The first of seven Freshman Connection sessions started this week. I commend everyone who played a vital role in providing a first-class customer experience. Reatha Cox, Vice President of Student Experience and Dean of Students, added several initiatives to help our new students and their families successfully transition to college life. We look forward to welcoming new students during Session 2 next week.

On Monday, a team of NSU students presented their Flight Readiness Review (FRR) before the Louisiana Space Grant Consortium (LaSPACE), earning permission to launch their payload into space via sounding balloon. The following day, the DemonSats-3 team successfully launched their sounding balloon to the edge of space, an altitude of 32-35 kilometers. Members of the DemonSats-3 team, led by Dr. Anna Dugas, Assistant Professor of Physics and NSU’s LaSPACE Campus Coordinator, are: Derek Dupre of Houma, Jordan Sensat of Pineville, Arianna Jackson of Mandeville, and Joshua Lambert of Leesville.

I’m grateful to all of you for making Northwestern State University an enriching and rewarding institution. Our sole purpose as an institution is to grow the intellect, creativity, and personhood of our students – so they may experience vitality in their lives and careers.

It starts with all of us. I encourage all faculty and staff to be mindful of the mission and express commitment to recruiting and retention efforts. From admissions to grounds, academia, and support services, we all play an essential role in attracting and retaining students. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Dr. Marcus D. Jones
Northwestern State University