Introducing New Logos

Southeastern has reinvented its visual identity with the creation of new logos for both the University and athletics. The change comes as the University approaches its 100th anniversary in 2025.

“Since its opening in 1925, Southeastern has had a long and storied history of empowering generations of students to reach for and achieve their best future,” said Southeastern President John L. Crain. “As we are in the final years of our first century and beginning to envision our second century, the time has come to update and unify the University’s brand and identity.”
Drawing from iconic elements of Southeastern’s identity, campus, and heritage, the new logos bridge Southeastern’s history and future, Crain said.

“Logos should reflect our character, strengths, excellence and values. These new logos do just that,” added Crain. “The logo change is merely the beginning of a process to give Southeastern a modern brand identity that will lead us into the centennial anniversary.”

Leaping Forward


The National Science Foundation has awarded a Southeastern specialist in the diversity of fishes a grant of $409,200.

Professor of Biological Sciences and ichthyologist Kyle Piller received the three-year grant to improve the Southeastern Vertebrate Museum. The project will focus on curation of existing museum specimens and tissue samples, digitize and georeference specimen data, and integrate the data with online repositories, making the data available to the general scientific community.

Kyle Piller
Kyle Piller

“Southeastern has an Ichthyology and Herpetology collection that initially was developed for teaching and research in the 1950s,” said Piller. “The bulk of the collection is comprised of fishes—more than 120,000 specimens and over 7,000 tissue samples—with the majority of the specimens from the Lake Pontchartrain Basin in southeast Louisiana and, more recently, from throughout Mexico and Central America. We also have an ever-growing herpetology collection, part of which was recently obtained from the orphaned Tulane University herpetology collection.”

In addition to the reptile, amphibian, and fish collection, Piller said the museum also has birds and mammals, although their numbers are much smaller. Specimens in the collection include sea turtle shells, a whale vertebrate, and alligators.


“We actually have alligator purses and shoes to show our guests what is done with alligator skins once they are harvested,” Piller said. “We have a whooping crane, which is hard to come by, and a couple of toucans that are mounted. We are slowly growing in all areas, but the fish collection has grown the most because that’s what I study.”

College of Science and Technology Dean Daniel McCarthy said the grant will be transformative for the Ichthyology and Herpetology collection at Southeastern.

“The museum is much more than a collection of jars to look at; rather, it contains a record of the reptiles and fishes from our region from decades ago, which will prove to be an invaluable resource to scientists studying this ecosystem,” he explained. “Furthermore, the educational outreach component of the grant will expose thousands of students to the importance of reptiles, amphibians, and fish to the Gulf Coast.”


Both undergraduate and graduate students use the specimens in the museum for research and study as part of undergraduate honors and graduate theses. Many students, Piller said, use the specimens to study their diets.

“Students can cut open the belly of a 20- or 30-year-old specimen and see what the species was eating back then versus what they are eating now,” he explained. “It also gives us a record of the presence of species now versus what they were 30 or 40 years ago, so we can look at change in communities in our region.”

Piller said the project will help revitalize interest in the natural world by using natural history collections to highlight the unique organismal diversity in Louisiana and beyond. Southeastern personnel will develop a traveling fish, reptile, and amphibian program titled “The Bone Sheaux.”


“This outreach program will be used to stimulate interest in organismal biology for K-12 students in southeastern Louisiana, which includes some of the most impoverished parishes in Louisiana,” he said. “A permanent loan will also be made available to Southeastern’s field station, Turtle Cove, which hosts more than 3,000 visitors annually for public outreach and teacher training workshops.”

“Although the bulk of the vertebrate museum is comprised of fishes, with five herpetology researchoriented faculty on staff and herpetology oriented graduate students in the department, the herpetology collection will continue to grow in the coming years, as our specimen growth primarily has been a by-product of ongoing research and thesis projects, as well as for specimen usage in the classroom,” he explained.

Piller said a natural history museum course will be developed for Southeastern’s undergraduate students to provide them training in museum curation and specimen preparation.


“This team-taught course will focus on collection care and curatorial techniques and will give students first-hand experience in a research collection,” he explained. “The course will culminate in the development of a museum website and a small working museum exhibit that will be displayed in the lobby of the biology building.”

Well-curated collections will continue to serve the scientific community for decades to come, Pillar said, and the value of scientific collections and data they contain are becoming increasingly important as major initiatives push the bounds and usefulness of museum data.

“Beyond hard-core science initiatives, natural history collections represent reservoirs of knowledge that need to be promoted and publicized to the general public,” he said. “Southeastern has specimens with scientific value, and this study will assure that these specimens are curated and available for study by the scientific community.”

By Tonya Lowentritt

The Lion’s Roar Takes Home Numerous Louisiana Press Association Awards

The student staff of The Lion’s Roar, Southeastern’s student newspaper, brought home nine awards from the annual Louisiana Press Association (LPA) Better Newspaper Competition.

The Lion’s Roar, edited by Gerard Borne, Jr., a senior communication major from Norco, garnered second place accolades in the “General Excellence” category. Student newspapers from Loyola University New Orleans and Grambling State University placed first and third place respectively.

The staff also placed second in the “Best Front Page” category of the competition for the front-page designs of the March 17, 2020, and April 7, 2020 issues. Individually, Brynn Lundy, a senior communication major from Lutcher, took second place in the “Best News Story” category. In addition, Maiah Woodring, a senior biological sciences major from Albany, earned a first-place award for her photography in the “Best News Photo” category.

“It really shows how hard our staff have worked over the past year. I am honored to say that the staff and I have received this recognition,” Borne said. “I could not be happier, as I think we have some of the best writers and photographers working with the newspaper.”

Several additional staff reporters also earned individual awards from the LPA. Borne earned recognition in the “Best Sports Photo” category, taking both first and second place. Also, Symiah Dorsey, a junior communication major from LaPlace, received awards for both written and photography pieces. She placed first and second place in the “Best Single Editorial” category. Dorsey also placed third in the “Best Feature Story” category.

Director for the Office for Student Publications Lee E. Lind acknowledged the dedication and work ethic of the student staff over the past year, despite restrictions in place due to COVID-19.

“I am always proud of the quality and success of the work produced by our student editors and reporters,” he said. “This past year has been an especially challenging one, but through it all, these student journalists never wavered in their commitment to the work, the publication, and the campus community. To see them recognized for that dedication is greatly rewarding.”

Forty-four LPA member publications, college and university student newspapers submitted 973 entries for the Better Newspaper Competition. The Colorado Press Association judged the competition this year.

Southeastern Channel Named Best Television Station in the South

For the sixth time in the past nine 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 third year in a row and the fourth time in the past six years at the annual Southeast Journalism Conference. Its six years of winning “Best College TV Station” since 2013 are the most by 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 celebrates student journalism and offers an opportunity for participants to develop relationships with students from schools throughout the southeast United States.

This year’s “Best of South” competition featured 369 entries from 30 universities throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee. There were 45 judges for the competition, including broadcast and print journalism professionals. Winners were announced in a virtual ceremony from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn.

“It’s a great honor to once again be recognized 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 first place for “Best College Video News Program” for the student newscast Northshore News. The newscast has won first place five times in the past 10 years, the most of any school in the region.

In the individual categories, Kaylee Normand of Mandeville won second place for “Best Television Journalist in the South,” while Chris Rosato, also from Mandeville, won third place for “Best Television Hard News Reporter.” Both Normand and Rosato won for their Northshore News stories.

Emile Stretcher of Jennings and Cameron Pittman of Bogalusa won second and fifth place, respectively, for “Best Advertising Staff Member.” Raychelle Riley of Denham Springs won second place for “Best Journalism Research Paper.”

“Best of South” judges were impressed with Northshore News, which has won honors from College Broadcasters, Inc. as the second-best college TV newscast in the nation.

“These newscasts were very well produced,” said one judge. “Great local stories. Nice variety. Good mix of hard and soft. Strong visuals. Well-stacked shows with balance.”

Comments from another judge included, “Extremely professional and watchable program here! Great news judgment, as stories seemed well sourced and appeared where they ‘should.’ Nicely done. The hurricane footage was especially gripping!”

Anchors for Northshore News included Rosato, Normand, Lily Gayle of Greensburg, and Gabrielle Cox of Hammond.

Reporters for the newscasts were Rosato, Normand, Riley, Gayle, Cox, Dylan Domangue of Houma, Kayla Martin of New Orleans, and Lorraine Weiskopf and Caroline Fussell of Covington.

Student reporter Coby Sanchez of Baton Rouge, a certified storm spotter for the National Weather Service, captured dramatic live footage of Hurricane Zeta from inside the storm’s eyewall for one Northshore News episode.

This is the second consecutive year that Rosato has won an individual honor at the Southeast Journalism Conference. Last year he won third place in the “Best Television Journalist” category and third in the onsite competition for “Best Television Anchoring.”

Rosato also won regional honors from the Society of Professional Journalists and a first-place national award from College Broadcasters, Inc. for his news stories. Additionally, the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters, made up of all television and radio professionals in the state, named him the 2020 Louisiana Student Broadcaster of the Year.

Normand won an SPJ national award for her reporting and anchoring for the Southeastern Channel news magazine Southeastern Times, as well as a regional SPJ Mark of Excellence award for news feature reporting.

Rosato, Normand and Riley were hired as television news reporters right after graduating in December of 2020. Rosato was hired to report for WAFB-TV Ch. 9 (CBS) in Baton Rouge, while Normand was hired by KATC-TV Ch. 3 (ABC) in Lafayette. Riley now reports for WGMB-TV Ch. 44 (FOX)/WVLA-TV Ch. 33 (NBC) in Baton Rouge.

In its 19 years of existence, the Southeastern Channel has won over 400 national, international and regional awards, including 20 awards from the Emmys. The channel can be seen on Spectrum Channel 199 in Tangipahoa, St. Tammany, Livingston and St. Helena parishes and on in Washington Parish. The channel’s live 24-7 broadcast is streamed on Roku, Apple TV and, which also offers video on demand. The Southeastern Channel can also be accessed through its Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube accounts.

Save the Date for an Exciting Year of Performances at the Columbia Theatre

Southeastern’s Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts recently announced its 2021-22 season, which offers everything from live music to dance to theater. Dates and additional information are available at

The Columbia Theatre curtain officially opens Aug. 14 with a screening of Jaws, the first of the Columbia Movie House Series. Scheduled at 7:30 p.m. and as a Shark Week celebration, the film is a big screen showing of Steven Spielberg’s legendary creature feature. Film historian Jason Landrum will introduce the film and share some fun facts about the making of the cinema classic. Tickets are $20 and include free popcorn and a shark week “swag bag,” while supplies last.

Next up is a screening of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on Aug. 28 at 7:30 p.m. Once again, film historian Jason Landrum will introduce the film and share some fun facts about the making of the legendary John Hughes film centered on a high school senior playing hooky. Tickets are $20 and include free popcorn and an 80s “swag bag,” while supplies last.

Just in time for Halloween, the first of Columbia’s Original productions is scheduled Oct. 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m. Directed by Columbia Theatre Artistic Director Jim Winter, The House on Haunted Hill is adapted for the stage from the Vincent Price film. The creepy classic is filled with Halloween thrills and chills, Winter said.

“An eccentric millionaire is throwing a party…inside a haunted house,” Winter explained. “Riches await his guests if they can survive the night.”

Tickets are $35 for adults, $20 for students and children.

A special screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, is scheduled Oct. 29 and 30 at 9 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and students, and VIP tickets are $25.

“Back by popular demand and hosted by master of ceremonies Joe Burns, our two screenings of this cult classic feature a shadow cast, costume contest, and more,” Winter said. “VIP tickets include a throw bag filled with all the interactive props you need and a surprise from our shadow cast.”

Next up is The Last Waltz, an array of local musicians that join forces on the Columbia Stage to perform the set list from the famous farewell concert by The Band. Scheduled Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m., the concert features Byron Daniel, Will Vance, Soul Revival, Lacey Blackledge, Bayou Honey and many more. Winter said this event is a fundraiser for Serenity Treatment Centers, Southeastern Students in Recovery, and True Rescue.

Tickets are $25 for adults and students, and VIP tickets are $35. A VIP ticket includes a reusable, spill-proof Columbia Theatre tumbler.

The holiday season at Columbia begins on Dec. 3 with Columbia Theatre’s Holiday Extravaganza. Scheduled at 6 p.m., the event invites patrons to come in their pajamas for a holiday celebration where they can explore the decorated lobby, meet Santa Claus, take selfies, listen to live holiday music, and enjoy a special screening of The Polar Express at 7 p.m. Free popcorn, hot cocoa, and a holiday “swag bag” are included, while supplies last, with the purchase of a ticket. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and children.

The Hammond Ballet Company celebrates its 25th anniversary of The Nutcracker on Dec. 10, 11, and 12. Scheduled at 7 p.m. Dec. 10 and 11 and at 2 p.m. Dec. 12, the timeless holiday classic features the combined talents of professionals and all-star locals. Tickets are $35 for adults and $20 for students and children.

The first Columbia production of 2022 is scheduled Feb. 4 and 11 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 5 and 12 at 2 p.m. Directed by Winter, Puffs Or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic is Matt Cox’s smash hit Off-Broadway comedy that celebrates all things Harry. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students and children.
“If you are a fan of a certain boy wizard,” Winter said, “you do not want to miss Puffs.”
Next up is Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show March 11, 12, 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 for adults and $20 for children and students.

“Come up to the lab and see what’s on the slab as the Columbia Theatre and Southeastern Theatre combine forces to bring you the live musical sensation that inspired the legendary cult film,” Winter said.

Columbia Theatre will host four primetime concert events for the 21st annual Bill Evans Jazz Festival April 6–9. Each concert is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. and will feature current Southeastern students, alumni, faculty and special guest artist Lisanne Lyons. Adult tickets are $20 and tickets for students and children are $15.

The Phantom of the Columbia: A Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre rounds out the month of April on the 27–30 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $100.

“Dress for an evening of fine dining and operatic grandeur because you’re invited to a very special on-stage dinner at the Columbia. One Thirteen Executive Chef Ryan Haigler will provide a delicious meal complete with some scrumptious Candlestick Bakery desserts,” Winter said. “Unfortunately, someone or something seems to be haunting our theatre. Oh, and did we mention members of the cast and crew have been dropping like flies lately? Perhaps you can help us catch the killer. Maybe you will be the next victim? Or are you the Phantom of the Columbia?”

Fittingly, the final film screening in the Columbia Movie House Series is scheduled May 4 at 7:30 p.m. Landrum will introduce the film Star Wars: A New Hope and share some fun facts about the making of this cinema classic that started it all. Free popcorn and Star Wars “swag bag” are included, while supplies last, with ticket purchase. Winter said patrons should arrive early to enjoy the decorated lobby that will include fun photo-op spots. Tickets are $20.

All tickets are available at the Columbia Theatre box office, located at 220 E. Thomas Street in Hammond, or by calling 985.543.4371.

For more information, contact the Columbia Theatre at 985.543.4366 or visit