Lion Up Recovery Scholars Series

The Lion Up Recovery program at Southeastern Louisiana University is hosting a Virtual Scholars Series this July. The Scholars Series will host pertinent topics related to recovery, including how collegiate recovery programs work, reducing stigma in the community, and more.

The most important aspect of this event is that it serves as a fundraiser for scholarships for students in recovery. All monies raised in ticket sales will go towards establishing sustainable endowments for current and future students enrolled in Lion Up Recovery.

The series will end July 24 with keynote speaker Executive Director for the Association of Recovery in Higher Education Tim Rabolt speaking about his personal experience with Collegiate Recovery at George Washington University.

More information about the Recovery Scholars Series can be found here. Those interested in attending the event may purchase tickets hereAll alumni, family, friends, and anyone who is interested in supporting the cause is welcomed.

Lion Up Recovery—a supportive environment within the campus culture that reinforces the decision to engage in a lifestyle of recovery from substance use—launched in the fall of 2019. Being the first such program to launch in the state, there was tremendous support from the University administration led by Dr. John L. Crain. The launch of the program was celebrated with a visit from Louisiana’s Commissioner for Higher Education Dr. Kim Hunter Reed and representatives from the Board of Regents that included Vice President for Student Affairs and Governance Erica Calais and Program Administrator Dr. Allison Smith.

Since the introduction of Lion Up Recovery, seven students in recovery have enrolled in the program, have all successfully completed their spring semester, and are one step closer to graduation. Some are quite close. Four of the students have plans to graduate in May of 2021. Combined, the students in the program had an average 3.86 GPA this spring semester.

Lion Up Recovery provides a full-time coordinator, Madison Evans, LPC; a weekly seminar; a space for students in recovery; over 12 open recovery meetings per week; sober tailgating; student participation in national and regional higher education conferences; Narcan training; Recovery Ally training; and more. The program has a year-round application process. Southeastern students can apply online at

To image: Lion Up Recovery board members. Pictured from left: Greg Snodgrass, Annette Baldwin, Dan Gilmer, Angie King, Christopher Flanagan, Madison Nyquist, Madison Evans, Angela Tyrone, Andrea Peevy, Emily Simcoe, Emily Meyers, Monica Sheleay, Felicia Kleinpeter, and Tom Bennett (Not Pictured: Dr. Chip Thirstrup. Randal Gomez, Stuart Carpenter)

Determined to Rise: The Woman’s Suffrage Movement in Louisiana

The Centennial Women’s Suffrage Project (CWSP) at Southeastern was created to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment, securing women the right to vote. 

A traveling exhibit, Determined to Rise: The Woman’s Suffrage Movement in Louisiana, was organized by CWSP to celebrate the challenges and triumphs of the women’s suffrage movement in Louisiana and the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. It will be displayed during the first two weeks of August at the Union Museum of History and Art in Farmerville, LA, and at the Shaw Center in Baton Rouge during the last two weeks of August. Visitors can view the exhibit free of charge.

women's suffrage exhibit panelscrtopDeveloped with grant support from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH) Rebirth grant program, the exhibit consists of eight panels depicting photos of Louisiana suffragists, a timeline of significant events, the movement from the African-American woman’s perspective, laws that have changed since women gained the vote, and Louisiana women who have made their mark on history.

CWSP is currently accepting applications to host Determined to Rise from September 2020 through 2021. The exhibit consists of four double-sided retractable stand posters, 31.5” w x 89.75” h; a guest book for thoughts and reflections; a retractable literature stand; a suffragette costume and mannequin; a six-foot table; a table throw and runner; an LED TV; and panel identification cards. Each exhibit period will be for 2 weeks.

Those interested can sign up to host Determined to Rise here, or contact Angela Dunnington at for more information.

Women’s suffrage conferenceThe Centennial Women’s Suffrage Project has also participated in several events throughout 2020. These began on February 13 with a talk at the Old Governor’s Mansion as part of their Heritage Lecture series. The presentation was held in conjunction with the Mansion’s grand opening of their First Ladies of the Old Governor’s Mansion exhibition. On March 5, CWSP held its first annual Grit and Grace Conference and Equali-tea event to promote scholarship on gender equality, social change, and political activism. Beginning July 6, the group will host a Summer Institute on Teaching with Primary Sources, funded by a grant from the Library of Congress. This workshop aims to help local K-12 teachers design lessons and work with teaching primary sources dedicated to gender equality and the suffrage movement.

The Centennial Women’s Suffrage Project is a cross-disciplinary effort, founded by Carol Madere of the Department of Communication and Media Studies and Angela Dunnington of Sims Memorial Library. Other members are Samantha Cavell from the Department of History and Political Science; Amber Narro and Elizabeth Hornsby from the Department of Communication and Media Studies; Lisa Moody from the Department of English; Jordan Ahrend from the Department of Teaching and Learning; Elizabeth Sanders from Sims Memorial Library; Sheri Gibson from the Office of Marketing and Communications; Megan Sanders, graphic design specialist; and Stephanie Katz, media and photography specialist. For more information, visit

Fateful Encounter: A Southeastern WWII Love Story

The year is 1944. In New York City, the Metropolitan Opera House is playing its first jazz concert, featuring the talents of Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday. The film Casablanca wins three Academy Awards: one for Best Picture, one for Best Director, and one for Best Adapted Screenplay. In France, The Allied Forces land on the beaches of Normandy in a historical military assault. In a Thanksgiving address, General Eisenhower tells Americans, “Let’s thank God for Higgins Industries.”

SLU016-spring-2020_Inside_v1.inddRita Bush, 1946

A perilous time, this was a period marked by great fear and uncertainty. For Rita Bush, this was the beginning of a new chapter of her life.

It was the year that Rita began Southeastern. When she enrolled, she had no intention of becoming a music major. In fact, it was not until her professor, Ralph Pottle, who knew she played piano, stopped her one day and asked if she would like to switch her major to music. So that’s what Rita did.

On any given day, this event—a professor speaking to a student—may not seem like anything of significance. One could say it was pure coincidence Rita and Pottle crossed paths. However, that day, she says, “was life-changing.”

Had Pottle not stopped to ask her to consider becoming a music major, she “would not have met her husband.”

SLU016-spring-2020_Inside_v1.inddMilton Bush, 1947

When he was finally old enough, Milton Bush joined the Navy, where he then trained to become a pilot as a member of the Naval Air Corps. At the time, WWII was coming to a close. He was only in the Navy for a year before he was sent back home in 1945 once the war had ended.

After being sent home, Milton decided on a whim to accompany a friend on a visit to Southeastern. That day, he witnessed a performance by the college’s orchestra and fell in love. It was then that he decided he would attend Southeastern and major in music.

Once Rita and Milton met, the two became friends and traveled in the same friendship circle for a while. Rita recounted stories of her many evenings spent out with friends. Together, they would all go down to the train station and grab a bite to eat, enjoying the sweet freedom often only experienced in college.

“Life was very simple back then,” Rita said.

1946 Bandcr
The Southeastern band on parade, 1947

Rita explained that at the time, most people didn’t realize the significance of the war. To her, now looking back, it’s amazing how WWII changed the U.S. She recalled having to collect metal as part of an effort to support the government’s building of ships, airplanes, and other such equipment.

Southeastern itself accommodated veterans from the war. The director of the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies, Dr. Samuel Hyde, said that Southeastern “[tried] to make sure that everybody, no matter what they had done during the war, felt welcome.” He continued, “My understanding is that they worked to accommodate people and make college accessible to them in a way that had been unprecedented to them in this era.”

Despite the ongoing war, Rita said that in truth she felt no real hardship. Thankfully, the war came to an end as she began college, and her late husband never had to go off to fight.

Listening to Rita recount her story, I felt moved by the beauty of fate and the profound impact that a simple encounter can have. Fate had a way of affecting my life, so much so it is the reason I believe in it today. My own parents are Southeastern sweethearts. Fate is what led to my father, at the last second, getting a spot in Louisiana history, the very same class my mother was in. Had the class not become available, perhaps my parents never would have met, and thus I would never have been born.

Milton (standing) and Rita Bush (seated) at the Foundation for Entertainment Development and Education’s Tribute to the Classical Arts Luncheon, 2012. Milton, who became a conductor, performer, and teacher, was honored with the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the event. 

Had Pottle never run into Rita and convinced her to switch her major, would she ever have met her husband? Had Milton never decided to visit Southeastern and seen its music program, would he ever have met his wife?

Fate seems to have played a role in their lives too.

The two were married in 1952. Rita described the life her husband gave her as “just wonderful.” Sadly, Milton passed away on Wednesday, January 23, 2019. He was 93 years old.

Rita said that her husband had “such a good attitude.” It was one of the things that attracted her to him. “He was always the same,” she recalled. “He was always pleasant, friendly, and agreeable. I was very fortunate to meet my husband because I’ve had a wonderful life with him.”

Rita and her husband Milton are a reminder of the light that can be found even amidst the darkness. They are a reminder of the simple beauty of fate—and of the countless lives throughout generations that have been forever changed beginning on Southeastern’s campus.

By Isabel Naquin

KSLU Student Broadcasters Take Home Region’s Top Honors

Southeastern KSLU broadcasters Adam Cortez and Connor Ferrill earned top honors in the 2019 Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press Broadcasters and Media Editors College Competition, an annual event recognizing the best in professional and college journalism.

KSLU’s resident sportscaster Cortez, of El Paso, Texas, received first place in the Sportscast / Sports Program category. Judges noted the variety of sports covered in his submission and the depth of information presented.

To hear Cortez live, tune in to the Southeastern Sports Minute daily at 7:35 a.m. and 8:35 a.m. on 90.9 FM during the fall semester, and check out his weekly digital sports series Half-Time Adjustments online at

Recent Southeastern graduate and KSLU alum Ferrill, of Mandeville, was recognized for work completed during his final semester. He took home the Best of Show award in the College Radio category and won first place in the Newscast category. Judges commented on his delivery, editing, and story choices, calling it informative and a “great mix” of news and sports.

“I’m incredibly proud of these students and their award-winning work,” said KSLU General Manager Todd Delaney. “Connor and Adam are both brilliant, innovative, and driven to excel. They are well on their way to thriving broadcast careers, and I look forward to hearing the pioneering work they’ll produce as two of tomorrow’s broadcast leaders.”

Available on terrestrial radio, online, and through digital streaming apps, KSLU opens the door for student broadcasters to pioneer their own programs, creating something uniquely their own, and uniquely Southeastern, Delaney said. Programming includes music, live broadcasts of sporting events, and community-oriented talk shows.

“KSLU provides Southeastern students with the real-world experience necessary to be successful in their chosen fields,” Delaney said.

Southeastern Channel Named Best College Television Station in the South

For the fifth time in the past eight years, the Southeastern Channel has been recognized as the Best College Television Station in the South.

The channel earned first place Best of South honors for the second year in a row and the third time in the past five years at the annual Southeast Journalism Conference (SEJC) in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Its five years of winning Best TV Station since 2013 are the most of any university in the southeast region of the U.S. During that span the only times that the Southeastern Channel did not win first place, it won second place.

The SEJC is composed of 39 universities from Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina. The Southeast Journalism Conference celebrates student journalism and offers an opportunity for participants to develop relationships with students from schools throughout the southeast United States.

“It’s a great honor to once again be ranked as the very best college television station in the South,” said Southeastern Channel General Manager Rick Settoon. “This is a tribute to the high-quality standards of our students, the Southeastern Channel staff, and the television instructors in the Department of Communication and Media Studies.”

In addition, the Southeastern Channel won third place for Best College Video Newscast for the student newscast Northshore News. The newscast has won first place four times in the past nine years, the most of any school in the region.

In the individual categories, Chris Rosato of Mandeville won third place for Best Television Journalist in the South, while Dylan Domangue of Houma placed fifth in the same category. Rosato won for his hard news stories produced for the student newscast Northshore News, while Domangue won for both his Northshore News segments and his sports feature stories produced for the student sportscast The Big Game.

“Chris and Dylan are both very deserving of these top honors that separate them as broadcast journalists and reporters from other students throughout the South,” Settoon said. “They both take pride in the quality of their stories—from research and writing to on-camera reporting, narrating, shooting, and editing.”

“The results are packages which represent solid journalism with rich content and information,” Settoon added. “They communicate their stories in a creative and clear style so that they are engaging, meaningful, and impactful for their viewing audience. I know the judges were impressed.”

Individual students honored at SEJC (from left) were Dylan Domangue of Houma, fifth place for Best TV Journalist; Lily Gayle of Greensburg, reporter for award-winning Northshore News; and Chris Rosato of Mandeville, third place for both Best TV Journalist and Best TV Anchoring.

Rosato anchors and reports for Northshore News, recently named the second best college newscast in the country by College Broadcasters, Inc (CBI). He was also honored recently by the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters (LAB) as the 2019 Louisiana Student Broadcaster of the Year in Television. The LAB is made up of television and radio professionals and stations in the state.

“It is a great honor to be recognized for this award, especially when taking into account the level of talent of the people that I was competing against,” Rosato said. “The Southeastern Channel has separated me from a lot of other people I’m competing against by giving me the opportunity to cover real-world current event stories in the community with public officials and everyday people and not just restrict me to on-campus assignments.”

Not only was Rosato honored for his television news reporting, he placed third in the South for “Best Television Anchoring” in the onsite competition.

“To win an award in anchoring is meaningful because it’s a different job in putting together a show, so to win an award for two different titles is awesome,” Rosato said.

For the last four years, Domangue has reported and anchored for both Northshore News and The Big Game, which was honored by CBI has the best student sportscast in the country in 2018 and named National Finalist the last three years by the College Sports Media Awards.

“It’s a great honor to be one of those named as Best Television Journalist in the South,” Domangue said. “This is a very competitive field, and there are so many students in this field as well. At Southeastern alone I know there are over a dozen student broadcasters who could all win this award. On top of that, we are competing against other big schools with hundreds of students focused on broadcasting. I know that every one of these students has the capability of winning Best TV Journalist. So that I can say I won the award makes it that much more special.”

Domangue has also won individual honors as a reporter, videographer, and on-camera talent given by the Society of Professional Journalists, Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press College Broadcasters, and the Suncoast Emmys. He has produced, directed, and done play-by-play announcing for live sports broadcasts streaming on ESPN-Plus.

“I think what makes the Southeastern Channel unique compared to other schools is the amount of student-produced content per semester,” Domangue said. “Students at most schools don’t get the chance to report, anchor, direct, and produce for live weekly shows like we do at the Southeastern Channel. They do not offer everything that we do from newscasts to sportscasts to a comedy show, all the way to broadcasting sporting events for ESPN-Plus. I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to work for the Southeastern Channel, because I firmly believe it is the best college program in the country for television broadcasting.”

In its 17 years of existence, the Southeastern Channel has won over 400 national, international, and regional awards, including 17 awards from the Emmys. The channel can be seen on Spectrum Channel 199 in Tangipahoa, St. Tammany, Livingston, and St. Helena parishes, while its live 24-7 broadcast is also streamed on Roku, Apple TV, and, which offers video on demand.

Southeastern Lab School Expanding Offerings to Include Pre-K

The Southeastern Laboratory School will begin offering a Pre-K curriculum this fall, school officials announced. In order to be eligible to attend, students must be four by Sept. 30, 2020.

Lab School Director Stephen Labbe’ said that with the implementation of Tier 1 curriculum in grades K-8, the school wanted to make sure all students are prepared and ready for the rigors of the curriculum.

“By offering a Pre-K program, we will be able to ensure when students enter Kindergarten they have the necessary social, emotional, cognitive, language, literacy, and math skills to be successful,” Labbe’ said. “All other schools in our district have Pre-K programs. We want to keep with the University’s mission by leading in educational development, as well as following the University’s core value of excellence.”

Parents have been requesting adding Pre-K for a few years, Labbe’ added. Last fall, the school sent out an interest survey, and the results were very positive.

“Adding a Pre-Kindergarten class to the existing Lab School ensures student readiness for kindergarten and the grades beyond,” said Dean of the College of Education Paula Calderon. “The credit for this development goes to Mr. Labbe’, who, with the support of Dr. Crain and the university administration, was instrumental in making this happen. Not only are we filling a gap in the community, but we are also advancing the core values of excellence and caring.”

Parents interested in registering their children can print the application from the Lab School website at, complete it, and then email it to or simply fill out the application online.

For more information, visit

Enriching Teen’s Summers With New Lion’s Code CyberCamp

Southeastern’s College of Science and Technology, through the Department of Computer Science, is sponsoring The Lion’s Code CyberCamp. The camp is being offered free of charge as a community service.

The 100 percent online summer computer camp is a three-day, fun-filled, action-packed program specially designed for students in grades 8–12. No prior coding or extensive experience with computers is needed. Students with more advanced skills should also register in order to explore advanced computing.

Scheduled July 20–22, camp sessions run daily from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Although the program is free, registration is required no later than 4 p.m. on Monday, July 6, due to limited class size. Registration is available at

Instructor of Computer Science and Camp Coordinator Dr. Bonnie Achee said all student campers will come away with greater personal knowledge and confidence, as well as take their computer skills to the next level. It is a rare opportunity for students in grades 8–12 to work directly with Southeastern’s cutting-edge computer science faculty and IT professional staff, she added.

“The Lion’s Code CyberCamp introduces students to cognitive analysis skills vital in computer science through CyberSociety analysis and investigation of cyber scenarios developed by the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center,” Achee said. “These scenarios drop the students into the role of Department of Home Lion Security teams using critical thinking skills to solve the crime. Teams will be briefed by the director of Home Lion Security at the beginning of the experience as to the details of the incident. With Home Lion Security agents leading each team, students will use cognitive analysis skills to piece together the details of the incident and report their findings back to the director of Home Lion Security at the conclusion of the mission.”

Achee explained that students will also participate in a virtual Capture the Flag competition exploring data encryption algorithms, logic puzzles, cyber careers, and Southeastern’s offerings in these areas. Each participant will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the camp.

Bonus activities include learning about the wide range of career opportunities in information technology and educational options to help students plan for the future.

For more information, email

Alumni Association Announces New Board of Directors

The Southeastern Alumni Association’s new Board of Directors has been selected. Incoming members have been elected for a two-year term, unless otherwise noted, and will officially begin their term at the Association’s annual Board Installation Dinner on August 5. New members include:

Executive Committee
Louis “Patrick” Brazan III, President
Field Representative, Pharmacists Mutual
Gina Giacone Laird, President-Elect
Senior Vice President of Operations. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana
Baton Rouge
Dennis “Danny” Wallette, Treasurer
Director, Tangipahoa Mosquito Abatement District

At Large
Michelle Blum Gallo
Executive Director, Crimestoppers
Richard Moran
Site Manager, Pala Interstate
Michael Sistrunk
Patriot Circles Manager, National WWII Museum
New Orleans
Dr. Kenneth Terrell
Deputy Sheriff, Dallas County Sheriff’s Office
Cedar Hill, TX

Appointed to a 1-Year Term
Miles Garrett
Director of Development, LSU Foundation
Peter Lewis
Independent Insurance Sales and Councilman, City of Covington