Former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu to Serve as 2015 Commencement Speaker

Mary Landrieu for WEB

Mary Landrieu, former U.S. senator, will serve as the speaker for the Southern University at New Orleans 2015 Commencement Saturday, May 9 at 4 p.m. in Kiefer Lakefront Arena.

 

Landrieu served in the United States Senate from 1996 to 2014. During her tenure, she became chair of the Senate’s Homeland Security Appropriation Subcommittee. She also chaired the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship from 2009-2014, and the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources from 2014-2015.

 

In the weeks after Hurricane Katrina, Landrieu gained national attention for work she did to help the response effort, delivering tens of billions of dollars in aid for New Orleans and the surrounding region. Her work was instrumental in transforming FEMA to be a more able and reliable partner in the rebuilding process.

 

Her efforts directly benefitted SUNO, which in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina used a $44 million low-interest loan to construct a 699-bed student and faculty housing facility. This transformed SUNO from a commuter to a residential campus. In addition, the loan — thanks again to Landrieu — has been forgiven.

 

Born in Arlington, Va., Landrieu is the daughter of Verna and Moon Landrieu, a former mayor of New Orleans. She also is the sister of current New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. She was raised in New Orleans and attended Ursuline Academy. She graduated from Louisiana State University in 1977, where she was a member of Delta Gamma Sorority. Before entering politics, she worked as a real estate agent.

 

She is married to attorney Frank Snellings. They have two children and one grandchild.

Lady Knights Basketball Team Wins 2nd Title

Coach King and Lady KnightsThe Lady Knights (16-4, 11-1 GCAC) clinched the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference  regular-season women’s basketball championship — the second in the program’s history and the first since 1999-2000.

Marquetta Stokes scored 16 points and Rayvin Miller 12 for SUNO. Broome also had six assists, three blocked shots and three steals.

The GCAC Tournament will begin March 6 with women’s quarterfinal games at Dillard and the men’s quarterfinals at Xavier. All tournament games March 7-8 will be played at Xavier.

Graduate Student Curates Exhibit of SUNO’s African Art Collection

MA Museum Studies student Erika Witt holds her favorite mask in the SUNO African Art Collection.

MA Museum Studies student Erika Witt holds her favorite mask in the SUNO African Art Collection.

NEW ORLEANS, LA – February 23, 2015 – When flood waters inundated Southern University at New Orleans in 2005 as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the University’s vast African Art Collection was submerged in putrid water for weeks. As a result, 573 of the 894 artifacts needed stabilization and/or conservation treatment in order to be “exhibit ready.”

 

Starting this week, select works from the University’s African Art Collection will be on display in SUNO’s Leonard S. Washington Memorial Library as part of “Celebrating a Legacy,” an exhibit curated by MA Museum Studies student Erika N. Witt.  An opening reception is scheduled Tuesday, Feb. 24 in the Library from 5-7 p.m.

 

Sponsored by the MA Museum Studies Program, the Center for African and African American Studies and the Leonard S. Washington Memorial Library, the exhibit will feature spirit pieces   from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, textiles, drums, slit gongs, weaponry, masks, door posts and pottery representing the African continent. The mediums consist of wood, fibers and metals.

Erika Witt prepares an African pot for the exhibit in SUNO's Leonard S. Washington Memorial Library.

Erika Witt prepares an African pot for the exhibit in SUNO’s Leonard S. Washington Memorial Library.

 

Witt, who has a bachelor’s degree in Museum Studies from Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tenn., expects to receive her Master’s degree in Museum Studies from SUNO in May. She has been working on the exhibit, which is her thesis project, for about year.  Once she has her graduate degree, she hopes to become a curator, Egyptologist or an African Art historian.

 

The SUNO African Art Collection has given her a great place to start.

 

“I want people to know about and be proud of this collection,” Witt said. “I want people to be proud of our ancestry. Let’s celebrate those people who came against their will to build this country. Let’s celebrate SUNO for having this collection. It’s something to celebrate.”

Southern University to host 1890 Wellness Walk

BATON ROUGE –Southern University and the Southern University Ag Center are celebrating 125 years as an 1890 Land-Grant institution in 2015 with a variety of events. One of the events set to honor the occasion will be the “1890 Wellness Walk” on Thursday, April 23 at 9 a.m.

 

The walk will honor the year of 1890 by having participants walk for 1,890 seconds (31.5 minutes) from Pinkie Thrift Hall, through campus and conclude at the Southern University Ag Center. The event will be the second walk hosted by SU College of Agricultural, Family & Consumer Sciences.

 

Associate Dean of the College of Sciences and Agriculture, Dr. Doze Butler said, “The 125th Anniversary of the Second Morrill Act provides a great opportunity for us to reflect on the significance of 1890 Land-Grant Universities.  Southern University and the other 18 Land-Grant institutions have a history of providing access and enhancing opportunities for an underserved population.”

 

“Simply put, these institutions have helped to create America’s middle class.  The 1890 Wellness Walk will help us to continue the legacy.  Proceeds from the $18.90 registration fee will go toward the campus’ Justin Morrill Scholarship Fund,” said Butler.

 

The SU community and the city of Baton Rouge are encouraged to participate in the nationwide 1890 Wellness Walk. All other 1890 Land-Grant institutions will participate in walks around the country on April 23.

 

The First Morrill Act, named after Vermont Sen. Justin Morrill, the father of the Land-Grant Institutions, was established in 1862 to help provide education for all social classes and a shift from predominantly classical studies to applied studies, preparing students for the real world and advancing the nation by providing opportunity to educate all classes of its citizenry.

 

In 1890 the Second Morrill Act was established to include the four million hard working, but primarily illiterate, African Americans, who were free from slavery. The Second Morrill Act of 1890 was to include the stipulation that African Americans were to be included in the U.S. Land-Grant University Higher Education System without discrimination.

 

Again, the registration fee is $18.90 and the proceeds will go toward the University’s Justin Morrill Scholarship Fund. For more information on the walk visit the event page on Southern University and A&M College, Baton Rouge Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/events/701563029941202/

 

To register and for more information contact registration forms to SUBR_AG@subr.edu

###

SUNO to Participate in the 50-Year Selma Celebration

Edmund Pettis Bridge

By Dr. George L. Amedee

Professor of Political Science

 

Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) students will travel to Selma Friday, March 6 to participate in the 50th Anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” the Edmund Pettis Bridge Crossing in Selma and the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965. These events generated the national support that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Nine SUNO students and Dr. George L. Amedee, advisor of the University’s Addison C. Carey Political Science Club (ACCPSC), will participate from March 6 to March 9. The club organized the trip.

SUNO has a long history of involvement in advocating voter education and rights in the New Orleans community.  In 1977, the Voter Education Project Inc. in Atlanta, Ga., which came out of the Selma-Montgomery events and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, funded voting registration projects in the nine states covered under the Act. Under the leadership of its executive director, the late Vivian Malone Jones; Carl Galmon, vice president of the Louisiana Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and board member of the Voter Education Project Inc. of Louisiana; and the late Rev. Avery C. Alexander, board member of SCLC and the Voter Education Project, Inc. of Louisiana, were charged with setting up neighborhood registration centers in New Orleans.

These centers were set up throughout the 9th Ward, including Desire, Florida, Gentilly, Pontchartrain Park and the Lower Ninth Ward areas with the assistance of SUNO alums State Representative Johnny Jackson Jr.; Betty Washington, executive director of the Desire Florida Neighborhood Center; the late Vernon Shorty, executive director of the Desire Drug Abuse Clinic; and Sidney Duplessis, director of the Desire Recreation Center. Centers also were set up in the St. Bernard Project area and in Central City with the assistance of SUNO alums Larry Jones and Michael Williams (now Endesha Jukali) of the St. Bernard Project‘s Black Youth for Progress (BYP) organization and with Alexander, also a SUNO alum.

Over a 10-month period, SUNO students under the leadership of Dr. Addison C. Carey, professor of political science, worked tirelessly in these communities to help add some 22,000 new registered voters. The addition of these new voters contributed greatly to the election of the first black mayor, the late Ernest “Dutch” Morial, and the first black city councilman at large, Sidney Barthelemy.  In 1987, SUNO students, largely from the School of Social Work led by Susan Sutton, a Social Work major, helped add some 6,000 new voters to the rolls. This effort by SUNO students made it possible for the Orleans Parish voting rolls to go from majority white to majority black, making it possible to elect more blacks to public office.

In recognition of SUNO’s proud history in voter education, registration and advocacy, the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute in 2005 invited SUNO students to participate in the parade in Selma and in the re-enactment of the March to Montgomery in conjunction with the national effort to extend the Voting Rights Act of 1965. SUNO faculty members Dr. Lenus Jack, professor of history, and Amedee, professor of political science, SUNO students, local civil rights activists and community leaders went to Selma by bus to participate in efforts that led to the extension of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  Five years later, Amedee, SUNO faculty member Darrell Brown, professor of English, and another group of SUNO students went back to Selma to celebrate the 45th Anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” with the support of the SUNO Alumni Association and its President Randolph Scott.

This year’s 50th Anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” Selma to Montgomery March and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 will give students an opportunity to attend workshops on the impact of the Supreme Court changes to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and how guarantees can be put back in place. On Saturday, March 7, there will be a parade and Jubilee Festival in Selma with the Annual Freedom Flame Award Banquet that evening. The bridge re-enactment will take place Sunday, March 8, and the Selma-to-Montgomery March re-enactment will be Monday, March 9.

SUNO to Host Conference on Dyslexia

o-DYSLEXIA-facebook 

Ten to 15 percent of the population in the United States has dyslexia, yet only five out of every 100 dyslexics are recognized and receive assistance, according to the Dyslexia Research Institute.

 

The College of Education & Human Development at Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) has set out to address this critical issue impacting student achievement in K-12 schools across the state. The College has joined forces to host a symposium with the National Dyslexia Center at Yale University for a conference on dyslexia. The event will be in the SUNO Conference Center, Thursday, Feb.19 from 6-8 p.m.

 

“Faculty in the College of Education & Human Development are committed to equipping future teachers with the skills necessary to meet the unique needs of the students they will teach,” said Dr. Mwalimu Shujaa, dean of the College of Education and Human Development. “As the issue of dyslexia increases in K-12 education, we want our teachers to be able to address the needs of students who show primary difficulties with basic reading skills early in reading development, so that the students can overcome those difficulties to a large extent.”

 

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) found that approximately 38 percent of fourth grade students have “below basic” reading skills. These students are below the 40th percentile (performing below the other 60 percent of their peers), and are at a greater than 50 percent chance of failing the high-stakes, year-end school achievement tests. Not all of these children have dyslexia. Less than one-third of the children with reading disabilities are receiving school services for their reading disability.

 

The Louisiana Law for the Education of Dyslexic Students (RS 17:7(11)) mandates that public school students be identified and services be provided in the general education program for students demonstrating characteristics of dyslexia. The law also requires that all students in Louisiana are to be screened before the end of the third grade, if a parent gives permission, by using Bulletin 1903.

 

“In an age of high accountability and a focus on building readers by the third grade, it is important that students are properly identified and appropriate services be provided to them as early as possible,” said Dr. Del Stewart, who serves as an assistant professor in the College.

 

Stewart, who also is a certified school psychologist, added that “without the proper diagnosis and help, many of these dyslexics will forever be only functionally literate, which will limit their ability to find jobs and function independently within their communities.”

 

Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability that includes poor word reading, word decoding, oral reading fluency and spelling. It occurs in people of all backgrounds and intellectual levels.

 

“We are excited to partner with Southern University at New Orleans to address a critical civil rights issue of our time,” said Dr. Keith Magee, who heads the Multicultural Initiative at the National Dyslexia Center. “Through this partnership, we are able to build capacity in individuals who are most likely to identify this challenge in children.”

 

The event is free and open to the public.

SUNO’s Official Spring 2015 Enrollment is 2,543

 According to final enrollment figures, 2,543 students have registered for the 2015 spring semester at Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO). In Fall 2014, the University adopted a new stringent admission policy mandated by the Louisiana Board of Regents, requiring SUNO to not admit students with developmental course needs. In Spring 2014, when SUNO could admit students needing only one developmental course, enrollment was 3,094. Fall 2014 enrollment was 2,674.

“Enrollment normally drops from fall to spring, which isn’t surprising,” said Leatrice Latimore, assistant vice chancellor for Enrollment Management.  “We remained focused on continuing to grow our enrollment and providing access to higher education through innovative programs, such as SUSLA Connect.”

SUSLA Connect, in which 183 students are currently enrolled, allows students to be admitted to the two-year program at Southern University-Shreveport (SUSLA) and take SUSLA classes while on SUNO’s campus. The expectation is that these students will transfer to SUNO once they earn the required 18 college credits for admission.

“Through this initiative, we have been able to reach out to students who have the potential to raise their test scores and ultimately be successful in a four-year college setting,” Chancellor Victor Ukpolo said, “and anticipate that the program will continue aiding us in our on-going quest to help students pursue their educational goals.”

PRAXIS Workshop Series Starts Saturday

The PRAXIS-CORE Math Workshop is available for any SUNO Teacher Education major who has not passed the Math section of the PRAXIS-CORE. This workshop will take place every Saturday from 8-10 a.m., February 7 through May 9, 2015. Students who register for this course are expected to attend weekly and complete all homework assignments. Instructor: Dr. Penny Heath. Lake Campus Multipurpose Complex, Room D607.   

Click HERE to register for the Math Workshop.

 

The PRAXIS-CORE Reading & Writing Workshop is available for any SUNO Teacher Education major who has not passed the Reading or Writing sections of the PRAXIS-CORE. This workshop will take place every Saturday from 10 a.m. – noon, February 7 through May 9, 2015. Students who register for this workshop are expected to attend weekly and complete all homework assignments. Instructor: Ms. Pamela Porter. Lake Campus Multipurpose Complex, Room D607. 

Click HERE to register for the Reading & Writing Workshop. 

SUNO Offers Free Tax Preparation Services

Southern University at New Orleans will again offer free tax preparation and financial advising services as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance/Tax Counseling for the Elderly (VITA/TCE) program. Those earning $51,000 or less will be able to get assistance in preparing their state and federal tax returns. The students who will be working are IRS-certified volunteers and are able to give taxpayers information regarding Earned Income Tax Credits, Child Tax Credits, and Credits for the Elderly or Disabled.

“This is a very valuable service for our community,” said Dr. Simeon O. Okpechi, who supervises the program for the University. “First, we are able to save people the time, money and frustration that are typically associated with tax preparation.  Secondly, we can protect people from predatory tax services that can charge interest rates of up to 200%. Third, we can start to help families understand what to do with their refunds.  We know that families that practice saving, teach it to their children and those children in turn become more financially responsible as adults.”

The SUNO VITA/TCE tax counseling center is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday in the SUNO Gymnasium, Room 18, until the April 15IRS tax filing deadline. Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome.

To have your tax return prepared, be sure to bring the following items:

  • Proof of identification (Driver’s license or State ID)
  • Social Security numbers for yourself, your spouse and any dependents
  • W-2, W2G, 1099-R, or 1099-Misc from all employers
  • Any 1099 forms (interest and dividend statements)
  • Bank account routing and account numbers for direct deposit.
  • Total paid for daycare services and daycare provider’s tax ID number
  • To file taxes for married-filling-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the forms.

 

For information or to schedule an appointment, call 504-286-5303.

 

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