From Student to Teacher

Senior Ariel Jones of New Roads, Louisiana, is the first recipient of the new Dr. Saundra Yancy McGuire Outstanding Supplemental Instruction Leader Award in the LSU Center for Academic Success.

Supplemental Instruction is an academic support program that uses peer-assisted study sessions. This free service is offered by the center and LSU’s colleges. The purpose of SI is to increase retention and graduation rates and improve student grades and academic performance within targeted, historically difficult courses.

“Being an SI leader is not a job, and it’s not an obligation,” Jones said of her peer-to-peer tutoring role. “It is such a privilege, and I am just so honored to be awarded with this, especially in the name of Dr. McGuire, because she has done so many things for this field of education. I’m just so thankful and appreciative that I was recognized, and really, words cannot describe it.”

McGuire retired from LSU last summer after serving the university for 14 years. For 10 of those years, she was director of the Center for Academic Success, a unit that received national and international acclaim during her tenure and continues to garner accolades and awards.

The generosity of her colleagues and friends through gifts to the LSU Foundation enabled the center to establish the award last year. It honors McGuire’s accomplishments and the impact she has had on the center, LSU students and the campus community.

Jones will graduate next May with degrees in biochemistry and Spanish. In addition to serving as an SI leader in organic chemistry for two years, she is part of the Honors College and is an LA-STEM Research Scholar. Jones was selected to receive the award for having characteristics displayed by McGuire: leadership, service, scholarship and a love of learning and teaching.

“Ariel has done an outstanding job of balancing a demanding academic load with her responsibilities as an SI leader,” shared Susan Saale, the Center for Academic Success’ associate director for academic support. “She is always looking for ways to make her sessions more meaningful for the students attending them while staying with the SI model, centered around collaborative learning.”

In her role as an SI instructor, Jones facilitates regularly scheduled, informal review sessions in which students compare notes, predict test items, develop organizational tools, and discuss readings. Students learn how to integrate course content and study skills while working together. Jones and her fellow instructors have all previously done well in the courses for which they lead sessions, and they attend all class lectures, take notes and act as model students.

Jones explained, “One of the great things about being an SI leader is that we’re in a position to be able to touch so many people’s lives and to really make a difference. It’s a unique program. Not all universities have the funds to do a program like this. At LSU, for us not only to have this program, but to also have it free and available to students—It’s just really great, and so I really hope students look into it and take advantage of it.”

Published in Cornerstone Summer and Fall 2014.


Endowing a Legacy

Throughout her two decades as guidance counselor at Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans, Millie Guichard touched countless students’ lives.

“She was very inspirational, and she worked tirelessly to place students in colleges all over this country, and probably around the world, for that matter,” said Holly Houk Cullen, whom Guichard helped significantly through difficult times. “If a student was looking to go to college somewhere, and that individual needed financial assistance or any kind of help whatsoever getting into that particular campus, she was there to help them, to make sure that it happened.”

Cullen shared that Guichard’s job was never over. She worked long hours to maintain an awareness of the opportunities for her students, and helped many students through serious personal issues.

Betty Quaschnick Lennon, Cullen’s lifelong friend, added that Guichard often attended former students’ major life events, including Cullen’s wedding. “Every student that went through Franklin while she was a counselor became her family,” she said. “She treated all of the students like they were her own.”

Lennon, Cullen and other alumni showed their appreciation for Guichard by endowing an oak at LSU when her health began to decline. Cullen and Lennon created a Facebook group, an easy way to reach out to former classmates and draw support for the endowment. “Reading people’s comments shows the impression she made,” Cullen said.

They met the threshold for the endowment within a year.

“When I think of LSU’s campus, the oak tree immediately comes to mind as one of the iconic images of campus,” Cullen shared. “One of the reasons it is such a wonderful, scenic place is because of the oaks. I feel like the oak represents strength and persistence and courage, and all of the things that Millie was about.”

Cullen and Lennon were able to delight Guichard with a framed photo of her tree (below) before she passed away last summer.

“Of all the colleges, [LSU] was near and dear to her heart. She was a huge LSU fan, and she recruited into her 80s for LSU,” Cullen said.

Cullen, who serves the university as an assistant vice chancellor in the Office of Communications & University Relations, would often mail recruiting materials to her former mentor. “She loved receiving those materials and being aware of everything that was going on on campus. She just adored LSU.”

Lennon added, “The expression that y’all have, ‘Love Purple, Live Gold,’ she embodied that. That describes Millie Guichard to a ‘T.’ She wanted nothing but the best for everybody.”


Published in Cornerstone Summer and Fall 2014.

Community Support Builds Endowment

The shelves of school libraries have been filled, collectors of rare books have found their oasis, and LSU Libraries has benefitted from nearly $2 million in philanthropic support.

The LSU Book Bazaar began as a small book sale in 1975, a project of the then recently resurrected Friends of the LSU Libraries. The first sale netted almost $600, remembered Anne West, chairperson of both the Book Bazaar and the Book Barn, where donated textbooks and antique books are sold throughout the year. The next year, the Friends branded the event the LSU Book Bazaar and sold more than 20,000 books and records, raising more than $7,000 for the libraries.

Most recently, patrons of the 2013 Book Bazaar bought nearly 70,000 items, enabling the Friends to make a $67,000 gift to the LSU Foundation to support LSU Libraries. “Students and faculty in every discipline benefit from the Friends’ hard work,” explained Elaine Smyth, interim dean of the LSU Libraries.

Over the past 38 years, proceeds from the Book Bazaar have contributed $1.8 million in endowed support for LSU Libraries. Earnings generated from the endowment are the major source of funding for the LSU Libraries to acquire items that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to fit within its annual budget.

West said the sales are used at the dean’s discretion, but typically fund the purchase of special books. “Those funds are necessary. There’s always need for more money in a library.”

In describing the impact the event has had on the community, West said that many schools have been able to establish libraries with books they bought from the Bazaar. “It gets books to people who couldn’t otherwise get them,” she explained.

Families and companies donate books, DVDs, CDs, e-books and albums almost year-round at drop boxes in Kean’s Fine Dry Cleaning locations throughout Baton Rouge. Bookstores in the area donate boxes for transporting the books, the LSU AgCenter donates space for the event, and dedicated workers at the Bazaar volunteer time.

Every year, most tables are left bare by the end of the sale, with items remaining only on the Collector’s Table, for rare books and first editions.

The 2014 Book Bazaar is slated for March 20-22, and will be held at LSU, in the LSU AgCenter’s 4-H Mini Farm and Nelson Memorial Buildings.

Published in Cornerstone Winter 2013 and Spring 2014.

Connecting the Past to Influence the Future

John and Nancy Barnidge believe in funding opportunities that will remain long after they have gone. They have consistently contributed to the E. J. Ourso College of Business for years—through its student incubator program, endowed scholarships, the Dean’s Excellence Fund and the new Business Education Complex, among several others.

Their son’s recent positive experience with the Manship School of Mass Communication’s master’s program prompted them to expand their giving.
“Originally, we wanted to endow a scholarship and have the dean utilize it as needed,” John said, adding, “We never believed in giving gifts with a lot of restrictions.”

Instead, Dean Jerry Ceppos shared an “unorthodox” opportunity to give, through a donation to commemorate the school’s centennial. This year marks the Manship School of Mass Communication’s 100th year of journalism and mass communication education at LSU.

The year-long centennial celebration, named Manship 100, culminated in the distribution of nearly 1,000 tickets for a weekend of activities in October, aimed to establish a national brand for the Manship School in media and public affairs education, and to raise more money than ever before for its annual excellence fund—surpassing the previous, record-breaking year.

Ceppos said of the school’s unique curricula, “We are the only university to teach at the intersection of media and public affairs at all three levels—bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral. Our graduates cover Congress and state houses; work in congressional offices and federal agencies; and campaign for officeholders. Our job is to be sure that they can communicate the significance of public affairs, whether they’re working for public officials or for media organizations.”

The Barnidges’ donation provided a framework for supporting the school’s efforts to raise $300,000 in support through the centennial celebration. “It’s a good investment on our part,” John said. “[I thought], we can make a donation, and the dean can take that donation and quadruple it in terms of returns … four-to-one return on your money is good.”

The Barnidges’ gift provided funding for centennial publicity, mailing materials, keynote speakers, workshops, dinners and a tailgate. A specially designed centennial website hosts a timeline of student, alumni and friend stories and videos to help engage visitors in the celebration.

“It’s a sense of loyalty, a sense of pride for the university,” John said of his and Nancy’s decision to give. “It’s a sense of loyalty that’s instilled in you and, at least in me, it’s never left.”

Published in Cornerstone Winter 2013 and Spring 2014.

Combat Boots to Business Suits

In 2010, the LSU Stephenson Entrepreneurship Institute, part of the E. J. Ourso College of Business, joined a consortium of universities across the country to offer the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities.
Syracuse University established the first EBV program in 2007, and it was so successful that the program quickly expanded to other universities to serve more veterans.

EBV offers cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who have a disability as a result of their service in supporting operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Through the generous support of individuals and corporations, all EBV participant costs are covered, including travel, lodging and meals.

“It exceeded my expectations in every way,” said LSU EBV participant Phil Goldstine, who enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1986.

Goldstine founded Fish Ranger!, Inc., a fishing and outdoor guide service, in April 2012. Through his company, Goldstine hosts guided fishing tours in Alaska during the summer and in Florida during the winter. He also sells custom rods and fish-themed art.

Goldstine shared, “I had the mindset of ‘I want to learn and I want to learn it now.’”

He added he found applicability in 90 percent of the information he learned through EBV and has steadily been able to apply it to his business. “There are lots of little victories as I move forward. Every day I look and see what progress I can make today,” he said.

EBV was designed to open the door to entrepreneurial opportunities and small business ownership to veterans by developing their competencies in the many steps and activities associated with creating and sustaining an entrepreneurial venture. Veteran Adam Howarth exemplifies EBV’s mission.

Following four years of service in the U.S. Army, Howarth began to conceptualize a “gourmet fitness” cycling studio that would be located in Chicago. He intends for the studio’s classes to begin with stationary cycling and end with yoga, pilates or weights.

Howarth’s business is still in the planning stages, but he has already been able to apply useful information gleaned from EBV toward marketing and personal branding. “Without EBV, I wouldn’t have been prepared for obstacles that may come,” he said.

Published in Cornerstone Summer and Fall 2013.

Celebrating History

The LSU Laboratory School will commemorate its upcoming centennial by celebrating the school’s rich history and long tradition of excellence throughout the 2015-16 school year. Originally located at the LSU campus in downtown Baton Rouge, U-High opened in 1915 as Demonstration High School. The school provides teachers and pre-service teaching candidates with opportunities to obtain practical classroom experience and to study and observe effective teaching methods.

The breadth and depth of the school’s academic and extracurricular experiences has positioned U-High at the forefront of education. For the past several years, Newsweek has included U-High in its annual roster of Best High Schools in the U.S.

U-High graduate and Orlando Magic forward-center Glen “Big Baby” Davis said his experience at the school changed his life. Raised in a single-parent household with five other family members, Davis credits U-High with providing a strong foundation for his future success.

“Coming to U-High helped me see a whole different world,” said Davis, who graduated in 2004. He shared that his education there opened the door for several opportunities, including his professional basketball career.

In gratitude for those opportunities, Davis founded the Glen “Big Baby” Davis Foundation, which works to steer inner-city youth away from defiant behavior through a focus on literacy, healthy lifestyles and recreational activities. The foundation is supported by individuals, corporations, grants and fundraising.

Through his foundation, Davis joins several donors as an underwriter of U-High’s centennial celebration, which will boast a birthday celebration, an alumni recognition celebration, a homecoming reunion tailgate, school tours and a gala celebration, as well as other celebratory programs.

Davis shared, “I’m always in debt to that school because of what they showed me. I just wanted to be a part of what they’re doing.”

At press time, underwriters for the centennial and their respective U-High graduation years, if applicable, include the Glen “Big Baby” Davis Foundation; Coastal Bridge Company, LLC; Jonalyn and Raoul Robert;Susan and Richard (1957) Lipsey, Laurie (1985) and Mark Aronson, and Wendy (1988) and John Shiroda; Richard and Claire Manship; Sharon and Claude Pennington and Paige Pennington (2011); and Betsy and Newton (1962) Thomas. An underwriting gift was also made in memory of Dr. Peter A. Soderbergh.

The year-long celebration will focus on highlighting the school’s contributions to the community; increasing public awareness of the school’s specific contributions to improved educational practices; recognizing individual and curriculum achievements; developing stronger connections with constituents; increasing awareness and participation in scholarship, general endowment and planned giving initiatives; and providing a historical record of the school’s first century through the collection and archiving of memorabilia, photographs and information provided by alumni and friends.

Published in Cornerstone Winter 2013 and Spring 2014.

Business Education Complex

The Business Education Complex opened in 2012, but opportunities for enhancement abound in the new home of the E. J. Ourso College of Business. Visit to learn more or to make a gift.

After using SAS Analytics in teaching and research for more than 30 years, LSU partnered with the business analytics software company to launch a Master of Science in Analytics to meet the workforce demands of this growing field. The program, housed in the Department of Information Systems & Decision Sciences, is a combined effort between the department and the College of Agriculture’s Department of Experimental Statistics.
LSU graduated its first class of students with advanced analytics degrees in 2013, with impressive results. Nearly all of the 16 students received job offers before graduation, averaging two offers per student.

“We looked at job placement to judge the success of our program, and this has been a great year for hiring,” said Ken Koonce, former dean of the College of Agriculture. “We had several companies come to us looking for people, but we just didn’t have enough students to meet the demand right now. We strive to get there.”

More than 100 students applied for entry into the 2014 class; 33 were selected. The overwhelming interest has sparked buzz about creating an Analytics Institute and an analytics PhD program.

“LSU College of Business students have quickly accepted the Business Education Complex as their new home. The modern design, along with team rooms, welcoming commons areas, an Ideation Lab and extraordinary technology, have created new opportunities for the College of Business. The rotunda and auditorium have allowed the school to host various functions, speakers and other events that have aided in the professional development and learning opportunities of the students.”

Sarah Hebert Lilley
Flores MBA Association President

Students walk to classes in the new Business Education Complex. Photo by Jim Zietz.
Students walk to classes in the new Business Education Complex. Photo by Jim Zietz.

Bloomberg Terminals
The Business Education Complex is equipped with a Securities Markets Analysis Research and Trading Lab, a financial lab that offers students and faculty access to real-time financial data, professional research tools and leading analytic software. The lab functions as a high-tech, hands-on classroom, complete with Bloomberg Terminals.

The college started with two terminals of the software that provides news, quotes and information on markets, equities, fixed income, currencies, portfolio analytics, mutual funds and economics. A small group of dedicated alumni and friends collaborated to commit $30,000 per year to fund an additional terminal.

The generosity of this gift made LSU eligible to receive nine additional
terminals from the Bloomberg Educational Foundation, bringing the total number of terminals to 12. Students now have the opportunity to use the software at any time, and can obtain their Bloomberg online training certification before graduation.

From Dean Richard White:
“Although we are just over a year removed from the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the BEC, we have already experienced tremendous benefits because of this state-of-the-art facility. In addition to being able to host almost all of the college’s functions on campus now, we have witnessed impacts on a variety of fronts.
“When U.S. News & World Report announced its 2014 rankings, the LSU Flores MBA Program jumped 20 spots overall, and is now 31st among the nation’s public institutions. Our Bloomberg Businessweek undergraduate program ranking improved overall by two spots, and we are now ranked 59th among public institutions. Earlier this year, Eduniversal, a worldwide organization, ranked our master’s of public administration program in the top 20 in all of North America. Additionally, our master’s of finance program was ranked in the top 40 in North America.
“Our college also has a tremendous staff that works tirelessly behind the scenes. We have gone from hosting an event or function maybe once every three days or so in Patrick F. Taylor Hall to hosting, on average, an event a day in the Business Education Complex. That is only possible due to the work of our small but talented staff, who have taken on more duties and continue to simply get the job done.”

Fast Facts
• The Business Education Complex includes approximately 156,000 gross square feet of learning and research environments, including classrooms, labs and offices for faculty and college administration.
• The rotunda is home for the college’s student services, professional programs, institutes and administration.
• The Commons is a 3,500-square-foot central atrium providing students with study space, Internet access and areas for group meetings. Convocations, guest speakers, alumni functions and other events that bring together students, faculty and friends as a community are held in the atrium.
• The auditorium seats 300 students and guests for conferences, guest lecturers and student symposia.
• The Executive Dining Area provides a professional area for meals and snacks, and a dining area for the Executive MBA Program, Executive Education and special events.
• The undergraduate and graduate wings, each arranged in four pavilions, house classrooms for courses and faculty offices for their academic departments.
• The two wings include 22 radial and case-style tiered classrooms designed for discussion and learning and equipped with the latest in audiovisual equipment, plus 15 smaller rooms for seminars and breakouts.
• The SMART Lab, a 40-person financial trading room, is equipped with the most up-to-date financial analytics and data.
• Community Coffee sells coffee and light fare.

Published in Cornerstone Winter 2013 and Spring 2014.

From the Pages of History

Housed in a building with a history as rich as its contents, LSU Libraries’ Special Collections has, since 1985, provided researchers with a gold mine of rare books, archives, manuscripts and photos detailing Louisiana’s past.

Special Collections in the Hill Memorial Library offers resources for original research in many fields. The program collects, preserves, provides discovery and access to, and promotes and instructs in the use of a wealth of research materials in areas including the humanities and social sciences, the natural sciences, agriculture, aquaculture, and art and design. These collections are largely donated by families with strong Louisiana ties.

Dr. Trent James, who, like his brother, uncle, father and grandfather, is an LSU alumnus, recently donated his family’s papers, detailing his father’s and uncle’s involvement in LSU and the Louisiana sugar industry throughout the early 20th century.

“[My father] loved LSU and appreciated everything it had given him,” James shared, continuing, “We have a lot of ties to LSU. We always loved it. It made me who I am.”

Seeing that the family’s papers were beginning to get scattered among family members, James decided to donate them. “It seemed to be the right thing to do,” he shared, adding that Special Collections is composed of “papers that would be otherwise lost and not available to anyone if they weren’t kept there. But they are available to those who want to study.”

James said he has a special passion for libraries—both his wife and daughter are librarians. “People want accurate information, and so much of it you can’t glean unless you read it and extract it yourself,” he explained. “That’s what libraries are good for. They get it organized, they make it accessible … That’s where librarians come in, and I think they’re essential. Somebody needs to judge, and constantly question, and make sure the information is accurate and true.”

Through the generosity of individuals like James, who donate both materials and funds to process those materials, Special Collections is able to build collections that serve students, scholars and the general public; enhance access to its unique holdings; provide educational public programming and exhibitions; and preserve the history of Louisiana and the Lower Mississippi Valley.

James feels libraries are the source of knowledge. “I believe in libraries,” he said. “They’re essential. I think there will always be a need for books.”

Published in Cornerstone Winter 2013 and Spring 2014.

Committed to the Coast

Washington Mardi Gras
Since 1944, Louisianians have had a spirited presence in Washington, D.C., for the annual Washington Mardi Gras. During this year’s nearly week-long celebration, Mystick Krewe of Louisianians King Martin Svendson held a cocktail reception to raise money for a scholarship he and his wife started. Martin and wife Mary “Moo” Turner Svendson created the scholarship in memory of Moo’s father, Bert Turner, founder of Turner Industries. The Bert Turner Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a full-time undergraduate student in the LSU School of the Coast & Environment.

Moo shared, “Through the business success Bert achieved, he made it possible for many of his children and grandchildren to enjoy Louisiana’s magnificent wetlands and coastal resources in a special way. Today, many of his children and grandchildren enjoy the fruits of the coast, including fishing, an abundant variety of seafood, incredible scenery and majestic wildlife. When time permitted, Bert enjoyed fishing offshore with fellow businessmen. He appreciated the bounty of the sea, which, as we know, originates in our precious, delicate and vanishing coastal wetlands.

“The Svendson family wanted to honor my father for his many contributions and successes and to originate a scholarship in his honor. This is one way of thanking him, while, at the same time, supporting an institution with a world-class coastal studies curriculum.”

coast-newCommitted to the Coast
LSU recently launched “Committed to the Coast,” a campaign to raise coastal awareness by bringing attention to Louisiana’s impending coastal crisis, LSU’s coastal research and the impact of that research on Louisiana.

  • LSU boasts 200 faculty members involved in coastal research, bringing in approximately $73 million in grants to focus attention on these critical issues.
  • Louisiana contains 40 percent of the nation’s wetlands, but 80 percent of the nation’s wetland loss.
  • An LSU engineering study recently demonstrated that more than 60 miles of vital New Orleans area evacuation routes are vulnerable to land loss and subsidence (i.e., sinking or falling) and could be lost by 2100.
  • An LSU faculty member recently became the first scientist ever to accurately predict norovirus outbreaks in oyster beds when he detected contamination in Cameron Parish 30 days before the oysters were scheduled for harvest.
  • An LSU research team discovered that introducing excess nitrogen can make a salt marsh literally fall apart in 5 to 7 years.

Published in Cornerstone Summer and Fall 2013.