Category Archives: staff

Dr. Ellen Smiley to Continue Focus as Dean of the Earl Lester Cole Honors College

President names Dr. Connie Walton Interim Provost Effective May 11, 2019

GRAMBLING, LA – March 26, 2019 – Today, Dr. Ellen Smiley announced that she will resign her post as provost of Grambling State University and focus on her work as Dean of the Earl Lester Cole Honors College at the close of the current semester.

“We are fortunate to have dedicated leaders like Dr. Smiley who will continue to support our success in the Honors College and the College of Education,” said President Gallot.

President Rick Gallot announced that Dr. Connie Walton, the University’s Director of Sponsored Programs, will lead the Division of Academic Affairs and the University’s preparation for accreditation reaffirmation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Dr. Walton previously served as Provost as well as SACSCOC liaison.

“Dr. Walton’s successes in the classroom, in sponsored programs, and in her accreditation work are great assets to our university,” said President Gallot . “We are grateful for her experience and commitment to our students.”

For more information, please contact or call (318) 274-2866.

New Library Leadership at Grambling State: Adrienne C. Webber, Dean of the Digital Library and Learning Commons

_DSC2082In January 2019, Grambling State University brought on its first Dean of the Digital Library and Learning Commons, Adrienne C. Webber. Webber brings to the University 29 years of professional experience with more than 21 years of expertise managing library and information innovation. Continue reading

Dr. David Ponton to Lead Athletics at Grambling State University

PontonD 2017Long-Time University Leader and Former Coach to Lead Athletics and Student Affairs

GRAMBLING, LA – December 5, 2018 – Today, Grambling State University President Rick Gallot announced that Dr. David “Rusty” Ponton, the University’s Vice President for Student Affairs, will now lead its athletics division in addition to student affairs. 

“Dr. Ponton has demonstrated a proven dedication to all parts of our student experience for more than 25 years,” said President Gallot. “We are grateful for his service and willingness to continue innovating for our students.” Continue reading

Doug Williams, Eddie G. Robinson, and More Recognized at the 45th Bayou Classic Coaches Luncheon

DSC_6221 copyBy Brian Howard, Sports Information Director
Repost from

Grambling State University student-athletes and notable alumni were recognized for accomplishments in scholarship, service, and lifetime achievement the 45th Bayou Classic Coaches Luncheon. Continue reading

10 Ways Grambling State Interns are Changing the World this Summer

Intern-DayFrom IBM to international trade and politics, for almost 120 years Grambling State University’s produced impact makers that helped drive some of the world’s most important change. And, this summer is no different.

Here are 10 Ways Grambling State Interns are helping create positive impact on a local and national level: Continue reading

Grambling State Hires New Chief of Police, Carlos Kelly

Veteran Officer and Safety Researcher to Lead University Police Department

Grambling State University's New Chief of Police, Carlos KellyGRAMBLING, LA — June 12, 2018 – Today, Grambling State University officials announced that Carlos Kelly has been appointed the institution’s new Chief of the University Police Department, taking over for Interim Chief Lieutenant Ruby Jones who will continue with the department.

“It’s an honor to serve a community with such a rich legacy,” said Chief Kelly. “I know first-hand the positive impact effective policing can have on a community and am excited to be a part of the growth at Grambling State.”

A veteran law enforcement professional, Kelly leverage his 21 years of law enforcement experience to help lead and grow ongoing campus safety and community efforts for Grambling State’s more than 5,100 students and community.

Chief Kelly joins the campus of Grambling State after most recently serving as Lieutenant Commander for the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt). In addition to his work with MassArt, Kelly has helped lead policing efforts at Philadelphia Housing Authority Police Department, America’s third-largest housing authority and fifth largest city, and Bucks County Community College.

Kelly’s experience includes serving as an investigator, district commander, emergency manager, and a community relations specialist for localities and campuses in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and now Louisiana.

“We are grateful for the leadership and service of Lieutenant Jones and looking forward to the contributions of Chief Kelly to our growing campus and community,” said GSU President Rick Gallot.

For more information about Grambling State University Police Department and more information about Chief Kelly, please contact or call 318-274-2866.


About Grambling State University

Grambling State University, located in Grambling Louisiana, is a historically black university founded in 1901. The University has been accredited by 13 accrediting associations and holds accreditations in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. The 590-acre campus offers 43 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Grambling State University is a member of the University of Louisiana System. For more information visit


Celebrating 26 Years of Service: Dr. Larry J. Pannell, Director of Bands and Head of GSU’s Music Department

By GSU Media Bureau

Headshot-Pannell-RetirementGrambling State University is proud to celebrate the contributions of Dr. Larry J. Pannell, Director of Bands and Head of the University’s Music Department. For 26 years Dr. Pannell, most known for his leadership of the Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band, has contributed to a long list of accomplishments in Louisiana and across the nation.

“Our band is one of the many iconic student groups that make our school and brand great,” said President Rick Gallot. “That greatness is only possible with committed leadership. Dr. Pannell’s legacy is evidence of his enormous commitment.”

Affectionately known as “Doc,” Dr. Pannell has directly trained more than 5,000 student members of the World Famed Marching Tiger Band. His contributions have helped connect the students and University with some of America’s largest brands including Apple, EA Sports, the National Basketball League (NBA), and the National Football League (NFL). In addition, under the guidance of Dr. Pannell, the Tiger Marching Band has participated in more than 300 national performances with:

  • Apple, Inc.
  • Bayou Classic
  • BET’s Season of the Tiger
  • The Cartoon Network
  • Denver Nuggets NBA
  • Denzel Washington’s “The Great Debaters”
  • “Drumline” – Movie with Twentieth Century Fox
  • “Drum Line” Performed for BET
  • EA Sports Battle of Bands
  • ESPN
  • ESPN’s Docu-Series, “The Battle”
  • Fox Sports Network
  • Good Morning America
  • Kansas City Chiefs NFL
  • MTV
  • Inclusion in the National Museum of African-American History and Culture
  • NBA All Star Games (1994, 2010)
  • NBA Dallas Mavericks
  • Inclusion in NCAA Hall of Champions
  • NFL Dallas Cowboys
  • NFL Houston Texans
  • NFL Jacksonville Jaguars
  • NFL New Orleans Saints
  • NFL Seattle Seahawks
  • President Bill Clinton
  • Presidential Inaugurations – 44th Barack Obama (2009, 2013), 43rd Pres. George Bush (2005)
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • Seattle Seahawks NFL
  • Sports Illustrated
  • “Star Wars” (Film)
  • Super Bowl XXXII
  • Tournament of Roses Parade
  • Wheel of Fortune

Dr. Pannell, known for his energy, wit, and passion for musical excellence, summed up his legacy by saying, “May the work I’ve done speak for me.”

“When it comes to band directors, we were blessed to work with Doc,” said Ja’Qualan Keal, former drum major for the Tiger Marching Band from 2016 to 2017.  “He taught us all the value of hard work and to do everything with excellence.”

Thank you, Dr. Larry J. Pannell, for your many contributions and years of hard work.

Grambling State Appoints Interim Band & Music Department Leadership

new-gsu-music-leadership-smallGSU Professor & Asst. Director to Lead During Transition & Search

GRAMBLING, LA — May 09, 2018 –  Today Grambling State University, home of the World Famed Tiger Marching Band, announced that Dr. Edwin Thomas and Dr. Nikole Roebuck will now lead the Tiger Marching Band and Department of Music, respectively.

Dr. Thomas and Dr. Roebuck will follow Dr. Larry J. Pannell as interim leadership. Dr. Pannell will retire on June 30, 2018, after 26 years of service to the University and band.

“Our band is one of the many iconic student groups that helps make our school and brand great,” said President Rick Gallot. “That greatness is only possible with committed leadership.”

Dr. Thomas is an alumnus of Grambling State University, who also received his Doctorate of Musical Arts from the American Conservatory of Music, has taught for more than 30 years in addition to his work with the band. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Grambling State in 1978 and was an active member of the band as an undergraduate student. He will continue as an Associate Professor of Engineering Technology in addition to his responsibilities as Interim Head Band Director. Outside of his work with Grambling State, Thomas has served as an expert consultant on home and plant design throughout Louisiana. He is also volunteer advisor for the Louisiana State Department of Economic Development.

Dr. Roebuck is an alumna of Grambling State who received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education in 2001 and she is also a former student member of the Tiger Marching Band. Roebuck has taught at the University for more than 11 years and currently serves as Assistant Professor of Music and Assistant Band Director. She will continue in both roles while serving as Interim Head of the Department of Music.

Dr. Roebuck is the first female director of the Grambling State Marching Tiger Band. Her experience outside of GSU includes serving as clinician for regional all city honor bands and national acknowledgement for her research of collegiate band directors and the effects of sound pressure exposure.

“We are fortunate to have a team of great leaders across our university,” said President Gallot. “We are grateful to Dr. Thomas and Dr. Roebuck for their continuing contributions to Grambling State.”

The University will launch a national search for both Head Band Director and Head of the Department of Music later this year.