McNeese State University Joins LSU Reilly Center Partnership to Document, Preserve Women’s Legacies in State Politics

June 20, 2023

BATON ROUGE—The Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication is partnering with McNeese State University to document Louisiana women’s experiences as political leaders through oral histories.

This partnership will expand the geographical footprint and constituencies for the Louisiana Women in Politics Oral History Project. The effort provides a historical record of female political figures who played important roles in some of Louisiana’s most notable historical moments. It also documents their career reflections and how they navigated challenging moments. Their stories will serve as a resource for both scholars and future generations of women considering careers in the political sphere.

"We are excited to collaborate with the LSU Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs on this project,” said Rita D. Costello, Ph.D., program director of Women and Gender Studies at McNeese State University. “At McNeese State University, it is our goal to provide students with meaningful research opportunities and this partnership will allow our students to delve into the untold story of Louisiana women in politics.”

McNeese State University joins existing project partners the Waggonner Center at Louisiana Tech University, Tulane University’s H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College Institute, Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Public Policy Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the Department of History at Xavier University of Louisiana.

“We are thrilled to welcome McNeese State University to the project. This collaboration will expand the Louisiana Women in Politics Oral History Project to a broader Louisiana,” LSU Reilly Center Director Jenée Slocum, Ph.D., said. “Together, we'll amplify the voices of remarkable women in politics, enriching our understanding of their contributions to Louisiana's political landscape.”

The recordings are housed at LSU Libraries T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History with secondary repositories around the state. As women are elected to positions in future years, their oral history accounts may be added to the collection.

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The Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs is partnership-driven, action-oriented and dedicated to exploring contemporary issues at the intersection of mass communication and public life. Its interdisciplinary approach draws together experts from diverse fields to advance research and dialogue. The intent is to inspire our communities to think deeply, take action, develop solutions and broaden knowledge. Underlying the Center’s endeavors is to strengthen and advance the Manship School’s national and state leadership in media and politics. Follow us on Facebook @ReillyCenter, Twitter @ReillyCenter, Instagram @lsureillycenter and LinkedIn LSU Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs.

LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication ranks among the strongest collegiate communication programs in the country, with its robust emphasis on media and public affairs. It offers undergraduate degrees in public relations, journalism, political communication, digital advertising and pre-law, along with four graduate degree programs: Master of Mass Communication, Ph.D. in Media and Public Affairs, Certificate of Strategic Communication and a dual MMC/Law degree. Like us on Facebook @ManshipSchool, or follow us on Twitter @ManshipSchool, Instagram @ManshipSchool and LinkedIn LSU Manship School of Mass Communication.

Established in 1939, McNeese State University is nationally ranked as one of the top public universities in the United States, is recognized as one of the finest regional universities in the South and is known as having one of the best returns on investment for tuition and high average starting salaries for its graduates. Located in Lake Charles, LA, the university is integrated into the fabric of Southwest Louisiana, contributing to economic prosperity and quality of life by providing well-prepared employees. Students at McNeese enjoy an instructor to student ratio of 1:21, and benefit from $63 million in financial assistance, over 100 market driven academic programs, and a student-centric culture. Graduates successfully pass licensure exams, and are accepted into graduate programs including law, medical, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. Follow McNeese on Facebook @McNeeseStateU, on Twitter @McNeese, Instagram @McNeese, LinkedIn McNeese State University and YouTube @McNeeseStateU.