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

Nicholls Named Top School for Health Sciences

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University’s health sciences degree program has been ranked as one of the best in the country by 

Twenty-five schools were included in the ranking with Nicholls at No. 14 as the only school in Louisiana to make the list. 

Using National Center for Education Statistics data, the website reviewed mid-career graduate pay, student retention rates, average SAT scores of accepted students, student reviews and affordability to assign scores from 0-100. 

Citing Nicholls Allied Health Sciences comprehensive curriculum, which is designed for both entry-level students and credentialed healthcare professionals, as well as student reviews and affordability, the website awarded Nicholls with a score of 81.8. 

“It’s exciting when someone from outside of our campus can recognize the accomplishments of our program,” said Jennifer Plaisance, allied health sciences department head. “Rankings such as this one validate the hard work of our faculty, who pour a lot of time and resources into ensuring our students are successful in the classroom and the real world. We pride ourselves on our graduates having the confidence and the foundation to learn whatever skills are required to be a professional in the workforce.” 

One of the most popular departments on the Nicholls campus, allied health sciences has a reputation across the state for training high-performing students and impactful graduates. Students can choose from a degree in dietetics or health sciences with a concentration in pre-professional, pre-athletic training, communicative disorders or nutrition and food services. aims to inform and educate students with an interest in the field of health sciences through interactive articles, FAQs and information on undergraduate and graduate degree programs. 


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


Nicholls Named Top 50 School for Education Majors

Members of the Nicholls Education Association of Teachers pose for a photo during the 2018 Welcome Back Day.
(Misty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University)

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University has been ranked one of the Top 50 schools for education majors by online educational resource,

Nicholls came in at No. 45 and was the only school from Louisiana in the Top 50.

The website considered accredited, non-profit public and private schools and ranked them using data from the U.S. Department of Education, as well as university specific details, to determine each schools affordability, accessibility and quality. The organization looked at tuition cost, financial aid, admittance rates, educational support and resources, retention rates, graduation rates, student-faculty ratio, career resources and job placement. highlighted Nicholls College of Education and Behavioral Sciences faculty who “strive for inspiration and engagement,” as well as student organizations like the Nicholls Education Association of Teachers, available scholarship opportunities for education majors and its variety of programs.

Formed in 2004, aims to make education accessible to all students by providing their more than 40 million monthly users with free reports on colleges, majors and careers.

The College of Behavioral Sciences is known for its impact on the community with alumni making up more than 80 percent of Bayou Region teachers, and 90 percent of the Lafourche Parish Teachers of the Year over the last five years.


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

Nicholls Names Education Dean, Changes to Academic Structure

Dr. Scot Rademaker

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University is excited to welcome Dr. Scot Rademaker as the dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.

Dr. Rademaker, the chair of the Division of Education and assistant professor at The College of New Rochelle in New York, will fill the position, which has been vacant since August 2018. Dr. Steven Welsh served as interim dean during the search process.

“I’m excited to join the Nicholls State University family,” Dr. Rademaker said. “The combination of teacher education and psychology in the college first attracted me to Nicholls. As I went deeper, I found a wonderful community of faculty, staff and students and many important initiatives, projects and services. I’m looking forward to becoming a part of such an outstanding team and contributing in a meaningful fashion.”

Dr. Rademaker brings a combination of classroom and leadership experience to the position. Prior to the College of New Rochelle, he spent five years as an assistant professor of curriculum and pedagogy at Winthrop University and two years as a reading interventionist in the Miami-Dade County Public School System.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Miami, his master’s in science from Barry University and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction in special education from the University of South Florida.

“What stood out about Dr. Rademaker during the search process was his experience and passion for both teacher education and psychology,” Nicholls Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Sue Westbrook said. “I can’t wait to work with Dr. Rademaker as he leads the College of Education and Behavioral Science into a new chapter of educational excellence and growth.”

Housed in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, education and psychology make up the third and fourth most popular degree programs on the campus. The college also oversees some of the most impactful programs across campus, including the pre-k program, Little Colonel’s Academy; the transformative Bridge to Independence Program for students with autism and other intellectual disabilities; and the Louisiana Center for Dyslexia and Related Learning Disorders. An Applied Behavioral Analysis Clinic will also be housed on campus and is expected to open within the next year.  

In a move that will benefit students across campus, the College of Arts and Sciences will be split into two colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Sciences and Technology. The former college was the largest on campus with 13 departments and 22 degree programs.

“This is going to be a benefit for everyone involved,” Dr. Westbrook said. “The college had become too large to manage effectively. With this change, we will be able to more quickly meet the needs of our students, as well as our faculty.”

The College of Liberal Arts will house the departments of art, social sciences, history and geography, interdisciplinary studies, languages and literature, mass communications and music. Jean Donegan, art department head, will serve as interim dean of the college until a search can be completed.

The College of Sciences and Technology will include the departments of applied sciences, biological sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, petroleum engineering technology and safety management and allied health sciences. Dr. John Doucet will continue to serve as dean.


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


Tickets Available for Nicholls Performing Arts Play “Seussical, Jr.”

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls performing arts campers invite you to Whoville next weekend as they host a production of “Seussical, Jr.”

The play features 53 campers, ages 7 to 17, performing the musical at the Mary and Al Danos Theater.

“Seussical” debuted on Broadway in 2000, having been written by Tony-award winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty as an adaptation from children’s stories by Dr. Seuss.

The story largely revolves around “Horton Hears a Who,” which is a book about an elephant tasked with protecting the tiny planet on a speck of dust containing the Whos and Whoville. The journey through the Dr. Seuss-verse features many favorite characters, including the Grinch, Cat in the Hat and the Circus McGurkus.

Performances will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 13-15; and 3 p.m. Sunday, June 16. General admission tickets are $10 and can be purchased from the Office of Continuing Education in 113 Shaver Gym or at the door.

On Saturday, June 15, the cast will also host a brunch in which they perform skits from the musical at 11 a.m. Tickets are $25 for the brunch.

For additional information, contact continuing education at 448-4444.


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

Nicholls Foundation Wants to Take Colonels to Spain with Clunes

THIBODAUX, La. — The Nicholls Foundation and Alumni Federation invite you to join them and Nicholls President Dr. Jay and Allison Clune for a trip to Spain in early 2020.

The group will depart from New Orleans on Jan. 29th and return Feb. 7, after spending three nights in Madrid, two nights in Seville and three nights in Barcelona.

Highlights of the trip include the Prado Museum and Royal Palace in Madrid; the Giralda Tower, the bell tower of a cathedral, and Plaza de España in Seville; and the Sagrada Familia, a Roman Catholic church, and the Gothic Quarter with its medieval streets in Barcelona.

“Having the Clunes on the trip will be beneficial for everyone, as it will allow the group and the Clunes to get to know each other better,” said Jeremy Becker, Nicholls Foundation executive director. “And for the Clunes, it will be exciting for them to be surrounded by so many who believe that Nicholls is a special place.”

The Clunes lived in Seville for a year when Dr. Clune was a Fulbright Scholar.

This will be the third Nicholls foundation trip, the first two being to France and Italy.

Additionally in the package are five dinners including some at special restaurants, four-star hotels, airfare from New Orleans, transfers, daily breakfast and much more. The trip is $3,665 per person based on double occupancy.

Reservations need to be made by June 21 as seating is limited. Contact Becker at 985-448-4006 or to sign up or for more information.


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

Nicholls Sales Honored by Sales Education Foundation

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University has been named a “Top University Sales Program” by the Sales Education Foundation for 2019.

The list includes more than 150 schools, both in the U.S. and internationally, and only five from Louisiana. The honor was published in the Sales Education Annual magazine.

Of Nicholls, the magazine points out the program boasts a 95 percent job placement rate, a sales lab and the annual Bayou Sales Challenge, a regional intercollegiate sales role-play competition hosted by the College of Business Administration each spring.

The Annual mentions, “Nicholls also has a cross-disciplinary degree program with finance to prepare students for a career in financial services marketing.”

The Bayou Sales Challenge is also separately mentioned in the magazine as a unique event showcasing the next generation of sales professionals. For more about the challenge, visit  

The magazine can be viewed online at

Since its beginning in 2007, the non-profit Sales Education Foundation has elevated the sales profession through college and university programs. SEF proudly partners with academic trailblazers and industry professionals to establish and support effective sales education around the world.


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

Nicholls Art Sets Fundraising Record with Art Works

THIBODAUX, La. — The Nicholls Art Department raised the bar yet again with the annual spring art exhibit and fundraiser, Art Works, which set a profit record for the second consecutive year.

Held on April 2, the event raised more than $39,000, topping last year’s record-setting $30,000. Art Works benefits students through scholarships, grants and equipment and technology upgrades. Since its inception in 2014, Art Works has funded more than $45,000 in scholarships and even more for grants that have helped more than 25 students host exhibits and attend conferences across the country.

Known for its tours, demonstrations, hands-on activities and art auction, this year the department took it a step further, adding a live painting from Donaldsonville artist Alvin Batiste, a special viewing of the late George Rodrigue’s “Blue Dog Steinway” and a printing demonstration using a steamroller.


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

Nicholls Biology Students Take Home Awards from Fisheries Meeting

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University was once again well-represented at the Louisiana Chapter of American Fisheries Society annual meeting on May 23-24 in Thibodaux.

Three Nicholls marine and environmental biology graduate students received research awards, and for the third consecutive year, a Nicholls student earned the top abstract award.

That student is Rissa Inselman, a native of Morrison, Oklahoma, who was awarded for her presentation on community development, oyster density and population growth on bedded, crushed concrete as a function of cultch density.

“We are proud of our students for the work they put in on these presentations,” said Dr. Quenton Fontenot, biology department head. “This is a great chance for them to show off their research, and their success is an indication that we are training our students to be well prepared to enter the coastal workforce.”

Gabrielle Sisson, of Alden, New York, placed second on her oral presentation for her look at the fishery-dependent stock of crawfish in the eastern Atchafalaya River Basin. Sisson received the top award last year for her abstract on the same research.

Raceland native Sarah Fontana presented her research on the growth and development of spotted gar spawned in captivity in and out of season in the poster competition and was awarded second place.

The American Fisheries Society has more than 8,000 members including fisheries managers, biologists, professors, ecologists, aquaculturists, economists, engineers and geneticists from around the world. The organization’s primary goal is to promote scientific research and the sustainable management of fisheries resources.


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