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Central Louisiana students beneficiaries of NSU’s Briggs Scholarship

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NSU CenLa Campus in Alexandria recognizes excellent students

NATCHITOCHES – Kara Johnson and Ladarrellinique “Dee” Butler have been named recipients of the Dora Douglas Briggs Scholarship in Nursing for students affiliated with Northwestern State University’s Cenla Center in Alexandria.  Funds for the scholarship were raised by Dr. Harry Briggs last May.

Johnson, 21, is a native of Harrisonburg and a senior nursing student at NSU’s Alexandria campus.  She is active in the Louisiana Student Nurses Association’s Alexandria chapter and is an alumna of Phi Mu Fraternity.  Described as a caring student nurse and advocate for her patients, Johnson commutes to Alexandria from Natchitoches, works part-time and carries a full nursing schedule of classes.  She maintains a 3.56 grade point average and plans to work in pediatrics.

Butler, 22, is a senior radiologic science student who is active in the Cenla Association of Radiologic Science Students (CARSS) and the Louisiana Society of Radiologic Technologists (LSRT).  A native of Patterson, she currently resides in Pineville.  She was described by area imaging professional as a caring, outgoing, and motivated student with a strong work ethic who has taken on the role of mentoring and offering tutoring to lower level students.  Butler has been selected to specialize in Computerized Tomography (CT) at both Rapides Regional Medical Center and the VA Medical Center.  Upon completion of this specialization and the program, she plans to seek employment in this area of imaging at an area hospital facility. She has maintained a program GPA of 3.8 and an overall GPA of 3.3.

Briggs raised funds for the scholarship by completing a two-mile swim across Kincaid Lake in celebration of his 89th birthday last year. Known since the 1950s as “The Paddlin’ Professor,” Dr. Briggs, a political science instructor at Northwestern State University’s Leesville/Fort Polk campus, has initiated several scholarship endowments to benefit current and future students at Northwestern. The Dora Douglas Briggs Nursing and Radiologic Sciences Endowed Scholarship is specified to benefit NSU’s Nursing and Radiologic Sciences programs at the Cenla Center.

”The scholarship money dedicated specifically to NSU Alexandria students is an opportunity to recognize outstanding students who were selected to complete their clinicals in the area,” said Marsha Zulick, executive director of the NSU Cenla Campus.  “As the first recipients of the scholarship, Dee and Kara are excellent representatives of Northwestern and the College of Nursing.  Dr. Briggs generously dedicated his “Big Swim” at 89 years old to begin the scholarship initiative. We look forward to celebrating his 90th birthday event in May.”


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