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Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Randle "Randy" Raggio, Ph.D.
Asst. Professor, LSU Dept. of Marketing

Randy Raggio is Assistant Professor of Marketing at the E.J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University, where he teaches the capstone marketing strategy course for senior marketing majors. Recent student projects that he has supervised include strategic marketing plans for LPB, Louis DeAngelo's Casual Italian Dining, and Monster Energy drink. He is currently working on research pertaining to branding, brand equity, the impact of Louisiana's post-hurricanes "thank you" campaigns, and strategic pricing issues in B2B services markets. His dissertation focused on empirical and theoretical implications of brands and brand equity for consumers and firms. His research has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Brand Management.

Prior to entering academia, Randy was the marketing director for Kidpower, the toy company that marketed products such as the Funnoodle (the long foam swimming pool "noodles"). He produced more than 13 commercials that aired on national cable TV and appeared on QVC three times. In 1998 he was appointed to the Toy Manufacturers of America Blue Ribbon Communications Panel.

Randy is a competitive swimmer and in 1999 completed a 24-mile solo swim across Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana in a time of 13:44:22.

Randy received his Ph.D. in marketing from The Ohio State University. He was previously director of the Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business and instructor of business at Belmont University in Nashville, TN, where he taught undergraduate, MBA, and professional education courses.

Current Topic


     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?
The ability to read sets the foundation of who we are and what we can be. Through reading we expand our world, learn new things and increase our base of knowledge. In fact, a parent’s reading level is the greatest factor in a child’s academic success. Children who can’t read proficiently by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

In Louisiana, 20 percent of adults are illiterate – five points higher than the national rate. How is Louisiana combatting its illiteracy problem across generational lines? How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

Louisiana Public Square: The Power of Reading looks for answers and explores the value of lifelong reading through the lens of the PBS series The Great American Read Wednesday, August 22 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recorded Tuesday, August 14 in the Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion at Baton Rouge Community College.)

Our panelists are:
- Linda-Marie Barrett, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA)
- Rebecca Hamilton, MLIS; Louisiana State Librarian
- Danny Heitman; Journalist and Louisiana author
- Miranda Restovic, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH).
- Gary Robertson; Adult Literacy Advocates

The program features interviews with John Cavalier, owner of Cavalier House Books; Gary Robertson, Executive Director of Adult Literacy Advocates; representatives from the LEH PRIME TIME intergenerational reading program, and Superintendent John White with the Louisiana Department of Education.

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Robyn Merrick, Southern University VP of External Affairs, host the show.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

This episode of Louisiana Public Square is underwritten by Community Coffee’s Cash for Schools Program, the Louisiana Forestry Association, LSU Press and the Southern Independent Booksellers’ Authors Round the South.

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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?

Recent Topics


     07/18 - Preventing Suicide

How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?

     06/18 - Louisiana: Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?  (ENCORE)

Is Louisiana a Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?

     05/18 - News About the News

How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference?

     04/18 - Balancing Eldercare

How much does Louisiana spend on nursing homes versus home and community-based care?
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