July 21, 2014

GSU 2014 LA GEAR UP Wraps Up for the Summer

Summer Bridge Program Comes to a Close

Grambling, La. – Grambling State University’s 2014 LA GEAR UP Summer Bridge Program, “College Success Scholars – Bridges to Achievement” focused on various bridges or program components to expand and enhance students’ college and career readiness skills.  The bridges were designed to increase awareness and expectations of college while developing and enhancing knowledge and skills for academic achievement and career success.  This program has operated every year since its inception in 2005.

Previously, this program operated for two weeks, but with additional funding granted by the State of Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LA GEAR UP) in the amount of $410,050, the program continued for six weeks.  Dr. Loretta Walton Jaggers, Professor of Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, is the program director.

The program has two themes.  Bridges to Achievement is the academic theme that consisted of college courses (6 hours), focused tutoring/study hall workshop, academic support workshops and study skills/time management workshops. The second theme is the 3 R’s – Recreation, Relaxation, Rewards which consisted of recreational and sports activities, a movie night, a 4th of July barbeque, and field trips. Lead counselor and Grambling alum Khris Hobbs stated, “I LOVE THIS PROGRAM! I have seen the impact that it can and has made on our youth. We have the opportunity to work with and get to know some amazing students. The bond/connection that is formed goes deeper than the short time that they are with us. Here at Grambling, we make sure that we do all we can for our students.”

There were 25 students enrolled in the program this year.  Each student came from high schools that are members of the LA GEAR UP program. Students Anthonica Johnson and Jameshaulyn B. Fernandez both from Plaquemine, Louisiana, felt that the summer bridge program was “absolutely incredible and amazing.”  “I have grown so much over the past six weeks,” says Anthonica. “We were privileged with the opportunity to meet incredible people, receive free college credits and a head start in college,” states Fernandez. Both students felt that they met their goals and will encourage others to take part in the summer program.

Last Friday, the program came to a close with an “Excellence in Achievement Awards Dinner.” Students and counselors were presented with awards and acknowledgements from the program organizers. Some of the participants were able to showcase their talents as well. One of the attending students, JaBryson Jones from New Iberia, put it nicely, “By giving up the freedom in front of me, I was able to gain the success before me.” May these students have much success and a promising future!

NOTE: Photo attached: 2014 LA GEAR UP Summer Bridge Program Class

IMG-3588 – taken by Mr. Khris Hobbs

2014 GSU LA GEAR UP participants and counselors pose for a group photo in the student union.
2014 GSU LA GEAR UP participants and counselors pose for a group photo in the student union.

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Media Contact:
Media Relations Office
318-274-2418
mediarelations@gram.edu

 

 

 

July 11, 2014

Sounds of Music Heard Around Grambling State University

54th Annual Band Camp

Band Camp students practice to improve their skills at the 54th Annual GSU Band Camp.
Band Camp students practice to improve their skills at the 54th Annual GSU Band Camp.
Band Camp students practice to improve their
skills at the 54th Annual GSU Band Camp.

Grambling, La. – In 1960 Grambling State University legendary band director Dr. Conrad Hutchinson formed a band camp for high school and junior high school students. Fifty-four years later the tradition continues. Under the direction of Dr. Larry Pannell and his band camp staff, future musicians and possibly future Gramblinites are trained to improve their musicianship.

This year the camp has 475 students who traveled from Minnesota, Missouri, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana to take part in marching and educational sessions. Band Director Dr. Larry Pannell stated, “I am happy to have the camp back into existence and we are looking forward to getting back up to 800 students or more per camp year. The camp has come a long way from the old Dunbar Hall to the state-of-the-art Conrad Hutchinson Performing Arts building. We are able to teach our style of music so that the kids can go back home and share what they learned at camp, the Grambling way.”

The students experience college life and have access to a state-of-the-art facility. Trae Smith, a 13 year old camper from Tulsa, Oklahoma who plays saxophone said, “They teach me a better way to play the saxophone. I kind of sucked in the beginning but I am getting a lot better. I enjoy being here. This is my first time and I will be back next year.”

Camp director and alumnus Israel Charles, Class of ’88 stated, “One of the things we like most is that the kids are cooperative and are enjoying themselves. This is my third year as camp director; I attended the camp as a student leader in the mid-1980’s. We use the camp as a recruiting tool and many good musicians have come to Grambling. Our priority though is to make the student a better musician, appreciate the facilities for learning, come to know the campus and be a part of the band.”

Before the campers leave on Saturday they will be able to show off their skills and talents in a talent show scheduled for Thursday. The closing program will be an opportunity for folks on campus to come by the block party and listen to different band group’s show off their newly learned skills by beginners or advanced campers.

Grambling State University band camp is scheduled each year on the second week of July. Musical activities include are: concert band, marching band, jazz ensemble, orchestra, elementary theory and brass/percussion/woodwind and beginners band. The band camp instructors include university band personnel as well as high school and junior high school band directors. For additional information and to register for next year’s camp contact the university at 318-274-6257 or 318-274-6160, email: cowanj@gram.edu or write to Grambling State University Marching Band, P.O. Box 4238, GSU, Grambling, LA 71245.

NOTE:  Photos by Glenn Lewis, GSU Photography/Yearbook

GSU Band Camp Atendees practice together in preparation for the talent show.
GSU Band Camp Atendees practice together in preparation for the talent show.

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Media Contact:
Media Relations Office
318-274-2418
mediarelations@gram.edu

 

 

 

July 3, 2014

New Grambling State SGA President Travels to Germany

The 2014-15 SGA President will be the first ROTC cadet to represent Grambling State University in Vilsek, Germany

New SGA President and ROTC cadet, Eric Johnson is heading to Cadet Troop Leader Training Program in Vilsek, Germany.
New SGA President and ROTC cadet, Eric Johnson
is heading to Cadet Troop Leader Training
Program in Vilsek, Germany.

BY DEON JONES
Grambling State University Media Bureau

GRAMBLING, La. – Erik Johnson is a rising senior and an Army ROTC cadet heading to Germany for a special experience.

Of thousands of cadets across the nation, Johnson is the only cadet from Louisiana, the only cadet from Grambling State University and the only one from Louisiana heading to the Cadet Troop Leader Training program in Vilsek, Germany, which is six hours from Switzerland and four hours from Austria.

“This year is the first year Grambling State University has participated in sending its cadets overseas to be a part of the CTLT,” said Johnson during a recent interview on campus before traveling abroad recently.

Johnson, elected this spring as the 2014-2015 Grambling State University Student Government Association president, will spend three to four weeks with infantry units and serve in a lieutenant-level leadership role with active-duty units. All his expenses will be paid by the military. “I will be shadowing a lieutenant in the infantry unit. The infantry unit is the first line, fighting force of the military,” explained Johnson.

David Ponton said he’s impressed with Johnson and having a chance to go to Germany is a great opportunity.

 “I talk or meet with him every day,” said Ponton, GSU’s interim associate vice president of student affairs and dean of student affairs. “He calls me constantly. Nobody’s perfect but Erik is focused, disciplined and (has) his priorities in line. Germany is a wonderful opportunity, very well deserved, a very prestigious opportunity for him to represent the only HBCU invited.”

Johnson was a part of a Culture Awareness Learning Program (CULP) last year, where he worked with the Romanian Air Force in Romania, located at the crossroads of Southeastern and Central Europe.  “We taught English, interacted with soldiers and the Romanian community, fed the homeless, performed renovations on the military units (and) we performed maintenance on C130 (PUMAS) planes and jet fighters” recalled Johnson.

Johnson is scheduled to graduate with a bachelor’s in kinesiology and a minor in military science in 2015. When he does, he’ll become a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He wants to one day become an athletic director at Grambling State University.

“I love Grambling and one day I would actually like to be AD of GSU or go back to Dallas,” mentioned a confident Johnson, a native of Dallas.

Johnson, 21, will be the first SGA President at Grambling State University affiliated with the GSU ROTC Program. Johnson has a 3.5 GPA and will also be the only African American cadet to represent Grambling State University in Vilsek, Germany, this summer.

Johnson is one of more than 5,000 cadets leaving to go overseas this week (June 27). He will return August 30. Johnson ranks number three of 27 cadets in the GSU ROTC Program. Johnson is now a first lieutenant in the GSU ROTC Program. First lieutenants may serve as the platoon leader of a specialized weapons unit or as the executive officer of a company of 70 to 250 soldiers.

 

GSU SGA President Eric Johnson works with other GSU student in the SGA office.
GSU SGA President Eric Johnson works with other GSU student in the SGA office.

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Media Contact:
GSU Media Relations Office
318-274-2418
mediarelations@gram.edu

 

 

 

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