Gallot provides transparency with Tiger1 card investigation 

“Grambling State University is committed to proactively identifying areas of improvement, taking the necessary actions to implement corrections, and monitoring progress,” Grambling State University President Rick Gallot said in an Oct. 20 letter to the state legislative auditor. “The university’s focus on enhancing internal controls has resulted in notable changes to our organizational structure, policies, and processes.”   GSU President Rick Gallot

In February 2017, in accordance with state law, Grambling State University submitted findings related to misuse of Tiger1 card accounts to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor and the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Gallot said the administration is focused on ”moving the accountability train forward.”

“We are committed to continuous improvement and accountability at all levels,” he said after a report detailing the issues from prior administrations was made public by the state legislative auditor Monday. (Oct. 30).

In the letter to the auditor, Gallot noted that employees involved were dismissed and “leadership changes have been implemented” in GSU’s Office of Finance and Administration and by food service contractor ARAMARK.   The Tiger1 card accounts being investigated are based in the office of finance and administration.

Gallot expressed his thanks to the internal auditor’s office, Louisiana Legislative Auditor, District Attorney, and the State Police for their continued commitment and support.

The full report is available at


Food TV cook prepares spicy shrimp during special homecoming event


Chef Jaaion Barnes prepared some New Orleans-style barbeque shrimp on two large skillets on a table as bystanders watched, anticipating a taste of the delicacy he was preparing. Dressed in a blue, long-sleeved button down and white pants and a black apron, Barnes kept looking at the seafood, checking the temperature of the flames and adding splashes of salt, pepper and a homemade creole sauce as Harrington Harris and Jon Weatherspoon licked their lips outside on The Yard.CHEFBARNESBURNS.1361

When Barnes was done, he putted them to the side and Grambling State University students quickly starting grabbing them. Harris, 21, a senior mass communication major from Phoenix, gave Barnes two thumbs up when he tasted the spicy shrimp. “It’s the best shrimp I’ve ever tasted,” said Harris, who likes to cook only breakfast food.

Barnes, a chef who has appeared on Bravo and Aspire TV, is based in Atlanta, where he is a chef for events and celebrity clients. He returned to Grambling to celebrate homecoming with friends and colleagues and he wanted to give back. As a 2005 graduate of the university’s hotel and restaurant management program, he asked to set up a special opportunity for students and others to taste what he’s done with the culinary skills he developed at GSU.

Students came out in droves on Wednesday to chow down on Barnes’ tasty seafood during a food tasting event on The Yard. It was an event Barnes had worked on since the summer.

Barnes began his career at 18 years old at the Cheesecake Bistro in New Orleans, working as a line cook. After he graduating from Grambling State, Barnes moved to Atlanta to further his education at Le Gordon Bleu Culinary School of Arts.

While pursuing his culinary arts degree, Barnes worked his way through the ranks at Cheesecake Factory. He was ultimately promoted to the kitchen manager and in less than two years after he earned his degree. He took his career to newer heights after a four-year stint with Cheesecake by accepting the position of corporate executive chef at the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the world’s busiest airport. After working at Hartsfield, he served as a culinary instructor at his alma mater the Le Gordon Bleu.

Several students in attendance raved about Barnes’ food. Some asked if could he start a cooking class at Grambling State. It’s an idea Barnes said he’s considered.

Barnes said a culinary program might be in the works, and it could be a two-year degree program His goal would be to see the initial culinary program become a four-year program.

“It was good giving back to the university,” said Barnes.



GSU POSTPONES 2017 Nursing Leadership Summit


Rear Adm. Sylvia Trent-Adams, the U.S. deputy surgeon general, was excited to be asked to speak at Grambling State University’s Nursing Leadership Summit. Unfortunately, due to an unforeseen change in her schedule, she will not be able to attend the Oct. 26-27 summit.

The summit has been postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date. The summit date will be based on her availability.

Refunds for ticket purchases, advertisements and sponsorships will be issued by the GSU Office of Advancement.

Please contact Vel Malone ( in the GSU Office of Advancement or call (318) 274-2217 for refund information or to ask questions.



Office of Advancement

Grambling State University

403 Main Street

Grambling, LA 71245




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.



Led by Gallot, University representatives visited various Dallas-area schools 
to bring #GramFam to life


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.




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

for State Fair Classic Weekend


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.”



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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.



DSC_7248 copy DSC_7201 copy DSC_7467 copy DSC_7267 copy DSC_7155 copy DSC_7077 copy DSC_7052 copy