FYI. So Many Honors, So Little Space

Faculty and Students Earn Honors, Grants,
Publish, Serve and Speak


Otto Speaks for Schreyer-Russell
Lectures at Pfeiffer University

Dr. David Otto, professor of religious studies and the Arthur and Emily Webb professor of International Studies at Centenary College of Louisiana, was guest speaker during the Schreyer-Russell Lectures at Pfeiffer University. He compared the answers to Jesus’ provocative question, “Who do you say that I am?” offered by the four Gospel writers and highlighted various portraits of Jesus at key times in U.S. history and within selected subcultures.


Grunes Earns Scholarship Award,
Publishes Chapter

Dr. Rodney Grunes, professor of political science, was named the recipient of the Distinguished Scholarship Award from the International Lincoln Center at Louisiana State University in Shreveport. Grunes’s research focused on how Presidents Lincoln, Jefferson and Madison addressed the constitutional right of religious freedom, with emphasis given to how their views have been treated by the U.S. Supreme Court. He also had a chapter, “Jefferson, Lincoln, and Religious Freedom,” featured in the edited book The Great Presidential Triumvirate At Home And Abroad.


Newtown Wins Dallas Morning News Award

Centenary English Professor George Newtown was the winner of The Dallas Morning News First Prize Nonfiction Award for Literary Excellence and $3,000 for his essay-memoir “Voir Dire.” He received the award during the second annual Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Writers Conference of the Southwest, presented by the University of North Texas Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism.


Shepherd and Alums Preserve Louisiana History

Dr. Sam Shepherd, professor of history, was the editor of New Orleans and Urban Louisiana, a three-volume set published by the Center for Louisiana Studies. The set focuses on the history of New Orleans and includes articles about Shreveport and Baton Rouge. Three Centenary alumni contributed articles: Alicia Kaigler Jackson ‘95, Alyce Boudreaux Hoge ‘85 and Todd Hebert ‘89.


Yale Review Publishes Havird Poem

Professor of English David Havird’s poem “Smoking in Bed,” was published in a recent edition of The Yale Review. The poem was dedicated to Elizabeth Spencer, novelist and short story writer, who received Centenary’s Corrington Award for Literary Excellence in 1996-97.


Physics Professor Rodriguez Receives Biology Grant from National Science Foundation

“It’s a sign of the times” says Centenary College Professor Juan Rodriguez of the $154,000 in funding he received from the National Science Foundation.

“Biology is evolving to the point where research in the field often requires approaches based on mathematics, chemistry, physics, or engineering. The Centenary project just funded by the NSF is perhaps unusual in that it brings all of those disciplines into focus to address a single biological problem.” Dr. Rodriguez, who is a professor of physics and biophysics, as well as the Gus Wortham Professor of Engineering, will lead a team of undergraduate students from Centenary College in advancing all aspects of this research.


Shreveport Regional Arts Council
Fellowship Goes to Dance Teacher

Renee Smith-Cheveallier received the Shreveport Regional Arts Council’s Artist Fellowship Award in Dance. She teaches the modern dance classes and the Dance Ensemble class at Centenary and also serves as co-artistic director of Centenary’s dance company, Escaped Images.

Professor, Alumnus Collaborate on Tourism Economics Article



Dr. David Hoaas, professor of economics and associate dean of the college, is the author, along with alumnus Greg Clarke of an article published in Tourism Economics, which is published internationally out of London, England.

The paper represents an extension of Clarke’s senior economics honors project. Clarke received his B.A. in economics in May 2005. He is originally from Ontario, Canada and now works for HSBC Bank of Canada. His current assignment with HSBC is in Calgary, Alberta.


Student Spends Internship Charting Gulf of Mexico’s Dead Zone

Student Elizabeth Robinson of Shreveport completed a productive internship with the Hypoxia Shelf-Wide Cruise, charting the Louisiana “Dead Zone” in the Gulf of Mexico. She joined scientists, students and faculty from the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Louisiana State University and the Harvard School of Public Health as the sole representative from Centenary.


Student Speaks to High School Students about Abusive Relationships

Carol Verbeek, a political science major hailing from Tyler, Texas, was awarded the Gold Award by the Girl Scouts of the United States of America. She talked with 300 high school students at four private schools on abusive relationships, focusing on sexual abuse and date rape drugs.


Golf Digest Features Centenary Student

Nick Faitz, a first-year student-athlete from North Little Rock, Ark., was interviewed by Golf Digest for an article geared to high school students. He talked about how to get to play college golf.

Local Editorial Praises Civic Engagement Project



Recent graduate Diya Surie ’06 and English Professor Steven Shelburne were mentioned favorably on the editorial page of The (Shreveport) Times in an editorial about the City of Shreveport’s attempts to control the hydrilla plant in Cross Lake.

Here’s what The Times said: “Sidenote: With city Operational Services making a necessary but prudently conservative step, the hydrilla plan also highlights a great example of local academia providing an important resource for solving practical issues facing our community. The hydrilla strategy is based largely on a Centenary College study written by recent student Diya Surie, principal investigator for a fledgling venture into civic engagement based at the school, and overseen by Professor Steven Shelburne. The project was funded by the Kisatchie Foundation, an affiliate of the Sierra Club.

“Such collaborations should be both celebrated and encouraged… Such partnerships benefit both the community and the academic institutions. They also hold promise for spinning off commercial endeavors that promote knowledge-based industry.”

Space Engineer Alum Talks about NASA Project


William Gibson ’68, Centenary alumnus and assistant vice president of Space Science and Engineering at the Southwest Research Institute, speaks on campus. He talked about his role as development leader of spacecraft instruments for NASA’s recent New Horizons mission to Pluto. Following his convocation address, members of the Math Club and Physics Club hosted a luncheon for Gibson. There he presented information about SwRI’s research programs and employment and internship opportunities. Gibson graduated in 1968 with a B.S. in engineering science and went on to manage projects to develop scientific instruments and other systems on space shuttles and satellites. In 2003, he received the NASA Public Service Medal, the highest level of award available to a non-NASA employee.

Corrington Awardee Yusef Komunyakaa Speaks on Campus


Pulitzer Winner and Centenary Corrington Award honoree for 2006, Yusef Komunyakaa, speaks with students gathered in Turner Art Center. A native of Bogalusa, La., Komunyakaa has taught English and African American studies at universities across the country. From 1965–67, Komunyakaa served in Vietnam as a U.S. Army information specialist and editor of the Southern Cross, a military newspaper, and received the Bronze Star for his service. He has won many awards for his poetry, most notably the Pulitzer Prize in 1994 for Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems. While at Centenary, he read selections from the book, which first-year students were studying.

Education, Meadows Museum Earn Accreditations

National accreditations were granted this year to two entities at Centenary College, both after intensive self study and review.

The Department of Education has received provisional accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Meadows Museum of Art has earned re-accreditation from the American Association of Museums (AAM).

Congratulations to all involved in these efforts.

Regents Award $183,485 in Support Fund Grants for 3 Centenary Projects

Louisiana Board of Regents Support Funds, announced in May, amounted to $183,485 in grants for three Centenary projects. The projects and the grant applicants are:

  • $108,000 to expand the capabilities of the scanning electron microscope provided by the earlier NASA appropriations grant (Dr. Scott Vetter, William C. Woolf Professor of Geology)
  • $48,517 for a neuroscience curricular development for students planning to enter the health sciences (Dr. Greg Butcher, assistant professor of neuroscience)
  • $26,968 for equipment to establish a music technology classroom (Dr. Doug Rust, assistant professor of music)

20th Annual Book Bazaar Raises Record Amount; Upcoming Event is Sept 7-8 in the Gold Dome

The Centenary Muses outdid themselves last fall when the 20th annual Centenary Book Bazaar raised over $47,500—an all-time record high! But this year promises to be a banner one as well, as book donations continue to pour in.

Tell your friends and mark your calendars for the 21st annual event. It’s set for the evening of Friday, Sept. 7, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8.

Take advantage of a wealth of books, records, CDs, DVDs and tapes at bargain prices while doing a good thing for student projects.

The Hall of Fame Room

Hall of Fame Room in Bynum Commons

Once gracing the foyer of the South Dining Hall, the Centenary Alumni Hall of Fame now has a room all its own in the newly renovated Bynum Commons. Portraits of all those who have received Centenary’s highest honor—selection to the Hall of Fame—have new frames and now grace the walls of a paneled and richly appointed space. The room will be available for small conferences and it will be on display during Homecoming.

Nelson Board Room Honors George D. Nelson Sr.

Nelson Board Room in Hamilton Hall

Complete with a new board room table and furniture, computer and video equipment and mementoes from the 30-year chairmanship of the late George D. Nelson, the Nelson Board Room is located on the second floor of Hamilton Hall, in the space where Mr. Nelson oversaw many a board meeting. “Carolyn Nelson has assisted us in appointing the Nelson Board Room in a way that would represent the integrity and quality of the man her father was during his leadership at Centenary,” said President Ken Schwab. “I’m increasingly grateful for her willingness to support this project and to support the endowed professorship in her father’s honor.”

The Whited Room, Honoring Edwin Frost Whited

The Whited Room, formerly South Dining Hall

Edwin Frost Whited Family and President Schwab

The newly refurbished South Dining Hall, now known as The Whited Room, was celebrated during the December luncheon of the Centenary Board of Trustees. On hand to celebrate the space honoring the late Edwin Frost Whited were his daughter, Mary Amelia Whited-Howell ’88, son-in-law Philip B. Howell ’87 and grandchildren Philip Carter Howell, Amelia Reid Howell and Henry Frost Howell. They are pictured here with Centenary President Kenneth L. Schwab.

Nelson and Voran Endowed Professorships

Honoring Endowed Professorships Named for Nelson and Voran

Celebrating three new endowed professorships at Centenary, which were presented during Louisiana Board of Regents ceremonies, are (left to right) Dr. Will K. Andress, attending to represent the A.C. “Cheesy” Voran Choir Director Endowed Professorships No. 3 and 4, and Carolyn Nelson and George D. Nelson Jr., the daughter and son of the late George Nelson Sr., whose memory is honored by the newly created George D. Nelson Sr. Endowed Professorship.

Economics Professors Develop Interactive
CD for Use By High School Teachers

Frost School of Business's CD for Teachers

With funding from the Louisiana Board of Regents, Professors Harold Christensen and Betsy Rankin published the first edition of The Centenary College Teaching Economist, produced in an interactive CD format. The CD contains data and analysis on employment, CPI and other economic indicators, for the 22 parishes in North Louisiana, aggregated data for Shreveport and Monroe regions, the entire state of Louisiana and the United States. According to Dr. Chris Martin, dean of the Frost School of Business, the uniqueness of the CD publication is both its interactive format and its specific tailoring for use by Louisiana high school economics and free enterprise teachers.

One attribute of the CD is a map of Louisiana parishes on which teachers or students can click to get the data for that particular parish. Once a parish is selected, there is the option of a teacher’s sheet or the student’s sheet. The student’s sheet contains just the raw data. The teacher’s sheet includes the data as well as “Teaching Moments,” which are guides for the teachers on how best to use the information in class and what peculiarities are significant or of interest.

Geological Group Honors Prof, Alum for
Creative Ideas in Exploration

Dr. Mary Barrett and John Goodson Jr.

A Centenary College geology professor and a geology graduate have been recognized for their creative ideas in petroleum exploration. At its 2007 fall meeting in Corpus Christi, Texas, the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies will recognize Dr. Mary Barrett, professor of geology, and Centenary alumnus and Ergon Exploration, Inc. geologist John Goodson Jr..

They will receive the group’s A. I. Levorsen Memorial Award for their paper “High-Resolution Foraminiferal Biostratigraphy of Cenomanian and Turonian Sandstones, Tyler County, Texas.” The paper was presented at the GCAGS meeting in Lafayette and published in its annual transactions. It was selected from 67 petroleum geoscience papers that focused on the onshore and offshore Gulf of Mexico region.

Dr. Barrett has been a member of the Centenary faculty since 1992. At Centenary, Goodson earned a bachelor of science in geology degree in 1984 and a master of science in geology in 1998.

Drs. Labor and Schwab

Dr. Earle Labor and President Ken Schwab

Dr. Earle Labor, George A. Wilson Professor of American Literature, and President Ken Schwab take a look at a bust of Jack London during a visit last fall to the Huntington Library. Dr. Labor is an internationally known London authority.

Constitution Day Speaker the Hon. Carl Stewart


Centenary Trustee Carl Stewart is the keynote speaker during Centenary’s observance of Constitution Day. Judge Stewart has served on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for more than 12 years.


Thanks Gordon LeBlanc Jr. for Indy Bowl Fame!

If you watched the PetroSun Independence Bowl football game on television last December you may have noticed two “commercial” spots for Centenary during the game. And if you looked closely, you could note an acknowledgement thanking PetroSun for the air time.

The spots and indeed the bowl itself were all thanks to Centenary alumnus Gordon M. LeBlanc Jr., a member of the Centenary Class of 1974. He is CEO and chairman of PetroSun and is a third-generation member of the oil and gas industry with over 30 years of experiences as an operator and geological consultant.

PetroSun’s web site notes that LeBlanc was driven to discover new energy production and reserves, founding LeBlanc Oil (1985) and Tiger Energy (1990) to concentrate on developing oil and gas prospects in the Holbrook Basin of Arizona, the San Juan Basin of New Mexico, the Canning Basin of Western Australia and the Cooper-Eromonga and Surat basins of Queensland, Australia.

It also notes that LeBlanc oversees a variety of philanthropic endeavors. He is the co-founder of “Every Kid Counts,” a 501-C3 children’s charity based in Phoenix, Arizona, and has actively served for the past 10 years as co-chairman of a group dedicated to fundraising efforts benefiting officers of the Phoenix Police Department.

And, we’re pleased to say, the biographical sketch notes, “Mr. LeBlanc majored in petroleum geology at Centenary College of Louisiana.” Thanks, Gordon, for giving back to your alma mater and the Shreveport-Bossier community.