From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice

Dog Days of Summer

Jun 20, 2014 | Weekly Update

Tech grad in Afghanistan

Tech alumnus Dwan Branson showing his colors

I was pleased to receive this photo of Tech alumnus Dwan Branson who is stationed in Afghanistan representing us through his service in the U.S. Navy.  Dwan is a 2013 Industrial Engineering graduate and a 2007 graduate from Sicily Island High School. Thanks to Dwan for putting his professional career on hold while defending our nation and freedom.  And a special thanks to him for waving the Tech flag to make it a true Bulldog Day in Afghanistan. On Monday, I was in Baton Rouge for a Department of Homeland Security proposal planning meeting that involved multiple institutions from Louisiana.  I was joined by ULS President Sandra Woodley and LSU President King Alexander as well as several vice presidents and faculty from LSU, ULL, Tulane and UNO. Vice President Stan Napper presented Tech’s capabilities to the group.  If successful in these proposal efforts, Louisiana could win one of DHS’s Centers of Excellence. It is important that we have strong collaborations with institutions across the state that will enable us to compete effectively for these types of major funding opportunities. We also signed a special Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) this week with the US Air Force’s Global Strike Command at Barksdale AFB. We are pleased that AFGSC’s Chief Scientist, Chris Yeaw, sees potential for Tech’s nanoscale research for defense applications and are glad that we can contribute to the mission of AFGSC. Congratulations to VP Stan Napper for working through the CRADA with Dr. Yeaw. Note the linked article, written by a Tech Journalism graduate, for more information.
WISE Bill Signing

Governor Jindal congratulating WISE bill author Chuck Kleckley

After a couple of days in the office, I headed back to Baton Rouge on Thursday for the Governor’s signing of the WISE legislation (Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy). This act provides $40M of funding for higher education to focus on producing more graduates in areas of high demand. Special thanks to the Governor, House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, Senate President John Alario, ULS President Sandy Woodley, LSU President King Alexander and others for their leadership in developing and funding this important program for the State of Louisiana. There is still plenty of work ahead to develop campus plans for the funding, but we are grateful to receive additional funding this year.
Dog Days of Summer

Orientation students in railroad park early Wednesday evening

I hated missing the first general New Student Orientation Session that began Wednesday evening with the “Dogs Day of Summer.”  This partnership between Tech and Ruston merchants brings the orientation students and parents to town for good food and a warm welcome to the community.  Many businesses stayed open late to showcase and sell their art and supplies.  There’s nothing like getting an additional 500 to 600 people into downtown Ruston on a summer evening. With almost 400 students and 300 parents, this turned out to be one of our largest ever orientation sessions.  I ran into a few parents and students on campus on Friday and all seemed very impressed and enthused about being at Tech.  Things are still looking great for another outstanding freshman class. On Friday, I attended a reception at the Ropp Center honoring Miss Louisiana Tech, Meagan Lee, who is getting ready to participate in the Miss Louisiana Pageant next week.  Tech students Juliann Tippen (Miss Louisiana Tech 2012 and Miss Shreveport), Caroline Daughdrill (Miss Louisiana Bayou), Abby Chowns (Miss Pride of Monroe) and Anna Blake (Miss Spirit of Ruston) are also contestants in the pageant. We wish them all the best.  Tech alumnus Dr. Guthrie Jarrell will host a reception for the pageant on Sunday evening, a tradition that he has continued for many years.
Cyber Storm 2014

Lights, music and action have Memorial Gym rocking on a Saturday morning

Last Saturday, I stopped by Memorial Gym to watch some of the final competition for the Cyber Discovery Camp that involved students and teachers from eight high schools across the region.  This week-long camp is organized through the Cyber Innovation Center and run by Tech faculty in several disciplines including engineering, computer science, political science, history, English, sociology, mathematics, theatre and architecture.  When I walked in, music was blaring, lights were flashing, parents were in the stands watching, and students were immersed in a great day of learning and discovery. There are at least two more of these cyber discovery camps being held on our campus this year and our faculty are leading similar camps in Arkansas, Oregon, Maryland and Florida as well. The great exposure of our programs and faculty to students and teachers across the state and nation is having a positive impact on enrollments.
Louisiana Tech Presents - 06192014 (3)

Future Tech students enjoying “Louisiana Tech Presents” in Howard Auditorium