A NEW TRADITION "RINGS" TRUE
The class ring has long been a representation of a graduate's lifetime connection to Louisiana Tech University and a reminder of a vow to exemplify the Tenets of Tech. In 2017, with the help of student leaders from across campus, a new tradition was born: the Ring Tradition. This new tradition redefined the meaning of the engravings on the rings and established two new events - the Procession of the Rings and the Ring Ceremony. In its second year, the Ring Tradition saw an over 200 percent increase in student and alumni participation.
On Friday, April 20, class ring recipients, joined by President and Mrs. Guice, representatives of the Alumni Association, and the band and cheerleaders, met by Hale Hall to begin the Procession of the Rings. Placed in specially-designed boxes and draped in red and blue, the rings were carried by members of the Louisiana Tech Student Veterans Organization and escorted along the Alumni Walkway through Centennial Plaza all the way to the brick of Tech's first graduate, Harry Howard, receiving a "blessing" from all of Tech's past graduates. The rings were then placed inside the Centennial Clock Tower where they remained guarded overnight, symbolizing both the timelessness of the Tenets of Tech and the rings' connection to past, present, and future alumni. Alumni Association National Board President Cathi Cox-Boniol welcomed the recipients into the larger Tech Family of alumni, and the ceremony concluded with the Alma Mater, led by members of the Band of Pride.
On Saturday, in a private ceremony held in University Hall, President Guice presented the rings and SGA President Ben Rice informed the recipients of the significance of the symbols on the ring: the bulldog logo, the iconic Lady of the Mist and Keeny Hall, the mace that symbolizes the light of learning, and the State and T. Also seen are the recipient's degree, year graduated, 1894 (the year of Tech's founding), and the words "Ever Loyal Be." The graduate's name and, so it will always be touching the wearer, a Tech Tenet chosen by the graduate are engraved inside.
The dates for the 2019 Procession of the Rings and Ring Ceremony have not been set, but all alumni are invited back to participate or even receive an official ring and be part of the ceremony itself. For details on ordering a ring, please contact Daniel Dupuy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 318-497-7263.
COLLEGE OF BUSINESS MAKES $150,000 INVESTMENT FROM STUDENT MANAGED INVESTMENT FUND
The College of Business at Louisiana Tech University recently made the initial investment of $150,000 from the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) on March 13. Managed by undergraduate finance students, the SMIF provides real-world experience in managing a long-term investment portfolio.
“The SMIF is an opportunity that few people — even in the real world — would ever experience,” said JPJ Investments Endowed Professor of Finance Dr. Bill McCumber. “It benefits students by bridging the gap between theory and practice, allowing them to build and articulate demonstrable, professional, real-world experience.”
With $150,000 in the fund, the portfolio is governed by an advisory board comprised of industry professionals. Student managers will provide performance reports and make a formal presentation to the board each year. In addition to providing real-world experience for our students, the SMIF’s spending rule will provide the College of Business with funds for technology upgrades, student travel and other program enhancements.
MYRTIS ORR JOINS HALL OF DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI
The Louisiana Tech University Alumni Association welcomed Myrtis Orr into its Hall of Distinguished Alumni during Winter Commencement in the Thomas Assembly Center. She was also awarded the Tower Medallion that accompanies this distinction.
Her husband of more than 70 years, Dr. Virgil Orr, former vice president for academic affairs for the University and its Alumnus of the Year in 1996, received the Medallion in 1986.
Mrs. Orr taught preschool at First Baptist Church in Ruston from 1953 until 1965 when she was recruited by the director of A.E. Phillips Laboratory School to establish its first kindergarten program in 1966. By 1968, she began working with student teachers at the University and became part of the Tech faculty. She maintained this dual role as kindergarten teacher and associate professor until her retirement in 1985.
Considering the number of children Mrs. Orr taught directly and the number of Early Childhood student teachers she helped to educate, plus the lives she positively influenced by her servanthood at Temple Baptist Church and as a volunteer in the North Louisiana Hospital Auxiliary, it’s apparent that her reach has been immeasurable.
LOUISIANA TECH, BPCC PARTNER TO SUPPORT EDUCATIONAL ACCESS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT LOCALLY
Louisiana Tech University President Dr. Les Guice and Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) Chancellor Dr. Rick Bateman signed a memorandum of understanding Monday, April 23, focused on increasing opportunities and access to academic programs in northwest Louisiana.
The institutions agreed to share space in the STEM Building known as Building H on the BPCC Campus and in the National Cyber Research Park. Louisiana Tech and BPCC will cooperate on education and training that will respond to regional and national needs in the cybersecurity field as well as other areas of importance for the community.
“As a part of our strategic plan, Louisiana Tech has increased research and teaching on three areas of importance for our country – cybersecurity, energy, and health and wellness,” Guice said. “Our partnership here with BPCC will help us meet our goals for providing services in conjunction with the Cyber Innovation Center including cyber training, veteran support services, and economic and workforce development.”
PSYCHOLOGY DOCTORAL PROGRAM RANKED NO. 1 NATIONALLY
Louisiana Tech’s Industrial/Organizational Psychology graduate program ranks No. 1 nationally in applied development opportunities in a groundbreaking ranking study from my.SIOP (Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology).
You can’t get better than No. 1.
"What an honor for a program that only accepted its first cohort in 2009,” said Donna Thomas, Department Chair of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences at Tech. “I’m extremely proud of, but not surprised by, the No. 1 ranking — it’s a direct reflection of the program’s outstanding students and their commitment.
“Since its inception, the I-O Psychology Ph.D. program has emphasized the application of behavioral science through its consulting group, Applied Research for Organizational Solutions (AROS),” Thomas said. “Our students often tell us it’s what attracted them to our program — the opportunity to put their knowledge and skills into practice, under the supervision of our exceptional faculty. I’m so pleased to see the students and faculty recognized for their hard work. The ranking will help us grow the program’s reputation by continuing to attract top-notch students.”
Tech’s top ranking in applied development opportunities means that the program helps students gain experience in applying I-O psychology research findings to organizations, interacting with organizational stakeholders, and communicating with lay audiences. Programs that rank highly in this area may provide graduate students with opportunities to work on consulting projects overseen by faculty or include courses requiring the completion of projects emphasizing skills commonly used by I-O psychologists in applied settings (such as job analyses and performance appraisal). Prospective students interested in a career as a practitioner or as an academic who also consults independently or oversees student consulting projects may be interested in programs ranking highly in this area.
STUDENTS COME TOGETHER TO THANK DONORS
Many of Louisiana Tech's students are the beneficiaries of private support from our loyal donors but never get the opportunity to tell those donors how much their support means. Last year, the Louisiana Tech Student Advancement Team started Notes and Floats to educate students on the importance and impact of private giving and give them the opportunity to thank donors. This year, another student education event, Impact Day, was started.
On March 21, members of the Student Advancement Team placed signs around campus denoting buildings and rooms that were made possible by private donations. They also passed out buttons to faculty members holding endowed positions to wear during class. The students also set up in Centennial Plaza and passed out cookies to students that illustrated the impact of private gifts.
Students gathered in the Student Center on Thursday, April 19, for the second annual Notes and Floats. They are given a root beer float, a stack of note cards, and a list of donors to thank. During this year's event, over 450 students wrote approximately 2,000 notes to donors thanking them for their support.
"Notes and Floats is a terrific event that helps connect students with our alumni and friends by thanking them for their loyalty and investment in our future." said Madeline Patton, a Junior Louisiana Tech student and member of the Student Advancement Team. "It is a fun way to engage Tech students by allowing them to see the impact that private donations make on our campus. Once we realized the amount of private support to the University, we were eager to start writing!"
INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING PROGRAM AMONG BEST IN NATION
The Master of Science in Industrial Engineering program at Louisiana Tech University has been ranked among the best online industrial engineering degrees in the nation for 2018.
The SR Education Group, an education research publisher, has ranked the degree as the 12th best online degree program in its “2018 Best Online Colleges for Value: Master’s Industrial Engineering” list. The group ranks schools across the nation in online degree programs and shares its findings for the top 25 schools. With an annual tuition of $12,600, Louisiana Tech’s tuition is nearly half the national average of tuition ($24,331) reported for online industrial engineering programs by the organization.
At No. 12, the Louisiana Tech program ranks above online industrial engineering programs at prestigious universities, such as Purdue University (No. 17) and Columbia University (No. 23).
“It is an outstanding and well-deserved honor for Tech’s online master’s in industrial engineering to be rated so highly, ahead of even some Ivy League and much larger institutions,” Dr. Katie Evans, associate dean for strategic initiatives and director of online programs at Tech’s College of Engineering and Science said. “I believe this ranking is reflective of the high caliber of instruction provided by our dedicated industrial engineering faculty at a fraction of the cost of other institutions.”
Donny Crowe, Louisiana Tech University