The Year in Review – 2022 at Louisiana Tech
Louisiana Tech is always going forward — except when we review highlights of the previous year. In 2022, the Louisiana Tech Family celebrated collaborating, giving, research, winning, and much more.
Here are some top stories from 2022, a highlight reel of what the Tech Family experienced and accomplished together.
Tech’s Division of Nursing, in partnership with MedCamps of Louisiana, introduced an opportunity for Nursing students to engage in practical, hands-on learning opportunities designed to increase their knowledge of pediatric care for children with chronic conditions. The Heroes with Hearts Retreat pairs Louisiana Tech students enrolled in the Child Health Maintenance Course with campers at MedCamps of Louisiana.
In addition, Tech’s Design/Build Studio (ARCH 335) created the Mosaic Art Cabin for MedCamps of Louisiana for all campers but especially for the up-and-coming artists at the Choudrant camp. The project received two Louisiana American Institute of Architects (AIA) awards, including an Award of Merit and the Members Choice Award, the organization’s highest annual award.
The College of Education is leading a key initiative from the Louisiana Department of Education that is designed to support new teachers in the state this year. Called the New Teacher Experience, the program focuses on connecting new teachers with a cohort and mentor teachers to provide a support system throughout the early years of their careers.
Gaining hands-on experience in interdisciplinary fields of study, such as cyber and liberal arts, through role-play gaming is no mystery to students involved in the Analysis and Investigations through Cyber-Scenarios (AICS) project. In order to understand how cyber and areas such as political science or history intertwine, AICS allows students to take part in “Murder Mystery” style games modeled after CIA training, creating simulated environments where issues of cyber-security have large-scale, real world effects.
Tech and United Aviate formed a partnership designed to benefit Tech students in the Professional Aviation and Aviation Management programs. Aviate is United’s pilot career development program, offering aspiring and established pilots a path to the United flight deck. Former and current Tech Aviation students and instructors who apply and are successful in the Aviate selection process will join the program, receive a conditional job offer from United, and enjoy the benefits from the defined path to a lifelong career at United.
Forty-seven bankers from across Louisiana and Mississippi attended the first Louisiana Tech University School of Banking in June in Ruston, June 6-10, in Ruston, a week-long professional development program that expands the skills and knowledge base of rising bank leaders. Courses taught by over 20 Tech faculty members, top banking executives, bank consultants and regulators covered a variety of topics, including operations, risk management, liquidity, marketing, sales, and regulations.
In early June, teams from 40 universities converged on Tech and Lincoln Parish to fight for bragging rights as the best in the world at building canoes, accurately surveying land, and developing sustainable solutions for infrastructure problems in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Concrete Canoe Competition + Society-wide Finals.
In conjunction with the City of Ruston and Valspar, Ka’Davien Baylor, a 2016 Graphic Desigh grad, created a new mural that covers the north side of the Dixie Center for the Arts, part of Valspar’s “Be Bright” community initiative. The location for the downtown Ruston “eye candy” was selected by Shreveport native, Choudrant resident, and PGA Tour Pro Sam Burns, the 2022 Valspar Championship winner.
Timber-industry leader Martin Sustainable Resources LLC in Alexandria has committed $2 million as the leadership gift toward the construction of Tech’s new Forest Products Innovation Center. It will be located on South Campus and provide space for a transdisciplinary approach to solving the challenges associated with the timber industry. RoyOMartin, a subsidiary of Martin Sustainable Resources, has invested in what will become a hub for discovering new methods to capture, produce, and utilize our renewable and sustainable forests for generations to come.
Hunt Forest Products established four endowed scholarships at Tech, designed to make a positive impact on future leaders in the forest products industry. The scholarships include a $25,000 endowed scholarship in Forestry, a $25,000 scholarship in Sustainable Supply Chain Management, a $25,000 scholarship in Accounting, and a $25,000 scholarship in Engineering. Students in the colleges of Applied and Natural Sciences, Business, and Engineering and Science will benefit from the company’s generosity.
Origin Bank made the leading donation toward the creation of a new Outdoor Learning Space at the A.E. Phillips Laboratory School at Tech, a re-imagined place that will feature spaces for students to play and engage in activities designed to enhance their experiences at school. When completed, the area will symbolize the school’s commitment to all aspects of health and learning for its students.
Tech graduates Dick and Charlotte Fowler, of Dallas, made a $250,000 gift to benefit the School of Accountancy in Tech’s College of Business, funds that will support student scholarships, current and future programming, summer research grants, and awards for publication in top academic journals.
Because of visit to his school from a Tech-educated engineer when he was a student at Peabody High, Mike Benjamin made the first steps toward what was a very satisfying and successful 30-plus-years career for the 1983 Tech petroleum engineering graduate. Because of that, he and his siblings established a scholarship for Peabody High graduates in their family name.
Tech’s Biomedical Engineering Building is now named for former president Dr. Daniel D. Reneau, whose vision in 1972 led Tech to start one of the first biomedical engineering programs in the nation.
The National Science Foundation awarded $6 million to Tech and partner universities to create printable sensors that detect heavy metals and pesticides. Tech is the lead institution for the project, titled “Facilitating Ubiquitous Technology Utilizing Resilient Eco-friendly Sensors (FUTURE Sensors).” Tech faculty Dr. Terri Murray, Associate Professor in Biomedical Engineering, is the principal investigator.
Tech headquarters a multi-campus energy center after receiving multimillion-dollar U.S. Department of Energy investment to help local industries reduce their energy consumption. Tech is one of 32 universities the Department of Energy (DOE) is investing in to help local manufacturers improve their energy efficiency. At the heart of this $60 million investment to reduce manufacturers’ carbon footprint is the DOE Industrial Assessment Centers (IAC) program that offers no-cost energy efficiency recommendations to small and medium-sized manufacturers and wastewater treatment facilities.
An interdisciplinary team of experts from Tech and three other Louisiana colleges established the MALT Industrial Assessment Center, headquartered in Bogard Hall at Tech, to identify energy, productivity, and sustainability opportunity enhancements for manufacturers in our region, while also training the next generation of industry leaders to advance the interests of the manufacturing sector.
Music Industry Studies, a new major in the School of Music, is a new program that’s striking a chord with students who are interested in music, but not in writing sheet music or learning how to perform classically, the opportunity to develop their passions into future careers in the music industry. The program gives these types of students a chance to broaden their musical interests. Studies teaches students how to record themselves or make videos professionally to promote their businesses.
The College of Business has developed a Master of Business Administration (MBA) concentration in Business Data Analytics, a 36-hour program offered as part of the Traditional MBA, another way the College is adapting curriculum to the needs of industry partners and an ever-changing workforce. Graduates will be prepared for managerial positions in data-intensive industries where “big data” and statistical analyses drive executive decision making
During his recent internship with the Washington, D.C.-based think tank Institute for the Study of War,Tech senior Geographic Information Science (GIS) major Thomas Bergeron helped both design and add daily data to the map of record of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The constantly updated “Story Map” of the conflict is the most downloaded and viewed of all-time on the website of the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI). The map has also been used by the United Nations to conduct refugee operations.
The Louisiana Tech Student Chapter of The Society of American Foresters was a top finisher in several competitions during the 2022 Association of Southern Forestry Clubs Conclave in Crossville, Tennessee, and the University’s Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society excelled at the Southeastern Student Wildlife Conclave in North Carolina.
The University’s interdisciplinary Visual Integration of Science Through Art (VISTA) Center is in the middle of a year-long exhibit at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum in Baton Rouge through July 31, 2023. The exhibit, “Illustrations in Health,” features roughly 60 pieces by 50 Tech undergraduates who have been part of the VISTA Center since its creation seven years ago. The exhibit’s aim is to engage the audience in understanding the impact of illustrations on health sciences and medicine. VISTA will present several special programs on-site during the run.
Established as a visionary in collaboration and the impact of service learning, Karl Puljak, formerly Director of the School of Design, was named Dean of the College of Liberal Arts this fall.
Tech’s annually strong Debate Team won multiple first-place awards at late-January’s virtual Southern Forensics Tournament, including the biggest price—the Louisiana state championship in debate. The tournament serves as the yearly state tournament for Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas collegiate debate and speech teams.
Students in Tech’s School of Accountancy have won their way to the Deloitte FanTAXtic National Competition, an annual case challenge designed to educate and prepare the next generation of tax talent for careers in business and tax. Under the direction of Assistant Professor of Accounting Dr. Nina Collum, accounting majors Ashton Owens of Houston, Andrew Falcon of Mire, Tanecia Boone of El Dorado, Ark., Madeline Townsend of Hattiesburg, Miss., and Katelyn Victor of Winnfield competed in the virtual competition and became one of only 16 teams from the regional competition selected to move on to nationals in January at Deloitte University in Westlake, Texas.
In the 2021-22 fiscal year, Louisiana Tech University experienced a 61% increase in revenues from licensing. Revenues from trademarks – the University’s intellectual property owned through the University Foundation – experienced record growth in the past year despite challenges from supply chain issues and continued nationwide recovery from the effects of COVID-19.
The University continues to shine when it comes to prominent rankings. Just in the past year, Louisiana Tech was listed as a top school in the state by Forbes, while U.S. News and World Report’s global rankings highlighted Tech’s academic research and reputation. In addition, other rankings included the ninth consecutive Military Friendly designation for Tech, enough to earn a Silver label. Individual areas of the University also favored highly in rankings, such as the placement of several graduate programs on U.S. News and World Report’s 2022 list.
No annual review would be complete without a look at the most-recent installment of Tech’s rich athletic history. The Diamond Dogs played in their second consecutive NCAA Regional, and Lady Techster Softball won the Conference USA regular-season title on the last play of the game before a fanatical afternoon crowd at Dr. Billy Bundrick Field. The Dunkin’ Dogs made it to the finals of the C-USA Tournament, and the Lady Techsters finished strong to win C-USA’s Western Division. Lady Techster Tennis won 18 matches, the second-most in program history. Bowling earned a national ranking in the Top 5. Future Louisiana Tech Athletics Hall of Famer Gary Stanley retired as head coach of Track and Field, a program now led by Olympian and four-time NCAA Division I national champion Brian Johnson. While we don’t know what will happen next — it’s sports! — we do know Bundrick Field will be the site of the 2023 Conference USA Softball Championships; the facility opened in March of 2021 and will serve as the host site for the four-day, eight-team tournament May 10-13.