Upon reaccreditation, Nicholls launches into Student Advising and Mentoring Program

 

Misty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University
Misty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University’s accreditation was renewed for another 10 years by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges during their annual board meeting in Atlanta on Dec. 5. For the next decade, Nicholls will focus on carrying out its new Student Advising and Mentoring (SAM) Plan, which will empower students to work closely with faculty mentors for guidance in selecting a career path, becoming fully engaged on campus, graduating on time and ultimately securing a job upon graduation.

“Reaccreditation is critically important to the future of Nicholls and verifies the incredible quality of our academic programs and overall educational experience,” said Nicholls President Dr. Bruce Murphy, who was elected to serve as a representative on the SACS Board of Trustees during the meeting. “To be reaffirmed for 10 years with no findings is rare among colleges. I am proud of everyone on campus who worked tirelessly to help Nicholls reach this achievement, and I look forward to our future accomplishments as we intensely focus on improving student success through advising and mentoring.”

Through the Student Advising and Mentoring program, faculty will be trained to have a larger and more meaningful role in advising by assisting students in aligning their career goals and interests with the right academic programs and extracurricular opportunities. In addition to ensuring that students are properly enrolling in courses, advisers will help students identify internships, undergraduate research opportunities, study abroad trips and on- and off-campus organizations that reflect their own personal and professional interests.

“We want our advisers to do more than just schedule classes,” said Dr. Lynn Gillette, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. “Through this program, our advisers will become proactive in identifying the opportunities and resources that each student needs for success beyond graduation. As a result, this program will continue to help Nicholls improve its student retention, graduation and job placement rates. The more that we can connect with our students, the better we are able to help them in making the best choice for their future.”

Earlier this year, Nicholls hired Dr. Liz Frederick as the SAM program director. Frederick previously served as program director, academic adviser and field experience coordinator for the University of Houston’s College of Education. Prior to that, she was Houston’s assistant dean of students.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 6, 2016

CONTACT: Jacob Batte, Media Relations and Publications Coordinator, 985.448.4141 or jacob.batte@nicholls.edu

Harvard innovator to speak at Nicholls Fall Commencement

 

Photo courtesy of Beth Kelley of Beth Kelley Photography
Photo courtesy of Beth Kelley of Beth Kelley Photography

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University will award more than 650 degrees during its annual fall commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, in John L. Guidry Stadium.

Harvard Professor Dr. Kevin Kit Parker will serve as the keynote speaker.

A lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, Parker is the Tarr Family Professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics in the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard.

Parker joined the U.S. Army as a paratrooper in 1992 and, following the Sept. 11 attacks, served two tours in Afghanistan. He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal with V device, and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge for his service. He also conducted additional missions as part of the Gray Team, a special inspection unit charged with treating traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

A core faculty member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, he has conducted unorthodox research including designing camouflage using cuttlefish skin cells and using a cotton candy machine to make dressing for wounds. Earlier this year, the Disease Biophysics Group, led by Parker, created a tissue-engineered soft-robotic ray that swims using wave-like fin motions and turns according to externally applied light cues.

In the event of bad weather, commencement will be moved to Stopher Gymnasium and split into three ceremonies: the College of Education and College of Business Administration at 9 a.m., the College of Arts and Sciences at noon and the College of Nursing and Allied Health at 3 p.m. Tickets will be required only if the ceremonies are relocated to the gym.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 5, 2016

CONTACT: Jacob Batte, Media Relations and Publications Coordinator, 985.448.4141 or jacob.batte@nicholls.edu

Nicholls professors to discuss the history of the Star of Bethlehem

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University physical science professors, Dr. Chadwick Young and Dr. Kaisa Young, will explore the origin of the Star of Bethlehem in a presentation at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 5, in the Plantation Suite in the Student Union.

Also known as the Christmas Star, the Star of Bethlehem signaled the birth of Jesus and led the three wise men to Bethlehem, according to the nativity story.

Titled “O Star of Wonder: The Astronomy, History and Mystery of the Star of Bethlehem,” the Youngs’ presentation will offer insight into the genesis of the star while also surveying its significance on Christianity.

The event is free and open to the public.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 2, 2016

CONTACT: Jacob Batte, Media Relations and Publications Coordinator, 985.448.4141 or jacob.batte@nicholls.edu

Nicholls choir, Chamber Singers to host holiday events

THIBODAUX, La. — The Nicholls State University Music Department is getting in the holiday spirit with two Christmas-themed recitals next week.

Up first, is the traditional candlelight Christmas concert performed by the Nicholls Concert Choir. Titled “A Joyful Christmas!,” the concert will be held at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec 6, in the newly renovated Mary and Al Danos Theater in Talbot Hall.

The concert is free and open to the public.

The choir will tell the traditional Christmas story through familiar and fresh arrangements of classics like “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” “We Three Kings,” “Joy to the World,” “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “Away in a Manger” and more.

Also on the program are songs and carols arranged and performed by James Rodrigue, a Nicholls vocal education major; Masson LeMieux, guitar professor; Emma Prejean, instrumental music education major; João F. Fraga, violin major; and music fraternities, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and Sigma Alpha Iota.

The following Friday, Dec 9, the Nicholls Chamber Singers will host their Christmas Dinner Series.

A Nicholls tradition since 1985, the event will begin at 7 p.m. in the Cotillion Ballroom located in the Bollinger Memorial Student Union, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.

This year’s theme, “Here Comes Santa Claus,” plays at the nostalgia of waking up on Christmas morning as kids. The Chamber Singers have selected some of their favorite songs to perform, ranging from Fred Waring’s “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” to Louis Armstrong’s “Zat You, Santa Claus.” The performances will also include more Christmas jazz and arrangements made famous in the movies “The Polar Express” and “Home Alone 2.”

A multi-course meal will also be provided and Santa will stop by to visit with kids.

Tickets are $40 for adults and $20 for children 12 and under. Reservations are required and must be made by Monday, Dec 5 by calling 985-448-4600, by emailing kellie.gaspard@nicholls.edu or in person at 241 Talbot Hall.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 2, 2016

CONTACT: Jacob Batte, Media Relations and Publications Coordinator, 985.448.4141 or jacob.batte@nicholls.edu

Nicholls names press box after former quarterback

Cooper Collins with wife, Stacey Barbaro Collins, and children, Colson Cooper and Carsyn Carleigh, during the Oct. 8 Homecoming week game against Stephen F. Austin.  Misty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University
Cooper Collins with wife, Stacey Barbaro Collins, and children, Colson Cooper and Carsyn Carleigh, during the Oct. 8 Homecoming week game against Stephen F. Austin. Misty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University has named the press box at John L. Guidry Stadium in honor of former Nicholls quarterback and successful business executive Cooper Collins.

The C.C. Collins Press Box recognizes the Nicholls graduate’s college and professional achievements as well as his ongoing financial support to the Colonel Athletic Association.  

“We want our student-athletes to be champions on the field, in the classroom and ultimately in their future profession,” said Nicholls President Bruce Murphy. “Cooper Collins is the prime example of a Colonel who turned his student-athlete experience into a successful business career. We are incredibly proud of his accomplishments and grateful for his continued support of Nicholls athletics, which will impact Nicholls students for generations to come.”

The naming was unveiled, and Collins was honored during the Homecoming week game against Stephen F. Austin.

“I have always believed that you need to step up when other people can’t. I love my alma mater, and I love what Coach Tim Rebowe is doing,” Collins said. “It’s humbling to know that I have the opportunity to give back and leave a legacy for my family.”

Collins earned his bachelor’s in mass communication in 2002 and his master’s in business administration in 2003, both from Nicholls. He joined Pernix Therapeutics Holdings upon graduation and five years later was promoted to CEO, where he guided the company to a more than 800 percent increase in sales. In 2010, Collins was invited to ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange and in 2013 at NASDAQ. He is now a hedge fund manager for MagnaSci Ventures while serving as chairman and CEO of Fortis BioPharma in Houston.

Collins is married to Nicholls graduate Stacey Barbaro Collins, and they have two children, Colson Cooper and Carsyn Carleigh, whose initials inspired the “C.C.” on the press box.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 15, 2016

CONTACT: Jacob Batte, Media Relations and Publications Coordinator,  985.448.4141 or jacob.batte@nicholls.edu

Nicholls students win human resources state championship, head to nationals in the spring

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University’s student Society for Human Resource Management chapter won the state championship at the Louisiana Human Resource’s first annual Case Competition.

During the Nov. 4 competition in Baton Rouge, the Nicholls chapter presented the top solutions for the mock case, narrowly edging out the LSU chapter. As a result, the LA SHRM organization will send the Nicholls chapter to the National Case Competition in Houston in March.
“This accomplishment validates the hard work of our students and what we’re teaching in the classroom. We know they have what it takes to compete. We practiced and the students knocked it out of the park,” said Melanie Boudreaux, faculty sponsor and instructor of management. “We’re excited to go to nationals and get the Nicholls name out there.”

With 120 active members, the Nicholls SHRM chapter is the largest in the state.

The Society for Human Resources Management helps to enhance the students’ real-world human resources experience through attending various events and workshops, including conferences, an etiquette dinner, resume workshops, and mock interviews, among others.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 14, 2016

CONTACT: Jacob Batte, Media Relations and Publications Coordinator, 985.448.4141 or jacob.batte@nicholls.edu

Nicholls to honor veterans with documentary, Veterans Day celebration

Veterans Day Program 2014. Photo by Misty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University
Veterans Day Program 2014. Photo by Misty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University invites you to join the campus in honoring veterans this week by attending the Thursday premiere of a student-filmed documentary showcasing the lives of local veterans as well as a Veterans Day celebration in the Quad on Friday.

The documentary, “Local Veterans: An Oral History” was filmed by students from the Nicholls mass communication and history departments and edited by professors Dr. Andrew Simoncelli and Lance Arnold. History Department Head Dr. Paul Wilson also assisted with the project, which was funded by an $88,000 Board of Regents grant.  

Filmed during the 2015-2016 school year, the documentary captures the oral histories of several veterans as they discuss aspects of their military service from why they enlisted to the challenges they faced during deployment.  

The video screening will be held Thursday in Peltier Auditorium with doors opening at 4:45 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served in the lobby. The film will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will be followed by a question-and-answer session with some of the veterans featured in the project.  

On Veterans Day, Nicholls Veteran Services will hold a public ceremony at 11 a.m. in the Nicholls Quad and veterans will be served a free lunch in the cafeteria.

Col. Jacques Thibodeaux, a Nicholls alumnus, Thibodaux native and 31-year U.S. Army veteran will be the ceremony’s featured speaker. Other speakers include Dr. Todd Keller, associate vice president for academic affairs, and Wes Parfait, a Nicholls student and U.S. Marine Corps veteran.

Other participating groups include the Thibodaux High School JROTC, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Little Colonels Academy and Max Charter School.

Nicholls has earned the “Governor’s Military and Veteran Friendly Campus” designation and has consistently been named a “Military Friendly School” by G.I. Jobs magazine.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 7, 2016

CONTACT: Jacob Batte, Media Relations and Publications Coordinator, 985.448.4141 or jacob.batte@nicholls.edu

Nicholls Library Named Top in the State

Ellender Memorial Library
Ellender Memorial Library

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University’s Ellender Memorial Library has been named the top library in the state among higher education institutions by LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network earlier this month.

The Library of the Year award, which is handed out annually during the organization’s conference in Baton Rouge, recognizes libraries for their services, programs and projects as well as their contributions, collaborations and partnerships with the LOUIS staff and other state libraries.

“This award is a reflection of the hard work and collaboration of our team of librarians and staff along with the support of the University,” Library co-Director, Clifton Theriot, said. “We have continuously strived to provide resources and services to meet the needs of our users in this ever-changing information age. We’re honored to receive this award.”

Established in 1992, LOUIS is a consortium of public and private college and university libraries. It currently has 47 members and is funded by the institutions and the Louisiana Board of Regents.

For more information visit www.nicholls.edu/library.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 17, 2016

CONTACT: Jacob Batte, Media Relations and Publications Coordinator, 985.448.4141 or jacob.batte@nicholls.edu

Nicholls Monster Piano Concert dedicated to Mary and Al Danos

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University’s Department of Music will host the Eighth Annual Monster Piano Concert at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 20, in the newly renovated Mary and Al Danos Theater.

This year’s concert is being dedicated to the memory of Mary and Al Danos, who were benefactors and longtime supporters of the performing arts at Nicholls.

More than 35 performers – including Nicholls faculty, alumni, community members and local high school students – will perform the “Carnival of Animals” by Camille Saint-Saens on seven Steinway grand pianos. Other program highlights include a chamber orchestra featuring piano faculty, the Nicholls Camerata and music majors, as well as works by American composers in various settings.

“The Monster Piano Concert has always been a community event where we celebrate music in our region. To play in the newly renovated Danos Theater will be an extra joyful one,” said Nicholls piano professor, Luciana Soares. “We are very fortunate to have this beautiful theater. As we return to the Danos Theater, we remember all the members of our community who contributed to bringing the Steinway pianos to Nicholls, and we honor Al and Mary Danos without whom all this would not have been possible.”

Light hors d’oeuvres and an open bar will be available for patrons during intermission.

Nicholls is the only public music school in the state to have earned the designation of being an All-Steinway School and exclusively uses Steinway pianos for performances and music education.

Doors open at 6:45 p.m. Tickets cost $25 for students and $50 for general admission. To purchase a ticket, call Kellie Gaspard at 985-448-4600. Proceeds will benefit the maintenance of the pianos.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 17, 2016

CONTACT: Jacob Batte, Media Relations and Publications Coordinator, 985.448.4141 or jacob.batte@nicholls.edu

Nicholls ranked the safest school in UL System

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University is the safest school in the University of Louisiana System and third safest university in the state, according to BackgroundChecks.org.

The website ranked 20 Louisiana public and private colleges based on campus safety in a Sept. 26 report.

Nicholls ranked just behind Our Lady of Holy Cross College in New Orleans and LSU Shreveport.

BackgroundChecks.org ranked accredited public and private not-for-profit four-year institutions using campus crime rates per 1,000 residents, graduation rates and student retention rates from the U.S. Department of Education. They also used FBI Crime Report data, student surveys, social media analysis and its own research.

Nicholls posted a crime rate of less than 1-per-1000 and recently recorded a record-high student retention rate.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 17, 2016

CONTACT: Jacob Batte, Media Relations and Publications Coordinator, 985.448.4141 or jacob.batte@nicholls.edu