LSU

For the first time in months, LSU System President F. King Alexander was able to relax a bit over the weekend.

“I spent it with our daughter, at her soccer tournament Saturday and Sunday.”

Last Thursday, Louisiana’s full House passed some revenue raising bills, alleviating some of Alexander’s worry that no solution to the $1.6 billion budget deficit – and the crippling cuts looming over higher education – would be found. Today, the House Appropriations Committee is expected to add that additional funding into the budget bill, with the bulk going toward higher education.

Alexander says the situation appears brighter than before, but, “We’ve got a long ways to go. We’re not there yet.”

Dr. Isiah Warner on the campus of LSU.
LSU

The sciences are tough enough. For students of color, studying science, technology, engineering or math can be particularly daunting.

At LSU over the last decade and then some, Isiah Warner has been leading efforts to help those students make it from high school all the way through graduate school. And it seems to be working.

The graduation rate for African American undergrads who’ve gotten scholarships and mentorship through a program called La-STEM is 86 percent — by comparison, it was just 60 percent for the LSU campus overall among last spring’s cohort.

Warner is now Vice Chancellor of Strategic Initiatives and Boyd Professor of analytical and environmental chemistry.

As an African American growing up in Bunkie, his enthusiasm for science was unusual — to say the least.

Highland Coffees owner Clarke Cadzow is our guest for the better part of today's show and he joins us in studio to discuss the recent news that he'll be closing his doors come December 24th. Located at the North Gates of LSU campus, Highland Coffees has been a staple for students, the community, out-of-town visitors and LSU professors for 25 years. Clarke discusses what happened in the latest lease negotiation contracts between him and the property owner, and what the future will hold for Highland Coffees.

Also, Al Vernacchio, author of For Goodness Sex joins us to promote his book and discuss the way we should be talking to teens about sexuality. His book proposes a progressive and 21st century approach to sex ed for parents and teens which promotes a healthy outlook upon sexuality.


Former LSU Chancellor and now Chancellor of Colorado State University Mike Martin calls in to talk with Jim for the better part of today's show. Mike discusses his time at LSU, what he liked about Baton Rouge, what he didn't, and what some of the reasons were that factored into his decision to leave.

Dr. J. Edward Chamberlin talks with Jim about his recently published book Island: How Islands Transform the World. Out of the the 7 billion people on earth, 1 billion live on islands; and they shape our lives more than many people think.


 In honor of National Poetry Month, Ann Marie Awad sat down to talk with Ava Leavell Haymon, Louisiana’s Poet Laureate. She’s on a mission to change the way the rest of the world looks at the state of Louisiana through poetry. 

 

   The House Appropriations Committee got a different look at the cost of six years’ worth of higher education cuts Monday, as the push is on for colleges and universities to better prepare students to fill new jobs coming to Louisiana.

The First Bell series is a growing collection of stories from students, parents, and educators about pivotal experiences in education. To tell your story, email amy@wrkf.org with "My First Bell" in the subject line or tweet with the hashtag #MyFirstBell.

__________

Vasser was not a good student in 2005.

When Hurricane Katrina forced him to move out of New Orleans and transfer to Catholic High in Baton Rouge, he had to turn it around.


Boy, it's a good time to be a dark-chocolate lover.

We've noted before the growing evidence that a daily dose of the bitter bean may help reduce blood pressure. There also seems to be a link between a regular chocolate habit and lower body weight.

LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander stops by the studio to talk with Jim about LSU sports, student debts, the TOPS program, the new pressures due to decreased taxpayer funding, as well as a number of issues posed by numerous callers.

Also, former State Budget Director Steve Winham joins Jim to discuss the upcoming state budget and new library in St. Francisville, while Internationally known Theologian Rebecca Parker calls in to discuss Christianity in the second millennium.

Jim Engster interviews: Roger Villere, State Chair of the Republican Party, about the President's State of the Union address and Senator David Vitter's run of Governor in 2015, as well as,  Steven David Beck, the Director of Music at LSU talks about the Concert Spectacular on Friday night at the LSU Union Theater.


Pages