Finance team wins competition

Sustainability Center earns award
Foundation supports academics

History faculty teach at conference

Kirylo pens book on teaching

Student-produced piece wins Emmy
Registration open for Camp Rec

Grad app deadline June15

Southeastern in the News
This Week in Athletics
Professional Activities



Finance teamSoutheastern finance team named winner in national Community Bank Case Study competition
A team of finance students at Southeastern has won the national Community Bank Case Study competition conducted by the Washington, D.C.-based Conference of State Bank Supervisors, a nationwide organization of banking regulators from all states and U.S. territories.
     The team of four Southeastern undergraduate students worked cooperatively with Hammond-based First Guaranty Bank in one of Southeastern’s newest Real-World Ready courses, a campus-wide initiative to incorporate more hands-on, experiential learning into students’ curriculum.
     “Congratulations to the Southeastern students for their competition win,” said Michael L. Stevens, CSBS senior executive vice president. “Each of the case studies tells us a valuable story about a real community bank and its impact on small businesses and their local community.”
     The competition encouraged students to explore community banking by partnering student teams with local banks to conduct original case studies, explained Danielle Lewis, associate professor of finance who served as faculty adviser for the team. The goal of the competition, she said, was to build a fundamental understanding of the community banking business, something few undergraduate students would gain through their regular course work.
     “We are extremely pleased that our team won this national honor,” said Antoinette Phillips, interim dean of the College of Business. “It is recognition of the dedication and high quality of our students, as well as the mentoring expertise of our faculty.”
     Lewis said she selected an “all-star” team of finance students who have distinguished themselves as outstanding students and leaders.
     The team included seniors Nicholas Byrd of Denham Springs, Tarez Arceneaux Cowsar of Springfield, Joseph Edwards of Monroe, and Andrea Villarreal of Mexico. Edwards and Villarreal both graduated from Southeastern in May and were each awarded the President’s Medal for Academic Excellence for maintaining perfect 4.0 grade point averages in their studies. Each of the students will receive a $1,000 scholarship and the opportunity to present their case study at the annual CSBS-Federal Reserve Community Bank Research and Policy Conference in the fall. Their paper will also be published in a special journal featuring the case studies.
     “This was a great opportunity for undergraduates to gain first-hand knowledge of the banking industry,” Lewis said. “The students learned to sharpen their research, analytical skills, problem solving and to enhance their communication skills.”
     First Guaranty Bank was pleased to partner with Southeastern on the project, said Vice President and Chief Credit Officer Randy S. Vicknair. Two of the students – one an employee at the bank and the other an intern – approached Vicknair along with Lewis to discuss the bank’s participation. Lewis said the bank was receptive to the idea.
     “We’re a community bank, and we pride ourselves in being a good community partner. After running the idea past the bank’s leadership, we had no reluctance in working with the group,” Vicknair said. “Our primary concern was maintaining confidentiality, which did not turn into a problem since we were providing very general banking data and industry-specific information.”
     “If it were not for FGB’s willingness to be transparent with data, we could not have worked on so many quantitative models,” Lewis added.  “The loan level data made all the difference in our report.”
     Twenty-three teams from across the country participated, and the Southeastern team was the only one from Louisiana.
     Lewis explained that the students divided the work among themselves, each carrying the responsibility of certain tasks. Often they worked in pairs in order to utilize checks and balances.
     “They took their roles very seriously,” she explained “They met frequently, in person and via email, to ensure all were on the same page and progressing toward the deadline they faced.”
     The competition required the students to address three areas: an assessment of the impact of the institution’s small business lending efforts on the community, an analysis of how the bank’s small business lending affects financial performance, and an evaluation of the institution’s management of small business lending. They were required to prepare a 25-page report and to submit a 10-minute video highlighting the team’s case study findings.
     The students look back on their experience and see the valuable opportunity they had to advance their knowledge of finance and how a community bank works.
     “I gained valuable banking analytical skills that I otherwise would not have received in my finance curriculum,” said Cowsar. “We weren’t running a simulated business or working to pass a test. To us, FGB was our client, and we needed to provide them with a solid project. We put our hearts into the work.”
     Villarreal’s job focused on helping to develop the economic impact study, working on the statistical part of the project, reviewing and editing the final paper and developing the graphs and footnotes that were an integral part of the product.
     Edwards served as one of the main writers of the paper and conducted some of the interviews with bank professionals included in the study. “These men were so knowledgeable, and we all learned so much just from being around them,” he said. “I learned new research methods that will make me a better student and job candidate moving forward.”
     Developing the video that complemented the paper was the primary job of Byrd, who filmed the interviews and found video clips from other sources.
     “I learned how working with a team on such a project requires efficiency and communication,” said Byrd. “We would present our findings to each other and challenge each other’s work to make sure we got it right. I probably learned the most from the time spent working with my teammates.”
     “The students were impressive; they did an excellent analysis with targeted questions that demonstrated a good understanding of banking,” Vicknair said. “The final document was absolutely helpful to the bank, showing that First Guaranty had an approximate $1 billion dollar economic impact from our 21 branches located in multiple areas throughout Louisiana.”    
     All of the students expressed appreciation to their instructor Lewis: “She spent many hours and late nights giving us guidance and teaching us,” Byrd said. “Dr. Lewis was amazing,” added Cowsar. “She communicated with us frequently to make sure we were moving in the right direction. We are so thankful for her support.”


SOUTHEASTERN FINANCE STUDENTS WIN NATIONAL COMPETITION - Southeastern finance students teamed up with First Guaranty Bank and won the national Community Banking Case Study competition, which pitted them against 23 other universities in the nation. Pictured are, front row, from left, student Joseph Edwards, FGB Chief Credit Officer Randy Vicknair, and Chief Financial Officer Eric Dosch; second row, from left, FGB Chief Executive Officer Alton Lewis, students Andrea Villarreal, Nick Byrd, Tarez Cowsar, and Southeastern Faculty Adviser Danielle Lewis.

Southeastern Sustainability Center earns award from USGBC Louisiana
The Southeastern Sustainability Center has been awarded the Operational Excellence Champion Award by the Louisiana Chapter of U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC Louisiana).
     Director of the Southeastern Physical Plant Byron Patterson accepted the award on behalf of his team for its efforts to make the campus as energy efficient as possible.
     USGBC is a nonprofit organization that houses Green Business Certification Inc., the only group to administer project certifications and professional credentials and certificates within the framework of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Green Building Rating System. LEED designation is the international standard for environmentally sound buildings.
     The USGBC cited the Southeastern team for implementing energy efficient technologies that are saving energy and money for the university.
     “Byron Patterson and his team at Southeastern are dedicated to consistently improving campus facilities, creatively engaging stakeholders and enthusiastically sharing their expertise and sustainability knowledge with students, the regional community and beyond,” said Shannon Stage, executive director of USGBC Louisiana. “They have established a standard of energy efficiency that universities around the state are trying to emulate. The Sustainability Center on Southeastern’s campus is a teaching tool unlike any other in our area.”
     The university instituted the Sustainability Center in order to save operating dollars and reduce waste going to landfills, while at the same time providing an invaluable learning component for students involved in energy, mechanical and construction engineering technology.
     “Budget cuts over the last several years forced us to think in terms of economics,” said Patterson. “With the strong financial support of our Student Government Association, we’ve started initiatives that have reduced commercial energy dependence and have had a significant return on our investment.”
     Among the elements of the Sustainability Center are solar panels on a number of university buildings that generate hot water, as well as electricity; a strong recycling program designed to reduce waste going to landfills by 80 percent; a tree and plant farm, in which the university cultivates its own plants and trees for landscaping on campus; a composting area that converts landscape waste into useable mulch and compost; and rainwater retention ponds that provide irrigation for plants and support a geothermal system for one of the center’s technology-rich classrooms.
     The Environmental Education Development Outreach within the Sustainability Center, which is under consideration for LEED certification, was designed by engineering technology students for use in research, education and other educational activities. The room includes numerous monitoring tools constructed by students to determine performance of the solar panels, wind turbine, and geothermal system.
     “The center provides our students with a hands-on, real-world learning environment and research opportunities,” explained Lu Yuan, interim head of the Department of Computer Science and Industrial Technology. “With several types of energy technologies, our students have the ability to make adjustments to these devices and observe in real time how the energy output is affected. It’s a proving ground to help determine what works best and can be implemented to save energy costs.”

Sustainability award 
SUSTAINABILITY LEADERSHIP AWARD TO SOUTHEASTERN – Members of Southeastern Physical Plant staff display the Operational Excellence Champion Award presented by the Louisiana Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council for the university’s Sustainability Center. Pictured are, from left, Physical Plant Director Byron Patterson; Carlos Doolittle, manager of grounds, landscape and recycling; Assistant Director Mark Whitmar; and Associate Director Chris Aspiron.


Southeastern Channel student-produced news feature wins Emmy award
For the fourth straight year, a Southeastern student-produced piece for the Southeastern Channel has won a coveted Emmy award.
     “Twin Spans Rebuilt,” a feature story by Brittany Robinson of Slidell, won the Emmy in the “Writing” category presented by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The story was recognized in the NATAS Suncoast Region, which is comprised of universities, television stations and production entities in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Puerto Rico.
     “Twin Spans Rebuilt” covers the massive Hurricane Katrina destruction of the Interstate 10 twin span bridges between New Orleans and Slidell in August 2005. The story shows how rebuilding the twin spans with a new design led to the reopening of the new $803 million bridge in September 2011.
     Robinson wrote and produced the story for the Southeastern Channel’s news magazine show, “Southeastern Times,” to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of Katrina. She used the bridge rebuilding as a metaphor for the resiliency of Louisiana citizens impacted by the storm.
     She composed the story as part of a television news magazine production class taught by Cheryl Settoon in the Electronic Media Concentration of Southeastern’s Department of Languages and Communication.
     “It’s surreal,” Robinson said.  “I keep pinching myself because it feels like I’m in a dream, and then I realize this is real life, and I actually won an Emmy! It feels like all my hard work has finally paid off.”  
     NATAS awards an Emmy after rounds of judging against the Emmy standard of excellence, not against other productions.
     “The Emmy is the highest award that you can win in television, and Brittany’s creative writing style and production talent have carved a compelling, moving and impactful story well worthy of this highest recognition,” said Southeastern Channel General Manager Rick Settoon. “We’re thrilled for Brittany and that our television and film students continue to be honored at the highest level.”
     Robinson extensively researched archival footage and photographs from the twin span collapse, using interviews from eyewitnesses and WDSU-TV reporter Fletcher Mackel, who reported from the foundation pillars days after the bridge plunged into Lake Pontchartrain.  
     “I feel that I was able to win in the writing category because I was a native of New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit, and I understood first-hand how the people of New Orleans felt during the disaster,” Robinson said. “With the story hitting so close to home, I think I was able to write on behalf of all New Orleanians affected. I feel that the strength of my story was the adjectives and how they made viewers feel like they were actually on the Twin Span before and after the rebuilding.
     “The Southeastern Channel has given me the tools that I need to go into the real world and be a success,” Robinson added. “The Channel has taught me to be versatile in my career.”
     In addition to the Emmy, Robinson’s story also won earlier this year “Best in the South” recognition by the Southeast Journalism Conference and a regional Mark of Excellence award given by the Society of Professional Journalists.
     Two other Southeastern Channel students won honorable mention recognitions from NATAS for their work.
     Grace Jovanovic of Slidell won an honorable mention for “Photography” for her videography work in the music video, “Stolen Dance,” and also in the “Editing” category for her editing composite.
     Dominique Brogle of Destrehan won an honorable mention for “Newscast” for the March 5, 2015 episode of the student program, “Northshore News.” Brogle is a producer, anchor and reporter for the newscast.
     The Southeastern Channel has now won 13 Emmys and received 51 Emmy nominations in the past 11 years. The channel can be seen on Charter Cable 199 throughout the North Shore. Its live 24/7 webcast and video on demand can be seen at

Emmy winning students
SOUTHEASTERN STUDENTS WIN EMMY HONORS- Southeastern Channel students were recently honored with prestigious Emmy Awards by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Suncoast Region. Pictured, from left, are Dominique Brogle of Destrehan, Southeastern Channel General Manager Rick Settoon, Brittany Robinson of Slidell, and Grace Jovanovic of Slidell.

Academic support


Southeastern Foundation presents check to support academics
The Southeastern Foundation presented a check in the amount of $85,000 to the Southeastern’s Office of the Provost to help support the university’s academic initiatives. The funds were raised through the Foundation’s annual Chefs Evening and its All In for Southeastern day of giving. Pictured, from left, are Foundation Director of Annual Giving Lauren Williams, Athletics Director Jay Artigues, Vice President for University Advancement Wendy Lauderdale, and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Tammy Bourg.

Southeastern history faculty to teach at A+PEL American Studies Conference June 10

Two members of Southeastern’s history faculty will lead the annual American Studies Conference of the Associate Professional Educators of Louisiana (A+PEL). This year’s theme is “From Chalmette to Chapultepec: (Re) Considering American Continentalism in the Age of Old and Young Hickory (1815-1848) and in Your Classroom.”
     The conference will be held Friday, June 10, at the LABI Conference Center, 3113 Valley Creek Drive in Baton Rouge. Cost to attend the conference, which is intended for elementary and secondary social studies teachers, is $25. Lunch will be provided and eight CLUs awarded. Reservations should be made as soon as possible at the website, as slots are filled on a first come, first served basis.
     The program will include presentations on “There Can Be No Binding Oaths Between Man and Lions: The Mexican War’s Manifest Destiny in American Continentalism” by Charles Elliott, Southeastern instructor of undergraduate and graduate courses in Louisiana, American Frontier, and 19th Century American History; and “The British (Maybe) are Coming: England and the United States as Old Enemies and New Friends at Mid-century” by William B. Robison, professor of history and head of the Southeastern Department of History and Political Science.
     The program will conclude with a panel discussion “Heads-ups, Hands-ons, and Hand-outs: Taking (and Talking) American Continentalism into Your Classroom with Articles and Primary Documents” led by Tangipahoa Parish School System Curriculum Supervisor Ann Trappey and Dana Morrison of the Sherwood Middle Academic School in East Baton Rouge Parish. Participating in the panel will be conference faculty, staff and attending teachers.
     Also participating is Southeastern graduate Chase Tomlin, now a doctoral candidate at LSU.
     For more information, visit the website

Southeastern professor discusses teaching vocation in new book
What does it mean to be a teacher? For Southeastern Professor of Education James Kirylo, teaching is more than just a job, it is a calling or vocation that carries with it significant responsibilities.
     In his new book, “Teaching with Purpose: An Inquiry into the Who, Why, and How We Teach,” Kirylo underscores what it means to be an insightful teacher and the critical aspects that intersect the teaching and learning process. The text, published by Rowman and Littlefield of Lanham, Md., is designed to be informative for educators, as well as policy-makers and those who have a general interest in what it takes to be a teacher.
     “Being called a teacher is an earned privilege that carries a great sense of responsibility. For five days a week and numerous months of the year, teachers work with other people’s most treasured gifts, their children,” Kirylo said. “It cannot be overstated that the teacher is the most important element in fostering an energetic, engaging and inspiring classroom environment where authentic learning can take place,” he added.
     Kirylo further points out that teachers must have what he describes as five components of knowledge, which include knowledge of students, subject matter, pedagogy, learning and classroom management. Moreover, he underscores the point that all teachers should possess what Kirylo characterizes as six dispositions of significance, comprised of love, faith, home, humility, compassion and persistence.
     He said education is about relationships and working with human beings on their dreams, goals and inspirations.
     “Teachers teach children, not a discipline or subject matter. The chief task of a teacher is to inspire, to ignite in the student an aspiration toward accomplishment,” said Kirylo, who has earned one of Southeastern’s highest honors, the President’s Award for Excellence.
     Kirylo also urges teachers to know the politics of education. It’s important, he said, to be well informed about the political climate and process.
     The book is receiving excellent reviews from fellow educators.
     “In this time of teacher-bashing, James Kirylo’s book offers new hope,” says City College of New York Professor of Psychology William Crain. “Kirylo describes teaching as the development of basic human virtues, including self-understanding, caring relationships, the ability to inspire and attention to those most in need.”
     “James Kirylo skillfully reminds us of what constitutes as purposeful teaching at a time when test taking seems to be valued over teaching students to become life-long learners,” wrote Vidya Thirumurthy, associate professor of education at Pacific Lutheran University. “He pithily articulates the major principles that all teachers must bear in mind: that the rectitude of teaching depends much on the teacher’s disposition and ability to reflect, to build relationships with students, to hone every child’s natural talent and gifts so they may attain their full potential.”
     “Teaching with Purpose” is available through the publisher and Amazon.

Registration open for Southeastern's Rec Sports and Wellness summer camps
Southeastern's Department of Recreational Sports and Wellness is offering several summer activities for kids this summer, with everything from week long summer camps to swimming lessons.
     Created for children ages 5 to 13, “Camp Rec” is an option for parents who want their children to have fun and stay physically active while developing social skills, confidence and independence.
     Camp Rec is offered weekly through July 29. Scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, Camp Rec will have a variety of activities planned throughout the summer and will take place in the Pennington Student Activity Center, located at the corner of University Avenue and General Pershing Avenue.
     Dollie Hebert-Crouch, director of Recreational Sports and Wellness, said each week’s focus is intended to improve a child’s health and fitness and build self-confidence through activities that include outdoor adventures, field day games, arts and crafts, health and fitness talks, relay races, swimming, and field trips. New to Camp Rec this year are culinary and robotics activities.
    “We are committed to creating an unforgettable summer camp experience in a safe and supportive environment,” said Hebert-Crouch. “The Camp Rec experience is fun, exciting and filled with challenging activities that teach the campers the values of trust, friendship and teamwork.”
    Field trips planned for this year’s camps are as follows: June 6 – 10, Yogi Bear Park; June 13 – 17, Hammond Fire Department, Hammond Police Department and Water Day; June 20 – 14: AMC Theaters to see “Finding Dory;” June 27 - July 1, Aquarium of the Americas; July 5 – 8, Louisiana Arts and Science Museum; July 11 – 15, Hammond Regional Airport and Water Day; July 18 – 22, Bowling and Water Day; and July 25 – 29, Elevation Station.
    The weekly fee of $145 for campers and $140 for siblings includes breakfast and snacks each day, as well as a Camp Rec t-shirt. Weekly field trips are also included in the camp fee. Early drop off at 7 a.m. and late pickup, from 4 - 5:45 p.m. is $30 per camper for the week for both or $15 for either early drop off or late pickup. Registration for Camp Rec is $50 per family and is waived for Pennington Student Activity Center members.
    In addition to Camp Rec, Recreational Sports and Wellness is also offering a Judo camp and swimming lessons this summer. Swimming lessons are offered Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 to 12:45 p.m. at the Kinesiology Building pool. The fee is $60 per week for Camp Rec campers and $75 per week for non-campers.
    The Judo Camp is scheduled June 20 – July 1, Monday through Thursday, from 4 to 6 p.m. Cost for the two-week camp is $175.
To register, or for more information, call 549-5591.

June 15 is final day for Southeastern students to apply for summer 2016 graduation
The final day for Southeastern students to apply to graduate in summer 2016 is June 15, the university announced today.
     The graduation application and payment deadlines will be strictly enforced, university officials said.
     Candidates for associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees can apply for graduation by logging into their LeoNet campus accounts and choosing the “Self Service, Degree Progress/Graduation, Apply for Graduation” option. Instructions are available on the “Current Students” link at; then click on “Graduation Information – Apply for Graduation” or call Southeastern’s Office of the Registrar at 549-2066.
     The $25 application fee should be paid directly to the Controller’s Office, located on North Campus in the Financial Aid Building.


Action News
Southeastern confers degrees on more than 1,100 students
SLU finance team named winner in bank case study competition

Monroe News Star
Southeastern finance students win national competition

WIRED Magazine blog
New record number of physics graduates



Dr. Jean Fotie (Chemistry and Physics) took three students to the 47th Central Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (CERM 2016) in Covington, Kentucky May 18-21. These students presented two individual posters, while Dr. Fotie gave an oral presentation titled “Silver(I)-Promoted Oxidative Cross-dehydrogenative Coupling of Phenols and Aniline Derivatives.”

     Rhett Allain (Chemistry and Physics) published a book review for
two books in Nature Physics Vol 12, June 2016. The title of the review
is “An entertaining view of science.”

     David Armand (English) has been named a book reviewer for the New York Journal of Books.  

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.