Alumni honored at awards evening
Fanfare's third week announced
Ratcliff recognized with award

Homecoming Queen and King crowned

Game broadcast one of nation's best

Professional development offered
Five professors contribute to books

Southeastern in the News
This Week in Athletics
Professional Activities



Southeastern recognizes distinguished alumni, others at awards banquet
Quoting Yogi Berra, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it,” Tom Akers, retired president of trading at Metal Exchange Corporation and a 1969 and 1973 graduate of Southeastern, accepted Southeastern Louisiana University Alumni Association’s Alumnus of the Year Award on Friday night (Oct. 12).
     Akers, an internationally renowned metal and manufacturing executive, was recognized along with Joni Smith, a 7th grade science teacher, STEM educator and the 2017 Louisiana State Teacher of the Year, who was honored as the Young Alumnus of the Year. Several other alumni and volunteers were honored at the annual event.
     “In 1965, as a directionless 17 year-old child, a fork in the road led me to Hammond, La., and Southeastern,” said Akers. “After earning two degrees, armed with a strong foundation and greatly influenced by the education and experiences from Southeastern, I began my career as a determined adult.”
     Akers is also an alumnus of Harvard University Business School as a graduate of its Advanced Management Program in 1991. His areas of business expertise include management and strategic planning, marketing, operations, international trade, import/export, commodities markets, risk management, derivatives, logistics, and extensive international negotiating in Europe, South America, the Middle East, Asia and the Eastern Bloc.
     Smith graduated from Southeastern in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in general studies and has been teaching for 10 years. In addition to being named the 2017 Louisiana State Teacher of the Year, an honor that earned her special recognition at the White House during an Oval Office ceremony with U.S. President Donald Trump, she was also named the 2018 Louisianan of the Year.
     The event also included recognition of distinguished alumni from the university’s five academic colleges.
     Recognized by the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences was Brandon Fremin, a 1998 graduate in criminal justice and current U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana, where he is the chief federal law enforcement official within the nine parishes he serves.
     Owner and President of American Office Machines, Inc. John Manzella, a 1963 graduate, was honored by the College of Business. Manzella launched his business in 1970 and built it into a major regional office supply company. His company just celebrated its 48th anniversary, during which a significant number of sales and service awards were received, among them No. 1 in companies and top 10 in service with IBM and top 100 among private businesses in Louisiana for the last five years. 
     The College of Education honored Superintendent for Tangipahoa Parish School System Melissa Stilley. The first female superintendent, Stilley earned a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education in 1987, a master of education in administration in 1999, and received her plus 30 in special education in 2000 – all from Southeastern. She is also currently working on her doctorage in educational leadership from Southeastern.
     Joey Roberts, a 2012 graduate with a degree in health and physical education K-12, was recognized by the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. He is currently serving as the executive director at the YMCA – West St. Tammany and serves on the Covington City Council.
     The College of Science and Technology honored Alison Smith, a 2000 graduate with a bachelor degree in both chemistry and mathematics. Smith is the seminal chief engineer of materials analysis at the Naval Surface Warfare Center and the recipient of the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America People’s Choice Award.
     Other special awards were presented at the event including the Director’s Diamond Award to Andre Cryer, physical education teacher at O.W. Dillon Elementary School; the Kathy L. Pittman Distinguished Service Award to Dr. Joe Miller, former vice president of University Advancement; the L.E. Chandler Award for student assistance to Chris Bentley, assistant to the Athletics Director and life skills and academic liaison; and the Chapter of Excellence Award to the ROTC Alumni Chapter.
     The Association’s Friendship Oak Award was presented to Chris Broadwater, vice-president for workforce policy for the Louisiana Community and Technical College System and former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives.


Alumni of the Year



SOUTHEASTERN HONORS ALUMNI OF THE YEAR – The Southeastern Alumni Association recognized Tom Akers, retired president of trading at Metal Exchange Corporation, as its Alumnus of the Year and Joni Smith, a 7th grade science teacher, STEM educator and the 2017 Louisiana State Teacher of the Year, as the Young Alumnus of the Year. Pictured are, from left, Southeastern President John L. Crain, Akers, Smith, Alumni Association Executive Director Michelle Biggs, and Alumni Association President Beth Carney Ebberman.



Distinguished graduates 2018



COLLEGE ALUMNI HONORED – Southeastern graduates were honored with Alumni of the Year recognition by their respective colleges at Homecoming’s Alumni Awards event. Pictured, from left, are Southeastern President John L. Crain, honorees Melissa Stilley, College of Education; John Manzella, College of Business; Brandon Fremin, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Alison Smith, College of Science and Technology; Joey Roberts, College of Nursing and Health Sciences; Alumni Association Executive Director Michelle Biggs; and Alumni Association President Beth Carney Ebberman.

Music, lectures and a fashion show highlight Fanfare’s third week
A concert celebrating a musical legend, lectures and a fashion show highlight the third week of Fanfare, Southeastern’s annual fall arts festival.
     Fanfare’s third week begins Wednesday, Oct. 17, with the first of two free Then and Now Lecture presentations in Pottle Auditorium. First up is Joseph Ricci, Southeastern history major and employee of the Louisiana Civil War Museum. Ricci will present “The Beloved Chaplain – Reverend Thomas Railey Markham, D.D.,” at 1 p.m.
     “Vicksburg native and Presbyterian minister Thomas Markham witnessed critical moments in the Civil War – the fall of New Orleans, siege of Vicksburg, capture of Atlanta, and Battle of Franklin,” said Ricci. “His first-hand accounts offer the rare, personal perspective of a non-combatant. Letters to and from his family tell the tale of a dedicated minister with a lifelong devotion to the citizenry of New Orleans.”
     On Monday, Oct. 22, Claire Vaye Watkins will participate in Southeastern’s Common Read program. Common Read provides students and community members the opportunity to read selected works and then meet their contemporary author.
     Southeastern students are reading “Battleborn,” her award winning short story collection about the American West. During Watkins’ visit to campus, she will take part in three events in the Student Union Theater. The program includes student presentations from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m., a question and answer session with the author from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., and a reading, reception and book signing from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.
     Also on Oct. 22, Fanfare’s new series Your Best 10 Minutes will feature five professors who have 10 minutes to talk about anything they like. Participating in this round are Mary White of the Biology Department, Margaret Gonzalez-Perez of the History and Political Science Department, Dan Hollander of the Kinesiology Department, Kent Neuerburg of the Math Department, and Rhett Allain of the Physics Department.
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Southeastern crowns 2018 Homecoming Queen and King

2018 Homecoming Queen and KingDa Jon Beard, an early childhood education major from New Orleans, was crowned Southeastern’s Homecoming Queen, while Cedric Dent Jr., a social work major also from New Orleans, was crowned Homecoming King during halftime of the Southeastern versus Houston Baptist football game on Oct. 13.

Teaching and Learning to present professional development session
The College of Education's Department of Teaching and Learning is partnering with other educators across campus along with the student organization Cultural Connections to present a professional development session titled “Instructional, Institutional, and Sociopolitical Challenges for Multicultural Teachers” at the TEC Lecture Hall 1022 (first floor), Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 5 p.m. 
     The session will convey an anthropological perspective by integrating Lucy, representing the three million-year-old hominid skeleton discovered in 1978, into the discussion while also referencing the role of women as knowledge sharers and storytellers. 
     This session includes voices from female university educators that will discuss contemporary issues that are culturally embedded as well as vocal performances by members of Cultural Connections. Organizers said the session intends to focus on the historical and contemporary views of cultural relativism along with challenges for 21st Century teachers. Participants will be invited to listen, share, and acquire different perspectives. 

     Organizers added that the Department of Teaching and Learning recognizes the cultural complexities within teaching and learning and therefore continuously works to engage, share, and inform teacher education candidates by offering diverse professional development opportunities. 
     For more information about this event, please contact Dr. Celina Echols at or 549-3430.

Five communication professors contribute to celebrity books
Rowman & Littlefield is publishing two books on the influence and power that celebrities have over their fans featuring contributions from five Southeastern Communication professors and edited by Carol Madere, associate professor.
     In Celebrity Media Effects: The Persuasive Power of the Stars, Elizabeth Hornsby contributed “Bump Watch: The Effect of Celebrity Culture on the Dynamics of Visibility and Performance during Pregnancy.” Joe Burns contributed “Charles Manson and the Celebrity of Music.” Amber Narro contributed “The Parody, the Reality, and the Conspiracy: Face News Defined and Redefined by Celebrity.”
     In How Celebrity Lives Affect Our Own: Understanding the Impact on Americans’ Public and Private Lives, Madere contributed “’I'm Not a Doctor, But I Play One On TV’: Bad Celebrity Health Advice and Why We Follow It,” and Joe Mirando contributed the chapter “Colin Kaepernick: Civil Disobedience and Self-Sacrificial Leadership.”
     The books will look at the source and scope of influence celebrities have by exploring such incidents as copycat suicides following the deaths of celebrities to celebrity advocacy resulting in less First Amendment protection for the press. The editor states it is expected that the texts can be used in communication and sociology courses. 

Ratcliff recognized for contribution as Educational Diagnostician
Ellen Ratcliff receives awardDr. Ellen Ratcliff, center, of the Department of Teaching and Learning was recognized for her outstanding efforts in the field of education, specifically as an Educational Diagnostician.
     The Louisiana Educational Diagnosticians’ Association held its annual conference in New Orleans recently and awarded Ratcliff the Patricia McElroy Award. The award, given periodically, is awarded to government officials or individuals who contribute to the advancement and development of Educational Diagnosticians.
     Past recipients include Senator Ben Nevers, Representative Chris Leopold, Senator Gerald Long, Dr. Joyce Choate from University of Louisiana Monroe, and Dr. Jane Mangum from Northwestern State University.
     The Louisiana Educational Diagnosticians’ Association (LEDA) is a professional organization created to enhance and foster the profession of educational diagnosticians. The organization offers professional development opportunities to help diagnosticians stay current on the latest professional assessment practices and legal issues relating to student performance. Additionally, it offers opportunities for professional collaboration and outreach to promote the awareness of educational diagnostician as a profession.
     Ratcliff has been a certified educational diagnostician since January 1991. She has been a contributing member of the Department of Teaching and Learning faculty since the 1997-1998 academic year. She serves as a member of the special education faculty and as the director of student teaching.

Southeastern Channel game broadcast one of nation’s best

The live, student-produced broadcast of a Southeastern basketball game has been honored as fourth best in the nation.
     The Southeastern Channel’s production and live broadcast of the Southeastern vs. Southern University of New Orleans men’s basketball game on Dec. 14, 2017, won the Award of Excellence for student “Television Sports Event Production” at the Broadcast Education Association’s 2018 Festival of Media Arts in Las Vegas recently.
     The winning broadcast was one of 14 produced by the 15-man student crew during the past year, including Lions’ football, soccer, baseball, softball, and men’s and women’s basketball games. Plans are to add volleyball to the mix this fall. The Southeastern Channel is scheduled to produce and air the Lions’ Homecoming football game Oct. 13, along with the Hall of Fame game Oct. 20.
     The all-student production featured John Sartori of Mandeville as play-by-play announcer with Wesley Boone of Alexandria as color commentator. Dylan Domangue of Houma was the courtside reporter while Freddie Rosario of Hahnville was both director and technical director.
     Other student crew members were Andrew Scherer of New Orleans, Tyler Guidroz of Ponchatoula, Jordan Rheams of Baton Rouge, Courtney Bruno of New Orleans, Richie Solares of New Orleans, Tyler Rogers of Hammond, Alexander Castro of Hammond, Schuylar Ramsey of Springfield, Zechariah Cameron of Baton Rouge, Taylor Sharp of Walker, Blair Joseph of New Orleans and Adam Cortez of El Paso, Tex.
     “We’re one of the very few college television stations in the entire country where students are able to do play-by-play announcing, color commentating, sideline reporting and live event directing for Division One sports events,” said Southeastern Channel General Manager Rick Settoon. “So it’s an even greater honor for our students to have the quality of their work recognized by industry executives and professionals as among the very best in the nation.”
     BEA judges wrote on the entry score sheet, “This is a solid broadcast. The announcers are good, young announcers. The directing was solid. I loved the graphics; they were clean and easy to read. The game cameras did an excellent job of following the play-by-play and were framed just right for normal coverage. Overall, really nice production and very well done.”
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Wesley Boone and John SartoriFOURTH IN THE NATION- Color analyst Wesley Boone (left) of Alexandria and play-by-play man John Sartori of Mandeville were students who played a key role in the Southeastern Channel placing fourth in the nation for student “Television Sports Event Production” with an Award of Excellence given by the Broadcast Education Association at its 2018 Festival of Media Arts competition in Las Vegas recently. The channel won for its Dec. 14, 2017, men’s basketball game broadcast of Southeastern vs. Southern University of New Orleans.


Action News
Navarra appointed to North Oaks Board of Commissioners


Hammond Daily Star
‘Your Best 10 Minutes’ in the spotlight

Livingston Parish News

Southeastern Louisiana University professor earns award for book

Columbia Theatre to present folk concert with Peter Yarrow


The Southeastern football, soccer, volleyball, golf, men’s basketball, baseball and softball teams will all be in action during this week in Southeastern Athletics.
     The Lion football team (3-4, 3-2 Southland) will play its second straight game at home when it hosts Abilene Christian at 7 p.m. on Saturday in Strawberry Stadium. A live video stream, produced by the Southeastern Channel, will be available on the Southland Digital Network at and Southland apps.
     Fans will also be able to hear the Lions-ACU tilt on the Southeastern Sports Radio Network (KSLU-FM (90.9), Kajun 107.1 FM, The Highway 104.7 FM and WFPR 1400 AM). Fans can also listen live at and via the Radio FX, TuneIn Radio and Lions Gameday Experience apps.
     Saturday will also serve as the annual Hall of Fame Game, as former football All-American and current Atlanta Falcon Robert Alford and five-time Southland Conference champion women’s tennis standout Iva Velkovska make up the 2018 Southeastern Athletics Hall of Fame class. Both will be recognized at halftime of Saturday’s game.
     Saturday will also be Solid Gold Saturday, as all Lion fans are encouraged to wear their Gold and help “Gold Out” Strawberry Stadium. The first 200 SLU students in the gates will receive a megaphone.
     The SLU soccer team (6-4-4, 3-2-3 Southland) will close out its regular season road schedule this week. On Friday, the Lady Lions head to Natchitoches to face league foe Northwestern State at 7 p.m. Central Arkansas welcomes Southeastern on Sunday at 1 p.m.
     The Lady Lion volleyball team (2-18, 1-7 Southalnd) also has a pair of league road matches on tap this week. On Thursday, SLU will be in Huntsville, Texas for a 6:30 p.m. match at Sam Houston State that will air on ESPN3. Southeastern closes the trip with a 1 p.m. match at Abilene Christian on Saturday.
     The Southeastern golf team will close out its fall schedule this week. On Monday and Tuesday, the Lions will be in Choudrant, Louisiana to compete in the Jim Rivers Intercollegiate, hosted by Louisiana Tech.
     Fans will have an opportunity to get their first look at the defending Southland Conference champion SLU men’s basketball team on Wednesday. The Lions will competed in the intra-squad Green and Gold Scrimmage at 7 p.m. in the University Center.
     The Lion baseball team will close out its fall schedule this week with the conclusion of the intra-squad Heart of a Lion Fall World Series. Games two and three of the series are set for Monday and Tuesday. First pitch for both games is set for 6 p.m. at Alumni Field.
     The Southeastern softball team will continue its fall schedule with three games on tap this week. On Thursday, Southeastern faces Copiah-Lincoln Community College in a 10-inning exhibition at 5 p.m. On Friday, SLU takes on LSU Alexandria at 4 p.m. and Jones County Junior College at 6 p.m. The venue for this week’s games is to be announced, as turf is being installed on the home field of the Lady Lions at North Oak Park.
     On Monday, Inside Southeastern Football with Frank Scelfo will air on the Southeastern Sports Radio Network (KSLU-FM (90.9), Kajun 107.1 FM, The Highway 104.7 FM and WFPR 1400 AM). Fans can also listen live at and via the Lions Gameday Experience, Radio FX and TuneIn Radio apps. A live video stream of the show, hosted by Scelfo and Allen Waddell, will be available via Facebook Watch at


For more information on Southeastern Athletics, follow @SLUAthletics on Twitter, like /SLUathletics on Facebook and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.

Southeastern Athletics has instituted a clear bag policy for all ticketed events, effective with the start of football season. For more information on the clear bag policy, visit


OCT 15

Men’s Golf, at Jim Rivers Intercollegiate, Choudrant, All Day
Baseball, Heart of a Lion Fall World Series (Game 2), Alumni Field, 6 p.m.
Football, Inside Southeastern Football With Frank Scelfo, Tope La Catering, 7 p.m. (KSLU 90.9) (Kajun 107.1) (The Highway 104.7) (WFPR 1400)

OCT 16

Men’s Golf, at Jim Rivers Intercollegiate, Choudrant, All Day
Baseball, Heart of a Lion Fall World Series (Game 3), Alumni Field, 6 p.m.

OCT 17

Men’s Basketball, Green and Gold Scrimmage, University Center, 7 p.m.

OCT 18

 Volleyball, at Sam Houston State, Huntsville, Texas, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN3)*
Softball, vs. Copiah-Lincoln CC (10-inning exhibition), TBA, 5 p.m.

OCT 19

 Soccer, at Northwestern State, Natchitoches, 7 p.m.*
Softball, vs. LSU Alexandria (Exhibition), TBA, 4 p.m.
Softball, vs. Jones County JC (Exhibition), TBA, 6 p.m.

OCT 20

 Football, vs. Abilene Christian, Strawberry Stadium,

7 p.m. (Southland Digital Network) (Southeastern Channel) (KSLU 90.9) (Kajun 107.1) (The Highway 104.7) (WFPR 1400)*
     - Hall of Fame Game
     - Solid Gold Saturday
Volleyball, at Abilene Christian, Abilene, Texas, 1 p.m.*

OCT 21

 Soccer, at Central Arkansas, Conway, Ark., 1 p.m.*

Southeastern home events in bold.
* - Southland Conference contest


Gary Keown (Visual Art + Design) is presenting a paper at SECAC National Art Conference Oct. 17 - 20 in Birmingham. Ala. The title of his paper is “Seriously Humorous,” which will explore humor in art, design and architecture.

Anne Babson (English) published her chapbook of poems about women in twentieth century film titled “Dolly Shot.” It was published by Dancing Girl Press.



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