Nicholls offers unique artistic experience with fourth annual Art Works Fundraiser

Art Works 2016
(Photo by Misty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University)
Art Works 2016
(Photo by Misty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University)

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University students and faculty will sell their artwork, offer demonstrations and provide hands-on lessons during the fourth annual Art Works Fundraiser at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 28 in Talbot Hall.

The event will include tours of the studios; a silent auction featuring one-of-a-kind artwork by faculty, alumni, local artists and students; an exhibit of local artists work; complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.

This year, participants will also be able to peruse a section titled “Bon Temps” that includes hand-painted wooden chairs contributed by students, faculty and alumni. The chairs will be exhibited and sold in the lobby of the Mary and Al Danos Theater.

Attendees will also be able to see the process of developing photography in a darkroom, learn different graphic design methods for hand-lettering, create personalized selfies using Photoshop, learn how to use a letterpress and make their own cyanotypes.

“It’s magical to see the art as it gradually takes form. We’ll offer a glimpse at every step in the process, from the beginning to the work that goes into the art, and the final product. There is something for every taste and we’re excited to present our work to the public,” said Jean Donegan, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of art.

Tickets are $50 per person. All proceeds from Art Works will be used for scholarships, student development activities and art studio equipment.

For more information, call 448-457 or visit


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

Nicholls to host coastal research communication competition

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University will host a science communication competition to advance graduate and undergraduate research on Louisiana’s most pressing coastal issues.

Titled Coastal Connections and sponsored by Louisiana Sea Grant, the public competition challenges students to concisely communicate their research. Three winners will receive a $500 travel award to attend a conference that aligns with their research.

Students submitted their research earlier this month, and a panel at Louisiana Sea Grant selected 11 finalists to publicly present their research at 4 p.m. on April 3 in the Mardi Gras Suite of the Bollinger Memorial Student Union. But there’s a catch. The students will have just three minutes to explain their research and can use no more than two static slides.

“This is an excellent opportunity for our students to not only get experience in communicating their research concisely but also for them to compete for the chance to expand their knowledge and meet scientists from all over the world,” said Nicholls biology assistant professor, Dr. Aimee Hollander. “Being able to communicate science and our research to the general public is increasingly important in this political climate because it can impact public policy.”

The finalists are Alexa Ballinger, Emily Bodin, Justin Brockmann, Kristen Chatelain, Richard Grabert, Kellyn LaCour-Conant, Ashleigh Lambiotte, Megan Nepshinsky, Drew Prejean, Alexis Rixner and Seth van Dexter.

A modified version of the Three Minute Thesis, the competition advances the academic and communication skills and encourages students to think about how they can effectively explain their research in layman’s terms.

Research will focus specifically on the impact coastal erosion has had on the bayou region. Louisiana has lost nearly 1,900 square miles of coastal islands and wetlands since the 1930s due to a variety of factors.

The three judges for the final competition are Dr. Bruce Murphy, Nicholls president; Craig McClain, director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium; and Simone Maloz, director of Restore or Retreat.


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

Nicholls to host performance of The Vagina Monologues

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University Student Services will hold a production of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” at 7 p.m. Friday, March 24 and Saturday, March 25 at Danos Theater in Talbot Hall.

Called one of the most important pieces of political theater by the New York Times, “The Vagina Monologues”, which premiered in 1996, is a collection of monologues that express different aspects of femininity.

Tickets are $5 in advance for Nicholls students, faculty and staff, and $10 at the door. VIP tickets, which include admission to the play on Saturday, an invitation to the post-performance reception with the cast, and a commemorative mug and poster signed by the cast are available in advance for $30.

Proceeds go toward violence prevention and education as well as victim services at Nicholls.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 448-4080.


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

Nicholls alters MBA curriculum to become more accessible to students

THIBODAUX, La. — The Nicholls State University College of Business Administration has adjusted its Master of Business Administration curriculum to remove barriers that have traditionally discouraged prospective students from applying.

Beginning in the fall, prerequisite courses in accounting, economics, statistics, management, marketing and finance are being folded into existing curriculum, cutting down the amount of time required to complete the program for non-business graduates.

That decision was made to help two types of prospective students: those without a business degree and those who earned their degree years ago and are thinking about returning to school.

“Over the years we’ve received numerous inquiries from interested, prospective students who don’t have a business background. However, more often than not they have shied away from the program because of the amount of work they would have to do before entering the program,” says Dr. Luke Cashen, professor of management and director of Nicholls’ MBA program. “This change will not only boost enrollment, but it’s a way for us to serve our students better by bringing all of them up to speed.”

Information sessions about the MBA program will be held in 105 White Hall at noon on Tuesday, March 21; noon on Monday, April 10; and 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12.

For more information contact Dr. Luke Cashen at 448-4178 or


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

Nicholls Players to perform musical ‘Godspell’

Danos Theater Setup Godspell 2017
(Misty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University)

THIBODAUX, La. — The Nicholls Players will perform the musical “Godspell” this week, the group’s first musical since 2011.

“Godspell” is a set of short stories based on the gospels of Matthew and Luke and told through a series of modern songs containing lyrics from traditional hymns.

“We’ve been wanting to do a musical for awhile. We chose this musical because it balances having a good message with being a fun opportunity to gain valuable experience for our students,” said Anna Broussard, instructor of speech and director of the Nicholls Players. “We are especially excited to put on our first musical in the newly renovated Mary and Al Danos Theater. The new sound system and revamped lighting will allow us to do more than we were able to do in the past.”

Cast and crew of the Nicholls Players are made up of Nicholls students from various majors and some community members.

The production is being presented through a special arrangement with Music Theatre International.

One of the featured songs, “Day by Day” spent 14 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972, peaking at number 13.

First performed in 1971, “Godspell” was conceived and originally directed by John-Michael Tebelak, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.

Tickets are $10 or $5 for students who present their Colonel Cards.

Showings will run at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 16, through Saturday, March 18, with a 2 p.m. showing on Sunday, March 19.


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

Nicholls SHRM among the best at regional competition

Submitted by Melanie Boudreaux.
From left: Seth Cheramie; Maryssa Dupre; Mary Gauthe, SHRM President; Melanie Boudreaux; and Matthew Bergeron.
Submitted by Melanie Boudreaux.
From left: Nick Hanna, Stephan LeBoeuf, Robert Petty and Melanie Boudreaux.

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls students finished in the top half of the competition in their first appearance at the regional Human Resource Case Competition held in Houston.

During the competition held on March 10-11, the Nicholls undergraduate team in the University’s Society for Human Resource Management chapter finished eighth out of 20 teams, while the graduate team finished fourth of nine.

“Our students represented Nicholls extremely well. While watching them present to human resource leaders from around the nation, I was overwhelmed with pride,” said Melanie Boudreaux, faculty sponsor and instructor of management. “I truly believe that our students will forever remember this experience. We may be a small university, but our SHRM student group is definitely making a name for ourselves.”

Nicholls advanced to regionals after winning the first ever Louisiana Human Resource Case Competition in November.

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

New Orleans author to hold reading, discussion during Novel Night at Nicholls

THIBODAUX, La. — The Nicholls English Society will host Novel Night, a guest reading and discussion with New Orleans author Amanda Boyden at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8.

A Minnesota native, Boyden is the author of the international bestseller “Babylon Rolling,” which was named one of the Top 20 Books of 2010 by French weekly Le Point and named one of the best books of the year by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Her first book, “Pretty Little Dirty,” was published in 2006.

A former trapeze artist, Boyden and her husband, Joseph, are Writers-in-Residence at the University of New Orleans.

The event will be held in the Carnival Room in the Bollinger Memorial Student Union.


CONTACT: Jacob Batte, Media Relations and Publications Coordinator,

985.448.4141 or

Veteran to discuss life in and after the Navy in Bonnie Bourg Lecture Series

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University continues its annual Bonnie Bourg Lecture Series Tuesday with retired U.S. Navy veteran Yvette Dinvaut.

Dinvaut served in the first Gulf War conflict, Operation Desert Storm, as an EMT and a nurse before returning home to Louisiana. The mother of three daughters, who was a guest speaker at Mount Carmel Academy’s “Women in the Spotlight” series, will share her experiences serving in the Navy, the lessons she learned and how she adjusted to life after the military.

The event will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in the LeBijou Theater in the Donald G. Bollinger Student Union. Following the event, Dinvaut will serve as the keynote speaker for the Woman of Achievement Award Luncheon.

Admission to the lecture series is free and open to the public.


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

Nicholls announces partnership with Bayou Lafourche Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University and the Bayou Lafourche Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau have announced a partnership aimed at increasing tourism across the parish.

The agreement pairs Nicholls with the parish’s leading tourism authority to promote campus events and programs that draw significant people to the region such as Nicholls athletic competitions, freshman orientations, commencements and summer camps.

“Lafourche Parish is home to one of the most enjoyable and unique cultures in Louisiana, and Nicholls is proud to be a part of that,” Dr. Bruce Murphy, university president, said. “Our vision is to be the intellectual, economic and cultural heart of the Bayou Region, and thanks to our new partnership with the Bayou Lafourche Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Nicholls looks forward to hosting even more events and programs that attract new faces to the region.”

The first of the bureau’s upcoming two headlining events is The Mardi Gras Invitational: Beads and Baseball on the Bayou. Held Feb. 23-26 at Didier Field, the six-team invitational will bring in players and fans from teams across Louisiana and New York.

The bureau will also sponsor the Welcome Reception for the Manning Passing Academy. Scheduled for June 22-25, the Manning Passing Academy annually brings more than 1,200 campers and their families from across the globe and has an estimated impact of more than $4.5 million on the local economy.

“A lot of our visitors and tourists come to Lafourche Parish because of Nicholls. That makes this a perfect partnership,” said Marguerite Knight, chairman of the bureau’s board of directors. “We’re really excited to get started with the Mardi Gras Invitational and to see our partnership grow.”

Nicholls generates an estimated $275 million annual economic impact, more than 3,000 direct jobs and more than 10,000 voters.

“Our research has shown that Nicholls plays an important role in the Lafourche Parish economy and to tourism,” said Timothy Bush, the bureau’s executive director. “Partnering with Nicholls allows us to work together to help bring visitors to our community and expand on our economic impact.


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

More undergraduates enrolling at Nicholls

THIBODAUX, La. — Undergraduate enrollment at Nicholls State University increased 2 percent this spring, with Nicholls enrolling 5,195 undergraduates, compared to 5,098 a year ago.

Overall enrollment, including undergraduate and graduate students, rose slightly to 5,763 students, up nine from spring 2015, according to 14th class day statistics. This marks the third consecutive semester that Nicholls has had an enrollment increase.

“This continued trend of enrollment growth and high retention rates during challenging times proves that Nicholls is providing a high-quality education at an affordable price,” Nicholls President Dr. Bruce Murphy said. “Looking ahead to the fall, we’re receiving greater interest in Nicholls than we’ve seen in recent years with increased applications and more students accepting scholarship offers to become a Colonel. Thanks to the efforts of our dedicated faculty and staff, we’re well on our way toward reaching our goal of 8,000 students.”

Changes to freshman-level math and English courses continue to pay off as Nicholls posted an 87 percent freshman retention rate one year after setting a record-high rate last spring.

Nursing and biology, Nicholls’ most popular degree programs, saw the largest increases among programs this semester. Nursing enrollment increased by 8 percent, up to 736 to 684, while biology increased by 12 percent, with 394 students, compared to 351 a year ago.


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