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The CAS Lecture Series Keeps on Keeping On

October 19, 2016

The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) lecture series have been part of the LSU Shreveport community for almost a decade, and they are still making a remarkable impact on students, faculty, staff, and the local community.

"I really like the idea of showing off our faculty's talents," said Dr. Lynn Walford, Spanish professor at LSUS and coordinator of the CAS programs. "It's always amazed me-first as a student, and then as a faculty member-that for such a small school we have so many people doing so many fascinating things. It is also an opportunity for us to get out of our comfort zones and get to know and appreciate people from other disciplines."

The purpose of the series is to showcase the research interests of the arts and sciences faculty, who usually present papers and projects at professional conferences about their work.

"We want to present their ideas to a broader audience of faculty from other disciplines, students, staff, retirees, and members of the general public," Dr. Walford said. "We have some very talented, creative faculty members who are doing fascinating and important things, and we want the community to know about them. We also feature students who are doing extraordinary things: our debate team, students who have participated in study-abroad programs, and students working on cancer research."

Dr. Paul Sisson, retired professor of mathematics, had the idea for creating the lecture series when he became dean of what was then the College of Science.

"For years, science faculty had been gathering during Common Hour once a week just to socialize," Dr. Sisson said. "I thought it would be great to turn the event into something that would show off the faculty's scholarship and other bright ideas. Thankfully, it caught on pretty fast."

"When I became Provost in 2008, I wanted to extend the idea to two lectures a week, one in the College of Arts and one in the College of Science, which have since then become the College of Arts and Sciences. That's when it really became established as CAS," Dr. Sisson said. "It never quite caught on in the Schools of Business and Education, unfortunately."

Dr. Debbie Shepherd, retired professor of mathematics, and Dr. Walford worked together to organize the CAS programs until Dr. Shepherd left for retirement. She has returned to LSUS as a visiting professor of mathematics for a one-year term.

The university community raves about the CAS programs, including students, who are surprised by the talented faculty members.

Dr. Walford has been coordinating the CAS lecture series for seven years and has thoroughly enjoyed the process. She retires next year and said one of the things she will miss most is organizing the series, but she hopes that she will be able to keep working with the program after retiring.

To find out when the next CAS lecture is scheduled, visit or the LSUS calendar.

PHOTO: Brook Boddie (on piano), Adjunct Instructor of English, and Dr. Elisabeth Liebert, Associate Professor of English, performing a recital, Four Centuries of Summer, as part of the CAS program in the fall of 2016.

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