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 www.northshorestem.org.

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 WTI@southeastern.edu.

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 www.facebook.com/90.9KSLU/.

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 WTI@Southeastern.edu.  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

Southeastern Channel Videographer Wins First in the Nation

A Southeastern student at the Southeastern Channel has won first place in the nation for news videography.

Dylan Domangue of Houma won a first-place national Mark of Excellence Award in the “Broadcast News Videography” category given by the Society of Professional Journalists in its annual national competition. Domangue’s winning entry, “Mayors Salary Debate,” was produced for the Southeastern Channel’s award-winning student newscast, Northshore News.

Domangue also won second place in the “Broadcast Sports Videography” competition for his “Southeastern vs. Northwestern State Football” game report for the channel’s award-winning student sportscast, The Big Game. It was the second year in a row that the SPJ has honored Domangue with second place in the country for sports videography.

“Just to be nominated amongst the best in the nation and then to win first place is almost surreal,” Domangue said. “There are so many people who were nominated for this award, so being recognized as the best in the entire nation is truly a special honor.”

“It’s an awesome accomplishment for Dylan to be recognized as the very best out of all college broadcasting students in the entire nation by such a prestigious national journalism organization as the Society of Professional Journalists,” said Southeastern Channel General Manager Rick Settoon. “The fact that he’s placed in the top two in the country two years running is doubly impressive.”

Also winning second-place national Mark of Excellence honors were John Sartori and Kaylee Normand, both of Mandeville, in “Best All-Around Television News Magazine” for the Channel program, Southeastern Times.

The Southeastern Channel has now won five national Mark of Excellence awards in the last two years. In addition to honors for Domangue, Sartori and Normand, student Amanda Kitch of Covington won a second-place 2018 national SPJ award in “Broadcast Feature Videography” for her Northshore News story, “Mosquito Control.”

“We’re so proud of John and Kaylee along with Dylan for these top national honors,” Settoon said. “They’re all blessed with incredible natural talent, but they’ve also worked very hard to develop these stellar skills resulting in well-deserved national awards.”
 
The Mark of Excellence Awards honor the best of collegiate journalism from a calendar year. SPJ industry professionals, who were directed to choose entries they felt were the best in student journalism, judged the Mark of Excellence Awards. If no entry met the level of excellence, no award was given.

National Mark of Excellence winners are chosen from category winners in each of the SPJ’s 12 regions. Domangue, Sartori and Normand became eligible for the national awards after placing first in their categories at the Region 12 Mark of Excellence competition against students from all universities in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee. The Southeastern Channel led all universities in the region with nine awards, including seven first-place awards.

Domangue’s Northshore News story covered the debate in St. Tammany Parish between the Mandeville city council and outgoing mayor Donald Villere over the mayor’s salary.

“For a news story, it really requires the videographer to be creative,” Domangue said. “Not only do you have to match the video with the audio, but you have to find shots typically at the primary location of the story. News stories require more thought when trying to find the right angle of what to shoot and how to shoot them. Since the shots in my story were all filmed from the same location, there were limited shot opportunities, but it is because of my creativity and my experience that I was able to find the right angles to make my story look better.”

Domangue has previously won multiple national and regional awards for his reporting, anchoring and producing from prestigious organizations such as the Suncoast Emmys, Associated Press College Broadcasters, Broadcast Education Association (BEA), College Broadcasters, Inc., College Sports Media Awards, and the Southeast Journalism Conference.

“With all of his national and regional awards for on-camera reporting, it’s truly exciting to see that Dylan is now recognized as the best in the nation for his videography and camera work as well,” Settoon added. “It shows that he’s applied his training at the Southeastern Channel to become an all-around TV journalist with multiple skills. We emphasize that all aspiring reporters learn how to be proficient not only in their journalistic skills, but also in the technical areas of camera work and video editing since it’s necessary in the marketplace to be an all-around journalist.”

Domangue’s sports story featured videography of the 2019 Southeastern-Northwestern State football game. Last year Domangue won second place in the country for his videography of the Southeastern-LSU basketball game.

A May 2020 graduate of Southeastern, Domangue has been hired as a news reporter and anchor for KALB-TV (NBC/CBS) Ch. 5 in Alexandria, La. While at the Southeastern Channel, he not only reported, anchored, produced and directed for Northshore News and The Big Game, but he also hosted the Lion Tracks coach’s show and provided play-by-play announcing, color commentary, sideline reporting, producing and directing for Southeastern sports game broadcasts that streamed live on ESPN-Plus. His Big Game sportscasts and game broadcasts also won first in the nation in various awards competitions.

“The Southeastern Channel is a great place to get repetition that is truly needed to get better in this field,” Domangue said. “I had the honor to get so many opportunities for better news and sports. Of course, for my first couple of stories my work was raw and needed a lot of polishing, but everyone at the channel was supportive and offered help, which made me better overall.”

Sartori and Normand co-anchored the winning Southeastern Times while contributing three television feature stories apiece to the 30-minute episode.

Also a May 2020 graduate, Sartori has been hired as sports reporter-anchor for KTAL-TV (NBC) Channel 6 in Shreveport, La. At the Southeastern Channel, he won additional national honors for anchoring and reporting for The Big Game and for his play-by-play announcing for live game broadcasts. He was honored by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with student Emmy Awards in the Suncoast Region two years running in the “On-Camera Talent” category.

Normand, a December graduate, has been hired as a news reporter by KATC-TV (ABC) Channel 3 in Lafayette. Normand won national and regional awards at the Southeastern Channel not only for her news feature stories, but also for her reporting of hard news stories and anchoring for Northshore News. She was honored earlier last year by the SPJ as one of the top three in the nation for College Coronavirus Coverage during the onset of the pandemic.

“I think the Southeastern Channel is such a great place for any aspiring television production or communications major,” Normand said. “Not only is the environment diverse on set, but the environment behind the scenes is as well. I have met so many talented and interesting people working at the channel with the same major, but different dreams, and they have all taught me things that I can use in my own career path as a news reporter. I am so beyond thankful for everyone that I have met at the Southeastern Channel and everything that I was able to soak in during my time there.”

In its 18 years of existence, the Southeastern Channel has won over 400 national, international and regional awards, including 20 awards and 67 nominations from the Emmys. The channel can be seen on Charter Spectrum 199 in Tangipahoa, St. Tammany, Livingston and St. Helena parishes and on mounthermonTV.com for viewers in Washington Parish. The Southeastern Channel’s live 24/7 webcast and video on-demand are available at www.thesoutheasternchannel.com. The Southeastern Channel can also be seen on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and is now available on Roku and AppleTV.

Northshore STEM Coalition Joins Forces with Chevron to Offer Students Math Support

The Northshore STEM Coalition and STEM NOLA have joined forces with Chevron’s Gulf of Mexico Business Unit and TIES, an organization focused on building meaningful partnerships that help to address opportunity gaps in education, to launch Chevron: Fueling Math. Both the Northshore STEM Coalition and STEM NOLA are members of TIES’ STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice, a network of 94 Ecosystems operating worldwide.

Chevron: Fueling Math was developed with input from dozens of educators, families and community leaders and made possible through $75,000 in funding from Chevron. Imagine Learning is also providing support for the initiative.

The program will work to raise the public’s understanding of the role math plays in everyday lives, develop a team of volunteers to mentor and tutor local middle school students and provide meaningful learning opportunities to spark students’ interest in math.

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

“Chevron: Fueling Math is the ideal solution for providing direct support to students, teachers and families, while also introducing students to professionals who can serve as role models,” said Wendy Conarro, co-chair of the Northshore STEM Coalition.

In addition to a public awareness campaign, Chevron: Fueling Math will host various events to raise awareness about the importance of math and get students excited about the subject. For more information, visit fuelingmath.org.

The program began with a virtual kickoff on Saturday, Feb. 6, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., during which students learned to make a Mardi Gras greeting card, guided by NASA System Quality Engineer Renee Horton.

A Math Corps, made up of volunteers who will tutor and mentor area middle school students, will also be formed in virtual settings. STEM professionals from across the region are encouraged to join the Math Corps to share information about the role that math has played in their lives. To volunteer for the program, complete the questionnaire at fuelingmath.org/volunteer-form/.

“When students meet someone who not only excels in math, but also uses it in their career, they start thinking about STEM professions they could pursue,” said Caitlin Hunter, community engagement specialist for Chevron’s Gulf of Mexico Business Unit. “We have a unique opportunity and responsibility to help students enhance their math skills and begin building their confidence in the subject. At Chevron, we are committed to investing in valuable programs like this one that promote STEM education and foster a passion for learning. We’re glad to be a part of it.”

Once the Math Corps is formed, students will be invited to join online math tutoring and mentoring sessions during which they will work on specific math challenges to improve skills.

For more information about Chevron: Fueling Math, visit fuelingmath.org.

Sole IB Certification University in the Gulf South for Teachers

Southeastern remains the only university in the Gulf South authorized to offer courses leading to the International Baccalaureate (IB) Educator Certificate in Teaching and Learning, according to the latest directory released by the International Baccalaureate Organization.

Southeastern is one of only 50 IB authorized certification institutions in the United States. The certification, which is granted by the IBO, prepares teachers to use advanced academic techniques in the growing number of IB schools. IB programs offer students in elementary through high school a comprehensive, demanding curriculum of advanced studies for highly motivated students.

“It’s such an honor to know that Southeastern is in this elite number of universities offering the International Baccalaureate Educator Certificate,” said Paula Summers Calderon, dean of the College of Education. “As the only accredited university in the Gulf South approved to offer the IBEC, Southeastern has earned a stellar reputation.”

Calderon said Cherissa Vitter, IB coordinator for the university’s Department of Teaching and Learning, has worked hard to recruit both pre-service and in-service teachers to seek certification in international education.

“Her students hail from all over the world and range from undergraduate students to students who already hold doctorates,” she said. “In the IBEC program, teachers learn best practices for all content areas and grade levels regardless of whether the teachers teach in an IB school.”

“IB Programs are inquiry based and teach students how to learn,” Vitter explained. “The curriculum is world-wide and teachers must attend IB sanctioned training to teach IB courses at an IB World School. This training is standardized across the globe.”

There are currently 21 IB programs in Louisiana encompassing ages 3-19. All IB programs are represented, which include: Primary Years Program, Middle Years Program, Diploma Program, and the Career-related program.

The IB program started in 1968 as a diploma program in the United Kingdom, France and the United States as educators looked to develop an academically challenging program to prepare students for success at the university level and beyond. IB programs are now offered worldwide at schools that meet the rigorous IB standards.

Southeastern is a recognized university to offer courses leading to the IB Educator Certificate in Teaching and Learning: Primary Years Program and Diploma Program. The program at Southeastern has verified the course completion for candidates in over nine countries, including the United States.

“It is quite incredible to reflect upon the fact that teachers in China and India are able to teach at IB World Schools because of their courses from Southeastern,” Vitter said.

In addition to gaining knowledge of the IB programs, holding an IB educator certificate means the candidates have exceeded IB professional development requirements for program authorization and evaluation purposes.

The entire program is two semesters online. After two semesters, candidates will receive a Certificate of Course Completion from Southeastern and the IB Educator Certificate in Teaching and Learning from the International Baccalaureate Organization. Candidates may also pursue a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, International Baccalaureate Education with additional courses.

For more information on the certification program, contact Vitter via email at cherissa.vitter@southeastern.edu or call 985-549-5248.

Southeastern MBA Program Named One of the Most Affordable in the Nation

Southeastern’s Master of Business Administration Program has earned recognition as one of the 2021 top 25 most affordable programs in the nation by College Consensus, a unique college ratings website that aggregates publisher rankings and student reviews.

One of only three Louisiana universities selected, Southeastern ranked 13th. The full listing can be accessed here

The Most Affordable MBA Programs is a consensus ranking of MBA programs in top business schools around the nation. This ranking of the Most Affordable MBA programs is based 100% upon each MBA’s base tuition.

According to the website, each of the MBA programs listed can be completed with a base tuition rate under $12,000. This offers students a top business education, a great MBA brand, and important networks without breaking the bank.

“We are pleased that our program is ranked among the top 25,” said Dean of the College of Business Antoinette Phillips. “Our students are motivated and seeking to build their skills. We’re happy to provide relevant curricula taught by involved, caring faculty who help them achieve their goals.”

Southeastern’s program is internationally accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and offers students a practical learning experience that is designed to cultivate students’ knowledge and skills in order to advance in their professional endeavors. The curriculum prepares students to assume positions of leadership and responsibility in administrative positions in a globally competitive marketplace. It is designed to enhance the skills, knowledge, and analytical ability of MBA students.

For more information on Southeastern’s MBA Program, visit southeastern.edu/mba.

Creating a Solution

Southeastern Professor of Organic Chemistry Jean Fotie is trying to make the world a better place by reducing carbon dioxide emissions and recycling the CO2, while also providing unparalleled student research opportunities in the process. That task became easier when he received 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. In other words, the goal of the project is to develop better ways to turn CO2 into useful commodity materials.

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“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. “The alarming rate at which the concentration of carbon dioxide is increasing in the atmosphere has already prompted the scientific community to develop strategies to either limit the emission and / or remove this greenhouse gas from the atmosphere.”

Fotie explained that one of these approaches, known as capture and sequestration, is a technique through which carbon dioxide from power plants, combustion, and other industrial sources that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere is captured, compressed, and injected into underground geologic formations for safe, secure, and permanent storage. Despite the high cost associated with this process, the CO2 captured through this technique is stored, not transformed or recycled for other usage. Consequently, it is still susceptible to create serious environmental issues in the future.

There have also been a number of regulations designed to reduce the release of CO2 into the atmosphere, notably The Paris Climate Agreement. However, integrating economic viability as an important parameter for a more sustainable outlook has emerged as a convenient approach in recent years, focusing primarily on the conversion of this abundant and nontoxic feedstock into valued-added chemicals, Fotie said.

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“For example, imagine that CO2 is incorporated into other molecules through simple and safe transformations to create new pharmaceuticals, textiles, fibers, or any useful materials for a common purpose,” he explained. “Better yet, imagine a car that can transform the CO2 released from burning fossil fuels into methanol through a simple catalytic convertor. Then imagine that this car stores the methanol and then burns it as a fuel in a circular recycling system to further a morning commute or a long trip.”

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“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,” Fotiesaid. “Of course, this requires the development of practical and sustainable catalytic systems that can enable a streamline fixation and conversion of CO2 into these 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.”

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“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,” Fotie explained. “Our hope is that, one day, one of these new materials we are developing could be used in the transformation previously mentioned or as a catalytic convertor in a new and greener generation of cars.”

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.

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“Chemistry is an applied science, and ‘learning by doing’ is the best educational approach to make our students ‘real world ready,’” he said. “So, besides the development of a new catalytic system, there is an important educational aspect associated with this project.”

Fotie said the grant provides tuition and wages for an industrial science and technology master’s student, wages for undergraduate students, and summer stipends for high school students from the Southeastern Math-Science Upward-Bound program who will be involved in the project.

“This is very important because it enables these students to quit their off-campus jobs and focus exclusively on the task at hand,” he said. “This unique 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.”

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In fact, the groundwork for this project was laid by Southeastern alumni, who were all supported by a previous grant and have now all graduated and advanced to industry jobs or graduate school.

“Their success is, in part, attributed to the fact that they did not have work off campus, and could focus on school, while conducting their research in between classes,” Fotie said. “This unique opportunity allows them to be exposed early on to important applications of the concepts they learn during lectures and enables them to make informed decisions about their futures.”

Fotie obtained his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and master’s degree in natural product chemistry from the University of Yaoundé I in Cameroon, where he also started his doctoral degree. He was a visiting doctoral student at the University of Potsdam in Germany before returning to Cameroon to defend his thesis. After, he was a postdoctoral fellow in bioinorganic chemistry at McGill University in Canada and a World Health Organization research scholar in medicinal chemistry at The Ohio State University School of Pharmacy.

By Tonya Lowentritt