Upper Iowa University Alexandria Center and Jackson Barracks seniors who have completed their degree requirements attended a ceremony held at St. Bernard Baptist Church in Chalmette, LA, on Nov. 18, 2010. Pictured back row (left to right): Dr. Bill Duffy, senior vice president for UIU’s Academic Extension, Ricky Blanchard, George Wiley, Kevin Stamp, Sr., Peter Brown, Tomika Daniels, LaShawn Johnson, Wyanika Christophe, Bernard Crowden, Sr., Harry Stoval, Jr., David Liang, Gus James, and Wayne Converse, director, UIU South Central Region. Front row (l-r): Sheila Celious, Anika Glover, Thais Augustine, Krissy Gadwaw, Megan Williams, Tracie Savala, and Amber Lynch
JACKSON BARRACKS, Louisiana (December 1, 2010) – The Upper Iowa University (UIU) Alexandria Center and Jackson Barracks location held a ceremony to honor 22 seniors who have completed their degree requirements at St. Bernard Baptist Church in Chalmette, L.A. Pastor Paul Gregroire, who is also a UIU adjunct faculty member, volunteered the use of St. Bernard's while the Jackson Barracks' auditorium is under construction.
Included among the 22 seniors were 13 New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) officers, four civilians, and five military personnel from the National Guard, Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and active Army. Many of these students were personally affected by Hurricane Katrina when it struck the New Orleans area on Aug. 29, 2005, and also affected academically when Katrina hit the UIU Jackson Barracks location three weeks into Term 1. However, the UIU educational center was operational again by Term 3, due to borrowed classroom space that included an elementary school on the West Bank of New Orleans, which was also being used as a command post for the NOPD SWAT team. However, by Term 5, UIU was forced to relocate again. With assistance from UIU alumnus SGT Al Miller, who is also a member of the NOPD, classes were moved to space at one of the NOPD buildings. In fall 2006, UIU entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Navy College Office in New Orleans and started holding classes there, where it remained until October 2009 when the UIU Jackson Barracks location reopened.
“Earning a degree while balancing family, work, and service to one’s country is challenging enough,” said Wayne Converse, director, UIU South Central Region. “But I have added respect for this particular group of graduates, who persevered through personal hardship, yet had the tenacity to not lose sight of their higher education goals and through it all earned their degrees.”
Speaker for the November 18 event was alumnus and adjunct faculty member David Mula. Dr. William Duffy, senior vice president for UIU’s Academic Extension, and Converse participated in the event. Each senior received a UIU Academic Extension commemorative coin.
“This was by far the largest senior class here in New Orleans and the largest class of NOPD officers since Katrina,” said Vicki Melton, Alexandria center director.
The list of seniors included:
Associates of Arts in Liberal Arts
LaShawn Nichelle Johnson, Gretna, LA
Tracie M. Savala, New Orleans, LA
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
Peter Newton Brown, New Orleans, LA
Amber Renee Lynch-Street, Deville, LA
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Ricky Lane Blanchard, Slidell, LA
Sheila Ann Celious, New Orleans, LA
Bernard Anthony Crowden, Sr., New Orleans, LA
Gus Hudson James, New Orleans, LA
Krystal Nichelle Lackings, New Orleans, LA
Harry Lee Stovall, Jr., New Orleans, LA
Avery Joseph Theard, New Orleans, LA
Bachelor of Science in Public Administration w/Law Enforcement Emphasis
Kevin Randolph Stamp, Sr., New Orleans, LA
George T. Wiley, Krotz Springs, LA
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Wyanika Marie Christophe, Stafford, VA
Tomica Lawonne Daniels, Pineville, LA
Bachelor of Science in Social Science
Thais Joyce Augustine, Chalmette, LA
Krissy Marie Gadwaw, Chalmette, LA
Anika Mylette Glover, New Orleans, LA
David Han Liang, Metairie, LA
Megan Patricia Williams, Violet, LA
Monica Bayer Heaton
Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
About Upper Iowa University
Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs and leadership development opportunities to over 6,600 students—nationally and internationally—at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and independent study. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.