Three 2015 Grambling Grads Serve in Teach for America

Teach for America Logo

GRAMBLING, LA – Three 2015 graduates of Grambling State University are making the world a better place by joining the Teach for America program. Christina Ubaka, who is teaching in southern Louisiana, Selvan Ambrose, who is teaching in Arkansas, and Kevin Rhodes, who is teaching in Cincinnati, Ohio, are among 4,100 teachers who were selected from more than 44,000 applicants to join the ranks of Teach for America in 2015.

The program works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunities for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity.

This year’s corps is among the most diverse in the organization’s history. Its members hail from nearly 830 colleges and universities, have an average GPA of 3.4, and bring a wealth of undergraduate, graduate and professional experience to high-need classrooms across the country. Nearly half of incoming corps members identify as people of color (compared with less than 20 percent of teachers nationwide); 47 percent come from low-income backgrounds; and 34 percent are the first in their family to graduate from college.

“Throughout our 25-year history, our corps members and alumni have done tremendous work moving the needle for kids who aren’t getting the educational opportunities they deserve. While we’ve made a lot of progress in partnership with communities, there is still lots to be done. We are inspired and energized by our incoming corps’ commitment to social justice work,” said Elora Tocci, manager of prospect communications at Teach for America.


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Grambling Students’ Artwork Accepted into Juried Parish Press Exhibition


GRAMBLING, LA – Three pieces of artwork by Grambling State University students have been accepted into the Juried Parish Press Exhibition. Aja Taylor, a junior art major, had two acrylic paintings accepted into the exhibition, while senior Destiny Tuesno’s graphite drawing, “Daddy,” was also accepted. Tuesno’s drawing is a tribute to her late father who passed earlier this year.

“My piece ‘Daddy’ is a portrait of my father who passed away this February. This also was my inspiration for creating it as well. Although I was sad, I didn’t cry much. It was my way of crying through what I drew,” she said. “I was thrilled when I was accepted into the show because it was the very first non-school art show I’ve ever attempted to be a part of.”

Taylor’s pieces, “Rose From Darkness” and “State of Meditation,” were inspired by two African American women struggling to find peace.

“My two pieces were inspired by African American women dealing with struggles,” Taylor said. “Meditation and peace play a huge role in my life, so it would be unnatural for those elements to not play a role in my work. I try to create things that would make the viewer feel proud about themselves.”

Only 15 works out of 40 entries were accepted into the Juried Parish Press Exhibition, which was juried by Andrew Wasserman, a professor of art and architecture history at Louisiana Tech University, and sponsored by the North Central Louisiana Arts Council. The work of this show represents a wide spectrum of the arts, including painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and assemblage.

“We were so pleased with the quality of the art and how enthusiastic all the students were to submit their work. I know the customers at Parish Press have really enjoyed the art in this show as well,” said Jessica Slaughter, executive director of NCLAC.

The artwork will be on display at Parish Press, located at 1007 N. Trenton St. in Ruston, until Dec. 8. For more information, visit or call 318-255-1450.


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GSU Cross Country Team Named 2015 SWAC Champions

GSU Men’s Cross Country Team Named 2015 SWAC Champions

GRAMBLING, LA – Grambling State University Men’s Cross Country Team won the 2015 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Championship on Oct. 24. With 61 points, it is the team’s first SWAC title since 2011.

“It was a really tough competition,” said Head Cross Country Coach Bertram Lovell. “It was much closer than I thought, but the guys kept saying all semester that we were going to win this. They worked very hard all semester. I am really proud of those guys.”

Grambling was led by freshman Hassan Chepkwony, who finished first with a time of 25:56.81. Chepkwony was also honored as the 2015 Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year and was named to the 2015 All-SWAC Men’s Cross Country First Team. Chepkwony was also named the SWAC Cross Country Runner of the Week six times this season.

“My freshman student from Kenya, Hassan Chepkwony, was the most valuable player. He has been athlete of the week in the conference for the past five weeks straight. We are looking forward to having more good things out of him,” Lovell said.

Along with Chepkwony, sophomore Montieco Harris finished fourth to also earn first-team All-SWAC honors. Student athletes were not the only ones to take home honors as Coach Lovell was named SWAC Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year, who stated that all the honor should go to the student athletes for their hard work this season.

The Cross Country Team members were often out at 5 a.m. running 10 and 12-mile stretches and practicing so late into the evenings that they would miss closing time for McCall Dining Hall.

“I just want to thank everyone who stood behind us and made sure we had a successful season. I thank everyone in Athletics who believed in us and helped make us successful, and I am especially grateful to McCall staff for making sure the student athletes got something to eat even when they were late after practice,” Lovell said.

Lovell also thanked his “right-hand,” Assistant Track Coach Ashley Curry, and volunteer Track Coach Lester Herbert.


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Two Students Win Employment Opportunities in First Cisco Invitational Sales Competition

Two Students Win Employment Opportunities in First Cisco Invitational Sales Competition - Posed with GSU Faculty/Cisco Representatives

Grambling, LA – Two Grambling State University students have won exclusive employment opportunities by coming out on top of the first Cisco Invitational Sales Competition at Grambling State University.

Zana Hall, a junior engineering technology major, won a summer internship with Cisco Systems.

Sponsored by the Fortune 500 Corporation, Cisco Systems, Inc., The Cisco Sales Competition was an invaluable experience for showing what to expect when dealing with real-life situations as a sales representative for a company,” Hall said. “The competition was very intense as you had to sell the customer into going to the next step in purchasing a solution to meet their needs. Participating in the role-play scenario and receiving positive feedback from the Cisco representative and GSU faculty members on how to improve your selling skills was immeasurable. I’m thankful to Dr. Olusegun Adeyemi for nominating me!”

Meanwhile, Kenneth Tanner, a senior marketing and computer information systems major, has earned advanced placement in the hiring process for full-time employment at CISCO Systems and consideration for the CISCO Sales Associate Program.

“I am very excited, and I am ready to see what is next. By me winning, I get to skip three rounds of interviews, and I get to go to the last round of interviews to compete for a full-time position,” he said.

The Cisco Invitational Sales Competition is a dynamic, one-day sales competition that challenges top university students to engage in a sales conversation with a potential customer. The discovery round tested each student’s ability to ask effective questions, build rapport and identify the customers’ business issues and initiatives.

The students with the highest scores moved on to the second round to further engage the customer. During this round, students took on the role of a Cisco Systems account manager and led conversations with a new, potential customer. Tanner’s job was to pitch Cisco products to a cash-strapped school district looking to save money on energy costs.

“My mom is a teacher, so I was definitely able to relate to our customer. I think the biggest thing was me relating to the client and building a rapport, letting them know that I wasn’t just there for myself, but to build a relationship with them as well,” he said.

Vel Malone, project manager for the Cisco Sales Competition, said this competition gave students an invaluable opportunity to gain sales experience and compete for employment opportunities.

“Hosting the Cisco Sales Competition was a first for our university, and the competition itself was an awesome opportunity for our students,” she said. “I got to witness our students work hard to prepare for the challenge of assuming the role of salesperson/account manager, engage in sales conversations with potential customers and come out victorious. Our students proved that they can think critically.”

Grambling State University would like to thank Scott McGregor of Cisco for sponsoring the competition; Erick Valentine, dean of the College of Business; Curtis Hansen, Greg Bolden and Oscar Gomez of Cisco for serving as judges for the competition; and Greta Carter, Donald White and Rickey Warner of Grambling State University for serving as coaches.

Cisco Systems, Inc. is an American, multinational technology company, headquartered in San Jose, California, that designs, manufactures and sells networking equipment. The University will continue partnering with Cisco for internships and full-time employment.


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Grambling Alum Named Project Leader for North Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge


Bedford Named Project Leader for North Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges

Maury Bedford

Grambling, LA – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has appointed Maury Bedford, a graduate of Grambling State University, as the new leader for the five National Wildlife Refuges in North Louisiana. He will be in charge of D’Arbonne, Upper Ouachita, Handy Brake, Black Bayou Lake, and Red River National Wildlife Refuges.

Bedford started in September and says he wants to follow in the footsteps of managers before him to promote the National Wildlife Refuge System, and keep the community and residents of North Louisiana well informed of the benefits of wildlife conservation.  He wants to expand and develop new ideas to work alongside other partners for conservation and wildlife-related recreational opportunities like hunting, fishing, and birdwatching.

“In my youth, I worked on the family farm, hunted and fished the hills of Lincoln Parish, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to get a job doing something I loved to do,” said Bedford.  “Working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on National Wildlife Refuges has proven to be the best thing I can do to combine my passion for wildlife and conservation with my education and training.”

For the last three years, Bedford has served in the Regional Office in Atlanta, first as assistant deputy chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System, then as the deputy refuge supervisor and acting refuge supervisor for Florida and the Caribbean.

“Maury Bedford’s wide array of experiences across Southeast field stations and then leadership roles at a regional level in Atlanta make him very well qualified for the job,” said David Viker, regional chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System.  “What I know will ensure his success though is his calm demeanor, common sense, and collaborative spirit.”

Bedford, a 26-year veteran of federal natural resource agencies, also served in the field as the project leader for the Gulf Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Mississippi and Alabama, guiding those refuges through the Gulf oil spill, land protection efforts and field operations, including prescribed fire, invasive exotics removal, endangered species management and visitor services and outreach.

Prior to that assignment, Maury served as the deputy project leader for Okefenokee and Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuges in Georgia, and also as Deputy Project Leader at Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana.  He started with the Service as the Assistant Refuge Manager at St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge in Mississippi.

Before he began his 17-year career with the Fish and Wildlife Service, Bedford worked with U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services for nine years as a lead biologist for state programs in New York, Missouri, Iowa and Illinois, where he was responsible for field operations, programmatic environmental assessments, and management plans.

He was born in Lincoln Parish and grew up in Grambling, Louisiana. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Grambling State University, and attended Louisiana Tech University and Tennessee Tech University.

Maury and his wife Melissa, who relocated to North Louisiana in September, enjoy bike riding, hiking, canoeing, hunting and fishing. They have two grown sons, Shawn, 26, and Maurtin, 21, and two grandsons.

A hundred years in the making, the National Wildlife Refuge system is a network of habitats that benefits wildlife, provides unparalleled outdoor experiences for all Americans, and protects a healthy environment. Today, there are more than 560 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetland management districts. ​


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Grambling State University Opens 2015 United Way Campaign

United Way Campaign Kickoff 2015

GRAMBLING LA – Grambling State University kicked off its annual United Way Campaign to raise money for the many non-profit organizations that help improve lives and communities in Northeast Louisiana. Since 2007, Grambling State University has participated in the giving campaign for United Way. With your help, we can assist the youth and elderly in our community! Donations are being accepted until Nov. 6, so make your pledge today!

“Grambling State University is a giving community, which makes our involvement in the annual United Way Giving Campaign even more important. Each dollar goes a long way, and I encourage every member of the GramFam to stand tall and make this year’s campaign the most successful ever!” President Willie Larkin said.

United Way of Northeast Louisiana works with volunteers, donors and other local organizers to create lasting change in education, income, health, and basic and emergency needs. Grambling State University has a long history of being a community leader in giving. GSU and United Way are partnering to increase local graduation rates, providing education towards financial literacy and preventive health behaviors that will align with Grambling’s community service interests.

The campaign began on Oct. 19 when Grambling administrators and faculty members toured and heard presentations from United Way’s partner agencies to learn more about their work in the community. The agencies included NELA Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation, MedCamps of Louisiana, Inc., the Family Counseling Center at the Louisiana Methodist Children’s HomeBoys and Girls Clubs NCLA, Domestic Abuse Resistance Team and the  Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana. Donations can be made through payroll deduction or a one-time donation. Payroll deductions for United Way Campaign contributions will begin in January 2016 and will be taken out monthly up through December 2016, or as specified. Pledge cards may be turned in to your Team Leader or taken to the GSU Human Resources Office in Long-Jones Hall on or before Nov. 6.

If you would like to make a one-time donation, please write a personal check made out to United Way of Northeast Louisiana and submit it with your pledge card. Cash should be taken to the Cashier’s window in Long-Jones Hall, along with your pledge card. “While growing up as a kid, I always heard my mom and dad say, ‘to whom much is given much is required,’” Larkin said.“Over the years, I have embraced this same basic concept. If everyone gives a little, it adds up to be a lot and is ultimately used to assist many of our neighbors. After all, we are our brother’s keeper. Please give to United Way today!”

You can also help by volunteering with one of the many community partners who have a need for volunteers throughout the year. For more information on how you can volunteer, contact Rory Bedford, director of Service Learning, at extension 2547. For more information on the Grambling State University United Way Campaign, visit

Click here for Kickoff Event PhotoGallery:


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Homecoming Reminders


Grambling, LA – Eddie Robinson Stadium will open at 12 p.m. on Saturday, October 24. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. facing the Delta Devils of Mississippi Valley State University. Thunderstorms have been forecast by the National Weather Service for Saturday and fans are to be mindful of this forecast. Umbrellas, umbrella caps, or related items that will obstruct the view of the game are not permitted in Robinson Stadium.

Spectators are encouraged to wear rain ponchos or other appropriate rain protective garments. Umbrellas obstruct the view of others around you in the stands and are not allowed during events at Robinson Stadium on rainy days. Rain ponchos and other rain protective garments are encouraged; again, umbrellas are not permitted in Robinson Stadium.

Grambling students should enter through Gate 4 with valid student IDs. BPCC students should also enter at Gate 4 with a photo ID. General Admission and Child tickets can be purchased at Gate 2 on the Grambling side and Gate 5 on the Visitor side. Reserved Seating tickets can be purchased at the Ticket Office. Tickets sales at Gates 2-6 will open at 9 a.m. as well as in the Ticket Office.

As a reminder to all Tailgaters and RV patrons, the use of personal golf carts and/or all terrain vehicles (ATVs) are prohibited on the grounds of Grambling State University (GSU) on Game Day. Due to liability issues, golf carts or ATVs will NOT be allowed because GSU does not have the insurance to cover the university or individuals should an ATV accident occur.

The GSU Athletic Department looks forward to hosting you during our 2015 Homecoming Festivities, including being in attendance for our football game versus Mississippi Valley State University. We’d like for this event to be enjoyable, memorable and “safe” for everyone!


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GSU ATV Ban – Safety Reminder


Please send out reminder:

The Grambling State University Police Department welcomes everyone to the Tigers Homecoming festivities slated for October 24, 2015. Please be reminded

ATVs and Golf Carts are not allowed on the University’s campus by the general public due to liability reasons. ATVs and Golf Carts will be utilized by emergency personnel (fire, police, ambulance, etc.). Again, welcome to Homecoming and we hope each of you have a safe and memorable time while visiting our university and supporting our Tigers.

If you have any questions feel free to contact the University Police Station at 318.247.2222.

Thank you in advance for your help in this matter.


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Howard Caviness

Interim Chief of Police
University Police Department
Grambling State University | Grambling, LA 71245
Phone: 318-274-6437 | Fax: 318-274-3830 |
“One Village, One Mission, One Vision, One Grambling”
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Office of Communications

Homecoming Game Announcement

Eddie Robinson Stadium will open at 12 p.m. on Saturday, October 24. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. facing the Delta Devils of Mississippi Valley State University. Grambling students should enter through Gate 4 with valid student IDs. BPCC students should also enter at Gate 4 with a photo ID. General Admission and Child tickets can be purchased at Gate 2 on the Grambling side and Gate 5 on the Visitor side. Reserved Seating tickets can be purchased at the Ticket Office. Tickets sales at Gates 2-6 will open at 9 a.m. as well as in the Ticket Office.

No golf carts or ATVs will be allowed at Grambling State University due to liability issues. Grambling does not have the insurance to cover the university or individuals should an ATV accident occur.

We are excited to celebrate this weekend with fellow Gramblinites and look forward to making memories. Happy Homecoming!!!


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