Nicholls to host Financial Aid Night on March 13

THIBODAUX — College-bound seniors and their parents are encouraged to attend Nicholls State University’s Financial Aid Night at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, in Peltier Hall’s auditorium.

This free event will help attendees learn how to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and how to finance their college education using different types of aid, including grants, loans, student employment, Louisiana’s Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) and scholarships.

Registration will begin at 5:30 p.m., and free parking will be available in the lot across from Peltier Hall. A campus map can be found at

 For more information, visit or call 985-448-4048.

Nicholls dedicates Brady Residential Complex

THIBODAUX — To honor one of its most generous benefactors, Nicholls State University renamed La Maison du Bayou as the John A. Brady Jr. Residential Complex during a dedication ceremony on Friday, Feb. 22.

Opened in January 2004, the eight-building complex houses about 400 students in its 114 apartment-like units. The complex was the first in a long line of campus construction projects undertaken to boost student life, which now includes a renovated cafeteria, three new residence halls and a state-of-the-art recreation center.

“One of the things John Brady instilled in me was the importance of building community,” said Dr. Eugene Dial, vice president for student affairs. “We’re very happy to have the name of this complex associated with him because that’s exactly what these units were built to do.”

A lifelong resident of Larose and active civic leader, Brady worked alongside his parents in operating and managing Lafourche Telephone Company (Latelco) and was instrumental in launching MobileTel Inc., SJI Inc. and Solo Communications.

“While my dad never attended Nicholls, he was a huge supporter because he knew it gave the bayou community easy access to higher education,” said Bonnie Brady Babin, John’s daughter. “He knew the benefits of campus housing, the networking it affords and the lifelong relationships that develop here. I know that many lives will be changed inside these doors.”

 Brady Residential Complex Dedication 2013

Nicholls Jubilee Festival to begin March 4

THIBODAUX — Nicholls State University will host more than 50 spring events during its 15th annual Jubilee: A Festival of the Arts and Humanities, spanning from Monday, March 4 to Saturday, April 27.

Originally started in 1998 to celebrate the university’s 50th anniversary, Jubilee has become an annual tradition, drawing thousands of locals, tourists and academics. On March 4, the Nicholls Office of Research and Sponsored Programs will kick off Jubilee with the eighth annual Research Week, a series of faculty presentations, culinary demonstrations and student research competitions.

The 2013 festival will also include many of the popular events that community members look forward to each year, such as the fifth annual Louisiana Swamp Stomp Festival, featuring a new gumbo cook-off and 5K run; the Chauvin Folk Art Festival; Art Day workshops and presentations; performances by the Singers of United Lands; the 10th annual Jambalaya Writers’ Conference, featuring critically acclaimed author Tim O’Brien; and concerts by Nicholls student music groups. In addition to traditional offerings, this year’s Jubilee schedule also features new events including a Louisiana film history exhibit, a talent show featuring local doctors as performers and a celebration of the Mosaic student literary magazine’s 35th anniversary.

For a complete schedule of events, visit

Many events are free and open to the public; those that require paid admission and advance reservations are noted. For additional information, call 985-448-4273.


New Nicholls Online degrees experience high demand

THIBODAUX — Two new academic programs introduced at Nicholls State University this spring attracted more than double the number of students expected. Nicholls Online, a program offering seven online degrees, has 77 students enrolled this semester, and a new online Master of Science in Nursing program started with 24 students.

“To have such high interest in these programs, before we’ve even heavily marketed them, is incredibly promising,” said Dr. Allayne Barrilleaux, vice president for academic affairs. “With the pilot launch of Nicholls Online, we didn’t expect enrollment to jump that quickly. The need in the region for high-quality online degree options is even greater than we thought. Nicholls Online is attracting mostly nontraditional students — many who already have some college credit — who could not have finished their degree through the traditional route. Our faculty are pulling together to meet this demand and are excited about future growth.”

As projected due to higher admission standards and better graduation rates, overall Nicholls enrollment is down slightly at 6,003 — a 1.4 percent decline since last spring. The decreased enrollment comes exclusively from part-time students (down by 90); the number of full-time students slightly increased (up by five).

Compared to last spring, this semester’s freshman enrollment increased by 1.8 percent due to improved retention and a larger fall 2012 incoming class. About 88 percent of fall 2012’s first-time freshmen returned this spring, which is a 2.4 percentage point increase over last year’s retention rate. Nicholls also retained all 30 of its Valedictorian Scholarship students from last fall.

In their continued efforts to boost student enrollment, administrators are working on several new initiatives. Next month, Nicholls will break ground on a new facility for the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute, which will allow the program to increase its enrollment from about 300 to more than 500 culinary students. This fall, the university’s College of Business Administration will introduce a maritime management degree concentration through a partnership with the maritime industry, including some of the world’s largest maritime firms.

“For Nicholls to remain competitive, we must continue to evolve and offer new degree programs that meet the demands of students and employers,” said Dr. Stephen T. Hulbert, university president. “Attracting and serving new student populations is what will help generate much-needed revenue for Nicholls and ensure a strong future for this regional university.”


Nicholls partners with Lafourche Parish for geospacial data project


Geosptial Technology CollaborationLafourche Parish government will donate $100,000 a year to Nicholls State University for its help in implementing the parish’s Geographic Information System (GIS). Nicholls will serve as a backup site for the parish’s GIS data, help standardize parish data and offer continuing education courses in surveying and mapping technologies. Students in the Nicholls geomatics program will gain research experience by helping maintain and update the parish’s geospatial data, including address and street data, drainage plans and parish master plans. After the initial year of the agreement, parish officials hope to expand the collaboration with Nicholls to include regional projects and outreach. Pictured, from left, are Dr. Stephen T. Hulbert, university president; Charlotte Randolph, Lafourche Parish president; Debi Benoit, Nicholls director of research and sponsored programs; Archie Chaisson III, Lafourche Parish administrator; and Dr. Balaji Ramachandran, Nicholls applied sciences department head.

Louisiana Girls Leadership Academy at Nicholls now accepting applications

THIBODAUX — High school girls interested in developing their leadership and communication skills are encouraged to apply for this summer’s Louisiana Girls Leadership Academy at Nicholls State University.

            Sponsored by the Louisiana Center for Women and Government, the academy is open to girls entering ninth through 11th grade in the 2013–14 school year and will span from Sunday, June 9, to Wednesday, June 12. Student participants will attend interactive sessions on topics such as building relationships, motivating people, managing peer pressure and conflict, and running for office. Over the four days, the girls will participate in a state government field trip to Baton Rouge, a service project focused on energy and the environment, a networking dinner and an awards banquet. This year’s program also includes an impressive array of featured speakers and special guests, including country music star and American Idol semifinalist Ayla Brown, Columbine High School shooting survivor Craig Scott, former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco and several elected officials.

            The deadline to apply for the academy is Monday, April 1. Participants are competitively selected by a Louisiana Center for Women and Government committee. The only cost to attend is the $75 application fee, which will be returned if the applicant is not chosen to attend. Participants will spend three nights in university housing and eat meals in Galliano Hall at no extra cost. To download the application or learn more about the academy, visit


Nicholls fundraising dinner features star chefs, celebrates new culinary facility

THIBODAUX — The Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University invites food lovers to celebrate the best of Louisiana cuisine at its 16th annual Lafcadio Hearn Award Dinner and Distinguished Visiting Chef Series on Monday, March 4.

The evening will feature two of New Orleans’ acclaimed chefs: Lafcadio Hearn Award honoree Tory McPhail of Commander’s Palace and distinguished visiting chef Chris Lusk of Restaurant R’evolution. This year’s event will also celebrate the groundbreaking of the culinary institute’s new facility, which will take place prior to the dinner. Thanks to state funds, private donations and fundraisers such as the Lafcadio Hearn dinner, a 33,000-square-foot culinary arts building will be constructed on the corner of Bowie Road and Highway 1, making it possible for the institute to boost its student enrollment and program offerings.

To honor McPhail and Lusk while also toasting to the culinary institute’s future, the festivities will begin with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. in the Cotillion Ballroom of the Bollinger Memorial Student Union, followed by a four-course meal.

The Lafcadio Hearn Award, which recognizes significant contributions to the culinary profession, will be presented to McPhail, executive chef at Commander’s Palace. A James Beard Rising Star Chef, McPhail started his career at the iconic New Orleans restaurant in 1993, working his way through all 12 stations of the kitchen. His critically acclaimed cuisine has led him to numerous television appearances and nominations for Best Chef South honors.

Lusk, the chef de cuisine at Restaurant R’evolution, will lead Nicholls culinary students in preparing dinner, which will include petit cochon parcel, bread and butter pickled shrimp, crispy red fish a la plancha and brown butter pound cake. Named one ofEsquire magazine’s “Four Breakout Chefs to Watch,” Lusk cooked under numerous chefs, including Mario Batali, before earning his Louisiana cooking stripes at Foodie’s Kitchen, Commander’s Palace and Café Adelaide.

Tickets are $150 per plate and must be purchased by Monday, Feb. 25. Proceeds benefit the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute. For reservations, call 985-449-7114 or email Tory McPhail

Nicholls offers more than 300 scholarships to high-achievers

Thibodaux – At Nicholls State University’s annual Scholars Night, Tayllor Smith from Baton Rouge accepts her scholarship offer and officially joins the Nicholls freshman class of 2013. To continue attracting high-caliber students, Nicholls has offered academic scholarships to 331 high school seniors with a value of more than $6.6 million over the next four years. More than 240 of these scholarship candidates attended Scholars Night last week, where they and their parents enjoyed dinner with Nicholls faculty and staff, learned about their academic program of interest, toured residence halls and received their official scholarship offers.

 Scholar's Night  #1 2013