Dr. Kedrick Nicholas, dean of students at McNeese State University, has received the James Caillier Innovation and Inclusion Award from the University of Louisiana System. Dr. James Caillier is a lifelong educator who dedicated his career to secondary and post-secondary education in Louisiana and who served as ULS’s first president.
Nicholas received the award for the spearheading of the ULS Black Male Summit, a one-day event that fosters community building and networking to exchange strategies focused on success and opportunities for Black male faculty, staff and students.
“I am humbled and honored to receive this award,” says Nicholas. “I am grateful to have the opportunity to impact the lives of students across the system.”
The Black Male Summit was an idea developed by Nicholas and Dr. Gabe Willis, dean of students for Southeastern Louisiana University, after the death of George Floyd. The two organized the summit to bring people together through a shared commitment to inclusiveness and cultural sensitivity.
“The summit is meant to foster appreciation and deepen campus services and support for the Black male population,” Nicholas explains.
This year’s event welcomed over 350 faculty, staff, students and community members from the system’s nine universities.
“We are thankful for the support of Dr. Jim Henderson, president of the University of Louisiana System, and his staff for their support,” says Nicholas. “Our committee members worked tirelessly for several months and their hard work is what made our event a success.”
Nicholas was a participant in the inaugural class of the ULS Management and Leadership Institute, a program created to develop potential executive level professionals from within the universities of the system and he recently defended his dissertation for his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.