OLOL College

2014 Annual Luncheon to be held November 1st

Join alumni, faculty, staff and friends of Our Lady of the Lake College at the College’s Annual Luncheon celebration, November 1, 2014 at Boudreaux’s, 2647 Government Street, Baton Rouge. Registration and individual class reunions begin at 10:30 am.  The lunch and formal program begin at 12 noon.

Three special award recipients will be honored during the November 1 luncheon.  From left to right:  W. Chandler LeBoeuf, ‘11 (Distinguished Recent Alumni), Barbara Anthony, ’72 (Distinguished Alumni), and  Coletta C. Barrett, Vice-President for Mission at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center (Franciscan Impact Recipient). 

Click here to purchase tickets online. Contact Elaine Crowe at (225) 490-1637 or Elaine.crowe@ololcollege.edu if you have any questions.  Reserve your seat today!

BSN Continuing Accreditation Visit by the ACEN

Our Lady of the Lake College School of Nursing is very pleased to host a site review for continuing accreditation of its Bachelor of Science in Nursing program by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) on September 23-25, 2014.

You are invited to meet the three-member site visit team and share your comments about the program in person at a meeting scheduled at 3:00 pm on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at the College Administration Building, 5414 Brittany Drive, Baton Rouge, 70808.

Written comments are also welcome and should be submitted directly to:

Chief Executive Officer
Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850
Atlanta, GA 30326

Or email: amariquit@acenursing.org

All written comments should be received by the ACEN by September 15, 2014.

Student Service Exceeds $1 Million In-Kind Value

Service-learning, a teaching method that integrates instruction with meaningful community service, has become an integral part of an OLOL College education.  Through this program, OLOL College students have given over 68,000 service-learning hours working for others.  The College is pleased to report that based on the valuation designated by experts, OLOL College students have provided over $1 million of in-kind service to the community.  

The estimated value of volunteer time is established each year by the Independent Sector, a coalition of charities, foundations, corporations, and individuals that publishes research important to the nonprofit sector.  The estimate helps acknowledge the millions of individuals who dedicate their time, talents, and energy to make a difference in the community. 

From June 2009 to June 2014, Our Lady of the Lake College students gave 68,084 service-learning hours working in collaboration with the College’s many community partners.  The average of the Independent Sector’s in-kind value during that time frame is $19.10 per hour, bringing the total in-kind value of the College’s student service to $1,303,400.50.  OLOL College service-learning students work with over 90 community partners who serve in sixteen parishes across southeast Louisiana. 

The Service-Learning program at the College has been developed by and coordinated through the Office of Service-Learning, directed by Rhoda Reddix, Ph.D.   “It is exciting to see that our student’s service now tops over a million in-kind dollars.  But I can tell you this . . . the service itself is invaluable to everyone involved:  the community partners, the people in the community who are helped, and the students themselves.  Service-learning both supports engaged learning and reinforces the College’s Franciscan mission,” she explained. 

An important part of the service-learning process is for students to write down their thoughts afterwards.  A reflection from a nursing student after a service-learning experience at St. Martha’s Activity Center was, “I cannot begin to explain how this experience further proved that nursing is exactly what I want to do.”

Dr. Holland Welcomes Students to Campus for the Fall Semester

As we begin our first semester together on the campus of Our Lady the Lake College, I hope you are as excited as I am about where we are. Since joining the College as President in April, I have been completely wowed by the energy of the College family!

Our college is more than a place to take courses and earn credits. It is a vibrant faith-based learning community where highly engaged students learn from and work with exceptional faculty, seasoned professionals, and leaders throughout our community. Through the interaction with your peers, the incredible service-learning activities, and the foundations of the Franciscan Values, your experiences here will truly be life changing.

Our faculty are much more than lecturers. I have observed how the small class sizes lead to the formation of lasting relationships between and among faculty and students. Faculty invest in their students’ academic and professional success. They challenge their students to succeed while supporting students’ efforts to do so. They understand the enduring value of professional preparation when it is experienced in the context of a broad liberal arts education.  No matter which program area is your concentration, you will be immersed in a rich and relevant combination of rigorous coursework, real-life multidisciplinary simulations, and meaningful case studies, acquiring the competence and confidence to succeed in your chosen vocation.

Our goals for you are a reflection of the mission of Our Lady of the Lake College. Your time with us will change your understanding of what it means to serve.  Our holistic approach to learning fosters a sense of individual purpose as you encounter increasingly complex moral and ethical questions. Whether you are called to work within the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System or well beyond the borders of Louisiana, whether you choose a career that you always expected or choose to work in an area very different than what you imagined, you will have established a firm foundation upon which to build a successful, purposeful, and faith-filled future.

I am glad that you and I have come to Our Lady of the Lake College. I look forward to meeting you all! Have a wonderful first week, and a fantastic semester!

Sincerely,

Tina S. Holland, Ph.D.
President, Our Lady of the Lake College

College President discusses job market on LPB

Louisiana Public Square "Job Market 2014"
Wednesday, May 28 at 7 p.m. (LPB) and 9 p.m. (WLAE)
Sunday, June 1 at 11 a.m. (LPB)

The month of May heralds the end of the school semester and the entry of thousands of new college graduates into Louisiana’s job market. This year these job seekers will also be joined by hundreds of veterans returning to the state’s workforce as the military downsizes its troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So, what does Louisiana’s employment market look like for these job hunters in 2014? What employment sectors anticipate the most growth? And are Louisiana’s college graduates and returning veterans adequately prepared for the jobs that lie ahead?

Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on “Job Market 2014".

The panelists are:

Program features interviews with Bryan Moore, Louisiana Workforce Commission’s Director of Workforce Development; House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, sponsor of the Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy bill (HB1033); Leah Kight, Southern University senior and IBM intern; John Culotta, Baton Rouge Community College Process Tech graduate and Kelly Lynch, veteran and career counselor with the LWC Veterans Program.

Beth Courtney, LPB CEO, and Robert Travis Scott, President of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, moderate the discussion.

Visit www.lpb.org/publicsquare to comment or take a survey on this month’s topic.

College Dean Receives Teaching Recognition

Phyllis L. Simpson, Ph.D., Dean of Student Services and Director of Counseling for Our Lady of the Lake College was recognized as one of the nation’s “Outstanding First Year Educators” by the Center for the First Year Experience and Students in Transitions. Attendees of this group’s national conference honored Dr. Simpson at its annual meeting held in San Diego, California, February 15-18, 2014.

Each year a national panel of distinguished educators review the top 100 applications, selecting ten for recognition.  All of these top educators demonstrate the common goal of improving the educational experience of first-year students in colleges and university throughout the United States.

David England, Ph.D., Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs stated unequivocally, “It is hard to imagine there being a more worthy recipient!  Phyllis Simpson has long served as one of our College’s richest resources as the scores of students she helps each year will readily attest.”

As the nomination stated, “Phyllis Simpson is an educator who believes that true collegiate learning must happen both inside and outside of the classroom walls.”  With her strong teaching background and her proficiency as a reading specialist, she helped to re-vamp the academic seminar to adapt program-specific reading strategies and incorporate learning style inventories to improve testing/study strategies.  She created a tutor lab and established a First Year Student Experience program which had students meeting with her one-on-one several times during their initial year at OLOL College.  Recognizing that first year students at a commuter college would benefit from more connections to the campus, Dr. Simpson began working energetically to make student organizations more active. Additionally, she has led civic engagement efforts on campus and works as Co-Chair for the College’s acclaimed Service-Learning programs.  As a result, retention efforts for incoming freshmen are improving steadily.

Students sincerely appreciate her contribution to their education.  Biology major Derek Wiltz said "Dr. Simpson has helped me grow in so many ways . . . She is an exceptional leader and teacher, always giving us great support that not only helps academically but encourages us with our career goals."  Non-traditional student Melanie Koscick who returned to school at the age of 45 added, "As someone who has been out of school for over twenty years, Dr. Simpson has been my guiding light and my anchor. She has not only assisted me with how to handle college in this day and age, but has helped me to believe that I can accomplish great things."

Dr. Simpson has been involved with various areas of education since 1970, and has taught at every grade level except for kindergarten and first grade.  Among her many accomplishments, she has authored teaching manuals for postsecondary reading textbooks as well as a strategy textbook for elementary/junior high teachers.  Receiving her B.S. degree from Louisiana State University (LSU), her Masters of Education from Southeastern Louisiana University, and her Ph.D. from LSU in 1998, Dr. Simpson began her teaching career in Washington Parish in the early 70s, taught at Southeastern Louisiana University in the 90s, and then became a member of the staff at OLOL College in 1997. 

A Legacy of Service

A legacy of service . . . that is what Isabel Lasseigne, ‘47 and her granddaughter Emily, a current Our Lady of the Lake College student, represent. 

Isabel Lasseigne not only raised a family of five but served her career in the challenging field of nurse anesthesia. 

Emily Lasseigne, her granddaughter, is currently in her third year at Our Lady of the Lake College pursuing a Biology degree with a concentration in Human Medicine.  She plans to apply to become a Physician Assistant in 2015 after she graduates. 

While volunteering at St. Joseph’s Hospice, Emily felt a calling to become a voice for those who are dying and help address issues that involve the dying process.  As part of a special extra-curricular Mentor/Mentee project, Emily will promote health literacy regarding Advance Care Planning for a population that includes low-income elderly seniors. 

Emily has successfully completed the professional requirements and standards as required by Respecting Choices housed under Gundersen Lutheran Medical Foundation in La Crosse, Wisconsin to become an Advance Care Planning Facilitator.  Emily will utilize this training during her research with her mentor, Alice Battista, Director of Mission Services at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. 

Both grandmother and granddaughter are excellent examples of the over 7,500 graduates and College community members who demonstrate daily a desire to serve.

Freeburgh Selected to Lead Board of Trustees

Freeburgh Selected to Lead Board of Trustees

Charles Freeburgh, a member of the College’s Board of Trustees (BOT) since 2008, was elected Chair during the September 19, 2013 BOT meeting.  Freeburgh, a native of Pearl, Mississippi, currently serves as the Vice President of Advocacy for Axiall Corporation.  With over 35 years of experience in the chemical industry, he has served on many boards and committees, including the Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center Board of Directors.  A bachelor of science in chemical engineering graduate from Louisiana State University, Freeburgh has served as chairman of the Louisiana Chemical Association and the Louisiana Chemical Industry Alliance, and as a board member of both the Louisiana Manufacturers Political Action Committee (LAMP) as well as the River Parishes Community College Foundation.  

Freeburgh succeeds Steve Nathanson who has joined the Franciscan Missionary of Our Lady Health System Board. 

New Board leadership also confirmed at the September meeting include Redfield Bryan, M.D., Vice-Chair, and Judge Luke LaVergne, a retired District Judge of the Baton Rouge Family Court, who will serve as Secretary.

Professor of Nursing Awarded Gerontology Fellowships

Baton Rouge, LA – Fayron Epps, Ph.D., R.N., faculty in the School of Nursing at Our Lady of the Lake College (OLOL College), has recently been awarded two fellowships recognizing her research dedicated to improving the quality of life for African American older persons with dementia and their caregivers.

Dr. Epps was selected as a 2013-2015 National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence (NHCGNE) Claire M. Fagin Fellow. This fellowship supports post-doctoral research in gerontological nursing. “The NHCGNE Claire M. Fagin Fellowship will afford me the opportunity to enhance my knowledge and skills as a nurse scientist and as a leader in gerontology,” explained Dr. Epps. “It will also give me the opportunity to cultivate interprofessional relationships, allowing me to improve the care of elders through research, instruction and practice.”

Under the auspices of this fellowship, Dr. Epps will collaborate with mentors Janet K. Specht, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, Director of the Iowa John A Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence and Lisa Skemp, Ph.D., R.N., the Sister Agnes Marie Fitzsimons Endowed Chair of Gerontological Nursing at OLOL College. Furthermore, she will consult with Wanda Spurlock, D.N.S., R.N., Associate Professor of Nursing at Southern University and a 1976 alumna of OLOL College, School of Nursing to facilitate inter-professional relationships in Louisiana.

“This research study aims to determine what types of health promotion activities family member caregivers are involved in and how this involvement improves the functionality and health of these community members. This program of research will enable me to contribute to evidence based practice and research for African American older adults in Louisiana and in the United States,” says Dr. Epps.

Dr. Epps has also been selected as a Fellow to attend the 2013 Summer Workshop on African American Aging at the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research. This fellowship is a collaboration between the University of Michigan and Wayne State University to enhance diversity, mentor new investigators in minority aging research and recruit/retain new participants in minority aging research.

The objectives of the summer training workshop are to identify and train early stage career scientists of diverse backgrounds who are committed to conducting African American aging research. “The summer workshop will nicely complement her postdoctoral NHCGNE Claire M. Fagin fellowship, as she not only develops her career as a nurse scientist but develops her leadership in facilitating Our Lady of the Lake College becoming a Center of Excellence in Gerontology,” explained Dr. Lisa Skemp, one of Dr. Epps’ mentors. “The committees awarding these fellowships have confidence in Dr. Epps’ potential to do research that will make a real difference in the nursing care of older persons.”

Dr. Epps shared the origin of her interest in geriatric research, “I recognized my interest in older adults when I was in high school. As part of a health career class, I was involved in visiting with older adults who lived at an inner city nursing home. Listening to the stories from the older residents inspired me to become a gerontological nurse with hopes of making their lives better. After working in a long-term care setting, I became involved in staff and caregiver training on prevention of elder abuse. My graduate studies and dissertation research emerged from this experience and led to my current research on creating culturally informed interventions to prevent difficult situations that may lead to abuse for both the elder and the family member caregivers.”

With these two fellowship opportunities, Dr. Epps’ continued research will advance as she collaborates with a network of gerontological clinicians and researchers supported by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System and coordinated through the Sister Agnes Marie Fitzsimons Gerontological Nursing Endowment.

Offering master’s, baccalaureate, and associate degrees, Our Lady of the Lake College is a four-year, independent institution, providing a strong foundation in the liberal arts and continuing its highly-regarded health sciences and nursing programs. Established in 1923 as a nursing school by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady (FMOL), Our Lady of the Lake College holds to a Franciscan tradition of service, offering a healing and spiritual presence for the community and especially those most in need. To learn more about Our Lady of the Lake College, please visit www.ololcollege.edu.

Religion Professor Earns Research Fellowship

Baton Rouge, LA – David L. Whidden, III, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Our Lady of the Lake College, has been accepted for a competitive Wabash Center Summer Fellowship. The mission of the Wabash Center Summer Fellowship is to support the careers of promising young teachers and scholars in religion and theology.

“I am grateful that the Wabash Center is supporting my research and also that the administration at Our Lady of the Lake College is so supportive of my work,” explains Dr. Whidden. “Students at OLOL College are the real beneficiaries when their faculty have an opportunity to think and write about difficult topics, as the new knowledge and the example of rigorous thinking carries over into the classroom.”

Dr. Whidden, who completed his doctoral work at Southern Methodist University in 2011, is a scholar in systematic theology with a particular interest in the medieval theology of Thomas Aquinas and Anselm. The Fellowship will allow him to finalize work on his first book, “Christ the Light: The Theology of Light and Illumination in Thomas Aquinas,” which has been accepted for publication in 2014 by Fortress Press. The book will be a part of the Emerging Scholars Series, a selective, curated series “dedicated to highlighting innovative and creative projects from new scholars in the fields of biblical studies, theology, and Christian history,” according to the publisher.

This grant to support Dr. Whidden’s research follows on his selection last year to participate in a year-long workshop on classroom teaching. “Whatever success I have had as a professor is the consequence of the many excellent professors who taught me throughout my education. I strive to give my students the same experience, where we use all of our intellectual abilities to think carefully about the deepest and most difficult questions that frame human existence. The small class sizes at OLOL College give me an opportunity to get to know each student and to help that student develop the critical thinking skills necessary for their future careers. OLOL College is a great place to be a professor, with bright, hardworking students.”

Stated David A. England, Ph.D., Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at OLOL College, “In his short time here, Dr. Whidden has distinguished himself as an emerging scholar, an engagingly effective instructor, and a fully engaged faculty member.”

In addition to supporting scholarship efforts, The Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, which is located in Crawfordsville, Indiana, offers faculty the opportunity to reflect with colleagues about teaching as a vocation. According to its web site, the Wabash Center “organizes its activities around five areas: strengthening teaching and learning; developing the professoriate in theology and religion; supporting teaching environments in theological schools and religion departments; understanding new technologies in teaching and learning; and developing scholarly literature on theological teaching.”

“As a member of the faculty at a Catholic and Franciscan college, I hope that my work, both in the classroom and in my research, makes a contribution to our students’ understanding of their world and how they might contribute to it in a way that is deeply formed by the commitments of the Catholic Church. For me, studying Thomas Aquinas, who has had such a profound influence on the Church’s theology, provides both my students and me the opportunity to engage with one of the great minds of human history.”

Offering master’s, baccalaureate, and associate degrees, Our Lady of the Lake College is a four-year, independent institution, providing a strong foundation in the liberal arts and continuing its highly-regarded health sciences and nursing programs. Established in 1923 as a nursing school by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady (FMOL), Our Lady of the Lake College holds to a Franciscan tradition of service, offering a healing and spiritual presence for the community and especially those most in need. To learn more about Our Lady of the Lake College, please visit www.ololcollege.edu.

Student Recognized Nationally for Service

Baton Rouge, LA – Campus Compact has honored 181 student leaders from 36 states as 2013 Newman Civic Fellows. Among the honorees is Lisa McDivitt of Our Lady of the Lake College. The Newman Civic Fellows Awards recognize inspiring college student leaders who have worked to find solutions for challenges facing their communities.

Nominated by their college and university presidents, these students are making the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves, the root causes of social issues, and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change. Says Sandra Harper, Ph.D., President of Our Lady of the Lake College, “I have watched Lisa evolve from a shy, interested volunteer in 2009 to a highly vocal, committed scholar leader in 2013; her future work as a foreign medical missionary will, indeed, be a reality that will globally bless many malnourished children in very remote places in desperate need of healthcare.”

Lisa McDivitt is a dedicated and committed student leader, active in issues involving civic engagement on all fronts. Since 2009 Lisa has increasingly made her presence known to many non-profits in the Baton Rouge Area because of her desire to help those most in need. She is a particularly strong global/world advocate for children’s health rights and was actually involved in a four week medical mission trip to Mombasa, Kenya during the summer of 2012. She has been a leader and student organizer for several Habitat for Humanity Builds in North Baton Rouge for the College, and very active with the campus Student Ambassador group, providing over 235 service hours at the College. In addition she has been a collaborative participant in many recent leadership conferences and workshops – including the National Student Leadership Forum in Washington DC in November 2012.

“Lisa is a LEADER for health rights and has actively excelled in her purpose to serve others – while consistently keeping a 4.0 GPA the entire time,” explains Phyllis Simpson, Ph.D., Dean of Student Services. “As she prepares for a professional medical career in the future following masters level work here, all of her experiences at the undergraduate level have well prepared her for future service in the foreign mission field that she so clearly envisions as her priority service destination.”

As these students tackle community challenges, they provide fresh energy and perspective, inspire and mobilize others, and develop their own skills and potential. Through service, research, and advocacy, Newman Civic Fellows are making the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves, the root causes of social issues, and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change.

“These students represent the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders. They serve as national examples of the role that higher education can—and does—play in building stronger communities,” notes Campus Compact President Maureen Curley.

Newman Civic Fellow awards are made in memory of Dr. Frank Newman, a founder of Campus Compact, who dedicated his life to creating systemic change through education reform. At the core of Dr. Newman’s leadership was a belief in the power of individuals to make a difference and in the power of connection with others. Frank Newman had a tremendous impact on American education and its role in the development of citizens who want to make a difference. This class of Newman Civic Fellows embodies this spirit and dedication.

Campus Compact is a national coalition of almost 1,200 college and university presidents— representing some 6 million+ students—who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education, that is, to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. For more information about the organization and the award, visit www.compact.org.

Newsletter Sign Up