April 17, 2014

GSU President Hosts Last Spring Convocation

Pogue plans to focus on accomplishments and the future of the 113-year-old institution primarily serving African Americans

Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue holds his final spring convocation after announcing his upcoming retirement.
GSU President Frank G. Pogue holds his final spring
convocation after announcing his upcoming retirement.

By E’VONNE GIPSON
Grambling State University Media Bureau

GRAMBLING, La. – Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue’s last spring convocation is Tuesday at 11 a.m., and he’s looking at it as the first of a few opportunities to say what’s on his mind and to thank those who helped him during his nearly five-year stay as president.

"This will be my last spring convocation at Grambling State University, and I plan to highlight some of the many accomplishments for which I am thankful, thankful to faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters for sticking with me and helping me get these things done," said Pogue. "I’ll point to some things from a few years ago when we first started dealing with severe budget cuts and new performance expectations, and I’ll remind the audience about some things they may have forgotten.

The convocation will be held in the T.H. Harris Auditorium, the place where Pogue has led spring and fall convocations each year since 2009 when he arrived as a consultant and quickly became interim president before landing the job permanently.

The spring convocation theme is “Enhancing the Academic Profile of Grambling State University,” and Pogue will be the only speaker other than those providing a welcome or invocation. The university’s World Famed Tiger Marching Band will play twice. Under the direction of choral director Natorshau Davis, the university choir is scheduled to perform “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” arranged by Lloyd Pfautsch, and “Oh, What a Beautiful City,” arranged by Stacey V. Gibbs.

GSU’s eighth president, Pogue plans to talk about widely known accomplishments as well as some improvements that may have gone unnoticed.

"This can be considered a "State of the University" address," added Pogue, who is scheduled to retire June 30. "If anyone wants to know what specifically has been done in my nearly five years at GSU, join us at the convocation and you’ll hear about many of those things — and how I feel about Grambling State University and the many people who are committed to empowering us to enhance our academic profile."

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Additional Information:

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

 

 

 

GSU Students Host Candlelight Vigil for Colleague Student

Close friends, student leaders organize to celebrate the life of Alexandria Shelton, a senior who died unexpectedly this past weekend

By JESSICA WRIGHT
Grambling State University Media Bureau

GRAMBLING, La. – Grambling State University students will host a celebration of the life of Alexandria Shelton, a 21-year-old senior found dead in Girard Park near the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s campus.

The Lafayette Parish Coroner’s Office ruled the death an accidental drowning, ruling out homicide and foul play.

The 11 a.m. program honoring Shelton will be held between the Barnes & Noble bookstore and the Tiger Express fast food court on “The Yard” near the electronic board. “We’ve lost a Gramblinite, and it hurts,” said Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue. “We’re proud of the way our caring, deeply loving students stepped forward with ideas to do something special to remember our own Alex.”

The short program is being hosted by students affiliated with the Student Government Association, Favrot Student Union board, criminal justice majors and the Tiger Ambassadors, a group that takes visitors on tours of the university campus. There will also be a balloon release after the candlelight vigil. The public is invited to attend and is welcomed to offer kind words on Shelton’s behalf.

GSU President Frank G. Pogue, a faculty member and several students will speak before 50 black and gold balloons are released. Close friend and off-campus roommate La’Tigre Stokes has been heartbroken and plans to compose herself enough to say a few words. One of the students scheduled to talk, Ninfa Saavedra, said she plans to share her moments of friendship with Shelton as a tiger ambassador. “As a part of our ambassador family, Alex’s sudden death has taken us all by shock,” said Saavedra, 21, a mass communication major from Texas. “We had to show we cared.”

Shelton, an honors student with a 3.5 GPA, was to receive her criminal justice degree at GSU’s commencement on May 9. Grambling State University is filling out paperwork to get approval from the University of Louisiana System to present her family with a degree posthumously.

Shelton is survived by her father, Norville Shelton, and her mother, the former Lucretia Alex; two brothers, Phillip Shelton and Justin Alex and three sisters, Tameka Joseph, Valerie Shelton and Victoria Shelton. All are from Lafayette.

According to Shelton’s family, a visitation will be held Tuesday (April 22) at Melancon Funeral Home in Carencro, La. from 10 a.m.-12:30 pm. with a rosary at 11:30 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday (April 22) at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Lafayette, La., at 1 p.m. Dean of Students David Ponton plans to attend the Tuesday visitation and mass to represent GSU.

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Additional Information:

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

 

 

 

April 16, 2014

Grambling State Newspaper Wins ‘Best Newspaper,’ Other Awards

The Gramblinite wins in seven categories of The Society of Professional Journalists Region 12 college newspaper contest

Gramblinite senior editor, Tierra Smith, winner of 3 SJP awards.
Gramblinite senior editor, Tierra Smith,
winner of 3 SJP awards.

GRAMBLING, La. – Grambling State University’s campus newspaper, The Gramblinite, received seven first place awards, including first place for Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper.

It is the second best newspaper award in the Society of Professional Journalists Region 12 Mark of Excellence Awards contest and follows a best newspaper award by the Black College Communications Association earlier this year. The SPJ awards were presented at a weekend conference in Arkansas.

“The variety of awards The Gramblinite won — hard news, feature stories, sports writing, editorial cartooning, and sports and feature photography — illustrates that the well-rounded curriculum the (mass communication) department offers is benefiting our students,” said Wanda Peters, the newspaper’s advisor. “The staff puts in some grueling hours, and it’s wonderful to have their hard work recognized…. I am so proud of them.”

One Gramblinite senior editor, Tierra Smith, won three first place awards. She won the small newspaper category for breaking news reporting for a story entitled “Moving Forward,” a piece about the early fall departure of GSU’s head football coach, Doug Williams, and the football team’s efforts to move forward with the season.

In the general news reporting category for small newspapers, Smith won for a story headlined “Cracking Down,” a story about the city of Grambling’s ordinance prohibiting sagging pants and its possible effects on Grambling State University students.

Smith’s third first place win was in the sports writing category for a story entitled “GSU hit with ‘completely unacceptable’ fine,” a story about the university’s reactions to the penalties from Jackson State University and Southwestern Athletic Conference after GSU’s football team skipped a JSU homecoming game.

Smith, 21, of Houston, is a junior mass communication major with a concentration in sports journalism.

Former gramblinite editor-in-chief, Justin Madden, won an award for 'The life and times of Charles Fenton.'
Former gramblinite editor-in-chief, Justin Madden,
won an award for ‘The life and times of Charles Fenton.

Grambling State University 2013 graduate Justin Madden, 23, the former editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, won first place in the small newspaper feature writing category for “The life and times of Charles Fenton,” a piece about the struggles of a white man attempting to help black students integrate an all-white school in northern Louisiana in the 1960s.

“Winning these awards shows that we take pride in our work,” said Madden, who wrote the story while editor of The Gramblinite. Madden, a breaking news reporter with McClatchy’s Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky, added, “We do the research necessary to find good stories and write about individuals and topics that hold historical merit, (telling) the story of our university and the people.”

Tyrie Goodman, 22, a senior photographer from Houston, won first place in sports photography for a photo of GSU running back Jeremy Runner. Nobel Michael, 20, a junior cartoonist from Lancaster, Calif., won first place in Editorial Cartooning. Goodman and Michael are mass communication majors with concentrations in broadcasting.

“To hear about these awards bring me so much joy,” said Madden, talking about his former campus newspaper colleagues. “They have allowed themselves to grow as journalists and are able to compete against others. I expect the campus newspaper to continue their winning tradition, especially when writing stories that matter.”
  
The Region 12 SPJ spring conference was held in Fayetteville, Ark. last weekend (Friday, April 11- Sunday, April 13). The first place winners will move on to the national Mark of Excellence competition with category winners from all SPJ regions. National winners will be notified in late spring and will be recognized at the Excellence in Journalism 2014 conference in Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 4 to 6.

SPJ is divided into regions of the United States. The Gramblinite competed in SPJ’s Region 12, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.

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Wanda Peters, the newspaper’s advisor, is proud of the achievements of the students and the newspaper.
Wanda Peters, the newspaper’s advisor, is proud of the achievements of the students and the newspaper.

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

 

 

 

April 14, 2014

GSU Cherishes Senior Student from Lafayette

Grambling State University president, student affairs vice president urge GSU students, family, friends to cooperate with Lafayette police investigating the unexpected death of Alexandria Shelton

University urges support in the investigation and rememberance of senior criminal justice major Alexandria Shelton.
University urges support in the investigation
and rememberance of senior criminal justice major
Alexandria Shelton.

GRAMBLING, La. — The Grambling State University community is in shock by the death of a senior criminal justice major, a 3.5 GPA student who enjoyed life, shared close family and friendship ties and was scheduled to graduate at a May 9 commencement.

“We’ve just been in shock since we first heard early Sunday that the body of a young woman found in a Lafayette city park was likely one of our own,” said GSU President Frank G. Pogue. “We immediately reached out to the family and we’ve been cooperating with Lafayette police. We know how important the first 24 to 48 hours of a police investigation can be.

“Now we encourage our students, faculty, staff and others to contact Lafayette city police, or our own campus police, if they think they have even a small bit of information that might be helpful,” added Pogue. “We need to assist police with this investigation and bring closure to this situation for the sake of Alex’s family and close friends.”

Shelton was on campus and in class Friday.  Lafayette police received a missing person report late Saturday after some of Shelton’s friends did not hear from her as they expected to see her at an 8:30 p.m. goodbye party for a mutual friend. A short while later, police found Shelton’s body in a drainage ditch near a Girard Park pond, not far from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette campus. Lafayette confirmed Shelton’s identity with her parents on Sunday as the investigation continued. Her parents told police she attends Grambling State University. Anyone with information that might be helpful with the investigation is asked to call Lafayette Police Department at 337-291-8200 or call GSU police at 318-274-2222.

Shelton had a 3.54 cumulative GPA and was a member of the Earl Lester Cole Honors College at Grambling State University. Pogue said GSU Provost Connie Walton is completing the necessary paperwork to seek approval of awarding Shelton’s degree posthumously. In addition, Stacey Duhon, vice president for student affairs and interim vice president for institutional advancement, is working with the Foster-Johnson Counseling Center to make sure grief counselors are available. Interested students can call the Foster-Johnson Counseling Center at 318-274-3277 to talk with someone.

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

 

 

 

April 11, 2014

Northern Louisiana Universities Team to Gain Legislative Support

Presidents from Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech and the University of Louisiana at Monroe joined other ULS institution presidents to sell the value of higher education “up north”

Legislators shake hands with President Pogue and other university presidents as they visit the capitol to gain support.
Legislators shake hands with President Pogue and other
university presidents as they visit the capitol to gain support.

By Grambling State University Media Bureau

GRAMBLING, La., BATON ROUGE – Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue was one of several university presidents at a morning jazz breakfast hosted by the University of Louisiana System at the state capitol courtyard Monday, quietly garnering quite a bit of attention. As a three-man New Orleans jazz band played, Pogue and other executives mingled, and dozens of participants sought out Pogue to wish him well.

Pogue announced Friday that he is retiring from his role as GSU president on June 30, so this was the first chance for a number of his ULS and legislative colleagues, fans and supporters had to personally shake his hand, tell him what a good job he’s done and wish he and wife Dorothy Pogue well as they return to their Delaware home.

When asked about the attention, Pogue chose to focus on the purpose of the day. “Quite honestly, this is a perfect day for the UL system. It was a perfect day for all nine of the campuses, and a perfect day for Grambling,” said Pogue, who started working at GSU as a consultant in fall 2009. “We had an opportunity to say thank you to the legislators, and we did it together. And it was an opportunity to inform those who may not understand what we do every day, preparing these young men and women for future work in the state of Louisiana, in the nation and in the world.”

ULS President Sandra Woodley decided months ago that the system’s nine universities needed a special day at the state capitol to showcase what the system, and each individual institution, means to the state of Louisiana. Working with her staff, they pulled together Thursday’s special event, including a show-and-tell of tables and university representatives in the capitol rotunda.

The state capitol sees “days” of all kinds from time to time featuring schools, systems, universities and all types of associations and organizations. Capitol information desk volunteer Ruth Gillen said they see one nearly every day when the legislators are in session, and it’s always good for attention when exhibitors bring food. Each university featured special guests. GSU featured Y.W. Reddy, who leads some of the university’s most important STEM programs, including….This day was different because the ULS president had her Baton Rouge staff and each of the nine ULS universities had a president or a provost and a host of university leaders and representatives mingling with a host of Louisiana’s state representatives and senators.

There was candy, cookies and mints as well as Cajun bacon from McNeese State University and some state-famous GSU popcorn, pulling people over to the tables throughout the morning. Some lucky rotunda visitors walked away with a coffee mug, a mouse pad or even homemade soap.

Each university featured special guests. GSU featured Yenumula Reddy, Program Coordinator of a $1.8 million U.S. Air Force grant research program in Grambling State’s computer science department.

“This is a fantastic day for us to get out and give our message to our legislators and our people in the Baton Rouge community (about) what great things are going on at Louisiana Tech,” said Louisiana Tech President Leslie Guice, taking a moment from Tech table visitors who sought a chance to chat with him. “We want them to know that we are committed to developing this state, as a great economic engine for jobs and economic growth for the future prosperity of our citizens.”

The University of Louisiana at Monroe chose to feature its pharmacy school, which graduates about 80 percent of the state’s pharmacists, and its strong online program, including 27 online degree programs. ULM President Nick J. Bruno said it was more than a show-and-tell. “It allows us to share the expertise we have and …it’s an opportunity to show off what we have in north Louisiana,” he said in between visiting exhibits and talking with constituents. “It gives our institutions a chance to show off and be better exposed statewide…so they get a better picture of what we’re doing up in north Louisiana.”

GSU Presents exhibits at ULS special event at the state capitol.
GSU Presents exhibits at ULS special event at the state capitol.

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

 

 

 

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