May 25, 2011

Statement Regarding the MSN Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program


It recently came to our attention there was an oversight by the past administration in receiving approval by the Louisiana State Board of Nursing for Grambling State University’s Master of Science in Nursing Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Option. The program, which was approved by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System and the Louisiana Board of Regents in 2008, awarded its first degrees last weekend.

Upon learning of this lapse last week, we immediately took action. Grambling is working with the Louisiana State Board of Nursing to expedite an approval at its next meeting. We have every confidence the program will be ruled upon favorably, and our recent graduates will be eligible to take board certification exams with minimal delay.

I would like to sincerely apologize to our graduates for any concerns this has caused them and convey my gratitude to the Louisiana State Board of Nursing for helping us to resolve this important oversight. Grambling State University stands behind the quality of its
programs and has a rich history of producing top quality nurses.

Dr. Frank G. Pogue

Established in 1983, Grambling’s nursing program plays a valuable role in filling the shortage of registered nurses in the state of Louisiana. Since the program’s inception, Grambling’s School of Nursing has graduated over 130 nurse practitioners, 35 nurse educators with master’s degrees and over 1,000 registered nurses. Grambling State University is the third highest producer of African-American nurses in the country and the number one producer of nurse educators and nurse practitioners in north Louisiana.

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Media Contact:
Debra Johnson


May 10, 2011

GSU Appointments Confirmed by ULS Board of Supervisors

GRAMBLING, LA – ULS Board of Supervisors confirmed and approved the appointment of Dr. Connie Walton as Grambling State University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Mr. Leon Sanders as the Vice President of Finance and Administration. Both appointees held their prospective positions as interim over the past year.

Dr. Connie Walton is a tenured faculty in Chemistry. She received a B.S. in Chemistry from Grambling State University and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Walton is a co-inventor of two U.S. Patents that are related to nonlinear optics. In 1993, she accepted a teaching position in the Department of Chemistry at Grambling State University. In 1994, Dr. Walton received her first administrative appointment at Grambling State University, Acting Department Head of Chemistry. In this capacity, she led the chemistry program in receiving initial certification of its program by the American Chemical Society’s Committee on Professional Training. In 2000, she was selected as Dean of Science and Technology and was successful in organizing the University’s successful efforts to obtain ABET accreditation of the engineering technology programs. In January of 2010, Dr. Walton was appointed Interim Provost & Vice-President of Academic Affairs. She assumed a major leadership role in the University’s recent SACS reaffirmation efforts. In 2010 Dr. Walton participated in the Millennium Leadership Initiative. Dr. Walton served as a member of the State of Louisiana’s Blue Ribbon Commission for Educational Excellence for one year (2006-2007). She served as the Board of Regents Chief Articulation Officers for Grambling State University for 2008-2009.

Mr. Leon Sanders is a seasoned finance professional with over 30 years of finance and administration experience. He received a B.S. in Business Administration at Alcorn State University and an MBA from Texas Southern University. Before being appointed as Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration at Grambling State University, Mr. Sanders was the Associate Vice President for Facilities Management and Campus Services for three years and Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration for approximately one year. Under Mr. Sanders direction he has accomplished many initiatives for the university, such as: Audit findings were reduced from a total of eight (8) in fiscal year 2009 to five (5) in fiscal year 2010, a Director for Grants Administration was brought in, which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional administrative cost reimbursements, as well as a Controller with years of experience as a Chief Legislative Auditor. Mr. Sanders is also supporting the restructuring of the Controller’s Office to enhance service to the administration, faculty, staff and students.

The Grambling State University administration, faculty, staff and students congratulate Dr. Walton and Mr. Sanders on their appointments and wish them much success in carrying out G.S.U.’s excellence, tradition and service.

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Media Contact:
Debra Johnson


May 5, 2011

Obadiah Simmons of GSU & New Orleans Food Bank Managers Participate at Delta Conference

Delta Regional Authority Cochairman Chris Masingill, former President Bill Clinton, Gov. Mike Beebe, US Rep. Mike Ross, and US Rep. Rick Crawford joined over 100 grassroots leaders from the eight-state DRA region at the annual Delta Caucus conference on May 5 and May 6, 2011 at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock. Louisiana speakers included Obadiah Simmons of Grambling State University, Louisiana Co-coordinator for the Delta Caucus, and Natalie Jayroe, CEO, Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana, who helped commemorate the 10th anniversary of the DRA and look forward to a brighter economic future for Louisiana and the region.

“We were delighted to have Obadiah Simmons of Grambling, Natalie Jayroe of the Greater New Orleans Food Bank speaking at this conference to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the DRA and look forward as to how we can further promote economic progress in the vast region from southern Illinois and Missouri to New Orleans and the Gulf,” said Lee Powell, Delta Caucus executive director.

“We have not only our long-term poverty and the current recession to contend with, but the natural disasters of the oil spill in the Gulf and the devastating storms and flooding across our region, and we appreciate Chairman Masingill, Gov. Beebe, President Clinton, our leaders in Congress and all our partners in Louisiana and across the region in shining a light of attention and help as we work on disaster relief and rebuilding after these disasters,” Powell said.

DRA Chairman Masingill, President Clinton, Gov. Beebe, Congressman Ross and Crawford are doing all they can to get information out to people about disaster relief and aiding in the recovery effort, as well as job creation/economic recovery efforts to battle the recession.

“On a brighter note, we are glad that Obadiah Simmons, Natalie Jayroe and so many grassroots leaders across the region could join us in supporting the great job Chairman Masingill and Alternate Federal Cochairman Mike Marshall of Missouri are doing in providing dynamic leadership for the DRA. That is a bright spot in an otherwise troubled time,” Powell said.

In addition to Dr. Simmons and Natalie Jayroe, Louisiana participants included Barbara McIntyre of the Greater Grambling Chamber of Commerce, Connie Blakely, assistant for the Project Emerald initiative in Grambling, Mike Kantor, public policy coordinator for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans, and Angela Lee and Gloria Smith of Joy Impact Ministries based in Jonesboro, Louisiana.

“Obadiah Simmons and Grambling have been invaluable supporters of the Delta Grassroots Caucus for many years now and we greatly appreciate their,” Powell said. “Natalie Jayroe gave a great presentation on the impact of the oil spill in harming the economy and worsening hunger and nutrition problems in News Orleans and nearby areas, and we know the people of that area will need a great deal of long-term help after suffering the twin disasters of Hurricane Katrina and the oil spill in only five years.”

DRA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS: In just its first six years of operation, the Delta Regional Authority’s federal grant program funded 385 projects, using $56 million of DRA funds. That $56 million leveraged $278 million of other federal funds and $1.2 billion of private funds.

It is estimated that this investment of more than $1.5 billion in the region has helped create or retain more than 32,000 jobs while providing drinking water and sewer services to almost 25,000 families. More than 6,300 Delta residents received job training due to this investment.

For information on how to locate and apply for disaster relief, go to
For the Disaster Recovery Center Locator, type in
For state emergency agencies, type in the following to reach the websites:

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CONTACT: Lee Powell, MDGC (202) 360-6347
Or Obadiah Simmons, Grambling (318) 274-7592;
or New Orleans Food Bank at (504) 729-2859


Grambling Baseball Legends to Be Honored In Renaming Baseball Complex and Field

GSU Legend Wilbert Ellis receives alumni game plaque.GRAMBLING, LA — “It’s a great day in America at GSU Where Everybody Is Somebody,” as retired baseball coach Wilbert Ellis would put it. The Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System approved the renaming of Grambling State University baseball stadium naming it “Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones Park and Wilbert Ellis Field.” Dr. Pogue, Grambling president requested the approval to take place at the April board meeting. “Two great men one of which is still with us have helped mold the university into what it is today. I applaud them immensely for their courage, strength and love for Grambling State University,” says President Pogue with a smile.

“It’s unbelievable, I’m thrilled and excited, words cannot express how I feel about such an honor and to be listed along with President Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones “Prez.” I would like to thank Dr. Frank Pogue, for his vision and his insight to continue to carry on the tradition and legacy at Grambling State University. Thank God for President Jones, Coach Eddie Robinson, Dr. Joseph Johnson, Dr. Favors and Dr. Warner for allowing me to have a long and exciting career at Grambling State University. “Its Grambling, its Grambling, its Grambling,”” says Wilbert Ellis.

The university will hold an official naming ceremony on Thursday, May 12 at 1:00 p.m. at the newly named stadium followed by a reception in the Atrium near the Black and Gold Room, Favrot Student Union. Wrapping up the afternoon festivities the GSU Tigers baseball team will play host to an exhibition game at 4:00 p.m.

*Photos below.
Prez surrounded by team.
GSU President Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones “Prez” surrounded by team.
GSU Legend Wilbert Ellis at Baseball field. GSU President Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones
GSU Legend Wilbert Ellis at the Baseball field.           “Prez” in baseball uniform

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Media Contact:
Debra Johnson


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