Nicholls to Start Cybersecurity Training Program

Soon Nicholls State University will be establishing and unveiling a much-needed cybersecurity and cyber-defense training program, as announced in a recent Nicholls press release.

The training program will make possible the Delta Regional Authority (DRA), a federal-state partnership created in 2000 by Congress to promote economic development of the lower Mississippi Delta and the Black Belt of Alabama. The DRA had awarded Nicholls State University $150,000 to establish the cyber-defence training program.

Nicholls will create a sustainable program that expands cyber-defence knowledge and cybersecurity training across the campus by utilizing the efforts of on-campus personnel, local nonprofits, and economic agencies.

The training program’s curriculum will be developed by both Nicholls Continuing Education and the Institute for Industry-Education Collaboration. The goal of the curriculum is to train nearly 150 workers in the parishes of Lafourche, Terrebonne, and St. Mary over one year, and the project is expected to launch in early 2021.

The cybersecurity training will be conducted by the conjoined, collaborative efforts of Nicholls’ own Small Business Development Center, the South Louisiana Economic Council, other industry partners, and Terry Evans, who is an established instructor of computer and information systems.

Nicholls President, Dr. Jay Clune had stated, “the downturn in the oil and gas industry combined with the economic impacts of COVID-19 have left many Louisiana workers without jobs. This is a unique opportunity to provide our state and the Bayou Region with sustainable training in a high-demand industry.”

Before 2026, the demand for information security analysts is expected to increase by 28 percent, according to estimates made by the Bureau of Labor Statistics; the Bureau also reported that the median pay within the industry is set at $98,000 per year. Therefore with that median pay and that noted expectation of the rising need for information security analysts within the next decade, this training program couldn’t have come at a better time.

Nicholls President Dr. Jay Clune noted that the program aligns with the goals set forth by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, remarking, “this collaboration is the best of both worlds. We can offer continuing education for our community while strengthening our state’s economy. I want to thank Rep. Garret Graves and his staff, who made us aware of this grant opportunity and supported our efforts from day one. I also want to acknowledge the support of Sen. Bill Cassidy and his staff, as well as State Rep. Joe Orgeron.”

The $150,000 awarded by the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) wasn’t the only amount awarded recently, as the institution awarded a total of 13 projects totaling $1.7 million across the southeast United States, including three in Louisiana. Those three being, Nicholls State University as well as Baton Rogue’s Research Park Corporation and New Orleans’ University of Holy Cross.

Each Louisiana institution received their incentive investment that was designed to support initiatives and programs that expand both job training and re-employment opportunities, align workforce strategies as well as economic development strategies, create sustainable pipelines of talent, establish or enhance locally and regionally-significant public-private partnerships, and support enhanced workforce productivity through innovative programming.

According to the DRA’s announcement of the initiatives, in total, “grants ranging from  $76,800 to $150,000 were awarded to industry-driven workforce development programs and initiatives in six DRA states.  Eligible applicants demonstrated at least one employer partner seeking to hire more skilled workers in a high-demand industry sector and will aid communities particularly hard hit by industrial downsizing, business closures, and job losses as a result of the public health and economic crisis. “

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NSU Nursing Program Recognized

The nursing program at Nicholls State University has been recognized for the quality and affordability of the program by several online resources. Registered Nursing, a nursing advocacy organization of registered nurses that bridges the gap between resources and future nurses, ranked the Nicholls online bachelors in nursing number seven in the country and best in Louisiana.

Best Health Degrees, a website dedicated to spreading awareness of healthcare education, named Nicholls nursing program the number four most affordable accredited program in the country.

Dr. Sue Westbrook, provost and vice president for academic and student affairs, is delighted about the program recognition. The former dean of the College of Nursing says “It’s satisfying to know that our program offers high quality at an affordable price.”

The Nicholls nursing program is the most popular on campus, and also remains one of the most successful program in the South with their graduates regularly passing the RN licensure exam at rates that are higher than both state and national averages.

Nicholls nursing program offers a traditional BSN, LPN to BSN Articulation Program, RN to BSN Articulation Program, and a Master of Science in Nursing. The MSN program is offered in affiliation with the Intercollegiate Consortium for a Master of Science in Nursing (ICMSN) and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). In the MSN program, you can choose from three specialty concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Nursing Education.

With a mission to prepare students to contribute to a global society and a diverse workforce as productive, responsible, and engaged citizens and as well-educated nurses to meet the healthcare needs of the Bayou region and beyond, it’s estimated that eighty percent of the Bayou’s Region’s nurses are Nicholls alumni. Students will receive hands-on education from experienced and award-winning faculty, and 100 percent of Nicholls recent nursing grads are either employed or in nursing school.

Anna Busalacchi, a graduate from Nicholls with her Bachelors of Science in nursing, states “It’s cool to be prideful of my alma mater. I had so much on my resume because I attended Nicholls and it helped me get a job so much easier.”

Nicholls’ College of Nursing aims to send off their graduates embracing these core values:

  • Civic responsibility
  • Diversity
  • Excellence
  • Integrity
  • Leadership
  • Respectfulness
  • Responsibility
  • Caring
  • Professionalism
  • Safety

Registered Nursing determines its school rankings using a variety of higher education statistics, while also factoring in school accreditation, graduation rates, cost of tuition, the ratio of instructional faculty to tenured faculty, and student acceptance rate.

Best Health Degrees determines its school rankings based on accreditation from either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and by the cost of tuition.

Best Health Degrees helps prospective students learn what skills and training they need for their ideal career field, the salary they can expect to earn, and advice on how to land their dream job, as well as information they may need about the college or university of their choice.

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Nicholls Educator Participates in new World Class Professor Program

Nicholls State University biology professor Dr. Raj Boopathy was chosen to visit Indonesia as a part of the Indonesian government’s relatively new World Class Professor program. Nicholls news gives us more information, check out the article here. The World Class Professor program, also known as WCP, is a program that is funded by the Indonesian government. This research project aims to help institutions cooperate together by strengthening and promoting research on a global level. The Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education wanted to promote a global satellite research center.

Only ten World Class Professorships are awarded each year. The Indonesian government bases its program recipient decisions in publication and research output in addition to a strong, consistent publication record. Dr. Boopathy’s works have been cited over 7000 times internationally.

Dr. Boopathy will travel to Indonesia to visit the Institute of Technology, Bandung for two weeks. He will discuss his research in environmental biotechnology on the presence of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the environment, biodegradation and bioremediation of hazardous chemicals, biofuel production and biological treatment of wastewater.

He will also talk to students on how to write and publish scientific papers.

Not only will Dr. Boopathy travel to Indonesia to discuss his research, a professor from the Institute of Technology, Bandung will travel to Louisiana in October to shadow Dr. Boopathy. The professor from the Institute of Technology, Bandung will study Dr. Boopathy’s process in collecting data and publishing research in the most notable scientific journals in the world.

This is not the first award or honor Dr. Boopathy has received. He is also a Fulbright Specialist. The Fulbright Specialist Program sends faculty and professionals from the United States to academic institutions worldwide to consult on curriculum, faculty development, and institutional planning. Dr. Boopathy has been the recipient of three Fulbright awards since 2007. The last place to request his services was Malaysia- who was aiming to curb the country’s pollution. Malaysia has been struggling from air pollution for close to twenty years. Dr. Boopathy visited the country right before Nicholls’ Spring 2019 semester began.

Last year Dr. Boopathy was the keynote speaker at the 13th Asian Biohydrogen and Biorefinery Symposium in Zhengzhou, China. It was here that he gave a speech on his research in the area of bioethanol production from sugarcane waste for energy use. The research is based on the idea of extracting sugar from agricultural waste that would typically be burned during a given season. The symposium had approximately 400 attendees from 28 countries share their research into bioenergy.

Dr. Raj Boopathy is a 2008 recipient of the Nicholls State University Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence. He is also considered an Alcee Fortier Distinguished Professor at Nicholls- an honorary title given to showcase academic excellence. He has published 167 papers in various peer-reviewed journals, 17 book chapters, and has edited a book.

“It is a big honor to be selected as a World Class Professor,” he said. “This says that Nicholls accommodates professors with high research output, and Nicholls always encourages the scholarly work of its professors.”

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