From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Crowns, cyber and tourney time
Rainy weather has been the norm in Ruston for quite a while now, and Monday morning started out much the same way. But the morning got off to a bright beginning for me as I met with Miss Tech 2015 Eva Edinger in the lobby of Wyly Tower for publicity pictures for Eva’s participation in the Miss Louisiana pageant later in the year. We were joined by Eva’s mom, Joan, who was Miss Tech 1975 (also my junior year at Tech.) After brief meetings with my communications director Dave Guerin, VP Terry McConathy and the Registrar, I was pleased to provide a campus tour to a prospective student – the daughter of one of my former students. I then headed off to Bossier City to meet with our Cyber Innovation Center colleagues as well as Dr. Kamal Jabbour and Ms. Regina Recco from the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, NY. We have worked with Dr. Jabbour for years and have come to appreciate him as one of the top cyber security experts in the nation. He is the one who initially encouraged us to establish the cyber engineering degree program. I am most pleased that he has accepted my invitation to be the Spring 2015 Commencement speaker when we will be awarding our first cyber engineering diplomas. Later Monday, I returned to campus for meetings with some senior staff of Computer Sciences Corporation who were on campus to explore additional activities related to our partnership. The level of collaboration between Tech and CSC is extensive – and growing. This is providing many benefits to our students & faculty as well as supporting job opportunities for many in the region. I returned to Bossier City for a Tuesday morning meeting that included representatives from Barksdale Air Force Base. Then, I made a brief stop in Ruston to pick up Kathy and we headed out to Birmingham to join the Bulldogs and Lady Techsters for the Conference USA basketball tournament. Tuesday evening, we held a “Tech’s in Town” event for alumni in the greater Birmingham area. AD Tommy McClelland and I took questions from the audience and used that as an opportunity to share our plans for the campus and athletics. These alumni events are very important, in my view, for keeping our alumni engaged and informed. I appreciate our staff who are so involved in planning all of these events, particularly Wes Cavin, Barbara Swart, Michele Robinson and Ryan Richard. It’s Wednesday evening and Kathy and I just returned from the Lady Techsters game. We are celebrating the Techsters’ win over the FAU Owls to advance to the 2nd round of the tourney. They will play Middle Tennessee tomorrow at 1:30 pm, and the Bulldogs will play in their quarterfinal game against either UNT or Rice later that evening. We were excited to hear today that Coach Mike White won the Conference USA Coach of the Year and point guard Speedy Smith won Player of the Year. Both are highly deserving of the recognition and we are proud of the way that they represent the institution. We are looking forward to the rest of the tournament games and more interactions with our alumni and friends.