College of Business & Technology will honor Hall of Distinction inductees


NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s College of Business and Technology will honor three individuals with induction into the College’s Hall of Distinction this weekend in conjunction with Homecoming festivities. The College will host a reception for inductees beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 23 in the Natchitoches Room at Russell Hall.

This year’s honorees are Nicholas C. Courville (Accounting), the late John G. Williams (Business Administration), Barbara Russell and Jack Russell (Computer Information Systems).

Courville is a certified public account who joined Heard, McElroy & Vestal in May 2011 and works in the audit department. Prior to joining HMV, he was employed at KPMG, LLP, as an audit associate. His duties included performing audits and attestation engagements of closely held businesses, financial institutions and not-for-profit organizations. Additionally, he prepares financial statements, journal entries and reconciliations of client information and researches technical issues and formulates the appropriate conclusions in order to effectively communicate the solution to team members and clients. He became a partner in 2019.

Courville received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting in May 2010. He was a participant in the Greater Shreveport Leadership Program in 2014 and the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organization Community Leaders Program in 2013. In November 2014, he was recognized as a ‘40 Under 40’ recipient by the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce.

He holds membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Louisiana Society of Certified Public Accountants (LCPA).  He serves his community as a member of Holy Angels’ Champions advisory committee, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church finance council and Provenance Institute for the Arts, Culture and Environment board.

Williams taught business law and was a member of Northwestern State’s faculty for 47 years. He was an adjunct faculty member for 19 years and became a full-time faculty member for 28 years and was a professor of business. Williams also maintained a law practice in Natchitoches and was first assistant district attorney for Natchitoches Parish. He enjoyed teaching over the course of 47 years, sometimes teaching the children and grandchildren of former students. He was known for his educational anecdotes that included Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Hobart Macgroniac, Lillie Lickskillet, and Susie Stepingofetchit.

A 1962 graduate of St. Mary’s Academy, he earned a degree in agribusiness from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and graduated from Tulane Law School with a Juris Doctorate Degree in civil law.  He entered the U.S. Marine Corps on active duty in September 1968 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in February 1969. He graduated from the Naval Justice School in August 1969 and joined the 1st Marine Division in Camp Pendleton, California, where he was a defense lawyer, a prosecutor and finally was appointed by the Secretary of the Navy as a military judge. Williams returned home and began to practice law.

His wife, Suzanne, is teacher certification coordinator for NSU’s School of Education.

Williams passed away in May 2020.

After receiving her Master’s in Computer Science in 1979, Barbara Russell worked in industry for five years as a Programmer-Analyst. She and her husband Dr. Jack Russell moved to Tarleton State University in Texas in 1984 to begin her 33-year teaching career.  She and Jack moved to NSU in 1999, beginning their 16-year career at NSU, retiring in 2015.

While at NSU, she served as faculty sponsor of the Association of Information Technology Professionals and helped the many students achieve national recognition at annual National Student Conferences. AITP awarded her the national Advisor of the Year award in 2002.

She published several papers in national journals, presented topics several times at state and national conferences and was awarded the Excellence in Teaching award at NSU in 2002.

Dr. Jack Russell was a professor of Computer Information Systems at NSU’s College of Business and Technology from 1999 to 2015.  He served as coordinator of CIS for several of those years and helped to bring a nationally recognized CIS program to NSU.  He holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas in Computer Science Teaching and an M.S. in Computer Science from Florida Tech.

During his career he was named Information Systems Educator of the Year by the AITP Education Foundation, awarded the Ben Bauman Outstanding Award for Excellence by the International Association of Computer Information Systems and authored two textbooks in Business Programming Logic & Design.  Russell was as a Regents Professor with the Texas A&M University System before coming to NSU.  He helped train and educate over 600 graduates in CIS at NSU and helped prepare and coach six student National Champion teams in Systems Analysis and Design.  He also published 26 articles regarding the teaching and delivery of CIS courses and curriculum.

For a full list of Homecoming events, visit