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Rodeo team members representing McNeese State University at the 63rd College National Finals Rodeo June 12-18 in Casper, Wyo., are: front row standing from left: Kayla Wagnon, Kirbyville, Texas, Chelsea Carroll, Opelousas, Kyla Foster, Sweetlake, and rodeo coach Justin Browning; and back row seated from left: Jason Thomas, Benton, Ark., Johnathan Torres, Ocala, Fla., Josh Little, Sulphur, Josh Torres, Ocala, Fla., and Jeremy Mercer, Winnsboro. McNeese Photo McNeese State University has qualified both men's and women's rodeo teams for the 63rd College National Finals Rodeo to be held June 12-18 in Casper, Wyo. Ten McNeese students - six men and four women - will represent McNeese in this year's national competition.

The McNeese State University Chemistry Department is currently taking applications for a graduate fellowship in environmental and chemical sciences for certified Louisiana high school teachers for 2011-2013 beginning this fall. The recipient will be awarded a $26,500 graduate level fellowship funded by the Board of Regents' Support Fund. The fellowship includes tuition, most fees and a stipend award for fall 2011, spring 2012, summer 2012 and summer 2013. The teacher will take classes, perform research and teach a freshman chemistry lab section while working on the Master of Science degree in environmental and chemical sciences. Dr. Joseph Sneddon, McNeese chemistry professor and coordinator of the fellowship program, said there is a need for better-prepared science teachers in Louisiana.

National Nurses Week is May 6-12 Dr. Tari Dilks, associate professor of nursing at McNeese State University, has been named the Louisiana recipient of the 2011 State Award for Nurse Practitioner Excellence from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. The award, founded in 1991, recognizes a nurse practitioner from each state that demonstrates excellence in practice, research, nurse practitioner education or community affairs. The AANP will present the awards during its 26th National Conference June 22-26 in Las Vegas, Nev "Dr. Dilks is one of our distinguished McNeese nursing faculty who displays professionalism in all of her work-the classroom, graduate studies, her professional associations in nursing and the community," said Dr.

Twenty-six business students have been initiated into the McNeese State University chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma Scholastic Business Honor Society. Phil D. Conway, managing director and head of Capital Advisory in the United States for the JPMorgan Private Bank, was the guest speaker for the initiation ceremony. Conway received his Bachelor of Science degree in business management from McNeese and was named the 2006 Distinguished Alumnus by the McNeese Alumni Association. Membership into Beta Gamma Sigma, which stands for honor, wisdom and earnestness respectively, is the highest national academic recognition that an undergraduate or graduate business student can receive.

McNeese students and a staff member received nine awards at the recent ADDY awards program sponsored by the Lake Charles Advertising Federation.

Louisiana Public Broadcasting will air a program on "The Role of Louisiana's Lt. Governor: Past, Present and Future," featuring former Louisiana Lieutenant Governors Bobby Freeman, Paul Hardy, Melinda Schwegmann, Kathleen Blanco and Jimmy Fitzmorris, at 6 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Sunday, May 22, on LPB and at 9 p.m. Monday, May 23, on LPB 2. The program was held April 7 in Ralph Squires Auditorium at McNeese State University as part of the McLeod Lecture Series on Louisiana Politics in conjunction with the McNeese Banners Series. The lecture series honors the late Bill McLeod, a prominent retired district judge and former state legislator from Lake Charles.

Zachary Alcantara, a music education sophomore from Houston, Texas, at McNeese State University, has been accepted into the 2011 Rafael Méndez Brass Institute July 10-16 at the University of Denver Lamont School of Music. He received a full tuition scholarship and a stipend for housing. Honoring the legendary trumpet virtuoso, Rafael Méndez, the Rafael Méndez Brass Institute is the world's leading performance and career development seminar for brass musicians and educators. All participants perform in brass ensembles and master classes, coached by some of the foremost brass artists in the nation. Alcantara is a graduate of Langham Creek High School in Houston. At McNeese he is a member of The Pride of McNeese Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Honors Brass Quintet and Trumpet Ensemble.

McNeese accounting students recently completed 3,000 hours of community service in tax preparations as interns for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program through United Way of Southwest Louisiana. McNeese President Philip C. Williams, from left, met with some of those accounting students - Jonathan Nunez, Sulphur, and Jeremy Jones and Harlene McCoy, both from DeQuincy - and Dr. Mitchell Adrian, dean of the College of Business.

731 students received degrees at the University's spring commencement on May 21 including 552 from Louisiana and 45 students from Texas. Other states represented by the graduates include Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, Arizona, California, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota and Wyoming. The countries of Bolivia, China, Columbia, Ecuador, Ireland, Germany, Guinea, Korea, India, Indonesia, Lithuania, Mexico, Nepal, Palestine, Romania, Taiwan, Ukraine and Vietnam were also represented.

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