Planes, Bridges and a Submarine
Tuesday morning, I drove over to CSRA’s Integrated Technology Center in Bossier City to visit with Senator Sharon Hewitt who was in North Louisiana to learn more about the technology sector and higher ed. Senator Hewitt, Senate Finance Chair, authored Act 392 (SB 225) to promote STEM programs and ensure alignment of STEM education programs with economic development and workforce needs. After a couple of hours hearing about the CSRA, Louisiana Tech, CIC and BPCC partnership, Senator Hewitt seemed quite impressed about how extensive our collaborations have been and she invited us to make a presentation to the newly formed LaSTEM Advisory Council. After the visit with Senator Hewitt, I stopped across the road to see progress of our new Academic Success Center that will enable even stronger collaborations with our corporate and higher ed partners.
I enjoyed giving President Emeritus Dan Reneau a tour of the new Pressbox and Suites after lunch on Tuesday. Dan provided superb leadership during his tenure at Tech which positioned our academic and athletics programs for the success and impacts that are being realized today. It was special for us to spend some time together while seeing the finishing touches being put on the project.
The rest of my week was filled with meetings with my Leadership Team and the Deans as we all plan for the beginning of the Fall Quarter. I also took some time to get around campus to see some students and faculty while also getting updates on some new projects.
I particularly enjoyed a visit with Principal Joanne Hood at AE Phillips Lab School as she gave me a tour of the new classrooms and restrooms. These rooms are supporting the expansion of the school from one class per grade to two. We plan to add two or three more classrooms over the next couple of years. Thanks to some dedicated teachers, AEP consistently ranks as one of the top schools in the state and nation, and it serves as a great venue for conducting research and providing clinical experiences for our education majors.
I also went out to our aviation facility at the Ruston Airport to see the new fleet of aircraft that we recently purchased. These 10 Cessna aircraft will soon be complemented with a couple of Piper Cubs, giving our burgeoning aviation program a top-notch fleet to enhance the experiences of our students.
On Thursday, I enjoyed joining Rick Godley at “The Peach” radio as a guest to talk about happenings at Tech. Thanks to Rick for all that he does to promote our community! Later Thursday, I joined VP Jim King and some of his staff for a visit with our Bridges to Bulldogs students. Melanie Peel does a great job with this program that gives some of our freshmen students a head start on their college experience.
Here are a few of my favorite pics for the week: