From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice

Christmas gumbo with a little cyber flavor

Dec 8, 2018 | Weekly Update

There’s nothing like gumbo as Christmas approaches! This week’s activities were like a Christmas gumbo flavored with cyber and a few other special ingredients. On Monday, Kathy and I hosted our Administrative and Planning Council for a Christmas Dinner at the President’s residence. On Tuesday, we hosted all of our faculty and staff in the Tonk for a real Louisiana gumbo luncheon. And on Friday, we hosted the community for a Holiday Celebration at the Davison Athletics Complex. We loved all of the food and fellowship! And thanks to our food services partner Aramark for the special flavors all week.

The cyber roux began to be prepared early Monday as I drove to Bossier City to meet with the senior executives of General Dynamics who flew in to get updates on our cyber education activities that are supporting the growth of their Louisiana operations. BPCC Chancellor Rick Bateman and I joined together to make the presentation, and we were particularly pleased that Congressman Mike Johnson joined us for that meeting.

I returned to the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier on Tuesday morning to meet with some Barksdale leadership and corporate partners to discuss some new innovation programs and opportunities. I made it back to Ruston just in time to enjoy our Faculty & Staff gumbo. We topped that off with an APC meeting and a Dunkin’ Dogs victory over Prairie View at the TAC.

Wednesday included a special meeting with our Blue Fire faculty & staff who were presenting updates on our outstanding First-Year Experience and Communications 101 program offered to all freshmen. We have all seen the significant impacts of those courses on the communications, teamwork and leadership skills of our students.  

I drove to Baton Rouge late Wednesday for Thursday meetings at the University of Louisiana System and the Governor’s Cybersecurity Commission. I presented the work of the Workforce and Education Committee to the commissioners and returned back to Ruston to hear Dr. Temple Grandin speak to a packed house at Howard Auditorium. Dr. Grandin is an autism advocate and prominent agricultural sciences researcher. Her message was powerful and enlightening. A big congratulations to Dr. Julie Rutledge and the Education and Research in Children’s Health (ENRICH) Center for organizing such an impactful event.

I made another trip to Baton Rouge on Friday to meet with the Governor to give him an update on the Cybersecurity workforce and education efforts of the Commission. Thanks to the generous support of an alumnus, I was able to catch a flight back from Baton Rouge so I could make it back to our Community Christmas party at the DAC.  

What a great gumbo!