Student Union celebrated
Strawberry Jubilee fun
A Day of Giving scheduled
Eisenhower Program set
Urban gardening topic of discussion
Marketing breakfast scheduled

Wind Symphony concert scheduled
Chamber Orchestra concert set
Phi Kappa Phi spring banquet set
Rock School celebrates anniversary
Phi Sigma Iota inducts students

Earth/Sustainability Week scheduled

Dutchtown wins speech/theatre festival

Anthropologist Gilbert to give lecture
Southeastern in the News
This Week in Athletics
Professional Activities



Student Union Grand Opening

Southeastern celebrates grand opening of Student Union
With an over-sized pair of scissors in hand, President John L. Crain cut a wide ribbon to mark the official opening of the university’s newly renovated and expanded War Memorial Student Union.
     Students, university officials, alumni and guests gathered in the union’s mall area for the ribbon-cutting, the primary event associated with the week-long celebration.
     “This is a great day for Southeastern,” said Crain, who described the facility as transformative for the campus.
     “I have been through a fair number of building projects on campus during my 15 years in administration, and I can honestly say this is the first project that has completely exceeded my expectations,” he said. “This facility is a tremendous asset for our university, our students and our community.”
     Crain recognized the partners who helped make the facility possible, including the Student Government Association for their efforts in 2006 in initiating a self-assessed fee to fund the venture; former Southeastern President Randy Moffett and members of the administration; food service provider Aramark; Follett Bookstore; architects Holly and Smith of Hammond for their design; and Lincoln Builders of Ruston, general contractors for the facility.
     The Student Union was originally built at its current location in 1965 and underwent considerable renovation and expansion in 1983. Work on the current project began in 2012 as part of a $32 million three-phase, student-funded initiative. The project saw approximately 90,000 square feet of existing space renovated and the addition of 90,000 square feet of new construction.
     “No longer is the Student Union a pass through from class, but it has become the place to meet, hang out and eat,” said current SGA President Alexis Quackenbush. “All of our student services, such as the health and counseling services, bookstore, and others are now located in one place. And our food service was recently named the best of any college in Louisiana and among the top 100 in the nation.”
     Former SGA President Aron Walker, now business operations manager for KIPP Schools in New Orleans, was one of the primary movers to start the funding of the project in 2006.
     “It was a process that required educating our students,” he said. “Our former students noted that it was their responsibility to initiate this challenge, even though most would never see the end results. We met with the Greeks and other student groups and organized a ‘get out the vote’ campaign to pass the proposal. It’s gratifying to see the end result in this beautiful facility.”
     In addition to the student services, the union includes the Lion’s Den Food Court, which offers a variety of fast food options; the Mane Dish, dining facility offering freshly cooked and prepared foods; a large ballroom that can be sized to accommodate a variety of functions; and offices for the vice president for student affairs, Student Government Association, Career Services, Lions Roar newspaper, and other operations.

GRAND OPENING CELEBRATED – Wielding an over-sized pair of scissors, Southeastern President John L. Crain, center right, and former Student Government President Aron Walker, center left, along with various university officials and invitees, cut a ribbon marking the official opening of Southeastern’s renovated and expanded War Memorial Student Union.

Strawberry Jubilee fun
Haley Loyacano, left, of Walker and Autumn Griffin of Gonzales take a selfie Wednesday (April 13) with a skunk from the exotic pets booth at Southeastern’s Strawberry Jubilee. Students were treated to food, drinks and fun activities at the annual spring event.


Strawberry Jubilee

Honors Convocations schedule announced
College honors convocations are scheduled this week. All faculty and staff are invited to attend.
     The schedule is as follows:
College of Science and Technology: April 18, 3:30, Alumni Center
College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences: April 20, 2 p.m., Alumni Center
College of Education: April 21, 10 a.m., Alumni Center
College of Business: April 21, 3:30 p.m., Alumni Center
College of Nursing and Health Sciences: April 25, 5:30, Student Union Theatre

Speakers to champion urban gardening
Two speakers who are founders of area urban gardening programs will speak about their experiences April 18 and 20 at Southeastern.
     Jamal Elhayek, founder of Supporting Urban Agriculture (SUANOLA), an urban farm in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, will speak April 18; Emily Mickey-Doyle, cofounder of Sustainable Produce Reaching Our Urban Table (SPROUT), a community garden teaching project located in New Orleans’ Treme-Mid-City neighborhoods, will speak on April 20.
     Both lectures are scheduled at 3 p.m. at Southeastern’s Friendship Oak. The presentations are free and open to the public.
     The lectures, part of Southeastern’s Sustainability and Earth Awareness Week, are sponsored by Reconnect Southeastern, a student organization that promotes the use of locally grown, healthy and sustainable food products.
     Reconnect will also sponsor its seasonal farmers market on April 20 at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside the Student Union. The market features food sales from area farmers, food samples, arts and crafts, homemade soaps, all-natural bath and beauty products, pottery and more.

Southeastern Marketing Breakfast to feature area business executive Robert Yarborough


Robert Yarborough


Robert Yarborough, chief executive officer of Manda Fine Meats, will serve as the guest speaker at Southeastern’s annual Marketing Breakfast on Thursday, April 21.
     Sponsored by the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management and the Southeastern Marketing Association, the meeting will be held at 7:30 a.m. in the Student Union Ballroom.
     The program is open to students and the general public. Tickets are $8 until 5 p.m. April 20 and increase to $10 for purchases at the door. 
     A 1976 graduate of Southeastern with a degree in marketing, Yarborough is co-owner of Manda Fine Meats. He also serves as chair of the University Medical Center Management Corp. and is on the LSU Board of Supervisors.
     Yarborough has held leadership positions with other associations and businesses, including president of the Louisiana Grocers Manufacturers Representative Association and board chairman of the Louisiana Meat Processors Association, the Southwest Meat Association in College Station, Texas, the Louisiana Livestock Sanitary Board, and Business First Bank.
     Yarborough has also held leadership positions with a number of non-profit organizations such as the Family Board of Greater Baton Rouge, the Metro Area YMCA, Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank Capital Campaign, and the Baton Rouge General Hospital Foundation.
     For more information on the lecture, contact the Department of Marketing at 549-2277.

Southeastern Chamber Orchestra to feature world renowned violinist Ilya Kaler


Ilya Kaler
The Southeastern Chamber Orchestra’s Spring Concert, scheduled Monday, April 25, will feature world-renowned violinist Ilya Kaler, a three-time gold medal winner at international competitions.
     The concert will start at 7:30 p.m. at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts in downtown Hammond. General admission tickets are $12; $8 faculty, staff and seniors; Southeastern students are admitted free with their student ID card and kids 12 and under are also free. Tickets are available at the Columbia Theatre box office at 220 East Thomas St., at, or at the door on the night of the concert. Call 543-4371 for ticket information.
     “We are very excited to have Maestro Kaler as the featured guest soloist at our Spring Concert,” said Professor and Conductor Yakov Voldman. “He is the very definition of a world-class violin virtuoso.”
     Kaler has won gold medals at three of the world’s prestigious violin competitions: the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Sibelius Competition in Helsinki, and the Paganini Competition in Genoa. Currently professor of violin at the DePaul University School of Music in Chicago, the Russian-born artist has made solo appearances with distinguished orchestras throughout the world, including the Leningrad, Moscow and Dresden philharmonic orchestras, as well as many of the major American orchestras.
     A graduate of the Moscow Central Music School and the Moscow State Conservatory, he has held teaching positions at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. and the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington.
     The concert will open with Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins in B Minor, Op. 3, and No.10, featuring Kaler with students Guillermo Salas-Suarez of Costa Rica, Michael Levytskyi and Mark Paylyuk, both of Ukraine. Kaler will also perform Vivaldi’s, Concerto for Two Violins in A Minor, No. 61 with alumna Zorica Dimova of Bulgaria, a member of Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and an instructor at Southeastern.
     The program will include Johann Sebastian Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor BMW 1043 featuring Kaler and students Sungkyung Woo of South Korea and Andrian Harabaru of Moldova.
     At the end of the first half, the orchestra will perform Luigi Boccherini’s Sinfonia No. 6 in D Minor Op. 12, No. 4 – La Casa del diavolo.
     After intermission Kaler will perform Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77, which is considered one of the greatest violin concertos ever written, Yakov said.    
     For more information, contact the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at 549-2184.

Southeastern to celebrate Earth/Sustainability Awareness Week
Southeastern is expanding its traditional Earth Day celebration to a week full of activities for students and the general public running Monday, April 18, through Friday, April 22.
     Re-titled Earth/Sustainability Awareness Week, the event will feature tours of the university’s high tech Sustainability Center and its Outreach Classroom, a business expo for the public and professionals in the building trades, a Sustainability Science Fair, and a variety of other displays and events.
     All events are free, and the public is invited to participate. Tours of the Sustainability Center on North Oaks Drive, an educational and research facility dedicated to conservation of energy, recycling and reuse, are available anytime during the week from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday
     Among the events planned are:
     Monday – display of two WHY sculptures located near Friendship Circle on Ned McGehee Drive and in the Student Union quad to provoke thought about litter and recycling; and Reconnect speaker Jamal Elhayek, founder of Supporting Urban Agriculture (SUANOLA), an urban farm in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, at 3p.m. at Friendship Oak.
     Tuesday – Business Expo for the public in the University Center, Room 125, which includes vendor suppliers; the LSU Ag Center’s LaHouse demonstrating the latest in sustainable home building; demonstrations from the Louisiana Children’s Discovery Center Bayou Builders Lego team, a team of middle and high school students who will demonstrate their artificial barrier reef constructed of recycled glass and other materials; 2016 Leadership Tangipahoa tour; the ultimate Frisbee game on the lawn of Pennington Center, 4 to 6 p.m.; and yoga class to follow the Frisbee game.
      Wednesday – breakfast networking of professionals and vendors at the Sustainability Center, sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), 7 a.m.; Earth Day events, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to include an information booth in the Student Union quad area and featuring green hacks, or quick job fixes using environmentally-friendly items; distribution of trees, seeds, registration for a free bicycle and tea samples by Coca-Cola; music by KSLU; a farmer’s market sponsored by the student organization Reconnect; and Reconnect speaker Emily Mickey-Doyle, cofounder of Sustainable Produce Reaching Our Urban Table (SPROUT), a community garden teaching project located in New Orleans’ Treme-Mid-City neighborhoods, 3 p.m., Friendship Oak
     Thursday – Turtle Cove tour for professionals, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Sustainability Center tours, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
     Friday – Junior high and high school tours and events; high school Sustainability Science Fair in the Sustainability Center Outreach Classroom. All projects must be set up by 9 a.m. with judging beginning at 9:30 a.m.
     For more information on the schedule, tours or other events, call 549-3333.

All in for Southeastern logo


A Day of Giving scheduled April 20
Southeastern will host its second day of giving called “All in for Southeastern” on April 20, during which alumni, friends, students, supporters and community members can join together to support Southeastern in an online effort.
     Donors can direct funds to specific areas of interest they would like to support when making an online donation. Additionally, a generous group of donors will match all donations made on the Day of Giving with an equal donation to the Foundation to support academic programs up to $28,000.
     Additional information is available at or at
     Donations can be made at any time but are encouraged between 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday April 20.

U.S. Army War College Eisenhower Program set April 18-19
The United States Army War College Eisenhower Series Program, an annual program that examines current national security and military issues, returns to Southeastern on Monday and Tuesday, April 18 and 19.
     A team of experts from the U.S. Army and Air Force will hold a series of panel discussions on a wide range of national and international military topics, including strategic challenges confronting America in the second decade of the 21st century. All presentations are free and open to the public. The program is sponsored by the Department of History and Political Science.
     The opening panel discussion and reception will be held at 6 p.m. Monday (April 18) in the conference center of the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts. A second panel discussion will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday (April 19) at the Southeastern Student Union Theatre.
     “The panel members are able to address current government policies, although they are not necessarily bound to champion those policies,” said William Robison, head of the Department of History and Political Science. “They are encouraged and expected to share their personal views based on their own experiences, research and reflection.”
     Participants in the panels are Lt. Col. Tom Asbery of the Army Corps of Engineers, most recently serving as deputy division commander of the Pacific Ocean Division and Commander of the Honolulu District at Fort Shafter, Hawaii; Col. Lance D. Clark of the U.S. Air Force, a member of the faculty of the U.S. Army War College with a specialty in installation engineering and emergency services support; Col. Nicholas F. Lancaster, who most recently was staff judge advocate for the U.S. Army Special Operation Command at Fort Bragg, N.C.;  and Lt. Col. Antonio M. Paz, a specialist in psychological operations who  most recently commanded the 5th Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group at Fort Bragg, N.D.
     “We are very pleased to have this program on campus once again. The last several visits have been extremely informative, and we look forward to another opportunity for Southeastern faculty, staff and students, as well as members of the surrounding community, to learn more about American military policy from the experts,” said Robison. “The service personnel who represent the U.S. Army War College are always extremely engaging and very knowledgeable.”
     Robison expressed his gratitude to Southeastern alumnus Judge Jimmy Kuhn, retired justice with the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal, for helping make the event possible.
     The U.S. Army War College, located in Carlisle Barracks, Pa., represents the highest level of education offered by the military services. It is designed to equip carefully selected senior officers and civilians with the competencies required of strategic leaders of the United States Armed Forces. The original Army War College was established Nov. 27, 1901.
     Each year a few students and faculty at the U.S. Army War College participate in the Eisenhower Series College Program (ESCP) and travel outside Carlisle Barracks to engage in discussions with other students, academics, and the public about national security issues and the employment of military assets.     
     The Eisenhower Series College Program (ESCP) is the U.S. Army War College’s communication and outreach program designed to encourage dialogue on national security and other public policy issues between its students and the public. The program focuses its efforts on students and faculty at academic institutions, professional organizations, civic groups, business organizations, and local media.  

Southeastern’s Wind Symphony sets concert for April 21
Southeastern’s award-winning Wind Symphony Orchestra will present its spring concert Laissez le bon temps rouler! on Thursday, April 21, at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts in downtown Hammond.
     The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. under the direction of conductor Glen Hemberger, Southeastern director of bands. Tickets -- $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and faculty -- are available at the door or in advance at the Columbia Theatre box office. Call 543-4371 for ticket information.
     “The concert will celebrate the rich musical history of the State of Louisiana,” said Hemberger.
     He said the program will feature two world premiere editions. Richard Rosenberg, artistic director and conductor of the National Music Festival at Washington College, will be on hand to witness the premiere of his wind band edition of Festa Criollo from Night in the Tropics by Louis Moreau Gottschalk.
     In addition, local composer and Southeastern Professor of Music Stephen C. Suber will witness the wind band premiere of his work Cumulus over Tangipahoa. Master of music student Sharie Mahler of Destrehan will conduct Cajun Folk Songs by Frank Ticheli, and Rebecca Gambino will conduct Bayou Breakdown by Brant Karrick.
     Also on the program, Southeastern senior Tara Hymel of Denham Springs, winner of the Kappa Kappa Psi Concerto Competition, will perform Fantasie by Georges Adolphe Hüe. The program will be rounded out with a flashy new work by Monroe native Julie Giroux, entitled Carnaval! and the challenging and delightful J’ai ete au bal by Donald Grantham, professor of music at the University of Texas.
     For more information, contact the Southeastern Department of Fine and Performing Arts at 549-2184.

Phi Kappa Phi to hold spring banquet
The Annual Spring Banquet for the Southeastern Chapter of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi will be held immediately after our induction at 6 p.m. in the large ballroom of the new student union on Thursday, April 21.
     In addition to honoring our new inductees and the top juniors in each college, the top freshman overall, the Lou Ballard scholarship winner, and our Fellowship Applicant, members also will hear from featured speaker, eminent historian and Professor Emeritus Dr. Howard Nichols. Signed copies of his latest book on the history of Covington will also be available.
     Tickets for the banquet are $20 and must be paid in advance by April 18. Check payments should be made out to Phi Kappa Phi and mailed to Chapter Secretary Dr. Joan Faust at SLU Box 10861, Hammond, LA 70402, or delivered to her office at 392 D Vickers Hall. Email questions to

KSLU’S Rock School celebrates anniversary
Southeastern’s radio station, KSLU-90.9FM, will celebrate the ninth anniversary of its syndicated “Rock School” radio show on Thursday, April 14, without ever missing a weekly airing nor having to play a rerun.
     “Rock School” creator and Communication Professor Joe Burns has hosted every show – 469 as of Thursday – and, except for about 30, has researched and produced every one.
     The show airs every Thursday at 5 p.m. and on Sundays at 4 p.m. on KSLU. It is also offered live and online at
     The show is carried in 15 affiliate markets and internationally on Radio Universidad in Salamanca, Spain, as well as on the PRX Radio Network. The show’s podcast has a five-star rating on iTunes and was named one of the top rock podcasts by, a site that ranks and lists podcasts. The show receives approximately 10,000 downloads every week.
     Burns said there are no plans to stop making new shows anytime soon.
     “The magic number right now is 520,” he said. “Once I create and air show 520 that will be 10 years of doing ‘Rock School.’ Then I’ll seriously think about if I should continue, but not before then.”
     KSLU Radio General Manager Todd Delaney said, “Burns continues to impress me with the variety of topics he covers on ‘Rock School.’ From the obscure to the outrageous, each show is an in-depth rock ’n roll history seminar that entertains as much as it informs. It has become a national caliber program that our students can strive to emulate.”
     Writer, actor and political commentator Ben Stein is a fan of the show and redid his famous roll call from the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” replacing “Bueller” with Burns to open the show. Stein has also been a guest on the show, where he discussed rock and roll in the 1960s.
     The program has won the International Communicator Award six times, having taken the Award of Distinction four times and the Award of Excellence, the top prize, twice.
     “Rock School is recorded and produced in Burns’ own audio studios, and his wife Tammy serves as co-host.

Students inducted into Phi Sigma Iota 

student induction
On Tuesday, April 12, the Department of Languages and Communication inducted a new group of students into Zeta Alpha Chapter of Phi Sigma Iota, the International Foreign Language Honor Society. It is the highest academic honor in the field of foreign languages.
     This marks the 11th time the department recognized the outstanding ability of its students. This year inductees are students who major or minor in Spanish, French, and Latin.
     After the initiation ceremony, faculty, students, and their guests enjoyed a dinner. The initiation ceremony took place in the restaurant Michabelle and was presided by Dr. Lucia Harrison, head of the Department of Languages and Communication and Dr. Agnieszka Gutthy, Phi Sigma Iota faculty advisor.
     Inducted into Phi Sigma Iota were Amairielle Cordova, Hannah Furlan, Jonathan Koeppel, Micaela Lanus, Ruby Mosquera, Aurora Olvera, Angele Thibodaux, and Jessica Williams. 

Dutchtown High wins top honors at speech and theatre festival
Dutchtown High School claimed festival sweepstakes at the annual Southeastern Vonnie Borden Speech and Theatre Festival held on campus recently.
     Zachary High School came in second place, while Covington High took third place in the competition.
     In the one-act play competition, Ponchatoula High School claimed first place with a performance of one act from the play Our Town by Thorton Wilder.
     Area individual winners included Kristen Swanson of Hammond High for prose interpretation; Jaela Driver of Covington High, who took first place in original oratory, and Colt Dutruch, also of Covington High, earning second place honors in extemporaneous speaking.
     “This event has been taking place for over 30 years,” said Communication Instructor Terri Miller-Drufner, who coordinated the event. “And the talent continues to shine in our area. These students work hard all year and represent their schools in the competition that could possibly send them to the State Literary Rally.
     She said students who achieve superior rankings in their specific categories qualify for state competition. This year the festival awarded more than 60 superior rankings to high school students across the region performing in seven speech and theater event categories.

Anthropologist Gilbert to discuss ‘What it Means to be Human’
Drawing on her research and experience in Africa, considered the cradle of mankind, Southeastern Associate Professor of Anthropology Kellen Gilbert will address the general theme of what it means to be human on Wednesday, April 27.
    The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 2 p.m. in room 2207 of the Student Union.
    Gilbert, who spent the last academic year on leave in Tanzania, will discuss life on the southern slope of Mount Kilimanjaro; wildlife; fascinating cultures such as the Massai people; and places such as Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, considered one of the most important anthropological sites in the world.


O’Neil De Noux, detective with the University Police Department, had his short story, The Forever Choice, published in the April 15, 2016 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. (


ByLion is published weekly online (bi-weekly during the summer session) for the faculty and staff of Southeastern Louisiana University. Submission deadline is 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Send Submissions to
Mail to: SLU 10880, Hammond, LA 70402
Fax: (985)549-2061
Or bring to the University Marketing and Communications Office in East Stadium.