Last week, the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance actively participated in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Conference (NATS) in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Attracting participants from Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi, NATS offered a stage for NSU students and faculty to showcase their talents.

Key achievements during the conference included an impressive 83% of NSU students advancing to the second round. In the semi-finals, an outstanding 80% secured placements in the finals or qualified for Nationals, highlighting the university’s high caliber of talent.

Congratulations to NSU student Joshua Pierite, for securing the first-place prize in the 2023 School of Business Inferno Pitch, a business model competition, with his venture, Sky Technologies. Sky Technologies is a company that empowers businesses with comprehensive data analytics services, delivering actionable insights for informed decision-making and a competitive edge.

Pierite has earned a $3,000 award and the opportunity to participate in The Pelican Cup, a prestigious statewide business plan competition scheduled for the upcoming Spring semester.

Lydia Phillips achieved a second-place ranking for her business model, Insomniac’s Guild Café. The third-place winner, BlissBuddy, was comprised of David Melonja, Dorothy Sosnowski, Vallouise Daniel, Keith McCrory, Rowena Sawensane, and Mark Ennis. Congratulations to all NSU students who participated and secured positions in the Inferno Pitch.

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Board of Accreditation conducted a site visit to NSU several weeks ago, and I am pleased to report that the evaluation was exceptionally positive. CSWE did not identify any specific concerns or note any standards in non-compliance.

I extend my appreciation to Dr. Susan Campbell, Interim Department Head for Social Work, as well as the dedicated faculty and staff, for their commendable efforts in preparing and hosting the site visit. The Social Work program stands in excellent health and occupies a favorable position.

This weekend, NSU will announce the Jack Brittain, Jr., Jerry Pierce, and Richard Ware First Generation Endowed Scholarships. These scholarships support first-generation college students at Northwestern State University, paving the way for those who are the first in their families to pursue higher education.

I would like to express my appreciation to Robert L. “Skeeter” Salim for his generous contributions to establishing the Brittain, Pierce, and Ware First Generation Endowed Scholarships and for his continued support of Northwestern State University and its students.

Dr. Marcus D. Jones
Northwestern State University