Student organizes flute festival
Hyde notes inaccuracies in movie
Thomas attends RELI

Free documentary download available

Summer art show scheduled

Robison appointed to advisory council

JMIH returns to New Orleans

Southeastern in the News
Professional Activities



Andres ChavezSoutheastern student's experience leads to international flute festival in Colombia
A Southeastern music performance graduate student is a moving force in organizing an international meeting of flutists in Colombia.
     Andres Chavez, principle flutist of the Southeastern Chamber Orchestra, is the coordinator of the International Meeting of Flutists or “El Flautin del Bosque” at the Cultural and Environmental Festival “A la Sombra del Tatama.”
     The festival is scheduled July 7-10 in Santuario Risaraldo, Colombia, Chavez’s hometown. This is the second festival that Chavez has coordinated, where master classes, conferences and concerts will take place.
     “Andres has an enthusiastic passion for music and wishes to share it everywhere he goes,” said Shanna Drescher, Southeastern lecturer of flute. “I’m proud of him and the work he has done as the coordinator of the festival.”
     A student at Southeastern since 2015, Chavez is a tutor of music and is in the process of researching and composing music for flute solo using a soundscape focused on birds in the Andean region.
     In 2010, 2011 and 2012, he participated as a flutist in the orchestra of the International Festival of Pipers in the World Quito-Ecuador Centre. In 2013 he was invited to participate in the “Flute Orchestra of the Americas.”
     “After my initial participation in the International Festival of Pipers in 2010, the idea of starting a festival in Colombia came to my mind,” Chavez said. “While in Colombia in 2013, I started creating cultural events of music and poetry with some friends, and in 2014 we carried out a festival with a non-profit organization. After that, we sent the project to the National Concertation Program of the Ministry of Culture of Colombia, where they accepted and supported the project.”
     The partnering non-profit organization CORPOCAM, Chavez said, promotes sustainable development of agriculture, culture and environment. It is a non-government organization established in the municipality of Santuario Risaralda, Colombia, and is comprised of a diverse team of students and professionals in various fields who meet to work together for culture, agriculture and the environment in the Colombian community. The organization has projects in partnership with municipal, national government and international organizations.
     In 2015, Chavez said, Angela Molina, a member of the organization, suggested he include a flute convention as part of the festival.
     “This was a perfect opportunity to do what I had been thinking for some years,” Chavez said. “For that festival I created an international meeting of flutists called ‘El Flautin del Bosque’ or ‘Piccolo of the Forest,’ which is the common name of a bird from the Andean region. The sound of the bird is similar to the sound of a piccolo.”
     Chavez said that culture is highly centralized in Colombia, and that is a problem for students who have few resources to study. His goal is to help decentralize culture in the nation.
     “For every country, culture plays an important role in society, and festivals, where people go to learn and share, are necessary to improve our skills and relations in the world,” he said. “After years of negotiations, Colombia is closer than ever to achieving peace, and we need these spaces where people can share and work together.”
     Chavez said he believes that music helps students in their social and personal lives. Positive attitudes and ethical, aesthetic and spiritual values are cultivated through music, he added.  Children and adults develop self-esteem, personal security and socializing skills, while acquiring discipline, study habits, and persistence.
     “Music students are constantly working to achieve goals, to be excellent in their endeavors, and to live with their peers in an environment of tolerance and solidarity,” he said. “In the meantime, stimulated by a culture of peace, they develop their abilities in many aspects. We need a culture of peace where everyone can work together joyfully.”
     For more information or to help with economic resources for the festival, contact Chavez at

‘Free State of Jones’ not free of historical inaccuracies, Southeastern professor asserts
The recently released movie The Free State of Jones is influenced more by the Hollywood-New York mindset and not on historical records, according to a Southeastern history professor.
     The movie tells the story of former Confederate soldier purportedly turned Union sympathizer Newton Knight – played by Matthew McConaughey – who led a band of followers, crossed the color line to marry a former slave, and spawned a community of like-minded individuals in Jones County, located in southeast Mississippi. The movie is based on a book by historian Victoria Bynum, explained Samuel C. Hyde Jr., a specialist in Deep South history and director of the university’s Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies.
     “According to some, Knight heroically defied the Confederacy sustaining the cause of the Union in Mississippi, one of the most rebellious states, before courageously crossing the color line to marry a former slave,” said Hyde. “Thanks to a sympathetic New Orleans newspaperman and a 1935 biography written by Knight’s son, he was seen as a modern day Robin Hood, delivering the poor from oppression and facing down evil.”
     In 1943, journalist James Street of Jones County wrote the story “Tap Roots,” which was made into a film designed to glorify the Knight myth and serve as an antidote for “Gone with the Wind” style nostalgia, Hyde added.
     “It was not until 1951, when Newt’s own grandniece published ‘The Echo of the Black Horn,’ that the other interpretation of Knight became more widespread,” Hyde said. “In 1984 historian Rudy Leverett published a scholarly interpretation of the Jones County saga that proved similarly critical of Knight and company.”
     According to Hyde, the revised version of Knight revealed evidence indicating that he was a deserter, murderer, horse thief and bigamist.
     “He maintained simultaneous relationships with a white woman and a black woman, and there is compelling evidence that he fathered children with a daughter of his black wife from a previous marriage,” Hyde said.
     He said trying to define the real Newton Knight is both simple and complex.
     “He is both,” Hyde explained. “He did desert the Confederate army after he had willingly volunteered. He then defied Confederate authorities who sought to press him and some of his neighbors back into a starved existence of bare feet and ragged clothing which thousands of other Mississippians grimly endured and fought courageously despite appalling deprivation. It is also true that he murdered his opponents, defied racial mores and was a bigamist.”
     But were his actions for love of the Union, as the film suggests? Hyde is skeptical.
     With the exception of a couple of reports focusing on the activities of deserters in the area, Hyde said, there is little evidence to dispute that Knight most likely would have resisted the Union with the same vigor if they sought to press him into service or seize his crops.
     He was certainly a man who took care of his own, Hyde said, and preferred to be left alone like thousands of other fiercely independent piney woods farmers across the rural South.
     “Whatever position you take on Newton Knight, if you want to know the true man and the Jones County story, study the historical record,” Hyde said. “In this case, don’t look for it in this film from Hollywood.”


Southeastern summer art show features artist Nicole Charbonnet
The Southeastern Contemporary Art Gallery is featuring an exhibit of works titled “Palimpsest” by artist Nicole Charbonnet of New Orleans.
    Palimpsest refers to a form of artwork characterized by the superimposition of textures, images, words and washes of paint and fabric intended to reveal a memory through semi-transparency of the pre-existing structures, explained Dale Newkirk, professor of art and director of the gallery.
    The exhibit will run through August 25. The gallery, located at 100 East Strawberry Stadium, is open during the summer from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The show is free and open to the public.
    A New Orleans native, Charbonnet received her master of fine arts degree from Boston University and her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia. She has also studied at Academie Goetz in Paris and Cleveland Institute of Art in Lacoste, France.
    Among Charbonnet’s awards and honors are grants from the Pollock Krasner Foundation of New York, the E.D. Foundation of Ridgefield, N.J., and the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation of Montreal. She has also received fellowships from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, the Artists Foundation of New York, and Art Matters, Inc.
     For additional information, contact the art program at 549-2193.

Robison appointed to advisory council

The National World War II Museum has appointed William B. Robison (History and Political Science) and Jerry P. Sanson (Louisiana State University at Alexandria) to the advisory council for an exhibit on Louisiana’s role in World War II that will be open at the museum July 2017 through August 2018 and then tour the state for at least three years.

     Anyone who knows of (1) surviving WWII veterans who have not been interviewed on camera or (2) relevant artifacts that owners are willing to loan or donate should contact Robison at or exhibit curator James Linn at

     The museum sought Robison and Sanson's involvement in the project on the basis of their documentary film Louisiana During World War II.

Blake Thomas

Thomas attends RELI 
The only participant selected from Louisiana, Blake Thomas, area coordinator for University Housing, attended the 2016 Regional Entry Level Institute (RELI) at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., at the beginning of June. The training opportunity, sponsored by the Southeast Association of Housing Officers, provided intensive educational sessions for entry level professionals in the field of housing and residence life.
     Thomas also received a SEAHO travel grant to assist with conference expenses. Thomas has served as the area coordinator for Southeastern Oaks Apartment Complex, Greek Village, Cardinal Newman and Tangipahoa Halls since summer 2014.
     “I am grateful for the opportunity to meet so many (32 specifically) great individuals working in an entry level position, like myself, in the area of housing and residence life; as well as the 10 faculty members, many of them in middle to upper level management positions from assistant directors to chief housing officers,” he said.
     Thomas said during his time at RELI, the faculty members covered a variety of topics, such as supervision, social justice, facilities management, budget, crisis management, assessment, occupancy management and residence education. In addition to the wealth of knowledge he gained from the presentations, he had the opportunity to attend round-table discussions with the two co-chairs of RELI, participate in one-on-one time with a designated faculty member, build rapport with the cluster of four through designated “cluster time,” and had the opportunity to ask questions of each of the faculty members through a session known as the “Faculty Carousel.”      
     “RELI has made a huge impact on me, by allowing me to reflect on my future career, find my ‘WHY,’ and think about where I hope to be in the next few years,” Thomas said. “I had an unforgettable experience on a beautiful campus, and I highly recommend all entry level professionals working in housing and residence life to apply for RELI.”

Louisiana during World War II free download
Louisiana During World War II is now available for free download for use in the classroom or for private viewing by anyone. Please share it with anyone who may be interested. And let us know what you think.
     This is a six-part, 75-minute documentary written by Jerry P. Sanson (Louisiana State University at Alexandria), directed, edited and narrated by William B. Robison (Southeastern), and funded in part by a U.S. Department of Education Teaching American History Grant awarded to the Tangipahoa Parish School District in partnership with the Department of History and Political Science at Southeastern, for which Master Teacher Ann Trappey served as Project Director.
     You can stream the film or download it from YouTube as the following URL’s:
Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: Economic Boom

Part 3: Military Life

Part 4: Life During Wartime

Part 5: Minorities

Part 6: The War Ends

     The film examines Louisiana’s many contributions to the Allied victory in World War II and how the war affected the state. It is based on Jerry Sanson’s seminal study, Louisiana During World War II: Politics and Society 1939-1945 (LSU Press, 1999).
     The film features commentary from a dozen experts and addresses military maneuvers in Louisiana; the military installations at Camps Beauregard, Claiborne, Livingston, and elsewhere; the contributions of Higgins Industries, Standard Oil, and many other Louisiana manufacturers to the war effort; and the war’s impact on state politics, the economy, culture, race, and gender.

JMIH returns to New Orleans
A group of biologists will gather in New Orleans from July 6-10 for the annual Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (JMIH). More than 1,200 registrants, who study fishes, reptiles, and amphibians, will meet at the Marriott Hotel to discuss their latest advancements and discoveries.  
     The JMIH meets on an annual basis throughout North America and was one of the first major groups to meet in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Now, a decade later, the group is again meeting in the Crescent City. Two local universities, Southeastern and Tulane, and associated faculty are serving as the hosts for this meeting.  
     For more information, please contact Dr. Kyle Piller, local host and Southeastern professor, at


Edward Hebert (Kinesiology and Health Studies) presented two research papers at the annual conference of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) held in Montreal, June 15-18. One was titled “The effects of observing a learning model (or two) on motor skill acquisition and retention.” The second, coauthored by Charles Agar (former graduate student) and Charlotte Humphries (Kinesiology and Health Studies), was “The effect of internal and external focus instructions and feedback on skill acquisition in children.”

     Charles Elliott (History and Political Science) and local documentary filmmaker Bennet Rhodes were interviewed by Bruce Morgan on Art Scouts Radio for the July 4th program on public art at Galvez Plaza.


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.