Author Archives: Will Sutton

GSU SEES $2 MILLION INCREASE IN FEDERAL CONTRACTS, GRANTS

Enhanced federal funding provides faculty, students with more opportunities

By GSU Media Bureau

Grambling State University is celebrating a $2,000,000 increase in federal grants and contracts awarded. Excluding federal Title III funding, federal funding increased from $3.6 million in the 2015-2016 fiscal year to $5.6 million in the 2016-2017 fiscal year, a 55.55 percent increase.

Dr. Connie Walton - Interim Director, Sponsored Programs

Dr. Connie Walton – Interim Director, Sponsored Programs

Faculty and staff wrote competitive, winning proposals that were funded by agencies that include the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Louisiana Biomedical Research Network, Northwestern Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services, Louisiana Department of Education, the National Institutes of

Health, and the Air Force. Walton said these projects support the university’s recruitment and retention of students as well as their academic preparedness. The faculty who are involved in these funded programs infuse into the curriculum knowledge and skills gained from the projects. Many of the funded projects provide support for student scholarships and stipends.

According to Marc Newman, GSU’s vice president for institutional advancement, the increase is the result of a lot of hard work by many individuals. These individuals include the faculty, staff, and Dr. Connie Walton, interim director of the university’s sponsored programs office.

“We are excited about the growth in services provided by the office of sponsored programs,” said Newman. “As we continue to enhance the programs and services at Grambling State University, we understand that a competitive sponsored programs unit will play a significant role in meeting needs for growth.”

Walton noted that the increase in funding that was realized was due in large part to the high priority the administration has placed on the acquisition of grants. She indicated that it was not unusual for President Gallot and Provost Smiley to share funding opportunities with the office of sponsored programs and in some cases even suggest whom should be on the proposal writing team.

Mrs. Teresa Jackson, research analyst in the office of sponsored programs, worked closely with Dr. Walton in expanding the services offered. Newman praised the team for expanding the sponsored programs services, in part by providing faculty assistance with proposal writing.

“We are appreciative of the hard work of faculty and staff,” added Newman.

 

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GSU RECRUITS BEFORE BIG GAME

Led by Gallot, University representatives visited various Dallas-area schools

to bring #GramFam to life

By MINIYA SHABAZZ | GSU Media Bureau

DALLAS — Grambling State University was well represented at last weekend’s State Fair Classic, but before the big game, GSU representatives visited several Dallas-area high schools to share good news about why it’s great to be a part of the GramFam.  IMG_9886

The “Tour of Schools”, which is an annual tradition, included the university’s royal court and a group of ambassadors who visited schools the Thursday and Friday leading up to the State Fair Classic. Included in this year’s tour was the relatively new Uplift Mighty Preparatory charter school in Fort Worth, which will be graduating its first class this academic year. Of the school’s 39 seniors, GSU has admitted 10 of them. They GSU groups also visited Hillcrest High School, W.W. Bushman Elementary School, Lancaster High School and DeSoto High School.

DeVaria Hudson is celebrating six months as the director of admissions and recruitment for GSU and she’s excited about what she and her team are doing to get students interested in Grambling State.

“It fills my heart to see that we are actually introducing students to an affordable education and also a quality education,” said Hudson, a Grambling, Louisiana, native.

Dallas is one of GSU’s primary markets for recruiting. Louisiana provides most of the institution’s students, but Texas provides the next largest number of students. That’s why the school spends some time recruiting each fall during the State Fair Classic weekend when GSU plays Prairie View A&M University at the Cotton Bowl. GSU President Rick Gallot, GSU Student Government Association President Adarian Williams and Jimmitriv Roberson, Miss Grambling State University, led the royal court and several student ambassadors through the hallways, into auditoriums and during meal time in cafeterias to get students interested in what Grambling State has to offer. On-site admissions were offered to 73 students during the recent Chicago Football Classic weekend when the football Tigers played the Clark Atlanta University Panthers, and more students were admitted as recruiters visited Dallas.

Hudson said Grambling State is unique and has a good example of its specialness for students because the school has a president willing to go on the road recruiting and recruiters willing to show high school and other students why GSU is the place “where everybody is somebody.”

“It’s exciting for a student to immediately have that connection with someone from the admissions office,” she said. “To have the president of the university say to you, ‘Welcome to Grambling State University’ is very something that is very amazing and special.”

During the school visits, student ambassadors gave students a sense of what it’s like to be a GSU student, shared their various experiences and said what they like about the school. They were honest and open, and easily talked about the school’s rural location right off of I-20, and transitioning from a major metro area like Dallas-Fort Worth.

Cathy Conwright, first vice president of the Grambling University National Alumni Association and vice president of the Dallas alumni chapter, was president of the Dallas chapter for six years and she’s still involved with recruiting.  She said Grambling State University has been in her family a long time. “When I was little we weren’t asked are you going to college,” she said. “We were asked when are you going to check in and get your room key at Grambling.”

Conwright loves Grambling State so much that this is her fourth or fifth year attending the Tour of Schools. She said area school recruiting has been a tradition for the Grambling University National Alumni Association Dallas Chapter for at least 30 years, and credits the idea to two chapter members, Greta Burton and Roselyn Ratcliff.

Hudson said ongoing recruiting is critical, and recruiting in Dallas is important. This year’s enrollment has increased to over 5,100 students, a seven percent increase from fall 2016. Gallot, Hudson and other GSU leaders want to see that number continue to grow. One idea is starting early.

The first school GSU representatives visited Friday was W.W. Bushman Elementary School. Though some might think visiting an elementary school might be a waste of time, but Hudson and others think it’s important to start exposing students to the idea of attending college early. They also believe it’s never too early to start preparing for college.

The walls in W. W. Bushman Elementary were filled with college and university banners, flags and information, including Grambling State University, North Carolina Central University, Tuskegee University, Spelman College, and Texas Southern University.  W. W. Bushman Principal Yolanda Knight has been in her job for four years; she was excited to see GSU visit for the first time.

“I think it gives a focus in life to students that they wouldn’t have otherwise experienced,” she said. “ We plant a seed for the students that college is important and that there is life beyond your community; once we make that emphasis, I think it is important for us to give the students those experiences up close and personal so they can get a taste and feel for it.”

“We want college to stay with them so that 10 years from now they’ll know this is where I’m supposed to be,” Knight added.

Vanessa Satchel, 9, a Bushman Elementary fourth grader had the honor of introducing Miss Grambling and the royal court to an auditorium audience of her peers. When she grows up she wants to be a lawyer and maybe be a college president. Gallot pinned her with a GSU lapel pin as she smiled broadly.

“When colleges come to visit, it gives me a chance to think about all the things that college does and if I want to go to that college or not,” said Satchel.

Alexis Glaspie, 17, a senior at Lancaster High School, signed up to get more information about GSU. Although she wishes more colleges and universities would visit her school, she was happy that she got to see Grambling.

“It seems like Grambling has a whole bunch of school spirit,” said Glaspie.

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DALLAS CHAPTER WELCOMES TIGER FANS

GUNAA-Dallas has a host of events hosting in town, out-of-town Gramblinites

for State Fair Classic Weekend

By JASMINE HARRIS/GSU Media Bureau

The GUNAA Dallas Alumni Chapter of Grambling State University is hosting several events during the 2017 State Fair Classic this weekend to bring GSU alumni, fans and friends together for a good time and to support the university.IMG_9842

Cathy Conwright, vice president of the Grambling University National Alumni Association and first vice president with the Dallas chapter, said the weekend of events helps strengthen the university’s presence in the community, helps alumni bond and introduces the institution to school students as GSU ambassadors and the royal court visit area schools.

The chapter is hosting a Friday night “Welcome Soiree” at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in the presidential “Hospitality” Suite at 7 p.m. Fans in town for the game are welcome to attend the free event.

There’s a “Battle of the High School Bands” Saturday at 8 a.m at Lancaster High School in Lancaster, Texas. Tickets at the gate are $15. High school bands will compete for the right to strut their stuff with high school cheer squads during a pre-game show at the classic game featuring GSU and Prairie View A&M University at the Cotton Bowl at the State Fairgrounds in Dallas.

“They are excited that they get to play on the cotton bowl field and do it up big. It’s also a huge fundraiser for our chapter,” said Conwright. “Just a few years ago being the cheerleader that I am, I added the cheerleading competition to the mix. So now there is the battle of the bands and cheerleading. Both of those competitions take place on the same day. And they go at it. They bring it.”

The big game kicks off at 4 p.m. Thousands of GSU and Prairie View fans are expected to stroll through the fairgrounds before the game before they enjoy the gridiron action.

When the game is over, the chapter is hosting a Saturday night “Victory Turn Up” at the “Gossip Bar” at the Hilton Anatole Hotel’d first floor, Tower Side, at 9 p.m. The event is free for people attending the game.

“Grambling State has been involved in the State Fair Classic since 1985. This is just what we do,” said Conwright. “We’ve been hosting these events for more than 20 years if you can believe it.”

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ESPN’s THEUNDEFEATED FEATURES MISS GRAMBLINGS

These women reflect on the good they did as Miss Gramblings

‘Once a Miss Grambling, always a Miss Grambling’ celebrated at Chicago Football Classic weekend

By MINIYA SHABAZZ

The Chicago Football Classic weekend is a homecoming of sorts. Graduates and friends of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) come to the city and Soldier Field to eat, greet and just have fun around this fall classic.

Alicia Reece, a state representative from the 33rd District in Ohio, came to Chicago from Cincinnati for the annual reunion of Miss Grambling queens.


Alicia Reece

GLENN LEWIS/GSU Media Bureau

Reece, Miss Grambling State 1992-93, was one of several former Miss Gramblings at Saturday’s alumni scholarship breakfast, believed to be the largest gathering of Miss Gramblings in a single place.

They gathered before the Tigers beat Clark Atlanta University 31-20 at Soldier Field.

Reece, who said she turned down a chance to attend Brown University, wanted to attend Grambling for the HBCU experience. She applied her mass communication and public relations skills as Miss Grambling, and later as a politician. “It taught me how to be a spokesperson and how to put my degree to work,” said Reece, who was elected to the Cincinnati City Council in 1999 and is in her third term in the legislature.

“I loved having all the students and queens being able to participate in a unified way,” said Reece.


Jimmitriv Roberson

GLENN LEWIS/GSU Media Bureau

Women have competed to be Miss Grambling since 1950. This year, Miss Grambling State University is Jimmitriv Roberson, who is serving as the 64th Miss Grambling, helping represent the university positively and with grace.

Leslie Randle served as Miss Grambling from 2004-05 yet feels as though she’s Miss Grambling even now. “You always feel that royalty,” she said. “I always feel like I have that title. It was a great life experience.”

Randle also was Miss Sophomore, Miss Cover Girl and Miss Black Louisiana 2006. She is a former human resources director for Dixmoor, Illinois, a small Chicago suburb. Now she is an entrepreneur and author, spending much of her time as a stay-at-home mom.


Leslie Randle

GLENN LEWIS/GSU Media Bureau

A Lake Charles, Louisiana, native, she moved to Chicago two years ago after marrying Chicago native Jason Williams, a former NFL player. She treasures the work she did as Miss Grambling with the student government president to get a cafeteria walkway built. “It was one moment,” said Randle, who encourages students to attend Grambling State or another HBCU. “It’s different. You get that experience that’s like no other. You feel wanted. You feel needed. You feel accepted. It’s just a great place to be.”

Ginia Smith, 25, was the youngest Miss Grambling alum attending the Chicago event. Living in Chicago as she interns to prepare for medical school, Smith described her 2014-15 campus queen experience as one of her most humbling. “When I found out that I won, it was Grambling saying, ‘I trust you,’ ” she recalled. “It is something that I will never forget. I just went out for it because I love helping people.”


Ginia Smith

GLENN LEWIS/GSU Media Bureau

In Chicago for only a few weeks, Smith was excited to be a part of the Miss Grambling reunion, meeting previous Miss Gramblings during what she described as a mini-homecoming. “I was kind of starstruck,” said Smith, saying she looks up to several of the other queens although she’s had some success of her own.

Smith is participating in the Bridge to MD program, which chooses 20 students to work as interns in hospitals in the Aurora-Chicago area. Once completing this step, she hopes to study abroad at the American University of Antigua. She wants to be an obstetrician-gynecologist.

Marva Nichols Griffin was Miss Grambling 1991-92. Griffin ran against other young women and won by only three votes. She was thoroughly committed to the role, which she described as a job with “serious commitments.” She sometimes traveled alone to appearances and events to sing or speak.


Marva Nichols Griffin

GLENN LEWIS/GSU Media Bureau

Griffin said it was a challenge and the best experience of her life, sometimes leaving her exhausted.

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, LaPrietta Andrews Young was raised in Chicago and now lives in Plainfield, Illinois. She served as Miss Grambling from 1994-95. She started a career as an industrial engineer for UPS and ended her career in logistics and engineering in 2007 to pursue full time her passion to be a foster parent.

Young became a foster parent in 1999, and in 2004 she was featured as an Unsung Hero on Chicago’s WGN News. She said during the report that she had a goal “to stop the cycle of abuse among homeless teenagers, so she opened her home to young girls who were pregnant or with child.”


LaPrietta Andrews Young

GLENN LEWIS/GSU Media Bureau

These days she promotes education for these young women. “I wanted results. Success can be measured. I wanted high school grads,” said Andrews Young, who returned to school to earn a master’s degree in social work in 2011. Under her guidance, seven teens graduated from high school and one graduated early from high school and started at an area junior college. She uses her campus queen experience to encourage the teens.

“My most memorable times during my reign would be traveling from state to state with the president of the university, Dr. [Raymond] Hicks, SGA president David Aubrey and a few times with the famous [football] coach, Eddie Robinson. … I was able to meet a lot of influential people during my traveling that often rendered great words of wisdom,” said Andrews Young.


Charisma Sweat Green

GLENN LEWIS/GSU Media Bureau

Charisma Sweat Green was Miss Grambling from 2006-07. A Chicago native, she had a different experience as Miss Grambling because of her size.

“It was kind of groundbreaking for a woman who was plus-sized to become Miss Grambling,” she recalled of her “bigger and better” campaign. “It was not a celebration just for myself. It was for all of these women who had sacrificed their time, their energy, their finances, giving of their spirits to see that happen at that time.”

She said she is most proud of being a part of an effort to get state funding for new housing construction.

“One of the most exciting things I did was speaking in front of the Louisiana board and vying for funds to build dorms,” said Sweat Green, a Chicago-area singer and high school choir teacher. “We were able to break ground on a lot of the new dorms that were built.”

She loved going to Grambling and tells others to explore HBCU options. “People are sending their kids to HBCUs because it’s safer. They feel comforted. They feel welcomed, and we can celebrate our blackness and be free and just love ourselves and everything about ourselves,” she said.

Nichols Griffin was the event coordinator of several weekend activities in Chicago, including the weekend breakfast. She was happy to have her sister queens join her because they share a special bond.

“Once a Miss Grambling, always a Miss Grambling,” she said.

Miniya Shabazz is a junior mass communication major from Laurel, MD. She attends Grambling State University and is a staff writer for The Gramblinite.

https://theundefeated.com/features/miss-gramblings-chicago-football-classic/

GSU HONORS COLLEGE WELCOMES NEW CLASS

 

By GSU Media Bureau

The Earl Lester Cole Honors College at Grambling State University inducted 50 students in ceremonies Monday at the Black and Gold Room of the Favrot Student Union. DSC_7440 copy

Former President Prentiss C. Smiley, a senior, computer information systems and history major, spoke to inductees about their responsibilities as students, saying “Every student at Grambling State University is an inspiring masterpiece that has been placed here for purpose. Your grades are a reflection of your university. And as you attend games and other events, enjoy these activities to the fullest; however, it is important to realize that we are students first and our focus must be on our future that is rooted in our academic foundation.”

SGA President Adarian Williams, also an inductee, encouraged students along similar lines.  “Academics is the top key. Do your work in the classroom and everything else will follow.”

The Honors College was named after Earl Lester Cole, who began his tenure at Grambling in 1936 as a science teacher and was appointed vice president in 1969. He was affectionately called “Dean Cole,” even after he assumed the vice presidency.

He is remembered for his active involvement in implementing curriculum, which is considered to be the cornerstone to courses still being offered at Grambling. Even after his retirement in 1977, Cole remained active at GSU and continued to advise members of  the faculty and administrators. He passed away at the age of 89.

Academic requirements for the Honors College are a 3.5 cumulative grade point average.

This year marked the 28th induction ceremony for the Honors College.

 

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ELITE GROUP OF GSU STUDENTS INDUCTED INTO SLI

Select group of freshmen chosen for President’s Student Leadership Initiative,

program with special benefits

 By JASMINE HARRIS/GSU Media Bureau

On Thursday night, Green welcomed a third cohort of President’s Student Leadership Initiative members, including 24 young men and 29 young women with majors ranging from kinesiology to mass communication.DSC_3826 copy

 During an evening program in the Betty E. Smith Nursing Building auditorium, the new SLI members were greeted by SLI members from the first and second cohorts and challenged by State Rep. Patrick O. Jefferson. ““Life is about choices… Be unique,” he told the group.  Jefferson urged the class to “embrace and appreciate the reality of this minute” and he challenged them to do the most with what they have been given.

The new SLI members were excited about becoming a part of something special. Members have the opportunity to travel to conferences and meetings, and all SLI members wear spiffy gold jackets.

“I wanted to be a part of SLI for the networking and to strengthen my leadership skills for the future,” said inductee Ashley Dabney, a business management major from Gainesville, Georgia. “I’m looking forward to empowerment sessions and team building with other SLI members, past and current inductees.”

SLI members acquire a multitude of skills including enhanced decision making, improving study skills, improving critical thinking, exploring diversity, managing conflict, managing wealth and achieving set goals.

As the inductees entered the auditorium to take their seats, they were met by some quiet, polite cheering from the crowd. Current SLI members filtered in behind them. “The other students and faculty meeting that are a part of SLI made me feel a part of something special!” said Deshantey Coleman, 24, a visual and performing arts major with a minor in mass communication from Tallulah, Louisiana.

The new SLI group members enjoyed the event, and they’re looking forward to actively participating in the program.

“The guest speaker we had was incredibly amazing!” said Coleman, “Definitely one of the proudest moments of my life!”

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GSU FACULTY ‘BRINGS IT HOME’ OVER BREAKFAST

Grambling State faculty and staff come together to support school financially,

aiming for 100 percent participation

By REAGAN HIGGINS/GSU Media Bureau

Grambling State University President Rick Gallot challenged faculty to go all in and give 100 percent at the third annual president breakfast. DSC_2632 copy

The breakfast, held in the Black and Gold Room, was an opportunity for faculty and staff to show their financial commitment to the university. The campaign is a crucial component for the Bring It Home campaign to reach a $1 million fundraising goal by GSU’s homecoming in late October.

“The Bring It Home ALL IN campaign allows all faculty and staff to annually coordinate efforts in giving back to GSU,” said Susan Billups Wiley, 51, the interim director of student success and retention at GSU. “I am excited each year to participate and encourage everyone to give.”

During the event, Gallot stressed the importance of faculty and staff participation for the ALL IN campaign, saying it is important that those who work at GSU show that they are committed to making the university better. Gallot said his department has 100 percent commitment, and he challenged the faculty and staff in each department to have the same commitment.

“We understand that finances are one of the things to keep the institution going and the Bring It Home campaign is a total initiative to meet several goals of the university, and the employee component will help us to get to that goal,” said Marc Newman, vice president for institutional advancement at the university.

Like other Bring It Home donations, Grambling State University faculty and staff donations can be given through five areas, including scholarship support, endowment growth, faculty support, athletic facilities improvements and a greatest needs/unrestricted category. GSU employees can donate at http://www.gram.edu/giving/events/all-in.php

Some in the campus community enjoyed the opportunity to get a free breakfast first thing in the morning on Sept. 7, including Karla Atwater, a security administrator in the university’s information technology center.

“I think the breakfast was a great way to kick off the campaign and get everyone on the same page,” said Atwater, a 1987 GSU graduate. “We should continue to invest in our university. It just makes it easier to ask for other sources of funding when we can show that we are investing and care about the future of our students and university. It’s our responsibility to take care of home first and give back to a great university that prepared us for the future.”

“Every person that works here, we are a part of the legacy of Grambling, and I think that alone should make or encourage every faculty or staff to give,” added Rita Hood, the school’s nursing program admissions coordinator. “We can’t expect other people to give if the family’s not giving, so I now feel the family needs to support his efforts and making sure we give 100 percent. I believe we can do it.”

Gallot is confident the faculty and staff will come through. “Each year we have seen increases in our faculty and staff giving,” he said. “So, this year, we are really stressing 100 percent involvement in all our faculty and staff, and we feel really good that we will be able to reach that goal.”

Wiley encouraged colleagues and friends to participate. “No gift is too small.  We would love to have 100% participation from each department,” said Wiley, a Grambling, Louisiana, native who graduated from GSU in 1988 with a marketing degree. “As an alumna of GSU, I am very honored to give back to my alma mater.”

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GSU SEES SIGNIFICANT ENROLLMENT INCREASES

University has increases in freshmen, continuing student enrollments,

hitting highest enrollment since 2013

 By WILL SUTTON/GSU Media Bureau

Grambling State University has recorded an important enrollment increase for fall 2017. DSC_6634 copy

The fall undergraduate and graduate enrollment is 5,188, a seven percent increase from fall 2016 when there was a seven percent enrollment increase. There are 926 new freshmen, a 6.68 percent year-over-year increase. A key enrollment figure is the number of continuing students, the lifeblood of a university beyond first year student arrivals. That number increased by 9.5 percent, a positive sign for continuing enrollment growth for the institution.

“I am ecstatic and thrilled with these numbers,” said GSU President Rick Gallot. “Our admissions, recruitment and enrollment teams worked really hard this past year, and the past few weeks, to help interested students clear hurdles to get them enrolled so they can start their matriculation for a successful college career at Grambling State University.

“These numbers prove that GSU is a viable college option, and we have to continue to build on the successes we’ve had for decades.”

The last time the university had an enrollment of more than 5,000 was 2013 when the total student population was 5,071. The last time GSU had an enrollment higher than 6,000 was 1996 when there were 6,701 students enrolled. The highest enrollment in institution history was 7,883 in 1993.

Patricia Hutcherson, executive director of enrollment management, said the news is good and the future is bright for Grambling State University. “We aim to get every interested student and their parent or guardian the information they need to consider our school and we work to give them good reasons to choose to become a tiger,” she said. “I’m happy to say that the hard work and long hours have paid off. Now we turn our attention to retention and recruiting for the spring and fall 2018 semesters.”

Gallot attributed the enrollment progress to the admissions and recruitment office; the strengthening of the academic programming; a strong athletics program, including the 2016 HBCU national championship football team and a steady effort to build good will among GSU stakeholders.

Gallot, who said early in his tenure that he would like to see an enrollment of 6,000, that big increases are good but incremental increases like this fall’s increase are much better. “We can get where we want to be as we continue to work as a team,” he said. “We have a dynamic group of recruiters determined to fulfill this goal, and we have to support them with each faculty and staff member also recruiting.”

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STUDENT FINDS HOME AWAY FROM HOME AT GSU 

Washington, D.C., transfer student finds comfort, peace at rural university 

 in a place she didn’t know 

By JASMINE HARRIS /GSU Media Bureau

I’ve been a college student, in another city and another state. I went about my days living an average student life.  I went to class. I studied. I ate in the cafe. I did well, but something was missing.  jasmine-prez

On a Friday night, my mother called as she normally did. She asked about classes, how my week had gone. It was clear to her that I was in a bit of a rote cycle, with nothing much changing and not much exciting happening. At a minimum, my life was monotonous, if not boring.

My mother asked, “Well, baby, you know you can still transfer?”

I had to admit that I wasn’t sure I wanted to stay, and I didn’t know where I would go if I left.

She told me that Dr. Bobby Burkes, a colleague and longtime friend, had suggested Grambling State University, the school where he teaches and a school that was not on my radar. I lived 16 hours away and I had never been to Grambling or Louisiana.

I grew up in Washington, D.C. and its nearby suburbs, so I was yearning for something different from my city lifestyle. Maybe I could do without city lights, the bustling streets and metro buses. Maybe I could handle a slower pace and the sounds of crickets and frogs as dusk fell. And what was this place that they claim, “where everybody is somebody”?

I decided it was worth considering, and I applied. I checked often to see whether I had been accepted, and I was excited one day when I read an email saying “Congratulations. This is your official notification of admission to Grambling State University.”

I called my mother right away to share the good news. I was on my way to Grambling, Louisiana, for a June visit. I liked it. I had found my school.

After an eventful first several days on campus in August, I know why GSU is the place “where everybody is somebody.” Our students and alums bleed black and gold pride.

I am an introvert by nature. I shy away from any kind of scene, often wondering how people might look at me and fearing that some may perceive me negatively. Day by day, though, at Grambling I feel that less and less.

I don’t know how this has happened, but I’m coming out of my cocoon. I’m comfortable talking with strangers, striking up conversations in situations that would have made me uncomfortable previously.

By my city girl standards, the campus sits in the middle of nowhere. But it doesn’t matter. The campus is so friendly and warm. There are plenty of activities and events and my life is far from monotonous and boring.

I was the lucky student chosen to receive a ride on the presidential golf cart on the first day of school with President Rick Gallot. I was the one on the cart, but that let me know that he truly cares about every student. They want to see us succeed. They want us to work hard, so they work hard. They want more for us than some of us may want at this stage. I haven’t stumbled yet, but I know when I do that I’ll be given a Band-Aid and get the encouragement I need to get up and get back in the game. If my first few days are any indication of what is to come, I know I have a great team rooting for me.

I transferred to Grambling State University, and I know I made the right choice. This is where I belong.  I’m somebody, and I know everybody is somebody, too.

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Jasmine Harris, 18, is a transfer student from Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland. She graduated from McKinley Technology High School in Washington, D.C. in 2016. She’s chosen mass communication as her major at Grambling State University.

EXCITEMENT BUILDS AS GSU GAME DAY ARRIVES

 

University hosts first home football game in Robinson Memorial Stadium with field,

 sound, digital board upgrades

By MINIYA SHABAZZ/GSU Media Bureau

Grambling State University faces Northwestern State University in GSU’s first home football game of the season, and alumni, students and fans are excited. There will be an official ribbon cutting at the Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium, taking note of more than $2 million in stadium upgrades. DSC_5682 copy

There are big plans for the pre-game and half-time shows.

“We’re expecting an especially good crowd because we’re playing Northwestern, a sister school in the University of Louisiana System,” said GSU President Rick Gallot. “We’re honoring all branches of our military with a military appreciation, and we have a tremendous football team anxious to show their stuff on our new turf.”

When fans go to the 6 p.m. game, they should go early, according to Gallot, noting that Louisiana Tech University also has a Saturday (Sept. 9) football game starting 30 minutes later than the GSU 6 p.m. kickoff and a big crowd is expected from Northwestern’s home turf in Natchitoches, Louisiana, just 90 minutes away. “There will be heavier than normal traffic on I-20 and nearby streets and roads,” he said. “We want our fans to get in without delays so they can enjoy what we have to offer.”

GSU fans will see a lot of changes, including a top-quality football field turf, installed by Hellas Construction of Austin, Texas, the same company that installed turf in the Dallas Cowboys home stadium. There’s a new, 47.18’ x 22.5’ digital scoreboard that will show some live game action, key replays, in-game promotions and sponsorship spots. Installed by NEVCO of Greenville, Illinois, the board will be an important part of enhancing the fan game day experience. In addition, fans will see four-foot-high brick retaining walls covered with padding to make the end zones safe for players, expanded game day parking an increased security presence. The new field was completed in August and this will be the first time the G-Men will play on it.

“The tailgating area will be an enhancement that the fans will experience that will be something they haven’t experienced in a while,” said GSU Athletics Director Paul Bryant. “We’re going to be doing more interactive activities with our fans with the (digital scoreboard).We’re going to have a dance cam, a smile cam, and a kiss cam, and that’s going to enhance the game day experience.”

Bryant said there will be a kids zone available for two hours before the game.

Pre-game activities will start about 5:40 p.m. with a ribbon cutting and a performance by the World Famed Tiger Marching Band, including the playing of the national anthem. Fans will be in for a special treat as a U.S. Air Force flyover takes place before three World War II veterans give the game ball to the game officials and a Wounded Warrior Project representative serves as an honorary captain for the coin flip. The game against the NCAA Division I Northwestern Demons will start at 6 p.m.

Korean War veterans will be recognized, and each of the five branches of the armed forces – Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Air Force and Navy — will be recognized during game time outs. These include Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Air Force, and Navy. At halftime, the Spirit of Northwestern marching band will perform and then the World Famed will play.

There will be a special tribute to the recently deceased Lamore J. Carter, a former Grambling State provost and vice president responsible for many of modern-day GSU academic strengths, during half time.

Gallot said he’s excited about the first home game with so many big improvements, and he’s looking forward to giving his wife, First Lady Christy Gallot, a big kiss on the kiss cam.

“Plus, we want people to see what it means to invest in Grambling State University,” he said. “We have beautiful stadium upgrades, fans will enjoy what they see and we want help paying the cost as we continue to compete as a first class higher education institution.”

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Fans can follow game updates at @GSU_Tigers (Twitter) or visit the official home of Grambling State Athletics at gsutigers.com, and check the @GramblingStateUniversity Facebook page for game-related updates.