Louisiana Sea Grant Fills Six Vacancies
Since January, Louisiana Sea Grant has welcomed six new staff members into an array of positions across the program.
Katharine Bailey is the new assistant to LSG Executive Director Robert Twilley. Bailey earned a bachelor of arts in English from LSU. She replaces Judy Johnson, who is now Sea Grant’s sponsored research coordinator. Previously employed by Louisiana State University at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, as well as on the main Baton Rouge campus, Bailey came to Sea Grant after a short time in the private sector.
Stephanie Grodeska has returned to LSG as a research associate at the Oyster Lab on Grand Isle. Most recently she worked at the Auburn University Shellfish Hatchery while also pursuing a master of science degree in fish and allied aquaculture from Auburn. Her work has focused on oysters since earning a bachelor of science degree in marine biology from Roger Williams University. From March 2013 to August 2014, Grodeska also worked as a research associate at the Oyster Lab.
Marissa-Beth Humphrey moved from the communications office in the LSU College of Engineering this spring to become a communications coordinator for LSG. Humphrey earned a bachelor of arts in communication degree from Mississippi State University, and she was a page designer and copy editor for the Northeast Mississippi Journal before coming to LSU. Humphrey hopes to connect the public with LSG’s work by the most effective means possible. “The information that’s gathered here affects the daily lives of both families and businesses alike, and Sea Grant is instrumental in equipping communities with knowledge relevant to their surroundings,” she said. In addition to her new role at Sea Grant, Humphrey is also working toward a master’s degree in digital media arts and engineering at LSU.
Larry March is the newest addition to the accounting office. March earned a bachelor of accountancy degree from Mississippi State University, and gained experience in Mississippi as an accounts payable technician before coming to Louisiana to work for Sea Grant. In LSG’s accounting office, March serves as the Cost Center Manager, among a number of other roles. March will utilize his knowledge of restrictions on various funds to ensure grants and other monies are used for their intended purposes. March said, “Management of Louisiana Sea Grant’s resources is a pivotal part of meeting all standards required to provide the services to the communities LSG aids.”
Dominique Seibert, the new extension agent for St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes, is a native of Plaquemines Parish. She earned a bachelor of science degree in biological sciences with a concentration in ecology, environmental and evolution from Southeastern Louisiana University. Along with many coastal restoration projects, Seibert is working to increase awareness of SouthShore Direct, a website that gives fishermen in Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes the opportunity to sell their catch directly to the public. “Fishermen post their catch, and people can contact them to get fresh off the boat seafood,” Seibert explained.
Evelyn Gutierrez Watts is LSG’s new seafood specialist and an assistant professor in the School of Nutrition and Food Sciences at LSU. She earned her doctorate at Louisiana State University in nutrition and food sciences, and holds a master’s degree in quality assurance systems and a bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine, both from the University of San Carlos in Guatemala. Prior to taking on her new roles, Watts was an instructor in the School of Nutrition and Food Sciences at the LSU AgCenter. Watts will work with seafood processors, fishermen and farmers who want to start processing their harvest. This includes Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) training, where participants learn how to develop, implement, monitor and verify a HACCP plan.
Both Seibert and Watts have partial appointments with the LSU AgCenter.