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    Dr. Michelle Dennis becomes BRCC dean of nursing, allied health

    Baton Rouge Community College has named Michelle D. Dennis, Ph.D. the new dean of nursing and allied health.

    In this role, Dennis will oversee degrees and certificates in the nursing, practical nursing, medical assistant, diagnostic medical sonography, emergency medical technician, pharmacy technician, surgical technology, and veterinary technology.

    “We are excited to welcome Dr. Dennis to the BRCC team,” said BRCC Chancellor Willie E. Smith PhD. “Dr. Dennis has extensive experience in the nursing field and she will be a great asset to our Nursing and Allied Health Division. I am confident that her passion for our faculty, staff and students will serve BRCC well.”

    Dennis earned a bachelor of science in chemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana, a bachelor of science in nursing from the University of Alabama, a master of public administration- healthcare concentration, and doctorate of philosophy in healthcare public policy  from Southern University and A&M College Baton Rouge.

    Dennis is the director of nursing within the Medical-Surgical Division with Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. In this role, she serves in various capacities not limited to managing the daily operations of the nursing units, operating within the outlined staffing matrix as well as meeting daily, monthly, quarterly, and yearly budget goals, the development and retention of personnel including both the nursing and ancillary staff. She collaborates with the Clinical Education Team to outline the placement of Nursing Students for clinical rotations while serving as the Chair of the Organization of Nurse Leaders Committee, Chair of the Charge Nurse/Nurse Supervisor Committee, as well as Chair of the OLOL Liturgical Committee. She was also selected to the Louisiana Nurse Leadership Class of 2020.

    Throughout her 20-year career in nursing, the first 12 years were spent working at the University of Alabama Hospital in Birmingham, Al. During this time, she worked in numerous areas, which included critical care primarily surgical intensive care, surgical nursing as both a circulating nurse and scrub nurse, perioperative and post-operative nursing, medical-surgical nursing, case management nursing, and also as a kidney and liver transplant nurse coordinator. Working in these various areas allowed for a vast opportunity of growth and knowledge into the diversity and depth that lies within the world of nursing. In these roles, she has been able to consistently work in a manner allowing her to become exceptional not only in her skills but has also constantly presented the opportunity for her to provide instruction to others as a preceptor and clinical education instructor.  Dennis maintains a passion for Nursing centered around giving patients, family, and staff the best care experience, and this is achieved through embodying staff with all of the necessary tools to be the absolute best Nurse possible. Furthermore, this enables them to provide their patients with highest and most effective level of care.

    Dennis is an active volunteer with Move Baton Rouge, which is a physical fitness program dedicated to improving the health of citizens of Baton Rouge. She also serves as volunteer and tutoring instructor for the Louisiana Leadership Institute. She is an active member of the Southern University Alumni Home Chapter and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She enjoys Zumba, cycling, running and spending time with her three nephews Isaiah, Renard (RJ), and Ryan.

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    Southern creates official varsity esports team, Christopher Turner named head coach

    The University becomes the first higher learning institution with an esports pipeline servicing K-12 through graduate school students.

    Southern University and A&M College is creating an official varsity esports team, joining more than 300 colleges and universities to compete nationally in the fast-growing digital sport.

    Esports, short for “electronic sports,” is defined as competitive multiplayer video gaming. While new and developing at the collegiate level, esports has grown exponentially among amateur and professional gamers around the world.

    The Southern University esports program has plans to join esports organizations, which include the SWAC, HBCU Esports, Tespa, National Association of Collegiate Esports, and Collegiate Star League. Students will have the opportunity to compete online against other universities.

    Southern University has named Christopher Turner general manager and head coach.  Turner is also the Southern University Laboratory School esports general manager and head coach. He has recently received a national championship through the development of its Esports Program.

    “I’m excited to head up esports for Southern University. We will be the only program to reach students from Pre K to Ph.D.  Our goal is to increase student involvement in STEM-related careers, compete for scholarships, and create internship opportunities,” said Turner.

    Spring season competition will be in NBA 2K21, Call of Duty, and Fortnite. Titles being considered for the fall are Rocket League, Super Smash Bros., Madden NFL, and FIFA.

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    John Warner Smith named Louisiana’s newest Poet Laureate

    Governor John Bel Edwards and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities has selected John Warner Smith as Louisiana’s newest Poet Laureate.

    A native of Morgan City, Smith began writing poetry while simultaneously building a successful career as a public administrator and a banker. He now teaches English at Southern University and A&M College, in addition to regularly publishing new works of poetry. Since 2007, he has directed Education’s Next Horizon, a non-profit policy advocacy organization dedicated to improving public education in Louisiana.

    Smith is a fellow of the prestigious Cave Canem program and has four published collections of poetry: Muhammad’s Mountain (Lavender Ink, 2018), Spirits of the Gods (UL Press, 2017), Soul Be A Witness (MadHat Press, 2016), and A Mandala of Hands (Kelsay Books – Aldrich Press, 2015). His fifth collection, Our Shut Eyes, is forthcoming from MadHat Press.

    He will serve as poet laureate for two years. Smith is available for public readings, workshops, and lectures, at venues across Louisiana during his tenure. Contact Christopher Robert at (504) 620-2639 or robert@leh.org.

    ONLINE: http://www.johnwarnersmith.com

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    Southern’s Victor Mbarika earns third lifetime achievement award for IT work in developing nations

    In recognition of his contributions to the growth of education in Nigeria and other African countries, Southern University professor Victor Marika was recently honored by  the Anglican Communion, Church of Nigeria, Nsukka Diocese, in Enugu State, for his work in information and communication technology.

    Mbarika is an endowed professor of information and communication technology at Southern University and A&M College. He also directs the International Centre for IT Research and Development at Southern which focuses on advancing IT research and training worldwide with emphasis on developing nations.

    Victor Mbarika

    Victor Mbarika

    During the 25th anniversary of the church, the Anglican Bishop of Nsukka Rt. Revd. Aloysius Eze Agbo said Mbarika–who is  Cameroonian–has “distinguished himself in the promotion of education system in the country, through empowering the youth in the area of ICT. He said such services to the country deserve commendation and reward.”

    “This is the third lifetime achievement to Prof. Victor Mbarika, in recognition of his outstanding entrepreneurial achievement, which has created job opportunities to numerous people in our society,” Agbo said. He previously received a lifetime achievement award from the African Society for Information and Communication Technology for his “contribution to ICT research and education” and another  from the Cameroon Association of Engineers and Computer Scientists for “outstanding contribution to computer science and telecommunications”.

    Mbarika is also the founder and president, Board of Trustees of the Information and Communication Technology University, that trained more than 20,000 students across the globe. He said he is delighted in the honor and promises to continue to assist Nigerians and others in the acquisition of quality education. “I am  delighted  in the honor given to me and promised to continue to assist Africans and others in the acquisition of quality education, adding that in due course, i would establish ICT university in Nigeria, as obtained in Cameroon, Uganda and other African countries,” said Mbarika.

    ONLINE: Southern University

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