Louisiana Higher Ed: Southern-Shreveport picks chancellor finalists, LSU doctor creates sepsis test

Your weekly update on the higher education news that didn’t make the front page 

By: - January 20, 2023 3:06 pm
LSU Clock Tower

LSU’s War Memorial Tower looms over portions of the Baton Rouge campus. (Photo by Julie O’Donoghue/Louisiana Illuminator)

The Louisiana Illuminator takes a weekly look at news from universities and colleges around the state. Have a tip or want to submit a Louisiana Higher Ed news item? Contact [email protected].

Southern-Shreveport names chancellor finalists 

The search committee for the next chancellor of Southern University Shreveport has announced five finalists. 

The candidates include Peggy Bradford, previously president of Shawnee Community College; Bree Cook, vice president for academic affairs at Pacific Oaks College; W. Franklin Evans, president of West Liberty University, Aubra Grant, a hospital clinician from Arizona; and Antonius Pegues, vice president for finance and administration at Albany State University. 

The candidates will be interviewed on campus next week. 

Southeastern’s food ranks among nation’s best

Students at more than 1,300 public and private colleges weighed in to determine the best on-campus food service in the country, and Southeastern Louisiana University’s dining options ranked in the top 3%.  

Niche, an online platform that ranks higher education institutions in various categories placed SLU at No. 35 in its Best College Food in America rankings. Nicholls State University was not far behind at 42nd.

Its rankings are based on student reviews and consider meal plan costs and student access to healthy, quality food across a wide range of cuisines and dietary preferences.

The criteria included healthy and organic options, overall quality and variety of offerings.

Research seed money 

LSU has doled out  $1.1 million in faculty research grants to 33 different projects from its Provost’s Fund for Innovation in Research. 

The fund, launched in 2022, supports research in the five areas of the “LSU Pentagon” – agriculture, biomedicine and biotechnology, coast and environment, defense and cybersecurity and energy. 

“As a result of this investment, in the coming years, these faculty will bring in external funding and recognition worth many times this initial investment, and will help lift LSU to the next level of research, scholarship and creative activity to benefit all of Louisiana,” LSU Provost Roy Haggerty said. 

A full list of grant winners can be found here.

LSU doctor invents sepsis test 

Dr. Hollis O’Neal, a critical care physician with LSU Health Sciences Center, is the national investigator who led the creation of a test for sepsis that has received approval from the federal government. 

The test was created in partnership that includes LSU Health Sciences, Our Lady of the Lake and Cytovale, a medical diagnostics company. 

Sepsis is a blood infection most commonly caused by a bacterial infection, and it can potentially cause organ failure if not immediately treated. The test O’Neal helped develop examines blood samples taken from patients entering the emergency room and determines within 10 minutes if their white blood cells behave in a way that would indicate they are septic. 

“Early detection of sepsis is an invaluable capability for healthcare professionals,” O’Neal said. “Quickly identifying sepsis is critical to saving lives, but until now, we’ve lacked a reliable tool to either recognize the condition or explore alternate diagnoses.” 

The test will be made available to healthcare professionals in early 2023. 

UL-Monroe launches virtual campus tours

The University of Louisiana Monroe has a new interactive tool for recruiting students.. Its virtual tour provides an easy way to access the campus, and it includes an interactive map that current students can use as well. 

Lisa Miller, ULM’s vice president of enrollment management and university relations, said the virtual campus tour allows the school to expand its recruitment efforts. 

“The execution and implementation of this new digital platform have been a collaborative effort across departments,” Miller said. “We know that during the recruitment process, if we can attract a student to our beautiful campus for a campus tour, and allow them to meet our faculty, staff and students, the prospective student loves what ULM has to offer.”  

The new webpage features videos with information on student organizations, services, internships, scholarships and admissions. Users can click on locations throughout the campus that feature descriptions and pictures of the buildings.

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Piper Hutchinson
Piper Hutchinson

Piper Hutchinson is a reporter for the Louisiana Illuminator. She has covered the Legislature and state government extensively for the LSU Manship News Service and The Reveille, where she was named editor in chief for summer 2022.