Buffalo Soldiers Began in New Orleans

Richard V. Keller Sr. for WEB

Richard V. Keller Sr., coordinator

The 9th Calvary Regiment of the Buffalo Soldiers began in New Orleans in 1866, according to panelists who presented the history of the soldiers at 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 28 in the College of Business & Public Administration Auditorium on SUNO’s Lake Campus.

“The 9th Calvary Buffalo Soldiers are Louisiana’s very own,” said John Anderson, president and co-founder of the 9th Calvary & 25th Infantry Buffalo Soldiers of Louisiana, but no one knows because the 9th Calvary did not have a historian like other regiments. “These guys became the best with inferior weapons.

John and Barbara Anderson for WEB

John and Barbara Anderson, co-founders of 9th Calvary & 25th Infantry of Louisiana

“Next year, we will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Buffalo Soldiers,” added Anderson, who also is a  SUNO graduate. “I would like for New Orleans to put something together to honor Louisiana history, New Orleans history. Let’s tell the world about this. This is our history. Don’t let another state take away our history. Let’s tell them something they need to know.”

Members of the audience added that the first Buffalo Soldiers enlisted at St. James American Methodist Episcopal Church, which was founded in 1844 and is located in Treme.

The Buffalo Soldiers Panel included Rhett Breerwood, a historian for the Louisiana National Guard; and Barbara M. Anderson, co-founder of the 9th Calvary & 25th Infantry Buffalo Soldiers of Louisiana. Richard V. Keller Sr., coordinated the event and Professor Charlie Johnson was the program concept designer.

The Center for African and African-American Studies presented the event.

Rhett Breerwood and John Anderson for WEB

Rhett Breerwood (left), a historian for the Louisiana National Guard; and John Anderson.



FEMA awards SUNO an additional $82 million in Disaster Recovery Grants

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Building

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Building

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) an additional $82 million in disaster recovery grants, as announced by U.S. Congressman Cedric Richmond Thursday, July 23. The funding will allow SUNO to construct four new buildings—two on its Lake Campus and two on its Park Campus.


Millie Charles School of Social Work

Millie Charles School of Social Work

The two new Lake Campus buildings will be the Millie M. Charles School of Social Work Building and the Education Building. Ground-breaking will start with the School of Social Work within the next few months. 

The two new buildings on the Park Campus will replace the Clark Building, which already has been demolished, and the Multi-Purpose Building, which will be demolished at a later date. The two new facilities will be the Natural Sciences Building, and the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Building.

“Having this process conclude with the awarding of an additional $82 million in disaster

Education Building

Education Building

recovery grants and breaking ground soon on the first new building—the Millie M. Charles School of Social Work—is what we’ve worked towards for several years,” said SUNO Chancellor Victor Ukpolo. “The construction of these four new buildings bodes well for SUNO’s long term future, and will greatly aid our mission of providing higher education opportunities to students in our region and beyond.”

Natural Science Building

Natural Science Building

Chancellor Ukpolo Responds to Nola.com/Times-Picayune articles

Chancellor Victor Ukpolo

Chancellor Victor Ukpolo

This letter is written in response to a series of recent articles published on the NOLA.com website and in The Times-Picayune.  SUNO faced the same challenges as many of New Orleans’s citizens in rebuilding post-Katrina.  Thousands of displaced citizens were dependent upon the university’s recovery as a pathway to their own individual return to the city.  Our institution overcame incredible challenges to rebuild.

Contrary to the insinuations in the recent articles, SUNO never placed the lives of its employees or students at risk.  Employees only occupied facilities that were deemed safe by the state.  Concerns expressed by employees were addressed in a variety of ways, including environmental testing, remediation, and moving employees to other spaces out of an abundance of caution.

A few years ago, state officials declared that the Multi-Purpose Building and three other buildings would be demolished and subsequently replaced with new buildings.  The awarding of $82 million in additional FEMA recovery grants for SUNO to construct four new buildings recently announced by Congressman Cedric Richmond represents a major feat.  This was an arduous process which lasted over several years, and triumphantly takes us from simply recovering to now thriving for both the immediate and long-term future.


It is unfortunate that the recent “in-depth” stories failed to highlight SUNO’s inspiring story of recovery.  Simple fact checks would have shown that many of the observations raised in the articles were inaccurate.  For example, contrary to a headline indicating that emergency personnel took 40 minutes to tend to a professor who became ill, official records indicate that SUNO police officers were on the scene within two minutes after answering an emergency call, and other first-responders arrived shortly thereafter.  I could point out other inaccuracies, but to do so detracts from the real issue regarding SUNO’s importance in rebuilding and contributing to the future of this great city.


Our challenges with rebuilding post-Katrina mirrored many of those experienced by other institutions.  Moreover, we could not imagine a New Orleans where every family touched by SUNO, whether through education or employment, simply did not return due to the lack of opportunities.  We addressed these challenges directly, to the best of our ability, and never shied away from nor ignored the concerns of our students, faculty and staff.  The deceased faculty members mentioned in the series were special members of the SUNO community.  Each of them made lasting contributions to this institution.  We pray that their family members continue to be comforted by the respective memories of their loved ones.


Victor Ukpolo, Ph.D.


SUNO Allowed to Test New Admission Standards

BY Elizabeth Crisp


After three meetings and hours of debate, the state Board of Regents on Wednesday agreed to test new admissions standards for some of Louisiana’s universities.

The new policy isn’t as far-reaching as some had been aiming for, but supporters say it could help more students go to college.

“The goal is to get more graduates,” said Regents chairman Roy Martin, of Alexandria.

Under the new policy, four-year regional institutions will be able to admit students who require a developmental or remedial course. Currently, a student who scores on the ACT below an 18 in English or a 19 in math can’t enroll at the state’s public universities without a waiver because he or she would have to take a remedial course at a two-year college. The standards are a minimum, so individually, colleges could opt out of the new provision.

Under the new policy, which is being tested for two years, remedial courses will still be offered on community college campuses — except for students of the state’s historically black colleges, SUNO, Southern University Baton Rouge and Grambling State University.

The HBCUs will be able to offer remedial courses on their own campuses.


Dr. Kambhampati Meets President Obama

President Barack Obama meets with the 2012 winners of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) in the Oval Office, June 17, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama meets with the 2012 winners (including Dr. Murty Kambhampati, third from left) of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) in the Oval Office, June 17, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


President Obama recently named Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) Professor Murty S. Kambhampati and 13 other individuals and one organization as the newest recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). These mentors received their awards at a White House ceremony Wednesday, June 17.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring is awarded by the White House to individuals and organizations to recognize the crucial role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science and engineering—particularly those who belong to groups that are underrepresented in these fields. By offering their expertise and encouragement, mentors help prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers while ensuring that tomorrow’s innovators represent a diverse pool of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics talent throughout the United States.

Candidates for the award are nominated by colleagues, administrators, and students in their home institutions or through professional affiliations. Candidates also may self-nominate. Their mentoring can involve students at any grade level from elementary through graduate school and professional development mentoring of early career scientists. In addition to being honored at the White House, recipients received awards of $10,000 from the National Science Foundation.


NCATE Visit: Third-Party Testimony Requested

The College of Education & Human Development is hosting an accreditation visit by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) under the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Standards this Fall.

Interested parties are invited to submit third-party comments to the visiting team. Please note that comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of professional education programs offered, and should specify the party’s relationship to the College of Education & Human Development (i.e., graduate, present or former faculty member, employer of graduates).

We invite you to submit written testimony to:

Third-Party Comments
1140 19th Street NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036
Or by e-mail to: callforcomments@ncate.org

Correspondence, which must be received by CAEP by the end of July, will be submitted to the College of Education & Human Development for response via CAEP’s Accreditation Information Management System (AIMS). CAEP will not upload anonymous comments to the site visit team or the College of Education & Human Development.

Belton Named SU System President and Chancellor

SU Presiden.Chancellort Ray_L_Belton for WEB

Dr. Ray L. Belton


After interviewing two finalists recommended by the Southern University System (SUS) President/Chancellor Search Committee, the SUS Board of Supervisors today named Ray L. Belton President and Chancellor of the SU System.

Belton and the other finalist, Ivory Toldson, participated in several listening sessions with faculty, staff, students, alumni and stakeholders, June 11, 2015, on the Southern Baton Rouge campus.

After interviewing Belton and Toldson, the SUS Board voted 13-1 to select the Shreveport native to lead the SU System and Baton Rouge campus.

In March 2015, the SUS Board made history when it voted to consolidate the System President and SU Baton Rouge Chancellor into one position.

Belton replaces SUS System President Ronald Mason Jr. who leaves June 30 to become president of the University of the District of Columbia.

The new president and chancellor, who will assume the position July 1, 2015, is familiar to Southern. He has served as chancellor of Southern University Shreveport (SUSLA) since 2000.

“It is an absolute honor to be afforded this occasion to serve this Board and to serve this institution to whom I remain indebted. As president and chancellor of the Southern University System, I will give my all,” said Belton.

The newly elected president and chancellor added, “We will build a leadership team that will advance the evolution of this enterprise [Southern University System]. This enterprise will be known for its contributions to this state and to this nation.”

Belton is a graduate of SUSLA and Southern University Baton Rouge. He has a master of arts in counseling from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a doctor of philosophy in educational administration from the University of Texas at Austin.

SU Board Chairman Leon R. Tarver II thanked the SUS Board, and the 15-member search committee chaired by surgeon and former Board of Regents member Albert Sam, M.D.

“We are pleased with the outcome of the search for the SU System president/chancellor. The search committee’s work was expedient and exemplary. Today we welcome Dr. Ray Belton whose tenure will signal the beginning of the next era for the only HBCU system in America,” Tarver said. 

Dr. Ray Belton’s Biography


SUS President/Chancellor Search Committee to Host Campus Sessions for Finalists

The Southern University System (SUS) Board of Supervisors’ President/Chancellor Search Committee will host listening sessions for the final candidates with faculty, staff, students, alumni and stakeholders Thursday, June 11 on the Southern Baton Rouge campus.

The 15-member search committee announced finalists May 28 after interviewing six applicants for SUS president/chancellor at the Hilton Garden Inn in Baton Rouge.

Candidates for the next SU System leader who will be recommended to the SU Board of Supervisors are:

Ray Belton, chancellor, Southern University Shreveport (SUSLA), a graduate of SUSLA and Southern University Baton Rouge. He has a master of arts in counseling from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a doctor of philosophy in educational administration from the University of Texas at Austin.

Ivory Toldson, deputy director, White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC, has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Louisiana State University, a M.Ed. in counselor education from The Pennsylvania State University, and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Temple University.

A third candidate, Barrett Hatches of Chicago, withdrew his application.

Listening sessions are scheduled throughout the day:


10 a.m.

Listening Session – Staff

Location: T. H. Harris Hall Annex, Multipurpose Room, #118

Attendees: All staff is invited


11:30 a.m.

Lunch and Listening Session – Campus Chancellors

Attendees: Campus Chancellors are invited


1 p.m.

Listening Session – Students

Location: T. H. Harris Hall Annex, Multipurpose Room, #118

Attendees: All Students are invited


2:30 p.m.

Listening Session – Faculty

Location: Board of Supervisors’ Meeting Room

2nd Floor, J.S. Clark Administration Building

Attendees: All faculty are invited


4 p.m.

Listening Session – Alumni

Location: Board of Supervisors’ Meeting Room

2nd Floor, J.S. Clark Administration Building

Attendees: Alumni

The SUS Board of Supervisors will interview the final candidates during its regular meeting Friday, June 12, 2015. The new president/chancellor will be selected and announced during the meeting.

Dr. Belisle Receives 4th Patent from USPTO

Dr. William Belisle, Director for Grants and Sponsored Programs, has received his fourth patent from the U.S, Patent and Trademark Office, entitled “Method and apparatus for elevating and manipulating objects using electromagnetic fields only.”

The invention provides a mode of elevating and manipulating objects involving a dimension specific rectangular-shaped apparatus. The apparatus is capable of elevating a vertical electromagnet to various heights and horizontally repelling it from one position to the next. The heights of the electromagnet may vary depending on the voltage of the base electromagnets, the polarities and the desired height. 

The patent process for this invention began in 2004 and is now complete after nearly 11 years. Dr. Belisle’s intention is to sell or license the patent to organizations interested in Science and Physics Laboratory kits (for new studies involving electromagnetism and transportation), new modes of transportation (persons and objects), and controlled object movement in less than desirable environments (outer-space, toxic or hazardous environments, etc.). The invention also would be of interest to toy and outdoor entertainment manufacturers. 

This recent patent complements a simpler patent using a regular magnet (non-electromagnets), which Dr. Belisle received in 2004, entitled “Method and apparatus for elevating and manipulating objects using fields only.”

SUNO Track Team Competes in Gulf Shores

JBC0522_6458-6JBC0523_7322-6 tcb3The SUNO Knights received 10 All-American Honors at the 2015 National Outdoor Track & Field Championship May 21-23 in Gulf Shores, Ala.

The Lady Knights — Leonie Robinson, Chantal Pennie, Marquette Stokes and Shadae Hylton – finished third in the Women’s 4×100 Relay.  As individuals, Ms. Robinson finished 5th in the 100m, Ms. Pennie finished 5th in the 200m and Orenthia Bennett finished 3rd in the 400m. The women ranked 14th of the 65 teams that competed.

As for the Knights,  Chad Thomas finished 7th in the 400 hurdles, Brian Smith finished 6th in the 400m and Alex Saunders finished 6th in the 800m. The men ranked 32nd of 70 teams.

Recognizing that it takes more than the coaching staff to prepare athletes for championships, Track Coach Yhann Plummer wants to thank the Administration and Finance Department, Facilities Management Department, and the countless others who supported the team throughout the 2014-2015 season.

Article submitted by Tracey Braden