New Industry Scholarship Helps Support Students

Southeastern’s Department of Industrial and Engineering Technology has received a $25,000 contribution from Turner Industries to establish The Turner Industries Endowed Scholarship to benefit students in disciplines offered by the department. Beginning in 2022, a $1,000 scholarship will be available to a student selected by the faculty annually.

Recently, President and CEO of Turner Industries Stephen Toups visited Southeastern’s Science and Technology Building to meet faculty and students and learn firsthand the offerings available to students in the department. Pictured from left are Southeastern President John L. Crain and Toups.


Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Turner Industries provides turnkey services and solutions to the companies that produce fuel, energy, and products essential to modern life. With four main division lines – Construction, Maintenance and Turnarounds, Fabrication, and Equipment and Specialty Services – Turner Industries employees work across the United States for clients around the world.

Southeastern Lab School Continues to Excel

The Southeastern Laboratory School recently celebrated an improved report card. Their school performance grade increased by 2.2 points, and the Lab School remains the only ‘A’ rated school in Tangipahoa Parish.

Lab School Director Stephen Labbe said the school’s score improved from 94.3 to 96.5, which means their students grew academically even through the pandemic.

“Since the pandemic began, our teachers have worked to make sure we still provide our students with the highest education opportunities possible,” Labbe said. “Whether they were teaching their students in the classroom or virtually through zoom, the Lab School teachers continued to find ways for our students to be successful.”

The Lab School is also a Top Gains honoree, as well as an Equity honoree.

Named an Approved Center of Play Therapy Education

Southeastern has been designated as a new Approved Center of Play Therapy Education. In earning the designation, one of only three in the state, Southeastern demonstrates an offering of extensive play therapy curriculum to mental health faculty, students, and practitioners, said Associate Professor of Counseling and Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor Laura Fazio-Griffith.

“The Counseling Program became an approved provider for play therapy education by the Association for Play Therapy in 2018, which means that we can provide play therapy workshops for masters-level clinicians and students who are pursuing the registered play therapist credential,” she said. “The Counseling Center offers at least one workshop per year in Hammond, Baton Rouge or virtually that is specific to play therapy education. The approved center is the next step in recognizing the Counseling Program’s commitment to play therapy education and research.”

Named the Southeastern Louisiana University Play Therapy Education and Training Site, the center, through the Counseling Program, will develop more play therapy instruction, conduct research, and contribute to the advancement of play therapy in the community. Centers are approved for a three-year period.

For more information, contact Fazio-Griffith at

Empowering Youth Through the Young Hispanics Leadership Program

Southeastern’s College of Business and the Latin American Business and Leadership Initiative recently received a $60,000 donation from local businessman and restaurant owner and operator Saul Rubio of Rubio Enterprise. The donation will fund the first stage of the Young Hispanics Leadership Program, which is designed to identify, develop, and empower the Hispanic youth community in the Southeast region through a multifaceted program that enhances and advances leadership capacities and professional growth.

“The Young Hispanic Leadership Program will go beyond the traditional instruction of leadership courses by providing Latino youth with the tools and resources to develop educational opportunities and become influential community leaders given Hispanic youth real-world learning experiences and interactions,” said Director of the Latin American Business Initiative Aristides Baraya. “The program promotes collaborative efforts within the university, generating a significant appreciation of cultural diversity and creating a lasting relationship among the Hispanic and non-Hispanic communities in the region.”

The program offers a series of symposia and workshops, to be held on Southeastern’s main campus in Hammond, as well as the Livingston Center in Walker, that examine the role of Hispanic youth in national and global transformations and the conceptualization of leadership and community service practices, Baraya explained. Presented by prominent Hispanic and non-Hispanic leaders discussing issues related to the Hispanic community, cultural diversity, and possible solutions, the workshops will help youth in grades 10 through 12 adopt critical thinking positions, analyze their roles in society, and seek improvement in their academic and professional lives.

“This program is an outstanding opportunity for Hispanic students to discover new faces in their lives and to put their leadership skills to work in practical and real-world applications,” Baraya said. “With a comprehensive portfolio of activities and working side-by-side with top community leaders, the program participants will develop a new and rejuvenated spirit of interdependence through a broad array of experiences that offer Hispanic youth complete and applicable educational opportunities.”

Southeastern began an effort in 1998 to expand the global perspectives of its students and increase its service vision to include the area of Southeast Louisiana and Latin America, as well as the Hispanic community in the United States. The university has been working with the Latin American community through the Hispanic Business and Leadership Institute, Baraya explained, offering programs designed to strengthen and invigorate the entrepreneurial, participative, and educative leadership capacities, as well as the international relations through a set of multifaceted actions that has allowed it to position itself at the forefront of various governments, companies, and institutions in Latin America.

“The Hispanic community has made significant contributions to the development of our great nation and has an essential role to play in today’s US economic and social success. Empowering social development and leadership to the Hispanic community will bring enormous opportunities to the entire region of Louisiana,” Baraya said.

For more information, contact Baraya at or 985-549-2171 or Director of the Livingston Center Krystal Hardison at or 225-665-3303.

Top Image: Southeastern Louisiana University’s College of Business and the Latin American Business and Leadership Initiative recently received a $60,000 donation from local businessman and restaurant owner and operator Saul Rubio, center, of Rubio Enterprise. The donation will fund the first stage of the Young Hispanics Leadership Program. Pictured, from left, are Director of the Latin American Business Initiative Aristides Baraya, Southeastern President John L. Crain, Rubio, College of Business Interim Dean Tara’ Lopez, and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Tena Golding.