Nicholls plays host to visiting university from Mexico

THIBODAUX, La. — Delegates from La Universidad Marista de Merida toured the Nicholls State University campus Thursday with the goal of developing academic partnerships between the two institutions.

Visiting the Nicholls campus from Merida were Miguel Baquedano, president of Universidad Marista de Merida; Jorge Carlos Bolaños, director of health science; Javier Espinosa, research director; Gina Centeno, coordinator of the tourism administration degree; and Diana Gonzalez, international program coordinator.

Universidad Marista de Merida is a private school with an enrollment of approximately 4,500 students. They opened their doors in 1996.

Nicholls President Dr. Jay Clune said the connection between the two schools is natural.

“The warmth of the people, the quality of the food and the culture of the two environments are very much common,” Dr. Clune said. “I see this as an opportunity for our students and our faculty.”

The group toured the campus, ate lunch at the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute and met with faculty and administrators from the College of Business Administration, the Culinary Institute and the Department of Biological Sciences.

“I would like to give our students a study abroad program and Merida is a good place to do it. Merida is a place with a rich history, a rich culture and excellent universities,” Dr. Clune said. “This is an opportunity for our students to learn another culture and language for a reasonable price, and for their students to do the same. Study abroad changes lives; it changed mine”


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

Colonels Abroad in China: Logan meets a llama


Our last full day in China was certainly a memorable one.

The weather here is outstanding. In my first entry about Guangzhou, I mentioned how the weather conditions reminded me of home. Well, I take back that statement. Louisiana’s heat has absolutely nothing on this. Plus, the humidity can be excruciating. Nonetheless, it didn’t take away from today’s excursions.

We started off the day with a trip to the Guangzhou zoo. Being that the only zoo I’ve ever visited was the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, it was interesting to experience another. This zoo of course was filled with plenty of animals native to China. There were so many different species of monkeys, all being equally cute.

One of my favorite exhibits was the raccoon exhibit. I know, I know, we have so many back home in Louisiana, but I absolutely fell in love with one of the raccoons. As we approached the gate, so many of them ran up to see if anyone was willing to part with their snacks. Lagging behind, I noticed this huge puffball slowly making his way to the group. This raccoon was so plump and clearly has never missed a meal. He plopped himself in front of us and just held his arm up in hopes for some food. Oh, what a love!

We finished our tour of the Guangzhou zoo with the petting zoo and the panda exhibit. I loved the petting zoo because I was able to feed and pet a llama. Anyone who knows me knows I love llamas. I even have a llama PopSocket on the back of my phone. So this was a glorious moment for me. Lastly, the pandas were absolutely beautiful. Definitely much lazier than I had imagined, especially since I watched one of them lay down and eat. You can’t help but look at a panda and want to give them a hug. They’re just that cute.

Afterwards, we were supposed to visit a Buddhist temple, but that was not to be. Out of nowhere, it began to storm, which immediately reminded me of a Louisiana summer.

Tomorrow is the day that we leave China to make our way back to our family and loved ones. Although I do miss them, I can’t help but feel saddened about leaving so soon. I will write a conclusion to this blog and this amazing experience that I was granted in the fall issue of the university magazine, The Colonel. Until next time, zijian!

Nicholls student receives competitive accounting scholarship

Sarah Miller

THIBODAUX, La. —  A Nicholls College of Business Administration student is the recipient of a competitive petroleum accounting scholarship.

Sarah Miller, an accounting and finance double major from Houma, received the $1,000 scholarship from the New Orleans chapter of the Council of Petroleum Accountants Societies, Inc. Miller was recognized during a New Orleans chapter meeting on May 16.

“This means so much for me to receive this scholarship because it helps me feel like my hard work is paying off,” Miller said. “Because I’m double-majoring, I’m going to be doing an extra semester, which means I won’t have TOPS for the last semester, so this scholarship will greatly help the reduce my financial burden.”

COPAS of New Orleans, a nonprofit oil and gas accounting organization, awards two $1,000 scholarships to local accounting students annually. Recipients must be Louisiana residents majoring in accounting with a 3.0 GPA from a school accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The Nicholls College of Business Administration is AACSB-accredited, a distinction held by less than 5 percent of business schools worldwide.


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

Colonels Abroad in China: Fashion floors Logan on the trip’s penultimate day


As I have mentioned in my first post, I am hoping to pursue fashion as a career in graduate school. I am so in love with fashion and the way that it makes people feel. Yet throughout this blog, I haven’t really spent too much time focusing on it as a topic.

I am amazed at how well everyone dresses in China compared to the U.S. I’ve seen patterns of which I never thought could be paired together, yet people rock it here.

One of the very interesting aspects of Chinese fashion and overall beauty standards is the idea of masculinity. In the U.S, we have this very strict idea of a man and how he should present himself. More than likely while you are reading this, you’re imagining a tall, muscular guy, with dark hair and light eyes — maybe he even has a beard.You get the gist. There’s this idea of hyper masculinity that we envision..

Well, in China, that whole ideal is completely crushed. The men that are used in fashion ads or just campaigns in general are very pretty. By pretty, I mean that they have very soft features to their faces, and their eyes are very gentle.

Another thing that I’ve noticed is the usage of purses. Purses, purses, purses. The first time I walked the streets of Beijing, I noticed a guy around my age walking with a Chanel Classic Flap purse. Of course, I was shocked at first because in the U.S., that is frowned upon. As this trip has gone on, I’ve been noticing it even more. It’s really not surprising to see men walking around with a Chanel, Valentino or Chloé purse. It turns out that not only is it seen as fashion forward here, but also as being more practical. Why stuff everything in your pockets when you can have a nice bag to place your belongings? I’ve absolutely grown to love fashion here in China, and I’ve already started researching fashion schools in Shanghai.

Walking the streets of Guangzhou was very hot. Literally. The temperature stayed in the 90s and the humidity was in the 90th percentile, so needless to say it’s not a hard task to do some sweating around here.

Guangzhou’s architecture is a bit different from the architecture that we had seen earlier within this trip. This probably has a lot to do with the extreme need for ventilation, but the southern region is definitely more tropical and more westernized. This portion of China was also inhabited by French and British settlers for many decades, so one can see the influence.

Tomorrow is the very last day here in China, which saddens me. I feel as though this amazing experience has gone by so fast, and I’m not ready to leave.

Tomorrow, we are going to the zoo to see the pandas, a Buddhist temple and possibly some last minute shopping. I definitely look forward to it! Until next time, zijian!

Mass Communication has accreditation reaffirmed

THIBODAUX, La. — The Nicholls State University Mass Communication Department recently had its accreditation reaffirmed by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

The committee’s action followed a report based on an October 2017 visit from a site team that found the department in compliance with all nine accreditation standards.

This is the fourth re-affirmation since the department first received ACEJMC accreditation in 1994, and it is the second consecutive time the site team found the department in compliance with all standards.

“It’s the result of a lot of hard work by the faculty during some trying fiscal times over the past several years,” Mass Communication Department Head James Stewart said.

Since the last site visit, Stewart said the department had done a great deal of work on the curriculum to make it more digitally oriented.

He added that the program, which had continued to make strides forward during multiple years of standstill or reduced budgets, had over the last several years made almost $1 million in improvements and was poised to make additions to its facilities going forward.

Stewart said that the department has already begun to experience enrollment increases, and he expects to see that trend continue as students better understand the potential of a media degree in the digital world.

“I think we are also seeing an uptick here because everyone is just so excited about the potential of the program,” Stewart said.


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

Colonels Abroad in China: Logan eats stinky tofu in Guangzhou


Today, we woke up at 5:40 a.m. in order to pack and leave the hotel by 6:20 a.m. Our train for Guangzhou left at 8 a.m. The high-speed train ride consisted of 6 hours filled with plenty of snacks and discussions ranging from Norwegian folklore to “Fifty Shades of Gray.” Yes, you read that correctly.

Throughout this trip, it has been interesting just observing the cultural differences in China. Beijing was very historical, and often referred to as the “countryside.” In all, Beijing’s architecture was a bit more historical compared to Shanghai and its modern structures.  

Guangzhou is in the south of China, so I’m expecting even more cultural differences. Dr. En Mao told us she believes Guangzhou has the best food, so I am certainly looking forward to visiting. I spoke with our tour guide about the differences in language, as well, since in the south of China more people speak Cantonese rather than Mandarin. Cantonese and Mandarin are written similarly, but they are spoken differently. It’ll be interesting to see if I can hear the difference.

When we arrived in Guangzhou, I was greeted with a nice, warm and sunny breeze. Today the high was 32 degrees Celsius, which is about 90 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to that, the humidity here is above 90 percent, so needless to say it reminded me of home.

Although today was a relaxed kind of day, especially with the 6-hour train ride, I’ve come to the realization that I’ve really stepped out of my comfort zone with food on this trip. I know I have mentioned it before, but I have really tried some interesting dishes. These range from various animals to even stinky tofu. Again, you read that correctly.

Stinky tofu is a very common snack in China, from what I’ve heard. Like its name dictates, it has a somewhat unflattering smell. In all honesty, it sort of smelled like feet, but I still tried it. It may have smelled funky, but it tastes like scrambled eggs. In addition to that, tonight I tried chicken feet. I never thought I would ever try it, but why not? Also it apparently is packed with collagen, so it’s good for your skin. Trying out new foods and preventing aging at the same time!  

I’m looking forward to the other foods I might try in the next few days. Until next time, zijian!

Nicholls awards 744 degrees at 102nd Commencement

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University awarded 744 degrees to students during its spring commencement ceremony on May 19.

Megan Boudreaux, Katelyn Cortez, Derek Daigle and Tricia Martin received the President’s Medal of Honor for graduating with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Boudreaux graduated with a degree in biology, Cortez with degrees in finance and accounting, Daigle in chemistry and Martin in accounting.

In addition to those four students, 21 students graduated summa cum laude for graduating with a 3.9 GPA or higher. Summa cum laude is the highest academic honor a student can achieve.

Those students are Jill Knight, psychology; Kayla Wayne, management and accounting; Michael Funkhouser, secondary education; Ria Ledet, biology; Taylor Boudreaux, finance and accounting; Natalie LeBlanc, dietetics; Peyton Montet, management; Austin Ledet, accounting; Tammy Szanyi, petroleum services; Anna Cazenave, communicative disorders; Sarah LeBouef, health sciences; Jordan Aucoin, petroleum services; Gregory Bergeron, biology; Adele Broussard, health sciences; Heather Bond, elementary education; Chelsea Robichaux, elementary education; Katelyn Granger, accounting; Emily Sauce, biology; Brooke Lagarde, biology; Abby Eschete, accounting; and Kyle Foret, communicative disorders.


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

Colonels Abroad in China: Logan goes clubbing (sort of)


In the last post, I mentioned the idea of us all going out to experience the nightlife that Shanghai has to offer. Well, turns out last night was quite the night, but it was not exactly what I was expecting.

To start off, we divided into groups of three because we were taking cabs to the club. Brock, David and I got into a cab and gave our driver the directions to the club. That plan did not work out, as not only was that club no longer in existence, but also our driver dropped us off in the wrong location. So imagine three American guys with very little Chinese skills in the middle of Shanghai at 11 p.m., and with little contact ability with the other groups. Sounds a bit scary right?

Well, actually, it was a memory of Shanghai that I will hold on to for the rest of my life. We wandered the streets of Shanghai for about an hour and a half, soaking in the funky modern architecture and looking at the very ritzy designer stores. Doing something like this is very unheard of back at home. I would never just wander the streets aimlessly in the U.S., because of safety reasons.

Although we found ourselves clearly lost in Shanghai, we never once felt unsafe or filled with worry. Many people were walking their dogs or just enjoying a late night stroll, so talking to locals wasn’t all that challenging.

At about 12:30 a.m. we finally found ourselves at Club Mist, where the others had arrived. If anyone has ever watched the TV series “Gossip Girl,” the party was like something you’d see on the show. The club was filled with outrageously rich young Chinese people, who were thoroughly enjoying their bottle service and the booming music. We didn’t stay very long. In fact, we arrived at the hotel and I was in bed by 1:30 a.m. Despite that, it was an unforgettable experience.

The following morning, we went to Zhujiajiao Water Town. When walking into Zhujiajiao, it was like stepping back into time. The town hasn’t modernized and has maintained its traditional Chinese charm. We were able to take a nice boat tour through the town and shop around with the locals. Shopping has certainly become an addiction for me. I feel as though I walk into most shops and come out with something, be it snacks, scarves or tea.

Aside from the great shopping experiences in Zhujiajiao, there were plenty of dogs to befriend along the trip. I found myself stopping at nearly every dog just to pet them, but there was this one dog that especially touched my heart. I met him at the beginning of our trip through Zhujiajiao and made sure to visit him one last time before we left. I even had to take a picture with him because he was just so darn cute!

To conclude our day, we took a river cruise at 8 p.m. Seeing the city of Shanghai at night is just a spectacle in itself. It is simply amazing to think that Shanghai is a considerably new and booming city. The city began to develop into the metropolis that it is today within just the past 35 years. Shanghai also happens to be the home of the second tallest building in the world, with over 100 stories.

Another interesting aspect about Shanghai is the level of diversity within the architecture. Since Shanghai was inhabited by the British at one point, there is also a large amount of western influence intermingled with the modern skyscrapers.

Shanghai is nothing short of gorgeous, and the fashion here is absolutely insane. I’m thinking about looking into fashion schools here in Shanghai for graduate school. Anyway, tomorrow we leave very early for Guangzhou. Goodbye Shanghai, for now. Until next time, zijian!

Nicholls students, professor to perform at Carnegie Hall

The Nicholls Concert Choir performs at he grand re-opening of the Mary & Al Danos Theater in 2016. (Misty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University)

THIBODAUX, La. — The Nicholls State University Foundation is pleased to announce a $10,000 sponsorship from the Thibodaux Regional Medical Center which will enable Nicholls choir students to perform at Carnegie Hall.

Nicholls Concert Choir will perform Saturday, May 26, at the world-famous venue. It is the choir’s third time to participate in MidAmerica’s Carnegie Hall series and their first trip in a decade.

“Thibodaux Regional and Nicholls have partnered in many endeavors throughout the years not only in athletics and sports medicine but nursing, business, and allied health as well,” Greg Stock, CEO of Thibodaux Regional said. “We are pleased that we could assist in this effort to send these talented student-musicians to represent Nicholls, Thibodaux and the Bayou Region.”

A total of 27 people are expected to make the New York trip for the performance including students, former students and friends of the choir.

“The students who are participating are very excited,” said Dr. Kenneth Klaus, professor of music and director of choral activities. “It will a fabulous educational and artistic experience for everyone. We’re very thankful to the folks at Thibodaux Regional for helping make this trip a reality.”

The performance will include music by Wolfgang Mozart, Mark Hayes and Allan Robert Petker. Klaus will be conducting the Mozart portion of the program, and Hayes and Petker will conduct their own works giving the Nicholls choral students an opportunity to perform under the baton of the composer.

Dr. Klaus said the group is still seeking donations for the trip to help pay for meals for the students. If you’re interested in donating, contact the Nicholls Foundation at 448-4136.


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

Colonels Abroad in China: From Beijing to Shanghai


Today, we made our way from Beijing to Shanghai. We checked out of our hotel and left for the train station at 7 a.m. in order to make our 9 a.m. departure on the Fu Xing train.

It is about a 4-hour train ride to Shanghai, but considering that the train was also going over 200 mph it is very impressive. At the most, I noticed we were going 345 km/h, which is about 214 mph. During the trip, Dr. En Mao shared an assortment of Chinese snacks with us. Aside from the Chinese version of Vanilla wafers, among these snacks were mushroom chips, dried beans, apple discs and dried squid. Some of these were a bit more appetizing than the others, but it was very neat to be able to try out and compare the snacks. Among the ones I listed, I’d say my favorite was the mushroom chips. As odd as it may sound, I absolutely loved the flavor of the seasoning in addition to the mushroom taste. I love to eat mushrooms in general, so it honestly wasn’t much of a surprise to me that I liked them. Even the dried squid wasn’t bad, once you learn to look past the scent of it. It almost tastes like beef jerky, with just a hint of seafood flavoring.

In comparison to Beijing, Shanghai is a more modern city. When touring Shanghai, one of the tour guides referred to Beijing as being more of the “countryside,” as it had a deeper history. I found this rather striking considering the population, but I can definitely see what she meant by it being a newer and more booming city.

Although we didn’t do as much touring of Shanghai today, our group has noticed the more westernized influence within the city. Some of the buildings here don’t even look like something you’d see in China, which is a very considerable difference in comparison to Beijing. Many of the buildings, like our hotel, look like something you’d see in Europe.

Tonight, the group will be heading out to see the nightlife Shanghai has to offer. I look forward to seeing the drastic difference since we are definitely not in Thibodaux anymore. We’ll see how this experience goes in the next post. Until next time, zijian!