Parish News

Tech gets a cool million


Slightly less than a week ago, Louisiana Tech University announced plans to establish a new Academic Success Center in Bossier Parish Community College’s STEM building in the National Cyber Research Park in Bossier City.

Tech President Dr. Les Guice said the partnership with BPCC and the Cyber Innovation Center would enhance educational services, provide cyber education and research, engage in workforce development and support economic development in northwest Louisiana.

On Wednesday, Louisiana Tech received a huge financial boost to its center thanks to a $1 million gift from the AEP (American Electric Power) Foundation. AEP, including AEP Swepco locally, is a major energy supplier to millions of customers in 11 states.

AEP’s grant was presented to Louisiana Tech President Les Guice by Nicholas Akins, who serves as AEP Foundation chairman and is president and CEO of American Electric Power Co. Akins, a Bossier City native, is also a graduate of Tech’s engineering program.

“This is a first stop in the journey to make this entire campus associated not only with the presence of Louisiana Tech University in this part of the state but also in the terms of cyber and physical security, which is a critical part of our success,” Akins said.

Akins called the new success center a one-stop shop of cyber education and cyber analytics with the ability to apply skills in this area, adding “...I’d like to see what this place will look like just five years from now.”

Tech President Guice said the success center, and the gift from AEP, “ truly a cooperative endeavor, a public-private partnership between Louisiana Tech University, the Cyber Innovation Center, Bossier City, Bossier Parish and BPCC, and corporate partners like AEP, CSRA and the state of Louisiana.”

Additionally, Guice said, the gift will help the new success center “...will serve as a focal point in connecting students and prospective students to educational and career opportunities right here in north Louisiana.”

“With this building we get to build careers and bring more growth, more opportunity to northwest Louisiana,” said Don Pierson, Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development.

Several local, parish and state officials attended the ceremony and special guests included Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker and Dr. Jim Henderson, President of the University of Louisiana System.

Louisiana Tech hopes to complete and occupy its facility during the fall academic quarter.

It's a big financial boost for Louisiana Tech, and showing the check to a large crowd attending the ceremony are (from left) Don Pierson, Nicholas Akins, Dr. Les Guice, Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker and Dr. Jim Henderson.

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