April 29, 2013

Louisiana High School Poetry Contest Winners Announced

Grambling State University’s Department of English and Foreign Languages high schoolpoetry contest has identified winning poets from schools scattered across Louisiana.

GRAMBLING, LA – Students from 26 Louisiana high schools entered a Poetry Contest sponsored by the Department of English and Foreign Languages at Grambling State University.  Fourteen department faculty members participated in the judging without knowing the names of the poets, their high schools or their locations within the state.  After several rounds of anonymous judging, the faculty agreed on the winners.

Darshini Deutsch, a Greenwood, La., junior at Evangel Christian Academy won the first place prize of $500 for her poem, “Glasses at the Graveside.”

“Darshini’s poem was subtle and understated,” said Hugh Wilson, an English professor and co-coordinator of the contest with James Clawson. “The repetition of the stanzas, in a slightly different key, was quietly effective.”

“Her poem consistently scored highly in each round of the review process,” added Clawson. “Darshini is clearly talented.”

A Dutchtown High School senior, Paula Gomez, of Prairieville, La., earned second place for a poem titled "Diary Entry of a Closeted Pedophile.” The third place winner is Kennedy Alexander Edwards, a Bastrop High School senior, who wrote "There is a place of silent grace." Gomez wins a $300 prize and Edwards will get a $100 prize. “The money is real,” said Wilson. “Funding for prizes was donated by faculty members in the Department of English and Foreign Languages.”

The Department of English and Foreign Languages started the contest this year in order to cultivate the art of poetry in Louisiana, and they were impressed with the results. The faculty particularly appreciates the mentoring done by high school faculty. Deutsch was mentored by Jemima Deutsch. Gomez was mentored by Tamara Empson and Mark Ebarb. No teacher’s name was submitted by Edwards. 

Several high school students were recognized for honorable mention:

  • Summer Roberson, a Dubach High School senior, "Where I’m From." Roberson was mentored by Amanda Cauley and Jennifer Franks.
  • Tyler DeSpenza, a Benjamin Franklin High School senior in New Orleans, for "Technical Reflux" and "Aubade." DeSpenza was encouraged by Stephen Pearce, Ph.D.
  • Sarah "Kate" McMillan, a Evangel Christian Academy junior from Bossier City, La., for "Pawpaw" and "Moonlight, Carmel." McMillan was mentored by her teacher, Jemina Deutsch.

Winners were notified in April, and prize money and certificates have been sent to the students. Clawson and Wilson agree that with the success of this first-time effort, there’s no question that the faculty will continue the contest next year.

NOTE: Contact information for winners’ families is available. Please email poetry@gram.edu and mediarelations@gram.edu, providing the name, affiliation and contact information for the media representative interested in additional information.

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Additional Information:

Media Contact:
Will Sutton
318-533-5337
mediarelations@gram.edu

 

 

April 23, 2013

GSU Lands Experienced, Local Food Service Director

Local man assumes new role to improve food, service at Grambling State University

BY DIANA SEPULVEDA
Grambling State University Media Bureau

Eddie Rushing, Director of Food Services at GSUGRAMBLING, LA – Working in the food service industry since high school, Eddie Rushing takes pride in serving a variety of quality food. Now he’s the food service director at Grambling State University.

Leon Sanders, the university’s vice president for finance and administration, announced Rushing’s selection at last Thursday morning’s convocation in the T.H. Harris Auditorium on campus – and the audience of mostly students cheered. They cheered even louder when Sanders said that Rushing and the administration have arranged to have Taco Bell added to the food restaurant selections on campus.
Rushing, 56, a Ruston native, is the new food service director at Grambling State University, and he’s “glad to come to Grambling (because) it is close to home.”  For 37 years, Rushing has lived down the street in the small town of Simsboro with his high school sweetheart, LaJeanne, his wife “for 37 wonderful years” and they live with their daughter, Heather, a biology graduate student at Louisiana Tech University.

In his short few weeks on campus, the campus menu is now available online and posted each day at  campusdish.com/en-US/CSSW/Grambling, he has included nutritional information for each food item to help students who have asked for healthier food options and he’s working with the university administration to consider the possibility of adding Taco Bell in Tiger Express, the fast-food operation.
Still, Rushing isn’t satisfied. “I can guarantee that the food will improve now to next semester,” said Rushing, who is working on a menu with a variety of options.

Starting his first food service job at A&W Drive-Inn in Ruston as the assistant manager, Rushing worked at night after school. With about 40 years of experience, Rushing brings a wealth of skills to the McCall Dining Hall ARAMARK job from his role as assistant director at the University of Louisiana-Monroe, where he worked for more than 10 years. Earlier, he spent about three years as ARAMARK’s retail director at Louisiana Tech, his alma mater.

Prior to his ARAMARK jobs, Rushing worked for the Pillsbury Company’s Burger King.

Ante’ Britten, associate vice president for finance and administration, said changes weren’t being made fast enough based on student feedback so a decision was made to hire a new director. “The variety and quality of the food was not up to par in the dining hall …so a change needed to be made,” he said.
“The variety and quality of the food was not up to par in the dining hall in a timely matter,” said Britten, “so a change needed to be made.”
Before he even started his new job in March, Rushing “I popped up at (Tiger) Express unannounced with my family on Sunday.” He wanted to see how average customers would be treated and what kind of food was provided.

Senior Stephany Norris, who serves on the university’s food service committee, said she’s seen improvements since Rushing has been in charge.  “It was actually really good, looks better and they have a lot of variety,” said Norris, one of several student representatives who sit on the committee with administration and ARAMARK officials.  “When I went in they have more than one vegetarian option without meat like soup and a veggie burger. Delicious!”

Norris said there are some weekend issues that still need attention, but Rushing is off to a good start.
D’ Corey Bainz, a freshman transfer student from the Los Angeles area, said the weekend food options and quality is just fine; he’s concerned about the service when the dining hall is open for only brunch and dinner and lots of students are visiting to eat at the same time. “There are more people that are trying to eat,” he said. “I feel that they should make enough food for everyone to eat at the right time during the weekends.”

Rushing explained during a recent interview in his office that not many students dine in the dining hall during the weekend and is not able to increase the staff. The food service director and his team are open to suggestions and the concerns of students, which has been there inspiration to construct a brief paper survey in hopes to receive feedback from the student body.

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton
318-533-5337
mediarelations@gram.edu

 

 

April 22, 2013

University Unveils New Tiger Statue at Groundbreaking

Grambling State University hosts 11 a.m. event Tuesday

GRAMBLING, LA – Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue and a group of administration officials and students will officially break ground for a special university tiger statue.

The university-commissioned sculpture will replace a flagpole that has been in the same spot outside of Long-Jones Hall, the administration building, and what is now the Eddie G. Robinson Museum, formerly used as a women’s gym and auditorium in the 1930s until T.H. Harris Auditorium was built.

"This is an exciting time at Grambling State University, and one of our signature campus beautification efforts is the addition of a commissioned tiger statute," said Pogue. "Once complete, it will stand on its hind legs as it raises its two front legs, and we know it’ll become a visual focal point and a gathering place for Gramblinites on campus as well as those who visit."

 The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday (April 23, 2013).

Tigers are the largest of the world’s cat species, sometimes maturing at more than 10 feet in length and as much as 300 pounds. Its dark reddish orange vertical stripes separate it from other cat family members, including the jaguar and the lion.

Student Government Association President 2012-2013, Jonathan Allen, and incoming 2013-2014 SGA President Jordan Harvey as well as Miss Grambling State University 2012-2013, Geralka Jackson, and Miss Grambling State University 2013-2014, Ambra Brice, will join Pogue and others.

Stacey Duhon, vice president of student affairs, will unveil an illustration/photo of the newest tiger to grace the university campus. Duhon and Connie Walton, provost and vice president of academic affairs, are two of several administration officials who are alumni. They remember using the quad during their student years, far more than students do today. The university is sprucing up the area as part of an $800 thousand federal Title III campus beautification program, launched earlier this month.

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton
318-533-5337
mediarelations@gram.edu

 

 

Students Get Writing Help in New Digs

Department of English and Foreign Languages has improved writing lab open, available for all students

By DIANA SEPULVEDA
Grambling State University Media Bureau

GRAMBLING, LA – A faint smell of fresh paint fills the halls of Woodson Hall at Grambling State University these days. This isn’t an art project, or simply a new paint job; it’s a focus on writing.

The university’s Department of English and Foreign Languages is working to help students across the campus improve their writing skills. Alumna Evelyn Wynn, Ph.D., interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, went to work with the faculty to freshen up two writing labs. With the help of a Title III grant, two state-of-the-art computer labs were funded and the lab walls got a fresh coat of gold paint and the floor was covered with new carpet.

“(What) I like most about the lab is that is does what Dr. (Frank G.) Pogue wants to do,” said Wynn, talking about the president of Grambling State University. “It provides enhancement learning for students.”

The Enhancement Writing Lab in Woodson Hall Room 231 is across the hall from the English Instructional Computer Classroom. Both have 55-inch flat screen televisions, several Dell OptiPlex 790 desktops, printers and a Smart Board, an interactive white board that uses technology tools to enhance education and learning with a projector, computer inputs, touch screen and digital.

The lab is open for all university students, not just English majors. Students can get help from a team of volunteers and tutors as they develop essays, correct grammar, proofread and brainstorm. In addition, English professors host lab workshops about various subjects. Just this month, there was a “Writing about Religion in an Academic Manner” workshop and another one about using academic style with research writing.

Linda Ward, the EWEL lab coordinator, wants more and more students to know about the lab and its resources. She wants to “see students in the other fields to come and get help at the lab” in an “atmosphere in the EWEL is both friendly and productive.” 

A number of professors are introducing students to the writing lab by offering extra credit assignments and hosting class sessions in the labs.  Beatrice McKinsey, Ph. D., a faculty member who coordinates the Department of English and Foreign Languages, said she’s seen an increase in students’ attendance and participation. Students can easily see how to conduct proper research for a paper, she said.

Teachers outside of the department can reserve the EICC lab, a wireless teaching classroom designed to provide a stimulating learning environment, a place designed to provide students with hands-on learning and blended learning on research and essay revisions.  “We’re seeing that the students are more involved in the classrooms with the technology,” said Wynn during a recent tour of the EICC lab.  Ward demonstrated a special feature. Standing at the podium in the right front corner of the lab, she pressed a button and, in a matter of seconds, Dell computers emerged from a hidden compartment.

“The technology helps me to provide better instruction because I can actually teach students how to conduct research, to develop essays, and to complete assignments more effectively right here in the classroom,” added McKinsey, a Minden resident. “I don’t have to send them to a lab.”

Ward said she has plans for an expansion to neighboring rooms and additional workshops. “We must find ways to address students’ writing needs,” explained Wynn, Ph. D. “We are trying to reach them when they first enter the university.”
The lab blog, which has lots of writing help and information, can be found at http://gsunet.gram.edu/writinglab/.

The writing enhancement lab is available Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and it is closed Fridays. Walk-ins are welcome, but Ward said appointments are best. Students should call 318-274-2352 or email Ward at wardl@gram.edu.

English Writing Lab Photo

Click here for PDF.

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton
318-533-5337
mediarelations@gram.edu

 

 

April 17, 2013

President Provides State of Grambling State University

Frank G. Pogue and key administration officials will provide important updates Thursday

GRAMBLING, LA – Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue will give a campus and community update Thursday. In light of ongoing state higher education and budget issues, the president plans to provide an overview about the status of the university, recognizing some recent accomplishments and issues and looking forward to the summer and the next academic year.

“Yes, these are challenging, difficult times,” said Pogue, “but we will get through all of this, and I want people to know that there are good things happening at Grambling State University. No matter what, we will focus on our core mission and we will continue to enhance the academic profile of this university and its students.”

The 11 a.m. event will be held at T.H. Harris Auditorium on the main campus. The president and some key administration officials will provide updates about the university’s academic programs, athletics programs, recently-launched campus beautification efforts and fiscal affairs. In addition, the president will make time to acknowledge the recent bombings at the Boston Marathon, asking that the campus and community pray for the victims and their families.

The Grambling State University World-Famed Tiger Marching Band and the university choir will provide music and songs, and the university alma mater will be sung at the end of the program. The event will last less than an hour.

Click here for PDF.

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Additional Information

Media Contact:
Will Sutton
318-533-5337
mediarelations@gram.edu

 

 

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