Biology Instructor to Visit Indonesia as World Class Professor

Dr. Raj Boopathy (Misty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University)

THIBODAUX, La. — A Nicholls biology professor has been selected to visit Indonesia in August as part of the World Class Professor program.

Dr. Raj Boopathy, Alcee Fortier Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences, will visit the Institute of Technology, Bandung, for two weeks. The Indonesian government only awards 10 World Class Professorships every year, and it is based on research output and publication record. Dr. Boopathy’s work has been cited more than 7,000 times worldwide.

“It is a big honor to be selected as a World Class Professor,” he said. “This says that Nicholls accommodates professors with high research output, and Nicholls always encourages the scholarly work of its professors.”

Dr. Boopathy will talk about his research in environmental biotechnology on the presence of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the environment, biodegradation and bioremediation of hazardous chemicals, biofuel production and biological treatment of wastewater. He will also host workshops on how to write and publish scientific papers for peer-reviewed journals.

I am looking forward to this trip and hope to learn from this exchange of scholars including Indonesian University systems, their education curriculum and scholarly work,” he said. “I am also looking forward to learning about Indonesian customs and culture.”

As part of this program, one professor from the Institute of Technology, Bandung, will visit Dr. Boopathy’s lab in October for two weeks to learn more about collecting data and publishing work in the highest quality journals worldwide. This visiting program is funded by the government of Indonesia.

Dr. Boopathy is also a Fulbright Specialist and has won three Fulbright awards since 2007. As a specialist, Dr. Boopathy’s services can be requested by international entities seeking his expertise, and he visited Malaysia earlier this year to aid the country with its pollution problem.



CONTACT: Jacob Batte, Media Relations and Publications Coordinator, 985.448.4141 or

Nicholls, Peltier Foundation Announce Alumni Scholarship

Photo: From left Nicholls Foundation Executive Director Jeremy Becker, Alumni Federation Board President Archie Chaisson, Nicholls Director of Alumni Affairs Katherine Mabile, Peltier Foundation Board Member Stephen Peltier, Nicholls First Lady Allison Clune and Nicholls President Dr. Jay Clune.

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University and the Peltier Foundation are proud to announce another donation to the Peltier Foundation Nicholls Alumni Legacy Scholarship. 

Since 2016, the Peltier Foundation has given $75,000 to the scholarship, which has benefitted six students since being created. 

“We wanted to create legacy scholarships designed for students who are children of Nicholls alumni,” said Peltier Foundation Board Member Stephen Peltier (BS ‘75). “To us, this increased the value of being a Nicholls alum.” 

Eligible students must be full-time undergraduates in good academic standing with at least one parent who is a Nicholls alumnus. Applicants must submit a 250-typed-word essay detailing why they should receive the scholarship. The Alumni Federation Awards and Scholarship Committee will review the essays to determine the winners, who will receive $500 per semester for up to two semesters. 

Founded in the mid-1990s, the Peltier Foundation has given a substantial amount to Nicholls over the past two decades, supporting projects and programs such as Nicholls Online, the Mary and Al Danos Theater, the Lanny D. Ledet Culinary Arts Building, Peltier Hall, Nicholls Soccer Complex and Stopher Gym. 

“Nicholls is in our view, the foundation of our community. It has benefitted everything from Baton Rouge to the river to Grand Isle and all of Terrebonne and South Lafourche,” said Peltier, who served on the Alumni Federation board from 2008 to 2015, including a stint as board president from 2012-2013. “We feel like Nicholls has created an opportunity for the vast part of our community to get a higher education, where they could not otherwise.” 

The Nicholls Alumni Federation honored the foundation’s generosity by awarding the nonprofit the 2017 Corporate Mark of Honor.

“The Peltier Foundation has made a tremendous impact across the Nicholls campus, and we’re proud to continue working with them,” said Jeremy Becker, executive director of the Nicholls Foundation. “Scholarships like this one help open the door for more students to experience what Nicholls State University has to offer and to shape the future of Louisiana.”

For more information, visit 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, July 29, 2019

CONTACT: Jacob Batte, Media Relations and Publications Coordinator, 985.448.4141 or

Nicholls remains open, monitoring weather

THIBODAUX – The Nicholls State University Emergency Preparedness Committee has initiated a Phase 1 alert as Tropical Cyclone 2 approaches South Louisiana, bringing the potential of heavy rainfall and winds to the Bayou Region. 

At this time, all classes and campus activities are currently continuing as scheduled. The Committee initiated the alert in accordance with the university’s Hurricane Emergency Plan, posted at

It is possible that several inches of rain will fall in our area between today and Sunday. Please stay weather aware by monitoring local media and for updates. The Nicholls community is encouraged to prioritize their own safety when making decisions about whether to travel. 

All Nicholls departments will refer to the Hurricane Emergency Plan and begin enacting internal Phase I storm preparations at this time. The community will be notified if Phase II storm preparations are implemented.


CONTACT: Jacob Batte, Media Relations and Publications Coordinator, 985.448.4141 or


Nicholls, LSU Health New Orleans Partner to Offer Culinary Medicine Course

Nicholls culinary department head Chef John Kozar and assistant professor Chef Don Kasten answer a question from LSU Health New Orleans student Kelsey Lacourrege about a tabbouleh salad aimed to prevent and control hypertension, which the med students were learning to prepare. (Cain Madden/Nicholls State University)

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University is proud to announce a partnership with the LSU Health New Orleans to offer a two-week course in culinary medicine beginning this summer. 

Nine third-year LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine students are studying the effects that nutrition can have on preventing and treating chronic diseases, as well as learn the necessary culinary skills and recipes to promote good nutrition. The program began July 1. 

Defined by the founder of ChefMD and Chef Clinic, Dr. John La Puma, culinary medicine is an evidence-based field blending the art of cooking with the science of nutrition. Culinary medicine encourages physicians to learn more about food and work with nutrition professionals to prevent and treat their patients’ illnesses. 

“The Office of Undergraduate Medical Education is excited to offer this career planning elective to the Class of 2021. While students are taught the science of nutrition during their first and second years of medical school, the Culinary Medicine CPE gives them the opportunity to translate this into practical knowledge,” said Dr. Catherine Hebert, associate professor of clinical medicine and co-director of clinical sciences curriculum at LSU Health New Orleans. “It is not just about telling a patient to cut out salt and fat. It is about teaching them how to do this in a way that is realistic given the time and money constraints that we all face.”

Students will begin the day in the classroom, learning nutrition theory through lectures, case studies and simulations covering ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and obesity. 

They’ll also take field trips to Rouses with a Registered Dietitian, tour the kitchen at Thibodaux Regional Medical Center and test their new nutritional knowledge at local restaurants. 

In the afternoon, students will move to the kitchens to learn basic culinary skills and relevant recipes from chefs and culinary professionals.

LSU Health New Orleans students Kelsey Lacourrege, Kelsey Cramer and Mackenzie Fredricks prepare a tabbouleh salad as part of a culinary medicine course being held at Nicholls State University. (Cain Madden/Nicholls State University)

“We have selected recipes and dishes that are appropriate to the nutrition content being taught in the morning,” Culinary Department Head Chef John Kozar said. “Let’s say they learn about diabetes in the morning, we will work on dishes appropriate for a diabetic patient in the afternoon.” 

Eating patterns and specific foods have shown effectiveness in treating some cases of rheumatoid arthritis, epilepsy, cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, metabolic syndrome and acute cough, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.  

“This is an exciting opportunity for both Dietetics and the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute to have an even bigger impact on the community,” said Dr. Brigett Scott, associate dean of the College of Science and Technology and associate professor of dietetics. “What people eat has one of the biggest impacts on their health. Ultimately, the goal is that these future doctors will practice in Louisiana and promote the nutrition and culinary skills they learned to make an impact on the health of our community.”

The School of Medicine is one of the six schools of LSU Health New Orleans. It educates the majority of Louisiana’s physicians. LSU Health New Orleans medical faculty and residents take care of patients in most major hospitals and clinics in southern Louisiana. Its research enterprise produces life-changing discoveries, as well as jobs and economic impact. Outreach and service activities support people of all ages in communities in many Louisiana parishes.


CONTACT: Jacob Batte, Media Relations and Publications Coordinator, 985.448.4141 or