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CONTACT: Charlie Bier
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Nov. 12, 2012
Jolivette Brown, Lotief to be Honored by Alumni Association

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette Alumni Association will honor federal judge Nannette Jolivette Brown and former head softball coach Stefni Lotief with the 2012 Outstanding Alumni Award.

The award is the highest honor bestowed upon an alum by the Association. It recognizes outstanding professional and personal achievements that have brought honor and distinction to the university. To be eligible for it, a person must be a UL Lafayette graduate or former student who attended no less than 10 years ago.

Jolivette Brown and Lotief will be recognized during a reception on Nov. 16 at the UL Lafayette Alumni Center on E. St. Mary Boulevard.

Jolivette Brown is the first black female federal judge appointed to serve in Louisiana. She is one of 12 judges for the Eastern District of Louisiana, which is based in New Orleans. Her nomination was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in October 2011.

President Barack Obama had nominated her in March 2011. U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., recommended Brown, who also received support from U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La.

Jolivette Brown attended Northside High School in Lafayette. While a student at UL Lafayette (then USL), she was president of the Vermilion Honor Society and treasurer of the Student Government Association. She was a member of Blue Key Honor Society and the university’s Honors Program. Jolivette Brown was the university’s Outstanding Graduate in 1985.

Prior to her judicial appointment, she was the city attorney for the City of New Orleans. Appointed in May of 2010, she was the city’s lead attorney in matters concerning the BP oil spill, which had begun in the Gulf of Mexico a month earlier. She also helped New Orleans continue its recovery from flooding prompted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Jolivette Brown has legal experience in commercial and environmental litigation and real estate law. From 1994 to 1996, she was director of New Orleans’ Sanitation Department, where she established the city’s first curbside recycling program. After Hurricane Katrina struck, the Louisiana Department of Insurance and the American Arbitration Association selected Jolivette Brown to mediate hundreds of insurance-related disputes.

She has taught at three law schools in Louisiana. She was a teaching fellow at Tulane Law School’s Environmental Law Clinic, an assistant professor of law at Southern University Law Center and a visiting professor of law at Loyola Law School.

Jolivette Brown holds a bachelor’s degree in English journalism. She earned a juris doctor in 1988 and a master of laws in energy and environmental law in 1998, both from Tulane Law School.

Lotief spent 12 seasons as head coach of the perennially ranked Ragin’ Cajuns’ softball program – the past 10 as co-head coach alongside her husband, Michael Lotief.

As a coach, she strengthened a program that she helped bring to prominence as an athlete. She was an All-American pitcher for the Ragin’ Cajuns from 1987-1990. Lotief became head coach in 2001.

In that leadership role, she guided the Ragin’ Cajuns to nine NCAA regional championship games, three Super Regionals and two Women’s College World Series appearances. The first World Series appearance was in 2003, Lotief’s third year as coach. Louisiana defeated No. 1 national seed Florida in the series’ opening game.

 Lotief garnered Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year honors six times and Louisiana Coach of the Year honors five times. The Ragin’ Cajuns dominated the Sun Belt Conference during her tenure. They won the conference’s regular season and postseason tournament titles in 11 of 12 seasons. UL Lafayette’s record against league foes in regular season play was 207-38. Her Ragin’ Cajuns notched the only perfect record in SBC league play in history when they went 18-0 in 2004.

Academics were always a top priority for Lotief’s program. All told, Lotief coached 144 All-Sun-Belt Academic honorees.

She helped mold 10 players into All-Americans. She also coached 81 All-Sun Belt Conference Athletes, nine conference players of the year, 10 pitchers of the year and seven freshmen of the year.

As a player, she won 78 games as a pitcher from 1987-90. She was the team’s first All-American in 1989. She excelled in the classroom as well, being named the GTE Academic All-American of the Year in Softball.

She graduated from UL Lafayette in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and later earned a master’s of business administration degree.

In July 2012, after leading the program to 601 victories over 12 seasons, Lotief stepped down as co-head coach to devote more time to her family. She remains with the program as a volunteer assistant coach.

Document last revised Wednesday, November 14, 2012 8:56 AM

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