of Louisiana’s top educational leaders addressed the graduating students. Louisiana State Senator Ben Nevers delivered the keynote address.
     Nevers, who represents Louisiana’s District 12, was first elected to the Senate in 2003, after serving in the House of Representatives for five years. A member of the Northshore Legislative Delegation, his district covers areas in St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes, including Southeastern.
    Most recently Nevers has been asked by Governor-elect John Bel Edwards to oversee his administration’s transition and to serve as chief of staff for the Office of the Governor.
    A 1969 graduate of Louisiana Technical College, Nevers served in the U.S. Army from 1965 to 1971. The Bogalusa Democrat owns an electrical contracting business and serves as deacon in his church. He has also served as a member of the Bogalusa City School Board and has developed in the Legislature a strong, long-standing commitment to improving education at all levels.
     Candidates for associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees were honored.
     In his welcome, Crain noted that the 1,139 individuals being recognized at commencement included 401 men and 738 women who were receiving 13 different degrees; and representatives from 23 states and 15 countries.
     The university awarded its highest academic honor, the President’s Medal for Academic Excellence, to nine students with the highest cumulative grade point average in the university’s five colleges.
     Medal recipients were:
     ▪ College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – history major Rian Elizabeth Earnest of Ponchatoula, 4.0 gpa.
     ▪ College of Business – management major Micah Vincent Agresta of Covington, 4.0 gpa; accounting major Kaliff Patrick Daire of Slidell, 4.0 gpa and accounting major Mindy Alicia Lemm of Albany, 4.0 gpa.
     ▪ College of Education and Human Development - early childhood education major Kate Danielle Induni of Des Allemands, 4.0 gpa.
     ▪ College of Nursing and Health Sciences – nursing major Jordan Anne Hale of Baton Rouge, 4.0 gpa; kinesiology major Allison Leigh Ostendorf of Covington, 4.0 gpa; and sport management major Brent Dineen Wagner of League City, Tex., 4.0 gpa.
     ▪ College of Science and Technology – computer science and math major Sunita Magar of Nepal, 3.888 gpa.


PRESIDENT’S MEDAL WINNERS – Southeastern awarded its highest academic honor, the President’s Medal for Academic Excellence, to nine students with the highest cumulative grade point average in the university’s five colleges. Pictured front row, from left, Jordan Anne Hale of Baton Rouge, Micah Vincent Agresta of Covington, Allison Leigh Ostendorf of Covington, Rian Elizabeth Earnest of Ponchatoula, and Sunita Magar of Nepal. Back row, from left, President John L. Crain, Senator Ben Nevers, Brent Dineen Wagner of League City, Tex., Kaliff Patrick Daire of Slidell, Kate Danielle Induni of Des Allemands, Winfred Sibille of the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors, and Rep. Steve Pugh. Not pictured is Mindy Alicia Lemm.

Southeastern’s accreditation reaffirmed by SACSCOC
Southeastern’s application for reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) was approved Monday (Dec. 7) at the SACSCOC annual meeting in Houston, university officials announced.
     President John L. Crain said the SACS Board of Trustees voted to reaffirm the university’s accreditation for another 10 years with no stipulations.
     “This is the capstone accreditation for the university,” Crain said, “and I am proud of the strong efforts of our faculty and staff who worked so hard to ensure a successful outcome.”  Southeastern has been accredited by SACSCOC since 1946.
     Crain said Southeastern has been preparing its application for the last several years. The application demonstrates how Southeastern meets high standards that cover every aspect of the university, including its mission and governance, financial and physical resources, institutional effectiveness, student services, faculty qualifications, athletics, quality of educational programs and library resources.
     Following a review by an off-site committee, an on-site Reaffirmation Committee evaluated various documents, conducted inspections and interviewed faculty, staff and students during a three-day visit last spring.
     “The university is held responsible for clearly demonstrating and documenting that we meet all standards and have the highest commitment to institutional integrity, accountability and quality improvement,” Crain added.
     The current review process requires completion of a self-study compliance audit that addresses approximately 100 standards with significant documentation that each standard is being met.
     The review process also requires development of a quality enhancement plan (QEP) that addresses an area designed to enhance student learning at the university. Southeastern selected a “Real-World Ready” campaign designed to enhance opportunities for students to practice skills in a setting authentic to their intended careers. Internships and partnerships with businesses and agencies, service-learning courses, field experiences, undergraduate research and other opportunities are all part of the experiential learning process.
     “These learning opportunities are current, pertinent, performance-based, and practical applications of knowledge and skills experienced within the curriculum,” Crain said. “The Real-World Ready campaign represents an exciting opportunity to enhance student learning while also helping increase the university’s retention and graduation rates, key factors in how universities are now being evaluated.”


Norman GermanSoutheastern professor authors short story collection
Southeastern English Professor Norman German has published a new collection of short stories.
     Dead Dog Lying, a series of stories placed along the I-10 corridor from New Orleans to Texas, shines a light on society’s misfits and is largely based on events the author has experienced, dreamed or witnessed over his life. Many of the characters in the stories take their names from towns along the corridor, such as Elton, Jennings, Iota, Cecilia and Henderson.
     Norman said he dreamed about a boy with antlers and made him the protagonist of “Deerboy,” whose title character gains the gift of athletic prowess. The story “Controlled Burn” uses a prescribed ecological fire as the metaphor for a female game warden’s barely controllable rage at her abusive father, on whom she exacts revenge in a unique way at the story’s end. “The Girl and the Green Gas Can” is based on a relative’s childhood predilection for sniffing gasoline until she passed out.
     The tale “Ditchboy” is based on the real-life English girl Hayley Okines, who died of progeria, the disease that prematurely ages its victims eight years for each year they live. “She was 17 – or in ‘progeria years’ and thanks to new life-extending drugs – 136 years old when she died,” he said.
     “Norman German’s stories are filled with clever wordplay and witty turns of plot. His expert use of description and metaphor demonstrates his longtime experience as writer and teacher,” said Tim Gautreaux, Southeastern writer-in-residence and author of “The Missing” and several other novels.
     “In Norman German’s mesmerizing stories of south Louisiana, the ordinary is the fantastic, and the fantastic becomes the everyday,” adds Gerald Duff, author of “Dirty Rice and Blue Sabine.” “Horror and wonder live side by side in these powerful tales of haunted states of mind. Dead Dog Lying takes hold and will not let go.”
     A native of Lake Charles who earned his doctorate from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette), German is the author of several other works, including “A Savage Wisdom,” an imaginative reconstruction of the life of Toni Jo Henry, the only woman executed in Louisiana’s electric chair; and the baseball novel “Switch-Pitchers,” copies of which reside by special request in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
     Dead Dog Lying was published by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and is available through the ULL Press, Amazon and other outlets.

Southeastern Nursing program ranked on ‘Top Value’ list Southeastern’s online program that helps registered nurses earn their bachelor degrees has been ranked among the  nation’s top 50 most affordable online nursing programs for 2016.
    The program was ranked 22nd among 50 top accredited online nursing programs in the U.S. by, which compares programs based on tuition and net cost. The Southeastern program provides registered nurses, who may have an associate’s degree or diploma from a licensed school, the opportunity to continue taking courses online, while earning credit toward a bachelor’s degree.
    “This ranking is intended to provide registered nurses with information about affordable schools that meet their needs and help them fulfill their career aspirations,” said Tim Otto, editor of “Top RN to BSN,” which publishes the rankings to help students find the right college for their careers.
    “We are pleased for the recognition that Southeastern has earned for offering a strong and valuable opportunity for nurses seeking to advance their careers by earning an undergraduate degree,” said Ann Carruth, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. “The demands of careers in nursing increasingly require more advanced preparation. In this program, we try to make every accommodation available to our students, while maintaining our high level of quality instruction.”
    Eileen Creel, School of Nursing department head, noted that higher educational attainment in nursing usually translates to higher salaries and greater opportunities for advancement.
    Currently there are 90 active students enrolled in Southeastern’s RN-BS degree program, said Creel. The program, which started in 2008, has seen more than 130 students graduate with a bachelor’s degree.
    Last year, the program was ranked among the top 50 best value RN to BSN programs for 2015 by, a different online ranking of academic programs
    Creel said in addition to a traditional undergraduate nursing school program, where students receive clinical training at area hospitals and medical facilities, Southeastern also offers a program for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) to attain a bachelor’s degree, as well as an accelerated program for students already holding a bachelor’s degree in any field.
    Southeastern also offers master’s degrees and a doctorate in nursing practice, which can be taken online.

ByLion takes a break
Today’s issue will be the last ByLion of 2015. ByLion will return on January 19, 2016.
     Happy Holidays!

ROTC logoArmy ROTC courses return to Southeastern
Southeastern will re-initiate its on-campus U.S. Army Reserve Officer Training Program (ROTC) in the spring 2016 semester, university officials announced.
     The program, originally started at Southeastern in 1969 during the Vietnam War, was closed in 1995 due in large part to declining numbers and retrenchment by the military as a result of budget constraints. More than a thousand students are estimated to have gone through the program during those years.
     The program is an enhancement of the partnership programs that developed with LSU and Southern University in Baton Rouge after the Southeastern ROTC classes were no longer offered on campus.
     “We are pleased to re-introduce our students to ROTC military science classes on the Southeastern campus. Increasingly, students are looking for options that include military service, either for several years or as career,” said President John L. Crain. “Southeastern’s previous experience with ROTC was successful in helping to prepare future military leaders. We wanted to make this an easier option for those students seeking to become officers.”
     During the break in operations, Crain said Southeastern students were still able to participate in ROTC, but had to take their military courses through Southern University’s Navy program or LSU’s Army and Air Force programs. Participating Southeastern students, however, had to travel to Baton Rouge in order to participate. This brings the program back to Southeastern’s campus.
     The university and the Army ROTC have started recruiting interested students to enter the program next semester. For more information on the ROTC program, contact
     Gary Sandifer of Hammond, who entered the ROTC program in 1971 and is a founding member of Southeastern’s ROTC Alumni Chapter, said he was excited to learn the university was adding the program to its curriculum.
    “Dr. Crain deserves a lot of credit for this; when he was convinced of the value of ROTC, he put this project on the fast track,” Sandifer said.
     ROTC Alumni Chapter President Steve Worth of Hammond also expressed his happiness about the reinstatement decision.
     “It was a great experience, and I’m glad to see Southeastern students will have this option once again,” said Worth, who served 13 years in the Army as a Black Hawk test pilot. “ROTC taught me a lot in the areas of leadership and how to work with people.”
     The ROTC Alumni Chapter has approximately 35 members and raises funds to provide scholarships for ROTC participants.
     Southeastern has been named a “Military Friendly School” by Victory Media four times in the last several years for demonstrating its commitment to assisting active and reserve military service members in a wide range of areas.

Southeastern to continuing recycling of Christmas trees to build up wetlands
Christmas tree recyclingSoutheastern will again collect used Christmas trees in partnership with area businesses and government agencies as part of its annual Christmas tree collection effort designed to enhance wetland restoration efforts in the Pass Manchac area.
    Southeastern scientists at the university’s Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station, located on Pass Manchac between lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas, use the discarded trees to help build up marshland in areas that have been impacted by erosion and other factors, said Turtle Cove Manager Rob Moreau.
    Partnering in the project for the second year is the Southeastern Sustainability Center on North Oak Street, which will serve as a drop-off point for area residents to leave their used Christmas trees. Other partners include the city of Hammond and Middendorfs Restaurant in Manchac, as drop-off sites. In addition, Lowes in Hammond again will donate unsold trees.
    Trees can be dropped off beginning Dec. 26 through Mardi Gras from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Hammond Maintenance facility, 18104 Hwy. 190, next to Piggly Wiggly Super Market. The Southeastern Sustainability Center, 2101 North Oak Street, will collect trees beginning Jan. 5 through the end of the month from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 to 10 a.m. on Friday. Moreau said a Turtle Cove trailer drop off site will also be maintained at Middendorfs Restaurant.
    He said the City of Hammond will provide transport of collected trees to the Turtle Cove Galva Canal parking lot area in Manchac where they will be stored until they are deployed in the marshes.
    No flocked trees will be accepted, and all trees should be stripped of any ornaments, lights, tinsel and stands.
    Rob Moreau said the trees will be used to continue a pilot project started last year to determine whether the recycled trees can help fill in the logging ditches, formed when the area’s cypress forests were cut down over a hundred-plus year span.
    “The ditches allow salt water intrusion and increase the erosion process,” Moreau said. “Under the supervision of biology researcher Dr. Gary Shaffer, we will place trees in some selected ditches to determine if they can accumulate enough sediment that might assist in filling them in. We’ll monitor and evaluate this process over the next several years to determine its feasibility. If successful, this technique could be used in other similarly stressed ecosystems in coastal Louisiana.”   
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Southeastern Police Department receives LHSC grant
The Southeastern Police Department has been awarded a $13,180 grant from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission (LHSC) to conduct additional traffic safety enforcement.
     The primary goal of the grant is to reduce fatal and injury crashes on Louisiana roadways, said Southeastern Lt. Patrick Gipson.
     “Our students and employees travel the parish roads every day and often commute from surrounding parishes,” he said.  “We want everyone to arrive at their destinations safely. That’s why we conduct highway safety enforcement.”
     The grant provides funding for officers to work overtime conducting day and night occupant protection and impaired driving enforcement. The University Police Department will also participate in the LHSC and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Click It or Ticket” and “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaigns.
     “Enforcement is only part of the effort,” explained Director of University Police Harold Todd.  “We will also collaborate with local partners, including Tangipahoa – Reshaping Attitudes for Community Change (TRACC), Hammond City Police Department, Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office, and Louisiana State Police, to educate our students about safe driving habits.”
     “Our efforts are part of a community-wide effort to save lives,” Todd added.  “If everyone works together and encourages their friends to drive safely, we can make our parish roadways some of the safest in Louisiana.”


Joannie S. Hebert, PhD, RN, CNE (Nursing and Health Sciences) was recognized in November as an Ambassador for The National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education, Academic Health Center, University of Minnesota.
     Professor Margaret Gonzalez-Perez (History and Political Science) was interviewed by MSNBC on December 4, regarding her expertise on women and terrorism in relation to the recent San Bernardino shooting.

O’Neil De Noux (University Police) was honored by the Commission on Cultural Affairs and St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister with a President’s Arts Award as the Literary Artist of the Year. De Noux will be recognized Jan. 9 at the St. Tammany Parish Justice Center.
     Dr. Lillian Stiegler’s (Health and Human Sciences) article, “Examining the Echolalia Literature:  Where Do Speech-Language Pathologists Stand?,” was published in the November issue of the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.  

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