March 19, 2014

Illinois Community College President Speaks at GSU

Grambling State University alumnae is scheduled to deliver May 9 commencement address

Illinios Community College President and GSU Alum, Sylvia Jenkins, will deliver the commencement address at spring commencement in May.
Illinios Community College President and GSU Alum,
Sylvia Jenkins, will deliver the commencement
address at spring commencement in May.

Grambling, LA – Moraine Valley Community College President Sylvia Jenkins will deliver Grambling State University’s spring commencement address in May.

“We are privileged to welcome Dr. Jenkins back home to GSU as our special guest and graduation speaker,” said GSU President Frank G. Pogue. “She’s a stellar academic, a great leader and a remarkable example of the type of professionals grown at our institution.”

Jenkins will speak at the May 9 ceremony at 10 a.m. ceremony in the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center on the university campus.

Jenkins leads a community college that serves about 36,000 students each year in Palos Hills, Ill., offering more than 100 degrees and certificates as well as an adult learner program and a day care center for students who need it while attending class. In 1986, Jenkins started at the community college as an adjunct librarian in the colleges learning resources center. She went on to become library coordinator in 1995, assistant dean of the Center for Teaching and Learning and library director in 2001. She was vice president of academic affairs from April 2010 until June 2012.  She became the college’s fifth president on July 1, 2012.

Jenkins’ educational background began at Grambling State University, where she earned her bachelor’s in English education. She earned a master’s in library and information from the State University of New York at Albany, and received her doctorate in education and human resource studies with a specialization in community college leadership from Colorado State University-Fort Collins, Colo.

She serves on several boards, including the League for Innovation in the Community College, American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the Community Colleges for International Development (CCID). She is a member of the National Council on Black American Affairs and the Council for Advancement & Support of Education (CASE), Rotary Club of Moraine Valley. She is a member of the Chicago alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She and her husband, Craig, have four daughters, Carmen, Courtney, Christine, and Carol, and five grandchildren.


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Media Contact:
Will Sutton




March 17, 2014

Dunbar Gallery, GSU Department of Visual and Performing Arts Art Exhibit

The Annual High School Art Exhibit

Grambling, LA – The Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Grambling State University is currently hosting the annual High School Art Exhibition from March7th until March 20th, 2014.  Included in the exhibition are art works by high school students from North Louisiana.

Schools represented are: Grambling High School, Gayle Clary, teacher; Haynesville High School, Becky Lowe, teacher; Haughton High School, Taryn Toms and Stacy Lombardino, teachers; Homer High School, Rhonda Porter, teacher; Ruston High School, Delanna Ashworth and Charlie Meeds, teachers; Minden High School, Jim Croad, teacher; Simsboro High School, Gaile Clary, teacher; Sterlington High School, Leah Rietzell, teacher; Winnfield High School, Carnesha Willis teacher; and Wossman High School, Mary Lou Rountree, teacher.

Gallery Director, Donna McGee says, “In today’s commercial society where value is often judged in terms of potential for financial gain, creative needs and artistic vision are sometimes seen as frivolous.  The need to express ourselves artistically has existed for over thirty thousand years, but when budgets are limited, art programs are often the first to suffer cuts. We congratulate all of these young artists and say thank you to their parents, teachers and schools for encouraging their creative pursuits.”

Awards will be presented at the reception to be held on Thursday, March 20th, from 4:30 to 6:00 P.M. in Dunbar Gallery located on Hutchinson Street, Grambling State University. The public is encouraged to attend.  Gallery hours are from 8-4:30 PM, M-TH and 8:30 – 12:00 Noon on Friday. Accommodations are available for large groups and special needs persons.  For more information please call Donna McGee at (318) 274-2274, or Tommie Sue Slaughter at (318) 274-3463,

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Will Sutton












March 14, 2014

GSU Education Alumnae Recognized as Teacher of the Year

Katy, Texas, elementary teacher Kianna Carr Johnson wins second such award in only five years teaching after graduating from GSU

GSU Alum, Kiana Carr Johnson, wins teacher of the year award.
GSU Alum, Kiana Carr Johnson, wins
teacher of the year award.

Grambling State University Media Bureau

Grambling, LA – Valentine’s Day was extra special for Kiana Carr Johnson this year. She received an extra special valentine as she was named teacher of the year at Betty & Jean Schmalz Elementary School in Katy, Texas.

“Teachers felt like I was the best teacher and had done the best work,” said Carr Johnson, 27, a Grambling State University alumna who attributes her classroom success to what she learned at her alma mater.

One of 53 teachers at her school, and one of eight finalists for the special recognition, Carr Johnson was surprised by the school’s principal and assistant principal when they showed up in her classroom with a bouquet of flowers. “In the middle of teaching I found out I had won the award for teacher of the year,” she recalled. “I was extremely surprised…”

Carr Johnson was born in Germany. Her father, Marvin Carr, served in the military for most of her childhood, and the family moved constantly. She received her bachelor’s in elementary education at GSU then stayed in Grambling to earn a master’s in curriculum and instruction.

Carr Johnson has been teaching at Schmalz Elementary School for only two years and she has made a tremendous impact on the children and community according to her school’s principal, faculty and staff.

“Kiana was an outstanding teacher candidate while completing her undergraduate program at Grambling State University in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction,” said Loretta Walton Jaggers, professor of education at GSU. “Specifically, she was a very conscientious student who always demonstrated outstanding knowledge, skills and dispositions.”

In Carr Johnson’s diverse classroom of 21 students, she tailors instruction for individual student needs in all subject areas, usually focusing lessons for seven to 10 minutes at a time. “My goals for my students are for them to be highly motivated and confident, to improve their reading skills, because reading is the foundation in all subjects …,” said Carr Johnson.

She said she uses what she learned at GSU about child development, reading practices, children’s literature and technology. During a telephone interview, Carr Johnson said many of her college professors taught beyond the book, making it easier to understand the complex world of education.

“My professors were very knowledgeable and encouraged me to learn as much as I could,” she said. “My professors supported my growth and gave me positive feedback throughout my journey.”

Carr Johnson said having the opportunity to work closely with future college students in the LA Gear UP program, as a counselor was invaluable. The LA Gear Up Program is a grant-funded program focused on giving middle school and high school students hands-on experiences much like those experienced by college students. Students stay on the GSU campus during the summer, take college classes, and visit the financial aid office, among other things.

“She demonstrated very excellent skills and abilities as she worked with all staff members during the planning and implementation of the GSU LA GEAR Summer Learning Camps,” recalled Jaggers. “She was always admired by her students and colleagues that she worked with at the on-site partnership school where she was completing her field-based experiences”

Carr Johnson has been teaching for more than five years, and she plans to become a college reading professor.

Carr Johnson, who is married to Jonathan Johnson, a Grambling State University alumnus working on a master’s in psychology at Prairie View A&M in Texas, has won many awards, including another teacher of the year award in 2010 at Carver Elementary in Arcadia, La.

“I reached a goal and I have set more goals for myself,” said Carr Johnson, noting that she is not satisfied because her work has been recognized. “All of my goals are geared toward my students and how I impact them. Receiving this award has made me feel more confident about my teaching.”

Jaggers is as proud as a mother: “This accomplishment truly reflects her exemplary skills, talents, hard work, professional attitude and the commitment that she consistently demonstrates toward promoting academic excellence.”

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Will Sutton




GSU Signs Warn Visitors Not to Climb on Eddie Sculpture

Huge sculpture has attracted scores of visitors each week since December installation, and a few have climbed and hung on artwork

The administration has placed signs around the new tiger statue to discourage students and visitors from hanging on it.
The administration has placed signs around the new tiger
statue to discourage students and visitors from hanging on it.

Grambling State University Media Bureau

Grambling State University features Eddie the Fighting Tiger as its newest campus attraction, but the administration is concerned about keeping the 17-foot sculpture attractive.

The tiger arrived in early December. It stands tall with one leg raised high above its head and its mouth wide open, showing gigantic sharp teeth. Lots of people have taken photographs at and near the sculpture, but some have climbed on the foundation, on the legs and even on one or more of the teeth. The university has had at least three reports about improper behavior involving Eddie, and there are photos on social media.

The university recently posted two signs near Eddie, each black and gold sign reading “NO CLIMBING OR HANGING ON TIGER.”

“We estimate that the cost to repair an arm breakage or other likely damages resulting from hanging on Eddie could be in excess of $50,000,” said Ante’ Britten, associate vice president for finance and administration. “This cost would include shipping and handling expenses as well.”

Britten said any damage could result in the sculpture being temporarily removed, and more serious damage might result in permanent removal.

Britten said safety is a big concern. “It’s not safe for individuals to climb on the Tiger,” he said. “If they fall wrong they could definitely be injured.”

The massive tiger sculpture started as a long-term project for Texas-based sculptor Bridgette Mongeon and it was installed on a foundation created by Horton Construction, a black-owned business in Shreveport.

The administration has not implemented financial penalties at this point, hoping that warnings will be enough to convince students, faculty, staff and visitors to visit the sculpture and take photographs without climbing, hanging or otherwise misusing and mistreating the art work.

“I hope the signs will stop students, staff, and visitors from climbing and hanging on the tiger  because they realize that damaging the tiger would be a devastating blow to a project that so many people worked really hard to see completed,” added Britten. “I hope all Grambilinites — past, present and future — see the tiger as a monument of strength for the university and treat it with respect.”

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton




March 12, 2014

GSU Basketball Teams Move on in SWAC Tournament

Lady Tigers play Texas Southern at 10 a.m., G-Men play TSU at 12:30 p.m. in Houston

GRAMBLING, La. – Grambling State University basketball teams won their respective basketball games in the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament at the Toyota Center in Houston, moving on to play Texas Southern University today.

The Lady Tigers play TSU at 10 a.m. The G-Men play TSU at 12:30 p.m. Both games can be heard on Ruston-based KRUS (1490 AM), online at or on most smartphones with the app available at

The Grambling State University Lady Tigers won Monday’s game against the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff Lady Golden Lions by the score of 83-81 in overtime in the first round of the 2014 SWAC tournament. The Lady Tigers were led in scoring by Joanna Miller, who had 27 points in the game. Tyler Anderson had a double-double with 14 points and 16 rebounds, while freshman Dennisha Chambers added 19 points.

The G-Men stunned Jackson State University in the first round game Monday 84-75. Chandler Thomas helped lead GSU to a win with 20 points and 14 rebounds in a double-double effort. Terry Rose led the Tigers with 22.

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