Offering New Healthcare Leadership Opportunities with Doctoral Nursing Program

Southeastern’s School of Nursing is now offering a bachelor of science in nursing-doctor of nursing practice nurse executive leadership track. Approved in December 2021, the first cohort of students will be accepted to begin in summer 2022.

“This program uniquely provides nurse executive leaders with an advanced nursing doctoral degree to complement their expertise in related areas of business, public health, and health administration,” said Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences Ann Carruth. “The DNP brings together skills that leverage excellence in health care networks in our region.”

School of Nursing Department Head Ken Tillman said the Nurse Executive Leadership concentration prepares expert leaders to bring evidence-based knowledge into the practice arena, improve health care outcomes, and strengthen the executive nurse leadership role in guiding complex care delivery. For nurses with baccalaureate degrees who wish to pursue graduate-level nurse executive leadership education leading to the DNP degree, the NEL concentration allows nurse leaders with non-nursing master’s degrees, like an MBA or MPH degree, to attain the DNP degree.

“This program provides an opportunity for nurses who are interested in executive leadership, but not advanced practice, to pursue graduate studies at the doctoral level,” he said.

Courses for the new program track will be taught in the fall, spring and summer semesters, accelerating the time to completion of the DNP degree, explained Nursing Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator Lindsay Domiano. All courses reflect the American Association of Colleges and Nursing, Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing, and AACN Essentials of Doctoral Education in Nursing for Advanced Nursing Practice and related competencies. All didactic components of MSN and DNP courses will be taught online.

For more information about the program, contact Domiano at 985.549.5045 or

rock n roar

Banking Finance Team Ranks Among Top in the U.S. While Giving Back to the Community

Southeastern finance students recently served our regional banking community while engaging in challenging, motivating, and relevant academic experiences. Under the guidance of Dr. Danielle Lewis, student Community Banking Project team members, Lonica Wallace, Greyson Labasse, and Sage Mulkey, competed in a semester-long, nation-wide case study competition hosted by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) and the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank. The team partnered with Liberty Bank & Trust, the largest African American-owned minority bank in the U.S., to examine how Liberty responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and addressed its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The students provided the bank with quantitative data demonstrating the substantial economic impact of its loan program supporting underserved communities. External judges from the Federal Reserve System, CSBS, FDIC, OCC, and bankers’ associations judged Southeastern’s Team in multiple rounds, ultimately ranking them third in the country out of 56 teams.

For the project, students worked directly with bank representatives to write a case study. The process included meeting with bank representatives to understand their unique challenges and perspectives, conducting interviews with external bank stakeholders, analyzing bank financials using statistical tools and software, writing the case study, and presenting to bank representatives and stakeholders as well as to the CSBS judges, including representatives of the Federal Reserve and FDIC. Southeastern’s Community Banking Project seamlessly ties together the finance degree program’s academic goals with the College of Business’s mission to positively impact the community.

In addition to providing an outstanding learning experience for students, the Community Banking Project helps to support banks in the region (who do not have the same resources as national banks) by providing them with research, analysis, and inspiration. Participating in the CSBS case study competition serves as a conduit for community banks to help tell their individual stories.

Working with Liberty Bank & Trust, the Southeastern team learned about what inclusion and diversity truly means. Not only did the team have the opportunity to tell an inspirational story about their African American owned partner bank’s struggles and achievements, but by helping the bank quantify their performance and the economic impact on their communities, they found that Liberty Bank’s commitment to lending to underserved communities has a large economic impact on the entire community, not just African Americans.

Having ranked nationally in the top five for five out of six years, Southeastern students have met an impressive number of highly successful people in the industry, including Jerome Powell, the current Federal Reserve Chair; James Bullard, St. Louis Federal Reserve President; Charles Evans, the Chicago Federal Reserve President; countless bank executives and regulators; and Steve Scalise, U.S. House of Representatives. In prior years, Southeastern’s students worked with local banks to address other topics, including small business lending (2016), succession planning (2017), financial technologies (2018), regulatory relief law (2019), and the Bank Secrecy Act (2020).


Competing in First Southland Title Game

Southeastern women’s basketball team achieved an historic postseason run, making their first-ever Southland title game appearance at the Southland Conference Tournament championship on March 13 at the Merrell Center in Katy, TX. Their excellence continued throughout the final game, with a close 56-52 loss in overtime to Incarnate Word.

The Lady Lions ended the season with a 16-11 overall record and a 10-4 conference record.

While five players will be graduating after this season, head coach Ayla Guzzardo believes the team is well prepared for the next season to potentially be an even bigger success. “We’ve gotten the taste of the big stage and the feeling from this last game is going to make our returners hungrier this offseason,” Guzzardo commented. “We’ve built this program by recruiting not only good players, but good people, and we’re going to continue to add quality to our roster.”

The Stories Behind the Bricks

Southeastern’s Friendship Bricks solidify cherished memories and create lasting legacies in the heart of Southeastern’s campus.


Friendship Circle is the heart of campus, and its pulse is embedded in the memories of Southeastern’s students, alumni, and community friends. Nestled between the area’s legendary Friendship Oak and new Lion statue sits Southeastern’s Friendship Brick Plaza.

Graduation recognitions, memorials, marriage proposals, and more line the pavement of the plaza. Under foot, the messages are both clever and sincere. Some engravings are cryptic, while others are obvious.




No matter the message, each brick shares one commonality: pride.

ring medal and gownFor ZYRIA GUILLORY, her brick symbolizes her proud journey of “firsts.” The Lafayette native earned a degree in business management and the title of first-generation graduate in spring of 2020. She was part of the first class to graduate during the COVID-19 pandemic, a group that will be remembered for their resiliency and perseverance. During her time at Southeastern, Zyria was also a member of the first Lionette Dance Team to win a national championship. “My brick inscription reminds me of all of the memories and important milestones I experienced at Southeastern. I’ll forever be a Lion, and I can’t wait to visit my brick in Friendship Circle whenever I’m back on campus!“


Because of its proximity to Strawberry Stadium, Friendship Circle is a major part of the game-day experience, and the bricks have become a fan favorite at football tailgates. It’s not uncommon to see Lion fans hunched over the concrete, searching for their brick, reading engravings of those they may know or studying a message that belongs to someone they’ve never met. One of the most memorable tailgate searches belongs to MEGAN AND HAYES WALKER, who got engaged at Friendship Brick Plaza in 2015.

The pair met in Dr. Laver’s military history class in spring of 2013. Hayes sat behind Megan, and his Theta Chi fraternity brother formally introduced them a few weeks into the semester. “Because we met and dated at Southeastern, I felt it appropriate to incorporate the University into the proposal,” Hayes said.


While in college, some of Megan and Hayes’ favorite memories were centered around Homecoming. Hayes saw the event as an opportunity to pop the question and left a special note for his bride-to-be to find at the 2015 tailgate.


When asked about the proposal experience, Megan describes it as being unreal. “Hayes had me unknowingly invite our friends and family to tailgate with us for the homecoming game. Of course, they were all in on it. Seeing the brick surrounded by friends, family, fraternity brothers, and sorority sisters was just so surreal. It was something I never knew I wanted.”

Today, these Southeastern sweethearts have a little Lion at home and another on the way! They love knowing that their children can go see the brick whenever they visit campus.

Megan's family picture

For many families, bricks are a special way to honor their loved ones in a permanent way.



For the PICOU FAMILY, the Friendship Bricks they hold dear symbolize the family legacy they have created here at Southeastern. Alumni Lamar and Stacy gifted a brick to their daughter, Renee, as a reminder of her time and the success she experienced while at the University.


“I thought it was the best thing ever for them to donate a brick with MY name on it,” said the former Miss Southeastern, Alpha Omicron Pi alumna, and member of the Thirteen Club. “It meant the world for my parents to gift it to me. It’s extra special for me because I’m a second-generation Lion!”

Renee senior portraitRenee grew up with Lion pride. Her mother is a former Southeastern Livingston Parish Alumni Chapter president and her father is a former Lions Basketball player, Thirteen Club member, and Roy E. Hyde Sociology Award honoree. In 2018, Stacy purchased a brick as a gift for her college sweetheart, cementing Lamar’s name and his accomplishments in Friendship Brick Plaza.


“Stacy surprised me with the brick one Christmas. What a unique gift!” recalls Lamar. “It was very touching to see my name on the campus where I played ball, studied, and then graduated. A kind of marker to show I was part of a great university. The Christmas present of that brick was super and totally unexpected! One I will never forget.”

Friendship Bricks are, indeed, an unforgettable gift, one that calls our Lion family back home to remember their time on campus.

DICKIE WHITSON has considered Southeastern home since 1968. Fraternity events, football games, Friendship Oak, Homecoming festivities, and the lifetime friendships formed while at Southeastern are all wonderful memories the former Alumni Board president cherishes from his collegiate days.


“Southeastern has provided me a quality education and an enormous amount of enjoyment as both an undergrad and alum,” said the ’71 graduate who currently serves on the LAA board as well as countless Southeastern committees. “Now in my retirement, the University affords me the opportunity to benefit our student-athletes, fans, and alumni through volunteer service, all of which helps fill a huge void in my life since the passing of my beloved spouse, Sylvia, in 2011.”

His brick inscription recalls the treasured memories of being a newlywed living in an on-campus married student’s apartment with his wife in 1971.

Photo_2021-08-08_223217OUR FIRST HOME

“While I was completing my final semester, Sylvia would commute five days per week by car, bus, or train to New Orleans, where she was employed at Chevron Oil,” said Whitson remembering fondly. “On weekends we enjoyed quality time together and with friends. After one semester there, we vowed to return one day to live in the Hammond area. That brick serves as a constant reminder to me of the humble beginning to my adult life, where together with Sylvia, Southeastern, and God was formed a solid foundation for a lifetime of success and happiness.”

The love, determination, and success denoted within these bricks showcase Southeastern’s strong foundation of caring and excellence. Lion pride resonates through the engravings, celebrating the milestones, memories, and people that make our University great.

Cement your legacy on campus by purchasing a Friendship Brick at

By Olivia Graziano


Remembering Members of the Southeastern Community

The Alumni Association will host its annual Golden Silence ceremony to honor deceased Southeastern alumni, students, faculty, and staff or their family members Wednesday, April 27. The event is free and open to the public.

The annual event will be held at 6 p.m. in the Pottle Performance Circle on Ned McGehee Drive in Friendship Circle.

“We invite the campus and the public to let us know if someone from the Southeastern family, such as students, faculty and staff or graduates, has passed away during the past year so that they can be honored at Golden Silence,” said Executive Director of Alumni Relations Michelle Biggs.

Attendees are asked to RSVP so that event organizers can arrange for enough seating and candles. A list of honorees is available and RSVPs can be made at

For more information or to add a name to the list of honorees, contact the Alumni Association at 985.549.2150 or