Nicholls State University Bridge to Independence Program students and members of the Alumni Federation will now be able to scoot around campus in their own golf carts thanks to a gift from a Houma philanthropist.
Arlen “Benny” Cenac Jr., owner of Cenac Marine, gave the two new carts to the two programs last week.
“We here at the Arlen B. Cenac Jr. Family of Companies are proud to be able to supply the Bridge to Independence Program and Alumni Federation with the resources to make their job and lives a little easier and faster to accomplish their remarkable goals,” said Cenac, who has served on the board for the Nicholls College of Business and the Nicholls Foundation.
The Bridge program will use its six-passenger cart to assist in transporting students across campus to their jobs, while the alumni office will use its cart to haul supplies across campus to events such as tailgating.
“This will allow myself and my staff to spend more time connecting with our alumni and our students in order to generate much-needed support for the Alumni Federation and Nicholls as a whole,” said Katherine Gianelloni, director of Alumni Affairs. “We are truly fortunate to have donors like Mr. Benny, who love our alma mater and the Nicholls Alumni Federation as much as we do.”
Bridge advisor Mary Breaud said this new cart will be great for a program that has grown from eight to 30 in the last two years.
“It is especially important during inclement weather and for our students who have some health issues and walking long distances in the heat is very difficult,” she said. “We feel very fortunate to have wonderful donors to the Bridge to Independence program like Mr. Benny Cenac. His generosity is greatly appreciated.”
Bridge to Independence assists students with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorder with job and social skills. Nicholls’ program is one of only 50 in the United States certified by the U.S. Department of Education and the only one in Louisiana.
Research competition returns to Nicholls
Nicholls State University students will be tested on their ability to effectively communicate scientific research regarding coastal Louisiana during a competition hosted by Louisiana Sea Grant.
The public competition, titled Coastal Connections, challenges students to concisely communicate their research in three minutes or less, with no more than two Powerpoint slides. Three winners will receive $500 travel awards to attend conferences that align with their research.
Students submit their research to Louisiana Sea Grant, and a panel will select the finalists to present their research at 4 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Wetlands Acadia Cultural Center at Jean Lafitte National Park in Thibodaux.
“It’s important for our students, who are scientists-in-training, to practice explaining their science to the public and why our research involving coastal issues is important,” said Aimee Hollander, assistant professor of biological sciences.
Competitors will be judged on their ability to capture an audience's attention, quickly and effectively communicate the significance of their research and whether their presentations leave the audience with new information.
The three judges are Virginia Schutte, social media director for the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium; Susan Testroet-Bergeron, program director at the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program; and Jay Clune, Nicholls president.
The event is free and open to the public.