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

 

 

 

June 26, 2014

Grambling State Presidential Transition Underway

Outgoing GSU President Frank G. Pogue helps provide smooth transition for incoming interim president Cynthia Warrick, who assumes university leadership Tuesday

Outgoing  President Frank G. Pogue shakes hands with incoming Interim President Cynthia Warrick as the university makes the transition to new leadership.
Outgoing President Frank G. Pogue shakes hands with incoming
Interim President Cynthia Warrick as the university makes
the transition to new leadership.

GRAMBLING, La. – Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue announced his decision to retire June 30 a few weeks ago but not without a plan to provide a smooth transition. That process is taking place this week as incoming interim president Cynthia Warrick splits her time between Grambling State and Baton Rouge as she prepares to start her tenure.

“It was important to me, and this fine institution, that we do something that isn’t done as often as it should happen,” said Pogue, who heads to his retirement home in Delaware soon. “It is rare in higher education that one president welcomes another, for a variety of reasons, but when it can happen it provides a wonderful opportunity for the incoming leader to hear some things directly from the outgoing president, face to face and eye to eye.”

“I decided I wanted to do that for whoever Grambling State University’s next leader would be, even before I knew it would be Dr. Warrick,” added Pogue. “But I’m glad I’ve had time to meet and dine with Dr. Warrick, and her husband, and to set up some key administration, faculty and staff meetings before she gets started and really digs in.”

Warrick, a pharmacist with extensive academic and research experience, is becoming GSU’s chief executive officer from her role as senior fellow at the Center for Minority Health Services Research at Howard University in Washington, D.C. She is scheduled to be confirmed as Grambling State’s interim president by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors at its Friday (June 27) meeting.

In advance of that action and her July 1 start, Pogue provided Warrick with several opportunities to talk with and hear from various university groups and teams, including finance and administration, athletics, academic affairs, music, student affairs, institutional planning and as well as students.

“It was a nice opportunity to see many of the people with whom I will be working,” said Warrick. “I enjoyed meeting administrators, faculty and staff, especially students who are our reason for existence.”

Pogue and first lady Dorothy Pogue dined with Warrick and her husband, Jan Jasper, in the presidential dining hall Tuesday night, a quiet, quaint opportunity to more casually discuss life at Grambling State University. The Pogues are moving out of Johnson Place, the president’s home, and Warrick and  her husband are moving in.

A native of San Antonio, Texas, Warrick has served as interim president at South Carolina State University; dean and chief research officer and professor of pharmacy at Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina; associate professor and director of environmental & occupational health at Florida A&M University and assistant professor in the Division of Management, Policy & Community Health at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston.

Warrick earned a doctoral degree in environmental science and public policy at George Mason University, a master’s degree in public policy from Georgia Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Howard University.

Interim President Cynthia Warrick poses with GSU students and family members as she prepares to lead the university.
Interim President Cynthia Warrick poses with GSU students and family members as she prepares to lead the university.

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Additional Information:

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

 

 

 

GSU Endowed Chair of Mathematics Dies at 87

A valued teacher, mentor, producer of black mathematicians leaves Grambling State University community saddened

The GSU family morns the loss of Dr. Abdulalim A. Shabazz, a distinguished professor of mathematics and endowed chair with a national reputation.
The GSU family morns the loss of Dr. Abdulalim A.
Shabazz, a distinguished professor of mathematics
and endowed chair with a national reputation.

By DEON JONES
Grambling State University Media Bureau

GRAMBLING, La. – Abdulalim A. Shabazz, a distinguished professor at Grambling State University with a national reputation, has died. He had been hospitalized at Northern Louisiana Medical Center less than two weeks ago.

“I’ve known Dr. Shabazz for many years,” said Grambling State President Frank G. Pogue. “He represented the kind of excellence Grambling is known for, and for the university it means a great deal that he was with us.”

Pogue met Shabazz when Pogue was a graduate student at Atlanta University. He said his roommate, a math student, “idolized” Shabazz.

Connie Walton, GSU’s provost and vice president of academic affairs, said it was 2005 when the university hired Shabazz as a consultant to help the faculty restructure the mathematics courses, eventually increasing a standing student pass rate to above 80 percent. She said he challenged faculty and students to aim higher.

“Dr. Shabazz always said it is important for African American students to see African American teachers with a Ph.D. in mathematics,” said Walton.

Pogue recently visited Shabazz in the hospital. Shabazz passed away on Wednesday (June 25).

After his consulting work at GSU, Shabazz formally joined the Gramblinite family in 2007 as an endowed chair for mathematics. He was the first to hold this position at Grambling State University. His career included time at Clark Atlanta University and Lincoln University, among other higher education institutions. Walton said he is widely credited with training nearly half of all African Americans who have earned doctorate degrees in mathematics in the United States.

President Bill Clinton awarded Shabazz with a national mentor award in September 2000 for   excellence in science, mathematics and engineering mentoring in 2000. He also received the National Association of Mathematicians Distinguished Service Award for his years of mentoring and teaching excellence. 

Walton said Shabazz was a great example of a master teacher, being active in the campus and wider communities, representing the university at national and international events and regularly mentoring junior faculty and students.

Rod Seals, a GSU graduate student, was one of Shabazz’s recent students.  “I met him the semester before last. Everybody was telling me go talk to Dr. Shabazz, that he was a good guy, very reserved man with knowledge, brilliant, a humble man,” said Seals, 39, of Homer, Louisiana. “He always wanted to know how I was doing, and more about me. … He was very kind and I’m very thankful for it.”

“Dr. Shabazz mentored and guided me through two math graduate courses,” added Seals. “He was a man of high integrity and very courageous. He stood up for what he believed in; which in part, was to support the success of each and every student in all aspects of their lives, especially math. … He shared his time and his wisdom with me humbly, and for that I will be forever grateful.”

Shabazz was born to  Lonnie Cross in Bessemer, Alabama, on May 22, 1927 and earned a bachelor’s in mathematics and chemistry from Lincoln University in 1949, a master’s in mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1951 and a doctorate of in mathematics from Cornell University in 1955.

Services are pending.

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

 

 

 

June 25, 2014

GSU Gets Funding Approval for Health-Wellness Facility

Using a student assessment fee started in 2011, Grambling State University gets funding approval by the U.S. Department of Education’s HBCU Capital Financing Program

Funding has been approved for renovations to the intramural building and a new natatorium.
Funding has been approved for renovations to
the intramural building and a new natatorium.

GRAMBLING, La. – Grambling State University students will once again have a campus facility where they can work out, attend exercise sessions and swim in a building of their own.

Grambling State President Frank G. Pogue announced that the institution has received final, official approval to renovate a 33,279-square-foot building constructed in 1993 and a natatorium. The existing intramural building continues to be used with limitations because it has not had significant renovations since it was built. The natatorium, however, is unusable with a dry swimming pool, broken windows throughout the facility and what Pogue describes as “a condition that makes a ‘horrible’ sound kind.”

“I found a lot of good things at Grambling State University when I first got here in 2009, but the natatorium was not one of them,” said Pogue. “The place has been an eyesore for years, and students complained about it all the time, and with good reason.

“It has taken a lot of work on the parts of a lot of people to get to this point, but getting all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed and making sure that every single thing was in place financially was what we needed to do to make sure that we could announce something that will truly happen. We can say that this will happen.”

The new facility will include an indoor swimming pool, an aerobics and multipurpose room, an expanded basketball court and a convenience store and juice bar. The Foster-Johnson Health Center will move into the new facility. The $7 million construction is being financed with student assessment fees that started in 2011, meaning the project has a specific funding source.

The university went through an extensive pre-construction and financing process to gain the appropriate approvals. Just last week the university received a project number, authorizing the institution to proceed to the next phase. GSU is working with state of Louisiana’s Facility, Planning and Control to select an architect for the project. A construction timetable, including a proposed opening month or season, will be provided after an architect has been approved and gets to work.

“All of these things go through a state process, and we’ll do everything we need to do to make sure this gets off to a good start and gets done,” said Leon Sanders, vice president for finance and administration, explaining next steps.

Ante’ Britten, associate vice president of finance and administration, has been charged with shepherding the project to this point, working closely with the HBCU Capital Financing Program, which provides low-cost capital to finance improvements to the infrastructure of the nation’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Britten thanked the university’s staff, attorneys and system office for assisting the university with an extensive financial process to ensure a successful  effort. “Without a well-coordinated effort, the path toward final approval wouldn’t have been as smooth as it’s been,” he said. “This project will be state-of-the-art and it allows GSU to offer a holistic health and wellness program.”

New Health and Wellness Center Photo Gallery
Click here for Photo Gallery

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Additional Information:

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

 

 

 

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