News release
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Contact: Christina Chapple
Date: 4/30/04
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PRIDE OF SOUTHEASTERN – Jamie Breaux, center, a Southeastern Louisiana University junior from Rayne, shares a laugh with, from left, Campus Activities Board director Jason Leader, Roomie the Lion, CLAWS committee chair Jim McHodgkins, and President Randy Moffett after the entourage surprised her with the university’s first “Pride of Southeastern” award.

      HAMMOND -- When the president of Southeastern Louisiana University paraded into Jamie Breaux’s 8 a.m. Louisiana history class last week and called her to the front of the room, she was hestitant.
      “I didn’t do it,” she said meekly, as she complied with President Randy Moffett’s request.
      “Oh, yes, you did,” he replied. “That’s why we’re here.”
      The fact that the president was accompanied by an entourage bearing balloons, gifts, a plaque and the school’s mascot, Roomie the Lion, probably gave Breaux a hint that she wasn’t in trouble. Instead the junior special education major from Rayne was being honored as the first recipient of the university’s “Pride of Southeastern” award.
      The new award is the brainchild of CLAWS (Connection Lion Activities With Students),  a campus committee charged with staging activities to promote student involvement and pride. Committee chair Jim McHodgkins, assistant dean for student development, said “Pride of Southeastern” is designed “to recognize a student who does a lot for the university and makes us proud, but has not received a lot of recognition.”
      Beginning next fall, CLAWS plans to present three “Pride of Southeastern” awards each semester. Recipients are chosen by a CLAWS subcommittee from faculty and staff nominations.
      “This is a cool thing,” Breaux said. “It was a complete honor and surprise. Awesome -- I like it!”
      Breaux’s nomination came from her professors in the College of Education and Human Development, where she maintains a 3.865 grade point average.
      “I don’t know when she sleeps and rests,” Moffett said, as he listed some of Breaux’s accomplishments.
      Breaux is a member of nine student organizations, including two -- Theta Phi Alpha and the Student Council for Exceptional Children -- that she serves as president. She was one of the original corps members of the university’s Jumpstart program, a national AmeriCorps school readiness initiative. She serves as a student representative on college committees, and volunteers at Holy Ghost Church’s Lifeteen youth program. 
      Breaux was one of only 35 students selected nationwide to attend the 2004 Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary Service this summer in Washington, D.C. She also works as an undergraduate researcher with Southeastern teacher education professor Cynthia Elliot to explore the impact of service learning in the redesigned PK-3 certification program in early childhood teacher education. 
      Her Pride of Southeastern award letter said, “Your dedication to academics while applying yourself to numerous student organizations and community service projects illustrates your commitment to life.”
      Breaux said she enjoys serving as a role model for other “small town” students. “Many people don’t get out of their small towns,” she said. “I wanted to be that example for others and show that you can do whatever you put your mind to.
      “When I got here Southeastern had all these opportunities, all the right organizations that I just loved and wanted to be a part of and to promote,” she said. “Southeastern has given me a lot, so it’s my part to give back to Southeastern.”
      Breaux plans to keep on “giving.” Her ultimate goal, she said, is to earn a master’s degree and “to open my own community for disadvantaged students so they can realize their potential and talents and be better future leaders.”