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

Matt Roan introduced as Nicholls athletic director

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University introduced K. Matthew Roan as its next athletic director at a press conference Thursday morning.

Roan, who currently serves as deputy director of athletics and special counsel to the president at Eastern Kentucky University, will officially start Nov. 15.

“Today, for Nicholls athletics, it’s a new beginning as we introduce our new athletics director, Matt Roan. These are always tough decisions, but one finalist distinguished himself above all the others,” said Nicholls President Dr. Bruce Murphy. “Matt has significant experience in strategic planning and budgeting, outstanding communication skills and diverse experience in Division I athletics. He is well-versed in compliance and can relate to student-athletes as a former Division I student-athlete himself.”

Roan described his vision for Nicholls athletics to become a premier athletic department nationally at its level and a point of pride for the community and region.

“We’re certainly going to be ambitious, and we’re going to dream big,” Roan said. “Our focus will always be on the student-athlete, and every decision will consider how we can best provide a model experience for them during their time here. We will strive to be excellent academically and athletically, and we will prepare our young people for success beyond competition.”

A former team captain on the Southern Utah University football team, Roan assisted with football operations at the University of Kentucky while working on his law degree, which he obtained from UK’s College of Law in 2012. He was then named deputy director of athletics at Southern Utah University before joining Eastern Kentucky in 2013.

“I am very excited about Matt’s opportunity in becoming the athletic director at Nicholls State University,” said Stephen M. Lochmueller, Eastern Kentucky athletics director. “What a special place for him, Mallory and family to start their next chapter in intercollegiate athletics. Matt is such a valuable member of our team here at EKU Athletics, and we will miss him. Good luck to the Roan family, and I know our paths will cross again.”
Matt and his wife, Mallory, have two daughters, Gattlyn and Radley; a son, Catcher; and are expecting a fourth child in January.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 13, 2016

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

Nicholls nursing dean to be honored for contributions to the industry

Dr. Sue Westbrook (Photo by MIsty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University)
Dr. Sue Westbrook
(Photo by MIsty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University)

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University Dean of Nursing and Allied Health Dr. Sue Westbrook will be honored as one of The Great 100 Nurses of Louisiana in 2016.

Westbrook, and other nurses, will be honored at 7 p.m. on Wednesday Oct. 12 during a ceremony at the New Orleans Pontchartrain Center. The celebration is open to the public and partially sponsored by Thibodaux Regional Medical Center and the Terrebonne General Medical Center.

Founded in New Orleans in 1986, The Great 100 Nurses Foundation has honored thousands of nurses across Louisiana, North Carolina, Texas and Oklahoma.

Nurses are chosen based “on their concern for humanity, their contributions to the profession of nursing and their mentoring of others.”

“With over 60,000 registered nurses in Louisiana, I am honored and humbled to be named one of Louisiana’s 100 Great Nurses of 2016,” said Westbrook, a Nicholls alum. “Raising the level of healthcare in the region Nicholls serves has always been a passion of mine.”

After graduating from Northwestern State University, Westbrook worked as a nurse for three years before joining the Nicholls staff as an instructor. Over the course of the next three decades she added graduate degrees from Nicholls and the LSU Health Sciences Center. She was named dean in 2004.

Under Westbrook’s watch, Nicholls nursing graduates regularly pass the national licensure exam at rates greater than both the national and state average, and 100 percent of all recent graduates are employed.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 11, 2016

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

Roan named Nicholls athletic director

K. Matthew Roan has been named the Nicholls State University athletic director.
K. Matthew Roan has been named the Nicholls State University athletic director.

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University has named K. Matthew Roan as its next athletic director, pending approval from the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors. He will be introduced at a press conference at 10 a.m. Thursday in the Harold J. Callais Memorial Recreation Center; the public is invited to attend.

Roan, who currently serves as deputy director of athletics at Eastern Kentucky University, will start Nov. 15, replacing long-time athletic director Rob Bernardi who resigned in July. Head women’s basketball coach and senior woman administrator DoBee Plaisance has held the interim athletic director position since mid-July.

“From a highly qualified candidate pool, Matt stood out to me and the search committee for his extensive experience with strategic planning and budget management as well as his excellent communication skills,” Nicholls President Bruce Murphy said. “We are excited to welcome Matt to Nicholls and look forward to him leading the Colonel athletic program to new heights.”

A former team captain on the Southern Utah University football team, Roan assisted with football operations at the University of Kentucky while working on his law degree which he obtained from UK’s College of Law in 2012. He was then named deputy director of athletics at Southern Utah University before joining Eastern Kentucky in 2013.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 11, 2016

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

Nicholls Players to perform Shakespeare classic in newly renovated Danos Theater

THIBODAUX, La. — The Nicholls Players will perform William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” next week as their first production in the newly renovated Mary and Al Danos Theater.

One of Shakespeare’s most notable works, the comedy portrays the events surrounding the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta, including the adventures of four young lovers and a group of six amateur actors, who are manipulated by a group of fairies who inhabit the forest in which the play is set.

“The Nicholls Players are very excited and humbled to be the first full performance in the newly renovated Mary and Al Danos Theater,” said Anna Broussard, director of the Nicholls Players. “What’s ironic is that I produced a children’s version of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ for the Nicholls Performing Arts Camp in July of 2014. The day of our first rehearsal, Mr. Al Danos just happened to be touring the old theater, and stopped in to say hi. Now we are opening the Mary and Al Danos Theater with the full Shakespearean version, in perfect serendipity.”

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

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

Showings will run at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, through Saturday, Oct. 15, with a 2 p.m. showing on Sunday, Oct. 16.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 10, 2016

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