NSU signed a memorandum of understanding with the Institute of Crisis Management Studies, Samarpan Academy, Nepal.

NSU MU Napal

NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson signed the agreement via WebEx early Wednesday, when administrators coordinated a nearly 11-hour time difference.

According to the agreement, the two institutions will promote academic cooperation through the exchange of research papers, teaching materials, syllabi and curricula. The agreement encourages both schools to partner in joint research and to collaborate in instructional and cultural programs and shared access to information networks. The institution may exchange faculty for teaching, lectures or workshops and may exchange up to two students per academic year for study in degree programs and participation in research, cultural activities, language learning and more. The agreement is effective for five years.

Northwestern State’s engagement with Nepal is the result of a relationship between two members of the faculty who became involved with the Empower Nepali Girls Foundation. Drs. Patrice and Michael Moulton and their son Bryce have worked with the Foundation for several years to provide scholarships for Nepali girls to attend school and raise awareness of child trafficking, hunger and gender equity.

Patrice Moulton, a professor of psychology at Northwestern State University, first learned of the Empower Nepali Girls Foundation through a colleague she met at a conference who talked about a grassroots foundation he established after a visit to Nepal where as many as 10,000 girls are abducted and sold into slavery every year. Patrice and Michael, who is a professor in Northwestern State’s Department of Health and Human Performance, have travelled to Nepal several times.

In Natchitoches, the Moultons have worked with First United Methodist Church, St. Mary’s School, Northwestern State ROTC and NSU’s Psi Chi psychology society with projects to benefit the Foundation. Their efforts became even more important after a devastating earthquake occurred in Nepal in April 2015 that killed thousands of people, flattened villages and reduced numerous heritage sites to ruin.

With its ancient culture and the Himalayas as a backdrop, landlocked Nepal was closed to the outside world until the 1950s. About three quarters of the country is covered by mountains. It is home to Mount Everest – the world’s highest mountain.

“NSU is very excited to partner with faculty and students at Tribhuvan University/Institute for Crisis Management Studies,” Dr. Patrice Moulton said. “We look forward to future student academic and cultural exchanges.”

How Not to Take Care of Your Parents’ Car

DarbyNPJ

Last week I wrote about some pretty serious close calls I’d had with automobiles in my younger days.

This week I’d like to relate some of my more foolish, but less dangerous, moments involving cars, namely vehicles belong to my parents. These were all my fault and the factors involved in the three incidents were stubbornness, thoughtlessness and — vodka — in that order.

First, my stubbornness. When I was at LSU, a bunch of friends decided to have a beach party. Well, the only thing resembling a beach fairly near the campus was the Mississippi River batture, that sandy area between the levee and the river.

The girl I was bringing was a first date. At the time I was driving a smoky old Simca Aronde, a little French sedan that badly needed a valve job. I wanted to impress the girl so I talked Daddy into letting me drive his pride and joy, a 1960 Ford Thunderbird.
The loan of the car came with a warning. “Son, do not drive that car over the levee. It’s built very low and you’ll tear off the muffler.”

“Okay, Daddy, I won’t,” was my well intended response.

However, when we arrived at the party site, all my buddies were driving their cars over the levee, so I’d be darned if I was going to make my lovely date trudge through the grass up the levee. So I carefully made my way up the incline in the T-Bird. Of course when I reached the top, that old levee just reached up and grabbed the muffler right off of that car.

“My gosh,” I thought. “Parents do know some things after all.”
That rather ruined the rest of the beach party for me and my new date must have wondered why the guy she was with was so gloomy on such a fun occasion.
I manned up to Daddy the next day, admitted what happened and ended up paying for a new muffler.

The incident involving thoughtlessness had to do with Mother’s 1957 Oldsmobile. She’d let me take it out for a Friday night ride with my buddies when I was in high school. We headed straight for Hopper’s Drive-In on Florida Street, THE place to see and be seen for teenagers in Baton Rouge in the 1950s.

We had innocently ordered burgers and cokes and were listening to rock and roll on the radio. I was a would-be drummer and I vigorously kept time to the beat by pounding my hand on the top of the padded dashboard. Of course, my high school ring cut a hole in the vinyl and I got a good talking to from Mother the next day.

Well, believe it or not, she loaned her Olds to me again. I was in college then and took my date dancing at a night club, a popular and what I thought was a sophisticated spot on Airline Highway.

So, it seems that that night my date and I decided to introduced ourselves to screwdrivers — a potent drink made up of vodka and orange juice. Because of the orange juice, it goes down smoothly and quickly. Before we knew it, we were very mellow. We got up to dance and we swayed and dipped, not in time to the music but under the control of the vodka.
We decided we’d better get on home before we got even more drunk, so we weaved our way outside to the Oldsmobile, with me promising myself that I was going to drive very carefully on the way home.

Well, I didn’t get out of the parking lot unscathed. I saw a tree in my rearview mirror as I was backing up. I thought it was a big tree far away. No. It was a middle-sized tree much closer. The loud thump of the back bumper hitting the tree was a dreadful sound.
That made me drive even more carefully for the rest of the night. But Mother was really mad about the new indented curve in her back bumper.

All of these mishaps were lessons learned. A teaching moment, as they like to say today. But boy I’d love to have that ’60 Thunderbird and that ’57 Olds right now.

LT. SUSAN JOHNSON NAMED AUGUST EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH

Employee of the Month - August 2016 Susan Johnson

Lieutenant Susan Johnson of the Natchitoches Police Department was named the Employee of the Month for August 2016. Lt. Johnson has worked with the Natchitoches Police Department for more than 30 years.

“Congratulations to Lt. Susan Johnson,” said Chief of Police Micky Dove. “We appreciate her hard work and years of dedication to the City of Natchitoches.”

“She is a very hard worker and loves working with the public,” added Kimberly Banks, Natchitoches Police Department Records Clerk. “She treats everyone with respect, but still enforces her job.”

Lt. Susan Johnson was presented with an Employee of the Month Plaque by Mayor Lee Posey and received a gift certificate to Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant for her hard work and dedication.

Northwestern State band loans drums to St. Amant High band

NSUdrumLoan

For any marching band, it all begins with the drum line. St. Amant High School’s band took a big step toward getting whole Wednesday when it received a loan of drums from Northwestern State University.

The university provided St. Amant, which is in Ascenion Parish near Gonzales, with nine snare drums, four sets of tenor drums (six drums each) and five bass drums that would have been sent to state surplus.

“I can’t put into words what this gesture from Northwestern means,” said St. Amant Director of Bands Craig Millet. “The first thing the band does is rally around the drum section. What starts things is the drum cadences. That is what gets the band pumped up.”

Northwestern State Director of Bands Dr. Jeffrey Mathews was closely following news of the flooding that devastated much of southeast and south central Louisiana. He immediately began contacting band directors to offer help.

“When something like that happens, everyone wants to do something,” said Mathews. “I called one band director in the area who told me what happened at St. Amant and we went from there.”

Once Mathews identified the need and how NSU could help, he worked with university and state officials to complete all required paperwork.

St. Amant High was closed after the recent floods. Students began classes Monday on a half-day platoon schedule at nearby Dutchtown High. Millet said about 90 percent of the band students had their instruments stored in the school’s band room. He is hoping to gather enough instruments to allow the band to perform at next Friday’s football home opener.

“I saw the students for the first time Monday and they are very resilient,” said Millet, who has been at St. Amant for 27 years. “They can’t wait to get back to play and practice. Our community has suffered but humanity has not because of the willingness of people to help.”

The donation was also meaningful to Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band member Madison Mayers, a 2016 graduate of St. Amant, where she was the band’s drum major last year.

“It is heartwarming that my new school (Northwestern) loves my former school (St. Amant) and wants to help,” said Mayers, a freshman biology major from St. Amant. “It was so great of Dr. Mathews to make the offer of percussion equipment to St. Amant.”

Mayers’ family had four feet of water in their home. They are staying with friends as they start the rebuilding process.

“I’m glad I have been able to focus on classes and band for the last couple of weeks,” said Mayers. “I know it will be very emotional for me when I go home.”

 

From the left: Graduate Assistant Donald Myers, Northwestern State Director of Bands Dr. Jeffrey Mathews, St. Amant Director of Bands Craig Millet. NSU band member and St. Amant alumna Madison Mayers and Northwestern State Assistant Director of Bands Oliver Molina.

BOM sponsors NJH-FRJS

BOM to FRJ-HIGH

BOM is a $200 sponsor for the Natchitoches Junior High-Frankie Ray Jackson School for the athletic sign sponsor fundraiser. From left are Chari Addison, Coach Scott Green, Gretchen Dauzat and Logan Lambert.

Axsom seeks donations and volunteers for continued relief effort

AxsomCleanUp (2)
Axsom is seeking donations for flood victims and volunteers for the next trip this Saturday Sept. 3. The trip will be a one-day blitz project. Volunteers can contact Steve Axsom at 318-554-9712. Supply donations can be dropped off at the Axsom office at 129 South Drive.

On a previous trip, the group of 11 volunteers worked through The Chapel Church in Baton Rouge, which had a list of 75 homes. The owners of these homes were in need of help, as they had no resources or family. One homeowner the group helped was an elderly disabled lady in a wheelchair who was living on her own.

Besides a few Axsom employees, Steve reached out to The Bridge Church in Natchitoches for volunteers.

The group completely gutted four homes on its last trip. They removed sheetrock, cabinets and everything else down to the studs so the building could dry out.

Local businesses including International Paper, Stine’s Lumber, Home Hardware and Family Dollar helped fill two trucks with cleaning supplies and work equipment.

“Every little bit helps,” said Steve.

Birthday party celebrates DAR member

Colleen's Birthday

Friends and fellow DAR members surrounded Dr. Colleen Lancaster at her 90th birthday party Aug. 30. As the Honorary Chapter Regent for the Natchitoches Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Chapter showed its appreciation for all the work she’s done. Rosie Finical decorated her home in the red and blue colors of the DAR. A similarly themed cake was served to guests as they honored Colleen for her patriotism and dedication.

“She’s a tough and sweet lady,” said Linnye Daily Clark.

Dr. Margaret Wheat Carter said Colleen has kept the Natchitoches DAR Chapter together over the years.

Colleen’s neighbor Martha Maynard and soon-to-be neighbor in 2 months, Markay Cunningham, commented on her dedication to their DAR Chapter.

“She’s a very determined and talented lady,” said Markay. “She follows through with what she decides to do.”

Martha agreed. “She’s a wonderful neighbor and supporter of the DAR. I admire her ability to get up and go no matter what.”

“She’s an amazing person who has accomplished a great deal in her lifetime,” said Wanda St. Andre. “Happy Birthday Colleen.”
Photo: From left are Diane Gunter, Emily Wofford, Linnye Daily Clark (in back), Mary White, Julie Callahan, Anna Airheart, Martha Maynard, Mary Linn Wernet, Donna Brewer, Arnetta Hyams, Rosie Finical, Wanda St. Andre, Billie Gibson, Dr. Margaret Wheat Carter and Dr. Colleen Lancaster.