Southern University

courtesy Southern University

There’s a new president of the Southern University System, and he’s looking at the system’s struggles from a new perspective.

“We can make a difference. We should be making a difference,” says Dr. Ray Belton.

Belton, who previously served as chancellor of Southern-Shreveport before taking on the combined duties of system president and chancellor of the Baton Rouge campus three weeks ago, has ideas about making Southern more inclusive.

Rather than attending the Washington, D.C. Mardi Gras festivities, or Iowa’s Freedom Summit for GOP presidential hopefuls, Governor Bobby Jindal courted a base for a possible 2016 presidential run, keynoting both the Louisiana Right to Life March and his own “The Response” prayer rally. The two events were held concurrently on the campus of LSU.

Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron, CEO of the YWCA-USA, and Jennifer Shoub, CEO of the YWCA Baton Rouge, both join us in studio for the first segment of today's show. From the abolition of slavery to equal and fare minimum wages, the YWCA has worked 156 years to end racism and empower women, and today they discuss their efforts to end domestic violence in Louisiana communities and the country.

Mark Ballard, the Editor of the Capitol News Bureau for The Advocate, is with us to discuss the possible candidate runoffs we could see after November 4th, and what the housing situation is with most of the candidates running for office. With the big fuss being made over U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu's official residency status, Mark addressed the broader issue and wrote an article discussing the houses of all of the major candidates. 

Also, Southern University Law Center Vice Chancellor John Pierre and National Bar Association President Pamela Meanes are with us for the last portion of today's show to discuss the upcoming Wiley A. Branton Symposium at the Southern University Law Center on October 30th & 31st. The event marks the 25th Anniversary of the National Bar Association's Symposium, and the main topic will be focusing on education as the new civil right. For more info, visit

Former Louisiana Governor and candidate for Louisiana's 6th Congressional District Edwin Edwards joins us for the first part of today's show. Edwards discusses his stance on certain issues like abortion, the U.S.-Mexico border, American troops in Afghanistan, and much, much more.

Southern University Faculty Senate President Dr. Thomas Miller and Vice President Dr. Albert Samuels drop by the studio to discuss their disagreements with SU President Dr. Ronald Mason and the remarks Dr. Mason made on our show on Monday.

Also, Bob Jacobsen from the Louisiana Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers closes out today's show with Jim to discuss the ASCE Louisiana Chapter's 100th anniversary this year. The anniversary will be celebrated this Saturday August 9th at the Renaissance Hotel in Baton Rouge, La.

President of Southern University Dr. Ronald Mason joins us in studio for the better of Monday's show to discuss the recent merger proposal of the operations of the Southern University System with the Baton Rouge campus, as well as the proposal to consolidate the positions of system President with Chancellor for the Baton Rouge campus. They discuss how Dr. Mason is handling all of this on top of an uneasy and upset faculty which argues that Southern University has an enrollment problem, not a structural problem.

Also, author Kevin Kwan joins us to close out the show and discuss his debut novel: Crazy Rich Asians. The comedic novel centers around three very wealthy, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season. 

Vice Chancellor of the Southern University Law Center John Pierre talks with Jim about the upcoming Southern University Symposium: "Quality Education as a Constitutional Right and the Role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities". Kandice Williams joins the discussion to talk about her experience as a Southern University Law student.

Associate Professor at the LSU AG Center Dr. John Westra discusses the LSU Agriculture summary.

Steve Myers talks with Jim about the latest developments with the city-parish lawsuit. The lawsuit in the hands of the Louisiana Supreme Court is in reference to a Baton Rouge ordinance that only a single family may rent in A-1 zoning districts. 

Author Jennifer Senior joins the show to talk about her new book "All Joy and No Fun": The Paradox of Modern Parenthood."

MONDAY: Marjorie Esman, James Llorens, & Tom Aswell

Feb 17, 2014

Jim Engster speaks with Marjorie Esman, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana about the high incarceration rate in Louisiana, Dr. James L. Llorens talks about his future at Southern University as Chancellor, and political analyst, Tom Aswell discusses Louisiana politics.

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Walt Handelsman chats with Jim about his illustrious career and what its like to draw Presidents Bush and Obama, and to hear praise from the presidents themselves. Also, Southern University Media Relations Director and Columnist for The Advocate talks SU sports, both past and present, as well as  last nights blow out in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Southern University baseball coach Roger Cador shares the story of his youth, as the son of a sharecropper...and how he got where he is today.

Author Patrick Robinson on his book, ""Honor and Betrayal", the untold story of the Navy Seals who captured the "Butcher of Fallujah" and the shameful ordeal they later endured.

LSU Press

In his new book, “Segregated Soldiers: Military Training at Historically Black Colleges in the Jim Crow South”, historian Marcus Cox argues that African Americans leveraged military service to claim their civil rights.