This semester, NSU, like many other universities in America, introduced campus safety technologies for smartphones. CampusShield is a free mobile app enabling users to effortlessly relay tips to campus safety officers, activate a safety timer, or promptly alert authorities in emergencies. Users can report suspicious activities, voice safety concerns, ask for secure transportation, and access campus resources, including crisis hotlines.

You can watch the video overview of CampusShield here: I encourage you to download the free app from either the App Store or Google Play.

This week, Dr. Handel, Dr. Owens, and I traveled to the nation’s capital to discuss federal funding strategies for NSU with Brent Merchant of Merchant McIntyre Associates. We engaged with our congressional delegation to underscore the pivotal role of higher education in preparing the future workforce for success in our rapidly evolving world.

During our visit, we had the honor of meeting U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson in the speaker’s quarters at the Capitol. Our discussion centered on NSU and its profound impact on the northwest Louisiana region. Additionally, we met with key figures such as U.S. Senator John Kennedy, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, and U.S. Representative Troy Carter. We will have conversations about infrastructure improvements this afternoon.

These discussions hold great significance. Given the ongoing reduction in state funding, it is crucial to obtain federal grant funding that produces meaningful outcomes. Last year’s engagements yielded positive results, including high-impact projects and grant funding such as Title III ElevateU ($2m+), Northwestern Entrepreneurial Innovation Center ($2m+), and the preliminary renewal for the TRIO SSS grant.

These successful interactions reinforce our commitment to securing support and resources crucial for NSU’s continued growth and success. I anticipate sharing the details of our visit, including strategic outcomes, throughout the year.

Faculty and staff – I thank you for all that you do for our students. Northwestern State University’s goal is set in motion. Let us remain steadfast to academic excellence, broad access to education, and social impact that serves all types of learners at every stage of life. There’s no limit to what we can accomplish together.

Dr. Marcus D. Jones
Northwestern State University