From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Louisiana Tech alumni having positive impacts
Several of our biomedical faculty have organized a “New Frontiers in Biomedical Research” program and have brought in several distinguished speakers for a day or two on campus. On Monday morning, I enjoyed meeting with the latest distinguished speaker, Dr. Jennie Thurston, Director of Parke Cytogenetics Laboratory in Charlotte, NC. Jennie earned her BS and MS in zoology from Louisiana Tech under the guidance of Dr. Jim Spaulding. Congratulations to Jennie for her distinguished career and to our faculty who organized this program. More information is available at http://news.latech.edu/2014/10/08/cytogeneticist-louisiana-tech-alumnae-to-present-as-part-of-research-lecture-series/. I had a nice lunch on Monday with James and Lyda Madden of Minden. James and Lyda have been some of our most loyal alumni and many of their family members are also Tech alums and great friends of Louisiana Tech. They have also been major supporters of some of our research and innovation activities, and we are looking forward to some positive impacts from their investments. Later on Monday, I had a visit from another alumnus who brought her son and another student to campus for a visit. I enjoyed giving them a tour around campus a chance to see some things that they may not normally see on a tour. Both students are National Merit Semifinalists and, I hope, future Tech students. Tuesday was a planning day for me and a time to wrap up our presentation for the WISE (Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy) program that is providing Louisiana’s higher ed institutions with funding to support production of graduates in high-demand fields. Kathy and I drove to Baton Rouge on Wednesday and I made Tech’s WISE presentation to the University of Louisiana System Board. The Board approved our plan at its full meeting on Thursday. If approved by the WISE Council and the Board of Regents over the next few weeks, our plan will result in more than $1.6M in funding to support our faculty and students. This funding is coming at a crucial time, as our programs are growing and in need of the additional support to maintain the momentum for the future. Thursday evening, Kathy and I joined several of our Baton Rouge area alumni for dinner. This was a special evening for us as we were able to share more about the great things that are happening at Tech. We received a lot of positive encouragement from the alumni and they expressed interests in helping us recruit more students from the area. Former Tech football player and fan favorite Sean Cangelosi joined us for the dinner. This morning, I drove out to Zachary to meet with a former student of mine, Brennan Easley. Brennan now runs Trade Construction, having acquired that a few years ago from his father. Brennan came to Louisiana Tech as a transfer student from LSU. He provided tremendous leadership as a student and has continued to be a strong leader and supporter of Louisiana Tech as a member of our boards and alumni association. I enjoyed getting a tour of his fabrication facility and to see the impacts of his leadership on the growth of that company. Kathy and I are meeting some other Baton Rouge alumni today for lunch before heading over to Hattiesburg to watch the Bulldogs take on long-time foe Southern Miss. We will be meeting with more alumni tonight for dinner and will look forward to seeing many more at the game. Tech is fortunate to have so many alumni who make impacts in so many ways. Go Dogs!