Category Archives: academics

GSU Alum Marco French earns Milken Educator Award for Creating Culture of Excellence for Educators and Students

Queensborough Leadership Academy Principal Marco French kicks off the all-school gathering

Queensborough Leadership Academy chancellor invests in teacher talent, reaps benefits of student learning

Watch Video Here: http://

Santa Monica, Calif., — By putting the needs of staff and students front and center, Chancellor Marco French has transformed academic performance at Queensborough Leadership Academy and created a nurturing environment for all to thrive. Yet today, French was the focus of an all-school assembly where he was surprised with a national Milken Educator Award. The recognition comes with a $25,000 cash prize that French can use however he chooses.

Milken Educator Awards Founder Lowell Milken was joined by Louisiana Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley to present French with the prestigious honor before cheering students, appreciative colleagues, state and local dignitaries, and media. In addition to today’s fanfare, French will join a national network of more than 2,800 Milken Educator Award recipients dedicated to strengthening K-12 education.

French is among more than 60 educators across the country who will receive the Award during the 2021-22 season. The last recipient in Caddo Parish was awarded in 2015.

“Chancellor Marco French has achieved significant success by aligning every effort to developing, motivating and retaining effective educators,” said Lowell Milken. “Marco unifies his staff under a common vision for excellence and, in so doing, creates a collaborative, vibrant culture for all to excel.”

Milken Educator Awards Founder Lowell Milken is thrilled to welcome Principal Marco French to the Milken Educator family. “Chancellor Marco French has achieved significant success by aligning every effort to developing, motivating and retaining effective educators,” he says. “Marco unifies his staff under a common vision for excellence and, in so doing, creates a collaborative, vibrant culture for all to excel.”

French leads the academy’s implementation of the TAP System for Teacher and Student Advancement – a signature initiative of the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET). Master and mentor teachers work with French and other administrators to set goals, guide regular job-embedded professional learning, coach educators in classrooms and leverage the faculty’s talents to drive student growth.

“As a former teacher, content coach, and instructional coordinator, Marco French understands learning and leadership from many angles,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley. “These experiences have clearly informed his work as principal; he is committed to the success of the Queensborough Leadership Academy community, where he continues to motivate students and staff and inspire the next generation of leaders.”

Hailed as the “Oscars of Teaching,” Milken Educator Awards inspire and uplift with the unique stories of educators making a profound difference for students, colleagues and communities. The Awards are not designated for lifetime achievement. Recipients are heralded while early to mid-career for what they have achieved — and for the promise of what they will accomplish given the resources and opportunities inherent in the Award.

French is the third Milken Educator Award recipient this season. Jay Weisman, a math and social studies at Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans, was presented with the Award this morning. Laura Laiche, a third grade teacher at Slaughter Elementary School in East Feliciana Parish, earned the Award yesterday.

More About Marco French

Building Relationships: Every morning, whether in sun, rain, sleet or snow, Chancellor French – known at school as “The Bowtie Principal” – greets students as they enter the campus. During the holidays, he dons a Santa Claus costume and hands out small gifts as pupils arrive. The rest of the day French is rarely in his office; instead, he’s in the trenches with teachers in their classrooms, observing lessons, modeling instructional strategies and working with small groups of students. Every decision French makes keeps students’ needs front and center. When he realized that many students lacked warm outerwear as they waited for the bus or walked to school, French partnered with Operation Warm and got a coat for every student.

Raising Student Achievement: French has been instrumental in transforming multiple underperforming campuses into state and nationally recognized schools. Fully invested in increasing student achievement and developing educator expertise, French has a “whatever it takes” attitude that has earned him respect in the building and throughout Caddo Parish. Queensborough earned an A in 2019 for student progress and was named an Outstanding School in Northwest Louisiana for top growth in ELA and math. In 2018-19, Queensborough students outperformed the district and state for overall growth, as well as for performance of students of color, those who are economically disadvantaged, and students with disabilities.

Instructional Leadership: French has embraced the TAP System’s principles of continuous learning and leadership development through intensive, curriculum-dependent coaching. A former teacher, content coach and instructional coordinator, French leads weekly instructional team leadership meetings with Queensborough’s administrators, counselors, and master and mentor teachers to build the leadership needed to support teachers through weekly, job-embedded cluster meetings and one-on-one coaching. He works with teachers and the leadership team to analyze student achievement and qualitative teacher data throughout the year to make instructional adjustments. When COVID-19 closed the building in spring 2020, French quickly transitioned his instructional leadership team meetings to a virtual platform so the group could quickly help teachers adapt their curriculum materials and lessons to online learning. He is working to ensure that 100% of Queensborough’s teachers have Apple certification so students have access to the same opportunities with technology as their peers.

District Impact: A leader in the district, French presents frequently for Caddo Parish teachers and principals on topics like classroom management systems, data-driven decision-making, individualized support for struggling students, and hands-on math strategies. When Louisiana rolled out tools for professional learning planning and curriculum implementation, French invited state and district leaders to visit so they could see how the tools worked in practice. In fall 2019, he hosted leaders from Tennessee who were interested in implementing high-quality curriculum in an impactful way.

Strengthening Community: French prioritizes building a strong school community. He organizes bowling parties and scavenger hunts, as well as workshops for parents to learn how to support their scholars at home. Outside of school, he runs tutoring programs and is actively involved in outreach ministries through his church and local social organizations.

Education: French earned a bachelor’s in elementary education from Grambling State University in 2009 and a master’s in educational leadership from Arkansas State University in 2015.

More About the Milken Educator Awards: “The future belongs to the educated.”

Along with the financial prize, Milken Educator Award recipients join the national Milken Educator Network, a group of more than 2,800 top teachers, principals and specialists. The network serves as a rich resource for fellow educators, legislators, school boards and others dedicated to excellence in education.

  • The honorees will also attend an all-expenses-paid Milken Educator Awards Forum, where they will network with their new colleagues as well as veteran Milken Educators and other education leaders about how to increase their impact on K-12 education. In addition, they will learn about how to become involved in the Milken Friends Forever (MFFs) mentoring program, in which freshman Milken Educators receive personalized coaching and support from a Milken Educator veteran on ways to elevate their instructional practice and take an active role in educational leadership, policy and practice.
  • Over the years, more than $140 million in funding, including $70 million for the individual cash awards, has been devoted to the overall Milken Awards initiative, which includes powerful professional development opportunities throughout recipients’ careers.
  • Veteran Milken Educators frequently go on to serve in leadership roles at state, national and international levels.
  • “We find you. You don’t find us!” Unlike most teacher recognition programs, the Milken Educator Awards initiative has no formal nomination or application process. Candidates are sourced through a confidential selection process and then reviewed by blue ribbon panels in each state. The most exceptional candidates are recommended for the award, with final selection made by the Milken Family Foundation.
  • The $25,000 cash award is unrestricted. Recipients have used the money in diverse ways. For instance, some have spent the funds on their children’s or their own continuing education, financing dream field trips, establishing scholarships, and even adopting children.

Oprah, a longtime education advocate, shared her congratulations to this year’s recipients in a video message thanking “the most incredible educators around the country” and acknowledging her deep appreciation for the “tireless work” they do.

To get regular updates on the surprise Milken Educator Award events or to watch the award events unfold, follow and use the #MilkenAward hashtag on Facebook (@MilkenEducatorAwards), Twitter (@Milken), YouTube (/MilkenAward), Instagram (MilkenFamilyFdn), and TikTok (@MilkenAward).

For more information, visit or call the Milken Family Foundation at (310) 570-4772.

About the Milken Educator Awards
The first Milken Educator Awards were presented by the Milken Family Foundation in 1987. The awards provide public recognition and individual financial rewards of $25,000 to elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and specialists from around the country who are furthering excellence in education. Recipients are heralded in early to mid-career for what they have achieved and for the promise of what they will accomplish. The initiative was created by the Milken Family Foundation, which celebrates 40 years of elevating education in America and around the world. Learn more at

Grambling State’s Call Me Mister program receives historic 2M in federal funding

Funding is largest one-time gift since inception of program in 2000 at Clemson University

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In addition to mentoring and development activities, members of the Call Me Mister program at Grambling State University are involved in hands-on application through outreach initiatives in local schools.

“Throw me something, Mister” is a phrase that has become an important part of springtime Louisiana folklore, especially during Mardi Gras season.

Grambling State University’s “Call Me MiSTER” program is on the receiving end this time, according to U.S. Congresswoman Julia Letlow.

During a recent interview, Letlow told KNOE television in Monroe, Louisiana, that GSU’s “Call Me Mister” program will receive $2 million as part of $15 million in federal funding for the state’s Fifth Congressional District share of the annual federal budget.

“The students in Grambling’s Call Me MiSTER program play such a critical role in the future of our region. We’re incredibly proud to have secured this funding and guided it through the appropriations process in Congress,” Letlow said. “Our team is grateful for the partnership with President Gallot, Dr. Noflin, and the entire Grambling community, and we look forward to bringing home more investment for the university in the future.”

The Call Me MiSTER (Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role models) program was founded originally at Clemson University in 2000. The program strives to increase the pool of available teachers from a more diverse background, particularly among the lowest-performing elementary schools.

Because less than 2% of the teachers in America are African American males, Grambling State’s Black Male Teacher Initiative joined with Clemson’s program to help develop and recruit more Black men into the teaching profession.

Student participants are largely selected from among under-served, socio-economically disadvantaged, and educationally at-risk communities. Call Me MiSTER serves students at 19 participating colleges within South Carolina as well as eight national partner institutions, including Grambling State.

“This is wonderful news and I believe it shows the recognition of the underrepresentation of Black male educators and what they mean to our educational system,” said GSU President Rick Gallot. “This is such an important program and I’m very appreciative of Congresswoman Letlow and others who have realized the importance and significance of the program and are working to help us continue to keep it growing and moving forward.”

Roy Jones, the executive director of the Eugene T. Moore School of Education’s Call Me Mister program at Clemson, celebrated Grambling State’s news of the largest single amount awarded to a Call Me MiSTER program.

“The $2 million dollar award and endorsement by Louisiana Congresswoman Letlow in support of the Grambling State University program is a significant demonstration of the need to diversify the educator pipeline and the committed leadership at Grambling to fulfill the mission of Call Me MiSTER,” Jones said. “The award is the single largest received by one of our partner institutions since the inception of the program in 2000.”

Dr. George Petersen, founding dean of Clemson’s College of Education, shared in the excitement about GSU’s news.
“Congratulations to Grambling State University for their receipt of a $2 million federal award to enhance and support the national renown Call Me MiSTER program on their campus!” Petersen said. “We are proud to be a partner in the journey to provide highly effective educators for our K-12 students.”

Participants in GSU’s Call Me Mister program receive scholarships, preferred housing, individual advising, mentors from practicing or retired professionals, recognition at school activities, professional development opportunities, and more. As graduates, program participants are expected to have an impact by returning to critical need schools and communities to pursue their professional careers.

Dr. George Noflin, Jr., director of GSU’s Call Me MiSTER, said that the news reminded him of the scripture that says when you are faithful with a little, you will also be faithful with much (Matthew 25:21).

“I am very thankful to President Gallot and the entire GRAM Family and Congresswoman Letlow, for the opportunity to serve these students in the Call Me MiSTER Program and the thousands of students that will be affected by them.”

Noflin said that GSU presently has eight students (MiSTERS) in the program and that the goal is to add seven to 10 new MiSTERS annually, adding that the additional funding will allow for GSU’s Call Me MiSTER program to expand to a larger level.

“What this does is expands our efforts from statewide and regionally to a more nationally focused recruiting effort and assists us to be more precise in meeting the needs of each student and more direct in the effort of making them the very best certified teacher (MiSTER) possible,” Noflin said.

To learn more about the program, visit

FALL 2021 Online Early Registration Underway

We are excited for you to begin or continue your Tiger academic journey. Today, Fall 2021 Online Early Registration will begin for all students Monday, March 15, 2021; 100% online registration means there are no in-person meetings. To make things simpler, you won’t need to retrieve an alternate PIN from your advisor in order to select your classes; however, please schedule an appointment with your academic advisor in your department to ensure your course selections are the best fit for degree completion.

To ensure your success in the virtual classroom, here is a list of must-do’s to complete enrollment and online registration.

Online Registration Steps New & Returning Students

The updated process makes remote registration simple. Use BannerWeb and the Online Student Support Center to navigate getting registered. Follow these easy steps:

  1. Admissions Confirmation (New & Transfer Students Only) Complete any outstanding admissions requirements (documents, testing, etc.) or book an online appointment to find out any remaining to-dos for getting admitted.
  2. Submit Immunization Records (New & Transfer Students Only) New and transfer students, submit your immunization documents to the Foster-Johnson Health Center.
  3. Schedule an Academic Advising Appointment  

Please reserve a meeting with your academic department for academic advisement by booking an appointment via the online student support center.   During the meeting with your advisor your class schedule will be identified.  Your academic advisor will send you a follow-up email that will verify the schedule that was agreed upon.  A copy of this email will become a part of your file that is housed in the academic department.

  1. Create Your Class Schedule Login to BannerWeb to select your classes and submit your schedule. You will no longer need an ALTERNATE PIN to submit your schedule. Be sure to notify your advisor of any changes that you make that deviate from the agreed upon schedule.
  2. Confirm Financial Aid  If needed, book an online appointment to clear up any questions about your financial aid. Before you book, remember log into BannerWeb to:
    • View Financial Aid requirements via Bannerweb
    • Check your award,
    • Check your account balance, and
    • Accept Your Award
  3. Confirm Housing Assignment If needed, contact the office of Campus Living and Housing at 318.274.2504 or to clear up any questions about your Housing status. Before you call, remember log into BannerWeb; click the “My Housing” tab to:
    • Check your housing status,
    • Complete a housing application (if applicable),
    • Complete Housing Payment ($200 application fee; if applicable),
    • Select a room (if applicable),
    • Complete an off-campus approval form (if applicable) 
  1. Accept and Pay Fees If needed, book an online appointment to clear up any questions about your student account or balance.   No cash payments are being accepted due to COVID-19.  All payments should be completed online.  To be completely enrolled, you must visit BannerWeb to “Accept and Pay Fees.” Select Student > Registration > Accept/Pay Fees.

Payment Due Date for Fall 2021 – August 6, 2021 ($150 Late Fee applicable August 13, 2021)

  1. Verify Fee Sheet Ensure that your fee sheet says “registered.” If your fee sheet does not say “registered,” make an online appointment with the Student Accounts office through the Online Student Support Center.
  1. Next Steps for Fall Coming Soon You can choose to upgrade your meal plan. You’ll also get your Tiger1 Card, G-FLEX and more in the coming months. Each student living in University Housing will automatically receive the 24/7 Silver plan. There is no need to change or choose a different plan in the Fall unless you would like to upgrade your plan to Gold or Platinum.


Once, you’ve completed these steps, you are now fully registered at Grambling State University for the Fall semester of 2021. For more help navigating virtual registration, contact the departments as listed below:

ADMISSIONS: email Georgio Douglas, Director of Admissions


FINANCIAL AID: email Dr. Gavin Hamms, Director of Student Financial Aid 

REGISTRAR’s OFFICE: email  Patricia J. Hutcherson, Registrar



If you are having trouble reaching your advisor, please contact your Department Head for assistance.

The contact information for all department heads can be found on the contact page here.

Grambling’s Cloud Computing Program Reaches for the Sky with Industry Partners

First Cloud Computing Program in Louisiana Draws Interest Nationally  

Online Cloud Program Student PhotoGRAMBLING, La. – September 4, 2020 – As Grambling State University launches its innovative Cloud Computing program, a new industry partner has joined to support the effort.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has signed on with its AWS Educate program to offer support to the institution’s unique computer science programs.
Grambling State University is Louisiana’s top producer of African American computer science and computer information system graduates. The newly launched Cloud Computing program is the first of its kind in the state.

Through AWS Educate, the company’s global initiative to support cloud learning for students and faculty, educational organizations receive benefits such as:

• Guidance in building an educational institution’s degree programs in Cloud Computing to ensure that the program outcomes align with the skills necessary to prepare a student for AWS industry certifications and employment in the field of cloud computing.

• Access to curriculum resources – including syllabi, instructional content, hands-on activities and assessments – that support student learning in Cloud Computing.

• Access to content to support professional development and technical training for faculty members who will deliver program coursework.

• AWS Promotional Credit to ensure that students have an opportunity to practice and apply their knowledge using the AWS console.

• Access to the AWS Educate Job Board, which contains cloud-related job postings from Amazon and our customers and partners, to help match Educate members with employers looking for cloud-skilled talent.

“We’re continuously working to prepare students for the enormous opportunities in today’s economy,” said President Rick Gallot. “We are grateful for partners like AWS who support these important efforts.”

Gallot was invited to meet the president of AWS, and the relationship that led to this designation for Grambling State was born. AWS support helped Grambling State earn state approval of the program.

Since Gallot made the AWS connection, three Grambling State professors have attended AWS Academy and Cloud Computing curriculum has come to the campus.

Dr. Yenumula Reddy, professor and program coordinator in the department of computer science, is working hand-in-hand with AWS Cloud Computing experts to develop the curriculum. They are continuing to work together on AWS course contents, Dr. Reddy said.

Cybersecurity student Alexis White is among those interested in learning about Cloud Computing.

“We are in need of more professionals that have a passion for Cloud Computing,” she said. “That starts with our students at Grambling State University being the catalyst for our future.”

The Louisiana Technical and Community College System also is preparing a two-year Cloud Computing curriculum that will bridge to Grambling State’s four-year program.

“When universities work hand in hand with industry partners to identify the skills needed to meet the needs of a rapidly growing sector students always benefit,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed. “As the state focuses on developing talent so Louisiana prospers, new programs like cloud computing will play a major role in attracting new students and graduating them in high demand, high-wage careers. Grambling has been laser focused on creating a top-notch degree and we recognize their innovation and persistence.”

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.

“Grambling State University is excited about the approval of the new program in Cloud Computing,” Dr. Connie Walton, vice president of academic affairs and provost, said. “The global Cloud Computing market size is expected to grow to $623.3 billion by 2023. 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.”

Beginning with the graduating class of 2024, Grambling State alums can do 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.

Other industry partners for Cloud Computing include LED, Oracle Academy, Oracle NetSuite, Cisco Networking Academy, Microsoft, IBM and Google Analytics Academy.

For more information about Grambling State’s computer science programs, visit


About Grambling State University 
Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university founded in 1901 that combines the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. This combination enables students to grow and learn in a serene and positive environment. The 590-acre campus offers 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has been accredited by 13 accrediting associations and holds accreditations in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. With a longstanding tradition of excellence, Grambling State University continues to emphasize the value and importance of each student, exemplified by our motto: Where Everybody Is Somebody.

Tisha Arnold
(318) 243-5012

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 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

LaNita Hughes
(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.


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

Raven Thissel
(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 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,

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. 


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  

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


For the full list of competing HBCUs, visit:

MY HBCU IS A WINNER: To help Grambling State qualify for the National Championship, the public can vote for our team at 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 – (336) 750-2995

For more information about Honda Campus-All Star Challenge, contact:
Lillian Parker, Honda Campus All-Star Challenge: (800) 388-2272 x104 /
Jaymie Robinson, Honda North America, (310) 783-3943 /

Connect with HCASC via social media using #HCASC: