July 31, 2013

LA. Baptists Launch Youth Camp at Grambling State University

Three-year-old Greater Louisiana Baptist Convention hosting hundreds of youth at HBCU with spiritual, academic focuses

By Grambling State University Media Bureau

Dr. Pogue speaks to guest campers.
Dr. Pogue speaks to guest campers.

Grambling, LA –  About 400 elementary, middle and high school students from nearly every part of Louisiana are attending the first summer camp offered by the Greater Louisiana Baptist Convention.

The Youth Empowerment Retreat has the theme “Changing One Life at a Time,” and Rev. Daniel Smith Sr. said the campers will go home with a better understanding of their relationship with God as well as what opportunities they have beyond high school. The camp is being hosted by Grambling State University, on the main campus in the City of Grambling and at Grambling State University West Campus: R.W.E. Jones Annex in Ruston.

Smith, director general of the convention’s summer camp, said in an interview Monday afternoon that a small staff and a host of volunteers from Baptist churches from Alexandria, Lafayette, Monroe, West Monroe, Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge, Shreveport and elsewhere are making things happen. “We couldn’t do this without them,” he said.

At an opening session in the university’s Black and Gold Room in the Favrot Student Union Monday, President Frank G. Pogue urged about 200 of the students to strongly consider Grambling State University – with a focus on doing well in school and completing high school.

“We want you to be serious about your future so that you can be a highly productive citizen for the rest of your life,” said Pogue, urging them all to have fun while on campus while keeping an eye on what’s important in the numerous sessions and workshops. “I want to see you back here, I want to see you have fun and I want you to leave here with something that says Grambling on it.”

With Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Gloria George serving as emcee, the students heard from admissions, financial aid, student life, spirit group and athletics representatives, often bursting into applause while wearing camp and church pullovers and teeshirts of various colors. George and others gave the students a lot of good information about how to prepare for college, and they gave away some black and gold Grambling State University freebies.

Rev. Willie Maynard Jr., the GLBC president, said it was important that the convention bring its summer program to Grambling State. “We’re losing ground with our young people when it comes to our black colleges, and we pastors have to do a better job making sure they know about these opportunities.”

Rev. Sam Lofton Jr., GLBC’s youth director and pastor of education and youth at Good Hope Baptist Church in Lafayette, La., said the convention’s mission calls for such a program and it is an outgrowth of quarterly youth events. “In partnership with Grambling State University we want our youth to focus on the spiritual and the academic, making sure they know what’s expected and what opportunities they have before them,” he said.

Diamond Fountain, 14, gets it. “We’re learning that we don’t need to be ashamed of worshipping God no matter where we are and who we are with,” she said.

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Fountain has visited the university previously, but she had not experienced it as she has this week. “The dorms are kind of cozy, and that’s nice,” said Fountain, a rising ninth grader at Scotlandville Magnet High School in Baton Rouge. who carries a 3.5 GPA. “The food is AWESOME! I’m in love with French fries and their French fries are spiced just right. I love them.”

Fountain, who attends Greater King David Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, said though she’s been on campus before she had not taken a tour until this week. “There are real nice buildings here,” she added. She plans to be a music education major and she likes what she sees.

Ante’ Britten, assistant vice president for administration, worked with the convention leadership to bring the group to the campus.  The camp continues through Thursday. “This is a first for them and a first for us,” said Britten, who supervises the university’s facilities and grounds. “We were really happy that they chose our university for their first summer camp, and we’ll do what we can to make sure they return next year.”

Maynard said this is not a one-time activity and the convention wants to build a partnership with Grambling State University. “The president made us feel special and made some special adjustments to suit us, so we want to have university faculty and staff involved with what we do on a regular basis,” said Maynard, who has pastored St. Paul Baptist Church in Opelousas, La., and St. James Baptist Church in Roanoke, La.,  for 33 years. “This isn’t something we’re just doing; we’re building something here.”

Admission guidelines and infromation is given to campers.

Camp administrators work with GSU administrators to make the camp a success.

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

 

 

July 12, 2013

Sport Management Graduate Student Heading to Taiwan

Devin Brown lands fall internship at Taipei-based university

Dr. Christina Gipson, assistant professor of sport management, and graduate student Devin Brown.
Dr. Christina Gipson, assistant professor of sport
management, and graduate student Devin Brown.

Grambling, LA – A Grambling State University master’s student is the first to spend a semester abroad as a sports administration intern at Alethia University in Taipei, Taiwan.

Though Devin Brown does not leave for Asia until September, he is getting more and more excited about visiting another continent for a dual academic and professional internship experience. “This opportunity is truly a blessing for me,” said Brown, 23.  “Dr. (Christina) Gipson has been a great mentor and inspired me to push and challenge myself to greater heights, not only with my education and career but also in my daily life.”

“Devin will be exposed to a myriad of sports and sport-related experiences at the university level,” according to Willie Daniel, head of the Department of Kinesiology, Sport and Leisure Studies in the College of Education. “He’ll have a hands-on opportunity to develop and work with the World Association of Sport Management’s Global Sports Management Summit that will take place in October and to help prepare for the World University Games, which will be hosted by Taiwan in 2017. This is a first for our program, and our university, and we’re ecstatic.”

The association is a new organization, founded just last year during a meeting of the Global Sport Management Summit.  The group’s goal is “to facilitate sport management research, teaching and learning excellence and professional practice” as a forum for international ideas about sport management among university faculty, students, sport federations and sports professionals.

Aletheia University is recognized as Taiwan’s oldest institution of higher learning. Since 1994 the university has operated as an independent, four-year institution with eight colleges, including sports knowledge, management science and tourism.
Brown learned about the opportunity in Asia from one of his professors, Gipson, an assistant professor of sport management and Brown’s academic advisor. “I am always looking for students who are organized, versatile, and interested in international sports,” she said. “I learned about this internship opportunity through one of my academic listservs and presented the information to a number of students, and Devin was the only student who decided to apply.”

Ever diligent about providing students with legitimate opportunities and exposing students to opportunities, Gipson contacted World Association committee members, an American and a Venezuelan, to make sure “everything was legit.” When everything checked out, she worked with Brown to get his application submitted and, a few weeks later, Brown got the official word that he had been selected.

Brown, who left Carson, Calif., to attend Grambling State University as a freshman, is a strong student, and he’s maintained a 4.0 GPA in the Master of Science in sports administration degree program. He graduated from the business undergraduate program in 2012 and decided to continue his education, especially since he had developed a special professor-student relationship with Gipson. “She has been a special person in my life,” said Brown. “She presented this opportunity to me because she had faith in my abilities to step up and rise to the challenge of the unknown.”

“I will use this great opportunity to represent the GSU Sports Administration Program to open new doors in the sports industry domestically and globally.”

Dr. Christina Gipson, assistant professor of sport management, and graduate student Devin Brown. (Photo 2)

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

 

 

July 11, 2013

Theatre Leader Rises to College Dean

Distinguished scholar King David Godwin takes on the College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. King David Godwin, head of Grambling State University’s visual and performing arts, has assumed the role of interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. King David Godwin, head of Grambling State University’s
visual and performing arts, has assumed the role of interim
dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Grambling, LA – The head of Grambling State University’s visual and performing arts has assumed the role of interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. King David Godwin, who has worked at the university since 2007, now leads the institution’s largest college.

“Dr. Godwin has been a strong leader across the entire campus, but especially in the performing and visual arts areas and a strong proponent of academic integrity,” Connie Walton, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said about Godwin, who has nearly 40 years of academic experience. “When this opportunity became available, it was obvious what we needed to do and who we needed to call upon.”

Godwin, the son of illiterate foster parents who strongly encouraged him to pursue a good education, is the youngest of 14 siblings by his biological parents and was the first to attend college. “My foster parents instilled in me a thirst for knowledge and a desire to never give up. These are challenging and difficult times, and I am thankful that the president and the provost are confident in my abilities and skills to take on such a large responsibility,” said Godwin, who lives in Ruston. “This college has a number of wonderful things going on, and it’ll be my duty to help the faculty and staff enhance the good work to best benefit our students.”

Born in Florence, SC, and raised in Lake City, SC, Godwin has more than 30 years of academic experience as a faculty member, department head and administrator. At Grambling State he has been responsible for or led the efforts to get a number of grants for academic support and scholarships. In addition to Grambling State, he has worked at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and Voorhees College in Denmark, SC. Godwin has been a recipient of the Fulbright and Salzburg fellowships and studied abroad in Egypt and Salzburg, Austria.

Godwin succeeds Evelyn Wynn, who led the college until returning to the faculty recently. His appointment was effective July 1. The College of Arts and Sciences includes departments and programs including art, biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering technology, English, family and consumer sciences, history, music, math and physics, political science & public administration, sociology and psychology and visual & performing arts. Godwin, the Ira Aldridge Endowed Professor of Theatre Arts, and his wife, the Rev. Cheri L. Godwin are the parents of three adult children.

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

 

 

July 9, 2013

Ruston Resident Rises to College Dean Role

Academic scholar Janet Guyden leads College of Professional Studies

Janet A. Guyden has been appointed dean of the Grambling State University College of Professional and Graduate Studies.
Janet A. Guyden has been appointed dean of the
Grambling State University College of Professional
and Graduate Studies.

Grambling, LA – Janet A. Guyden has been appointed dean of the Grambling State University College of Professional  and Graduate Studies. She succeeds Rama Tunuguntla, who led the College of Professional Studies from 2009 until retiring June 30.

“We are excited that Dr. Guyden will be leading this area said Connie Walton, provost and vice president for academic affairs. Her extensive experience in higher education will provide excellent leadership of the units that were formerly housed in the College of Professional Studies.  In her previous role as Dean of Graduate studies, Dr. Guyden worked closely with these units.”

The College of Professional Studies includes the Department of Mass Communication, the School of Nursing, the School of Social Work and the Department of Criminal Justice. “There’s important work to be done, and I look forward to working with the department heads, faculty and staff,” said Guyden, who had been dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

A native of Rochester, Pa., Guyden has worked at Grambling State University since August 2005. She received her B.A. degree in English from Howard University, her M.Ed. degree in counselor education from Worchester State College, and a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Georgia State University. The appointment was effective July 1.

Guyden has been actively involved in teaching, research, grant writing, and service, and she has served as a member of the National Academy of Science Research Council Leadership Summit to Effect Change in Teaching and Learning. She is one of the contributing authors of the Council’s book Transforming Undergraduate Education in Agriculture: Sustainable education for a changing world. She has also coordinated doctoral programs; served as a department chair; served as a dean for admission, recruitment and financial aid and served as interim dean of the Florida A&M University College of Education from March 2001 to March 2003.

Guyden is a product of a public school system education in Rochester. She is the mother of two adult sons, Thomas E. Guyden, Jr. and Rollin Wilson Ingram Guyden, the grandmother of eight and the great-grandmother of three. An avid reader, she enjoys walking and spending time with her great grandsons. She resides in Ruston, La., where she is a member of Trinity United Methodist Church. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the North Louisiana Chapter of AAUW.

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

 

 

July 2, 2013

Hall of Famer Becomes Interim Athletic Director

Aaron James steps in to lead university-wide sports program

Aaron James, 2012 Louisiana Sports Hall of Famer and Interim Athletics Director.
Aaron James, 2012 Louisiana Sports Hall of Famer and Interim Athletics Director.

Grambling, LA –  Aaron James, a 2012 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame member and a member of the Grambling Legends Sports Hall of Fame, is assuming the role of interim athletics director at Grambling State University, effective Monday. It is his second stint as interim AD.

“We’re so blessed to have someone like Aaron on staff at our institution,” said President Frank G. Pogue. “He’s a star in his own right, on the basketball court, in college sports generally and in higher education administration. He’s a flexible, smart, knowledgeable administrator and leader capable of filling any of several roles, and we’re happy that he’s agreed to help us once again.”

James succeeds Percy “Chico” Caldwell, who was named AD at Grambling State University in February 2012 after an exhaustive search that yielded at least 50 candidates, a pool that was narrowed to seven finalists before Caldwell was selected. Caldwell gave Pogue his resignation on Tuesday. Caldwell, a former student athlete, earned his doctorate from Iowa State University, a master’s degree in health, fitness and recreation from the University of Alabama and a bachelor’s degree in sociology/psychology from Miles College. He put a lot of emphasis on student athlete academics and team academic standings during his tenure, and he started an athletic fundraising effort called the 250 Club. “I thank Dr. Caldwell for his service and wish him the best of success in the future,” added Pogue.

James, an associate athletic director for marketing and promotion, was recently assigned as the university’s interim development director with an office in the Institutional Advancement building. He will return to the Hobdy Assembly Center and lead Grambling State’s 15 sports programs: men’s football, basketball, baseball, cross country, track and field/outdoor; women’s basketball, bowling, track and field indoor/outdoor, cross country, tennis, soccer, softball and volleyball. James was interim AD from late June 2011, after then-AD J. Lin Dawson left, until early 2012.

“I’m a Gramblinite, committed to my school, sports and higher education,” said James, 60, who lives in Ruston. “Whatever I need to do, I will do to help dear ole Grambling.”

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Additional Information:

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

 

 

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