Task Force

The LSU Creative Initiatives Task Force consists of members from various schools and colleges across the Louisiana State University campus.


Jennifer Jolly

Human Sciences & Education, film and communication studies

Jennifer L. Jolly received her Ph.D. in educational psychology with a concentrate in gifted education from Baylor University. Currently she is an associate professor in elementary and gifted education and Division Leader of Curriculum and Instruction. Her research interests include the history of gifted education and parents of gifted learners. Jolly is the vice-president of The Association of the Gifted (CEC-TAG) and co-editor of Excellence and Diversity in Gifted Education (EDGE). She also is on the editorial advisory board for Gifted Child Today and the Journal for the Education of the Gifted. In 2013, Jolly was awarded NAGC’s Early Leader Award. She also received the Michael Pyryt Collaboration Award from AERA/Research on Creativity, Giftedness, and Talent SIG (with Dr. Alex Garn & Dr. Michael Matthews) in 2012, the 2011 Louisiana Council for Exceptional Children Higher Education Professional of the Year, and the 2010 American MENSA Research Award. Jolly established a summer camp for gifted learners in partnership with the Louisiana State Museum, which hosts local gifted students each June. Before her tenure at LSU, she taught in both gifted and regular education classrooms as a public school teacher.

Pam Vinci

Pam Vinci

Agriculture, curator of the LSU Textile and Costume Museum

Pam Vinci is curator of the LSU Textile and Costume Museum.
Part of the LSU School of Human Ecology, the Textile & Costume Museum preserves a vital part of history and promotes the understanding and enjoyment of diverse textile traditions. It promotes conservation, research, teaching and public service. Research includes studies of the technical, aesthetic, historic and socio-cultural significance of textiles and apparel. Exhibitions interpret the findings of such research to the university community and the public.

With beginnings in the 1930s as a teaching collection, the museum has since expanded to include conservation, research and public exhibition facilities. The gallery is the only one of its kind in the state and was established in 1992 with a grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents. Today, the museum has become Louisiana’s pre-eminent institution for the preservation, collection and research of textile artifacts. It is one of the component collections of the Louisiana Museum of Natural History at LSU.


Lake Douglas

Lake Douglas

Art & Design, Associate Professor – Landscape Architecture

Lake Douglas, associate professor at the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, received a bachelor of landscape architecture from LSU, a master in landscape architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design, and a Ph.D. from the University of New Orleans. His most recent book, “Public Spaces, Private Gardens: A History of Designed Landscapes in New Orleans,” published by LSU Press in 2011, received Honor Awards from both the national organization and the Louisiana chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, and was awarded the Kemper and Leila Williams Prize by the Louisiana Historical Association in 2012. Douglas has also been published in numerous American and European anthologies, books, journals and professional publications. His professional work and research confirm landscape architecture as a profession that accommodates multiple disciplines and opportunities.


Robert S. Carney

Robert S. Carney

Coast & Environment, Professor

LSU Professor of Oceanography and Coastal Studies Robert Carney has been named to the National Academy of Sciences’ Gulf of Mexico Program Advisory Group, developed in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

“It is an honor to work with the National Academy of Sciences helping to start a 30-year program that will link science, policy, industry and Gulf of Mexico restoration,” said Carney. “When the court awarded part of the BP fines to the Academy, it was in recognition of NAS’ long-standing and highly effective role of solving complex issues by drawing from the highest level and breadth of national talent.”

The group is tasked with create a strategic vision and guide the program’s development and implementation. Serving for one year, the advisory group will articulate the program’s mission, goals and objectives in order to develop a guiding outline of how the program will operate in its first three to five years.
“The advisory group brings distinction, expertise from diverse disciplines, and a wide range of experience to the task of defining the program,” said NAS President Ralph J. Cicerone.

The 24-member group draws on the science, engineering and health expertise of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council. Chaired by outgoing NAS Vice President Barbara A. Schaal, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, the group includes people with experiences in academia and industry, as well as people with deep connections to the Gulf region.
The $500 million, 30-year Gulf of Mexico program was established as part of the settlements of federal criminal complaints against BP and Transocean Ltd. following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion. It will focus on human health, environmental protection and oil system safety in the Gulf of Mexico and the United States’ Outer Continental Shelf, and will fund and carry out studies, projects and activities in research and development, education and training, and environmental monitoring.
To identify broad opportunities in these areas that best meet the program’s charge, the advisory group will work to understand what other organizations and agencies are doing in the Gulf region. As part of its information gathering activities, the group will conduct a series of in-person and virtual meetings in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Washington, D.C. to identify how the NAS program can make useful and lasting contributions.

The program will be run under the auspices of the National Research Council, the principal operating arm of the NAS and NAE. Together with the IOM, these private, nonprofit institutions provide science, technology, and health policy advice under a congressional charter granted to NAS in 1863. Chris Elfring is the director of the Gulf program at the National Research Council.


Rudy Hirschheim

Rudy Hirschheim

E.J. Ourso College of Business, Ourso Family Distinguished Professor of Information Systems

Professor Hirschheim is the Ourso Family Distinguished Professor of Information Systems in the E.J. Ourso College of Business, Louisiana State University. He has previously been on the faculties of the University of Houston, Templeton College – Oxford (UK), London School of Economics (UK) and McMaster University (Canada). He has held visiting appointments at Monash University (Australia), University of New South Wales (Australia) University of Bayreuth (Germany), University of Jyvaskyla (Finland), University of Warwick (UK), and University of Paris-Dauphine (France). He is on the editorial boards of the journals: Journal of the Association for Information Systems; Information and Organization; Information Systems Journal; Journal of Strategic Information Systems; Journal of MIS; and Journal of Information Technology. He was VP for Publications for the Association for Information Systems. In 2006, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Oulu (Finland). And in 2007, he was made “Fellow” of the Association for Information Systems.


Marybeth Lima

Engineering, Cliff & Nancy Spanier Alumni Professor, Director of CCELL, the Center for Community Engagement, Learning and Leadership

As an LSU professor, Marybeth Lima’s career has reached students of all ages, from college to kindergarten. In 1998, Marybeth established the LSU Community Playground Project, a service-learning program which pairs elementary school and college students to design and build “dream playgrounds” at local public schools. These sustained efforts have led to the construction of more than 25 community-designed playgrounds around Baton Rouge.

In 2013, she authored the book BUILDING PLAYGROUNDS, ENGAGING COMMUNITIES: CREATING SAFE AND HAPPY PLACES FOR CHILDREN. She was named a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education and was the 2009 Louisiana Professor of the Year. In addition to serving within the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Marybeth is also the director of the LSU CENTER FOR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT, LEARNING, AND LEADERSHIP.

Patricia Suchy

Humanities & Social Sciences, film and communication studies

What was your previous position and where?

I’ve been at LSU since 1996. Before that, I was an instructor at DePaul University in Chicago. I’ve also taught at Northwestern University in Evanston while I finished my Ph.D. there, in 1995.
What brought you to LSU?

I came to LSU to join the Performance Studies program in the Department of Communication Studies. It was an opportunity to be among some of the best scholars in my field in one of the best programs in a communication department with a rich and long history, with people whom I admire and respect — and they have been the finest colleagues on the planet. It meant a big move and some culture shock, but I loved southern Louisiana from the moment I arrived.
What are your research interests?

My research concerns the ways texts perform cultural work — both literary texts and films, fictional and non-fictional. For example, I’ve done two big projects about the legacies of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” and of the Robert Flaherty documentary, “Louisiana Story.” Much of my research is informed by the essays of the philosopher and cultural critic Mikhail Bakhtin, who has given me a vocabulary and methods to understand how texts work in culture, and how culture works in texts. In performance studies, performance is both the thing we study and the way we study, so my research is often realized in live performances, videos and multimedia installations. I’ve also been working on multimedia publication in electronic journals as a set of potentials to represent performance studies scholarship in more of its visual and acoustic dimensions.
What do you hope to accomplish at LSU?

I hope to continue to cultivate enthusiasm in my students, and for myself in my own research.
What do you enjoy most about LSU?

I enjoy working with creative students and colleagues in the HopKins Black Box theatre and in projects like the Fellini Project, a collaboration with Kevin Bongiorni (Foreign Languages and Literatures) where we taught two linked courses that featured a spring break trip to Italy to work on video projects inspired by Fellini. It was such a rich experience that we did it two years in a row. I’ve been able to collaborate on several projects with biologist-playwright Vince LiCata (Biological Sciences) that express our shared interest in how performance might best communicate scientific concepts and how we might balance art and science in performance without compromising either. I’m also mindful of the everyday things that make LSU a singular place to work — the Quad when the azaleas come out and the peach ice cream at the Dairy Store.
What are your major accomplishments?

My colleagues and I have built a vibrant and strong Performance Studies program, and together we’ve accomplished the ideal balance among theory, history and practice. I’m also very proud of my work directing the Film and Media Arts, or FMA, program for five years — building curricula and landing grants to facilitate digital video practice in the program, working with fine colleagues like the program’s current director, Jim Catano (English) and our students to make project-based learning a unique feature of the program. We’ve gone from having only a handful of students in the program to close to 100, and we’ve just had a new FMA concentration approved for the Bachelor of Liberal Arts in the College of Humanities & Social Sciences, so more growth is sure to come. It’s been thrilling to see FMA alums achieve success in graduate schools and in the film and media industries that are thriving in Louisiana.

Lastly, I’ve been appointed to the research board of the National Communication Association and, as part of that position, I travel to Washington to visit with my congressional representatives to ask them to support funding for the humanities, which is heady and important and fun work. Last fall, I wrote and directed “Beyond the Utmost Bound,” a performance about Antarctic exploration that was metaphorically about what it means to do collaborative research. My greatest accomplishments have been made shoulder to shoulder with fine colleagues and students.


Meghan Sanders

Manship School of Mass Communication, media psychology

Meghan Sanders teaches research methods and statistical analysis, public relations and mass communication theory courses. She simultaneously serves as Co-director of the Forum on Media Diversity, an outlet geared towards providing information to students, media professionals, and the general public on the effects of media in regards to the perpetuation of gender and racial stereotypes and other issues of media literacy. Her research focus is on the cognitive processing and the emotional effects of new media and entertainment media. She also examines psychophysiological responses to media content. Her work experience includes positions with The Houston Chronicle, WVUE-FOX 8 in New Orleans, and KATC-TV3 in Lafayette, LA. She received a Master of Arts in Mass Communication degree from Penn State University and a Bachelors of Arts degree from Dillard University. Dr. Sanders speaks about her research. Dr. Sanders speaks about her teaching philosophy. – See more at: http://www.manship.lsu.edu/staff/meghan-sanders/#sthash.2BtDsGr9.dpuf


Margaret Kemp

Music & Dramatic Arts, voice/acting, theatre

Margaret Laurena Kemp recently returned from South Africa where she was invited to tour her solo show, A Negro Speaks of Rivers. Her recent lead role in the film Children of God has earned her international recognition. In 2006-2007, she produced her first solo performance piece Creative Instructions from MyCrummyLife which was presented to sold out audiences at UCLA, Art Share, and the Lucy Florence Cultural Center in Los Angeles, and the Z. Alexander Looby Theatre in Nashville. Margaret is a Michael Chekhov Associate (pending) and a Certified Associate Instructor of Fitzmaurice Voicework. She holds a BS in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, and a MFA in Classical Theatre from the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC.


Sandra Moon

Music & Dramatic Arts, voice/opera, music

American soprano Sandra Moon made her professional debut in the role of Frasquita in Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s staging of Carmen with Placido Domingo at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Her first engagement in Europe was at the Stadttheater in Aachen where she sang such roles as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, Pamina, Susanna, Oscar and Norina. From 1992- 1997 Sandra was engaged at the Badisches Staatstheater in Karlsruhe where her repertoire was extended to such roles as Mimi, Liu, Manon, Donna Anna, Adina, Fiordiligi and Maria Stuarda. At Munich’s Gärtnerplatz Theater, where Sandra was engaged from 1997 to 2012, some of her roles included Violetta, Mimi, Butterfly, Giovanna d’arco, Amalia in “I Masnadieri”, Alice Ford, Martha and Agathe. Her extensive repertoire of over 100 roles has lead her to other cities such as Düsseldorf, Cologne, Dresden, Linz, Munich, Bonn, Leipzig, Paris, Warsaw, Mallorca andVienna.

Sandra Moon made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1997 in the role of Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos with James Levine conducting. She has since sung at the Met in roles such as Cleopatra in Händel’s Giulio Cesare, Flower Maiden in Parsifal, and Zdenka next to Renee Fleming’s Arabella. In 2005 she made her Carnegie Hall debut in the role of Ännchen in Der Freischütz under the baton of Eve Queler and the Opera Orchestra of New York. She has sung with the New York City Opera (Pamina, and Rose in Street Scene), Glimmerglass Opera (Marzelline in Fidelio), Portland Opera (Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor), Florentine Opera (Musetta and Antonia), Opera Columbus (Musetta, Countess, and Donna Anna), Cleveland Opera (Cleopatra and Gilda), and Adina and Nedda at the Lake George Opera Festival.

While working in Europe, Sandra has also been able to focus on baroque repertoire. She has sung in the Händel Festivals of Karlsruhe and Halle, as well as the Dresden Music Festival where she sang the role of Zulma in Naumann’s Cora und Alonzo under Rene Jacobs. Some of her baroque repertoire includes the Bach Passions, as well as the roles of Asteria in Tamerlano, Onoria in Amadigi, Fulvia in Ezio, and Emilia in Ferrandini’s Catone in Utica which has been released on Oehms Classic CD.

Sandra Moon is a native of Dayton, Ohio and received her musical training from the Cincinnati-Conservatory of Music as well as being in the young artist programs of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Sante Fe Opera.

Sandra’s extensive background includes teaching for 26 years in a private studio in Germany and winning numerous awards, including the Treigel/Corbett Opera Scholarship (Cincinnati-Conservatory of Music); National Association of Teachers of Music-Ohio Chapter; National Institute of Musical Theatre-George London Grant; Opera Columbus; Liederkranz Foundation; Washington International Competition; and Opera Index.


Vince LiCata

Science, biology

Vince LiCata, LSU’s Louis S. Flowers Professor of Biological Sciences and published playwright.

“Theatre has long served as a forum for introduction of new thinking, new attitudes and new world-views, directly into the intelligentsia,” said LiCata. “As such, theatre is one of the most logical bridges between science and the arts, between science and society.”

Getting more – and more accurate – science into the arts is becoming more of a priority for both governmental funding agencies and private research foundations.

“It has become increasingly clear that much of the public gain the majority of their understanding of scientific issues and the process of science from entertainment sources,” said LiCata. “As a result, making sure that entertainment media dealing with science represent it as accurately as possible is more important than ever, since there is a good chance that what they portray will actually have tangible effects on public science policy decisions.”

Efforts toward improving science in entertaining truly run the gamut.

“We’re seeing lots of different approaches,” said LiCata. “Everything from helping make funny TV shows more science friendly to producing professional theatrical plays about science and scientists. There are even efforts to make science fiction less pure fantasy and more realistic possibility.”

Theatre, unlike film and television, affords more complex and in-depth explorations of scientific subjects. Successful efforts from both sides of the “great divide” have been produced in recent years (professional playwrights writing science-plays, and working scientists writing professionally produced plays). The bulk of the efforts have gone toward encouraging mainstream playwrights to write about more science. LiCata’s symposium focused slightly more on scientists who have written and produced plays but presents from both sides of the two cultures.

“Because the theatre serves as an incubator that feeds other media like film and television, accurate theatrical depictions of science (both its process and results) are important for improving understanding of science across all performance media,” said LiCata.


Christine Russell

Veterinary Medicine, library sciences



Laurence Kaptain

Director of Creative Initiatives
Laurence Kaptain, Director of Creative Initiatives, brings 14 years of higher education leadership experience at leading public and private universities to his new assignment at ORED. He recently served as President of the Association for General and Liberal Studies, and is currently the Treasurer of the College Music Society. He was Dean of LSU’s College of Music and Dramatic Arts from 2009-2013, during a period where the unit’s endowment, diversity of faculty, staff and students, and international appearances all grew exponentially. During the 2013-14 academic year he appeared with the Chicago Symphony, San Diego Symphony, the National Symphony (at the Kennedy Center) and Mexico’s National Symphony. He was also named a Fellow in the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) and named to the editorial board of the Journal of Arts Entreprenuership Research.


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