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COE wins hospitality award

February 5, 2018

The College of Education hosted the National Field Experience Conference, which brought educators from across the country to Ruston and allowed them to experience the city. – Photo courtesy of Amy Vessel

 

STARLA GATSON
Editor-in-Chief | sjg021@latech.edu

 

Louisiana Tech’s College of Education has been awarded for its degree programs and work with area schools; now, the college can add hospitality to its growing list of accolades.

 

On Jan. 16, Ruston Lincoln Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau presented Tech’s College of Education with the 2017 Lincoln Parish Hospitality Award.

 

Travis Napper, CVB president, said the award is reserved for individuals, groups or organizations that make noteworthy contributions to the parish’s tourism economy by creating or hosting new events, festivals or conferences in the area.

 

“The College of Education deserves this award for their work to bringing multiple meetings and conferences to Lincoln Parish,” he said. “These events boosted the local economy, introduced Ruston to many visitors from across the country and inspired others to bring their organization’s meetings to this area.”

 

Napper said through their work, the College of Education set an example to the parish of working together and forming partnerships to guarantee visitors see the best of the city during their events.

 

“They not only partnered with the CVB for hotel rooms and visitor assistance, but with the City of Ruston, Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Association and even local restaurants to ensure Ruston and Lincoln Parish was put on display for their attendees,” he said.

 

One of the college’s more noteworthy contributions was the 2017 National Field Experience Conference. Amy Vessel, executive director of the clinical residency center within the College of Education, said after presenting at the 2016 NFEC, she and Dawn Basinger recruited the conference to relocate from Colorado to Ruston.

 

“The conference had been hosted in Colorado the past four years, and prior to that it was hosted in Pennsylvania; it had never been in the south,” she said. “We recruited the conference to come to Ruston and last April, we hosted over 300 educators from 35 states to participate in the national conference.”

 

Vessel, who served as coordinator for the conference, said hosting the event was a group effort, and the college worked closely not only with the university, but also with the city of Ruston.

 

“Our Tech family and our Ruston community came together and supported us in ways I could not have imagined,” she said. “The participants absolutely raved about all of the hospitality that our university and all of our community leaders showed while they were here.”

 

Lindsey Keith-Vincent, director of the science and technology education center, said her department and the college as a whole are honored to be recognized and look forward to partnering with the parish in the future.

 

“We in the Science and Technology Education Center in the College of Education are grateful to work with our colleagues across Louisiana Tech’s campus to host professional development workshops, national meetings and other special events that result in individuals from across the country coming to Lincoln Parish to enjoy our unique and hospitable culture,” she said. “We are appreciative of this recognition, and we are hopeful that we will get to continue such meaningful work in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, the CVB and the city of Ruston for years to come.”

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