Acclaimed novelist to headline Nicholls lecture series


THIBODAUX — The Fletcher Lecture Series at Nicholls State University will present a Q-and-A session and lecture by award-winning novelist Joseph Boyden on Thursday, Nov. 15.

Boyden, the writer-in-residence at the University of New Orleans, is best known for two highly acclaimed novels, “Three Day Road” (2005) and “Through Black Spruce” (2008), and a collection of short stories, “Born with a Tooth” (2008). His free public lecture, titled “Walking to Morning,” will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Peltier Auditorium, with a pre-lecture reception at 5:45 p.m. Earlier in the day, Boyden will answer questions about his work during the Q-and-A session at 10:30 a.m. in the Mary M. Danos Theater in Talbot Hall.

Now in its 29th year, the Fletcher Lecture Series — named after former Nicholls department head Dr. Marie Fletcher and sponsored by the Department of Languages and Literature — brings outstanding scholars and writers to Nicholls each year. Past lecturers include Robert Penn Warren, Ernest Gaines, Maxine Hong Kingston, Sam Pickering, Marilynne Robinson and Olympia Vernon.

Nicholls Academic Council salutes Kevin Breaux

Dr. Kevin Breaux, associate professor of accounting, received Nicholls State University’s Academic Council Salutes award for October 2012. Breaux, who also serves as director of the Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) program, was recognized for his dedication to teaching, mentoring, research and service. “In the area of teaching, Dr. Breaux is at the top of his game,” said Dr. Shawn Mauldin, dean of the College of Business Administration. “Business executives agree; those enrolled in the EMBA program report that he is on target with his teaching style and ability to take difficult topics and convey them to students in a meaningful way.” Pictured from left are Mauldin; Breaux; and Dr. Laynie Barrilleaux, vice president for academic affairs.

Nicholls students complete wall mural at Peltier Park

THIBODAUX — As part of the growing collaboration between Nicholls State University and the city of Thibodaux, Nicholls art students designed and painted an exterior wall mural for the Peltier Park Recreation Center.

The “Play Together” mural, which was dedicated on Wednesday, Nov. 7, depicts bold recreation icons in light and dark shades of blue. Nicholls students enrolled in the Typography II course, taught by assistant professor Trisha Dubina, each created a recreation-themed mural design mock-up. Thibodaux Mayor Tommy Eschete and his staff selected the work of Josh Pellegrin, art senior from Houma, as the winner, and several art students and faculty members helped paint Pellegrin’s design onto the wall during Homecoming 2012’s “Paint the Town Red” Day of Service.

“When you want to get something done at Nicholls, all you have to do is talk to the art faculty,” said Dr. Stephen T. Hulbert, university president. “You can talk them into almost anything, probably because it’s usually their idea in the first place. From the campuswide Nicholls CAN! food drive to demonstrating for the future of Nicholls in Baton Rouge, this mural is just another example of their commitment to the community. They’re more than an academic department; they’re a family.”

Publicly on display for Peltier Park visitors, the mural reflects a collaboration that both city of Thibodaux and Nicholls hope to expand.

“One of our goals is to form excellent partnerships with our corporate citizens and with Nicholls, which I consider the crown jewel of Thibodaux,” Mayor Eschete said. “It has been a pleasure, particularly for Kevin Clement [Thibodaux recreation director], to watch this project progress from conception to completion. Hopefully, we can find some more walls to have painted in the future.”

  During a ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 7, Nicholls State University and the city of Thibodaux dedicated a Peltier Park Recreation Center wall mural, which was designed and painted by Nicholls art students. Pictured from left are Debbie Raziano, Nicholls director of alumni affairs and Homecoming chairperson; Tommy Eschete, mayor of the city of Thibodaux; Dr. Stephen T. Hulbert, Nicholls president; Trisha Dubina, Nicholls assistant professor of art; Dr. Laynie Barrilleaux, Nicholls vice president for academic affairs; Jean Donegan, Nicholls art department head; Josh Pellegrin, mural designer and Nicholls art senior from Houma; and Larry Howell, Nicholls executive vice president.

Inspirational author Jim Owen to speak at Nicholls

THIBODAUX — What does it take to succeed — in school, in a career, in life? Nicholls State University invites the public to explore that question and more during a free lecture by author Jim Owen on Tuesday, Nov. 13.

The Try: Reclaiming the American Dream, Owen’s inspirational book published in 2010, was selected for the 2012–13 Nicholls Common Book initiative, an annual program intended to unite the reading experiences of incoming freshmen. Through the stories of 12 average people who have achieved great success, Owen argues that it’s not talent, money or intelligence that separates those who succeed from those who fall short. Rather, he says it’s “the try” — a “blend of passion, attitude and effort that enables ordinary people to do extraordinary things.”

A successful businessman for 35 years, Owen began reinventing himself after the numerous corporate scandals of the early 2000s. He founded the nonprofit Center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership and set out to spread the message that “we can all be heroes in our own lives.”

Owen will address the public at two events, co-sponsored by Thibodaux Regional Medical Center. A question-and-answer session will begin at 2 p.m., followed by a lecture at 7 p.m., both in Peltier Auditorium. Copies of The Try will be on sale at the lecture.

Nicholls Family Day full of kid-friendly fun


During Nicholls State University’s 2012 Family Day, Adam Talbot, 5, of Thibodaux, plays the Operation game at the Department of Biological Sciences’ booth. Adam is the son of Jason Talbot, assessment and research coordinator for the Louisiana Center for Dyslexia and Related Learning Disorders on the Nicholls campus. Several university departments and student organizations hosted kid-friendly activities during Saturday’s Family Day, which has been a Nicholls tradition since 1983.