Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Shreveport mayor asks LSUS psychology class to help improve city’s self image on visit

by BIZ Magazine

Shreveport mayor Tom Arceneaux stood in front of a psychology class at LSU Shreveport and said what many long-time Shreveporters have come to know about their city.

Shreveport has a self-image problem.

Arceneaux chose to speak to this LSUS master’s class (Career and Lifestyle Development in Counseling) because as future counselors and mental health professionals, they can help build individuals’ self-image which in turn should aid Shreveport’s self-worth overall.

“We are sometimes our own worst enemy,” Arceneaux told the class in a March 27 visit. “We can be so negative about our hometown, only wanting to tell people about the bad stuff.

“Bad stuff happens in every community, but we also have a bunch of good stuff. Everybody sitting in this room wants to help people solve their problems and issues. The city is full of people like you.”

Arceneaux, always showcasing the “I (Heart) Shreveport” button, passed out the tokens of self love to the class.

He explained that he had self-image issues growing up, but he learned extrovert habits as an introvert who preferred reading a book in solitude to shaking hands and socializing.

Those habits led to successful career as an attorney and as an active participant in numerous Shreveport-centric organizations.

Even a habit as simple as wearing his “I (Heart) Shreveport” button.

“Wearing the button takes me out of my comfort zone,” Arceneaux said. “Learn extrovert habits to be successful, because the more successful you are, the more people you can help.

“And the more people you help, the better we are as a society and community. And we’d be even prouder to wear these buttons.”

Arceneaux’s speaking appearance is part of an impressive slate of speakers who have addressed the class this semester.

That list includes Dr. D.E. Ghali (Willis Knighton surgeon), Teresa Hefner (director for Louisiana Rehabilitation Services), and William Tuggle (retired probation and parole supervisor who contributed to the Gainesville Ripper case).

“It was a privilege to have the mayor share his career background and business development with the class,” said Dr. Michael Becerra, assistant professor of psychology at LSUS. “Students asked him about the challenges facing youth who are graduating from high school and the reasons why he decided to run for mayor.

“Our speakers covered a wide range of topics, from leadership skills to the career decisions behind moving back to Shreveport. We dove deep into areas like crime analysis with gripping stories about serial killers to critical medical surgeries. We explored fields like prison, sex offender counseling, and vocational rehabilitation in Louisiana. This is community-based learning as its best, and it couldn’t have happened without students’ enthusiasm for this real-world academic experience.”

Students were asked to tap into their community relationships to find speakers, and LSUS student Jay Murrell knew Arceneaux.

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