Category Archives: academics

Board of Regents Approves Cloud Computing Degree at Grambling State

Louisiana’s First 4-Year Cloud Computing Degree Program to Begin Fall 2020

GSU President Gallot before the ULS Board.

Image taken at Board of Regents meeting pre-COVID-19.

GRAMBLING, La. – May 29, 2020 – On Thursday, the Louisiana Board of Regents approved Grambling State University’s proposal to offer Louisiana’s first bachelor’s degree in Cloud Computing.

“World markets benefit tremendously from increased diversity in career fields like cloud computing, and our students are the perfect fit for this need,” said President Rick Gallot. “We are proud to have the support of the University of Louisiana System and the Board of Regents to prepare the next wave of digital geniuses and tech talent for the innovation industry.”

The program will train students to become cloud computing experts who can build and maintain cloud infrastructures. Professionals with these skills are projected to remain in high demand for decades to come. According to Forbes, in 2019 there were 50,248 cloud computing positions available in the U.S. from 3,701 employers and 101,913 open positions worldwide. Beginning with the graduating class of 2024, Grambling State alums can don the title of Cloud Architect, Cloud Consultant, IoT Engineer and many other high demand tech-based positions with a median starting salary over $80k for many positions.

“Our work doesn’t end at graduation. In this new environment of increased distance learning and teleworking, the demand for professionals in disciplines like cloud computing and cybersecurity only continues to grow,” President Gallot said. “As a university, we had the forethought to integrate these programs as we continue to prepare our students to meet the demands of an evolving workforce.”

“The GSU Career Center, our vast alumni network, and our Friends of Technology Advisory Board are a few of the many ways that we ensure our alums are employed upon degree completion,” said President Gallot.

The hard work of curriculum development and gaining the proper approvals to offer the degree program is overseen by the University’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Connie Walton.

“Grambling State University is excited about the approval of the new program in cloud computing,” Dr. Walton said. The global cloud computing market size is expected to grow to $623.3 billion by 2023.

“The average length of time a cloud computing-related position remains open is close to 50 days. The degree program in Cloud Computing will allow Grambling State University to play a major role in ensuring that workforce needs related to cloud computing can be met,” Dr. Walton said.

Grambling State has long been a national leader in producing African American Computer Science graduates. The new program’s development is being spearheaded by Grambling State faculty member and member of the Louisiana Cybersecurity Commission, Dr. Yenumula B. Reddy. Dr. Reddy also serves as the chair of the department that houses Louisiana’s first degree in Cybersecurity.

“Our program will remain current with emerging workforce needs via strong industry partnerships and by using an innovative staffing approach,”Dr. Walton said. “The faculty teaching in this program will include individuals who are currently working in cloud computing positions. Students who are in this program will have the opportunity to learn from experts. Further, Dr. Reddy and his team will ensure that students receive assistance in placement in internships and cooperative education experiences. His team will also build into the program opportunities for students to engage in cutting edge research in cloud computing.”

Grambling State has been designated as a Center of Academic Excellence in Mathematical Achievement for Science and Technology (CeMAST).The Center supports the six STEM undergraduate degree programs housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, and one program in the College of Business. These programs are biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, cybersecurity, engineering technology, mathematics and physics, and computer information systems.

 

For more information, please contact mediarelations@gram.edu 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 academic programs. Grambling State University is a member of the University of Louisiana System. For more information, visit gram.edu.

Contact:
LaNita Hughes
hughesl@gram.edu
(318) 274-6286

GSU Faculty Awarded $92,919 NEH Grant for Digital Humanities Program

GRAMBLING, La – May 26, 2020 – The National Endowment for the Humanities recently awarded a $92,919 grant to Grambling State University faculty from the Departments of English and History as part of a three-year innovative curricular initiative for a program in the Digital Humanities.

Co-directors Dr. James Clawson and Dr. Edward Holt, along with Dr. Roshunda Belton and Ms. Catherine Bonner, will collaborate to design and implement an interdisciplinary minor and host a series of workshops to train humanities faculty in pedagogies and technologies appropriate to the Digital Humanities.

The first institute will be hosted by Grambling State University from August 3rd to 7th, 2020. This workshop will serve as an intensive introduction to Digital Humanities and an opportunity to develop learning activities for new and existing classes. Faculty from Grambling and all regional universities are encouraged to apply to participate by submitting their name, contact information, and a 200 word statement about what they hope to gain from the institute to this form by July 1st, 2020. All teaching disciplines and areas of focus are welcome.

Grambling State’s award is part of $30.9 million in grants to support 188 projects across the country. The University’s grant is one of 16 nationwide in the Humanities Initiatives Grants, which in part support and enrich humanities education and scholarship at HBCUs.

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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 academic programs. Grambling State University is a member of the University of Louisiana System. For more information, visit gram.edu.

Contact:
Raven Thissel
thisselr@gram.edu
(318) 243-5012

Grambling State to Host Live Question & Answer on Facebook for Students and Families

Virtual Town Hall Flyer - On FBLive Apr. 23, 2020 @ 6:00 p.m. with GSU Provost Dr. Connie Walton and SGA President Steven Wilson, Moderated by Dr. Gourjoine Wade, AVP for Student AffairsAcademic and Student Life Updates from University Provost, Associate VP of Student Affairs and SGA President 

GRAMBLING, La – April 14, 2020 – Today, Grambling State University announced a virtual Q&A style Town Hall meeting where the University’s Student Government Association President, Steven Wilson, will ask questions submitted by students and families to be answered by Dr. Connie Walton, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost and Mr. Gourjoine Wade, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs. The event continues a series of online “Town Hall” meetings on Facebook Live Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 6 p.m. 

“With our recent announcement that we are continuing education online through Summer Session I, we know our students have questions and we want them to know that we are here to support every aspect of their academic journey,” said Dr. Walton. 

Grambling State today announced that in keeping with the social distancing guidelines for COVID-19 safety, online courses will extend through the first summer session.  More information on the University’s response to COVID-19 can be found in the release here.  

Those planning to attend the virtual town hall should submit their questions to mediarelations@gram.edu by 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 23. Viewers will have the opportunity to comment their questions on Facebook Live during the town hall meeting, which begins at 6:00 p.m. 

Grambling State Wins Gold HBCUgrow LEAD Awards for Best Leadership and Innovation

Grambling State Wins! Lead 2020 - The Intersection of Business and EducationPresident Gallot and University Honored by Peer Institutions for Excellence in 5 Categories

GRAMBLING, La – April 8, 2020 – Grambling State University received Gold Awards for Best Leadership and LEAD Innovation for a total of five award wins in different categories: 

Best Leadership
Gold Award
President Rick Gallot, Grambling State University

LEAD Innovation
Gold Award
Grambling State University

LEAD Military-Friendly
Silver Award
Grambling State University

LEAD Website
Bronze Award
Grambling State University, www.gram.edu

LEAD Marketing
Bronze Award
Grambling State University

“I’m exceedingly grateful for the outstanding team that makes growth and innovation possible at Grambling State,” said President Gallot. “Our eyes are on the bright future ahead for our students. Everything we do is focused on ensuring their potential is realized.”

For the third consecutive year, President Gallot’s administration has earned recognition for outstanding leadership from HBCUgrow. Standout aspects contributing to the win are the University’s 7-year enrollment high, $50M partnership with Magic Johnson’s SodexoMAGIC, and the addition of Louisiana’s first 4-year degree in Cybersecurity.    

“We are working to show the world what’s possible when student outcomes are the first priority.” said Dr. Connie Walton, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. 

For top honors in LEAD Innovation, the HBCUgrow committee considered the University’s groundbreaking of Louisiana’s first Digital Library and Learning Commons, the initiation of the President’s Friends of Technology Advisory Board, and work to launch the first Cloud Computing degree in the state. 

Winners were selected in several categories based on peer nominations and input and data reviews by a panel of judges.  This year’s categories included LEAD Innovation, LEAD Marketing, LEAD Website, LEAD Military-Friendly and Best Leadership. Other winning institutions in different ranks and categories included Howard, Southern, and Jackson State Universities. 

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President Gallot Appoints Friends of Technology Advisory Board at Grambling State University

University Leadership Drives Louisiana’s Digital Programming in Higher Education with Forthcoming Cloud Computing Degree 

GRAMBLING, La – February 28, 2020 – President Rick Gallot announced the formation of Grambling State University’s inaugural Friends of Technology Advisory Board to pioneer advancement in technology. The Board, comprised of thirteen top executives from technology industry giants including NASA, Salesforce, and Microsoft, serves as a key point of direction for ongoing systematic development and advancement of University initiatives in tech. 

“As we round the final corner of approvals for the University’s Cloud Computing degree program, I’m leaning on insights from this hand-selected group to learn what’s next in the industry,” said President Gallot. “Grambling State is changing the face of higher education in Louisiana as we cater to our students’ future need for education in technology and digital learning.”    

New Technology Advisory Board Leads Innovation at GSU 

The University’s Friends of Technology Advisory Board members include:

Several Grambling State alumni have joined the ranks of the University’s new Friends of Technology Advisory Board membership. Board members include:

  • Marysharon Owens, Head of Global Creative Studio at Illumina; 
  • Willie B. Williams, Research Portfolio Manager at NASA – ’71;
  • Dean Jones, Program Ambassador at Microsoft for Startups – ’86;
  • Dr. Jamika D. Burge, Design Leader at Capitol One & Tech Founder at BlackComputeHer; 
  • Michael Palmer, Chief Information Security Officer at Hearst; 
  • Terry Owens, Chief Information Officer of the Congressional Budget Office in the United States Congress ’89;
  • David Chatterton, Vice President of Enterprise Sales at Salesforce; 
  • Joe Brenner, Chief Information Officer at Sally Beauty; 
  • Jamie Hamilton, Sr. Vice President of Technology at Revegy ’94;
  • Upen Sachdev, Principal at Deloitte & Touche LLP
  • Eric Moses, Capital and Planning Manager at Shell Exploration & Production Company – ‘01;
  • Alana Ward Robinson, President and CEO of Robinson Group Consulting, Inc. – ’72; 
  • and Dr. Adrian Butler, Chief Information Officer of Dine Brands Global – ’92.

The Board recently convened for the kick-off meeting and will assist in the planning and execution of University initiatives in cutting-edge science and technology with attention to the goal of ensuring that students gain the utmost preparation to enter tomorrow’s workforce. Grambling State aspires to position itself to align students as innovators who will create the next generation of digital experience. 

Pioneering Science and Tech in Louisiana Higher Education 

The University’s proposal to offer Louisiana’s first bachelor’s degree in Cloud Computing was recently approved by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors. Next, the program will be reviewed by the Board of Regents for final approval. In addition to remaining the top-producer of African American Computer Science graduates in Louisiana, the University currently offers the only 4-year cybersecurity degree program in the state and is developing the state’s first Digital Library.  

“Cybersecurity and cloud computing are just the beginning,” said Dr. Connie Walton, University Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. “This is a critical time in higher education when students need to be prepared for a workforce that looks very different than any previous generation. It’s imperative that we have industry experts to help build our curriculum toward tomorrow’s technology trends.” 

Champions for Student Success and Employed Graduates

In addition to advising University Leadership on curriculum and campus advancement, the Board also exists to provide direct student support. Grambling State students with tech majors attended the Friends of Technology’s first meeting, where they received career insights and mentorship. 

“The board is an outstanding resource for students like me to gain career placement, internships, and scholarships,” said Alexis White, Senior Cybersecurity major. “I’m extremely grateful to have access to such an exceptional and willing group of executives to coach me as I enter the technology industry.” 

Grambling State University expects that the Friends of Technology Advisory Board will ensure the continued trajectory of cutting-edge technological advancement and cloud-based thought leadership in the coming years. 

To learn about Grambling State’s science and computer technology programs, visit gram.edu.  

Grambling State Advances to National Qualifying Tournament of 31st Annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge

Voting Site Open Now Through February 10 for HBCU Student Academic Challenge

Grambling State will compete in the National Qualifying Tournament of the 31st annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC), America’s premier academic competition for top HBCU students. The fast-paced buzzer competition highlights students’ academic prowess and ability to answer questions about history, science, literature, religion, the arts and pop culture. Grambling State is one of 65 teams competing for institutional grants and a spot in the HCASC National Championship Tournament taking place on the American Honda campus in Torrance, Calif., March 28 – April 1, 2020.

Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is a year-round program that centers on academic excellence, community service, leadership, networking opportunities and mentorship. It includes campus engagement, qualifying tournaments and culminates with the National Championship. Since 1989, Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, one of Honda’s longest-running philanthropic initiatives in the United States, has celebrated and recognized the academic talents of HBCU students. More than $9 million in grants from Honda have provided support for scholarships, facility upgrades and other investments to improve the HBCU student experience.

WHEN: Saturday, February 8, 2020 – 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: Winston-Salem State University (Winston-Salem, NC)
Donald Julian Reaves (DJR) Student Center

ONLINE: www.hcasc.com

For the full list of competing HBCUs, visit: https://www.hcasc.com/nqt/teams.asp.

MY HBCU IS A WINNER: To help Grambling State qualify for the National Championship, the public can vote for our team at bit.ly/HBCUWinner2020 from January 29 – February 10. Register and vote up to three times per day. The three top vote-getting HBCUs will automatically advance.

CONTACT: If you are interested in attending the HCASC National Qualifying Tournament, please contact Joseph Baker at bakerjc@wssu.edu – (336) 750-2995

For more information about Honda Campus-All Star Challenge, contact:
Lillian Parker, Honda Campus All-Star Challenge: (800) 388-2272 x104 / lillian@hcasc.com
Jaymie Robinson, Honda North America, (310) 783-3943 / jaymie_robinson@hna.honda.com

Connect with HCASC via social media using #HCASC:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/HCASC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/HCASC
Instagram: www.instagram.com/hcascpix

Spring High School Day at Grambling State Now on March 21, 2020

Baseball Game Ticket Now Included with Registration at University Preview Day 

UPDATE – Event Cancelled

GRAMBLING, LA – January 28, 2020 – Today, Grambling State University announced that Spring High School Day will now be held on March 21, 2020. Registered attendees will gain admission to the Grambling State Baseball game against Arkansas Pine Bluff, as well as on-the-spot early application.

High School day is a high-energy, day-long opportunity for students to experience several aspects of college life. Students, families, and guidance counselors representing high schools across the state and nation will enjoy:  

  • Campus Tours;
  • Lunch included with registration; 
  • an into to Academic Counseling;
  • admission to the Grambling State vs. Pine Bluff Baseball game;
  • dance performances by the Orchesis Dance Company;  
  • live music from the World Famed Tiger Marching Band; 
  • an introduction to Grambling State Student Organizations;
  • a Residence Hall Preview;
  • and more!

High school students interested in college are encouraged to join thousands of students on Grambling’s campus by registering at www.gram.edu/highschoolday.  

EVENT DETAILS:  ( UPDATE – Event Cancelled )

Spring High School Day: Lights, Camera, Grambling!
March 21, 2020 | 8 a.m.
www.gram.edu/highschoolday 

Early applicants can receive on-the-spot admission at High School Day. While there will no longer be any admissions event on February 8, those unable to attend the event on March 21 are encouraged to schedule a tour with the office of admissions and recruiting.  

Contact admissions@gram.edu to learn more about applying to Grambling State. For media inquiries, please call 318-243-5012 or email mediarelations@gram.edu.  

Grambling State Student Overcomes Paralysis to Walk Across Graduation Stage December 13, 2019

Graduation Candidate Arhonda Smith Shares Her Story of Overcoming a Stroke While Earning Her Degree 

GRAMBLING, La. – December 12, 2019 – Grambling State criminal justice major, Arhonda Smith knew something wasn’t right when she suddenly couldn’t walk without staggering the morning of December 3, 2018. After receiving emergency medical attention, Smith learned she had had a stroke, lost the use of her right arm, and was warned that she would never walk again.

I prayed and asked God to deliver me,” said Smith, who was at the time scheduled to graduate in May 2019. “I heard Him say, ‘Snap out of it. I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  

After being airlifted to Shreveport for 17 days of intensive treatment, then transferred to Glenwood where she could only eat through a feeding tube for several weeks, Smith experienced a breakthrough. 

Smith was no longer using a wheelchair by February 2019. She was determined to complete her criminal justice coursework and graduate with her Bachelor’s degree. Smith recalls the support of her professors as she worked to regain full mobility of her right arm using only her left hand to type and complete assignments.  

“All of my professors including Dr. Singh, Dr. Conley, Dr. Thomason and Dr. Threadcraft were very understanding and supportive,” said Smith, “Dr. Threadcraft said that she wished all students in the class were like me because I always turned my work in early.” 

Criminal Justice is one of the University’s leading programs and Grambling State is a top state-wide producer of African American graduates in the field. With continued improvement in her health, Smith hopes to use her education to open a Safe House for Women after obtaining her degree. 

“I would encourage anyone who is going through hard times to stay positive, stay strong, have faith,” said Smith.  

Smith will join more than 360 Grambling State University graduates who will collect their diploma Friday, December 13 at 10 a.m. in the Frederick C. Hobdy Assembly Center. 

Media is invited to RSVP to Grambling State University’s Fall Commencement exercises by emailing mediarelations@gram.edu.

Grambling State University Names Two Valedictorians for the Class of Fall 2019

Tionna Baker and Mustapha Yoosuf-Akinlaja to Receive Highest Honors at December 13 Commencement 

GRAMBLING, La. – December 12, 2019 – Grambling State University is proud to announce the position of highest GPA for the Fall 2019 graduating class is held by two students, Tionna L. Baker and Mustapha Yoosuf-Akinlaja. The two will be honored as top graduates during fall commencement exercises at 10 a.m. Friday, December 13, 2019, in the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly. 

About Tionna L. Baker

Tionna L. Baker, a social work major from Smackover, Arkansas. After graduation, Baker will join the Louisiana Department of Child and Family Services and return to Grambling State in the master’s in social work program.

“From the moment I walked on to campus as a transfer student seeking to find a new school, I knew Grambling would be more of a home,” said Baker.

About Mustapha Yoosuf-Akinlaja 

Mustapha Yoosuf-Akinlaja, a criminal justice major from Lagos, Nigeria. Yoosuf-Akinlaja plans to attend law
school after matriculating at Grambling State; he has already been accepted into three prestigious law programs.
Yoosuf-Akinlaja plans “to give back to the Grambling community by serving as a valuable resource for past, current and future Gramblinites.”


About Fall 2019 Commencement

Both valedictorians are first-generation college graduates who will finish with a 3.98 grade point average. Baker and Yoosuf-Akinlaja will be honored for their outstanding academic performances during Friday’s Fall commencement exercises.

Related articles: 

Shreveport Mayor, Adrian Perkins, To Address Grambling State Fall Graduates 

Grambling State University Fall 2019 Commencement Information 

For more information, please contact mediarelations@gram.edu or call (318) 274-2866.