Southeastern participates in summit
Fall Convocation scheduled
SBDC presents at conference

Allain consults on Mythbusters

Yuan receives conference aid

Academic Affairs changes

Student awarded scholarship
Southeastern in the News
Professional Activities



Teaching with Primary SourcesSoutheastern participates in Louisiana Teacher Leader Summit
On June 1-2, the Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Southeastern staff joined more than 5,000 Louisiana educators for the fourth annual Louisiana Teacher Leader Summit hosted by the Louisiana Department of Education. The summit is part of a nationally-recognized effort to ensure classroom educators are making leading academic changes throughout the state.
     Jordan Ahrend, TPS coordinator, along with Stefanie Sorbet, assistant director, presented four 90-minute sessions to over 200 teacher leaders focused on integrating primary sources across all content areas, specifically modeling applicable methods and strategies for social studies, math, science, and English language arts. TPS staff demonstrated how to incorporate primary sources across the curriculum utilizing visual thinking strategies and Harvard’s Project Zero’s Circle of Viewpoints, along with the Library of Congress analysis tools.
     For more information regarding the Teacher Leader Summit or other offerings of the TPS Program at Southeastern, contact Coordinator, Jordan Kea Ahrend at 549-2229 or at Images and upcoming events can be viewed on the TPS Facebook and Twitter page @TPSSoutheastern.


Fall Convocation scheduled August 12
Southeastern will launch the 2016-2017 academic year with its annual fall convocation for faculty and staff on Friday, Aug. 12, beginning at 11 a.m. in the Student Union Ballroom.
     The convocation will include the traditional presentation of the President’s Awards for Excellence, the university’s highest faculty and staff honors, as well as presentation of service awards to faculty and staff who have been with the university from 25 to 50 years. Also to be recognized are new faculty and staff, faculty tenure and promotions, and donors who have established newly endowed professorships.
     The annual Alumni Association-sponsored picnic will immediately follow the morning’s ceremonies and will also take place in the Student Union Ballroom.


Mythbusters consultant makes physics understandable
Southeastern Physics Professor Rhett Allain is a strong advocate of sharing scientific views with the general public. He likes to break science down to a more easily understandable form.
    So the Discovery Channel’s show Mythbusters, which ended its run on TV this year, was a natural draw for him.
    In 2011, the hosts of Mythbusters – special effects specialists Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman – tried to include a scientific explanation on auto collisions for one of their episodes. Some errors in that episode caught Allain’s attention.
    Allain criticized the segment in a blog post; the producers and hosts read the blog, then got in touch with him about serving as a physics adviser.
    “They have had science advisers in the past, but not one specifically focused on physics,” explained Allain, who worked on approximately 20 episodes. “My job was to take something complicated and make it short and easy to understand. They generally accepted my explanations, and I also helped select some of the myths to be featured.”
    Allain generally worked with the producers, but has met the hosts via Skype. Among his favorite episodes are the floating lead balloon, the train tanker collapse, and the analysis of the classic question “will a bullet fired from a gun hit the ground at the same time as one that is dropped?”
    “Neither host is a scientist; they both come from a movie special effects background,” he said. “That’s what makes the show appealing. These are just normal guys, not scientists, who are willing to tackle various questions. Basically they do science fair projects, but on a much larger scale. There’s value there because it does get people excited about science.”
    Allain takes his excitement about science into his classrooms and labs. Christina Klein, a junior from Ponchatoula, La., said his approach to teaching physics made the class fun and interesting.
    “It was a class period that ran longer than most, but he made it so enjoyable that the time really flew by,” she said. “As a childhood education major, I learned how to teach some complex material in a way that’s understandable. It was something that I was able to experience first-hand that I can definitely use when I have my own classroom one day.”
    Allain makes his own efforts to get others thinking about science. In addition to his blog, he writes a regular column for Wired Magazine and for their online website. He is also the author of several books, including Just Enough Physics, which goes over the basic science in a first semester college or high school physics course; Geek Physics – Surprising Answers to the Planet’s Most Interesting Questions, which draws questions from movies, TV shows and viral videos; and the National Geographic book Angry Birds Furious Forces: The Physics at Play in the World’s Most Popular Game.
    For Superbowl 50 earlier this year, he was asked to pen an article for Sports Illustrated that examined the physics behind the building of a “better” football. While the game itself has undergone changes over the years, he said, the football itself has changed little.
    In his article, Allain explained the physics involved in changing the shape of the football: could it be thrown further or with greater velocity and what impact would it have on the game?
    The online piece was turned into a video by Sports Illustrated for use on its website. Filming was conducted at Southeastern using several SLU players, including one of Allain’s own students. The article and accompanying video can be found at
    Is Allain concerned he will ever run out of questions?
    “My ideas just come from being alive. I see stuff all the time that can relate to physics in some way,” he said. “Sometimes this will come from a movie I’ve seen or a cool YouTube video. Other times, I find stuff just in everyday life, like looking at the differing prices of LEGO pieces or wondering why different batteries cost different amounts. I take lots of pictures of stuff – you never know when you’re going to need them; and I keep a list of blog ideas which come faster than I can write about them. So I have a huge list of ideas that I can always do.”
    Allain didn’t always want to be a teacher. “I wanted to be a super-cool physicist. But once I ended up teaching labs in graduate school, I was hooked. Teaching and learning physics attracted me in a way that made it more interesting than playing video games.”

Sports Illustrated shoot

APPLYING PHYSICS TO FOOTBALL –Southeastern Associate Professor of Physics Rhett Allain observes as a Sports Illustrated cameraman films Lion running back Rasheed Harrell for a video that ran on the magazine’s website. In the video, Allain reviewed the impact that changing the shape of the football could have on the game.

SBDC presents at conference

SBDC asked to present at conference for millennial workers
The Louisiana Small Business Development Center and the American Small Business Development Center hosted a new conference aimed at offering professional development training and retaining millennial employees.
     The first Maximizing Millennial Minds Conference took place June 8 - 9 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in New Orleans. Millennials, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, are now the U.S. workforce’s largest generation.  
     Southeastern’s SBDC was asked to participate and share their best practices with regard to consulting and training and the center’s culture.
     The session was designed to help attendees better understand how to deal with millennial clients, and offer innovative tools and resources to make the counseling process easier and more efficient. The session was presented to other SBDCs from around the country.

SBDC PRESENTS AT CONFERENCE - Members of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern who recently presented at the Maximizing Millennial Minds Conference are, from left, Senior Business Consultant Wayne Ricks, Assistant Director Sandy Summers, Director William Joubert, and Business Consultant Brandy Boudreaux.

Yuan receives sponsorship

Yuan receives donation to attend conference 
Lu Yuan, right, interim head of the Department of Computer Science and Industrial Technology, accepts a $1,000 donation from Connie Fabre, executive director of the Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance (GBRIA), to enable him to attend the American Society of Safety Engineers’ professional development conference in Atlanta in June.
     Yuan will organize the ASSE’s Academic Forum. The donation will also be used toward the OSH&E Spring 2016 graduation ceremony, where the graduating seniors received the GSP (Graduate Safety Practitioner) designations from BCSP (Board of Certified Safety Professionals).
     “This is the fifth year in a row that GBRIA has provided the financial support to the OSH&E program. GBRIA has been continually offering advice, help and support to the OSH&E program since the program started,” Yuan said. “Attending the conference will provide a great opportunity to publicize our program and promote professional development of the program faculty. The OSH&E graduation ceremony provides a great opportunity to celebrate the OSH&E students’ maturation from student to professional. As always, we appreciate GBRIA’s generosity very much.”

Changes in the Division of Academic Affairs
Please make note of some recent changes in the Division of Academic Affairs.
     Dr. Lucia Harrison is the new director for International Initiatives.  She is currently a professor and head of the Department of Languages and Communication. Dr. Harrison is an international educator who has been actively involved in study-abroad programs and other international initiatives. Dr. Harrison may be contacted at 549-2135.
     Dr. Claire Procopio is the new director of the Honors Program.  She is currently the undergraduate coordinator for the Department of Languages and Communication and the Elizabeth Weeks Jones Endowed Professor for the Humanities. Dr. Procopio has experience in honors from both the faculty and student side. Dr. Procopio may be contacted at 549-2135.
     Dr. Nena Tucker is the interim director of the Center for Faculty Excellence.  Dr. Tucker is an assistant professor of nursing and has previous experience in both faculty development and distance education. Dr. Tucker may be contacted at 549-5791.

Student receives scholarship

Southeastern student awarded scholarship to attend journalism convention
Danita Winfrey, a Southeastern communication major from Baton Rouge, has received a scholarship from the Baton Rouge Area Association of Black Journalists (BRAABJ).
     The organization recently awarded four scholarships to area college students, including Winfrey, to attend the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Convention and Career Fair in Washington, D.C., in August.
     The scholarships will cover the convention registration, airfare and hotel, for a total of more than $5,000.
     “We are so excited to once again give aspiring student journalists an opportunity to attend the NABJ convention and meet journalists from across the country who can help guide them in their careers,” said BRAABJ Founder and President Michelle McCalope. “The experience is life changing.”
     As part of the convention, students will have an opportunity to meet professional journalists and potential employers from across the country and attend numerous professional workshops. NABJ will host the convention, along with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. It will be held from Aug. 3 to Aug. 7.
     “It is truly a blessing to receive this scholarship,” Winfrey said.  “It feels great that the work I’m putting in is starting to pay off.  I’m excited to see what the convention has in store for me.”
     The scholarships are funded by money raised at the BRAABJ Fourth Annual Scholarship Luncheon, which was held in April. BRAABJ has awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships and sent seven students and two media professionals to the NABJ convention in 2014 and 2015.  
     BRAABJ was founded in 2012. Its mission is to promote and support journalists of color and mentor and provide scholarships to aspiring student journalists.  


Action News
SLU Sustainability Center earns award from USGBC Louisiana
BR Advocate
Southeastern’s ambassador for physics explains science in everyday life

Top graduates lauded at Southeastern ceremony

Hammond student earns Southeastern Dean’s Award

SLU’s Phi Kappa Phi holds induction ceremony

Hammond Daily Star
New features return to Columbia Theatre

SLU Sustainability Center earns award



C. Roy Blackwood (Fine and Performing Arts/Columbia Theatre/Fanfare) served as a grants review panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts during the 2015/16 grants season.
     William B. Robison (History and Political Science) presented “‘The British (Maybe) Are Coming:’ England and the United States as Old Enemies and New Friends Midcentury;” Chase Tomlin (Spring 2016 Southeastern MA History graduate) presented “To the Halls of Montezuma from the Shores of the Mississippi: Louisiana and the Mexican War;” Ann Trappey and Dana Morrison (Southeastern’s Teaching American History program) presented “Heads Up, Hands-on, and Hand-outs: Talking (and Taking) American Continentalism into Your Classroom with Articles and Primary Documents;” and Charles Elliott (History and Political Science) presented “‘There Can Be No Binding Oaths Between Men and Lions:’ The Mexican War’s Manifest Destiny in American Continentalism” at the J.Y. Sanders Foundation-funded 16th Annual A+PEL (Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana) American Studies Conference From Chalmette to Chapultepec: (Re)Considering American Continentalism in the Age of Old and Young Hickory (1815-1848) held in Baton Rouge June 10.

     Dr. Cindy Elliott (Teaching and Learning), Tresa Webre, assistant superintendent from St. Charles Parish and Theresa Hamilton, chief academic officer from Tangipahoa Parish Schools, presented at the Louisiana Department of Education’s Teacher Leader Summit on June 2, in New Orleans, where over 4,000 teachers and administrative leaders convened  to engage in professional learning. They shared information about their collaborative teacher preparation work with the residency programs being offered to student teachers for the 2016-2017 academic year. The presentation “Classrooms are Where Teacher Candidates Learn to Teach” also highlighted program innovations associated with the COE’s participation in the US PREP grant and lessons learned from the three-year collaboration with St. Charles Parish.
     Philip Schuessler (Music) was recently selected by The Cello Loft’s International Call for Scores to write a new work for cello and percussion to premiere in 2017. Schuessler’s composition “Glass Abattoir” for percussion trio was recently performed at the Fischoff Competition at the University of Notre Dame by the Lineage Percussion Trio. The performance was seen by an audience of over 6,000 people from 36 countries. Schuessler’s compositions have also recently been performed at the Queens New Music Festival in Queens, N.Y., and the New Music on the Bayou Festival in Monroe, La.


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