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 Facebook.com/90.9KSLU.

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 thesoutheasternchanel.com, 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 southeastern.edu/labschool, complete it, and then email it to labschool@southeastern.edu or simply fill out the application online.

For more information, visit southeastern.edu/labschool.

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 www.southeastern.edu/lionscode.

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 lionscodecamp@southeastern.edu.

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

Over $5 Million Provided to Southeastern Students Via CARES Act

Through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, the U.S. Department of Education has made $10.4 million in funds available to Southeastern.

As required by the federal legislation, half of the funds, approximately $5.2 million, will go directly to students in the form of financial grants to cover increased cost of university attendance associated with the disruption of campus operations. The University will use the other half to help cover additional expenses related to the crisis.

“We have developed a plan to quickly award the emergency relief grants to students within the federal guidelines,” said Southeastern President John L. Crain. “We urge our eligible students to take advantage of this opportunity to apply for help during this challenging time.”

Based on the legislation and regulatory guidance, to be eligible to apply for these funds, students, both undergraduate and graduate, must be eligible to apply for financial aid as outlined in Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA). Specifically, students must meet the following criteria: be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen; have a valid social security number; have registered with selective service (if the student is male); and have a high school diploma, GED, or completion of high school in an approved homeschool setting.

Grant applications will be considered in the order in which they are received. All applications must be received by Friday, May 8, in order to be considered for this round of funding.

For more information, visit southeastern.edu/caresact or email caresact@southeastern.edu.

Sales Team Wins in Virtual National Selling Competition

The Southeastern Sales Team recently honed new skills to compete virtually in the 22nd Annual National Collegiate Sales Competition (NCSC). Originally scheduled to be held in Atlanta last month, the competition included two categories—Virtual Speed Selling and Role Playing.

“The NCSC staff, corporate judges, and student competitors quickly pivoted from their semester-long preparation to compete in-person to an online format within a two-week time frame,” said April Kemp, Southeastern marketing and sales instructor and professional sales program coach.

Representing Southeastern in the Virtual Speed Selling Competition, which was judged by 16 corporate sponsors, were marketing majors and professional sales program students Brielle Ricca of Walker, Paxton Page of Prairieville, and Ashley Murphy of Baton Rouge. Each student delivered a 90-second elevator pitch live via web conference to the corporate judges.

Ricca won the top honors out of over 360 competitors by being selected the Top Speed Seller by more companies than any other student in the competition.

More than 75 universities and more than 40 corporations participated in the NCSC, which was hosted by Kennesaw State’s Center for Professional Selling.

Southeastern’s Sales Team had two role-play competitors participate in NCSC. India Williams of Baton Rouge, who won the Fall 2019 Internal Competition, and Conner Brian of Greenwell Springs, who won the Spring 2020 Internal Competition, were chosen to represent Southeastern this year.

In the wild card round, Williams won first place in her room and Brian won second place in his room. Williams was able to move on to the quarterfinals. Overall, Southeastern was the runner-up for Top Rookie School, as this was the first time to participate, giving the team an automatic bid to next year’s competition.

“We are proud of our student competitors for transitioning quickly to an online competition format,” said Kemp. “Our students worked hard, and the outcome showed Southeastern was a fierce competitor.”

For more information about the Professional Sales Program, contact Kemp at sales@southeastern.edu or visit southeastern.edu/sales.

Top image: Brielle Ricca 

The Lion’s Roar Becomes Only Student Newspaper Recognized in National COVID-19 Front Page Effort

Newspapers around the country were recently encouraged to run a prominent headline with a localized news story to remind readers how local newspapers, like Southeastern’s student-run weekly newspaper The Lion’s Roar, and their staffs share in the difficult circumstances and other impacts of coronavirus and COVID-19.

The Lion’s Roar chose to participate with a noticeable headline and story to include in their March 31 issue. Several Louisiana newspapers submitted their customized messages and designs to the Louisiana Press Association (LPA), the official trade organization for Louisiana news publishers. The Lion’s Roar was the only college newspaper in the state recognized by the LPA for their participation in the initiative.

“The editorial staff and I were thrilled to be a part of this initiative, keeping the community up to date on the most recent news regarding the pandemic,” said Editor-in-Chief Jacob Summerville, a junior political science major from Greenwell Springs. “We have had several stories concerning COVID-19 thus far, but this layout was great to include because of the unity among other news organizations in the state. Being one of the most heavily impacted states in the country, this was the best decision to include our contribution in providing a local twist on an international crisis.”

The Lion’s Roar staff have been working to produce original content to include in both the digital version of the weekly newspaper, along with content shared through the publication’s web and social media presence.

“This is a hard time for everyone in the community,” said Assistant Editor Prakriti Adhikari, a junior accounting major from Hammond. “There are many uncertainties and people are scared, but there are good things happening as well. Through our participation with the Louisiana Press Association to make a unified front page, we wanted to spread a message to the community that we are still together. We want our readers to know that The Lion’s Roar will continue to serve its readers.”

The Lion’s Roar is continuing with its weekly production efforts despite staff working remotely. Readers can access content produced by student staff reporters through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @lionsroarnews, and via the newspaper’s website, lionsroarnews.com.

Southeastern Professor Awarded National Science Foundation Grant

Southeastern Professor of Organic Chemistry Jean Fotie was awarded a $265,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The purpose of the grant is to develop greener and sustainable catalytic methods for the reductive functionalization of carbon dioxide (CO2).

“Reducing the emission of carbon dioxide, one of the most significant long-lived greenhouse gases, into the atmosphere is one of the major challenges of our time,” said Fotie, a resident of Ponchatoula.

Despite remarkable advances toward the capture and storage of CO2, Fotie believes that a large-scale transformation of the abundant and non-toxic feedstock into valued-added chemicals could provide an important incentive for CO2 recycling.

“More than the obvious environmental remediation, this approach will be like turning CO2 into cash, and there is no better incentive than that for the chemical industry,” Fotie explained. “Of course, this requires the development of practical and sustainable catalytic systems that can enable a streamline fixation and conversion of CO2 into useful chemicals, preferably via continuous flow industrial processes.”

“Dr. Fotie has been one of our most productive researchers for years, so it is no surprise that he has received this prestigious award,” said Dean of the College of Science and Technology Dan McCarthy. “It is not just the quality of the work that distinguishes his research, but it is the fact that he includes so many of our students in his research. This grant will not only help the scientific community, but will also lead to an outstanding educational experience for our students.”

“The project objective is to develop a better understanding of how a number of active precious metals on one hand, and less active but earth-abundant metals on the other hand, respectively nano-dispersed in a range of sol-gel-derived organically modified silicates, would behave toward the reductive functionalization of CO2,” said Fotie.

More importantly, Fotie said, these activities will provide a unique opportunity to create a research environment that combines three very different groups of students at different stages of their education, namely the high school students enrolled in Southeastern’s Math-Science Upward-Bound program, Southeastern undergraduate students, and Southeastern integrated science and technology master’s students.

“This distinctive learning environment is designed to enable the younger generation to mirror their future through the lenses of their observations and interactions with the advanced generation,” Fotie explained. “Hopefully, this amazing group of researchers will be able to develop a new catalytic system that can enable the conversion of CO2 into important chemicals, a method that could eventually find application in continuous flow industrial processes.”

Southeastern Student Earns National OSH&E Scholarship

A Southeastern Louisiana University senior majoring in occupational safety, health, and environment has been awarded a national scholarship from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals.

Alison Garaudy of Loranger received the $5,000 award based upon her cumulative grade point average, a submitted essay on why she entered the program, and her commitment to obtaining professional certification upon her graduation.

“This scholarship means a lot to me. It has made a substantial difference in helping to fund my education, and I am extremely honored to be a recipient,” Garaudy said. “It has also boosted my confidence and helped assure me that my hard work is paying off. I am happy to know that my voice has been heard and potential was found in it.”

As an anticipated December graduate, Garaudy wants to apply her newly acquired knowledge to making workplaces safer and more productive for current and future workers.

“With climate change being such a prominent issue, protecting the environment is also especially important to me, so I want to make sure any company I work for is environmentally conscious and doing what they can to protect future generations,” she explained. “I would love to incorporate more environmental sustainability into my life and work, and I am very interested in working abroad at some point.”

One of Garaudy’s biggest goals is to influence the safety culture around her.

“I hope to educate the people I work with, so they can have a better understanding of why we go out of our way to be safe, especially when it seems like extra hard work for nothing,” she said. “We all have the right to work in a safe environment where we can stay healthy, but it takes individual efforts to make that happen.”

The Southeastern OSH&E program was recently ranked among the top 20 best values in OSH&E programs in the country by the website collegevaluesonline.com. The ranking is based on quality of academics; value, which includes tuition affordability and financial aid; and the calculated average return on investment data, a guide to the success of students graduating from the program.

The website valuecolleges.com also ranked the program among the top 25 in the country in best value occupational safety and health degrees. The ranking is based on reputation, subject to U.S. News & World Report; return on investment, based on payscale data; and cost, based on online tuition as reported to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

The OSH&E program is nationally accredited by the Applied and Natural 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 who reported a significant need for safety, health, and environmental professionals. The program prepares students for a variety of positions, including roles of environmental safety and health specialists and safety supervisors.