Southeastern professor receives international award
Southeastern Professor of Health & Human Sciences and Scholar in Residence Nina Simmons-Mackie
was honored recently as the first American to receive the Robin Tavistock Award from
the Tavistock Trust for Aphasia in Britain.
The award is named after the 14th Duke of Bedford who founded the TTA after suffering
a brain hemorrhage in 1988 that left him with aphasia, a complex communication difficulty
caused by stroke, tumor or injury to the language areas of the brain.
The award is presented annually to a group or individual who is inspirational
and has made a significant contribution to the field of aphasia.
“Nina is known for her quiet yet authoritative leadership, her strategic research
and a gift for being able to go directly to the heart of a problem and apply her unerring
wisdom. This is coupled with warmth and kindness, as well as a keen sense of humor,”
said Nicole Campbell of the TTA. “It is for her outstanding contribution to the world
of aphasia that Professor Nina Simmons-Mackie is being honored and is the first ever
recipient of the Robin Tavistock Award from the United States.”
Simmons-Mackie has served in Southeastern’s communication sciences and disorders
program since 1995, where she teaches graduate level courses in adult aphasia, discourse
and conversation, and neuropathologies of communication, as well as conducting independent
She has worked in clinical services at Tulane School of Medicine Speech Pathology
Department, the Louisiana Rehabilitation Institute and Touro Infirmary in New Orleans.
She has also played an important role in a number of organizations, such as the National
Aphasia Association, the Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences,
and Aphasia Access, an organization that she helped create.
Simmons-Mackie’s previous awards include being named to the VA Speech Language Pathology
Hall of Fame, the Charity Hospital Outstanding Professional Award, the Outstanding
Volunteer Award and Leadership Award from the American Heart Association, and the
Audrey Holland Speak Up Award.
A resident of Abita Springs, she has received degrees from LSU and Tulane University.
INTERNATIONAL ACCOLADES - Southeastern Professor of Health & Human Sciences and Scholar in Residence Nina
Simmons-Mackie, right, was honored recently as the first American to receive the Robin
Tavistock Award from the Tavistock Trust for Aphasia in Britain. She was recognized
for her significant contribution to the field of aphasia, a complex communication
difficulty caused by stroke, tumor or injury to the language areas of the brain. Presenting
her the award is Henrietta, Duchess of Bedford.
(Photo credit: Nicole Campbell, Tavistock Trust for Aphasia)
Southeastern Alumni Association launches networking platform
The Southeastern Alumni Association has officially launched a networking platform
to help Southeastern alumni connect with each other. Called Southeastern Connect,
the network helps members connect, give back, expand and get ahead, said Executive
Director of Alumni Relations Michelle Biggs.
“Southeastern Connect is an online community that will allow our alumni to connect
with each other and offer/find mentorships, internships, and jobs,” said Biggs. “Alumni
register on the site, set up a profile, and can indicate that they are willing to
help in a variety of ways.”
Biggs said alumni can elect to offer career advice, review resumes, conduct mock
interviews, be guest speakers, offer internships or offer one-on-one mentoring.
The site offers users the ability to post and/or search for jobs and connect
with others in groups, such as alumni association chapters, fraternity/sorority alumni,
and industry specific groups. There is also an event feature, Biggs said, where alumni
can obtain information on chapter events and share photographs and updates on their
“This is just the first step in expanded programming that will focus on meaningful
engagement and career development offerings for our Southeastern alumni,” Biggs said.
“Be one of the first to join Southeastern Connect – it takes less than two minutes.
Help us grow Southeastern Connect into a dynamic social network for the entire Lion
To join Southeastern Connect go to www.southeasternconnect.org. For more information, contact the Alumni Association at 549-2150.
Southeastern Channel news reporter receives LAB Scholarship
A student news anchor-reporter at the Southeastern Channel has been named winner of
the prestigious 2018 Louisiana Association of Broadcasters Student Scholarship.
Amanda Kitch, a Southeastern junior from Mandeville, was selected among all college
television and radio students in Louisiana to receive the $4,000 scholarship at the
LAB’s annual Prestige Awards luncheon recently. It marks the fourth time in the past
five years that a Southeastern student has won the LAB scholarship.
Kitch credits the Southeastern Channel for providing her with real-world experience
“I think I was awarded the scholarship because of my opportunities at the Southeastern
Channel,” Kitch said. “It’s my workshop and is similar to an artist’s studio, a place
to create. I use this workshop to push myself and strengthen my skills and talents,
and I’m lucky to have the mentors, resources and equipment available.”
As a news anchor, reporter and producer for the Southeastern Channel’s student
newscast, “Northshore News,” Kitch has already won first place in the nation for Best
News Reporting given last fall by College Broadcasters, Inc. at the National Student
Production Awards. She’s also won Associated Press College Broadcasters awards for
“Best of Show in Television,” “Best TV Reporting,” and “Best TV News Story” in Louisiana
In addition, Kitch won first-place “Mark of Excellence” honors from the Society
of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and “Best of South” recognition from the Southeast
Journalism Conference (SEJC), made up of all universities in Louisiana, Mississippi,
Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida and North Carolina.
Southeastern chapter of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity named a top ten chapter
Epsilon Phi Chapter of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity at Southeastern is the recipient
of the prestigious Hugh Shields Flag, given to the top ten chapters across the United
The Hugh Shields flag is the highest award that the fraternity can bestow upon
a chapter and is based on overall performance and programming in the areas of academics,
finances, recruitment, membership education, operations, campus leadership, service
and alumni relations.
The award marks the 18th time the chapter has been named among the fraternity’s
top 10. Member Matt Graham was also recognized for his service as IFC President on
The awards were presented at the fraternity’s annual Southern Division Conference,
held in Charlotte, N.C., earlier this year, and capped another impressive year for
the members of Epsilon Phi. The chapter’s cumulative GPA for fall 2016 was 3.130,
and they achieved the same cumulative GPA for spring 2017.
The chapter conducted a number of community service projects during 2017, including
numerous charitable causes such as MADD Dash, the Hammond Police Union Ball, the Tangi
Humane Society, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the fraternity’s national
philanthropy. Campus service included work at the Southeastern Laboratory School and
“This Southern Division Conference was efficient and effective in better preparing
me for the coming year as President. The Conference left me, and the rest of our chapter,
feeling renewed and ready to go,” said Chapter President Griffin Hakenjos. “We are
looking forward to our annual JDRF clay shoot on Sept. 29, when we will be looking
to exceed last year’s dollars raised.”
Southeastern Health Education and Promotion program ranked best in state
Southeastern’s Health Education and Promotion program has been ranked as the best
program in the state by Universities.com.
Each school’s ranking is based on the compilation of data from government sources,
student surveys, college graduate interviews and editorial reviews.
“I am very proud of the accomplishments of the faculty and students in this degree
program,” said Ann Carruth, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. “This
unique program teaches methods needed to help people make healthy behavior changes
by addressing knowledge, attitudes, skills, and beliefs in various settings. Being
ranked No. 1 demonstrates our commitment to excellence and meeting the needs of our
The purpose of the Health Education and Promotion program is to prepare students
to work in the field of public health, Carruth added. Students in the program have
an opportunity to work with nationally known faculty, participate in student research,
and travel to professional conferences. Graduates of the program receive the prerequisite
knowledge and skills necessary to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist
The program averages 60 enrolled students and 20 graduates each year.
Southeastern student awarded counseling fellowship from NBCC and affiliates
Southeastern counseling student Leah N. Stone of Baton Rouge was selected by the NBCC
Foundation, an affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors, as recipient
of the group’s Minority Fellowship Program-Youth.
As an NBCC MFP-Y Fellow, Stone will receive funding and training to support her
education and facilitate her service to underserved minority populations with a specific
focus on transition age youth, ages 16–25.
“The counseling faculty members are very excited that Leah took the initiative
to apply for this scholarship,” said Assistant Professor of Counseling Reshelle Marino.
“Her dedication to professional development beyond the classroom is exemplary. We
encourage all students to seek out these opportunities.”
The NBCC MFP will distribute $8,000 to Stone and the 29 other master’s-level
counseling students selected to receive the fellowship award. Stone is both a student
and graduate of Southeastern, where she is pursuing a master’s degree in clinical
mental health counseling.
Stone plans to serve marginalized transition-age minority youth within urban
areas that are often underserved. The fellowship will help her obtain training through
conferences that allow her to gain awareness, knowledge, and skills necessary to develop
her professional identity and multicultural competence.
The NBCC MFP-Y is made possible by a grant awarded to NBCC by the Substance Abuse
and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in September 2014. The Foundation
is contracted by NBCC to administer the NBCC MFP-Y, as well as training and collaboration
activities, such as webinars, that are open to all National Certified Counselors (NCCs).
The goal of the program is to reduce health disparities and improve behavioral health
care outcomes for racially and ethnically diverse populations by increasing the available
number of culturally competent behavioral health professionals.
The Lion's Roar honored with first-place award
Southeastern’s student newspaper The Lion’s Roar has been recognized with a first-place
award in the 2018 American Scholastic Press Association’s newspaper competition in
The newspaper earned 895 total points out of a possible 1,000 in the competition
and was noted by judges as “an excellent school newspaper which shows the creativity
and journalistic knowledge of your editors, reporters, writers, photographers, layout/graphics
designers, advertising/sales managers and advisor.”
“I am extremely proud of the dedication and effort our students put into each
article published,” said Dr. Lee E. Lind, director of Student Publications. “On Southeastern’s
campus the newspaper is the chronicle of our daily lives, an important channel for
community discussion and information, and the learning laboratory for the development
of superior journalistic skills. This recognition from the ASPA is an indicator of
the success Southeastern students have achieved in those areas.”
The Lion’s Roar publishes between 28 and 32 print issues per year and is augmented
by daily updates and online content at www.lionsroarnews.com. The ASPA annual contest is also a review of publication quality, and The Lion’s
Roar received a perfect score in the category of page design.
Editor-in-Chief Larshell Green, a senior communications major from Hammond, leads
the staff of student reporters.
“I am impressed and grateful for the honors that the staff and I have received
for our work associated with The Lion’s Roar,” said Green. “With each assignment or
task completed, I witnessed an expansion in the staff’s confidence and skills in creativity,
journalism, photography, editing and communication. I couldn’t be more proud of the
work that we have created together as a professional family. The legacy of the work
that we have created will surpass our collegiate careers and leave a lasting imprint
on the hearts of our readers.”
The American Scholastic Press Association competition judges approximately 2,000
yearbooks, newspapers, and magazines annually from high schools, colleges, and universities
across the nation. The competition is in its 38th continuous year of operation.
Southeastern holds Fine Arts Showcase
Art enthusiasts Robin and John Roberson study artist Melodie Reay’s porcelain work
titled “The Permanent Way” at Southeastern’s Fine Arts Showcase held recently in the
President’s Residence. The annual event highlights painting, sculpture and photography
from over 40 Louisiana artists.
Community Music School names outstanding musicians
Southeastern’s Community Music School announced Michael Noble-Hodge, Kelsey Jones,
Ava Chatellier and Ellie Ridgell as the Spring 2018 CMS Outstanding Musicians.
The Outstanding Musicians were chosen by audience votes during the final three
spring 2018 recitals, said Community Music School Director Jivka Duke. Noble-Hodge
won the vote for the Tuesday, May 8 recital, Jones had the highest number of votes
from the recital on May 9, and Chatellier and Ridgell split the vote on the Friday,
May 11 recital.
“We congratulate our Spring 18 CMS Outstanding Musicians. We look forward to
their showcase concert scheduled for Sept. 15 at 1 p.m. in the Hammond branch of the
Tangipahoa Parish Library,” Duke said. “We have big hopes and dreams for our students,
and we love to share their accomplishments with the community.”
Noble-Hodge is a 17-year-old jazz pianist from Ponchatoula. He has been playing
piano since the fifth grade and also plays the trombone and melodica. He has been
a part of the Talented Music program for the past three years and is currently studying
jazz. Under the Talented Music program, he has competed and received all superior
scores at the Bill Evans Jazz Festival and the Loyola Jazz Festival. In addition to
a nearly perfect score at Loyola Jazz Festival, Noble-Hodge was also awarded an Outstanding
Soloist award at the competition.
Ridgell lives in Denham Springs and is a fourth-grader at North Live Oak Elementary.
She has been taking violin lessons at the Community Music School for three years.
Ridgell is also a chorale member in the Livingston Parish Children’s Choir. In addition
to her love for music, she likes designing dresses and reading, Duke said. Ridgell
loves all the animals she has on her farm - goats, chickens, ducks, and dogs - and
enjoys eating fresh honey from her beehives.
Chatellier is from Ponchatoula. She is home-schooled and currently in the fourth
grade. She has been playing the piano for one and a half years and likes to play softball
in the spring and volleyball in the fall. She has a love for all animals, Duke said.
Jones is from Albany. She is homeschooled, and her favorite subject is math.
Jones has been playing violin for two and a half years. She also enjoys playing the
piano, drawing and exercising.
“We are looking forward to the summer semester taking place from June 11 to July
26 and our summer programs taking place the last two weeks of June,” Duke added. “The
Summer Band Camp, the Guitar and Orchestra workshops are still accepting registrations.”
For more information about CMS summer programs and general registration, call
549-5502, or visit the CMS website at www.southeastern.edu/cms.