Capital One donates $30,000 to Nicholls

Dr. Lynn Gillette, provost and vice president of academic affairs; Dr. Bruce Murphy, president; Robbie Naquin, tri-parish market president for Capital One

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University today announced a $30,000 donation from Capital One to create a unique initiative aimed at bringing underserved high school students to campus for an extended look at what life looks like on a college campus.

Beginning this summer, Nicholls will host the College Access Conference by Capital One, a 2-day, 3-night initiative which will pair with the Bayou Educational Opportunity Center.

“When I was a junior in high school, I had no idea where I wanted to go to college. Then after visiting a college campus for a couple of days, I knew I wanted to attend that university. It did turn out to be the right decision for me, and that campus experience is one I cherish to this day,” said Robbie Naquin, Tri-Parish market president at Capital One. “The College Access Conference by Capital One is a great initiative for students and their families who may not know that college is an option for them. It provides a wealth of information about attending college, including financial-aid options. And it gets students enthusiastic about attending college by introducing the overall college experience, including living on campus. Having more of our students on a college campus is great for this region.”

Housed on Nicholls campus, the Bayou Educational Opportunity Center partners with local school districts and adult education centers to provide readily accessible college guidance to qualifying high school seniors, adult education graduates and parents of low-income, first-generation college students.

Nicholls will work with high school counselors to identify first-generation or low-income, rising high school seniors from Assumption, Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes who meet the university’s admissions criteria. Those students will have the opportunity to spend June 1-3 on campus for a comprehensive and intensive academic and social experience.

Students will stay in the dorms, eat in the cafeteria, work closely with faculty in their chosen major and participate in campus activities. The students will be able to meet with the financial aid office, academic advisors and various clubs and organizations on campus.

“We want to create an environment where they can see themselves coming to a college campus and being successful,” said Dr. Lynn Gillette, provost and vice president of academic affairs.


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

Nicholls closes due to severe winter weather

THIBODAUX, La. — Due to continuing poor winter weather conditions with travel delays and dangerous road conditions, Nicholls State University will close effective 12:30 p.m.

Friday exams affected by the weather will be rescheduled for later next week. Regular exam schedule will resume on Monday, Dec. 11. Visit for more details.

Students, faculty and staff are urged to use extreme caution traveling home. Please obey all local law enforcement for road and bridge closures.

The Emergency Preparedness Committee will continue to watch the weather and will take additional action if necessary. Please continue to monitor the Nicholls website, its emergency website,, and follow Nicholls social media for updates.


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

Nicholls Beta Gamma Sigma chapter, student receive honors

Beau Brady


THIBODAUX, La. — The Nicholls chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma, an international honor society for business students, was named a High Honors Chapter in recognition for the chapter’s academic excellence.

As a High Honors Chapter, Nicholls was able to send a senior accounting and finance major, Beau Brady, to the 2017 Global Leadership Summit held in Orlando. In addition to Brady, the Nicholls College of Business Administration covered the cost of two 4.0 students, Katelyn Cortez and Alayna Falgout, to attend the conference as well.

During the Summit, students participate in a carefully cultivated series of leadership sessions designed to build upon each other to culminate in an intensive team competition. This year’s Summit took place November 2-5.

At the summit, students were broken up into 35 teams to compete in five different categories in the Team Case Competition, where they would collaborate and provide a solution to a complex business scenario.

Brady and his team won their category based on their innovative and creative solution for their assigned business case, as well as the effectiveness of their presentation.

“It was a lot of fun. Everyone in my group was intelligent and you could tell their head was in the right place in trying to assess the problem. It was a great experience,” said the Larose native, who is also a member of Beta Alpha Psi, the international honor organization for accounting, finance and information systems students. “Nicholls is a great university, and I especially enjoy the College of Business Administration. What makes Nicholls so much more effective than a larger university is that you can build a relationship with your teachers. You know them on a first-name basis and it can make you feel more involved within the college and the university.”

Founded in 1913, Beta Gamma Sigma is the highest honor a collegiate business and management scholar at an AACSB-accredited school can achieve. The international honor society has inducted more than 810,000 members during their 104-year existence, including thirteen faculty members in the Nicholls College of Business Administration.


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

Nicholls food drive collects more than 14,000 items

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls CAN collected more than 14,000 non-perishable food items during the university’s annual food drive.

Held Oct. 30 through Nov. 13, Nicholls collected 14,386 food items. That food will be donated to food banks in Houma, Thibodaux, Raceland, Galliano and Dulac to be distributed during the holiday season.

“It is important to support the fight against hunger because we as a community can impact that number and ensure that our less fortunate friends, family and neighbors can meet their basic needs,” said Michael Williams, associate professor of art and organizer of Nicholls Can. “Acting towards this common good is an investment towards building a civil society with a healthy and well-adjusted population.”

More than 41 million people in the United States don’t have regular access to food and the rates of food insecurity are higher in Louisiana than the national average. According to, an estimated one in four children don’t have access to food.

Since 2013, Nicholls Can has collected and donated more than 85,500 items.


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

Nicholls nursing alum receives patient care award

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls nursing alum Megan George was honored for her outstanding patient care with the Daisy Award for Nursing Excellence.

The Thibodaux native, who works at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans, earned the award after being nominated by her patients and their families.

George, who graduated from Nicholls in 2016, was one of two nurses to receive the award from Children’s Hospital this year.

“It was a complete surprise,” George said. “To know that I made a positive impact in someone’s life during their hospital stay – which is never an easy time in a patient’s life – definitely made me love being a nurse that much more.”

A first-generation college student while at Nicholls, George was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, participated in the Nicholls Association of Student Nurses and was a member of the Phi Mu sorority.

Created in 1999 by The Daisy Foundation, the Daisy Award for Nursing Excellence was created as a way to say thank you for the “super-human work nurses do for patients and families every day.” Today, more than 2,700 healthcare facilities in all 50 states and 17 other countries participate in giving out the Daisy Award.


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

Nicholls receives donation from Entergy to continue Tour Tuesday

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University will continue an initiative that focuses on bringing underrepresented students to campus thanks to another donation from Entergy Corp.

The $10,000 donation, their second this year, will fund Tour Tuesday presented by Entergy, a program that sends charter buses to area high schools to the Nicholls campus.

“Tour Tuesday gives students who might not believe college is a possibility exposure to what higher education has to offer and stimulates interest in furthering their studies,” said Phillip May, president and CEO of EntergyLouisiana. “At Entergy, we believe the future is bright and, by supporting this program, we help ensure that it is. This partnership with Nicholls State University is a part of a shared goal of building healthy, vibrant communities for not only today’s generation, but for generations to come. Our organization’s success and the success of the communities we serve are directly related. Together, we can power life.”

Nicholls works with guidance counselors at the high schools to identify first-generation and low-income high school students who meet Nicholls admissions standards. Those students are then transported to campus where they are given a tour and an overview of academic programs and student organizations. Interested students will meet with admissions counselors who help them fill out an application and financial aid forms.

“We want to thank Entergy for providing funding to support the Tour Tuesday program,” said Alex Arceneaux, chief of staff and acting executive director of enrollment services. “This program provides an opportunity to high school students who may not otherwise get to experience a college campus tour. This is an example of how Nicholls is focusing efforts on making college accessible to all students in our region.”

This semester, Nicholls hosted students from Central Lafourche High School and Thibodaux High School. Several more trips are in the works for the spring semester. Last year, Nicholls hosted six area high schools.


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

Local author to speak at Fall Commencement



THIBODAUX, La. — Local author John Desantis will deliver the keynote speech during the 101st commencement ceremony at Nicholls State University.

Nicholls’ 101st Commencement will take place at 10 a.m. on Dec. 16 in Guidry Stadium.

Desantis has spent decades as a newspaper reporter in California, New York City, Mississippi, North Carolina and Florida, but he’s best known for his work at the Daily Comet and The Times of Houma-Thibodaux. His bylines have appeared in the Associated Press and New York Times.

He is the author of three books “For the Color His Skin: The Murder of Yusuf Hawkins and the Trial of Bensonhurst” published in 1991; “The New Untouchables, How America Sanctions Police Violence” published in 1994; and most recently, “The Thibodaux Massacre: Racial Violence and the 1887 Sugar Cane Labor Strike” published last year.

Research and publication of his latest book led to the creation of the nonprofit, The Louisiana 1887 Memorial Committee, which is working with archaeologists from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette to verify alleged mass grave victims. The committee’s work and the book have led the City of Thibodaux and Lafourche Parish Council to publicly acknowledge and condemn the 1887 event.

Through the creation of the committee, Desantis has worked with Nicholls State University students on a public campaign to promote the committee’s goals.

“Addressing the 2017 commencement is an honor I would never have foreseen in my wildest dreams,” DeSantis said. “I hope to impart a message of hope to graduates that no matter where their paths lead them, there will always be opportunities to use what they have gained during their years at Nicholls to give aid and comfort to others, while also achieving success for themselves and their families.”

In honor of his work supporting the local community, Desantis will be awarded an honorary doctorate.

“Receipt of the honorary degree is for me an acknowledgment of the people in our communities, particularly those afflicted by poverty and prejudice, whose stories I have told,” he said. “It is my hope that in some way this will encourage others to continue doing similar work in the future. It also provides for me a stronger link with the Nicholls community, which I have great affection for and which has aided my work in many different ways.”


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

Nicholls choir to hold Christmas concert

THIBODAUX, La. — Just in time for the holidays, the Nicholls State University Concert Choir will perform their annual Candlelight Christmas Concert at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 5 in the Mary and Al Danos Theater.

Through song and narration, the Nicholls Concert Choir will tell the traditional Christmas Story, with fresh arrangements of traditional Christmas carols paired with composed seasonal songs.

Tickets are $10 for students and $20 for general admission. Revenue from the concert will be used to send the Nicholls concert choir to New York City to perform at the famed Carnegie Hall in May.

Among the carols to be performed are “Silent Night,” “O Holy Night,” O Little Town of Bethlehem” and “Carol of the Bells.” The choir will also perform William Walton’s “What Cheer?,” Healey Willan’s “The Three Kings,” Emma Lou Diemer’s “The Angel Gabriel,” Joseph Martin’s “The Song Arising” and Craig Courtney’s “Who But the Lord?”

Student instrumentalists include Katie Robichaux on piano, Richard Galbreath on clarinet and Seth Babin on the French horn. Robichaux is a piano and biology double-major from Thibodaux, and Galbreath and Babin are both Houma natives studying instrumental music education.

Dr. Kenneth Klaus, professor of music, will conduct and Michelle Parro will serve as piano accompanist.

For information, call 985-448-4600 or email


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

Nicholls photography professor receives top educator award

(Misty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University)

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University professor of Art, Deborah Lillie, received the 2017 Honored Educator award by the Society for Photographic Education’s South Central Chapter.


Lillie, who has taught at Nicholls for nearly two decades, delivered a presentation on her artwork at the chapter’s annual conference in October in Waco, Texas on the campus of Baylor University. She also curated the nonprofit’s 2017 photography exhibition.

Throughout her tenure at Nicholls, Lillie has helped push the envelope of photographic education, expanding the curriculum from black and white documentary photography into the digital age.

Organized in 1963, the Society of Photographic Education seeks to advocate photography as an art through educational programs, services and publications.

Today, the organization has 1,800 members in eight regional chapters and three international chapters. Lillie has been a member since 1989 and has organized two conferences on the Nicholls campus.


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

Nicholls SHRM wins human resources competition state championship for second straight year

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University’s student Society for Human Resource Management chapter won the state championship at the Louisiana Human Resource Case Competition for the second year in a row.


During the Nov. 3 competition, the Nicholls chapter presented the top solutions for the mock case, which was held in Baton Rouge.

“The value of this event goes beyond what they receive in the classroom,” said Melanie Boudreaux, faculty sponsor and instructor of management. “The CASE competition helps our students tie together everything they learned in their classes, and it lets them actually apply the material.”

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.


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