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McNeese People Briefs

McNeese People Briefs


Dr. Chris Thomas, director of campus life in the McNeese State University Office of University Services and Campus Life, recently attended the four-day National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Institute for Aspiring Senior Student Affairs Officers in New Orleans. NASPA is the largest student affairs professional organization in the world and selection for this institute is competitive

Competencies and skills addressed in the institute included strategic thinking, change leadership, institutional types, campus crisis management, budgets, organizational relationships with and between student affairs officers, vice presidents, presidents and trustees, and relationships with professional organizations, communities, media and government interests.  

"This institute is a great professional development opportunity for Chris to build on his education and more than 10 years of progressively responsible experiences at McNeese, the University of North Texas and Texas State University," according to Dr. Toby Osburn, associate vice president for university services. "This will also further serve to enhance his contributions to our profession in his current role as president of the Louisiana Association of College and University Student Personnel Administrators."  

Dr. Bryan Proksch, McNeese assistant professor of music, has been invited to speak at the musicology lecture series Feb. 26-28 at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. His presentation, "Hadow, Tovey and the Croatian Origins of the Modern 'Anglophone Haydn,' " reviews the background of Joseph Haydn's "revival" in Britain in the early 20th century and questions why people suddenly started to care about his music again when he had been dead for 100 years.  

"Donald Tovey, who was a conductor, pianist and professor at the University of Edinburgh, generally receives credit for the renewed interest in Haydn, and while my paper acknowledges his importance, it also notes that a controversy involving Haydn's supposed Slavic ancestry (he was Austrian in reality) is what got people talking about him again. His approach to writing music was seen as rooted in the Croatian folksongs of his childhood, and the British writers (Hadow especially and also composer Vaughan Williams) wanted to use Haydn's life and works as a template to create a new British style of composition," said Proksch.

While there, he will also conduct some archival research on Tovey's files and documents in an attempt to create a better timeline/chronology for the evolution of his opinions on Haydn. "Basically I'm hoping to better understand when Tovey took a personal interest in Haydn. At present his essays are undated, published in 1935, but in reality he wrote them over the course of a decade or more - but no one has gone through the archive to date them yet. So that's going to be me," he explained.

James T. Jones has been named a business consultant with the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese. Jones has 21 years of experience in the banking industry, including work as a credit analyst, branch manager and business and commercial banker. He received his Master of Business Administration degree from Louisiana State University in Shreveport and his Bachelor of Science degree business management from McNeese. 

Among his responsibilities are providing small business counseling, training and information services to owners or potential owners. Jones will also work directly with clients, other LSBDC staff, local, state and federal economic development organizations, and other interested parties that serve, support or interact with the small business sector. 




McNeese biology and health sciences students and a faculty member attended the annual Louisiana State University-Health Sciences Center School of Graduate Studies' Graduate Research Day in New Orleans to hear presentations by research faculty and graduate students. Those attending were Dr. William Dees, professor of biological science, and Jenna Conner, Brandon Haynes, Shreedu Pradhan, Phoenix Sconzert-Hall, Rashmi Tamang, Lauren Pickle and Linda Canning.

Dees also made a presentation on field and lab studies of mosquitoes conducted with McNeese students at the annual meeting of the Mississippi Entomological Association in Starkville, Miss., where he also represented Louisiana at the Medical and Veterinary Entomology round table that addressed important medical entomology issues in the U.S. Mid-South Region.

McNeese students Pradhan and Tara Cudd recently presented their work conducted with Dees on the the bioactivity of plant extracts on mosquitoes at the Southwest Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Baton Rouge.