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Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Skip Bertman
Atheletics Director, Louisiana State University

Already a Louisiana Legend and one of the greatest college baseball coaches of all time, J. Stanley 'Skip' Bertman has made the seamless transition into the athletics director's chair with the same enthusiasm, vision and demand for excellence that were trademarks of his stellar coaching career.

In five years as LSU's director of athletics, Bertman has added to his impressive list of on-the-field achievements. Under his direction, LSU has enjoyed arguably the greatest athletics years in the history of the institution.

Under Bertman's direction, LSU teams have also enjoyed improved grade point averages across the board, making the LSU student-athlete experience a success on and off the fields of competition.

While supervising the Tigers' progress on the playing fields, he has implemented measures necessary to realize his vision of building the LSU athletics department into the best in the country. Bertman's bold and innovative plans promise to keep the Tigers among the nation's elite in all phases of collegiate athletics.

Bertman guided LSU to five NCAA baseball titles, and his teams drew huge crowds to venerable Alex Box Stadium, as the Tigers led the nation in attendance in each of his final six seasons (1996-2001).

He also served as head coach of the 1996 U.S. Olympic team which captured the bronze medal in Atlanta.

Bertman continues to be honored for his remarkable coaching tenure, as he was inducted in June, 2006 into the new College Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the hall's inaugural class. He has also been induced into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

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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