The Legacy of Strawberry Stadium

The current home of Southeastern men’s football, as well as women’s soccer, Strawberry Stadium has a rich 83-year history. Throughout the decades, it has stood as a solid testament to both the fierceness of true Lion Spirit and our ever-changing world. Generation after generation have battled for victory on its turf, cheered on their school with pride or reconnected with Southeastern and fellow classmates in its stands, experienced some of the best years of their lives living in its housing or forging friendships in its social spaces, celebrated a new school year on its grounds, and so much more.

In honor of the more than eight decades of tradition, we look back at some of the most monumental moments and triumphs in the story of Strawberry Stadium.

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1937
On May 12, ground is broken on Strawberry Stadium as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) program. Under project #1304, the
construction cost $144,000 ($2.95 million in 2020 dollars). Edward F. Neild, D. A. Sondal, and E. F. Neild Jr. were the architects of the two buildings that would collectively become known as Strawberry Stadium. The structures were designed to hold 8,200 fans.

Strawberry Stadium is completed and the first game is held in the new facility on September 17, during which time then-Governor Richard Leche dedicated it in person. The Lions, fresh off an 8-0-1 season in 1936 under head coach A. L. “Red” Swanson, face off against the LSU freshman team for their first game in the stadium.

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They celebrate their first landslide win in it a week later, defeating Southwest Mississippi Junior College 52-7. The Lions finish their first season in Strawberry Stadium with a 6-1-1 home record and an overall mark of 8-2-1.

Mornings in Strawberry Stadium

In addition to providing an exciting new venue for the community to cheer on their team and school, the new stadium also serves as one of the campus’s first student housing facilities and much-needed space for auxiliary services. The first floor of the East Stadium building held a cafeteria, post office, and social room—a precursor to the first War Memorial Student Union completed in 1950, although it continued to be used as a gathering spot even beyond then and served as a meeting room for student organizations. A men’s dormitory occupied the second floor. West Stadium housed athletic offices and training facilities on the first floor and a football player dormitory on the second floor. To this day, the two buildings continue to provide space for campus operations, with East Stadium’s first floor now housing University Advancement’s Office of Marketing and Communications and its second floor serving as additional office space for the Department of Visual Art + Design, while West Stadium remains home to athletic offices and training facilities.

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The stadium was completed in only 16 weeks, due in part to the eagerness of Governor Leche, who reputedly pulled workers from other government construction projects in the area to work on the stadium. Leche initially planned to name the stadium after himself, but it instead was decidedly named in honor of the local strawberry farmers. A plaque still remains on the north end of East Stadium in honor of governor Leche’s contribution.

1946
From 1942-1945, the excitement and celebration in Strawberry Stadium is put on hold as players and other members of the Southeastern community heroically serve their country during World War II. When the roar finally resumes in 1946, it does so epically.

The returning Lions achieve a perfect 9-0 season, becoming the first undefeated and untied football team in the University’s history. Southeastern outscores the five visitors
to Strawberry Stadium by a combined total of 159-19 and end the victorious returning season by winning the only bowl game in Lions football history, the Burley Bowl in Johnson City, Tennessee.

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1960
Strawberry Stadium’s field was named Carroll Field in honor of longtime Southeastern supporter Eldridge Carroll (1867-1960) who passed away in October. Carroll, a prominent Hammond real estate developer who became known as “Coach” for his tutelage of the football team, served for many years as a dedicated volunteer in several leadership roles on campus, including as superintendent of the Strawberry Stadium building.

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1967
Two of football’s most legendary players take on the Lions, but Strawberry Stadium plays witness to their defeat. With Coach Pat Kenelly at the helm, Southeastern triumphs over Pensacola Navy College and quarterback Roger Staubach on October 28. The next week, on November 4, a Terry Bradshaw-led Louisiana Tech squad is outmatched during the 1967 Homecoming game. Staubach (with the Dallas Cowboys) and Bradshaw (Pittsburgh Steelers) both go on to be members of the NFL Hall of Fame and win a combined six Super Bowls in the 1970s.

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1970
Halloween 1970 proves to be scary for another future NFL quarterback when Southeastern defeats Youngstown State University, led by Ron Jaworski, who would later play for the Philadelphia Eagles and in Super Bowl XV.

1980
On October 18, Southeastern ties a national record as three Lions—Mack Boatner, Kendall Denmark, and Charlie Thomas—make history by all topping 100 yards rushing in a 47-6 Homecoming victory. A few weeks later, fans go crazy as Boatner rushes for a school-record 275 yards, a mark that stands until today.

1981
The largest crowd ever in Strawberry Stadium, 12,000 fans and visitors, packs the stands while cheering the Lions on to victory against Jackson State University on October 3.

1985
On November 23, the final Lions football game of the twentieth century is played in Strawberry Stadium. Due to budget constraints, football is discontinued for nearly a generation to come as the first of many chapters in Strawberry Stadium’s story comes to a close.

2003
The roar returns to Strawberry Stadium! Following the success of the Campaign for Excellence, which raised $5 million, and an outpouring of support from the Southeastern and local communities, the first Lions football game in nearly 18 years
is played in Strawberry Stadium on August 30. A 24-minute lightning delay followed by a losing deficit threaten the celebration, but the Lions rally and go on to achieve victory as cheers once again echo throughout the beloved facility.

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2004
Playing in a driving rain due to Tropical Storm Matthew, on October 9 Southeastern soundly defeats the University of Northern Colorado and wide receiver Vincent Jackson, who goes on to make the Pro Bowl three times during a 12-year NFL career playing for the San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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2005
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina’s disastrous impact on South Louisiana, the start of the football season is delayed as members of the Southeastern community address their own devastating losses or aid in recovery efforts for others. The Southeastern campus warmly welcomes and shelters those who have been displaced, including McNeese State University’s football team. Games resume on September 10, helping provide a sense of normalcy and a spark of happiness to those who are able to attend. Crowds witness the Lions win both this delayed home opener against Alcorn State University on September 10 and their big game against new neighbor McNeese on October 22.

2008
Southeastern unveils new renovations at Strawberry Stadium on September 13. The much-anticipated additions include the Victory Club, which features 116 additional outdoor seats and six luxury suites seating 15 people apiece. The top level of
the new structure is dubbed the John A. Chauvin Press Box. As part of the project, a parking garage with a 500-vehicle capacity is constructed adjacent to the west side of Strawberry Stadium to better meet the needs of Southeastern’s growing student body.

2012
On September 22, the Lions earn their first win under head coach Ron Roberts in dramatic fashion by earning a touchdown and two-point conversion against McNeese State University with only 2:39 remaining. Future NFL starter Robert Alford clinches the win with an interception on his opponent’s final possession.

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2013
The first-ever Lady Lions soccer match is held in Strawberry Stadium. The team celebrates their August 23 debut on the facility’s turf by defeating Jackson State University, and they eventually become a fresh staple of Strawberry Stadium. They make their full-time move to the facility for their home matches prior to the 2015 season.

Strawberry Stadium also witnesses a momentous year in Southeastern’s football history. On November 16, a win against Sam Houston State University clinches the program’s first-ever trip to the NCAA FCS playoffs. Southeastern then secures its first football conference championship since 1961 with a 51-27 win over Nicholls State University on November 2. A month later, on December 7, playoff football makes its debut at Strawberry Stadium as Southeastern defeats Sam Houston State University in a second-round game.

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2019
Over 10,070 fans storm the stadium for the River Bell Classic on November 21, becoming the second-largest crowd in program history. Over a week later, spectators witness the return of playoff football to Strawberry Stadium as the Lions triumph over Villanova University and a school-record three players—CJ Turner, Javon Conner, and Bransen Schwebel—all top 100 yards receiving.

2020
The rampant rise of COVID-19 throughout the world halts all fall Southeastern athletic competitions, including football, along with other annual large celebrations in Strawberry Stadium, such as the traditional school year kick-off party Strawberry Jam.

But there is no stopping the roar, and Strawberry Stadium’s story still has many chapters ahead that are waiting to unfold among both current and future generations. As the sounds of football and soccer practice continue to reverberate across its evergreen field and throughout its history-steeped walls, with players fiercely readying themselves for the return of competition and victory, Strawberry Stadium remains a steadfast reminder of the indomitable Lion Spirit, of the unforgettable times lived and shared within its steadfast structure over the past 83 years, and of the exciting moments that still lay ahead.

By Kemmler Chapple

Strengthening Business Outreach

Southeastern President John L. Crain and St. Tammany Corporation CEO Chris Masingill recently formalized a coordinated effort to expand access to services and resources to the business community in St. Tammany Parish through an innovative agreement. The partnership will provide enhanced technical assistance and increased collaborative efforts to best support businesses in St. Tammany Parish.

“We are proud to formally announce our ongoing partnership with the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern to continue the work we’ve been doing collectively to strengthen and streamline business resource opportunities for our existing businesses in St. Tammany,” said Masingill. “Economic development is a team sport and creating stronger alignment and collaborations means more efficient service delivery and responsiveness to businesses in St. Tammany Parish, specifically our small business community. It is important that businesses have consistent access to programs and resources to help meet their needs, especially as we all continue to navigate the effects of the COVID-19 public health crisis.”

“One of the hallmarks of effective regional universities is a close alignment of the mission of the institution and the needs of the region,” said Crain. “An integral part of the mission of Southeastern is to support economic development across our region, which includes St. Tammany Parish. The award-winning Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern is one of the university’s most effective means by which we bring this part of our mission to life. Through this agreement with St. Tammany Corporation, I am thrilled to affirm Southeastern’s commitment to support economic and business development in St. Tammany Parish. I look forward to continuing to expand and enhance our support and services for businesses located here in conjunction with our partners at St. Tammany Corporation.”

Through this agreement, partners will work toward accomplishing specific outcomes, with the overarching goal being stronger businesses, more jobs, and a resilient economy. Both organizations have an interest in strategically aligning support for the St. Tammany Parish small business community. St. Tammany Corporation will serve as the primary partner in St. Tammany Parish with LSBDC. St. Tammany Corporation and the LSBDC will promote the joint efforts established under the agreement.

“Southeastern’s Small Business Development Center has been working closely with St. Tammany Parish Development District for over 20 years,” said Director of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Bill Joubert. “When St. Tammany Corporation was formed, Chris Masingill reached out to formalize our relationship and articulate the ways to leverage our resources for St. Tammany businesses to continue benefitting from our collective efforts. From projects and training to individual one-on-one business consulting, our center stands ready to assist the community.”

The agreement establishes a framework for both agencies to facilitate its commitment to move relationships with business and industry beyond a transactional level, but truly build relationships, partnerships, and coalitions that are transformational, creating an environment in which  businesses can grow and people and communities in St. Tammany can thrive.

Artificial Intelligence meets Higher Education in Sales Training Competition

At a time when some students were quarantined, isolated, zooming and/or learning behind masks, they were able to get the attention they needed from their professors with the help of Alex Taylor, who happens to be an artificially intelligent customer bot in a simulation called RNMKRS (pronounced “Rainmakers”). 

Southeastern students learned and practiced professional sales skills and communication in the fall semester by selling to Alex, who listens, adapts, and responds as students use voice activation on their mobile phones via an app to train virtually. The training ultimately led to a worldwide sales competition, where employers like Dell, Gartner, TTi, EMI, and YRC Worldwide recruited students for jobs.  

“Fifty-nine schools from the US, Canada, and Germany for a total of 2,176 students competed,” said Dr. Stefanie Boyer, RNMKRS co-founder, and Bryant University professor.   

Real-time scoring and feedback allowed coaches to see how their students were doing as they were practicing building rapport, empathy and trust with the customer bot—all from their mobile phone.

Directed by Southeastern Professors Dr. Tará Lopez and Dr. April Kemp, the following Southeastern students finished among the top in the competition:

Top 10%: Mckay Rayborn, Sabir Hishamuddin (Overall, Southeastern College of Business Winner)

Top 20%: Breanne Choate, Colby Ford, and Darnell Butler

Top 30%: Aubin Brian, Katherine Lively, Kirstyn Garland, Michael Rivera, Preston Gautreau, Phillip Mosher, and Sami Madona

For more information about Southeastern’s Sales Program, visit southeastern.edu/sales.

Creating a Use for Old Christmas Trees

Southeastern is again asking area citizens to give the environment a gift after Christmas this year. Discarded Christmas trees can be dropped off and used for wetland restoration rather than throwing them out with the trash.

“We can put the old Christmas trees to work in our area marshland while also reducing the waste stream going into landfills,” said Rob Moreau, manager of Southeastern’s Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station located on Pass Manchac between Lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas.

Although grant funding from the state for Christmas tree recycling in many areas ended years ago, local partners stepped up to keep the project going. This marks the 26th straight year Southeastern has conducted its recycled tree program. Moreau depends on volunteers and students to deploy the trees in the Manchac wetlands, and those groups were in short supply last year due to the pandemic. Therefore, he relied more on the Turtle Cove staff, mainly graduate students, to deploy the trees in various areas of the Manchac Swamp. It is estimated that approximately 40,000 trees have been deployed through the Southeastern program during the 26-year period.

Southeastern scientists and volunteers at Turtle Cove use the discarded trees to help build up marshland in areas that have been impacted by erosion and other factors, said Moreau.

Moreau explained that the trees will be used in a variety of ways, including ongoing research on the trees’ effects on helping to fill in test logging ditches, creating new habitats for wildlife and, of course, helping to control erosion along various shorelines, most recently occurring on Galva Canal and in areas around the research station itself on Pass Manchac and the boatshed/parking lot area at Galva Canal.

This practice also provides hands-on environmental education opportunities for students and other volunteers who help with the project.

Collaborating in the project for the sixth consecutive year is the Southeastern Sustainability Center on North Oak Street, which will serve as a drop-off point for area residents to leave their used Christmas trees. Other primary partners include the city of Hammond and Middendorf’s Restaurant in Manchac. Several local tree farms and other businesses usually jump in on the action as well in terms of providing left over trees.

Trees can be dropped off through Mardi Gras from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hammond Maintenance facility, located at 18104 Hwy. 190 next to Piggly Wiggly Supermarket. Trees should be dropped off using the gate on Falcon Drive next to Piggly Wiggly. The Southeastern Sustainability Center, located at 2101 North Oak Street, is collecting trees through the end of the month from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Friday. Moreau said a Turtle Cove trailer drop-off site will also be maintained at Middendorf’s Restaurant.

“The city of Hammond will again provide transport of collected trees to the Turtle Cove Galva Canal parking lot area in Manchac, where they will be stored until they are deployed in the marshes in the spring,” Moreau said. “Small groups of students and volunteers will socially distance and wear masks to help deploy the trees, unless of course the pandemic conditions dictate otherwise.”

No flocked trees will be accepted, and all trees should be stripped of any ornaments, lights, tinsel, stands, nails and screws, etc.

“This greatly helps our efforts to get the trees quickly deployed,” Moreau said.

For more information, contact Moreau at rmoreau@southeastern.edu or visit the website at www.southeastern.edu/turtlecove.

Donations to help support the activity can be sent by check payable to Southeastern Foundation—c/o Turtle Cove and mailed to Southeastern, Box 10585, Hammond, LA 70402.

Spring 2021 Community Music School Registration Now Open

Southeastern’s Community Music School is accepting registrations for its Spring 2021 session, which begins January 25.

Registration will remain open throughout the semester, however registrations received after January 18 will incur a $20 late fee.

The 13-week spring semester will offer individual lessons on various instruments and voice to students of all ages at three locations – Southeastern’s main campus in Hammond, the Southeastern Livingston Center in Walker, and Northshore Technical Community College in Lacombe.

In addition to individual lessons, opportunities for music theory classes and ensemble formation are also available upon request, said CMS Director Jivka Duke. Students will be able to choose whether their lessons will take place in person, online, or a combination of both. Instructors will continue to adhere to all of the social distancing and sanitizing guidelines the university is undertaking in order to ensure the safest possible environment for students’ music training, Duke added.

“We look forward to continuing our mission of providing a safe and encouraging environment for our young musicians to learn, grow and thrive in their art. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we remain enthusiastic about providing high quality music education,” said Duke. “This spring we plan to host our annual Spring Festival and Concerto Competition and to have the Northlake Community Band resume rehearsal and concerts.”

Duke said the generous sponsorship of First Guaranty Bank will allow the CMS once again to offer discounted tuition to students who received reduced or free lunch at their schools during the 2016-2017 academic year.

For more information about CMS programs and general registration, call 985-549-5502, or visit the CMS website at southeastern.edu/cms.

School of Nursing Hosts Pinning Ceremony

Southeastern’s School of Nursing held a drive-by Pinning Ceremony on December 3, 2020, to celebrate it’s graduates. A time honored tradition, graduates have been pinned since the first graduation class in 1969. Sixty students and their immediate family members participated. 

Graduates rode through Friendship Circle with decorated cars and waved at loved ones there to cheer them on. Students received a pin and a commemorative bag with a cookie and program to remember their time at Southeastern. They also received a nursing lamp. Lamp-lighting is a tradition followed by all nursing graduates to remind them of the noble traditions of their profession. The lamp symbolizes the light that a nurse becomes to their patients and is a symbol of hope and comfort to those who are suffering.

Celebrating 2020 Graduates

On December 8 and 9, Southeastern honored spring, summer and fall 2020 graduates during an in-person ceremony in Strawberry Stadium. The pandemic and statewide event limitations previously prevented the university from holding a face-to-face commencement for spring graduates in August as originally planned, but Southeastern was able to develop and carry out a plan that incorporates current health and safety guidelines to honor all 2020 graduates in four separate, in-person, outdoor ceremonies.

“In order to maximize the safety of our graduates and their guests, the format has been updated to include multiple ceremonies at an outside venue,” said Chief Enrollment Management Officer Kay Maurin. “Every candidate had the opportunity to cross the stage as a proud Southeastern graduate.”

Southeastern held two commencement ceremonies on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 10 a.m. for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and at 2 p.m. for the College of Business. The College of Nursing and Health Sciences commencement ceremony was held Wednesday, Dec. 9, at 10 a.m., while the ceremony for the College of Education and the College of Science and Technology took place the same day at 2 p.m.

So that all guests were able to be safely accommodated according to current capacity limitations, each graduate was able to invite two guests. All participants and guests were required to wear masks and following social distancing measures.

“Our mission as a university focused on its students is to work diligently every day to help our students achieve success,” said Maurin. “Their success is our success, and we enjoy nothing more than celebrating and commemorating their achievements with them.”

To watch the ceremonies, visit the Southeastern Channel’s YouTube page.

Southeastern Channel Game Broadcast Places in National Competition

A Southeastern Channel live football game broadcast for ESPN-Plus and its play-by-play announcing by a student broadcaster have both been honored as third best in the nation by the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) at its annual Festival of Media Arts.

The channel’s live broadcast of the Oct. 12, 2019 Southeastern vs. Incarnate Word football game was honored with a third place 2020 “Award of Excellence” for “TV Sports Event Production,” while student John Sartori of Mandeville also won third place in the nation in the category “Radio/TV Sports Event: Play-By-Play.”

It was the third year in a row that the Southeastern Channel has been honored by the BEA as one of the top four in the country for its live game broadcasts. The channel won a fourth place “Award of Excellence” in 2018 for a Lions vs. Southern of New Orleans basketball broadcast and again won fourth place in 2019 for the Southeastern-Abilene Christian football game.

This year there were over 1,750 entries in the competition from universities across the country.

“To have a live game broadcast named third best in the nation against all of the top schools from across the country is truly an accomplishment and a wonderful honor,” said Southeastern Channel General Manager Rick Settoon. “What makes it even more special is that our winning broadcast was the only football broadcast in the competition, the most difficult type of game to produce, and also the only one with an entirely student crew- from announcers to director and camera operators. I couldn’t be more proud of our students.”

BEA judges, who are professionals in the field, said of the broadcast, “Overall, a good job for a football telecast with so many players and so much going on compared to other sports productions they’re going up against.”

The game broadcast was produced and directed by Dylan Domangue of Houma.

“Having our broadcast rank at the top nationally is a special feeling because I believe that a football game is the most challenging to broadcast,” Domangue said. “There are so many elements and so much advanced camera work that is involved, and it is difficult to pull it off successfully. To be the only school to win a national award for a football broadcast means a lot because it means that we are producing the hardest sport at the highest level.”

Of Domangue’s directing efforts the BEA judges added, “The broadcast showed great production value and professionalism. Impressed with the camera work and directing. The director did a great job of planning. It was shot according to game action sequencing with the camera operators following the action nicely. Good cutting between the wide and tight shots, and they rarely went to bad camera shots.”

The winning game broadcast featured Sartori on play-by-play and Richie Solares of New Orleans as the color analyst. Gabby Cox of Hammond was the sideline reporter.

Judges said, “The announcers were on point with matching their words to what you saw on the screen without saying the obvious. Very well done. Fantastic job of setting up storylines early in the broadcast and continuing them throughout the coverage, specifically the ‘elimination game’ feel and importance of this game to both teams.”

One judge said, “I enjoyed John and Richie in the booth. They shared interesting information and obviously have a deep understanding of football. They kept the ‘no talking’ gaps to a respectable level, and I loved how they handled the targeting reviews. They explained the rule, applied it to the specific play on the field, and gave a clear option of how they expected the officials to rule (and were correct a large majority of the time).”

Other student crew members included Jermaine Kelly of Shreveport on instant replay, Lily Gayle of Greensburg on video playback, Tyler Thomas of Bogalusa on graphics, and Ross Chauvin of Houma and Angela Imbraguglio of Destrehan on audio.

Carson Fryou of Ponchatoula and Lauryn Jackson of Baton Rouge served as production assistants, while Richie Cruz of New Orleans and Logan Graffia of Slidell were the camera grips. Camera operators were John Williams of Denham Springs, Taylor Tabb of Destrehan, Jeremy Gaines of New Orleans and Tyler Guidroz of Ponchatoula.

In addition to the game broadcasting team award, Sartori was honored for his play-by-play announcing.

Of Sartori’s game call, BEA judges said, “Very good conversational tone. Nice, smooth flow. Everything sounded very natural. Provided good information to help the viewer follow the action. Good use of in-game statistics. Describes game trends well. Nice detail, described well such as, ‘he missed, and he missed high.’”

Sartori has been the play-by-play announcer for Southeastern Channel game broadcasts of all sports since his freshman year.

“I think telling a story is very important with play-by-play,” Sartori said. “I really tried to emphasize the storyline while also allowing the game to tell the story. Let the sounds of the game work for you, and try not to speak over the sounds of the game.”

“I try to be as entertaining as possible,” he continued. “I want to make the broadcast an experience the viewer enjoys. I try to keep it light-hearted but exciting at the same time. I want to be the kind of play-by-play announcer I enjoy watching and that’s one full of high energy.”

The Incarnate Word broadcast was the third game broadcast produced by the Southeastern Channel in 2019 for ESPN-Plus. Its first game broadcast which matched Southeastern against sixth-ranked Jacksonville State in the season opener drew 23,000 different viewers on ESPN-Plus.

Settoon said that it is a rarity for an all-student crew, including announcers, to broadcast Division One collegiate sports contests and gain approval by ESPN for streaming on ESPN-Plus.

“ESPN told us that the quality of our game broadcasts was the best they’ve seen in the entire country for an entirely student production,” Settoon said. “They said we easily live up to the professional quality standards and specifications required by ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports.”

“ESPN is the gold standard for every kid who loves sports and wants to have a career associated with it,” Domangue said. “The fact that I got to work for ESPN while still being a student in college is just truly an amazing experience, because that was a dream that each of us on the crew had growing up. ESPN does not stoop down to anyone’s level, but instead make you rise up to their standards. ESPN recognized the high quality of our production and trusted us to be on ESPN+. That speaks highly of us.”

“Other schools have professionals filling at least some of the positions,” Domangue continued. “That makes it an even greater honor for us to win the top national awards for our productions. The best way to train, learn, and get better is to do those tasks and not just watch others do them. At the Southeastern Channel, we get the opportunity to do that, which makes us even better and more valuable over time.”

Settoon said that in addition to live game broadcasts of all Southeastern sports, students can work on Southeastern Channel sports productions like the live weekly sportscast, “The Big Game,” modeled after ESPN’s “SportsCenter” and recognized as best in the nation by College Broadcasters, Inc. In addition, students host and produce a bi-weekly coach’s talk show, “Lion Tracks,” which includes coaches from all Southeastern sports. They also produce sports documentaries, promotional spots and programs, and game hype videos for social media.
 
“We offer students opportunities in television sports broadcasting like no other university,” Settoon said. “We’re attracting students in sports broadcasting from throughout the state and South, and we have a brand new academic degree program in sports broadcasting that is the only one of its kind in the southern region between Texas and Florida.”

The program is a new concentration in Sports Communication in the Communication bachelor’s degree program housed in the Department of Communication and Media Studies, including courses for both live Southeastern game broadcasts for ESPN and for the “Big Game” live weekly sportscast. Settoon said that former Southeastern Channel sportscasters have landed jobs at sports networks and large TV markets from San Francisco to Myrtle Beach, S.C., as play-by-play announcers, color analysts, sideline reporters and sports directors, anchors and reporters for television stations.

“The Southeastern Channel is the ultimate place to grow as a collegiate broadcaster,” Sartori said. “Being able to do play-by-play for Division One sports alone is something that only a few schools offer, but to have the ability to do football on ESPN is something that almost no student can have the opportunity to do. It allows for so much feedback, both positive and negative, and allows you to grow as a broadcaster in ways that not many other schools, especially in this region, can provide.”

In its 18 years of existence, the Southeastern Channel has won over 400 national, international and regional awards, including 20 awards from the Emmys. The Southeastern Channel can be seen on Spectrum Cable 199 in Tangipahoa, Livingston, St. Tammany and St. Helena parishes and on mthermonwebtv.com for viewers in Washington Parish. In addition, the live 24-7 broadcast can be seen on Roku, Apple TV and the channel’s website at thesoutheasternchannel.com, which also offers programs via video on demand. The Southeastern Channel is also available on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Southeastern Professor Appointed to Science Advisory Group of the Governor’s Climate Initiative Task Force

Southeastern Professor of Organic Chemistry Jean Fotie has been appointed to serve as a member of the Science Advisory Group of the Governor’s Climate Initiatives Task Force.

Governor Edwards recently kicked off a Climate Initiatives Task Force to look at the best ways to “reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the state, with the objective of mitigating the worst impacts of climate change on our natural and cultural heritage while adapting our economy to maintain our position as a world leader in energy, industry, agriculture, and transportation.”

The vision is for Louisiana to be able to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% of 2005 levels by 2025, by about 40-50% of 2005 levels by 2030, and to net zero greenhouse gas emission by 2050.

“As a coastal state, Louisiana is among the areas where one can witness, almost daily, the increasing severe effects of climate change on our environment and on our way of life,” Fotie said. “In recent years, our research group has developed a deep interest in finding new ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without impairing economic viability. As such, it is an honor to be able to contribute, even in the smallest of ways, to the state’s climate vision for the next decades.”

The role of the Science Advisory Group is to support the Climate Initiatives Task Force by developing fundamental objectives and rubrics for evaluating the impacts of potential solutions, and to ensure that the proposed strategies are based on sound science and engineering.

Fotie recently received a $265,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop greener and sustainable catalytic methods for the reductive functionalization of carbon dioxide (CO2).

New Exhibition Spotlights Regional & Political History

Southeastern’s Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies recently announced the opening of a new exhibition titled Pioneers in Politics: Examining Influential Political Figures as Revealed in the Holdings of the Center.

Center Director and Southeastern History Professor Sam Hyde said the exhibit is designed to educate the campus community and wider public about the vast holdings highlighting regional and statewide political history that are housed in the archives of the center. The center’s graduate research assistants, Amelia Haag of Slidell, Abigail Simmons of Kentwood, and Bailey Hall Sones of Hammond, completed research and construction of the exhibit.

“The exhibit spans the colonial period to the present day and includes details revealing the political careers of some well-known figures, as well as some the public has likely never heard of before,” Hyde said. “With the exception of a few editorial suggestions from Assistant Director Keith Finley and myself, the students put the project together completely on their own.”

The exhibit includes information on nationally recognized figures such as Huey Long and longtime congressman James H. “Jimmie” Morrison, as well as local leaders such as former Hammond Mayors Tom Anderson and Debbie Saik Pope. Special segments are devoted to the contributions of women, African Americans, and long-term families from the Florida Parishes.

“Preparing this exhibit, showcasing southern and Louisiana politicians, gave us a chance to closely explore the original artifacts and materials within the center’s holdings,” said Research Assistant Simmons, who led the effort. “We did our best to reveal the positive aspects of each individual’s career.”

“Many people are drawn to stories of corruption and other negative aspects often associated with political figures,” added Sones. “We instead focused more on their constructive policies that helped shape Louisiana communities.”

Research Assistant Haag summed up the project by saying, “It was a lot of work, but it allowed us to take a deep dive into the center’s holdings. We found a lot of extraordinary three dimensional artifacts, such as Huey Long’s signed autobiography, campaign materials, Civil War era swords, and even Jimmie Davis’ cowboy hat and boots.”

The exhibit opened Nov. 20 and will remain available for viewing by the public until March 10. It will be housed in the exhibition area of the center on the third floor of Sims Library on Southeastern’s campus. Interested individuals are invited to visit, but masks are required and social distancing will be maintained.

For more information on the exhibit, call the center at 985.549.2151.