Donation Helps Nicholls Promote Online Degrees

THIBODAUX — A $27,000 donation from the Peltier Foundation will help Nicholls State University raise awareness and increase enrollment for its new Nicholls Online degree programs.

Since the program started in January, Nicholls Online has attracted students largely through word of mouth and grassroots efforts. With the Peltier Foundation’s support, Nicholls will be able to expand its recruiting outreach and launch an integrated marketing campaign, including website upgrades, billboards, Internet ads, postcards, promotional items and a commercial. Additionally, campus staff will begin hosting public information sessions about Nicholls Online throughout the region.

“Partnering with community organizations is vital to the future growth of Nicholls, and we are so grateful that the Peltier Foundation realizes the potential of Nicholls Online and has offered its generous support,” said Dr. Laynie Barrilleaux, vice president for academic affairs. “Without much marketing, Nicholls Online has had great early success. This summer alone, 59 students enrolled in Nicholls Online courses. With the rollout of our marketing campaign, we hope to further expand the Nicholls Online program and consequently help more people in the Bayou Region and beyond earn a degree.”


Designed to provide more flexibility, particularly for individuals who have difficulty attending on-campus classes, Nicholls Online provides remote access to the university’s nationally accredited degree programs and highly qualified instructors. Currently, seven degrees are offered through Nicholls Online with plans for more to be added in the future. For more information on Nicholls Online, visit

or call985-448-4803. Organizations or individuals interested in supporting Nicholls Online or other Nicholls programs are encouraged to call 985-448-4005.

Peltier Foundation Donation

 Stephen Peltier, left, and Dr. Jimmy Peltier, right, of the Peltier Foundation donated $27,000 to support a marketing campaign for Nicholls Online. Pictured, center, is Dr. Laynie Barrilleaux, Nicholls vice president for academic affairs.



Nicholls Rec Center to Host Youth Fitness Camp

THIBODAUX — Nicholls State University’s newest campus facility — the Harold J. Callais Student Recreation Center — will host the campus’ newest summer youth program — the Youth Fitness and Fun Camp.

Open to children ages 10 to 13, the two-week camp will not only focus on weight management but also on the importance of exercising, choosing nutritious foods and building self-esteem. The weekday camp will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, July 22, through Friday, Aug. 2. Registration is $250 and will be limited to the first 25 children.

“This is an exciting opportunity for youth to learn to make mindful, healthy decisions,” said Mike Matherne, camp coordinator and director of campus recreation. “We want to empower children to enhance their lives and transform their futures.”

Youth Fitness and Fun campers will participate in traditional and nontraditional activities, such as kickball, swimming, yoga and BodyFlow. Licensed professional counselors will hold sessions designed to help children feel better about themselves and more confident. Camp staff include representatives from university departments such as campus recreation, health services, counseling services and Sodexo food services.

“Weight-loss management techniques and tricks need to be simple, scientific and sustainable,” said Kat Slosarek, camp staff member and certified personal trainer.

The Youth Fun and Fitness camp is one of several programs conducted through the Nicholls Office of Continuing Education. To register or obtain more information on the camp,

or call 985-448-4444.

Nicholls receives more than $800,000 in research grants

THIBODAUX — The Louisiana Board of Regents has awarded Nicholls State University $847,120 in grants that will enhance the university’s research opportunities, classroom instruction and community outreach.

Of all state universities applying for Board of Regents funding, Nicholls received the third-highest dollar amount, ranking only behind Louisiana State University and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Debi Benoit, director of research and sponsored programs at Nicholls, said this year’s Board of Regents grant total is the largest the university has received in the 10 years she’s overseen campus grants. All nine proposals submitted by Nicholls were fully funded for the amount that faculty requested.

Nicholls received grants to fund the following:

  • Upgrades to the university’s geomatics computing lab to train students in Global Positioning System (GPS), laser scanning and other geospatial technologies (Dr. Balaji Ramachandran, applied sciences department head);
  • A yearlong professional development program to improve the teaching of math among local fourth- through eighth-grade teachers (Dr. DesLey Plaisance, director of graduate studies and assistant professor of mathematics);
  • Simulation equipment and supplies for a critical-care nursing laboratory to better prepare nursing students for clinicals (Dr. Amanda Eymard, associate professor of nursing);
  • A state-of-the-art ion chromatography system to be used for biology and chemistry teaching and research efforts (Dr. Earl Melancon, professor emeritus of biological sciences);
  • Water-quality analysis instruments that will expose students to environmental research techniques used to monitor coastal erosion, oil spills, pollution and more (Dr. Raj Boopathy, professor of biological sciences);
  • Simulation equipment to help nursing and dietetics students better learn how to conduct nutritional assessments of older adults (Rebecca Lyons, nursing department head);
  • Nicholls LA GEAR UP science camp to motivate low-income high school students to learn science and ultimately to attend college (Brandie Toups, director of the Bollinger Memorial Student Union);
  • A new press and other printmaking equipment and supplies to improve safety, enhance teaching and learning, and bring attention to the printmaking concentration (Ross Jahnke, professor of art); and
  • A nursing department initiative to implement innovative teaching and evaluation strategies using technology such as iPads (Angele Davis, assistant professor of nursing).

Board of Regents grants

CUTLINE: The Louisiana Board of Regents funded nine grant proposals from Nicholls State University, totaling more than $800,000. Pictured standing, from left, are Dr. Stephen T. Hulbert, university president; Dr. Balaji Ramachandran, applied sciences department head; Kimberly Dozar, assistant professor of nursing; Ross Jahnke, professor of art; Dr. Amanda Eymard, associate professor of nursing; Dr. Raj Boopathy, professor of biological sciences; Debi Benoit, director of research and sponsored programs; Dr. DesLey Plaisance; director of graduate studies and assistant professor of math; and Dr. Earl Melancon, professor emeritus of biological sciences. Seated, from left, are Rebecca Lyons, nursing department head; Dr. Darcey Wayment, associate professor of chemistry; and Brandie Toups, director of Bollinger Memorial Student Union.