Category Archives: Member News

LSUS Continuing Education & Public Service offers various courses and conferences in Sept.

LSUS Continuing Education & Public Service always aims to provide quality continuing education, lifelong learning, and public service programs. For the week of September 9 thru September 13 we will be offering a full slate of programs for adults seeking to expand their knowledge base or add to their professional development. Such course includes our new Effective Supervisory Leadership course, Paralegal institute, and Annual Suicide and Bullying Conference.

The Effective Supervisory Leadership Course will start on September 12 th and will run till November 14. They will meet every Thursday from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM. This course provides students with leading-edge, practical instruction in the following areas: Interpersonal skills, strategic and innovative leadership, Operational essentials, and Human resources best practice. The course fee is $579.

Our Paralegal Institute courses are currently available for registration and will begin on September 11. The Paralegal-Real estate will meet every Wednesday from 6 PM until 7:30 PM. The Paralegal-Family law will meet every Wednesday from 7:45 PM until 9:15 PM. A student can choose to take both at the same time in order to finish the Paralegal curriculum faster. Both of these courses cost $239 and are WIOA approved. However, if a student registers by September 5 they will get $20 off the regular course fee.

The 9th Annual Bullying Prevention & 14th Annual Suicide Prevention Conference will begin September 12 and will run for two consecutive days (from 9/12 to 9/13). Doors will open at 7:30 AM and the conference will run until 4:30 PM. The regular course price is $159, but if people register by September 5 th they will get $40 off the regular course fee. To view the conference schedule and breakout sessions use the link: Alternatively, simply visit our website ( and click our conference tab.

The LSUS office of Continuing Education invites anyone in the Shreveport-Bossier area to consider our course offerings for their professional development and leisure recreation. Interested individuals can enroll in these courses by registering online at or by
contacting Cheryl Irvin at 318.798.4177.

LSUS Continuing Education provides quality-learning experiences with professional instructors offering a flexible course schedule on campus and at other locations throughout the regional community for a multi-faceted and diverse population based on their educational needs.

Astronaut’s visit begins seventh annual ‘New Frontiers’ series at LA Tech on Sept. 24

Louisiana Tech University’s 2019-20 New Frontiers in Biomedical Research Series begins with a presentation by NASA astronaut Dr. Serena Auñón-Chancellor about medical research aboard the International Space Station Tuesday, September 24 at 6 p.m. in Howard Auditorium.

Auñón-Chancellor began working with NASA as a Flight Surgeon in 2006. In 2009, she was selected as a NASA astronaut.

For NASA, Auñón-Chancellor spent more than nine months in Russia supporting medical operations for International Space Station crew members in Star City. She also served as Deputy Crew Surgeon for STS-127, the 23rd flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour, in the summer of 2009. 

Auñón-Chancellor was most recently a part of the Expedition 56/57 crew that launched to the International Space Station in June 2018.

She is board certified in both Internal and Aerospace Medicine.

Established in 2013, the New Frontiers in Biomedical Research Seminar Series is a lecture series that brings world-renowned researchers from a variety of biomedical fields to the Tech campus. The series offers students and faculty the opportunity to learn and interact with leaders in their fields of study. Representing the interdisciplinary nature of biomedical research, the lectures are always free and open to the public.

Northwestern State offering flat rate for RN to BSN degree


NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s College of Nursing has been approved to offer a flat rate of tuition and fees for Registered Nurses who would like to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

The University of Louisiana System approved the plan Tuesday in which students will pay a flat rate of $6,750, which includes tuition and fees) for 30 credit hours of nursing courses in NSU’s RN to BSN program.

Administrators plan to launch the program for the Spring 2020 semester. 

“The RN to BSN curriculum is an opportunity for RNs with either a diploma degree or an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) to return to school and earn the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree,” said Dr. Ann Deshotels, assistant professor of Nursing.  “We primarily recruit in ASN programs because diploma programs are phasing out. We also recruit in hospitals and other health care agencies where RNs are employed.”

The program is offered 100 percent online, but students who live near one of NSU’s campuses in Natchitoches, Shreveport, Alexandria or Leesville can take the needed general education courses, such as a history or a behavioral science, either in the classroom setting or online, Deshotels said. The eight RN to BSN nursing courses are only offered online.

The flat rate tuition cost of $225 per credit hour also applies to the general education courses that some students may need.

“We are so excited that Louisiana’s educational boards have approved NSU’s proposal to provide a substantial cost savings for working, associate degree registered nurses who desire to obtain their baccalaureate degree,” said Dr. Dana Clawson, dean of NSU’s College of Nursing and School of Allied Health. “Northwestern’s College of Nursing values the contributions of nurses and understands how hard it is to be a working professional, spouse and parent and return to school. Lowering the cost of tuition for these nurses is one way we can show our appreciation.”

“We recognize that the price of college tuition can have a tremendous impact on a student’s decision to pursue educational goals,” said Dr. Darlene Williams, vice president for Technology, Innovation and Economic Development.  “Launching an alternate pricing model for the RN to BSN program will allow NSU to continue to be responsive to the needs of our state while lowering the cost for our students.”

Nurses who hold a BSN have increased opportunities for career mobility such as moving into leadership positions.  The BSN is often the first step towards a Master’s of Science in Nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice degree where nurses are prepared to become advanced practice registered nurses, nurse educators or nurse administrators. 

According to the Institute of Medicine, there is a growing body of research that clearly links baccalaureate nursing education to lower patient mortality rates and fewer adverse patient outcomes.

“Many healthcare agencies are now recruiting BSN-prepared nurses compared to the past due to professional, societal and governmental recommendations,” Deshotels said.  “RN to BSN students learn competencies needed to practice in 21st century public, community and critical care settings. They build on the knowledge learned in the ASN program with additional competencies added in informatics and evidence-based practice.”

Ryan Connella, a Shreveport native who lives in Oil City, earned his degree this year.  Connella was a charge nurse in the Surgical ICU at Willis-Knighton Medical Center when he enrolled in NSU’s RN to BSN program.

“This program was critical to achieving the goals I had set forth for myself. I needed to complete my BSN to continue to graduate school and NSU seemed to be the perfect fit since I was planning on attending graduate school there also,” Connella said.  “I learned a significant amount in regards to research, leadership, ethics and community nursing that I am able to use in daily practice.”

Deshotels said the investment is worth it to achieve professional goals, especially for nurses who are employed full-time.

“Balancing work, family and school takes a highly motivated, responsible and determined individual,” she said.  “Faculty advise students to not overload their schedules so that they can be successful, especially if the student plans to continue their education at the masters and doctorate levels.”

“We specifically proposed this tuition amount so that it would cover the basic costs of educating these students, but still be the lowest in Louisiana,” Clawson said. “Providing seamless articulation for the associate prepared nurse to obtain a higher degree, while simultaneously meeting Louisiana’s workforce needs is what NSU does best.”  

For more information or to apply for NSU’s RN to BSN, contact Deshotels at (318) 613-4990 or or Dr. Anna Morris, program coordinator, at (318) 677-3098 or

“We are willing to work with any student to meet their goals and make the program as flexible as possible to accommodate students who work full time,” Morris said. 

For more information on NSU’s College of Nursing, visit

Bossier Students Make Impressive Gains on 2019 LEAP

Bossier Schools is raising the bar on student achievement and making impressive gains across the district, as seen today
by the 2019 Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) student progress measure released by the state
Department of Education.
This measure is a component of Louisiana’s accountability system designed to provide students, parents, educators and
the public with information on the growth students make from one year to the next.
An admirable 70-percent of Bossier schools increased the percentage of students earning mastery or advanced in grades
3-8 math, Algebra I and geometry, the largest gains being made at Benton, Curtis and Legacy Elementary Schools.
Stockwell Place Elementary, Benton Middle and Benton High are the district pacesetters in the percent of students earning
mastery or above on the math portion of the LEAP.
Significant strides were also made in the percent of students earning mastery or advanced on the English Language Arts
(ELA) portion of the assessment, with the largest growth gains at Benton, Elm Grove and Sun City Elementary Schools;
Greenacres and Haughton Middle Schools; and Haughton and Parkway High Schools. The schools with the highest
percentage of students earning mastery or above on the ELA and science sections are Kingston Elementary, Benton
Middle and Benton High.
Another area to spotlight is the district’s Top Growth status, which shows over half of Bossier schools scoring in the top
two levels of the progress index, representing the 60th to 99th percentile relative to similar peers across the state. Raising
the bar by at least six-percent growth in math and/or ELA are Apollo Elementary, Central Park Elementary, Elm Grove
Elementary, Legacy Elementary, W.T. Lewis Elementary, Greenacres Middle and Haughton High.
Additionally impressive is, when ELA and math scores are combined, a third of the Top Growth schools in northwest
Louisiana are in Bossier Parish. They are: Kingston Elementary; Stockwell Place Elementary; Apollo Elementary; Central
Park Elementary; and Parkway High School.
Bossier Schools Superintendent Mitch Downey said, “Taking the leap to invest in and implement Tier 1 curriculum that
aligns with state standards has not been easy by any stretch for our teachers or students, but seeing these significant gains
in student growth and achievement proves their efforts have been more than worthwhile.”

CHRISTUS Velocity Urgent Care Hosts Community and Family Grand Opening

WHO:CHRISTUS Velocity Urgent Care invites members of the community and members of the local media! 
WHAT:The CHRISTUS Velocity Urgent Care team welcomes the community of Bossier City to a Grand Opening Celebration at their brand-new facility! The event will feature food, fun and giveaways for the whole family 
WHERE:CHRISTUS Velocity Urgent Care, 2703 Beene Boulevard, Bossier City. 
WHEN:Thursday, September 5, 2019, 4:30p.m. – 6:00p.m. 
WHY:As members of the community serving patients when their need for treatment is urgent, we want to get to know you – so stop by and get to know us! There will be food, games and giveaways for all ages. Last-minute school physicals will be offered, and we will be giving away an AED unit to a local school.

New master’s in computer information systems approved for Northwestern State

NATCHITOCHES – A Master’s of Science in Computer Information Systems at Northwestern State University has been approved by the State Board of Regents.

The 33-hour degree program would be offered completely online, the only program of its type offered by a public college or university in Louisiana. Students would take nine required classes along with two electives.

            “Students seeking a MS in Computer Information Systems will enhance their knowledge in a variety of areas within information systems while relating this knowledge to the success of an organization and using it to improve organizational information systems,” said Curtis Penrod, coordinator of the computer information systems program. “The online nature of this degree will allow working adults to further their education wherever they are located and at times convenient to their busy schedules. This degree will help further the growing information technology sector in Louisiana.”

            This will be the first graduate program offered by the School of Business in more than 30 years.

            “We are very excited to be able to offer this new master’s degree that will help fulfill the need of a knowledgeable workforce in the high-demand areas of computer systems and related technologies,” said Dr. Margaret Kilcoyne, dean of the College of Business and Technology. “The curriculum content includes practical applications which provide the foundation for students seeking leadership and research opportunities. The completely online degree program will allow students to advance their knowledge and skill-sets from anywhere in the world. It is a win, win, win for our students, our community and our state.”

The required classes are advanced cyber security, strategic data management and analysis, advanced data communication systems, data structures and algorithm analysis, strategic information systems project management, applied project management, strategic application of enterprise software, research methods in computer information systems and research project and/or thesis.

            The elective choices are emerging technologies and human-computer interaction, advanced mobile development, information assurance and decision support systems.

Three of the top 10 largest areas of growth requiring a baccalaureate degree are in the computer information system field. Students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree can return to college to increase computer information systems skills and develop new skills. Those without information systems backgrounds can develop new skills to change to an occupation with a higher salary and larger number of job prospects.

The master’s program would build up on Northwestern State’s nationally recognized bachelor’s program in computer information systems. Enrollment in the program has nearly doubled over the past five years to more than 300 with the assistance of a grant from the Louisiana Department of Economic Development and GDIT. New concentrations in application development, networking and systems management, web development, core programming and cyber security have been added. The program has been ranked first in the nation Students in the undergraduate program have won 17 national championships since 2000 at the Association of Information Technology Professionals National Collegiate Conference.

CHRISTUS Pediatric Associates – Shreveport-Bossier Adds Two New Providers

In addition to the recent growth across the region, CHRISTUS Pediatric Associates – Shreveport-Bossier has added two highly respected and locally known pediatricians to their team of distinguished providers. Gretchen Petterway, M.D., and Micah Pilcher, CNPN, have relocated to CHRISTUS Pediatric Associates – Shreveport-Bossier located at 1549 East 70th Street, Ste. 300, in Shreveport.

“Our goal is to provide the care and service that this community needs, and these highly-trained, well-loved pediatric providers caring for our youngest patients is key to providing full spectrum of care to this community,” said Stephanie Arnold, Administrative Director, CHRISTUS Physician Group.

Dr. Petterway is a graduate of Grambling State University and LSUHSC-Shreveport School of Medicine and has been employed by CHRISTUS Health since she completed her pediatric residency in 2009. She is a board-certified pediatrician and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is married to Felton and has two sons, Dillan and David. Dr. Petterway is also passionate about mental health in children and has authored a children’s book called “I Am Cool.”

“As a ‘Doc-Mom,’ I am passionate about approaching every clinical decision from two perspectives: as a physician and as a mom,” said Dr. Petterway. “One of my life’s passions has been to build a positive self-image within her sons, along with her patients, in early childhood.”

Micah Pilcher grew up in Shreveport and now resides in Stonewall with her family. She graduated from Northwestern State University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and again in 2012 with a Master of Science degree in Nursing and has dedicated her whole to pediatrics. 

“I absolutely love taking care of kids and could never imagine working with any other age group,” said Pilcher. “As a pediatric nurse practitioner, I strive to treat each one of my patients as if they were my own children and provide them with the most comprehensive health care possible.”

“CHRISTUS Pediatric Associates – Shreveport-Bossier, Dr. Petterway, Micah Pilcher and the everyone on the CHRISTUS Physician Group and CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier teams are dedicated to providing excellent, compassionate care to the people of this area,” said Arnold. “Our doctors and advanced practice providers always put the patient first.”

“We want to continue to demonstrate to this community and to our valued patients here that we are constantly growing to meet their health care needs,” said Dr. Petterway. “We love Shreveport-Bossier and caring for the children and families here.”

“At our new location, we are excited to make a tremendously positive impact serving this community,” said Pilcher. “We will keep working to ensure that our friends and neighbors receive the high-quality health care they deserve for their families.”

CHRISTUS Pediatric Associates – Shreveport-Bossier is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday- at1549 East 70th Street, Ste. 300, Shreveport. To make an appointment, call 318-681-5282.

The Glen CATS Series: Learn about uses for essential oils

Wellness coach Julia Foley will speak about potential uses for essential oils at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 20, at The Glen.

Foley’s presentation is the latest program offered as part of The Glen’s CATS series.

CATS: Events on culture, arts, technology and science, presented by The Paul and Betty McDonald Foundation, is hosted by The Glen each year and brings a diverse group of scholars, leaders and artists to residents and the Shreveport-Bossier City community.

Remaining events on the CATS schedule this year include:

Sept. 17: Taking a selfie presented by Amber Bordelon

Oct. 15: Performance by the Shreveport Opera Express

CATS events are held at 3 p.m. each month at The Glen, located at 403 East Flournoy Lucas Road, in Shreveport.

The events are no charge and open to the public; however, space is limited. For more information, call 318-798-3500 or go to

Louisiana Launches Veterans First Initiative

The Louisiana Veterans First Business Initiative was championed by Governor John Bel Edwards during the 2019 legislative session. It was created to honor the sacrifice that Louisiana veterans have made by recognizing businesses owned by a veteran, active-duty or reserve military, or Gold Star spouse. The program will allow for veterans, active-duty or reserve military, or Gold Star spouses who have 51% ownership in a business to apply for and gain certification to recognize and promote their businesses. In addition, a searchable database ( is provided for anyone seeking to patronize a veteran, active-duty or reserve military, or Gold Star spouse business.

Why should I sign up?
The Louisiana Veterans First Business database allows Louisiana to honor businesses owned by a veteran, active-duty
or reserve military, or Gold Star spouse. The program also helps in the promotion and marketing of such businesses. The program will also allow these businesses to be searched in the Louisiana Veterans First Business database by those individuals or companies looking to do business with veteran, active-duty or reserve military, or Gold Star spouse-owned businesses.

Does it cost me anything to sign up?
No. This program is free to all Louisiana businesses that are at least 51% owned by a veteran, active-duty or reserve military,
or Gold Star spouse.

What qualifies my business to sign up and become certified?
To participate, a business must be certified by the Louisiana Department of Veteran Affairs as being 51% owned by a veteran, active-duty or reserve military, or Gold Star spouse. The business must also be registered and in good standing with the Secretary of State. The company must have its principal place of business in Louisiana, where all owners and officers are U.S. Citizens or legal residents and domiciled in Louisiana.

What are the steps to become certified?
Step 1 Register to certify a business. Create a user name and password.
Step 2 Ensure the business is registered and in good standing with the Secretary of State.
Step 3 Complete the process online or go to one of the Louisiana Department of Veteran Affairs Parish Service Offices, bring the required documentation and have the business certified.
Step 4 Insignia, decal and certificate will be emailed and mailed to business owners for use in promoting the business as owned by a veteran, active-duty or reserve military, or Gold Star spouse.

Continuing reading more here.

Louisiana Cybersecurity and STEM Pathways

BOSSIER CITY, LA – Louisiana students now have the opportunity to earn a STEM seal on their diplomas by completing courses outlined in the newly implemented cybersecurity pathway developed by the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC), the academic division of the Cyber Innovation Center. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) voted Tuesday, August 13, 2019 to add the NICERC cybersecurity pathway to its list of approved options for Louisiana students to include on their diplomas and better prepare them for higher education and career paths.

Students can engage in a program of study that combines computer science, engineering, and mathematics through hands-on projects and interaction with industry professionals. The pathway will immerse students in topics such as privacy and security, artificial intelligence ethics, device safety, and complex computing systems, students will be better prepared to compete in the 21st century cyber workforce.

Kevin Nolten, the director of academic outreach for NICERC says the only way to keep our country’s cyberspace safe is to prepare the next generation for cybersecurity careers.

“This is a huge win for the state of Louisiana and our country as a whole,” Nolten says. “We’ve seen a growing shortage of cybersecurity professionals and this cybersecurity pathway is an important step in lessening that gap. The more students aware of and interested in cybersecurity degrees and careers, the brighter the future looks for our nation.”

Pathway coursework prepares TOPS University and Jump Start TOPS Tech diploma-seeking students for cyber career paths by immersing them in the fundamentals of cyber as well as its impact and application in the workforce.

“All of our private information, pictures of our families and children, even most of our money and records of assets live on a server somewhere and are susceptible to cyber attacks,” Nolten says. “The fact is there aren’t enough trained cybersecurity professionals to fill all of the jobs out there, and we’re counting on the next generation to protect us.”

In order to better meet workforce demands, the Louisiana Department of Education, the Louisiana Board of Regents, the LaSTEM Council, and the Governor’s office have teamed up to ensure Louisiana’s students have exposure to STEM courses and credentials starting in elementary school and continuing through college.  Louisiana STEM pathways are part of the Jump Start Initiative, Louisiana’s innovative career and technical education (CTE) program. These pathways better prepare students to seek a STEM degree in college or enter the workforce, having earned certifications in high-wage career sectors.

About NICERC: The National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC), the academic division of the Cyber Innovation Center, is focused on growing and educating the next-generation of cyber-literate workforce by equipping and training K-12 educators. The United States Department of Homeland Security supports NICERC through a grant to develop and distribute cyber, STEM, and computer science curricula to educators across the country. Contact:, 318-759-1600.