SUNO’s Dr. Azzarello Receives NEH Grant

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERADr. Robert Azzarello, an assistant professor of English at SUNO since 2010, has received a $50,400 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). He received the grant for his book project,  “New Orleans, Literature, and the Transatlantic World.”

The project will serve as a significant resource for students and scholars of American Studies. Its aim is to connect key texts that range across different historical periods (from the eighteenth century to contemporary speculations about the city’s future), various literary genres (fiction, poetry, drama, lyric and travel writing), and distinct languages (English, French, Spanish, German, Tunica and Bambara, among others).

As New Orelans begins to prepare for its tricentennial in 2018, this book project looks back on the long literary history of New Orleans and considers its unique contribution to the larger transatlantic world.

Click the link below to read the nola.com article, regarding the NEH grant recipients.

http://www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2014/12/5_louisiana_universities_award.html

 

SUNO’s Dr. Clement Co-develops New Herpes Treatment Strategy

 

Dr. Christian Clement

Dr. Christian Clement

An assistant professor at Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) and several other scientists have developed a novel treatment approach for persistent viral infections, such as herpes. Using animal models of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection, researchers show that blocking the activity of a host cell protein called LSD1 reduces HSV infection, shedding (release of viral particles) and recurrence.

The research investigation is a multi-institutional effort involving several scientists. Dr. Christian Clement, a SUNO assistant professor of Biology, is author of the research. He worked with the Late Dr. James Milton Hill, lead author of the research and former distinguished professor at Louisiana State University (LSU), and Dr. Thomas M. Kristie, senior author of the research and chief of the Molecular Genetics Section in National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID) Laboratory of Viral Diseases.

The study used an existing drug, tranylcypromine, to block LSD1 activity in three different animal models of HSV infection and disease. The treatment targets an early stage of the HSV infectious cycle and greatly reduced symptoms of HSV disease, shedding and lesion recurrence.

LSD1, which is essential for HSV’s infectious cycle, modifies certain host proteins that control access to DNA. These modifications, known as “epigenetic” changes, help determine how and when genes are used. The collaborative effort, led by NIAID scientists demonstrates the potential of epigenetic therapy as an antiviral strategy.

After initial infection, HSV enters a latent state in sensory nerve cells, periodically reactivating to produce disease. HSV typically causes recurrent oral or genital lesions and can contribute to the eye disease herpetic keratitis, a leading cause of blindness. Even without symptoms, HSV-infected people can shed and transmit the virus. Current HSV treatments, which target viral proteins, do not effectively control shedding or reactivation of latent virus.

By blocking a cellular rather than viral component, the treatment may minimize the evolution of drug-resistant viruses. The results also indicate that even during latency, HSV’s genetic material is subject to epigenetic changes that can be regulated with drugs. Epigenetic therapies are rapidly being developed as cancer treatments, opening the possibility to also test these drugs for antiviral activity.

 

ARTICLE: “Inhibition of LSD1 reduces herpes virus infection, shedding, and recurrence by promoting epigenetic suppression of viral genomes”

AUTHORS: James M. Hill (LSU; It is with sadness and respect to mark his passing), Debra C. Quenelle (University of Alabama), Rhonda D. Cardin (University of Cincinnati), Jodi L. Vogel (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health), Christian Clement (Southern University at New Orleans, previously at LSU), Fernando J. Bravo (University of Cincinnati), Timothy P. Foster (LSU), Marta Bosch-Marce (Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration), Priya Raja (Harvard Medical School), Jennifer S. Lee (Harvard Medical School), David I. Bernstein (University of Cincinnati), Philip R. Krause (Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration), David M. Knipe (Harvard Medical School), Thomas M. Kristie (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health; Corresponding Author). Science Translational Medicine DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3010643 (2014).

Funding was provided by NIAID and the National Eye Institute, both National Institutes of Health (NIH) components, as well as other sources.

Child Development and Family Studies Program Earns AAFCS Accreditation

The Council for Accreditation of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) has granted accreditation to the Child Development and Family Studies Department at Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO).  The accreditation is granted until 2024.

The Louisiana Board of Regents mandated SUNO to establish the Child Development and Family Studies (CDFS) program in January 2006 to address workforce development and community needs in the New Orleans area, which was facing recovery challenges in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  SUNO developed a program proposal that was granted a provisional approval within one year.

The program started in Fall 2007, with the hiring of Dr. Pamela E. Wanga as Program Director. Following highly satisfactory annual reports to the Board of Regents and successful external program review, the CDFS program was granted full approval status in Spring 2010. Enrollment and degree completer rates in the program have steadily exceeded projections for each year.

“I am highly elated and gratified to see a young program achieve this outstanding milestone,” Wanga said. “When I landed this job in Fall 2007, I had a serious dream to one day see CDFS accredited by a high-caliber national association, but I had to wake up from the dream and back it up with an investment of time, hard work, integrity, focused goals and engagement of faculty, students and community partners who share my passion. It has all paid off—sooner than had been anticipated! I am proud of our accomplishment, hold our graduates in high regard and re-dedicate my commitment to continuously improve and grow all components of the program, moving forward.”

SUNO has been successful in every accreditation initiative embarked upon since 2006.

Chancellor Victor Ukpolo is pleased with the CDFS program accreditation. “The program received several outstanding commendations,” Dr. Ukpolo said. “It is especially remarkable that AAFCS acknowledged the CDFS for doing an excellent job of tracking and communicating with graduates. The association also noted that the program’s job placement is high. That makes all the efforts to develop and run the program worthwhile.”

For additional details and the mission of the Child Development and Family Studies Program, please contact Dr. Pamela E. Wanga, the Program Director, at 504-286-5086 or 504-286-5351.

SUNO to Host Community Dialogue on Interactions between Black Males and Police Officers

The Criminal Justice Department and the Student Government Association at Southern University at New Orleans, the Urban League of Greater New Orleans and the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus invite the community to participate in a dialogue about interactions between black males and police officers at 6 p.m. Wednesday, December 3 in the University Conference Center, 6400 Press Drive.

New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael S. Harrison is scheduled to attend the event, and WDSU Meteorologist Damon Singleton will moderate.

“SUNO hopes to engage the community in a meaningful discussion about this matter.  The Michael Brown incident represents just one of several tragic incidents that continue to occur nationwide. Similar ones have taken place in the New Orleans area,” said SUNO criminologist Dr. John Penny, who also serves as chair of the University’s Social Sciences department.  “We as a community must come together to understand why these incidents happen and discuss what could be done to minimize them.”

SUNO Chancellor Victor Ukpolo looks forward to what will be discussed during the community event.

“I commend our Criminal Justice Department and Student Government Association for recognizing the need for such an important event,” Ukpolo said. “This discussion serves as another component in the city’s on-going efforts toward enhancing the community’s overall relationship with law enforcement. SUNO is committed to playing a part in helping to positively affect our community.”

SUNO Defeats Dillard in Thriller; Advances to Championship Match

SUNO defeats DillardIt came down to the wire Friday, Nov. 14, but the Lady Knights prevailed in the fifth game to defeat Dillard University 3-2. The victory sends the Lady Knights to the Championship match against Xavier University Saturday, Nov. 15 at noon at the Xavier Convocation Center.

Xavier advanced to the championship by defeating Talladega College 3-0 Friday, Nov. 14. Saturday’s match pits the the No. 1 seed Xavier (19-5)  against the No. 2 seed SUNO (25-9). During the season, Xavier defeated SUNO twice. Saturday’s match promises to be another nail biter.

 

Lady Knights Advance to Semi-Finals

Lady Knights at GCAC for WEBThe Lady Knights defeated Edward Waters College 3-0 in the first round of the 2014 GCAC Volleyball Championship Tournament.  The win allows the team to advance to the semi-finals and play Dillard University at 3 p.m. Friday , Nov. 14 in the Castle. Dillard defeated Toogaloo 3-0 to advance to the semi-finals.

If SUNO defeats Dillard, the team will advance to the Championship game scheduled at noon Saturday,  Nov. 15 at the Xavier Convocation Center.

5 SUNO Players Named to All-Conference Volleyball Teams

Senior Stephanie Buhl (9) and Christal Hollins (2)

Senior Stephanie Buhl (9) and Christal Hollins (2)

Seniors Stephanie Buhl and Christal Hollins, and juniors Jana ReininghausAna Privrat and Milica Golubovic  have been named to the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Volleyball All-Conference teams.

Hollins is the only unanimous selection to the all-conference first team.  She finished third in the GCAC in hitting percentage (.280), second in kills per set (3.2), and fifth in digs per set (3.6).  Hollins also was named GCAC Player of the Week five times this season.  No other player was selected more than once.

Buhl and Reininghaus join Hollins on the first team.  Buhl lead the conference in assists for the third time in her four seasons (9.4 per set).  Jana Reininghaus is the conference leader in blocks per set (0.8) and finished second in total blocks (79).

Ana Privrat and Milica Golubovic are both first time selections to the all-conference second team.  Privrat finished second in the conference in digs per set (4.2) and total digs (444).  Golubovic posted 188 kills and 288 digs for the Lady Knights and finished among the league leaders in hitting percentage, kills per set, total kills, total blocks, digs and digs per set.

The Lady Knights return will play Friday at 10 a.m. in the first round of the 2014 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Volleyball Championship Tournament. Second-seeded SUNO will face No. 7 Edward Waters in The Castle. The winner of the tournament recieves the GCAC’s automatic bid to the NAIA Volleyball Championship.

Cross Country Team Competes

The SUNO Cross Country Team competed in the annual GCAC Cross Country Championships on Oct. 18.

Alex Saunders delivered the best individual performance by any male athlete in Cross Country in 10 years by placing 4th overall. The male team was 5th and the female team was 3rd overall with Orenthia Bennett and Leonie Robinson placing 11th and 12th respectively.

 

Christal Hollins Earns Third Consecutive Volleyball Player of the Week Award

Christal Hollins for the WEBSenior Outside Hitter Christal Hollins has earned GCAC Volleyball Player of the Week honors for games played Oct. 13-19. This is the third consecutive week and for the fourth time this season that Hollins has earned this honor.

She posted a double-double in SUNO’s only match last week, with 15 kills and 13 digs in a win over Edward Waters. Hollins has notched 11 double-doubles in her past 15 matches for the Lady Knights.

Players of the Week

Aug. 25           Jana Reininghaus, SUNO, Jr.

Sept. 1            Carla Novaes, Talladega, So.

Sept. 8            Mercades Chevis, Dillard, Sr.

Sept. 15          Chinedu Echebelem, Xavier, Sr.

Sept. 22          Christal Hollins, SUNO, Sr.

Sept. 29          Chassidy Harris, Tougaloo, Fr.

Oct. 7              Christal Hollins, SUNO, Sr.

Oct. 14            Christal Hollins, SUNO, Sr.