Senator Nevers to address graduates
Education awarded reaccreditation
Holiday open house scheduled

Gates grant awarded to Education

Community Band to perform

Commencement traffic changes set

Faculty Senate creates new award

Southeastern in the news
Professional Activities



Senator Ben NeversSen. Ben Nevers to address Southeastern’s Commencement

Louisiana State Senator Ben Nevers will provide the keynote address at Southeastern’s graduation ceremonies at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12, at the University Center.
     The university will confer approximately 1,150 degrees on students who are graduating with bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.
     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.
     He has served as chairman of the Senate Education Committee, the Senate Judiciary A Committee and as a member of several other committees, including Transportation, Highways and Public Works; Health and Welfare; Select Committee on Vocational and Technical Education, the Joint Legislative Committee on Capital Outlay and the Legislative Audit Advisory Council.
     Nevers serves on several other bodies, including the Louisiana Tuition Trust Authority, the Louisiana High School Redesign Commission, the Blue Ribbon Commission for Educational Excellence, and the Education Commission of the States. He is a member of the Louisiana Educational Assessment Testing Commission, the Louisiana Commission on Civic Education, the Deep Water Port Task Force and the Southern Regional Education Board’s Legislative Advisory Council.
     Nevers serves with several non-profit organizations that reflect his interests in agriculture, economic development, education, health care and infrastructure. He is a former president of the United Way, serves on the executive board for the Istrouma Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the St. Tammany Right to Life Association, the Louisiana Farm Bureau, the Louisiana and Washington Parish Cattlemen’s associations and Washington Parish Forestry Landowners Association.
     Nevers is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2015 Mondale-Brooke Award for Fair Housing Leadership and Civic Participation, the Louisiana Association for Justice Public Service Award, the 2011 Rural Health Legislator of the Year Award by the Louisiana Rural Health Association and the Louisiana Public Health Association’s Public Service Award. He has also been recognized with the President’s Award from the Louisiana School Psychological Association, the Louisiana School Board Association’s Legislator of the Year Award, and several awards from Louisiana Family Forum.

Southeastern College of Education awarded 7-year reaccreditation
The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) has renewed a seven-year reaccreditation of Southeastern’s College of Education.
     In its announcement, CAEP, the foremost accrediting agency for education programs, said Southeastern’s initial teacher preparation and advanced preparation levels met the rigorous standards set by the professional education community. In addition, the agency applauded the university’s efforts and reported that the commission’s findings indicated no areas requiring improvement related to any of the standards.
     “This is truly an impressive achievement that reflects the hard work and dedication of the faculty and staff in the College of Education to provide a high quality program for the preparation of future teachers and administrators for Louisiana’s schools,” said Southeastern President John L. Crain. “Highly effective educators are essential in order for K-12 students to achieve their highest potential.”
     CAEP, formerly known as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), is the profession’s agency for assessing the quality of teacher preparation programs, using a performance-based system of evaluation. The accrediting agency came into being in 2013 following a consolidation of NCATE and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council.
     The accreditation comes after CAEP reviewed the university’s institutional report and documented evidence. Last April, four evaluators and one state representative conducted a NCATE Legacy visit to the College of Education, where they interviewed students, faculty, administrators and representatives from area partner schools that provide field experiences and student-teaching opportunities. The group also visited field placement sites and observed student teachers in the classroom. The next visit is scheduled for 2022.
     “The accreditation is a mark of distinction and provides recognition that the College of Education has met national standards for preparing teachers and other educators,” said Shirley Jacob, dean of the College of Education. “It verifies that Southeastern’s program has shown evidence of competent teacher candidate performance. Teacher candidates are expected to fully comprehend the subject matter they plan to teach and how to teach it effectively so all students can learn.”
     Jacob said the success of the Southeastern program can be attributed to members of the education faculty who are experienced teachers themselves, the other Southeastern faculty who provide the excellent content courses students need to take, and the university’s partner schools who provide valuable teaching opportunities and field experiences for teacher-candidates.
     The Southeastern education program offers 10 bachelor degree programs, seven master’s level degrees, alternative certification and a doctorate degree in educational leadership. Approximately 1,400 students are enrolled in its various programs.


North Lake Community Band to perform Dec. 8
The North Lake Community Band, under the direction of Southeastern Professor Emeritus of Music Jerry Voorhees, will present a concert in Pottle Music Auditorium on December 8, at 7:30 p.m. Titled “Shall We Dance,” the concert is open to the public and is free of charge.
     Voorhees said the band, which is organized through Southeastern’s Community Music School, is designed for adults “who may otherwise have limited opportunities to play in a band.”
     For more information, contact the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at 549-2184.

Traffic changes planned for Southeastern commencement Dec. 12
Motorists and visitors planning to attend Southeastern’s commencement ceremonies on Saturday, Dec. 12, should anticipate heavy traffic and route changes affecting University Avenue (Hwy. 3234) between Interstate 55 and North Cherry Street.
     Louisiana State Senator Ben Nevers will speak at the ceremony, where approximately 1,150 students will receive associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at the 10 a.m. ceremony in the University Center.
     Harold Todd, director of University Police, said the section of University Avenue between West Lion Lane and SGA Drive will be restricted from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. that day. Local traffic will be allowed to proceed on University Avenue for as long as possible, but will be diverted through the campus as congestion increases.
     Prior to commencement, the University Center parking areas are expected to fill early, and all traffic on University Avenue will be diverted. Eastbound commencement traffic will be diverted to West Lion Lane for parking at the University Center, and westbound commencement traffic will be diverted to the campus at SGA Drive.
     “Traffic will begin to get heavy early in the morning,” said Todd. “We anticipate the parking areas around the University Center to be filled before 9 a.m.”
     Additional parking spaces around the University Center will be set aside for vehicles with appropriate handicapped placards. Individuals requiring handicap accommodations should try to arrive as early as possible.
     Vacant parking spaces in the Southeastern Oaks/Greek Village complex will also be used for this event. Residents are requested to use the back gate near the laundry facility and maintenance warehouse for entering and exiting between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.
     Southeastern Lion Traxx shuttle buses will be in operation before and after the ceremony to accommodate those parking in outlying areas or needing special transportation assistance, Todd said. Shuttle stops will be marked with signs and/or canopies.
     Drivers not attending commencement are asked to use U.S. 190 (Thomas Street and Morris Street) or Natalbany Road (Hwy. 1064) to avoid University Avenue traffic.
     Southeastern students wishing to return rental textbooks that day should wait until after 2 p.m. to do so.

President's residence

Faculty and Staff Holiday Open House scheduled
The annual Faculty and Staff Holiday Open House will be held at the President’s Residence on Wednesday, Dec. 9, between 3:30 and

5 p.m. Please plan to come by during this time.

Southeastern awarded half-million dollar Gates grant to enhance teacher preparation
Southeastern has been named to one of five newly-formed Teacher Preparation Transformation Centers designed to bring together higher education institutions, teacher-preparation providers and K-12 school systems to share data, knowledge and best practices.
     Southeastern is the only teacher-preparation program in Louisiana invited to participate.
     Funding for the projects amounts to a total of $34.7 million over three years provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Each center is expected to test different approaches in various contexts to better understand teacher-preparation practices that are most effective. The Transformation Centers will be guided by a common set of indicators and outcomes while testing different approaches.
     Each center includes several universities. Southeastern’s College of Education will be part of the University-School Partnerships for the Renewal of Educator Preparation (U.S.PREP) National Center based at Texas Tech University.
     Southeastern will receive approximately $534,000 over the three-year period, explained Shirley Jacob, interim dean of the College of Education. Other universities participating in U.S.PREP are Jackson State University, Southern Methodist University, the University of Houston and the University of Memphis.    
     “We know through years of experience that one of the main impacts on students’ learning is the presence of a highly-effective, qualified teacher,” Jacob said.  “This project is intended to help all teacher-preparation programs better prepare our teacher-candidates to be successful in the classroom.”
     The overall goal of U.S.Prep is to produce exemplary new teachers for their partner school districts who outperform new teachers prepared in other teacher-preparation programs. The school districts partnering with Southeastern are the St. Charles Parish School District and the Ascension Parish Public School District.
     “We have worked closely and very cooperatively with both these districts for years now. They have served as sites for our teacher candidates to practice their student teaching under the supervision of one or more of their own highly competent teachers,” Jacobs said. “They are fully committed to the goal of improving their own instructors, as well as helping us develop a high quality generation of new teachers.”
     “We welcome the opportunity for our district to be engaged in the development and implementation of a transformative teacher preparation program,” said Patrice Pujol, superintendent of Ascension Public Schools. “We look forward to our district, school and teacher leaders collaborating with university faculty to assure that teacher education candidates are strategically placed with strong mentors in the schools.
     Felecia Gomez-Walker, superintendent of St. Charles Parish Public Schools noted that the district and Southeastern have collaborated over many years to develop an excellent student teaching experience for future teachers, which has led to development of a one-year apprenticeship model now in effect.
     “District personnel will interact with university faculty to strategically coordinate teacher education candidate field placements and residencies in our school district,” she added. “This collaboration has the potential to positively impact the work we are doing to prepare teachers for the 21st Century classrooms.”

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New awarded created by Faculty Senate
James Kirylo, president of the Faculty Senate, has created a new monthly award called the “Faculty Senate President’s Scholar Award.”  The award is given monthly at the faculty senate meetings.
     The recipient for December is Dr. Holly Kihm, College of Nursing and Health Sciences/Department of Health and Human Sciences.
     The inaugural award was given at the September meeting, and the recipient was David Armand of the English Department. The October recipient was Dr. Thomas Sommerfeld from the Department of Chemistry and Physics.
     To be considered for these monthly awards, candidates either self-submit or can be nominated by a colleague. They submit a one page summary of their scholarly/creative work, highlighting their most important accomplishments.  
     The purpose of the award is simply an avenue that highlights the great work that many of our faculty are doing, but sometimes goes unnoticed.
     The president and vice-president of the faculty senate then review the submissions, and select the respective award recipient.
     The recipient is honored at the Faculty Senate meeting with a plaque and then appears on a newly formed radio show called “State of the Faculty Senate” with the faculty senate president.
     Communication Professor Joe Burns is host of the show, which is recorded at 9:30 a.m., the Thursday after senate meetings.  The show then airs on the subsequent Friday, KSLU 90.9, and will then be podcasted on our newly Faculty Senate website.


Dr. Tim Gautreaux (English) has a short story titled “Attitude Adjustment” in the current (December) issue of The Atlantic Monthly.
     Charles Elliott (History and Political Science) led “So Far From God; So Close to the United States: (Re) Considering the Mexican War,” a six-week readings and discussion program hosted by the Assumption Parish Library in Napoleonville from Oct. 22-Dec. 3.

    Dr. Luci Acosta (Nursing and Health Sciences) was honored at the December meeting of the Louisiana State Board of Nursing for her eight years of service to the board over two terms. She has been the Advance Practice representative on the board.

     Faculty and students from the CSD program (within the HHS department) recently presented papers at the annual convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Denver. Their presentations were as follows: Dr. Rebecca Davis, Aimee Adams and graduate student Hannah Mulkey: "CAA Site Visit Documentation:  Using an Online Learning System;" Dr. Lillian Stiegler and colleague: "Severe Motor Speech Challenges in ASD: Using Conversation Analysis to Discover Meaning & Communicative Intent;" graduate student Iris Cortez, Dr. Stiegler and Angela James (Office of Student Accessibility Services) "Functional Support for College Students on the Autism Spectrum;"

Dr. Paula Currie, with colleagues: (1) "Forecasting the Future in CSD:  Current Supply & Demand Data;" and (2) "Motivational Interviewing Strategies for Voice/Resonance Disorders: Efficacy of Case-Based Learning;" Holly Smith and Pamela Bankston: "Video Self-Analyses: Student Clinicians Perceived Strengths and Weaknesses;" Pamela Banston and Dr. Donna Thomas: "Do Right Brain Activities Increase Language and Cognition in an Adolescent with Left Temporal Lobe Damage?;" Dr. Thomas and P. Bankson: "Phonemic Awareness Intervention: Comparison of LIPS and CAP;" graduate students Iris Cortez and Kristi Champagne, Aimee Adams: "Caution: Red Flags Don’t Always Lead to ASD;" I. Cortez and A. Adams: "Making the Connection: Barriers to a Successful Telepractice in a University Clinic;" Scholar-in-Residence Dr. Nina Simmons-Mackie, with colleagues: (1) "The Life Participation Approach to Aphasia (LPAA) Turns 15: Where to Now?" (2) "Living with Aphasia – Framework for Outcome Measurement (A-FROM): Measuring What Matters;" (3) "Evaluating, Selecting and Implementing Patient Reported Outcome Measures in the Changing Healthcare Funding Landscape;" and (4) "Measuring Quality of Life:  Relationship Between a Generic Health Economics Measure & an Aphasia-Specific Measure."

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