It seems like much of this week has put me in some interesting spaces and discussing interesting things. After an early budget meeting on Monday, I trekked to Bossier City to meet with a couple of well-established entrepreneurs who are contemplating a significant high-tech start-up company for NW LA. Our ability to provide them substantial numbers of technology-savvy grads is an important consideration in their decision to locate here, and our conversation on Monday resulted in a trip by them to Tech Pointe in Ruston on Thursday. We will continue to work with them and other prospective companies that seek to establish operations nearby because of our talent and our willingness to work with them to be successful here.
Later Monday, some of my administrative team joined me at the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City to review plans for an exciting new project that we are developing to further enhance the growth of talent and innovation in NW LA. We will announce more about that in the near future.
After several meetings on Tuesday, I went to our new facility on 800 West Alabama known as Co:Lab to welcome visitors with the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association at the invitation of Travis Napper, Ruston-Lincoln CVB President. The magnificent Co:Lab facility was designed by our School of Design faculty Robert Brooks and Marla Emory for a former student who later donated it to our Foundation and University. Now, this 8,000-sf space is being used to support multi-disciplinary collaborations among students, faculty and the community on wide-ranging projects that can have significant impacts across the community. Special thanks to our faculty who demonstrate in tangible ways how their passion for their work not only provides our students with unparalleled educational experiences but has significant impacts on the quality of life in our community.
I enjoyed a Wednesday meeting with Jamie Newman (biology), Mary Caldorera-Moore (biomed engr) and Nick Bustamante (art) to hear about their plans for the Visual Integration of Science Through Art (VISTA) program. They have been developing this program over the past couple of years, and it has now resulted in new courses and a minor for students who might have interests in scientific and medical illustrations. I love to see these kinds of innovative and impactful programs emerge from the collaborative efforts of our faculty members. Look for more good things to happen with them.
On Thursday, I returned to Bossier City to celebrate BPCC Chancellor Rick Bateman’s success in getting designated as a Center of Workforce Excellence in Cyber Technology. There was an excellent turnout of academic, corporate and community members in attendance to congratulate Rick and his team for achieving this significant milestone. And we look forward to working with Rick to develop more programs in the future.
Here are a few of my favorite pics for the week: