318 | BRIEFS
• Event Honors Local Women Professionals
Thirty women from Shreveport-Bossier who have noteworthy accomplishments in their business and professional careers will be honored Saturday, March 12, at 7 p.m. at Margaritaville Resort Casino.
The inaugural event is hosted by On A Mission, LLC. in recognition of International Women's History Month. The goal is to bring women together from various walks of life and diverse ethnic backgrounds. Alex T. Ray is the organizer, and the top sponsor is Inner Quality Services. The moderators are Rod Demery, former Shreveport police detective and star of "Murder Chose Me," and Troy Washington of KTBS.
Entertainment will be provided by Sylvia Songbird, Tipsey Band and Gabriel "Saxman" Johnson.
The honorees are Tanesha Williams Hall, Dr. Kenya Roberts, Chloe Washington, Kandis Vaughn Thomas, Temp Melacon McCoy, Stormy Gage Watts, Jasmine Smith, Monesha Brook, Nashawna Joseph, Andrea Butler, Elissa Atkins Little, Latoria Wright Stewart, Jaya McSharma, Pavunae Jones, Golden Ellis, McMillon Shima, Rhyna Blackwell Gilliam, Karen E. Wissing, Joleeta Lee, Lariana Graham Taylor, Terrie Collins Harris, Jessica Latin, Ashley Jenkins Easter, Turaez Lopez, Keidra Brown, Mary Ann Van Osdell, Brenda Ray Robinson, Richshundra Mattie'l, Sauny Anglin and Dr. Latonya Mister.
Tables can be purchased at https://onamissionevents.myshopify.com/ A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Hub Ministry to assist women impacted by human trafficking.
• Falting Joins ANECA Mortgage Team
Erick Falting is the newest member of the ANECA Federal Credit Union Mortgage Team.
Born and raised in South Bossier, he is a graduate of Parkway, BPCC and LA Tech with a degree in business administration.
He is new to working at ANECA but not new to finance and helping others. For over 10 years, Erick worked in finance at Chevyland, helping people purchase vehicles before moving to MoTIIV as a regional finance director over 19 dealerships.
• Alumnus Leaves Loyola College Prep $1.5 Million
Loyola College Prep announces a $1.5 million planned gift to create an endowment for tuition assistance. The gift was made by 1968 Jesuit alumnus Gary Christ. Christ was a member of the Jesuit 1967 state championship football team in addition to participating in other sports, band and student government during high school.
After graduating from Jesuit, Christ received his bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Louisiana Tech University and an MBA in business and political science from Arizona State University. Christ proudly served his country in the United States Air Force as a fighter pilot. Upon leaving the Air Force with the rank of captain, he became a pilot for Southwest Airlines in 1987 and retired in 2015. Gary was an avid outdoorsman, climbing many of the world’s largest peaks. He passed away in October 2020.
Christ’s sister, Karen Smith, said, “The bonds that Gary made at Jesuit, the education he received, and his life experiences from being a Flyer are Christ what helped shape him. It was Gary’s wish to continue to provide a Catholic high school education for many generations to come. Our family knows the impact this donation will have on students for years to come, and we can’t wait to see how graduates from Loyola continue ‘to set the world on fire’ because of Gary’s contribution.”
Income from the $1.5 million Gary Christ Endowment will go toward tuition assistance for students. Endowed funds provide a perpetual source of income that enhances Loyola College Prep and attracts and keeps students while ensuring students with diverse socioeconomic backgrounds have access to Catholic high school education.
Loyola will display Christ’s letterman blanket and his other Jesuit memorabilia in honor of his generous gift and dedication to the school.
• Gastrolntestinal Specialists Partners to open new clinic
GastroIntestinal Specialists Partners with CareSouth GastroIntestinal Specialists, A.M.C., along with Baton Rouge-based nonprofit CareSouth, will open a new health-care clinic in Shreveport in late March. Located at 8730 Youree Drive, it will provide comprehensive health care to patients with Medicaid and those who are uninsured and underinsured. It will also accept commercially insured patients needing health-care services.
Services provided at the new clinic include primary care, gastroenterology, nutrition, case management, etc. All services focus on improving the quality of life and health for patients who have had difficulty getting timely access to quality health-care providers and services. The GIS affiliation with CareSouth means patients needing gastroenterology services and procedures, including colonoscopies, will have faster access to the nationally recognized team of medical experts at GastroIntestinal Specialists. The facility will also work with other local providers to ensure seamless patient referrals for services such as oncology and urology.
CareSouth is a private nonprofit Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) system that provides primary care, dental, behavioral health and specialty services at facilities in the Baton Rouge area. This will be CareSouth’s first facility in North Louisiana.
• United Way Invests $6 Million
United Way of Northwest Louisiana (UWNWLA) and area businesses celebrate $2.2 million raised for Northwest Louisiana programs. These funds have an impact value of nearly $6 million for our community, helping more than 100,000 lives in need in our region. Allocations will be made to UWNWLA programs and nonprofit services that serve ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) citizens.
Each year, UWNWLA unites with businesses to implement change in our community through workplace campaigns, volunteer engagement and advocacy. The largest fundraising initiative is its annual campaign, where UWNWLA partners with companies to conduct workplace fundraisers. Campaigns allow employees to give back each year and come together to help those most in need.
The top five companies that raised the most dollars include AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), International Paper Mansfield Mill, Caddo Parish Public Schools, Enterprise Holdings, LLC, and Zachry Group.
In 2021, more than 100 presentations were made to 60 companies running workplace campaigns. A total of 4,000 donors gave, and 84 were leadership donors who donated $1,000 or more.
• Sci-Port Receives $30,000 Grant
Sci-Port Discovery Center will create a “Creative Energy” space thanks to a $30,000 grant from CenterPoint Energy’s CNP Foundation.
“Communities, families and students thrive when they have anchors such as the Sci-Port Discovery Center providing an environment to spark scientific curiosity and encourage life-long learning,” said Eric Barkley, district director with CenterPoint Energy. “We’re proud to be a community partner with the center as they continue to bring innovative programs and exhibits to the public.”
The new space will include an upgraded birthday area and an educational lab activity center.
Sci-Port Discovery Center is a 92,000-square-foot science and entertainment center made up of the Sawyer Space Dome Planetarium, the Power of Play (POP) Children’s Museum and Louisiana’s only IMAX ® Dome Theatre. The Center focuses on providing STEM-based activities utilizing over 200 hands-on exhibits and a comprehensive variety of interactive programs and demonstrations.
The Center is located at 820 Clyde Fant Parkway on the downtown Shreveport Riverfront.
• Origin Bank Hires Wooten
Origin Bank announces that Regan N. Wooten has joined their Shreveport banking team as vice president and market relationship banker.
Wooten brings over 37 years of banking experience to Origin, specializing in small business financing, lending and development. In his role, Wooten will serve as a trusted advisor to local entrepreneurs and provide personalized service to meet the unique needs of area businesses.
He earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Georgia State University and an associate degree in science from DeKalb College.
Wooten will work at Origin’s Shreveport Financial Center located at 1350 E. 70th St. in Shreveport.
• Centenary College Welcomes New Director
Patrick Morgan has joined Centenary’s Magale Library as director of library reference and instruction. Morgan will work to increase student and faculty engagement with the library and improve information literacy across campus.
Morgan is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics and a Master of Arts in Near Eastern studies. He also earned a Master of Science in library and information science from Drexel University and has worked in various roles in academic libraries at the University of the Ozarks, Hope College and Savannah State University. In addition to his work in library access and outreach, student success, and reference and instruction, Morgan has taught comparative religion, history, linguistics, literature and first-year experience. He is a member of the editorial board of the journal College & Undergraduate Libraries and maintains an active scholarly presence with invited lectures, conference presentations and articles.
Morgan’s experience as both a college instructor and a college librarian has given him significant insight into the role that libraries can and should play for today’s students.
• BPCC’s Dean Awarded Kennedy Center Gold
Bossier Parish Community College Dean of Communication and Performing Arts, Dr. Ray Scott Crawford, was awarded the prestigious Kennedy Center Gold Medallion for Region 6 during the 54th Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF).
The Kennedy Center Gold Medallion is the festival’s highest award and is considered a great honor in theater education. Region VI covers Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. BPCC Chancellor Dr. Rick Bateman Jr. was on hand to present the award to Dr. Crawford.
Crawford states, “I am honored by the recognition from the Kennedy Center. But more importantly, I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from BPCC, from my academic and professional colleagues, and especially from my students — both present and past.”
Each year, the eight KCACTF regions honor individuals or organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to the teaching and producing of theater and who have significantly dedicated their time, artistry and enthusiasm to the development of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.
With theater degrees from Louisiana Tech and Texas Tech University and a dozen years of professional work in and around the Chicago area, Crawford has taught theater performance, directing, management and applied voice at BPCC for almost 24 years. He helped establish the Associate of Arts in theater along with Stephen W. Slaughter shortly after he arrived at the school. The degree continues as the AA in Performing Arts (with concentrations in theater and music) as the only two-year theater degree offered in the state. He was promoted to dean of communication and performing arts in 2012 but has continued teaching and directing plays and musicals for the school all during his tenure.
For KCACTF, Crawford has served as a regional respondent, traveling to Arkansas, Texas and within Louisiana to evaluate and respond to other college and university theater productions hoping to be considered for presentation at the regional festival.
For BPCC, he has coached dozens of performers and singers in the regional Irene Ryan Acting and Musical Theatre Initiatives (singing) scholarship competitions for KCACTF. Many of his students have been finalists. He has also entered numerous shows in festivals in Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas. BPCC’s productions of “The Woman in Black,” “Echoes,” “The Turn of the Screw” and “A Texas Romance” all received the highest recognition at the state level. “The Turn of the Screw” went on to garner top honors regionally and become one of the top five productions in the nation at the National KCACTF in 2016, with Crawford as Distinguished Director.
This summer, Crawford begins his 37th year as artistic director of the Canterbury Summer Theatre in Michigan City, Ind. Each year he offers professional opportunities to many, including BPCC students, some of whom he hires as talent and technicians for the whole season. Others who are the cast and crew of the summer show at BPCC are hired to tour the production to the Canterbury at the end of the summer to complete the season at the Canterbury.
All in all, “Dr. C,” as his students call him, has produced, directed, and/or designed almost 300 theater productions, providing opportunities for innumerable students and young theatre professionals from all over the world.
• New Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Test Available
Willis-Knighton Cancer Center continues its leadership in treating prostate cancer with PET/CT imaging using Pylarify,® a prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) imaging agent. Pylarify, recently approved by the FDA, was previously only available in a few research sites in the United States and is now offered locally at Willis-Knighton.
Pylarify enables visualization of lymph nodes, bone and soft tissue metastases to determine the presence or absence of recurrent and/or metastatic prostate cancer, says Lane R. Rosen, MD, director of radiation oncology at Willis-Knighton. “It will give patients more accuracy and clarity on their current and future diagnosis.”
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetimes. Until now, conventional imaging, especially at low PSA levels, has not been able to identify the location and extent of the disease in many cases of men with a suspected cancer recurrence.
“This is a valuable tool in diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer,” Dr. Rosen says. “The ability to see smaller tumors translates directly into earlier detection.”
For more information or to make an appointment, call (318) 212-8056.
To learn more about Willis-Knighton Cancer Center visit www.wkhs.com/Cancer
• Bossier Parish Libraries Receive Award
Bossier Parish Libraries announced that they received the Beacon of Hope Award in recognition of their five-year partnership with the Volunteers of America of North Louisiana. The award was received by community engagement librarians Andrea Gilmer and Kristin Kennedy at the Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon.
Shawn Reynolds, program coordinator for Bossier Lighthouse, shared this recently about our librarians: “They have been an asset to the students of the Bossier LightHouse in not only bringing the library to them physically, but bringing the library mentally as well. They continue to show our students endless possibilities and challenge the students to open their minds and see the potential inside of them.”
Bossier Parish Libraries visits many community groups each month, including the Bossier Lighthouse, to bring library services directly into the community. These programs focus on science, technology, engineering, arts, math and literacy initiatives as well as making the parish-wide summer experience program, in which participants earn prizes for meeting reading goals, available to all parish residents.
For more information about Bossier Parish Libraries, its mission, vision, programs and services, visit www.bossierlibrary.org.