Lion’s Code Summer Camp

Southeastern’s College of Science and Technology is hosting a virtual computer science camp this summer for students entering eighth through 12th grades this fall. The Lion’s Code Summer Coding Camp is free and open to students with any level of coding experience.

Sponsored by Southeastern’s Department of Computer Science, the camp is one week long. Two separate sessions are available July 19-22 and July 26-29. Students may register for the session that best fits their schedules. Both sessions are online and take place each day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“The Lion’s Code Camp provides an enjoyable summer camp experience for high school students that challenges students academically in the foundational concepts of computer science and builds the skills of teamwork, public speaking and relationship building,” said Instructor of Computer Science and Camp Coordinator Bonnie Achee.

Achee said students will be introduced to several aspects of computer science including cyber security, cyber literacy, and python programming.

“Students will participate in a virtual capture the flag and work together in teams as cyber-sleuths to solve a cybercrime. They will have the opportunity to learn about career opportunities in computer science and cyber security, as well as work with the Southeastern’s Career Services to begin creating a professional resume.

Registration is available at Each camp session is limited to 100 students on a first come, first served basis. Pre-registration opens on April 1, 2021.

For more information, contact Achee at

Lion Pride Career Closet

Southeastern and the Wesley Foundation have collaborated to create the Lion Pride Career Closet (LPCC), an initiative that supplies clothing for interviews and other career-related events for Southeastern students.

The LPCC provides access to new and gently used professional attire for interviews, career fairs, networking events, and graduations, said Director of Programs at the Southeastern Wesley Foundation Melissa Guerra.

“Recently, members of the Hammond-Ponchatoula Sunriser Rotary provided career clothing to support our new initiative,” she said. “We are thrilled they chose to Lion Up and help Southeastern students to be more confident for interviews and other career related activities.”

Guerra said they are seeking donations to help supply the LPCC. Items needed include business suits, blouses, skirts, dress shirts, professional slacks, blazers, ties, belts, shoes, and professional bags and purses. All donations are tax-deductible.

Several drop off locations are available in the northshore area from Walker to Slidell. Drop off locations include the following:
• Amite City Chamber of Commerce,
101 SE Central Ave., Amite, La.
• First United Methodist Church,
203 North Jefferson Ave., Covington, La.
• Livingston Parish Literacy Center,
9261 Florida Blvd., Walker, La.
• Ponchatoula Chamber of Commerce,
160 W. Pine St., Ponchatoula, La.
• Southeastern Alumni Center,
500 University Ave., Hammond, La.
• St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce,
610 Hollycrest Blvd., Covington, La.
• St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce,
2220 Carey St., Slidell, La.
• Tangipahoa Chamber of Commerce,
400 NW Railroad, Ave., Hammond, La.
• The Southeastern Wesley Foundation,
307 W. Dakota St., Hammond, La.

For more information about the Lion Pride Career Closet, contact Guerra at 985-345-6175 or at

Top image: Members of the Hammond-Ponchatoula Sunriser Rotary recently provided career clothing to support the new Lions Pride Career Closet, a partnership between the Wesley Foundation and Southeastern Louisiana University. The initiative supplies clothing for interviews and other career-related events for Southeastern students. Rotary members Deek and Lisa DeBlieux (left) met with Melissa Guerra of the Wesley Foundation (second from right) and Vice President for University Advancement and Executive Director of the Southeastern Foundation Wendy Lauderdale (far right) to provide the donation.

Forged in Family

Hear Jenkins’ story and explore what it takes to become a “Forged in Fire” champion.

While some students start their college journey wondering what their purpose in life will be, others have it all figured out, with a stop at university as just part of the game plan. But even then, life can be full of surprises.

While a freshman at Southeastern in the College of Science and Technology, industrial technology major Cade Jenkins earned the title of Champion on History Channel’s hit reality show Forged in Fire thanks to his incredible blacksmithing skills and his decision to continue a family legacy.


In January, the Loranger resident competed against three other bladesmiths in four rounds to create the best blade and was crowned Champion of the episode titled “French Pioneer Sword,” winning a grand prize of $10,000.

“My grandfather was a full-time blacksmith for 30 years, and he is unable to continue because of health issues,” said Jenkins. “So, I decided to carry on the legacy.”

However, Jenkins’ decision to join the show was not an idea he came up with on his own. It was really his mother’s.


“I was watching the show with my family, critiquing the contestants and the things they were doing wrong,” said Jenkins. “My mom said, ‘Why don’t you do it then and show them how it’s done?’ So, I applied for the show.”

Jenkins calls his time on the set of the reality show the greatest experience of his life.

“I competed against three great smiths and even better men,” said Jenkins. “We are still friends to this day. It was a huge challenge to complete, but in the end it was so worth it.”

When Jenkins was announced the winner, he and his family were excited, of course. However, the best reaction he received was from his grandfather.

“I was still in New York, which is where we filmed the show,” said Jenkins. “I called my grandparents and said ‘I just wanted to let y’all know I won,’ and heard my grandpa in the background holler like a little girl.”


Jenkins started out as an architectural blacksmith, but he has since come to specialize as a bladesmith. He started learning blacksmithing at the age of 12, after spending much of his childhood doing carpentry and woodwork with his father, who works as a hobbyist carpenter. Woodwork would not turn out to be Jenkins’ niche, but it would lead him on the path to blacksmithing.

“I love making things,” said Jenkins. “When I was a kid, I started learning different crafts. I started casting metal, which is a little different. I actually learned how to crochet and how to sew. I just started picking up things really, really easily.”

Jenkins would soon seek out his grandfather to learn how to forge and would eventually master the skill, creating items like stair railing furniture, hinges, and custom knives.

“With blacksmithing, I never stopped learning,” said Jenkins. “So that’s why I fell in love with it—I just couldn’t stop learning new things.”

Jenkins is currently taking some time off from school to manage the demands of his business, but he is committed to completing his degree in industrial technology with a concentration in welding technology at Southeastern. He’s noted that his time at Southeastern has helped him learn even more about his craft. His future plans are to merge his skill set as a blacksmith with the new information he learns in his program at Southeastern to create works of art.


“When learning how to blacksmith, I learned how to heat, treat, and temper metal, but I never knew the science behind my craft,” said Jenkins. “I only knew how to physically do it. In the little time I was at Southeastern, I have learned so much information that I have brought to my shop, and it has made me a better bladesmith and blacksmith.”

After graduating from Southeastern in the future, Jenkins hopes to combine his current knowledge of metallurgy through blacksmithing to become the best in the business.


As for now—business is booming! Since the episode’s airing in early 2020, Jenkins’ blacksmithing business, Jenkins Blacksmithing, has received much exposure, which gave the business a major increase in customers and in Jenkins’ workload.

Jenkins expressed that during the taping of the show, he learned many new skills, most importantly time management and getting out of his comfort zone.

For many 18-year-olds, running a successful business solo at such a young age could be seen as “out of your comfort zone.” However, in Jenkins’ case, it seems more like something that comes with the territory of doing something you love. When it comes to Jenkins’ favorite thing about blacksmithing, he explains that it is his passion, along with the desire of his inner child.

“I may be 18, but like every man, I still have a 13-year-old boy inside of me who loves fire and beating on things,” said Jenkins. “It is a passion of mine, and every project has its own little story, because everything I make is made from scratch by hand.”


Cade’s advice to others interested in blacksmithing? “Blacksmithing is not easy,” he says. “It’s really hard work. You’ve got to really love it to do it.” In terms of business advice, Jenkins advises to always remain focused: “Remember what your main goal is and keep that in mind.”

It’s evident in the craftsmanship and passion for his work at Jenkins Blacksmithing that he does love his craft. His main goal is clear: Even though he is a Champion, he will always work to become a better blacksmith than he already is.

For more information on Jenkins and his work, visit

By Brianna Hawkins and Ashley Richardson

Nationally Ranked OSH&E Program

Southeastern’s Occupational Safety, Health and Environment program has been ranked in the top 20 in the nation for affordability according to College Values Online. The organization ranks schools and programs, highlights features of the college experience, and provides career information for perspective students.

The only university in Louisiana included, Southeastern’s program was ranked ninth in the nation among 65 colleges and universities listed by the Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator and reputable online sources that offer affordable occupational safety degree programs for less than $15,000 per year.

“This ranking can be attributed to the rigorous program that we offer, the standards that our faculty apply, the continuous improvement of curriculum and infrastructure, and the professional ties that we built with key industrial partners and employers,” said Mohammad Saadeh, Industrial and Engineering Technology department head.

“The collective impact of these efforts is manifested in this ranking, especially that the program was ranked 19th in 2015. It is remarkable to see this leap in a relatively short period. News like this brings attention to the great work that our faculty do in preparing qualified safety professionals equipped with relevant education according to the needs of the workforce.”

The criteria for ranking included regional or national accreditation, full or part-time completion pathways, and program and/or school rankings with U.S. News and World Report.

Southeastern’s program is nationally accredited by the Applied Science Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc. The program grew from a two-year associate’s degree program to a four-year bachelor of science program following considerable input from managers at area industries that reported a significant need for health and safety professionals. The program prepares students for a variety of positions, including roles of safety engineers and safety supervisors.

For more information about the OSH&E program, email or call 985-549-2189.

The full listing can be accessed here.

College of Nursing & Health Sciences Offering Two New Certificate Programs

Southeastern’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences has been approved by the Board of Regents to begin offering two new certificates within the college.

Beginning this fall, students can start taking classes toward earning certificates in Population Health Management and Digital Health Management.

“As a result of COVID-19, healthcare has demonstrated that it can innovate new delivery systems, such as telehealth, virtual care and home monitoring, technology, and population health,” said Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences Ann Carruth. “These certificates help prepare adults to be workforce ready and respond to these rapidly evolving delivery systems.”

Assistant Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences Ralph Wood said population health management has emerged as an important strategy for health care providers and payers.

“The Undergraduate certificate in population health management was developed to provide adult learners with job skills and knowledge that are in demand in today’s workforce,” he said. “The program is industry based, employer driven and was created to help fill the gaps in the current workforce talent pipeline. Certificate holders will be able to demonstrate needed labor skills supporting a growing health care industry.”

The certificate prepares adults to enhance skills to improve health within and across populations, Wood explained. Potential employment includes mid-level work settings, hospitals, health care clinics, consulting companies, government health services, insurance providers, community facilities, and not-for-profit, as well as managed care organizations.

The certificate requires 21 hours and includes course work in population health, chronic human disease states, health informatics, social determinants of health and health disparities, health coaching and behavior change, data management, and practical experience in interprofessional education and practice.

The Certificate in Digital Health Management is relevant for those seeking a degree or those who wish to enhance existing educational experience in digital health management, Wood said.

“The purpose of this certificate,” he said, “is to prepare adult learners for careers in healthcare with high demand knowledge and job skills related to electronic/personal health records, telehealth and remote patient monitoring technology, telecare, telemedicine, patient self-monitoring, ambient assisted living, and smart systems incorporating both on demand and scheduled telehealth visits in to daily clinical workflows, data management and analysis, and health informatics.”

The certificate requires 18 credit hours and includes course work in technology, chronic disease management, data analytics, health informatics, and project management.

For more information, contact the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at 985-549-3772 or

Designated a Military Friendly School for Nine Consecutive Years

For the ninth consecutive year, Southeastern has been named a Military Friendly® School for 2021-2022.

Viqtory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs, states the listing honors the top colleges, universities, and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace the nation’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as students and to ensure their success on campus.

“Southeastern’s consistent listing shows our continued commitment to serve active military, veterans, and their families,” said President John L. Crain. “As always, we are proud to receive this recognition, as it places us among some of the top universities in the nation, but more importantly we know it means we are doing our best to serve those who have made many sacrifices in service to our nation.”

Southeastern enrolls 557 veteran and military service members. The University maintains a Veterans Upward Bound program; has an Office of Military and Veteran Success that assists students in obtaining benefits and with other issues; provides academic and other counseling services; offers scholarships specifically for military students and veterans; and maintains a wide range of online and distance learning programs that provide students with flexibility in scheduling.

Southeastern’s ROTC program, which is a sub-unit of the Southern University Army ROTC program, returned to Hammond in 2016 after more than a 20-year hiatus. Fifty-five students now participate in the program.

Southeastern also serves as a resource center for thousands of Louisiana veterans in an effort to help active-duty military service men and women successfully transition to college through a new program called LaVetCorps.

Additionally, Southeastern now has an Office of Military and Veteran Success. The new office includes two college employees, a LAVetCorps employee and six veteran ambassadors. The center offers help with academic advising related to VA education benefits, processing VA education benefits, counseling on VA education benefits, programs, events, and priority registration.

“Southeastern has made a concerted effort in the past several years to focus on military service members, veterans, and their families,” said Director of Military and Veteran Success Matt Watkins, a U.S. Air Force Veteran. “Southeastern has created innovative programming, services, events and resources for our veterans, dependents and military population. All of our staff members feel there is no greater calling than serving those who have served us.”

A recent addition to campus is the Southeastern Student Veterans and Military Interest Association, a group open to veterans, reservists, spouses, dependents, and ROTC participants attending both Southeastern and Northshore Technical Community College. The association was founded to help the school administration better understand and meet the needs of veterans; offer advice from experienced to incoming veterans; help civilians better understand the military experience; and provide opportunities for veterans to meet one another and connect.

Institutions competed for inclusion on the Military Friendly Schools list based on such categories as military support on campus, graduation and employment outcomes, and career and job counseling services. The firm Ernst and Young independently tested the data provided by schools.

The 2021 list of Military Friendly Schools shows the commitment of those institutions in providing a supportive environment for military students, the company said in announcing the list.

Viqtory Media is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business founded in 2001. In addition to G.I. Jobs, the company also publishes the magazine Military Spouse.

Providing STEM Outreach with Engineering Day for Girls

On February 27, the Northshore STEM Coalition hosted Engineering Day for Girls (ED4G), a free, annual event that aims to introduce girls to the field of engineering. The event, which achieved full registration, included both in-person and virtual participation options.

ED4G centers on an engineering challenge to be completed by event participants and features women in the engineering field as guest speakers. Event participants have the opportunity to ask questions and have discussions with STEM professionals while exploring and honing their own engineering skills.

Led by Southeastern and Northshore Technical Community College, Northshore STEM increases community awareness and interest in STEM by promoting and creating STEM events and supporting out-of-school programs in the Northshore region.

Chuck Crabtree, co-chair of the Northshore STEM Coalition, said the whole idea behind Engineering Day for Girls is for participants to leave the event with the mindset, “I am what a future engineer looks like!”

“For our country to remain competitive in the rapidly changing world of technology, we need a diversity of viewpoints, as well as the creativity and innovation of both male and female participants,” Crabtree said. “Women have traditionally been underrepresented in engineering, but we can change that. By providing support, encouragement, and access to more opportunities to apply STEM knowledge and the engineering design process, we can help girls envision themselves in engineering careers.”

This year’s engineering challenge was to construct a functional bridge out of Popsicle sticks and wood glue, which was provided by the event organizers. NASA System Quality Engineer Renee Horton led the activity.

Participants used the engineering process to design, build, and test their bridges. Winners were selected in different categories, such as the bridge that held the most weight using canned goods as weights, the most cost-effective bridge that used the least Popsicle sticks, and the fastest built bridge.

“Showing our girls that they can create and innovate something techie is an amazing experience for them,” Horton said. “When they realize they can do it, it makes the impossible seem possible for all their dreams. Engineering is the start of them creating something amazing.”

For more information about Northshore STEM, visit

Computer Science Lecture Series: Creating Meaningful Works of Virtual Reality (VR) Experiences

Above Image: Jacquelyn Morie founder and chief scientist of the virtual reality company All These Worlds, LLC, will deliver the second installment of the new Industry Connect Distinguished Lecture Series of the spring semester titled “Creating Meaningful Works of Virtual Reality (VR) Experiences.” 

Southeastern’s Department of Computer Science is hosting the second installment of the new Industry Connect Distinguished Lecture Series of the spring semester March 18 at 4 p.m. via Google Meet.

Founder and Chief Scientist of the virtual reality company All These Worlds, LLC, Jacquelyn Morie will deliver the free lecture titled “Creating Meaningful Works of Virtual Reality (VR) Experiences.”

Morie’s company builds virtual environments for NASA and the Army Medical Command. She has recently formed a second company for Augmented Reality applications called The Augmented Traveler Corporation.

“All These Worlds, LLC, is active in social virtual reality, mindfulness, storytelling, art, and stress relief applications, including a project completed for NASA called ANSIBLE, a full virtual world ecosystem designed to provide psychological benefits for future astronauts who will undertake isolated missions to Mars,” said Computer Science Instructor Bonnie Achee. “Dr. Morie also investigates the use of personal avatars for how they affect our human selves, both now and in the future.”

Morie holds advanced degrees in both fine art and computer science. Her career also spans numerous accomplishments in education, developing digital media programs at the Ringling College of Art and Design, the University of Central Florida, the Walt Disney Animation Studios, VIFX, Blue Sky and Rhythm and Hues, and Otis College of Art and Design. She was instrumental in the creation of the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies, where she served as a senior researcher for 14 years.

Viewing of the lecture video stream is available in limited capacity in the Envoc Innovation Lab, located in room 2026 in the Computer Science and Technology Building.

Although maximum capacity for the event is 15 with some overflow available in the adjoining room as well, all are invited to join in via Google Meet. To request to be added to the invitation list for the Google Meet code, email

For more information, contact the Department of Computer Science at 985-549-5740.

Virtual Jazz Ensemble Concert

The Southeastern Jazz Ensemble will livestream their first concert of the spring 2021 semester via the KSLU Facebook page on Tuesday, March 9, at 7:30 p.m., from the Pottle Music Building Recital Hall.

The concert can be viewed at

Under the direction of Director of Jazz Studies and Instructor of Percussion Michael Brothers, the program will include Long Ago and Far Away, by Ira Gershwin and Jerome Kern and arranged by Lennie Niehaus; Follow Me, by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays and arranged by Bob Curnow; Jenny, composed and arranged by Ernie Wilkins; The Summer of ’42, by Michel Legrand and arranged by Tommy Newsom; and Phase Dance, by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays and arranged by Bob Curnow.

Joining the ensemble will be special guest Phill Fest on guitar. Son of the Brazilian piano legend Manfredo Fest, he recorded four albums with his father and has been supervising the re-release of some of his father’s earliest albums.

One of South Florida’s most in-demand guitarists/vocalists, Fest was recognized by the Bay Area Music Awards as Best Jazz Artist in 1996. He has released four albums under his own name and the fifth, Café Fonfon, featuring another Brazilian piano legend Antonio Aldofo and Brothers on drums, is to be released in late April or early May.

For more information, contact the Department of Music and Performing Arts at 985-549-2184.

Open House: Integrated Science and Technology

Southeastern Office of Graduate Studies cordially invites prospective graduate students to learn about the master’s degree in Integrated Science and Technology (ISAT) – Data Science.  The data science Discipline of Study is designed for experienced IT professionals seeking educational and career advancement.  Applications are now being accepted for admissions to begin in summer and fall 2021.

The Office of Graduate Studies will host three online open house events:

  • Wednesday, March 10 @ 12:00 noon
  • Monday, April 12 @ 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 17 @ 11:30 a.m.

Please select the date/time that best accommodates your schedule.  Email your selection to  Reservation confirmations are by return email.

Learn first-hand from faculty and staff in a live format about the program, courses, admission process, and scholarships.

ISAT Data Science:  Real-World Ready
Build resilience and professional advancement into your career with faculty mentors in data science, culminating in a student-driven thesis/research project.

  • Designed for experienced IT professionals
  • 33 credit hours, degree completion in two years or less
  • Online and remote-learning class schedules
  • GRE requirement waived for qualified applicants
  • Reasonable cost
  • Employer-provided education benefits accepted