Even football has a strong connection to music.
With Louisiana Tech's football program, there is a band, and through that band, community orchestras can form. In the same token, with drama departments, there is a pool of talent for community theater.
Louisiana Tech is bringing the community together, not only along the Interstate 20 corridor but also statewide and even nationwide. It is a growing, exuberant community that begins in Ruston through a university with 11,000 students.
Area chambers of commerce in Ruston, Shreveport and Monroe all agree: Louisiana Tech greatly benefits north Louisiana. From internships to employees to serving on committees, Tech faculty, staff and students all participate in assisting with the region's growth. As Richard Bremer, president of the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce stated, universities are essential in increasing a state's community and job market capabilities.
Scott Terry, Ruston Chamber of Commerce president, believes that Ruston would not be the same town it is now without Louisiana Tech, stating that Ruston revolves around the university, which is the anchor that holds Ruston in place. Sue Edmunds, the president of Monroe's Chamber of Commerce, agrees and believes that Tech works with organizations in the community to make north Louisiana better. The university has a tremendous impact with cultural events.
Louisiana Tech is also impacting the region through the contributions of internal departments and community service centers such as the Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness, the Speech and Hearing Clinic and the Psychological Services Clinic. Each unit has much to offer and provides significant value to the quality of life and economic strength of our region.
The Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness, located in Woodson Hall on the Louisiana Tech campus, provides a variety of benefits and services that are difficult to quantify. After all, how does one measure bettering someone's life? This specialized unit is known throughout the state and, in fact, throughout the nation. The institute's mission is to increase professional preparation for individuals who work with blind children and adults and to continue to research the best way to train and educate these teachers. As a result of the programs, teachers of blind children and adults have made a significant impact in the lives of the blind students they teach.
Louisiana Tech's Speech and Hearing Center does more than just test the hearing of students on campus - its reach goes around the region to ensure that residents from preschool age to the elderly are tested for speech and hearing. Besides giving students free hearing tests, they test at the Early Childhood Center, area daycares, nursing homes, Head Start and in Lincoln Parish preschools. They also have patients as far as Texas, Mississippi and Arkansas, as well as from Alexandria and Monroe.
At a small cost, the Speech and Hearing Center can also create iPod ear molds, classroom amp systems, earplugs and more to anyone in the community.
The Psychological Services Clinic offers individual, couple, family and group therapies. Their services include evaluation and counseling for psychological, emotional and educational issues for adults, adolescents, children and families. Located in Louisiana Tech's Enterprise Center, the clinic helps to train graduate students who study counseling psychology. The students provide psychological services to the public under the supervision of counseling psychology faculty.
Tech also provides the community with opportunities to experience art, theater, music and other cultural events. The International Scholarship Dinner and the International Days Food and Cultural Festival offer the community ways to learn about the world outside of northern Louisiana. Internationally-acclaimed performers as well as local talent perform at the university's Howard Auditorium or Stone Theatre or can display their works at one of the two art galleries housed in the School of Art.
Louisiana Tech serves and enriches communities all across the I-20 corridor. Prospective businesses and residents frequently ask regional chambers of commerce about the higher education opportunities in this area. Representatives from Shreveport, Ruston and Monroe say that Tech is that opportunity and has a positive influence on the communities our region. From the pool of possible employees to the cultural activities to the assistance the university gives the community, Louisiana Tech is an essential building block in north Louisiana and is shaping the community one mind at a time.